Chapter One Thousand Nine Hundred Five
24th March 1969
Why did anyone agree to this? Kiki thought glumly to herself as she saw Zella and Yuri entering the University Hospital’s Emergency Department. Yuri was already filming things and one of the patients in the waiting area was mugging in front of the video camera. It was funny how no matter how sick they were, they still did that.
Zella had great success with her first documentary featuring Kiki traveling in America. When she had heard about Kiki being one of the responders to the plane crash that had occurred in January despite Kiki’s attempts to keep her involvement out of the public eye Zella had approached her. “The public wants to know more about who you are” Zella had said, “The real you, not just who they see in public appearances. Let them see that you are an Emergency Surgeon for real.” Oddly, that was the part of her life that Kiki didn’t exactly want the public to see. There was also the aspect of what happened whenever a video camera entered the room. In a case of dirty pool, Zella had buttered up Doctor Burg, in turn Burg had told the Hospital’s Medical Director what a wonderful idea it was.
“Zella, Yuri” Kiki said in greeting with a bit of apprehension, “I know you were informed about what the rules are, so I will not have to repeat them.”
They were to observe, not to interfere. Kiki had no idea how to make sure that happened. Zella did tend to make herself the center of the story.
“Yes” Zella said as she followed Kiki down the corridor. “We might need to interview you directly later. Do you have an office we could use?”
“I have a locker” Kiki said, “I might be in my final year of my Internship, but I am still low on the totem pole. Only the senior staff get the use of offices.”
“Couldn’t you pull rank or something?” Zella asked.
“I would never do that” Kiki said without further elaboration. Things were already awkward enough around the Hospital without having the detail that she outranked many of her instructors coming up again. “If you really want to do that, the cafeteria would probably be our best choice, the chapel or the benches in the atrium might also work.”
“Alright” Zella said happily. She was entirely too agreeable making Kiki wonder what Zella had up her sleeve.
“What is your opinion of Emperor Hirohito of Japan praising your actions and your respect for the Japanese people at a public forum recently?” Zella asked. That caused Kiki to stop walking.
“I did what I felt was right” Kiki replied, “Whatever the Emperor of Japan has to say is immaterial.”
“But your own father…” Zella started to say only to have Kiki hold her hand up silencing her.
“Please” Kiki said, “That doesn’t interest me, so can we talk about something else? Have you talked to Aurora recently? I’ve been so busy for the last few months that I’ve completely lost touch with her.”
Aurora was a dear friend of both Kiki and Zella, for the last few years she had worked for the Public Relations Department of Krupp Steel in Essen. That had made it difficult to maintain their friendship.
“She was doing well when I talked to her on Saturday” Zella replied, “She is trying to get a job in Berlin so that she can be closer to her family and to us.”
Kiki might have mentioned that she considered Aurora and Zella to be a part her family but lacked the courage at that moment.
“I would like that” Kiki said as she resumed walking towards the cubicles where the patents awaited. It being a Monday afternoon, there was bound to be a case that was disgusting or disturbing enough to keep Zella and Yuri’s interest.
It was called a charity dinner, but Hendrix didn’t see anything charitable going on here. It was mostly about being seen and the internal squabbling of the various factions Democratic Party as it played out at events like this one. What it came down to was a number of old men stuffed into tailored suits who paid a hundred dollars for a plate of inedible food and to pretend that they were not here for the most cynical of reasons.
“Your name sounds like that of a Rock and Roller” A man who Hendrix had not been introduced to said. Tall, thin, and bespectacled. He didn’t seem to be particularly malicious, but Hendrix had a lifetime of being cautious towards people like this. Especially because he heard a slight accent that betrayed this man’s Southern origins. Presumptions were presumptions regardless of the intent of those who made them.
“You know, J.M. Hendrix, or Jimmy Hendrix” The man said, “That sounds like the name of a Bluesman.”
“Southpaw” Hendrix said holding up his left hand, “My folks didn’t have much coming up, so learning guitar was out of question even if they could have found one that I could have played.”
“That’s too bad” The man said, “I play out with my Tele every once in a while, though my wife hates it when I come home with my clothes smelling of smoke.”
“Tele?” Hendrix asked.
“Yes, I’m a Fender man myself” The man said not realizing that didn’t mean a whole lot to Hendrix. “Where are my manners, I’m Charles Holly, though my friends call me Bud or Buddy.”
Of course, they would, Hendrix thought to himself as he shook Bud’s hand.
“And just what do you do Mr. Holly?” Hendrix asked.
“I am Senior Legal Counsel to the New York Democratic Party” Bud said with a smile. That was not what Hendrix was expecting.