Star Trek Sim/ Star Trek RPG
USS Eagle, NCC 2185

Image of AENG,face, male, Human, Greek Russian     Image of AENG, face, Human,Female, American
LTjg Alexi Valderkev (AENG) & Ensign Tamarra Sondheim (AENG)


Title: Trapped
Location: USS Eagle
Setting: Turbolift Three

    Ensign Tamarra Sondheim stared fearfully at doors, looking very trapped.  "I ... I ..." she replied.  She could not quite remember what Alexi had asked her. Several other things weighed heavily on her mind besides the claustrophobia.

    Lieutenant Junior Grade Valderkev looked at his friend softly as she sat on the deck of the disabled turbolift.  "Tamarra, I need you to focus on this vith me.  The faster ve get it fixed, the faster ve can get out of here," he said to her in his thick Russian accent.

    Her voice became small as she had to ask an important question and was afraid of the answer.  "I am trying.  Alexi, I umm ... need to know how long have you wanted to be in Starfleet and why?" she asked.  Tamarra needed to know if he was really who he seemed to be or if perhaps he was a sleeper agent put onboard the Eagle who had been activated.

    "Vhy?" Alexi asked, looking up from the panel he had opened, "Shouldn't ve vait to have this sort of conversation vhen ve aren't trapped in a turbolift?"

    Tamarra looked oddly at him and replied, "Trust me, nothing I'd rather do than leave, but I need to know."  She needed to know now.  She was afraid to talk to him or tell him anything if he was an enemy agent.  The Eagle was on an Alpha Two Priority mission that involved a spy with very sensitive information.  She knew that the Romulans, Klingons, Orions, Galadons, Tureth, among others were all out looking for this person.  Some wanted him alive to extract, by any means, the information.  Others wanted him dead to make sure no one else ever knew his secrets.  If ever there was a time to activate someone, it was now.  She shuddered again thinking about it. The timing was so perfect for them to activate any sleeper onboard and to risk all to get the man.  If someone was going to risk an all out war, violate a treaty or use some secret technology prematurely, this was the time.  From what she picked up from the crew and what she knew independently, she believed the fate of the entire galaxy weighed on the shoulders of this one person, and now, subsequently, on her from her dilemma.  She felt the weight upon her, and was trapped.  There seemed to be no way out for her. It was all closing in on her, just like the turbolift.  Not only this weight, but weight of what she knew of how important this was to the future history of the galaxy.  It was all closing in on her. She felt she was being crushed and could not breathe.  "Please, please Alexi, be okay," she hoped to herself.  Perhaps, if she could make a close friend onboard and get some help, someone else could come up with a solution for her.

    Realizing he couldn't get any help out of her in her current state, Alexi resigned himself to answer her questions, and sat back against the bulkhead.  "Vell," he began, "I've vanted to be in Starfleet since I vas a boy.  I alvays vanted to travel the among the stars and I've alvays had a talent vith machines. I figured vhat better place to put my skills to use than in Starfleet."  After a few moments of nothing but silence from his inquisitor, he said to Sondheim, "Vhy is this information so important at this wery moment?"

    "I just needed to know why you are here on this ship," she said, ending abruptly.  She knew how stupid it looked to ask the question now, but everything else she would say to him in the next few minutes depended upon his answer.

    Valderkev looked at her puzzled, 'You have been acting wery strangely lately, is everything okay?"

    Tamarra felt Alexi was genuinely who he seemed to be and let down her guard. She replied again in a small voice, "No. I don't think I can do this anymore, but I have to."  There was something else she needed to know.  If her analysis was right, her brother and she were in very big trouble.  "Do you have any friends or family in Starfleet?" she asked, clearly hoping Alexi had some connections.  She needed some ally or friend, preferably in a high place, to help her out of this mess.

    Alexi was completely unable to follow her train of thought and wondered where this line of questioning was going.  "Vell, I like to think of you as my friend.  You are sort of my best friend on the Eagle.  I do have other friends here, but you're the person I talk to the most.  My fianceè is also in Starfleet, but assigned to another ship as an assistant science officer.  My father vorked on some Starfleet construction projects, but as a civilian engineer.  I am the first in my family to join Starfleet."

    She smiled, but clearly she had hoped to hear more.  "Thank you," she replied.

    "Vhy?" he asked, hoping to uncover what she was trying to get at.

    "I ... I ," she stammered as the lighting in the TL suddenly shut off.  She started to breathe very shallowly and looked panicked again, as her resolve to confess her problem and get help flickered out with the lighting.  The bulkheads seemed to close in further on her without the benefit to see them as they were.  She knew it was not rational but she felt them getting closer and closer.

    Valderkev peered through the darkness at her, locating her by the sound of her erratic breathing, completely unable to see anything in the total darkness of the turbolift.  "The emergency back-up should kick in a moment ..." he tried to reassure her.  Seconds later, the emergency lighting flickered on, and he could see the panic in her eyes in the dim lighting.  "There it is.  Let's get to vork then.  It vill focus you and distract you from the lights," he urged.

    Tamara replied, clearly forcing herself, "Okay," as she imagined seeing the walls recede slightly.  Trying not to look at the walls she stared at Alexi and attempted a joke.  "Anything else to go wrong?" she asked.

    "Vell, it should be easy to fix this.  It just may take a vhile," he answered, reaching for a hand light from his repair kit.

    Tamarra looked very nervous and leaned back against the bulkhead.  "How long?" she asked.  It was apparent she was having trouble concentrating.  She should have easily been able to figure that out on her own.

    Alexi shined the light into the open panel in the bulkhead and reassured her, "Vith your help ... Not too long."

    "What do you need me to do?" she asked not sounding very confident.  She didn't think she could remember anything.  It was taking all her willpower just to concentrate on his words.

    "Vell, tell me vhat you did so far.  It looks like you had a bit of trouble here," he said, looking at the slipshod attempt at repairing the power distribution system.

    "Uh, yes.  I tried manual override, that didn't work, overrode some security protocols then tried to reroute the, um, power to the doors ... then I, um, don't quite remember the rest," she stated, taking a deep breath, and braced herself for his reply.

    Alexi took a closer look. "Hmm," he said, thoughtfully noting how her repair attempt was botched rather well despite being a straight forward procedure.  "That's all standard procedure, but ... It seems your attempt to reroute the power vas unsuccessful, Let's see if ve can't figure out vhy," he said cheerfully as he set to work.

    Tamarra let out a sigh.  She was relieved by his reaction.  She was afraid he'd yell or ask more, causing her to have to explain why she couldn't think in small spaces, and furthermore how she passed the psychological test to get into Starfleet.

    Alexi frowned, unable to understand how she managed to make such a big series of mistakes.  "Vhat's this here ... This isn't right, hmm. Vere you distracted vhile doing this, Sondheim?" he asked, as he began to undo her botch.

    Her relief dissolved and her eyes teared up again.  "Yes, I was thinking of something else," she replied careful not to say what.  Maybe she could get out of this mess without telling him.  She knew she needed help, but at the same time, she was unsure of where to get it.  It could be worse for her and her brother if the wrong people found out.  Even if Alexi was okay, that did not mean that anyone he spoke to about it was.

    It was then that Valderkev noticed the severed power nodes. "Hmm ... Who did this?  This turbolift vas obviously sabotaged!" he sounded upset, but it was not directed at Sondheim.

    "I am going to have to tell him.  There is not much choice now," she thought to herself, "I hope he won't tell anyone until I can figure out who is okay to talk to."  She then replied aloud, "I know.  I don't know who, but I think it is some sort of warning - that someone is watching us and doesn't belong here."  She looked carefully for Alexi's reaction, hoping the story he told her earlier of why he wanted to join Starfleet was true. Adding to her claustrophobia was her belief that someone was out there watching her.  She considered this to be a message, perhaps directly to her.  There was no finesse about the damage.  There was no attempt to hide what it was and that made it all the worse to her.  The bulkheads seemed to close in further upon her while thinking about this. She gasped.

    Alexi looked over at her and asked, "A warning about vhat?  This sabotage job isn't very good, you know.  It vas too obvious, and vhy the turbolift?  Vhy not a more critical system, like the engines or life support?"

    Tamarra couldn't keep it together any more and started to cry again.  "I don't think it was supposed to be good," she explained, stopping herself before she revealed everything.  She thought to herself, "I have to get out!  Out now ... I can't keep this up.  I can't go on alone," as she broke down further.

    "Vhat's wrong, Tamarra?" he asked her, wondering what could have caused her outburst.

    "Jeremy. They've got Jeremy," she replied between sobs. In her mind, her thoughts continued, "I need help.  I have to help him.  I have to get him out."

    Valderkev then asked the next logical question that came to his mind.  "Who is Jeremy?"

    "My little brother.  He's missing," she sobbed more, getting close to crying hysterically.  She rambled on between gulps of air and sobs, "I don't like small places.  I can't do this anymore, but my brother needs me.  They have him.  I know it."

    Alexi had not the slightest inkling of where this was coming from or where she was going with it.  She was barely intelligible in her current state, but he knew that this was important, at least to her, if not the entire ship if sabotage was occurring because of it.  "Calm yourself, ve are fine in here.  This lift can hold a lot more than just two people, you know that.  There is plenty of air and space.  Now, vhat happened to him?" he asked, placing a hand on her shoulder.

    "I..I don't know for sure, but I know they got him.  I don't like it in here.  It's too small.  I need to get out," she replied.  Tamarra looked imploringly at Alexi for help and hoped he's not the one she should be looking out for. She didn't like it, but she was in too deep.  She needed someone to help pull her out.

    He placed his hands on both of her shoulders and forced her to look at him.  "Hey, I vant to get out too, but panicking is not going to accomplish that.  Now pull yourself together and help me fix this, so ve can get out of here faster.  You have the skill and the knowledge to do this, just focus vith me here.  Then ve can talk about your brother, okay?"  He hoped he had not been too harsh, but he felt that maybe it was what she needed at that moment.  He would apologize for it later.  He also still had no idea who had Sondheim's brother and why they would sabotage the Eagle because of it.  It suddenly also occurred to him to find out how they had even gotten someone aboard to perform the sabotage.

    Tamarra looked into his olive green eyes, searching them for an answer.  She looked pained.  "I am trying, but its small in here and we are trapped.  It's hard to think," she explained.  She looked further into his eyes and felt calmer with his steady hands on her shoulders.  Somehow she felt more grounded and less likely to fly away into panic. Slowly, the thought she may not really be alone here crept into her mind and replaced some of the feelings of panic and despair.  "I.. I have a solder. You can use that," she offered, getting a tenuous hold of her emotions again.

    Valderkev smiled reassuringly.  "Excellent!  How about you set to vork on the soldering, and I vill vork on restoring main power to the lift?  And ve are not 'trapped' in here.  It is easy to get out, ve just need to focus and get the job done to do so.

    Tamarra's sniffles replaced the sobs as she settled down again. "Okay," she replied with a faint smile.  Maybe she could get through this.  She put on some protective eyewear and began soldering some deliberately cut connections.  This time she performed an adequate job, unlike her previous attempt to fix things in the turbolift.

    After several minutes of work, Alexi had managed to properly reroute the power flow.  He then moved across the deck to look over Sondheim's shoulder.  "Looks good," he commented, "ready to give it a try?

    Tamarra was unsure but replied with a "Yes."

    "All right then," he said, as he moved back over to his panel and made the final connections to reroute the power.  "Here goes ..."  As the connection was made, the turbolift thrummed to life and lit up as primary lighting was restored.  Everything appeared to function properly.  Alexi grinned at her and cheerfully asked, "See?"

    Tamarra smiled faintly and replied with, "Thank you."

    Alexi closed the panel and returned his tools to his kit.  Standing and arching his back, he declared, "Let's go to the bridge and report on our progress."

    "Um," she said wiping her eyes, "I don't want to explain to them why I've been crying.  Can you go?" she asks imploringly.  Her pretty brown eyes were still red and swollen from crying and her fair skinned face was also mottled with red.

    He nodded.  "Okay, go to your quarters and compose yourself for a few minutes.  I'll tell them I sent you back to Main Engineering.  Be sure to go there though, in case they call for you," he insisted.

    She smiled again, but this time it was a much bigger smile.  "Thank you! Thank you very much!" she replied.  "Maybe this attack of mine won't have ruined everything," she hoped to herself.

    Alexi redirected the turbolift to the crew quarters with a quiet, "You're welcome."  The ride was brief and took place in silence as he pondered more about who could have been behind the sabotage, and how he would report it without having to bring the issue of Sondheim and her brother into it without knowing more first.  

    The doors to the turbolift could not fully open before she pushed her way through them.  "Thank you! Thank you!" she said, rushing out.  It was so good to be out of that small place. "Maybe too, there is a way out for me and my brother," she thought. Tamarra  felt  a bit better and turned around to say something more to Alexi, but the doors had already closed. Instead, she turned back and headed to her quarters to get some cold water and pull herself together.

    He frowned as the doors shut behind her and he began his ascent to the bridge.  He began to rehearse his report in his head, trying to find the best way to avoid bringing up Sondheim, and wondering if covering for a failed repair job would really be the right thing to do.  He knew she was a skilled engineer who knew how to do her job when she wasn't doubting herself.  He enjoyed working with her and knew she did her fair share of the work, not simply relying on him to do it for her.  He decided he would have to work on motivating and encouraging her in order to build her self-confidence.  Alexi exhaled sharply as the turbolift came to a halt.  The doors slid open and he stepped out, heading towards Lieutenant Commander Unstoffe seated in the command chair.


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