Jul 18, 2018 10:29 AM
every breath you take
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an imrainai summons demon cam
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"I'd appreciate a book if there's some left and yeah I bet folks would rather know."

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"Right, yeah," she says, and walks across the room to a cabinet with a few objects she really didn't want to lose. There are some fairly beat-up science fiction books with highlights and margin notes in them - some are classics, but some are obscure enough or new enough that he hopefully hasn't already read them. She places the small pile in front of him. "Hopefully one of these is good. Thanks so much for, um, for being good about things. I'll come back after things are - after people don't think they're about to die."

And now that she feels like she has thoroughly embarrassed herself to death, on top of holding onto about as much anxiety and relief as it's possible for a person to hold onto at the same time, she goes to see what the situation is like in the rest of the colony.

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"No problem," the demon says as she goes.

The instruments have registered the added air. Participants in the argument about angel efficiency are confused; the angel is outside on a rock run at the moment and hasn't heard yet. Everyone else is relieved.

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She explains that she has summoned a demon to create more air until the leak is fixed. They have an agreement and the situation is under control, though the leak itself does still need to be fixed. She does her best to look very serious and competent while she's explaining this - hopefully she can project enough confidence to get everyone to mostly believe that the situation is, in fact, under control. She doesn't mention anything about the loosened binding, that seems like borrowing trouble that she really isn't prepared to deal with. 

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"Can the demon fix the leak?" someone asks.

"Don't stick our necks out that far, the angel can do it, we just have to find it. How long did you - buy the demon for -"

"What does it want -"

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"Until the leak is fixed," she repeats. "I don't want to ask for anything else right now, if the angel can do it, but the air is handled, it's OK." She feels sort of terrible about not answering that last question, but she doesn't want to invite more questions that she may or may not be up for fielding. She'll be sure to erase the possible stain on his honor after the rest of the situation is handled.

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Efforts to find the leak are redoubled. Someone runs off to update the angel when he comes back with the latest sledful of rocks.

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Kalia is most of the way calmed down by the time she returns to the room with the demon, though her brain is now silently yelling that she's a terrible, terrible person for letting there be ambiguity about what their friendly neighborhood demon wanted. But hey, nobody's going to suffocate to death and nobody's going to rape her, so all in all she's pretty sure she doesn't have very much to be upset about.

"Hi," she says, much more cheerfully than before. "Uh, sorry again for inconveniencing you like this. Or sorry for the first time, I don't remember if I actually got around to apologizing before."

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"It's really all right. You know summonses are voluntary, right?"

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"Yeah, I know that, I just, um - feel bad for making a mess and then relying on the kindness of strangers to fix it. It's rude. And flagrantly irresponsible. And rude."

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"I assume you didn't cause the leak."

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"Well, no. We collectively made a mess. We didn't have to be living in a dangerous and unsafe colony on Pluto." She frowns. "Though I suppose the others would've been here regardless of where I was, and maybe none of them would've thought to summon a demon."

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"That's the spirit, I guess."

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She smiles tentatively. " - oh, I haven't introduced myself, have I. That was rude, too. I'm Kalia Teller."

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"Nice to meet you! I'm Cam."

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"Hello, Cam. It's nice to meet you, too. I imagine it still would be if you weren't in the process of saving my life."

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"I do try to be pleasant company, although I can't imagine we'd have met if you didn't need a demon really badly."

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"We would not have. You're, uh, nicer than I was led to believe demons generally were. But I don't summon anyone. I do try not to do horrifically dangerous things that I'm entirely unqualified for."

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"Many demons are really nice! But the really nice ones are less likely to take summonses."

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She nods. "I suppose it's probably easier to be altruistic when people don't assume you're evil and insist on not letting you talk."

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"Yes. Also if what you'd want to trade is, like, the chance to go to the real Bahamas, nobody's going to guess that. So a lot of demons only want to show up if they're in the mood for something a summoner will guess."

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"...oh. Well. That's depressing."

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"Yes."

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She sighs. "Why do you take summons? If that's not, uh, an excessively personal thing to ask."

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"I like helping people. There's nobody to help in Hell. Okay, that's not technically true, I could find something, but it would require skills I'm not otherwise interested in."

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