Lt. Jason Smegg: "Multiple personalities"
The timer buzzed.
"Your holosimulator time for today is up, Lieutenant," the computer
The world faded around Jason as reality came back in the form of a small,
bare, dark room and a black skintight sensory bodysuit covering his
otherwise naked form.
"Damn! I almost got all the chaos emeralds!"
Jason was only using the holosimulator to play a late 20th century video
game he had become quite fond of. Antique game equipment was so hard to
come by these days. If he only had the blueprints for the machine, he
could build an emulator and not have to waste his holosimulator time
simulating the game machine...
Jason dejectedly removed the bodysuit, put on his clothes, and exited the
holosimulator booth. Where to find the design docs for the old "Sega
Genesis" machine... Over 200 years old, but he just loved that
old-fashioned two-dimensionality. Made the games easier to play, not
having to think in three dimensions. Nice for a diversion.
When Jason returned to his quarters, he had an idea. He could play the
old games in the holosimulator, right? That means they must be somewhere
in the ship's computer banks. So he locked the door, pulled out his
datapad, and entered the secret password he'd figured out by
alternate-quantum-computed trial and error (a process he could have
patented and made trillions from but had decided to keep secret so he
could use it to crack any security system, which was much more fun). Then
he called up a search program to try to find the data he wanted.
search item: Video games, antique
1,119,327,054 hits... arrange how?
Fortunately there were advanced datasearch techniques and Jason found
instantly that there was nothing relevant to his query. He remembered
just then that holosimulators did not actually store the entire database
of their programs inside them; everyone knew that a standard starship
computer could only support one hologram at a time (or two, if they were
of the same person, but that was a little-known debugging feature);
instead they relied mainly on the user's brain to provide the details of
the virtual world - instead of holographic generators, they were really
more like dream controllers. Jason realized that he must have played the
Sonic the Hedgehog games as a child and used his memories of them to
generate the game in the holosimulator. He'd have to search on the
SolWide Web, which was... um... very slow... so he'd save that for later.
But at the end of the list there were some intriguing files:
So the computer had multiple personalities??? No one had told Jason about
this before. He'd have to switch off of Colleen - she was starting to get
on his nerves, not to mention reminding him of is former "girlfriend." So
which personality would he like best? Maybe he could create his own? Nah,
for now let's just look at the ones that are already there.
He looked at the personalities. Ahmed? Can't understand his accent.
Alice? Sexy, but dumb. Bill? Too ordinary. Colleen? She's already out.
Fred? Too dull. Holly? Dry and inane. Jill? Just plain weird. Monica?
Ehhh... just doesn't seem like someone he could trust. Patrick? The
cheerfulness got on his nerves. Psycho Bob?
Jason had heard rumors of higher ranking officers being attacked by
mysterious robots and such. (Command tried to keep this kind of stuff
quiet, but word still leaked out.) But where did this personality come
from? Could it be involved in these attacks? He decided to take a close
look at this personality. It just looked suspicious.
He loaded up the main personality file. He started reading the code.
Suddenly the lights in the room went out, and a second later they were
replaced by red flashing lights and warning klaxons.
An evil-looking man's face appeared on the room's screen and stated,
"Intruder alert! Intruder alert! Unauthorized access in crew quarters
11072 on deck 37, section M!"
An automated turret that Jason had not known to exist in crew quarters on
a mining transport ship turned toward him and fired a green neural
As Jason fell unconscious, he thought, "That computer is hiding
if you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day
if you teach a man to fish, he will eat for a lifetime...
if you teach a boy to fish, he will feed the world
-jonny hart, "b.c."
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