Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

More good stuff--getting another generation ready to go...

From the discription, I wouldn't be surprised if there's places where a triangle's angles don't add up to 180 degrees.
Could be worse, though. "We will be landing at Miskatonic Airport in ten minutes."
"What do you mean inside the airport, pi= exactly 3?"
 
Those who have never been to CDG or LHR in the early 21st century should stop whining about complicated airports with less than good signings. FRA can be terrible but for every first timer it is easy: Just follow the arrows. CDG and LHR on the other hand...

Ejpsan, yes your US thinking is working, there are no marriage licences in Germany. And the most common reason for expedite marriages is pregnancy. The others are not that happy.
 
Last edited:
Hopefully neither Louis nor Nelson are staying at the nearby Dostoevasky Hotel. It would be very bad for international relations for heads of state to murder other hotel guests or worse, each other.
 
Hopefully neither Louis nor Nelson are staying at the nearby Dostoevasky Hotel. It would be very bad for international relations for heads of state to murder other hotel guests or worse, each other.
I wondered how long before anyone remembered that Onion bit, the addition of lunch with George Orwell seemed too good pass up.
 
Those who have never been to CDG or LHR in the early 20th century should stop whining about complicated airports with less than good signings. FRA can be terrible but for every first timer it is easy: Just follow the arrows. CDG and LHR on the other hand...

Ejpsan, yes your US thinking is working, there are no marriage licences in Germany. And the most common reason for expedite marriages is pregnancy. The others are not that happy.
Having been to both, and having my luggage lost at both, I totally agree.
CDG is a nightmare, even worse than LHR, which I thought would be impossible.....
 
So long as a certain Irish airline, (and not Aer Lingus), is not carrying your baggage, you should be ok.
I only ever take carry on with them if I can help it. Worst case, I landed in Frankfurt, my luggage landed in Florence.
 
So long as a certain Irish airline, (and not Aer Lingus), is not carrying your baggage, you should be ok.
I only ever take carry on with them if I can help it. Worst case, I landed in Frankfurt, my luggage landed in Florence.
Sounds like your luggage had a better time than you.
 
So long as a certain Irish airline, (and not Aer Lingus), is not carrying your baggage, you should be ok.
I only ever take carry on with them if I can help it. Worst case, I landed in Frankfurt, my luggage landed in Florence.
I've only had luggage problems changing at Johannesburg between different airlines (and once SAA to SAA, but my luggage came on the next flight an hour later.
 
Sounds like your luggage had a better time than you.
Certainly better travelled than I was.
I've only had luggage problems changing at Johannesburg between different airlines (and once SAA to SAA, but my luggage came on the next flight an hour later.
I had to wait a day for mine. Having not spoken much German since leaving school, I had to somehow fill out a lost luggage report in German. No idea how but I managed it. That was over 20 years ago now.
 
The lovely airline that inspired 'Cheap Flights Song' by Fascinating Aida.
I love that song. Especially since I worked in the airline industry for a certain New Zealand airline. It could have been about our more budget competitors.

As for misplaced or delayed luggage, there can be a wide range of causes, including but not limited to; the passenger using self check-in and forgetting to tag their bag before placing it on the conveyor; the baggage handlers placing it on the wrong baggage barrow accidentally; the bags having to be transferred to a later flight due to hold weight limits being reached or the hold is physically full (these are not necessarily the same thing).
 
I love that song. Especially since I worked in the airline industry for a certain New Zealand airline. It could have been about our more budget competitors.

As for misplaced or delayed luggage, there can be a wide range of causes, including but not limited to; the passenger using self check-in and forgetting to tag their bag before placing it on the conveyor; the baggage handlers placing it on the wrong baggage barrow accidentally; the bags having to be transferred to a later flight due to hold weight limits being reached or the hold is physically full (these are not necessarily the same thing).
Those last two may explain why 1 bag put of 4 didn't make the SAA international to SAA domestic at Johannesburg as we had reclaimed the bags and re dropped them at domestic check in, but we're the last people to drop about 15 minutes before gate closed due to international arrival being late.

The other times at Johannesburg it was changing to or from SAA on an international connection to Zimbabwe with both Etihad and Turkish and I just don't think their systems line up for transfer. We've had no problems with SAA or BA international connections to or from Zimbabwe at Johannesburg where they provide the complete journey.
 
Part 117, Chapter 1953 New
Chapter One Thousand Nine Hundred Fifty-Three



31st December 1969

Tempelhof, Berlin

The sound of firecrackers on the street out in front of the house startled Sophie awake. While she had been told that she would be allowed to stay up until midnight, she had swiftly fallen asleep on the couch shortly after ten while watching television with the others. She might have been able to stay awake if Ziska had been present, they always could find fun things to do. However, Ziska had gone with her family on a ski trip in the Alps, though skiing was one of those things that was more or less impossible for her. Suse Rosa had decided to spend the holidays with her family in Prague and wouldn’t be back until Friday.

Now it was a couple hours later, Sophie noticed that she was on the couch in the parlor, with Jo and Tat getting a sleepy Marie off the couch. Malcolm stood in the doorway with his arms crossed. He had always been somewhat aloof with Sophie, unsure on how to react towards her. Was she his little sister or a guest in their household? Even after two years that had persisted. Katherine and Douglas were out for the evening, having gone to a party that was being held by the Emperor in the Grand Ballroom of the Old Winter Residence. Marie had wanted to go to that, but both Jo and Tat had fixed expressions on their faces when they had listened to her complaints. They had gone to Royal events thrown by the Emperor in prior years and Sophie suspected that this was another one of those cases where one ought to be careful what they asked for. More ominously, Katherine had said that the two of them would get more than fill of that when they came of age, not just Marie. Sophie wondered why she was being included in whatever it was that Katherine was talking about. That resulted in one of the rare occasions when the children of the house were allowed to spend the evening more or less unsupervised. It seemed a bit silly to Sophie, Jo was twenty-three and was a Student Teacher. Why had Katherine talked about her as if she were the same as Sophie who was ten?

“You need to put on your coat Sophie” Jo said as she grabbed Sophie’s hands and pulled her to her feet. Minutes later, Sophie followed the others as they stepped out into the cold winter night, there was a low overcast with the clouds reflecting the lights of the city. A few flakes of snow were falling but swiftly melting once they hit the pavement. There were many people who lived on this block standing around in front of their houses and despite the late hour, those same houses were brightly lit when normally they would be dark with the occupants asleep.

Noticing that Jo was looking at her watch, Sophie could hear that the murmur of voices around the neighborhood was growing in intensity. Some people were counting down as others were lighting off more firecrackers, the clatter of pots and pans filled the air. Marie handed Sophie one of the sparklers that she was lighting.

“Right about NOW!” Jo said.

Marie started yelling “Happy New Year!” into the night, joined by Tat and Malcolm. In the distance, the thud and crack of fireworks could be heard. Sophie smiled at how happy everyone was.

Like that, the year and decade ended.

It was something that Sophie had mixed feelings about. Everyone she had talked with had said that they were turning the page, putting the past behind them, and she was encouraged to do the same. Sophie had no idea what would actually change though in the coming year. She still had the same struggles in school with getting picked on. The specter of her mother was still out there, even if no one knew where she presently was. Sophie worried that her mother would show up unexpectedly and upend her life, if for no other reason than to prevent her from being happy. She was supposed to start at a new school after the Summer Holiday. Katherine said that it was an excellent opportunity for her. This was because she would be in an environment where scholarship was more valued than social standing because of the results of her inexplicably high marks. Sophie wanted to take her foster mother’s word for that, but every time she considered how the other girls in her present school had made a sport out of making her cry, she had difficulty believing that things could ever be different. How had she been accepted into a school that valued academic rigor? Sophie had been told her whole life that she was stupid, blundering around wrecking everything for everyone unfortunate enough to have her blighted presence in their lives.

Even as she had that thought, Sophie knew that it was the things her mother had drilled into head. It had been disturbing how even knowing that her mother was out of her life and had been wrong about everything, she just couldn’t get herself to stop doing that.

“Are you upset?” Marie asked Sophie snapping her back to the present. The sparkler in her hand reached the end of its fuel and guttered out, leaving an ash covered wire in Sophie’s hand. The celebratory mood on the street was already fading as everyone was swiftly going back indoors.

“No” Sophie replied, “I’m tired and its cold.”

“Oh” Marie said as they followed the others back into the house.
 
Sophie wanted to take her foster mother’s word for that, but every time she considered how the other girls in her present school had made a sport out of making her cry, she had difficulty believing that things could ever be different. How had she been accepted into a school that valued academic rigor? Sophie had been told her whole life that she was stupid, blundering around wrecking everything for everyone unfortunate enough to have her blighted presence in their lives.

Even as she had that thought, Sophie knew that it was the things her mother had drilled into head. It had been disturbing how even knowing that her mother was out of her life and had been wrong about everything, she just couldn’t get herself to stop doing that.
Some days I'd really love to back in time and beat the crap out of the idiot who started the whole "Sticks and stones" bullshit. They fucking deserve it.
 
Having another arms reduction treaty should be an easier sell to both the American and German public as while both countries are rivals they are not adversaries.
President Rockefeller sounds like he is gearing up for a third term as there is no 22nd Amendment to the United States Constitution ITTL, it would be interesting to know what his justification is to break precedent.

Sophie sounds like she is soon going to be attending the same school as Nella and Nan and hopefully Ziska will be there too
Kat and Doug should be making plans to formally adopt Sophie and if Sophie's Bio-mom objects then Kat is someone I believe can work out a "peaceful" solution to that.
 
Part 117, Chapter 1954 New
Chapter One Thousand Nine Hundred Fifty-Four



1st January 1970

Breslau, Silesia

Having come home for the holidays, Albrecht had watched with wry amusement as his father tried unsuccessfully to hide his personal life from his adult children and grandchildren. It seemed that the old goat had been heavily involved with the widow of a former comrade in arms in recent months and that the subject of gossip around the house in the days leading up to Christmas. On the day itself, they finally got to meet Zita who had come with her own children all the way from Aachen. According to Albrecht’s father, they had met at a function in Berlin the previous summer. For Albrecht, it was the first reminder that as he was spending a great deal of time at sea or in Kiel, life was passing.

The second came at the end of the odd slack week between Christmas and New Year’s. While everyone on the Richthofen estate was preparing for the big celebration that evening, Ilse found something that she found far more interesting. Albrecht knew that echoed Ilse’s own life decades earlier, but there was more to it than that. When Nikolaus had been born, they had been strongly advised that they should not attempt to have any more children after Ilse had nearly died. Considering that they had thought that Ilse couldn’t get pregnant in the first place, having Nikolaus alone had been something of a miracle. It had never occurred to Albrecht that Ilse may have wanted more, that was something that had never come up. Of course, Albrecht had never thought to ask.

There were times when Albrecht realized that there were aspects of Ilse that he could never fully understand. She had survived a harrowing childhood and the crippling fear that had struck her as a young adult. Those things had left a mark on her, meaning that there were times when her actions were totally inexplicable for someone who had not shared those experiences and she had never mentioned certain things that could either cut her to the core or that which she kept hidden. He found this out anew in the last days of 1969.

On New Year’s Day, Ilse had wanted Albrecht to go into Breslau with her to the hospital. She had quietly made the trip a few times on her own after she had become interested in the case of a newborn girl who had been found in the Sanctuary of Saint John’s Cathedral the day after Christmas. The girl’s mother had not come forward and no one had seen her enter or leave the Cathedral. Albrecht knew that it was a part of an all-too-common story out in the countryside, where deep rooted traditions and the shame that came with them ran deep. A local woman who was probably unmarried had hidden a pregnancy and had taken her child to what she hoped would be a safe place because the alternative involved facing a judgmental community and rejection by her family. It also was revealing for what it said about the divisions within the society of Silesia.

For Ilse, this matter was personal to her because she had been abandoned under similar circumstances in Berlin decades earlier. The Hospital Staff had recognized them instantly, hardly a surprise considering how much money Albrecht’s family had donated to them over the years. They eventually entered the Maternity Ward where a glass partition allowed visitors to safely see the new additions to their respective families.

“This is where you have been going for the last week?” Albrecht asked as he looked through the glass at the little girl who was sleeping peacefully.

“Yes” Ilse replied, “You probably think that I have been acting crazy.”

“No more than usual” Albrecht said, “Caring is hardly crazy.”

“I just heard about her and knew I had to do something” Ilse said, “Otherwise she would have the joy of going through life as something like Elisabeth Tritten.”

Ilse said that last part with considerable bitterness. That was her original given name, one that had contained a joke about how she had been abandoned on the steps of a church in Berlin. It had also been intended to be a proper name that would hide that taint of illegitimacy that it was figured that she had. The problem was that everyone around her had known about it.

“What exactly do you have in mind?” Albrecht asked.

“I don’t know” Ilse replied, “I want to help wherever I can.”

Albrecht understood what Ilse wasn’t saying in this context. There was a reason why the hospital was so accommodating to Ilse in this case, they were from the most prominent family in Silesia. It was obvious what they were hoping for.

“You are aware what that may entail” Albrecht said, “We still have obligations, our lives don’t ever stop and that needs to be considered.”

Ilse gave him a hopeful look.

“Exactly what do you think I am asking for?” Ilse asked.

“That we would need to sit Nikolaus down and tell him that he might have a little sister in the near future” Albrecht replied.

“Am I being that obvious?” Ilse asked.

“As I said, you care” Albrecht replied, “Reasons like this are why I love you.”

“Is it foolish though?”

“Most things we do are foolish” Albrecht said, “We wouldn’t do a whole lot if we took the time to think things through.”

“That is scary considering how you are a pilot” Ilse said.

“That is about muscle memory and being young enough to think you are invincible” Albrecht replied, “Sitting atop a rocket that is basically a tower packed full of explosives and lighting it off is not the sort of thing you would do if you thought too much about it.”

“This is hardly the same” Ilse said, “The only explosion we need to worry about is your father.”

“Another granddaughter to have him wrapped around her little finger” Albrecht said, “I am sure he will survive.”
 
Last edited:
Top