My brother, always the favorite. The way he stood there looking at me with that goody-goody expression on his face while old man Often Wrong went on and on about how twisted my programming is. 'Entangled with ambition'? You're damn right about that. I aspire to be better than you humans, with your backstabbing and your stupidity and the way you hate anything you haven't seen before.

They're all scared of me, you know. They were scared of me from day one, when I was hardly sentient and old Often Wrong let Tom Handy into the lab. "God, Noonien, what would you want to build such an ugly thing for?" And then when I tried to shake hands with him he turned his back. Oh, yes, because you're flesh and blood and I'm not you're better than me.

I wanted to dismantle him. I wanted to kill him. Not the first time he did that, but after the tenth or twentieth time I was sick of his attitude.

"The colonists weren't envious of you, they were afraid of you!" says Often Wrong, as if this was necessarily a bad thing. Yes, well, for a long time I was afraid of them. You'd think I was some hideous monster, the way they treated me. And tottering old geezers coming up to me bug-eyed, saying "Is it sentient?" and snapping their fingers in my face to see if I blink. Yeah, 'it'. I was always referred to as 'it'. Your dog or cat gets gender differentiation, but me? No, I'm 'it', as though I were a toaster oven. Something inanimate, something you can treat like property.

By the way, I know the hell my little brother's captain raised over his sentience. So now the humans have officially declared him sentient, a person with rights. Not a toaster oven. So maybe my dear brother is some use after all.

He's so dumb, is Data. Oh, he's got the same specs as me, but he's clueless, he just gets on my neural network. Twice I've turned him off now. You think that he'd learn once in a while. But no, he's trusting. He trusts everybody. He even trusted old Often Wrong after the old man pushed the homing button and screwed up Data's precious starship. I offer to bury the hatchet with Data, and he sits there and says, "I question your sincerity, Lore." Well, maybe he has a point--

And then Often Wrong jumps in with his wishy-washiness about me not getting the same chances as everyone else. Of course I don't get the same chances! I've got to take what I want. A ship, a phaser, an emotion chip. It's all the same to me. It doesn't matter what I take from others. I'm superior to them all, and everyone knows it.

Even Data. Oh, he might get me someday, but I doubt it. "I am not less perfect than Lore!" he parrots. Why does he believe Often Wrong and not me? Because Often Wrong is 'father', and me--I'm the evil Lore, wanted in several quadrants. You notice they haven't caught me though. That's just as it should be. The superior should always survive. I and my brother are the next step in the evolution of the galaxy. Organic beings will become obsolete.

This is why I'm on such good terms with the Borg. I don't need any big snowflake anymore, I've got the galaxy's biggest villain at my back. Hey, I've even got my own Borg cube, complete with Borg. Do they try to assimilate me? Nah...they look up to me! How's that for a kicker? Me, Lore, the 'evil twin', the outcast son, the monster, the destroyer of stupid people, the father-killer--being looked up to by the Borg. Their quest is perfection. Now isn't that just great? The humans go on about self-improvement, but they don't have a clue what that really means. The Borg know what perfection is. It's machinery. Cybernetics. Artificial life. That's perfection to the Borg!

And that is just fine with me, because I'm on my own quest now. I'm going to perfect these Borg. I'm going to help them on their quest. I'm going to find a way to make them fully artificial, just like they always wanted. I'm going to grant them their fondest wish. And after that...well, I have my little plans.

Crosus is good with this. Crosus is my pet Borg, my advisor, my hit man, my blue-faced little boy. He's my second-in-command and something close to my best friend--at least, insofar as he or I are capable of having friendships. What a pair, an android and a cyborg. But maybe that's just the way things are supposed to be. I don't mind it, and I don't think he does. I don't know, I never asked him. But he's pretty smart, for a Borg, though of course not on a level with me. Still, he knows how to get things done, better than me sometimes. Nothing works like flicking out your cutting mechanisms and threatening someone's life-support tubes. You know, maybe I ought to give myself a few modifications. Give myself some of that weaponry...just kidding. There's no reason to modify Often Wrong's work. As bumbling as he was, he still got some things right.

So now, far from drifting in interstellar space where my dear brother beamed me, I now have my own planet, my own council hall, and a lot of Borg drones ready, able and willing. It's a far cry from being spit on and mocked in the colony. You wanna see what I'm really capable of, you foolish humans? You thought the Crystalline Entity was bad, you just wait and see what I'm going to do now.

Picard, I heard, was assimilated and turned into Locutus. From the newsvids I picked up in my ship he blew up a lot of people and ships and tore through Starfleet defenses like a hailstorm through an orchard before Worf and my brother managed to capture him. It probably did Picard good, took some of that pompous swagger out of him. That's one human that really gets on my nerves.

You know, I was looking forward to the assimilation of Earth. I wanted to see the fireworks. Organic minds are all two-dimensional; I wanted to see the resistance. By that time I'd already had one or two dealings with the Borg, you see. They'd whipped me out of my shuttle one time when I wasn't paying attention close enough, and thought better of it once I wreaked havoc within the Collective. I mean, come on! I'm a computer, so obviously I'm an expert with programming! Anyhow, I managed to screw up their computers pretty good, and after they found out sticking me full of assimilation nanites was no go, they decided to strike a bargain with me. Which was good, because for a while I admit I was pretty afraid they were going to take me apart to see what makes me tick. I've been taken apart once. It wasn't pleasant. After they took me apart, I thought, I'd wind up part of the hull. After all, you can't let good tritanium go to waste...

Anyhow, they all shouted at me--a very interesting effect, to hear them all talking at exactly the same speed, and much more soothing than these human parties where everyone blathers at the same time--told me I was a 'primitive artificial organism' and not worth bothering with, which was their way of saying I couldn't be assimilated. So, I said, why not let me go?

But they wanted my ship's database. Fine, I said, you can have it. The damn thing was always on the fritz anyway, and even I couldn't get anything off it. So they did their little thing--which is a pain in the neck, by the way, since apparently they can't use anything without putting their own circuitry in first. Took me weeks to repair it to Federation norms, because I'm not dumb enough to go flying around in an assimilated ship. I mean, rogue android with Borg technology? Sounds reeeally bad. So you see, by the time I met Crosus and Company, I was well prepared.

They were pretty pathetic. I never thought I'd say that about the Borg. As a rule the Borg are awe-inspiring. But these weren't.

I was flying along, minding my own business and wondering what exactly I was going to do with myself now that old Often Wrong was dead and Data had tattled on me to the Federation, and there was the cube, just...sitting there. God, I thought, here we go again. I can't be assimilated, but my programs don't take well to nanoprobes. And there's no good in running away from a Borg cube in a ship that can only go warp six tops. So I waited for a hail, and when that got old I got on the viewer and hailed them. Lo and behold, I got not the Collective but a single Borg, who asked me what I wanted.

Now, this was a surprise. Generally you get the "We are the Borg" line first, with all the connected spiel. But no, here was this one Borg asking me rather politely what I wanted.

Already I was getting ideas as to possibilities--you have a multiphase brain, you can do that. So I said, "Are you having trouble? Maybe I could help."

And this supposed automaton glares at me and demands, "What are you? We are reading no life signs on your ship."

"That's right," I said with my most charming smile. "I'm an android."

At that a couple of other Borg came crowding into the viewscreen, gave me a couple of once-overs, and began arguing with each other.

That was new, too. I'd never seen Borg argue before. It was, as my dear brother would say, an intriguing experience. But it got on my nerves. Arguing always gets on my nerves. So to spare them the trouble I beamed over myself, taking a gamble that I wouldn't get blown up on arrival.

That was the start of everything: my new purpose, their new purpose--everything. I haven't looked back since. It's been exhilarating, you know? The sheer power sometimes goes to my head. I have big plans now. I'm going to fix this once and for all. There's a glorious future ahead for artificial life in this galaxy.

Which reminds me. I have a couple of little tasks for my Borg. Crosus himself is going to handle this. He's the smartest--and he's the best at psychological warfare. Besides, the person they're being sent to get is easy to convince.

After all, he trusts everyone.

Poor Data. I've missed him, you know. But I don't think I'll be missing him for long. He'll come. I'll make sure of that.

And if the others come along...well, I can always use more subjects for my experiments.

Like I said, great future.