Capt. Picard: Data... I understand your objections. But I have to consider Starfleet's interests. What if Commander Maddox is correct? There is a possibility that many more beings like yourself can be constructed.
Lt. Commander Data: Sir, Lieutenant La Forge's eyes are far superior to human biological eyes, true?
Capt. Picard: M-hm.
Lt. Commander Data: Then why are not all human officers required to have their eyes replaced with cybernetic implants?
[Picard considers this shortly, then looks away without giving an answer]
Lt. Commander Data: I see. It is precisely because I am *not* human.
[at the hearing regarding the civil rights of androids like Data]
Capt. Picard: Now, the decision you reach here today will determine how we will regard this... creation of our genius. It will reveal the kind of a people we are, what he is destined to be; it will reach far beyond this courtroom and this... one android. It could significantly redefine the boundaries of personal liberty and freedom - expanding them for some... savagely curtailing them for others. Are you prepared to condemn him and all who come after him, to servitude and slavery? Your Honor, Starfleet was founded to seek out new life; well, there it sits! - Waiting.
[Picard activates Data's hologram of Tasha Yar]
Capt. Picard: You have no other portraits of your fellow crew members. Why this person?
Lt. Commander Data: I would prefer not to answer that question, sir. I gave my word.
Capt. Picard: [softly] Under the circumstances, I don't think Tasha would mind.
Lt. Commander Data: She was special to me, sir. We were... intimate.
Captain Phillipa Louvois: It sits there looking at me; and I don't know what it is. This case has dealt with metaphysics - with questions best left to saints and philosophers. I am neither competent nor qualified to answer those. But I've got to make a ruling, to try to speak to the future. Is Data a machine? Yes. Is he the property of Starfleet? No. We have all been dancing around the basic issue: does Data have a soul? I don't know that he has. I don't know that I have. But I have got to give him the freedom to explore that question himself. It is the ruling of this court that Lieutenant Commander Data has the freedom to choose.
Lt. Commander Data: Sir, there is a celebration on the Holodeck.
Commander William T. Riker: I have no right to be there.
Lt. Commander Data: Because you failed in your task?
Commander William T. Riker: No, God, no. I came that close to winning, Data.
Lt. Commander Data: Yes, sir.
Commander William T. Riker: I almost cost you your life!
Lt. Commander Data: Is it not true that had you refused to prosecute, Captain Louvois would have ruled summarily against me?
Lt. Commander Data: That action injured you, and saved me. I will not forget it.
Commander William T. Riker: [Brightening at his friend's perspective] You're a wise man, my friend.
Lt. Commander Data: Not yet, sir. But with your help, I am learning.
Capt. Picard: Phillipa Louvois. And back in uniform. It's been ten years, but seeing you again like this makes it seem like fifty. If we weren't around all these people, do you know what I would like to do?
Captain Phillipa Louvois: Bust a chair across my teeth.
Capt. Picard: After that.
Captain Phillipa Louvois: Oh, ain't love wonderful?
Capt. Picard: Your honor, a courtroom is a crucible. In it we burn away irrelevancies until we are left with a pure product - the truth, for all time.
[Picard and Guinan are talking about the significance of the creation of multiple Datas]
Guinan: Consider that in the history of many worlds, there have always been disposable creatures. They do the dirty work. They do the work that no one else wants to do because it's too difficult or too hazardous. And an army of Datas, all disposable... You don't have to think about their welfare, you don't think about how they feel. Whole generations of disposable people.
Capt. Picard: You're talking about slavery.
Guinan: Oh, I think that's a little harsh.
Capt. Picard: I don't think that's a little harsh, I think that's the truth. But that's a truth that we have obscured behind a... comfortable, easy euphemism: 'Property'! But that's not the issue at all, is it?
[Commander Maddox has proposed to dismantle Data in order to study him]
Capt. Picard: Well, we have a problem.
Lt. Commander Data: I find myself in complete agreement with that assessment of the situation, sir.
Capt. Picard: Starfleet is not an organization that ignores its own regulations when they become inconvenient.
[Commander Maddox has proposed to construct thousands of androids modeled after Data]
Capt. Picard: [sighs] A single Data - and forgive me, Commander - is a curiosity. A wonder, even. But thousands of Datas - isn't that becoming... a race? And won't we be judged by how we treat that race?
Capt. Picard: Now, tell me, Commander, what is Data?
Commander Bruce Maddox: I don't understand.
Capt. Picard: What is he?
Commander Bruce Maddox: A machine!
Capt. Picard: Is he? Are you sure?
Commander Bruce Maddox: Yes!
Capt. Picard: You see, he's met two of your three criteria for sentience, so what if he meets the third, consciousness, in even the smallest degree? What is he then? I don't know. Do you?
Capt. Picard: [to Riker] Do you?
Capt. Picard: [to Louvois] Do you? Well, that's the question you have to answer.
[in a tricky poker round between Data and Riker]
Lt. Commander Data: Is that what is known as a 'poker face'?
Captain Phillipa Louvois: [to Picard] You know, I never thought I would say this - but it's good to see you again. It brings a sense of order and stability to my universe to know that you're still a pompous ass... And a damned sexy man.
Captain Phillipa Louvois: Overt sentimentality is not one of Captain Picard's failings. Trust me, I know.
[Riker is doing his duty in the courtroom]
Commander William T. Riker: The Commander is a physical representation of a dream - an idea, conceived of by the mind of a man. Its purpose: to serve human needs and interests. It's a collection of neural nets and heuristic algorithms; its responses dictated by an elaborate software written by a man, its hardware built by a man. And now... and now a man will shut it off.
[Riker switches off Data, who slumps forward like a lifeless puppet]
Commander William T. Riker: Pinocchio is broken. Its strings have been cut.
Commander Bruce Maddox: You are endowing Data with human characteristics because it looks human. But it is not. If it were a box on wheels, I would not be facing this opposition.
Captain Phillipa Louvois: I can use serving officers as legal counsel. You, as the senior officer, would defend.
Capt. Picard: Very good.
Captain Phillipa Louvois: And the unenviable task of prosecuting this case would fall on you, Commander, as the next most senior officer of the defendant's ship.
Commander William T. Riker: I can't. I won't. Data's my comrade. We have served together. I not only respect him, I consider him my friend.
Captain Phillipa Louvois: When people of good conscience have an honest dispute, we must still sometimes resort to this kind of adversarial system.
Commander William T. Riker: You just want me to prove that Data is a mere machine. I can't do that, because I don't believe it. I happen to know better, so I am neither qualified nor willing. You're going to have to find someone else.
Captain Phillipa Louvois: Then I will rule summarily based on my findings. Data is a toaster. Have him report immediately to Commander Maddox for experimental refit.
Lt. Commander Data: I am the culmination of one man's dream. This is not ego, or vanity. But when Dr. Soong created me, he added to the substance of the universe. If, by your experiments, I am destroyed, something unique, something wonderful will be lost. I cannot permit that. I must protect his dream.
Commander Bruce Maddox: And so must I.
[Riker has reluctantly agreed to function as prosecutor]
Captain Phillipa Louvois: And I expect you to do your duty in that courtroom. If I find for one minute that you are not doing your best, I will end this then and there!
Capt. Picard: You don't have to remind us of our duty. You just... just remember yours.
Captain Phillipa Louvois: I have never forgotten it - not then, and certainly not now.
Lt. Commander Data: As Doctor Pulaski would at this junction no doubt remind us, life is rarely fair.
Capt. Picard: You wanted a chance to make law? Well, here it is. Make it a good one.
Commander Bruce Maddox: [of Data] He is remarkable.
Captain Phillipa Louvois: You didn't call him 'it'.
Capt. Picard: [to Captain Louvois] You always enjoyed the adversarial process more than getting at the truth. Well, I hope that you've learned a little wisdom along the way.
[Data has formally refused to submit to Maddox]
Lt. Commander Data: And Commander, continue your work. When you are ready, I will still be here. I find some of what you propose... intriguing.
Captain Phillipa Louvois: I'm glad you felt you could... well, come to me.
Capt. Picard: The word 'trust' just isn't in your vocabulary, is it? Good try, nine out of ten for effort!
Capt. Picard: Captain's Log, Supplemental: Commander Bruce Maddox, having been thwarted by Data's abrupt resignation, is now seeking a legal remedy for his woes. Captain Louvois has requested my presence at those discussions.
Commander Bruce Maddox: [the tone of his voice is heightened with disgust and anger] Your response is emotional and irrational.
Capt. Picard: [Seething with anger and hostility] Irrational?
Commander Bruce Maddox: You are endowing Data with human characteristics because it looks human, but it is not. If if it were a box on wheels, I would not be facing this opposition.
Captain Phillipa Louvois: [Immediately amused by Maddox's analogy of Data] Overt sentimentality is not one of Captain Picard's failings. Trust me, I know.
Capt. Picard: [Looks at Captain Louvois with a gaze of disappointment and disapproval and then turns his eyes back to Maddox] I will tell you again. Data is a valued member of my crew. He's an outstanding Bridge Officer.
Commander Bruce Maddox: [speaks to Picard with a slight ease] If I am permitted to make this experiment, the horizons for human achievement become boundless.
[Walks to Captain Louvois]
Commander Bruce Maddox: Consider, every ship in Starfleet with a Data on board. Utilizing its extraordinary capabilities, acting as our hands and eyes in dangerous situations.
Captain Phillipa Louvois: Look, you're preaching to the choir here. Why don't you get to the point?
Commander Bruce Maddox: Data must not be permitted to resign.
Capt. Picard: [a fuming Picard walks over to Maddox and close to Louvois] Data is a Starfleet Officer. He still has certain rights.
Commander Bruce Maddox: Rights, rights! I'm sick to death of hearing about rights! What about my right not to have my work subverted by blind ignorance?
Captain Phillipa Louvois: We have rule of law in this Federation. You cannot seize people and experiment with them to prove your pet theories.
Capt. Picard: [Relieved that she said that] Thank you.
Commander Bruce Maddox: [Anger now directed at Louvois] Now you're doing it. Data is an extraordinary piece of engineering but it is a machine.
[Sees Louvois sighing with disgust]
Commander Bruce Maddox: If you permit it to resign it will destroy years of work in robotics. Starfleet does not have to allow the resignation.
Capt. Picard: [Has just lost all patience with Maddox] Commander, who do you think you're working for? Starfleet is not an organization that ignores its own regulations when they become inconvenient. Whether you like it or not Data does have rights.
Commander Bruce Maddox: [speaks calmly] Let me put it another way. Would you permit the computer of the Enterprise to refuse a refit?
Captain Phillipa Louvois: [Walks toward her desk, mulling over his logical statement] That's an interesting point. But the Enterprise computer is property. Is Data?
Commander Bruce Maddox: Of course.
Captain Phillipa Louvois: [sighing] There may be law to support this position.
Capt. Picard: [Walks to Louvois, keeping his eyes locked on hers] Then find it. A ruling with such broad-ranging implications must be supported. Phillipa... I hope you will use the same zeal that you did in the Stargazer court-martial.
[a silent Captain Phillipa Louvois' eyes are locked with Picard's]
Admiral Nakamura: For five hundred years, every ship that has borne the name of the Enterprise has become a legend. This one is no different.
Capt. Picard: Data, Captain Louvois has issued a ruling. You are the property of Starfleet Command. You cannot resign.
Lt. Commander Data: see. From limitless options I am reduced to none, or rather one. I can only hope that Commander Maddox is more capable than it would appear.
Capt. Picard: Data, you're not going to submit. We're going to fight this. I challenged the ruling. Captain Louvois will be compelled to hold a hearing. She may be overly attached to the letter of the law, but I suspect that she still understands its spirit. We will put to rest this question of your legal status once and for all. Now, I have been asked to represent you, but if there is some other officer with which you would feel more happy?
Lt. Commander Data: Captain, I have complete confidence in your ability to represent my interests