Jun 23, 2021 7:17 PM
Demon Cam in Frostpunk
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A woman is drawing pentagram after pentagram on the floor of a boarded up library. She's already going to Hell, and soon, since the food and firewood has run out and nobody's letting her in and she doesn't have a car or enough money for a bus ticket, and someone had a series of weird occultist books, so why not try? It's better than just sitting there shivering. She chants as she draws the outer part of the circle.

This person speaks a 19th century dialect of English in an American accent, and a bit of badly misunderstood Latin.

"-What, did it actually work?"

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"...yes? Were you not exp- wow, okay, that's not safe, why are you doing that -" he says, glancing at the series of drawings.

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"I-"

She falls to her knees, laughing detachedly.

"Because I have no money, no food, and no firewood, and no job. But I didn't expect this occultist stuff to be real. But it's the last autumn and I'm damned, so why not, right-?"

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"You're n- the - what do you mean the last autumn?"

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"I'm an adulterer. And my husband's dead now anyway even if I wasn't. So, damned. The- The world's freezing! It's been in the newspapers for months. This year there was barely a harvest, and next year they say the snow's just not going to melt. Maybe ever again."

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"- okay, uh, what were you hoping to accomplish with demon-summoning, what do your books say we do."

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"Trying to distract myself from how I'm going to die and go to Hell, mostly? Um. There was stuff about extending your life, powers of persuasion, unholy bargains..."

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"Uh-huh. Uh, what demons actually do is we make arbitrary material objects."

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"-Like, enough coal and food to feed New York City for a century, is that on the table, because if I'm going to make deals with a demon I want to save people."

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"I wouldn't go with coal, bad for your lungs, but heat and food yes."

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"What else is there, wood? Oil burns, I think? Mirrors? Um. I'm honestly pretty confused right now and wondering if I'm dreaming or something."

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"I know, right, this is actually very weird for me too! I would probably default to electrical generators and assorted heating devices that charge off those?"

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"Like the mad scientist Tesla? Well, if it works nobody would refuse them. God, the savages of the world probably need that even more than we do, at least we have faith."

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"I'm lacking, uh, sociological context?"

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"...This is Wisconsin? The middle of nowhere in Wisconsin. But in places like Cuba and Mexico there's no way they know how to handle winter, and the savage tribes in Africa and Madagascar and Indonesia - there was this sickening op-ed in the Times with pictures of Zulus staring dumbfounded at snow, but they're all going to die-"

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"Yeah, sounds like I need to induce some global warming."

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"You can do that? I don't think anybody understands why this is happening. There are supposed to be - compounds, colonies, where people can evacuate to. Not here, obviously. I think people in town are just praying for deliverance or planning on trying to survive by hunting."

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"No one knows why you're having a little ice age? Really?"

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"They said it might be the sun is getting dimmer, it might be a big asteroid hit in Siberia or somewhere and put dust in the air, it might be something to do with magnetic fields and the atmosphere, it might be because of reflective chemicals put off by industry... I just read the newspapers, I don't know. Sorry."

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"...okay, well, for the immediate moment, can you show me out of this depressing little basement so I can get started?"

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She frowns and looks indecisive. "But... You're a demon."

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"Yyyyes, but that doesn't stop me from running into dead ends on my way upstairs. Is this even a basement - oh, the windows are boarded up - I guess that puts an upper bound on how desperate for firewood people've gotten -"

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"They'll be burning books soon enough. Um. Aren'tdemonsevil."

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"I'm not sure quite what religious background you're working from here but rumors of our evil are greatly exaggerated. Also, like, there is not a functional binding on this circle from the looks of things, so if I wanted to do evil, I would not require much cooperation."

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"-I'm not going to cooperate with enabling evil and I don't know how you work, just, stupid occultism books I didn't expect to do anything- So just in case you're lying you should leave without my help or agreement or anything, if you want to leave. Uh! This doesn't constitute permission or anything."

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"...I think you might be thinking of vampires but suit yourself." It's gonna be cold out, so he materializes himself a few layers. Including a snazzy leather coat to tuck the wings into. He looks for the exit.

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