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This page contains information regarding Star Trek: Prodigy, and thus may contain spoilers.
"Uh, I don't know, Nick. The Starburst maneuver's banned for a reason. We'd be flying too close…"
"Yeah, it's dangerous as hell for anyone other than Nova Squadron. We're the best pilots the Academy's seen in years. Pulling it off would make us legends!
"

Nova Squadron was an elite flight team at Starfleet Academy. Each cadet flew a single-pilot spacecraft performing various formations and maneuvers as a demonstration of flight prowess and ability. Its late 2360s incarnation fell from grace in 2368 when squad leader Nick Locarno manipulated his teammates into attempting a Kolvoord Starburst and subsequently scapegoating one of their own for a fatal training accident, but a new incarnation existed by 2384.

2368 Nova Squadron[]

Nova Squadron

The four surviving members of Nova Squadron in 2368

In 2368, Nova Squadron consisted of Cadet First Class Nicholas Locarno, Cadet Second Class Jean Hajar, Cadet Second Class Sito Jaxa, Cadet Third Class Wesley Crusher, and Cadet Joshua Albert. It was this team which won the Rigel Cup.

Shortly before commencement that year (on Stardate 45703), the Nova Squadron flight team suffered an accidental collision on the Academy Flight Range, near Saturn's moon of Titan; they had been practicing maneuvers for their upcoming graduation ceremony. Cadet Albert was killed in the crash; while the other four team members successfully activated their emergency transporters to escape their doomed ships.

Upon investigation, it was determined that Nova Squadron – despite claiming to have done a Yeager loop – was in fact attempting an unauthorized Kolvoord Starburst, a dangerous maneuver long prohibited by the Academy. The maneuver was banned due to a similar accident that occurred in the 2260s involving another group of five cadets, all of whom died in the mishap. As Captain Jean-Luc Picard surmised, Cadet Locarno, wanting to wow the graduation ceremony attendants out of a narcissistic desire to "graduate as a living legend", had pressured his teammates into performing the maneuver, and, in the wake of the catastrophic outcome, was pressuring his surviving teammates into covering up the truth and blaming Cadet Albert for the accident. When said discovery was made, the board of inquiry came close to expelling all four surviving cadets … until Locarno made an impassioned plea to assume full responsibility for the mishap and cover-up. Sure enough, he alone was expelled. The three remaining cadets were issued a formal reprimand: their flight privileges were revoked, their service records were permanently tainted, and their academic credits for that year were canceled. (TNG: "The First Duty")

Legacy[]

Two years after the incident, Sito – now an ensign aboard the USS Enterprise-D – was killed on a mission in Cardassian space. (TNG: "Lower Decks")

The same year, Crusher's attitude and academic performance deteriorated as a result of him losing faith in Starfleet. He ultimately resigned in solidarity with the inhabitants of Dorvan V, who were facing relocation due to the Federation-Cardassian Treaty placing the religiously significant planet in Cardassian space, and joined the Traveler. (TNG: "Journey's End")

Another elite cadet unit, Red Squad, was created in the 2370s, and unfortunately experienced a similar but more catastrophic fall from grace after the Dominion War's outbreak stranded them in Dominion-occupied territory under the command of Tim Watters. Watters proved to have similar character flaws to Locarno, and his disastrous orders ended up causing the deaths of all but one of the squad, himself included, and costing the Federation Alliance intelligence on a supposed weakness in Jem'Hadar fighters. (DS9: "Homefront", "Paradise Lost", "Valiant")

In 2385, after meeting Wesley Crusher, Rok-Tahk mentioned him being a member of Nova Squadron as one of Wesley's accomplishments. (PRO: "The Devourer of All Things, Part I")

Following his expulsion, Locarno became a civilian pilot for hire operating from New Axton. Over time, he began to blame the Academy itself for the accident, rationalizing that the faculty did not allow Nova Squadron to sufficiently practice a maneuver they should never have been attempting in the first place. This prevented him from learning from his mistake and caused him to become bitter over his expulsion. In 2381, he began bribing lower deckers on non-Federation ships to mutiny against their captains and join the new Nova Fleet, named after the original Nova Squadron. Having not learned from the consequences of his attempt at the maneuver, he utilized imagery of the Kolvoord Starburst as Nova Fleet's logo, displaying it on his jacket and painting it on the stolen ships.

However, Locarno's controlling tendencies reared their head when Beckett Mariner refused to cooperate and fled with a Genesis Device on the USS Passaro, and the rest of Nova Fleet abandoned him when he pursued Mariner into an ion storm and the USS Cerritos managed to breach his supposedly indestructible trynar shield. Mariner activated the Genesis Device just before Locarno boarded the Passaro, and Locarno, unaware that completing the deactivation was locked behind a paywall, stubbornly insisted that he could deactivate the device, resulting in his death when he was caught in the explosion. (LD: "The Inner Fight", "Old Friends, New Planets")

Fates[]

2384 Nova Squadron[]

Nova Squadron 2385

The Nova Squadron in 2384

Another Nova Squadron roster was active in the mid-2380s. In 2384 it included Maj'el, Zeph, and Grom. (PRO: "Into the Breach, Part I", "Into the Breach, Part II")

In 2385, after recovering the USS Protostar, Maj'el invited Dal R'El to train with Nova Squadron, although the other squadron members were dubious of his skills. (PRO: "Ascension, Part I")

When the Rev-1 attacked Voyager, Nova Squadron was launched to help mount a defense as the ship's weapons were down, but Grom was injured in an explosion so Chakotay convinced Maj'el and Zeph to allow Dal to act as his replacement. Under the leadership of Maj'el and flying Mark 2 Nova Flyers redesigned by Tom Paris, Nova Squadron performed the Boothby Supernova, a move that no one had ever successfully done before, to destroy the enemy ship with its own weapon. (PRO: "Ascension, Part I", "Ascension, Part II")

Maj'el later resigned from Nova Squadron so that she could accompany Dal, Rok-Tahk, Jankom Pog, Gwyndala, Murf, and Zero on a mission to Solum, one that could only be non-Starfleet personnel only, citing how Wesley Crusher – himself a former member of Nova Squadron – had said that the group needed to stick together. She later joined the others aboard the USS Prodigy rather than returning to Nova Squadron. (PRO: "Brink", "Ouroboros, Part II")

Appendices[]

Apocrypha[]

The TOS movie-era novel Elusive Salvation indicates that Nova Squadron existed from the earliest days of Starfleet Academy. Its members included Midshipman Kenneth Sapp (β) and 84 other cadets assigned to the USS Enterprise. According to the novel, many elite Starfleet officers were Nova Squadron alumni.

According to her biography in Star Trek: Starship Creator, Sarita Carson was a member of Nova Squadron prior to her graduation in 2371.

External link[]

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