Nano 2017 Lego Thing Part Twenty Seven
Alex stepped up to the counter at Beanland. The lines were still long, but his table was open. An antsy energy was creeping around in the back of his mind, trying to make him sprint for the table instead of ordering a drink.
“I’ll have a peppermint mocha, please,” said Alex without really looking up.
“Cool! That’ll be 12 bucks!,” said Dave.
“Oh god,” said Alex. “You know what, I’ve changed my mind, I have to go for a walk now.”
“Cool man, let me know when you’re ready.”
“Oh yeah,” said Alex nodding, “I totally will.”
Alex walked quickly out of the Beanland. There was a chill in the air and it was wet outside. Alex had left his car window down all night, but fortunately it hadn’t rained too much last night. That didn’t stop Alex from constantly smelling the interior of car for weird mold or mildew smells on the whole drive downtown.
“Hmm. Decisions, decisions…do I go home? Or to the chain place? I guess the chain place.”
Alex walked briskly through the cold air down the street and around the corner, and into Chain Coffee Shop. I didn’t put a name there because there’s only a few big chains left these days, and I figured you could just put whatever brand in there you want. This will seem especially strange later on in this chapter when I actually reference several real companies and brands by name, but hey.
The Coffee Shop wasn’t too busy, and Alex quickly spied a couple of small tables near the back that didn’t seem to be stricken with outlets. Not wanting to take any chances, he ran over there and put his bag and his coat down, then returned to the counter to order. He pulled out his phone, swiped awkwardly through his completely unorganized apps looking for the one that belonged to this particular establishment, and made it to the front of the line. He expected the person there to chastise him for still staring at his phone, but he didn’t hear anything. Then he looked up and Selena was standing there.
Alex did a double-take. “I’m sorry, am I in the right place?”
Selena blinked. “That depends. Were you trying to go to Chain Coffee Shop?”
“Then you’re in the right place,” said Selena. “I’m guessing you took one look at Dave and ran away.”
“Actually I managed to say a few words to him first,” said Alex.
“The manager of this place is a friend and was desperate for me to cover a shift. And Dave was desperate for another chance after he got fired from the mall.”
Alex’s face went pale. “Wait, they actually fired him for not putting out the fire in the Lego store? I just made that up!”
Selena face scrunched into a look of confusion. “What? He worked at a drone kiosk. He didn’t get any sales after several days because he annoyed all the customers, so they told him to go work somewhere else.”
“Oh phew, okay,” said Alex. “I sometimes can’t keep all of these plot lines straight. I guess it’s not too much of a stretch for Dave to go to work at the mall.”
“I’ve already said more words than I care to,” said Selena. “Please use your app to pay and go over there.”
Alex scanned his phone at the register, and fortunately he still had enough loaded in his app to cover the cost of the drink he didn’t remember ordering. A few minutes later, a perfectly fine mocha appeared for him, with only a slight taste of robot processing.
“I’m finally set up at the coffee shop,” typed Alex into his chat program.
“Having a late start to your day?,” asked his friend.
“To my day, and my story!,” typed Alex. “I’m already almost six hundred and fifty words in for the day, and barely anything has happened. To top it off, I’ve got a headset review to finish up sometime today so I’m anxious to just do that instead, haha.”
“Haha. I saw the twist at the end of your last chapter. Wasn’t that straight out of the Lego Movie?”
“Yes. Yes it was. And then they kept that same thing going awkwardly in the Lego Batman movie, even though they never actually showed the kid playing in the basement. They just made veiled awkward allusions to it.”
“Oh yeah, that’s right! I barely remember that movie.”
“You wouldn’t be the only one. I had completely forgotten until about a week ago that it had Sauron in it. And I’ve just spent an entire month writing a story which often features both Sauron and Batman. You’d think I would have remembered that. You know? I think before this all winds down, I’m just going to focus on the characters I most enjoyed writing. It’s time to throw them all together and set up a wacky adventure for them.”
Frank Honey ran back to his room after dinner, and picked up all of his favorite Lego toys. There was Chase McCain, the greatest cop from Lego City. Batman, Robin, and Catwoman, the finest heroes Gotham had to offer. Lady Galadriel and her dog Ambrosias, masters of the woods. And of course, Frank’s custom minifigure of himself, a guy who wanted to be a police officer but maybe also wanted to run an inn or be a scientist.
The door to Frank’s room burst open. His 18 year old sister Lindsey, who thought he was irritating, came storming in. “Hey Frank, have you seen my romance novel? I think I left it in here.”
Frank scrunched up his face. “Ew! Gross!”
“Come on whatever Frank, just help me look. It’s called Kiss Me, You Fiend!”
“What does that even mean?,” asked Frank. “That sounds stupid.”
“You are stupid,” said Lindsey. “Now help me look before I tell mom you took one of my books.”
“Mom knows I wouldn’t take one of your stupid books. She’d never believe you.”
Lindsey started rummaging around amongst the toys. “Ah, here it is, thanks Frank.”
“What was it even doing in here anyway?”
“I don’t know, I leave my stuff wherever I want, okay?,” said Lindsey. She walked out of the room.
“It’s freezing in this place!,” typed Alex into his computer. “Like, I mean what? It’s the middle of November! What’s even happening here?”
Alex walked over to the counter. “Is there any way you guys could turn up the heat a little bit?”
Selena blinked. “No.”
“Hah, okay then.”
“It’s controlled by an automated system by corporate headquarters. They get to set the temperatures for every individual store.”
“And they decided that the best plan for a 40 degree November day was to turn on the air conditioning?,” asked Alex.
“Yes they did,” said Selena.
“Perhaps I ought to write a sternly-worded letter.”
Chase McCain burst into Frank Honey’s office. “Frank! You’ve got to come quickly! I need you for a case!”
“Okay!,” said Frank Honey. “I’ll grab all of my detective supplies!” He took a look around the room for a moment. “I have no detective supplies.”
“Great!,” said Chase. “We’ve got to get out there! Chief Dunby wants us to take down the city’s street racing ring.”
“Cool!,” said Frank. “I’ve never been a really fast runner but I’m willing to try.”
“They race Cars, Frank, Cars…”
“Oh!,” said Frank. “Well that’s silly! Hey! I know who could help us. We need the guy with the fastest car in the world, Batman!”
Chase scratched his head. “Uh. Okay? How do we find Batman?”
“In the comic books they always turned on the Bat Signal, which is a big light that’s usually on a roof top.”
Chase held up his right claw above his head. “Okay then! To the rooftops!”
“Great! My office has no stairs!”
Galadriel found herself back in the middle of the woods, inside her sanctuary of thought. Her faithful dog Ambrosias was by her side. She looked around, ethereally. “That’s strange. I remember being somewhere else entirely, fighting against a wooden Sauron and my terrible sister. But it’s nice to be here too.”
After a few moments of contemplation, Lego Galadriel stood up and walked over to her pool thing that let her see the future and stuff. She waved her hand across its waters and peered out across the grand scale of the Universe. In the water, she could see Chase McCain and Frank Honey bounding across random rooftops. “Dear oh dear, it seems those two idiots might need my help.”
“I refuse to date you,” said Batman to Catwoman.
Catwoman shook her head. “I’m not here to ask you on a date. Some criminals in Lego City stole a big diamond I was trying to steal, and I want you to help me get it back.”
Batman narrowed his eyes. “Wait…you want me to help you stop a crime in order to commit a crime? I don’t. I can’t. I don’t know how to process this. I—“
“I AM SO IN!,” shouted Robin.