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Paul Rice had attended Starfleet Academy with Will Riker. Riker remembered him as a confident man, almost to the point of arrogance; he managed to get away with this trait because he had a tendency to be right. When he took his final test in one of his courses at the Academy, there were three options available; Rice ignored them, and came up with his own solution. As a result, he was awarded the highest score for the test, which was still in use at the Academy, albeit with four available solutions. Based on this profile, Counselor Deanna Troi reasoned that such a man would have a tendency to fight a battle, as opposed to retreat from one.
In 2364, the Drake was assigned to Minos to discover why the planet had suddenly become unpopulated. The Drake was apparently destroyed by one of the weapons constructed by the people of that planet, a weapon which almost destroyed the USS Enterprise-D a short time later.
When Riker, as the executive officer of the Enterprise-D, beamed down to Minos, he encountered Paul Rice. However, Riker soon determined this was a holographic version being created with the purpose of extracting information from him. (TNG: "The Arsenal of Freedom")