Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

Part 126, Chapter 2132
Chapter Two Thousand One Hundred Thirty-Two

24th March 1972

Mitte, Berlin

Anything she wanted, within reason. That was the promise that had been made to Sophie when she had been told that she should start making plans for her thirteenth birthday. Just the idea of turning thirteen filled her with a lot of trepidation. Kat told her that her birthday should be special this year. That it was one of those that were important milestones because it would mark when she would no longer be considered a child. When Sophie turned sixteen, she would be introduced to the wider world, at eighteen she would legally be considered an adult and finally at twenty-one she would come of age.

Ziska felt that Sophie had been given the greatest opportunity ever. She could have anything she wanted, and Ziska had made several suggestions until Sophie had pointed out that the words “Within reason” were a part of the deal. Still, Ziska still had a whole lot of ideas which she had made on the train all the way from Tempelhof to Mitte. Once they had gotten there though, Ziska had been distracted by the window displays of the shops that lined the streets of the Central Shopping District. It was the entire reason why they had come downtown on a Friday afternoon, to go window shopping.

“Perhaps you should ask for a new wardrobe” Ziska said as she looked at a sundress that was intended for the upcoming Summer Season. It was yellow with blue zig-zagging stripes, cut from light fabric and meant to be worn on the hottest of days. “Something fashionable.”

Sophie loved her friend’s enthusiasm, but there were a few practical realities that they had to contend with.

“When would I wear any of it?” Sophie said, “We wear uniforms to school and on the weekends, who would see?”

“If you ever went out, there would be the local scene” Ziska said, “There are others around.”

“What would you know about that?” Sophie asked.

Ziska paused before giving Sophie a sour look and walking towards the next shop.

A few days earlier Ziska’s older sister had commented that she better get used to being alone unless she was prepared to marry a creepy fetishist. Ziska’s mother had reacted furiously when she had overheard that comment, but it had been a bit late by then. That barb had hit the mark and it was something that Ziska feared. That boys would only be interested in her if they somehow got off on her deformity. Despite clearly being interested in them, Ziska avoided introductions because she already knew what the first asinine question would be. Ziska had been in a funk since her sister had made that comment and Sophie had agreed to accompany her on this trip in an effort to cheer her up. An effort that she had just apparently messed up.

“I am not saying that you wouldn’t know per say” Sophie said trailing after her friend. “But you get out less than I do.”

Ziska looked at her. “We should do something about that” She said, “Do you think Marie would know?”

Sophie tried to think of an answer for that. Kat’s youngest daughter, Marie Alexandra, was for lack of a better word, strange. Marie had been a couple years ahead of them at school and everyone in their class had talked about how she often showed up for class after radically altering her appearance, frequently barely keeping within the Gymnasia’s dress code. The trouble was that Marie’s antics stopped impressing anyone after she had done them a few times. Everyone seemed to know that except Marie. She was coming home for Easter and Sophie hoped that she didn’t catch wind of what everyone was saying about her. That she hadn’t been sent to a Swiss boarding school for the School Year but had gone to a sanitorium where they were frying her brain with drugs and electroshock to get to something resembling normal.

“What about something formal?” Ziska asked as she stopped in front of a store window. “The Fürstin would probably be overjoyed if you asked for that.”

The mannequin the window was wearing an elegant gown made from shimmering violet silk that Sophie knew she didn’t have the figure for. It was made for someone who wasn’t built like a flagpole like she was.

“I couldn’t wear that” Sophie said, “Tatiana probably could though.”

“You think so?” Ziska asked with a smile. “I’ve never even seen her wear a dress much less something like this.”

“Kat had her try on a grown that was from a trunk that was pulled out of storage” Sophie said, “She said it was the same one she wore when she danced with the Old Wolf. Doug said it looked as stunning as when Kat wore it ages ago, though he also said he was hardly unbiased.”

Sophie remembered that Tatiana had been embarrassed by what her parents were telling her. Sophie felt that she didn’t need to be though. To her eye, Tatiana had looked as glamorous as an actress at Cannes, Vienna, or Potsdam when they did the annual festivals.

“I see” Ziska said before walking on.

Sophie started to follow, but the door to the shop opened and a woman stepped out with a girl who looked slightly older than her carrying a garment bag. To Sophie’s astonishment, she saw the shape of the girl’s face was nearly identical to one that she saw in the mirror every day. She must have noticed the same thing that Sophie did because she stopped walking and just stared at her.

“We need to keep moving Gabi unless you want to be late to the…” The woman started to say, then she noticed Sophie and a look of anger crossed her face. “You need to stay away from us.”

“But… What?” Sophie asked, completely bewildered.

“I know who you are” The woman said before she practically dragged the girl, Gabi, away. “Please, leave us alone.”

Then they disappeared around the corner, Sophie stood there trying to figure out what had just happened.

“What was that about?” Ziska asked. Echoing Sophie’s thoughts.
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Ziska’s idea of having a formal event is a very good one but to make it really special the venue should be unusual.
The Hollenzoren Palace has been turned in to a museum and is still used for the larger Formal State Events and if Kat promises not to shoot the place up again that could be a possibility.
Ziska’s sister should be invited to show her that people do not think of Ziska as a “freak” and seeing her dance might make her rethink her attitude towards Ziska.


Germany does hardly have anything special about a 13th birthday we do have Dreizehn also as a change in the numerical system but you do not become a teenager. It is the 14th which is a bit special as certain legal rights and obligations come with it.

Some examples as long as you are below 14 you cannot act criminally, with 14 you decide about your religion…
Germany does hardly have anything special about a 13th birthday we do have Dreizehn also as a change in the numerical system but you do not become a teenager. It is the 14th which is a bit special as certain legal rights and obligations come with it.

Some examples as long as you are below 14 you cannot act criminally, with 14 you decide about your religion…
What Kat told Sophie is entirely her own perspective on this matter.
Part 126, Chapter 2133
Chapter Two Thousand One Hundred Thirty-Three

26th March 1972

Mitte, Berlin

“Would it kill you to be cooperative for once in your life?” Her mother asked.

This was entirely because of what Gabriele Scharnhorst had seen outside the shop a couple days earlier. She had heard her mother say to that girl that she had known who she was before she had dragged Gabriel away. All she had been able to see was that they shared an eerie similarity in appearance.

The trouble was that her mother had been far less forthcoming to Gabriele on the ride home and the days since. It had all the hallmarks of the battle they had been fighting for years. Gabriele wasn’t stupid, she knew it was because her father was a piece of shit. Just that fact that her mother had divorced him when she knew that Gabriele was coming along and had insisted that she have her mother’s maiden name, which was that of their well-known historical ancestor and the Registrar readily agreed to do it without comment was proof of that. Or at least that was what Gabriele’s mother told her. Whenever her mother demanded that she cooperate, it was all Gabriele could do not to tell her mother what to go do with herself. It was a mistake that she had only made once, months earlier. Her mother normally had a very mild disposition, unless Gabriele was involved somehow. Gabriele telling her to “fuck off” had brought out a different side of her. She had been dragged into the bathroom and had a bar of soap ground into her teeth. Her mother told her that it didn’t matter how old she was, it was what would happen if she dared to behave that way ever again.

Instead, she had found that simply refusing to do what her mother wanted had proven far more effective. Especially when it came to the piano recitals that meant far more to her than they ever had to Gabriele. She was supposed to be practicing but was staring at the keys of the piano with her arms crossed instead.

“Why won’t you ever tell me anything?” Gabriele demanded and getting a look from her mother in return.

“Because this is an adult matter” Her mother said, “And you have no idea the danger you are putting us in because of this.”

“Who was that girl?” Gabriele asked, “I want to understand what has you so scared.”

Gabriele’s mother gave the exasperated sigh that she gave right before she usually gave in.

“Your father used his position to coerce women under his authority and it took me a long time to work up the courage to leave him after I discovered what he is” Her mother replied, “Unfortunately, it was not before he made a pass at a young woman from an extremely powerful family. She broke his arm when the hand attached was somewhere it didn’t belong. An investigator made a deal with your grandfather to keep my name, later yours, out of it. Part of the deal was that there would be no contact with your father’s victims.”

“That cannot be all of it” Gabriele said.

“That is all I am going to tell you Gabi” Her mother said, “And that bench is very hard, you are free to sit there all afternoon being a stubborn bitch, but I figure that it should become painful soon enough.”

With that, her mother left the room and Gabriele realized that the bench was every bit as uncomfortable as her mother had said. It was annoying that her mother was correct about that. With great reluctance, she started the practice exercises that she should have completed an hour earlier.


Being invited to join the First Foot Guard had turned out to not be what Christian was expecting. The first thing that happened was that he had been sent to the Training Cadre of the Regiment along with the others who had recently been transferred in. It was basically going back to basic training because the drill was going to be done before the public and it had to be perfect.

The silver lining on the mushroom cloud turned out to be that the Regimental Command had decided that there were good reasons for the Pickelhaubes, and shakos worn by the Regiment in the past having been abandoned by field armies. They had been replaced entirely by a blue and grey 1907 design field cap that matched the dress uniform of the Heer. The other thing that Christian was still getting used to was that the Regiment wore the old-style jackboots that had been largely replaced by a lace up boot after the Second World War.

So, every day Christian marched out with his new Company, and they practiced drill until they were about to fall over from exhaustion by midday. The uniforms were made of heavy wool and every day Christian was thankful that it was still early Spring because this would be absolute torture if they were doing it on the hottest days of Summer. The remainder of the day was spent in lectures about the history and continuing mission of the First Regiment of Christendom. As pretentious as that sounded, it had been the unofficial term used to describe the First Foot Guard since Unit Formation in 1806. That meant that their personal conduct for the duration of their time with the Regiment would be closely monitored and any infraction would be dealt with harshly. Bringing disgrace upon the uniform of the First Foot was tantamount to treason from the perspective of their lecturer.

The best among them would be selected for further training to act as bodyguards of the Emperor himself and there was no higher honor for a soldier of the Realm. Christian was starting to understand why this was such a prestigious posting to have come from, but he could also see that it was going to be a real bear for the next year and a half.
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Gabi is old enough to be told the whole truth about her POS father in a language appropriate manner but the main problem is that apparently Gabi's mother has the wealth and income to live at least an upper middle class lifestyle in Berlin and it was inevitable that their paths would cross with Sophie's sooner or later and it turned out to be sooner.
Sophie is going to of course ask Kat about the girl "Who looks a lot like her" and that will be compounded by Gabi who is apparently no idiot goes looking for Sophie.
Kat who had at the time justifiable reasons to go hard on Gabi's mother after the assault on Kiki and the fallout afterwards needs to readjust her (I think that there were some wild threats by Gabi's mother against the victims of her ex was the reason for it) positions on the matter as Gabi and Sophie will inevitably meet up on their own accidentally or prearranged.
The style of cap that was mentioned in the last post worn by Christian.
Sophie felt that she didn’t need to be though. To her eye, Tatiana had looked as glamorous as an actress at Cannes, Vienna, or Potsdam when they did the annual festivals
Nice little throwaway line does this replaces the Berlin International Film Festival were a lot of movies are premiered IOTL for Oscar buzz?
Two movies that won't be made this year are "The Godfather" because of the early demise of the Late, Unlamented FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover Elliott Ness was appointed to replace him and that lead to an earlier crackdown on Organized Crime in the United States and it wouldn't be surprising if a earlier RICO Act was passed which IOTL really helped curbing the crime families.
Maybe another movie could be made about Organized Crime in a different county.
The other movie would be "Cabaret" which was set in a decaying Weimar Berlin just before the Nazis took power.
Somehow the song "Tomorrow Belongs to Me" doesn't have the same impact if the movie is about a Langest Germany.
IMHO that cap was almost as useless as the pickelhaubes or shakos, never mind a beret or schiffen. ;)
While the Pickelhaube or Shako were both out of date as protective headwear by the 1st World War they were before that fairly average in terms of protection compared to their contemporary military headwear. The Beret or Schiffchen (or any headwear that isn't a helmet) after the 1st WW for the most part got adopted as alternate headwear for their troops by the militaries of the world to continuously train them that when they leave a building that their head is to be covered (i.e. protected)- making the switch to the helmet for them easier when actual protective headwear is needed rather than comfort or handiness.
If I remember things right, he was a member of the military and sexual abuser who preyed on women soldiers. Then Kiki kicked his ass and put him in the hospital, before Kat then came down on him like a bag of bricks.
This was entirely because of what Gabriele Scharnhorst had seen outside the shop a couple days earlier. She had heard her mother say to that girl that she had known who she was before she had dragged Gabriel away. All she had been able to see was that they shared an eerie similarity in appearance.
I take it that Gabi's maternal family is descended from this esteemed gentleman:
I also suspect that Gabi would have done the necessary mental arithmetic to correlate what she has just learnt about her father and the uncanny resemblance she shares with the strange girl she almost literally bumped into at the shop.
Part 126, Chapter 2134
Chapter Two Thousand One Hundred Thirty-Four

3rd April 1972


Ben had told Kiki that if she really were in trouble, this would have occurred the prior Saturday. Having it on April Fool’s would have certainly set the proper mood. She had seen as much when Zella had worked closely with a group of Englishmen whose comedy Zella had loved for ages to produce an absurd news report the prior Saturday. It was all about how industrial pollution was causing the water of the Spree and Havel Rivers to remain chemically separate and the unfortunate impact that was having on the fish that swam in the respective rivers. The result was something that came from a combination of fever dream and comic books as mutated fish were supposedly spotted storming the Reichstag which by happy coincidence, happened to be located right on the River Spree. The brief interview with the Chancellor who had thought that it was a straight interview as he tried answering questions that grew increasingly absurd was the icing on the cake. Zella had told Kiki the next day that an aide of the Chancellor had been trying to warn him about the date for the entire interview. The Office of the Chancellor had put out a statement regarding the disposition of Germany’s aquatic malcontents and telling the public that there was no need for alarm, proving that they were not entirely humorless.

Kiki wished that she shared Ben’s optimism because the issues that had been discussed at length a year earlier could no longer be put off. Sitting on a hard chair in a stuffy outer office certainly made her feel like if she were waiting for her execution. The Secretary clacking away on a typewriter didn’t help matters. She had last seen Ben in the hotel this morning before she had left. His attitude was that this was going to be a couple days spent away from their personal responsibilities that they should make the most of. Kiki would go in take care of this and then they could take the long way back to Kiel, enjoying countryside during the springtime. The thought didn’t occur to him that she might not be in a position to enjoy anything in a few hours.

Kiki heard an indistinct, distorted voice say something over the intercom and the Secretary responded with an equally indistinct reply.

“They are ready for you Frau Oberfeldarzt” The Secretary said before resuming her typing. Kiki doubted that the woman could have been more indifferent.

Standing up, she smoothed out her tunic. Because she wasn’t presently attached to any Military Unit it was the powder blue dress uniform of the Medical Service. The PLM and extensive ribbon bar tended to get people’s attention but when she considered the issue that the Service had with her, Kiki didn’t think that they would help her much. Most of the awards were mostly the direct result of the very things they were taking issue with. Her need to prove herself by her own merits alone had jeopardized everything she worked for over the last fourteen years.

“Good morning Doctor von Preussen” The Generalstabsarzt in charge of this committee said as she entered. She recognized him as Professor Steinmann, the Deputy Surgeon General of the KZS. As had become tradition, he was a Psychiatrist by specialization and his presence alone was a sign of just how deep a pit she had dug for herself this time. The others in the room were of lesser importance, but all of them outranked her. It was clear just who was going to be her main inquisitor today.

“Professor” Kiki replied as she took her seat, trying to keep her voice neutral. Looking across the table, she was all too aware that this was like wearing a meat suit while swimming in a shark tank.

“You present several thorny conundrums for us Doctor” Steinmann said, “Questions about respect for the Chain of Command, judgement in the field, openness with your Commanding Officer regarding issues that might affect your ability to perform your duties.”

“It was not my intention to deceive anyone” Kiki replied, “I was unaware of my condition.”

“That is why we have declined to issue you a formal reprimand” Steinmann said, “But that is conditional.”

It was like if Kiki had been holding her breath for months and suddenly, she was able to exhale.

“It is the fact that even you seemed to be unaware of your pregnancy that worries me” Steinmann said, “Was it because you were truly unaware or didn’t want to know. I spoke with your Commanding Officer, and he told me that you were resistant to medical testing despite several issues that you exhibited.”

“I had too many people around me who wanted to use medical testing to get into my personal business” Kiki replied.

“Just how is that an issue?” One of the others on the committee asked. “It is their job to keep an eye on the health of the Command Staff.”

“It becomes an issue when there is a good chance that any results of my lab work always has the potential to be tabloid fodder” Kiki said, it was something that was so incredibly obvious that she shouldn’t have even needed to have said it.

“Yes, the circumstances of your birth Doctor von Preussen” Steinmann said, “The thing that has prompted you to work yourself to the point of physical and mental collapse on more than one occasion. All because you fear the perception that people would think that you haven’t earned your position in the Medical Service.”

Kiki sat there for a long moment in awkward silence.

“It has been recommended that you not be assigned to a Field Unit until you learn how to rest on your laurels because you have absolutely nothing more to prove to anyone” Steinmann said, “It has also been suggested that you resume treatment for the traumatic stress you suffered in Korea.”

Kiki did her best not to bristle outwardly over that last suggestion. Of course, it was someone like Professor Steinmann who would make it.

“Your presence has also been requested in Buenos Aires by President Martínez” Steinmann continued, “It seems that he has unfinished business with you. Something about saving the life of an Argentine National.”

The meeting continued and it grew more evident that this whole thing was seeped in politics. All Kiki wanted to do was go back to Kiel so that she could hug Nina and Rauchbier. Things were far simpler with them.