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The room is empty but for a woman in sitting in the chair at the head of a long table. She is staring off into the distance, unaware of the opening door.
HAWKINS: Opening the door: Gibbs! you're still here? You should go home for the day, it will be a long one tomorrow.
GIBBS: Raising her head to look at her colleague: Oh... sorry, I just...... somethings bothering me.
HAWKINS: closing the door: Is it about the response to the Althien attack?
GIBBS: That's the thing, the whole attack it....... it just doesn’t seem right.
HAWKINS: Sitting down next to Gibbs a nervous look on his face: It doesn’t have to seem right, it happened and we need to respond.
GIBBS: Nevermind, I just. (trailing off) What was Althia thinking they knew the attack would elicit a response.
HAWKINS: laughing a little: They never were the brightest.
GIBBS: Stunned: Hawkins! We don't understand everything yet, we can´t jump to conclusions. Our response will start a war!
HAWKINS: Leaning closer to Gibbs, choosing his words carefully: Yes, but we are not the ones who struck first, it will be justified for the rest of the international community.
GIBBS: Pulling away and standing up: Hawkins! It doesn’t matter that it will be justified, people are going to die! What if.....
HAWKINS: Sanding up and interrupting: What if what Gibbs?! The response needs to happen! this war needs to happen!
Gibbs looks at Hawkins stunned. Hawkins turns away nervously, unsure whether he said too much.
GIBBS: carefully: No war NEEDS to happen Hawkins. It is always down to greed or power, which is it this time?
HAWKINS: Unsure of what to say next: Our response will be carried out tomorrow, there’s no stopping it.
Hawkins turns to leave the room but Gibbs calls him back, her voice soft and careful.
GIBBS: Hawkins...... please tell me that Althia was behind the attack.
HAWKINS: stopping with his hand on the door, sweat starting to pool on his forehead: Gibbs (Pause) I....
GIBBS: A little more urgently: Tell me that we didn’t kill thousands of our own people to justify starting a war!
HAWKINS: It needed to be done.
GIBBS: No! It never NEEDS to be done.
HAWKINS: Well this one did. Those who died did so for a noble cause.
GIBBS: slowly making her way closer to Hawkins: Noble? You call getting blown up to start an endless war noble?
HAWKINS: The Althien army is weak, we will control their territory within months.
GIBBS: Yes and we’ll also control their oil and have access to the other countries in the region. But how do you think those regions will feel when a foreign power located a continent away starts invading their neighbors. Gouron and the Northern territories will not aid us in our conquest! they will help Althia, like they have for centuries. So we’ll be drawn into a war with Gouron, whose army is stronger than any other in the region. And yes, they may not defeat us, but they will put up one hell of a fight. You really think this will take a few months? This endeavour, this conquest will take years, decades. It will take millions dead and the whole world at war and for what a few oil reserves? A new outpost of our ideology?
There is a pause. Gibbs breaths heavily and Hawkins just stands there, unfazed by her words.
GIBBS: Quieter: If we do this it will never stop. You have to see that Hawkins. We will be written in the history books as the villains, we will bring hardship and suffering on our own people.
HAWKINS: Looking up: Not if we win.
GIBBS: exasperatedly: Hawkins, listen to yourself! This is crazy!
HAWKINS: I don’t expect you to agree with us Gibbs, but I warn you, you better stand by us throughout this war we can’t have people undermining our cause.
GIBBS: Looking horrified: Was that a threat?
HAWKINS: Don't overstep your rank Gibbs. This is not your decision nor is it mine, the attack is going to take place tomorrow and the Prime Minister needs unilateral support from the representatives.
GIBBS: I can’t support something like this.
HAWKINS: You have to, the war has already begun we can’t look weak.
GIBBS: What are you going to do Hawkins. Report me? Have me assassinated? When will this game all become too much?
HAWKINS: Don’t do this Gibbs.
Gibbs looks at Hawkins, who is staring back at her, his usually friendly face now a cold blank slate.
GIBBS: This isn't right.
HAWKINS: It doesn’t have to be. (opening the door to leave) Get on board Gibbs, this won’t end well for you otherwise.
Hawkins leaves the room, the door closing behind him. Gibbs stands still for a few seconds then resumes her seat at the head of the long table.