In Star Trek: Nemesis, just before the Enterprise rams into the Scimitar, Picard sends a text message from his captain's chair arm pad to Troi — who is manning the helm in lieu of the crewman who was just blown out through what was once the view screen — indicating that she should put full impulse on standby. (Literally, if you watch the scene closely, Troi's console prefaces the order with "TXT MSG" !)

My question is: Did Picard also somehow warn crew members in the forward saucer section about what was about to happen?

The ramming of the Scimitar was a heat of the moment decision. Considering that he also resorted to calling the auto-destruct sequence shortly after (which ended up being offline), he probably was of the mindset that any losses would be acceptable in order to halt Shinzon's march to Earth.

Still, I'm curious.

3 Answers 3


The original script indicates that he called for the crew to "brace for impact". Whether that call (or the commands he was typing before giving the order to ram the Scimitar) resulted in people leaving the nose section isn't confirmed:

Picard continues to enter command codes -- transmits them to Deanna at helm -- she receives the commands, nods. All of this as Picard buys some time:

PICARD : I never told you about my first Academy evaluation, did I? I received very high marks for my studies. But I was found lacking in certain other areas. Personality traits, you might say. In particular I was thought to be extremely...over-confident.

Picard indicates for Data to end the communication. Then:

PICARD (quickly) Geordi, put power to the engines. Take it from life support if you have to -- everything you can give me.

GEORDI : Aye, sir.

PICARD : Deanna, on my mark.

GEORDI : Ready, sir!

Picard leans forward in his chair:

PICARD : (on comm) All hands, brace for impact! (to Deanna) ENGAGE.

  • 2
    For the record, the novelisation is no help either. It's basically the scene above written into prose.
    – Valorum
    Jan 19, 2015 at 15:07

The entire ship is already at red alert by the time of the ramming. This is after two Romulan Birds of Prey came out of cloak and joined the Enterprise in attacking the Scimitar. The entire crew is at battle stations, with parts of the crew searching for the intruders that beamed aboard. As mentioned in What does the non-bridge crew do during red alert? there are civilian shelter points throughout the ship. The outer rim of the Sovereign class ship like the Enterprise-E is mainly composed of crew quarters, which under red alert, would (should) be empty. I refuse to believe Starfleet Engineering would not take this into account in ship design or battle protocol. Any basic design would keep personal and critical systems as protected as possible.

That said, Picard would not so callously ram the enemy if people were there, unless it was the only solution, unless it was dire.

LAFORGE: It's called a cascading biogenic pulse. The unique properties of thalaron radiation
         allow the energy beam to expand almost without limit. Depending on the radiant
         intensity it could encompass a ship, ...or a planet.
PICARD: He could only have built a weapon of such scope for one reason.
        He's going after Earth.
TROI: How can you be certain?
PICARD: I know how he thinks.
RIKER: Destroy humanity. You cripple the Federation.
PICARD: The Romulans invade...
RIKER: No way of penetrating his cloak?
RIKER: So he could pass within ten metres of every ship in Starfleet and they'd never know.
CRUSHER: We do have one advantage though. He needs your blood to live.
         He might come after you first.
PICARD: I'm counting on it. We've been ordered to head to sector ten forty-five.
        Our fleet has diverted to meet us there.
RIKER: Strength in numbers?
PICARD: At least that's what we hope.
        ...He must not be allowed to use that weapon.
        All other concerns are secondary. ...You understand me?
RIKER: Yes sir.
PICARD: All hands. Battle stations!

The impending genocide of Earth's population would merit that call.

  • 1
    For the record, his next act is to engage the self -destruct. The lives of a few crewmen are clearly inconsequential when weighed against the potential for loss of life on Earth.
    – Valorum
    Jan 20, 2015 at 9:57
  • 1
    Picard would hit you for calling their lives inconsequential. I did say the situation was dire though.
    – user16696
    Jan 20, 2015 at 12:47
  • I did say "in comparison". Everyone on board knows his or her duty is to die for the Federation if the need arises.
    – Valorum
    Jan 20, 2015 at 13:22
  • @cde : Thanks for your answer. However, in my question I alluded already to the fact that Picard would most likely not act "callously", as you put it, with his crew's lives. I was looking for answer of the form "yes", "no", or "impossible to say" to the specific question of Did Picard somehow warn crew members in the forward saucer section about what was about to happen?, with a citation to a canonical source if possible. Richard's answer provides exactly this. Your answer is partly the sort of thing I am looking for (I appreciate the reference about red alert procedures)...
    – Praxis
    Jan 20, 2015 at 18:30
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    @praxis my point about the ship layout, civilian safety points, battle stations, and general common sense is that the forward saucer section would not have people in it, once battle stations was called prior to the fight.
    – user16696
    Jan 20, 2015 at 22:58

Ramming the ship was a desperate last resort. If you read the scene message Picard sent to Troi; in Nemesis it says "TEXT MSG (MESSAGE) SENT: STN 01-001 (STATION CAPTAINS CHAIR) RECEIVED: STN01-017 (STATION HELM) / ENCRYPTED PGM HELM TO HDG 173 MARK 06 STANDBY FULL IMPULSE ON MY CMD.

Picard gave the order for "ALL HANDS, BRACE FOR IMPACT" He also called the ship to battlestations before the fight even started, given the forward saucer section of a sovereign class; Decks 8-11, is predominantly crew quarters nobody would be in them if they were at "Battlestations"

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