Disclaimer: Hogan's Heroes is owned by Bing Crosby Productions. Night Court, MASH, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Perry Mason are all owned by others. No copyright infringement is intended. Any resemblance to actual legal proceedings is purely coincidental.
I would like to extend a huge thanks to both Janet and Margherita. Without their support, suggestions and eagle eye, this story would not have been published.
And one final note: A quote. "At this point I've got a bit of a track record. So people realize that when 'Weird Al' wants to go parody, it's not meant to make them look bad...it's meant to be a tribute." Al Yankovic
Judge Harry Stone entered his chambers. A fairly new judge, Harry had come equipped with impeccable credentials and had been originally assigned to handle the lighter cases on the night shift. An amateur magician, he was witty, sharp, and somewhat eccentric, and was known for having a childlike sense of humor. He was in a great mood this morning because there was only one case listed on his docket. He had given the name a quick glance, and planned to familiarize himself with the details after he had his morning coffee. Harry glanced up to see his bailiff, Bull, coming into the office with his favorite brew.
"Morning, sir." Bull cheerfully placed the coffee, along with a napkin and cream-filled doughnut, on Harry's desk. "Thought you might need this, sir. Today's case is a little weird."
"Weird?" Harry looked at Bull. Weird didn't faze him. Years of handling all the wackos in Night Court had prepared him for anything. Besides, he considered himself a little odd.
"Yes, sir. Weird, odd, out of place, out of time, strange, bizarre, peculiar, unusual."
"Bull, stop. Sounds like you're parroting back a thesaurus."
"Sorry, sir." Bull looked at Harry expectantly.
"Hold your horses," Harry said through a mouthful of cream. "Let me look at the particulars." And that's what he did. And so, Judge Harry Stone quickly realized that he was not prepared for everything.
"All rise. Judge Harry Stone presiding." Bull's voice boomed throughout the courtroom.
The room was filled to the brim with a whole range of observers. Soldiers of various nationalities took up much of the front rows. Reporters, interested onlookers, and witnesses filled in the seats towards the back.
Harry motioned Bull over to the bench. "Remind me again why I'm presiding over this case."
"Um, the Law and Order judges were too busy?" Bull replied.
Harry gave his bailiff a nasty look and then grabbed his gavel. With a sigh he addressed the court.
"First, I'd like to say that no one is on trial here. This is a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to warrant bringing the defendants to trial; sort of like a grand jury, but not quite. Okay, let's get started. But first, I have a question. Where are the defendants?"
"I can answer that, Judge." An older man, who looked remarkably like Raymond Burr, approached the bench. "They can't be here, physically."
"Can you explain that, please?"
"Well, it's kind of hard, you see, but it has something to do with time, space, planes of existence, and alternate realities."
"Alternate realities?" asked Harry. "What do you think this is; a Star Trek episode?"
"Sir, if I may." This remark came from the prosecutor who was seated at one of the tables in front of the courtroom. "When I present the case, this will all become clear."
"Whoa, you're right. This is a Star Trek episode. I'm cracking up here."
"No, sir, I'm just moonlighting." Commander Will Riker, first officer of the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701A, offered a smile. "I did such a good job prosecuting Data in "A Measure of a Man," that I sort of just got transported here." (1)
Harry looked like he was about to cry. "You're the prosecutor?"
"Yes, sir," replied Will.
"All right," said Harry. "I'll wait and see what you have. This better make sense. Actually none of this makes sense. Okay, I'll repeat myself. We are here to determine if enough evidence exists to charge the defendants for the crimes for which they have been accused. Because of the unique nature of the defendants and the victims, we have agreed to hear evidence and examine witnesses from both the prosecution and the defense. Will the prosecutor please proceed?"
"Thank you, your honor. I will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the following defendants, your honor…may I draw your attention to the list? There are too many to name and their names are, well, weird."
"Yes, I have become familiar with the list. Can someone please explain these names? What are they; codes, spies, nicknames?"
"Screen names," said Riker. "These are internet IDs that are used by real people to hide their real identities."
"I don't know what the internet is, Commander."
"The information superhighway."
Harry looked at Riker with a quizzical expression.
"Pseudonyms, your honor."
"Never mind," Harry said. "We'll discuss this later. Continue."
Riker drew a breath, looked down at his data pad and continued.
"As I said, I intend to prove that the defendants in this case are guilty of a crime. A crime so gross, so brutal, so wanton, that it has never been seen in the annals of fan fiction; or at least in this particular category."
"Sorry to interrupt again." Harry held up his hand. "Fan fiction?"
"Your honor, didn't you read the brief?" Riker was now getting annoyed.
"The brief?" Harry turned to Bull. "Bull, did I read the brief? Did I receive a brief?"
"Never mind," Riker said. "Fan fiction. Stories written by fans of fictional television shows, movies, books…etc, and posted on the internet for everyone to see and enjoy; except in this case…"
Harry interrupted again. "Do they get paid for these stories?"
This time Perry Mason piped in. "No, your honor. All they receive from their tremendously hard work is their own self-satisfaction, and the reviews and adulation of other fans."
"Whatever." Harry smacked his gavel on the desk, just because he could. "Okay Commander, continue."
"In this case, we intend to prove that these fans went a little too far; causing extreme distress, harm, and possibly permanent damage to the characters. The characters from Hogan's Heroes."
(1) Star Trek: The Next Generation.11 February 1989 (Season 2, Episode 9) Captain Picard requests a hearing to challenge Starfleet's reassignment of Data to a scientist that wishes to disassemble the sentient android when Data is ruled to be the property of Starfleet. Due to a shortage of personnel in the Judge Advocate General's office, Picard is assigned to defend Data's freedom and Commander Riker is assigned to prosecute the case and is told to do a good job, or else. To prove the point that Data is just a machine, Riker actually shuts him off.. However, the final plea by Picard sways the judge and she rules in Data's favor.