Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

Depends on the scale you're thinking of.

Kat is A list.
Marie is really only notable because of who her mother is. She's B list.
Those are the WORLDWIDE lists.
Margot is "who?". She's the biggest frog in a suburban garden pool.
Part 136, Chapter 2345
Chapter Two Thousand Three Hundred Forty-Five

23rd December 1974

Argelander Observatory

It was a special treat for the children who lived in the surrounding communities. They had all seen the Observatory on the mountaintop and many of them had also taken school trips to tour the facility. That had been during daylight hours though. What was happening tonight was completely different with it being a cold, clear night the Observatory was active, and they were watching from the visitor’s gallery. For Ben, this was continuing the work he had done for years in making these communities part of the project. Great pains had been taken to reduce the light pollution while the Observatory was operating. The were the hooded streetlights and closed blinds having become a habit which everyone knew about. Kiki had also seen the gallery in Sonthofen which sold prints of the images captured by the Wolf Telescope, the smaller fifty-centimeter telescope, or the brand-new infrared telescope which had just become active. There were a few space themed touristy places that she had not been interested in.

The observation gallery itself had been an idea of the first Director of Argelander Observatory when he had realized that it would often play host to various VIPs mostly in the form of University Presidents and members of Corporate Boards who saw the continued evolution and expansion of the Observatory as advancing the cutting edge of technology. Other frequent guests were King Albrecht of Bavaria and King Philipp of Württemberg. Though at the age of eighty and apparently in poor health, Philipp’s appearances had grown rarer in recent months. The two of them were considered key patrons of the Observatory along with Kiki’s brother Friedrich.

From the gallery, one could watch the movement of the Maximilian Wolf telescope. All the intricate parts in a graceful dance around the massive six-hundred-centimeter primary mirror that was its heart, the cunning machinery required to support its weight and prevent it from flexing and distorting the image. There were also teams of technicians and specialists busy at work putting one in mind of something more akin to a Space Program launch center.

Ben stood in the dim red light of the gallery explaining all of this in a way which kept the visiting children enraptured. Kiki knew that he had spent a great deal of time giving similar presentations at the Planetarium at the Archenhold Observatory when he had been a student at the Friedrich-Wilhelm University of Berlin. Nina was alternating between fidgeting and looking at the presentation when it held her interest for a few minutes. She had been far more fascinated by the ride on the cable tram up the mountain. They had been surrounded by swirling snow as it had been built to operate in most weather conditions. Everyone else had been hanging on for dear life. All Nina cared about was that she was going to where Poppa worked, and they were taking to most amazing ride up there. Kiki’s hope was that her daughter would always be so bold.

Montreal, Canada

“She’s still too young to appreciate the holiday” Marie Alexandra said, “In a few years she’ll be so excited that Father Christmas is coming that she won’t be able to contain herself.”

“Really?” Henriette asked, looking at Alice who was sleeping in her arms. Presently, in the manner of babies since the dawn of time she made gurgling noises whenever she saw a familiar face and that was about all she did. She also had started grabbing at anything within reach having discovered her hands. Which in Marie’s experience was perfectly normal. Her mother had told her about how when they were little, the members of the Royal Family back home had been fascinated by her hair when she had been young. Which happened to be the same vibrant red that Marie had inherited.

“It was the same way with Suga’s children” Marie replied, “You have this little baby, then before you know it they start talking, have opinions and are doing obnoxious things because they find that fun. Basically, they become children and it all goes downhill from there.”

“That sounds terrible” Henriette said to Alice, “Would you do that to me?”

“That is inevitable from I have seen, there are some benefits though” Marie said, “Mirai is a sweet girl as much as she tries to hide it. The fashion houses of Berlin, Rome, and Paris are not going to know what hit them when Alexandrine comes of age. Their little brother Eduard is like his father in that all he wants to be is a Footballer, er… I guess you call it Soccer here.”

There was a photograph that Suga treasured of Freddy when he had been eleven or twelve where he was completely covered in mud, bloody nose, and a big smile on his face after an afternoon spent on the Football pitch. Suga said that while Freddy had never been the most gifted athlete, he had given it his all and had been overjoyed just to be alloyed to take part. She figured that Eduard would be like that as he got older and had not objected when Freddy had given their son a black & white football for his birthday the prior June. Eduard had loved it so much that Suga had to remove it from his arms when he had fallen asleep that night.

“You think that is what it will be like with Alice?” Henriette asked.

“She’ll become who she is, if that makes any sense” Marie replied, “That will be part of the fun.”

Henriette liked that answer.

Helping her out was the least that Marie could do because the Lane house had become a place to escape from the pressures of her grandparent’s house. The last couple weeks there had been a number of invitations addressed to Marie inviting her to this or that New Year’s Eve celebration. She couldn’t help but notice that many of them were members of Montreal’s Society who just happened to have College-aged sons who they would be happy to introduce her to. Her grandmother’s personal dislike of Marie herself had given way to her need to keep up appearances. Much to Marie’s discomfort.
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I think what might be interesting if Margot has a problem and Marie fixes it, publicly and everyone goes on to tell how great it is to have a grandchild like her here to help her.
I think what might be interesting if Margot has a problem and Marie fixes it, publicly and everyone goes on to tell how great it is to have a grandchild like her here to help her.

That would absolutely kill Margot. Well, it would kill her pride, not her literally.
She may have to take a "spa break" to recover.
Ben is in his dream job right now, and with this tour of the Observatory to the young people of the area he has impressed upon them the need to keep the light pollution to the bare minimum which will help in the future when they become adults.
In my mind, Ben is the one who took the famous "Earthrise" photograph ITTL that was done by Apollo 8 IOTL which should be displayed alongside with a photograph of Mare Kristina that Ben named for Kiki when he went to space, that would give a personal connection between the Observatory and Ben.

With Marie, we got two callbacks from the first timeline with one stone.
In the first timeline, Kat was receiving a number of invites from prominent families with sons during the war before she met Doug, and now Marie is getting invites from prominent families in the Greater Montreal area for the same reasons.
And Margot still has problems dealing with a young woman who has her own status from her own accomplishments, while nowhere extensive as Kat, Marie has earned hers with being awarded a medal from the Order of Louisa for her actions in the kidnapping of Princess Kristina, and for her prodigious talents in languages at a very young age that would have brought her in to attention from powerful people no matter what.
Part 136, Chapter 2346
Chapter Two Thousand Three Hundred Forty-Six

31st December 1974

Montreal, Canada

It was late, far later than Sir Malcolm normally stayed up for anyway, as the final minutes of 1974 ticked down. Margot was surrounded by her friends, enjoying the compliments about “Her accomplished and wonderful granddaughter” as if she weren’t often left seething by something that Marie had said or done. Malcolm knew that though she kept a smile on her face and was gracious, this was the twisting of the knife in a self-inflicted wound. Though in recent days, Margot had brightened to the possibility Marie Alexandra might be married off at some point in the future and thus, giving her a face-saving way out of the situation.

As he walked across the crowded ballroom, Malcolm saw that Marie was frequently checking her watch as she was having a young man too oblivious to notice the bored expression on her face talking at her. She had told Malcolm earlier that the dark side of having everyone know that she spoke several languages was that she couldn’t pretend to not speak the one that the person who was boring her spoke. Considering that was Marie’s reaction towards most of the young men she had been introduced to tonight, Margot’s idea wasn’t going to play out nearly as easily as she might like.

Over the last several months, Malcolm had observed his granddaughter and how she went about her days. Most of Marie’s classes were in the morning, so she left before the sun came up most of the time. He was aware that most afternoons, Marie was at the house belonging to Bert and Patricia Lane minding their young granddaughter so that Henriette Lane could better manage things. When Malcolm had spoken to Bert, he had said that Marie had been a godsend and had been thankful for how she was helping Hennie get her life back on course.

While Margot was seemingly unaware of this, the rest of her circle of friends were not. To them Patricia was a mutual friend and they had gone with Margot’s dictates mostly out of fear of crossing her. Marie had little to fear from Margot because as everyone knew, she could leave whenever she wanted and her standing in her grandmother’s social circle meant nothing to her. Marie had given Patricia a way back in and Margot had to be gracious over how everyone was talking about Marie. Sir Malcolm had spent most of his life with Margot and could tell that this situation was one that she was not equipped to deal with. A dark part of him whispered that it was about time, but that was something that he would never say aloud.

“If I may have this dance?” Malcolm asked Marie interrupting the conversation. She had a very grateful look on her face as she took his hand as they stepped out onto the dancefloor.

“Thank you Opa” Marie said in German.

Since she had arrived in Canada, Marie had seldom spoke in her own language. Malcolm recognized it as having the regional accent of Berlin and that her speaking it meant that he was catching her in an unguarded moment.

“I saw that you needed saving” Malcolm replied in the same language. “How bad was it?”

“He was trying to impress me with his athletic prowess” Marie replied, “Playing Golf, I didn’t know why anyone would think that would impress me.”

The disgust was evident in her voice. While Golf did exist in Europe, it didn’t have nearly the importance placed on it that it did in the United States and Canada. When it came to being a member of an exclusive club where one could tell lies to their heart’s content and brag about their supposed wealth, the Germans seemed to prefer other avenues to country clubs.

“What would impress you?” Malcolm asked as they danced to the rhythm of the slow Waltz. It was something that he wondered about. There were times when Marie seemed like a complete innocent, others when she was worldly and accomplished. It was an area where Marie was a complete mystery to everyone. Doug had once confided in Malcolm that he sometimes thought that Marie’s affections may be of the Sapphic variety, Kat apparently disagreed though. She just thought that Marie preferred to remain in a quasi-childhood where no such determination would need to be made. Malcolm wasn’t certain if either were true, if the former were true though, it would probably be the end of Margot. The impression that Malcolm got out of that, was that no one had actually asked Marie directly, possibly because they were afraid of the answer.

“Why can’t they be like you, or Poppa?” Marie asked after a long pause. “Out there in the world doing real things as opposed to stupid games.”

“Many would disagree on a couple different scores” Malcolm replied, “I am retired, and your father is in the Arts.”

“You lived an amazing life Opa, and Poppa is a Photojournalist” Marie said, “He was right in the middle of the action during the Soviet War and later in Korea. There have been a thousand other places too.”

Marie’s opinion of her father was somewhat unexpected. Not because of what she had said, but the vehemence with which she said it. That was an interesting wrinkle and Malcolm found that he was looking forward to seeing how that would play out in the months ahead. Malcolm glanced at the clock and saw that it was going to be midnight in a few minutes.

“I need to go find your grandmother before the clock strikes twelve” Malcolm said, “I’ll keep an eye out for your adventurer in the meantime, you never know.”

Marie just smiled at that.
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Well, while we are throwing out ideas, here is a long long shot thrown out there as a curve ball. Sid Meier was born in the Ontario part of Canada in 1954 which puts him close enough to Marie's age that they could easily overlap in college studies. With the less amicable terms between the US and Canada as well as the various domestic issues that the US has had in this timeline, that could easily butterfly away Sid's family moving to Michigan shortly after he was born. His creativity in developing not just practical things like modern cash registers for retail stores but also computer games is something Marie could easily get interested in as she could throw herself and all her ideas into developing story plots for games as well as her diverse languages pushing for wider availability of early games as well. Could be quite interesting.
No, it will be some member of the RCMP who has spent time out in the Northwest territories or the Yukon for a while and is now back in Montreal working with Sir Malcolm's former unit and is thought Highly of by him. Bonus if he is a relative of Gia on her Fathers side and is a Metis on top of that.
Marie is someone who has LITERALLY walked with Emperors and Kings, Queens and other Royals, she has met some of the most powerful people in the world,
All the important men in her life are Men of Accomplishments, her father is one of the greatest combats photographers in history, his name is mentioned in the same sentence as Matthew Brady, her maternal grandfather is a war hero and had important jobs over the years for the Canadian government.
Her honorary "Opa" is the legendary Red Baron himself, then there is her Uncle Hans, Uncle Tilo, and Uncle Kurt who are some of the greatest war heroes that Germany has had, Uncle Albrecht was the first man in space and her friend Kiki's husband, Ben is an ace combat pilot and was the co-pilot on the first space mission to the Moon.
With all of that, no young man the same age as her can hold a candle to them in her eyes, much less someone who thinks playing golf at an exclusive country club is a great achievement in itself.
Marie is going to wait and see if anyone who gets her interest is worthy of it and only then she will move forward.
The Beretta M1934, a somewhat questionable piece of hardware that figures prominently in the next post.

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