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Sep 25, 2020 2:52 AM
daria summons demon azhga
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If Daria's wrong, Mariam is going to murder her. Well, if she's wrong that's probably the least of her worries, but somehow it manages to loom large in her internal calculus anyway.

She's not wrong. Look, she doesn't care how persuasive demons are supposed to be, unless they can literally do magic with their voice or something, nobody's going to talk her out of her soul. Probably. She hopes.

She checks the binding for the third time, makes absolutely sure there's nothing the demon can do if she doesn't agree to a deal. Nothing sticks out to her as a mistake. After a moment's thought, she grabs a spare sheet of paper and writes in big block letters

YOU PROMISED YOURSELF YOU WOULDN'T SELL YOUR SOUL

IF YOU'RE THINKING ABOUT IT DON'T

IT'S STILL A TERRIBLE IDEA

YOU IDIOT

SERIOUSLY

and tapes it to the wall behind the circle. She checks the binding over carefully for a fourth time. There's one line left to complete the cirlce - she fills it in and takes a cautious step back.

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Azhga takes a random circle. He glances over the binding when he appears. There is a very loose gag; the only word he can't say is "soul".

"...hi. I'm Azhga. What's up?"

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When he starts talking, she grins widely at him. "Daria, hi! Everyone keeps saying that you can't summon a demon without a gag because they'll talk you out of your soul but there's no reason that should work if I just promise not to trade my soul no matter what you say. Angels and fairies are basically normal people except the wings, there's no reason you should be able to magic me out of it or something."

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"...I applaud your open mindedness. As far as I know demons can't actually take...spirits..., they just think it's funny to pretend they can."

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"Wait, really? - first of all I would like to state for the record that is exactly what you'd say if you wanted me to give you my soul, but also fuck that, wow."

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“Like, I’m a really young naturally occurring demon, maybe taking, um, spirits, is possible but I don’t know about it, it’s not like I’ve tried. But. There are people who have sold their spirits multiple times, and people who don’t believe in spirits don’t seem to suffer negative consequences from selling theirs. There’s compilation videos of people selling their spirits in the Library of Hell and stuff.”

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"What do you want for the videos? It's really hard to find any information about people who've sold their souls, no one wants to admit it - also, uh, sorry about the 'spirit' thing, I promised a friend I wouldn't summon a demon without a gag and, uh. I don't like lying to her." Not that she expects Mariam to be impressed by this line of reasoning, but she hasn't lied. Technically.

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“No offense but that is a super weak version of not lying. Hm. I want to spend the next month on Earth—are we on Earth? I don’t care that much, any planet is fine, I just haven’t been on planets much. Hell is great but it’s a bit... meta-samey. And everyone being indestructible does weird things to the culture.”

He pauses. 

“I don’t want you to do anything bad with the videos, like, I dunno, using them to out people who have sold their spirits. I can offer to just make you a chiplocked computer which requires me to authorize unlocking the videos, but I’m okay with you doing non-evil things which involve them not being chiplocked. Do you have ideas?”

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"We're on Earth. I can't actually let you wander around without a gag, people'll freak out." And as far as potential for the demon to do evil things was pretty close to the worse thing she could do without snapping his binding, and she isn't about to risk other people for the information. "What I want is to be able to show people videos of someone selling their soul multiple times or whatever other evidence I can pull from there so someone who hasn't talked with the potential walking infohazard - uh, sorry - can make their own conclusions."

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"I can pretend to be gagged and I can pretend to be a fairy, but it's not really a sticking point, reducing humans' level of prejudice about demons is good anyway. The demons could just be pretending to be accepting the spirits after the first time, it's hard to prove conclusively beyond 'everything demons say about it sure points to no spirits'. ...I wonder if I can conjure for models of people whose spirits are in Hell, or something. Although that might get demons who used to be human even if demons can't take spirits." He tries. It does not go. 

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"Used to be human?"

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"...yeah? Most demons just kinda spawn but some used to be human, you can conjure for their works before they died and stuff."

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"Why does no one know this? Do you have proof? Is it just demons? Which humans? What the fuck?"

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"Nobody knows this? I guess that puts some concerns into perspective. I can do some forensics, you'd probably be more confident in it if you specified the search criteria. I don't have any reason to think it's just demons but I've met like, one fairy ever, and angels and demons don't like each other. If I conjure for the complete works of somebody I usually get stuff after they died, it took me a while to actually realize that humans die. I haven't actually checked what kind of daeva they were though."

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"No! No one knows this! If the angels and fairies knew and didn't tell us I'm going to - reevaluate my impression of the relative trustworthiness of daeva, anyway. Forensics, yes, um. One hour of forensics related to the task of figuring out what the fuck is up with that for... what do you want that isn't 'panic everyone by wandering around being obviously daeva enough that they check your binding'?"

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Shrug. "You don't really need to pay me, this is fun. Resummon me with a real gag and take me to a park later? Angels and fairies should know, I guess they can't trivially do forensics to actually check but they would have met daeva who used to be human."

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"Sure. Trade you the name of the last book I read and a promise to summon you for a visit to a park later for accurate forensics as specified?"

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"Yes summoner."

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"The Master and Margarita," she says with an ironic smile. "It felt thematic."

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"I'll read it once somebody gives me Russian. Forensics time?"

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"Complete works of ex-human daeva? Demons angels and faires separate."

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"...Not a conjurable parameter."

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"Complete works of all humans after death?"

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"Complete works? Maybe let's do complete published works, I don't really want to conjure people's private letters?"

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"You'll miss some people - but I guess that doesn't matter unless there's only a couple - first published work, then?"

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There is a lot.

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