Touch It Good! (Second 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.

« IT IS TIME! COME! AHAHAHAHA. » Yep. Again. The call to arms is being snipped throughout the weyr, and that means Xanadu's Weyrlingmaster is getting candidates assembled to start the short march from barracks to sands. Risali waits for them at the entrance, blocking the way with her hair tied up in a messy bun out of her face and a quiet smile for those who approach. She waits a moment to speak until the last few gather, and then she offers up: "I know some of you have already been lucky enough to touch the eggs, but for those of you who haven't, please pay attention. Do not rough-house around the eggs, and be careful. Garouth and Leirith are big, and you don't want to make them angry. Remember to bow when you go in, because it's polite, and when we tell you that it's time to go, it's time to go." Another smile, and the tiny Junior Weyrwoman steps aside, letting candidates in. Leirith is an odd queen, lowering herself on her forepaws to bow back to everybody with maw agape and eyes whirling blue, tail twitching in excitement. "Go on, don't be afraid. Nice and easy, everybody."

Up until now Kelani has not managed a touching, be it on accident or design. A young woman with a single minded focus to each task she has tackled. Studying about how to do certain chores so she is prepared for them, her spare time in the infimary and the like. A woman that clearly likes to plan for everything that comes her way. This…is something harder to plan for. So now she stands quiet amoungst the candidates, gaze to the sands before her, not quite looking at eggs or dragon as the weyrwoman gives her speech. Then they are released upon the sands and at first she does lag behind the others before she looks up into the stands. At noone in particular it seems before taking a breath, squaring her shoulders and stepping forward to make a neat bow before stepping further onto the sands. Her fingers dance at her sides, uncertainty or nervousness displayed. Of the dragon guarding her eggs? Not so much as the eggs themselves. Finally though she steps up and reaches out a hand to one egg. Another deep breath bracing herself before she sets fingers lightly upon the surface.

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

It seems whatever concerns or fears she had do not come to pass at least not yet. After a moment of touching the egg Kelani seems to relax and lets the palm of her hand also touch the egg. There is a relief upon her features as she tentatively brings her other hand upon the shell. She closes her eyes to the imagery set before, the immersive sensation yet without the invasion.

Kelani starts to lift her hand from the egg when the sensations return once more and she remains, entranced by the sensations it offers. Even the questions it asks of her. "For then we wait for spring and all will be renewed again.." She says at first in a normal voice that disolves in a whisper. "The duty is the dream…to set the goal and become it." She continues and then there are those questions she has no answer for. When duty is the goal, is there time for ought else? "That will come later…there is no time for that now." Of love and dancing, but even as she says it there is a pained look on her face.

There is a gasp as she is dragged deeper into the mind of the creature. Her fingers tense over the shell, but she can't quite pull away. The darkness enroaching upon her has her freezing in place, her breath quickening. Memories of a long ago darkness of a cave she was trapped in. Whether intentionally or no she shares this memory. This dark place of her own nightmares awakened by the egg. Then she is being pushed mentally away and she opens her own eyes as the sense fades. "help me.." She says in echo of the egg and still she remains frozen in place, hands tense over the eggs.

Candidate SOS! Risali's grey eyes are keeping careful track of the candidates, Leirith beside her amused despite the fact that she - for once - keeps the blaring beat of heady bass and drums to herself. It's Kelani that Risa's eyes focus in on, fixating a moment before she starts to look away only — no. Something is wrong, and the goldrider waits, looking to Leirith who tilts her head to look back, holding her breath a moment longer and then picking her way across the sands on booted feet, moving to find the healer's forearms with her own in a gentle touch so that she can walk her backwards. And there's Leirith, bleeding into dark crevices with sunbright, giddy exuberance, bringing with her the scent of funnel cakes and spun sugar even if she has no words for Kelani. It's Risali who's speaking those, "It's okay. I've got you. It's okay. Look at me." Gentle, coaxing, even as she walks her back and away from the suspect egg. "We should probably take you to a healer." Because Risali isn't one, and somehow this doesn't seem good.

It does take a few moments for Kelani to come out of whatever place her mind was trapped. A place in the past, in the egg. Both. There is a blink of her eyes as she comes back to herself and she looks to the woman who has her arms. The words half heard at first before they finally sink in. There is a whispered count under her breath from 10 down to 0 , her breath calming with each number. Finally there is a shake of her head at the suggestion, "I am alright…it just caught me unaware. I am sorry, I didn't mean to give anyone a fright." She says her dark skin a bit darker with embaressment of the moment.

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

A hesitation, as if Risali isn't sure that she wants to take Kelani at her word, but Risali is a fighter and so she is not the kind of person to try and dismiss the strength in others. One, two, three, and Risali lets go, dipping her head in a nod as she takes a step back. "If you're sure," she says - slowly, cautious. "But please be sure, because if you manage to hurt one of the eggs, I don't quite know what Garouth or Leirith will do, but I'm sure it won't be pretty." For anybody. Another step back, and another. There's no assistance to help the Healer walk; perhaps this is a test to ensure the woman's still sturdy on her feet, with plenty of space between her and the eggs if it's a no. "I'll be just here, if you need anything." And she's moving, back to Leirith, perhaps a little more focused on Kelani rather than the others now, given that momentary grip of phobia on the sands.

"Yes Ma'am…I just wasn't prepared." Kelani says as she squares up her shoulders again. "I am now." A phobia she may have, but at least she seems to have the means to deal with it. Breathing excercises and counting. She steps aside for a few minutes as she settles herself further and braces herself to face another egg. By time she does step forward again, her breathing is once again under control. There is a little bow to the queen once more then into the breach she goes again. A soldier braced for battle as she stands before another egg and sets her fingers lightly upon it. Another whispered count seen unheard from her lips.

< Kelani touches egg 2 - Egg of Brown Egg >

Well it is a good thing she did not touch this one first that is for sure. As the mindvoice bombards her to face that which has just face, she continues the counting under her breath. Wiggling of toes in her boots, trying to connect herself to the sensations around her as her mind is assailed. "Who hurt you.." She says in a low voice. Her face pained and yet defiant at the same time. She will not embaress herself again. To the intense questions she answers only in numbers then in a reciting of the bones of the body from the phelange up to the skull. She will not be mired in the swamp.

Whatever else at least this egg is getting an anatomy lesson. Then on to other organ systems. The chambers of the heart, the lobes of the lung. Each rescitation almost a defiance against the mind that wishes to drown her. "But I do…I set the goal and I achieved it." But at what cost? That seed of doubt placed in her by this egg and the last. "I could have said no…"

Kelani remains there with her chin up and proud, seemingly holding up to the onslaught with the battle of anatomy. Well it seems that she is until the questions work to slowly break down her defences. "I do.." She responds in a strangled voice but it is too late. "I am.." And yet the words come out with the wavering of uncertainty in her voice. When finally she is free from the egg she steps away and looks over at the two eggs she has touched and the ones left untouched and shakes her head. No more. At least not tonight. "May I be excused?" She asks of the weyrwoman even as she is backing off the sands.

< Kelani leaves egg 2 - Egg of Brown Egg >

There's sympathy in those grey eyes when they find Kelani, and Risali dips her head to say yes. "Please," she offers, though Leirith is moving, and Risali is moving to grab the attention of others. "It's time to go everybody!" she calls, out, ushering them towards the exit and right back into the waiting arms of the weyrlingmaster.

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