|Valerie Denise Palmer|
|[ Source ]|
Valerie Denise Palmer, born 2349, always wanted to be an engineer. She had grown up living on a starship with her parents, Lt. Commander Aaron and Christina Palmer. Her father served as Chief Engineer on the USS Tripoli. At the age of six, Valerie was building working models of ancient Earth aircraft, and quickly grew to admire the inner workings of engines. By the time she was 14, Aaron was able to get special permission to take his daughter on routine maintenance tasks, letting her learn his trade. Her lessons and natural engineering affinity prepared her well for her Starfleet Academy entrance exams. In 2367, Valerie Palmer left the Tripoli for Earth.
Over the next four years, Palmer really started to find her place. She was right at home with the other engineering students, taking a large interest in warp mechanics. She always enjoyed her systems courses, but research and development is where she felt she belonged. After her graduating at the top of her class, Valerie was assigned to the USS Armstrong as assistant chief engineer.
Valerie continued to serve aboard the Armstrong throughout the Dominion War, eventually taking over as acting chief engineer when her superior was killed in battle. She continued in that role until 2377, when the USS Voyager returned from the Delta Quadrant. Valerie was offered a position at Utopia Planetia with Starfleet R&D to study the technology and data brought back by the Voyager. Although her captain greatly respected her abilities as ship’s engineer, he knew that that was she belonged. On the Armstrong’s return to Sector 001, Valerie officially transferred to the Utopia Planetia research team.
The process of going through the Voyager’s records was not an easy task. During the seven years they were stranded in the Delta Quadrant, they discovered or were given technology ranging from enhanced defense and weapons systems to new shuttle designs and propulsion systems. The Delta Flyer-class design was quickly adapted by the research teams and put into active service. The technology from the future was deemed highly classified and all research was carefully monitored by Starfleet Intelligence and Temporal Investigations. Palmer’s team, however, was tasked with investigating the Quantum Slipstream drive.
Over the course of the next three years, the R&D team created simulations and models of the slipstream drive, with Valerie at the forefront. She was give command of the team responsible for building the first slipstream drone ships. While the technology was not perfected, the work with the drones seemed promising. With early tests successful, work began on a full scale test bed vessel. Valerie was named the lead designer on the Vesta program. The prototype USS Vesta launched in late 2386 to undergo shakedown testing on the spaceframe and conventional ship systems. During this testing, Valerie serves as Executive Officer, with the chief engineer a member of her former team. The testing is supervised by Captain Emily Quinn, who serves as the Vesta’s commanding officer. With the completion of the shakedown test, Captain Quinn accepts a position as Director of R&D for the Eleventh Fleet. She assigns Valerie as the new commanding officer of the Vesta. Despite her initial unease of taking command, she knows that she knows this ship better than anyone else. As the Vesta’s next mission would be taking her to the Galactic South for testing of the slipstream drive, Starfleet needed someone with the most experience leading the mission. With Commodore Quinn as a passenger, the Vesta disembarks from Utopia Planetia for the Archanis system to begin the next phase of the great experiment, with Valerie in the center chair.