Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

Part 138, Chapter 2376
Chapter Two Thousand Three Hundred Seventy-Six

30th May 1975

Breslau, Silesia

The watch had been a gift from the Japanese Ambassador a few years earlier. At the time it had been technological marvel, maintaining accuracy approaching a degree which only been possible with scientific instruments. That was something that had swiftly changed as the technology had swiftly become commonplace. There had been the introduction similar watches manufactured by the hundreds of thousands, which had turned the traditional watch market upside down.

Tonight, that watch had allowed Helene to count down the minutes until the polls closed and the returns started coming in. Everyone had been expecting that the Social Democratic Party was going to take a drubbing and that was exactly what had happened. This was mostly because they had been in power for more than a decade and people tended to grow fatigued. A fact that had allowed the Center-Right National Liberals and their Zentrum allies to ride to an easy victory. The worrying part for Helene was that they were not expected to get an outright majority. That meant that a coalition with one or more of the lunatic fringe far-right parties was likely, the very people who you didn’t want to have a seat at the table.

Unfortunately for Helene and her Party, Democratic Ecology, had been part of the governing coalition. When Helene had spoken with Sophie Scholl earlier that day, Sophie had not been optimistic about what was going to happen. She had said that they needed to have a meeting of the Party Leadership so that they could come up with a strategy for the coming months. When the political party which felt that witch burnings were given short shrift historically insisted that become an issue or had one of their leaders drunkenly started ranting about Jews during a press conference, they had to be ready for it. It seemed that she held them in even less esteem than Helene did. Of course, Sophie had lived in Bavaria her whole life and had seen them up close far more than Helene ever had.

For Helene, it would mean that she was about to be relegated to the opposition, this time with less influence because of the insane ambitions of her father. She had owed her position as Minister of the Interior to the Governing coalition needing to give the leaders of her party important positions. Now, she was faced with the same suspicions that had always dogged her and that had become a huge issue within her own constituency in Breslau. How could a woman who quite literally holds the title of Princess represent the interests of the people she claimed to? That question had caused a great deal of debate with Helene getting challenged from both the left and right.

Knowing that there was nothing more to see, Helene turned off the television. Hans said that he was going to take her out later, though she didn’t feel like celebrating. He said that with their children having been married off and her having much less in the way of work the two of them were freer than they had been in decades.

Washington D.C.

As Frank Church hung up the phone the thought occurred to him that in the moment of the CIA’s greatest triumph that all wasn’t as if seemed. At the direction of the President, he had been briefed about the ongoing mission to infiltrate the highest levels of the German Government and he had been shocked at how reckless the entire operation was. For years he had been battling the culture that had developed within the CIA, he had heard it described as Nerds vs. Cowboys and this operation had largely been done by the Cowboys in the Berlin Station. The asset they had cultivated in the German Government was now going to be in the room itself where the decisions were being made as a direct result of today’s elections.

The part that bothered Church was the murky understanding of the man’s motives. Exactly why was he doing this? And now that he was going to be in a position of actual authority, what motivation would he have to continue playing ball? The Cowboy’s seemed to think that they could blackmail him into compliance if push came to shove. As soon as Church heard that he had the same sinking feeling that he had felt when he first learned that John Aleshire was a German asset. The Head of the Berlin Station had rationalized the operation by saying it was in revenge for what the Germans had done with Aleshire, but it would have required time travel for that to be true.

The former FBI Director was in a Federal Prison somewhere, locked away in a form of protective custody that was akin to being buried alive. The man who he had murdered, whose face had adorned the FBI’s 10 most wanted for decades had been strangely exonerated in death into an American hero with even institutions like the U.S. Navy having to rethink their opinion of him. If there was an afterlife, John Dillinger was probably laughing himself sick at the way which things had worked out.

Church had pointed all of that out to President Nixon, but he had also reluctantly told the President that they were too deep into the operation to just pull the plug. They would need to see it through and hope that it wouldn’t blow up in their faces the way that so many other operations had in the past. It wasn’t that the CIA was bad at what they did, it was that most of the other nations in the world had been playing the game for a lot longer than them and were simply better at it. With the German elections, the stakes had been raised even further.
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So, why exactly can't the greens coalition with the Centre-Right government, if only to prevent the fringe crazies from holding any sort of power?
Shadow cabinets as known from British politics aren't really a thing in Germany. There are parallels with what is commonly termed Regierungsmannschaft - but those are usually more a election thing of putting together a team of politician that would in case of an absolute majority then take up those posts, not a permanent institution.

What does exist in opposition parties are 'speakers'. Designated party members that are supposed to specialise in a certain topic. And if there are more than one opposition party, they'll likely all have their own speaker - unless it's a small enough party and not something they are interested in.

And there's another problem: Unless the National-liberals and the Zentrum are in a CDU/CSU-esque relationship - something OTL rooted deeply in post WW2 history - and more so unlikely if the two parties are still ideologically clearly rotted in their pre-WW1 ideas - a coalition might seem highly likely, but certainly not a done deal. Especially if a third partner is needed. See for example 2017 where there were several weeks of coalition negotiations between CDU, Green and FPD, before a CDU-SPD coalition was created.

So Sophie and Helena should be plotting what their demands are for joining the coalition, instead of wallowing in defeat - they might after all (if they have the seats) be able to demand a lot for support of the coalition.
So Sophie and Helena should be plotting what their demands are for joining the coalition, instead of wallowing in defeat - they might after all (if they have the seats) be able to demand a lot for support of the coalition.

Yeah, a few votes that help swing a majority tend to be able to demand things that far outweigh their actual size. Like 3-4 independents in a hung parliament can demand pretty much anything they want so one party can form a majority. At least in Australia where we have 2 majors and a bunch of minors.
Helene is still part of the leadership of the DEP and should also be a top spokesperson on policy, making the rounds of radio and television shows promoting the party agenda.

For the CIA mole, it is going to get harder to pass information without becoming more exposed as some of the information can only have come from him/her.
Before as part of the opposition, they were able to launder the information as from coming from various sources without being tagged as one those sources.

Albrekht von Richthofen needs to learn to have other people say no for him for the most part, and if he has to say no, make it seem that he is doing them a favor by saying no.
Kissinger is the mole, isn't he?
It is probably his aide who was shown to be very much a nationalistic, anti-Semitic, anti-Slavic bigot.
IOTL, Kissinger was the leading Kremlinologist in the United States, ITTL he is probably the leading "Americanologist" in Germany, advocating closer ties and cooperation in order to reduce tensions between the two countries, promoting a "detente".
I mean, it's not unlikely that the DEP could be prepared to go into Coalition if the opportunity presents itself, just that wasn't mentioned because we are only seeing Helene's PoV.

Helene has had a habit of going into dark holes like Kat does, just to a much lesser degree, when things don't go perfectly her way. She's been doing that since at least the Soviet war and when she was told she couldn't be a pilot.
part 138, Chapter 2377
Chapter Two Thousand Three Hundred Seventy-Seven

31st May 1975

Rural Silesia

After spending the night before listening to her mother complain about the turn that politics had taken and the difficult reelection that she had narrowly won, Ina needed to do something where she wouldn’t need to think of any of that. Dealing with goats might not have been pleasurable, but it was a distraction.

“I saw the announcement in the paper Ina but wouldn’t have known it was you without the photograph” The Farmer said as Ina was fighting to get the medication down the goat’s throat. The newspapers had run articles and photographs of her wedding, just they had identified her by her proper name; Katherine Lagertha von Mischner. No one had ever called her Katherine. She had always been Ina if for no other reason than to avoid confusion with her far more formidable Aunt. That was something which had been remarked on at every farm she had visited since she had gotten back from Greece.

The goat was understandably resistant to having a tube down its throat and was putting up a fight as Ina injected the fluid that was for the treatment of intestinal worms into its stomach. The Farmer didn’t find this in the least bit remarkable as he had carried on the conversation. He spent his life around goats, so their behavior was not in the least bit surprising to him. Ina figured that once she was done with this, if she turned her back the goat would try to eat the dosing syringe and the plastic tube.

“That is my full name” Ina replied as she withdrew the tube.

“I get that” The Farmer said, “It was a bit of a surprise, that’s all.”

Once released, the goat gave Ina the evil eye before going back to join the others in the enclosure where they lived. The Farmer found that to be funny. That set up the next question which Ina always got.

“How’s your Grandfather?” The Farmer asked.

“He’s well” Ina replied, “Since he announced his retirement he has hardly left his study, so everyone is a bit worried about him. I think that him taking a walk would do him a world of good.”

“Age catches up with us all” The Farmer said. He was typical of the older Farmers who Ina encountered on a regular basis. Making a living from the land which they had been born on. He looked to be the same age as Ina’s father, which probably meant that the only time he had left this place had involved carrying a rifle and fighting the Russians. Most of them leased much of the land they owned for the cultivation of cereal crops and maintained sidelines to pad their bottom line. In the case of this Farmer, he raised dairy goats and sold the milk to cheesemakers in Oppeln. “This Admiral, not sure what to make of him yet” The Farmer concluded. The people of landlocked Silesia had suddenly found themselves with a Naval Officer as their King and were unsure what to make of it.

“My Uncle is still trying to get his feet under him” Ina said, “No one was expecting my Grandfather retire, they thought he would stay on until the end.”

“I see” The Farmer said, and Ina knew that what she had just said would probably get repeated dozens of times in the form of gossip. It was that same gossip that probably fueled the next question. “Heard you came back early from Greece?”

“That was of no fault of ours” Ina replied, “Greece was wonderful, until it wasn’t.”

Greece had been exactly that, wonderful. The islands where Ina and Christian had gone had been beautiful with the sapphire sea and whitewashed towns. Every day had been an exploration into something new and fascinating. Then they had woken up to fighter planes streaking past right over their heads and a large Flotilla of ships from the Hellenic Navy passing east as the Greeks and Turks were at war again. Christian had recognized what was happening instantly and had been on the phone arranging for them to go home. Ina had been slower on the uptake and had been reluctant to abandon their honeymoon.

“Sorry to hear that” The Farmer said.

“Christian said that he going to make it up to me” Ina said as she walked to the VW Bergwind that she drove and started loading her equipment into the steel box bolted to bed of the compact car-lorry hybrid. The Bergwind was looking rather sad with the chipped and faded paint as well as the growing problem of the bottom rusting out. She loved it though because the purchase of it at an estate sale had been the first major adult decision that she had made when she had been starting out.

Her father had used her wedding as an excuse to go ahead and buy a VW Iltis that was equipped for someone like Ina as a gift for her. That was especially true now that she was only months away from getting her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine as opposed to having been a Veterinary Technician. While that wouldn’t change what she did too much, people would see her very differently. As much as she hated the idea, Ina was going to need the Iltis and would have to figure out what to do with the Bergwind. It felt like losing an old friend.

“Is he now?” The Farmer asked, “How is your husband adjusting to the country?”

He clearly found that amusing. Christian was from Brandenburg an der Havel and had joined the Army to escape the prospect of the drudgery of the auto assembly line where the rest of his family worked. Now Christian had taken a post as a Lieutenant in the 3rd Landwehr Division, which was based in Kleinberg, Silesia. There had been a bit of culture shock involved and word had gotten around.
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Part 138, Chapter 2378
Chapter Two Thousand Three Hundred Seventy-Eight

13th June 1975

Balderschwang, Bavaria

Today might have been considered unlucky, but for Kiki, she finally felt like things were going back to normal. A few weeks earlier she had moved back to Balderschwang after great efforts had gone into improving the security of the house of the Director of Argelander Observatory. Despite this, Kiki knew that she would need to be preparing for her sister’s wedding in just a week in Galicia-Ruthenia. After that she was going to travel to Hohenzollern Castle to prepare it to play host to a new group of children from the city. It was considered a charitable activity because most of them were from various disadvantaged backgrounds. Then she would be back in Bavaria for the autumn.

There had been a bit of a surprise when Kiki had been sent a notification asking if Nina would be attending school in Sonthofen. She was used to thinking of her daughter as being a small child but when she got that notification she realized that Nina was not that small anymore. Nina was excited after they told her that she would be going to school, something that Kiki figured would probably change in a hurry when she figured out that it would mean getting up early most days.

Knowing all of that, Kiki figured the best thing she could do was as little as possible in the meantime. Fianna had understood this and had made a point of telling Kiki that she had the afternoon off. Louis and Nina had been taken to a different part of the house after Kiki had seen to Louis’ needs.

Sitting in the shade on the back patio of the house, Kiki looked down at the new fence at the edge of the property. The landscapers had done a good job in making hard to see and felt a bit of guilt that her presence had made it necessary. The rest of the valley was beautiful though. The green grass, trees on the mountainsides lit by bright sunlight on a partly sunny day. The mountains here were not quite high enough for there to be snow on the peaks year-round. It being June there were still patches of vivid white here and there though.

The ski resort had closed for the season and most of the activity surrounding the Observatory occurred after dark. So, it was pleasantly quiet with the main sounds being birds and the wind. Occasionally, Kiki heard the sound of Nina’s voice as she was talking at Fianna as she tended to do.

Ben had said that he would be back this evening. He had been invited to something hush-hush related to his role as a Luftwaffe Reservist and involving King Albrecht of Bavaria. Why was it that anything to do with Albrecht, no matter how serious it was, sounded like a silly game?

Kempten, Bavaria

Entering the Kempten Imperial Laboratories was like stepping onto a different planet. It was pleasant late spring afternoon and then they had rounded a turn in the road and encountered a gate in a double fence with topped with concertina wire. Next to the road was a sign that read; WARNING, RESTRICTED AREA, Use of deadly force authorized.

Which struck Ben as a bit ominous even without the presence of a large number of Paras in full field kit. Ben had encountered members of the Fallschirmjäger in the past, mostly guarding the airfields he had flown out of. This felt totally different though. Something about the set of their shoulders and the expressions on their faces suggested that the words on the sign were not a bluff. When Ben had been named the Graf of Oberallgäu he had been expressly told that his authority did not extend to this place, and it had been strongly suggested that he not pursue the matter.

Yet here he was.

This had not been his idea. He had been invited by Albrecht of Bavaria as a Scientific Advisor and the King of Bavaria had basically ordered Ben to wear his uniform. The medals he was wearing, especially the PLM and ESA Polaris Medal would make the Laboratory Director and the Commanding General take him seriously. He had pointed out to Albrecht that he was an Astronomer as opposed to a Nuclear Physicist.

While there was a great deal of crossover, everyone in the Kempten Labs would know that he was not of their specialty. Albrecht had said it didn’t matter because he knew how to speak their language and Ben would be standing next to the King of Bavaria, someone who Emperor Friedrich wanted to keep happy about having this installation in his Kingdom. That included an annual tour to see what exactly was going on there.

Ben had warned him that he was probably getting snowed and kept away from the real research that was going on and Albrecht said that was exactly why he needed him along, there might even be another medal in it for him.

When Albrecht had said that it was a reminder of the reason why Kiki had a dim view of medals and Orders. She had clearly been influenced by Kat von Mischner in that regard, but after all she had been through Kiki had a slightly more nuanced perspective. She said that Kat had told her that medals never reflected the seas of blood they represented. While Kiki didn’t disagree with that, she felt that they were just bits of tin until the reputation of the recipient was factored in. King Albrecht was a prime example, he had served in the Bavarian Army, but during the Spanish War the Platoon he led as a Leutnant didn’t make it to Spain before the war ended. Apparently, someone in the High Command had him posted him to the Staff of Generalfeldmarschall von Wolvogle during the Second World War in an unexpected attack of good sense. His view of medals reflected that experience.

“Your Highness” The Fallschirmjäger General said to Albrecht as he stepped out of the car followed by Ben. Out of long habit, Ben snapped to attention in the presence of a General.

“My Science Advisor, Oberst Doctor von Hirsch” Albrecht said.

To Ben’s surprise, the General shook his hand. “An honor to meet you, Oberst” he said before turning on his heel and striding towards the entrance to the largely underground complex.

“See, I told you it was a good idea” Albrecht said, and Ben figured that holding his tongue would probably be wise.
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The general is pissed at Albrecht for bringing Ben. He knows it, Ben knows it, the guards know it, even the cleaning crew knows it. Albrecht of Bavaria definitely knows it.
Immenstadt Primary School, first day Nina starts school

"Miss, Miss, who are all the new teaching assistants we have now"?
"Well Suzi, that is Hans Schmidt who is definitely not a Spezialeinstaztkommando officer from the Bavarian Police, and over there is Hans Schmidt who is also definitely not an SEK officer either. In the kitchen is Hans Schmidt who is also, by a remarkable coincidence also not an SEK officer. We need pay no attention to the new gardener and his assistants, Hans Schmidt, Hans Schmidt and Hans Schmidt, none of whom are SEK officers who routinely carry MP5K machine pistols or PSG-1 rifles around the school grounds at all. Does that answer your question"?
"Yes Miss"
[Kids go about their day as if nothing is wrong, teachers work as if they are on the edge of terror, constantly eyeing the officers]
Immenstadt Primary School, first day Nina starts school

"Miss, Miss, who are all the new teaching assistants we have now"?
"Well Suzi, that is Hans Schmidt who is definitely not a Spezialeinstaztkommando officer from the Bavarian Police, and over there is Hans Schmidt who is also definitely not an SEK officer either. In the kitchen is Hans Schmidt who is also, by a remarkable coincidence also not an SEK officer. We need pay no attention to the new gardener and his assistants, Hans Schmidt, Hans Schmidt and Hans Schmidt, none of whom are SEK officers who routinely carry MP5K machine pistols or PSG-1 rifles around the school grounds at all. Does that answer your question"?
"Yes Miss"
[Kids go about their day as if nothing is wrong, teachers work as if they are on the edge of terror, constantly eyeing the officers]
In the 1970's or early 1980's, Britain's richest man, the Duke of Westminster, sent his daughter to his local State Primary School, as he wanted her to interact from an early age with people of different backgrounds. It is believed he paid a lot of money for discrete security at the school.
Would love to see a scene where Kiki explains to Nina about how she should not try to ditch her security detail and the reaction by her own security detail to that.