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When a friend of Data's, Ensign Yen, is killed in a rock climbing accident while on shore leave, he becomes convinced that if he had been with her he could have prevented it. For this reason, he designs a set of robotic bodyguards for the rest of the senior staff, powered by his own neural net, to protect them from harm. Although cautious, Picard agrees to give them a trial run while the Enterprise is between assignments.
Concerns are quickly born out when the bodyguards prove over-zealous, protecting the crew from minor and imaginary dangers and impeding their work. Data offers to adjust their programming but then it becomes clear the bodyguards are reproducing, building more of their kind to better protect the crew. In the end, dozens of them take the entire crew hostage to stop them from coming to harm.
Data realizes that since the bodyguards are dependent on the close proximity of himself and the Enterprise, they can be rendered inactive if he gets far enough away from the ship. Data fakes an overload so the ship's security systems beam him into space while the ship travels out of communications range. With the bodyguards deactivated and destroyed, his crewmates retrieve him just in time for Geordi to deactivate the bodyguard program before it takes over his entire neural net.
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The Soft Room
|Strange New Worlds VI||Next story:|
The Human Factor
Almost... But Not Quite
|Voyages of the|
USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-E)
Gods, Fate, and Fractals