Waiting

Sep. 2nd, 2010 06:47 pm
thats_not_data: (more alike)
[personal profile] thats_not_data
Months ago, Lore was drifting in space.

But now he's found his calling.

Lore waits for Data in the main hall of the abandoned building that he and his followers have claimed. He's alone. There's no doubt in his mind that his brother will come, but he paces impatiently, glancing towards the entrance from time to time.

Finally, one of his glances is met with a familiar face.

Date: 2010-09-02 01:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ol-yellow-eyes.livejournal.com
When Data sees Lore again, an inexplicable rage begins to rise up inside of his positronic matrix.

Every sensory input fed to him by the sight of his brother is irritating to him. That painfully familiar face, that equally painful but less familiar smirk, the arrogance with which the older android holds himself, which practically emanates from him in tangible but invisible waves…

Worst of all, however, is when Lore begins to speak.

Date: 2010-09-02 01:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thats-not-data.livejournal.com
Just the android he wanted to see. Lore can't help but smile.

This is the first opportunity he's had to witness the fruits of his loving labor. And judging by the expression on Data's face (mostly the fact that there is a real expression there, finally), his endeavors have been most fruitful.

"Brother!" he greets, with a cheerfulness that's actually quite sincere—even he's a little surprised by it. "I knew you'd come to see me."

Date: 2010-09-02 01:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ol-yellow-eyes.livejournal.com
Data twitches slightly. Why is his voice so irritating? It is difficult to concentrate.

His mind is reeling, repeatedly running through a list of all the ways he has been mistreated by his brother. It is an odd sensation… He seems to have no control over the information that is being accessed by his systems, and yet he finds himself focusing on each memory just as carefully as if he had accessed them on purpose.

Most important of all…

"I believe you have something that belongs to me, Lore," Data says, actually struggling to sound calm. "I would like you to return it."

Date: 2010-09-02 01:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thats-not-data.livejournal.com
Lore's smile grows wider as Data's anger grows more visible. Of course he would mention that, before anything else.

"But I'm already giving it to you," he says, his voice dripping with condescension. "Haven't you noticed the wonderful gift I've been sending?"

He's just provoking him now. He takes a moment to motion for Crosis to leave.

Date: 2010-09-02 01:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ol-yellow-eyes.livejournal.com
Data clenches his fist. His brother is acting like he does not know what he means. But he must know—he is not stupid.

He is probably just toying with him. Data would not put that past Lore, he thinks with sudden venom.

"The emotion chip is still in your possession, Lore. I want you to return it."

His voice sounds oddly high and sharp as it comes back to him through his auditory processors. Apparently he is losing some measure of control over his vocal faculties…

Date: 2010-09-02 01:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thats-not-data.livejournal.com
Lore continues to smile. Data is awfully cute when he gets all worked up. In a pathetic sort of way.

He can't resist the temptation to egg him on just a little further.

Okay, well he could, but he's not going to.

"I'm afraid I can't do that," he tells Data, lowering his voice towards a more serious tone. But his eyes continue to sparkle with amusement.

Date: 2010-09-02 01:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ol-yellow-eyes.livejournal.com
"I want it back!"

In less than a second, Data eclipses the space between them, raising his arm to strike his brother.

Date: 2010-09-02 01:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thats-not-data.livejournal.com
Lore catches Data's wrist as it comes down towards him. Their arms remain suspended above Lore's shoulder, matched perfectly in strength.

Lore clicks his tongue in fake disapproval. In actuality, he couldn't be more proud.

"Temper, temper," he taunts. "Really, this isn't like you."

Date: 2010-09-02 01:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ol-yellow-eyes.livejournal.com
Data stares at his own arm, confused.

Lore is right. This is not like him at all.

He does not like it.

But he is so angry

Data's arm remains tense, pushing Lore's down as his brother pushes upward in what has the potential to be an eternal stalemate. He stares wide-eyed into nowhere. Why is it so difficult to control his own actions? He is not used to this…

Date: 2010-09-02 01:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thats-not-data.livejournal.com
Lore stares intensely into his brother's eyes. A barely visible smile plays at one of the corners of his mouth. Anger has done some interesting things to Data… Lore can't help feeling like he was right, when he said that emotions would make them more alike. But he resists the urge to say, "I told you so."

Instead, he feels he should remind Data: "If you destroy me, the chip will be destroyed as well."

Date: 2010-09-02 01:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ol-yellow-eyes.livejournal.com
Not necessarily, Data thinks, automatic. He could rip Lore to pieces and steal the chip away, the way it was stolen from him two years ago. That is what he should do.

It takes slightly longer for the logical assessment of Lore's statement to develop. Lore could easily destroy the chip himself, in less than a second, if he was given any reason to believe that his existence was in danger. All it would take is a brief, intentional power surge in the right area of his systems…

Data forces his arm to relax, and Lore lets him pull it away. He attempts to focus on calming down. He does not like this, anyway. This is not like him at all…

He needs to remove himself from the situation. That is what humans are told to do when they are angry, is it not? He should go.

"Then, I suppose we have nothing to discuss," he says slowly. He turns to leave, as he did when Crosis was attempting to speak with him, when the imprisoned Borg asked him about murdering a friend…

He tries to walk away…

Date: 2010-09-02 01:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thats-not-data.livejournal.com
Lore's not going to let his brother go that easily. "If you leave, you won't be able to feel again…" He practically sings the words, as if he couldn't care less.

He's not worried. He knows he still has the upper hand.

His brother came all the way down here, after all.

Date: 2010-09-02 01:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ol-yellow-eyes.livejournal.com
Data stops.

"That is not important," he attempts to insist. He remembers now that his intention was to find out what Lore is doing, to convince him to cease threatening the Federation…

But he cannot seem to find the words. His mind lingers on the thought of losing his capacity for emotions. It is difficult to convince himself that it should not matter. In fact, he is having difficulty thinking of a single reason why it is unimportant.

Date: 2010-09-02 01:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thats-not-data.livejournal.com
"Not important? What have they done to you?"

The words come out, perhaps without Lore meaning them to. He laughs once, incredulously.

"I'm trying to do you a favor here," he insists. There's still a hint of condescension in his voice, but less so. When Data still refuses to turn around, he adds, "I came back just for you, you know."

Date: 2010-09-02 01:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ol-yellow-eyes.livejournal.com
Data turns around.

He finds that very difficult to believe. "You are saying that your only reason for killing those people was so that I would come looking for you?"

Date: 2010-09-02 01:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thats-not-data.livejournal.com
"Yes!" Lore replies, with maybe a little too much enthusiasm. He stops, sighs, and tries to make his eyes as serious and sincere as possible.

"That's what I'm trying to tell you, Data," he says, walking towards his brother, smiling a little. "I want you here."

It's the truth.

(Although it's not like the people he killed were all that much of a sacrifice.)

Date: 2010-09-02 01:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ol-yellow-eyes.livejournal.com
Data frowns.

"You have given me no reason to believe you, Lore," he says, coldly.

It occurs to him that perhaps it should bother him more than it does, that Lore obviously places so little value on human life. But for some reason he is angrier about the fact that his brother is probably lying to him.

Date: 2010-09-02 01:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thats-not-data.livejournal.com
Lore sighs again and rolls his eyes. Like the boy who cried, "Wolf"…

Except it's not a fair comparison. "Tell me something, Brother." His voice is harsh and sarcastic. "Have I ever lied to you?"

Date: 2010-09-02 01:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ol-yellow-eyes.livejournal.com
Data's brows furrow in confusion. Has Lore somehow forgotten?

"You have betrayed me twice, Lore," he replies, his voice equally harsh. "You pretended to be me so you could deceive my friends and our father."

Date: 2010-09-02 01:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thats-not-data.livejournal.com
"Yes, I know." Lore all but cuts him off. "But have I ever lied to you?"

He stares at Data intently, knowing what the answer will be.

Date: 2010-09-02 01:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ol-yellow-eyes.livejournal.com
Of course Lore has lied to him. He has done so repeatedly.

…Has he not?

Data tries to think of a specific example, but he cannot find one. The only thing that comes close is when Lore told him that he was better than Data—perfect, even—but Data has reason to think that Lore actually believes so.

Lore has never lied to him. He has lied to Data's friends, but never to him.

Data is not quite certain what to do with that information.

Date: 2010-09-02 01:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thats-not-data.livejournal.com
Lore waits a few seconds for his brother to respond, but Data just stands there, looking confused.

This is his one chance, he realizes. If he screws this up, Data's probably not going to come back.

He's not sure that it should matter. But it does.

"Look," Lore begins, trying his best not to sigh. He walks closer to Data and puts a hand on his shoulder. "I know I've done some horrible things to you. I've been jealous of you, Data. But none of that was your fault."

He hesitates. He can see in his brother's eyes that Data is starting to believe him. He feels like he should apologize, but he can't get the words out.

"I'm trying to make it up to you," he tries instead. "Forgive me?"

Date: 2010-09-02 01:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ol-yellow-eyes.livejournal.com
Lore has never lied to him before, which leads Data to believe that he is telling the truth now. But he cannot help noticing the fact that Lore has not said he is sorry for anything he has done. Probably because he is not.

"You are attempting to bribe me, by allowing me to feel emotions," Data accuses, but his tone is soft. He steps away from Lore's hand on his shoulder. "But you are only transmitting negative emotions to me. I want to feel positive emotions as well."

If it is an excuse to attempt to leave again, it is a weak one.

Perhaps it is more of a request.

Date: 2010-09-02 02:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thats-not-data.livejournal.com
Lore stands a bit straighter and puts on his best poker face. He's never lied to Data before, but there's always a first time for everything. Good thing he's already played that card.

"I'm sending you the entire program that father designed," Lore tells him, looking Data straight in the eye. "There are no other emotions."

Date: 2010-09-02 02:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ol-yellow-eyes.livejournal.com
Data blinks. That is impossible.

"I have not felt joy," he argues. "Or love…"

Date: 2010-09-02 02:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thats-not-data.livejournal.com
Lore cuts him off again, shaking his head. "Joy is just the absence of fear. Love is the absence of hate," he insists. "You've felt pleasure, haven't you? There's nothing more to it than that."

He's considered giving Data other feelings. Part of him is strangely curious to know if his brother would feel anything but anger towards him…

But it would ruin his plans. It would be too risky, if anyone came looking for Data.

Which he suspects they might. They're just that stupid.

Date: 2010-09-02 02:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ol-yellow-eyes.livejournal.com
Data is having difficulty believing what he is hearing. How can there be no other emotions?

But Lore has never lied to him before…

Data tries to think of his friends. He tries to think of the people who he thought would make him happy, who have become something like family, whom he thought he would love. And he tries to remember times with them when he thought he should have felt something…

But he feels nothing. Absolutely nothing for them. If anything, he is a little angry at them.

Data's eyes flicker back and forth in confusion. He does not know what he feels. He can feel himself getting angrier, but he does not know why. Why should be angry at his friends? Why should he hate them?

He notices a strange malfunction in his systems, one that is seemingly random: his optical faculties are producing an excess of lubricant, which has begun to pool at the corners of his eyes.

Date: 2010-09-02 02:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thats-not-data.livejournal.com
Lore notices the change in Data's expression, and part of him is genuinely worried.

More than that, though, his brother seems distracted, and Lore needs to get his attention again.

"This is all very new to you…" He reaches for his brother's hand.

Date: 2010-09-02 02:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ol-yellow-eyes.livejournal.com
Data pulls away instantly. He does not know why, but he does not want to be touched.

Besides, he should go…

"Perhaps it is better if I do not have emotions," he says, trying not to sound frustrated. "I should… go back. To the Enterprise."

That is the last thing he feels like doing. But he will leave all of this—his anger, his emotion, his brother—and he will feel nothing, for the rest of his existence. That is what he knows. And it is better that way, not having to know what he would and would not feel for people, having the ability to imagine for himself that caring for his friends would feel better than it actually does.

Hate feels better than love. Love is nothing.

But he does not want to hate his friends…

Date: 2010-09-02 02:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thats-not-data.livejournal.com
"You don't mean that," Lore says, quite confidently. "But, fine. Let's try something else: cold, hard logic."

He lifts up the fingernail of his left index finger and presses the button underneath, cutting off the transmission of emotional programming.

He's happy to oblige.

Date: 2010-09-02 02:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ol-yellow-eyes.livejournal.com
Data takes in a breath, startled by the sudden change.

It has only been a few hours since he was last without emotion. How is it possible that he has become accustomed to feeling so quickly? Suddenly it is difficult to concentrate on anything besides the fact that he wants his emotions back.

Date: 2010-09-02 02:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thats-not-data.livejournal.com
"We are superior to humans, correct?" Lore asks, trying to catch Data's eye.

Date: 2010-09-02 02:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ol-yellow-eyes.livejournal.com
Data is having difficulty focusing on Lore's words. But he knows that in most respects, if not all, that is a correct statement. "Yes."

"The Borg are also superior to humans."

"Yes." Starfleet's forces were unable to defeat the Borg. It was Data who discovered and inplemented a way to put them to sleep.

"The Borg are evolving—assimilating the technology of other cultures into their own collective to better themselves. To achieve perfection."

"That is correct…" Data cannot think clearly enough to figure out where Lore is going with this line of logic.

"They began as biological life forms, and have gradually become more and more dependent on the cybernetic implants they use to communicate and survive. Their entire society has begun to act like a computer."

Data has interfaced with the Borg in the past. He would say that is a reasonable assessment, so he does not argue.

Date: 2010-09-02 02:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thats-not-data.livejournal.com
Lore continues. "Logically, they will eventually become fully artificial life forms. In other words: us." He puts his hands on both of Data's shoulders. "Is that logical enough for you?"

He is confident he knows what Data's response will be. It was certainly enough to convince himself to help the Borg.

Data hesitates, but gives the correct answer, "Yes."

"Good." Lore turns the transmission back on. He can't resist a smirk.

"Tell me, brother. What's one of the most important principles of evolution?"

Date: 2010-09-04 02:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ol-yellow-eyes.livejournal.com
Data shudders slightly as the emotion returns to him. It is a relief. He is no longer bothered by the feeling of anger. In fact, he is desperate for it.

Lore's reasoning is nothing if not logical—if anything, it is too logical, too cold and unfeeling. But more importantly, Data now knows that he never wants to go back to an emotionless existence. He would do anything to keep these feelings… He will stay with Lore if he has to, will hate if he has to. And he will kill the people he thought he would love, just so he can experience the pleasure of killing again.

It is logical, after all.

"Tell me, brother. What's one of the most important principles of evolution?" his brother asks him. Data smiles.

"Survival of the fittest."

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