Candidates and Flits and Eggs--Oh My! Part Two

Xanadu Weyr - Caverns

A massive cavern in it's own right, this one has been skillfully adapted for human habitation. The high ceilings have been painted a light, soft ivory, as are the walls where numerous tapestries hang to provide brilliant color and insulation from the stone. The floor has been left in its natural state, pale pink granite speckled through with glittering mica and dark flecks of basalt, leveled carefully but kept sufficiently rough to avoid slips.

The cavern itself is loosely divided into areas, each one set up to be suitable for some segment of the Weyr's population. The most frequently occupied area, however, is the one near the Kitchens where tables of varying sizes provide a place to sit down and eat or chat and a buffet of consumables is almost always kept stocked. Its plain that on most days, this area wouldn't accommodate anywhere near the full population of the Weyr and equally plain that on such occasions when a formal meal is laid out, tables are appropriated from all the other areas.

A big fireplace is set into the wall near the Kitchens as well, several comfortable chairs nearby providing haunts for elderly residents or riders who like a good view of all that happens. Rugs cover the floor in strategic spots, all of them abstract or geometric in design and most in the softly neutral colors of undyed wool.

Exits lead off in all directions, a big archway the largest and that leading outside. Shallow stairs to the west lead to the offices and administration area while tunnels to the east lead to the infirmary, kitchen and resident's quarters. Southwards, a sloping tunnel leads down to the hot springs and southwest is a wide tunnel, carefully roped off to avoid accidents.

Jessamin flops down in a rocking chair by the fire, a basket of quilting in her lap, and her four flits settling in around her. The two browns claim her shoulders, a little blue perches on the back of the chair, while little miss Queen Green curls up next to the basket in her lap. By the flush suffusing her face, and the rather clean floors about, she has just come off of her Candidate's chores, and now turns her attention to a useful, relaxing pasttime—quilting. As she rocks gently by the fire, her gaze is occasionally drawn to the box of sand, a smile of wonderment curling her lips upwards at the two little miracles housed within.

Morlanol lays sprawled out in a chair, freshly washed and looking quite exhausted. Agate and Bloodstone curled each on a shoulder. Agate cheeps quietly at Sekhmet, a quiet hello, perhaps? Morl waves to Jess a bit more energetically, "Hey, Jess. Wha's in th' box?"

Dellacoda walks into the cavern slowly, her roving eyes taking in every detail. Visitor? Her? Pft! Spotting the fire — and the person sitting next to it — Della straightens her back and drives herself more purposefully thataway. "Um," she says intelligently, stopping when Morlanol speaks up. To Jessamin: "Um, hi. Might you know where, ah…" She rifles in her pocket for a moment and pulls out a piece of paper. "Where 'Senkyou' can be found?"

Belle is the first to enter the caverns, the golden firelizard carrying a message tube on her leg. Niva is a few moments behind her, cursing the creature under her breathe as she goes, snatching at the gold, before she drops her wings and disappears between, leaving Niva to curse a bit more loudly in a manner that is completely undignified for someone of her age and rank. Its a moment before she recovers, the weyrwoman smoothing the front of her shirt, then, and turning for juice instead.

Jessamin is just withdrawing a row of colorful fabric patches from the top of her basket, each in the shape of an elongated hexagon. Some of the fabrics appear quite new, others a fair bit older. But all are colorful and quite beautiful in their way. She looks up as Morlanol calls out to her, waving with the quilting in hand. Sekhmet, her little green, seems intrigued by this for a moment, nipping at the waving fabric before chirruping a little hello to Morlanol's blue, Agate. "Hey there, Morl. Two flit eggs in the box. Think they were older than I realized before, when that Ierne transport rider gave the clutch to me." Della's approach captures her attention next; she tilts her head thoughtfully for a moment, shaking her head. "I haven't met a Senkyou yet, unfortunately. Looks like you've come a ways, though… why don't you sit down and rest for a minute?"

Sandy Shores Egg
Seemingly plain, this small, earth-hued egg looks as if it could easily be lost on many a shoreline. Pale gold mixes with splotches of white and a spattering of cocoa brown in a completely random manner. If one catches it in the right light, bits of silvery white, like flecks of mica, glitter all around the surface of the shell.
Pearlescent Dawn Egg
A riot of pale rose, lemon chiffon, snowy white, and seafoam blue swirls madly across the surface of this egg, shot through with hints of palest green such as is only seen at Rukbat's rising. The whole effect is as if the egg is the sun, rising into the sky just as a morning storm is swept away by gentle breezes.

Morlanol grins, "More flit eggs, huh? Seems like y' can' ge' away from th' things down here." He turns, smiling tiredly to Della, "H'lo… Assumin' she's a rider, I'd look fer her Weyr, bu' wha' she said. Have a meat roll. I'm Morlanol." He glances up at Niva's entrance and waves lightly to her, wondering to himself if queens were harder to train.

Sandy Shores Egg wriggles about a little bit in the box, the shell making soft, crunching sounds against the warm sand.

Dellacoda allows herself a little frown at Jessamin's disappointing response, but she offers a business-like nod both to her and to Morlanol's advice. She seeks out a chair nearby and flops into it gracelessly, chuckling. "Figures that on my first independent foray under my Master's orders I should run into stumbling block after stumbling block. Oh well," she says. "It's just…" She is a little taken aback by Niva's swearing, but purses up into silence rather than saying anything.

"She *should* be out on deliveries. Assuming the Wingleader is bothering to do her job for once, rather than going off and having yet another child." Niva says with a snort, shaking her head at Dellacoda, and then looking from one candidate to the other, a soft sigh. "Firelizards." She shakes her head, making a face at box of sand and its contents, keeping not one, but two tables between her and them. "Belle's bad enough, being difficult. Not wanting to go where she's suppose to." A bowl is grabbed from a passing drudge, though, as the Weyrwoman slides it, full of meat, onto the surface.

Jessamin raises an eyebrow at the Weyrwoman's rather… salty demeanor, and shakes her head, doing her best to keep the mirth from showing on her face. "Good evening to you as well, Weyrwoman." Her lips do twitch upwards, though, as she sees the other woman keeping a safe distance from the box. She spares a moment to scritch the neck of the older of her two brown flits, which is returned with an affectionate nuzzle against her hand. "Yes, we do have her to thank for you being here, hmm, Madder? I'll always be grateful for that." It is then that her blue flit begins a soft, crooning hum, soon picked up in turn by each of her others. Her eye is drawn to the box, and then back to them. "What is it? Hmm?"

Sandy Shores Egg rocks a little more strongly now, rolling centimeter by centimeter towards the front of the box. Back and forth, it jiggles this way and that. This confinement just will -not- do!

Morlanol's Agate and Bloodstone join in the welcoming humm. Morl starts and they abandon their shaky post for the edges of the egg-box, watching the little-ones shake. Morl makes his way over there more slowly, a slight limp indicating just how sore he is. He strokes Agate's soft, swaying tail as he watches the eggs rock. Absently to Niva he says, "I'm sure someone coul' help y' train 'er…"

Dellacoda gets wide-eyed at Niva's answer, but she nods all the same. Her ear twitches visibly when Jessamin uses the title, and then she -winces- visibly. She rises to her feet and salutes, murmuring "Weyrwoman." Only once she's done that does she return to her seat and respond to the words. "Oh. Wingleader Senkyou…" Just skate right over the rest of that, yessirre. "Thank you, Weyrwoman, that helps." The firelizard activity catches her attention next and once more her expression goes through a complete transformation. This time it's excitement. "Oooh, I remember hearing the other apprentices talking about this! It's a firelizard hatching, isn't it? In all the Turns since I've been at the Hall…" Et cetera. She does keep talking, it's just a soft, self-directed chatter about anything and everything hatching related.

"Oh, she's trained. Usually. She didn't want to go to the Reaches. Too cold." Niva rolls her eyes at the only bit of explanation she could get from the gold before she finally went. The bowl is pushed across the table towards the candidates and the young visitor looking for Senkyou. "If you have a message for her, I'll leave it in the office for her. She's on Western deliveries, should be back within the next few hours." Niva says with a nod, and then just shakes her head at the youthful enthusiasm.

Sandy Shores Egg is jerked back towards the side of the box as the hatchling struggles to free itself from the confining shell. Faint cracks begin to appear on the glittering, sandy surface as the minutes wear on. Let… me… -out-!

Pearlescent Dawn Egg begins to dance about lightly in the sand, its movements a little bit less erratic than that of its clutch-mate's.

Jessamin shakes her head as the bowl is scooted across the table in her direction, instead nudging it towards Morlanol and Dellacoda. "You two go ahead." Her smile widens, hearing Dellacoda's hatching-related chatter. "I know. Exciting, isn't it? And it never wears thin. Always something about new life, you know?"

Morlanol glances at the beastcrafter, giving Niva a nod and finally remembering the proper salute. He'd learned a lot since he'd been in the Weyr, but he's only run into Niva briefly and Thea never made him worry about it. "Yer firs' hatchin'? Take some meat an' be ready." He forgoes the meat for now, waiting to see what happens.

Sandy Shores Egg rocks strongly against the side of the box; the shell shatters like a ship wrecked upon a reef, setting free an egg-wet Stormy Seas Blue Hatchling

Stormy Seas Blue Hatchling
As if whipped about by water and wind, this charming blue fire lizard looks like he could be equally at home on shore or sea. Deep, steely blue stains most of his hide, with little eddies and swirls of a brighter cobalt hue dancing across his hide in the sunlight. His wingsails, stretched betweeen cobalt spars, lighten to a more sunny shade of sky blue, shot through with bits of pale grey and white like clouds at noon on a summer's day; this coloration is echoed on his belly, as well as on the underside of his tail, neck, lower jaw, and his surprisingly powerful-seeming forearms and legs. Forearms and legs are both tipped with perfect little talons, each glittering like sunlight kissing the ocean after a storm. Each step, every movement is calm and sure, as if not even a hurricane can ruffle this little firelizard's composure.

Dellacoda is 17, but you sure wouldn't know it from the excitement she's showing looking at those eggs. The Weyrwoman's words break through it, though, and she sits back and manages to look more dignified — at least for a moment. "Thank you, ma'am, but I've been told that I need to speak with her directly even if it means I have to sleep with the runners tonight." She wrinkles her nose thoughtfully. "Sometimes I think my Master doesn't like me too much." According to Morlanol's advice, she finds the first piece of meat she can. Only soon enough, as the first hatchling arrives and Della's eyes go round again.

"There'll be no sleeping with the runners." Niva says with a grimace, shaking her head. "There's always an extra cot in the barracks, we'll get you settled there, if she's still not back before too late." The Weyrwoman says firmly, shaking her head, and waving at the critters. "Get close, give them food. Don't be formal on *my* account." She says with a snort, before she's nursing her juice and ensuring none of them come close to her.

Stormy Seas Blue Hatchling creels, the tone high-pitched and thin as only a young creature's can be. His eyes whirl red with hunger as he swivels his head about. Wings unfurl, tiny pieces of shell and egg goo clinging to spar and sail alike. Stormy Seas Blue Hatchling does not yet seem concerned with this, however. Food? Now? Please?

Pearlescent Dawn Egg rolls suddenly to one side of the box, the egg just as determined as its newly hatched clutch-mate to be free. But this shell is equally as stubborn as the hatchling it contains, not yet showing signs of cracking open.

With evening setting on xanadu, it's the middle of the night at Western weyr, which makes some wonder what the young, uneven haired, oddly dressed, greenrider is doing out so late. Nonetheless, coming in with a skip, her hair bouncing and head moving from side to side is Hadi. Stopping abruptly she purses her lips and looks around, eyes big and searching, "Hmm.." Spotting a cook she taps them, "Hello there, I'm hadi, and I'm suppose to deliver this package, it.. it got a little banged up, not that I dropped it or anything." Pulling a box out that is full of dents, it looks like it was dropped more than once, at least. "It's suppose to go to the weyrwoman I think.. I'm not sure what it is, I didn't open it.. I would have, but my wingleader told me not to.. or I would have." She chatters on and turns, spotting firelizards she looks down on the little blue. "eew..boys." She says and moves away from the creatures.

Jessamin 's flits trill triumphantly, welcoming the new blue hatchling into the world. Jess just smiles as she looks on, keeping one eye on her sewing and the other on the flits and eggs.

Pearlescent Dawn Egg rolls strongly towards the back of the box with a little -thud-, the hatchling within growing impatient. Out… NOW!

Morlanol grabs a few gobs of meat, holding them out gently towards the eggs, but trying not to be too pushy since the girl next to him hadn't a single one, though the little blue fascinates him. He glances up briefly when Hadi enters, then gives her an odd look at her 'boys' comment, shaking his head before turning back to the flit, meat in hand. Agate and Bloodstone both trilling their welcome as well.

Hairline cracks appear on the shell as Pearlescent Dawn Egg rocks about, marring the shimmering, pristine surface as the hatchling within struggles for freedom. Every successive movement forces the cracks wider, until at last, Leaf On The Wind Green Hatchling bursts free, egg-wet, like Rukbat rising from the sea.

Leaf On The Wind Green Hatchling
This little beauty evokes images of willow leaves dancing on a summer's breeze, her graceful lines echoing the shape of the leaf as the wind carries it along. Her hide is an even, shimmering shade of emerald, shot through with veins of a paler green-gold hue. Deeper, leaf green spars give way to sails just the shade of a leaf unfurled to the sun for the first time, and pale, pearlescent claws tip each finger and toe. When she takes to flight, it is as if she is completely carefree, her wings spread to catch the slightest breeze. Her carriage suggests perpetual child-like laughter, every step seeming like that of a dance in its precision.

"I don't mind, ma'am, not at all," Dellacoda says in response to Niva's offer. "But thanks. The cots are bound to be safer. Hooves don't make good pillows." It might have sounded more serious if she wasn't at that moment following the latter advice and shimmying closer to the blue hatchling, dangling meat from her fingers. Hadi's energy begins to draw Della's attention, but the insistent searching of the hatchling overrides that for the moment. "But he's cute and tiny!" Eyes flick to the new one bursting out. "Ooo. And she's gorgeous!"

Stormy Seas Blue Hatchling lifts his little head, as if testing the air for scent. Ah yes, food. But where? A few hesitant steps lead him towards Dellacoda, the sight and scent of meat a potent lure to a hungry belly.

"I'd rather not have any Hall's upset with Xanadu's treatment of their.. apprentices." She comments after a moment, looking the girl over, shaking her head. At the appearance of the odd looking girl bearing a package, Niva's juice glass is slide to the table top, and she's turning to intercept her, tilting her head and holding out a hand expectively. "What Weyrwoman?" She asks with a tilt of her head, even as she glances back over her shoulder at the excited exclamations, rolling her eyes a little bit.

Morlanol holds the meat out more confidently now, the gorgeous little green having caught his eye as well. He humms softly to her, trying to lure her to him.

Jessamin grins wide as the second and final hatchling bursts free of her shell. Her four flits almost seem to dance about with excitement, even the more aloof little green in her lap perking up with all the hullaballoo in the Caverns.

Leaf On The Wind Green Hatchling unfurls her wings, turning to look at them first with an attitude of fascination, then disgust as bits of egg shell catch her eye. Oh, this will -not- do. First impressions and all. She ignores her rumbling belly momentarily to pluck the offending pieces off of her wings, preening for all to see. Yes, I am beautiful, do you not agree?

Dellacoda watches the little blue hatching with a grin and shakes the meat over his head. "Hey there little guy, is this what you're looking for? Just like every other baby thing ever born, the only thing you've got eyes for is your stomach." Niva's commentary earns a chuckle from the apprentice. "As far as they're concerned, I'm my own problem right now. They're trying to decide whether I've got it in me to move up to Journeyman, they said. I still think my Master isn't all that fond of me." She shrugs as best she can — kind of an awkward position for that — and gestures the meat at the green once she looks more aware. "Okay, well, apparently -she's- got eyes for something other than her stomach."

Stormy Seas Blue Hatchling creels loudly as the meat entices him closer to Dellacoda. Step by step, he draws closer, until he is near enough to reach out and snatch the piece from between her fingers. He gulps it down, chirruping and crying for more.

Morlanol dangles the meat over the little green, whispering softly, "C'mere, little one, y'll make a gorgeous addition t' my li'tle family." His thoughts are welcoming, inviting little green to him.

Leaf On The Wind Green Hatchling looks disgustedly at her brother blue, letting out a harrumphing noise of disgust. Men. Always thinking with your stomachs. She turns her attention away from the blue and the young woman holding his interest, searching for another source of food. And then she finds it. Morlanol's offering is just too tempting to resist. But oh yes, a lady must not appear too easy. She takes a step here, a step there, each one like a dance leading her ever closer to the Candidate.

Chet has arrived! Most in the caverns could hear her before seeing her. Loudly singing out of tune is one of her many talents. The green on her shoulder has joined in the singing as the Bluerider helps herself to a generous portion of food from the kitchens. The knot on her shoulder reveals her as the Galaxy wing's newest member. The brunette makes a beeline for the group huddled around the hatchlings and she plops down beside a few of the candidates. "Nice looking ones, don't you think, Cajeta?" The firelizard still perched on her shoulder trills in agreement.

Dellacoda blinks at the snatching and scrambles for another piece of meat. "Oi, you, make sure you don't choke on that, okay?" She breaks this new piece into a smaller chunk. "Try something a little closer to this size, why don't you?" Della doesn't pay any more attention to the green for now. "I know you really want to eat, but the eating's got to give room for breathing, too. Trust me on this one." Dangle, dangle goes the meat. The apprentice's attention is 100% on the hatchling, so new arrivals go without notice.

"Apprentice or not, its not how I work." And Niva's gaze flicks back to the candidate and young visitor, before she's tapping her foot, looking quite impatiently at Hadi. "Come on, rider. Which one of us?" The package is eyed, and its condition noted with another grimace, though thankfully, the greenrider's saved by the loud arrival of Chet, Niva staring after her rather in awe, or perhaps shock.

Stormy Seas Blue Hatchling meeps, and trills softly at Dellacoda. This time, he is the one preening and showing off, spreading his wings proudly. Aren't I cute enough for another piece of meat? Please? When the meat is dangled from Dellacoda's fingertips, he plucks it from her, not knowing any better than to gulp this one down, too.

Stormy Seas Blue Hatchling looks into Dellacoda's eyes. Impression!

Morlanol dangles a single piece of meat before the green, whistling softly, "Wha' a beau'ful dance, li'tle one."

Dellacoda is later going to be a little dumbstruck to note that she's missed a singing dragonrider, but at the moment she's more intent on the blue who's equally intent on inhaling his food. "Hey, hey! Calm down a little there, boy, there's plenty more," she says, providing another — smaller — chunk of meat to the blue and scooping him closer so she can guide the eating-not-choking process a little better. "Master's going to kill me for this one," she murmurs, half to herself.

Leaf On The Wind Green Hatchling sways from side to side, just out of Morlanol's reach. First she lifts one hind foot, then the other, showing off her dainty, pearlescent little claws. Yes, admire me. A few more hopping little steps bring her to within reach of the meat offering

Leaf On The Wind Green Hatchling extends her neck rather gracefully, clamping her maw around the end of the chunk of meat and tugging on it, hard enough to pull it from Morlanol's fingers. It disappears in short order. Oh, excuse me for being such a glutton! More, please?

Morlanol holds out another gob, keeping it a little closer than her current position, "Dance s'more, li'tle one? It's so pre'ty." He keeps focused on the flit, barely noticing Della's exit, sending thoughts of welcome along with his soft words.

Jessamin stifles a laugh at the little green's antics, and Morl's attempt to court the wee hatchling. "Oh my. She's just too cute." To which an indignant Sekhmet lifts her head, turning an offended gaze upon her human. "Shhh, Sekhmet, you're far more beautiful than that one." She strokes the little green's neck gently, trilling softly to calm her down.

Leaf On The Wind Green Hatchling bobs her head up and down, swaying and stepping in the sand. The firelight gleams off of her hide, making her look like a little gem—and she seems to know it. Oh yes, I'll dance. Meat. Please? With equal precision and a very ladylike manner, she nips the piece of meat from Morlanol's fingers, sending it on its way to join the other already in her belly.

Leaf On The Wind Green Hatchling looks into Morlanol's eyes. Impression!

Morlanol carefully coaxes the little green to his hand with gob after gob of meat, humming softly as he does so. "Hello li'tle one. Wha' shall I call y'?" He's grinning softly, that same silly look in his eyes. Agate and Bloodstone both flit to his shoulders, trilling a welcome to their new sister.

As the beastcrafter disappears, Niva shakes her head with a soft sigh, waving her hand at a passing assistant who trails after the girl to make sure both she and the young blue get settled without any issues. Then, her attention is back on the group around the basket, retrieving her glass, sipping it slowly.

Cajeta chirps happily at the young ones who have found their meal tickets. Chet is mostly paying attention to what's on her plate. She's not completely engrossed, though. "Congratulations, there. Make sure you always carry extra food." A meatroll is quickly popped into her mouth, followed by another.

Jessamin leans back in the chair as the hatching chaos dies down, smiling with satisfaction. Too, her flits begin to settle down, their welcoming hum and cries of triumph settling into their more usual, muted trilling. Sekhmet curls back up on her lap, Madder and Stitch on her shoulders with their heads dangerously close to her sewing basket, and Turquoise resting his little blue head atop Jessamin's honey-gold hair. Dellacoda's exit is swift, leaving her with no time to congratulate the young woman. But she does turn and smile to Morlanol, cheering. "Congratulations! Wow, she really is a beauty, isn't she? What are you going to call her?"

Morlanol strokes the little green softly as she forces down a slightly oversized chunk of meat. Agate and Bloodstone each croon in kind as Morl mutters, "Tourmaline." He grins softly to Chet as well, "Af'er these two I mos' always do, bu' thanks." He glances at Jess again, feeding the little green another gob, "Y' sai' a rider gave y' th' eggs?"

Jessamin nods in response to Morlanol. "Yes. I didn't catch the name, unfortunately, but they were wearing an Ierne knot. Seemed more than a little frustrated at having to offload the clutch." She shrugs, chuckling softly. "With my four, I must have seemed like an easy mark."

"Better you than me." Niva says as Jessamin explains how she got the clutch, shaking her head a little bit, glancing at Morlanol. "You'd better keep her sated, so that she doesn't try to follow you on the Sands, when the eggs begin to hatch." There's a bit of sterness in the Weyrwoman's voice as she finishes off her juice, glancing from one candidate to the other. "Remember your curfews, candidates.." And with that, she's beginning to turn away.

Jessamin stands, scooping up her sewing basket and little green flit in her arms. She inclines her head to Niva, smiling. "Aye, Weyrwoman. I should probably be heading on back anyways. With that, she turns and heads for the door. "See you later, Morl?"

Morlanol stands as well, gathering the flit and the bowl of meat as he does so. He nods to Niva, "Of course, Weyrwoman." He grins to Jess, "I'll walk with ya, Jess." With that, he follows her out of the caverns, looking forward to his warm bed as well.

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