After her shift Megan returned to her quarters. She was not sure whether her heart was into her job. Always in the back of her mind was the lingering emotional pain and the memories of the Tau Primia prison. Every day was a struggle just to get on with her life and try, to the best of her ability, to ignore the pain.
Even so she didn’t want to talk to anybody for fear that person would ask her about Tau Primia. There was one person Megan felt confident talking to and that was Max, why she felt comfortable around Max she wasn’t sure. Perhaps it was because Max had rescued her from Gul Bordak and that Max was the first friendly face she had seen for two years.
Inside her quarters Megan felt like crashing out and resting upon her bed, but there was one task she had to do. She entered her bedroom and walked over to her desk, sat down upon a chair and activated a laptop. Every day after the end of a shift Megan contacted her mother Sarah. For Megan talking to Sarah nearly always lightened up her day.
The laptop screen lit up and Megan saw Sarah, for Megan seeing the love in her mother’s eyes was still amazing to her. The two years spent in Tau Primia had removed all such sentimental feelings from Megan, now she was rediscovering such feelings. “Hi mum,” she said quietly.
“How was your day?” asked Sarah.
“I suppose it was alright, my job is...” Megan paused trying to find a word that summed up her job. “Satisfying, but I don't like my colleagues.”
“What don't you like about your colleagues?” asked Sarah.
Sometimes for Megan it was hard to talk to her mother, because Sarah asked questions about issues and problems Megan would like to forget. “Because they don't trust me, it's awful walking into a room and seeing them end a whispered conversation. They think I was indirectly responsible for the attack on the Liberty!”
Megan felt the tears build in her eyes. “I don't know how much more of this I can take!” she exclaimed in a pained voice.
Sarah looked concerned. “I know it's tough for you but hang in there and don't give up!”
“I sometimes wish I could give up,” replied Megan miserably.
Realizing how miserable Megan was, Sarah changed the topic. “Have you spoken with anyone today?”
“At lunch I talked with Max. He's terribly naive and trusting, but I like his friendly nature.” Megan laughed briefly; she found it amusing how naive Max was, but talking to Max seemed to uplift her. “He's the only crew member, aside from Ezri and Odo, who doesn't scowl or frown at me. Max’s friend Holo is a decent person, I chatted with him briefly.”
“At least your starting to talk with people again,” said Sarah approvingly.
Day 2, 0900 hours
On a DS9 corridor, Holo and one of his technicians were repairing an optronic relay panel. Holo liked his job, but it was the rudeness and the nastiness which Holo encountered from some crew members which ruined certain days. He hoped this day could pass by without an incident...
“Pass me the EM flux regulator,” he ordered.
The technician handed to Holo the EM flux regulator. Holo briefly looked at the tool and then looked again, the EM flux regulator was still active! It was to late because he had already grabbed it and he felt the EM pulses surging through his body. Briefly his projection distorted, and time for Holo seemed to slow down from seconds into nanoseconds. Finally Holo’s holographic matrix shields activated sending the EM waves out of his holographic matrix and into the technician.
“Ouch!” said the technician as his left arm went momentarily rigid from the electrical shock.
“Watch it!” shouted Holo. “You nearly fried my holographic matrix!”
The technician messaged his arm. “But it's just an EM flux regulator...”
Some of Holo’s initial anger subsided. “In case you haven't noticed I'm made up OF EM fields. Unlike the humanoid crew you work with, any instruments that generate close range EM fields, must be turned off.”
“Doesn't your matrix have force fields to protect it from EM fields?” asked the technician.
Holo could not believe the ignorance and carelessness of this man. “Of course it does, but every being has a weakness. In my case, powerful levels of EM radiation can cause serious damage to me.”
“EM radiation is only dangerous when it is ionizing,” replied the technician. He looked slightly bemused, wondering why Holo was so angry.
Holo realised he had to spell out the problem to his colleague. “Your organic; EM radiation just passes through you... So pass EM flux regulators and other such instruments correctly to me, with the handle outwards and not covered by your hand. Understood?”
Surprisingly the technician looked a bit shocked; he finally realised just how close he came to destroying Holo. “Yes sir.”
Though Holo didn’t look it, he was deeply shaken. Sometimes working with his crew mates could be very dangerous...
Day 2, 1300 hours
It had been a strange day for Holo, after a near brush with death he felt surprisingly vulnerable. He could have nearly died because of someone’s incompetence. To take his mind off matters, he decided to go to Quark’s bar. He sat down at the bar and waited to be served, in a matter of seconds Quark had come over to Holo.
“The usual holosuite program?” asked Quark.
“Yes please,” said Holo wearily.
“Looks like you could need some entertainment,” observed Quark, as he passed to Holo the data rod containing the program. “Mind you, maybe you just want to talk about your problems to someone.”
“I'm not talking to you about my problems!” said Holo indignantly.
“Why not?” asked Quark; he was looking slightly hurt by Holo's remark.
“Because you wouldn’t understand.”
Quark however seemed to relish the challenge of getting Holo to talk. “Try me,” he said.
Holo considered Quark’s proposition. “Alright, have you ever been in a situation when nobody cares about you? And they treat you like you don’t exist?”
Quark momentarily frowned. “To be honest no, but I know exactly what your problem is. You are different from everyone else, because you are a hologram. There’s a big spotlight being shone on you all the time, and you are attracting all the wrong sort of attention because of it.”
These words carried some meaning for Holo. “I have no problems with being a hologram, but other people do. Why does everyone have to act like jerks around me?”
“Sounds like discrimination to me,” said Quark, he seemed sympathetic towards Holo. “It seems that you are in a similar position to Odo; you are not popular and people can barely tolerate you. With Odo it was even worse because it was virtually impossible to like his cold manner; but at least you are a sociable type. Give it some time, people will eventually adjust to having a hologram in their midst.”
Holo looked skeptically at Quark. “Do you really mean that?”
“Of course I do,” said Quark simply.
Holo stood up. “Don’t lie to me, you are simply following the 209th Ferengi rule of acquisition: tell them what they want to hear.”
Quark looked somewhat impressed. “So you know the rules of acquisition?”
Holo gave Quark an appraising look. “I know enough to be on my guard with Ferengi, you would sell your own mother for profit.”
He had had enough talking to Quark; and he walked off to the holosuite. One thing that really annoyed Holo were people who lied to him; above all else Holo valued honesty and truthfulness. Admittedly Holo realized Quark was right about one thing; being a hologram Holo stood out almost painfully so.