“Teenage Mutant Ninja
Turtles, Teenage Mutant
Ninja Turtles, Teenage
Mutant Ninja Turtles, Heroes in a half-shell; TURTLE POWER!”
Sid grabbed the iPod from my hand and snapped it in half. Obviously not a fan of the classics.
“We’re here,” he grunted, pointing a gloved hand to the bright light of the greatest wonder in the world, the Mall of America. “So... before we land...” He looked me right in the eye. “How will you two gentlemen be paying
for your trip?”
Gambit cocked his head, motioning at the fanny pack. Of course, I didn’t realize his intentions, and slapped him upside the head. Then I slowly reached for the credit card.
“Thanky muchly.” Sid swiped the card through the dashboard’s terminal. A red light went off, followed by a monotonous Dalek voice: “REJECT.”
“Oooh... gotta go!” I clicked out of my seat belt faster than a parrot molts its skin, and grabbed Gambit’s shoulder. There was a thunderous clang, a flash of orange light, and a sudden disorientation.
“Where...?” Gambit nearly choked up a lung trying to ask me where we were. But I knew what he really
meant was that he couldn’t find the words to accurately express the gratitude he felt in his heart for my quick and bold—nay, decisive—action.
“We’re here! Mall of America.” I waved the waning orange smoke into oblivion, allowing us to take in the majestic beauty of consumerism firsthand.
“Simple: during my time with the Borg, I acquired internal matter transporter nodes. I essentially ‘beamed’ us down.”
“Back when we were in New York, why didn’t you just teleport to de top of de Empire State Building?”
“I can’t teleport up,
only down. That’s how teleportation works, due to the Earth’s gravity.”
“But in de Star Trek...”
“In Star Trek, every alien is a human with a deformed nose. You wanna get into this with me?!”
“Why was our card declined? We didn’t even use it...”
“Actually, you know that commercial, the one that’s really for a bug spray, but you think
it’s for some kind of fabric softener? The one that makes you think there’s an actual cockroach walking across your T.V. set, so you throw something at the cockroach, but only end up breaking your T.V.? I maxed out our credit card getting that aired during the Super Bowl. Twice!
And I did the whole thing through a Delta terminal, so it counts as an airline expense,” I said matter-of-factly. No one could accuse me
of impropriety. Unless they had photographic evidence, in which case I would immediately
He just closed his eyes and shook his hands, a gesture I’d gotten to use a lot during my tenure at Harvard. Being the chair of the legal department had been fun, but the challenge of understanding the psychological underpinnings of the Borg collective had been far too tempting.
The mall was alight with a thousand shoppers, running, jogging, walking, meandering, and sometimes skipping from store to store. Though it pained me to abandon my quest for the perfect teddy bear, I was forced to agree with Gambit that a ten foot tall sculpture of a superhero was the quickest way to end our layover here. And he never would’ve consented to having his immortal soul entombed in the velvety confines of a teddy bear torso, so I would’ve had to resort to mind control; that’s the kind of thing that can get you sent to juvie.
I ended my internal monologue long enough to see Gambit, over in the Lego recreational area... holding my
box of potatoes.
“Why you little...” head over heels, I barraged through a series of Lego sculptures, including a giant Santa Claus. I grabbed the box from his undeserving palms. “Do you have any idea how important
the contents of this box are?! Do you?”
“It’s jus’ potatoes...”
“NAY!” I glanced around the play area suspiciously. “Inside this box lies the remains of Batman.
He was killed in combat, but I was there.
I saved his brain.”
“Wh- you know, I don’t think I can respond to dat.”
“But now, with this primitive Lego technology, we can return him to life!
” I grabbed a large Lego tubule. “Will you assist me in this bold scientific experiment? If we can make this work, you will receive honorary doctor status- you can park anywhere!
“Now you’re talking!”
For the next 45 minutes, we slaved over a hot genetic resequencer, trying to combine Lego with flesh, against all moral contention. Who was society to tell us that what we were doing was wrong?! Hypocrites!
If the experiment failed, there would be no net loss. But if we succeeded, we could use this procedure again and again. Soon, rebirth through Lego-grafting would become as common as open heart surgery; after all, didn’t they decry the first heart surgeons as evil?
What horror have we unleashed?
“Excellent work, mi amigo!”
I placed my hand over the touchpad. Instantly, it recognized my biometric reading and activated Batman’s neural matrix.
“Did he just speak?”
Gambit ran behind me, obviously worried that something as hideous as Lego Batman would attack him. Or maybe he was trying to steal my wallet. I’d have to run a background check on him later...
“The pain... is unbearable!” Batman groaned, coughing up Lego blocks as he tried to walk. Success!
“We’ve done it!” I beamed. “We’ve reanimated the dead, just like the challenge told us to!”
“The challenge!” Gambit and I both shouted in unison. Our revived Batman was far less than the required ten feet!
“Don’t worry. I’ve got it covered.” I pulled a potato-powered enlargement ray out of my potato box. “Eat potato, Batman! Potato!”
Rays as pink as the sun twirled around the dark knight, mutating his already stressed Lego grafts to elephant proportions.
“Stop firing de ray!” I could hear Gambit scream. But I was drunk with power... science had been my life’s work, and the enlargement of Lego Batman was my Everest.
I only stopped once he broke through the mall’s ceiling... or maybe it was when Gambit clocked me with my own cardboard box. It was irrelevant. By the time I came to, the mall was in ruins and all we could do was move on to exactly 100 yards from the Raddison. Maybe one day, science will become more tame, more malleable.
Until then, we will all have to live with giant Lego Batman.