Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

I am. That's why the various accusations of it being a nationality/ethnicity trait amused me.
I can also see Ben deciding that it is past time to dedicate himself to the Astronomy/Raumsfahrer career path, despite the fact that he really likes flying fast and low, because the Luftwaffe might be beginning to hinder his progress there.
maybe he needs to go to space again.
Maybe Ben can go for a spin down Argentine way in the German version of the SR 71? Go down in the morning for lunch with Kiki then back in to Berlin intime for supper.
Part 121, Chapter 2028
Chapter Two Thousand Twenty-Eight

18th November 1970

Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport

For Zella, this had actually turned out to be a fun assignment. All the News Director at the ARD affiliate had cared about was that she knew Ben Hirsch and could get an interview with him. It seemed that Ben took his cues from Kiki and had been avoiding the press. She had stated plainly that they were not friends and that their past history was not altogether positive. Put someone in the hospital Emergency Department with crushed foot once and they tend to hold it against you forever. The News Director had not been put off though. It had turned out that Ben had recently been named to be the Civil Affairs Officer of the 18th Fast Attack Wing and he had been ordered assist her in the making of her latest project.

At first watching Ben grudgingly having to give her a tour of the hanger complex had been amusing. Looking at the new Orkan Fighter-Bombers had been interesting. Ben knew not just the planes, but something of their history as well. How the initial prototype had issues with wing-loading and underpowered engines. The new, much more powerful Junkers Jumo 12 engines and redesigned, somewhat enlarged wing had solved those problems. Zella knew that she would need to get more information on background. However, it was something that was never difficult because manufactures generally loved to show off when asked, Arado and Junkers were no exception. Past the first few hours though, Zella had gotten bored with the technical stuff and knew that anyone watching would as well.

Getting pulled away from that to cover the coronation of Friedrich IV had been welcome change while Zella had tried to come up with an angle she could use. Then the story of a staggering number of people drowning in a flood in India had sucked all the air out of the room for a couple of days. It had been on her return to the headquarters of the 18th SKG when she had finally seen the angle she could use.

It had been a Focke-Wulf FD121 “Steinadler” from JG 1 landing and taxying towards the hangers used by the other Luftwaffe Air Wing that was based at Berlin-Brandenburg that had caught her attention. There had been a handful of men from the 18th heckling the pilot from JG 1 as he walked from the flight line. The pilot at yelled back that they were all a bunch of amateurs and could stuff it.

Zella had learned there was a rivalry between the two Wings that went back decades. JG 1 was the original Flying Circus founded in 1917 and a regular Luftwaffe Air Wing. They still painted their planes in the vivid colors including that of Jasta 11, whose signature was the crimson nose and tail. There was only one plane allowed to be painted entirely that crimson in the whole of the Luftwaffe, that of JG 1’s legendary Commander, the current acting Commander was a suitable fill in while the “Rittmeister” was absent. The 18th Fast Attack Wing was a Landwehr Unit, which was why they had the City flag of Berlin on the rudder of their planes in the place of the Luftwaffe roundel. Zella had learned that most of the personnel of 18th did other things with their time most days. The crews were comprised largely of Tradesmen, the Command Staff and the bulk of the Pilots were University Students with a scattering of Professionals of various kinds.

The rivalry had intensified over Korea when the Fighter-Bomber Wing had managed to run up the score against the Chinese with the leading ace of the 18th only two kills behind his JG 1 counterpart. In the years since, the 18th had found new ways to embarrass the pilots of JG 1 in training exercises and mock dogfights, giving as good or better than they had gotten. Now, the Attack Wing had gotten flashy new planes and they were not shy about rubbing that in the faces of the Fighter Wing.

There was also the identity of the Attack Wing’s leading ace to consider, that was something Zella had not thought about. There was a reason why Ben Hirsch had gotten custom paint on his plane right out of the factory. He was hardly alone in that regard. Many of the Attack Wing’s planes had been painted to the crew’s personal preferences. Most notable was a plane with a galloping stag painted on the nose and another with Astrape and Bronte, the Greek Goddesses of lightening, and thunder.

The entire time she had been conducting the interviews, Zella had heard talk about how she needed to see what it was like in the cockpit. Then Ben’s Wingman, an Oberlieutenant Adam Graner who everyone called Spark, suggested that they ought to show her the introduction flight for new System Operators. Ben had been very reluctant to allow that, and Zella had demanded to know why. He had explained that it involved making the man in the back seat ill through violent maneuvers to break them in. He didn’t think it would be fair to do that to Zella as a prank, because she wasn’t a trained Systems Operator and wouldn’t be prepared for that sort of thing. Apparently, the entire Attack Wing had been taking bets as to how badly Zella would do if she found herself in that situation.
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Well you do not need this. Sudden and unexpected changes to your pov tend to make most people motion sick. And there is no such thing as getting some fresh air in a fighter bomber.
Better be her mother's, because once upon a time her father liked tweaking pilots noses from a motorcycle. A crew from JG1 might have arrived to remind Ben's boss about that fact...
Then it is a lucky thing for her that JG1 doesn't use planes that need a WSO/Nav. Though at this point, the incident in question has gained semi-legendary status because both Manfred von Richthofen and Emil Holz went on to do great things, partly as a result of that chance meeting on the road outside of Jena.
Then it is a lucky thing for her that JG1 doesn't use planes that need a WSO/Nav. Though at this point, the incident in question has gained semi-legendary status because both Manfred von Richthofen and Emil Holz went on to do great things, partly as a result of that chance meeting on the road outside of Jena.
Sure JG1 doesn't, but Manfred might have just used a pilot to pass along his suggestion to goose the idea along a little further. Encouragement can go a long way, though the ground crew stuck cleaning up what didn't make it in the sick bag might need bribed with some alcohol afterwards. :p

I just hope if she misses the bag, that part doesn't get cut from her story... ;)
Part 121, Chapter 2029
Chapter Two Thousand Twenty-Nine

19th November 1970

Rio Gallegos, Argentina

“He’s being completely stupid” Kiki said to herself as she reread Ben’s latest letter which had arrived that morning when she was already in a foul mood and was pointedly ignoring the unappetizing tray of food in front of her. He was excited about the new fighter plane he had been assigned to, like a child with an interesting, but fragile toy. The difference was that a child crying over a bit of broken glass or plastic might learn from the experience. The weapons of war were not toys, they broke the user instead.

“Who is being stupid?” Father Lehmann asked.

“My husband” Kiki replied, “Put a man behind the wheel of a sports car or in his case, at the controls of a jet fighter and they instantly revert to the age of four.”

“Few men are free of that sort of thing” Lehmann said, “Or many women, if you are being honest.”

Father Lehmann gave her a look that suggested that he was referring to her.

“I’ve not been reckless because I wanted to be” Kiki replied, “I have always had the public watching me, waiting for me to mess up so that they can gleefully judge my failures.”

“That isn’t entirely true” Lehmann said, “If you had really wanted everyone to think that you were pulling your weight there are many ways you could have done that without it being in the public eye.”

Kiki gave Lehmann a sour look. The migraine headaches she had endured had subsided after she had finally gotten out of Rio Gallegos and had begun doing her job as opposed to waiting around for something to happen. Then the dreams had started. Her sleep had been interrupted for weeks by vivid unsettling dreams of her teeth falling out among other things. The night before had been no exception. With that mixed with the constant smell of roasting mutton in the Mess Hall because the cooks could get it cheaply in this region of Argentina. It seemed like the world was determined to drive her insane on some days. All that was needed was a cloying sound to really drive her around the bend, but she knew she was tempting fate to even have that thought. Go to Argentina and get the full sensory experience, Kiki thought to herself. Korea had not been nearly this miserable though the situation had been far worse. Perhaps she had been too naive or something to understand that at the time?

“Vanity is hardly the worst thing that a woman in your position can fall prey to” Lehmann said, “If she is aware of it.”

“Are you suggesting that everything I’ve done is because I am vain?” Kiki asked, feeling a flash of anger.

“Yes” Father Lehmann replied, “Only to a degree though, I always got the impression that your desire to help people was genuine.”

This was the last thing on earth that Kiki wanted to listen to right that moment. God forbid that she ever spent a moment in her life being less than perfect. If she ever did than there would be a conga line several hundred kilometers long of people delighting in her “Fall from grace.” It had nothing to do with her being vain. Going back to eating her breakfast seemed to be the safest thing to do because she didn’t trust what she might say next.

“Have a good day Kristina” Lehmann said as he got up from the table.

Fat chance, Kiki thought to herself.


Walking out of the Mess Hall, Markus Lehmann regretted that he had not exactly gotten through to Kristina this time because she clearly wasn’t in a receptive frame of mind. When she was in a foul mood she leaned towards self-pity and was a bear to be around. He had been asked to speak with her because of how she was going about doing her job as the Executive Officer of the Medical Services Regiment lately. Whatever impression the public had of Princess Kristina; the actual woman had reverted to her Prussian roots when it came to the standards that she enforced among the Staff of the Field Hospital. Ruled with an iron fist were the words that were used. When she took forays out into the countryside it was often to the relief of everyone who had to deal with her. The Oberstarzt who commanded the Regiment was perfectly content to allow her to do all the heavy lifting.

“Bless me father I have sinned” Lehmann heard a voice say in Spanish to his right followed by an all too familiar asthmatic wheeze. “The world is full of women, and I want to have sex with all of them including your grandmother, well… especially your grandmother.”

“You are in for a disappointment then Ernesto” Lehmann replied turning towards the man, “My grandmother is long dead.”

“That’s why I need you to hold the flashlight while I shovel” Ernesto said with a smile. Lehmann had just walked right into that one.

“Still determined to spend all eternity burning in Hellfire?” Lehmann asked and seeing that Ernesto was wearing the uniform of a Doctor of the Argentine Navy. “And what are you playing at in that uniform?”

“The President conscripted me, and I couldn’t get out of it this time” Ernesto said.

Lehmann was familiar with Ernesto having run across him on occasion in Germany, Korea, and the Pacific Islands. He used the fact that Medical Doctors were welcome pretty much everywhere in order to travel widely. He was also something of a libertine and dabbled in radical politics. That the Argentine Government had seen fit to conscript the likes of him spoke volumes about where they saw the situation going. It was an unsettling thought and Kristina had good reason to worry about what might become of her husband.
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Father Lehmann is both right and wrong about Kiki and her motivations. She does genuinely care for other people and she does have a streak of vanity (Who doesn't?). But if he thinks that she could have disproved her fears that others thought she wasn't pulling her weight without being in the public eye, then he is very mistaken. He might be very perceptive, but he does seem to have forgotten that she lived, and still lives, in a gilded cage where she is under a hell of a lot of scrutiny. Could she have used other methods than her career path to date? Probably. But Kiki finds charging into dangerous situations far less terrifying than walking into a charity fundraiser or state function.

As for her ruling the regiment with an iron fist, that is (at a minimum) a four way split between her fears of what will happen if she is perceived as being less than 100% perfect, the comments the regiment's Oberstarzt said to her on arrival, her rank as the regimental XO & her fellow medics trying to diagnose her with everything under the sun. The media and her CO will pounce on her if they think she's failing in her job (or her health deteriorates); as the XO she is supposed to be the hard-arse disciplinarian; and if her fellow medics want her to ease off on them, then maybe they should back the F@#$ off with their eagerness to poke & prod her, as I'm pretty sure some of her iron fist approach is in self defense.
Mmmh, let me see...

Kiki does have migraine, suffers from a lot of stress and does have dreams about losing her teeth.
As a dentist I would say, that she does suffer from bruxism.

For those who are interested here is a link to the Wikipedia article:

Really love your story @Peabody-Martini !

Keep on with your good work and thanks for the gift you are making to us readers!
Kiki has shown that the blood of her Hohenzollern ancestors flow through her and that should be terrifying anyone who knows the history of that family.
The main thing is that she has the credibility to demand more from the people underneath her because she basically helped shaped the JMS reputation today by her actions in 1962 in the Sino-Korean Conflict.
There should more than one person right now in Argentina who served with her at the same time she did in Korea and have stories about how she pushed herself hard and how there are people still alive because she literally put her hands in their guts in order to save them.

Seeing Ernesto Guevara in a timeline is fascinating because there is not going to be anyone having the iconic (and ironic) Che Guevara poster or T-shirt and actually having him to do medical work is in my ignorant opinion is ITTL a better thing then what he did IOTL.