'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.

A Third Egg-Touching
Cast: Phoebe, Svandis/Diz, X'an

You step onto the hot Hatching Sands.

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.

===============================< Room Contents >==============================
People: Diz Phoebe X'an
Dragons: Wiyaneth Raeyth
Eggs: Cavernous Darkness Egg Murky Bayou Waters Egg Desert Saguaro Egg Tall Dark Conifer Egg Caught In Repose Egg Beneath Thunder's Eye Egg Painted Desert Sands Egg Watchful Prairie Egg Silent Winter's Night Egg

Obvious exits:
Entrance -E-

X'an precedes a mixed bunch of fruits and nuts, doesn't he? Leading a small group of candidates onto the sands, the tired-ish looking bronzerider heads immediately for Wiyaneth's flank, offering a greeting to the gold before turning to the sands, surveying the motley crew. "Welcome to the sands. For a few of you, it's the first time, for others not.. the rules are simple. Don't make a lot of noise and don't engage in rough-housing here. Touch the eggs.. be familiar with them and the sands, and enjoy yourselves otherwise. Remember to bow to the clutchparents…"

This the third time Diz has been ushered out onto the sands by the summons of an egg touching. The first time she was hesitant, the second time hurried. This time… this time she projects serenity. Her bow to the parents is nothing less than perfect and her smile for the bronzerider surpervising this venture is (dare I say it!) warm. "Thank you, X'an." The one-time guard does hang back a moment, surveying the eggs before she moves towards them. Her gaze lingers on the Silent Winter's Night egg but she doesn't move towards it. She has a rematch with a couple of others, near the center…

Phoebe bobs an immediate curtsy as soon as she's told, for she already feels she's walking on eggshells after last night's episode in the tavern. A finger finds its way to her mouth where she nervously nibbles at the tip and stands there, looking slightly lost. Someone gives her a push toward the eggs, and she moves in that direction, but just stands there with her knees barely touching the Painted Desert Sands Egg.

« Storm-tossed Perceptions roil unbidden into your mind. The crash of thunder, the roar of winds across a cliff-face. Lightning stabs the sky in half, rain slashes across your face in a wash of refreshing savagery. Then everything seems to become calm. The amorphous, intelligent presence coallesces from the ether in your mind's eye, watching you as you watch it, very sharply attentive and /powerful/ beyond reason. The tranquility is eerie, the silence near deafening. Hello there again. — the impulse to add 'mere mortal' to that tenebrous greeting is quite palpable. What do you want, postulant? Quiestor, you came before. It knows, remembers dimly… »

Diz runs the palm of her hand along the tip of the egg, and along its superior side. She's still wearing that smile but there's an edge of strain to it, as if she were concentrating on trying to catch a pinch of mist between two fingers. Eyes that are as stormy a blue as the shell is stormy grey shutter closed for a moment, turning her focus inwards. "Just to listen, this time. To remember. I've been through squalls before. Bad enough we lashed ourselves to whatever was bolted down, and hoped we'd make it through. The quiet after those was like knives in our ears. You remind me of that. We were always happy to have gone through it, afterwards," she murmurs.

Phoebe quite literally tilts her head and looks over her shoulder as she gets an odd sensation —her eyes widening considerably when she finds that no one is there. Follow? No, she steps back a bit and looks down at the egg, still not touching it in a purposeful way as her fingernails get abused by nibbling teeth. She keeps looking over at X'an to see if he 'knows'.

« Storm-tossed Perceptions spread outward from this sudden, violent, and pervasive awareness in your mind, giving room to breath, to expand and come to terms with the essence within. It still does not yet know its own power. It definately seems to be a collective consciousness within this mind, eyes that see everything, a two-faced deity that sees both ways never sleeping, always watching. Or perhaps it is more that it is as the storm it so resembles, filling the sky from horizon to horizon, seeing everything beneath it's mantle. It might seem oppressive, darkling and dangerous… yes. But whilst you are here, nothing will harm you. Nothing COULD harm you. Take the power here, wrap it around you like a cloak, and bask for a while. It will protect you. Storms upon a sea? It takes that image, tosses it around like a typhoon, then quells again. Do you miss that? Surviving the danger victorious? »

Diz tosses her head, eyes opening long enough that she can steal a glance around. Phoebe's watched for a moment, or appears to be watched. There's a blandness to her expression that might hint that, while the other candidate is in her field of vision, she's not truly seeing the girl. "Yes. Who wouldn't, after going through that and coming out the other side? It gets inside of you, mm?" This is turning out to be far better than her first encounter with this very egg. Her hand strokes over its shell almost fondly, and her smile turns pleased. "Some might say you can't live like that all of the time but I'd have to wonder why not."

Squeaking in absolute shock, Phoebe abruptly turns heel and walks away from the egg, nearly tromping on its neighbor before halting, shins parked near to this shell. "Psst, are … are you getting any weird feelings?" she says as she leans in Diz's direction, having come up to the same egg she's parked at, though her attention slides over to Desert Saguaro with a curious lean.

« Storm-tossed Perceptions seems faintly amused at this. The thunderous clouds quell a little, settling on the kind of sky you get right after the rain has passed. Approval? It's met with a sensation of a cessation of the howling winds, a lessening of the lightning and oppression. Perhaps at last, you've passed some kind of a test with it. Noone can live alone in a storm without a port to call home. But living without really /living/ is just not permissable. In the depths of the dark egg, the nascent mind roils, coils and settles on a black presence with a singular, infinately wise eye and a foul temper. It is bad to be misunderstood… to be labelled one thing and tagged that thing forever without the providence for change and flow… »

"Define wierd?" But it's unkind for Diz to find amusement in Phoebe's uncertainty. She schools her expression into something a little less insulting. "They're all like that, Phoebe. Here, come touch this one. It's strong but…" But who knows, maybe the other girl needs strong. Svandis gives it a last caress, whispering, "That would indeed be bad. Thank you for the opportunity to correct my thinking. Here… here's another." Then she's lifting her hand away and stepping back.

Phoebe shies away from the brightness that fairly emanates from the Saguaro egg and leans in toward the egg which Diz has just stepped away from. "But… it's like they're alive," she states, her eyes rounding out until the whites all but consume the irises. Of /course/ they're alive… she just hasn't made that mental connection yet.

Diz confirms, "They are alive. Inside. They're just surrounded by shells for now." That's an odd streak of patience she's showing, but it doesn't extend to sticking around to watch Phoebe deal with the storminess of this egg. Instead, once she sees the other settled, she turns and briskly makes her way across to her -other- nemesis. She boldly sets her hand atop it, smile gone all sorts of crooked as she waits to be reintroduced.

Phoebe's mouth opens to ask another question, but she's being assaulted by the egg and in a completely unfamiliar manner that knocks her to her rear —literally. Sit down? Yes, she will —in fact, she does, plopping heavily to the hot sands and ignoring the heat of them as her mind is battered, then relieved again. "But I don't understand; does that matter? I… I'm not the smartest you know." Such an admission.

« Echos of Laughter sparkles with stars in your mind, awake, brought into a very good humour by the amusement it seems to feel for the disconcerted addlement it brings to some, and the giggles it brings to others. That one had no idea what hit her did she? The polymorphing ephemeral entity of this egg seems to wink across campfire smoke at you. Still a bad influence eh? It still got a smirk and a snicker out of you… »

Diz's back is mostly to Phoebe now, so she misses the descent to the sands. Her attention is well and truly hooked by the reddish egg before her. She might even be heard chuckling as she gives it a gentle pat. "That's not likely to change, is it? You just caught me off guard is all… not my proudest moment, mm?" She inspects the striations on the egg's side, tracing them with a finger. "You've become very popular, you know."

"Phoebe," Phoebe blurts in a wondering voice as she stares at the egg's shell, following the change in patterns and colors as if that is somehow the key to understanding the intelligence within. "Um, what are wits?" she asks after a moment of silence as a wondering hand reaches toward the egg's surface and hovers within a few inches, unsure as to whether or not she should touch —it doesn't seem to matter that that is her purpose here, she's not thinking of that. Or likely thinking at all.

« Echos of Laughter scoffs softly, snickering with an odd little barking noise. Well, an unhatched dragon's hardly going to have a human chuckle is it? Hellooooooooo, not human. Some of'm have forgotten that. The mental expressions still amuse it though, or so it shares as the campfire before your mind's eye flickers and dances beneath a canopy of stars. Popular? Who needs popularity? Oh, well, there's the popular vote, maybe, but really, all you need for that is a big cheesy grin on your face and charm.. You've got that, y'know. The charm thing. Honey and vinegar. »

Diz crouches to get a better look at the egg. "It's been a little rusty. Not as much use for the civilized form of it, where I came from. It's been more like a big club lately, I'd think." Her smile turns briefly into a cheesy grin— no doubt due to the mental image of brandishing a big club at her unfortunate peers. "I'm starting to catch on though. I suppose I've been something of a slow learner. Not like you lot. You've been too sharp for comfort. Blades, the bunch of you."

Taking a chance, Phoebe leans forward and actually touches her nailbitten fingers down to the shell, just leaving them there, still static wide eyes watching as if she expects the egg to jump up and do tricks. Her voice drifts softly as if in embarassment, dropping lower as she 'communes' with the egg as much as she can. "I don't think I have many of those… harnesses. It's so hard to think sometimes…" she admits.

« Echos of Laughter does not just echo with a laugh at that, there's a full blown guffaw of amusement, images borrowed from you of an array of faces, young and old, all rolling their eyes. Pssssssssst, share a secret with you.. it's cos we're created from ultimate empathic energy, and if we didn't learn quick, we'd never figure our tails from our headknobs, what way was up, or down, and we'd come out addlebrained and not knowing our own name. You have to know your own name y'know.. who you are. Stuff like that. Unfortunately, some get /given/ the name, and that just sucks, because then they're stuck with it…. - The name 'Skanque' is brought to mind. What a doozy, eh? Poor sod. »

Diz chuckles again, but softly. She gives the shell the same almost fond pat she'd given the other egg but this time, she shakes her crowned head at the object. "That's one of the differences we have, I suppose. You get months to learn what name best fits you. Us, we're stuck with what's chosen for us. Unless we decide to rename ourselves and how many people manage that? Not many." She leans closer to confide, "But you're right, that's a terrible name. Do find something better."

Chaos does not consume Phoebe because she cannot identify with it, and therefore, in her mind, it does not really exist. "I don't understand," she admits to the egg, her hand falling away from the shell as her expression suggests she thinks she may have done something wrong. "My arse is burning," is blurted a moment later as she girl bolts to her feet and sways over the egg uncertainly, as if asking for affirmation from its storm-swept shell.

« Echos of Laughter shifts and changes in the smoke of the fireside, becoming a mis-matched array of shapes that are animal, vegetable and mineral, human thrown in aswell, as it displays for its own amusement and yours, what it thinks a 'Skanque' must look like. The results are both giggleworthy and eye-popping. Yes, that'd never do, being lumbered with Skanqueth for the rest of its existence… But hey! Lots 'make' names for themselves, no? Or did it dream that. Aaaaaah! »

"No, that is true. But those aren't always complimentary either," Diz says, her chuckling shifting into a brief moment of actual laughter. Yes, this is definitely more a success than her last encounters were. She straightens up, flexing one knee at a time to make them pop and prevent stiffness. "I'll look forward to finding out what you settle on. I'm sure it will be fitting, whatever it is." Which is a very diplomatic way of saying she's certain she'll get a laugh out of that too.

« Echos of Laughter seems to lose itself in its own little strangeness for a while, a distance forming in the jovial company that this denizen seems to emit in waves. Stars glimmer and sparkle in your mind's eye. Sorry, we were someplace entirely elsewhere there. A mournful, eerie howl echos across the landscape by that cosy campfire then, eliciting a goodnatured, but saddened sigh from the dreamer. Be well, come again, Bai bai, here until next sevenday! For now, this one must heed the calls. You never know when some schmuck is going to do something truly howlworthy and deserve a solid laughing at… you just have to know when to laugh /with/ too. Farewell. »

Diz steps carefully back from the painted egg, out of the main clump, and pauses a moment to drag the folds of her sleeve across her brow. Normally she wouldn't dare ruin the sleeve's snowy perfection in such a way but it's that or get a set of burning eyes from sweat dripping into them. "Alright there, Phoebe?" It isn't that she's concerned, really. It's just that she's trying on this new pleasant and conscientious act, and Phoebe is such a convenient target.

Speaking with authority for once, Phoebe explains, "Yes… my rear end, my behind, the thing that you… er, I, sit upon. The sands are hot —do you like hot?" she asks, ridiculously worried that the egg might overheat as she is. Sweat beads upon her upper brow as if she's been thinking to hard, but the reality is that the heat's just getting to her.

"Uh-huh," Phoebe states to Svandis after a moment of silence, then quickly steps back from the egg before her and nearly bumps into the one behind. "Shiny things… must bring shiny things…" she echoes the thought verbally as if trying to commit it to the squishy texture of her brain for safekeeping. "Shiny things…" she says again, then turns around to contemplate this encounter.

All this while, the weyrleader's been stood by Wiyaneth's massive head, watching this interaction with his arms folded over his chest, eyes partly lidded, vaguely amused by the whole encounter.
She's talking to herself. Right. Warm and pleasant isn't going to be enough to get Svandis to deal with someone who's talking to herself that way. Her brows arch and she beats a subtle retreat back towards Wiyaneth, where X'an is lurking. "She's talking to herself," she informs him helpfully.

"I'd noticed." X'an comments drolly to Diz, wrinkling his nose at the candidates still touching eggs. "If you wish to touch more.. I'll permit one more round on the eggs, people." he calls quietly. "You should be quick though, no heat exhaustion on the sands gets tolerated you see. I have to pick you up and cart you out if you collapse, and that's not fun.

Woe to the man, or woman, who has to pick Phoebe up, considering she's managed to put on ten pounds in the short time she's been here at the weyr —and not because of the good food either. "Shiny things…" she continues to repeat as she turns and just lays her hand down on another egg without really looking at it.

One more? Diz hesitates only a moment before making a straight line towards the egg she's claimed in private as her favorite. Silent Winter's Night reels her in like a fish on a hook. She takes a knee beside it, in spite of the heat, and presses both of her hands to its shell.

« Whispers of Wisdom flicker into your mind, dark and earthy. Mysteriousness shrouds your thoughts with a solitary cloth of dreams, and yet as you are taken back into your dreams to explore, you sense that this egg contains more than you'd expect. Sometimes one, sometimes many, ever shifting from the single to the group. »

Phoebe gets her 'one more in', though she's still too busy contemplating 'shiny things' to even really perceive what this egg is broadcasting —the subtlety completely lost upon her. She just stands there, eying the egg for a long, quiet moment, while her mind is off elsewhere —free of the tethers of wit. "Shiny things.." she mumbles again and again, trying not to forget.

Were it anyone else making the sound, Diz's sigh might almost seem sweet and her smile affectionate. Instead, she manages happy, pleased, but in her characteristically lopsided way. Eyes closed, she rests just a little against the egg as if soaking in its heat and indulges a moment in running with whatever consciousness there is to be found inside of it.

They say that still waters run deep, and while the waters of Phoebe's mind might be still, they are anything but deep as the saying so says. There's little to know, little to fish from the unconscious stretches of her mind, and she's completely unguarded to others fishing in there, giving up what little she has without restraint. "Shiny things…" she mumbles, that being foremost in her thoughts.

« Whispers of Wisdom explores your dreams, leading you on a wild chase through the wilderness. Unexplored territories of your mind you never thought you would see, you are brought to by this presence. Echoes of wilderness cries whispers in the furthest reaches of your mind and you wonder if you are being followed. A moment of fear, of being alone in the dark with something you can not see, soon gives way to solitude and calm as the mind pauses in the exploration and turns to regard you. »

"Must get shiny things," Phoebe mumbles under her breath as she passes a hand over the egg's surface before her without even thinking about it —well, duh. "Shiny things…" comes again as she turns, barely seems to note the presence of everyone who's there, and starts walking toward the exit without a backwards glance. "I'll remember…" she vows.

Diz happens to open in her eyes in time to spot Phoebe's exit. Puzzled, she reluctantly breaks contact with the egg she's mooning over and stands to watch the girl go. She glances at X'an, looking to see if he seems alarmed, and then shrugs. She's dripping in sweat herself, perhaps a bath is in order. Giving the egg a last pat, she steps carefully away to follow Phoebe's tracks to the tunnel.

X'an shepherds the last of the candidates after the departing two, following shortly after their heels.