The Pleroma Investigator (P.I.)
By David Hartley Mark
I was riding the Pedescalator through Luria Heights, New Brooklyn, when I spotted another Tranny—that’s what we PI’s call Transmogrifiers. Bat-Sheva—I found out her name later—was a fairly youngish woman, Orthoprax I would judge, wearing the typical long denim skirt, headscarf, and colorful dashiki those types wear—sleeves down to cover the hands, modesto-style--typical. I heard her before I saw her—she and some friends were playing hand cymbals, castanets, thumping a doumbek—all very “Desert Rose” type of thing.
Early spring day. A cool breeze—we don’t get too many of those, any more, since the sun burnt its way through the remaining cloudcover. The Department of Domestic EnviroCare put up Solar Reflectors, all around NewBrie, to bounce back some of the Solarrays, but it’s still frickin’ hot, most days—but I didn’t notice it. Nice breeze. Then, it started: Bat-Sheva’s TransMog.
I was too far away to make out her face clearly—long, red-brown-blue hair, showing her to be Orthoprax, Moderate Wing. Coppery bracelets, shining on brown hands, long polished nails in the early-afternoon sun. Probably had a nice smile, like my daughter, Shelby—never mind that. It didn’t matter, anyway.
I first spotted her out of the corner of my eye, and my PI-brain-part went to work, while the rest of my brain, the civilian part, was thinking,
Can I bail on leading services at the Shul-Shelter this Esbat?
What kind of fish did Constancy tell me to get at the Exchange?
What are they putting into this Caffeie?
Bat-Sheva—this girl I didn’t know, had never seen before, even from a distance, and would never see again—had started to glow. And I started running—towards her, even as all the other citizenry turned away, shielding their eyes; they had seen this before; they knew what to expect….
I flung my caffeie-cup away, splashing an elderly Pensionette and her Bichon-droid, which let out an angry electrobark as I jumped over it. Before I could yank-and-pull my Dissimulator out of my armpit holster—that is, unsnap my piece, flip the switch, aim the battered D-gun slowly, calmly—but then, I saw the Light—the Holy Light:
It was pouring out of her ears, her eyes, her mouth, even her fingertips—it was blinding. Tossing my Dizzy from my left to my right hand—my shooting hand—I unsnapped my eyeshields from my fedora-brim and covered my slitted eyes; I never forget to do that, even as the little whisper in my head is going on madly, automatically—I’ve been doing this for five, six, who knows how many years? It’s a long time, for a PI, a Pleroma Investigator—
Cover your eyes; it will blind you, fool, and then, you’ll be sitting in a corner of the High-Temple-Sanctuary, torn, dirty paper caffeiecup before you, moaning, begging for Peters-pence, a useless Drone—
--and I flipped the switch on the Dizzy-gun to “Full Shock” rather than “Stun.” But it was too late—
The light got brighter and brighter, and I could literally watch, as parts of the woman—a girl, really—started to disintegrate, so strong and hot were the spiritual energies working within her.
Her friends—those fools, those do-nothing, jobless, praying, scroll-studying, bummy Kollel-Spirituals—did nothing; they could have flung a leaden shield over her. There was one close by, in the Municipal Astral Projection Prevention Emergency Box (MAPPE/BOX) that the Brooklyn District Council had voted to cement to each and every street corner.
No: the idiots stood there while Bat-Sheva dissolved into thin air, and applauded: “Strength, Bashy! Rise to the Pleroma—the Sefirote—Yesod! Foundation! Tiferet—Splendor! Hode—Majesty! Keter—“
Instead, I, I alone, running towards her, plowed through them like an antique football halfback I saw once on TheeTube decades before, scattering their shoddy brass cymbals (which went, clanging in protest to the ferralumin pavement, and wooden castanets, aiming my Dizzy, as I leapt toward her, squeezing off two shots—RAM! RAMM!