Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread II

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

Loading...
  1. FBKampfer Ardent Arguer

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2017
    Location:
    Vancouver, Washington

    I believe we've had a few discussions regarding this. Specifically if/how ranks had been adjusted since the POD in 1916.
     
    Human1991 and A. Morgan like this.
  2. Threadmarks: Part 93, Chapter 1455

    Peabody-Martini Well-Known Member

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


    28th July 1961

    Tempelhof, Berlin

    The human brain was a wonderous thing to behold, it was also something that rarely seen for very good reasons. This current case was one of the rare exceptions, the young man had come to the hospital complaining of blinding headaches and nausea. A new type of x-ray imaging had revealed a dangerous condition inside his skull in the form of an aneurysm that could rupture into a potentially lethal cerebral hemorrhage at any second. It was something that necessitated cutting it open. Now as Peter was watching the Neurosurgeon did the delicate surgery to repair damage that might have been there undetected since the patient was born. Peter was here observing out of curiosity as well as his niece asking if he could look in on this particular patient. It seemed that the young man was a friend of some friends of hers and she had told them that she would attempt to get their friend the very best of care. Naturally, Zella had picked up the phone to call him. Not that Peter minded, this was a fascinating case.

    “Like what you see Doctor Holz?” The Neurosurgeon asked.

    “I’m always up for watching a masterpiece be performed” Peter replied.

    “I wish I shared your optimism” The Neurosurgeon said, “Any time we perform surgery like this it is always touch and go.”

    Peter understood that even if he didn’t like it. Even after decades of progress, Medical Science seemed to always come down to “Wait and see” and it remained the aspect of his career that he personally disliked. Even this surgery was successful the young man might make a full recovery, survive but never really recover up to and including being left in a vegetative state, or he could die. Too much of it seemed to come down to intangible things.

    The families that he spoke to found it difficult to accept those limits. Or in this case speaking to his friends who were in a Rock & Roll band that Zella had written about in the past. They said that the young man’s mother was flying in and would be here in a few hours.

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

    Sitting in the hospital waiting room seemed like the correct thing to do considering her involvement. Still, she did feel like an outsider here. She wasn’t a part of the band. Zella was someone who wrote about them in the BT.

    It been John who had convinced his friend Stuart to go to the hospital, later as the seriousness of his condition became clear. Stuart had once been the Bass Player for the Moondogs but had quit in favor of Paul early on and had switched to the graphic arts. It had been in that capacity that he had designed the covers for all the band’s singles and the LP album that was about to be released. It had been to Zella’s surprise that John had turned to her because George had told him that she was related to a Doctor who was supposedly one of the better ones in Germany and they had a friend who clearly needed help. That was a bit of an understatement, however Zella was a bit reluctant after what had happened the previous time that she had seen her Uncle Peter a couple months earlier.

    It hadn’t been Zella’s intention to eavesdrop and it was not like if she could close her ears, but she had overheard the conversation in her Uncle’s parlor between him and Nora Berg. It had been shocking for Zella to hear Kiki being discussed that way, to learn what these people who she had put so much trust in actually thought of her. They made Kiki sound like a trained poodle that they could get to perform tricks on command and Zella’s Uncle had described Kiki’s desire to win their approval as obsessive. What had been very clear to Zella was that they didn’t seem interested in Kiki’s wellbeing as a person, instead their interest seemed to be in having her be the poster girl for the Joint Medical Service. Kiki’s aspirations weren’t even a factor in their thinking.

    Over the following weeks, Zella had watched as Kiki had pushed herself hard to prepare herself for Laupheim. She couldn’t just tell Kiki what she had heard, not without saying how she had heard it. Then Kiki had her hair cut and Zella had seen how she had behaved as the Stylist kept asking her if she was sure that it was something that she wanted. It was incredibly obvious that it was something that Kiki didn’t want to do but had felt obligated. Then had come the alternating looks of horror and sadness as Kiki had seen her reflection in the mirror. She had done something to herself that couldn’t easily be undone, and it was all for people who preferred a very limited idea of what Kiki was and not who she was as a person. That was what had prompted Zella to tell Kiki as much of the truth as she could out of frustration.

    Kiki was among the most generous people that Zella had ever met and people who she trusted were taking advantage of her. Once again, Zella had Kiki tell her all about how she needed to stop being so selfish and immature. But what was she supposed to have done? Sit quietly as Kiki passively destroyed herself? Worst of all, why was Zella better able to talk to a misanthrope like John and not one of her dearest friends?
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
  3. CiH Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    You saved Stu Sutcliffe! One of the big what-ifs for the Beatles, erm Moondogs.
     
  4. Wet Coast Knight of the Dinner Table

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Location:
    Vancouver
    So I'm guessing she overheard two medical professionals discussing Kiki and her issues in a clinical and dispassionate manner and immediately jumped to a conclusion about their motives based upon what she would have meant using those terms. This can't end well I suspect.
     
  5. Peabody-Martini Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon, Republic of Cascadia
    Zella isn't that far off though. Peter has never hid his intention to use Kiki for his own ends and Berg has always been a willing participant.
     
  6. Wet Coast Knight of the Dinner Table

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Ok though I would think that would conflict in Berg's mind with the previous passage about Berg regarding Kiki as a surrogate daughter. Of course she could rationalize it as being for Kiki's own good as many parents do.
     
    EWilanO and A. Morgan like this.
  7. Theoretical_TJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2014
    Location:
    Texas
    Ah the cerebral aneurysm, what has to be one of the most terrifying medical conditions in the book.
     
    Peabody-Martini and A. Morgan like this.
  8. ejpsan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Zella is missing the context of the conservation between Peter and Nora, Peter as the head of the JMS and Nora as a high ranking officer could have talking about the effects of Kiki joining the JMS with more people making inquiries and enlisting in the service.
    Also because of the aftermath of the assassination attempt on Kira and her association with Kat, Kiki could be part of the PTSD study that Peter has been running and Kiki need for approval could be a sign of that.
     
    A. Morgan likes this.
  9. ejpsan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    I have been on a zoo kick lately and in doing some research on the Berlin Zoo it is considered to be one of the world's greatest zoos even before OTL WW II and during the way and the Battle of Berlin it suffered great devastation and only by quirk of geography of it being in the western part did it regained its status.
    ITTL without all of that happening the Berlin Zoo should be even better now then at this point IOTL.
    Now for my point: One of the butterflies ITTL is that a Kurt Benirschke who graduated from the University of Hamburg and emigrated to the United States in 1949 IOTL, should be staying in Germany and if his career path follows somewhat as it did IOTL he becomes the head of world's first "Frozen Zoo" and the leading voice in the reproduction of endangered species but this will be for the Berlin Zoo and not the San Diego Zoo.
    Another butterfly is how his son Rolf does not become a Pro Bowl Placekicker for the San Diego Chargers.
     
  10. Jinx999 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
    I wonder how Asterix ends up different in this timeline, if it's not butterflied away.

    Asterix and the Goths would be very different. Would the Goths be fierce, proud, swaggering warriors, afraid only of . . . the terrifying Gothic Women?
     
  11. gallen95 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    My father was a POW for 18 months in WW2. Said they got fresh meat when the Zoo was bombed.
     
    iani, Dan, Peabody-Martini and 2 others like this.
  12. Threadmarks: Part 93, Chapter 1456

    Peabody-Martini Well-Known Member

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


    7th August 1961

    Tempelhof, Berlin

    Do not attempt to psychoanalyze Zella had been Peter’s warning about her. According to him she had been able to see right through it since she had been a little girl and any other attempts at subterfuge would get a negative reaction. It was not as if Berg was planning on doing either of those things and to her it definitely exposed a character flaw in him that most didn’t get to see. Especially since Peter in the manner of most men that she had dealt with it by delegating the problem on to someone else. That someone being Nora Berg. He said that it was because he figured that she would better be able to explain reality to his niece. She would have thought that a man who only answered to the Inspector of the Medical Service and Commander in Chief of the OKW would better be able to handle a matter like this.

    Markgräfin Marcella Marie von Holz, called Zella by her closest friends and family. At the age of twenty she was currently a Student of the Arts at the University of Berlin and occasional Reporter for the Arts and Entertainment Desk of the Berliner Tageblatt. She was considered highly intelligent but was seen by many to be lacking in ambition. Still Zella had the wherewithal to have confronted her uncle directly over his treatment of her friend Kristina. It seemed that Zella was very decisive when came to her friends, the words abusive and manipulative had been thrown around quite liberally. It was an assessment that Berg found that she couldn’t entirely disagree with.

    It was to Berg’s astonishment that Zella had even accepted her invitation to meet with her. What shouldn’t have been a surprise though was that Zella had done nothing to make herself presentable, wearing the same clothes that she wore when she rode that motorcycle of hers. The dark brown asymmetrical leather jacket she was wearing had a patch sewn to the left side of the front of it had a globe and with a rose on a thorny stem clutched in the claws of an eagle. The words Alis Propriis Volat, Latin for She Flies with own wings, followed by Berlin to Berlin the Long Way Around, were embroidered below. That seemed to fly in the face of the idea that Zella lacked ambition and it explained why Peter had never suggested that his niece would be a good candidate for his project. Entirely too self-possessed, it was very easy to see why she also frequently came across as an aggressive shrew.

    “What do you want?” Zella said in greeting as she sat down on the chair across from Berg.

    “To talk” Berg replied, “You made some fairly serious accusations about the conduct of your Uncle, even if it didn’t involve the Imperial Princess of Germany.”

    “That was entirely between me and him” Zella said, she was not the least bit intimidated by Berg mentioning just who Kiki was. “I’m not making a legal case, I just wanted him to know what I thought of what he’s been doing to a dear friend of mine, with your help.”

    “Of course, you waited until after one of your other friends had received medical care” Berg replied, “Herr Sutcliffe is recovering nicely, by the way.”

    “As if I wouldn’t know that” Zella said, “What was I supposed to do? Let him die?”

    “No” Berg answered, “But that does look a bit self-serving.”

    “And treating Kiki like a poodle you can get to jump through hoops hasn’t been?” Zella asked, “So you can hold her up later and use her to get people to volunteer for the Medical Service?”

    “No one made Kiki do anything” Berg replied flatly.

    “You didn’t need to” Zella said, “She is so desperate for approval that all it took was a few suggestions from you and she upended her entire life to get it.”

    Berg felt a stab of guilt over that.

    “I think that is an unfair characterization” Berg said though she could tell that Zella felt otherwise.

    “What do you think that Kiki herself is going to say after I tell her about all of this? Zella said, “Especially after she has been run through the wringer because of what you and my uncle have done?”

    Berg didn’t have an answer for that. Something that Peter had never seemed to factor in was that while Kiki was a person with thoughts and feelings of her own. The day might come where she might not be willing to cooperate with his plans. Berg herself had told Kiki that it was a good thing that she was going to be out from under Peter’s purview. If she washed out of the training program in Laupheim then she would have the following months to stew over her what had happened, and Zella would make sure that she knew exactly who was to blame. If she passed, that would almost be worse in that it would give Kiki the perfect excuse to never come back, or if she did only on her terms.


    Laupheim

    Stepping out of the shower, Kiki saw how tired she looked in the mirror and tried to avoid looking at herself beyond that. She swiftly dressed and gathered her equipment. She had only a few minutes to rejoin the others in the mess hall. They ate meals as a group, that was something that was inescapable.

    Wash and sleep whenever you can. That had been Kat’s advice on how to survive this and Kiki had followed it as best she could. Although they had been dismissed for the day, the first week had taught her that was an illusion at best. At any time she could be called away and because Kiki slept in a different location from the rest of the training cadre she found that she had to put in more effort to get to where the others were even if it involved running an extra couple hundred meters. Curiously, Kiki had discovered that she had some unexpected allies in this effort.

    The Amelie Beese Barracks at the Laupheim Airfield named for the woman who had been the first German Aviatrix and later the Inspector of the Luftwaffe Auxiliaries during the Second World War. It housed a couple hundred women lived and worked on the Airfield in various capacities, many of them had been among the Auxiliaries who had been folded into the various service branches. Now twenty years later, they were in positions of authority. In that time a Mechanic would become a Crew Chief, or a Cook would find herself in charge of the kitchens. They all seemed to know what Kiki was trying to do and were helping her whenever they could.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
    norlag, GSpectre, jerard and 39 others like this.
  13. FickleCrossroad Pizza-Cheesesteak 2020

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    Location:
    Northwest Wawastan
    Zella and Kiki rising to the occasion once again!

    Any chance yet of Sigi teaching Kiki how to fly?
     
    Istariol and ejpsan like this.
  14. The Southeast Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Missing threadmark
     
  15. Dan I am happy to work with anyone, except everyone.

    Joined:
    May 18, 2010
    Location:
    A slightly less civilised part of the Fens
    The only question is whether it's officially or unofficially and presented as a fait acompli.
     
    Peabody-Martini likes this.
  16. ejpsan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    While Zella is thinking about how her friend Kiki is being treated by her Uncle Peter and Dr Berg, Peter has to think about the needs of the JMS.
    Every year Peter has to go before different committees of the Reichstag and try to justify the existence and budget of the JMS and having Her Imperial Princess Kristina as the poster girl of the JMS makes things easier for him.
    Every year the JMS makes sure that one of the "Princesses" is in the German Pacific Islands between November and March as members of the Reichstag makes "Inspection Tours" of the area and there is always two or more State Rooms on board available for the VIPs.
    The resulting publicity of Kristina in Korea did wonders for the standing of the JMS in the public eyes as she put herself in potential harm's way by going to the frontlines, the humanitarian assistance to the Korean civilians brought enormous goodwill to the German Empire and the story of her bossing around U.S.Army Special Forces soldiers has become legendary in it's own right.
    Zella for someone who's parents have been major players for years, she has very little understanding on how things get done in the real world.
     
    Istariol and FickleCrossroad like this.
  17. Loki-L Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2016
    Apparently Amelie Beese had a considerably better career here than in OTL, where she shot herself in 1925 after losing her pilot license.
     
    Dan likes this.
  18. Threadmarks: Part 93, Chapter 1457

    Peabody-Martini Well-Known Member

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


    15th August 1961

    Laupheim

    The surprise drill was scheduled for early in the morning. As part of the Airfield’s quick response plan, the training cadre were supposed to drop everything and take up positions around the perimeter, that included sleeping. While none of the trainees were supposed to know about it, the Airfield’s Civil Affairs Officer coordinated such events with the local community and his Secretary lived just down the hall from the room that Kiki shared with Fritzi. When Kiki had gotten tipped off, she had almost headed for the Oberst’s office to tell him that the exercise had been compromised. It had been Fritzi who had talked her out of it.

    “You are not going to impress anyone by getting others in trouble” Fritzi had said, “And if you think that the others in your training cadre are not clawing for every advantage that they can get then you are deluding yourself.”

    Kiki had also learned at the same time that the women in the barracks had other, earthier reasons for why they liked to be tipped off. The result was that Kiki was able to get a few hours of uninterrupted sleep and didn’t had a rude awakening to a klaxon going off.

    Friederike Flater, or Fritzi as she insisted that everyone call her, was in her mid-thirties and probably knew more about turboshaft engines than anyone else alive. She had been the one who had shown Kiki to her room on that first night when Kiki had arrived and had been helping her ever since. She had woken up Kiki a few minutes before the alarm went off and told her to get dressed but not to the point of looking like if this wasn’t a surprise.

    The Hertha jersey she slept in tucked into the splinter pattern trousers and her trainers without socks were what she was wearing when the alarm went off. There would be plenty there for her instructors to complain about without putting on a show like many of male trainees were. It was that show that many of the women in the barracks took a great deal of delight in and was the real reason for the tip off. When the alarm went off, Kiki headed out the door and headed straight for the armory. Grabbing a rifle and a flak vest she was headed for her assigned position on the perimeter when the all clear sounded. Instead, they were to fall in.

    It then that the Spear, who happened to have the unlikely name of Johannes Brahms worked his way up and down the ranks taking note of all the ways that they were unprepared. He might have had the same name as the composer, but it was obvious that the Spear was anything but that. He was currently tearing a new asshole in a man who was wearing just a pair of shorts and sandals, shivering in the cold air. On the eastern horizon there was the first pale hint of dawn. Because her glasses had been left back in the barracks, Kiki couldn’t see just how many of those who had arrived here a couple weeks earlier were gone. There had been a lot of effort to sort out those who had been physically unprepared, Kiki considered it something of a miracle that she had not been one of them.

    “Seriously Fischer, Hertha?” Brahms asked, there was some snickering from the others within earshot.

    “It belonged to my older brother” Kiki replied out of habit. She had replaced the old jerseys that she had stolen from Freddy ages ago. These days sleeping in them was something that she did out of comfort.

    “Whatever” Brahms muttered as his assistant scribbled something down on a clipboard. Kiki had known that there were several things wrong with how she was dressed and would probably get an earful about it when Brahms had less to do. However, if she had been perfectly dressed it would have been suspicious. A Football jersey with blue and white stripes was the perfect thing to get his attention.

    Minutes later they were told to double time it to the Mess Hall. That suggested that they were going to get run ragged again today, just like every other day over the prior… Kiki had no idea how long it had been. At least a couple weeks, she would need to look at a calendar when she got a chance. The physical aspect would continue for the first eight weeks, followed by airborne training, then it would get more specialized and difficult. Home in time for Christmas if she was lucky and didn’t wash out, which could happen at any time. That seemed like an eternity.

    As Kiki passed, she saw that Brahms was yelling at the man who come out in his shorts. No, he would not be allowed to go back for his clothes. Frequently, it was difficult to tell exactly who was going to going to be the next one to get the ax. Other times, like this one, it was clear as day. It was also a reminder that the next time she might not get tipped off. So, she would need to be prepared to be up and properly dressed at a moment’s notice. That added a bit of difficulty considering that right now Kiki would happily kill for eight hours of uninterrupted sleep.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
    norlag, GSpectre, Sir Omega and 37 others like this.
  19. ejpsan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Glad to see Kiki accepting help from others because the rest of her training class would do the same thing without hesitation.
    On the whole Hertha jersey thing all Kiki should have said that she got it from her brother the Crown Prince, the next Kaiser, or in other words the next Head of the entire military, you know his future boss.
     
    iani and A. Morgan like this.
  20. Th3saint Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2015
    Part of me really wants sleep deprived kiki to break someones bones in cqc training before she realises what she is doing.
     
Loading...