Zeyta, N'tael, Brynn, Ealasaid, Dinah


Candidates touch eggs with various levels of trauma resulting.


It is afternoon of the nineteenth day of the fifth month of the seventh turn of the 12th pass.



OOC Date 15 Mar 2016 06:00


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"Don't crack them."



The out-of-doors of Igen Weyr seems a blissful respite from the oppressive heat of this sandy colosseum. Heated from beneath by volcanic vents, the air above the hatching sands shimmers, lending a sort of unreal, dream-like quality to the area beyond even the magic that happens here at Impressions. Despite its blistering temperatures, the sands are incongruously soft, almost powdery, and flat save for the worn stone queen's bower that rises up to break the monotony and provide a place of respite for the doting mother-to-be.

Zeyta's a bully. And what do bullies do when they have too much time on their hands and have already wasted half the day shopping for super old trinkets in the bazaar? They flaunt power they don't have. Good thing she spent so many turns perfecting her assistant weyrlingmaster voice, because her performance is spot on: eye a group of poor, unfortunate candidates, bark at them (no teeth!), and marshal them out onto the sands like everything is kosher and she's totally allowed to run the show. "And remember to pay your respect to the clutchparents and bow, or else you'll likely end up someone's dinner," she tells a trembling holdbred girl nabbed from the outlying Igen area in particular, though her instructions apply to all.

The shimmering heat of the sands burns the soles of Brynn's boots, but you wouldn't know it as she follows the other candidates into the cavern. She overhears Zeyta's instructions to the trembling girl, and bows at the waist to both Zsviranth and Rhakanth, before sliding brown eyes to those eggs. "So we just, touch them?" She asks whomever happens to be nearby. Seems simple enough.

Oh, the heat: it blankets, it enervates, it smothers. Dinah finds herself in the one place she'd always thought she'd neve tread, face to face with the mound of eggs and their mother. As instructions are given, for once, the girl is attentive, even as she keeps herself behind a tall, swaggering boy who seems t think it's all staged for him. The mention of bowing raises an internal hackle-raising, while outwardly, she does the right thing: she bows, clean and precise, right where she should. And gives Mr. Swagger a side-eye into the bargan.

Zeyta may be a bully, but Ealasaid is a woman familiar with the type, and so she doesn't cower in the face of the woman's barking. She'll just follow the group with a momentary lift of one brow for their slightly unconventional entry. As demanded, she offers up an uncomfortable bow to the clutchparents, before making her way slowly toward the eggs. It seems the blonde is in no rush, as she approaches the eggs like one might a wild animal one is seeking to tame. Careful, of they'll bite. "And don't crack them," she offers to Brynn, before moving to place her hand on the Philosoraptor Egg. Because her writer has an obsession with raptors.

Dense, verdant greenery: jungle brush supplants the endless white of the sands in the hatching cavern and the heat becomes wet, and heavy. Alien and deep, the uncomfortable sense of being watched raises goosebumps along your skin, Ealasaid. Lurking, predatory, an unseen creature stalks, rustles the growth and circles in as you feel your heart begin to race and adrenaline pump from its valves through your veins fueling that part of the hind-brain that triggers flight-or-fight responses in prey creatures — because oh, oh, suddenly you are on the run from terrifying flashes of razor-sharp teeth and the scamper of hooked talons as a pack of monstrous, wingless, scaled wherry-like creatures give chase. And then? In the blink of an eye you're back on the sands, wondering… "Wouldn't it be ironic to start DYING in the LIVING caverns?" to Ealasaid

"Don't crack them." By her flat tone and serious expression, it's difficult to say if Brynn is taking Ealasaid's advice to heart. She tilts her head as she regards one. Colourful rocks. No. Eggs. Full of growing dragons. She toys with the thumbhole of her sleeve, as if unsure if she should remove it. She doesn't. As she crouches down near Kylo Ren Colouring Book Egg, and places her palm against its bleak surface, it is with decidedly delicate precision.

Your hands touch the egg's shell and at first, nothing. It's just sitting there. Then. Wait. Is it defective? Is it … OH MY GOSH IT'S DEAD! BRYNN! YOU KILLED IT! IT'S… wait. No. OH MY FARANTH, BRYNN LOOK… wait. No. You find your heart racing and your palms sweating. Therein, across the shell's patterned surface, lies the horror of being an egg. Of being a painted egg. Of not being real. Lines and colors, the darkness, the despair, the devilry, the evil - wait, evil? You look around again and still… nothing has changed. Except you see with your own eyes how Ealasaid betrays her egg - or did she? Bold colors, dark colors; the world bleeds and weeps into nothing but black. Black, blacker, blackest - the cold of between. Dying. The severing, sundering of the world until you are summarily expelled from the egg's existance. No. Be more than lines on an egg, Brynn. Write your own destiny, create your own story. This is not the egg you are looking for… (or is it?)

Zeyta becomes an idle tyrant in the presence of brooding parents, finding a position alone the periphery that allows her full vantage of the group she's chosen to torment with her supervision. Fiercely, she watches them navigate the sands, passing silent judgment on the candidates.

Word gets around Zeyta, it does. Which is PROBABLY why N'tael suddenly APPEARS up in the galleries and rushes downwards right to the edge. Leaning over, "YO, ZEYTA." He's the weyrleader, yelling is okay, "What are ye DOING?" Suspicious N'tael is suspicious.

There's tension buildling in Ealasaid's frame as she stands there with her hand upon that egg, lost in whatever wilderness is shown to her. Knees bend, and she looks like a woman ready to take off with the least bit of provocation — and then she's back on the sands, hand still resting upon that shell. She yanks it back as though burned, taking a few steps to put some distance between herself and whatever that was. Somehow, she can't quite resist looking over her shoulder. Just to be safe. That tension still lies in her shoulders as she moves toward another egg, hesitating a moment before placing her palm on the scratches upon the surface of Sealed Evil in a Jar Egg. Because that's likely to be better.

Ancient, forgotten, foreboding — is it possible for such an egg to emanate so dreadful an aura when your palm first makes contact with its ominous surface, Ealasaid? Could you not decipher the warning encrypted 'pon its shell? Whatever lies within, it cannot be dragonkind, no, not once the darkness swallows you whole, wraps tendrils of jet-black around you that seem to penetrate, right down to the very core of your soul, so alone and afraid and cold do you feel. What terror have you unleashes as cracks begin to form in front of your eyes and the world afire burns in a wreckage of chaos far worse than Thread right before your helpless and guilt-ridden conscience. Evil, incarnate, and furious for being contained so long it leeches all happiness from you, feeds of the misery of you and all those it touches once free until it reaches that grand scale of total, utter physical decimation. Some stones are better left unturned, and some eggs better left untouched. This is one, as you realize that daring to establish a connection to it only offers a vision of what may come.

DAMMIT someone saw Zeyta abduct a group of candidates and snitched. Remember: snitches get stitches…bitches. The brownrider huffs and rolls her eyes, ice-queen composure lending her the grace of a steady and nonchalant gait as she strides ever so slowly to where N'tael leans so his voice lowers. "Alleviating boredom. I'm totally qualified to watch hatchling bait." Look at her smile, teeth flashing like a crocodile.

Brynn shivers despite the heat of the cavern, and seems to be in a trance. A jedi trance. No. Wrong universe. Her fingers pull back, their tips and the palm still attached to the black, bleak, bold egg, her lips a grim line. Her eyes flash with red as she yanks her hand away, breathing heavily, and staring at it with a hardened expression. The weyrleader's yell pulls her from her thoughts - or the egg's thoughts? - and she takes a step back. "Ok." Onto the next one. She picks a similarly dark orb, only this one shimmers a bit like mirrors: What I Do Egg.

Your hand touches that egg's shell and it FREAKS OUT. AAHAHHHHHH SOMEONE TOUCHING ME OMG. Wait, no? No. I mean it does, but that's what people think would happen, right? The egg's presence settles and in your mind's eye, you see a vision of yourself. You are GLORIOUS Brynn. Stripped of all that desserty contraption, you are left as wholly, uniquely you. And you are touching that egg's shell like a victorious victor. See the way your chest puffs out? See the hand on your hip? OH YEAH. You're awe— wait. Nope the egg is indecisive and instead of feeling awesome, you see yourself the way the other Candidates see you: timid and shy, reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaching your fingers out to touch that egg's shell. Maybe wincing. Cause yeah, this could be so bad. SO BAD, Brynn, but it's not! See that egg is HAPPY. You know why? It's going to SHOW you why: in a moment, you see yourself the way the clutchparents do. As if every connection made is a permanent one. They hope, see, that each of those dragonets will find a partner. Maybe they will? Or maybe that egg will shell and the dragonet will DIE because it can't find their person. Do you want to be that? No! But they see you and you are strong and healthy and possible, and it feels GOOD to have this confidence. Yet, at the end of the day, when it's all said and done, there's just an uncertain girl touching an uncertain egg and when she leaves, the egg will still be there. Settled in the hush of the hatching cavern - for this, this image is what touching the eggs is really like.

Dinah will just wander over to the Unhappy Feline egg, settling her fingers over its uneven surface with tentative fingers. The suspicious Weyrleader and the bully Zeyta are eyed from beneath her lashes for a brief moment before shifting her gaze to the other candidates, checking their reactions to their eggs. Apparently, the results are rater creepy. This does not bode well, so the girl closes her eyes and takes a deep, bracing breath.

A subtle vibration emanates from the hardening shell of this egg, a pleasant hum, a delighted purrrrrrrrrrrrr of unadulterated bliss when you first lay your hand upon it, so enticing. Except for, y'know, when you actually feel it, as with a shake and a heckling hiss and flash of white before your eyes you find your arm lacerated by four gruesome gashes trailing in claw-marked testimony to your encounter. No dragon, this egg: just a grumpy feline, best left alone, taking all the joy, all the fun out of animal companionship to leave you the walking wounded, Dinah. But luck is on your side: it seems you have 9 (now 8) lives to walk away and heal, as coming to you find yourself actually unscathed. Grumpy cats do not like to be disturbed.

"Ye mean ye're qualified t' eat their unborn children or be feedin' them t' that brown of yours." N'tael, he's only half joking? There isn't that tone of chipperness in his voice. "Do I need to find more work for ye t' do or somethin'? Cuz I could probably arrange that. Somethin' what involves physical effort. Mayhap some dirt."

Brynn's hand jerks back the moment her fingers touch the shell of this one. She takes a breath, and gives it a second shot, shaking out her wrist once it's done. Squinting through the haze, Brynn sees an egg all on its lonesome. Perhaps due to the sorrow in her own heart, she is drawn to its presence, moving in a fluid motion to crouch beside and touch the Melancholy Moon Egg.

Oh! The sorrow of your heart. You feel it so poignantly, for this egg is a loss to the moment. Alone. Adrift. The haze of the sands only thickens as the last remaining egg Hatches come hatching day and yet this guy doesn't. He feels your sorrow, your aloneness, your fears, and he - or is it a she? - weeps for you. O, Kindred Spirit! The moons of Pern weep for you, shedding their silvery light to bath you in their cold glory whilst you stare upon their frozen perfection and wonder at what a girl deserves to be left so alone. So lost. The night enshrouds as tears course down upon your cheeks, dripping off the delicate curve of your jaw. Do you feel it? The desire for love and yet the aching loss of love? Do you feel it? The way the moon's eye sheds benevolent stars upon your head? Do you feel the achingly overwhelmingly flood of emotion that slowly coalesces into a single teardrop of fine, rose-quart's crystal? Love, made manifest. If only you could take it… Go on, the egg whispers, Take it. It's yours. You lift your hand to grab for it, this promise of undying and ever-lasting love and the connection breaks. You're on the sands and all of that promise lies housed in the egg's shell, taken away. Snatched away. You even put your hands back on the shell, but there is nothing left. No promise. No teardrop of promised love. There is only the residual ache that will last days to come.

"Why Weyrleader," Zeyta layers on the sugar in her voice, inflection lifted out of its monotone to something entirely too cloying, almost to the point of bittersweet. Paired with that charming grin carved into her marble face, her protest continues, "I've plenty to do. I just thought I'd lend old grandfather G'deon a hand with some of his future charges. You know I keep in prime physical condition, and there's no need to ruin a good outfit." She totally spends enough time digging around in the dirt of the abandoned caverns too, but she leaves that part unsaid.

Dinah snatches her hand back with a little shriek, clutching it to her nonexistent bosom and glaring at the egg suspiciously. "That thing — " And she closes her lips on the rest of that sentence, keeping her ill thoughts to herself as she moves away from the displeased egg. Maaybe she'll try for the Fight For Your Rigt to Library Egg. That one's got to be more sedate, more ladylike — right?

Curious, the smell of aged parchment and vellum. Enchanting, the curlicued scrawl of script, black as night, fresh inked across a yellowed page, wrist commanded to movement to write from dawn until night, even if it be by glowlight. Compelled, you are, Dinah, to squint until you go blind. But your task is dual, your burden large: for volume upon volume of tome stacks itself tall around you, walling you in, surrounding you. The books, they have a voice, their stories, they must be told, and you must absorb all their knowledge, recreate all their tales, you must share them, ranting and raving, barking in the streets stark-mad against those who would deprive you of precious, free wisdom, of public sanctity and the power of the scribes and authors all gone before you, their labor reduced to nothing if you do not fight for their right to be read and written and heard and shared with the world.

Horror slackens Ealasaid's features as she's swallowed by the darkness, so lost within the evil of this egg that she can't even gather herself to lift her hand — to break free of its hold. She's trembling when it releases her, struck by a vision granted by an egg that knows too much and arms itself against her. Her hand lingers only long enough to steady herself on weakened legs, and then the blonde breaks free, striding with purpose toward another egg. Maybe it's the lingering darkness that pulls her, for she doesn't reach out for something more calming. No, it's the indigo of Big Bad Egg that draws her, and upon that shell she places her palm.

Temptation and the siren call of wicked ways sings out to you, Ealasaid, hypnotic and fertile as it plants a nefarious seed in your heart. If it takes root, brace yourself for corruption, yield to the depravity for the vile and malevlous — they do it up big. Sip from the tainted fount of malevolence and grow drunk on power, on iniquity on vanquishing your foes and drawing a curtain of darkness over them all to further your own insidious intent—whatever that may be. What haunts you, what brings fear can also empower you if you let it — become a being that goes bump in the night rather than succumb to it. Heroism? The light? Look away into the cool, cold comfort of those who help themselves, so often mislabeled by society as no good. Bite from the apple. Give into the tantalizing appeal of villainy and let yourself transform from being tempted to the tempter. Follow in the footsteps of so many before you into the dark…

Oh, better, much better — until Dinah realizes she can't actually see anything anymore. Reluctantly, though, she'll pull herself away from the Library egg and go put her mitts all over the Too Cool for School Egg. It might have a kindrid spirit in it, after all, as Dinah's definitely too cool for everything that isn't her idea first.

Stretched, pulled, the whims of fate push you in every direction. But only so far, because a sense of never-ending inadequacy meets you at every edge and forces you back into the confines of what you already are. Bluster and raise as you will, but little enough good will it do you. Eventually the blackness of depression settles, as you fervently try to cover it up with a veneer of colored paint to make it LOOK like you're doing just fine within this oppressive scape.

"Then don't be wearin' a dress. I'll see that ye be gettin' a list've things what've got t' be gettin' done. Why don't ye be gettin' on and tellin' G'deon where his future riders be?" N'tael coaches it as a suggestion, but a hint of steal underlays his words. "And mayhap we can be talkin' latter 'bout ye doin' jobs what ye ain't really suppose t' be takin' a handle in, aye? Find somethin' what'll be fittin' ye." In other words, N'tael has the candidates kthanks Zeyta. >:| YOU ARE NOT TRUSTED.

Brynn seems connected to this one for a long time. Then, abruptly, she pulls her hand away and stands, jaw clenched, and marches off towards the exit. Her face is impassive, save a slight twitch in her cheek. She's not touching any more eggs today, and if there's no guards at the door, and no one stops her, she's just going to walk out.

"Yes, sir." Zeyta picks and chooses her battles as any seasoned veteran of verbal warfare. In this instance, back down she does, with a formal bow and salute as she begins to make her retreat. Consider yourselves saved, candidates. Zeyta OUT. *mic drop* (ok not really, but she boot stomps away)

This, it seems, is the final straw. Whatever form of self-flagellation — or hidden darkness — it is which draws her to the most threatening forms upon the sands, Ealasaid has reached her breaking point. Something new flows through her veins, something dangerous, and for a lingering moment the woman allows herself to become drunk upon that temptation. For a moment, she wants everything promised by whatever lingers inside that shell. And then she breaks free with a quick shake of her head, staring at the shell as though it has bitten her. Then, abruptly, she turns on her heel and exits with only a curt bow toward the clutchparents.

Dinah will just… back away now. The eggs seem to all be out to get her, except for that one. And it migt be too, what with its stark raving Library madness. With a squint in the direction of the Powers that Be, she'll start edging toward the exit, after the others. They really have the right idea, here.

From up there, N'tael waves in the direction of the eggs. "Comeon ye'll, let's be gettin' goin'" And while he WILL meet them at the door to make sure that everyone is ushered out, he'll stay where he can see until everyone is gone. Then he'll bow to the clutch parents and get himself out. To like, go make Zeyta a CHORE CHART.

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