Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego. It seemed that the waterways around that island were the main source of the present dispute between Argentina and Chile.
Oh, the more things change... :noexpression:
After eight years as a reserve Hauptmann, Ben had been promoted to Major and it had been suggested that he might want to reconsider the role he played in SKG 18.
Every day, he gets closer and closer to not being able to fly.

German colony in South America, sounds nice. It would probably be a good source of wealth for the locals, too.
Hi, longtime lurker here. Im currently doing a reread and am asking myself what happened with that thinktank von Schmidt started in 1946? Was it ever addressed? Did I just forget waht happened with it?

Maybe now's the time to fully make the transition from military medicine to civilian...

Wouldn't change a thing. At this point her pattern of behavior is so ingrained that it's going to take some sort of major shock to change, sort of how many addicts need to hit rock bottom before realizing that they need to change their ways.
Poor Manny.
Indeed. He really does need to work on not being an oblivious idiot when it comes to the women in his life or to the larger picture of the events he is currently embroiled in.
Jo nailed it with her observations on Manny's inadequacies as a boyfriend, the current political/military landscape in South America and of what she accurately called "Louis social engineering". Her time spent with Kat has been well spent.
As for the aforementioned social engineering, I would not at all be surprised if Louis Sr. is hoping that Kiki gets the message that maybe she should transition from the KSK & FMS into the civilian sector. It is a lot safer, for one thing, raising a family (if she ever decides to have one), and she will get to practice the type of one-on-one medicine that she has always wanted to do.
Part 120, Chapter 2019
Chapter Two Thousand Nineteen

7th September 1970

Tempelhof, Berlin

Of course, no one believed Marie Alexandra for a second when she said that her Summer Holiday had been so bad that she had actually looked forward to coming back to school. Getting caught trying to talk to a couple boys over a fence had set the tone for the remainder of the holiday. Marie’s mother had told the camp’s staff to handle the situation appropriately and left in at that, but not before telling them to tell her that they would have to discuss this when she returned home at the end of August. So, even when Marie had completed the tasks that she had been given as punishment for breaking the rules, namely breaking curfew, she still had that hanging over her for the rest of the holiday.

Maja had been totally unrepentant. The other girl in their age group had wanted to talk to them about the two boys they had talked to and that made them popular for a few days until everyone found something better to talk about. For Marie, it didn’t seem like it was worth it. Over the following weeks she had pushed the matter out of her mind until shortly after she had gotten home. Then she had been sat down and experienced the joys of having an uncomfortable talk with her mother because she had shown that she had an interest in boys. Marie would have rather endured a public flogging than go through that. Boys, sex, babies, venereal disease, all of that was enough to make her want to run from the room screaming. Then her mother had mentioned the importance of committed relationships, using the one between her and Marie’s father, or that of her Great Aunt Marcella and her late husband as examples within her own family. That caused several unfortunate images to come to Marie’s mind. Horrifying. It was enough to make her want to take a vow of celibacy though she wasn’t a Catholic.

Going to back school the following Monday was a profound relief compared to all of that. That was, until she had seen the syllabus for the upcoming school term. If there were one word that she would use to describe it, that word would be daunting.

“I got a letter from my brother” Zoe Brun, the girl who Marie had sat next to in the classroom for the last three years, said in a whisper. “From Argentina.”

Zoe was trying not to attract the Professor’s attention when they were supposed to be reading the syllabus. Marie remembered meeting Zoe’s brother Engel a couple years earlier and he was a few years older than Zoe, not much more than that though. He was in Argentina?

“See” Zoe whispered as she showed Marie a photograph of Engel leaning on the fender of a military vehicle. In the background was scrubby bushes and shrubs off to a very flat horizon. Marie didn’t recall thinking that he was cute when she had met him before, but he was, sort of.

Base Aérea Chabunco, Punta Arenas, Chile

His name wasn’t Reinaldo Contreras, but he had been told that it supposedly sounded enough like his actual name to not cause him any trouble. He didn’t have the first clue as to why anyone in their right mind would think that, but when he had volunteered to come here and help the Chilian Air Force the CIA working with their counterparts in Santiago had furnished him with the necessary documentation. It had included that name. It also identified him as a pilot in the FACh, which he had not liked because he was actually a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. That was something that he had been advised not to advertise and that he would be disavowed if he got into too much trouble down here.

Walking down the flight line, he saw the mix of airplanes mostly old Curtis Goshawk III fighters that had been kept around after having been modified for use in close air support. There was also two dozen of the airplanes that had replaced them, Grumman F-11C Super Tigers which had been sent to Chile as part of a military aid package a few years earlier. Those were the planes that Reinaldo had been sent to fly because he was already familiar with the type having flown an F-11B from Aircraft Carriers.

“Hey Jefe, got plans?” Pancho, Reinaldo’s Wingman, asked.

“Just trying to stay out of trouble” Reinaldo replied.

“You bore me Jefe” Pancho said, “A man needs a night out on the town every now and again or else he goes nuts.”

“Not much of a town” Reinaldo said, “And what’s up with this Jefe business?”

“El Jefe, you know, the Boss” Pancho said, “Would you prefer I just called you “That Yanqui” like your Crew Chief does?”

Reinaldo knew that he would need to have a word with his Crew Chief, and he would need to get a lot better at Spanish, fast. It also seemed odd to see a Chilian University Student turned Fighter Pilot using air quotes like an American would. The influence of television if Reinaldo had to guess.

“The Boss” Reinaldo said with a chuckle, “I like that.”

“So, what do you say?” Pancho asked, “A few beers, dancing with the ladies…”

“Getting into a fight with the ladies’ boyfriends” Reinaldo continued, “Getting thrown into what passes for the drunk tank.”

“The Policía here in Punta Arenas just have the one jail cell” Pancho said, “No dedicated drunk tank, this isn’t the big city.”
It is not so much as the CIA is going to start something but more of a reaction to the possibility that Germany is going to have hegemony in South America that will shut the United States out and that is not acceptable to the US.
The United States doesn't want to directly confront Germany but it can't give Germany free reign in the area, I wouldn't be surprised if Great Britain is sharing intelligence that it has gathered with Chile and the US because it is also in their best interests to do so.
I wonder if this time the United States is going to sell to Chile more top of the line weaponry because as was seen in Ecuador anything less is not going to cut it.
For Germany they have been a winning streak and that could end in Argentina because the people in Germany may not think the stakes in South America are worth the the lives of their soldiers.
Air America
The Ravens, who also operated in SE Asia during the same time period. The USAAF pilots who flew for the RAF during the BoB. As well as a number of covert operations along these lines. The only time it really blew up in the CIA's face was in the 80's when missile sales to a sworn adversary and staggering amount of cocaine was involved, the Iran-Contra scandal.
Marie (last day of holidays): "Boys? Sex? Babies? Ewww! Yuck!"
Marie (first day of school): "I don't remember that boy looking so cute before. Hmm."


And that one only blew up in the CIA‘s face because nobody higher up wanted it to blow up in the face of the really responsible people.

Well and some things always stay the same. Parents having trouble that their children becoming adults and try to keep them away from sex. Not understanding that „do not look around“ is a fool save way to have somebody look around.

And with the not so funny potential side effect that the really dangerous things one should warn the children from are then lumped with sex.
Well and some things always stay the same. Parents having trouble that their children becoming adults and try to keep them away from sex. Not understanding that „do not look around“ is a fool save way to have somebody look around.

And with the not so funny potential side effect that the really dangerous things one should warn the children from are then lumped with sex.
Marie is not being told what she cannot do in absolute terms. It is more like she is being told frankly that she needs to be smart in these sorts of matters. Kat being Kat, she is not shielding her daughter from the realities of irresponsibility. That said, Marie's reaction is fairly typical of a 14-year-old as she realizes some of the things that her parents in fact do.
From the previous threads Kat and Petria would make the "Foolish Girls" like Kiki when she was staying with Kat after the death of Kira babysit the younger children of Kat and the Sisterhood to teach them the consequences of sex.
With that in mind Marie could be given an after school job at somewhere that is secured and there are couple of young girls who admire her and a newborn who needs to be changed and fed once awhile.
Part 120, Chapter 2020
Chapter Two Thousand Twenty

14th September 1970

Arado Aircraft Works Assembly Plant, Schönefeld, Germany

The Representative who was giving Ben and Wim a tour of the large building that housed Arado’s Schönefeld facility. There were a number of regional airliners and utility planes that were being assembled here. Those were not what they had come to see, but it was still interesting. The tour had gotten off to a rocky start when their guide had introduced them to members of Arado’s Corporate Board as Major Benjamin Burggraf von Hirsch, Consort of Princess Kristina von Preussen zu Hohenzollern and Hauptmann Wilhelm Franke. There were all sorts of things wrong with that. Ben tended to think people were talking about someone else when they referred to him that way and few people had ever called Wim by his proper name not even his family. Wim had once told Ben that it was a childhood nickname given to him by his maternal grandmother who was supposedly from the Netherlands. So, the only people in the past who had called him Wilhelm were various officials and Ben’s mother. It seemed that the bigwigs at Arado could be added to that list as well.

“Unlike our competition, we don’t get too many fighter aces in here” The Representative said as they walked down an observation gantry, “So it was a real thrill for them to meet you.”

Ben gave Wim a hard look, he could tell from the expression on Wim’s face that he was about to make a flip comment. If he had to guess, it would have something to do with how the hangers that SKG 18 was based out of were located only about a kilometer from here. So close, that when they were going to be delivered the planes were just going to be towed down the taxiway and across one of the runways, from one building to another within the larger Berlin-Brandenburg Airport complex. Of course, the Representative was referring to FW-Dornier.

“We’re the ones who actually fight when the Luftwaffe goes to war” Ben said, hopefully heading off whatever Wim was about to say. “Your competitor’s product is good for showboating. We have a different mission that is not as glamorous but every bit as important.”

“I’m sure that the Board and Advertising will be happy you said that” The Representative replied, “But that is not why we are here today. This is.”

They stopped in front of a window with an Orkan that was half assembled. The structural elements of the airframe were in place and most of the internal workings. Ben recognized the hydraulic system that moved the wings while the plane was in flight. A team of technicians were working on riveting the alloy skin onto the fuselage back around the engines that were in the process of being installed. The subassembly that made up the cockpit was complete, but the canopy and seats were still sitting in crates.

“I would like to introduce you to Black Knight 4, or whatever you might want to call it” The Representative said, “Traditionally, the leading aces of the Squadrons are allowed to choose their own paint schemes. Before we start painting it, we are interested in hearing exactly what you two would like.”

Wim looked at Ben with a slight smile on his face. They had always flown a plane that was the white color scheme with the rudder and other control surfaces painted red like the rest of the aircraft used by the Luftwaffe Reserve Airwings based in the Berlin as part of the City/State’s Landwehr Divisions. This was an incredible opportunity.

Los Angeles, California

The call came in while Ritchie was in a 7-Eleven getting coffee with the other schlubs who were dragging themselves into work on a Monday morning. There had been a feel in the air that morning as Ritchie and Wilkinson had left the garage, like winter was right around the corner. It was sort of hard to tell in Southern California, because there could easily be hundred-degree days in November. Coffee had sounded good, but when they saw that there was a line inside the store Wilkinson decided that someone needed to stay in the car.

Ritchie found himself with two paper cups of coffee in his hands waiting in line behind three men who were glancing nervously over their shoulders at Ritchie’s uniform. Wilkinson joked about how everyone had a guilty conscience, this was a perfect example of that. The truth was that Ritchie couldn’t have cared less about whatever stupid things that they might have been up to over the weekend and was more concerned about the various houses that he had looked at with Lucia. They had found one in Northeast Los Angeles near Occidental College that she had set her heart on but the problem of how they were going to pay for it remained.

As soon as Ritchie got to the front of the line, the clerk looked at him with a frown. “The company policy is that cops get free coffee” He said in a dull monotone. It was easy to see why such a policy existed. Having Police Officers in the store was an extra bit of security, however Ritchie knew that it was also one that was heavily abused. That explained the clerk’s tepid reaction.

Stepping out of the store with the coffees, Ritchie saw that Wilkinson had already started the engine. He barely gave him time to get into the passenger seat before he had the lights and sirens on. As they tore out of the 7-Eleven’s parking lot and Ritchie struggled to keep from spilling coffee on himself, Wilkinson yelled to Ritchie what was going on. “Robbery in progress, only a couple blocks from here!”

As they rounded a corner, Wilkinson slammed on the brakes and the car stopped in front of a bank. It only took seconds for Wilkinson to spot a blue Ford Maverick with its engine idling parked in front of the bank. The squad car was parked in such a way that it was blocked in. The driver of the Maverick had a look of terror on his face as he saw Wilkinson walk up to the driver’s side window with his gun drawn. He turned off the ignition, probably a smart move considering how he still had a way out if he threw his friends to the wolves by denying that he was involved. He wasn’t fooling anyone though.

“That moron’s buddies are going to come running out any second” Wilkinson said, “Once we are through with them, I want you to tell the Manager that we arrested the perps. You might finally get that loan out of this.”

“Are you nuts?” Ritchie asked, “And that might be illegal.”

Wilkinson just shrugged. “You want it or not?”

Ritchie didn’t have time to answer as two men in ski-masks ran out the front doors of the bank. The 38 Special that the Department had issued him wasn’t particularly great as a pistol, but it turned out that it made a great club as a Ritchie hit one of the bank robbers across the bridge of his nose with it as he tried to run past.
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The irony is for Ben even without his title and who he is married to is a minor celebrity in his own right as he is a war ace and he was part of the first manned mission to the Moon.
By now he should be getting offers from various corporations to either to be on their boards or at least be a consultant for them and offers of visiting Professorships to various universities around the world.

For Ritchie being a hero in foiling the bank robbery is that even through otherwise he is qualified for a mortgage and probably has even applied at another branch of the bank he is still not getting a loan.
If that becomes public knowledge the resulting publicity will point out the disparities in who gets loans and why.
This may result in more Fair Housing and Fair Lending laws being passed.