Hot and Ready

Xanadu Weyr - Hatching Sands
The large circular "stage" is surrounded on one half by a towering wall, thin slit windows high overhead letting in some light without truly endangering the objects on the sands, though plenty of lights are spaced at human-level all the way around. The other half is ringed by the dark blue seats of the observation level, rising upwards towards the back wall. 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.

The sun is high, midway between dawn and dusk. It's warm - no. It's hot. Rukbat's rays pour down on Xanadu from a clear blue sky with barely a single cloud to provide shade. Inside the hatching arena, it's even hotter. The arch of the roof keeps the warm air trapped within, and the sands are warmed from beneath with radiant heat from a clever system of pipes - though really. If they'd been just a little more clever, surely someone could have made it so that the eggs could bake without doing the same to the people visiting here! But… not so much.

Hot as it is, at least one creature in Xanadu is pleased. Luraoth has been fond of warmth, lately. She lies in the sands, stretched out in a lazy S and letting the heat radiate up through her stretched belly. It feels good. It feels… hmm. It feels different. Luraoth's thoughts reach out in two directions with a swirl of summer's orange-tinged heat and a summons.

From one of those directions - the direction of the caverns - comes Soriana. She's dressed in a compromise between professional and not melting - a light blouse and loose trousers - and she's still thinking about the discussion she was having before Luraoth's thoughts pulled her away. Her first duties may be to the gravid gold, but that doesn't mean she doesn't have to deal with that question about how many bedsheets of what colors and styles and… such is the glamorous life of a junior weyrwoman. If only Ocelara was still there - she'd probably have known the answer instantly instead of it requiring meetings and inventories. But she isn't, and right now, neither is Soriana. She slips in the open doorway, and stops with her feet on the edge of the sands. Is it because the heat hits her? Partly. But it's also because of the sight of Luraoth, rising to her feet and beginning to walk a slow circle in the sand, brushing it smooth with her tail. Nesting behavior, the textbooks call it. An instinctive reaction of a gravid gold, when the time comes for… "Oh." Soriana… stares.

Kanekith was in the middle of something. He and Ka'el both. Galaxy duties continue on weather it's hot, cold, sunny, or stormy! And so beneath the heat the bronzeriding pair were at sky drills with their unit. Perfecting formations and reviewing hand signals with sweat dripping around the goggles. And it was all going well, til it wasn't. Til Kanekith didn't want to do this anymore, having felt the mental tug by the young queen. He must heed her! The struggle between rider and dragon surely did cause some turmoil in the air til finally Ka'el got the message. Wait…Luraoth? And thus he was dismissed to tend to his dragon who is adamant on tending to his gold. And thus they both arrived hurriedly. Kanekith, still with his riding gear on, tramping towards the sands. And Ka'el, already hot, made hotter by the SUDDEN omg heat. What the shell. It's like this during summer too? Goggles are on his head and he pants upon arrival, perhaps due to the run to keep up with his dragon. In any case, they're both here now and Kanekith is stepping carefully onto the sand, mindful of where Luraoth has swept it smooth. He reaches out to her, his shadowed thoughts comforting. What do you need? Ka'el … uh, gawks.

Crafters and weyrfolk alike stop what they're doing when the dragons begin to hum encouragement to Luraoth's clutching. People come a-running from all directions - unless stopping their work would lead to disaster. It's fortunate that the head cook rules the kitchens with an iron hand - those folks frying and baking remain at their posts, so there will be no fires charring both food and the kitchen this day. Among the throng is the Weyrwoman, climbing the stone steps to the observation level and finding a seat to watch and in support of her newest junior.

On call…that's what the Galaxy board reads for him today. So when word reaches M'kal that a clutching is soon he heads on over to the observation level. Xeosoth finds somewhere to watch himself as M'kal settles into a seat with attention down to the sands.

The sand must be just so. It's been swept smooth before, but… oh, but is smooth what Luraoth wants? She makes soft chirping noises, interrogative in tone, and digs talons into the sand she so carefully smoothed, making a hole. The warmth is good. Heat. Warm sand. This is her first time taking to them, but they feel good. They feel right. Her head lifts as Kanekith approaches, but only for a moment. That shadow feels right too, just like the brightness and heat. The time has come. She's ready. Well, Luraoth is. Soriana's still got some staring to do. Not that she hasn't seen queens like this before, because she has. You don't get to be an almost-grade-two dragonhealer at Xanadu without seeing this. But… "Shells." Soriana's gaze flits to Kanekith as he joins Luraoth on the sands, then sweeps slowly back to find… yeah. Ka'el's here. She nods slightly, and there's a faint trace of smile - probably? - before she swallows and follows the dragons onto the sands. Luraoth settles herself against them, her digging slowing as her body shifts. The sands are right. They're ready. She's ready. Is that a shadow cast by her bulk, or is one of the eggs ready too?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Black and Blue Washed Out Egg ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dark splotches cover this egg, black and blue patches of erratic sizes and shapes. At first glimpse, it might seem to be buried in shadows, but a closer look shows that the dappled darkness has sunk deeply into the matte surface of the shell. Some are darker than others; in some places, the color is pale and faded, while in others, blue and black muddle together to make a dull purplish hue. It's a fairly large egg, though the somber shades may make it seem smaller; like distance making mountains recede to tiny images like the one that appears along part of the shell. Dark peaks of stone gray rise through a purple haze to a dusky blue sky - or maybe it's all just random blotches.

Mur'dah was on his way back from a delivery anyway, so when word passed to Kalsuoth through the dragon grapevine of gossip that Luraoth was heading to the sands to clutch, Mur'dah hastily changed into cooler clothes and headed into the galleries. "Hey, Mom," he says as he flops down beside his mother. "Ma'am," is added with a crooked grin, offering her a hug. "M'kal," the brownrider says, watching his clutchmate a bit…warily?

Kera isn't about to miss her first chance to see dragon eggs hit the sand, especially when it's her friend's dragon at that. Mingled in with the throng surging towards the observation levels, the apprentice and her young lizard try to avoid most of the jostling. Kera cradles the small brown in front of her as she stretches up to her toes trying to peer ahead. Spotting all sorta of faces she knows, a grin and eager wave is sent around "Hi." She finds a seat where she can see most of what's happening down below and plops down just as the first egg arrives.

Luraoth is ready, so is Kanekith. The bronze seems so sure of what to do, unlike his rider, who still stares a but numbly at the sands. He follows Luraoth. Not too close. Not too far. Sending glares at the other dragons and clutchmates that have come to watch, warning them to keep their distance. But it is instinctual, not malice (maybe) that has him acting so possessively, and his head arches to peer up at the stands. Tiny faces up there. Eyes watching. Mouths moving. Nothing harmful, and that is good. He rumbles lowly in his chest, tail swaying almost languidly as he watches Luraoth, shadowing her, stopping when she does. And then there's a sound in his throat that's difficult to describe as the first egg makes its appearance. Something like a chirp, though a little strangled. Glee! oh, look at that egg! How powerful! How dark! How wonderful it is! He moves closer, shifting sands with him. Ka'el is like .. shell shocked, but he finally starts to regain his senses. He pulls off his riding jacket because he's starting to soak in it, and his goggles are pulled off well. Go, Kanekith, go! He can't help but grin at his bronze, a bit of pride in his expression as he too steps towards the sands. But.. eh. He pauses, glancing to Soriana who is already moving ahead. "I can wait outside…?" he offers, voice low. He hasn't forgotten his promise or his offer.

M'kal seems fine today! So far… "Heya Mur'dah, Ma'am." the ma'am is clearly for the Weyrwoman. Not Mur'dah. He'll nod absently to anyone else near him as well. To be polite! He settles into the seat to watch quietly.

Luraoth pays little (no?) attention to the faces up in the stands. For once, she's not thinking of everyone - just of herself and her eggs. If there is something beyond them that needs to be seen, Kanekith will see it. That's why he's here, after all - to keep watch while she makes her eggs. The first one settles to the sands, and Luraoth turns to look at it. She croons softly. There you are, little one. She felt you! Now she sees you… well. She sees your first face. Don't worry, she'll keep you safe. Soriana lets out a breath, then looks back to Ka'el. What? Oh. She shakes her head. "No," she says, quietly. "Stay." Watch, from here on the sands. Soriana comes near her dragon, then pauses. It feels like she should be doing something more than just keeping her thoughts with those of her dragon… but what? Luraoth seems to know what she's doing as she begins to nudge sand around the dark shell, mounding it up to - oh. She doesn't have time to get it perfect. Not with… her chirp holds faint distress, but only for a moment. Kanekith is here. Her eyes calm as they settle on him, and she tilts her head to the half-buried egg. See to it? Because she has to move on. Another egg is coming.

Thea leans into the one-armed hug her son gives her - it's awkward to hug while seated in here! She chuckles, leveling Mur'dah a look for that 'ma'am'. "How's the weyr restoration project going?" she asks while her green gaze lifts to wander the crowd. Oh, there's the newly-posted mindhealer! She gives him a bare nod. Thus far she's managed to avoid him - at least on his turf. And she plans to continue the trend. Kera gets a little wave and M'kal as well since he's nearby. Then she turns to re-direct her attention to the sands.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Gleaming in the Sun Egg ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Deep, rich reds and browns coat the shell of this egg. The vivid hues make a pattern like overlapping autumn leaves, layered heavily on top of each other. The shell has a smooth sheen that seems to capture the light and give an impression of density, though the egg is of average size. Falling along the surface are a set of pale golden beech leaves, drifting slowly through the phantom air. Their brightness is a soft glow that accents the thick luster of the bolder hues.

Mur'dah tilts his head at M'kal for a moment. "You okay?" he asks the bluerider, before his attention returns to his mother. "It's almost done! You should come see it." And help him with those last stupid little touches, like throwing away trash. Glancing at the sands, his eyes flick between the riders, rather than the dragons, thoughtful.

Once seated, Kera gives Minimur a lift to her shoulder. That not being good enough for the brown though continues scrambling up til he's perched the apprentice's head. "Brat" is muttered before her attention goes back to the sands. Soriana and Ka'el are noticed down there but it's Luraoth and Kanekith. Frowning curiously, she leans forward to those in the seats ahead "She lays the eggs and he will tend to them?" Is that how this works?

Oh, Kanekith loves this egg already! It is his pride and joy, you know, for whatever grows in there is partially him, and … let's face it, nothing is more magnificent than himself! And so the splotchy blue egg is carefully tended to by the clutchfather, who shifts the hot sands around and upon it gently, lowly rumbling a crooning sound as he does so. Grow large and strong. Be as magnificent as your father! And oh, you too, egg of the season of colored leaves. He leaves one to see to another. A second son or daughter to be! This is a fantastic day. It isn't like Kanekith at all to project things much more than doom and gloom (or pride), but what radiates from him now is a deep set contentment. It's alright, Luraoth. He's got this. Ka'el still can't believe that the bronze dragon out there is .. his. A tender, caring version of his arrogant bronze boy. He's bombarded by the unusual warmfuzzies that he's getting from him, and he blinks a few times, clearing his vision, looking to Soraina, nodding slightly. He's glad. He wants to see the eggs and would be hard pressed to see much of anything from behind a door. And so he steps on the sands, finally, though doesn't move too close to the dragons. They've got this under control. Kanekith, mastefully so. So he kind of hangs back, keeping a mental check on Kanekith just in case something is not right.

Any tension the Weyrwoman might have dissipates as nature takes its course down below. With both young dragons handling the clutching calmly and Luraoth apparently in no distress, Thea relaxes, though her gaze lingers on the two riders thoughtfully. She voices nothing of her thoughts, however but it's likely she expected Soriana, daughter of one of her seasoned juniors and dragonhealer, to deal with this new event with nothing but maturity and level-headedness. "I'll do that," she says to her son leaning back in her seat. "She will tend them, yes. And if her instincts are in play, she'll guard the sands from intrusion by anyone but her rider," she answers Kera.

Mur'dah smiles. "Seems to be going well," he says, nodding and glancing…between the two riders again, down there.

Luraoth's croon comes and goes, for there's effort involved in bringing forth these eggs. That's why she's been eating so much, in small meals because there's not room for large ones. That's why she's been dozing in the sun's warmth, or on the sands that - for her, for these eggs - are just warm enough. Soriana is the one sweltering here. (And maybe, just a little, wondering if it is too warm. She knows the heating system got inspected, but did it get inspected enough?) Still, Soriana watches with a fond and somewhat bemused smile, her gaze a distant one as she watches through Luraoth's eyes as well as her own. Ka'el… well. She doesn't look that way, though her eyes do rise briefly to the stands. There's an audience there, she can tell despite the blur of the lights, but… her eyes lower to Luraoth again, with a small shrug and a sideways tug of her lips. Let them watch, whoever they are. Luraoth doesn't seem to mind, so why should she? The young queen nudges sand against the dappled shell with her tail as she curves back to peek at her first egg - or, at least, the mound of sand where it lies. Safe and warm. As it should be. That's what her eggs deserve. A bright future. Another egg comes out to the sands.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Powder Soft Egg ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Soft cream shows through between the flecks of color dusted over the surface of this egg. The patterning seems delicate, something a careless hand could brush away to leave the pale and unfinished shell beneath exposed to the world. A spiral of yellow traces from tip to base, a galaxy of stars spun together into one bright blur from the distance - though up close, the cream of the shell is visible between each spot of color. Spiraling in the arms of the yellow is a ribbon of alternating pink and pale blue, the background color of the summer's sky marked by the rosy bands of sunrise and sunset that make a lilac blur where day meets night.

Kera continues watching as Kanekith nudges sand around an egg then turns his attention towards one Luraoth finished laying. Nodding to Thea and her answer, Kera grins and leans back in her seat, eyes watching the goings on below. The little brown perched on her head sings happy little croons with his little wings twitching. "They seem to be coming really quickly." She flashes a grin to those around her.

Oh that one there, how pretty! Ka'el cranes his neck a little to see better the eggs before they get covered up by Kanekith. It's so weird. Kanekith was just an egg himself not wholly long ago. Is he ready to be a father? .. Pft, of course he is, just look at him! They aren't humans, after all. Instincts can do wonders for maturity, making one appear wise and knowledgeable when all that's really happening is they're following a map deeply ingrained within themselves. And that roadmap tells him, Kanekith, to pause and glare. Glare! Is anyone daring to get too close? Xeosuth? Anyone else out there? No? … good. He was just checking. Making sure everyone knows their place, and their place is away from those eggs and his Luraoth. He snorts towards the stands before lowers his coppery muzzle, nudging the lst bit of sand over the top of the shell before gingerly moving on to the next one. And Luraoth. He checks on her too, his warm fog of thoughts passing over her. Are you weary? Are you alright? Is all of this warm enough? He'll demand more heat if that's what is desired! Ka'el smiles a little, giving Kanekith a mental pat on the back. "Good job, buddy. You're doin' great," he murmurs aloud, keeping to the fringes of the arena. Here, but not in the way. Giving distance to all who need it.

That was then. This is now. Luraoth has eggs, so of course she's ready for them. Worrying about past and future is a thing for riders, not their dragons. Luraoth croons to the delicate-seeming egg, and nudges sand against it. Feel the warmth. Let your shell harden as you grow inside. Become strong. You can do it. Until you're ready, she'll keep watch over you. And - so will Kanekith. He'll keep watch, as he has since the flight. His shadowed thoughts will arch like protective wings, for now - in these eggs - there's something that needs protection. Her thoughts curve back to his. Tired… yes. She is tired, but she is not done. There are more eggs to come, and so she will keep up her motion, walking in circuits to help the eggs inside her move and checking on those already laid as she passes them, nudging the sand to be just-right. The perfect positions… for now. Until the time comes to turn them. Soriana watches each egg as it emerges, until it's buried in the sands, and she lets out a soft sigh. Ka'el's words seem to remind her of his presence, and she glances back to him. Her hand twitches, but then… subsides. Luraoth may be willing to accept Kanekith on the sands - and Ka'el to their edge, as an extension of the bronze, but… better not to push it. Not right now, when Luraoth's in the midst of laying another egg, her mind caught up in protective urges and deep-buried instincts.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Beneath the Bright Surface Egg ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Soft blooms of color float over the surface of this egg, sky blue and sea green that fade naturally into each other. A view from dragonback of islands scattered in the ocean, perhaps - or else lakes with greenery and life blooming all around them. All the edges seem soft and blurred, as though with distance or a gentle mist of clouds. A closer inspection reveals a faint tracework of lines beneath, branches reaching up behind the green foliage - or blue-tinted veins just barely visible - or perhaps the lines of the map, tracing out the patterns that flowing water and verdant growth will follow.

Yes, my dear, he knows. There are more eggs to come. This cannot be all of them, although the ones that are here are oh so glorious, they could be the entire lot and Kanekith would have no worries. But this is not all, for there is another. This one is his favorite! (But haven't they all been, thus far?) Another egg, perfect to his eyes. Soft and squishy and blue and green and needing a blanket of sand, but perfect nonetheless! He'll get to you, little dragonlet, once he's done here with your sibling. The creamy egg is laying in an odd way making it so that his mound of sand is uneven. He twists his head, eyeing it. Nope.. He snuffles sand away, tries again. Uneven still. He grumps! This one is giving him trouble, and if it's not just so, Luraoth might chew his headknob off! Behave, you egg! Ka'el's eyes follow Luraoth, then glance back to Kanekith, who is stuck on that third egg, who apparently needs a mother's touch or something. Or maybe some human hands! He can help! He steps forward. Ka'el to save the day! Er…or not. He retracts his step, unsure. Is he supposed to help or just stand watch? Would he bother Luraoth if he got near her egg? Or Soriana, if he got near Luraoth? Or her? Or the egg? Or all three?? Pft. There needs to be a book written on how to be a clutchdaddy's rider, darn it.

The dragonhealers watching from the far periphery of the sands must be vigilant, right? With a first-timer, you never know. At least the higher grade ones that are there in an official capacity are few enough that hopefully the young queen might not chase them off. They're likely seasoned enough to have their reflexes honed and be ready to flee if need be. In the observation level, there are others - students and the like. Thea watches quietly, mindful of disturbing the queen down below and thus says little. When she does speak it's in low-voiced murmurs and mostly to her son.

Where sea and shore meet, there is sand! At least, when there aren't cliffs or swamps or… other things. This egg, though - this one needs sand. It settles into the depression made by Luraoth, an egg-wallow in the sand, and she nudges it deeper into the warmth. Like the tide rising up, except… the blue is vanishing, not growing. The top's still visible as Luraoth begins to move on, feeling the shift of eggs inside her - but wait. Steps away from it, she stops. Something is wrong with an egg? Her head swings to Kanekith and the soft-dusted shell, her eyes swirling to an anxious yellow. It can't be wrong. Luraoth steps toward her half-buried egg, then swings her head back to see the other one. It's not right either. Her eggs are unburied. From her rider's mind she takes images of a night of panic on the sands - a different clutch, a different queen, but dragons don't understand past from future. Soriana shakes her head. "-that's not-" she says aloud, though the rest of her thoughts are silent as she trots toward her gold to reiterate them with touch and firmness. Luraoth lifts her head, eyes orange and red as she bugles defiance to a threat not quite understood but felt. She'll protect them. From the heat. From the cold. As dragons have always protected, ever since silver fell from the sky - as mothers have always protected their children, even if they can't hold them back where it's safe. The children will come out to meet the world.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Carbon Turns to Coal Egg ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Speckles of pale grey at the top make a pointilist pattern against the white of this monochrome egg. They're subtle at first, small dots that start at the pointed tip of the shell and grow firmer as they stipple down into lines and then to cross-hatched streaks. Those streaks grow closer together, the shade darkening as they do until there's a dense pattern. The sharp marks at the top become soft-edged and heavy, weighting down the fragments of white between them until the very bottom of the egg is smudged with thick black coaldust holding it down.

Something is wrong? Yes, and Kanekith is trying to fix it once more with a coppered muzzle, but the something wrong in his mind is not a mirror image of the something wrong in Luraoth's. He doesn't understand her misplaced fear, and it's alarming. She is discontent, and that makes him as well. Wings fan out in agitated challenged to the unknown threat. Where is it? Where! He sees nothing, but Luraoth's bugle is enough for him to lift his own, banishing whatever it is away. Ka'el's feet are on the sands now, hesitance gone as he quickly veers towards Kanekith. "Hey, hey! Calm down," he urges reaching up although the bronze's head does not come back down. Instead, he grasps at a foreleg, his grasp reassuringly tight. "S'alright, buddy. Nothing's wrong, see? She's alright. Everyone's alright." Almost, but not really. But it's the dragons that are important, and it's his dragon that his focus is on. "Go on. The eggs need to be covered, see? They need you." He gestures to the eggs that have yet to be put beneath the sand, Kanekith's eyes following. The young rider gradually releases his grip as his lifemate calms. He has a duty to do. Refocused, he gets to it, rumbling towards Luraoth. All is well again.

Whatever it is, they will fight it and- and- and… perhaps they do not need to fight? Not now, anyway. Luraoth's wings, half-mantled, pause as Soriana's thoughts - focused ones now, instead of vague memories - reach her. As her rider's hands brush at her neck. Shh. "It's okay. It'll be okay." Luraoth… listens. Her head lowers, and her wings settle to her back again. The dragonhealers near the walls breathe sighs of relief, though Luraoth continues to ignore them. She turns her gaze to Kanekith, the orange flecks of worry not yet entirely absent, but… calmer. « We will protect them. » All of them. The children. Luraoth's eyes settle on Ka'el for a moment, the shade of them not entirely pleased. He is Kanekith's, yes, but… her wings flick, and she abruptly turns back, scooping sand around the silver-hued egg to protect it. To guard it from prying eyes and unwelcome touches. Soriana glances to Ka'el briefly, a rueful look, then returns her attention to Luraoth. See? It's okay. Her eggs are here. See how slack her belly seems now? It won't hurt the eggs to spend a moment or three not fully buried. They'll hold their warmth. (There's plenty of warmth.) Luraoth snorts, and nudges more sand around the soft shell. Her eggs are here. Her vigil will begin, and she leaves the buried one behind to walk through her eggs once more, inspecting the set of five - oh. Wait. She pauses at a belated sensation. Make that six.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Yolk in the Face Egg ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Most of this shell wears somber tones, slate grey traced with a scalloped pattern in black. Concentric ripples, as though the pattern waves or wind make on the sand has been captured and wrapped around the graceful curve. A single moment, frozen in time - or perhaps in shock. Near the top, a ragged yellow splotch has disrupted the peaceful surface, a blob of vivid saffron tossed off-center onto the shell. It seems to be dripping, yellow streaks tracing along the curved outer surface.

Good. Things are well. As well as they're going to be. Ka'el manages a smile to Kanekith as the bronze goes to tend to the eggs left uncovered alongside Luraoth, and when his eyes shift to Soriana, his smile falters, then fades. The heat around him is suffocating. How are eggs and dragons comfortable in this? He steps back, retreating to his former spot on the perimeter to watch the rest of the clutching and burying, eyes on Kanekith and staying there. He's unsure whether or not Luraoth minded him being so close, but he's not willing to chance it. It's all gone so smoothly (mostly) so far! No hiccups. No mistakes to leave unhealing fractures in their future. The dragons are all right, and Ka'el is relieved. One, two, three, four.. He counts the mounds. There were thirteen in the last clutch. This one? Six so far, and he waits for the arrival of another. As does Kanekith, as the yellow dropped egg is deposited within its makeshift nest of sand and buried. More. More! Give him more to fawn over and be proud of and rumble a dragon's lullaby to. More! He wants more! « We will protect them. » He agrees with his queen, mood soaring up and up again. Together, they will cherish these eggs until they hatch and spill forth prized possessions. Children. His (awesome) children!

There were thirteen in the last clutch. There are six here now. Six mounds of sand, and Luraoth visits each of them in turn. Hello, future son. Hello, future daughter. Are you comfortable? Isn't the heat nice? She nudges the sands, making sure they're just right. Reassuring herself that all is well with her eggs. Her six eggs, because she makes a full circuit and there's still only six of them. Less than half of the previous clutch. Soriana walks with her for a while, then steps back to just outside the cluster of shells. Far closer than Ka'el is, but her gaze sweeps over the six piles of sand as well before settling on her small queen. Soriana's lips tug up in a small smile. How can she not? Luraoth emanates pleasure as she inspects her eggs, then settles herself down with her body curved to make a sheltering arc for them. Her eggs. Her children. They're all here now.

Is that every one? Every single one? Kanekith has nothing left to bury. No more holes that need to be filled, and so stops to stand and watch Luraoth check things over. Is everything to her liking? All is how it should be? His eyes swirl expectantly, and it's only when she lays that he moves closer to her, warbling a contented sound. But he pauses, midway, head swinging to his rider. He is his family, as much as these eggs are. More so than these eggs shall be, for the hatchlings won't be his for more than a second after hatching before their lives move on with someone else. Ka'el is his forever, and his forever…is so distant. Ka'el smiles, lifting up a hand reassuringly. "I saw them. Every one, I promise," he assures, voice barely carrying, though it needn't carry at all for the bronze to hear. Kanekith is being told to go and be with her, and he knows that he should be with her now. But his Ka'el… A cool shadow nuzzles the mind of his rider before Kanekith turns to move towards Luraoth, settling himself near her. She watches over the eggs. He watches over her. And her rider is there too. Soriana, a speck of sand amongst thousands of grains. But his attention is not for her, or for the people above who start to rise, mill, chat, and leave now that the excitement is over and waiting has begun. No, his attention is for his family, and he is content. Ka'el wipes sweat from his brow, looking up to the observation level as well and shielding his gaze.

Soriana stays with Luraoth for a while, checking that she's okay. That everything feels right. Which is does. Of course it does; Luraoth has her eggs. They're good, until she decides it's time to turn them, and then the process of exposing and nudging and burying will begin again. For now, though, all is right with her world. Soriana nods, and leans for a moment against the sand-warmed hide of her dragon in a hug… then steps away. "I won't go far," she tells the gold in answer to a soft chirp, and Luraoth subsides to the sands, her thoughts brushing out to twine with Kanekith's. She has pride in these eggs; he has affection for them. Together, they will guard them. Soriana… well. She probably should talk to one of the dragonhealers, but first she's going to go to someone else, hanging about the edges. Ka'el. For perhaps the first time since she got here, her attention fully settles on him. "Hey," she greets, belated and quiet, and… she smiles. "Thanks for coming."

Thea is with the milling, chatting people. She can do that now that she's no longer holding her breath over the momentary alarm in the dragons below. No eggs inadvertently kicked or stepped on - whew! She doesn't linger long, though. Her work beckons and she's now behind. Lunch will have to be postponed, for surely in a while the cooks will be whipping up a celebratory feast for these first-time clutch parents' achievement. She'll eat then, yeah.

Kera grins as Minimur chirps and croons from his perch til the final egg is tended carefully by the duo of dragons. When observers starts slipping away, Kera gets to her feet quickly and waves as she rushes back to her duties before she gets in trouble.

If Ka'el was looking for a specific face up there, he'd be hard pressed to find it. The bright lights make everyone look like black smudges. Or perhaps he was trying to get a count of how many people showed up for the clutching. How many friends. How many enemies. But, again, he can't see and so gives up, dropping his arm. Standing around now that the eggs are done being dropped is starting to feel…awkward, and thus he's about to make his great escape and leave the dragon parents to be and Soriana with them. Problem? Soriana's not with them. She's with him! And so his intentions of turning and sneaking off are stalled by her appearance, and he "ers" unintelligently at her, before collecting his thoughts. "Heh. Hey.." he offers in quiet return, smiling slightly, arms clutching his riding jacket and goggles he's retrieved. "Yeah, uh .. thanks for lettin' me," he answers. "It was .. pretty cool." Light smile. "I wasn't gonna stay too long," he assures, nodding to the exit. "I'll come back later." Maybe they could do this in shifts? This obviously isn't the caverns. No safe table between them. No milling crowds of people. "Gotta figure out how to be a Galaxy rider with nothin' to ride, y'know?" he jokes with a light smirk.

Soriana nods. "Yeah. It was." Insofar as anything this hot can be cool. She glances back to the dragons at the mention of Galaxy. Yeah, Kanekith seems like he's settled in. Sori smiles slightly. "Maybe they can find some paperwork for you." Or he can bring her paperwork to her? Because, well, Soriana gets the feeling Luraoth is going to want her here. Maybe from the draconic eyes drifting across her as the queen rests? Yeah, that. "I'll… be here." She looks back to Ka'el. "Come visit, okay?" She means it. Mostly. But she won't try to keep him here now. Not with the heat. He can go back to… heh. "Maybe they can loan you to Asteroid for the next couple months." The heat of the forges will help prepare him for here… or was that the other way around? Soriana smiles, a little teasing and mostly not weird. "Anyway. I'll see you later," she says, and her hand twitches in a… wave. Yeah. She'll wave to him, and then she'll watch him go before going to talk to those dragonhealers and make sure everything's okay and, if she can, get an impromptu lesson or three while she's at it.

Paperwork. Every wing has it. Ka'el can only hope he's not the new drudge worker for the next however long. He only grins a little at her quip, because it's not really funny. Paperwork is never funny. It's evil! And being stuck with that will surely have him falling behind. "I'll figure something out," he says to himself, the wheels turning. There's plenty of groundwork he could do. Too much time in the forges might end up reflecting badly on him, though the thought it tempting. He's not sure why he's surprised she she claims that she'll be here when he comes to visit. Of course she will. Briana was /always/ here during that time. So was Sorrin. "Yeah, I will," he assures, smile small, troubled almost. He misses her tease, his mind too busy trying to figure out if she's being honest or just kind and tolerant of him being here because he should be here. It's a tiring dance, this, with ups and downs of alternating hope and doubt. Her wave has his mouth twitching downward for a split second, gone beneath the blink of an eye. He nods in return. "Yeah. See you." He turns, then pauses. "Oh. Congratulations," he offers with a nod to the clutch parents and the mounds of eggs. "She did great." A smile, brief, and he's gone.

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