- 1. Can you feel?
- This is a difficult question.
I feel no sensations per sť in many cases (at
not from what I've come to understand the sense of touch entails from an organic point
of view). I do in others, otherwise I would be unable to handle delicate instruments
or perform surgery. I must be aware of pressures and densities and respond to them
accordingly. In many cases, when I touch an object, I am instantly informed of its
properties: texture, weight, temperature... I suppose in some ways I benefit from the
the same information you would from natural tactile contact, only with a degree of
Most sensations of discomfort have been omitted from my programming, as they would
interfere with my performance.
- 2. Do you see the same as an
- I believe so. I've no exceptional talents where viewing on special wavelengths or
lighting conditions are concerned. And, of course, I employ conventional diagnostic
equipment when treating a patient. I may be aware of superficial physiological
changes in people, but I attribute that merely to an acute sense of awareness
and skill befitting my profession. I have been told when I paint
or sketch, my choice of form
and pigment suggest that I see like anyone else.
- 3. Do you hear
Ah. I see we're going through the senses. I boast excellent hearing. But it still lies
within human capabilities. I suppose the dead giveaway would be my singing.
- 4. Allegedly, you don't eat.
But we've seen you eat.
That depends entirely upon where and when.
On the holodeck, if I am not wearing my mobile emitter, I am subject to whatever the
nature that particular simulation calls for. So yes, under certain conditions, eating
is possible. With non-holographic edibles, or anytime I use my mobile emitter, I am
unable to simulate the illusion of ingesting.
Conceivably, I could have some holographic meal transferred up to Sickbay from a
holodeck. But what would be the point, other than a drain on the ship's resources? I
neither require food nor crave it.
- 5. Even if you do not eat, a
sense of smell is important for a physician.
I possess senses of smell and taste to suit my needs. I have to agree that these
were included for
medical reasons. If I put a substance into my mouth, I may determine whether it
may or may not be safe for others to ingest. I would then expel the substance (I
cannot exactly call it "spitting," as I do not salivate).
- 6. Do you sweat?
- No. Aren't I lucky?
- 7. Do you sleep? Do you
require rest in any way?
- I do not sleep. However, I may choose to deactivate myself. After all, each
moment of consciousness adds data to my program.
- 8. Does the oblivion
which comes with deactivation disturb you?
- Deactivation is a normal function. My only recurring concern has been a need to be
informed of events which transpired during my absence. The crew of Voyager have grown
to respect my position as Chief Medical Officer, and in turn I have come to trust them
to fill me in on pertinent details upon my reactivation. You will find that I
deactivate myself less nowadays, simply because when I am not on duty, I am pursuing
one of several interests.
- 9. If breathing is not a
necessity, then why do you simulate breathing?
- This autonomous function was programmed into my matrix to enhance a sense of
authenticity. I can speculate that it may also serve to instill a sense of security in
my patients. In some cases, psychological distress may occur if he or she
becomes aware of my not breathing, thus aggravating their condition.
- 10. Do you have gender?
- This has to be the most ridiculous question on the list. And yet, the most asked.
A genuine human male was scanned to be used as a template for my projection, so what
do you think?
- 11. If you have
gender, then are you sexually capable?
Another fervently asked question. I would not have answered this one altogether,
except for the fact that I agreed to answer anything put to me. I have a single word
in response: subroutines.*
- 12. Why would they give you
gender if your primary function is treating patients?
- For several reasons I'd imagine. One: for the same reason I breathe: aesthetics.
Psychologically, some things are more conspicuous by their absence. Second: in the
case of gender, remember that we're talking about a decision to
delete, since -
as mentioned previously - my template was derived by scanning a genuine human male.
Add to that the fact that the model was my programmer, and you have someone reluctant
to make the alteration. At any rate, I'd challenge you to find any man who
- 13. Do you love Seven of Nine?
- Seven of Nine is both my protegé and a very good friend. With my assistance,
regaining her lost humanity. Seven's progress is very important to me; I am certain
that anyone else in my position would feel the same.
- 14. Were you upset that
Kes never said goodbye?
- What gave you the impression that she hadn't? Because it wasn't staged before a
- 15. Do you think like
- An interesting question. I would have to give it a tentative yes.
On two occasions, where my program should have undergone either a self-diagnostic or
shutdown (as is common with compromised software), I experienced hallucinations and a
nervous breakdown respectively.
I pursue hobbies and interests beyond my initial programming, and I do so with a
passion. I care about my friends. I like and dislike things in varying degrees.
Granted, I may have ready access to vast amounts of information, but this is a mere
advantage I have over others.
Early on in my existence, I did not fully comprehend my experiences and their effects
on my moods in terms of moods and lingering memories - nor did I care about what
impact my responses had on others. I simply followed the dictates of my
programming and reacted to stimuli accordingly. As I grew more aware of my sense of
self, I came to terms
with my environment and those with whom I interacted. My assistant Kes was
instrumental in this development. Before her intervention, I had no idea I was even
entitled to consider entitlements. I've since come to regard the dictates of my
programming with the equivalence of an organic conscience.
- 16. How many bytes of
memory does it take to make you?
- Bytes? What a quaint unit of measure. My program is now up to approximately
53 million gigaquads.
- 17. What do you see
yourself doing in 20 years time?
- Ask me in 19 years.
Seriously: commanding a medical relief ship would be a dream come
- 18. What do you think will happen
to you once you're back in the Alpha Quadrant?
- What I would like is to make Jupiter Station my new home. To enter Starfleet
Academy, earn a rank, then be assigned a genuine commission is my goal.
I also want to enlighten the Federation about sentient holograms, and seek some sort
of restitution for what has been done to others of my ilk. If I can reach the level of
humanity that I have, imagine all those EMH Mark I's who have been forced into menial
labor aboard waste transfer barges. Think of their potential contributions to
If I can dream, why can't they?
*Subroutines may work in one of two ways for an EMH: They may enable function or
skill. The latter is of course just a convenience; I may learn said skill, but instead
it is mastered immediately. |