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

Thursday, November 28

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate.

May your blessings be abundant, and your heart filled with peace.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Tuesday, November 26

Alamo Station

The Enterprise has arrived at Alamo Station, a Regula-class space station located near the Romulan Neutral Zone. We will be transferring crew to/from the station, and awaiting the arrival of the Nebula-class USS Leeds and its delivery of our new Marine platoon.

Alamo Station has a Starfleet crew of about 200-300 personnel, and serves as an operational command center along this region of the Neutral Zone. While not equipped as a civilian facility, it does feature a beautiful park level, a swimming pool, track and fitness facilities, batting cages, competition courts, and a few small restaurants. It also features a crew theater, which, as it turns out, is hosting a performance tomorrow night (at 1900 hours) by Earth Country Music singer, Luanna Montgomery, as part of her current FSO (Federation Service Organizations) tour.

The station also hosts a fighter squadron, a small defense force consisting of two Norway-class defense vessels, and a constant flow of Starfleet ships on layover.

Captain Picard has not granted shore leave to the Enterprise crew, since the station isn’t large enough to host recreational visitors, however, those who wish to attend the music concert tomorrow are welcome to do so – with proper clearance from their superiors. The concert will also be broadcast live in all major Enterprise crew lounges.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Monday, November 25

Warp From The Bridge

With the Enterprise traveling at warp to Alamo Station, I thought you might like to see what warp travel looks like from the Bridge. What you see on the Bridge viewscreen is taken from a camera mounted on the leading edge of the saucer section, directly above Ten Forward.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Saturday, November 23

The USS Melbourne Returns

The USS Melbourne (Excelsior-class) arrived at our coordinates this afternoon, and has resumed their patrol mission along the Romulan Neutral Zone. This frees up the Enterprise, which was filling in for the Melbourne while it underwent a few system upgrades.

With our temporary patrol duties at an end, the Enterprise has been ordered to visit the nearby Alamo Station, a Regula-class space station – also located along the Neutral Zone -- about 15 light years from our current position. We are scheduled for a few crew transfers, as well as to await the arrival of the USS Leeds (Nebula-class). The Leeds will be providing us with a new third Marine platoon, to replace the Marines we left at Darwin Research Station on Gagarin IV. Our Marine commander, Captain Dolim, has been eager to once again have a full compliment of Marines aboard the Enterprise.

Our ETA to Alamo Station is about three days. We will arrive sometime on November 26th. The USS Leeds is due at the station by the 28th.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

NOTE: This photo of the USS Enterprise and USS Melbourne was taken from one of our fighters on routine flight operations during the rendezvous.

Friday, November 22

Preparing To Leave The Neutral Zone

Our patrol assignment to the Neutral Zone is coming to an end. We temporarily replaced the USS Melbourne (Excelsior-class), while it was pulled from the area for system upgrades. Tomorrow, it returns, and the Enterprise will be relieved to pursue other missions. I haven’t been informed yet of our subsequent assignment, but I should know by later this evening.

In the last 35 days, we witnessed the tragic loss of the USS Yamato (Galaxy-class). The Enterprise was infected by an Iconian computer virus, we snuck into the Neutral Zone, found the mythical planet of Iconia, and lost an away team when it stepped through an Iconian Gateway. We avoided a dangerous encounter with the Romulans. I spent three weeks alone on a distant planet, and then escaped by traveling back in time through “The Guardian of Forever”. And various ship departments are still correcting their systems, after lingering database problems resulting from a rare in-mission restart of our computer cores.

It's been a busy month. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to put some distance between us and the Neutral Zone.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Thursday, November 21

Public Affairs Database Upgrade

Well, friends, I won't be able to share my usual post tonight, because the Public Affairs Office is receiving a database upgrade. Our office systems, as well as this communications channel, will be silent into the evening so that the upgrade can be processed, and our computer operations can be reset. You will still see our Facebook page on your end -- we aren't going anywhere, we just won't be able to access this channel, here, aboard the Enterprise.

I'll be back tomorrow, as usual, with some more Enterprise mission news. If all goes well, I might even be back earlier -- during the late hours of Beta Shift.

This process is not going to affect the rest of the ship, it only affects our PAO systems. It is part of a staggered upgrade schedule for a number of department databases aboard the Enterprise.

My sincere apologies for the sudden announcement. I remain hopeful that these upgrades will address a few lingering issues that have been plaguing our database since the Enterprise was restarted above Iconia (to remove the Iconian computer virus).

I hope your day is a blessed one. I'll see you again once this process is complete.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Tuesday, November 19

Temporal Sam

For the past three weeks, there have been two of me in the universe – the me writing this post, and the me still trapped on a distant planet.

For those unfamiliar with my experiences, when I stepped through the now-destroyed “Iconian Gateway” three weeks ago, I was transported to a desolate planet somewhere in the universe. I was alone, I was unprepared for the harsh environment, and I soon realized that I would probably be stuck there for the rest of my life. The “Iconian Gateway” was, after all, a one-way trip. The portal only led away from Iconia, it did not allow me to return.

So, for the last three weeks, I – my “past self” -- was forced to survive on that planet. I had already started to build a home for myself in the back of an ancient cave. I was preparing for what would likely have been a very cold winter.

Then, earlier today, while I – my “past self” -- was exploring the ancient ruins a few miles from my cave, I discovered the “Guardian of Forever”, a strange time portal that informed me that I could, indeed, go home, but I would have to travel through time in order to do so. I had found hope in the last place I expected it – a strange ancient device that defied the laws of physics – a device that shouldn’t be able to exist.

I returned to my cave, gathered my meager belongings, and tomorrow, I returned to the Guardian. Tomorrow afternoon, my “past self” stepped through the time-travel “Guardian of Forever” portal, and returned to Iconia. I stepped through, three weeks into the past, and returned to Iconia minutes after the original me originally stepped through the “Iconian Gateway” and was send to that distant planet. At that moment, two of me began to exist – the me who had already lived three weeks on that planet (and had just made it back home), and my “past self” who just stepped through the “Iconian Gateway”, and would have to survive on that planet for three weeks.

Right now – this evening -- three weeks have passed since our away team stepped through the Iconian Gateway. Tomorrow, my “past self”, on that distant planet, will step through the time-travel “Guardian of Forever”, return to Iconia three weeks ago, and become the me writing this post.

Tomorrow afternoon, there will, once again, be only one of me in the universe. The loop will end, and this whole ordeal will be over. Today I discovered a way home. Tomorrow I will survive… and I lived the last three weeks all over again, only this time, safely aboard the Enterprise.

It's a good thing I studied Temporal Mechanics at the Academy. Perhaps that was God and his sense of humor saying, “Yes Mr. Archer, you really ARE going to need to know this someday.”

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Sunday, November 17

Evening In Ten Forward

While I usually spend my quiet time in the empty Public Affairs Lounge on deck 2, there’s still something comforting about sitting in Ten Forward (on deck 10), enjoying a beverage or a snack from the nearby kitchen, and watching the crew come and go.

Contrary to popular belief, Ten Forward is actually open 24 hours a day, and there are always wait staff available (the lounge’s popular manager, Guinan, however, only works during daytime hours). During Gamma Shift and the later part of Beta Shift, the lights are dimmed to reflect the evening hours, and it brings in a whole new aura to the lounge that half of the crew don’t see.

Here’s an evening photo that I took while I sat in Ten Forward last night. I love how the evening light adds a special charm to the room. It’s stunning, in a simple sort of way.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Thursday, November 14

Normality Resumed

Thankfully, the Andronesian encephalitis aboard the Enterprise has, indeed, been contained, and the ship’s air filters have done their job. There have been no additional reported cases of the disease, and Doctor Pulaski reports that the three crewmembers afflicted with the virus are on the mend. She expects that they will recover, and be back on duty in a few days.

With all engineering adjustments complete, the Enterprise has returned to its scheduled patrol duties here along the Romulan Neutral Zone. We are moving along our schedule duty route, without further incidents. All is well aboard Starfleet’s flagship.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Tuesday, November 12

Deuterium And A Disease

Earlier this afternoon, the Enterprise began conducting adjustments on the deuterium control conduit, which requires a few hours of work at full-stop. The process is still on-going, and should be complete at around 2300 hours. Our chief engineer, Lieutenant Geordi La Forge, expressed a desire to complete this process for a few weeks now. Captain Picard finally viewed today as an ideal opportunity to get it out of the way.

In other events, three crewmembers are being treated in a hospital isolation ward for Andronesian encephalitis – an inflammation of the brain. The unpleasant (but not life-threatening) viral disease, is highly contagious, and can be transmitted by airborne particles. Doctor Pulaski is fairly confident, however, that the virus has been contained and does not threaten the rest of the crew.

Andronesian encephalitis usually causes headaches, fever, muscle or joint aches, and fatigue or weakness. More severe symptoms include confusion, hallucinations, seizures, temporary partial paralysis, and problems with hearing or speech. That does, indeed, sound unpleasant. Let us hope the good doctor is correct, and the ship’s air filters have captured and eliminated the contagion. We just “cured” the Enterprise of an Iconian computer virus, the last thing we need right now is the crew infected by a biological virus.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Friday, November 8

A Distant Place Of Survival

From October 29 through November 20 (in our future), I survived here, in this place (above), completely alone -- just me, the wind, the storms, and a few small animals. This is the planet I arrived on after I stepped through the "Iconian Gateway". This was my home for three weeks.

In fact, as of today -- November 8, 2364 -- the past version of me is still struggling to survive on that planet. He won't make it back to Iconia for another another twelve days. On that day, he will discover an ancient stone artifact that refers to itself as "The Guardian of Forever". That abandoned artifact has the capability to communicate, but it also has the ability to send people through time. The past me will discover that if he steps through the Guardian, he can travel into the past, and escape that planet. When he does step through the Guardian, he will arrive back on Iconia, ten days ago, where he became the me now writing this.

I survived for three weeks -- into our future, and I escaped back to the past. I would not be here today, if it wasn't for that strange, stone artifact that called itself "The Guardian of Forever."

Now, you're probably wondering, am I going to show photos of this Guardian? Unfortunately, no. I did take a digital camera with me on the away team down to Iconia, and I still had it when I stepped through the "Iconian Gateway", but the power cell had been drained by the time I found the Guardian, three weeks later. The photos, in this post, were taken before my camera lost power. I can tell you, though, that the "Guardian of Forever" was a big flat stone with a circular hole carved through it, and that hole was the portal through which I traveled. The stone glowed from internal colored lights when it was activated, and the entire artifact was surrounded by ancient ruins that were likely thousands of years old.

This photo (above) shows the desolation of the plateau/hills that I called home. The grass, for as far as I could see, was a rich golden color, and in the past few thousand years, it had grown over, and covered, the ruins of a vast city that once existed there. This is an up-close view of some of those ruins. This was just one building, though. There were ruins everywhere. You can see some of the other ruins in the background.

Here is another photo of the ancient hills I called home. Notice the stone wall in the middle of the image, on top of a rectangular platform? There were quite a few of these platforms, and hundreds of walls all over the place -- most of them buried over the years. If I hadn't been trapped on this planet, and preoccupied with surviving, this would have been an archaeological gold mine.

If you look closely in this image (above), you'll also see a distant area of caves in the hillside. That was is the area where I found shelter. I lived in a cave, within that hillside, for three weeks.

In fact, this cave (above) is the cave I lived in. Thousands of years ago, this was probably someone's home. The cave was clearly dug out out the rock, and you can see the back of the cave in the center of this image. This photo was taken before I made the back of that cave my survival residence. I brought in a few rocks for "furniture", made a grass mat to sleep on, and set up a fire pit at the mouth of the cave. It wasn't as comfortable as my quarters here aboard the Enterprise, but it kept me out of the storms that frequently passed over these hills.

The green moss on the cave wall was actually edible. I have my tricorder to thank for that analysis. Of course, my tricorder lost power by the end of those three weeks as well, but it did help me determine what was edible and available to eat before it died. Some of the grass, and a few flowers that I found, were edible, and I even managed to catch a few small animals and fish (from the nearby ocean). In fact, oddly enough, those small animals were almost identical to rabbits and groundhogs on Earth. Even the fish reminded me of Earth species.

The temperatures on this planet were usually brisk, with strong winds whipping up every once in a while. It got cold at night, and my uniform rarely kept me warm, but I did discover that when the grass was woven tightly together, it provided reasonably good insulation. I would have greatly preferred a Starfleet excursion jacket, though. Grass only goes so far when it comes to clothing.

This image (above) shows the edge of the hilly plateau I lived on. You'll notice the cliffs that drop down to sea level. Those cliffs surrounded most of the terrain I was on, and were incredibly steep in most places. I did manage to find my way down to the bottom, although, there wasn't much down there other than a vast and almost endless black sand beach. The ocean itself was, maybe a mile away, at best. Whenever I went fishing, it took the better part of a day just to walk there and back. Thankfully, a little stream near by cave provided most of my fresh water.

When I did make to down to the ocean, I discovered impressive waves, and plenty of snow-white foam. The undertow from the waves constantly crashing onto the shore, were too powerful to swim in, but they did bring in small fish that made fishing relatively easy. Whatever fish I didn't catch were washed back into the sea when the waves retreated.

The sand on that beach was like nothing I have ever seen. In fact, it was less like sand, and more like tiny round, black pebbles. Whenever the white sea foam washed over them, it created a stunning interaction of black and white mixing together. I spent two or three days just walking along that beach, marveling at the beauty of the surf. It almost made me forget that I was trapped there, and I would probably be trapped there for the rest of my life.

Of course, I was lucky. I found the "Guardian of Forever", and I made it back home. I even brought back a handful of those little black pebbles -- as a momento of my time spent there.

My three weeks, on that planet, were frightening, and awe-inspiring at the same time. I don't know who made the Guardian, or the ancient city around it. I don't know where that planet is located. I don't even know if anyone else from the Federation will ever find it again. But I do know that we live in a vast universe of mysteries that we cannot imagine. I found one of those mysteries, through a physics-defying Iconian portal, and I made my way home through the mind-boggling time portal of another civilization. I've had my adventure....

Now, I am deeply relieved to be back home aboard the Enterprise.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Thursday, November 7

The Iconian Gateway

On October 29, our Enterprise Away team discovered a control room on the surface of the dead planet of Iconia. Inside that room was a series of operations consoles. Lieutenant Dexter Ridden, one of our away team engineers, inadvertently activated a console, and it powered up the entire room. At that moment, a purple-blue portal flickered into existence, and we witnessed the opening of an "Iconian Gateway". I had my digital camera with me, so I took a few pictures.

The photo (above) shows the first planet location that the portal revealed. The architecture on the other side looks like an Ancient Greek or Roman ruin to me. That style of ancient architecture is only found on Earth, so I have wonder.... did this "Iconian Gateway" lead back to Earth? And if it did, could the theories about the Ancient Humans who left Earth -- before the Biblical Flood -- be true? And did they establish a portal that allowed them to return?

Or was this just a random connection to Earth that had nothing to do with the Iconians?

After it was opened, the "Iconian Gateway" started cycling through a variety of locations every minute or so. I don't know if this was intended behavior, or if it was an accidental result of the functions Lieutenant Ridden had activated. One of the next locations to appear (above) looked like stone city structures on some desert planet. I didn't recognize the imagery, but I am certain that it isn't a place I'd want to visit.

This subsequent gateway location (above) shows a cloudy beach on another planet somewhere. What caught my attention (unseen in this photo) were the people on the beach. They looked Human, and were all wearing swimsuits similar to those worn on Earth. The group I saw looked like a family preparing to leave the beach before a storm rolled in. I doubt they had any idea that our away team was watching them -- from a completely different planet light years away.

After a few more planet locations appeared, our away team must have activated a bad sequence of commands, because the entire control room went into lock-down, sealing the doors, and trapping us inside. Our tricorders registered a massive power overload -- most likely from the malfunctioning control room equipment, so, with nowhere else to go, Lieutenant Idella Haas ordered us all to go through the portal, and find our way home from wherever it sent us.

Unfortunately, the portal locations had begun fluctuating more rapidly at this point. It was almost certain that we wouldn't all arrive on the same planet. The three Starfleet officers that stepped through the gateway before me probably arrived at the same place. I caught a glimpse of the planet on the other side -- it showed a vast forest. The next two officers who stepped through (one of whom was Lieutenant Ridden) went somewhere else -- all I could see was a sunny ocean beach on the other side. I stepped through, and ended up on the planet I'll show you tomorrow.

I don't know where Lieutenant Commander Haas or the two Marines, that were with us in the control room, went -- or even if they survived the explosion. The overload hadn't reached critical yet when I stepped through, so there would still have been time for them to escape.

I spent three weeks on my deserted planet, and I had the lucky happenstance of finding the strange time travel device that called itself, "The Guardian of Forever". It sent me back to Iconia, three weeks earlier -- minutes after the explosion. I made it back to the Enterprise because I was lucky. I hope to God the rest of the away team is faring better than I did.

Time travel is extremely rare. Aside from the Enterprise, and our experience with the Devron Anomaly (and, of course, myself via this experience), there are no records of anyone else traveling through time. As far as I can tell, no one else has ever seen, discovered, or experienced the "Guardian of Forever". I'm the only one, and I don't even know where that planet is located. I could have been deep in the Delta Quadrant for all I know.

My heart goes out to the other members of our away team. I made it home; they're still out there somewhere. We'll find them. We have to. They're our crew. We won't leave them behind.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Monday, November 4

Sam Archer: Back On Duty

Well, friends, followers, and fellow Starfleet personnel, I am back in the office, and slowly getting back to work. I won’t write much tonight, since I’m still taking it easy. However, in the next few days, I’ll share more about my experiences, and I do have some photos to post. To be honest, I wasn’t sure anyone would get to see them.

For me, the last four weeks have been extremely challenging. It looked like I was going to live out the rest of my life, alone, on a desolate plateau, on some random planet far from the Federation. I can’t even put into words how heartbroken and frightened that made me feel. For as far as I could see, it was just me and the grass, the cliffs, the ocean, the cold, the storms…. just me and a few small animals. You don’t truly realize how blessed you are, until you have nothing but a tattered uniform on your back, and whatever tools you can make out of rocks and grass. But, I survived. I made it back to the Enterprise.

I will never again take for granted this life that I have been given.

I can only hope the rest of our away team survived – somewhere out there, and that whatever planets they arrived on, they don’t have to go through anything as desolate as I did – or, as I suppose I am, right now, considering the fact that I came back in time via the “Guardian of Forever” (after three weeks on that planet), and the earlier me is still on that planet, starting week 2 of his – my – survival experience.

Week 2 was brutal for me. Absolutely brutal.

But, I’m home, I’m warm, and I am in the company of friends I never thought I’d see again. I am lucky, blessed, and humbled beyond anything that I could ever imagine.

I’m home. I’m safe. I won’t die alone, on an abandoned planet in the cosmos.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Saturday, November 2

Back On Patrol

The Enterprise is back on our previous patrol duties along the Neutral Zone. We’ve sent a commship back to Earth with news of the USS Yamato’s discovery of Iconia, and our visit to the planet. We’ve also shared any information we have on the possible whereabouts of the rest of our away team, in the hopes that they can be found and returned to us.

In other news, Lieutenant Archer could be back in the office as early as Monday or Tuesday. He’s feeling better – and looking healthier too. We’re glad he’s recovering so quickly. The Public Affairs Office isn’t the same without him.

-Lieutenant (JG) Tessa Kensington