Five Times Data Smiled
: Five Times Data SmiledAuthor
: Jedi ButtercupRating
: Star Trek: The Next GenerationNotes
: Not mine. Spoilers for the series and "Generations". Requested by emony2.
Five Times Data Smiled1)
The first time Data's lips ever curved upward of their own accord was at the behest of the being known as Q. It would be many years before Data experienced another genuine emotion; though he did not understand Q's motives for temporarily gifting him with laughter, he backed up that particular moment even more redundantly than usual in his positronic memory.2)
Data's attempt at a dating program, activated when Ensign Jenna D'Sora kissed him unexpectedly, suggested that smiling more frequently at the object of his simulated affections was an expected response when in a romantic relationship. It proved no more effective at retaining her romantic interest than any of the other alterations the program made to his usual behavior.3)
Similar interaction programs suggested smiling at one's pet-- without showing teeth-- was a means of signalling approval of its behavior. However, none of his facial manipulations at Spot ever produced as much response as did a dish filled with feline supplement 74.4)
Over the years, Data accumulated a considerable volume of experiences suggesting that attempting to model his own behavior after others often produced mirth in those around him. Clearly, he was doing something improperly, though he knew of no other means of learning how to behave in a more human fashion. Still, on occasion, he launched into yet another experiment with something akin to anticipation; as he spread his mouth wide and attempted jovial "small talk" modelled after Commander Hutchinson at the officer's reception, he noted considerable improvement in the moods of several of his colleagues and judged the event a success, regardless of whether or not it brought him personally any closer to his goal.
"Life forms... tiny little life forms..."