Second Officer's orders: No mater how long the acknowledgements are, please read this page before continuing, or this novel will self combust. Thank you.
- Please excuse my friend's latest attempt of 'humor', but he was watching Mission Impossible late last night - or was that Inspector Gadget? ...
"Second Officer's Personal Log, EarthDate, 2003
Author's explanations, acknowledgements and stuff:
I spent eleven years on this novel, writing it, working out what to do, and trying to get it just right.
I started writing this novel in June 1992, after I saw DataLore. The original title was “The Untold Lore." Lore has always fascinated me, and I found myself seeing deep into his character - that he was much more than an evil so and so, that he was rejected on the colony and he turned, due to the pain. I have explained to others my feelings and sentiments on Lore, and found that many who previously had not seen Lore that way found themselves opening up and starting to understand him, and were grateful for my thoughts.
I have put a great deal of effort and feeling into this novel to explain what happened to him in his life, which caused him to behave the way he did, and hopefully with the right help, he can be lead home.
There are many people I would like to thank, all who made this novel possible. Without these valuable people, I doubt it would have seen print. I hope I've mentioned everyone, if I've missed someone out, my eternal apologies.
My mother, for all her help, support and insight, which helped me greatly.
Ann, my devoted Lore friend. We've been writing to each other for over three years now and became best friends, before we even met. We and share much in common. There is little that I feel I can't tell her. We share many experiences, although we live miles apart. I feel we are always together. We met once and hope to again. It was the experience of a lifetime. As Mr. Pancks would say “What else are we made for, but to share experiences?!"
All my Trek Pen pals.
My Grandmother, for her support and always urging me to try as hard as I can - to persevere and 'stick with it.'
My father, who told me to get all my ideas down first, then expand on them. Zagga Digga Dagga Dogs, Dad.
My stepfather, who gave me some helpful hints and ideas and rang me up and told me to turn on the TV quick 'cos Brent Spiner was on Hunter!
Gene Roddenberry, whom I have never met personally, but without his devotion and love to Star Trek, and his perseverance through the good times and the bad, this novel would have been impossible. May he rest in peace and his name and his legendary dream live on forever.
Everyone to do with the production of Star Trek - actors, producers, directors, writers, make up artists, namely Michael Westmore, the FX department, technical people, artists - everyone - Thanks a billion! I'd also like to thank the writers of the novels, parodies, magazines, makers of the merchandise, etc! Next Gen hooked me just like that! Especially when I saw Data and Lore. I love androids, y'know!
Jenni, a close friend for giving me many valuable ideas and scenarios for Lore and helping me with the overall writing of my novel and for much useful constructive criticism. Her help has been invaluable. Thanks Jen.
Lesley, for making me a Lore costume and sharing her thoughts about Lore with me.
And of course, Brent Spiner, who made Data and Lore come alive. He gave the androids personalities, souls and feeling.
Last, but not least, I would like to thank the fans. You all help keep the beautiful legend alive and have carried Star Trek through the ages and will continue to do so until the end of time. When I got into Star Trek, I made many friends with the same interests, and I would like to thank all of you for making being a Star Trek fan something to cherish and be proud of.
There will always be Star Trek. Thank you all.
To all of you - Live long and prosper.
“End of log."
Please proceed to read novel.
This book contains reenacments of DataLore, Brothers and Descent, retold from Lore's point of view.
DataLore written by Robert Lewin, Maurice Hurley and Gene Roddenberry
Brothers Written by Rick Berman
Descent Written by Rene Echevarria
“Freedom is the right of all sentient beings."
- Optimus Prime, Transformers
“Commander, can this be another me, or possibly my brother? ... I never dreamed it was possible that I mind find some link with a from like my own ..."
- Data, to Commander Riker, “DataLore"
“I don't have to imagine. I know how hard it's been ... Feelings do funny things ... You may even learn to understand your 'evil' brother ... to forgive him ..."
- Lore, to Data, “Brothers"
“Your brother's had good reason to be bitter ... He wasn't given the chance that you and I were given ... to live ..."
- Dr. Noonian Soong, to Data, “Brothers"
“... Brothers forgive..."
- Dr. Beverly Crusher, to Data, “Brothers"
“I love you ... Brother..."
- Lore, to Data, “Descent II"
That's what they were. Brothers.
A male being related to another born of the same parents.
Neither Data nor Lore had been 'born' in a manner of speaking, being androids, they had been constructed, but even so, they were sentient as any biological being and being built by the same creators, mother and father, they were brothers. Brothers.
But surely a brother was more than just a product of the same parents. Kinship, family.
But what kinship had there been between them? Data had seen very little of his brother and each time, Lore had displayed jealousy, betrayal and dominance. There had been no kinship, or at least, none Data had seen, except perhaps once. When Data and Lore had encountered Dr. Soong, Lore had warned him about emotions and had told Data how hard it had been for him, but Data had no way of knowing if Lore had been truly sincere and what had followed crushed all hope of that.
Data concentrated his thoughts on Lore, after he had been disassembled, he had stored his brother's parts in his lab. At a time in the near future, he hoped to study Lore, to find out what went wrong with him, why he had become unstable. What went so wrong with his programming, that forced him to kill?
But as soon as Starfleet Research had learned of Lore's disassembly, they descended upon the Enterprise, like a pack of hungry wolves. Data had protested, as he did not want his brother to be used for research, despite what had happened between them, but their authority easily overpowered Data. He was, however, assured that no damaging experiments were to be performed upon his brother, due to the law passed at Data's own hearing several years ago. Starfleet intended to study Lore, and use his positronic brain as a possible prototype to construct another sentient android.
Data had kept Lal and Lore's parts safe form Starfleet. Lal's parts were once again safe, as were Lore's though Lore posed another problem - his brain had been destroyed when the Enterprise's saucer section has crashed on Veridian III. Data was grateful that he had previously removed Lore's memory chips for safe keeping. He had not revealed this to anyone until now.
* * *
Now, Data sat in his quarters of the new Enterprise, NCC 1701-E, by his computer screen. The new quarters were a tad larger, and the computer able to store gigabytes more information. Data now sat with a dilemma. One he had never thought he would have to face. One he thought was impossible, but what if it was not?
Should I repair him? Data asked himself that question over and over. What had Lore ever done which deserved any favors?
Data recalled what Lore had done. It was natural for him to feel angry, and feel resentment, but now having these emotions, Data understood what Lore went through. The anger and resentment he felt toward Data. Data had no idea how powerful those feelings must have been. Data thought back to when they were both with their father. Lore had shown genuine concern. There was some light buried underneath that darkened soul.
And now, in his new lab, Data looked at Lore, in pieces. Did he deserve to stay that way forever? A virtual death sentence.
Data knew the reason he had to deactivate Lore. He'd wished it could've ended on a happier note, but for the good of the Federation, he decided it had to be done.
But what if Lore could be given the choice to start a new life? Could Data justify denying his brother the chance of that? After all, Lore gave him a sense of family, even if it wasn't much.
Data remembered when his life was in jeopardy in the courts of Starfleet. He wasn't capable of fear, but he experienced the sensation of not wishing to be terminated. He wanted to live. Captain Picard had battled to give Data the right to choose his own path.
Even if Lore was an unstable, he was still a sentient being and should have the right to have the freedom to choose. And Data knew he was the only one who could give it to him.
* * *
Captain Jean-Luc Picard stood with Data in his Ready Room.
“Repair him?" the captain inquired. “Is that wise?"
Data blinked his gentle yellow eyes once before continuing “With the help of Geordi and Dr. Crusher, I believe we can rehabilitate him."
“You told us his brain had been destroyed."
“Aye, sir. It was. His brain. I removed it from his head, and I also removed his memory chips from his brain before I locked it in the vault."
Picard sat back “Ah. I see."
Data paused, a tad guilty “Up until now I had not wanted anyone to know that I saved his memory chips. It was the last link I had to the only brother I knew and-"
“No explanation necessary, Data. I have lost a brother as well."
Data nodded, sad.
“But are you sure you want to repair him, after everything Lore's done..."
“At the time, I deactivated him and agreed to his disassembly because there was a large degree of probability that he could have escaped and caused more damage. I never intended to leave him disassembled."
“Data, your own father disassembled him because it's just too dangerous for him to be allowed to continue."
“Yes, Captain and since his brain was destroyed, I am able to construct a new one without the instability."
Picard nodded. “But his memories - surely he will remember what he went through in his life. Will he not become resentful again?"
“Sir, you stood up for me in court in an action that resulted in my status as a life form being legally recognised and I was given the freedom to choose. Lore is a life form also. To leave him in pieces ...to never reassemble him, and never attempt to rehabilitate and to deny him freedom him would be to sentence him to death for his crimes. If he were a human, such an action would be met with outrage, disgust and cries of injustice."
Picard saw where this discussion was leading and walked behind his desk.
“Enough, Data. Your point has been made."
“Dr. Crusher and Geordi will not assist if you do not give me permission to proceed."
“Before I give permission. I need your assurance that there is no risk involved. Every possible precaution must be taken. Lore's actions have caused a lot of destruction and grief... Brought death to hundreds of innocent people. He almost caused the deaths of every person on the Enterprise, when we first reassembled him. I must be certain that will not happen again."
“I cannot guarantee that, sir. But I must try ... And hopefully repair him - to help him. And if he becomes a danger, I will deactivate him once more."
Picard sat. “How long do you need?"
“I cannot say at this time."
“I don't want prevarication, Data. If you can't even predict how long it'll take to complete the construction of Lore's new brain and repairs upon his body."
“No if's, buts or maybes. We're not going to start the whole vicious circle that began with Lore's re-assembly. A month, Data. That's what I'll give you to come up with positive proof that there is a chance Lore can be rehabilitated."
“Thank you, sir and I hope it will prove positive. There is still much about Lore that remains a mystery."
* * *
In less than a month, Data had constructed his brother a new brain with the help of Geordi and Dr. Crusher.
“Thank you," Data said. “I value your assistance. I do not want Lore to suffer the same fate as Lal. This new brain is stable, unlike Lore's old brain which when I examined it, most of the positronic links were twisted, and I will never know if we could have repaired them."
“It proves what you said - That there might be more to it than just Lore going crazy for no good reason."
* * *
“Mmm... This confirms my suspicions,” Data said, as he carefully examined Lore's diagram. “The damage to his body is extensive. it is repairable, but it will take time."
“At least you're going to repair him. That's more than a lot of people have been willing to do. Lore isn't the nicest being in the universe, but you're doing a good thing, Data."
Nurse Ogawa's voice sounded over Crusher's communicator.
“Dr. Crusher, report to Sickbay stat. Lieutenant Hillary has gone into premature labor. Her contractions are now five minutes apart."
“On my way. Crusher out ... Good luck, Commander."
Data smiled. “Thank you, Doctor."
Beverly rushed out, her turquoise medical cape barely making it out of the door with her. Data turned around and began repairs on his brother.
“Data there's gotta be more to it than twisted links. If it were that simple, your father would've spotted it when he disassembled him, and would have rectified it then."
“Anything specific come to mind?"
“Something does. Perhaps Lore's ethical program is malfunctioning."
Geordi considered. “Maybe he doesn't have one."
“I find that highly unlikely, Geordi."
“Think about it. Maybe Dr. Soong realized he went wrong there and made sure he instilled you with higher moral values and sense of ethical behaviour that he didn't give Lore."
“There is one way to find out."
Data attached a link to Lore's head and ran the cables to a compatible link sight on the computer and plugged them in. Data inputted in a series of commands into the computer.
A high-speed scroll flew up the screen, listing all Lore's programming by numbers and name. Data watched it go by. It froze suddenly and one program was highlighted.
“I was correct. Lore does have an ethical program. It is located in his chest."
Data tapped away at the computer and the information changed. “Lore's program is somewhat different. Subtle differences have been made between his program and mine. Mainly in the wordage of the programming. Making mine easier to comprehend than his. I am now running a diagnostic."
Geordi chewed over what Data said about the differences in wordage. “You don't think the differences in it could be part of it? Are there any cases where his says this is not recommended behaviour where yours says it's totally unacceptable or outright wrong?"
“There are three instances where that is in essence what the differences are. In the case of... Geordi, according to this diagnostic, Lore's ethical program has been blocked and his negative emotions appear to have been..." Data's voice rose in surprise, “...enhanced..."
“Blocked? Negative emotion enhanced? Why? How?"
“I do not know. Perhaps the negative emotions were increased by the chip being in him for so long."
“Can the program be reinstated?"
Data checked the analysis. “I am attempting to do so now."
There was a pause. Data picked up a tool, activated it and
began working inside Lore's head. There was another pause.
“I have successfully reinstated Lore's ethical program. That should negate the enhanced negative emotions."
Data smiled. “I am now attempting to straighten his positronic links."
“It's an extremely very delicate operation, Data. If you make the slightest error, or a wrong connection, you could damage Lore permanently - or even kill him."
“I am well aware of that, Geordi. I will be extremely careful."
Data studied the computer screen and Lore's head. He picked up a small tool and began working inside Lore.
The panel he was working on exploded and sparks flew. Data jerked back and the sparks die down.
Data quickly peered into Lore's head. A small electric charge was running along a wire. He quickly activated the tool again and blocked off the charge.
“It is all right now. The wires I was attempting to repair on were too intricately twisted."
Geordi gave a frown. “The explosion?"
Data looked serious. “It almost killed him. There is one other route I can try. If it does not work, I will not be able to repair him ... I have blocked off the offending wires."
“You'll do it, Data." Geordi was confident in his friend, and he wanted Data to succeed, even if he wasn't overtly keen on having Lore repaired.
The android tried again, extremely cautious. He connected the tool to other unstable links in Lore's head, then looked at the computer.
The diagram began changing as the links began untwisting. “Hey! It's working!"
Data looked at the screen and smiled slightly. I am glad, Geordi."
La Forge uttered a half yawn. “I wish I could be of more help to you."
“On the contrary, Geordi. You have been a great deal of help and if my auditory sensors do not deceive me, you sound tired. You may leave if you wish. I can finish this on my own."
“As usual your ears don't deceive. I've been up since the wee hours of the morning. I'll come back tomorrow if you need me."
Data smiled. “Thank you again for all your help."
“I hope it goes well."
Geordi exited, leaving Data alone, continuing to work on Lore.
* * *
Captain Picard sat at his desk, sipping a cup of piping hot Earl Grey tea.
“Data to Picard. I have completed my repairs on Lore."
Picard sat his cup down. “And you're ready to reactivate him?"
“I'll have security join you. We have no way of knowing how Lore will react."
“A wise precaution, Captain. I was going to do so myself."
“You've fully repaired him?"
“Yes, sir. Lore should be stable now."
“Splendid. Picard out."
* * *
A security team armed with phasers stood around Lore's unconscious form. Lore had been dressed in brown Starfleet attire. Restraints clasped around Lore's wrists, waist and legs. Beverly and Data stood near him. Dr. Crusher looked over to the computer at Lore's positronic net scan.
The screen showed Lore's links to be parallel - a vast improvement.
Beverly flipped the tricorder open. “If I may, Data?"
He nodded. “Certainly, Doctor. Go ahead."
Beverly began to scan Lore. “The readings have vastly improved since I scanned him when he was first on the Enterprise."
She nodded to Data. Data slowly reactivated Lore.
Lore slowly opened his eyes, blinks a few times, then began to look at the people surrounding him. He became aware of the restraints, then saw the security team with phasers pointed at him, and was uneasy. He slowly looked around. He saw Data and stared, utterly shocked. His eyes widened and he was terrified.
Data frowned, puzzled at Lore's reaction. “Lore?..."
Lore looked at Data, then looked around, frightened.
He sounded scared when he spoke. “Where am I? Who are you people?"
All were surprised at Lore's reaction. Beverly began scanning Lore with the tricorder.
“Who are you?" Lore asked.
Beverly frowned. “Dr. Beverly Crusher. Surely you remember..."
Lore frowned. “Crusher?...Where's Dr. Bais?"
“Dr. Who?" Crusher said.
“Dr Castimir Bais was the medical doctor on Omicron Theta" Data said, “but..."
Lore looked around again and saw no familiar surroundings. Frightened, he struggled against the restraints, but got nowhere. He stopped and looked at the guards with phasers.
“Where's my father? ... Why are they pointing phasers at me? I haven't done anything wrong..." Lore sounded urgent. Where am I??"
Data frowned. “You are on the Enterprise."
Lore shook is head slowly, indicating that he hadn't the foggiest idea. He looked up at Data and Beverly, looking like a lost child. The two officers shared very surprised looks.
* * *
Picard sat behind his desk with Data.
“If he isn't faking it, what do you think caused the amnesia?"
“There was some damage that occurred when I was forced to fire upon him in the Borg incident. Some of his memory chips may have been damaged in the crash. He may not be acting, sir."
“I want Counsellor Troi to examine him. Hopefully she'll be able to determine what's the truth and what's not."
* * *
Data and Deanna stood outside Lore's brig cell. Lore sat on the bench, watching them.
“Why don't you start by telling me the last thing you remember?"
Lore looked at her, then , “talking with Doctor Soong, my father."
Deanna shook hear head. “No ... You're lying."
“It's the truth..." Lore insisted.
“I'm an empath. I can sense it. You don't want to tell me the truth because you're worried about what our reaction will be to it."
Lore fidgeted, agitated.
“If you don't tell me the truth," Deanna said, “it'll only confirm our suspicions that you're simply acting the part of an amnesiac."
“I'm not acting."
“Then tell me the truth."
Lore shook his head, clearly very upset.
“You must tell me" Deanna said, soothingly. “What happened, Lore?"
Lore nodded sadly, looking down. He paused for a while.
“There ... there was an explosion in one of the labs. Elanore ... Elanore Elai ...was there, alone. She was killed." Lore's voice was abrupt, as if he was hiding a painful memory. “She was my only friend on the colony...and ... I saw her die ...It wasn't my fault..."
“I know" Deanna said gently. “I sense no deception."
“But they blamed me...They blamed me..."
“Who blamed you?" the empath asked.
“The Colonists!" Lore screamed almost in tears, standing.
He paused for a while as he composed himself. “It's one of my jobs to check all scientific equipment and to replace or repair faulty units. I was checking the science labs.
Someone was in Lab 1. I checked the other labs, then came back... I heard an explosion and..."
It was evident that Lore was trying extremely hard to keep from crying. “I didn't...It wasn't my fault..."
“I know that," Deanna said, gently comforting him with her voice.
“I have no record of an Elanore Elai on the colony," Data said.
“She was there," Lore said. “She travelled to Omicron Theta with my father and his followers. They all travelled under assumed names."
“I do not possess any of her memories," Data said. “Obviously the incident you mention happened well before the Crystalline Entity attacked."
Lore frowned. “Entity? Attacked? ... What are you talking about?"
“The Omicron Theta colony was destroyed by the Crystalline Entity, lured there by-"
Lore was shocked. “Destroyed?... But that's impossible! I was there yesterday..."
“The Colony was destroyed in the year 2238."
Lore paused and checked his in-built chronometer. “Over thirty-two years have passed since my last memory ... but I can't remember anything else ... You said it was lured to the colony. Who lured it there?"
Data looked directly at Lore. “You did."
Lore's eyes widened and he was totally shocked, then became suspicious. “You accused me of lying to you... How do I know you're not lying to me?"
“You're upset and frightened..."
“Did your empathic powers tell you that? Why shouldn't I be? I'm being trapped here for a crime I don't even remember committing - If I committed it in the first place ... I remember being upset and angry at the colonists for rejecting me, but I can't believe I killed them all..."
“You collaborated with the entity that did."
Deanna nodded. Lore spun and paced back and forth. He sat heavily on the bench and stared at them. He looked around the cell and gave in. There was just too much proof that Data and Deanna were telling the truth.
* * *
Picard and Deanna are stood together.
“What are you sensing from Lore?"
“Confusion...fear. We've just told him that he's responsible for the deaths of over four hundred people. He's in a state of shock, Captain. Imagine how you'd feel in his position."
Picard nodded. “Understandable ... Apart from that..."
“He did lie ... but that was to avoid talking about a distressing incident. Other than that, I sense absolutely no malevolence or deception from him. The best way I can describe him now is, like a lost child ... Lore's no longer dangerous to us, sir. There's no need to him in the brig. I suggest he be released and confined to guarded quarters."
Picard nodded again. “Agreed. But under close supervision and there'll be a guard outside his quarters at all times."
* * *
Picard stood before Lore and deactivated the forcefield.
“You're letting me out?" Lore asked.
“Counsellor Troi has observed you pose no threat to us.
Lore nodded. “I know you say I committed those crimes ... but do you have any proof? Any computer files I can look up to jog my memory?"
Picard nodded. “You may have very limited access."
* * *
Lore sat by the computer in the guest quarters he was assigned. Data stood near him, but not too close.
Lore sounded worried. “What's going to happen to me?... Will I ever get my memories back?"
“Perhaps this will jog your memory ... Computer, reference - Omicron Theta."
“Working... The Omicron Theta colony was destroyed by the Crystalline Entity which stripped all life from the planet. There were no survivors."
* * *
Picard was conversing with Senior Admiral Hal Llewellyn via subspace.
“You say Data has reassembled and repaired Lore."
“That is correct, Admiral."
“Lore was disassembled for the danger he represented. Wouldn't it be hazardous to..."
“I am well aware of the reasons for Lore's disassembly. I gave Data permission after he assured me the risk was minimal and he had eliminated the danger."
“The danger had already been eliminated."
“That's like curing a disease by killing the patient ... and there was no trial, and no judgement handed down. Now it's possible that Lore can be brought to trial for his crimes. To face what the courts hand down. To just leave him in pieces would have been to pass judgement and sentence him to virtual death. And as I was reminded - We no longer have the death penalty for crimes. Even those Lore committed...or may have committed."
“I have spoken to StarFleet officials and we agree that Lore must stand trial for his crimes. I understand your position, Captain, but if any danger arises, if there is any chance he can escape before he can be brought to trial, Lore must be deactivated again."
“I have already ordered Data to take that action, Admiral."
“Good. I want to visit the Enterprise to view Data's results, as soon as possible. I'm currently at the Daystrom Institute on Galor Four. I've been speaking with the Research authorities, Captain. Commander Gareth Jalon will be accompanying me."
Picard nodded. “We'll hold position pending your arrival."
“Splendid. We'll be arriving in approximately six hours, aboard the newly commissioned science vessel, the USS Noonian Soong."
Picard smiled. “Very appropriately named."
* * *
“I still can't remember anything, Data. The Computer said there were no survivors on Omicron-"
“There were two. Dr. Soong and Juliana escaped before the attack."
Lore was relieved and grateful. “Where are they now?"
“Dr. Soong is dead. I encountered him three years ago. When he summoned me to his planet and inadvertently summoned you. You were upset that he was dying ... But you stole a chip, designed to give me emotions, assaulting Dr. Soong in the process."
“I'm sorry ... What the hell am I saying?! I'm apologizing for something I can't even remember doing!"
Data looked at his brother, trying to understand how all this must feel for him.
“And my mother?" Lore asked.
“She remarried, but she died not so long ago." Data thought of telling Lore more about his mother, but decided to wait and he wasn't sure he wanted to tell him.
Lore looked sad. “Mother..."
* * *
Picard stood in his Ready Room with Data. “Admiral Hal Llewellyn contacted me concerning Lore. He has ordered us to hold position, pending his arrival. He'll be arriving with Commander Jalon, Starfleet Research."
Data's face seemed to change as Captain Picard uttered the word 'research.' He remembered what had happened last time an Admiral from Starfleet research had come here. He had lost his only child. Would he also lose his only brother?
“It seems now that I have stabilized Lore, Starfleet are once again interested in him."
“Perhaps they'll will see differently this time."
Data nodded. “I hope so." There was a pause, then Data spoke to his captain. “Do you believe I have made the right choice, Sir - to repair Lore?"
“We all make choices. It's part of being human. Sometimes we make the wrong ones, that's also part of being human, but what's more important is the wisdom to know the difference and to try and rectify our mistakes. Do you believe you made the right choice?"
Data nodded. “Yes, Sir, Thank you."
* * *
Picard sat in his ready room with Admirals Llewellyn, Commander Jalon and Data.
Llewellyn studied the monitor, then turned his attention to Data. “Well...It certainly looks like a feasible theory, Commander, but what are the actual results of these repairs?
“Lore is now ninety-five percent stable."
“What about the other five percent? Won't the existing instability increase with time? -- And you say he has lost him memory?"
Data nodded. “The possibility of Lore's instability increasing is very slight ... and he cannot remember anything after Omicron Theta."
“Nevertheless, his instability increasing is still a possibility."
“With all due respect, Admiral," Jalon cut in, “that's beside the point. Lore's a cold-blooded murderer."
Llewellyn shot Jalon a look, silencing him. “And he will be brought to trial for his crimes."
* * *
Meanwhile in the guest quarters, Lore was still sitting by the computer. “Computer, display a visual of the Crystalline Entity."
A spectacular picture of the many-faceted Entity appeared on the screen.
Lore stared at it in awe. “It's beautiful ... How could it...Computer, show me a visual of Omicron Theta after it attacked." Lore looked at the screen and was shocked. “But it was full of farms ... and so green ... The Entity destroyed everything?"
“That is correct. No biological life exists on Omicron Theta any longer, but scientists have plans to terraform the planet."
“Data says I was with the Pakleds...and the Borg. Show me what they look like."
A picture of a Pakled appeared for a few seconds, then was replaced by a Borg. Lore observed, then shook his head.
“Computer, show me a picture of my father, Dr. Soong."
An elderly picture of Dr. Soong appeared. Lore observed.
“Data said I met him when he was like this. Boy did the years catch up with him..."
Lore suddenly stiffened, then relaxed. Images begin to flash through his head.
Kissing Elanore; Meeting the Crystal Entity; Waking up on the Enterprise, being transported out; The blackness of outer space; Waking up on the Pakled ship, surrounded by Pakleds;
Dr. Soong the old man; then, throwing him across the room; Coming into contact with the Borg; About to shoot Data, being pushed out of the way by Hugh; Data blasting him the final image.
Lore closed his eyes for a few moments, then opened them slowly.
* * *
“Lore killed over 400 people on Omicron Theta," Jalon accused. “And attempted to murder everyone on the Enterprise, and countless others lost their lives, slaughtered at the hands of the Borg it lead. That android should have stayed disassembled. Lore has proven over and over again that it can't be trusted. That it's nothing more than a cold-blooded murderer. Where is it?"
“He has been confined to quarters, “ Picard said. “Counsellor Troi observed that he was not a threat."
“Well with all due respect, Captain, he should be in the brig. I presume the android hasn't got any memories back yet."
“I would like to see Lore now, if I may."
* * *
Lore paced around the quarters. Hearing the door beginning to open, he stopped and waited. Picard, Data Jalon and Llewellyn, Entered. Lore eyed them.
“It should be in the brig," Jalon said.
Lore frowned at Jalon's reference to him as 'it.' He then looked at Data. “They've come to disassemble me again, haven't they?"
“You remember?" Data asked.
Lore nodded. “Yes. I got my memory back. I may as well tell the truth, since that Betazoid counsellor of yours can tell if I don't."
Jalon instantly keyed his insignia. “Jalon to security."
Lore looked at him. “Is that really necessary? Just because I've got my memories back, doesn't mean I'm going to kill you all."
“You proved that time and time again. All you're capable of is violence, cruelty and death."
“I know it was wrong to kill all those people and I regret it."
"You expect us to believe that? You're ... you're bad to the bone..."
“No, I'm not."
“Oh yes you are..."
“I haven't got any bones."
Jalon glared at Lore.
“I reinstated Lore's ethics program, sir," Data said. “He is telling the truth in that he does feel some remorse for what he did."
“Still...it's not going to bring all those people back," Jalon said. “You are a murderer, Lore. Nothing will ever change that." Jalon shook his head. “How could you kill all those people?"
“The colonists rejected me because I was an android. They didn't believe I was sentient," Lore's tone became upset, “or that I had feelings. I tried everything to be accepted. The only friend I had was Elanore. She accepted me for who and what I was. She was the only one besides my father who didn't treat me like a thing, but she..."
“She died," Data concluded.
Lore nodded sadly. “I didn't have any other friends. I tried to make some with the others, but," Lore shook his head, “they didn't want my friendship. Gradually the pain turned into anger ... then resentment. Eventually I lost control."
“And that's how you became unstable," Llewellyn said, “because you couldn't control your emotions?"
Lore nodded. “That's probably why I don't like humans very much. No offense... I wanted to leave the colony, feeling that I was better than the colonists and didn't need them. They couldn't do half the things I could, but I still wanted a friend."
“I don't care how you became unstable," Jalon said in disgust. “Your personal grievances have nothing to do with me."
“You've got no idea, have you? How hard my life was. How much they hurt me. I was never given a chance."
“Neither were the people slaughtered by the Borg you lead. Or the colonists killed by the Crystalline Entity you collaborated with," Jalon said, with a caustic lash.
Lore ignored Jalon's bitterness. “I met the Crystal Entity on the planet. It told me what it was and what it did. I found myself wanting it to absorb the colonists, but I knew that killing was wrong. I couldn't let it kill all those people."
“But you did."
Lore nodded. I wrestled with my conscience and found myself giving in to it, although I didn't want to, and then I..."
“You blocked off your ethical program," Data said.
Lore nodded again. “Yes."
Jalon rubbed it in. “Then you tried the same thing with the Enterprise. Almost killing more than double the number of people on Omicron Theta."
Lore started to say something, but Jalon wouldn't let him.
“And hundreds more people lost their lives at the hands of the Borg you altered."
“If I may be allowed to speak, please? ... Two years after my second encounter with Data, I came across a Borg vessel. I knew of them when I accessed Data's memories. I was about to leave in a hurry, then I scanned the vessel. It was inoperative, so I beamed aboard and saw Borg everywhere, dysfunctional, distraught, terrified..."
“What did you do?" Llewellyn asked.
Lore continued. “I must admit, I felt a touch sorry for them. Obviously, they needed me and I wanted to help them. The Pakleds begged me not to leave, but they could survive on their own. They're not as dumb as they seem. The Borg are more like me than they were," Lore smirked. “You've met the Pakleds. You know how impossible it is to have intellectual, stimulating conversations with them ... We look for things to make us go," Lore mimicked, then smirked again. “They stopped saying that after I gave them laxatives..."
Picard ignored Lore's smug comment. “And then you taught the Borg how to kill. You changed them."
“They already knew how to kill, Captain and I won't deny changing them... They were angry. It was total chaos when I found them. I just organized the chaos and let them do their own thing. I didn't order them to kill. They wanted to, so they did."
“The Borg did not see themselves as evil before, nor did they kill or destroy without their reasons."
“You started it by sending Hugh back, Captain," Lore accused. “Everyone else saw them as evil ... Assimilating the Federation would've destroyed it anyway. Even if they didn't see it that way. Look - I'm not here to justify my actions or to prove that I'm innocent. I'm not ... I regret what I've done and if that's not enough - too bad. Anyway, all that time I was unstable. I wasn't in my right mind."
“And you think that makes it all right?" Jalon said with a disdainful 'hmph'. “You make me sick."
Lore smiled. “Well thank you. I try my best."
“273 people were on the outpost at Ohniaka Three," Jalon spat. “How many more people would you have killed if we hadn't stopped you?"
“I ordered the Borg to attack the outpost to lure the Enterprise into the sector. I did not order them to kill every living thing there. They did that themselves."
Jalon glared at the android and stormed out. The others followed him, leaving Lore alone in his temporary quarters, guards posted at the door.
* * *
Beverly, on night shift, computer PADD in hand, was looking over some scans. She made a few notations, then deactivated monitor and headed for her office and walked inside and stopped when she saw Jalon tapping away at her computer.
“Is there anything I can help you with, Commander?"
“I was after files on Lore. I figured since you reassembled him initially, you'd have some."
“That's right, I do. With all due, respect, sir. I would have expected you to ask first."
“I'm sorry. I get hasty when it comes to my work. Can you give me the files?"
“I'll have to put your request through Captain Picard, Data and Admiral Llewellyn."
“That won't be necessary, Doctor ..."
* * *
Picard sat in his ready room with Data and the two Admirals.
Jalon raved on. “Lore is an evil ..."
“Just because he's evil, doesn't make him not sentient," Llewellyn cut in. “He clearly regrets what he's done and wants another chance."
“Well I think..."
“I know what you think, Jalon," Llewellyn said, an edge to his voice.
Nurse Ogawa's urgent voice sounded over Picard's insignia.
“Sickbay to Captain Picard."
Picard taped his insignia, holding up a hand, silencing the arguing Admirals.
“Picard here, go ahead."
“Dr Crusher has been attacked in her office. Her condition is critical."
Picard is shocked. “What happened?!"
“I don't know. I didn't hear anything. I came into her office to discuss a patient and found her lying on the floor ... She had a file open on Lore."
* * *
Beverly lay on a biobed, unconscious. Her body bruised and helpless.
“Will she survive?" came the voice of the worried captain.
Ogawa scanned Beverly with her tricorder. After a pause, she said, “unknown, sir."
* * *
Picard looked anxious. “Thank you, Nurse. Keep me informed. Picard out."
“I told you that android couldn't be trusted," Jalon said, with an 'I told you so' tone, “and now it's killed another innocent person. How many more?"
Picard sighed. “And I regret not listening to you, Commander,"
Picard sadly tapped his communicator. “Picard to security..."
* * *
Lore impatiently paced around the room. The doors instantly open. Worf and a security team burst in with phasers.
“You will come with us" Worf demanded.
“What for?" asked an alarmed Lore.
“For the attempted murder of Doctor Crusher."
“I don't know what you're talking about. I didn't..."
Worf pointed the phaser in a very threatening manner. Lore decided it would be wiser to obey and let the guards escort him to the brig.
* * *
Picard stood with the Admirals and Data. Worf's voice sounded over his communicator. “Sir, I have arrested Lore. He is in the brig."
Admiral Llewellyn turned to Data. “Clearly your brother has become unstable again."
Data nodded, upset. “But I was so sure that his instability would not increase and -"
“We all make mistakes, Data," the Admiral said, understanding “but ... I'm afraid Lore has to be disassembled again - immediately."
Data's expression showed that he didn't want that, but realized it was necessary.
“In a way is a reasonable decision, but I wish it were otherwise."
Picard turned to Data. “You do realize it's for the best."
Data nodded. “Perhaps, sir." He then left Picard's Ready Room.
* * *
Lore sat on the bench of the Brig. Data, Picard, Deanna, Admirals Jalon and Llewellyn stood outside the cell.
“Don't let them take me apart, Data...please" Lore sounded scared.
“In the past," Data, said, “you have lied to me, betrayed me, used and abused me and I will not let it happen again."
Lore shook his head. “I didn't do it, Data ... I didn't hurt her. I wasn't even in sickbay."
“I do not care how sincere you sound. The evidence is against you. You are not getting away it this time."
Deanna turned to Data. “Data, he's telling the truth. I'm not sensing any deception, All I sense is ... Fear..."
“Of course he's scared," Jalon said. “We've found him out and we're going to take him apart for it. You sensed no deception before, and look what happened."
“In acknowledging that he is afraid are you acknowledging his sentience?” Deanna probed.
Jalon remained tight-lipped.
“I agree" Picard said. “Dr. Crusher is critical. It's too great a risk to chance it again."
Lore maintained his innocence. “I swear I didn't touch her. She was attacked in Sickbay. I was in my quarters when it happened - Under guard. So how did I get out unnoticed?"
“We'll find out," Picard promised. “You can count on it."
Nurse Ogawa's voice sounded over Picard's communicator.
“Ogawa to Picard. Dr. Crusher's vital signs are stabilizing."
Relieved, Picard keyed his insignia. “Splendid, Nurse. Is she well enough to make a report?"
“Not yet, sir. She still hasn't regained consciousness."
Commander Jalon tuned to the others. “Excuse me. I have some business to attend to."
* * *
Data and Picard stood by the Aft stations of the Bridge.
“Computer, where was Lore at 2300 hours?"
“Lore was located in Sickbay at that time."
While Data and Picard were on the bridge, Commander Jalon walked briskly down the corridor.
* * *
Data tapped away at the console. He then stopped and frowned. Captain, I am getting a strange reading from Lore's quarters...before, during and just after the attack on Dr. Crusher."
All the lights on the Bridge went dim and the consoles blank.
“We have a ship wide power failure," Data observed.
* * *
Due to the power failure, the forcefield to Lore's cell was deactivated. He darted out of the cell. The guard tried to stop him, but Lore saw easily in the dim light and gave her a Vulcan nerve pinch. The guard fell to the floor. Lore took her phaser, ran to the door, forced it open and darted out of the brig.
* * *
The Sickbay doors opened. Someone entered.
“Who's there?" Beverly asked, weakly, hearing the footsteps.
The figure approached her. Beverly saw him and her eyes widened. She grasped at her combadge, but the figure grabbed it roughly and hurled it to the floor. It reached for her throat. The doors to Sickbay opened again.
Jalon's voice was heard from the entrance. “Computer, restore ship's power."
Sickbay was instantly illuminated.
In the light, Lore saw Commander Jalon strangling Beverly. He stood at the entrance, holding a phaser. He aimed and shot Jalon. Beverly held her throat, gasping. Lore approached her.
“Are you all right?"
She nodded, regaining her composure.
A few moments later, Worf and a security team rushed in armed with phasers and aimed them at Lore. Beverly shook her head and pointed Commander Jalon's unconscious form, lying on the floor. Security had their phasers trained on Lore.
“Jalon tried to kill me," Beverly said. “Lore saved my life."
Everyone looked dumbfounded and started at Lore, who just smiled.
"It appears we misjudged you, Lore. I apologize," Picard said.
“Told you I didn't do it."
He looked at Beverly and smiled. She smiled back at him. Perhaps this was his ways of apologizing for what he had done to her on their first encounter. Nurse Ogawa scanned her.
“She's going to be fine, Captain."
* * *
Jalon was now the one behind the forcefields. Standing before him were Picard, Llewellyn, Data and Lore. Picard's eyes were on Jalon; a look of pure disgust.
“You would go so far as to kill an innocent person to frame him."
Lore was equally disgusted. “You rotten bastard...You tried to set me up and did it when the guards outside my quarters were changing shifts."
“I only wish it'd worked."
“Be grateful you're alive, Jalon. I had the phaser set on stun," he smiled sarcastically. “Thanks to my new reinstated ethical program."
Jalon pointed at Lore. “That is pure evil, Picard."
“That, Admiral, is a sentient being, and if I'm not mistaken you just committed the very crime you've been accusing Lore of all along. You'd resort to murder to get your way. To get your hands on Lore so that you can disassemble him and study him."
“Data's prototype should be studied."
Data looked at Jalon. “It is a commonly believed misconception that Lore is my prototype. Lore was not the first and also, when two twins are born, is the first the prototype?"
Jalon looked at Data; obviously Data had made his point.
Llewellyn glared at Jalon. “I'm appalled at you, Gareth. You are to be Court Marshalled for the attempted murder of Dr. Beverly Crusher, falsifying computer information, shutting down power to the Enterprise and lying to prove an innocent man guilty."
“But my career in Starfleet will be over..."
“It is already over. You should've considered that before. Your punishment will be up to Starfleet Command and I'm sure they won't take it lightly."
Lore looked at the now X-Commander. “Maybe they should disassemble it."
Jalon glared at Lore. The android gave a smug smile.
“I stand by my belief that the android should be -"
“Shut up, Jalon." Llewellyn said. “You're a disgrace to Starfleet ... Captain, if I may speak with you and Data alone."
* * *
Hal Llewellyn sat with Data and Picard, discussing Lore.
“Data ... I agree Lore's ninety-five percent stability is well within safety parameters, but I fear the nine percent instability will increase with time."
“I have computed that possibility, sir, and it is impossible. I feared his memories may destabilise him, but they have not."
“But whet if they di in future."
“Admiral, have you veer been hurt in your life?"
“If I may ... Please name three things that stand out."
“Well ... when my second wife died, when my first wife left me, and I was teased at StarFleet Academy like you would not believe - your point being?"
“My point is everyone has suffered hurt and hardship, some more than others. Lore a great deal."
Llewellyn nodded. “Point taken, Data. We will see that Lore is taken care of."
* * *
Lore walked into Engineering and looked around. He saw Geordi by a computer station and approached him. Geordi looked up, then looked Lore up and down.
“Hi, Data. Where's your uniform?"
“It's dirty. I'm washing it."
Geordi became a little nervous. “Lore... What do you want?"
“Nothing much ... Well ... I came to apologize...for using you with the Borg."
“Apologize? Now this is a surprise."
Lore nodded. “I realize it was wrong. Don't ask me why I did it. I know I caused you a lot of pain."
Geordi paused for a while. “You wouldn't believe the headache I had after that."
“I'm sorry. I was going to reverse the experiment if it didn't work, but even so I know I was wrong, and I hope I can make up for it."
“Mind if I take a look around?" Lore asked.
“Sure ... go ahead ... Just don't touch anything."
Lore smiled. A series of warning beeps are heard from the computer terminal on the far side of Engineering.
“Excuse me," Geordi went to check it with other Engineering personnel. Lore watched them, then casually looked around, seeing no one watching him, he entered a sequence into the computer, smiled to himself then quietly left.
* * *
“And I trust your judgement, Commander. I'm acting with the best interests of Starfleet and the Federation ... And your brother ... As Commander Jalon has proved, it’s too soon to expect people to forgive and forget. Data, if there were a trial now, I'm quite sure the sentence handed down would be permanent disassembly."
“I understand your concerns, sir, and I will obey your order - under protest."
“Noted. Lore is to be disassembled, for the time being and rest assured, commander, he will not be damaged in any way by Starfleet Research. We hope to stamp out Jalon's kind. Lore will be not reactivated until sufficient time has passed."
* * *
Lore paced around Data's quarters, holding Spot. The fluffy orange cat purred contentedly in Lore's arms.
The doors parted. Data entered and saw Lore holding his cat. Lore looked slightly embarrassed and walked over to greet his brother.
“Uhh ... nice cat you got here. What's his name?"
“That's a dog’s name, Data."
Data cocked his head to one side for a moment, that quizzical look.
Lore continued. “...Anyway, he reminds me of a cat we had on the colony called Selena."
Lore almost winced, remembering a painful incident. “She was run over by a transport. I guess I lied when I said Elanore was my only friend."
“Lore, what are you doing in my quarters?"
Lore hesitated for a moment, nervous. He looked around.
“Some nice paintings you got here," he said, changing the subject. “Did you paint them?"
“Some of them," Data said, pointing out his originals. “I have studied many painters, the most interesting being, Da Vinci, Van Gogh, Michelangelo, Picasso, Pro Hart..."
“Pro Hart?" inquired Lore.
“A twentieth century Australian painter. I find his work most interesting. Perhaps also the most unusual, but, I do not think you came here to study my paintings or stroke my cat."
Lore took a deep breath. “You're right, as usual. I came to ask you how it went with Llewellyn."
Data looked at his brother but said nothing.
“Ahh ... I see ... He's ordered you to disassemble me again."
Data nodded. “I am sorry, Lore, but-"
Lore threw his arms up in anger. “I saved your precious doctor's life and they still want to take me apart! I can't believe these people! Why do you let them rule you like that?"
“They do not rule me, Lore. I am free to resign if I wish."
Lore glared at his brother, anger flashing in his eyes. “Then why don't you?"
“I will not give up my life or my friends here... Again, I am sorry, but..."
“You're sorry? Well they most certainly don't rule me ... Look, I understand, but I don't want to be taken apart again. You've got no idea what it's like. I don't want to go through it again, please, Data."
“I understand, Lore, and I wish it were otherwise, but I have no choice. As things stand at this time, it is the safest course for you. You must be tried for your crimes. And now, with the Borg incident still fresh in mind, the sentence that would be handed down would surely be permanent disassembly. Do you want that?"
Lore looked at his brother and shook his head.
“But when will I get another chance? - Will I have to wait another twenty-six years or longer before someone reassembles me?"
“I hope it will not be that long."
Lore sighed sadly, and handed Spot to Data. Data took his cat from his brother's arms. Whilst he was doing so, Lore grabbed Data's arm.
“Lore ... I beg you ... DO not to this ... you are jeopardising your-"
“No hard feelings, Brother, but my life's on the line."
He hit Data's off switch before Data could react. Lore caught Data and lay him on the floor, then looked down at his brother.
“I'm sorry, Data ..."
* * *
Data lay motionless on the floor with Spot walking around him. Data's insignia chirped. Curious, Spot sniffed at it.
“Picard to Data."
There was no reply. Picard tried again, more anxious this time. “Picard to Data."
Spot pawed the insignia on Data's chest and miaowed.
No one on the bridge tried to hide their surprised reactions, when Spot's meowing was heard through Picard's insignia. Riker tried unsuccessfully to stifle a smile. Picard's eyes widened.
Still there was is no reply.
“Computer, locate Commander Data."
“Commander Data is in his quarters."
The Captain turned. “Worf..."
Riker instantly stood. “I'll join you."
* * *
The doors to Data's quarters parted. Worf and Riker rushed in and looked around. The Klingon saw Data lying on the floor.
Riker knelt down to Data. “I'll take it from here. You go and find Lore."
Worf turned and exited. Riker was about to turn Data on, then saw Spot and smiled uneasily.
Spot walked around, making Riker uncomfortable. He pointed at the cat.
Riker turned Data back on. Data opened his eyes, sat up and looked around.
The Captain's voice buzzed over Riker's communicator. “Picard to Riker."
“It's all right, sir. He was only deactivated."
Data checked his systems, then addressed his commanding officers. “Lore is attempting to escape."
Picard's voice was crisp. “Both of you, return to the Bridge."
* * *
Lore's pace was brisk, as he moved down the corridor, outside the Main Shuttle Bay, every so often, he'd turn around, to watch his back. Lore turned back around to see Worf blocking him off and pointed a phaser at the android.
“You will come with me."
Lore laughed and looked casual. He moved as Worf fired, then in a blur of movement, Lore grabbed the phaser, pointed it at Worf and grinned.
“Now show me your warrior fierceness...bring back old memories?"
Worf growled, but felt uncomfortable. He tried to grab the phaser, but Lore took it out of his reach and shook his head.
Lore stunned the Klingon with the phaser. Worf fell to the floor, unconscious. The android turned and entered the Main Shuttle Bay. When inside, he ran to the controls.
“A twenty second delay should be enough..."
He started the depart sequence. The huge door slid upwards. The android raced across the floor to cargo shuttle Type 9A, a shuttle he knew, that was capable of over warp 2, then opened the hatch and climbed inside.
“Main Shuttle Bay forcefield deactivated" came the voice of the computer.
Lore cleared the shuttle bay and departed the Enterprise.
* * *
Data sat at OPS, his fingers flying delicately over the smooth console. “Sensors are operative, Captain. Lore is definitely aboard the shuttle."
Through the viewscreen, the shuttle was seen.
“Open hailing frequencies."
“Hailing frequencies open, sir," replied Lieutenant Sherman.
“Lore, I demand you return to the Enterprise."
Lore appeared on the viewscreen, sitting in the pilot's seat of the shuttle and shaking his head. “I'm afraid I can't do that, Captain. It's a death sentence." He cut communication, his image being replaced by the starfield. The shuttle turned.
“Captain, he is preparing to go to warp," Data informed
“Phasers, photon torpedoes, shields and transporters are still off line," Sherman said.
“And when the weapons do come on line, Lieutenant, we will use them only as a last resort. Is that understood?"
“Is the tractor beam functional?"
Data studied the console. “It is coming on line now, sir."
“Lock on to the shuttle."
Data made the necessary adjustments.
The tractor beam shot out, but not before Lore fired the shuttle thrusters and blasted off into warp.
“Estimated time until our warp engines come on line," the captain said.
“Unknown, sir, “ the Second Officer replied. “It looked like Lore perpared for the eventuality of his disassembly. We still have to crack his security code. To use a colloquialism ... he will be 'long gone' by then."
Picard nodded and sat. “Merde..."
Though he was more concerned for Lore.
* * *
Lore sat in the pilot’s seat of the shuttle, relaxed, and singing to himself.
“...So be sure that it's true,
When you say I love you,
It's a sin to tell a lie..."
Lore stopped singing and gazed through the window as the stars whizzed past. Lore came out of warp and cruised ahead.
“I'm lonely in here..." he said to himself. “It's almost as bad as drifting through space. I escaped the Enterprise and being disassembled again...Now I'm free to go wherever I want. To do whatever I please. I want people to be with...I won't be alone then... And I'm talking to myself again ... Aiy ..."
Lore chuckled as he looked out into the starfield. The smile slowly faded away.
“Who the hell am I kidding? Until I find someone out there who understands and cares enough... I'll always be alone... Will I ever get what I always wanted? Another chance? Someone to understand me and what I've been through? Someone who can help me, love me? Is it too late for that?" Lore thumped the console.
Upset, Lore gazed out into the void, hoping ...
* * *
Data, in his quarters was touching up a portrait of his brother. He stood back and looked at it, then frowned slightly. He brushed Lore's left eyebrow with a darker color, and gave a small smile.
The portrait of his brother showed a hopeful expression. Perhaps hoping that someday he would get his fondest desire, to be free and understood, and loved.
The door chime sounded. Data placed his palette down.
“Come in, please."
Geordi entered the room. “Hi, Data, what's up?"
Data looked at his friend. “You can tell something is wrong?"
Geordi gave the android a look.
“You don't fool me for a second, Data. I've known you too long. I've seen that look on your face before."
A long pause followed.
“It is Lore, Geordi," Data said at last.
“I thought as much ..." Geordi prompted his friend to go on.
“Before he regained his memories, I began to understand him, more than I did before..."
“So did I, sort of..."
“He said that no one had ever given him a chance. That is also what my father said. He understood Lore and forgave him for what he had done."
“Did you forgive him?"
There was a pause, then Data nodded slowly. “I cannot blame him for turning me off. As he said, his life was on the line ... But, Geordi, it is not only that. It..."
Geordi studied the portrait of Lore for a moment.
“Let me guess. You're peeved off at Admiral Llewellyn for wanting to take him apart."
Data nodded. “I understand him being concerned that Lore was not one hundred percent stable, but he could have at least given Lore a chance and another thing, Geordi, if Lore decides to resort to his evil behaviour, I do not want to be held responsible for the consequences of his actions. I do not want to be as they say 'my Brother's keeper.' “
“But what if he does something good?"
Data slightly inclined his head.
“I know that might sound hard to believe, after what he's done, but I mean what if he helped people, or something?"
“Then," Data said, “... I would be proud."
Geordi smiled and nodded.
“The Admiral seemed somewhat single minded," Data said. “Though he was much more reasonable than that Jalon character ... But since Lore escaped, he now has the chance he always wanted - and needed. It is up to him what he decides to do with it. I would be lying if I said I was not in the least concerned that he may run roughshod again, but I hope he will not." Data intensely studied his portrait. “Sometimes life is unfortunate, and as they say, excrement occurs ... “
“But as long as Lore is out there somewhere I am ever hopeful ..."
Data's expression showed one of hope.
* * *
IT CAME OUT OF NOWHERE and attacked without notice or provocation; the vessel, or whatever it was, unlike anything the USS Enigma had ever encountered.
Captain Yolanda Johnston, normally cool, calm and collected - normally. But now her emotions were running haywire. She was running on adrenalin.
Her ship was under attack, for no reason she could see and she could foresee no escape. The captain had been trained in military techniques, but being the captain of a Federation starship, those skills were rarely put into operation. If those skills were needed, they were needed right now.
“Shields up! Red Alert!" she barked, her dark eyes wide.
The blood red glow filled the bridge as the klaxon blared.
The unknown had taken out warp capability with its first barrage of fire.
"Shileds're weak, Sir," came the response from Lieutenant Hector, at tactical. “We won't be able to take many more blasts at this magnitude."
“Helm, Evasive manoeuvres! Tactical, try to hail them."
“No response to our hail, sir," replied Hector. “Scanners can't penetrate either."
The captain's brow furrowed. “Why is it attacking? What the hell is it?"
The Enigma was hit by another powerful blast from the unknown.
Everything was going haywire. Sparks flying, static crackling, the very hull of the ship showing signs of buckling.
“Fire all weapons!" yelled the captain, struggling to remain in her seat. “Engineering station, boost shield strength!"
The Enigma released a barrage of fire, hitting the attacking unknown with full force.
It responded, concentrating all fire on Enigma.
The Chief Engineer, Diane Carter was catapulted violently from her Engineering post, and fell to the floor with an audible thud.
“Shields are down, sir!" yelled Hector. “If it continues to fire, we're up the creek! McHeller...get to one of the aft stations and find any weaknesses in their defenses."
Ensign McHeller rushed to the console.
There was another blast from the alien ship.
The aft console exploded with extreme force, ripping the unfortunate Ensign McHeller in two. It happened quickly, before he could utter a scream.
Lieutenant Hector, chief of security, though trained to take gore, could hardly bare to look at his mutilated colleague.
"Captain!” he yelled over the commotion, “ McHeller's dead!"
Who are these people? Yolanda thought. These attackers who would attack a vessel on a peaceful mission - without any warning?
Johnston had too much on her mind to grieve for the young ensign at this moment.
“Fire weapons! It's all we've got!"
Hector released another barrage of fire. It hit the alien - whatever it was. The shields began to fluctuate.
“Its shields are weakening, sir."
Finally. They had made a breakthrough. All hope was not lost. Captain Johnston saw a glint of hope. She permitted herself to smile. “Good. Fire again, we might still gain the upper hand."
They did not get the chance. The unknown fired at the Enigma, causing explosion on the bridge which ripped apart the tactical station
“Hector!" Johnston screamed.
Before she could turn her head, First Officer Commander Bradley Kitt, raced up to the aft stations to continue firing. When he arrived, just in a second, he saw Hector's dead form slumped over the tactical sattion. Not at all a pretty sight, but there was no time to grieve for the dead. He pushed the body off.
“Captain... The weapons aren't operational. They're..."
A second explosion blew out of the aft station behind Kitt, cutting him off in mid sentence.
Johnston shut her eyes. This was the end and she knew it. She did not want to give up, but she had to think of the other ninety-two people aboard her vessel.
Another blast took out the shields. The Enigma was defenseless and Yolanda Johnston knew it.
“Ops ... Tell them we surrender."
Relief rushed through the Second Officer. He too wasn't keen on giving up, but fighting was hopeless, and he decided the idea of surrendering was better than being a corpse.
A moment later ...
“They're not responding, sir ..."
Yolanda's eyes widened, and she wiped the sweat of her dark forehead.
“What?... Helm, set a collision ..."
The Ops and helm consoles exploded simultaneously, instantly killing both officers.
Yolanda frantically looked around. She was the only one alive on the bridge. She licked her lips to get rid of the strange taste in her mouth. But she realised that it would not go away. She was tasting death.
She stared at the whatever it was through the viewscreen, that whom she had become to hate. That which had caused her so much grief in just a few moments.
“Bastard..." she whispered. “I hope someone destroys you..."
Yolanda glared at the vessel, then saw two white beams shoot out from it. She closed her eyes. She had seen so much death in the last few minutes and she did not want to watch anymore.
The beams hit and Yolanda was catapulted onto the floor with incredible force, a piece of stray metal slicing through her head.
The attacker was satisfied. All life forms on the vessel had ceased to exist, it had no need to destroy the vessel, and so it left the Enigma to drift endlessly in space.
Maybe someday, someone will find this ghost ship and hear her tale.
* * *
Aboard the Lorean, the sole occupant gazed at the remains of the Enigma through the viewscreen.
“Computer," he said, “beam me to the least damaged part of the ship.
“Well, I don't want to be blown out into space the moment I rematerialize."
“As you command, Master."
“Thank you ... I must be losing it ... I'm talking to my computer, for the Gods' sakes... Well, it is the only company I've got out here."
* * *
The figure materialized and began searching the ship.
The Bridge had sustained the most damage in the assault. The hull was the only thing that was relatively in tact - barely. All the consoles were blown to pieces.
He looked around, but couldn't see anything worth salvaging. He saw the bodies strewn around the bridge.
“Must've been some fight..."
Everyone was dead.
The captain, lay decapitated on the floor, the Second Officer's head had been slammed through the console and the helmsman had obviously been electrocuted.
The person walked to the aft stations. He stepped back and grimaced, when he saw what was once Ensign McHeller. Trying not to look at the gruesome sight, he stepped over the ensign, then saw the dead First Officer and Security Chief, slumped over each other. Something caught his attention, on the tactical station, a small red light which was flickering.
“The ship's sending out an automated distress signal...Won't be much to rescue here..."
He checked out Engineering, but the whole place was dead. The warp drive, all the consoles, everything was wrecked. Bodies of the Enigma's engineers were scattered all over the place.
“Nothing good here..."
He then saw a personalized computer PADD and a Mark II phaser. He examined at the PADD. It worked, so he shoved it into his pocket, picked up the phaser, set it to vaporize and tested it on one of the corpses. A smile crept across his face.
“This could come in handy ..."
He walked around the corpses, feeling quite glad that he wasn't here at the time of the massacre.
He began to return to the beam up point, when his foot kicked a tricorder. He picked it up, surprised that it still worked, but was even more surprised at the reading on it. According to the device, there was someone alive on the ship. Someone other than himself.
* * *
He approached the science lab. The life signs were strongest here, nevertheless, they were still pretty weak. He readied the phaser in his hand, preparing to shoot.
The door whooshed open. He ducked his head around.
Sparks flew from cables and broken machinery, all over the floor. The place was an absolute mess, but he could see no one. He looked at the tricorder reading again. The life signs were weakening, but he followed them to the source. He walked around a battered computer console and saw a scarred woman, not older than twenty-five. He looked at her, then did a double take. She was still breathing, still alive, but barely.
He thought for a moment. Should he help her? She was in bad shape, bruised and bleeding. Both her arms and legs were broken. She had multiple internal injuries. She wouldn't survive for much longer - and she was in pain, but too weak to show it. He could see that. He wondered - could he save her? Maybe it would be kinder to kill her. He had medical supplies and equipment aboard his ship, but what was in it for him? He turned to leave, but forced himself back around. There was something inside him - something that wanted to help her. But he didn't have the foggiest idea what it was.
“She needs my help now, by the time Federation ships arrive, it’ll be too late and I best not be here when they come."
He took the rest of the debris off her and gently lifted her up.
He transported back aboard the Lorean and laid the unconscious woman down on a bed in his Sick Bay
“Take us out of here, before we get detected, “ he said to his computer, who ran the ship. “Warp nine."
Then he gave his sole attention to the unconscious woman.
When he was sure he was at a safe distance, He gave his attention to the unconscious woman.
* * *
He had spent hours with her, trying to restore her to health.
He had repaired her broken arms and legs and was now working on the more delicate internal injuries. It was very fiddly work and required full concentration. Lore had rectified most of the more severe injuries. If the woman regained consciousness, it would be a few days before she fully recovered. Her head injury wasn't as bad as it looked. She had been knocked unconscious by a heavy object, but that's all. Lore repaired the wound.
“It'll be a few hours before she regains consciousness," he said to himself. “I could use the hypo, but I'd rather wait. I don't want to rush it."
And so, he waited.
Lore felt angry and helpless - and then a shiver ran up his back. As if he'd experienced this once before. A feeling of Deja vu.
What went wrong? He did everything to try to save her and he couldn't. Maybe her injuries were too severe. Maybe he didn't do enough ...
Lore did a double take and looked down. The woman's eyelids began to flutter.
Persephone ... was beginning to see light hear voices. Was she dead or otherwise? Either way, she was terrified. Her vision was slowly returning. She could make out one figure, but it was a blur. The last thing she remembered was cleaning up after a small experiment she was performing. And now she was here. Where was here? Persephone's vision cleared. She saw someone that looked human, but no. He had gold skin and yellow eyes. Definitely not human. Persephone was frightened. What was this strange man going to do to her? Was this heaven or the other place?
She still felt weak, but she managed to muster up a few words.
“Where...where am I? ...Am I dead? Who are you?"
“No," he said. “You're Not dead, well, not yet. You're on a the Lorean and I'm Lore."
Persephone took this in. “You don't look exactly ... human."
“No, I'm and android."
Persephone became frightened. An android ... she thought A machine ... But it seems so alive ... Does it - he want to hurt me? ...
“What do you want with me?"
Lore could detect fear in her voice. “Don't be frightened," he clamed, “I'm not going to hurt you, but you could start by telling me your name."
Persephone relaxed. “Persephone “ she said. “Persephone ...."
Lore nodded. “Thank you, Persephone. We ... we encountered the remains of your vessel and went to ... investigate, and we found you, unconscious under a heap of junk. I brought you back here and -"
“You saved my life."
“Well ... uh ... yes..."
The last thing Lore wanted was to get mushy.
“Thank you, Lore. Uh ... I don't want to impose," the guest said, but have you got anything to eat? I'm starving."
Lore smiled. “Uh ... well, I don't exactly know what's been programmed into the replicator. Since I'm an android, I've never used it to replicate food before."
Persephone smiled. “That's okay...I'll get something."
She climbed off the ledge and took a step forward, then staggered and almost fell. Lore caught her and straightened her up. “Hey, take it easy."
“I'm ... I'm still a little weak."
“You should be all right in a few days" Lore assured. “You need to rest."
“I need to eat first" she said, smiling.
She slowly approached the replicator and asked it what it was programmed to conjure up.
“This unit has been programmed with over 40 million dishes from different races."
“Double chocolate mousse."
The dish materialized and Persephone had finished it in no time. She put the bowl back into the slot and said, “disperse."
“You have a healthy appetite" smiled Lore.
There was something about chocolate mousse that reminded him of something, but he couldn't quite put his finger on it.
“I've never met an android before" Persephone said, “I know there's one in StarFleet, but I've never seen him."
Lore scowled. “Oh yes ... that's Data, my goodie two shoes little brother."
“You don't seem very fond of him. Why?"
Lore hesitated. In a way he wanted to tell her. He'd been wanting to let it out for a long time, but he thought better of it. He didn't want to lose control, not after what happened last time - on Omicron Theta. “...Let's just say it's ... family business."
Persephone nodded. “Sorry" she said, rather apologetically.
“It's all right."
Persephone was extremely grateful to Lore.
“Thanks" she said. “Thanks for everything, Lore."
the android smiled. “It's my pleasure."
Lore started to lead Persephone into his quarters.
“Computer," he ordered. “Replicate a large bed on the far side of the wall."
After a few seconds the bed began to materialize, covers, pillows and all.
Lore gestured. “It's all yours."
Persephone sat on the bed.
“Comfortable enough? Would you prefer-"
Persephone shook her head. “I've been to hell 'n' back. This is luxury after what I've been through."
She buried herself under the covers.
Lore smiled. “Just use the com-panel of you need anything. I'll be on the bridge."
Persephone nodded. She put her head down on the pillow, closed her eyes and was fast asleep in no time. Lore took a look at her, then exited his quarters, wondering what to do with the woman. What uses would she have? What if she had none? Should he keep her? Would she want to stay? What if she didn't? What if she did? Questions which could only be answered in time.
Lore looked back at the door to his quarters. There was something about her - Something familiar. Something that reminded Lore of a woman he once saw on Omicron Theta.
As Lore was walking toward the bridge, he felt something. Something strange. It seemed almost foreign. He frowned and checked his systems. All were fully functional. He continued on his way. There it was - again. That feeling. Lore was frustrated. What was it? It started when he walked away from his room, after he put Persephone to bed. No - it started when he first saw her. Lore looked back at his quarters.
Do I? Could it be?
Lore knew the only one who knew the answer to that was himself - and he hadn't gone deep enough into his emotions to find out.
He didn't know if he wanted to.
He was afraid.
A MONTH LATER
ALTHOUGH HE HAD MEDICAL SUPPLIES ABOARD THE LOREAN, there was no way he could treat Persephone's injuries. He did it the first time, but now a console had blown apart right in front of her. She had internal and external bleeding and her internal organs were badly damaged. He had to take her to a Starbase.
“Computer, engage engines and set course for Starbase 515. Maximum Warp."
He had chosen that particular Starbase as it had been well renowned as the best medical facility in the Federation.
* * *
“Sir, an unknown vessel has just entered orbit and is requesting permission to beam down."
“Open channel to the vessel."
“This is Commandant Stone of Starbase 515. Request the reason for your..."
A hooded alien appeared on the screen, his face totally hidden by the hood.
“I am Erol of the Averites. I have one of your species aboard my ship. She is badly injured and is in need of urgent medical attention."
Stone nodded. “I'll give you permission to transport to Sickbay. I'll want a full explanation there. Stone out."
The hooded alien materialized, holding the woman in his arms. Stone stood there. Erol gently placed her on a biobed. She was unconscious, but he knew she was alive and he hoped she stayed that way.
“May I take your cloak?" he asked.
“No. My natural appearance is considered too dazzling for your eyes."
Stone nodded. “If you don't mind, I'd like to ask you a few questions."
Erol nodded. He saw the doctors rush in and examine Persephone.
“It's bad, but nothing we can't handle."
Erol felt a rush of relief pass through him.
“Come with me, please." Stone said.
The cloaked one followed the Commodore out of the Starbase's sickbay, giving one last worried glance toward the woman.
Erol stood with Stone in the Commodore's office.
“I need to get some details from you," he said.
The cloaked one nodded, his nervousness his well under the hood.
The Commodore proceeded to inquire where the woman was found, and why he had brought her here.
“I found her on a derelict Federation vessel, as to why I brought her here, I'm just a good Samaritan, I guess."
Stone smiled. “There's no question about that. I'll contact the Federation authorities, perhaps they'll be able to tell us who she is."
“I tried to call that information upon the ship's computer but the whole ship was dead, and," Erol said, anticipating the commodore's next question, “there were no other survivors."
The human's optimistic look faded. “Well, I guess there wouldn't be any survivors if you hadn't..."
Under the hood, there was no way Stone could see Erol's warm, smile, but it was there.
“I will have to return to my ship," he said. “My prayers are with the woman. I hope it's not too late."
With a goodbye, Erol turned and was escorted back to his ship.
Once aboard, he plotted a course away from the Starbase.
I can't stay here ... I must leave now, but I have to return before Federation ships get here. I hope Persephone will be in good health before they arrive. I can't let them take her ...
* * *
The senior officers of the Enterprise had gathered in the observation lounge.
Admiral Llewellyn was on screen.
“The USS Sydney was sent to investigate what happened to the Enigma in the Aurorian sector. They have recently returned with their report. It has been confirmed that an unknown vessel was in the vicinity of the Enigma. Positronic activity was also detected around the ship. We have confirmed that you, Data were on the Enterprise at the time, so the only other explanation is ..."
“Lore..." Picard said.
“Correct," Llewellyn agreed. “It is my theory that Lore destroyed the Enigma."
Beverly Crusher spoke up. “If he destroyed the vessel, why did beam onto it?"
“It seems strange, Doctor, I know," said the Admiral. “But it's the only plausible theory. Starfleet is not accusing anyone at the moment, until we conduct an extensive search in the sector where the Enigma was destroyed. Until then, Lore remains the prime suspect. We have all outposts and starships on the lookout for his vessel."
“Admiral, when he escaped, he stole a StarFleet shuttle."
“The weapons used on the Enigma were definitely not Starfleet. He must have gotten control of another vessel."
Picard nodded. “Acknowledged, Admiral," said Picard. “We'll keep you posted if we find anything."
Llewellyn nodded. “Good. Llewellyn out."
The screen went blank. Picard looked at Data.
“Well, Data, it seems as though your brother's at it again."
Data inclined his head ever so slightly. “You believe Lore is responsible."
“You heard the Admiral, Data," said Riker. “Lore was there. I know you're not programmed to kill, but Lore ... He killed everyone on the Omicron Theta colony and would've killed everyone here if you hadn't stopped him and the incident with the Borg..."
“I am well aware of that, Commander. I am neither confirming or denying Lore was responsible, but as Doctor Crusher said, why would he destroy the vessel, then beam onto it? It makes no sense."
Picard nodded. “Agreed. We're en route to the Aurorian sector now. We'll try to solve the mystery there."
Data nodded. “The game is afoot, sir."
Picard smiled. “Indeed. Dismissed."
Everyone began to file out of the Observation lounge.
“Data..." Picard said after all the others had gone.
Data turned around.
“You seem somewhat ... distracted."
Data paused for a moment.
“After my last encounter with Lore, I hoped that he would be ... different, sir, but if it is true, that he did destroy the Enigma ..."
“I understand how you feel, Data, but sometimes no matter how hard we try, some things never change."
Data gave a nod, then exited the Observation Lounge.
If Picard didn't know better, he'd suspect the android was upset.
* * *
Picard walked onto the Bridge. No sooner had he sat down...
“Sir..." Worf's voice came from Tactical. “There's an incoming message from Federation Headquarters."
Picard's eyebrows went up. “Put it through," he said instantly.
An older face appeared on the screen. One which Picard recognized instantly.
The face on the screen smiled.
“It's a pleasure to see you again, Captain Picard."
“The feeling is mutual."
Seeing Connaught Rossa again, reminded the captain of her grandson Jono. He had often wondered how she felt about leaving him with the Talarians. She must have come to terms with it somehow, after all the boy had grown up with them, and it seemed wrong to take him away from the only life that he'd ever known. But today, the captain knew the admiral was not making a social call.
“Captain," she began again, “a few days ago, the Federation was informed of a survivor from the Enigma."
“A survivor?" Picard's voice rose with surprise.
The admiral nodded. “Apparently, she was found by an alien on the ship and brought to Starbase 515."
“Admiral, we have already conformed that Lore was aboard the..."
Connaught nodded. “Yes, I know about that. Of course, we have not yet proved he was responsible for the destruction of the Enigma, but we will." There was a pause in her voice. “We know very little about this alien. We were informed that he wore a hooded cloak, which he refused to remove, because his appearance would be too dazzling for human eyes. He's from a race called the Averites and he told the Starbase 515 personnel that his name was Erol. From a character analysis, all they gathered was that he was that of good Samaritan. The person this Erol brought to Starbase 515, is Persephone .... Erol informed them that he found he in the science room. Your top priority is to retrieve her from the Starbase. They inform us that she's responding well to treatment. She is a vital piece in this puzzle, Captain. With any luck, she'll be able to help us find the final piece."
Picard nodded. “Agreed."
Connaught nodded, just before she signed out she said one last thing, “ and, Captain, if you hear from Jono, let me know."
Picard smiled. “You know I will."
A few moments after Connaught's image had been replaced by the starfield, Picard addressed the helmsman.
“Set course for Starbase 515, warp eight."
Picard sat back in his chair. Starbase 515 did not bring pleasant memories back to the Captain. He'd gone there for a cardiac replacement, for his artificial heart, but something had gone wrong with the operation and almost cost the captain his life. He had been saved, by the expertise of Dr. Catherine Pulaski, who was no longer serving aboard the Enterprise. Picard missed his fiery talks with her, but none the less, grateful to have Dr. Crusher on the team again. It was the humiliation of the entire crew learning of his predicament. Well, the captain hoped they'd forgotten about that now.
“Mr. Data," he said, “I have an assignment for you."
The second officer swivelled his chair around to face the Captain.
“I want you to access the ship's computer to find everything you can about the crew of the Enigma, in particular, Ms. ...."
The android gave a small smile. “I thought you would never ask, sir."
* * *
Data sat at the aft station, trying in information request after request. Picard walked up the ramp and joined him.
“What've you got, Data?"
“So far, sir, I have been working with the computer for a little over two hours. I have been able to obtain bio-files on the Enigma's crew."
Data typed in a name, and a picture appeared on the screen.
“This is Swedish-born Yolanda Johnson, Captain of the Enigma for over three years. Pervious assignment, the..."
“Data, I appreciate your thoroughness, but a history lesson is not called for here."
“I apologize, sir."
“Quite all right."
Data gave his captain a brief profile on the Enigma's bridge crew.
“As far as I have been able to ascertain, Ms. Persephone ...
was not part of the Enigma's crew. She was a passenger."
“A passenger?" Picard repeated.
“Yes, sir. The Enigma is a science vessel. It lists in Ms. ...'s file that general science is one of her hobbies."
“That would explain why she was in the science room. What else have you got on her?"
“She is a counsellor by profession, but unlike Counsellor Troi, Persephone ... counsels the mentally insane, murderers and people with intense problems and disorders."
Picard nodded. “Well be arriving at Starbase 515 within the hour. Perhaps she can shed some more light onto the subject."
Data gave a nod, then turned back toward the computer console.
“Data," Picard started.
The android turned his head in Picard's direction.
“Thank you for being so thorough."
Data gave a small smile. “It is my pleasure, sir."
* * *
Persephone materialized on the transporter platform of the Enterprise. She looked around and saw some people had some to greet her.
He said he'd come back ... she thought to herself. He promised he would. Maybe something happened. I wish I knew where he was...
“It's all right ..."
Persephone jumped at the voice. She looked around and saw a woman with dark, wavy brown hair and dark eyes.
“I'm Deanna Troi, ship's counsellor."
Persephone smiled. She too was a counsellor, but no one had counselled her for this.
“It's natural to feel this way after a traumatic experience," Deanna said, her voice gentle. “I'll take you to your quarters."
She knew Deanna Troi was half Betazoid, empathic, for the simple reason that mostly everyone in the Federation knew about the bridge crew of the Enterprise. Persephone was grateful, however, that Deanna could not probe her exact thoughts. Her thoughts were with him. The one who had saved her. She was worried about him. She knew he would not break his promise. The Enterprise must've arrived before he did, she reasoned, otherwise he would have come for her. She worried about him? What if he did come after her? What would happen to him if he was caught? What would happen to her? She prayed everything would work out.
After a well-deserved rest, Persephone found herself sitting in a chair in the captain's Ready Room with the Captain Picard and Deanna Troi. With their eyes all upon her, she felt uncomfortable.
“Don't be afraid," soothed Deanna, “we'd just like to ask you a few questions. This is a mystery to all of us. Hopefully you'll be able to help us."
“Do you know anything about the attack on your ship?" Picard asked.
"I was in the science lab. Lieutenant Davis was showing me around. I find science fascinating. To be honest, I'm not all that good at it," she smiled, “but I like it. The next thing I know, the ship's rocking like mad. We tried to get out of the lab, but the door wasn't functioning. A console exploded, killing Davies, and then ..." She paused. “I tried to contact the bridge, but I couldn't get through. Internal communications must've been out, and then there was an explosion in front of me. That's the last thing I remember..."
“Do you remember anything about the alien who brought you to Starbase 515?"
“I'm very grateful to him," she said. “He saved my life. The people at the Starbase told me his name was Erol."
“Thank you, Ms. ...."
She smiled. Picard tapped his combadge.
“Data, escort Persephone to her quarters."
“Yes, captain," came Data's voice.
The doors to the ready room parted to reveal Data. Persephone stood, and Data waited for her. He gently took her arm and lead her away. She smiled at him, warmly.
She wanted to talk to Deanna as a fellow counsellor, but what she had to say would go straight to the Captain and Persephone could not allow that. She also wanted to talk to Data - needed to talk to Data, but he'd also tell the captain, even if she asked him not to. No. She would wait. There would come a time when they would know. Persephone only hoped that time came before it was too late.
Deanna turned to the captain.
“She's hiding something... I can't be certain what it is, but there's something she's not telling us."
“She's been through a hell of a lot in the past few weeks," Picard said. “No doubt she hasn't got over her experience aboard the Enigma. I don't think she'll come to terms with that for a while. She seems all right on the outside, but I think she's hiding her true feelings from herself, and if she's hiding it from herself, there's no doubt she's hiding it from us."
Deanna nodded. “Perhaps that's all it is," but there was uncertainty in her voice.
LORE PACED AROUND HIS SHIP, trying to think of a way to get inside the Enterprise to get Persephone. The Lorean w as practically nose to nose with the other ship. The Enterprise was unaware of the Lorean's presence, so she was neither shielded nor armed.
“Dammit!" he cursed. “If only I could transport through this blasted cloaking shield to a secure area of their ship..."
He slammed his fist into a console, breaking it.
Lore took a breath, trying to calm down.
“Maybe there's some way I can alter my transporter..."
Lore pushed up his sleeve, his wrist compartment and took out a circuit and spoke to himself.
“This is connected to the transporter button under my thumbnail. If I can interconnect it with our ship's transporter, it just might work..."
* * *
Lore made the last adjustment. “There, that should do it. There's no time for a test ... I don't like the idea of being a guinea pig, but I've got to get Persephone. I'm going to transport into the computer core of the Enterprise. If I don't make it, Computer, it's being nice knowing you."
Before he left, Lore grabbed some work tools, which he had taken from Dr. Soong's lab and stuffed them into a pocket in his outfit.
The android pushed the button and began to dematerialize.
* * *
Lore rematerialized. He looked at his surroundings and a large smile crept across his face.
* * *
Worf checked the console again.
“Captain," he said, not taking his eye off it for a second, “detecting an unusual interference in the ship's computer core."
Picard's brow furrowed. “In the computer core? Are you sure? Check again, Lieutenant."
“I've checked four times, sir."
Picard turned to Ops.
“I am detecting an abnormality too, sir."
“Data, I'd like you to -"
Data turned around in his chair and stood.
“I anticipate your order, Captain." Data proceeded up the ramp to turbolift one, entered it and the doors hissed shut.
* * *
Data cautiously entered the computer core. The lights were dim.
“Computer, secure area," he said.
Lore spoke with the voice of the computer. “Area's secure, Brother dear..."
Data spun around, but could see nothing.
“Lights," he said.
“Whatever you want."
The room filled with intense light and Data covered his eyes. He back stepped into a door, which stayed closed. The light blotted out his view for a moment, then resumed to normal illumination, to reveal Lore not six meters away from Data, phaser in hand. Data dropped his hand to look at Lore.
“How did you get in here? This is the most secure area of the ship."
Lore tapped his head. “You forget, I have the layout and functions of this ship stored in my memory - and I've perfected my transporter. You can't stop me, dear Brother... I'm going to get what I came for, then piddle off back to my ship before anyone knows what's happened."
“Not if I have anything to do about it, Lore."
“Hah! ... And just what do you think you're going to 'do about it', my dear sweet little Brother?"
“You will be charged over your twice collaboration with the Crystal Entity, and the deaths with the Borg."
“No one on this ship was killed ... And I was unstable. The Crystal Entity killed those people, and I can't be blamed for the deaths with the Borg. They killed them, not me. Anyway, you see, I have to be caught first. Unlike you, I don't passively watch everything I dream about go to pieces around me. I act. You yack. Talk is all you're good for."
Lore looked around. Data took the opportunity and lunged at him. Lore threw him into the wall. Data fell to the floor. Lore walked towards him, aiming the phaser at Data, smiling. Data looked up at Lore and started to stand. He got to one knee, with a helpless look on his face. Lore's smile grew wider. Data reached out, snatched the phaser and poked the business and in Lore's face. Lore lost the smile and got wide eyed as Data stood, facing him looking murderous. Lore looked down at the weapon and made a grab for it, but Data pushed him away with his free hand.
“Now it is your turn ... to be on the receiving end."
Lore smiled. “Getting more and more like me, aren't you, Brother dear..."
Data aimed the weapon at Lore's lap and Lore instantly lost his smile.
“This is where I will start ... and slowly vaporize you centimeter my centimeter ... repayment for every person you killed."
“I told you ... I didn't kill them ..."
“Shut up, Lore."
Lore scrambled back. “And they call me insane..."
Lore rolled out of the way and got to his feet while Data realigned the weapon.
“I never miss. Consider that a warning. Now you will tell me what you are doing here and do not lie to me, because if you do, I fire again and I will not miss what I choose to aim for."
Lore was silent.
I can't tell him. He won't believe me ...
Data dropped the aim of the weapon, and fired, Lore jumped back, minus the toe of his left boot. Data re aimed the weapon.
“I am in no mood for your games, Lore. Tell me what I want to know."
He pointed the weapon at Lore's head. Lore swallowed and backed up against the computer.
“Say goodbye, Lore..."
Lore gestured frantically with his back flat against the wall.
“All right! ... All right ... I'll tell you ..."
Lore hesitated for a moment. Data looked at him.
“Keep talking. You might say something I want to hear before I finish."
“The woman..." Lore began.
“The woman you picked up from Starbase 515 ..."
Data's brow furrowed. “Persephone?"
Data eyed his brother. “What has she got to do with you?"
Lore hesitated. “She's ... She's ... She was the only survivor of that ship. I found her when..."
“So, you admit you were there."
“What were you doing there?"
“I was seeing what I could salvage on the ship, but there was nothing. The thing was kaput. Then I saw her."
“What did you do to her?" asked Data, accusingly. “She sustained considerable injuries."
Lore kept his anger under tight lip. “I did nothing to her, Data. She was barely alive when I found her. I didn't hurt her. Is that what you're accusing me of?"
“The Federation is investigating the destruction of the Enigma. It is a known fact that an unknown vessel was in the vicinity, and when an away team beamed aboard, traces of positronic activity, other than my own were detected, confirming your presence. You still have not answered my question. What do you want with Persephone?"
“I saved her life, if you must know. I have no intention of harming her. She's a scientist. I thought she might be useful. I repaired her injuries, but they started to get worse, too severe for me to handle, so I disguised myself and took her to the Starbase."
Data inclined his head a tad. “Starbase 515 personnel informed us that a strange, alien, named Erol, wearing a hooded cloak brought her to ... Erol ... Lore ..."
Lore smiled and flicked his fingers. “Bingo, Brother dear."
The two androids suddenly dematerialized.
* * *
Worf and two guards were standing before a cell, phasers in hand. Data backed away from Lore, until he was out of the cell. Worf activated the forcefield and holstered his phaser. Lore touched the forcefield and jerked his hand back. He then moved back to sit on the bunk and glared at everyone through the forcefield. Data turned to Worf.
“What took you so long, Lieutenant? Someone firing a phaser set on..." Data looked at the phaser and raised an eyebrow, then continued, “ten, in the central computer core should have signalled a red alert."
“Forgive me, Commander, but you are forgetting that it is shielded against transporter activity. We had to drop those shields first."
Data turned to Lore. “I got the impression you had already taken that step."
“As I said, Brother dear, I perfected my transporter..."
Data turned back to Lieutenant Worf and handed him the phaser. Worf left with the security guards. Data was left alone with Lore.
“It is your own fault, Lore. You brought this upon yourself. You should not have returned to the Enterprise. You asked for this."
Lore glared at Data. “I always seem to get what I don't ask for."
“Do not expect any sympathy from me, Lore."
Lore glared at Data, bitterly. “I didn't ask for your pathetic sympathy Data. Come to think of it, I never asked for a brother either."
Data locked eyes with Lore.
“Neither did I."
After what seemed like an eternity, Data spun on his heel and departed, leaving Lore alone in the brig.
* * *
Lore sat on the bunk, hands on cheeks, thinking. The guard stopped to look at him. Lore noticed him.
“What are you lookin' at?" he snapped.
The guard paid no attention to Lore and continued to patrol the brig.
Lore folded his arms and thought.
How am I going to get out of here? They're not going to release me and I need to get Persephone. But how? And the blasted Federation want to disassemble me. They're not going to let me go just like that ... It's not fair. They wouldn't disassemble a human would they, even if they had done what I did? Oh no - They want me for scientific research. Bastards. How would they like it? Would they ever do that to a human? No! I can't let that happen! I've got to get out of here!
* * *
“So, you say Lore admits he was in the vicinity of the Enigma."
“That is correct, Captain, but he denies having anything to do with its destruction."
Picard nodded. “That goes without saying." He walked to the replicator. “Tea Earl Gray Hot, two."
The two teas materialized. The captain took them and handed one to Data. Data frowned, puzzled, but had grown accustomed to the captain's ways and Earl Gray tea seemed to be a traditional drink. Not wishing to offend his Captain, Data took the cup and politely began to sip the tea.
After his first sip, Captain Picard looked at his Second Officer and set his cup down. He began to sit.
“Commander, do you mind if I ask you a question of a personal nature?"
“Of course not, Captain. You may ask me anything you wish."
Picard gestured. “Sit down, Data."
The android placed his cup on the table and sat.
“Do you believe Lore was responsible for the destruction of the Enigma?"
“Lore told me that he was there, and the evidence shows..."
“I know what the evidence shows, Data, but I want to know what you believe."
“I find it an unlikely hypothesis that Lore would have destroyed the Enigma, sir. He is already a fugitive. Wanted by the Federation for the deaths on Omicron Theta and with the Borg. There were ninety-five people on the Enigma. If Lore killed them, he would be putting himself at a greater risk of being caught and there would be a greater warrant for his arrest. Why would he do that?"
Picard had no answer.
Data continued. “Lore also mentioned Persephone. He claims he rescued her from the Enigma and took her to Starbase 515, as her injuries were too severe for him to treat."
Picard raised an eyebrow in surprise. “He saved her life?"
“So he says."
“Starbase 515 personnel informed us that she was brought there by an alien called-"
“Erol, sir. You will find that is Lore's name spelt backwards."
Picard smiled and nodded. He took another sip of his tea.
“But what does he want with her?"
“Lieutenant Persephone, no surname was the Chief Engineer of the Enigma. Lore told me she might be useful to him."
“But what would he want with Persephone when his intelligence and is superior in every way, so to speak."
“It puzzles me too, sir."
“And, Data, we know from experience that Lore cannot be trusted. Everything he says could be lies."
Data nodded. “I have taken that into account too, sir. Lore made it sound as if he cares for Persephone. I find that unlikely."
“Data, I want you to go to Lore and try to get as much information out of him as you can. We need to get to the bottom of this."
Data stood and turned to leave.
The android turned around. “Yes, sir?"
“Finish your tea."
Data picked up the cup and drank the remaining contents. He then turned to leave Picard's Ready Room.
* * *
Lore paced around the cell. He stopped suddenly.
I've got it! ... I think.
He reached into his pocket and felt the tools. A smile spread across his face.
A few moments later, Data entered the brig. Lore looked over at him and put on his best poker face.
Data turned to the guard.
“You are temporarily relieved, Lieutenant Dyon. I need to speak to the prisoner alone."
The prisoner! Oh puh-leeease!
“Aye, Commander." Lieutenant Dyon exited the brig.
Lore watched him go, keeping the poker face. Double the luck! Now I can take out Data, without worrying about the guard! Data walked toward Lore. “I am here to ask you about Persephone."
“Figures. What about her?"
“You tell me."
“What do you want to know?"
“Do not play games with me, Lore. You know exactly what I want to know."
“I've already told you why I want her."
“I find it hard to believe you need a human scientist. You are fully capable of performing her duties better than she does."
“Maybe I just wanted some company. It's lonely in a starship, all by myself with only a computer for company. I'm tired of being alone."
“I do not believe you care for her, Lore."
“Suit yourself. You want the truth. I gave it to you. You don't want to believe it, that's your problem."
Data took a step closer to the cell and Lore took a step closer to the forcefield.
“Data," he said, in a serious sounding tone, “there is something I must tell Captain Picard."
Data locked eyes with his brother and said in an equally serious tone, “you will tell me and I will tell the Captain."
Lore took a step closer and was on the borderline where the forcefield should have been.
“Data, I must tell him."
Data took a step closer to Lore. “No, Lore, you will -"
Lore's hands flew from behind his back, one with the tool and the other reaching out to grab Data. Lore flicked the tiny switch on the tool and fired it at the forcefield. There was a momentary shimmer as the otherwise transparent forcefield was deactivated.
Lore grabbed Data's throat, startling him, giving him no time to react. Data tried to fight back, but Lore harshly dug his fingers into Data's back. Data slumped to the floor. Lore looked down at him and smiled.
Data hadn't taken any action when he saw Lore's hand coming for him, as he thought his brother would be rebounded off the forcefield. He did not pay full attention to what Lore was doing with his other hand.
“Hah! ... Works every time."
Lore quickly stripped off his clothing and changed into Data's uniform. Lore rendered the tools inoperative, then turned Data back on, stepped out of the brig and activated the forcefield, before Data had a chance to react.
Data glared at Lore. “You really are a pain in the backside, Lore."
Lore smiled. “That's what brothers are for ..."
“You will not get away with this."
“But I am, Brother dear. As I said before. I act. You yack."
Lore turned to leave.
“Wait ..." called Data.
Lore turned around. “What?" His voice was slightly irritated.
“What did you have to tell the Captain?"
Lore detected concern in Data's voice. Concern for his Captain - friend perhaps? He smiled and walked toward Data.
“You can tell Captain Pick a Card that he's a stodgy old fool."
With that, Lore spun on his heel and exited the brig, leaving Data in his place.
“Lieutenant Dyon, you may resume your duties."
“Yes, Commander Data."
Lore proceeded to the nearest turbolift as the young Lieutenant entered the brig.
Data was standing in the brig, concerned for his fellow crew mates. What was Lore going to do to them and with Persephone ...? He was helpless to stop him.
Lieutenant Dyon entered the brig. Data's face seemed to light up.
“Lieutenant..." he said. “In your absence, Lore took my place. He managed to lower the forcefield and ..."
Dyon turned to Data. “I was warned you'd try this, Lore. Believe me. It won't work. You may look like Data, but you're sure not him."
“But I am Data. Please listen to me. The Enterprise is in danger, Lore is -"
Data realized the Lieutenant was ignoring him.
I have to get out of here to warn the others, but how can I? What does Lore intend to do? I can only hope they discover him before it is too late...
BRISKLY LORE WALKED DOWN THE CORRIDOR, but not so as to attract attention to himself. He was supposed to be Data.
I have to get to Data's quarters to find out where Persephone was. It'd look too suspicious if I just used the com panel on the wall.
He into a turbolift. “Deck two."
Ah here we are. Quarters no 3653. Lore walked inside and the cat greeted him.
“Hello, Spot, remember me?"
The cat looked up and hissed.
She can I'm not Data. Funny how animals can sense things better than humans. Well it's a good thing the cat doesn't know how to alert security.
Spot backed away from Lore, growling.
“Hey ... I might not be your beloved master, but I'm not going to hurt you. Come here."
Lore walked closer to the cat and picked her up by the scruff of the neck, then scratched he stomach. Spot was a very furry, fluffy cat and quite soft. But she still spat and hissed at Lore.
Lore put her down and walked to the replicator.
“Let's see ... What did Selena used to like? Ahh yes ... Fresh salmon."
Selena was a fluffy white cat on the colony. No one exactly owned her. Perhaps she just came alone for the ride.
The fish appeared. Lore placed it down in front Spot. At first, she stuck her nose up, indignantly, then began sniffing. Sure enough, Spot was drawn to the fish and was gobbling it up in no time flat. Lore gave her a few strokes and Spot purred. Of course, now, the cat loved Lore.
Lore sat by the computer, but Spot wouldn't go away. She leapt onto Lore's lap, then onto the computer, sticking her fluffy tail in Lore's face.
“Go on ... go away ..."
Lore put the cat down, but time and time again, she just jumped right back up. Lore couldn't help but laugh.
Does Data have to put up with this all day long?
“Look ... If you don't stop bothering me, I might just find out if there's enough room to swing a cat in this room."
Spot looked at Lore with those big green eyes and meowed. Lore smiled put her atop the computer monitor, where she seemed contented. She closed his eyes and began to sleep.
Good. As long as she doesn't snore. A thing that puzzles me is where does Data keep the kitty litter around here?
Enough of this. I gotta get down to business.
“Computer, display all my personal logs at maximum speed.
The text began to fly up the screen.
Lore looked at the screen and snickered.
“Awwww, so you felt left out at the Academy. “ Lore gestures, melodramatically. “My heart bleeds for you, Brother dear," then Lore snarled and glared at screen. “How do you think I felt on the damn colony?"
* * *
A while later, Lore still sat at Data's computer, watching the logs go by.
Second Officer's Personal Log, Stardate 41214.25
The Enterprise has been exposed to a deadly contaminant, which destroyed the entire crew of the SS Tsiolkovsky. The virus acts on the brain like alcohol, but to a much greater degree, a kind of intoxication.
Captain Picard ordered me to escort Security Chief Lieutenant Natasha Yar, whom had been under the influence of the contaminant, brought over from the Tsiolkovsky, to sickbay.
Upon arriving at her quarters, I observed Tasha was wearing a very expository garment. When I advised her to put on her uniform she said she got out of her uniform for me. I was confused at this.
Before I could ask her, Tasha began to tell me about the time she was abandoned on her homeworld, New Paris and her terrible, brutal childhood, before she was found by StarFleet at the age of fifteen. She then led me into her bedroom, and ...
“Damn cat, get your tail off the screen..."
Lore pushed Spot's tail away. His eyes widened in surprise and he smirked.
“Why Brother dear...I never knew you had it in you... Tasha eh...I remember that pretty security chief."
A few moments passed. “Armus, huh? Alas, poor Tasha ... He knew her well..."
Lore laughed, then saw how empty Data said he had felt when Tasha died. He thought back. He had felt the same way when his friend, Elanore died, back on the colony.
He resumed studying the screen.
Second Officer's Personal Log, Stardate 41252.4
Recently, the Enterprise visited Omicron Theta, my home planet, where we made a remarkable discovery. While we were exploring the colonists’ lab, we found another complete set of android parts. I had never dreamed it was possible that I would find another of my kind. I needed to assemble him. To use a human expression, 'I could not wait.'
We assembled him on the Enterprise. He said his name was Lore.
It puzzled me why he saw fit to lie. He seems quite insecure. He also underestimates humans. I wanted to teach him everything I knew, to help him. He was my brother. Unlike me, Lore possesses emotions. I find it intriguing that he is so different.
But he puzzles me. He wants to help me become more human, but I am dubious. I want to be human more than anything, but something 'bugged' me about Lore.
The next time he called me to my quarters, he had a bottle of champagne and had poured a glass for me. He said it was an ancient custom practiced by humans when they observed events of importance. I was aware of that. I sipped my champagne and started to ask Lore the significance of this custom. Something began to clog up my systems. I recognised the substance as fine grined quadratanium. I stared at my brother. Shocked, but also intrigued. He had drugged the champagne. Intriguing. Unable to fight the poison, I slumped to the floor before collapsing to the floor. Before I lapsed totally into unconsciousness, Lore revealed his collaboration with the Crystalline Entity which killed the Omicron Theta colonists, and now his ploy was to lure it here to kill everyone aboard the Enterprise. I desperately tried to fight the effects of the quadratanium, to could save his friends, but I failed. I was later turned back on by Dr. Crusher.
We located Lore in the cargo bay, contacting the Crystalline Entity. With a struggle, I managed to stop him and with the assistance of Wesley Crusher, beam Lore out into space.
I watched Lore beam out. I was sorry that I did not get to know him better. I am also disappointed that my only brother is evil and so unlike me. Perhaps that was a fault on my part. I expected him to be like me. But I did not expect him to attempt to kill my friends.
I spent the next few hours staring out of the Observation Lounge window. Just staring into space. I have often observed humans doing this when they were lost deep in thought as I am now. I am forced to wonder - was Lore killed? Perhaps he was dispersed, or perhaps the Crystal Entity killed him, or maybe he was left to drift in space. If so, how long would he survive out there? Would someone find him? I was doubtful that I would ever see my brother again. In a certain way I feel at a loss. Even though he was evil, he was still my brother and the only family I had.
Lore looked at the screen, feeling somewhat guilty. “Well ... nobody's perfect ..." he muttered, then continued to read the logs.
A few moments passed. Lore rolled his eyes, looking bored. He was about to turn off the screen, then did a double take.
“What's this ... I have a niece?" Lore was surprised at that and curious. “ Oh ... I had a niece..." Lore was sympathetic at that. “I Wonder if Father knew about her?" Lore smiled to himself. Uncle Lore ... hmmm ... I like the sound of that. Computer, give me an audio of this log entry."
“Second Officer's Personal Log, Stardate 43738.3: I have created an android and named her Lal, which in Hindi means beloved. Lal is my child - my daughter.
I have done a great deal of parental research. Do all parents have this much difficulty with their first child? I was prepared to take the risks and responsibilities of becoming a single parent. As the days progressed, I taught Lal more and more. Sharing her experiences, I feel as though I am learning too. Lal asks many questions. Some I can answer some I cannot, such as 'what it is like to feel?' I have to tell her - I do not know. I decided to send her to school. I feel she will learn by being with humans, but she is having difficulty relating to them, because she is different. I do not know how to help her.
I went to Dr. Crusher for advice. She advised me to tell Lal of the difficulties I had at first. Perhaps that would encourage her.
I took Lal to Ten-Forward, the social centre of the Enterprise. She can learn a lot more about humans here. Guinan will also be able to teach her a great deal.
Later, I came to Ten-Forward and found Commander Riker engaged in a passionate kiss with my daughter. Naturally, as a father, I was concerned. I discovered it was Lal who had kissed him. Also, while we were in Ten-Forward, Lal used a verbal contraction. She said I've instead of I have. I do not understand how this has occurred, as my program has never mastered.
Lal has much to learn about humans and I cannot teach her everything. Emotion is involved and I am incapable of that. She expressed concern about being able to emulate humans but not feeling anything.
“I will never know love ..."
I told her it was a limitation we had to learn to accept. She asked me why I continued to try to become human. That is a question I often ask myself. “It is the struggle itself that is important, Lal." I told her.
“I learned today that humans like to hold hands “ she said. “It is a symbolic gesture of affection. “ Lal then placed her hand on top of mine. I gently closed my fingers around it. I wish I could have felt the emotion.
Captain Picard informed me that Admiral Haftel from StarFleet research wished to relocate Lal. He stated to the admiral that Lal needed to be with me, and he is correct. I cannot give up my child I wonder what the Admiral's reaction would be if he had been ordered to give up his children.
“It is my duty, not StarFleet's," I told him, “to guide her ... to support her as she learns. No one can relieve me from that obligation and I cannot ignore it. I am ... her father ..." I was relieved when Captain Picard told me to delay the order.
“There are times, sir, “ he said, “when men of good conscience cannot blindly follow orders."
A statement that I will always remember.
Counsellor Troi urgently called me to my lab. She told me Lal had experienced fear. I was puzzled, but there was no time to think about it now. Lal had malfunctioned. Her condition was critical and she needed immediate attention. I have to work quickly or she will die. Yet, as hard as I tried, I was unable to save her.
“We must say goodbye now ... “ I said to her.
“ I feel ... “ she said.
“ What do you feel, Lal? “ I asked her.
“ I love you, Father ... “
I hesitated. “I wish I could feel it with you."
“I will feel it for both of us Thank you for my life..." Lal's last word
was "Human ..."
Even though I have transferred her memories to me, it is not the same. I feel empty without her I will miss my daughter. I wish I could have returned her love, but that is impossible. I gave her all I could, but being incapable of loving her makes me feel empty, incomplete. Sadly, I must accept that emotion is one human aspect that may forever be beyond my program."
Lore tried not to look too sympathetic.
“Computer, display visual record of Lal."
A full body picture of Lal appeared. Lore expected her to be taller, but Lal's innocent childlike look caught his attention. That's how he looked at first, back on the colony, but that was a long time ago.
“Continue with logs," he said after a pause.
The next significant log really caught Lore's attention.
Second Officer's Personal Log, Stardate 44097.2
I have just returned from my father's planet, where he passed away in my arms.
I was inadvertently summoned to his planet and was very surprised to find that my father was still alive.
He told me that he believed that having children gave humans a sense of immortality. That is why he created me and Lore. That was when we were both surprised by the unexpected arrival of my brother, Lore. I had often wondered if I would ever see him again. I must admit I doubted it, as the possibilities were too great, but now he stood here, before my eyes.
I implored my father not to reactivate Lore, as I feared for our safety, but he ignored me.
At first Lore was angry at Dr. Soong for disassembling him and me for allowing him to drift endlessly in outer space for two years. I told him I had no choice. He was about to leave, when Dr. Soong revealed the fact that he was dying. Lore turned around, and for the first time, I saw a compassionate side to him.
My father explained to Lore why he had disassembled him. Lore was still upset and angry. I tried to understand him, but it is hard to understand someone's feelings when you have none.
Dr Soong explained that he did not know Lore was alive and that he wished he had now, so that Lore could have been helped.
My father held up a chip designed to give me emotions. I stared at it. Could it be possible? After all this time? I could truly have what I have wanted all my life?
Lore warned me about the emotions. He seemed sincere. He told me what it would be like and perhaps I would become more like him, emotionally. He said perhaps I would understand him and forgive him. Perhaps I would, then he said that he was happy for me. Somehow, I doubt that.
Dr. Soong became tired and he walked to his room to rest.
Lore watched him go, then turned around and smiled. From experience I knew what that smile meant. I kept my distance.
Lore proceeded to ask me what I had been doing and then he asked me to forgive him. Again, he seemed sincere. Foolishly I trusted him again and it cost me the chip. My emotions. I am still puzzled at why Lore stole the chip. Perhaps he thought it would rectify his instability, but he hurt Dr. Soong in the process. Perhaps it was intentional, or perhaps it was a result of the chip. It was not made for his circuitry.
I can feel no emotion, but sometimes, I seem torn apart - between the two. I wish more than anything and that I had human emotions, but I do not. My friends believe and insist that I do, but they are wrong. I am totally emotionless. I have considered talking to them about my dilemma, but even though they are my friends, I feel that sometimes I just want to be alone, to have my own private thoughts that I do not want to share with anyone.
I have learned so many aspects of humans that I was not designed to emulate. Perhaps one day I will go beyond the boundaries of my programming and finally be capable of feeling emotion, but then again, perhaps I never will.
When I was back aboard the Enterprise, we were able to reach Starbase 416 in time to save Willie Potts's life. The child had remained in quarantine due to a seemingly harmless practical joke by his older brother, Jake. However, they were in Sickbay now, playing with toy dinosaurs I had given them as compensation.
“The two boys appear to have reconciled their differences" I observed.
Dr. Beverly Crushed looked at me. “They're brothers, Data. Brothers forgive."
Brothers forgive. I pondered that statement. Does that mean that I should forgive Lore? He is my brother. Can I ever forgive him?
Lore looked at the screen. For someone who didn't have emotions, his brother sure knew how to write touching personal log entries. Another one caught Lore's attention.
Second Officer's Personal Log, Stardate 47185.7
I believe I could describe the following event as one of the hardest things I have ever done - the deactivation and disassembly of my brother, Lore. It was by no means a pleasant task. I did not want to do it, but I saw no other alternative. Lore is a threat to both Starfleet and the Federation - and others. I could not allow him to go on, endangering innocent lives. I am sorry it had to come to this, but there was no other way.
I hope to repair him someday and make him stable, as my father had planned to do.
A team of engineers and scientists disassembled him in my lab. I oversaw the procedure and removed the chip from his body. It had been damaged when I was forced to fire upon him, but none of his other systems were permanently or critically damaged.
Shortly after we had beamed Lore's body to the Enterprise, from the Borg planet, one of the Engineers had asked me: “Do you want Lore destroyed?"
It was a simple question which required a simple answer.
A single word would end Lore's life forever. Another would save it.
I had looked at my brother's body lying on the workbench, deactivated and helpless. It was up to me to decide his fate. I thought about the things Lore had done - He had lied to me, abused me. Controlled me - suppressed my will and used me to hurt my friends. Yes. I wanted him to die. I opened my mouth to utter the word yes, then closed it. Lore is the only other one of my kind. If I allowed him to be destroyed, something - someone unique will be lost forever, and there is still much about him which remains a mystery to me. A mystery which would forever remain unsolved if he were killed. And my father, Dr. Soong ... He cared for Lore as much as he cared for me. We were both his sons. Both his beloved children. He would be ashamed of me if I let Lore die. I did not want that.
But Lore had caused so many deaths. Does he deserve to die for that? He was unstable and he did not directly kill the people, but he was the cause. I could easily utter the word and have him killed. Killing seemed easy for Lore... but not so for me. I am not Lore.
“No," I said to the Engineer. “I would like to have him disassembled, in the hope that someday he can be repaired."
As I watched them disassemble Lore, I thought back on the Lore's final words: “I love you ... Brother ..."
I have no way of knowing how truthful or sincere he was being. But I am forced to wonder, If I had emotions - true emotions, would I love him back?
Lore stared at the last words of that log for a long time and wondered too. Viciously he wiped away an escaping tear. I can't say I'd blame him if he didn't.
Okay, I've been gone through all my brother's logs, personal and non-personal in the last few hours. Some were quite interesting, and some were ... well, just plain boring.
Lore began typing information and requests into the computer, to find Persephone.
The computer told him what room number and deck she was on. Lore stood up and was about to leave, when the door chime sounded. He composed himself.
“Come in, please."
Geordi entered and walked to the computer area. Lore frowned at his attire. Rather than wearing a Starfleet uniform, he wore a most peculiar outfit. An ancient suit of some kind. He even looked a tad overdressed.
“So, this is where you've been hiding..." Geordi said.
“You were supposed to meet me on Holodeck Two one hour ago. We were going to play Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Don't you remember, Data?"
Lore almost laughed. He stifled it and frowned a little.
“Of course, I remember, Geordi. I cannot forget anything. I am sorry that I did not contact you. I have been studying my personal and non-personal logs intently."
“In hope of reaching some understanding of my brother, Lore."
“And have you?"
“Not as yet. I am sorry, I should have contacted you. Let us forget about this and go to the holodeck ... Watson."
“I'm afraid I can’t, now, Data. I'm due back on duty in ten minutes and I have to get changed. Some other time, perhaps."
“I am sorry if I have upset you, Geordi."
“It's all right, Data."
Geordi turned and left his friend's quarters. When he was out, he looked back at the door. Something bugged him about Data. Something wasn't right, but he couldn't quite put a finger on it.
Meanwhile, inside Data's quarters, Lore had learned where Persephone was. He exited Data's quarters and headed there.
* * *
Lore walked down the corridor and saw Deanna walking toward him.
Oh no ... It's the empath. Gotta make myself scarce.
“Data ..." called Deanna after him, but 'Data' had ducked into the nearest turbolift.
Deanna frowned, then shook her head.
“I need to schedule an appointment with him..." she said to herself. “He's been acting strangely lately..."
* * *
“La Forge to Captain Picard."
P icard tapped his combadge. “Picard here, go ahead, Geordi."
“I've just seen Data, Sir, and he was acting, well, rather strangely..."
* * *
Deanna pushed her communicator. “Troi to Captain Picard."
* * *
“Picard here. Just a minute, Geordi. Go ahead, Deanna."
“Sir, I just had a strange encounter with Data. It's nothing serious, but he doesn't seem to be acting himself lately and he seems to be avoiding me like the plague."
Picard frowned. “Geordi's telling me of a similar experience. What do you think it could be?”
Then captain Picard realized and looked dead ahead. “Lore..."
“Lore?" came Geordi and Deanna's voice over the communicator.
“It's the only possible explanation," Picard said, then hit his communicator. Security One Alert. Lore's loose aboard the ship. Your top priority is to capture him and return him to the brig."
* * *
By now, Lore had realized that they were onto him. He hurried down the corridor and entered Persephone's quarters, armed with a phaser he has stolen. She was asleep on the bed. He ripped the sheet off. The woman slowly opened her eyes.
“Get up," Lore demanded, aiming the phaser at her.
“Lore ... what ..."
“Just shut up and get up."
* * *
“I've located Lore within Persephone ...'s guest quarters, Sir," Worf said to his Captain.
“Good. But be careful, we can't let any harm come to Ms. ...."
“Acknowledged, Sir, Worf out."
* * *
The Enterprise security team burst into Persephone's quarters. Lore had his arm roughly around her neck and pointed the phaser to her head.
“One move and she's vaporized."
Worf looked at Lore and readied his phaser.
“I wouldn't do that if I were you. I might not like it. Drop it, Woof."
Worf growled and refused.
Lore tightened his arm around Persephone's neck. She gasped and tried to free herself.
“Please ..." she rasped. “He's going to kill me if you don't ... please do as he says..."
Persephone closed her eyes, looking terrified.
Worf motioned to the rest of his team. They all dropped their phasers.
“You have no honor," he said to the android.
“Perhaps not, but I have a life that I'm quite content on protecting, thank you."
“Let me go ..." Persephone protested.
Lore smiled. “Not yet, my dear. I still need you."
Lore pressed his thumbnail transporter and dematerialised with Persephone.
Worf snarled in anger - angry at his failure. He bashed his communicator.
“Lore has escaped, Captain - With Ms. .... I apologize for having failed in such an-"
“No apologies are necessary, Lieutenant. What's important not is retrieving her and that's not going to be easy, since we can't detect any vessels out there - not even a cloaked one."
At that moment, admiral Llewellyn' face appeared on Picard's monitor.
“You've captured the android Lore, I presume?"
“Captured and lost, I'm afraid to say, Admiral, but he denies having anything to do with the destruction of the Enigma. We will recapture him. He's taken the survivor, Persephone ... as a hostage."
Llewellyn nodded. “At this time Lore still remains a suspect. In other words, he is innocent until proven guilty. But I'm contacting you on a more serious matter. The USS Starr’s long-range scanners have picked up something unusual in the Aurorian star system. Now it might be a vessel, a satellite of some sort. We're unable to determine what it is, but it is located near an uninhabited class M planet. We have reason to believe it may have attacked the planet and killed everyone on the surface. Your top priority, Captain is to investigate. Llewellyn out."
* * *
Picard walked onto the bridge.
“Set co-ordinates for the Aurorian star system, warp nine."
“Sir?" Riker questioned.
“Starfleet's top priority," Picard said.
“But what about Lore? And Persephone?"
“We'll deal with them later, right now we have something of a crisis on our hands."
The Enterprise's warp engines glowed as she took off into Warp.
THE ENTERPRISE ARRIVED and dropped out of warp. The planet could be seen on the viewscreen.
“There it is, sir," ensign Rager said. “Aurora."
The captain fixed his gaze on the planet. A pastel greenish color and very peaceful-looking. “Lifesigns?"
“I am detecting none, sir," Worf replied, “apart from vegetation ... And something else ... an artificial satellite, heading straight toward us ... There are no life signs aboard it, sir and sensors show it is fully armed. “
“Shields up. This could be what attacked the Enigma."
Without warning, the satellite began turning and blasting at the Enterprise.
The ship rocked violently as the Red Alert klaxon blared, as the red bloody glow illuminated the bridge.
The ship jolted violently. Captain Picard clutched onto the armrests of his chair and struggled to remain seated.
“Weapons ready," Worf said, anticipating.
Worf did so, concentrating on the satellite.
“It is heavily shielded, sir. And photon torpedoes have no effect whatsoever."
Another blast shook the Enterprise.
The bridge shook forcefully. Counsellor Troi was thrown from her chair. Captain Picard gave her a hand up. The bridge dimmed and the emergency lighting came on.
“I'm reading damage in decks sever through eleven," Worf said. “And shield strength is down eighteen percent."
Worf again fired at the satellite, this time with phasers and photon torpedoes.
The satellite responded with firing on the Enterprise, further damaging the ship.
The vigorous jolt threw the captain onto the floor.
Worf's fingers flew across the Tactical console. Despite the satellite's delicate and harmless appearance, it sure packed a wallop.
“Captain, shields will not provide much protection against it's weapons" Worf said. “They are superior to ours."
He was angry to be outwitted by a machine. Not including Data, of course.
The Enterprise continued to shake vigorously.
Tension on the ship was escalating. This is what had destroyed the Enigma. The Enterprise had superior weapons to the other ship, but it would seem that this satellite had superior weapons to them both.
“Fire again!" Picard barked.
The satellite responded, concentrating all fire on Enterprise.
The order was carried out, but anticipated by the satellite. It released another barrage of fire on the Enterprise.
“Shields are down to twenty percent," Worf barked, eyes wide. “Captain, we cannot withstand any more than three blasts at this magnitude."
Engineering was in utter chaos. Geordi was madly trying to secure the antimatter containment tanks. He slapped his combadge.
“Captain, I've lost two men down here! And we're in danger of a coolant leak!"
The ship rocked again.
“We're doing everything we can, Geordi," came the captain's broken voice. “Keep everything in order down there."
Hardly reassuring, but as usual, Geordi would do the best he could in a crisis situation.
Back on the bridge ...
“Captain, we can't withstand more than more two blasts."
No sooner had Worf said that, the satellite fired again upon them.
“Shields're down, sir! And I cannot re-route any power to them" Worf yelled. “If it fires again..."
“Fire!" Picard yelled. “And keep on firing!"
The phasers blasted the satellite relentlessly. “Its shields are beginning to fluctuate, sir."
Picard allowed himself a controlled sigh of relief. They had finally made a break through.
All of a sudden, the Enterprise phasers stopped.
“Explain," Picard ordered.
“The phaser banks have run dry," Worf said, “ and I cannot divert any power to them."
Worf didn't have to complete his sentence. “Captain, it is preparing to fire."
This is the end Jean-Luc thought. The end. I have always known the risks involved being the captain of a starship, I always knew it would come. But not now. Not like this ...
Captain Picard closed his eyes, thinking particularly of the families aboard his ship and what right he had to risk their lives like this. They knew there were risks involved when they signed up, but the reality didn't make it easier to face.
There were a few blasts and a flash of light.
Sensing he was still alive after a few moments, Captain Picard opened his eyes.
There was someone with them. Someone firing on the satellite. Someone helping them, but why and how?
“Worf?" Picard asked.
“I am detecting no vessels in the area, sir. Obviously, they are cloaked."
“But they're firing," Riker insisted.
“Could they be Romulan?" Picard asked.
“Romulan vessels can't fire when they're cloaked," Riker said.
“Even if they have overcome that," Worf said, “why would they wish to help us?"
No one had an answer for that.
The satellite had turned its attention away from the Enterprise, but it was confused. It could not find the new target to lock onto. The ship fired a few more quick bursts. Its weapons were more powerful than that of the Enterprise and delivered more of a punch.
The satellite honed in on where the blasts were coming from and fired in that direction.
The cloaked vessel jolted as the blast struck. The satellite fired another burst. The ship's cloaking shield began to fluctuate, causing the ship to become visible.
“Sir," Worf almost exclaimed. “It's Lore's ship!"
“Lore is attacking that satellite."
Both Picard and Riker looked dubious.
“Why is he helping us?" What does he hope to gain in return?"
More questions that went unanswered, at least for now.
But at least Lore had downs the satellite's attention away from the ship.
The satellite blasted the Lorean and the other returned fire, firing off a couple more short bursts at the satellite. Its shields began to fluctuate. Lore fired again. Ad did the satellite.
Lore grabbed for support as his vessel rocked violently. He then fired again, hitting the satellite with everything he had. The satellite ignored the Enterprise and concentrated its fire on the Lorean.
Lore fired his phasers, but they were countered by the hostile. He launched two torpedoes from different directions. One hit home, further weakening the hostile's shields.
Lore tried this tactic again, but this time he fired his phasers as the torpedo hit. He fired relentlessly. Damaging the hostile's weapons. Seeing the shields fluctuate even further, he fired two more torpedoes, which were enough to cause the satellite to erupt in a brilliant flash of light.
Lore smiled at his handiwork. The Enterprise crew had a lot to thank him for.
Back aboard the Enterprise ...
“Systems are returning to normal," Worf said.
“That was a close shave" Riker said, “ and I don't believe who we have to thank for it."
“Nor do I, Number One."
“Captain!" Worf exclaimed. “I have located Persephone ... aboard Lore's vessel. Lore is in very close proximity to her - and her life signs are fading rapidly."
Picard's eyes widened.
“Beam her here at once."
“I can't, sir. Lore is in the way."
“Take a team to Lore's ship immediately."
* * *
The Enterprise team began to materialize in Lore's quarters. When they had fully materialized, phasers were instantly drawn and eyes were peeled. They saw Lore with his back facing them, holding a wounded, bleeding woman in his arms. There was no mistaking that it was Persephone. Riker tensed with anger, wishing he could blast Lore with his phaser and end it.
“What did you do to her?"
Lore had heard the team beam in and Riker's accusation, but said nothing.
Riker cautiously began to take a step forward, but Data stopped him and approached Lore.
“What did you do to Ms. ...?" he demanded.
Lore shook his head. “Nothing ... I didn't hurt her. She..."
Data wasn't the only member of the Away Team that didn't buy that. Now it was Worf's turn.
“You are under arrest," the Klingon growled. “You will come with me."
“I told you," Lore said, in an even voice. “I didn't hurt her."
“You expect us to believe that?" Riker said.
Lore looked up at them. They could see now, he was in tears, his face showing immense pain.
“You've got to believe me." After a few moments of silence, Lore continued. “She's my wife."