Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

Aside from Kiki having to talk with Gia about that whole "Living Saint" business, and Kiki amputating Lothar/Mithras' leg, something tells me that the current management of this particular prison facility will be facing certain awkward questions from people that they really don't want to talk to. Something along these lines:

Kat: "This prisoner was sentenced to life imprisonment, correct?"
Warden (realsing that he is on thin ice): "Y-y-yes-s-s."
Kat: "The Kaiser specifically stated that the prisoner was to have, and I quote, 'A long and healthy life span'. Is this not correct and noted in your directives regarding the prisoner?"
Warden (shakily nodding head): "T-th-that is-s c-c-correct, y-yes."
Kat: "You have made sure that all of your staff are aware of these directives? Yes or no?"
Warden (fearing for his bladder control): "Y-yes. All staff are aware of his status, Fürstin."
Kat (icily): "Then why, Herr Warden, is the prisoner in an ICU undergoing treatment for septicemia and gas gangrene? Why was the Kaiser's own daughter forced to do the job of your medical staff? And how did none of your guards notice that the prisoner, who I remind you, is on permanent suicide watch, was both injured and ill? The Kaiser would like to know these things."
Warden (getting desperate): "We are understaffed! And underfunded! The guards have to watch so many prisoners and the Doctor is a drunkard and I cannot find a replacement for him! The Kaiser has to understand how thinly stretched we are here!"
Kat: "I see. Perhaps you can explain this to the Kaiser personally when he arrives for his inspection tour of this facility."
Warden (swallowing nervously & feeling an urgent need for a toilet): "T-the Kaiser is coming here? We shall double our efforts."
Kat: "See that you do. The Kaiser may not be as forgiving over this matter as I am."
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So at least a part of Lothar will leave the prison.
Buried on site in the prison graveyard, with a marker that his name, prison number, date of birth, date of amputation and space left for date of death. Photograph to be glued to the wall of his cell. Just to let him know that he is NEVER getting out of this place.
Splat when shit hits the fan. I thing there is going to be a lot of retirement and transfers request coming in.
I wonder how big Berlin will get ITTL. In OTL it was almost 4.5 million people by 1939 and saw it's population almost cut in half by the 50's. ITTL it does get bombed by the Soviets but nowhere near the extent of OTL by the Allies and doesn't get conquered and divided. I could see Berlin ITTL growing up to at least 6 million, 12 million at most by ITTL 2020.
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The Kaiser has no real power over HIS prisons and Prisoners but he can bring up the issue when he has his regular meetings with the Chancellor and the Kaiser has many ways he can exert soft power.
First he has Kat who is very good friends with the Editor-in-chief of the BT which is probably one of the,most important newspapers in the world ITTL and an expose on prisons is just right up their alley.
Second the Kaiser can talk to the members of the Reichstag who are in the opposition parties and put a bug in their ears.
Third he can get an Imperial Commission to look at Prison Reform and maybe he can get Rea on it as his personal representative in order to teach her how on things really get done.

As for Prisoner 24601 his leg will be given full burial honors and he will he forced to attend so that he can get a preview of how he will be remembered in posterity.
Part 110, Chapter 1808
Chapter One Thousand Eight Hundred Eight

4th August 1967

Hohenzollern Castle

The Imperial flag flew over the North Tower with the long blue pennant of the Medical Service just below it. It was to tell everyone within sight of the castle that Kiki was home. After the events of the previous week, she was actually happy to escape to the mountaintop castle for the next few weeks. That someone had hung a blue and white banner in the great hall that was identical to the personal banner hanging in the Medical Service’s Hall in the Berlin Imperial War Museum was less welcome. It was decorated with all the Honors and Orders that Kiki had received in her career, a detail she found a bit embarrassing. Still, besides that, this place was a nice escape from her everyday life.

Back in Halle, there had been a lot of questions that Kiki had been forced to answer about what had happened in Flossenbürg. To many, her having performed what amounted to life saving, but also life altering, surgery upon a man who she had many reasons to dislike presented a lot of ethical problems. Fortunately, the Pathologist’s report on the bacterial infection and resulting septicemia backed up Kiki’s report that her actions had been necessary. It had also been concluded that the surgical options to treat the infected wound on Lothar’s leg had been limited by the time that Kiki had discovered it. The quick application of antibiotics and the regrettable amputation had probably saved his life. Kiki had been loath to admit that she had only performed the operation in question on cadavers prior to that but it had been successful, so no one had held that against her.

Kiki’s prediction about Lothar’s reaction to what had happened had proven true as well. He thought that she had gotten some sort of satisfaction out of crippling him, failing to realize that not everyone was like him. While Kiki had not told anyone that she had more interested in saving the information that he had rather than him personally. That much should have been obvious. In the end, Kiki had been told to take a long holiday, to stay out of trouble, and hopefully avoid medical matters for a few weeks. Getting asked by her father to go to the Hohenzollern Provence wasn’t a surprise. That was what typically happened whenever she went on a holiday without a plan.

The main entrance of the castle was a series of sharply curving ramps and gates where any attacking force would have to pass below the next higher terrace in full view of the defenders to reach the next gate if they managed to breach the Eagle Gate. It was a very artfully designed kill-zone. So, it was small wonder that it had a reputation of having been an incredibly tough nut to crack before castles had grown obsolete in warfare. Sieges had lasted for years with the castle having to surrender due to starvation rather than force of arms. Looking away from it, Kiki walked back towards the Keep, lost in her own thoughts.

These days the castle was quite different from the fortress that it had been in its previous incarnations. A few hours earlier the group from the charity that had been established in the name of Kiki’s mother had been opening the castle up to group of children for an immersive history lesson over their Summer Holidays had arrived. Kiki was happy to continue it because the sound of children laughing as they went about their assigned tasks made her days a bit easier. There was an amusing aspect of these children going about helping with the daily maintenance of the Castle. Loads of scrubbing, polishing, and washing needed to be done. There were also tasks like tending the Kitchen Garden as well. Their parents were likely to be completely astonished if they saw them doing this and having fun because of the novelty. Not that there weren’t plenty of activities planned that were actual fun.

Looking among the trees on the south end of the courtyard, she saw a small group of the children there. Rauchbier was among them, the dog was no fool and knew easy marks for scratches and treats when he found them. A few of the children peeled off and ran to her, three girls who she recognized as Marie Alexandra von Mischner-Blackwood as well as her youngest sisters, Nella, and Nan. Part of the fun was the period costumes that had been given to them, so the three of them were wearing the ankle length belted tunics that had been made specially for the girls. The fact that they had been dyed vivid red, blue, and yellow wasn’t an accident hadn’t been noticed. While keeping with historical practice, those were all high visibility colors. The boys were dressed in a similar manner though different enough so as to not raise any objections from them. It all made Kiki aware of how she was the Lady of the Castle and hardly ever looked the part. Presently she was dressed in what Ben jokingly referred to as Korean War surplus casual, splinter parka and the blue jeans that had been a gift from Zella.

“We-made-it-here-today-Kiki-we-told-you-that-we-would-Momma-and-Poppa-let-us-ride-the-train-on-our-own-so-long-as-we-stayed-with-Marie-and…” Nella said in a wild rush before pausing to take a breath while Nan hugged Kiki and was swiftly joined by Nella who had forgotten her train of thought.

“Traveling by train is very new for them” Marie said with a smile, “And we were never alone.”

“Tell me more about that” Kiki said as she walked with girls back to the group that was staring at her. They would get used to her in no time though.
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The first set of inner and outer gates. There is another three sets of turns behind this one and this is what greets anyone who manages to get across the chasm that the drawbridge crosses. The entire ramp is a Zwinger,

A better picture of the gates in relation to the castle.

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It sounds like Kiki's people have decided that they are rather proud of her, which of course embarrasses Kiki immensely. Lothar's reaction was predictable, as was the concern of the authorities responsible for the well being of Lothar and those training Kiki. Did she abuse her authority & skill set to get revenge on her enemy? Is this a sign that her mental stability is slipping? Thankfully, the results of the blood & tissue tests confirmed that neither was the case & that the prison staff where at fault & negligent in their duties.

As for the description of the castle's defenses; gotta love ya some weaponised architecture. The kids having fun doing chores is always confusing for parents; the same kids who will refuse, fight, cry & argue over doing them at home will thrown down & demand the right to do them somewhere else. Especially if they get to play dress up while doing so. I also love how the security details for Marie, Nella & Nan made sure that the high profile targets entrusted into their care are wearing the brightest & most distinctive colours among the kids, although I'm pretty sure Marie at least is perfectly aware of that little fact.
I really love the scenes with Nella and Nan as they kind of remind me of my nieces before they became teenagers and it looks like that Marie has appointed herself as their bodyguard.
The Kennel Master maybe pleased with the return of Rauchbier if the puppies he sired turn out to be worthy stock and he may have another "friend" for Rauchbier if he can pry him away from the girls.

Kiki by now has shown herself to be head and shoulders above her peers as she has a great bed sides manor and great empathy with her patients because of her time volunteering in the geriatric ward, her two stints in Korea has taught her how to make patient assessments quickly under pressure and the actual experience of performing M.D. level of emergency procedures under fire in combat is something that can not be reproduced in a civilian settings for the most part.
Part 110, Chapter 1809
Chapter One Thousand Eight Hundred Nine

12th August 1967

Beijing, China

There was profound irony in how Pan Yong had found himself being the one who had kept the Generalissimo in power since the Sino-Korean had ended in disaster years earlier. He had plotted and schemed along with everyone else in how to remove Chiang Kai-shek and be at the top of the heap when the smoke cleared. The problem was that the opportunity had never presented itself. Instead, Pan found himself at the head of an army sent to quell peasant uprisings, put down another General who had rebelled against the central authority, or some other bloody errand. It seemed like there always a new crisis that needed to be dealt with first.

Today was no different, except it was protests over the rising price of rice and other food staples in the Capital this time. The well-fed professionals in the city were upset about that while completely unaware of the famine that gripped the countryside. All Pan could do was shake his head in disgust as his men were deployed to keep order. Whenever there was a mass protest, there were opportunists about who took advantage of the situation however they could. The smell of smoke in the air suggested that it had already begun. The last thing that needed to happen was for the city’s Fire Brigades to be unable to respond because protesters crowding the streets. That was where Pan came in, he had a reputation of doing what was necessary once the Riot Act had been read. Just the mention of his name caused many to flee in fear. Still, it made for a long afternoon because those who set out to loot businesses or just for the sake of causing trouble were not the sort inclined to run at the sight of soldiers entering their proximity.

Hohenzollern Castle

The rain was drumming on the windows driven by the howling wind and every few minutes there was a flash of lightning followed by a crash of thunder seconds later. Because the castle had been built atop a high bluff they were inside the storm as it blew through the mountains. They were supposed to be sleeping, instead the three other girls sharing this room were crowded onto Marie’s bed. The younger girls didn’t want to admit that they were frightened of the storm and were keeping her awake.

At the age of eleven, Marie was considered old enough to help mind several of the other children on this trip to the castle that her mother had arranged. Sharing a room with Nella and Nan had seemed easy enough. Just there was a fourth girl, Sophie, who was a bit more to contend with. Her mother managed a clothing store in Mitte, and she had no idea of what had become of her father, she just knew that her Maternal Grandparents preferred not to ever talk about that subject. Sophie had never been outside of her Berlin neighborhood in her life. She had applied to go on this trip through her school and had been shocked when she had been told she was coming. Her mother and grandparents had not needed to be so jubilant though. Sophie might have been the same age as Nella and Nan, their experiences were a world apart in a staggering number of ways.

Nella was a Princess and Kiki’s half-sister, everyone knew that. Nan was a giant question mark. Supposedly, she had come from difficult circumstances before she had been taken in by her “Aunt Lotte and Uncle Louis” and become Nella’s sister of sorts. Marie seen that the two of them had become inseparable over the last couple of years and it was far different from her relationship with Tatiana or Malcolm. It seemed like all she did was argue with them.

The day before had been a good for all of them, fun anyway. First, they had helped with the breakfast cleanup followed by spending the rest of the morning making candles. Then they had walked down to Hechingen to go swimming in the public pool in the afternoon. That evening, they had seen the storming blowing in from the west and not thought anything of it until they had been abruptly woken up by thunder and lightning around midnight.

There was a crash of thunder and Marie felt the girls jump.

“You know that there is nothing to be afraid of” Marie said, “In here we are warm and safe, not out there.”

“I’m not afraid” Nan said, Marie could see with Nella and Sophie nodding in agreement as a bolt of lightning lit up the room.

Seconds later came the crash of thunder that belied Nan’s words as the girls tried to get deeper under the covers that really weren’t meant for four people. Marie was starting to get annoyed by this. Yes, she was responsible for them, but had not signed up for their childhood fears…

Just then, a gust of wind blew open one of the windows and all of them, including Marie let out a shriek as they clung together. Feeling a bit foolish, Marie remembered that she had the windows open the previous afternoon and had rushed out without latching them when she had heard that the evening meal was being served. Getting out of her bed, Marie sheepishly padded to the window to close it. The air smelled of ozone and damp earth. Looking out, Marie saw a quarter moon through the clouds that were rushing by as she closed and latched the window and made sure that the others would stay closed.

Looking back, Marie saw the other girls were staring at her. “Can I have my bed back?” She asked.
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“I’m not scared. You’re scared”.
Once the storm is over, I can well imagine this trio of girls slinking around the castle for a raid of the pantry and a midnight feast while Marie is finally enjoying a good night’s sleep.