In February of that year, Zobral invited Captain Jonathan Archer of Enterprise NX-01 in a veiled attempt to win Archer's trust and thereby his assistance in attaining freedom from the oppressive Torothan clan. Archer accepted the invitation and, along with his chief engineer, Trip Tucker, joined Zobral and his clan for dinner and a game of geskana at their settlement in the Cygniai Expanse.
After detecting a shuttlepod carrying Archer and Tucker into the Cygniai Expanse, Torothan Chancellor Trellit began an assault on Zobral's encampment. With the settlement destroyed, Archer and Trip were left stranded in the Cygniai Expanse. They were ultimately rescued by Zobral and other members of the Enterprise crew. (ENT: "Desert Crossing")
In the final draft script of "Desert Crossing", Zobral's "settlement" (as it was called in the script) was described thus; "Twenty or so adobe structures, one or two stories high, are loosely organized on a vast and spectacular landscape of endless, roiling sand dunes [....] A makeshift landing field [is] in the b.g." A subsequent description of the area stated, "It's a strange and alien environment."
Zobral's encampment was largely realized as a CGI effect. Ronald B. Moore took pictures of sand dunes that were later edited and enhanced at Eden FX. Moore remembered, "On location there were a lot of beautiful sand dunes and stuff. When we went out to shoot it was absolutely gorgeous, but on the second day a sandstorm came in and ultimately shut down production. I've been through sandstorms before but this was so ugly. Your visibility would drop to nothing and it was stinging your face, but it was gorgeous. I had planned to get out on a dune buggy, take the cameraman with me, and shoot a lot of footage we could use as background, but we couldn't do it. What I ended up with was taking my digital camera and shooting a lot of still pictures." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 3, Issue 7, p. 56)
Originally, Moore wanted to use the camera footage as a basis to create an as-real-as-possible shot, yet Eden FX rose to the occasion. Fred Pienkos and his team managed to embellish Moore's stills to its final appearance, or as supervisor John Gross recalled, "We ended up using the stills in a number of places. For the first shot where we see the shuttlepod coming in, everything is CG except the sand itself. In fact a lot of the sand dunes in the foreground are CG. There all these little huts; there are people walking about; there are tents blowing in the wind." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 3, Issue 7, p. 56)
While most of the planet was said to be desert, the Cygniai Expanse was presumably smaller, as a city at the edge of the desert was said to be 200 kilometers from Zobral's settlement.