Talbot walks, dwelling on the ritual at hand. How long had it been since he had called Paimon to him? Too long. Too Soon. He couldn't recall, nor did he particularly wish to. The demon had been his only friend for a long time, even if he knew that friendship wasn't real. Paimon was a demon with the same goals as him. Or so he liked to believe. Paimon believed in mankind and mankind's thirst for knowledge. He answered all questions with the truth, and expected the same courtesy extended to himself. Talbot shifted uncomfortable, tome under his arm. He grimaced, and thought about what the demon meant to him. Paimon. Commander of two hundred legions. Loyal to Lucifier - may Heaven black his name. He knew how Keyes felt about demons. And he was right to think so.
Demons were tricky. They were clever. They didn't care about mortals. They believed in man's ability, simply because it was more valuable to them to put faith in man over God. There was no point in putting faith in God anymore. God no longer mattered to them. And it didn't matter to the Conjurer. Talbot no longer cared about the big picture. He cared about what was there, what was tangible, and what he knew was the right thing to do. He was going to figure out who these people were - cultists, marauders, monsters, and he was going to destroy them. But not without a little metaphysical help. Even from the demon Paimon.
Talbot looked up at the abandoned building, his nose wrinkling slightly, and his hands tightening around the spine of the brown book. He looked up at the stained cement, the broken windows. The grimace on his face became enhanced, sharper somehow. His head was still racing. He wasn't sure where he was getting the blood from. He supposed it would have to be from himself. His partner wasn't willing, after all, and a demon loved willing sacrifices more than any other. Without another word, he walked into the building. He passed through the peeling wallpaper, and the cracked wooden steps. For him, it was like they didn't exist. That none of it existed. It was far away for Talbot, who seemed to have an aura of transcendence around him. He didn't see any of it with those cold brown eyes.
For him, there were only demons and blood rites, and the death of sanity.
His freehand went into his pocket. It was filled with salt and iron fillings, as was typical. They kept evil at bay, along with most other things. It was already singing his fingertips. He would use that to bind the creature. Then there was the knife in his pocket. The modern witches of the world had a fancy knife for it. Athame or something. But in truth, it was a thin, silver knife that had been Talbot's since his boring suburban life. It had a black handle. All ritual blades did. Talbot didn't know why, in his grand assortment of books and occult knowledge, it simply was. To summon the Devil, God hope you have a blade with a black handle.
When they got to the apartment on the second floor, Talbot almost felt like he was going to live to see thirty.