They were out into the heat and dust again. There was no road to speak of, not even really a track, just a formless and infinite middle distance of barren land that stretched onwards and onwards, with no horizon visible in the haze of the afternoon sun.
All the villagers were standing outside their mud huts. They always made eye contact but that gaze gave nothing away. There was no reason for them to hide any more and so they just remained. The villagers gave the soldiers their names, but who they were, no one knew. No one knew anything.