As Dion enters the main doors leading to the Guardia Headquarters, he hears his name being called from the desk. Halting, he sees Corporal Philippus Stathos waving and beckoning him over. With measured, precise strides, the god closes on the desk.
“Good Morning, Corporal Stathos. How may I be of assistance to you?”
“Sir, a number of boxes arrived from your uncle’s estate for you. I had the courier move the boxes to the bar area in the other building.”
“Ah. I had expected a delivery,” Dion responds. “Thank you for handling this for me. I shall attend to it immediately.”
As Dion turns to leave, he halts and again addresses the corporal. “Before I leave, Corporal, I wonder if I might trouble you with a question.”
“Of course, sir. What is it?”
“I ran across a small street gang this morning. I had the opportunity to interact as they were concerning themselves at that point with a rival gang member. One of the members is a kunoichi. Fairly young, I would suspect. Do you know anything of her?”
The corporal’s breathing accelerates upon hearing that a Guardia Dei ran into a street-gang fight. Thus, he is momentarily stunned at the rather benign question. “A kunoichi, sir? Yes, I believe there is a young lady martial artist who recently joined a gang south of the station. But I do not know much of her, sir.”
The god nods, as if considering the answer. “That is fine. I’ve had two encounters with her over the previous twelve hours and was just curious. It is really of no matter.”
“Very well, sir. If I do find out more, I’ll be happy to let you know.”
“Thank you again, Corporal. That is most kind. Now, I will attend to the delivery. Please let the Inspector know of my whereabouts when you see him.” And, taking his leave, Dion passes through the station towards the annex, leaving the corporal staring at his departure and asking a question to the air, “But what about that street-gang fight?”
Arriving in the bar area, Dion sees the not-insubstantial stack of boxes somewhat blocking off the bar. Standing next to the boxes are two Bunnies, Cherry and Rosemary, both with unhappy looks on their faces. On the other side of the room, he sees Shade with the three younger Bunnies. As he approaches the lady bunnies, out of reflex, Dion turns on the charm.
“Ladies, good morning!” He quickly scans their faces in an attempt to read the focus of their concern.
Cherry is first to turn to Dion. “Are these your boxes that are blocking our bar?”
Dion, halting his approach, considers the question. “Your bar? I wasn’t aware that we’ve established this as a working business.”
“Cherry and I have decided t’go into business. That is if that Inspector will agree,” Rosemary adds. “But we can’t get started on cleanin’ up the place with all these bloody boxes here.”
“Ah. I see your dilemma… Well, I was hoping to establish living quarters at one of the neighborhood businesses. But sadly, I was misinformed as to their intentions. Thus, currently, I have no home to move these into.”
“Why don’t you build a room here, like our Mistress did?” Rosemary inquires. “She just took one of the rooms downstairs, and,” waggling her fingers in mock magic, “turned it into a home for us.”
“Hmm…a pocket universe…maybe. But I would still need a place for the door.”
“Why not here?” Cherry asks. “You wouldn’t have to move the boxes far, and we would love to have your help with the bar. If you’re nearby, that would help.”
Dion stands rubbing his chin as he thinks. “It would be close to work, and avoids that street-gang problem…Very well, ladies, here it is.” Now looking around, he muses, “But where do I create my door?”
“How about in the kitchen?” Cherry suggests, tossing a thumb at the room behind the bar.
“Well, let’s look.” Dion responds, and all three enter the kitchen.
Looking around, Rosemary remarks, “I think this place might be a bit small for you to move into.”
“Oh size, dear bunny, is not a concern,” Dion says as he walks to the pantry door. “This should do,” he notes to himself.
Placing his hands atop the doorway, Dion closes his eyes and slowly lets his fingers follow the framing of the door. As his hands lower to his belt height, each hand lightly touching the framing on both sides, he whispers a well-practiced spell, a spell used when a secret and secure place is needed for a rendezvous with the young lady of choice for that evening.
Both bunnies are startled when the pantry door shimmers and becomes translucent, overlaid by a void. Different from the void barriers hastily erected to trap the demon dogs, this void has light inside it, diffused at its perimeter. Stepping into the room, Dion enhances the spell. Working from his long-etched memory of his home, the light begins to coalesce, taking form in the shapes of walls, floors, and ceilings. Further refinement creates furniture and lighting. As Dion applies the final touches, the walls gain color, fine bedding adorns the bed, sized large enough for a guest or two.
Dion takes a deep breath. Opening his eyes and seeing his pocket universe complete, he makes a mental note to replenish his mana from the Department of Magic, a gift from his wizard friends for their time with the Professional Ladies of the Night Guild.
Returning to the two Bunnies, he takes each in hand and escorts them into his place of residence. Both look in awe over the fine wood furniture, rich sculptures, expensive silk bedding, the diffused lighting and the study area with the quality teak desk and bookshelves. Their view of wonder finally dissolves into squeals of happiness as they check out the room, the adjoining bathroom, and comfort of the bed, bouncing on it and laughing. Dion looks to each bunny and smiles.
“I see you appreciate my new home.”
Rosemary wrinkles her nose at the god and responds. "Heh, ours is prettier, but yours is OK too!" and then giggles and continues bouncing on the bed.
Cherry is first to break from her frivolity, and she asks Dion. “But what do we do about a pantry?”
“Oh, the pantry is still there,” Dion responds. “I’ve merely overlaid its door with the doorway to my little home here. When you leave, I’ll close my door. Then, all you will see is the pantry. I, however, will have access to this home, and you too if accompanied by me,” he completes, considering the opportunities for liaisons between Gods and Bunnies. He sees Rosemary returning his look of interest with a similar one of her own, but as he’s considering how best to handle the possibilities, he sees young Sage poke his head in. The male Bunny looks at Dion as if evaluating him, then at Cherry and Rosemary, making a Come on gesture with his head.
Rosemary sticks her tongue out at him, but says to Dion, “Sorry, but we’ve got the younger ones to take care of. And we do need to get the bar cleaned up...”
“Of course. If you ladies will help me with the boxes, we’ll get them out of your way.”
Over the span of the next half-hour, with the assistance of the three Bunnies, the bar area is cleared and Dion’s belongings are safely put away in his pocket universe.
Sitting back in his desk chair, Dion sips a glass of water, magically purified through a process he developed during his academy training. Impurities in the water are magically separated and disposed of through a small, void-barrier membrane. The pure water is then recycled for use.
The magical purification gained him high marks from an instructor whose daughter was most active in gymnastics and swimming, but as a naiad had an aversion to less-than-clean water. She was most grateful to Dion for providing her a way to swim in only the purest of water, and later showed him that gratification through demonstration of her most limber skills. The reminiscence brings a smile to Dion’s face. Suddenly, his eyebrows knit and the smile fades. Reaching into his bookshelf, he retrieves a black folder, still intact from his conversation with the Commander.
“Hmm...” he muses. “As I feared, she’s a page-seven entry. I’m sure Miss page four, entry eight has gotten to her by now…Most unfortunate.”
Standing up, Dion replaces the folder onto the bookshelf, and steps out of his universe towards the bar to see what assistance he can provide to the Bunnies with their plans.