Thread: The Offspring
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Old August 1 2008, 10:42 PM   #1
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The Offspring

Plot Summary: On his return from a cybernetics conference discussing breakthroughs in transference technology, Data creates an android named Lal by transferring his own neural relays into the new positronic brain. He allows Lal to select an appearance and gender from projections on the holodeck and is able to give Lal a more realistic human visage than his own. But Lal has difficulty fitting in with children at school, who are alternately afraid of her and mocking, and Data decides that she may learn human social behavior better with Guinan mentoring her in Ten Forward. Picard is deeply concerned about the implications both of Data deciding to become a parent and of Starfleet learning that there is another sentient android on the Enterprise. When Starfleet's Admiral Haftel is briefed about the creation of Lal, he wants to transfer the new android to the Daystrom Institute where he believes a team of human scientists will do a better job of educating her. Data invokes his parental rights and Lal expresses the desire to remain on the Enterprise, but the admiral insists that working in a bar is no place for an android. Picard is prepared to fight for the rights he helped to outline along with Starfleet Judge Advocate General Philippa Louvois, but before any further decisions can be made, Lal suffers a system breakdown while explaining to Troi that she is experiencing the emotion of fear. Data and Haftel try to repair the malfunctions, but Lal's new feelings have overwhelmed her neural pathways and Data tells Lal that he is unable to stop the breakdown. Lal tells Data that she loves him, and that since he cannot share the feeling with her, she will feel it for both of them. She thanks him for her brief life and the things he taught her. Once his daughter has suffered complete system failure - the android equivalent of death - Data transfers her memories to his own brain so that he may continue to experience the ways she enriched his life.


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