Speaker for the Dead

Education had been dead for 40 years when the Speaker landed on Earth. Due to relativistic space travel the Speaker had received the Speakers signal only 4 months ago, the Speaker himself just 28 years old.

While he is treated with respect usually only afforded to a priest, Andrew (named after the first speaker) will have a tough job; the job of a speaker is to read the Eulogy of the departed; they must research the life of the deceased and tell a true of that persons life. They must not tell aim to tell a happy story but simply a true story, warts and all, so that we may understand the person rather than celebrate them. It was fortunate that Speakers where protected by intergalactic law, as the truth is often not what people want to hear when their beloved has died.

So as per usual Andrew consulted the Personal Corpus API for the departed; an API so powerful intergalactic law restricts access to it, in fact it is only the Speakers have unlimited access it.  The last unauthorised access (by Sharon Willabottom to access records on High Galactic Emperor Boris Johnson 15th) was met with the first public execution in 2000 years. The results from the API for Education were odd for sure. It appeared that Education was simply a nickname to the public of Earth and she felt her full name was “Predetermined Purpose of the Schools in the System” and born to parents so ancient time had forgotten their names.

Digging further into the Corpus revealed that while Education thought she was called “Predetermined Purpose of the Schools in the System” she was not! Her parents had chosen the name ‘Response to the Erosion and Loss of Indigenous Knowledge through the Processes of Colonialism, Globalisation, and Modernity‘ which, being far too complicated to even think about saying was changed to ““Predetermined Purpose of the Schools in the System” when she was young.

Andrew quickly saw what had happened. She had dropped the nickname, discovered her true birth name and reverted to it. The people of Earth hadn’t simply noticed! She paraded herself in full view yet they couldn’t see her! Is all it takes to feign a death a name change? For the first time in his life Andrew broke intergalactic law. He erased the API data and read for the dead when they were still alive. He told nobody of his true findings.

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