B-4 was a prototype Soong-type android constructed by Doctor Noonien Soong in the 2330s, and like the majority of Dr Soongs works was modelled after Soong's own likeness. As a prototype unit, B-4's positronic brain was considerably less advanced then his younger brothers Lore and Data. This meant that B-4 would often ask simple questions and call out the names of people and objects he recognized. (TNG movie: Star Trek Nemesis; TNG novel: Resistance)
Sometime prior to 2379, Shinzon discovered B-4 and decided that he could use the android as part as an elaborate scheme to draw Captain Jean-Luc Picard near to Romulus so that he could capture him. Shinzon had B-4 equipped with a second memory port which had subversive programming installed into it which compelled B-4 to access Starfleet computer systems and download vital data in ship movements and their coded communications frequencies. Following the installation of these additions, Shinzon had B-4 disassembled and scattered across the surface of Kolarus III so that he could draw Picard in.
Shinzon's plan paid off as the USS Enterprise-E was drawn to Kolarus III after detecting a positronic signature on the planet's surface. The dissembodied android was then returned to the Enterprise and reassembled. Data soon became aware of B-4's limitations, but decided to copy all of his memories to him, in the hopes that Data's added experience would help B-4 expand beyond his programming. Unfortunately, B-4 had to be deactivated soon afterward when his part in Shinzon's plot was revealed.
Shortly after Data's death aboard the Reman warbird Scimitar, B-4 was reactivated, and while some of Data's memories began to surface, his programming failed to expand and he was still reduced to asking simple questions and parroting the words of those around him. A few months later, he was relocated to the Daystrom Institute, where scientists planned to disassemble him in an attempt to try and replicate a Soong type Android. This was opposed by Captain Bruce Maddox, who make a legal petition to the Federation Judiciary Committee, the highest court in the federation. After testimony from the Doctor, he was declared a sentient being and therefore could not be disassembled. (TNG novel: Resistance; ST novel: Articles of the Federation)
Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.
At some point prior to 2387, Data's neural nets overrode B-4, restoring the former Android to life. Ambassador Spock likened it to his his resurrection a hundred and two years previously, though Data likened it more to a return (ST comic: "Countdown, Number Two")
|USS Enterprise-E miscellaneous personnel|
|Tess Allenby • Armstrong • Joel Azaria • B-4 • Batson • Crain • Dennings • Dyson • Ezell • Hsu • Johanssen • Kaplan • Kawasaki • Kelock • Kuchuk • La Monica • Lopez • Malak • Martinez • Molinero • Nelson • Nguyen • Nybakken • Petschauer • Adrienne Soranno • Sovok • Truke • Wahl|
|see also: engineering personnel • medical & counseling personnel • operations personnel • pilots & flight control personnel • security & tactical personnel • sciences personnel • senior staff • unnamed|