a/n: Set just after the end of the Second World War, and sparked by conversations with Abracadebra and Signy1. Refers to events in "Is There a Traitor in the House?"



The Colonel had considered that this mission

Had consequences far beyond that day.


He'd thought for just one moment what might happen,

And had found another route to get the message underway.

If ...

This hadn't followed months of constant pressure;

Responsibility for many lives.


They'd given him more time to look for options,

And hadn't passed the burden on; who suffers, who survives.


London hadn't been so damned insistent;

Had moved the planned bombardment, changed their plan.


The broadcast hadn't seemed a neat solution;

And he hadn't got his eye upon a certain English man.


The corporal had rejected his proposal;

Had resolutely failed to volunteer.


He'd pictured the response across the nation;

A traitor's words repeated, his identity quite clear.


He'd seen the shock which hit the corporal's sister:

The poisoned words; her tearful disbelief.


Life had set the corporal up more kindly,

Than for ready condemnation of a "common East End thief".


All they had achieved was not so secret;

And everyone could learn what they had done.


He could share his corporal's many exploits;

Courageous contributions to the reasons war was won.


He weighed up every flaw in every order;

And tallied up all benefits and cost.


Decisions stalled through doubt and hesitation;

How many lives would not be saved, how many battles lost?


The Colonel shook his head, such introspection

Had not defined his work, nor served him well.

The task ahead was really all that mattered;

To spring his stubborn corporal from a British prison cell...