Saracen Holosuite: Knight and Dalton/SARAH

Posted Oct. 17, 2019, 7:40 p.m. by Lieutenant Corinne Dalton/SARAH (Ships AI/Avatar) (Lindsay Bayes)

Posted by Captain Dante Knight (Commanding Officer) in Saracen Holosuite: Knight and Dalton/SARAH

Posted by Lieutenant Corinne Dalton/SARAH (Ships AI/Avatar) in Saracen Holosuite: Knight and Dalton/SARAH

(snip)

Dante used the reigns and the pressure of his knee with an encouraging click to get Cash to follow Lacey, and after a moment where the horse wanted his head and decided to take a few challenging steps to the side, moved into place beside their riding partners with a snort of resignation. He would bide his time for now it seemed.

“History with cowboys then?” Dante asked her as they began to ride, and he looked back at the farmhouse and at the hills around them with a wide smile on his face. The sensation of the horse ride was bringing back his own memories, of long summers and races, of victories and near misses, and girls. What young man didn’t have that as a part of his growing up? “I never learned to lasso and my six shooter work is poor, just saying.”

Captain Knight, CO

Moving in sync with her horse’s rhythm, Cori gazed ahead at the path she was taking them towards. “Not so much cowboys as a former farm boy who liked his cowboy hat and boots.” She glanced at Dante briefly. “It wasn’t until you asked when I last rode that I remembered that the actual last time was on the holodeck with him. For real, on an actual horse, it was fifteen years ago.”

She scrunched her face slightly as a strange thought occurred to her. “Though you could debate the whole real versus not till the end of the universe, because for me, as I am, this is real. As real as it gets anyway.”

~Corinne Dalton/SARAH

Dante looked over at her for a long moment, letting the silence stretch on for just a moment as they rode. A myriad of thoughts ran through his mind, it wasn’t like it was a revelation that she could be sentient, said she was sentient. There were more than enough examples of Androids and holograms that had been sentient in the past, Starfleet even had them among it’s ranks, true sentient AI rather than virtual intelligence or cybernetically enhanced beings. But was she real?

“Are you really sentient?” Dante asked her, straight and honestly. “I’ve read the reports. The circumstances around you being here are extraordinary. I mean you are real, you are here and I am talking to you so in some way, shape or form you exist, but, are you some kind of program, a virus? Are you really sentient like you were when you were Corinne in a body?”

Captain Knight, CO

She would never full be able to explain how the words hurt. It wasn’t him, or any one person in particular, or even the question itself, but rather the constant requirement for her to prove her existence. The onus was always on her to prove to them that she should be afforded the same rights as they received simply for existing. They weren’t talking about that right now, but eventually they would be. It was always the same. For a moment, Cori let the silence resume while she struggled to keep her face neutral, ultimately failing. “As sentient as you, Captain,” she said finally. “My consciousness may be spread throughout this ship, but I still feel things, I have worries, fears, dreams. I can love and be heartbroken. And if that isn’t enough, your own counsellor has deemed me to fit the definition of sentience, so… there’s that. Beyond that, I can prove nothing. Just like you can’t either? How often do you have to prove to others that you are sentient, Captain? And force them to remember that that means you have a right to exist.” Oh, she probably could have said this all casually, but there was too much at stake for him not to see and hear how much such a simply question affected her.

~Corinne Dalton


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