I spent the weekend in Cambridge, where there is a small community of former raggies, visiting folks and going to a housewarming. Debauchery (well, drunkenness) and strangeness. I haven’t been to the city for eight years, the last time being to visit That Woman. Though I now know she lives in another country, I couldn’t shake that horrible paranoid feeling at first.

It’s an incredibly busy town, I guess the narrower streets pack everyone together to give a greater density of crowd, but at least cyclists seem to get a better deal. And they had higher quality cyclists, too, all those sexy student girls on bone shakers twice their age. Nice.


Most of Mirl�s crew had survived. As they feared, the top gunner had taken a bullet in the first strafing run. The tailgunner had disappeared along with his gun bubble when they had hit the forest canopy.

The wing had come to rest several hundred spans above the forest floor. The crew had moved around inside with great care, until it became obvious it was wedged fast. None of them were great climbers, and there were too many broken bones to move far yet. They unstowed the survival gear and set up camp inside the plane.

It rained the first night. From the shattered top bubble, Mirl watched the broken branches and loose leaves wash away and began planning. The next morning they hammered a pool in the metal of the wing.

They dismounted the autoguns from the wing mountings, hand cranked the bomb bay doors open and pointed them downwards. They brought the bombs into the main cabin and gouged the explosives from them. The bombardier modified the fuses of tracer bullets to make bomblets- it took his mind off his shattered left leg.

Eventually someone would come looking for them. The Air Army, to rescue them, or the Hidden Army, to desecrate their bodies and strip the wing of the components. In the latter case, they were ready to fight and, in the last resort, immolate themselves and the plane through explosives planted in the last of the fuel supply.