Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

By now I am starting to wish there was a wiki for this timeline. Who was leon again exactly?
Younger wannabe revolutionary who was part of the team stalking Kiki when she was on her great depression fuelled barge trip.

I tend to remember that scene due to the name of the older revolutionary in that scene.
Leon was just a Neo-Jacobin foot soldier, the only time he was mentioned before was the night of the incident where Kiki was shooting at a group of them from the pilot house of the ML Meta.
Wasn´t that where we met Andreas Baader, incidently the one who did the 11 Messidor attack ITTL?
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When last seen, Andreas Baader was working at a Manhattan bodega, he is in the United States illegally and using a false name and identity.
The question is how long is it going to take for the BII and Sven Werth to track him down, and more importantly what to do when they do track him down to NYC?
The most logical answer is of course is to ask for cooperation from the FBI, the NYC Police and the Manhattan D.A. but there is that little matter of the previous Director of the FBI which kinda soured the relationship between Germany and the US.
President Nixon may take this as an opportunity to extract some favors from Germany and get some Brownie points ahead of the 1976 Presidential election.
I'm wondering if Baader is going to see the Montreal Games as an opportunity.
Very possible.
An opportunity to draw him over the border into a friendlier country too.
It doesn't mean the Germans can act with impunity, but they will get a friendly hand from the RCMP.
Once again the Author has set up a situation that has very many logical possibilities that still can be surprising.

Salamander's suggestion of having Andreas Baader showing up in Montreal during the Olympics is very logical as there will be many Crown Heads of State will be there, and will be a very tempting target for him.
Sir Malcolm, while retired is sure to be a consultant dealing with the various international law enforcement and intelligence agencies that will be in Montreal for the Olympics.
One more opportunity for Marie to meet a fine strapping Canadian lad of Metis extraction, who is related to St. Gia herself on her Fathers side ,and serving with the RCMP in the west keeping an eye on the families former property that her Mother and Father died at protecting his Cousin,at the Olympics because they needed extra people to provide security.
One more opportunity for Marie to meet a fine strapping Canadian lad of Metis extraction, who is related to St. Gia herself on her Fathers side ,and serving with the RCMP in the west keeping an eye on the families former property that her Mother and Father died at protecting his Cousin, at the Olympics because they needed extra people to provide security.
Marie getting involved with someone Métis would cause Margot to go ballistic and even put her at odds with Sir Malcolm. That isn't a big deal in Europe or Russia, mostly because they don't know what Métis means or about Gia's connection, in Montreal it is a different story.
Part 141, Chapter 2436
Chapter Two Thousand Four Hundred Thirty-Six

13th February 1976

Mitte, Berlin

“For once they cast someone who sort of looks like your father to play him” Maria said to Zella’s almost total disbelief.

“The American couldn’t get the accent right” Zella replied as they walked from the theater to the restaurant where they were going to have tea. “And I don’t see how you think that he looks like Poppa.”

Not for the first time Zella was aggravated by how it had become difficult for her to walk even the hundred odd meters between the two buildings without feeling waddling duck. Then there was the grating deference that people had for her in this state. She got more of that as the waiter seated them and repeatedly asked Zella if she had everything she needed. She had once read that many pregnant women said that they wanted their body back after having this thing growing in it for most of a year. Zella understood exactly where they were coming from.

“You don’t always have to be so contrary Marcella” Maria said, “If you saw what your looked like when I first met him just before the Spanish War, you would understand.”

The movie had been the first part of a two-part biopic about Augustus Lang, and it had been the Babelsburg-Hollywood collaboration needed to produce such an epic. Unlike previous films, this one had not overlooked the involvement of Zella’s father. To give the film a wider appeal to an international audience, the studio had cast Robert Redford as Emil Holz opposite Horst Buchholz as Augustus Lang. Zella thought that it was a stupid move by Casting.

Horst Buchholz fit the role of Lang perfectly, had the mannerisms and Lang’s style of speaking down perfectly. Only to interact with a man who sounded like a cowboy. Zella would be hard pressed to name anything more annoying.

Zella sat watching as her mother ordered food and drink, feeling completely useless. Since she had left her job after the interview with Friedrich that feeling had been growing. That should have been a career defining moment, instead of building upon that Zella was stuck facing months of inactivity. This wasn’t helped by what she saw as her colleagues in the ARD News Division slobbering all over Heinz Kissinger and his selected toadies in her absence. There had been noises from above about how threats to the funding of the network meant that caution was needed. What Zella had been seeing was not caution, it was obsequiousness and that should have been embarrassing. Of course, Kay Essert was going to be the worst offender. Zella knew that he wasn’t happy unless he had his nose crammed up the backside of anyone he thought was in a position of authority.

“You only have one concern right now” Maria said, “The little boy or girl who is coming in a couple months. Have you found out what it is yet?”

“I didn’t ask, and they didn’t tell me beyond that it looks healthy” Zella replied, “What makes you think that I was concerned with anything different?”

“I know you” Maria said, “You get that determined look on your face and then nothing stops you from doing something crazy, criminal, stupid, or usually a mixture of all those things. You might find it more or less physically impossible to carry out whatever you are thinking about this time.”

“I was thinking about how ARD is busy making fools of themselves without me” Zella said.

Maria seemed amused by her saying that. “And they just happen to be those who were gleeful to see you leave?” She asked, which Zella found embarrassing. She didn’t like how easily she was being read here. Too late, it occurred to Zella that her silence in reply to that question was an answer.

“I know far more about your situation than you realize” Maria said, “When you were a baby your father was called away to fight in the Soviet War and I was on my own in Australia for three years. Then I thought that it would be a good idea to travel with your father to the Russian Far East where Allied Forces were massing for the invasion of Manchuria and Korea. That was how your younger brother was conceived in a shitty hotel in Vladivostok, and I found myself all alone again except with two small children.”

Zella might have said that it wasn’t the same but knew that it would just start a pointless argument. Her mother had basically been forced to fend for herself during those years. There were no circumstances forcing Zella to do anything.

“I remember” Zella said, which was neutral enough.

“Not that it was all bad” Maria said, “You’ve said you remember living on the beach in Sydney, it was the two of us against the world.”

“And it doesn’t have to be that way for me?” Zella replied, with far more sarcasm than she intended.

“I don’t understand your constant need to make things so difficult” Maria said, “And the one time I actually hoped that you would stick to your guns, you didn’t.”

That was a shocking admission by her mother and Zella wasn’t sure how to respond. She had always thought that her mother had wanted her to conform to a more conventional lifestyle since she was a teenager. Fortunately, they were saved from further conversation by the timely arrival of the food that had been ordered.
Zella sees herself being in a crisis in her personal life, I see her having a whole new world of opportunities opening up for her.
She could with her rolodex of contacts, her abilities from going from on-the -spot reporting to hard hitting investigation stories to one-on-one interviews to the softer stories, can go freelance and get the freedom to do the stories she wants without the interference she is getting the network.
Her mother Maria can help out part time to get things started and Zella already has Yuri as her cameraman.
A good first start would be about John Dillenger in Germany and his role with the V-8 Club and the influence that it had in music, that would be a big seller to an American television syndication network.
Meanwhile in Atlanta, IOTL Ted Turner is making plans for a 24-hour news network cable television and Zella would give it instant creditability as the Chief European correspondent.
Zella could also spend this summer in Montréal for the Olympics and hire a family friend, Marie Blackwood to help her get around town.
My thoughts during this conversation went in a different direction - OTL during the 80s the first German private broadcasters appeared. No longer was TV broadcast a state monopoly.

Of course, ARD and ZDF see themselves in the role of the serious, reliable reporters on all things politics, while the private stations are more and more cast in the role of the (right wing) populists. Though I've got to admit, I haven't had a TV in nearly a decade, so some of this is very much second hand impressions.

As mentioned so often: This Germany is very different than OTL. The conflict (after quick checking wiki) that allowed for the creation of the first private broadcasters OTL can't happen the same. The Saarland was part of Germany in the 50s, not under consideration for integration into France. Other drivers of course exist TTL. The technology is there and cheap enough, commercial interests for TV adverts certainly exist too, a right wing shift in politics and media might bring out various reactions (and with it funding and a potential audience)...
And with the syndication that P-M regularly alluded to - that I took as syndication into other parts of the Empire, less so in Germany proper - Poland, Baltics, Bohemia, the Far East Islands - there might be conflict point that lead to similar results. Even if the courts would be in defiance to political will in that decision. (And I wouldn't be surprised if that involved that odd new kingdom that tries to become a centre of science and arts...)

So the idea that started up in my mind is Zella being part of a nascent private TV enterprise - giving it a lot of credibility on her name alone. Doing a lot to break up state monopolies.

Of course that this might come with a side line of music television in contrast to her hard hitting investigative journalism just makes the idea more amusing.

On the other hand she'll be a mother too, so who knows how much time she'll even have.
Part 141, Chapter 2437
Chapter Two Thousand Four Hundred Thirty-Seven

25th February 1976

Tempelhof, Berlin

The letter from Richard Nixon was an annoyance. It was a formal request to visit her when he would be in Germany in a few months. The members of her Staff who took care of public relations had told her that this was an excellent opportunity to advance the interests of Berlin on the world stage. Kat had seen this movie before though. The next thing that would happen would be that the Governing Mayor of Berlin would want to meet to coordinate their message. Before she knew it, she would have the entire Landtag and half of the Red Hall outside her door. It was all she could do not to return Nixon’s letter to the sender with the words GET FUCKED! Written on it.

For Kat it was just another day spent entirely in her house, something she had been doing a lot lately. She had originally intended for her house to be a shelter from the world. Increasingly it felt like more like a prison. Between the threat of getting recognized everywhere she went Kat was discovering that her health problems were further limiting her mobility. She remembered running everywhere she went when she had been young and wondered what had happened. With the pain in one of her knees whenever it rained or her back seizing up at the worst possible moments, even walking any distance posed a problem. Her mind kept going back to the conversation she’d had with Peter Holz a few years earlier about how there was nothing particularly wrong with her, she was just showing her age after what had been a rough life. That was something which Kat found totally unacceptable. The alternative was worse though because Kat had to at least be alive to experience the problems that came with age.

Pushing her personal problems aside, Kat looked at the file which Sven Werth had dropped off earlier that day. It included a transcript of the interview of a former member of the Jacobin Club named Leon Pohl who had stated on the record that the perpetrator of the 11 Messidor Attack had been Andreas Baader.

Kat was well aware how that attack had changed the City of Berlin, how people felt about it. Like if there were a sharp dividing line between before and after. Having a suspect and hopefully justice at the end of the process would be good for everyone. Sven mentioned that they were trying to find evidence tying this Baader to the attack itself, but that was slow going. Ten years was an eternity with an investigation that had gone cold.

Sven didn’t seem too perturbed by that. He said the bigger problem was finding the suspect who had vanished right after the attack. He had mentioned that the BII and BND were devoting a considerable effort towards that end, so they would find him eventually. There were problems though. The BND North America Division had found that the FBI in the US and the RCMP Special Branch in Canada, the agencies tasked with hunting them, had improved a great deal over the last few decades. The days of them being able to run circles around the authorities in North America were long gone.

Kat had asked why Sven was so certain that the suspect was somewhere in North America. The reply was that anywhere in Europe would be too close. It would be difficult for him to blend in in most of Asia or Africa. With the exception of Chile, most of South America was open to the BND after the Patagonian War a few years ago. Everyone loved a winner it seemed. That left Australia and North America.

Sven felt that the latter was the most likely choice.

If he says so, Kat thought to herself as she closed the file and placed it back on her desk. Nancy Jensen had advised her that she would need to make a public statement on the matter eventually. She was perfectly prepared to throw a man like that into the deepest, darkest hole she could find, so it was just as well that Kat was not a Judge who had to remain neutral ideally. There was a process that would need to be observed and she understood that people would not want to hear about that. Instead, they would want the sort of blood-drenched story that was in keeping with her reputation. That also happened to be the absolute worst thing Kat could do. It would play into the strange dichotomy that existed between those who were terrified that Kat was a brutal Feudal Autocrat and the others angry because she wasn’t. Both sides of that equation would be screaming for blood when word of this matter leaked out. That was something about the human condition that never failed to disappoint Kat, just how many people didn’t mind despotic governance but only if it was someone they didn’t like who got the hammer.

There was a welcome distraction as Kat heard Sprocket throwing a fit downstairs as Sophie and Angelica came home from school. Petia would probably be along in a few minutes asking Kat to join them for lunch. It had been nice when her children were well, children. She could sit there listening to what they had done during the day and that would be a nice escape. These days, even Angelica was a teenager and that came with a whole host of complications.
It’s good to be back with Kat.

This chapter had me wondering how different is ITTL Berlin from OTL. Aside from the obvious consequences of not being flattened, I could picture it being radically different. For once, the lack of an East-West divide would not stunt its growth, and with a more populous Germany in general due to the additional territories and lack of horrific casualties of WW2 and what followed, I could see it being much bigger.

Also, the whole thing that was mentioned earlier in the story about Lang trying to make into the link between East and West through the railways, as well as Germany being a close contender for the premier power of the world and all the interests that come with that, would probably have it be even more cosmopolitan than OTL. The demographics of it would certainly be interesting.

Even tho it’s completely unrelated to the chapter, I just remembered that some tentative plans for an alt EU had been mentioned at Some point, where did that go?
It is inevitable that the Olympics would be targeted for a violent attack by either terrorists or by an individual for their own purposes.
IOTL the Black September attack on the Israeli Olympic team at the 1972 Munich Olympics occurred because the Germans were determined to send a message that the 1936 Berlin Games were from a different era.
This caused the security at the Olympic Village to be relaxed and the German Law Enforcement community ignored the Israeli suggestions about securing the Israeli Olympic Team and dismisses intelligence about Right-Wing Anti-Semitic Neo-Nazi groups working with Black September.
ITTL the Germans because of previous domestic terrorist attacks take security more seriously, and because of this nothing happens, and everyone has a good time.
IOTL the 1976 Montreal Olympics was an armed camp which helped drive the costs of hosting the game up exponentially.
ITTL with the world's spotlight on Montreal, and the IOTL cost overruns on constructing the venues, I could see the organizers making budget cuts for security in the mistaken belief that no extraordinary measures are needed.