Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread II

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

  1. Scerus Stanley Baldwin's neatly polished shoes

    Jun 15, 2016
    That place next to Australia
    What would computer technology look like in this world?
    Dan likes this.
  2. Salamander Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2012
    The dagger at the throat of Antarctica.
    I get the impression that a fairly large and impressive clue stick will need to hit Sigi between the eyes for her to recognise them.
  3. Dan I am happy to work with anyone, except everyone.

    May 18, 2010
    A slightly less civilised part of the Fens
    Probably similar to OTL, maybe 5-10 years ahead in the theory of computing, only thing stopping it from being ahead in the practice of computing are the physical devices.
  4. Scerus Stanley Baldwin's neatly polished shoes

    Jun 15, 2016
    That place next to Australia
    Out of curiosity, I haven't taken the time to cross examine everything, was there another war in this timeline?
  5. ShortsBelfast Events, dear boy, events

    May 20, 2016
    Probably ahead there too, with no post-war devastation of Germany Nixdorf will have been able to raise some capital earlier and with Germany and the US as their main rivals rather than the USSR, Britain will probably have gone on protecting Turing.
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  6. Loki-L Well-Known Member

    Jun 14, 2016
    Hasn't Zuse been hard at work for decades now thanks to the intervention of a certain admiral? We saw some earlier episodes about primitive networking and stuff and I assume that things have been progressing apace.

    I guess the lack of WWII efforts in code breaking might have been a bit of a setback in some areas, but the technology should find lots of investment even in peacetime.

    What will the different social mores mean for somebody like Turing?

    I guess there is little chance of somebody like Grace Hopper getting a job in the industry in this version of the US that never went through WWII. Maybe she can still emigrate and join whatever organization Hedy Lamarr is currently running.

    Overall computing should still be years ahead of OTL I think.
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  7. Threadmarks: Part 91, Chapter 1426

    Peabody-Martini Well-Known Member

    Aug 23, 2010
    Portland, Oregon, Republic of Cascadia
    Chapter One Thousand Four Hundred Twenty-Six

    20th January 1961

    Greenwich Village, New York City, New York

    It was well after dark and snowing heavily as Bud walked up 5th Avenue on his way back to his apartment from New York University, his breath smoking and his hands shoved into the pockets of his coat. He reminded himself that when the hot, humid summer months rolled around in New York this wouldn’t seem nearly as bad in retrospect.

    Bud had cut through Washington Park thinking that it would be a shortcut, instead the deepening snow had proven to be a hindrance. At this point all he wanted was to get home and his hope that his building’s superintendent had finally gotten around to getting the boiler fixed. He had spent the night before shivering under every blanket he had until he had fallen asleep sometime after midnight. It had made for a long day in the classes he attended.

    Walking past a storefront, Bud saw through the expanded steel grates that covered the windows that several televisions were tuned into the Six O’clock News that was covering events from earlier that day. President Harriman delivering his Inaugural Address under grey skies, cold and near blizzard conditions. A large crowd of people present to witness history though none of them seemed to be in a celebratory mood. Bud would be hard pressed to think of a more apt demonstration for the mood of the country today then the weather at that event. Even in New York, there was a sullen resentful mood that seemed to be in the air. A week earlier, he had gone with friends to an open microphone night at one of the Village’s many night clubs. A folk musician who had been shockingly good for such a venue, Bobby something or the other, a name that Bud wished he could remember. He had been singing what how sounded like a sailor’s song at first while accompanying himself on guitar. A rising storm endangering the ship and the Captain being unable or unwilling to lead them out of the situation as it grew more precarious. It didn’t take much imagination to see the song as a metaphor and it was obvious what that song was really about.

    Bud was so wrapped up in his thoughts as he continued up the block that he didn’t hear the bell as the door to the bodega swung open and someone walked into him. His feet slipped on the icy sidewalk causing both of them to go down in a tangle of limbs and Bud landed flat on his back blasting the air out of his lungs. He could hear the sound of paper bags ripping and was aware of cans rolling down the sidewalk. Bud was trying to get the air back into his lungs but was finding that difficult, he’d also lost his glasses in the fall.

    The bell on the door chimed again and Bud saw what he presumed was the shopkeeper sticking his head out. “You alright Maria?” Bud heard a voice with a heavy accent ask.

    “I’m fine Carlos, go back inside” The woman who had walked into Bud said.

    “I should get you a new bag” Carlos said, and the door chimed again.

    “I’m terribly sorry” The woman, Maria, said to Bud as he tried to find his glasses.

    “Don’t worry about it” Bud said. For once not being about to see clearly was an advantage. He didn’t have to see the reaction that people had whenever he opened his mouth in New York lately.

    Finding his glasses next to a stalk of celery that must have fallen from Maria’s bag. Bud put them on and saw Maria under the streetlight as she gathered the cans and other items that were scattered on the sidewalk. To his astonishment, she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.

    21st January 1961

    Jüterbog Airfield

    The last thing that Sigi wanted to do was come in on a Saturday morning, but his highness, the Emperor, had decided that he wanted to take his antique FW44 Goldfinch biplane off for the proverbial fifty Reichsmark meal that amateur pilots enjoyed somewhere outside of Berlin. When Sigi had been briefed before departing from Rangsdorf she had learned that it was actually cover for shuttle diplomacy in support of a proposed Customs Union involving Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium. It was being called the Grand Project.

    Whatever it was, five helicopters were dispatched from Rangsdorf, three dragonflies and two hornets, to provide close escort to the Emperor’s airplane. The dragonflies carried most of the Emperor’s security detail and Sigi was piloting one of the two hornets. If something went wrong the security detail was to get the Emperor to safety and Sigi’s job was to provide them with top cover.

    Sigi saw the radial engine of the old biplane trainer through the open doors of the hanger with a team of mechanics were working on it. Upon entering the hanger and walking around the airplane she saw three people were standing around a table that had a map laid out on it. They were discussing the route that the Emperor would fly. Sigi recognized Gräfin Katherine who had been her mentor back when she had been trying to get through the War Academy and the Emperor who she had met once before when she had been decorated following the orbital mission. The third person was a man in a Hauptmann’s uniform from the First Foot who she had never seen before.

    “Lieutenant” The Hauptmann said in greeting as he walked past Sigi towards the waiting dragonflies.

    “Sir” Sigi in reply to the Hauptmann even as the Emperor and the Gräfin followed after the biplane that was being pushed by the mechanics out of the hanger. Sigi hurried to catch up with them, even as she did the words from that girl days earlier were at the back of her mind. Don’t do anything stupid, Sigi reminded herself.

    “I’m going to be flying the lead helicopter of your escort today, Sir” Sigi said.

    Louis looked at her and suddenly she was reminded of that day a couple years earlier. How familiar he had seemed when he had talked to her, but she had been too nervous to notice.

    “You’ve met Sigi before” Kat said. The Emperor nodded.

    “Your daughter Kristina sought me out last week” Sigi said, unsure of exactly what else to say.

    “What did Kiki want?” Louis asked.

    “She found a letter in the War Museum” Sigi replied, “One my mother sent to my father shortly before I was born, it wasn’t pleasant reading. She felt I deserved to know about it.”

    “That sounds like the sort of thing she would do” Louis said, “Kiki has a big heart but is not very sensible at times, I just hope that doesn’t get her hurt.”

    “Is it true, that you’re my brother?” Sigi asked.

    Louis just shrugged, “It’s nice to have another pilot in the family” He replied, “We’ll discuss this later.”

    With that he climbed into the cockpit of the biplane. Kat walked past Sigi, she had a neutral look on her face but Sigi had known the Gräfin long enough to know when Kat was trying not to laugh.

    Was Sigi the last person on Earth to have figured this out?
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
  8. ejpsan Well-Known Member

    May 2, 2012
    Yes, Yes Sigi you were the last person to figure this out.
    Glad to see the return of Mr. Holly.
    Edit: And Bob Dylan to boot.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
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  9. jwgview Well-Known Member

    Jun 6, 2014
    West Side Story: Lyrics by Bob Dylan, Music by Buddy Holly. starring Maria....
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  10. simssss Well-Known Member

    Dec 25, 2010
  11. iiicollies1 Well-Known Member

    May 6, 2014

    I've just met a girl named Maria.
    And suddenly that name
    Will never be the same
    To me."
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  12. jwgview Well-Known Member

    Jun 6, 2014
    Ah, but who is the ITTL Maria?
  13. Threadmarks: Part 91, Chapter 1427

    Peabody-Martini Well-Known Member

    Aug 23, 2010
    Portland, Oregon, Republic of Cascadia
    Chapter One Thousand Four Hundred Twenty-Seven

    22nd January 1961

    Pusan, Korea

    Standing sentry duty on a Sunday evening was the worst punishment imaginable. Or at least Karl thought so as he watched the others return from liberty after spending the day in the town. There was another gust of icy wind and Karl shivered. One side of the wire was Korea and the other was a strangely skewed version of a suburb back home. It was Karl’s job to try to figure out who belonged on which side. Like always, Eric had said something stupid and had gotten the entire Platoon in trouble this time. Karl came out smelling like shit because he was slightly higher in rank than his cousin.

    The Hauptmann felt that Karl was responsible for Eric’s constant mouthing off, so Eric got to wash dishes in a nice warm scullery and Karl got to freeze his butt off at the main gate with a Soldat named Fritz because no one in their right mind trusted Eric out here. What was Karl supposed to have done? Beaten up his cousin? Karl’s Aunt Ava had asked him to do his best to keep Eric safe. A task that was easier said than done and that obligation was the reason why he had never asked to be transferred to a different outfit.

    “Enjoying this tropical resort Karl” One of the returning men said through a voice that was slurred with drink.

    Karl didn’t respond to that, he just waved them through the gate that Fritz opened after Karl turned their dates around. The girls were mostly from Pusan and did that mostly out of curiosity about what was on the inside of the wire. They could have gotten a job on the base but that would have required considerably more effort. It was more of the same of what he had been doing all night. Fortunately, no one wanted to linger because of the cold weather.

    Mitte, Berlin

    There were a multitude of hiding spots in the War Museum for when Kiki wanted to be left alone and it being a Sunday afternoon, she didn’t have any obligations to keep her from pouting in a quiet dark corner. The one she had selected today certainly was one that was perfect if she wanted to feel safe inside a sixty-eight-ton armored vehicle, but only to the degree that anyone could open the hatches of the Königstiger, or Tiger II, Panzer that she was sitting in the driver’s seat of. The museum had a few of the heavy Panzers that they were in the process of preserving. Their great weight, lack of mobility and the general obsolescence had seen them entirely removed from front line units by the mid-50s. Most of the remaining Tigers and Tiger IIs had been converted into Bergepanzers, a role in which they had excelled in for the decades now.

    It was dark inside the Panzer, so Kiki was unseen by the groups of people who she was watching drift through the large warehouse that was used to house the collection of military vehicles.

    Kiki’s father had somehow found out about what she had told Sigi and the letter. He had taken her to task for her actions over the previous days. While he understood her reasoning about Sigi having a right to know the truth, he had told her that she had gone about it the wrong way. She should have brought it to him first and then figured out how to go about things in the least disruptive way. Instead, Kiki had managed to upend Sigi’s life and had accomplished nothing other than to leave an otherwise accomplished woman unsure of her place in the world. That had certainly not been what Kiki had been trying to accomplish and whatever happened to Sigi next would be up to Sigi, no one else. Then her father said that he hoped that she would learn from this and handle herself better next time.

    Next time?

    That was completely unbelievable. That there was even a possibility of there being a next time. Between learning about her grandfather and what Gräfin Kat had to say about her father, Kiki was starting to understand Doctor Berg’s jokes about how the world would be well served if some men were castrated in the public square…

    Kiki’s thoughts were interrupted when there was a loud clanking on the top of that hatch that was just centimeters from her head. She sat quietly for a minute, hoping that this was just a coincidence, then the clanking started again. Someone obviously knew that she was hiding in here. With a bit of annoyance, Kiki opened the hatch and saw that it was Sigi who was staring down at her.

    “General von Lettow-Vorbeck said that you were brooding in here and to knock on the driver’s hatch” Sigi said.

    “How is him knowing that even possible?” Kiki asked. The elderly General hardly seemed able to do more than to make his way to the main floor of the museum where he delighted in telling stories to those willing to listen. Kiki had never seen him across the courtyard with the memorial to the fallen in the warehouses that held the vehicle collections.

    “I don’t know, it’s his museum though” Sigi said as Kiki climbed out of the Tiger, “So I figure that not much happens inside it that he isn’t aware of.”

    Someone must have been watching Kiki and had seen her climb into the Tiger. That was after she had taken a great deal of effort of make sure that no one had followed her. A group of British tourists were watching Kiki and Sigi. Unsure of what to make of them. Pointedly ignoring the tourists, Sigi started walking towards the open bay doors that opened to the courtyard with Kiki having to run to keep up.

    “Why are you here?” Kiki asked.

    “To get to know my niece, who I’ve only just met” Sigi replied.

    “But why?” Kiki asked, “In the short time you’ve known me, I’ve done nothing but cause you trouble.”

    Sigi paused for a few seconds before she said, “The way your father described you made you sound like someone worth knowing.”
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
  14. FickleCrossroad Pizza-Cheesesteak 2020

    Oct 4, 2012
    Northwest Wawastan
    Sigi, you should've asked if you could slide in the bow gunner's seat, not make Kiki leave the Tiger II. :p
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  15. Scerus Stanley Baldwin's neatly polished shoes

    Jun 15, 2016
    That place next to Australia
    What about space exploration and rocketry?
  16. scretchy Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2015
    space expolaration is ahead as well. OTL gargarin flew the first flight on 12. april 1961. But i can see the speed reducing now. There is no real space race like otl so they can take their time. Having no local range for big starts hurts a lot.
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  17. Scerus Stanley Baldwin's neatly polished shoes

    Jun 15, 2016
    That place next to Australia
    What technologies are behind in comparison to OTL? I mean all the ones that came about because of WWII.
  18. Pexa Well-Known Member

    Sep 30, 2016
    "Well, you have to know these things when you're a General, you know" ;)
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  19. scretchy Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2015
    i havent seen any indication that any of the fields are behind. We dont have the german exodus of scientists itl so here germany instead of usa is doing a lot of the groundwork and they fought in the itl ww2 against russia and japan. That should have done a lot to keep same pace or better than otl.
    ShortsBelfast likes this.
  20. Scerus Stanley Baldwin's neatly polished shoes

    Jun 15, 2016
    That place next to Australia
    Who were the combatants in this war?