Even Now I'd Die for You[edit source]
In order to end the conflict between the Montagues and Capulets, Lord Montague offers his life. Paris kills Lord Montague, who lives on in secret as Romeo. Romeo flees the castle with the crew but decides to stay in Verona, stating that he can still help the city.
For many years the houses of Montague and Capulet have borne a deep-seated hatred for each other.
It was the descendants of Escalus who conspired to push both sides into a war from which no one could withdraw.
As the fighting draws to a climax, the crew and Paris come face-to-face with Lord Montague.
Lord Montague: Paris, please.
Romeo plans to die as Lord Montague in order to stop the war and entrust the future to Paris and Juliet.
Lord Montague: The longer this war goes on, the more everyone will suffer. End it now.
Paris: Yes, you're right. Allow me to take your life, Lord Montague.
Paris: Goodbye, Romeo. I'll catch up to you someday.
Lord Montague: Yeah. Thank you, Paris.
Paris slowly lifts his sword and swings it down toward Romeo's neck.
(Captain) sends Paris's sword flying.
Paris: What the?
Lord Montague: What are you doing?
Furious, Lord Montague confronts (Captain).
Lord Montague: Why did you stop him?
Vyrn: Because (Captain) didn't want to see you die, Romeo...
Lord Montague: It's too late to say that now!
Lord Montague: This is war. Once it starts the only way we'll get any closure is to let it end.
Vyrn: And we're saying you can end it without dying!
Lord Montague: You think I haven't thought this through? Not a day passed where I didn't wonder what should be done.
Lord Montague: If I don't make a firm decision, the same problems will arise over and over again.
Lord Montague: The only way to prevent that is to settle this dispute between the two houses once and for all.
Lord Montague: My death is necessary to break the cycle.
Lord Montague: If you don't hurry, the casualties will mount, and the people will continue to suffer.
Lord Montague: I'm begging you not to interfere!
Vyrn: Ugh. He won't listen anymore.
The crew is at a loss for words at Romeo's grim determination.
Lord Montague: Do it, Paris.
Paris grips his sword firmly.
Lord Montague: Huh?
His sword glances off Lord Montague's shoulder.
The ornamental sash hanging over his shoulder flutters gently to the ground.
Paris: With this Lord Montague is dead.
Romeo: What are you playing at?
Paris: As the leader of the Capulet forces, I can't overlook your deeds, Lord Montague.
Paris: But I just can't bring myself to strike you down, Romeo.
Romeo: You're too soft, Paris...
Paris: You must live on in this world as a dead man none the wiser to your past.
Paris: I think this path will be worse than death.
Paris: You won't be able to be with Juliet ever again.
Lyria: That sounds harsh, but I want you to live, Romeo!
Vyrn: Yeah! There's still a buncha things you can do! Hope is definitely out there!
A trembling Romeo looks at the crew and nods.
Romeo: I understand.
Romeo: I will heed your words, Paris. This isn't a command, but...
He faces Paris and bows deeply.
Romeo: Take care of Verona.
Paris: That goes without saying.
Romeo: One more thing. Don't tell Juliet I'm still alive.
Paris: I see. If that's what you want, it shall be done.
Romeo: Thank you, Paris.
Romeo escapes the castle with the crew, and they all return to the Grandcypher.
Vyrn: What are you gonna do now, Romeo?
Lyria: Oh! Why don't you join us? It would put our minds at ease if you were with us!
Romeo: Become a skyfarer?
Vyrn: I think it's a great idea! So whaddya say, (Captain)?
Choose: Welcome aboard!
- Welcome aboard!
- Is that what you want?
Romeo: Heh. Thank you, (Captain).
Romeo: Oh, to be a normal man, to enjoy the freedom of the sky as neither prince nor lord...
Romeo: Those would certainly be enjoyable days.
Romeo: Alas, I cannot do that.Choose: Is that what you want?
Romeo: You're as perceptive as ever, (Captain).
Romeo: I'm afraid I can't go with you all.Continue 1
Vyrn: Why not?
Romeo: I'm very happy to be accepted into your crew, but I don't want history to repeat itself.
Romeo: There's something I want to take care of in Verona, and now's the best time since everyone thinks I'm dead.
Romeo: I must do it for Verona. And for Juliet.
Vyrn: Aren't you trying to do too much?
Romeo: I admit it won't be easy, but I can't run away.
Romeo: Weren't you the ones who said there are still things I can do?
Lyria: I guess you've made up your mind already.
Romeo: Yes. I'll remain here in Verona.
The Grandcypher stops at the outskirts of Verona to let Romeo off.
Romeo: Thank you. I'll never forget what you've done for me.
Vyrn: Aw, come on, don't be so gloomy! We'll come see you again!
Lyria: That's right! Just call us when you're in trouble, and we'll come running!
Vyrn: Don't forget you're still our friend Romeo!
Romeo: Thank you, everyone.
As the Grandcypher lifts into the sky, Romeo grows farther and farther away.
Vyrn: Catch ya later, Romeo!
Romeo: Until we meet again!
The crew continues to wave goodbye even as Romeo fades from view.
In the months following Lord Montague's supposed death, Romeo continues flushing out the remaining descendants of Escalus. When the crew visits Romeo unexpectedly, they become entangled in Romeo's mess.
Escalus Backer 1: Argh! What do you want from me?
???: Let's not waste time with pointless questions. Your life ends here for what you've done to Verona.
Escalus Backer 1: Are you with the Capulets?
Escalus Backer 1: They're the ones that have polluted this sacred city with their injustice!
Escalus Backer 1: Just as Lord Montague falls and their house collapses, now we have to deal with the Capulets?
Escalus Backer 1: Those vile, usurping Capulets!
???: Shut your mouth.
Escalus Backer 1: Yaargh!
Escalus Backer 1: Curse... you...
Romeo lets out a sigh as he wipes the blood from his sword.
Romeo: There's just no end to them.
Several months have passed since Lord Montague became no more. During that time Romeo has been laying low in the outskirts of Verona.
No one knows that he is the former lord who offered his own life. Now he hunts down those who conspire to overthrow the government.
Romeo: I would spend so much time and effort trying to judge just a single suspicious person when I was on the throne.
Romeo: It's so much easier now to eliminate the entire problem at its roots.
With dull eyes and a weak smile, he sheathes his sword.
Romeo: My hands are stained with blood, and that person is so far away from me now.
Romeo: I'll never be able to go back to that time again.
There's a twinge of loneliness in his voice. He quickly disappears into the dark streets.
Night soon turns to morning.
Vyrn: Hello? Anyone here?
Romeo: Vyrn? (Captain)? Why's everyone here?
Lyria: We came to see you, Romeo!
Vyrn: Whoa, keep it down, Lyria! We're not supposed to call him that anymore.
Lyria: Ah! Sorry!
Romeo: Yes, I'm going by the name of Condell now.
Lyria: Okay, Condell. Got it!
Romeo: I didn't expect to see you so soon.
Vyrn: It hasn't been that long since the war ended and the Montagues and Capulets came together.
Vyrn: We dropped by to see how things have calmed down, and we were wondering how you were doing.
Romeo: Ah, I see. Thanks for coming.
Lyria: How are you doing, Rom—I mean, Condell?
Romeo: I'm fine.
Lyria: Are you sure you're not pushing yourself too hard? You look a little pale...
Romeo: Do I? Well, I was up late last night working on something. It's nothing serious.
Lyria: Oh, is that right? I guess it's okay then...
Romeo and the crew head into the city.
As Romeo shows everyone around town, the crew informs him of Juliet's activities.
Romeo: Ah. So the restoration efforts in the main areas are coming along nicely.
Vyrn: Yeah! Juliet's working like crazy!
Lyria: What's this part of the city like?
Romeo: This area wasn't hit directly by any of the fighting. It's the same as it was before the war.
Romeo: Now that the markets have calmed down, this area is probably in better shape than the main part of the city.
Lyria: I'm so glad to hear that!
Romeo: (And that's why I have to stay here. Many people are consolidating their power.)
The crew continues walking and turns down an alleyway. Suddenly they are blocked by several shadowy figures.
Vyrn: Huh? What's going on?
Escalus Backer 2: You're the one that's been goin' around and putting our brothers into the ground, ain'tcha?
Vyrn: Uh, what are you talking about?
Escalus Backer 3: What's with the lizard?
Vyrn: Hey! I ain't no—
Romeo: I'm sorry to have gotten you mixed up in this, (Captain).
Lyria: What do you mean? Who are these people?
Escalus Backer 3: We're not gonna let you have your way anymore. Prepare to meet your end!
What I Wish to Say: Scene 2[edit source]
The crew demands an answer for Romeo's immoral actions, and he replies that he's willing to dirty his hands for the sake of Verona. Later that night he befriends an old man who also shares a love for theater.
Lyria: Who were those people?
Vyrn: It looked like they were after you. What's the deal, Romeo?
Romeo: Sorry for getting you involved.
Vyrn: That's not what I asked, you know. If you're in trouble, just tell us. We'll give you a hand!
Lyria: That's right! Did something happen?
In the face of the crew's prodding, Romeo is unable to keep his secret any longer.
Romeo: I didn't want to talk about this.
Romeo: Those people belong to a group who consider themselves to be descendants of Escalus.
Vyrn: Escalus? Oh! You mean those guys who were pulling the strings behind the war?
Lyria: And now they're after you? Did they find out your true identity?
Romeo: No, not exactly. Actually I'm the one hunting them.
Vyrn: You are? Then that means...
Romeo: Even now they haven't given up on overthrowing the current government.
Romeo: If they're left alone, the same tragedy that befell Verona before will surely happen again.
Vyrn: So you've taken up a mission against them.
Romeo: Yes. Once I find them, I eliminate them. Secretly of course.
Vyrn: Huh? But that's the same as murder!
Romeo: I guess so. The truth is I'm a murderer.
Vyrn: You need to cut that out right now, Romeo!
Vyrn: This isn't what Juliet or Paris would want!
Romeo: They would do everything they can to prevent the same mistakes from happening.
Romeo: But there's a great darkness that they can't reach into.
Romeo: Someone has to do it, and I don't mind getting my hands dirty for the sake of this city.
Vyrn: Yeah, but it's dangerous.
Romeo: Thanks for your concern. I know you're worried about me.
Romeo: However nothing you say is going to change my mind.
There's nothing left for the crew to say in the face of Romeo's bitter obstinacy.
Lyria: Well, what are you going to do once all the bad guys are gone?
Romeo: All of them?
Romeo's eyes widen as he considers Lyria's words.
Romeo: That would be wonderful for Verona.
Romeo: But sadly it's not realistically possible, is it?
He despondently casts his eyes to the floor.
Romeo: (I wonder what I would do on the off chance that day ever comes.)
Romeo: (I'm staying in Verona to fulfill my role.)
Romeo: (But when I think about it, the risk of my lineage leaking out is too high. It'd be better if I left Verona entirely.)
Romeo: (And then what? What should I do after that? Become a skyfarer?)
Romeo: (I don't know. I can't imagine myself doing anything else.)
Romeo's habits haven't changed since (Captain) and company left.
He stops at a tavern to have a meal.
Bar Patron 1: Look, you got no idea what yer talkin' about. I think yer interpretation's totally off.
Bar Patron 2: Nah, you're the one that doesn't get it. That speech wasn't just about conflicting emotions. It was a metaphor for the monarchy's hubris!
The loud debate between two patrons reaches Romeo's ears.
Bar Patron 1: No, I get that, I get that. What I'm talkin' 'bout is the act as a whole.
Romeo hears their discussion about play interpretation and can't help but listen.
Bar Patron 1: Anyway it's complete garbage.
Bar Patron 2: Yeah, I was disappointed. Especially with the middle acts. It was so boring I dozed off.
The frank debate takes on a different tone as the patrons continue to sip their drinks.
Bar Patron 1: A speech that lame ain't gonna be enough to move the audience. I'm disappointed in Bill the Bard.
Romeo: Enough. I can't listen to your disrespect any longer.
Bar Patron 2: Huh? Don't go bargin' in on our conversation, kid.
Romeo: It's fine if you can't understand someone's work, but don't blame your ineptitude on the work or the author.
Bar Patron 1: Huh? You lookin' for a fight, boy?
Romeo: That play you were talking about just now—you do understand that middle acts happen in the middle of a play, right?
Bar Patron 2: Of course I do! So what?
Romeo: So that section of the play is where the roles of the characters suddenly deviate from the main thread of the story.
Bar Patron 2: Uh...
Romeo: Furthermore the middle act speech serves a vital role in tying together the beginning and ending of the play.
Romeo speaks about drama theory with a smoldering passion.
Romeo: Don't critique a play with that know-it-all look on your face when you can't even recognize the deep significance of each part.
Bar Patron 1: Why you little!
Bar Patron 2: Bah! Forget this. Let's go somewhere else!
Bar Patron 1: Man! That spoiled my drink!
The patrons leave the tavern in a huff.
???: Hah hah hah! That was wonderful!
Old Man: Well done!
The old man walks up to Romeo's table, mug in hand.
Old Man: Mind if I sit here, young man?
Romeo: Um, sure. And you are?
Old Man: I'm just an old man with an interest in theater like you. I wanted to have a chat.
Old Man: It seems to me you've got quite a passion for plays.
Romeo: Yes, I do, but what I did back there was a bit immature. That was embarrassing.
Old Man: No, no, it was very fun to watch.
Old Man: Here, have a drink and regale this old man with some tales.
Romeo: Uh, sure.
Old Man: So what's your name?
Romeo: My name is Condell.
Old Man: Condell, eh? Well then, cheers!
The old man introduces himself as Hemmings, and just as he said, he has a great interest in theater. The two enjoy an animated discussion.
The night grows late. They leave the tavern, and Romeo offers to walk Hemmings back to his home.
Hemmings: My goodness, that was certainly a fun time. Thanks for keeping me company.
Romeo: No, it's been a long time since I could forget about the world and enjoy myself.
Hemmings: Oh? A long time, you say.
Romeo: Well, what I mean is—
Bar Patron 1: Huh?
Romeo: Oh, it's you two.
Bar Patron 2: You're that guy that picked a fight with us at the first place we went to!
Bar Patron 1: We were jus' startin' to have a good time, and you had to go ruin it!
Romeo: I'm sorry about that.
Bar Patron 2: Huh? What was that? You messing with us again?
Bar Patron 1: How 'bout I show you some pain?
What I Wish to Say: Scene 3[edit source]
Friendship blossoms between Romeo and an old man named Hemmings. The hole in Romeo's heart is beginning to heal, but the sudden appearance of Escalus backers threatens to undo his recovery.
Hemmings: That was excessive.
Romeo: Sorry for putting you in danger.
Hemmings: Oh, no, no. You took care of things so quickly that I was never in any danger.
Romeo: Even so...
Hemmings: Hmm. You're a funny lad.
Hemmings: You have a rich love and understanding for the subtleties in dramatic works. But, at the same time, you're formidable with the sword.
Hemmings: I sense many things whirling inside you.
Romeo: I wouldn't say that...
Hemmings: But being unbalanced is risky.
Hemmings: It's especially clear when I see you bringing down judgment with your sword. You have a hole in your heart.
Hemmings studies Romeo quietly.
Romeo: How? How can you tell something like that about me?
Hemmings: Hah. People-watching is a hobby of mine. Plus I've lived a fairly long life.
Hemmings: Thanks to that I can tell a lot about a person just by looking at them.
Romeo: I see.
Hemmings: Something troubles you, am I right?
Hemmings: Open your heart and tell this old man. It might give you some solace.
Romeo: Hello, Hemmings.
Hemmings: Oh, Condell! I'm so glad you're here!
Since the night they met, the friendship between Romeo and Hemmings has gradually grown stronger.
Romeo hasn't revealed his past yet, but he has begun to speak openly about the worries in his heart.
Hemmings listens without delving too deeply.
His consideration helps Romeo's tattered heart heal little by little.
Hemmings: Hmm. And what do you make of this passage?
Romeo: Isn't it talking about one's own mother?
Hemmings: Oho! Now that's an interesting interpretation! But it fits pretty well, now that I think about it.
Hemmings: I should write this down somewhere. Huh? My pen's out of ink.
Romeo: Ink, ink. Oh, is this it?
Hemmings: Ah, yes, that's it. Thanks.
Romeo is lost in thought as he hands over the inkwell.
Romeo: (It's strange. This inkwell is quite expensive, and I bet the ink is expensive too.)
Hemmings lives in a modest house in the city.
Despite the frugal accommodations, Romeo notices several expensive items mixed in with the furnishings.
Romeo: (This desk, this pen, and this inkwell... They don't match with the other things he owns.)
Anyone other than Romeo wouldn't have noticed the value of these unassuming objects.
Romeo: (Just who is he?)
Eventually it dawns on Romeo that this isn't just any old man with a love for theater and drinks.
However Romeo has no intention of prying into Hemming's past while trying to hide his own.
Romeo: (I don't know who he is, but I wouldn't trade these moments of tranquility for anything.)
One night Romeo heads for Hemmings's house to share a bottle of fine wine that Hemmings had just obtained.
Romeo: I can't see the stars tonight.
A thin layer of clouds blocks any starlight from shining through.
Romeo: Heh. Since when have I started thinking about the stars?
He smiles slightly at the thought of being able to forget his troubles.
The sudden rush of dark figures down the alley snaps him back to reality.
He draws his sword with an apprehensive look on his face and chases after the footsteps.
???: So the target is around here?
???: Yeah. We've had to lay low for awhile, but security seems to have loosened up.
???: We're gonna show them our resolve hasn't been destroyed.
Romeo: How about showing me this resolve of yours?
???: Who's there?
Romeo: From what I can gather, you lot are Escalus supporters, aren't you?
Romeo: I knew it.
Romeo's eyes flash a look of sadness, but only for an instant.
Romeo: It seems your will hasn't been crushed yet. In that case...
He draws his sword slowly.
Romeo: Let's settle this here.
What I Wish to Say: Scene 4[edit source]
Hemmings is revealed to be the playwright Bill the Bard, who shows Romeo a heartfelt letter written by Juliet. Spurred by the letter and the success of a newly written play, Romeo starts on a new path to a brighter future.
Romeo stands motionless in the back alley, surrounded by the bodies of Escalus backers.
Romeo: You should understand the consequences of the choices you make.
His heart sinks at the thought that blood dripping down his sword seems to be a daily occurrence.
Romeo: Ah, this is no good. I promised to meet with Hemmings.
Romeo: Perhaps it'd be best if tonight is the last time I see him.
He finishes cleaning his sword and hastily leaves the alley.
Romeo: I'm sorry I'm late, Hemmings.
Romeo arrives at Hemming's house just past the promised meeting time.
Romeo: Hemmings? Are you there?
No response. He scours the dim room with a sense of dread.
Hemmings: Unh... Hurk...
Romeo runs over to a body curled up on the floor.
Romeo: Hemmings! What's wrong, Hemmings? Hang in there!
Hemmings: Ugh... Condell?
Romeo: Are you all right? What happened?
Hemmings: Oh, it's the same as usual. That's old age for you.
Romeo: Well, let's get you over to the bed.
Hemmings: You have my thanks.
Romeo helps Hemmings over to his bed.
Romeo: Is there anything you need?
Hemmings: Can you get me my medicine? Should be on top of the desk.
Romeo: On top of the desk... Ah, here it is.
In his rush to grab the medicine bottle, Romeo knocks over a notebook.
Romeo: Sorry! Hm? What's this?
The notebook flips open when it lands, and the writing on the page catches his eye.
Romeo: Is this a play?
The page is filled with notes detailing the conception of a new play.
Romeo: (Did Hemmings write this? No, wait. Where have I seen this handwriting before?)
Romeo: (That's right. It's the same handwriting I saw in Bill the Bard's notes back at the castle!)
He looks back at the bedridden Hemmings in shock.
Hemmings: Oh my, I guess the secret's out, eh?
A mischievous smile crosses Hemmings's face.
Romeo: So you really are the playwright Bill the Bard.
Bill the Bard: In the flesh.
Romeo: I heard you hated interacting with people and would never go outside. No one was even sure if you were a man or a woman.
Bill the Bard: Hmm. People come up with such interesting rumors nowadays.
Bill the Bard: It's true that I hide my identity, but saying that I hate people is absolutely false.
Romeo: Then why don't you make any appearances?
Bill the Bard: Too much of a hassle. If people knew my identity, I'd get swarmed.
Bill the Bard: I love people. That's why I want to see them in their natural state, just going about their normal lives.
Romeo: I see. That's what allows you to create so many masterful works.
Bill the Bard: Hah hah hah! Well, if it happens, it happens. Like I said, I just enjoy watching people go about their daily lives.
Bill the Bard: So how about that medicine?
Romeo: Oh, sorry.
Embarrassed, Romeo hands Bill his medicine.
Bill the Bard: Thank you. Oh, one more thing. There's a letter on a shelf next to the desk. Can you bring it to me?
Romeo: A letter?
Sure enough Romeo finds an envelope on the shelf.
Romeo: Here we go. It's addressed to Bill...
He flips the envelope over nonchalantly and gasps when he sees the signature on the back.
Bill the Bard: It was sent to me by the Capulet princess, Juliet.
Romeo: Are you two acquaintances?
Bill the Bard: Not at first, no. I met her after I got her letter.
Romeo: How did you obtain this? Even royalty would have difficulty getting in contact with you.
Bill the Bard: Indeed. Up until now I wouldn't have entertained a letter, much less granted an audience with anyone.
Bill the Bard: But then I met you.
Romeo: Me? Don't tell me you've figured out who I am?
Bill the Bard: Well, let's leave that matter for later. Why don't you read the letter instead?
Romeo: Are you sure I can?
Bill calmly nods his head.
Romeo: Okay, here goes.
His heart beats quickly as he slowly unfolds the letter.
Juliet outlines her plan for building a new theater in Verona.
She wants Bill to write a new play for its inauguration.
Romeo: A theater in the city...
Bill the Bard: Don't you think it's a grand idea?
Romeo: Yes. Verona's never had a theater of its own before.
Romeo: Now everyone can enjoy a performance whenever they want instead of having to wait for a stage ship to come by.
Bill the Bard: My thoughts exactly. That's why I decided to hear her out.
Bill the Bard: As for the new play, would you like to try and write it?
Bill the Bard: My body's not in the best condition, as you can see. I was thinking it might be time to put down the pen.
Bill the Bard: Naturally I thought about leaving the name of Bill the Bard to someone else.
Romeo: Are you talking about a successor?
Bill the Bard: I never thought about it that seriously. In the end the playwright known as Bill the Bard is shrouded in mystery.
Bill the Bard: It's no fun to die and let it end. I was just thinking it might be fun to keep the mystery going.
Bill's eyes sparkle like those of a child's. He speaks excitedly about his secret.
Romeo: I don't think I could ever write anything as well as you.
Bill the Bard: I'll support you of course. I made the suggestion from what little I've seen of you because I believe you can do it.
Romeo: That means a lot to me, but...
Bill the Bard: Before you say any more, why don't you finish reading Juliet's letter?
Romeo: Very well.
Romeo picks up where he left off.
Romeo: This is...
The letter is composed of Juliet's thoughts about the reconstruction efforts going on in Verona. It reads:
"The scars of war in the form of collapsed buildings and broken roads are recovering nicely."
"And yet what I wish for the most is for the healing of the people's hearts."
"I believe this new theater will be one piece of the healing process."
"I'm sure there are people who would say that now isn't the time for that, but that only strengthens my conviction."
"We need to face forward and become focused in order to make dreams become a reality."
"The long strife has taken its toll on all of us. This theater is for the sake of bonding with the wounded hearts of the people."
"Their cores are trembling, secretly yearning to feel the warmth of others."
"It's for that reason that I'm asking for your help in writing a play for us."
Tears quietly roll down his face as he finishes reading the letter.
A world where people's hearts can come together and heal was an ideal once dreamed up by two lovers.
Romeo: (These bloodstained hands of mine are so far removed from that ideal.)
Romeo: (Is there still something else a wretch like me can do?)
The new theater opens to unbelievable fanfare and applause.
Bill the Bard's new work is a huge success.
Romeo: Look at everyone's faces.
Romeo had secretly watched the performance from nearby, and now he observes the audience as they burst into thunderous applause.
Laughter, tears, and all manner of emotions can be seen on their faces.
Regardless of what expression they may have, it's plain to see that everyone is in high spirits.
Romeo: Ah, so that's what she meant.
A warm sensation wells in his chest.
Juliet: First I would like to sincerely thank everyone for gathering here on this special day.
Juliet is grinning on stage while she greets the audience.
Romeo: (Juliet, are you feeling the same way I feel now?)
His chest burns, for the love and desire he feels has not loosened its grip on him.
Just the sight of her smile is enough to reignite his joy.
Romeo: (Thank you, Juliet. I've been able to find a new calling in life.)
Romeo: (I believe this is the path to the ideal world we had envisioned.)
Listening to the roar of applause, Romeo has finally begun traveling down a new road toward the future.