SAGITTARIUS REACH — Starfleet Command has today confirmed reports that five officers from the starship USS Columbia believed to have been killed on assignment are alive.
While investigating the loss of contact with a navigational beacon, Commander Jarred Thoran, Doctor Anath G’Renn, Commander Luna Walker, Lieutenant Commander Rune Jolara and Ensign Karen Stendhal were believed to have perished in an explosion after responding to a distress call from a nearby vessel. A subsequent investigation carried out by the crew of the Columbia turned up numerous inconsistencies of provoked suspicions that the situation had been fabricated.
“Investigating the “explosion”, it was determined that the amount of debris was inconsistent with the mass of the vessel,” said Lieutenant Rosalind Taya, a spokesperson for Starfleet Command. “Additionally, earlier sensor scans suggested a spatial anomaly consistent with ‘blips’ in Columbia’s sensor array. It was quickly determined by the talented crew that the explosion was a smokescreen for the use of a phase-shifting cloaking device”.
Taya went on to explain that Columbia was able to track the phase-shifted vessel through the use of a ‘tomographic imaging scanner’ which was able to penetrate numerous phase variances when integrated into the ship’s primary sensor array.
“The quick thinking and technical ingenuity of Captain Whittaker’s outstanding crew meant that the away team were liberated from captivity and returned to the Columbia with only minor injuries,” she added.
In a separate press release, Starfleet Security revealed the away team were captured by members of a feline race known as the ‘Shanshuri’ — although they refused to be drawn on claims from unnamed sources aboard the Columbia that they were acting on behalf of a third party whose territory the ship had unknowingly crossed into.
“We are not in the business of pandering to unnamed sources,” stated the press release. “While we investigate the threat potential posed by the Shanshuri, Columbia has returned to Dehner Base [the Federation science outpost on Delta Vega I where the crew are enjoying much-needed shore leave after several arduous months.”
Written by Theo Whittaker