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Dog Days

Posted on 08 Apr 2021 @ 1:47am by Lieutenant Remington Dodd & Lieutenant JG Leland Hawksley
Edited on on 14 Apr 2021 @ 2:30pm

Mission: General Sim Postings
Location: Engineering Lab
Timeline: Current


The isolinear chip was a marvel of technology. Though it was continually updated, it held its original matrix and design, glass polymer and meta-matrix designs.

Holding on to it in his hand, Leland felt a particular fondness, a deep caring for the contents. Hercules was downloaded from his original program architecture and had been approved by the Colonel herself. Hawksley was happy, beyond thrilled and a bit choked up that the Somers and Chief Dodd had approved the Hologram onboard the Tomcat.

Though he would never show it, he had deep concerns about the data being mishandled or corrupted by accident. Leland couldn't recreate Hercules more than he could create lost loved ones.

Exiting the turbo lift on Deck 15, Hawksley had looked at his silver wrist chronometer. It was about time that Lieutenant Dodd was to meet up with Hawk in the Engineering Lab.

Arriving through the labs' main entrance, numerous terminals, and data apertures were set amongst lab tables and equipment. Since it was an Engineering Lab, there were differences from the Standard Scientific Lab set up. More robust.

Over in one of the corners of the room, Leland had spotted the Chief overlooking some work. He was grateful that the man had set aside time to help Leland. He would not forget the help.

"Chief, Dodd. Sir." Hawksley had nodded as he had knocked on the lab tabletop catching his attention. He didn't mean to startle the Chief in doing so.

He lent a big grin as he held upward the isolinear chip which contained his beloved Hercules. "Ready for a 'Doggone good time?'" He had chuckled at his corny joke.

"Hello, el tee, I have had some ideas for how to set-up your quarters for your project," Dodd replied. "I think it will be perfect for you and Hercules as well as for any guests you may have in your quarters."

Dodd handed a PADD to Hawksley. The PADD showed Hawksley the layout of his quarters and the locations of where the holo emitters would be placed to give Hercules free roam of the quarters.

While Hawksley did not know the finer workings of an advanced holo emitter system, he could tell that the Chief had put in a lot of work on it. The pad highlighted the various points that would essentially bring Hercules to life once more. Despite his older hologram having many glitches.

"This... This is incredible." Leland's eyes scanned the diagrams. "How long did it take you, Sir?" He asked.

"This did not take long at all, I tinker with this sort of thing in my downtime," Dodd replied. "I have a very up-to-date holo-emitter system to install for you and it will even allow Hercules to go as far as ten feet outside your quarters to greet you in the corridor. I will do my magic to make your older tech appear new and refreshed with a little upgrade that may restore any derogation that may have happened over time. I will have the power hooked into the secondary power system so that it will not drain the main supply. However, in an emergency, Hercules would need to be taken off-line. I also plan to install a small independent computer processor in the holo-matrix system to keep Hercules separate from the main systems for the integrity of his program. This computer will be linked to the emergency systems to know to back-up and power down Hercules when necessary. Otherwise he will be able to be like a biological pet and when you need him to be with you in your quarters just without the negative issues of a biological pet."

Hawk had taken in the information on the various updates and safeguards that Dodd had worked on for Hercules. "You realize. I am in debt to you. Thank you, Chief." Leland shook his head, a rubbed his forehead thinking. "You mean he will be able to greet me? Cross the thresh hold of my quarters." He smiled, breaking into giddiness, trying to hide that. Hercules had been with him since his early Academy days when Leland had gone through the worst times of losing loved ones, and friends having had been killed in accidents along the way. Hercules was always there for him in the sanctity of his quarters, always there waiting.

"You have no idea how grateful Hurt and I are!" He slapped the shoulder Dodd and grabbed him for a hug. "Man, thank you!!" He then let the man free, knowing to keep his personal space intact. "Erm, Sir!" He had laughed.

"No worries man, I understand your joy more than others would," Dodd stated in response.

"How long before this is updated and running?" Leland asked.

"I can have a crew to your quarters tomorrow to start the installation of the emitters and then I will take your isolinear chip and run it in the system to revitalize and enhance the data. Then that original chip will be inserted into a module that will protect it from any power surge or data purge and then connected to the system to allow Hercules the ability to come to life in your quarters. These enhancements will likely make Hercules more realistic than you remember. So much so you may even have a sense of smell of the bugger. The system will even replicate the concept of all the aspects of a biological dog and allow for any alterations you have done or wish to add as well." Dodd replied. "I do hope to get your humble companion set up and working by the end of the week as the latest."

Hawk nodded. He was in awe. The whole situation of having to get the Retriever approved through the Colonel, since having had spoken to Winchester. Then, checking in with Engineering to see if it would be feasible to add the program to the Tomcat Quarters and backup mainframes was overwhelming.

The whole ordeal had left Hawksley with little hope, despite everyone on the Tomcat being incredibly understanding.

Sucking up, he had returned to his focus. "Alright. So, anytime you need Quarter's access, you have it." Leland hoped this would help. "You know. I make a mean BBQ. You like ribs, steak, chicken?" He inquired.

"I have not had a good barbeque in a very long time," Dodd replied. "I do love me a heap of ribs or brisket all smothered in sauce. The last barbeque I had was on Kronos and it was Targ ribs in a blood wine barbeque sauce that was very potent. However, the Rigellian jellied beet slaw was very cooling after the sauce."

"Well, be it anything." Hawksley held his hand up, not taking no for an answer. "Be it you with your Girl, or not and join Vail and me for dinner. We'll have drinks, talk, maybe a few card games or whatnot. What do you say, Chief? It'll be fun." Hawk smiled. Food was the best way to repay someone for their time, in his mind.

"I am game for that, and I am sure Iria will be up for the comradery and meal," Dodd replied. "I do hope to get the installation done in the next two days and then Hercules will have his existence once more. I will even set up a link so you can take Hercules to any of the holodecks. I can even make it possible to get you a portable storage device so you can have him travel with you when you go on leave to visit him in another holodeck or holosuite." Dodd replied.

"Hercules, while at the academy, there was a great program. We would jog together through a bright sunny day through Central Park in New York on Earth. On a hot summers day. Boy! He kept a chugging along with me like he owned that park." Leland thought. "You know, I would like to take him Ice Fishing on the holodeck. He'd get a kick out of seeing me pull up a fresh kicking walleye on the ice." He laughed. "You can make that all possible. That's just... Wow."

"I suggested it as I know that a pet even if it is a hologram is not just for your quarters if it is that type of pet," Dodd replied. "I have a pet carnivorous plant that has to remain in my quarters until he gets to big then I will have to donate him to an arboretum or a zoo. But I don't see any issues with a small subroutine that could transmit the data to the holodeck for you to have some adventures more or less with your supportive pal."

"Thank you, Chief. Hercules will definitely have a new life to himself." He then paused. "You have a Venus flytrap plant?" He thought that somewhat odd, but each to their own. "What do you feed it?" Hawksley was interested.

"I have a Rigellian Lynx Plant. It is similar to a Terran Venus flytrap. It is will continue to grow based upon its environment and the food it is feed. There has been proof found that if in the wild it can grow to a size to feed off of medium-sized feline or other sort of fauna. The average size would be known to eat a Rigellian Lynx which is the size of a Terran Polar Bear." Dodd replied. "I feed him six large mice or two rats or a Guinee pig once a month. He has to have a live meet so I allow the science department to help with my supplies of live rodents for other purposes as well. He can go two months without eating but then he will need to be feed. He is also slightly telepathic to the point I know what he is feeling and when he is needing some care. He also does play with his food. I call him Rocky and his species of plant actually has gender and it does take two to make the seed spores viable for the future of the species. I saved him from a burning arboretum on Rigel VIII many years ago and have had him ever since. He as gone from a simple plant to a very large roommate of sorts, but Iria likes him and they get along so all is happy."

Hawksley had paused for a moment. He focused on the thought of an actual plant that could eat something the size of an average bear. Or a lynx.

oO, That is genuinely fucked up, Oo Leland had thought to himself for a moment before he spoke. "Cool. So… Walon doesn't mind having it around, and it plays with its food. And you feed it guinea pigs?" He laughed, astonished. "Honestly, I find that oddly unsettling, but I guess there are mutual respect and fondness that grew between you two. You didn't want to spring for the usual cat or a dog, hunh? You just had to be different, Chief." Hawk grinned.

"No one has ever really asked me about Rocky. Rocky is to me what Hercules is to you. Support." Dodd replied. "I once thought that having a flesh-eating plant was odd. However, when I felt his pain in the fire and went in to save him, I knew I needed him as much as he needed me. At the time in my life when I was on Rigel VIII, I was at a very low point. Having to take care of Rocky helped me rebound and find myself in the life that was ahead of me. Now I can't imagine life without him but I know the time will come when I need to get him to a new environment so he can thrive with a new mate if possible. For me, having an animal as a pet is not the same as for others. I can sense the thoughts and emotions of animals and so it would be like any person in my life. This experience with Rocky has helped me grow as his simple thoughts and basic emotions are very primitive and thus allow me to shed my mind of the complexities of life for a while in my quarters and relax."

Leland had felt bad for a moment after he had said that. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to sound unsympathetic. A pet is a pet and one that you sense and can share empathy with. I can understand how you felt the pain and the need to save it. That is fundamental humanoid instincts. That is quite bold of you, Dodd. While Hercules might bark at your lynx-eating plant… I can respect that you care for it and share those feelings over time.” He raised his brow. “Did that make sense? All this talk of emotions and empathy.” He shrugged. “Not the best at it at times.”

“So anything I can do here? It would be best if you didn’t work here for a long time on this program. It doesn’t need to be revolutionary. I don’t want Hercules to be able to take dumps?” Hawksley had grimaced and winked.

"This is a pleasure to do and it will not take long," Dodd replied. "I will set the program to allow you to make it as you wish along the way. So if you want holographic dumps then that is your call, I will make it so that you can adjust anytime by merely asking the computer to make the tweaks as you go. Hercules will be as real as you want him in your quarters or on the holodeck. I am merely integrating him in his own system for you to have him as a companion. This is one reason I became an engineer, so I can help people."

"And help people you have, Chief." Hawk smiled. The Chief was one of the first officers on the Tomcat that Leland had got to know, and he felt the man was whole. He had great taste in women, and erm... Plants.

"So, when can I expect you two for dinner. I got to plan this yet?" He pressed the Chief. Leland felt he could do something in return.

"I am going to say let's do dinner next week," Dodd replied. "I am sure Walon will enjoy the double date."

"Right on." Leland nodded. He would find it fun cooking. "I'll make sure Hercules is on his best behaviour. Or... You will?" He chuckled.


Lieutenant J.G. Leland Hawksley
Chief Flight Control Officer

Lieutenant Remington Dodd
Chief Engineer


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