"Listen, at the first sign of trouble, I'm going to deactivate it. Agreed?" said Geordi, holding the emotion chip in his fingers.
Already seated, Data swiveled his chair away from him to give Geordi a better angle of his open head. "Agreed."
Geordi opened a small access compartment on top of the android's head and carefully inserted the chip. He then clicked it into place, activating the link. Data suddenly jerked up, startling his friend back a step. Coming around to the front of Data's chair, Geordi looked expectantly but worriedly at him. Data's face was one of plain shock.
His eyes darted around the room, taking in every detail with a completely new perspective. It was as if someone had taken off a blindfold he had been unaware of his whole life. Things around his room, things he'd collected over the years… suddenly had meaning! And it wasn't just the sentimentality -- Now being filtered through his chip, one object: a transparent, glass centerpiece evoked fond memories of Jenna D'Sora. Another, his violin case, filled him with a sense of pleasure at the thought of playing it.
He was overwhelmed! He'd never even come close to grasping the most basic of emotions. Now after only 7.286 seconds, he could not see being without them ever again.
Geordi stared at the android. From his angle, Data still looked astounded and a bit unresponsive. "Data?" Was he all right? Did the chip damage his brain at all?
Still gazing about the room, the emotion continued to build in Data. He felt like expressing his new warm feelings outwardly. A heartfelt grin slowly emerged on his pale features. The chief engineer had never seen Data grin before; therefore, he was surprised to see it.
"Geordi… I believe I am experiencing… joy! It is a most… gratifying feeling!" Data then felt a surge of excitement and he stood from his chair, proceeding to walk about his living room. "I want to test these emotions further… Perhaps we should go to Ten-Forward where there can be much more possible interactions."
Geordi smiled at his friend's enthusiasm, now that he had it. "If you think you're ready."
The doors to Ten-Forward opened before the two friends and they entered a humming throng of activity. Advancing, Data was all smiles as he acknowledged the other crewmen, elated to be around others with his emotions. Slightly behind him, Geordi watched his every move, analyzing the android's first steps in a whole new spectrum. But he was having a hard time not joining in on Data's good mood. He looked like a seven-year-old kid at Christmas.
At the bar, Guinan noticed the two come in. She caught their eye and brought up a tray of drinks. "Gentlemen! Something new from Frocas III?"
Curious, Data readily sipped one of the murky concoctions and analyzed the ingredients as he normally would. But when the signal of the drink's taste reached his emotional processors, a shock wave of unpleasant… chills went down his back. The sensation was so intense that the second he swallowed, he tensed quickly with a gasp.
Geordi took note of his convulsion. "What?"
Also surprised, Guinan frowned at Data in confusion.
"… I believe this beverage has produced an emotional response," said Data with wonder.
"Really? What are you feeling?" asked Geordi.
Data hesitated, trying to put this unexpected feeling into words. "I am uncertain. Because I have had little experience with emotion, I am unable to…" he gestured proddingly with his drink hand. "articulate the sensation."
Even more at a loss, Guinan looked at Geordi for help. "Emotion?"
He nearly replied but felt it would take too long to tell her at the moment. "I'll explain later."
Data was taking another drink, paying close attention to the taste this time and not the content. He received even more of the unpleasant chills. "Ooh!" he exclaimed in disgust.
"Well, it looks like he hates it," said Guinan aloud, more so to herself than to Geordi.
Realization dawned on Data. "Yes… that is it." He smiled at her then his drink. "I hate this!"
"Data, I think the chip is working," commented Geordi as Data finished the drink. He received his most violent reaction yet as he shuddered, jerked, and puckered his lips. "Oh yes! I hate this" He grinned in spite of his total disgust. How intriguing! "It is revolting!"
"More?" said Guinan, obviously knowing he seemed to enjoy the new sensation.
"Please." He sat his cup down for her to refill.
Thirty minutes later, Geordi scanned the Amargosa station with his tricorder. He would much rather be back on the ship, doing something else with his time; but it was always duty before pleasure. Scanning for rare compunds on a ghost station was an extremely tedious task compared to the difficulties of fixing transporter couplings. But still, he would prefer to be doing that than scanning.
Ducking under a beam, he said aloud with a sigh, "Well... there's no sign of any trilithium over here."
On the other side of the room, Data was also examining the walls for trilithium. At the moment, he was recalling one of the first jokes he heard on the Enterprise. Since he had failed in his last attempt at humor, he'd decided to search his memory for a missed example. But instead of a normal remembrance, once again his chip filtered the reminiscence and he understood… and actually laughed aloud at the joke!
Hearing him, Geordi turned around to look at his friend. Next to the railing half a level up, Data chucked louder. "I get it, ha ha ha, I get it!"
Curious, Geordi chuckled too. "You get what?"
Data proceeded to the staircase near him. "When you said to Commander Riker, 'The clown can stay,' ha ha ha, 'but the Ferengi in the gorilla suit has to go'!" He then laughed hysterically in Geordi's face.
"What are you talking about?"
"During the Farpoint Mission. We were on the bridge, you told a joke – that was the punch line." He giggled again.
"The Farpoint – Data that was… seven years ago."
"I know; I just got it! Ha ha ha, very funny!" He poked Geordi's chest in time with his last two words and continued laughing.
Oh boy, thought his friend. If that's what he finds funny – after seven years – this is going to be a long assignment.
The two of them proceeded to a different part of the observatory. Geordi continued scanning while Data giggled non-stop behind him. He was accessing his past memories marked as 'humorous' all at once. And with each one, his cackles escalated. Geordi tried to ignore him, but the combined frustration with not finding anything and Data's incessant giggling caused him to sigh exasperatedly. He turned around to tell Data to keep it down when he saw a concealed entry in the infrared spectrum. "Wait a minute," he said.
Data stopped chuckling and looked at him with a grin. Geordi made his way across the cluttered hall to it. "There's a door hidden right behind you. I can see the separation with my VISOR."
Data became more serious for the moment and scanned with his tricorder. "There appears to be a dampening field in operation. I cannot scan beyond the bulkhead." At his last word, Data snickered again, finding the word funny.
Geordi walked to the other side of the large door, studying it. "There doesn't seem to be a control panel of an access port."
"It appears to be magnetically sealed," said Data, closing his tricorder. "I believe I can reverse the polarity by attenuating my axial servo." He pulled up his sleeve on his right lower forearm and opened the compartment. Holding his arm out before the door, Data was reminded of a certain Arab tale and decided to apply it to his situation. "Open sesame!"
The large entrance responded to his servo and began lifting up, scattering some debris in the process. Data laughed at the success of his own first joke and turned to Geordi. The android then had another insight to humor. "You could say… I have a magnetic personality! Ha ha ha – humor, I love it! Hee!" He turned to go to another part of the room while Geordi stared at the spot Data had been, annoyed.
Ugh, he thought. One bad pun after the other. He again began scanning about the new room. Stopping in front of a strange set of solar probes, he noted that they were substantially different from any he'd ever seen before. "Data? Come take a look at this, will you?" Data obediently came over and looked at the probe Geordi was examining. "Have you ever seen a solar probe with this kind of configuration?"
Data was only half listening. He'd just gotten another idea. Making a mouth out of his tricorder, he spoke in a silly voice. "No, Geordi, I have not. Have you?" Data looked at it and said cordially in his normal voice, "No, I have not. It is most unusual." He looked back at his friend and laughed. "Mr. Tricorder! Ha ha ha!!"
Now Geordi's patience was thin – very thin. He felt like he was trying to talk to a drunkard version of Data. Now he'd be grateful to search the station alone. "Just see if you can help get these panels open, will ya?"
Data looked at his tricorder again and said in the captains voice, "Make it so."
The End ^_^