You're a prospect? You know, you're supposed to take the entry exam, and come after you've been accepted.
I understand, but for reasons I don't wish to discuss, I had to relocate without warning. I was hoping you'd give me some slack, sir. Hahn has just caught the principal of Motavia Academy on his way out of his office. The two step back inside as the principal looks through some paperwork.
Since the form has already been sent, I cannot rescind it without having it back. I take it you didn't bother to bring it with you?
No, it hadn't arrived before I left. I felt it was rather important to get here before anything can stop me. Please, just give me a chance!
The principal seems to fade into his thoughts for a minute.
...Why don't we tour the campus first? I'm pretty sure you haven't yet, given how far away you live. Follow me. Hahn silently falls in line as the Principal begins walking.
He shows Hahn to the various classrooms, pointing out the long history of the different departments. After demonstrating some obscure chemistry apparatus, they make their way to one of the laboratories, where an older man bumps into the young prospect.
Oh, pardon me. Could you tell me what happened to all the students?
Professor Holt, the last classes ended an hour ago. All the students are off campus right now.
Oh, drat. I need someone to help me with the kiln, since I don't know what I'm doing with it.
Hahn steps up,
Perhaps I can help? I know a thing or two about smithing.
Certainly, young man! Come over here. Hahn and Holt step over to an old kiln in the corner of the lab, and Hahn takes a quick look at it.
When he opens the door, he notices a strange black tar in a metal pan above the fire inside.
What are you trying to do?
They say that there was an ancient civilization much more advanced than us, which was able to create a strong fabric from some strange material. I'm not sure, but I think pitch might be what it is. Of course, what does an old History coot know about these fancy stoves?
These things can be pretty complicated, but the principle is always the same. Just maximize airflow to maximize the temp. Hahn opens the chimney flue, and starts operating a couple of bellows, watching as a small gauge on the kiln begins to climb over 700 degrees.
After a few minutes, Holt opens the door, and watches as the pan of pitch burns brightly.
I don't think it's working.
Hahn looks into the conflagration.
The same thing happened when my dad tried to smelt some titanium ore once. The heat is causing that stuff to burn. Are there any Motavians in the academy?
The principal looks into his briefcase.
There's one or two. I could ask them if they could assist tomorrow. Anyway, Hahn, we should get back to what we were doing. The old professor takes over dousing the fire, and the Principal leads Hahn back to the front entrance of the building.
Now, you see this statue? This is Doctor Lubetz, the God of Learning. They say he is one of the greatest minds to have been dedicated to learning, and his story is one that has been passed down among the faculty here since the academy was founded. He once stated that the most noble of academics always have a goal that they follow for their entire lives, without ever wavering or fully succeeding. Why don't you tell me why you've chosen to enroll here?
Hahn thinks back to when he first filled out the application to enroll.
What is the best answer? What is the truth of the matter?
Motavia has been slowly degrading into an uninhabitable waste for a while, and nothing indicates that this trend is going to reverse in the short-term. Rather than simply stand by and watch, I want to harness the power of science, so that I can help people to live a better life.
The principal simply nods.
Interesting ideals. As I remember on your initial application, you indicated an interest in our agricultural sciences program. Is this still what you're planning on?
The young man finds himself uncertain once again.
You know, I've been thinking about it for a while, and I'd like to get into Materials Science...
You would have access to the entire library's resources if you become a student. For now, however, let's put you down as a Chemistry prospect, since most of the general courses will transfer into either program. The principal reaches into his briefcase, and produces a large form and a small key.
You've officially failed your entrance exam, but I can issue a second test at my own discretion. Due to campus policy, you won't have another chance, but I trust you'll complete this form and return it to me by tomorrow afternoon. The dorms are the first building on your right as you step outside. Take care, prospect.
Thank you, sir! He watches the principal walk back towards the stairwell, and heads over to the dorms where the caretaker happily shows him his new home. After putting the contents of his knapsack into the various cabinets, he sits down at a cheap desk in the corner and leafs through his test.
I'll do this in a minute. Instead of beginning on the exam, he decides to take out a new sheet of paper instead, and begins to write a letter.
I am writing this letter to tell you that I've made it to Piata, and that I am safe and sound. There are a few complications due to my sudden arrival, but nothing that will stand in the way of what I must do. I've already met a couple of the academy staff, and I think I will have no problems with my studies here. I promise to write to you every chance I get.
Love you now and forever,