Jun 27, 2019 2:03 AM
an imrainai summons demon cam
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"...if you then make the station," she says, frowning. "I don't know that there's a point to adding conditionals you tell me to add, it's not doing very much work as a safeguard, but maybe it's at least good for getting in the habit of thinking about things. Which is apparently not something I'm accustomed to doing."

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"So, the point, mechanically speaking, of the task having two halves is that you can dismiss me if you've paid me but can't if I've done work you haven't paid for, and I can shake you down for whatever you agreed to give me if I've done my job and you haven't paid me. For this reason, it's best practice to pay your daeva before they do the task. In this particular case, since you've already paid me everything we've agreed on, it doesn't matter very much, but it's a good habit to be clear at all times on what you're exchanging and what you're allowing for what services, unless you have a more extended social relationship with a specific daeva. I guess if you don't plan to summon anybody ever again it doesn't matter much what habits you're in but I thought I'd mention."

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"Thank you," she says, very quietly, while her brain decides whether it's worth it to bother screaming about her general incompetence for a bit. "I really appreciate it. The trying to develop good habits seems important."

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"I am in fact qualified to teach a course on this but the full curriculum probably takes longer than you want to invest."

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"Probably. Not that I have anything particularly better to do, though I don't know that I'd be any good at learning it."

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"It's not one of those fields where you need to be able to think in twelve spatial dimensions. You mostly need to be thoughtful and attentive and not overextend your thoughtfulness and attentiveness."

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"I've probably been thoughtful and attentive at some point. I don't know that the world should trust me to be both of them consistently. But, uh, I'd like to learn it, even if I don't think I'm a very good person to actually use it. I don't think ignorance is making me any safer. Um, not that you have to teach me or anything, that sounds like a lot to ask of you, just don't feel bad about the pointers?"

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"I would be happy to teach you but I am unable to dispense valid certifications and also people might look at you funny."

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"Oh! People already do that. I live in a weird incompetent misfit colony on Pluto."

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"Surely the other incompetent misfits who... what's the philosophy here, increased extranet latency will result in people spending more time on non-extranet projects? Humans should live on the maximum number of rocks? - anyway surely anyone who'd look at you funny doesn't live close enough to look at you."

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"They're looking at us in spirit. Everyone here already knows I just summoned a demon and spent the past several hours with him, and they further know that I'm a weird bookworm person who insists on collecting obscure useless knowledge I'll never be able to do anything with, so I'm not super worried about them staring. Except insofar as they might think I'm in some kind of danger. And except insofar as you care. Uh, if you care."

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"Care if people look at you funny? I don't care if you don't."

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"Then we collectively mostly do not care," she says cheerfully. "Uh, I might care a little. But I care way too much about everything, and if I don't do things because they're a tiny bit stressful, then I'll probably just never do anything, and that doesn't really sound like a fantastic way to live."

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"Everything is stressful? Have you been evaluated for some kind of anxiety issue?"

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"...y'know, I'm gonna add that to my list of reasons why I should probably not be on Pluto right now. But today has admittedly been, like, way more stressful than most of the other days of my life. Combined. So that's something."

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"You're handling it well."

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"Thanks! I'm trying. You're being very helpful."

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"I'd ask for a good Davidson's rating, but I'm not on their list."

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"Ah. I'd leave a stellar review if you were. Um, OK, you've received your payment for the air, so - does it work if we negotiate the terms of the other station deal now, and then I give you your payment for that, and then I can figure out what else this colony needs while you work on the station designs?"

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"Technically unless this binding is weird in some way I have permission to make the stuff I need to design an arcology, and am tasked with making such an arcology. Although it has no other meaningful constraints on its parameters so if I wanted out I could hand you a snowglobe. We can renegotiate again as described just fine."

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"I wouldn't actually be upset if you handed me a snowglobe, given everything. But uh, something that could comfortably and safely support at least fifty people would be nice. Do I need to give you another book rec for it?"

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"Neither formally nor in what I'm going to hold out for, nope. Do you want to think about it while I design and make sure you like your wording and aren't going to be up all night in a week realizing you didn't specify that the plumbing has to be up to code?"

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"If I decide to stress about the wording then I'm going to stress about the wording no matter what I do. I'm not an architect, and I'm not going to be able to think of everything. Comfortably and safely. If it turns out to be unusable for whatever reason, then Elysium's not worse off than when it only had the one structure. Unless you plop it down on top of us, I guess. Don't do that."

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"I will make you a nice arcology."

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"Thank you," she says, smiling. "I'll see what else we need."

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