Captain's log, stardate 43657.0. While Cmdr Riker is away on leave
the Enterprise has travelled to Sector 396
to begin charting the Selebi Asteroid Belt.
- He sent for you, too? - Yes. He was very mysterious.
Any idea what this is about?
Since the cybernetics conference he's spent all his time in that lab.
It's not like Data to be so secretive.
And cautious. He's kept that lab locked.
Now, how would you know that?
You are early. One moment please.
You may enter now.
- Come on, Data. What is this? - Yeah, Data. What's going on?
I have invited you here to meet someone.
This is Lal.
Lal, say hello to Counsellor Deanna Troi.
- Hello, Counsellor Deanna Troi. - How do you do, Lal?
I am functioning within normal parameters.
Lal, this is Geordi La Forge.
Purpose for exterior drapings, Father?
It is an accepted custom to wear clothes.
- Data, it called you Father. - Yes, Wesley.
Lal is my child.
Space, the final frontier.
These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise.
Its continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds,... seek out new life and new civilizations,... boldly go where no one has gone before.
Captain's log, supplemental.
I have just been advised of Cmdr Data's highly unusual project.
Lal has a positronic brain, similar to my own.
I began programming it at the conference.
Nobody's done that since you were programmed.
True, but I learned about a new submicron matrix transfer,
which can be used to lay down complex neural-net pathways.
You did a transfer from your brain to Lal's?
Exactly. I realized for the first time
that it was possible to continue Dr Soong's work.
My initial transfers produced encouraging results.
So I brought Lal's brain back.
I would like to have been consulted.
I have not observed anyone else consult you about their procreation.
Why didn't you give it a more human look, Data?
I have decided to let my child choose its own sex and appearance.
Data, I would like to talk with you in my ready room. Counsellor?
We must discourage his perception of this new android as a child.
It is not a child! It is an extraordinary invention.
Why should biology, not technology, determine whether it's a child?
Data has created an offspring. A new life out of his own being.
To me, that suggests a child.
If he wishes to call Lal his child, who are we to argue?
Well, if he must.
I fail to understand how an android with heuristic learning systems
and the strength of ten men can be called a child!
You've never been a parent.
What you have done will have serious ramifications.
I am truly dismayed
that you told no one of what you were doing.
I am sorry, Captain.
I did not anticipate your objections.
Do you wish me to deactivate Lal?
It's a life! It can't be activated and deactivated simply!
This is a most... stupendous undertaking.
Do you know what will happen when Starfleet learns of this?
I have followed all of Starfleet's regulations.
I expected they would be pleased.
Well, you have taken on quite a responsibility, Data.
To prepare, I scanned all available literature on parenting.
There seems to be much confusion.
One traditional doctrine insists, "Spare the rod, spoil the child,"
suggesting a punitive approach.
While a more liberal attitude allows a child great freedom.
- Data... - While Klingon parents...
I am not talking about parenting,
but the consequences of creating a new life!
Does that not describe becoming a parent, sir?
Data, you are seeking to achieve
what only your own creator has been able to achieve.
To make another functioning, sentient android.
To make another Data.
That is why I must attempt this, sir.
Most species have a primal instinct to perpetuate themselves.
Until now, I have been the last of my kind.
If I were damaged or destroyed, I would be lost for ever.
But if I am successful with the creation of Lal,
my continuance is assured. I understand the risk, sir,
and I am prepared to accept the responsibility.
- Gender, female. - That's right. Just like me.
- Gender, male. - Correct.
And I am gender... neuter. Inadequate.
That is why you must choose a gender to complete your appearance.
What are criteria?
Your data bank on sexuality, level two, will define parameters.
Whatever you decide will be yours for life.
Your decision will affect how people interrelate with you.
I choose your sex and appearance.
No, Lal. That would be confusing.
The holodeck will present several thousand composites I programmed.
You may choose from them.
Several thousand?
This is a big decision.
Lal has narrowed the choices to four. Would you like to see?
Yes, of course, Data.
Computer, Lal gender sequence finalists. Begin.
An Andorian female.
Interesting. You'll be the only one on board the Enterprise.
That could make socialization more difficult.
A human male.
Very attractive. No problem with socialization here.
A human female.
I like her.
- A Klingon male. - A friend for Worf.
They're all very interesting. Do you have a favourite?
Yes. I have chosen.
I have completed assembly.
I provided Lal with more realistic skin and eye colour than my own.
Congratulations, Data. It's a girl.
- This is home, Lal. - Home. Place of residence.
Social unit formed by a family living together.
Yes. We are a family, Lal.
To sit in.
- Painting. - Painting.
Colours produced on a surface by applying a pigment.
Yes. I will teach you to recognize the artistry in paintings.
- Soft. - Yes. Very good, Lal.
You have correctly processed the sense of touch.
There are many fascinating experiences I wish to share with you.
- Painting. - No. That is a flower, Lal.
- Smell! - Yes!
Show me more, Father!
Science log, supplemental.
Training in elementary social skills has begun.
Lal is progressing very slowly, but is not deterred by early setbacks.
Coordination has improved, but reflexes still need to develop.
Visual comprehension is especially difficult.
Translating her databanks into recognizable applications
may improve with additional transfers.
She is learning to supplement her android behaviour
with simulated human responses.
It is interesting to note
that as I observe Lal learning, I share in her experience,
almost as though I am learning things over again.
The transfer is fairly simple.
Each neural pathway in my brain is duplicated in hers.
Theoretically, her brain should be able to store the same information.
But until transfer is complete, we will not know.
What does Lal do if you're on duty?
She studies. She requires little supervision.
Lal is quite self-sufficient.
What about school?
She has access to all human knowledge from me.
She could learn a lot by being with children her own age.
She is only two weeks old.
OK, close to her own age.
Dr Crusher to Ensign Crusher.
Shouldn't you be getting a haircut, Wesley?
I'm on my way. Parents!
Nothing personal.
Lal, the third cross-link transfer series is complete.
Father? What is my purpose?
- Purpose? - My function, my reason for being.
That is a complex question, Lal.
I can only begin to answer by telling you that our function
is to contribute in a positive way to the world in which we live.
Why am I me, instead of someone else?
Because you are my child.
Where did I come from?
These questions suggest that we have made a successful transfer
of the heuristic associative pathways.
You will now begin to process information on logic,
aesthetics, metaphysics and epistemology.
- You are truly becoming sentient. - How?
By developing the awareness to examine your perceptions.
Why do we have two hands? Why not three or four?
Why is the sky black? Why do...?
Tomorrow will be your first day at school, Lal.
Admiral, there is no better guide into this life for Lal than Data.
We all admire what Cmdr Data has already achieved.
But we have superior facilities and personnel here at Galor IV.
A starship is hardly the proper setting...
This starship's mission is to seek out new life, as Data is doing.
We all want what's best for the new android.
As do l.
I would consider releasing Lal and Data to you,
so he may continue his work with her.
His presence would retard the new android's progress.
Admiral, to you, Lal is a new android.
But to Data, she's his child.
His child?
Yes, it may not be easy for us to see her that way, but he does.
And I respect that.
They will remain here for now.
Starfleet's policy on research is clear.
You're making a stand on very uncertain ground.
I hope it doesn't fall out from under you. Haftel out.
She achieved a very high score on the academic test.
A perfect score?
Yes. So we started her with the older children.
But Lal couldn't understand the nuances
- of how they related to each other. - I see.
We decided to put her with younger children.
- That would seem to be reasonable. - It isn't working out that way.
The children were afraid of her.
Father, what is the significance of laughter?
It is a human physiological response to humour.
Judging from their laughter, the children found my remarks humorous.
So, without understanding humour,
I have somehow mastered it.
Deck 1 5.
Yes, Father?
The children did not laugh with you, they laughed at you.
One is meant kindly, the other is not.
Why would they wish to be unkind?
Because you are different.
Differences sometimes scare people.
I have learned that some of them use humour to hide their fear.
I do not wish to be different.
I require your advice, as a successful parent.
Well, thank you, Data.
I'd like to think I was. Well, please sit down.
How's Lal?
Lal is realizing she is not the same as other children.
- Is it lonely for her? - She does not feel loneliness.
But she can observe how isolated she is from the others.
She wishes to be more like them.
I do not know how to help her.
Lal is passing into sentience.
It is a difficult stage of her development.
When Wesley was growing up, he was an extraordinarily bright boy.
But he had a hard time making friends.
I think the other children were intimidated by him.
That is precisely what happened to Lal. How did you help him?
First I went back to my own childhood
and remembered how painful it was for me.
Because... I remember a time when I wasn't very popular either.
When I told that to Wesley, it made him feel better.
He knew I understood.
I have not told Lal how difficult it was for me to assimilate.
I did not wish to discourage her.
Perhaps that was an error in judgement.
You didn't have anyone to help you through sentience.
She at least has you.
Just help her realize she's not alone.
And be there to nurture her when she needs love and attention.
I can give her attention, Doctor,
but I am incapable of giving her love.
Now why do I find that so hard to believe?
Captain, incoming signal.
Starfleet priority one. Admiral Haftel.
On my monitor, Lieutenant.
Capt Picard. I hope I didn't disturb you.
Not at all.
I discussed my concerns with Starfleet Command.
Hold your position until I join you.
I shall personally review the android's development.
I should advise you that if I'm not satisfied with what I see,
I am empowered to take the android back with me. Haftel out.
Captain's log, supplemental. We are holding position
pending the arrival of Admiral Haftel.
Cmdr Data is completing his final neural transfers
to the android he has named Lal,
which, I have learned, in the language Hindi means "beloved".
- Hello, Data. - Guinan.
Lal! How are you?
I am functioning within normal...
- I am fine, thank you. - Good.
Guinan, Lal needs to observe human behaviour.
She's in the right place.
And for this opportunity, she is willing to assist you.
Father says I would learn a lot from someone as old as you.
You're hired.
The most important part of this job is the art of listening.
I have some expertise, so I shall teach you.
That would be most beneficial.
I've been programmed with a listing of 1 ,41 2 beverages.
- What did you say? - I've been programmed...
You used a verbal contraction.
You said "I've", not "I have".
A skill my program has never mastered.
- Then I will desist. - No. You have exceeded my abilities.
I do not object, but I do not understand how this occurred.
Picard to Data, report to my ready room.
Aye, sir.
I am certain the Admiral is anxious to meet Lal.
I have sent him regular reports on her development.
His visit is not just an inspection of Lal's progress.
He has expressed a concern for her environment.
Her environment, sir?
He believes the Daystrom annex on Galor IV would be more suitable.
Then he wishes to relocate us.
Not you, Data. Just her.
I would not be in favour of that.
There are things she can learn only from me.
My lifetime of experiences.
My mistakes and what I learned from them.
Captain, Cmdr Riker's shuttle has just returned.
Acknowledged, Lieutenant.
Advise him I will meet with him in one hour. Picard out.
The Admiral thinks Lal's development
should be overseen by experienced personnel.
He is questioning my ability as a parent.
In a manner of speaking.
- Does the Admiral have children? - Yes, I believe he does. Why?
I am forced to wonder how much experience he had as a parent
when his first child was born.
- You see? - What are they doing?
It's called flirting.
They seem to be communicating telepathically.
They're both thinking the same thing, if that's what you mean.
Is the joining of hands a symbolic act for humans?
It shows affection. Humans like to touch each other.
They start with the hands and go from there.
He's biting that female!
No, he's not. They're pressing lips. It's called kissing.
Why are they leaving?
Lal, some things your father will explain when you're ready.
- You're new around here, aren't you? - Yes.
Lal! Put him down!
Commander, what are your intentions toward my daughter?
Your daughter?
Nice to meet you.
I watch them and I can do the things they do,
but I will never feel the emotions.
I'll never know love.
It is a limitation we must learn to accept, Lal.
Then why do you still emulate humans? What purpose does it serve
except to remind you that you are incomplete?
I have asked myself that many times,
as I have struggled to be more human.
Until I realized it is the struggle itself that is most important.
We must strive to be more than we are, Lal.
It does not matter that we will never reach our ultimate goal.
The effort yields its own rewards.
You are wise, Father.
It is the difference between knowledge and experience.
I learned today that humans like to hold hands.
It is a symbolic gesture of affection.
No objective viewpoint could see it any other way.
Forgive me, Admiral, I thought you came
to form an opinion, not justify one.
Let's not make this more difficult than it needs to be.
I see no need for difficulty. I understand your concerns.
What I'm asking for is time. Patience.
If you have an open mind, you will see
that Data and Lal should stay together in her formative stages.
After that, I have no doubt Data will be delighted
- to send her to Starfleet Research. - That's not satisfactory.
If mistakes are made, the damage that's done might be irreparable.
The damage will be irreparable if they're separated.
are we talking about breaking up a family?
Isn't that rather a sentimental attitude about androids?
They're living, sentient beings.
I helped define their rights and privileges in our society.
Yes, Captain. I am more than willing to acknowledge that.
What you must acknowledge
is that Lal may be a technological step forward
- in artificial intelligence. - A most significant step.
Yes. Work like this demands controlled procedures.
- Which Data is following. - In effective isolation.
That is what Starfleet Research finds unacceptable.
Lal now possesses the sum of my programming.
Her neural nets are laid down identically to yours?
There are some quantum variations.
She uses contractions. I cannot.
An aberration. What have you done about this?
Maintained records on positronic matrix activity
behavioural norms and verbal patterns.
I have seen no other aberrations.
It seems you have improved upon yourself.
Is that not the goal of every parent?
But as a good father, don't you think it would be better
if Lal were with people trained in evaluative procedures?
I am programmed with those procedures.
And in any meaningful evaluation of Lal,
you would require a model for a basis of comparison.
I am the only model available.
You haven't mastered human cultural and behavioural norms yet?
- No, sir. - Where is Lal now?
This is your idea of appropriate guidance?
It is a chance for her to observe human behaviour.
More importantly, for her to interact with her crew mates.
She can run over 60 trillion calculations a second,
and you have her working as a waitress!
She is under the strict guidance
of a woman in whom I have absolute trust.
Ten-forward is the centre of social activity. Everyone comes here.
The behaviour she observes may well not be a positive influence.
Most people here behave themselves. If they don't, I ask them to leave.
Admiral Haftel, Guinan. She runs ten-forward.
How is Lal doing?
She spills a few drinks, but she's learning.
I want that android out of here.
Admiral, you've been in one or two bars in your time.
Have her report to me immediately for an interview.
Lal, I've been looking forward to meeting you.
You're very important to us at Starfleet Research.
We have quite a facility at Galor IV. I want to show it to you.
The Admiral is suggesting you be moved to Galor IV, Lal.
- Have I done something wrong? - No, of course not.
We want to broaden your experience.
There's only so much you can learn on a starship. I'm sure you agree.
- Yes, I agree. - Good.
The natural conclusion is,
when I have learned all there is to learn here,
I would relocate to Galor IV.
That is not the natural conclusion.
I believe it is.
Lal, the Admiral is concerned
that you need more guidance
than your father can provide here.
Yes. Don't misunderstand me, I have great respect for your father.
- You do not speak with respect. - She seems very adversarial.
I'm merely stating a fact, Admiral.
I don't think your father has taught you selective judgement
in the verbalization of your own thoughts.
That is a skill we will help you develop.
My father is already helping me.
The question is, has he helped you enough?
Are you asking me, sir?
No, I didn't mean to...
Why don't we, Admiral?
In these discussions, no one has mentioned her wishes.
She is a free, sentient being.
What are your wishes, Lal?
I wish to remain here, Capt Picard.
Thank you, Lal. You're excused.
Come in.
Hello, Lal. How are you?
Troi. Admiral. An admiral from Starfleet
has come to take me away, Troi.
I am scared.
You are scared, aren't you?
I feel it.
How is this possible?
I don't know.
This is what it means to feel!
This is what it means to feel.
You have Lal off to a wonderful start in life, Commander.
That's what being a parent is all about.
However, I have finally decided I must ask you to release her to me.
May I ask why, sir?
There is one argument that is irrefutable.
Only two Soong-type androids exist.
It would be dangerous to have you in the same place, especially here.
One lucky shot by a Romulan, we'd lose you both.
Admiral, that is a fine argument.
But... doesn't change my feeling
that the proper place for Lal to develop is by Data's side.
You're not a parent, Captain. I am.
I have learned, with difficulty,
that there comes a time when...
There comes a time when all parents must give up their children.
But this is not the time!
Damn it, even I can see the...
The umbilical cord is virtually uncut!
The child...
The child depends on him.
Mr. Data, it would be better for Lal
if she left knowing that you had voluntarily decided
that this was the best course of action.
Admiral, when I created Lal,
it was in the hope that someday she would choose to enter the Academy.
I wanted to give something back
in return for all that Starfleet has given me.
I still do.
But Lal is my child.
You ask that I volunteer to give her up. I cannot.
It would violate every lesson I have learned about human parenting.
I have brought a new life into this world.
And it is my duty, not Starfleet's,
to guide her through these difficult steps to maturity,
to support her as she learns,
to prepare her to be a contributing member of society.
No one can relieve me from that obligation.
And I cannot ignore it.
I am...
..her father.
Then I regret that I must order you to transport Lal aboard my ship.
- Belay that order, Mr. Data. - I beg your pardon?
I will take this to Starfleet myself.
I am Starfleet, Captain! Proceed, Commander.
Hold your ground, Mr. Data.
You are jeopardizing your command and your career.
There are times, sir, when men of good conscience
cannot blindly follow orders.
You acknowledge their sentience,
but you ignore their personal liberties and freedom.
Order a man to hand his child over to the State?
Not while I'm his captain.
If you wish, you can accompany us to Starfleet, where we...
Troi to Cmdr Data. Report to your lab at once.
Acknowledged. He's on his way. Is there a problem?
Yes, Captain. Something is terribly wrong with Lal.
It lasted barely a moment.
She experienced fear and confusion.
And then, for no apparent reason, she walked out.
She just started walking here.
And each step became more difficult.
Lal is programmed to return here in the event of a malfunction.
Yes, Lal, I am here.
A malfunction.
Emotional awareness.
It appears to be a symptom of cascade failure.
It would require initialization of the base matrix.
I agree.
- May I assist? - Thank you, Admiral.
If you'll excuse us?
Cmdr Data and I have much to do.
She won't survive much longer.
There was nothing anyone could do. We'd repolarize one pathway
and another would collapse.
And then another.
His hands were moving faster than I could see,
trying to stay ahead of each breakdown.
He refused to give up.
He was remarkable.
It just... wasn't meant to be.
I am unable to correct the system failure.
I know.
We must say goodbye now.
I feel...
What do you feel, Lal?
I love you, Father.
I wish I could feel it with you.
I will feel it for both of us.
Thank you for my life.
Painting. Family.
Female. Human.
Lal suffered complete neural-system failure at 1 300 hours.
I have deactivated the unit.
The crew is saddened by your loss, Mr. Data.
I thank you for your sympathy, but...
..she is here.
Her presence so enriched my life,
that I could not allow her to pass into oblivion.
So I incorporated her programs back into my own.
I have transferred her memories to me.
Mr. Data, will you take your position?
Mr. Crusher?
Lay in a course for the starbase on Otar II.
Course is set, sir.

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