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Muse Voices
musevoices

First Aid in Deflector Control - Post

This is a post I'm working on for the USS Courageous. The formatting symbols are a requirement of that ship's posting style.


[McCorley]

::As Joseph replied, the EMH stopped attempting to speak. It simply turned to face its two patients and folded its arms across its chest while it monitored them.

Once Lt. Joseph left, Nika entered a brief commnd into the computer and then said to the EMH's back,:: "There. Can you speak, now?"

[EMH]

::The EMH turned on its heel and glared at her. "Thank you." ::It paused and then added,:: "That officer is not particularly welcome in my Sickbay, and, at the moment, I am not impressed with you, either." ::it informed her in a wintry tone.::

[McCorley]

::Nika gave it a look and decided not to respond to most of its comments.:: "This is Dr. Dhuro's sickbay."

[EMH]

::The EMH snorted.:: "It's mine when he is not present." ::It fixed her with a glare.:: "Do not [i]ever[/i] permit my voice to be disabled, again. Is that clear?"

[McCorley]

::Nika blinked at it.:: "We were just being silly. I'm sure it'll never happen again."

[EMH]

::The EMH slapped a hand down hard against the top of a console, and Nika flinched. When it spoke again, its tone was harsh.:: "My voice is a [i]tool.[/i] I need it to function--or do you understand sign language?" ::It signed the question in swift, clearly furious, gestures.::

[McCorley]

::Despite herself, Nika straightened and glared back at the EMH. It was like being berated by any of the more arrogant doctors she had worked for during her nursing rotations, and the fact that this was an AI program made its tirade especialy irksome. She looked the EMH right in the eye.:: "No. I'm afraid I don't."

[EMH]

::The EMH nodded, and its tone grew only marginally calmer.:: "I thought not; your records don't list it as part of your skill set. I will [i]not[/i] tolerate being tampered with or used for others' amusement. I am not a plaything."

[McCorley]

::She gave the EMH a long look and finally nodded. "Fair enough. Now...Suppose you explain something to me. Are you supposed to be this emotional?"

[EMH]

The EMH gave her an incredulous look.:: "Good God, do you understand nothing? You have no idea why I reacted as I just did?" ::As Nika shook her head, it went on.::

"Yes, I am programmed to display emotions and to respond, as closely as possible, as the dominant race crewing my ship would. Tell me, if I showed no emotion at all to having my voice disabled, what would you do in the long run?"

[McCorley]

"Exactly what I did, without benefit of your temper tantrum--I'd still have re-enabled it. As you said yourself, it's a tool. We couldn't communicate with each other, otherwise."

[EMH]

"True." ::Now it sounded more conversational.:: "But you wouldn't have felt any particular inhibition against turning my voice off in the future, any time I annoyed you, correct? It would mean no more to you than turning off the sound on your tricorder--which is exactly what it meant to Lt. Joseph."

[McCorley]

"I don't know about that; you're considerably more complex than a tricorder--"

[EMH]

::It cut her off.:: "The point is, if I showed no emotional reaction to mistreatment, you would accord me no more respect than you do to your tricorder. When I am on, I am essentially the CMO of this ship. I require the crew's respect to function adequately in that role. Display of emotions is a means of protecting the integrity of my programming and of protecting you.

"When I slapped my hand against the console and expressed my displeasure with your and Lt. Joseph's behavior, you accepted me as something worthy of your attention, and you listened to what I had to say. Even now, you are paying attention and thinking. You would not be doing so, had I simply told you, 'That wasn't very nice.'"

[McCorley]

::Nika thought about it.:; "That's quite possible," ::she said at last.:: "You startled me, there. I wasn't expecting you to show much anger, at all."

[EMH]

::The EMH nodded.:: "If I could not fight to protect myself, how could I fight to keep any of you alive or inspire any of you to fight to keep someone else alive?" ::It gave her a wry look.:: "To paraphrase one of the component physicians in my programming--I am a doctor, not a screwdriver."

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