The Refugee, Part 1
2003 Papa Bear Awards - Nominated
Author’s note: This portion of this story contains elements from episode #90, “The Ultimate Weapon” written by Richard M. Powell. The rest of the story follows from these events. Others own the Hogan’s Heroes characters. The character of Diane Michaels was borrowed from episode #16, “Anchors Aweigh, Men of Stalag 13” written by David Chandler and Jack H. Robinson.
As Colonel Hogan walked across the compound to Kommandant Klink’s office, he considered his most recent scheme and the currently occurring events at Stalag 13. That morning at roll call, some new prisoners shot down during a raid on the ball bearing plant at Zuglitz were brought before them and Colonel Klink had started running his mouth off about how great and invincible the Luftwaffe was and how if any more Allied planes were shot down trying to bomb Zuglitz, the war would soon be over. As Hogan and his men went back into Barracks 2, he realized that Klink was right. As much as he hated to admit it, Zuglitz was a graveyard for the Allied bombers. It was too well defended. We’ll have to do something about that, he told himself as a plan suddenly began to coalesce in his devious mind.
What Hogan came up with was turning out to be one of the most bizarre schemes his men had ever seen. First, he had Newkirk set Schultz’s watch back thirty minutes, then, he broke Colonel Klink’s radio, and finally, he had Kinch repair and rig it such that it only played what he and his men transmitted.
With Fräulein Hilda’s assistance, Hogan was able to convince Klink that his watch was also set thirty minutes too fast. This allowed them to obtain the information about how the German troops were faring each day courtesy of Radio Berlin. Hogan then saw to it over the next week that Schultz knew what this information was prior to their daily visit to Klink’s office where Schultz would make his mind-bogglingly correct prediction before Newkirk played the same thing on the radio thirty minutes after the actual broadcast. Hogan was making Sergeant Schultz out to be a military genius, capable of predicting events on any front and being one hundred percent correct as he had now had the Allied Air Command bombing whatever cities Schultz named as the one to be bombed each night over the last week. Klink had been keeping track of the German troop movements all week long on a transparent plastic board with a map showing Germany, the Russian front and points in between. His scheme was running like clockwork until General Burkhalter showed up and almost blew the whole thing when he told Klink what time it really was.
After Schultz correctly predicted the bombing of Hamburg in his presence, General Burkhalter decided to have an expert come and evaluate Schultz’s abilities. Berlin was to send a Colonel Hoffman to investigate the matter. The officer was to arrive just after noon the next day. The next day, General Burkhalter called Schultz and Hogan into Klink’s office. The General reassured Schultz that he wasn’t in any trouble. All he would have to do is answer a few of Colonel Hoffman’s questions, give another one of his predictions and they would go from there.
After Burkhalter, Hogan and Schultz entered the Kommandant’s office, Hilda knew something was happening, just not what. She was seated at her desk typing up the daily reports when the outer door opened and a blonde haired woman wearing the black uniform she usually associated either with the Gestapo or the SS walked in. “Can I help you?” Hilda asked politely.
“Jawohl, I am Colonel Hoffman of the SS Sicherheitsdienst and I’m here to see General Burkhalter,” Colonel Hoffman replied in an official-sounding tone.
Hilda shivered at the other woman’s flat tone of voice. What a cold, emotionless person she must be to have obtained her rank in that organization, she thought. She stood and headed for the Kommandant’s office. “This way, please. The general is in the Kommandant’s office waiting for you.”
“Danke,” Colonel Hoffman said.
As Hilda opened the door for Colonel Hoffman to enter the office, she noticed the woman’s expensive perfume. She missed being able to afford such luxuries as expensive perfumes, nice make-up and dresses to go with it all. She thought the officer seemed to be above her station by wearing such things and she was envious.
When Hilda opened the Kommandant’s office door and announced the colonel’s presence, everyone in the office did a double take when the officer walked in and gave Klink and Burkhalter a stiff-armed salute. Neither Burkhalter nor Klink had expected Colonel Hoffman to be a woman, Hogan noticed. Her tone of voice when she was introduced to Schultz suggested that she was completely skeptical about this so-called military genius. Then, she turned and looked at Hogan.
“And who is this?” Colonel Hoffman inquired.
“Colonel Hogan. I’m the senior POW officer,” Hogan replied. My voice sounds odd, he thought.
Burkhalter inquired, “Shall I have Colonel Hogan leave us, so we can get down to business?”
“No, he can stay,” replied Colonel Hoffman.
Hogan noticed that Colonel Hoffman hadn’t taken her eyes off him yet. Despite the fact that she looked like the perfect Nazi officer with her head held high as she saluted the other officers in the room, he couldn’t help but give her a once over with his eyes. God, she is beautiful! I hadn’t counted on Colonel Hoffman being a stunningly beautiful woman. I’d expected some run of the mill SS officer. She’s definitely not your typical SS officer! Hogan thought.
Burkhalter asked Schultz to give one of his predictions and in the process Schultz almost blew the whole plan apart by asking Hogan what he thought that he would choose for tonight’s target. Colonel Hoffman’s attention focused on him and Hogan felt his brow begin to sweat and it wasn’t the temperature in the room. It was the middle of winter and it had to be one of the coldest weeks it had been in a long time. His mind worked frantically to come up with an answer.
Hogan reassured Schultz that he would come up with the target and Colonel Hoffman commented that she was in no hurry for the prediction. Hogan noticed that she was observing every move he made very closely. After that, Klink ordered Schultz to show her to the VIP quarters so she could freshen up before giving her a tour of the camp and dismissed him to return to the barracks and see to it that they were ship shape for their inspection later that day.
Hogan left Klink’s office and returned to the barracks. His crew came out of his office and sat around the table as he poured himself a cup of coffee. Before saying anything, he took a swig to try to warm up after being outside in the cold and relax after the episode in Klink’s office.
“Well, mon Colonel, how’d it go?” LeBeau asked.
Before Hogan could answer, Newkirk commented, “Bloody awful. Didn’t you ‘ear when Schultz nearly blew our plan?”
“No, I was out here trying to keep our dinner from burning,” LeBeau commented as he started dishing out the food.
“Pipe down,” Hogan said. “It could have gone better, but I think I salvaged the situation. As far as this visiting brass, I don’t know what to make of her.”
This got LeBeau’s attention immediately and his expression brightened when he asked, “Her?”
“Yes. The SS colonel who’s here to check out Schultz’s psychic abilities is a woman,” Hogan replied. His mind formed an image of her and for a minute, he said nothing.
“Sir? Colonel?” Kinch inquired.
Hogan blinked and realized he’d been daydreaming. When was the last time he had daydreamed? Taking another drink of his coffee, he finished, “We need to make sure that the barracks are clean for an inspection later today. Klink will be bringing her around. Has headquarters sent us any new jobs lately?”
“No, Colonel. They said that we should be getting word of some soon,” Kinch replied.
“What’s this? Are you planning on a night out on the town, suh?” Newkirk commented.
“Yeah, with this woman,” Hogan joked.
* * * * * * *
While Karla Hoffman was unpacking her things in the VIP quarters, she considered what had happened since she left Berlin that morning. Her assignment here was twofold. One, she was to investigate General Burkhalter’s claim of a military genius at Stalag 13. Two, she was to investigate the strange happenings around the camp and determine whether this Colonel Hogan was connected to any of these events. The Gestapo had given her a lot of their information with regards to their investigations. On her way here, she read the reports and found that Hogan showed up consistently as a suspect.
The additional information on Hogan was extensive. The Gestapo suspected him of being connected to the events taking place around Stalag 13, but so far, hadn’t been able to prove any of the allegations made against him. There had been no picture included in the file so she’d hoped to meet this man Hogan during this trip to get an idea about his personality. She didn’t have to ask for a tour of the camp, Klink was groveling to his superiors and to the SS, which he obviously feared and offered to show her around. When she arrived at Stalag 13, her duty was clear in her mind.
“However, now that I’ve met this Hogan...” Karla muttered to herself as she continued to unpack her things. She quickly appraised him after he introduced himself in Klink’s office and felt something tug ever so slightly at her heart. She ignored it at the time. Now that she was alone in the VIP quarters, that same feeling was making its presence felt again and it was becoming increasingly difficult for her to ignore her feelings. Since the death of her fiancé in Poland, she had given up on trying to have a meaningful relationship before the war ended.
There was a knock on the door just then that interrupted her train of thought. When Karla answered it, she found Colonel Klink standing there with Sergeant Schultz.
“Colonel Hoffman? Are you ready for your tour of the camp?” Klink asked.
Karla grabbed her coat and replied, “Yes. Let me put on my coat and gloves.”
Klink took her on a brief tour of the camp that included the Recreation Hall, the camp bakery, the delousing station and the cooler and solitary confinement cells. Finally, after seeing several other boring buildings, they headed towards one of the barracks. The building they entered was labeled as Barracks 2.
When they entered, Klink began, “Now, this is a typical barracks and these are some of our prisoners.”
Karla nodded slightly and looked around the room. A short, black haired man was watching her intently. Most of the other prisoners were engaged in some sort of activity, like writing letters home or playing cards. One was even sketching another prisoner.
“Where is Colonel Hogan?” Klink asked.
“I think he’s in his office taking a nap,” the short black haired prisoner replied in French accented English.
Klink frowned, walked to the end of the barracks and knocked loudly on the door. Shortly, the door opened and the American officer who had been in Klink’s office stood in the doorway. Klink turned back towards her and said, “Colonel Hoffman, this is the end of the tour of Stalag 13. If you want to go anywhere else, please let Sergeant Schultz know. I have some business to attend to and I’m returning to my office.”
Karla was looking at Hogan again and noticed that he didn’t look like he’d been sleeping, when Klink continued, “Oh Hogan, you’re invited to my quarters for a dinner tonight with General Burkhalter, Colonel Hoffman, myself and Sergeant Schultz that Corporal LeBeau will fix.”
“What?!” the Frenchman protested loudly.
Hogan inclined his head towards the Frenchman with a look that silenced the other man. “Thank you, Herr Kommandant. I’ll be there and LeBeau will be glad to cook for you and your guests.”
* * * * * * *
Colonel Hoffman was still looking at him and Hogan noticed that her expression was one of genuine surprise when he accepted Klink’s dinner invitation. He would have to be careful around her. She’s not stupid, that’s for sure, Hogan thought.
Hogan’s gaze met Colonel Hoffman’s and held it. She didn’t back down either. On the contrary, she strode past him into his office to take a look around after Klink left the barracks. Schultz stayed and ate a snack with his crew in the next room. He closed the door behind him and crossed his arms over his chest. “Well, do my quarters meet with your standards of cleanliness?” Hogan asked.
“It’s not bad. At least you try to keep your quarters clean,” Colonel Hoffman commented. “I’ve seen far worse.”
Hogan said sarcastically, “The maid only comes once every two weeks.”
Colonel Hoffman tried to stifle a giggle and was only partially successful. “There goes my tough woman image.”
“Yeah,” Hogan said, his tone soft. “I don’t mind though.”
“You must be very lonely,” Colonel Hoffman said softly.
Hogan nodded and looked away from her. If she only knew how lonely I am! he thought. When he turned back to face Colonel Hoffman, she had sat on the lower bunk. “Oh, I’m sorry, do you mind if I sit here for a minute?” she asked as she took off her cap and ran her fingers through her wavy, blonde hair. She looked at the window and Hogan noticed how the light reflected off her hair.
“No, I don’t mind,” Hogan said. “Am I making you nervous?”
Colonel Hoffman turned to face him and for an instant, Hogan thought she really was scared. “No, I’ve been traveling all day long and I’m just tired, that’s all.”
Hogan watched as she stood, put on her cap and headed for the door. When she opened it, she turned and looked back at him before leaving his office, and then the barracks. When she left, Hogan realized he was holding his breath and exhaled. He was still staring at the spot where she had been standing. He turned, went to the window and looked out. It was starting to snow. He considered his purpose in being at Stalag 13. It was to sabotage the enemy, assist all friendly forces and help escaping prisoners get out of Germany.
During his time at Stalag 13, Hogan had established and run his organization beneath Colonel Klink’s very nose. Once he’d chosen his crew, they dug their fantastic tunnel system and eventually made contact with the local underground to set up the escape route out of Germany. What about his purpose? No, it wasn’t a purpose. Duty is what it was. I have a duty to my country. What about your duty to yourself? he asked himself. This question came to him out of nowhere as he stared out the window.
“Colonel? Are you all right?” Kinch asked from behind him.
“What?” Hogan replied as he turned away from the window and blinked as Kinch’s question interrupted his thoughts.
“Are you all right?” Kinch repeated.
“Yeah, Kinch. I’m fine,” Hogan replied. “Why do you ask?”
“I saw the look on your face just now and thought that woman might have unnerved you. What did she come in here for?” asked Kinch.
“Oh, it was nothing really,” replied Hogan. I can’t admit to him or anyone else that my feelings toward her might well be the reverse! Hogan thought. She’s had an effect on me all right. “No, I’m fine. Thanks for asking.” Kinch left the room, quietly closing the door behind him.
Hogan turned back to the window and looked out at the quarter-sized flakes. He considered his assignment to Stalag 13 and how he felt about it now, something that he rarely did. It’s rare that I think about my personal feelings before the good of the unit or the Allied war effort! In fact, I’m feeling emotions that I thought I’d buried when I accepted this assignment. I’ve never felt this confused about a woman, he thought as he looked out at the snow for a few minutes more before he closed the outside shutters, and then the window and went to clean himself up for the night’s dinner. He pulled out a fresh change of clothes, a tie, his toilet kit and some after shave lotion.
* * * * * * *
When the time came for dinner, Colonel Hogan arrived promptly at the Kommandant’s quarters, Karla noticed. Burkhalter, Klink, Schultz and the secretary arrived shortly after him. Karla was hungry and the smell of the food was wonderful as they gathered around Klink’s table. Thus far, Hogan had avoided coming anywhere near her and she was beginning to wonder why. Perhaps after dinner, I can get closer to him, Karla thought.
After a fabulous dinner cooked by the Frenchman, there was a phone call from Berlin for General Burkhalter and after he hung up the receiver, he informed them that Dusseldorf had been wiped out in a bombing raid. Burkhalter and Klink had complete confidence in Sergeant Schultz’s abilities and insisted that he make another brilliant prediction. Klink was especially proud, as this moment had occurred at his camp.
When Schultz made his prediction, Karla noticed that the drunken sergeant once again asked Hogan for the name of the city that was to be bombed. This troubled her. The expression on Hogan’s face was cautious, yet he seemed satisfied. General Burkhalter then made a call and ordered all of the squadrons of fighters currently protecting the ball bearing plant at Zuglitz to be ready to protect Schultz’s named target of Berlin from destruction the next night.
“To Sergeant Schultz, the ultimate weapon!” Burkhalter exclaimed as he raised his wine glass in a toast of the sergeant.
Karla wasn’t convinced this was the best thing to do. “Other important targets will be left unprotected,” she commented and looked sidelong at Colonel Hogan. She noticed that Hogan said nothing after reminding Schultz of the city to be bombed.
Both Burkhalter and Klink had drunk too much. Burkhalter had a look of supreme confidence on his face. He looks like an overconfident baboon with that stupid, alcohol-induced smile on his face! Klink looks like that even without drinking, Karla thought.
Karla caught Hogan looking at her intently several times and wondered what he was doing. Something’s afoot here and I suspect that you have something to do with it, Hogan. Am I right? I may never know the answer to that question, she thought.
* * * * * * *
Schultz was completely plastered as he sat next to Klink on the other side of the table, Hilda observed from where she stood at the other side of the room. The Kommandant had insisted on her presence at this celebration he called it for some reason. She consumed her meal in the kitchen with the Frenchman, LeBeau. He definitely had a talent for cooking, no matter what kind of food he prepared. When she finished, she sat on the couch just outside the kitchen and observed the events unfolding at the dining room table.
Hilda noticed that Colonel Hoffman was furtively glancing at Colonel Hogan. I can’t stand it! That woman is just staring at Hogan like she’s love-struck! she thought jealously as she saw she now had some competition for Hogan’s affections. Hogan is mine, woman! I wish I could leave; the look that she’s giving him is making me sick! Hilda then realized that the situation would be temporary as this woman was only visiting here. She calmly folded her arms across her chest and relaxed. I’ll have him all to myself when she leaves! she thought.
“Aren’t you going to join us in celebration, Colonel Hoffman?” Burkhalter inquired.
“No. I don’t need to get drunk to celebrate victories that have yet to be achieved. Besides, I have a report to finish and some loose ends that I have to tie up with -- Colonel Hogan,” Colonel Hoffman replied.
“Hogan?” Burkhalter inquired, his voice slurred from the alcohol.
“Yes. I have observed the sergeant’s interaction with this man and wish to pursue the matter in more detail -- alone. Take your bottles, celebrate elsewhere and don’t bother coming back until you’re sober,” replied Colonel Hoffman.
Hilda couldn’t believe this woman’s gall. Of all the nerve! she thought as she retrieved her coat and purse and quickly left the Kommandant’s quarters.
* * * * * * *
The four Germans left at this point, leaving Colonel Hoffman and Hogan alone in the dining room of Klink’s quarters. She locked both of the doors leading to Klink’s quarters. The sound of the keys turning in the locks sounded like cannon fire in the stillness of the room after everyone else had left. He stood, casually walked over to one of the windows and pulled open the curtains.
What’s she up to?? Hogan thought as he looked out the window at the moonlit compound and watched Burkhalter, Klink and Schultz enter the building that served as the officer’s club in Stalag 13. All they want is booze to celebrate their victories. Let them count their chickens before they’re hatched! Hilda seemed distant and downright jealous when she left to go home, he noticed.
When Hogan turned around a moment later, he found Colonel Hoffman standing behind him. She was a medium height and slim with short, wavy, blonde hair. She’s really beautiful, he thought as he got his first close look at her. During the meal, he’d tried hard not to look at her. He had been largely unsuccessful and now, since she was standing right in front of him, he had little choice in the matter.
“So, you have some loose ends to tie up with me?” Hogan asked as he felt an almost electric tension building in the air between them.
“Yes. I’m not entirely convinced of Schultz’s so-called psychic powers. He seems to rely on you for his information, or is it merely confirmation of his predictions by someone he feels comfortable around?” replied Colonel Hoffman.
Hmmm. She noticed Schultz’s reliance on me immediately. She’s a lot more observant than either Burkhalter or Klink! Hogan thought and then replied, “You tell me.”
Hogan’s confidence was shaken by how easily Colonel Hoffman had seen through this part of his ploy. He walked to the table, picked up two glasses, filled them with some of Klink’s wine and handed one to her. He drank a mouthful to calm his nerves, and then set the glass on the round, marble-topped oak table next to him.
If Colonel Hoffman suspects me of something, why didn’t she expose me to Burkhalter and Klink? Hogan wondered as he watched her.
* * * * * * *
Karla took the glass of wine Hogan proffered, raised it to her lips and took a sip. Not a bad wine, but I’ve tasted far better in Berlin, she thought. She set her glass next to his, and then turned to face him again. Her lips curled into a smile, and she calmly said, “I haven’t decided.”
Karla was standing even closer to Hogan now, but he didn’t seem offended by her closeness to him. Her close proximity to him allowed her to smell his cologne and she felt her heart start to pound. She thought, My God, I have to try and control myself better than this!! She looked at him and saw how handsome he was up close.
Suddenly, Karla’s arms flew around Hogan’s neck and she kissed him. Hogan responded instinctively by wrapping his arms around her and pulling her to him. As his lips parted, her tongue slid into his warm mouth and she felt a tingle course through her. When they parted a minute later, breathless, Karla was surprised at the intensity of the kiss they had just shared.
Karla stepped back, a look of utter shock on her face at her own action as she went to stand at another window. I can’t believe I just did that! she thought, amazed at her sudden reaction to Hogan’s presence. She saw her look of surprise mirrored in the American’s face and in his brown, intelligent eyes as she stepped back from him. He followed her to the window, but wasn’t standing quite as close as before, Karla noticed as she looked out at the moonlit compound.
“You don’t really believe that Schultz has psychic powers?” Hogan asked.
Karla replied, “No.”
“What will you put in your report?” asked Hogan.
“That Sergeant Schultz is a certified military genius. That is what those fools in Berlin want to hear,” Karla replied.
“Who are you?” Hogan asked as he reached out and touched her right arm.
Karla turned towards him and looked into his face when she replied, “A woman who would rather be something other than what I am. Help me!”
* * * * * * *
Hogan looked into Colonel Hoffman’s striking blue-gray eyes and saw a mixture of emotions there. Did he dare believe that she really wanted his help? He felt his own pulse start to race being this close to her. There was a hint of desperation in her voice and her eyes as she spoke, he noticed as he took her in his arms and kissed her once more. He noticed the softness of her lips. Her skin felt like velvet as his hand briefly cupped her cheek. She seems so vulnerable. Is it possible that she’s really on our side? he asked himself.
When they separated, Hogan realized what he had just done and whom he was doing it with. So much for LeBeau’s warning about the woman being dangerous! It’s been so terribly long since I’ve kissed a woman passionately that I don’t care whether she’s dangerous. I haven’t even kissed Hilda like that. Suddenly, confused and overwhelmed by his emotions, he realized that he needed some time and space to consider his feelings for this woman.
“Ooohh, Colonel Hoffman!!” Hogan sighed loudly and closed his eyes for a moment. He felt his control of the situation slipping through his fingers. The trouble was, at the moment, he didn’t care.
“Mmmm…Colonel Hogan, please call me Karla,” Karla purred.
“Karla. My name’s Robert,” Hogan whispered huskily. She was breathing deeply as he held her and it aroused his desire for her.
Hogan thought about how wonderful it felt to have this beautiful woman in his arms, no matter who she was. The soft touch of her lips when he kissed her and the press of her soft feminine curves against his body was almost enough to cause him to stay here with her. An image of them making love in Klink’s bed came to mind and he almost laughed; he would have laughed if he hadn’t realized then just how much he wanted that image to be a reality. What concerns me is that I don’t want to stop kissing her or return to the barracks!
“You are…” Hogan began and his voice trailed off. He almost said she was beautiful and wanted to say it very badly.
“I am…a woman,” Karla replied.
Hogan looked at her again and felt a burning desire for her. I suppose what concerns me even more, is the fact that I enjoyed kissing her so much! I could be endangering not only myself by flirting with this SS colonel, but also my operation and my crew. I need time to calm down! “Yes. You are also the enemy,” he said.
“So are you,” Karla acknowledged.
Hogan released her slowly, stepped reluctantly back from her, and then hesitated as he said, “I...uh...have to...return...um...to the barracks.” His eyes thoroughly inspected the contours of her figure as he said this. His mind screamed, I don’t care if you’re the enemy! I want you so badly that I ache for you! To make matters worse, he’d felt himself hardening as he held her and hoped she didn’t notice.
It took an amazing act of willpower for Hogan to turn away from her, take a few deep breaths in an attempt to calm down and leave Klink’s quarters before he put himself and his operation in any more danger. As he reached for the key to unlock the door, Hogan thought, I’m always so sure of myself around women and I can’t believe how badly I stumbled over that one sentence just now!
As Hogan left Klink’s quarters and walked across the compound, he considered what had happened tonight. One minute I’m looking out the window, the next, I’m holding a beautiful woman in my arms and we’re kissing each other passionately! What a pleasant surprise that was! It was dark as he entered Barracks 2. He quietly went into his office at the end of the barracks, removed his jacket, tie and shoes before climbing into the top bunk for the night. If she’s trying to get information from me by seducing me, she’s out of luck -- I hope!
Hogan’s mind drifted back to London and another woman, another time. Diane Michaels was a beautiful woman whom he had been seeing for a number of months before the war broke out in Europe. If the war hadn’t started, maybe I would have settled down with her, he thought. As he stared at the ceiling, his eyes adjusted to the dark and he was now able to see the knots in the boards that made up the ceiling of the barracks.
And what about Colonel Hoffman? This question came unbidden to his mind. Hogan closed his eyes to sleep and saw an image of her in his mind’s eye. What about her? She’s the enemy! The image refused to go away and he remembered feeling like a man again when he held her soft, feminine body against his. He opened his eyes and heard his heavy breathing in the darkness of his room. “Oh, man…” he mumbled as he closed his eyes, sighed and shook his head in wonder at the path his thoughts were taking.
Hogan slept more soundly that night than he had in many months as he dreamt about being with Colonel Hoffman, making love to her and woke the next morning with his face flushed and his pulse racing. Wow! That was some intense dream I had! And a very pleasant one, he admitted to himself as he went through his morning routine. He splashed some cold water on his face to remove the flushed color and calm his pulse before changing into a fresh uniform. As he casually walked out to answer roll call, he noticed the cold, dreary morning seemed brighter than it had in several weeks.
* * * * * * *
From the window of the Kommandant’s quarters, Karla observed the American officer as he walked across the moonlit compound and noted which building he entered. I still can’t believe I actually kissed him! Or that I would enjoy it so much! she thought. Hogan had responded so passionately that she couldn’t get the incident out of her mind. Then, he left so suddenly that she thought, Was I too forward? One minute he seemed to be enjoying himself, the next, he was confused and awkwardly trying to distance himself from me by leaving and returning to his barracks. Hmmm. That could be seen as very suspicious behavior, or it could be seen as a man who suddenly felt out of control of the situation.
As Karla left the Kommandant’s quarters a few minutes later and walked across the compound to the VIP quarters for the night, she asked herself, Is it possible that I’m falling in love with Colonel Hogan? She hadn’t been able to admit that possibility to herself though she had felt attracted to him ever since she first laid eyes on him earlier that day in Klink’s office. The feeling was much stronger now after the incident in Klink’s quarters a few minutes ago.
After closing the door of the VIP quarters behind her, Karla took off her coat and hung it on the coat rack next to the door. Turning, she crossed the living room to the desk where she sat to complete her report on her findings during her visit to Stalag 13. She always slept better when her work was finished. Johann could never understand that about me, she thought as she started to write.
“My first problem is that I suspect this Sergeant Schultz’s so-called psychic abilities are non-existent and I can’t prove it until the time of his prediction comes and goes. The second problem…Colonel Hogan,” Karla said out loud. She closed her eyes and sighed deeply as an image of him appeared in her mind’s eye. “Ahhh, Colonel Hogan, you are an enigma. Yes, you’re an enigma that is worthy of my undivided attention.”
The question of how Karla felt about the American continued to weigh upon her thoughts as she worked to complete her report on Sergeant Schultz before retiring for the night. She couldn’t forget feeling the warmth of Hogan’s lips on hers or his arms around her, holding her firmly yet gently against his body. He had awakened her suppressed desire and she enjoyed the heady sensation as she experienced those emotions again after so long. Shaking her head in an attempt to clear her thoughts, she opened her eyes and continued writing.
It was late when Karla finally finished the report and decided she would put it in the mail the next morning. After she sealed the envelope containing the required three copies of the report and putting away her own copy in her attaché case, she prepared to go to bed for the night.
Before Karla put on her pajamas, she looked over her shoulder and saw her naked back reflected in a wall mirror and though the bruises from the events of six weeks ago on her body were gone, their image was still as fresh in her mind as it was the first time she saw herself while she was recovering in a Luftwaffe hospital after being dropped off nearby and found by one of their patrols.
Karla had been surprised that no one had tried to do anything to her while she was unconscious. Rape wasn’t unheard of in the military. All she remembered after being beaten by the members of her own unit for trying to stop a heinous act on the part of the SS, was their eyes. The next thing she knew was that someone had covered her with a jacket or coat of some sort and then she saw someone -- probably a doctor -- looking over her. Later, she woke in a hospital and there were several other people, including the doctor who was tending to her hovering around her. A sudden wave of anguish and pain flashed through her mind’s eye as she struggled to keep the events of that horrible night and the emotions it stirred within her at bay.
As Karla lay awake that night, she considered her assignment to investigate the strange happenings at Stalag 13 and what she had discovered in her research prior to coming here. The questions it raised in her mind were disturbing. Is Hogan involved in these events? Is Zuglitz one of the Allies’ next bombing targets? There have been many attempts to destroy it recently. As Karla’s thoughts drifted back to the senior POW, she closed her eyes, saw an image of him in her mind and thought guiltily about how she was having very strong feelings towards this man, despite the fact that he’s an American and a prisoner. “Mein Gott, I can’t help it, I think I’ve fallen in love with him!” Karla whispered in the quiet emptiness of her room just before she finally drifted off to sleep.
* * * * * * *
Klink and Burkhalter observed the morning roll call with no show of emotion. Burkhalter was inspecting the camp while he was here and now that Schultz reported all his prisoners were present and accounted for, the two German officers continued about their business.
“Colonel, what about tonight?” asked Carter.
“What about it? Everything’s going as planned,” Hogan replied.
“Aren’t you concerned? I mean, with this SS officer in camp?” Carter asked in reply.
“No,” Hogan replied.
“Who is he? Why haven’t I seen him?” Carter asked.
“Her. You were taking your woodworking class in Barracks 5 when she visited our barracks,” Hogan replied.
“What? The SS officer is a woman?!” Carter inquired, incredulous.
Hogan smiled and crossed his arms over his chest. “Yup. And she’s a damn good-looking one.” He was staring in the direction of the VIP quarters where a woman in a black uniform walked out of the building and strode purposefully toward Klink’s office.
Carter followed Hogan’s gaze, and then looked at him, his brow furrowed as he exclaimed, “Sir!! You’re not thinking…?!” Carter saw the expression on Hogan’s face, and exclaimed, “Colonel!” His shock at his CO’s attitude was evident in the tone of his voice.
Hogan’s eyes followed the SS woman across the compound. He couldn’t help himself. When the door to the building closed behind her, he blinked, saw Carter’s incredulous expression and asked, “What?”
Carter stared at him, his mouth agape. “You didn’t hear a word I said.”
“What did you say? Have I done anything?” asked Hogan defensively.
“No, but I think you’re thinking about doing something,” Carter replied. He shook his head, folded his arms across his chest and continued watching Hogan.
Abruptly, Hogan said, “It’s not for you to judge me, Carter.”
LeBeau came over and then asked, “So, mon Colonel, was she putty in your hands last night?”
Newkirk was standing next to the Frenchman and winked when he commented snidely, “Gentlemen don’t discuss these things, mon ami!”
Hogan snapped at them angrily, “Knock it off!! I don’t wanna discuss it!” then turned and strode into the barracks and into his office, slamming the door behind him. He was fuming mad at Carter for daring to tell him, his superior officer, what to do and at the others for their attempted breach of his privacy. As he sat on the lower bunk and stared out the window, he realized that he was indeed thinking of doing something with her. However, he doubted he’d have the chance. What a shame, she’s so good-looking!
After roll call that afternoon, Hogan and his men were casually standing outside the barracks talking when Karla crossed the compound to her car. She was obviously ready to leave.
“Sir, did you know she was leaving?” Kinch asked him.
“No, I didn’t know,” Hogan replied, a look of genuine surprise on his face.
Hogan walked over to where Karla’s car was parked. Apparently, she had just finished speaking with Klink and Burkhalter. When Hogan arrived on the scene, Karla said, “Step inside, Colonel Hogan, I have a message for you.”
Uh oh, I wonder if I’m under arrest, Hogan thought nervously.
“Do as the Colonel asks, Hogan,” Burkhalter prompted him, as he stood there motionless.
When Hogan entered the curtained off back seat of the car and closed the door, Karla was sitting on the other side. She reached over, pulled him to her and kissed him fervently.
“You didn’t say anything about leaving,” Hogan said when they separated. He felt himself yearning for her even more now. I thought I’d managed to calm down this morning after that dream I had, but obviously, I haven’t, he thought.
“I just found out this morning. I’ve been ordered to go to Zuglitz on some security matter at the ball bearing plant,” Karla replied.”
“Zuglitz?” Hogan asked. Oh, no! That’s going to be bombed tonight! His heart sank upon hearing this.
* * * * * * *
As Karla kissed Hogan, she felt terrible trying to seduce him just for the sake of getting some answers to her unasked questions about recent and upcoming events. Her suspicions concerning what else he did besides being a POW were founded mostly on hunches and gut feelings after reading the incident reports prepared by the Gestapo. His odd behavior last night just before leaving the Kommandant’s quarters reinforced her suspicions.
When Karla mentioned going to Zuglitz, she saw the sudden expression of concern cross Hogan’s features that he couldn’t hide and that told her all she needed to know. She also noticed that his body was tense as she held him. In fact, it was almost rigid. He knows something’s going to happen, she thought. Perhaps Zuglitz is to be bombed tonight instead of Berlin. However, I need more proof. I need facts. My superior officer will demand nothing less on this case. He has already told me that my punishment for failure will be worse than it was six weeks ago for my defiance! She shivered inwardly at that thought. It may take the loss of a very important ball bearing plant to give him the proof he demanded.
“I’ll be back tomorrow,” Karla said and kissed Hogan lightly on his cheek. He then left the car, closed its door behind him and she felt the jolt as the driver put it in gear and drove off. It took every ounce of willpower she had not to look back through the curtains as the car drove out the gates.
* * * * * * *
Later that night, as Klink, Burkhalter, Schultz and Hilda were in Klink’s quarters waiting to hear the results of tonight’s expected slaughter of Allied bombers over Berlin, Hogan and his men were listening to them via the coffee pot in his office in Barracks 2. When Burkhalter received a phone call and informed the others assembled in the room that Zuglitz had been bombed instead of Berlin, Hogan closed his eyes slowly, leaned against one of the posts of his bunk and said, “Turn it off, Kinch.” He heard the despondency in his voice and opened his eyes.
His crew looked at him, as he sounded upset about something.
“What’s wrong, mon Colonel?” LeBeau asked.
“When the colonel spoke to me in her car before leaving, she told me that she was going to Zuglitz.” Oh God! What have I done? Hogan thought agonizingly and hoped that his emotions didn’t show on his face.
“And you didn’t try to stop her? I thought that you thought she was on our side,” Newkirk asked, incredulous.
Hogan replied, “I wasn’t that sure, so I didn’t try.”
“Maybe she was in a bomb shelter,” LeBeau quietly commented.
“Yeah, maybe,” Hogan replied. He felt emotionally drained. There was a terrible emptiness inside him that he didn’t want to acknowledge. It was from the feeling he’d lost someone he cared about and it hurt more than he wanted to admit to himself.
Just then, there was a sound outside the office door. Kinch put away the coffee pot. Hogan was instantly alert and quickly glanced around the room to make sure that everything was put away before opening the door. As he did, Colonel Hoffman entered the room.
“Congratulations. That was a most ingenious plan you had to get our fighter squadrons away from the ball bearing plant at Zuglitz so the Allies could successfully bomb it,” Karla said calmly.
“You didn’t go?” Hogan asked. He closed the door behind her, secretly relieved that she hadn’t gone. Did Karla hear our discussion just now? he wondered.
“I never intended to go. I was suspicious so I tested you. My suspicions were confirmed, but now I’ve recommended a disaster,” Karla commented as her gaze fell to the floor.
“You’ve got a problem,” Hogan stated.
Karla looked into his face for a moment. “Yes. My superiors aren’t tolerant of disasters. If they find me, I’ll die, very unpleasantly. Can you get me out of Germany?”
“Is this another test?” Hogan asked.
“I get out or I die. It’s that simple,” Karla replied as she looked at Hogan with naked fear in her eyes.
Hogan hesitated for a moment and turned so that she was to his left side. I don’t believe the effect this woman’s presence is having upon me! He replied, “We can get you out.”
“Thank you,” Karla replied. Hogan heard the relief in her voice. She paused, and then asked, “Hogan, why did you let me go?”
“I was doing my job,” Hogan replied. He looked at her sidelong, and then turned to face her. The men of his unit were watching and listening intently, Hogan noticed. He felt his heart pounding like it was going to burst out of his chest. Karla nodded, and then looked at the floor again.
Hogan saw how uncomfortable Karla was and asked his crew, “Will you please excuse us for a few minutes?”
Hogan stopped Kinch as he was about to leave, pulled him aside and asked quietly, “Do we have wood for the stove down in the tunnel? Are there blankets on the cot?”
“No, there are several of the men here in the barracks that have come down with the flu. I gave all the blankets to them. And all of the wood is up here. We need it just to keep ourselves warm. Sorry sir.”
“That’s okay, Kinch. Will you bring up some warm clothes from below for her?” Kinch nodded.
After his men left, Hogan looked at Karla again and his heart leapt that she was safe and his expression softened. He stepped forward and embraced her.
* * * * * * *
Kinch walked across the room to his bunk before turning around and looking at the senior POW’s office door. He thought to himself, I don’t believe it! I think Hogan’s actually falling in love with her! Kinch then went down into the tunnel to get some warm clothes. He decided on pants and a leather jacket.
Kinch didn’t consider himself an expert on human nature or relationships, but during his time here, he had learned how to read Hogan’s facial expressions. Most of the time, the officer kept his feelings to himself. If someone tried to pry, then Hogan dealt with it by diverting that person’s attention away from him. Or at least, that was how he saw it. He’s actually not that difficult to read if you’ve been around him long enough. Because Hogan’s in charge, he thinks he has to keep his emotions locked away all the time. That’s not healthy, he thought as he draped a jacket, pants and some wool socks over his arm.
Kinch knew that Hogan missed being intimate with a woman, all the men here did. Unlike the others though, Hogan was able to see Hilda and it was common knowledge that the two of them had some sort of a relationship going. Most of the time, Hogan used Hilda to gain information for their operation. But, hadn’t he already indirectly used this SS woman to gain success in their gambit to arrange the bombing of Zuglitz? Yes, but now, was she turning the tables and using Hogan for some plot of her own? Could she be trying to infiltrate and destroy this unit? How can we determine this? If this is the case, can Hogan do what needs to be done to prevent the destruction of this unit? Could Hogan kill this woman if he had to? I have a feeling that the answer to that question may be no, he mused. Kinch decided to do some research into Colonel Hoffman’s background on his own tonight. There were too many unanswered questions in his mind.
Kinch went to the radio room and sent a message to London asking for information about Colonel Hoffman.
“No first name?” Mama Bear asked.
“No. I don’t know it,” Kinch replied. “All I know is that the colonel is a woman.”
“We’ll check her out. Hopefully, there won’t be more than one female Colonel Hoffman in the SS who’s currently in your area,” Mama Bear replied dryly.
“Oh, she’s in the SD,” Kinch supplied.
“Thanks, that will help us narrow our search some more. I’ll get back to you in the morning,” Mama Bear replied.
“Okay, over and out,” Kinch replied and then shut off the radio and looked at his watch. Lights out was in a few minutes so he picked up the clothes he’d gathered and headed above so Schultz didn’t notice him missing from his bunk.
* * * * * * *
Soon, Schultz entered the barracks long enough to shout, “Lights out!”
“All right, Schultz!” Carter said as he turned off the lights and crawled into his bunk. “Will you close the door? It’s cold outside!” Most of the men in Barracks 2 huddled beneath their thin blankets to go to sleep.
In Hogan’s office, the couple was kissing and separated upon hearing Schultz in the other room. “Will he come in here?” Karla whispered anxiously.
Hogan replied, “No. He’s just poking his head in to remind us that it’s time for the lights to be out.”
Just then the door to his office opened and Schultz said, “Colonel Hogan, lights out.”
Whoops! Hogan closed his eyes in amazement and replied, “Okay, Schultz.”
Schultz then saw the woman, recognized her as the SS colonel sent to evaluate him and asked, “What are you doing back here?” before he noticed she was in Hogan’s arms.
“Colonel Hooogann!!!” Schultz exclaimed as he closed his eyes and turned his head away from the couple.
“What, Schultz?” Hogan asked, a look of complete innocence on his face.
“There aren’t supposed to be any women in the barracks!!” Schultz replied, uptight.
“She’s interrogating me! And doing a damned good job of it too,” Hogan commented as he looked at Karla affectionately.
“I don’t care! She shouldn’t be here and you both know it! I must report this to Kommandant Klink at once!”
Hogan released Karla, quickly moved to block the door such that Schultz couldn’t leave his office and said, “I wouldn’t do that if I were you Schultz.”
“Why not?” Schultz inquired.
“What if, as a result of Colonel Hoffman’s report about you, the SS decides they want to take over Stalag 13? That would leave you and Klink with no place to go except East!” Hogan replied.
“Colonel Hogann!” Schultz whined pitifully.
“Don’t worry, Schultz. I’m giving you and Klink fantastic character references with the colonel here. I’m sure she’ll do whatever she can to ensure that you get treated humanely in the event of an SS takeover.”
Karla nodded. “Yes, Colonel Hogan has given me an excellent character reference for both you and the Kommandant.”
Schultz had a panic-stricken look on his face now and before either of them could say anything else, he interrupted with a gesture of silence and said, “I see nothing, NO-THING!!” then left as Hogan moved away from the door. Soon, they heard the outer door of the barracks slam, followed by several curses as it woke some of the men in the next room. Hogan closed his office door after Schultz was gone and turned back to Karla.
Karla giggled at Hogan’s comments to manipulate the fat sergeant into ignoring her presence here. Then she asked, “Will he say anything to Klink?”
Hogan replied, “No.”
“That’s what you said about whether he would come in here,” Karla said.
“When Schultz says he sees nothing, he doesn’t tell Klink or anyone else anything. He knows we’ve got too much on him that would get him either shot or sent to the Russian front immediately,” Hogan replied with a grin.
A few minutes after giving Schultz sufficient time to get away from the barracks, Hogan opened his office door and Kinch quietly crossed the room to his office.
“Here you go, Colonel,” Kinch said as he handed the clothes to Hogan. “I hope these are warm enough. It felt like it was below zero at roll call this evening. I expect it’ll get worse before the night is out.”
Hogan nodded and said, “Thanks, Kinch. Klink just did one of his midnight inspections last night, didn’t he?”
“Yeah,” Kinch replied.
“Good, Colonel Hoffman will be staying in here with me tonight,” Hogan said.
“I’ll come wake you if you’re not out here by the time I’m ready to leave the barracks for roll call in the morning,” Kinch replied and closed the door behind him.
* * * * * * *
Now that they were alone once again, Hogan turned and looked at Karla. “Is something wrong? You look upset,” he asked quietly when he saw her somber expression.
Karla replied, “No, I suppose not. I was just thinking of a peaceful time just before the war.” Damn! I hadn’t meant for you to see that. You’re very observant, Hogan, she thought.
“Bad memories?” Hogan asked.
Karla replied, “Not so much bad as sad. Someone I loved very much was killed in Poland.”
“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. By the way,” Hogan began as he handed her the clothes he held, “these are for you, it’s pretty cold here. Not nice and warm like the VIP quarters.”
Karla briefly considered her current situation, and then said, “Danke, Herr Oberst. Will you please excuse me for a minute, so I may change clothes?”
“Yes. I’ll be right outside the door,” Hogan said.
After Hogan stepped into the next room, Karla quickly changed from her skirt to a pair of long pants, woolen socks and a bomber jacket like Hogan’s. She was warmer than before and asked herself, How do these men stand these deplorable conditions? She opened the door and Hogan came back into the room. “Um, where should I sleep?” Karla asked quietly.
Hogan indicated the bottom bunk. “There.” He pulled down a pillow from his bunk and handed it to Karla. “I’ll be above if you need anything,” Hogan replied as he climbed into the bunk above. “Good night Karla.”
“Good night Robert,” Karla replied as she crawled into the bunk, curled up beneath the blanket and closed her eyes.
Text and original characters copyright 2001 by
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