Androids in Love, Chapter 14

Dr. Crusher insisted that Flint should have a complete physical before he returned to the past, immortal being or not. They never did find out why the Borg were interested in the derelict planet killer or why they were trying to reactivate it. Perhaps Captain Picard's hypothesis was correct; that they were going to convert it into a giant tractor beam, and draw in unsuspecting species without having to announce their intentions to assimilate them. After Flint had received a clean bill of health from the attractive lady doctor, he had the chance to meet his newly revived "granddaughter" and found her quite charming. He thought Rayna Kapec and Courtney did a very good job at rebuilding her. To avoid confusing Lal by telling her that she had two aunts named Rayna, Sixteen decided to accompany the Flint siblings to the planet Holberg after they had reappeared on the Constellation. They were a bit curious as to where they had gone, having no memory of events after they had temporarily ceased to exist, so Captain Chav told them about what had occurred. The Constellation's ship's counselor also apologized to Flint about her ancestor selling him substandard parts when he built Rayna Sixteen. The Flint siblings eventually accepted the idea that Rayna Sixteen was no longer the menace she had once been and thought that a revived Rayna android might be good for business, since she could tell the story about how she and her sister had been revived and about their adventures with the Borg and time travel, and about their amazing "father", who now appeared as Soong instead of his old persona as Flint. She would probably tell her own version, of course, leaving out the parts of the story when she was one of the villains. They knew that Rayna Kapec would eventually return to Holberg to set the record straight. After Lal had reached sentience, she applied to Starfleet Academy, where she excelled at every subject. It was sad, however, that Data never saw her graduate and become the youngest starship captain in Federation history, for he was destroyed by an explosion. As for Rayna Kapec, she eventually joined her sibling on Holberg.

When Flint stepped through the time portal, he found himself standing in front of his castle. Everything seemed peaceful and quiet as he reached the entrance and stepped in. Carefully closing the doors, even though he was alone, he stepped into the room where he had stored his androids. Rayna Kapec was lying horizontally in a glass coffin, looking just as lovely as the day he had built her, her iridescent silver blue gown with the matching cape very much intact, and her hair still arranged in the classic pony tail. He now knew that she had faked her demise, but he did not wish to awaken her. He also knew that, in time, people were going to ask him what caused her to shut down. He knew the part about her dealing with the newfound emotion of love wasn't much of an answer scientifically, and he was a little concerned for a while that cyberneticists might try and revive her prematurely, but then he decided not to tell anyone about it and let history take its course. He then recalled that Spock had not been very logical or scientific when it came to Rayna Kapec and her collapse. He never bothered to analyze the reason why she did. Flint thought that perhaps they were too busy curing the crew of Rigellian fever, a disease that mimicked the Bubonic plague. The collapse of his Rayna android probably was deemed immaterial in the light of that deadly epidemic that he helped cure with the Ryetalin medicine.

Suddenly, he heard the sound of a transporter beam and ducked back behind a door. He looked through the crack that separated the door from the wall and saw Lore appear in front of an earlier version of himself, a phaser pointed at him. Lore ordered his earlier version to accompany him or die. Flint knew how frightened he had been at meeting Lore for the first time, and then realized how silly that had been. Lore did not know that he was virtually immortal. However, it was never any fun to be shot with any kind of weapon, so he did what he was told. Flint watched from behind the door as Lore's henchmen grabbed the totally inert Rayna Sixteen and dematerialized with her. Soon, he was alone again. Making sure it was safe to come out of his hiding place, he called on one of his "M" robots. Briefly, he wondered why he didn't think of doing that when Lore kidnapped him. Perhaps it was because his abduction had happened so fast that his floating robots did not have time to respond to his projection of fear at this android intruder. Now, one of them appeared soon after the earlier version of himself and Lore dematerialized. He smiled at it and told it everything was all right now. The intruder was gone.

Flint went back into the storage room and took a long look at his Rayna androids. Smiling sadly, he bent down and gave Rayna Kapec a soft kiss on her cheek. He bade her pleasant dreams and then closed the storage room door, wondering then if androids actually dreamed when they "slept". At this time, he had not considered installing a dream program into his existing androids. Perhaps he would do it with his future male ones, or maybe just with Data. He wondered what had gone wrong with Lore, and hoped that he wasn't suckered by another con artist in the future. He found that Rayna Sixteen had mysteriously reappeared in the storage area and thought of kissing her as well, but he had already said his goodbyes to her years ago when he was forced to shut her down because of her aberrant behavior. He now knew that he shouldn't have bought those substandard parts from Harry Mudd to make her.

THE END