|To Save a Life
Author: hippiechick2112 PM
Part three of a series of four, "Prelude to Danger". London frantically radios Stalag 13 to help send two prisoners to Germany from Poland. How much ARE these prisoners worth? And who, exactly, are they?Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Friendship - Chapters: 4 - Words: 6,108 - Published: 04-12-10 - Status: Complete - id: 5892833
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
To Save a Life
Note and Disclaimer: I'll be saying this every time. I don't own the characters to Hogan's Heroes. I would like to thank those who have created this series. However, the character I have created in this series, Colonel Michalovich, belongs to me, so if you want to use her in any story you wish to write, please email me with permission first. Thank you!
Thursday, March 18, 1943
To Colonel Robert E. Hogan, senior P.O.W. officer of Stalag 13 and former commander of the 504th Bomber Squadron of the United States Army Air Force: urgent message from Allied Headquarters, London. Repeated message: the mission, in which H8WC has failed to complete, is vital for your men and for the Allies. More reports will be sent later on the dynamics of the rocket base and what should be done. The oil that was blown has been remade and needs to be destroyed before the Axis Powers launch the rocket.
Also of the utmost importance: Colonel Michalovich and Major Donovan-White have been spotted alive at the Auschwitz camp in Poland as of 1950 hours of Thursday, March 11, 1943. If it can be done on your part or through the Underground, rescue them, on orders from the High Command. They are the sole survivors of H8WC and will be needed for this mission to destroy the rocket base, for we will all be destroyed if it isn't. Use the Allied Underground if needed. General Alburtis, head of British Intelligence, wants them alive and well.
A door creaked opened to Hogan's quarters as he read the latest, and most annoying, message from London that a drunk Baby Bear had sent them a few minutes previously. Sitting on his top bunk, Hogan glanced over to the door, hoping that the German guards were not on the prowl again as they had been recently. He breathed a sigh of relief. One of his men peeked in, his dark face almost apologetic that he entered upon the Colonel's dominion.
"Did you receive the message from Headquarters Colonel?" The man, Sergeant Kinchloe, known to everyone in the camp as Kinch, entered Hogan's private space. "London keeps frantically sending that one message and it's been the same, over and over again. They're desperate to have this mission finished."
"Yes, Kinch," the bass voice of Hogan replied with a sigh. "I received the message. I'm aware of what they want." The sadness in his voice evident, the Colonel rose from his top bunk, waving the paper in his hand as he jumped from it. His feet soundly hit the dusty floor, causing a whirlwind of tumbleweeds that made him and Kinch wheeze. The two ignored it as Hogan continued with business. "It's apparently urgent enough to send it time and again. The Underground doesn't want to deal with the problem just yet. They can't run the risk until they're sure that they're coming back alive, but they need to or else we'll lose the war, not to mention our lives. They need a solid plan."
"Is that's what's been keeping us?" LeBeau, the camp's main cook, popped his head in, missing the dust episode entirely. He knew what the conversation was about and natural curiosity kept him intact about the dynamics of the original plan, leaving more of an air of mystery about the hoped-for rescue. "We destroyed the oil for their rocket. We could do it again. We've done it before. What do we need these people for?"
The question from LeBeau clearly hurt Hogan and his men in the quarters saw it for a split second before he answered. "London considers these two people top spies. They were transferred from their medical unit in London to Paris in order to gain more insight in the Vichy and into the Germans in France. The top brass in Paris love to go there." LeBeau growled in disgust about the invasion of France, but Hogan continued before a long-winded rant from the patriotic Frenchman ensued, his words seeming to jumble up into mechanical words. They seemed mumbled, as if he didn't want them to hear them, but felt the need to speak them. "One of them…I knew her. She's got spunk. She and a friend of hers stay together. She was assigned to the Underground and the Allied Headquarters a few months after I was." There was a pause. "Now, London needs them out because they have information to save the war for us. They seem important enough for them to bother us."
"So, we need to head for the top if we could," the Englander, Newkirk, who had just moved men to get in, chimed in. "We know that Burkhalter's comin' by tonight."
"We could start there," Hogan said slowly. "Burkhalter isn't going to do anything personally, but he might be able to pull some strings." The men, noticing a change in Hogan's attitude, listened further for their instructions. "We need to act quickly if London is going to get their way. Lives are at stake, for all they are concerned. LeBeau, since Burkhalter's going to be here tonight, Klink's going to want to impress him. I'm sure that he's going to be reminding me later."
LeBeau, growling again, obviously not thrilled about cooking another gourmet dinner. Hogan ignored it and continued, knowing that LeBeau would do it with spite. All he needs if a reminder about how important these missions are, Hogan thought before saying further instructions."Newkirk…grab some men, Carter and Olsen especially, from the other barracks and ask them to be waiters for tonight. I'm sure that they wouldn't mind, since we're trying to get two women from a camp." Smiles were exchanged from three enlisted men. They knew what it was like to be without women. Not to mention, in order to execute the plan perfectly, it meant that they would achieve it well, selfish as it seemed.
Hogan finally smiled with his men, knowing that he, too, missed company, especially the one spy they were aiming to rescue. His eyes twinkled mischievously, as if he was playing innocent, but was up to something. And indeed, the men were up to another mission, especially if women were concerned. "Ok then," Hogan continued, "we need to get moving. Kinch?"
"Yes, Colonel," the Sergeant answered. The black man turned to his commanding officer as the other two filed out of the Colonel's quarters, intent on their assignments. Newkirk closed the door, leaving the two men alone.
Hogan looked back at Kinch, as if searching for some reassurance, but paused. He was the one who was supposed to help his men, not the other way around. Oh, God, Kinch, do you think they're alive right now? Do you think Nikki, my Desertstar, survived this place in which they said everyone was killed in? I can't believe that any place could do that. It's just a camp. Ethnicities were put in there. Prisoners who were deemed important are put there. Nikki can't be that important to the Third Reich. No, she promised not to follow me. Kinch, we still need her…I still need her with me. She's my love. I can't live without her.
"Kinch, radio London and ask them for further instruction. Tell them that…we're working on getting their two agents out of Poland. I understand that we need them for this mission, but ask them if there are any other survivors of H8WC that they missed."
"I don't think it's possible that there are other agents alive," Kinch answered truthfully, repeating what was said by Baby Bear earlier. He put his hand on his command officer's shoulder. "Colonel, the agents were all murdered except for possibly those last two. London says that British Intelligence has no idea why they were spared and not everyone else. London claims that a family member from the Kraut side picked them up and shipped them, mercifully enough." Kinch stopped, not sure if he was allowed to go on. There was an awkward silence.
Outside, Kinch heard the door open and the obnoxious jokes and wisecracks of his fellow prisoners in the barrack's main room. Schultz, their guard, had come in and was asking for something, but Kinch could not hear what it was (and neither could Hogan, Kinch noted as well). He had other, more important thoughts. Damn, I'm the Colonel's friend. He needs to hear the truth and have some hope. I'm sure that his friends would come out of that camp, from wherever they are.
Hogan smiled again. He heard the noises outside finally and took in the concept of the strange companionship of his men. He especially took in these truths. It hurt him worse, but it was better than a false hope being dashed. Cold reality was certainly better than the perfect universe. Kinch is right. We need to be patient, especially me. Desertstar can survive with Nancy. Those two have the power and strength to.
"Thanks, friend," Hogan said. He put his hand on Kinch's shoulder, returning the favor, and felt the bond of brotherhood between them for a few seconds. The two exchanged a friendly smile again before a knock on the door interrupted them. Immediately, the familiarity disappeared and Hogan acknowledged the person on the other end. It was Carter, their demolitions man, who came in. "Colonel Hogan, Schultz is outside t-the door and is r-requesting that –"
"PLU-EASE Colonel Ho-GAN!" The familiar voice of the camp's Sergeant of the Guards echoed into the Colonel's quarters. The laughs of the fellow men in the barracks, however, were not quite drowned out by the Sergeant's loud demands. Schultz kept yelling out what he wished, but nobody could hear him until Hogan stuck his head out the door, pushing Carter gently out of the way and ordering the men to quiet down for a few minutes.
"Colonel Hogan, Kommandant Klink wishes to see you in his office!" Schultz finally yelled something that Hogan could hear. With that, the barrack's door slammed again as Schultz waddled out, intent on reporting the behavior of the men to the Kommandant. Laughter, though, filled the room, giving warmth back to the barracks when the quiet had kept them oddly indifferent and remote. The men missed being home and constantly tried to occupy themselves without fighting, as they did before Hogan came to Stalag 13.
"He never gives up, does he?" Kinch asked Hogan as he came out of Hogan's quarters with him. He was referring to Schultz's attempts to control the wild men who paced their cages daily, knowing that any day they could leave through their elaborate tunnel system. Built by prisoners before Allied prisoners came in, London wanted Hogan in contact with the Underground as much as possible. The camp's prisoners also often took turns sneaking out of camp, either to meet a woman in town or to go on missions.
"He can't give up," Hogan replied, forgetting about their mission – and the possible demise of the Allied Forces – for a few seconds. He became serious fast on recalling to memory what they needed to do, and said to Kinch, "Schultz has a job to do and so do we." Determination filled Hogan's face, giving him the strength to move on. Klink ordered me to his office. Step one of the plan may depend upon this.