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Hi TrekTV, You'd wondered why the Enterprise only rarely does the saucer-separation routine in the Next Generation. Try to imagine Picard trying to make peace with Romulans or whoever. There'd be a point while he's trying to negotiate that he'd have to just blurt out "Hold that thought, I'll be right back" - He'd have Worf kill the viewscreen, and the whole senior staff would pile into the elevator. A few minutes later he'd phone up the romulans, this time clearly standing on the battlebridge and hoping to convince the Romulans that he's still wants to talk things out. And that's assuming the Romulans don't get the drop on him during the long, slow decoupling process. One that I'm sure I'd get tired of watching week after week. "Fine", you're thinking "they could just stash the saucer section behind a planet or something when they're going on a dangerous mission" -- I suppose they could, but that's like going up to someone and saying "I don't want any trouble" while waving a gun in their face. If you show up in just the drive section, everybody knows you mean business, and no matter how diplomatic Picard tries to be, if he hasn't got the saucer section, it looks like he came to fight. That's not Picard's style. It actually fits better with the Captain Kirk "Shoot first, and we'll make up a story about how they provoked us later" approach to diplomacy. Ben. -- My last name is #beep#