Luka continues, "I remember watching the television, reading the newspapers, certain that we had to fight. And then my family was gone, and I couldn't remember why it was all so important." Carter snacks on the inside of his cheek. "And what difference did it all make?" Luka whispers, pained. "My children were dead." I feel sorry for him. Life sucks. War sucks. Dying sucks. But acting like it's all wine and roses for U.S. soldiers isn't fair. Yeah, some of them get to watch TV on a carrier. But some don't, and no matter who you are, fighting isn't fun or safe or cushy.
The convoy shuffles back to camp, wading through a veritable stream of dead bodies. Carter wears Stunned Look #90: Now I Know How Scarlett O'Hara Felt. Patrique finds one who's still alive, and they lug him into their building. The food and supplies have been pilfered, the room ransacked. Luka sets up the amputee in a bed and checks to make sure she's okay, before moving on to the injured man.
We dissolve into Day Thirteen, according to the Graphic of It Could As Easily Have Been Day Twelve, But Twelve Isn't a Jinxed Number. Luka Frenches repeatedly and it's nasty (I can't hide it anymore -- I love you; don't tell) and sexually unappealing (You're so hot it hurts). The boy with whooping cough isn't getting better. The lone survivor, a government soldier, screams that he needs to rejoin the army because he doesn't feel safe here. Carter distractedly watches Luka go outside with Charles, and tells the soldier he can leave as soon as he's able to walk.