Kyri arrives at the Three Rats Guardia Station. It’s her first time at the new station, a few blocks from the older, smaller one. It is still early, and the station is abustle with day-watch officers arriving and graveyard-watch going home.
Kyri’s effort to control her divine talent is visible in the tension of her jaw and the glint in her eye. The only effect of her presence is the sound of a violin drifting through the background noise. Some of the cops know her, and greet her; others, probationary constables fresh from the Academy, look confused at the sound of music. The music attracts Constable Zeffretti’s attention before the small goddess begins to speak.
“Why d’you always have to have the violins?” complains Zeffretti. “Reminds me of Mama,” he adds, crossing himself with a gesture to a god forgotten by most.
“Can you just get over the violins?” retorts Kyri. “Talking with you, it’s taking all my control to stop this room turning into a pasta restaurant. Why do you have to be such a cliché?”
“Fine, what d’ya want?”
“The Dukaine gang – bunch of frog eaters, they seem to think that they are bigger than you can handle. Is it true?”
“Oh...they already come talk to ya, huh?” replies Zeffretti, sweat prickling on his forehead.
“Talked to me? They busted up my shop! There’s glass everywhere! They smashed the chairs, the tables...I didn’t try to stop them because I don’t know how much muscle they have behind them. Look, Rocco, I’ve had a good relationship with your people for years now. But these Dukaine thugs are scary.”
The constable looks decidedly uncomfortable under the goddess’ angry gaze. “Jeez, Kyri, I’m sorry. Those guys...they don’t listen ta reason. They warned us they was movin’ inta this part of Three Rats –”
“Wait! You knew this would happen? And you didn’t warn me?” Kyri glares at Rocco, who shifts in his seat and pulls at his collar.
“Aw Kyri, we thought we could negotiate! But there ain’t no negotiatin’ with them! I’m real sorry...”
“So...it sounds like you’re saying they’re my new ‘protectors.’ Then why am I still paying you off, hm?” Kyri looks around the new station. She spots a small figure, a girl barely more than child-sized, wearing bunny ears. How odd, she thinks, but forgets about her almost immediately as she scans the station’s uncharacteristic bustle. “Seems to me you have a lot more cops here than before. And I hear there’s three new Guardia Dei. Maybe it’s time I stopped relying on thugs and their threats, and started demanding the police do their jobs.”
“Oh Kyri, these guys, they ain’t messin’ around...”
“And maybe it’s time for you to stop being a thug with a badge and start being a real cop, Rocco!”
“Jeez, Kyri, keep it down...”
“Not until I make an official complaint. Sergeant! Oh, Sergeant Machado,” she trills musically, “how delightful to see you again! Congratulations on your promotion!”