The Architects Chapter Nine: Blueprints
I spent the day drawing. My fingers flew across the blue grid paper, like they had a mind of their own.
The ideas just flowed out of me, smoother than yogurt. I even used a pen, for God’s— gods’— sake. I never use pens. I always make so many mistakes that using pen ends up turning into a few sentences surrounded by great walls of scribbled out lines. Pencils are always my writing utensil of choice. But not this time. This time, it was thick, bold pen, and I made no mistakes.
I was so wrapped up in the drawing that I didn’t even focus on Alexei, which was okay, because he wasn’t focused on me, either. Apparently, he had the boss up his ass for a mistake he made in the White House that allowed the 123rd president to be assasinated.
It kinda sounds like a big deal, but I’m too focused on my own project to care. And besides, it works. With him distracted, it makes it easier to build a portal inside a building. The less attention he pays to me, the easier it is to survive.
Visions of the real Mr. Kerpetski terrorizing my brand spanking new apartment building spur me on, gasoline in my out of control wildfire of obsession.
Sometimes, I think, if it weren’t for Amanda, I might stay here. Immortality, eternal stacks of legos, free housing, and blood slushies. It’s not so bad here.
But I need Amanda. I need her “like a heart needs a beat,” like that one song says. And I can’t let Mr. Kerpetski kill her (which he most certainly will).
As I study my finished blueprints, the sun is setting. Holy shit. I did all this in a day? That’s honestly not bad. Considering that writing essays takes me a month, designing a buillding in a day is like climbing Mount Everest in thirty minutes with no gear.
It seems like I’ll need a lot of those really nice dark grey metallic legos. Not to mention the glass, and the...
Okay, Nick. Stop focusing so much on the exterior. It’s the inside that matters.
I roll the blueprints up as Alexei returns. He looks tired, his shoulders slumped like a druggie begging for change on a street corner.
“Get anything built?”
“No,” I say, “But I’ve got a blueprint for something cool.”
“Can I see?”
“Uh... no. I want... I want it to be a surprise, you know?”
“You know how I love surprises, Mr. Kerpetski,” Alexei says. “Or maybe you don’t, because of that amnesia stuff.”
“Yeah,” I say with a nervous, high pitched laugh. “So, remember my mortal body? How long do you think it has before it wakes up?”
Alexei shrugs. “I dunno. What, do you like that body or something? You can revisit it next time we have an Earth assignment. I’ll keep tabs on it for you.”
“Really?” I say. “Yeah. Yeah, that’s great. Thanks.” Alexei gives me a weird look.
“Don’t know why you like that teenage meat sack, but whatever.”
Even his disparaging comments about my “teenage meat sack” can’t get me down. I don’t even have to build a portal! I can just get back any time.
The next time we have an Earth assignment... now that’s the only problem. I get the feeling Earth assignments don’t happen often. But if I don’t get one in the next few days, I’m capital-F-Fucked.
“Hey, Alexei? What do we have to do to get an Earth assignment?”
“Well,” Alexei says. “With big projects, finished buildings and stuff, you can head down. Or, if you’re like me, you can build customs for humans. Like I do for my sister.”
“Big projects? How big?”
“Depends. It also depends on how easy it is to Translate.”
“From our Zeuski materials to Earth materials. We can’t have the Empire State Building made of legos. It just doesn’t work.”
“Huh. Okay. So... If I build a big project, we can hop down to Earth and get my— my host back?” I have to stop myself from saying body.
Alexei studies me, suspicion clouding his black eyes. For a moment, I’m scared I’ve blown it. I got too excited, and now I’ve screwed myself over.
But then Alexei laughs. “You always were a weird one, Mr. Kerpetski. Yes, if you build a big project, you can go jump into your pet human. But it’ll have to be massive.”
I think of my initial idea for the portal. Sure, I’ll have to change some things, but is it big enough? Could it work?
I grin. “Perfect.”
It seems like things are finally looking up. I’ve got a way out. I’ve got a massive building that I need to make in a few days, but I whipped out a blueprint in less than a day, so I think I can do this.
I can do this.
Amanda, I’m coming back to Earth. I’m coming for you. Just hold on. Keep Mr. Kerpetski asleep for just a few more days. I’ll fix this. I’ll fix all of it.
I just need time.