Are you my Weyrmother?
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Hatching Arena - Entrance Foyer
The hatching arena stands proudly at the southern edge of the clearing. Dark stone walls lead to a domed roof of tawny orange, an orb like Rukbat's glow or the shell of an egg. There's a footpath that leads along the outside of the building and passes along a hatchling-sized tunnel cut through the edge of the mountain to the west.
The foyer extends out from the front of that dome, a tunnel grand enough for a queen to enter. The central doors can be thrown open to allow massive amounts of people into the foyer with ease, the well-lit space both having many thick-paned windows as well as spaced lights along the walls. Smooth tile has carefully been laid on the floor, a variety of orange hues reflecting the pale tan of the walls. Wide areas have been left unadorned - perhaps for future artistic endeavors - on either side of a pair of low, bronze doors which remained closed the majority of the time, as they lead to the sands themselves. A pair of wide staircases on either side lead upwards to the observation level.
The Dragonhealers' Annex is a bulge on one side, entered through the foyer or through a pair of outer doors less adorned but no less massive, and to the other side, tucked against the side of the building, are Candidate Barracks.


Evening at Xanadu Weyr, the summer breeze plays in the trees, and everything is exactly as it should be. It's amazing how a day so ordinary to everyone else can be the biggest day of someone else's life. This day, a day soon forgotten as another average day in life will never be forgotten by Evangeline. The girl is dressed is a fuschia pleated skirt that nearly reaches her ankles, a light white top that is buttoned all the way up to her throat and tucked into the skirt. Small pieces of thread are in her frizzy hair, and she is wearing low ankle boots. The slow steps of someone utterly lost is what may be heard as she nears the hatching arena, her arms are crossed in front of her body in a guarding fashion, and a brown firelizard hatchling is in her front pocket. Standing in front of the candidate barracks, in her right hand is a white knot. Sometimes life needs a pause, at this moment, Evi is totally still her mouth set and eyes downcast, and any healer would know that she might be a tad shocky. It has been one of those days. The frozen appearance of the girl is unnatural at best, sometimes life stops you in its tracks.

Is it traditional for a goldrider to set up shop in the foyer, rather than the sands themselves? MAYBE NOT. Citayla is super pregnant, though, and somebody has been kind enough to bring down her desk. It's tucked away in the most out-of-the-way corner that can be found, and maybe one of the doors to the sands is open so it's not so pleasant, but that's just how it's gonna be. Ilyscaeth and Xermiltoth are a two-dragon symphony; anybody not acquainted might assume all the musical racket is harpers riffing on each other, but well. No. It's the proud, proud parents. Citayla's not so deep in a very official-looking novel (is that…R'hyn on the cover.) that she doesn't notice a brand new candidate wandering through, looking lost. It takes a few moments for her to assess, but Cita's up in a flash, approaching Evi like one might a wild animal, gentle, slow, no sudden movements or eye contact. "Evening, Evangeline. I've got juice at my desk, why don't you come sit with me." The rider chivvies, quiet-bright, hands on either side in a…herding motion? Well. Look. "I was hoping that I'd see you again. And here you are!" Cita flashes a sideways look that might be a smile, head falling to the side; inviting any sort of explanation, likely, as she mutely fixes a little glass of cold juice and offers it, gesturing at the chair.

LOOK. The length of Evangeline's day means she could probably miss half the Weyr laying dead on the ground around her. The introversion is real, the stillness overcoming her is broken by the surprise presence of Citayla. "Oh!" Despite the slow movement she startles, because at the moment Pern's population is 1. Gazing over at her little desk and the door to the sands Evangeline purses her lips. "I, well." Holding up the white knot to Citayla eyes wide, "I have never even seen dragon eggs. I think the person who picked me up was drunk." Her voice contains no reproach, the fact simply stated with a wave of the knot "Any moment now I am sure someone will wake me up, right?" The glazed over look on her face makes it clear she is unsure if this is a nightmare or a dream, that whispy look people get when their souls are somehow pulled from them in times of stress. She is not hard to herd into a chair, sitting down and holding the glass of juice but not sipping any of it. "I ma'am it's nice to see you too. I did not expect…" WHAT Evi, you didn't expect to be dropped off in a somewhat alien place by a mute man after being handed a golden ticket by Willy Wonka. Yep. One hand goes up, pointing to everything around her. "What. a. day."

Citayla hums a happy little sound — one echoed by Ilyscaeth, fluting high and echoing in the cavern — at the presented knot, mouth stretching wide in a smile. "I think you'll be seeing rather a lot of them, soon." The rider offers, quiet, still smiling warmly as she shakes her head. "Zhelinath is a fine dragon. She's not wrong. Ily agrees; but, well, she doesn't have the same eye for it." Cita shrugs, helpless, settling back down into her own chair and leaning elbows on the desk. She fixes Evi with a long, thoughtful look, head tipped a little to the side. Finally: "I felt that way for a sevenday or so after the second time they talked me into it. I'd wake up, surely, pop right up out of bed back in my bedroom, because I couldn't be here." Well. There, in a Weyr whose sands are cold, but…best not to go down that line of thought. Cita shakes it. Lets the newly-minted candidate have a moment to collect her words, before she's huffing something like a laugh, tipping back in the chair a little. "One day at a time. Today was quite a day; tomorrow will be too. After that, well. Maybe you'll find that it's all old-hat in a few sevendays." The healer suggests, smile gone rueful, soft around the edges.

Evangeline is not the dimmest bulb, but current things being what they are she seems to suddenly grasp something. "So-" Beat. "Your dragon is whose eggs they are?" Eyebrows go up with a question, chin dipping slightly and she blinks twice. The book with what might R'hyn on the cover is suddenly noticed, her head tilts, and she blinks hard again. The sound made by Ilyscaeth receives a startle, gazing around and looking back at Citayla. "You did?" The hand not holding onto the knot goes to her pocket, coaxing out the resting firelizard and running a single finger along his length. Slowly, like a skein of yarn unraveling, she relaxes. "My cousin will need to go get my cats, she might be able to keep them. How long will this take? Before I can go back to my old life?" Brown eyes search Citayla's face for a long moment. "My ma would not approve of this, I still am not sure why I agreed." The knot is examined again, and she attaches it to her shoulder and peers down at it. "Like putting on a dress that doesn't fit, isn't it?" Lips pursing and rolling under, brows all furrow and thoughtfulness. Shifting forward she tries to look into the door to possibly see these eggs, a guilty look shot to Cita she leans back again. "Do… people laugh at you when the dragons leave you standing?" Innocence, quiet innocence tinged with fear.

It doesn't seem like Cita's surprised at that — Evangeline isn't from Xanadu, after all, so she just beams, peeking around the doorframe to smile at Ily. "They're hers, yeah. Ten of 'em. She's so proud of them." She admits, sounding not a little proud, herself. "That's why I'm here. I need, ah, breaks. From the heat." A quieter explanation — her own not-quite failing, still kept quiet enough to not travel far. Cita might not have noticed the double-take, if not for her own distant attention; she laughs, pats the book fondly, but doesn't interrupt to explain what. "I did. It can be hard, the first few days." The goldrider doesn't mince words too much, but she's gentle, looking pretty confident in the girl's ability to manage it all. "You can keep them in the barracks, if you like. There's no need to be away from them, if you'd like." It's a little hard to talk while you're cooing at baby firelizards, but Cita manages, smiling warmly at the little brown before she continues: firm, now. "It'll be a few months before they hatch. Your mother…well, she won't be the first mother to be surprised by a child gone to the sands. Mothers adjust, with time." The healer says this with conviction — she's sure, here, even where she maybe shouldn't be so entirely. It takes a second for her to answer the next, on a thoughtful look into the cavern where the eggs incubate, Ilyscaeth curled around them and Xermi both. "I wasn't sure, either. Couldn't tell you, still, why I did. I'm glad I did, though. Oh, the white is so jarring, isn't it?" The end, at least, gets an amused kind of tut. The amusement dies back a bit at the guilty look; Cita shakes her head, tuts again, firmer. "No, don't. Look all they want: they're not for me. They're for you." She's sincere, here, leaning forward on the desk. "They don't. If they did, Ily would —" Don't tell the poor holdbred girl that she'd eat people, Cita, don't - "Be very upset. But I've never seen it."

With Cita's permission, she scoots forward in her chair, craning her neck around and leaning forward with her elbows on her knees. A small smile starts to form, and her face brightens up her eyes dance with wonder at the giant dragon eggs. "Woah, those are… Are they always so colorful?" Inquiring with a tap of her hands on her knees. Small nods and apprehensive looks around punctuate the teen's attention on Cita, a giant sigh emitting from her when the cats are brought up. "Oh, that would be the very best. I am sure they are going mad. I was going to get some food, before finishing a project and then N'on.. he whistled at me?" There's a slight question in her voice as she recalls events, "Then he handed me the knot, took me to a beach and dropped me off here." Nervous toe taps are given at the mention of mothers, "My ma will be furious, but Nana is going to be thrilled." The tension in her body over her mother melts away when speaking of her Nana, a bright shit-eating grin filling her face as she thinks about the old woman's joy. Scooping up Edgestitch the little brown is deposited back in her pocket, and she glances around, the talk with Cita like numbweed on a cut having encouraged her. "Ma'am, thank you so much for… well everything." The lost girl seems to have found her bearings and looking over at the door to the barracks. "Do you need anything Citayla?" Remembering her courtesy and staring for a moment at the woman's obviously pregnant stomach. "Shouldn't one of your Weyrmates be rubbing your feet?" Even the talk of how many lovers Cita has brings a huge blush to Evangeline's face, the joke slips from her lips before she can catch it and for a moment she reels back in prep for a reprimand.

This, it seems, also fills Cita with pride — shared with Ilyscaeth, if the happy croon from the sands is anything to go by. "Oh, sometimes. Varies clutch to clutch. Sometimes they're more like wherry eggs, sometimes…" You know. Whatever that is, a riot of color baking happily away in the adult dragons' noisy adoration. "I'm sure they will, inevitably. Mine get very angry if I'm minutes late with dinner." The rider snorts, shakes her head; pauses, a beat, then nods. "Well, it seems to have done the job. I'll walk you to the Weyrlingmaster's office; one of them can help you, from there, I'm not clear on the whole process. For anything other than the things that they take care of, though," Here, Cita's serious again, taking a sip of her own glass of juice as she gathers her thoughts. "You're welcome to come see me. I'll be, well, here." The goldrider gestures around with wry amusement — her home, for the most part, for the next few months. It's not so bad, at least. As for Evi's parents, Cita raises her eyebrows, smiles maybe a little mischievously. "Even if your mom's grown, your nan's still at least a little in charge." She murmurs, like it's some great secret, playful. "So if she's happy, well, you've at least made the lady in charge happy! If you'd like to write her, you can borrow a firelizard until your little fella's big enough. Look at those tiny legs," Ah, she's cooing again, never mind that the baby's not in front of her face any more. LOOK. They're both REAL BROODY, OKAY. "Precious. Useless, utterly, for a while. Precious though." Cita trails off after a beat, smiles warmly. "It's my pleasure. Really. You've really made my evening more lively while Ryn and Ila are with the babies." PLURAL. Hoo boy. "I appreciate the company, and I'm very glad to see you again — especially, in this. Need? No, no, I've got everything here. Thank you, Evangeline." There's sincerity, but also amusement, mostly because: "I honestly thought you'd say that and Ila'den would come around the corner. Must be getting rusty." TUT, and reprimand? Oh no, Cita's laughing, little snorting, ridiculous cackles not quite loud enough to disturb the dragons.

All the crooning going on in the sands gets another look from Evangeline, she rises from the chair and walks over to the door to peer in at the singing pair of dragons and the easter worthy clutch. "So big." Is uttered in wonder again, astonishment, because the first time you see dragon eggs is a big deal. Turning back to Cita, she shakes her head, "No no, Nana lives here. She has lived here for fifty-five turns. Da was born here. " The information offered up as casual facts, though it is likely the weyrwoman knows of the brown and his old lady. "I have a cousin here, Ony, an' my aunt lives here with my other cousins… Ma doesn't like them." A shake of her head, it's pretty apparent that her Ma doesn't like almost anyone really. One last look at the eggs, her body taking on the shocked stillness for a moment before she shakes her head and moves forward. A hand is offered to Citayla, but while her hand is still out, she says, "If you want to point me in the direction, you maybe should stay seated." Eyeing the pregnant woman's girth and back up. "Edgestitch mostly sleeps an' eats, but he wanted me so." Shoulder to her ear, what can you do, eh? The mention of Ila'den tenses the teen up, "That man is scary… maybe he needs a different colored eyepatch to lighten him up or somethin' surprised kids don't have nightmares. He did help pick up my feathers, though." A small frown on her face, because moral ambiguity is hard and coalescing the Ila'den who owns a dragon who might eat kittens, and Ila'den who would pick up her feathers is hard for a brain that has done so much in one day. The mention of them taking care of the babies gets a shake of her head as if the image might overwhelm her at this time. "I.. well, I am glad this accomplished something." A small sweet smile, and whether Citayla leads her to the office or she goes herself that is where she is headed. The day has been a lot, beginnings are hard, but without them, nothing ever happens now does it?


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