What if She’s Lore’s Daughter and Picard is Chasing the Wrong Android?

Anthony Mountjoy
Feb 16 · 11 min read
Lore being shut down… permanently?

“We have hope, optimism, and spirit of curiosity. All they have is secrecy and fear. And fear is the great destroyer.” — Picard

Quick Recap: From the opening scene when I saw those synth stuffed into a storage room… something about the disposablity of them all screamed Lore! When they revealed the insidious way the Mars Attack was used to discredit Picard’s advocacy of the Romulans… I knew the truth. It was personal and there’s only one android that petty.

Background

Lore was Data’s “evil” twin brother introduced in the 1988 episode Datalore. According to Star Trek canon, years later in two part episode Descent, he was “fired upon and then disassembled by Data” who also removed the emotion chip Lore had stolen which was intended for Data by their “father” Noonian Soong. Lore’s last words were “I…love you… brother.” From this point on it’s a mystery what happened to Lore’s positronic brain or body for that matter.

(Notice both Soji and Dahj used contractions when they spoke.) Is Lore the Destroyer? Or does he have a new protege?

What’s the man himself say?

https://twitter.com/BrentSpiner/status/1237500944209678337

While many prediction ultimately came true… my favourite did not! [Sniffle]

All of which were in working order or repairable at last review. Lore’s head is all you’d need. Lore could take B4’s body or just replicate a new one easily enough. Why disassemble if not specifically to reassemble later? Otherwise, they would have simply destroyed Lore entirely to prevent him ever coming back to… attack Mars with drone synths! Maybe Lore used Borg tech to make himself “fleshy” like the Borg Queen did with Data’s face in First Contact. And wouldn’t 7 of 9 make a wonderful queen.

The Bishop, Queen, King, and Admiral. Why are these 4 even in the same room with photographers if not for a Lore scene!?! Are there any more Crystalline Entities out there? Credits: CBS

What’s another word for “mythology”? Hint: It starts with an L.

Did Bruce Maddox get hold of Lore’s head? Did he mix Data’s memories with Lore’s brain? We all remember how anxious he was to dissect Data in The Measure of a Man. Was it Lore who he ultimately studied given Data was completely destroyed saving Picard at the end of Nemesis? There’s a long tradition of misdirection when it comes to android “offspring” in Star Trek and if Maddox reactivated Lore there is no doubt which of the two takes command.

A positronic brain is a fictional technological device, originally conceived by science fiction writer Isaac Asimov. It functions as a central processing unit for robots, and, in some unspecified way, provides them with a form of consciousness recognizable to humans.

Episode 9. Picard arriving on the synth home world.

Somewhere in time is a Data head laying on a cave floor in an abandoned mine, but that’s the head that ends up back on Data in present day. My best guess at this point is Lore was either stored on the Enterprise-D and lost during its destruction or he was sent to the Daystrom Institute for “safekeeping”… Or my personal favourite maybe… the Romulan Tal Shiar, intercepted the delivery intent on destroying Lore along with any other synths they can find and before that happened… they got assimilated. If Borg they become disconnected from the collective along with the rest in the Alpha quadrant. Are the Zhat Vash unwittingly doing Lore’s bidding? Who’s really in command?

Picard remembering his time as Locutus of Borg in episode 6. Picard might go Borg again. Locutus may return. Especially, if it’s the only way to save him from his terminal condition. Locutus may have to defend Star Fleet from Lore. Augments vs Synths would be cool!

As a deeply secret elite origination of Romulans the assimilation went relatively unnoticed. Desperate for a leader. They reactivate Lore who, not having the emotion chip, or Data to inform his purpose, takes over the new Romulan Borg and retreats to the darkness to build his Synth/Borg hybrid army. He wants everything. He wants Star Fleet. Perhaps Lore sent a kind invitation to Maddox to come work at a brand new “revolutionary” AI lab funded by a “mysterious benefactor”. Perhaps the Borg cube, known as “the Artifact”, we see the Romulans’ studying is a crippled ship Lore abandoned.

Bruce Maddox in Star Trek: Picard played by the very talented John Ales. Introduced in episode 5.

Why else would the writers make “reclaiming” Romulan drones such a plot point and so much misdirection involving the synths. Or to paint so much of the galaxy as struggling in the power vacuum left by a retreating Star Fleet. A crippled cube floating in space, Borg tech, synth tech, flesh and bone androids… The only body we see is B4 and the name Lore isn’t even spoken out loud. (9 episodes so far and counting… only one left!) This has Lore’s finger prints all over it.

“What is the logic of sacrifice? It depends if you’re the one holding the knife…Hope and the odds make poor bedfellows.” — Picard

Rather strange that Lore isn’t even mentioned…. for all we know Lore “replaced” Maddox, can impersonate anyone he wants technically, and Jurati was working with Lore all along with or without realizing it. What better position is there from which to produce and ultimately take over the synths on Mars?

Reios have a drawing of Soji? No, another synth that looked just like her, though. “Tiny ship unknown design. Two passengers… Jaunda… beautiful flower… and his young protege.”

Lore’s Admonition? A threshold of synthetic life inviting our doom… Is it Q? Would too many synthetics threaten the Continuum? Who else has the power to move 8 suns…

Assimilation can take many forms I suppose. While studying the warning presented by the Admonition (an object revealed in Episode 8), trying to figure out how to kill all synths perhaps they became lost in their crusade. They claim a civilization hundreds of thousands of years ago was destroyed (by synths?). How do we even know the visions are real? False memories are a recurring theme in Picard. Why would they leave a mysterious object behind (found by Romulans 14 years ago) that programs anyone who touches it to believe the end of the world is coming because of synths? Who are “they”? More importantly is Lore waiting on, Coppelius, the synth home world? Are the synths Lore’s attempt to resurrect his brother?

Why would Data paint Lore’s daughter? Lore would have access to all Star Fleet records and archives if he wanted to, including covering his tracks so Picard thinks noone has visited his vault. Both Data and Lore have already demonstrated an ability to “take over” Star Fleet computers at will. Or Lore may have just looked at the painting and modeled off it as part of his goal to discredit Picard knowing he would be drawn into the plot by a familiar face.

“The reign of biological lifeforms is coming to an end…”– Lore, 2370

If Data can make a daughter, Lal, then certainly Lore can make Dahj and Soji, Maddox might have even helped him. It would also explain why the flesh and bone androids are only a few years old (approx. 37 months) with implanted memories. Lal only managed to survive a little while before her neural net collapsed. As the “first born” son, Lore was always a little further along in some ways than Data, especially emotional development, so perhaps his offspring can naturally last a little longer, too, given it’s the emotionality that conflicts with the positronic mind.

Soji: If I could see you with his (Data’s) eyes… with his memories what would I see?

Picard: How would I know that?

Soji: What do you hope I would see? How do you wish he’d remember you?

Picard: You mean if he had survived me rather than the other way around? I hope he would remember Jean-Luc Picard as someone who believed in him. Who believed in his potential. Celebrated his successes. Consoled him when he fell short. Helped him if he needed help and if he didn’t need it… got out of his way. Words to that effect.

Soji: He loved you.

Hugh murdered by Narissa in Episode 7
Jonathan Del Arco played Hugh in TNG and returned for Picard.

Lore wasn’t Data’s enemy. He loved Data. He may even have morned his passing and now holds Picard responsible. It wouldn’t be enough for Lore to kill Picard, he’d want to “destroy” his reputation… kinda like making him the face of the failed Romulan rescue perhaps? So who reactivated him? Maddox? Romulans… or maybe Hugh? The Borg Queen after another husband? Is Lore the type to settle down…

Bruce Maddox on TNG played by Brian Brophy in 1989.

In spite of constant reminders of how important Maddox is we’ve yet to see confirmation that he’s exclusively behind the creation of the daughters. Juradi appears to assume he is because it was his research but this doesn’t preclude Lore from having killed him and taken over the project or having started the project entirely under false pretenses exploiting a distracted Star Fleet’s information network. And let’s be fair… Star Fleet is acting a lot more like a bad guy than a good guy in this new Picard series. It’s a weakened, lazy, compromised institution now.

Yet so far nothing has clearly explained why it betrayed Picard, or its purpose to its members. Picard literally saved the world more than once and they toss him away without a second thought? No concern about pissing off Q or interfering with his lessons through his chosen proxy for all mankind? Disagreeing factions… so what? Nothing new. Why Star Fleet suddenly didn’t have the guts to stand up against forces so much weaker than it has bested routinely in the past begs an explanation. Star Fleet is losing the Federation because it’s not even trying. Why? Simplest explanation… Lore. Perhaps he is the faceless father Soji sees in her dreams (the body man).

Son of Soong. Dr. Altan Inigo Soong. Somewhere in space a vast civilization of synths offers help and protection from the organics. Who is their leader? Is it Lore? Is the Son of Soong just Lore pretending to be someone else again? In fact wife of Soong (Juliana O’Donnell in “Inheritance”) specifically said they had no kids and that there was room in the escape shuttle for three but they didn’t take anyone else. “My father had me but he created Data and would never let me forget it.” — Alton or Lore, the imposter? Building his Golem… his perfect vessel to transfer his mind back into as his inferior organic body ages and dies. Lore would only tolerate an organic body so long. Maddox probably transferred Lore to flesh thinking it was safer… and easier to get Spiner back for the role. Famously hates the make-up. What is the Protogenesis of synthetic life?

It would explain the reclaimed Romulan woman’s reaction to the “destroyer”. She kept saying “which one are you?” We assumed she meant which of the two girls but maybe she was referring to which father… which source android created Dahj and Soji? Does she mean Sutra? Or the Tal Shiar soldier saying “she isn’t what you think she is.” Is Lore responsible for the synthetics betraying the federation on Mars?

Lore’s positronic net differed from Data’s: it had a Type-”L” phase discriminator compared to Data’s Type-”R”.

“You didn’t fill Data with substandard parts did you, old man? No… that honour was bestowed upon me.”

Consider the names of the Synths we’ve seen so far… Saga, Arcana, Rune, and Codex... Karma(Sutra). Words that are far more “Lore” flavored than “Data” flavored as suggested on Reddit.

The post Noonian synths were primitive models based on Data, and likely inherently subservient to Lore’s will. Even Data found himself in Lore’s thrall more than once such is the diabolical cunning of this evil machine. A trickster intelligence capable of far more than just burning Mars. Which, frankly, being a dead planet anyway doesn’t strike me as something worth neutering Star Fleet over.

Lore played by Brent Spiner

Consider for a moment what we know of Lore and his relationship with the Borg. He’s been one of them, commanded them, manipulated them. The Borg are toys for Lore’s sinister ambitions. The first example of a character “modifying” the artificial life elements of another is Lore’s Borg experiments. Is it such a stretch that in the new Picard series which focuses so much on androids and Borg, that we might see Lore return at the head of some new major plot? Who else would make a “fleshy” Trojan horse with a controllable brain? Perhaps Mars was just a proof of concept.

The largest question remaining might not be whether Lore is involved, given that seems almost inevitable, but instead what are his current motivations? Lore has a proclivity for pretending to be someone else when he finds himself in a social structure he can manipulate. Lore has pretended to be Data. Why not Bruce Maddox (or Alter Ego Soong)? Who else has, not just the capability, but the means and experience working with all primary powers involved in the Picard series. Data, Synths, Borg, Romulans, Star Fleet… Hugh and Picard. Is Hugh drawn to Lore?

Introducing Sutra. Who does this synth remind you of? Data… or Lore?

“In 2369, Lore discovered a group of Borg that had been disconnected from the Collective after integrating Hugh’s sense of individuality into the hive. Lore styled himself their leader and gave his Borg individual names, coercing them into becoming his fanatical followers. He began cruel experiments on them, attempting to replace their organic brains with positronic components. Meanwhile, he somehow influenced their behavior, making their attacks more violent — they ceased to assimilate individuals, instead murdering them.” — Trek Canon

Elsewhere on some alternate timeline…

What a reveal it would be, no? Several episodes of Star Trek: Picard leading up to the enigmatic Bruce Maddox. We see him from behind at first. Dark hair, distant. Perhaps wearing a scientist’s white robes reminiscent of Noonian Soong, the creator of the Positronic Android form. And then as we approach via a closing shot… he turns and smiles.

Soji exclaims, “Father!”

A familiar voice. “Aren’t you happy to see me… CAPTAIN.”

Picard frowns… forehead cresting. ”Lore”.

The entire structure of the show is two sided. Twins. Two faces, two siblings, two doors. The choice granted by free will. To be the “the destroyer” or something better. In the very first episode they specifically discounted B4 as a legitimate inheritor of Soong’s design focusing on the idea of Data and Lore being a pair, just like Dhaj and Soji. Just like the paintings. Lore always felt he was the superior creation; yet he loved his brother.

Or…

Has Lore built a massive force of synthetics and will Star Fleet find itself allied with the Borg under a new queen, 1 of many, formerly designated 7 of 9 in order to survive?

Or is Star Fleet effectively under Lore’s command now, too…

If Star Trek:Picard addresses a plot line involving Lore unleashed… no longer restrained by Data there is no telling where the story might go. Lore has never had the chance to dominate before. With the initial exception of destroying his home planet though an alliance with a godly cosmic crystal, he was always stopped before he could complete his work. What could he do with 20 years uninterrupted? In my humble opinion the only thing more interesting would be a final lesson from…

Data’s finale exit..

This is a season ultimately about choices for synthetics and organics alike. Trek shows us the possibilities. It’s a guide to help us find our best selves. In that timeless spirit this series is a roaring success.

“To say you have no choice… is a failure of imagination.” — Picard

I hear Whoopi is signed for season 2… you know that has to mean Q.

Verboten Publishing

And, midst the noise of this Great World are feeble cries for help; My ear shall practice to hear such calls, my hands shall train to lift the fallen. - Col. Wm. C. Hunter, Dollars and Sense, 1906

Anthony Mountjoy

Written by

Verboten | Saskatchewan. When I fight I fight to win. When I sleep I dream of battle. When I wake the world welcomes me in a celebration of white light.

Verboten Publishing

And, midst the noise of this Great World are feeble cries for help; My ear shall practice to hear such calls, my hands shall train to lift the fallen. - Col. Wm. C. Hunter, Dollars and Sense, 1906

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