Werner Voss found Manfred von Richthofen standing next to his Fokker triplane, watching Australian soldiers remove his still-warm body from the cockpit.

“I thought they might send you for me,” Richthofen said, barely glancing in the direction of his friend and rival who had been dead for over a year. “Hell of a thing. I was about to down a clumsy little Canadian when one of his buddies forced me to dive right into some ground fire.”

“I see you were able to land safely,” observed Voss politely.

“And a lot of good it did me. They’re already picking the Fokker apart for souvenirs.” Richthofen sighed. “I bet they give that Canuck wichser credit for the kill too.”

“Would you rather credit went to some Aussie digger?” asked Voss. “In any case, it’s time to go. Unless you’d prefer to spend your eternity haunting what’s left of your plane.”

They turned away from the wreckage and Voss led Richthofen to a spot of blinding light that beggared description. “What’s it like?” the Baron asked.

“Oh, it’s quite nice, actually,” said Voss “You become one with the cosmos and the font of all things and gain total knowledge of the past, present, and future. Even if you were reduced to mincemeat like I was.”

“Total knowledge?” Richthofen cast a sidelong glance at his plane. “So tell me, Werner, what do the people of the future think of me, if they even remember?”

“Oh, they certainly remember,” Voss said, clapping a hand on the Baron’s back. “You’re the best-known fighter pilot from any country for the next thousand years or so! Even the smallest children will know your name.”

“Because of my exploits in securing ultimate victory for the Empire?”

“Ah…no,” Voss said hesitantly. “They’ll remember you from that cartoon, and from the lid of an American pizza box.”

“A cartoon? What’s that got to do with anything, Werner?” Richthofen fussed.

“Yes, there’s an American cartoon dog that pretends to dogfight you. On top of his doghouse. You always win, if it’s any consolation.”

“And the Italian food?”

Voss shrugged. “I think it’s a metaphor for the red of the sausage and sauce and how ruthlessly inexpensive it is? Anyhow, the picture on the lid is very unrealistic. It has a mustache.”

The Baron hesitated at the edge of the light.

“Oh, don’t be like that. Go on in and see for yourself.”