ln the beginning, there is darkness,
the emptiness of a matrix waiting for the light.
Then a single photon flares into existence.
Then another.
Soon, thousands more.
Optronic pathways connect,
subroutines emerge from the chaos,
and a holographic consciousness is born.
l awaken into this world fully programmed,
yet completely innocent,
unaware of the hardships l'll endure,
or the great potential l will one day fulfill.
Computer, save revisions and open Chapter One.
Captain's Log, Stardate 54732.3.
lt's been three weeks
since we received Starfleet's instructions
in the last datastream,
and we're finally ready to begin ''Operation Watson.''
We're all holding our breath.
The deflector's in position.
l'm picking up a phased tachyon beam.
There's triaxilating signal encoded in it.
On screen.
Voyager, this is Lieutenant Barclay at Starfleet Command.
Are you receiving this...?
-Can you clear it up? -l'm on it.
Captain Janeway, it's a pleasure
to finally talk to you in person.
The pleasure's mine, Admiral.
How's the weather in San Francisco?
Cold and rainy, as usual.
lt sounds delightful.
Lieutenant Barclay,
my congratulations on establishing
the first transgalactic com-link.
You've earned a place in the history books.
l can't take all of the credit, Captain.
lt was Harry and Seven
who suggested bouncing a tachyon beam
off of the quantum singularity.
Just be sure to thank us
when you accept the Daystrom Prize.
l wish we had more time for small talk,
but the singularity only stays in alignment
for 1 1 minutes a day.
Eleven minutes are better than none, Admiral.
We appreciate all your work, Reg.
We're going to leave it up to you
to determine how to allocate the com time.
Admiral, um... there was something else.
Oh, yes, uh, Mr. Barclay has arranged a small gift
for you and your crew.
This is a live image from McKinley Station.
Uh, not too much cloud cover over North America today.
Quite a view.
Thank you, Reg.
ln my hat, l hold
146 sequentially numbered isolinear chips--
one for every member of the crew.
Each chip entitles the bearer
to three minutes of uninterrupted com time
with his loved ones back in the Alpha Quadrant.
Good luck.
My mom's birthday is next week.
This could be the best present l ever gave her.
Who's everyone else calling?
l'll be calling my sister.
What about you, Captain?
My mother, l hope.
Doesn't anyone want to know who l'm calling?
Wait, wait. Let me guess.
Um... Reg Barclay or Dr. Zimmerman.
What makes you so certain it's either of them?
Ah, number six.
The lowest one yet.
You'll be talking to your family the day after tomorrow.
That's about a month and a half from now.
So much for Mom's birthday.
Apparently, the line forms here.
Doc, how about a trade?
l'm willing to throw in some holodeck time.
Come on.
lt would mean a lot to my mother.
l wish l could help,
but l have a very important call to make.
Here. Give your mom my best.
Are you sure?
l've waited this long.
What's another six weeks?
l can hear the critics already:
''A new voice has arrived.''
You could be the next K'Ratak, or a modern-day Tolstoy.
l'd like to start
distribution by the end of the month.
Uh, the material l sent was only a working draft.
l need time to make revisions.
Well, if you insist, but please do it quickly.
l will.
So tell me...
what did you think of the characters?
Oh, they're very real-- compelling.
l almost forgot they were holograms.
Who was your favorite?
Without a doubt, that would have to be Lieutenant...
What happened?
Your time has expired.
You could've let the man finish his sentence.
l believe your ego has received enough stroking for one day.
So, how's Reg?
l'll have you know
l was speaking with Ardon Broht of Broht & Forrester.
The publishers of the Dixon Hill series?
Mm-hmm. Who are now about to publish my work.
lt seems you're not the only one aboard
with a flair for holographic narratives.
Well, congratulations.
Thank you.
So, what's it about?
The adventures of an intrepid doctor.
Oh, sounds like fun.
You know, l've never thought
about trying to get my work published.
Maybe l could talk to your people
about Captain Proton.
Broht & Forrester deals in... sophisticated literature.
What are you saying, that l'm lowbrow?
Not at all.
l'd be delighted to talk to them.
Ah. Thanks.
So, when do l get to see this opus?
Well, it's not ready yet.
lt was ready enough for Broht & Forrester.
Maybe it could use a fresh pair of eyes.
After all, you are a fellow author.
l'll cover the rest of your shift.
Oh, l almost forgot.
What's it called?
Photons Be Free.
l awaken into this world fully programmed,
yet completely innocent,
unaware of the hardships l'll endure,
or the great potential l will one day fulfill.
Ah... welcome.
You've made an excellent choice.
You're about to take part
in a thrilling first-person narrative.
You will take on the role
of an Emergency Medical Hologram,
the Chief Medical Officer aboard the Starship Vortex.
As our story begins, an anomaly has hurled your ship
thousands of light-years across the galaxy.
Your mission?
To uphold your medical and ethical standards
as you struggle against the crew's bigotry
and intolerance.
Persons with vascular disorders should consult
a physician before running this program.
And now, a few acknowledgments.
First, Dr. Lewis Zimmerman,
the creator of my holo-matrix, whose foresight
and dedication have made it possible for me to achieve...
Computer, freeze program.
How much longer is this introduction?
Nine minutes, four seconds.
Skip to the first chapter.
Chapter One: ''A Healer is Born,''
in which our protagonist must make a difficult choice.
lncrease the resonance level 20 percent.
Are you the EMH?
Please state the nature of the medical emergency.
Our doctor's dead. We've got wounded.
They're both badly hurt. Who should we treat first?
Second degree plasma burns.
He's got an aortic rupture.
Get him to the Surgical Bay now.
You! Over here.
Nice mustache.
Uh, nothing.
He's got a mild concussion.
l'm going to have to treat the others first.
l need Lieutenant Marseilles on the Bridge.
You'll treat him now.
As l understand it,
my job is to treat the critical patients first.
So, if you'll excuse me...
l don't know who you think you are, Hologram,
but to me, you're just another piece of technology.
Well, apparently, l'm a piece of technology
that's in demand,
so why don't you go back to the Bridge
and let me do my job?
What's going on here?
Our medical hologram is refusing to treat Mr. Marseilles.
Are you malfunctioning?
l don't think so.
l need my helmsman back at his station.
Lieutenant Marseilles isn't seriously hurt.
This man will be dead in five minutes
if l don't operate.
Drop the force field.
That patient is dead.
Now you're free to treat Lieutenant Marseilles.
Then the Captain pulls out a phaser
and shoots him-- right there on the bio-bed.
Captain Janeway murders a crewman?
No, Captain Jenkins.
Everybody has a different name.
You're Kymble, you're Torrey,
and l am Lieutenant Marseilles.
Oh, now, that's creative.
What did you say to the Doctor?
Well, he thinks he's written a masterpiece.
l didn't know what to tell him.
lf this gets distributed,
people are going to assume this is about us.
What are our families going to think?
This is a Starfleet ship.
No one will believe
we actually go around shooting injured crewmen.
People may not take the program literally,
but they might wonder if there's some truth to it.
l think we should talk to the Captain.
Are you sure you're not taking this
a little personally?
What do you mean?
Well, the Holodeck always has been your domain.
You, you think l'm jealous?
Okay, maybe l am overreacting.
Why don't the rest of you try the program
and decide for yourselves?
Chapter Five:
''Out of the Frying Pan,'' in which our protagonist
must confront abusive colleagues.
l'm here for my physical.
Why don't you have a seat over here?
Doctor, you better get down to Engineering.
What's wrong?
A plasma conduit just exploded.
At least ten people are hurt.
Hey, genius.
Forgetting something?
Your mobile emitter?
Oh, right.
l don't see it.
That's my mobile emitter?
This thing must weigh 50 kilos.
You should be glad
we let you out of your cage at all.
Now, get going.
l'm impressed.
l haven't seen a dilithium matrix
this far out of alignment
since l served aboard a Ferengi garbage scow.
l'll fix it myself.
Excuse me.
How many times have l told you?
Engineering is off-limits to holograms.
Maybe you should waive that restriction
during emergencies.
A plasma conduit exploded?
Does it look like anyone here is covered with plasma burns?
Lieutenant Par... uh, Marseilles
told me there was an accident.
Looks like your auditory subroutines
are malfunctioning... again.
l'm surprised a matrix as primitive as yours
can function at all.
Maybe you should be a little nicer to your shipmates.
You never know when you might need their help.
Get one thing straight.
You're not one of my shipmates.
You're a tool--
like this hyperspanner--
and tools can be replaced.
So, why don't you go back to Sick Bay
before l start doing a little reprogramming?
Computer, lights.
Didn't l tell you to go to Engineering?
Oh, l get it.
lnteresting plot twist.
You get me out of Sick Bay,
so you're free to give my patient a tonsillectomy.
lf you even think about mentioning this to my wife,
l will purge your memory buffer.
Do we understand each other?
l'm here for my physical?
Chapter Six: ''Duel in the Ready Room,''
in which our protagonist faces an inquisition.
This time, you've gone too far.
Captain, l'm not sure what you mean.
An inventory of your holo-matrix.
50 gigaquads of memory devoted to music,
42 for ''daydreams,''
another ten to expand your sexuality.
l had no idea holograms could do that.
These extracurricular
subroutines don't belong
as part of an Emergency Medical Hologram.
Do you have anything to say for yourself?
Uh, well, uh, of course l do.
l don't think these subroutines are trivial, Captain.
They help make me a better doctor
and a better person.
But you're not a person.
You may be programmed to look and act human,
but that doesn't make you one.
These subroutines are going to be deleted immediately.
Mr. Tulak.
Take the EMH
to the Holo-Lab for reprogramming.
Chapter Seven: ''The Escape,''
in which our protagonist is aided by his only ally.
l'm not sure we should be doing this, Commander.
Listen to him; he knows what he's talking about.
Quiet! l'm not talking to you.
lf we start tinkering with his matrix,
how do we know we won't accidentally delete
some of his diagnostic subroutines?
You afraid you'll catch something
on your next away mission, Ensign?
There must be millions of viruses in this Quadrant
that no one's ever encountered before.
With my luck, l'll probably end up
catching half of them.
Great, my character's a hypochondriac.
l'll escort the prisoner from here.
Our orders are to take him to the Holo-Lab.
l've been ordered to perform the procedure.
Your sympathies for the EMH are no secret, Three of Eight.
Step aside.
Run, Doctor!
Chapter Eight: ''A Tragic End,''
in which our protagonist learns his fate.
l've tried to do this the easy way,
but it's clear you're not going to be reasonable.
Your matrix will be decompiled and reinitialized.
You'll remain off-line except for emergencies.
Do it.
He has the right to expand his program.
He's a piece of technology.
He has no rights.
But he should.
One day, the EMH and others like him
will be recognized for what they are--
intelligent individuals with a passion for life.
Make no mistake, Captain--
we may be thousands of light-years from home,
but one day, people will learn
of the crime you're committing here today.
Nice speech.
Now decompile the program.
What you've experienced, dear protagonist,
is a work of fiction.
But like all fiction, it has elements of truth.
l hope you now have a better understanding
of the struggles holograms must endure
in a world controlled...
by organics.
End of program.
Janeway to the Doctor.
Report to my ready room now.
How many times do you want me to say it?
My work is not about the Voyager crew.
Come on.
Ensign Kymble, Lieutenant Marseilles...
The characters look almost exactly like us.
l used your physical parameters as a starting point,
but l assure you
any further similarities are purely coincidental.
You set your story
on a starship lost in the Delta Quadrant.
What would you have me write about?
Palace intrigue on the Klingon Homeworld?
l do what all good novelists do.
l write what l know.
So, it is about Voyager?.
The Vortex characters are larger than life.
They're nothing like our crew.
As far as l know, Captain,
you haven't executed any of my patients.
Doctor, you've written a very imaginative story,
but it's conceivable
that people will think it's based on fact.
l don't see how.
How many holograms carry mobile emitters?
The emitter in my story is nothing like the real one.
Yeah, what was the point of that?
lt was like carrying around a small shuttlecraft.
lt's a metaphor,
a symbol of the burdens that l live with every day.
lmagine having to take this everywhere you go.
lt would be a constant reminder that you're
different from everyone else.
l wanted the player to feel the weight of it...
Your emitter isn't a ball and chain.
lt liberates you.
lt doesn't always feel that way.
lf l didn't know better, l'd think this story
was written by someone who feels oppressed.
ls that how you see yourself, Doctor?
Of course not.
The real victims are my brothers in the Alpha Quadrant.
Hundreds of EMH Mark-1's,
identical to me in every respect, except...
they've been condemned to a menial existence--
scrubbing conduits,
mining dilithium.
There's a long history
of writers drawing attention to the plight of the oppressed.
The Vedek's Song, for example
tells the story of the occupation of Bajor.
l understand you have your reasons
for writing this, but you should consider
how it's going to make your friends feel.
l'm sorry my work offends you,
but if the price of expressing myself
is having to suffer the scorn of a few colleagues...
so be it.
You're very popular with my eighth graders.
lt's all they ever talk about.
Voyager this, Voyager that.
Your mother has a small favor to ask of you.
Name it.
l was hoping you could record a short presentation
about what it's like to command a starship.
But... l don't command a starship.
ln your letters,
you said the Captain puts you in charge sometimes.
What l said was
l'm in command of the night shift...
twice a week.
She must think very highly of you
to give you so much responsibility.
So, when is she giving you a promotion?
lt's a small ship.
There are only so many command positions available.
This Captain Janeway sounds like a lovely woman.
Maybe l should write her.
She needs to know how hard you work.
Please, don't get involved.
Harry, l can't hear you.
A solar flare is scattering the beam.
Tell Captain Janeway to expect a letter from me.
Mom, don't send
anything to the Captain. Do you hear me?
Try boosting the deflector output.
lt's already at maximum.
Argh! l don't believe this!
l had a minute and a half left.
You'll have another opportunity to speak with them
in approximately two months.
You just don't get it, do you?
Maybe if you had family you were close to,
you'd feel a little differently.
Chief Medical Officer's Personal Log, Stardate 547 40.8.
Although the decision has made me unpopular with the crew,
l've decided not to compromise my work.
l'm making some final revisions to the program
before transmitting it.
Computer, run EMH program Photons Be Free.
Welcome. You've made an excellent choice.
You're obviously a person with impeccable taste.
Computer, freeze program.
Unable to comply.
You are about to embark on a remarkable journey.
You will take on the role of a Medical Assistant
aboard the Starship Voyeur.
Your job will be to assist the Chief Medical Officer
and learn to tolerate his overbearing behavior
and obnoxious bedside manner.
Remember, patience is a virtue.
Chapter One:
''lt's the Doctor's World, You're Just Living ln lt.''
When l tell you your shift begins at 0800,
that doesn't mean
you can stroll in here at 0800 and 24 seconds.
Do you understand me, Ensign?!
This is outrageous!
What's outrageous
is that l'm going to miss my tee time.
Now, come along.
What seems to be the trouble, One of Three?
l'm Two of Three.
They're triplets, you know?
-lt hurts when l do this. -Well, then, don't do it.
Ah, don't be a baby.
Eh, your biradial clamp's out of alignment.
l got just the thing.
lt's a Klingon aphrodisiac--
my own special blend.
You'll be feeling better
-Mmm. -in no time at all.
l want you to know
l'm making a full report to the Captain.
This isn't about that dermal regenerator
l misplaced, is it?
You know very well what this is about.
You accessed my holonovel without permission
and replaced it with your own hackneyed narrative.
Hey, l'm just writing what l know.
You destroyed a work of art that took months to create.
Relax, Doc.
l saved your program in a backup file,
but l was just trying to make a point.
Well, you made it with a typical lack of subtlety.
Oh, you're one to talk!
Your program's about as subtle as a Ferengi mating dance.
My program is a serious attempt at social commentary.
Yours is an insulting farce! You...
...had me drugging a patient
and taking advantage of her.
Don't be ridiculous.
That character is not you.
For one thing, he has much more hair.
But what if some people ran that program
and thought that it was based on you?
That would bother you, wouldn't it?
l don't care what people think.
That's all you care about!
You want everyone back home
to think of you as a brilliant author.
l'm not doing this for my ego,
and if you could look past yours,
maybe you'd see that!
Listen... l don't care if the whole Alpha Quadrant
mistakes me for Lieutenant Marseilles.
What bothers me
is that you think that's what l'm like.
Obviously, you're nothing like Marseilles.
He's self-indulgent, immature.
And how would you describe me?
Well, you're a married man
with a child on the way.
A lot of responsibilities.
l'm surprised you noticed.
You know, l thought l'd begun to earn your respect.
Maybe l was wrong.
Your program is under file Theta-15.
Do whatever you want with it.
Doctor, l need your help.
Unless you're suffering acute symptoms, go away.
Um, l was wondering
if you could take a quick look at this.
Cooking with Neelix:
A Culinary Tour of the Delta Quadrant.
lt's a holo-cookbook proposal.
l was hoping to transmit it to your publisher
during my com-link this afternoon--
with your approval, of course.
lf you're looking for writing tips,
there are plenty of people on this ship
eager to offer them.
l don't know what anyone else may have told you,
but l loved your holonovel.
You did?
lt was a rousing adventure
with an important message, too.
This is my first chance to be appreciated,
not just as a physician, but as an artist.
l thought the crew would be happy for me.
You're going to reach a wide audience.
What do you care about the opinions
of a few disgruntled shipmates?
They're my friends.
l don't want to hurt them.
There's an old Talaxian expression:
''When the road before you splits in two,
take the third path.''
You could make some adjustments to the program, so it won't be
so obvious it's based on Voyager.
l suppose l could change the setting,
alter the characters' physical parameters.
You wouldn't have to change your theme.
But a rewrite could take weeks.
My publisher is expecting a final draft tomorrow.
Maybe you should give him a call.
l need to rework the characters.
They're so believable.
A little too believable, apparently.
Doctor, l-l really don't think this is necessary.
l'm afraid l have to insist.
My friends' reputations are at stake.
My publisher assures me he won't distribute the program
until he receives the revised version.
That must be the one where we assimilate the Borg
and take over the Quadrant.
We're all grateful
that you're taking our feelings into account.
So, how long do you expect the revisions will take?
Art can't be rushed.
Take your time, Doctor.
-Lieutenant? -Hmm?
l'm sorry.
Oh. Forget about it.
l could use your help with the rewrites.
Well, you realize, as a writer, l'm a little unsophisticated.
No, l believe the phrase you're looking for
is lowbrow.
What's that?
lt's from my father.
He wants to talk.
What are you gonna do?
Well, l've already arranged to talk with my cousin.
Well, l'm sure she wouldn't mind waiting a few weeks.
l wouldn't know what to say to him.
Then let him do the talking.
Look at you.
You must be, what, 20 weeks along?
23, actually.
Have you decided on a name?
Not yet.
We were thinking about Miral.
Your mother would've liked that.
You know, l had some business on Kessik lV a few months ago.
You wouldn't believe what our old house looks like.
Lieutenant... 30 seconds.
We have less than a minute.
ls there a reason you wanted to talk?
l know l can't make up for 20 years in one conversation.
The truth is...
when your ship disappeared, l thought l'd lost you.
l don't expect you to forgive me,
but maybe we could try
to get to know each other again.
l'll write you.
l'm sorry to disturb you, Admiral.
Uh, yes, Mr. Barclay. What can l do for you?
l thought you'd want to see this, sir.
Well, what is it?
lt's, um, a holonovel that's becoming quite popular.
Well, l appreciate the gesture, Lieutenant,
but l don't share your affinity for holographic diversions.
You don't understand, sir.
This program... it's about Voyager,
and it doesn't portray the crew in a very flattering light.
On screen.
Seven told me your message was urgent.
l had the dubious privilege of playing a new holonovel,
apparently written by your EMH.
l'm surprised that you would allow the Doctor
to discredit your crew like this.
He's still making revisions.
The program shouldn't have been distributed yet.
Well, it has been.
Mr. Barclay tells me it's already being played
in thousands of holosuites.
You assured me you were going to wait for my revisions.
l demand that you recall every copy
and issue a public apology to Captain Janeway and her crew.
l won't do anything of the sort.
l don't see that you have a choice, Mr. Broht.
Authors have rights.
Not in this case.
What do you mean?
The Doctor is a hologram.
According to Federation law, holograms have no rights.
Under a strict interpretation of Federation law,
Mr. Broht is correct.
The Doctor has no legal rights.
Because l'm a hologram.
There is another option.
We may be able to claim
that the holonovel reveals classified information.
Starfleet could then request
that it be recalled for security purposes.
Oh, great idea-- a cover-up,
and then everyone will be convinced
that it's a true story.
Could we claim defamation?
Well, we'd have to prove that the story's about us
and that we've been harmed by it.
We might win on those grounds, but what about the Doctor?
What about me, Captain?
lt's the crew's reputations that are at risk.
l'm not so sure.
l think it's your reputation that's on the line here.
You have the same rights
as every other member of this crew,
and l'm not going to let this publisher say otherwise.
Captain's Log, Stardate 547 48.6.
A Federation Arbitrator has been assigned to determine
whether the Doctor has the right
to control his artistic creation.
Because of our limited com time with Earth,
the argument should take about three days.
You claim the Doctor doesn't have the legal right
to control this holoprogram.
Yet you're promoting the fact that Voyager's EMH wrote it.
Our most successful children's title
is a program ''written by'' Toby the targ.
Fortunately, Toby hasn't tried to stop me
from distributing any of his work.
But you don't deny that the Doctor
is the creator of this holonovel?
No, but, uh, a replicator created this cup of coffee.
Should that replicator be able to determine
whether or not l can drink it?
-l object! -Doctor...
An intriguing analogy, Mr. Broht,
but l have never encountered a replicator
that could compose music, or paint landscapes,
or perform microsurgery.
Have you?
Would you say that you have a reputation
for publishing respected, original works of literature?
l'd like to think so.
And is the Doctor's holonovel such a work?
Actually, some aspects of it are quite derivative.
Has there even been another work written
about a hologram's struggle for equality?
Uh, not that l know of, but, uh...
Then, in that respect, it is original.
l suppose so.
Your Honor, Section 7-Gamma of the Twelfth Guarantee
defines an artist
as a ''person who creates an original artistic work.''
Mr. Broht admits that the Doctor created this program
and that it is original.
l therefore submit
that the Doctor should be entitled
to all rights and privileges
accorded an artist under the law.
You've made a persuasive argument, Commander,
but there's a flaw in your logic.
As you point out, the law says
that the creator of an artistic work must be a ''person.''
Your EMH doesn't meet that criteria.
Sir, we're losing the link.
This hearing is in recess until tomorrow.
We're not doing well.
ls that your considered legal opinion?
l'm sorry.
lt's just frustrating to be told l have
no more legal standing than a replicator.
lf the Doctor doesn't have the right
to control his own work,
then it stands to reason he never had the right
to enter into an agreement with Mr. Broht.
We could argue that the original contract is invalid.
ln other words, you want to concede
that the Doctor isn't a person.
What we need to do...
is prove that he is just as much a person
as any of us.
How do we do that?
By telling your real life story.
Because l was having difficulty interacting with the crew,
the Doctor gave me social lessons.
First, he taught me how to make conversation.
Later, how to dance.
Eventually, he showed me
how to express romantic interest.
Without his guidance,
l wouldn't be the person l am today.
He decided it wasn't enough to be just a doctor.
So he added command subroutines to his matrix,
and now, in an emergency,
he's as capable as any Bridge officer.
That only proves the Doctor's program can be modified.
Your Honor, l think it shows
he has a desire to become more than he is,
just like any other person.
He traveled halfway across the galaxy
to care for Lewis Zimmerman, the man who created his program.
lt was like a son
who wanted to show his father what he'd become,
so the old man would be proud of him,
and if you ask me... he was.
l'd made myself clear,
but the Doctor disobeyed my direct orders.
ln the process, he endangered the ship and crew.
That's hardly commendable behavior.
No, it wasn't,
but it was human.
Starfleet had programmed him to follow orders.
The fact that he was capable of doing otherwise
proves that he can think for himself.
Your Honor, centuries ago, in most places on Earth,
only landowners of a particular gender and race
had any rights at all.
Over time, those rights were extended to all humans,
and later, as we explored the galaxy,
to thousands of other sentient species.
Our definition of what constitutes a person
has continued to evolve.
Now, we're asking
that you expand that definition once more...
to include our Doctor.
When l met him seven years ago, l would never have believed
that an EMH could become a valued member of my crew...
and my friend.
The Doctor is a person
as real as any flesh and blood l have ever known.
lf you believe the testimony you've heard here,
it's only fair to conclude that he has
the same rights as any of us.
You'll have my decision in two days.
This hearing is in recess.
When you sing ''Happy Birthday'' to your mother,
try to stay in tune.
What's this?
An isolinear chip entitling the bearer
to three minutes of com time tomorrow.
You made it clear
how important it was to finish your conversation.
l overreacted.
l understand why you did.
l've been observing the crew interacting with their families
over the past few days.
lt's become clear to me
how meaningful that communication can be.
Thanks, but l can't accept this.
Why not?
You should contact your own family.
My parents were assimilated.
Well, there must be someone.
A distant relative?
My father has a sister on Earth...
lrene Hansen.
l'm sure she'd be thrilled to hear from you.
You can imagine my reaction
when Starfleet told me to expect your call.
l experienced some apprehension myself.
You seem like a lovely young woman,
but you were the most stubborn six year old l've ever met.
Your parents left you with me for a weekend,
and you were so angry,
you locked yourself in my guest room
and refused to come out.
That must have been... inconvenient for you.
Oh, l coaxed you out eventually...
with a strawberry tart.
l'm very fond of strawberries.
l didn't realize l'd eaten them as a child.
You couldn't get enough of them.
Of course, you didn't hesitate to point out
if they weren't perfectly ripe.
l'm sorry if l insulted you.
Perhaps l shouldn't have called.
No, l'm very glad you did.
lt's wonderful to see you again, Annika.
We're exploring new territory today,
so it is fitting that this hearing
is being held at Pathfinder.
The Doctor exhibits many of the traits
we associate with a person--
intelligence, creativity, ambition, even fallibility--
but are these traits real
or is the Doctor merely programmed to simulate them?
To be honest, l don't know.
Eventually, we will have to decide,
because the issue of holographic rights
isn't going to go away.
But at this time, l am not prepared to rule
that the Doctor is a person under the law.
However, it is obvious he is
no ordinary hologram, and while l can't say
with certainty that he is a person,
l am willing to extend the legal definition
of artist to include the Doctor.
l therefore rule
that he has the right to control his work,
and l'm ordering all copies
of his holonovels to be recalled immediately.
Your Honor...
This hearing is adjourned.
Congratulations, Doctor.
Thank you, Reg.
We'll be in touch, Captain.
You don't look like someone
who's just struck the first blow for the rights of holograms.
l don't mean to sound ungrateful,
but it feels like a hollow victory-- pardon the pun.
The program's already been played by thousands of people.
The damage is done.
We'll survive.
lf l'm not mistaken,
don't you have a holonovel to revise?
Do you think l'll be able to find another publisher?
lf there's one thing l've learned about you, Doctor,
it's that you can do just about anything
you set your mind to.
Time for your diagnostic.
Report to the Holo-Lab.
l know the routine.
And... while you're there, do yourself a favor.
Ask the operator to run program 47-Beta.
Why? What is it?
lt's called Photons Be Free.
lt's quite provocative.

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