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Lt. JG. Riedinger | SL : "Tales of a holo-enthusiast" PART IV

USS Darmok Lounge

by LtJG Aaron Riedinger
[Stardate ]


SD: 201810.11

Based upon Aaron's days at the Academy | PART IV

The following events take place approximately two years after the last part.

And now, the conclusion ...

  • "HA! You saw it!? I told you it was going to work! And I also told that damned pointy-ears last week. Tío ... if Sovak hadn't underestimated me so much, we would have finished long, long ago."

Aaron and Ocelot were in the Holodeck of the Holoprogramming Club. Their project had progressed a lot since that time they went to Jupiter Station to "discuss" the "details" of it. So much so that several weeks ago they were already preparing a prototype for the mobile emitter. The two major problems they faced in the last time were related to the compatibility and the type of material that would be used to replace the poly-deutonic alloy used by the original emitter. In the last meetings that took place between them, together with Dan and Sovak, Ocelot energetically suggested that they use Tetraburnium to build the prototype. And Aaron alleged that he had already reprogrammed the input and output subroutines, and that they would not have to deal with any kind of compatibility issue. But the vulcan ignored the suggestions of both. He argued that Tetraburniun would be acceptable to build a single prototype, but that to make a mass production would be completely inefficient due to its market value. As for the compatibility problems, Sovak kept saying that he would solve the problem himself, but the truth is that he never resolved it. Not because of incompetence, but because he could work on the project only in his free time, and "hidden" from any other person. And besides, the truth is ... Sovak did not like the way Aaron worked. Or at least until last week, when Aaron and Ocelot presented a new optimized program at the last meeting, and encouraged the use of Verterium Cortenide for the production of the emitter. Much to his regret, Sovak had to admit that the changes they proposed were positive for the project, and he let them start with the construction of the prototype. Dan, as in all the meetings they had in the last couple of years, was mostly limited to listening and usually supporting the decisions of Sovak.

  • "I'm sure we would. But contain your emotion, we still don't finish. Ready to test if the Verterium Cortenide will resist?". Ocelot was scrubbing his hands, excited.

  • "Of course, mi amigo. Being so close to finishing, you think I'm going to retire? Don't be ridículo, Ocelot." Aaron took from his briefcase a gray object, completely circular, of the size of an adult hand. "Have you seen Dan? I have not seen him for a couple of days. I'm sure he will love seeing this."

  • "No, no idea. I haven't seen him in a while. But what's the difference? He loses it." Ocelot pulled the emitter case out of Aaron's hands. "You know ... telling the emitter simply 'the emitter' sounds boring. I was thinking of a cooler name. What do you think of A.S.S.M.H.E? Autonomous Self-Sustaining Mobile Holo-Emitter."

  • "Well, yeah, that sounds cool." Aaron took back the case out of Ocelot's hands. "We have enough space here to decorate with the name and standard colors of the Federation. It will look muy, muy bueno. But that once we verify that works ... " Aaron put the briefcase upon the console on which they were both working and started assembling the emitter parts.

While Aaron finished assembling the final pieces, Ocelot, from the console, made appear an iterative hologram that Aaron had programmed a couple of years ago at his image and likeness. The hologram was programmed only with basic actions, but it would serve for them purpose.

  • “Ready here ……” Aaron gave a long sigh.

  • Do the honors, my friend.” Ocelot was rubbing his hands again.

Aaron went over to the hologram and placed the emitter on the chest of it. From the console, Ocelot commented:

  • “Very well, nothing exploded this time! Now, the moment of truth ... take him out of the Holodeck."

  • "Ok, there I go, I'll take it." Aaron sighed nervously and began guiding the hologram towards the holodeck door. "Come on Holo-Aaron, I know what you can handle it. Not only are you sexy as your creator, but you will be the first hologram that will revolutionize everything! You can do it! You can do it!"

Ocelot passed both Aaron and left the Holodeck, while still rubbing his hands. The Holodeck was in the back of the Holoprogramming Club's lab, but it was empty, only Aaron and Ocelot were inside the Club at four in the morning. After all, they only worked at the emitter at night.

After a few seconds of waiting, Ocelot saw the two Aaron go through the door and out to the lab.The two men looked at each other, incredulous. Aaron made the hologram walk a few more steps, going further into the laboratory. Seeing that the hologram was still materialized, intact, after so many seconds, the two men looked at each other again. The silence broke the moment they both embraced, and embraced the Holo-Aaron, while shouting with happiness. Their prototype was working.

  • SI! Si si si si si si! SI! We did it, Ocelot! Lo logramos!”.

  • “HA! You know what they say .. the millionth time's the charm! Ocelot hit Aaron on the shoulder, and then hugged the Holo-Aaron again. “I have a Monte Santil in my apartment reserved for this occasion! Harvest of 2337. Let's go for it. And there we will contact Dan. And Sovak.”

  • Sure! Of course! Let's get outta here before someone gets to check for the noise.” Aaron plucked the holo-emitter from the chest of the hologram and it dematerialized.

  • “Yeah …… Aaron ……” Ocelot sighed and looked proudly at the emitter that Aaron held in his hand. "Today is a new day for the Federation. We did it, my friend. Now, let's get out of here. "

After celebrating in the department of Ocelot, they communicated with Sovak to inform he of their results. Although they questioned the inexpressive response of the vulcan, they agreed to coordinate a meeting with he and Dan as soon as possible to show them his prototype.

The two left immediately to look for some ship that reaches them towards the Jupiter Station. Luckily, they found a Tellarite trading ship that would pass through there. After a good argument with Ocelot, he was able to convince the Tellarites to reach them both to the Station.

When they reached the Station, they quickly made their way to Sovak's office. Upon arrival, the receptionist warned them that Sovak was in an important meeting and that they would have to wait for it to end. They sat down on a bench in the waiting room. After all, they knew that Sovak was always a very busy man.

  • "Meh ... I can't believe we'll have to wait again for him to finish his damn meetings. This is much more important than anything else he's discussing." Ocelot rolled his eyes.

  • Relax, mi amigo. Time is not our enemy, we can wait. And besides, I was always curious: can I ask how you did to 'hide' this project for so long, Ocelot?”

  • “No, you can't ask. Unless you want to end up like Mendon. RIP, by the way.”

  • “How can you say something like that in such a cold way? He was your amigo ……”

  • “Do not misunderstand me. I really loved Mendon, I liked him. But ... the way I was trying to 'hide' - as you say - really does not concern you, Aaron. No offense, but it's for your own good. I took that risk and you should not be more involved than you currently are.”

  • “Ok, ok, but ……” Aaron stopped when he heard the office door open.

  • Come on in.” Dan was the one who spoke to them from inside the office, inviting them to come by.

  • "Hey, Dan, how are you?" Not seeing you for so long. Were you hiding from us because last time we almost blew up the entire Holodeck?”, Aaron commented, as they entered the office.

  • I'm fine. And I wasn't hiding from you, I had more important things to do. Now, sit quietly and listen, please.”, Dan commented to them, with his thick voice, as he sat on the tip of the main table in Sovak's office.

  • “Ok ... we finished the prototype. It's working. So …… where did Sovak go? The receptionist said that she was at an important meeting ……” Ocelot commented, while looking surprised at Dan for his reaction. He expected that at least Dan would be more excited than the vulcan.

  • "He is not here." Dan sighed and then commented in the most serious way: "Now ... give me the prototype, the schematics and all the technical information about the emitter."

  • "Oh, yes, we had prepared a presentation to show you and Sovak all the changes we made since the last meeting and about the trials of the prototype! And we are already preparing the report that we are going to send to the Starfleet Headquarters, as well as the article for the technology magazine of the Federación ...". Aaron began to rummage in his bag in search of some PADDs.

  • "Aaron ... there will be no report to present, nor any article for any magazine.” Dan sighed again and remarked sharply: "The prototype. Now."

Ocelot hit the table with both fists and stood up abruptly:

  • NO! IT CAN'T BE! I knew they said this would happen eventually, but ... I had been controlling it so well!!!” Ocelot, frustrated, hit the table again. ”Why?! Why right now!? And the most important ... of all the people in the world, why you? Why you, Dan?!?!

Dan also got up, and quickly pulled out a phaser from under the table. With a most serious tone, he commented:

  • "This is the last time I'll ask for it." He looked at the phaser with which he was pointing at Ocelot. "It's set to kill. So, give me the prototype. Now."

  • Oh, so everything will end this way, eh!?” Ocelot replied, furious. "I did not know that they would even be able to brainwash you, with the stubborn you always were! And let's not talk about you betraying us after everything we went through ..."

Dan was ready to fire the phaser, but stopped when he heard the sound of metal against the table.

  • STOP!”, Aaron commented, while he was throwing a briefcase to Dan on the table. “Por favor …… there you have it, there it is. Now stop, please. Please, Dan.”

  • “No. No, Aaron, you too? I can not believe it ... ", Ocelot commented, frustrated and shocked.

Dan opened the briefcase, and the first thing he did was to quickly examine the PADDs in it. Then, with a scanner that Aaron had never seen in his life, he examined the prototype of the emitter and commented:

  • "Everything is fine. Now you should not do anything else. All the other information you have about the prototype or the original emitter will be deleted without you doing anything. You will never have to work on a project related to it, or use the knowledge acquired to do something similar. It goes without saying that you should never talk about this with anyone. Neither between you two."

Dan touched his combadge, and, without saying a word, both saw that he teleported and dematerialized. Aaron, completely shocked, looked at Ocelot and said:

  • "Ocelot ... what the hell was that?".

  • So much work invested in that project and ... zsasz! ... everything disappears, from nowhere ..." Ocelot sat in an armchair, and took his head with both hands.

  • BUT WHAT WAS THAT?! I think I deserve some answers. Where did Dan go? What will happen to him? What will happen ... TO US?!”

  • "Nothing will happen to us as soon as we finish this quick conversation and get out of here. We just have to do what he told us to do: nothing. As for Dan ... it's sure we will never see him again ... that no one will ever see him again. Surely, they are already reporting that he was presumed dead in some kind of 'accident'. "

  • "What are you talking about? He has a wife ... and a three-year-old daughter, why would he leave just like that? Is it worth destroying an entire family in exchange for technology?" Without realizing it, tears began to fall down Aaron's cheeks.

  • “You do not even have a clue about the kind of murky things that happen in the Department of Temporal Investigations. Now, let's get out of here."


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