Igen Weyr - Lake Shore
It is sometimes hard to tell where the bowl ends and the lake shore begins. Fine grains of gold, tan and orange hued sand layer much as the bowl walls in the distance beyond. The sand only gives way to thin patches of grass where the tall fence of the feeding grounds intersects the lake to the south and the smooth curve of the bowl wall rises on the opposite shore. At that intersection one can make out a small building and colorful fabrics where the Weyr's residents go to relax. The shallow lake waters shimmer invitingly, day and night, lapping at the fine grain sands. Engineered pipes are hidden beneath the bowl landscape and feed the lake as well as the grasses of the feeding grounds to keep the water levels from dropping past a certain point which is marked by a waist high obelisk.

It's a hot day at Igen. Most days at Igen are hot days, of course, but this one is particularly toasty. As a result, many people with rest days are escaping the heat at the lake. This includes Doktah, lucky enough to have the day off. She soaks in the shallow part of the lake by the shore, eyes shut as she sort of drifts.

Rulayn had finally paused for breath after the trek to the Weyr. Of course, she'd been lucky enough to secure transport but that was only to the Hold. After a brief visit to her aunt, the young woman had heard the word of Search passing around and immediately curiosity had led her here. A visitor to Igen and not so familiar to the climate, Rulayn found herself meandering across the shoreline until eventually picking a spot near Doktah to sit. She didn't greet the other female but instead let her eyes rest on the water's surface. Truly it was a pretty place.

Doktah eventually opens her eyes, taking a lazy glance towards the shore. Maybe she's just keeping an eye on her stuff, which has all been piled up nearby where Rulayn is seated. Spotting an unfamiliar face, she raises an arm out of the water to wave. "Hello there." She calls out.

Turning her head towards the voice, Rulayn briefly shielded her eyes from the glare of the sun against the water and spotted the woman lazing around in the shallows. With a slight smile and return wave, the girl responded, "Hello! Lovely day, isn't it?".

"Indeed." Doktah agrees, smiling lazily. "At least if you are out here. For those who have duties today, I imagine the heat is far less pleasant." She eyes Rulayn for a moment, vague curiosity in her eyes. "Are you a local? I don't think we have met yet."

Rulayn shook her head. "No, from Fort. I'm here on a visit." She replied, raising a hand to lightly fan herself. "I didn't expect Igen to be this warm but.. I suppose hot sands keep eggs happy, right?" She chuckles, dropping the oh-so-subtle hint that she knew about the Search.

Doktah smiles a little ruefully. "Ah. The heat must be quite the change for you. Feel free to join me, if you like." She says, gesturing to the lake waters with a sweep of her arm. "The hatching sands are even hotter, I am told. Are you a hopeful? Or did you simply come to see the eggs?"

Rulayn slowly inched herself across the bank on her buttocks to save the pair from having to speak so loudly. "Hopeful? Oh, no. I was visiting a relative at the Hold. I had no idea about the eggs until I arrived. Even so, it's taken me a while to reach the Weyr." With a glance to the water, Rulayn slowly unlaces her walking boots and eases them off, letting her aching feet free of the stuffy hide confines. She dips them into the water with a sigh of relief. "I'd love to see the hatching grounds soon. How long until it's time?"

Doktah smiles, grateful not to have to shout to carry on her conversation. She scoots a little closer to the shore to make it easier, though she is careful to stay mostly submerged. "Well, the eggs were only laid a couple sevendays ago. I'm sure the hatching is still months away… though you could see the eggs themselves, if you like. They are rather pretty."

Not seeming to mind the other girl's preference to being submerged, Rulayn nodded as she leant forwards to roll the fabric of her pants up. The more skin she revealed, the more evident it became that her pale skin caused her to practically glow in the sunlight. Even though it was a warm morning, the girl still shivered as the water soaked more of her limbs. "How many are there? What colours?" She asked, her inquisitive nature perking up.

Doktah's eyes widen a little, perhaps with just a touch of concern at the sight of the other girl's pale skin. "I have sunning oil with my things." She says, helpfully pointing to her collection of clothes and pouches nearby. "Feel free to use it, if you like. Helps avoid burns." The question about the eggs has her smiling. "Eight of them. Too early to tell what colors are inside, though there's no obvious gold in the bunch."

Rulayn Sunning oil? What for? Rulayn gives Doktah a blank stare for a few moments before following her hand pointing to her belongings. "Oh! Uh.. Thanks." She smiles, easing herself away from the water and rising to her feet. She quickly makes her way across the hot sand and locates the bottle amongst the woman's belongings, smearing liberal amounts over any part of her skin that was exposed. She'd already been out in the heat for most of the morning though - would it really matter? Slowly Rulayn returns to her previous spot and eyes the water thoughtfully. "Eight? Huh." She sits back down again and drums her fingers against the ground. "Do you know anyone who was lucky enough to become a Candidate?"

Doktah smiles at the question. "Oh, yes. One I know fairly well." She points to her belongings again. Her grey sleeveless tunic still has a white knot affixed to it, providing the answer to that question. "It's my first time. Definitely something of an adjustment."

Rulayn wondered how she hadn't spotted that knot on the girl's clothing the first time around! With a slightly dumbstruck expression and then one of amazement, Rulayn claps her hands quickly in excitement. "That's great! What was it like? Did the Rider who Searched you come swooping down on his dragon with cape blowing in the wind?" Of course, she knew that was probably exaggerating it a bit.

Doktah laughs a little bit and shakes her head. "No, nothing like that." She says with a smile, idly stretching out under the water. "Actually, I was right about where you are right now. The dragon charged in to cool off in the lake and kicked up a big wave. I got completely soaked. I think the rider might have just searched me as an apology for it."

Looking around herself, Rulayn grins. "Really? Right here? That's amazing. How many other Candidates are there now?" She leans forwards slightly and rests her forearms against her knees, studying the woman more closely now.

Doktah scoots a little closer to the shore, to the point where she can comfortably sit on the sand below. Her own skin is rather pale, but she's starting to get a bit of a tan from all the time in the Igen sun. "There are… six of us, I think? Maybe seven? Search has not been going on for long. If you stick around, perhaps they will take you, too."

After another nod, Rulayn looks back out at the water in thought. Six or seven? How many Candidates did they normally Search anyway? "I don't know.. I have my duties back at Fort and I don't think I should stay here longer than I need to. I'll certainly come cheer for you at the Hatching Grounds though!"

Doktah pouts a little bit. "Oh? That is too bad. You seem nice, I mean." She shrugs and returns to smiling. "Well, perhaps it will happen all the same. I certainly did not expect it when they took me. Such is the nature of search. I hope you can stay for a little while, at least."

Rulayn reaches wiggles her toes beneath the surface of the water before digging them into the sands. This is nice. "Maybe. I would like to stay for a day or two just to see the eggs, maybe meet a few folks. I've never really been one for these social things." She chuckled, looking back at Doktah once more, "Are you hoping for any colour in particular?"

Doktah smiles ruefully again. "Trust me, I know how that is. As far as social things go, I mean. I seem to always say or do the wrong thing… probably comes from spending the last eight turns in Landing." The question makes her shrug. "I do not know if I expect to impress. I do not know if I am a typical rider type."

Rulayn shrugs. "I've never really been close to a rider but I hear they come in all flavours, good and bad." She scooped up a handful of the warm glistening sand and watched it trickle between her fingers. "At least you didn't do anything wrong to get Searched, right?"

Doktah laughs and shrugs her shoulders. "Unless one counts getting soaked as something wrong, I suppose. I think I was just in the right place at the right time. Or wrong place at wrong time, depending on your view." She watches the sand fall and raises her hand, eyeing it for a moment. "I'm pruning. Should probably get out. But it's just so comfy."

Rulayn scoops up another handful and watches again as the sands trickle away from her grasp. "I bet it's nice to bathe here so often. A warm bath in Fort is the closest thing to heaven I can think of, but this comes pretty close." She splashes some water about with a foot and takes a moment to listen to their surroundings. "Well if you'd like, you can be my tour guide for the duration of my stay? I don't know how busy Candidates can be but if time allows it, I'd love to learn more about this area."

Doktah smiles. "I think I'd go crazy if it weren't for the lake. Or at least have heat stroke." She laughs a little bit, then finally gives in to the inevitable need to get out of the water, standing and moving towards the shore. She seems to have the usual weyr lack of modesty, but does at least cover herself with her hands and arms, probably more for Rulayn's benefit than hers. She smiles at the offer. "Sure, sounds like fun. I might even be able to claim I'm doing some sort of chore that way." She says with a little laugh. "It's a lovely place, anyways. I'll show you around."

Women are women and Rulayn seems unbothered by the lack of clothing. Looking around as Doktah returns to her clothes, Rulayn gives a final sigh and tugs her feet free of the water. She didn't really like the idea of jamming them back into her sweaty old boots, but better that than cutting the bottom of her feet on any sharp rock. Tugging the rough footwear back on, the young woman finally stands and brushes her backside free of the sand clinging to her. "That'd be great! Maybe you can introduce me to some of the better-looking boys here too?" She chuckles again and makes her way across the shore to await Doktah.

Doktah doesn't make any particularly big deal about her state. She lets the sun dry her for a moment as she tries to wring some of the lake water out of her hair. The request earns a little bit of a laugh. "Perhaps. Depends on the types you like. I know two of the candidate boys. They're both… well, not unattractive. Moody, maybe." She shrugs, grabbing her tunic once she's dry enough.

Moody? Well that was nothing new. Maybe all boys came in the flavour of moody. "Yeah, the stablehands back at Fort are like that. Maybe they're just shy." She shrugs, jamming her hands into her pockets and tossing her messy hair back slightly. She'd have to bathe later, that was for sure. "Or maybe they take this Candidate stuff too seriously. A lot of families ride their hopes on having a member become a rider."

"Perhaps. Though I get the impression that one hopes to become a rider in order to escape his family." Doktah says with a little shrug. She's about to put her tunic back on when she notes Rulayn's hair. She tilts her head. "I am sorry, did you want to take a soak before we go? I did not mean to rush you."

Rulayn has another blank expression again before smiling and shaking her head. "Oh, it's fine. I can manage for now." She scratches at her neck and watches Doktah dress with little regard. "What did your family think about it?"

Doktah nods, tugging the tunic back on over her head. She follows it with a pair of simple grey shorts and sandals to protect her feet from the hot sand. She combs her fingers through her still-damp hair to try to get it into some sort of order. "I don't know. I'm not sure they're even aware yet."

With Doktah's attire being far more suited to the weather, Rulayn's choice of hide pants, rugged cloth and boots seemed an insane option in this heat. It showed too. After a few minutes the girl was profusely sweating and wiping her brow with the back of a hand. "Do they live here too? I'm sure they'd be proud of you. Most parents are."

Doktah does seem a little bit alarmed by Rulayn's condition. "… I was going to show you the hatching sands first, but they are quite warm. Even warmer than it is here. Will you be alright? Should we find you a change of clothing?" The question has her frown just a touch. "Ah, well, they do live here… they're riders. I was not exactly planned. I was mostly raised by the weyr nannies." She shrugs her shoulders. "It is not uncommon here."

"Plenty we have in common then." Rulayn chuckles as she gestures to herself. "My pa was a Rider too. He was quite taken with my mother but then never really were close until his Green decided to get frisky. They never spoke again after that so.. I wasn't planned either." She smiles and gives her hair another ruffle. "I could do with some new clothes, yeah. I feel like I'm melting!"

"Then you know exactly what I'm talking about." Doktah smiles, understandingly. "Okay. Then first let's go to the lower caverns. There should be some clothes in the storerooms. Or you can borrow mine if you like. They would probably…" She looks over Rulayn a moment. "… be rather baggy, actually. But it'd be alright."

Rulayn spares a glance to herself, nothing their difference in size. Yep. There'd be some issues there. "Lead the way!" She chuckles, gesturing for the candidate to proceed. Let the tour guide begin in true sweaty style!

Igen Weyr - Residents Hallway
This hallway was no doubt carved, ever so long ago, after the last of the stonecutters gave out; still, although the walls may not be perfectly even, the floors have been smoothed by a million feet into a polished sheen. There is no natural light here; instead, the hallway is lit day and night by glows. A few are somewhat dimmer than others, but usually there's somebody to be found replacing those which have gone out. Although it may be old-fashioned, the light is plenty to see by. Doors line the walls, leading to the rooms of various residents, and one larger one into the main dormitories. The other doors are occasionally decorated by the occupant, or at least imbued by a nameplate that would help in locating a specific person.

Doktah leads the way to the storage caverns, making small talk all the way. Eventually, they find some relatively quiet store room full of boxes of all disused clothes, light and appropriate to the desert climate. "Here we are."

Following along the whole way and taking in all the sights, Rulayn soon entered the storage area alongside Doktah and approached the boxes. "Great. Now to find something that fits." She approaches one of the boxes and pokes her head inside, scanning for anything that might, at a glance, seem appropriate. Alas, this box is full of mens underwear! She moves onto the next and opens it up, starting to rummage around. "Oh, here we go. These might fit." She announces, beginning to tug loose clothing from neat stacks and scattering them on the ground around her feet. Might as well try on a few, to see which fit best!

Doktah doesn't exactly seem to have the most feminine of styles, given how simple and unisex her own outfit is. Besides, it's unlikely that anything too fancy would be packed back here. She does her best to assist, though it seems she may not have a handle on exactly what Rulayn is looking for. "Seems like a good selection." She says, unsure.

After a while there's a nice assortment of rather plain unisex tunics and more feminine blouses on the floor, along with loose shorts which are baggy and suitable for the hotter weather. There's little to no variety on the cream and brown-coloured assortment and Rulayn is soon going over each piece, lifting it up and pressing it against her frame to see what fits best. "How does this look?" She turns to the other woman, pressing a slim tunic against her torso.

Doktah looks over Rulayn, smiling a little bit. "You are very pretty." She remarks, simply. "As far as practicality goes, the lighter colors will keep you cooler. Beyond that… well, it's just a matter of personal taste, I suppose. Try it on."

Rulayn nods and places the tunic to one side, turning away so that she can have a slight amount of privacy as she changes. Tugging off her own thicker clothing, the skin that is revealed below is just as pale as the rest of the girl, with her ribcage and spine easily visible. Either food wasn't a priority for the girl, or she knew how to stay absurdly thin. In moments she began to tug an ivory-colour tunic over her form, letting it rest against her petite frame. Although it's slightly baggy on the girl, it mostly fits. "I think this will work.."

Doktah's cheeks may turn ever so slightly pink as she watches Rulayn change. Between that and her earlier comment, one might just get the impression that she sometimes fancies girls. She doesn't make too big a deal out of it, at least. "It will certainly keep you cooler than your previous outfit." She agrees. "Do you like it?"

Rulayn nods, looking down at herself. "Yeah it's nice. Igen fashion is really different." She remarks, turning back to the floor and scooping up a pair of shorts. Again she tries them on and after a few moments she strikes a pose at Doktah. "How do these look?" No sooner does she finish her sentence does the loose item of clothing slip down about her ankles. Oops.

Doktah glances down at the fallen shorts, then back up at Rulayn. "A little loose." She remarks, trying not to look too amused. She ponders the situation for a moment. "Maybe a dress might work better for your frame?" Less likely to simply fall off. One hopes.

"A dress?" When was the last time Rulayn had wore one of those? "It wouldn't hurt to try, I suppose." Stable work wasn't normally something you wore dresses for, after all. Turning back to the crates, yet more clothes were scattered around as she started to search. "Help me look, would you?" She calls over her shoulder to the other girl.

Doktah nods, scrambling to find something appropriate among the crates. She may or may not sneak one or two peeks at the rear end of the now shortsless Rulayn. She's only human, after all. But she does stay largely focused on her task, and soon has a little short white dress that looks like it was intended for a long ago gather. "Maybe this?"

Anyone with a keen sense (such as a grandmother) could have probably seen that the dress was 'rustic', but Rulayn nodded in approval regardless. "It looks fine, let's try it on!" She smiles, taking it from the girl and giving the fabric a whiff. Whew! It certainly smelt musky. Still, she wasted no time once more in pulling off the tunic and looking the dress over, trying to figure out which was the front and which was the back. "I think it's like this.." She mutters, tugging it over her head and slipping her arms through the vest-like sleeves. As the fabric falls over her thin form it clearly seems to fit better than any other item had, and the young woman twirls around with a delighted expression. "It looks good!"

Fashion sense does not seem to be Doktah's strong suit. Not at all. She's clueless as to just how out of date the dress is, but what does she know? Practicality seems to be her sole concern for dress sense. Once again, the sight of naked Rulayn makes her cheeks pinken a little bit, but she stays mostly composed. "It does." She agrees, even if she has no sense of what looks good and what doesn't. "Are you comfortable in it?"

Rulayn gives another twirl and laughs slightly as the hem of the dress flares up. "Yes, it feels weird not to be stuck in hide though." She grins, beginning to gather up the other discarded clothing and shoving them into boxes without ceremony. Only once she had tidied up did she retrieve her original clothing and boots. "Thanks again, I feel like I owe you for all this help you're giving me." She smiled to Doktah.

Doktah smiles, looking a little touched by the thanks. Someone may just be a little bit smitten. "You're very welcome." She says softly. At least she manages to keep herself composed, more or less. "… I think you look very nice in that." Moving past the potentially awkward comment quickly, she smiles. "So, we should begin the tour. Did you want to see the eggs?"

Rulayn perked up at the mention of eggs. "Of course!" That was, after all, the main reason for coming! Grabbing a pair of spare sandals from another box, Rulayn hops on the spot as she single-handedly pulls them onto either foot whilst clutching onto her clothing. As soon as she's set she hurries to Doktah's side, with a nod. "Ready to go!"

Igen Weyr - Hatching Ground Galleries
From this vantage point, you can look over the balcony to the Sands below. The seating here stretches out around the perimeter of the Sands, the rows of seating rising high above. The benches are wooden, simple bleachers, and the stone steps have been worn down along their center from turns of foot-traffic. Above the bleachers, the ledge of the galleries is pocked and marked from dragonclaws where dragons have perched to watch the hatchings as well.

It's a hot day at Igen, and Doktah is giving Rulayn a little tour of the weyr. A tour which, obviously, must include a look at the eggs currently on the sands. Doktah smiles at her new friend as they enter the galleries. "Here they are."

Rulayn follows along behind Doktah the entire way, occasionally tugging at the bottom of her new, aged dress. She was certainly cooler, but she couldn't help think that folks were looking at her. Hopefully it was just paranoia! Finally reaching the galleries with her other set of clothing still clutched in her arms, the young woman cast her gaze out over the Dragons settled in the sands and the number of eggs laying there. A sight to behold, indeed. "They're beautiful." Rulayn nods, the awe evident on her face.

Neyuni is down near the front of the galleries, but a bit farther in from the entrance where it's a bit cooler than being out on the sands. Well most anyplace in the galleries in, but she's found as cool a spot as she could manage for the moment. She's lounging and reading a book of some sort occasionally glancing over to the sands but for the moment Zuhth is napping peacefully losely curled around the clutch. As her head tips up for the latest peek she catches a few new arrivals to the galleries but doesn't interrupt.

Doktah hasn't spotted Neyuni yet. She seems focused on showing Rulayn the wonders of the eggs. "Aren't they?" She agrees with a bright smile, heading down towards the front of the galleries. "They haven't let us touch them yet, but I'm looking forward to it."

Touch? That concept always seemed dangerous to Rulayn. Awkwardly stepping her way down to join Doktah at the front, the young woman still seemed intent on clinging to her belongings, even in the blistering heat of the sands. "Yeah? Don't they get-.." She pauses as she glances to the Gold resting there, perhaps realising it might be apt to rephrase herself. ".. Doesn't the mother get angsty if you do that?"

"Oh, yes." Doktah says with just a bit of a worried frown, leaning against the railing. "If you just rushed down there by yourself and started touching them, it'd go very badly for you indeed. It's all carefully supervised when the candidates do it, though. Safer that way."

Neyuni can't quite help herself, overhearing the conversation adding in uninvited deadpan "Don't worry, we only lose one or two candidates each time to that kind of foolishness."
Rulayn goes a little paler (is that even possible?) at Neyuni's remark, glancing along to where the woman is sitting. She's tempted to ask if that's the truth, since every hatching she'd seen at Fort seemed like a pretty standard, if not excitable, affair. Instead, Rulayn held her tongue and cleared her throat, turning her attention back to the eggs.

Doktah blinks at Neyuni's interjection, trying and failing not to look afraid. "… She's kidding." She tries to assure Rulayn. Or possibly just herself. "… I hope." She adds in a much quieter sort of voice.

Neyuni licks her lips absently, simply dry from teh heat right? She winks at the pair and then looks back at her book turning a page and letting them, figure if she's teasing or actually serious. She doesn't look all that serious though.

Not sure whether to still take her seriously or not, Rulayn tries to direct her attention to the eggs, trying to make out any particular details. Was that one moving? No, wait, just a reflection of the light. With just how hot it is in the galleries though, the woman can't even begin to imagine how the Candidates must feel when they're down there. "Has a Hatching ever happened at night before?" She asks aloud, mostly out of curiosity.

It's probably hot enough to make mirages of moving eggs possible. That's how Doktah feels, anyways. "I'm pretty sure I remember one happening late at night, when I was a kid." She glances back to Neyuni. She's not certain she recognizes the other woman yet, but she seems to know about hatchings.

Neyuni turns another page, fingers playing with the edge a moment. She pipes in softly in answer "Like any baby they come when they are ready. I've been at quite a few night hatchings, in faact I'd almsot think they like to hatch when it's MOST inconvinient. Right before a meal, right just after eveyrone went to bed, or before anyone should /ever/ be getting up." she snorts as if amused by her own words "and very occasionally when we think it'd be nice for them to come they do too." the tail of the golden dragon below twitches a bit and the rider pauses, looking back tot he sands with a different sort of attenion and then relaxes when it seems to be a false alarm, glancing at the pair "It's quite a colorful clutch, please look all you like she's really a more mellow mother now compared to some. "I'm curious to see how Iwa's toruth will be when she finally rises." absently referencing the young, and only other queen at the Weyr.

Rulayn nods along to every word Neyuni says, although however much is actually being absorbed in this heat is another matter. Leaning on the balcony, the woman exhales with a loud huff of air as she studies each one closer, trying to figure out who would be hiding where. Could that one be a Blue? Maybe. A Bronze? Possibly! "I'm sure this clutch will all be as beautiful as their mother is. Hopefully just as well-tempered too." Turning her head slightly, Rulayn looks to Doktah. "Which one do you like best? It's a hard choice, isn't it?"

"Hopefully that's just confirmation bias at work." Doktah says with a slight smile at Neyuni. "I suppose we just have to be prepared for it whenever it might happen." She joins Rulayn in gawking at the eggs. Somehow it never really gets old. "It is a hard choice… and I probably won't be certain until I can actually get down there. But I think I like that one best." She points to the Exploring the Cosmos Egg. "It reminds me of space."

Neyuni stays settled, nodding absently and returnign to mostly musing over the page in front of her as you both observe the eggs below.

"Space? You mean the stars and stuff?" So very technical. Rulayn squints at the egg pointed out, and then nods in agreement. "It is quite nice. I don't know if I could pick just one. I envy you though. It sounds like a great experience to be a Candidate." She pauses for thought. "And a lot of hard work."

"Yes." Doktah answers Rulayn, simply enough. "I thought about apprenticing to the StarCraft when I was younger. Almost did. But I wanted work that was more hands on." She smiles a little. "Maybe you'll get the experience yourself sometime. I hope you do. You seem like you'd make a good rider… though you're right. The chores are a lot of work."

A Rider? Her? What a bizarre thought. "You think so? I don't know.. I can have my moments." Not to mention the concept of a Dragon being so invasive in her mind seemed a daunting prospect. Idly she continued to watch the eggs on the sand until the sun was making her drowsy. The day was passing by so quickly and the hotter it got, the more she wanted to just lay down and take a nap.

Doktah continues watching the eggs for a little while, though her attention begins to drift towards Rulayn. Seeing the other girl looking drowsy has her starting to feel a little sleepy herself. "… Would you like to continue the tour?" She asks. "Or maybe take a little break somewhere?"

Rulayn rubs her eyes slightly and straightens up, giving a small nod. "I wouldn't say no to a nap. You reckon there's a spare cot in the residency area?"
Doktah nods. "I am certain we could find one." She pauses a moment, turning just a little pink once more. "Do you… want company?"

Poor Rulayn doesn't quite grasp the full meaning of 'company' at this moment when she's feeling so lazy. "Yeah, sure I could use some help." She straightens herself up, hugging the clothing close to her body.

Doktah smiles, relieved. She reaches out to help with any of what Rulayn's carrying. Fortunately her intentions don't seem too nefarious.

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