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Das Haus aus Wachs, chapter 6

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Friday, December 9th, 2011 | 8:54 am
mood: busybusy
music: Ghostbusters theme
posted by: rose_of_pollux in 30_losses

Title: Das Haus aus Wachs, chapter 6: Faces from the Present
Author/Artist: Crystal Rose of Pollux (rose_of_pollux)
Rating: PG13
Fandom: Hogan's Heroes
Claim: general series
Theme: 30B; Crumbling Heart
Genre/s: Mystery/Suspense
Warnings: World War II-era fandom
Words: ~2200
Summary: At first, the figures turning up were eerily coincidental. Now, they're far, far worse...
Disclaimer/Claimer: The characters are not mine (except for the OCs) and the story is
A/N: crossposted to http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7505118/6/

Author’s note: Just a disclaimer here… Things aren’t always what they seem…

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


“This has gone far enough,” Klink said. “I am going to have a word with General Burkhalter and force that front door down! And then I will have a squad of men to find Schultz, Langenscheidt, and Hilda!”

“What about us?” Carter asked.

“You will be sent back to Stalag 13!” Klink said. “I don’t want to have to worry about you trying to escape from here, impossible as it is!”

Hogan pondered this idea for a moment. It was the best idea they could come up with to get the rest of them out safely. And perhaps they could go with their original plan of sending a man in disguise back to make sure that the three missing people made it out, just in case of them really was Nimrod.

“I guess we’ll just have to go along with that,” Hogan said, folding his arms.

“Yes, you will,” Klink said. “I do not need to have Hochstetter claiming that I am letting you and your men run amok.”

He stalked back towards the way that they had come through. Newkirk cast a baffled glance at the next room’s door that led further into the museum, but Hogan shook his head; they couldn’t help Nimrod if they were locked in this trap, after all. By getting out, they could, at the very least, gain a bit more control over the situation; given the way things were now, even a little control would be something worthwhile.

Unfortunately, it did not seem as though the Heroes were to get that bit of control, either. As Klink reentered the lobby, calling for General Burkhalter, the German colonel soon realized that his superior was nowhere in sight. Major Hochstetter, as well, was not where they had left him.

“Where did they go?” Klink asked, baffled as well as concerned.

It was all Hogan could do to stop himself from slapping his forehead and moaning, “Oh, no…”

“They’re gone, too—just like the others!” Carter said. “Just like in the—”

“If you bring up that ruddy movie again, I swear…” Newkirk trailed off, not wanting to earn Hogan’s ire again.

“Newkirk,” Hogan said. “Try the front door. Maybe we only thought that door was locked, too, just like the other ones.”

“I am sure that door was locked,” Klink said. “I had taken a look at that one myself. And even if it was not locked, we cannot leave without General Burkhalter’s permission anyway.”

“How can he give us permission when he’s vanished?” Hogan asked, incredulous. “Colonel Klink, we need to get out of here!”

“What are you so worried about, Hogan?” Klink asked. “This is clearly a plot against the Germans; you will be safe!”

“Until we’re sure that you’re right, we’re no safer than you are!” Hogan countered. “And putting us in danger—”

“…Is a violation of the Geneva Convention,” Klink finished for him, having heard it a million times already. “I know, I know…”

“So you’ll take us back to camp?”

“And guarantee myself a court-martial?” Klink said. “If I leave Burkhalter here, they will have me found guilty before I can even open my mouth! Yes, it is true that as your Kommandant, I must look out for your well-being, but I must also look out for my well-being, too!”

“I could give you my word as an officer and a gentleman that I would take the men straight back to camp,” Hogan said, now grasping at straws.

Klink could sense that Hogan was dead serious, but he still shook his head.

“Hogan, I can’t. If you are that desperate to go back to the Stalag, I can call for some guards as soon as we find a telephone. …Where is the telephone?”

“We don’t know; we sent Langenscheidt to look for it, remember?” Newkirk asked, rolling his eyes. “That’s what started this ruddy mess in the first place!”

Well, of course, the “ruddy mess” had started the moment they had agreed to come here, but there was nothing they could do about that.

“Very well, then we will find this phone and then I will call for guards to bring you back to the camp and to help me find General Burkhalter and the others,” Klink said. “Now follow me.”

Hogan shook his head, but he knew that they had no other choice. He headed back through the exhibits again, the others behind him.

“This is getting us nowhere fast,” Hogan said, after some time. “Colonel, I really don’t think this is a good idea; we can just as easily find a phone in one of the buildings nearby. You can make the call from there. In fact, it may be safer for you, too; you won’t be able to help the others if you disappear.”

LeBeau suddenly yelled out an exclamation in French as they entered the room where the von Siedelberg figure had been. The tableau was no longer empty, but it wasn’t the von Siedelberg figure back on it; instead, the figure was of a blonde woman in a beautiful ball gown, curtsying before a suitor.

Hogan’s eyes widened, unable to stop his jaw from falling open as he took a step forward to take a closer look at the figure.

“Hilda…?”

Was? Was?!” Klink exclaimed, hearing Hogan. He squinted through his monocle. “Somebody get the lights on!”

Kinch, who was closest, obliged. As the lights came on, it became clear that the figure of the woman was indeed Hilda—either an incredible likeness, or… maybe not a likeness at all… maybe… maybe it really was Hilda?

Olsen had come to that conclusion, looking visibly ill. Carter’s eyes were wide open, recalling the movie he had seen.

Klink could only stare at the figure that so much resembled his secretary.

“It can’t be possible…!” he said, shaking his head. “It just cannot be possible! Are we expected to believe that whoever made Hilda disappear made her reappear as… this?”

Hogan stepped over the felt barrier placing his fingers on the figure’s wax cheek. Yes, it was wax, alright, but what was beneath it?

“Colonel…?” Newkirk asked. “Colonel, is she—?”

“I don’t know what to think,” Hogan said. It couldn’t be her, as Klink said. But… what if it was her? The wax was very warm to the touch, as though it was fresh… Could someone have had her encased in wax so quickly?

Just the possibility had Hogan’s heart twisting.

She had been depending on you, Nimrod or not. You owed her that much, after everything she’s done for you

Hogan suddenly punched the wall beside Hilda’s statue, not caring if Klink saw how upset he was.

And Klink did see, seemingly surprised by Hogan’s reaction.

“Hogan, you were not responsible for Fraulein Hilda,” he said. “Besides that, I am certain this cannot be her; she wasn’t missing long enough for… this!”

“That’s what I thought, but it could be some sick, new way of making figures,” Hogan replied.

Still, Klink had a point; there was no sense in jumping to conclusions when this could easily be a ploy to unnerve them.

“If this is a sick joke, then we have to find out where the real Hilda is,” Kinch said. “To say nothing of everyone else who’s gone missing.”

“Oh, no…” Klink said, his eyes widening.

He pushed on ahead through the rooms that Newkirk had previously opened.

“Follow him!” Hogan ordered. “We’re not losing track of him, too!”

He vaulted over the felt barrier, following behind Klink with his men. They crossed to the room where the figures of the dead officers had been; Klink had stopped here, expecting to see one of the other missing men in the empty tableau among the figures, but the tableau was still empty.

“Nothing,” Klink said, exhaling in relief.

“Don’t celebrate too soon,” Hogan said. “I have a feeling that whoever’s behind this is just waiting to put up some new additions.”

“But why, Hogan?” Klink asked, asking not with suspicion, but with genuine fear for his life.

“It’s psychological warfare,” the American said. “As for the reason behind that in the first place, well… Whoever’s behind this will let us know after we’ve played their game for long enough.”

And that might not be until it’s too late for us to do anything about it. What can you do against an unseen enemy, anyway?

“You keep saying ‘we’ as though you’re suggesting that this madman isn’t making any distinctions between us Germans and you Allies,” Klink said. “So far, it is only us Germans who have vanished—meaning that I will be next! Why do you insist on returning to Stalag 13 when you might very well be safer here? You were saying that you had some sort of hunch earlier; if you feel as though this is against you and your men, then why are the Germans the first ones to go?”

“I don’t have all the answers!” Hogan said. “All I know is that I have to think of the safety of my men, and we are not safe here!”

Klink looked to Hogan in surprise; for the first time, he seemed to be seeing Hogan’s vulnerability. The fact that he had never seen Hogan so unnerved—so visibly taxed—was beginning to unnerve Klink further, as well.

“Then… we are in the same boat now—you and I,” Klink stated. “Hogan, I will agree to help you and your men get out of here if you agree to do the same for me and the others who vanished.”

Hogan gave Klink a searching look. Yes, Klink was always out to save his own skin, but something seemed different about him this time. Hogan couldn’t quite put his finger on what it was, but he knew that he couldn’t afford to turn down Klink’s agreement; without Klink to verify their story, they could easily be accused of having done away with the Germans in an attempt to escape.

“You have yourself a deal,” Hogan said.

“I thank you, Hogan,” Klink said. “And I feel that if we wish to make any headway in this mystery, we should look at that room where Hilda vanished.”

“Can’t we take a vote on this?” Carter asked. “You know, I think Hilda showing up was just a beginning. That’s how it always is—the beautiful girl goes first, and then everyone else goes one by one—”

Newkirk clapped a hand over Carter’s mouth and pulled him along, turning his attention to LeBeau, who had a look in his eyes that the Englishman recognized all too well.

“Louis?” he asked, quietly, as they followed Hogan and Klink. “What are you thinking about?”

“I am thinking that you will be needing to use your pencil sharpener once we find out who is behind this,” LeBeau said, darkly. “I will not stand idly by and watch as this demon moves to destroy us one at a time; I will slay the monster first!”

“Admirable sentiments, Louis, but the way things are going, you’ll end up a statue like the rest of this lot,” Newkirk said. “And I ain’t letting me little mate become an attraction in this ‘ouse of ‘orrors.”

Carter gave a quiet, muffled agreement, nodding.

“Then you must surely agree with me that we need to strike first before another one of us vanishes!” LeBeau whispered. “They will be expecting us to go back to the room where Hilda disappeared!”

Carter let out another muffled reply, prompting Newkirk to give him a glare.

“I’ll let you talk if you promise me it ‘as nothing to do with that film.”

Carter nodded again, and Newkirk released him.

“Okay, so maybe they are expecting us to be there in that room,” the sergeant said, quietly but rapidly. “But what if they expected us to expect that they’d be waiting for us, so they’re really hiding somewhere else?”

He was met by the corporals’ blank stares.

“It’s the old reverse psychology trick,” Carter went on, seeing that they hadn’t followed a word of what he had just said.

“I do not care where they are,” LeBeau hissed. “They had better care about what I will do to them! I will not be trapped here and toyed with like I am some kind of… of…” He trailed off, struggling to find the right words.

“Look, Louis, you know that I’m with you in this,” Newkirk said. “But the Guv’nor knows what ‘e’s doing. After all those missions, we’ve come this far, and we’re still alive; I’d like to think that this is no different—”

Klink suddenly let out a curse in his own tongue. They had arrived back into the chamber of horrors, and, here, a new set of figures was on display that they had expected, but had not wanted to see.

“What was that you were saying just now about reverse psychology?” LeBeau hissed to Carter.

“Well, it was just a theory…”

“Leave off; we’ve got bigger problems, we ‘ave…”

They, and the others, could do little more than stare at the scene in front of them.

Janos Skorzeny had been moved so that he was now attacking a group of four well-dressed travelers, and playing the part of the travelers were Schultz, Langenscheidt, Burkhalter, and Hochstetter.

The mysterious wax sculptor had struck again.

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Comments {2}

Lucky_Ladybug

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from: insaneladybug
date: Saturday, December 10th, 2011 9:46 am (UTC)
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Your description still says chapter 2.

... And I have got to make some time to read this one. I've been very curious ever since you started talking about it. I caught a glimpse of Klink and Hogan talking around the middle of the chapter and I greatly enjoyed it. Their interaction is too much fun.

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Crystal Rose of Pollux

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from: rose_of_pollux
date: Saturday, December 10th, 2011 6:25 pm (UTC)
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Ack! **fixes it** I'd been doing the whole copy-paste template thing flawlessly so many times, I knew I'd mess it up at some point...

Glad you find it interesting! I'm thrilled at the amount of response at FFN.

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