Contact has recently been lost with the Starship Imperator under the Command of Captain Thomas Winter, an anonymous source on Starbase Sirius has reported. Imperator, which was previously Commanded by Obsidian Fleet’s Rear Admiral Oliver Lancaster and still acts as his Flagship when required, was last noted to have crossed the border into what was once the Romulan Neutral Zone, though contact was lost a few hours later.
It is believed that Captain Winter took the ship into the forbidden territory in order to mount rescue operations regarding a Romulan vessel in distress. If this theory is correct, then Imperator would be in direct violation of standing Starfleet Orders regarding crossing the border. However, Admiral Lancaster, the direct Commander of Captain Winter, is noted to have maverick tendencies that perhaps his successor is now displaying as well.
For those of you unaware, these orders were issued due to the volatility of the sector of space once known as the Neutral Zone since the unfortunate destruction of the Romulan homeworld in the Hobus event. An inside source suggests that Klingon bandits may have been involved in the attack on the Romulan vessel, and, based upon long range telemetry, that they may have even destroyed the Sovereign Class Imperator, though this also remains unconfirmed at this time.
If Imperator was destroyed, then her crew may have escaped to a nearby Class-M planet. However, it is unknown if this is the case, especially if the ship was attacked by Klingons.
Imperator’s assignment prior to their crossing the border was one motivated to prevent open conflict with the Klingons, and if these reports are to be believed, then Captain Winter and his crew may well have contributed to starting exactly what they were assigned to prevent.
When contacted for comment, Admiral Lancaster had the following to say.
“Captain Winter has not, at any stage, disobeyed any standing orders from superior officers. Imperator was engaged in training exercises that necessitated crossing the border. They proceeded to render aid to a vessel in distress in a system known for its communication problems. If anything changes, I’ll be sure to tell you.”
It is worth noting that part of this has been corroborated, as Imperator is known to have been playing host to a squad of cadets, most recently putting them through the infamous Kobayashi Maru. However, we are unsure of the Admiral’s candour. After all, why would a man who has previously consorted with known Romulan agents, and who is outspoken in his desire to better support them in the face of mounting tensions with the Klingons, to the extent that he has even voiced support for the vigilante Fenris Rangers, possibly have anything to hide in this matter? We’ll leave that for you to decide.
You can find more updates on Imperator and her status here.
For the Federation News Service, this has been Karen Jenkins.