====September 19, 2013
====Bailey, Cerise, Donner, Hannah, Maosa, Yulena; Dhiammarath / (Safra cameo)
====Cerise, Donner, Maosa, and Yulena all touch some eggs. It's… interesting.

Who Bailey, Cerise, Donner, Hannah, Maosa, Yulena; Dhiammarath / (Safra cameo)
What Cerise, Donner, Maosa, and Yulena all touch some eggs. It's… interesting.
When There is 1 turn 2 months and 9 days until the 12th pass.
Where Hatching Sands, Southern Weyr
Egg Credits Bailey, Hannah, Lendai

bailey_amused.png hannah_default.jpg


hatching_sands.jpg

Hatching Sands
The Sands are surprisingly soft to the feet and to the eyes: rich grains of gold commingle with the ground basalt-black that mark the shores of Azov's Sea. The whorls of lighter color pattern into the sands, larger-grained and often settling at the top, as golden driftwood against dark shores. … but the moaning from above sounds like the chorus of the damned, lessening the natural beauty here below.
Type 'help here' for info on how to set/use the sands.
To the east, you see one person.
On the perch is Finian.
Gold Dhiammarath and bronze Vossuth are here.
Lendai, Bailey, and Cerise are here.
Obvious exits:
Archway


-- On Pern --
It is evening
It is 8:07 PM where you are.
There is 1 turn 2 months and 9 days until the 12th pass.
It is Spring and 76 degrees. It is a bright, sunny day.




It's afternoon, really: and Bailey has forgotten about being lazy, grabbing up a scant handful of candidates (including her and Hannah's VERY OWN wildgirl, with the fantabulous pelt) and escorting them out to the sands. She's going over the rules, smiling over at Yulena and then sternly directing Donner, "No, I mean it. No running, no yelling, and you bow to the clutchparents, do you hear me." Ja'kai approaches, with his own handful of people, and stops at Bailey's having beaten him; he glowers at her for a long moment, and turns with his group to depart, but on second thought thrusts Cerise at her little knot of people. Ha. Deal with the entertainer, goldriding WHORE. Bailey flips him off behind his back, eyes Cerise momentarily, and then heads onto the Sands after bowing, herself, to Dhiammarath and Vossuth.

Dhiammarath may be resting serenely on the sands, but Hannah is most assuredly standing there, wringing pale hands, with the paleness of moonlight hair piled messily atop the crown of her head. Strapless top, a short skirt of light fabric in silvers and black, the goldrider could never be less concerned with her attire than now. Teeth nibble on bottom lip while stance seems to ludicrously seem to protect an egg that's over half of her own height. It's softer than the others see. Each Candidate is eyed narrowly in turn; it is Hannah who is the nervous mama more so than the shimmery, pale golden form of Dhiammarath. She mutters something to her dragon, shooting the queen a look before once again turning anxious eyes to the Candidates. Especially that wild girl.

You overhear Hannah mutter, "They're … … … and … … and … … grubby … … prints all … … Are you sure that … … … … … … … … half. … … … half. Or … … … … … how … that …" to Dhiammarath.

Maosa has been convinced of shoes by some kindhearted fellow Candidate or AWLM. It is thus only emotional discomfort that makes her jittery, where she stands on the edge of the little Candidate pack. The girl shoots Bailey (who is intimidating, but a known quality) an unnerved spot of side-eye, and shoots Cerise (comforting, understandable Cerise) a faint glimmer of 'WTF'. But she dutifully follows instructions to bow, and peels off from the pack to go investigate, moving quietly and carefully. Like calls to like, perhaps: the wild girl makes first for the Sleepless Savagery Egg, and lays a tentative, gentle hand upon its mazed shell.

It starts slowly, the clatter of foreign hooves on even more foreign cobblestones: whoever knew they could make such a racket, such a thundering cacophony of sound and sensation? The hooves set the very air on fire, or perhaps that sensation of tightness in your chest is just an early sign of heart failure: whatever it may be, the tempo increases, frenetic, frantic, moving outwards, outwards, ever-outwards: the center of the sound reaches your ears and passes over to leave… silence, ringing, ringing, … ringing. Somehow, the absence of sound is more ominous than the hooves that came before.


Dhiammarath doesn't LIKE this, although she understands it is necessary; the gold's clutch is arrayed in a work of art itself, a rock-garden of living eggs built up on pedestals of sand to be almost at eye-level; they wind and wobble through the vastness of the Sands, enough space for the queen to see ALL who roam the halls of her garden of life.

Yulena is in Bailey's little group with Maosa and responds to the golderider's smile with one that would exude confidence, if it weren't for the way her lips press together nervously in the middle. But oh phew, here comes Cerise, and while the other group leaves, her curly-haired friend is staying. Good stuff. A step towards the Sands themselves, and Yulena remembers to execute a full, from the waist, bow to Dhiammarath and unto Vossuth - overkill is in cilantro and salt. Silently, the candidate with a habit of making food steps, among the group, onto the Stands, eyeing the collection of eggs. Her first trek is to a pale egg, pocketed with pink-grey: the Lady of the Moon egg. First, a finger trails over it and then more boldly, three fingers, and finally a tentative hand.

Aching loneliness overtakes each and every one of your senses. The feeling completely taking over any other feeling that may have previously taken up residence. The yearning, the sadness, the general sensation of being lost upon a moonscape, with no one for company. A being within pulses, once, twice, thrice from underneath your fingertips. Each time something gaining more and more of a foothold into your very subconscious. Trying, so desperately, to find some traction but not being able to grip hard enough. The strength simply is not there, not yet. But soon. So the budding mind withdraws, easing you free of the desolation. For now. It holes up in its cocoon of warmth but not without letting the image of a long-earred mammal with a twitchy nose in its wake. Perhaps some company for a future time? Or maybe tomorrow's dinner.


"Yeah, I -get- it." Donner's exasperated retort is said under his breath, maybe not loud enough for Bailey to hear him, but maybe just little bit. The only boy in the group of women is looking, well, sort of nervous right now, like he's a lamb in a room full of tigers. From the girl he's obsessed with, to the girl he thinks might slit his throat ay any moment, Donner is ready to skitter from the the rest of them as soon as possible. He bows, one of those awkward stiff bends at the waist to Dhiammarath, before peeling off in the opposite direction of Maosa. He approaches Stealing the Tsar's Apple's Egg, reaching one long arm up to touch it gently.

It was warm, before. The Sands on your feet, the ire of the goldrider yonder. But then your palms contacted this shell, and… FIRE FIRE FIRE FUCK WHERE IS THE GODDAMNED FIRE ALARM. Wrath and rage and ire, and Vossuth must have given you a fireball as a present, because you can't breathe, you can't see, you can't move: you can only sit and feel your bones melt and your fat render and boil and crackle and pop and… the sweet scent of pork roasting rises to your nose and you know, with nauseating certainty, that the appetizing course for this feast is none other than your own bones, richly-soaked by marrow and ripe for the cracking. Then, suddenly, the fire is out, and you are whole and hale: did you just imagine it, or is there the slightest gleam of tempestuous inferno gleaming in Hannah's eyes?


What is she, a sack of potatoes to be tossed between people? Cerise's acting background comes in handy as it helps her keep her expression free of annoyance. True, she isn't exactly smiling as she returns Bailey's regard, but that can be chalked up to the experience itself- except oops, she's done this before. Once. Comforting, understandable Cerise adopts her best confident act as she sets feet to sand (shooting Maosa a wink before she bows her head) to approach a few steps towards the dragons before dropping into her best stage-perfect bow. Encore! No? All right then, so she'll meander towards the eggs that have caught her interest. The first choice is most telling, right? And so the performer lays hands on le Fay's Magic, because seriously, guys, she needs all the help here that she can get.

Shimmering heat evaporates; gone is the pale golden queen and the her nervous lifemate. Rock crumbles to leave the magic of the nighttime skies and shimmer of diamonds that cluster so high in the dome of the sky. Vibrant purples cloud the clarity of vision, swirling as if born of magic around you. Fingertips tingle, until that shining moment when a slash of silver slices and crumbles. A welling of brilliant blood stings the palm of your hand as you are thrust into the bowels of an evil so deep it clings like tar. A heart-clench that squeezes even as a tendril of seduction's caress touches your cheek. A clap of thundering sound! You find yourself standing back on the sands, your hands touching the egg's cool, semi-soft shell. The palm of your left hand aches, and you long to wipe it against the seat of your pants as the lingering sensation of blood still tickles…


Dhiammarath senses that Hannah trembles, more diaphanous than usual; moonlight and mists clouding her mental self. « They are touching them. That one isn't ready. » She knows it.



Here is the intensity of Maosa's surprise: she actually makes sound when she steps back from the egg, eyebrows half into her hairline. Not a lot of sound, of course. But an audible slide of sand beneath a hasty foot, nevertheless. Her mouth forms a snarl without thinking about it, eyes wide, shoulders lifted to make herself bigger. Is she trying to intimidate that egg? For a moment it looks like she might touch it again, a hand ghosting out to poke, but the great unnerving bulk of Dhiammarath's presence stops her. Dripping with wounded dignity, head held high, the wild girl pivots on her foot and stalks towards a different egg. Cake Or Death Egg is frilly and foreign, but how dangerous could it possibly be?

Cake or death? Oh, cake please. Well fine, have some cake. But at this rate, we're going to run out of cake! This egg is sweet and frosty and fluffy, decadence to the mind and soul and so soothing one could just…. sink their teeth right into it. Toothily. Teeth into… toothily teeth into… fangs. Fangs into… is your face changing, Maosa? Did you just derail from cake and candy and cookies and everything that a good-little-girl would want — Yulena, she would like a slice of cake, or perhaps she would make it for you! — but suddenly all you can think of is her flesh, and how terrific it would feel to brace your teeth against her lifevein, to rip her jugular out of her throat and feast on the carnage of her corpse, a terrifying black rage overcoming you…. until there is a *shnick* and the faintest pain at the back of the neck, so sharp, as if something has quite… taken off your head.


Cerise receives not help but rather a shock- or something like it, given the way she snatches her hand back from le Fay's shell. The left hand, notably, which she cradles in her right and inspects for a time. Her palm is prodded, the lines there studied. After a time, a slow and unsteady breath is taken and she moves carefully away from the silver-wreathed shell. Her next choice? Well, after a sneaky sly glance towards the dam she walks with apparent confidence to the Pretty Bird Egg. Though it isn't one of her favorites- and miiiight be a favorite of a certain sibling of hers- she touches it as if it were a favorite.

Once again the sands recedes, leaving you blind and deaf. The spray of mist against your cheek is the only sensory stimulation except for the deep ache within your heart. It crushes everything else within your world, harried as you are by the shadow'd menace of a night you can no longer see. The beat of feathers brush your cheek, the breath of life winding against your eyes which slowly clear of blindness. And what comes after is the showing of your life in such clarity that you could almost touch the ticker tape of pictures, but your heart would break. What boon has come, is quickly gone as the restless soul within takes flight. Yet, not before you lay a wreath around the vague dreamer within the shell: a seed pearl necklace of all the best of your memories. As quickly as it comes, the sands return. Everyone's around you once more, but your memories are foggy and what clarity was found is now lost. The only feeling you retain is the crushing heartbreak of reliving a life lived in shadow.


You sense Dhiammarath is somehow smugly satisfied, ESPECIALLY when her multifaceted gaze goes over Donner. « No, I think that one was. » She may have felt a disturbance in the Force. It felt good. Like a tickle.


GAH. Donner's hand shoots back from the bright red egg with an audible yelp. If it was silent, that sound, that high pitched hiccup is going to echo through the sands. "Faranth, no one told me that this would be so. freaking. weird." If he wasn't startled before, Donner is definitely shaken now, moving with haste away from it. His gangly hands are pulling anxiously at his hair, pulling it until it's stuck in all different directions. Oh, which one to touch next that won't burn his brain? The next egg seems harmless enough, small and rippled with the colors of Freedom. He lays his hand down on The Cry for Freedom Egg, eyes squinted shut. Please don't blow up my brain, please oh please.

Where the last egg was abrupt and overt, this one is slow and subtle. A dragging at your limbs, so heavy — it feels as if shackles weigh down at wrist and at ankle. A slowing of your heart, a sinking emotion of deadened feelings and the dull pit of hunger. You cannot possibly aspire to greatness, Donner. You will never be a weyrleader, or so the coaxing little voice tells you: you will never amount for greatness, such as those goldriders - the fucking 1%. Never, never, never… never, never, never… and yet. Blood-red flashes, the white of bone and the blue of so many tears; a thousand, a million, bereft and alone. Heartache and pain stand in your way, but freedom beckons, just on the other side of insanity. What is life, after all, but a game — and how does won win a game except to cheat? Somehow, the idea of cheating one of the weyrwomen makes your nose ache. Maybe someone punched you in the face.


Yulena blinks quietly, her hand pulled back slowly, as if the softness of the shell is a beautiful silken fur. "Oh my," she says softly, but lets a finger trail in farewell as Yulie either feels a pull, or pulls herself to… what is not the most attractive egg on the sand. The malevolence of the House on Chicken Legs egg is at once compelling and terrifying, and Yulena's hand is hesitant as fingertips brush over its surface, then five points, and finally a palm in a solid hand touch. "What are you?" she asks the egg philosophically, staring into what, from a distance, could mirror her own occasional expresssions.

From the moment skin touches subtle shell, a cackle fills and echoes, echoes, echoes off of every nook and cranny in the mind. It's neither menacing, nor gleeful, instead of swerving connection of both, leaving you very disconcerted and uncomfortable. A feeling of arms around you, embracing in a hug is soon overwhelmed with the thought of being chased through a forest. It's perplexing, it's unnerving, it's really just not right at all. The essence inside simply continues that dreadful laugh, over and over, getting louder and louder. Drumming out every. single. other. sound. on. the. sands. Until it stops. Just stops. All bad and good feelings gone. Whatever it was, it's gone now. Consider yourself lucky. Or not.


Again with the TEETH. Maosa's are showing again, as she moves her mouth in a slow pantomime of chewing. Smaaaaack. Smaaaaaaaack. Her close-eyed expression, blissful at the start, grows more and more feral, until the chewing becomes snarling, a mimicry of a feline's bared fangs. And then suddenly she is still, deathly still, for a long open-mouthed moment. Slowly and cautiously does she disengage from that egg, staring wide-eyed at its innocent surface. UM! So. Yes. Awkwardly the mountain girl starts sidling towards What Lurks Beneath Egg, but not before her eyes land for a drawn out second on Yulena. Sweet, klah-giving Yulena. Apropos of nothing, the girl says suddenly: "I'm hungry."

All is clear. All is silent. This egg is pleasant, even, only reflecting back that which is in oneself — and if Maosa reflects back the jungle and the flight of the fittest, so attuned for survival, it must be… it must be comforting, if only by sheer familiarity. One of Southern's great inland lakes stretches as far as the eye can imagine, ringed-in by jungle and glassy smooth. And yet… and yet all of the snarling beasts of the jungle cannot prepare Maosa for the terror that rises unbidden, unseen and unsightly, a kraken of the depths that looms without shape but within one's mind. The dark and the deep sweep you up in one bite, and your knees shake as if every bone in your body was suddenly pulverized. Snicker-snack. That is to say, this egg thinks you are the tasty one, Maosa, with your dear, dear sweetly charmed life and youthful innocence.


This time it's Cerise who makes a soft sound, some sort of child's dreaming cry that's trapped in her throat and near smothered before it escapes completely. When her hands do lift from the egg she's been touching, they do so only slightly. For a long, long moment, an eternity in the mind's eyes, she lets them just hover there over the shell as if she were daring herself to touch it again. But no. In the end her fingers curl hard against her palms- there'll be marks left from that- and she leaves the egg with only a brief, puzzled look of regret. Onwards, then. Onwards again, crossing the paths of her fellow candidates to approach another of Dimitri's favorites: Won't You Just Take a Peek gets more of a nudge, than a peek, but here she is.

Dropped into darkness with no way out. No air. No breath. No life. No love. No existence. You are lost. You are alone, and yet you know that this is not the dreamer for you. Rejection is wholly given while acceptance is the caress of the warmth of true friendship. You've opened everything and nothing. Summarily expelled; perhaps you should choose of your own desire.


Bailey may edge a wary ways away from Maosa, slowly tippling towards Hannah. Hushed-whisper hiss, "Did you SEE that."

Hannah stands, wringing her hands. "I don't…" Teeth snap closed, but maybe she makes her way towards Bailey, if only to ensure she doesn't yank Candidates off the sands, though she looks a little like she'd like to kick them off. Clinging to Bailey's arm: "What happened to her?" Is that concern. Is that — oh dear, someone's touching that egg. Fret, fret, fret, fretfretfretfretfret.

You overhear Bailey mutter, "She … like she … … … something. But then she … liks … was … on …" to Hannah.

Hannah shudders delicately.

You overhear Hannah mutter, "… … … … left … … the jungle and brought … a … …" to Bailey.

Donner's next reaction is mixed, a fleeting array of sad sheepishness, to slow burn of pain stricken across his face. His right hand moves up to cup his nose, test the bridge gingerly, before turning away from it. His gaze sweeps over to where Bailey and Hannah are standing, and there's a resentful look, a dark, disgusted look that darkens the normally open look on Donner's face. He might even be sneering, or, well, just frowning, before it's gone, a step, two steps, and suddenly he's shaking away the fog. He brushes, almost accidentally up against the next egg, Seven Tears into the Sea Egg. If his shoulder hadn't of made contact, he might have overlooked it.

Why are you so unhappy, Donner? Do the goldriders drive you to hate your life? They are only humans, after all; they did not ask for the life they have been given. The vastness of the sea lures you, tempts you, coaxes you in: come now, come to the sea, Donner, back to the craft of your birth. Come now, come to the sea, Donner, where home beckons and hearth warms. Come now, come back to the sea, Donner, where a fishwife will tend to your desires. A comely wife, that is; your one true love. Your Cerise, warm and beautiful and inviting, with a kiss on her lips for you and you only. Warm your bones by this, because it is followed by sudden, heartwrenching loss… and you are damned, sea-soul, to walk the shores in lonely solitude, calling out her name. Do you call it now?


Yulena pulls her hand away suddenly, as if burned. Huh. this is a very different 'burn'. "Straaange," she utters quietly, and then moves to a dark egg, the twin splashes of the Touch Not the Cat egg enticing her. A little bolder, Yulena gives the shell a bolder, but still gentle stroke over its surface. "Oo's a good egg, then," she murmurs, as if it needs reassurance.

Reassurance? Hardly. What this egg needs is a toy. That which to bat around, chase unceasingly, and generally torture until a swift and painful death by its own hands. Oh? Torture and death too much? Fine, than it shall be called 'play' for play is what that being within shall do. Eerie lights illuminate the conscious mind, like peering eyes narrowed and preparing for the pounce. A purr, a snarl, a throaty growl entrenched in the coming of heats that awash your senses. A felines watching a mouse, awaiting the perfect moment to strike. Anxiety rips through you, it'd be wise to look over your shoulder again and again and again. Someone is watching. Someone means ill intent. Something will surely rip you open and eat your alive. Beware.


Dhiammarath senses that Hannah's heart races; frailty of form belies the strength within though the anxiety of having others touching their eggs thins the line between propriety and the feral, predatory creature within that stalks the moonlight-drenched mists.


Cerise isn't the sort to offer many apologies but given that she seems to stop breathing after touching this most recent egg, a sorry is definitely in order- but from her to the sleeper within, or the other way around? Her sudden whistling gasp for breath coincides with a moment of wobbly knees- another rarity for the ever poised dancer- and on the exhalation, she whispers, "Aye, well, sorry about that." A moment is needed, time spent simply breathing and chafing at her arms, as if she were chilled in spite of the heat. Looking around, her eyes land on the egg first favored by Yulena and once her legs feel steady enough, she sets off to gingerly caress the Lady of the Moon. Steeled for pain, to be sure, but hopeful for something a little less bruising on the soul.

Ahhhhhhh. Cooling touch of pale light cascades down from the heavens above where Belior rides the cloudy seas and shatters the pearlescent light down across the world. Dhiammarath glows as a fallen star, but even so, she is of this place, this Pern. Hannah is as a frail brilliance of such a fallen star, delicately held to this place by the thinnest of lines. A pill — were you holding a pill — is in your hand. You offer it to the pale, moonlight woven fey creature that you see in Hannah, allowing her to rise into the aching loneliness of her soul. A loneliness you feel yourself feeding for your own purposes and designs, shattering a very fragile world. Thread falls around you; you are frozen. You feel yourself longing for that which you seek to gain control of, only to find that life is not what you expect. You can't escape this now, for the pill has been consumed. You float. Belior beckons. Below, you've cut the very fragile lead lines of life. Into the moon, you disappear into the faces and shadows, becoming the ghosts of Southern's past. Until you blink your eyes. And you see the sands. You see Maosa acting weird. You see Bailey and Hannah, the latter fretting. Only the whirl of mystery in Dhiammarath's eyes touch upon the secret knowlege of the dreamer held within. As you turn away, you feel an incredible sense of loss that sucks the breath into a void of choice.


Bailey knits into Hannah, crowding the other goldrider's space and eyeballing the candidates with a low sweep of range. Especially Cerise. But Maosa is the focus of their conversation and she drops her chin to respond to the other goldrider, quiet-voicing her response with a quick dart of eyes over to the Behemo… er, Dhiammarath.

You overhear Bailey mutter, "… … … we were grounded. … her. … … … two golds and … … women to salvation … … dominance … … … or… … … know, kill … … … lock … … … … see … … … … up. … … slow-roast with some …" to Hannah.

Yes: Maosa shows her teeth again. But this time it's not in a snarl, at least. It's through smiling, thoroughly and serenely satisfied with whatever mysteries are being revealed within. Her unfamiliarly shoed feet flex in the soft heated sand below, her hand spreading across the bumpy shell. Until, suddenly — a twitch, a gape-mouthed look of horror, and she's jerking her hand free. "Why do all you eggs wanna kill me?" is the wild girl's plaintive complaint. She's hesitant to move on, perhaps because of previous reasons cited re: eggs, murderous desires of. But she does, finally. It's to the Pretty Bird Egg she goes now, pausing to scowl at it before laying a hand down. A muttered hush: "Well? G'won and kill me, then."

Kindness is a virtue, Maosa, and for all of your savagery, gentleness is still desired. Or perhaps is even more greatly desired, because of it; kindness, and gentleness, and perhaps even self-control. Generosity pours out of this egg, lending all to your aid: you are beautiful for your sight and your spirit, wise for your age, unique in mind and matter. You are worthy, Maosa, of seeing true things and being seen alike; P.S., the goldriders over there are the ones who want to kill you. Helpful, so-helpful: they just said they wanted to slow-roast your bones with some garlic. But it's okay. This egg loves you JUST AS YOU ARE, even though it'd rather prefer a touch of fennel.


"Man, this is -depressing-." Donner can't help but speak the truth. His teenager angst is already at normally outrageous levels, but that egg just made it ten times worse. He takes a step back, eyes still locked on the diminutive little egg with a tight sniff; he hesitates, a mixture of nostalgia and longing plastered on his lax face, before he gives it a quick, departing stroke— like he's humoring an idea for a moment, before shifting away. "Happy egg. Where, oh were, are the happy eggs?" He repeats the mantra, before picking another egg: It's the Egg. You'll do.

WHOOSH WHOOSH WHOOSH WHOOSH. Ever gone dragonback, Donner? On a green — a really FAST green? The fastest green you've ever seen! The green with a top gear, the air rushing by in such volumes to inspire fear. This dragonet, you are CERTAIN, is a green, because the presence SPIRALS around you in forever-endless left-turns. FWOOSH. FWOOSFH. FWOOSH. Maybe you want a beer. FWOOSH. FWOOSH. And some tobacco dip. FWOOSH. FWOOSH. And, in a sudden spiral of dizzying speed, the presence kilters off into darkness, too fast for her own good. You may be a little dizzy. Don't pass out.


Hannah blinks. The trembling halts. She turns startled green eyes to Bailey. Laughter peels, sudden. "Oh Bailey. If anyone can do it, that one can." Sly look is cast towards the other junior, entirely distracted from the Candidates by now.

You overhear Hannah mutter, "She … … … secret … … her in … gather … … … … … …" to Bailey.

Yulena is bowled back a step by the catty-egg and stares at it, even as her shoulders twitch slightly. After that, she moves to a much quieter egg, brown flecked with gold. An even more tentative finger is laid on the Seven Tears into the Sea egg that Donner has so recently left and Yulena mmms, wondering, "You… almost look like you're hiding, there…" she tells it quietly, fingers dancing over the shell. Secrets that glitter to burst out, perhaps.

Itchy. Itchyitchyitchy. Your fingers are flying over your arms, your stomach, your sides, your legs, anywhere they can get purchase and scratch, scratch, scratch. The constant sensation of being not you! Of missing some integral part of yourself. Your skin feels just… not right. All the while you yearn for the sea. Yearn for those waves. Yet your heart aches in response, hurting for a love you feel so deep, so true, but you can only have one or the other. The sea or the love. Should that which you are searching for it found, then love will be forfeit for true nature will show. All this and more in conveyed, all the while the sound of distant shores lap at your thoughts, tingle in your ear. It's more. It's engulfing. It's needed for survival! And even with all the love in the world, you can never be you… without being part of the water. Suddenly, drastically, an intense feeling of desperate need to see the beyond blue of the Sea of Azov overtakes you. Go there. Go there! GO THERE!


Somewhere, Lendai sneezes, wondering if perhaps she's being talked about.

Well then. There is bruising the soul and then there is bruising the soul. Cerise is blinking rapidly as she removes her hand and turns away from her choice. She isn't moving on just yet, standing there as if her mind has checked out entirely- though her eyes continue to move. They come to rest on Dhiammarath, for whatever reason, and it's the gold that she studies for a time. Maybe? Possibly. She could be looking through the dragon. And lo, she speaks: "This is depressing." After that landmark moment of agreeing with Donner, the performer steels herself…and moves. One more. She can tolerate one more and her hand to heart, if Thrice and Done hurts her, she'll be…well, done.

Once, a girl lived. A whole life, the glow of promise shining in bright eyes. Hair bounces with promise as child grows into the first blush of womanhood: Promise. Twice, a young woman stands above the highest point of the world, looking over her domain. An ache in her belly yearns to be filled, for the children of her life have yet to be born, yet they call to her. A reminder that all actions are woven into the intricate delicacies of life: Matron. At the end of her life, the old woman looks back at the long road behind. Where the threads are thickest against the loom of Fate, they shine the brightest. Life, love, laughter resonate when her finger plucks. The thinnest threads are blackened by the black bird of desire of ill-intent. Not only do they bleed into the brighter colors, but they stretch out and pluck at the lives around. Thrice, she's come to the loom. Thrice she's found that live is a mixture of good and bad. Thrice, she's told that only intent holds promise. And on this third time, the old woman — you feel wrinkles creasing your skin, your body shrinking aging, the bones thinning as life bleeds out — is told a whisper: Promise. It is yours to deal to those around you. It is yours to weave into your fate. It is yours to affect the world around you. Behind, the old woman — you — hears the call of a life well lived, but to darkness she must return. The dreamers call like specks of stars against velvet skies. As the last breath of life escapes, you find yourself — you, Olga — on the sands. You find yourself filled with knowledge that you know to your soul… until it's all gone. And you only have a fuzzy sense of knowing something important.


Bailey beams down at Hannah. "I think it is an excellent idea." Whatever it is that they are cooking up, it can't be good.

Maosa disengages from the egg, but SLOWLY. No sound emits from its mottled shell, yet she has her ear cocked towards it, listening. Considering. Like she thinks it might be speaking words of GREAT WISDOM to her. For some reason, as her hand gently lifts, her eyes dart towards the muttering goldriders: she stares at them. STARES. She is WATCHING YOU. And moves… distinctly in a different direction from where they stand. Hello, Seven Tears Into The Sea Egg. Don't mind her, she's just going to touch you.

It's the sea, Maosa. It calls to you. It speaks to you. It yearns to touch your skin like a lover's caress… and aren't you so alone? You don't want to be alone, surely. Surely. Perhaps you wish not for the whisper of these weyrboys — smelling so strongly of atrocious things like soap, who the hell wants to smell like soap, a feline can smell a person a mile away when one uses soap… nay, perhaps not the weyrboys. But the sea, the great sea, she owns more magic than all the dragonwings that Pern may hope to fling at the skies; it is her watery depths that is the only failsafe against the menace that will fall from the skies, and her embrace only that will cure your loneliness. Give in, Maosa, to the thrill of the deep: step out into the ocean, and she will cradle you forever, blue-lipped and breathless.


You overhear Bailey mutter, "… … chop them off. … wonder what bronzerider … soup … taste like… … … … … … … flavored … … the … sour … … … penises?" to Hannah.

Deep, soul searching to sudden dizziness. "Ug, woah." Donner's tipping back, trying to find a steady object to support himself on, his other hand coming up to steady his heaving chest. "Shit, this whole thing is depressing and weird." Cerise and Donner agree on something? Well, someone document that event, because it's probably never going to happen again. That hand? That supportive object, is Pretty Bird egg. The last one, promise. Everyone's gotta touch it.

One moment, you had EVERY BIT of control over your facilities… and the next, someone has shut the lights out. Not that you've ever had very many bright lights to your name to begin with, Donner, but seriously now, you can't see. You are fucking blind. Blind as a bat, helpless as a babe, bereft of sight … bereft of sound. Only smell guides you now, and the sour scent of unwashed man, of homeless man, of hairy peni… uh, the sour scent of hairy sweaty man fills your lungs. You're fucked, son. Why are you blind? Why can't you see? Why doesn't anyone help you — where is the kindness in the world, where is your aid? Suddenly, something HITS you on the side of the head, or so it feels, and with staggering certainty you know you should have died to be reborn as a goat. GO HOME DONNER, YOU'RE DRUNK.


Hannah just laughs and laughs, falling prey to a laughter that won't stop. "Bailey…" Words choke from a throat clogged by all sorts of images. She manages to whisper something… just barely.

You overhear Hannah mutter, "They … must have little penises … … … … … … cock'o'the'walk … … … they have … … … leg// slung … … knobby … Have you … … that … … … … … legs." to Bailey.

From a rather discomforting feeling, Yulena moves away quickly, whirling towards a much quieter egg, brown flecked with gold, where Maosa is already standing. O hai there. The Cook waits while Maosa touches, until her own finger trails over the surface of the Seven Tears into the Sea egg; too many cooks spoiling, and so on. Yulena mmms, wondering, "You… almost look like you're hiding, there…" she tells it quietly. A little smile to Maosa. Um, we'll talk about this over Klah, right?

This is going to leave a mark in the morning: Cerise sinks to her knees in the sand, heedless of the burning soaking through cloth and into her legs. Her hands drop limp and curled into her lap, leaving her just staring at Thrice and Done. If her jaw were at all slack, she'd look as if someone had burnt her brain from her skull, but there's tension there instead. Mulling things over- and then giving a little shudder as she returns to the present. A glance goes to the snickering goldriders, questioning silently as to the time limit here. But, when she finds them neck-deep in penis whisperings, she turns back to the clutch…and reaches out to a nearby egg. In My Nature? It is in hers, to push herself a little further. One more. And…maybe one more.

Poof the sands are gone. You stand at the edge of a great body of water. Beside you, a frail girl-child of indeterminant coloring silently watches the way the waves roil and churn. You know that, of the two of them, you can carry both of you across to the island of wonder at the other side. You also know that a darkness resides in the soul that would devour the fragile girl-child that rests so serenely beside you. "Can you take me?" A whisper-soft plea. You try to beat back your nature, the darkness that coils within. The darkness that pushes you to the outer limits of humanity's choice. You nod slowly. As you walk across the water, halfway there you find that a choice needs to be made. You can surely carry this fragile girl across, but you could also devour all that she has to offer. Your true nature rises within, flooding your eyes and choking your breath. You taste blood. The girl-child looks at you, eyes burning stars that stare in utter trust for what may come. You reach for her. You sink into the darkness, the last thought of: What choice do you make? Teeth clamp; pain floods your mouth. So does blood. You've bitten your tongue. But you're left with the shudder of what you don't know — and that is, what choice did you make?


Calm, serene, blissful, content. Maosa's hand rests upon the egg's brown surface, fingers running languidly over its sleek surface. It's only at the end that she suddenly twitches, jerks, yanks her hand free. Carefully, oh so carefully, the wild girl steps back from its unassuming shell. And hisses. Just once. Just… quietly. Poor Yulena: first Maosa was making random comments about being hungry while looking RIGHT AT HER, now she's looking at her with big wide STARING eyes. "Be careful," though, is all she says. "Creepy." And then she beats tracks for Sweet Promise of Disappointment Egg.

Ungh. Ungh. Soap. Sweat. Sweet testosterone. The Sands dissolve and suddenly you are naked… and you like it. A pair of hands trail down your body, petting what should be petted, stroking what should be stroked, teasing what should be teased. It's a slow, languid feeling that builds, this sweet wanting, so foreign, so perfect, so wanted. And Maosa, you want more. Every wild beast yearns to feel the yoke; every wildling begs for the freedom of being tamed to hand. There is sweetness that lies, just there, in the joining: it's hardly violation if it's within your own mind, right? It's more like… the essence of self-mastubatory thought, except you've got the aid of an unborn dragon perving on you. But it's so close, YOU'RE so close, and all it would take is one good sinki—… and then you realize the dismay of being an adult: a small penis and a sad fuck.


And he's had enough. Even if it's one of those, touch one more egg times, he doesn't wanna do it. He's done— like the cat whose butt you petted ONE TOO MANY TIMES. This last egg makes Donner plop onto the ground with a stubborn huff. "I'm done. I wanna go back to the barracks." Someone come get him. He's regressed back to toddlerhood.

From a rather discomforting feeling, Yulena moves away quickly, whirling towards a horrifyingly Ghostly Dames egg, where blue and white swirl over stony, menacing grey. Whether it's the metaphysical or the creepy aspect, Yulena is drawn to it, fingers caressing first the white and then the blue. Are you planning to lead her to her doom? Temptress, is this strange woman strong enough to resist?

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! SPLAT! That's you. Falling out of a tower and DYING.


"Oh, fuck!" There we go: Cerise's roots are showing. She shatters the relative peace of the sounds with this outburst, both hands clamping to her mouth. And between her fingers? Blood, trickling through the digits and staining sun-kissed skin. She's on her feet in a dash, a breath puffing free of her lungs to spray more blood over her hands. "…" Better that she vocalize silently, aye? With only a fleeting and barely polite bob to the clutchparents, the performer sets off for the exit at a rapid clip in search of a healer to make sure she didn't sever an artery in her tongue.

"Men are AWFUL!" That was Maosa, for… some reason, withdrawing her hand from the moist appearance of the egg. She's flushed, breathing just a tiny bit faster, fingers trembling. And SCOWLING. Scowling SO VERY HARD. She throws up a hand, exasperated. "I'm never getting married!" What? No, really — what? It's a good thing it's time to leave the Sands, anyway. She needs to stalk off. And go disappear into the jungle for a few hours.

At the sound of Cerise's voice: "Out. OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT." Hannah is yelling, banshee style. No distraction of bronzerider penises will get any of them now. "EVERYONE OFF MY SANDS. RIGHT NOW." Perhaps it's the sudden overwhelming feel of the moment, maybe something from her dragon, but either way, time's up. Seriously up.

And THAT's enough to give Yulena nightmares for a few days at least as she backpedals swiftly. WTF. "Um. Is that supposed to happen?" she asks aloud, gasping with adrenaline. No one ever wins when a cook panics, but she's seriously pondering the consequences… and then calm. It hasn't happened. Quick strides off the Sands are paused long enough to provide swift, b ut deep bows to the clutch parents at the very very edge. And then Yulena is gone.

Following Cerise…

Safra runs out of the Hatching Grounds after Cerise, her face a portrait of alarm. She beats feet, "Cerise! Are you okay!" She runs towards the infirmary, making sure the way is clear. "What happened?!" The young woman realizes belatedly that in her condition Cerise may not be able to answer.

"Fuh fu'in e' fu'in a'e 'e!" Indeed, coherent communication is not in Cerise's bag of tricks at the moment. When she dares lower her hands to check on the status of things, they're rust-stained and drippy. Unpleasant. But more than that, ugly. The woman winces and presses her palms to her lips again, doing her utmost to keep from swallowing. Because that would be just brilliant, getting everyone thrown off the Sands and then vomiting out in the open where everyone can see. Safra's intervention in clearing the way is thus deeply appreciated, though she can't do anymore than express that gratitude in a look.

Safra half turns and looks totally puzzled at Cerise. Her eyes widen at the blood and she turns quickly back. The two arrive at the Infirmary in short time and Safra attempts to explain what happened. Inasmuch as she can, given Cerise's… incomplete description.

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