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A Beautiful Mind

Posted on Wed Sep 21st, 2016 @ 6:36pm by Captain Claudia Ainscow & Commander Akiva ben-Avram & Ensign Otoha Takahashi RN

Mission: S1E1 - Booby Trap
Location: Sickbay
Timeline: Project Golem - Part 1

Finding time between shifts that coincided with a lull in Sickbay was more challenging than Akiva had anticipated, but find it he did.

"Nurse Otoha, may I ask a favor?" He grinned ear to ear, barely containing his uncharacteristically boyish excitement. "You'll love it, I promise."

The diminutive woman's serene expression didn't change. Not immediately meeting his gaze, she stepped forward until she was right beside him. Staring forward, she quietly explained, "The last time a man said to me I'd love something..." She looked up to meet eye contact, "... I didn't."

"Well, I didn't exactly love my last visit here myself," Akiva said briskly before he caught the undertone in Otoha's statement. "Which is to say, I mean, um, I think you'll find this irresistible. Not irresistible. Ummm...." He blinked several times, fumbling for words. Not finding them, he thrust his PADD toward Otoha with both hands. "Here."

Upon seeing what looked like a biomatrix emulation, she took the device and sat down to examine it. "If you're asking me to help produce a synthoid, I don't have the technical knowledge for it."

"Neither do I," Akiva said. "But together I think we can. I need your help with the template for the cybernetic cortex of the positronic brain, as it's so much easier to base it upon a living brain and the neural functions thereof."

She sighed and sat back, "I see a reference to consciousness. You are of the opinion that a soul consists of nothing more than complex pattern processing copied from a living mind?"

"On the contrary," Akiva said, "I believe that a soul is the sum of a form and a life given to it. I could no more put my mind into another body than I could put my name onto someone else's forehead. Once it is given, it is no longer mine. When HaShem breathed life into HaAdam, it was much the same thing. Man is not God, though he is made in the image and likeness of the same." He stepped to the side and looked down.
"I... I have attempted this before. And not just on my previous post as I told the captain." Eyes downcast, he slowly recounted the story of his first attempt. "When I left for Starfleet, my father told me to never return--for my own good, he told me. The distinction between robust debate and blasphemy is a gulf both deep and wide on my world." He shook his head. "You know, we first built our colony through the use of robotics, but in generations since then a schism has formed among our researchers -- 'shall man create life in his own image, presuming to be as HaShem himself like the serpent of old promised?'" He chuckled wryly, though no humor met his dark downcast eyes. "It is said that rabbis from a thousand years ago learned to form servants from clay to do their bidding. Golems, they were said to be called. And that is what the Sanhedrin accused me of trying to build. An abomination of life." He looked up to Otoha with pained determination in his eyes.
"Were sentience nothing but a complex neurological pattern to be copied and altered like a string of code, then I would be allowed to go home. But if I succeed, then I can prove that they were wrong to shun me. If the Sanhedrin were persuaded that it is not blasphemy to create sentience, it could open up Hebron to the greater galaxy. Will you help me?"

It took a few moments for Nurse Takahashi to process his words. This wasn't yet another starry-eyed Dr. Frahnkensteen gone test tube happy in a laboratory. He had honestly delved into ethical and even spiritual aspects. She tipped her head, studying his displays once more. At length, a smile melted across her lips, "I don't recall scriptures telling us 'thou shalt not eugenicize'." She swiveled her chair to face him, "As long as you take responsibility for developing viable, stable life forms, which of course you are already doing." Otoha folded her arms and rocked back in thought. She then met eye contact, "There is a way to help ensure success. Utilize the holodeck. I know of an avatar who was spawned first in a holodeck and then transcribed into permanent material form. First create the illusion, the dream. Make sure it is healthy. Then give it substance. A holodeck might not be able to replicate a positronic matrix, but it can emulate its function." She nodded toward the technical display, "Especially if it is organically grown from simple form." Otoha shrugged, "If something goes awry and it implodes, the only thing you need to is revise an illusion, not rare materials."

Akiva nodded. "I am already utilizing a portable holo-emitter to display her face, but I can see the benefits of using an entire holosuite for her form--perhaps as a gestational period of sorts while her chassis frame is being constructed. But it must be a limited subroutine only. I've already learned that a synthoid has trouble adapting to a corporeal form if their consciousness was born and developed in the non-corporeal freedom of an unrestricted holodeck. It... it was nightmarish." He shuddered. "Nevertheless, we still need the scans of the captain's neural pathways as a template since we already know her neutral network is viable."

Nurse Takahashi returned a nod, "I shall set up the scanning schema now."

He tapped his combadge. /=\ "Ben-Avram to Commander Ainscow. We're ready for you in Sickbay." /=\

Claudia heard Akiva request her presence down in sickbay for her part in his project to build an android. She was quite humbled that Akiva had asked for her input to the project and she made her way down to sickbay as quickly as she could. Once she was there she walked up to Akiva and Otoha and smiled.

"Here I am. Where do you want me?" Claudia said.

The nurse led the way, "O-R Two, Commander." Upon arrival, she gestured to an ergonomic biobed, "This won't be painful, but it might be stressful and lengthy. It is not enough to simply map neural structure. We must record how that neural structure... 'behaves', how it functions. I'll induce combinations of low level sensory stimulus in order to record conscious and autonomic reactions."

Claudia followed the nurse and listened as she explained the procedure Claudia would be undergoing for Akiva's project to build the android she had previously approved. It wasn't daunting although she hoped it wasn't going to be too lengthy.

"Sounds good to me. How long is 'lengthy'? Not that I'm rushed for time though - just curious" Claudia replied.

"Probably long enough for me to go retrieve the Package," Akiva said. "I've got her stowed away in my quarters. I'll be back before you can say 'L'Chaim!'" He left without further explanation.

Claudia smiled and sat on the bed before swivelling herself into position on the bed and lying back. Once she was comfortable on the bed Claudia looked up at the ceiling of the room she was in. Sickbay wasn't exactly her favourite place but she knew in this particular instance the project was of great importance to Akiva and she was happy to help.

"I wonder what he's gone to collect" Claudia said.

An effect resembling black rays bathed the patient. Otoha monitored diagnostic streams across her tech contact lenses, "I don't know, but I'm feeling an unprofessional temptation to call him Franken-kiva."

Claudia giggled. She liked the nurse's sense of humour and today was no different.

"If he's Franken-kiva then what am I?" Claudia replied.

"Hmmm... Technically, being the mother of his creation, that would make you Mrs. Franken-kiva... ma'am."

Claudia again giggled. She was right though - Akiva had suggested Claudia was a mother figure to the eventual android that would be constructed. It was an honour for her to be involved - even more to be its "mother".

"You aren't wrong there" Claudia said.

"I'm back!" Akiva announced while raising a metallic carrying case over his head. "And here she is." He placed the case on an empty biobed, then unsnapped it. "Biynah, observer mode." The electrical terminal inside the case emitted a holographic face that looked upon the three humans. "I was curious to see what she would make of this process," he said. "She won't say anything until speech mode is activated." Only then did he notice the procedure had already begun, flinching as he did so. "I hope you're not too uncomfortable, Captain."

Claudia again looked at Biynah and smiled. In the not too distant future there would be a full sized android based on that holographic image with its personality based on none other than herself. Claudia was enjoying herself so far - although she was willing to bet a bit later on she'd be feeling more than a bit tired.

"Not at all. Shall we get this show on the road?" Claudia replied.

"It was my understanding that this wouldn't take too long," Akiva said, looking at Otoha. "If you would be so kind as to upload your scans to my PADD here, I will be sure to keep them under lock and key until I'm able to transfer them to a positronic matrix."

Claudia turned to face Akiva whilst still lying on the bed.

"That sounds good to me. You should speak to Mr Himmel about putting one together. I'm sure he'd be more than happy to help with you - perhaps speak to the Science department too" Claudia said.Goo

"Good idea," Akiva said. "I had anticipated some help from my own department, but so far scheduling hasn't allowed it. As I said, I won't let this project take away from standard ship functions and operations." He nodded at both. "I thank you both."

"You're welcome. Any time" Claudia said.

Claudia nodded and slowly got herself up off the bed. She didn't want to rush around right after the procedure so she took another few seconds before alighting from the bed and walking out of sickbay - feeling a lot better than she thought she would after the procedure.


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