Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

Part 133, Chapter 2281
Chapter Two Thousand Two Hundred Eighty-One

23rd February 1974

Plänterwald, Berlin

“I suppose that you will include all of this too in your diary?” Suga asked Anne who played the role of unofficial Observer of the Imperial Court for the last few decades having seen two Emperors and three Empresses. Today, Anne was among the group walking with Suga along the river as they discussed matters ranging from the plans for going to University, possibly abroad, that the current Kammerfräulein, Kat von Mischner’s daughter Marie was making to the handsome members of the First Foot Guard Regiment who had been walking a respectful distance in front and behind them. Presently, the soldiers were having tangle with the strange geese who had appeared along the banks of the River Spree over the last few years, big brown birds with black heads and a white chinstrap. As it turned out, these geese were aggressive and territorial. Anne supposed that they would have to be to expand their range into new places. The Guardsmen were not thrilled to have such difficulty with the geese who had the option of retreating into the river if confronted directly and having an audience composed of the Empress’ inner circle.

A lot of thoughts ran through Anne’s mind as she considered how to answer Suga’s question. Everyone knew that Anne kept extensive diaries, chronicling everything that she heard and saw to the best of her memory. Only Kris Lehrer, the head of the BND’s secretive Falkensee School, could claim to have read the portion of Anne’s diary that included much of her early life. No one else had ever been allowed near to the dozens of volumes kept on a high shelf in Anne’s home office in the decades since. While there was a part of her that wanted to burn the collection of notebooks because much of what was in them was deeply personal. Whenever Anne went back through them, she discovered that they contained some of what she considered her best writing. Beyond her late childhood, her diary included things like her marriage and the birth of her children. Lately though, the double-edged nature of having it had made itself most keenly felt with the recent breakdown of her parent’s marriage.

Anne’s mother had said that with Anne and her sister Margot being grown there was no longer a need to maintain the pretense. Anne’s mother had known about her father’s infidelity for ages and had grown tired of it. When Anne had gone through the earliest volume of her diary, it was very clear that Anne herself had known about it from the time she was eleven or twelve. There was no escaping that. Her mother also said she had had enough of how she and Anne’s father led totally separate lives and all the divorce had done was make it official. In the back of Anne’s mind, she couldn’t help but consider that she was getting a preview of her own future when she had heard her mother mention that second part. While she had not found any reason to suspect that Martin was cheating on her, it was clear that they had been drifting slowly apart for years. At least her children, Otto, and Lina were old enough to understand that…

Anne was lost in her thoughts and not paying attention until she noticed that one of the geese was hissing at her from less than a meter away. A member of the First Foot was trying to shoo the goose away as he looked at Anne apologetically. The First Foot Guard Regiment took their role as the protectors of the Imperial family extremely seriously, the idea that they would have any difficulty with ill-tempered waterfowl as a bit of an embarrassment.

“I try to include as much detail as I can” Anne finally replied to Suga. “That way I can go back to my thoughts at that exact moment.”

“That sounds wonderful” Suga said. Anne could tell that the Empress didn’t really understand what it entailed. How writing was a meditation as well as a compulsion. If she couldn’t think of anything to write with her novels, she was scribbling in the latest volume of her diary. If she were unable to do either of those things, it swiftly became a source of anxiety.

New York City, New York

Ironies abounded here in the Big Apple.

The bastion of Free-Market Capitalism where the Stock Exchange had been practically built atop a Slave Market. Andreas had known little about America before he had landed in New York and frequently thought about how if he had a full understanding of the country he probably would have gone elsewhere. Now he was stuck here because he lacked the means to travel further. The Owner of the bodega where he worked was what Andreas had figured out was typical of the sort of opinionated self-styled revolutionary found in Manhattan. All about the “Revolution” but only so long as it didn’t cost him anything. That apparently included paying Andreas peanuts and holding his immigration status over his head if he ever complained about it. The truth was that the man was a Kulak and totally unaware of the role that men like him had actually played in history. With the store closed for the night, Andreas was mopping the floor while listening to the Owner pontificate at length about the events of the day and the uproar over something that had happened a few days earlier in Los Angeles.

From long practice Andreas had tuned the Owner out and considered his present lot in life. He had once actually struck a major blow for the revolution, and it apparently meant fuckall. Judging by what was on the covers of the trashy magazines on the media racks, the Hohenzollern Family was still firmly ensconced in Germany. Them along with their even more useless English and Italian cousins provided plenty of voyeuristic thrills for Americans. You might think that a nation which prided itself on having won a war whose entire purpose involved getting rid of a King wouldn’t worship those parasites the way they did.

“You missed a spot” The Owner said with the sneer that Andreas had long grown accustomed to. With it being winter, all manner of crud was tracked in off the street and the floor tiles were an odd color of grey which were impossible to keep clean for some reason.

With that, the Owner went back to reading the magazine that featured the schedules for upcoming horse races. It was nice to know that he worked for a self-styled revolutionary who shamelessly exploited the Working-Class while the crumb bet on the ponies, Andreas thought to himself sourly. How had it come to this?
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Because he is a Mithras.

I meant in the “He’s such a Mithras” way in other words a brain dripping idiot.
We had such fun speculating whether or not the name Mithras would enter the lexicon to define someone who commits an act so mind numbingly stupid that their stupidity would be remembered for generations. Something like kidnapping & threatening the life of both an Imperial Princess and the youngest daughter of the Tigress of Pankau.

Speaking of, Montreal isn't that far from NYC. Just saying.
Part 133, Chapter 2282
Chapter Two Thousand Two Hundred Eighty-Two

24th February 1974

Los Angeles, California

“Little Mike’s class was given a tour of USS Arizona down in San Diego and now he is talking about how he wants to join the Navy” Big Mike said.

“That is probably the entire reason that Navy keeps that ship” Ritchie replied, “To convince otherwise sensible boys to go squid.”

“I forgot, you’re the Army Man” Mike said, “The truth is that I don’t care about that, if this gets the boy a four-year ride at college or at least a career out of it, then he’s ahead in the game.”

When the USS Arizona, one of the last American ships in service that had been involved in the First World War, had been decommissioned in the second half of the 40’s the City of San Diego agreed to play host and have her moored in North San Diego Bay as a museum ship. The rationale had been that the ship represented the entire American South-West, not just the landlocked State that was her namesake. It wasn’t like if they could float her up the Colorado River, so it was something that everyone with a stake in it had eventually agreed to. It was a tour that Ritchie himself had taken a couple times when he had been in school, but beyond being awed by the scale of the battleship he had never taken much away from the experience.

Turning Frankenstein down a different street, Ritchie slowed before shining the spotlight mounted to the frame down an alley. Beyond the trach cans, dumpsters and the scurry of rodents, the four-legged kind this time, to get out of the light there wasn’t anything to see. They were back in their usual spot downtown working graveyard until they went back to working days in a couple weeks. Tonight though, it was about as cold and rainy as it ever got in Los Angeles and that was keeping the creeps indoors for once. Not that Ritchie was objecting. He found it sort of funny what people in Los Angeles considered cold after having spent a few winters in Upstate New York. There were a lot of things in the here and now that were like that.

The truth was that despite being in the same proximity, the streets of the Central Division were a long way from the faded glamour of Hollywood and the corridors of power within City Hall or Parker Center’s Glasshouse. The fact that Ritchie and Mike seemed to have gotten out of the latest mess that City Politics was embroiled in unscathed was nothing less than a miracle considering how they had been up to their eyeballs in it this time. Ritchie had no clue as to how that moron Evans had done it, but he had somehow made a suspected serial killer a sympathetic figure. There was screwing up, and then there was this which was right up there with accidentally starting a nuclear exchange.

“Would you mind if your boy Steve followed you into the Army?” Mike asked, “Or the Department?”

“I would have to follow Lucia’s lead there unless I want to sleep with one eye open for the rest of my life” Ritchie replied. “She wants our children to go to school. Have far higher aspirations. You know?”

“I get it” Mike said, “And children, plural?”

“Lucia thinks that we should start thinking about having another” Ritchie said, “So that Steve has a little brother or sister.”

“Traditional Mexican Catholic family” Mike said with a snort, “Six or seven children, though you and Lucy got a late start.”

“Don’t give me that” Ritchie said as they drove down the largely abandoned streets. “Unlike our folks, we have a goalie on the job.”

“That’s what she told you, you know what it means when she says that the two of you should start thinking” Mike replied, “It means that one of these days you’ll get an ‘Oh by the way’ and then you’ll be repainting the den after moving all your junk out of it.”

Ritchie was a bit annoyed by this turn of conversation.

“Speaking from personal experience?” Ritchie asked, his words sharper than intended.

“And a bit too much of it” Mike said, clearly amused.

Tempelhof, Berlin

“To what do I owe the pleasure this time Didi?” Kiki asked as the boy was sitting in the nurse’s station.

“Momma and Poppa have been yelling at each other again” Dieter said, “And Sepp is working tonight.”

Dieter’s parents argued frequently, and his oldest brother had a job that consumed much of his spare time. The trouble was that Dieter was ignored and he tended to seek out Kiki when that happened. Over the last couple months, he had become extremely familiar with the operations of the Emergency Department.

“That doesn’t mean that you can just come in here” Kiki replied sharply. This wasn’t the first time that she had him this and figured that it wouldn’t be the last either.

“If you were busy, I wouldn’t have come in” Dieter said.

“That can change in a heartbeat” Kiki replied, “We get a call about a pile up, plane crash, industrial incident, or God only knows what else and this Department gets swamped.”

“Really?” Dieter asked, actually brightening at the prospect of such an occurrence.

“You will swiftly learn to dread having such an alert come in when you are working the NA” Kiki said to Dieter.

“You think that one day I will” Dieter said.

“Why not?” Kiki asked, “There are lots of ways to become a surgeon, I joined the Medical Service when I was sixteen and was in the FSR as a Field Medic before I switched career tracks. You could just go to University like most of my students have done though.”

“For real?” Dieter asked.

Kiki was aware that she had just inadvertently given him a key piece of information that would be extremely useful. While no one in his family understood his older brother Sepp’s desire to go to University, joining the Military was something that all of them understood. She just hoped that she hadn’t created a monster.
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Looks like Kiki has picked up a shadow in Dieter. If he keeps hanging around, Kiki will have to find a way to either divert his interest elsewhere or get him ready for a career in medicine. Now, as she's a smart lady, she might be able to kill two metaphorical birds with one stone by getting Nora Berg on the case?
Looks like Kiki has picked up a shadow in Dieter. If he keeps hanging around, Kiki will have to find a way to either divert his interest elsewhere or get him ready for a career in medicine. Now, as she's a smart lady, she might be able to kill two metaphorical birds with one stone by getting Nora Berg on the case?
Oh please no. Just get the boy thinking about things he'd actually find useful to study for a future career. It doesn't need to be medicine, Kiki is opening up far more paths than that.

An engaged child determined to do better than raised could provide many story possibilities.
With the earlier introduction of the birth control pill ITTL there are going to be major changes in American attitudes towards reproduction freedom.
The was earlier push back with the continuing enforcement of various State and Federal Comstock Laws that would have prevented the distribution of the Pill and even information about it, but the efforts of the late Dr. Tangeman with her pamphlets broke that dam.
With that in mind, Ritchie and Lucia like many members of the American Catholic Laity are going to ignore Church doctrine and do what they feel is best for themselves and their family.
I forsee that Dieter will have an upclose and personal experience with an ER situation when one or both of his parents are brought in from a domestic disturbance.
Either that, or to keep him busy, Kiki teaches him some first aid.

First aid he puts to use when middle brother does something stupid like blow his fingers off with a home made firework, or gets a major cut playing with a knife.
Part 133, Chapter 2283
Chapter Two Thousand Two Hundred Eighty-Three

4th March 1974


After spending much of the prior month in Bohemia, Ben was home. He had been invited to be a Guest Lecturer and Instructor at the Luftwaffe Training School outside Čáslav. A hazard of that he had swiftly learned was that Michael, the King of Bohemia as well as Ben’s brother-in-law felt that while Ben was a guest in Bohemia Michael needed to pull out all the stops to keep him entertained. The results were somewhat terrifying, and Ben was grateful that Michael’s wife Alberta was able to somewhat temper Michael’s worst impulses. Alberta, or Birdie as she preferred to be called, said that it was because Ben was a decorated Ace Pilot and clearly a man who liked action. Michael saw him as a peer and wanted to make him a Knight of the Bohemian Realm, as in swords, armor and everything that went with it. Fortunately, Ben’s time in Bohemia had nearly run out and he had been on his way home before he had gotten caught up in any of his brother-in-law’s crazy schemes.

Now that he was back home, Ben had discovered that he was completely at loose ends. The University didn’t need him to fill in for any of the Professors in his preferred subjects, even the 18th SKG had little use for him at the moment. It wasn’t all bad though because that gave him loads of time to spend in far better company to take a walk with, namely Nina, Rauchbier, and Weisse. Rauchbier was wearing his red coat due to it being a late winter’s day. Weisse, despite Rauchbier being his sire was of a far fuzzier sort of Whippet that had emerged from Swabia. Normally, Weisse was the pampered pet of Nella and Nan, Kiki’s far younger sisters, but they were at school and wouldn’t be home until later. Nina didn’t care about any of that, to her the two dogs were her “Windies” which Ben figured was how she said Windhund.

The cottage that Kiki’s father had built for her truly was home these days. Originally, it had been a sop meant to satisfy her wanting to have a simpler life than the one led by most of her family. In the years since it had become their shelter from a world that frequently felt like it was spinning out of control. Within the forest-like grounds that surrounded it, one could just watch the seasons pass. Small animals had found they’re into it. Rabbits, squirrels, all manner of birds, there had even been talk of a fox or two that had been spotted near the rubbish bins. Ben took all of this in as he walked through the trees at a pace that Nina could keep up with as she talked at him about what they were seeing.

“The trees, leaves soon?” Nina asked.

“Soon” Ben replied, “But the grass will grow and there will be blossoms.”

“Blossoms?” Nina asked intently.

“You know, flowers” Ben replied.

Nina smiled at that. She was far happier today than she had been a few days before when Kiki and Ben had taken her in for a medical checkup that had ended with her receiving a vaccination for Chickenpox. It was something that Doctor Takahashi had cooked up. When Ben had spoken with the visiting Virologist, he had assured Ben that it was perfectly safe, and it complimented a number of other vaccinations that Nina had already received. Afterwards, Kiki had pointed out to Ben that there was a reason why you didn’t see many children’s graves anymore and told him the somewhat shocking detail that until fairly recently, depending on Social Class, between a third to half of all children died before reaching adulthood. Kiki had also mentioned that she wanted Nina to be ready to interact with other children as soon as they could figure something out because the last thing that she wanted was for their daughter to have a lonely childhood like hers had been.

“Poppa?” Nina asked, looking quizzically at her feet.

“Yes” Ben replied, even as he said it Ben noticed that the ground was starting to shake and he was able to hear the thud of hoofbeats, lots and lots of hoofbeats.

Picking up Nina, Ben ordered Rauchbier and Weisse to his heel for all the good it did.

A half-dozen men on horseback came through the trees. Even with the black fur hats and black cloaks making them look like something out of a nightmare, Ben recognized their uniforms of being of the 2nd Life Hussar Regiment. When they took over guarding the Emperor it was a memorable spectacle. The 2nd Hussars might look like something from a different century, but the carbines and pistols they were armed with were perfectly modern. If that didn’t work, the sabers they were also armed with would make getting shot preferable.

Nina just stared at the men as they came to a stop. The young Leutnant who was leading them, gave Ben a crisp salute. To them he was an Oberstleutnant regardless of his reserve status. But because he was holding Nina, he could little about that.

“Sorry to bother you, Sir” The Leutnant said a bit apologetically, “We were ordered to patrol the perimeter.”

“Horsy” Nina said as she reached towards the horse that the Leutnant was riding. Luckily, it was a bay mare unlike the high-strung Chargers that many of the Officers of the 2nd Hussars preferred. So, the horse just sniffed at Nina’s fingers.

“Careful or she’ll start looking for sugar cubes on your person Princess” The Leutnant said with a smile before he turned the horse away to rejoin his men. They galloped off the hoofbeats growing faint in the distance.
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Considering Nina - Kindergarten is one of those words that made it into common parlance in the US at least as far as I understand it.

Not sure where in it's development it'd be TTL Germany - in the OTL early 70s something about 40% of kids attended a Kindergarten as far as I can find from a quick search.

On the other hand TTL lacks the Nazis use of them to indoctrinate kids and the expansion that went with them so the number might be lower.

However we seem to have a higher amount of working mothers TTL (or so I get the impression from the protagonists) so there might be more of a need?

Nina attending the new Betriebskindergarten (company kindergarten) at the hospital Kiki works at? All the way with Kiki struggling about people falling over themselves to help her because of her birth, maybe not even realizing at first how much it helps the more 'working class' personnel?

(Though I've lost track of Nina's age, so this might be a bit premature?)
IOTL when Caroline Kennedy was living in the White House a daycare/ preschool was set up in the White House so something similar can be arranged at the Palace for Nina to be around other children, also the suggestion from Othala is a very good one and from the looks of it Nina is going to have a more normal "Upper Middle Class" childhood then what Kiki had (of course the family does have plenty of money but they don't really live up to it).

BTW Rauchbeir is getting up there in years, so are there any plans to deal when the inevitable comes?
Because Nina is very attached to her "Windies" and will be very upset and confused when Rauchbeir is no longer around.
BTW Rauchbeir is getting up there in years, so are there any plans to deal when the inevitable comes?
Because Nina is very attached to her "Windies" and will be very upset and confused when Rauchbeir is no longer around.
Whippets are surprisingly long lived. I had mine for 14 years. However the last two years was spent mostly on the couch.
Speaking of dogs, is Aki the Akita that Emperor Hirohito gifted to Crown Prince Friedrich and Frost the offspring of Aki still around?
Part 133, Chapter 2284
Chapter Two Thousand Two Hundred Eighty-Four

22nd March 1974


“Your brother was there when the new South Wing of the of the Hospital was dedicated this afternoon” The Nurse said to Kiki, “I’m surprised that you weren’t there.”

Kiki knew all too well the reaction that her brother got among the female staff. They didn’t seem to care that he was married with three children, or perhaps it was because of it, but he was regarded in ways that she wasn’t exactly comfortable listening to. That was nothing compared to what happened when Louis Ferdinand Junior was mentioned though. He had come here to surprise Kiki a few times in his Naval uniform and nothing else got done in the Emergency Department for the rest of the day. Just getting a postcard in her Staff mailbox a few days earlier from Louis that had been posted in Havana was enough to drive gossip.

“Someone had to stay here in case of an emergency” Kiki replied.

There was also the matter a number of television cameras and photographers present. Kiki found that being a public figure as it were to be absolutely exhausting. This wasn’t helped by certain publications, especially those that were right leaning, implying that Kiki was a sharp-tongued misanthrope. The truth was that she had little time for the sort of nonsense that the Press reveled in and any Journalists who bothered her when she was working were swiftly removed from the building. So far, none of them had been stupid enough to come in as a patient, not after what had happened the last time. Nora Berg had told Kiki that if it ever did, she should make the most of the opportunity and that Doctor Schreier in Proctology had an excellent sense of humor. Kiki had a feeling that whatever the actual story was behind that little anecdote it was one she was happier not knowing.

“If you say so” The Nurse said, “But you must know about the Betriebskindergarten that is going in the New South Wing that will be open to the all the Staff’s children. You have a little girl, right? The Emperor mentioned that he had a niece who would probably be going there when it was complete, and it is a wonderful idea.”

Through long practice, Kiki kept the emotion from her face. Freddy had gone too far this time. He had to know that this solved several problems for her and her reluctance to have such an action taken in her name was well known. So, he had spoken in such a way that made it seem like she was somehow behind this. At the same time, she understood what his response would be. This was going to help a lot of people who worked in the hospital, Kiki just happened to be one of them. She was an adult who had to be aware of how the whole world didn’t revolve her. She imagined him saying that last part in the tone of voice that she had hated listening to since they were children, the one the let her know that she was being a fathead.

“Well, thank you” Kiki replied awkwardly.

What else was there to say?


“Is that a fact” Sepp said as he stood leaning on the counter at Benno’s. Dieter smiled and nodded his head.

Of all the things that his little brother could have wanted for his eighth birthday, an anatomy coloring book would have not been the first thing that Sepp would have imagined. Of course, he couldn’t have imagined Dieter in a bookstore either prior to a few months ago.

It had everything to do with that Doctor he had met. The one who had told him about how there was an open avenue to entering that profession if he wanted. It was nice of her to take the time to speak with Dieter, but at the same time Sepp knew that they had concerns in the here and now, not what they might be doing in ten years. Their mother already had a full plate, and their father was a useless lump who complained about how his trade was seasonal, it would pick up this spring when the weather warmed. Was that the truth or was it merely an excuse? Sepp was also aware that they were seeing less and less of Hagen as time wore on. He’d aways felt a responsibility to his younger brothers, having one of them running off getting involved in God only knew what was the exact opposite of that. Buying the coloring book for Dieter at least felt like he was doing something correctly.

“Yes” Dieter said looking at the pages that had not been colored in. “Most of our innards are pink and grey.”

“Did your Doctor friend tell you that?” Sepp asked.

“Not Kiki” Dieter replied, “Grumpy old Doctor Ott, who says he is counting down the days until he can retire.”

“If he is so grumpy then why is he talking to you?” Sepp asked.

“He said that he was wrong about Kiki and figures that he ought to give me a chance to mess up before he washes his hands of me” Dieter said.

Sepp almost laughed at that. His little brother had no clue about how the world really worked. Dieter was pestering professionals who saw him as a potential recruit if there was such a thing in the Medical field. So, they answered his questions in a good-natured manner.

“You want contrasting colors though” Sepp said looking at the colored pencil set that his brother had acquired from somewhere. “That way you can memorize which bits are which.”

Dieter looked delighted by that answer.