- "She was the finest example of a Starfleet officer, and a young woman of remarkable courage and strength of character."
Nova Squadron incident
While in Starfleet Academy in 2368, Sito Jaxa was a member of Nova Squadron along with Wesley Crusher. Under the direction of Cadet Nicholas Locarno, Nova Squadron attempted the dangerous Kolvoord Starburst maneuver during a flight exercise – an action that resulted in a collision and death of fellow cadet Joshua Albert. Sito and her fellow cadets lied about their flying of the illegal maneuver to a board of inquiry led by Rear Admiral Brand and Captain Satelk. When the crew of the Enterprise-D discovered inconsistencies in the report, Captain Jean-Luc Picard reprimanded Cadet Crusher and threatened to go to the board of inquiry himself, but Crusher eventually decided to reveal the true cause of the accident. Locarno was expelled from the Academy, while Sito and the other cadets had their academic credits from the past year canceled. (TNG: "The First Duty") Sito remained at Starfleet Academy, despite the stigma attached to the cadets involved in the cover up. Sito had to take her flight test with the instructor because no other cadet wanted to be her partner. (TNG: "Lower Decks")
Career on board the Enterprise-D
After graduating the Academy, Sito was assigned to the Enterprise-D at the request of Captain Picard because he wanted to make sure she had a fair chance to redeem herself, although she did not realize that at the time. Sito worked in the security department under Lieutenant Worf, and developed close friendships with fellow junior officers Sam Lavelle, Nurse Alyssa Ogawa, Taurik, and Ten Forward waiter Ben. Sito found a mentor in Worf, who suggested her for promotion to the night duty operations officer position, in competition with Sam Lavelle. She was also a student in his mok'bara class.
Seven months after her assignment to the Enterprise, Picard called Sito to his ready room, knowing that she was a certified pilot, and chastised her for involvement with the cover up at the Academy. He said she demonstrated a lack of character and that he was surprised that she was able to get a posting on the Enterprise. Sito tried to defend herself, but did not feel confident enough to express her opinion to the captain. She left his ready room upset and doubtful of her abilities.
Later, Worf informed Sito that he wanted to recruit her for an advanced mok'bara class, which required her to pass the gik'tal challenge, an unfair test which required the student to defend herself while blindfolded. The test was actually made up by Worf, who wanted to teach Sito to stand up for herself. Sito returned to Picard and told him that it was not his place to punish her for her past mistakes, and that she would work to be the best officer possible in the future. Picard then revealed to her that his harshness was actually designed to test her ability to carry out an important mission in Cardassian space. Picard also admitted that he requested her assignment to the Enterprise.
Sito was to assist a Cardassian defector, Joret Dal, return to Cardassia Prime by posing as a Bajoran prisoner captured as part of a bounty hunt, which would allow Joret to cross the border without difficulty. She would then be returned to Federation space in an escape pod after Joret reached Cardassian territory. Sito freely volunteered for the mission, and was surgically altered to appear as if Joret had abused her. Joret was shocked that she was so young, but was grateful that she risked her life in order for the mission to succeed. The Enterprise waited thirty-two hours for her to return, but only detected debris consistent with that of a destroyed escape pod. Eventually, a Cardassian communique was intercepted indicating that the escape pod of a Bajoran terrorist was detected and destroyed after escaping her Cardassian captor. The pain over her loss was felt by both her friends and her superiors. Picard noted that she was the finest example of a Starfleet officer and a young woman of remarkable courage and strength of character. (TNG: "Lower Decks")
|Operations officers of the starships Enterprise|
|USS Enterprise-D:||Crusher • Data • Giusti • Gleason • Lavelle • Mandel • Sito • T'Su • Wallace • Worf|
|USS Enterprise-E:||Armstrong • Data • Perim|
|Members of Nova Squadron|
|Nicholas Locarno • Jean Hajar • Sito Jaxa • Wesley Crusher • Joshua Albert|
She was at one point intended to turn up alive in an undeveloped premise for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Ronald D. Moore stated: "We talked about this for quite awhile, but then decided that bringing Sito back would rob 'Lower Decks' of a great ending." (AOL chat, 1997) The proposed story would have found Sito in a Cardassian prison and would climax with her killing her own cellmate. Elements of the story were ultimately recycled into the DS9 episode "Hard Time". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 326)