He is perhaps the ultimate human achievement: a sentient artificial life-form -- self-aware, self-determining, possessing a mind and body far surpassing that of his makers, and imbued with the potential to evolve beyond the scope of his programming. Created by one of the most brilliant and eccentric intellects the Federation has ever known, the android Data has always believed he was unique, the one true fulfillment of a dream to create children of the mind.
But is he?
Investigating the mysterious destruction of a new android created by Starfleet, Data and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise uncover startling secrets stretching back to the galaxy's dim past. That knowledge is coveted by beings who will stop at nothing to control it, and will force Data to redefine himself as he learns the hidden history of artificial intelligence.
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Pocket Books/Star Trek
January 29, 2002
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Excerpt from Immortal Coil by Jeffrey Lang
"Have you lost your mind?"
It was not, Troi thought, the most tactful question that the captain had ever asked, but it had the virtue of getting directly to the point. Everyone seated around the table in the observation lounge -- the captain, Geordi, Rhea and Admiral Haftel -- stared at Data, awaiting an answer. Will was on the bridge helping the local authorities untangle the snarls Data had created. Reg had gone off in search of an empty bunk, assuming (quite correctly) that there was nothing else for him to do right now.
"No, Captain," Data replied neutrally. "I do not believe I have." Troi allowed the tendrils of her empathic senses to reach out and feel what she already expected to find: confusion tinted with fear. Beneath that she felt an undertow of concern, which was more than she could have hoped for under the circumstances.
Only Admiral Haftel was close to losing his temper, which was, Troi decided, an understandable response considering that he had invited Data to Galor IV to help solve a problem, not create another one. "Commander," he said tightly, "I want an immediate explanation for your actions."
"My apologies, Admiral," Data said, "for the inconvenience to you and everyone on Galor IV. When I became convinced that I was standing in the midst of a crime scene, I perceived that speed was essential. Any delay might have been enough time for the culprits to escape."
"Explain yourself, Mr. Data," Picard said. "What evidence do you have that what happened in Commander Maddox's lab was deliberate?"