“Oh, goody. That’s absolutely wonderful.” Chelan’s tone revealed a manifest lack of enthusiasm. “Okay, I get to make a statement.” He paused for a moment. “When I left home this morning, I anticipated a peacable arrival and taking of office. I see that matters have changed. I will be meeting with leading members of the Faculty and leading members of the student body about the current situation. I order former employees to go to their offices, pack up their belongings, and leave campus. I realize that some of those people will require significant freight support. Those persons may remain on-campus in their offices so long as they remain peaceable and do not disrupt the operations of the college. I order the students who have joined in the disruption, in particular the occupation of Chancellor’s Hall, to leave the building immediately and return to their residences, or otherwise go about their academic business. Students who have participated in the disruption will be subject to academic discipline, but the penalties for that participation will be greatly increased for students who do not promptly leave Chancellor’s Hall and elsewise allow the normal operation of the campus to resume. I call upon my friends in the faculty and student body to leave the area around Chancellor’s Hall so that the people inside may leave without feeling threatened.”
“Sir,” Pamela said, “Group Leader Conti asks that you postpone landing for a few minutes while reinforcements arrive for him. He suggests that you be seen to be flying around the campus slowly at low altitude waving out the windows. The press will be told you are inspecting the situation, so you have a clearer understanding of what is happening, before you land and attempt to put both feet in your mouth.”
“I endorse this wise advice,” Chelan said. “Fortunately, it is no longer the case that we have to worry about student demonstrators deploying surface-to-air missiles. Very well. Driver, let us start with a couple of loops around Chancellor’s Hall, loops around the whole campus, and then let us look at individual buildings. We just want enough altitude that no one can throw rocks at me.”
The National Technical College was a fine example of thoughtful last-century architecture. Chelan reminded himself that the style was old, but the buildings were actually quite recent.