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31 August 2006 @ 08:29 pm
VM fic: Where to run without my sneakers? (Veronica, Ensemble, PG13) Prologue  
I didn't think I'd get it done, but here it is, my entry for the 'Where in the world is Veronica Mars' challenge. I wished I had more than the prologue, but well.. better this than nothing. I hope I'll get part 1 done soon.

Title: Where to run without my sneakers? (Veronica, Ensemble, PG 13), Prologue
Author: Kaze
Characters: Ensemble, Veronica POV
Word Count: 1,760
Spoilers: none
Rating: PG 13
Warnings: None (in this chapter)
Summary: Completely AU. Veronica grew up in East Germany and got caught in political tidings that changed her whole life. Written for the ‘Where in the world is Veronica Mars’ challenge. My prompt was ‘Germany’. Go figure.
Disclaimer: VM and its characters belong to Rob Thomas.
A/N: First, many thanks to fickledame and blue_icy_rose for their super-speed beta work and for encouraging me to post this. Second, many thanks to Mizu, my dasq-team partner in crime, who provided me with inside info about life in the GDR.

Vocabulary: ‘Stasi’ is a colloquial acronym for the ministry of ‘Staatssicherheit’, a secret police that pursued political crimes in the GDR.



The harsh light of the desk lamp made her squint. She would have laughed at the cliché, had the situation allowed it. As it was, she simply stared at the woman opposite her, refusing to let light in her eyes disturb the directness of her look. She noticed all the little details of the woman shuffling her papers – a curse of the life she’d lead so far – pin-striped business suit, short dark haircut, thin-rimmed glasses. All screaming ‘take me seriously and forget I have a vagina’. She smirked to herself, a slight uplifting of one corner of her mouth, almost unperceivable and certainly unexpected considering the thin line there that indicated her usual expression was not one of mirth.

“You are aware that I have to record this?” the suit asked and she inclined her head in silent affirmation. The suit presses a button on her recorder and the farce begins.

“June 3, 2006. This is Assistant District Attorney Katherine Baker speaking on case number 13908-YF. Please state your name for the record.” The suit speaks in careful neutrality, not letting on about her personal thoughts on the case.

The woman in the ripped jeans and washed out shirt leans forward, then hesitates. This is not the time to say the name she is accustomed to by now. For this, she has to use the name of the girl she was seventeen years ago.

“Veronika Mars,” she says, deliberately pronouncing it the harsh, German way, so very much unlike the softer ‘Veronica’ she’s used to now. If the suit’s surprised, she doesn’t show it.

“Please tell me what lead to the events of February 22,” she says in a clinical voice.

Veronica leans back in her chair.

“That’s quite a long story,” she says, slouching into the armrest.

“I have time,” the suit replies, keeping a straight face.


******************************************************************


I should maybe start with explaining that I lived in the GDR, the east of Germany, which used to be under the USSR’s hegemony. You might not believe me, but I lived a normal life as a teenager, watching TV, doing some sports, obsessing over stars or clothes or wondering if my new skirt made me look fat.

Life was good until my mom decided that it wasn’t good enough for her. She decided that she deserved to live in the golden west. Where everything is brighter, shinier and all around greater. At least that’s what she thought. I don’t know if she made it past the wall or what happened to her on the other side in case she did. I just know that she forgot to mention her plans to Dad or me.

That night, our house was raided.

They found nothing, of course. Dad was a firm believer in the system, you know? A cop, but a good, a decent one. Not one of those Stasi guys. He was adamant about not sneaking around the interdictions, like watching West-TV.

I had to go to my friend’s house to get my dose. You know what the first West-TV-show was that I saw? The West German version of ‘the Price is Right’. They had a Dutch presenter, some Harry Wijnvoord. Well, this was quite a letdown.

Anyway, my dad wouldn’t have allowed anything opposing the system in our house, so their search remained fruitless. But from then on, he was on their watch list. We didn’t know that of course, or he might have been more careful.

One of his co-workers was a snitch. He used one thoughtless comment to get my father arrested. As if he weren’t loyal to the regime. My father believed in socialism, but that never bothered anybody.

I never saw him again.

This is how I came to live with my best friend, Lilly, for the short months until the fall of the wall. You wouldn’t have pegged Lilly for politically interested, but in fact, she was an activist. She wanted to get out from under Honecker’s, the GDR’s state president, thumb so bad. She wanted to be free to express her opinion without fear. I never got that until later, when it was too late.

Back then, I didn’t understand the way Lilly did. I went to demos with her, for sure, but never for the cause. It was a teenage rebellion thing, a great ‘fuck you’ in the face of the people who had taken my dad away.

When we were reunited with the West of Germany, I thought ‘why not?’ but Lilly was disappointed. She’d aimed, like most others, for a sovereign state and not having yet another belief system pulled over our heads.

Those were confusing times. Suddenly, everything that came natural to us wasn’t worth a dime anymore. Our clothes weren’t good enough, our food wasn’t good enough, everything you were used to suddenly disappeared and was replaced by goods from the West. It was no wonder that some of us snapped…



“Vera,” Lilly yelled, dragging on the ‘e’ for additional effect. I could tell that she was annoyed. “Come on, dumbass, we’re late!”

I stumbled out of my room, dragging up the zipper of my boots. “Coming,” I said, in between huffs and puffs, while Lilly rolled her eyes.

She flicked back her perfectly smooth hair and I couldn’t help but think that despite all her bitterness towards the reunification, she still found some use for form-fitting jeans and the possibility to use more bling to stand out from the crowd. Typical.

We rushed out of the house to meet with some of Lilly’s friends at a party. Lilly had met this cute guy from art school, who had introduced her to his circle of friends, and of course, Lilly was suddenly totally into it. And as usually, I tagged along.

We met the others in the basement of the old art school, where they’d set up a cassette player with speakers to play some punk music. Lilly grabbed a beer and started dancing to the music. Last week, she’d been the perfect, elegant New Wave queen, but tonight she was totally into punk. Her new boyfriend grabbed her hips from behind and pulled her to his chest, swinging to an imaginary melody within the heavy drumbeats.

I picked up a beer for myself and retreated into a dark corner. I wasn’t in the mood for socialising; in fact, I probably wouldn’t leave the house much if it weren’t for Lilly. So I sat in the shadows and watched my best friend have the time of her life while I counted the minutes until I could ask her to leave with me.

~

After two hours of mind-numbing noise and alcohol, I was fed up with the party and told Lilly that I wanted to go home. After some annoyance on her part and her boyfriend’s comment that he’d bring us home later, if we were to wait for another hour or so, I finally managed to make my case and drag her out.

“What the hell, Vera?” Lilly asked, frowning at me as soon as we had closed the door behind us. I shrugged.

“I just wanna get home before the pointy heads crash the scene. You don’t want your brother to see you here with them, do you?” Pointy heads was a common word for Neo-Nazis in the socialist scene. The only advantage about them was that you could recognize one from rather far away, with their uniform appearance. After the reunification, some of the ‘lost’ ones, who didn’t know what to believe anymore, were easily roped in by the surge of right wing extremism. Unfortunately, Lilly’s brother was one of them.

Lilly huffed, but eventually starting walking, so we made our way back to her family’s house. Life with her brother, who succumbed to his ‘friends’ more and more each passing day, wasn’t easy, but so far Lilly had managed to hide her disapproval of him and her own opinions. It was just too dangerous these days, maybe even more so than when you had to fear Stasi snitches.

So, back then, we were quite attuned to the sound of combat boots on concrete, as the first indication that we’d better take to our heels. Only this night, we were too late, too slow.

The group of pointy heads cornered us not even half a mile away from Lilly’s home. They must have known about the party and followed us until we were far enough away that screaming for help was useless.

“We warned you before, but you wouldn’t listen. Now it’s time for a lesson,” one of them snarled. I couldn’t recognize any faces in the darkness, but I recognized the silhouettes of the Baseball clubs some of them lifted while brass knuckles blinked on the hands of others. I was frozen in place and watched them approach, when suddenly Lilly threw herself at me and covered me with her body.

I heard our attackers yell and felt a blow to my ribs, softened by Lilly’s body. She screamed and I opened my mouth to join her, but no sound would come out. I felt something sticky flow into my eyes and after a moment of utter confusion realized that it must be my best friend’s blood. I heard the sickening sound of bones breaking and suddenly, Lilly’s screaming stopped.

The pointy heads still swung their clubs at her, kicking and hitting her wherever they could reach and I watched, horrified but frozen, my mouth opened in a silent scream, unable to move.

Then, I caught a glimpse of one of the boots kicking at Lilly’s ribs. Black, worn away leather, adorned with red hearts. I had seen these boots before, could remember Lilly’s giggle as she’d shown me her handiwork. Her brother had been furious, especially when he noticed that no amount of scrubbing could effectively cover Lilly’s painting.

“Duncan!” I screamed, again and again until I heard a familiar voice yell, “Stop!” in response. A few moments later, Lilly’s motionless body was pulled off me and I looked into the face of her brother, who stared at his bleeding sister in horror.

“That’s my sister,” he whispered.

“She’s a damn red sock,” another one of his gang answered gruffly.

“She’s my damn SISTER and she has nothing to do with lefties!” Duncan yelled and surprisingly, the other guy backed off.

Clumsily, I pulled myself up and crouched over to my best friend.

“Lilly?” I asked, my voice weak and thin and so very young. I received no answer.

Lilly was dead.


~to be continued

A/N 2: Erich Honecker was the communist state president of the GDR at the time of the reunion. He was on trial later on because he gave the firing order at the German/German border, but the proceedings were closed.
All of the events in this story actually took place, although not in that combination.
About the names: I wasn’t really sure whether I should change the names, but I figured it made the story more authentic. Veronica was easy to change, since ‘Veronika’ is a common German name, same as Lilly. Duncan was difficult though, because there’s no real German equivalent. So instead of picking something entirely different, I kept the American name. Blame Celeste.
 
 
 
Moire2moire2 on August 31st, 2006 06:49 pm (UTC)
Wow. That was a great introduction. I like the use of first person. Your voice is gritty, dark and intriguing.

When do we get the next chapter? I'm completely sucked into this story!
WeHo M.: VM - Devilish grinafrocurl on September 1st, 2006 12:00 am (UTC)
So the history nerd in me is really excited by this fic. An AU of VM in a recently unified Germany has tons of potential.

Can't wait for more!
punk-ass book jockey: So noir (Cliff)bennet_7 on September 1st, 2006 02:15 am (UTC)
Fantastic start. They remain in-character despite the AU setting. Can't wait for more!
Catalysttmt_catalyst on September 1st, 2006 07:09 pm (UTC)
Wow. I love this. This whole time period is so intriguing to me, and I love how you're weaving Veronica and Co. into the mix. I can't wait for the next update.