Game Play Hard Ball
Margaret Bryan, Patti Hutchins

Papa Bear Awards 20062006 Papa Bear Awards - Third Place
Best Songfic/Poerty

The events in this story take place after those chronicled in Ivan Kinchloe and Edgar Wilson’s book, Operation Boxing Day, or more to the point, after Papa Bear’s 200th mission detailed in our own story, Shell Game.

This game has been a long-time-in-coming song-fic. We’ve had the basic premise blocked out for years, but only now has the story actually come together for us. We've chosen the song Live and Let Die, which is the title track of the 1973 James Bond 007 film of the same name.  Music and lyrics were written and performed by Paul McCartney.

We again do not make any claims on the original Hogan’s Heroes’ characters. All other characters are ours.  But again, those characters are free for anyone to use, if you so choose. 

Our rating for this story would be PG.  Enjoy!

Many that live deserve death.
And some that die deserve life.
Can you give it to them?
Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment.
For even the very wise cannot see all ends.
J.R.R Tolkien

Hammelburg, Germany,
Luft Stalag 13, Colonel Hogan's Quarters,
January 10, 1945, 0330 Hours

When you were young and your heart was an open book
You used to say Live and Let Live
You know you did
You know you did
You know you did

For more than a week now sleep had been slow in coming for Colonel Robert Hogan. But tonight was even worse, as sleep had, so far, eluded him completely. And he knew why. His contacts were to meet up with a courier due to arrive this morning. Hogan was expecting that this courier would be carrying with him authorization from London to begin the all-out ‘end game’ offensive that he’d had spent the last few months planning. The war was coming to an end and it was something that he, Papa Bear, needed to be a part of. The concocted plan was a dangerous one, and something more massive and even more elaborate than either he or his men had ever tackled before.

Guilt had already twisted his gut into a spasm, knowing as he did that he hadn’t explained any of this offensive to his men yet. The Colonel was well aware that this plan could mean death for them all, but he wouldn’t turn back now. His men would follow him wherever he would lead. Hogan was sure of that. After three years of working closely together they were as committed, as he was, to do whatever they could to end the war, and rid the world of as many Nazis as possible in the process.

But still, even though committed…

Every time Rob closed his eyes and tried to put everything out of his head this morning … all he heard were the long ago words of Reverend Samuel Jackson ringing in his ears. The Reverend was a Negro minister who had run a free health clinic for black woman in Hartford Connecticut. It was a clinic where his father, doctor Michael Hogan, volunteered his medical services once a week. And where he and his siblings, as children, had spent many an hour doing odd jobs to help out as well.

Don’t you ever change, young man.  You follow in your father’s footsteps.  He cares deeply about all people, regardless of what others may think. You’re just like him, son.  I see it in you.  Don’t you ever change, young man.  Promise me.

I promise, Hogan heard himself reply confidently, as if the scene was playing itself out in his mind’s eye.  Rob then subconsciously felt his father’s strong hand take hold of his shoulder reminding him of how proud his father had been by the way he responded to the Reverend. Neither Rob nor his siblings, as youngsters, had ever really understood the racial tension that was swirling everywhere around them. Their father had somehow been able to keep them sheltered from it, even with the family’s weekly trips to the clinic.

Rob knew now, how hard his father had worked, to surround himself with people who at least respected, even if they couldn’t agree, with his decision to aid the black woman who needed his help as a physician. So, for a long time, it was just a normal part of life for the Hogan children to spend their Sunday afternoons at the clinic, whether they were charged with sweeping the floors, emptying the trash, or just plain hanging around with the children that accompanied their mothers to the clinic.

It wasn’t until his teen years, that Rob began to truly see what real racial bigotry was. But by that point, it had seemed to him to be a pointless waste of energy. Not that he ever became a champion of the cause for racial equality, but never did he forget that those families at the clinic were families just like his.  That was when his decision, whether consciously or not, was made to try and live his life with the same respect and compassion for people that his father always displayed.

Hogan had to admit to himself now though, that one thing that helped him make that decision was the promise made to Reverend Jackson. And that was because he believed that a promise made to a man of the cloth, was a promise made to God.

Only things in life don’t always remain the same…

“Damn it,” Hogan sighed guiltily and rolled to a sitting position on his bunk. Quickly jumping to the floor, he made his way directly to the stool by his desk, and apologized to the world at large, “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry I couldn’t keep my promise.”  Colonel Robert Hogan plunked himself down on the desk’s stool and leaned forward with his face in his hands. As the reality of his three years here in Germany finally came into perspective, all his repressed guilt welled to the surface.

How many people have I ordered killed? How many more will die with this end game offensive of mine? What kind of man have I become? So cold-blooded, that I can justify ordering the deaths of hundreds of people, whether guilty, or innocent in the ways of war.

When did killing become second nature to me?

Hammelburg, Germany,
Luft Stalag 13, Colonel Hogan’s Quarters
January 10, 1945, 0830 Hours

But in this in this ever changing world in which we live in
Makes you give in and cry, say Live and Let Die
Live and Let Die
Live and Let Die

“Come,” Colonel Hogan said after an urgent knock on his door.

Kinch burst in holding a large envelope in his hand. After turning and closing the office door behind him, he spun and reported, “Urgent message from London, Colonel. For your eyes only.” As he approached the desk where the Colonel was sitting, he continued, “Schnitzer met up with a courier this morning. Do you know what this is all about Colonel? If the size of this envelope is any indication, it looks to be a doozy of a mission.”

“It is a doozy,” Hogan replied with a sigh. “But honestly, the word ‘doozy’ is an understatement.” He took the envelope from Kinch and quickly unsealed it. He really wasn’t sure why he was bothering to look, as he expected London would back them.
Why would they stop now? The Colonel glanced quickly at the top sheet of paper. “It’s a go,” he said aloud, more to himself than to Kinch.

“What’s a go?” Kinch asked uneasily. “I know, I’ve only been back in the saddle for a couple weeks. It’s just that you’ve never kept anything-operational secret from me before. What’s this all about?”

Hogan stood and put a hand to Kinch’s shoulder. “Listen Kinch, this all started while you were out on that boxing tour. And I couldn’t bring myself to tell anyone. I was surprised when no one figured out that I was up to something, although I didn’t give any of them much to go on. Plus the fact I think they were just too worried about you and Wilson to be paying much attention to their taciturn commanding officer. Come to think of it, the guys probably thought that I was being quiet because it was me who was worried about you and Wilson.”

Hogan patted Kinch on the shoulder and then removed his hand. “Actually, I was. Only… you know me. Had to keep my mind occupied.”

“So when were you planning on telling us about this plan?” Kinch asked accusingly.

“Today,” Hogan offered, “but I had to make sure London would back us. The timing of this whole scenario is very important. For any of this to work, we need to remain in close contact with London.” Hogan returned to sit at his desk and after dropping the envelope there, he continued with his explanation. “We all know the war is coming to an end, Kinch. It’s just that I couldn’t sit back and passively wait for that to happen, so I concocted a plan.” Hogan fiddled with the envelope. “With this, Papa Bear is going to be a major player in the final push to defeat Nazi Germany.” A rush of adrenaline forced all his earlier guilt to disappear, and a smirk of exhilaration appeared on Hogan’s face, as he glanced up expectantly at his second in command. “Are you with me?”

“As if you even had to ask,” Kinch replied confidently.

“Thanks Kinch,” Hogan replied with a smile. “Get the guys together for 1030… in my office… we’ll go over the specifics. And then we can let everyone else in on it.”

“Yes, sir!”

Hammelburg, Germany,
Luft Stalag 13, Colonel Hogan’s Quarters,
January 10, 1945, 1030 Hours

What does it matter to ya
When you got a job to do
You gotta do it well
You gotta give the other fellow hell

“What do you mean we need to take over Stalag 13?!” demanded Kinch, honestly surprised at the audacity in the Colonel’s plan.

“Blow up two bridges, a chemical plant, and a munitions factory in one day!?” said Newkirk indignantly. “You must be balmy!” 

“Don’t forget about the train depot and airfield!” LeBeau added incredulously.

“C’mon Colonel Hogan, how does London expect us to do all this in one day?” Carter asked, his voice breaking on the last word.

“Sorry, Carter,” the Colonel responded. “London only thinks we can do it, because I told them we can.” Hogan so wanted to pace in his small office. It always helped him think, but with the five of them crowded together that was impossible right now. “Listen, guys. Most of this plan was my idea. London just had to agree to help. At this point, they’ve supplied us with as much information as they can about troop movements, and have helped me pinpoint the targets that would be most beneficial to hit. London’s only job now is too keep us informed with up-to-date information. The rest is our responsibility.”

Hogan held up his hand to stop his men from starting another deluge of negativity. Quickly continuing he said, “I know this is going to be tough. And I can’t promise you anything. But we’ve handled tough before. We can do it now.” The Colonel took a brief moment to look into each of his men’s eyes and was happy to see what he always saw… commitment… tempered with a dash of ‘the Colonel is nuts’ thrown in for good measure.

Barely missing a beat, he persisted with his explanation. “Really guys, we can do this. If we pull this off, we’ll be playing a central role in surrounding the retreating German forces. Russian troops are expected to approach Berlin from the north. American troops will be coming from the east and our other allies are expected from the west. Our job is to knock out any escape route to the south. In effect, we’ll be tightening a noose around any German troops trying to flee. We can stop them right in their tracks. So, what do you say?” 

At first, the other four just stared at their commanding officer quietly. Then they exchanged glances amongst themselves, until finally three of those four pair of eyes fell directly on Kinch, who acquiesced for them all… “Ok Colonel, what do you need us to do?”

When you got a job to do
You gotta do it well
You gotta give the other fellow hell

The End

Thanks for Reading.
Patti and Marg

Author’s Note:

We located, on a website dedicated to James Bond, what we thought was an interesting review/retrospective of the 1973 James Bond film Live and Let Die. This retrospective was written in 2002, and we thought we’d share it with you.

Live and Let Die: Voodoo Charm
Not Just An Artistic Appendage?
Copyright & copy; 2002 Rory Couper

Excerpted from

If Goldfinger stands as Sean Connery’s stylistically unique entry to the Bond series, and Goldeneye, Pierce Brosnan’s, Live And Let Die is most definitely Roger Moore’s. This is a film that almost stands alone, as an aesthetically exclusive admission to the Bond canon. Primarily the product of an intriguing and captivating religious practice, voodoo.

Although critics are inevitably cautious to grant Live And Let Die anywhere near the praise it deserves they are hardly proving their point to film audiences worldwide. Tom Mankiewicz’s screenplay may play on the notion of humour overtly relied on in Diamonds Are Forever, and for some critics the convoluted plot can prove tiresome. Many condemn the inclusion of Clifton James’s irritably over the top Sheriff J.W. Pepper, but the pace of the movie means you hardly notice the idiosyncrasies, unless you are a looking. If you are looking, you’re not watching the movie as intended.

It is the voodoo essence that stamps an over sized hallmark on Live And Let Die, and no one’s complaining. It seems strange that a Bond film could almost be driven by essentially religious overtones, however, with most of the western world unaccustomed to such a religion we find ourselves intrigued by its macabre connotations and cultural vivacity. From the death of MI6 agent Baines in the opening scenes it is clear there is something ‘a little different’ about this Bond movie. It is also interesting to note a feature so blatant it is amazing many find its inference subconsciously. It is the use of colour that combines the world of Bond with the world of voodoo religion, and allows the two to emphasize the ambience Broccoli, Saltzman and Hamilton are attempting to create. The colours red, black and white, so stark, yet so evocative, they are ‘the’ Bond colours, all you need do is look at the gun barrel sequence to know that if Bond was a nation, it would be signified by a black, white and red tricolour. It is possibly these quintessential Bondian colours that make the film an archetypal Bond picture.

With regards to voodoo religion and its presence in the movie I find many people residing to the fact it is simply an artistic appendage. It is in fact more than relevant to the turbulent political climate of 1970’s America. From the outset it is clear to the 21st century viewer the period in which Live And Let Die was shot, was a time of racial tension and the need for Black Americans to share pride of place with the US natives was as poignant as ever. The rise of the Black Panthers did nothing to help matters, and when actor Yaphet Kotto used the Black Power salute in a promotional photograph it was clear that the action unit were not the only department taking risks.

It seems ironic then that the voodoo religion is one practiced by those enslaved in southern America, the very place the majority of the film unwinds. Is Baines’ death in San Monique a strike for Black power? It is a moment in the movie overlooked by many as just another death. Is it the undoing of white dominance? Inevitably Bond is the victor, and any equality issues viewers might have been looking for have been dispelled in the final moments of the movie. That is until the final shot of the movie, where we see voodoo guardian Baron Samedi alive and well having been killed by Bond a short time before. You may suggest I am looking too far into this, but could this be the filmmakers suggesting, the ‘white’ man hasn’t won or simply the use of voodoo magic as a means to an end?

Text and original characters copyright 2005 by Margaret Bryan, Patti Hutchins

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.