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 made 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.
After an extensive study at the Soong Foundation by a dedicated science team and Geordi La Forge, the group manage to unravel the Data matrix allowing for all of Data's memories, personality and experiences to override B4. Through this, the android was able to help the Soong Foundation in upgrading positronic brains and help in the recreation of the emotion chip originally developed by Doctor Soong. 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"; ST website: The Path to 2409)
|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|