Author's Note: all characters except Galatea belong to the creators of Star Trek and are used without their authorization. This story takes place after my other Star Trek tale (Wa'DIch Ghom). Mature readers only, please. 1996.
"Wes, leave her tits alone."
Wesley Crusher reluctantly moved his hands. "I wish they were bigger."
"They're fine. Trust me."
"Trust you?" Wes laughed. "Come on, Broccoli, you've never even been laid except on the holodeck."
Reg Barclay, "Broccoli" to the younger engineering staff, gave Wes what he hoped was a withering look. "That is not true."
"Well, even if it is, that's not the point," Reg continued. "Her tits are perfect just the way they are. Quit thinking like a teenager, Wes."
"I am a teenager."
"Yeah, well, you're also an ensign."
"Oh, ensigns like small tits? Then how come everybody ogles Counselor Troi instead of Flat-chest Farris?"
Reg sighed. "You're impossible. Listen, if her tits were any bigger, she'd start to look abnormal. She has a certain elegance, the legginess and grace of a Risan pleasure dancer. You don't want her to be topheavy, do you?"
"Geez, Broccoli, you sound like you want her for yourself."
At that moment, the door hissed open to admit Commander LaForge. "Wes, Reg, there you --" he broke off, staring at them and the table between them, which held the motionless body of a nude woman. His jaw dropped. "What ..."
"Geordi!" Wes blurted. "We -- um, that is ... it isn't what it looks like! She's not alive!"
LaForge's gape widened.
"No, that's not what I meant! She's not dead! She's ... well, ur," Wes stammered.
"What the hell is going on here?" His barely-contained roar would have made even Worf take a step back.
Reg gulped and looked him square in the face. "We're building a woman for Data."
Geordi whoofed as if the breath had been knocked out of him. He staggered a bit, braced himself against a console, and said in a very calm polite tone, "What?"
Having bounced back with the resiliency of youth and foolishness, Wes started babbling an explanation. "He's always trying so hard to be human, but he really feels alone, except for Spot, and do you remember when he built that girl, but she died? Well, he could have built another one, but he'd think of her as a daughter, and we thought maybe if we did it, he'd look at her as, you know, a woman. Not a sister or anything, but a girlfriend. I met a guy at the Academy when I was on that tour, he was interested in Dr.
Sung's work and gave me copies of all his research, and Reg and I thought, well, Data's birthday is coming up, and Commander Riker's throwing him that surprise party, so we thought we'd give everyone a surprise and fix him up with a date. We didn't tell anyone else because I thought Captain Picard might tell us not to, and so we've been working here, in secret, but now that you're here and you know about it, you could help us!"
He stopped, breathing fast, his eyes alight and hopeful as those of a puppy looking for a sign of approval.Reg was suddenly grateful that LaForge's visor concealed his eyes, because he was sure that he and Wes were on the receiving end of a withering look that was much more effective than his own.
Speaking very slowly and carefully, Geordi said, "You are building a woman, for Data, as a present?"
Reg nodded. "We actually could use your help, sir. You're more familiar with Data's positronic brain than anyone but Data himself, and we've been having a few problems. Gland boy there doesn't think it matters, but I thought Data might prefer having someone he could have intelligent conversation with, instead of just a sex machine."
"Sex machine! That's a good one, Broccoli!"
"Shut up, Wes," Geordi said absently. "You two constructed a positronic brain? Just cobbled one together in your spare time?"
"Yes, sir. It wasn't as hard as it sounds. Getting the materials without anyone finding out, that was the hard part. Except, of course, that we haven't been able to bring her on-line. Maybe if you took a look ..."
"Come on, Geordi," Wes said. "Data's your best friend. Don't you think he'd like a girl he could really relate to?"
"Why do you think Data needs a girlfriend?" Geordi asked. "He took out that emotion chip, remember?"
"But he wants to be human, or at least understand us better. Nothing's ever worked out for him with human women, why not an android? She'll be his perfect companion." Reg gestured to the table. "At least look at her. We've come this far. What do you think?"
Scowling, Geordi stepped closer. As he studied the android woman, his frown was gradually replaced by a reluctant impressed smile. "Nice work, guys," he admitted.
Reg and Wes grinned at each other, justifiably proud. "We call her Galatea," Reg said. "Ancient Earth mythology, Greek, to be precise. Pygmalion the sculptor made a statue of a woman and loved her so much the gods brought her to life."
Galatea, still and silent under the dim lights, resembled an enchanted princess in a fairy tale. Her face was serene, as if awaiting only love's first kiss to awaken her. Except for a couple of places where her creamy skin was folded back to reveal circuitry, she was the image of a human woman.
"She's beautiful," Reg said, "But if we can't get her brain functioning, we might as well give up and get an inflatable doll."
"Do you think you can help, Geordi?" Wes asked eagerly. "The party's at the end of the week."
"I'll help." Geordi sighed. "I feel like Dr. Frankenstein, but I'll help."
"Don't think that way," Wes said, clapping him on the shoulder. "Dr. Sung, not Frankenstein."
"I still want to know what you guys expect to happen. Data doesn't have the same needs and drives as a human man. He doesn't need sex."
"But he can, right?" Wes asked. "Ship's gossip is that he and Tasha --"
"You shouldn't believe all the ship's gossip," Geordi snapped. "Even if he can, that doesn't necessarily mean that he'll want to. It doesn't mean anything to him. It doesn't affect his system."
"Galatea will," Reg said, smiling. "She's designed for it."
"What are you talking about?"
"Look." Reg popped open a patch of skin on her breast, folding it back. "See these? They'll react to the low-grade electric current in Data's skin. Her mouth and vagina are lined with similar sensor/transmitters. Basically, any skin-to-skin contact with these will cause the charge to intensify, jumping between their systems, causing an electrical response. The vaginal ones are even more intense. Continual contact will build up the charge until it is released in a burst of electronic stimulus."
"You're talking about android orgasms?" Geordi said.
"Yeah!" Wes said.
"It causes a temporary overload of the synaptic functions of the neural net," Reg elaborated.
"This is unbelievable."
"That's what I thought at first," Reg said. "But all our tests indicate that it'll work."
"Tests?" Geordi looked at them. "You didn't ..."
"Gosh, no," Wes said. "We're not really sure what it would do to a human man. It should be safe, but, well, she's Data's."
"If she wants to be," Reg put in. "That's why we want to get her brain working. So she can think and make her own decisions."
"Well, let's get to work!" Geordi said. "Show me your project notes. Do you have a positronic scanner? What calibration did you use to develop the matrix?"
"This is foolish," Worf grumbled.
"Lighten up, Mr. Worf," Will Riker said. He approached the Klingon with a spangly top hat, thought better of it, and donned it himself instead.
Worf growled. Deana rested a hand on his arm and smiled gently up at him, and his growl subsided. Riker looked at them curiously for a moment, then shook his head. Deana and Worf? What a silly idea. He went to check on the bartender and make sure the special neutron punch hadn't eaten through the punchbowl yet.
"It is foolish," Worf repeated in a lower voice. "Lurking in the dark in someone's quarters to surprise them? A warrior would react violently."
"You didn't react violently when you caught me in your quarters," Deana reminded him teasingly.
He gave her a stern warning look, then, seeing that nobody was watching, uttered another low growl much different from the first. She responded in kind and squeezed his hand before putting a pointy polka-dot hat on his head. He rolled his eyes but submitted.
Across the room, Will Riker stopped beside Beverley Crusher. "They look awfully chummy," he said, nodding toward Deana and Worf.
"Mmm-hmm," Beverley said, sipping from a glass of champagne. Her eyes danced at him over the rim.
"Anything interesting to relate?" he prodded.
She shook her head, smiling secretively. He loomed over her with jutting jaw and intimidating eyebrows, but she wouldn't relent.
An ensign by the door hissed for quiet and doused the lights. There was a good deal of whispering and muffled giggling, a few anonymous pats, pinches, and gropes, and the door opened to admit Data.
"Surprise!" they all shouted.
Data's head cocked. "Surprise. Ah. The surprise party custom. In honor of the anniversary of the date upon which I was originally activated by the colonists."
"Mr. Data, I don't think you're very surprised." Riker clapped a festive chapeau onto the bemused android and took him by the arm. "Come on and cut the cake."
"The very definition of a surprise is that which is unexpected. This is hardly unexpected, Commander, as you have a history of planning similar gatherings for most of the officers. Still, if you will instruct me, I will attempt to behave in a suitably surprised manner."
"I told you, Will," Deana said. She handed Data a box wrapped in bright foil. "Happy birthday, Data." She stood on tiptoe and pressed a kiss on his cheek.
"Thank you, Counselor." After cutting thirty-six pieces of cake with mathematical precision, Data scanned the room and asked, "Where is Geordi?"
"He must be late down in Engineering," Riker said.
"Actually, I think he and Wesley have something special planned," Beverley put in.
Just then, the door slid open again and Geordi came in, accompanied by Wesley and Reg Barclay. Close behind them was a woman who drew all eyes to her as she stepped into the room.
She was tall and lithe of build, with long slender legs and a narrow waist. Her breasts, to which Wesley had objected, were flawlessly shaped and perfectly proportioned. She wore a formal gown of tawny gold that exactly matched her eyes. The gown fastened behind the neck and left her smooth arms bare. A slit up one side revealed shapely leg to mid-thigh. Her auburn hair, rich as polished mahogany, flowed loose to the middle of her back. She was a fire woman, all red and gold and the promise of heat.
"Well, this party's livening up already," Riker said. He approached the woman, who was looking around the room as if searching for someone. "Hello."
Her gold eyes fixed on him. "Commander Riker," she said. Her voice was low, pleasant, with just the right touch of huskiness. "Riker, William T., First Officer of the Enterprise."
"And you are ...?"
"I am called Galatea."
There was something familiar about her, but Riker couldn't place it. He offered a hand. When she took it, a mild and not unpleasant shock went through him.
"Commander, I see you've met our guest," Wes said, grinning.
"Why don't you go have some cake, Wes?" Riker gave the boy a move-along signal, which Wes pretended not to see.
"Data!" Geordi called. "Over here. There's someone I want you to meet."
Data threaded his way through the crowd, balancing a pile of gifts. His hat was askew and a confetti streamer was draped over his ear from a party favor Riker had earlier popped on him.
"So, how long have you been on board? I wasn't aware of any passengers, or shuttlecraft." Riker braced one hand on the wall, allowing him to lean close to her.
Reg and Wes smirked at each other and exchanged whispers behind their hands. Riker ignored them. He was too busy enjoying the way her gown clung to her cleavage. When Geordi barged in, pulling Data by the arm, Riker had to bite his tongue to check an angry remark.
"Galatea, this is Data, the birthday boy," Geordi said.
It was as if William T. Riker, First Officer of the Enterprise, was rendered invisible. Galatea stepped past him like he didn't exist. She held out a hand.
Data shifted packages and took it. He had been well-trained in the human social arts. But when his fingers closed over hers, he dropped all his gifts and stared at her.
"I am called Galatea," she said. She was only an inch or so shorter than him. Gold eyes mirrored gold eyes. "You are Data, an android."
"I am also."
"What?" Riker said.
Wes laughed out loud. The partygoers crowded around, a babble of voices all exclaiming basically the same things. "How's that for a real surprise?" Reg asked nobody in particular.
Throughout all the commotion, Data and Galatea stood with hands still clasped. "You are an android?" he finally said. "Are you a construction of Doctor Sung?"
"No, but my design was based upon his research. I was constructed by Barclay, Crusher, and LaForge. I am your birthday present."
"Hold it!" Riker bellowed. "Geordi, I think an explanation is in order." He hit his Starfleet pin. "Riker to Captain Picard."
"Go ahead, Number One."
"We have a situation here, sir. It appears that some of the engineering staff have given Mr. Data a woman for his birthday."
Silence. Then: "Say again, Will?"
"A woman!" Riker nearly yelled. "A babe-class supernova of a woman!"
"Will," Deana said warningly, discreetly taking his drink before he crushed the glass. Worf, behind her, was struggling to contain a grin. She elbowed his stomach.
Another silent pause. Then: "Mr. Danvers, you have the bridge. I'm on my way. Picard out."
"Ooh, now we're in for it," Wesley said. As usual, he utterly failed to look serious. His mother twisted his ear. "Ow! Mom!"
Beverley twisted harder. "That mouth of yours is going to get you thrown right off this vessel, young man."
"It is against Starfleet directives to practice slavery," Data said.
"I am not a slave," Galatea replied. "Although I was designed to be compatible with your systems, I was also given free will and decision-making capability."
"The contact of our hands produces a distinct effect," he observed. She laid her other hand along the side of his face. He twitched slightly, then blinked and cocked his head again. "Interesting."
"Certain areas of my body appear to contain sensor/transmitters capable of delivering that effect," she said. "A self-diagnostic reveals that my lips are so equipped, as well as other areas that humans refer to as intimate."
By now, everyone in the room was utterly silent. Expressions ranged from shocked disbelief to lustful gapes. Riker was red-faced, but more from anger and embarrassment that he had been making a pass at an android.
"It seems logical that those areas would correspond to human erogenous zones," Data said.
"Perhaps a test would be in order," Galatea suggested.
"A test?" Data echoed.
"Kiss her, Data," Geordi urged. "That's about the only sort of test you'd want to make in front of all of us."
"Yeah, go on! Kiss her!" Wes said.
Others began picking up the sentiment, until it was a chant ringing in the small room. Only Riker, who was nearly apoplectic, and Worf, who did not go in for such sophomoric displays, did not participate.
Galatea stepped over the scattered gifts, plucked the purple streamer from Data's ear and dropped it. She then put her arms around his neck. Data rested one hand at her waist, and with the other pushed back her hair. He leaned forward, and the chant died off as everyone held their breath in hopeful expectation.
Data pressed a panel behind Galatea's ear. It flipped open obligingly. He examined the circuitry inside her head. "Fascinating," he said. "Your positronic matrix appears nearly identical to my own."
"Data," Geordi groaned. "You're supposed to kiss her."
"Oh. Yes." He closed her panel. "Galatea, do you object?"
He inclined his head to the exact calculated angle to avoid nose collision while allowing for maximum mouth contact, and pressed his lips to hers.
At that moment, Captain Picard walked in. He found a jubilant crowd of his crew surrounding Data and a stunning woman in a gold gown, the two of them locked in a kiss of increasing passion.
"Captain!" Reginald Barclay said. The nervous engineer started to salute, changed his mind, started to bow, changed his mind again, and ended up shifting from foot to foot like a preschooler needing the restroom.
The crowd fell silent. Riker, his face almost the color of a plum, tugged at the bottom of his shirt in a way he'd copied from Picard and strutted imperiously over to him. Data and the woman were still kissing, apparently oblivious to their surroundings. Obviously oblivious, for now Picard saw that Data was cupping one of the woman's breasts.
"Mr. Data!" Picard said, his voice cutting whiplike through the room. He finally got the android's attention.
"This is what I was talking about, sir," Riker huffed. "This woman was Geordi's gift to Data."
Picard turned to his chief engineer. One sardonically raised eyebrow spoke volumes.
"Actually, Captain," Barclay said, "Commander LaForge wasn't actually the one responsible. He only helped. Wesley and I actually built her. Actually."
"Yes, sir. We call her Galatea."
"It was my idea," Wes chirped. "Ow! Mom!"
"Captain," Galatea said. "Picard, Jean-Luc." She offered her hand, quickly learning and absorbing these human customs. "Greetings, Captain."
He shook it, noting as Riker had the faint pulse of electrical energy. "Welcome aboard, Galatea. Crusher, Barclay, LaForge, report to my ready room at once. The rest of you, as you were. Mr. Data?"
Picard smiled. "Carry on. And happy birthday."
"It was a wonderful party, Data," Deana said. "Are you sure you don't want help cleaning up?"
Data manufactured a smile. "That will not be necessary, Counselor."
She glanced past him, to where Galatea was looking at one of his paintings. "This has been an unusual evening for you. What do you think of Galatea?"
"Having only minimal conversation, I can safely say she is most intriguing."
"Do you think you'll ..."
"What, Counselor? Engage in sexual activity?"
"It is uncertain. I have little interest in human women, and they have always found my lack of emotional involvement disappointing, regardless of my extensive skill and knowledge of human reproductive anatomy and sexual techniques. Galatea, however, is not human. Her unique design has already proven to affect me. I believe I would like to learn more. Such exploration would be inappropriate while I still have guests."
Beverley Crusher breezed by, her color high and eyes bright, a handsome new medical tech on one arm and an unopened bottle of champagne in the other. "Goodnight, Data! Happy birthday!"
"Goodnight, Doctor, Ensign Blake."
Riker was in a far corner, passed out. Wesley, having gotten into the Romulan ale after his lecture from Picard, was snorting giggles into his fist as he applied lipstick and rogue to the unconscious First Officer. Reg Barclay was huddled over the small table by the window, urgently and drunkenly explaining dilithium decay theory to a bored girl from the botany lab. Most of the rest had already left. Worf lingered behind Deana, trying to look as if he wasn't waiting for her, but Data knew better.
"Goodnight, Counselor," he said. "I hope you and Lieutenant Worf have a pleasant evening."
She started, then blushed faintly pink. "Thank you, Data."
"Well, Data, we'd better be going," Geordi said. "I have late shift in Engineering. See you tomorrow. Reg! Time to go! Wes, knock it off. Come on, guys, let's get Commander Riker home."