Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III


Satellites of TTL are certainly able of doing such feats. The point why the brass is unhappy is quite another one.

Building such a satelite, getting it into space and having the infrastructure to do this and keep the data analized is a very expensive undertaking. So if some guy spends 5 min with looking at a certain nude woman he is not watching a couple thousand sqkm for military and industrial facts. The most expensive x-rated material ever made.

Plus the „small effect“ that you could march tank divisions 5 km next to that woman and no one would notice.
Part 133, Chapter 2267
Chapter Two Thousand Two Hundred Sixty-Seven

31st December 1973


The fact that it was final day of the year meant little to Sprocket. He had a far different way of reckoning time than people did. For him it was always the ever present, ever glorious, now and he saw little need to think past that. That didn’t mean that he couldn’t anticipate. Like when his girl was coming home for the day or when his dish of kibble along with whatever delicacies the older woman who smelled of spices and food gave him as extras was going to be placed on the floor of the kitchen. She had told his girl that dogs just always go for the trimmings from the stewing meat. Those were a couple of his favorite things. There was also riding in his basket of the bicycle with his girl, like he was right now and that was also his favorite thing.

The ride across town had been a vast bouquet of delightful smells. Coal and woodsmoke, people, lots and lots of interesting people, something dead that was decaying the most beautiful aroma in the gutter as they passed. Sprocket was aware that his people couldn’t understand the complexities of odors. He had been on the receiving end of their dismay many times. Especially after rolling in something that he liked and had swiftly found himself in the kitchen sink soaked to the skin and being scolded for his trouble. The words “Tupaya sobaka!” being used so often that he was starting to wonder if that was a command he was supposed to be learning.

Rolling up to the gates of the parklike setting that two friends of his girl lived in. Sprocket could smell the trees, rabbit droppings, damp earth, and other dogs. A man looked into Sprocket’s basket, and he growled at him, much to the man’s amusement…

“You brought the mighty hunter I see, Freknur” Wulfstan said looking in the basket. Sophie knew that the guard was poking fun at her, that name being old Norse for Freckles.

“Sprocket is actually a good ratter” Sophie said, “He brought in a big one he killed in the alley by the rubbish bins a couple months back and Petia just freaked. Dead or not, that thing has no place in my house.”

Sophie said that last part in an imitation of Petia’s Russian accent.

“I’ve been warned about the Russian sisters” Wulfstan said as he handed Sophie’s identity card back to her. “That the First Foot should be grateful that they happen to be on the same side.”

“Petia and her friends?” Sophie asked, “They are mostly harmless.”

“To you, yes” Wulfstan replied, “To the likes of me, they are almost as dangerous as the damned NKVD was, the difference is that they are still around.”

Sophie knew that the guard who she had gotten to know quite well over the last year had to be pulling her leg. She knew the circle of Russian women who Kat employed were kind to her and didn’t deserve the sort of fearsome reputation that men like Wulfstan Auer seemed to want hang on them.

Sophie knew that the guard who she had gotten to know quite well over the last year had to be pulling her leg. She knew the circle of Russian women who Kat employed were kind to her and didn’t deserve the sort of fearsome reputation that men like Wulfstan Auer seemed to want hang on them. Sophie figured that that she couldn’t change his mind, so she changed the subject.

“Why are you still here?” Sophie asked, “Don’t they rotate men through the First Foot?”

“They do, eighteen months and you get your choice of assignments” Wulfstan replied, “The trouble is that your choice doesn’t always have a slot for you that is open right when you want it to be.”

“So that’s why you are still minding the gate out here?”

Wulfstan ignored that last question.

“Antonia and Annette are expecting you” Wulfstan said, “Your friend with the leg is already there, you girls have fun.”

With that Wulfstan opened the gate and let Sophie through. As she rode her bicycle towards the main house, she thought about what was going to happen. She had been planning this night with Nella, Nan, and Ziska for ages. They were planning on throwing a party of their own and staying up late, until midnight. Nan said that there was a way onto the roof of the main house of the family compound that would give them an excellent view of the fireworks up and down the river. Of course, it was Nan who would figure that out, she always went out of her way to find out every little secret of whatever building she happened to be in. Every entrance and exit, every window and hiding place. The building that Nella and Nan lived had only been built a few years earlier, but it had a number of secrets that only Nan could have ferreted out.

Still, regardless of what happened that night, it would be a welcome respite from what had been going on over the prior weeks. Next week, Sophie was supposed to meet with a coach. If she were truly interested in competitive cycling, she needed to know what it would take to get onto a team. It seemed like a whole lot of effort, but as Kat had told her, there were a lot of things she didn’t know. Cycling being a team sport had not even entered her thinking until Kat told her about Fraulein Baruch.
Just a couple of thoughts, 1) what is the status of the Paralympics ITTL? 2) Has anyone thought of building a handcycle for Ziska?
I have no knowledge of how the medical assault on Rosemarie Kennedy arranged by her father has any link to the Paralympics. AFAIK, the first Paralympic games was organised Stoke Mandeville Hospital at the same times as the 1948 Olympics in London.
ITTL Dr Ludwig Guttman is likely to have stayed in Germany and so I could see the Paralympic sport movement starting there rather than in the UK.
Ah, the link to the 'Special Olympics' I can well understand, the Kennedy Shriver Foundation certainly led the way there. No disrespect meant to either PM or that organisation.
Part 133, Chapter 2268
Chapter Two Thousand Two Hundred Sixty-Eight

4th January 1974

Operations Command of the Armed Forces, Near Potsdam, Germany

The first week of 1974 was not going well for Malcolm. The room he was in left him feeling like a single goldfish in a tank full of large, hungry sharks. He had been redirected here from the car park by two members of the military police who were not interested in telling him what they wanted with him. From there he had been shoved into an office in a part of the bunker complex that he had never set foot in before and had to recount what exactly had transpired two weeks earlier.

“Two of the men in my section have been looking further afield whenever they get the chance” Malcolm said, “If you look at a map, the site of the incident in question is almost a straight line directly east from the Point Mugu Naval Air Station.”
God truly loves drunkards and fools, Malcolm thought to himself. Rook and Stitch had been very lucky in that what they were looking at to get their voyeuristic thrills this time happened to be extremely close to several locations that they were supposed to be keeping a close eye on anyway. Point Mugu and Port Hueneme located near Oxnard were regarded as key military installations of the United States Military. This way it looked like they just happened to stumble across something horrific as it had been happening. When Malcolm had kicked that up the chain of command, he had hoped that would be the end of his involvement in the matter. It seemed that the Brass had other ideas.

“You say that two of the men under your supervision look further afield?” One of Malcolm’s inquisitors asked, he was the highest ranking of them, wearing the uniform of a General of Branch and no one had bothered to tell Malcolm who any of them were. “Exactly what do you mean by that?”

“The Americans are aware of our satellites” Malcolm replied, “They plan accordingly and do their level best to keep us from seeing certain things.”

“I am certain that you have heard the rumors?” The General asked, “That extremely expensive Government equipment is being turned to amoral purposes?”

“Exactly what amoral purpose can a satellite orbiting thousands of kilometers over the planet serve?” Malcolm asked in reply, technically that wasn’t a lie. He knew full well that Rook and Stitch were involved in the production of the world’s most expensive form of pornography but knew better than to turn them in at this point. If he did the first question asked would be why he hadn’t done it sooner. That said, next time he caught those two in the act he was going to give them a beating that they wouldn’t soon forget.

“You would be amazed” The General said, “That said, are you aware of the significance of what you stumbled across.”

“We recorded a murder in the process of happening halfway around the world” Malcolm replied, another first for the Space Program he thought sourly to himself.

“There is a bit more to than that Fähnrich von Mischner-Blackwood” The General said, stumbling slightly over the part of Malcolm’s name that contained English words. “Do you understand what a serial killer is?”

“I am aware, Sir” Malcolm relied, “My mother was involved with the Dirlewanger investigation.”

“Yes, she was, wasn’t she” The General said, “And that man rightly lost his head. It’s a shame that the State has lost sight of the need for that sort of justice.”

Malcolm held his tongue. His mother had told him that she had witnessed the execution of Lavrentiy Beria and had felt very differently than this General did. Beria had been one of the worst monsters of the Soviet State while Oskar Dirlewanger had been little more than predator skulking in the shadows. Killing them had not brought their victims back. Her opinion was that welded into a cage in some dark corner where even their names would be forgotten would be a better form of justice.

“Regardless, it seems that one of these maniacs is loose in California” The General said, “Your section caught this one in the act, one that has been a step ahead of the authorities in Los Angeles. They are demanding that we give them of copy, even going so far as issuing a subpoena to the Foreign Service for that tape.”

“With all due respect, Sir” Malcolm said, “Who told them that we have the tape?”

“That is way over your station, all you need to know is that someone higher up in your chain of command saw an opportunity to show off and had a friend of a friend who knew someone he could call to tip off the police over there” The General said, “That matter has been dealt with.”

That last part was a touch ominous and the Oberst to the General’s right was looking rather uncomfortable as he spoke. Malcolm could only imagine what someone like the General would do to someone he felt was speaking out of turn.

“The issue is that the diplomats have gotten involved, and we have to give them something” The Oberst said and the expression on the General’s face told Malcolm what he thought about that.

“I’m sorry Sir” Malcolm said, “I don’t see where I fit in. Why am I here?”

“It is very simple Fähnrich” The General said, “You created this mess and now you get to help clean it up.”

There was an implied “Or else” on the end of that Malcolm knew was there.
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Small nitpick, normally satellites like this are only a couple 100 not 1,000 km above the earth.

And yes Malcolm is totally right. The Achilles tendon of satellites is that the other side can tell by the second when the satellite is over a certain place of the earth.
U.S. security staff to diplomat: I'm sorry, what did you say was the name of the officer that Germany is sending over?! Von Mischner!
“It is very simple Fähnrich” The General said, “You created this mess and now you get to help clean it up.”

In another time, hearing the words "...And you get to help clear it up" would be a cue to take a walk in the woods with a bottle of whisky and a revolver.

Luckily, these are more civilised times.
In another time, hearing the words "...And you get to help clear it up" would be a cue to take a walk in the woods with a bottle of whisky and a revolver.

Luckily, these are more civilised times.
More likely an strong motivation to stay a live and without missing important bits...., Do try to remember WHO the Fähnrich mother is. You don´t mess with Tigress cubs..
The problem is for both the United States and Germany is the existence of the video and pictures from the satellite reveals means, method, sources, and capabilities that they don't want to confirm to anybody else much less to the public at large.
In order for the evidence to be acceptable to a judge an evidentiary hearing needs to be in a closed hearing in a secure building with the judge and attorneys granted clearance to see the pictures and video with probably Malcolm will have to testify on how the pictures and video was collected with someone from the National Reconnaissance Office confirming that that is correct and give the reasons why and that will reveal the United States capabilities.
Afterwards if there is a trial the evidence will be entered with both the defense and prosecution stipulating that it is real but how it was collected won't be revealed.
The defense attorney can argue whether or not if the defendant was actually in the pictures but can't argue that the pictures are not real or they were manufactured.
Part 133, Chapter 2269
Chapter Two Thousand Two Hundred Sixty-Nine

6th January 1974

Rural Silesia

Walking among the giant trees that grew on Opa’s estate, their moss-covered trunks like pillars holding up the vast cathedral of their crown. Mathilda sang a song to the spirits who occupied this land. Freyja, the Siberian Husky who Opa had said was her responsibility when she was home from now on walked at her side, ears perked towards the sounds of movement in the brush. Even in the depths of winter, there was still life all around. One only needed to be open to the feeling of it.

There was a reason why Mathilda loved it here. The sounds of traffic and the constant buzz of electrical wires were absent. This place was how the whole world once was, and in Mathilda’s opinion, how it should be. Just the sound of wind in the trees, especially this time of the year when nature slept deep underground, dreaming of the summer to live anew when the sun was warm again. It was in places like this where Mathilda could feel that without feeling removed. Most people she met frantically went about their lives with everything metered down to the very second and Mathilda could tell that few of them were ever truly happy with it. It felt to her that it was a life that people were not meant to lead. Small wonder that everyone was so miserable. In a few days Mathilda would be going back to Tzschocha, and she wasn’t looking forward to that.

Freyja’s ears turned and Mathilda heard the sound of footsteps crunching in the snow as she stopped singing. Moving swiftly, she headed for a hollow on the back of one of the trees. Freyja had already grown used to her habits, which included hiding when there was an intruder into Mathilda’s meditation, so she curled in protectively like a furry blanket. A few minutes later, Opa came into view walking with his dog Rust at his side.

“A shame you stopped singing” Manfred the Elder said, “You’ve a pretty voice Tilla.”

“You shouldn’t be so far from the house Opa” Mathilda replied as she stepped out from behind the tree.

“You and Ilse both” Manfred said, “This forest is my life’s work and the crown jewel of my family’s holdings. The day I cannot see it for myself is the one where they bury me in it at last.”

Mathilda looked at Opa, there were times when he was in a morose mood, and this seemed to be one of those times. “Has something happened?” She asked.

Opa gave a heavy sigh before pulling an envelope from his coat pocket. He unfolded a typewritten page before handing it to her. Mathilda had never seen telegraph before in real life, it was the sort of thing that mostly existed in movies and on television.

We regret to inform you of the passing of Sir Albert Ball, Member of the British Empire, Group Captain RAF (Ret.) VC, DSO & two bars, MC. Former Chief Executive Officer of the Austin Motor Company. The family of the deceased wishes to know if you are interested in attending his memorial services?

“This man was your enemy?” Mathilda asked, “Shouldn’t outliving such a man be cause for celebration?”

“I once thought that way” Manfred replied as they fell into step with each other. “Sure, there were those like René Fonck who I didn’t shed too many tears for because of his high opinion of himself, but eventually I realized that I had far more in common with my former enemies than I did with my successors.”

That seemed rather strange to Mathilda. In the epics, bitter enemies were exactly that. The idea that age and time would so radically change things had never entered her thinking until Opa told her so. Perhaps she needed to find some new epics.

“I see” Mathilda said, which she did, sort of.

“That song you sing in Old High German?” Manfred asked, “You know what it is about?”

Mathilda was a bit put out by that. She sung in the language her mother had taught her that she had thought was unique and special. To learn that there was a name for it was an annoyance.

“It is to remind the forest that spring is coming” Mathilda replied.

“I like that” Manfred replied.

“You want to be buried out here?” Mathilda asked.

“If you had to stay in one place, could you think of anywhere better?” Manfred asked in reply.

“No” Mathilda replied.

“That will not be for awhile yet though” Manfred said, “I’ve big plans for the future.”

Mathilda was a bit confused by that. Albrecht and Ilse were taking on greater responsibilities and pushing Opa aside in the process. There had been difficulties…

“The future?” Mathilda asked.

“I figure that Manny and Suse are going to make it official next” Manfred said, “Käte would like that.”

“I wish I had a chance to know her” Mathilda said, “Your wife, she sounds wonderful the way people talk about her.”

“She had to be to put up with me for decades” Manfred said with a smile. “I figure that you’ll meet someone like that eventually.”

Mathilda made a face at that notion. “Most boys I meet are not worth my time” She said.

“I would imagine not” Manfred said, “But where you find those worth your time might surprise you, like say at a University trekking club.”

“Trekking?” Mathilda asked, “Is that what Niko and Bas do?”

“I think that you confuse them with the wisent in this forest” Manfred said, “Hard to tell the difference most of the time.”
IOTL the lobotomy of Rosemary Kennedy led to her institution in various "schools" and during the early years of the Kennedy Administration JFK's sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver went public about her condition which was very revolutionary for its time.
She would host "Camp Shriver" at the Shriver Estate for special needs children which included various sports.
ITTL it wouldn't that much of a stretch for Germany to develop the Special Olympics because of the sister of Kaiser Louis Ferdinand, Princess Alexandrine had Downs Syndrome and was not hidden away by her family someone in her family could be an advocate for the rights of the Intellectual Disable.
Somehow a world without the Special Olympics makes it a less better place.