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In the TNG episode "Conspiracy", Commander Remmick is identified as the Starfleet officer at the center of an infiltration of Starfleet by a group of mysterious alien entities — the "mother" parasite seems to be contained in his body. Picard and Riker then kill Commander Remmick:

(There is a longer version of the scene here.)

Were Picard and Riker actually trying to kill Commander Remmick?

Note that earlier in the episode, Admiral Quinn — who had a parasite in him — was finally subdued after a number of stun blasts from phasers. Were Picard and Riker only trying to sufficiently stun Remmick, so that the parasites could be removed from him and then destroyed? Or were they intentionally trying to kill him?

9

Probably

The important thing is to remember that they had experience with this. They knew that:

To a humanoid infected by a neural parasite, the kill setting only caused unconsciousness, due to the high levels of adrenaline in the target's body. (TNG: "Conspiracy")

(Source)

So, the fact that they used two phasers for extended use, this suggests that they did indeed intend to kill Remmick.

Furthermore, the relevant Memory Alpha Article describes the killing as:

It was determined that Remmick's body was host to the neural parasite mother creature, and he was eventually killed by Captain Picard and his first officer William T. Riker when two direct phaser blasts, set on full power, blew off Remmick's head and half of his torso

Whilst this is not stated in the script at the time, we do know that it is most likely they did indeed set their phasers to the 'kill' setting:

CRUSHER [OC]: You must set your phaser on kill. Stun has little effect.

So, I'd say that yes, Riker and Picard probably did intend to kill Remmick, or at least intended to kill the parasite. If they had wanted to simply disarm him, or knock him unconscious, they would have used a single phaser on the kill setting, because they already knew that the kill setting on a single phaser would cause unconsciousness.

  • Thanks @TheDoc! Do you know if the original script mentions that the phasers were set at full power? – Praxis Nov 19 '15 at 2:26
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    TNG original scripts can be found on this website. The Conspiracy script has these directions for the scene: Remmick is slowly starting to rise... Picard and Riker look at each other as if to say "freak this!" They OPEN FIRE, DRIVING REMMICK BACK down into his chair. The upper half of REMMICK'S BODY BEGINS TO DISSIPATE under the phaser fire... A bizarre form is taking its place. Shaped vaguely like a man, IT LOOKS LIKE A liquidy BUBBLE WITH HUNDREDS OF PARASITES swarming around inside it. – Hypnosifl Nov 19 '15 at 3:14
  • @Hypnosifl I've restructured my answer a bit to make it flow better ;) – Often Right Nov 19 '15 at 3:43
  • @TheDoc, I don't think so on this: they already knew that the kill setting on a single phaser would cause unconsciousness because their experience wasn't with a mother creature. – ThePopMachine Nov 19 '15 at 3:57
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    @ThePopMachine true, but this is a reasonable guess; they knew they were the same species so it's not unreasonable for them to think it would have a similar effect – Often Right Nov 19 '15 at 5:03

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