Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread II

Pretty sure it was either him in the ATL/ITTL Dollars Trilogy or Once Upon A Time in The West

I... kinda doubt that's what they're making here. I mean, variations on a theme, perhaps. OTL, those four movies were made between 1964 and 1968. A Fistful of Dollars was (blatantly) based on Kurosawa's Yojimbo, which itself wasn't made until 1961.

But at least Eastwood gets to really start making movies a few years earlier, and James Dean gets to live longer. Working with John Wayne might influence their professional careers in beneficial ways, also.
 
But at least Eastwood gets to really start making movies a few years earlier, and James Dean gets to live longer. Working with John Wayne might influence their professional careers in beneficial ways, also.

Yeah, they might try playing Mongolians on Nuclear Testing grounds /s
 
Part 81, Chapter 1234
Chapter One Thousand Two Hundred Thirty-Four


15th August 1957

Tempelhof, Berlin

Sitting in the kitchen of the Gräfin’s house was always awkward. Petia, the Housekeeper had let Ben know the rules of the house the first time that had entered her kitchen as she had stood there chopping up potatoes for that evening’s dinner. Among other things he was not to go above the parlor floor. His hands were supposed remain in plain view at all times. Kiki is a good girl and would remain so. If he had a problem with any of that he would learn that Petia’s knife could be used for far more than just chopping up potatoes.

Even though it was now the Summer Holiday, Kiki was still studying Latin. That sort of thing had come as a surprise to Ben, the ambition that Kiki had to finish her secondary education two years early and that she was being encouraged to do that. Today, there was the added complication of Zella being present. Ben had thought that Zella was amazing when he had first seen her ride up the alley on her motorcycle. He had learned since however that she looked at him with complete disdain and just who her terrifying father was.

An hour earlier, Ben’s father had given him a 50-pfennig coin and suggested that he go see if Kiki wanted ice cream. The whole thing was absurd, his parents had seen him talking to Kiki while he worked on the yard and thought that it was adorable. Running across the alley he had seen to his dismay the presence of Zella’s Ducati and the sound of Petia and Serhiy the Cook talking in Russian through the screen door at the back of the kitchen. He found Kiki and Zella sitting at the kitchen table Zella reading a magazine, celebrity gossip, this one speculating on the marriage prospects of the Emperor now that he was a widower. Kiki was writing phrases in Latin from a textbook in one of her notebooks.

Zella had seen Ben come in and she didn’t react. Kiki had said that it was because he wasn’t the sort that got her attention. Apparently, Zella was into Rock & Rollers. Black leather, greasy hair and all of that. Unfortunately for her, all the boys their age who were like that locally knew that Markgraf Emil von Holz, Zella’s father, would make them envy the dead if they were stupid enough to so much as say hello to his little girl. Kiki had greeted Ben warmly though and asked him to join her and Zella at the table. Then to Ben’s disappointment she went back to her Latin.

He was left spinning the coin on the table and trying to muster the courage to ask Kiki if she wanted to take a break from that and walk with him to the neighborhood market. Petia and Serhiy continued their conversation as they were apparently arguing over the ingredients for the next meal.

He was about to say something when Kiki took off her glasses. It was easy to forget how pretty her eyes were with how they were obscured most of the time, that caused his words to stick in his throat. Kiki said something in Russian to Petia and Serhiy, that caused Serhiy to bust up laughing and Petia to frown at her before saying something in rapid fire Russian. Kiki replied in kind. It was one more difference between Kiki and Ben, he had heard hints that Kiki’s mother had been a Russian noblewoman who had fled the Bolsheviks. Her even being able understand Petia, much less respond to her like she had suggested as much.

Kiki just gave the Housekeeper an impish smile before fiddling with her glasses and the coin fell flat on the table. A Berlin 50-pfennig coin had the Imperial Eagle on one side and a girl holding a shock of wheat on the other. The coin had landed with the eagle side down and to Ben’s astonishment, he noticed that the girl on the coin looked a lot like Kiki without her glasses.

“You look like the girl on the coin” Ben said only to watch Kiki freeze like Ben had just said something that he really shouldn’t have.

“Possibly because that is her” Zella said, “She was the model, or a photograph of her was anyway, a couple years ago. Kiki’s mother thought it was adorable, Kiki disagreed.”

“Did you win a contest or something?” Ben asked Kiki who clearly did not want to talk about this.

“It depends on what your idea of a contest is” Zella said. She looked like she was on the verge of laughing about that. Like if it was all some joke that she got, and he didn’t. Kiki just frowned at Zella, according to Kiki they were old friends and like with most friendships there were times when they got on each other’s nerves. He had wondered where he had seen Kiki before. Her being to model for the girl on the coin did sort of solve that mystery.

“What did you want Ben?” Kiki asked, changing the subject.

“I wanted to know if you wanted ice cream?” Ben asked, “From the market.”

He was hoping that she would say yes, but fearful that she would at the same time.

“Let’s go” Kiki said as she got up from the table, shooting one last accusatory glance at Zella who had gone back to her magazine.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Later they were walking home in warm afternoon sunshine. Ben was enjoying his ice cream in the paper cup until he noticed that Kiki wasn’t. On the walk to the market he had noticed that she had constantly been looking over her shoulder and when they were in the store, she looked around every corner with a great deal of caution. While he had bought the ice cream, she had watched the street.

“Is everything alright?” Ben asked.

“No” Kiki replied, “I’m not used to this, public, the market, any of it.”

Once she said that Ben remembered that he had only ever seen her in their respective houses or in the back gardens until she had come with him. Was there a reason for that?
 
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The German proverb is about a Groschen (10 Pfennige) to drop to understand something but with some people you have to hammer down the Groschen Pfennig by Pfennig.
 
another enjoyable chapter, poor Ben is in for a heart-attack.

as a side-note can anyone recommend other stories of this type? straight timelines bore me, I would prefer stories that follows a few people through events rather than just "date is this and this happens" :)
 
While we are enjoying the latest episode of The Young and the Clueless, there may be concern that Kaiser Louis Ferdinand may be isolating himself and not performing his duties.
Cecilie, Kat, Nancy and the closest advisors to the Kaiser have set a timetable for him to gradually resume his duties, like soon he begins meeting the Chancellor again, then he does minor public appearances.
 
I don't think that the Emperor has not fulfilled his duties. I read the part about Louis as that the does only what is necessary and has no patience for the "superfluous" social meetings and occasions. I highly doubt that anyone as intelligent as Louis Ferdinand who was raised as a Prussian prince would abandon his duty in face of adversity. Like old Freddy the Great said, the King is the first servant of the state. And I do believe that this is also a big part of the current generations upbringing. In the end, the duty of the imperial family is to serve the Empire. That's also why I don't believe that there will be special protection for Freddy (or anyone else for that matter) if a war or a similar situation happens. If the crown prince is shielded from danger and doesn't share it with his fellow officers and soldiers then he's useless as an Emperor and a symbol of Imperial unity. Just as the rest of the monarchy in that case.
 
The funny thing is that Ben's cluelessness is likely the exact reason Kiki is not just pushing him away. His parents are completely hilarious for giving him a 50 pfennig coin. The test for Ben will be how he treats her after he figures out the truth. If he treats her exactly the same, then he will pass a big test with Kiki, and the likely become friends or even more.
 
Later they were walking home in warm afternoon sunshine. Ben was enjoying his ice cream in the paper cup until he noticed that Kiki wasn’t. On the walk to the market he had noticed that she had constantly been looking over her shoulder and when they were in the store, she looked around every corner with a great deal of caution. While he had bought the ice cream, she had watched the street.

“Is everything alright?” Ben asked.

“No” Kiki replied, “I’m not used to this, public, the market, any of it.”

Once she said that Ben remembered that he had only ever seen her in their respective houses or in the back gardens until she had come with him. Was there a reason for that?

Kiki's probably not used to being out in public without the overt presence of the First Foot. I'm confident that she's not unprotected and am rather sure that Gräfin Katherine’s neighborhood is as protective of the residents of her house against outsiders as the Pankow-Heinersdorf neighborhood was of her and her family.
 
Kiki's probably not used to being out in public without the overt presence of the First Foot. I'm confident that she's not unprotected and am rather sure that Gräfin Katherine’s neighborhood is as protective of the residents of her house against outsiders as the Pankow-Heinersdorf neighborhood was of her and her family.
I sure hope so. If the two of them weren't inconspicuously accompanied by a platoon of agents someone would have really dropped the ball in Kat's outfit. Just because this is a time of mourning and soul-searching for the family doesn't mean the normal security measures are no longer necessary.
 

Grimbald

Monthly Donor
Prior to WWI the German Empire had common coinage for most of its small value coins. However the individual states issued their own coinage for the large silver 2MK and 5MK pieces (Think US silver 50c piece and old style silver dollar) In general the coins had an eagle symbol of the empire on one side and the state's monarch on the other.
 
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Part 81, Chapter 1235
Chapter One Thousand Two Hundred Thirty-Five


19th August 1957

Berlin

Kat was prepared to ease Louis back into the swing of things, but when he went straight to Berlin as opposed to going to Potsdam, it quickly became apparent that after the time he had spent away he was ready to dive back into his role as Emperor. It was just as well because Kat and Cecilie had been running out of excuses to give the Chancellor regarding the whereabouts of the Emperor. While, his presence might not have been as critical as it had been during prior generations, his absence had been felt in a number of ways. Once the main issues of National security, the current battles in the Reichstag and the events that were in Louis’ interest to pay attention to were covered. There were also a few other things that he needed to be made aware of, like the thing that had caused him to flee in the first place wasn’t going away.

“How many are there?” Louis asked.

“We’ve turned away a dozen…” Kat replied.

“That doesn’t sound so bad” Louis interjected.

“Today” Kat finished, and she saw his reaction to that.

“Who are the favorites according to the odds makers?” Louis asked ruefully.

“Margaret of England” Kat said, and she saw Louis make a face. The English Princess has a reputation that proceeded her, and Louis wasn’t the sort that wanted to sleep with one eye open for the rest of his life. “Margaretha of Sweden, Astrid of Norway, Infanta Pilar of Spain are the others…”

There was one more among the top contenders, but Kat was reluctant to tell Louis. “Jehane Alexandra of Russia is considered an outside favorite” Kat finished.

“Most of them are practically children and that last one is a joke” Louis said, “After Kira, the Junkers will not tolerate another Romanov Princess. Besides that, she made her bed and now she gets to sleep in it. She will find that Russia is a lot less forgiving of her independent nature."

Kat detected a dark undercurrent in what Louis said about Gia, he had to be aware of the role that she had played in the sequence of events that had ended with Kira suffering a heart attack. This was the first time that he had mentioned it.

“There are also a number of heiresses and socialites who you need to be aware of” Kat said mildly.

“I’m sure that you and Cecilie have a number of excuses for me to put them off without offending them” Louis said, “I would suggest that you put them to use.”

“Very well” Kat replied.

“How are the children?” Louis asked, “Other than Junior, I know how he is.”

Of the six Royal children only fourteen-year-old Louis Junior had remained with his father over the prior months. Months which Kat was certain had to have been instructive for him. Kiki had come to live in Kat’s household. Vicky and Rea were living with their Aunt’s family. Freddy was preparing to ship out to Vietnam at any time and Mikey was discovering that his love of equestrianism was holding him in good stead at the military academy he was attending.

“They are doing well” Kat replied, “I got something here that you ought to find amusing.”

She rummaged around in the satchel that she had brought to the meeting until she found the photographs she was looking for.

“One of my people took these in the neighborhood I live in” Kat said, “It has been a challenge keeping her protection discreet while giving the space to step out in the world. She is always looking for them and I’m afraid that is causing her difficulty.”

It was a series of photographs of Kiki with Ben Hirsch as they had gone for ice cream a few days earlier. The whole thing had seemed innocent enough and the team of BII Agents assigned to keep watch on Kiki had let it play out. They had remained close enough to keep her safe while staying far enough away to give her the illusion of being alone.

Louis found it amusing, still he had questions.

“You properly vetted this boy before you allowed him around Kristina?” Louis asked, “Just in case there is something in his background that creates a danger for Kristina?”

“Benjamin is the son of one of my neighbors” Kat replied, “A Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University.”

Louis nodded, most of the people who had moved into Kat’s neighborhood worked for the University in some capacity.

“Ben is a nice boy, who has been respectful of Kiki and they are a cute couple” Kat continued, “He had abided by the ground rules that we have established. Still, we understand that we are dealing with two fifteen-year-olds and they are being watched very closely.”

“Where there is a will there is a way” Louis said.

“I’m afraid so” Kat replied.

“Perhaps I ought to introduce myself” Louis said, “Really put the fear of God into him.”

“I wouldn’t do that just yet” Kat replied, “Kiki has told him some half truths and made some understatements about who she is because she doesn’t want her identity to interfere with her life and relationships. If you do that, you’ll mess that relationship up even if you don’t frighten the boy to death.”

“He doesn’t know that Kristina is my daughter?” Louis asked.

“No, he doesn’t” Kat replied, “And she is worried about what will happen when he figures it out.”
 
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"Did someone say something about Kaiser Rolls with lunch?" is said, just as Kiki's dad pulls up in an expensive British luxury motorcar...
 
Ladies and gentlemen, gravity has begun to affect the coin, let us now wait to see if the pfenning does indeed drop...

I'm not sure it has yet. Ben Hersch may turn out to be an intellectual anti-gravity generator. This particular pfennig may remain airborne for sometime.
He's an, (amateur), astronomer looking for mysteries and discoveries hundreds, thousands or millions of light years away, he's far too emotionally long-sighted to make a discovery just over the road.

(Although it did take the use of a telescope to begin this discovery).
 
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