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Ensign Niev Galanis: A Totally Normal First Day (Part 1)

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Ensign Galanis is hitting the ground running.  I particularly love the transition from 'everything's going to be fine' to...




It's Starfleet.



((Outside the Transporter Center, Presidio Campus - Earth))


It wasn't completely unreasonable to expect graduating from the Academy to have been the end to the nervous tension that had been hanging over the fresh Ensign's head since the day they'd left Velestia. Niev had done it - they'd chased the stars and earned a place among them. The shiny little silver pip pinned to their collar should have felt like validation and success. It still did on some level, sure... but even the aloof Centauran had a hard time wrapping their head around the full implication of the words 'Amity Outpost' in the assignment orders they'd received.


The warmth from the San Francisco sun radiated from above as Niev posed at attention and tried to look cool and collected in front of the familiar faces before them. While studying in the Academy, Niev had often imagined what it'd be like to travel to places their globetrotting parents had never been. Never once did somewhere as far and unknown as the Delta Quadrant cross their minds.


For their part, Niev's own loved ones looked like they were just as unsure how to feel as the Ensign was. A family member departing on long travels away from the unit happened so often for a Galanis it bordered on mundane. But today, Niev was going where no Galanis had gone before. Their parents had hopped on a transport as soon as they'd heard the news. 


Esha - Niev's mother - was an elegant and slender woman who stuck out like a sore thumb in her high quality Velestian dress. Rhys Galanis somehow managed to demand even more attention, Niev's barrel-chested and bearded father dressed like he was ready to board the nearest sailing boat and travel around the world. It was probably safe to assume he was planning on doing just that, actually. He'd always talked about sailing Earth's oceans one day. The pair was quite a contrast to the subdued and detached air around the child they'd brought into the world.


Niev idly wondered how far away many light years away they'd be by the time their parents realized how much less convenient sailing around the world of humanity was, with all the continents and land in the way. A surprising part of the Ensign felt nostalgic for being forced along on those trips in their youth. Niev had worked so long and hard to find a path of their own. It was strange to feel a pang of sadness as they finally split off onto it.


Words had already been exchanged. All that was left was for Esha to grace Niev with a tight, affectionate hug before Rhys stepped up to clasp a firm hand on Niev's shoulder. The short-haired science officer swallowed hard and allowed themselves a small but reassuring smile as they noticed the looks of pride and worry in the eyes of their parents.


Choosing to spare them all before things got too emotional, Niev firmed up their shoulders and stood tall. The Ensign turned on the spot and headed off toward the doors of the Transport Center. Though the butterflies flitting about their stomach were still there, Niev felt emboldened. Like they could take on anything the universe could throw at them.


oO You've got this, Niev. Everything is going to be fine. Normal. Boring, even. Oo


((Transporter Room 3, Deck 50 - Probert Station))


Rahman: Hands up where I can see them.


The first words the fresh-faced Ensign heard after beaming up from the planet, Probert Station's transporter room emerging into view, were so absurd they took a few moments to even register. They blinked in confusion as they took in the surreal situation. Wide, sea-green eyes flitted between each of the figures and finally settled on the phaser being very firmly aimed at the transporter chief.


Transporter chief: Whoa, whoa, whoa!


Parker: Response


Niev's mind was racing. The woman with the phaser was looking their way now. Only one of the two armed people even had a combadge. To say the scene looked suspicious to the new arrival was a drastic understatement. Was this some kind of a prank? A weird test? The thought of actually beaming straight from the Academy into an actual crisis seemed too absurd to entertain. Whatever this was, the look on the Ensign's face suggested they didn't want any part in it.


Rahman: Oh, great...


Galanis: ...Don't mind me. I must have beamed into the wrong transporter room.


Rahman: Stay on that pad, ensign.


The woman's head moved back to look at her partner, and Niev felt the bottom of their gut drop out at her next words, face visibly paling.


Rahman: We can't afford any witnesses.


Parker: Response


Galanis: H-Hold on, there’s no need for anything hasty, I don't even know what's going on here!


Rahman: You're coming with us, Ensign.


It was better than being disintegrated, but Niev’s idea of a successful first day as an enlisted officer didn’t include being taken hostage by strangers either. Their eyes constantly flitted toward the transporter room door as they debated between trying to run and calling for help.


Rahman: ::as she's typing into the console:: Get on the pad, Parker. ::looks to the transporter chief:: You, too.


The Ensign’s attention shifted toward the Transporter Chief as the woman spoke and commanded. As far as Niev knew, that man was the only other person in the room who seemed innocent right now. So, when the unsettling smile began creeping onto his face, it leant an extra level of despair to the situation.


oO This has to be a nightmare. Maybe it was a transporter accident, and I’m in some sort of alternate dimension where everyone in Starfleet has lost their damned minds. Oo


Transporter chief: You really think it's going to be that easy?


It was as though reality itself collaborated with Niev’s suspicions, the man’s hands going through a brief phase of sheer wrongness as they melted and shifted into the whipping tentacles and began to attack the woman. The Ensign had studied well in the Academy and knew exactly what they were seeing. That didn’t make it any easier to accept. Suddenly, the transporter pad seemed like the safest place on the entire station.


Galanis: Is that a… changeling?!


Parker: Response


Niev did their best to keep an eye out for any errant phaser fire coming their way, but the Centauran’s feet were planted on their escape route now, awaiting the other two to join them with a mixture of shock and exasperation on their face.


Galanis: ::speaking under their breath:: So much for making my posting on schedule…


Parker: Response


Rahman: Computer, initiate transport!


For the second time in the span of minutes, Niev watched their surroundings dissolve away and be replaced by another as they beamed into another transporter room. By the size of it, the Ensign guessed it was on a ship, but it was hard to tell for sure.




Ensign Niev Galanis
Junior Science Officer
Amity Outpost


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