Tall grass on either side, then a small village. They keep saying "hamlet" which always makes me think of Doonesbury in the Viet Nam years. What is a hamlet? My mom was getting her Masters when I was a kid and she used to read me all her assignments, but I was so young I didn't really process a lot of it. I thought Hamlet and Prince Rillian were the same guy for like ten years, that's all I remember. Oh, and Oedipus and King Lear and the guy from Rapunzel all got blinded, so I drew these weird connections and decided that people get blinded constantly if they don't watch out. (I still kind of believe that one.) I also thought Jesus, Napoleon and Hannibal had a huge war in Israel, in which they rode principally on the backs of giant elephants, and this took place sometime around The Pyramids, BC. History was a lot cooler when I was stupid.
Sorry, what's a hamlet. A hamlet is defined as "smaller than a village," which is itself "smaller than a town." Okay, that mystery was not very mysterious, as it turns out. So Brad and Patterson are watching this hamlet, which is doing nothing interesting unless you find poverty stricken civilian families with children going about their fucking business in a war-torn nation and not doing anything to hurt anybody particularly interesting. The word for father is "Abooy"; the word for mother is "Um-mi." These kids would say "Baba" and "Mama." The word for milk is "haleb."
"Remember how the kids would come running out to us in Afghanistan?" Patterson grunts in agreement. Nate radios out that there's no enemy presence anywhere; Captain America is looting bodies for beanies, keepsakes. Lilley tapes him, from a distance: "Winning the war one souvenir at a time, right? ...Fucking scumbag, man." Espera barks, "Hey! That's Bravo Three's Commander." They all hoot and laugh into the silence, and watch him with the bodies. Down on their bellies, Brad looks up and sees Captain America approaching. His eyes, they don't focus on anything. They're bifocal, they see something we don't see. I imagine it's a cartoon as big as the world. "Sergeant! For the life of me," he laughs in that conspiratorial, stilted and awkward way he has, "I could only find a black one. Have you located any red ones?" Kocher, staring at him unmoving from his assigned post, admits he hasn't found any hats on dead men's heads for him. "If you do, you'll be sure to let me know?" Cap nods gratefully -- and still commandingly, which is the single greatest thing about the motherfucker. He's commanding entire regiments with this shit, from inside his spooky old head -- and runs off. Brad smiles and laughs sympathetically, but Patterson can barely manage that. The sky is very big, and very blue, overhead.