They say humankind has a short memory. When Duncan entered what was popularly called "The Zone", he came face to face with the true meaning of that saying. These people had been forgotten by society, just like waste after it has been thrown into a dustbin. Hundreds of stories in their eyes, these people had no hope.
His friend Charlie did. He had hoped to protect Duncan when following him here.
However, he failed two-fold. Firstly, Duncan got killed anyway. But that wasn't the problem. Secondly and far worse, something precious was lost irrecoverably from Duncan's soul.