Fondling Dragon Eggs

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.

Kilaueth is settled on the Sands, the queen having been shuffled to one side at least for the duration, ash-tipped wings spread as she's more than ready to launch back into protective mother mode at any cause. Isterreth has been similarly shuffled to the side, looking rather suspiciously at the group of candidates now lingering at the edge of the sands, waiting for the okay. "If you've never been on the Sands before, please remember - Move slowly, be careful, and don't raise your voice. And, above all, when Kilaueth says its time to go, its time to go." Niva offers in simple explanation, nodding her head at the Sands and the clutch settled there amongst their sandy mounds.

e-on slants his eyes along the group of them gathered for the touching, looking for friendly faces in the candidate lineup. Spotting Ashkeia, he moves over to join her, with an excited grin that probably requires no verbalization. When some of the candidates linger a bit, the older boy decides to go ahead… and slowly approaches the queen and her eggs, with a polite, careful bow to the gold.

Though V'dim was unable to make it - lucky Candidates - he did send a representative in the form of N'shen, who lingers at Niva's shoulder, studying the Candidates thoughtfully. With his hands tucked behind his back, the Weyrlingmaster's assistant sends a comforting smile as they slowly trickle onto the Sands, shifting his feet against the heat. "Wonder if this pack'll toss up like they did at Fort," he muses to the Weyrwoman softly.

That Ashkeia's more than a bit skeptical about this whole egg touching business isn't really a secret, at least to her fellow candidates. Still, don't knock what you haven't experienced is a good rule to live by and hey, this has got be better than mending the holes in other people's underwear, right? A couple of the others might be fair quivering in their eagerness to start groping shells, but the glasscrafter has a wary eye on the clutchparents. Big, teeth, claws… yeeeeah. "Well, go on then," she mutters to a weedy boy unfortunate enough to be standing next to her, giving him a nudge between his shoulderblades. He can be the distraction while the rest make a run for it… or something.

Niva is watching the candidates gather even as her lifemate is doing the same thing, her gaze narrowing a bit at a pair of girls barely old enough to stand as they fidget and fuss at each other, distracted for a moment before N'shen's words draw her attention back to the teenagers, looking at him with a long look. "Did they? Really?" And then a little amused snort, and Niva is shaking her head, while Kilaueth snorts at the first candidates who dare approach, snarling a bit at the weedy boy, though it pauses as her attention turns to Relion, pondering him once more. And then, with a snort, permission to touch the eggs is granted and she's settling back out of the way.

Relion watches Kilaueth more closely, as she ponders him. Only when she moves back, the permission more clear and granted, does he move again. Not hesitant, particularly, he's calm, smoothing over his excitement or interest with a cover of being… relaxed and collected. He moves around more slowly, as a specific egg sparks his interest, moving carefully, to finally touch an egg, the Amidst the Darkest Night Egg, carefully, steeling himself for what may happen.

Well, since no one's had their head immediately bitten off — literally or figuratively — Ashkeia venture's forth with careful steps, following Relion's example of politeness with a clumsy curtsy. Abandoning weedy to the twittering mercies of younger, more sympathetic girls, she edges towards Relion to note softly, "Got your wish then, eh?" A quick, crooked smile is flashed before she turns her attention to studying shells, lips twitching in amusement as the brightest, prettiest ones get VTOL-lined for by most. As for her? She wanders towards Outlook Not So Good, her fingers curling at her hip before reaching out to lightly brush just the tips against the curved shell, clearly not expecting much of anything to happen.

Relion barely had time to smile a little at Ashkeia before all of his attention is taken by the alien consciousness creeping into his awareness. He stays frozen, face intense, brows drawing together slowly as he copes with the sensation, trying to decide what it is, or even… what he thinks about it. He instinctively drew back, but steels himself to try again, steadying his own focus, staring into the colors trickling over the surface of the egg he's focused on.

Ashkeia's gasp is sharp and swift as she snatches her hand back, vigorously rubbing her thumb over the tips of her fingers. Brows quirking together she darts a glance around, half bemused and half suspicious as she gives her head a ponderous shake. Still with suspicion her gaze returns to the egg before her, and whether needing to prove something to herself or just make a show of not being put off, she deliberately reaches out to gently place her palm square on that strange blue triangle.

Relion watches the egg, brows pushed together, as if trying to decipher a very confusing puzzle. Very confusing indeed, really. The echoes of memorys that change how that spirit reacts… Relion squints as it seems to withdraw, pausing, but then leaving his hand on it, to be sure that it really has pulled away, questions pushing at the front of his own mind, but he stays verbally silent.

Ashkeia takes a full step backwards this time, shaking her head again as she reaches up to press the heel of her hand to her temple. Too quiet to carry, her lips move as she mutters, blinking owlishly. She even goes so far as to turn away, but pauses and looks back over her shoulder. Curiosity or something more, draws her back, at first just staring pensively at the egg. Finally, purposefully, she reaches out again, once more muttering as she trails her fingers along the curve of that white line.

Relion doesn't pull away right away; he watches the egg, as if expecting more from it. He touches the surface again, waiting for something more, hoping perhaps… but no, there's no further response. He slowly moves away from the egg, glancing to other candidates, watching them, as if to try to determine if their eggs were similar to his own. He moves slowly around a small girl that looks like she might want to touch the one he was at, moving down the egg line, eyes moving briefly to Ashkeia.

As the candidates begin to move amongst the eggs, Kilaueth still lingers, inching perhaps a little closer here and there, shifting and lifting her bulk to hover over some of the more.. troublesome candidates, offering a warning snort now and again.

Something has made Ashkeia grin, toothy, like she's a breath away from laughter. The expression fades slowly, but not fully, lingering in the tuck of the corners of her mouth. For all of that though she also still seems a touch off balance, a small twitch as if there were perhaps a ringing in her ears or something of that nature. Catching Relion's glance, she straightens up from her habitual slouch and quirks her brows at him. "Weird," is all she verbalizes. Stepping away, she looks around again, her decisions apparently moved by which eggs seem to be neglected by their fellows. That innocuously fuzzy one, for instance….

"….Yeah," Relion's agreement to her statement, with a brief, confused laugh, as if something about this was disconcerting to him, but he's still going along with it. Certainly no breakdown or freakout, but he moves slowly down the line to pick the obvious opposite— deciding to try the colorful Quick Draw egg, touching a reddish band, focusing on it, careful, after that previous strange egg.

Ashkeia's hand lingers on the strange suggestion of a button, hovering almost with fingers touching but palm still above the shell. She almost seems to shrink in on herself, breath expelling in a soft, long sigh as she goes still. Lights are on but clearly, she's no longer home.

Relion coughs and laughs once, a quick, unsure sound, at the onslaught from the Quick Draw egg. Rapid fire indeed, as the name suggested. He isn't resistant, though, and leaves his palm on the egg, allowing it to explore, though he doesn't look distant, actually pretty focused on the egg itself, the surface of it.

Ashkeia's still far away, but the shifting of her expression may give sign that no, she's not about to suffer from an unexpected case of heat exhaustion. Puzzlement creases her brow, and a hint of uncertainty. Caution rather than trepidation, a reserve as she waits — for more to be revealed, or for her to be released.

Relion grins somewhat, a positive reaction, evidently, to the extremely inquisitive egg. "Still haven't left," he says verbally to the egg, though naturally nobody will hear the other side of that conversation, and his low vocalization probably makes no sense. A girl at his left peers a little at him, but then smiles with a blush; she'd been talking to HER egg not long before, hadn't she.

When Ashkeia returns to the sands, mentally speaking, she lifts her hand away from the deceptively fluffy-looking egg as if it were burnt. "Shi- uh. Shells." Bending down, she presses her hand into the hot sand, fingers curling down into the grains as if assuring herself that yes, this is reality. Disconcerted, she makes her retreat but keeps her hands to herself for a while, needing a little time to recover from that last one. Watching the others, studying their expressions as they continue to commune.

Relion laughs softly to the Quick Draw egg, touching it briefly in an attempt to wish it farewell, maybe, and looks down to Ashkeia. "Are you okay?" he asks her quietly, daring to reach down to breifly touch her shoulder, too, as he passes, if she allows. Watching her for a moment, though, taking the pause to check on his fellow candidate.

As Kilaueth shifts again, snorting at the pair of girls, Niva is finally moving to run interference, one hand resting on each teens' shoulder. "Barracks. Now." She says firmly, her tone leaving no room for argument, and their departure at least seems to let Kilaueth relax for the moment, the gold snorting as she settles back down, settling for nudging Niva instead.

Ashkeia nods sharply, more for show than anything, her reply to Relion kept just between them. "I will be. That was… It wouldn't let go." Fair warning for if he's curious to find out for himself, but she seems unable or unwilling to say much else about the recent experience, giving the egg a last, wary look. Her attention is drawn by the two being sent packing, and she snorts softly. "I'll bet you my next rest day, there's hair pulling in the barracks later over whose fault that was." She gives her head a wry shake, smiles for her auburn-haired fellow. "Think I'm going to try one more, before she gets any anstier," with a headtilt towards Kilaueth. Moving then, she approaches one that looks rather like a pack of children were set loose on it with finger paints.

Relion nods to Ashkeia, pausing to watch Kilaueth's annoyance at the two girls. "Yeah, I bet there will be." However, he does not occord them much attention beyond that, going back to the purpose at hand, unsure how much longer they'll be allowed to commune with the eggs. Perhaps touching that last one infected him with a bit of it's impatience. His next choice of egg will be to pass to coils of Energy, hand angled to the ridge.

Ashkeia visibly relaxes, some worry perhaps lingering after the strangeness of the last egg. This one though seems to chase away that odd pensiveness, a swift smile curling her lips. Head tilting, the track of her gaze broadcasts the sweep of her fingers, tracing the line of warring blue and yellow.

Relion squats down next to the Coils Egg, hand skimming down slowly over the surface to the side of a band of color and silver, keeping contact with it, expression soothed, surprise at the first touch of this egg fading quickly into a comfortable… but vacant… expression.

Even as the two troublemakers are removed from the sands, another one of the candidates is tugging his hand harshly from the 'fuzzy' egg, yelping as he takes a few dancing steps back, thankfully tripping over his own two feet and ending up in a pile in the hot Sands - and not in anything else.

"In my day, we respected the Sands," N'shen mutters to Niva, green eyes dancing as his gaze flickers over the other Candidates. "None of this fooling around nonsense. At least none of them have tossed up - yet," is added thoughtfully. Clearly, someone has been spending way too much time with a certain Weyrlingmaster.

Ashkeia's gasp this time is not one of sharp startlement, but of quiet delight. Lifting from the egg, her gaze seems to focus on the air above it, though an unfocused quality reveals her attention is more inward than outwardly directed. A soft laugh, until that yelp jarrs against whatever display she sees inside her mind. Brows furrowing she looks over, her hand unconsciously shifting from an exploratory touch, to an almost soothing caress. As if an egg needs to be soothed. Good thing she can't see herself.

Relion has no awareness of the other candidate's trouble with the Fuzz egg, totally absorbed into the egg that he himself is currently communicating with, eyes closing, a relaxed expression continuing to flow over his (still very distant) smile. He drops his other hand to the surface as well, fearless of touching this egg fully.

"Delightful," Ashkeia murmurs, her touch lingering as she looks down at the brightly hued shell with an expression that could be called fond. And, without even an self conciousness, she adds a, "Thank you." A final, gentle pat of farewell before she steps away, clearly reluctant but the weedy lad she nudges at the very start is looking hopeful that he might sneak in a turn.

Relion stays with this egg a little longer, perhaps lingering on the last impression it left with him, before drawing his hands gently away and stepping back. No mistakes in the sand; Relion's careful physically of where he is, where the eggs are, and not to tangle with other candidates. He looks aside to the great queen, and smiles, quiet and subdued to her. "No wonder you are so proud of them," he observes to the gold.

"In your day?" Niva asks with a smirk at the young bronzerider, shaking her head with a little tsk. "You're worse than V'dim is." She offers under her breath, before with a sigh she's moving to help the boy to his feet - And Kilaueth is moving back to hover over her clutch, wings starting to spread in an attempt to protect her eggs from the tomfoolery and arguments of the younger candidates, even as she offers a little bit of a thankful croon to Relion's compliment - its not enough to settle her mood. "And, -that- is how Kilaueth says she's had enough." Niva says in a way that implies it should have been obvious, shaking her head and waving a hand a little. "You'll be allowed back out when she's calm - Well, -some- of you at least." Niva offers, with a threatening glare to the boy still lingering at her side before he squeaks and disappears in a rush.

Ashkeia dips another clumsy curtsy, "Thank you ma'am, Kilaueth." But she's not foolish enough to linger. Manners appeased, she picks out the shortest route to the exit from her position, and follows it. Bye!

Relion nods quickly as well, deciding to also make himself scarce before their welcome is particularly worn out. He glances to Ashkeia, and follows in her wake, still churning inwardly with the effects of that touching.

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