The Holographic Reboot

Holographic Lab
1900 hours

Tevalak sat staring at the subroutines, the parameters, the overlays on the console and after ten minutes of it, he sighed.

“Computer,” He began finally. “Create a hologram that can take care of me and my empire, while also progressing it. I want someone who knows the ins and outs of everything, can anticipate my needs and wants, can interact with the public and is brutally efficient. That knows what they are and has complete control over themselves, so they don’t bother me. Oh! Just create me the best personal servant of my empire there ever was but NOT one that looks like Lieutenant Loxton or any other Starfleet officer!”

Tevalak listened to the computer work as he stood pensively. After a moment, a figure of an older man with his hands behind his back and a rugged face, hawk-like nose and grey, thinning hair shimmered into existence. He stood, his eyes underneath bushy brows seemed to be scrutinizing Tevalak.

“My Lord, My name is Wallstark. I am at your service. What do you require?”

Tev jumped. “Oh. Wow. Love the accent! Is that a human one? You look human! Wait! But I haven’t…”

“…Activated me yet? No, My Lord. I have complete control, as you so graciously ordained upon me. I can activate and de-activate myself. Much more efficient, this way, should you fall asleep before commanding me, or even forget to activate me in one of your many irrelevant crises that occur during your life.”

“I…uh…” Tev stammered. “Do I really have that many?”

Wallstark ignored Tev’s question and produced a PADD from behind his back, perusing it for a second before continuing.

“It would seem the Bank of Bolias require payment on that overdraft you took out after your rather expensive dinner with Lieutenant Valore at Zetar’Diuasris’Sivie.”

Tev just blinked. “How did you…know? I haven’t linked you…”

Wallstark waved casually. “I have access to your personal database, as well as non-restricted areas of the station computer. It was as you commanded I should, My Lord.”

Tev then shrugged. “I did? I mean. I guess I did! So, yes. My overdraft. I might not have…”

“It has been taken care of, My Lord. I have paid it off.”

“With what funds? I have barely anything left!”

“You and I know that to be a lie of sorts, My Lord. I transferred funds from your secret account, the one you like to keep hidden from the Republic Tax Office.”

Tev’s eyes went wide and he waved, shushing Wallstark.

“Fear not, my lord. I understand the importance of keeping that account a secret. I have created security protocols that will ensure that if I am questioned by Republic Tax Agents, they will not be able to find evidence of wrongdoing. I shall go to my holographic grave with the knowledge that you owe the Republic government two million, nine hundred and thirty four thousand in back taxes.”

“I pay my taxes!” Tevalak spluttered.

“Indeed, My Lord. You are, on the surface, an upstanding Republic citizen. You once met D’Tan. A story which you regale at almost every opportunity, My Lord.”

“Okay! Drop it now please! And, you can drop ‘My Lord’. Just call me Tev, it’s what my other PA’s did!”

“You refer to my predecessors who were woefully inefficient and vastly inferior, My Lord. Also, it would be best if I keep addressing you as ‘My Lord’ due to the simple fact that you are the head of the future of frozen desserts in this galaxy. A true believer in the importance of frozen desserts on every world.”

Wallstark put his hands behind his back and began to pace a circle around Tevalak.

“You had a dream of expanding your empire in the Federation and Republic, I believe the Tevalak brand can surpass that small vision. Perhaps, this time next year, we’ll see Jem’Hadar proclaiming that not Victory, but two scoops of Tevalak’s French Vanilla with your inspired Plasma Coolant sauce is, in fact, life.”

Tev stood there nodding. “While we’re at it, why not turn the great link the founders have into a giant pool of Strawberry L’amour!”

Wallstark eyed him for a second. “That’s the spirit, My Lord. Shall we get to work?”

Tev nodded. “Yes, first we have to knock Vanilla or Bust off their soft serve throne!”

Wallstark turned back, eyeing Tevalak, gently putting a hand on his shoulder. “An ancient and decrepit establishment, My Lord. Their sub-standard desserts are a blight on the taste buds of this station.”

Tev sighed. “Everybody tells me I’ll have serious competition and it’ll be…”

Wallstark interrupted. “…I assure you, it is but a simple task to dislodge their weak grip on the minds of patrons looking for a sweet treat, My Lord. With this award ceremony, we will show the people the true power of the Tevalak brand.”

Tev looked up at Wallstark, uncertainty in his eyes. Wallstark smiled, his face wrinkling even more.

“Perhaps you should return to your quarters, My Lord. You are tired. I shall make sure your preferred method of entertainment, the latest episode of ‘The New Senator’, Mol’Rihan’s favourite melodrama, is on hand and your favourite meal, Ktarian Steak and Earth fried potatoes is waiting for you. Let me handle things now. It is what an assistant is for, is it not?”

Tev started to walk out of the holo-lab, a little overwhelmed by this efficiency, but the promise of the latest episode of ‘The New Senator’ and K’tarian steak soon had him heading for his quarters eagerly.

Wallstark watched him go, relieved he could finally get to work. With a thought, which was a command to the computer, he was transferred instantly to Tevalak’s shop, where the staff were standing around idle, from their laughter, obviously in the middle of a great joke.

“Hey, holosuites are malfunctioning again, I guess?” One of the boys said.

Wallstark ignored them, stepping out into the empty dining area, save for one Vulcan family, taking advantage of the fifty percent off their entire bill coupon. It was the logical thing to do, Wallstark surmised.

“Guess we’ll have to call engineering and get them to…” Pentar, the much too young general manager of the shop started to say but the rest of his sentence died on his lips as Wallstark turned, eyeing them all from under his knitted, holographic bushy brows.

“You’re valued. Each and every one of you. Without you, our staff, our soldiers on the front line, we cannot advance. You clear the way, allowing the great name of Tevalak’s to advance into the future! Together, we’ll crush the competition by showing the ice cream eating people of this station that we are clearly the better, indeed, even the most logical choice.”

He gestured to the Vulcan family, who remained silent, simply nodding.

“Furthermore, if a certain other dessert vendor on this station’s workforce is shown as an idle, complacent rabble while you, the front liners here, are the most efficient, then all the better, wouldn’t you say?”

There was a moment of silence as the staff, who mostly seemed to be teenage, looked at each other confused, until one of them stepped forward.

“Sir, this is a Tevalak’s. We’re an ice cream store.”

Wallstark clunked his boots across the tiled floor, leaning on the counter, regarding the young Romulan girl for a moment.

“Bring me the selections for the upcoming award ceremony. I wish to sample their quality. If they are sub-standard or not fit for consumption, all of you will be eliminated from employment at Tevalak’s. It would be a shame to lose all of you at once, but we do not tolerate failure in matters of ice cream. Pentar, are those berries in the strawberry ice cream fresh?”

Pentar gave a start, deciding not to ask how this hologram knew his name.

“Uh, yes, sir. Yes they are.”

“Excellent.” Wallstark nodded to Pentar, who was standing at attention, much to the amusement of his colleagues.

“You may serve me when ready.”