It’s late at night but a single light shines out of the window of the Copper Pot. The door is unlocked, and a sign suggests that that the little coffee shop is still open for business. Inside the cafe, Kyri sits alone at a table, a bottle and a few glasses her only companions. Despite the extra glasses and the unlocked door, Kyri does not look fit for company, her apron missing, flung into a far corner, and her hair tumbling messily down her pale neck.
As she throws back another drink she thinks to herself, Why? I’d nearly forgotten – why now? I thought it would be easier here, they’d think I was just another god, but no, the Inspector turns up, with his inquisitive mind, making me think again. At least, she rebuts herself, there are no musicians here, then they’d all know.
Small and pensive, Kyri continues to drink, remembering other times, in another world. Greece. Greece had been good, shame they could never decide on a decent name for me though. Aoide? Euterpe? what were they thinking?! At least they had better names for me in Vienna and Germany. I liked being Aloysia, but Amadeus could never let go. Ludwig understood his “Immortal Beloved.” Could never warm to Richard, but I’ll never forget being a valkyrie...
Hearing footsteps outside, Kyri breaks out of her reverie, wobbling slowly to the corner to retrieve her apron. At least the music will sort me out, thinks Kyri, chuckling at her inebriated state. As the bell above the coffee shop door rings its greeting, Atheist Jack enters the store, glancing cautiously over his shoulder.
“Oh poot! ‘t’s you,” slurs Kyri.
Jack’s eyes dart toward the bottle on the table. “Figured I’d stop in for a coffee and maybe some more of that moonshine, but if you’d rather I...”
“‘s’not a problem, you’ll just need to excuse...” says Kyri, gesturing expansively at herself. “Can’t use my ‘god-tricks’ to sober up if you’re here. Have a drink?” she asks, nodding toward the bottle.
“Yeah, why not?” replies Jack, flopping into a chair.
Kyri fills two glasses and they silently drink.
“Seein’ as you don’t believe in gods and the like, what’d you do if you found out that someone who people think is a god, kinda, well, isn’t? Still has powers n’ stuff, but more of a muse than a god?”
“There are no ‘gods’,” Jack replies, setting his glass down long enough to emphasize the statement with air quotes. “Don’t think for a second that calling yourself a ‘muse’ or any other mythological title is going to fool me. I’m onto you and the rest of your alien army. You won’t get me to drop my guard so you can take over my mind.”
Kyri shakes her head, “Y’don’ unnerstan’, s’different, yaknow? Gods can influence their followers, but a muse? A muse is influenced by the mortal. A muse changes into whatever their artist believes they should be. S’ok most of the time, but you really miss the ability to think for yourself.”
“Sounds like you could use a hat of your own,” Jack chuckles. He makes a quick warding gesture. “Don’t think you’re getting mine. You make your own. Just because we’re drinking and talking like civilized people doesn’t mean I’m leaving myself open to your creepy mind-control stuff. My hat stays on.”
A quick laugh emanates from Kyri, “If I thought the hat would work, I’d make one, no matter how silly it looks. It’s not the hat, you goofball. There’s some kinda energy comin’ out of you that cancels out powers and stuff.”
“Nice try, sister, but I ain’t buying it. I’m not giving up my hat, so just forget about it.” He stands up and heads for the door. At the door, he hesitates and looks back at Kyri. “Thanks for the drink. It was nice talking to you, even if you are an evil alien aggressor...”
“But,” interupts Kyri, “you won’t tell anyone will you? Please don’t!”
“Why would I? It doesn’t really change anything, and besides, who’d believe me?” replies Jack, leaving the coffee shop.