Fort Hatching, April 08, 2011

Fort Weyr - Candidate Barracks(#10124RA$)
Carved from a natural bubble in the volcanic stone, this cavern has room enough to hold around two dozen occupants in comfort. Set into one of the long walls is a natural hearth area, not as large as some but more then enough to warm the cavern. Before it lays an old, well-worn rug that's colors have faded over turns of being un cared for. Mismatched chairs, an old couch, and a few randomly placed floor pillows finish up the sitting type area where candidates can relax after a long day of chores.
Along the walls are stationed sets of cots and clothes presses with curtains dividing them for privacy, each made up to the standards of the Weyrwoman. The left hand row of cots is made up with coverlets of brown and trimmed in black for male candidates, while the right hand row is made up with a lighter brown coverlet that's trimmed in white for the female candidates.
Above, the soft white light from electric lamps cast down during waking hours, while basket of emergency glows are stored in corners around the cavern for use during power outages.

It's unmistakable once it's begun. A sound that began small and quickly rose to a deafening level penetrates the stone walls of the Weyr. The dragons are humming! The eggs are about to hatch! Funny thing about dragons and hatchings, they never give you much warning. And so it is that assistant weyrlingmasters begin arriving to the candidate barracks, ushering candidates in and issuing instructions to change into robes. R'oo is the last to arrive, and he's under-dressed, such that he might be mistaken for one of the changing candidates. He's shirtless, though there appears to be one slung over his shoulder. "Come on, you lot. Get your robes on! Hop to!" He shouts as he arrives, pulling the shirt on — well, trying to anyway, though there seems to be a problem: too small! "What the—?" Chaos ensues in the barracks as candidates rush here and there, arriving from chores and making bee-lines for their bunks to grab stashed robes and ready themselves as the hum intensifies.

Aamanz is one of those Candidates who came running as soon as he realized what it was he was hearing; after all, he was born and raised in this Weyr. How many times has he attended these hatchings when he was up in the stands with one or both of his parents? He's digging around under his cot, though, and generally looking pretty panicked. Why? Because he can't find BOTH sandals!

Xandis was busy working and stuff, honest! And so he's skidding into the room with a frantic look on his face, digging through his press, and then under his pillow and search for a moment before finally finding his robe - clothes exchanged for white tuber-sack in a single quick motion - giving him even more time to look around at his fellows, searching for a certain few.

Polsie has been prepared: it takes the girl less than a minute to get the neatly folded robe on her bed over her head, and her thick kinky curls are already neatly restrained with a white ribbon. Sandals are neatly arrayed by the foot of the bed. It is Go Time. The Bitran girl pauses to give an affectionate stroke to Widget (who responds with a sweeter croon than usual) than Torpor (who is actually awake for once). "You two, *stay in here*." Command given, she paces calmly away from her bed and towards R'oo, smiling extra serenely.

As man crazy as Miki is, it's no surprise that her eyes glue themselves onto the shirtless weyrlingmaster, but only for a few seconds. The nanny soon snaps out of her daze and scrambles around to find her clothes. It only takes a few seconds for her to slip into the ratherly large robe and belt it tightly. A few more seconds and the hair is up, the slippers on. The nanny is ready! And also panting from all that scrambling.

Melze is one of the ones being ushered back in, looking decidedly pale as she hurries over to her cot and starts randomly pulling things out. First purple ribbon is discarded, then the brown one she kept from the 'decorations', and then finally her robe. It doesn't take long to get changed, it's the taming of her hair that takes the time. Eventually she settles on tying the ribbon around it and just hoping that it will behave from then on. Naturally… it doesn't. A whole section at the back springs free and the ribbon is in danger of falling off completely.

Lyana rolls out of bed with a thump and the squawk of six firelizards, each of who takes to the air and pops *between*, perhaps not to be seen again till after all is said and done. "Ow ow ow ow… okay, okay, I'm up!" Remembering all too well the unpredictability of dragons and hatchings, it seems as if she was taking the precaution of sneaking in a quick snooze. She first pulls on the robe over her existing clothing, pulling some miracle of backstage magic to divest herself of her Harper blue outfit while yet remaining decent. With little ceremony or finesse, she shoves her feet into the sandals by her bed and stumbles towards the entrance, to wait by R'oo. While the others are preparing, she does at least take a few moments to tie her hair up in a bun with a scrap of white cloth.

Shakoi stumbles into the barracks, his assigned chore for the day having had him off and about instead of loitering. Stripping as he goes, he throws articles of clothing in the general direction of his cot, engaged in a firm argument with a young firelizard flittering anxiously around his head, "No no no, you silly little girl, you have to stay behind!" He'll manage to convince her by the time he's dressed and tying back his hair with a simple leather thong.

Day off? It would figure that Hatching Day is Alzanbri's day off. As such, he's been lounging about like a lazy lout in his cot after bathing — so he doesn't smell like the stables, or mud, or sweat. Yet. His hair is damp, and his eyes widen when the chaos starts. "Shells!" The boy squeaks, leaping out of his cot and into action, shedding clothes like some sort of pernese tasmanian devil might be tearing them off. Into his slightly too-long robe the boy goes, tossing a vaguely discontent look in R'oo's direction. "Keep your shir — pants on!" A beat, a squinty, pinchy glare. "Sir. Shells. Shardit." Mutter mutter mutter, and he works on fastening that sash, tossing covertly wary glances around. Smooth.

While the AWLMs are being helpful, helping mostly with the younger candidates, or anyone suffering a severe case of anxiety, R'oo is dealing with his own problems. From a small leather case at his belt, he pulls out a blade, snapping it open and proceeds to doctor the too-small shirt and within a few minutes fashions it into an unfashionable vest. He eyes it a moment, then eyes the figures moving to and fro in the chaos, and shrugs. "This'll have to do," he murmurs, and tosses it on over his shoulders. It's as bad as some of the robes: too short, too tight, and in his case, doesn't cover his chest, the buttons left open because there's no way the fabric is coming together over his chest muscles. Then he's down to business, striding through the barracks, checking those in robes for any taboo items like jewelry or items of color. White sacks-dresses for everyone!

Xandis shuffles into his sandals after a long moment of blankly staring into the space between his fellow hustling candidates, shaking his head to clear his thoughts, glancing around and seeking out Melze, lingering for a moment, before moving to her cot, offering a hand. "Stand with me?" He asks nervously, already eying the candidates gathering at the entrance.

Polsie can't quite stop herself from staring at R'oo, one hand flying to her mouth to stifle a giggle. To distract herself from their creatively clad instructor, the girl tugs casually at the hem of her robe. "Wish this was just a *teensie* bit longer," she comments, ruefully. "I keep worrying I'm gonna get knocked on my butt out there and end up in some humiliating sprawl."

Melze lines up at the end of her cot like a good candidate, and… oggles the weyrlingmaster like a very bad candidate. It's only when Xandis come up beside her that she actually realises she'd been staring and has the decency to blush. "Sure." He got there first this time, and as she grabs his hand hers is shaking, just a little. "Where's Koi?"

Aamanz finally comes up with two sandals the right size and approximately the same color, and flops down on his cot long enough to get them tied onto his ankles. And nevermind, it looks like he's got two left sandals on; they're not going to be on THAT long anyway! But he seems content enough to stand up and present himself to R'oo when the Weyrlingmaster comes by for inspections. He is, after all, ready! See? Nevermind that the one size fits all robe is trying to devour him whole. At least he found a strip of white cord to tie it up, so he's not going to trip over it!

Shakoi's last act is to remove his treasured necklace, the one that never ever EVER comes off. "Guard this, Tuala," he instructs the 'lizard sitting forlornly on his pillow as he entrusts the simple item to her talons. Straightening, he begins to look around the barracks, but before finding the true object of his search, his gaze lights on R'oo. He doesn't bother stifling his laughter, or his grin as he says to the Weyrlingmaster, all cheer, "Lookin' good, sir."

Now that Miki's dressed and ready, R'oo has her full attention…as does the blatantly strange, too small, and revealing shirt. But once again, there are more pressing matter to attend to than men.The nanny moves, lining her tiny frame next to Polsie with a smile. "I wish mine was a great bit smaller. It really does look like I put on a sack made for tubers." How the nanny manages to giggle in this situation is beyond anyone, but she does…and rather loudly at that.

Lyana shuffles over to stand near Polsie and Miki, reaching out to squeeze each of their hands. "Good luck, both of you. To -all- of us." Though her voice betrays not so much as a single quavering note, the two friends who she offers a gesture of reassurance to may or may not feel her normally steady hands trembling. "Never do get used to this… promise me we'll all stay together no matter what?"

Alzanbri doesn't really appear to care too much about his robe-y fashions. Too long? Just as long as he doesn't trip on anything, it's all good. He laces up his sandals with deftness, somehow managing to get them on the correct feet — Aamanz gets a little grin and a headshake from the older Weyrbrat. "Shells, wasn't expecting today." The boy mutters vaguely in the other's direction, squinting around the rest of the barracks with a little smile. He sticks near his cot for now, nerves only betrayed in the absent, almost spasmodic petting of the tiny blue firelizard crooning to him from the bed. R'oo's fashion sense? Well, today's the one day Zan'll let it slide.

Jayashri prepares herself simply, silently, and then moves into position for R'oo's inspection, having the presence of mind to calmly pull her hair back into a tight tail against the back of her skull. If she's nervous it doesn't show; not much of anything like emotion shows at all. She's simply ready, now. The waiting's almost over.

Polsie smiles brightly at Lyana, only a slight tightness around her eyes betraying that the calm Bitran may not, in fact, be all serenity. "Sure thing, Lyana. You too, Miki." She takes a deep, slow breath, glancing towards the door. "Sooner this is over with, sooner we'll know."

"Alright, candidates," R'oo calls to the lot as he finishes his quick inspection and head back to the front of the room. "You hear the humming. You know what that means. Keep your wits about you, and whatever you do, don't forget to breathe! You don't want to faint on those sands. Stay calm, and alert. We," He gestures to the weyrling staff, "-will be out there in case anything happens, and the Weyrhealers are at the ready." But he raises a brow to silently impress upon the lot that they should not go out of their way to make use of those preparations.

Fort Weyr - Hatching Sands
The sands. The most prominant and possibly most important area for a weyr, this section of Fort is no exception to the rule. Completely enclosed from the outside elements by a high rounded ceiling, the golden white sand glitters under the streams of sunlight that manage to make their way in from the upper openings. Ledges abound in the upper areas of the dome, perfect for riders and their dragons to watch the action happening on the ground. At the back of the sands there appears to be a raised section of sand, built over generations by the golds who have laid clutches here, a couch of sorts for basking on while protecting their eggs. Slightly to one side of that, a small nook has been carved for the weyrwoman to take respite from the heat of the cavern.

It's a cloudy afternoon at Fort Weyr when the humming starts. It starts soft at first, rapidly building to a powerful, stone-shaking /rrrrrumble/ that puts any paltry peal of thunder to shame. Vidyazath is at the core of this audible storm, settled on her haunches and wings partially spread, head lifted and eyes all a-whirl. Galina, for her part, hastens onto the sands in short order, her hair still damp from a bath, left unbraided down her back in a dark spill. She plucks irritably at the indigo tunic she wears, her dark trousers at least seeming to fit her well enough. The look she gives to Vidyazath is a dark one and full of weight, though of what kind- well, that's rather hard to say.

Otieneth's deep rumbling bass of a hum joins Vidyazath's, and the mental call goes out to his lifemate. It is time. And then…a couple of minutes pass. Then Mar'ko appears in the entrance to the sands. His hair is wet, and his clothes are damp and disheveled. Seems he was taking a bath. Mar'ko stands alongside Otieneth, as if waiting, offering a pat to his lifemate's side.

In the galleries » R'iahn? He's /so/ not nervous. Shells, no. He's just…always scowling like that. Well, actually, he is a lot of the time. Still. He's got the whole troupe with him today; one Weyrmate, two toddlers, and one bright-eyed, black-haired girl who seems intent on finding her brother on the sands. Alas that he's not actually there! The bluerider leads his group to a front-row bench, ignoring the looks of vague annoyance from around them as he defiantly sets a large coat between himself at O'rly, apparently saving a seat. Despite the fact that he /has/ a lot of them. Maybe people can see the eye-twitching and know better than to question his motives.

In the galleries » Xe'ter arrives with the last batch of Istan weyrlings, though he comes into the caverns with his eyes anywhere but the Sands. Up, into the ledges, to look for his lifemate…and perhaps another dragon or two…and then scanning the bleachers, looking for the rest of the Istan contingent…maybe one or two riders in particular, when he doesn't see who he was obviously looking for the first time.

In the galleries » Sora's second hatching! And she was excited…less excited this time because she didn't know any of the candidates, but hey, a hatching is a hathing! As she strides in the harper catches sight of a familiar place and shuffles over. "Heya Xe." And the settles herself in to watch.

In the galleries » Ryni bustles in behind Xe, her usual dress exchanged for black leather pants and a formal tunic of Ista orange, "Stop being so nervous, Xe. They're right there." She indicates the dragons and then starts tugging him towards the front row, "C'mon. You have to watch from the front."

In the galleries » Xe'ter objects, a little, "I was looking for Calanth, was all!" But that's it. He lets the slightly older green weyrling drag him along meekly. Or distractedly. Or something.

The thrumming of the dragons thunders throughout the Hatching Grounds, vibrating rock, flesh, and bone alike on all within. Heat rises from the golden grains beneath the feet of the white-robed Candidates who file in with the Weyrlingmasters, each with a different expression upon their face as the moment of truth is upon them. Leading the way is Lyana, who has foregone any traces of her customary Harper blue for stark white all over, as have all the others—from Polsie, to Miki, to Shakoi and Melze, Xandis, Jayashri, Alzanbri, and right on down to the youngest of them, Aamanz, and even some lesser known such as Ruzara and others. As the group approaches the dam and sire, each takes a bow in their turn, before fanning out about the eggs in a semi-circle.

Xandis is ready. Sort of. Maybe. Even as he bows, fingers are kept firmly on Melze's hand, unwilling to give up his blonde protector - who he is suppose to be protecting - now that they're actually here. A gulp, a smile, and a gentle tug, and he's settling into a spot that he can see the eggs, and the clutchparents with ease. "Shards, Blondie… Good.. Good luck."

Boom! There's Always Another Castle Egg suddenly trembles underneath a huge blow, the entire ovoid hopping off the ground for a split second. It lands back in the sand with a soft *plop* and falls over, turning as peaceful as the landscape upon its shell once more.

In the galleries » Ryni snorts softly at Xe, "She's either here or she ain't. Hey Sora!"

A slight shiver runs over the Potential Under Pressure Egg, blurring the rough striations into an illusion of smoothness. Tiny granules of sand skitter away from the movement, causing more of the strange smoky color to be unearthed around the base of the shell. There's one final wobbly tremble and it falls still, settling back to bide its time a little longer.

In the galleries » F'yr is not a stranger to Fort at all, not with the fact that it is home to her mother. The old greenrider at least isn't quite as overprotective anymore as she once was to a much younger Fy, but either way she keeps an eye on her as daughter as soon as they part at the entrance. After pleasantries, greetings, and whatnot… no, it's obvious this woman's got someone else she's searching for in the galleries, eyes not even on the Sands at all in search of familiar faces. Blue eyes rake the crowd, searching for S'gam to find where he's seating or to claim an empty space before the rest of them are taken.

Correct-a-Mundo does something that is kind of wibbly-wobbly, and a bit timey-wimey. Ish. It reels around as if the dragon inside is drunk on too many banana daquiries, leaving half-crescents in the sand that trail behind the egg like so many scattered waning moons. It rolls down a small dune and spins like a clock gone crazy before finally settling, still and brown - or maybe blue.

Melze has a tight hold on Xandis' hand, even through the bow. Hiw wish is replie to with a squeeze of his fingers, "You too." She doesn't know where to look, gaze jumping around between eggs and other candidates. Her free hand flails towards whoever was unlucky enough to end up next to her, seeking another hand to cling to.

In the galleries » V'hrin trails in at the tail end of the weyrlings, somewhat delayed. He hunts around, looking for an empty spot, or a familiar face in the crowd- and finally slips into the nearest seat, eyes fixed on the sands.

Polsie takes a deep breath, glancing sideways towards Miki and Lyana. "Good luck, you two." The Bitran girl's eyes gravitate back towards the rocking eggs, watching every wobble and shake with slightly wary fascination.

Alzanbri takes his bowing seriously, but before he follows, the boy flashes Galina a million-watt grin. Then he's off, taking his place and focusing on the eggs with the intent ferocity only a nervous Candidate can manage. Sweaty palms? Check. Shifty sands-feet? Check. He's got this, though — he straightens, fending off any twitching with a determined smile. "Shardit all." Okay…maybe he hasn't /quite/ got it all together.

Lyana gulps a little bit, the moment finally upon them all. Unwilling to lose a single precious moment with her friends, she follows them to a spot where all can watch the eggs perform their Hatching dance, and keep a wary eye upon the clutchparents. In a sidelong stage whisper, she replies, "Thanks… you too. Friends forever."

Miki gives Lyana and Polsie a squeeze on their shoulders and smiles as they line up. But sudden movement catches her eye and the nanny's gaze falls on the eggs. She takes a small step back but is quick to fall right back into place. "Here we go guys!"

Shakoi has managed to gain himself a companion in the person of the timid Kiteena, but once the bowing is finished that doesn't stop him from working his way towards a certain head of curly blonde hair. "Mel," he says by way of greeting, sticking his free hand out to be caught. More neutrally, to the young man across from her, "Xandis."

In the galleries » Sorayah waves at the weyrlings before settling down. "Heya there!"

Aamanz is by far the youngest and just barely the smallest of the Candidates, and for a moment he is lost in the crowd of the bigger, older youths. But it doesn't take him long to go scurrying to the far end of the semicircle, bowing and then gawping up at the Stands…forget the eggs; he's seen the eggs. He's never seen that many people from this perspective before! Of course, eggs moving quickly bring him back to the here and the now. Right. Eggs. Hatching. Focus.

There's Always Another Castle Egg starts to twitch and shake violently again, every movement punctuated with a distinct CRACK noise. Blows are rained down hard from within and each one causes a vibration and a spray of sand and shards. The shell is starting to look distinctly ragged and less serene by the time it shivers into silence again.

Violent tremors suddenly wrack the Potential Under Pressure Egg and it starts to rock and pitch spasmotically. Flecks of shell begin to flake away as minute cracks trace their way across the smoky opalescent surface. One side bulges and then subsides, as though some great force were being exerted from within. The egg gives another furious twitch before quieting, seemingly satisfied for now.

Like a crack of thunder from an oncoming storm, Correct-a-Mundo Egg cleaves neatly into about ten large sections. It might just be your eyes, but somehow each one of the sections, themselves riddled with smaller fractures, almost looks like a face if you tilt your head juuuuuuuuust right. Old and young, all different, somehow conveying a sense of the same person, regardless. It's an alien sensation, and as soon as you think that, the cracks settle back into near-obscurity as the dragon inside stops trying to get out. For now.

Jayashri is silent, as she takes her place among the array of Candidates, her hands hidden in the flow of her shapeless white robe. Her eyes are focused only on the eggs, once the formalities are done. If she feels the heat of the sands it does not show on her calmly arranged face.

Xandis wrinkles his nose as Melze's free hand finds Koi's, and beyond that, Kiteena lingers, the young man offering the most simple of greetings before he's looking anywhere but at the other side of the blonde one. Thankfully, with the eggs moving and rocking, and cracking, there's more than enough to look at. "Shards, Mel.." He murmurs again, shifting awkwardly from foot to foot, his other hand held out for anyone to take in turn.

In the galleries » Firamar looks around for a place to sit, wandering around the galleries for the best vantage point.

Lyana 's eyes widen as she watches the odd dance of the Correct-a-Mundo egg. In an aside, she murmurs to Polsie and Miki, "Never seen an egg do that trick before. It's like it was… -looking- at us."

In the galleries » Paying Xanadu's respects to Fort this afternoon is Thea, entering via the stair rather than the ledges where her queen perches to watch. Having stopped here and there to greet and speak to someone or other, she arrives a few beats late and out of breath, shrugging out of her jacket and finding an empty seat without paying attention to who is where, just snagging one to settle and watch.

Alzanbri takes a moment to scoot closer to Aamanz, grinning at the gounger boy and tossing a glance at the stands. A cocky grin flashes briefly as he either imagines seeing something or actually does, before he clears his throat and shifts a little. Shifty shifty twitch. "Got this?" He mutters to the other boy while watching the eggs rock, almost entranced. "Bet the hatchlings're great. Really great." He breathes, then bounces a little on his toes and goes back to staring. Calmly, of course. Right!

A veritable explosion rocks the There's Always Another Castle Egg and bits of shell fly everywhere as Princess Snatcher Bronze Hatchling barrels his way out with a rumbling growl of triumph. He sort of stomps in a circle for a moment, his huge feet crushing the remains of his shell to bits. Then his eyes catch sight of the candidates and he all but charges towards them. Sand flies, shards fly further and there's a sudden scattering of white robed figures as the bronze cannonball charges forward. But there's soon a cry of elation mixed with pain as a thin teenager with a mop of curly bron hair is bowled over under the behemoth. "Daimaokupath?" the boy gasps out, his wide eyes staring up at the bronze looming over him, "S-sorry! I should've moved faster. But I'll be faster in getting your food. I promise!" Despite his injuries, Bernard, now B'nar, struggles to his feet and limps his way off the Sands with Daimaokupath lumbering along beside him. His face is warring between his usual face-splitting happy grin and a wince of pain from his bruises and scrapes.

In the galleries » Cenlia is TOTALLY here with a bunch of Istans, maybe having plopped down beside one of Ista's AWLMs and giving the woman a grin and a half's worth. Hey, it's a HATCHING. Which means a /party/ afterward. Plus, she probably didn't have any choice. Zeek has been on about bebies since.. well. Her own clutch. So Cen is here, decked out in what might count as Istan formal, /leathers/ and stuff, in black trimmed with orange and red. Where'd she get such an outfit? Question better left unasked, really. Anyway, a hand is raised to the Istan weyrlings and a cheery, "Fy!" called over when she spots the brownrider, and a head-bob for Sorayah, though the goldie's attention is on the sands, grinning hugely despite herself.

Princess Snatcher Bronze Hatchling
Big, bulky and muscular - everything about this bronze hints at his strength, size and inflated ego. Powerful muscle ripples beneath his hide, creating broad shoulders and wide haunches that extend to thick limbs and sharp talons. Burnished bronze colors his hide, though it shines with a slight undertone of green and dusky brown that make the color more earthy than metallic. Craggy pockmarks and dark shadows mark his back and shoulders in a wide swath, making it look as though he's covered in an armored shell. Sharp ridges sprout here and there, the points wickedly curved and colored a deep umber. He maintains a broad face with heavy brows that shadow his eyes and his headknobs are unusually short and blunt. The only other strange thing are the extremely peaked neck ridges that flare up as they rise towards his head in a pronounced crest - each one of them is colored a fiery reddish bronze that stands out sharp against the tarnished hue of the rest of his bulk.

With a triumphant cry the Princess Snatcher Bronze Hatchling has found its lifemate at last. After a few moments the Weyrlingmaster leads the new pair off the sands.

Polsie shifts her weight slightly from foot to foot as the first hatchlings appear. "… Wow, they, um, really weren't kidding about how big they are, huh?" the Bitran comments, voice deliberately casual. "Little bigger'n those beanbags, for sure!"

Miki swings her head back and forth from one egg to another as cracks begin appearing. And then the heat begins getting to the nanny. A hand moves up and she begins to fan herself nervously. She leans a bit closer to Lyana and smiles but is quickly interrupted. "Oh! A bronze. I thought that egg might be one!"

Melze breathes a sigh of relief as she grabs hold of Shakoi. "Koi." Kiteena gets a vaguely awkward fingerwave, but it's Xandis' comment that makes her smile. "Calm. None of them have hat…." And then one does and her words fade away in a barely audible whisper of, "Shells."

Deceptive Intelligence Egg twitches a little, twitches and tilts slightly. Like it's trying to do a tiny little sashay. There's not much movement apart from that, just that little twitching sashay. Nothing to see here, nothing to see here. The it moves again, more strongly this time, tilting and falling over in the sand, right on the side where the owlish marks reside.

Shivers roll over the Potential Under Pressure Egg once more. It vibrates and shakes and trembles, the whole thing looking like it were about to explode from within from the furious blows of the occupant. It doesn't take long before the egg gives one last twitch and all but disintigrates into a heap of shards, finally revealing the treasure within. Sitting amongst the wreckage is a rather tiny green hatchling that looks a bit too small and sweet to have caused such mayhem.

Looks Can Be Deceiving Green Hatchling
Petite and femininely delicate though this green most certainly is, the compactness of her frame only seems to be a stealthy cover for her true strength. What appear to be sumptuous curves and lithe angles from afar are actually layers of lean muscle and sinew hiding in one tiny yet powerful package. Deep pools of moss green trace their way along either side of her slender muzzle and flow up over the gentle arches of her eyeridges, the tones spreading evenly to form a thick mask that only adds to her mystique. Twin tendrils of shadow trail back over her head and run in a faint parallel double stripe down the expanse of her back, the rich shades of verdance cutting easily through the mellower grassy tones of her body. Silvered green creeps along the underside of her neck and down her narrowly-built chest, the pale tones leeching away any lingering brightness along the smooth planes of her belly. Even her elegant paws and the length of her whip-thin tail show signs of bleaching, the green color having bled away to near-white in some places. It's her wings that carry the most striking pattern, though, as the delicate membranes are covered in an intricate latticework of soft leafy greens that fan out over the thin sails like overlapping fronds of foliage. Even her hidden strength and the bold attitude evident in her posture does not detract from her overall beauty.

In the galleries » Xe'ter settles, just as the first egg shatters asunder, and turns to catch the first Impression with a bit of a gape. "That was fast!" Or does it just seem slower, when you're the one on the sands?

In the galleries » Motives, shmotives. Shortly behind the rest of the Istan troupes comes S'gam, shedding riding gear as he moves. Familar faces are smiled at and waved to, but in the end, the Weyrleader drops himself right on top of R'iahn's coat without so much as a by-your-leave. "Hey, old man! About time a dragon had sense enough to snatch up that boy of yours for candidacy. How'd he do?" Blunt these days, isn't he? Heh. Dark eyes skim the sands, and then the stands again, waving in a vaguely beckoning way to F'yr when she appears before wriggling deeper into his seat. "Shells, I'm nervous." He finally flicks his eyes between his two long-time friends, eyes scrunching up with a livewire smile. "I'll letcha guys worry about Zan, though." Winking, the man shoulders Riah hard, waves towards Bri, Lory, and the twins, makes room for F'yr, and then turns his gaze to the sands. Ooh, the fun has begun!

R'oo and his team of assistants usher the candidates onto the sands, the staff spreading out around the outside of the lines. They don't have long to wait as the eggs begin to crack and the lot are put to work starting to accompany newly paired lifemates off the sands.

In the galleries » Sorayah nods her head along, "That was /definitely/ faster than when I watched ya'll out there."

In the galleries » Ryni is bouncing a little in her seat, "Bronze first! That's supposed to be good luck. They barely even got out in time. Cutting it close."

Aamanz is all eyes at the first Impression. One needn't be able to hear, to see the way the youth's mouth opens up in an 'O' of delighted excitement. WHOAH! That was fast! And whoah! There's another! His eyes FIX on the small green that appears from the egg that was so recently under pressure!

Xandis swears as the egg suddenly explodes, and the bronze within goes tearing off into a group of candidates, scooting just a little closer to Melze even as the first hatchling finds its lifemate, and another appears in its place. "Well.." He starts, shaking his head a little, shaking Mel's hand then. "Mel!"

Lyana whistles soft and low, shaking her head in amazement at the sight of first the bronze, and then the gorgeous green that fairly burst out of their shells. "Incredible… a bronze first. Good sign. And gorgeous, both of them…."

Galina remains where she is, claiming her vigil near Vidyazath. Fingers work irritably through her hair, then pull at sleeves that are ill-fitting to her arms. Pale eyes are somewhat dark in mood, a hand lifting briefly to rub at her temple in a betrayal of what must be one riot of a headache that's not helped at all by the rumbling of dragons and the sheer amount of /sound/ on the sands. A glance is given to the first pairing, her lips pressing into a flat line, but she's soon looking elsewhere, attention shifting toward the galleries for a moment or two.

View From Above Egg makes no bones about it, wiggling a couple of times before spinning off wildly to one side like a child's top. This way, that way, it dances a happy jig across the sands, spinning, always spinning, just furthering the planetary impression of the egg itself.

Deceptive Intelligence Egg hops, jumps. The round 'glasses' are hidden now. All that can be seen is the rather angry-looking side. There's a tap-tap-tapping from within, and not a gentle tapping either. Sounds like whatever inside is mad! And those angry rappings begin to make little cracks, right between the angry 'eyes' upon the shell.

Polsie tilts her head to murmur a comment to Miki and Lyana. "Lookit that green. Such a little thing, in such a big egg!" The girl gives a short, sudden giggle. "Hah, lost my money on *that* egg, I sure as shards did."

Correct-a-Mundo egg quivers and shakes, shivers and dances and then — there's a tail. Long and skinny, forked on the end… that's about all you can tell because it's positively covered in egg-goo. After the tail pokes out, a couple of front legs make their own exit, and play with the sand for a few seconds before pulling back in. Out of that same hole comes a head, and draconic hands grip the edges of the shell and wrench it apart with a triumphant cry. In just a few moments Correct-a-Mundo egg is demolished, and a newly-hatched dragon lays exhausted on the sands.

Shakoi's laughter is nervous, but it's laughter all the same. "Shells and shards, yup, there's gonna be a lot of both today," he quips. His eyes have gone very round, whites showing all around as that first egg cracks open and an Impression is made zipzopbang! "Woah…." He gives Kiteena a gentle nudge as she squeaks and hides her face against his arm. "Look there, a green," he tells her, trying to get her to unlatch a bit.

Star-Eyed Wandering Brown Hatchling
This dragon is long, lean, and lanky. Every part of him seems to be longer than average, but taken as a whole, he somehow seems just right. He is lengthy and wiry, built for speed and agility rather than strength and endurance. Some might even call him skinny. Even the toes of his feet and the fingers of his paws are long and thin - though somehow, still very masculine. Stretched over this gangling frame is a hide that is most definitely brown. It's a rather nice brown, the kind one sees in rich, fresh klah, deep and warm, catching hints of red and tan in the sunlight. That klah-brown color is broken in only a few spots - most easily seen, there are two small mirrored triangles of nearly-white tan on his chest at the base of his neck, as sharply defined as a gentleman's shirt peeking from beneath a coat. An identical shade of off-white coats the toes of his hind legs. Between his neck and his shoulders, in the absence of ridges where a saddle will be fitted, there is a dark nearly-black spot, perfectly round and as soft as the rest of his hide. Sweeping away from his spine at irregularly spaced intervals are very thin stripes of hard-to-see iridescent navy, none reaching more than half-way around his form, and none the same length. That same elusive tint is present on the underside of his wing-sails, visible only in strong, direct lighting, at just the right angle. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this dragon is the pair of large eyes in his rangy face. Not so large as to be alarming, his eyes are truly windows to his inner thoughts. Of course, as with all dragons, the hue of his eyes gives a good indication of his mood, but beyond that, his face, and his eyes particularly, are mobile and expressive, conveying a wide range of emotions both subtle and broad.

Jayashri shuffles her leather-clad feet against the hot, hot sands, but keeps her expression tight and to herself, simply watching lest she be involved in one of those same collsions. But when the Correct-a-Mundo egg moves, her eyes flick there…watching.

Miki takes a sharp intake of breathe at the appearance of the green, "She's beautiful. Just…beautiful." The nanny shifts from foot to foot, eyeing all of the eggs in turn."

Alzanbri barely gives the first-hatched a glance. "Big fellow." He does mutter in passing — before focusing curiously on the second-hatched. The boy's eyes widen just a little and he grins, then, rubbing hands together cheerfully. "Pretty little — shardit, another!" The boy does /not/ squeak, holding his ground but staring wide-eyed all the same at the quickly-appearing dragonets. He's seen way too many hatchings to be this surprised, but still.

Melze chokes a little, coughs, the protests, "Don't blame me I didn't touch it." That the rebuke might have been in response to her cursing doesn't even occur. "Green." She nods, "And a brown. Jaya wasn't joking when she said it was fast."

In the galleries » F'yr, in her search, winces at her name coming from a very non-masculine voice. It could mean a good or back thing. "Cen!" she calls back, realizing who it was that called her, waving her way as well. "There's some spaces over here!" Not having arrived with the Istans, the brownrider's still pretty separated from the rest. It isn't until she spots the familiar bronzerider that she finally bolts for that way, forgetting the others and muttering curses about the crowd and none too gently pushing through people trying to claim seats. Not until she's finally sitting next to S'gam that she huffs out a breath and turns her attention to the sands at last, having already missed eggs hatchings. "I'll just cheer at everyone and anything," she says, more to herself than the bronzerider next to her as she squints towards the candidates, all looking alike.

Looks Can Be Deceiving Green Hatchling is quick to wobble to her feet and give her wings a fluttering shake, dislodging bits of egg shell and goo. She lets out a snort that's far from ladylike and flicks her tail at the wreckage that once was her egg in a sign of distaste. A split second decision later has her trotting boldly forward towards the line of candidates. No time to delay and no need to, either - she gets right down to the business of searching with her head held high. Each person is inspected with varying results - some get dismissed right away, others sniffed briefly and still more are only glanced at with an apparent expression of disgust.

Star-Eyed Wandering Brown Hatchling rolls around in the sand for a bit, reveling in the sensation of the gritty texture across his new, tender hide. Around and around he rolls until hes absolutely covered in the stuff wherever there was egg-goo. And then he rolls some more, until that, too, falls off and leaves him scoured clean. Up he pops, all awkward wobbly legs and wings hes not exactly sure what to do with. He takes a few moments to look himself over, craning his neck this way and that, inspecting himself from chest to tail. He seems to delight in wiggling his fingers and toes in the sand. A /surprised/ look comes across his face and he opens his mouth wide, his green tongue obviously exploring the sharp points of his teeth before he snaps his jaws shut again. Then he stands up, and takes a good, long look at the white-robed Candidates standing in front of him.

Lyana takes a step back from the eggs as dragon after dragon seemingly explodes from their shells. Having no wish to fall afoul of untrained talons, she saves her breath and tenses, ready to move either herself, Polsie, or Miki out of harm's way if necessary.

Aamanz's eyes are huge in his head, and his mouth still hasn't quite recovered enough to close on its own, as he watches the small green as she trots about. It's almost an afterthought, as he moves his feet, dancing the Candidate shuffle in his two left sandals.

Xandis smirks a little, shaking his head. "You could." Of course, now is neither the time nor the place, and as the brown hatches, Xandis's attention drifts to it, groaning as the hatchling rolls around and around in the sand. "Shards, why would he do that?" He murmurs, before the green catches his attention again, and he's nudging Mel to watch her. "Ruzara's, maybe?"

In the galleries » Firamar finds a seat and sits himself down just as the eggs start to hatching, "Shards that was fast, looks like this is going to be a fast hatching depending on how long it takes the lil ones to choose."

Miki tesnes her muscles, ready to spring at a moments notice if the oncoming dragonets were to find her in the way. But her eyes are watching everything, her attention divided. Eggs cracking, dragonets stumbling, candidates Impressing. It was all so fast.

Cracks suddenly shoot all over the Deceptive Intelligence Egg, and with a sudden hissing growl, the green occupant is released, snarling, into the world! She kicks away the fragments of shell, tripping in the process and sprawling on her belly. Awkwardly she stumbles around the sands, towards the strange white things in her vision, sniffing at them. Not this one. Not that one. Not this one, either. And then she stops in front of a short red-haired girl and wiggles cutely. The girl seems to 'zone out' for a moment, and then she blinks. "Oh!" She hugs the green, and then speaks. "Wow! Of course, Veraiconth…I'll be yours! I'm Roni! Let's go get you something to eat!"

In the galleries » V'hrin barely looks left or right; his gaze is fixed on the sands with the attentiveness of one who is looking at a hatching in an entirely new light. He's murmuring under his breath now and then, grin twitching his lips.

The Two Faces of Narcissism Green Hatchling
A gangly, awkward looking green is this one. Her legs and neck seem almost too thin, her head and feet almost too big, her wings almost too small for her body. Her hide is a single color almost all over her body, a very ordinary-looking emerald green, though highlights of an almost yellow green dust the tops of her form — along her spine, and over her legs and feet. And the sails of her wings are dusted with a touch of creamy jade. Perhaps she holds more surprises than her gangly form would indicate.

With a triumphant cry the The Two Faces of Narcissism Green Hatchling has found its lifemate at last. After a few moments the Weyrlingmaster leads the new pair off the sands.

Melze only has one thing on her mind now as she studies that brown. "Teeth." Her eyes are wide, staring. "Can we just agree to shuffle sideways if he even vaguely comes near because that's a little too pleased of being pointy."

Polsie stifles a laugh behind one slender hand, eyes watching the dainty green move. "I know this is gonna sound weird, but that green reminds me *exactly* of a girl I used to know back home. Quite the determined little lady." Her dark eyes flick over towards the brown, another laugh starting to bubble up.

In the galleries » "Zan, Zan! Zanny!" That would be Briahla, who has apparently noticed her older brother. Or maybe she imagines it; probably the latter. Either way, Riah is kind of focused and doesn't even notice S'gam until the rider flops himself down in that saved seat. A gruff laugh is the bluerider's only response for a moment, as he smirks a little. "He's done well." Pride is evident, as he watches his son below, eyes occasionally flicking to the hatchlings. "Be a man." Is his comment on nervousness — obviously a cover-up or something of the sort, since he's all but twitching, himself. "F'yr." Greets the rider for Sig's Weyrmate, as he scoots Bri sideways a few tics to allow room for the other rider — and Cen, too, if she wants to. Meanwhile, the two toddlers? They kind of ooooze up between Lory and Sig, chattering happily between themselves.

The day of reckoning has come. Perhaps it's all the noise from the collective dragon hum that has prompted this egg into action or the mass of movement on the sands by candidates and riders, but regardless of the cause, the egg is no longer content to lie dormant. The hazy top of Curbing Catastrophe Egg is shivering. It has never looked more like a miniature smoking volcano than it does at this exact moment as the shell vibrates slowly, gaining momentum as the moments pass. It's a rhythmic movement, as though shuddering in time with some unheard beat of jungle drums. The foliage green at its base begins to dislodge from the mound of sand it had been partially buried in, shaking away the particles with violent abandon.

Looks Can Be Deceiving Green Hatchling is starting to get impatient with the apparent lack of quality in these white-robed things called candidates. Very subpar! She pauses only briefly to whuffle at a rather portly boy and ends up snorting right in his face, obviously not happy with what she smelled. Onwards she goes, her steps getting more rapid and her searching getting less thorough. Her stance remains almost like that of a hunting predator - low and silent with swift movements. Obviously she hasn't found her quarry just yet.

Jayashri watches, her face still a study in impassive patience. She's calm, but ready to move if a hatchling lurches her direction. And perhaps she can't be blamed, if she watches the little brown as he finds his direction.

Xandis nods hurriedly at Melze's request. "Left, then. If he comes this way." And then they cause use Koi as a shield if they have to. "Definitely too pointy." He agrees with a nod, leaning to try and keep track of the green, and her sister which quickly Impresses.

Alzanbri seems to be having a hard time focusing on one thing — there are just so many! Eggs, new hatchlings every time he looks away for just a moment, fellow candidates, the stands! It's terribly alarming for the boy, but he seems to hold up well enough, a little wide-eyed and twitchy though he might be as he shuffles from foot to foot. And if his eyes flick here and there like he's hopped up on mass amounts of Klah, who can blame him?

Star-Eyed Wandering Brown Hatchling meanders around the candidates, getting used to his legs and pausing occasionally to lick things. That long green tongue comes out and tests the sand, an egg shell, his mother's foot, another hatchling, the occasional candidate — you get the idea. He gives a good long look to those candidates he passes by, tilting his head this way and that and considering them with avid curiosity in his brightly-whirling eyes — but all too soon he moves on to the next.

View From Above Egg's next escapade is truly epic. It spins off again, running and dancing this way and that until it runs, crunch, into the wall. For a moment it seems done, then it spins off again, revealing a giant crack in its side.

Lyana can't quite stifle a giggle as she watches the little brown on his trek across the Sands. "See and taste the world… you'll find your way. You'll see…."

Miki lets out an involuntary giggle as one of the eggs goes crashing into a wall. "Uh, probably shouldn't laugh at that." But at this point the nanny can't really help it as another giggle escapes.

Shakoi looks over the top of Mel's head, unable to hide the disdain mention of That Name evokes. "If Ruzara Impresses, you'd best hope you don't." Trying to pay attention for both himself and the shivering Kiteena as he is, he's only catching the odd comment here and there from event those standing nearest him. "Wonder what it is that makes some take so long, and others seem to know just who to go to right after breaking shell?"

Melze chuckles, leaning forwards a little to see who it was paired off with the Narcissism green. "Left works." She nods, trying to catch a glimpse of the wandering hatchlings that are still visible. "If Ruzara Impresses, we'll all hope we don't." She mutters back at Shakoi, shaking her head slightly.

Jerk. Spasm. Twitch twitch twitch. Exoterran Gargantuan Genesis Egg is just starting to get warmed up. It falls still after another round of shudders that have a distinctly frustrated quality to them. Really, it knows what it's doing. … just give it a moment to consult the manual.

With a great shake, Curbing Catastrophe Egg wrenches itself to a precarious position, teetering on the pinnacle of its sand mound. Free now of the sands constricting its bulk, it begins a primal sort of dance, hopping into the air and turning slightly. It makes a depression into the mound when it lands, possibly trying to re-bury itself? With each thump, there is also a crack. Thump, crack, thump, crack. The occupant of the egg is clearly now beating out the rhythm, sharing it with the world as anticipation mounts toward the critical moment: the moment where the dragonet within will either win this battle and erupt from dormancy in its shell into vibrant, rich life, or be quelled forever in the silence of cold, cruel death.

In the galleries » Cenlia totally scoots over to join F'yr, S'gam, and the rest of the semi-Istan contingent up at the front, the goldrider bobbing her head to R'iahn on the way, and plopping right down. And probably stepping on somebody's foot accidentally. Thea is also spotted, and a hand is raised to grin a, "Hey!" all informal-like at the Xanadu weyrwoman, before eggs rockin' and impressions happening drag her attention to the sands once again, eyes widening to match the cheery grin on her face.

Alzanbri winces. "That's one way to do it." The boy laughs quietly at the wall-crunching egg, a faint smirk pulling at his lips before he crosses his arms over his chest and squints. And frowns. It's probably to keep from looking even more nervous than he does, but he puts on a good face, eyes flicking briefly to the thumping and cracking Catastrophe egg — then back to wandering dragonets and his fellows.

Aamanz doesn't have enough heads to look everywhere at once, much less enough eyes. It's a wonder he's not spinning, as he twists and turns, tries to shield his feet from the heat by standing on one foot, then the other, and generally just exhibits every last trait common to a spazzy personality. At one moment, he seems to be cheering the hatchlings on…the next, he's busy oogling the eggs…the next, he's watching the Stands again, albeit briefly.

Now is the time. View From Above Egg is finally broken enough for its occupant to push its way out, spilling, sprawling, onto the sands. Anarcho-Pyromaniacal Blue Hatchling shakes himself free easily from the remains of his shell. His stalk towards the candidates is like that of a predator, dark and evil. Until he spots his prey, a huge, hulking giant of a smith, and gives a bright warble. Narvek collapses around the blue, "Timalth. Yes, let's get you some food." N'vek stands carefully to lead the blue off.

Anarcho-Pyromaniacal Blue Hatchling
This dragon is really more grey than anything else, especially along his front. The front of his snout is nearly black, the shades of grey gradiating back from there until hints of true blue glint through on his tail, the outer sides of his wingsails, and the windswept ends of his wingfingers. Here and there across his hide are dots, flecks, and sprays of robin's egg blue and other light, washed-out shades. His claws are deepest black, as if carved from the heart of ebony, his wingclaws and neck and backridges flaked with angry reds. The sails, for their part, are a brilliant shade of sky blue that can only be seen from a mountain top on a clear day. Fluffy clouds seem to float between them and, all in all, he could be the backdrop for a play.

With a triumphant cry the Anarcho-Pyromaniacal Blue Hatchling has found its lifemate at last. After a few moments the Weyrlingmaster leads the new pair off the sands.

Polsie watches the Exoterran Gargantuan Genesis Egg with wide-eyed fascination. "I can't *wait* to see what comes outta that thing, I'm not gonna lie…" She shifts her weight gently from foot to foot, glancing around the Sands - a cautious eye on the brown - before her gaze returns to the E.G.G.

Looks Can Be Deceiving Green Hatchling skids to a stop and gives a slightly impatient flick of her wings. She shifts uneasily from foot to foot, her whirling gaze scanning the candidates as she tries in vain to find whatever it is she's looking for. She stands perfectly still for a few seconds as though listening intently. Then, with a sudden split second decision, she starts forward at a cantering pace. Sand flies from under her feet as she heads straight towards her goal. She wobbles a bit as she stops abruptly in front of a girl with blonde hair and blue eyes, her entire body loosening with relief at finally finding someone worthy.

With a triumphant cry it seems that the Looks Can Be Deceiving Green Hatchling has found its partner at last and impression is made!

Exoterran Gargantuan Genesis Egg is still for a moment. Two. Three. Perhaps a bit too long, really. But, no, it's just tinkering, making a few unseen adjustments and then- *kra-koom*, there's a burst of noise and … not a whole lot of anything, actually. Some fine cracks form at the top, sprawling outward in a rapidly building fan. Whatever's within is close to figuring out the key … just another moment!

There's a pop followed by a carnal snarl as Curbing Catastrophe's occupant slams a claw through the roof of its incubator. The claw is, however, too covered in goo to give away its coloring. The taste of freedom is enough to spurn its efforts onward. With one mighty jump, the egg shatters, sending shards of green, grey, and molten orange fluttering down around like volcanic ash, or perhaps celebratory confetti? It's certainly a celebration for the hatchling within as he strikes a pose, waiting for the dust to settle and the oohs and ahs from the crowds that his expectant gaze sweeping about seems to expect in welcome.

Passion's Prosaic Pretense Bronze Hatchling
If one were rude, one would call him dull. If one were shrewd, one would call him understated, and say there's more to him than meets the eye. Mistakable in poor light for a large brown, the dominant coloring on this small-framed dragon is green-mottled, muted bronze. The green isn't a pure green, so he's certain never to be mistaken for the wrong gender. It's a deep mossy or lichen green, as though he was left too long in the shell and bronze hide has been weathered by time untold. Perhaps his hide once shone brightly, like many of his kins' do, but no longer. Instead, he is wrapped simply, in this indistinct insipid shading. His structure is of greater note than his coloring: he is perfectly proportionate of bone, but wrapped in reams of thick, powerful muscle, so much so that his stance is slightly odd due to the muscle mass. Besides his remarkable musculature, the most interesting feature the bronze has is his wedged head. Eye-ridges are high and angular, lending him an intelligent look that his rugged looks might otherwise obscure. Around his eyes is a singular shine of pure, fresh-from-the-forge bronze giving him a masked look, or from another perspective, perhaps the entire exterior is the disguise and the only betrayal of his true colors is the brilliant flash about his bejeweled eyes.

In the galleries » Ryni emits a soft whistle at the ash-blown blue as he finds his lifemate, "Now that's a dragon that suits."

Xandis is glad he was keeping an eye on that green now - for as it draws closer and closer, he draws back just a little - and then as it stops infront of none other than "his" blondie, he's groaning a little, squeezing the girl's hand once before dropping the contact. "Congrats, Mel.." He murmurs, already shifting away from the girl and the green, looking rather lost as he's left with… Koi and Kit. Awesome.

Lyana nods just once. "You and me both, Pols. Wonder what's coming out of -that- shell? And… oh, who Impressed the pretty green? Who?" She peers around the Sands, trying to keep track of eggs, hatchlings, and Candidates all at once. Even over and above her friends standing closest to her, she casts a glance over at Aamanz, including him in her watchful gaze as well.

In the galleries » Xe'ter nods a bit, as he leans forward, caught up in the ages old drama that is Impression. "Hope he gets big enough to carry that lunk of a rider around, too…" But he's most certainly kidding, right? The young former smith is probably older than he is!

Miki cracks a smile as the green stops in front of a rather familiar candidate. "Congratulations!" But her gaze is soon taken away by different movements. More trembling, more cracking, more shaking.

In the galleries » Ryni chuckles lightly, "I'm sure he will. I mean, Usi could hold him if she had to. She's stronger than she looks."

Melze tenses, all training that they had been given regarding dodging forgotten in that one second of panic as the green comes towards them. Hands tighten on Xandis and Koi, eyes squeeze shurt, but there isn't any pain just a kaleidoscope behind her eyes that becomes a green hatchling once they open again. The boys are forgotten, hands dropped so that she can touch her new life, and she stares and stares at the little green. "Food? Um…" She looks up, and says it again "Food?" maybe eventually she'll remember she's not said the name.

Galina spares a look for the Weyrlingmaster and the others destined to hustle the newly impressed pairs off the sand. The rapidfire cracking and hatching and impressing of the dragonets seems to put her at /some/ ease, though it's hard to tell from any distance. Vidyazath breaks from her humming to croon, both for hatchlings thus far and those yet to come — she is pleased and it shows.

In the galleries » F'yr makes room for the others as well, muttering something about cramped spaces and fast hatchings. "Hey you down in front, sit down!" So she's short… Didn't mean people finding seats still had to block her. Once she finally feels settled, her head tilts to the side as she catches her name and bobs her head at R'iahn. She offers a "Hey", never really good with names, before turning to grin back at Cen's arrival. "Know anyone down there?" There's a Impression, there's a cheer, and then then there's a frown. "I don't think I really recognize who it is we're supposed to be cheering for."

That Is Why I'm Cracked You See Egg just sort of…rolls about, as if dizzy. But just a little. Something taps around inside shell, causing it to spill onto the purplish colored spot. Right on its head? Maybe. Either way, the egg stills for now.

Ah /hah/. Eureka! A whiskey-hued claw lances out through the gossamer spinner's web of cracks that claims the apex of Exoterran Gargantuan Genesis Egg, only to retreat. With freedom very literally within those claws, another mighty shove and heave of the creature within sends shell shards flying. A Swaggering Straight Shooter Brown Hatchling stands in the wreckage, chest puffed out and wings partially unfurled. Now to see just what those white things over there are up to …

Swaggering Straight Shooter Brown Hatchling
As dragons go, this particular brown's a rather well-built kind of fellow. While definitely not the bulkiest of the bunch, he makes up for it in length — he's a lanky, long-limbed, and lean thing, dressed up fancy in hide the color of bold, brash cinnamon and moving with a confident ease that's nothing less than a swagger. That color dominates the greater majority of his frame, growing a bit paler toward the weathered peaks of his neckridges, and darkening just a touch along his belly. His head is a cunning thing, angular and cleverly constructed, stroked with just a bit of charcoal darkness at the 'ridges and knobs. Whiskey-toned talons tip rather dexterous digits, his paws just a bit muddied with streaks and smears of ruddy clay coloring that fades out well before his elbows. His wings are something of a marvel, a blazing blend of red browns that start at the leading edge and gradually sift down to something just shy of bronze — a sunset in sienna, sketched out in stylish fashion. His whippy length of tail is unmarked, save for three bright bands of red ochre just before it forks.

R'oo's attention is grabbed when the green finds her lifemate in Melze. He waves off an approaching assistant to do the honors himself. Amusement plays across his face, "You just won me some marks, Weyrling Melze." He grins wide, though somehow his face looks a little strained, "Congratulations. Come this way, please? We'll get her some food." Perhaps in another moment this interaction would be awkward, but right now, she's just a newly paired weyrling and he just the Weyrlingmaster.

Polsie claps her hands together exuberantly as Melze Impresses. "Way to go, Melze and - um, whatever the green's name is!" is the Bitra-tinged call, a sunny smile on her tan face. She leans over and mutters to Miki and Lyana, "Did you catch it? I sure didn't!" Still beaming, she returns her attention towards the other eggs, and - "Oh! Oh, just *look* at that brown. Oh, what a handsome looking fella."

Shakoi had taken the beanbag exercise to heart, so when that green started barrelling towards their little group, he was trying to make himself scarce. Only to be pulled up short by that death grip on his hand. "Mel, what the—-" Eyes bulge as his jaw drops. "Mel?" Stepping back a couple passes once he's released, he snakes an arm around Kiteena's shoulder. "I knew it. I /knew/ it!"

He sorts it out quickly enough, thank Faranth. Swaggering Straight Shooter Brown Hatchling has the walk /down/. His tail, that might be something else entirely; it flicks a bit, smacking around some bits of shell behind him before he gets a move on. Those candidates are given a long, hopeful look … but when there's no real movement from them to approach, he huffs out a breath, squares up his shoulders, and makes to head on down to give his own kind of 'how do?' He's fearless in his approach, measured as it seems to be — why, yes, he does intend on getting right in the middle of that quavering crescent of humanity, heedless of how they perceive him.

In the galleries » With things happening so fast on the sands, Thea's attention has been pretty much riveted there. But her fur-lined jacket has bunched behind her back since she shrugged it off and she twists to rearrange it, her eyes sweeping the gallery in time to see Cenlia's wave. Her grin is quick to answer her friend, a chin-lift to wave back before her eyes travel the faces and she spots S'gam. "Hey Sig," her call to the man surely will be drowned out by all the noise, but she tries nevertheless. A few others she recognizes from Xanadu, R'iahn and O'ric earn a nod and fleeting smile before the turns back to the spectacle below.

Alzanbri's eyes stop mid-rove when he spots that pretty second-hatched standing before one of the more familiar faces. The boy's face splits into a painful-looking grin as he does a little bounce, waving brightly to the girl. "Melze! Good job!" He calls with a laugh. "What's her name?" Like she might hear him over the new presence in her mind and…oh look, another hatchling! The boy squints thoughtfully at the little brown, head tilting vaguely to one side. Hmm.

That Is Why I'm Cracked You See Egg is in motion again. A hop here, a skip, a jump there. The movements are stronger now, as the occupant battles to release itself from its trap of a shell. More cracks — actual cracks — begin to spread over the surface of the shell, and it seems the occupant is winning the battle. For now.

Aamanz gives a whoop when Melze comes away with the green, and his sound is shrill enough to be heard even over deep, basso dragon humming!

Lyana giggles softly, eyes drawn to both browns who have so precipitously burst through their shells. "Bold as brass… both of them. Ohh… it was Melze? Congratulations, Melze and… ummm, what's her name?" How awkward for a Harper to not have a name to put to the face!

Xandis is left without a hand, and looks almost frantically around him, frowning before taking a moment to slip around to Kit's other side, situatating himself between the inseparable pair of girls. "Hey.. That.. That was something, wasn't it?" He asks with a nervous laugh.

My, my, my! What have we here? All of this? For me? You shouldn't have! Okay, okay, you should! Passion's Prosaic Pretense Bronze Hatchling swings his head about, taking in the scene. This may be his opening act, but the stage is as yet unfamiliar. He takes in the sand, the shattered shell, the dam and clutchsire, the stands, and oh! But what are these white-robed things all about? Curiosity strikes him, and he's blundering towards the nearest group of them, walk ungainly. He seems to realize this and comes up short of the group poised to dodge his approach. He looks down: well, *this* was unexpected. Look at these! What are they? He examines first forelimbs then hind, twisting his head and neck down and around to try to observe his new motor capabilities from all sides and angles.

Melze is the one that stumbles on the way off, the young green seeming to know her way almost as much as her own mind. One hand is kept firmly on the green's neck at all times, but words apparently still fail. The food awaits.

That is Why I'm Cracked You See Egg finally gives up its struggle, and the occupant bursts free! A blue spills out onto the sands. Right on his head. He remains there a moment, upside down, looking at the blurs of white in his vision, his eyes whirling with confusion. And then he rights himself. And then he begins his search for…something. Towards the candidates, tripping and stumbling, until he finds himself in front of one older, brown-haired lad. The lad blinks and meets the blue's gaze. "Wh…wha? Animuth?" Another blink. "…M'hal. I…y-yes. That's who I am. Let's go find some food for you, right away!"

Fog of Truth Blue Hatchling
Clouds of steel blue blot over this medium-sized dragon's hide, against a backdrop of darker cobalt, as a stormy sky painted upon his hide. Lean, yet muscular, this blue has a well-shaped form. His chest is strong and broadly built, with light indications of muscles there. His hips are a little narrower, but not by much. He has a trim, elegant face for a dragon, though the lines are still strong. Down his spine a line of paler sky blue trails, feathering out into the steel and cobalt blues and fading into their darker hues. And dabs of feathery, fluffy lavender blue blot over his wingsails like still more clouds against a darkening sky.

Starry Destiny Egg gives a little shudder, as if shaking off unwanted dust. It bounces a few times, nudging some of its clutchmates, then flutters off on its own a few feet before lying still again. Awaiting the right moment.

Jayashri tilts her head a little, inclining it towards Melze when it becomes obvious. She's still silent, her eyes still more on the unimpressed hatchlings, and the still moving eggs than on those who have found lifemates already.

Star-Eyed Wandering Brown Hatchling goes faster and faster past the candidates, not bothering to lick them, any more, and hardly glancing at them — until, that is, he stops short, skidding in the sands to an ungraceful halt. He turns around with an awkwardly sinuous movement and parks himself in front of a short, slight girl with cinnamon-colored curls and hazel eyes. And he licks her, his long green tongue flicking out to slime her from ankle to knee. Apparently, he's finally found what hes been /licking/ for.

With a triumphant cry it seems that the Star-Eyed Wandering Brown Hatchling has found its partner at last and impression is made!

Lyana cheers as the lanky brown finally Impresses, pumping her fist in the air with enthusiasm. "Congrats, Ash! Way to go!"

Jayashri's carefully controlled expression doesn't twitch a muscle, at first. And then it simply crumbles, her mute face suddenly breaking into a dazzling smile that she might not recognize in a mirror. She reaches a hand out, carefully, but there's no need for caution. There is that moment, when hand touches lifemate for the first time, and she breathes again. "Oh. Cikitsikath…yes…yes, we're all a little silly. Weird." Something. "And you're hungry, yes. We eat first, then we learn. Everything."

Alzanbri isn't terribly focused still, but he seems to have calmed down, getting used to the fast-paced rush of hatch-stumble-impress from /this/ vantage. Eggs he's spent time with in earlier days spill forth their occupants, and the boy can't help but stare wonderingly. "Shells." He breathes for the twenty-something-th time, more than likely, laughing quietly when one of the browns heads to another familiar face. "Yeah!" He calls, laughing happily.

Shakoi has to give himself a good shake to stop staring after Melze and start paying attention. Though first he blinks as he's lost sight of Xandis, only to find him on the other side. When'd he get over there? Kiteena is gratefully turning towards her crush, with big BIG eyes and pale face as she nods, gulping. "I didn't think it would be so… scary," she stammers out, barely audible.

Blacker Than Black Egg is perfectly still. It's so still, it might just be a dud. Then it moves. Maybe. It looked for a moment like it might have moved, one of its colorful outliers winking at the stands for just a moment.

Another shudder ripples across Starry Destiny Egg. It cuts a comedic, stuttering path along the sands as it's occupant struggles, until there's a cracking sound, the force of the hit tearing shallow cracks along its surface in rough, oblong semi-circles.

Polsie joins in the cheering, clapping her hands enthusiastically, ignoring the Sands-caused sweat running down her palms. "AttaGIRL!" Polsie calls, just short of raucous. The Bitran girl bounces from foot to foot, practically dancing. "Hah, and I just made money offa Brexa, too," she comments to Lyana and Miki, sugary voice full on 'smug'. "More's the sweeter!"

Miki lets out a whoops as the brown hatchling stops in front of Jayashri. "Ohhh! Knew you would do it Ash!" But the noise blocks out most of what Miki's trying to say and she decides to save her voice by yelling less. But then more eggs are moving and Miki doesn't have the attention span to talk anyways.

It's only moments after Cikitsakath and Jayashri find one another that Weyrlingmaster R'oo is striding over to the pair with a broad grin. "Knew there'd be one for you this time 'round, Ashri— or was it something else now? In any case, if you'll both come this way, we can see to getting him some food." When they're ready, R'oo moves with them off the sands.

This is not at all what he was expecting. At all. Candidates moving away, some stumbling over themselves in their haste; people avoiding him- and why? Swaggering Straight Shooter Brown Hatchling swings his head around, red eyes blazing with mounting confusion and hunger. Something catches his attention briefly, causing him to wheel around, while his whiplike tail accidentally smacks against the shins of one poor candidate. The lad's otherwise unharmed, but he's quick to scuttle away, leaving the brown to utter a dejected warble. Something's gone horribly wrong here and he's not sure what — which means a change in tactics as he continues a-ramblin'.

Xandis is looks relieved with the pointy brown finds its own lifemate, cheering a bit, even as Kit is turning her gaze to him and he's sighing, slowly taking the girl's hand and giving it a reassuring squeeze. "Its okay, I promise, Kit.." He murmurs, even as he glance sin the direction that Melze and her lifemate vanished, and then looks back to the bronze and brown on the loose.

As if limbs weren't interesting enough, there's a *tail* too! Each protrusion from Passion's Prosaic Pretense Bronze Hatchling's form (every limb, tail, and neck) has been thoroughly examined, wiggled, tested, meaning a few more ungainly steps towards the candidates, and their subsequent chaotic surge backwards, lest he fall towards them and seek to break his fall with one of the sharp claws affixed to each limb. He seems about satisfied with his understanding of these new faculties to move along, when an ungainly step brings about an unexpected instinctual reaction and wings are unfurled for balance. What's this now? Oooooh! And he's immediately distracted investigating this newly-discovered piece of himself.

Aamanz lets out another crow of delight at Jayashri's good fortune, shifting his position in the line so he can get a better look before she's swept away by the weyrlingmasters to find food for her new lifemate! Woo!

In the galleries » Cenlia leans forward, peering down at the sands, and then pausing to laugh, answering F'yr with a, "Shards, dunno nobody down there, but Zeek was all insisitin' we get out butts over here 'cause there's babies." She briefly makes a face at this, Cen's own opinion on the littles less than great, but apparently baby dragons are spared from this, the girl's gaze sweeping back to the sands with a, "Shards, always nice to see them things hatchin' though. Ugh, definitely dun't miss egg cleanin' gunk an' weyrlinghood, though," a glance spared for V'hrin, Xe'ter, and Ryni over yonder. But even if she doesn't know anyone down there, it doesn't stop her calling a, "Congrats!" every time somebody impresses. Is that nostalgia in her face just now? Quite probably!

Blacker Than Black Egg gives one shake, a hard strike from its occupant splitting the shell cleanly from tip to bottom in one motion. Clean and Easy. As it should be.

In the galleries » "Shards," Xe'ter swears a little, "Did anyone else catch that brown's name?" That's a mouthful!

The Legendary Long Shot Egg is patient. It has waited the necessary months needed to go from dream to dragonet, it can wait some while longer. While eggs shatter and pop hatchlings into being around it, it is a point of utter calm in the ensuing chaos. This egg is so still that it might be starting to raise some concern about whether or not life still exists within the shell. As though to allay any such fears, the shell of the egg finally shivers slightly. It is the barest of movements that might easily be missed. To further proof of life, in case the first subtle moves were missed, from the egg there comes a slow and steady -tap tap tap- beat -tap tap tap-.

In the galleries » Ryni looks equally puzzed, "Chicklets?"

Huh. Surely that must have been a trick of the light. That white egg? Moving? Couldn't possibly be the case. Yet, there it is, the Conveniently Contrived Egg's nest of sand altered — either by movement or some unseen hand bent on befouling any notions of consistency and continuity.

Alzanbri can't seem to help a quiet, "Awww." when the brown's accidental victim scuttles backwards, leaving him looking hang-canine and sad. "Poor fellow. Didn't look like he meant it." The lad mutters, then focuses in on the rocking eggs once more with half-narrowed eyes. Eggs. Hatchlings. Candidates. The circular motion of bright, wary blue eyes is pretty consistent at this point; at least that is. His sands-dance leaves something — many things, in fact — to be desired.

Shakoi, happily no longer being clung to, smirks a bit at Xandis as Kit smile tremulously and keeps her gaze fixed on the other boy's face. Dragons? What dragons? Koi finally starts paying attention to what he should be, looking startled to realise he completely missed Jayashri's Impression. "Jay… brown? Really?" Surpised by the pairing, he can only shake his head, before watching the more important things, the clumsy babies with their very sharp talons. "I think that one's ready to Impress himself," he jokes of the self-examining bronze.

Lyana 's brows furrow at the utterly dejected look of the poor, lonesome brown. "Awww… accidents happen… come on, you can do it. Keep looking, someone's out there for you…" She squeezes Polsie's and Miki's hands once more, and resumes her watchful scan of the Sands. Impression or no, these were her -friends- out there, and nobody is being hurt on -her- watch!

Polsie's dark eyes focus on the swaggering - and hazardous - brown, wincing as she spies the smack to the other candidate. "Oh, *ouch*, poor fella! Shoulda paid closer attention back when we were throwing beanbags about… I'm sure the poor fella - uh, meaning the dragon this time - didn't mean it, but with that long tail of his… though they're really kinda scurrying out of his way too fast, maybe, poor little fella, and that's not what we were taught to do… and I'm probably talking too much…" Polsie squeezes Lyana and Miki's hands back, and shushes.

Xandis really really would rather not have a Kit hanging on him, particularly as her friend isn't much better, and the young man is left with two arms around two girls, and trying to steer the three of them out of harm's way. "Hey, Kit, pay attention. Not to me… To them." He mutters, with a shake of the girls' shoulders.

Miki grins a bit and squeezes the girls' hands back. "Poor guy, both the brown and the candidate…what was his name?" Miki /had/ known his name. But at this point her mind was somewhat tied up with other things."

One final wiggle-test from Passion's Prosaic Pretense Bronze Hatchling seems to settle his curiosity once and for all, at least when it comes to himself. Now that he's sorted out just what each of these things do, he's sashaying across the sands with uncanny grace for so newly born a hatchling, and especially odd given his strongly muscled physique. He only *looks* bulky enough to be clumsy, a clever, if unplanned, deception on his part: perhaps, one of many? The humming dragons have provided his music, now he just needs to find a dance partner! It's quite a short search, actually. Unlike others who might nose around or examine every candidate, this small-framed bronze seems to know his course as well as the steps of his dance. Ready he is to find his lifemate, and it's no joking matter. It's as though this bronzeling is drawn directly to the one with whom he's destined to share a life. And so it is with a little flourish of tail and wings that Passion's Prosaic Pretense Bronze Hatchling comes to a measured stop in front of a brown-eyed young man with thin dreadlocks. Ta da!

With a triumphant cry it seems that the Passion's Prosaic Pretense Bronze Hatchling has found its partner at last and impression is made!

The shallow cracks along Starry Destiny Egg's surface give another convulsive shudder. The battering nose within is pushing those cracked bits out like the unfurling of a flower's petals at blooming before stumbling uncertainly onto the sands. Unintentionally Naive Green Hatchling stands easily, covered in goop before her fairy-flared egg.

Unintentionally Naive Green Hatchling
Bright emerald tones swoop and sear across her hide, clear and bright in any light. Smoother tones of pure aventurine cling to her curves, accentuating each smooth arch of neck, tail, and leg just so. Along her back and especially spread against her wingjoints is a sparkling smattering of gold flecks, glinting and teasing with tones outside the verdant spectrum. Along the supple, natural curves of her stomach is a flare of azure, blended perfectly with the rest of her tone. He paws, daintily formed, are dipped in deeper forest green to the petite ankles, slim tendrils snaking up from her darkest part and wrapping and twining around her lower limbs like creeping vines clinging to her legs. Each claw and ridge is a smooth pebble of pure alabaster, standing out against her hide like tiny stars in a forest night. But where she really shines is her wingsails. Each section of sail billows in even the slightest wind, just a bit bigger than strictly necessary and clad in the tones of samite sprinkled lightly with flecks of silver, tourmaline, and mossy agate. From a distance they seem almost paper thin, so fine and delicate, but they're properly formed. The last detail of note amidst the smooth, well-defined curves of her form, purely feminine green, is her headknobs. They're not the usual smooth, curvy knobs, oblong and bulbous. No. They sweep up in a solid line to a point, the same length as most knobs, but clearly pointy, more like the horns of Terran legend.

In the galleries » "Yeah, me neither. But Sig does," F'yr answers, jerking her chin to the bronzerider next to her before turning to glance back towards the sands and offer another cheer, though this one sounds like it's confused. No, that was a girl that Impressed. "That boy, I think." And she points to a random one, hoping it's the right one from here. Fy doesn't know any of the faces, much less from all the way up in the galleries here. "And you know, for a big tough gold your dragon's really a softie when it comes to all this. Don't let her step on me if she knows I said that," Fy makes sure to add, just in case. Big golds, especially Zeek, are also scary golds. There's a bronze Impression, the first she witnessed since she missed the other while seeking S'gam and that deserves a cheer.

Swaggering Straight Shooter Brown Hatchling finally figures it out after a little bit more wandering, with him setting his sights on one young lady in particular. He's all confidence and poorly contained enthusiasm as he sidles right on up, only to shift tactics further and move directly in front of her. Eyes meet and he tenses for but a moment before his bejeweled gaze shifts from the red of nearly dejected sunset to a self-satisfied blue. After all, every straight shootin' sheriff needs a wayward rogue and smith of all trades for a deputy, right? And this one here, ayuh — she'll do.

With a triumphant cry it seems that the Swaggering Straight Shooter Brown Hatchling has found its partner at last and impression is made!

In the galleries » Eh, bronzers. Even Xe gives a cheer at the impression of the infant bronze! And he doesn't even know who the lucky fellow is, exactly!

Blacker Than Black Egg finally seems to struggle, wiggling back and forth before the sinuous head of its occupant bursts forth as he breaks free. Infinite Minds And No Soul Bronze Hatchling struggles to free himself, clawing out to the sands with concentrated effort. His serpentine neck slithers out ahead of his body as if it has a mind of its own. Sniffing about first one candidate than another before settling on an older lad with blond hair, oft noted to seem distant by his peers. Sitany, now S'ny, strokes the sinuous bronze, "Of course, Richterth, we'll find you food."

Infinite Minds And No Soul Bronze Hatchling
Sleek and sinuous are generally one's first impressions of him. Neck and tail are both excessively long and prone to slithering. Pale sepia is hardly the most flattering tone for any dragon, giving him a constant impression of sickness, but it's what he was born with. Just that dull, dried-out mud color. He looks like he'll manage, though. After all, he's not particularly bulky, either. No excessive muscles on this bronze, no. He's all sinewy strength and slithery curves. A small triangle of tiger's eye rests where his neck meets his torso with a strip of the same color depending from it down to around the middle of his stomach. Otherwise, the only color that stands out on him is on his wingsails and it really doesn't help his overall impression. They're green. Not bright, shiny, question the color of the dragon green, but a dull green like oxidized copper and pitted with dark, muddy speckles. If it weren't for the overall metallic sheen along his head, back, and neck, he'd be presumed a brown hands down, but when the light hits him just right, his truly shining nature shows through in subtle swirls of brass and bronze across his hide.

With a triumphant cry the Infinite Minds And No Soul Bronze Hatchling has found its lifemate at last. After a few moments the Weyrlingmaster leads the new pair off the sands.

In the galleries » Ryni lets out a soft whoop for each new impression, giving Xe a nudge, "He's a beaut, isn't he? Look at 'em go. These eggs are hatching like wildfire." Her brows furrow at the newest bronze, then leans over, "Was that a bronze or a brown?"

Alzanbri's laugh as his gaze sweeps Shakoi-wards just in time to see the bronze is probably a touch loud. A little? Sure. It's relief, though — or perhaps smugness. "Knew it!" He laughs. "Good job, Koi!" His bounce-dance might pick up a bit, but then he's quite distracted by that pretty little green. Eyes soften as he smiles a little bit, head tiiilting sideways. That may or may not be a little coo; we'll go with not, though, because that's not very manly. Then his eyes follow new commotion off-a-ways, and the other newest are spotted — "Polsie!" is what he hollers, though, laughing brightly and all but ignoring the other. What? He can only focus on so much.

Polsie stares down at the hatchling in front of her for a long blinking moment, before abruptly kneeling down to press a kiss against his wet brown forehead. "Iqsath," the Bitran girl says simply. She smiles, brilliantly. "Hah, I think you'll find I'm more trouble'n you're wagering, sugarpie! C'mon, let's go get you something to eat, huh?" Almost unaware of anything else - though she has just enough awareness to shoot a wide-eyed look at Lyana and Miki - the girl rests a guiding hand resting gently on the lanky brown's neck, and starts gently ushering him towards the side.

-Tap tap tap- pause -tap tap tap- pause. The rhythmic sounds have yet to falter or change pace. It's a simple repetitive sound from the Legendary Long Shot Egg. As moments pass, the dedication of the hatchling within begins to pay off. Hairline fractures begin to stretch across the surface from a stress point, where only the closest could identify as the focal point of the tapping from within. The breaks skitter out from the top of the egg, spiraling and intersecting like a gossamer spinner working over-time at an impossible pace. The cracks stand out against the dark surface of the shell, unmistakable as signs that the hatchling in the Legendary Long Shot Egg is about to make its move.

In the galleries » Xe'ter nudges his chin foward a bit, "both bronzes, I think. Is that three in this clutch? Good clutch!"

Shakoi was backing up, backing up, fully expecting that muted, stocky bronze to veer away and making sure he wasn't in the way when that happened. Pure shock registers on his face as he wavers, balance suddenly uncertain as his mind is bombarded. Then, abruptly, laughter, rich and rolling. "Oszarioth, I think you're crazy." Beaming, he reaches forward, too caught up in the moment to disbelieve. "Not to mention hungry… shards," he mutters as his free hand suddenly presses to his own stomach. "I could eat half a feast…."

Tip tap here. Tip tap there. Tip tap- whoops! Almost revealed the greatest weakness in this little plot, didn't we? Can't have a plot hole this soon! A mighty split starts at the top of the Conveniently Contrived Egg, forking off toward the base. Which way will it go? Left? Right? For now, it's just struggling to keep itself together, just a little longer.

R'oo makes his way over to the Bitran and her brown lifemate. Those he passes might just hear him mumbling under his breath, "First Melze, now Polsie… if I survive this class, it'll be a miracle." Then louder as he arrives by the pair, "Polsie, if you and Iqsath would come this way, we'll find him something to eat." And with that he's ushering them off the sands.

In the galleries » V'hrin leans forward a bit at the newest bronze. "That one's about the same bulk as Kevraith was, when he hatched." His gaze avidly follows the hatchling in question, though he pauses to cheer here and there for each Impression.

Lyana lets out a cheer, though perhaps this cheer is tinged with a hint of sadness. "Congrats, Polsie!" One glance back at Miki, and there is mist in her eyes. "Together."

Miki grins and cheers as both POlsie and Shakoi Impress. "I knew you could, just knew it!" But her gaze zeroes in on the newest green hatchling and she quiets quickly.

Xandis sighs as Shakoi impresses nothing less than bronze, taking that moment to try and get Kit and her friend to turn around, just in time to see Shakoi and Oszarioth bond. "Look at that, wouldn't you like a nice bronzerider?" He tries to sway the girls away, even as he glances nervously at the last few twitching eggs, and the wandering, newly hatched dragons.

Unintentionaly Naive Green Hatchling takes her time getting moving. The shells of her egg are examined thoughtfully. Her nose dips down to nudge a larger piece, which shatters. Her eggwet wings go limp as she nudges at another eggshard, flipping it over and sniffing at it before moving it aside with one paw to examine another. Just what is wrong with her shell? Where'd it go? She seems determined to consider this one question for a while. Then her head shoots up, what? People! She's staring at the whiterobed candidates. Now what?

In the galleries » Ryni nods, running some quick math, "Three bronzes in twelve eggs is spectacular." She glances over at Veh as he actually speaks, "Shards, Veh. Bulky as, yes, but not nearly so unique. Kevraith's one of a kind."

AWLM H'ael is up when the dancing bronze makes his choice. He saunters towards Shakoi and his new lifemate, "Well done both of you, and compliments on your fancy feet there, young Oszarioth. If you'll both follow me?" He moves to accompany the pair off the sands when they're ready to move.

Aamanz gives another woop, though this one's maybe a bit muted. It's hot out there, and the youngster is sweating! Probably from the heat, with a good shot of nerves for a side. "Polseeeeeee!" Shakoi gets a cheer too, though he's busy dancing in earnest now. Shards, but the Sands are hot!

The crack-ridden dark shell of the Legendary Long Shot Egg has reached its breaking point. Talon-tips poke through the top of the egg, at the epicenter for the tapping and subsequent tiny tremors. The tips are smothered in goo and useless for telling the color of the hatchling within. The waiting on-lookers will have to be patient a moment longer. This dragonet seems to have its own way of doing things, and so it is that the tapping resumes, this time in pairs, and the focal point of the sound shifts around here and there on the egg. Shell explodes outwards as wings burst forth from the weakened shell, hazy sails unfurling, and the rest of the Face the Fire Brown Hatchling rises out of the remains of the egg, goo glopping off his limbs.

Face the Fire Brown Hatchling
Built strong and long, this brown is a giant amongst browns. Burly as he is, his mien is surprisingly lean and somber. A tapered snout, elegantly sculpted headknobs, and wide set eye-ridges give him a look of wisdom beyond his turns. His belly and chest are a myriad of woody brown shades crisscrossing and accented with subtle rings, lines, and jagged slivers of shadow separating one tint from the next. Across his gut, there is a line of uneven hide, as though scarred by Thread, though he is certainly too young to know the menace. Edging from back to front, the softer oaks, maples, and deep mahogany, char to a homogeneous and burnt melanic brown that's corrupted in spots with smears of ashen grey-brown. From the surrounding darkness of the dragon's back, amber fire sparks along his spine, sending tongues of flame licking down to tail-tip and up to cover his headknobs, his near-black face crowned in flame. Dying embers of amber sparkle across wingspars, strewn across a smoky brown that's distorted, as if wrung through a heat haze. The coloring on his tail is obscured in much the same manner, while the tips are adorned with a twist of burnished bronze, chain links hinted at and mirrored again on his mighty limbs. There, the chain-pattern is warped, as if the dragon wrenched himself from that which sought to imprison so powerful a beast.

In the galleries » Xe'ter laughs a little at his clutchmates, "They're all unique, Ree…just like every last other one of them."

In the galleries » Ryni smirks easily, "At least none of 'em look like tubers this time around." Ah, their clutchsiblings, "Was that a third brown? Vidyazath and Otieneth are outdoing themselves."

In the galleries » Cenlia peers past Fy to give S'gam a look up and down and then grins a bit, telling the brownrider, "Figure if it's anybody Sig knows, should cheer 'em on right proper." She attempts to spot the lad F'yr points out, but ends up scratching her head; with all the activity down there, she isn't going to be able to keep track as much as she tries, and thus just cheers them all on, commenting a, "Shards, some markings on them lot," that last to hatch having her canting her head thoughtfully.

Miki squeezes Lyana's hand and smiles. "Always together dear. Don't think otherwise for a second yeah?" After making sure Lyana isn't crying at this point Miki's attentions shift back to the curious green and she lets out a giggle. The shell /had/ been pretty, no wonder the green missed it!

Alzanbri's previous bath-damp hair is now matted down with sweat as he squints towards the remaining few eggs once more, head falling vaguely to the side once more as another hatches. A little smile briefly flits, before he huffs a vague laugh and bounces a little in place. "Another brown? Shards." He chuckles, eyes following the handsome fellow for a moment before returning to examining the others present. The lad's energy isn't quite flagging, but like Aamanz, he's starting to bounce a little quicker. Yes, too, he's looking a little wilted — no trouble, though! He's grinning like a madman, eyes bright, focused intently.

Xandis has no luck distracting Kit and her friend, sighing as they only cling a little tighter as yet antoher brown appears and the green stares at them with wide eyes. "Hey.. Hey.. Careful." He shifts, trying to move as fingers are curled in the side of -his- robe. "Watch it, Kit.." Just what he needs with an already infatuated girl…

Unintentionally Naive Green Hatchling breaks her revere, finally getting to her feet. Her tail wiggles, distracting her attention briefly to stare at the unexpected appendage. She gives a plaintive croon. Hungry. Maybe those white things have food. Her feet carry her that way, tail swinging wide arches back and forth behind her as she trundles dutifully up to the white line and begins examining folks. Too skinny. Too fat. Too rude. Each is dismissed.

There is a long moment in which Face the Fire Brown Hatchling contemplates this world he has been birthed into. Shrewd gaze sweeps across the wreckage of shells and dwindling sea of humanity in white robes that surrounds the demolition area. This is it then, is it? He seems to question it only for a moment and then acceptance is quickly embraced and he squares himself, as though preparing to take it on. Well, perhaps not the whole world just yet, after all, there is this first innate task to be done. He takes a further moment to compose himself, flicking bits of shell away from his egg-gooped form and — well, while he's at it, some of that goop should go too. It's not a vain motion, he does this for practicality's sake. What's the point of stepping onto sands if you're only going to gather it as you plod across the sands until you are no longer walking on your own feet but tottering on stilts of shifting sand? Hardly seems the prudent choice for stable first steps.

In the galleries » V'hrin can't help but chuckle at Ryni's comment, sending the green weyrling an amused sidelong look. "Yeah, 'raith's unique all right," he agrees, though in good-humor, gaze quickly drifting back to the sands.

In the galleries » Ryni nods, her eyes glazing a little in discussion with her lifemate, before she murmurs, "They just don't seem as… pretty as they did before Usi. Maybe that's just a rider thing."

At long last, the red button atop the Conveniently Contrived Egg is smashed in … from the inside. Don't ask — just accept that for what it is. Like a poorly wrought plot, the egg falls apart and the resulting dragonet whirls around a few times like a dervish before sitting on his oddly colored behind. Not The Bravest Blue Hatchling is only moved after a bit of heavy encouragement and a gentle butting of his dam's head — only then does he get up and make an immediate run for … the exit? Surely it's just too much for the fellow. Luckily, he's intercepted by one of the older candidates — a healer by the name of Bogdan is taken for a bit of a ride until the blue stops, whirls, and warbles timorously at him, as if demanding him to take his hands off … only for those red eyes to change most abruptly. "B'an? That's a silly name-" the boy begins, only to stop and offer a smile before getting to his feet "-but I guess it's no sillier than Sirrobith." And, lo, does their new quest begin.

Not The Bravest Blue Hatchling
If cowardice were a color other than yellow, this blue would most definitely be it. Sure, he puts up a brave front in bright, eye-catching cobalt … but underneath that cloak of color come glimpses of his true hue. Sneaky hues of rather sickly blue, pale and watery and thin, manifest in all those places that can only be hidden if he keeps his back to everyone and his haunches on the ground. Those wide eyes of his go beyond charming and into charmingly paranoid when paired with his skittish movements and tendency to flutter his wings as if ready to fly at any given moment.

With a triumphant cry the Not The Bravest Blue Hatchling has found its lifemate at last. After a few moments the Weyrlingmaster leads the new pair off the sands.

Lyana smiles a bit at both the pretty little green… has there ever been one so beautiful?… and the fire-kissed brown. And then the blue, who so swiftly finds his lifemate. "Wow… this is happening so fast. I think I'll need some klah after this, no matter what happens!"

Aamanz catches Lyana's comment, and finally finds words…who knew? He has them! "Klah? I'm gonna need a NAP!"

Xandis pulls Kit backwards as the girl takes a step forward when the green is going by, the girl seeming to finally take note of the disappearing eggs and the few hatchlings left upon the sands. "Hey!" He declares again, muttering and looking around him to his fellow candidates for help - help with thankfully goes unneeded as Kit is distracted by her friend's cheering for B'an the bluerider. "Don't worry, Xan, we'll deal with this together!" And that might be what Xandis is afraid of, giving his nervous look towards the hatchlings.

Miki giggles, "Sleep, definitely need sleep. You've certainly got the right idea about that!"

Alzanbri takes a deep breath — and blows it out when that final egg hatches. "Blue last." He laughs quietly, watching the young fellow head to one of the others. He smirks vaguely, then focuses on the remaining hatchlings with slightly-widened eyes. Bouncing a little, the boy nonetheless is quite focused, eyes flicking Aamanz-ward with a little laugh. "Bath first. Nap second." He calls with a snicker, then winces. Focus!

Unintentionally Naive Green Hatchling's stride gets prouder with each step, examine, dismiss. Are these candidates at /all/ worthy, her body language says as her tail flicks out, spraying sand at a few already passed over. One wing flicks out, over the candidates, then settles neatly against her back as she moves forward again. Then again. Who, who who? Feet are wuffled, robes blown on, then she stops at the feet of the little girl with piercing blue eyes, staring up intently at her light giggle.

With a triumphant cry it seems that the Unintentionally Naive Green Hatchling has found its partner at last and impression is made!

Face the Fire Brown Hatchling is in no rush, but neither is he lolly-gagging on the sands. The first task is now complete: he is freed of his goop and set to start his journey out of the remnants of his shell. Even his first few steps are certain, each placed with careful purpose as he moves away from the mound of sand and towards the remaining candidates. His bejeweled gaze whirls at a calm and steady pace as he surveys them from a distance. His course is maintained and his manner sedate as he arrives near a trio, scrutinizing each in turn. He clasps his front claws together, and the hide on his brow-ridges wrinkles slightly. It seems the one he's seeking isn't amongst this lot, and so it is onto the next with measured steps.

In the galleries » F'yr bobs her head enthusiastically. "S'why I'm cheering for 'em all, right?" And just to prove her point, those last ones get a cheer as they're led off with their new lifemates. Who were they? Who knows, might as well put a hand to her mouth and hollar some congrats out there. "Shells, did that go by fast or what? I feel like I just sat down, too." She makes a face at that last wandering hatchling. "Ain't nothing better than a brown. Thatta way!" To who she thinks is the one they're supposed to be cheering for, that is. Browns are the best, afterall.

Galina straightens up, pulling out of whatever daze she's been in the whole time — between the headache, the chaos, and Vidyazath's general loudness, it's a wonder she's still standing in all honesty. Appraisal is given to what yet remains, the set of her mouth remaining hard and her eyes fixed briefly, piercingly, on the Weyrlingmaster for but a moment. The humming is finally abating, with the end nearly at hand, and the woman finally works at her sleeves a final time in an attempt for presentability — and never you mind that her hair's still down. It's at least dried into loose waves, with her sweeping the stray locks away from her face.

Xandis should maybe be relieved that Kit doesn't make any more attempts to step infront of wandering hatchlings - however, he may have prefered that to the fact that the girl is seemingly of the mind that the hatching is over and done with, already tugging on Xandis's hand, trying to pull him out of the semi-circle. "Kit.. No.. Wait.." Xandis protests, standing his ground and giving her a little shake. "We have to wait." He repeats, even as he glances in the direction of those who Impressed. "Wait." He repeats again, glancing as the green seems to find a lifemate, and the Sands are all but empty.

Yet another pair of candidates is passed over, though this doesn't seem to faze the brown. The one he's seeking is there, it's only a matter of time, and though there is a sense of urgency to his movements, it is not hurried or chaotic. Face the Fire Brown Hatchling pauses abruptly, head swinging to regard the last few candidates ahead. Interest is piqued, and his steps hasten ever so slightly. The connection is made before the brown has even arrived. He settles back on his haunches in front of a thin grey-eyed candidate with messy black hair, his form relaxed, a look of repose upon him. The task is accomplished, and a bugle announces it so as impression is made.

With a triumphant cry it seems that the Face the Fire Brown Hatchling has found its partner at last and impression is made!

Miki simply stares for a few seconds and her eyes become moist as something overwhelms her. The tiny nanny reaches up, gently taking the green head into her hands and laughing. "Mii? That sounds nice. Even M'ki is alright but Phenalmugwump? Really?" Miki leans down and plants a kiss on the silly little green. "Alright Sohnyuoth, lets get you some food dear."

AWLM S'veti is taking his turn, approaching Miki with a congratulatory smile. "Hungry Sohnyuoth? Let's take her over this way and get her something to eat." He moves along in front of the former weyr nanny and her lifemate, guiding them off the sands.

Alzanbri's eyes /definitely/ don't get a little misty when Miki Impresses. Certainly not. "Yeah, Mik!" He calls towards his friend, face-splitting grin and all. "That's the way." A joyful laugh, even as he tries the futile draining-sand-from-sandals routine. Yeah, no; not going to work, that. Shrugging and resigning himself to more sands-dancing, the boy follows the brown with curious eyes, now, occasionally tossing a glance towards the green and her new rider. Yeah, totally grinning like an idiot. Then the brown goes, and he relaxes a little, grinning Xandis-wards. "Shells, congrats!"

Aamanz cheers again, an enthusiastic sound for the now former nanny…but as bright and cheerful as he may seem, it's not lost on him. The dragons aren't humming nearly as much, and the eggs have dwindled…and so have the unimpressed hatchlings. He's growing quieter, and sweatier, his white robe clinging to him now.

Lyana straightens, squaring her shoulders. She smiles at the two of her friends, brushing her hands under her eyes. A soft whisper escapes, perhaps heard only by those closest to her, "Congratulations, you two… don't be strangers, okay?"

Xandis had his hands full enough with the two girls, and then there's the large brown settled infront of him, and its almost too much. But then, there's something else, and he's stepping away from the girls without a moment's hesitation, lifting a hand to run it down the brown's neck. "Of.. Of course, Mneoraeth. Of course. Food… Of course I feel it." He seems on repeat, as he turns, staring blindly past Kit and her friend, never losing contact with his new life.

Kiteena screams, though it's a little one, her eyes going even bigger (is that even possible?!) as she jumps backwards and falls on her butt. "Xandis… my Xandis…." Tears well up suddenly and she buries her face in her hands as she begins to sob, her friend bustling to her side to try to console her.

R'oo is the only member of the weyrling staff still on the sands, waiting for the last hatchling to find his mate. He's been doing an exceptional job of avoiding the Weyrwoman's gaze and her place on the sands, but then he's had lots to keep him busy. In this small lull, he glances her way, expression unreadable. Then impression is made and he's moving again. He arrives behind Xandis only a few moments after impression is made. "That makes you the last of the lot. Let's get a move on," Does he sound eager? Perhaps a bit. There's an odd crinkle to his brow, as though he were working through the pain of a headache, but then again, all the noise in this cavern could give anyone a good ringing in the ears. "Food's a-waitin' and time's a-wastin'. This way." And with that the bronzerider leads the pair off the sands.

Galina finally speaks once the humming has ceased and the last dragonet has paired off, her voice carrying despite the naturally flat quality of it. "It is done." A beat. Two. "Fort Weyr is pleased to have had you all and we hope that, although no dragon sought you this time, you are willing to remain with us and continue to contribute to the Weyr. Should you be uncertain which path you desire to take, do not hesitate to seek us out to speak with us." There is sympathy there, even if it's unspoken — it's faint, perhaps easily missed, but there — and Vidyazath lifts her voice anew in a comforting warble to those that remain without a bond. "For those of you that wish to partake-" her voice lifts higher, gaze shifted from candidates to galleries to extend the invitation "-a feast has been prepared in the living cavern. We hope you will enjoy and indulge." She retreats a step, poised and calm, a hand reaching to touch Vidyazath's forearm. "Be well."

Aamanz casts his glance around the sands one last time, as if to be sure…and then breaks into a surprisingly philosophical smile; a shrug as the Weyrwoman speaks, and then he's looking for the way out. Off the hot sands and towards the inevitable party after. Hey…on the bright side? Cake!

Lyana 's shoulders finally droop, her face tilted towards the Sands beneath her feet. She remains this way for a moment or two, a few heartbeats and no more. Then she straightens, long enough to sketch a bow to the clutchparents and the Weyrwoman. "Thank you for this chance." With her head held high, she strides from the Hatching cavern, to disappear into the night.

Alzanbri takes a deep breath. Grins. There's a touch of disappointment in his eyes — how could there not be? It's quickly dispersed when Galina speaks, though, and the boy smiles in her direction. He doesn't call out to she or the Weyrleader (tact, Zan?), just salutes and nods to those left behind with a smirk. "Think I'm gonna have a roll in the closest snow, now." He laughs, waiting warily for the order to leave — and apparently, unable to resist, inching closer to the leader-pair (quartet?). "Thank you." The boy calls softly, sincerely, then waves and heads off; not /quite/ running for the hills. Decorum, he has it!

In the galleries » With the hatching sands empty, Thea rises, absently snagging her jacket as she slips through the crowd to the stairs. She doesn't linger, seeking to make her way to greer Fort's leadership and head back to Xanadu. So much to do with the incessant rain they've had…

In the galleries » "Yeah, /shards/," Cenlia grins at F'yr, turning and calling more congratulations to the pairs down there, till the last one impresses. "Feels slower when yer the one down there, I'll bet," Cen laughs, nodding her head toward the remaining candidates and Galina, "Shards, bet she'll be glad to be done with sands-sittin' and stuff." The Istan goldie sprawls down in her seat a few seconds and just watches the sands for awhile, sans rockin' egglets, and then shoves herself up to her feet with a, "Right, there's gonna be a party 'round here someplace!" And she'll totally attempt to drag whoever's game over to the caverns. Dun dun!

In the galleries » Ryni frowns slightly as Alzanbri is left. She has vague memories of the lad. After a moment, though, she shrugs, "C'mon. Let's hit up the feast before things get too crowded."

"Of course." And, with that, Galina seems more intent on remaining where she is for now, keen eyes slanting from the candidates to the galleries and back again. For those that dawdle, there's a slight gesture from her to usher them mutely along — there's food out there, music, and more … far more than these sands have left to give.

In the galleries » R'iahn snorts. And scowls. "No damnshardin' sense." The man's first words since the shindig began are gruff — but while, below, Alzanbri is perfectly content to go get a bath and head to the feast, it's a father's place to be annoyed. Especially when that father's general state is somewhere around 'grumpy'. "Hrmph." He grumbles, poking Sig in the side and standing. "I'm gonna grab the boy and head off somewhere for a day or two. Dinner with Lory and I, tomorrow. Bring this lot, if you want." Duly commanding another Weyr's Weyrleader, the man nods to the Istans and smiles vaguely. "C'mon, Lory — Bri, you two." With a toddler on each hip and a Briahla and O'rly on either side, R'iahn heads quietly off down the stairs.

'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.

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