Like A Virgin (First Touching)

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.

SORRY MATTY. RISALI KNOWS THE STRUGGLE. AND YOUR PAIN. So there they are, the heat of the sands, where Leirith forfeits squishing Garouth beneath her MASSIVELY MASSIVE bulk for once because she knows that the bronze likes to be the watchful eyes when bodies amass on the sands. Leirith is equally watchful, though probably considerably less daunting than the sire of this clutch, and she is greeting everybody with a sweep of warmth to rival the sands amid a giddy beat of bass and drums. Risali is waiting at the entrance, waiting for Assistant Weyrlingmasters to corral candidates in from chores, or naps, or whatever it is they were doing right up until this moment. And then there's a quiet smile that comes in the wake of that expectant hush. IF DASH CLOSE, SHE REACHING FOR HIS HANDS. "As much as Leirith has probably put the idea of being badasses into your heads, this isn't the place for your daring. Bow to Leirith and Garouth before you enter because it shows respect to them, and don't rough-house. When Leirith and or Garouth decides that they're finished with you being on the sands, you go. And please be mindful around the eggs. None of us wants to find out what happens if something happens to one of them. If you need help or want to be excused at any time, let somebody know and one of the Assistant Weyrlingmasters will lead you off the sands." And then she's turning, executing a bow — perhaps to show the candidates what to do — before picking her way across the sands towards Leirith, D'lei's hand in hers or no. Every bow that comes Leirith's way is returned, the gold dipping down on her forepaws with amusement and something giddy with anticipation.

Nessalyn does not look thrilled to be here. She's a weyrbred woman, she's familiar with candidate gossip and tales of what happens when one lays a hand on those eggs, and she isn't too keen on letting unborn creatures into her mind. BUT, this is part of the process, and she's (sometimes) trying to make it through the process without being tossed out on her behind. So a very reluctant Ness shuffles her way in with the other candidates, offering a bow that just barely counts as one, before she heads somewhat aimlessly toward the eggs. It's pure chance that the lays a hand on The Other Side of the Mirror Egg first, bracing herself for whatever is to come.

< Nessalyn touches egg 2 - The Other Side of the Mirror Egg >

So, yes, bows and salutes and titles, except when they're not, and… all these formal manners get complicated, it's true! But for now, D'lei simple D'lei tucks his hand into Risali's, standing beside her to watch. On the sands, Garouth is also watching, yellow-tinged eyes shifting between eggs and candidates. He returns no bows, but there's a low, deep rumble from his chest. Dragon eyes are watching you, candidates. Tread wisely.

Sylvarin is arriving amongst the bunch of candidates with a /rock/ strapped to his /chest/ for whatever reason. But he isn't going to take the darn thing onto the sands with him. No, that and it's baby carrying apparatus are unceremoniously dumped just at the entrance as he makes his way among the other candidates. The baker lets out a heavy sigh, finally free of his burden for a moment, before wandering onto the sands. There's a nod for Risali followed by a bow for Leirith and Garouth and then…he's looking around. For some time the baker is still, considering each of the eggs in turn…and then he just randomly picks one, for all that thinking he looked like he was doing. Long strides take him towards Too Late for Goodbyes Egg and quite tentatively places his hand on it's shell.

< Sylvarin touches egg 5 - Too Late for Goodbyes Egg >

Rinian listens to the instructions quietly. Not being Weyrbred she hasn't a clue what's going on, but she does wish she'd had a chance to clean up before she came. She bows politely to Leirith and Garouth, and mindful of what Matty had just said, saultes more-or-less-kind-of-something-maybe-like-she-is-supposed-to. A shame it couldn't be a smart salute or something wonderful like that, but she isn't exactly sure how its to be done and she'd only Matty's for an example earlier. Only when that is done does she step out onto the hot sands and make her way towards one of the eggs. She casts it a curious glance, judging it size and shame for future reference.

< Rinian touches egg 1 - Nothing To See Here Egg >

Mathis only peeks once or a billion times at D'lei, it's fine. Everything is fine. But the moment that they are inside the hatching cavern he seems to forget all about it. He's seen the eggs from above, but it was another thing entirely to see them at ground level. Moving closer to Rinian before she wanders off on her own, he bows his body rather awkwardly toward the Dam and Sire, as they ceased to be just Leirith and Garouth the second he'd past the entry, having dropped off his puppet and bag by the door beside Sylvarin's rock baby. Had Mathis heard anything about what to expect? Maybe. Maybe not. Whichever the case may be, he's certainly unhurried in getting out there, swallowing against the newfound tightness of his throat before he heads towards Scratches in the Night Egg and checks the box beside yet another of his firsts as he reaches out and slides his fingertips against the sand warmed and smooth surface.

< Mathis touches egg 6 - Scratches in the Night Egg >

Sylvarin doesn't seem to take kindly to the intrusion of his mind at all. What initially begins as a relation in his shoulders quickly goes in the opposite direction. His mouth forms into a quick scowl and for a moment the baker turned candidate seems to sway on the sands. His hand presses against the shell, as if pushing back (but not /too/ hard, still rather gentle) at whatever onslaught comes from within. Despite not wanting to answer some questions posed to him things seem to escape his memories to be displayed unbidden. "I have my reasons…" Reasons already pulled from his mind. His eyes snap open suddenly and he stares hard at the egg, but doesn't quiet leave. It's with a deep breathe that fingers touch the ovoid once more.

There's an awkward, choked sound which catches somewhere in Nessalyn's throat. That wasn't unsettling at all, guys. She's got this. A quick glance is cast around to ensure that no one noticed that moment of mild panic, but it doesn't linger, and soon blue eyes are drawn back to the egg in front of her. One more try, maybe? Her hand doesn't leave that shell just yet, waiting to see if there's truly cause to make an escape, or if that unsettled feeling is entirely unwarranted.

Cielo has been lingering about as close as is reasonable. Curious about something Meion had spoken to him, but a curiosity left at the entrance with everything else. He greets everyone with a quiet gesture, or bow, or salute (as appropriate!) And watches the other candidates approach and touch the eggs. And he's… watching. The way they appraoch, their expressions compared to how they were just a day or so ago. Not that he'd had a chance to spend enough words for his liking. But this is something different, more important. A curious, searching glance goes back to the intense gaze of Garouth before he looks down again. Presses hands together. What you've heard is one thing. Living it is another. The young dragonhealer approaches the Umbral Egg. Opens those hands, himself, leans in to give the lightest brushes to the shell.

< Cielo touches egg 3 - Umbral Egg >

Rinian only expected to feel from the egg what her sense of touch could assertain. Was it soft or hard? Smooth or rough? Warm from the sands or somehow still cool? She does get the answers to those questions, but her brain shuffles those things away for later, because she was not expecting…that. Whatever that was! Startled she steps back from the egg and stares at it for a long moment. Then, wondering if perhaps her mind was just playing tricks on her, she lightly touches the shell again.

There's an expression appearing on Sylvarin's face that certainly isn't something those present have been privy to before. There's an emotional rawness settling on his features. His eyes remain open, glassed over and unseeing as he seems lost in the sea of whatever this egg is showing him. Now the changes in him are subtle, a quick dilation of the pupils, a sudden increase in heart rate, the quiet hitch of his breathe. His left leg moves slightly, as if trying to step forward only to be stuck against some invisible wall. "I have to…" Is that pain in his voice? Perhaps even a sense of fear? But finally that left leg moves forward, moving him perhaps an inch or two closer to the egg and with it he snaps back to the moment. Does he stop here? No. He doesn't have his answers. So his hand remains there once more.

Rinian's green eyes go wide and then her expression softens and she even seems to relax. For a moment. But then she she starts to glance one way, and then another, and finally even looks behind her, perplexed. Once again she steps back from the egg, but this time she doesn't return to it. Instead she goes to another egg. Just an experiment. This is not what she expected at all, but perhaps it was just the one.

< Rinian leaves egg 1 - Nothing To See Here Egg >

< Rinian touches egg 4 - Embrace the Memories Egg >

Nessalyn's skin is palid, her face drained of all color. That's pure, undisguised panic in her eyes as she snatches her hand away so swiftly, it's as though she thinks the shell itself might try to consume her. That hand presses to her neck, tracing along the thin scar that is still faintly visible on her skin if one knows where to look. She doesn't even seem to realize what she's doing, her fingers rubbing along that near-invisible mark like it's some sort of touchstone. A deep breath, and then Nessalyn squares her shoulders as though she's preparing for battle. One more. Not because she wants to, but because she's not going to be chased off by a damn egg.

Cielo's kindly expression fades a bit. The practiced gentility of healers by trade, a thin membrane on whatever he was before making that commitment visibly cracks. His shoulders dip and he hunches closer to the egg. Shock, white eyes as he looks over his shoulder once. Twice. Goosebumps prickle up his arms, tiny hairs standing on end and he withdraws fully from the egg with a shuddering breath. And it's just a long… minute before he gathers himself enough, shaking his head, still possessed of a sudden flightiness. "I am… just that, yes." He murmurs. It seems for a moment he might shake his head, wander across the sands, but something in him catches, and those feet stirring the stand still and he returns his palm to the egg. "What is it?" His voice sounds right ready to break.

Mathis totally wasn't standing there with his eyes squeezed as shut as they could be, body rigid, as if anticipating something far worse than Leirith's booming mindvoice. That he slowly starts to relax, muscle by muscle, and pops open one hazel hued orb to peer at the unassuming shell? A sigh escapes him in relief, signifying that it wasn't that bad. In fact, as he stands there and gently rubs his fingers back and forth, a smile starts to pull his mouth upwards at the corners. The seconds tick by and things seem to be going well in Matty Land, all systems go and functional, no signs of distress. Looks like he's picked a good one guys! But before he can go and pat himself on the back or start spreading the word, something happens. One second everything is chill and the next it was not. Tension finds all of the boy's thinness all at once and that smile is wiped clean, eyes popping open almost big enough to loose them from their anchor point and drop them onto the sands themselves. Stiff, creakily, he turns his head back toward the egg and stares even as he pales and shudders, too scared to speak let alone take his hand off.

< Nessalyn leaves egg 2 - The Other Side of the Mirror Egg >

< Sylvarin leaves egg 5 - Too Late for Goodbyes Egg >

That pained expression on Sylvarin's face from just moments before doesn't seem to hold a candle to what his features twist into now. Pure despair seems to haunt him, his face paling to an unnatural color as he stands on the sands. Despite the heat in the souls of his feet there's a deep chill from within, crawling through his body and forcing goosebumps to appear on his skin. Whatever is happening he's not taking it well. "Please no…" His words are a low murmur, sounding almost choked, but thankfully not loud enough for anyone around to here. Pure fear reigns over the baker's body for a moment until suddenly all tension is gone. Relief? "It's not…" It's not someone. But that relief only lasts for a flash before horror has him stumbling backwards to the sands. There he sits, the color slowly returning to his face. It's with a slightly unsteady gait that he makes his way to Nothing to See Here Egg…hoping things go differently this time. Very differently.

< Sylvarin touches egg 1 - Nothing To See Here Egg >

Rinian ohs softly in surprise. It seems it wasn't just something odd with the first egg…there was certain something to be seen there. This one brings a smile and…a hint of tears to her eyes. Not in a bad way, but in the very best way. But as her fingers gently trail along the falling blossoms on the shell that same feeling that brought such a tender look starts to overwhelm. She takes her hand from the shell and breathes deeply giving her head a faint shake as the pressure vanishes. She gives herself a moment and then, tries again, lightly resting her palm against one of the petals.

Cielo lowers onto one knee, his hair hanging low and his eyes fixed on that shell. "Okay. Okay…" For the moment. Just for now he'll linger a little longer, fully unaware of his surroundings now. His little studies, his wonderings and comparisons… flicked away so easily. THESE are the things that he was always ready to walk away from. To let another take a hand up, or to let them fall to the wayside of time. His muscles tighten, his heels point away. Withdraw, breathe, recover and yet no—no just remain a little longer. "I'm not going." His sleeve falls as he carefully circles his arm around the egg, feeling the surface the way something is reaching back into him. Eyes shut, corners dewed with tears.

For a moment Sylvarin seems a broken man, but the second his fingers touch this shell things begin to change, though slowly at first. A shiver runs down his spine, causing him to straighten jus the slightest. A small rush of adrenaline begins to flow through his veins as some of his usual confidence begins to return. Is that a wisp of a smile on his lips now? The color returning his skin? "That did take a certain degree of bravery." His pride begins to return but it seems that everything ends far too quickly before his sudden return to the sands earns several rapid blinks from the baker. Dare he try again? Certainly. His hand reaches out once more, almost eager but not quiet, fingertips lightly brushing against the egg.

It's a haunted Nessalyn who breaks free from that egg, not with the the same force of moments before, but with a slow slide until her fingers ultimately break contact with the shell and her hand falls back to her side. She stares at it for a moment as though she expects to see answers hidden upon its surface, but she's greeted with nothing more than an expanse of shell. This isn't an experience she wishes to repeat, and already her gaze is straying toward the exit. It's pride that keeps her here once again, because she won't be the girl defeated by her first egg. Maybe her second, but not her first. With a soft grunt of effort, she limps her way over to Too Late for Goodbyes Egg, fingertips lingering over the shell before finally making contact.

< Nessalyn touches egg 5 - Too Late for Goodbyes Egg >

Rinian's usual serious expression is transformed as other feelings not her own touch her, and she responds to them. She almost..almost..removes her hand again but something else keeps her there and even causes her to touch her other hand to the shell as well, curving it to match the curve of the shell. One hand on a red petal the other partially covering a pink. She stays right there…for now.

Mathis had made a grave mistake, and worse he had not taken his hand off that egg. He couldn't, his arm wouldn't listen to him, and neither would his feet. Not that the consciousness captured within the shell before him seemed to care. Warily his face twitches. Fool him once, no way he was trying for twice. Whatever he was being shown or experiencing as he stands there in Cardboard Cut Out Matty mode, was doing nothing for his skin tone. It was starting to go green. Little by little, a pained expression seeps into his face, contorting it like a slow glide down a funhouse mirror, until it was twisted into something akin to object horror. He had no idea what anyone else was doing, but his mouth was propped open in what appeared to be the start of a blood-curling scream that never quite makes it past a squeak and it's not long after that before he's come full circle again. Everything scrunched up and taut, his extended arm notably trembling despite the fingertips seemingly glued to the egg silently sat in front of him. He can't move, he can barely breathe, and he once more forgets that all he needs to do it take his hand away.

< Rinian leaves egg 4 - Embrace the Memories Egg >

Rinian steps back from the egg showered in its petals, her fingers trailing off slowly last of all and wearing very thoughtful expresson. The touch from each egg was so different and yet somehow not so different in a way. She looks at the egg a moment longer before deciding to continue this amazing experiment. What would the Other Side of the Mirror look like?

< Rinian touches egg 2 - The Other Side of the Mirror Egg >

Sylvarin is built up again, brick by brick, thought by thought, reassurance by reassurance. There's a moment where his knees nearly buckle from relief but the baker stays standing. His fingers curl slightly, each tensed muscle beginning to relax. There's a sudden twitch as if he were to look to his left but his attention snaps back to the egg almost immediately. His bruised ego is beginning to bounce back thanks to whatever presence speaks to him from this egg. He takes in a slow deep breathe, pulled away from the comforting other world far too soon. It's far too soon for him to have left, /far/ too soon. It's with a quick motion that his entire palm is eagerly pressed against the egg once more.

Nessalyn does not run from this egg. She sways a little on her feet, the disorienting vision ill-suited to a woman largely favoring one leg, but she doesn't topple. Good thing, too, since that would probably be a great way to accidentally break one of those precious shells. She takes a deep, heavy breath, exhaling over the egg before her in a loud sigh. "I don't know," is muttered in a low tone, words which feel foolish to her a moment later. She's talking to an egg. An egg from which she doesn't move, either. As disorienting as it may be, at least it doesn't terrify her (yet).

Rinian gently traces the line between the vibrant colors and its gray counterpart, finally flattening her hand against the shell in that space that bridges them. At first, if one were to judge by her reaction, nothing much seems to happen. But a few breaths later her eyes go wide and yet…no. It isn't so alarming, not with that….suddenly she hops back, blinking in surprise at the unexpected 'noise'. Surely everyone else heard it, right? She looks around briefly, taking in the other candidates who seem to be in their own personal world. With a puzzled frown she steps closer and smooths her hand across the shell once more.

Mathis unfurls a bit, but just a bit. Suspicion is heavily leveled upon the egg at the end of his hand as if it had stolen all of his trust in a matter of seconds, jaw firmly set as he intensely stares down the shell like it would make a lick of difference how things had played out. Betrayed, that's the expression he wears now, and no amount of promises made to him now was going to change his mind. Can someone be mad at an egg? Mathis sure can and he yanks his hand off in silent protest before backing away and turning to head off towards another. Although, for a while there, he was going to keep it within his eye line in case it decided to follow him and do more ghastly things on the premise of niceness. He very nearly walks right into Embrace The Memories Egg in the process, reaching out to brace himself against it rather than break any of those rules they'd just be told about.

< Mathis leaves egg 6 - Scratches in the Night Egg >

< Mathis touches egg 4 - Embrace the Memories Egg >

Cielo laughs. In spite of himself? No, it's the sort of sound you make after crawling out of the woods, lost, and finding yourself on your doorstep. The horror on your heart. The first sight of comfort. Ah, but that seems to bring the shaking in in full resplendence, no longer tight and holding breath from fear of… of… what was it? "I would not turn away." He offers. To himself? To the voice reaching out to him? Even he's not sure. Then he nods, in slow rhythm… raises, turns, and opens his eyes as his arm, hand, fingertips slip away. And then he is still and quiet.

< Cielo leaves egg 3 - Umbral Egg >

Rinian's expression closes off completely, like a shutter over a window. Whatever is going on, she isn't sharing. She stands there somewhat ridgely though her touch on the egg is as light as ever. Her jaw visibly tightens and then…a deep breath. Her hand remains in place though, as if to see just what, if anything else, this mirrored world may have in store for her.

< Sylvarin leaves egg 1 - Nothing To See Here Egg >

Meion makes it to the edge of the sands looking slightly flustered and late. She takes a step out onto them, then looks up at Leirith and bows awkwardly. She was coached on the bowing part; the awkwardness is all her own. A pause, a straightening, and she turns to Garouth to do the same, then pauses there a moment longer, at the edge, looking to see where each of the eggs - and the candidates - are.

< Nessalyn leaves egg 5 - Too Late for Goodbyes Egg >

Sylvarin's brows furrow, doubt and fear suddenly beginning to creep into that eased expression. There's a garbled sound that's quite suddenly wrenched from his throat and his head jerks upwards as if to see something above him. Then…everything hurts. White hot pain laces through every cell of his body and makes it's way onto the sands in the form of a barely contained groan. It's too much this time, far too much for the baker. Where he was once standing he's now on his knees, his own nails digging into his crossed arms as if to find some comfort among them, or as if this may ease whatever he's going through. Is it physical pain though? Perhaps somewhat, but there's a much more emotional aspect to it. Red surrounds his blue-green eyes now, wetness appearing unbidden and unwanted at the corners of the baker's eyes. He sucks in deep shuddering breathes of the warm air, stock still until he can finally make it to his feet. And then he's the first to break…a hand raises to catch one of the AWLM's attention because he's done for today. Very done.

Nessalyn's jaw clenches, teeth grinding against each other to the point of pain. Her expression is simultaneously lost and infuriated; the portrait of a woman about to go tumbling over the edge of an emotional cliff with nothing left to catch her. Blue eyes go first toward the other eggs, then clutch-parents, then on to her fellow candidates. There's a moment in which she weighs and measures the consequences. Then she gathers herself up, all seeming confidence as she makes her away over to one of the AWLMs. Apparently she and Sylvarin have the same idea, because she's out.

Mathis is startled, whatever he finds in that first accidental touch nearly erasing the effects of the last, but not entirely. Oh no. He'd learned his lesson real good the last time and so rather than be lulled into a false sense of security he steels himself away and braces for impact. Sure, he had his faults and they were many at his age, that didn't mean that he was stupid. Taking a breath and arranging himself so that he could prepare for whatever came next, the boy mumbles something beneath his breath that doesn't have enough momentum to carry further than the space that he and that egg existed in. Tongue darting across lips that felt dry, the nervousness making his heat race, he takes a few shallow breathes meant to calm him that do nothing of the sort. With a determined tip of his head, he applies his other hand none too far from his other and he waits.

Rinian is still and completely quiet as her hand lingers on the shell. She just stands there for a few long moments as whatever happens..happens. When she finally steps away her expression has shifted from closed to sort of troubled thoughtfulness. She lets out a breath and wonders if she dare touch any of the others. can she resist? There is nothing in her experiences like this. Nothing to compare it to, but each egg's touch.

< Rinian leaves egg 2 - The Other Side of the Mirror Egg >

< Rinian touches egg 3 - Umbral Egg >

Meion steels herself, closing her eyes for a moment, then walking at an even, measured pace toward the matte black egg that she just saw Sylvarin flee from. Stubborn, this one. If there's something here to be afraid of, then it's best faced first, so the anticipation doesn't taint her impressions of the rest. She stops a short distance from the egg, kneeling just in front of it, both palms out. A glance to Leirith and Garouth, and then she closes her eyes and brings both palms in at once.

< Meion touches egg 1 - Nothing To See Here Egg >

Cielo wobbles in place, having held his touch as he pulled away for GOODNESS KNOWS whatever reason. And then he looks down at the sands behind his feet and laughs again. Closer to home, in that place where it's easier to forget all the terrifying unknown and. Just a pitch of resolve, that same something that anchored him from first brush holding him now and he faces the Umbral Egg a bit longer. There are others, other candidates, other things that need tending and… no. Whatever unease he can unpack later because now what is important is being there and being calm and… "Just a bit longer." And when it is done, he is aside, ambling, barely noticing Rinian reaching for the same egg. He doesn't really look at anyone, for once. A slow, curious look is granted around like he's rediscovering where he was. It takes him a bit to even find the will to touch another, but he eventually finds his way to another egg.

< Cielo touches egg 6 - Scratches in the Night Egg >

Rinian thought she was getting the hang of things, sort of. There had been something similar in the other three eggs she had touched. But this one doesn't feel like the others at first touch, though in some way like its near-twin. She makes a sound sort of like..'meep'..and does a half hop half stumble back from the egg, quickly looking behind her and then around. She gives her head a firm shake, and with a certain determination she touches the dark shell again.

Meion breathes slowly, eyes still shut, holding a measured breath, almost smiling a little. There's a slight lean back on her heels - a moment of indecision where she might pull away and wonder what Sylvarin saw that was so terrible when there's so obviously nothing here to fear. But that moment passes and palms are still pressed to matte black strange-shaped egg-surface, and some little part of her asks that terrible question: what is hiding from me? And more terrible: Why?

Rinian is getting less startled to the rummaging through her memories. They want to know her, and how else would they trapped inside the shells as they are. This time she tries to keep what is /her/ and what is /that one/ more seperate. She doesn't want its fears to become hers. She talks ever so softly to the egg's inhabitant, with no clue if it can hear her or understand her. "It's ok..its're safe."

Mathis blinks once and then again. What? Brows twist and curve, and had it not been done as slowly as it had, they might have appears as strange wiggly wormy creatures instead of an effective display of his perplexity. All concern that this egg would turn out like the last had begins to fade from his face, replaces with more from another source entirely. Less for himself and more perhaps for the unborn beyond the shell, but not in the way that one might think. Mathis can hear the other around him (past the feelings and images thrust inside his head) talking to their chosen eggs aloud, though thus far he'd yet to say anything himself. What could he say to all of that? He was flabbergasted, half scratching his head and coming up empty, while the other half was already eyeballing the rest of the six that he hadn't made it to yet. A pang of guilt strikes him bringing with it discomfort and with a heavy sigh, "Fine," is breathed out as he remains and waits to see what waits for him there on the other side.

Meion leans back, letting her hands ease away, then clasping them palm-to-palm in a gesture of gratitude. She slowly rises, though there's that lingering sense that she's not _seeing_ something; that there's something more that she needs to grapple with. But not now. Not yet. Forward, now; forward is what matters.

< Meion leaves egg 1 - Nothing To See Here Egg >

Now just grasp back that rational mind, Cielo. The one that's opening itself up and willingly accepting all those things coming into it and for a moment it is such a wonderful sensation. Did he know what the other candidates experienced or just have a suspicion? No, for all that thinking and bravado there's still… something. Lingering impressions of anxiety, washed over with comfort, left back like wet sand when then warmth fades. Then his gaze peels his gaze up, hand resting on the top curve until he YANKS back covering his head with both hands and nearly losing his balance. "… that was mean…" A LONG exhale, and he returns his hand to it cautiously.

Meion walks a slow circle, palms clasped together, looking down at the eggs, at her fellow candidates, at the sands themselves. This one. This one has something about it that intrigues her. She kneels again, in tht same posture. This time, her fingers splay, fingertips touching in two half-circles against the grey-blue shell, palms arched over.

Rinian's hand remains on one of those shadowy warnings hidden on the shell, a faint smile crosses her features, there then gone again. Yes..yes. One…two… Without lifting her hand she looks over her shoulder, just to be sure. Well, ok, so Leirith is behind her when she looks that way, but she is sure she isn't the 'That'…ok at least reasonably sure. 90…50…30 percent sure at least.

< Meion touches egg 5 - Too Late for Goodbyes Egg >

Rinian looks surprised and then actually laughs softly, but not unkindly. SO CUTE! She gently smooths her hand across the shell with a softly whispered, "Sleep well." A few moments more and she steps away. She can't help it but looks to Leirith again and another bow, "Amazing." It is almost addicting, this wish now to see what the other eggs may hold.

< Rinian leaves egg 3 - Umbral Egg >

Rinian is more prepared now, or so she thinks, and so she goes to touch the first egg she touched once more.

< Rinian touches egg 1 - Nothing To See Here Egg >

Cielo settles back in with an incredulous look. There's also a weariness. One playing with your mind is a thing. One after the other is taxing in a way that is simply indescribable. There is a deep sympathy forged for those who came before him, both in the sands and in a grand sweep. Every time he thinks he's not going to be thrown off, and then he is squirming in place, hissing out in soft breaths, and scratching at his skin. A sharp, short yelp despite all his efforts to maintain the quiet of the cavern. He squints at the egg, and sighs. What WOULD it take to get him to abandon one of these eggs, to never look back, to never touch it again? He fears that by the end he'll find out. "If you want it so badly…" Just a little more surrender. He brushes the shell with at least some affection….

Meion trembles, her hands shaking as she clenches eyes shut, breaking out in sweat as she kneels in silence. A moment, another - and then she erupts, throwing both hands to the air and almost screaming "I DON'T KNOW!" up - to Leirith? To Garouth? To the high domed ceiling that returns her voice to her in a mocking echo? Her eyes are open and she's suddenly aware of her outburst, looking around her. Everyone is judging her. She shouldn't be here. She's almost to her feet when she remembers the sight of Nessalyn walking away from this egg, and her own stubborn pride engages. She returns to her kneeling posture and leans in, hands and knees steadying her on the sand as she touches her forehead to the egg and opens herself to the unknown.

Rinian thought she was ready! Oh no..she wasn't. Her hand where it touches the egg trembles as her eyes close against that touch. But closed eyes accomplish absolutely nothing, not even to hold back tears that slowly squeeze out beneath lowered lids. They catch at long lashes, beading there a moment before finding a path down as gravity always has its way. She yanks her hand away and simply stands near that egg. Indeed, nothing to see here, don't mind her.

< Rinian leaves egg 1 - Nothing To See Here Egg >

Mathis crinkles his nose. Well, he'd asked for it. Except he really hadn't? Much like in that story about the piper, now he was paying the price for sticking around and seeing things to their end. Stupid, stupid boy. There were no answers for him as he'd started to suspect early on, and what was there just raised more questions. He didn't get it, past the obvious, but what did that mean? Was there something wrong with him? There were hints of reaction in what lay beyond the silence of his quieted stance and interaction, minute traces of emotion either too vague or too quick to be comprehended before the next, before he lifts his hands off the shell and lets them fall back against his sides. Brows furrowed, he stands there and stares, trying to figure out something from the looks of it with the beginnings of a head shake that doesn't last very long. Sighing, he looks around for another egg, finding that the number of candidates had dwindled some. Where did they go? Somewhere in all that wondering, his feet had started moving, thoughts jumbled and in disarray. There was Rinian, Cielo, Meion…some of whom he knew and others not at all, stopping near The Other Side of the Mirror Egg, slowly he turns to face it. Should he touch it? Should he call it quits? Man. He should totally touch it. Ugh, okay fine whatever conscious. Deep breath in and he gingerly places his palm flat against it's very top.

< Mathis leaves egg 4 - Embrace the Memories Egg >

< Mathis touches egg 2 - The Other Side of the Mirror Egg >

Meion's head rests against the surface of the egg, hiding her face from view. But it doesn't hide the silent sobs that shake her body, and it doesn't hide the tears that make streaks on the egg's surface, adding points of sheen to that grey-blue. She cries there, silent save for the little gasps of her breath. Unconsciously, her arms come up and she wraps them around the egg, hugging it as she weeps.

Cielo creases a slight smile. Cute? Well, perhaps all children were, at some point or another. Are. There are a few measured, practiced breaths that he shares while brushing over the egg now as if coaxing it in its sleep. "I think I would…" A confident thought. A troubled worry. How much did one candidate have to give…? Even pondering it is difficult. When he pulls away from Scratches in the Night he looks exhausted—moreso than when he made his return that morning. Enough so he looks like he could curl up in the warm sand and no no no brush that divot back where it was and take a proper step. He keeps shaking his head, trying to bring himself back to enough agency. He is weary, and yet longing to touch the others, and yet… bitterly knows he had best wait.

< Cielo leaves egg 6 - Scratches in the Night Egg >

Rinian steps back from the eggs for a moment to gather her thoughts, absently rubbing the tears from her cheeks. She looks over those she has already touched..or more to the point, had touched here. Two others remain but she hesitates as if she isn't entirely sure she's up for it. But, much like she had faced that window on the ship that made their home look so small, and space so big and so overwhelming..she isn't going to back down even if it is difficult. As Cielo steps away, she moves closer and lightly rests her hand along one of those scratches.

< Rinian touches egg 6 - Scratches in the Night Egg >

Mathis leans in slightly, drawing his bottom lip inside his mouth with the bottom most edge of his teeth, carefully and cautiously closing his eyes. It'll be okay. This is fine. He wasn't sure when he'd started to shiver, knowing full well that he was standing on very hot stands and undoubtedly sweating horribly. Everyone, not just him, was going to need a serious bath after this. So, he focuses on that instead of the fact that his brain was being rummaged through, again. Really, don't they all just talk to one another? Maybe that was just dragons, yeah, now that he thought about it. Probably was just dragons. Well, and people, they could talk to one another too. Not that it was easy. Yes, he was distracting himself, trying not to let himself get too…anything…really. Comfortable or tense. Aiming for something closer to the median of them both. It was so hard to relax though with ghostly echoes and wisps of half-formed thought being strewn about as if it were nothing at all. A shudder runs through Mathis, eyes snapping open as he finds himself hot, sweaty, and shaking for some reason. What, had just happened? Did he miss it? Well, his subconscious clearly hadn't giving that he was so tense his muscles were screaming at him to take a break. Hands off, shaking it out, rolling his shoulders and hands were back on. Break over, let's do this. Except this time, he would try to listen.

Rinian doesn't make the assumption this time that she's ready, but the touch is so nice..and relaxing and..she sighs softly. Maybe this one won't be a roller coaster ride….and there it goes, dropping out the bottom to leave her stomach somewhere behind her. Her hand jerks away from the shell in an uncontrolled reaction, but with a determined frown she touches it lightly again. There has been so much more to each of the others..surely here as well…

Meion sobs there, arms wrapped around the egg as emotion consumes her. Face-down, the sound of choked breaths and involuntary whimpers leave her debased, groveling in the sand, a kneeling supplicant. Or - as she rises slightly, those spasmodic noises take a different character, because she's weeping until her eyes are red, but when she raises her face it's smiling. Are some of those choked-out sounds laughter? She gives a small kiss to the egg as she rises, still crying uncontrollably enough that her vision is blurred. She stumbles a few feet across the sands and almost plows into Cielo, wrapping arms around him to steady herself when she does, laugh-crying too hard for speech.

< Meion leaves egg 5 - Too Late for Goodbyes Egg >

Rinian fights the urge to relax..oh're not fooling me this time. Sure enough..but more than she could have expected… One hand on the shell, one hand to her head at the none-too-gentle urge to know. For a moment her expression goes completely blank, before she gives a soft cry and both hands clutch her head. These are without a doubt Leirith's babies. She takes some long slow breaths before straightening and lowering her hands. She has to remind herself, "They're just young…they don't know…" She touches the lumpy seeming shell hestantly, but touch it she does.

There's movement on those sands, as Leirith breaks away from Garouth, and Risali, and D'lei to shift closer to candidates. She's mindful not to be too much in the way, but oh, hi, Cielo and Meion. There's a subtle beat of bass and drums, hushed and quiet in lieu of her usually explosive sound — and there are no words. There's no real invasion, just presence. The queen just rests her head close enough to be practically touching, and she remains there - offering comfort on the outskirts. LET HER LOVE YOU.

Cielo will get his chance to break down in a heap. Once he starts processing things again, and gets a fresh mind. It'd be better for them all in the long run. A step. A look back. At least he's out of the way, so he thinks, when he's near paralyze with want to stay despite the havoc and his heels dig in as Meion nearly bowls him over! Well. That wakes him up, for a moment, though her touch feels like it's pressing through a layer of warm needling numb at every point. He looks down, bleary-eyed and squeezes back at the other candidate, giving just a little soft laugh-cry himself. Head down. It takes a few beats before he—well he aalways felt her presence probably but his head turns just slight so that Meion is on one pane and Leirith in the other of his vision. Oh dear.

Rinian shakes her head as she steps away, wondering just what she's gotten herself into. And right then…there is Leirith. She looks over and can't help but smile. That little bit of encouragement is just what she needed to take her to the one egg she has yet to meet. No wait, that's not right. One doesn't meet an egg. She must still be a little scrambled after that last one. Egg..scramble..ahem. Time to meet the occupant of that last egg. Much better. She makes her way over and lightly touches that last shell.

Mathis lets out a single soft whimper, one that sounds a million miles away. Already his heart was beating like mad against his rib cage and it'd only been a few seconds. Mistake. He'd clearly made another one. There had been a LOT of those lately hadn't there? Nothing irreparable as of yet, thank Faranth, but given time… He can hear someone weeping somewhere? Shells, he really hoped that wasn't him. The last thing he wanted was to come back to the sands to find that everyone was staring at him, laughing. Oh. He sees what you did there egg. HE SEES YOU! Again, the boy's jaw sets, either irritation or flat out anger coming in to fight the good fight instead of letting the fear drive him away. Yet, what's reflected back at him chips away, little by little, at his resolve to stay. Was someone screaming now? More and more he wanted to stop, wanted to run and hide. Why? Why was he being shown all this? A wave of dysphoria nearly puts an end to it for him, wobbling some where he stood and jerking to alertness. To sand. To heat. To the residual that clings to the outer spaces of his mind. Again, his hands come off, flexing and unflexing his fingers before blowing out a single puff of air and trying this thing one last time.

< Rinian leaves egg 6 - Scratches in the Night Egg >

Garouth does not move. Garouth sits, and watches, with yellow eyes steady, just a few shades lighter than the bronze twisted with black shadows that makes up his hide. He observes. (Is he pleased? He is silent, and he observes.)

< Rinian touches egg 5 - Too Late for Goodbyes Egg >

Meion turns from Cielo - still sobbing, still laughing - and lifts both her hands to touch Leirith's head when she feel's the gold's presence. She touches her forehead to the great dragon's, getting her tears on both of them. Between gasps, she whispers something so quietly only Leirith can hear, and staggers toward the edge of the sands, incoherent with something.

Rinian's hand of course finds the rich brown of wood along that egg's shell. She didn't even do it intentionally, but honestly, where else would she go? No sooner has she touched it that she wobbles as if disoriented. Nothing there but there is. Questions. Good questions. Excellent questions. This time her hand remains against the wood that is not wood. Curious, she wants to 'hear' more. And not so bad as sensations return and her balance steadies.

There's someone there to catch Meion's hand as she reaches the edge of the sands, and to guide her to a seat. She sits there for a while, laugh-crying, until she's mostly breathing normally again. And then, without fanfare, she bows to Leirith and Garouth again, and quietly walks back to her room in the candidate barracks.

Rinian has less troubles with this one, but it isn't to say there aren't emotions. There are even tears, regretful ones that don't quite manage to spill. Her practical self not holding on much to regret of things past. She waits, to see if there is more, what else this one wants to know.

Cielo lets go, and looks at his hands like—shouldn't these be able to make it stop? All those tears he's seen. How little he knows. He watches Meion for a while, as she touches Leirith, as she parts and sure anyone can see him ~watching.~ There's a sheepish look before he turns to the dragon in turn and manages a slight smile. Someone ought to. It's fraught, it's slight, but it's there. "Thank you…" he whispers a bit more audibly, mimicking Meion's touch.. and before too long probably her departure as well.

It is a good thing Rin's last one was..the last one. Because if she had come to this one before she probably wouldn't have made it to the others. Questions. More good questions. Tough questions. Scary questions. Questions she's not ready to tackle but…probably should. She takes a hasty step back, breaking contact with the egg, looking a bit pale beneath the remnants of her summer tan.

< Rinian leaves egg 5 - Too Late for Goodbyes Egg >

Mathis hadn't given himself the out that looking around would have granted him, only half conscious of the reprieve he might have found in experiencing the display of emotion and solidarity that the real world had to offer in way of Leirith, Meion, and Cielo not that far from where he still stood, and that his clothing was beginning to cling to his skin. His next breath is exhaled unsteadily, swaying some as the thickness of tawny lashes drift downwards. Was it possible for a thirteen turn old to look, unsettled? Disturbed? A frown appears, not all at once, rather gradually until it was much more pronounced and although his gaze was distant as if he were somewhere else far away, it did nothing to hide the flickers of shame and guilt. Yes, this was exactly what he signed up for. An emotional rollercoaster ride through everything he was both aware and unaware of that made him who he was and would shape who'd he someday be. Perfect. That green tinge returned with a vengeance and while Mathis does not throw up, he looks as if he would very much like to, if only to rid himself of the nausea and that gross taste that was hitting the back of his mouth. Then, he reels, swaying a bit and closes his eyes against the disorientation but it does nothing to block out the visual still there on the other side of his lids. It was waiting for him, and was not going to let him block it out anymore. Clearly. What expression he wore as he removes his hands was mixed, at first, but ultimately he was exhausted and had a great deal to think about now. Head and heart heavy, he looks for Rinian, looking to see if she was ready to go. He certainly was.

< Mathis leaves egg 2 - The Other Side of the Mirror Egg >

Rinian is, without a doubt…ready to go. She crosses the sand to her friend and then turns to give a somewhat shakey bow to the dragons and their riders once again. She searches out one of those weyrlingmasters she was told about to get them off this crazy ride.

Add a New Comment
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License