The 19-year-old by that name glanced up, surprised to see a hologram of Nick standing before him. He knew there was no actual hologram – he was in a full-body containment rig, the kind used for lava- or deep-earth mining. Nick had merely projected himself against the hybrid-glass dome that protected Todd’s head, making it seem as though he was standing on the rocks before him. Todd smiled big.
“Nick? It’s, I’m honored!” he said. He didn’t straighten up, though; Todd glanced back down to the huge chunk of rock he was extricating and began slicing it again with the laser-drill on his arm. “So, uh, sir, what can I do for you?”
Something in the young man’s voice made him stop what he was doing and actually look up now – Nick’s hologram represented the state his mind was in, and right now, it was flickering and nervous looking. When he glanced up, Nick laid a computer-generated ha