The Dick Van Dyke Show ~ "Pilot of the Airwaves"
by Dash O'Pepper

Authors Notes: Originally written for a 500-word challenge. This story may also be found on AO3.


From verifying his identity to confirming that there was actually a meeting scheduled with Alan Brady to having a personal escort take him to the man's office, they seemed to be taking no chances.

Hell, if the Pentagon had taken as many precautions as the RCA Building, we wouldn't be worrying about Khrushchev right now.

After politely introducing him to Brady's secretary, the NBC Page discreetly excused himself, with the cheerful reminder to call when he was ready to leave.

Perhaps he was over-reacting. Years dealing with that type of mentality during the war still found him more suspicious of things than he should have been, but he had the distinct feeling that it was a veiled threat: Halt or we'll shoot.

"Can I get you any coffee, Mr.—" began the secretary.

"It's Rob," he smiled, noting that she was giving him the once over. A little greyer at the temples…a few pounds heavier…and happily married…it was nice to know that younger women still found him attractive. "Black. Two sugars."

"They shouldn't be too much longer." She handed him the cup.

He felt at a distinct disadvantage in this situation. He'd responded to the letter more out of curiosity than having any real interest in the project. With the situation in Indo-China escalating, not to mention the social unrest at home, television and movie studios were focusing more and more on home-grown heroes. Though, there wasn't anything in his life now—or then—that he felt should merit such interest. His ties in the intelligence community had been severed long ago; and to the best of his knowledge, his missions were still classified under the FYEO heading. Yet, a part of him wanted to know exactly how much these TV people knew.

"Who's in there?" he asked, taking a sip from his cup, and nodding toward the closed door. "Brady's letter was rather oblique."

Before she had a chance to reply, the door opened, and the man known alternately as genius and cobra stepped forth.

"Bob! Great to see you."

Alan Brady pumped his hand enthusiastically.

"I can call you Bob?" he continued.

The words tumbled out staccato style, purposely giving him no chance to form a reply. In those few seconds, he'd realized that Brady was a master con man. Takes one to know one, he thought. Robert, you missed your calling; instead of engineering, you should have gone into television.

"I want you to meet our team. I've already got writers and producers lined up for this one. We've got a hit on our hands. I know it."

Ushering him into the office, Brady began quick introductions.

"Bob, I want you to meet our writers Rob Petrie, Sally Rogers and Buddy Sorrell. And the men who'll be backing this program: Sheldon Leonard, Danny Thomas, Byron Buckles and Bing Crosby."

They were obviously used to Brady's personality, as they all nodded their quick and polite hellos to him.

"Have a seat, and tell us all about Stalag 13."

~ Finis ~

© 2015 by Dash O'Pepper


Disclaimers: The Dick Van Dyke Show is a registered trademark of Calvada Productions and Viacom/Paramount. Hogan's Heroes is a registered trademark of Bing Crosby Productions and Viacom/Paramount. This work of fan fiction is not meant in any way to infringe on copyrights already held by these companies, their subsidiaries, or their estates.