Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III


For the plane industry there is a reason why there are only two big companies left and that is the enormous cost of developing planes. Meaning the more companies are in the market the less planes each company can sell to get a ROI on that.
So the concentration that we have seen OTL cannot be avoided.
And what happens if a company tries to safe on development and safety... B 737 max 8 anyone?


Thank you P-M, for this amazing world you've created. I need your latest chapter every morning like I need black coffee. It gets the day started and makes everything better :)
Congratulations on 2000 chapters in The Never-ending Timeline.

Kiki is having another successful trip to the United States and her showing up at Ritchie and Lucia's wedding is just reinforcing the "People's Princess" image that she has.
The LAPD should also be a fan of her because of her actions in saving the life of a Berlin Police officer during the East Station Bombing and how she took a bullet to the chest and the only reason she survived was because of the protective vest she was wearing.
Kiki can give first hand testimony on how these vests can save the lives of Law Enforcement Officers and the vest she sent to Ritchie offers an opportunity for the German company that manufacturers the vest to either sell directly to various police departments across the United States or license them to an American company and given the number of Law Enforcement officers in the United States that is a very lucrative market.
Part 120, Chapter 2001
Chapter Two Thousand One

4th July 1970

Los Angeles, California

Before she left LA, Kiki had agreed to meet with Ritchie and his partner Bill Wilkinson for coffee. The place they went to sold coffee and donuts in the early morning hours. It being Independence Day in America, the conversation had gone in that direction and Kiki had ended up taking about what she had seen herself in her family’s archives.

“I’ve read the correspondence between Friedrich der Grosse and your own Founding Fathers is interesting” Kiki said, “Friedrich wanted to be seen as an enlightened leader, but his relationship with the American Revolution was complex. He recognized your independence but was cautious due to his dealings with the British.”

“Your great, great however far back grandfather really played that kind of role?” Wilkinson asked, with a bit of disbelief.

“There is a sword in Washington D.C. that was a gift to President Washington” Kiki replied, “At the same time, he didn’t think that America could survive as a republic and thought that it would eventually rejoin the British Empire.”

“Also isn’t Frederick the Great a distant uncle of yours?” Ritchie asked, “He didn’t have children of his own.”

“You know about that?” Kiki asked.

“Lucia got a few books from the library after she met you” Ritchie said.

Kiki took a sip of the coffee, even with sugar and cream added to it, it really was terrible. There was also a fresh glazed donut filled with raspberry jam on a plate in front of her, Kiki was taking her time with that because it was surprisingly good.

“Wouldn’t having kids be one of the things a King is expected to do?” Wilkinson asked.

“Friedrich is rumored to have been a homosexual” Kiki replied, “Though that is subject of debate.”

Kiki could have told them about how over the last few decades the whole “Friends of Friedrich” thing had emerged, mostly as a means of poking the sensibilities of the more conservative elements of German Society. However, she didn’t know if they would understand. Kiki had her own perspectives on such matters, mostly revolving around how grossly unfair she thought that the choices that her sister Victoria had been forced to make were.

Wilkinson didn’t seem too surprised. “The world takes all types” He said with a shrug. Kiki figured that there were few things that he had not seen over his career.

They sat there for a few minutes in awkward silence that left Kiki stewing in her own thoughts. About how she and Ben had spent a day up the coast in Malibu as guests of a retired actress and her son. The invitation had been something of a surprise. Lili and Kiki’s father had had an affair a few decades earlier in the 30’s back during what her father called his adventures in America. Eventually, they had married other people. Still, Lili had invited Kiki to her beach house, and it had been interesting to say the least. While Lili had just been intent on getting to know her, the son, Sean, had been a bit more direct. He had jokingly called Kiki his might-have-been little sister. That was a bit odd because they were essentially the same age. Still, it had been an opportunity to go to the beach while in California in a relatively private location.

“Did those books say anything about Kristy here?” Wilkinson asked.

“Not really” Ritchie replied, “Mostly they ended with her grandfather, one mentioned her father.”

“Most serious historians aren’t interested in contemporary events” Kiki said, “My father said that his legacy will not be defined until at least twenty years after he is no longer Kaiser.”

“True enough” Wilkinson said, “But I made a few calls, friends of friends, you know. It seems that our counterparts in Berlin have quite a few things to say about the Princess here. Did you really run through gunfire after a bombing to pull a wounded cop to safety Kristy?”

“I wasn’t thinking” Kiki replied, “I got an earful about risking my life like that. First from my mentor as she was draining the hematoma from when I was hit with a nine-millimeter bullet, then from my father for being so stubborn.”

“That sounds like quite a story” Ritchie said.

“I don’t think it is” Kiki replied.

“There was also her getting a blue max without firing a shot” Wilkinson said.

Kiki looked at her donut, her appetite gone.

“I liked that no one knew me here” Kiki said, “It was refreshing.”

“That is the other thing I learned” Wilkinson said, “You are not one to crave recognition either.”

“It is not about recognition” Kiki replied, “It’s that I do not know exactly why I might be getting it. Is it because of my conduct, or because of who I am? It is frequently difficult to tell.”

“So, you pushed things past all points of sanity?” Wilkinson asked.

“You are really good at this?” Kiki asked in reply, “Aren’t you?”

“It is my job” Wilkinson said, “Knowing why people do things. And you are an odd woman, but only in a good way, I’ll grant you that.”

Funny how often people reached that conclusion about Kiki. There were times when action had needed to be taken and Kiki had done her level best to rise to every situation. The trouble was that it resulted in conclusions like that.

“I think that ideally, there are times when we are dutybound not to turn away from what we are witnessing” Kiki said, “Me as a Doctor and you as Policemen.”

“Ideally” Wilkinson said, “The world is far from ideal though.”
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Great to see 'Wild Bill' & Kiki have some real talk. On one level, Bill is probably one of the few people who understands her motivations outside of her family and mentors.

On the other hand, the actress appears to be Lily Damita, who may still in this timeline have married Errol Flynn after the breakup with 'Lou Fischer'. If this is the case, then Kiki's 'might-have-been big brother' Sean didn't disappear in ITTL's Cambodia in April 1970 seeing as IOTL's Vietnam War was butterflied away.

Another superb update @Peabody-Martini !
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Wilkinson may be more then just a Patrol Training Officer, he could be part of LAPD Intelligence Section which IOTL does not have the best of reputations,
Wilkinson may be more then just a Patrol Training Officer, he could be part of LAPD Intelligence Section which IOTL does not have the best of reputations,
Mayby, but I think he is very "street-wise" cop. He spend years on the beat and has a lot contacts in all layers of the population of LA. He probally knows 1,2 & 3 generation off small time crooks and gets a lot of information this way. I think he walks a thin line between coming down hard on crime and keeping things quiet en we all come along fine..


Monthly Donor
2001 chapters and going strong.

Fantastic in every way.

I look forward to this each day. Thank you so very much.

Grimbald aka Tim Atkinson, Plano Texas
Congratulations on over 2000 chapters! I really love this TL, very well written and interesting.
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Part 120, Chapter 2002
Chapter Two Thousand Two

5th July 1970

Calabasas, California

The falling out between Howard Hughes and Boeing had been spectacular. Their Executive Vice President of Marketing had started it when he had said at a meeting that Hughes had become an embarrassment and they should no longer have direct dealings with him. Hughes had fired back that Boeing wouldn’t be Boeing if not for him. He was the one who had risked his neck to show off the performance of the Dash 80 years earlier. They had not appreciated the reminder, pointing out that he had risked a valuable prototype as if they had not received a flood of orders for the 707 based on Hughes’ actions. The war of words had escalated until Hughes broke off all contact and vowed to ruin them in retaliation. Unfortunately, that was easier said than done.

The failure of Lockheed to even build a prototype of their TriStar airliner after they realized that Douglas had beat them to the market with an aircraft which was externally identical and for a lower initial price had nearly killed the company, however Hughes had instantly seen the opportunity that represented. He might have had a bad reputation in some circles, but there was nothing wrong with his ability to get people on the phone and making connections. He fondly remembered how Lockheed had been happy to play ball when he had wanted the Constellation put into production back in the 1940’s. It seemed that they were open to playing ball again. While Lockheed was doing well in military contracts, with the Hercules Transport being a standout example. However, investors were not exactly thrilled to learn that they had an expensive prototype at Muroc Air Force Base that may or may not result in a production deal depending on the whims of the Pentagon or Congress. Or worse, having that prototype be out at Groom Lake, the USAF airfield that didn’t officially exist, and not being able to breath a word about it without risking arrest. Airliners were high visibility prestige projects that the public and investors loved.

Arranging a meeting between the respective Corporate Officers of Lockheed and Curtis-Wright had been surprisingly easy. At the moment, Boeing was competing directly with Focke-Wulf-Dornier after having come to dominate the domestic market. Then two things happened. Boeing’s latest airliner falling out of the sky due to suspected severe icing problems and the Hendrix Act. The law was geared to maintain a robust aerospace industry in the United States and keeping it internationally competitive. While Boeing was receiving its share of the Federal largess, so was everyone else and Hughes saw that there was a window of opportunity there if someone wanted to break Boeing’s near monopoly.

It was at that meeting where Hughes had revealed the other calls he had made. Across the Atlantic, not everyone was thrilled with the status quo. FW-Dornier played a similar role to Boeing in their dominance of the European market. The consortium that had began the manufacture of Airbus Aircraft over the last few years was willing to make a deal, in this case, the licensing of Junkers Jumo turbofan engines to Curtis-Wright in return for capital investment, and Hughes himself had plenty of money he wasn’t doing anything with. Those engines were powerful enough to make Lockheed’s original idea for the TriStar, a twin jumbo, a reality. While Hughes’ reputation had suffered in recent years due to his various personal problems, on good days he could still sell iceboxes to Eskimos. This was a good day as he announced to the gathered corporate boards the project that Lockheed was bringing to the fore, the Galaxy airliner.

Los Angeles, California

The schedule had changed, with Ritchie and Wilkinson working the day shift. After months of working graveyard, it seemed strange seeing being out in daylight. The people who were about today were a far different crowd and there were a lot more of them. The other thing that was odd was that Wilkinson was letting Ritchie drive today, something that rarely happened.

“I can’t believe you are still sore with me” Wilkinson said, “Kristy is a big girl, so she is more than able to handle anything I could throw at her.”

“She’s a friend, and you interrogated her” Ritchie replied, not mentioning how Kiki had probably saved him and Lucia a lot of headaches in the coming months as they worked to build a life together.

“I was curious about who she is” Wilkinson said.

“You talked to the German Police” Ritchie replied, “That is taking things a bit too far.”

“Actually, it was the State Police in Berlin and all I needed to do was get ahold of a Desk Sergeant over there, apparently Kristy is rather well known to them. She has worked in Emergency Rooms in Berlin for years.”

That rang true, Doctors and Nurses in area hospitals became extremely familiar to them. Along with Ambulance Drivers and Fire Fighters, they were people who they dealt with every single day.

“Still” Ritchie said.

Wilkinson paused for a minute and was looking out the window. Ritchie saw what had caught his attention, an extremely attractive woman in a sundress.

“Aren’t you married?” Ritchie asked.

“Yeah, but I ain’t dead” Wilkinson replied, “And neither are you apparently.”

Ritchie realized that he had eased his foot off the accelerator slowing the car. With a bit of embarrassment, he brought the car back up to speed. In the mirror, he saw that the woman had an amused look on her face as she stepped into a business and out of sight.

“You want to know what the real thing that struck me about struck me about Kristy” Wilkinson said, “If she thought that she would save the world by burning it to the ground, I don’t think she would hesitate before she struck the match.”
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