Who

Quentin, Linden, Niyati

What

Where one Candidate leads, two more follow… right into a secret room with a startling surprise!

When

It is evening of the twenty-eighth day of the twelfth month of the first turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Cramped Tunnel, Southern Weyr

OOC Date

 

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Cramped Tunnel

This tiny, cramped little cave was once a lava tube that's since become hollow. Half-moon in shape, the floor is littered with sharp lava rock, and the high ceiling boasts of impressive stalactites that reach down towards the ground like huge, thin fingers. The air is not as oppressively hot as one might imagine; the stone itself aids in cooling the small cavern down. Not to mention, the extremely high ceilings do a lot to funnel the humid heat upwards, allowing cooler air to settle. However, tall boys and girls would find this room exceedingly difficult to navigate, especially given the rather wicked and majestic stalactites, but the view is worth it. Not only does the small opening have the perfect vantage point of the creamy, black and white sands, but provides a close-up view to the eggs and their sitting parents than might be comfortable to some. Why, an adventurous Candidate might be able to reach out and touch one… but that wouldn't be advisable! Nor would speaking too loudly… this cavern — as close as it is — would be close enough for those on the sands to hear the echoes of those within!


Finally! After the sounds of small rocks sliding and bouncing, the groans that come from the effort of squeezing through a tight, tiny tunnel… Quentin emerges into the tiny mouth of the tunnel, where the heat of the sands can very much be felt!

Finally! After the sounds of small rocks sliding and bouncing, the groans that come from the effort of squeezing through a tight, tiny tunnel… Linden emerges into the tiny mouth of the tunnel, where the heat of the sands can very much be felt!

Finally! After the sounds of small rocks sliding and bouncing, the groans that come from the effort of squeezing through a tight, tiny tunnel… Niyati emerges into the tiny mouth of the tunnel, where the heat of the sands can very much be felt!

Hopping on one foot, gripping his ankle, Quentin manages to squeeze into the tiny cave, cursing under his breath. "Why did I do that?" he wonders aloud, just before he realizes what he's seeing before him. "Oh… oh damn." Yeah. Those are eggs. Biting his lip to keep from saying anything more, he puts his foot down and starts to creep forward.

Linden saw Quentin going, so he followed, and now he squeezes into the space wide eyed and a bit banged up from the trip. "You too huh?" he murmurs, shaking out his ankle. "Woooooow."

Niyati has never been one to ignore interesting places that she could possibly break something exploring. Thus here she is, following along to see what can be seen. "You can even see the eggs from here." To Quinten she replies. "Because curiosity compelled you. Look, they're close enough you could probably reach out and just touch one. …not that we should." Because she's repsonsible. "They look so big from this point of view…"

"Shhh." Quinn's hushing is involuntary and absent, his gaze fixed on the ovoids cushioned on the sands just beyond the cave. Then, in complete contradiction of himself, "Shards, no. She'd probably know if we touched them." No question as to who he means. Crouching down near the peephole, he stares at the sands, jaw slightly agape at being this close to the clutch. "Still. Kinda want to."

Linden clasps his hands /firmly/ behind his back. Not going to touch the eggs. No. "I want to too," he whispers. "But I won't." Won't. WON'T. He fidgets and moves back away from the temptation. "You think they know this is here?" he whispers softly.

Niyati keeps her voice to a whisper. "I imagine they do. Candidates have probably been through this thing before us." She tips her head to conteplate the tunnel. "I wonder if there were ever any bodies found in here." Quentin is glanced at and she shrugs. "I don't know if she would. I do wonder if they communicate in the egg with their dam. That would be rather interesting."

"I doubt we're the first here," Quentin seconds Niyati, glancing towards Linden with a grin. "Imagine, we're standing where long-dead Candidates once stood, desperately hoping their lifemate is out there." There might just be the faintest edge of unease in his voice. He falls silent for a long moment, then, softly, "Do you guys have any eggs you like?"

Bodies?! The magic word! Linden begins looking around immediately, poking about for bodies. "Wouldn't they? They communicate with Candidates…" He pauses to look at Quentin, peeking at the exit again. "I like all of them," he murmurs. "Especially the littler ones."

Niyati nods, pointing toward the STOP egg. "I really like that one. It's nearly amusing to look at. The others are beautiful in their own way, but THAT is my favorite." Linden earns a chuckle. "I imagine if there were they were found and removed. Do they communicate when you touch them? I don't really know much about dragons aside from recent experience and a few lucky rides with my parents."

Quentin studies the egg that Niyati points out, nibbling thoughtfully at his lower lip as he scrubs a hand absently through his curls. "That one's cool," pardon the pun, "but I'm kind of fond of that one." His finger traces a line towards the Hoth egg. "It's kind of understated compared to a lot of the others, but… I like it." He shrugs slightly, then glances towards Linden, brow furrowing. "You are so obsessed."

Linden nods his head. "Yeah. I mean, that's what I've heard. I've never touched one but they kind of…not really /talk/, but you can get a sense of things when you touch them." He pauses, looking at Quentin. "C'MON. Bodies! It'd make such a great STORY."

"He's right, it would. You should hear Yules' story about the body she found." The egg is considered and Niyati nods. "It does stand out for not standing out," she agrees. "I've never heard that one. I've never asked, either. I imagine that's why I've never heard of it. I suppose we'll find out soon enough. T'ral said that we'd be touching them soon."

Ghouls. It's a class of ghouls. Quentin stares first at Linden, then at Niyati in tired disbelief before slowly shaking his head. "Yeah - a great story." He doesn't sound very agreeing - but at least he spoke the words, right? Clearing his throat slightly, he falls backwards out of his crouch into a controlled plop onto the ground, stretching his legs before him as he reaches back to brace himself on his arms. "I think my mother said something about it once, but I never really talked dragons with either of my parents. And my family…" He trails off, shaking his head. "We didn't talk dragons at Keroon. Too much else to discuss. So," he adds, twisting his head up to beam a smile at Linden, "I'll take your word for it 'til we get to go out there ourselves." As if his words are a catalyst, his eyes slide back to the eggs once more, staring.

Linden nods, "Yeah, we'll find out for ourselves, and then we'll get to see if it's true or not." Don't mind him, he's still poking around for bodies over here.

Niyati shrugs. "You'd talk about it if you found one," she points out to Quentin. "The one Yules found was mumified, I'm afraid I've only seen sets of bones." The Weaver considers the eggs again. "We didn't talk dragons either. We did talk about hatchings, but strictly about what people would be wearing."

"I wonder what they feel like," Quentin muses, kicking his ankles aimlessly as he continues to study the eggs. "The eggs, I mean. Are they like chicken eggs? You know, kind of brittle and bumpy? Or… probably more like firelizard eggs - leathery at first, then really hard as they get closer to hatching. I mean, I guess they wouldn't let us out there if we could accidentally hurt them, right?" Niyati's remark draws a wrinkled nose. "Maybe." He doesn't sound terribly convinced - but as he hasn't found a body, he can't quite commit to how he'd react. Other than to scream like a little girl, most likely. Because, ew.

Linden shivers delightfully. "That sounds even /more/ awesome, to find that." He wanders back to the others so he can peek out at the eggs. "I think they're more like firelizard eggs. Bet you could hurt themif you /tried/, but…who would try?"

Niyati chuckles. "She said it fell out of the chimney. The eggs? I imagine they're like firelizard eggs. The shells harden but not so much that they're fragile. I can't imagine anyone would want to but then, people can be awful when it suits them. It may have happened in the past. Probably not successfully. It would be very hard to get past an angry gold."

"People do strange things," Quentin murmurs, wrinkling his nose at the thought of someone coming on to the Sands to deliberately hurt one of the eggs. "But none of us would hurt one, at least." He is, at least, confident about that, and punctuates his statement with a firm nod of his head.

Linden winces. "Angry golds are no fun to be around. And no, none of us would…I can't imagine doing that…"

Niyati glances at the eggs one more time and then makes for the way back. "No, there's no reason to hurt somethingn that hasn't had a chance to do anything yet. Well, I have more chores to get to. Try not to get caught and be careful going back. There's a spot that nearly twisted my foot around at the ankle."

Niyati squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeezes through the crack in the wall where daylight pierces the shadows.

"Is there ever really a reason to hurt something?" Quentin murmurs as Niyati moves away, then raises his voice to wish her farewell. He falls into silence soon after her departure, then finally asks Linden, "Did you grow up thinking you'd be a dragonrider like your parents?"

Linden shakes his head a bit. "Self defense?" he offers quietly, moving closer after Niyati leaves. "Me? Kind of? But when no dragons paid me any attention during searches… kind of lost hope I guess?"

Quentin gives Linden a queer look. "You're not exactly old," he points out gently, brow furrowed. "I mean, you're about my age, right? I didn't think the Weyrs Searched much earlier than now, anyway? Maybe a turn or two?" Skinny shoulders shrug, as the boy turns his gaze back to those alluring eggs. "The idea of being a dragonrider's kinda growing on me," he finally admits after a moment.

Linden nods, "Yeah, I just turned 15. But folks've been searched young as 12. Though…maybe that was only during an interval…" He shrugs. "Is it? You had doubts?" he asks, peering at the eggs. "I want a bronze like my dad," he admits softly, blushing a bit.

"I only said yes 'cause it was Q'fex asking," Quentin admits, cheeks heating to a dull red. "I respect dragonriders, but… I never wanted to be one. I… I didn't want to be like my parents." It's clear from the way he spits out the words, all jumbled together, that Linden might well be the first person to hear them. "Still don't," he adds softly, "but I've learned not every dragonrider's the same. Maybe I can be a dragonrider like my father, but not… you know, like my father." He sighs. "I don't know what color I'd want to ride. I think… not bronze, though. I don't think."

Linden shakes his head a bit. "What are your parents like? I think…you can choose not to be like them if you want to. We all have a choice, dragons don't make you be someone you're not. I think you're a good kid."

Quentin grins a bit at being called a good kid by a, well… kid. But he doesn't correct - or tease - Linden, and there's a healthy amount of pleasure in that broad smile of his. "Q'fex is kind of… well, absent. I don't really know much about him. I know he was a good rider at Igen, and I've heard he wasn't so bad a Weyrleader, but he's also, uhm…" Quinn trails off, obviously searching for the right words. "A bit of a lech. And kind of an asshole, sometimes, or so I've heard. He's still my dad, though." He shrugs. "My mother's… bitter. But she's a greenrider, and you know how people can be about women on fighting dragons - well, people from my time, not yours."

Linden ohs, nodding. "Yeah. I feel bad for them. The women on fighting dragons. I've seen /tough/ women on fighting dragons and wussy guys, so that's stupid." He shrugs. "Yeah they're your parents but they don't define you, you know? My mom and dad are weird too. Don't mean I have to be weird like them. You're your own person."

Sage advice, and Quinn looks a bit more cheerful for having heard it. "You're right," he agrees, nodding his head sharply in emphasis. "I am my own person… whoever that is." That is, after all, what growing up is all about. Discovering just who you are. "But just so you know," he adds, sobering up as he turns to look at Linden, his expression solemn, "I have to tell you… you are most definitely weird. But you're your own kind of weird, and I like it."

Linden grins at his friend, and he shrugs. "Thanks, I like your kind of weird too." His hand extends. "Friends?"

Turning up on one hip, Quentin extends his hand, clasping Linden's firmly. "I thought we already were," he replies solemnly. "You're the best friend I've had since I came here, and I'm glad I met you." Awww. Look, bonding!

Linden shrugs with a grin, "Yeah, but…a handshake seemed fitting." Or something. He grins. "You should get to know Nate better too, he's even weirder than I am but he's a lot of fun. You should move bunks next to ours!"

Quentin pulls his hand back and rubs his chin thoughtfully, eliciting a soft scrape as he disturbs the light stubble that's begun to line his jaw. "He seems… interesting," comes the cautious reply. "I'd like to get to know all of the other Candidates better. And I'll think about it," he adds, grinning. "I kind of like my quiet little corner."

Linden shrugs again, smiling. "Yeah, me too. Well the offer's open if you want to move closer, okay?" He peeks at the eggs, then back down the tunnel.

Quentin doesn't miss Linden's glance down the tunnel and nods reluctantly, pushing himself to his feet. "I'll keep that in mind. But…" He trails off, turning back to glance at the eggs one last time, "I think maybe we should head back before we're missed. Wouldn't want to screw this up for the other Candidates by being found out, eh?"

Linden nods, "Yeah, I agree with you there," he whispers, starting to head off down the tunnel back towards the barracks.

One might expect Quentin to pause one last time at the entrance to the tunnel, to look back at the eggs. Well, he isn't one to disappoint if he doesn't have to. After that lingering glance, he turns back and follows Linden down the tight tunnel, back towards the barracks… home.

Linden squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeezes through the crack in the wall where daylight pierces the shadows.

You squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeze through the crack in the wall where daylight pierces the shadows.

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