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. She broke the news 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: ∞ah. no wonder this ride's felt so long.
HAMIFI: I think it's hardly even begun, Sestro.∞
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 not quite there yet.
SESTRO: ∞and we're still the ones who have to make all of these choices.
HAMIFI: Yes. We have to.∞
HAMIFI: Now more than ever, our choices will matter.∞
SESTRO: ∞doesn't that scare you?
SESTRO: ∞the thought that the only decisions that matter are the ones we're about to make, in the face of unmanageable chaos and 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 i'm ready for this.
SESTRO: ∞and now... i don't think any of us are.
SESTRO: ∞it was based on my own perceptions at first. how could i possibly be set to take up a mantle of this magnitude?
SESTRO: ∞now, there are approximately 36,000 trolls in front of our building, in a complete frenzy over something neither of us could predict.
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 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 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 i can 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 grind our milk by the imported stalactite every night, as we rise from our rest and pay no mind to the screaming world beyond our over decorated front porch.∞
HAMIFI: I could hold your hand and chastely nip at your jaw, 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: ∞hah. neither would you.
HAMIFI: Beside 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 whatever responsibility comes next.∞
HAMIFI: Tell me that you're ready.∞
HAMIFI: Or else I can't let you go.∞
SESTRO: ∞...
SESTRO: ∞can i have a moment to prepare myself?
SESTRO: ∞i'd like to make my inevitable decision a nice moment for us.