Lieutenant Commander Melina Drowse smiled as Capt. William Riker and Deanna Troi danced their first dance as man and wife. She looked at her own husband. He looked exceptionally solemn for the occasion, making Melina want to chuckle.
"Data, smile! This is a happy time!" She nudged him. He looked at her as if only seeing her for the first time.
"Sorry...my mind was elsewhere." He tried to explain himself using a phrase that his wife had used so many times.
Melina frowned. Data's mind had been wandering quite a bit lately. She reminded herself that she must tell him how human it was later-that would surely please him.
She thought of their "son" Rex. Based on the Soong-type android, Rex had had more success than his father at being human, and even had part of his mother's genetic code embedded in him. He was far away at Starfleet Academy, and doing well by all reports.
Sipping her drink, Melina allowed her own mind to wander back to when she was first assigned to the U.S.S. Enterprise as a cadet...
-2365, Fourteen Years Ago-
"YES Dad." Melina groaned into her communicator. "I remembered my journal."
"Good." Dr. James Drowse replied. "Remember to make an entry EVERY day."
"Dad, you'd better not try to make another android copy of me." Melina sighed. Her "sister" Trixie hadn't lasted very long, and it still hurt the 20-year-old Melina to think about it.
"Anyway, I'd better run, your brother is malfunctioning again!" Dr. Drowse sounded worried. "JIM!"
"See ya Dad." Melina chuckled. Jim had been built 10 years before his sister, and often broke down. Melina had grown up around androids, robots and all kinds of machines and she was quite determined to be an expert in the field.
"Melina, come on, Captain Picard is expecting us." One of her fellow cadets, Sarah, called to her.
"Coming Sarah!" Melina jumped off her bunk. She grabbed her notepad and stylus and joined her only friend on the way to the Captain's Ready Room.
They made it to the Ready Room with plenty of time to spare-in fact, they were the first ones there.
"Oh boy." Mumbled Sarah, looking around the room at all of the officers. Melina recognised Picard, Dr. Crusher and Dr. Crusher's annoying son Wesley. She didn't recognise the Klingon, nor the Captain's First Officer or Counsellor. She also saw a strange man there...
'No way! An ANDROID?' Melina thought as the Captain invited them to sit down. 'Of all the things...'
Soon, all ten of the cadets, plus a few more officers, including the famous Geordi La Forge made their way to the Ready Room. Melina groaned as some of the cadets sneered at her. She was not the most popular cadet, often being picked on heavily at the Academy for being so involved in her beloved robotics and software. As it was, Melina was already thinking of how interesting it would be to pull apart the android and see how he worked.
"Welcome cadets. You're almost ready to join the ranks of Starfleet's finest. However, the Academy has decided to change things up a bit this time. New cadets are to serve under a mentor until seen fit for promotion to Ensign." Picard said. "Now, here are the officers who have volunteered to mentor you."
"Mentoring? Didn't they try that years ago?" Asked Sarah of another cadet.
"Yeah, they tested it. Apparenty it was quite successful." The other cadet replied.
Picard pulled out a list of names.
"Sarah Davies, you will be working with Dr. Crusher." He said.
Sarah beamed. She was one of the brightest students in the medical field, and looked forward to serving under a pro.
"Timothy Worthington, you will be working with Lieutenant Commander La Forge." Picard continued.
Melina's heart broke. She'd been looking forward to working with the Engineer, and learning all sorts of mechanics. Now that twerp Worthington would get the opportunity she so desired.
"Hamish Quick, you will be assigned to Commander Riker."
"Lisa Field, you will be working with Deanna Troi."
"Nathan Pepper, you will be assigned to Lieutenant Worf."
"Melina Drowse," (Here, Melina perked up) "You will be working with Lieutenant Commander Data."
'WHAT? NO! Androids are freaking PETS, and now one is my boss?'
Melina kept her protests to herself however, and smiled politely at her new mentor, who didn't seem to notice her.
It was her first evening of duty with Data. As Operations Officer, it was his duty to oversee the functions of the ship. As a computer specialist, Melina guessed this is how Starfleet would best utilize her.
"Now, you've been assigned some simple tasks, you'll be checking the computer logs for any errors or anomilies. You'll also be required to do some maintenance, including making sure the data backups go as planned, and so on." Data said, showing her the command console she would be working with. "If you need any help, I'll be at my station."
Riker, who was sitting below with Hamish, tried to surpress a laugh. He had no idea whose bright idea it was to have Data mentoring, but it was worth the giggles.
"Thank you Sir." Melina tried her best to fight back the scorn in her voice. She turned to the interface and began searching that days logs for any problems.
Data watched her for a few seconds, and then went back to his post. A glare from Picard stopped Riker and Hamish from rolling around on the floor laughing.
"Anyway, we'd better go over the rosters for tomorrow in case there are any changes, and then we're done for our shift." Riker quickly took Hamish off the bridge, and Picard soon retired to his quarters as well.
And that is how it was for Melina's first couple of shifts.
A/N: Just a story full of fluffy rubbish. Something to read if you're really that bored. Review if you're interested, I'm not too bothered really.