All around Balina, the city bustled. Everywhere she looked, there was a constant flow of pedestrians and vehicles, beautiful clockwork that assembled itself within the bounds she had set for it. Fields of blue, green, and yellow turned into storefronts, apartment buildings, and factories, busy little citizens turning her plans into a city.
Everywhere except here, at any rate. This one specific intersection was like a black hole, so dense that even traffic could not escape it. Day in, day out, there were cars backed up for blocks in either direction. It was maddening; there were plenty of other ways around, and this part of the city didn't even have anything important besides the offices and the park a couple blocks down the street.
"I could try putting in a subway terminal? No, that can't be it. People don't stop here, they just need to get through... maybe I need more bus routes? I don't want to just convert it into a highway, that'll kill half of downtown."
As she stood there, staring at the cars as if they would magically start moving under the weight of her gaze, gears refusing to turn in her head, there was a distracting, silent noise of an incoming call. Funny, Ashley didn't usually bother with voice unless it was something important. Then again, as soon as she mentally alt-tabbed over to answer, the half-dozen unread messages with timestamps from the last ten minutes probably explained the weird urgency. Ugh, this traffic mess really was getting to her.
Well, better rip the bandage off. *bu-dah!* "Yes, Ashley."
'Ohthankgod. There's a very, uh, large? A very large lion here. She says you're expecting her, but your schedule's empty for the day.'
"Oh, for the love of. Tell her I'm busy, and to come back later. If she asks, tell her she knows why."
There were the muffled sounds of Ashley repeating the instructions, followed by a laugh, presumably from the visitor, loud and deep enough that Balina could have heard through the walls of her office even if she hadn't been on the call. She caught something about 'roundabouts' and the sound of the door before Ashley put her headset back on. 'Um, I think that did it. Do you need me to remind you to call her back? ...Could you give me a little warning next time?'
"Roundabouts? Seriously? I am going to make all the synthetics follow her around and blast Y-E-S songs at full volume until she gets off campus. Yes, thank you, I'll make her actually schedule it next time. Does she think I didn't already try that? Give me some credit, you dork." *ba-doo*
Cities: Skylines is one of those games that if you'd given it to me twenty years ago, it would have changed the course of my life and career. I probably would have been an urban planner, and I would have known how to fix at least some of the horrible messes I keep making in this fool thing.
So I am both thankful and deeply resentful for the fact that some knucklehead saw it missing in my library and shoved it in there.