Stardate 45703.9: The Enterprise is heading back to Earth so Picard may deliver Starfleet Academy’s commencement address, and the crew is also looking forward to an aerial stunt display performed in orbit over Saturn by Nova Squadron, the Academy’s elite flight group, including Wes Crusher. As the Enterprise arrives, news reaches Picard and Dr. Crusher that Nova Squadron’s five planes have collided during a practice maneuver, injuring four of the pilots and killing one of them. An inquiry is launched into the accident, and squadron leader Locarno – backed up by Wes and the other cadets – testifies that blame lies on Cadet Joshua Albert, who died. Picard, while the investigation is underway, pays a visit to his old friend Boothby, the Academy gardener since Picard’s days as a cadet. Wise old Boothby, and later Picard himself, begin to wonder if perhaps the surviving cadets of Nova Squadron aren’t simply diverting the responsibility for their own mistake.
written by Ronald D. Moore and Naren Shankar
directed by Paul Lynch
music by Jay Chattaway
Guest Cast: Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher), Jacqueline Brooks (Admiral Brand), Ray Walston (Boothby), Robert Duncan McNeill (Nicholas Locarno), Ed Lauter (Lt. Commander Albert), Richard Fancy (Captain Setalk), Walker Brandt (Hajar), Shannon Fill (Sito)
LogBook entry by Earl Green