Lieutenant Junior Grade Nir Giorgiou
Nir Giorgiou serves of the Chief Helm Officer aboard the United Earth starship Endeavour. He was born in Yeshil Kovan, an autonomous Martian colony of Rumist Sufi Muslims who practice a form of technological minimalism. When he was old enough, he joined the Colonial Jovian Militia based on Ganymede where he was trained as a Helmsman and worked most of his time in their equivalent of the Coast Guard. He transferred into the United Earth Starfleet and served aboard the Delta-class Reliant until it was destroyed at the Battle of Sol.
Yeshil Kovan: to most of the United Earth community, it is a deeply obscure term, one that U.T. turns into “Green Hive” of a vaguely Turkish origin. To the Barsumi of Mars, it is the ultimate realization of a dream. These people were once the nomadic Sufi, the Bedouin, the Berbers, the caravan-goers that crossed the Sahara from Fes to points along toward Cairo. As the throes of unleashed technological horror killed 600 million Humans in World War III and the ensuing “Optimist” purges under Colonel Green afterward, these people formed the proto-Barsumi movement.
Largely based around a new branch of unitarian-like Islam that sought only togetherness, not tribal, religious or other secular divisions, the Barsumi were an anti-technological, pacifist movement. They demonstrated civil disobedience throughout the post-atomic Muslim world to protect those that Green would have “humanely euthanized” as ethnic cleansing in the post-Atomic Horror. Loosely they were tied to the same kinds of movements that would become like the Irish Neo-Transcendentalists who would leave Earth.
Like the NTM movement, the Barsumi would remove themselves from Earth and adopt only minimal technology to survive. Their destination: the deep, craggy canyons and the labyrinthine honeycomb of Noctis Labyrinthis. There, the Barsumi set up a semi-nomadic lifestylethat taught respect for the Red World, dotted with pockets of lush green paradise. It is a movement that has come into (unarmed) conflict and tension with the Martian settlers who would turn Mars into a verdant world, like a second Earth.
The principle Barsumi settlement is at the crux of where Noctis Labyrinthis joins the deeper Valles Marineris’ central system: it is called Yeshil Kovan and only a few hundred Barsumi exist on the whole of Mars. They have once again become the isolated, nomadic people that occasionally move into the wider settlements for trade and refuel, then disappear back into the swirling sands.
Nir Giorgiou (no relation to the future Philippa Georgiou) is the fourth generation of the Giorgiou family to grow up in the red fesh-fesh of Mars. He is of mixed ancestry (he is primarily Anglo-Maori New Zealander, and a huge mix of different Mediterranean, Persian and Near Eastern people), something that initially did make his clan outsiders among the Barsumi who can be quite insular. Even today many of the inhabitants of Yeshil Kovan are not surprised to learn that Nir “turned techie” and rejoined that outside world. Though they generally do not bear him ill will, it does mark him as somewhat of an “outsider straddling two worlds.” He wasn’t the first to do so, and certainly won’t be the last.
Nir was a happy child who smiled easily, minded his manners and listened to his elders. He wasn’t chatty and he wasn’t obtrusive with his opinions. He prayed five times a day and went to the Masjid. He could sing, dance with the Darwishes and knew the entries of the Green Qu’ran before he could count. Where he showed some unusual early talent was in helping plan the planting of the greenhouses. And he learned the lay of the land and how to fertilize it. Everyone encouraged him to pick up those skills and to eschew the silly, dreamy notions of writing.
Nir’s escapist personality was creative and rich, but seldom meshed with the mystic and religious but ultimately quite practical realities of Barsumi life. As anti-technologists living on a mostly harsh and unforgiving landscape, life was often regimented, disciplined and routine. If it wasn’t work in the greenhouses, it was prayer, attending the Masjid, or family time. It was seldom that Nir got to ride the caravans to the Martian Colonies- that privilege usually went to his older sister. But the few times he got to, it stoked his fascination.
At age 17, when most boys his age are into their first year of apprenticeships around the facility, Nir was filling out applications to attend writing classes at any university that would take him. However, he lacked contacts and the Barsumi system of education wasn’t recognized as public instruction on Earth. ‘
Disheartened, Nir chose to leave the Barsumi commune for the Martian Colonies to see if he could find work. This wasn’t unusual in itself- the Barsumi, like many anti-technological enclaves, would encourage restful young people to spend a year among the tech-oriented. They could return and resume their lives or join that larger community.
Nir fell into piloting almost by accident. He was told by some of the pilots that the Jovian Colonial Militia was looking for prospective flyers, would train them and then grant them Jovian citizenship after five years of service. Nir considered the places he could go, the experiences he could have and write about, as a pilot.
Nir made the leap after talking with his family. They were concerned but supportive. Jupiter was an incredibly dangerous place. But he booked passage after a few failed attempts with some of the freighters in and out of the community. And he headed toward Jupiter Station and Ganymede. A few weeks later he was wearing the uniform of a Colonial Jovian Flyer and undergoing training.
Jupiter is the most dangerous flying space in the solar system. Uranus has tricky gravitation and magnetic field points, but nothing is more dangerous than Jupiter’s mass, radiation, magnetic field and gravity. And it presents challenges to its many moons and small colonies. United Earth and the JCM joint operate Jupiter Station as the major port in the area. Once he graduated their training program and was commissioned, Nir spent his first year in a role not unlike Alaska’s Coast Guard- constantly being vigilant for craft that were waylaid by Jupiter’s weather. It wasn’t his ideal existence, but it was exciting, and it felt like forward momentum.
The United Earth Starfleet came looking for competent Helmsmen and Shuttle Pilots in the first half of 2152. A month before, Enterprise had encountered an alien mine field and suffered heavy damage. The Vulcan High Command was, as usual, critical of Captain Archer and the destabilizing influence of the Human fleet in space. Vulcan and Andor are dancing around one another since P’Jem looking for advantage and Starfleet is beginning to look to outfit its second NX Class.
Nir transfers into Starfleet and awaits orders: he also sets foot for the first time on Mars and Earth (they’re pretty, but…). Nir is assigned to a Freedom-class Reliant undergoing a refit after returning from Deneva Colony. Reliant has a brief shakedown going to Vulcan before it is summoned home: Earth has been attacked by an alien weapon and the casualty number is spinning into the millions. Reliant with the rest of the Earth Starfleet spends much of 2153 and in to 2154 holding its breath, though the small Freedom-class makes several runs to Alpha Centauri and does reconnaissance work around the fringe of the Delphic Expanse.
By 2155 and the passing of the Xindi threat, Earth’s Starfleet is engaged in a mystery on its frontier that seems to be destabilizing the sector. Reliant returns home for refuel and a minor refit and is on immediate duty when Romulan vessels begin raiding and harrying the colonies and supply routes to Proxima Colony, the Alpha Centauri colonies and Starbase 1. They engaged a Romulan vessel and trade shots but the Romulans withdraw (as they are testing Earth defenses) and the result is inconclusive.
In late 2155, Reliant is one of the first vessels to respond to a Romulan force outside of Sol. They went to investigate why Eris Station had gone quiet and engaged Romulan “warbirds” in the outer Kuiper Belt as a delaying action with several other, older Earth Startfleet ships. Reliant was ultimately heavily damaged with the loss of both nacelles and most of its weapons. The surviving crew scuttled the ship.