ol_yellow_eyes: (not sure)
[personal profile] ol_yellow_eyes
Transporter accidents do happen.

It is not often, though, that the initiation of second containment beam causes the same person to materialize twice in two different places.

But that is what happened to Commander Riker.

The first officer seems to be responding negatively to the recently-discovered second version of himself. Lieutenant Riker-- the second materialization of Commander Riker's transporter pattern, who was stuck alone on the evacuated planet for eight years-- does not seem particularly fond of his alter-ego, either. After a particularly tense game of poker, Data finds himself wondering why this might be.

He has a theory, but he decides to ask for a second opinion. During the away mission, while they are waiting for Commander and Lieutenant Riker to restore the servo-link to the station's main database, Data turns to ask Lieutenant Worf, "If you had a double of yourself, would you have difficulty interacting with him?"

"I think so," Worf answers, after a moment.

"Why?"

"I am not easy to get along with," is the reply.

Data nods, thinking this is reasonable. However, he believes he must point out, "But Commander Riker and Lieutenant Riker are. Yet they seem to have trouble getting along with each other." He then poses his theory: "I have found that humans value their uniqueness-- that sense that they are different from everyone else. The existence of a double would preclude that feeling. Could that be the source of the friction?"

Worf pauses again before answering. "Well, perhaps it is more a matter of seeing something in your double. Something you do not like in yourself."

.....


Once back in his quarters, Data spends a significant amount of time and mental processes pondering Worf's theory.

Something you do not like in yourself...

Data finds his thoughts lingering on one of his own experiences, the only one that could reasonably be compared to Commander Riker's current circumstance. It was not the same, but the similarities outnumber the differences, and Data ponders the possibility that Worf's theory could have applied in his case as well.

He remembers Lore's voice as clearly as if it were originating from the face in the mirror.

"You and I are completely different from them..."

Which of course implies that there are similarities between him and his brother. And certainly, there are. Beyond even their indistinguishable exteriors, inside they are of the exact same manufacture. As Dr. Soong himself said, "The two of you are virtually identical, except for a bit of programming."

But what, precisely, are the differences in programming?

Their father's use of the phrase "a bit" implies that the differences are minimal. Data finds that difficult to accept. The differences in their behaviors were quite pronounced, in his opinion, and his crewmates seemed to think so as well. But perhaps this opinion is subject to his own bias; he does not consider any similarities with Lore to be a good thing.

Perhaps Data had, in fact, seen things in Lore that he disliked in himself. Although it was probably more correct to say that he had seen Lore display undesirable traits that he thought he had the potential to display himself. What if the discrepencies which Dr. Soong called "a bit of programming" were nothing more than the abilty to experience emotions? What if Dr. Soong had miscalculated again-- as he apparently had with Lore-- and even the new emotion chip he developed would cause Data to become yet another unstable prototype?

If that is the case, then if Data is someday able to track down his brother, and integrate the chip into his own systems--

Data terminates his own though process before it reaches its inevitable conclusion. Such a theory is nothing more than hypothetical speculation. More importantly, the probability that he will ever see Lore again is very low.

Of course, it is possible that his calculations are subject to his bias.

Because Data does not want to see his brother ever again.
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January 2011

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