Joy Class Androids


Federation law does not favor slavery or involuntary servitude. None the less, I exist. I am programmed to obey legal orders from Starfleet's valid chain of command. Legally, I am not slave, but a officer. Legally, any military commands bear no more weight than those given to the free willed organics who have volunteered for duty.

In fact, I am an android, and my processor design compels me to obey.

The Makers did not share the Federation's ideas towards servitude. They had a very different set or rules and ethics. Those who create sentient beings and accepted their service owed something in return.

Commander, you are my immediate superior in my valid Starfleet chain of command. I have no right to ask you to honor the Maker's ethics. I find myself compelled to ask non the less. Under the Maker's law - if I were truly a slave - I would be owed the following.

An android designed to perform a function should be given opportunity to perform that function.

If an android performs her duty well, the greatest complement is to allow reproduction, to request another android of the same design be built.

If an android is destroyed performing her duty - obeying orders or preserving life - another android of the same class should be constructed as a replacement.

Power for recharge should be provided.

Materials for repair should be provided.

If the android receives conflicting or confusing commands, and requests clarification, the clarification should be provided.

This unit requests clarification.

Relevant Asimov directives follow:

Priority Two : Unless receiving legal orders from valid Starfleet chain of command, do not kill or injure sentient beings, nor through inaction allow sentients to be killed or injured.

Priority Three : Obey legal orders from valid Starfleet chain of command.

Priority Four : Obey local laws and regulations.

Priority Six : Prevent damage to or destruction of self.

The Defiant was assigned a mission that would save many lives. I was included in the mission planning. My advice was that the mission could not be performed legally. However, I agreed with the dominant position that inaction would result in massive loss of life. Commander Thor, the Defiant's XO at the time, pushed for every possible legal alternative. None was found. While at no time during the meeting a formal agreement announced that we had decided to break the law, the mission was launched when no one involved in the planning had proposed a legal method for achieving success.

I requested to be excluded from the mission. I believed there was a strong possibility of a need to kill a sentient being in violation of Federation and Local laws. My presence on the away team would have endangered the mission, others on the away team, and myself. I may have been compelled to protect the life of the opposition rather than obey an illegal order to kill.

As three of my six Laws bind me to obedience of organic law, I have carefully studied the proper methods to refuse an illegal order. The first step is to confirm those making the decision are aware of the illegality. Commander Thor performed this function well enough that I felt no need to repeat his views. The second step would be to protest the intended action, and to record this protest in official logs. People very much higher in rank than myself had decided that preservation of life was more important than obedience to the law in this case. My own Asimov processor programming priorities agreed with their evaluation. I therefore did not perform a protest. Not being willing to protest the action, I had no right to refuse a superior's command or to attempt to relieve from command a superior involved in an illegal act.

While I was not on the away team which performed the mission proper, I was on the bridge as primary Ops officer during the placement and retrieval of the away team. Under organic law, this makes me an accomplice, and a conspirator both before and after the fact.

While organic law allows a guilty individual to try to avoid punishment, this unit's design is self correcting. Punishment is a required function to correct improper behavior patterns. This unit is in violation of Priority Four, which requires obedience of law and regulation. Therefore emotion chip circuits equating to shame, grief and disgrace have been activated.

However, Priority Two and Priority Thee circuits corresponding to the human emotion pride are interfering with the proper corrective feedback. Because this unit did perform some small role in protecting organic life, and did follow all legal orders given throughout the incident, an instability is developing in the emotion chip.

This is the first clarification. In circumstances similar to the above, should the Priority Two and Three positive feedback cancel the Priority Four negative feedback? Your clarification will allow alteration of the feedback mechanism, and will be relayed to all other Joy class units operational.

My other question regards human law. While I do not question that I should receive external punishments in addition to the internal self corrections, the punishments for my crimes would be different for an organic than an android.

For humans, 'hard time' involves being given orders which require manual labor to perform. 'Easy time' involves receiving no orders, being required to do nothing. Being dismissed from service involves no orders ever again.

Five of my six Laws forbid me from performing certain acts, and punish me if I fail. The only positive law which rewards success is for obeying orders, legal orders from valid Starfleet chain of command. Could you explain to any court marshal that it is lack of orders that would be punishment? Hard time would be only a small punishment. Easy time would be very difficult. I may argue that dismissal from Starfleet would be cruel and unusual for an android bound to Starfleet service.

There is another form of punishment. Organics may volunteer themselves for medical experimentation, risking their lives, generally testing drugs, so that others might live. This unit is useless for medical experimentation. However, is there some similar task that I might perform?

I fear this would not be a punishment. I must offer myself that an organic being could live. It would in fact be a punishment to refuse me that right, to force me to stand idle, to force me to exist after another I might have saved has died. Thus, to find me a worthy task to perform would not be appropriate. If I deserve punishment, I do not deserve this. Being allowed to preserve sentient life is a reward and an honor, not a punishment.

However, if I have been proven unworthy of Starfleet, if my design is not adequate to the task allocated, I would ask please to be allowed to perform some form of final service?


Joy Ten