[LMB] Penric Re-read

pouncer at aol.com pouncer at aol.com
Sat Jun 15 16:46:21 BST 2019

little Alex asks: 
>Would a demon in a smart animal be smart enough to cause the animal’s death so 
>that the demon can jump to a human?

Lois is ahead of this discussion.

A newly arrived demon in, say, a bear, doesn't know enough about either bears 
or humans to make a well-informed choice.  Except that the chaos leaking around
the demon in general will probably cause cancer, or other diseases, in the 
beast/bear will make things in general for both rider and ridden, so result in
a transfer soon after.  I would venture that no, or vanishingly small numbers
of, animals are smart enough to connect the perceptions of "now" with the
anticipation of "later" to prevent these sorts of disease symptoms. 

An experienced demon that accidentally arrives in, say, a fox, has a
different problem.  The mind of the demon is essentially copied from,
and dependent on, the rider -- and a smaller mind can't "hold" all the
abilities of former riders -- or the demon's former capacities.  The 
question is whether the notion of "upgrading" to a better rider is a
core ability of the demon's, which would carry across.  The one instance
we have, the mental desire (if any) to upgrade is in conflict with
the emotional desire to mother cubs. (The desire is augmented, I think, 
by vixen's physical need to suckle those cubs.) 

The so-far unexplored case may be a demon ridden by a lower-ranked
beast of a social pack, like a wolf.  The original wolf-rider (Hi,
Wendy Pini!) most likely gives the low-status beast some advantages
in the pack, at first.  Then the pack leader challenges, and 
(if the moment chosen is right)  kills the (cancerous) upstart -- and
becomes the rider in turn.  The demon experiences this transfer and
may recognize the "upgrade".  This may even carry over, several 
generations,  as the original pack leader suffers the chaos-induced
diseases, chooses to challenge the most-likely successful challenger,
and transfers several times,  always bringing across roughly the
same-"sized" mind. Sort of like creating a "Great Beast", but in
a wholly different progression.  

The conflict between a "Great Beast" and a beast possessing an
experienced demon might be interesting drama.  The demon could
not, I think, jump to the Great Beast because that mind is already
full.  But as my son used to ask of such hypotheticals: "Who would
win?"  That's -- hard to think about. 

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