[SCENE: a dive bar outside a U.S. military base at a classified location. General Hawk is slouched at a table in back, alone, a tall glass of Yo Joe Cola in front of him, which he occasionally spikes from a flask. He has a thousand-yard stare to nowhere. He’s seen things.]
[Destro walks in, looks around while his sight adjusts to the gloom. He sees Hawk, considers him, and seems almost sad. He goes to the table, sits across from him.]
Destro: General, I —
General Hawk: “I’d wake up and there’d be nothing.. . When I was here, I wanted to be there; when I was there, all I could think of was getting back into the jungle. I’m here a week now… waiting for a mission… getting softer. Every minute I stay in this room, I get weaker, and every minute Charlie squats in the bush, he gets stronger. Each time I looked around the walls moved in a little tighter –”
Destro: General Hawk!
Hawk [starts awake and glares]: What do you want?
Destro: I came to see how you were getting along. You know, given the current state of things. Your life’s work made a mockery of by the man you’re ostensibly supposed to take orders from —
Hawk: That’s right, laugh all you want. I’m sure this is hilarious to you.
Destro: On the contrary, we’re at loose ends. We could sow chaos and destruction, but what’s the point? What’s there left to do? And then I thought, you all have spent over thirty years battling Cobra, and now this. One election, and you have fascists running the country and building camps — [he leans in conspiratorially, whispers] Tell me, have any of you considered something along the lines of, well, I’m sure the phrase “military coup” might be a bit strong —
[Hawk glares with a look somewhere between rage and despair. Destro has been at odds with this man a long time, and he’s never seen this expression on his face. No one has.]
Hawk: 44% of active-duty troops have a favorable view of. . . [visibly editing himself] the current administration. [citation below]
Destro: I had no idea. That would mean roughly 44% of the G.I. Joe team —
Hawk: That’s right.
Destro: Do you know who on the team —
Hawk [now seeming to be in physical pain]: We have a don’t ask don’t tell policy.
Destro: Oh. I see.
Hawk: It’s fine. Really, it’s fine. It’s all going to be…just…fine.
[He breaks the glass with his bare hand, which is a neat trick because the glass is actually plastic. Jack-and-cola goes everywhere. Destro reaches for him, as if to comfort him.]
Destro: General —
[“Take My Breath Away” starts playing on the jukebox. Time seems to slow. The two regard each other for a long moment.]
Destro: May. . .may I buy you drink, Hawk?
Hawk: No you may not.
Destro: Right then, I’ll just be going now.