((Woodland Outside of New Seattle, Walking Distance, Planet Izar))
- The two of them had walked for what seemed to be a short while towards the woodland. After the events that had unfolded earlier in the day, there was a sort of time-dilation taking place in his mind. There was no shortage of adventure that had gone down, but throughout it all, there seemed to be this lingering train of thought on his mind, one that could possibly change the way he participated in Starfleet. it was one thing that was important to him on many levels, and he could think of no better person to go over this with than the one he loved. But for now, he was enjoying the walk. ::
- They had made their way up to a marked trail that was clearly meant for tourists as they journeyed up to the cliffside to scope out the views of Izar. Before they could step onto the paved pathway, he stopped for a moment and took Jal’s hand. ::
Lanius: Care to take the road less travelled?
Laxyn: ::looking around she knitted her brows.:: I only see one road. ::raising her eyes to Vik she looked at him quizzically.:: What do you mean?
Lanius: An old earth expression I suppose. Read it in a book somewhere. :: Chuckling. :: Just wondered if you’d like to stray from this path a bit... Explore. We’ve got time.
Laxyn: ::Time sounded nice. Especially after that time in the hotel where at times it seemed as if they would not have much of it left.:: Sounds good, I’ll follow you anywhere.
Lanius: I thought you might :: touching his forehead to hers for a moment. ::
- She closed her eyes for just a short moment as their foreheads touched and squeezed his hand slightly before straightening up again, starting to follow him to the side of the pathway, with no hurry.::
Laxyn: How do you know about this place?
Lanius: I read about it just before coming down for dinner. There was a flyer on the wall in our suite. It was talking about the beautiful Argon pleasures of Izar’s night sky. Figured we’d have a look.
Laxyn: ::smiling:: I cannot remember that flyer.. might have to do with the distracting company I had in there.
- They took their first steps off the pathway through some initially thick brush. He had a decent sense of direction, and could get from point A to point B without the help of a tricorder or PADD. It was something that he learned as a boy, growing up in woodland and farmed areas. Getting lost was often the best way to find yourself in the right spot. ::
- They made it past the brambles and tough sawgrass in the area, finally coming into an area of tall oaks, or what he could equate to oaks, with high tree tops and few branches. He immediately thought of some of the great halls in ancient Rome; pillars of marble and obsidian running in lines; rows upon rows of greatness. There was something magnificent about the woods. Something that made him feel at home once more, and he loved it. It was things like these that he enjoyed showing Jalana the most. ::
- Her green eyes slowly wandered over the surroundings, knowing that his hand would lead her, make sure that she would not fall. The way the nightlight played in the crowns of these majestic trees was quite magical to her. Here and there the wind bent the twigs, making room for a distant star to peek through the gap onto the couple, watching them for just a moment, before the leaves decided that they had seen enough.::
- It felt so different than the city. Even though the trees stood close it felt more spacey as if they had all the room they ever wanted to have. As she stretched out her free hand her fingertips brushed the rough bark of the tree next to her. Something jumped around in the crowns but it was too dark to see what it was. But that just added to the mystery of the forest.::
Laxyn: ::whispering:: This is beautiful.
Lanius: If there’s one place, on any planet, in any system for me... its the woodlands.
Laxyn: ::keeping her eyes gen the sky, trying to see anything up there in those trees.:: Don’t you feel just small with those giants around? They must be so old.. do you think that the settlers brought them here or have they seen the time before?
- It was a brilliant question, one that made him want to ask the trees themselves. Oh what sights they must’ve seen, how many countless sunrises and retirements they’d laid eyes on. One thing was for certain was that this forest was old. He could feel it; smell it. He knew that there was more history here than the city of New Seattle, and he suddenly wished that he’d more time to stay and explore. Then again, he would need a lifetime to learn its secrets. ::
Lanius: I have a feeling that these wonders have seen countless wanderers. Many people who’ve probably asked the same thing. These just may have been here before either of us knew what trees were.
- There was a cracking sound behind them somewhere and Jalana winced, swirling around. That movement also wrapped her in Viktor’s arm as she scanned the space behind them. Her heart rate jumped up and chills ran over her back. Followed by a wave of relief, as a small animal came out of the bush, looked at them for a short moment and ran away into the other direction. Jal raised his hand to kiss it gently. She really did not want to feel jumpy like that, it seemed that despite her attempts to ignore it the whole thing was still a bit in her bones. ::
Laxyn: :: muttering:: Just an animal..
Lanius: Seems the toils of others bent on revenge is lingering with you?
Laxyn: No... yes... I .. ::sighing she looked up to him.:: I have not ever before looked into a rifle for wanting to do my work... or in general really.
- It was times like this that he had his black ops background to thank. In terms of the lady and gentleman in the Vittian, all he could really do was sit back, enjoy his drink, and watch as they carried out their deeds. He thought it child’s play compared to the sights and horrors he’d seen. If there was ever a time he thought to change careers, it would be to that of a writer, and the first thrilling novel he’d publish would’ve been titled, “Trials, Tribulations... and Massacre of an Innocent Mind.” Of course, he had always grappled with the fact that he himself volunteered for the at-the-time experimental mental conditioning program... but he never expected the horrors that he was exposed to then... no one could really. ::
Lanius: Revenge is often one of the hardest things to reconcile with. There were a few individuals in that room that would stop at nothing to slaughter a few innocent Starfleet officer and Federation citizens. It’s their nature. The only thing they didn’t have in their corner was complete and utter revenge.
- Jalana looked at him, listened to his words and let them distract her from what was on her mind. She was not sure why it pulled her thoughts away but she did not care, everything was better than thinking about how close she’d been. ::
Laxyn: What do you think went wrong for them?
Lanius: It was Bratunk’s own heart that was his undoing. His empathy that lead to the failure of his mission.
Laxyn: ::Thinking about that she continued to walk slowly next to him:: Really?
Lanius: Their actions affect everyone. Your empathic heart threatened them greatly. Think about that for a moment. Your greatest weapon... :: chuckling :: A big heart.
Laxyn: ::grinning:: Well looks like I have a really big weapon then. Let’s hope that whoever comes in our way next does as well. :: She pushed the returning pictures away, she wanted to enjoy the time with him now, though they were really nasty little buggers nudging at the back of her head every now and then, demanding attention she did not want to give them.::
- They continued to walk for a moment longer, and he took notice of the surroundings once again. He could just feel the anxiety from Jalana, and for a moment, he thought that the woods themselves didn’t seem to help any. It could, at times, be your darkest fear, or your lightest embrace. ::
Lanius: You know... I grew up in places like this. It was often times my only friend, and sometimes my greatest enemy. There’s a balance out here... one that you can’t find anywhere else. At times, there is a quiet so vast:: raising his voice a bit, cancelling out most of the noise as the bugs seemed to take the que :: that even pin drops quiver in anticipation; and then again, :: lowering his voice to almost a whisper softly into her ear, as the bugs began their song and dance once more :: a chorus of life that could bring down empires.
- Moving forward once more ::
Lanius: All beings have struggles... but in the end a balance is struck. And I think this place is the best example, the greatest anecdote I could ever share to illustrate that. It’s trials that make us who were are. Much like this walk. Taking the path of uncertainty, running into critters you’ve not seen before, but trusting enough that things will turn out ok... that builds you up.
- She thought about that, wondering how things would be if she would not think that things turned out to be okay. She would not take risks, she would not fight for things, she would not be able to do her work or even basic living because what was it worth doing it all for when things did not have a chance to turn out well? Then she could give up right away. But this way they grew thought experiences, but why could that growing stuff not happen right away? ::
Laxyn: I think you are right. ::smiling slightly up to him:: It might just take a bit for my mind to really understand and get through this.
Lanius: One of the greatest minds I’ve ever known. Don’t ever doubt that about yourself... not for a second.
- He knew that their walk was coming to an end, as he saw a break in the treeline up ahead. The twilight hours were beginning to dwindle now, and he knew that the sun would be rising soon. he could smell salty water now, and knew that the coast would share its vastness with them soon enough. A few more paces... ::
Lanius: There! :: He made a break for the gap in the trees, where the nicely paved trail made its re-entry to the woodline. The cliffs were vast, sprawling even. They seemed to take up most of the coastline. And to think he almost left the planet without even seeing them. ::
Laxyn: ::gasping slightly, as she spots the scenery in front of her.:: Oh my. I had no idea that there are places like this here.
- He stood there with her in his arms, looking out onto the horizon. It was still plainly dark out there, but the stars were amazing, each one brighter than the next. The water crashed gently against the cliff side, spraying a salty smell and light breeze up their way. Her hair was waving across his shoulder as she lay her head against him. He could start to see it happening. The purple and gold brilliance was beginning, even before the sun made an appearance. ::
- Strands of white pearls at the horizon rolled on the surface of the uneven mirror before slowly sinking through tiny cracks beneath the surface, as if finding new places to hide for divers seeking treasures. It was almost as if they wanted to find their way down to the ground, before the guest of honour would arrive, though knowing that they would not be fast enough and had to greet her if they were in the mood or not.::
- Despite their race, the peace covering the scene like a blanket was all too apparent. Just for a few heartbeats time stood still, nothing would be able to disturb this quietude. Gentle breaths of the couple mingling with the gentle salty breeze floating over them from the waterside, twirling around their bodies, before taking refuge in the forest behind. ::
- Then a first subtle change, the celestial canopy shifted from dark purple to violet shades, interrupted, though not violently, a bright orange aura peeked over the edge of the world as they saw it this very moment. Gradients of pantones arranged in circular manner slowly showed more of themselves. As the first beams broke free from their restrains finding their way over the rippling surface of the ocean, gradually turning the dark blue into a sea of light.::
Lanius: And with all things... in darkness... comes the greatest light you’ve ever seen... :: holding her tight now ::
- Right on time, the sun began to poke up over the horizon, still a vibrant hue of bronze, not quite bright yet. It was unlike anything he’d seen before. Here in the hall of the wilderness, with his greatest love, he was seeing the dawn of something new. If there was any time more perfect than now... he’d not seen it. He began to slowly reach into his pocket now, reaching for something he’d held onto for the longest time. It was something near and dear to him, that he’d had since he was young. He could feel the smooth metal patterns on the outside, and even the engraving on the inside. He held it tight for a moment, thinking once more about what he was about to say. ::
Lanius: :: Standing beside her, he turned to meet her eyes, looking down slightly. His hand caressed her cheek gently, as he eyed her, looking for signs of intuition. :: What would you say if I said to you that sometimes when you feel what you feel, and you know what you know, and you know that something is just... right... would you agree?
- She watched the stunning display of natural beauty in front of them before she felt his hand taking hers and she turned her head to look up at him, at his lips as she listened to his words. For a moment she had a hard time following them, but her mind started to sift through them, sorting them and repeat them a bit slower. Just then she nodded slowly.::
Laxyn: Of course, why do you ask?
Lanius: Well we’ve learned that life is vast and unpredictable... much like this coastline. It’s sprawling with possibility, and can be lifeless, or full of adventure. The skies here are a gleaming metaphor for the web we spin. Vibrant and brilliant, ever-changing :: now looking out to the sky once more as the sun crept a bit higher :: You see, the thing is, we’ll see this today, and then by tonight, we’ll be gone. Just like that. Whisked away to some other place.
- Her gaze followed his, the bright sphere of warmth and life had started to engulf the world with its might that would last until the moon would demand its time. His words were kind of sad, how fast things went by, how they changed from one to the other moment. The Trill turned her head again to look up to him, her mind in wonder what he was trying to say. ::
Lanius: Things change in an instant. And we can lose track of some of the smallest things. Some of the most beautiful things. I don’t want that. I want this sunrise... these woods... I want you and I. For as long as we can.
- He had in that time, pulled his hand from his pocket, placing a small ring in the palm of her hand. It was his mother’s claddagh ring; her wedding ring. He watched her carefully as she opened her hand, now realizing that there was something in it. He was excited, but serious in his next set of words. ::
Lanius: Jalana, this is something my mother wore. She wore it because it reminded her of some of the best times in her life. She received it from her mother before her, and never left it alone. It was her sunrise... And I want it to be yours... ours... If you could be my sunrise for the rest of my time here... That would make me the most humble person in quite possibly the universe...
- The moment his arm moved it pulled her attention away from his face and she looked down upon his hand that slowly opened. In the beginning light of the day she saw a short glimpse of the reflection of light on metal. Though the next moment she realized that he held a ring on his palm and her heart skipped a beat. He wouldn't... would he? She did not move, not an inch and just when her lungs screamed for air she realized that she had held her breath and gasped.::
- Her green eyes raised in wonder, wide open and looked at him. His words singing the most beautiful melodies in her ears with a direct connection to her heart. This was unlike anything she had ever expected to find here on Izar, here after this day, that was washed away even if only for a moment by his speech.::
Laxyn: ::Fighting with her ability to speak she looked at him for a long time, finally pushing the sound of a word over her lips.:: I... ::She gulped and then laughed slightly, with no idea where it came from. Which also went for what she heard herself say.:: With our time here... I hope you do not mean until the shore leave ends.
Lanius. :: For just a second, his stomach sank even lower than where it normally resided. He was a bit confused at her response, but suddenly realized she was at a loss. :: No! No not at all :: laughing a bit ::
Laxyn: ::Raising her hand to her lips, it finally sank in what it meant, what happened here. She had known but now her whole body finally caught up and her voice was merely a whisper, her head nodding in support just to make clear what she was saying.:: Yes... I - I would love that.
Lanius: You would?! :: he could do nothing more than to place both hands on her head and pull her in for a kiss, closely thereafter hugging her, picking her up off the ground.Holding her there for a moment, not hurting of course :: Then this is ours, from here on. Our sunrise...
- As he picked her up she wrapped her arms around his shoulders, her head dropping forward to be next to his, her laughter bubbling through her lips. She couldn't believe that this really happened, but now she could not imagine anything better filling the moment. She still remembered the first time she had seen him, the way he had peaked her interest in a field of music, without him even knowing it. It was breathtaking how far they had come, how deep she had felt for him in a short time. And now they had done this new step, a huge step.::
- He had taken one of the biggest steps in his life with Jalana, and she was apparently ready to take that step with him. He thought back for a moment to what he had told her earlier. People had a way of just knowing when something good came along, and he knew that that something, or rather someone, was Jalana, since the day his eyes met the beautiful greens of hers. This was absolutely right in every way, and with a few close calls in recent times, he knew this was something he had to act on before it was too late. Quatal brought that into perspective for him. ::
Laxyn: ::Still without ground beneath her feet she held his shoulders and looked down to him, for the first time she seemed to be a bit taller than him, that it was only because he held her up didn’t matter.:: Will it change anything?
Lanius: Well if you mean in terms of the Apollo... I don’t think it’ll change a thing... It shouldn’t.
Laxyn: I do hope that Jaxx won't object, I'm not sure about any regulations...
Lanius: That doesn’t matter to me. All that matters right here, right now, and from this point forward, is you and I. :: he slid the ring over her left ring finger, and without really having a way to know ahead of time, he was glad it seemed to fit fine. The silver ring was brilliant before, but he thought it even more brilliant now on her finger.::
- Watching him slip the ring on her finger, the light sparkling on it as she moved her hand slightly, was a moment she would never forget. It was perfect, anything she could have ever wished for. The words he had spoken before came back into her mind, this ring had history. Quite a bit actually. It had been passed on through generations and now it made her part of the story. ::
Laxyn: ::choking at the words:: It is beautiful.
Lanius: It’s yours now, :: resting his forehead once again to hers :: And I want it to bring you the same luck it brought my mother. I want it to be perfect for you.
Laxyn: ::Laughing slightly, she placed her hand on his cheek, gazing up into his beautiful eyes:: Yes. ::She whispered:: Everything is perfect.
- Perfect was something that simply didn’t do the situation any justice. For once, in the weird and wonderful imbalance of the world, the two of them seemed to blossom into their own field of existence, and in it, their two worlds combined to make one. And with the sun in its place, the Agron auroras slowly subsiding leaving a wake of pearl like particles to float along with the wind, it seemed almost a snow had fallen on the two of them. With the trees in their places, they’d once again seen a couple of wanderers making their way through their dense underbrush, brambles and endless limbs. They had walked through to find their own coastline, their own sunrise... Their own balance. ::