ER
Kisangani

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Kisangani

A little girl sniffles as Luka jabs a needle into her arm. Carter watches. He's manning a separate line. "Hello, little one," he says in awkward French. Luka sing-songs in French, "It's just a little sting," and he smiles, and the entire effect is...repellant, really. Luka's good with kids, he's multi-lingual. How gross. Gross, I tell you. Carter asks how to say "Don't be afraid," and Luka gives him "Don't be afraid, little bird" in French. Carter butchers it into "Don't be afraid, my little swimming pool." Gillian snorts, as does the little girl. Carter beams. "Your French is terrible," Gillian laughs. Carter is still delighted and shoots the girl with the vaccine. It's really cute. "See, didn't even hurt," he says proudly, tossing the needle into a giant bowl that's brimming with them.

A man sets down his coughing boy, who proceeds to hork up a lung. This gives both Luka and Carter pause. Gillian translates that the boy's been coughing like this for two weeks. "Pertussis?" Luka asks quietly. Carter nods. Aw, that's so sad. I hate that. I have no idea what that is, of course. "Tell him that his son is sick, and we're going to give him medicine to try and make him feel better," Carter says softly. The kid chucks up half his innards as Gillian leads him away. "Merci," the father says, adorably grateful. Carter rubs his eyes, then shakes it off and beams at the next little boy. "Don't be afraid, my little bird," he says. The kid cracks up at the big white man-child.

Luka sits by a lake staring across the water. We're supposed to be hearing gunfire, but I can't, and not because all I can hear are fireworks going off in my pants at the sight of Luka, because no such thing is happening. Carter grabs two beers and a crate, and goes to sit next to his man crush, hoping that they can spray beer on each other and talk about breasts. "Sounds close," he says of the gunfire. "A mile or two," Luka says, zoned out. Carter laments that they don't have enough drugs to treat the pertussis -- whooping cough, evidently -- which could be cured with a ten-dollar prescription if only they were in Chicago. Yeah, yeah, life is different here. You should get that by now. Luka leans forward. "When's the last time you saved two hundred lives in one afternoon?" he intones. Then, having used up his platitude quota for the day, he gets up and leaves. Carter stays where he is, rubbing his face. He's so dirty. All he does is sweat and then rub it around. How does he not have horrible acne? How is Gillian not a walking pustule?

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