Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

Part 109, Chapter 1784
Chapter One Thousand Seven Hundred Eighty-Four



2nd February 1967

Dublin, Ireland

While it seemed like the whole world was focused on events in Outer Space, Jack found himself with far more earthly concerns. Like what deviltry his clients were up too. Many of them were like children, when things got quiet, that was when you started to worry. Right now, things were quiet out of Continental Europe. That meant that about a dozen of Jack’s clients, many of them high-profile were keeping incredibly quiet.

“Did it occur to you to check the date before you called?” Jake asked his assistant, an Associate who was less than a year out of University. The Associate had just explained that while he had managed to get ahold of Fürstin Katherine von Mischner zu Berlin, her response had been very rude, and she had hung up before he could get a word in edgewise. Today was the anniversary of the Reichstag Bombing and Kat being worse than usual, even for her, should have been expected.

Jack knew he should have been the one to call his pricklier clients and Kat was the prickliest of the lot, but the other Partners in the firm were leaning on him to delegate responsibilities out of fear that his health was declining and if something happened to Jack, his clients would go elsewhere. They had told him that no one was irreplaceable but replacing him would take time and money that they felt was better used elsewhere. Whatever might be said about the other Senior Partners, they knew what their priorities were, money. They said personally calling clients over billing as beneath a man of Jack’s stature.

The Senior Partners didn’t really understand that despite her title and close proximity to the Kaiser, Kat was possibly the most successful career criminal that Jack had ever known and that was saying something. It wasn’t as if he could call her up and ask if she had been doing anything illegal lately. By the time that she called him it was usually far too late, and he would be reading about what had happened in the papers. Sure, she was good at keeping her name out of the papers but there were disturbing things that happened from time to time that had her fingerprints all over them. Unlike nearly everyone else, Jack understood what she was capable of. He had been there when Kat had coldly explained to Guy Burgess how she would start his interrogation by cutting off one of his testicles with Ian Fleming standing there watching it happen. Burgess had spilled his guts before she had started, but Jack was certain that she would have done it just to get even with the people who had hurt Jehane Thomas. It still haunted his dreams.

“Anything else?” Jack asked, hoping that was the end of it.

“Your brother called” The Associate said.

“Yes” Jack replied, “Which one?”

“I forgot to ask.”

“Is that a joke?” Jack asked, wondering why such a thing would not have occurred to the Associate. Though it was something that was changing in a hurry now that women had resorted to civil disobedience to force the matter, it seemed everyone in this Ireland had more than one brother. The Associate should have known that.

“No” The Associate said, aware that Jack was giving him the evil eye. “He asked if he could count on your presence at an event for Fianna Fáil tonight.”

That meant Edward had called. Unlike his older brothers and sisters, Ted had still been a child when the family had fled Boston after their father had gotten himself up to his eyeballs in the Spanish Civil War. Even if the US Government had been unable to nail Joe Senior to the wall, they had made certain that he was shunned by the American Public. Decades later, Ted was coming up in Fianna Fáil, one of the two establishment political parties of Ireland and running for a seat in the Dáil. Unlike Jack, he stood a good chance of winning.



Peenemünde

There were times when Nora Berg had her doubts about her professional life. She heard that she wasn’t well liked and her tendency towards being blunt seldom helped matters. The fact that she was regarded as the foremost expert in her particular field meant that she was tolerated, not that she asked or needed more than that. When she had been invited to Peenemünde to join the Raumfahrer Program, specifically the team that monitored the health of those aboard the capsule, was an opportunity to change all that.

Berg doubted that it would though.

The reason the Space Program had come to her was because one of the crew of Taxidiotis IV was a twenty-nine-year-old woman. Over the previous weeks Berg had flown to Vietnam to oversee the medical examination that had been conducted on Sigi. Berg concluding that Sigi was in excellent health and that the Doctors employed by the ESA had made a complete hash of it when trying to determine what her baseline was. It shouldn’t have been a surprise because most of these Doctors dealt with Luftwaffe Pilots, more than ninety percent of whom were male.

Today, Berg found herself pointing that out again because the equipment that was monitoring Sigi had picked up a few anomalies.

“Until we have further information, we can assume that this is normal” Berg said as one of her colleagues pointed out that Sigi’s body temperature had suddenly changed as well as slight changes in her heart rate and respiration.

“How can you just assume that?” The colleague asked, “A sick member of this crew is a serious matter, what if this is contagious?”

Berg did her best to hide her annoyance, these men really did need to get out more.

“The personal cycles of women are not contagious” Berg replied, “Though I think it would be rather entertaining if they were.”

The men around the table just stared at her. They all had wives and girlfriends. How was it possible that they wouldn’t know these things? The information was all there in Sigi’s file.
 
The men around the table just stared at her. They all had wives and girlfriends. How was it possible that they wouldn’t know these things? The information was all there in Sigi’s file.
Classical case of that is not applicable here, surely. Although it mostly is seen as that you are bad at applying something out of your professional life to your personal life, not the other way around...
 
While it seemed like the whole world was focused on events in Outer Space, Jack found himself with far more earthly concerns. Like what deviltry his clients were up too. Many of them were like children, when things got quiet, that was when you started to worry. Right now, things were quiet out of Continental Europe. That meant that about a dozen of Jack’s clients, many of them high-profile were keeping incredibly quiet.
Unfortunately for Jack, he knows that the disturbing silence emanating from the Continent indicates that a certain rotary air impeller is about to encounter a safari park sized manure heap. While good for business, the physical risks could be high. Something the Senior Partners might not understand.

The Senior Partners didn’t really understand that despite her title and close proximity to the Kaiser, Kat was possibly the most successful career criminal that Jack had ever known and that was saying something.
Kat is a noble of THE Old School. The ones who earned their titles by being extremely loyal and bloody efficient (literally) in dealing with... problems. And the ones who are practically indistinguishable from criminals. Usually because they are the ones making the laws.

“Your brother called” The Associate said.
“Yes” Jack replied, “Which one?”
“I forgot to ask.”
Can Jack sack this idiot? Or is his daddy or mummy related to/friends with the Senior Partners.

Today, Berg found herself pointing that out again because the equipment that was monitoring Sigi had picked up a few anomalies.
“Until we have further information, we can assume that this is normal” Berg said as one of her colleagues pointed out that Sigi’s body temperature had suddenly changed as well as slight changes in her heart rate and respiration.
“How can you just assume that?” The colleague asked, “A sick member of this crew is a serious matter, what if this is contagious?”
Berg did her best to hide her annoyance, these men really did need to get out more.
“The personal cycles of women are not contagious” Berg replied, “Though I think it would be rather entertaining if they were.”
The men around the table just stared at her. They all had wives and girlfriends. How was it possible that they wouldn’t know these things? The information was all there in Sigi’s file.
I believe the thought 'God give me strength!!' applies here, immediately followed by Berg (hopefully politely) asking "Did ANY of you bother to READ her file? Or did you just skip over that part?"

Seriously, this is a major problem, even today, in medicine & medical science. Women, especially women of colour, are frequently ignored, overlooked, misdiagnosed and, worse, given the wrong or substandard treatment. Some of this is due to the fact that most research is based on white males as the default. Some is due to straight out misogyny, writing off complaints as 'hysteria' or 'hypochondria' and denying treatments or procedures like epidurals because they think their WoC patients pain threshold is higher than it is. I just read an article where a med student asked her professor how Lyme Disease would present in someone with darker skin & he had to admit that he didn't know because he had never been taught that himself and that it had never occurred to him to ask that question.
 
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Ok. So women problems.

I just webt back and had a look, and it's been four months since Sigi and Parker had their fling,...So she's not pregnant.

I mean, if she was I doubt she would be in space....
 
As always, our minds turn to the Kennedy's

Seriously though, nice update. Do question the entirety of my nations politics now in this world, mainly ones where the evil bastards are still a thing, sorry, Fianna Fail, and in particular just what exactly the shit bond villain who ruled this land during the 80's and was getting his start at the time is up to, but I long ago learned not to peer too deeply.

Also Berg's remark was funny, if you can't laugh about menstruation, than you need to get more used to the topic.
 
Hello.
I am currently on chapter 328 and is enjoying the story so far.
I am wondering if there are any maps of how the world looks in this timeline?
I saw something was uploaded but is now misssint/no longer available.
I dont really care for when in the timeline the maps is from i am just interested in seeing them.
 
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As always, our minds turn to the Kennedy's

Seriously though, nice update. Do question the entirety of my nations politics now in this world, mainly ones where the evil bastards are still a thing, sorry, Fianna Fail, and in particular just what exactly the shit bond villain who ruled this land during the 80's and was getting his start at the time is up to, but I long ago learned not to peer too deeply.

Also Berg's remark was funny, if you can't laugh about menstruation, than you need to get more used to the topic.
The one thing that TTL Ireland probably doesn't have to fear is Charlie as Taoseach. Ulster is now moving steadily into industrial decline and will be dragging the whole islands politics leftward. Nationalism has nothing left to deliver and I never yet met an Ulsterman, Catholic or Protestant, Unionist or Nationalist that didn't privately if not publicly loathe Haughey and see him as a gombeen man.
 
Great update on Jack Kennedy and if the same thing happened IOTL when his Father Joe Sr. split his fortune in to four equal trusts with 1/4th to himself, 1/4th to his wife Rose. 1/4th to his children and 1/4th to the Joseph P, Kennedy Foundation (ITTL it would have another name) then Jack is definitely not hurting for money,
Add that to what he earns on his own and the shrewd investments he made by following Kat's lead he should be at a point where he is picking and choosing what clients he keeps and those who he lets the other partners in the firm have in return for a percentage of the fees collected.
As for the associate working for him, that person is either a top graduate who needs some seasoning or probably someone who is like the Great-Great-Great Grandson of one of the founding partners and who can be trusted not to poach Jack's most valued clients away to another law firm.

I think it is very logical for the space program to turn to Dr. Berg for consultations in regards to women heath issues but by this point the space program should have at least one full time specialist in that role.
Knowing Dr. Berg, she probably knew that Sigi had a good chance of going in to menses while n space and is using that opportunity to do research om the effects of weightlessness on the menstrua cycle.
 
Does make you wonder if ESA's thought about it and made pads and tampons that would work in zero gravity.

Marc A
At least there probably wasn't a 'turd in the cabin' incident ITTL's moon mission as happened to OTL's Apollo 10 dress rehearsal mission to the moon. Apparently the Apollo 10 LM (with turd onboard) is still in its solar orbit and has been located with a high level of confidence - https://www.popularmechanics.com/space/a27912679/long-lost-lunar-module-found/.
 
Does make you wonder if ESA's thought about it and made pads and tampons that would work in zero gravity.

Marc A
I hope so, although they, as did OTL space agencies, forgot to include the necessary plumbing in the early suits, only rectifying the flaw after the crew resorted to the obvious solution.
 
I am wondering if there are any maps of how the world looks in this timeline?
As far as I know there haven't really been maps made for TTL. It could be that someone else does know of one somewhere, but we'd have to wait for someone to post/link it.

As for the story itself, it's still my favorite story sofar, and I'm looking forward to more. Also my vote is for Nan to become the next main character. I think her POV can used to describe the higher echelons of German society nicely, since she is an insider but still some sort of outsider due to her upbringing. It could also bring a great contrast to regular German people, especially with Charlotte encouraging the children to be more "normal".

But first some more about Kiki(and Ben), Zella and the rest of their generation.
 
Part 109, Chapter 1785
Chapter One Thousand Seven Hundred Eighty-Five



3rd February 1967

Nearing Earth orbit

Focusing on the coming reentry was a welcome change considering what Sigi had to listen to over the radio the day before. It had been a part of her life since she had been twelve but hearing from Mission Control that the sensors that had been pasted to her body had detected that she was ovulating was not welcome. These radio broadcasts were in clear, so everyone in the world was listening in as Sigi discussed her personal health with Doctor Berg. It was clear that there were a few worse things that could have happened and the effects of microgravity on female anatomy was still largely a mystery. It was all one final indignity that was the price that Sigi payed for going to the Moon. Being crammed into a space the size of a Volkswagen Föhn with four men already meant that she had absolutely no privacy, so this wasn’t entirely unexpected. That didn’t make it any less mortifying at times.

The fortunate part was that Berg knew most of the details already and there was no need to rehash them for the entertainment of all. The strange part had been back in Cam Ranh when Sigi had found herself talking to Berg about her family history and she learned that Berg had somehow learned about her paternity. The only people who knew about that were her father’s family and Jay Parker, who Sigi had felt compelled to tell after he had woken up to her arguing with Kiki who had not approved of her involvement with the American. The truth was that her telling Parker, and seeing the look on his face, had been one more act in a week that had been filled with self-destructive behavior. Sigi had done her level best to not be too nonchalant as she had tried to explain to Parker not to read too much into the night that they had spent together. Perhaps Kiki had been right when she had said that it had happened because Sigi had been feeling lonely on her birthday. It had helped that Parker wasn’t the uninformed loudmouth that was the stereotypical American. Even so, it had come as a relief when they had gone their separate ways.

Doctor Berg had listened without judgement as Sigi had explained this even as she had ordered a battery of tests that had confirmed that Sigi had suffered no consequences for her dalliance with Parker. Berg had also warned her that many parts of Sigi’s life would never be entirely her own again. That wasn’t news to Sigi, but the full implications of that were driven home by what had happened with the monitoring during the current mission.



Halle (Saale), Anhalt

“My God, you should be proud to wear that” Doctor Baber said when he saw the white Maltese cross patch that had been sent to Kiki by the Grand Master of the Johanniter Order. The note attached said that Wilhelm-Karl had learned that Kiki was spending time as a Notarzt working in an Ambulance Service that was run by the Order. It seemed that Kiki’s cousin felt that if one of the Order’s members was out in the field then the whole world ought to know. Wilhelm-Karl hadn’t taken complete leave of his senses, he had sent an embroidered patch that could be sewn to her coat as opposed to something more elaborate. Just getting it opened a can of worms. Was Kiki considered in uniform in this capacity? And if so, that opened up a whole lot of considerations that she didn’t want to think about.

Kiki’s introduction to the Ambulance Service had involved meeting Doctor Oskar Baber as well. He was twenty years older than her and insisted on driving the garishly painted VW Föhn that they used to get to accident sites at the same time as Fire and Rescue. Baber had told her that he had gotten into medicine after he had been in the Infantry during the Soviet War and the action he saw as a Field Surgeon helped with the restlessness that afflicted many of those who had been to war. Kiki had gotten the impression that her getting assigned to work with Baber wasn’t an accident. He also wasn’t too put out by the two bodyguards whose presence was dictated by Kiki’s father and made her wish for the millionth time that she could live an ordinary life.

As it had turned out, mostly they stayed near the two-way radio and waited for something to happen. It was unfortunate that this gave Kiki a lot of time to think about her life. Ben had asked her to come to Dresden for his induction into the Order of the Rue Crown. Schedule conflicts had prevented her from traveling to Munich where he had been inducted into the Military Order of Max Joseph. Playing off the respective rulers of those two Kingdoms against each other had worked far better than Kiki had realized when she had suggested it. Ben, who was a good person despite being very naïve about the world he had found himself in, had done all of it in a misguided effort to win her over. He had been given the title of Burggraf and had been given land in Saxony and Bavaria. That was all good until the tax assessment came back for the property he now owned and Kiki had gotten him into this mess.
 
So is muh boy Ben rich now or what?

Also, any bets on when Parker's going to be called in by his bossed (on NASA's request probably) for some questions .

Marc A
 
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