By Carol Sandford


Chapter 04


As all the members of the crew filed from the bridge at the end of yet another uneventful day, Deanna walked behind Will and the Captain, chatting amicably with Data, they all stopped in their tracks to face her when they overheard Data's casual question.

"Dr. Crusher has informed me that you are learning to play the piano, Counselor. Maybe I could be of some assistance, since I am fully adept at various forms of the instrument."

Deanna physically paled as the consequences of her lie was about to be unfolded in front of the entire senior crew, including an amazed Will Riker, who was first to pick up on the conversation.

"Piano!? Did we hear you right, you're learning to play the piano, Deanna?"

Deanna decided her only course was to brave it out, and she was also slightly rankled that her fellow comrades were under the impression that she was not able to learn such an object.

"Yes, it's true. I...I wanted to learn something about music. I figured a piano was a good start, also helps me relax."

Will grinned from ear to ear, the Captain showed an amused bewilderment, and Worf looked at her totally unbelieving. Now Deanna was cross.

"What's so funny? Don't you think I'm capable of learning such a thing?"

Will laughed outright at her, but then tried to make amends for his audacity by apologising as they all started to walk away from her, knowing that they were about to be assaulted with her wrath.

"I'm sorry Deanna, but don't you think a piano is a bit...difficult for a first instrument? Most people usually start with a...recorder."

She stood there, open mouthed and gob-smacked, the nerve of these guys! Well, she was going to show them.


"Counselor Troi to Commander Data."

Deanna knew this was going to be the only way out of her predicament and keep up the charade that she had managed to land herself in.

"Yes, Counselor, Data here, how may I help you?"

"Could you meet me in Holodeck Two, please, in ten minutes, if you are not doing anything of course?"

"Certainly Counselor, I will be there momentarily."

As Deanna approached the holosuite, she was sorry she had started this. The last thing she wanted to do was learn how to play a piano, but now that she had no choice other than confessing her sins, she braced her shoulders and barked out her command,

"Computer, run program Troi Delta 3 omega 1...and add a piano."

The computer acknowledged its order with its customary bleep, and Deanna entered the huge metallic doors and stepped into a 1940's New Orleans bar scene. Jazz music blared from the band quartet in the corner, and the room was already heaving with men all looking like Al Capone, and the women looking like they belonged propped against a solitary lamppost out in the street.

"Computer, remove people."

Another bleep, and the room went silent as the people disappeared into thin air. Deanna spotted the piano beside the stage that held the band. She casually strolled over to it, lifted the lid, and tentatively pushed one ivory key. She jumped as the sound echoed throughout the empty room. Data entered just at that moment, and walked over to her, he smiled his own particular smile and asked her,

"What would you like to play Counselor? Would you like to accompany me with Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, or perhaps Chopin, or..."

Deanna cut him off with a nervous chuckle.

"Data, I want you to teach me how to play a piano."

He stared at her slightly bemused, his confusion written all over his pale face.

"But, I thought..."

Deanna shook her head, her regret at her blatant lie evident on her face,

"Oh, Well" Data said. »Let's start right from the very top then, shall we? First we pull out the chair and find a comfortable position so that you can touch both ends of the keyboard within your own arm span..."

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