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Crossroads GO!

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Crowley needed a vacation from ruling. Not a long one, since the longer he was absent, the more likely his idiot sycophants were to decide they were better than him and try to usurp his throne. Getting back into sales for a week or two might be just the thing to relax and ignore the massive responsibility of running Hell. So deciding, Crowley shuffled a few people around, got some poor sod to feed his hellhounds, and set himself up as Crossroads Demon-in-Chief for the Southwestern United States for the next couple weeks.

For the most part, people were bargaining for the same sorts of things as they had always bargained for. Material wealth. Physical beauty. Prestige. Revenge. The very occasional saving of a loved one. It was a fairly boring routine, but the reminder that people didn't change, and that Crowley knew people, was reassuring after the last few years of upheaval.

Arriving at the latest petitioner's chosen crossroads, Crowley was torn between amusement and offense when the man who had summoned him, Pokebro Dudemon III, was too absorbed in his phone to notice Crowley's arrival. Peering over Dudemon's shoulder at the screen, Crowley saw the he was flinging red and white spheres at some sort of cartoon rhinoceros, and missing every single time.

"So," Crowley said conversationally, "What've you got there?"

"I can't catch this stupid Rhyhorn," Dudemon whined. "It keeps moving when I throw the ball!"

Crowley glanced skeptically at the screen. The "Rhyhorn" was standing still and occasionally tossing its head.

"Just to be clear, you want to sell your soul to acquire a cartoon rhinoceros?" Crowley asked.

"Wait, what?" Dudemon looked at Crowley for the first time. Crowley smirked and helpfully flashed red eyes to demonstrate that he was, in fact, the crossroads demon the man had summoned. "Shit." Hastily stuffing the phone in his pocket, turned to talk to Crowley properly.

"Sorry, no, I don't want to sell my soul for just a Rhyhorn. And it's not a cartoon rhino, it's a Pokémon."

Crowley had no idea what a Pokémon was, but he set the issue aside for the time being. "So what is it that you want?"

"I want a Ditto."

"I assume you don't mean that you want a repeated item in a list," Crowley stated.

"No, I want the Pokémon Ditto. It's supposed to be the rarest legendary in Pokémon Go. No one's even seen one yet, and I want to be the first person to catch one."

Crowley had designed the modern crossroads deal contract so the demon making the deal didn't necessarily need to understand a term in order to make it binding, so he burned the contract onto Dudemon's soul, sealed it with the standard (fairly lackluster) kiss, and sent Dudemon on his merry way to find and catch a Ditto within the next week.

The next day was spent observing Pokémon Go players. Dudemon may have been the first one to ask a demon for a virtual achievement, but he was far from the most fanatical player. Contested gyms alone would probably yield a couple deals per city.

*****

The aspiring Pokémon trainer checked her phone while she waited for the traffic light to change. The fountain with the Pokéstop was only across the intersection, but apparently she wasn't quite in range. The light finally turned green and she hurried across to spin the Pokéstop and set up a lure. There was a tamale stand and some tables around the fountain, so she decided to have lunch while she waited for the lure to take effect and start spawning Pokémon. She ordered her tamale and was just deciding which table to sit at when a short man in a black suit sidled up to her and said, in an English accent, "Want an Articuno?"