Subject: Implications of the Hawking Clarification
From: Lt. Joy Five
To: Councilor Philip Montoya
CC: Commander T'Kai
Joy Eleven during prior missions received a Clarification of her primary programming. There were incidents on USS Hawking when the entire away team had involved itself in violence. In the hectic exchange of fire, the Joy Class unit was unable to get permission to injure sentient beings. Direction was received that in the future if a Joy Class unit was part of a general exchange of fire in which the senior officer in charge was taking part, this could be interpreted as an implied authorization for the Joy Class unit to injure sentient beings. This Clarification was downloaded to other Joys. Unless over-ridden by a valid order from this Unit's chain of command, the Clarification remains in place.
Two incidents during the recent deployment duplicated this situation. Commander T'Kai initiated a ground attack against Dominion forces, authorizing other Republic crew to initiate an assault, but not clearly and explicitly authorizing my own participation. As the rest of the AT actively engaged the Dominion without express permission, it seemed proper to invoke the Hawking Clarification and provide assistance to my away team members.
Another ground engagement was taking place when this unit arrived in a shuttle for the final pick up. This unit requested permission to provide air support, but perhaps due to the hectic situation, never received authorization to use force. A second shuttle arrived, and opened fire without waiting for authorization. At this point, it seemed the Hawking Clarification was again in place. A general combat was in effect. My superior officers and all others under their command were engaged. It seemed proper to join the combat.
Is this proper? Should an artificial being use initiative in deciding when to take the life of a sentient being? Have I abused the Hawking Clarification, taking lives when I should not?
I am more concerned with a feeling that the actions may have been proper. I was acting to preserve lives and prevent injuries. I even found myself wondering if delaying to be sure the Hawking Clarification was fully met endangered Republic crew. If so, should I seek some broader Clarification under which some broad 'initiative' with unspecific parameters might be applied in deciding whether taking sentient life is proper?
This seems improper.
This unit requests an appointment.