I scurry out of my dormitory wing, heading for a slipway. They’re kind of like what you used to see at airports back at the turn of the century. On steroids. With hormone control issues. Grabbing a safety loop by the entry port, I take a deep breath, and swing out onto the slipway. The loop locks into the electromagnetic track overhead, and accelerates me up to an unpleasant velocity, while at the same time sliding sideways to clear the egress zone of the next upcoming port. With a twinge from a particularly surly muscle in my shoulder, I relax my hold on the loop and settle my feet to the ground. The entire process has taken less time than you’d think, and I’ve never been able to wrap my head around how the EM fields they use keep the acceleration from ripping you right off the loop. Suffice it to say, as with any sufficiently advanced technology, it was pretty darn cool.
Cool, that is, until you looked to the side. The blur of buildings whipping past evokes primal images of…something. A cartoon coyote…quick drops and sudden stops…its not the fall that kills you…you get the idea. Fast humans and immobile objects never play well, and despite my conscious brain telling me the safety field won’t let me out at this velocity, my body rebels. As always. Just another exercise in the end, the sudden tension from adrenaline surge helps browbeat my muscles into quiescence. Just in time for me to…craptheresmyexitport.
Having seen the blue notification sign with my department name on it, I grab more firmly to the loop and do my best Tarzan impression. Few people these days seem to know who Tarzan is, but I’ve always been a fan of the classics. Especially the classics that haven’t been gutted and re-imagined as yet more ways for the company to slam its motivational spew into my unwilling eyes. Kicking my feet up and praying I started in time to catch the deceleration zone, I swing back to the exit side of the slipway, slowing down from terrifying speeds to speeds that are mildly unpleasant. And with a slight jolt, the loop exits the slipway and drops me off outside my department building. With a bit more velocity than it should.
Dusting myself off, and making sure everything is still attached after my impromptu tumble, I glare at the slipway. I know I should exit slipways at a fast walk, to let my body use the momentum rather than forgetting that it will be there and more than ready to interact with the floor and its buddies friction and gravity. But lets face it, the 3 minutes on the slipway are going to be the best part of my day. No forced conversation since everyone else is already at the office, plenty of time to ponder high velocity impacts, or what might be for dinner tonight, or just to indulge in woolgathering. Provided its a small sheep and an even smaller bush.
See, there I go again with the classics. Folks these days don’t even know what a sheep is, and an obscure turn of phrase regarding collecting bits of them from shrubbery…well, lets just say I don’t use that expression around the watercooler.
Speaking of which…if I’m extraordinarily lucky, I might be able to catch the morning peptalk at said watercooler without anyone noticing my tardiness. Not that the door sensors won’t compile it for my boss to review later today, but at least that will be a few minutes, or maybe even hours without anyone complaining at me.