My 1632 fan text

Staring my favorite charachter

Lt Commander Eddie Cantrell held onto his seat as the Gustav made the turn into the final approach to Copenhagen airport. Parked next to the two story log terminal was a large red and white carriage with six strong horses attached, and between the terminal and the carriage were four figures: a young woman, a girl and two tall men. The pilot grunted with disgust. "Those two again" he said. "I am making it clear right now that my orders are to drop you off and fly right back to Magdburg. I don’t have a single moment to loose because it is getting dark. I don’t care what the royals say, I have my orders. I am not even getting out of the plane".

Eddie reassured him. "Both of them will be too busy today to want a joy ride."

The pilot grumbled some more. "I know the girl is popular with almost everyone, but they haven't had to listen to her shriek with joy for hours on end. Some numbskull showed her one of those Blue Angels tapes. Girls are supposed to be nervous, not supposed to make us nervous."

Eddie remembered his life as a prisoner her last year, and gave a short harsh laugh.

After the pilot landed and rolled up to the royal party at the far end, he turned the plane around so that Eddie got out on the opposite side of the plane from the royal party. In addition to Princess Kristina, there was also his betrothed Anne Katherine and her brother Ulrik. It is against protocol to show the royals your back, and there is not dignified way to get out of a Gustav, even if there was not the complication of a wooden leg.

Ann Katherine, however, was not much for protocol where Eddie was concerned. Before he managed to get on the step and she was there to assist him off the plane. Ann Katherine always surprised Eddie with her immense strength in addition to her intense femininity. When Eddie was comfortably off the plane she called to the coachmen to bring along his baggage.

Eddie supervised the loading of the boxes. Three of them were full of fragile things that had to be handled very carefully. He made very sure they were secure and as Anne Katherine stood next to him with her arm around him.

Finally all the boxes were stored and Gustav flew off. Anne Katherine helped Eddie in after Kristina and Ulrik got inside, and Baldur Nordhausen got in last and sat next to Ulrik.

Anne Katherine sat very demurely next to Eddie with her hand on his leg. She was not above giving it a suggestive squeeze every so often.

After the coach began moving, Eddie asked Ulrik "Your little lab in the castle, How much did you tell the French about it?"

Ulirk laughed. "The French were not interested and they told us nothing. We would have loved to have had one of their Cardinal rifles if they had been willing to tell us about them."

Eddie Relaxed. "Well, that is well and good, as Mr Ferrara told Admiral Simpson that if the French had got ahold of some of what you guys were doing there, we would be in serious trouble. Admiral Simpson and Mr Ferrara were very impressed by your workshop."

Ulrik nodded. "My father didn’t trust the French to tell him all he needed to know. We were very lucky in our purchases in Grantville. "

Eddie said “After our campaign to bring the carronades down to Bavaria, I talked to Admiral Simpson about your workshop and all you accomplished up here. I know he wrote to you and explained the proposition, but I just want to go over the details again.

“ We want to use your work shop as a second lab for what Mr Ferrara is doing. You had some brilliant ideas. Mrs Simpson wants to set up school systems everywhere, so you will get additional funding besides what you have here. So officially, I am here to talk your father into setting up the Niels Bohr Technical Institute. I am bringing along some texts from Grantville high and a couple computers. I am also bringing along a lot of other technical materials.”

Ulrick looked puzzled. “Who is this Neils Bohr? It sounds like a Danish name”

Baldur leaned forward “A couple computers! I have used one of those wonder machines when I was at the Grantville library. And Admiral Simpson is giving them to us!”

Eddie shook his head. "First things first. Neils Bohr was a famous Danish Scientist. He was important in the development of Manhattan Project. You can look him up in your father’s Britannicas. Wallenstein is providing a bunch of the funding along with Morris Roth's advice. The name is Roth's suggestion. Wallenstein is concerned because the news from the Ottoman empire is that they are heading North this year, and they might try for Prague as Wallenstein is uneasy on his throne. As for the computers being a gift from Simpson or Stearns. No, one of them is mine. The other one belonged to the guy I was on the 'Outlaw' with. Admiral Simpson and Mike Stearns sort of agreed that since he had no family outside of the four of us in the trailer I sort of inherited it. We mostly used them for gaming, but they have basic business software on them. I also have some programming stuff. I was intending to learn programming, and I bought a bunch of books on it." Eddie reached into the box sitting next to him. "For example, here is a book on Visual Basic." Eddie used the Danish words for it, which caused some quizzical looks because of the grammatical structure. " don't know how to make the word 'Basic' into a noun in Danish, and anyway, it is an acronym in English"

Anne Katherine gave a sour look. "Your American friends are infamous for your acronyms."

Princess Kristina laughed. "I remember the Count of Narnia teasing Ms Platzer about that. It actually does not save you any syllables."

Eddie gave a rueful grin. "Well, in this case it does. It stands for Beginners All Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code. Or in Danish, {Beginners all Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code} "

Ann Katherine pointed her finger accusingly. "Where is the P? I heard you use a word beginning with P, but the word b-a-s-i-c does not contain the letter P."

Eddie Shrugged. "Sometimes when it comes to acronyms we cheat. In this case, All Purpose is a single word"

Ann Katherine was leafing through the book. "Did you read all this? It looks very confusing."

Eddie shook his head. "I am afraid it interfered with my gaming time.. I only got as far as chapter 4. "

Baldur and Ulrik had each taken books out of the box, and Kristina had taken out an album of DVDs.

"Those are some of my Civil War collection. I was a bit of a Civil War buff. The reason I got attached to Admiral Simpson and the Navy was I wrote him a long letter about what I remembered from my reading. Essentially, the Timberclads were my idea. "

Ulrick gave a look. "I don’t know if I can forgive you for that."

Eddie nodded. “I can understand. But don’t forget, I was the one in the Blue Tower when Simpson started shooting it up. If it weren’t for your brave and wonderful sister here, I would have been little more than sausage for the sea gulls. “

Anne Katherine nodded. “I told the guards in the Blue tower they should have been more careful about you. When we came of the tower you were looking very pale.”

“You really should apologize to them Anne Katherine. Admiral Simpson was shooting 5” high shells. Shells about that big around” He held his hands apart to show her how big 5” was. “You stare down the muzzle of a carronade firing that kind of ordinance, your face gets very pale.”

“Pooh, you always make yourself out less than you are. When I arrived you were staring out the window looking totally unconcerned.”

Ann Katherine reached into the box again and pulled out a thick tall book. “Oh, what a pretty design! Is that a seashell?… Integral Calculus. Sounds Latin. What is this about?”

“That is a gift from Tom Simpson. He brought his textbooks with him. That is a text in higher math that our old universe won’t be invented for another 50 years or so. It is about mathematics dealing with changing variables. You want to find the area under a curve, you want to analyze trajectories of things, you use calculus. This is an upper level text too. So far as we know, this is the highest level math book to come through the ring of fire.”

“Grantville had a calculus program, but the teacher retired and she wasn’t replaced yet. Mr Ferrerra says they going to do interviews the week after Rita and Tom’s wedding. We had about 40 high school calc texts.” Eddie reached in and took out another book and passed it to Baldur. “You may already have a copy of this.” Ulrick nodded his head.

We only have about 10 left in Grantville, and they are now locked up until we can get some copies printed. We are pretty sure the Turks got a few, the French have a couple, the King in the Netherlands has his copy.”

Ulrick turned to Kristina and said “I have to convince my father to let his copy out of his cabinet. I remember him trying to read it, but the problem of the symbols and the English made him most upset.”

Kristina leaned over Ulrick to look at the text in Baldur’s hand. He passed it over to her. “It looks very complicated.”

“it is. I took it senior year in high school. I got a ‘B.’”

Anne Katherine put the College Calculus text back. “Are these all textbooks?”

“Yes. Most of them are college level. Several people went to Fairmont, and a few of them kept their textbooks. Mostly inadvertently. When they change textbooks at college, you can’t sell the old one back. Most of the textbooks we have are Tom Simpson’s. They were pretty wealthy, and Tom never got in the habit of selling his back. We have college texts on physics, chemistry and basic engineering as well.”

Baldur looked up from the calculus text. “I thought Tom Simpson was not considered a great intellect. Also we were looking for books like this, and were told they didn’t exist.”

“Well, in Tom’s defense, he mostly was into sports. But he still got into college, and his old man did give him directions. The way these books got to Grantville was Admiral Simpson was pissed over the marriage and shipped a bunch of Tom’s old stuff to Rita. It got to Grantville, got put in storage under the stairs, and forgotten. Rita needed some storage space last fall and began to sort through it all. Tom is never going to use them again, and Admiral Simpson thinks giving you these books is better than having the Ottomans get them.”

Anne Katherine Sniffed. “The Ottomans aren’t our problem.”

Kristina looked at Ulrick and said “But maybe they might be our solution.

If Ferdinand has the Turk as his back, he might be more willing to see reason about peace in the Germanys.”

Eddy said “Yeah, there is an old joke that facing being hung in the morning concentrates your mind wonderfully.”

Kristina nodded her head. “This has been a bad year for the Hasburgs and the French both. Bernard Sax Weimar, Wallenstein and the King in the Netherlands have all carved out independent domains. The Danish army survived Lubeck, but the French army was eliminated. It is almost as if the Spanish and the French are out of the picture, and the Austrians have problems so great that they are willing to talk peace within Germany so as to protect himself for bigger problems. We might have peace “

Ulrick waved his hand in disagreement. “We are getting close, I think. But your father has stirred up the Poles, and they are not willing to negotiate yet. There is also the problem of Bavaria. “

Ann Katherine asked “How serious is that?”

Eddie replied “For me, very serious. I will have to fly down there again in six weeks. When the roads get to a level where they are merely pathetic rather than downright horrible, we will need to move our carronades. It does not look like an easy job. The Danube does not lend itself to river operations like the Elbe did.”

Ulrich said “While it seems his sanity is lost, he has shown his military capacity is as strong as ever.”

Ann Katherine was looking in the box. “We have some journals here.” She gave Eddie an arch look. “Are any of them those famous Penthouses?”

Eddie turned a nice shade of pink. “Err, not any more. I thought my betrothed would not approve.”

“Is it true that the women in these magazines put things into their bosoms to make them larger?”

Eddie nodded.

Ann Katherine looked down at her chest “Why would they do such a thing?”

Eddie looked at Ulrich in desperation. He was making noises like a kitten sneezing while covering his mouth with his hand. Eddie took the plunge. “They are none of them as fortunate as you.”

Kristina interrupted “This Neils Bohr…. Was he as famous as Nobel?”

“No, Bohr was mostly a professor and scientist. He was one of a large number of men who developed atomic theory. And he never became rich like Nobel either.”

Baldur leaned forward. “ I read about those atom bombs. How soon do you think we will see them?”

“Not for a long long time. We have been discussing it. It is a major worry, especially with the likes of Sultan Murad around. But there are huge impediments before anyone can do anything that scary.”

“First there is the whole thing of what we call ‘Steam Engine Time.’ Before there can be an invention, a whole lot of other inventions have to happen first. The Greeks and the Egyptians built steam powered toys and such back in the BC era. We brought steam engines and Ironclads to the 17th century, but we did lots of cheats to do so. We had spare hydraulic systems from the coal mine, encyclopedias and tools that could make that happen, but even with all the advantages we have in tools, books, and just our common knowledge set, the fanciest stuff we have been able to make is still 130 years out of date in the world we came from.”

“Also, in order to build those things you need huge resources. The only countries to have them in our world, 55 years on, were huge countries with huge populations and were also very rich. The original Manhattan project required over 60,000 people to work in the different parts of the program. There is no state in the here and now that can dedicate that kind of manpower to that kind of project.”

The other problem it creates, and this was a problem for the autocratic states in the 19th century, is that revolutions don’t come by themselves. When you have an industrial revolution that produces all kind of new and exciting goods, you have a social revolution to go with it. At the beginning of the 19th century, the rich and powerful were the old landlords and nobility and the merchants and manufactures were below the salt. At then end, the rich and powerful were the merchants and factory owners. The old nobility was swept into irrelevance. Ideas don’t run around by themselves. They move around in groups. The kind of society that allows for a technology revolution has to accept the social revolution that goes along with it.”

Anne Katherine said “My father would never go along with that. Would your father, Kristina? Would you?

Kristina said “My father and I have already been talking of this. In the Germanies, what with the Brillo agitation going on we have already seen the social and political changes move very far. Denmark has been sort of isolated from this because of the league of Kalmar I would think. My father said we are like a captain facing a great North Sea storm. We can sail our ship in an intelligent manner, and get to our destination, or we can insist the sea and sky and calm and go smash on a reef.”

“I have been reading father’s encyclopedia’s little sister. Ulrik said. “The Scandinavian royalties in the other universe co operated and rode the storm. The survived, and even had a great deal of authority in that other universe because they handled the storm. The Royal families like in Germany, Austria and Russia that fought against reality were either all killed off or exiled to live in poverty.