reply to post by semperfortis
Instinct leads me to believe that Picard would be the best choice to captain a new vessel. Although he does have his drawbacks, a slow trigger finger
being one of them, Picard has several strings on his bow, that other captains have in lesser measure, or not at all.
1)The mission of the Enterprise, in all her different lifetimes, has been one of exploration and discovery, as the stated mission goal, over all other
concerns. Yes, she has been to war, with every dangerous foe the Federation has ever come into contact with (aside from some of those from the
quadrant with which Voyager concerned itself). But her primary goal is exploration, and Picard is attuned to that goal, having as he does, a long
standing fascination with archeology, and related studies. It is actually something he does on his own time, and he was previously lambasted by
professors with whom he had worked, when he took to captaining a star ship (very often because the scholars in question had issues with Starfleet and
Federation prime directives against involvement with technologically undeveloped worlds and their inhabitants). So devoted to archeology and
exploration was he, that he could not pass up the opportunity for digging up adventure, even on his shore leave to Risa!
This background gives him the ideal explorers outlook, a keen eye for detail, the ability to discern historical events from seemingly confusing
archeology, geology, and so on, and the ability to easily understand the anthropological issues of any species, provided a certain level of background
data to work from. These things make his decision making more surgically precise than that of other potential captains.
2) As a leader, no one can argue that despite his serious nature, and comparatively quiet command style, he is respected by his officers, and by his
crew. The unity that develops under his sentinel gaze, the family bond that he creates as patriarch of the ship, is unique, and in my view stronger
than all the bonds forged by officers aboard Voyager, DS9, and so on, despite the fact that he has issues with family (his own was fractured for many
years, and he felt the loss of a young family member very dearly). He is not a flamboyant leader by any means, but he is staggeringly competent, and
not prone to rashness or foolishness. His officers will follow him into any situation, with the knowledge that as hairy as things get, the captain
will remain unflappable and calm in the face of seemingly impossible odds. There will not be unnecessary tension on the Bridge, there will not be
ructions between the First Officer and his captain. His only vulnerabilities are strengths as much as they are anything else.
Also, he utilises every advantage given him by the combination of the ship he commands, and the crew who run it by his command. He knows the
capabilities of his officers better than even they do, more often than not. He knows exactly how long repairs to critical elements of the ship will
take given all the variables at play, he knows how each of his officers will comport themselves in battle, in diplomacy, and in moral terms, and tasks
them accordingly. He is a leader with all the bases covered.
3: His battle record is legend. He has fought the Klingon Empire, the Romulan Empire, the FREAKIN' BORG, not to mention countless sundry other
engagements with lesser enemies than these, and he has done these things with all the bravado of a mute, calmly assessing the enemies strengths, and
crippling them at their weak points, using every possible advantage, including, but in no way limited to, remnants of the voice of the collective, to
aid him in pursuit of victory and survival. He fights like a surgeon, not a berserker, and that is how a captain of a ship of science and discovery
ought to fight.
4: He also possesses an intimate knowledge of his ship, and is able to detect minute variances in course, speed, and powerflow, all through the floor
of the bridge. He is as much a part of his ship, as are its warp core, its plasma condenser couplings, and its informational network infrastructure.
This shows that he has a subtle, but decisive edge, when placed in a position where he might be required to undertake for himself, what his
engineering crew might be unable to achieve logistically speaking, within a given time frame. He is an expert pilot, a crack shot with a main phaser
bank, and capable of cheekily re-routing control of the ship to any place he happens to be, if circumstances require it. He is the swiss army captain.
5: Picard has outwitted beings which are older than his own species, showing that he has a vast, and sometimes untapped reserve of intellect and
cunning. His interactions with Q, for example, have shown that he is capable of lateral thinking that would crumble the efforts of riddlers and posers
of confounding questions through the ages of man, to dust beneath the staggering weight of his unsung genius. His ability to converse on a level with
Sarek, and survive the sharing of minds that occurred between them in order to offset the onset of a degenerative brain disease in the diplomat, just
before he was required to undertake one of the most important negotiations in his extensive lifetime, prove that Picard has such cerebral capacity,
that no enemy, no opponent, no counter claimant, could outfox or out play him. His mind alone is a weapon of defense, and a tool of discovery, every
bit as strong as the ship he commands, and sometimes just that little bit stronger too.
In summary, I believe Captain Picard is the ultimate captain of the Enterprise, because he exemplifies every single facet of the ideal officer,
commander, and scientist, in one human being. His capabilities extend beyond those of many other captains, and this style of command is EXACTLY what
is needed for any ship bearing the name Enterprise, assuming the stated goal of exploration and discovery, that has always been attached to it.