Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

There are things where you know you can only lose. Accepting the invitation to a „nice little dinner“ of a Soviet high functionaire might be in the same league as playing football against Samoans.

And both are meant as nothing but really heartfelt friendly invitations.

But the next morning might feel the same I guess, having only experienced one of them but that a couple times.
And envy those people who went to Samoa instead of Moscow in winter.
 
Kiki may be coming around and is starting to have fun on this trip doing important medical work.
She is also beginning to see that the public relations aspect of the mission is vital in its own way as it promotes Empire unity which is in short supply after Poland.
As it seems that the visit of the hospital ships is a big occasion in the German Pacific Islands one of Kiki's jobs may be to exchange personal greetings to the various Islands Kings on behalf of her father the Emperor.
Kiki may also finally get some closure with the memory of her Mother Kira as she will see that Kiras is highly thought of and many of the various clinics and hospitals in the Islands are named after Kira with her portrait in a highly visible spot.
 
Part 115, Chapter 1916
Chapter One Thousand Nine Hundred Sixteen



20th July 1969

Montreal, Canada

The airplane landing woke Marie Alexandra. The sounds of the brakes and the big turboprop engines reversing their pitch filled the cabin. Marie felt as if she was about to be pitched out of her seat and the paperback book that had been sitting on her lap tumbled onto the floor by her feet. The businessman who was seated next to her gave Marie a look of annoyance. He had asked for a different seat when he had seen that he would be seated next to her but on the crowded flight from New York City to Montreal he had no luck. Not that it had mattered. As soon as the plane had taken off, she had fallen asleep and had not bothered him during the flight.

This was the second airplane that Marie had been on over the course of this journey. The first had been a big Lufthansa airliner that had crossed the Atlantic the night before. She had not understood the relative luxury that had represented until she had seen the Air Canada turboprop that would take her on the last leg to Montreal. It had looked like a creature from another era, rising from the tarpits to terrorize the local villagers or something. Looking out the window, Marie saw the plane was turning off the runway and was rolling towards what was presumably the main terminal building. It rolled to a stop and there was a wave of fresh air as the door at the back of the cabin was opened after the engines shut down.

Everyone else on the airplane seemed to get to their feet at once, eager to leave. As an unaccompanied minor, she just hated that term, Marie was to remain in her seat until the airline sent someone to retrieve her. That had not been fun in New York. She must have been one of the last people off the plane and a rather matronly agent from Lufthansa had practically held her hand as had she guided Marie to the Air Canada waiting area.

This was no different as Marie watched the other passengers file off the airplane and down the stairs to the tarmac. Eventually, a woman in her mid-thirties who had the same air as one of the Stewardesses that Marie had encountered came around with a pin and nametag that announced to the world that she was from Canada Air Customer Relations which Marie assumed meant that she was another agent from the airline. “Are you Marie Blackwood?” She asked in Canadian French with a smile, before repeating the question in English.

Marie was tired, having had hardly slept the night before. She just wanted off this plane and didn’t feel like answering obvious questions. She considered answering in Korean, but with her red hair no one would believe that she was Asian for a second.

“Yes” Marie replied as she retrieved her book from the floor.

“Well good morning then” The woman said, “I understand that I am to escort you to customs where your grandfather is waiting for you.”

“Thank you” Marie said, for lack of anything better to say as she shoved her book into the satchel bag that she was using as a combination purse/bookbag and followed the woman off the plane.

“Your Grandfather is an important man” The woman said, “So, we don’t mind helping you out.”

Marie almost said that her mother was the Fürstin of Berlin, which was just as important. But thought better of it when she realized that would mean little here on this side of the Atlantic. Here in Canada, Marie’s Grandfather had recently retired for the last time from the Canadian Defense Ministry, having been an Officer in the Canadian Army and heading their Counterintelligence Agency. Collecting her suitcase went swiftly and Marie was briefly thankful that her mother had insisted that it not weigh a thousand kilograms as she carried it into the airport’s International Arrivals section where Customs was. Marie had two passports, but her mother had insisted that she travel with the Canadian passport if she was going to North America. She had said that it would save Marie a lot of bother. That much was clear when the Customs Agent asked her a few questions, welcomed her home, and waved her through. That all seemed very odd to Marie, the Borough of Tempelhof in Berlin had always been home for her. Yet as far as the Canadians were concerned, Marie was from Montreal because that was where her father had come from. They also thought of her as Marie Blackwood because they did things differently here. Back home, her father was the consort of her mother who was the one with the title. Here in Canada, Marie was the granddaughter of Sir Malcolm Blackwood. That effectively reversed things. Marie was a bit engrossed in her thoughts as she walked out of customs that wasn’t really paying a whole lot of attention to her surroundings.

“Marie Alexandra?” A voice asked in greeting and Marie was a bit startled. Sir Malcolm was standing there with a delighted smile on his face.

“Opa” Marie said returning the smile.

“If you let Simon take your suitcase, we’ve a lot to catch up on”

It was with a bit of embarrassment that Marie realized that her Grandfather’s aide was offering to take the suitcase.

“I’m terribly sorry” Marie said as she handed Simon the suitcase.

“Don’t be” Sir Malcolm said, “You look asleep on your feet. So, how are your parent’s.”

“They said that they were looking forward to having a child free house for the summer the last I saw of them when they dropped me off at the airport yesterday” Marie said, and Sir Malcolm laughed.

“As well they should” Malcolm said as they walked towards the waiting car.
 
Last edited:
Given the relationship between Canada and Germany, shouldn’t there be direct flight between Germany and Canada? If not Air Canada, at least one a day, but Lufthansa should have one or two flights at least to Montreal or Toronto a day.
 
The butterflies ITTL in regards to airports and airlines are enormous, so far Berlin is fifty years ahead of IOTL with the opening of the new international airport, the international airport in Northern Virginia out side of D.C. is named after FDR ITTL instead of John Foster Dulles.
The Idlewild airport is definitely not going to be renamed after John F. Kennedy (whatever happened to him?) and could be named after Theodore Roosevelt which could lead people to say that they are going to fly from Roosevelt to FDR to mean that they are flying from New York City to Washington DC.

So far Boeing is going to still be Boeing but with Germany still having a robust aeronautical passenger jet industry of its own it may butterfly away the DC-10 and the Lockheed L1011.
 
Given the relationship between Canada and Germany, shouldn’t there be direct flight between Germany and Canada? If not Air Canada, at least one a day, but Lufthansa should have one or two flights at least to Montreal or Toronto a day.
Could be a number of things. For example if the flight to Toronto lands late in the day and and there is no connecting flight to Montreal until the following morning whereas the New York flight lands in the morning. Some airlines have regulations on which flights can be booked for unaccompanied minors (for example, no "red-eye" flights or last connecting flights of the day). Some also restrict which connecting airports are permitted.
 
It's interesting that Margot never answered Marie when she asked why her Oma hated her; maybe this time Margot won't chicken out and/or has finally got that stick out of her arse. Hell, maybe Sir Malcolm will finally lose his temper at her over this.
 
Totally random thought: this timeline has butterfied away the Ramones.
Douglas Colvin's, (Dee Dee Ramone), father met his mother, (a German woman), while stationed in Germany.
Without OTL's WWII, there's no US garrison in Germany so it's unlikely, near impossible, for the two to meet.
This would be frustrating as after his parents split, he moved to Berlin with his mother and would have been right in the middle of the Berlin gutter blues explosion.
Of course, if you can handwave the original meeting between his parents, that puts Colvin in Berlin right about now.
The band's name also depends on the Moondogs getting the popularity they had OTL and the bass player using Paul Ramon as his check in pseudonym...

But either way, Ramones will not be a thing. :(
 
Part 115, Chapter 1917
Chapter One Thousand Nine Hundred Seventeen



25th July 1969

Mitte, Berlin

It had been some time since Zella had made it to the V8 Club on a Friday night, having come to dislike the crowds who came to see the headliners. But this was a band whose album she had recently reviewed, so Zella felt compelled to see them live. As of yet she wasn’t too impressed. Studio engineers were wizards when it came to making even mediocre dreck sound compelling and radio promotions departments could hype it beyond belief. The band itself, playing in front of a crowd while playing their own instruments was even more hazardous than a trapeze artist preforming without a net. The trapeze artist didn’t have to worry about the ground getting angry and start throwing verbal abuse and beer bottles at him. Some bands could kill during a live set, others like the one Zella was watching now, just died up there.

Mercifully, the set ended, and the sound of murmuring conversation was filling the room. It took Zella a minute to figure out what was going on. “There is a cruise, rally, or something happening on A10 and it sounds like a big deal” One of the other patrons said as he headed for the door, a small part of the mass exodus. A few minutes later, Zella found herself sitting alone at the bar unable to tell who looked more dismayed, the waitresses who had just seen all their customers leave or the band who had just found themselves playing for an empty room. Zella almost found herself feeling sorry for them.

“This is why we always get cash up front” Elis said chuckling, “And why are you still here Zee?”

“I’ve a job to do” Zella replied as she tilted her head towards the band.

“I’d say the real action is out there, wherever that crowd is going” Elis said with chuckle, “If you leave now you can still catch up.”

Even as Elis said it, Zella knew that he was probably right. Grabbing her bag and helmet, she ran for the door. The members of the band gave her sour looks as she passed them. Zella just shrugged, so as to say; “Better luck next time guys.”

She got outside just as the other stragglers were starting up. Buckling her helmet’s strap under her chin, Zella kicked her K3 motorcycle to life before pulling the goggles over her eyes. In the short time that the BMW K3 had been in production it had developed a reputation as a tire shredder, even with ones like the one Zella had, which had been modified into a café racer. That was why she didn’t open the throttle all the way as she took off in pursuit of the red taillights that she saw turning west at the end of the street onto B1. Picturing the likely course that everyone seemed to be taking in the mental map of the city that she had, Zella figured that they would only take B1 as far as B96, then it would be a straight shot south on B96 to A100, which would take them A13 and eventually A10, the orbital highway that circled the city.

Turning south, Zella raced down surface streets until she reached where Wilhelmstrasse ran into B96 just a few minutes before the others who had left V8 Club caught up with her. Zella took her place among the leaders as they proceeded south. At every crossing they were joined by more riders until they reached A100 in Tempelhof. As she reached the ramp that went from the surface streets up onto A100, Zella stopped and looked back up B96 and could see the headlights of hundreds of motorcycles coming down the avenue.

Not wanting to be eating the dust and exhaust of others, Zella took off after the leaders, her K3 quickly making up the distance as she chased them south through Schönefeld. She had been this way dozens of times, had even ridden all the way around all two hundred kilometers of the A10 just to say she had. This felt different though, something deeper, almost primal. The pace changed when they reached the exchange for A10, moving faster, racing through the night. Zella saw the cars of unsuspecting motorists, faces pale, looking out in shock as they saw that they were suddenly surrounded by dozens of motorcycles speeding past them. The A10 turned north and started the long curve to the west that would take it around the city outskirts. Eventually, Zella noticed that few taillights were visible ahead of her as she was among the leaders of this… Whatever this even was.

Zella was only dimly aware of the speed and distance as the interchange between A10 and A24 came and the pace slowed enough to make the turn south. What seemed like an absurdly short time later, they came to a filling station somewhere on the outskirts of Werder. It was a warm summer night and the air outside the city smelled of plants, looking up at the flood lights Zella could see that it was full of insects as well. She was glad that she remembered the goggles. The other leaders were parking at an all-night diner that looked to be the sort of establishment that catered to Lory Drivers.

“Who the Hell are you?” One of the other riders asked.

“A journalist of sorts” Zella replied, “I wanted to see what was going on is all.”

“That’s a girl?” One of the others asked having just heard Zella’s voice.

“Going for a cup of coffee” One of the men said, “Not a big deal, we just wanted to go the long way around for bragging rights. You know?”

Zella burst out laughing as she saw dozens of motorcycles passing by on the A10 unaware that the leaders were no longer out front. “Is the coffee here worth the ride?” She asked.

“One way to find out” The man who had said what this had actually been about replied and Zella realized that he was absolutely correct.
 
I can see Maria being slightly confused over how the 'rally/ride' just seemed to coalesce while Emil damned near pees himself laughing. For Zella, this is a textbook example of how rumour & gossip can create a phenomenon out of thin air. Hopefully this one remains totally peaceful.
 
and thus the flash motorcycle ride was born... someone is going to have to write a song about this, its too amusing not to be immortalized.
 
Top