Paul Gadzikowski


In Thy Image


Embarking her last line of questioning in the prosecution's direct examination of the EMH, the Starfleet JAG asked, "According to Voyager engineering logs, you once maintained for several weeks a holodeck program by which you supplied yourself an entire family of holograms."

"Yes," said the EMH, wary.

"Would you describe this family?"

"Wife, two children. Average."

"Average. As one might expect from a machine," said the JAG. She paused a moment as if anticipating objection, but it was no part of the defense's argument that holograms weren't machines. "How did the existence of this program make its way into the engineering logs?"

"Our chief engineer became aware of it."

"How did she react?"

"She challenged me to allow her to modify it."

"What did she do?"

"She felt my original program was unrealistically idyllic. She reprogrammed it with several event branches unpleasant to varying degrees, which she felt were more realistic. Perhaps because of her Klingon heritage, they were very unpleasant."

"Such as?"

The EMH hesitated uncomfortably. "The worst that actually ran was the death of a child."

"I see," said the JAG. "It was shortly after that when you stopped using the program."


"Was it because the new, realistic subroutines were too painful?"

The EMH looked nervously at Janeway and the Doctor before answering. "No."

"Then why?"

With resignation and regret the EMH confessed, "Because they weren't painful enough."

"Explain that, please."

"My relationships with my family were not as fulfilling as my relationships with the crew of Voyager."

"Why not?"

"Because ... because I had created them myself."

"Because they were artificial."


"Because they were not real."


"No further questions."


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