Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread II

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Peabody-Martini, Sep 17, 2018.

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  1. A. Morgan Stranger in a Strange Land

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    Indianapolis

    Is it just me or does he look dodgy as all get out?
     
  2. mkemp Well-Known Member

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    Central Florida
    He was a politician. What do you expect?
     
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  3. ejpsan Well-Known Member

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    May 2, 2012
    I have always wondered why people like him and Otto Grotewohl who were part of the SPD leadership decided to cooperate with the Soviets and merge with the KPD and form the SED after the war especially after the 1953 uprising.
     
  4. A. Morgan Stranger in a Strange Land

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    Indianapolis
    Sorry wasn’t thinking. :openedeyewink:
     
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  5. Istariol Well-Known Member

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    Jul 15, 2016
    Didn't Louis learn anything from history?!

    The Change from semi-primogenitur/dynastic-inheritance to real election-system was the beginning of the power decay of the HRE.

    No wonder the Right is against it.
    It could be the end of monarchy, because if we go that far why not go all the way and become a republic?
     
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  6. The Southeast Well-Known Member

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    Nov 2, 2012
    Self-preservation.

    It was either that or gulag.
     
  7. Threadmarks: Part 87, Chapter 1345

    Peabody-Martini Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon, Republic of Cascadia
    Chapter One Thousand Three Hundred Forty-Five


    5th October 1959

    Tempelhof, Berlin

    It was one of those rare autumn afternoons where it had been raining that morning, but the sun had come out and the sky was filled with puffy white clouds under a vivid blue sky. Convincing Rea’s teachers to let her free from a couple of school periods had been difficult, especially because they saw it as an opportunity for her to goof off with her older sister. Kiki had been forced to get Doctor Berg to say that it was because Ria had a medical appointment, which was true after a fashion. Kiki was certain that Berg would have a lot of questions for Rea, mostly because twins raised so many of those for someone in the medical field.

    Rea was looking around the quadrangle as they walked across it. One day it would a green plaza in the middle of the Humboldt Campus of the University of Berlin. Today however, it served to remind everyone just how new the campus was. One day it would boast tree shaded concrete walkways and lawns meant to invoke a forest with meadows. Presently, the trees were hardly more than saplings still standing between the two stakes that supported them. The lawns were swampy patches of grass that had signs warning people to stay off. Thoughtless people who didn’t read the signs would get what they deserved when cold water soaked their shoes.

    Entering the cafeteria Kiki saw Doctor Berg sitting at a table reading a magazine, the headline said that it was about China. Rather than joining her they joined the line with the rest of the lunch crowd. Chatting with her sister about the food that was good and what was best avoided was enjoyable. Still, knowing who they were having lunch with, Kiki did her best to make selections that would get her the least amount of grief. As they approached the table, Berg looked up and gave Kiki a look that suggested that she knew that one of the aspects of this change of scenery was that she couldn’t order for her. It was something that Berg had used to send a message to her about what she thought of Kiki’s ability to take care of herself on more than one occasion.

    “Pleased to finally meet one of my protégée’s infamous little sisters” Berg said in greeting to Rea as they sat down.

    Rea didn’t say anything in reply, she just pushed the pasta that she had gotten around her plate with her fork.

    “Marie’s had a hard time lately” Kiki said, “Her and Victoria haven’t been getting along and she’s been having difficulty at school.”

    It was a bit of an understatement. When Kiki had gotten Rea from school, she had found that Rea had been put in a desk at the front of the class, presumably to keep a close eye on her. It had also made Rea the perfect target for her classmates any time teacher’s back was turned. She remembered from her own time in the very same classroom that the teacher in question could easily put a stop to it but didn’t. Rea had angered a lot of people over the prior two years. While the gymnasia couldn’t throw her out because of who their father was, Kiki wouldn’t put it past them to make things so difficult for Rea that she would leave on her own.

    “I’m not having a hard time” Rea mumbled, “Everyone hates me there.”

    Berg sat there with a knowing look on her face. Kiki had discussed with her at length about how many of Rea’s problems were self-inflicted.

    “I would say that you need to remember that whatever you are going through now is temporary and completely trite” Berg said bluntly, “You could always be like the children I was just reading about who are dying of starvation because growing enough food is impossible where they live and importing it would cost too much.”

    Kiki was a bit surprised that Berg said that, perhaps for the first time ever Rea didn’t have a snide remark in reply. How many times had Berg said that if she didn’t challenge those seeking her council, then what was the point? Kiki suddenly remembered that. To Nora Berg, Rea was just another naïve girl who lacked perspective. It was a role that Kiki herself had played too often in the past. There was also the aspect of what Berg’s specialty was. Her delivering blunt advice, cutting through whatever bullshit delusions her patient might have would be a huge part of that.

    “Good” Berg said, “Now that I’ve got your attention, I’ve so many questions for you.”

    “You cannot be serious?” Kiki demanded.

    “I’m dead serious” Berg replied, “Do you honestly think that you are the only one who I talk to Kristina? When I last talked to your stepmother, she was worried that Marie lacked direction and is more interested in feeling sorry for herself than bettering her situation. A good solid kick or two is one of the few things that no one has tried.”

    “But what about how she spent the Summer Holiday?”

    “That was merely a good start” Berg said, “I would say that the Nuns probably made the mistake of trying to lay on a heavy load of religious indoctrination. With a girl like her that caused most of the lessons they were trying to teach Marie to fly into one ear and out the other.”

    That did sound like Rea, who had forgotten her food and was weeping silently. What exactly had Kiki gotten her little sister into?
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
  8. holyknight Well-Known Dude that comments here and there.

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    ..Just past Macho Grande, unlike Stryker.
    Kat's school of tough love and knocks 101 for dummies????
     
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  9. Sir Omega Lord of Spectators

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    Sep 24, 2015
    Location:
    Around here somewhere.
    Because that worked so well for Kat? Besides her own psychological issues, she got her 'teacher' arrested and still hates Schultz, who wasn't directly responsible for the psychological assault inflicted on her.
    Breaking somebody down to build him/her back up to measure is only useful if you want a disposable and replaceable tool. Like a soldier.
    If you want something else, you'd need to build from existing foundations.
     
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  10. ejpsan Well-Known Member

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    May 2, 2012
    This is more like Dr. Berg has her hooks in another Imperial Princess, when Dr. Berg first met Kiki, she thought Kiki was someone who was just playing at being helpful but learned instead that Kiki was being serious about being a doctor.
    Dr.Berg has taken upon herself to be Kiki's mentor and now with meeting Rea she can see an intelligent but unfocused young woman who needs direction in her life and Dr. Berg is just the person who can do it.
    For Dr. Berg, Kiki is about the closet thing she has to a daughter or granddaughter and with Rea she gains another such person.I

    One of the first things that need to be done is for Rea to change schools if she is not going to get a fair shake, maybe a public school in the Templehof area where Kat has security in place would be the best place to start and another thing is that Rea should be encouraged to make her own friends without Vicky and being her own person.
     
  11. Threadmarks: Part 87, Chapter 1346

    Peabody-Martini Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon, Republic of Cascadia
    Chapter One Thousand Three Hundred Forty-Six


    12th October 1959

    Near Newcomb, Upstate New York

    Join the Army, haul a frigging cannon up and down hills and the magazines to feed the damned thing, Ritchie thought to himself as they crested the latest ridge, he knew better to say such a thing out loud. At least the scenery was nice, and the hills were not as tall as the ones in Colorado. The funny part was that Jonny said that this was actually the best part of being a soldier. Spend the days doing a long-range patrol followed by nights spent in local campgrounds that were otherwise abandoned for the season. Ritchie had to admit that after a day in the woods, a hot shower and a full night spent sleeping on a cot in a vacation cottage was a welcome change over the alternatives when it was raining all night like two nights before. For the most part, the caretakers were more than happy to let them use the space when Jonny asked, apparently it was something that he had been doing since the 1st SFG had been established at Fort Drum a few years earlier. Then there was the other aspect.

    Somehow, Jonny’s ‘58 Falcon mysteriously ended up parked at the campsite with coolers containing food, soft-drinks and beer locked in the trunk when they arrived there at the end of the day. “It’s all about planning Runt” Jonny had said to him when asked. “Would you rather be up in the woods living off K-rations?”

    Ritchie really wished that they had a different name for him. Parker said that if he wanted better than he would have to earn it. He had asked the Squad’s radio operator “Huck” how he had done it only to learn that his real name was actually Samuel Clemens Spooner. The reason he had gotten stuck with the nickname Huckleberry in the first minutes of Basic were too obvious to even mention.

    He could hear Huck a few paces behind him, in addition to his own gear he had the heavy radio set strapped to his back. So, Richie was very aware of how of things could always get worse. A few paces ahead of Richie, was Simon Kravitz, the Squad’s Grenadier. The stock of the grenade launcher was sticking up out of his rucksack. Richie didn’t know what to make of thing, it looked like a big shotgun and packed a punch but was slow to load. The perspective of Kravitz was on display in that he carried a rifle on a sling. He said that if the shit hit the fan here in Upstate Bumfuck then he preferred to have more than one shot. Considering that Kravitz said that he considered everything north of Yonkers to be Bumfuck it was hardly a surprise. Jonny was the Squad Leader and Parker was his assistant. They were ahead somewhere over the top of the ridge. Jules Mullens, who had decided that being in the Army had more of a future than the lumber industry in Maine was the last member of the Squad. He was presumably walking behind Huck.

    Seeing Jonny and Parker looking at a map and looking down the ridge brought Richie to a stop. Far below was the road and the sunlight reflecting off of a lake. “Look at that” Jonny said, “We’re a couple hours ahead of schedule and we can already see where we are going to crash tonight.”

    “How far is that?” Ritchie asked.

    “Only about a mile” Parker said, “If you could fly Runt.”

    Ritchie knew better than to react to that. It would only encourage them. The next couple hours or so would involve them making their way down the ridge, preferably without getting killed or destroying their knees.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    Places like this were found throughout the region. Every summer, thousands of people from New York City with the means to would come to spend two weeks in July or August outside the heat and humidity of the city. It would be crowded and full of life. Now though, it was mid-October and it was little more than a gas station and general store out in the middle of nowhere. Finally, able to rest after spending the entire day walking, Ritchie was sitting with his back against the fence of the yard of the caretaker’s house while Jonny got the keys to the cottage from the caretaker himself.

    Dozing in the sunlight, Ritchie heard the cars pull in. Opening his eyes, he saw the red Ford Falcon and yellow VW Rabbit. Behind the wheel of the Falcon was Gloria, Jonny’s girlfriend, another woman who Ritchie didn’t know was driving the Rabbit. That was one mystery solved.

    “Must be nice to have a girl willing to do that for you” Huck said as he handed Ritchie a bottle.

    “I wouldn’t know” Ritchie replied. His high school sweetheart had written to him recently after somehow learning he was in the Army. He had yet to write her back, not because he didn’t want to but because any letter from him would get her into a fight with her parents. They hated his guts because he was too poor and too Mexican for their liking. Taking a drink, Ritchie could taste the sweet of apple juice but alcohol as well. “What is this?” He asked.

    “The caretaker spent some time in France with the 1st Division” Huck said, “When Jonny paid for putting us up for the night he threw in a few bottles of hard cider. Anything for America’s fighting men, he said.”

    “What did he have to say about this?” Ritchie asked, tapping the 1st SFG patch on the dark green beret that they all wore.

    “He said it wasn’t our fault if we had no idea who our fathers were” Huck said. Ritchie laughed at that. It was exactly the sort of thing that someone from the Big Red One would say.
     
  12. ejpsan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Ohh Donna...

    I hope that the LETS (Lower Enlisted Trash & Scum) know to keep their mouths close and not brag about how Jonny and Parker beat the system.
    Hopefully the other young woman with Gloria is a patented Peabody-Martini Cameo.
     
  13. Theoretical_TJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2014
    Location:
    Texas
    Perhaps named Jane Fonda?
     
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  14. Threadmarks: Part 87, Chapter 1347

    Peabody-Martini Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon, Republic of Cascadia
    Chapter One Thousand Three Hundred Forty-Seven


    16th November 1959

    Mitte, Berlin

    I know that you’ve had a difficult few months. Normally I would tell you to just be yourself and try to impress others but that hasn’t worked out well in the past, so just try to behave yourself for once. Those were the delightful words from her father when Rea learned that she was switching schools.

    It had been Kiki who had tried to stop the move. Arguing that the so-called adults were using her as a scapegoat for their own failures. That had been seconds before she had been ordered to stop talking by their father. While Rea had been subjected to that sort of thing dozens of times, her sister had very seldom been. That was why Rea had been moved to very different school from the one she had known in the first week of November. Whereas the gymnasia had stressed tradition and academic excellence in the classical model, the progressive comprehensive school she found herself in had a very different focus. It was also co-educational, which was a huge shock to Rea. Spending an afternoon period each day in what was dubbed the resource room was a part of that, the school wanted to help her adjust to the culture shock she was experiencing instead of physical education. What that meant in practice was that she had found herself in an otherwise unused classroom that was partially used for storage with several other misfits. Rea having been frozen out of her previous school certainly gained her a bit of acceptance among them. At least she no longer had to take Latin, it had that going for it.

    “Have a good weekend?” Rea heard a voice ask. Looking over she saw Japik Antema, one of the other odd ducks in the school was looking at her.

    Japik had been sitting in the desk next to hers on the first day. The first thing she had noticed was that he dressed manner that was particularly flash, despite the school’s dress code. Unlike her, he had been attending this school for years, but didn’t get along with the others for some undefined reason and that had landed him in there as well. It might have been because of where his family had come from and his odd name. When Rea had asked, he had just ignored the question. Another girl in their class had said something about how it was something that should be obvious to everyone, that he would never be interested in her as more than a friend. Then when Rea questioned her further, she had gotten embarrassed and refused to speak further.

    “Spent it with my older sister and Tante Kathrine” Rea replied.

    “Still not getting along with the rest of your family?”

    “No” Rea replied and then went back to her studies.

    “No, you are getting along with family or no, you still aren’t talking to them?” Japik asked.

    Rea struggled to hide the annoyance from her face.

    “Who said that they would say anything worth hearing?” Rea asked in reply, thinking of what her father had said.

    Japik just smirked and went back to his own studies. The first week she had complained about her difficulties to him because he was one of the few who actually listened. Looking back to her studies, Rea noticed that it was the assigned reading in her history textbook about the ancient empires in the Mesopotamia. It was almost the exact same thing she had read about during the Spring Term before the Summer Holiday and it was a reminder of what she had been told on the first day. If she just applied herself, this didn’t mean the end of her aspirations. She could still be on track to go to University, just there were more obstacles to that now and Rea had to want it. It was also a reminder to something that Kat had said to her, about how it was far easier to fall between the cracks than it was to try to accomplish something with her life.

    Then there was Nora Berg, Rea had been surprised by the relationship that Kiki had with that blunt woman. They talked candidly about some of the most horrendous things. During that first lunch that Rea had just sat there and listened for the most part. It was at the second lunch Berg had asked if she had the same issues with anemia that Kiki did. Rea had made the mistake of asking what Berg had meant by that.

    “Did you hear the latest?” Japik asked.

    “About what?” Rea asked in reply.

    “Just your presence here has caused trouble for the Prima” Japik said, “She doesn’t like how you are in with us freaks.”

    It was an odd source of annoyance for Rea, the girl who everyone called Prima, though not to her face, was an overachieving social climber who had dominated the social aspects of their class and Student Government. Rea’s arrival and her friendship with the likes of Japik had disrupted her ideas about how the world was supposed to be ordered. What was it that Kat had told her about such social situations?

    “That sounds like a personal problem to me” Rea replied, and she saw the smirk return to Japik’s face. Perhaps being at a co-educational school had a bright side, being able to state ideas like that with Japik was a plus.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  15. FBKampfer Ardent Arguer

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    Mar 13, 2017
    Location:
    Vancouver, Washington
    Ship sighted off the port bow!
     
  16. Peabody-Martini Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon, Republic of Cascadia
    One small problem that was aluded to.
     
  17. Rinasoir NOT Floyd Olson in a mask. Promise.

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2014
    Location:
    Vents of Waltz Industries
    Bah, when has such a trifling thing as "Sexuality" prevented shippers?
     
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  18. Addlcove Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2012
    Never, which is why there is such an horrendous amount of "Harry/Draco" fanfics out-there.

    --
    Like seeing Rea slowly realizing that she might be able to find a place to belong and be herself
     
  19. ejpsan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    One of the things that is happening in this timeline is that we are seeing that The German Empire is not just Germany and German people and Rea as an Imperial Princess should understand that better then any of her peers at school.
    By being put in with the "outcasts" of school she will hopefully learn some empathy and compassion and that will spur her to do better for others instead of expecting a pass on her behavior because she is a Princess.
    I can see a future conflict with the Prima who sounds like the character Tracey Flick from the movie Election played by Reese Witherspoon.

    Rea should by now understand that Japik is like Claude Voll, designer to the Imperial Court who's creations are desired by the most exclusive of clientele and maybe Rea can introduce Japik to Herr Voll.
     
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  20. Threadmarks: Part 87, Chapter 1348

    Peabody-Martini Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon, Republic of Cascadia
    Chapter One Thousand Three Hundred Forty-Eight


    4th December 1959

    Tempelhof, Berlin

    Because Kiki was a year ahead of them, she lived on a different floor of the dormitory. Still she came flying down the stairs and into the recreation room on their floor. Zella and Aurora were watching the evening news while waiting for Friday Night Variety to come on when Kiki ran in and plopped herself down on the vinyl couch next to them. The news was the usual dry commentary, this time talking over film of the battles that were being fought by the British Army somewhere in Africa. It looked like a bloody mess wherever it was.

    “You’ve got to see what’s on channel three” Kiki said.

    “But what about Variety?” Zella asked.

    “It will still be on” Kiki said, “But if you want to see something that will make you wonder what the studio heads are smoking.”

    Zella hesitated. Because she was trying to take her studies seriously and staying in her parent’s good graces was important if she didn’t want her mother to sell her motorcycle, she had been staying in most nights. Something that had resulted in her getting a visit from a couple members of the Moondogs. Paul and George were disappointed that she was no longer the one covering their shows in Berlin for the BT. Instead, they were being covered by whatever Reporter drew the shortest straw and none of them understood their music. Getting back into watching Friday Night Variety was a poor substitute for seeing the bands live, but Zella would take what she could get. And because most of the other women who they shared the floor with were far less serious about such matters, they were out enjoying the nightlife. Zella and Aurora had the recreation room all to themselves most weeks.

    Aurora was more decisive, she got up and changed the channel. What was on was a surreal puppet show made with stop-motion animation.

    “See” Kiki said, “They are watching this upstairs and I figured that you ought to see it.”

    “Imagine if this wasn’t in black and white” Aurora said.

    “I figure the colors would be eye wateringly bright” Kiki replied.

    It was exactly the sort of pablum that was considered family programing. However, Kiki was right in that it was incredibly strange.

    “Is Rea coming around this weekend?” Zella asked.

    “I assume so, she’s been talking about going to the Christmas Markets with me and Freddy” Kiki replied.

    “Is she bringing any of her new friends?”

    “No, her Frisian friend is busy” Kiki said, “I wish I could just tell her that she is barking up the wrong tree with that one, but I doubt that she would listen if I talked to her about this matter.”

    Zella would never have described Kiki as particularly worldly, but her stubborn little sister was very naïve about certain matters. Making friends with a boy who was so obviously a dear friend of Old Fritz and being unaware of that…

    “Will you two be quiet” Aurora said, “I’m trying to watch this.”

    “Are you joking?” Zella asked.

    “Majoring in Communications” Kiki said, “Remember.”

    “Oh” Zella replied. Aurora had been paying close attention to what was on television for that very reason. Not the necessarily the content, but the medium. How messages were conveyed.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    It was the first time in some time that Peter was meeting with Kat. While she still had her issues, he had figured that she had learned ways to cope with them and now had her family and extensive network of friends to support her. Still, as Peter had learned, the old expression about how what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger didn’t apply to Kat. There were some things that caused her to go completely unhinged. The case she had asked him to consult on that had her on the trail of a serial killer was one of those things. Sven Werth had told Peter that his team was keeping Kat somewhat removed from the investigation, but someone in her position would be impossible to keep out completely. Peter had felt the need to go to Kat’s house and brief her, if for no other reason than to see for himself how she was.

    “My conclusion?” Peter asked, “You’re dealing with psychopath and sexual sadist. Now please tell me that you haven’t made this your latest crusade.”

    “I have not been back to Silesia since I alerted the Federal Police to this man’s existence” Kat replied, giving him a non-answer answer of the sort of which she had gotten very good at giving over the years.

    “This is the sort of man you feel that you have a duty to rip to tiny pieces” Peter said, “So I seriously doubt that you are letting this go so easily. Especially after you gave me the case file.”

    “I don’t need to rip this man apart” Kat replied, “The State will do a better job of that than I ever could, and Helene fell a few votes short of ending Capital punishment. Remember?”

    “You think you’ll be content knowing that this man is minus his head?” Peter asked.

    “For a bit” Kat replied.

    Peter had some more questions, but they were interrupted when two of Kat’s children ran into the room. To his surprise, Tatiana and Malcolm were both eight, nearly nine, years of age. Where had the time gone? They both seemed healthy and Kat switched from being angry about what she perceived as predator who had been allowed to prey on those who she saw a part of herself in, to being the warm inviting presence who they knew as their mother.

    After a few minutes of chatting with the children in some odd dialect of French, Kat looked up at Peter. He had caught a few words about “Uncle Emil” so apparently, they knew who he was.

    “Petia wants to know if you are staying around for dinner tonight?” She asked.
     
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