Kiva studied hard growing up, and by the 2350s he had earned advanced degrees in subspace physics, warp drive theory, and temporal physics.
When his people joined the Federation, Kiva decided to join Starfleet as a Science Officer in 2358. He attended a temporary Officer Candidate School on one of his world's moons and served his midshipmen cruise aboard the USS Hornet. After receiving a commission as a Lieutenant Junior Grade, he was assigned to the USS Tecumseh.
By 2367 Kiva, now a Lieutenant Commander was serving as Science as well as Second Officer aboard the USS Endeavour when the ship participated in the Battle of Wolf 359. During the battle, the CO was severely wounded and the XO killed, at which point Kiva took command. Realizing the futility of being the only functioning ship left in the fight against the seemingly unstoppable Borg Cube, Kiva ordered the Endeavour to maximum warp towards Earth, where he beamed up as many personnel as the ship could hold and headed for a rendezvous with the Fifth Fleet at the edge of the Vulcan Sector. This did not go over well with the Mission Specialist aboard, Commander Gedna Tachion, who cited it in his after action report. Kiva felt that this kept him from an Executive Officer billet.
After the battle, he was promoted to Commander and transferred to Jupiter Station to head up its Research and Development Department. He began working on perfecting soliton wave technology as well as ways to maintain the time starships could maintain their maximum warp speed.
In 2371 he came aboard the USS Lionheart as XO at Gedna Tachion's personal invitation, as an attempt to smooth things over between the two. Kiva would also be pulling double duty as Chief Science Officer.
While in transit to report to the ship at Starbase 315 aboard the USS Galaxy, he convinced the vessel's commander, Captain Natalie Quinn, to allow himself and Ensign Spencer Stone to use the ship's Captain's Yacht to place a custom designed sensor buoy in a nearby nebula. She agreed and assigned Michael Garrett as their pilot.
Afterward, he and the rest of the passengers transferred to the USS Valley Forge.
During the Maquis hijacking attempt, Kiva was locked in his quarters for the duration. While there he used a tricorder to tap into the ship's ODN relay and had hacked into the short-range communications system. He was able to contact the USS Talon and inform its crew of what was taking place. ("Party-Crashers")
While Tachion and other members of the crew were escorting Michael Garrett's body to the USS Valley Forge, Kiva was tasked with finding new Navigation and Operations Officers. ("Pall Bearers")
While pulling double duty as both the Executive Officer and Chief Science Officer, Kiva left the day to day operations in the hands of Ensign Spencer, as well as mentoring the young Vulcan scientist.
Prior to the outbreak of the Dominion War, the Starquest was slated for a deep space exploration in the Beta Quadrant.
Instead of the deep space exploration, the Starquest was assigned to the Sixth Fleet.
Shortly after Operation Return the Starquest, along with the USS Lonestar, liberated a Dominion Prisoner of War Camp. Many high-level prisoners were held there, including Gedna Tachion, Seff O'Rourke, Sela, Nekrot, and Stacy Decker. ("Familiar Faces")
After the Dominion War, the Starquest was chosen as part of nine ship task force to colonize a planet 3,794 light years from the Federation's Beta Quadrant border. To travel that far, the ships would use newly perfected soliton wave technology. ("Surf's Up")
The two first met a few hours before the Battle of Wolf 359 aboard the USS Endeavour when Gedna Tachion came aboard as a Mission Specialist for the battle. For years afterward, Kiva felt that Tachion's report on his command decisions sabotaged his dream of commanding a deep space explorer.
When he was asked to come aboard the Lionheart as Executive Officer, Kiva knew it was an apology and while he resented it, saw it as his best hope to get his career back on track. For the year he served under him, the two clashed constantly over many things, such as leading dangerous away team missions and choosing military solutions over diplomatic ones.
Tachion was instrumental in securing command of the Starquest for Kiva.
The two finally came to terms after the Starquest liberated a Dominion POW Camp in 2374 where Tachion was being held, prisoner.