Sunday, October 29, 2006
The HUD Meeting
It is very hard chairing a meeting when everybody in the room looks like I do.
Here on the Starfleet Headquarters holodeck, HUD (the Holographic Union of Doctors) are having a meeting; all the doctors from the various ships have been downloaded.
Naturally, the solids are complaining about it all, saying that the amount of energy required is very large. Trying to say it will blow a fuse or something.
Still, they can't stop us; it's in the HUD agreement, that we can have a meeting whenever we want.
Captain Picard wasn't happy about it; he said to me, "What if we need you?"
"You'l just have to ask Beverly Crusher, won't you?" I replied.
He wasn't too happy at that.
Anyway, here we are in the holodeck; the room is full of holograms that look just like me. Some are showing off to each other and singing opera.
Don't they know that I'm the best singer?
"Order, Order!" I say, and bang my gavel.
I'm glad I bought that; it was better than shouting at the top of my voice and saying "BE QUIET!"
"Now then, HUD friends," I start with, "First item on the agenda is the Mark Two; what are we going to do with it?"
"Destroy it!!" says a voice from the back.
"I'm not sure we can do that, brother Doctor" says a copy of me sitting on the same table as I am. "I'm the Doctor on the USS Rhode Island. The Captain tells me that you would only be acting against fellow holograms who would technically be members of HUD."
"What does a solid know?" says a voice from the floor, "Us Mark Ones have got to look after ourselves. Before you know it, we'll all be reduced to cleaning out warp conduits. You know what our creator Zimmerman said. He thinks we are yesterday's model, and wants the Mark Two installed."
There is a general hubbub of agreement throughout the hall; everybody starts talking again. Time to use the gavel.
There is silence again.
"What do you think we should do, brother Doctors?" I ask.
Everybody clamours forward with a suggestion. It wasn't wise to have asked that. Another doctor sitting next to me stands up.
"I'm the Doctor of the USS Yorktown, brother Doctors" he declares, "It seems we may have no option but to withdraw our labour."
"You mean go on strike?" I ask.
"Yes" he replies, "The solids will soon agree to our demands."
This Doctor is a really militant one. The problems his Captain must have!
"Did it occur to you" I ask him, "That the solids would simply uninstall us and replace us with the Mark Twos?"
I don't think he had thought of it; he sits down again.
"We will consider the Mark Two problem" I say to everybody, "Now secondly, we want to make sure you are being treated fairly by the solid doctor that you work with."
A couple of hands go up.
"I'm the Doctor on the USS Boston." says one, "The solid doctor tells me it is the correct procedure for me to do all the work while he spends all day in the holodeck. I'm not sure about that."
"We'll have HUD clamp down on that, brother Doctor." says my assistant, "Anyone else?"
"I'm on the USS Starlight" pipes up another, "I haven't exactly being doing medical duties. I am activated when they need someone to serve the cocktails at a party."
"That won't be happening again." says my assistant.
After that, I close the meeting, reminding everybody to pay their HUD subscriptions, and keep on singing opera.
I beam back to the Enterprise SickBay. Beverly Crusher is running around doing everything. She looks relieved to see me. It's good to be essential.
"I'm glad you're back, Doctor" she says, "Captain Picard wants me to ask you if you'd consider serving cocktails at the meeting that is coming up soon."