Otherwise titled: delays.
For those who don't follow the sometimes meandering comments in other posts, an issue has developed with the sorters.
An unresolvable one, as far as I can tell.
I set up some diagnostics and resetter functions. The quest runs, the dialogue command to the quest script works... and then nothing. The script hangs before any actual sorting takes place. The problem is it's not a code issue.
The script worked 100% until just a few hours of play time ago. I'd guess somewhere around the fifty-two hour mark. Since then, it dies every third or fourth use; and the only way to get it back up is to clean save. Annoying at best.
Tried stopping and starting the quest, tried forcibly resetting the sorting variables. No luck. It's in the script itself, and it seems to be corrupting in the savegame. Clean save flushes all this data, so the script is entered anew when you re-add the plugin.
Trouble is, there isn't a whole shit ton I can do about the issue. I'm already not re-using saves -- I create a fresh one each time, and periodically clean out all the old ones for space's sake -- and there's no real way to reset a script from within the game. Quests? Sure. But a script is a script until and unless it's removed and added again.
The other two sorters still work fine. For some reason, the game just hates the reloading sorter. Ironically enough, it's the smallest of the three -- but not surprisingly the one I use most. Just goes to show the universe still hates me.
About all I can do is switch to NCCS; see if that reloading sorter craps out regularly too.
This is another case when more information would be very nice. I know the script is the link of failure in the chain, but beyond that? I may as well be throwing darts at a board and attempting to contact dead relatives for tips. Some debug functions in this game would be nice. Except that they'd... y'know, not work. The debug mode would insta-corrupt saves, or refuse to print logs, or something else to make it totally useless.