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[ʘ] Sightseeing tour of the campus! ...Not all of it, but most of it!
-[λ] Catch the steam updraft rising from over the cafeteria. You'll smell like delicious baked goods all day, but it'll give you enough height to land on the Physics building.
-[φ] Land on the Physics building. Closer to work means more time in the air.
The air whips around my face, my eyes, rushing by my ears, blowing my hair around and messing it up, just like I knew it would, and I don't care at all—
...Nancy Drew! That was her name! Knew I'd come up with it sooner or later.
—Aaaand wings out, pull up just before I hit the ground, laughing madly as I ascend, making a neat parabola out of my flight path. ...No, that's not right. More of a cosine.
I'd sigh about not being able to let go of teacher-mode even during my free-time, but I don't think I'll ever be able to pry myself out of that, and more importantly, who cares flying soaring wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Teaching may be my greatest joy as a civilian, but flight stirs up happiness and a sense of rightness from inside my soul itself. I am still a youkai, and still a bird, and every second of the experience resonates wonderfully within me.
I wheel in a few lazy circles around the tower as I ascend, trying to decide what to do with this time I've secured for myself. I already know the campus well enough, but seeing an aerial view first-hand —besides the map on the pamphlets in the visitor's office— is a rare treat, indeed. Roof after roof isn't quite as fun, though, so I'll fly a little lower as I go, I think.
Breaking off towards the direction of the rising sun, I fly out of the central hub for the physical sciences, passing between a pair of short, squat, buildings— The Student Affairs and Health offices. The former is on the small side, but well-decorated, while the latter is longer and larger, over all, but retains its no-nonsense appearance. I'm not sure it was a good idea to put the two next to each other, to be honest.
Beyond them, however, are large, sturdy, sizable buildings with the traditional sawtooth-shaped roofs of factory buildings. I slow my flight down a bit, and circle the ugly concrete buildings a few times. Without the wind quite so loud in my ears, I am now able to hear the faint sounds of machinery running.
The shops had had the least amount of overhauling and remodeling done to them, because they were more or less the perfect sort of facility to house the mechanical technology and engineering programs. All the industrial equipment already set up and prepared essentially decided the matter from the start. There were only three buildings, but they had a large footprint, accounting for much of the eastern side of the campus.
Circling the shops once, I angle south, passing over an enormous, fenced-off section attached to one building. Officially called the Yard by the administration, affectionately known as the Junkyard by the faculty, and referred to amongst students who thought there weren't any teachers around as the Shit-heap, this area was home to piles of scrap parts, discarded equipment, and wrecked vehicles of all shapes and sizes.
It was where people in the know were allowed to donate (read: get rid of) bulky, broken things, but in truth, everyone benefited: Haven was hardly bursting to the brim with raw materials, and students in this wing, regardless of their programs, were accomplished restorers and refitters by the time they graduated. One man's junk had never more truly been another's treasure.
Rinnosuke had in fact been considering something like this. Between him and that Kawashiro woman he was dating, I'm certain they could have pulled it off. Even today, her firm did was up to something similar, albeit in a more specialized field. I really wish I could have seen what they could have made together, though...
Well. Can't live in the past, right?
Nobody's out in the 'Yard at the moment, so I flap my wings a few times to gain a bit more altitude, and curve off to the west, as I'm approaching the southeast corner, and the gardens beyond. Despite skipping them on this trip, I actually enjoy them. They've got a Japanese garden there, or at least the best equivalent they can manage.
Down on the south end are the nicer, cleaner, more polished-looking buildings. The two that lie dead south are for the higher sciences, and as you start creeping to the southwest, the pretty, glassy buildings are used for exactly the same purpose they were built for: administration and public relations. Gotta put up a nice, clean, cutting-edge look for visitors, no matter what your line of business is.
...Oops. I spot a few early birds (oh, such wit) chatting to themselves on the paths through the big, green lawns to the three shell-shaped buildings out "front." I slowly start banking north, away from them. Just as well, too; there's not much to speak of going on over here. The architecture's nice, and the lawns are well-manicured, but quite frankly, it's boring out this way.
I shoot straight north from the Administrative corner, over a few small maintenance storage buildings (which also look boring, but the kind of intentional boring designed to make people not really pay too much attention to them), and arrive in the northwest quadrant, which is home to everyone's favorite things, no matter who you are or what kind of student you might be.
The first is the big, big building, our recreation center. It used to be a supply-storage warehouse, but it got converted into a gym. And then they added on a pool. And then they thought a soccer field was long overdue. And why not a few indoor basketball courts, to top it off?
...They got a little carried away, I think. A few students are pushing for an American Football field, too, but it's not looking so good for them, as the school has finally decided to draw the line on how much space will be devoted to it. It's already creeping pretty close to the library, after all.
The library is one of the few buildings on campus built post-Flip (from scratch, that is). The smooth, flowing lines of its construction are unexpectedly elegant, and even moreso, given what it was built in the middle of. ...It's one of my favorite places here, and every time I see it, I thank every god I knew that the architect who proposed the Googie plan for it never got the high bid. I can't stand that look.
Somehow, I acquired a dislike of the Sixties without having ever really experienced them firsthand. Renko tells me this is natural.
I circle my beloved bastion of books and braininess before begrudgingly bidding 'bye. My tour is almost done, and the sun is inching ever higher in the sky. I make a hairpin left, which is not something that's easy to do while flying (or driving, really) if you've built up any speed at all... And that's why I'm able to make it okay— the library is a naturally relaxing place for me.
A low-altitude flight through a grove of maples lining the asphalt path lets me indulge myself in a bit of a game, even if it is pretty easy. Dodging falling leaves is no trick if you're even slightly used to danmaku, since they move so slowly, and only along a z-axis. ...Well, unless you're dealing with an angry Shizuha, in which case that's a different story entirely. Since it's still their season, however, the Akis are much too busy to make with the danmaku (Nice ladies, though).
After I'm finished screwing around and laughing like a child (and have picked the leaves out of my hair), I follow the path up to a solid, sturdy-looking building that's already got a few lights on inside: the cafeteria. That's what everyone calls it, anyway; in reality, it's a cafeteria, a restaurant, and a culinary school all in one. It used to be home to the Ceramics division, too, until a few particularly desperate students tried using the ovens there instead of the kiln to fire their final projects the night before they were due, because their own rooms were locked.
The mess discovered in the morning cost the school about $10,000. It was not a good day.
I soar up over the roof and even before I get near the vents, I can feel the thermals. An involuntary grin crossed my lips as I ride them up and up, gaining height for free. I get up juuuust far enough to... there!
I break off, and without flapping my wings once, manage to glide across campus, flying back to the center in a long, smooth descent. Leaning off to the side, I buzz the bell tower in order to snatch up my bag from where I'd placed it, just for this reason. After that, I do need to flap my wings a few times, but not very much: I come to a careful, gentle landing atop the roof of the Physics building and carefully, carefully walk along the tiles to the access hatch. It's a skylight that swings up and open, and the only reason I have a key for it is because I covered for Bao Yu for a few afternoons during a break. Her son was sick, and I was around, not having much to do that week, but still needing to be at school for the little that I did. She was a little suspicious, but just chuckled after I told her why I wanted it.
She's a good woman.
Locking the skylight behind me, I dust myself off, and head for the ladies' room to make myself look somewhat presentable again. Flight is hell on makeup and preparation, but I'm more than happy to pay the price. After getting back into shape, smoothing all the ruffled bits, and generally making myself look like I didn't fly into work today, I leave the bathroom, and go out to the little railing at the top of The Cup.
Time to start the day.
[ ] Stop by the front office, first.
[ ] Go looking for Renko, she's probably around.
I am not dead, and neither is this story. But holy hell, am I busy. I only managed to write this because I had a day off when I couldn't get into the labs, either, and felt sufficiently guilty about letting this go for so long that I decided to dedicate today to finishing the update. Next break will probably be around Thanksgiving or so, much as I'd rather it were sooner. I miss being able to write freely so damned much. ;_;
Damn, I think you're right. She's only ever said Ibara, hasn't she? Thanks for catching that.
It was only after the fifth or sixth time I saw this vote --and its attached picture-- that I realized you were bouncing the reference back at me. Well done.
>Well, we are on the Internet...
That's really no excuse.