Between them, they dragged Riker, head lolling, from the room. Soon, the last of the partygoers had departed, with one exception.
Data observed that his quarters were strewn with half-empty glasses, spilled snack foods, discarded hats, and other debris. Normally, he would have straightened the mess. Tonight, he had something else to attend to.
She turned as he approached. "Shall I return to Engineering?"
"You have not yet been assigned quarters?"
"No. My arrival on this ship was highly irregular. I have neither crew nor guest status. As the Captain only just was informed this evening of my arrival, it may take some time for arrangements to be made."
"You are welcome to stay here. It would please me if you did."
"This is an unusual situation," she said. "We have met for the first time tonight. Is such sharing of quarters common among humans?"
He recalled Doctor Crusher and the med tech. "Romantic liaisons on brief acquaintance are not uncommon, though it has been my observation that most humans do tend to wait and explore other facets of a relationship before moving to sexual encounters. Unless, of course, that is the entire purpose of the relationship, as evidenced by Commander Riker's numerous reports of the Risan culture."
"There is much I need to learn. Although I have detailed fact-files on a wide variety of subjects including the personnel and mission history of this vessel, I am unfamiliar with human social interactions."
"They are a complex and contradictory species," Data said. "I have spent the past several years attempting to assimilate and duplicate their behavior. I will gladly share my findings with you."
"Data. I have been monitoring you this evening. I was designed for you, but also with the capacity for free will. It is my determination that you are adequately, even admirably, suited for my expectations of a potential mate."
"I have made the same determination."
"Is it the customary duty of the male to be the instigator, or would it be permissible for me to kiss you again?"
"Human culture has grown beyond such gender-based specifications." He moved closer.
Galatea once again put her arms around his neck and kissed him.
"I am most intrigued," Data confessed. "Your touch seems to cause spontaneous sensory bursts and impulses along my synaptic clefts. This could be considered analogous to the human phenomenon of 'seeing stars.' It is unlike any sensation I have previously experienced."
"My neural net responds in similar fashion." She guided his hand to her breast. "This contact, too, creates significant reactions."
"Yes," he said, correcting his balance as the new influx of stimuli caused him to stagger.
He fondled her, experimenting with differing degrees of pressure. He found the nipple area to be the most responsive, though apparently dulled by the cloth of her dress. It was a simple matter to unfasten it and fold it down to her waist, leaving her upper torso gloriously bare.
He compared her to Tasha Yar, noting certain differences of body type, size, and texture. Tasha, like most human women, had been moderately larger on one side, and without supporting garments her breasts had sagged a bit. Galatea, however, had none of these imperfections. Her breasts were, he believed the proper word was, perky. The electrical impulses even caused the pale rose-hued nipples to tighten.
Much in the manner of a human woman, Galatea had closed her eyes to better deal with the constant barrage of stimulus. Her hands moved over him ceaselessly, restlessly, opening his uniform to slide over his skin.
They conducted their explorations in silence, without the gasps and moans that he knew accompanied human sexual activity. He was instead able to determine the extent of her arousal by the changes in her galvanic skin responses.
The continual firing of positronic circuits demanded an increase of oxygen, so it was no surprise that both of them were breathing more rapidly. Galatea stepped out of her shoes, necessitating a correction for a decrease in effective height for their next kiss. It was a logical step to insert his tongue into her mouth, resulting in even more synaptic bursts.
She had successfully divested him of most of his uniform. His assistance was necessary to remove the rest, and in the process she also took off her gown. Her lips caused sensation wherever they touched him, from the line of his jaw down over his neck to his smooth chest. All the while, he caressed her breasts and buttocks.
Her pubic mound was covered with crisp curls a few shades darker than the hair on her head. He probed within, finding the tissue soft and cushiony yet still firmer than that of a human. He also found that the synaptic bursts increased in intensity. Her entire body shivered.
A moment's concentration activated the voluntary systems that enlarged his penis. He had never asked Doctor Sung why he had been created with sexual apparatus, assuming that it was to make him able to pass more normally among humans and to distinguish him as male. Humans, he had noted, had marked problems with gender neutrality and androgyny even after four centuries of interaction with various alien species.
Whatever the reason, he was grateful to his father/creator for choosing a male design. He was even more grateful when Galatea gripped his stiffened penis. She slid down his body until she was kneeling, and took it in her mouth. The impulses caused by contact with her lips and tongue necessitated him bracing himself against his console.
"I suggest we retire to the other room," he said.
She rose, nodded. He led her to the bed, which was made with mechanical precision. He did not need sheets and blankets for warmth, affecting them because the humans did. He folded them back and the two of them lay side by side.
"My internal sensors appear to demonstrate enhanced responsiveness," she observed.
"It is not unreasonable. This area," he said, pressing a finger there," corresponds to the location of the clitoris, the most sensitive part of a human woman's sexual anatomy." This time, he did see stars, an electrically-induced temporary malfunction of his optical systems akin to hallucination.
Galatea emitted a soft oscillating sound. "Fascinating," she said. "Continual or repeated contact appears to geometrically increase the intensity of the stimulus."
"It would be logical to conclude that penetration and motion resembling that of human copulation would permit us to explore this theory."
He positioned himself between her legs. With none of the awkward squirming that had characterized his encounter with Tasha, he smoothly drove his penis into Galatea's vaginal orifice. They quickly found a rhythm that allowed for maximum stimulation with ease of movement. Further synaptic burst were triggered by kissing and caressing.
Their positronic circuits began firing faster, sending currents of raw energy through their neural nets. Some of the excess energy spilled over, resulting in a shower of blue and white sparks dancing and arcing along their skin.
Panting now out of need for oxygen, Galatea said, "It appears a minor synaptic overload is imminent."
"Agreed," Data replied. More excess energy was being released as heat, triggering his skin's moisture cooling system.
She began to say something else, then her jaw snapped shut and her throat arched. Data found himself likewise unable to speak.
It seemed that every connection in his brain was fusing, sending a barrage of disjointed images skittering along his optic cables. All cognitive functions temporarily shut down.
For an instant, his systems cross-patched to the residual echoes of the emotion chip and he was actually feeling, feeling an array of emotions that he had only read of previously. All were positive: joy, passion, even the fleeting ambiguity humans called love.
Data recovered slowly. Systems came back on-line one by one, in no particular order. He withdrew from Galatea and lay beside her, a few last sparks crackling in his fingers and hair.
Her eyes opened, gold and glowing. She turned her head toward him. "A most interesting experience," she said.
He kissed her. "Most interesting indeed."
"Happy birthday, Commander."