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Imagination

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Buck bokai

Sisko's imagination of Buck Bokai

Imagination is the ability to form images in the mind. Elim Garak once commented "The truth is usually just an excuse for a lack of imagination". (DS9: "Improbable Cause")

In 2366, when Lieutenant commander Geordi La Forge had issues with the performance of Lieutenant Reginald Barclay, he sought the advice of Guinan, who told him that Barclay was "imaginative." When La Forge suggested that maybe Barclay was in the wrong line of work, Guinan asked if "engineering types" didn't appreciate imagination, and told him of Terkim, a cousin of hers whose sense of humor nobody else appreciated because they wouldn't stay around him long enough. Later when, when La Forge discovered Barclay participating in an unusual holographic program, Barclay was worried, but La Forge told him that what he did on the holodeck was his own business, so long as it didn't interfere with his work. He agreed that he wouldn't tell anyone else about it, as they might not appreciate his imagination like he did. (TNG: "Hollow Pursuits")

In 2369, several aliens studying the crew of Deep Space 9 took the form of people from their imaginations, including Jadzia Dax, Buck Bokai and Rumpelstiltskin. The aliens had never experienced anything like it and found it to be extremely unique.

Prior to this incident, Odo had a discussion with Quark in which he told him that he didn't have time for fantasies. He told Quark that imagination was a waste of time, that too many people dreamed of places that they would never go or wished for things that they would never have instead of paying attention to their real lives. Later, during the incident, Odo complained to Quark of having to chase after "incarnations of the Prophets, long-dead lovers, Gunji jackdaws, blizzard, trollops" from people's imaginations that had been made real by the aliens. Quark called him a man without any imagination, but Odo chuckled to himself when he experienced a vision of Quark being placed in one of Deep Space 9's security cells. (DS9: "If Wishes Were Horses")

Garak would often say Julian Bashir had an active imagination when he questioned Garak about his past. (DS9: "Cardassians", "Second Skin")

In 2370, Lieutenant commander Data took part in a clay sculpting class on the USS Enterprise-D. He made a sculpture of a PADD that had dimensions accurate to within 1.3%, but Counselor Deanna Troi told him he was there to work on his imagination and suggested that he sculpt something a little more abstract. Later, when the Enterprise fell under the control of a D'Arsay archive, Data sculpted a mask with a rose motif that Troi considered "amazing." When she asked Data how he came up with it, he told her that he had followed her advice and used his imagination. (TNG: "Masks")

In 2372, when Major Kira Nerys had trouble enjoying a Hoobishan Baths holoprogram, Lieutenant commander Jadzia Dax told her that she simply had to relax and use her imagination, but Kira replied that she didn't have much of one. Dax asked if she had ever played make-believe when she was a child and she replied that she had pretended that the Cardassians had stopped killing Bajorans and just gone away. She then apologized and admitted that she had never had much use for imagination, that Dax had planned a fun evening and she was sitting there worrying about Klingons. Dax replied that she could worry about the Klingons tomorrow and that she was prescribing a strict regime of exercise for her imagination, starting immediately. (DS9: "The Way of the Warrior")

Later that same year, when Captain Benjamin Sisko represented Lieutenant commander Worf at a hearing regarding his having fired at a supposedly civilian ship, he asked the opposing advocate Ch'Pok if he could imagine any circumstance in which the Klingon Empire would deceive the Federation. Ch'Pok replied that he had a poor imagination and Sisko stated "Let's see what we can do to spark it", presenting information that proved that the names of the supposed civilians on the ship were likely fabricated. (DS9: "Rules of Engagement")

In 2373, when Lieutenant commander Tuvok told Marayna that he had never felt the illusion of being able to control the wind and the waves on the ocean, she asked if he had an imagination. He replied that if she meant the ability to generate images in his mind, then he did indeed have a highly developed one, as did all members of his race. She then asked him to imagine he was skimming atop waves of emotion, believing himself to be in control, but that control was an illusion. (VOY: "Alter Ego")

In 2374, Captain Kathryn Janeway had Seven of Nine do clay sculpting in her Leonardo da Vinci holoprogram. Seven of Nine wondered what the purpose the environment, a messy workshop, was, and Janeway told her that a little disorganization can be very encouraging to the imagination. When Seven told her that she didn't understood why things such as imagination, creativity and fantasy were necessary, she replied that they weren't, but were nevertheless an important part of one's life, because imagination frees the mind. (VOY: "The Raven")

When Damar expressed his interest in picturing the conflict between the Prophets and the Pah-wraith, Weyoun warned him that too much of an imagination was dangerous. (DS9: "Image in the Sand")

During a vision being sent Benjamin Sisko by the Pah-wraith, Wykoff told Benny Russell the Deep Space 9 crew were all in his imagination. (DS9: "Shadows and Symbols")

In 2376, The Doctor was upset when Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres didn't choose him to go on an away mission, as he had been hoping to snap some holographic images of an interesting canyon on the planet they were visiting. Torres offered to take some pictures for him instead, but he told her not to bother and after she left USS Voyager's sickbay commented "I'll just use my imagination," referring to his new daydreaming subroutine. Later, after The Doctor saved the ship from the Hierarchy, Janeway awarded him the Starfleet Medal of Commendation for his imaginative defense of the ship and her crew. (VOY: "Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy")

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