A satire of dysfunctional government and economic inequality.
Chapter III: Day/Page 18 CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY. . . .
CHAPTER III:Trinity of Life
“One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it.”
― Joan of Arc [1412-1431]
The headquarters building for L’Avian Académie du Cosmologié stands at the base of the mountains where the land begins to level in sloping tiered steps and then spills out into a valley. Behind the building, to the north, a range of mountains tower 17,000feet up from the valley floor, forming a semi-circle 90 miles long, east to west.
Over millennia, the bottom third of the mountain range has been sheared flat to form a vertical wall of granite one mile high, into which are hewn hundreds of thousands of apartments of various size and elegance, all with windows and terraces facing south to absorb the warmth of the sun. Behind the apartments, cut deep through the rock, is a warren of tunnels for shuttling residents to and from their homes via elevator trains, forming a vertical and horizontal mass-transit system laced through the heart of the mountains. Deeper still are the smaller elevator tunnels of LAAC, which carry the cosmologists from their headquarters building at the base of the rocky range all the way up to the observatories on the snowy peaks.
The 180-storey LAAC headquarters building is hexagonal, like the cell of a bee hive, with an open center core from top to bottom, and glass-walled offices and conference rooms around the perimeter to let in the light. Thrust at sharp angles at the apex of the building is an immense six-sided pyramidal truss of gleaming steel-alloy beams and sparkling leaded-crystal glass, from which hangs a braided steel cable running the full length of the building from the roof’s pyramidal pinnacle down 2,972 feet to the lobby’s marble floor, then through a circular opening in the floor about the size of a man-hole cover, and down another ten stories into the cavernous stone cellars of the school’s archives. At the end of the braided cable hangs suspended a ponderous pendulum bob that acts as a counterbalance for the shifting tower during earthquakes and strong winds, helping to steady the structure and keep it plumb.
Even with the supporting pendulum, though. . .
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW. . . .
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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2013 by Gregory James
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