Casey Kasem thanks him grandly and does the whole atten-hut thing and dismisses everybody, and Brad quietly says to Nate, "I'm ... in awe." But Nate is not in a place where he can even ironically appreciate the awesomeness of Encino Man, obviously, because his retarded ass is going to get everybody killed in the entire world, so he walks off without a word, leaving Brad hanging. The concept of Nate Fick being in the whale for even one minute makes me want to cry for ten years.
Oscar Mike. Nate explains they're heading fifteen kliks up the ASR toward Al Hayy, screening RCT-1's movement with Alpha two kliks ahead. Minutes later, Walt spots friendlies coming toward them the opposite way, headed south. "Baghdad's the other way, ya bitches!" shouts Ray, and Trombley surmises that they're Army. "Yeah, probably ran outta tampons. Going all the way back to the PX," Ray suggests. But as they get closer, he realizes they're not Army: it's Alpha Company. You know what would take the mystery out of this shit? If like one person had a radio that worked. This is some Gilligan shit. I'm starting to feel like Captain America, to be honest. Brad asks Nate WTF and Nate doesn't know either. While Brad waits for SA on what they're doing and watches him drive back past, Patterson mutters, "The thing to remember is they'll never take a Recon Marine alive." Barrett and Patterson share a quiet, angry hoorah.
The story splits in two. Nate explains that Alpha's been detached for a different mission: A Marine supply unit was ambushed to the south, and a captured Marine was executed in the city center. "We have our own mission. Let's keep our focus."
Morale is affected, to put it lightly. Even Espera, especially Espera, goes quiet. He just stares into space. But Lilley has heard something about it: "Bro, this is what I was telling you about. That Marine from that supply unit that was captured, they strung his ass up in the middle of the town." Garza and Leon discuss how actually, he was crucified. Like on a cross. Espera doesn't blink, just stares at the road in front of him. Garza: "Maybe it's bullshit. I mean, they say they killed a thousand Marines in Nasiriyah and that's bullshit. And that thing about J. Lo? Man, she ain't dead. At least I don't think so..." Lovell asks Nate if that part's true, and Nate and Wynn look at each grimly. It's true. The worst thing in the world. Leon, I think, crosses himself; Lilley is sad, and very lonely. Trombley and Evan look at each other in the back of 1A, quietly. The roadsign says BAGHDAD as they pass. Brad stares north.