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

Tuesday, December 31

Motivated Self-Interest

Commander Riker has made his decision. He will be turning down command of the USS Aries (Miranda-class), and staying aboard the USS Enterprise. His stated reasons: “Motivated self-interest”. We will not be losing our executive officer at this time.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Monday, December 30

Commander Riker Offered Command of the USS Aries

The Enterprise arrived at Montgomery Base a few hours ago, and we have begun a layover scheduled to last just over a day. Montgomery Base is a Starfleet operations outpost located on the otherwise uninhabited class-M planet, Montgomery. It is not a command headquarters, although, it is a notable distribution hub for cargo and personnel within this sector.

We also know the reason for our confidential reassignment. Our executive officer, Commander William Riker, has been offered command of the USS Aries, a Miranda-class vessel assigned to exploratory operations along the Federation frontier. Their captain is retiring, and Starfleet believes Riker would be an ideal replacement.

Commander Riker has until about this time tomorrow to either accept or decline the appointment. I will share an update as soon as his decision is known.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Sunday, December 29

A Priority Mission Change

After the strange events of yesterday, the Enterprise remained at the coordinates of our disappearing duplicates. We have taken aboard a few pieces of debris from the portal-opening probe (for further analysis), and we have stripped the damaged duplicate runabout for parts, before destroying the remainder of its hull. It was neither prudent to leave it abandoned in space, nor do we have room in our Main Shuttlebay for a third runabout.

With our scheduled missions completed, we were preparing to set course for a return trip to Alamo Station, when a commship arrived. Apparently, they had been trying to track us down for the last three days. The message they carried was urgent, and immediately passed on to Captain Picard. The message was confidential, however, it does change our mission, yet again.

Now, instead of returning to Alamo Station as planned, we are being redirected to Montgomery Base, a relatively new Starfleet outpost on a planet within five light years of our present location. We have uploaded a copy of our gathered mission data to the commship, and its crew will deliver the data to Alamo Station in our stead. We are already en route to Montgomery Base, and should arrive sometime tomorrow.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Saturday, December 28

The Enterprise Curveball

There are times when the universe throws you a curveball, and you’re left stunned and bewildered, wondering, “what the heck just happened?” Well, that’s what it was like aboard the Enterprise today. The impossible -- and the unlikely -- actually happened, and we’re all still trying to process what we witnessed.

Here’s the recap:

Yesterday, the Enterprise arrived at our third star system. Unlike the last two star systems, however, none of these seven planets were deemed habitable by Federation standards. There were no ancient ruins, no sentient life, nothing of biological value. A future geological expedition might be intrigued by the crystalline deposits on the third planet, however, for us, there was nothing to keep us within the system’s habitable zone.

Today, with our primary planetary survey complete, Captain Picard expressed interest in a look at the outer-system asteroid belt. The asteroids registered a slight shimmer effect, which isn’t normal for a standard-class belt. As we moved closer to the outer edge of the star system, we discovered something that left us dumbfounded. There, facing each other, were two starships – a severely damaged Galaxy-class starship (with a flickering port nacelle) that bore the markings, “USS Enterprise, NCC-1701-D”, and what appeared to be a simplified, retro version, of an old Constitution-class starship that bore the name, “USS Enterprise, NCC-1701”.

A more thorough sensor scan indicated that the Galaxy-class ship was an identical copy to our own Enterprise-D (although, with damage and hull scarring). The retro Constitution-class ship was of a style we had never seen, and was less technically advanced than the Constitutions that had served in Starfleet’s past.

Curious for some answers, Captain Picard hailed the Galaxy-copy Enterprise, and was greeted by a copy of William Riker, although, this Riker was wearing a Kirk-era gold Starfleet uniform, and referred to himself as the captain of that vessel. The rest of the Galaxy-copy bridge crew were also wearing the outdated Kirk-era uniforms. Riker-copy insisted that we not interfere with their operation, and then abruptly (and suspiciously) closed the channel.

Captain Picard then hailed the Constitution-copy vessel, and was met with the image of himself wearing a Kirk-era captain’s uniform, sitting in the command chair giving orders. Picard-copy claimed to be the captain of the Constitution-like vessel, and seemed as surprised to see us, as we were to see him. His demeanor was one of focus and suspicion, and he insisted that we not take any actions to stop either vessel in completing their mission. He stated that it was his responsibility “to get both ships home”, although, he refused to explain what that meant. He cautioned us, again, to not interfere, and then closed the channel.

A few minutes later, the Galaxy-copy vessel’s damaged nacelle flickered to life, and its warp systems came back online. At about the same time, a small stationary probe nearby powered up, and created a glass-like portal. The Constitution-copy vessel maneuvered into the portal, and disappeared, followed by the Galaxy-copy vessel. The portal then vanished, and the nearby probe self-destructed. Both ships were gone.

Subsequent scans determined that both vessels had, indeed, been present, and they had not been a mass hallucination. The portal had been real as well, and was likely generated, in some way, by the stationary probe. What we saw – as outrageous as it may seem – DID happen.

After the ships disappeared, we discovered a severely damaged copy of our USS Liberty Danube-class runabout. It appeared to be empty of crew, and abandoned by the other Galaxy-copy vessel. After assessing the situation, Captain Picard ordered a security team to breach the abandoned runabout, and see if the ship’s computer contained any data to explain what we had just witnessed.

According to the mission files recovered, the Galaxy-copy vessel (henceforth referred to as “Enterprise-copy”) had the same experiences upon discovering the “Black Nebula” as we did. In fact, further investigation showed that their ship logs – up until the nebula -- were the same exact logs as our own. Their Picard-copy offered to help rescue the trapped Kraxxos ship, as our Captain Picard did. They went into the nebula, as we did, and they pulled the empty Kraxxos vessel to safety, just as well did. But it was, at this point, that the Enterprise-copy logs diverged from our own….

They claim to have made it out of the nebula with the Kraxxos ship in tow, and the smaller Kraxxos ship was waiting for them. Both crews coordinated an investigation of the rescued ship, and then the smaller Kraxxos vessel chose to destroy the rescued ship, in memorial to the missing crew. The Kraxxos crew then warned the Enterprise-copy of the dangerous effects of “Black Nebula”, and both ships parted ways, leaving the nebula and vessel debris behind.

The Enterprise-copy crew studied the nebula for a bit, as we did, and then continued on to the same three-star-system survey mission that we just completed. Their discoveries were much the same as our own, only they didn’t find the underground ruins on the moon, as we did. They also chose to take a look at the unique asteroid belt, as we did, and it was here that they discovered the Constitution-copy vessel.

Reports from the runabout computer are rather fragmented at this point, but it appears as though anyone who went over to investigate the Consitution-copy vessel, began to see themselves as the rightful crew of that ship. They switched uniforms, assumed duty stations, and believed that they had orders to make sure the Constitution-copy vessel “returned home”. Apparently this belief was taken back to the Enterprise-D-copy vessel, and they soon viewed it to be their orders to assist in this endeavor as well.

We arrived just in time to see both ships succeed in their attempt.

Our Lieutenant Commander Data has since offered a theory to all of this that seems to be the presiding view. He believes that we – the USS Enterprise-D and her crew, as well as the Kraxxos ship we were rescuing – were somehow duplicated within the “Black Nebula”. Our duplicate Enterprise made it out of the Nebula before us, and then continued on with our mutual Starfleet survey mission, as ordered, unaware that they were a copy of us. They then met their fate via the mass delusion that sent them “home” through the generated portal.

We then emerged from the “Black Nebula”, on a delayed schedule, discovered the Kraxxos ship debris, and proceeded with our ordered survey mission, where we eventually witnessed the strange disappearance of our copy.

Of course, Mr. Data did also suggest the possibility that, perhaps WE are the copy vessel, and it was the real Enterprise that met an odd fate. To be honest, at this point, I really don’t know what to believe. How were we duplicated? Why were we duplicated? What was that Constitution-like ship, portal, and the whole “going home” thing all about? And where did that other USS Enterprise-D and her crew disappear to? Are they somewhere else in the galaxy? Did they disappear into an alternate reality?

I don’t have any answers. I just know that it DID happen. The universe threw us a curveball, and we’re left standing at the plate wondering, “what the heck just happened?”

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

(Attached Image: Picard-copy on the bridge of the retro Constitution-like starship. Photo obtained from the computer files of the damaged runabout.)

Thursday, December 26

Moon Ruins

Well, plans changed a bit. It looks like tomorrow will be the day we move on to the third star system (not today, as I stated yesterday). As we were finishing up our surveys in the second star system, we discovered a barren moon (with a breathable atmosphere) orbiting one of the primary planets. It showed signs of an extensive underground cavern system. Our geology department wanted to take a closer look, so a climbing team was sent down in shuttles. They made their way into part of the cavern system, and discovered that the natural chambers contain the ruins of an ancient city. There are no inhabitants down there anymore, but at one time, it was likely a thriving, below-ground, Egypt-like metropolis.

And, what’s even more interesting, the writing carved into the walls, bears a striking resemblance to an early form of Hebrew on Earth – even more evidence that Ancient Humans (before the Flood) may have left Earth by way of a Iconian-like gateway, just as the Adamoi have claimed.

Due to the significance of this discovery, Captain Picard has ordered the Enterprise to remain in orbit of this moon for an extra 24 hours. Our science teams have that time to conduct an initial study of the caverns, and then the Enterprise must move on with our mission. It is almost certain that as soon as Starfleet learns of this moon, they will send a dedicated science vessel out here, in order to open up a full-scale archaeology dig.

So, score one for the Enterprise-D. We just discovered another new (dead) civilization. And we’ve just opened the door to what will likely be years of archaeological research.

This is why we’re out here, folks – “to seek out new life, and new civilizations”. So far, we’re off to a pretty good start!

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Wednesday, December 25

Christmas Exploration

Merry Christmas from all of us in the Public Affairs Office! We hope your holiday has been joyous, and spent among family, friends and loved ones.

As far as a quick update on the Enterprise, we are currently in the middle of our subsequent charting mission. We are exploring three star systems, collecting data on the planets, and assessing their habitability. At the moment, we are wrapping up our studies of the second star system, and will be moving on to the third sometime tomorrow.

I am happy to report that there are, indeed, habitable planets in these two star systems so far, however, the conditions are a bit harsh for long-term colonization. It will be up to Starfleet Command, and the colonization services, to determine how they choose to use our data, and whether they wish to act upon it. Personally, I would be surprised if they choose to colonize these planets, but I could certainly see a Starfleet base, a supply depot, or a science station set up on any one of these planets.

In short, our mission during the Holidays continues. There hasn’t been much else to report. For now, though, I think I’m going to head back over to the Public Affairs Lounge for some more eggnog and cookies. We’re hosting a Christmas party for some of the crew. If you’re aboard the Enterprise, and you’d like to join us, come on up to deck 2. I think you’ll love the way Tessa and Cassie decorated the lounge!

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Saturday, December 21

Leaving The Nebula

New cases of “nebula sickness” -- as Doctor Joshua Kim calls it -- have fallen off dramatically. If the Enterprise crew has, indeed, been affected by the energy particles from the “Black Nebula”, today saw few to no new reports. Now, it’s just a matter of treating the conditions that already exist, and doing what we can to get the Enterprise crew back to normal.

Most existing cases consist of persistent headaches, uncharacteristic migraines, unexpected arthritis symptoms, and short-term memory loss. Others have noted a slight (most likely temporary) change in the pigmentation of their hair or skin. In addition, a small percentage of those affected, have also reported the unexpected acquisition of a new ability (i.e., a new passion or skill for music, or the sudden ability to speak another related language), a new accent, or the disturbing (and persistent) belief that their friends and family have been replaced by impostors. These final conditions are of a neural nature, and may take longer to control or overcome.

Our hospital deck has also reported patients struggling with increased agitation, random nausea, uncontrollable emotional mood swings, and symptoms that mimic decompression sickness. These are easily treatable, and already starting to subside.

Beyond the medical issues plaguing the Enterprise, our scientific studies of the “Black Nebula” are coming to a close. This mission is ending, and at 2300 hours this evening, we will be moving on to our next scheduled assignment. After two days at warp, we will arrive in a region of space (just over ten light years from here) that contains three unexplored star systems. Our orders are to chart those star systems, collect data on the planets, and assess their habitability. Once that task is finished, we will return to Alamo Station.

As we prepare to leave the “Black Nebula” behind, we have dropped a warning bouy, cautioning Federation ships to stay away from the nebula. We also leave the empty Kraxxos ship behind to – hopefully – be recovered by another one of their vessels in the near future. Someday, we may meet up with the Kraxxos again, and open diplomatic relations, but for now, I think it’s safe to assume that many among the crew would rather leave this area, and find safer space to explore.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Friday, December 20

Photo: A Mission Briefing

Earlier today, I was granted the rare opportunity of photographing some of our Enterprise senior staff during a mission briefing. From left to right in this photo are: Commander Katherine Pulaski (chief medical officer); Lieutenant Geordi La Forge (chief engineer); Commander William Riker (executive officer); Lieutenant Commander Deanna Troi (chief counselor); and Captain Jean-Luc Picard (commanding officer).

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Thursday, December 19

Terrible Things

It has been nearly two days since we pulled the empty Kraxxos ship out of the “Black Nebula”. We still have no idea what happened to the claimed crew, although, there is new evidence to suggest that the ship did have inhabitants as late as a few days ago. Whether those individuals left the ship somehow, or something more sinister happened to them, is still uncertain.

The crew of the smaller Kraxxos vessel did warn us that terrible things have happened to the crews of other trapped ships in the past, although, they didn’t elaborate on what those “terrible things” were. It is disturbing, therefore, to note that many individuals aboard the Enterprise have also reported physical challenges after leaving the nebula. Most of these reports pertain to lingering headaches (migraines, in the case of a few crew members), unusual arthritis flareups (in personnel not previously afflicted by arthritis), and a loss of short-term memories. A small handful of individuals have reported more serious concerns, such as the sudden acquisition of a random new ability (like the ability to sing or speak in another language), a sudden change in accent, unusual changes in hair color, and symptoms that appear to be similar to Capgras Delusion – the belief that friends and family have been replaced by impostors.

None of the reported conditions are life-threatening, and many of them can be treated and cured. Still, it is hard to overlook the possibility that the Kraxxos warning might, in fact, be true. It would seem that there is, indeed, more to “The Shadows” than its stunning (yet ominous) beauty, and its ability to snare wayward starships.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Happy Birthday: Cassie Queen

Happy 26th Birthday to our own Ensign Cassie Queen!

For those who don’t know, Cassie organizes, maintains, and oversees our on-ship newsletter, press releases, and all printed publications put out by our Public Affairs Office. If you are on board the Enterprise, you likely know her rather well. If you are a fan and follower outside the decks of this ship, she may be relatively unknown to you. If you do see her around, be sure to say hello, and wish her a happy birthday.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Wednesday, December 18

Science And Mystery

The Enterprise crew has begun its study of the “Black Nebula”. Our various science departments are hard at work analyzing sensor data, collecting energy particles, and running experiments to categorize the nature of this phenomena. The Federation has no record of any other phenomena like this, so there are currently many excited scientists and theorists aboard the Enterprise. That is to be expected, however. Discovery is why we’re out here.

On the other side of things, we have the Kraxxos vessel that we rescued from “The Shadows”. A response team and five Marines went over to the ship last night to assist the crew. When they received no response to their access request, a zero-gravity assault team breached the ship, and both teams discovered it to be completely empty. There is no crew aboard the Kraxxos vessel. Whether this was always the case, or something happened to them, remains unknown.

We also do not know where the Kraxxos homeworld is located, and there are no other ships within communications range, so we have no way of contacting the Kraxxos to inform them of these events. Exploration of the interior of the empty ship continues, and when that task is complete, the Enterprise will likely seal it up, drop a warning beacon, and hope another Kraxxos ship comes along to reclaim the vessel at a later date.

As far as the debris field we discovered when we exited the nebula, analysis on that suggests that it may have been another ship of the same class and design as the ship we rescued. Early salvage and particulate analysis, however, does not show any evidence of bio matter. This would seem to suggest that it too was empty when it was destroyed.

We will continue to pursue any leads we can find regarding the Kraxxos, and our science personnel will continue to do what they do. All-in-all, we’re left with a growing list of unknowns that become more and more tantalizing as the hours pass.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Tuesday, December 17

Out Of "The Shadows"

We have successfully pulled the trapped Kraxxos vessel out of “The Shadows”, the “Black Nebula”, or whatever you want to call it. Both the Enterprise and the trapped vessel are no longer inside the phenomena. The power of our warp engines, and our auxiliary tow cable did the trick. We have successfully completed our rescue attempt.

Unfortunately, when we emerged from “The Shadows”, the smaller Kraxxos vessel was nowhere to be found. They appear to have left the area while we were inside the nebula, and because our sensors weren’t operational (due to the energy particles), we were unable to record their departure. Why they left, and where they went is unknown.

Also of significant note, is the new debris field just outside the nebula. Our initial analysis indicates that the amount of debris is too extensive to be from the smaller Kraxxos vessel. So that leaves us wondering – what ship was destroyed while we were conducting our rescue, and where did the smaller Kraxxos vessel go?

And, if that isn’t mysterious enough, we have hailed the larger Kraxxos ship -- that we rescued from “The Shadows”, and they aren’t responding. They are severely damaged (although, intact), and our limited scans of the ship suggest that there are no life signs aboard. Given the nature of our rescue, and the damage to the larger Kraxxos ship, it is likely that a shuttle away team will be sent over to investigate. If there are injured over there, it is our responsibility to assist.

On the other hand, the new mysteries we now face require caution. We weren’t inside “The Shadows” for long, and we do not appear to have traveled through time. So, what’s going on?

Gamma Shift is going to have a busy morning.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

The "Black Nebula"

The Enterprise has arrived at the “Black Nebula”. We are here to study the phenomena, and gather as much data as possible. As you can see from this image (taken earlier today), the phenomena is incredibly stunning, but it is also strangely ominous at the same time. This is not at all what I expected, and, since our arrival, I can’t say I feel comfortable being here.

As it turns out, my feelings are shared by others.

When we arrived at the “Black Nebula”, we discovered a small alien vessel engaged in rescue operations. It was struggling to pull another one of their larger vessels out of the dense energy particles inside the phenomena. We managed to communicate with the rescue ship, and learned that their species are known as the Kraxxos. They are a humanoid society that come from a nearby independent star system. Their fellow starship had suffered a navigational error, and drifted into the phenomena, where it became trapped. The smaller rescue ship isn’t strong enough to pull the larger one out to safety.

Captain Picard offered to have the Enterprise assist. The Kraxxos were hesitant at first, but accepted. They then proceeded to warn us that, to their people, this phenomena is known as “The Shadows”. Ships that enter “The Shadows” are either destroyed, or, if they manage to escape, terrible things often happen to the survivors. For this reason, local ships try to stay as far away from “The Shadows” as possible. To them, the phenomena is cursed.

The Enterprise, however, is not limited by curses.

Our Enterprise command staff – from Beta Shift – has come up with a plan to, hopefully, pull the trapped ship out of the nebula. We’re going to attach the Enterprise’s little-used tow cables to the trapped ship, since our standard tractor beam won’t work among the energy particles. The Enterprise, with its powerful engines, should then be able to dislodge the other ship. The only downside is that the Enterprise will have to cross just inside the nebula – since our tow cables aren’t long enough for us to pull from outside. The particles are not as dense there, so that shouldn’t hinder the operation, although, our sensors will be completely useless among the energy particles.

Once we commit, we’ll have to see this through, regardless of any claimed curse. Lives are at stake, and the Enterprise is currently the only ship powerful enough to assist the Kraxxos.

The operation should begin within the hour. I’ll post again once the ship is free.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Monday, December 16

USS Enterprise-D: Deck 2

Today, I am sharing the deck plans for deck 2 of the USS Enterprise-D. Deck 2 is where our Public Affairs offices, quarters, and support facilities are located. Deck two is located on top of the ship’s saucer, directly below the smaller bridge deck.

For the sake of illustration on the deck plans, the red dot on the image represents you, after you have stepped off of the starboard turbolift. The corridor that extends forward and around the entire forward half of the deck is our primary Public Affairs corridor. The corridor to your left, that extends around the center of the deck is our lesser-used interior corridor. And the center section of deck two – that the interior corridor weaves around -- houses support rooms for the Bridge on deck 1 above.

Let’s start with your “tour” of our primary (forward) Public Affairs corridor. The door immediately to your right leads into the starboard cargo elevator room. This room serves as the active-delivery cargo storage for deck two. The large semi-circle in this room represents the vertical cargo elevator that extends all that way down through the saucer. A similar cargo elevator is located on the port side of our deck. Deck 2 is the top level of this elevator system.

As you continue walking down our PA corridor, you will pass six emergency storage lockers on your left, and three escape pods on your right. Next to those escape pods on the right is the women’s public restroom, an unmanned medical aid station, and our library research lab. You will then pass our Public Affairs Lounge on the right, followed by our conference room, another unmanned medical aid station, the men’s public restroom, and three more escape pods.

If we backtrack (back to the red dot) and follow the left side of our main corridor, the first door on your left would be my crew quarters, followed by my office, Tessa Kensington’s office, Cassie Queen’s office, and then Tessa’s crew quarters. The last features along that wall, are, of course, the six port side emergency lockers.

Now, if we go back to the red dot again, and walk to the right, thereby accessing the inner corridor, the first door leads to a machinery room, followed by the door to the starboard environmental systems monitoring room. Turning the corner, to your left is Cassie Queen’s crew quarters, across from which are two more escape pods. Next to Cassie’s quarters, on the left, is my requested holo-programming lab, a storage room across the hall (behind my quarters), another small machinery room on the left, and the central corridor leading aft, into the Bridge support rooms.

If we continue following the inner corridor around the center deck facilities, we pass another small machinery room, a spare office for visiting personnel, across from another storage room (behind Tessa’s quarters), and then two more escape pods. Across from those escape pods is an open space originally designed to fit a fourth crew quarters, but currently uninstalled, and therefore, nothing more than a large empty room. You finish this inner deck by passing the port environmental systems monitoring room, and another small machinery room.

Now, is we backtrack to the large corridor in the middle of the deck that leads into the center deck Bridge support facilities, and you walk aft (south in the image), you will pass the Bridge Crew Lounge (on your right – left in the image). This is where all on-duty Bridge crew hang out when not sitting at a station on the Bridge. Across from the Bridge Crew Lounge (on the starboard side of this corridor) is a security response office. The security officers stationed here patrol and defend both deck 2 and the Bridge above.

The central corridor then splits leading port and starboard. The most notable room on the port split (left corridor in this image) is the Bridge Crew women’s restroom. The Bridge Crew men’s restroom is located down the starboard corridor. At the aft end of both of those corridors is a door, which opens to a small set of stairs leading up to the Bridge Conference Room landing/level. The starboard stairs on that landing then ascend another flight and open onto the Bridge.

Back on deck 2, in the direct center of the deck are the two computer core trunks, as well as the turbolifts leading up to the Bridge (or down to the rest of the ship). The two inner flights of stairs (shown near the aft end of both central corridors) lead down to the flight control rooms on the upper pillar of the Main Shuttlebay (deck 3). This gives flight operations personnel easy access to the Bridge if necessary.

The entire aft section of deck 2 contains deck machinery, water tanks, recycling systems and the like. As you can see on the deck layout, these areas can only be accessed by turbolift, and even then, are only visited when those systems require maintenance. Spare turbolifts are often stored in this part of the deck as well.

And, there you have it, the layout of deck 2 -- a deck used by our Public Affairs Office, as well as the support rooms for the Bridge one deck above. Deck 2 isn’t a large deck – the decks below are much larger (with deck 10 being the largest), but it does provide what we need. And now you – our friends and followers -- can visualize where we – your USS Enterprise Public Affairs personnel -- live and work. Pretty neat, eh?

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Sunday, December 15

Traveling To Endicor

The Enterprise is still at warp, traveling to the Endicor System. A “brilliantly reflective energy particle nebula” – referred to as the “Black Nebula” -- awaits us just outside the system. We have been ordered to study the phenomena since we are equipped with a full array of scientific assets and personnel. Our ETA has been announced as sometime on Tuesday.

In the meantime, and in response to a number of requests over the past few months, I have been granted clearance to share the deck plans for deck 2 of the Enterprise. Our Public Affairs offices, quarters and facilities are located on this deck. Since I, and my staff, are your connection to the crew, lives, and events aboard the Enterprise, I believe it might be helpful for you to learn more about where we live and work.

I only have clearance to share a security-approved representation of deck 2, though, so please don’t ask for other deck plans. Everything else will have to be shared in photos and illustrations.

I will be sharing those deck plans tomorrow night, so please be sure to check back at that time. Tonight, I’m just sharing a mission update…. and a teaser.

That being said, I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Saturday, December 14

Enterprise-D Bridge Illustration

Yesterday, I posted some illustrations of our Public Affairs crew quarters. People often ask us what our staff living quarters look like, so I had an artist put together some images. Now you know what our personal spaces look like. Now you can visualize where we rest and relax.

But, there’s another part of this ship that we get asked about just as frequently, and that location is the command Bridge. Most of us will never visit the nerve center of the Enterprise. Only senior officers, those assigned to duty shifts, those who have been granted meetings with Captain Picard, and engineers on repair assignments have authority to visit the Bridge. The rest of will only see it in pictures.

Now, I have posted photos of the USS Enterprise-D Bridge in the past (you can find them on our website), but I haven’t shown the entire command center in one image. Since I had an artist draw up our crew quarters, it made sense for him to illustrate the Bridge as well.

In the attached image, you can see the many command stations available on the Bridge. In the center, on the raised platform, is where the shift commanding officer sits. To his/her right and left are auxiliary command chairs, usually occupied by admirals, mission specialists or diplomatic personnel. At the front of the Bridge are the helm and operations consoles, and to the left and right of the command area are the raised-deck wall stations for communications (port) and science (starboard). The tactical officer sits at the console directly behind the captain’s chair, and the ship environmental and life support consoles line the rear of the Bridge.

The doors on the port side of the bridge lead to turbolifts down to the rest of the ship, while the open door in the lower center of this image leads to an express turbolift ending at the Battle Bridge in the stardrive section. The rear door on the upper left leads to the stairs down to the Bridge Conference Room, while the door opposite to that leads to a small Bridge officer restroom.

All Galaxy-class starships, except the prototype USS Galaxy, have this Bridge layout. The USS Galaxy is the only ship of this class to have a simpler Bridge layout – without the two side console areas (for communications and science). In that earlier layout, communication duties are integrated with the operations console, and science operations are at the rear of the Bridge.

The new Galaxy-class starbase saucers feature a different Operations Center layout that completely removes the standard command chairs and tactical area, and replaces them with a round operations table, duty chairs, and additional station support consoles as needed.

Other Galaxy-class Bridge layouts have been tested, but are not likely to enter service.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Friday, December 13

Public Affairs Crew Quarters

I've been asked, a number of times, if I will be sharing any photos of our crew quarters on the Public Affairs deck. Unfortunately, I don't have permission to show any photographs of private crew quarters, however, I can show illustrations. So, to that end, I have asked an artist in the ship's Media Office to put these together for me. Each illustration features the layout and decor of the crew quarters for Tessa Kensington, Cassie Queen, and myself, Sam Archer. The image of my quarters is above.

This unique layout is only found on deck 2. Our Public Affairs quarters are the only three crew quarters aboard the USS Enterprise-D that have this design.

Each of these is a one-person residential unit. They feature a living room, bedroom, closet, bathroom (with walk-in shower), and a small kitchenette. The entrance to each unit is located on the lower right. A ship-access view screen is located next to the door, with a second view screen located in the bedroom (near the closet), generally used for private communication, personal logs, etc. A chair is located opposite this view screen for user convenience.

In terms of my own quarters (above), I tend to keep the decor spartan and uncluttered. I do have a few paintings on the walls. The two that you can see in this image (above) are a drawing of a bald eagle I did in college (Milwaukee Lutheran College -- before attending Starfleet Academy), and a collage of space scenes depicting my love of space, astronomy and astrophysics. Other paintings not featured in this image (on the cutaway walls) include: a painting of the Enterprise-D, a framed poster of the old historic Miller Park baseball stadium in Milwaukee on Earth, and two posters for the professional Earth movies that I starred in (before joining Starfleet Academy).

I also have a few starship models as well, all of which are currently in storage. I hope to bring them out at some point, and display them in my quarters and in my office for others to enjoy.

This image (above) shows the crew quarters of Lieutenant (JG) Tessa Kensington. She has a few paintings on her walls as well, namely the wild stallion above her couch, and a view of the Golden Gate Bridge on Earth, above her desk. She also has a bowl of colored pebbles on her glass table, a woven tapestry on her bedroom cutaway wall, and a few flowers, candles and other objects displayed around her quarters.

For those with sharp eyes, yes, that is a tea set sitting on her coffee table.

Tessa likes to mix things up from time to time, so her decor changes with the seasons or notable holidays. During Christmas, she plans to hang colored Christmas lights, during the Earth Autumn months, she had some more rustic items displayed, and in the beginning of July, you'll likely see a variety of patriotic American decor.

She often features family photos as well, especially of her father, who is the current Police Commissioner of San Francisco, USA on Earth, as well as her two brothers, both of whom are also serving in the city police force.

Tessa also has a pet cat in her quarters, a dark marble-colored female named Mia. Not to worry, though, the door to Tessa's quarters is rigged with an invisible pet fence that restricts Mia from wondering the corridors. Mia is a friendly and well-behaved cat.

This image (above), shows the crew quarters of Ensign Cassie Queen. Cassie grew up on a Federation colony world, and has an affinity for flowers and plants. She also tends to keep her quarters relatively spartan in appearance, although, she does have a few posters on the cutaway walls, the most notable of which is a landscape of her home colony and surrounding farmland.

A painted metal plate can be seen hanging above Cassie's wall desk, and a bowl of colored pebbles sits in the center of her glass table. A number of knitted and hand-made blankets (made by her mother) usually find their way around her quarters as well.

So, there you have it... the crew quarters of your friendly USS Enterprise-D Public Affairs staff. When we aren't in our offices (located on the same corridor as our quarters -- across from the Public Affairs Lounge), or wandering the ship doing what we do, these quarters are where we rest and relax. They aren't as grand as the senior staff, VIP, or exterior-view quarters that ring each deck, but they are home. This is where we live, here aboard the Enterprise.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Wednesday, December 11

New Missions Begin

The USS Enterprise has departed Alamo Station, and is traveling at warp to the first in a series of scheduled science missions. These missions will keep us busy through the Holiday season. Once concluded, we will return to Alamo Station, and upload any data that we gather.

Our first assignment takes us to a location just outside the Endicor System. Three weeks ago, a runabout (not one of ours) discovered an area of space that the crew referred to as a “Black Nebula”. They reported it to be a relatively small region containing “brilliantly reflective energy particles”. It was unlike anything that they – or Starfleet – have ever seen. Unfortunately, their runabout wasn’t equipped with the scientific equipment necessary to study the phenomena, so the Enterprise has been assigned to that task instead.

We don’t anticipate any trouble; the phenomena is located inside Federation space. We are still close to the Romulan Neutral Zone, though, so caution is still appropriate. Nonetheless, this will be a mission for our varied science departments. The rest of us will have beautiful views to look at while they do their work.

I have not been informed of our ETA, but it should be within a few days.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Monday, December 9

Baseball On The Enterprise

On Saturday, our USS Enterprise Marines (known officially as “Enterprise Company”) hosted the Leeds Company Marines (assigned to the Nebula-class USS Leeds), to a baseball game in our Main Shuttlebay. Many spectators attended the game, while others saw the contest broadcast live over ship feeds. In the end, despite a thrilling nine innings, the Leeds Marines won 8-7.

This image shows where that game was played. Our two Danube-class runabouts and two Pullman-class transports (which are usually parked in this space) were temporarily launched, and the Main Shuttlebay landing deck was cleared of all vessels and equipment. Bases were magnetized to the deck, and temporary foul lines were painted to establish a playing field. A “whiffle ball” was used to avoid breaking or denting the bulkheads, and the Main Shuttlebay door was closed to ensure safety.

Home plate was located just beyond the safety fence and console (in this image). Spectators were allowed to sit along the first and third base foul lines, and three members from the Enterprise JAG office served as umpires.

Baseball is traditionally a planet-based game, however, if you have enough people who want to play aboard a starship (and shuttle operations can be grounded for a few hours), a large shuttlebay usually works well as a playing field. Just be careful of those head-first slides. Metal deck plating can really eat up elbows and uniforms.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Saturday, December 7

Alamo Station: Personnel Of Note

You may not know this, but there are a few notable command individuals stationed here at Alamo Station. Our own Ensign Cassie Queen captured a photo of them, yesterday, as they interacted with Captain Picard in one of the caf├ęs aboard the station.

Vice Admiral Tujiro Nakamura (to the right of Captain Picard in this photo) is the Starfleet commander in this sector along the Romulan Neutral Zone. His administration office is located aboard Alamo Station. He conducted a snap inspection of the Enterprise when we first arrived twelve days ago. Lieutenant (JG) Tessa Kensington organized the Admiral’s visit, and received top marks for her professionalism.

To the right of Admiral Nakamura, is Commander Bruce Maddox, a cybernetics expert who serves as a liaison to the Daystrom Institute on Proxima (in the Alpha Centauri system). Commander Maddox was a vocal critic -- and the lone opponent – in allowing our Lieutenant Commander Data to attend Starfleet Academy nearly two decades ago. The Admiralty at the time, however, overruled him, stating that Data was to be viewed as a sentient individual – albeit a unique one, and therefore had every right to become an Academy cadet. Ever since then, Commander Maddox has been working to pursue his dream of developing a series of androids, similar to Lieutenant Commander Data, that can serve aboard every Starfleet ship.

And, on the far right, is Captain Phillipa Louvois, the head of the JAG office aboard Alamo Station. She was also the lead prosecutor in Captain Picard’s court martial hearing back in 2355, in connection to the loss of the USS Stargazer (Constellation-class).

At first glance, Alamo Station – this relatively small 200-crew facility – doesn’t seem all that important, but, when you look at its location, and the command personnel stationed here, it feels a lot bigger than it is. Truth be told, many places in the Federation feel like this. It really is the people who give a place value, and Alamo Station is, by far, a little station with a big personality.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Wednesday, December 4

The Leeds And An Old Friend

The USS Leeds arrived at Alamo Station this afternoon. We have begun transferring over our new Marine platoon, and have worked out a few last-minute crew transfers as well. Both the Enterprise and the Leeds will remain at our present coordinates through the end of the week.

In a related turn of events, I am pleasantly surprised to find that one of my old Starfleet friends, Lieutenant Commander Benjamin Sisko, is the chief engineer of the USS Leeds. I served with him for a year aboard the USS Excalibur, before he was reassigned to the USS Okinawa and the front lines of the Tzenkethi War. Lieutenant Commander Sisko’s wife, Jennifer, and their 9-year-old son, Jake, are both living aboard the Leeds. The Siskos have invited me to dinner tomorrow. I’m looking forward to the opportunity. It’s always a thrill running into old fleet friends. You never know when, or where, one might turn up!

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Monday, December 2

Status Of The USS Leeds

We now have news. A commship arrived at Alamo Station three hours ago, indicating that the USS Leeds is, indeed, safe. It was delayed for a valid reason.

When the Leeds made a transfer stop at a small Federation colony world, they picked up a local distress call from the survivors of a civilian vessel. It had been attacked and destroyed by an unknown starship. When the Leeds arrived, the survivors claimed that the unknown spherical ship was beginning to collect their escape pods -- with multiple tractor beams. After a few minutes, though, it suddenly disengaged, powered up its engines, and disappeared into warp.

The civilian survivors never saw their attackers, and no survivors were captured, but they do claim it to have been a deeply frightening experience. Whatever pulled the hostile ship away at the last minute, saved their lives, and the survivors were grateful to see a Starfleet ship answer their distress call a few hours later.

The Leeds gathered the survivors (and any valuable debris), and took them to a nearby Starfleet facility. Those rescue actions, and the unplanned trip – in the opposite direction, caused the USS Leeds to miss its scheduled arrival here at Alamo Station. A commship was dispatched to us at the earliest availability, and we were made aware of their situation earlier this evening.

The Leeds now reports an amended arrival, here at Alamo Station, by no later than Thursday. They have taken aboard a commship at the Starfleet facility, and will dispatch it our way if they face any further delays.

With news of the USS Leed’s diversion, the Enterprise will remain at Alamo Station, and continue to await their arrival.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Sunday, December 1

A Starship Delayed

The Enterprise remains at Alamo Station. We are awaiting the arrival of the Nebula-class USS Leeds, at which time they will transfer a new platoon of Marines aboard the Enterprise. The Leeds is, however, three days late. They have not arrived at the station, and we have no knowledge of their whereabouts or any insight into their delay.

Since it is impossible to communicate with a starship traveling at warp, and we have no idea where to send any commships, we can only hope that the USS Leeds hasn’t run into any trouble. The Enterprise doesn’t have any pressing orders, so Captain Picard has chosen to wait two more days. If the Leeds does not arrive at Alamo Station by then, we will depart the station – without our scheduled Marines – and proceed to our next assignment.

In Starfleet, ships operate on schedules. They are given confirmed orders, and are expected to arrive at their destinations on time. There are certainly cases where ships experience delays – space is vast, and distances are long, however, any unexplained delay of longer than three days is generally cause for concern. With warp 9 starships, and an effective network of commship traffic, being significantly late – without notice – is rare.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer