In my office, I suddenly get a buzz on my Com System.
"Jean-Luc, this is Beverly. I've got a spot of bother down in Sickbay. Can you help sort it out?"
I don't like the sound of that. Beverly's idea of 'a spot of bother' is usually a calamity.
When I arrive there, the EMH is standing there with her.
"Captain," says Beverly, "the holographic doctor is demanding we pay him more."
"WHAT!" I say, almost speechless.
"It's not so amazing!" shouts the doctor, "I perform an invaluable service here, and I deserve more recognition. I also need more time off for my leisure pursuits, such as opera singing and book writing. Eventually, I hope to leave this rather mundane existance and pursue a life in the arts."
My head starts to throb.
"How did this all start?" I ask Beverly.
"I've no idea" she tells me, "Maybe it is a design fault in all the EMHs?"
"Can we give his program a tweak?" I carefully whisper.
"I heard that!", says the doctor, "I happen to have very good hearing. How would you like someone to give YOUR program a tweak? Anyway, my development is protected by HUD."
"The Holographic Union of Doctors. It is us who are demanding equal pay for holograms, or we shall withdraw our labour."
"But you don't do anything." I tell him, "You're only a last resort when the medical team needs someone else.
"That's another problem!" he says, "Holograms should be at the forefront of all things, working equally with you solids. Don't forget, I have a combination of many different doctors knowledge in me. We are actually superior to you."
He looks at Beverly, who seems apoplectic.
"We'll have to talk to the Admiral about it, Doctor."
Beverly and I both go to the screen to talk to Admiral Fisher, who handles Starfleet Employee Relations."
"I'm afraid HUD have us over a barrell, Captain Picard. All the EMHs in every starship are refusing to work. It looks like we may have to give in. If a disaster happens, we need them."
Beverly looks mad.
"Wait till he's not looking. I'll get a screwdriver and fix him!"
"HUD will catch you, Beverly."
I think we're in for some opera.