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.
Facades were brick. Windows, especially on classrooms, were tall and undoubtedly double-glazed. Sidewalks between buildings were quite wide. Building fronts faced a long central green crisscrossed with walkways. Wide driveways behind the buildings ensured that they could all be reached by truck. Student dormitories, uniformly three stories tall, were in a separate cluster. He had no trouble spotting the ventilator shafts for the tunnels that meant that in inclement weather students could walk indoors to all of their classes. At one end of the central green, a large stone building with two obvious modern additions had to be the library.
The neighboring town of Florianopolis, according to Chelan’s reading, had originally been settled by Brazilian emigres fleeing aspects of the Interregnum. The town flanked the college on two sides, but, just as he had read, the college and its gardens occupied the land in a quadrant extending a considerable distance farther out. He readily spotted an extended business district close to the school, obvious apartment houses, and a mixture of churches, cathedrals, and temples. Someplace in there had to be the municipal government structures, but he couldn’t immediately spot them.
“Sir,” Pamela said, “Centurion Conti reports that you’ve done enough sightseeing, because the local constabulary, the county sheriffs, and police forces from several neighboring towns are present, so you can safely land and meet the press.”
Chelan’s aircar descended into the center of a ring formed by bodyguards and members of the constabulary. An exit ramp went down. He stopped at the top of the stairs, waved, and waited while the press assembled around the stairs.
“I can hear your questions on my ear mike,” he answered. “I understood that there were members of the faculty and staff who were disenthused about change and preferred to resign. Naturally, I wish them well in their future endeavors. I did not expect the occupation of Chancellor’s Hall. Occupation of College academic and administrative buildings is something out of the worst days just before the Interregnum started. That behavior should be sent back four hundred years to where it belongs.
“As Chancellor, I have absolute authority to discipline or expell students. They may leave rather than accepting the punishment I offer. I anticipate being forgiving to students who are misled, see the error of their ways, and are departing the building, as I now see some number of them doing. With respect to staff, I will be reviewing the departed. Some of them may be invited to return, but under Union law that letter of resignation is legally binding and something I will enforce.