Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Peabody-Martini, Sep 17, 2018.
Even if she's got a tiny thumb, and even after cutting, that's one spectacular rock.
Chapter One Thousand One Hundred Forty-One
1st August 1955
Kat really did look small when she was here like this. She had been sedated so that an endoscope could be put down her esophagus. Now she was sleeping in recovery she was looking peaceful for once, or at least Peter thought so. They also had a bit of a mystery, the Surgeon who had performed the endoscopy had said that Kat ulcer had not been aggravated when they had looked at it.
Peter had always tried to maintain objectivity with his patients, but he had known Kat for more than half her life and had enjoyed watching her personal advancement. Sometimes it was amazing that she had ever managed to become a productive member of society. When she had been a child a criminal of some sort would have been far more likely. Her health, both mental and physical were important to him. That was why he had agreed when she had asked him to oversee the endoscopy and the treatment that followed.
Now that it was done, and they had the inconclusive results back Peter cast a slightly wider net. With a quick phone call down to the lab Peter had gotten them to run a few preliminary tests on her blood samples and considered it fortunate that it would take several days for the complete round of tests to be run. That would enable Peter to stall giving Kat any answers during that time. He could have had them rushed but felt that time to consider the next few steps was always a good thing to have with Kat von Mischner.
He had also been advised several times that letting patients know about his speculations tended to panic them. So as difficult as it was for him, Peter was letting the system confirm the answers before telling the patients. He could think of several causes of what had been going on with Kat and the odds were good that it was just heartburn brought on by her burning the candle from both ends again.
When she woke up, she would at least be happy to learn that her ulcer wasn’t acting up again and she would have come away from the experience with nothing worse than a sore throat.
6th August 1955
Nancy was walking with Kat as they entered the Charlottenburg Palace. From what Nancy had seen it was incredibly ornate and huge. Kat had said that she needed to come back sometime during daylight hours and see the gardens.
“It’s all very simple” Kat said, “The meeting will be called into order, then the will be the announcements, following that is when the new members are introduced, that is where you come in.”
“What follows that?” Nancy asked.
“You’ll get a pretty silver medal on a bow and be proclaimed a Dame of the Order of Louise” Kat replied, “Then comes the reception where we have light refreshments and plot world domination with the Illuminati.”
Nancy concealed her annoyance with Kat over that comment because she knew what her friend was going through. Earlier that week she had gone in to have an ulcer treated only to be told the she had not aggravated it again. Her Doctor had said that they would run further tests and that they would get back to her when they had answers.
Kat had responded by being flip about everything the way she did when she was worried, concealing fear behind sarcasm. Nancy could see how she looked fatigued because she was worrying constantly and had been talking to Petia in Russian about how her stomach was bothering her regardless of what the Doctors said. Aside from Douglas, Kat didn’t talk about her health with anyone else. Nancy knew the reason why she did that, anytime one of the girls had an issue, a personal matter, their health or something else, the rest of them rushed in and tried to help. They usually did more good than harm, but they would be full of suggestions and speculation. Anyone who wasn’t a total hypochondriac before would be after that.
“I understand you are going through a trying time right now” Nancy said, “But I have no idea if I am worthy of membership in the Order or have been approved by Louis Ferdinand.”
“For starters, Louis signed all the required documents a few weeks ago when your name was put forward for consideration” Kat said, “He almost never attends these things. Your work with Volkswagen and the Imperial War Museum makes you more than worthy.”
“I’m glad that you think so” Nancy replied, she had her doubts. At the back of her mind was the possibility, however remote, that even after everything that had happened someone would jump out and say that it was all a joke.
“I’m also the Dame Commander of the Order” Kat said, “Who do you think does the deep background checks on the potential new members?”
“You’ve known me for more than a decade, don’t you think that makes you somewhat biased?”
Kat just shrugged at that question. “Aside from your personal connection to some very disreputable people, there isn’t a whole lot there” She said.
“What disreputable people?” Nancy asked.
“Dietrich Schultz and his father Johann Schultz” Kat replied.
Nancy looked at Kat crossly, “Just because you don’t like Johann Schultz for something stupid that he did twenty years ago doesn’t mean that Tilo is the same as him” She said.
“That’s why you’ve not spoken to him in over a year?”
So, Kat really had conducted that investigation.
“Flensburg is way out of my way” Nancy replied only to have Kat smirk at her.
“He’s not been there in months” Kat replied, “The Sealions needed a new XO in Cuxhaven.”
That was just as far out of her way. If Nancy didn’t know that Kat hid anxiety behind a wall of smugness, she figured that she would be very angry about now.
One of those possibilities is a nice, but terrifying surprise. The other is just plain terrifying.
years ago I used to bake potatoes and heat other dishes on the exhaust manifolds and in the V of the V8 in my old three door range rover. I can tell you that on a freezing day those hot taties were more than welcome.
I knew it, just knew it!
Last time I tried something was a hobo pie. The exhaust manifold wasn't an option, so I nestled it into the cylinder banks. The carrots, potatoes and parsnips were still quite crunchy. The only thing done a few hours later was the venison.
Probably because the venison was cut from fresh roadkill, and thus pre-grilled
With Nancy now being a member of the Order of Louise, there should be some media interest in the United States about how a seemingly ordinary young woman from a small town in Washington state became part of what has been called a "shadowy organization headed by the Empress of Germany and the Deadliest Woman in World".
This is an opportunity for Nancy to shape the image of the Order in the eyes of the world, Nancy can also tell about how she first came in contact with Kat through the care packages and how she was inspired by Kat's service to her country to serve her country but small minded men with big egos made it impossible to do so.
Nancy would be pointing any reporters to people like Jack and the Ambassador that Nancy served as Interpreter for.
The image of the order SHOULDN'T be reshaped though. While biasedly negative, the characterization is broadly accurate.
Remember, while Kat and Germany are the MC's that doesn't inherently make them the protagonist.
In fact, most of Jacob's story snippets after WWII place him quite squarely as an antagonistic character of every story but his own.
Schultz, while an antagonist for Kat, is a protagonist for all of Germany; Kat simply doesn't like him.
Kat even considers the sisterhood to be a defacto spy ring. Having one of the girls shot for espionage wouldn't be an unintelligent (or even necessarily morally dubious from an omniscient perspective) move on part of the US, only illegal due to Germany employing civilian women as spies for an unofficial organization run by the emperess and her personal catspaw.
The US isn't stupid or wrong for their mistrust. Their only mistakes have been being less careful and less ruthless than the Germans.
Chapter One Thousand One Hundred Forty-Two
8th August 1955
Peter remembered that when he had been taking Chemistry in University the concept of entropy had been thrown around quite a bit. The idea that it was mathematical certainty that all systems will eventually fall into disorder. He should have remembered that when Kat had come in that afternoon.
“You’ll be pleased to know that your ulcer wasn’t the cause of the issues that you have been having” Peter said, leading with the good news first.
“That isn’t exactly helpful” Kat said, not even bothering to hide her annoyance. “You mentioned that last week.”
“We did however discover a few irregularities” Peter said, “I just hope that we can discuss these matters without having you taking it badly.”
Kat just stared at Peter, he knew she hated it when people talked around things. It was something she had grown less tolerant of as she had grown older.
“The blood tests revealed that you are generally healthy, and we were able to rule out cancer or infection” Peter said, “However the level of hCG in your system is extremely elevated.”
The look on Kat’s face suggested that she knew the implications of that as soon as Peter said it and it was something that she was extremely unhappy to hear. She sat there refusing to talk to Peter for the rest of the session as he tried to get her to talk with him about what her options were. Then she went out into the lobby and waited until her husband came for her a couple hours later. Worse, because the hospital was required to report any medical issues that might affect the ability of an Officer to carry out their duties. Wunsdorf found out what was going on about the same time Kat did and it took about fifteen minutes for the news to leak to the Press…
That complicated everything.
“That is my older brother Henrik who I am with” Frau Nagler said as they were looking through the photo album, she looked to be ten-years old in the photograph, “He died at Gravelotte, in France I remember how sad that was.”
Frau Nagler then flipped the page, “That is my second oldest son, who was named for Henrik. He also died in France, in a different war though. Franz, my oldest never came home from South-West Africa, that’s him here.”
As Kiki listened to this and looked at the photographs, she felt a huge amount of guilt for what had happened to Frau Nagler’s family. All the men had been decimated by war and Imperial ambition.
“I’m sorry about this” Kiki said, “For everything.”
“What have you to feel sorry about?” Frau Nagler asked.
“It was my family that this to yours” Kiki replied.
“I think that the French, British and Russians had a bit more to do with it dear” Frau Nagler said, “And it wasn’t as if any of your ancestors were acting alone, there were plenty of others who helped them along the way. No one blames a Princess for her Great-Grandfather’s mistakes, no one sane anyway.”
Kiki paused for a second, she had just given away the game. Frau Nagler just chuckled at Kiki’s reaction.
“The whole world watched you grow up Kiki” Frau Nagler said, “Except for those here with dementia it will take awhile for people to forget what you look like.”
“I thought all I needed was a different name” Kiki mumbled.
Frau Nagler just smiled at that.
“When you walked into this tomb you surprised everyone” Frau Nagler said, “Then you started telling everyone that you are going to be an Army Doctor and spend your life in the service of others, no one wanted to discourage you.”
“Medicine is its own service branch so there are no Army Doctors” Kiki said, “That simplified things during the war.”
“You knew what I meant” Frau Nagler replied, “You are a good person, even if your Grandfather and Great-Grandfather would have been better off bagging groceries.”
It was a slow fuse that had been burning for years. Every Court decision over the last year had been decided on the basis of Smith vs. Indiana. Today the United States Supreme Court reaffirmed Smith vs. Indiana with Roberts vs. Lacey that school segregation was illegal under the United States Constitution. In the following hours reports started coming of the mixed reaction across the country.
In Virginia there was a high-profile attempt to dissolve the local school district and give away the buildings to a newly formed corporation to maintain segregation. No one was fooled and that was headed straight for the Courts. That was one of the few examples of a halfway intelligent attempt to side-step the law. Mostly, it was unfocused rage that swept the country with schools and other public buildings being targeted for arson and vandalism.
As a heat wave swept across the eastern seaboard things grew more tense. Then a fire swept through a juke joint in rural South Carolina, several of the customers perished when they were trapped inside. It might not have seemed like much, accidents happened frequently in unregulated establishments like the one where the fire occurred. However, this time rumors grew wild with retelling. This time it wasn’t the pattern of tit for tat had had marked the previous decade. Like that house in South Carolina, it all went up in flames.
Oh now that's not going to be good.
It is going to be a long hot summer in the United States this year.
I like how Princess Kristina is becoming one of the main characters in this timeline, she can give us a intimate view of of the Imperial Family.
Decision time for Kat, keep or not keep.
I think this highlights one of the strengths of Peabody's story, in that it portrays, to a US-centric audience, how an alternate, Germano-centric world would look, from the perspective of a German or at least pro-German perspective. In many ways, the Abwehr is filling the role of the OTL KGB admirably, with some truly huge successes.
Wait, I thought Kat got an IUD?
No birth control is 100%
Except for abstinence... But there was this one case in Bethlehem more than a few years ago...
No, but Given Kat's age and usual associated drop in fertility, it does begin to break believability that she's pregnant with an IUD in place. Especially with how they actually function.
A lone sperm isn't going to do the job. Doug's nickname would have to be Long-dick Johnson and he's just been repeatedly ejaculating directly into her cervix for that to be readily believable.
IIRC, something like 78% of the .03% of women pregnant with an IUD are under the age of 27.
Got to point that the name of the thread is "STUPID LUCK And Happenstance"... Ergo, said stupid luck just now chose to pull this one on Kat again.......
I wouldn't say they lacked ruthlessness, but institutional experience.
ITTL there were a multitude of factors who prevented the evolution of the US Intelligence community in leaps and bounds as they did IOTL. The OTL special relation that they had with GB and France soured somewhat due to the WWI 'forced' ending, and after some 20 years, when generations change, that mild antipathy was again flared by some careful German nudges.
Because of that they lacked the OTL help from the Old Continent that helped them at the best moment, so they simply didn't have the experience, nor the know-how, so they had to start from the ground level with no help.
The fact that their head was suborned early on by the Abwher did not help at all.
well, that's a twist that I bet no-one was expecting.
In all honesty it would kinda be good if she had another kid.
Seriously, is South Carolina just that type of state where shit just continually happens?
Separate names with a comma.