In ST:DS9 4x10 "Our Man Bashir", several crewmembers (Sisko, Kira, Worf, Dax, O'Brien) end up in the computer memory due to complications with the transporter, and are integrated as characters into a holosuite program. At the end of the episode, the transporter patterns stored in the holosuite memory can be restored to the original people and rematerialized.

Ignoring for a moment the logical flaws of the overall premise (starting with the fact that, the way it is shown, the transporter patterns do not just overwrite any data somewhere in DS9's computer systems, but seem to just fit into the place where holo-characters are defined, and are compatible with whichever way a holo-character would be defined in):

After rematerializing, do Sisko and the others remember what they did as holo-characters?

I'm wondering because in DS9's final episode, "What You Leave Behind", toward the end we see a montage of several of the characters' lives on the station. Obviously, those are scenes from earlier episodes. While we can interpret much of these scenes as the characters' fond memories of their time on DS9 in-universe, it is noteworthy how e.g. for O'Brien and Worf, scenes from "Our Man Bashir" are included. Hence, I wondered whether he could possibly remember that time.

1 Answer 1


The holosuite did not affect the characters' brain patterns

When Sisko et. al. were beamed off the runabout, only their bodies ended up stored in the holosuite. Their brain patterns were stored in DS9's general computer system:

EDDINGTON: I've found them. All five of their physical patterns are in here and they're stable.
ODO: Why here?
EDDINGTON: The holosuite is specifically designed to store highly complex energy patterns. The computer's processing their physical patterns as if they were holosuite characters. Trouble is, I'm not reading any neural energy.
ROM: Neural energy has to be stored at the quantum level. The holosuite can't handle that.
ODO: So if their physical bodies are stored here, where are their brain patterns?
QUARK: Everywhere else. Their brain patterns are so large that they're taking up every bit of computer memory on the station. Replicator memory, weapons, life supports.
EDDINGTON: From what we can tell, Quark was right. The computer has stored the neural energy patterns of everyone on the runabout throughout the entire station.
QUARK: Don't everyone thank me at once.
ROM: What we need to do is re-integrate their neural patterns with their physical patterns from the holosuite and rematerialise them.

In other words, the entire premise of the episode is that the physical and mental aspects of the runabout crew were separated. The holosuite is using their bodies as skins for its own fictional characters, while their minds sit in the station computer, presumably as static data without any perception of their environment or awareness of the passage of time.

Therefore, I don't think that Sisko et. al. could form memories of being the holosuite characters in the first place, because while they appeared in the holosuite they were essentially mindless AI. When their brain patterns are returned to them at the episode's conclusion, they don't express any awareness of events that took place either on the station or the holosuite. Admittedly, we only get two lines of dialogue to support this:

(Sisko, O'Brien, Worf, Dax and Kira are beamed in).
SISKO: What happened, Commander?
O'BRIEN: What did you do to my ship?
EDDINGTON: It's going to take some explaining. Eddington to Bashir. We've got them, Doctor. You can leave the holosuite now.

But I always interpreted the calmness of Sisko's delivery here as implying his last memory was being beamed away from the Orinoco.

  • This sounds convincing. Then I'll simply rate the scenes in "What You Leave Behind" as either artistic license, where the showrunners (unwisely, IMHO) valued visual composition of the scene over logical compatibility with the story, or they somehow mixed up what was happening in "Our Man Bashir" and misremembered the whole thing as a common holodeck adventure the entire crew voluntarily participated in during their spare time. Nov 25, 2022 at 8:45

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