When Joy boards a new ship, I generally write a log introducing her to her new shipmates. This one was intended to introduce Councilor Joy Nine to USS Lovisa.
It has been a long time since I've posted a new Joy log. Joy has been in play a long time. She has matured. She hasn't shown me much new in a while.
But her councilor training surprised me.
I have cleared two imaginary hurdles I did not expect. The first was a recruitment officer who asked questions. Why should a 100 year old android dancer be given a ensign's commission? Should academic work by Joy Seven and Joy Eight be credited towards Joy Nine? What is a hive mind? Can data acquired by one android be shared with other identiacal androids? I believe I detected a bit of inflexibility. In abstract, I understand that Starfleet personnel not open minded enough for ship duty end up in recruitment offices. Your classes in personnel management make the need for this clear. I just hadn't expected to encounter the negative consequences so soon. Regardless, patience is a fine weapon. Hurdle cleared. It is official. I am currently Starfleet's oldest ensign.
I believe I have also encountered what you described as 'hazing.' I arrived on McKinley along with a hoard of much younger officers, all wielding a single pip, a travel voucher, all on quests to locate starships far away, in future locations not well known. The object of the game was for the station personnel to cause the ensigns to run to an fro far more than necessary. The young do tend to panic. Is it really beneficial to teach ensigns to deal with stress in harmless ways? In giving out accurate information, in reducing panic levels, in being a 'spoilsport,' am I doing a councilor's job, or ruining the fun?
And, yes, numbers matter, or perhaps pips matter. If I had been LtCdr Ten or Ambassador Seven, I would perhaps have reacted differently, or perhaps the crew of McKinley would have reacted differently. Being part of a hive mind does not mean we can replace one another. My role is now councilor, not ambassador, not Broadway dancer, not Tiffany's tour guide. My function is now transient ensign. I had a great deal more status on Broadway. Still, I am capable of planting two feet firmly and meeting another sentient being's eye. I can do that as well as Ten or Seven. Thus far, that has been enough.
I am still thinking through your final question. I'll start with Joy's Law. "If one designs a sentient artificial positronic or holographic being to perform a given function, one owes that being the opportunity to perform that function." One might then ask what organic living beings were designed to do. The problem is that most organic beings are not designed. They are evolved. The function of living things is to make copies of themselves. Often, in the case of sexual reproduction, these copies are randomized. Note, the difference between being designed to do something, an having a function of doing something, is significant to your question.
From there one needs to take a flying leap. You have seen the cartoon of a mathematician at a chalk board, performing a lengthy intricate proof? Step seven of the proof is "here a miracle occurs"? I'll need to come back and work on step seven. For the moment, let's assume that the function of sentient living things is to improve the environment such that the copies will better thrive.
If one accepts this premise, I can propose an answer to your question. One owes an evolved sentient being the opportunity to make his world better for his children.
I have forwarded this conjecture to Professor Eight. She promises to work on step seven. Meanwhile, I have a starship to catch. I'm desperately seeking Lovisa, Norway class, a diplomatic ship.
Share what we had with my sisters. I shall not be entirely gone.
Ensign Joy Nine