2005 Papa Bear Awards Mission Briefing
“All right, listen up,” Colonel Hogan said to the people assembled in the barracks. “It’s that time again.”
“Is it roll call already, Colonel?” Kinch asked.
Colonel Hogan shook his head. “No, Kinch,” he replied. “It’s that time of year again. It’s Papa Bear Awards time. Captain Oboe is here with her crew to brief us.”
There was a rumble of excitement as the men welcomed the newcomers.
“Captain Oboe, the floor is yours,” Hogan said.
“Thank you, Colonel,” Captain Oboe replied. Before she could continue, the barracks door burst open and in walked General Burkhalter, followed by Major Hochstetter and Colonel Klink. Sergeant Schultz waited outside the door to allow Hilda and Helga to enter the suddenly crowded room.
Schultz walked in and started to close the door. It opened again suddenly, almost knocking the portly sergeant to the floor.
“Hogan, darling. I am here!” said the newcomer.
Marya swept into the room, clad in her fur coat and hat. “Did you miss me darling?” she asked seductively.
“Oh brother,” sighed Hogan. “What are you doing here?”
“I’m here for the announcement,” she replied. “I’m part of this too.”
“Colonel Hogan, can we get on with this?” Hochstetter asked. “I’m a busy man.”
“For once I agree with Major Hochstetter,” Captain Oboe said. “I’ve got auditions to go to.”
“All right, everyone hold it down!” Hogan shouted above the din. Suddenly there was a loud chorus of barking outside the door. Schultz opened the door and in scrambled a pack of dogs, excitedly sniffing everyone. “And whose animals are these?” he asked.
Captain Oboe nodded towards her three-member team sitting with her at the large table in the middle of the room. “They would belong to Lt. Hutchins, Sergeant Bryan and Corporal Evans.”
Hogan looked at the team members sitting at the table. He recognized Lt. Hutchins and Sergeant Bryan from last year. He stared at the newcomer, who looked familiar. He couldn’t quite place him, so he shrugged it off and asked, “Can we calm them down and get started?”
As if the dogs knew what Hogan said, they scattered and found bunks to climb into. One of them, the spotted Dalmatian, settled at the feet of Vladimir, who was sitting beside Baker on one of the bunks.
“Why doesn’t he climb on the bunks?” Le Beau said, motioning towards the Dalmatian.
“He’s not allowed on the furniture,” Vladimir replied.
“Hey Vladimir, you’re here!” Kinch said.
“Yes, I was actually used in a story this year,” Vladimir replied. “It was so nice to actually be used.”
“I know what you mean,” replied Baker. “I don’t seem to be around for many stories either.”
“All right, quiet,” Captain Oboe said. “We have to go over this.” She waited until the room grew quiet.
“It’s time again for the annual Papa Bear awards,” she said. “This year will be the third year for the awards.”
“The third year already?” a surprised Carter asked. “Boy, time sure does fly.”
“Shhh. Be quiet,” Newkirk admonished.
Captain Oboe shot an annoyed look in their direction and continued. “As you all know, the Papa Bear awards are given to the best Hogan’s Heroes fan fiction stories of the year in various categories.”
“Hogan’s Heroes?” Burkhalter asked. “This place has really gone to your head, Hogan.”
“Don’t blame me,” Hogan replied. “I didn’t think up the name.”
“If I may please continue,” Captain Oboe said. She looked at Burkhalter. “And you, keep quiet or you may have to sing an opera aria again.”
Burkhalter’s face went white as he remembered the discomfort he felt when forced to sing soprano.
A satisfied Captain Oboe continued, “Lt. Hutchins will fill you in on the award categories.”
Lt. Hutchins cleared her throat and started reading from the sheet of paper she held in her hands. “First, we have Best Drama, which is, of course, the story with the strongest, most compelling dramatic impact.”
“Does that include stories where Colonel Hogan gets beat up by Major Hochstetter?” Carter asked.
“Ja, I like those stories,” Hochstetter replied smiling.
“If the story is dramatic, it is included,” Captain Oboe said. “Lt. Hutchins, please continue.”
Lt. Hutchins nodded. “The second category is Best Comedy, which, as you might have guessed, is the story with the funniest moment, or one that is most like the television series.”
“You mean like those silly stories about Plot Bunnies that had the list hopping this year?” Le Beau asked.
“If you ask me, those stories should be disqualified,” Newkirk responded. Many other heads were bobbing in agreement.
“No, they are Hogan’s Heroes stories,” Captain Oboe said. “And if they are deemed to be funny, they qualify in this category.” She shushed the grumbling that appeared in the room and motioned to Lt. Hutchins to continue.
“The next category is Best Original Character,” Lt. Hutchins said.
“That would be me, Hogan darling,” Marya purred. “I’m very original.”
“No, I’m afraid not, Marya,” Lt. Hutchins replied. “The category is for the best original character created for a story whom you would like to see in the television show.”
Marya looked miffed. “Well I think people enjoyed seeing me in the television show,” she said. “Right, Hogan darling?”
“Can we cut the small talk?” Captain Oboe asked curtly. “We still have seven more categories to go through.” She motioned to Lt. Hutchins.
“The next category is Best Crossover,” Lt. Hutchins said.
“Oh, you mean like when I dress up like an old lady?” Newkirk asked.
Colonel Hogan sighed. “No Newkirk, that would be cross-dressing,” he replied. “A crossover is a story that would merge our characters and situations with those of another television series or movie.” He looked at Lt. Hutchins for confirmation.
“That’s right, Colonel,” Lt. Hutchins replied. “The next category is Best Challenge, which is the best story written in response to a challenge or request posted on the SmartGroups list or on FanFiction.net.”
Lt. Hutchins paused, waiting for someone to comment. No one did, so she continued, “The next category is Best portrayal of a Canon Character.”
“You mean they have stories written about cannons?” Carter asked excitedly.
“No, Andrew,” Kinch replied. “She said canon, not cannon. A canon character is one that was created for, and appeared in, the television series.” Carter looked saddened.
“Would I count?” Vladimir asked.
Lt. Hutchins nodded. “Of course, you were in the television series.”
“What about me, Hogan darling,” Marya purred.
“I wish you were in the television series right now, instead of hanging all over me,” Hogan replied.
“Ah, the man is crazy about me, and is too shy to let it show,” Marya beamed.
“Please, that’s enough!” Captain Oboe said, trying to control the situation before it got out of hand. “Any of you who appeared in the television series are canon characters. Now pipe down and listen to the rest.” She grasped her oboe tighter and glared at everyone in the room, daring them to speak.
“Now, the next category is Most Unique Story,” Lt. Hutchins continued. “This is the story with a unique plot twist, an unusual writing style, or is just simply a very unique story.”
“I’m pretty unique myself, Hogan darling,” Marya purred. “I’m telling you, you would like a White Russian.”
Hogan rolled his eyes at the remark. “I’m a scotch and soda man myself,” he replied.
Hilda, who had been standing silently by the door, piped up, “If you ask me, nothing beats a Tom Collins.” She smiled broadly and nudged the man standing next to her. Hogan looked over at Sergeant Collins, who was grinning sheepishly.
Lt. Hutchins cleared her throat to quiet the interruption. “The next category is Best Songfic/Poetry,” she said. “This is a poem, or a story that is based on a song.”
“So the one about General Burkhalter singing an opera aria in high soprano would fall in this category?” Baker asked.
General Burkhalter shook his head. “No, that would fall into the category of something we never want to see again in a story,” he said. Many in the room nodded their agreement.
“Ahem, we have three more categories to go,” Lt. Hutchins said, hoping to keep everyone quiet. “The next category is Best Short Story.”
“Hey Louis, that would be a story about you,” Newkirk said, laughing.
“Newkirk, I warned you about the short jokes,” Le Beau said angrily.
“All right, that’s enough,” Colonel Hogan said, trying to calm the little Frenchman down. “Le Beau, he’s just teasing. We all know that dynamite comes in small packages.”
“Yeah, and boy does it ever go boom,” Carter said excitedly. “And sometimes those booms …”
“Carter!” Hogan admonished. Carter fell silent. Hogan nodded towards Lt. Hutchins, allowing her to continue.
“As I was saying,” Lt. Hutchins said. “A short story is one that has less than 5000 words, which at the rate we are going, will NOT include this mission briefing!”
Corporal Evans looked at the ceiling, trying hard not to be noticed.
“The penultimate category is …” Lt. Hutchins began.
“The what category?” Carter asked.
“Penultimate, Carter,” Hogan responded. “That’s a word meaning next to last.”
“Why didn’t she just say next to last?” Carter asked.
“I was trying to save time,” Lt. Hutchins replied.
“Well that didn’t bloody work out,” Newkirk responded.
Suddenly a chorus of barks echoed through the barracks.
“What do they want?” Hogan asked.
“They are telling us that we should hurry up before it’s time for them to be taken out for their, um, latrine walks,” Sergeant Bryan replied.
“Yes, let’s hurry up. Two of them are on my bunk!” Le Beau exclaimed.
“So the next to last category,” Lt. Hutchins said, glaring at Carter, “is the Best Overall Story. This is the story that, if anyone was only going to read one Hogan’s Heroes story, this would be the one.”
“Who won this category the last two times?” Schultz asked.
Lt. Hutchins and Sergeant Bryan looked at each other and remained silent. Their faces were perfect pictures of modesty.
“That would be these two,” Corporal Evans piped in. “Lt. Hutchins and Sergeant Bryan.”
“Two years in a row?” asked Schultz. “They’re going to be tough to knock off!”
“Speaking of knocking it off,” Captain Oboe said, looking over at Schultz.
“We have one more category,” Lt. Hutchins said. “This is a new one this year. I’ll let Captain Oboe explain it.”
“Thank you, Lieutenant,” Captain Oboe said. “This year, in honor of the third annual Papa Bear Awards, we have a special challenge, which we have called the Triple Threat Challenge.”
“Like when Kinch, LeBeau and Newkirk were trying to kill me?” Carter asked.
“No,” captain Oboe replied, glaring angrily at Carter for interrupting her. “The challenge is to take one or more season three episodes and write a story revolving around them in any way. That could be a missing scene, coda, epilogue, prologue, or extension, a scene from a different point of view than shown in the episode, or even something dealing with results of something that happened in the episode. You get the picture.”
“That doesn’t sound so hard,” Kinch said.
“Ah, but the trick is that it must be three hundred words or less in length,” Captain Oboe responded. “So the more wordy authors,” she paused to stare at Corporal Evans, who was looking nonchalantly at the ceiling, “will have to try to be brief.”
“What if they run over by ten or twenty words?” Hogan asked.
“What part of ‘or less’ don’t you understand?” retorted Corporal Evans. Then quickly he added, “Sir,” smiling at the Colonel.
“That could be acceptable, Colonel, if it is only a few words over,” Captain Oboe said quickly, before the Corporal got himself into too much trouble. “Three hundred words is ideal, and less is definitely acceptable. But we don’t want to allow more than a few words over the limit.” Colonel Hogan nodded his understanding.
“How do we know what the season three episodes are?” Newkirk asked.
“There are many places that have the list of episodes,” Captain Oboe replied. “But we will put a list on the bulletin board after the briefing.” She held up her hands to stop further questions. “There is one more requirement for the challenge, and that is to use exactly three characters. That will make it a true triple threat story. Only three characters can appear in the story with speaking parts, although other characters can be mentioned.”
Captain Oboe looked around at the assembled crew. “Any more questions?” she asked.
“Ja, I have one,” Hochstetter said. “Are stories written for this challenge award eligible in the other award categories too? This is a challenge, and the story has to be short.”
Captain Oboe shook her head. “No,” she replied. “This is a special challenge, so the stories are eligible only for this category. In addition, any story written for this challenge will automatically be nominated in this category. The story must explicitly state that it is in response to this challenge to be eligible.” She looked around again, drumming her fingers impatiently on her oboe. “Any more questions?”
“Will we be able to find the list of categories anywhere?” Klink asked. “This briefing has gone on for so long that I’ve forgotten them already.”
“Yes I know. For a briefing, this isn’t very brief,” mumbled Hogan.
“When we are finished here, I’ll post the category list on the bulletin board outside,” Lt. Hutchins said. “And now, Sergeant Bryan will explain the rules and timetable of the awards.”
Sergeant Bryan pulled a folded piece of paper from her pocket. She unfolded it and started to read. “As with anything, there are rules that must be followed,” she said. “First, I should say that the awards are open to those stories that have been completed and posted for the first time online between December 1, 2003 and November 30, 2004. The story still must be available online.”
“What about those that were started before December last year,” Kinch asked. “There are stories that had chapters posted before November but were not completed for months.”
Sergeant Bryan nodded. “Those will count too,” she replied. “Lt. Hutchins and I will create a list of the stories that we think fall under these guidelines, but if you know of one that we miss, please bring it to our attention.” Kinch nodded, satisfied with the answer.
“What about stories that have been reposted?” Baker asked. “There are some stories that get reposted with some minor changes made by the author.”
Sergeant Bryan shook her head. “If they were eligible in a previous year, they wouldn’t be eligible again,” she said. “Any more questions about eligible stories?” Every head shook.
“Next, we have the rules for the nominating process,” Sergeant Bryan said. “You can nominate no more than two stories per category, and if you don’t feel any story fits, you do not have to nominate any story for a category. And, you cannot nominate a single story in more than one category. Once you nominate it, you can’t nominate it again. So make sure you pick the category you feel is best for the story you are nominating.”
“Can authors nominate their own stories?” Corporal Evans asked.
“That’s probably the only bloody way yours will get nominated, mate!” Newkirk quipped.
“Newkirk, that’s enough,” Hogan said, though not very strongly. He had the same thought himself. Something nagged at him. The man looked familiar …
“Hey, now I know you!” Hogan said to Corporal Evans. “You’re the idiot writer that put us through some of those Plot Bunny stories earlier this year.” Corporal Evans nodded.
“That’s him?” Burkhalter roared. “He’s the one that dressed me in bunny slippers and made me wear that tight underwear and sing soprano?”
“The one and only,” Hogan replied, glaring at the Corporal.
“KLINK!” Burkhalter bellowed. “I order you to arrest that man and throw him in the cooler for LIFE! He is not allowed to ever go near anything that would enable him to write stories again.”
“Let’s just wait until after the announcements are over before we let Hochstetter shoot him,” Hogan said reluctantly.
“Ja, I would like that,” Major Hochstetter said grinning.
“Sergeant Bryan, go ahead,” said Hogan.
“Now for the voting process,” Sergeant Bryan said. “You can vote for only one story per category, and can skip a category if you are not impressed with any of the nominated stories. You can vote for the same story in different categories, if it is nominated for more than one. And before you ask,” she said, looking over at Corporal Evans, “authors can vote for their own stories.”
“Newkirk …” Hogan said, hoping to stop another comment by the Englishman. Newkirk blinked innocently at his commanding officer and said nothing.
“What about voting irregularities?” Klink asked.
“A very good question, Kommandant,” Hogan replied. “After all, you Germans know a lot about stuffing the ballot box, don’t you?”
“Hogaaaaaaan?” Klink said under his breath.
“That really is a good question, Kommandant” Sergeant Bryan said. “We are on the honor system here and ask that voters to only vote once. But we do have some checking in place to catch the fraudulent voters.”
“Anybody that tries to vote more than once will be questioned by the Gestapo!” Hochstetter growled.
“But Major Hochstetter, the Geneva Convention …” Hogan began.
“Bah! Voting more than once is considered sabotage,” Hochstetter replied. “And anyone engaging in sabotage loses the protection of the Geneva Convention.”
“Major Hochstetter, I do not like you threatening my prisoners,” Klink protested.
“How would you feel about a cooler climate, Kommandant?” Hochstetter asked.
“All right, you heard Major Hochstetter,” Klink said loudly. “Keep the voting honest and we won’t have any trouble.”
“When can we start voting?” Hogan asked, hoping to get back to the issue at hand.
“Nominations begin on Monday, November 1, 2004,” Sergeant Bryan replied.
“Blimey, that’s not very far away!” Newkirk exclaimed.
Sergeant Bryan shook her head. “No it isn’t,” she replied. “Nominations will end on Wednesday, December 1, 2004 and voting begins 5 days later on Monday, December 6, 2004.”
“How long does the voting last?” Vladimir asked. “Christmas is at the end of December, and even though we are prisoners, we still have a lot to do around the Christmas and New Years season.”
“Voting will end on Monday, January 31, 2005,” Sergeant Bryan stated. “So you have two full months to read the nominated stories and vote for your favorites.”
“Will the winners be announced then?” Le Beau asked. “I want to know who wins as soon as possible.”
Sergeant Bryan nodded. “Yes, we will announce the winners once the votes are tabulated,” she replied. Seeing the questioning look on the faces in the room, she held up her hand and said, “And yes, Sergeant J. Peg will be awarding his prizes for the winners.”
“Excuse me ma’am?” Carter said hesitantly. “Just where can we find these stories?”
“Ah, an important detail,” Sergeant Bryan replied. “Any story that is available online is eligible, although you will find most of them at FanFiction.net.”
“Ahem,” interrupted Corporal Evans. “You can also find some of them at WebStalag 13.”
“WebStalag 13? That’s a pretty bloody stupid name for a website, if you ask me,” Newkirk retorted.
“Well, nobody asked you,” Corporal Evans replied tartly.
“Hold on you two,” Hogan said, interrupting before things got out of hand. “I don’t want any trouble here in the barracks.”
“Sorry, Colonel,” both men muttered.
“That’s about it,” Captain Oboe said. “Are there any other questions?” Nobody spoke. “Good! We will post the information on the bulletin board outside the barracks,” she said.
The barracks became noisy as the prisoners chatted about the stories they had already read, and asked about those that they hadn’t gotten to yet. Colonel Hogan looked around, pleased. He was happy to have this diversion for his men.
“Everyone, dismissed,” Hogan said loudly, trying to have his voice heard above the din. “Go and read the stories out there!”
As the prisoners filed out of the barracks, Hogan muttered under his breath, “I’ve got to find that Australian prisoner that is always getting me beat up.” Then finding Marya clinging to his arm, he muttered, “Maybe getting beat up isn’t so bad.”
Lt. Hutchins and Sergeant Bryan each put their papers up on the bulletin board outside of the barracks.
Text and original characters copyright 2004 by Jeff Evans
This copyright covers only original material and characters, and in no way intends to infringe upon the privileges of the holders of the copyrights, trademarks, or other legal rights, for the Hogan's Heroes universe.