ask_nicely: (m. That desperate)
Adana Emma Sanders ([personal profile] ask_nicely) wrote2014-05-30 07:58 pm

Filtration

The far east side's filtration system's air duct is broken. There is a hole in it, leaking out into space. It's not the only one of its kind, but it is the latest. There are summoners already working to fix it. Adana wouldn't be much help. She keeps tabs on it, though - and she does the math in her head. After quite a lot of math, she realizes that with how much oxygen has already been lost, and with the cap on how much their hydroponics can produce...

Shuttles aren't due for another two months. There have been petitions for them to show up sooner, with supplies and extra O2 containers and places for refugees. They have been denied. Favoritism towards one colony over another would breach international treaties of fairness. Without it, they will probably reach the point where they don't have enough oxygen to support everyone. In such an event, administration might be forced to pick a district to - to stop breathing. Respectfully, with a thousand apologies, with all of their last wishes followed and all children evacuated from the area. The resulting casualties would be heroes. But dead they would be.

This is unacceptable.

Adana's a summoner, she does not have to stand for this. Fairies would be completely useless in the situation, and every summoner and their mother is summoning an angel to convert unnecessary items into plants or oxygen. She hopes it will be enough, she honestly does, but she's done more math and doesn't consider the percentage of it working high enough.

But there is another thing she could summon. Something that could just make air, or better yet - a space station or lunar colony that isn't lacking in as much funding as her pathetically run-down home of Bartalamos. She finds design specs from the space station Harmony, tweaks them a bit to shove aside the focus on 'science' and more on 'habitation' and adds lots and lots of places for hydroponics. She checks it over, twice, deems it to be better than Bartalamos, and then - then she is going to summon a demon.

Demons have a certain reputation about what they will trade their abilities for. To put it succinctly: a person's soul, or - certain sexual favors. Adana isn't sure if the soul thing is even possible, but she is not going to take the warnings lightly. She locks herself in her room with her specs and hammers out which is a better option: getting raped or losing her soul or possibly both, or hundreds of deaths.

Not a difficult choice.

She draws up the summoning circle shortly after, hands shaking. She is thinking of how to bind the demon to not speak unless it's about the contract, but then there's an announcement over the comm. It is about how every person on this colony has a duty to their fellows, and that if in the event that there must be a - Adana can't help but call it a slaughter - to save the lives of everyone else on the station... Then that is their duty, and they will be remembered.

Adana skips trying to bind what the demon says. She hasn't summoned a demon before and hasn't needed to with the angels or the fairies she's kept to, and looking it up would waste valuable time. If she's tempted out of her soul, fine, it's worth it, she'll give it up in a heartbeat if it means someone's mother or brother or uncle can keep living. She is careful about making sure the daeva can't get out or do anything that is not part of a contract they set. Nothing that she cannot get legally, nothing that is not hers - other lists. Other things, that she can't give up, that go into every summon.

(There is no clause that says, 'You cannot demand I have sex with you' or 'You cannot demand my soul' - Adana doesn't dare, not when the demon might say no.)

She finishes the circle. Then, shivering - she sends out the call to summons.
from_scratch: (c ~ list of books)

[personal profile] from_scratch 2014-05-31 12:40 am (UTC)(link)
Cam nabs summons when he can. Sometimes he doesn't catch them in time - he's asleep or distracted and the summoner gets a different demon, or maybe thinks better of the idea - but on this particular occasion all he's doing is reading (physics, useful stuff). Maybe he'll get to do something worthwhile today. There are advantages to existing in the sideways sort of utopia that he calls home, but the availability of meaningful occupations isn't one.

He shuts his book and lets the summon catch him.

The first surprise is that this is a sloppy job. This summoner is lucky they got him and not any of a dozen demons he can think of who consider humans fun to scare. Or maim.

The second surprise is that it's a sufficiently sloppy job that they're letting him talk, and that's nice surprise.

He turns a pleased smile on the pretty demon-summoner. "Hi! I'm Cam. How can I help you?"

He flexes his wings - they're dusk-blue, and match his barbed tail, which was added almost out of whim some ninety-five years ago. The wings are unimpeded by a shirt, and the tail has plenty of freedom of movement over low-slung exquisitely fitted jeans in just the same color.
Edited 2014-05-31 00:45 (UTC)
from_scratch: (g ~ pinhole)

[personal profile] from_scratch 2014-05-31 12:52 am (UTC)(link)
"In order - presumably, yes, aaand - given blueprints or a couple weeks," says Cam, "no problem. Plants are easiest of those in terms of what I'd need template-wise to go off, since I've done plants before, but maybe too slow in the quantity you're looking for if the alarm's going off already. They'd be one at a time."
Edited 2014-05-31 00:52 (UTC)
from_scratch: (h ~ put on wings)

[personal profile] from_scratch 2014-05-31 12:55 am (UTC)(link)
Cam looks at them. "Looks good - I'll have to make one of the shuttles first and putter out to where you want the station put, though, I can't make things from miles away and I don't think you want to wait for me to flap a million miles."
from_scratch: (Default)

[personal profile] from_scratch 2014-05-31 12:59 am (UTC)(link)
"I'm not possessed of an up to date map of what-all space debris there is to avoid these days; do you have a candidate spot picked out or d'you mean for me to guess?"
from_scratch: (e ~ making)

[personal profile] from_scratch 2014-05-31 01:03 am (UTC)(link)
"I'm pretty easygoing about where I construct space stations. All right, so, shuttle, fly thisaway, build that thing, populate with shuttles, that's the plan?"
from_scratch: (d ~ useful things)

[personal profile] from_scratch 2014-05-31 01:06 am (UTC)(link)
"Done," he says, with sufficient finality that the circle ceases to confine him; he stretches a wing past its border. "All right, where's my takeoff point and are you coming along?"
from_scratch: (f ~ real sun)

[personal profile] from_scratch 2014-05-31 01:08 am (UTC)(link)
"Okay then." He steps out, tilts his head, waits to be shown the way. "Do you know how to fly the kind in the blueprint or should I make the first one something I know how to handle?"
from_scratch: (k ~ indestructible)

[personal profile] from_scratch 2014-05-31 01:15 am (UTC)(link)
Cam doesn't pay them any attention either. "Right then, console straight out of a thirty-year-old video game it is. I'm not going to crash the thing. Well, on purpose, anyhow."
from_scratch: (d ~ useful things)

[personal profile] from_scratch 2014-05-31 01:22 am (UTC)(link)
"Minimal commentary preferred? Here I thought I might have landed in a circle without a gag order because you cared to chat, but no." He flips through the blueprints to the part with shuttles on it and sets about constructing one.

He's making modifications, mapping the inputs for the vehicle's various behaviors onto a set of buttons that he did in fact learn to operate out of an old video game. The mapping's close enough; there are features that aren't covered but he doesn't expect to need them and he can always flip up the panel to reveal standard controls under it if he wants them.

He hops into the pilot's seat when he's through; it took about a minute and a half given the adjustments.

"I imagine you'll have to direct me to the exit and calm down whatever passes for air traffic control."
from_scratch: (c ~ list of books)

[personal profile] from_scratch 2014-05-31 01:30 am (UTC)(link)
"In a hurry, but not too much of a hurry to make pointed remarks about my gender to third parties, understood."

He drives them out of the shuttle bay and up into the sky. "You need a license to summon now? Somehow I missed that. Do they make you take a certifying exam? Pay fifty lunamarks?"
from_scratch: (d ~ useful things)

[personal profile] from_scratch 2014-05-31 01:36 am (UTC)(link)
"Man, I remember when it was completely unregulated because the only people who knew about it were the ones who were into it personally."

Zoom! He inputs the coordinates for their target destination after he breaks lunar orbit.
from_scratch: (c ~ list of books)

[personal profile] from_scratch 2014-05-31 01:41 am (UTC)(link)
"So you were very excited about summoning demons to fly you around in shuttles and build you space stations, huh?"
from_scratch: (d ~ useful things)

[personal profile] from_scratch 2014-05-31 01:45 am (UTC)(link)
"Oh, is that why the terrible circle. It's pardoned, it made my week, usually all I get to say is 'yes, summoner' or 'no, summoner', they don't even include an option for 'close but no cigar, summoner' or 'go fuck yourself, summoner'."

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