1. Can you feel?

This is a difficult question. I feel no sensations per sť in many cases (at least, 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 detachment. 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 ordinary human?

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 differently?

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 wouldn't be.

13. Do you love Seven of Nine?

Seven of Nine is both my protegé and a very good friend. With my assistance, she is 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 camera?

15. Do you think like people?

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 true.

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 society.
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.


 
 

 
 
 


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