Touch Me TWICE...

Xanadu Weyr - Hatching Sands
A domed ceiling stretches high above the sands, enough open air for a queen and her mate to be comfortable with their clutch. Thin slits of windows around the edges let in a little light, though more of the illumination comes from electric lamps diffused off the dome. The sands are ringed by the dark blue seats of the observation level, the first third exposed to the sweltering heat of the sands but those in the back glassed off for the comfort of those watching.
The circle itself is filled with a mix of red and white sands, deep enough to cover the largest of dragon eggs with ease. To one side, a small door is visible, hidden away behind a platform meant to provide a place for the clutch parent's lifemates to stand during the on goings.

It's a quiet evening at Xanadu, if you don't count the constant symphony of noise that Xermiltoth and Ilyscaeth are gracing the sands' general area with. Dinner's passed, and it's been a few days and at least a few other groups of candidates' chance to touch the ten-strong clutch warming on the sands. The reviews are mixed, around the barracks, but isn't that normal? When one of the Assistant Weyrlingmasters leads the candidates in, this time, Citayla is fully awake. She's sitting on her chaise, still, but stands when Ily's little ducklings line up — sets her grisly-titled book down and smiles at the group. "Evening. I know they've told you what to do," Beat, nosewrinkle. "What not to do. You know the drill. Ilyscaeth will not be yelling at anybody," The particularly vicious look the goldrider shoots her dragon promises dire consequences, but who's counting. Ilyscaeth does look moderately contrite, at least, for all that she pulls her egg closer to her chest. "But she's being protective of this one. Off you go." The healer wiggles her fingers at the bunch of them and settles back down in her chaise; but doesn't pick her book back up, yet. Gotta keep an eye on 'em.

Reviews may be mixed, but that hasn't cowed Keruthien in the slightest! If anything, he's overly intrigued now as to what awaits this experience. You only live once, right!? At least he's got the sense to behave himself and prove that yes, he can act normal if he's of the mind to do so. Stepping out on to the Sands, he'll bow respectfully to Ilyscaeth and Xermiltoth both before flashing an encouraging grin to the other Candidates he's with. Good luck! To Citayla, there's a grin as well but a little more… respectfully so. He doesn't tempt death (or eviction) quite yet! "Right, got it!" Noted and he'll pointedly go over there to some of the other eggs. First target egg? Egg of the Eternal Dance!

< Keruthien touches egg 5 - Egg of the Eternal Dance >

Evangeline is back, back again. This time she is wearing a lavender, full length pleated skirt and a white top that goes all the way to her wrists and as usual buttons to her throat. Although the Weyrlingmasters attempt to get her to wear something cooler, maybe something less likely to trip her, she has persisted with her outfits. Approaching the sand, she walks on and stands to the side, curtsying to Xermiltoth and Ilyscaeth she lifts her skirt up and makes a show of it. Moving towards Kissed by the wild egg, she smiles and says with a small crack in her voice. The only sign that she might still be a bit nervous, "Hello, little one, I am… Evangeline." In the back of her mind, she has to wonder, does she really want these things knowing her name? With that, she lays her hand on the top of the egg and braces her other hand on her skirt for impact. INCOMING.

< Evangeline touches egg 1 - Kissed by the Wild Egg >

After the first run-in with this batch of eggs until this VERY MOMENT, Rhodelia has been avoiding the hatching sands like a plague area. Those assistant weyrlingmasters watchful eyes are very watchful (the ones that have both eyes anyways…) and the lack of attendance had certainly been noticed. Reluctantly corralled onto the sands with the rest of this particular group of her fellow candidates, Rhodelia gives the appropriate bows before giving a very longing glance towards the exit even as Citayla is giving promises of no yelling dragons. Rhody choses not to press her luck on that score and heads the very opposite direction of the broody gold. She'll hover near an egg, but hands still very much behind her back and NOT TOUCHING ANYTHING.

Katailea is curious if a bit hesitant as she makes her way to the sands with the rest. A curtsy to the clutch parents as they've all been instructed to do and then she turns towards the eggs, filtering with the rest of the candidates to find that one - Favor the Dark Egg.

< Katailea touches egg 6 - Favor the Dark Egg >

Welp, here we go again. Percival does what's required to make it into the cavern's unscathed (proper bribes and snackrifices to dragons… maybe. Ain't tellin') and he's finally amongst the eggs once more. Before stepping closer, the man offers a bow to the Pez-like egg dispensers. Only, he can't frown at the ovoids just yet. None has had a chance to effectively weird him out this go around, but there's a first for everything. He rubs his hands together, pressing his lips in a fine line in preparation of touching and once those green eyes find a good one to start with, he takes his chance with Fool Moon Egg.

"Oh… woah." Keruthien somehow manages to keep from exclaiming that too loudly and keeping it to a sort of strangled exhale. His first instinct is to pull his hand away but after some careful deliberation, he'll press his palm gently over the hardening shell. Okay, egg! He's listening.

< Percival touches egg 2 - Fool Moon Egg >

Evangeline drags her hand back so quickly you can nearly hear the snap, both hands find her skirt, and she grimaces, "Well little one. " Apprehension takes root, her lips tightening as she steps back from the egg. Looking over her shoulder, she stares at the exit and then takes a huge breath. Breath in 1,2,3,4,5,6 and hold. Out 1,2,3,4,5,6, anyone paying attention to her would see her using her fingers to count through her relaxation exercise. After two cycles of breathing, she says, "It's still me baby dragon; we might need more time." Gently she traces her finger along the shell as if she were writing on a dirty window.

« I didn't take you for a chicken. » Does that phrase have any sort of precedent? TOTALLY. We need it to, and therefore, it is. Descartes. Smart man. Probably. "Ilyscaeth. Really?" Citayla grits out, shooting daggers at the gold until the big thing rounds her shoulders a little, glances back at Rhodelia. « Please, my eggs', forgive me. I should not have yelled at you. » There's contrition, there, if reluctant — Ily would like to yell more, probably, but she can be reasonable. REALLY. « Please visit with the babies. They need you. » The gold adds, quieter, //less/ rehearsed. Cita beams at the gold, apparently happy with that. The same beaming look wanders the candidates — catches on Evi's counting, briefly, on a pleased nod, before switching to Keruthien, curious.

Is that regret tinging Keruthien's expression now? Oh yeah, there's definitely regret looming behind that strained look and curved smile. "H-hey now… play nice…" he mutters weakly, IN VAIN and really he could take his hands away and end the connection. Only it's like any good train wreck and he just cannot look away. In, in and in he goes, indeed! RIP, Ruthien. Even when he's mentally shoved back, he's too stunned to immediately back away, blinking dazed-like at the shell.

Percival isn't moving his hand just yet, he's just gonna stand there with a smug 'YOU CAN'T OUT ASSHOLE ME' look on his face, and he's patient. This isn't his first rodeo, this time he's more prepared for the mental onslaught of the shelled beings. A tiny wee bit more stable than last time. The young man still waits, sliding his fingertips across the shell of the egg before him. He takes a moment, glancing at the details of the shell itself before taking a deep breath and closing his eyes to Fool Moon Egg once more.

Rhodelia may be the BIGGEST CHICKEN as she jumps back as soon as Ilyscaeth speaks, even if there isn't yelling this time. "I'm not afraid." That's a total lie, but the dragon's apology does at least melt a little bit of the fear. Or maybe like any good mother, Ily just knows exactly how to lay on the guilt. "But it's not your fault. I should have paid more attention…" And this time she'll take a few hot-feet shuffles over towards the filigreed patterns of The Smoke That Rose Egg and ever so gently touch the top of the egg.

< Rhodelia touches egg 3 - The Smoke That Rose Egg >

Katailea's fingers gently press to the shell, not quite certain of the action but once they're there she's stuck, for a moment. The young woman's breath catches in her throat, held for a moment that's likely not nearly as long to anyone else that might be paying attention than it would seem to her. A look of sadness finding its way to her features with a frown that flickers away with a blink and a shake of her head as fingers a pulled away from the shell. It takes her a minute then, a glance around the cavern at the others before she can will herself to try again, hand hovering over the egg for a moment before she presses back in, gently of course.

"I'm sorry, eggie. I don't kiss and tell on the first date. You'll have to buy me dinner first." Percival isn't some cheap floozie that only goes on social calls for food. He is the food! The main course and the desert. The eggie can't afford this high class. Though, posturing and all, Percival is still a would up bundle of knots. A little nervousness, and a little excitement through it all. One last time, he nods his head to Fool Moon Egg as he slides his hand across the shell.

"Wow… wow," Keruthien's actually at a loss for words for once! He's also remembered how to breathe! Those two words come on the heels of a whoosh of air as he remembers to exhale. Is that his heart racing too? Who knows. But he's done touching that egg and is pressing one palm to his chest. Still somewhat dazed, he'll tentatively back away and begin to pick out the next once he can pick up the pieces of his mind. Eventually, he will drift towards 'Haloed in Light Egg' and gradually place his fingertips over the shell. Is he wincing a bit? Nah. That's just a trick of the eye!

< Keruthien touches egg 4 - Haloed in Light Egg >

« Good. I like my eggs' to be strong. » Ily agrees, bright again, fixing Keruthien with a curious kind of look. She doesn't quite hover, but she does croom at the young man, a bright bark of noise that makes Xermi snort in her direction. Ily flicks a wing at the bronze, then pats the egg that vexed the poor candidate so-so gently. Good egg. Cita rolls her eyes, snorts. "You're going to knock them over, knock it off." She mutters at the dragon, smacks a hand on the side of the gold's arm. « I won't. I like them. » Tell that to poor, traumatized Rhodelia, Ily.

Rhodelia may be driven by something this egg would never guess at! While she does quickly withdraw her hand, looking a little bit queasy after the emotional wringer of the nascent telepath in the shell in front of her. But there Ily is over there crooning and even though it's at another candidate, Rhody will take a big gulp and touch the shell in front of her once more.

Okay, there's no denying this one. Even though he's been on the sands and went through to the very end of Candidacy once more, Percival can never claim to be 100% on his toes with these eggs. The young man's eyes grow wide and he gasps, staggering back a few steps before falling down on his rear. He just sits there, giving the egg a level stare and he's quick to push himself back to his feet. The butcher dusts himself off and he begins his search again amongst the eggs for one free of hands. There, he decides, and places his hands on the shell of the Prize-Winning Produce Egg.

< Percival touches egg 8 - Prize-Winning Produce Egg >

Katailea shivers though the sands are more than warm. "No, I…" she whispers to herself, the egg. A shake of her head as she tries to clear her thoughts jut a little only to wince, eyes scrunching shut for a moment before she dares to peek again. A few steps are take as she moves around the egg before her. Maybe. Maybe once more.

The questions posed to Evangeline by Kiss by the wild egg give her pause, but her fingers remain on the surface of the shell. The mind of the baby dragon has her sniffing the air, body stiffening, and gaze drifting over the walls of the cavern. "Of course." She whispers, moving her hands back to her skirt, she lifts it up and curtsies. "I might not be who you want, little one." Wandering towards light of the mother moon egg, her eyes go to Ilyscaeth, and she says. "I will be nice, ok." A little nod to the queen, and she gently brushes some sand from the egg, saying, "Good evening, little one, I am Evangeline." The last egg has given her strength, and she seems bright and happy again.

< Evangeline touches egg 9 - Light of the Mother Moon Egg >

It's a good thing that Keruthien's about to be sucked in again, as he'll briefly register that Ily had crooned at him in that bright-bark noise that would've had him freeze on the spot. He still does, but that's more the fault of the new egg he's touching and not so much the protective dam nearby. This time his eyes do screw tightly, first to shut in instinct, then blink wildly as if struck blind. "… what the…" Usually one to ramble, his voice drifts out soon after and he's left to just gape as he struggles, only to be shoved again. His hand withdraws and he gives his head a slight shake — it'll be half a minute before he regains enough inner pep-talk courage before placing his hand back. Breath in, breath out. LET'S DO IT!

Rhodelia recoils for real this time. "That's personal!" but isn't putting your hand on a shell unasked also personal? Nevertheless, Rhody doesn't indulge that particular eggs further requests as she takes a few steps back, still rubbing at a phantom bracelet on her wrist. She's called onward and overwards now, over to the Beast that Calls the Egg and another very cautious touch.

< Rhodelia touches egg 7 - The Beast That Calls the Egg >

Katailea takes a step back. Thankfully she remains on her feet in the quickness of the movement. Breath quick, no hyperventilating though, she'll be fine. It might just take her a moment to refocus her thoughts which aren't exactly easy to pull away from all of what that was. Hands brush across her skirt, removing dust that may or may not actually be there before she pushes herself onto the next…

< Katailea touches egg 1 - Kissed by the Wild Egg >

Stefyr's blond hair is wet when he comes onto the sands alongside an AWLM who escorts a few candidates who had been otherwise engaged when this affair began. The big man knows the drill though, and he stops to bow to the dam and sire and then he straightens. The last time he left these sands, some might have laid down bets that he wouldn't willingly return, but here he is and he doesn't look especially put upon. He moves with care across the hot sands, giving the Prize-Winning Produce a look that has him gulping and then moving along. His hand comes to rest gently on the Egg of the Eternal Dance, eyes closing immediately to immerse himself in whatever the egg has to share.

< Stefyr touches egg 5 - Egg of the Eternal Dance >

Percival isn't sure what to do in this situation… He's intrigued, his face softening to awe for a moment before he swallows down air he forgot he should be breathing and those hands slide across the shell once more of Prize-Winning Produce Egg. These are the eggs he's fond of… if it stays this way. Traitorous eggs!

Oh yeah, he's definitely wincing a bit but that eventually relents and Keruthien can breathe shakily in mild relief. Why? Because it's not over yet. Something is going on in that head of is, enough that he's strangely quiet with brows furrowed and gaze distant and thoroughly far-away somewhere. "… I don't know either. Can you slow down? Wait…" he's probably not even aware of the hoarse mutterings he's voicing out loud but eventually he shakes enough off to blink himself back to a vague sense of reality. Huh? Oh, right. Tentatively (and against the better judgement of a smaller voice in his head), his other hand comes to rest on that shell. Shall we?

Rhodelia has stumbled her way into many adventures, it's true. But she's not quiet ready to stumble her way away from this particular one. But since it's asking questions, she will share. Just a little bit. "Maybe, someday, you'll go there." Wherever there is. Maybe it's an image in her head as her eyes close and her hand remains on the shell.

Evangeline's face has no expression at all; she's back to being abducted by the egg-liens. A hand goes out, and she seems to be treading water with one hand. As she is rolling her head on her shoulders, a deep breath is taken. She shakes her fingers as if trying to clear the fog from around her or trying to grab at some invisible something. From the flapping around to taking a small step back, she looks down at the egg. The aliens seem to have found her unworthy, and it's a glum look that finds her face as she suddenly is back on the sands. Take me to your leader, eggies; I am ready. Her fingers find the surface again; this time, they are hungry and wanting. "Please, little one, talk to me?" She seems almost to be begging.

Stefyr's expression softens. The touch of this egg must be some kind of balm to the invisible wounds he's been nursing since the last touching. He doesn't seem inclined to speak aloud to the eggs as some do, but his mind must hold some complex thoughts. He lets out a long exhale, a breath he didn't realize he was holding and he lets a second hand join the first on the shell of Egg of the Eternal Dance.

Katailea can breath easier now. Icy green eyes drift shut for a second or three, still far from relaxed as she considers and takes in what Kissed by the Wild Egg has to say for itself, so to speak. Eyes snap open as the blonde looks quickly to her left, but this time doesn't find her pulling her hand away. Not just yet at least.

Percival takes a moment to step back, fingertips not leaving the shell just yet, just to try to make a connection of some kind with the outside and the in and just like people, it's virtually impossible. Still, the man can't help but to smile so for now, he remembers the brilliant shades and the flow of hues under his hands. He slides fingertips across the shell of Prize-Winning Produce Egg one last time.

Eyes still closed, Rhodelia can't help a smirk even as this egg keeps asking those personal questions. "Maybe I'll need to find a better friend?" Because really, if that could be their demise, would she really want them? Even still, her hand still remains on the shell. Maybe this isn't so bad after all.

Keruthien is quite happy with the nameless things roiling about in his head now, thank you! There's a heavy sigh, mixed relief and uncertainty, towards the egg and one last parting (and very gentle!) pat to the shell. Gathering himself, he'll step away from that one too and give himself a moment to lurk along the fringes of the clutch. Weighing options, perhaps? Until at last, he ventures forwards again. There's a few passing looks to the other Candidates and then he's crouching by another shell, one more egg. Palm flat, it rests softly against Favour the Dark Egg. "… okay. I'm ready." Is he though? IS HE!?

< Keruthien touches egg 6 - Favor the Dark Egg >

Stefyr's hands jerk away from the Egg of the Eternal Dance, his swallow hard enough that he might or might not be expending effort no to retch on the sands. He wouldn't be the first, but he'd be the now-est and that's gross enough to aid in the self-control. He steps back, hands opening and closing at his sides and he walks away from the eggs, taking up a neutral position for a moment. This time, he's quicker to make another attempt, jaw set as he moves over to the Fool Moon Egg and gently lays his hand to the shell.

< Stefyr touches egg 2 - Fool Moon Egg >

Aw, does he have to leave this one one? Percival pouts, a little bit on the dramatic side and he slowly pulls his hand free. The man might be a Journeyman Butcher, but this egg is too sweet on him to ignore… for now. He glances around the other eggs around him, careful to step around the other Candidates and for a moment, he watches their faces and reactions to each their own touchings. Feet tend to do wanderings of their own and now he suddenly finds himself reaching out to The Smoke That Rose Egg.

< Percival touches egg 3 - The Smoke That Rose Egg >

Okay, okay! Rhodelia steps back from this particular egg, shaking her hand slightly as if it's touched something very hot. Or was it very cold? Either way, the hand is fluttered as she takes a few steps on. She may have another spot on her dance card though. Can Egg of the Eternal Dance fill it?

< Rhodelia touches egg 5 - Egg of the Eternal Dance >

Stefyr's lips twitch. One eye cracks open and he glances toward the dam and sire, contemplating dragon bloodlines, maybe. Then he lets his hand rub very gently across the shell, not losing contact with the egg, possibly even answering thoughts for thoughts.

Katailea lets her eyes drift shut again. Deep breath in and out, calmer maybe or maybe just more focused. A hint of a smile tugs a the corners of her lips, but not there as her chin tilts to cock her head and give a slight shake. "I don't…" there's only parts of her thought, her attempt to answer those questions in her head, that make it past her lips as her fingers gently brush across the shell.

Not often does a scared adolescent meet her egg soulmate, Evangeline is humming softly to herself, and both her hands are now petting the egg. "You're so cute-yes you are." Is she /cooing/, yes, she is. All of the angst and sleeplessness fades from her face; total relaxation overtakes her body, and joy diffuses through her. Then like a sack of potatoes, she is dropped back, but whatever she is feeling from this egg has her sticking with it. "We could be friends, you know. I have kittens to play with." How any of this is relevant is between her and the egg, but she is having a full heart to heart with it.

Oh no. No, no, no! Keruthien did NOT sign up for this! All that bravado vanishes mere seconds into the experience he's locked in. Eyes widen, shocked and his mouth grim set until he's visibly recoiling. Only he doesn't quite tear himself away enough. There's a lingering touch, a brush of finger-tips against that shell as though SOME part of him insists on seeing things through. "Ugh…" It's more sound than actual coherency, really.

Stefyr stays. He's only lingered this long by one other egg, but for whatever reason, whatever's being asked of him here is slipping past barriers that resulted in broken contact with other eggs. Maybe it's just the manner of address. Maybe it does more to straighten the internal spine, even as his physical one does the same. Does it have more for him? He'll take it. This time.

Katailea curiosity keeps her there, searching for answers from the egg, from herself. That is until she's suddenly stumbling back a step, startled, loosing her balance only to catch herself just before ending up on her behind in the sand, a hand going to her chest as she rights herself. But what now? A glance around towards the others as she considers the options.

Stefyr's hand moves from Fool Moon Egg to wipe at his cheek. There's nothing there, of course, but as he realizes that, his other hand drops away from it and he regards this egg bemused. Somehow this encounter seems to have re-balanced the young man and he walks more comfortably among the eggs. He pauses the briefest moment to graze fingers across the Prize-Winning Produce Egg - a little hello - but he doesn't linger there, instead stepping away to consider the rest of the eggs. Slowly, he moves toward Kissed by the Wild Egg and after a considering moment, places both hands up onto the egg.

< Stefyr touches egg 1 - Kissed by the Wild Egg >

Keruthien has his eyes screwed shut for real this time, grimace ever present if not briefly showing a flash of gritted teeth. Ooh, he's not having a good time or something is happening that he doesn't have the time to shield against. Really, he should heed the warnings and RUN, like he was warned, but he can't seem to form enough of a thought to send the impulse to his hands to let go.

Stefyr's hands come away from Kissed by the Wild Egg only briefly, a small hiss escaping through his teeth. He shakes his hands as if there were some strange feeling lingering there, even if it didn't come from the egg. Then he pinches his lips together and with determination puts his hands back on the egg.

< Evangeline touches egg 8 - Prize-Winning Produce Egg >

Ilyscaeth is a doting sort of mother — when there isn't a candidate at an egg, she brushes it with her tail or a wing, reassures, hums happy little sounds all the while. She's not going to traumatize anybody, today! Really. Totally. « Steady on, my eggs'. » Bracingly, Ily blasts Katailea with YOU CAN DO IT sort of feelings — shares it, after a beat, on poor Keruthien. Cita tosses a look that might be amusement, might be exasperation at the dragon, but she's not interfering: she'll lean, instead, on Ily's foreleg now. "They're doing well, considering." She mutters. Ilyscaeth snorts. « Considering what. » The gold harrumphs, focusing her attention between Percival and Stefyr, curious.

Evangeline steps back, hands grabbing her skirt and face falling into a deep frown. "That is a lot of anger, little one, needs work." Her voice is a tad sassy, head shaking slowly as she chides the egg. "I will be back, so maybe work on your anger." Despite her big talk game, she seems sad. The sadness that a school girl might experience when she reaches the last flower petal it's 'he loves me not.' Not everyday, a girl finds and loses her shelled soulmate. Moving away, she walks towards Prize-winning Egg, cautiously circling it. "Citayla, are you sure this is an egg?" She calls out to the goldrider before she makes a fist and gives a tiny knock. "Good afternoon little one; I am Evangeline." The gentlest little rap of her knuckles on the shell, one eye one Ily.

It's over? IT'S OVER! Keruthien makes some sort of strangled noise as his hands finally unglue themselves from the egg and this time he does physically recoil and scramble away from that egg. Maybe a little too quickly but luckily without mishap! When he's on the outskirts again, he'll stop there to regroup, bent forwards slightly with his hands against his thighs. That's sweat, by the way folks! Those are not tears. NO ONE SEES THIS. "… huh…" Yeah, he's not ready for real words yet either. Nah, just give him a second!

Could bes might be a little too much for Rhodelia as instead of ooohing or ahhing at the glittering light this particular egg has to show, she's breaking away, giving a slow shake of her head. She'll wander a little. Even with all the caution earlier, her feet may have a mind and will of their own as they take her over to a very familiar and yet unfamiliar shell. No, not the one in Ilyscaeth's paws. She's learned that lesson. Instead, feet or fate brings Rhody right up to Light of the Mother Moon Egg again, before touching the egg this time, she gives a glance over towards the momma dragon. "You are sure it's okay this time, right?" She'll pause just a moment just to be sure before she gently touched that shell.

< Rhodelia touches egg 9 - Light of the Mother Moon Egg >

Stefyr is being braver this time, see Ilyscaeth? Maybe she doesn't remember him scorning her eggs - hopefully she doesn't - but this time the big blond is staying with eggs that make him uncomfortable anyway. He stays with Kissed by the Wild Egg even though he's frowning. (DON'T NOTICE HE'S FROWNING, IT'S FINE. IT'S NOT SCORNFUL FROWNING.)
Don't worry, Ilyscaeth, Percival isn't going to cheat on Keruthien with Stefyr. He's gonna look at the eggs like he looks at a sizzling majestic piece of bacon. Only… there's no eating the eggs. That's straight blasphemy, yo. Percival touches The Smoke that Rose Egg once more.

Stefyr's feet move now, stepping back. His hands leave Kissed by the Wild Egg last. Then he's backing up, and backing up. He turns, perhaps a little gleam of pride for having survived what didn't look like the most pleasurable of experiences for him. But he did it, guys. And now… now, he's going to do what every good 20 turn old male would do: COMPLETELY OVER-ESTIMATE HIS BRAVERY, and he heads back to confront the old nemesis that is Favor the Dark Egg. For all his nerving up as he walks tall across the sands to it, he's careful when he places both palms firmly to the surface.

I sure hope it is. Be a little odd, if not." Cita drawls, eyes on the big, green egg. "Almost wish I could see for myself." What? Take the world's biggest watermelon knife to it? Faranth, let's hope not. Maybe she was talking about touching it. That's probably it. « You're doing so well, little eggs' owns! So brave. Look at them, Cita. » Ily cajoles, fixing Stefyr with an amused look that says yes I see that. Or maybe you're totally not frowning, what should I be seeing here. As for Rhodelia, the gold croons happily, a very far cry from her previous…you know, attention, on that particular pairing. LOOK. It's fine. « My brave little humans. I love them, Cita. Can we have them, too? I'm sure yours won't mind. » RUN AWAY, KIDS.

< Stefyr touches egg 6 - Favor the Dark Egg >

If something isn't broke, why try to fix it? Rhodelia might be shivering at whatever this egg has to show, but that's not enough to drive her away. In fact, she leans in a little closer.

Stefyr's eyes flick wide and frightened (OBVIOUSLY HE'S NOT SO BRAVE AFTER ALL, GUYS), but he snaps them back shut, jaw tight enough that one might worry for his teeth. He. Stays. Shell. It.

How many have called him crazy? Keruthien's probably lost count in his lifetime, but now that he's had a moment to pull himself together, he's already shaking off that last experience. "One more," he murmurs to himself, like a chant to invoke some bravery. What could possibly go wrong!? Back into the fray he goes, this time edging towards Kissed by the Wild Egg. His hand hovers, curls, flexes open again and then, oh-so slowly, lowers to the shell. Please, please don't be like that last one…

< Keruthien touches egg 1 - Kissed by the Wild Egg >

FIIINE, you can have it back for now. Percival slowly withdraws, glancing over his shoulder to the other Candidates before he moves to another egg for touching. There, the man moves to Haloed in Light Egg.

< Percival touches egg 4 - Haloed in Light Egg >

"That wasn't so bad…" Rhodelia will give an affectionate pat to the very egg she had been spending the past few days avoiding. And while Ily may appear to be in a much different mood than the earlier touchings (and no hands have been bitten yet or caught on fire or any of that fun-horrifying stuff), there has still been a lot to process. With a deep breath, Rhody gathers her self and heads… away. Maybe she's had enough, or maybe she's just gotta pee. Either way, Rhody out.

Okay, guys, maybe Stefyr shouldn't have been this faux-brave. That retching he wasn't doing before? Well now there's a suspicious cough. Fortunately, there's an AWLM nearby to quickly usher him off the sands where he can be sick in peace.

Evangeline examines the Egg closer, looking for any real sign that it is an egg. "Maybe a nap later, little?" She asks, her hand running down the side of the shell and then back to the top. "Anything else?" A curious, quiet tone as she looks puzzled. The brightest smile she has finds Citayla, the opposite of the last time she was on the sands. If the previous eggs undid Evi, this group seems to be bolstering her spirits and bringing her peace. Something needs to; she's one rotten egg from a fellis potion and one of those nice hug jackets.

Oh, now this, Keruthien can get behind! There's a sag of relief to his shoulders, briefly lived but nothing as tense or coiled as before. Apprehensive? You bet! But this time there's a mark of intrigue lurking there. Just a teeny, tiny, spark as he leans subtly forwards.

« Was it something I said? » Ilyscaeth wonders, mournfully, watching the candidates go with a wistful kind of look. Cita snorts, elbows her dragon, head shaking. "You made these eggs." She points out, because somebody has to, but does Ilyscaeth take the right message from that? Naw. « I did! They love them. I can tell. » REALLY, Ily. Cita is too busy beaming at Evangeline, and squinting worriedly after the departing candidates to bother whacking the dragon over the snout. It's probably for the best: Ily is on top of the wooooorld. FOR NOW. You just wait.

This man is from the Weyr, he's seen some pretty uglies and some of them were bumping, nothing (lies) startles him anymore and nothing (also lies) surprises Percival either. He keeps his hands on the shell of the egg and sees what Haloed in Light Egg has to offer.

Don't worry, Ily! Keruthien loves your eggs… except THAT ONE THAT SHALL NOT BE NAMED! This one though? Is definitely getting a slow warming smile. Is he starting to feel a little more like himself? Heck yeah, he is! Another hand joins the first and he murmurs quietly. "… aren't you different?" More like a breath of fresh air! Even if it likes to shove much like the others.

The questions posed by Prize Winning Produce Egg seem to leave Evangeline, her body is quiet, and she puts her hands down to her skirt pockets. In an unsual move she takes out a piece of paper and squats down. Notes are written on the paper, she smiles and then begins to draw. Who knows how long she draws, but after several minutes she reaches out and touches the egg again. "You see little one, that's you." She is holding up the picture as if the egg can see it. You know what y'all, she is weird OK.

"Aw, at the end of the day they're just lights and noises but don't fret little egg. Things aren't really as scary as they seem." After all, if Percival has to brace himself for a glance in the mirror every morning, then the egg can brace itself against the world! Soon tiny egg, and the butcher slides his hand one last time across Haloed in Light Egg.

Ahh, now that is more like it! Keruthien lingers a moment longer and then withdraws, his gaze settling somewhat fondly on the egg before him. "You're a lot gentler," he says out loud and much clearer than his earlier opinions on the rest. Yet regardless, he's tapped out! This was definitely a good 'come down', but there's some lurking thoughts that are persistent. So it's with that budding headache that he excuses himself, ducking away and filing out with the rest. Maybe to stumble upon Stefyr and the others at some point to COMPARE trauma notes! Or sleep. Ruthien may desire that the most right about now.

« They're mine, right? They're for my eggs, but I can have them, right? » Ilyscaeth wonders, tail starting to inch around the eggs. "We'll see." Cita hums, because she's Cita, and because if Ily bothers Ila about it it'll be funny. Probably. Who's to say. « Good. My own, my eggs', don't forget to brush your teeth. Cita says that's very important for you humans. We love you! » Ah. Well. "Alright, you, can you — not." Cita, blushing? MAYBE. "Enjoy your night, guys," The healer calls after the departing, makes little shooing motions at the remaining. "Go on. Better not let those Weyrlingmasters catch you out late. They're terrible scary, arent they." Riiiiight.

Evangeline backs away from the egg and giggles at Citayla and Ilyscaeth, "I will Ily; thank you." A deep bow to her, and she shakes her head in disbelief. WHAT a day. WHAT a glorious day. Also, what a difference a good mom makes, her recovery from the last touching seems to be complete, and she allows herself to wrangled to the barracks. "Goodnight, little ones, get some sleep." She says, blushing a bit because she isn't immune to her own oddness. Being odd does not occur in a bubble, but being yourself is important too.

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