Mar 28, 2020 5:48 PM
Maya and Raven in Daevinity
Permalink

Maya woke up to find that she had missed possibly one of the most important events in her life. Or, in fact, in anyone's.

But there was still the possibility it was all a hoax.

So she read some passages carefully, paid attention to the large warnings, and decided that today, she would be a little bit reckless.

Total: 47
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

Raziel has been trying to catch a random summons, without success, for the last fifty years. Summoners are few and far between, and she is far from the only angel interested in visiting Earth. 

Today, something seems to be different. Raziel has known for the last month that something was about to happen, but not what. Apparently the result of the something - or at least one result - is an abrupt increase in the number of random summonings, from one a week to dozens in the last hour, more than a hundred since she woke up this morning. 

She catches one. 

Permalink

She finds herself in a garage! There are shelves and walls and a stone floor and a circle with a binding…

Then there's the human standing nearby who may be stuck with her mouth open, just a little.

Permalink

Raziel has been practising this. "Greetings, summoner," she begins, flaring her charcoal-coloured wings slightly as she bows.

What was the next line?

Ah, yes. "Be not afraid," she continues, attempting to keep her voice serene and level rather than betray her excitement. "I am the angel Raziel. How may I serve you?" 

Permalink

Pause.

"So, not to ask too ridiculous a question, but –" She pauses. "Angels – daeva – actually exist?"

Permalink

Well, that's one she hasn't heard before. For a four-hundred-year-old angel, that is no small feat. 

"Clearly." Sarcasm is not appropriate for a professional angel, but it slips through regardless. "Of course, were I a figment of your imagination, no doubt I would say the same."

Raziel frowns, humour giving way to genuine curiosity. "How on Earth did you manage to summon a daeva without knowing of our existence?" She peers down at the circle, looking for clues.

Permalink

"I – loosely knew of it, wasn't totally certain. Someone released a book recently, did a couple stunts." Pause. "I only half believed them. Or. Maybe not even that."

Permalink

So that is the reason for the sudden jump in summoning. If Raziel ever meets the person responsible, she will have to thank them.

"Well. Now you know." The bindings seem to be reasonably competent, especially for a first-time summoner. Raziel could possibly think of a few ways around them if she wished to wreak havoc, but will have no trouble refraining.

"Is there anything more I may do for you? It has been some time since I visited Earth, and I would dearly like to stay awhile longer."

Permalink

 

"I'm not – wholly – sure on the extent to which your powers are just 'change things'."

Permalink

Raziel has given this lecture before, but more often to new angels than to a summoner. She calls up her standard summary in her head, editing it a little for her audience.

"Angels have the power to change any physical object, including ourselves and other people, into any other physical object with sufficiently similar mass and volume. 'Sufficiently similar' does not mean 'identical': I may change a small dense object into a larger less dense object should I choose. However, it is difficult to alter mass or volume by more than a single order of magnitude. 

"The only hard limit is that an angel cannot make something she does not know how to make. If I attempt to change, say, a stone into a pocket-watch, I must have detailed knowledge of a pocket-watch's workings. Similarly, working on the human body requires knowledge of anatomy."

She stretches out one wing to the extent permitted by the circle. "I sculpted these wings myself, from a substance common in Heaven known as 'cloud-fluff'. The knowledge to do so was gained through months of study regarding birds' wings and the creations of other angels."

Permalink

"… So quite 'just change things', then." Blink. "Can I ask if you have much knowledge of anatomy?"

Permalink

"Enough," she says with false modesty. "Human anatomy more so than most animals, but my studies have been wide and varied. Medicine was one of the first areas I sought to master, after becoming conversant in the major angelic languages.

"I have not visited Earth in fifty years, so any substantial developments since that time may have passed me by. Beside that, I should not have trouble with most anything you think to request. Four centuries of study can impart a sufficiently detailed knowledge of many things."

Permalink

"… Fifty years of medicine is quite a bit," says Maya. "But – um, I really should have come up with something in particular but I really didn't apparently think this would work –"

She looks out a window briefly.

"Would you be able to restore a shed? It's – I was going to say it's quite basic work but honestly I don't know what, um, you usually get up to."

Permalink

Raziel attempts a reassuring smile. "What I 'usually get up to' is flying around in a sea of cloud-fluff, occasionally turning some of it into food or jewellery or something else trivial. Heaven does not have a shortage of angels, and until today summons were rare." 

She cranes her neck, but cannot see out of the window without leaving the circle. "I should be able to restore a shed, yes. If it is missing enough material, I may need to borrow some scrap to make up the difference, but that is unlikely to be necessary given that you described the task as 'restore' and not 'rebuild'." Is that a hint of sarcasm returning? Surely not.

"I am not sure how thorough your instructions may have been," although she is eyeing the book in the corner speculatively, "so I will explain the workings of a deal. If you set me a task, you are also required to agree on a payment. Once we have come to an agreement, I may leave the circle and complete the task. I cannot be dismissed between completion of and payment for the task."

Permalink

"What sorts of things would you accept as payment?"

Permalink

"A modern medical textbook would be delightful, but I do not know how easy such a thing would be to obtain. In the absence of physical texts..." She considers the evidence around her, and concludes that Maya is unlikely to have any special access to the latest innovations. "Perhaps a verbal summary of technological progress since 1955? Some information filters through to Heaven, but not nearly enough."

Assuming the new rate of summoning continues, Raziel will have more opportunities to solicit details, and potentially examples or instructions, from future summoners. That being the case, the most useful thing for now will be knowing what requests it is possible to make. 

Permalink

"… Assuming I'm allowed to reference Wikipedia? That works."

Permalink

"So, for clarity, the deal is that I will restore your shed to your specifications, and you will summarise the last fifty years of technological advancement, potentially with the aid of reference materials. Are we agreed?

"Although" - she quirks a smile - "you may have to start by explaining Wikipedia, since I don't recognise the name. Some form of encyclopedia?"

Permalink

"We are agreed," she nods. "And yeah – so I don't know how much there was about computers back fifty years ago, they probably existed but weren't widely used? They've been developed a lot, we now have an interconnected system throughout the world, the data transfer is collectively called the Internet and then there are – sort of books, online collections of pages. So, Wikipedia."

Permalink

Raziel is not smug. Not at all. Absolutely no jumping up and down because she was right, she knew computers would be big - 

"Computers did exist," she confirms, "but only in a few places, and for limited purposes. You have casual access to one, such that you can utilise it to indulge the whims an angel you were not planning to summon?"

Having sealed the bargain, she is free to leave the circle, and accordingly steps forwards to stand next to Maya. On a fancy, she changes her wings to magpie colours, complete with a subtle gleam of iridescence on the black feathers. "We can continue this conversation while I work, if that is more convenient."

Permalink

Maya blinks at the show of power. "Uh, sure." She walks over to a door at the edge of the garage, assesses the winged person to see if they'll fit through, and then assumes they have some way of getting through if it'd otherwise be awkward.

"Computers are quite prevalent now, though, yes."

Permalink

Raziel follows her summoner - who has not yet introduced herself - through the door, folding her wings up small to do so and opening them back out once she has space. She could easily turn them into cloud-fluff and back, instead, but doing so becomes tedious after a dozen repetitions, and increases the chance that she will forget some small but important detail. 

"What is your name, by the way?" she asks, looking around in barely-concealed curiosity at her new surroundings.

Permalink

"– Alice," she smiles. Close enough. To her middle name. "And yours?"

Outside is a small garden. They're on the outskirts of a small town, the tallest buildings around are two storeys, and there's a fence all around the edge of the plot of land.

The shed is a relatively typical example of a garden shed, apparently made of wood but somewhat weather damaged and not particularly well looked-after. It shouldn't be too hard to repair.

Permalink

"My name, which I already mentioned - although you might have been distracted - is Raziel." She heads towards the shed, wings occasionally flaring for balance. "I chose it. You can use it to summon me again, in the future: replace 'an angel' with 'the angel Raziel' and it will call me in particular."

Raziel reaches the shed and begins walking around it to peer at all four sides. As she does so, she fires a string of questions at 'Alice', alternating repair specifications with general knowledge and technology questions. Would Alice like her shed a different colour? Treated to be water-resistant, perhaps? 

Permalink

Alice does not much care about the colour – her parents are not available for consultation and she doesn't think they'd mind anyway – but water resistance would be nice. It was quite a cheap shed.

"Sorry, about the name – it's not everyday you meet someone you wouldn't have expected to exist."

Permalink

"Hm?" Raziel begins repairing the shed, straightening out warped boards and encouraging broken ones to grow back together. Wood is one of her favourite materials with which to work, because of its complexity, and she is only half paying attention to the conversation.

"I cannot imagine, always having known humans existed."

Total: 47
Posts Per Page: