"Well, I suppose it would be unreasonable to expect you to be an oracle. About all those purity-keepers you're prophesied to kill..."
"Is it really necessary to kill them?"
"The amount of time it is taking you to accomplish this is not the thing that's bothering me."
"There probably isn't enough time to convince the right people to stop sacrificing purity-keepers in time to save any purity-keepers from being sacrificed, and if you somehow did anyway, it would still be really disruptive. It would... it's... the point of sacrificing the purity-keepers, and doing it in this way... it's that now the time of purity-keepers is over for good and we don't have to go around killing people anymore. And the message is being successfully communicated. Suddenly deciding at the very last minute not to kill the purity-keepers after all... well, people might get the idea that we weren't taking the 'not killing people anymore' part seriously. It would damage the consensus. And it's a good consensus."
"Are you cognizant of the irony of announcing that it's time to stop killing people by killing a bunch of people?"
"I can't actually read your body language at all."
"Look, if you think killing all the purity keepers is definitely the only next step that will do the trick I don't have nearly enough information to contradict you, billions of people have already died today and these ones aren't special to me in any positive way, but you seem like the least pro-death faction of your species I have run into and I'm just wondering if it seems weird to you that this project of minimized death kicks off with lots of ritual murder."
"I don't understand what else you think we could have done. I'm not happy that we're killing the purity-keepers, but it's working, and that's important. So unless you have the power to go back in time and destroy civilization over again until it works out in a way you like, I don't know what good it will do to analyze the aesthetic characteristics of the choice."
"I don't consider death in general an aesthetic matter, unless my computer translating is glitching."
"Yes, but I didn't remark on it because I wanted to share my literary appreciation with you. I remark on it because I don't understand what principled distinction your faction draws between purity-keepers and other potentially appealing targets of violence. Do you want to kill any surviving purity-keepers on other planets? If their elsewhere employed loved ones try to save them or get revenge what's the stance on that?"
"The ritual sacrifice of purity-keepers as laid out in the prophecies is a very specific and limited thing. Any purity-keepers found here after the sacrifice period will be rehabilitated, or allowed to commit suicide or leave. Anyone who tries to interfere with the sacrifices is an ordinary person committing an ordinary crime, and the same with someone who tries to harm the people who carried out the sacrifices after they're done."
"Well, nobody told me what the contents of the prophecies were," Cam points out. "What's the rehabilitation process like? How do you handle ordinary crimes?"
"Can you tell me more about the prophecies?"
"The prophecies themselves are secret, but their policy effects aren't. They dictate that during the first quarter-day of the new order we must ritually sacrifice the purity-keepers, and then afterward all the things the purity-keepers used to do are either someone else's job or not done at all. And the killing-people parts are one of the things that now aren't done at all."
"Why are the prophecies secret?"
"I suppose that's reasonable as religions go. I'm about set to leave you guys to it until I've checked out the other planets and talked to the maze people. Anything I should know before I go?"