Public Affairs Office Personnel Profiles:
Sam Archer   |   Tessa Kensington   |   Cassie Queen

Thursday, October 31

A Photo Of Iconia

Lieutenant Archer took a digital camera with him when he went down to the surface of Iconia on the original, now-missing, away team. His plan was to take a few shots of the Iconian ruins, but fate obviously had a different plan. His camera did make it through his three-week survival experience (on the distant planet), but was completely drained of power by the time he stepped through the “Guardian of Forever”, and made it back to Iconia.

At Sam’s request, I charged up the camera and downloaded the photos to our Public Affairs database. This photo is one of the only photos Sam was able to take of the surface of Iconia (before he stepped through the “Iconian Gateway”). It sure is a bleak and desolate place.

Courtesy of Lieutenant Archer, this may even be the only photo of Iconia that Starfleet or the greater Federation get to see.

There are a number of other photos from his camera, too, including some from the planet he survived on, but he’ll be sharing those himself, once he returns to duty here on deck 2.

-Lieutenant (JG) Tessa Kensington

Wednesday, October 30

The Girl Who Visited Sam

For those who have asked, Lieutenant Sam Archer is doing well. He is recovering in one of the patient recovery suites in the hospital. His wounds have been treated, and he is on a strict nutrient-rich diet. He is able to move around the suite, but spends most of his time resting. He has had a surprising number of visits from members of the crew, and seems to be in good spirits.

There was an odd visitor earlier this afternoon, though, that many of us haven’t been able to explain. Lieutenant Archer has declined to comment, so we’re honoring his request.

A young civilian woman, maybe 18 or 19 years old (her identity is being withheld for reasons of privacy), stopped in Archer’s suite while I was visiting, and asked to speak with him in private. I had never met her before, but she seemed insistent to talk with him as soon as possible. I stepped aside so they could chat. The conversation was short, she stared at him intently as she talked, then tapped him comfortingly on the shoulder, and left.

A few minutes later, I discovered that this young woman had collapsed in one of the corridors on deck 10, and was rushed back down to one of the sickbay wards on deck 12. When I asked one of the nurses what had happened, she told me that this young woman had passed out, fallen to the deck, and was unconscious when medics arrived. When she woke up on her biobed some time later, she had no memory of visiting the hospital deck, or stopping in to see Lieutenant Archer. I was also told that she had no head trauma from her fall, nor did she seem to comprehend her surroundings. An hour later, she was released in good health.

It’s probably nothing, but, I can’t help feeling that there’s something else going on here – something else connected to Lieutenant Archer and his “Guardian of Forever” experience. Perhaps, after he is released from the hospital, he might be willing to talk about it. Until then, though, we will – well, I hope he recovers quickly, and can get back to his normal self.

-Lieutenant (JG) Tessa Kensington

Tuesday, October 29

What Happened At Iconia

I’m glad this day is over, and I’m glad we’re back in Federation space.

If you’ve been reading the recent posts from our Public Affairs page, you’ll know just how disturbing the last 24-36 hours have been. We witnessed the complete destruction of the USS Yamato; the Enterprise became infected with an unknown computer software virus; we found the legendary planet Iconia; and then we lost an entire away team in an explosion on the planet’s surface – including Lieutenant Archer (who was part of that away team). Then, strangely, moments after the explosion, Lieutenant Archer was found wandering among the Iconian ruins, sick, malnourished, and looking like he had been living in the wilderness for a few months.

Well, the truth is... apparently, he was – living in the wilderness.

I’ll get to that in a moment.

To start, though, I am happy to be the bearer of good news. The away team may not be dead after all. They might have survived – we just don’t know where they are.

Lieutenant Archer was brought back aboard the Enterprise for medical treatment and debriefing. Once he was able to talk, he informed Captain Picard that the away team had activated a “portal” within the now-destroyed Iconian launch site control room. That portal was, he says, one of the mythical “Iconian Gateways” – an instant one-way transportation doorway to distant planets. When the ancient equipment started to experience a power overload, security measures were activated (sealing the away team inside the control center), and the only way out, before the explosion, was to step through the gateway.

Lieutenant Commander Idella Haas ordered everyone to step through the portal to safety, however, the portal was “cycling through various locations”, as Lieutenant Archer described, and everyone likely stepped through to different planets. He is fairly certain that the first three Starfleet officers to step through went to the same planet, while the next two officers went somewhere else. Then Lieutenant Archer stepped through, and ended up on third planet. He has no idea what happened to Lieutenant Commander Haas, and the two Marines who were in line to step through the portal behind him, although, he is fairly certain they went to at least a fourth planet, since they didn’t arrive where he ended up.

Lieutenant Archer says he stepped through onto a desolate plateau that appeared to be the location of an ancient, mostly-buried city. He says the plateau overlooked an ocean. There was no one else on this plateau – he was alone. He says he was on this planet for three weeks before discovering a “talking portal” that called itself “the Guardian of Forever”. He found that it was an “ancient time portal”, and it allowed him to step through into the past – three weeks earlier on Iconia (this morning for all of us), just after the explosion that destroyed the control center.

The Sam Archer that we rescued survived for three weeks, alone, on an ancient planet somewhere in the universe. There are no records of anyone else having found or interacted with this “Guardian of Forever”, so we have no idea where this planet is located.

Somewhere, out there, may be the rest of our missing away team, too. We just don’t know where they went, or how to find them. The “Iconian Gateway” was destroyed, so we don’t have any way to rescue them. Lieutenant Archer was, apparently, lucky – if you can call it that.

As far as our survival aboard the Enterprise, well, we have our chief engineer, Lieutenant Geordi La Forge to thank for that. He decided to do something that has never been done in deep space before…. he shut down the entire computer on the stardrive section, and rebooted every system in that part of the ship. Normally, this is only done while a ship is in drydock, because an external command center is necessary to help reboot, reactivate, and reset every system. Starships have hundreds of systems to bring back online. It’s a process that takes 2-4 hours to complete. Lieutenant La Forge managed to complete the process without external monitoring. We may have to start referring to him as a “miracle worker”.

When everything came back online, and the Iconian computer virus was no longer active in the stardrive section, Lieutenant La Forge came over to the saucer section, repeated the process, and rebooted the saucer computer cores as well. With both parts of the Enterprise virus-free, the Enterprise was re-integrated, dropped a warning buoy, and we left the Iconian system.

Thankfully, we did not encounter any Romulan Warbirds. That would have made the situation many times more dangerous. It is very likely that the Romulans didn’t even know we were there. The Neutral Zone is about a light year deep. Ship sensors – from ships on either side of the Zone -- are not powerful enough to cover that distance.

It’s been a long day. Lieutenant Archer is, thankfully, alive, and we have hope that the rest of our away team is still out there, somewhere, as well. We have many things to figure out, but, at least we aren’t still sitting helpless inside the Neutral Zone. We have completed Captain Varley’s original mission. I don’t think anyone will be going back to Iconia any time soon.

-Lieutenant (JG) Tessa Kensington

An Explosion On Iconia....

There’s been an explosion down on Iconia.

The Marines have reported casualties, and have stated that we may have lost the away team. This isn’t looking good.

From the reports sent back up to the Enterprise, the away team discovered some sort of control room near the probe launch site, and found a way to power up the facility. Two Marines went in with them to provide defense on the inside. The rest of the Marines remained outside to provide cover, and protect the landing zone.

A few minutes later, something seems to have happened inside the control center, and the doors were sealed, trapping the away team (and two Marines) inside. Explosions were heard inside the facility, and the entire building erupted in a ball of fire and debris. As of right now, the ruins off the control center are currently in flames, and the Marines are reporting only one survivor – Lieutenant Archer.

It sounds like something happened to Lieutenant Archer, though, because he was found wandering near the ruins, his uniform is cut, he looks extremely malnourished, he has new partially-healed wounds, and he is wearing a strange makeshift cloak made of woven grass. The Marines also reported that Lieutenant Archer was found carrying a satchel, also made of grass, which contains a few dozen small hand-made objects, as well as his phaser, tricorder, and mission camera, all of which are depleted of power.

The Marines are treating Lieutenant Archer, and continuing to search the area near the burning ruins for other survivors. They say the explosion was pretty intense, though, and they aren’t expecting to find any bodies that can still be recovered.

Yikes. Terrible news all around.

NOTE: Because of the late hour, this will probably be my last report for the morning. If you’re still following along, get some rest. I have a feeling I’ll be the one posting another update later today.

-Lieutenant (JG) Tessa Kensington

Saucer Separation Above Iconia

Now reporting: Tessa Kensington.

Captain Picard ordered the Enterprise to conduct a saucer separation at 0034 hours. His orders stated that he wanted to ensure the safety of the crew, in case the Enterprise experiences warp system failures just like the USS Yamato. There were a few problems during separation, but the de-latching systems worked, and the Enterprise is now in two pieces. Most of the crew has been moved to the saucer section, which remains in orbit of Iconia, while the stardrive section, with a skeleton crew, has moved a safe distance away from the planet.

Commander Riker is in command of the stardrive section. Captain Picard remains in command of the saucer, with most of the crew aboard.

We have also just received word that the Enterprise away team has landed on Iconia, and is beginning its reconnaissance mission. God speed, and be safe, Lieutenant Archer.

-Lieutenant JG Tessa Kensington

Monday, October 28

Iconian Computer Virus & An Away Team

It has been confirmed: the Iconian computer virus was received in the routine data packet sent from the USS Yamato. It also seems to be extremely adaptable – so much so that it has bypassed our security systems, and is spreading more rapidly now. It appears to be rewriting our standard Starfleet programming, and by doing so, causing ship systems to fluctuate.

In fact, moments ago, life support failed on saucer decks 7 and 13. Deck 7 contains 350 crew/family quarters (although, not all of them are in use), the Arboretum, and environmental systems. Deck 13 contains limited crew quarters, and research labs, most of which are empty and not assigned to any departments.

I’ve also just received surprise orders to report to the Main Shuttlebay for assignment to an away team. Apparently, Captain Picard is sending an away team down to the surface of Iconia to investigate the site where the automated probe was launched. The hope is that we can find something at the launch site that will help us understand and eliminate the Iconian virus worming its way through the Enterprise. I’ve been assigned to the away team because I am, apparently, one of only three people aboard the Enterprise who have studied known Iconian history and culture. It was one of my chosen history major electives at Starfleet Academy.

A Marine landing team is already preparing to go down before us, and clear our landing zone. We cannot use the transporter, because there is no existing transporter pad on Iconia. Once the landing zone is cleared, Beta Shift away team commander, Lieutenant Commander Idella Haas, will lead six of us down in a shuttle (two science officers, two engineering lieutenants, a medical ensign, and myself). We will pursue our mission objectives from there.

I’ve asked Lieutenant (JG) Tessa Kensington to assuming live-posting on our page while I am on-mission. I’ll report again after I return to the Enterprise.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Iconia: Found

The Enterprise has arrived at Iconia, the homeworld of the Ancient Iconians. The coordinates Captain Varley gave to the Enterprise are accurate. There is a dead planet located here. There are no signs of life on the surface, and it appears as though significant areas of the planet were destroyed by large-scale bombardment, likely thousands of years ago.

The legends do appear to be true. The Iconian civilization was wiped out, and, apparently, it did, indeed happen during an interstellar war.

Shortly after arriving at Iconia, an automated probe, similar to the one Captain Varley reported to have attacked the USS Yamato, was launched from the planet’s surface. Having been warned, though, Captain Picard ordered it destroyed before it reached orbit. No harm was done.

Despite avoiding an attack by the automated Iconian probe, the Enterprise is still experiencing increasingly random malfunctions from the Iconian computer virus we unintentionally received from the Yamato. Doors randomly lock, unlock, even fail to open… beverage dispensers produce the wrong beverage… lighting systems are malfunctioning throughout the ship…. communication requests are improperly routed…. gravity generators are failing on the lower (low-population) decks of the stardrive section... It could become a lot worse.

Our engineering teams are working to track down the virus, however, the more systems it reaches, the harder it is to isolate. Right now, it’s a slow-leak sort of virus, but if it isn’t isolated soon, it could lead to major engineering failures – like those that destroyed the Yamato.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

The Destruction Of The USS Yamato

Yesterday I posted that our assignment was quiet and uneventful. Today has been the opposite. Four hours ago, we witnessed the Galaxy-class USS Yamato explode, killing everyone onboard.

At roughly 1630 hours this afternoon, the Enterprise picked up a distress call from the USS Yamato, roughly 2 billion kilometers from our patrol coordinates. They had sent their call over two hours earlier. We responded immediately, arriving in only a few seconds via a quick warp jump.

Upon arrival, the Yamato’s commanding officer, Captain Donald Varley (pictured), reported major malfunctions throughout his ship, many of which seemed highly improbable. He also claimed to have discovered the legendary long-lost home world of the Ancient Iconians – inside the Romulan Neutral Zone. According to Captain Varley, earlier today, he had taken the Yamato into the Neutral Zone (something he shouldn’t have done), and confirmed the existence of Iconia. Shortly after entering orbit of the lifeless planet, however, an automated probe was launched from the surface. It attempted to communicate with the Yamato, and downloaded some sort of virus into the ship’s computer systems. That virus was the likely cause of their escalating ship malfunctions.

Within ten minutes of our arrival, while Captain Varley was still explaining his actions, our Beta Shift bridge crew reported a sudden power build-up in the Yamato’s stardrive section. Within seconds, the entire ship disintegrated in a series of explosions that rippled through the hull. A subsequent scan of the Yamato’s debris field showed no survivors. All 1,231 crew, civilians, children – everyone aboard – dead. I’ve seen the incident footage. It was horrific to say the least.

Later efforts to determine the cause of the Yamato’s destruction, suggest that it was most likely a rare anti-matter explosion within their warp core. The explosion caused a massive power overload to surge through the Yamato, destroying it section by section. There was no time for anyone to escape. Such a destruction shouldn’t have happened, though. There are multiple safety protocols in place to protect that very thing from occurring aboard any Starfleet ship. Somehow, the Iconian probe likely caused the Yamato’s malfunctions, which resulted in a series of disabled systems allowing the rare power overload, which, in turn, defied all odds, and destroyed the ship.

Unfortunately, the Enterprise is now experiencing similar ship malfunctions as well. It would appear that we have obtained part of the probe virus from the Yamato, when we transferred routine files upon rendezvous. The Enterprise may be on a similar path toward cascade malfunction.

Despite all this, Captain Picard has ordered the Enterprise to enter the Neutral Zone -- we appear to be heading toward the reported coordinates of Iconia, apparently to resume the Yamato’s mission. We’re due to arrive in half an hour.

Since this is such a disturbing, dangerous, and rapidly evolving turn of events, I am going to be doing something different tonight. I will be live-posting the upcoming events – right here, on our Facebook page – starting with our arrival at Iconia. I have a bad feeling about this, and if we are following a similar path as the Yamato, I want to make sure there is a public record of those events – in case we, too, are lost.

We may be in for a long night.

Stick around. Pray for us, and let’s hope the Enterprise isn’t spiraling toward destruction, just like the Yamato earlier this afternoon.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Sunday, October 27

All Quiet Along The Neutral Zone

There hasn’t been much to report lately, because there hasn’t been much taking place. The Enterprise is currently assigned to patrol and scan duties along an area of the Romulan Neutral Zone. It isn’t glamorous work, but Starfleet does need ships to maintain these mission parameters, just as the Romulans are likely doing the same on their side of the Zone. We are, of course, only assigned here temporarily – we’re filling in for another ship that was pulled to port for some vital upgrades. When that ship returns in a week or two, we will likely be returned to our own regular mission assignments.

As much as we may wish otherwise, quite often, life in Starfleet is relatively mundane. It isn’t always rare anomalies and first contact situations. Sometimes it really is just day-to-day duties scanning space dust... or operating quietly along the Neutral Zone.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Thursday, October 24

Galaxy-Class Stardrive Section

Earlier today, Captain Picard took the opportunity to conduct a saucer separation drill. This was a routine maneuver, designed to keep the ship and crew ready for any real emergency separation needs, should they ever arise. The drill went off without a hitch, and the saucer was safely reattached. During the drill, I grabbed a photo of the stardrive section. It really does look odd without the saucer.

You may not know this, but there are actually three stardrive-only Galaxy-class starships operating within Starfleet. All three ships have crews of only 125 personnel, and were commissioned within the past two years. These ships – the USS Leviathan, USS Hercules, and USS Falcon – where constructed without matching saucer sections, so that they could serve as deployment vessels for the new Galaxy-class saucer starbases that are being deploying throughout the Federation.

Deep Space 1 – which we’ve visited a few times – was the first of this line of deployable starbases. In fact, I believe it was originally dropped off, at its current coordinates, by the USS Leviathan two years ago. If DS1 ever needs to be redeployed, one of these three vessels will likely arrive, attach to the starbase, and take it to its new coordinates. It’s an elegant use of the Galaxy-class design, that makes the Galaxy one of the most valuable classes in the fleet.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Monday, October 21

The Romulan Warbird

Since we are now operating along the Romulan Neutral Zone, it seems appropriate to share some information about the primary Romulan vessel design – the “warbird”.

Starfleet Intelligence has determined this vessel is known as the “D’deridex-class”, and it has a length roughly twice as long as the Enterprise-D. It also has two torpedo launchers (one forward and one aft), and at least ten powerful disruptor emitters spread across the hull. Analysis suggests a crew size of between 1,500-2,500 personnel.

In addition, this class of ship has a cloaking device, although, the vessel does not appear to be capable of firing while cloaked. The warbird is also limited in speed to the equivalent of our warp 8. Romulans have not advanced as far as the Federation in propulsion technology, however, their massive array of disruptors and cloaking device, make this warbird a fearsome combat vessel.

I sincerely hope we never have to meet one in battle.

Saturday, October 19

Patrol And Scan Duties

The Enterprise has arrived at the Romulan Neutral Zone. We have dropped out of warp, and are gathering data on our surroundings. In a short while, we will begin our patrol and scan duties, which will cover a predefined area of space. It is likely that we have been assigned here more as a deterrence, rather than a response to any actions the Romulans may have taken. As of right now, I don’t anticipate any hostilities in the foreseeable future.

With any luck, this should be a routine deployment, until the ship we have replaced is able to return, and resume their previous mission.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Thursday, October 17

Destination: Neutral Zone

The Enterprise is still traveling at warp to the Neutral Zone. We have been assigned there to replace another starship that has been directed to port for system upgrades. Our ETA is still sometime on Saturday. I have not been informed what our duties will be upon arrival, however, it seems reasonable that we will assume standard patrol duties – the same duties assigned to the ship we are replacing.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Tuesday, October 15

Small City Enterprise

One of the unique features of the USS Enterprise-D – and by default, all Galaxy-class starships – is that it was designed to include a civilian population. Officers and crew are able to bring their families with them on deep-space missions. This improves morale, and allows families to stay together, no matter where the assignment leads.

Having civilians aboard essentially transforms the USS Enterprise into a warp-powered city, complete with schools, plazas, theaters, restaurants, an arboretum, even the mall on deck 10. In fact, in the near future, there may also be guest performances by celebrity entertainers, musicians, and professional speakers, much like you would find in any city.

Right now, this “small city” concept is still a pilot program, aboard Galaxy-class starships, but there has been talk about incorporating the concept into future Starfleet ship designs as well. I am not aware of any prototype vessels, already under construction, that make use of this concept, but it does seem to be something of great value to Starfleet Command.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Sunday, October 13

Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Did you know, our commanding officer, Captain Jean-Luc Picard, has served in Starfleet for nearly 40 years. He graduated from Starfleet Academy in 2327, and has commanded three starships, fought in the early days of the Cardassian War, survived a fight with a Nausicaan (that resulted in him gaining an artificial heart), and developed the “Picard Maneuver” in the battle that saw the destruction of the USS Stargazer.

Captain Picard is one of the most respected captains in Starfleet, and we are honored to have him as our commanding officer, here aboard the USS Enterprise-D.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Friday, October 11

Shuttle Names Revealed

Last month, Commander Riker announced a contest in which our crew would have the opportunity to rename three of our Type-6 shuttles. Over 300 possible names were submitted, and today, I get to announce the winners.

The three shuttles to be renamed are the Curie, Jackson and Yeager.

The three winning names, as chosen by the Enterprise senior staff are:


“Probert” will be the new name for shuttlecraft Curie. The name, “Probert”, pays homage to Andrew Probert, the designer of the Galaxy-class starship, and, by default, the designer of the USS Enterprise-D. This winning name was submitted by engineer, Lieutenant Diana Giddings.

“Voyager” will be the new name for shuttlecraft Jackson. This name is taken from the two 20th Century Earth NASA space probes, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, both of which were launched in the year 1977. This winning name was submitted by our own page fan, Glenn Riffe.

“Discovery” will be the new name for shuttlecraft Yeager. This name is taken from the old Earth NASA Space Shuttle, Discovery, which was first launched in 1984. This winning name was submitted by a number of different people.

And, as a bonus, the senior staff had a fourth favorite name that they didn’t want to pass on, so our Pullman-class transport, Angelina, will be renamed, “Aurora”. This name comes from the Ancient Earth Roman goddess of the dawn, Aurora.

All four auxiliary vessels will have these new names painted onto their hulls this weekend. They will be the new official names of these vehicles moving forward.

You can see all of our shuttle listed on our Auxiliary Vessels page.

Thank you to everyone who submitted names.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Tuesday, October 8

To Boldly Go Where No One Has Gone Before

"Space... The final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. It's continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no one has gone before."

I don't know about you, but this quote -- by our intrepid Captain Jean-Luc Picard, sends chills down my spine. It's our mission statement, our reason for being out here.

I joined Starfleet to pursue those goals, to follow that mission, and to explore the unending universe beyond Earth orbit. I am out here because my wonder and curiosity cannot be satisfied looking up at the stars. I need to be among them. I need to see what my Creator made.

And like all those who have gone before me, I am in in awe of the beauty I see around me. I am in awe of the millions of little specks of light, around which millions of planets orbit. Every star holds a story, and I am humbled to be the storyteller sharing those stories with you.

Thank you for being a part of our USS Enterprise Public Affairs page. Our adventures, are your adventures, and I am deeply honored that you have chosen to join us.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Monday, October 7

Destination: Neutral Zone

Earlier today, we received new orders. The Enterprise has been temporarily reassigned to operations along the Romulan Neutral Zone. We are filling in for another starship that has been pulled out of the area for system upgrades. This reassignment will require a trip of about 50 light years, lasting roughly 12 days. At present, we have already begun crossing the Federation, and should arrive at our destination sometime on October 19.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Thursday, October 3

Awaiting Orders

We have completed transfer of the 47 Darwin Research Station scientists, their equipment, as well as the genetically-enhanced children, and remain parked near Deep Space 1 awaiting orders. It looks like we may be here for another day or two.

In addition to our cargo transfer, we have also uploaded all of the survey data we were gathering before our Gagarin IV mission. All of that sensor data is now stored within the DS1 computer, and will be analyzed and distributed to the appropriate recipients. Copies will likely be sent to Earth in an upcoming commship run.

The fact that we’ve uploaded all of our gathered data suggests that our previous survey mission could be at an end, and we may, instead, be waiting for orders for a new mission in the region. What that mission will be, though, remains unknown.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Tuesday, October 1

Borders In Space

Space is vast and empty. In most cases, there are dozens of light years between neighboring star systems, and nothing of note within those light years. So, how does a stellar empire, like the Cardassian Union, or the United Federation of Planets, control all that space?

They don’t.

Space is a never-ending void of nothing -- no resources to claim, no value to protect. What matters most, are the planets and the spacial phenomena that punctuate that void. So, when an empire expands, it claims new planets, in new star systems, and then defends those planets and star systems with bases, ships, mines, probes, etc. As a result, controlled space consists of only the star systems and spacial phenomena, while all the area in between remains empty – unclaimed, unprotected, and unimportant.

When you see a stellar map, there are no interstellar borders. You cannot delineate a two-dimensional line through three-dimensional space, and have it mean something. You cannot violate borders in deep space, because there are no “borders” in deep space. Instead, claimed space looks a lot like the image in this post.

Empires protect their star systems. To cross into an enemy star system, is to invade their space. So the “borders” of an empire are actually just the collective outer edges of each controlled star system. The space in-between those star systems is lawless and empty. Sure, it might contain a well-traveled trade route between systems, but it doesn’t belong to anyone, and it cannot be realistically defended.

In addition, since data cannot be transmitted faster than warp 1, there would be no point in borders through deep space, because ships could cross those borders faster than the warning signal could reach the nearest defended base.

It is also worth noting that ships cannot be tracked at warp. So even if an enemy did choose to attack a star system, there would be no way to know they were coming until they dropped out of warp near the target star system. This is why star systems are defended by fleets. Within the Federation, those defensive fleets consist of ships from the Federation Port Guard.

As a result of all these limitations, interstellar wars are not fought across borders. Wars take on more of a “planet-hopping” format, as invasion forces struggle to conquer neighboring star systems one at a time. In addition, since ships cannot be tracked at warp, and communication cannot occur between ships at warp, long-distance fleet operations become a logistical nightmare. Space itself, therefore, becomes a natural border, because the physical limitations of that space (and traveling through it), make coordinated long-distance wars far too dangerous and impractical to pursue.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer