Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

What would be fun but sadistic is having a newly retired Jost becoming the new Senior NCO Drillmaster at that school...
I made that post as a joke but it did get me (over) thinking that Soren Yount and Jost are probably nearing mandatory retirement and while Soren could most likely adapt easily to civilian life I don't think that Jost will.
I could see Mama Schultz wanting Lenz and Tilo to help find something that Jost can do because as this timeline has shown is there is nothing more dangerous or destructive as a Shultz at loose ends.
I made that post as a joke but it did get me (over) thinking that Soren Yount and Jost are probably nearing mandatory retirement and while Soren could most likely adapt easily to civilian life I don't think that Jost will.
I could see Mama Schultz wanting Lenz and Tilo to help find something that Jost can do because as this timeline has shown is there is nothing more dangerous or destructive as a Shultz at loose ends.
Military academy teacher?
And we wouldn't get to see Kirk Thatcher dressed as an 80's LA punk getting the vulcan neck pinch from Mr Spock.
Part 111, Chapter 1826
Chapter One Thousand Eight Hundred Twenty-Six

24th December 1967

Tempelhof, Berlin

It was late at night and Sophie couldn’t sleep. The house that she had been living in was bewildering and the Holiday Season added a surreal element that made it feel like a fever dream. Tomorrow, they were going to Opa’s house according to Marie. She said that Sophie would like him because he was kind in a stern kind of way a good Opa was supposed be, he always liked to teach them new things and that his house was like a huge hunting lodge. He also had a pack of dogs and liked to go hunting every day, which was logical if he lived in a hunting lodge. That was outside Sophie’s experience, her grandfather had ignored her most of the time and had only become animated when her mother had made enough noise to make watching his television programs difficult. She prayed that this new Opa would be better than that.

For her entire life Sophie had thought that the sort of Christmas celebration that she had seen on television was a fantasy, an unobtainable ideal that didn’t exist in real life. The big meal and presents, elaborate traditions. She had stopped asking about it when she had done so once too often and learned that it was a swift way of getting her mother’s wrath. “All that shit costs money we don’t have” Sophie remembered her grandfather remarking towards the television after her mother had gotten through with her while she had been cowering in the corner of the parlor.

That was why it had been shocking to see how the family that had taken her in celebrated the holidays. They went all out with decorations and there were dozens of gifts under the tree. Sophie had been completely mortified to discover that some of them were for her. What had she done to deserve any sort of gifts over the past year? Her mother had always told her that bad little girls didn’t get anything, and that the Krampus was far more likely to visit them than Saint Nicholas. So, she should be happy with how she had roof over her head and food in her belly.

Sophie wiped her nose with the sleeve of the red and black checkered flannel nightgown that had been a gift from Kat and Doug earlier that night. She had tried to give it back, but Kat insisted that she try it on. Then Sophie had noticed that it was too large on her and Kat had said that made it perfect for her to grow into. Feeling restless, Sophie threw the covers off her and climbed out of bed. The floor was cold on her bare feet as she padded out of her bedroom. All she found was a sleeping house though she did notice light coming up from downstairs. When she reached the stairwell, she could hear faint voices below.

Walking down the stairs to the garden floor, Sophie walked through the formal dining room and peered into the kitchen. Julia the senior Maid, her husband Serhiy the Cook, were talking with the Butler, whose name Sophie didn’t know and Darya the junior Maid who had recently arrived from Russia. All of them were talking rapidly in a language that she didn’t understand and were playing a game of cards. Just then a hand closed on Sophie’s shoulder startling her.

“Shouldn’t you be asleep?” Petia asked.

“I couldn’t sleep” Sophie said, fearful of the Russian woman’s reaction. She ran Kat’s household and was not afraid to met out punishments, usually in the form of extra chores with Kat almost always backing whatever she did.

“I can help with that” Petia said, as she led Sophie into the kitchen and sat her down on one of the chairs at the kitchen table. Sophie heard the clank of a saucepan being placed on the stove as she watched the card game unfold. The entire game, Julia, Serhiy and the Butler were passing a bottle of a clear liquid whenever they thought Petia wasn’t looking. Darya just smirked and took a sip from the can of orange Fanta. Eventually they were caught and Petia said a few sharp words in Russian as she took the bottle away.

A few minutes later, Petia came back with a cup of hot chocolate for Sophie. “Drink that all down” She said, and she watched expectantly.

It did smell good, chocolate and cinnamon mingled, so Sophie didn’t mind. She couldn’t help but noticing a bitter aftertaste once she had finished it. A minute later, Petia came back from putting the pan in the sink and joined in the conversation. It was with a bit of glee that Sophie noticed that Petia was making no move to send her back up to bed. It didn’t matter that she couldn’t understand what they were talking about, just being here was fun. Still, after a few minutes, Sophie noticed that her eyes were getting heavy and…


Taking the girl back up to her bedroom was easy enough. They all lived on the top floor, so it was a stop along the way.

Boris was carrying Sophie up the stairs as if she weighted nothing. While the Siberian wasn’t a particularly large man, he was extremely powerful physically. Petia had seen him crush walnuts with his fingers. Formerly of Russian Airborne Forces, Boris had come to Berlin on a lark after he had gotten out. He had found himself unexpectedly getting married to the daughter of one of the Russian sisters and had needed a job that fit his skillset. Becoming the Butler/Bodyguard in Katya’s household was a good fit and she was paying him more than enough to secure his loyalty.

Darya was a bit different. She was Petia’s granddaughter and she was working as a Maid in Katya’s house while she went to University in Berlin.

Both of them had discovered that there was seldom a boring moment in this house.

“What did you give her to fall asleep so fast?” Darya asked.

“Warm milk with chocolate and cinnamon” Petia replied, “With something additional to speed it up a bit.”

“The vodka your Granny took away from us” Boris said.

“That was because you and Serhiy were over doing it” Petia said, “You know how Katya feels about drinking to excess.”

“You gave the child vodka” Darya said, “I think that the Fürstin might have a bigger problem with that.”

“Keep your voice down” Petia said, “Katya speaks Russian, always remember that and it was just a little bit, it won’t hurt the girl.”
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One day, Sophie will realise that she's landed on her feet. Hooefully she'll learn some lessons from Kat, either directly or via Petia about how people are supposed to treat each other, not how they have been treating her.

That will be a good day.
By the way, I'm betting on Sophie being fluent in Russian by next New Year's Eve.
Superb Chapter @Peabody-Martini. Another great reminder that the best family isn’t necessarily the one you’re born into. I hope the year ahead sees Sophie’s mind and body healing under the firm but kind tutelage of Kat, Petia and the rest of the household.
Sophie is terrified that she is going to be sent home if she commits any of the multitude of infractions that her mother constantly accused her of. She is also convinced that she does not deserve anything good that might come her way. One day, perhaps, she will realise that her new family is extremely proactive in the defense of their own and that she is both safe and loved.

It is also good to see that Petia's grand-daughter is now a member of Kat's household, especially when you remember how poorly Petia's family treated her after the war. It seems the younger generation doesn't feel the same way.

Meanwhile Boris gets to brag to his Airborne buddies that he is working for The Voyevoda herself.
The 1968 U.S. Presidential election is coming up and with the successful landing on the Moon bringing pride and the United States is apparently at peace, if there is prosperity at home then there is no way that President Rockefeller will lose even if Jesus Christ was the Democratic nominee.
The main problem for Rockefeller is that there could be a major split in the Republican party between the moderate Rockefeller wing and the more conservative elements of the party.
It has been established that the ITTL Vice President Mark Hatsfield is ethically challenged and he may be caught up in a scandal that is being blown out of proportion by the Democrats and conservative Republicans for their own reasons and that may force him off the ticket.
As in OTL the conservatives may have gained control of the majority of state parties and may have enough power to force Rockefeller to pick a conservative nominee for Vice President and if he doesn't they will have enough delegates to force the issue at the convention and expose the split in the party for the world to see.
For the Democrats their main focus will be to find someone who can help with the down ballot races and is willing to be the sacrifice to Rockefeller and with that in mind that could be the former Governor of Florida and Ambassador to Germany under Harriman the pro civil rights LeRoy Collins, also Hubert Humphrey, Gov. Nixon of California and the Speaker of the House "Big" Bill Stoughton of Massachusetts could run.

Edit: misnamed LeRoy Collins.
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Part 111, Chapter 1827
Chapter One Thousand Eight Hundred Twenty-Seven

31st December 1967

Mitte, Berlin

The ballroom of the Old Winter Residence was brightly lit tonight. While Kiki’s family hadn’t lived in this drafty old mausoleum for the last few years, it was still used for functions like this. For lack of anything better to do, she was attending her father’s New Year’s Eve gala as the last minutes of 1967 ticked down. Fortunately for her, her closest friends had accepted her invitation to come with her, otherwise Kiki would be spending the evening here talking with Rea or else back in the apartment watching television with a trio of eight-year-old girls. They had reached the point in the night where everyone had tired of dancing and most of the conversation had petered out. Everyone was checking their watches and wishing that midnight would get here already so that they could go home.

Benjamin had done to get drinks, leaving Kiki with Zella and Aurora. Kiki couldn’t help but noticing that Zella was giving Margareta looks that suggested that she was thinking of inflicting serious bodily injury on the Romanian Princess. Across the room, nineteen-year-old Margareta was blissfully unaware of that as she was laughing at something that Louis Junior had just told to her. Like always, Zella said that there was nothing going on there, but her obvious jealousy suggested otherwise.

Aurora found Zella’s antics amusing as Paul, her date tonight, was completely tongue-tied over who he was surrounded by at this event. He had been extremely nervous earlier that night as he had been introduced to Kiki. It had only gotten worse since as the ballroom was full of people most people only knew from television or magazines. He probably was a perfectly functional adult at the office job he worked with Aurora in Hamburg, here he was very much out of his depth. Paul seemed more like a friend to Aurora rather than a romantic interest, Kiki wondered why he had agreed to come to something like this in first place. She figured that Aurora must have talked him into it because she didn’t want to come alone.

Ben arrived back a minute later, with a drink in each hand. More of the sickly-sweet rum punch that seemed to be the only thing available besides Champagne. Kiki found that the alcohol made her head swim while giving her a sugar rush at the same time. With how the crowd around her was downing them, she would have thought that someone would have had a medical emergency of some kind. That would be better than the tedious conversation.

“Remember when we were children and you always wanted to be at this party” Kiki said to Zella who gave her a dirty look.

Back then, they had spent New Year’s Eve in the suite of rooms that had belonged to Kiki that were in a different wing of the Winter Residence. They had played records, ate junk food, and watched television until midnight then they threw open the windows and watched the celebration that was taking place in the Berliner Lustgarten outside the palace and the Opernplaz just across the river. That seemed to have been much more enjoyable than what they were doing tonight.

It was then that they were saved by the band falling silent as the windows were opened and the lights were dimmed. Everyone could hear the crowd gathered outside as the final minute was counted down. At the stroke of midnight mortars set up on barges that were floating on the river started firing. Bright multicolored explosions filled the night sky. Inside the ballroom there was the balloon drop and the air was filled with paper confetti. Just as Ben was leaning in to give Kiki a kiss, she got a bit of the confetti in her eye and the burning of it blotted out all else. In trying to do something about it, she dropped her glasses and they were instantly lost among the feet of the people crowded around her.

Kiki tried to hide her exasperation, she was only seconds into 1968 and it already sucked.

Near Jassel, Poland

There was pounding on the door, which was not how Olli liked to wake up. A glance out the window revealed that it was the predawn hours. Cursing under his breath, he wondered why any sort of crisis couldn’t seem to ever happen during civilized hours.

Opening his door, Oli looked out at three of his men. They had remarked that having him living so far out from the city presented a lot of difficulties for the Freikorps, not realizing that his stubborn refusal to leave his farm meant that they wouldn’t bother him unless it was something important.

Most days, men from the Freikorps would show up at the farm and Olli would end up lecturing them about how idiotic their organization was or some such. Every few days Olli would grudgingly go into Krakow to see what they had been up to. There had been swift changes that he had seen over the last few months. The standardization of weapons and a complete inventory of resources they had available had been desperately needed. They had people who knew how to go about doing that, so beyond Olli telling them to get to work, he had not needed to do more. He had also told them that having them be an exclusive club served only the interests of Warsaw. There had been some question as to what he meant by that. Olli had explained in short words that the Polish Army didn’t give a shit if they were German, Ruthenian, or even a Pole. Didn’t the massacre in Krakow prove a damned thing? All they knew that was you were in front of their guns. Olli had been a bit surprised that he had been listened to and the ranks had swelled with people who had wanted in. Where Bachmann had commanded a few thousand, Olli had found himself commanding an entire Division in an Army that he had never actually joined. Probably more than a few spies from Warsaw had been taken in in the process, but so far no one had done anything stupid, so they were likely to be extremely bored. An ironic surprise was the number of Jews who had entered considering the history of such organizations.

This morning, all of Olli’s efforts in keeping anyone from doing anything stupid seemed to have come undone due to events far outside of his control. The day before there had been a pogrom in Lwów that had been sparked by comments made a few days earlier by that bastard Moczar. It didn’t take a genius to see that the forces put in motion were coming for them next.
This morning, all of Olli’s efforts in keeping anyone from doing anything stupid seemed to have come undone due to events far outside of his control. The day before there had been a pogrom in Lwów that had been sparked by comments made a few days earlier by that bastard Moczar. It didn’t take a genius to see that the forces put in motion were coming for them next.

This does not bode well. For anyone. I wonder how many Poles have joined?