Author's note: This story is based on Tuttle4077's Movin' Out challenge where one of the heroes can't stand the others anymore and transfers to another hut. Hope you enjoy it.
Chapter 1: Moving Out
Sgt. Andrew Carter entered Barracks 2 and noticed LeBeau, Newkirk and and Kinchloe sitting at the table playing cards. Colonel Hogan was nowhere to be seen. "Where's Colonel Hogan?" Carter asked no one in particular.
"In his office," replied Kinch.
"Said he was going to do some research," LeBeau added.
Carter gave them a cursory glance and said, "Thanks." Then, he hurried over to the door to Hogan's office. He raised his hand to knock, then hesitated, reconsidering. He thought about the decision he'd made, wishing there was some other alternative, but he could see none. The step he was about to make had become necessary, no matter how difficult it might be. So, with renewed resolve, Carter knocked on the door.
"Come in," acknowledged Hogan.
Carter slowly opened the door and entered. Too concerned to think of closing the door, Carter said, "Colonel, I need to speak with you."
Hogan sat at his table, several open books in front of him. "Carter, I'm kind of busy right now," stated Hogan, indicating the open books. "Can't this wait till later?"
"I'm afraid not," Carter insisted.
"All right, go on."
Carter took a deep breath, then blurted, "Colonel, I want to be transferred to another barracks."
"What!" cried Hogan, jumping to his feet. "Carter, have you gone insane? You're part of this operation. You don't just pack up and leave."
"I've thought about it a lot, Sir. I have to leave," Carter argued. "I'm tired of never getting any respect. Of everybody saying, 'shut up, Carter.' Of everybody thinking all my plans are stupid. Of having my loyalty questioned, as if it's a joke, every time I mess up."
"Oh, stop whining," came Newkirk's voice, from the open doorway, where he, LeBeau and Kinch stood, after coming to see the cause of the ruckus.
"See what I mean," said Carter, the frustration evident in his voice.
Hogan gave Newkirk a stern glance, and ordered, "Newkirk, shut up." Then, he turned to Carter and said, "Request denied."
Carter stared silently, his eyes reflecting his pain. "Fine," he finally stated, as he turned and left the room. Newkirk, LeBeau and Kinch stepped back enough to let him pass. Carter continued on, opened the barrack's door and went outside.
After Carter had left, Hogan glanced at the trio standing in the doorway. "We have been riding Carter pretty hard lately," he admitted. "Maybe we should let up a little." The others nodded in silent agreement.
- - -
Carter entered Klink's barracks. Plan A didn't work. It was time to move on to plan B. He stopped at Hilda's desk. "I need to see Colonel Klink," he told her.
"I'll tell him you're here," she said, pushing a button on her phone. She spoke over the phone a bit, then said, "I'm sorry, the Kommandant says you must use proper channels. You need to make your requests through Colonel Hogan."
"I already tried that. It didn't work," insisted Carter, heading for Klink's office.
"I can't let you go in there," announced Hilda, moving to block the door.
"Then, I'll just escape," stated Carter very loudly so it could be heard through the closed door.
After a moment, the door opened and Klink walked in. "There has never been a successful escape from Stalag 13," he declared.
"Fine, I'll be the first," countered Carter.
"Thirty days in the cooler," ordered an enraged Klink.
Carter shrugged slightly. "Okay, then I'll just escape when I get out. I'll have all that free time to make my plans."
Klink was obviously annoyed. "All right, Carter, what do you want?" he asked.
"Transferred to another barracks, Sir," replied Carter.
"Then, talk to Colonel Hogan and he can discuss it with me," Klink insisted.
"I already tried. He refused."
"Then it's settled," declared Klink, decisively as he started to turn to return to his office.
"Then, I guess I'll just have to escape."
Klink gave Carter a sour look as he conceded, "All right. Effective immediately, you're assigned to Barracks 6. Pick up your things and move in."
"Yes, Sir," said Carter with a weak smile. Then, as an afterthought, he said, "One more small favor, if you don't mind, Colonel. To make sure there's no trouble, could Shultz go with me."
Klink considered it a moment. "All right. Hilda, contact Shultz. Have him meet Carter here and provide escort during the move."
"Jawohl, Herr Kommandant," said Hilda, moving to follow orders.
"Thank you, Sir," acknowledged Carter. With a nod of his head, Klink returned to his office, and Carter sat down in an empty chair to wait for Shultz.
- - -
Hogan and the three remaining members of his operation were seated at the table engrossed in conversation when Shultz and Carter entered. "Sorry, but I don't have any strudel today, Shultzy," said LeBeau.
"That is not why I am here," stated Shultz, standing as if at attention. "I am here to escort Sgt. Carter to his new quarters."
Hogan was on his feet, in Shultz's face, demanding, "What new quarters? I didn't okay his transfer."
"But Colonel Klink did," replied Shultz slowly, emphasizing every word. "Carter has been reassigned to Barracks 6."
"Carter, my office now," ordered Hogan. Carter started towards Hogan's office, Shultz following. "Alone," Hogan added stopping Shultz at the door.
"But I have my orders--" protested Shultz.
"What am I going to do? Shoot him?" laughed Hogan, sardonically. "I don't even have a gun."
Carter considered the situation a moment, then said, "It's okay, Shultz. Wait out here. I'll yell if I need you."
Carter entered Hogan's office. Hogan followed and closed the door. Shultz took up a position on guard just outside the door.
- - -
Hogan took a seat at the table. "Sit down," he offered Carter. Carter sat in one of the empty chairs. Speaking quietly so the conversation was kept inside the office, but in a very angry tone, Hogan demanded, "What gave you the right to go over my head to Colonel Klink, Sergeant?"
Carter diverted his glance down to the table and mumbled, "Plan A didn't work so I had to try Plan B."
Hogan's eyes practically glowed. "That's not funny."
"It wasn't meant to be, Sir." There was no way Hogan could miss the pain in Carter's voice.
Hogan decided to try a different approach. "And with you gone, just what are we supposed to do for an explosive expert?" he asked, coolly.
Carter sighed. "In a camp this size, there should be several qualified men. Just take your pick on who to have transferred in. Maybe he'll be the competent officer you guys want." Before Hogan could say anything, Carter quickly added, "I wish I could say it was a pleasure working with you guys, but under the circumstances--well, I got to go pack."
Carter rose to make a hasty retreat. "Just a minute, Sergeant," Hogan ordered. Carter stopped and Hogan continued, "You do realize how important it is to keep our operation a secret, don't you?"
A touch of anger sparked in Carter's sorrowful eyes. "Contrary to popular opinion, I'm still on the same side." With that, Carter jerked open the door, walked over to his locker and started to pack.
Hogan followed as far as the doorway. He stood there, arms crossed, silently watching. It was only a few minutes till Carter was packed and left, followed by Shultz. The others came over to join Hogan by his office doorway. "What are we going to do now?" Newkirk asked.
Hogan considered it a moment, then replied, "Sift through the prisoner records till we find the most qualified candidate. Then, I'll convince Klink to transfer him to our barracks. And Newkirk, tomorrow after roll call, when everyone's outside, I want you to use the tunnel to sneak into Barracks 6 and do a little redecorating."
"Bugs?" Newkirk guessed .
"Bugs," Hogan confirmed.