"From Day One"
In the transporter room of the Prime Maxim, the starship had just departed for its first mission. Duncan Swan had graduated from a Starfleet correspondence course. In this way, he was a graduate of the Academy. He was a Starfleet ensign. He was handpicked for the ship because of his very high test scores. The officer was eager to please.
"What am I?" the young man spoke upon materializing onto the transporter pad. They were in orbit of the New Paris colony. He did not have a uniform since it was the first time he had ever left the place of his birth.
The tactical officer replied with a smile, "This is the starship Prime Maxim. I am your superior, Clarence Hope. Welcome aboard, Ensign."
"Well," Duncan began, "I've always wanted to hear something like that. But, what I meant was, which department is mine on the ship?"
Lieutenant Clarence Hope put his arm around the ensign and explained, "Captain Doris Stark had you assigned as a helmsman on this Galaxy-class starship. And I have been given orders to show you around. Come with me, please."
As they both left the transporter room, the ensign asked, "Could I see my quarters before we do all that? I would like to see what it looks like."
"Yes," he said. "You might also want to put on your uniform."
"That would help," he answered with pride.
His uniform would make him whole. That was the one and only reason he decided to join Starfleet in the first place. He graduated at the very top of his correspondence class. He did not expect to make history in his Starfleet career. That was just asking for trouble.
Prime Maxim's first mission was to visit the newly charted Zelor system. Duncan was assigned to the away team. First Officer Allen Page led the team. The away team also had the doctor and the tactical officer. Ensign Swan was on his best behavior.
"Let's go into that cave," the commander said with a tricorder in hand. "Something inside is not consistent with the primitive life here."
The tactical officer attempted to enter the cave only to be thrown back by a force field. A tremor shook the earth. Duncan Swan looked to the sky as the doctor treated Hope.
The helmsman pointed up, "Commander Page, look there. Pulse waves are being fired at the Prime Maxim. We have to do something. The ship is under attack."
Pulse waves hit the Prime Maxim as Allen tried to get inside the cave. The weapon inside had to be turned off. He ordered the doctor, Aaron Leroy, to continue treating the tactical officer as the ensign watched for natives with his phaser set to stun.
Not long after, an explosion made a reddish anomaly in the sky. It caused the force field to lower. They were safe in the cave until they could reprogram a tricorder to send out a distress signal to the nearest starship. They were trapped there for three months.
The starship Vanguard was the nearest. It was a Constellation-class ship. It was the starship Duncan's brother Elvin was known to be science officer of. Elvin was surprised when he saw his brother in a Starfleet uniform.
"I'm sorry we failed," Duncan told his brother.
Lieutenant Elvin Swan replied, "You are lucky to be alive. You have to get to sickbay to be checked out by the doctor. All of you must go."
The brothers hugged as the Vulcan doctor was informed, "Transporter room to Doctor Selak. Lieutenant, be ready to receive four wounded officers."
"Is it serious?" Selak asked of the transporter chief.
"Mostly psychological," the ensign responded.
"It's a good thing that I happened to be on Vanguard," Elvin said tapping his communicator for the bridge. "Why didn't you tell me that my brother was down there? I am responsible for his safety. He will never leave my sight again."
"It's all my fault," Duncan cried out in pain.
Elvin smiled, "Doctor Selak will be the judge of that."
Out of the four rescued, Duncan stayed on board, so his older brother could give him attention. Out of concern for his future, he was promoted one grade and made the supply officer of the ship. The lieutenant junior grade was given therapy, but the duty officer would fall behind as he medicated himself with alcohol. He was welcome at tactical anytime.