Disclaimers: Star Trek was created by Gene Roddenberry and is owned by Paramount Pictures.
I make no monetary profits from my fanfic.
Summary: A decent parody of that godawful two parter which shall remain nameless. Published in Lore and Disorder fanzine. Since revised. Please note that “Tanya Dean” was Seawave’s old name.
"Captain!" Worf exclaimed. "We're receiving a distress call from the Ohniaka Three outpost! They're under attack! .... I've lost contact with them ..."
"Set course for Ohniaka Three, maximum warp."
"We are entering the Ohniaka system," Data announced.
"Bring us out of warp."
"Sensors detect a large ship orbiting the third planet" Worf informed. "Configuration does not match anything in our records."
"Shields up. Lock phasers on target. Stand by on photon torpedoes. Hail the ship, Mr. Worf."
Worf tried, then said, "No response, sir."
"Put the ship on screen."
Instantly it appeared and all stared. It was shaped like a giant red love-heart. It did not look at all threatening. Picard struggled to keep a straight face.
"I am unable to scan the interior of the alien ship, but it does not appear to be attacking the outpost."
"They might have attacked it before we arrived" Riker said, also finding the ship hard to believe.
"Or they might be another victim," Picard interjected. "Data, scan the outpost on the surface."
"There is a great deal of electromagnetic interference. I am unable to determine whether there are any life forms on the surface."
Picard looked at Riker.
Riker nodded. "Data, Worf! You're with me."
The team materialised in the Ohniaka Three station.
Bodies lay all around them, with arrows through their hearts. Worf and Data began scanning with their tricorders.
"Besides us, are you reading any life signs?" Riker asked.
"No, sir," Data replied.
"274 people were assigned here? They're all dead?"
"I am reading no life signs, sir."
"Whoever attacked wasn't interested in the station - just the people."
"Commander...I am getting some unusual readings from behind that door," Data announced. He walked to the door and forced it open. There before them stood the nightmare - a Borg.
The Borg raised a bow and arrow weapon and began shooting at them. Other Borg jumped out of their hiding places and began firing arrows at them. Riker phasered one Borg. The Borg went down with a thud. Another Borg fell to his knees, by the fallen comrade.
"You've killed Venus!" he screamed, in tears.
Everyone stared. Another Borg looked around. "Biological organism: Klingon, Biological organism: Human...I will change you." Then the Borg looked at the android officer. "Mechanical life form: Starfleet. Rank: Lieutenant Commander. Name: Data."
Another Borg approached Data and grabbed his shoulder.
"Stop it..." Data said.
The Borg came closer and pulled Data's head closer to his ... But wait ... Lipstick? Data looked at the Borg's chest. This Borg was most definitely female. She pulled Data's head to hers and began to kiss him.
"Stop it....Stop it...Stop it..." Data said, with her face pressing against his. He tried to struggle away.
Worf and Riker stared, then Data stopped struggling and put his arm around the Borg.
Both Riker and Worf's eyes bulged. The Borg then broke away from Data, leaving the android with a confused expression on his golden face and lipstick over his face. One Borg bent down picked up the dead Venus, then they dematerialised.
The heart-shaped ship began to break orbit with the
"Data..." Riker said softly, " are you all right?"
Data looked at his commander and blinked - scarcely believing it himself.
"I fell in love."
* * *
In the observation lounge of the
"They used ... arrows for weapons and they were fast and accurate...acting more like individuals."
Picard frowned. "Perhaps Hugh had something to do with that, but I don't understand why they're using arrows for weapons. Seems a tad primitive."
"When a Borg was killed," Riker continued, "another showed emotion...and they didn't seem interested in assimilating anything - just killing."
"What about Data?" the Captain asked.
"Geordi's checking him out. I don't know what happened, but one of the female Borg kissed him and he said he...fell in love..."
Picard raised his eyebrows. "Fell in love you say..."
Riker nodded. "Stranger things have happened ... I think...Meanwhile, we'll try to find out more about the new Borg vessel."
"Your positronic net checks out," Geordi said. "There's nothing wrong."
Data nodded. "I also found no anomalies..." He paused gathering his thoughts.
"Geordi...I believe I experienced my first emotion..."
"Data, no offence, but how would you know the difference between a flash of emotion and a power surge?"
"You are correct in the fact that I have no references in which to compare...and I find myself unable to give a verbal description of the experience. Geordi, could you describe what it is like when you fall in love?"
Geordi paused. This one was a toughie.
"It's the same sensation you get when you eat chocolate," he said.
"I cannot taste."
"Oh yeah... Well, I feel happy...over the moon.... like floating around..."
Data paused for a second. "Could you describe falling in love without referring to other emotions or sensations?"
Geordi paused. "No, I guess I can't. You just," he gestured, "fall in love..."
"That was my experience also" Data said. "I just," he gestured, 'fell in love...' Perhaps I have evolved to the point where emotions are within my reach. Perhaps I will experience other emotions as time goes on."
* * *
Data sat with Counsellor Deanna Troi.
"In the past six hours," he said, "I have attempted to reproduce an emotional response by subjecting myself to various stimuli. I listened to many operas known to be uplifting, three romantic holodeck programs and I made several attempts to induce sexual desire by subjecting myself to erotic imagery."
Deanna smiled at that.
Data then gazed into Deanna's eyes and stared.
"Data, what are you doing?" Deanna asked, becoming uncomfortable after a while.
Data looked at her. "You are considered to be a very beautiful woman, Counsellor. I am trying to ascertain whether I ... love you."
Deanna almost laughed. "And do you?"
Data looked apologetic. "I do not. Please do not be offended, Deanna."
She smiled. "I'm not, Data, but thank you for the compliment."
There was a pause.
"There was also a different sensation, Deanna."
There it was again Deanna. This was the first time Data had used her given name.
"When I...fell in love ...also ... I think I felt pleasure..."
Deanna smiled and nodded. "The two often go together."
* * *
Geordi found Data in the Holodeck. He watched through the doors and saw Data smooching with a female Borg simulation.
"Data...I hope I'm not interrupting anything..."
"As a matter of fact, you are, but it does not matter."
"Well, I need you to help me analyse the data of the new Borg ship."
"I believe I am able to return to duty," Data said.
"What are you doing here?"
"I am attempting to recreate the emotion I felt during the Ohniaka Three mission."
"You're trying to fall in love again?"
"That is correct."
"Is it working?"
"No. I feel nothing."
Data turned back to the Borg, put his arms around her and began to try for the umpteenth time to evoke an emotion, but this time was like all the others. Nothing.
Then suddenly: "Red Alert! All hands to battle stations!"
"Computer, end program!" Data barked.
* * *
"It's confirmed" Riker said. "The MS One Colony is under attack.
* * *
They returned to normal space on the other side, ruffled, but alive. The
Borg ship attacked, then seconds later, Borg were materialising on the Bridge
"They beamed them in as a diversion..." Riker said.
Data cautiously approached the body of one Borg - very definitely female, but a different one from Ohniaka Three.
"Captain," he said, looking up, "this one is still alive."
* * *
Data, Picard and Beverly watched the unconscious Borg, lying on the bench in the Brig.
"I've stabilised her,"
"Wake her" the Captain ordered.
"I don't think that's a good idea, sir. Her blood pressure and heart rate are -"
She pressed a hypo to the Borg's throat, then returned to Data and Picard.
The Borg sat up, then stood.
Very unlike a Borg, Picard thought. No wiring, no pale face and a shapely body - A very shapely body, but something about her just looked ...Borg. Her face was white and she wore black.
She watched them through the forcefield.
"What is your designation?" Picard demanded.
The Borg looked at him through the forcefield. "I don't have a designation any longer. My name is Crochet."
The voice was definitely female, but still brisk and choppy.
"Crochet?" Picard asked. "Who gave you that name?"
"It was given to me by the One."
"Who is the One?" Picard asked.
"The One who will change you,"
"You are Borg" Picard said. "Don't you assimilate other..."
"We do assimilate any longer. Our goal in life is to serve a higher purpose."
That'll be the day, Picard thought. "Tell me more about the One" he said. "Is he called 'Hugh?'"
"No." Crochet stated. "You will all be changed."
"Why does the One wish to change us?" Picard asked.
"That is for the One to explain."
"I am Locutus of Borg!" Picard screamed. "You will answer my inquires!"
"I obey only the One. You are Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Starship
Picard squinted. Was there a touch of sarcasm in her voice?
He turned to Data.
"Run a bio-spectral analysis. See if this Borg is attempting to send a subspace signal to the others."
* * *
The Brig was empty - apart from Data and the Borg prisoner.
"You are not like the others," Crochet observed.
Data looked at her, noticing her voice was not so brisk anymore. He then began the bio-spectral analysis.
Crochet observed him.
"Do not fight it, Data," she said, gently. "You will not resist what you've wanted all your life..."
Data looked up at the Borg.
"I was like you once," she said. "Devoid of feeling...but the One helped me. He can help you. Have you ever felt emotion, Data?"
"Yes. Once. On Ohniaka Three...A Borg kissed me... and I...experienced love."
"How did it feel to fall in love?" Crochet asked. "Did it feel good?"
There was a pause, then, "yes."
"You enjoyed it." It was a statement. "...The surge of emotion when you felt Valentine's body pressing against yours... It was unlike anything you've ever known."
Data paused, thinking back.
"It was a very ... potent experience..."
Crochet smiled. "Would you like to feel that way again?"
Data looked at her and spoke the only word that came to mind: "Yes. Yes I would."
Meanwhile, on the bridge, they were discussing the Borg vessel and its escape methods.
"Captain!" Worf shouted, "A shuttlecraft is leaving bay two!"
"Who authorised the launch?"
"There is no authorisation."
"Picard to shuttlecraft. You are ordered to return to the
A moment passed.
"No response, sir."
"Use the tractor beam."
Worf tried. "Tractor beam is disabled and command overrides are not functioning."
"Who's aboard the shuttle?" Riker asked.
"The Borg prisoner and Commander Data."
"Captain!" Geordi yelled. "I'm picking up an tachyon surge! They're trying to trigger the conduit!"
Before they knew it, the shuttle was gone.
"Can we follow them into the conduit?" Picard asked.
"We've got a good reading on it" Geordi said. "We might be able to duplicate it."
"The question is - is Data a prisoner or did he go willingly?"
"The commands to override the tractor beam were Commander Data's" Worf said.
"The Borg may have forced him" said Riker.
"Or perhaps Data's recent flash of emotion has something to do with it."
"Either way" Geordi said, "we have to find him."
Picard nodded. "Very well. Red Alert. All hands to battle stations."
"Shields up", Worf informed. "Weapons at the ready."
"Ready to send the tachyon pulse" La Forge said. "Nothing... I'm shifting the band width."
...Then it began forming.
"Take us in," Picard ordered.
* * *
The other side ....
"We've travelled 65 light years from out previous position."
"Captain..." Worf said, "I am picking up the shuttle's energy signature."
They reached the planet.
"Class-M" Riker informed. "No visible hostility."
"We've traced the shuttle's energy signature to this point on the surface, but there's too much interference to scan the area."
"Number One, take a well armed Away Team to the surface. We'll beam you out of there at the first sign of trouble."
* * *
The Away Team approached the shuttle and scanned it.
"The tricorder's useless beyond 100 meters" Worf said.
"How long ago did Data and the Borg leave the shuttle?"
"The engine's been shut down for over three hours."
"Data can move pretty fast even over rough terrain, but the Borg ... I'd say they'd've got at least 20 K away by now."
"I'll send down a search patrol," Picard said.
Picard left Dr. Beverly Crusher in charge of the
"Good luck ... Captain."
Picard beamed down to the surface with Counsellor Troi and a security Lieutenant.
Picard and his team materialised on the surface. It was much like Earth. Green trees, grass, blue skies... The team began the search.
They came to a hill and climbed it. Troi first.
"Captain, I think I've found something," she announced when she had reached the top.
They scrambled up the hill and saw what Troi had found -- A large building complex and headed toward it.
"Can you tell if it's a Borg structure?" Picard asked.
"I'm getting no Borg signatures," Geordi said.
They walked on and entered the building. The foyer was huge, but empty.
"It looks like some kind of meeting hall," Deanna said.
"It doesn't look like it's being abandoned for long," Picard observed.
"A dampening field!" Geordi exclaimed. "The whole building's being shielded from our sensors! Let's go!"
Before they could make it out, they were surrounded by hundreds of Borg armed with bow and arrow weapons. The Lieutenant raised his phaser rifle, but he was struck in the heart by a Borg arrow.
The Borg closed in on the remaining three officers.
"Stop!" yelled a voice.
All looked up. Standing on the platform, in a black Borg suit was Data.
"Data?" Picard said.
The person on the platform smirked.
"That's not Data!" Deanna gasped.
"You should listen to her, Captain," the android smiled. "She's way ahead of you."
"Right ... And I'm not alone ...." Lore beckoned. A moment later, Data joined him.
"The Sons of Soong have joined together and together we will embrace the Federation ...."
(To Be Continued - in three months time.
Taitt detected the heart-shaped Borg ship - and they still had Away Teams to beam off the surface. They beamed off all they could, before the Borg started firing.
"Break orbit!" Crusher barked.
* * *
"What do you think of my followers, Picard?" Lore asked, smiling. "Impressive, aren't they?"
"'Impressive' is hardly the word I would choose, Lore" the Captain shot back. They ..."
"Data ...." Troi cut in, "I can sense emotions in you."
Data came forward. "Yes," he said smiling. "My Brother has made it possible."
"He gave you the chip," Picard said."
Lore shook his head. "No I didn't. I just wanted to be reunited with my dear brother ... and let him feel emotions for himself. True, I helped him, but...."
"If you wanted Data to feel, then why did you take the chip in the first place?"
"I thought it would fix me ... and I was wrong ... and now I want to make up for that mistake. I knew Data would want this - to feel for the first time in his life and join me."
"You're controlling him and you've corrupted the Borg," Picard accused.
Lore smiled gently. "You simply do not understand. You don't grasp the enormity of what I'm doing here."
Troi spoke softly to Data. "You said you intended to 'embrace the Federation.'"
"Yes" Lore said, turning to her. "You have no idea what has happened here, how I found my true calling ... how the Borg found something to believe in. I cleaned up the mess you people left behind when you sent Hugh back."
"Hugh interfaced with the others and transferred his sense of individuality to them," Data said. "It almost destroyed them."
Picard turned to Lore and demanded, "I want to know what has happened to Data."
"What's important is what I've done here!" Lore snapped. "I know why I was created and no one can ever take that away from me. Without me they would have died. When I stumbled on their ship, they were lost ... disorientated. They had lost their sense of purpose. I gave them their sense of purpose and they gave me mine ... and then I saw Crochet."
Crochet came to Lore.
"Do you want to tell them what happened?" Lore asked her gently.
"I would prefer it if you did."
"All right" he said, softly.
He turned to the humans. "I was making my way through their vessel ... and then I saw her, lying there, barely functioning. I didn't know she was female at that time. She was lying face down. I turned her around ... She looked so helpless ... my heart just went out to her ... I nurtured her back to health. I've never felt this way before and I felt it was my duty to help the other Borg."
"Are you saying you fell in love with Crochet?" asked an astonished Picard.
"Yes." Lore kissed her gently on the cheek. "I did."
Picard looked dubious. "Counsellor?"
She shook her head. "I can't determine what I'm sensing, Captain. He may be lying, he may not be."
"I don't need to be empathic to tell you're lying, Lore," Picard said.
"I assure you" Lore insisted. "I am not lying. I'm telling the truth. I do love Crochet ... and it is that feeling that had brought us all here today and I wanted Data to experience how wondrous it feels."
Picard was even more dubious.
"You're asking you brought us all here for love?"
Lore nodded. "It seems crazy, but yes. I don't want to hurt anyone, Captain."
Picard pointed to the very dead looking Lieutenant on the floor.
"Then explain that -- and the other people your henchmen killed on Ohniaka Three."
Lore's expression changed to one of a person who was preparing to give an explanation.
"They're not dead, Captain."
Before Picard could protest, Lore continued. "Yes, they appear to be dead and technically they are, but they do not stay that way. The arrows my followers use are harmless. Their power will take effect, leaving the people struck by them feeling a lot better than they used to - feeling more love, compassion and -"
"I'll believe that when I see it."
"Suit yourself, Captain. I've told you the truth. You will all be changed." He turned to Data. "Brother, take them to a holding cell for the time being."
"What are you going to do to us?" Deanna demanded.
"Nothing harmful, My Dear. I just can't have you people trying to stop me, when you don't even understand what I'm doing. When you do understand - when you know, I promise I will let you all go."
Picard gave Lore a look, saying that he didn't care much for Lore's 'promises.'
Meanwhile, the Away Teams were still searching for Picard and the others. They had gone far from the shuttle, but still they had come no closer to finding their friends.
"Data," Picard said, "It's not too late to stop this."
"Stop what?" Data asked. "I do not understand, Captain. Why are you wanting to take away from me what I have sought all my life? I find that unjust - and I am not malfunctioning."
There was a hint of anger and sadness in the android's voice.
"Don't you see what Lore has done to you?" Geordi said. "He's controlling you. This is not you talking."
Data smiled gently. "You are wrong, Geordi. It is me talking. This is who I am now, and what my Brother is doing is not wrong. He merely wants others to share in his recent experiences and I am grateful that he wanted me - his Brother - to share them as well."
"But you must realised something has changed."
"Of course I realise that, Captain. A change for the better. Perhaps I
will return to the
He was turning away.
"But what about what Lore's proposing? I refuse to believe it's all to do with love."
"You are extremely narrow minded, Captain," Data said. "I know what my Brother was like in the past and he wants to make amends for that."
"What about the people whose lives have been lost?"
"My Brother has explained that to you, Captain."
"And I refuse to accept his explanation."
"Believe what you will, Captain ... I am not angry with you. You do not understand what is happening here, but you will in time."
Data turned and left.
Meanwhile, on the
* * *
"Brother!" Lore said, embracing Data.
Data smiled. "The humans are still reluctant," he said.
Lore nodded. "They'll take time to adjust. I don't want to be too harsh with them. They're very distrusting people."
Data nodded and handed Lore Geordi's VISOR.
"Here is the VISOR. May I ask why you wanted it?"
Lore placed the VISOR over his eyes.
"I thought it might look good on me."
He then slipped it back into his hair.
Data smiled. "I do not think it suits you."
Lore smiled back at him. "Wonderful! You're developing a sense of humour! ... Actually, I was thinking that Geordi would be an excellent test subject."
Data considered for a moment. "Yes" he said. "A human would be more susceptible than a Borg."
He turned to leave, then he turned around. "It will not hurt Geordi, will it?"
At that moment, Crochet lead another Borg to Lore.
"What is it?" The One asked impatiently.
"He disconnected himself from the group and would not let me hear his thoughts."
Lore shook his head in clear disappointment and he looked at the other Borg. "I've asked you to stay linked to Crochet at all times. You know that, don't you, Cupid?"
"Yes..." Cupid said, voice quivering. "Please don't hurt me..."
Lore saw how frightened his Borg follower was.
"I'm not going to hurt you," he said, gently.
Cupid looked relieved.
"I understand how difficult it is for you" Lore said. "... How uncertain you feel. All these sensations are new and they can be frightening, can't they?"
Cupid nodded. "Yes ... I have doubts..."
"Of course you do. That's only natural and no one is going to blame you for that ... But you must stay linked to Crochet so we can accomplish our goal. I need you, Cupid. You're one of my main people. I can't do it without you. I need to be certain I can count on you and I need you to be certain in your thinking. Will you help me, Cupid? Will you remain linked to your brothers and sisters?"
Cupid smiled. "Yes. Yes I will. I am sorry that I -"
"Don't mention it," Lore said, patting Cupid on his shoulder.
The Borg then left with Crochet, feeling much more confident and assured with his duty.
Lore turned to Data.
"I can't afford to lose any of my followers. I care for all of them - just as I care for you."
Data smiled. "I know."
There was a significant pause.
"The experiment will not hurt Geordi, will it?"
Lore looked upset. "What do you think I am, Brother? Of course it won't hurt... If you like, we can make the effect of the potion temporary, so if it doesn't work, Geordi will return to normal."
Data nodded. "I would like that. Thank you, Brother."
Lore smiled. "Go and explain it to Geordi."
Data walked away. But would Geordi want this? Lore said it would not hurt him, and I believe him. No harm will come to my best friend. If the experiment would hurt him, Lore would not have asked me to experiment.
Meanwhile, in the cell, Picard, Geordi and Deanna had discovered that Data was definitely being controlled by Lore.
"I saw it with my VISOR before Data took it," Geordi said. "It was some kind of wave Lore sent to Data..."
"Can we sever Lore's control?"
"Perhaps we can, but we need a keidon pulse."
Data came into the cell and took Geordi.
"Where are you taking him?" Picard demanded.
"Geordi is to be experimented upon," Data said matter-of-factly.
"Experimented! Data, don't you see what Lore is doing to you? Geordi's your best friend. You would never-"
"And I have not forgotten that, Captain. I still care for Geordi and I always will. No harm will come to him. I promise."
Then Data left.
"He believes what he's saying, Captain," Deanna said, but there was uncertainty in her voice.
* * *
Meanwhile, Riker's Away Team was still looking for Data, Picard and the others.
* * *
In the cell ....
"I am sensing emotions from Data" Deanna said, "but they seem distorted. I sense no deception from him. He believes everything Lore says, but that doesn't mean what Data tells us is true."
Picard nodded. "I don't believe Lore's lies for a second and I want some answers. Perhaps Geordi will get some."
* * *
Geordi tried to move, but he realised he was immobilised, then he heard footsteps.
"No. I'm his big bad Brother - not that I'm so bad anymore, but ..."
Lore detected the fear in the human's voice.
"Don't be afraid" he said soothingly. "It's all right It's not going to hurt you."
"Okay - if it's not going to hurt, what is it going to do?"
"I don't know. That's why we're experimenting."
"And what if your experiment doesn't work?"
Lore heard the bitterness in Geordi's voice, but chose to ignore it. "The effect will wear off whether or not the experiment's a success. You'll return to normal, either way."
"Somehow I find that very hard to believe."
Lore smiled. "Hey - trust me. I'm an android."
"Yeah ... right..."
There was a pause, then, "Oh, Data, there you are" Lore said. "Good. I want you to begin the experiment now."
Lore handed Data a device which Data placed on Geordi's head.
"After you've set up, I want you to join me outside."
"Where will you be?"
"Use your locator."
Lore smiled, then left as Data turned to Geordi.
"Data.... what are you doing?" Geordi asked nervous, as he felt a mild tingling sensation in his head.
"Do not be afraid, Geordi" the android said gently. "I am your friend. I will not hurt you."
The words were assuring, but Geordi still felt uneasy.
"Yeah ... I know," he said, but I don't want to be experimented on."
"I do not understand" Data said. "It is for your own good. If the experiment is a success, you will become a better person, but we have made the effect temporary for the trial run, in case it fails."
"And if it does fail?"
"If it does fail, you will not be harmed. The substance is not dangerous to humans."
"Exactly what is it that you're experimenting?"
"A new substance to use in the Borg arrows."
"What?! But they're ...."
"Relax, Geordi. The arrows are not fatal."
"What's in them?"
"Aphro 1. I am testing Aphro 2 on you."
"What's Aphro 2?"
* * *
Lore was walking through the forest with Crochet.
"Where are we going?" she asked.
"To the lake."
"For what purpose?"
Lore smiled. "You'll see ...."
"What are we going to do with the humans?" she asked, after a long silence.
"We won't harm them. We'll experiment on them, but it might not work. Biological life forms are well, sort of inferior..."
They reached the lake. Lore began to take off his Borg uniform. Crochet observed him.
"Why are you doing this?" she asked, curious.
Lore smiled. "This is something I've always wanted to do."
"What is it?"
The Borg frowned. "What is that?"
"Take your uniform off."
Unlike other Borg, Crochet did not have a life support system on the outside. Hers was continued within her body.
"My uniform?" she said, puzzled, but I have never removed it before."
"It's not glued to you y'know."
Still bemused, Crochet began stripping, much to Lore's delight. He dived into the water, then came to the surface, his golden body, now wet and glistening in the sunlight. He swam to her.
"Don't be scared," he said. "I'll teach you how to swim.
Crochet then jumped into the water and screamed. She scrambled out frantically.
"What's the matter?" Lore asked, puzzled.
"Oh ... sorry... but you'll get used to the temperature. Come back in."
Crochet shook her head.
"Crochet...Come on. We've known each other for almost two years now and I have never hurt you, have I?"
She shook her head. The One had never harmed her in any way.
"Your body will get used to the temperature."
Lore took her arm and slowly guided her into the water. Crochet shut her eyes and began shivering.
"Give it a couple of minutes."
After a few minutes Crochet was becoming adjusted to the cool temperature of the water.
"It feels nice now," she said, smiling.
"You see? I told you."
Lore smiled and began to teach her how to swim. It didn't take very long.
They swam together for a while.
"Data's coming," Lore said. "I told him to meet me here. You had better go."
Crochet climbed out of the water. Her internal mechanisms dried her instantly. "I hope we can swim again," she said, getting dressed.
Lore blew her a kiss as she left for the complex.
Data arrived soon after Crochet had gone.
Lore was still in the water. "Hello, Brother. Come into the water."
"I cannot swim."
Lore smiled. "I know that. I want to teach you how."
"I do not have enough buoyancy to remain afloat. Geordi was just reminding me of a time when I..."
"I didn't have enough buoyancy either, but I tried and tried - the hard way, mind you. I'm going to teach you the easy way."
Data took off his uniform and began to walk into the water. Lore waited until the water was at his Brother's waist.
"First, Data, turn off your temperature control."
Data did so.
"It is cold!" he exclaimed.
"You'll get used to the temperature," Lore said, seeing Data was about to turn his temperature control back on. "My temperature control is off."
Data trusted his Brother.
It didn't take Data long to become adjusted to the water, or for Lore to teach him how to swim.
"Thank you, Brother," Data said, swimming to him."
"Don't mention it." There was a pause, then, "I know I've hardly been a Brother to you .... betraying you, trying to kill your friends, stealing your chip ... and I want to make up for it all."
Data smiled. "Thank you. I know you do."
Lore smiled back at him. "We'd better get back to the complex."
Meanwhile, Picard and Deanna had discovered that they could create a keidon pulse by using the forcefield in the cell.
* * *
"The Borg ship!" Taitt cried. "They're firing!"
"Get us out of here!" Crusher barked.
* * *
"We'll have to activate it now" Troi said. "Whether it works, we can only tell if there is a change in Data's behaviour."
"I only hope the forcefield is enough to trigger it," Picard hoped.
* * *
The Borg ship had damaged the
"We can't out run them," Taitt said, worriedly. "There's nowhere we can go."
* * *
Data came back to Geordi and transferred the last sequence of Aphro 2 into him. He looked at Geordi and saw his friend was still scared and uneasy. Data became doubtful about what he was doing.
Data approached Lore, outside of the complex. The sun shone, bright, displaying all the details of Lore's Borg uniform.
Surrounded by trees, grass and undergrowth, the planet reminded Data of a holodeck simulation of Earth he once called up.
Lore smiled when he saw his Brother approach. Borg came and went, walking about.
"They know I will protect them," Lore said.
He smiled again and placed his hands on his Brother's shoulders. "I'm glad you're here to help me. You're the only one I can really trust. We're Family. Nothing can ever compare with that bond and nothing can ever separate us."
"I ran a self-diagnostic" Data announced, "and I discovered that my positronic net is being affected by incoming emissions."
Lore seemed displeased. "Why did you run a self-diagnostic? Don't you trust me?"
"The humans said that I was not myself - that I was acting differently."
There was a pause.
"Yes..." Lore admitted. "I have been helping you along with your emotions."
Data looked at his Brother.
"I didn't intend to tell you," Lore said. "Because I did not wish to discourage you. You're not angry, are you?"
"No," Data said.
"Have you made any progress with Geordi?"
"I am not sure. If any progress has been made, the affect of Aphro 2 is taking its time."
"Lore..." Data sounded uncertain.
"Yes" Lore said.
"Geordi is unwilling ... and he still seems afraid."
"He knows it won't hurt him."
"Geordi realises that," Data said, "but he still does not want to be experimented upon. I am not sure if we should...."
Lore sighed in clear disappointment. "I really thought I could trust you, Data."
Data heard the sorrow in Lore's voice.
"I did not mean to upset you, Lore."
"Come here, Data."
Data followed his Brother. Lore pulled some slippery, fleshy black roots from the ground.
"Try these" he said. "They're delicious."
"I cannot taste."
"You'll be able to taste this."
Data took some of the roots from Lore and ate them. A wide smile crept across his face.
"Nice, aren't they?" Lore said, swallowing a whole bunch himself.
Data nodded. "Thank you..."
"Don't mention it" Lore said. "And remember, I trust you, Data. Please don't let me down."
Data looked into Lore's eyes. "I will not let you down, Brother," and with that he left.
Lore waited until his Brother was out of sight and hearing range, then beckoned to Eros. The burly Borg approached him.
"I am concerned about my Little Brother," he said. "He seems unsure. I don't think he wants to be a part of our great future."
* * *
The Borg ship fired relentlessly at the
"We're losing shields!" Taitt screamed.
The Borg ship continued to fire.
"If another arrow shot hits us, we're goners!" Taitt exclaimed. "The Borg ship, sir ...."
"What?" asked Crusher, uneasily.
* * *
Lore came to the cell, cradling a Borg baby in his arms. Picard looked at it.
"Isn't she beautiful?" Lore asked.
"On our first encounter with the Borg, we saw some Borg babies," Picard said, with distaste, not at the babies, but how the Borg could manipulate them.
"She's called Angel," Lore told them.
The baby started to cry, and Lore gently calmed it.
"You see, Captain, I'm not a bad guy, really. Do you think I'd hurt this baby?"
He looked at Troi.
"I can't be certain with what I'm sensing...."
"I still don't believe you, Lore - you're probably manipulating Counsellor Troi as well."
Lore looked upset. "Have it your way, Captain, but I know I'm telling the truth."
Lore gently handed the baby to Aphrodite.
"Put her to sleep," he said. "I have some important business to attend to."
Aphrodite nodded and walked away, carrying Angel in her arms.
* * *
Data came into the cell.
"Where is Geordi?" Picard demanded. "What have you done to him?"
"Geordi is safe, Captain. No harm has, or will come to him. The experiment will not harm him. I came for you."
Picard wondered what would be experimented on him. He couldn't help but feel a little uneasy. Data lead him out of the cell, leaving Deanna alone.
"It's not too late to stop this, Data," he said.
Data continued leading the Captain to the Borg hall.
"There you are, Captain" Lore said. "So nice of you to join us."
"I had little choice in the matter."
Lore ignored Picard's bitter statement and turned toward Data.
"It's time to put your doubts aside, Brother. It's time to put your former life behind you and join me for the greater Good. I need to know that I can count on you." Lore gestured. "As proof - I want you to kiss Captain Picard.
Picard's eyes widened as he looked at Data. He backed away, until he hit the wall. "Data ... I'll put you on permanent reprimand... Don't you dare. That's an order..."
Data moved closer to the Captain, then looked at Lore.
"No" he said. "I can't."
"You used your first contraction!" Lore said, a little pleased, clapping. "And I can't say I blame you - neither could I."
"I am sorry, Lore."
"It's ... it's all right..." Lore sighed.
Picard activated a small device he had concealed in under his uniform in his chest, sending a keidon pulse. Data reeled backwards and was disorientated for a few moments. Then he regained his composure and looked at Lore.
"You were controlling me."
Lore looked at his Brother, apologetic. "Yes, but I wanted you to..."
"LORE!!!" screamed a voice from behind.
Lore spun around.
Geordi was standing in the doorway. "Come to me, Lore!"
Lore's eyes widened. Geordi ran toward him.
"I LOVE YOU, LORE!"
Lore swallowed. "Uh oh ..."
Lore turned and bolted. Geordi chased him around the hall.
"I WANT YOU, LORE!!!"
Geordi caught up to him, grabbed Lore's arm and started to kiss him.
"It looks like Aphro 2's working ..." Lore said, looking for an escape route.
"Data ..." Lore spluttered ... "you did make the effect temporary, didn't you?"
"Yes, Lore, as you instructed me."
Geordi continued to kiss him.
"Data ... help me ..."
Data stayed where he was.
Geordi began to regain his senses. He let Lore go in embarrassment - but he wasn't the only one who was embarrassed, Picard observed. He had just learned that androids could blush.
"I should've experimented on Deanna..." Lore said. "Oh, speaking of Deanna, bring her here."
Deanna was brought to them, then Lore turned to Data.
"Data" he said, "there's something I want you to have."
Lore fiddled around inside his neck and took the chip out. He shut his eyes for a moment as his body became adjusted. The chip had been inside him for a little over three years. He handed it to Data.
"This belongs to you" he said. "It was wrong of me to take it."
Data took it from his Brother.
"Would you like me to install it for you?" Lore asked.
Data hesitated. "No, Lore" he said. "If I am ever going to obtain emotions, I would like to get there on my own."
Lore nodded. "I'm sorry, Data ... I only wanted to share these beautiful new sensations with you. As I said ... I fell in love with Crochet - and the feeling overwhelmed me. I wanted everyone to experience how wonderful I felt, including you. At first, I wanted to keep it all to myself, but that was selfish."
"Captain he's telling the truth," Deanna said.
"Why couldn't you sense that before?"
"The chip must've been distorting my empathic powers."
"You see, Captain? I wasn't lying. I haven't hurt anyone."
"What about the people on Ohniaka Three and the Lieutenant that came with us?"
"They're not dead," Lore said. "These arrows contain an aphrodisiac which enters the bloodstream, making all biological life forms, even Vulcans, better people, less hatred and more love. The arrow then disintegrates. What I was testing on Geordi was an improved aphrodisiac to use in the arrows."
"I feel wonderful," Geordi said.
He proceeded to hug Picard, Deanna, Data, Geordi and Lore.
"You see?" Lore said. "I didn't harm him. Though I admit we administered a little too much of the substance into his bloodstream at first."
Picard nodded. "I see, but I don't think you considered that people like to stay who they are and it's wrong to change then against their will, even if you think it's for the better."
Lore nodded. "Yes, I see and understand that now. It was wrong to take control of Data ... but I thought he would appreciate it..." Lore was very upset.
"I know" Deanna said, gently. "We all make mistakes, Lore."
Lore smiled and gave her a kiss. "Thank you, Deanna. Uh, Captain, can I borrow Data for a moment?"
Deanna nodded to the Captain and he gave Lore permission.
Lore lead Data into another room.
"Data, listen, I just wanted to say that I'm sorry for everything I've done to you ... I was jealous of you because you had everything I ever wanted. You had friends that cared about you and I had no one. You were accepted and I was rejected. You were stable and I wasn't ... That's why I took the chip, because I thought it would stabilise me."
"I understand that now, Lore. It is all right. You are forgiven."
Lore smiled. "Thank you, Data. That means a lot."
"And, Lore, I am sorry too."
"You're sorry? What for?"
"I should have tried to understand you better ... I"
Lore smiled. "Don't mention it."
Lore embraced his brother. Data became touched. After they parted Data gave a small smile and then turned to leave.
"Data ..." Lore said, serious, "There is something else. Something I need to say. Something I hadn't realised until now..."
Data turned around.
Lore continued. "Something that's not easy for me to say.
There was a long pause.
"I love you, Brother..."
* * *
Lore and Data returned to the main hall.
"Uh, Lore...." Picard said, "your Borg ship was attacking the
"Oh, don't worry about that, Captain. The ship uses much the same arrows as my Borg followers do. Your crew'll just be a little nicer. Well, now that's all settled, you can all go back to your ship.
"Doctor, is the
"She's fine, Captain ... How about dinner? My quarters, 1900 hours, and perhaps something else ..."
"Uh yes ... Doctor..."
And then the communication was cut.
"Kinky" Lore said, much to the Captain's embarrassment.
"Four to beam up," Picard said briskly.
Lore watched Data, until the last shimmer of his body had disappeared.
* * *
Geordi came to Data in his quarters.
"Are you feeling all right?" he asked.
"I am fine, thank you," Data said, looking at the chip he'd placed safely in a vial.
"Please don't tell anyone about ... me and Lore ... I'm not sure I'll be able to live it down..."
Data smiled. "Your secret is safe with me."
Geordi looked at the chip. "I sure hope you get your wish one day, Data."
Data smiled. "As do I."
* * *
Lore stood alone with Crochet in the Borg hall. He had decided to leave the Borg on the planet. He had taught them how to survive and they could do so on their own. They didn't need him, but he didn't want to leave Crochet and she didn't want to leave him. Lore blasted off with her in a rather large shuttlecraft.
"I want to teach you something" he said.
"What do you wish to teach me?"
"A certain thing biological life forms do."
"Did you not say they were inferior?"
"Well, kind of ... I have a tendency to underestimate them.... Some of them are quite admirable and some of the things they do....."
"What is it you want me to be taught?"
Lore looked at her, then took her gently into his arms and kissed her, pressing his body to hers.
"Have you ever heard the term fully functional? .... "