Nate drops beside Evan, behind the Humvee, glowing and excited. "Most people in America right now probably think of Iraq as a dangerous country. Now, if I were to stand up, I might be killed. But to us, behind this wheel, it's pretty safe. So to us, Iraq is a safe country, right here. I feel pretty safe. Do you feel safe?" Evan laughs and admits he feels pretty safe, and Nate slaps his shoulder, giddy, and runs. "See? It's all relative."
The prayers continue, as the tanks roll past Recon. "The natives are getting restless," Brad says, and Nate says prayer is good: "Maybe it'll keep them too preoccupied to shoot at us." They talk about how stupid it is that Nate might get in big trouble for the thing with Encino Man, and Nate's like, "I'll have the right to address any allegations before anything is formalized. I'm assured of this." You can tell he's just mouthing that last bit these days. "Sir, to highlight my growing lack of confidence in the strategic plan, can you explain why we are strong-pointing this hostile city in tin-plated Humvees while M-1 tanks, LAVs and Amtracs roll past? Isn't it supposed to be the other way around?" Nate nods, weirded out and sad. "I mean, how exactly did this happen?" The tanks roll past and Nate says he wouldn't believe him if he said how it happened, and then runs off. Nate doesn't like to talk about that stuff. It's hard being in the middle.
Rudy's in his weird suit and feeling philosophical. "There's no plan for this, Pap. Strong-pointing a walled town with Humvees. It all feels so random, what we're doing. Running here, shooting, running there, bombing. That might be a legit target burning over there; it might be a school, Pap. I hope it's legit, I hope this is good karma." They watch a man herding sheep. "Everything here is ancient, Pap. We're in an old, old place." Pappy agrees, and spits.
A group approaches Alpha, waving flags: you can see a kid in one man's arms. Patterson goes down to meet them, and the guy cries out to him in stilted English, while the child groans in pain. "Help please. Help. Saddam... Fedayeen shoot. Not you, Saddam. You kill Ba'ath party, Saddam, very good. Saddam in our city, shooting at you. Not us. We help... come. I'll show you. Come." The man takes hold of Patterson's sleeve; he gets ready to go with him. A guy comes running up just then and Patterson tells him to call Battalion so he can report this, but they're already on the net: "Godfather wants to see you."