Disclaimers: Star Trek was created by Gene Roddenberry and is owned by Paramount Pictures.

I make no monetary profits from my fanfic.

Summary: Lore meets someone special.

Author's Notes:  Formerly entitled - Keeping your Head Above Water - Featured in Data Entries 37, 1998.  Please note Tanya Dean is Seawave's old name.

Rating PG

Pronunciations: Aliya (A-lee-a)




He had come here seeking solitude. Instead he found the planet populated by biological humanoids when he wanted to be alone. He had almost been captured, and was lucky he made it to this planet, which he learned was called Oceania. It was a primitive place, forests, and ocean, no cities or technology.

He stayed away from their settlement, but they had seen him a few times. His gold skin and yellow eyes didn't seem to bother them. His clothes had burned up when he crashed on the planet, but his nakedness did not offend them. They had given him a few pieces of cloth to cover his privates, and welcomed him to their planet. He was surprised that they had not rejected him, but he chose not to become a part of their community.

The android sat on a rock, near his shuttle, where it had crashed. It had been permanently damaged, so he could not leave this place. It scared him in a way. What if they came looking for him? What could he do?

A noise.

His head spun around and he became tense, There was someone in the bushes. Spying on him, perhaps? One of the natives, he hoped, but what if it was them? He didn't want to think about that.

"I know you're there," he said, with confidence he did not feel.

Much to the android's relief, a native woman stepped out of the bushes.

"What were you doing?" he asked, a tad angry.

"Nothing," she said. "I was merely curious."

"About what?"

"About you and where you are from."

"Why do you want to know?"

"Your skin is golden," she said, "like the sun. It is very beautiful."

"Thank you," he said, looking at her light flesh-toned skin.

She was young tall and slender, with full golden hair trailing beyond her waist.

"I am sorry," she said, "am I bothering you?"


"I apologize. I shall leave now," and she turned away.

"Wait," he called. "I didn't even get your name."

"Aliya," she replied. "May I inquire what your name is?"


"Pleased to meet you, Lore."

"Do you have to be so polite? You're worse than Data!"

Aliya frowned. "Data?"

"My brother," the android explained.

"Is he here?"

"No," Lore snapped.

"You do not appreciate his company?"

"Well, he is my brother and all, but he's not the easiest person in the universe to live with."

"Neither is my brother," Aliya said. "He is too bossy."

Lore laughed and Aliya smiled.

"Do you still wish me to leave?"

Lore looked up at her and shook his head. Aliya sat next to him on the rock.

"You are very beautiful," she said.

Lore smiled. "You too."

"Do you really think so?" she asked, surprised, "and I haven't even reached the age of maturity yet."

"Age of what?"

"Oh, that is when a female becomes fully developed and can choose a mate. I am due to reach it very soon. You are very kind."

Now it was Lore's turn to be surprised. "I am?"

He hadn't realised it, but he'd moved closer to Aliya and she closer to him, but it did come to their attention when they bumped into each other and became embarrassed. Aliya shyly looked away, then peeked back at Lore. After a few more moments, she spoke.

"Can you come with me to the water?"


"I want to be with you," she said. "I like you."

"Well .... I like you too," Lore confessed, "but isn't this a bit too soon?"

"We have to start somewhere."

Lore shrugged. "I guess so..."

He stood and followed her. She lead him through a short stretch of forest, out to the ocean.

"Don't worry," she said, "hardly anyone comes to this part of the water. No one will see us."

"What are we doing here?" Lore asked.

"I want to show you something," Aliya said.

She then dived into the water with such grace, the way her body arched and shot into the water. It impressed Lore, even though she was a biological life form, she was exceptional, and he had only known her for such a short time.

Aliya came to the top of the water, her beautiful golden hair glistening in the sunlight.

"Come in," she said.

"I ... I can't."

"Why not?"

And what happened next made Lore's eyes widen as large as planets and he stepped backwards.

"What is it?" Aliya asked, puzzled at his astonishment.

"You're .... you're a mermaid...."

"Oh that. I thought you knew. Our legs transform into tails when they come into contact with water. Since 98 percent of our planet's surface is water, we are able to move in both surfaces freely. Many of my people live under the sea. It does not offend you, does it?"

"Well, no .... It's just different. I wasn't expecting it."

"Are you going to reject me because I am different from you?" Aliya asked.

"Of course not" Lore said, remembering how the colonists and others had treated him. He hesitated for moment. "I want to tell you something about myself."

Aliya listened.

Lore paused, frightened that she might reject him as the colonists had done.

"I ... I'm an android..." he said, looking down at her in the water.

"You mean like a robot?"

Lore nodded. "Sort of, yes. I thought this planet didn't have any technology."

"We don't, but we have been visited by those who have it. I've never met an android before ... You look nervous, Lore, why?"

"Well ... a lot of people, like humans reject me because of this."


"Because I'm made up from different parts from biological life forms."

"That's silly," Aliya said. "You're as alive as I am."

Lore smiled, glad she understood. "I know it's silly, but then so were they."

"Did all humans reject you?"

"Well, not all of them, but-"

"It doesn't matter," Aliya said. "Come into the water."

"I can't."

"Why not?"

Lore looked embarrassed. "I can't swim."

Aliya laughed, a delicate sound, but Lore scowled at her.

"Sorry," she said, "come in, I'll teach you. It's quite simple."

"Are you sure? I don't know if..."

Lore nervously took a few steps into the water.

Aliya began showing him different strokes, which despite fumbling around at first, Lore managed to pick up.

"You're a very quick learner" she complimented.

Lore smiled.

"Come," Aliya said, "I want to take you to my special place."

"Where's that?"

"Under the water - oh, you don't need to breathe, do you?"

Lore shook his head.

"Well, come on, then."

Aliya swam under and Lore followed, watching her swim gracefully.

She's beautiful .... he thought And she's the only person who's truly accepted me. Who cares if she's part fish?

Aliya arrived at her secret place, a beautiful coral reef where the components shone every colour under the sun.

"It's beautiful..." Lore said, in awe.

Aliya nodded, then swam with him into a gap inside the coral. They swam for a while, until there was an opening - a large, dry cavern, illuminated by the glowing coral. Lore watched Aliya's turquoise tail metamorphose into a pair of legs. Her silky hair seemed to be drying already. She stood up, then put her arms around Lore and kissed him.

"I choose you as my mate," she said.

"Don't you have to wait for your age of maturity or something?"

"I reach it today."

"Well, in that case, M'Lady, I accept," and he kissed her back.

Originally, he had wanted to leave this boring planet, but now he could think of nothing in the universe that could make him leave, even if he was given a starship. Aliya was everything he had ever wanted. She had melted the ice blockade around his heart, which until now, he'd thought was impossible. This simple biological woman had done what everyone - even his own parents had failed to do and for that he felt he owed her everything. Maybe this is what Data wanted for him, to have another chance to start a new life. What would he do if the Federation found him here? Would they take him away, or would they see that he's not a threat anymore and leave him be? Could he ever tell Aliya about is past? He wanted to, but he didn't want to frighten her and he didn't want to risk losing her. He would never hurt her, or any of her people. He never wanted to hurt anyone ever again.

"Aliya" he said, after a pause, "I love you."

She smiled delicately. "I know."

He held her as gently as he could and gave her a kiss she would remember for the rest of her days.




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