Fort Weyr - Hatching Cavern
The hatching cavern at Fort Weyr is a sight to behold, carved into the highest part of the mountain. The main entrance way is large enough to allow dragons to fly in and deposit passengers, without causing much of a stir to the folks walking around on the ground. To the right as people enter is a grand design describing the rotation of the Red Star, etched on the wall. The entrance to the sands themselves lies slightly off to the northeast, while directly east is the entrance to the galleries.

It's a nasty, gnarly day — all sleet and wind this fine, late afternoon — and probably a perfect time for folks to be out of the cold and in, oh, the living cavern. Or, in this case, on the hatching sands. The same AWLM as last time has been sent to herd candidates toward the sands, with a litany of rules that ought to be familiar by now: no running, no rough-housing, no rough-handling of eggs, and, generally, just being respectful. Oh, right, and: "Eggs smell fear. Don't be afraid of them." Much like last time as well, Galina's at the entrance of the sands, with a bucket and two baskets — the bucket has water, the baskets have cloths for washing and drying respectively. Cut hands are sent to be bandaged; filthy hands sent to be washed. Vidyazath, for her part, just watches from afar with increasing curiosity in the proceedings, rather than looming threateningly; seems she's rather keen on seeing how her 'babies' and the candidates are getting along.

Amongst the group of candidates is Polsie, a much muted version of her usual vivacious self. This might be because she looks like, well, crap - bandaged head, some bruising, scabbed over scrapes, etc. Little green Widget is curled across her shoulders, a protective twist to her tail. The girl pauses at the buckets to wash her hands, shooting Galina a cautious look as she says, politely, "Good day, ma'am. My regards to Vidyazath." She shoots a glance at the other candidates, clearly waiting for one of them to go out and get egg-touching first.

Unlike the first touching, Aamanz might be among the first out, but he doesn't go out immediately. He shows his hands to Galina first, and eyes Vidyazath for a few moments, before he moves out onto the sands. Perhaps much of his curiosity was satisfied the first time, but now, he goes and lingers…without touching…he goes to the View from Above Egg and there he lingers for some little time. Not possessively, but thoughtfully.

Jayashri wanders in taking up the rear, surprisingly. She looks a bit rushed, so maybe she got wind and had to drop what she was doing suddenly. Her coat is done up unevenly, betraying her haste to get the clothing done up, and her hair's a bit mussed, but otherwise she seems fairly usual. Granted, she probably won't draw much notice on account of her short stature. She gives the dam a bow that is slight but respectful and makes her way toward an egg that is brown. Or is it blue? Hard to say, but she caresses Correct-a-mundo Egg with a light stroke. "Hey."

If anything, Miki's looking a bit more wary about touchings than before. After achieving some kind of loopy happy high, she'd hit rock bottom fast and promptly fallen into bed. But hopefully none of the touchings today would lead to crazy emotional fits…hopefully. But hey, eggs smell fear right? So Miki strides up, pushing any straying thoughts out of her mind and presenting her hands for inspection once again. Sure she's been playing with the littles recently, but they hadn't drooled on her /that/ much today….She has washed her hands just in case though. "Good day Galina, Vidyazath." But she's clean, so off one of the oldest candidate goes. After a bit of wander around she stops in front of Deceptive Intelligence Egg, eyeing it for a few seconds. "If any egg could look bipolar, it's definitely you." A steady hand reaches out and she gently touches the egg.

Aamanz lingers for a long while, next to the blue egg, with its scattered smears of viridian and grey and brilliant red. But in the end, curiosity gets the better of him, and he begins to circulate, looking at each egg in turn. Nope, he's touched that one. Nope, that one too. And that one, and that one…yup that one, too. But he stops in front of the averagely sized, rather plain, egg. Unnoticable, even, before he lays his hand upon the brown surface of the Exoterran Gargantuan Genesis egg.

Miki tilts her head and laughs a bit. "Not so steady on your feet are ya? Worse than me falling on my face at the last touching. But pretty, very pretty." But then her eyes are closing again.

Polsie gives herself a small shake, and steps out onto the Sands, cautiously. After a cautious bow to Vidyazath, the girl looks around for an unoccupied egg, and finds herself drifting to Legendary Long Shot Egg, head tilting gently to the side as she regards it, one hand sliding gracefully over the dark surface.

"Woah woah woah." Jayashri's eyes clench shut in a grimace as her free hand comes up absently to rub the back of her neck and rotate at her temple; sure sign of a sudden headache. Other hand strokes at the egg in a soothing circle. "There's a lot to know, and you've got a long time to learn it, so, what's the rush?" Her words are quiet for a change, as if for the egg's 'ears' only. "Shall we try again?"

Aamanz's face breaks into a bright grin, not unlike the happy expression from his first couple of eggs from his previous trip. Oh, he's found a kindred spirit, apparently, inside the plain shell. He leans, eyes closed and unruly hair almost brushing the surface as he gets closer, 'listening' to the egg like another might sit enthralled by a skilled storyteller.

"Ah, you learn fast huh? But cool your gaze down a bit little one, I'm not going anywhere." And it's true, Miki's not about to leave this one along. Every nanny knows, even after they've gotten on their own two feet they need some help. So she closes her eyes again, waiting, just in case this one takes another stumble, though it seems kind unlikely.

"… Pride? And steel." Trust the Smith to hone in on thoughts of metal. Polsie blinks furiously at the egg, then gives herself a small shake and regards it thoughtfully. "Well… huh." With a final gentle touch, she steps away.

Aamanz leans forward even further, almost precariously…it's a good thing he's a slight lad! But he's lost, the rest of the Sands having faded away to nothing compared to the phantom figments showing themselves to him.

Jayashri's features relax as the egg occupant's touch clearly grows lighter and less jarring. "Color? Well, it's…" She trails off, and her expression says she's clearly trying to /think/ something in the egg's direction very clearly. Her features take a down turn toward sadness before, for just a moment, there is peace, and then quiet bemusement as she blinks, finding herself alone on the sands again, but she lingers for one more moment, drawn, perhaps, to the shy intellect inside.

"Whoaaa, hey now!" Miki takes a few steps back from the egg and eyes it carefully. "I was right about you! Bipolar to the core. This side of you ain't clumsy, graceful even!" The nanny shakes her head, a bit of a smile on her face. And then she's off, weaving through the eggs, her fingers touching some of the more familiar ones. And then she finds herself in front of the Curbing Catastrophe Egg. It seems she's drawn to the trouble prone looking eggs today.

Polsie drifts over to Conveniently Contrived Egg, eyeing it thoughtfully. "Kinda… subtle, huh? Compared to your siblings, aren't ya?" Whatever she's getting glimmers of, with her hands laid flat on its creamy surface, she doesn't say - though it does make her smile, at first, then begin to frown in slow-dawning puzzlement.

Aamanz is slow to take his hands away from the brown egg, opening his eyes and rocking back on his heels again; this egg is only moderate sized, but hunched down like that, he's almost vanished behind it! It takes him a few moments to stand up, and look around again. Though instead of finding another egg, he finds Galina. And then bold as cheap brass, he asks across the Sands, "Did Vidyazath tell you…anything, Galina? When you did your touchings? Do they tell everyone something?"

Jayashri's features melt into a smile for a moment, eyes flickering behind closed lids as she tries to keep up with this rapid-fire occupant, if only for a moment. "So many questions!" she exclaims softly with a giggle. "I think you'll be quite the handful for someone." There's not malice in the statement; amusement would be a far more apt descriptor. "Perhaps we'll meet again." And with a final pat she slides away from the egg and veers toward the one with bright greens, blues, whites and reds, childishly bright after the non-ginger hues of the previous egg.

The Weyrwoman is, for the most part, occupied — whether with hands or conversing with Vidyazath, it matters not. But, as Aaamanz speaks, her head lifts and she turns pale eyes his way. There's a slow blink, followed by a bland-sounding: "Yes. Although I did not know it was her at the time. But all of the eggs spoke, in their own peculiar way."

Polsie lets out a low hiss, hands raising until only the fingertips are still touching, at something radiating from the Conveniently Contrived Egg. There's a very visible moment when she squares her shoulders and firmly lowers her hands back down, waiting to see if it has anything further to share.

Miki's face screws up a bit, pulling back from the egg. But her eyes are still closed. Her face gradually seems to relax, but then her face suddenly takes on a rather stubborn demeanor. "Judge all you want!" She's not going to flinch away….for now.

Aamanz purses his lips together thoughtfully, in a juvenile HMMMM of an expression. As if he were trying to puzzle out questions that all of Pern has asked itself since the first dragon cracked shell, all on his own, in the space of a few sevenday. He lingers still, next to the brown egg until he seems to realize he's hogging it. Then he moves on.

Jayashri blinks, rocking back a step in surprise at the heat and strength of the fiery mind encased in the bright shell. "Well, you're quite full of yourself." Does she leave the shell? No, not yet. Either she's a glutton for punishment, or she's daring to see if the egg is all bluster and not substance. "Wonder if you're a spunky little green…"

"You…" Polsie tells the Conveniently Contrived Egg, as she thankfully lifts her hands from its surface, "… You I'm not so sure about." And indeed, the girl seems all too glad to slide away from the egg and drift towards one of its siblings, gently shaking her head all the while, like she's clearing unpleasant images from her mind.

"OWWW!" There's more wincing and shuddering for a few seconds, but it seems like Miki's suddenly getting swooped up into something. A slow smile spreads across her face and her feet and hips start moving to and fro. Every so often she lets out a bit of a hum and a whoop. It looks like the nanny's about to break out into some dance….actually, she looks a bit possessed.

Aamanz peers at the other eggs, then seems to settle on another one of the roughly brown-colored eggs. Perhaps it's a bit of time for compare and contrast, as he reaches his hands out to touch the long, almost skinny shell of the Correct-a-mundo Egg, closing his eyes as he does so, so that when his palm touches the curve of the shell, he does so blind, as he has with all the others.

Polsie's frown deepens as she lays her hands gently on the surface of Blacker Than Black Egg, eyes flicking closed in uneasy concentration. For a moment, her brow furrows, hard - then a poker face snaps into place, only little twitches of her hands hinting that something's unsettling her.

Aamanz doesn't yelp, like he did the first touching when the one egg spooked him so badly…but he does lift one hand away from the egg, as if by using just ONE hand, he'd get half the dose or something; the other hand he crams into a closed eyesocket. Ow ow ow! It's a genuine gesture of a youngster with a serious headache. HEY! "Easy!"

Jayashri pulls back her hand with a start of surprise as the egg abruptly cuts off. Double blink. "Well, I guess you're not totally bow wow, are you?" She peers at the egg curiously, head tilting back and forth as she eyeballs it for a moment, as if trying to decide if third time really is the charm here. "Eh, shaffit, only live once!" Hand comes down on the shell again, with a firm but not /too/ firm touch.

Vidyazath' head cranes around a bit, a dubious whuffling coming for both the Conveniently Contrived Egg … and the Legendary Long Shot Egg. Though she makes no further sound, there is a rather odd look on Galina's face for a moment or two, an expression that passes quickly and settles into something more firm as some of the candidates start to make a bit more noise. "Be mindful of your tone." Sayeth the deadpan one.

Despite the effect the egg's having on her, Miki continues touching the Curbing Catastrophe Egg. It's getting kind of hard for her to break out of this trance.

Polsie's poker face fades into a more naturally neutral expression, then, abruptly, into a bright smile - something the Blacker Than Black Egg has sent her way has clearly pleased, or possibly amused, her, for whatever reason. Her fingers gently splay, covering a bit more surface area.

Grit shifts abruptly to surprise as the pixellated occupant shows another side to itself that she didn't expect. Head tilts, eyebrow quirks, and she takes a step back to regard the now silent egg with its colorful veneer. "Definitely a green." Her hazel eyes shift away from the egg to roam for an unoccupied shell to test her mettle against and lands on Starry Destiny. Not too dull, not too bright, perhaps this will be the happy medium she's been looking for. With a quick — but still a walk — step she slides over and trails her fingers over the contours. "Hello?"

"I think… hmm…" Polsie mutters to the Blacker Than Black Egg, "… yes, you I definitely like." A final brush of her hands over the dark shell, and she steps back. There's a little more of her habitual self-confidence as she looks around for another egg, settling on This Is Why I'm Cracked You See Egg. "Nice shell you have, fella," she tells the egg, affably. "Or missy, I s'pose."

"Wh-Whaaa?" Miki tries to get away from the egg but lands on hard on her behind. The nanny's coughing and choking, finally broken out of her spell. She's blinking rapidly, as if it's hard for her to see. Even her face is gone pale. After a few long minutes the woman manages to pick herself up rather shakily and pats herself down from head to toe. "Heyyy, I'm alright!" she chirps brightly, but her complexion isn't exactly back to normal yet. After dusting herself off a bit, she makes her way to the weyrwoman. "Uhhh, Galina, can I be excused?" Seems like she gets turned some kind of strange at every touching. Last time she became loopy. now she's sick.

"Ooo," Polsie mutters to That Is Why I'm Cracked You See Egg, expression pained. Her hands again lift until only the tips are resting on the shell. "A little easier on the flashiness, alright?" With a side glance at Vidyazath, she leans down and mutters to the egg, "And you're an *egg*, is what you are, sweetie." With a deep breath and a close of her eyes, she lowers her hands back down until they're fully splayed on the surface.

"You are free to leave when you feel you are finished or you feel unwell," Galina intones — not just for Miki's sake, but for the others. "You are all free for the rest of the day after this. Sit and reflect well on what you have experienced here." Her tone is, oddly, a grim one; distant, yes, but with that added layer to it. Vidyazath chuffs softly in mild agreement, then proceeds to start shifting sand over some of the eggs that are, for now, untouched.

Aamanz lowers his hand from his eyesocket, but looks like maybe that was more than he expected or wanted from the egg…his fingers are softer, on the one hand, brushing the surface silently as he relaxes a little. Okay…apparently the pinpoint headache is gone! He is very soft…as if he were trying to coax a little more out of the strangely oblong egg.

"Thanks!" That's all Miki can say before she clamps a hand on her forehead and shakes her head back and forth a bit. Time to clear the head again. The nanny finally leaves, shuffling slowly back to the barracks.

"Whoa there!" Polsie fully lifts her hands, this time, frowning at That Is Why I'm Cracked You See Egg. With another glance at the dam - this one more apologetic, since, you know, voice raising! "Easy, easy…" It's unclear if she's saying this to the egg, or to herself as she places her hands back on the cracked-looking surface.

"S'alright," Polsie tells That Is Why I'm Cracked You See Egg, with a conciliatory final sweep of her hand over its surface. She leans down and mutters, grinning slightly, "You sure pack a punch, though, dontcha?" And away she goes, with Exoterran Gargantuan Genesis Egg next on her route.

Aamanz sighs a little, but it's somewhere between sad and content, as he opens his eyes again and lifts his hands away. He stands up from his crouch too, and looks down at the oblong egg for a few moments, before he trails away from the others…leaving all the eggs behind. He looks a little worn out, if that's possible. Like maybe a nap will be in order for the youth (he's still too young to call him a young man, isn't he?).

Polsie mouth twitches into a smile at the images Exoterran Gargantuan Genesis Egg gives her. "Warm… Oh, you'd like the Smithy, you would!" Her fingers gently brush over the surface, like she's gathering welcome heat. Something she's seeing makes her give a muted chuckle, leaving the smile broadened into a grin.

Jayashri seems positively propped up by the egg's perky personality. "Heh, thanks, I really needed that." Her fingers linger, as if loathe to leave the radiant occupant, but clearly thoughtful on what the egg is showing her. Perhaps just one last visit…

Polsie's smile broadens even further, eyes crinkling at the corners like she's on the verge of another laugh. A pleased little "Oh!" slips out, and the gentle brush of her hands turns clearly affectionate. "Oh, that's just *gorgeous*."

Polsie is visibly reluctant to withdraw her hands from Exoterran Gargantuan Genesis Egg, but all things must, alas, end in good time. She can't quite resist a gentle little pat on the mottled brown shell. "Whatever comes out of *you*," the girl says, with certainty, "is gonna be *great*, I can just tell." She steps away from the egg regretfully, and then pauses, wincing slightly. "… And I think I'm gonna end this on a good note. Ow." One hand lifting to rub her forehead, she gives Vidyazath a final bow and heads for the exit.

There's a slight twitch from Vidyazath's shoulder that runs down to her side, for all that she tries to hide it. Galina's eyes shift up to the gold, then to the candidates with a bland, "It is time. You are all free for the rest of the day," as stated before, but goodness knows listening isn't something they're likely to be doing much of while they're handling eggs, "to think back on what you have heard and experienced here. Be well."

'The World of Pern(tm)' and 'The Dragonriders of Pern(r)' are copyright to Anne McCaffrey (c) l967, 2000. This is a recorded online session, by permission of the author but generated on PernWorld MUSH for the benefit of people unable to attend.