Author: David C. Nutt
“Excellency, the Chair of the Preservist department is here as requested.”
“Very good, send him in.” The Chair of the The Preservist Department, formally The Office for the Preservation and Purity of Galactic Standard Language, floated in, his formal saffron and scarlet robes billowing behind him. The Galactic University High Chancellor smiled. Just the cleaning costs for those pompous threads alone would cripple a normal citizens budget anywhere in the Empire. Last terms budget cut to the Preservist Department was the first in nearly a thousand years and the delusion that it was temporary, kept the department as arrogant as ever. In fact, after a nearly 2,000 years of language hegemony, the Preservist Chair was about to have his “come to Jesus moment.” Indeed, it was a perfect metaphor. An alien catch phrase that once understood symbolized the predicament perfectly.
Before the High Chancellor could speak the Chair cut him off. “Where is my dais?” The High Chancelor nodded. The platform that by tradition elevated the Preservist department head above all other academics.
The High Chancellor managed to keep a straight face. “Ah, yes. Well, it was taking up too much floor space in my office so I had it removed.” The Preservist department head made an involuntary wince. He looked around and took a seat opposite the High Chancellor, who had not moved from behind his desk. The High Chancellor took a seat. The Preservist department head took a fan from within the folds of his robes and began fanning himself.” The High Chancellor leaned back in his chair.
“I asked you here today to clarify your position within the University. Now that conflict with the humans has been resolved, and trade has been re-established-“
The Preservist Chair beamed “Thank the 12 goddesses! Now we can bring some much needed clarity to human space. When will the Emperor restore our funds? I hope he realizes that we would need even more to establish Preservist Offices and Schools in Human space. The humans have a lot of catching up to do! They may be fine as scientists, merchants, and warriors but they can’t speak Galactic to, ah, um…”
“Save their souls?”
“Curious expression High Chancellor. Is it 3rd or 5th reign Galactic?”
“Neither. It’s a human idiom.”
“A human saying. They are, sweeping though Galactic popular culture at an exponential rate, and now that human and Empire scientists have nearly perfected the real-time universal translator…well, human speech is becoming preferred for merchant contracts, inter species co-operative ventures and docking instructions between tower and pilots. Even our own diplomatic core has moved over to using human speech- especially when the real-time translators can’t be used for one reason or another.”
“Absurd! Preposterous! Does the Emperor know this? I must seek an audience with him immediately before the Galaxy unravels!”
The High Chancellor sighed. “Ah, yes, well the BLUF is…”
“Excuse me? BLUF?”
“Another human expression. BLUF-Bottom Line Up Front. The Emperor himself and his High Council, as part of our treaty with the humans, have dropped mandatory use of Galactic standard. Times are changing and I suggest you and your department prepare for the worst. At best you will be absorbed by the History Department, and at worst, well, totally defunded.”
The Chair of the Office for the Preservation and Purity of Galactic Standard stood up in rage. “As we say in Galactic Standard, ‘Te to bon arbodum lana hrp tor brrrrrrrt la-‘“
The High Chancellor held up his hand and cut him off. “The humans have a better way to say it: ‘Go fuck yourself.’”