2004 Papa Bear Awards - Nominated
Best Challenge - One Minute Challenge
2004 Papa Bear Awards - Nominated
Best Portrayal of a Canon Character - Hogan
2004 Papa Bear Awards - First Place
This Game was written in response to the “one-minute” challenge offered on the Hogan’s Heroes’ Smartgroups list by Lauren (The Oboe One). The challenge was to take one minute (or so…) of an episode and write it from the perspective of any of the characters. This story takes place during the episode entitled “The General Swap” which was written by Harvey Bullock and R.S. Allen and first aired on January 6, 1967. 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!
“The first thing out of your brother’s mouth was an accusation that I wasn’t General Aloysius Barton. In hindsight now I know that his intentions were to procure my release from that maximum-security cell and into the prison proper. Unfortunately, I didn’t understand that, and I dressed him down pretty hard. In my opinion, he appeared to be in collusion with his German captors. There had never been a successful escape from that camp and the Kommandant called your brother ‘understanding and cooperative.’ I called him a coward, a traitor and a disgrace to his uniform. Then I told the Kommandant that I never wanted to see him again. The German was only too happy to oblige…”
~April 23, 1945~
General Aloysius Barton to Colonel Joseph Hogan
as taken from our Hogan’s Heroes story entitled “End Game”
Almost a year earlier…
Hammelburg Germany, Luft Stalag 13,
Outside the Cooler Building, May 15, 1944, 1030 Hours
Kommandant Wilhelm Klink had relished at the sight of his Senior POW Officer, Colonel Robert Hogan, being dressed down by his newest prisoner, one General Aloysius Barton US Army Air Corp. Never had I thought that I would see the day. It was certainly worth it, to see Hogan wallow in self-pity. Not to mention, being ruthlessly berated in front of me -- an enemy officer, no less.
Klink wanted to add his own sarcastic comments to even further humiliate his senior prisoner. It would serve Hogan right for all the grief he’s shown me in the past. But as both men exited the Cooler building, Klink could feel the tension radiating from the American Colonel. He realized that in all the time that Hogan had been his prisoner, and of all that the things the man had done to annoy him, Hogan had never once commented sarcastically on Klink’s own run-ins with his superior officers.
And to top that all off, Wilhelm Klink really didn’t believe Robert Hogan to be a traitor to his own countrymen. So the Kommandant decided that he would just let the American wallow in his own pity without any added comment. That was until Hogan barged past the German Colonel and headed for his barracks -- without being excused. “You have not been dismissed Hogan!” he bellowed.
Klink watched Hogan’s whole body tense as the man stopped short in response to his command, and then never make a move to turn back and face him. "You will look at me when I address you Colonel," Klink demanded, angry about the outright defiance of his authority. Klink could almost feel the raw emotions shoot through his Senior POW Officer. He watched as Hogan clenched his hands into tightly balled fists and took a deep breath, obviously trying to contain his own emotions before he made another move.
Klink said nothing until Hogan performed a textbook about-face and he saw the look in his prisoner’s eyes. "That's much better Colonel," he stated abruptly, trying to hide his own discomfort with his counterpart's posturing. Hogan’s whole demeanor was a study in unwavering stoicism, appearing ready, willing, and able to withstand whatever Klink was going to do next. I haven't seen that look on Hogan's face since his internment interview on the day he was brought here. I can’t believe how far we’ve come since then. I really never expected to see that look again.
And I had forgotten how unnerved I’d been on meeting this man for the first time.
Klink continued hastily, trying to stick to business, "Neither you nor your men will be allowed within 100 feet of the cooler for the duration of the General's stay with us. Violate that distance and the guards have orders to shoot to kill. Is that understood Colonel Hogan?"
"Perfectly sir," Hogan replied evenly.
"Good. I’m glad that we understand one another,” Klink said authoritatively. “That will be all Colonel Hogan. You're dismissed.”
Klink watched Hogan walk away, with an unvoiced understanding of what it meant to be considered a coward by your own countrymen lingering in his soul. It was a feeling he was sure Hogan had never dealt with before, and one that he hoped that Hogan would come to terms with. Especially if we're to keep Stalag 13 intact until this war is over - despite the outcome.
As Hogan escaped from the Kommandant’s scrutiny, he was rather surprised that the Kommandant had ignored a golden opportunity to make a spectacle of him. I really expected Klink to tout his superiority by flaunting my humiliation in front of the entire camp. But he didn't. I wonder why? Hogan shook the question from his thoughts, as he was still too preoccupied to contemplate the Kommandant’s motives. But he had to admit to himself that he was almost glad for Klink’s distraction. It had given him a place to re-direct his resentment, even if only for a brief time.
But now, the anger and tension returned to pervade his entire being. All Hogan wanted was to get away to the solitude of his quarters. He studiously ignored the startled men seated around the central table, after having entered and slammed door to the barracks. He made an immediate beeline for his quarters and slammed that door as well, only to fall back against it breathing heavily, almost hyperventilating. What the Hell have I gotten myself into? When Barton leaves here -- and I do still have to get him out of here -- he and probably half the Allied Armies will think me a traitor. A coward. A sell-out. And a disgrace.
Hogan flung his cap into the corner. His jacket soon followed in a similar fashion. Still frustrated he kicked the stool out from under his desk. It skittered across the tiny room and clattered against his footlocker. His frustration rose to new heights when he realized that the stool was now blocking the way to his bunk. With a grumble, he tossed it violently aside where he heard it splinter against the door. Shit.
Not looking at the damage… Hogan winced knowing that that was one of only a very few stools left in camp. Dejected he sprawled on the lower bunk, raised his left forearm to cover his eyes and used his right to take hold of his stomach that now felt as if it had been hit with a sledgehammer.
Goddamn you Hogan. Stop worrying about yourself. Think about what this means for your men?
Oh Hell… No one will ever know that we waltz in and out of here at all hours of the day and night, risking our lives every minute of everyday, striking hard at the enemy in every way that we can. Just because -- apparently -- we're being held in the toughest POW camp in all of Germany. At least that is what it will always look like to everyone else. Forever.
The churning in Hogan’s gut intensified, almost to where he felt he needed to throw-up. Lord God. I know why we are risking our lives here. It’s important. But today I finally realized that because of me, and this insane operation… I've ruined these men's lives forever. They will never be able to admit what they’ve done here. They will all be forever branded as cowards, or worse yet, as traitors. All because of their commitment to my eccentric vision.
Yet here they all stay -- with me – in this pigsty, with the rotten food, the rats, and the lice. In constant danger of being discovered, or sold out. Awaiting their fate… that of a firing squad or a hangman's noose. I just never realized how much more I was asking of these men. To give up their futures beyond the likelihood of all their deaths? I know that they're committed to me, and to this operation. But to survive all of this… And to have nothing left to look forward to, except the contempt and disdain of their peers.
Is it really worth all that?
I guess, in the end, it may not even matter. We will probably never leave here alive. What we’ve committed ourselves to -- is some kind of an impossible dream. But, it’s a dream that requires fulfillment. Hitler must be stopped -- at all cost. Any price paid will be worth that result. And I do know the men agree with me. They’ve proven that to me well beyond just any commitment to duty.
So, even if no one else ever knows the truth…we will. And I have to believe that that will mean something. Even if it only means our salvation, when we finally meet the Almighty face to face. I’m just so very sorry it will never mean more -- here in this reality.
Hogan sighed and sat up, resolutely retrieving his cap and jacket from where they had landed on the floor. He wiped off the collected dust and put them back on. He walked toward his office door and moved the shattered stool out of his way. I'll have to see Klink about getting that repaired -- later.
Hogan took a determined deep breath trying to settle his still upset stomach. But for now, duty calls. We still need to get General Barton out of here. So, that's just what we are gonna do. And I'm sure London will agree with whatever I can come up with. Because after all, we do the impossible here.
To dream the impossible dream.
To fight the unbeatable foe.
To bear with unbearable sorrow.
To run where the brave dare not go.
To right the unrightable wrong.
To love pure and chaste from afar.
To try when your arms are too weary.
To reach the unreachable star.
This is my quest.
To follow that star.
No matter how hopeless.
No matter how far.
To fight for the right,
Without question or pause.
To be willing to march into hell,
For a heavenly cause.
And I know, if I'll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I'm laid to my rest.
And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star
"The Impossible Dream"
from the musical Man of La Mancha
To the men and women of the Space Shuttle Columbia,
who gave their lives reaching for the unreachable star.
And whose passion for life, adventure, and the pursuit of knowledge
will inspire the dreams of generations to come.
May they find true peace among the stars.
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.