Geordi La Forge was then called as witness, and being duly sworn, testified as follows.
Question by Judge Advocate: What is your name and rank?
Answer: I am Geordi la Forge, Lieutenant Commander, Starfleet, head of Engineering on the Enterprise-D
Q: State what you know in regard to the loss of the USS Enterprise-D.
Geordie was nervous although few could ever tell since they couldn't see his eyes, making his emotions harder to read for those who did not know him well.
A: After being declared fit by the Chief Medical Officer I reported for my next shift in Engineering. During the battle with the Klingons the Engineering section took repeated hits that came straight through our shields. This caused the magnetic interlocks to rupture which had, in turn, caused a massive Warp coolant leak.
Never one to dwell on the past, he had been too busy to think much about that last battle until now. Strangely enough, when he thought about the Enterprise-D he did not visualise it as he had last seen it, a hissing screaming hell of sparks and explosions. He remembered the years when it had been his home, the focus of his whole life, his work place, where he had socialised and researched ways to squeeze every last quantum particle of thrust out of the engines.
Q: Lieutenant Commander, The Engineering section of the Enterprise-D was destroyed by a Warp core breach. Why was the Warp core not ejected in time to save the ship?
A: The Enterprise had taken heavy damage from the renegade Klingon Bird of Prey and not only was the emergency ejection mechanism off-line but the exit point of the ejection tube was covered by debris so that an emergency ejection would have destroyed both sections of the Enterprise.
As the day wore on he went over the details of the battle piece by piece, answering each question with clarity from his encyclopedic knowledge of his engines. Late in the afternoon, Fleet Captain Louvois the Judge Advocate, looked up from her desk console after a particularly long and convoluted technical question. She seemed to be thinking how best to broach the next subject.
Q: Thank you Lieutenant Commander, whilst this board does not suggest that you had anything to do with it, it has been determined that the reason the Klingon renegade ship was able to penetrate the shield’s of your ship was because a transmitter was secreted in your VISOR. This made it possible for the Klingons to spy on the Enterprise and give them the ship’s shield modulation codes. Why was this not picked up by the ship’s scanners when you were transported aboard?
Geordie knew why she was being careful about his sensibilities. He had spent close to a week under the scrutiny of Starfleet Counsellors being debriefed over the part his VISOR had played in the destruction of the Enterprise. He had never known what it was like to see naturally and, ever since he had received his first VISOR at five, it had seemed as natural to him as his hair or nails. To think that something which was almost an extension of his body could have betrayed them had been hard to take, it was true. The counsellors had gone through all the psychological double talk about guilt and the psychoses that it could create, but in the end they needn't have worried. The fact of the matter was that he was an engineer, a pragmatist, and his life was ruled by facts and data, cause and effect. He accepted life for what it was and questions of 'What if…' rarely entered his mind.
A: Subsequent investigation of the Transporters and my visor showed that the optical spycam was shielded by the same method that Doctor Soran had used on board the Amargosa observatory to hide the existence of his laboratory. It was a new development in Nanotechnology that we had no way of guarding against.
One of the purposes of a board of inquiry was to ensure that the same circumstances would never happen again. Transporters and sensors had been adapted to ensure that this type of shielding would not slip past them again. Geordie was already working with Starfleet Medical on ocular implants that would make the VISOR redundant.
The board members could not see Geordie's eyes - the windows to his soul.
A small smile touched the eyes no one could see.
Soon, he thought, very soon