Charkov: [reads file] Valery Alexeyevich Legasov, son of Alexei Legasov, Head of Ideological Compliance, Central Committee. Do you know what your father did there?
Charkov: As a student, you had a leadership position in Komsomol. Communist Youth, correct?
Legasov: You already know.
Charkov: Answer the question.
Charkov: At the Kuchartov Institute, you were the Communist Party secretary. In the position, you limited the promotion of Jewish scientists.
Charkov: To curry favor with Kremlin officials. You're one of us, Legasov. I can do anything I want with you. But what I want most is for you to know that I know. You're not brave. You're not heroic. You're just a dying man who forgot himself.
Legasov: I know who I am, and I know what I've done. In a just world, I'd be shot for my lies, but not for this, not for the truth.
Charkov: Scientists...and your idiot obsessions with reasons. When the bullet hits your skull, what will it matter why? [beat] No one's getting shot, Legasov. The whole world saw you in Vienna; it would be embarrassing to kill you now. And for what? Your testimony today will not be accepted by the State. It will not be disseminated in the press. It never happened. No... you will live, however long you have. But not as a scientist. Not anymore. You'll keep your title and your office, but no duties. No authority. No friends. No one will talk to you. No one will listen to you. Other men, lesser men, will receive credit for the things you have done. Your legacy is now their legacy; you will live long enough to see that. [beat] What role did Shcherbina play in this?
Legasov: None. He didn't know what I was gonna say.
Charkov: What role did Khomyuk play in this?
Legasov: None. She didn't know either.
Charkov: After all you've said and done today, it would be curious if you chose this moment to lie.
Legasov: I would think a man of your experience would know a lie when he hears one.
Charkov: [beat] You will not meet or communicate with either one of them ever again. You will not communicate with anyone about Chernobyl ever again. You will remain so immaterial to the world around you that when you finally do die, it will be exceedingly hard to know that you ever lived at all. [starts to exit]
Legasov: What if I refuse?
Charkov: [turns back to face Legasov] Why worry about something that isn't going to happen?
Legasov: [Scoffs] ‘Why worry about something that isn't going to happen?’ Oh, that's perfect. They should put that on our money.”
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