?

Log in

30_losses

Das Haus aus Wachs, chapter 5

« previous entry | next entry »
Tuesday, December 6th, 2011 | 9:04 am
mood: rushedrushed
music: "Holiday Groove" -- Rockapella
posted by: rose_of_pollux in 30_losses

Title: Das Haus aus Wachs, chapter 5: Faces from the Past
Author/Artist: Crystal Rose of Pollux (rose_of_pollux)
Rating: PG13
Fandom: Hogan's Heroes
Claim: general series
Theme: 19A; Harsh revelation
Genre/s: Mystery/Suspense
Warnings: World War II-era fandom
Words: ~2100
Summary: As more strange figures turn up, Hogan begins to put the pieces together--and does not like what he sees.
Disclaimer/Claimer: The characters are not mine (except for the OCs) and the story is
A/N: crossposted to http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7505118/5/

Hogan remained quiet as Klink yelled for Schultz and Langenscheidt, growing more annoyed by the minute.

“Where did they go? How could they both disappear into thin air?” he demanded, decidedly not amused.

“Schultz? Disappear into thin air?” Olsen asked. “All three hundred pounds of him? Not likely…”

“Two hundred and ninety-five,” Carter corrected him. “He’s a little bit sensitive about that…”

LeBeau gave Carter a look.

“Does it really matter right now?” he muttered, his frustration beginning to show, as well.

The Frenchman found the light switch for the room and switched on the lights, blinking as more figures of decorated German soldiers and officers were illuminated, which caused LeBeau to scowl further. They all looked for the von Siedelberg figure, but it wasn’t here. In fact, it looked as though another figure was missing; there was another empty tableau at the far end of the room, surrounded by several other figures.

“Well, they aren’t in ‘ere,” Newkirk said. “May as well look into the next room; I’ll wager that the bloomin’ door is going to be uncooperative, as well…”

He gave Carter a sign to get him to distract Klink again long enough for him to work on the next door, but he soon found out that he didn’t need to; Klink was soon preoccupied with the exhibit with the blank central tableau.

“I don’t believe it!” he exclaimed, taking a closer look at one of the figures in the raised platform. “It’s Rudy—my old friend from the University!”

“How’s that?” Hogan asked, looking back at the exhibit. He, too, froze as he noticed that one of the figures was indeed General Rudolf von Lintzer—the general whom they had tricked into believing that there was a rocket factory in Leedingham (or Hamleeding, as Carter had unintentionally twisted it while being interrogated by von Lintzer).

“They must have made this figure as a tribute to him,” Klink said, shaking his head. “…Actually, they must have made all of these figures as tributes. Look, there’s Inspector General von Platzen…”

Carter’s eyes widened.

“Yeah, it is him!” he said. “And look; there’s Major Hegel!”

“Hegel…” Klink repeated. “Wasn’t he the one who offered to help you escape for diamonds?”

Oui, and you accidentally opened fire on him, which killed him,” LeBeau said, unfeelingly. Hegel had been just about ready to kill them, after all—and the diamonds had been blackmail, not a bribe.

The Frenchman’s eyes narrowed as he saw yet another figure.

“And this one!” he spat. “This one is that Colonel Deutsch!”

“Yes, I remember him all too well,” Klink said, his hand on his chin. “He was the one who got killed when the fake ammunition for the war games was accidentally mixed with some real ammunition.”

Hilda edged away from the platform, uneasy; she headed for the next door as soon as Newkirk had opened it, softly calling for Schultz and Langenscheidt.

“You know, it’s strange,” Klink said, looking at the small group of figures surrounding the empty tableau. “All of these men are dead, and all of them had visited us at some point. Quite a coincidence…”

Hogan’s eyes widened. Yes, it was true—von Platzen, von Lintzer, Deutsch, and Hegel… All of them had been to Stalag 13, and all of them were now dead, whether directly or indirectly from one of the Unsung Heroes’ missions.

And then the light bulb snapped on over his head.

This is a trap. We’ve been betrayed.

If it had been a coincidence regarding the von Siedelberg figure before, this new display denied any possibility of it remaining coincidental. Only someone who had known about their missions in-depth could have been able to get Carter’s likeness so perfectly, and know exactly who the victims of their various missions had been.

…Or maybe it wasn’t a betrayal; maybe one of their allies had been captured and had given the information under extreme duress, and whoever received the information constructed this plot.

Whether or not this was about Nimrod, Hogan didn’t know. Maybe it was—maybe whoever had orchestrated this had intended to kill two birds with one stone, knowing that Hogan and his men would not want to risk any harm to Nimrod. Or maybe it was all just for the Unsung Heroes—a ploy to finally stop them. Regardless, here they all were, Nimrod and all—right where their captor wanted them.

And they couldn’t afford to stay here any longer. In addition to the danger, Hogan didn’t like the look on Klink’s face; the German colonel seemed to be trying to put the pieces together in his mind, as well. Usually, Hogan didn’t think too much about things going on under Klink’s nose, but this was more than the American was willing to chance.

“Colonel Klink,” he said, quietly. “Colonel, I really think we should continue with our search. I think General Burkhalter can only wait for so long before he’ll start threatening to send people to the Russian Front.”

“Yes, I suppose…” Klink said, casting a backwards glance at the display as he headed for the door.

Both colonels paused they noticed Newkirk and LeBeau staring at a second display near the door; this one was of German soldiers surrounding a fallen English soldier. Ordinarily, this would’ve been dismissed by the corporals as just another piece of propaganda, but Newkirk had paled as he noticed the blond hair and pained expression of the fallen soldier, clutching a briefcase in his hands.

“It’s ‘im…” Newkirk said to LeBeau, quietly. “It’s ‘ercules.”

“Are you certain, mon pote?” LeBeau whispered back, placing a supporting arm around Newkirk’s shoulders.

“Louis, the man likely died in me arms—Wilson said as much. You don’t forget when a bloke tells you that. Besides that, there’s the briefcase ‘e was carrying.”

“But we sent him back to England—we saw to it that he would get a proper burial,” the Frenchman said, quietly. “We even got word when they received him.”

Newkirk blinked, looking back at the figure of Hercules.

“Do you reckon someone in England is responsible for this figure, then?” he asked. “But why would they contribute to a German wax museum?”

LeBeau shrugged, unsure. It was all very strange, regardless of the answer…

Though he couldn’t hear the conversation, Hogan had the same idea in his head; this was deeper than just someone who knew about them. This had to be someone in England—a spy or a defector who knew the Unsung Heroes well enough to know a lot about the missions they had completed.

And if they knew this much, well… it was a cinch that they knew everything about the tunnels, their Underground network, their contacts… They would have known everything about anything—meaning that in the event that this ploy to unnerve them, trap them, or whatever it is they had planned was to fail, they could just as easily send the information on to someone who could round them up and finish them off before they could even have so much of a chance to take a step.

And if Hochstetter wasn’t Nimrod, well… that meant that he was right in the thick of the evidence he so longed for—the chance to prove that Hogan was Papa Bear.

Hogan once again found himself jolted from his thoughts by Klink’s impatient ranting about their situation.

“This is getting to be too much,” Klink said. “I appreciate works of art such as these as much as the next man, but I still have not found my missing guards, the general is waiting in the lobby, and the proprietor has not yet returned with the key! How long does it take to withdraw a little money from the—”

A shrill scream from the next room cut him off, causing him and the others to jump in their tracks.

“Hilda!” Hogan exclaimed, pushing past the others and heading into the next room. He had to take a minute to get his bearings, realizing that he was in the Chamber of Horrors, and then hoping that she had only been frightened by one of the exhibits.

“Hilda?” he called again, as the others filed in behind him.

“…Fraulein?” Klink asked, softly, cringing at the wax monsters decorating the room. “Fraulein Hilda, there’s nothing to be afraid of—they’re only wax…”

His voice wasn’t at all convincing, and everyone felt the same, thought it was Carter, of course, who voiced those feelings.

“You know, I saw this in a movie once…” the sergeant said, nervously. “It was called Mystery of the Wax Museum—it’s about this psychotic wax figure maker who was killing people and using them to make his figures—”

“Andrew?” Newkirk asked.

“Yeah?”

“Shut up.”

“Well, it was just a movie,” Carter defended himself, as they walked ahead. “I’m just saying it kind of reminds me of—”

He cut himself off, yelping as he triggered a trip wire that launched a wax vampire from its tableau, its fingers stopping inches from the young sergeant’s face.

“‘Alleged accused vampire Janos Skorzeny,’” Newkirk read off of the plaque. “See, Andrew? Not even Mr. Skorzeny wants to ‘ear about your bloomin’ film… And ‘e could fit right into one of those ‘orror movies…”

“Could you two knock it off?!” Hogan quipped, sounding harsher than he had intended. “In case you haven’t noticed, we now have three missing people to find—one of whom we distinctly heard screaming!”

“Sorry, Guv,” Newkirk said, hastily.

The Englishman now crossed to the next door, finding this locked, as well. He looked back to Hogan with a nervous look in his eyes—not because of the colonel’s mood, but because this did not bode any better for them.

“She didn’t go through this door,” he said. “And we’d ‘ave seen ‘er if she’d gone through the other one.”

Hogan shut his eyes; this was well beyond “too much.” And it could only get worse from here.

Klink now clutched at his riding crop.

“You know, Hogan, I am now beginning to think that there may be something in what Hochstetter says.”

“What?!” the American colonel asked, his heart rising in his throat. “You aren’t accusing us of—!”

“No, not about that!” Klink said. “I know that you are all too well-cowed to plan something like this. But I have a feeling that the Underground may in fact be behind this to trap us Germans here. …In which case, Hogan, I will need you to come to my defense. I mean… haven’t I been a most humane Kommandant to you and your men? I have granted so many of your requests—”

“Yeah, I’ll give you that much,” Hogan agreed. “But don’t get your hopes up; I really don’t think my word is going to be worth much in this situation.”

“Why on Earth would you say a thing like that?” Klink asked, blinking in surprise.

“Call it a nervous hunch,” the American colonel replied. One of those hunches I know can never be wrong, no matter how much I wish it was

“Pardon, mon Colonel</i>?”

Hogan blinked as LeBeau approached him, unsure of how to break this.

“What is it?”

He held out a button from a coat.

“I found this not too far from the figure of Skorzeny,” the Frenchman said. “I think it is Hilda’s.”

Hogan took the button in his hand and sighed, nodding.

“It’s hers, all right…”

“How can you be sure?” Klink asked. “Does the thread on the button match the color of her coat?”

“No; it smells like Starlight Mist,” Hogan said, having caught a whiff of the traces of Hilda’s perfume. “Where near Skorzeny did you find this, LeBeau?”

The corporal pointed to the spot on the floor a few feet from where Carter was standing; the trip wire that was rigged to launch the figure ran some distance from the spot.

“I wonder…” Hogan said, picking up the wire for a moment. “This wire is set to move that figure, obviously. But what if this isn’t the only wire around here?”

“What do you mean?” Olsen asked.

“I mean that there could be another wire—perhaps many more—set to set off something else,” Hogan said.

“Like a secret panel?” Klink asked. “Why would a small wax museum have those around?”

“Maybe to set up more scares in the Chamber of Horrors,” Hogan suggested. “Or maybe…”

“…Or maybe Hochstetter is right about some sort of Underground facility,” Klink finished.

Or we’re about to start fighting for our lives any moment now, Hogan silently added. And whoever is in this place has the home field advantage.

He could only pray that those who had vanished behind the enemy lines would somehow be okay.

**************************************


Author’s notes: Episodes referenced in this chapter are episodes 4, 35, 36, 46, and 51. The movie Carter mentioned is real, from 1933, and, lastly, the mention of Janos Skorzeny is my wink and nod to Kolchak: the Night Stalker.

Link | Leave a comment | Share

Comments {0}