Sep 17, 2008
Star Trek: The Next Generation “The Battle” (part 2 of 4)
After the break, Picard explains in his log that the Ferengi have beamed back and invited the Enterprise to make its possession of the Stargazer “official”, whatever that means. Picard, for his part, is back in sickbay, with both Dr. Crusher and Troi this time, as they further discuss Picard’s mysterious headaches. Troi describes what she felt, and even describes the sensation at one point as “mechanical”, yet none of them can draw the obvious conclusion that some external influence is very likely at work here.
Picard now says he’s being hit with thoughts dating back to the Battle of Maxia (and even though it’s not his name for it, Picard never suggests a better one). He begins describing his memories in fair detail, such as how his ship was on fire. He then says with some concern that he smells smoke, before realizing that it was just a memory. Despite this, Dr. Crusher okays Picard to head out and brief the staff, though she does tag along.
Cut to the meeting room, where Picard is now recounting the incident in even greater detail, including how they were ambushed and were one hit away from being destroyed. Then, abruptly, he starts talking as if he’s in the middle of the incident, directing questions to one his Stargazer officers. Troi manages to bring him back to the present, and he all but laughs it off with a “hey, I’m getting quite caught up in this”, whereupon they all decide to pretend that insanity never happened.
Picard continues, describing the tactic he improvised on the spot, which involved a short burst of high warp speed to create the illusion of the ship being in two places at once, then wrecking the enemy ship as it went after the echo. Data reveals that this tactic is now taught at Starfleet as “The Picard Maneuver”.
Modestly dismissing his feat as “what any good helmsman would have done”, Picard concludes his tale by revealing that the Stargazer was severely damaged in the attack and had to be abandoned, and the crew spent weeks in shuttlecrafts before finally being rescued. And I should add that Jonathan Frakes does a particularly good job of getting across a sense of admiration for the captain over this tale—almost too good, really.
But you can see why this incident would be so unmemorable to the captain. Nearly getting blasted to bits, abandoning ship, adrift in space for weeks, and ultimately immortalized in the textbooks for a feat of heroism would almost totally pass from anyone’s memory after nine years. After all, by the time this recap is published, it will have been roughly nine years since 9/11, and for the people who were there… you know, I don’t think I need to finish that thought. You get the point.