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.

More rain. Granted, it's tapering off a little bit, but it's still more than enough to dampen those who are stuck out in it. It's around mid-afternoon or so, when an AWLM is sent out to retrieve a few candidates for another egg-touching. Some of them seem to get the hint and have their hands clean for the touching — a few never seem to 'get' it, but Galina handles all of them with the same, efficient manner that she used to employ in the Infirmary. Again with the bucket, the baskets of clothes, and the warily eyeing gold just looming over there. The usual rules are rattled off by the weyrlingmaster and the candidates are thusly released at their leisure to wander among the eggs as they will.

Once more into the breach! … Err, Sands! Amongst the candidates is one Polsie, walking with a little more spring to her step than she had yesterday. Galina is given a sugary "Good day, Weyrwoman! My regards to Vidyazath," as the candidate checks her hands, deeming them satisfactorily clean for stepping out towards the eggs. The girl pauses to give a polite bow to the golden dam, then looks around for an egg she hasn't taken a look at, yet. Well, There's Always Another Castle Egg looks like a good place to start. "Nice assortment of colors you've got," she murmurs, as she gently lays her hands on the shell.

< Polsie touches egg 1 - There's Always Another Castle Egg >

"Galina, if you must call me anything," Galina intones blandly, a long, unblinking look cast in Polsie's direction. If there's anything unusual afoot, her expression gives no sign of it; instead, she continues checking hands until all hands are accounted for. Vidyazath whuffs at one of the younger kids when he stumbles, a low rumble of warning given for his haste.

Polsie's smile flickers into an uncertain frown for a moment, eyes flickering closed in concentration. After a moment, the frown slowly twitches into the smallest of smirks, before something makes her forehead furrow and frown return in force. "… Interesting one, aintcha?" The girl opens her eyes for a moment to contemplate the egg, glancing up at Vidyazath and over at Galina for a moment, before she closes her eyes and concentrates again.

Polsie's frown deepens further, and for one instant her hands lift altogether off the shell of There's Always Another Castle Egg, one foot half-raising in an instinct to move away. "Whew! You're, um…" She trails off, lost for words. Eyes again open, her head tilts to the side as she regards the shell cautiously. A slightly sullen, "Well, *be* that way," and the candidate determinedly puts her hands back on the shell for one more go.

Polsie frowns, and frowns further, and starts to yank her hands up a little rudely (insomuch as one can be rude to an egg) - but pauses, frown easing into a look of sympathy. "Alright, alright, I'll leave you be," she murmurs to the egg. One hand does linger gently on the shell for a moment, with the tiniest of friendly strokes. And then she's off! Deceptive Intelligence Egg is next on her route, and she lays her hands on it carefully.

< Polsie leaves egg 1 - There's Always Another Castle Egg >

< Polsie touches egg 2 - Deceptive Intelligence Egg >

Lyana scurries onto the Sands, skidding to a stop very close to the entrance. A touch of foul weather outside has one wondering if she fell victim to a poorly executed dance between the raindrops, or if the sweltering heat inside the cavern itself is the culprit. Either way, her tunic and pants cling to her, bangs plastered to her forehead. Despite it having been quite some time, when it settles in where she's been summoned to, she bows quickly to dam and sire, waiting for some signal that she has been found worthy to approach the unhatched dragonets, rather than simply rush forward.

Polsie's smile widens at something she's getting from Deceptive Intelligence Egg, a hint of amusement in the way her closed eyes are crinkling. Her fingers flatten gently on the white shell, as if making her presence more obvious to it.

The Weyrwoman remains at the entrance with a bucket and baskets of cloths. When Lyana arrives, Galina gestures for her to approach for a cursory check and — after determining all's sufficient, one way or another — motions, further, for her to continue to the eggs. Vidyazath, for her part, is just uncomfortably looking at the bucket beyond all else, though her attention shifts a little to the other candidates as they mill about with the eggs.

Lyana smiles wide as she recognizes Galina… has it really been that long since they Stood together? How the Turns have flown! Her hands, thankfully, pass inspection, though she does avail herself of the proffered cloth. With a whispered "Thank you", she hurries on to the Sands, and towards the nearest egg—There's Always Another Castle Egg. Her touch is gentle, almost hesitant, as she brushes her fingertips across the smooth surface of the shell.

< Lyana touches egg 1 - There's Always Another Castle Egg >

Friendly grin slowing shifting into a fixedly blank smile, Polsie continues to concentrate on Deceptive Intelligence Egg. The girl shifts subtly from one foot to the next, but determinedly keeps her hands on the shell - though she does lift them up a millimeter or two, like she's trying to politely distance herself.

Lyana blinks, peering curiously at the egg before her. What a curious sensation from this one! Dare she to keep her hand there just a little bit longer? With furrowed brow, she closes her eyes, bringing her other hand to bear and resting her palms fully upon the shell now. Time to puzzle out the mysteries contained within the shell….

The sigh that escapes Lyana's lips as the occupant of the egg withdraws from her mind is almost a relieved one, her upper lip actually curling into an expression of… distaste. Yet she does not move away, listening for a few more moments yet to see what other mysteries might be contained within the mental ramparts of the hatchling inside….

"… Jayashri was right, I think you're a green," Polsie tells Deceptive Intelligence Egg, as she lifts her hands from the shell with an air of relief. The girl shoots the egg a briefly uneasy smile, before stepping away and moving hurriedly on. Correct-a-mundo Egg looks to be next on her route, resting her tan hands against the brown shell.

< Polsie leaves egg 2 - Deceptive Intelligence Egg >

< Polsie touches egg 3 - Correct-a-mundo Egg >

Lyana bows her head, taking a few deep breaths as she withdraws her touch from the shell of the egg. "Perhaps I misjudged you," she murmurs softly. "We'll meet someday." Deceptive Intelligence Egg is next on her list, the erstwhile Harper apprentice following close behind in the footsteps of her fellow Candidate. Was this such a good thing? Who knows!

"Aoughghk." Polsie almost immediately lifts her hands off Correct-a-mundo Egg, wincing heavily. "*Ow*. Ow ow ow what was *that* for?" A pouting scowl crosses her face, and it's a moment before she can drum up the courage to place her hands on the shell again, muttering, "*Please* don't do that again, *please*" under her breath.

Lyana blinks oddly at the surprisingly subtle whispers within her mind. What a marked difference from just a few minutes before! Still, silence can be deceptive, and so she remains where she is for now, her hands resting right on the dark red circles. "What have you got for me this time…."

Polsie's frown turns to a forgiving smile. "That's more like it, thanks…" Her fingers splay out on the brown shell, in a friendly caress. After a moment, though, her expression turns ever-so-slightly frustrated, a little wrinkle forming in her forehead. She brushes one hand along the surface, in a coaxing manner.

Lyana raises her eyebrows, eyes widening at the sheer deviousness of the mind contained within this particular shell. "Oh, you clever, clever one…" Not deterred in the least by the surprisingly intense scrutiny she seems to be under - though she does glance around, almost reflexively - she holds off on moving on for just a few moments more, listening just that much longer.

"Hm." Polsie gives Correct-a-mundo Egg a smile that oozes strained patience, and shows no reluctance in removing her hands from the surface. Whatever she found there, apparently, was not entirely to her liking. With a slightly dismissive pat, she steps away, towards View From Above Egg.

< Polsie leaves egg 3 - Correct-a-mundo Egg >

< Polsie touches egg 4 - View From Above Egg >

Lyana can't help actually laughing, shaking her head as she almost reluctantly pulls her hands away from the shell. Would wonders never cease? Who knows… but time to find out, as she moves on to touch the Correct-a-mundo Egg next, with just the barest tips of her fingers caressing the very top of the egg.

< Lyana leaves egg 2 - Deceptive Intelligence Egg >

< Lyana touches egg 3 - Correct-a-mundo Egg >

View From Above Egg makes Polsie wince, just as its clutchsibling had, but this time she keeps her fingers firmly on the shell, and her pained wince is accompanied by a grin of genuine interest. "Now *you're* more like it," she murmurs, in a hushed tone.

Lyana winces, reeling back a couple of steps from this egg. Her hands fly to her temples, rubbing them as if she's just been struck and is left dazed by the blow. "Shards, what was -that- for?" Could it just have been an isolated incident? There is only one way to find out. Though she does take a few minutes to ease the headache that this particular egg has left her with, she approaches once more, this time resting her hand more fully upon the shell. Perhaps it just needed a bit of encouragement?

Polsie bursts into a sudden giggle at something the View From Above Egg sends in her direction, opening her eyes so she can grin broadly at the blue-green shell. "Oh, I like you… though -" wince "- I think I'd like you even better if my head didn't still hurt." Her eyes again close, and she gives the shell a friendly little caress.

"Hey there, it's alright… I'm sorry, didn't mean to scare you at all! See, I'm okay!" Lyana hastens to offer reassurances to the egg's inhabitant, now resting her other hand upon the shell. Soft, shushing noises followed by the faintest hints of a soothing tune are heard from her general direction, as if offering comfort to the unhatched, utterly brilliant intelligence within. "It's okay, I'm listening now…."

"Oof." Polsie removes her hands from View From Above Egg with visible pleasure, though she's still grinning. "You're a little much for me right now, I think…" The girl lifts a hand up to her head, eyes wrinkling at the corners. Abruptly, she starts for the entrance, pausing to give Vidyazath a bow. The candidate pauses at Galina, and gives the goldrider what can only be called a look of innocent martyrdom. "My head's starting to hurt a little, We - Galina. I'll finish another time, sorry."

< Polsie leaves egg 4 - View From Above Egg >

'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.