Wasn't this because of the time when O'Brien served aboard the Enterprise in TNG?I think he was preempting conversation with O'Brien; by providing a reason not to have a conversation he avoided speaking to the chief, who would have quickly been able to discover that Thomas was posing as Will Riker.
The way I saw it was that he was just deflecting any reminiscing that O'Brien might want to do about their time on the Enterprise together, since, having never really served on the Enterprise, he'd have nothing to reminisce about.It could have been because Thomas Riker knew that O'Brien, thinking him to be Will Riker, would want to strike up a conversation and catch up about their days serving aboard the Enterprise-D. This would inevitably lead to O'Brian's discovering that Thomas Riker was not in fact Will Riker, whom he was masquerading as, and quashing his devilish plans.
This is only my best guess. I would welcome a more learned explanation from anyone else. Its simple, Riker didn't want to have too much contact with anyone who served on the Enterprise because he could have been found out for not knowing simple details about Miles life that Will would know but Thomas wouldn't have known about.
--- not trying to piss you off, but thats stupid. If Thomas didnt want O'Brien to unmask him, he should have just acted like nothing was wrong. Besides, the whole intonation and feel of his remark rules out simply not wanting to remenice. There was definate hostility on Riker's part. However, to my knowledge no onscreen falling out ever occured between O'Brien and Will Riker, not to mention the fact that Thomas probably wouldnt know about it to fake it. I dont recall any problems between O'Brien and Thomas either. Mentioning that to O'Brien would be even stranger in his guise as Will. Making everything even stranger, O'Brien acts like he totally understands why Riker seemingly hates his guts and just leaves it at that. Sweet friend-of-all Miles would never let such a remark go unexplained.
My theory is that there was perhaps some unused idea that never made it into TNG. Werent there some problems with syncing DS9 with TNG airing-wise?
On doing some more reading I found this entry in his (Thomas') talk page. Hmm...when I saw that episode it sure seemed to me like O'Brien was confused as all heck by the remark and left in response to Kira's saying "maybe we should come back another time", figuring that whatever it was, Riker would explain it later. Indeed, the script seems to support this--it states that O'Brien was "too shocked to say anything in response". Then, when we see O'Brien come out of the airlock a moment later, he's quite confused about the whole thing. Mdettweiler 21:06, April 17, 2010 (UTC)
Should the script really point this out (how do all you people get hold of scripts? :S), I would seem to be wrong and Riker really was just trying to get out of talking to O'Brien. However I still feel like it was stupidly rude.
--- I think it referring to the method that split up Riker in the first place. If O'Brien was working the teleporter when the accident happened, he was indirectly responsible for Thomas being stranded 8 years.
--- That can't be it. Riker and O'Brien weren't serving on the Enterprise at the time.
--- It wasnt even on the Enterprise, The original incident occured while Riker was serving on the Potemkin.
//// Thomas Riker was simply trying to get rid of Chief O' Brian by talking down to him. He was worried when the Chief seemed to recognize him and wanted to avoid any discussions about their past on the Enterprise that might expose him. There was no problem with syncing TNG and DS9; O'Brian came over on the first episode of DS9 anyway, so there would be nothing to sync with. As you yourself have already said, there was no falling out between the two anyway, so it's obviously not a reference to anything.