Would you serve aboard a ship that was alive? One that was a sentient biological life form that traveled through space with the aid of it’s humanoid crew inside of it. We have seen vessels like this on screen a few times, such as the “tin man,” which was telepathically connected to its crew. Another is the bioships used by Species 8472, though we don’t know if their ships were sentient as well as being biological.
The idea raises a lot of questions: Does the ship have the same rights as a member of the crew? Can it make decisions to protect itself or others at the cost of those on board? Can it refuse a given command? Is it a form of indentured servitude or slavery to use a living thing in this manner?
Living starships are not as alien of a concept as you might think either. Just look at many of the Starfleet vessels that integrate biological components in the form of bioneural gel packs. They allow the computer to think out problems like a living brain would and are even susceptible to infection. Of course a ship where the hallways pulse with a heart beat is a bit different than a computer that thinks. Here in the real world even organic computing is a technology we are striving to make into a reality.
This question is from our Trek Technology and Science category. Where we ask questions relating to the various technologies as well as scientific phenomena and principles seen in the universe of Star Trek.