Having seen the threat-board light up, the early warning operators at NORAD were shell-shocked. Panic was staved off through pure military professionalism, but anxious glances and tense twitches told their own story. One young officer, mouth agape, pointed at the red streaks approaching the Alaskan coastline.”Uh-huh,” acknowledged a superior, rifling his own pockets for the zippo needed to light the ceremonial cigar. “Umm …,” A nearby lieutenant, barely holding back tears, noticed his commander’s search and provided a light. “Urrr!” One puff and the smoker realised that the tobacco had waited too many years for this and was now rotten.