Dick: Oh God – do I have to?
Meghan: ‘Fraid so. Once more onto the breach, etc.
DIck: But that’s England – God for Harry, England and St George. This is Ireland.
Meghan: Tell me about it. To think I once believed crawling along a building ledge ten stories up in Iraq to escape insurgents was the toughest thing I’d ever do. But if it’s gotta be done, it’s gotta be done.
Dick: Maybe there’ll be storms. Maybe all flights will be grounded and we won’t have to go.
Meghan: Uh-uh. Forecast says we should be good to go tomorrow.
Dick: I think it’s that Donnelly guy gets on my nerves the most.
Meghan: You mean Donaldson. Jeffrey Donaldson. The little guy, looks like he’s had some work done on his face.
Dick: Yeah, that’s him. Makes me feel I’m back in Sunday School.
Meghan: You met Mike Nesbit? Or Nelson McCausland?
Dick: Met? They inhabit my nightmares. In fact they are my nightmares. I think it’s his beard I hate the most. Not to mention Gerry Kelly.
Meghan: I think Gerry’s kinda cute.
Dick: You think? Scares the shit outa me.
Meghan: He was impressed when I told him we weren’t being paid.
Dick: Not being PAID? Who told you that?
Megan: it was in the brief. Fares and hotels covered but no fee. Virtue is its own reward.
Dick: Holy shit! What genius devised that …Oh well. At least it’ll be over, one way or another, by New Year’s. You know we’re not going to achieve anything.
Megan: Sure we are. You were the guy behind Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm, back in the day. You can handle those, you can handle this.
Dick: You think so? Because those Iraqis were sweet reasonableness compared to this shower.
Meghan: Man up, would ya? Flags: we’ve parked that. The past: we gotta body to investigate and adjudicate – we’re off the hook there too. And parades – ditch the Parades Commission, set up a similar body, a rose by any other name, -it’s easy. Besides, they’ll be so bloated from stuffing their faces with potatoes and Ulster fries over the holidays, not to mention the old uisce beatha, and so desperate to look like they’re being reasonable in advance of the May council elections, you’ll see: a lot of not-an-inchers will back off this time round.
Dick: You really think so? Even the guy that talked about steam coming out his ears?
Meghan: Even him.
Dick: I don’t know what I’d do without you, Meghan.
Megan: I know. And I got me an even tighter and shorter skirt for Christmas. If that doesn’t make them sit up and beg, my name isn’t Meghan O’Flaherty.
Dick: But it isn’t. You’re not.
Megan: I know. Still it’s worth a try.
Dick: God, I wish I was back advising George Bush. Talking sense into him was no sweat compared to this.
Megan: Nil desperandum.
Dick: Is that a loyalist motto?
Megan: No, ours. Bring your warm coat – they say there’s a breeze over there fit to freeze a witch’s tit.
(Dick sighs, kicks a passing Foreign Relations cat and follows her to the airport limo).