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SESTRO: ∞you weren’t in the office earlier.
SESTRO: ∞there was quite a bit of discussion that you missed.
HAMIFI: I knew the gist of it beforehand. The news was broken to me first.∞
HAMIFI: I’m taking you up to see him. He still wants a final word with you, provided his chroma pumper hasn’t already stopped.∞
HAMIFI: A little supplementary guidance before the end. I suppose it never hurts.∞
SESTRO: ∞no wonder this ride has felt so long.
HAMIFI: I think it’s hardly even begun.∞
SESTRO: ∞that’s what we’ve always been told, right?
SESTRO: ∞that we’ve barely started.
SESTRO: ∞that we’re on the precipice of true responsibility, but we aren’t quite there yet.
SESTRO: ∞and we’re still the ones who have to make all of these choices.
HAMIFI: Yes. We still have to.∞
HAMIFI: Now more than ever, the choices that we make will matter.∞
SESTRO: ∞doesn’t that scare you?
SESTRO: ∞the idea that the only decisions that really matter are the ones we’re about to make in the face of unmanageable chaos and utter confusion?
SESTRO: ∞how is that fair?
HAMIFI: Is this what you spent so long discussing with Rodere?∞
SESTRO: ∞i was telling her how i don’t think that i’m ready for this.
SESTRO: ∞and now... i don’t think any of us are ready for it.
SESTRO: ∞it was solely based on my own perception of the situation at first. how i could possibly be set to take up this mantle that i was designed to bear.
SESTRO: ∞now, there are approximately 36,000 or so trolls, right in front of our building, in a complete frenzy over something neither of us knew about or could control.
SESTRO: ∞what if going through with this makes it all worse?
SESTRO: ∞most of the stronghold residents barely know us past our stature, and they still resent us for things that we didn’t intend to do — or had no hand in doing in the first place.
SESTRO: ∞that doesn’t mean they didn’t happen, though.
SESTRO: ∞so what if they’re right?
SESTRO: ∞i don’t want to be the one to add an extra entry atop the pile of unintended consequences we’ve accumulated over the sweeps. it’s probably taller than the giant pillar that sent us here, at this point.
SESTRO: ∞wherever “here” actually is.
SESTRO: ∞i guess what i’m saying is... what if we don’t need a leader right now?
HAMIFI: And what do you think would satisfy the masses in your stead?∞
HAMIFI: This is still essentially what I told you I didn’t care to hear. You’re just putting it in a more morally contemplative frame.∞
SESTRO: ∞well then, what do you want to hear?
SESTRO: ∞i’m worried, i’m upset, i’m doubting my skills again.
SESTRO: ∞i don’t know what else there is for me to say.
HAMIFI: I want to hear that you’re going to be okay, from you.∞
HAMIFI: I don’t want to tell you that you are, only for you to get up on stage with the representative committee at arm’s length and not believe me.∞
HAMIFI: You talked about all the choices you could make, and you have one here as well.∞
HAMIFI: There is nothing stopping you from relinquishing the position to a suitable replacement after The Executive passes.∞
HAMIFI: You would still be set for life. We could “retire” to the countryside and freshly grind our milk by the imported stalactite every night, as we limply rise from our numbed sleep and pay no mind to the screaming world outside our slightly over decorated front porch.∞
HAMIFI: I could hold your hand, chastely nipping at the crook of your jaw in order to lull you into a false sense of lasting satisfaction, without hardship and without loss.∞
HAMIFI: But I don’t think you would be okay with that.∞
SESTRO: ∞neither would you.
HAMIFI: Besides the point.∞
HAMIFI: So, you tell me.∞
HAMIFI: Be it estranged limeblood or another war, tell me that you still want this. Tell me that you’re willing to accept what comes with the responsibility.∞
HAMIFI: Tell me that you’re ready.∞
HAMIFI: Or else I can’t reasonably let you go.∞
SESTRO: ∞............
SESTRO: ∞can i have a moment to prepare myself?
SESTRO: ∞i’d like to make my inevitable decision to do so be a nice moment for us.