In its five hundred page summary of findings, the team tasked with investigating the tragedy that left 57 dead concluded that Thrace, the commanding officer of the Wanderwell, had been part of a group that smuggled luxury contraband items such as alcoholic beverages. It is believed that the saboteur found his/her way on board through that network. The findings further indicated that the intruder likely used the standard practices of the ship’s security personnel, which depended primarily on sensor sweeps rather than visual inspections, to remain hidden during his/her time on board.
With the court martial concluded, the survivors must begin the difficult task of getting on with their lives but, as one former member of the ship’s Operations Department said, “there’s no getting past this.” Those who have put in for transfers have found their requests denied or have been forced to accept lesser positions. Orders go missing. Communications do not go through. One member of the Engineering staff went so far as to say that “its like we’re all tainted by what he did.”
But are the survivors truly tainted? Captain Roland Hallowes, Group Commander, is scheduled to receive a commendation for singular bravery under fire and Ronan Channe, conducted a thorough and exhaustive personal investigation that, as one JAG official indicated, ‘formed the basis for their own investigation and uncovered gaps in security at Utopia Planitia Fleetyards that will be addressed in the coming months.’ The ship’s Chief Medical Officer, Lieutenant Marcus Anderson, will also receive a commendation for outstanding courage under fire and there are others.
Its been a difficult time for the survivors but, perhaps, a way forward has been found. At Starbase 611, the USS Crazy Horse, an Onimaru Class vessel, is readying for departure to the Delta Quadrant. The Crazy Horse will be under the command of newly promoted Captain Ronan Channe and his First Officer, Lt. Commander Baz’ra Jennings, both survivors of the Wanderwell disaster. Captain Channe, speaking from his Ready Room, offered an open invitation to the Wanderwell survivors and went on to say, “the individual or individuals who are responsible for what happened on board the Wanderwell remain at large. It is not a mystery. There are leads to follow and we will not quit.”
Not having charges brought against you is not the same thing at all as being innocent. Sadly, the court of public opinion makes its own determination; its a matter of perception and in this, the crew of the USS Crazy Horse has something to prove, to themselves and to the Federation. Whatever the outcome, we’ll be here to make the report. I’m Verity Birdwhistle reporting for FNS.