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Profile Overview

Jessica Matthews

Human Female

Character Description

Jessica Matthews (age 42, born August 2, 2357) is a Starfleet Captain currently in command of the Galaxy-class USS Pegasus. She previously commanded the Luna-class USS Iapetus and was one of very few Captains who returned to exploration shortly after the Attack on Mars. She is a renowned explorer and diplomat, and she is a veteran of the Dominion War.

Early Life

Jessica’s father, Dean Matthews, was a civil engineer working for the Federation. Dean traveled throughout the Federation on assignment, planning embassies and other important civilian facilities. Dean met Jessica’s mother, April Matthews, an elementary teacher, during leave on Risa. The two parted ways after their vacation, but fate brought them back together when April discovered she was carrying his child. The two decided to elope, and Jessica was born on Earth in 2357.

Spending her childhood in Paris, Jessica grew up surrounded by Federation politics. Although her parents were not politicians, her father held a senior position with the Federation’s Civil Engineering agency. Her father regularly entertained representatives and other diplomats asking for his help, and she became fascinated with interstellar relations. When Jessica was 16, a building collapsed on Andoria due to a flaw in its support structure. The government sought to blame a high-level official, and Jessica’s father served as the scapegoat. Ousted from his position and seemingly unwelcome in Paris, her family moved to Armstrong City, Luna.

Moving as a teenager was traumatic for Jessica. Everything she was used to – her friends, education, and her literal environment – was uprooted and moved in a matter of days. She despised living about Luna, and she blamed her father for not defending himself. This caused a rift between Jessica and her parents; she spent most of her time in an environmental suit staring up at Earth and wondering what her life could have been. She wanted desperately to escape the moon, so she began studying for the Starfleet Academy entrance exam. She took her first test at 17, but she failed by one point. The failure drove Jessica even further and she found herself a tutor, Lieutenant John Mason, a scientist working on Luna. He was her mentor, teaching Jessica about his job and what life was like as an officer. She took the entrance exam a year later and secured her spot at the academy.

Starfleet Academy

Finally away from home, Jessica gained the opportunity to explore her passions instead of working out of spite and desperation. She studied astrophysics on the bridge officer track, hoping to one day command her own starship. Academically, Jessica always scored in the top percentile of her class. Unlike most of the high-scoring students, she didn’t have any natural abilities so she worked twice as hard to earn her place. Her biggest competitor was Megan Quinn, a Starfleet brat who had been groomed to join Starfleet since infancy. They pushed each other to work harder and regularly took the top two spots in the class. When Jessica was in her third year at the academy, she began fighting an internal battle with her identity. She realized she had feelings for Megan, and she didn’t understand how to express herself. Her competitiveness turned into flirtation, and when she finally mustered up the courage to tell Megan how she really felt she was met with rejection. This devastated Jessica, who never went through a teenage romance, and her scores dropped significantly. She stopped seeing Megan, and lost the push she needed to work hard.

Early Starfleet

Jessica graduated from the Academy in 2367 and requested assignments that were mostly within Federation space, as Megan had her pick of deep space missions. She was eventually assigned to the Akira-class USS Kearsarge as one of their science officers. Serving on an Akira-class was no prestigious assignment for a scientist. While Jessica served on the ship, they were mostly assigned to patrols, supply missions, and anti-piracy operations. Jessica saw this as another chance for a clean slate, and decided to make the most out of it. Without much official work to do, Jessica approached her department head, Nissa Otri, about assisting in her research. Recognizing her potential, the woman took Jessica under her wing and allowed her to help. While the Kearsarge was off on patrol missions, Lieutenant Otri and Jessica often took a runabouts to explore stellar phenomena. After several missions together, the two grew intimate and Nissa helped Jessica understand and even find comfort in her identity.

Their relationship gave Jessica preferential treatment. After only a year on the Kearsarge, she was promoted to Lieutenant JG and was given assignments nobody else in the department had a chance to earn. In 2370, only two years after her promotion, Nissa gave Jessica the title of Assistant Chief Science Officer. Their relationship grew and eventually became the biggest piece of gossip on the ship. When the Captain approached Nissa about the issue, she decided to fix it by proposing – if they were married, it wouldn’t seem as scandalous. Jessica wasn’t ready for such a serious commitment, and she was embarrassed by the reputation. She didn’t earn her position or her rank, and everyone around her knew it. She declined Nissa’s proposal and requested a transfer to a different ship. Nissa was heart broken, but she understood and even secured Jessica a position as Chief Science Officer on the Nebula-class USS Melbourne.

Dominion War

Life on the Melbourne was far different than the Kearsarge. She no longer carried the stigma of her relationship with Nissa, and others recognized her abilities on her own merit. In her first year on the Melbourne, war began with the Dominion and all of Starfleet deployed to counter their advance. The Melbourne was stuck in the attack-retreat pattern most of the Federation faced during the early years of the war. One day, Jessica saw Nissa’s name on the casualty list from the Battle of the Tyra System. She locked herself in her quarters for several days until she was ordered to speak with the ship’s counselor. She couldn’t speak truthfully, so she used the sessions to reflect and find a way to avenge Nissa’s death.

When she returned to duty, Jessica’s personality changed. She was more angry, serious, and more focused on her work. She became a multi-tool for the bridge, filling in at any station she was needed. She ordered her apartment to take shifts in engineering or operations, and ceased all ongoing scientific projects. If she wasn’t on the bridge, she was in engineering helping the crew improve the ship’s defenses.

Death became a fact of life for Jessica. While the Melbourne engaged in battle, she watched her crew pass one by one. She took their stations on the bridge without hesitation, and became used to new officers cycling in every few weeks. By the end of the war, most of the crew was either dead or was reassigned during the ship’s refit. She took the time back in Sol to visit her parents and fix the relationship she broke when she left.

A New Beginning

When the Melbourne finished repairs months later, Jessica returned to work. The love and closure she felt from seeing her parents restored her humanity. Before they embarked on their deep space exploration mission, Jessica was promoted to Lieutenant Commander and became the ship’s Second Officer. With a post-war need to return to the Federation’s original mandate, the ship set off on a five year mission deep in the Beta Quadrant. Month after month, the ship surveyed entire sectors of space and Jessica was finally able to put her training from Nissa to real world use.

Mariam, Jessica’s wife, at their wedding (2380).

Five year missions, although not new to Starfleet, was something most of the crew never experienced. Many of the crew were lonely and didn’t know what to do with their time. Jessica found comfort in Mariam Abbas, one of the ship’s surgeons. The two met while Jessica’s department conducted a planetary survey and a member of the planet’s wildlife attacked her lead biologist. Mariam saved the officer’s life and Jessica thanked her by taking her for dinner.

Jessica finally found a partner who was an equal. She didn’t feel embarrassed or ashamed of being with Mariam, and Mariam wasn’t someone who she pushed off of to repel her career or further her learning. For the first time in her life, she felt happy with who she was and her place in life. After over a year of dating, Jessica proposed and Mariam accepted. They weren’t the first couple to get married on the mission, and they certainly weren’t the last. Children were born, families started, and life in the Federation once again was something people could enjoy.

The Melbourne’s five year mission came to an end and the crew returned to Earth for a well deserved R&R. Jessica and Mariam had another wedding ceremony on a beach in Hawaii, this time with family and friends. The Melbourne’s Captain officiated the wedding once again, and Jessica and Mariam finally had the chance to meet each other’s parents.

The Hyperion

Two weeks into their vacation, the Melbourne’s Captain told Jessica that the Sovereign-class USS Hyperion needed a new First Officer and Jessica’s name was on the shortlist. Mariam was also up for a promotion to Chief Medical Officer of the new Luna-class USS Charon. They both received officers, and although Jessica was willing to join Mariam on the Charon, Mariam recognized how important the promotion was to Jessica. She had the potential to become a Captain some day, and Mariam knew that Chief Medical Officer was the highest position she wanted to reach.

Jessica serving on the
USS Hyperion (2383).

The Sovereign-class was one of the most advanced classes in the fleet, and the Hyperion was no exception. They served as flagship for the 12th Fleet, which was recently formed with Starfleet Science. Although the Hyperion was a battleship, it was also one of Starlfeet’s most powerful explorers and participated in over half a dozen first contact missions. The Hyperion operated in deep space, traveling to systems beyond even the Melbourne’s reach.

When the Attack on Mars happened in 2385, the Hyperion and the rest of Starfleet’s exploration ships returned home to defend the core territories. Despite the attack originating from synthetic life, the civilians was scared and the each Federation member world wanted Starfleet’s most powerful ships protecting them. The Hyperion saw little use over the next few years, instead being relegated to supply missions, battle simulations, and projecting force for the Federation’s core territories.

The Iapetus

In 2388, some of Starfleet’s ships slowly began returning to exploration. Only a few ships were given the assignments, and all of them were classes built for exploration and diplomacy. Jessica was offered command of one of the vessels, but she told Starfleet Command that she’d only accept if there was a place for Mariam as Chief Medical Officer. Starfleet Command reluctantly accepted, but they desperately wanted Jessica because of her background in science and her experience with deep space exploration.

Jessica was promoted to Captain and given command of the Luna-class USS Iapetus. Although Starfleet would not return to deep space exploration for another two years, the Iapetus was a purely science-driven vessel. They maintained a team of civilian scientists from the Daystrom Institute and often pushed the limits on exploration set by Starfleet Command. While the Iapetus was never allowed to travel into what the Federation designated “deep space,” they were only assigned missions relating to science, exploration, or diplomacy.

The Pegasus

After seven years of commanding the Iapetus, Jessica was rewarded with command of a Galaxy-class starship, the USS Pegasus. Although the Federation still prevented smaller vessels from returning to deep space, capital ships like the Galaxy-class were slowly being given these assignments. The Pegasus, despite being over 30 years old, was still a state of the art explorer and one of the largest ships in the fleet. It received a full refit after the Dominion War that brought it up to spec with Starfleet’s latest technology.

The Pegasus, assigned to the Fourth Fleet, was sent into territory that was all too familiar to Jessica: the Beta Quadrant. The Pegasus felt like home to Jessica; it had the essence of a Nebula-class with updated design cues that made the interior look like a Sovereign-class. The ship had families, dedicated science facilities, and even an entire medical deck filled with staff for Mariam. It was the perfect home, and embodied everything Jessica felt the Federation should represent.

Carrying out a four year deep space assignment was no easy task for Jessica. The Pegasus had several science departments each vying for control of the ship’s resources. As a scientist herself, Jessica found it difficult to show favoritism for one project over another. The assignment also saw Jessica successfully lead two first contact missions, and the induction of a new world into the Federation.

The Pegasus returned to Federation space in 2399 for the Osiris Initiative, which marked a new era for the Federation. Starfleet was finally assigning one fleet, the Fourth Fleet, to fully return to missions of exploration. As one of the very few Captains who had continued exploring over the past decade, briefed a room full of commanders on what to expect from their missions. Some of the officers had never served on diplomatic or scientific missions, so Jessica’s advice and experience was invaluable to the conference.

After the Osiris Initiative ended, Jessica gave the crew a few months of shore leave before their return to duty. Instead of starting another deep space assignment, the Pegasus mobilized with the rest of the Fourth Fleet to combat the Omega Crisis. Over the span of a month, the Pegasus neutralized a cluster of Omega particles, visited and surveyed a former Tkon outpost, and provided the Fourth Fleet with invaluable information on Tkon technology.

Now, in late 2399, the Pegasus is returning to exploration on another four year mission.

Character Service Record

Date Position Posting Rank
2395 - Present Commanding Officer USS Pegasus (Galaxy-class)
Captain
2388 - 2395 Commanding Officer USS Iapetus (Luna-class)
Captain
2383 - 2388 Executive Officer USS Hyperion (Sovereign-class)
Commander
2378 - 2383 Chief Science Officer
Second Officer
USS Melbourne (Nebula-class)
Lieutenant Commander
2373 - 2378 Chief Science Officer USS Melbourne (Nebula-class)
Lieutenant
2370 - 2373 Asst. Chief Science Officer USS Kearsarge (Akira-class)
Lieutenant Junior Grade
2368 - 2370 Science Officer USS Kearsarge (Akira-class)
Lieutenant Junior Grade
2367 - 2368 Science Officer USS Kearsarge (Akira-class)
Ensign
2363 - 2367 B.S., Astrophysics Starfleet Academy

Character Summary

Jessica Matthews (age 42, born August 2, 2357) is a Starfleet Captain currently in command of the Galaxy-class USS Pegasus. She previously commanded the Luna-class USS Iapetus and was one of very few Captains who returned to exploration shortly after the Attack on Mars. She is a renowned explorer and diplomat, and she is a veteran of the Dominion War.

Current Assignment

Commanding Officer
USS Pegasus