"Beneath it All"
[Previous post: "Like Looking into Absolute Darkness"]

Setting: USS LANCELOT, Jefferies Tube
Stardate: 63072.1445

Starfleet emergency protocol stated that in the case of a ship wide catastrophe all members of the crew had to report, either verbally or in person, to one of the ship's primary areas; the Bridge, Sickbay and Main Engineering.  Since no one had come to Sickbay and that communications were out, Ensign Lopez decided to make her way down to the LANCELOT's Main Engineering.  The Bridge would have likely been a better option but Adriana had decided that climbing down had been a more desirable course of action, plus the odds of actually finding someone there had been better based on the lights that had been restored.

Like the parts of the ship she had seen while the aCMO had searched for survivors, the Jefferies Tubes had been in a dismal state, filled with debris or blocked by emergency bulkheads.  As a Counseling / Medical trained Officer, Ensign Lopez had been ill prepared to deal with some of the areas she had crawled into, loose wiring and shattered panels having been best left to Engineers.  Still Adriana had managed to make her way deeper into the LANCELOT than before; forcing her way through collapsed tunnels and avoiding dangerous looking wires.

The aCMO had lost count of how many decks she had traveled, and her knees had begun to show signs of wear, her pants displayed crimson stains from her own life's blood.  Fatigued, Ensign Lopez reached for a power conduit overhead to help her exit the last Jefferies Tube she had been in.  The moment pressure had been applied to the small pipe it broke free from the wall and sent Adriana crashing onto the floor.  The fall itself had been nothing major, and the burns on her hand would require nothing more than a few minutes under a dermal regenerator, but the debris that followed had been an entirely different story.

The avalanche that followed lasted only a few seconds, but it had been enough to cover the majority of the Ensign's body as it lay on the floor.  Adriana let out a scream of pain that echoed down the crawlways, and would have been sufficient to summon help had it been under normal circumstances.  Unfortunately nothing about this situation had been normal and the aCMO found herself alone and pinned beneath several heavy plates and pipes.

It took several minutes but the Ensign found her inner strength and began to dig her way out of the debris, one piece at a time.  Pinned as she had been though the task had proven very difficult and even more tiring, and in time Ensign Lopez found the weight of the remaining debris too much for her to continue.

"You can't stay here forever," a familiar voice said.

Ensign Lopez blinked several times to bring her sight back into focus in order to see the hallucination of her sister looking down at her.

"You know," Adriana grimaced through the pain, "This is borderline insanity."

"Some people talk to themselves, others pray to some unseen power in the universe that may or may not exist," Amanda said with a chuckle.  "You, you get a pep talk from the sister you haven't seen in years, I think you're ahead of most."

"So am I to gather that I can count on seeing you hovering over me like that until I get myself out?"

"Call it incentive," Amanda replied in a very serious tone.  "You are stuck in between decks on a ship where power is at minimal; don't expect anyone to find you on the internal scanners.  If you are to survive, you need to get yourself out."

Adriana took a deep breath and tackled the job of moving the last of the large pieces of debris off of her.

"Oh yeah," the aCMO winced as another pipe was rolled away.  "I'm definitively going to need *several* sessions with a Counselor if I ever get out of this alive."

Marissa Montonera-Lombardi {mmlm24@gmail.com}

Ensign Adriana Lopez
Assistant Chief Medical Officer