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Lt. Katsim Peri - "Wondrous Beauty"

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OOC: Enjoying watching this trip between Katsim and Greaves unfold. This sim has some wonderful descriptive writing by @Alora DeVeau.


((Wonderland Trail, 3300 feet - > Reflection Lakes, 4850 feet, Mount Rainier, Earth))   



The tides had turned.  During their visit to Bajor, Peri had invited Wes on a trip to her home, or what had once been her home during the last year and a half of her life before she entered the Academy.  It was there significant changes had been wrought, but also where significant memories had been formed.  Ayna had been a part of them, but she was gone.  What would she have thought of the man who had come into her best friend’s life, who somehow put up with the quiet contemplation of the reserved Science Officer?  Peri knew Ayna would have immediately liked him and just as quickly induct him into her inner cluster were only the very few were allowed entry.  Peri was there.  Her family.  Peri had been family. But sisters of the heart were torn apart when life shifted and veered in much different direction.  The Prophets had taken her home, and Peri was left without her closest friend.  


But while the Prophets dictate the course of time and watched over the lives of their children, they were not cruel.  Perhaps there had been something to learn, a path travelled, knowing that Ayna was not required for her to succeed.  Many blessings had bee bestowed upon her in the aftermath of the accident, not the least of which were other friends who had been set into her life, the most significant among them a human marine.  Intelligent, capable, and funny, Peri had found herself seeking his company more and more with the passing days - and had even showed her a place that, while not sacred in the context of her devotion to her gods, was one she had only shared with a single other person before, until she had taken Wes there and brought her into a place she had always considered a sanctuary.  


And now Wes had returned the favour, sharing the delight of his youth and the draw of Earth’s natural beauty, he had whisked her away to a land that, while very different from where she had taken him, was as almost as pronounced in its loveliness as Bajor.  The snow capped peak stood in a silent backdrop to the green carpet strung with rainbow lace.  But that was only the beginning of what was in store.  Leading her onward, through the wildflowers to where the trees stretched upward and encased them in their domain, they were still not done, for like she had on Bajor, there was a destination, a ‘prize’ at the end of their trek, though he did not challenge her to a race in order to reach it.  Perhaps in some ways he was kinder than she.


The slower pace afforded conversations, and the subject of concern and uncertainty was the placement of Peri in the world of Starfleet.  Wes knew here he was going, his position already secured by the departure and subsequent recommendation of the former First Officer of the Oumuamua.  But of her own fate, but the Prophets and Commodore V’Airu had been strangely silent.  As always, Wes did not allow Peri to wallow in those doubts and brought with him his usual strength and encouragement that she had so come to appreciate.  She eased away from one unknown to another, shifting from what might be to the what might have been.  


Katsim: What would you have done had you not joined Starfleet? 



Together they took to the trail once more, Echo, after landing upon Wes’ pack, scrambled back to her former perch atop Wes’ head now that he had elected to move on rather than remain in one place.  She chirped, perhaps to echo the question, or maybe simply out of sheer joy that she got the best seat of all. 



Greaves: That, I have no idea. Starfleet was always in the cards for me. Ever since I was a kid. I just wanted to help protect people. If Starfleet hadn’t been an option… I don’t know where I would have gone… This is my calling.  


She understood that.  Peri had never given quite so much thought to her life beyond Starfleet.  She’d been born into it, lived it, and now pursued it as a further course for her life.  How she would have elected to enter into the service had changed, but she had never doubted that she would remain with Starfleet. 



Katsim: We have that in common. 


The Prophets had led her there, to the Thor, to mingle in the lives of those who served upon her.  Some things had changed, some had remained consistent, and whatever they decided, wherever they moved her next, she had to trust in them, though she prayed for their guidance and asked for their favour in answering the desires of her heart.  



But for the moment, she remained in uncertainty, but she couldn’t let it cloud her time.  Already she had spent too much on it, and realised that she focused on the wrong thing.  So she shifted course and centred on the moment, particularly on him.  Their conversation drifted from one thing to another as they traversed along the trail, which angled upwards, increasing in difficulty until words spoken died upon their lives to make way for the panting breath that came as a result of the exertion, but even more so, for the contemplative ponderings that the scenery spurred on both their parts.  And as they moved forward physically, something seemed to happen spiritual.  Wes’ steps seemed lighter, perhaps Peri’s too less heavy and weary.  The briskness of the air and the beauty around them easily buoyed their spirits, but perhaps there was more to it than merely that. 



Hours trickled by, and the trail continued to wind through the kingdom of trees, thin, bristled giants, their pointed capts spearheading into the sky, the deep fragrance of pine musk filling their lungs.As they move forward something shifted, and that scent was accompanied by something else.  It spurred the little dragon to pop up her head and even Peri had a sense of something coming, something wonderful.  Wes’ exuberance, though silent was still palpable, and that alone spurred her feet onward with a sense of haste. 

The trial curved, but he came to a halt turn his wide smile toward Peri, a smile that had become so familiar and comforting in the almost two years she had known him.  That expression alighted on his face, drawing away the years and replacing it with a youthfulness borne of delight  and remembrance.  



Greaves: Okay, we’re almost here. Your surprise awaits around the corner.  



Katsim: What is it?



And just as she had done to him, Wes refused to give an inkling as to what he wished to show her. Nodding, she glanced around her, knowing that he was sharing something of himself just as she had with him, a piece of his past, and as he took joy in it, so she took joy in his.  



Greaves: It’s one of my favorite places on Earth. You’ll see. 



Katsim: All right.  Then let’s go. 



His grin did not falter as he reached out to take her hand with an eagerness that belied his age, and she in turn responded with the same enthusiasm, her pace matching his own as he drew her along.  Hand in hand, they took the bend, her fingers curled and tightening as if to hold on not only to him, but to that moment in time where they were linked in jubilant harmony. 

Feeding off the emotional waves cast between them, the dragon took advantage of that link, darting off of Wes and over to Peri’s shoulder, her chirps and clicks a singsong cadence to their steps, only to turn around and dance over the bridge formed between the two and repeat the harmonic phrase.  Back and forth until finally she came to rest upon the weaving of their hands, it was at that moment that the trail widened and the treeps parted ways to reveal a large clearing around which the sentinels of the pines stood, an army that brushed against the heel of the mountain.  The grey and white, cold and stark against the darker tones of emerald and hunter green contrast sharply, yet to have one without the other would have been blasphemy.  Blue spread its warmer haze over the crest of the mountain, then stretched wide from edge to edge to edge to edge, an infinite coverlet over it all.  At the foot of the trees, the foundation of the little world to which Wes had brought her, a lake shimmered, so crystalline and clear that it was more a mirror than pool, reflecting all the beauty around and captured in its surface.  


Greaves: (Quietly) Surprise.  



Katsim: Oh!



Peri breathed, the only verbal response she could offer.  Different from Bajor, yet undeniably just as beautiful, she stared at the scene, unwilling, perhaps even unable to do anything for a moment when presented with a piece of heaven an splendor.  Her hand gripped Wes’ a little more tightly, her dark eyes slowly slipped across the scene as if she were afraid she might miss something of the display and lose the chance to take it in.  



Greaves: Response



Katsim: It’s…it’s *lovely*.  



The water, abundant and pure, rippled lightly as a breeze took to the wing and dipped its fingers over the surface, turning the reflection to a misty blurr, as if a magical mist had come over it.   Echo glided off of her pedestal and dropped to the edge, dipping her head into it for a long, cold drink. 



Katsim: And…I have to admit to a wrong. 



Greaves: Response



Her eyes shifted again, that time, away from what was presented and to the presenter, her lips curling up into a broad smile of her own. 



Katsim: I thought no place could be as beautiful as Bajor, but you have proven otherwise. 



Greaves: Response





Lt. Katsim Peri
Chief Science Officer
USS 'Oumuamua
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