82,298 to 84,373 in about an hour. The aforementioned twist seems to have worked out all right, adding a bit of tension and a good chance for our protagonist to show off some of the things he's learned during his journey. I am having to work a bit to keep red tape and bureaucracy from invading the pages, just based on where the story is right now. It's not exciting and engaging to hear about pages of debate and council meetings, even though it is what would happen in "real life" as it were. Instead, we'll be skipping past that crap and summing it up in a few paragraphs (if that) so we can keep going on to the more interesting bits. Time to get the concluding scenes started!
edit: Up to 85,671 after another 40 minutes.