Blind Chess

BY : madradena
Category: Star Trek > The Next Generation
Dragon prints: 422
Disclaimer: Disclaimer: I do not own ST:TNG, nor the characters. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Disclaimer: None of TNG or any of its characters are mine, and I do not make money on writing this story.

Hello Everyone!

Very happy to be here and give you the sequel I have promised for 'You can't fight a tidal wave'. As one of my regular reviewers pointed it out, this one is NOT gonna be based on a dream, it's gonna be about reality. 

As usual I'd like to point out that I'm not a native speaker of English. Sorry that the vocab is not as sophisticated as a native speaker would write, I try my best. Please review, it's great to get feedback! (But please be gentle in your criticism, I'm a very sensitive person.)

Set after StarTrek - First Contact, and 'You can't fight a tidal wave'. If you haven't read Tidal wave, there will be stuff you might not really understand (e.g. who Emma is and where she's from - you'll learn soon enough :D ), but overall, I'd say the plot itself should stand on its own feet.

Data watched with an excited smile on his face as his mother materialized in the transporter. The tiny sparkling particles finally reintegrated into a solid form, and his mother smiled back at him with the same excitement.

"Data!" she beamed with joy.

"Mother!" he opened his arms and stepping down to him, she hugged him tightly. "Welcome aboard, Mother!" Data greeted her a little timidly giving her a gentle squeeze.

"Thank you!" she told him pulling away a little "Let me see you! Oh, you haven't changed one bit!" she took his face into her palms tenderly.

Data raised his eyebrows in mild surprise then tried to clarify her misconception: "As you might know too, Mother, my appearance does not change with the passage of time at the rate a human's appearance would. Therefore it would be peculiar, had I changed visibly in the 323 days that passed by since our last encounter." he explained with a serious expression.

Juliana chuckled "Well, I can see that it's not only your appearance that does not change with the passage of time! You still take everything literally! Oh, god, I'm so happy to see you!" she told him lovingly and gave him a peck on the cheek.

Data took a short moment to consider her words and just gave her a serene smile as a reply. She then stepped out of his arms and he picked her luggage up still on the transporter pad.

"I'll show you to your quarters." he told her motioning her out of the transporter room. Walking on the corridor he felt a little embarrassed so he decided to stick with polite small talk for the time being "Was you journey tiring?"

"Oh, a little, but don't worry about it. I may be an old lady, but I can manage with a few days of travelling at warp speed." Juliana waved his concern away.

"You're not old at all, Mother!" he protested surprised at her remark "The average lifespan of a human is well beyond 120 and you're only 70! Even taking the most objective perspective into consideration, you're only a little more than middle-aged." he explained with an encouraging smile.

Juliana studied him for a moment longer with a surprised squint of her eye then smiled delighted "Maybe I was wrong before. You did change, Data."

He stopped and cocked his head curiously "I did?"

"Yes. The way you talk. You use verbal contractions."

"Oh, that!" he nodded and as they started to walk again, he explained "Emma encouraged me to experiment with the less formal intricacies of the language. I have always been worried that whatever I want to say would not be clear enough for the listener - as Captain Picard once told me, I tend to babble. So I supposed speaking as formally as it is possible would facilitate better understanding on behalf of my peers. However, I came to see that this is not always the case. This was the reason behind me starting to use contractions, though I was fairly reluctant about it at first. Therefore I asked Emma to call my attention to the fact, if what I'm saying is not comprehensible. I might add, such a thing hasn't occurred yet."

"Well, that's very helpful of Emma." she nodded with a knowing smile.

"Yes." Data nodded too and went on raising his forefinger "She also told me that she can determine my mood from the way I speak."

"Oh, can she?"

"Yes. She says, if I'm feeling cheerful, I use more contractions. If I'm ...wound up - as she puts it - I speak more formally." he shook his head in amazement "It's really astonishing the things she is able to notice about me."

Juliana just gave him a really gratified smile. Then Data stopped again with a worried expression on his face "Am I talking too much about her? If so, please tell me! For instance, Geordi was very reluctant to call my attention to it, and he was really annoyed by the time he actually did."

She stroked his shoulder and arm lovingly "Data. I'm your mother. I'm happy for your happiness! When you spoke about her the first time in your subspace messages, I couldn't wait to meet her! Now finally I'll have the chance. Though you told me about her so many things already that I feel as if I've known her for a long time."

Data frowned thoughtfully as he replayed his last few messages in his head in less then 0.52 seconds... "Oh, so I did speak too much about her." he mumbled realizing it only now.

She patted his arm again "Just don't worry about it. I'm glad I can get to know the woman whom my son adores so much."

Data's lips curled up into a tiny smile and they stepped into the turbolift. 

"Deck 15." he called then looked down at his mother again "Please tell me about yourself, Mother! How are you? Are you now fully settled in on Earth?"

"Yes, of course. It's over a year now since Pran died and almost a year since I moved back home. It was difficult at first, but being at the place where I was born helped eventually. And of course work also diverted my attention. Fortunately for a geologist, Sicily is a tectonically active area so I have quite a lot of work to do. That is of course besides the occasional missions I go on for Starfleet."

"Do you know much about your assignment here?"

"No, actually. I was offered to come aboard the Enterprise, and I grabbed at the opportunity to be with my son!" she replied taking him by the hand with such a loving expression that Data thought, if he had the ability, he would surely have blushed. She went on after a moment, looking up at him with a serious frown "As a matter of fact, if I wanted to know more about the assignment it wouldn't have been possible. Most of the details are classified. Or so I was told."

"Yes, that is correct." he nodded "Even our destination is known only by the senior staff. However I know not much more than that either."

"I see. Well," she shrugged turning her palms up "wherever we may go, if you need a geologist on board, now you have one."

"We certainly do." he told her with a proud smile as the lift stopped and they stepped out. After a few moments, they reached her quarters and he helped her settle in. When they were finished, he stood in the middle of the room, ready to leave "I leave you to have a rest. The official briefing is tomorrow at 0800 hours in the morning."

She once again took his hand "Are you coming over for dinner? I-I mean of course together with Emma." she quickly added.

Data gazed away a little unsure "Well, I'm afraid she has some personal meeting to attend to in the evening - I believe it's about organizing a special social gathering called a bachelorette party for a friend? - but as far as I know, the meeting would end at around 2100. If that's not too late for you, we could join you for supper afterwards."

"Perfect! I have jetlag anyway, I would not be able to go to sleep early."

"Very well, then! We'll come over at around 2100. See you later, Mother."

"See you later, Data." she equalled as he stepped to the door. Then he stopped in the doorway seemingly getting an idea, and he walked back to her. She looked at him with a slight puzzlement, then he wordlessly took her gently by the shoulders, bowed down and gave her a kiss on the cheek. "I'm very glad you are here, Mother." he told her pulling away on such a soft voice that Juliana felt a catch in her throat.

She smiled back joyfully "Me too." she whispered moved, then he turned with a smile on his face and left her alone.

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