==== September 21, 2013
==== Hannah, Q'fex. Cerise, Daycen, Ellen, Kultir. Sytin, Yulena
==== Second on-camera PC egg touching.

Who Hannah, Q'fex. Cerise, Daycen, Ellen, Kultir. Sytin, Yulena
What Second on-camera PC egg touching for Southern Weyr's candidates.
When There is 1 turn 2 months and 3 days until the 12th pass.
Where Hatching Sands, Southern Weyr

hannah_default.jpg fex_stress.jpg


Hatching Sands, Southern Weyr
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.

Rukbat's slow descent into the trappings of the mountainous horizon has left shattered shafts of jeweled light cascading across the weyr's greenery choked bowl, and leads nicely into deep pools of butter-yellow light tinged in the fire-orange of the day's dying light.  Rose tinges the vast vale of blue sky, seen in broken patches through the openings in the hatching sand's cavernous ceilings.  Dhiammarath, a pale star dusted in faint jewel'd iridescence, curls protectively 'round her clutch.  Hannah is hovering near Dhiammarath, looking as if she's tending to the last of an all-day oiling for the young queen fairly glistens 'neath the bright light of day.   "There."  Satisfied.

Q'fex gathered up a handful of candidates, because he has nothing better to do. Or something. The weyrleader enters, gestures amiably at the eggs. "Go touch. Don't run, or upset Dhiammarath. She'll eat you."

Cerise has rapidly become an old hand at this. Mussed and flushed from her recent wrasslin' session with Ellen, she's making some small effort to look presentable as she sets leather-clad soles to sand. Fingers busily tuck curls back, adjust the folds of her dress, brush garden soil from her hands. It isn't perfect but it will have to do; she makes up for it by swaying into a stage curtsey for the clutch parents. After that, a quick finger snap summons Ellen's attention to the In My Nature Egg, followed by a wag of her finger to warn the girl away from it. Then she's moving forward, strolling on with an easy hip-swaying stride towards an egg undiscovered previous to this but whose felinity intrigues: Touch Not the Cat Egg.

It's rather amusing, isn't it? How quickly life can change. A decision — a minor decision — can change the course of one's life. A decision such as touching the wrong thing, little girl, messing with forces that are better left alone. The first sign of danger is the luxurious velveteen that caresses, touching every inner recess, bringing memories of youth and innocence as easily as of darkness and bitter sadness. Of bitter loss. Of tears… of all the darkness of the world, of all the darkness of your life, Cerise. It is the darkness that the velvet touches, and your impotent emotions that it drenches in. Horrifying, that contented purr resonating through your mind, with only one logical conclusion arising: this one likes the taste of your tears.

Kultir chuckles softly at Q'fex's warning but nods, stepping onto the sands with a correct bow to the queen lounging on the Sands.  He moves slowly, glancing from one egg to another as he advances closer into the mob of eggs.  Sidhe Season Egg catches his eye and he moves in that direction.  He glances a bit nervously toward the clutchparents as he lifts his hand to gently lay it on the shell with a gulp.

A faint smell of wildflowers dances in the breeze, beckoning the your mind to come closer.  Pressure builds slowly, the invitation becoming more and more insistent.  Stay, never leave.  The sweetest taste of wine lingers in the thought, laced with the barest undertone of the bitterest taste.  Wrapping around you the feeling becomes overwhelming, the light and invitation becoming demanding and harsh.  The smell of wildflowers fade slowly, replaced with rot and decay.

To say that Daycen is not entirely comfortable on the sands would probably be a rather large understatement. And we're not really talking temperature. He has one wary eye on the Queen and Hannah; the other on the eggs. (He might look cross-eyed. Don't judge). So he goes for familiarity first, and oh so casually steps up towards the Bright Night Light Egg. Hands are in pockets up until the moment he's there; and, then a palm rests on the side of it. Curious. 

It is so dark; that is perhaps the first thing that you notice.  The Sands are gone, the heat is gone.  For a moment, you are cold; the cold of Fort in wintertime.  All of a sudden there is light all around you, light of different colors.  It surrounds you, consumes you, and yet at the same time - the light is without substance.  A spectral play.  You strain to reach for it, wanting to feel it, to touch it, to know it, to experience it — and then all of a sudden you fall back into yourself.  Back into the heat of Southern, and even moreso - the heat of the Sands as goosebumps ripple your flesh.  The desire of wanting it so poignant that you could almost smell it.

Oh Q'fex.  And his merry band of Candidates.  Hannah's attention is pulled from Dhiammarath to the Weyrleader — brows pulling together briefly though her gaze slides to the Candidates.  Then the eggs.  Then the Candidates.  Then the eggs.  Cue the wringing of her hands and the 'on point' of start of her fretting.

You overhear Hannah mutter, "… you sure? … just don't know … … … It is … … … … really tiny." to Dhiammarath.

Ellen isn't bothering with the bravado it'd take to muscle her way to the front of the queue. If anything, she doesn't seem to be paying much mind to the other Candidates' position at all - as soon as the entrance to the Sands opens up into the dry swelter, she's taking a rapid inventory - the distant gold dragon, Hannah's condition, Q'fex's position, her eyes duck-duck-goose. Frozen for just a moment, braced. She inhales, then lets it out and looks where Cerise indicates. Her eyes narrow - well. WHY not. WINKING at Cerise, she strides right up to In My Nature egg and, tenting her fingers above it for a single moment, she places them down. Bring it on.

On the distant shores of a vast ocean lies a rickety boat.  It bobs in the swelling seas, angled for a distant shore of rocky coastlines made of glittering wonder.  Creak, creak; the boat promises safe passage and yet.  Hesitation curdles the action that lies within, freezing muscles and arresting breath.  You know, beyond everything, that it's built upon lies and yet, still a siren's call it makes.  Climbing in, you feed into the lies of your soul, bobbing towards that which you desire.  One breath, two breaths, three: and you find the small boat is nothing more than a dragon come to eat you; a liar's familiar to feast upon the lies your soul breeds.  Your choice, your lies.  Or is it even you?  As suddenly as the shores of a foreign ocean came to pass, you find yourself standing only on the dusty sands.  Staring at your hand that presses to the egg's leathery shell.

It's becoming rapidly apparent that this clutch is siding with Hannah on the touching/no-touching debate. Cerise might still be having difficult with speech, but she has no trouble pressing her teeth together and hissing softly at the egg under her calloused palm. It reminds her of someone, which makes it easy to step away with none of the emotional turmoil that others of its siblings have created. The next to catch her eye gleams in the fading light but her attention is split as she moves on to the Wait For It Egg- some to the little sleeper beneath her hand, and the rest to keep an eye on Ellen as the girl opts to tangle with the tongue-biting terror over there.

Where dismay and distraught loss had been, now is only the smug security of an overwhelming and unsurpassed arrogance. Speaking of, Q'fex is looking rather dashing today, isn't he. His legs are long under his glorious tights, his shoulders broad, his smile dashing and just a little egocentric. Speaking of. You feel glorious, do you not? Do you not feel as though you are far, far superior to that urchin scampering malcontent across the Sands? You are lovely, Cerise, in every aspect of the word. Sharp mind, flashing wit, humor, class. You are, in a word, legen… wait for it.

Kultir's lips had curled in a smile as the sense of this egg had penetrated his thick skull.  His eyes closed as he envisions the meadow, the scents, the tastes.  When the touch becomes more insistent, he frowns, trying to pull away but unable to until the moment it forces the smell of rot … decay … was it death?  Perhaps.  Whatever it was, the boy stumbles slightly as he steps back, dropping his hand to his side and staring at the egg.  A bewildered look remains on his face as he turns away, looking toward another … hopefully more cheerful egg than this one.  The swirling colors of The Mystic Charms Egg draw his attention, causing him to move carefuly in that direction.  Hoping that something nice will come of this one, he reaches up to place both hands flat on the shell at shoulder height.

VICTORY echos from this egg as it sweeps you up into its grasp.  Sily smooth hair flecks along your face as there is a sudden feeling of rushing wind that propels you forward into the cool darkness of night.  Escape little one?  There is no escape from this wild arrangement of runnerflesh.  No, this one will carry you into the darkest of waters.  You are held fast as loud laughter mocks your plight from afar, only growing louder as an icy sense of water covering you, drowning you.

Daycen rocks back on his heels a moment once his hand has settled; his expression wholly absent even with his eyes darting around like he's looking for something. Something that apparently startles him when he finds it. And whatever message the eggs inhabitant imparts to him, his eyes linger on the ovoid with an intensity that's unusual for the normally retient resident nerd. He doesnt even bother to look much at the next one he touches, the other hand lifting hesitantly and then palm resting against Cake or Death Egg.

Before you went from hot to cold and back.  But this egg, oh this egg has something different in store for you, Daycen.  Instead of being cold, you are suddenly even hotter than you were before.  Hotter, and worse yet stickier.  It is as if all of Southern's humidity chose this moment to envelop you and it feels gross.  And then you hear it.  There's someone there, someone who's hungry.  As if watching it slow motion a fork descends toward you and you realize with abject horror that that fork is about to be stuck in you.  As the horror fills you, as you begin to realize that all is over…there is a soft sound, a wrong sfffffft sound ending in a thud.  And then the nightmare is over.

For the duration of blank-eyed communion, Ellen's body is braced hard, flexed in preparation to fall into some… movement. Then her brows constrict, in - distaste? It's hard to tell, the ungenerous proportions of her heavy jaw and thin lips always suggest a frown when relaxed to neutral. But at some point, it just seems as though her hand isn't touching the egg anymore - she's just looking down at it. As though disappointed with it, and she twists up a kind of mean cornerwise smirk at Cerise when she's looked to (though shh, if you watch, her gaze follows Cerise more closely after the other candidate looks away). She casts only a dismissive final look at the egg, you're not so tough and stalks on with a roving gaze. Like a canine looking for the next biggest dog in the yard. The heat of Through Fire and Flame Egg draws the faint buff of her palm, as though intending to merely walk on by, trailing fingers softly…

Fire and flame clash; molten metal pours from the heavens above.  Heated sands forge to glass beneath your very feet giving visage to a hall of worlds that winds into eternity.  Clang!  Clang!  The ring of metal to metal booms against the bones of your body as the proverbial hammer slams against the anvil of your bones.  Snap!  Crack!  To eternity, you are ever the vessel to be filled with iron tempered to steel.  Pain coalesces the moment death comes, but the sands is the savior, encasing you in a moment of life.  You find yourself back, innocuously touching the warmth of leathery shell.  Do you ache?

Oh, HANNAH. Q'fex starts to purposefully stride towards the clutchsitter, his step languid, his smile… enigmatic. He may just mutter something to Dhiammarath on his way over, but otherwise just ends up standing next to the goldrider, silent. Not even a hello. What the fuck is up with that.

Oh. Oh. Check that, Cerise likes this egg. She goes so far as to trace arcane patterns on its hardening surface with the lightest of fingertips, a small and secret smile tugging at her lips. When she chances to look up from the thing, her eyes go not to Ellen but to Q'fex over there. Yes, all right, so Hannah is speaking to him but who cares? She is trying to catch his eye and it looks like he's ripe for it, what with the old silent treatment. Ready, set, wink. What the fuck indeed. But, as the sands are trying to burn holes through her sandals, she does have to move on. The performer drifts, almost languid in the way she runs her hand over the Sweet Promise of Disappointment egg.

The Sands are hot… but not as hot as what's currently occuring, so delicious, to your clothes: wait, what clothes? You have no clothes, Cerise, and the heat isn't the Sands at all, but the pooling warmth of your melting core, radiating outwards, outwards, outwards. Hands and teeth and tongue — the slope of a breast, tickling at your belly-button, and sliding lower… lower… lower. Anticipation builds. Do you feel it, Cerise? Do you feel desired by your dark-eyed lover? Do you gasp for completion? Do you want — and then, suddenly, UNF. UNF. UNF. Yes. YES. YES! … except suddenly that-which-is is without, and you are left unsated, unsatisfied, rankled and terribly underfucked. That's right, Cerise: you have just been subjected to a quickie.

You overhear Q'fex mutter, "You … looking … … … Dhiammarath. … … … … beautiful … my dear." to Dhiammarath.

Oh Q'fex.  Again you come upon my sands:  This is what Hannah's expression seems to imply as she gives the Weyrleader a stare that would wither his bones for the silent treatment.  Until he mutters something to her dragon, and with all the poise given to her, the junior gives him a beauteous smile.  "Q'fex."  A verbal greeting.  Followed by mutter.

You overhear Hannah mutter, "… … beautiful isn't …" to Q'fex.

Daycen still has goosebumps all over his arms when he goes blankity blank this time. But now, he jerks back from the egg and just stares at it like it just tried to eat him or something. Which, if anyone asks.. he is going to tell them that is exactly what it did. WTF, egg? He even goes so far as to lift up the hem of his tunic and check for fork marks in his stomach before mumbling something to himself and this time deliberately choosing an egg that has NO RED on it. Or green, because he feels a little green right now too. Hrk. How about Pretty Bird Egg? Yeah, he didn't see the /whole/ egg, obviously. 

There's something you're supposed to be doing, isn't there?  No, really, there's something you're supposed to be doing.  There's the evil Hannah and she's tormenting poor little Cerise by a variety of means.  You simply MUST step in and take action!  Go to her, defend her from the evil that is tormenting her….except you can't.  You have wings, not hands, and a beak, not lips.  Words cannot aid you here, nor can hands.  How will you save the day, Daycen?  Can you?  Will your wings serve you as well as your hands?  Either way, you must take action.  The moment is NOW.

Kultir was more ready for this eggs insistent touch but it still startles him when he feels it's grasp so palpably, confining but unable to be fought against.  His breath comes in quick, sharp gasps when he feels that his hands are pinned to the shell with hot nails.  Then, the icy chill of water … closing over his head … invading his nostrils and lungs as he struggles to reach the surface.  Then he's free … hands at his sides, chest heaving, sopping strands of hair dangling over his eyes.  A trembling hand lifts to brush the sweat damp hair from his face, a barely readable glance going to the colorful shell before he moves on.  There … that one.  Surely there is nothing to fear from Youth's Enduring Blush Egg.

Do you feel rested young one? Quiet strength wraps itself around you, propping you up.  You can do all.  You can be all.  The encouragement bubbles up from the thought and spills over onto all around wiping all sense of what may be coming away from your mind.  Stand tall.  Victory will be yours in enough time.  Drink, eat, sing, dance.  All of these are yours.  Willingly the egg will release you, with one last steadying thought to follow.  Be well…

Ellen sucks air in through her teeth, her abdominal muscles crumbling into a clenched stoop. Was that a soft creak? Well - you know what they say about people that play with fire. She hisses softly and moves on from the egg, seeking to press her hand to the cool-watery surface of the Ripples in the Water Egg.

From fire's wrath to water's encasing glory: cool caress of a calm lake's touch slowly, slowly rises around you.  The mud squishes between your toes, your hands grasp for seaweed, and the chilly brakish water fills your mouth.  A glitter of shining steel, you are but a ghost to the glory of such secret keeping.  And as the lake's rise culminates in find yourself at the bottom, without air to breathe, you realize that… all of your everything is lost.  Hidden away; gone forever.  It takes moments to come back from this egg's clinging touching, and when you do, you feel as if you could cough brakish waters from your lungs.

Q'fex smiles, softly, down at Hannah. And perhaps his dark eyes flicker over to Cerise, as if he felt the weight of that particular worthy's glance. What? No, wait. He drops his head to murmur something quietly to the junior.

You overhear Q'fex mutter, "She … the … … … … … … the skies of … … … …" to Hannah.

You know that molten look that Cerise had just given Q'fex? For a moment there, it seems as if her contact with the most recent egg is going to tip molten over into wanton. Her head falls back, her breath comes short and quick- and then with a shudder she's tossed free of that almost-there moment and left blinking…at the bronzerider. Ugh, no thank you, sir. Mind changed, association formed! She turns her back to the pair overseeing this little field trip and moves- on noodly knees- towards the Weave and Weave Again egg. Once there, she boldly flattens her palm against its crown and closes her eyes in waiting.

Cobwebs. Do you have mental cobwebs, Cerise? Little nigglings of thought — where did I place that? Why did I come over here? What was I doing, again? No? You have them now. Cobwebs… and spiders of memory and mind, that obscure those things that are painful, spinning them into cocoons of forget, forget, forgetfulness. What was his name, Cerise? What did you lose? Why do you set yourself as you do? Why are you here?

Q'fex is still in the 'friend' category — at least for now, despite such recently learned knowledge.  "Mmmmm."  Hannah tilts a strange look to the Weyrleader, as if trying to figure him out.  It's not awkward at all, given their last encounter.  "Say, Q'fex— "  Halted, she drops her voice to mutter.

You overhear Hannah mutter, "You … too … Q'fex. … far … … Although: … …" to Q'fex.

What -the fuck- is Daycen doing. No really. His arms flap like he thinks he's got wings or something, and he totally steps directly in that line of sight between Cerise and Hannah. So one cannot see the other. Fortunately, he stops flapping when this happens. But he gives his fellow candidate a look meant to convey 'Don't worry, I AM HERE and I will save you.' Except it probably just looks creepy instead. But while he's there, protecting someone who probably knows more self defense then he does - he stops right by Five Suns of Creation egg. He'll rest a wing (hand) on that. 

WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?  HANDS AND KNEES NOW!  You dare to stand before this egg, this icon of raw power greater than that even of the stars!?  Every instant you stay standing you feel as if something is taken from you, as if you are being sized up and found wanting.  The egg shines brighter, a blinding light in your eyes that threatens to outright consume you…and then you're kneeling, and an apology is assumed of this action.  It releases you dismissively, as if deciding you're not worth a spec of it's magnificent time…and you find yourself back standing on the Sands, trembling from shame.

Kultir shivers slightly as he lifts his hands from the blue and green shell.  He smiles as his shoulders straighten slightly and his head lifts more.  He blinks, trying so hard to hold onto that  feeling of … well-being.  He even laughs softly as he moves past the egg that has made him feel better than he has in a very long time.  He shakes his head slightly, bringing his mind back to why he is here and looks around with a sigh to choose his next … target? There, perhaps wind will be as kind as the last?  Probably not … Whistle in the Wind Egg is found and … touched.

At first, there is nothing.  But listen closely and you'll hear the quiet tones of a flute.  Then, pounding feet join the quiet music growing to a crescendo when you are suddenly plunged into the midst of dancing feet.   The music is fast, encouraging you to join the wild throng.  Throw away your reservations and dance! Women, only slightly dressed slide around you, touching you on all sides adding their voices to the instance to be one with the crowd.

Q'fex kind of leans back on his heels, considering the thermals that whistle eerily far above the Sands. Sounds like moaning, doesn't it? His return to Hannah isn't a moan. No. But it is kind of muted by the ambient sound… though his statement is cut off abruptly as he stares at Daycen.

You overhear Q'fex mutter, "I … just … to … … … woman. … … … shorter … … averag— what the … … that … …" to Hannah.

Though only slowly does Ellen's hand falls away from the egg, she comes back to herself with a violent gasp, head jerking up and a deep ratching cough from deep in her lungs. Under her breath projects a kind of… ratty exclamation to herself, "—whore! Kff! Hff!" With one hand pressed to her chest, she clenches her teeth, glancing to Hannah, to Q'fex, having their quiet palaver, and straightens her spine. Walking more upright amongst the minefield, a stranger in a strange land, she stops before Youth's Enduring Blush Egg to trace a thumb over it's iridescent glitter. 

Youth.  Treasured gold at the end of a primeval jungle.  The most sought after prize in a person's life: the enduring touch of a youth not squandered.  Of the end of an age never coming.  Greenery encases you as primeval predator's stalk, and yet still you safari into the far reaches of a land undiscovered.  Beware!  For youth's enduring touch will come at the highest cost possible.  The egg clings, clings to your mind.  Wanting to keep and hold it and rip from you the very essence of life itself.  Until you are nothing but a youthful shell, forever longing for that which you cannot have.  Still and still again, the sands return.  Yet.  Do they?

Hannah leans closer to Q'fex, trying to hear the words that come from the Weyrleader, but then there's Daycen and she can't help but answer Q'fex with words stated in increasing incredulity, "I don't know, but I think he wants to protect her from the 'I wanna fuck you eyes' she was giving you earlier."  Beat.  "I think the boy's touched."  Then she tugs his shirtsleeve, and mutters something.

You overhear Hannah mutter, "Why you … … … … … … You got … … … … … something?" to Q'fex.

Why indeed. Cerise appears to lose track of what's happening around her- yes, even of Daycen's flapping- and spends several seconds looking about with furrowed brow instead. When her hand does lift from the egg-leather beneath it, it's to pinch at the bridge of her nose. When she drops her hand again and does finally make eye-contact with Daycen, he's given the most puzzled of looks before the young woman just shakes her head at him. Nooo, he isn't it. So she straightens up and goes looking, setting light fingers to The Illusion of No-Strings egg and leaning over to peek behind it. Back there, maybe?

The connection is instantaneous. You and this egg… you have CHEMISTRY. You are lovely and it knows you are lovely, but it doesn't care about your mind. It wants your body. Your raw, willing, pulsating, moaning, writhing intimacy. It wants you. It wants you bad. But after the wanting passes, there's only awkward silence, and perhaps a jealous consideration of the other eggs out there. No, Cerise! No. You CANNOT go touch any of the others. Nevermind the countless hands that have trespassed this very surface before you… Cerise! Cerise! Don't go! Your soul is beautiful. :(

Q'fex turns to cast injured eyes on Hannah. Why, he NEVER. His response is lost to the looming caverns of air and sound.

You overhear Q'fex mutter, "… … The entertainer… the whore? Why, I … Hannah. Though… now that … … … she … … on … knees … … … …" to Hannah.

A soft groan is pulled from Kultir's throat as this egg …. while nice enough, gives him some sensations that he's not entirely sure about right now.  Does he want to be one of a crowd?  He'd rather be unique, instead.  Throw away his reservations?  Not if he wants what is inside the shell of this egg he won't.  His head shakes again, a little harder to clear it of unwanted thoughts as he forces his feet to move one more.  Stumbling footsteps lead him to Five Suns of Creation Egg, a hand is raised and hesitantly placed against the shell.

The sands are hot?  They have nothing on this egg which seems to burn with its own heat source adding to the sands and not taking.  Stay too long and this egg will burn you though.  Every shadow of your character is laid bare before the fire.  That love you harbor, the one that makes you want to leave the knot?  That begins to burn, crisping at the edges.  Pride?  The feeling that will not allow you to walk away from that same knot?  Burning merrily.  There is no room here for selfishness, no room for anything but the FIRE.

Daycen is touched alright; touched by eggs that are scaring the -crap- out of him. Whatever impetus made him flap around like a moron only seconds ago now holds him tightly in thrall, his expression a mask of horrified dismay. And once released he stumbles backward a moment, head down, eyes focused on the sand beneath his feet. He's of a mind to turn and leave the sands actually, using the eggs as a guide. It's only by accident that he rests a hand momentarily on The Mystic Charms Egg. 

Don't look at it!  Don't even look!  It's cursed, don't you know, cursed moreso than this weyr with dead bodies and broken promises.  Can't you feel it, Daycen?  This egg is going to curse you just as soon as it has the chance.  Your doom approaches the longer you are near it, and you can feel your doom approaching, a steady terror rising up from deep within.  Flee while you have the chance, before the curse takes you, life, body and all.

Hannah leans back.  Eyes widen.  Mouth opens.  Closes.  Opens.  Closes.  And then she simply must comment, and whether her mutter is tease or admonition, is hard to tell for it is lost to the cavernous sands.

You overhear Hannah mutter, "… blowjobs … … … … … She … not … whore … … I … … she was at … … … … … She's … … fire …" to Q'fex.

Q'fex smirks at Hannah's EXPRESSION. He wanted to get a rise, evidently. So very reinforcing. He looks around, though, lowering his voice even past the current volumes to quietly, QUIETLY respond to THAT.

You overhear Q'fex mutter, "… … was back … Dimitri … … … the FIRST … … … never … … … … me … blowjob. … … goldrider. I … … … … on … … … only thing I … … her is … she's probably a … Firecrotch. Or … … be, … one?" to Hannah.

If Cerise could talk comfortably right now, she'd likely throw her hands up and say, "Enough!" But sadly, she can't. She shuffles back from the needy, clingy thing she's just made contact with and wrinkles her nose at it. Distaste wreaths her expression as she brushes her arms off. Has she overheard what bronze- and goldrider are whispering about? Probably not, though enough words are caught that she does finally glance in that direction again. Curious, rather than condemning. It's a look that ambles on afterwards, skimming over the other candidates to perform a welfare check on Ellen. And then? Then she moves on- back to an old favorite, a shell explored before. Fingers trace light over the feathers that crown the Pretty Bird egg.

Pretty, pretty, pretty. White streaks against grey. They blur against your hands… the whole Sands blur. No! Injustice! Screaming! Torture! There is something going on… Dimitri's face flashes in front of your mind, and water, so much water, and he's going under, going under, you're losing him, Cerise! The best you can do is beg for his life; you're incapable of saving him. Oh Faranth! Faranth, save him! Panic rises to consume you.

Oh prim is the expression Hannah wears, standing to the tallest of scant height.  "Mmmhmmm…" the rest is lost.

You overhear Hannah mutter, "Do … have … … that, Q'fex? … … … … … be … I … … … seen any buggers … … I … … flame of … … … … … Really?" to Q'fex.

Confusion ripples through slowly into Ellen's face - longing for youth? Scoff. She does shake out her hand as though it were earning a slight cramp - or as though, perhaps, shaking some lingering cloy loose of it. Tsk, she passes by a few eggs, arms crossed loosely, hips swinging loose and wary. She glances again towards her seniors and betters as a few choice words and a name ripple out from them, mouth twisting slightly harder, eyes narrowed neutrally. In this way, she barely even glances Wait For It Egg, standing with a thumb hooked into her belt loops and… well. Waits for it. 

Lingering resentment for the siren call of youth — seriously, why would a twelve turn old yearn for youth?  It makes no sense.  Ego wells within, taking over.  You scoff at the idea of living forever, of wanting be free of the trappings of old age.  Instead, you know in the bottom of your heart that you know best.  Q'fex?  Ha!  You could bowl him over in a heartbeat!  Did you hear crotchcrickets??  Never, you say!  That goldrider too, she knows NOTHING!  No knows as much as you do.  You could run the world.  Just… just… wait for it.  You could be legendary.  If only, you just weren't so young.  Shame.  Summarily expelled from the egg's presence, the lingering rise of ego still holds sway.

Q'fex looks down at Hannah. No really. He kind of has to tuck in his chin, stare downwards at her, maybe tilt his head a little. She's so SHORT, after all.

You overhear Q'fex mutter, "… the … down … … … think that is … best … … … … … … … … … … … it on with your little fiery entertainer, Hannah? … … … … … closer to your portion … the …" to Hannah.

Hannah kicks Q'fex in the ankle.  And yelps, hopping about on one foot as bruised toes let it be known just how damned much that hurt.  She mutters at him.

You overhear Hannah mutter, "CROTCHCRICKET. THE … … CROTCHCRICKET?! No! … … … … fucking … … you insufferable man! … … penis … … EATEN BY …" to Q'fex.

Daycen snatches his hand back from the egg, but it's too late. Whatever it is he's felt from that last one makes the face that had slowly been gaining sunlight and a tan fade into vampiric pale tones again. "Done! I'm done. I''m going back to the barracks. Maybe to hide under my bunk." Shudder. He looks about to say more actually, but nope. Just flees, looking like he never ever wants to come back. Except that he'll presumably have to. 

And that's a wrap! Perhaps not for the others, but for Cerise, the opportunity to touch eggs has just unceremoniously ended. The young woman startles, nearly falling over onto her rump in the sands. Only long hours of training and inherent grace keep her upright. But nothing can stop the tears that glisten hot in her eyes while her hands fold- nay, clamp- over her mouth to keep in an almost shriek. She's shaking but it can't be from the cold, and utterly forgetful of her manners as she turns away from the dragons, from Q'fex and Hannah, from the eggs and from the candidates to march back to the entrance where she will wait for Ellen.

Sadness trails after you: bereft. A face slides under the water, lost forever, and the egg finally drifts into sorrowful silence.

Sweat stands out on Kultir's forehead and upper lip, beads of perspiration roll down his back and chest making his tunic stick to his body.  Is it the heat of the sands and the sun beating down on them or the heat beating up from the egg beneath his hand?  A fierce trembling seizes the Candidate as he finally stumbles away from the onslaught of light, showing him all the shadows in himself.  Stumbles … almost falls … does fall, tripping over a ridge of sand to land on his backside with his arms draped over his knees and head slumping.  He shakes his head, hard, and rolls back to his feet and inadvertently places his hand flat against In Its Own Mind Egg

Pure lust reaches out to twine around you, isn't that a beautiful woman who just ran from the sands?  Why don't you chase her, find her, kiss her?  Isn't it the place of the man to do such for the weaker sex?  But when you turn to seek her out it is darkness that meets you.  For no more is she beautiful.  Instead all you find is bits scattered around the ground, a pool of blood beneath.  To slow man-child.  You cannot save what is already destroyed.  But that lust?  Oh yes… the lust is still there, a perverse enjoyment in the scene of carnage.

Q'fex feels something. "Did you just try to tickle me?" His consternation is obvious. What? That was a kick? Q'fex didn't even know. He leans close to her, eyebrows beetling together as she's apparently hopping around, therefore missing Cerise's exit wholly.

You overhear Q'fex mutter, "… … the … are … … … about? I … … … sorry. Crotchcricket. … … … … … cricket … Fine. Crotchcrawly. … much … right? Sounds just … … next nickname. … … … And… … … haven't been fucking anyone? … WHAT?" to Hannah.

Hannah looks about ready to punch Q'fex in the balls.  Seriously, that's the mutinous expression on the goldrider's face — muttering something heatedly before she notices Cerise leaving.  "What are these eggs doing to them?"

You overhear Hannah mutter, "… … … … … … … … … … you … your … … … … … would. SHANK … … cut off … dangly thing … your legs. … I … WHY … … … … … I'VE … … … … … … … … FUCKER." to Q'fex.

Q'fex kind of stares at Hannah. Well, if she wanted to punch him in the balls… at least she'd be in the right stratosphere to do so, right? What? She is SHORT guys. SHORT.

You overhear Q'fex mutter, "… what? I didn't … … a … woman. … the … Thanks. … know. For … … … … … … … … ridiculous thing … she … … … LOVE … … … funny, isn't it. Timing. … … … …" to Hannah.

Ellen's posture does not change, ankles idly crossed, a free thumb tucked into her belt. But slowly, her eyes drift open again, her breathing slow and heavy. She finds herself looking for a long moment more at leadership, a careless insolent look as she overhears small snippets of their communication. A look that - probably means precious little to those of such heightened status. Then she turns hear head rapidly, environmental awareness catching — Cerise vanish through the exit. "Ksk." Without another word, she clenches her jaw, squares her shoulders and also heads for the exit after her. 

Cerise walks to the Archway.

As yet another Candidate flees the sands — Ellen's heading for the exit in conjunction with Cerise's has the goldrider pausing momentarily.  "Seriously.  They're dropping like flies.  What the heck is going on here?  Maybe someone should go after them…"  But then.  THEN.  Q'fex's muttered words catch her ears and she's rounding on the Weyrleader.  Eyes blaze.

Daycen walks to the Archway.

You overhear Hannah mutter, "Ridiculous?! Ridiculous would be … … … her … … … … … Love. … … what? … … you going … about? … Don't. Call … …" to Q'fex.

Sytin walks in from the Hatching Caverns Entrance.

Kultir's jaw drops at the sense of this egg and just gulps hard.  The sensations brought on are … exquisite, yes, but then … blood, scattered bits of … destruction.  It's too much, the carnage, the destruction … The boy tears his mind away from the touch as he tears his hand away from the shell and clasps it tight against his chest.  Tears stream down his cheeks, mingling with the sweat and his mouth is set in a tight line as he determinedly sets his hand to Soul Eating Windigo Egg.

Pain lances through you as this egg reaches out with clawed hands to engulf you.  Images of your peaceful  moments stolen with a lover are breached.  Any lustful thoughts during those moments are highlighted and cast scornfully aside.  How dare you come before this egg with such filth staining your thoughts?  Begone man-child, you're not worthy of a second more.  All that is left is a lingering feeling of pain stabbing through your chest.

Yulena walks in from the Hatching Caverns Entrance.

Sytin lurks, having be one of the milling Candidates sliding through the shadows with the other indecipherable faces. Something makes him break from the masses, however, and he moves with a careful purpose across the sands, looking as though he's actually trying to be careful of where he's going. Maybe something about having a big gold dragon promising to eat him should be misstep has something to do with it. Still, whatever the reason the former Smith is entranced by Through Fire and Flame Egg, and he stops there, laying his hand reverently on the cool black edges.

Heat rises, slowly, trickling through your fingers and filtering into your mind. Into your heart. Into your soul. The thudding, far-off, sounds like reverberations of metal-to-metal, but instead of the typical 'clang', each point of impact sounds more like a burst of fireworks: tiny explosions, contained only by the most masterful of minds, most significant of souls. Clang. Clang. Fire heats, and metal warps, and for a moment you are not yourself: you are just a piece of potential, slowly being shaped, being molded for something more… for something greater than you are currently.

Q'fex shoots Hannah an INJURED LOOK. No, really; his face turns dismayed, and then a ghost of that prior pain from the last time they talked rears up on his face despite himself. And instead of responding he turns around and walks away, his shoulders bunched up. He's going after the candidates that have left, apparently. THIS conversation is going to have to wait for sometime else.

Yulena has been quietly moving about the Sands, eyeing certain ones warily, like mean kitty cats or eggs that want to make you go *splat*; she'll try something new today. Q'fex's departure is noticed, but Yulena's been pulled to a prehistoric-looking egg, of blue feathers with gold. A hand is slowly, cautiously laid over Blue Barracuda without a Pendant Egg, and her back straightens. What lurks in your jade shadows?

Anticipation fills you, taking a firm grip. You can almost feel the adrenline rushing through your veins, victory is an almost palable taste in your mouth.  Just a little more, just a little closer.  YOU GOT THIS.  But alas; victory is not yours to have.  A misstep, a slip of grip, and you fall, failing, from the mountain you now realize you were climbing.  So close to the summit.  So close…and now so far away as you fall down, down, down back into your body, back upon the Sands.

Hannah stares after Q'fex, troubled.  She turns back to her lifemate, for once not fretting over the Candidates and the eggs.  Instead, she carries a frown for that hurt expression that she caused.  She might even duck her head and bend a little as if in pain herself.  And then she's on the back side of Dhiammarath, out of sight.

Pride, love, desire, determination … all crumble in the wake of the sensations from the last egg Kultir touches.  The boy's expression is devastated and lost as he turns and stumbles toward the entry to the Sands.  He can't stay … not with that vituperation coming at him from all directions.  Stumbling steps turn to a shambling run as the previously proud young man flees the Sands … flees the eggs … flees himself.

Kultir walks to the Archway.

Sytin's eyes half close as the mind within Through Fire and Flame Egg reaches out to him. Is it somehow hotter in here? The Candidate's features are a look of wonder and fascination — quite a feat with eyes closed — and his breath seems to come in rhythmic pulses. Whatever he sees, whatever he feels, it leaves the former Smith Apprentice filled with fascination and delight and maybe just a renewed sense of self as he lets his hand fall from the shell, moving on. The dichotomy of Sidhe Season Egg catches his eye next, and that's where his palm lands, flat and embracing.

Fire lies nascent, commingling with snow for the fiercest frostfire — elements commingle, all the potential of the world jolting suddenly. Why do your eyes hurt, Sytin? Do they feel cold? This egg has only the bitterest regard for the mere mortals that swarm her shell; for it is a her, you can discern in the faintly feminine aura that reaches out for yours, whirling off delicate spinnerlings of emotion like sweetest cotton-candy. Then the frost is gone, and there is only growth, wild, rampant, unchecked: your eyes hurt because you burn, you burn without reason, you burn without time. A horn calls, and the Hunt overtakes your fevered form, and darkness claims you, sudden, ominous.

Yulena falls back into her body, gasping in elation and then the utter shock of being so close… and yet, disappointed. Her hand falls limply to her side, and she could sob with the frustration, but instead, turns away. Onto another challenge, then, because harrumph. The call of the desert brings her to a grey, tall egg, with the only splotch of yellow as its calling card. Plotting, or watching, who knows, but Yulena gently smoothes a hand over the Yippie Kai Egg's shell.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  There's something behind you, Yulena, something dangerous.  But lo, it is not the normal dangers of that which lurks in Southern's wilds nay, it is of a more foreign nature.  If it catches you, you're sure to regret it.  And yet, and yet…  There is something in the anticipation of knowing that there's something dangerous there that entrances you.  It's a thrill of fear, and a rush of excitement.  You want to know what's going to happen?  Now that, Yulena, that would be truly dangerous.  The feeling of entrancement turns to fear when again that howl sounds.  But this time there are more, so many more than one.

Oh gerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat, Yulena's shoulders are itching again. Is the exotic taste of excitement worth the sour taste of fear that follows? Her hand falls away, though it faintly hovers a little before Yulena steps back a pace, eyeing the egg speculatively. We shall see. She moves slowly towards one that echoes a dichotomy, the despairing side shell of the MEdicine Egg calling to Yulena, but her opposite hand reaches to touch the side of more lush colours.

Southern?  What Southern?  You are suddenly upon a great plain, with wild grasses and flowers plentiful and growing free.  Children laugh and play around you, a smiling and delightful babe sits upon your hip and the people you love are all nearby.  Times are good, life is good, everything is going perfectly.  You smile, and turn around and then—  A friend has killed someone, and their corpse lay in front of you.  Horror fills you, and you turn back around to get away from the sight, the stench of it…except the beautiful vision that surrounded you before is gone.  The plain is barren, not even a whisper of grass or flowers in sight.  The riverbed is dry.  Perhaps you think turning around again will change things, that it'll make this horrible vision disappear…except instead you find yourself back on the Sands, with the stench of decay in your nose.

Sytin's features screw up into a grimace of pain, free hand suddenly moving to the corners of his eyes, pushing at his temple as a gasp of hurt escapes him, a shiver running violently down his gaunt frame. Breath is still, as if the pain is too much for even the diaphragm to function through. And then, before he can turn blue, he's hissing in pain again, now panting with the burning sensations inside him. "Aaah," he shudders, and then suddenly his stance shifts, cagey, like a predator. It only lasts a moment though and suddenly the Candidate is cast back from the Nevernever into his body, stumbling and narrowly avoiding a fall. Throat muscles constrict and tongue flicks out to lips his lips uncomfortably before he regains a modicum of composure and shuffles onward, like a glutton for punishment. A mystery draws him now, and with a slightly hesitant gesture he suddenly finds himself touching the starry expanse of The Mystic Charms Egg.

The arcane swirls about you. Evil, divine, neutral; all of the wonder and mystery and the unexplained of the world spirals in a dizzying incandescent spiral. Then, suddenly, it is gone, and only the clicks and whirls of far-off technology hold in place: as foreign as the first, yet somehow, sad.

You know what's fun? The smell of klah, the smell of a nice dinner, or clothes fresh from the laundry. Yulena propels herself backwards in disgust, giving the egg a disgruntled, stony look. If fate should deem it so… well. What's a balm after such a split egg? The blue hues of the Ripples in the Sea egg, slashed in silver. Calm(er) at least, and Yulena peers at those dashes of silver, leaning out and then closer in to decipher a possible meaning, her palm making gentle contact, as if dipping a hand into cool water.

You don't want to.  You really, really don't want to.  Can't you keep it?  Why must you give it up, can't it stay here, stay where it's safe?  You don't want to give it up, but they'll know if you don't.  They will know, and the thought of disappointing them paralyzes you from lying, from keeping it for yourself.  You throw it, and something flashes.  Is that a hand from the lake?  Surely not, no human can breathe underwater..  And then you are suddenly tossed into a boat, claimed as a prize for doing what is right.  Never to see him again.  But a distant promise kisses your ear: someday, someday, someday….back on the Sands, breathless in both hope and sadness.

Sytin finds himself taken to a place that is not. Or is it a place that is but is not here? Confusion and wonder war on his features as he tries to sort out what the egg's inhabitant is trying to show him. Eyes flick with REM motions, watching a scene unfold that only spirals further into confusion as it happens. Then suddenly his expression turns sad, with a sort of mystified quality to it, as if he can't quite put his finger on why it is sad. Hand lifts from the shell and gaze lingers as he finds himself left with an even bigger mystery, wandering away. The bright, cheerful hues of le Fay's Magic Egg catch his eyes and that is where he moves to, still dazed as he touches the brilliant shell in hopes of cheer.

Here, there is a hidden gem: one just for you, one hidden, or so it would seem. A mother's love blossoms over you, warming heart and hands as an unexpected present on Christmas morning. Maternal warmth, and maternal affection: you will grow strong and true, Sytin. Follow your heart, and it will never guide you astray. Down difficult paths, of course, but never down the wrong one. Follow your heart, and trust your gut, and learn from the mistakes you are doubtless to make; but you will have love, forever have love, whispers this egg in sweet promise.

Yulena slowly moves away from the blue egg, looking a little wave-battered and she removes her hand slowly, the promising whisper turning her head. Hope being a many splendored thing with wings, Yulie walks on, eyeing eggs on either side, sweating a little. Fingertips reach out and graze against the surface of the green, lump-iferous shell of the Leader of the Merry Men, chortling slightly as she squares up to its familiar look of men. Men in tight-TIGHT tights…

Alas!  You find yourself within yet another height, Yulena, but this time it is not a height of your own choosing.  Men with blades guard the only way out, and it is too far up to safely jump.  Of all things you find yourself in a dress that modestly covers everything.  Not even a whisper of skin is allowed to show, save your face.  Your hair is bound up and you find yourself wishing for someone to save you from this.  Kffft.  A sudden sound of an arrow letting loose, and one of the guards falls, and then the other.  Saved at last!  But who is your hero?  It is a man whose face is impossible to see, wearing bright.  Green.  Tights.  And not just any tights…but tight-tights.  Successful rescue?  Or worst nightmare…

Sytin swallows, a lump in his throat suddenly. Nostrils flare and there is an expression on the boy's face like he just came home after a very long time away from the comforting warmth of hearth and family. Breath quickens and chin trembles, all in a vain attempt to stop the tears from flowing. But flow they do, sliding silently down his cheeks to plink into the sand below, specks of moisture quickly dissipated. He lingers at this egg for longer than all the others, something clearly impacting him and causing his hand to move up to the chain at his throat, hidden under his tunic. With great effort he forces himself to move away, but the impact is sure to stay with him, whatever it was. The tears are left on his cheeks, but the beacon of Bright Night Light Egg calls to him, and that is where his hand comes to lay.

For the turbulence of the last few, this one is reassuring in comfort and in… distance. For it is distance, the beauty of this one: far-off light, flickering with all the colors of the rainbow in the most contented spiral of vaguely-hypnotizing monotony. But even then, it projects the serenity of no ill-will; there is only the lights, and you, Sytin. Then, suddenly, you realize that you are but the moth drawn in for the bug-zapper. *BZZZZZZT*: it is as if you were struck by lightning: every nerve sings with pain and over-stimulation, and then all goes dark.

The bell has tolled and with it goes Dhiammarath's tolerance, which, in turn, has Hannah scooting around her freshly oiled lifemate to shoo off the Candidates.  "Done, done, done.  Time to go back to your duties."  What Candidates remain are waved at, shoo-style, as she adds.  "Time to go, go, go.  Off the sands now.  And don't touch that one!"  As some erstwhile Candidate tried to sneak in another, which only causes more of a storm-and-frown to come to the goldrider's expression.  Only when all Candidates are gone does she turn and head right out of the sands.  Looking for a Weyrleader.  Someone's ass is grass.  And Hannah is so the lawnmower.  (Not really, but.)

Yulena feels the trap and the trappings, and scowls. There's a reason she wears pants in the kitchen, thank you. That someone wears awful green tights to her rescue? Unfathomable. She moves away and saves herself, hopefully, from being made holeyer than usual. Garrumph. The very idea has Yulie pausing a moment and perusing the eggs a little, until Hannah's dismissal… or, eviction notice. It's time to get some cool relief from the heat, and Yulena's ready to make her way off into cooler air.

Sytin lets the tears on his cheeks slowly dry as his emotions come gradually back into balance, wonder at the beautiful lights in his head creating an expression of awe on his face. It lingers for a moment moment and then suddenly the Candidate jerks back in apparent pain. "Ow!" Grimacing he shakes the hand and arm that were touching the egg, as if to disperse some shock. And then the clutch mother's patience has run out and there is no time for more, and so the former Smith turns tail, making a swift and not completely graceless exit. He's been given a lot to think about!

Dhiammarath sighs, a sound of relief: oh, her eggs are alone again, allowed to rest — and grow — in peace. She curls around one of her favorite ones, a beautiful thing of silver-scrolled glory, and finally allows her eyes to lid. Silence, as they say…. is golden.

Touch Credits:

Cerise: Q'fex
Daycen: Jedi
Ellen: Hannah
Kultir: Nathanael
Sytin: Q'fex
Yulena: Jedi

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