Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Daimone-Haunted World: Karl

(First post!)

I contacted the local authorities, of course. They expressed proper concern, asked me (repeatedly!) if I was sure I had really seen a daimone, and not just a minor sprite or false-working, assured me that they'd investigate the matter with all haste and thoroughness, told me that I should go about my business as usual.

I remained unsettled.

So my feet carried me astray; and I arrived, not at the secure connection in town, but at the house of my friend Karl. At my arrival, he flung open the door and rushed forward to embrace me, as was his custom. This might have been more comfortable if Karl had not been built to, approximately, the dimensions of your average bear.

I endured his bone-crushing hug - with good humour, I think - and stepped back to look up at him. "What are you doing here?" he asked me, some concern in his voice. "Has the university finally cut off your funding? Are you here for a job? You know I would always have a position available, for you."

"No, no," I told him, shaking my head. "They've not caught on to my slothish ways just yet - and when they do, you'll probably know about it before I do. No, I... I'm not sure why I came here."

Karl furrowed his brow. "You sound troubled. Not your work, so... woman troubles? Has our little Prathy finally found true looove?"

"Oh, shut up," I told him, covering my face with my hand. "You're less than a year older than me, anyway. No - this is serious. I saw a daimone today."

"A daimone?" Karl asked, his voice worried. "You don't mean - a free daimone?"

I nodded.

"Are you all right?" Karl asked, now very concerned indeed. "I'm sorry - I wouldn't have crushed you like that if I'd known - are you hurt? How much damage did it do before you banished it?"

"That's the thing," I said. "It didn't do anything at all. It just looked at me - and vanished."

"...I'm no expert," Karl said, "But from what I do know about daimones - mostly gained from hanging around with you - that sounds very, very strange."

I nodded wearily. "You won't hear me argue the point. I've studied the discipline for - what - seven years, now? - and I've never heard of anything like it. I talked to the govvies, and they said they'd look into it, but... I don't know. Honestly, I'm tempted to make a call to the big base on Europa, get people who I'm sure could clean things up."

"What?" Karl said, shocked. "Bring the military into things? What are you thinking?"

"I'm nervous," I told him. "And when it comes to the occult, when I get nervous, I get - well - paranoid."

Karl shook his head at me. "No, no, no. You saw this thing for - what? Two seconds? You're overreacting. The govvies humoured you, yes - but do you really think you could get a dropship in from Europa on such a tiny proof?"

"For a loose, anomalous daimone? Very possibly," I told Karl.

We stood there for a moment.

Then I shrugged. "But I don't know. Maybe you're right. For the moment, I guess I'll just wait and see."

"That's the spirit," Karl said. "Here, you're welcome to use my facilities, while you're here. You know I have the best communications setup on all of Io - all of the Four Moons, if I say so myself."

I thought about this for a moment. "Sure," I told him. "Now that you mention it, I've got a couple of people I want to contact."

"Like Mark?" Karl asked.

"Yes," I agreed. "Like Mark."