Data entered the Commander’s quarters precisely at 2130 hours, as requested.
“Please sit down,” said the Commander as he pointed towards his sofa. “Would you like a drink?”
Considering the fact Data knew Riker would not offer him a drink under normal circumstances, he did not mention that he had difficulty ingesting liquids, and merely nodded his acceptance.
“Bad news?” queried Data, who was trying with all hi might to develop what humans called “horse sense.”
“Not bad, just surprising,” started Riker. “It appears I have a daughter.”
Data’s face showed as much surprise as it could. “How can someone have a daughter and not know it?”
“If the woman does not tell you she’s pregnant and leaves town before you can determine the fact for yourself…” Riker was getting bored with Data’s incessant questions. “It seems that she was in your class at the Academy, Data. Her name is Bec’arine.”
“Becky”? he questioned quietly. This time Data’s eyes widened in genuine shock as he squirmed in his seat.
The Commander smiled and questioned, “Ants in your pants?”
“Ants in my pants, sir?” The perplexed android glanced down at his uniform pants. Riker laughed. An expression Data. It means that you appear ill at ease.”
Data attempted a saying that had once been taught to him. “You ain’t just whistling Dixie”’ he tried to said but his pronunciation of the contraction “ain’t” sounded like a cough.
Making a supreme effort to hold back his laughter, Riker said, “I am assuming you knew her well, Data. It’s all right. You didn’t know any more than I did.”
Data stood and walked nervously about the room as he had seen Captain Picard do many times before. “Yes, I did have a-relationship with her. At the Academy, there were humans and Vulcans and other races as well. But I was the only android, and she was the only being that was part Romulan. We first met after the Kobayashi Maru test.
When Data mentioned his exam, Riker noticed his companion seemed even more ill at ease. With some additionals restrained laughter, Riker chortled out, “Spill it, Data!”
Data looked at the glass in his hand then down at the carpet and then at Riker. “Sir?”
Realizing the android misunderstood the expression, he hurriedly told his friend, “Tell me about it.”
“When I knew Bec’arine she didn’t know anything about her father except that he was referred to as “Thunderball”. A new and recent understanding of human behavior prompted Data to ask, “Why were you called ‘Thunderball’?”
Riker turned bright red and in a teasing way said simply, “I asked you first.”
Suddenly, the alert claxon sounded and both Data and the Commander started for the bridge.
Data cocked his head as they hurried for the turbolift, “Is this what it means to be ‘Saved by the Bell’?”
“Definitely,” answered a laughing Riker as he clasped his arm around the android’s shoulder.
“A Romulan ship is headed for the border of the neutral zone,” the Captain informed the two as they came onto the bridge.
“How long ‘till it’s at the Federation border, Riker barked at Data.
“Five point three hours at present speed,” Data plainly replied.
Data, Worf, and a young ensign joined the Commander in the transporter room as the six new recruits beamed up. The ensign showed five of the new recruits to their quarters as Commander Riker met his daughter for the first time. She was a long haired blonde, who had inherited the pointed ears and the characteristic eyebrows of the Romulan race. He introduced her to Transporter Chief O’Brien. Then she noticed Data.
“You live alone. You enjoy playing on the holodeck. You are excessively curious, you don’t blush, and you have a complete fascination with Sherlock Holmes,” recited Bec’arine with her eyes twinkling at Data.
“How…?”started Chief O’Brien.
“All of this you could have discovered from any person who formerly knew me,” replied Data with an attempt at a knowing smile, as she handed him a wrapped green-gold patterned package. Riker half-grimaced at this.
Ripping into it as Wesley had taught him, Data discovered a dictionary. He looked curiously at her and asked. “Why this gift? You know I have been programmed with a complete dictionary already.”
“I understand that you are perplexed by slang and obscenities. This dictionary not only defines words you know, but also slang and ‘obscene’ ones, plus ways of using the in context.”
“Thank you,” replied an obviously delighted Data.
Without warning, as she was about to have her father show her to her quarters, she recited:
“The young playboyish king of Bohemia
Has a past that couldn’t be seamier.
But Holmes finds Irene
Is the best that he’s seen
Even his icy mind’s a bit dreamier.”
Worf rolled his eyes and Riker hazarded a smile.
“I found this in a book of limericks by a man named Asimov,” she explained, looking toward Data.
The android proved quite admirably that he could be embarrassed, by shuffling his feet and looking down at the floor. Finally, to prove he knew some limericks too, he recited:
“There was a young lady from Venus
Whose body was shaped like a-“
“Data!” shouted Riker. “I think you’re need on the bridge.”
“Yes, sir,” answered Data as he turned to leave.
Once Data had left, “Worf roared at Bec’arine, “There a romulan ship headed for the border of the neutral zone.”
“I know. They tried this while I was on my last ship,” she said with a wicked smile, leaning towards Worf. “By the way, it was a Klingon ship.”
“I find that difficult to believe,” he growled.
“I don’t care, handsome,” she responded, stroking his chin quickly before he could react.