Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

Sophie realized that her friend was likely to be physically incapable of riding the new bicycle the same way. It was something that Sophie didn’t have to think about but must be in the back of Ziska’s mind constantly. What she could or could not do because she was missing part of her right leg. So, it was added to the ever-growing list of things that they wouldn’t talk about in the future.
I think it would make Ziska's day if Sophie turned up with a hired tandem, although having to pedal for the two of them would be a strain.
 
I think it would make Ziska's day if Sophie turned up with a hired tandem, although having to pedal for the two of them would be a strain.
Ziska can ride a bicycle with platform pedals. What happened is that Sophie's new bicycle uses toe clips which change the mechanics of the the rider so that there is continuous torque on the chain. If Ziska tried to do that then there is a good chance it would pull the prosthesis off her right leg.
 
Part 129, Chapter 2194
Chapter Two Thousand One Hundred Ninety-Four



1st January 1973

Schöneberg, Berlin

Kiki had traveled with Ben and Nina by train to spend the Christmas Holiday in Prague. Being Michael and Birdie’s guests for the Holiday had certainly been interesting. Especially because Kiki had found herself contending with a team of Doctors who Michael had hired to care for Birdie. Unfortunately, Birdie had passively accepted this dubious help. Kiki had been forced to clean house after calling for reinforcements in the form of Nora Berg and Frau Aue, the same Midwife who had assisted in the birth of Victoria’s children. She had then patiently explained to Birdie that all she needed was the help of two women who had together more than a century of experience in bringing heathy babies into this world. Birdie had later told Kiki that she was scared at the prospect of what the next few months held, she was now nearly six months along and was struggling with the expectations that the world seemed to have in her. Kiki had honestly told her that it was far better than having her pregnancy coming as a surprise when she was nearly to term. Birdie had been rather surprised that had happened for real.

Returning to Berlin and regular life had almost been a welcome change. Being in the Emergency Department certainly brought its thrills, then Kiki had found herself in a car that was speeding across town with lights and sirens going so that she could put her wealth of field experience to use.

Autobahn 100 was only twenty-one kilometers in length passing south of Mitte, part of an aborted attempt to build an inner ring around the center of Berlin. All proposals to extend the highway had been met with fierce opposition and most of the Berlin Government had sided with those who argued that the character of the City Center needed to be preserved. Some even going so far as to suggest that traffic be limited to delivery vehicles and public transit.

Even so, A100 was one of the busiest stretches of road found anywhere in the Autobahn system. Normally that wouldn’t present more problems than usual. The early morning hours of New Year’s Day were far from usual when inclement weather resulting in poor visibility and drivers who were returning home from New Year’s celebrations mixed with commercial traffic that had to proceed like if it were any other Weekday Morning, holiday or not. This conspired to create a massive pileup where the road passed through curving tunnels underneath Innsbrucker Platz Station.

Kiki had volunteered to work overnight on New Year’s Eve in the University Hospital’s Emergency Department. Only to be surprised when Ben had shown up just before midnight complaining that he couldn’t sleep without a kiss from his wife on New Year’s. It was the sort of thing that would give the gossips among the Hospital Staff a great deal to talk about in the first days of the new year, still Kiki had given Ben his kiss before sending him back to Plänterwald. It was a silly thing for him to have done and she liked that he did things like that. It was far better than the time that he had pulled similar stunt with a fighter plane, briefly escorting an airliner that he knew she would be on. Shortly after he had left, the call had come for Field Surgeons to go out into the field. It had been a bit of a surprise when Kiki had been informed that she was going to be the Ranking Surgical Officer on scene and the Incident Commander wanted to meet with her as soon as she got there.

As the car pulled up to the accident scene, Kiki saw lights reflected off shattered safety glass that was everywhere. The first vehicle she noticed was a lorry that was laying on its side and the cargo, cases of toilet paper, had been strewn across all six lanes of the highway. She couldn’t help but notice that the Fire Department Rescue teams were trying to pry a car out from underneath the lorry. It was then that Kiki realized just how bad this was probably going to be.

“Not a Public Holiday for us, Frau Oberfeldarzt” The Incident Commander said as Kiki climbed out of the car and approached him, it was sort of hard to see with the wind driving pellets of ice into her face. “As near as we can tell there was one collision at first, then additional cars and lorries didn’t see it until they were right on top of it.”

The Incident Commander was a middle-aged man whose rank in the Fire Service was equivalent to an Oberst. His demeanor was of a man who had seen everything in his line of work. If Kiki had to guess, he probably had. He was calmly watching as the Emergency Workers were streaming in from around the city.

“How many?” Kiki asked, half afraid of the answer.

“We count twenty-five vehicles so far” The Incident Commander replied, “Fortunately we got the road closed before it got worse.”

Kiki winced when she heard that number. Her original assessment was more on the nose than she had imagined. She was half tempted to ask how this could possibly get any worse.

“Also, nothing has caught on fire” The Incident Commander said, “So far anyway, but I have teams ready to spray foam retardant just in case. Spread the word that if you or any of your people smell smoke, get clear and let us worry about the passengers.”

Kiki understood why he had said that. Her job was to save as many as possible, but she also had a responsibility to keep her own people as safe so that they could go about doing exactly that.
 
This is 70s with more than 20,000 killed in accidents OTL.
Safety belts to be put on by law, reducing the allowed alcohol while driving, better safety in the construction of cars…
 
Autobahn 100 was only twenty-one kilometers in length passing south of Mitte, part of an aborted attempt to build an inner ring around the center of Berlin. All proposals to extend the highway had been met with fierce opposition and most of the Berlin Government had sided with those who argued that the character of the City Center needed to be preserved. Some even going so far as to suggest that traffic be limited to delivery vehicles and public transit.

This is 70s with more than 20,000 killed in accidents OTL.
Safety belts to be put on by law, reducing the allowed alcohol while driving, better safety in the construction of cars…
Speaking of the seventy's city highways, and massive accidents, how are the oil producing country's doing, and is there any group in the Netherlands called stop de kindermoord yet?
 
Speaking of the seventy's city highways, and massive accidents, how are the oil producing country's doing, and is there any group in the Netherlands called stop de kindermoord yet?
It is sort of difficult to say. Many European cities were subjected to radical urban renewal by the USAAF and RAF in the 1940's. ITTL most of those same cities have the Medieval core still intact and the idea of tearing them apart to build highways is something akin to sacrilege. At the same time, the push to build ring highways still occurred for the same reasons it did in OTL.

As for oil, there was an earlier push for greater economy than in OTL. With most of the Middle East being a lawless no-mans-land, oil production is a perilous endeavor there and that has had a huge impact elsewhere in the world.
 
It is sort of difficult to say. Many European cities were subjected to radical urban renewal by the USAAF and RAF in the 1940's. ITTL most of those same cities have the Medieval core still intact and the idea of tearing them apart to build highways is something akin to sacrilege. At the same time, the push to build ring highways still occurred for the same reasons it did in OTL.

As for oil, there was an earlier push for greater economy than in OTL. With most of the Middle East being a lawless no-mans-land, oil production is a perilous endeavor there and that has had a huge impact elsewhere in the world.
When the North Sea oil deposits get brought on line...that’s even more of a game changer.

This is right about the time of the Permian Basin in its heyday, so you have a really strong American oil industry (even more so than OTL if there’s no OPEC and the ME is a chaotic nightmare.

If Venezuela is stable, it’s got a lot of advantages here.
 
Part 29, Chapter 2195
Chapter Two Thousand One Hundred Ninety-Five



5th January 1973

Plänterwald

“My windies” Nina said with as much solemnity as a two-year-old could muster and Charlotte wondered what she was talking about.

She had found herself watching Kiki’s daughter in the time between when Ben needed to go to the University and when Kiki finally made it home because Fianna their Nanny had gone home for the holidays and wouldn’t be back until Monday. When Kiki’s shift at the Hospital had ended, she had been asleep on her feet and in no shape to mind Nina. So, Charlotte had told her to go sleep for a few hours and Charlotte would mind Nina until Ben got back that evening.

It was something that Charlotte didn’t mind doing. Nina was a joy and somewhat refreshing after how complicated things tended to be with Nella and Nan these days. They were now young women and everything that came with that. For Nan it was particularly difficult because so much about her was just a series of open questions that could never be answered. She was also having difficulty reconciling her connection to her biological father and how he had apparently thought she was a failed experiment. Charlotte was of the opinion that if Nan’s mother had not done the deed herself, she would have liked to have had a go at that man with a mattock herself. He certainly deserved it after what he had done to Nan and her mother. Nella on the other hand, had grown up into a well-adjusted teenager. That meant that Charlotte only got into pointless arguments with her occasionally as opposed to all the time as she had frequently seen in her career as a Social Worker.

Now though, Nina had her face pressed up against the glass of the French doors that led outside and kept saying that she wanted her windies. Looking outside, Charlotte saw nothing but a cold winter day. Grey overcast and a thin layer of snow on the grass before it reached the tree line off in the distance. The cottage where Kiki and Ben lived during the winter was that direction and Charlotte wondered if what Nina was asking for had something to do what that.

Then Charlotte saw movement, and two figures raced out of the woods. Rauchbier and Weisse chasing each other around the field. Rauchbier in a red coat and Weisse being a far shaggier variant of the Whippet didn’t really need one. Kiki was standing by the tree line watching the dogs run, she looked like she was in a bit of a mood. Charlotte figured that the two often rambunctious dogs must have woken her, and she had little choice but to take them out for a run.

That was when it occurred to Charlotte that the two dogs were Nina’s “windies” as in little Windhund. It was a bit amusing. She wanted to go out and play with her dogs.

“Perhaps later Nina” Charlotte said, “When Nella and Nan get home, we can and play with your windies.”

Nina looked up Charlotte with a perplexed look on her face. It really did remind Charlotte of the times she had seen Nina's mother and grandfather have exact same expression.



Prague, Bohemia

“That is of course, a State secret” Michael said to Kurt and Gerta when they asked if they knew if it was a boy or girl.

After what had happened to Vicky last year, they were understandably reluctant to have made a public announcement about Birdie being pregnant too soon. They had waited until they were certain that everything was developing in the expected manner a couple months earlier. Kiki of all people tell them that they had probably waited too long.

The thing about having everyone know meant that Michael and Birdie had gotten a lot of calls from people with questions. However, the people whose opinion mattered most to Michael, Kurt Knispel, and his wife Gerta von Wolvogle, hadn’t said anything until today when they had been invited to be their guests in the Castle. Kurt had been busy incorporating what he had gleaned from the after-action reports from the Patagonian War into the structure of the Bohemian Army. It was something that Michael had taken a great interest in but had understood the reality that he needed to let the Generals do their jobs without any undue interference. They were the professionals while he was a bit of an amateur, having never commanded anything larger than a Panzer Company which had hardly seen any action in Korea. He remembered that it had seemed like he had spent the entire conflict chasing after the action only to get there too late. Both Kurt and Kiki had told him he was lucky in that regard, which had always seemed a bit odd.

Naturally, the first question that Gerta had asked was one that they had already been asked a number of times. The answer was one that Michael and Birdie had decided would go unanswered until their child was born.

“Gerta, they have been very clear about this” Kurt said.

“I know” Gerta replied, “But it is the juicy bit of gossip that everyone wants to hear. Surely, they have names picked out either way, you know, just in case.”

“Elisabeth after Birdie’s mother if it is a girl” Michael said, “And Konrad if it is a boy.”

Something about the look on Birdie’s face suggested that he had probably just told Gerta too much and she wasn’t happy he had done that. Everyone who knew Gerta personally knew that the ditzy persona concealed an extremely sharp mind.

“You wouldn’t want to give a little Prince a name that is a contraction, now would we” Gerta said with a slight smile.
 
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Russia should have after the European War became a major producer and exporter of oil and natural gas and with the expertise of Western energy companies production and distribution is much more efficient and it should be the same for Mexico after the LON Intervention with a non corrupt government is more open to foreign investments in the energy sector.
 
Looking at how foreign investments tend to go when it comes to oil producing I am in favor of local ones if anyhow possible.
 
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