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  • Teddy Masters

The Situation Room

Up on the Situation room, GENERAL GEORGESON and GENERAL MADDISON are sitting around the conference table, looking at telemetry data.


GENERAL GEORGESON

The ship has launched 76 objects. We are unsure what they are, but they are in a collision course with earth.


GENERAL MADDISON

I never thought this is what first contact would happen. I’d always hoped that it would be humanity venturing out, finding common ground, making peace.


GENERAL GEORGESON

Impact in 30 seconds.


GENERAL MADDISON

There is alien life up there, why aren’t you acting like it? This is the most important discovery in human history.


GENERAL GEORGESON

And? If we’re lucky it won’t be the last discovery we make.

We have a job to do. I suggest you start earning the stars on your shoulder.


GENERAL MADDISON

You can’t just turn off your feeling about this. We both know what happens when you do that.


GENERAL GEORGESON

If you are referring to my recommendation to fire against the joint courts of the asteroid belt, I stand by my recommendation. Thank god President Williams listened to me.


GENERAL WILLIAMS

Seventy Six of our people, good people, died. Not even counting their casualties.


GENERAL GEORGESON

I don’t. We were at war, and their casualties are irrelevant to is.

As for our fighters, they knew what they were signing up for.


GENERAL MADDISON

We could have found another way. No one had to die.


GENERAL GEORGESON

Followed by more senseless deaths. You are a general, act like it. We take risks. If the president had taken your side they would have never surrendered. The Martian federation would have probably sided with them, then where would we be?


GENERAL MADDISON

You don’t know what the Martians would have done, and no one would have died that we. Besides, we didn’t have a valid claim over Titan anyway.


GENERAL GEORGESON

You swore an oath to defend the Republic of Earth and it’s interests. We had the ability to lay claim over titan, and it was your duty to defend it.


GENERAL MADDISON

I swore an oath to defend Earth, not to help set up mining colonies millions of miles away.


GENERAL GEORGESON

Impact in 3… 2… 1… They hit. I can’t make sense of it. Our satellites aren’t showing any major damage. No places of political importance.


GENERAL MADDISON

Create an overlay of essential infrastructure. There it is. They’ve…

They’ve hit every water recycling plant on the planet.


GENERAL GEORGESON

But there doesn’t seem to be any damage… my god, they’re infecting the water supply. (speaks into a phone) Get scientists down to the water recycling plants. Tell them to work fast.


GENERAL MADDISON

What, are they going to kill us through our water supply? Why not just poison the air, strip the atmosphere. Hell even a few well placed nukes would wipe us out. If they could get here from another star, surly they could do more to us.


GENERAL GEORGESON

I don’t know. I hope that the scientists get a theory together soon. The phone rings. GENERAL GEORGESON answers

GENERAL GEORGESON

Yes. Speaking. Well shit. (hangs up) They put something that will attach to our brains in the water. They say that it can’t be filtered out. They are light enough to be carried by steam, so even distillers won’t do anything to help.


GENERAL MADDISON

Do they know what they do?


GENERAL GEORGESON

They’re not sure, but it’s attaches directly to the spinal cord. The current hypothesis is that it will bypass the brain and take control of the human body.


GENERAL MADDISON

They are going to take over out bodies? Is there anything we can do to stop it? What about water stored up?


GENERAL GEORGESON

Computer models show that water supplies will be depleted in just under three weeks.


GENERAL MADDISON

There has to be something that we can do! We can’t just go to the president and say we have no options.


GENERAL GEORGESON

We have one: operation Achillies Heal.


GENERAL MADDISON

I thought that was a rumor. You’re telling me we really have the ability to destroy the earth?


GENERAL GEORGESON

Yes, there are 37 nuclear warheads under the crust of the Earth, when deployed the core will go critical. The molten iron will engulf us in less than an hour.


GENERAL MADDISON

We, we can’t do that. You can’t really be considering that. Of course I am, why else would it be built? It wouldn’t be painful or drawn out. The weapons would crack the Earth’s crust. The molten core would be hot enough to kill us quickly.


GENERAL MADDISON

It’s not about how quickly people will die, it’s about the fact that we’re killing them. This isn’t a decision that we can make.


GENERAL GEORGESON

Of course it is! President Williams was duly elected by the people of earth.


GENERAL MADDISON

No one thought they were voting for the destruction of Earth.


GENERAL GEORGESON

No one really knows what they are voting for. Half of what we do the public will never know about.


GENERAL MADDISON

But they never died because of it.


GENERAL GEORGESON

It doesn’t matter. This is why Achilles was built. “There might come a time when it is preferred to die with dignity and honor, than to continue”. That burden has been met.


GENERAL MADDISON

Honor?


GENERAL GEORGESON

Yes, honor. What is your problem with honor?


GENERAL MADDISON

Honor is what we use to push decency aside. How could you think of destroying us all for honor? For some idea of the greater good? The dead don’t care if they were destroyed with honor.


GENERAL GEORGESON

We will be destroyed no matter what happens. Let it happen within our control.


GENERAL MADDISON

We can tell the people, let them make their own decisions.


GENERAL GEORGESON

And watch riots in the streets? Fights over tiny amounts of uncontaminated water? No.


GENERAL MADDISON

You don’t know better than everyone else. You can’t make this decision for billions of people.


GENERAL GEORGESON

President Williams was given the authority to make this decision, and I plan on giving him my recommendation.


GENERAL GEORGESON moves to exit. GENERAL MADDISON pulls a gun.


GENERAL MADDISON

I can’t let you do that.


GENERAL GEORGESON

How dare you pull your weapon? I’ll have you court martialed, thrown in jail.


GENERAL MADDISON

I’m a five star general. If you had it your way there would be no courts to martial me in. Keep your mouth shut about Achilles and you’ll make it to the lunar bunker.


GENERAL GEORGESON

I can’t do that.


GENERAL MADDISON

Why? You have children, do you want to see them dead? You want to see your home destroyed- annihilated. The seed of humanity, the center of our existence, gone in minutes. The rest of the system would die without us you know, sure they’d have a few years. Maybe a decade. But in a hundred years it would be like humanity never existed. Like every song, every poem, every love, every hate, every person just never was. I’m not going to let that happen.


GENERAL GEORGESON

Don’t be so selfish! I would rather watch my children die than watch them become some shell, some robot to be controlled. Why do you think that anyone would care if humanity is lost? You have forgotten we are nothing but a speck on a speck. Now we know we’re not alone, there will be more life. Just not ours.


GENERAL MADDISON

Are you really willing to see everything accomplished by humanity erased?


GENERAL GEORGESON

We were lucky enough to exist at all, I don’t care if the universe remembers. I don’t know what waits for us beyond the void, probably just blackness. I don’t care. You’re not going to shoot me. You can’t make the hard decision to reach your goal.


Gunshot.

GENERAL MADDISON

Earth lives on, without us. I hope you’re wrong about the blackness.


Second gunshot. Blackout.

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