The city is unnamed, as The City is unnamed, and the year is ambiguous. I don’t think we need a map planning out the city (although one may evolve) but I’m just going to include in this city things that I like. For instance, moulding on architecture. Connective technology. Parks. Large apartment buildings with communal courtyard gardens that actually get used and loved. Laundry lines. Free city-wide WiFi. Public water fountains. Farmers markets. Fruit. Summer. Clouds and rain. The story takes place over the period of one spring-summer-fall, a planting cycle.
There are two parallel story lines. The City—who is having internal conflicts and confides in The Barista—and our other characters—who are having external conflicts that correlate with The City’s conflicts. Which side effects the other is a point open for debate.
Lu, the gardener, is approached by the internet goddess Sudo and is given a puzzle. Shortly after, Tavi and Lu cross paths, Lu gives Tavi the puzzle, and Lu and Ollie become unlikely friends.
The puzzle is a very difficult code puzzle that Tavi shares with their online friends, primarily Gershom for help with solving. When they finally solve it, it unlocks a biblical flood in AR in which it rains static for 32 days and 32 nights. This changes everything. It begins with the weeds growing between the cracks in the sidewalk. A whole bunch of characters get involved from different angles, and chaos a d growth ensues.
Meanwhile, The City becomes friends with The Barista, with philosophical inward-facing interludes. The City considers questions of self, what makes a person who they are, and what defines reality as it is. The Barista confides in The City about their personal life, and how they also face these questions. The Barista ends up having excellent insight, and they help each other come to terms with some things, and a subtle romance blooms.
At one point, Tavi and The Barista cross paths in a professional manner, so as to solidify the fact that all of this story is taking place on the same plane of reality, and not some kind of philosophical other-plane metaphor. Tavi comes to the coffee shop by convenience of locale, is ambivalent towards the coffee, and does not return.
The City's coming to terms with some of their internal troubles correlates with the main intrigue reaching its climax. The main intrigue is never actually solved, it isn’t a black and white problem, simply a force of motion and change. The climax involves a kind of acceptance and integration into normal life on the parts of the characters.
The City and The Barista fall in love. More conclusions will arise.