The Interlocking World


It was a day now many years ago, when the universe came together.

The people of every realm had known it was coming for months. Just out of the blue, over the telegraphs and phone lines and pony expresses and whatever other forms of past or future communication the worlds used, the word came through. No longer will you be separate. No longer will you be contained.

Now every realm would come together into one universe. So many new people to meet. So many new sights to see that they could hardly dream of before. An endless adventure, endless possibilities. And it all begins today.

The people gathered where they could, wearing what they had, their ties and dresses and space suits and naval uniforms stolen from a high-ranking officer, and they watched the sky. For that was what everyone had said, in the days leading up to the big event. "Keep your eyes on the sky." Starry or tinged with salt or lidded with dramatic clouds that never rained, it didn't matter. It would come from your sky. From now on, everybody shared every sky.

And when the portals opened, each in a bright, rainbow vortex, what a cheer exploded in every ear! What a multitude of sight and sound went up in every world as every people, each in their way, celebrated the beautiful sight. Everyone was wild with excitement.

The people began to make their way to the portals. They were in the sky, but they built what they could, towers or planes or even very tall ladders in some cases, and every portal was reached. People streamed through, smiling, laughing, shaking hands, high-fiving. Here you are. Here we are. For as long as we can remember, there's been nobody but us, and now there's you. You're different. How wonderful!

Before Lord Business. Before the Kragle. Before the prophecy. Before the arrival of Emmet, the Special. There was Assembly Day.

And what a day it was.

The party went all night. And what a party it was! Nobody had ever seen anything like it before or since. The festivity, the sheer joy in the air was so strong and wild, you could almost feel it buzzing against your teeth. It was like Christmas but better. It was like New Years, but, no, it was better than that, too. It was like a birthday, not just any birthday but your birthday specifically. How you feel at your birthday party, that's how everybody felt. It was like it was everybody's birthday.

And, in a way that no one knew, it was.

In the city of Bricksburg, it was sunset, the apex of the sky only just now darkening into a deep purple. The people had a firework show planned for when it got dark, but darn it, they were just so excited, they decided to go ahead and fire a few small ones before the big show. Just as a warm-up, understand. And up they went, the first few streaks of red and white and purple, sprinkling the pink and orange sky with glittering studs.

At the corner of one street, where people in every state of dress and manner were walking up and down, looking with awe at all the mundane things there, like the bakery and the bicycle racks and the fire hydrants, one cop stood alone, surveying the street. At the first flashes in the sky, she looked up, then down at her watch, smiled knowingly and thought to herself, Yup, they've started early. She returned her attention to the bubbling crowd passing by, her gaze friendly, almost tender. She probably looked very impressive to all these newcomers in her blue shirt and tie. Her dark hair, which had already begun to turn gray, was pulled back in a ponytail, and underneath her watchful eyes was a pair of spectacles. She wasn't there to enforce any rules; the idea that someone would do something bad today was unthinkable. She was only there to help. After all, some people were from realms that were several centuries behind. She hoped she'd be able to stop people from hurting themselves.

Occasionally, people waved at her, said a greeting, stopped to exchange a word or two. She was always happy to talk, happy that everybody else was happy. A lot of people were pointing at the sky, staring open-mouthed at the smoke and lights above. One group had found an empty square in front of the bank and started to build something, right there in the middle of the street. The cop itched to join them, but she held her post, contenting herself to just watch. Let them have their fun.

That was when she noticed him.

He was standing in the middle of the street, in a blue space suit of some kind. He seemed disoriented and kept looking around at everything that surrounded him with a mute kind of absorption. It wasn't the getup that made him stand out – other people were wearing stranger things – nor was it the fact that he seemed overwhelmed by everything around him. That, too, was to be expected. Rather, it was the way he was looking around. He didn't seem impressed or delighted; he didn't seem much of anything. It was like there was some sort of film over his eyes that prevented him from actual seeing anything. He was looking around, sure, but no matter where his eyes went, his face was a blank. Mostly, he just looked lost. He seemed to be clutching himself, his arms wrapped around his middle, and he shivered slightly, even though it was summer and still quite warm.

He wasn't part of any group. In fact, no one seemed to take any notice of him. There was too much stimulation for anybody to notice one astronaut standing punch-drunk in the middle of the street.

The cop decided to go talk to him because he seemed like he needed help, and it was her job after all. Casually, and with a professional smile, she walked up to him, waving a little. "Excuse me, sir? Are you alright?"

He didn't move. He didn't seem have heard. The creation in the square had started to take a definition shape. It looked like a huge hamster wheel of some kind, and the guy was staring at that, still shivering.

She stepped right up to him and bent down slightly. "Excuse me?" she said, "Are you lost?"

The guy finally looked up. If he was surprised to see a policewoman suddenly right in front of his face, he didn't show it. His face was so blank it was alarming. "H-huh?" he said vaguely.

She was patient. "I'm a police officer. See my badge?" She showed him. "I was standing over there, and it looked like you needed some help. Are you okay?"

The guy blinked. He raised a wondering hand to his helmet, which she noticed had a crack splitting the chinstrap. "Uh… I… I think so…" he said. He looked around again. She wondered vaguely why he kept doing that. "Where am I?" he asked.

"You're in Bricksburg," she said. "On the corner of Ellis and Cherrywood Street. Are you with anybody?"

She realized as soon as the words were out of her mouth that she'd made a mistake. His face immediately crumpled, and his eyes seemed to widen, as though they were inflating. He seemed to be on the verge of a freak-out.

"It's okay; it's alright," she said hastily. "I'm gonna take care of you, lad. You're gonna be alright. What's your name, sonny?"

"Uh…" The guy was taking deep breaths, in/out. "Ben," he finally said. "Ben Chu." His eyes darted around again. "Uh, what day is it?" he asked.

Her eyes widened a little. He really didn't know? "Why, it's Assembly Day, of course," she said.

The words meant nothing to him. He raised his arms to his shoulders and rubbed them. He was squinting. "Why… Why is it so bright?" he asked.

She looked up. The fireworks were still going. This was an awfully long warm-up. Was that what was bothering him? "The police station's just over that way," she said, pointing. "It's not far. Why don't you come with me? You could stay in there until the fireworks are done, and we can sort this out."

He didn't answer. He seemed to be slowly shaking his head.

"Sir? I want to help you, but you have to talk to me, do you understand?"

He was crumpling in on himself, arms and legs folding up, falling into a crouch. He covered his face with his hands. "They're not here…" he was saying. There was a strain in his voice, like it was splintering. "They're not here…"

"Ben?" she said. "Who's not here?"

He kept collapsing, almost like he was imploding. An imploding star. "They're not here. They're not here. Wh… Why? It's too bright. Too bright. Where'd she go? It's my fault. It's my fault. it's my fault."

He fell forward onto the street, his head pressed against the concrete. The stream of words out of his head kept going, whispering into the ground. He was shaking really badly now. Underneath the helmet, where no one could see, his eyes were very wide.

"It's my fault. It's my fault. They're gone. They're gone, and it's my fault."

She'd heard enough.

She pulled off the walky-talky on her belt with one motion and began to talk urgently. "Clancy, it's me. I've got a civilian here who seems disoriented. I need you to get me an ambulance. He won't move, and I don't want to take him anywhere in the cruiser."

Ben was breathing really hard. No doubt a lot of dust was going down his lungs, dust that clung to the shoes and feet and tires, that came off the roads of countless other worlds. "My fault. My fault. My fault." And while this was happening, the policewoman was listening, dismayed, as the voice on the other end told her that the hospital was empty, that every place was empty because who would think of working on a night like tonight?

She put her hand over the receiver and called out to the passing crowd, who were still the very picture of joy, they're laughing faces swirling all around. "Is there a doctor, here?" She was shouting, trying to raise her voice above the throng, above the boom of the sparks in the sky. "Anybody? We need a doctor over here! Someone! Anyone!"

And at her feet, Benny kept muttering into the street, as though whispering to it some dark secret.

"My fault. My fault. My fault…"

Chapter 1: The New Face of Bricksburg Law

It was amazing how much a motorcycle engine can sound like an explosion.

Or, at least, it can if it's the dead of night, and you're half-asleep, still dreaming blocky dreams about kittens or a job promotion or whatever it was the people of Bricksburg dreamed at night, and you suddenly heard it, that huge, diesel-fueled roar as the motorcycle kicked up into the air, as-in its tires were actually separated from the pavement by several feet of empty space, and then slammed down, tires screeching as it careened away. So, not quite like an explosion. But like an explosion enough to jolt you out of bed and make you shout, "What the heck was that?"

But, if you slept anywhere near the Bricksburg police station, it was just a sound you'd have to get used to.

Even at this late hour, there were still cars on the road, and Good Cop found himself swerving violently between them, cheerful apologies ringing in the ears of the drivers as he went past. He heard a few people, from what seemed like miles back, yell out in surprise as he nearly slammed into them, and a few of them had to do some creative swerving themselves to recover from the shock. Good Cop was sorry for the trouble, genuinely sorry, but he was in a hurry, and he couldn't wait. The blue and red lights in the front and back rotated like helicopter blades, and the siren blared, grating as a cat singing by moonlight. He could hardly be more conspicuous if he was driving a singing humpback whale. Heck, at least whales tended to go slow.

The motorcycle had been a gift from Lucy to celebrate the police station being reopened. She had built it out of her own two hands, and wow did it show. The thing was huge, taller than Good Cop, a black and white tank. And wasn't the neon lightning bolt on the side a little much? Still she'd just been so proud of it as she revved it up ("Hear that kitten purr," she'd said), he just couldn't refuse. Besides, there was no denying the way it rode. It was like being on a roller coaster, all the time! Why did anyone even bother with cars at all?

But this wasn't a simple joyride.

Five minutes earlier, a call had come in, over the emergency line. A Duplo sighting. In the back alleys. Please hurry.

That meant leave. Now.

As Good Cop leaned forward towards the handlebars, he heard another siren coming up behind him. He looked and saw the cruiser, its lights also spinning, weaving back and forth in a serpentine motion. Good Cop checked the rearview mirror, wondering if maybe they'd misremembered the location, that the Duplo was actually behind them, not in the alleyways, but he didn't see anything. As he continued to watch, the cruiser veered dangerously close to the adjacent lane before scraping against the curb on the other side and turning sharply away in the wrong direction. Well, okay. He'd deal with that when he got to it. Anyway, he was almost at the stop.

The motorcycle screeched to a halt, and Good Cop hopped off of it. He scanned the buildings around him, shady-looking apartment buildings with a lot of wire gates. No sign yet, but Duplos were known to enjoy jumping out and surprising you. He pulled off the walky-talky attached to the bike.

"Hi, Lloyd!" he whispered cheerfully. "I'm at the sight now. Can you tell me your position?"

No answer. Static. "Lloyd?" he asked. "Hello?"

Still nothing. Huh. Well, no matter. He replaced the walky-talky and cautiously drew his blaster. He'd only taken a few steps into the towards the alley when he heard a clattering from above. He looked up, brandishing the blaster, but it was only Panda Guy, flipping over the fire escapes. With a final flourish, he jumped off the ladder and landed in a crouch next to Good Cop, his bamboo pole clacking against the sidewalk. On top of the panda mask that covered his whole head, he'd taped a police cap. He waved at Good Cop. Good Cop waved back. With a nod, they continued their approach into the alley.

"Have you heard from any of the others?" Good Cop asked, looking up at a clothesline hanging above him. Panda Guy shook his head.

"Ooh, that's no good," said Good Cop. "I tried to contact Lloyd just now, but he didn't answer. Where d'you suppose-?"

"Hey, guys!"

Good Cop and Panda Guy whirled around and saw the Green Lantern, simultaneously sprinting towards them and waving. And shouting at the top of his lungs. He was dressed in a policeman's uniform, but still wore his green mask on his face and, of course, the ring. The ring on his right hand was glowing brightly, but he was running, actually running toward them. His uniform was a little rumpled. "Sorry about the wait!" he kept shouting, "See anything yet!?"

Good Cop shushed him while Panda Guy waved his hands frantically in front of his mouth. "Can you be quiet now?" said Good Cop. "If that's all right with you."

"Oh!" Green Lantern clamped both his hands over his mouth. "Sorry," he whispered loudly. He ran up to them and looked around. "Wait, it's just you two?" he asked, forgetting to whisper.

"It looks like it," said Good Cop.

"Well, that's okay," said Green Lantern, "I'm sure they'll turn up soon. Um, say, by the way, do you have insurance?"

Good Cop no longer needed to blink, but he would have if he could. "Why?" he asked.

"Well, I sort've-"

Just then, from the space in between two buildings, they heard it: a metallic crash as a garbage bin thudded to the ground. Green Lantern screamed and set off three glowing blasts in three different directions. One slammed into a window two stories up, shattering it, one careened into an empty garbage can, lighting the contents and filling the night air with an awful stench, and one hit the pavement in front of the gap where the sound had come from and bounced, actually bounced, like a ping pong ball, off the ground and ricocheted off several different buildings, pinging as it went, before slamming into the motorcycle parked behind them. It rocked slightly against the force of the blast before the alarm went off. The entire street was now flooded with its pealing wail.

Good Cop buried his face in his hands. Green Lantern was looking around wildly. "Did I hit it?" he was asking rapidly, looking panicked. "Did I get it?"

"No…" Good Cop managed weakly, "I think you might've missed."

"Well, that's putting it lightly."

All three of them jumped. Green Lantern looked like he was ready to fire off another fifty blasts, but Panda Guy hastily grabbed. Standing in front of them, in plain view, was the Green Ninja. Nobody could figure out when he'd found them or even how long he'd been there. He simply appeared, like magic. He lowered his hood, looking annoyed.

"Nice job, Lantern," he said. "You nearly killed me, and you gave away our position."

Good Cop finally managed to quiet the alarm. "Lloyd," he said, "You haven't seen the Duchess anywhere, have you?"

Lloyd shook his head. "Sorry, if she's not with you three, I don't know where she is." He drew a katana and pointed it in the direction of the alleyway. "But I'm pretty sure whatever made that sound is still there."

Good Cop nodded. "Right," he said, "So we've completely lost the element of surprise. But that's okay. The best thing to do is just go at it as a group. Lantern, don't fire until you actually see it, okay?"

Green Lantern nodded. "I've got it together now," he said. "It's unbelievable how together I am right now."

Good Cop let that one go. "Stay alert, everybody," he said, drawing his weapon. "In we go."

They moved slowly, the four of them, Good Cop in front, Panda Guy taking up the rear. Now that everyone had finally shut up, they definitely heard it. Whatever had knocked over the garbage can was still there, paper cups crackling under its feet. They heard another crash as something else hit the ground, a shovel by the sound of it. They stepped into the alley, underneath a light cast by a bulb mounted on one of the buildings. Past the corner, they saw the remains of the overturned can, pits of paper and raked-up leaves. As they watched, the lid slowly rolled into view and clattered onto the cracked concrete. "Alright, everybody," Good Cop whispered, "With me. One… two…"

He didn't get to three. Immediately, the thing jumped out into the yellowed light, bits of garbage spilling out after it. All four of them startled, drawing four different weapons, trailing them on the thing in front of them.

It was a German Shepherd, a stray, by the looks of it. Rooting through the trash for a spare treat. It loped stiffly towards them, no doubt wondering why it had suddenly become so popular. "Ruff," it said.

It was Lloyd who said it first ("It's just a dog"), before all of them relaxed, lowering their weapons, all feeling more than a little foolish. Not to mention deflated. "So, uh, what now?" asked Green Lantern.

"I guess we'll keep looking," said Good Cop. "Everybody fan out."

They fanned out, sweeping the tiny maze around them. In a minute or two, they met back at the area where the dog had been.

"Did anyone find anything?" Good Cop asked.

"Nada," said Lantern. "There's no one here but us."

"Are we in the right place?" Lloyd asked. "I mean, are you sure this is the right abandoned alleyway?"

"Sure I'm sure," said Good Cop. "This is where call told us to go. The abandoned alleyway. Right next to the daycare."

Lloyd looked through a gap in the small cluster of buildings. Beyond a wire diamond fence, there was, indeed, a daycare, only a few yards away.

They stood there for a second longer, looking at the ground.

"You think it could've been a false report?" said Lloyd.

Good Cop looked deeply saddened. "It looks like it," he said.

It was awkward, to say the least. Everyone kept looking at each other, looking for some assurance to lighten the mood, but still the heavy fact still set in that their time had been wasted.

Good Cop, in particular, was dwelling heavily on the situation. It was only a prank and not even an uncommon one. In Lord Business's Day, he'd gotten more than a few of them, people falsely turning in their neighbors as Master Builders, actual Master Builders reporting some imaginary crime, hoping to distract the police. But it still stung, especially now, now that everybody was supposed to be so happy.

But something still seemed off, like the fact that there was nothing here seemed too simple an ending to this story. For one thing, why a Duplo? The report had specifically said Duplo, which seemed cruelly extreme. Why such a heavy threat, for a simple prank? For a Duplo invasion, however brief, however small, was a big deal, always. Why, it required the attention of every available officer. It was quite a large-scale prank to want to empty the entire station like tha-

It fell on him all at once, like a bucket of screws being dumped on his head. "The station!" he shouted, startling everyone. Without a word of explanation, ignoring the sound of both the Green Lantern and Lloyd calling his name, he ran back to the waiting motorbike and fired it up, careening away from the alleys with a screech.

The lights of the traffic raced by him, sending streaks of color across his scribbled face. His thoughts were racing. Whoever had made that call had wanted to empty the station. As it was now, it was almost completely unguarded. What kind of sight would be awaiting him when he got there? Hurry, hurry, hurry…

As he roared down a street only a few minutes from the station, he looked to his left and saw, with a shock, the Duchess herself, her tiara perched atop her flowing brown hair. She was apparently sprinting as hard as she could, pumping her arms on either side of her head so hard it looked like she was trying to punch flies in the air. He saw her turn her head to look at him as he drove past, her expression clenching into one of sheer annoyance. Good Cop had never seen a clearer physical interpretation of the phrase, "Oh, come on!" What on earth was she doing out here? It occurred to him that she was trying to run to the scene of the not-crime. What was she doing a thing like that for? Why didn't she take the cruiser.

And then: Oh.

He swerved the bike heavily into the curb in front of the station's white steps, burning a wide black "C" into the surface of the street. Forgetting even to turn off the engine, he leapt off the bike and sprinted as hard as he could toward the doors. One of them, he noticed with a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach, was smashed, the fragments of the glass littering the ground. Not good.

He threw open the doors and skidded inside. He stopped dead in his tracks. All he could do was stare.

The station was completely trashed. Everywhere he looked, desks were overturned. Paper was everywhere, strewn all over the floor, fluttering from the light fixtures on the wall. Much of it had been shredded, a shrewd kind of confetti. It was dimmer inside than it should be; many of the lights had been busted, and whoever they were, they'd apparently liked spray paint. A lot. A thin layer of paint coated most of everything, splattered over the top of the mess as though claiming it. Looping words and phrases, none of which he wanted to see, adorned every wall, like the world's worst gallery. There was nothing to say, nothing to make it go away. All he could do was stare.

He heard rustling in the corner. He looked over and saw a figure crouched there beside an upturned desk, her shoulders shaking. He could see her pigtails as the light flickered dimly over them.

"Tammy?" he asked, "What happened here?"

Tammy looked up. Her huge eyes were full of tears.

"Oh, Chief," she said, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!"

It took most of an hour for everyone to arrive and put the front room into some semblance of order, throwing away now unreadable reports, putting desks and chairs back into place, gingerly replacing the computers on top of them. Once the place was no longer an immediate safety hazard, Good Cop called a force meeting. Everyone, Panda Guy, the Green Lantern, the Green Ninja, the Duchess, and Tammy, arranged themselves in front of him, standing at attention. The only one missing was Bubbles, who had no legs and didn't work the night shift anyway. Good Cop stepped in front of the group and cleared his throat.

"Alrighty," he began, rubbing his hands together, "That was… a bit of a… total disaster. But it's fine! It's really fine! I'm sure everyone here did their best! I'm actually glad there turned out to be no Duplo tonight, because this gives us a chance to improve on a few things. Because I couldn't help but notice a few itty-bitty issues with how things are done around here. It's no one's fault! You're all new, and we're all still learning, but there are some things we should go over."

Everyone accepted this prelude without comment. Out of everyone, the Duchess seemed to be the most upset. She was tapping her foot rather angrily, her arms folded.

"First of all," Good Cop continued, "Tammy." He pointed at the girl, who squeaked a little and seemed to shrink. Tammy was an odd looking person. She was taller than everyone else, thinner, too, her body shape weirdly wavy, like she was a three-dimensional children's slide, and her blue eyes were just freakishly big. These eyes quivered as she waited, apparently wishing to just shrink down to the size of an ant.

"You were watching the station," he said, "Did you see who did this?"

Tammy's face crumpled. She shook her head rapidly. "No, I'm sorry," she said.

"You're sure? You didn't see anything at all? Think really hard."

Tammy shook her head even faster. She was clearly about to burst into tears. "No, I didn't! I'm really, really sorry!"

Good Cop felt a surge of remorse. "Oh, that's okay, darling. It'll be alright. I just need you to be a little more alert from now on, okay?"

The girl hiccupped but then nodded. "O-okay," she said, shakily.

"Don't cry, love!" Good Cop said earnestly, "You're alright. It's already done, no point in shedding tears now."

Tammy tried to gather herself together, still wiping her eyes. Good Cop decided the best thing would be to move on now. Everyone was staring. "Alright, next," he said, "Who was it who took the cruiser?"

"Ooh! That was me, Chief!" said the Green Lantern, jumping up and down and waving frantically. He was grinning, like he'd just won a prize. "Sorry. I think I got it a little dinged up, but I can fix that easy! Master Builder, you know." He said this rather proudly. Lloyd looked less than impressed. Both he and Panda Guy were Master Builders, too.

"Oh, that's great!" said Good Cop. "I mean it. It's really wonderful that you can fix the cruiser!"

Green Lantern rubbed the back of his head. "Oh, stop," he said, enjoying himself.

"But there is just one teensy-tiny little thing," Good Cop went on, "I'm pretty sure you can fly, right?"

Green Lantern's face immediately fell. "Oh," he said. "Oh…"

"Because, you see," continued Bad Cop, "The Duchess was stranded here, and she was actually trying to run all the way to the site by herself because she didn't have a car."

"Aw, geez, I'm sorry, Duchess!" said Green Lantern, genuinely abashed.

"You should be," she answered, scowling. Her accent was rather thick, a clear sign from her home in Middle Zealand. "Duchess" wasn't just a nickname; she was real nobility, the Duchess Clementine of Elderberry. Why on earth she'd come all this way to join the force, Good Cop didn't know, but he thought it would be rude to pry.

"Actually, that's the next thing I wanted to talk about, milady," said Good Cop, cutting back in. "You trying to run all the way across town might not have been the smartest idea."

The Duchess looked horrified that anyone would talk to her in this manner. "Excuse me!" he said, "But what exactly was I supposed to do?"

"Well," began Good Cop, "If you had stayed here, than Tammy would've had another hand to help her with the vandals."

The Duchess sniffed. "It isn't my job to watch the station. It's hers." She gestured forcefully at Tammy, who shrunk back as though in pain.

"Well… yeah…" Good Cop allowed, "But if you can't get to the crime scene, you could maybe make yourself useful by-"

"I am not a simple watchdog, and I refuse to be left behind," the Duchess interrupted. Her stare was boring rather forcefully into Good Cop's face. "I was perfectly capable of reaching the alley."

"You weren't even halfway there!" Lloyd protested, waving an arm.

"Lloyd, let me handle this, okay?" said Good Cop.

"What happened here isn't my fault," the Duchess resumed, "And I won't have you pawning everyone's duties onto me."

Good Cop was at a total loss for what to say. "Uh… I guess Green Lantern knows not to take the car now," he said slowly, "So it shouldn't be a problem anymore."

The Duchess nodded once, a nod of authority. "Of course."

Good Cop tried to recover quickly. "Panda Guy," he said, pointing. He paused. Through the eyeholes in his costume, Panda Guy stared, blinking. "Actually, you're fine. Good job," he finished. Panda Guy nodded.

"Lloyd," he said next, turning to the left. Lloyd had been scowling at Duchess Clementine and seemed genuinely surprised to hear his name called. "Lloyd, when I tried to contact you over the radio, you didn't answer. Why not?"

"Oh," said Lloyd, as though he suddenly understood, "I didn't have it."

Good Cop didn't understand. "Didn't have what?"

"The radio. I left it here."

It was the way he said it, completely casually like there was nothing to it, that got Good Cop. "Why would you do that?" he asked.

Lloyd shrugged. "It's too loud; I couldn't risk it. If someone had called me, it would have given me away. I have to go stealth." He gestured rapidly at his ninja outfit. "That's kind of the point of… you know…"

Good Cop was hurt. "I thought the point of being a ninja was that you can hide from your enemies. Not from me."

"Maybe it was a force of habit," Duchess muttered, only moving the corner of her mouth. She'd said it in the quiet tone you use where you don't want to be quiet enough to go unheard. The uproar was immediate.

"Whoa, okay, that was totally uncalled for!" Lloyd yelled angrily.

"What does it matter?" the Duchess snapped back. "Everyone was thinking it."

"No we weren't!" protested Tammy.

"'Have to go stealth,'" the Duchess went on acidly. "Why, it's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. You're wearing bright! green!"

"Hey, what've you got against green!?" the Green Lantern shouted.

"Okay, okay, that's good! Please stop now!" Good Cop said loudly, waving his arms. Everyone stopped, though not willingly. Lloyd in particular was glaring very hard at the Duchess, who turned her face away haughtily, as though these peasants weren't worthy of the attention she'd given them. "Look, you're obviously all very tired, and I've already said my piece. I've given you all a lot to mull over, I think, but we can all always improve. Remember, this everyone in this city is counting on us to keep them safe, and the most important thing is that we don't let them down. So, let's get this place cleaned up, and then you can all turn in. Let's get to it!"

They dispersed, everyone going in a different direction. Panda Guy bent down to pick up a chair that was lying on its side. Good Cop walked up to Tammy, who jumped a little when he put his hand on her shoulder.

"Tammy, do you have any idea who gave that call?" he asked. "Can you trace it?"

Tammy shook her head. "No, I'm sorry, Chief. But it was over a pay phone, and the guy didn't give his name. I… I think it's the one in front of the rail station, but a lot of people go by there, so it might be hard to find out who it was."

"Are there any leads?" he asked.

Tammy shook her head again. "It was a male voice. Adult, I think. That's all I've got… I'm sorry."

"Oh, it's okay. Don't worry about it. It's nothing that can't be fixed." He looked up at the clock on the wall, which, thankfully, aside from a small splatter of paint, was untouched. Gosh, was it late. "Listen," he said, "Call if you need anything. I've got some things I need to take care of in my office."

Tammy's whole body jolted, as if she'd touched a socket. "Um! I'm sorry, Chief, but you can't go in your office!"

"What?" Good Cop made a face. "Why not?"

Tammy's blue eyes moved around wildly. Good Cop realized that he was about to be lied to. "It's a mess!" she finally shouted. "Really, it's a complete wreck! There's broken glass everywhere! It's really dangerous!"

"Well, if it's dangerous, I'd better help." He turned to go.

"No!" Tammy shouted. She reached forward and grabbed his shoulder. He turned, surprised. She seemed shocked, too. She lifted her hand, her eyes wide as though she'd just dropped a stolen valuable, before she went on. "We'll take care of it! You're way too busy! You can use my desk."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes! Positive! Go ahead! It'll be fine! Don't come up! Okay?"

Good Cop didn't know what to make of any of this. But what was he to do. Catch Tammy red-handed? Accuse her of lying. No, no, the scene that followed would just be too unpleasant. "Okay," he said, assuming a smile, "If that's what you want, then I'll stay here."


Gee whiz. "Promise!" He crossed his heart just to reassure her. "No matter what, I'll stay down here."

A small look of relief came over her features, so quickly it almost looked as though they were melting. "Good," she said. With that, she raced off.

Good Cop had no idea what to make of that scene. But, it was true. He was busy. He had a lot to do tonight, and a lot of wasted time to make up for. He looked at the clock again and hoped the vandals, whoever they were, had been nice enough to leave the kitchen. He could really go for a cup of coffee.


I'm so tired. I don't even know what to say. The existence of this story is Tumblr's fault.

As I type this, the movie isn't out on DVD yet, so if I get some facts about the movie's canon or whatever wrong, I apologize. I'm not changing it.

I don't know if it's clear from the narration, but just to clarify, Tammy is supposed to be from the Lego Friends line, which is why she looks so strange.

I hope you have as much fun with this story as I do. Please review!