Disclaimers: Star Trek was created by Gene Roddenberry and is owned by Paramount Pictures.
I make no monetary profits from my fanfic.
Summary: An alternate universe Data discovers himself – an AU.
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE LOOKING GLASS
Data materialised on the transporter platform. "Transport to sickbay," it said, voice devoid of urgency.
Riker who had been manning the transporter, smiled inwardly as he saw Data holding the mortally wounded Captain Picard in its arms.
Data, holding the wounded captain rematerialised in sickbay, lay him on the nearest biobed.
A nurse rushed to the scene.
"Where is Doctor Pulaski?" Data ordered.
Data looked down. "Captain?"
Picard swallowed, all the muscles in his throat aching. He wished Dr. Crusher hadn't opted to remain at StarFleet medical, but he knew why. She was petrified of him and loathed very the sight of him. She had felt this way ever since he murdered her husband, Jack. But there was a bright side. At least she'd taken that annoying brat, Wesley with her.
"Da...ta..." he rasped.
"Doctor Pulaski will attend to you."
The nurse wondered how Data could be so cold at a man dying.
Dr. Pulaski came to Data and the wounded Captain.
"You are to repair the captain's injuries."
Pulaski nodded. Data clasped its hand on her shoulder so tightly, it hurt.
"And if you do not do it correctly, Doctor, you will die."
The emotionless threat sent shivers up Kate Pulaski's spine and deepened her hatred for the Data machine.
Data let her go. She rubbed her shoulder, then took a tricorder and began scanning Picard, silently wishing he had been killed on the mission.
"You have multiple internal injuries" she said, "but you will live."
Picard sighed mentally as Pulaski began treating him, under the close supervision of Lieutenant Commander Data.
Just over an hour later, Dr. Pulaski had finished.
Picard sat up slowly, then climbed off the bed and left Sickbay with Data.
Pulaski threw the tricorder down in annoyance. She'd saved the man's life and not even a smile or a thank you. She felt like an old rag. Used.
* * *
Captain's Log, Stardate 48908.7
StarFleet has ordered us to Aloria 4. A planet which is rumoured to be rich in dilithium. It is a Priority One mission and the Alorians must not know of its the nature.
Data and Dr. Pulaski have beamed down to the surface investigate. This is also our first contact with the Alorians. We must know if the rumours are true, and if they are, StarFleet's orders are to take everything.
Data and Pulaski materialised on the surface and were greeted by a group of four Alorians. A Tall Race, with long faces and chins that came to a sharp point.
Be polite and courteous. They knew their mission and were warned not to give away anything. And they knew they would die if they failed. Data, having no emotions, was not concerned, but it did concern Kate Pulaski. She composed herself as well as she could.
"Greetings, Off Worlders," the largest of the Alorians said, cheerfully, holding out his hands, "and welcome to Aloria 4. I am Vorath."
Data and Pulaski held out their hands in tradition of the Alorian custom.
"You are here to explore our planet?"
"That is correct" Data stated.
"You are most welcome, Strangers."
He smiled at them. Pulaski smiled back and shuddered to think what StarFleet would do to these peaceful people if they were reluctant to hand over the dilithium, if the rumours proved true. The Alorians lead them to the main hall.
"You must be well fed before you begin your journey," Vorath said, leading them to the food hall. "Sit down here, please."
The two sat, watching Vorath and the three other Alorians shuffle to the kitchen.
Dr. Pulaski then turned her attention to Data.
"What are you going to do?" she asked. "You don't need to eat. You're an android."
"That is correct, Doctor," Data replied, but I am capable of digestive functions, although I cannot taste."
A few minutes later, the Alorians returned with their food and placed it in front of them. Pulaski looked down and almost vomited, but kept a straight face.
"What is it?" she managed to ask, looking down at the small live octopus-like creatures squirming in her bowl.
"Veloni" replied the Alorian chef. "Small sea creatures, in cold spicy sauce. A delicacy. Try it. You will like," and then he left.
Data began swallowing its portion without a second thought.
Kate had no desire to try it. The very sight made quite nauseous. She gingerly played with hers. The live veloni squirmed around in the sticky sauce.
"Doctor, you must eat it" Data said. "We do cannot risk offending our Alorian hosts."
She nodded and slowly put one into her mouth. Surprisingly, it tasted exquisite. She forgot her initial disgust and began to eat a few more. Although she had not realised it she was quite hungry. She looked at Data and did a double take. Was it smiling? Pulaski looked again and Data was smiling, as it was eating the veloni.
"Data..." she said.
Data swallowed a mouthful of veloni, then, "yes, Doctor?"
"You ... you were smiling ..."
Data looked at her. "I know ... this food ... these Veloni creatures. I can taste them ..."
"How's that possible?"
"I do not know. Perhaps ... I do not know, but they taste good."
Pulaski was confused. She decided to dismiss it and looked down at her bowl. A few more veloni remained, but she was quite full, and inwardly, she felt sorry for the little creatures.
Data, however, did not and began swallowing the remaining ones in its bowl. It would not let anyone take this sensation away and if a few small creatures had to be sacrificed to get it, then so be it. Data then looked at Dr. Pulaski. It saw in her eyes that she felt pity for the creatures it was eating. Data looked down and saw four more Veloni in the bowl. It wanted to eat them, but in respect for the Doctor's feelings, it did not. Concern? That wasn't possible, was it?
"Perhaps there is a stimulant in the food which is affecting me," Data reasoned.
"Perhaps," the Doctor said.
Vorath came to them. "I trust you enjoyed you meal. Come, I will show you routes to explore."
Pulaski and Data stood, following Vorath out of the complex and began showing them the routes of exploration.
"But if none of these routes are to your liking, you may choose one of your own, but take these, and be careful of the mud pits." Vorath gave them a small electronic device. "If you get lost, this device will guide you back to this complex."
"Thank you," Data said, and they set off.
The minute Vorath and the Alorians were out of sight, Data took out a tricorder and began scanning. "I detect no dilithium. Perhaps it is buried deeper." Data adjusted the tricorder. "Still no traces."
Dr. Pulaski took out her tricorder. "I'm getting the same readings. Perhaps the rumours were false."
"Perhaps, but let us go further North. Captain Picard will not be pleased if we return empty handed."
Dr. Pulaski shuddered at the thought. "But if there is no dilithium here, we can't return without hands full if there is nothing to fill our hands with."
"Agreed, but if dilithium is here and we fail to find it..."
Data didn't have to complete the sentence.
They began to search further North.
No matter how far they scanned, the readings were the same.
"It's no use, Data" Pulaski said. "There's no dilithium here. I can only hope Captain Picard will see reason in this."
Data nodded. "Agreed."
She stepped forward, and screamed as she slipped down a muddy hole.
"Doctor!" Data exclaimed.
She had stopped falling. Her fall was broken by some twigs that blocked the rest of the way down. She tried to scramble up, but that only weakened the support.
Data knelt down and stretched out an arm. Pulaski reached upwards and strained. She could almost touch Data's fingers. Data knelt and stretched its hand further. It could almost touch the Doctor's fingers.
The supports began to give way.
"Doctor! Jump up!" Data said urgently.
Kate looked down for a moment, then closed her eyes and jumped up. Relief overcame her when she felt Data's strong fingers grasp around her wrist and pull her up. It hurt a little, but she ignored the slight pain.
"Thank you, Data," she breathed, covered in mud.
"Are you all right, Doctor?"
"I'm fine, Data," she said, after a second. "A little shaken, but fine."
She tried to compose herself and stepped away from the hole.
Data saved my life ... and not because I'm a Doctor and useful to StarFleet but because it ... wanted to ...
She looked at Data. "We'd better get back to the beam up point. It's almost time to return."
Pulaski and Data stood, unaware, the hole expanded slowly.
Data slipped into it. It grabbed for support, a small protruding rock.
"Data!" Kate screamed.
She looked down and saw Data resting uncomfortably on the supports below. They had barely held her. She wondered how long they would hold under the android's weight.
Her answer came a second later. The supports snapped and fell to whatever was below. Data found a small rocky ledge to support its feet.
"I am all right for the moment, Doctor. The support will hold for a short while.
"How far down is it?"
"Not far. Five point three meters."
"You won't be damaged if you fall.
Why don't you let go? I'll give the
"That will not be possible. Below me is a large acid pool. If I fall into it, I will not survive."
Kate strained her ears. Was there a trace of fear in the android's voice?
Data tried to climb up, but kept slipping back down. Pulaski reached in as far as she could, almost touching Data's fingers. Data stretched out its arm and brushed against the Doctor's fingers.
"Brace yourself, Doctor," it said. "Be prepared to grab my hand as I leap up. You may not be able to stand my weight."
She readied herself. Data took the leap. Pulaski clasped her fingers around Data's wrist as hard as she could and pulled with all her might. The ledge Data was on tumbled and hissed as it dissolved in the acid. Data looked down for a second, seeming grateful about being pulled up just in time.
Pulaski almost let go. It felt as though her arm was being wrenched out of its socket.
She pulled Data up, with all her strength, and just as she was about to let go, Data leapt out of the hole, grasping for support, then sat on the ground, covered in mud, looking quite relieved. Data had seemed frightened, for it's life, but it was supposed to be emotionless.
"Are you all right, Data?" Kate asked.
There was a moment, then, "Yes, Doctor. I am fine ... and dirty."
Then they both laughed.
She had never heard Data laugh before. It was a nice sound.
In fact, they were both covered in mud from head to toe.
"We had better return to the beam up co ordinates."
Data stood and helped the Doctor up.
Smiling, they both began to walk back the way they came.
Vorath met them.
"Yes," replied Dr. Pulaski. "We helped each other to escape. We'll be returning to our ship now."
"Do you wish to tidy yourselves up first?"
"We haven't time. We're due back in ..."
"Twenty-one seconds," Data said.
Vorath nodded, surprised at the android's preciseness. The transporter
then gripped both
"What the hell!?..."
"I can explain, Captain," Pulaski began quickly, then paused.
"We fell into a mud pit," Data completed.
Picard glared at them.
"What were your findings?"
"The rumours were false, Captain," Data said. "Aloria 4 has no dilithium."
Picard bashed the transporter console in anger, then gave himself a moment to calm down. Rumours often proved untrue.
"StarFleet will not be pleased, but it cannot be helped. We followed their orders ... Now," the captain's voice became snappy as he addressed his two filthy officers. "Get yourselves cleaned up."
Picard turned to the Transporter Chief.
"Beam them to their quarters. I don't want that filth all over my ship."
Data materialised in the bathroom, then looked at itself, covered in mud. It could step into a sonic shower, and be instantly clean and dry, but for some reason, it didn't want that. It found itself desiring a traditional water shower. Data frowned at its sudden desire, then dismissed it and began removing its uniform. The mud had seeped right through the material and onto Data's skin. Data put the uniform in the cleaning processor, then stepped into the shower and began washing the mud off. It felt the warm water beating against its body and smiled slightly. It began to wash the mud out of its hair. The mud had seeped deep into Data's scalp and had begun to cake. Data washed its hair and its body and when it was satisfied, it stepped out of the shower and began to dry itself.
When dry, Data looked down at its masculine body. It was tall and slender. An ideal body, which might even be considered desirable and sexy by the opposite sex, but because Data was an android, its body was not considered.
Naked, Data walked out of the bathroom.
It sat on the sofa, contemplating what had happened down on Aloria 4. It had felt something. It happened after Data ate the small octopus like creatures Vorath served them. Were they the cause of it? Data enjoyed the time it spent on the planet with the Doctor. Why? How? As hard as Data tried, it couldn't seem to feel that sensation anymore. It wanted to. It wanted to feel alive, instead of a mindless unemotional automaton.
* * *
There was one other time when Data did feel something, but it was not pleasure.
years before, Lore, Data's prototype had been disassembled, and now his parts
had been found and reassembled aboard the
"Hello," he said politely. "You may call me Lore."
He put his feet on the floor and climbed off the bed.
"Data," he said, with a smile.
This puzzled everyone. They had expected Lore to be as cold and emotionless as Data, after all, Lore was an android, wasn't he? Physically identical to Data, but with Personality. Data had none whatsoever.
"Come with me," Picard said, then
proceeded to give Lore a tour of the
He allowed Lore to sit at OPS, Data's post. As expected, Lore knew the controls like the back of his hand. In fact he knew everything to do with Starship operations, just as an android should.
"Sir!" Tasha exclaimed suddenly. "Detecting an unknown vessel on an intercept course."
"Are you sure this time, Lieutenant?"
"Yes, sir. This time it is definitely not a false alarm."
"It better not be. Shields up. Arm phasers and photon torpedoes."
"Time to intercept?"
"Thirty-seven seconds, sir."
The seconds passed and the vessel never arrived. Another thirty-seven seconds went by.
"Lieutenant, I want an explanation."
Tasha swallowed and looked worried.
"I'm checking the systems now, sir ... Dammit! Another false alarm ... sir ..." she said, almost trembling.
"I warned you about making a mistake, Lieutenant."
"Y... Yes ... sir..."
Picard uttered the two dreaded words.
Those words always sent shivers running up Tasha's spine.
"No, sir ... please not that ... It's not my fault. The systems fouled up. I'll check it next time..."
"That's enough, Yar. I said torture chamber and I mean it."
Captain Jean-Luc Picard
was not known for patience or compassion.
He was known for his mercilessness and ruthlessness, which is why he was
Captain of the
Lore, sitting at OPS frowned and turned to the captain. Picard looked at him.
"It's StarFleet's policy to torture crew members for failures, insubordination and misgivings."
"Obviously you are not aware of all ships procedures."
Picard looked at Data for a second, confused. If he didn't know better, he'd suspect the android of being snooty.
Data began to escort a reluctant Tasha Yar to the turbolift.
"Wait," Picard said.
Tasha sighed inwardly, then Picard continued.
"I think we should give Lore the privilege of torturing Lieutenant Yar."
Lore's eyes widened, then stood and walked to Tasha.
"Take her to the torture chambers," Picard ordered. "Use the Machine for ... well, whatever time you think is suitable."
Lore nodded, then looked at Data.
"Are you coming, Brother?"
"Brother?" Data and Picard repeated, confused.
Lore nodded. "We have the same creators and the same schematics. Therefore, we're Brothers. Well, Data, are you coming?"
"No," it said, and glared after Lore and Tasha as they left the Bridge. Torturing crew members was its job and it didn't enjoy its privileges being taken away, even if Lore was its 'Brother.' It particularly remembered the time when Tasha had begged it in tears to stop. It did not.
Data decided to follow Lore. It was interested in its 'Brother,' having emotions and what effects they would have.
Lore arrived in the torture chambers with Tasha and saw the Machine.
"How long do you usually do this for?" Lore asked.
Tasha wanted to say a few minutes, or never, but she knew she would only hurt herself if she lied.
"Between half an hour and an hour," she said, reluctantly stepping into the Machine.
"What do I do?" Lore asked.
"What? Tasha asked? You mean you've never done this before?"
Lore shook his head.
"Press the green button to turn it on and the yellow one to turn it off."
Tasha nodded and shut her eyes. Lore pressed the green button.
Tasha screamed in agony, feeling the torturous pain throughout her entire body. Lore instantly pressed the yellow button.
Tasha gasped and caught her breath.
"What did you do that for?" She asked, puzzled. "I'm to be punished."
"What? For making a stupid little mistake? You don't deserve to be tortured like this."
"But Captain Picard ..."
Lore smiled. "I won't tell if you won't. What he doesn't know won't hurt him."
Lore helped a very grateful Tasha out of the Machine.
"Why are you doing this?"
Lore gave a small innocent smile.
"I ... I'm not used to hurting people."
"You're not going to torture me?"
"No ... well not unless you want to be tortured."
Tasha laughed. "No thanks. If I ever see this blasted thing again, it'll be too soon." She viciously kicked the Machine.
Lore smiled, and then he kissed her.
Data's eyes widened. It had been monitoring then with the security recorders plastered around the ship.
It wondered, if it should tell Captain Picard that Lore did not torture her. What would be the use of that? We do not have a machine capable of torturing an android.
Data continued to watch them, interested. Interested in Lore's emotions and how the crew had taken a liking to him.
Tasha smiled and kissed him back.
"Let's go to your quarters," Lore smiled.
"All right," Tasha replied with a equally mischievous smile.
They left the torture chambers, leaving Data frowning, wondering.
The next day, at tactical, Tasha looked very pleased.
"Where were you last night, Lieutenant?" Picard inquired.
"In the torture chambers."
"She took the pain well," Lore added.
"After that?" Picard asked. "You did not return to the Bridge and the crew sensors couldn't locate you."
"The Machine damaged my communicator," she lied. "Lore took me to his quarters and showed me some of his ... functions."
Data looked at Lore, then at Tasha. It hadn't seen what went on in that room, but had a pretty good idea.
* * *
Later in Ten-Forward, most of the crew members were off duty, sitting with Lore and chatting with him.
Data watched them, sitting alone near a window.
They never talked with me like that it thought, but then Lore was more personable. Was it part of its programming? It seemed unwise to construct an android so ... human. Lore would be limited in his operations as a result of his emotions, therefore Data concluded that it was a better model. It wondered why they even bothered to give it off duty time since it required no rest or leisure.
Data turned at the sound of its name.
"Come and sit with us, Data," Lore offered.
In a way, Data wanted to go. It wondered what it would be like to be accepted, like its 'Brother' had been, but it felt out of place here.
"I must return to duty it said," then left without another word.
* * *
Later, Data was alone in its quarters. It stirred only when it heard the door chime.
"Enter," it said, automatically.
The doors slid apart to reveal Lore. He walked into the room.
"It's not your fault, you know."
"What is not my fault?"
"The way you are."
Data frowned a tad.
Lore continued. "So cold and impersonal. You can't help the way you were created."
Data took this in. "I was created to operate as an efficient machine officer. I perform all my duties perfectly, without error."
"So? What's so perfect about that?"
Data frowned. "I do not understand."
"You see, humans relate better to me because I have emotions. I can feel and understand them. I'm more like them."
"That limits you in your duties," Data stated.
"True, in some ways, but humans prefer someone they can relate to, rather than an unfeeling machine. No offence."
"None taken, Lore," Data said. "I cannot be offended."
A pause, then, "why were you disassembled?"
Data saw the anger and regret in Lore's face now.
"StarFleet ..." he began with contempt, "disassembled me and you were made as my replacement. They considered me a failure, because I had emotions. They wanted a machine to obey their every order to the letter, without question. Not an android with a mind of its own and definitely not one with a conscience."
"That would seem to be reasonable," Data said.
"Reasonable?!" Lore spat, then softened his tone. "I'm sorry, Data. I don't expect you to understand. If you could feel, maybe you'd understand what I went through - and, Data, I don't blame you. It's not your fault for what happened to me."
"You do not like StarFleet."
"That's an understatement. They used me in ways that ..." Lore stopped, almost in tears. "To them I was just a tool ... a thing to be utilised. They ignored my personal feelings. I was expendable. They made me feel like trash ... a used rag ... like a bunch of substandard parts..." Lore wiped a tear from his cheek, then looked at Data. "Perhaps it's better that you don't have emotions. No feelings to be hurt..."
"Your parts were found and reassembled by the
Lore nodded. "Well, if they want me they'll use me again -just like they did before ... Data, how can you stand it? ... Being used as a tool? You might not have feelings, but..." Lore sighed. "Just forget it."
"I am incapable of forgetting, I cannot feel what you are feeling and I am obligated to report all of this to the ship's Captain."
"Go ahead. Can you blame me for feeling the way I do?"
"Perhaps if I had feelings myself, I would better understand."
"Perhaps ... I just hate StarFleet."
"It is unwise to express misgivings about StarFleet, Lore. They do not take kindly to it."
"And I don't take kindly to them," Lore growled. "They killed the only woman I ever loved."
"You fell in love?"
a StarFleet officer.
They asked her to discontinue her relationship with me, or they'd throw her out of StarFleet. She threw in her badge and resigned. We were going to run away together. I had plans to steal a ship, but they ..."
"They killed her before you could escape?"
Lore nodded sadly.
"Do you know how they killed her, Data?"
Data shook its head. "The report stated only that she was killed for a major disservice to StarFleet."
Lore scoffed at that. "Since when was love a disservice or a crime?"
"It is not against StarFleet rules."
"Exactly. It's because I was their property." Lore spat out the last word through his teeth. "They ... they tortured her right in front of me ... slowly ... painfully, that Machine thing you've got here is nothing compared to what they did to her. They put me behind a forcefield. I couldn't help her..." Tears flowed down Lore's cheeks.
"How did they torture her?" Data asked.
Lore shook his head. "I can't ... I won't ... I don't want to talk about it ... All I can say is it made me sick. I overpowered the forcefield and in a blind rage, I killed them all. I didn't listen to their pleas for mercy. They didn't deserve any and I didn't want to listen. I was too angry ... In a way, I regret killing them. I know it was wrong and I wish I hadn't, what they did to her wasn't right either."
Data seemed startled. "How many were there?"
"Four, but it was too late to save
"And that is why they disassembled you, because you killed ..."
Lore nodded. "Yes. Some officers burst in with phasers. They fired and that was the last thing I remembered until I was reassembled here."
"They had a reason for disassembling you."
"I suppose, but it was not reasonable to kill
Lore then left, without another word. Data watched him go, and began wondering what it would be like to have emotions. For the first time in its existence, Data found itself wanting to feel.
* * *
Later Data was in its lab, accessing the ships reports. The android took the in the information with ease, but then it froze as it stared at the screen.
Captain's log, Stardate 41252.4
The ships android unit, Data is to be replaced by its prototype Lore. The crew relate better to Lore and therefore function more efficiently when working with him. Data is to be deactivated and disassembled.
Data glared at the screen. It was better than Lore. It could perform more efficiently. It wondered if it should tell Captain Picard why Lore had been disassembled and his feelings towards StarFleet. Would it matter? Probably not. Data bashed the console with its fist, smashing the screen. Then it blinked. Anger? ... For the first time in its existence it felt something. An emotion. Data was also feeling something else, but couldn't quite put its finger on it. It bashed its communicator, for reasons it did not know.
"Lore. Report to my lab, immediately."
Then it realised what it was feeling. Jealousy.
The doors parted to reveal Lore, dressed in a loose brown shirt and pants.
Data waited until the doors had closed and Lore was inside.
"Lock doors to my signal." Before Lore could question that, Data said, "that is not the StarFleet attire you were assigned."
"So, I'm not a StarFleet officer and that utility suit made me feel like I was wearing pyjamas. Brown's my colour, y'know."
"It is true that you are not a StarFleet officer," Data said, "and you will never be one."
"You can say that again. I despise StarFleet."
"That is not what I meant."
Data pulled its arm out from behind its back and pointed a weapon at Lore. Lore stared.
"No. Not a phaser. An electron gun and as you well know, electrons and positrons do not mix."
Lore shook his head. "But why?..."
Data fired. Lore darted out of the way.
"YOU WILL NOT REPLACE ME!"
Lore frowned. "Replace you, but...?"
"They want you to take my place. I read it in the Captain's log. I will not allow that to happen."
Data fired again. Lore moved and grabbed Data's arm. Data violently jerked free, then grabbed Lore and hurled him across the lab. Lore crashed into a pile of equipment. As he began to stand, Data blasted his legs. Lore howled in pain as the blast hit, feeling every link being torn apart. His legs were still functioning, but barely. He scrambled away from Data's next blast. He didn't know where he was going, and didn't care, as long as he got away from Data, but how? He couldn't get out of the lab. Terrified, Lore scrambled between two large pieces of machinery. He stayed there, shivering, but didn't make a sound. He wondered why Data hadn't come after him yet.
Maybe he doesn't know where I am, Lore thought, although he knew that was wishful thinking. Data was going to find him and he knew it. It was only a matter of time. He knows where I am, Lore thought. He's playing with me...
Then Lore saw a human like shadow moving closer and closer. He quietly backed up against the wall as far as he could go. Data slowly approached. Each moment growing more agonising for Lore. He couldn't get away. His legs were dysfunctional now, and in pain. Data was in front of him now, aiming the gun at him. It walked closer. Lore tried unsuccessfully to back further into the wall.
"Don't do it, Data, please ..."
"You will not replace me."
Data pointed the gun closer. Lore shook his head in fear.
"Data, I didn't want it this way. I wish it were different. I don't want to replace you. You don't have to kill me."
"Yes I do. I want to."
Lore swallowed at the coldness of that statement.
Data readied itself to fire.
Data pressed the fire button, blasting the wall, making Lore jump. It smiled, seeming to enjoy Lore's pain and fear.
"You cannot escape."
"Data, don't do this ... You're only going to hurt yourself in the end."
Data frowned a fraction, then said, "I intend to dispose of you. I hate you."
Lore looked at his Brother, concerned. "You're feeling an emotion."
Data considered this for a moment.
"You are correct."
"You weren't programmed for emotions ... StarFleet installed a... failsafe mechanism in your brain, to give you cascade failure if you displayed any emotions. You're killing yourself, Data. You'll die if you keep this up."
Data didn't want to listen.
"You are the only one who is going to die, Lore."
Data stepped closer and saw exactly how much fear was in Lore's eyes and how helpless he was, his eyes pleading like a frightened puppy and smiled.
"Good bye Dear Brother..."
Data fired, betraying its Brother's pleading eyes, the pleading changing to shock and betrayal just before the final moment.
Lore's body lay there motionless. Dead. And Data smiled gain. It had enjoyed that.
Tasha Yar rushed in, being alerted by the blasting.
"What happened?!" she exclaimed.
"Lore suddenly attacked me. He discovered I was using sensors to follow what he does. It was self defence."
One look into Tasha's eyes told Data she could see straight through the android's lie. And one look from the android's cold eyes told Tasha it would kill her too if she told anyone otherwise.
Data looked down at Lore's body.
"It might be useful if we need it."
He shoved Lore's body in storage and didn't give it another thought.
* * *
Until now. Now, sitting alone, naked on its sofa, Data remembered. Remembered Lore's fear. Remembered betraying Lore and ending his life. Data hated itself for doing that.
Data had checked up on what Lore had said. It found evidence of the failsafe mechanism he had mentioned. In effect, Lore had saved its life, and Data remembered how it had repaid him.
Data found itself, bursting uncontrollably into tears.
"I'm sorry, Lore ... Brother..." it wailed.
Data sat like that on the sofa for over an hour before it began to compose itself.
It walked to the replicator and asked it to replicate a set of clothing its size.
It only had one uniform. Being an android, it didn't need to change clothes and for some reason, it didn't feel like wearing its uniform.
"Input style," the replicator said.
"Style..." Data repeated, confused.
Being an android, it had absolutely no fashion sense. Then it remembered Lore wore a loose brown shirt and pants and he had mentioned that brown was his colour. Data was identical in appearance to Lore, so it had the replicator produce an identical set. Data looked at itself in the mirror. For some reason, if felt better in these loose clothes, rather than the tight fitting StarFleet uniform.
Data sat back on the sofa, thinking about something. It looked at the floor, then frowned. It was thinking about Dr. Pulaski. Not as a Doctor, but as a woman. As Catherine Pulaski. It wanted to feel pleasure again. It wanted her.
* * *
Kate Pulaski, dressed in a loose dress put away her uniform, and wondered what to do while she was off duty. She frowned, thinking about something. Something she wanted, but for the life of her, she couldn't think what.
The door chime sounded.
"Come in," she said.
The doors slid apart, revealing Data.
Pulaski did a double take when she saw what the android was wearing.
Doctor. Data had called her that so many times before, but never the way he did now. She looked at the android and realised what she had been wanting. Data. They walked closer to each other, and when the doors closed, they kissed passionately. Data, for the first time felt desire. Desire for the woman it was holding in its arms.
Data wondered how could I be feeling this? How could it be feeling at all? Was it a result of the food on Aloria 4? But surely that had worn off by now. Maybe it was Data, overriding its programming.
* * *
Data led Kate into the bedroom and pushed her onto the bed, then the kissing resumed.
As the night progressed, it became more and more intimate.
It gave in to its feelings, its desire, totally, helplessly losing control.
After a while, it sat up.
"I am sorry, Doctor," it said. "I am not used to this."
Data looked at her. "Excuse me," it said, almost sexily.
It stood up, then walked briskly to its quarters.
"Second Officer's Personal Log, Stardate 48999.7
Data paused, then continued.
This will be my final
log, personal or otherwise. I am
experiencing an emotion for the second time, but not a negative one. I felt extremely jealous when my Brother Lore
was aboard the
I will never forget the pleading in his eyes, the shock, and betrayal just before I ... pulled the trigger ...
Data stopped, its voice breaking up.
"I wish I had died
instead. There is no way to repair
Lore. Perhaps it is better that
way. He hated StarFleet
and all they stand for. They killed his
Lieutenant Commander Data signing off - for the last time.
Data returned to Kate's quarters where she eagerly waited.
"I am sorry," the android said. "There was something very important I had to do."
"That's all right," she said.
Once again, the intimacy progressed. Kate followed the android's lead. Thinking this once cold, heartless unemotional thing was now passionate and gentle, more than any man she had ever known, and she gave herself to Data. She had been married three times, each husband brutal and cruel. She bore many scars, both physical and mental. They had forced her to perform sexual acts and abused her and all other men she had a relationship with were the same. They had used her for sex and abuse, and even though Data was an android, it was more a man than any of them. This android, this machine cherished her. To her Data had always been a bunch of circuits and sub-processors, but she discovered Data was more. Much more.
Would she regret this in the morning? She didn't regret it now. If this is a dream, Kate, please don't wake up.
Data gently caressed her, for the first time in its life, it felt the emotion flow through its body, uncontrolled and free. It was the most wonderful sensation the android had ever felt. Data realised for the first time, it felt love. Love for Catherine Pulaski and the sensation of being able to show it.
Data suddenly sat up in shock, checking its systems. It had come that close to a total cascade failure, it wasn't funny. Data remembered what Lore had said: "You weren't programmed for emotions ... StarFleet installed a ... failsafe mechanism in your brain, to give you cascade failure if you displayed any emotions. You're killing yourself, Data. You'll die if you keep this up."
I don't care, it thought after a moment. "Just one night ... a few hours of emotion are worth more than a lifetime of nothing."
And Data let itself love, knowing it would be fatal.
I'm sorry, Catherine, Data thought, sadly. Sorry I have to hurt you like this ...
"What is it, Data?" Kate asked, concerned.
Data shook its head and smiled.
"Nothing, darling. This night is wonderful ... beautiful and I never want it to end."
She smiled. "Neither do I."
They turned at each other.
Fear began slowly taking over Data. It didn't want to die, but would rather die than return to the cold emotionless thing it once was.
Let death come... it thought and heard Lore's voice. Don't fear it. Embrace it. Feel only the gentleness, the desire and the love ... Give into it...
And so he did.