Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread II

One of the problems that we are having in this discussion is that we know where Kat and Kiki are coming from in their life experiences, but we don’t know the experience that Nadine has in her life.
As an example if Nadine was in the Auxiliaries during the war, she would not have to have Kat bring the hammer down on her as Nadine would have known what Kat is getting at and what the consequences are if she screwed up.
If on the other hand Nadine is coming from a more academic background then Nadine is not comprehending the danger that Kiki is in from.
 
Ah, Kat and her usual touch.

At least she gave a warning, usually all you see of those kinds of Kat is them pouncing to strike straight at your jugular.
 
Well the problem is that she’s more like her dad than she even realizes in terms of how she’s wielding soft (and not so soft) power and those threats. I suspect Doug mentions things that make her realize it and she goes into a big funk.

Albert as Mithras would be interesting. Did the chemical weapons scientists get a really bad rap in German society after The Night of Whispers? Because that could definitely be a factor.
 
Ah, Kat and her usual touch.

At least she gave a warning, usually all you see of those kinds of Kat is them pouncing to strike straight at your jugular.
Shame Nadine doesn't know the story behind the Scare Cats.

Placing one in her backyard instead of having to spill it out loud could be quite effective.
 
Kiki does tend to string Ben along, saying their relationship is impossible but not using her significant resources to deal with these (partly imaginary) problems. It seems Ben is more committed to the relationship then her.
Sounds familiar, a relationship not unlike Kat and Doug's all those years ago. Luckily Doug was patient and kind and Ben may learn to be the same if he truly loves Kiki.
 
Part 98, Chapter 1554
Chapter One Thousand Five Hundred Fifty-Four


6th April 1963

Mitte, Berlin

After a frustrating week spent filing reports and requisition forms at a desk in Rangsdorf, Kiki found that she was willing to go to the Provence of Hohenzollern for Spargel if she wouldn’t have to look at a sheet of paper the entire time she was there. Then she found out that Kat had threatened Ben’s mother. This was on top of the events of the previous week. It was moments like these when she felt like if she was the last sane person on the planet. It seemed like everything she had done to try make things better to had created an even larger mess. Kiki should have known that Kat would react the way that she had. If the Gräfin had errored in the past, it had always been in her excesses on behalf of those she cared about. That had always translated to loyalty towards Kiki’s family in the past, so it had worked out. Still though, Kat was clearly not thinking things through. She would burn the world down to protect others. But who protected Kat though?

The entire situation had all become too much for Kiki to handle and it needed to stop. When she had talked with Charlotte, she had told Kiki that when she was stuck in a hole then the first thing she needed to do was stop digging. What would even that look like? So far, everything she had tried had gone horribly wrong. “Did it ever occur to you that the secrecy you have engaged in is the real problem?” Charlotte had asked, “That is the reason why Benjamin’s mother doesn’t trust you.”

Kiki had tried to explain how her actions had been necessary considering the situation, only to have Charlotte stop her. “You are not guaranteed a happy ending here Kiki” Charlotte said, “When you got back together with your former boyfriend it was because you wanted something real as opposed to the sorts of offers that I know you have received. Unless you like the idea of being alone, relegated to being a broodmare or end up like Marie José and be used as a human shield against allegations that your husband is a homosexual, I would suggest that you face your demons.”

Apparently, that included pretending that white asparagus prepared dozens of different ways were not monotonous and figuring out what she was going to do to find a way out of her current mess. Because of how Kiki figured that everything that she had assumed about matters was wrong, she figured that it was time to try something that went against everything she had been told was proper. If someone was going to blow something up, then they would need to consult with an expert in demolitions.

Knocking on the door, Kiki waited until the door swung open and a Butler looked out at her. “The Fraulein isn’t home” The Butler said sharply. It seemed that he had a lot of experience with the sort of friends that Zella had and assumed that she was just another one of them.

“I’m not here to see to Marcella” Kiki replied, “I came to speak with Maria. Can you tell her that I am here? My name is Kiki and she will see me”

The Butler looked at her, he clearly wasn’t thrilled with having her around. Kiki figured that it was how she had dressed for comfort on a day off and what Ben had dubbed the Russian peasant dress that she was wearing was beneath his standards. The Butler cleared his throat, “If you could wait here in the vestibule while I check with Markgräfin von Holz” With that he vanished for several minutes leaving Kiki standing there.

Looking around, she saw that there had been several additions of art that had been added to the walls since she had last been in this house. When Zella and her little brother Walter had been younger, they had not been present. Probably because the odds of them being damaged or destroyed had been extremely high.

The Butler appeared looking shaken, “Your Royal Highness” He said, “I beg your apology, I didn’t recognize you.”

“I’m not here to have my presence be a big production” Kiki replied, “I have a matter I wish to discuss with Maria is all.”

“And that is why you came incognito?” The Butler asked, obviously looking for a face-saving way out.

“If that makes you happy” Kiki said in little more than a mumble.

Though Kiki knew the way to Maria’s home office, the Butler still insisted upon showing her the way and announced her as Imperial Princess Royal Kristina of Hohenzollern. She really wished that her father had not given her that title, if really did confuse matters.

“What can I help you with Kiki?” Maria asked when Kiki sat down in the chair next to the desk. It wasn’t until she looked across the desk at Maria that Kiki realized that she was sitting in the same chair that Zella had sat in while her mother scolded her over her latest infraction throughout her childhood.

“You helped Tante Kat tell her story, the one that was going to wreck her?” Kiki asked.

“Do you have a story like that?” Maria asked.

“No, not quite” Kiki said, “Just I’ve messed things up and I’m not sure what to do.”

“And you think that becoming a spectacle will get you out of it?” Maria asked, “I don’t think I need to tell you the problem with that.”

“I’m not trying to get out of anything” Kiki replied, “Just the story is going to come out and if the wrong person tells it, I’ll be a laughingstock. My life has become the worst sort of melodrama.”

“How bad could it really be?”

“Benjamin’s mother hates me because she found out that I’ve been keeping secrets from her for years” Kiki replied.

“Just who is this Benjamin?”

“He’s my boyfriend, on and off since we were fifteen.”

Maria was a bit surprised by that answer. It was something that only a few people had ever known about and certainly no one from the press had been allowed anywhere near them when they had been together.

“And the secrets you’ve kept?”

“The whole stupid Princess thing” Kiki replied, “She just blew up at me over it. She said I treat ordinary people like playthings.”

“Do you?” Maria asked.

“No” Kiki said, “But after finding out about how I killed those two men it was entirely too much.”

“You mean that ambush where they were trying to kill you?” Maria asked as she started opening drawers to her desk.

“That doesn’t make what I did right” Kiki replied.

Maria produced a tape recorder and plugged a microphone into it.

“Can you please start at the beginning?” Maria asked, “How did you meet Benjamin?”
 
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Kiki keeps on fretting about the public having a negative reaction to a romance between her and Ben has only have to look to her Aunt Cecilie as a role model as she married a wounded officer during the war, of course there are several factors that are involved.
One Cecilie was older when she got married.
Two Louis Ferdinand was already Emperor and had his own direct line of heirs established.
Three it was during a time when Germany was fighting for its own survival and Cecilia marrying a commoner was way down the list of pressing issues facing it.
 
Kiki keeps on fretting about the public having a negative reaction to a romance between her and Ben has only have to look to her Aunt Cecilie as a role model as she married a wounded officer during the war, of course there are several factors that are involved.
One Cecilie was older when she got married.
Two Louis Ferdinand was already Emperor and had his own direct line of heirs established.
Three it was during a time when Germany was fighting for its own survival and Cecilia marrying a commoner was way down the list of pressing issues facing it.
Kiki keeps on fretting about the public having a negative reaction to a romance between her and Ben has only have to look to her Aunt Cecilie as a role model as she married a wounded officer during the war, of course there are several factors that are involved.
One Cecilie was older when she got married.
Two Louis Ferdinand was already Emperor and had his own direct line of heirs established.
Three it was during a time when Germany was fighting for its own survival and Cecilia marrying a commoner was way down the list of pressing issues facing it.
Yeah, the Red Baron will have some mixed/interesting feelings about the whole deal. One, he’ll be delighted that a Luftwaffe pilot won the heart of the princess (raising the profile of the air forces still higher) but two he will be dismayed Ben’s a commoner.
 
Yeah, the Red Baron will have some mixed/interesting feelings about the whole deal. One, he’ll be delighted that a Luftwaffe pilot won the heart of the princess (raising the profile of the air forces still higher) but two he will be dismayed Ben’s a commoner.
I think, the operative word is here is "still" a commoner. Ben has already proven that he is a real "Fighter"pilot. The Brass of the Luftwaffe is now busy with finding out if he also can lead men and handle the paperwork that comes with higher functions. In other words, he is on the fast track for promotion. If he keeps preforming, he will be a "von" in no-time.
 
With the upcoming wedding of Crown Prince Friedrich and Her Imperial Princess Suga there may be some.unwarranted and unfounded speculation about potential matches for Kiki and by keeping her relationship with Ben quiet is just fueling the media interest in her.
Having Maria reporting the story is an interesting choice as she is the mother of her best friend and was once Kat's mentor so Kiki may feel that she can trust her, but Kiki needs to edit what she says to Maria as the world doesn't need to know everything about the relationship and I mean everything.
 
Chapter One Thousand Five Hundred Fifty-Four


6th April 1963

Mitte, Berlin

...“Can you please start at the beginning?” Maria asked, “How did you meet Benjamin?”
Step 2, make sure Ben actually wants to be her boyfriend, and warn him.

...he will be dismayed Ben’s a commoner.
...If he keeps preforming, he will be a "Von" in no-time.
This. To be honest, it may not be "correct", by today's standards, but elevating Ben's father for his services to Science and Academia before the story breaks would be a simple way of achieving this. It will alter Nadine's view too. And it's something that cannot be undone either.

That said, Charlotte is a smart cookie. And while this may be Louis or Freddy's first reaction, she may counsel against it. The new, more egalitarian Germany maybe needs to demonstrate that the old classes aren't the be all and end all?
Of course, that would kick the Jacobins into high gear.
 
Chapter One Thousand Five Hundred Fifty-Three

“Besides all of that” Katherine said mildly, “If you reveal anything about Kiki’s personal life to the newspapers, I will destroy you.”
OH, YES! Out comes the Tigeress' sharp & long adamantium claws! Nadine should have enough brains hiding in her right pinkie to realize that if she pisses the Tigress off, she will INDEED be DESTROYED - swiftly but horribly and in such a manner as to leave a long-lasting impression on anyone foolish enough to contemplate doxing Kiki.
 
Maybe this will start the process of Kiki breaking away from using Kat as a template for her life as in "What Would Kat Do" in doings things like not wanting recognition for her achievements, understanding that she is not in control of everything around her, and most importantly that failure is inevitable in life and it is how you deal with is the real test.
As an example Kiki has seen how Kat beats herself up every year when the anniversary of the Reichstag Bombing comes around and how Kat feels that she failed because she didn't save everyone.
Kiki needs to understand that holding herself to higher standards because of her position in life is a good thing to do, but those standards has to be realistic and know that there may be times she does not live up to them and that doesn't mean she is a bad person but that she is human like the rest of the world and is not perfect.
 
Casual threats? In this situation? That's the opposite of good.
I don't think anyone who has been following the Kat's career & the stories circulating the world about her would believe that Kat's "threat" to destroy Nadine was a "casual" threat, or any threat at all. The Kat does not idly threaten. In fact, IMHO, Kat doesn't threaten at all. If one who is close to crossing the line (set by Kat, of course), is really, Really, REALLY lucky, that one might get an in-your-face warning before the claws started removing bits and pieces... but only one warning. Ignore the warning, put right in your face like Kat is doing with Nadine, and horrible, horrible things will happen to the offender. Some things might be more overtly done by Kat as titular leader of the Imperial Family's security (laying charges in a Star Chamber, resulting in: "Prisoner X (Nadine's name having been judicially stripped from her), having been found guilty of Treason, Subversion, Rebellion, and other capital offenses against the Crown, you are sentenced to Spandau Prison for the duration of your natural life plus 250 years"), but I can also see plenty of sub-rosa action, taken by perhaps some of the ladies Kat has rescued and trained or "volunteers" from 1st Foot, MI, any/all of the special forces groups that Kat has had some hand in training or commanding, and nothing that could be traced back to anyone near the Imperial Family.

IDK if in ITTL the German Empire has a law/policy/whatever regarding Exile. That could remove Nadine as a player short of life imprisonment in Spandau (or equivalent hellhole) while making plain to everyone in Germany and the world: F*** with Kiki or any of the Imperial Family, and you'll be history after you experience strict punishment under law. For instance, does the East Butt-Cheek Science Outpost in the Antarctic need a wintertime ditch-digging person for the next 20 years or so?
 
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I don't think anyone who has been following the Kat's career & the stories circulating the world about her would believe that Kat's "threat" to destroy Nadine was a "casual" threat, or any threat at all. The Kat does not idly threaten. In fact, IMHO, Kat doesn't threaten at all. If one who is close to crossing the line (set by Kat, of course), is really, Really, REALLY lucky, that one might get an in-your-face warning before the claws started removing bits and pieces... but only one warning. Ignore the warning, put right in your face like Kat is doing with Nadine, and horrible, horrible things will happen to the offender. Some things might be more overtly done by Kat as titular leader of the Imperial Family's security (laying charges in a Star Chamber, resulting in: "Prisoner X (Nadine's name having been judicially stripped from her), having been found guilty of Treason, Subversion, Rebellion, and other capital offenses against the Crown, you are sentenced to Spandau Prison for the duration of your natural life plus 250 years"), but I can also see plenty of sub-rosa action, taken by perhaps some of the ladies Kat has rescued and trained or "volunteers" from 1st Foot, MI, any/all of the special forces groups that Kat has had some hand in training or commanding, and nothing that could be traced back to anyone near the Imperial Family.

IDK if in ITTL the German Empire has a law/policy/whatever regarding Exile. That could remove Nadine as a player short of life imprisonment in Spandau (or equivalent hellhole) while making plain to everyone in Germany and the world: F*** with Kiki or any of the Imperial Family, and you'll be history after you experience strict punishment under law. For instance, does the East Butt-Cheek Science Outpost in the Antarctic need a wintertime ditch-digging person for the next 20 years or so?
And that’s a very good way to get a Republican Germany, possibly even an executed Royal family.

If Kat does this, she gets brought into a room and given either a pull or handgun with one bullet and told what she needs to do for the Empire.

Otherwise, Germany is just a respectable warlord state.
 
If Kat does this, she gets brought into a room and given either a pull or handgun with one bullet and told what she needs to do for the Empire.
Are you nuts, don't you realize what Kat can do with just a handgun and one bullet?
She will use them to gather more weapons for herself and by the time she is done and will have the upper hand and then things get messy.
 
Part 98, Chapter 1555
Chapter One Thousand Five Hundred Fifty-Five


15th April 1963

Tempelhof, Berlin

It was waiting for something to happen that had always proven difficult for Kage. Gräfin Katherine had promised that as soon as she completed the investigation the time to act would come. In the meantime, he was supposed to watch and learn. Lately that had come in the form of spending time at the Gräfin’s house observing the ins and outs of the household. None of the household staff questioned his presence and the Gräfin herself had a lot of questions about the sort of training that Kage had completed and Japanese society. The things that Kage thought were the same and what he found to be completely different. The thing that Kage thought the she had going for her was that she actually asked him t do things as opposed to how the Japanese Government treated him like so much baggage until they ordered him to do something.

The only vice that Kage allowed himself with was cigarettes. The Russian woman who was the Gräfin’s retainer had been annoyed by this. Petia had said that after what she had gone through in order to quit smoking that she would skin him alive if he did it around her. That was why he was out by the garden gate, leaning on the fence trying to put the day’s events into perspective.

The antics of the Germans had become a source of amazement for Kage. Here he was near the center of a storm swirling around their royal family and he could watch with detached wry amusement. One of their Princesses had admitted in an interview with a major newspaper that she had been carrying on a romance with a middle-class student who would eventually serve in the Sino-Korean War. In Japan such events would likely have resulted in bloodshed, here though it was met with mere loud debate. A Princess taking up with a commoner? Who did they think they were? Considering that the Germans also made jokes about inbred nobles or the Chauffeur secretly being the Herzog’s father, then perhaps they might consider a Princess openly looking a bit more widely than her social class as a good thing.

Kage had realized that he had seen the both the young man and the Princess around the house of the Gräfin, together in fact. They seemed to have the sort of chaste relationship that would bore most outsiders to tears and that was reflected in the advanced copy of the article that Kage had read shortly after Katherine was finished with it a few days earlier. It also explained why Kage had seen Ben loading a suitcase into a car early on the day the article came out. Then again, he knew better than anyone not to take appearances at face value. The Princess was a shy girl with glasses and curly hair. It had been to Kage’s surprise that she knew Japanese, even if she spoke it with a terrible accent. He had forgotten that she had lived for a year in Japan, though Kage admittedly had not been one to keep up with current events until they had come around to bite him.

The back door swung open and the Gräfin’s youngest daughter stepped out. For once she wasn’t dressed up like Alice from the cartoon, not that her clothes were not still farcical. Instead she was wearing a purple frock coat over a linen shirt that was much too large for her, tucked a pair shorts that had probably belonged originally to her older brother. The look was completed by an old fedora that she had turned into a makeshift tricorn with safety pins. Katherine had said that Marie had been reading Robert Louis Stevenson lately and Kage was certain that Treasure Island must have been the inspiration for this. The cat who was Marie’s constant companion and four-year-old cousin Nikolaus followed along behind her. At first, Kage had thought that they were siblings before he had learned that Nikolaus was the son of Katherine’s younger sister Ilse and her husband, Albrecht von Richthofen. That was a family name that even Kage knew before he had arrived in Germany.

“Momma says that smoking is bad for you Heir Kage” Marie said earnestly.

Kage laughed inwardly at the spectacle of someone like him speaking to a fearless seven-year-old. “Your mother is smart” He said, “You ought to listen to her.”

“And you don’t?” Marie asked.

“Your mother and I have an arrangement” Kage replied, “It is a matter of shared interests and most of all, I am not under her command. That means that I don’t have to obey everything she says.”

As Kage said that he realized that he was here because he wanted to be, even as Marie looked at him with a bit of a bewildered look on her face.

“Exactly what are you supposed to be?” Kage asked.

“A pirate” Marie said with a smile.

“You don’t look like any pirate that I have ever seen” Kage replied, “Most of them were Chinese or from the East Indies, none of them had red hair or freckles.”

It was something that Kage had noticed about Berlin since he had arrived. The shocking variety of people here. When he first got told that he was coming here he had presumed that he would stick out. Strangely, that had not been the case. There was a scattering to Koreans, Vietnamese, Chinese, Africans and Pacific Islanders throughout Berlin. Mostly though, it was a large collection of people from throughout the lands that made up the European portion of the German Empire. He knew that Marie must take after her mother, who had the same red hair just with a visible amount of grey in it. Or Asia who must have had coal black hair when she was younger, even if it will probably have gone completely white by the time Asia was forty. On the opposite extreme was Katherine’s ward Josefine. She seemed to have been born with hardly any color at all.

“You actually saw real pirates?” Marie asked.

“It was part of a mission that I did on behalf of my Emperor” Kage replied, “I might tell you the story sometime, if your mother allows it.”

Marie looked a bit disappointed by that answer as she ran off.
 
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