USS Vesta

A Play-by-Nova roleplay game.

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Digital Assistant

Posted on Fri Nov 10th, 2023 @ 6:04pm by Commander Martin Sorenson & Lieutenant Njalia Sayffier

Mission: Shakedown Shake-Up
Location: ?
Timeline: Day 7?
1069 words - 2.1 OF Standard Post Measure

Njalia opened the comms, "Doctor, this is Sayffier, I have the Mark I version of your holo-assistant ready if you are free to meet them."

Up in the Ready Room, Martin dropped the PaDD he'd been working on (perhaps a bit too enthusiastically by the sound). For all that he was generally less than thrilled about working with holograms, having one that could help handle and organize the mountains of 'paperwork' that came with the XO position was surely a pleasant prospect. "I would be delighted. Please bring him by at your earliest convenience."

"We are on the way," said Njalia. On the turbolift ride up she made some last-moment adjustments, she tagged in Maiden to keep an eye on things. "Does everything look good to you, Maiden?"

There was a brief flicker on the screen and maiden replied, "All code compiled and checked for errors. The functionality side is solid, hopefully, the appearance and presentation will be satisfactory."

The hologram of a Terran man in his mid-thirties waited calmly. "I can hear you, you know," he said in a slight Canadian accent. "And I feel I am up to the task you have prepared me for."

Njalia nodded, "Sorry, it is just . . . working the programming side you sometimes forget the end product has a point of view as well."

"Think nothing of it," the hologram replied, "you designed me to be calm in all circumstances." As he finished speaking, the turbolift doors opened and they made their way to the ready room door.

Njalia touched the chime. "Lieutenant Sayffier and hologram to see Commander Sorenson."

"Come," Martin said, keying the door open.

The Andorian stepped in followed by what appeared to be a Terran man, almost exactly Martin's height, dressed in a black suit of an administrator. His hair was styled as black and short, clean-shaven, with grey eyes, handsome in a generically rugged fashion. He stepped around Njalia and forward to offer his hand, "I am the Advanced Holographic Administrative Assitant, Mark I," he said, his voice having the cadence of a Canadian. "If you wish, you may give me a name, Commander."

He had to admit Njalia had done a good job. The man looked clean cut and efficient, but there was an underlying impression of helpful and polite. Though perhaps that was the accent; Martin's lips curved in a slight smile at recognizing it. The accent was after all quite similar but not quite identical to his own. It struck him that that applied to other aspects of the design: same species, gender, height and build, but a different shade of hair and eyes, and enough difference in facial characteristics that he wouldn't have the unsettling feeling of talking to an almost clone of himself. (Yes, he knew some people modelled EHs on themselves, but he was not anywhere near that enamored of his own company). So, a design to make him feel comfortable, but not hit any triggers for uncanny valley clone.

"Pleased to meet you," Martin said, accepting the hand. He thought for a moment on the question of a name. The obvious choice was Mark for Mark I, but that seemed ...unworthy of the work Njalia had put into this. Naming the quasi-AI felt a bit awkward too; he wasn't pet, after all. "As to a name... well, unlike most of the holographic crew, you have a personality. So let me ask first if there's a name you'd prefer."

"I have been studying media files and, if it would suit you, I would like to be called Max," says the hologram.

Njalia listens and makes a note on her datapad.

"Max," Martin mentally ran through the list of people in Medical as he wasn't sure how someone might take his holographic assistant hologram having their name, but there weren't any named Max. In fact, the only Max that came to mind was a certain trashy novel CMO... but he'd like to think that whole thing had been long buried and forgotten. He nodded firmly. "Then Max it is."

"Thank you," Max replied. "How do you wish to be addressed, sir? Lieutenant Sayffier uses Doctor, but might Commander be more appropriate given my role?"

Martin sighed inwardly. Commander was the appropriate title for his current role, but it felt like wearing a dress uniform. "Commander is probably best on the bridge, but Doctor is very much my preference, so please use that everywhere else."

"Yes, doctor," Max replied, an old-fashioned notepad appearing in his hand which he marked by pen. "Now, shall we get started? Shall I sort your incoming messages by priority? Should I assume medical has first priority?"

Martin didn't think he was old enough to inspire something quite as old timey as the notepad, yet he couldn't help thinking it was a nice touch - a homey counterbalance to offset what was after all a high tech solution to his lack of a regular person as a yeomen. He cast a brief, approving smile at Njalia before replying to Max. "Yes. And yes, medical has first priority." He paused considering that reflexive answer. He'd been through Command Training - twice now, thanks to certain Admirals needing a scapegoat for the debacle on the last colony - so he knew there were occasions when his duties as XO would and should outweigh at least routine medical matters. "Unless there is something seriously wrong that requires my attention as XO. Medical emergency comes first, but ship needs come before sprained ankle or a missed exam."

Max nodded, again making notes. "Understood, Doctor."

Njalia looked to Martin. "I think my work here is done, yes? I am glad the two of you seem to be settling together, If there is nothing else, I should get back to Ops."

"It is," Martin confirmed with nod. "And very much appreciated. Thank you, Lieutenant."

"My pleasure, Doctor," smiled Njalia. "Bye Max."

The hologram gave an idle wave with the hand holding the pencil. "Doctor, there is an upcoming medical presentation that you might want to carve out time for . . ."


Njalia let the turbolift doors close before calling up Maiden on her datapad. "A notebook and stylus? We did not program that."

Maiden quirked an antenna, "Max really enjoyed studying the early Terran media archives. I think he picked it up from there."

Njalia nodded. "Well, the Doctor seems happy so a win for team hologram."


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