Alien Nightmare
by 80sarcades

Welcome! This tale, unlike my other stories, has a sci-fi twist:
What if Colonel Hogan and company were kidnapped by aliens...and somehow
wound up saving the Planet Earth from an alien invasion?

Moreover, what if they never realized it?

Back in the 1940's both Allied and Axis aircrews reported
seeing strange brightly lit objects that would sometimes fly in formation
with their planes; the objects were dubbed 'foo-fighters' (UFOs). Even today
no one knows what they really were. One moment they were there; the
next they were gone to parts unknown.

Perhaps - just perhaps - the foo-fighters contained aliens that were curious about our
world. And sometimes, just by chance, they took souvenirs...

In the darkness, Colonel Hogan smiled.

Granted, it wasn't totally dark; the shielded headlamps of the truck, plus the dim light from the dash, reflected a soft glow onto his cheerful face. Sergeant Schultz, their Luftwaffe guard, bounced heavily in the passenger seat while the rest of Hogan's men - Carter, LeBeau, Newkirk, and Kinch - rode in the covered bed.

Even so, he couldn't help but grin: another mission accomplished! If everything went well, the explosives they had set at the munitions plant would go off in about thirty minutes. Plenty of time, of course, to get back to camp after their successful search for Stalag 13's latest 'escaped' prisoner, Corporal LeBeau.

Hope Hochstetter didn't have any plans for tonight, he thought amusedly. He glanced over towards Schultz; the overweight Sergeant of the Guard would occasionally doze off before snapping awake.

It's way past his bedtime. He nodded knowingly as the outline of a familiar picket fence flashed into view before disappearing into the blackness.

Only five minutes to camp. He looked down at the gas gauge; the needle flickered just underneath a quarter of a tank.

Good thing we're not going to run out of gas, he thought as he eyed his ever-alert guard. Another memory popped into mind; this time, he almost laughed. Won't work this time. Schultz isn't Mary Allen, this isn't my Nash, and I'm not into overweight guards!

With nothing else to do, he cocked a curious ear to listen to his men. Unlike their guard, they were a bit more active.

"Boy, it sure is a pretty night!" Carter's eager voice sounded out. "You know, I remember sitting out on Saturday nights and watching the stars. Sometimes, I'd see a meteor shower, too; now that was fun!"

"Carter," Newkirk's dry Cockney accent spoke up, "wasn't there anything else you could be doing on a Saturday night?"

The American Sergeant looked at the Englishman curiously before his face brightened. "Well, sometimes we'd play games, too-"

"I don't think those are the kinds of games he's talking about," Kinch's somber voice broke in.

"What...oh!" Carter's expression turned from one of confusion to understanding. "Well...maybe that, too," he shyly remarked. In the darkness the others could almost hear him blush. "Not that we would actually do that!"

"What else would you do?" Newkirk asked idly. "Lot better than looking at the stars at any rate."

"I agree." LeBeau's voice said, his French accent clearly discernible over the roar of the truck's engine. "The nights are meant for love. Stargazing!" He made a derogatory sound before his eyes turned wistful. "A walk along the shore with a woman at your arm...a romantic dinner for two..."

"Dinner would be good right about now, you know," the Englishman grumbled. He then leaned over and banged on Schultz's seat; the guard suddenly jolted awake. "Oi, Schultz," he yelled out. "Any way we could get breakfast in bed?"

Schultz shook his head in resignation before settling back down in his seat. "Jolly Joker," he mumbled in annoyance, his eyelids already drooping again.

"Well, it was just a suggestion," Newkirk replied cheekily, teasing his favorite guard. "Can't blame a bloke for trying, you know..."

Hogan grinned once more before he turned his attention back to the road. As he did so, he noticed a white light in the distance.

What is that? he wondered. If I didn't know better, I'd swear it was an airplane. He cocked his head for a moment while he studied the object. Can't be, he judged. Even the Krauts aren't that crazy to fly that low at night. Besides which, the nearest airfield is back near Hammelburg.

As he watched, the light visibly moved from place to place; it almost seemed to be searching for something. No, he judged firmly. Definitely not a plane. It can't be one of the tower searchlights either; you don't see those until you get near the camp.

So what the hell is it?

"Colonel Hogan, what is that?" Schultz asked, his senses snapping to full attention.

"Not sure," the American officer replied distractedly even as he kept his eyes on the luminescent orb. "It could be-"

He never had the chance to finish the sentence.

At that moment the light seemed to almost swoop downward to the ground before growing larger in size. In horror, Hogan realized it was moving towards them at an almost impossible speed. There was no time to turn off-

Oh, God!

Without thinking, the Colonel raised his right hand upward to shield his eyes as the sheer brilliance of the white light threatened to overwhelm his senses.

And for a moment, his very soul was numbed with bonechilling cold-

Then, it - whatever it was - was gone. The darkness of night suddenly closed in on a shaken Hogan as he somehow brought the truck to a shuddering halt.

"Everyone all right?" he called out, trying to keep his voice level.

"We're alright, Colonel," Kinch replied after a moment. A chorus of mixed voices joined in agreement before the deep voice continued. "I'm not so sure about my pants, though-"

"What-what-what was that?" the Luftwaffe Sergeant finally blubbered, fear welling up in his terrified eyes.

Colonel Hogan shook his head before he forced his trembling hands - unseen in the dim light by the others - to stop shaking. "I don't know, Schultz," he lamely offered. "But I think we better get back to camp."

If we don't run into the light again, he added silently. He started the truck and pulled out onto the main road; the rest of the short trip passed in silence.

Hogan was unpleasantly surprised to see Major Wolfgang Hochstetter waiting on the front porch of the Kommandantur when they pulled into camp.

Does he, Hogan immediately decided. Otherwise he'd have a battalion of troops here tearing the place apart. Except for the Kommandant, he's alone. At that moment two black-uniformed SS guards appeared on the porch behind the German officers. A sudden pool of ice formed in the American's stomach as he quickly looked around once more.

I still don't see anyone else; there would be trucks here. So, back to the original question: what does he want?

"WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?" Hochstetter nasally screamed even before the truck ground to a squealing halt. He leaped down the wooden steps and almost flew to the vehicle on a wave of barely suppressed rage.

"Yes, where have you been?" Colonel Klink repeated, looking stern behind his monocle as he tried to catch up to the other officer. His leather-gloved finger wagged up and down accusingly towards the Senior Prisoner of War. "We expected you back-"

The Gestapo Major stared at him in annoyance, his narrowed eyes cutting into Klink's own. "Let me do the interrogating Herr Komm-an-dant," he growled, enunciating the last three syllables; the Luftwaffe Colonel suddenly wilted underneath his steely gaze and fell silent.

"Well, Sergeant Schultz?" Hochstetter snarled, "where were you all this time? Out for a bit of fun, perhaps?"

The Senior POW looked at the German curiously. What is going on?

"W-W-We were out recapturing a dangerous prisoner, Major!" Schultz blurted in fear.

"Dangerous?" another voice, this one with a French accent, silently hissed. "Let's see if I make you any more strudel-"

"BAH!" the Gestapo officer roared. "You were involved in the sabotage of the munitions factory just outside of Hammelburg! All of you are under arrest!" With that, he pulled out his pistol and aimed it at the American Colonel.

Hogan merely looked at his nemesis impassively while the occupants of the truck went deathly still. Behind his poker face, his mind seethed with questions:

Did one of the bombs go off early? Did Hochstetter make a lucky guess? he wondered furiously. Or did one of the other groups sabotage the plant without telling us?

"Now hold on, Major," the Army Air Forces Colonel said calmly, if not flippantly. "Schultz called the Kommandant from the Hofbrau not ten minutes ago. Before that we were looking for LeBeau; Schultz was with us the entire time."

"That's true, Herr Major!" the Sergeant said, his voice more sure this time. "I was with them myself!"

"Then explain," Hochstetter said, his voice sounding both reasonable and irritable at the same time, "why it took over three hours for you to return to the camp from the Hofbrau." His voice took on a victorious leer. "You can explain that, ja?"

Three hours? Who are you kidding?

Hogan, surprised, narrowed his eyes at the Gestapo officer. "That's impossible!" he scoffed, looking at his own watch. "It's..."

He frowned, then tapped his finger on the crystal. The second hand wasn't moving; if he didn't know better he'd swear the watch was frozen. "Seems to be broken, Major," he said nonchalantly. "I've got 8:35 on mine."

Hochstetter's eyes gleamed triumphantly as he held up his own watch; Hogan stared in disbelief at the stark reality of the Major's timepiece: 11:42.

That's impossible! his stunned mind reasoned. I know when we left, down to the minute! How did we lose three hours? Another thought, as absurd as it sounded, suddenly occurred to him:

The white light...

"Perhaps you would care to come up with a better story," Major Hochstetter threw out, his voice almost smiling with glee. "Perhaps you were kidnapped by little green men from Mars? Or, perhaps, you were out blowing up things you shouldn't."

"Little green men," Schultz chuckled, a thin smile on his jovial face. "How silly..." His voice suddenly trailed off as Hochstetter's murderous glare pierced his now-frightened eyes. After a moment, the Gestapo major waved a gloved hand towards the two SS guards.

"Arrest them all," he coldly ordered.

Next: Interrogations.

Thanks for reading!