Gee * Part One. What about the Lens?
“If there's one thing that I know for sure is that I don't know. This is an unequivocal fact. You need only ask me a few questions to know this as well.”
I watched the pixie closely. People who said things like that tended to know something. Thing is, I really didn't know anything either. In fact I'd say I knew a lot less than the pixie did, based on how well I was doing so far. He looked like a Len, one of those followers of the god Lenfast, the god of fast, and those guys were actually pretty fast, so we tried to block his escape routes. We'd found him lurking in front of the Big and Holy Church of Lenfast the Speedy, the main one I think, over on Verdandi Boulevard.
“So why do you say you don't know when I haven't even asked a question?” I asked.
“I don't know,” he answered.
“Yes, I believe you don't,” I said. He seemed to really not know. He looked smug. I looked away, unsure how to continue.
I'm Detective-Inspector Rosy Gee who, along with Sgt. Brakly Goat, solve many mysterious mysteries. Mysteries like our last investigation where we delved into the mysterious mystery of “Where Are The Ideas?”
Our current investigation, instituted when we reported the results of our last investigation, was quite simply, “Why?” as our commander, Queen of Police Captain Sassy Fat, so succinctly put it. It was a curious assignment, but then curious seems to be our lot.
“Well then, perhaps you might tell us Why?” I asked the pixie, pursuing our directive.
He gave me an odd look, “Why what?” he snapped.
“Nothing in particular, yet, well, encompassing everything, the big all, you could say, because I believe it to be the most important question of our time. And it's just, Why?”
“Yes, precisely. You said it exactly like the Police Queen did when she assigned us this baffling case.”
Sgt. Goat spoke up, “I think she wonders at times about the meaning of life, Ma'am, in particular, why we do what we do.”
“Exactly Sergeant. And we shall get to the bottom of this mystery whether you,” I pointed at the recalcitrant pixie, “help us or not.”
Sgt. Goat peered at the pixie. “What's your name and why do you think it is?”
The pixie looked confused then angry, “I ent saying nothing. Truth is, I don't know.”
“You don't know your name?” Sgt. Goat prodded.
“No I . . . well, I guess maybe I do know that.” He scowled at us. “It's Benlen Kwikfoot.” He looked uncertain, then defiant, “That's Lennerd Benlen Kwikfoot.”
I had a hunch he was high up in the church. “Thanks Lennerd,” I said. “So you got no thoughts about Why?” He looked at me suspiciously. “I mean, Why are we here? Why do we do what we do? That sort of thing. Why?”
“Speed,” he announced with certainty.
“Speed?” I asked.
“Yes.” He looked at me with a 'should I continue?' look. I nodded. “Well, all things move, Inspector. Everything, whether we can see it or not, moves. This movement is both of what we do and the vibration of what we do.” I nodded again. I think I was getting this. Anyway, Sgt. Goat was writing it in his notebook. “So the ultimate reason Why? is speed. To make your vibration as high as Lenfast the Speedy's, so that your vibration is the same as his, which is the same as heaven's.”
“Those vibrations attract and combine with other like vibrations, you could say?” Sgt. Goat asked.
“Just so. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a congregation to attend to. People with actual concerns.” He turned and walked away.
“Thank you Lennerd,” I called after him. He waved his hand without looking back.
Sgt. Goat looked at me, “Ma'am, it appears that the Lenfast Church is committed to 'Fast!' regardless of the situation.”
“That does seem to be their guiding light, Sergeant. Hmmm,” I said, thinking. “But is that the Universal Why? Is that the right Why? for everyone?” He looked thoughtful. “Perhaps we need to visit Maestro, at the wreckage of the Bop Bop duBop,” I continued, walking toward our secret police waggal, utilizing the amazing Blendin® technology developed by Bradco Inc., rendering it virtually invisible. Sgt. Goat made the vehicle visible so we could find it and when we did, I was dismayed to see new dings, dents, and scratches. Why? I wondered.
“It's because no one can see it,” Sgt. Goat stated, getting behind the wheel. “They bump into it unawares.”
“Unawarity of the law is no excuse, Sergeant,” I told him, huffing importantly.
“Yes, Ma'am,” he answered, angling our waggal into traffic with lights flashing. We had to keep all our lights on so that people could see us.
Gee * Part Two. Zing. Zing. Zing.
“Ever-body, zing, zing, zing! Ladi-dat-dat zing, zing, zing!” the great Maestro Songjoy was singing as we approached his corner niche in the wreckage of the Bop Bop duBop. Several Ballerina Bulls were dancing to his song in the vast empty space in front of him, vacated back when the wreckage first wrecked. The Bulls were majestic and beautiful, despite the Maestro's rather lame singing, which stopped as soon as he saw us. The Bulls continued to dance, hearing only their own music.
“Ah, Maestro, I'm glad I caught you!” I said, smiling at him.
He looked startled. “Caught me?” he asked. “I swear I had nothing to do with . . . uh, what did you, I mean, I didn't mean to say . . .”
“It's alright, Maestro,” I interjected. “We probably aren't here to arrest you. We just wanted to ask you some questions about our latest investigation.”
“There's no crime?” he asked, looking relieved.
“Do you know of any?” Sgt. Goat asked.
“Why no! No, of course not. I don't know a thing about any of those . . .” he looked startled.
“The only crime around here is the old, old music, honey,” a Ballerina Bull stated, walking up to us.
“Major, I don't think using old music, not that old I might add, is particularly illegal . . .” he looked at me questioningly, “It isn’t, is it?”
“No Maestro, old music isn't illegal,” I reassured him.
“How about twenty year-old music presented as new, Inspector?” Major asked.
I didn't know what to say. “Perhaps copyright infringement?” I suggested. “But it's not my department and that's not why we're here.”
They looked at me expectantly.
“Well, to begin I want to ask you both, if you don't mind,” I began. “You see, we're looking into the reason for Why?”
“Why what?” Maestro asked.
“Why everything,” I answered. “Why are we here and why do we do what we do?” Their eyes went round.
“It's because you're coppers,” came the annoying voice of Ego, who shouldn't even be there. “You're coppers and you ask stupid questions. That's why you're here and that's what you do.”
“Why aren't you at the Radio Galaxy?” I demanded. “Where you belong!”
Ego slowly turned and looked at me. He seemed to start seething and there were wisps of smoke coming from his feet. Suddenly, in a flash of blinding light, Ego transformed into Dr. Snarkey, Ego's radio persona, holding a pitchfork, glowing red with horns and wearing a black cape billowing in the wind. “You dare question me, foolish mortal?” he screamed in a huge voice. He seemed twice as large and there were lightning flashes all around. “Only I know why, for I am Why!” Now he was like a tornado surrounded by high winds and cracks of thunder. “Listen puny detectives! I am the reason Why!” He stamped his massive foot with that last Why! and the earth shook. Then he disappeared.
When the smoke cleared, I could see Maestro looking at me with a worried expression. “Am I under arrest now?” he asked.
“Ego's your friend?” I asked in angry disbelief. He nodded meekly. “Well, I oughta arrest you for that, but no, you're not under arrest.”
Sgt. Goat seemed confused. “I thought Ego was for the police, Ma'am? Even Dr. Snarkey seemed at times to be pro-police, not that I would ever listen, mind you, but still . . .”
“Not anymore,” I told him. “Ego is only for Ego. Always has been, always will be. He backed the police when it suited him, now it doesn't suit him.” Sgt. Goat appeared to be disturbed by this.
“Yes, it's true,” said Maestro “I'm Ego's only friend, or as close as anyone can get to being his friend, and I can tell you he'll drop anyone in a second if it will benefit him.”
“That's totally unscrupulous!” Sgt. Goat exclaimed. “Why would you ever be his friend?”
Maestro looked down with a sad expression. “I'm an idea man, make my living thinking new things up, except I haven't had a new idea in twenty years,” he said quietly. “I reshuffle my old scores every week and present them as new, and each week the audience cheers.” He looked at Sgt. Goat with a grave expression, “But the Bulls know better, they know it's a sham. The Bulls dance because that's who they are, they dance! They'll dance no matter what.” He paused. “But they hold me in contempt.” He looked forlorn and somehow worn out, then asked, “Why would anyone ever be my friend?”
Neither I nor Sgt. Goat could answer that question and we both felt bad when we left.
Gee * Part Three. The big Why.
“Why does the universe exist? That's the 'Why' we're looking for Sergeant. Not the why of Lenfast the Speedy, which is fine for the moment but not for the big Why,” As we left the Bop Bop duBop I looked back with sadness, “And I think they're all grappling with their own why's at the Bop Bop duBop. Not much help there, I think, not in our quest for the big Why anyway.”
“No Ma'am, it doesn't look like it, but I do get a feeling that somehow the speed of the Lens and the struggle at the Bop Bop duBop are connected, both a part of the big Why.”
“Perhaps those efforts, and maybe all efforts, are part of the mystery of the big Why?” I suggested.
“Yes, Ma'am. Clues if you will.”
“I agree Sergeant. So where might we go for insights into the big Why?” He shrugged, showing that he didn't know.
“I feel like we missed something at the Bop Bop duBop but I can't think what,” I said, trying to come up with something. We began walking down Verdandi Boulevard, leaving our squad waggal at the Bop Bop duBop.
It was a fine day in a particularly rainy spring, windy with patchy clouds and intermittent showers. We both wore a regulation mackintosh and paid the shifting sky no mind. I noticed a park a couple blocks down a side street. “C'mon Sergeant, let's check out that park. It looks meditative and maybe we'll get some ideas about where to go next.”
“Sounds good, Ma'am.”
We walked down the street when suddenly a squall arose, hitting us hard in the face with wind and icy rain. We lowered our heads and raised our arms before quickly ducking into a recessed storefront door. We knew the squall would pass, hopefully quickly, so we were standing, aimlessly waiting, when the shop's door opened.
“May I offer a warm, dry place to wait out the storm?” a gentle voice asked. It was difficult to see who it was because of the gloom both indoors and out. I wanted to turn on my flashlight but thought it might be rude when Sgt. Goat did just that. He shone his flashlight's piercing beam into the speaker's face who calmly closed his eyes as the light revealed a placid, simian countenance, wearing a slight smile but otherwise apparently unperturbed by the light. Now the figure stepped aside and gestured us in.
I stepped in and immediately stopped so that Sgt. Goat bumped into me from behind. I could hear him gasp as he saw what I was seeing. The room was vast, with a long vaulted ceiling so high up it was barely visible despite being well lit. The gloom we perceived outside the door was completely transformed into this bright, almost daylight bright, panorama upon our crossing the threshold. We stepped into another world. I could not see any walls, just an endless room furnished with couches and tables, fountains and hearths, potted trees and bushes, aisles that extended beyond sight, passing ponds and cottages. The monkey smiled at our dazed gaping, clearly pleased.
“Follow, please,” he said, leading us a short distance to a room created by two long couches forming an ell shape in front of a large hearth with a crackling fire. The fourth wall was mostly open, the rest was a long cabinet with a sink and refrigerator.
When we were seated, he wheeled a cart over that had tea and biscuits, a perennial favorite in Elvenstead.
“This is most kind of you,” I said, sipping the excellent tea. “Allow me to introduce ourselves. I’m Detective-Inspector Rosy Gee and this is Sergeant Brakly Goat.”
“We are humbled at your acquaintance,” the monkey said with prayer hands and a bow. “I am called Veebrishar. Please enjoy your visit.”
“Thank you, uh, Veebrishar. But if you don't mind my asking, how is this room so grand?” I looked upward into the soaring heights. “I mean, I'm not aware of any buildings of this size in this part of town. Nothing even close.”
“It is not the structure that is given to meaning, rather it is the space inside,” Veebrishar answered with a smile. I nodded like that made sense while Sgt. Goat scribbled in his notebook.
There were flowery scents wafting across the room and the sound of a brook in the distance. I don't know how long we sat there but I don't think I've ever felt so peaceful and relaxed. Finally I looked around, returning to my senses. I looked at Veebrishar, “Oh, gosh! I'm sorry I must have dozed off.” I glanced at Sgt. Goat who was blinking and looking around as if just waking up. “We need to get back to our investigation, Sergeant.” I turned back to Veebrishar, “Thank you for your hospitality. It has been most helpful.”
“We are honored to serve,” Veebrishar answered.
“Golly, how long have we been here? Surely the rain must have stopped, and well, we've got an investigation to pursue.”
“You have been here but a brief moment, no more than a couple minutes.”
“What? It must've been longer, much longer.” I looked at my watch. It hadn't been longer at all. I looked curiously at Veebrishar.
“Eternity is but a single life moment,” Veebrishar intoned.
Sgt. Goat scribbled in his notebook and once more I nodded as if that made sense. “Thank you again, but we really must go,” I said.
“Of course,” Veebrishar answered.
Somehow, as soon as we stood, we were instantly back in the recessed doorway, looking out at what was now a nice, albeit overcast, afternoon. I quickly ran across the street and looked back at the building we had just left. It was nondescript, maybe two floors in places, depending on the trees, but all the upper floors appeared to be vacant. Below were three storefronts that faced the street comprising the main structure which were all small shops, well lit up inside. I walked back across to where Sgt. Goat was waiting. He wore a totally bemused expression that I'm sure matched my own.
Gee * Part Four. It was us all along.
We returned to the Bop Bop duBop to fetch our waggal in silence then returned to the station. We decided to quit for the day and regroup tomorrow. The next morning I was feeling a little more grounded and met up with Sgt. Goat at the station.
“Good morning, Ma'am. Where're we headed today?”
“Morning Sergeant. I'm not sure. Let's get some coffee, eh?” With coffee in hand we returned to our office cubby. “I keep thinking about that vast room we were in yesterday,” I began.
“No way to explain it, Ma'am,” Sgt. Goat said, “except magic. I've heard that in parts of Elvenstead there is magic being performed every day.”
“Yeah, I've heard that too. Especially in the farms down south and out east.”
“Uh-huh. And how about the super tall mountains in Wayfar? Or the eastern deserts with millions of kilometers of drifting sand, where strange creatures lurk and . . .”
“Yes, I get your drift Sergeant. There's magic. Got it. But that room . . . well, I guess it could be explained by magic, although that seems almost like a cop-out, you know? Like, well, what if it wasn't magic?”
“Huh? What else could it be?”
“I don't know. Perhaps the monkey showed us another reality.” I paused, thinking. “It wasn't the building that was important, it was the space inside.”
“Yes, I remember, Ma'am. That's just what he said.”
“And it was vast Sergeant, much larger than anything in Elvenstead, and way bigger than the building it was in.” I paused. “I think we've solved our case,” I said, suddenly seeing the answer to the big Why.
“Yes, Ma'am,” he replied, giving me a questioning look.
“You see Sergeant, it's not about what we build, that's not the reason why, it's about the space inside, that's the answer to the big Why. The space inside.”
“I'm not sure I follow Ma'am,” he said.
“The space inside is where we live, Sergeant, whether it be inside our homes or inside our heads it's all about that existence. About being and becoming something greater, even about increasing our frequency like the Lennerd said. That is the reason why for everything.”
“I wouldn't say just, sergeant. If eternity is in fact contained in a single life moment, as that monkey, Veebrishar, and his vast room suggested, then life is the ultimate treasure. Being and growing are the reasons why because consciousness is the creator as well as the answer to the big Why.”
“Yes, Ma'am, that makes sense.”
“I hope so Sergeant. Well then, let's write our report and turn it in. Another case solved.”