Disclaimer: I don't own Star Trek: TNG or its characters…

Author's Note: I'm not sure why I felt compelled to write this. I just did. I've always liked the characters you don't see much. I wonder what happens to them, what they were doing during various times; especially after the episode Lower Decks, in which the character of Sam Lavelle is introduced.

If you are unfamiliar with the episode, here is a brief synopsis, from wikipedia:

"Four young Enterprise junior officers find their friendship strained during personnel evaluations. Two of the friends, Sam Lavelle and a young Bajoran woman named Sito Jaxa discover that they are being considered for the same job. Joined by their pal Ben, a civilian who works as a waiter, they learn that promotions seem to be already decided on for their other two friends, Nurse Ogawa and the young Vulcan engineer Taurik.

Meanwhile, we learn that Commander Riker and Worf differ on whether Lavelle or Sito should be promoted. At one point, Captain Picard also chastizes Sito for her role in a Starfleet Academy scandal (depicted in the earlier episode "The First Duty").

Considerations of promotions are interrupted, however, by a baffling secret mission that all but Lavelle are involved in. Left out of the loop, Lavelle becomes convinced that this is a sign that he will not be promoted. Coached by Worf, Sito stands up to Picard and is assigned the dangerous secret mission where she will pose as a Bajoran captive taken by the Cardassians

Tragically, Sito is lost on the mission, and all that is recovered of her escape pod is scattered debris. Lavelle receives the promotion, but is downhearted. However, his friends come to his side to raise his spirits."

My fic picks up sometime after all of the events of Lower Decks, during the Dominion war.And now that I've spent so much time on hype, here's the extremely short first bit.

Sam's Bad Day

Lt. Commander Sam Lavelle inhaled sharply, then nodded to the two men standing on the opposite side of the door. The Manitoba had been boarded by Jem'hadar. He only had needed to hear the Captain give the word and he was off to the armory, collecting what few security personnel could be spared and proceeding to Engineering with determination. If the enemy soldiers took control of Engineering, the ship's fate would be sealed, if it wasn't already.

He smashed the control panel next to the doors with his fist, unintentionally shattering it. The doors responded despite his overaggressive assault upon the mechanism. Sam charged through the opening into the smoke and chaos filled engine room, the two security officers following close behind him. The three immediately opened fire upon identifying their targets, who were currently subduing the engineering crew. In all fairness the unarmed engineers were giving the Jem'Hadar a hard time, although not quite meriting a fullblown battle.

Lavelle and the security officers' opening shots promptly changed that. They were only able to get off the first round of phaser fire before the Jem'Hadar soldiers rushed them, giving up energy weapons for their axe-like swords. They must have found it more thrilling to hack an enemy to bits than simply killing him with an energy blast. However, Sam didn't have time to ponder this or anything else in the few microseconds it took the fierce enemy warriors to fall upon him and his men.

Maneuvering the phaser-rifle, Sam managed to block the blade of the warrior who had targeted him as he brought the sword down to cut Sam in two. The save seemed to surprise the Jem'Hadar. He had expected to end the human's life rather quickly, like he had done to so many others. He had not expected the man to react like a warrior, to possess quick reflexes in a moment of panic. Sam used the enemy's momentary consternation to strike back, knowing that he would have few chances to gain the advantage and survive this ordeal.

His hands otherwise engaged with the rifle, he chose to knee the Jem'hadar in the stomach, hoping it was a vulnerable spot. It was enough to make the intimidating warrior cringe, but failed to distract him from his target. Tired of being locked in battle with the human, the Jem'Hadar wrenched the rifle out of Lavelle's hands, sending his blade flying to the side with it. He then proceeded to grab Sam before he could react, raising him up by his uniform and hurling him forcefully into a nearby workstation.

The rather rapid trip to laying flat on the floor knocked the wind out of him, as if the smashing into a work station wasn't bad enough. He lay on his back and tried to catch his breath. Deciding that there wasn't really time for that, Sam rolled onto his stomach in order to continue the seemingly futile struggle. Through the ever thickening smoke and flickering lights, his eyes still somehow managed to pick out a phaser rifle lying about ten paces away. Whether it was his or someone else's lost weapon, he wasn't sure, but it seemed like his best bet for survival. He pushed himself up and got onto his feet and made for the fallen weapon as fast, although not quite as stealthy, as possible.

Unfortunately for Sam Lavelle, this just wasn't his day. A sharp pain struck his ankle and he collapsed to the ground, the rifle still a few paces out of reach. Turning around he saw the dying Jem'Hadar collapse, the bastard who had used his last moments alive to sever Sam's Achilles tendon with a shard of broken who-the-hell-knew-what-for-the-ship-was-in-pieces. Knowing it was never good to dwell on a limited portion of your surroundings during a battle, he turned his attention elsewhere just in time to see a particularly psychotic-looking Jem'Hadar warrior rushing at him, axe-sword raised overhead threateningly.

Just as Sam Lavelle was thinking his last thoughts about being alive, the crazed enemy froze mid-dash. A surprised look crossed the enemy's gruesome face and Sam followed his gaze down to where a jagged shiny object seemed out of place protruding from the warrior's chest. The Jem'Hadar fell forward, landing a few feet away from Sam, illustrating to him just how close he had come to being hacked to bits. Behind the fresh corpse, twisted piece of metal still in hand, the Chief Engineer stood frozen with astonishment over what she had just done.

She appeared to snap out of it rather quickly though, for she tossed the piece of metal-turned-weapon aside and moved to offer a hand to the injured Lieutenant Commander. They had just locked hands when an explosion shuttered the ship for the thirty-seventh and last time that day. Instead of her helping him up as she intended, she was thrown to the floor on top of him and the world went dark for both unfortunate crewmembers.