Lifesigns
Stardate: 49504.3
Original Airdate: February 26 1996

[Bridge]

(Paris rushes onto the bridge.)
PARIS: Sorry I'm late, but I have a very good excuse. Picture this. I'm just getting ready to leave the Mess hall, when Ensign Wildman goes into labour. What else could I do but deliver the baby? Oh, you should've been there, Harry. There is nothing like bringing a new life into the world. I think I missed my calling. What if I told you the turbolift got stuck on deck six?
CHAKOTAY: This is the third time you've been late this week, Mister Paris.
PARIS: It won't happen again.
TUVOK: Commander, I am picking up a distress call on one of the upper subspace bands.
CHAKOTAY: What's the source?
TUVOK: A small spacecraft. No weapon systems. One life form aboard. Extremely weak life signs.
CHAKOTAY: Slow to half impulse.
KIM: According to the bioscanner, it's a Vidiian female.
JANEWAY: Open a channel.
KIM: No response.
CHAKOTAY: She may be too sick.
PARIS: Or maybe it's some kind of trick.
TUVOK: Preliminary scans show no other Vidiian ships in this sector. It is unlikely that this is a trap.
JANEWAY: Commander Chakotay, notify the Doctor. Mister Kim, beam the woman to Sickbay.
KIM: Aye, Captain.

[Sickbay]

KES: Her renal organs are functioning at twenty percent of normal and her cardiovascular system is on the verge of collapse.
EMH: Twenty milligrams of lectrazine.
KES: Cardiovascular and renal systems are stabilising, but her neural patterns are fading. What is it?
EMH: In her parietal lobe. It looks like some sort of implant. It's a very complex web of bioneural circuitry. Nanofibres.
KES: Could this be what's causing the problem?
EMH: On the contrary. According to these readings, the device is actually storing her synaptic patterns, processing them and transmitting neural electrical impulses to the rest of her systems.
KES: Are you saying it's some kind of artificial brain?
EMH: No. I'd say it's more like a neuro-cortical stimulator, designed to supplement the higher brain functions.
KES: But it's not working any more.
EMH: From what I can tell, the implant itself is functioning, but it's connected to mostly dead nerve cells. If we don't do something quickly, she'll be brain dead in a matter of minutes.
KES: What about trying to stimulate cell regeneration with a high dosage of inaprovaline?
EMH: Very impressive, Kes, but I think it's too late for that. Get me a high frequency RF transmitter. You're going to have to hurry, Kes. The patient's brain function is diminishing rapidly. Now, set the delta band frequency of the holo-emitter to eight point six tetrahertz.
KES: What are we doing exactly?
EMH: Transferring the patient's synaptic patterns into the holo-buffer before they degrade completely.
KES: Is there enough storage capacity in the holo-matrix for such complex data patterns?
EMH: There's enough capacity for my programme, isn't there? And my programme contains over fifty million gigaquads of data, which I don't have to tell you is considerably more than most highly developed humanoid brains.
KES: What good is preserving her synaptic patterns if there's no body?
EMH: I'm creating a holographic body. Not only will we be able to communicate with the patient, but we'll have an accurate model of healthy Vidiian physiology that will aid in treating her actual body. Computer, project the patient's skeletal structure. Now add internal organs. Add musculature. Now apply epidermal layers. Computer, use transporter records to recreate the patient's clothing.

[Ready room]

CHAKOTAY: According to her ship's navigational logs, the woman was en route to a remote Vidiian colony.
JANEWAY: Are we anywhere near it?
CHAKOTAY: It's about ten light years away. We should be in the general vicinity in about twenty two days.
JANEWAY: Assuming she survives, and we can take adequate security precautions, we'll turn her over to her people when we get there.
CHAKOTAY: Captain.
JANEWAY: Is there something wrong?
CHAKOTAY: I wanted to talk to you about Lieutenant Paris. His attitude lately has been less than professional.
JANEWAY: I've noticed.
CHAKOTAY: I know crew discipline's my responsibility, but in this case I thought I should let you get involved before I took any action. In a way, Paris has been your personal reclamation project.
JANEWAY: I appreciate your bringing this to my attention, Commander, but I trust you to handle the problem any way you see fit.

Chief Medical Officer's Log, supplemental. Test results indicate that the holographic body is functioning normally. The patient's synaptic patterns appear to be stable, so I'm now ready to begin transferring her cognitive and motor processes.

[Sickbay]

(The EMH touches the hologram's arm to wake her up.)
DENARA: Who are you?
EMH: I'm the Chief Medical Officer of the Federation Starship Voyager. We received your distress call and brought you aboard.
DENARA: What have you done to me?
EMH: It's quite simple, really. I used the undamaged chromosomes in your cerebellum to recreate your original DNA code, and then programmed the computer to project a holographic template based on that genome.
DENARA: Holographic?
EMH: A three-dimensional projection of light and energy. See for yourself.
(The EMH hands her a mirror.)
EMH: Your neural patterns were degrading rapidly. It was too late to expect results from inaprovaline, so I was forced to improvise, not that it would have occurred to just any physician. Why are you crying?
DENARA: I'm sorry, I
EMH: I thought you'd be pleased.
DENARA: I am. I just never expected to look healthy again. I've been sick for so long.
EMH: I'll need a complete medical history. How long have you been ill exactly?
DENARA: I was first diagnosed with the Phage when I was seven.
EMH: And when did you begin receiving replacement tissue?
DENARA: About that same time. At first, it was hard to get used to the changes, but it happened so often that after a while I, I almost stopped noticing. I never, I never thought I'd see myself again. Thank you. This is the most extraordinary thing anyone has ever done for me.
EMH: I wouldn't be too grateful. There are serious limitations to being a hologram. First of all, we can only exist within environments equipped with holo-emitters, such as the Sickbay.
DENARA: Do you mean you're a
EMH: I'm this ship's Emergency Medical Holographic Programme.
DENARA: You're a computer simulation?
EMH: An incredibly sophisticated computer simulation.
DENARA: I'm sorry. What did you say your name was?
EMH: I don't have a name. It wasn't part of my original programme. However you, I'm sure, have one.
DENARA: Denara. Denara Pel.
EMH: Well, Miss Pel. May I ask what someone with an illness like yours was doing alone in space with no access to medical care?
DENARA: I was helping to treat an outbreak of the Phage on Fina Prime. I was on my way back to my home colony, but it's a long journey and my condition got worse.
EMH: You're a medical practitioner of some kind?
DENARA: A haematologist.
EMH: Well then, perhaps given your expertise, you can help me with your treatment.
DENARA: My treatment? I feel fine.
EMH: Unfortunately, that's only temporary. Your synaptic patterns will eventually degrade if we don't get them out of the pattern buffers and back into your brain.
DENARA: How long?
EMH: A few days. Perhaps a week.
DENARA: I see.
EMH: Your real body is in stasis. As you can see, we have to find a way to repair your damaged neural tissue. Is something wrong?
(Denara doesn't like the sight of it in the surgical bay.)
DENARA: It's nothing.
EMH: I'm eager to discuss treatments.
DENARA: Of course.

[Doctor's office]

EMH: The procedure is quite simple. I'll drill an opening into your skull precisely two millimetres in diameter, and then use a neuralyte probe to extract a sample of your parietal lobe, weighing approximately one gramme.
TORRES: It doesn't sound simple to me. I still have nightmares about what those people did to me. And now, you want to crack open my head, cut out a piece of my brain and give it to her?
EMH: Your experience in the Vidiian prison suggests Klingon DNA is resistant to the Phage. Losing a small amount of neural tissue is inconsequential.
TORRES: Not to me, it isn't.
EMH: Yet that same tissue, grafted onto the patient's brain and stimulated to grow, will significantly slow the spread of her infection. If we can increase the grafted tissue mass quickly enough, we can transfer her synaptic patterns back into her brain before they degrade in the holo-buffer. It won't cure the Phage, but it should prolong her life considerably. Please, change into a surgical gown and lie down on biobed number one.
TORRES: I am not going to
(Denara enters.)
DENARA: Excuse me. I just want to say that I've read about the experiments that were done on you. What you went through must have been very traumatic.
TORRES: That is an understatement.
DENARA: I'm sure it is. Please understand this disease has been killing my people for hundreds of years. Trying to stop it has become an obsession, and many of our politicians and scientists have never developed compassion for the people who keep us alive. As much as I want to go on living, I've accepted the fact that I will die soon. I only want your help if you are willing to give it.
TORRES: Of course I, I'd like to help you if I can.
DENARA: If you have any questions at all about the procedure, I'd be happy to answer them for you.
TORRES: I'll go and get changed.

[Sickbay]

(Working on Denara's real body.)
EMH: I've finished ingrafting the Klingon neural tissue to your cerebral cortex. Now all I have to do is create an axonal pathway between that tissue and your basal ganglia.
DENARA: Your technique is very impressive.
EMH: It's all part of my programming. For example, this exact procedure was developed by Doctor Leonard McCoy in the year 2253. I'm equipped with the collective medical knowledge of more than three thousand cultures. Additionally, as you see here, my imaging system allows me to perform, and in many cases improve upon, the most delicate tactile manoeuvres required by a dizzying array of surgical procedures.
DENARA: Incredible.
EMH: It is, isn't it? Hand me the submicron suture, please. There. That should do it. Excellent work, Doctor.
DENARA: I was only assisting.
EMH: Nonetheless, that assistance was invaluable. It could be two or three days before we'll know if the graft will hold. In the meantime, perhaps I should deactivate your programme temporarily.
DENARA: Do you have to?
EMH: It would slow the degradation of your synaptic patterns.
DENARA: But I have so much energy. I don't know. Maybe it's the excitement of the surgery or, or maybe it's this new body. What I'd really like to do is take a walk and see the rest of your ship.
EMH: Unfortunately, that's not possible. However, if you're looking for something to do, please feel free to use my office to access our medical database. You'll find several interesting texts on comparative endocrinology.
DENARA: All right. Thank you.
EMH: On second thought, there is someplace else we could go.

[Sandrine's]

(Neelix and Paris are playing pool.)
DENARA: It's wonderful. If I had a place like this to go to, I'd be there every day.
EMH: Don't your people have recreational facilities?
DENARA: Congregating in groups is strictly regulated. It's considered to be a threat to public health.
EMH: A wise policy.
DENARA: I suppose. Sometimes I think my people spend so much time trying to save lives, they don't know how to live anymore.
NEELIX: Doctor! Aren't you going to introduce me to your date?
EMH: She is not my date. She's my patient.
NEELIX: I'm sorry. I didn't realise.
EMH: Mister Neelix, this is Doctor Denara Pel.
NEELIX: As Chief Morale Officer, may I be the first to welcome you to Voyager.
GIGOLO: Madame, your loveliness illuminates our dark little cavern. May I have the pleasure of this next dance?
EMH: Go away, immediately, both of you. You're disturbing my patient.
GIGOLO: You are just jealous because you cannot dance.
NEELIX: Let's go. You're making the lady nervous. Nice to meet you.
EMH: I apologise.
DENARA: No. They were just being nice.
EMH: Irritating, isn't it?
DENARA: I guess I'm just not used to so much attention. Where I come from, when you're as sick as I am, people, healthy people stay away from you. I guess I forgot for a second that I don't look like that anymore.
EMH: It's a natural response.
DENARA: All this talk about me. There's still so much I'd like to know about you.
EMH: There's not much to tell, really. My programme was developed by Doctor Louis Zimmerman in a lab on Jupiter Station. I was activated on stardate 48308. Since that time I've performed three hundred and forty seven medical exams, healed eleven compound fractures, performed three appendectomies, and in my greatest feat of medical prowess, I once cured Mister Neelix of an acute case of the hiccups.
DENARA: You're very funny.
EMH: I am? Well, several clinical studies have shown humour to be very therapeutic. Consider it part of your treatment. What is it?
DENARA: It's, er, just that I, I haven't laughed in a very long time. Thank you. Well, what did that man mean when he said you can't dance?
EMH: That's dancing.
(A couple moving backwards and forwards a few steps.)
DENARA: And you can't do it?
EMH: It's not part of my programming.
DENARA: Oh. I see.
EMH: Well, Doctor Pel.
DENARA: Please, call me Denara.
EMH: As you wish, Denara.
DENARA: And what about you? What should I call you?
EMH: Well, as I said.
DENARA: I know. You don't have a name. Would it be all right if I gave you one?
EMH: Well, I
DENARA: How about Shmullus.
EMH: Shmullus?
DENARA: It was my uncle's name. He used to make me laugh too.
EMH: Doctor Shmullus. I think I like the sound of that.

[Sickbay]

EMH: Well, here we are.
DENARA: Yes, here we are.
EMH: Denara, I think we should
DENARA: Yes?
EMH: Deactivate your programme for at least eight hours.
DENARA: If you think it's best.
EMH: I do.
DENARA: All right, then.
EMH: All right. Computer
DENARA: Shmullus?
EMH: Yes?
DENARA: I had a wonderful time.
EMH: I'm pleased.
DENARA: Thank you, for everything.
(She is expecting an end of date kiss.)
EMH: Thank you for giving me a name. Er, well, good night, Denara.
DENARA: Good night, Shmullus.
EMH: Computer, deactivate Vidiian Programme Alpha.

[Mess hall]

CHAKOTAY: Mind if I join you? So how are things, Tom?
PARIS: Excuse me?
CHAKOTAY: How have you been feeling lately? Something bothering you?
PARIS: Oh, no offence, Commander, but why this sudden concern for my feelings?
CHAKOTAY: Well, you've been moody lately, indifferent to your duties. To be honest, you don't seem to be taking your job very seriously. If you've got a problem, I'd like to know what it is.
PARIS: Yeah, I've got a problem. My problem is you.
CHAKOTAY: You care to elaborate?
PARIS: You tell me I don't take my job seriously. But half the time, you don't let me do my job.
CHAKOTAY: What's that supposed to mean?
PARIS: It means that you don't trust my judgement. You don't allow me to take initiative. Remember last week? I suggested that we might save time by travelling through that emissions nebula. But what did you say? Oh no, that's not the way we do things on this ship.
CHAKOTAY: Look, sometimes I'm not going to agree with your suggestions. But making decisions is part of being a leader. Maybe someday you'll understand that.
PARIS: Being a leader also means knowing when to give your people a little leeway and let them be creative. I might as well put this ship on autopilot for all the freedom you give me to do my job.
CHAKOTAY: I didn't come here for a lecture from you on how to do my job.
PARIS: Yeah, well, I know you don't put much stock in my opinion. So maybe you should talk to some of these people, because I'm not the only one around here who's got a problem with you. Now, if there's nothing else, sir, I'd like to be excused.
CHAKOTAY: Sure, Paris. You're excused.

[Secret location]

LORRUM [on monitor]: Dissension among the Voyager crew. Maje Culluh will find that very interesting. Good work, Mister Jonas. Now, there's something else we'd like you to do. We want you to create a small accident which will damage Voyager's warp coils.
JONAS: Why?
LORRUM [on monitor]: here's no need to concern yourself with that. You just plan the accident. We'll let you know exactly when we want it to happen. Do we understand each other?
JONAS: I want to talk to Seska.
LORRUM [on monitor]: I'm afraid Maje Culluh won't
JONAS: You tell Maje Culluh that I won't do anything to damage Voyager. And if he has a problem with that, tell him to have Seska contact me.

[Doctor's office]

KES: Doctor, when you have a minute
EMH: I'm running a level two self-diagnostic right now. I'll be there as soon as I'm finished.
KES: Why are you running a diagnostic?
EMH: I've been experiencing periodic lapses in concentration and difficulty handing objects. There may be a malfunction in my tactile acuity subroutine.
KES: How long has this been going on?
EMH: About two or three days.
KES: Since Denara came aboard.
EMH: What's your point?
KES: Maybe she's the reason you're feeling this way.
EMH: I fail to see a connection.
KES: Maybe you're attracted to her.
EMH: I told you, my programme's malfunctioning.
KES: Romance is not a malfunction.
EMH: Romance is not part of my programming.
KES: Your programming's adaptive, isn't it?
EMH: Yes.
KES: Then I'd say it's adapting.
EMH: What if I don't want it to adapt right now?
KES: Why wouldn't you?
EMH: Because I don't like what's happening to me. I'm used to being in control of my faculties, confident of my decisions. But lately, whenever Denara's programme is deactivated and I should be concentrating on my work, I find myself thinking of nothing but her.
KES: Why don't you reactivate her?
EMH: Because whenever I do that, I suddenly feel unsettled, unsure of myself, and I have no idea what to say. Why would people seek out situations which induce such unpleasant symptoms?
KES: Because when the other person feels the same way you do, it's the most wonderful thing in life.
EMH: Suppose, hypothetically, of course
KES: Of course.
EMH: I wanted to pursue that possibility. How would I proceed?
KES: You'd have to tell her how you feel.
EMH: That's it? Just tell her how I feel?
KES: Otherwise you may never know how she feels.

[Sickbay]

(Denara is back online, and she, the Doctor and Kes are gathered around her body.)
EMH: I'm going to try stimulating your motor neurons. Well, the nucleus cuneatus appears to be functioning normally. And now for the anterior thalamic pathway. Excellent. By the way, Denara, I've been meaning to tell you.
DENARA: Yes?
EMH: I'm romantically attracted to you and wanted to know if you felt the same way. (stunned silence) Is something wrong?
DENARA: No, I
EMH: Did you understand what I said?
DENARA: Yes.
EMH: Well?
KES: Doctor, maybe now isn't the time to
EMH: Excuse me, Kes. I was speaking to Denara.
DENARA: I think it's best if we keep our relationship professional.
EMH: Oh. I'm going to try simulating the posterior sciatic nerve.

[Sandrine's]

PARIS: Doc. What brings you here? Is somebody sick?
EMH: Actually, Mister Paris, I was looking for you.
PARIS: Oh. Well, pull up a chair.
EMH: Mister Paris, I assume you've had a great deal of experience being rejected by women.
PARIS: Oh, thanks a lot, Doc.
EMH: What I'd like to know is, what does one do to recover from the unpleasant symptoms of romantic rejection?
PARIS: Why the sudden interest in romance?
EMH: I can't tell you. It's a matter of doctor-patient confidentiality.
PARIS: Ah. All right. Well, let's see. Sometimes there's not a lot you can do to get over a woman you really care about. I remember when Susie Crabtree dumped me back in my first year at the Academy. I broke out in hives. Couldn't get out of bed for a week. I almost failed Stellar Cartography. I walked around in a daze for the rest of that year. Of course, the first one is always the hardest to get over.
EMH: I see.
PARIS: But, eventually, you start thinking about her less and less. Until finally, without realising it, she's not on your mind anymore.
EMH: So, the symptoms do subside over time?
PARIS: For the most part. But every now and then, even years later, something reminds you of her. A certain smell, a few notes of a song, and suddenly you feel just as bad as the day she told you she never wanted to see you again. If you want to know the honest truth, Doc, you never completely get over a woman you really cared about. Wait a minute, Doc. We're not talking about you, are we?
EMH: I told you, it was confidential.
PARIS: Oh. Boy, you've got it bad. Look, Doc, I don't mean to intrude, but if you tell me what's going on, maybe I can help.

[Sickbay]

(Denara is sitting on a bed when Kes enters.)
DENARA: Hello, Kes.
KES: Are you feeling all right?
DENARA: I'm fine. I'm just waiting for the Doctor.
KES: Oh.
DENARA: He's been gone a long time.
KES: You really like him, don't you? Then why didn't you tell him that you felt the same way when he told you that he was attracted to you?
DENARA: I don't know. It all happened so fast. He just blurted it out.
KES: He's very blunt. You shouldn't take it personally.
DENARA: How could he possibly have those kinds of feelings about me?
KES: Maybe because you're compassionate person, a brilliant doctor, you appreciate his humour. Should I go on?
DENARA: Please don't.
KES: One thing you're not very good at is accepting a compliment. The next time someone has something nice to say about you, maybe you should just take them at their word and feel good about yourself.
DENARA: It's not easy to feel good about yourself when you're used to living your life like that.
(Her real body.)
KES: Denara, I can't pretend to know what your life's been like. But I do know there's nothing sadder than a missed opportunity. Maybe what you and the Doctor need is to spend some time together, alone.

[Sandrine's]

PARIS: It sounds to me like she might just be shy. I think you scared her off.
EMH: I did?
PARIS: Your approach is all wrong.
EMH: Well, what would be the right approach?
PARIS: Women like romance. They want men to make an effort, take them someplace special.
EMH: Where would I take her?
PARIS: Come with me, Doc. I've got an idea.

Doctor's personal log, stardate 49504.3. Inaugural entry. Kes and Mister Paris have conspired to get Denara and me alone together in a place Paris considers romantic. I've never felt more uneasy.

[Mars]

(The Doctor is sitting in an open topped car overlooking a Martian city, waiting. Finally, Denara appears beside him.)
EMH: I wasn't sure you were coming.
DENARA: Neither was I.
EMH: If you don't want to be here
DENARA: No. I do. Where are we exactly?
EMH: On a planet called Mars inside a primitive land based vehicle. It's called a '57 Chevy. Mister Paris is quite an automobile aficionado. This is his programme.
DENARA: What is it that we're supposed to be doing?
EMH: I believe it's called parking. I almost forgot. These are for you.
(He gets a bunch of roses and a box of chocolates from the back seat. And a cuddly toy.)
DENARA: Thank you. You're, you're very, very thoughtful.
(He turns on the radio. Originally it played I Only Have Eyes For You by the Flamingoes, but on the DVD you hear My Prayer, which is out of copyright.)
EMH: I downloaded a new dancing subroutine programme into my programme this morning. Would you like to get out and try it?
DENARA: Actually, I wouldn't mind just sitting here for a while.
EMH: You wouldn't?
DENARA: Those moons and star formations are so different from anything I've ever seen before.
EMH: Well, if you're interested, I could point out a few astronomical highlights. You see that bluish planet there? That's called Earth. It's where Starfleet Headquarters is located. And over there, that's Cygnus. And there, that constellation is called Hercules, named after a character in ancient Greek myth. Hippocrates was also a Greek. He was the father of Earth medicine. And that cluster over there, that's called the Pleiades.
(They kiss, and snuggle.)

[Bridge]

PARIS: Sorry I'm late.
CHAKOTAY: That's all right, Mister Paris. We don't need you. Mister Grimes has taken your place at conn.
PARIS: But it's my shift.
CHAKOTAY: Not today it isn't.
PARIS: What, because I was ten minutes late?
CHAKOTAY: That's right.
PARIS: Captain.
JANEWAY: Don't look at me, Mister Paris. Commander Chakotay has complete discretion in this matter.
PARIS: So, when should I report back for duty?
CHAKOTAY: When you decide to start taking your job seriously, we'll discuss it. But right now, you're dismissed.
(Chakotay turns Paris around.)
PARIS: Get your hands off me!
(Paris pushes Chakotay to the floor.)
JANEWAY: Mister Tuvok.
TUVOK: Yes, Captain.
JANEWAY: Please escort Mister Paris to the brig.

[Secret location]

JONAS: Oh, boy, am I glad to see you. I wasn't even sure if they were giving you my messages.
SESKA [on monitor]: I've got them all, Mike. You've been very helpful.
JONAS: Do you know what they're asking me to do?
SESKA [on monitor]: You mean about the warp coils? I was thinking you could do it by forcing the magnetic constrictors out of alignment.
JONAS: Look, Seska, I don't mind feeding you information, but if you're planning some kind of attack.
SESKA [on monitor]: I have no intention of raising my child on a Kazon ship. One way or another, I'm going to take Voyager. You can either help me, or you can suffer along with Janeway and the others. Don't worry, Mike. Everything's been planned to the letter. Here's how it's going to work. We'll be waiting for you on a planet called Hemikek Four.

Doctor's personal log, Stardate 49507.2. The more time I spend with Denara, the more my programming continues to adapt. I look forward to perfecting my romantic skills once we've completed the synaptic transfer.

[Sickbay]

EMH: Set the delta band frequency of the holo-emitter to seven terahertz.
KES: Seven terahertz.
EMH: Wait a minute. Did you administer the cervaline as I instructed?
KES: Five hundred milligrams every four hours.
EMH: I don't understand it.
DENARA: What's wrong?
EMH: The brain, your brain, it's rejecting the graft. We can't go through with the transfer. I'm detecting elevated levels of nytoxinol.
KES: Where could that have come from?
EMH: Is it possible you made an error? Administered nytoxinol instead of cervaline?
KES: No, I don't think so. But here's the hypospray I used. Check for yourself.
EMH: You're correct. It's cervaline. Has anyone else been in Sickbay during the last twenty four hours other than you and Denara?
KES: Crewman Foster came in for some analgesic, and Ensign Wildman was here for her regular prenatal visit. Why?
EMH: Because if the nytoxinol was not administered by accident, I can only conclude that someone is deliberately trying to kill Denara.
KES: Who would want to kill her?
EMH: Perhaps someone who bears ill will towards Vidiians. Whoever it is, I intend to find out. I'm calling Lieutenant Tuvok.
DENARA: Please don't do that.
EMH: We have to find out who's trying to obstruct your recovery.
DENARA: I administered the nytoxinol.
EMH: Didn't you know it would kill you?
DENARA: You mean kill her.
EMH: She is you.
DENARA: Was me. I don't ever want to be her again! What are you doing?
EMH: Looking for the cervaline. I have to reduce the rate of tissue rejection before it's too late.
DENARA: Kes, would you excuse us?
(Kes leaves.)
DENARA: I don't want to go through with the transfer.
EMH: If we don't get your neural patterns out of the holo-buffer, you'll be brain dead in a matter of days. I can't let that happen.
DENARA: I'd rather live two more days like this with you, than go on for who knows how long wasting away a piece at a time.
EMH: It's my duty to keep you alive.
DENARA: I thought you were more than my doctor. I thought you were my friend.
EMH: I am your friend.
DENARA: What kind of friend would ask me to go on living like this? And for what? So that I can go back to a world where everyone I ever loved has died? Where almost everyone I meet is going to die?
EMH: You're a doctor. You can help them.
DENARA: I can't help them. I can't cure them. All I can do is prolong their suffering. Just like you want to do to me now.
EMH: Denara. I have no desire to see you suffer.
DENARA: Do you know what it's like? Do you?
EMH: No, but
DENARA: What it's like to be a nine year old child, and suddenly your best friend doesn't want to come to your house anymore. And when you ask your mother why, why won't Mala come and play with me anymore? And she tells you it's because, it's because the other children are afraid of you. Listen to me. Before I met you, I was just a disease. But now, everything's different. When people look at me, they don't see a disease anymore. They see a woman. A woman you made. A woman you love. A woman you're not afraid to touch.
EMH: Denara, I was never afraid to touch you.
DENARA: Why? Because you're a doctor?
EMH: Because I love you.
DENARA: You say that now. But if I go through with the transfer.
EMH: If you go through with the transfer.
DENARA: I will be sick again, and ugly.
EMH: Denara, you're not ugly. You're simply ill.
DENARA: Oh, please. Stop patronising me! I know how people see me.
EMH: Denara, do you think if you go back into your own body, I'll feel different about you?
DENARA: Won't you?
EMH: Listen to me. Nothing could ever change the way I feel about you. Not a few scars, not some diseased skin. Nothing.
DENARA: You have given me the most extraordinary gift that anyone has ever given me. You, you brought me to this ship where no one is sick and people are friendly. You've made me healthy and beautiful. I don't want to go back to the way things were.
EMH: You said before you knew me that you were just a disease. Well, before you, I was just a projection of photons held together by force fields. A computerised physician doing a job, doing it exceptionally well, of course, but still it was just a profession, not a life. But now that you are here and my programming has adapted, I'm not just working anymore. I'm living, learning what it means to be with someone, to love someone. I don't think I can go back to the way things were, either. Denara, please. Don't die.
DENARA: I want us to be together.
EMH: So do I.
DENARA: But if you put me back in that body, I'll have to go home and help my people.
EMH: I know. But we'd still have two weeks together before we reached your colony. Denara, please, be with me for as long as you can.

[Sandrine's]

(The EMH is waiting in an empty Sandrine's. The door creaks open and the real Denara Pel enters. He strokes her cheek then takes her in his arms.)
EMH: Computer, play music programme Doctor Alpha.
(They dance.)

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