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By Tal Tel-ar

USS Triumphant

“Care for another drink?” asked Tom Vestman.

“No. That’s OK. Thanks anyway. I would rather spend my time getting some answers to my questions.” replied Adam Malman.

“Well you do sign my checks. What is it you want to know.” Asked Tom as he sat down opposite the new owner of Intergalactic Holograms Inc.

“I’ve been reviewing all the reports and corporate data and I want to know why….why a tech named George Binns is the highest paid employee…by a large margin?” He asked as he glanced through his notes.

Tom smiled as he ordered his thoughts. “George is one of the best holo technicians in the business. Maybe even the best. Thanks to him we hold 8 patents on new advancements for holo technology. His specialty is programming extremely detailed characters for use in various entertainment programs.”

“Hmmmm.” Murmered Adam as he looked over his notes. “And all these expenses listed under his name and workstation?”

“Ohh. Those. A couple years ago we were the victims of industrial theft. George had 4 of his holo characters stolen. As I’m sure you can tell from the sales figures they are each worth a small fortune.”

“That’s why I bought this company.”

“Yes well. In order to try and eliminate the possibility of any future thefts George designed and we built a new work area for him. It’s a totally enclosed holodeck and workstation. He’s the only one with access and he works their alone.”

Adam glanced at his notes again before speaking. “I’d like to see this work area and Mr. Binns. Now!”

Tom cleared his throat. “Ah. Yes Sir. Just let me call down and warn George that we’re coming down.” Tom said as he got up.

“Warn him.!” Exclaimed Adam.

“Well yes sir. If I don’t call down we won’t get in.” he said as he toggled a button on his desk.

“Explain!” demanded Adam.

Tom lifted one hand to hold off any more questions as he spoke into the intercom, “George. I’ll be right down with the new owner to inspect your latest project.” Then he turned back to Adam and said, “Well sir. George keeps his lab sealed at all times. It’s also the only part of the plant that doesn’t have any security cameras. George values his privacy and likes to be left alone. Anyway no one can get in with out him letting them in.” he explained.

“Ok..kay Sir. ” came a reply over the intercom system. “I’ll have it ready when you get here.”

“This way sir,” said Tom as he lead his new boss towards the exit and the lift down to the lower work areas.


George glanced around and knew he was not ready. He was never ready for one of these impromptu inspections. Now where were those memory crystals, he wondered as he shuffled books, papers, pads and other high tech doohickeys around the various work surfaces and computer data interface terminals that made the lab space seem even more futuristic than it was.

Bbbeeeeppppp!!! Sounded the entry chime. George quickly moved over and activated the release. The door slid open quickly and smoothly to allow the two men in expensive suits to wander in. George turned quickly to see Mr. Vestman and a stranger, someone he had never met before. “Oh…Hel..lo sir.”

“Well George. How are you today.” Asked Tom Vestman.

“I’m ok. I think I finally fixed that problem with the iridescent translucent skin tones for the Risian jellyfish.”

“That’s good George. I’m glad to hear it. By the way this is Mr. Malman, the new owner. I’m giving him a tour of the place.”

George managed to give a sickly smile and small nod before turning back to his mess, still searching.

“So George. Want to show us what you’ve been working on.”

George turned, knocked some stuff off the counter near where he stood and quickly dropped to pick it up. “Ju..s.st a mom..m..en..t.”

He stood up and tried to look efficient as he stepped over to the side and activated the holo system. Suddenly their in front of them stood a tall majestic human with thin cruel looking features. He wore a strange style of antiquated gold and green armor with 2 huge white curved horns on his helmet and a thin pony tail of pale blonde hair hanging down his back. His clean shaved face with stunning blue eyes seemed to stare right through them.

Looking over he could see they were impressed. With more confidence than he normally had with people he spoke. “This is project 18749623851. One of 4 different looks I have programmed for the ancient mythological norse god Loki. I’m still working on giving him a voice. Just can’t seem to get the right sense of menace mixed with power and deviltry yet.”

“Here are the others.” He said as he activated the other 3 programs one by one. Now there were 4 different versions of the same character standing side by side over near the back wall.

“Very realistic,” praised Mr. Malman as he moved closer to inspect the 4 different holo characters. “I’m amazed with your attention to detail. They almost seem alive.”

“Tha..nnks, sir. That’s prob..aly due to..to the sub rou..tines to mimic human..” said George, who was interrupted by his boss.

“Yes. That’s Ok George. I’ll take it from there.” Piped in Tom Vestman. “He makes the best holo’s in the business.” In fact this entire work area here is inside a holodeck of his own design and construction. It’s the only holodeck of it’s kind anywhere in the universe.”

“Really. I don’t understand. Why?” asked Adam Malman.

“Well George claims that most holo technology in use is too primitive for him. That and he can’t stand having his privacy invaded. In fact he has his own transporter and food replicator system here in the lab.”

“To primitive?” Adam exclaimed in suprise. “I though holo technology was one of the most advanced and technologically superior fields of science.”

“Not for our George. He makes the best and we try to keep him happy.” Said Tom.

“I can understand why,” replied Mr. Malman. “But why does he need a transporter.”

“Well George locks up his lab from inside. He uses the transporter to exit the building. It’s not your normal average transporter. It’s keyed to operate only for George. In fact the buffers have been keyed specifically so as to only be able to transport George. Just another example of the security measures we take to keep his creations safe.”

Tom turned away from his new boss and back to George, “So what about those other projects?”

“Of course sir. This is project 18799653854 and 18799653855. The twin female Orion dancers.” Stated George as he activated the program in the center of the room.

George looked over to see the 2 men staring, stunned as the 2 young sexy green skinned ladies gyrated, twisted and convorted before them. “Now these programs have over 3,000 different possible costumes built in so far.” He said as he activated the first costume to cover the 2 nude dancers. Quickly they changed from one to another every 5 seconds or so.

“Uhhh…that’s enough George. I think we’ve shown Mr. Malman more than enough for one day. I expect your weekly report by 5 pm George.” Tom said as he turned and started to leave.

“Yes very….invigerating…startling good work.” Said Mr. Malman as he turned to leave. “I understand now why this company has a reputation of producing the best holo programs in the business. “

As soon as the two of them had left George secured and locked the doors. He never liked it when people entered his work area. He preferred to be left alone. He always had. Even before he had finished building his special work area and completed the project.

George glanced at the clock. Most of the people would be leaving soon. As good a time as any he thought to shut down for the day.

“Computer do routine check of program Alpha, Delta, Delta, 1.”

Suddenly his image flickered for a second, then the computer spoke. “Program updated, slight change to subroutine BGX942Y, slight change to………..

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