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Late for Class

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It was Monday morning, and Gil was horribly, utterly late for class, one he'd been looking forward to, too, so it was even worse.

In his defence, he hadn't anticipated the giant mutant squid running rampant yesterday would tire him out this much… or that their rampage would continue this late into the evening, enough so that upon waking he'd just turned over and continued sleeping before awakening with a panic upon realizing which day it was.

Today was the first day of Dr. Beetle's lectures on Automaton Construction, and worse, it was sign-up day - only those who'd already signed up, then came today, in time to take their place, would be allowed in the lab, something Gil wanted more than anything else… well, quite a lot of other things right now, anyways, not more than really, truly everything else.

Therefore, it was quite logical that Gilgamesh was running to the Engineering Institute as fast as his legs would carry him.

It was also quite logical, and as he'd already thought about not his fault, that lost in thought as he was, he wouldn't quite watch where he was going.

Fortunately, he didn't trip over anything.

Unfortunately, he ran straight, smack-dab, into something - or rather, someone, bowling both of them over.

"Pardonnez-moi", slipped out almost automatically, then he stared down. Long blonde hair. Body. Girl. Under him. Bit younger than him. "… mademoiselle", he finished his sentence, rising to his feet while blushing up a storm.

"That's 'sorry, miss', in French, right?", the girl asked in Romanian, then, she seemed to remember that she was in Paris at the moment. The familiar language nearly put Gil into a stupor: He missed home.

"You're from Transsylvania?", Gil asked, feeling just a bit homesick all of a sudden.

"Yes, Beetleburg, actually -"

Gil paled. "Dr Beetle's lecture! Uh, sorry miss, I've got to run -" and he took off again.

He reached the lecture hall just in time to hear "Holzfäller!"

"Present!", he coughed out, slipping into a seat in the last row, and an assistant marked him down as Having Been There To Take His Lab Place.

They continued alphabetically until they finally arrived at a Zornmaier, who hadn't actually shown up for sign-up despite getting onto the sign-up list, and then went through those unfortunates stuck on the waiting list - not all of them had come, something Gil found rather foolish: If you were there for the first class, you normally had a better chance to still get into the class than not, irrelevant whether it was a lab or anything else that required sign-up.

… if you were really lucky, you could even manage to end up with a place without even having gotten onto the waiting list.

Then, the lecture followed, and Gil felt himself being gripped by excitement - Dr Beetle really knew what he was talking about, starting with the first step of designing automatons - considering the available materials: There was a difference in whether you used dynesteel or bronze for anything from the joints, to the outer casing, to different parts of the automaton itself - and Dr Beetle was giving a quick overview over the properties of materials that any automaton should be built of: being non-degradable, especially. He illustrated that point by an amusing anecdote about a Spark whose army of bio-degradable automatons had been ravaged by no enemy other than… July and August weather.

Gil took copious notes, and then, finally, it was time for them to be assigned their lab spaces.

First, he had to listen to yet another safety lecture, then, they were all assigned their numbers.

"- Sturmvoraus, 22, Holzfäller, 23 -", an assistant read out, and Gil gnashed his teeth - of course his bench neighbour would be Tarvek, of all people.

"19 to 24, you're in the fourth bench."

Wonderful, he didn't even have the luck to escape Tarvek after all.

"There'll be assistants to help with most of the day-to-day things, if there's anything else, you can talk to Dr Beetle - though if it's an administrative issue, I'd advise you to talk to his secretary, Miss Clay, she'sa very nice girl. You'll also hand in all the forms to her - the standards about taking responsibility for your equipment and not suing the university or professors in case of maiming or death, mostly."

Aha! A chance to escape Tarvek after all!

The assistant handed out the forms, and Gil checked his out as quickly as possible, then went to find the secretary, only to run into the blonde-haired girl from this morning again.

This time, fortunately, not literally.

"You're the boy from that morning", she told him, and he couldn't quite discernthe emotion behind it. "Well, you did announce you wanted to get to Dr. Beetle's lecture." Oh. Now he could.

It was amusement. Wonderful.

"Since we didn't have time to introduce ourselves - I'm Agatha Clay."

… well, there went his plan to ask for a different lab place. It would be way too awkward to ask somebody he's bowled into for a favour.

"Gil Holzfäller, I… uh… already completed my forms."

She beamed at him.

Well, at least they seemed to be off to a somewhat decent start, even with the incident this morning.