Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

Oh shit.

Louis will have to send at least two of his fixers in to clean this up. One, an honest & respected cop; the other, someone with a ... reputation... shall we say. One to find out exactly who started the shooting; A trigger happy & scared and/or stupid policeman/soldier? An equally trigger happy & scared and/or stupid separatist? Or an agent provocateur, seeking to provoke just such an incident? And one to put the ever loving fear of God and The Kaiser into the hearts & minds of the idiots who caused this to happen (not those poor bastards in the streets or behind the barricades either).

My take on Zella is that she is alive, but badly wounded in a Krakow hospital. The passing reference to her motorcycle could mean that she may not be able to ride it again, so possible blindness, spinal damage or missing body part if P-M decides to go that route. Yuri could have been killed or wounded as well. Their camera may even have been mistaken for a weapon during the shooting.

If the Poles had either her or Yuri in custody thinking she was a spy, Emil would not have a plastic bag containing bloody ARD identification. The insurrectionists probably wouldn't hold her because they'd view her as a way to get the 'truth' out about what happened.

Meanwhile, Maria will be beside herself.

Emil will want to dismantle Poland.
 
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IIRC, the Polish government are pro German, so I don't think she will be held prisoner. The fighting on the first description seems to be between the Police and the Army, rather than between the civillians and the police backed by the army.

Something left deliberately vague is who started shooting first. The story might be that the police/army started shooting first, but what if they were responding to shots fired at them from within or behind the crowd.
All it takes is some hyped up squaddies running on adrenaline to over react to provocation to turn a protest into a Bloodbath.

In fact it could turn out that 7th of August 1966 could be quite a Bloody Sunday when the final tallies are in.
 
Not since Kat gave birth to Tatiana and Malcolm have I been waiting for an update so badly.
It is most likely it was Pro-German Galician separatists who were demonstrating.
 
Part 107, Chapter 1737
Chapter One Thousand Seven Hundred Thirty-Seven



8th August 1966

Krakow, Poland

In his long career as a soldier, Emil had seen death in many forms. One thing that always stuck with him was how often those who died had a look of surprise frozen on their faces. They had been planning on getting through the day, surviving the next few minutes. They had things they were looking forward to, families and friends. What never seemed to enter their thinking was that their lives would be cut short until it happened. Then their last seconds were spent surprised by the sudden end. We are all the stars of our dramas, Emil thought to himself, until we aren’t. He was seeing that expression again and again as he was led through the overflowing city morgue.

When Emil had arranged to travel to Krakow, Maria had been in bad shape. Her relationship with Zella had been defined by their disagreements for years. The thought that the last time they had spoken had involved an argument over something trivial was something that had only existed in nightmares. As he had flown to Poland, Emil had been briefed about the situation. There were rumors that it had not been a riot that the Polish Army had put down, but a political demonstration by Free Galicia protesting the package of punitive laws that had been passed by the Government in Warsaw. Information was scarce, but Emil was hearing that the Galician Freikorps were on the move now that those who had been advocating a political solution been shoved aside in reaction to the shooting. Now, all Hell was about to break loose in Southern Poland because the Polish Army was about to find itself taking on veteran combat soldiers as opposed to Galician separatists and student demonstrators in Krakow. Many of those flocking to the Freikorps had been Emil’s men, so he knew what they were capable of.

As Emil walked into a viewing room, he could tell that the morgue attendants had known he was coming and had tried their best. They had her laid out on a table with a sheet covering her. There was a pair of bullet wounds in the center of her chest that they couldn’t do anything about and the expression on her face wasn’t one of surprise, but the pained expression of someone who had helplessly bled out. There was one substantial problem though, she wasn’t Zella.

“I’m afraid that there has been a mistake” Emil said, trying to hide the relief that he was feeling. Still, if Zella was still alive somewhere. Where was she?

Then his aide spotted a tattoo on the inner arm of this girl, a black triangle with a Z notation underneath, meaning Zigeuner, and was instantly outraged. It was from the old German prison identification system that had long been abandoned, a black triangle for those deemed to have committed antisocial offenses and their ethnicity if that was regarded as a contributing factor. The Courts had declared it discriminatory under the Law and a violation of the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection. It had however become a symbol of resistance and solidarity among certain communities in the years since, especially here in Poland. It was instantly clear what must have happened, and Emil just felt tired.



Kattowitz, Silesia

“We heard that you had died” Zella’s Supervisor said when Zella finally got him on the phone. That was after considerable difficulty convincing her Supervisor’s Secretary that she wasn’t someone pulling a prank. It was just as well that Zella had gotten through because she was running out of coins to use in the payphone that she was calling from.

“Whoever told you that, they are wrong” Zella replied.

“Then what happened?”

“After the shooting started, Yuri and I barely avoided getting trampled getting out of the square” Zella said, “People were running everywhere, then the cable between the camera and VTR got detached. The last few minutes of the of video is useless.”

“You were recording in the square as the shooting started?” Zella’s Supervisor asked.

“Yes” Zella replied, “We got the whole thing.”

There was an intake of breath on the other end of line.

“I think I am love with you Marcella von Holz” Her Supervisor said deadpan, “Where are you now? Please tell me you have the tape with you?”

“Outside a market in Kattowitz” Zella said, “When we got back to the hotel it didn’t seem to be a good idea to stick around in Krakow. We’ll be back in Berlin this evening.”

“That isn’t good enough” The Supervisor said, “There is an airport in Kattowitz, be there in an hour, there will be tickets waiting at the gate.”

“What about my car?” Zella asked, “And I lost my Credentials back there somewhere in that mess.”

“No one will give a shit and we can always send someone for the car” The Supervisor said, “I want that tape in this studio early enough to be on the evening news tonight. Am I clear?”

“Yes, Sir” Zella replied.

“Good” Her Supervisor said before the line went dead.

Hanging up the phone, Zella heard the coins drop.

Looking at her car, Yuri was conked out in the passenger seat looking worse for wear and snoring. Zella didn’t imagine that she looked much better. He woke up when Zella closed the door, started the engine and an interview segment came on over the radio, Benjamin Hirst from outer space. In the movies, the radio would have been ripped out of the dashboard and thrown out of the car. Zella settled for turning it off.

“There’s been a change of plan” Zella said to Yuri as she put the car into gear.
 
...well, that was unexpected.

Stupid Luck definitely came into play here :p

EDIT: Please note that was not a criticism of the chapter just an observation chapter is great :p
 
Thankfully she’s alive but I can’t say that she is safe as without her press credential, things could go from bad to worse. Also Poland is now going to be erupting into further violence, any other ethnicities feeling the pinch, they might just start up too, Poland is going to need an intervention and the funny part is that it could be Germany and Russia as the main drivers.
 
So Maria will know that Zella is alive before Emil.
Just for extra fun, the station will probably be quite happy to buy Zella a car after this if her's is trashed. Even if it's not trashed, she is bringing back solid ratings gold, she will have earned a new car.
(And VW may just see a new advertising opportunity)

[scene - Young female reporter, (who may bare a passing resemblance to Zella), pulls up in a VW Combi with her crew, jumps out and starts filming a report, first to a major scene]
[Voiceover] When you have to be first every time, rely on Volkswagen.
 
Then his aide spotted a tattoo on the inner arm of this girl, a black triangle with a Z notation underneath, meaning Zigeuner, and was instantly outraged. It was from the old German prison identification system that had long been abandoned, a black triangle for those deemed to have committed antisocial offenses and their ethnicity if that was regarded as a contributing factor. The Courts had declared it discriminatory under the Law and a violation of the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection. It had however become a symbol of resistance and solidarity among certain communities in the years since, especially here in Poland. It was instantly clear what must have happened, and Emil just felt tired.
I didn't understand this part.
 
You are forgetting the other, she herself would have heard, if not at the same time as Emil but sooner. Do you think she would be just setting around waiting, I think not, and this might just be one of those things that she can move on by because it is in the standing orders. Do you think the Fallschirmjeager won’t let her know? In the words of that eminent American philosopher Mr. T, “I pity the fool”.
 
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Let see...Zella is a very beautiful young woman whose father Emil is one of the greatest heroes of the German Empire, her mother Maria is Editor-in- Chief of one of the most important newspaper in the world and is herself a legendary journalist.
With this in mind Zella is going to become the first truly major star in television journalism as her bosses realize that Zella has access to people like the Family of Her Imperial Princess Kristina and her boyfriend Benjamin Hirsch who is now on his way to the moon.
There is also the fact that her Godmother is Fursten Katerina von Mishner-Blackwood.
When Zella gets home Maria is going to burst in to tears, hug her very close, yell at her and most importantly Maria is going to resist the massive temptation to slap Zella.
 
Let see...Zella is a very beautiful young woman whose father Emil is one of the greatest heroes of the German Empire, her mother Maria is Editor-in- Chief of one of the most important newspaper in the world and is herself a legendary journalist.
With this in mind Zella is going to become the first truly major star in television journalism as her bosses realize that Zella has access to people like the Family of Her Imperial Princess Kristina and her boyfriend Benjamin Hirsch who is now on his way to the moon.
There is also the fact that her Godmother is Fursten Katerina von Mishner-Blackwood.
When Zella gets home Maria is going to burst in to tears, hug her very close, yell at her and most importantly Maria is going to resist the massive temptation to slap Zella.
The funny thing about Maria trying to resist slapping Zella is that their entire fight has been about Maria believing that Zella needs to pay her dues to be properly respected in journalism. Zella going to Poland was her doing just that. The only problem is that they live in a world of Stupid Luck and Happenstance, where our favourite characters keep getting caught up in random shit by chance.
 
The reaction in Deutschland is going to be anger as there will be calls for a plebiscite in Galicia and other disputed areas of Poland that will have the options of remaining part of Poland, becoming a Protectorate of the German Empire, or actually become part of Germany itself.
Look for the Reichstag to cut off all funding and subsidies to Poland and a movement might arise were Poland is stripped of a large amount of it land and their independence is revoked and they become an Imperial Crown Territory with very limited self rule.
 
Part 107, Chapter 1738
Chapter One Thousand Seven Hundred Thirty-Eight



8th August 1966

Mitte, Berlin

When Emil had spoken with Maria, he had reminded her of how he had gotten that scar over on his cheek. How he didn’t want to see a repeat of history. It had turned out that as he had been in Krakow, Zella had been on her way back to Berlin, still alive. She had phoned from Tegel Airport saying that she was headed for the studios of ARD with a video tape of the prior day’s event in Krakow. Without a thought, Maria had driven to the studio where she knew Zella would be and arrived just as they had started taping the segment that was going to air with the evening news. She was told that she could watch, so long as she was silent. Zella was sitting there talking to the Anchorman about what she had seen. As Maria stood there, she saw how poised her daughter was on camera though Zella looked tired and her clothes looked like she had slept in them. Maria also wanted to strangle her over what had happened. How many times had she told Zella not to make herself part of the story? And this business with that poor Gypsy girl stealing Zella’s Press Credentials and then turning up dead and getting mistaken for her. What sort of nonsense was that?

A young man was watching just a few meters away. Maria realized that he must be Yuri Kozlov, the Cameraman who Zella said reminded her a bit of Maria’s son Walter, Zella’s little brother. Maria could see why. Both shared the same sort of thin build, the quiet intensity that came from being too into things that few others cared about, and a complete lack of worldliness that was painfully obvious.

The Anchorman announced that the following content may be disturbing to viewers. The video that appeared on the monitors was of a vast crowd in a public square that the camera was sweeping across. Banners demanding a vote to settle the question of Galicia. There were also Galician flags being waved. Maria had only a dim awareness that this movement had existed, and she was better informed than most. For most people this was their first introduction. Then there was what happened next, Zella’s camera settled on two men, identified as the Chief of Police in Krakow and the Commanding Officer of the troops sent to restore order to the city in a heated argument. The Chief of Police shoved the Officer and then was detained by other soldiers. Then the Officer was seen shouting orders to his men who started shooting into the crowd. What had been caught on video directly contradicted what the Polish Government had said happened.

It occurred to Maria that Zella had broken a huge story just by being at there when it had happened. It wasn’t like the last time when she had skirted ethical and legal considerations and had needed to be called an unnamed source. This was the sort of thing that reputations were built on. Maria was proud of Zella even as she still wanted to strangle her.



Krakow, Poland

It had turned out that Zella had left the car in Kattowitz and regardless of what her employer had said it was Emil who was going to have to retrieve it. He wasn’t looking forward to it because Zella and her co-worker had basically lived out of it for the last several months. By now the smell inside that car had probably taken on a personality of its own.

Emil had one last thing to do before he left Krakow though. A dusk until dawn curfew had been declared throughout the city, so his car and the lorry that was following it were one of the few vehicles on the streets. Word was out that Emil was to be left alone as he conducted this errand. Leaving the city center, his party came to a location on the edge of the suburbs. Old cars, lorries and decrepit looking travel caravans were around. There was a considerable amount of garbage about as well. It was government policy to allot these people a space locally and then to bulldoze it once they had moved on. The practice had its problems though, this place looked like it had been occupied for years.

The scene that greeted Emil though seemed downright Medieval as a group of men greeted him in the light of bonfires that had been lit as he got out of his car. Emil could also tell just by the way they walked that regardless of what the laws said, these men were armed.

“What are you doing here?” The question was asked without affectation.

“I’m looking for help” Emil said, “I’m sure by know you’ve heard about what happened in the city.”

If felt like the temperature of the air dropped by a few degrees. Emil had a feeling that whenever something bad happened in Krakow, it got revisited several times over out here.

“A girl was killed by the army and was mistaken for my own daughter” Emil said, “I think she is one of your people.”

That got Emil a few odd looks, he even caught the words to the effect of “Why would someone like him care.” The truth was that this girl was also someone’s daughter and he felt he had a duty to make sure they knew what had happened and to have her returned to her family. The wailing that he heard come up from the back of the lorry suggested that the girl’s mother had been found, he just hoped that this was the right course of action.
 
Yeah, Poland is screwed.
Poland is going to get broken, melted down and recast as something stronger I think.
Emil has a habit of standing alongside the people that end up in charge. Like Herr Lange all those years ago.
 
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