Where are they now that we, the men whom they sent off to war, have returned? These are commanders who have deserted their troops, and there is no more serious crime in the law of war. The Army says they never leave their wounded. The Marines say they never leave even their dead. These men have left all the casualties and retreated behind a pious shield of public rectitude. They have left the real stuff of their reputation bleaching behind them in the sun in this country.
Fire supposed he needed to be there in order to give rousing speeches and lead the charge into the fray, or whatever is was commanders did in wartime. She resented his competence at something so tragic and senseless. She wished he, or somebody, would throw down his sword and say, 'Enough! This is a silly way to decide who's in charge!' And it seemed to her, as the beds in the healing room filled and emptied and filled, that these battles didn't leave much to be in charge of. The kingdom was already broken, and this war was tearing the broken pieces smaller.