Operation Prospero  And the cities of Europe have burned before/ and they may well burn again But if they do I hope you understand that Washington will burn with them. Omaha will burn with them. Los Alamos will burn with them. It was easy to forget, sitting in the relative opulence of the Royal Court in Portsmouth, that the Prospero team were still out there, somewhere. What was less clear was the state that the erstwhile explorers were in - they could have been dead, alive or in some grim purgatory for all we knew. The radios remained manned every moment of the day and night but there were other issues springing up every moment that required our attention. The Failloubaz crew listened to the story of the expedition with rapt attention, if not, thanks to the language barrier, complete understanding. Although the airmen had little independent authority, we began to negotiate (with the King's occasional and sometimes contradictory input taken with good grace and then promptly ignored) the idea of combining forces with the Swiss, and any other remaining European forces, to gain a clearer picture of the state of the continent. Our navy, which was still one of the largest - for all we knew, was now the largest - on the face of the earth, was seen to be a great asset in this planned co-operation. The Swiss were especially enthused by the idea that their Red Cross, the headquarters of which had been turned to dust by the bombs, could be used as a symbol for the endeavour. All of these lofty plans were thrown into doubt, however, when we heard the news from Whitby. * There is nothing to do in this flying museum piece other than think or sleep.. It is no contest. The Co-Pilot does not dream - he never has and he never will. This is a blessing. The Scientist does not dream in binary, as was once joked about him in a college than no longer exists, but he is not far off. In sleep as in his waking hours he is full of diagrams and charts. Brown bursts and dead zones and lethal doses and category threes and sweet thoughts of it landing right on top of him and just bringing all the earth down and burying him and burying everything and then burying itself and then nothing nothing nothing. The Navigator dreams of flying through green valleys and red deserts. He dreams of glistening tundra and sightseeing in Europe - the Eiffel Tower, the Brandenburg Gate, the Kremlin. Join the forces and see the world. The dreams always end the same way - he is standing naked in cold dust, in the middle of the night, deafened by a weeping wind. His shivering legs carry him through towards the milky light on the horizon. Now and again, looming and growing in front of him, comes masonry at sick and impossible angles. They grow and grow and grow until he is nothing inside them and they are everything. Each time, the same sickness brings him to his knees as he realises he has got his wish. He is sightseeing in Europe. The Pilot dreams in technicolor. He dreams of tarmac and then clouds and then white light like heaven. He dreams of a plane leaping as it loses weight and then all the weight going into his stomach and never, ever, leaving. He dreams of copper spires melting like butter and bricks burning. He dreams of faces - his brain tries to dream of half a million different eyes and noses and lives - he will never know this many people in his whole life ten times over but for the boys and girls in Leningrad he is the most important person that they never met. He dreams of babies on fire, from ignition to charcoal, over and over and over. He knows at this point that he is never going home. The Commando doesn't waste any time sleeping. He watches and waits as he sharpens his knives and cuts the fuses in his head. "Hey fellas..." the voice is hesitant - the first noise they've heard in hours that's not a helicopter. Everyone is instantaneously wide awake - these days have made light sleepers of them all. "You might wanna take a look at this."