A Disappointing Amount of Licks

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.

YOU DIDN'T IMAGINE IT, that definitely was Leirith beat-beat-beating the heady sound of drums in against your head, bombastic and giddy and here for this as she fought with diamond-sparkle dazzle to announce, « IT IS TIME! » What time? Time for touching eggs, of course. That means the AWLMs were dispersed to gather candidates and prepare them to be SACRIFICED. … Just kidding. Kind of. EITHER WAY, Risali is present on the sands, sitting cross-legged on a chair that's been tucked away somewhere between Leirith and Xermiltoth and the wing-hut they form, and one Weyrlingmaster Assistant is listing rules as she enters. "Please bow to Leirith and Xermiltoth both, no running, no rough housing. If the dragons or one of us tells you to leave, we leave immediately. If you need help to leave the sands prior, let us know." Or you know, they'll drag you out if you pass out, but it's scarier to say that OUTLOUD and the running needs to wait until after. Either way, she turns to dam and sire, bows to both in demonstration, and then sweeps her hands for the candidates to do the same. For what it's worth, Leirith bows back to each and every one, blue eyes whirling, amusement writ in every line.

Lyubomir arrives along with the rest of the candidates that have been rounded up and herded to the sands. He bows to Leirith and Xermiltoth and studies the collection of eggs out there before settling, silently, on that one over there. That egg? It's looking pretty sus.

< Lyubomir touches egg 10 - Pretty Sus Egg >

Ajral was an easy sell, even if it was for being sacrificed as Leirith snacks at the end — possibly because the AWLMs didn't tell her that yet. This part, this experience is one that Ajral never grew jaded on. While she has not forgotten the more unpleasant parts, there's no hiding the little thrill running down her spine as she steps onto the sands — the opposite of hatching apprehension, the way she moves out for egg touching all smiles and excited rocking forward from toe to heel. The sheer absolute and utter weirdness of a) dragons, b) Xanadu dragons and c) unhatched dragons all combining to the experience of unhatched Xanadu dragons is an absolutely irresistible siren call for the cognition adrenaline junkie. Her bow is short and simple but for a more profound head movement, one arm crossed under her chest, with a respectful, "Thank you for your willingness to share with us," and a deep breath as she draws herself back up. She's been doing her gallery doodle watercolors of them, and so the ones most interesting have already been chosen: it is therefore without more than a momentary consideration before she takes cautious but confident toe-steps toward the unusual configuration that is One Flesh, One Egg. Hopefully it doesn't mind her contact with its … folds. At least she's being gentle, fingertips light. For now.

< Ajral touches egg 13 - One Flesh, One Egg >

< Shiloh touches egg 14 - Obviously, This Egg Is a Ninja >

This all feels rather awkward to Shiloh. The boom-boom-boom of drums. Being rounded up by a weyrlingmaster. Being on the sands. Yeah. It's probably about right now that this all gets a little more Real for him. But he follows along, offering that bow to sire and dam before cautiously approaching those suspiciously unsuspicious looking eggs. This one will do, right? For the first time? It looks nice enough. Or at least, not mean. Sure. Why not.

< Averil touches egg 1 - Egg of Dreams >

Averil is moving along with the herd, pale eyes flicking to the Weyrlingmaster Assistant as the rules are outlined for them all. In the wake of them, he exhales breath, smooths a hand over his hair and smiles at Shiloh before stepping forward to bow to Leirith and Xermiltoth (And Risali in her wing hut). Actually moving toward the eggs, however, comes at much slower pace. Still, he's moving, cutting a wide berth around the others before stepping up to tenatively brush his fingers over the starlit shell of Egg of Dreams.

Lyubomir's brow furrows at something or another and he leans closer to the egg - but not on the egg, he's not a monster. Callused fingers splay on the surface and his head tilts slightly. His mouth pulls just a little to one side. Lips part, but there are no words; a moment later and his mouth shuts again. This is fine. All of this is fine. At least until it isn't and his head jerks back for a moment, as if thrown from an airlock into space. Then it's right back in, willing to go another round.

Kasle is herded in with the other candidates, one arm around Logain's shoulder. She'd promised their mother that she'd keep an eye on her baby brother. She drops her arm, looking a little nervous as she bows firs to Learith, then to Xermiltoth, and gives the young hunter a small shove in the direction of the clutch before heading toward the Soul-Raving Transcendence Egg. Her fingers lightly brush over the smooth surface of the dazzling egg before she settles the palm of one hand on the warm shell.

< Kasle touches egg 6 - Soul-Raving Transcendence Egg >

The last time Nyvex had been to the galleries was when Leirith scared the daylights out of him and searched him. The way too tall for his own good, blond is actually a whole lot less nervous now than he had been then. They had prepared the candidates for what is expected of them. Hopefully Leirith doesn't get it in her head to try and scare him, again. It takes him a moment to try and focus with the loud thumming in his head. Does one actually ever get used to it? Risali must have, or she knows a trick to tone it down. The harper offers a polite bow to both the clutch parents. His nerves are kept behind the stage smile of a trained performer. His bright green eyes dart around the sands. He watches where his fellow candidates are going and where the eggs are and where the dragons are. So much to keep track of. He takes a deep breath and he says to his fellow candidates, "I made huge batch of Sangria. After the heat of the sands. I think we all might need a glass or two. It should be perfect by the time we are done." He let's the word spread of his cocktail creation and then he starts to move along the sand. He is heading towards the first egg that is unoccupied and catches his eye, the egg on the Edge of Tomorrow. He takes a moment to study it with his verdant gaze before he reaches out to touch the smooth brightly colored shell.

Shiloh was not expecting this. It's probably a common occurrence for the uninitiated; that first brush of fingers to shell and the sudden otherness that is discovering the mind within. Who can be prepared for that? There's a catch of breath, a twitch of fingers, a tightening of muscle. A range of expressions from shocked to confused to distracted to disturbed. Really. How many emotions can one person feel in a single instant? Apparently, a lot of them. But whatever came between them, it was not so bad that he's ready to leave just yet, and in the wake of a retreating mind, he lingers a moment more to see if it'll come back. Hopefully he won't regret that choice.

< Nyvex touches egg 4 - Egg on the Edge of Tomorrow >

Is the brief gagging sound low in Ajral's throat real, or is it inside her head? Did the egg make that sound? Did she feel it but not experience it, did she do it where others could have heard but were far too distracted by their own mental mazes and proto-draconic mindscapes to notice? These are the questions that will bug her later, make her reflect to the point her head wants to explode from unanswered possibilities. Now, while they strike her briefly, in one ear and out the other to settle later on, the focus is within; on the hopeless loneliness blended with urgency — and an absolutely desperate need to escape that is both not hers, and not about leaving the egg. On the contrary, those fingertips turn to a whole palm. Deeply, she understands. Mentally, she tries to share that. She could have been across the sea on adventures that might easily get her killed, but instead, this, the middle ground. It is no cell in a rock in an atmospheric pit, nor was it her last choice, but the understanding is visceral, as is the desperate edge.

Averil had no idea what to expect, a quiet breath exhaled as his hand settles more fully on the shell. And while nothing happens for quiet some time, he waits, a hint of wonder showing on his face when things start happen on their own time. Almost immediately, there is a smile on the artist's face, a hint of laughter whispering past his lips at the images and sensations taking shape around him. Still, his hand remains, lingering over the starlit shell.

Lyubomir is tensed, ready to run - but there is no running. What would he even run from? An egg? It's just an egg. Or is it? The handsyman-turned-candidate sucks in a breath and holds it, as if waiting- waiting, waiting, waiting… only for that breath to hiss soundlessly out with a small measure of relief. And then, rudely, there's a huffed, "Hey." under his breath, prompting a flattening of his mouth. He blinks a bit, looks around, then squints dubiously at the egg. He moves his hand - perhaps that might help? - and emotionally and spiritually and physically leans back in again, trying to convey trustworthiness. You're the suspicious one, egg! Not him!

Logain hesitantly steps into the arena, completely unsure of himself. His sister's arm around his shoulders feels somewaht reasuring, but he still feels a little out of place. Nervously scratching the scarring on his left forarm, he bows deeply, both to Learith and Xermiloth, before scurrying in the direction of his sister's shove. Stopping in front of Element of Freedom Egg, slowly reaches out with his left arm, and carefully lays his shaking hand on the shell.

< Logain touches egg 7 - Element of Freedom Egg >

Kasle's eyes open wide and she gasps, stumbling back a half a step. Her mouth opens slightly and she starts trembling, her hand seemingly glued to the colorful egg before her, "I— what?" Her voice is a barely audible squeek, "But I— no." She looks terrified, shaking her head quickly in denial of whatever she is seeing.

Oops, there goes gravity Ajral is captivated by the imagery this egg is sharing, something that others might find utterly horrifying a sight she findds captivating, if not alluring. How does that work? How does this happen? How can that be done — her eyes were closed but she opens them and blinks before closing them again, as if it would allow her to see more in the dark. But that's fleeting; there may not be much to any history she has that helps, here, but it's something she's willing to give. To eggs she's always been and always will be the metaphorical open book; her previously hanging hand moves to join in when she's instead opening both eyes wide and pulling the first hand away. Control that she grasps for is the only reason the startled expression isn't also tinged with tears, but she's stubborn yet, and after another long breath, puts both hands firmly down on that shell.

Something happening inspire Averil's nostrils to flare, his lips parting to draw in a breath as a visible shiver runs the length of his frame. It's a tiny thing, though, and not something born of distress or dismay. There is something though that has him startling, his fingers momentarily withdrawing from the shell, before he clears his throat. It is the sudden change that has him tilting his head, his shoulders rising in a hint of a hunch before resettling with a breath that is utterly relaxed. "Lovely…" the word is whispered, though, barely a sound escaping as he smooths his fingers over the starlit shell of Egg of Dreams.

It does not get better. But maybe it doesn't get worse, either. Did Shiloh think it would? Maybe. But he stands in his spot still, hand to shell, expression wrought with indecision; leaning back but still connected to that shell like he's not sure he wants to let it go, even if he does. He does. Doesn't he? The decision takes long enough that for the moment, at least, he's still there.

Lyubomir's expression darkens all over again but, this time, there's no sense of humor laced through. His breath snags, his chin lifts, his jaw tenses. In the end, he pulls his hand free and shakes it, with a hand going to his elbow to rub it as if that might make something feel better? Maybe? Who knows. The one's not an egg; it's a monster - but its secret is safe with him for now. Once he's shaken off the worst of whatever's been shaken up, he moves on to another egg. Honey badger don't give a egg? Excellent.

< Lyubomir touches egg 3 - HONEY BADGER DON'T GIVE A EGG >

Nyvex is definitely with most of the other candidates in not truly ready for what he is going to experience when he touches his first dragon egg. This one is definitely a Leirith and Xermiltoth spawn. That initial invasion and then that command of attention. The tall candidate can't take his focus away from the large brightly colored egg in front of him. His green eyes wide in his head and a bit of confusion as he tries to sort through all of the things he feels from this very new experience. He takes a deep breath, through the heat of the sands and the emotions he was feeling. He almost forgot to breathe. Once that is under control, he let's his touch linger still on the warm smooth surface. Hey Mikey, he likes it. And wants a taste for more.

Logain jerks his hand away from the egg with a quiet exclamation and falls backward. He stares wide-eyed at the egge in fornt of him, and gives himself a quiick pat down to make sure his skin hasn't vaporized. Managing to regain his composure slightly, he shakily scrambles to his feet, and very carefully palces his hand back on the egg…

Leaning forward, completely unconciously, Averil yearns into whatever he is seeing. It's enough to have his lips parting on an expression of wonder. Still, there is a message there, one that inspires a gasp, a sob, and a mild shake of his head. And while there is uncertainty in every line of his body, there is an acceptance, as well. It's the last that has him exhaling a shallow breath his head lowering as he lets his fingers fall away and takes a moment to just let himself be still. When the moment passes, he steps back, swallowing lightly and clearing his throat.

"Sorry," Ajral whispers, letting her eyes open but remain half-lidded, "Couldn't resist." A stupid response to a mentally dangerous situation, but runs toward chaos barefoot girl wouldn't possibly have any other! When she starts to step back it's with a smile broad enough that it might be a little painful, still forcing back tears. Don't mind her; she really gets into this experience, guys. Always. The one part that's a little different is that just before removing the last fingertip she whispers a, "Sorry for this, too," and absolutely licks one of the egg's sharper edges before moving all the way back. Challenge met, Rhodelia. Next is that contrast nearby, the chiaroscuro Broken Halo Egg. As usual, just the fingertips of her right hand, at first.

< Ajral touches egg 11 - Broken Halo Egg >

Tears gather in Kasle's eyes as the slight trembling turns to actual sudders. The gardener-candidate barely seems to breath, leaning away from the egg that she, perhaps foolishly, chose to aproach first. She gasps again and flinches, her cheeks flushing as she falls to her knees on the hot sand, her hands sliding down the surface of the shell until they're roughly at the middle on either side. She shakes her head, forcing a deep breath and stares, sightlessly, at the egg that holds her captive, "N-no. I s-survived that feline, I'll survive you, too."

< Shiloh touches egg 1 - Egg of Dreams >

Unexpected indeed. The indecision is gone; this time Shiloh is leaning in without hesitation; a subtle shift of weight and the press of his hand that is not dangerous but is definitely firm against that shell. Even after, his eyes blinking back into the "real world", he lingers a moment or two, eyeing the shell beneath his fingers, a curious little amusement offered; like a thought he hadn't considered before. "Huh." And then he's pulling away, stepping away, turning away, though there's perhaps a glance back as he moves unconsciously toward Averil and… well. He might as well touch that blue egg then, since he's here now. "Try that one," is offered with a tip of his head toward the one he just left.

< Averil touches egg 14 - Obviously, This Egg Is a Ninja >

Lyubomir might still be a little rattled from the other egg, gauging from the uncertainty that's writ large on a face that's more often prone to stoic neutrality. A few seconds more and that uncertainty turns to cautiousness, then to a reluctant species of comfort that threatens to go fugitive at a moment's notice. Still, he lingers, his fingers sprawled across the shell of it. His shoulders relax; the tendons in his neck finally seem to recede. Relaxation is, at long last, finally had.

Just as comforting and unsettling as the last in some ways, and unsettling but orderly in a good but completely different way in another, Ajral relaxes into the egg at first. This one gets her. This is a mindscape not so unlike her own — oh wait never mind just kidding this is also terrible, and she pulls her arm away so rapidly that the mental-motion impulse breaks all the way through to the physical and, like a first-timer who didn't come out here practically vibrating with enthusiasm for this exact experience, is shaking her hand like she's been burned and trying to get flame off it. Wait: it's the sands. It's an egg. A couple more shakes, possibly a muffled swear, and … she puts her other hand on the shell this time instead, just in case.

A GASP interrupts the quiet strangled breathing Logain had shifted to. He jerks hand away again at the mental torment, taking a moment to recover before rushing back in this time. Steeling himself for the final onslaught, he squares his shoulder, firmly plants his feet, and lays //both hands on the egg this time.

Whatever Averil expected from this, the reality is so far beyond it that he is not entirely sure what to think. And while he is not frowning, his expression /is/ more then a little thoughtful as he glances up at Shiloh and nods. "Alright." The words are whispered though, as he steps over and rests his hand on Obviously, This Egg is a Ninja. Almost immediately, he is gasping, a completely involuntary sound that spills past his lips and has him stepping closer to the ornately overdressed ovoid. Something about what he is feeling, what he is seeing has him exhaling a delighted laugh, his chin dipping in a nod that is nothing if not right in line with what is being suggested.

Nyvex has completely forgotten about the world around him for this moment. Intense emotions and deep thoughts presented by the egg in front of him. He can't take his gaze from it. He has to contemplate more. So many questions presented by something that is still so young. He stays in front of this egg for a bit longer. He wants to know more. He reaches out, sliding his fingers over the surface of egg once more. His fingers dancing along the neon colors of the shell.

Should Shiloh be surprised by this? Maybe he shouldn't, but he is. Touching one egg does not prepare for the second, it seems. But this time, at least, there's little hesitation. Maybe a twitch or two, a little flinch or shiver, a moment of almost-frustration that melts into almost-amusement. And while it waits, so does he, hand pressed to the shell in open invitation to the little mind within.

Evidently Ajral had no escape; switching hands has done her no favors, as even though the other hand is vibrating slightly, now the second set of fingertips and palm sting a little too. At first Broken Halo's light was a welcome gift from One Flesh's darkness, but as her eyelids flutter and she presses her eyes tighter shut it seems as if she's just about screwed in either direction. But she can't let herself open her eyes and look away from the light: she can't pull back from learning what else is to come. Even if now it absolutely feels like she's getting a migraine. Her eyes open again, lips press shut, other hand tentatively back on the egg — another deep breath. Another attempt at closing her eyes. But the gagging noise returned, and it's absolutely coming from her.

Lyubomir tenses for just a moment, just one, as something or another seems to be struck. After, though, he relaxes again, far more readily, far more deeply, than before. His other hand rests on the egg now, callused fingertips moving just a little as if to stroke the surface. He ducks his head, leaning in all the more, as if proximity matters - and it might. It just might. His jaw twitches a little, lips moving soundlessly; whatever is shared is for himself and the egg alone.

Breathing is over-rated and Avi is quick to trail his fingers over the shell of the egg before him. Who needs air? The image that springs to mind in response to the egg is enough to inspire a wry smile, his body swaying in a fashion that makes the skirt he's wearing swirl and dance around his legs. Still, that joy fades as observations that hit just a little to close to home make themselves known, the tip of his tongue brushing over his lips as he takes a moment to lower his head and breath through thoughts he does not want to have. Still, he lingers, swallowing tightly at things that are just to close to home to be entirely comfortable.

In the battle of Ajral vs. Migraine as judged by Egg, it seems like migraine is going to win at first. But she doesn't step away so easily as all that, because when the egg intermittently gets her, it really gets her. And then there's — whatever is making her shake and twitch around the face, making her toes roll and shoulders and back tense up. At first she was standing up straight — then straighter — then almost drooping over completely. "Thank you," is what she says to the egg, despite everything, when she does draw back … and then almost immediately goes for one that looks like it might help her stave off the migraine threatening to eat her. That one. Outright Authority Egg. That one looks pretty, and while her touch is now much more tentative considering she is on the high end of overstimulated far earlier than expected (those two were doozies, guys, don't touch those two in that order or maybe at all) it's still there, a rolling-fingertip greeting.

< Ajral touches egg 9 - Outright Authority Egg >

Shiloh breathes. Deeply. It is the sort of grounding, settling, comfortable breath that eases tension, despite the chill of whatever makes him shiver. And he will stay, thank you very much. He'll stay right here for a little while longer, at least.

Kasle gasps again, a frown drawing dark brows together and forming a line between. She licks her lips, breathing fast, and shakes her head, "No. I'm not like that." She's not! "I refuse to be!" She bites her lip, shaking her head again and pushes away from the egg, eyes wide and haunted looking, "I'm not like that…" She doesn't have a violent bone in her body! "The feline doesn't count." One hand comes up to run one belled braid through her fingers, "It doesn't." She's obviously not interested in subjecting herself to anything more from the still forming mind within this egg and falls back on her behind, scooting away. It takes her a moment to stand, but she finally does get to her feet, staggering a little as she heads toward the Pretty Sus Egg.

< Kasle touches egg 10 - Pretty Sus Egg >

Lyubomir is loath to leave this egg, but leave he must. Both hands give the egg a final caress and he, reluctantly, steps back and away. He takes a few, long moments to collect his thoughts and consider the other options laid out. And maybe it does take him that long to settle his expression into something stoic once more. He sniffs once, glances back at the egg he'd just left, then moves on to another.

Logain drops like a rock on the sand, and lies in a crumpled heap, trying to ride out the adrenalin coursing through his blood. Once his heart crawls out of his throat and his breath becomes less labored, he struggls to his feet. Eyeing the egg with wide eyes, he takes several steps back, subconsiously trying to distance himself with the nightmares he jsut witnessed. Glancing around the young hunter settles on another egg; surely Choice of two doors egg will be more welcoming…

< Lyubomir touches egg 5 - Egg Bubble That Bites >

< Logain touches egg 2 - Choice of Two Doors Egg >

Ajral's tension leaves her again, and if she knew what she looked like, when she thinks back on it later, she's going to hate her body language's uncharacteristic openness … but it's unavoidable, and she volunteered for this emotional roller coaster. But this one is a nice antidote to the last two: she's able to truly let out the breath she's been holding since the first touch of the first egg. She might feel colder than the sands should be, but it's nice, an easy change, a welcome variation: at the egg's encouraging request-blended-with-invitation, the rest of her palm meets the shell. Challenge on.

"Tallyho.." The word is uttered on a warm laugh, Averil's head giving an amused shake as he trails his fingers over the shell. The touch is lingering, almost adoring, and definitely slow to even consider withdrawing. Whatever he saw, whatever he felt, it spoke to him deeply enough that even the thought of drawing away is enough to inspire a welling of moisture in his eyes. "Thank you." The word, though is whispered, barely heard as he reluctantly lets his arm fall back to his side. Still, the thought of moving, of stepping away from this egg has him lingering, his head giving a mild shake. He's going to linger for a moment, just a moment.

< Nyvex touches egg 3 - HONEY BADGER DON'T GIVE A EGG >

Nyvex is entranced by the large egg in front of him. And then it fills his head with that thrum of music and the harper starts to hum along to it. That is right up his alley. He continues to hum along to the music as he experiences so much and then the egg goes quiet. And the blond goes quiet with it. Staring for a long moment. He lifts the hand up that was just touching the egg. He looks down at his fingers and then he pushes his blond hair back with those fingers. All collected now. He uprights himself to his full height and he takes a deep breath. He steps back and passes Lyubomir as he leaves the HONEY BADGER DON'T GIVE A EGG. The harper offers his fellow candidate a smile and then he moves in front of the newly unoccupied egg. He crouches down and then goes in with a whole lot less hesitation than he did before his first egg. Second egg, he's a pro now. His fingers dance upon the black and yellow designs of the shell like he would the strings of his guitar. That familiar smile curling up on his face as the sensations from the dragon inside the egg fill his mind.

Bright things! More bright things! From the physical cringe reaction it's evident that isn't what Ajral needed, but her squint and headtilt indicates that even though there's still sensory misery being inflicted upon her, she is still insatiably curious and staying right here. There's a problem to be solved, an idea to glean, even if noise and calamitous portents reign. She chews at the edge of her lip, the way she normally would when facing a puzzle, except that the puzzle is simultaneously a shared hallucination and a complete and total mystery to her. She lets her other hand find this shell too, however briefly, in hopes that answers may come.

Lyubomir goes from relaxed to tense in a heartbeat; his fingers even leave the shell for a few seconds, buying him some precious time. Too much sensory input! Too much. A slow hiss of breath escapes him when he makes contact again, his brows knitting together and his mouth drawing into a hard, flat line that reads like the very physical definition of dismay and annoyance. And, yet? And yet he stays, if with a very light, very cautious touch - ready to disengage at a moment's notice.

< Averil touches egg 11 - Broken Halo Egg >

Logain wildly looks around blinking at the bright light suddenly reappearing around him, but doesn't yank his hand away this time. He does take a momtent to reorder his thoughts before placing his hands back on the egg, visibly steeling himself in anticipation of the immenent hallucination.

< Shiloh touches egg 12 - Leader of the Pack Egg >

Shiloh lingers. Even once his feet are back on the sand. Even once the air is hot around him. Even once the sounds come back to tell him he is here again, he lingers. A quick clearing of his throat. A frown. A moment of hesitation in leaving before he finally slides his hand away. How to follow that? Can it even be done? Shiloh might not even think it possible since he doesn't give much thought to picking the next egg. He just reaches, too preoccupied with where he was to think about where he's going. Until his hand lands on that Leader of the Pack egg.

Kasle gasps, again, blinking rapidly the moment her fingers settle on the green egg. She frowns, shaking her head, "None of that." Her hand settles a little firmer against the shell, murmering softly, "I'm not going to hurt you. No one is." She shushes quietly, "You're safe." She gives herself a little shake, braids chiming delicately, "We're both safe. I promise." Even if she doesn't actually believe that, herself, all the time, "I understand… It can be scary, yes." And then she blinks, a looking vaguely confused and glancing over at Logain. Just to check on him, of course.

Ajral had been relaxed. Briefly. Now she's tense again, brow furrowed as if she's trying to solve the world's most imperative puzzle: as if she's concluding on her own life or death, rather than someone else's life sentence. In a mindscape, who is in control? Is it the egg, or the egg's created outside situation, or is it her? The answer is surely all of the above, but whatever control she's managed to inspire herself to come up with however briefly, is — enough. But just like that, she's wrung out and finding herself telling the egg to, "Get some rest," before stepping carefully back, and … then doing the same for herself, because the headache is absolutely and most definitively going to win this fight. Dark and light, stars and vibration, changing colors and temperatures and, "Headache," she tells one of the assistant weyrlingmasters. The fact she's grinning while she also looks like radiated shit? That's just because even though she has to go vomit now, she still loves doing this.

Lyubomir just seems to grow more and more bewildered the longer he touches. His fingers leave the shell more than once, as if metering out whatever it is might help. It doesn't seem to. But, even that's not enough to convince him to abandon ship egg; he'll see this through, no matter what. He's stubborn like that. Dreadfully, dangerously stubborn. His hand remains and he sucks his teeth and he just looks at the egg as if to make it make sense.

The contrast of sensations from the two eggs that he has touched has Nyvex staring in awe. It shouldn't be a big surprise and yet it is more of a surprise than he expected. He can't help but want to stay and touch this egg. Those warm fuzzy feelings. He could curl up with this egg and just lay here forever. Even if the heat of the sands were to melt him. It would be worth it. The harper comes back for more. Touching the warm shell again for that wonderful sensation again.

Eventually, Averil moves, there's no thought to the destination before he finds himself brushing his fingers over the shell of Broken Halo Egg. Again, he immediately finds himself yearning forward, questing after the images taking shape around him. Unaware he was holding his breath, he releases it on a sigh, an unconcious letting go that has him opening himself up to what he is being shown. Without a thought, his free hand raises toward the shell, a gasp spilling past his lips as he immediately curls his fingers and blinks in confusion at the sands. "What.." And, while it takes him a moment to pull himself together, he does reach back out, albeit tenatively, to touch the Broken Halo Egg once more.

Maybe Shiloh will learn his lesson next time. To look where he's going. To pay attention to what he's touching. The first brush of palm to shell, that first moment of touch brings a jolt. The next second it's a snarl, a curl of lip and a baring of teeth and a feral sound too low to hear. Whatever he fights is internal; the twitch and tensing and bracing of his form the only real sign that he's not having nearly as much fun with this egg as he did the last. And then he's yanking his hand away, gulping at air and looking torn between punching something and walking away. Thankfully, he is sane enough not to attack an egg. Cause that would just be bad form. But he definitely needs a minute, and he's going to take it on the other side of the sands, with a bit of distance between him and the Leader of the Pack.

Lyubomir's stubbornness finally, finally wears thin enough to crack. And then it breaks. Scant seconds pass before, at long last, he pulls his hand free and shakes it out. His head shakes, too, as if to clear it of something or another. He's not so uncouth as to cuss, but there is a vague noise of discontent that seems to be emanating from him. He offers a salute to the AWLM that's on duty and follows in Ajral's wake. "Headache," is as good - and accurate - a reason as any to give and, so, that's what's given. As soon as the all clear's given, the handsy-doot makes his way off the sands, his expression faintly sour.

< Nyvex touches egg 1 - Egg of Dreams >

Kasle winces, half turning from the egg and scowling. She gives her head another shake, this time to try to clear it. She gives a much putupon sigh, "I already told you— wait. Don't go." She leans into the egg, her face inches from the very egg-like green surface, "I'm not mad. Just don't run." She smiles lightly, nodding, "You see? I'm not mean. I'm not going to hurt you."

Logain falls to his hands and knees, the memory of pain still ringing in his ears. He rests a moment in this position, the epxerience causing every traumatic memory to bubble to the suface of his mind. Everything from being forgatten on a family trip when he was a toddler, to the more recent encounter with the feline in the woods. He shakes his head trying to dislodge the memories. Slowly rising to his feet, Logain firnly palces both hands on the egg, a new determination gleaming in his eyes.

Almost immediately, Averil's free hand finds his temple, fingers pressing in the telltale signs of a headache. It's painful enough that he winces visibly, his breath catching he tries to catch up with the riot of color and light. And while he has, thus far, been yearning forward, now he finds himself leaning back, his head canting at the sort of angle that screams TOO MUCH without ever saying a word. Whatever is happening, his free arm is immediately lowering to wrap around his stomach, his face turning an oddly pale shade of green as he draws his hand back and spends a few moments gasping and fighting the urge to hurl. It takes a while for him to pull himself together, and when he does, he eyes Broken Halo Egg warily before reaching out to touch the shell, again.

Nyvex really hates to have to leave this egg. How could you not. With those positive feelings flowing from it. His bright green gaze lingers on the yellow and black design and then he finally moves away. He fans himself when he gets away from the egg. "Can't wait for that cold sangria." He chuckles. But for now, he has other eggs to touch. He moves around one of his fellow candidates but glances towards Arjal and Lyubomir as they head off. He can understand that reasoning and yet he can't help himself. He has to continue for as long as the eggs and the very large and even louder clutch parents allow him to. He would stay here all day if they allowed him to. He is back at it, this time in front of the Egg of Dreams. He clears his head, not sure what to expect. So he goes in with no expectations. It's the best way to prepare for this. He reaches out and caresses the shell of this new egg.

It's too much for Averil. Far more then he was prepared for and more then enough to have him jerking back his hand the moment he is hurled back onto the sands. For a moment, for a single, impossible moment, it looks like he might scream, or collapse, or both. To his credit, though, he locks his jaw and refuses to allow himself to fall. Still, he's breathing heavily and retreating from the eggs, quick careful steps that just can't be quick enough, or get him far enough to banish those sounds, those images from his mind. He cannot get away /quickly/ enough and sadly, he is off-kilter enough to be completely unable to conceal that visceral distress.
Logain goes reeling. Again. Landing squarely on his backside, he silently stares owlishly at the egg. Finally his senses return and he backs away from the egg. What has he gotten himself into today? Eyeing Egg on the Edge of Tomorrow, he slowly step toward it. He slowly places his right hand on the egg and idly wonders how much more of this his mind can take.

< Logain touches egg 4 - Egg on the Edge of Tomorrow >

Kasle blinks rapidly, frowning deeply, "Wha-" She gives herself another shake, "What are you..?" She winces, faintly, already moving back from the egg, "Geeze…" Her eyes roam over the rest of the clutch, a vague look of concern on her face. If they're all like this… No. There has to be at least one nice one out of the bunch, right? She frowns down at the Pretty Sus Egg, shaking her head, again, and just takes a moment to wander among them. Finally, she finds herself standing before the Leader of the Pack Egg. Hesitantly, almost fearing what will greet her, she settles both hands against the shell.

< Kasle touches egg 12 - Leader of the Pack Egg >

Shiloh might be in his head, but he's not that much in his head that he's not paying attention to Averil. While slightly green-tinged skin might not have prompted him to move, the almost-scream definitely does. He does not run — he would not do that around the eggs — but he is definitely not dawdling as he closes the distance, reaching out to catch his arm and haul him back into him and away from the chest. "It's okay," comes in a far more reassuring voice than his expression might have suggested. "It's okay," comes again as he pulls him away and, if need be, he'll carry him out of there. Hopefully the weyrlingmasters don't mind if they make an exit. Shiloh will at least spare a moment to explain, "We're leaving," as if it wasn't abundantly obvious already.

DON'T TOUCH ME! The words might not spill past Averil's lips, but they are there in his eyes the moment that he is touched. For a long moment, he just stares at Shiloh before nodding once, his steps moving as quickly toward the exit as they possibly can. Shiloh will have to make thier farewells, right now? He's in no condition to even consider politeness.

Nyvex is no longer surprised by the varying personalities of the eggs. And this one is so much fun to visit with. The extremely tall harper/bartender turned candidate is just laughing at the playful nature of this unhatched dragon. The blonds face is very expressive and as he touches the egg, it is probably funny for some of the onlookers to behold the many facial expressions that the candidates are going through as they touch and experience the baby dragons. This is how Risali keeps herself entertained during the egg touchings. Nyvex is a prime example of this. But he is always an entertainer, even if he doesn't intend to be. He takes a brief moment before going back for more. The invitation was there. How could he not?

Logain frowns at the egg in front of him, not completely understanding all the images and thoughts thrust upon his mind. He shakes his head in denial, and whispers harshly "I'm not like that!" Is he? He shakes his head one more time and decides to brave one more touch. He somewhat relustantly places his hand back on the egg, not exactly looking forward to ambiticous entity poking around his skull.

< Nyvex touches egg 9 - Outright Authority Egg >

Kasle stumbles back, whimpering, shaking her head, "No…" She gasps a sob, whimpering and trembling, "Nonononononononono…" She gulps for air, stumbling away from the egg, "No. I can't." Tears roll down her cheeks and the expression on her face can only be described as fear. She scrambles away from the egg and runs for the exit, not caring that she's breaking one of the rules, just desperate to get away!

Nyvex is enjoying this egg. Well he's enjoyed all of the eggs in their own way. He smiles and gives it a last playful little rub. He stands up and looks around. Some more of the candidates tapped out. And yet he looks towards the dragons and they haven't grown bored with the candidates presence yet. So he shrugs his shoulders. Maybe he can squeeze in one last egg before they deem it time enough and want them out. He makes his way along the sands carefully. Not to bump into any of the candidates or one of the eggs. He stops in front of the Outright Authority egg. His green eyes looking over the mauve and navy shell before him. He doesn't hesitate, especially when his time on the sands could be cut short at any moment. He is enjoying this experience. It's like the first time he performed on stage, it's scary and thrilling at the same time. He gently moves his hand along the surface of the shell.

Yanked back to the present, Logain gazes at the motionless egg, pondering what he'd just seen. Would it realy be so bad? His curiosity gets the better of him, and he goes for one more touch. The corruption of Logain is well under way…

A contemplative silence settles over Logain. Slowly he steps away from the egg, the experience replaying over and over in his mind. Realizing his sister has left, he decides to do the same. "Much to think about," he mutters on his way out. Much to think about indeed…

Nyvex looks down at that egg and then he looks straight towards Leirith and then he looks back towards the mauve and navy egg. He just shakes his head and laughs. He laughs louder than he should because something about that egg. "You are just like your mother." The harper candidate just can't help but keep a smile upon his face. Yeah, he was challenged by Leirith when she searched him. And this egg gave him up a challenge. Curiosity got the better of him and he has to go back for more. He places his hand upon the shell again and he allows the minds to touch. His expressive face going through some very different emotions this time. He doesn't back down, he doesn't back away. He just whispers softly, "Sometimes, when you can't get away. You just have to stand tall and get through it together." He looks down at the egg. He has to know more, he has to follow the white rabbit down into wonderland… just one last touch.

« I HEARD THAT, » comes bombastic and amused. BUT OF COURSE LEIRITH HEARD THAT. Maybe that's why Risali takes a moment to stop looking insulted at whatever she sees going on in the stands to SMACK HER LIFEMATE'S SNOUT. « WHAT? HE LIKES IT. »

Nyvex finally pulls himself away from this egg. It was a lot to deal with, a lot of powerful emotions from the mind of a young yet certainly powerful little dragon. The candidates just says, "Wow." Yeah, he's speechless. Just as much as he was when he left his first interaction with its clutch mother. He looks around as most of the candidates have all but left him almost alone on the sands. He looks around for a moment and then he heads towards the edge of the sands. His clothes are definitely moist from the heat of the sands. Yet he could stay here for hours. His mental fortitude to endure the heat of the sands. But he doesn't want to overstay his welcome either. And he also doesn't want to be the one who passes out on the sands. He looks towards Leirith as she booms in his head and a dopy little smile curls up on his lips. To Risali he says, "When she is right, she is right." He bows to the Queen and to her bronze mate. "Thank you for allowing me to entertain your little ones for a bit. I can't wait to meet the rest." He is very giddy, no headache for him. "I made sangria for some of the older candidates, Risali. If you would like I can bring you back some." He isn't kissing up to her, this is just his personality. Especially when it comes to providing alcohol to the masses.

Listen, I'm not saying you caught Risali in the act of doing double middle-fingers towards the stands, but you did. She knows it. Leirith knows it, AND NOW YOU KNOW IT. So when her awkward, "Ah," sounds awkward, it's only because she's trying to think of a way to explain the fact that she was flipping somebody off. Don't mind the drop of her hands, the twist of them smoothing down her tunic, the dignity-lacking way in which she pretends she has any left to lean on. "I'm good, but thank you." And here she smiles. WHAT TIMING THOUGH! Nyvex is ready to be through, and suddenly Leirith is wuffling and AWLMs are in motion. "OFF THE SANDS! IN A LINE. COME ON, TIME TO GO!" And so it goes, the candidates were ushered in, and now they're ushered back out.

The secret is safe with him. Nyvex even forces the smirk off of his face at the lewd gesture. He even offers her up a knowing wink. He's a harper, they are trained to gather all of the secrets. Sometimes they keep them, sometimes they share them. This one is kept locked up. "Anytime. It will definitely be good after all this time on the heat of the sands." He offers up a final wave and then he is ushered off with the rest of the remaining candidates. His verdant gaze looking over his shoulder one last time to the eggs before he goes to cool off with a tall glass of chilled sangria.

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