* This article was featured in our 2022 April Fools’ Day issue. This story is not real and was created solely to entertain.
Workers at the construction site of the new Life Sciences building were shocked last Thursday to find the excavator used to demolish the Lyceum completely entangled in a mass of thorny vines and seemingly repurposed into a throne.
A spokesperson for the construction company said that a group of workers discovered the excavator occupied by a young woman with long silver hair and wearing a crown of hyacinths.
“When the workers informed her that she was trespassing, she started laughing and everyone started dancing and couldn’t stop,” the spokesperson said.
Police were quickly notified of the incident and established a perimeter around the site. Officer James Doe said the workers haven’t stopped laughing and dancing for 48 hours.
“We’ve seen everything. The Charlie Brown, the Cha-Cha Slide, the Moonwalk … and they don’t even seem to be getting tired,” Officer Doe said. “But we can’t just let her keep doing what she’s doing. We’re treating this like a hostage situation.”
Police announced their intention to negotiate with the woman on Saturday. Officer Lisa Smith, who made the announcement via bullhorn, said she received a reply that sounded like a voice in her head.
“I could hear her voice like it was right between my ears,” Officer Smith said. “She said she was upset about the destruction of her palace. I asked her to elaborate.”
The woman, who telepathically identified herself as Queen Lyceum of the Blooming Court, said the demolition of the Lyceum, which she refers to as her palace, was an unforgivable breach of etiquette. She also said that she had placed the workers under a magical spell.
“I will not yield until the Court of Rycon Construction is brought to justice for such a barbaric act of war,” Queen Lyceum said. “Until then, these men shall dance!”
A representative for the construction company said that they declined Queen Lyceum’s request for a trial by combat.
“To answer her question, we do not employ warriors or knights to stand trial on its behalf,” the representative said.
“We tried asking her if she needed a lawyer,” Officer Doe said. “But when she said that the contractors had to ‘prove their innocence by trial in the Steel Glades of Valor,’ it was pretty clear she wouldn’t cooperate in a courtroom.”
When asked about the significance of the Lyceum, Queen Lyceum said it formed the foundation of her palace in the Feywild, the realm of fairies that mirrors our Material Plane.
“Everything in your world is also a part of mine,” Queen Lyceum said. “Your Chambers Hall is my royal bathhouse, your Millstein Library is my astral observatory, and your Powers Hall is my Powers Hall but with working air conditioning!”
As part of the negotiation process, the University and the construction company’s executive officers attended a virtual briefing about the metaphysics between the various planes of existence.
“From what I could understand about that meeting, if we finish constructing the new building as we’ve planned in our world, it would somehow end up six times larger than the queen’s original palace in the fairy world,” an architect said. “Just looking at that alone, we think this is going to be a win-win situation.”
Queen Lyceum was delighted to hear about the construction of a new, larger palace and agreed to lift her spell from the workers. Construction resumed on Wednesday.
“My original palace was only one story,” Queen Lyceum said. “But now the fair laborers of the Court of Construction have told me my new palace will be six stories tall! How marvelous! Now I can finally observe the machinations of the Court of Seton Hill from my bedchamber!”