Nano 2017 Lego Thing Part 8
The Wizard was horrified at the appearance of Sauron, and quickly fired his Space Laser Gun.
Sauron deflected the blasts with his hands, quite easily. “Silly Wizard,” his voice boomed. “I gave you that weapon, did you really think it would be effective against me?”
“How did you get inside that box?”
Sauron raised an eyebrow underneath his helmet. “I’m not entirely sure. A giant hand came down out of the sky and put me in there. I think that sort of thing happens every night around here.”
“I see!,” shouted the Wizard. “Some kind of celestial being eh? That would explain a lot that’s happened to me in the last month!”
“You and I are not so different,” said Sauron. “I think we both want the same things.”
“I don’t really know what I want,” said the Wizard. “I’ve only existed for a few days, and I feel like I’m just here to be some insignificant player in a larger story.”
“You’re certainly an insignificant player in *my* story,” boomed the tiny dark lord. “Though, I guess you *have* freed me from captivity twice now. Hmm,” he mused, taking stock of the area. “As a reward, I shall take your ship!"
“I…I don’t really see how that’s a reward.”
Sauron scowled under his helmet. “It’s a reward in a *number* of ways. It’s a reward because I didn’t blast you to pieces on the spot. It’s a reward because I’m letting you keep the stupid Laser Gun. It’s a reward because I’m giving you this beautiful island to live on.”
“Well, when you put it like that, how can I argue?,” asked the Wizard.
Sauron pointed one of his claw hands forward. “Good man!” He leapt onto the deck of the boat, pushed it away from the island, and set sail.
“I had no idea that Sauron was such an adept sailor of vessels!,” shouted the Wizard.
“Indeed I am!,” shouted Sauron from the deck of the ship.
Selena blinked. “I did it. I moved your table. Catwoman still isn’t in your story.”
“You know, I saw this coming,” said Alex. “I have no excuses. My story is getting away from me and I don’t even know where it’s going. You’re right. I have to get Catwoman back.”
“The outlet people are going to be upset that you’re at a table with an outlet and yet, not using the outlet.”
“I think that’s the longest sentence I’ve ever heard you say,” said Alex.
“Your mocha will be ready in a bit.”
Alex looked around the room. The corner that used to contain his table now contained a fake plant. Against the stark and industrial decor of the rest of the cafe, it was comically out of place.
“I see,” muttered Alex to himself. “I see how we’re playing this game.”
He quickly located his old table. There was something about its wobbliness that he found comfortable. It was empty, but it was prominently placed both next to an outlet and a window. Alex chanced it and sat down. The windows could be pretty distracting. They were filled with views of people wandering downtown buying various boutique items, and dogs being walked who couldn’t be more stoked.
Within five minutes, someone came up and asked if they could stretch a cord to the outlet near Alex’s feet. “Oh sure!,” said Alex through gritted teeth.
An hour later, the outlet was heaving under the weight of various plugs, and even a power strip someone had brought in to share the power with his friends.
Alex thought about getting up and delivering his power outlet speech. He never actually did this, of course, but it was something he fantasized about often. The speech would go like this:
“Dear fellow cafe citizens! We live in an exciting Future World, where our portable devices are more powerful than we ever thought possible as children. And yet, we so often forget to charge them, or ask their batteries to do things they simply weren’t meant to do. What is the point of having all this power in the palm of your hand if you are leashed to the wall by a terrible chain? And yes, I know that sometimes batteries die and sometimes it costs a ridiculous amount of money to get them fixed. And I sympathize with this plight!
“But for everyone else out there, please, charge your device before coming to the cafe! Use it and enjoy it on the battery, the way that various large corporations intended we should! Live a life free of the chains provided by a cord. I have done so for many years now, and the water is fine. And then, when your battery needs a recharge, set down the device and go for a walk, or eat a sandwich, or do any of a million other things that still constitute the human experience no matter how much we might not want them to!
“I know we’d all rather watch cute cat videos instead of eating…but there is only so much nourishment to be derived from cute cats!”
Instead of giving the speech, Alex just opened his online chat program and started talking to his fictional friend.
“I’m having a bit of an existential crisis,” typed Alex.
“Is this about the outlets again?,” typed his friend. “Did Selena move your table because you still haven’t brought back Catwoman?”
Alex blinked. “Well, she *did* move my table, but it’s not about that. I’m trying to figure out how Selena is reading my story.”
“It’s obvious. You’re posting it online.”
“I know that,” typed Alex. “But this right here. This whole world. This is *part* of the story. This whole meta narrative. It’s not real either. So if this is part of the story, how can she be reading it. Wouldn’t she be reading about herself? Wouldn’t I have control of that, too, since I’m the author?”
“Are you the author? Or are you a fictional projection of yourself?”
“I’m not sure!,” said Alex. “Most of this meta layer is fictional, but there are tiny nuggets of truth to it. This whole device is something I’ve used frequently in the past, and it’s not just because it helps me to connect my loose story ideas together into a somewhat-coherent whole. But like…why isn’t Alex just some fictional other writer instead of a construct loosely based on myself? Why isn’t this part more interesting and more of a story?”
“I can’t answer that for you.”
“Here’s what I don’t get,” said Frank Honey. “Why—“
“Why is this boring story about a Wizard so long?,” asked Chase. “I’m pretty sure that we are the main characters in this thing, yet so far all I’ve done is watch Batman break your door and then driven you to the library. If I don’t break something soon or solve a crime, my entire sense of identity is just going to vanish from my brain.”
“Wow Chase! I had no idea you thought about things so often! But no, what *I* was wondering is who wrote this book? I mean, who was there to record all of these things about the Wizard and Sauron? This book is supposed to be a true history, and yet it reads like omniscient fiction. Isn’t that strange? Also look there’s a man in a robber costume down there.”
Chase whirled around. “What??? Where? Aha!”
Down at the front desk of the library, a man in a domino mask, a striped shirt, and a robber’s hat had sauntered up to the counter. “I’m sorry sir,” said the Lego Lady at the front desk, “But Halloween was a week ago. If you’re here for the free candy, you’re too late. Dustin ate all of the leftovers.”
Dustin was on the floor next to his desk a few feet behind the woman. “I ate so much candy I haven’t moved in four days!”
The librarian nodded. “Since Lego characters have no digestive systems, we’re just waiting for a repair crew to come and empty him out.”
“And you’re still paying him to be here?,” asked the robber.
“It was either this or risk having him sue us for workman’s comp,” said the lady. “Anything else I can help you with.”
“Yes!,” said the robber. “I am a burglar and I’m here to rob the place a bit!”
“Oh. Huh,” said the lady working the front desk. “Well uh, what were you hoping to take? We don’t have anything here except books, really.”
The robber scratched the back of his head with one of his claw hands. “Oh. I guess I’ll take some of those?”
“You don’t even have to rob them, you could just get a library card and—“
Chase McCain leapt down from the balcony and landed perfectly right in front of the burglar. “Aha! You villain! It is I, expert cop Chase McCain, here to stop your terrible evil robbery that you’re doing right now!”
“Oh actually, this nice lady was telling me I could just sign up for—“
Chase grabbed the man in the burglar costume and hurled him to the side. He flew gracefully through the air and crashed into a shelf full of books, knocking them all over the place and knocking the shelf apart into Lego bits. Then Chase bounded over to the robber, pulled a pair of handcuffs out of his endless supply in his pants, and slapped them on the robber. The librarian came over with a horrified look on her face.
“Couldn’t…couldn’t you have just slapped those cuffs on him before throwing him into the books?”
“No ma’am!,” said Chase enthusiastically. “I *always* throw criminals before I arrest them.”
The librarian blinked. “Is there any particular reason for that?”
“I don’t know, ma’am. But when I figure it out, that’ll be a red letter day indeed!”
Robin gathered up the remains of Batman and Sauron and drove away with them both on his motorcycle. Ellie and Natalia set to work rebuilding Catwoman, and had her snapped back together in a jiffy.
“Whoa!,” said Catwoman. “I’ve never been knocked to bits before. Where…where’s that guy in the helmet?”
“Oh,” said Ellie. “Robin took him back to the Batcave. Batman wanted him as a trophy or something.”
“That fool!,” shouted Catwoman. “I should never have agreed to go on a date with him! We’ve got to stop him, that guy in the helmet is a big evil dude!”
Emmet arrived at the airport, and was guided to the broken deputies by his driver. They had set up caution tape all around the area, and the detectives had finished their job. Emmet picked up an arm. “Okay, I *think* this might be a leg! Haha!”