Your original idea is far more interesting to me. Picard's arguing for caution in direct opposition to his own personal interests.
But I think that's what Picard eventually did, though it was "off-camera" between scenes. Still, the scene with Worf let me dramatize that conflict between his sense of the greater good and his personal feelings. A confrontation with an admiral might've covered much the same ground, but it's more emotionally satisfying if it's between two beloved main characters and illuminates their relationship, rather than being between Picard and some guest admiral with Picard's dilemma being strictly internal.
And it is arguably more traditionally in line with Picard's character, to boot.
Which strikes me as the best reason not
to do it that way. Why settle for a "traditional," predictable way of writing Picard when I could do something more fresh and unexpected that reveals a new facet to the character?
Eh, you're not wrong. I don't know what the hell I'm bitching about. I enjoyed it quite a bit, after all.
And if this new facet of the character ends up paying off down the line, then we'll be better for it, IMO. I think my niggling problem with it lies in the fact that stuff like this isn't always adhered to in Trek literature. Writing Picard in the "traditional" way may be the obvious choice, but you can be reasonably certain that whoever's going to be writing him five books from now will be working from the same template.
On TV, I like stuff like Breaking Bad
. A character might do something perceived as wildly out of character, but then we get to spend a couple episodes dissecting the whys and hows. I don't know if you can make big changes to characters in Trek Lit without having it all be pointless when the next novel's released. Not that I'm saying you drastically altered Picard or anything because you obviously didn't. But how does that work? Can you monkey with these people at all? I know that the editors work out the big plot beats a few novels in advance but how much obligation does the next guy have to write Picard consistently with how you wrote him in TSW