Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

I can already see the Movies about her books^^ and i think the american author who wrote kats biography will soon travel to germany and write the latest version of her book XD
 
At this point IOTL it is 30 years since the end of WW II and those who were teenagers or a little bit younger are now writing books, plays and making films.
It would be very logical for a non-Nazi, victorious Germany to have the same thing going on and Anne Frank’s diary would be a big part of that and would inspire other works in that vein to be produced.
 
I just had one of those thoughts about Marie and her Grand Mere Margot in Canada, what if she decides she would rather shop at Canadian Tire instead of like Hudsons Bay for some things? Talk about getting to her on a simple way.
 
Part 138, Chapter 2370
Chapter Two Thousand Three Hundred Seventy



8th May 1975

Breslau, Silesia

Despite whatever title she currently had due to her father-in-law’s machinations Ilse was still the Head of the Environmental Sciences at the University of Breslau. Most recently that had involved Manfred the Elder on television and radio giving a heartfelt address about how serving Empire and Silesia had been his proudest accomplishments. Then he said what everyone had been expecting. He said that he was retiring to his estate where he looked forward to spending time with his grandchildren and probably great-grandchildren soon enough. His son Albrecht would be King of Silesia. Two of his grandsons, Manfred the Younger and Nikolaus of Breslau, as well as Dietrich Schultz had important roles to play in the future of the Kingdom. Those four were the people he trusted to build upon his legacy. He’d had his doubts about Nikolaus, but they had been swept aside when Nikolaus had been given a chance to stay home rather than complete his time in Argentina after the Commandant of the Wahlstatt Institute found out about the Oberst commanding the 3rd Hussars. Knowing this Nikolaus had still gotten on the plane that would take him back to Rio Gallegos.

Ilse had been furious that her son had made such a decision based solely on principle. Manfred the Elder had clearly seen things differently. Not that Ilse had long to stew about the foolhardy choices and reckless action that seemed to run in her husband’s family. She had to contend with suddenly finding herself the Queen of Silesia and all that went along with that. Then Anne Frank had done the unthinkable, she had published her diary and there front and center was Ilse’s story

Anne had pieced the whole thing together. Abandoned when she was just a few hours old on the Feast Day of Saint Elisabeth of Schönau on the front steps of a Church in Pankow, Berlin. That was why she had been stuck with the insulting name Elisabeth Tritten until she had discovered her paternity when she was fifteen. She had grown up in the system. First in an orphanage affiliated with the Church and later the State School. She had been such a wild feral creature that she had been spared becoming a victim of some of the obvious crimes committed by in positions of authority because she was considered more trouble than she was worth. Still, she had been surrounded by casual brutality and violence. That had persisted until her physical resemblance to Jehane Thomas-Romanova had been noticed by someone from the BND. She had also had her sister enter her life at that time through the discovery that they shared the same rare blood type.

Anne had written at length on the subject.

Of course, people had delighted in that story. The orphan, who was secretly a Princess, rising out of the gutter and becoming the Queen of a Kingdom and the mother of the future King. It was like something from a fairytale.

Ilse hated it.

None of these people understood how that life had left her with a weakened heart. That she had nearly died trying to bring Nikolaus into the world because of that. Did they understand her childhood? The things she had witnessed? What no child should have to see or do to survive? That was a very dark tale and there was no magic involved.

Looking at the lock on her office door, Ilse knew they were out there. There were questions. Always with the questions. She really did regret picking the top floor of the Department to locate her office in because that prevented her from sneaking out, but she had liked the view.



Montreal, Canada

It was Mother’s day in Canada, and in what Marie figured was a not-so-subtle dig at her grandmother the Lanes had thrown a party for Henriette. After all, Henriette was a mother and Margot Blackwood could go get stuffed for all they cared. Marie had also come and had been shocked by the number of people who had shown up

These were people who Henriette had gone to school with or had met at Dawson College recently. She had a far easier time making friends than Marie ever did. Marie had been living in Montreal since the prior August and it felt like she only knew the Lane family and her grandparents with Henriette being the only one her own age. When she had arrived in Montreal she had promised herself that it would be different, so far it was more or less the same as it had been at home.

There was a tub of ice full bottles of Molson and cans of soda pop. Marie didn’t really like the sort of sickly-sweet soda pop that was popular in Canada and how many times had her mother warned her to always keep a clear head? Especially in social situations. So, the Molson was out. She was looking at the cans trying to see if there was anything she would actually want that she didn’t notice that she was being approached.

“Hennie said that you are the one the one who’s been helping her” A young man around her age said with a smile as he held out his hand as if she were to shake it. “I’m Dave by the way, and old friend of Hennie and like many others here I’m all too familiar with your grandmother.”

Forgetting her search for a drink, Marie just stared at his outstretched hand. Marie found herself tongue tied the way she always was in these sorts of situations and couldn’t get a word out. Inwardly she was cursing herself for always reacting this way.

“She also said that you are extremely shy” Dave said, sounding disappointed.
 
I just had one of those thoughts about Marie and her Grand Mere Margot in Canada, what if she decides she would rather shop at Canadian Tire instead of like Hudsons Bay for some things? Talk about getting to her on a simple way.
Hudson's Bay Company and/or Eaton's (as they're still in operation in the 1970's, they went bankrupt in 1999 OTL,) wouldn't really have a lot of crossover with Canadian Tire. A more apt comparison would be if Marie chose to shop at Zellers rather than HBC.

Edit: My last point gets a tad ironic, since by 1978 OTL, Zellers was purchased by Hudson's Bay Company.
 
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The problem that Ilse is not seeing is that the bare-bones facts of her life is already known, it is that Anne has fleshed it out and has made it more relatable to people thus making Ilse a more heroic figure then she is comfortable with.
At this point, Ilse should also be a perennial mentioned for the Nobel Peace Prize for her environmental work and that along with her father in law recent shenanigans is also bringing attention that she doesn't want.
Ilse (and the rest of The Sisterhood) should talk to Nancy about dealing with all of this attention and how to deal with it.
They won't like the answer, which is to get out in front of it and let it die a natural death by having as much information out there early, as opposed to making reporters dig for it and stretching out the process for several more weeks or months.
 
Part 138, Chapter 2371
Chapter Two Thousand Three Hundred Seventy-One



10th May 1975

Lake Constance, near Lindau, Bavaria

The tabloid press had started hounding Kiki the instant she arrived home from the hospital with Louis Bernhard. When she had Nina, she had been living in her cottage on the family compound in Plänterwald. Regrettably, the house of the Director of Argelander Observatory wasn’t nearly as inaccessible. It was a fact which a less than scrupulous photographer had taken advantage of to get entirely too close to Kiki and her children. He had been dealt with in a rather harsh manner by the members of Kiki’s security detail and she had found herself pressed into service as a Doctor treating the wounds of a man who she would have beaten to a pulp herself just minutes earlier before he had been slammed to the ground and had his camera smashed to pieces underneath him.

It was after that when Kiki had moved herself and her small staff to the MS Epione which was anchored in Lake Constance a few hundred meters offshore and out of the main shipping lanes while the security of the house in Balderschwang was being upgraded. The movement of the Motor Barge had a calming effect on Louis, and he found the reflection of sunlight off the water on the ceilings endlessly fascinating. Benjamin drove his car down from Balderschwang every evening and while that wasn’t too far, it felt wrong to her that he should have to commute on account of her situation.

Fianna had been reading a book to Nina about a family living on a working narrowboat on the British canals in the Nineteenth Century when the narrowboats were still pulled by horses and trains were in the process of changing the economy on the canals forever. Kiki had told her daughter that the Epione didn’t have the space constraints of the tiny cabin in the after section of a narrowboat built to haul cargo, so there was no reason for her little brother to sleep in a kitchen drawer that had been pulled out and wedged open like how was depicted. The book was also in English, and Fianna had been in the process of teaching Nina that language. Kiki remembered that was how she had ended up speaking English with a vaguely Irish accent due to the influence of Fianna who had been a young nanny hired by Kiki’s parents, much to the amusement Kat’s friend Jack Kennedy.

There was a line of barges loaded with new cars directly from the factory was being towed across the lake towards the Locks at Paradies that were the entrance to the tunnel that would take them below the Rhine falls. It was the same route which the MS Epione had taken to get to Lake Constance a few days earlier. It was a reminder of why the vast project had been undertaken a couple decades earlier. The barges could navigate as far as the piers at Bregenz and Kressbronn am Bodensee with the accompanying rail junctions allowed inexpensive transport of raw materials and the export of finished and agricultural products. Upper Bavaria, Baden, Württemberg, Austria, and Switzerland had all benefited from this arrangement.

Kiki watched as the barges passed. A short time later a second set of barges, it wasn’t as clear what was loaded on these ones, just the big green painted steel “containers” which had recently become all the rage in the shipping industry. Her guest, General Mayer, sat across the table that had been set up on the foredeck of the Epione was not really interested in shipping. As a Luftwaffe Generaloberst and the Marshal of Baden, Egon Mayer had once been the Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe High Command. Like most of the men who had been in that position in the past, he had been most at home in the cockpit of a fighter plane and leading an Airwing. The politics as well as the give and take required to head a service branch had proven foreign and like most of his predecessors, he had not lasted long, jumping at the opportunity to command the combined defenses of the Kingdom he had been born in when it was offered.

Kiki had agreed to meet with General Mayer over security matters relevant to the Hohenzollern Province, which was small in both area and in population, seventy-eight thousand five hundred and fifty-six people in the last census. Kiki’s efforts had been credited with making it relatively prosperous, but she knew it would be foolish not to understand that had just as much to do with the industry in Baden and Württemberg. Which was why Kiki understood maintaining good relations with her neighbors was critical. The single Infantry Regiment that the Province maintained was also small in the greater scheme of things, but as Kiki had discovered, there was a reason why her ancestors had built the Hohenzollern Castle where it was and while the defenses of the castle itself was long obsolete, the strategic location was just as relevant now as it had been in the Middle Ages.

“You do understand that I am an Emergency Surgeon on Maternity Leave” Kiki said, as if General Mayer had not noticed Louis Bernhard sleeping in the bassinette next to Kiki’s chair as he tended to do after he had been fed.

“I understand” Mayer said, “And that makes you perfect.”

“That is a load of manure if I ever heard one” Kiki replied.

“In normal times I would agree with you” Mayer said, “But these are not exactly normal times. While invasion by the French, Swiss, or Italians is an unlikely occurrence these day and have been mostly relegated to the past, I have found that rain and fire are our principal adversaries these days. Someone who understands logistics and search & rescue, on top of being a Field Surgeon would have a great deal of credibility.”

“You forgot the part about maternity leave Kiki said, “I’m not supposed to be doing anything for at least the next eleven months.”

“The Grand Duke feels that being the mother of two small children might have prepared you for the upcoming meeting of the Principals involved” Mayer said, and Kiki wondered if he was pulling her leg. Then it occurred to her that the Principals he was referring to were included the Monarchs and Elected Officials of Württemberg, Baden, and Bavaria in negotiations over regional crisis planning. If anything, comparing them to poorly behaved children was an insult to poorly behaved children. “The Archduke is quite prepared to be extremely generous if you help with this” Mayer concluded.

“Just how generous?” Kiki asked in reply, and Mayer gulped. He obviously knew who he was dealing with.
 
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Is it not Grand Duke of Baden, is Austria involved in regional crisis planning. And would Kiki be considered a principal as well as she is also sovereign. What about their ministers?
 
You know i kinda love the fact that ITTL serving officers think nothing of calling royals badly behaved children to the face of other royals so long as their serving officers. Thats an odd bit of culture, probably left over from the soviet war, that just works. Plus its highly amusing, especially as Kikis only objection is that he's insulting badly behaved children by putting them on the level of royals.
 
The Difference between badly behaved children and especially minor Royals is that Badly behave children tend to grow out of that phase whilst minor Royals have spent a live time growing into it!!
 
You know i kinda love the fact that ITTL serving officers think nothing of calling royals badly behaved children to the face of other royals so long as their serving officers. Thats an odd bit of culture, probably left over from the soviet war, that just works. Plus its highly amusing, especially as Kikis only objection is that he's insulting badly behaved children by putting them on the level of royals.
This is an informal meeting, Kiki has a reputation for not gladly suffering fools, and Albrecht of Bavaria is an extremely well known quantity.
 
Is it not Grand Duke of Baden, is Austria involved in regional crisis planning. And would Kiki be considered a principal as well as she is also sovereign. What about their ministers?
OTL the 70s saw the start of greater political cooperation in the "Bodenseeregion". Considering what we do know of the politics of TTL, relations don't seem to be worse than OTL, so we could see something similar.

OTL the first meetings of what would become the Internationale Bodenseekonferenz happened in 1972, and then became a yearly even in 1979. Early aspects that were on the docket: Traffic (including safety and emission standards on the lake) and culture.

The conference these days includes OTL: Baden-Würtenberg, Bavaria, Vorarlberg, Liechtenstein, St Gallen, both Appenzell, Thurgau, Zürich and Schaffhausen. (A bit of an oddity, all things considered, because while Germany and Austria are in the EU these days, Switzerland and Liechtenstein aren't.) With it being navigable down the Rhine, maybe you'll also see Aargau and both Basel involved.

Though maybe, a similar political construct could be even older TTL - built around the treaties that created the locks at the Rhinefall.

So it's not impossible that an Archduke was involved - though more likely that should have been the Grand Duke.
 
Part 138, Chapter 2372
Chapter Two Thousand Three Hundred Seventy-Two



12th May 1975

Montreal, Canada

Mrs. Lane had insisted that Henriette go with Marie Alexandra and go do something that young people do. Which was strange in the context of where they ended up going. They were the two youngest members of the Lady’s Athletic Club with the average age being a few decades older than them. When the older members found out that Henriette had a little girl they had asked if they might be introduced. Marie had a feeling that if they ever brought Alice, she would swiftly have a whole lot of additional grandmothers. The thought of grandmothers brought to mind several difficult problems that Marie had been dealing with since the Sunday Edition of the Newspaper had been delivered the day before.

“My grandmother was being totally insufferable yesterday” Marie said as they floated in the warm water of the indoor pool. “More than usual anyway.”

“I don’t get it” Henriette replied, “She was constantly harping on you for having loose morals, now she’s upset that you didn’t throw yourself at some guy from a rich family?”

The day before, in the Sunday Edition of the paper, the gossip column in the society page had run with a story about how Marie had snubbed the heir of a radio and newspaper empire. That was not what had happened. Marie had also learned that Dave as he had introduced himself was a playboy and the more Marie learned the less he seemed like someone worth knowing.

Her grandmother saw things differently.

“She sees the potential for a high society wedding” Marie replied, “I saw an unsuitable rake who would love me to be another notch on his bedpost, nothing more.”

“I’ve always heard that David is a real charmer.”

“His family has money, lots and lots of money” Marie said, “That does most of the work for him.”

“And you have money of your own” Henriette said with a giggle. “It would have saved me a lot of trouble if I could see through the boys the way you can.”

It would have been nice if that were true, but Marie knew better.

“If only I were that astute” Marie said, “The truth is that meeting new people, especially men, fills me with anxiety and I cannot get a word out.”

Henriette just stared at her with a quizzical look on her face.

“I am also not a Princess, people only think that because my mother is the Prefect of Berlin, an appointed position which she has at the convenience of the Kaiser” Marie said, “Neither my older brother nor sister are not going to inherit that role, and I will most certainly not either. That is just a silly assumption that people make, and I have tried to correct this more than once. No one listens.”

Henriette found that incredibly amusing.

“Did ever occur to you that they want you to be a Princess because you are one of the few genuinely good people in the world?” Henriette asked.

“That is absurd” Marie replied, “I’ve met Princes and Princesses back home, if many of them weren’t royalty they would probably be running confidence schemes and not feel quite the need to hide their various drug addictions.”

“How come I never see anything about that in the magazines?” Henriette asked, “Every time I am in the supermarket I see German and English royals, there was also that Italian Prince who got himself killed a few months ago. Death by misadventure.”

“The actions of the Prince of Estonia or Lichtenstein wouldn’t sell too many magazines in Canada” Marie replied, “Most of the tabloids know what would happen if they got on my mother’s bad side, so they keep their distance most of the time.”

“Is your mother really that scary?”

“There have been rumors about what she did to the Soviets before and during the war. Feeding a man to a tiger or cutting off one of a man’s balls so that he would spill his guts to stop her from cutting off the other one. That was nonsense which never actually happened” Marie replied, “However she sat me down when I was old enough and told me every single thing she did in the war. The terrible things she doesn’t want her biographer or even my father to know about.”

“How bad?” Henriette asked.

“Like unofficial missions which when she was not supposed to be in the field or as she put it, treasonous street theater in the streets of Saint Petersburg which could get her thrown in prison for the rest of her life.”

“I wish my father were that open with me” Henriette said.

“He sells insurance” Marie replied, “I wouldn’t imagine that there is much excitement in that.”

“You believe that? Henriette asked, “What kind of Insurance Salesman is a close personal friend with Colonel Malcolm Blackwood, Retired, Member of the British Empire and Knight of the Order of the Thistle?”

“Maybe my grandfather wanted good rates for home and auto?” Marie asked in reply. Even as she said, she knew that Henriette was probably correct. A man like her grandfather had people whose job it was to take care of things like that for him. Which meant that Robert Lane was probably far more than he appeared.

“If you have trouble meeting new people why did you have no trouble talking to me when you first moved to Montreal?” Henriette asked.

“I knew you from before” Marie replied.

“We weren’t exactly friends if I recall correctly.”

“No one ever said that phobias were logical” Marie said, she hoped that Henriette would leave it at that.
 
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If Henriette's dad is just an insurance salesman, I have a beach resort up on Baffin Island that would be just perfect for you to buy a limited time offer for you to go in the winter that would be just like Miami Beach.
 
If Henriette's dad is just an insurance salesman, I have a beach resort up on Baffin Island that would be just perfect for you to buy a limited time offer for you to go in the winter that would be just like Miami Beach.
I hear the water skiing & kite surfing around Baffin Island is fantastic that time of year.

I'm also getting the impression that Henriette's dad is the type of insurance agent who's sale pitch includes phrases such as:
"Nice house/business/country you have here. Be a real shame if it caught fire, the cost to replace or rebuild would be... significant."
"Remember to get your brakes checked regularly. Failure to do so could void your policy."
"It's good to see you again. I bumped into your wife the other day, she'd just had her hair done, Roxanne is a brilliant stylist. And your kids! They've grown so fast! Do they still go to <insert school name here>?"
 
I am getting the feeling that sometime in the near future, Mr. Lane and Marie will be working together in some "Unofficial" capacity that will show that Marie is truly "The Tigress' Cub".
 
I'm also getting the impression that Henriette's dad is the type of insurance agent who's sale pitch includes phrases such as:
"Nice house/business/country you have here. Be a real shame if it caught fire, the cost to replace or rebuild would be... significant."
"Remember to get your brakes checked regularly. Failure to do so could void your policy."
"It's good to see you again. I bumped into your wife the other day, she'd just had her hair done, Roxanne is a brilliant stylist. And your kids! They've grown so fast! Do they still go to <insert school name here>?"
Not quite.

A there are a few big clues in that Sir Malcolm was an Officer in Canadian Army until he retired at the rank of Colonel in the 1930's. He went on to head the RCMP Special Branch which was established after the Tumbler Ridge massacre. IOTL a similar unit in the RCMP gained a bad reputation after several scandals over domestic spying resulted in the unit eventually being disbanded, in TTL those scandals were largely avoided. After he retired from the RCMP, Sir Malcolm took a job in the Ministry of Defense and having witnessed the deficiencies of the RCMP in that role and as a response to the German KSK and US Special Forces, knew something else needed to be done.
 
Not quite.

A there are a few big clues in that Sir Malcolm was an Officer in Canadian Army until he retired at the rank of Colonel in the 1930's. He went on to head the RCMP Special Branch which was established after the Tumbler Ridge massacre. IOTL a similar unit in the RCMP gained a bad reputation after several scandals over domestic spying resulted in the unit eventually being disbanded, in TTL those scandals were largely avoided. After he retired from the RCMP, Sir Malcolm took a job in the Ministry of Defense and having witnessed the deficiencies of the RCMP in that role and as a response to the German KSK and US Special Forces, knew something else needed to be done.

So this insurance company may be the Canadian version of "Universal Exports"?
 
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