Disclaimer: Paramount should play nicely and share Star Trek Voyager with others (aka us). They can keep Barclay.
I was surprised when Kathryn suggested to the doctor that he take some time off. I suppose I never really thought of the doctor as more then just a hologram.
But at Kes' insistence, Kathryn began integrating him into the crew. He may be a hologram, but he's also our Chief Medical Officer.
He went to the holodeck.
We had an kinoplasmic power surge, in which the holodeck was effected. More importantly though, the doctor's program began to degrade. . . which we cannot afford to let happen.
We figured a way to project me to the holodeck. Maybe I can get through and let him know what's going on and to help, let him know we're working on the problem. When I got there, he was just about ready to destroy the warp core (in simulation, not the real thing.)
"Stop!" I shouted. "Doctor, don't listen to him, he's lying. Don't do anything that man tells you. You're in danger if you do. None of this is real."
"So I've been told," Doc said. "It's all a holographic simulation."
"That's right. But it's not the simulation you think it is. Everything around you is part of a holographic projection that's being created by your program."
"You're on the holodeck, on Voyager. The captain suggested you take a day off, try a holonovel, so you did. But while you were running the holonovel, there was a kinoplasmic radiation surge in the imaging system. It created a feedback loop between the holodeck computer and your program." I hoped I was convincing him.
If anything, my presence should have proven something wasn't right. I wasn't even on Voyager when these events happened. But then, the feed back loop was messing around his program quite a bit.
"All of this, including Mr. Barclay, is a holographic simulation, generated by your codes, sub-routines, and memory circuits."
"Don't be distracted by these holographic characters," the Barclay character said. "Stay focused on what you need to do. Destroy the warp core." Barclay turned the doctor away from me.
"Wait a minute," the doctor said, "The entire crew of Voyager was just taken by the array. They won't be back for three days. So what's he doing here?" Indicating to me. Yes doctor, now you're thinking.
"The program is malfunctioning," Barclay told him. The doctor walked toward me.
"Are you the real Commander Chakotay? Or a holographic projection like Mr. Barclay?"
"I'm a projection. I'm really at the holographic control station in Engineering. You're trapped on the holodeck. We've been monitoring the program from here and we've been trying to reach you for hours."
"Sounds familiar. He told me the same thing," Doc said.
"Doctor, do you remember coming into the holodeck and running a hololnovel within the last six hours?"
"No. No I don't," Doc said.
"That's because your memory circuits are being eradicated by the feedback loop. We have to get you off the holodeck, transfer you back to sickbay."
"You don't have memory circuits, you have a mind. And it's being damaged. Destroy the Voyager, the program will end and we can get you off the holodeck," Barclay argued. I'd heard stories about him on the Enterprise. If this representation was any indication, I can see why the guy was considered annoying.
"That's not true, doctor. Because of the feedback loop, if you destroy the simulation, you will be destroyed as well."
"If you shut down this simulation, your program will be wiped out right along with it. There will be no way to retrieve the lost data. You'll be gone."
Then something happened, to drive the doctor to his knees. If he wasn't a hologram, I'd swear he was in very deep pain.
"Only real people experience pain, you've got to believe me," Barclay said.
"What you're perceiving as pain is really the feedback loop eradicating your memory circuits."
The doc was obviously hurting. "What? What is it you want me to do?"
"Don't do anything. We're working on the problem right now, we're close to a solution."
"Do nothing and you'll die," Barclay interrupted. Definitely annoying.
The eradication in his program was getting worse. "Doctor, trust me."
"Trust me, Lewis," a female voice said. Shock time. It was Kes, only it wasn't Kes. She didn't have those Ocampan ears. The doctor seemed surprised. I know I was. The doctor knew her as his assistant. Barclay called her Kes Zimmerman, his wife.
"This is all a holographic delusion, drawn from people and experiences in your own memory circuits. You're malfunctioning."
The Kes told him to listen to Reg, to destroy the warp core.
"If you listen to her, you'll end up destroying yourself." Oh, they kept trying to convince him he was real. Very convincing.
"This isn't about what you want," I said interrupting. "This is about what you are. Just because you're made of projected light and energy, doesn't mean you're any less real then someone made of flesh and blood." I crouched down to their level. "It doesn't matter what you're made of. What matters is who you are. You're our friend and we want you back." he tried to get up and once again Kes tried to convince him to destroy the warp core.
"Doctor, we're close to getting you out of here. Try to hold on," I said, almost pleading with him.
We finally managed to shut down the program. Kathryn asked him a few questions to verify that he was okay. He seemed to be fine.
". . .That's right," I began. "We encountered a subspace anomaly and there was a radiation surge in the computer system."
"Then Kes is my assistant, not my wife?" Doc said. That brought Kathryn's head up pretty quickly. Whoa!
"Your wife?" I asked.
"Never mind," he said. "Captain, if it's okay, I'd like to return to sickbay now."
"Of course. It's good to have you back doctor."
"It's good to be back," he said.
"Computer, transfer EMH program back to sickbay," Kathryn said.
Harry, Kathryn and I left. We all looked at each other and fell into hysterics. Oh that was funny. Kes, his wife. . . that was the icing on the cake.
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