Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

At this point in time the head of the House of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen and according to the current rules, next in line for the throne of Romania is Friedrich Wilhelm who dies IOTL in 2010, and while he probably thinks that he is not likely going to become the King of Romania his son, Karl Friedrich will if this rules still remain the the same.
They are the "Foreign Princes" I am referring to, but a foreign prince as the consort to Margareta, Princess of Romania especially if the prince in question is from the number one ruling house in Europe then it could become more acceptable to change the rules and let Margareta inherit the throne.
Part 134, Chapter 2303
Chapter Two Thousand Three Hundred Three

21st June 1974

Tzschocha, Silesia

Considering the date, Mathilda sitting in the chapel located inside the keep of the old castle might have been considered ironic by those who didn’t really know her. This was the oldest and most heavily protected part of the castle and the feeling of the sacred seemed to have seeped into the very stones themselves that made up the walls. Mathilda could feel the Earth herself here. Even the Christian iconography which decorated the chapel revealed one of the great tricks played by the people of this region in times past even if most had forgotten it. The figure of Jesus and his mother along with the Saints mirrored the old Gods of these lands the way they had been interpreted here. Places like Jerusalem in what Mathilda felt was laughably called the Holy Land had very little bearing on life on the ground Silesia, not a thousand years earlier when the castle was built any more than today. The students were a mixed bag when it came to religion and the school did their level best to accommodate everyone while pleasing no one.

Looking at her watch, which had been a birthday present from Opa von Richthofen, Mathilda saw that it was noon on the longest day of the year and officially the first day of summer. The watch was waterproof and had a stainless-steel case perfectly suited her. It, along with the other gifts she had received were of a practical nature from those who truly knew her. Mathilda had little use for pretty, delicate things which broke easily. Mostly the gifts had been in the form of clothes meant to be worn outdoors. Wulfstan had sent her a card with twenty-Mark banknote in it. In it, Wulf had said that now that she was a young woman, he had wanted to send her a pistol in case any boys came sniffing around. However, he couldn’t, because it was sort of illegal. So, he had sent her money instead. Mathilda wondered how her older brother would react if she had shown any interest in boys, she doubted that Wulf would find it nearly as funny.

“What are you doing in here?” Mathilda heard a voice ask.

Looking over her shoulder, Mathilda saw Anna Schultz looking at her and like always was looking to start a fight. Anna really had no idea just how predictable and boring she was. Oddly, none of her little friends, who were even worse than she was in that regard, were around.

“I was just admiring this painting” Mathilda said pointing to the framed print on the wall of Mary. Supposedly it came from Rome where it had been blessed by the Pope himself and the Vatican sold them by the thousands to tourists. It perfectly encapsulated the tawdry aspects of the religion that Mathilda had quietly mocked since she had left home. Clearly, Anna lacked the depth to understand that.

“That doesn’t seem like the sort of thing that you would be into” Anna said, “Perhaps all the warnings about burning for all eternity are finally taking.”

Anna’s version of religion was about as shallow as the rest of her. Seemed to believe that only the threat of eternal damnation kept her from conducting herself in a completely psychotic manner which was saying something. The odd contradiction of a deity who was supposedly all about love and forgiveness yet would condemn people to eternal suffering for the most minor of trespasses never entered the conversation. Of course, Mathilda understood that if that were her fate then Anna would be right there with her.

“No” Mathilda replied, “I just understand that the Mother has many names and exists everywhere.”

It was a theory that Mathilda’s own mother had explained to her. Certain figures existed across all cultures and throughout time. The Mother, the Stranger, the Summer King, and so forth. Few people in this time and place seemed interested in exploring the multitude of their aspects. Mathilda had seen this herself with her father’s embrace of the superficial out of his own arrogance and need for posturing. There had been times when she wondered why her mother put up with him and distance had only made her more aware of that. Why couldn’t her father have been someone like Opa von Richthofen? Who felt little need for that sort of thing.

“What?” Anna asked, “I don’t understand.”

“I doubt you ever will” Mathilda replied solemnly.

While Anna might not have understood the context, she understood instantly that she was being made fun of and reacted angerly. At the same time, she was alone here and like all bullies she abhorred a fair fight, so Mathilda easily stepped around her and ran for the door.


With it being the first official day of summer, Kiki was enjoying the rare sort of day with perfect weather and her not having to go into work to just spend a lazy afternoon. Watching Nina play with the latest puppies was always a joy and the whippet pups, all gangly oversized paws and mob her was inadvertent comedy. Though Kiki kept a close eye on her daughter, she seldom had to tell Nina to be gentle with them.

At the back of Kiki’s mind, there was the recent discussions she had had with those in her inner circle of friends and colleagues. Conversations which while distant today, were always within her thoughts. She was at a personal and professional crossroads and the consequences of her choices would be far reaching indeed.

It was the same sort of problem that she had always had. Just what did she want from her life? Ben had told her that he would support her whatever she did and had jokingly pointed out that once she made up her mind to do something then he had the choice of either doing that or else getting out of the way. Kiki had not found that remotely funny because she had hoped that he might have given her a suggestion or two.
Is this a 'take an administrative role, your title will make it more effective than anyone' or a 'stay a surgeon, be effective on a personal level, but know you could be having a much larger impact' kind of deal?
Kiki had not found that remotely funny because she had hoped that he might have given her a suggestion or two.
More likely she had not found it funny as she understood it to be true too. Get on board or get out of the way tend to be the two states of existence. In some people this will manifest as dictatorial lust for power, in Kiki's case it will manifest as saving the world.

Of all the people in the world, it's the latter that are the most dangerous.
The restlessness that Kiki is feeling is a result of her PTSD, as one of the effects of it is the sufferer will sometimes change jobs, move to different places, or engage in reckless activities.
Kiki in her pursuit of becoming a doctor saw that as the end of the race, has learned that it was never a race in the first place but a milestone in life that just keeps ongoing.
As we have seen with Kat, who has many different jobs and careers in her life, the only person to have changed jobs more than her is Homer Simpson, Kiki also wants to change things up her life but doesn't want to stop being a doctor.
One of the reasons that Kiki became an Emergency Doctor is that she thought she was going to see a bunch of various cases that are unique but has learned that humans are doing the same stupid things over and over again with the same predictable results and so that is what is bringing her down.
Kiki is fortunate enough that she has various safe spaces in her life like her cottage on the grounds of The Winter Palace, Hohenzollern Castle, the SMS Eponine, and most importantly Ben and Nina who loves her unconditionally.
So, what can Kiki do to get rid of her restlessness?
She can go to other places that needs doctors for a few months then return home, like do a stint on a clinic in the German pacific Islands, work disaster relief around the world with Doctors without Borders, do a tour on a naval ship, anything that Kiki will find challenging but not keep on doing until it becomes in her mind "tedious" and when it starts to do that, she can either go home or go somewhere else that needs her, and Ben will be with her every step of the way,
Part 134, Chapter 2304
Chapter Two Thousand Three Hundred Four

1st July 1974

Wahlstatt, Silesia

Looking through the front page of the Berliner Tageblatt with a green highlighter pen, Niko was searching for the right kind of story. This was entirely because of Bas’ brilliant idea for the ultimate prank and a chance to get revenge on that offensive American. Bas had said that it was a chance to restore balance to the Universe. The “In” as Bas put it was that his mother was from the Seattle area in Washington State. It was an obscure corner of the United States that had taken Niko a few minutes to find on a map. So, this American might just believe that Bas bought into the whole Yankee Doodle Dandy horseshit if he could sell it right. Never mind that Bas was still looking forward to mopping the floor with his head if he ever got the chance.

It was odd though. Niko had never seen Bas play the long game like this before much less come up with an elaborate plan. Bas had trouble coming up with the right sort of bait to hook the American with though. That was where Niko came in. He figured that the best place to look was the pages of the BT, International and Local News, the Opinion and Editorial pages. Bas had cheerfully read the Sports page and the Funnies before he had seen the time and had run off to practice. There was a major Intermural Track & Field event coming up and Bas said he wanted to do well, 1976 and Montreal was right around the corner. It had seemed bewildering to Niko that Bas was aiming to get to the Olympics. That was right up until it was suggested to Niko that he pick a field to concentrate on with Fencing, Shooting, and Equestrian events being said to play to his strengths. They wouldn’t just be representing their nation, but the Prussian Institute and all of its various campuses. When he had told Opa about that, Opa had said that he was incredibly proud of how Niko was turning out. Niko wondered if Opa would be nearly so proud of him if he knew that he was getting roped into the latest tomfoolery that Bas was up to again.

Reading a story about the upcoming State elections in Silesia, Brandenburg, and Berlin, Niko had an idea float to the surface about what would interest the American. It would also give Bas far more credibility than appearances should warrant. The only question would be if Oliver North would check into the veracity information before he ran with it, someone would have to be pretty stupid or arrogant not to realize that it was stuff that could be found in the newspaper. Then Bas’ little scheme would come unraveled and that would be the end of it.

Tempelhof, Berlin

Watching Nadine handing different colored crayons to Nina, trying to encourage her to take a more artistic approach when Nina just wanted to color outside the lines was amusing. That was until a girl who Kiki didn’t recognize rode a bicycle up the alley and Nina heard the effusive greeting of a dog across the way. Nina lost interest in the drawing and was at the window trying to get a better look at what was happening. Kiki knew that was Katherine’s house, she had lived there for a time after her mother died and figured that she should probably visit Kat when she was home. The trouble was that Kat’s role as the Prefect of Berlin kept her busy and elsewhere. Kiki could see that Kat’s car was gone, which almost always meant that so was she.

“Ben was the same way when he was little” Nadine said, “Always needing to see everything that was going on.”

“That is good, I guess” Kiki replied.

“Something bothering you?” Nadine asked.

Kiki almost told her mother-in-law that there was nothing but thought better than that. The distrust that Nadine had in Kiki had dissipated over time. Mostly because Kiki no longer hid what had been the secret which she had been keeping from her, just who exactly she was. Still though, the fact that Kiki was the mother of her grandchild had improved matters more over the last few years. Ben had asked her to not repeat the same mistakes, mostly because no matter what else happened Nadine would always be his mother.

“Work has gotten stale” Kiki replied, “I know that sounds strange considering where I work, but it’s true. There are a few possibilities that I am looking into though.”

“How will this affect Ben and Nina?” Nadine asked.

“It depends on what I do” Kiki said, “There is a chance I can continue the work I started in Patagonia, they would come with me if I did that.”

“You remember what happened the last time you went there?”

“There isn’t a war this time” Kiki replied, “And there is little chance that I would get pregnant right before leaving.”

Nadine gave her a look.

“I know that you don’t plan on things happening to you like that, but it always seems to” Nadine said, seeming to measure each word carefully. “There must be something closer to home that involves less risk?”

Yes, Kiki had, but she wasn’t about to tell Nadine that. It wasn’t risk that worried her, it was that her restlessness would only get worse with time.

“And since you brought up the subject of pregnancy, have you given any thought to giving Nina a little brother or sister?” Nadine asked and Kiki really wished that she would go back to not talking to her.
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Oh gods, Bas's Grandfather is cackling with laughter somewhere in the great here after. I dare say Opa Richthofen will also get a laugh or two out of this after Niko is first properly chastised.
Oh gods, Bas's Grandfather is cackling with laughter somewhere in the great here after. I dare say Opa Richthofen will also get a laugh or two out of this after Niko is first properly chastised.
But first Bas has to get away with his wheeze. You can only dine out on the joke if you pull off both the set up & the punchline.
I mean, barring a major change in his life due to butterflies, it's Oliver North.

If brains were gunpowder that man couldn't' blow his nose.
Not sure I can concur with that. Politics aside, he was an Annapolis graduate and, way back in 1984, he spoke to my class at American University. He struck me as intelligent. However, he was clearly a Gung ho anti communist.

I understand that in this story many Americans are addicted to stupid pills but we all aren't crayon eaters.
Niko should look to the Modern Pentathlon as his event because along with his strengths in Fencing, Shooting, and Equestrian events there is a 300-meter swim and a 4-Kilometer Cross-Country Run spread over five days at this point IOTL.
Bas is looking like a Decathlon athlete but 1976 is too soon for him be competitive but 1980 and 1984 could be his time.

Kiki definitely should talk to Kat about her restlessness and how to deal with it.
I understand that in this story many Americans are addicted to stupid pills but we all aren't crayon eaters.
Yeah the whole "lol the Americans are so stupid" bit is kinda getting stale. The Germans don't even take them seriously as "rivals" in their "cold war". It'd be nice to have the Americans get a win every now and then to keep the Germans on their toes.

Edit: Now that I think about it that would be a good subplot: The Americans actually do something smart for once, catching the Germans off guard and suddenly having to take them seriously.
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Not sure I can concur with that. Politics aside, he was an Annapolis graduate and, way back in 1984, he spoke to my class at American University. He struck me as intelligent. However, he was clearly a Gung ho anti communist.

I understand that in this story many Americans are addicted to stupid pills but we all aren't crayon eaters.
He was probably an intelligent man, but like most of us, Oliver North has a blind side that someone sufficiently cunning (even someone like Bas!) can exploit.
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Part 134, Chapter 2305
Chapter Two Thousand Three Hundred Five

9th July 1974

Mitte, Berlin

Walking into the CIA’s Berlin Station from the rest of the United States Embassy was a surreal experience. While every inch of the space was nearly constantly swept for bugs, they were taking no chances. While the Germans had realized that they needed world-class Intelligence Agencies after the First World War, the US had been much slower to catch on. North had been shocked to learn that the United States had disbanded the Cipher Bureau, also known as the Black Chamber, an agency that had been built as a direct result of experience gained during the same conflict. “Gentlemen don’t read each other’s mail” was what the then Secretary of State had said to rationalize the decision. It wasn’t until almost two decades later that the US Government had awoken to the problem in 1947 with the creation of the CIA, NSA, and the rest of the “Alphabet Soup” Agencies. By then the rot had set in though and whole agencies had been badly compromised. No one knew just how much damage had been done during that time, but strange events in the Thirties and Forties were getting a second look. Weapons systems that had mysteriously failed, people who had vanished from the face of the Earth, scarce resources redirected into fruitless blind alleys, and dozens of other such occurrences all painted a disturbing picture. Someone had been busy working against American interests that entire time. Like everyone else, North didn’t need too many guesses as to who it must have been. Just proving it without starting a war would be impossible, so everyone was being told to just drop the matter and continue their work towards catching up.

That presented a number of problems, mostly because North was not inclined to just forgive and forget. The Station Chief was having none of that though and had been leaning hard on everyone in the field to get results including North who was here in his capacity as a Liaison Officer within the Embassy. Everyone knew that wasn’t his job though. That was where the letter that had been posted to North came in. The Station Chief’s people had gotten to it first and it seemed to be the answer to their prayers. Some disgruntled, and possibly broke, functionary had sent them information with the promise of more, provided they paid up. However, North knew the maxims that Soldiers had lived by since the dawn of time. Right after Never Volunteer, the Recruiter lied, the Food always sucks, and Hurry up and Wait, was one hard truth, If Something felt too good to be True then it probably was. This new source certainly felt too good to be true.

“Sir, with all due respect until we can verify that this is real, this should be treated with caution” North said, “The last thing we need is for another black eye.”

“Tell that to Langley” The Station Chief replied, “Or the House Intelligence Committee. If they find out that we sat on actionable intelligence, then we will be lucky if they only burn us at the stake on the National Mall.”

“I agree Sir” North said, “But if this turns out to be another one of their tricks, I can’t imagine anyone in Washington being any happier with us.”

“Have you looked at the letter? It isn’t just news about the election, it contains insights and analysis by someone who is an insider” The Station Chief asked, “It is in regard to the elections coming up at the start of September. It dovetails neatly with what our other source had to say.”

That gave this a whole different spin. For the last few years, the CIA had run an asset inside the Court of the Kaiser himself. Only the Station Chief and the Handler knew the identity of the asset, even so, North understood that the Germans would not be forgiving if ever caught him. Especially if it were the woman who had been dubbed the Tigress who answered directly to the Kaiser or one of her people. There were rumors about that sort of thing, all ugly. It also related to the timing of the elections. Word was that the Social Democratic Party was worried about their hold on power. So, they were experimenting with holding an election right after most people in this country would have just returned from the long summer vacation and would feel good or at least indifferent about the political party in power. Washington DC’s interest was that if the SPD were no longer in power, a Government lead by the National Liberals would probably be more agreeable to the US Government.

“That might be so, Sir” North said, “But I don’t like the feeling of this.”

“You are basing your objections on that?” The Station Chief asked, “Can’t you see that all the months you have been putting yourself out there are finally paying off?”

For months, North had been getting sent to observe the German 2nd Army based outside of Berlin in Zossen-Wunsdorf. It also happened to be the same location as the secretive German High Command which the CIA had been trying to get a source inside for years. Only the British had ever successfully infiltrated that complex of buildings that housed the OKW and had managed to get away with a trove of material that had reshaped the history of the last few decades. Unfortunately, the Germans were aware of what they were guarding and had handed off North to Major Manfred von Mischner, a man whose boundless ego and condescending attitude had made that task pure Hell. Then there where the men directly under von Mischner’s command, who lived down to every base stereotype of the German Army and seemed to revel in it. North shuddered to think what someone like von Mischner did to keep control of an outfit like that.
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A thought springs to mind. Bas and Nikko have started a chain reaction within American intelligence, something the BII will not thank them for. But seeing as North is the first to raise doubts about this, if this gets to the right ears, he could well come out of this smelling of roses. Just by following his gut instinct.
So he's not a total idiot as he's portraying himself... but he also can't figure out that the German Liaisons are also acting like idiots.

It's like... idiot-ception, where both sides don't realise the other is acting and act increasingly stupid to get a reaction out of each other.

I'm horrified... and interested in where this goes.
I mean, the irony would be that the asset the CIA has in the Kaiser's court is Nancy also feeding them random bullshit to mess with their heads.
Nancy is too obvious and would be the first, second, and third person to be looked at.
Asia could be the long shot choice but there has to be a very good reason for it.
Given how Our Esteemed Author loves to use real historical people in unusual ways that is going to be my choice.
Asia could be the long shot choice but there has to be a very good reason for it.
I just try to remember if Asia was the one held by the American Security Aparatus and "mercifully" placed into the asylum... sorry for the sarcasm here.

If so, it is almost impossible Imo for her to be "it". And even if not, it was one of the "sisters" and as such a part of her family.