Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

Who? I’m guessing that she has been mentioned before, but I can’t remember when.
She was the new Polish maid hired a few chapters before, I made a post saying that I knew who she was but also I could be wrong so in fact I did guess right only because it was the most logical answer.
That is the strength of this timeline that it doesn’t try to shoehorn unnecessary drama for the most part but lets it just unfold itself in an organic way.
Sounds like Opa von Richthofen needs some time with his grandchildren especially his new favorite Mathilda because he still has plenty of wisdom to impart.
Ilse needs to set firm boundaries with Izabella about Ingrid because Ingrid doesn’t need to be confused over who is her “Real Mommy” and Ilse needs to make clear the hat she is both legally and more importantly morally that she and Albrecht are the parents of Ingrid.
 
I can understand Kat when it comes to the sexuality of her daughters up to a certain point.

But at least Petia had given her the right answer.
 
Jack Elam had one of the most instantly recognizable faces in the Golden Age of Hollywood Westerns. He seemed to be exactly the sort who Michael would acquire as a friend.
In this respect, Michael is closest to his father’s persona before Louis was thrust into the role of Kaiser. Raconteur, collector of interesting people and a man with hobbies & outside interests. In all, a fairly well-rounded personality, albeit with a few quirks.
 
Part 132, Chapter 2256
Chapter Two Thousand Two Hundred Fifty-Six



10th October 1973

London, England

The SMS Grindwal was cruising slowly up the River Thames. There were an extraordinary number of people lining the banks and standing on the bridges. There had been vivid accounts of the sinking of the MV Rose of Inverness which had depicted Louis Ferdinand Junior as far more heroic than he felt he was. In an interview with the BBC, Samuel McPherson had said that he had tied the Grindwal up to the Rose and sent his crew aboard the other ship to fight the fire that had resulted from an explosion in the Engine Room. In his opinion, if the Rose had gone down fast, she would have taken the smaller Corvette down with her. Louis and his men had risked their lives to save all aboard the Rose. If there had been interest in Louis and the Grindwal before, it was at a fever pitch now.

Borchardt had told Louis that the men were looking forward to a pub-crawl in London. With them being big heroes and all, they figured that they would be able to drink their fill without having to reach into pockets for the time of their visit. Louis wished the men well but had to remind Borchardt that he was one of the Ship’s Officers, even if it was as a Warrant Officer. So, his place would be with Louis when he went to meet with his cousin, the Queen of England. No one could recall the last time a ship of the Kaiserliche Marine High Seas Fleet had received a greeting like this in England.

Louis was standing in his place on the bridge. Looking down, he saw that all unessential crew were standing at attention on the deck. Their dark blue winter uniforms were still new, and Louis suspected that if he did a snap inspection at this moment he wouldn’t so much as find a thread out of place. They had also acquired gold thread which had been used to embroider SMS K024 Grindwal on their caps, something that the crew was shockingly good at doing. There were probably professionals back home who probably could have done a more credible job of it, but he doubted they could do so well on a ship at sea. It showed that they took pride in their ship and wanted the whole world to know it and that Louis himself was a key part of that.

As the Grindwal pulled up to the Victoria Embankment, Louis could see the Ambassador waiting for him as the ships was tied up. In Louis’ experience, such men were seldom happy, often playing the role dour technocrats. Today was different though, this man seemed almost gleeful. Louis’ actions must have made his job extremely easy over the prior weeks.



Tempelhof, Berlin

There were moments when Kiki’s job resulted in a mixture of bewilderment and terror, usually on a daily basis. Perhaps she might have preferred to work an ordinary job, but Doctor Berg had said that Kiki would just get bored and was probably right. You couldn’t tell what the next case to walk into the Emergency Department was going to be and there were loads of interesting cases. Then there was the last patient who had come in with a large screwdriver embedded up to the hilt, deep into his skull and Kiki had to prevent him from messing with it, or worse, pulling it out himself. Apparently, it had not hit anything he was using as it had gone in.

After the patient had been handed off to the Surgeons upstairs, including a Neurologist, who could safely remove the screwdriver Kiki had been filing the paperwork when she had two of her colleagues asking her about the case. They seemed to think that it was one of those ones where the jokes write themselves. She wasn’t in the mood to listen to that sort of thing today and had just ignored them as she moved on to the next case.

The next one wasn’t much better.

Kiki knew this the instant she looked at the patient intake form in the file. Margareta de Roumanie, the Princess who had been pursuing Kiki’s younger brother for months in the hope of a dynastic marriage that would ensure her family’s place in their own country after the eventual death of her father. Kiki found it hard not to feel sorry for Margareta of Romania. The choices that Margareta felt she had to make were exactly those which Kiki had been pushing back against her entire life. She told the Nurse that she was feeling light-headed, dizzy, and had asked for Kiki specifically. Normally, a request like that would have been soundly ignored but Margareta’s equal social standing to Kiki’s had caused there to be a rare exception made.

“I saw your little girl on television last week” Margareta said in greeting when Kiki opened the curtain of the cubical that the Nurse had deposited her in. “The striped pajamas were adorable.”

Kiki almost laughed about that. It had been her old friends at Hertha FC had sent her those blue and white striped pajamas, which Nina loved and was in the process of wearing them to pieces. They felt that having Kiki, and now Nina, as unofficial mascots was lucky for their club having fought off relegation and even getting some big wins over the last few years. Personally, Kiki had little interest in Football but liked how the team was always friendly when she visited them a few times a year. As for Margareta, she had come a long way for medical care, but Kiki wasn’t in the habit of asking irrelevant questions of her patients.

“It seems that everyone saw that program” Kiki replied as she pulled her stethoscope from its place behind her neck. “Now I am going to need to take a listen to start with.”

“The whole medical thing, it’s for real?” Margareta asked.

“I get that question a lot” Kiki replied as she put the earpieces into her ears and lifted the hospital gown and listened to Margareta’s heart and lungs. Kiki was about to lift the diaphragm off her back when she heard a slight flutter. It was something that was extremely unusual for a twenty-four-year-old woman. Margareta didn’t look like if she were starving herself, but Kiki did notice that she had chewed her fingernails down to the quick.

“Have you been under any unusual stress lately?” Kiki asked.

Margareta hesitated for a second, debating just what to say.

“With your brother in the news, my father called and asked why I was having trouble closing the deal” Margareta replied, “He didn’t believe me when I told him that…”

Kiki knew all about the pressures that ordinary parents could put on their children. When it came to Royalty, that was a thousandfold worse.

“I will probably understand better than anyone else you could possibly find” Kiki said.

“Louis is ignoring me” Margareta finished.

That idiot, Kiki thought to herself. Leave it to Louis Junior to try to do the right thing and make a complete mess of it.
 
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IOTL King Michael of Romania died in 2017 so there is still a few years to figure things out unless…butterflies.
Michael may feel under pressure from several different directions, first there is the wedding of the Czar of Russia and the sister of the Emperor of the Hellanic Empire, second the House of Hohenzollern-Smiggen which is where King Michael is part of doesn’t want the rules of succession changed because the next male in line will get the Crown instead of the oldest daughter of Michael, Margareta, there may be some internal problems in Romania may be a threat to the status of the monarchy.
We don’t know if Louis Ferdinand Jr. or Margareta have any real affection for each other but for Louis Ferdinand Jr. marriage to Margareta may mean the end of his Naval career.
The best solution is for the rules to be changed to allow females in the direct line of succession to become the monarch.
 
“Louis is ignoring me” Margareta finished.

That idiot, Kiki thought to herself. Leave it to Louis Junior to try to do the right thing and make a complete mess of it.

Yeah. That was me last year. So I can relate...

Louis may regret this, sooner or later. And it will hurt, for a while. It usually does.
 
Well if he does not like her that reaction is totally normal and not in the least debatable.

And all important royal families have sorted such a thing out by the women suddenly becoming acceptable heirs, so no worries about that.
 
Part 132, Chapter 2257
Chapter Two Thousand Two Hundred Fifty-Seven



12th October 1973

Inglewood, California

After a couple weeks at Fort Irwin, all Ritchie wanted to do was go home and sleep in his own bed for a night or two before he headed back to work. The trouble was that once he got back to the Regiment’s Headquarters, there was something going on that complicated everything.

“What the Hell were they thinking?” Crispy asked, “Giving you all those stripes?”

Ritchie knew that Crispy, also known as Senior Lead Officer Mark Crisp of the LAPD Central Division, was just yanking his chain. However, that didn’t explain why Crispy was here in the first place. Ever since a traffic stop a year earlier had gone horribly wrong, he had been assigned to Parker Center to play the role of Gofer because the friends of some asshole from up north had been threatening to shoot him on sight. Not only was Inglewood a bit out of his normal jurisdiction, but it also happened to be an entirely different city within the County of Los Angeles. It being a California National Guard Armory was beside the point.

“Being Sergeant Major of a Long-Range Reconnaissance Unit after more than a decade and a half in the Army” Ritchie replied, “It happens. Now what are you doing here?”

“The Mayor, the Chief of Police, the Colonel in charge if whatever Division this is” Crispy said, “Along with a bunch of other bigwigs yacking at each other. Someone needed to babysit the Chief.”

“This the 160th Infantry Regiment, not a Division” Ritchie said, “California Seventh.”

Crispy gave Ritchie a look that suggested that meant nothing to him. As far as most of the Police were concerned, the State National Guard were there in case a fire, flood, earthquake, or a civil disturbance got out of hand. What Ritchie had been doing for the last two weeks out in the Mojave Desert, thankful that it wasn’t happening in August this year, was just a small part of it. A meeting of those who managed the sorts of emergencies that came up regularly in Southern California shouldn’t have been a surprise.



Tempelhof, Berlin

This was supposed to be a compromise, but the whole thing had left Sophie bewildered as she stared at the dull grey bicycle frame that had just been removed from its box. Was this Doug’s idea of a joke?

“You wanted to learn about bicycle repair, what better way than building one, and you joined a club to compete in races” Doug said, “You are going to need another bicycle unless you want to strip down the one that you use for everyday riding.”

It was something that she had not thought about.

“I was thinking that we should paint it red” Doug said.

“We can do that?” Sophie asked.

“It’s just primer on there now” Doug replied, “They do that so it can be painted with just rattle-cans and a bit of sanding. Red would be fun, sporty, but we can do whatever color you want though.”

Douglas had told her that he and Kat felt that she was too young to attend adult courses at the University. Instead, he had bought tools and guidebooks on the subject and told Sophie that she could access them whenever she wanted. She knew that he had bought them as a gift to her, an early Christmas present, but had done it this way because he understood how she was.

Today, a large box containing the frame and the assorted parts needed to assemble a new bicycle arrived. For Sophie, this was a bit too much.

“You talked with Kat?” Sophie asked, changing the subject. “When is she coming home?”

“I talk with her every day” Doug replied, “And she’ll come home when she is ready to.”

“This is not her just taking a Holiday” Sophie said, saying what Marie Alexandra had been afraid to ask her father but had discussed with Tatiana and Sophie. Tatiana told them to leave it alone, that it was an adult matter. Marie had fired back that there had been rumors about what was going on flying around the Imperial Court. That Kat had flipped out and totally lost the plot. Eventually, Empress Suga herself had told everyone to cut it out. “Holidays don’t last for months.”

“You have seen how Katherine has black moods” Doug said, “She is doing something about those.”

Sophie remembered a few times with Kat closing herself off in her bedroom and not talking to anyone. Marie would go in there and spend time with her. She said that she didn’t want her mother to feel like she was alone. Had something happened over the summer?


Lenk im Simmental, Switzerland

Kat was no longer allowed into the group therapy secessions. Her tendency to ask questions that made the problems of the other women look trite had caused problems. There was also the aspect of her problems being real, some of the things she had endured and had done were rather disturbing for someone whose entire life was a staid suburban existence. Still, that didn’t change the requirement that she continue private meetings with Doctor Cremonesi.

“In Belarus” Kat said, “There were these two sentries at the main gate of this radar installation my team had been tasked with neutralizing. I approached them pretending that I was lost and in trouble to get them to let down their guard. They were clearly hoping to take advantage of me, so I didn’t regret shooting them. One of them had this completely shocked look on his face, like it wasn’t supposed to happen, not to him.”

Doctor Cremonesi was scribbling in his ever-present notepad.

“You have said that action was necessary, and that you don’t regret it” Cremonesi said, “But it isn’t that simple, is it.”

“I keep seeing Malcolm in that man’s place” Kat replied, “Which is crap.”

Cremonesi just gave her a look.
 
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Kat isn’t this remorseless killer that the world thinks of her it is just now she realizes that those two soldiers she killed on her first SKA mission was where someone’s mother’s sons and now that Malcom is in the armed forces she is now that someone’s mother and she is feeling unnecessarily guilty about it and she shouldn’t.
 
Part 132, Chapter 2258
Chapter Two Thousand Two Hundred Fifty-Eight



13th October 1973

London, England

After a few days of liberty, most of the crew had returned of their own accord. They were out of money and had mostly worn out their welcome by now. So, getting back on the Grindwal and going wherever she might take them was exactly what they wanted. That didn’t mean that there weren’t still a few late getting back, Oberleutnant Lehr and Borchardt were busy trying to track them down. That was the lot of the ship’s XO and Senior Deckoffizier while Louis was busy readying the Grindwal herself to put back to sea.

Much to Louis’ annoyance, that was when he received a summons back to Buckingham Palace to meet with the Queen. This time with it being implied that his older brother wanted him at this meeting. Despite there being a million other things that needed to be done, he reluctantly left the Grindwal. Louis had not had any expectations, but not even he could have imagined what greeted him. Louis personally knew many of those in the room, so he knew that the world had not seen meeting like this since the Star Chamber had been disbanded centuries earlier. Louis knew that if he ran afoul of this crowd, they would be arbitrary and capricious in ways that the Star Chamber couldn’t have imagined. Just the fact that this meeting was taking place would probably be enough to give those with republican sympathies fits across Europe if word of it got out.

Queen Elizabeth II was leading it, clearly as the first among equals, probably because she was the hostess. Suga, the Kaiserin of Germany and Louis’ sister-in-law, was sitting to her right. To her left was Queen Marie-José of Italy. Around the table were many of the various Empresses, Queens, Duchesses, and Princesses of Europe. Louis noticed that none of them seemed to be too pleased to see him and that three of his own sisters were in the room.

“We are pleased that you could join us Louis” Elizabeth said as the doors slammed shut. He had to admit that her timing was perfect.

At that moment, a girl who he had seen in Suga’s company before, sixteen or seventeen with red hair and blue eyes, said something to Suga in Japanese. Suga replied in the same language and smiled, Louis knew why she had gone to great lengths to get this girl as her aide. There were few people who spoke Japanese fluently in Germany, the young daughter of Katherine von Mischner was rumored to be a polyglot even by European standards.

“If you could tell me why I am here?” Louis asked.

“A matter has come to our attention involving one of our own” Elizabeth said, “If you could tell him what you told us Kristina.”

“Margareta of Romania was diagnosed with arrythmia a few days ago” Kiki said, matter of fact.

“And?” Louis asked.

“She is under a staggering amount of pressure” Suga replied, “And all you need to do is look at a map to see why. Romania is surrounded by nations that are less than friendly. Hungary has almost gone to war with them a dozen times over the last fifty years. The Russians and the Greeks are basically allies at this point. Into this, your own cousins in a cadet branch of the House of Hohenzollern are waiting for King Michael of Romania to die so that they can take over the country themselves after refusing to change the rules. There is also the worry of another attempted coup, there have been a couple of those and the last one ended with Michael having to order his own uncle’s arrest and execution.”

“The Romanian King has that much power?” Louis asked, “If the Government think that a foreign prince is going to take the throne, they will make certain that he does not.”

“There is a bit more to it than that” Marie-José said, “You are correct that the Romanian Government is unhappy with the situation and would probably act the way you describe.”

“I spoke at length with Margareta about this, they want a proven warrior as Prince Consort” Kiki said, and everyone around the table agreed with that.

“I thought you were against this sort of thing?” Louis asked directly to Kiki, “Our mother ended up sporting black eye because she tried to dictate your life.”

“That had a lot to do with that wretched piece of shit Vittorio” Kiki replied, “I would join a celibate order before I married the likes of him.”

“Language, Kristina” Elizabeth said.

Louis couldn’t help but notice that Marie-José seemed to have no objections to Kiki’s harsh assessment of her son.

“Sorry, Ma’am” Kiki replied, “Its true though.”

“No one is asking you to marry the girl, just give her the time of day” Elizabeth said, pointedly ignoring Kiki’s last comment. “She told us about your evening in Tel Aviv, how it was a pleasant evening, then how you have given her the cold shoulder since then.”

“Think about it from Margareta’s perspective” Marie-José said, “This dashing young Sea Captain comes along who is an answer to all her prayers and he rejects her out of hand. At the same time her father is leaning on her. The stress of it gets to her.”

“I didn’t reject her” Louis replied, “I told her that I felt she should have choices about her life. And I am not a Kapitan-zur-See, not yet, probably not for some time.”

Louis noticed that they found something that he had just said incredibly amusing. The word “choices” was getting thrown around, like if it were joke. Kiki was sitting low in her seat and Louis realized that he was getting a taste of what she must have gone through to reject all of this in her marriage to Benjamin Hirsch.
 
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Hoyahoo9

Donor
Oh man . . . poor Louis. A young man called on the carpet before the women's circle, as it has been for time immemorial. Except this time, they're all crowned heads and royal scions of dynastic houses. [gulp]
 
Louis has a perfect point. If Kiki and all the other women in royal circles are free to make their choices it is definitely not fair that he shall be forced to have a relationship (whatever kind) he does not want.

If every woman I had a pleasant evening with in my life suddenly would have claims on me… oh my Sultan Mehmed would have had less women than me.

So yes Kiki is just doing what gave her mother a black eye. Exactly the same thing. That the woman in case may be more amiable than the men does not matter at all. Kiki‘s justification is just plain wrong.

So yes, this woman now has a heart problem but blaming this on Louis and demanding he does something about it is simply gross.
 
Cheering for Louis now. Pulls a line like his brother, and this time age isn't a fig leaf to say he isn't interested.

Maybe he ENJOYS being a naval officer frequently at sea? That's the vibe I get. He may not like the tedium, but for the day to day it fits him.

All he has to say is, "I want you to have choices, but I'm not available as one."

Bet his great grandfather would be envious. No pressure as the Emperor, and an earned career at sea.
 
I get your point but what LF Jr. is being asked is not to marry Margareta but only "go out" with her every so often.
There is a bigger game going on, the real thing is that LF Jr. is just pawn in the Romania Game of Thrones where the threat of a Hohenzollern Consort may be enough to change the rules of succession and allow for Margareta to ascend to the throne on her own.
What is also missed that for the most part the meeting of the Women Royalty was not a meeting of the "Rainbows, Sunshine, and Lollipops" Club but a product of years of living with the needs of pragmatic solutions in regards to marriage.
While for the most part there is no longer any need for marriages to make deals between nations but there are always practical considerations to be that needs to be accounted for.
Most of the women in that room DID make make their own choices in marriages from actual love (Elizabeth to Philip) to provide cover for a lifestyle that that is deemed "unacceptable" (Victoria to Franz) and Kristina who is never going to be in a position where she is near a throne was free to marry anyone she wanted is just the start where increasing Royal Women will marry commoners and there won't be a big deal about it (see IOTL Anne to CPT. Mark Phillips).
 
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