Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

Germany is not so much on private boating parades for reasons already explained. What it has/had are the Hamburger Hafengeburtstag (harbor birthday) and the Kieler Woche (week) two week long festivities each with all kind of ships present, races, demonstrations of capabilities of ships (very famous the ballet of the tugboats in Hamburg) fireworks and the ability to visit ships and ride on one of them.

With the HSF being seen much more positive ITTL they might play an important part in that as well.

And poor Yuri if Zella had anything going for him she does not appear like the woman who had trouble dragging him by the hair into her room for a final „coffee“.
 
Poor Yuri. Absolutely everyone around them can see that he is hopelessly in love with Zella. Except, of course, for Zella. She just sees him as a friend and colleague.
 
IOTL there is a beginning of films being made that has a nostalgic look back at WW II with films like "Summer of '42 " but that film won't be made ITTL as an American film as the United States wasn't involved until the literal last minute of the Pacific War.

Zella since her traumatic involvement with her university professor and the lost of her unborn child has kept her distance from any potential romantic partnership with the exception of LF Jr and that didn't end well.
I really can't see Zella having any romantic feelings for Yuri as she probably sees him as a "Damn Good Cameraman" and work friend, maybe a profession of love from Yuri may make Zella see that she has been keeping herself under wraps too long and may decide to give herself a chance to find someone to love and be loved back in return.
 
Zella had noticed the key differences though as soon as she got a look underneath. While the engine was still displaced 700 cubic centimeters, but unlike the old boxer engine in the rear of the old car, this one was mounted under the bonnet in the front. It was an enlarged version the of the four-cylinder K Series engines that Zella knew quite well. Her motorcycle used the smaller three-cylinder engine that was a part of the same series. The new car was also a Saloon model, so the back seats were not as cramped as they had been in the Sprot Coupe.

“Shouldn’t it be pointed the other way?” Yuri asked as he looked over Zella’s shoulder.

“It doesn’t necessarily have to be” Zella replied, looking at the valve cover and wires from the spark plugs, revealing that the engine was mounted parallel to the firewall. Just in front of that was the aluminum housing of the transmission which the front axle ran through and the radiator.
Woohoo!
 
Part 124, Chapter 2088
Chapter Two Thousand Eighty-Eight



5th September 1971

Tempelhof, Berlin

Hiding things from Kat was absolutely impossible. She somehow knew everything that happened in her house and Sophie was unsure exactly how that worked. It wasn’t that Kat was cruel or neglectful. Sophie had seen enough of that from her actual mother, who she had not seen in years. Kat had made a point of pointing out to her that nothing terrible had happened on her twelfth birthday or in the months since because her life hadn’t changed. Sophie that realized that it was one more thing that her mother had obviously gotten wrong.

Not that everything was perfect though. While Sophie’s own life remained the same, it seemed like everyone around her was caught up in some sort of turmoil. Marie Alexandra had gone away to a school in Switzerland and Sophie was discovering that things where actually a bit boring with the closest thing she had to a sister gone for the next school year. Ziska had discovered a passion for a certain kind of Pop music, one which left Sophie cold because she didn’t understand the point of it. That had led directly to an argument when Sophie had asked if they could please go and do something, anything else after school. Eventually, she had been forced to go home early though Ziska’s mother had told Sophie that it wasn’t her fault. Ziska was in a mood today, whatever that meant, and things would be better in a couple days.

Turning into the alley that ran behind Kat’s house, Sophie saw that Frau Hirsch was unloading a heavy box from her car that was labeled FRAGILE, GLASS.

Do you need help with that?” Sophie asked.

Frau Hirsch looked up a bit startled.

“No” Frau Hirsch said a bit too sharply before saying, “Thank you for the kind offer Sophie, but you are not exactly the best person to help in this case.”

Sophie just shrugged it off as she walked her bicycle through the gate into the garden and leaned it against the garage’s back wall. She was a little disappointed because whatever was in the box looked interesting and couldn’t help but notice that her bicycle was the only one there. Marie’s was gone, having been put into storage.

Entering the house through the laundry room Sophie was warmly greeted by Fleur, the elderly terrier mix. The dog was always happy to see Sophie and today was no exception. Cheshire was nowhere to be seen, but he was off doing whatever a cat did with his day and would turn up when he felt like it.

In the kitchen, Sophie found a note on the refrigerator from Petia telling her to help herself because she was done for the day and Sophie was perfectly able to feed herself. This had become typical, the Russian woman who ran Kat’s household had said that she was perfectly happy to have Sophie take on grownup responsibilities so that she didn’t have to.

Getting herself a slice of bread and jam, Sophie hummed to herself as she walked up the stairs to the parlor level. There were two men in dark suits who Sophie had learned to tell were BII just from the look of them. Not the sort who anyone with an ounce of sanity wanted to tangle with. The light was on in Kat’s office and Sophie could hear Kat talking to someone in a tone that she knew from personal experience no one wanted to be on the receiving end of. From the sound of it, there were several other people in there even if Kat was doing all the talking.

“You were given a chance to rebuild your life in America with a dear friend of mine sticking her neck out for you, but you screwed that up and got yourself deported” Kat said in a voice that could have frozen water. “I warned you about what would happen if you ever came back to Berlin.”

“But it wasn’t my fault that…” A man’s voice started to say only to be interrupted by the sound of a fist hitting him in the face. Kat had done her level best to shield Sophie and the rest of the children under her care from the seamier side of being the Prefect of Berlin, that in order to control a massive city there were times when she couldn’t afford to be nice. Not that Kat ever personally got her hands dirty these days, she had people for that.

There had been a few times when Sophie walked in on something that was in the midst of happening. This was no different and while Kit would have encouraged Sophie to move along to her room, she lingered on the stairs to listen in on what is happening.

“You meant to say that you couldn’t keep it in your pants” Kat said harshly, “That is your fault. Now, what are we supposed to do with you?”

There was a long awkward pause before the man started to answer.

“Let me leave the city, I swear I’ll never come back” he said, his voice becoming a frightened sob.

“In the old days, a man like you would have been castrated before being hung, drawn, and quartered” Kat said, “But first your tongue would have been cut out for lying to me like you just did.”

That was enough for the man, he attempted to flee Kat’s office and came flying out the door only to get tackled by the two BII men. Looking up he saw Sophie watching from the stairs and went white as a sheet as a look of recognition crossed his face as the BII men dragged him back into Kat’s office.

Later, Kat came to Sophie’s room and told her that she hadn’t hurt the man she had seen too badly, she had just put the fear of God into him so that he would leave Berlin and never return. Then Kat said something odd, that it was unfortunate that Sophie had seen her sperm donor like that. For the second time that day, someone had told Sophie something that she didn’t understand.
 
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Why do I think that the miscreant sperm donor is going to do something stupid involving Sophie that will bring The Tigers of Pankow in to full battle mode, and on a side note I just knew he was going to be deported from the United States.
 
Who's the "sperm donor" again?
Sophie’s Father
Elke’s (who is Sophie’s mother) Sexual Abuser
Kiki’s Attempted Molester but instead became her punching bag
Kat’s reason to go to town on culture of Harassment in the military
 
Part 124, Chapter 2089
Chapter Two Thousand Eighty-Nine



10th September 1971

Plänterwald, Berlin

Looking at the map of the Southern Andes spread out on the table, Kiki did her best to explain where she had been months earlier when she and Ernesto Guevara crossed into Chile. “There was a low range of hills, but then we crossed a fallow field to a muddy track” She said, “There were no checkpoints or any evidence of patrols, at least none that I could see.”

“Thank you, Ma’am” the senior of the two Officers who had come to Kiki’s cottage said, “This information will be useful.”

“Traveling north on Chile’s Route 7, I saw how much of it had to be taken by ferry” Kiki said, “I’m not sure how useful this actually is because of that.”

“General Rommel told us that you were sharp” The Junior Officer said with a smile.

They were from the Office of Strategic Planning within the Military High Command, whose job it was to digest useful information wherever they could find it and turn it into actionable plans for Generals on the ground. They also started the process of learning from present conflicts, often while they were still in progress to see what lessons could be gleaned. It was composed of semi-retired Officers, mostly of the rank of Oberst or higher, and career bureaucrats like the two who had come to speak to Kiki today because they were extremely interested in how she had crossed over into Chile without anyone being aware of her movements.

Field Marshal Erwin Rommel remained in charge of the Office though he had to be getting up there in years. He had commanded a successful operation in South Africa before going on to the Heer’s High Command. When he had retired, he had replaced Walter Horst whose health had been failing at the time. Kiki had gotten to know him and his family well when she had been recovering from a head injury and had spent the summer in an isolated chalet located on his property.

“Is the General well?” Kiki asked, Rommel had to be nearly eighty years old, and Kiki knew how difficult it was to get her father to admit that he wasn’t young anymore, that probably went double for a man who had spent his youth like Rommel had.

“He said that you would ask that” The senior Officer said, “And he told us to tell you that he was a bit put out that you and your family didn’t see for yourselves when you in Bavaria this summer.”

“My boat cannot go that high up into the mountains” Kiki replied stating the obvious. It was just like him to give Kiki a hint like that, and she would need to arrange to visit him the next time she went to Bavaria. Ben and Kiki had been getting hints from Balderschwang as well, they really wanted to meet the new Markgräfin and heir apparent now that Nina was old enough to travel.



Fort Irwin, California

Ritchie had done his best to bring the rest of his Platoon up to his standards, which were also the Green Beret’s standards. It was something that had not gone unnoticed by the Brass, and they had been called into the Colonel’s office where they had been issued Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol patches. Ritchie had almost laughed at the situation because unlike the others who were strutting around now that they were technically considered a Special Forces Unit, he knew exactly what they were in for. A few days later the others had found out as they had been ordered to perform reconnaissance across the Mojave Desert in a patrol that went far ahead of the main column, on foot. Over the last few days, they had gotten lost a couple times and had to sleep during the hottest part of the day in whatever shade they could find. There was also lots of dust, scorpions, and snakes to contend with.

The real fun had come when they finally sighted the “Enemy Forces.” They had withdrawn from the area without making contact and radioed the map coordinates of where they had spotted the “Enemies.” After that, there was nothing else to do but proceed to the extraction point and wait for the helicopters to pick them up.

“Was that it?” Walt demanded as they walked across the rough desert terrain.

“The idea is to gather intelligence” Ritchie replied, “If we are fighting the opposing force then something has gone wrong, and we would be trying to get clear before a regular Army Unit brought the hammer down on us.”

“That isn’t what I’ve seen” Rick said angrily, “The comic books showed the Hellcats blowing shit up and shooting Russians.”

Ritchie had seen those comic books, the old Combat Comics that had lionized German Special Forces. Few remembered that they were straight up German propaganda that depicted the Russians as barbarians, the Japanese as savages, and if American forces were mentioned at all, it was as the butt of a joke by clever Hellcats or Sealions tricking them, usually for beer. He had also seen many of the German movies about the Second World War and the Spanish mess that had preceded it. If anything, those were even more scathing in their depiction of America’s not so neutral neutrality.

“They were infiltrated by parachute, and extraction was difficult before helicopters” Ritchie said, “If they got sent in, it had to be for a high value target and there is a reason why more than half of them never made it back alive.”

The Davis brothers were silent for a few minutes as the implications of their new role sank in. They couldn’t say that Ritchie hadn’t tried to warn them.
 
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This is what the LRRP patches looked like. This image is from the 25th Infantry Division.
images.jpg


The ones given to Ritchie's outfit would look similar except it would include the 40th Infantry Division patch in place of the 25th.
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In OTL all the LRRP Units from various Divisions were consolidated into one Regiment starting in 1969, but with no Vietnam War ITTL that hasn't happened.
 
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Hiding things from Kat was absolutely impossible. She somehow knew everything that happened in her house and Sophie was unsure exactly how that worked. It wasn’t that Kat was cruel or neglectful. Sophie had seen enough of that from her actual mother, who she had not seen in years. Kat had made a point of pointing out to her that nothing terrible had happened on her twelfth birthday or in the months since because her life hadn’t changed. Sophie that realized that it was one more thing that her mother had obviously gotten wrong.
No puberty yet for Sophie, unlike her egg donor Elke. Considering the attitudes of the male and female members of her family, and factoring in certain predatory males, I can see why Elke considers turning twelve to have been such a terrible event in her life.
Ziska had discovered a passion for a certain kind of Pop music, one which left Sophie cold because she didn’t understand the point of it. That had led directly to an argument when Sophie had asked if they could please go and do something, anything else after school. Eventually, she had been forced to go home early though Ziska’s mother had told Sophie that it wasn’t her fault. Ziska was in a mood today, whatever that meant, and things would be better in a couple days.
Ziska, on the other hand, has achieved that milestone. I hope Kat is able to help Sophie through that when the time comes.
“You were given a chance to rebuild your life in America with a dear friend of mine sticking her neck out for you, but you screwed that up and got yourself deported” Kat said in a voice that could have frozen water. “I warned you about what would happen if you ever came back to Berlin.”
The Imperial Family has NOT forgotten what you tried to do, nor has it forgiven. Blum might even be introduced to the idiot formerly known as Mithras.
That was enough for the man, he attempted to flee Kat’s office and came flying out the door only to get tackled by the two BII men. Looking up he saw Sophie watching from the stairs and went white as a sheet as a look of recognition crossed his face as the BII men dragged him back into Kat’s office.
Sophie either looks exactly like Elke, or Blum has been told who she is by someone. Kat, of course, knows that Sophie is out there.
Later, Kat came to Sophie’s room and told her that she hadn’t hurt the man she had seen too badly, she had just put the fear of God into him so that he would leave Berlin and never return. Then Kat said something odd, that it was unfortunate that Sophie had seen her sperm donor like that. For the second time that day, someone had told Sophie something that she didn’t understand.
And the Furstin gently comforts her ward, reassuring her that the bad man wouldn't cause any more problems.
 
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