"Excuse me, I don't want to be rude, but could you drug your floret before the panel starts?"
"He's already drugged. Hasn't tried to attack anyone all day. I'm very proud of you!"
"But he's lucid and once the panel starts he's going to get bored, and bored florets cause trouble and make noise."
"Sorry, you think Mats is the one that will get bored? No no no. I'm about to be bored out of my mind."
"Your floret wants to attend a panel on loanwords integrated into Affini during domestications five hundred years ago?"
"Yes. Isn't it adorable?"
“Why is it adorable? Or why does he want to attend the panel?”
“Both? No offense, but it kind of weirds me out. None of my florets can stand these conferences without some Class E xenodrugs at the very least. Sophia insists on Class L.”
“Well, everything about Mats is adorable, and that includes the fact that he’s a brilliant scholar working on translating the works of a famous Terran playwright. Into Affini. Hence attending the linguistics conference. He wants to make sure he gets the nuances right.”
“Tell her about the commentary, Liliac.”
“Mats, maybe you could tell her?”
“So the commentary is to make Shakespeare more accessible to an Affini audience, and that includes contextualizing Terran history, but also explaining my translation choices. Plus I’ve got a side project translating some paleo-Affini poems into a modern dialect.”
“Paleo-Affini? Have you read The Minutiae of Paleo-Affini Declensions?”
“Yes. I didn’t find it as persuasive as a lot of people do. I’m working on a review of it.”
“Laureli’s a ‘go big or go home’ scholar. I think she overreached a bit, but you can’t deny it’s going to be a classic.”
“Oh, it definitely is.”
“Excuse me, would you and your floret stop talking? The panel’s about to start.”
“My floret, actually.”
“I really like Heyacith.”
“Was her talk actually good? I have no idea what any of that meant.”
“It was. Basically she was arguing yash shouldn’t be viewed as a loanword, but as a coincidental cognate with yish.”
“From Salatrian. They sound about the same and they mean roughly the same thing, but she makes a pretty solid case that yash comes from Atsuri rhyming slang, and obviously Atsuri rhyming slang in the Skadek period wouldn’t be influenced by Salatrian.”
“Liliac, do you think Heyacith would have lunch with us if you invited her?”
“I have no idea. She seemed to like you. I don’t think she was all that impressed with me.”
“I’ll be impressed for both of us then.”
“You’re sure you’re okay with me spending a few days with Mats?”
“Heyacith, if I never have to attend another one of those conferences again it’ll be too soon. I love it when Mats talks about that stuff but with anyone else I want to drill my ears out, even if it’s you, no offense.”
“None taken. My florets all hate them too. It’s important to stay balanced.”
“The reason I have so many florets isn’t just because they’re cute and cuddly. They also make me remember there’s more to life than linguistics and academics. I like your Mats, but I’m also glad he’s your Mats and not mine. I have florets to take me out of that part of my life. That said, how does he get along with your other florets? Do you think he’ll be okay with mine?”
“He mostly either ignores them or infodumps at them. My floret, his friend, Mia introduced us and the two of them get along really well, but Ana and Nerys mostly just tolerate him. When they’re sober enough to mind, that is. Fair warning though, Mats will infodump at anyone regardless of how high they are.”
“That’s so cute!”
“I know, right?”