Touch It! (First Touching)

Xanadu Weyr - Hatching Sands
A domed ceiling stretches high above the sands, enough open air for a queen and her mate to be comfortable with their clutch. Thin slits of windows around the edges let in a little light, though more of the illumination comes from electric lamps diffused off the dome. The sands are ringed by the dark blue seats of the observation level, the first third exposed to the sweltering heat of the sands but those in the back glassed off for the comfort of those watching.
The circle itself is filled with a mix of red and white sands, deep enough to cover the largest of dragon eggs with ease. To one side, a small door is visible, hidden away behind a platform meant to provide a place for the clutch parent's lifemates to stand during the on goings.

YA'LL MY BRAIN JUST WENT BYE BYE BYE BYE BYE (yes, to NSync, suffer with me). SO THERE RISALI IS, looking like sleep has eluded her for some time (because it has), leading a small gaggle of candidates towards the sands where an overly eager queen awaits to greet them. Risali stops at the edges, taking a moment to orient herself as grey eyes take in faces and lips move in what's probably a head count. DON'T WORRY. SHE JUST WANTS TO MAKE SURE YOU ALL COME BACK OUT ALIVE. "Okay," she begins, tone soft. "A couple of rules: no rough housing around the eggs. Be careful around them; for as happy as Leirith is, she absolutely will eat you. If she doesn't, Garouth will. Bow to the dam and the sire before you touch the eggs, and we will let you know when it's time for you to leave." A beat, and then she's stepping back to let those who've come spill in. And Leirith? EAGER. But for once, she's keeping that bombastic voice to herself. She's also dipping forward on her forepaws in a bow, blue eyes whirling as she tilts her head to watch the gathered candidates filter onto the sands.

Nikolan doesn't have his camera. The world must have ended when no one was looking, and we just haven't been told about it. Regardless, the cameraless Candidate steps ginterly onto the Sands - perhaps testing them for warmth, perhaps leary of coming within Leirith and Risali's reach, hands tucked firmly in his pockets and attention divided between minding the goldrider's words and staring at the eggs arrayed before them. Sneaking a glance to make certain that Risali isn't trying to lead them into punishment with her admonishment to bow, he does just that, offering the timeless courtesy to sire and dam.

There's a rumbling of affectionate sound from Leirith for Nikolan, but nothing more - no thudding bass or drums, no over exuberant words or giddy voice to infiltrate his thoughts and threaten headaches. Risali's smile is muted, a quieter version in contrast with her usual spirit, a dip of her head as if she's trying to encourage the candidate without words to go forward. "Go on, then." And Nikolan bows. Leirith shifts, tail moving back and forth as the massive queen sinks on her front paws and lowers her head towards the ground, a moment of mutual respect offered before she comes out of that dip and turns whirling blue eyes towards the eggs. "They're waiting for you. Go ahead."

"Okay," Niko murmurs, at a loss between the formality of the gold and the strict informality of the rider. He awkwardly bobs his head in acknowledgement of Risali's command and makes his way towards the eggs, eyes darting between the six of them as if unable to choose. Finally, he simply steps up to the closest one - Seldom What It Seems Egg - and reaches out one tentative hand, pressing just the pads of his fingertips against the shell.

< Nikolan touches egg 1 - Seldom What It Seems Egg >

Whatever Nikolan was expecting from touching the egg - getting eaten, perhaps - it wasn't what actually happened. Storm-blue eyes grow wide and he snatches his hand back, staring at the shell in disbelief. "Wha - " Choking away the startled exclamation before he can disturb Leirith, he casts a wary glance over his shoulder to see how the other Candidates are reacting. Swallowing, he turns back towards the egg and reaches forth again, fingertips brushing over the curved shell, leery and uncertain.

Drawing in a deep breath, Nikolan closes his eyes against the duality of vision assalting his senses, until he focuses solely upon the melancholy scene within his own head. Against the shell, fingers twitch, while his unused hand gropes for a device which even now rests securely in his press, hidden against his own temptation. "Life is a life does," he murmurs, voice breaking slightly. "Everyone grows old - but growing old doesn't mean growing up. There's room for both."

Stiffling an exclamation by the simple expedent of biting his lips, Nikolan physically wrenches himself free of the egg - mind and fingertips. Breath heaving, he opens stormy eyes to gaze in mute wonder - or horror - at the ovoid before him, lips pressed in a tight line. His fingers spasm, opening and closing as though working out a spate of numbness. "Poor thing," he murmurs to the egg, tone an odd mixture of compassion and anxiety, before his gaze darts left and right, as though nervous he might be overheard and thought mad. Ahem. Wiping his hand against his pants, he edges away.

< Nikolan leaves egg 1 - Seldom What It Seems Egg >

After a moment, Nikolan, who is way too used to having other people to pose off of, approaches the Egg of Brown Egg. Let's see if he knows the magic rhyme, or if it'll squash him instead.

< Nikolan touches egg 2 - Egg of Brown Egg >

Sure, let's go from -that- to -this-. Surely, Niko will sleep like a baby, tonight. One gripped by endless night-terrors. Biting back a gasp - barely - the Candidate manages to keep from snatching his hand away from the egg by balling his fingers into a fist, leaving whitened knuckles resting against the shell. "Get. Out. Of. There." Whatever havoc the mind within this egg seeks to wreak in his head, it seems to have hit a sore-spot - blue-grey eyes are black with pupil, with that same wild look from the first moment Leirith touched his thoughts.

"There's always a choice," Nikolan grates, closing his eyes and resting his forehead against the curve of the egg as he fights not to give into the urge to run away. "It may not be the best of choices, but there's always one to make, even so simple as the difference between 'yes' and 'no'. Fate is for fools who don't want to take responsibility for their own actions." Shoulders twitching, he bites off his last words, instead drawing in a shaky breath.

Nikolan shoves away from the egg, a burst of movement that is just controlled enough not to send the egg rocking against the force of his physical denial. "I am good enough for myself," he grunts, turning his back on the nay-saying egg and stalking away. Despite the bravado in his words, the lanky young man's shoulders are rounded, pulled forward against a blow, and his steps are quick, almost scurrying, as he leaves the Egg of Brown Egg and makes his way towards An Egg Only a Mother Could Love Egg.

< Nikolan leaves egg 2 - Egg of Brown Egg >
< Nikolan touches egg 3 - An Egg Only A Mother Could Love Egg >

Leirith sent a call down the line for candidates to come touch her PRODIGAL BADASS BABIES. It was heeded by some who're on the sands now, laying hands on eggs. Regardless, the Weyrlingmaster is bringing along a few more, leaving them with Risali who smiles when they approach in the most reassuring way she can manage while looking like a strong wind just might blow her over. "The rules are as follows: be careful around the eggs. Leirith is sweet until she's not, though Garouth will probably warn you off first. Bow when you go in - it's polite - and then feel free to touch the eggs. We will let you know once we've worn out our welcomes and it's time to go." And aside she steps. Proceed at your own risk!

"Man, for eggs with such an upbeat mother, y'all are a bunch of downers," Niko mutters under his breath, resting the curve of his palm along the grey and white shell almost gently. "It happens to everyone." Maybe that's what he tells himself to get past it - but it doesn't make it less true, not in his eyes. Sighing - resigned, tired, drained - he rests his forehead against the egg, closes his eyes, and lets it in.

Zasheir was one of those rounded up, having just entered the barracks from duties at the stables. After a quick clean-up, he follows along to the entrance to the sands to listen to Risali words. Nodding his head, he gives the woman a smile, "Thank you, Risali." See, he remembered!!! He CAN be taught! Stepping out onto the sands, he'll bid his time to make a bow to the gold, "Thank you, Leirith." And then, after a moment to see where people are and aren't, wanders over to the first free egg, Seldom What It Seems.

< Zasheir touches egg 1 - Seldom What It Seems Egg >

Nikolan gasps - a sound of wonder, contentment - and gasps again, in horror, fingers of his free hand clenching tight at his side, even as the other curves protectively against the shell of the egg. "Why don't I have my camera?" An odd statement, perhaps - but one that is, perhaps, at the heart of Niko's soul, and the soul of Niko's heart.

"I can't." Whispered words shiver through Nikolan, and he draws himself away from the egg, rubbing his hand over his eyes before more than a glimmer of moisture can be espied by anyone watching. Without a glance in any direction - not at the eggs, the Candidates, or the riders and dragons - he draws the tatters of his dignity about him and strides straight-backed from the Sands.

< Nikolan leaves egg 3 - An Egg Only A Mother Could Love Egg >

A hand to brush against that first egg, a touch light as can be. Uncertain is Zasheir before finally, after a glance to the side to see what others might be doing, finally placing his full hand on it's surface. There's a note of surprise, of dawning pleasure to be found as the first shy touch of the dragonet within is felt. "Woa…" Closer does he lean, as if such might help him 'see' what is shown to him. And yet too soon, that touch fades, and he's left there standing on the sands again, "Don't leave…" Was he talking ot the egg before him, or Nikolan who stides for the door, is hard to say.

Leaning closer, ever closer to the egg is Zasheir, till nearly his forehead touches the surface when his mind is once more taken by the vision from within. "But the seasons always change, Spring to follow winter. Always." One cannot give up on life, just because they're hit with the cold of winter. It will soon fade into Spring again, followed by the heat of summer. Even when the mind touch fades and he feels himself back on the sands, he doesn't pull away just yet.

Taking a step back as he's thrown from the mind touch, Zasheir blinks several times to stare at the egg before him, his hand dropping away. He doesn't say much at all, just shakes his head, green eyes narrowed for a moment in thought. Seems that egg really got to him. Making him think. His hand lifts, as if he is tempted to touch it again, to prove to what's inside that he is not a threat, not going to be chased away so easily, but another candidate approaches, and he turns away to seek another egg out. This time, it's the Steadfast Satellite that he almost bumps into, mind still thinking heavily upon the first.

< Zasheir leaves egg 1 - Seldom What It Seems Egg >
< Zasheir touches egg 6 - Steadfast Satellite Egg >

This one is almost a relief, but Zasheir isn't so quick to relax. Not this time. Still, there's a breath to be taken and released as his hand moves over the surface, palm pressed against it as his mind cotinues to linger within the touch of the dragonet within.

Maybe the memory of Nikolan's comment briefly overheard is coming back to Zasheir then. One egg being so strange is one thing, but now a second trying to give his heart a good test to make sure it's going to keep ticking? Surely that is not just a coincidence! Pushed out, he stands there, still touching the egg, trying to get his mind straight, but likely not fast enough to completely pull away.

Talk about being confused. This is far more than Zasheir could have ever imagined. The twist and turns of this egg's touch is enough to leave him slowly pulling away to stare at it much the way he did the first in some ways. With a lot of thoughtfulness. Deep. Really deep. And a little creepy, if he was honest with himself. Taking another deep breath that is released slowly, he steps back, rubbing the palm of his hand on his pants as slowly, green eyes swing away from it to look around him. Seems the egg right next door is free, so he'll take that side step towards it, though this time, he is not so quick to just stick his hand on the surface of the egg, but takes a moment to look it over, as if something about the coloring of the outside, will give him a hint of what to expect from the inside. Yeah.. right. After another deep breath, he finally lifts his hand to touch the Hallowed Legends egg.

< Zasheir leaves egg 6 - Steadfast Satellite Egg >
< Zasheir touches egg 5 - Hallowed Legends Egg >

Braced for… well, Zasheir isn't quite sure what he's trying to prepare himself for, but this dance, is certainly not on the list. Guided, pushed into place, there's several stumbled steps to be taken until finally he gives himself over to the other one. Questions asked, answers to be given, and yet before the poor beastcrafter can put words to ideas and thoughts, he finds himself bakc on the sands once more, eyes open to blink at the strange egg. "Well, if you wanna know the answers, guess you'll have to wait.. or talk again." See, he's not going anywhere's. Yet.

Just when Zasheir was ready to answer one set of questions, the egg brings up others. Family, that would be the biggest image that would come to his mind as to the most important people in his life. And yet here he is, alone, at Xanadu Weyr, here even before being searched. Why? Because he got an itch to travel away from his uncle's ranch, away from all that was familiar back at Black Rock Hold. Why did that itch come to be? Well, perhaps there was a special someone that became out of his reach. Better to leave than to deal with watching life move on for them, from the sidelines. But, all too quickly, he's once more on the sands, thoughts all awhirl.

This time when Zasheir pulls away from the egg, his hand moves from it's surface to his shoulder, to brush there against the shirt he wears. Not a cloak. Right? He even glances to the side, making sure it's not there. Oookay. Yep, these eggs are officially CREEPY! Stepping back,t he beastcrafter looks to the eggs, but then shakes his head to himself. Three are enough for him. HEck, he might should have stopped with the first egg! His head is quite full of oddness that will need some time sorting through.

< Zasheir leaves egg 5 - Hallowed Legends Egg >

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