"I call to the stand Captain Benjamin Sisko," said the Doctor.
Sisko appeared at room center. He was just there, as Kes had been. This second time it was definitely lost on no one that the defense's human witnesses had popped up from nowhere just as the holographic witnesses had.
"State your name and occupation," said the Doctor when Sisko had taken the stand.
"Sisko, Benjamin, Captain." He recited his Starfleet serial number. "My current occupation is Emissary to the Bajoran Prophets, though I suspect the notation in my Starfleet file is more prosaic."
"Would you refresh the court's memory as to the personal revelation you experienced approximately stardate 52000."
"I learned that the woman I had always believed to be my mother was not. I learned that my true mother was one of the Prophets who had assumed human physical form in order to conceive their Emissary."
"How did you react when you were told this?"
"It was one of several shocks I received within a short period, and it was - rough. I retreated into old, familiar things for a time before I felt capable of resuming any of my responsibilities."
"Sounds very traumatic. What got you through it?"
"My father. My son."
"And how specifically did they help you through your crisis?"
"They left me alone till it was time to kick my butt back into the game."
"So - it was your loved ones who saw you through the trauma of discovering your true origins."
"Captain Sisko - is it accurate to say you now operate on a higher plane of existence since the end of the Dominion War?"
"Higher? Not necessarily. Broader in some ways, narrower in others."
"In what ways?"
"I now have a much greater range of perceptions than the human senses. The price of this is that I spend very little time as a physical body - insofar as chronology is applicable to that plane of my existence in the first place."
"So you're accustomed to going about with no physical form?"
"Objection," said the Starfleet JAG, rising. "This line of questioning has no bearing on the subject of holographic beings."
"Laying groundwork, sirs," the Doctor defended himself to the court.
"Overruled," said Paris, "but step it up, counsel."
The Doctor repeated his last question. "So, captain, you're accustomed to going about with no physical form?"
"Just your soul, flitting about in the altogether?"
"I suppose that's a minimally inadequate way of describing it within the limits of language."
"And there are others who share this existence with you?"
"You confer, converse and otherwise hobnob with other souls?"
"You have no trouble recognizing another soul when you encounter one as you go about your ethereal business?"
"How about when you're incarnated, such as now?"
"What do you mean?"
"Can you recognize another soul when you see one, even when you and it are incarnated on this plane?"
The Doctor pointed at the EMH across the room. "Has he got a soul?"
"Objection," the JAG called, rising, not quickly enough to cut off Sisko's response. "The term 'soul' has no legal definition and is therefore irrelevant to these proceedings. The testimony is inadmissible and prosecution requests it be stricken from the record."
"Sustained," ruled Paris. "I admonish my fellow judges to ignore this testimony in our deliberations."
Not that anyone present believed that was possible.
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