Career's day by planet p

Disclaimer I don't own Küstenwache or any of its characters. Information sourced from Wikipedia.

It's not their school, it's somebody else's school: their school doesn't have a hall this big! They came on a bus. Wim is quietly impressed; Fredi (Frederika, really) seethes, she's not impressed.

Wim is here for Career's Day; Fredi, who knows? She already knows what she wants to be, after all – she's got it all planned, as she says; laid out like a map.

Wim sticks with his friends, Gottfried and Reinhold; Fredi's hanging around Mathilda and Ronica. (They don't hold hands and finish each other's sentences; they're not those sorts of twins. Wim questions the reality of such things.)

For such a slim girl, Fredi is already complaining to her friends of hunger pains, but it's just because she can't be stuffed listening to the teacher who's talking in a loud voice so that they can all hear; it's already pretty loud in the hall.

It's no secret that Fredi wants to be a lawyer; Gottfried and Reinhold have said it before, they don't really feel comfortable airing their opinion of that: Wim supposes it's something like As if! or Let's see it then!

When they've be let free to roam around, Wim takes the lead. He heads over to a stall whose banner reads:

Koordinierungsverbund Küstenwache (The German Federal Coast Guard)

"Do you think that'd be cool?" he asks his friends.

Gottfried is too busy admiring the woman who is talking to another group standing in front of the stall. "She's cool!" he breathes vaguely.

Reinhold glances at Wim. "Cool!" he mutters, sarcastically dull.

"Küstenwache," Wim muses.

Reinhold rolls his eyes. Yeah, sure, he gets it! It's up to him to pick up the flyer. He shuffles forward and scoots around the crowd, looking for an in. He returns a short while later with the flyer, handing it to Wim.

Wim nods his thanks and looks down at the flyer, his eyes scanning over the printed words. The flyer informs him that the Küstenwache is a civilian law enforcement organisation whose primary missions are border protection, maritime environmental protection, shipping safety, fishery protection and customs enforcement. Rather than a single entity, however, the Küstenwache is an association of several federal agencies operating under a common plan of action. Their operations are directed from two Küstenwachzentren, or Coast Guard Centres, located at Neustadt in Holstein by the Baltic Sea and Cuxhaven by the North Sea.

"Do you think she's a police officer?" he asks. According to the flyer, the personnel serving with the Küstenwache is made up of both police officers, from the Bundespolizei (the Federal Police) and Wasserzoll (Maritime Customs Service) for the Federal Customs Administration, and civilians from the Waterways and Shipping Office for the Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration (WSV), and other agencies such as the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Nutrition (BLE).

"It doesn't look like it," Reinhold comments, looking down at the flyer too. Unlike on the American television shows, the Küstenwache do not have military powers, though police officers retain their police powers, adjusted to the capacity of the maritime nature of their job, he reads.

Wim lets out a loud sigh. "Twenty-seven!" That's the number of vessels in operation by the Küstenwache. He's a bit impressed.

"Three of them are fishery research ships," Reinhold points out. "Man, scientist chicks!"

They laugh.

Gottfried is actually straining to hear the young woman's speech to the other group; he doesn't pay any attention to their laughing.

There's a parting in the group, just for a moment, and Wim gets to see the young woman's nametag. Her name is Lisbet, the tag says.

Wim turns a page on the flyer and looks at a small printed photograph of a ship marked with the word Küstenwache and a black-red-gold signet on the hull, along with the Coast Guard's coat-of-arms. The hull colour, the flyer tells him, is different from agency to agency: blue for the Bundespolizei, green for the Wasserzoll and black for the WSV and BLE. The hull on this ship is green; that means it's with the Maritime Customs Service.

"You get seasick," Reinhold points out.

Wim shrugs; he'll outgrow it.

A loud peel of laughter sounds behind the boys, signalling that Fredi has arrived. She tells them that she's been around the whole complex and that it's all the same boring things. Boring!

Wim folds the flyer up and stows it away in a pocket of his school slacks; Reinhold grabs for Gottfriend's arm: time to go.

They walk away.

Fredi is talking about food again; Wim feels his stomach growl. Twins, he thinks with a shiver.

Thanks for reading. Danke schön.