Posted by Captain Dante Knight (Commanding Officer) in Saracen Holosuite: Knight and Dalton/SARAH
Dante let her talk, and listened. Words weren’t going to prove it, true, only time and interacting with her would do that. For all intents and purposes she appeared to have memories, and those memories looked to be bringing out emotions. According to reports she could feel injury through the ship, although whether that was pain like he felt could only be guessed at, perhaps her memories turned the information into feelings of pain?
“I can accept that, Corinne.” He told her, “I can hear how you describe your memories, I’m no quantum computing expert, but it seems to me that a pure program wouldn’t have the ability to put that emotion into random conversation no matter how closely it appeared to mimic sentience.”
Cori snorted slightly as she reached forward and patted Lacey’s neck.
He spurred Cash ahead a little more into a short gallop as they reached a slightly open area, the conversation needed to be had, but the feeling of riding a powerful animal again, even a holographic one, was relaxing somewhat. After a moment, he slowed Cash down once more and turned back to Corinne.
Not to be left behind, Dalton nudged her mare from a trot into a canter, not bothering to try and race the captain, but also not getting too far behind. She caught up as he slowed Cash and pulled Lacey back into a trot alongside him.
“It may be more the question of Sapience you need to prove more to people though, your ability to think and reason more so than a program does. To reason with a humane mindset to excuse the humanistic expression. I’m going to be honest with my concern, Corinne. You have access to everything on the Saracen. Internal sensors, all communications, life support and weapons. All restricted communications pass through you, personal logs. Everybody’s secrets and their intimate moments, you have access to for the most part. You were human once, I’m sure you can understand the concern that I have, that you would have had yourself if a sentient, sapient being inhabited the system and could see everything you did, and you would have questioned that right to exist in some way at least. Some people and Starfleet Headquarters would call that a Security risk, both on the intelligence and military side of things. What I’m saying, Corinne, is that whatever that means, you are here and I need to get to know you, to trust you. That will take time.”
Captain Knight, CO
“I understand that, Captain, I do. But you have to understand that I am a Starfleet officer. I never stopped being one and my oath is as valid as yours. And it’s getting damned exhausting to have to prove myself to every single person commanding and first officer that has come aboard this ship. They all had the same questions you do, they all felt wary. All I’m asking for is the benefit of the doubt. You may not trust me as a person, but surely you can trust my oath? I will do everything I can to protect this ship and crew, and the Federation. I promised it the day I slipped on my uniform and I’ve meant it ever day since.”
Dante smiled slightly as she spoke, and when she finished, he looked at her and nodded. “Good, then we have a starting point we can both agree on. Because aside from doing a complete system wipe which would end your existence, I’m stuck with you stuck inside my ship. Whatever you were,” he let the inflection of that last line linger, because here came the brutal part for him, “the Starfleet Officer that was Corinne Dalton is dead. Her body is gone, living tissue no longer in this universe.”
She knew that. She had said as much several times with the counsellor, but he had been forcing her to shift her understanding of life and death. It was too much here to try and do the same, and if Corinne were honest with herself, it wasn’t necessary. Maybe.
“Whatever you are now, some kind of program, a trapped collection of subspace energy, I don’t know, but the Starfleet Officer that was Dalton is dead. Your memories and personality, however they have been retained in the computer, remains, and the question of your sapience goes hand in hand with that as well as proving yourself to everyone, Humans aren’t known for doing what has happened to you. I have no idea what you are and what I can trust, but that Oath, I know that Oath. I can trust that Oath and we can work from that and build something together.”
Reaching forward to pat Lacey’s neck, Corinne gazed deeply at Dante. “Well, that’s something, I guess.”
Dante pulled up on Cash as they came to the end of the path, looking ahead of him for a moment at the scenery, he looked back to Dalton. “You have the benefit of the doubt, Corinne. It’s clear you are not a program, that somehow what you are is sentient, that you are Dalton. That scares a lot of people, not just you.”
Captain Knight, CO
She searched his face, for what she wasn’t sure, but Cori looked out over the horizon towards the water down below. “I know,” she said softly. “And I fought it for awhile. Some days I think it would have been easier for everyone if I had just ceased to exist on that holodeck and not woken up in Sickbay as”-she gestured to her body-“this.” She looked back at Dante. “But I can’t change what I am or the circumstances of my new existence. There might be a way for me to have a different sort of existence in the future, but this is what we’re both stuck with. I stopped wanting to die properly somewhere along the way and now I’m just trying to figure out how to live. It… more than a little bizarre.”
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