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[personal profile] telwoman posting in [community profile] schlosseberbach
**Reposted from Imzy ... awaiting images**

Veni Vedi Vici follows straight on from Hallelujah Express, and is written with the same fast-changing action formula.

Klaus, Dorian, and their respective followers get to Rome at the end of the long and eventful train journey, ready to conduct the mission for which Dorian has been hired: the job at the Vatican.

Klaus is impatient to make a start but Dorian isn't cooperating: he's been off shopping and sight-seeing, and now he's wasting time in the Roman baths at the hotel. Determined to get his contractor moving, Klaus storms in, creating one of FEWL's classic scenes. Alas for Klaus, he slips on the soap and ends up – fully clothed – in the bath with Dorian, protesting that he doesn’t want to be touched by a naked man.

Klaus and Dorian set off toward the Vatican, crossing Rome in Dorian’s attention-grabbing sports car. This gives both Klaus and James something else to complain about: Klaus is annoyed by Dorian’s chatter and the conspicuous nature of the car, and James whines that the way Dorian drives uses too much fuel.

Perhaps it’s not surprising that they do attract someone’s attention: they are pulled over by a member of the Italian police, Inspector Giuliani, known as Inspector Casket because he drives around in a hearse with an empty coffin in the back (to put prisoners into after he arrests them). Giuliani is loud-mouthed and arrogant, and he and Klaus clash straight away. They get away without mishap, but it’s inevitable that their paths are going to cross again.

Klaus and Dorian plan to enter the Vatican through the Catacombs. The journey is long, and at last Dorian estimates that the Borgia Apartments in the Vatican Palace should be overhead.

They begin digging – and they emerge into a brightly-lit bathroom occupied by a naked woman. Both Klaus and Dorian panic, and it’s hard to tell which shocks them most: the threat of discovery or the proximity of a naked woman. During the ensuing scuffle, the woman’s brother appears, demanding to know what they’re doing with his sister.

Dorian and Klaus make a run for the door and escape - but the woman and her family report the incident at the Police Station, where Inspector Giuliani compares the descriptions given with pictures they have on file, and identifies one of the intruders as the art thief Eroica. An identification sketch is made of the other intruder – a prettified version of Klaus – and from this, Giuliani recognises him as the man he had a confrontation with earlier that day. Giuliani vows to catch them both.

Dorian and his men try a different approach to find the way into the Palace. They enter the Vatican Library disguised as nuns, and locate a secret passage which travels beneath the Piazza and ends up inside the Vatican. From there, an elaborate plan is put into action. The Eroica gang paint a large pink kiss-mark on the paving stones, the Pope’s people announce that the damaged stones will have to be removed, and through trickery and threat Dorian is able to take over the job and get into the tunnel. Together, Klaus and Dorian make their way to their target.

Dorian successfully completes the theft he was commissioned to do, and is given his ten minutes’ grace, at the end of which he reappears with a large bundle wrapped up in what looks like a carpet or a tapestry. The streets are in uproar as they travel back to their hotel, but Klaus is not overly curious. He is keen to get the job finished and go home to Germany. But – when they are back at home base, Dorian reveals what he has taken from the Vatican. He has kidnapped the Pope.

Another elaborate plan unfolds to return the Pope, which involves distracting Inspector Giuliani long enough to place the Pope inside the casket in the back of his hearse.

The kidnapping of the Pope has caused a great deal of consternation to the Catholic Church, and all the intelligence agencies are invited to a meeting. Klaus has to go to represent NATO. Giuliani pushes his way in, trying to arrest Eroica for the kidnapping, and Klaus as his accomplice. Klaus, exasperated, demands to know why Dorian hangs around him – and for the first time, Dorian openly declares “It’s because I love you.” Klaus knocks him down with a vicious punch.

Giuliani arrests Dorian and drags him off into custody – but he doesn’t spend long in jail because one of his underworld connections, Mafia boss Don Gian-Maria Volovolonte, turns up and gets him set free.

At this point, a lot of people are unhappy with Dorian and Klaus. Giuliani and the KGB both want them, and the streets are full of protesters who aren’t happy with them either. The story comes to a climax with a shoot-out in the streets involving the KGB, the Mafia, and the Italian police.

So, Iron Klaus has achieved his mission once again, and Dorian and James get the hundred million marks they have been promised as payment. (That sounds like an astronomical amount of money to me!! Particularly since the story took place nearly 40 years ago!) Klaus wants to have the last laugh, though: he pushes Dorian and James out of the plane as they are travelling – thankfully both are wearing parachutes – and chucks the case holding the money out after them. It flies open, scattering the money.

Then, Klaus discovers that the thief has stolen his favourite oxhide belt from around his waist. Dorian sends the horrified Klaus a ‘victory’ sign.

New Characters

Inspector Giuliani aka Inspector Casket is introduced as an antagonist. His arrogance, his bizarre methods, and his vengeful bad temper make Klaus look like a reasonable man.

We also meet Don Gian-Maria Volovolonte for the first time. He’s a great admirer of Dorian, and once again we are reminded that Dorian is a very well connected criminal and must be a hard and dangerous man himself.

Fan fic recs

Three stories that incorporate characters from Veni Vedi Vici:

Klaus’s Christmas Carol by dkwilliams. Written for Yuletide 2014, featuring some of the familiar characters from Aoike’s stories as the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. Inspector Giuliani represents the Ghost of Christmas Future. (I don’t mind saying that when I first read it, I had tears in my eyes in one section. You’ll have to guess which when you read it yourself.)

The Beat That My Heart Skipped (Sounded Like This) by Liviapenn. Also written for Yuletide, in 2007. Dorian needs to prove to Klaus that he’s willing to lay his reputation, and his life, on the line for him. (Podfic version also available on AO3.)

An Olive Grove Facing the Sea by Terri Botta (Isilwath). In this story, Klaus delves into Dorian’s connections with the underworld and comes to understand that they are more alike than he might want to believe.
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