(OOC: Shoreleave backsim, set before the pool party)
((First Colony Forest, 100 kilometres from Centennial City Ketar V))
The silence of the walking trail was disturbed momentarily by two figures shimmering into existence. A few seconds later, Raissa Moonsong and Wil Ukinix were standing on the trail.
Wil wore a pair of khaki coloured shorts, a V-necked black and grey micro-fibre top that was designed to breath in warmer conditions, and a pair of comfortable walking boots. On his back was a small, lightweight backpack that contained two chilled water bottles, a tricorder and a PADD.
Around them was a forest of very tall trees that were mostly green with a tinge of orange, over 30 metres high. From their roots grew out smaller trees around 5 metres each, on weird angles to try and get their share of sunlight. Ahead of them was a graded gravel path.
Ukinix: Ah, how nice is that. Beautiful scenery. Fresh air. ::Sniffing:: With a slight smell of the Livernois shipyards.
Raissa’s hands were tucked in the pockets of her favorite faded blue jeans. On her feet were a pair of hiking boots. She wore a sleeveless tank top over which she wore a flannel red plaid shirt. Her long dark hair was pulled back in a high ponytail.
In her backpack were a number of essentials which included water and an emergency medical kit.
Moonsong: One would wonder if there is anywhere on this planet you can escape that scent of the shipyards.
She looked up at the sky wrinkling her nose a little.
Ukinix: ::Smirking:: Oh well, two out of three aint bad.
Moonsong: True, it could be worse.
Ukinix: ::Looking at PADD:: So, there’s “Centennial Lake” 6 kilometres from here, or we can go to the “Chain of Streams” 8 kilometres in the other direction. It’s all graded path, so they’re both pretty easy, but a bit more uphill to get to the Chain of Streams. Whadd’ya think?
Moonsong: The Chain of Streams sounds interesting.
Ukinix: Sounds good to me. I’ll follow you.
The sound of the ground crunching underneath their feet could be heard as they made their way. Raissa relaxed as they walked, the familiar rhythm of walking soothed her. She set an easy pace. They had started early in the day so there was plenty of time for them to make the trek.
Ukinix: It’s good to see another side of Ketar. Not so, hmm – fighty and arresty.
Moonsong: Or drunky? You draw trouble to you, do you not?
Ukinix: I swear, I still do not know why that happened. It was all a blur. I didn’t cope well, being caged up. I went a bit stir crazy.
Moonsong: Because you acted before you thought it through.
Ukinix: ::Casually:: So how was your new year’s, did you guys do anything exciting?
Raissa smiled and held up her left hand. She wiggled her fingers as the ring seemed to catch the light.
Moonsong: I suppose it would depend on what you consider exciting.
Ukinix: Is that what I think it is? Jansen proposed?
Moonsong: ::laughs:: It was certainly a surprise.
Excited for Raissa (and knowing she would feel it), Wil ran up behind Raissa, and wrapped his arms around her in a bear hug, lifting her off the ground momentarily.
Ukinix: Congratulations! That’s awesome!
Wil put her gently back down on the ground, and patted her upper arm, before falling back behind Raissa a few paces. She laughed at him, feeling his excitement.
Moonsong: I can definitely say I am not looking forward to the planning stage of the next part.
Ukinix: Why is that?
Moonsong: If I were on Earth, my mother would have it all under control. ::smiles:: But I am rather on my own here.
Ukinix: Well you’re not on your own, if you guys need any help, I’m happy to assist.
Moonsong: What about you? Any leanings in that direction?
Ukinix: Pfft. My girlfriend left and didn’t even say a word. I have no idea where she is, and I haven’t heard from her. I dunno, maybe romance and relationships are destined to not be my thing.
Moonsong: I am sure there was a good reason.
Ukinix: ::Shrugging:: Some of the best officers that have been in the fleet haven’t had partners. Janeway, Picard, that um… :clicking fingers:: … what’s that guy’s name from the twenty-two hundreds, got busted back to Captain from Admiral?
Ukinix: Yeah, him. They were wed to their ships, their careers, maybe that’s my destiny.
Moonsong: Is that what you are planning? To marry your ship?
Ukinix: ::chuckling:: Now now, I could never steal the warp core from Geoffrey.
Moonsong: Perhaps not… there would be blood… or in Geoffrey’s case… more blood.
As the turned a corner, the gradient on the path ahead became steeper. To the left, the ground sloped away, and the density of the trees became thicker. All along the right hand side was a cliff that was perfectly smooth and had a glittery purple glow.
Ukinix: That’s amazing. ::running palm along rock:: There’s a slight tingling sensation when you run your palm along it. It’s like it’s alive or something.
Raissa ran her hand along the stone. She felt the warmth of the rock. She felt the faint tingling vibration when it reacted to her touch.
Moonsong: Did you know that there are some minerals that enhance telepathic communications?
Wil grabbed his tricorder and waved it next to the rock. He took a deep breath, placed a hand on his hips, and then spoke to Raissa.
Ukinix: This kind of stuff never ceases to amaze me. ::Looking a tricorder results:: It’s why I joined Starfleet.
Moonsong: Really, Wil… put that away.
Ukinix: Let’s keep moving, if this is anything to go by, then the Chain of Streams should be interesting.
Moonsong: Indeed it might. Now put that thing away.
Sensing Raissa’s frustration, Wil tapped a few more times on the tricorder to gather the last of the sensor readings, before snapping shut the tricorder, and placing it back in his backpack.
They continued the walk, despite the gradient and the sheer cliff, Raissa walked with experienced confidence. The trail did several switchbacks, the air smelling fresh, the scent of flowers riding on the warm air. There was a widened area on the path that looked over the deepening valley that was designed for resting.
Moonsong: This is a good spot for a break
Ukinix: ::slightly panting:: Good idea.
He took the backpack off, swung it around in front of him. He found what he was looking for - his PADD.
Ukinix: oO I think a tune might be good for this view. Oo
As began searching for a relaxing song from his collection, Raissa interrupted him.
Moonsong: ::setting down her pack on the ground she moved to the edge where the ground sloped steeply:: I am serious, Wil, put the PADD away.
Ukinix: Yes you are serious, I can feel it, but - c’mon Raissa, what’s wrong with a bit of music while we rest?
Moonsong: Because you are not paying attention to what is here. ::she held out her hand to him::
That was true. He had taken in the view briefly, but was so focused on finding the right kind of music that his attention was on the PADD, and not on the environment around them. He returned his PADD into his backpack, before placing it on the ground and then taking Raissa’s hand, allowing her to guide him to the sloped ground.
Ukinix: ::Slightly anxious:: We should think about getting to the Chain of Streams before dusk-
Moonsong: Hiking is not just about getting somewhere, but about being here. ::gestures:: Look at it. Really look at it… See the beauty of this place? The peace?
He took a deep breath, and let his inner self extend out, like he had learned from Evan Delano on Limbo when he had taught him a Suus Mahna kata.
There was silence between the two. The only noises that could be heard was the wind, and the occasional sound of Ketar V’s native fauna.
Ukinix: ::Taking in 180 degree view:: It’s stunning, isn’t it.
Moonsong: Close your eyes now. Breathe in the scents… The flowers, the trees, the warmth of the sun on your skin. It is life Wil… everything is connected…
As instructed, Wil slowly closed his eyes, and took in several deep breaths through his nose. Save for the slight orange glow from the atmosphere that leaked through his eyelids, everything was dark. The noises he heard before sounded louder.
Ukinix: Even us?
Moonsong: Even us...
He began to feel at one with himself. But his engineering analytical brain didn’t entirely go to sleep.
Ukinix: ::Quietly:: We are foreign to this planet, Raissa. We are not native.
It was more of a question than a statement from him.
Moonsong: We are more connected than you realize, Wil.
Wil became relaxed. The smells and sounds of their environment became more intense.
Ukinix: I miss this.
Moonsong: ::smiles:: What?
Ukinix: Being out in nature. Sometimes I miss Earth. Home. Being in the bush. The baking hot summers.
The vision of a group of kangaroos bounding between the rows of vines at his grandparent’s vineyard involuntarily entered his mind.
Ukinix: Raissa, are you messing with my head?
Moonsong: If I were, you would be unaware. You need to learn to be focused.
Wil opened his eyes, keeping his head and body still, and stared ahead. His eyes slowly darted from left to right, taking in the scene of the green and orange forest in front of them. Eventually he allowed Raissa to help him to his feet, and then slowly walked towards his backpack.
She picked up her backpack.
Ukinix: Understood. Although, ::cheekily:: a bit of Bowie when we get there won’t go astray.
Raissa sighed and rolled her eyes. There were definitely gaps in his wilderness education.
((500 meters from Chain of Streams - Fifty-seven minutes later))
Their feet crunched underneath them as they walked along the path.
Ukinix: So, any wedding plans yet?
Moonsong: ::laughs:: Not in the last couple hours. ::she glanced at him:: Why all the interest?
Ukinix: Well, because, you know, we’re all part of a family on the ‘Tas, and… well you have to celebrate these things.
Moonsong: I am sure you are correct. ::she gave him a raised eyebrow:: So…?
Ukinix: I’m just saying, a little “quiet” bucks party is the ultimate way to celebrate these things. And a hen’s night for you.
The laugh burst out of Raissa. The sound mingling with the wind.
Moonsong: There it is!
Ukinix: ::Cheekily:: Because we’re both from Earth, so is Jansen, and some Earth traditions just don’t die, Raissa. They *should* be observed.
The path ahead widened, and the noise of running water could be heard.
Moonsong: You should take that up with Jansen.
Lt. Commander Raissa Moonsong
Science Officer/Cultural XenoAnthropology
Lieutenant Wil Ukinix
Assistant Chief Engineer