The Perfect Ending
By Denise, Janet and Susan
Denise and Susan were hurt by being jilted during the closing arguments. The reminder of the angst the authors had put them through put Hogan and his men in a dark mood. The ladies were then sent packing!
Susan was in tears. "I gave him mouth-to-mouth."
Denise was fuming. "We had dinner and…"
Janet tried to calm her friends down. "I'm sure it's temporary. Let them get over the memories and they'll let you come back."
The talk then shifted to the horrific scene that played out in front of them the day before. "I still can't believe Hochstetter wrote that," Denise recalled. "He had to know he'd be caught."
"I think he went off his rocker. He wasn't thinking straight. All he wanted was revenge. Think of everything he's heard here and he hasn't been able to act on it." Susan said.
Janet added that she had heard he had been extradited back to Germany.
"I never thought a scenario would actually work at the trial." Denise was contemplating the possibilities.
"You're right," Susan added. "Too bad we can't post our own ending."
The other two women looked at her. "What? What did I say? Oh, no. That would be so wrong. Nope, not going to do it." Susan was adamant.
"Look," Janet said, "If they find for the plaintiffs, they'll take away our writing privileges. Do you want that?"
"Won't they disappear out of existence?" Denise reminded everyone of Doc Brown's testimony.
"Maybe. That would be awful." Susan sighed. "I'm not optimistic, you know, come to think of it. First, they're obviously alive. I mean, look at them. If they weren't, I'd be hallucinating, wouldn't I?"
The other two authors agreed.
"The jury is made up of other characters." Janet reminded them.
"But what about us being responsible for their creation?" Denise asked.
"Just because you create something, doesn't give you the right to abuse it, or hold power over it." Margherita had overheard the conversation and decided to put in her two cents.
"But I don't want to stop writing!" Janet whined.
"Me, neither." Susan was emphatic. "But we can't force everyone to write G rated-feel good stories all the time either."
"I think Susan's accidental thought has merit." Margherita again offered her opinion. "Besides, no more writing means no more PBA's." Margherita actually felt some sympathy for some of the authors and wanted to continue writing as well. She just hoped maybe they had learned a lesson.
"No, you can't do that. That's jury tampering or court tampering or something fishy." Susan got nervous. "It's not right."
"Here, Sue, let me have your laptop." Denise held out her hand. She whispered something to Susan, who sighed, shrugged and then gave in. She handed the computer over. Denise checked to make sure no one was looking and started typing.
"Wait." Susan stopped her. "What if they trace it to my computer?"
"Why would they try? It's not like someone was being murdered or anything." Denise kept typing.
"Good point. Just don't use my name."
* * * * * *
Hogan stole a glance at the two authors that had only recently been sharing his bench. He felt a little guilty for being so hard on them and kicking them out. After all, one had repented long ago and he had spent a lovely evening with the other. He recalled their concern and kindness as he lay dying. The other authors, well, some of them he had no use for, but for the most part, they weren't all bad. One, Margherita, had really stuck up for him and his men. Poor Janet was just lonely, and the rest; they were dropped into a very unusual situation, just as he and his men had been.
He sat back in a comfortable position and contemplated the various scenarios. Hogan always needed a plan A and he usually always thought of a plan B in case plan A failed. If the jury dismissed his case, they'd be back to square one; living out scenario after scenario, at the total mercy of the writers. Unless some of them learned something from this experience. Fat chance! He laughed. Somehow, he doubted it. If the jury found for the plaintiffs, well then, what? A cease and desist order. The writers would be forbidden to publish anything more on the site. What would happen? Would they move over to another unsuspecting sitcom and take out their frustrations on other characters? He shuddered at the thought. What if they were civilians? And then there was the big question. Would he and his men cease to exist? No one knew for sure. The scientists on the Enterprise were never able to fully answer the question. Hogan and his men were obviously not holograms, able to continue their lives without interference from the outside.
Hogan was sure of one thing. He knew he and his men had somehow leapt from a TV episode to a storyline on . And that reality scared him. So what would it be? No more angst, injury, violence, and torture; but possible extinction, or the status quo? He looked over at his men. They all trusted him to make the right decisions. He was in command and he knew he would have to make this decision alone.
* * * * * *
"Well? What do you think so far?" Denise paused in her typing and looked up.
"Looks good. Here let me finish." Susan grabbed the laptop and typed while the other three women looked over her shoulder. I started this lunacy, she thought. I might as well end it.
* * * * * *
Hogan came to a decision and briefed his men. They were shocked but knew better than to question their C.O. He then went over to Commander Riker and held a tense and brief conversation. Finally, Riker acquiesced, understood Hogan's argument and frankly, in the long run, he couldn't blame the man. He approached the bench and requested a meeting with Judge Stone and Perry Mason in his chambers. He brought Hogan with him.
Harry was suitably shocked. "Colonel, after all you've been through. Are you sure?"
"It hit me all of a sudden. Don't know why, Judge. But I can't take the chance that a verdict in our favor would actually end up killing my men."
"That would be ironic." Harry absentmindedly picked up his Rubik's cube and began twisting it. "You do realize that if you abide by this decision, things will go back to the way they were."
Hogan said he understood.
Harry opened the door. "Bull, corral the defendants, and recall the jury. We have an announcement."
Everyone began speculating. It was too early for a verdict. Was there new evidence? Was Hochstetter framed? Spectators, prisoners and the jury all took their seats.
"Ladies and Gents. The plaintiffs have decided to drop the charges. Case dismissed." Harry banged his gavel, thanked the stunned jury for their service and stood back to watch the chaos.
Hogan and his men sat glumly in their seats watching the celebrations and congratulations of the defendants. Mason and Riker shook hands and secretly hoped they would never have to deal with this situation ever again. Denise, Janet, Susan and Margherita high-fived each other, and then quietly left the rest of the defendants to their revelry. They saw how dejected the plaintiffs looked, and went over to talk to them and say good-bye.
"Well?" Susan asked.
"Needs more." Janet said. "Here, let me add something." Susan passed the laptop over.
Just then the door burst open, and in walked a man wearing desert fatigues. All eyes turned in his direction, and everyone stopped in their tracks, stunned…he was the spit and image of Captain Wagner! As the man made his way toward the group, Janet weaved her way quickly through the crowd, and when she got near, practically leaped on the man, throwing her arms around him tightly. He hugged her back, holding her like he never wanted to let go. Then he leaned back and looked at her with a big smile on his face. She reached up and touched his cheek, tears of joy welling up in her eyes, and before a word could be spoken, he drew her in and they kissed passionately, causing a gasp of surprise from the rest of the occupants of the room.
When at last their kiss ended, Janet looked up into the man's hazel eyes, and said quietly, "You're really here," a mixture of surprise and happiness showing on her face.
"I'm really here." The man replied, and then glanced over at the crowd, noticing that most of them were looking at him curiously.
Janet saw where his gaze had wandered to, and exclaimed, "Oh, where are my manners?" She grabbed the man's hand and led him over to the group. "Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce you to my husband, Amaizin Blue."
Hogan was the first to hold out his hand. "So, you're the Navy guy we've heard so much about. Well, it's good to meet you."
Amaizin Blue shook Hogan's hand. "I'm glad to meet you too, sir." He said respectfully. "My wife writes about you all the time."
Hogan smiled at him. "Yeah, what is it with these women?"
Amaizin Blue just shrugged his shoulders and smiled back. Janet looked embarrassed.
A few more people came up to greet Janet's husband. When it was Kinch's turn, he couldn't help asking, "So, your pen name is Amaizin Blue? You wouldn't by any chance be a Michigan fan, would you?"
Amaizin Blue smiled wide. "Born and raised in Ann Arbor."
Kinch's face beamed. "I'm from Detroit. You must be a Lion's fan, too. Say, how are they doing in your year?"
All of the visitors from 2009 who followed NFL football looked uncomfortable.
Amaizin Blue's smile faltered. "Well, let's just say they should do much better this year."
"Yeah, they couldn't do any worse!" Someone shouted.
As Kinch turned away, Amaizin Blue found himself standing in front of an English Corporal, who he recognized right away.
"The name's Newkirk," the man stated, holding out his hand. When Amaizin Blue reached out to shake it, Newkirk leaned in a little and, lowering his voice, said, "I don't suppose you could get your wife to ease up a bit on writin' about me, could you, mate? Especially some o' the, ah, situations she puts me in with the Colonel?"
Amaizin Blue looked understandingly at him and replied, "Better you than me!" Suddenly he felt a tug on his arm, and the next thing he knew, Janet was leading him toward her fellow authors, leaving a very disappointed-looking Newkirk behind.
"And these are my friends, Sue, Denise, and Magherita." Janet smiled as she introduced them.
"It's nice to meet you, ladies," Amaizin Blue greeted them warmly. "I've heard so much about you."
"We've heard a lot about you, too." Susan replied politely. "How long will you be staying here?"
"Well, I'm stationed in Djibouti, and unfortunately, I have to return in the morning." He turned to Janet. "I booked us a room in the hotel across the street. I thought we could…"
Janet's eyes grew wide as she interrupted him. "Well, what are we standing around here, for, then?" She looked quickly around the room. "Guys, it's been real…" She realized what she'd just said, and shook her head, "It's been great seeing all of you, but we're out of here!" Then she and her husband turned and headed out of the room, arm-in-arm.
Other folks started to make their way out of the courtroom, making it apparent that it was time to leave. Hogan had taken a seat on the bench, and his men were milling about nearby. Susan and Denise knew it was time to say their farewells. Susan approached first. She gave Newkirk a peck on the cheek. "Take care, Peter. I know you'll get home safely. Louis, I'll finish your chapter. I've already started." She said her good-bye to Kinch and faced Carter. "Forgive me?"
"I suppose." He said shyly.
Hogan was sitting on the bench. "Colonel?"
"Susan," he said. The twinkle in his eyes was back.
She sat down. "You feeling better?"
"Thanks for dropping the charges."
"I did it for my men. I couldn't see this all disappear, no matter how awful it is."
Susan felt a pang of guilt. "Is Sergeant Olsen feeling better?"
"Getting there, "Hogan replied. "I'll find him some help."
"Good. Tell him I'm sorry. Well, this is it, I guess. Good luck, Rob. The war will end."
Susan was about to get up, when Hogan, a twinkle in his eye, put his arms around her and moved in to kiss her, pushing her gently against the back of the bench. He held her there, pressed against the seat, his kiss growing deeper, until she thought she would literally swoon. Her arms encircled him, and she slid her hand up his muscular back; running her fingers lightly through his soft, thick, dark hair. Hogan continued to kiss her passionately for a few more moments, and then leaned back and looked intensely into her eyes.
"Write some nice stories, once in a while." Hogan said quietly, and smiled at her.
Susan could only nod; he'd left her speechless.
Hogan then got up and, after giving Susan's hand one last squeeze, turned to face Denise. "As for you…"
Denise's eyes widened, as if to say, "Who, me?"
"Yes, you," Hogan answered her silent question. 'I still don't know your real name."
"It's Denise," she replied demurely.
"Denise, I've got a special 'goodbye' in mind for you, and I think I'd prefer some privacy. I'm going to see if that hotel across the street has any more rooms available. I think the fellas can give me an hour before we head back to camp." He lifted his arm in a gentlemanly fashion and smiled invitingly at her. "Care to join me?"
Now it was Denise's turn to nod, speechless. She grabbed his arm, and the two of them strolled out of the courtroom. They emerged into the cool, clear evening and, after crossing the road, found themselves standing in front of the hotel. They entered the lobby and approached the front desk to acquire about a room. Luckily, one was available, and as soon as the clerk handed over the keycard, they headed straight for it.
When they got inside, they both noticed how nicely decorated the room was. The walls were a soft blue, and there were several rather ornate paintings hanging on each one. There was a large cherry wood desk to one side, and a huge flat-screen TV against the far wall. But what really caught their attention was the king-size bed in the middle of the room.
Hogan motioned Denise into the room, and then followed her, closing and locking the door behind him. He moved to stand in front of her, and at last looked into her eyes.
"This may be the last time we ever see each other," Denise sighed, her expression a mixture of joy and sadness.
Hogan reached up and placed his hand lightly on her cheek. "Then let's make it unforgettable." He replied softly. He gazed into her eyes a moment longer, then leaned in slowly, snaking his other arm around her, and pulled her close as he planted his lips against hers. He kissed her, tenderly at first, and then, as he felt her arms encircle him, his kiss deepened, and he drew her tighter against himself. He slid his hand from her cheek to behind her head, holding it firmly so he could press his mouth harder against hers. After a few moments he leaned back and gazed into her eyes once again. He reached down and grabbed Denise's hands, and started to lead her over to the bed. She went willingly, happily, wishing this night could last forever. When they got there, she sat down on the edge of the mattress, and Hogan sat down next to her, wrapping both arms around her, pulling her closer. He began to kiss her again; passionately, deeply. Then he leaned in, and started kissing her neck.
Denise felt Hogan's lips on her neck, his hot breath caressing her skin, and it sent a shiver through her. She closed her eyes and reached up, running her fingers through his hair. Hogan brought his head up and once again locked lips with her. He pulled Denise down onto the bed, and started kissing her fervently, his hands reaching for the buttons on her blouse. But before he could get even one button undone, Denise stopped him. "Aren't you forgetting something?" She whispered in his ear.
Hogan understood what she was referring to. He reluctantly got up; staggering quickly to the door. He grabbed the sign that was hanging on the knob and, after unlocking the door, stuck it on the outside doorknob, with the side stating, "Do Not Disturb" facing the hall. Then he shut and locked the door once more, and went back to pick up where he'd left off.
* * * * * *
No, no, no!" Susan grabbed her laptop away from Janet before she could type one more word.
Janet looked up in surprise. "But I thought you both wanted a steamy goodbye from Hogan…that's why you gave me your laptop."
"Not THAT steamy!" Sue exclaimed.
"Speak for yourself." Denise muttered.
Susan sat down with her laptop and, after thinking for a moment, started typing. "I've got a better way to end this." She said.
* * * * *
Hogan and the rest of the plaintiffs arrived at court, thankful that this was the last day, and eager to hear the verdict that had been so long in coming. They were hopeful that they would win; after all, the evidence overwhelmingly pointed in their favor. As they entered the courtroom, they looked up and gasped; Bugs Bunny was seated at the prosecutor's desk, Daffy duck was standing by the defense table, and the judge appeared to be none other than Yosemite Sam! They looked over at the jury box, and their shock grew as they noticed a collection of other Looney Toons characters seated there; Porky Pig, Wile E. Coyote, the Roadrunner, Elmer Fudd, Sylvester and Tweety, Foghorn Leghorn, the chickenhawk; and was that the tennis shoe monster?
"Wha…what happened to the other courtroom?" Hogan stuttered in disbelief.
"Eh, what's up, doc?" Bugs Bunny answered. "What other courtroom might you be referrin' to?"
"The one where I…I mean, the one that I just…"
"Look, Mac," Daffy Duck piped up, "You're gonna have to settle down. We've got a verdict to get through, here."
"Confound it!" Yosemite Sam banged his gavel and looked at the jury. "What's your answer, ya yella-bellied varmints?"
"Thufferin' thuccotash!" Sylvester stood up, having been appointed the jury foreman. "We find the defendants, your honor…"
"Gu-gu-guilty, your honor!" Porky Pig called out.
"Not guilty!" Tweety countered.
"Well, I think they'we guilty, hahahaha!" Elmer Fudd chimed in.
"Meep, meep!" Who else?
"Excuse me, but I don't think they're guilty at all." Came a voice from the back of the juror's box. "In fact, you are making me angry…very angry!"
"Who picked the Martian to be on the jury?" Asked Daffy.
Yosemite Sam banged his gavel again. "All right, you lily-livered, poor excuse for a jury, I just want to know what the verdict is!"
A chorus of voices rang out, half shouting guilty, half, not guilty.
"Looks like we've got a hung jury, your honor," Bugs Bunny replied.
"What? Nobody said anything about hangin' the jury!" Foghorn Leghorn exclaimed as he leaped out of his chair and headed for the exit. "I'm gettin', I say, I'm gettin out of here!"
Suddenly the entire jury box emptied, every character running for their lives. When order was finally restored, Hogan looked at Bugs Bunny, then at Daffy Duck, and then finally at Yosemite Sam. "So, did we win?" He asked.
Bugs Bunny looked at him and shrugged his shoulders. "Eh," he said, "I think I'd call this a draw."
"What?" Yosemite Sam yelled, "You want to draw? Well, I'm ready for you, rabbit! Let's see who's got the fastest guns in the West!"
"I think you better get out of here now, doc," Bugs told Hogan.
Hogan didn't need to be told twice. He gathered up his men, and they headed back to camp, wondering why they had been put through this whole ordeal in the first place.
But they didn't have to wonder long. The very next day, they were off on another adventure. But unlike the past, the stories disappeared from their memories, once they concluded. They had no recollection of the trial, or the authors, or whether they themselves were real or not. They were on a mission, and all that mattered to them was taking care of business, and fooling the Germans. And that's how it should be, after all.
That's all, folks! Go back to your writing!