Science-fiction writer Robert Sheckley wrote a story titled “Protection,” whose first-person protagonist acquires a guardian angel. The angel is actually a validusian derg — an invisible, immaterial being from another plane of existence, present only as a voice in one’s head. The derg’s sole satisfaction is to keep a human being safe from harm.
Like all pacts with the supernatural, this one turns out to have a downside. By taking on the derg, our narrator has made himself conspicuous to that other realm. Dangers multiply. The derg explains:
“If you accept protection, you must accept the drawbacks of protection . . .”