'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.

Another Egg-touching!
Cast: Elara, Iniroc, Keladry, Phoebe, Svandis/Diz
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 Keladry Elara X'an
Dragons: Wiyaneth
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-
Keladry walks onto the sands and bows to the queen, then she just stands there looking over the eggs quietly. A look of quiet contemplation is about her before she finally takes a step forward to lightly lay her hands upon the Silent Winter egg. A bit of a hesitation at the memory of some of the touches she has received back from the eggs, before she takes a deep breath and lays her palms upon it.

Only midway through the day and already Diz is looking dust-speckled. For once, she appears to lack a sour mood over the soiling of her precious clothes, however. Rather, the candidate seems in high spirits as she sets foot to the hatching sands— high spirits being, in her world, the possession of a smile that actually touches her eyes. She dips in a bow for the sire and dam before trailing in Keladry's wake, watching the egg the other woman chooses while setting her own hand against the one near it.

« Cycles of Life pauses in its never ending quest to peer at you. Shifting mental hues of browns, earthy greens and the rich scent of a summer breeze touch your mind, while two great shining orbs study you with an unblinking and calm gaze. Studying you, the mind then turns and begins to move off slowly, hoping you will follow. »

Keladry closes her eyes as she comes in to contact with the shell, head canted as if trying to listen even though the voice is in her mind. Finally she straightens up, eyes fluttering under her closed eyelids. "Oh.." she murmurs in surprise, her mind being explored by the young creature. "How many of you are in there?" She asks in a murmur of confusion.

It's difficult to remain distracted once contact has been made with the consciousness inside of the egg. Diz spares a last glance for the wintery egg and then turns her regard to the odd shell of the one under her hand. "I'm following, see?" she murmurs. The rhetorical question is followed by a small breath that is held— or, at least, she doesn't seem to release it, focusing instead on what's passing through the link.

« Cycles of Life waits until you catch up and then continues. A rumbling beneath your feet that comes from within the egg as it tries to absorb you completely into its world. You look around and find yourself on a vast plain, with thousands of great shaggy beasts dotting it here and there. Shifting, ever moving, but ever at peace. Your leader looks over its shoulder again and looks at you, wondering what you think of all of this. »

"So many." That held breath is finally let go of in reaction to whatever it is that Diz is being shown. Her eyes, unfocused, widen in apparant surprise. "I didn't think anything on land could be so powerful," she finally says again after several minutes of though, and inspection. Her head cocks from one side to the other, and she thinks to shift on her feet as well to cool them, before returning to stillness. "Or that places like this could be full. What else?"

« Cycles of Life begins to lead you quietly down the path, deeper into itself and its image of itself. Warmth and overpowering community reach out to you, but at the same time a forboding sadness. The cycle always continues, through the good…and the bad is yet to come. This it knows, and accepts. And yet it is still saddened by it. »

Elara quietly leans against Wiyaneth's side, stroking her queen's hide and watching the candidates.

A late arrival, or was she always there, but quiet? —Phoebe trounces onto the sands, keeping her head tucked in against her chest, avoiding everyone's gaze. She sidles off toward Tall Dark Conifer and crouches down, though her gaze slides elsewhere, intent on something. Awkwardly, she bobs a quick curtsy in the appropriate direction, then settles onto her heels, pockets bulging oddly in her overskirt.

Diz is bent over the oblong shape of the Watchful Prairie Egg, communing as seems to be the custom with the little object. A frown of what looks to be confusion has furrowed her forehead, knitting her brows down over hooded eyes. "What is coming? Here? Or always? You're like X'an, you don't speak in realities." Not a very nice way to speak to a baby and she does try to rein in her natural inclination towards mouthiness, but it's something she struggles with. "Why think about it at all if it makes you sad? Focus on the good."

Phoebe swallows with an audible gulping noise and suddenly has even more reason to be nervous, though they're just eggs —right? Right. Swaying side to side uncertainly, she lingers near the egg, then scoots crab-like to the side, angling slowly toward her real target while trying to avoid her fellow candidates. Indecisive, she ends up nearby Silent Winter's Night and crouches there for a while.

« Cycles of Life beckons you come stand beside it, on a high plateau and looking out over the vastness of the valley. Only now can you really feel its presence in your mind. Calm and wise, yet sad. Off in the distance you see a large and ominous black shape barreling down on the valley below. The end of the valley is coming, you sense. Focusing on the good will not prevent the end of its valley. Time and again the cycle repeats itself. »

Diz steps back, still frowning as she removes her hand. Whatever the egg had been selling, she doesn't appear willing to buy. An effort is made be polite— "Sleep well," she wishes it.— but she clears the way for other candidates, should they wish to try their luck.

"What do you mean where have I been? I was in the storage caverns earlier, then in the bowl, then in the barracks, then in the baths, then in the…" Phoebe automatically recites in response to a sensation, her voice kept low so as not to draw attention and gaze sliding left and right to peer at the others in a self-conscious manner. "…and the baths again, but this time to clean up, and then in the tavern, to get food of course.." The list just goes on and on, her voice drifting as a steady stream of babble as she waits for her opportunity to get to her target.

Keladry slides her hands over the egg as it explores her mind, before her hands stop suddenly, body tensing for a moment. After some time she finally starts to relax and she looks about the sands self consciously eyes opening before she looks down at the egg, regarding it as it regards her.

Diz picks her way around to the opposite end of the clutch. She studies a pair of darkly tinted shells and finally leans down to touch the darker of the two. "Have we met?" she says as if beginning an oh so pleasant conversation in the middle of a formal mixer. "I believe we have, but the specifics have escaped my memory… I'm Diz, and you are…?"

« Flickering at Details sparks. Brief, just one flicker of light in the center of your mind, flashing bright and then nothing. Nothing. Then again, somewhere else - just that spark of contact that comes and goes in no more than a second, testing and then darting away again with what little sense of information it has found. Fleeting, here, there, gone again, always cautious, not lingering for any length of time before a rapid, erratic retreat. »

"Wait! Slow down!" Phoebe's voice raises slightly as if it'll help her be heard, to be understood, her mind swimming in more than the usual miasma of confusion. "I'm… confused," comes an admission a few moments later as she crouches down even lower, hunkering over her knees until the motion forces a shiny blob of something out of her right pocket. It falls to the sand with a decided *plop*.

Keladry shakes her head and draws her hands away from the egg. "It was a little…odd." She murmurs back to the egg before taking a step back to regard it as well. "Odd…yes.." She murmurs again before rubbing her hands together as if to get rid of a chill before looking about the sands for another egg to touch. Her eyes move over to watchful prairie egg.

"Mm, goodness… you are difficult to pin down, aren't you? Or shy?" Diz blinks several times in rapid succession, head tipping this way and that as if she were trying to make sense of something. Or, maybe, to keep her eye on something that lingers just at the edge of her vision. "You'll be able to get more if you slow down, perhaps… take a little—" What advice she might've given trails off as her head-tipping pays off. But rather than catching sight of whatever she'd been looking for, her gaze wanders across whatever it was that's dropped from Phoebe's pocket. "Ahh… Phoebe?"

« Flickering at Details stays lit this time, flashing a coruscating in your mind and then dimming to a subtle glow radiating curiosity outwards, though not yet forward enough to seek out the answers. It waits first, seeing what it can see, shivering light in one central place… it can be felt, the way its peering at your thoughts from a distance, its high-strung skittering beginning to gently nudge here and there, seemingly choosing bits of your mind completely at random, periodically flashing brighter and then calming as it goes along. »

"You're much too fast for me," Phoebe mutters under her breath, though she does lean forward to stroke the shell before her, tracing its patterns momentarily, then moving on. Sliding past Keladry, she barely acknowledges the other candidate, looking at her sideways in a 'does she know?' sort of way, before taking up residence near the egg the other candidate previously occupied. "Wuh?" Caught off guard, the girl jerks fully upright and blinks at Diz, one hand touched to Silent Winter's Night's surface. The dropped item has been forgotten.

Keladry blinks as her hands come in contact with the egg, then she tilts her head slightly her lids falling closed. Definate feeling of enjoyment as she feels the mental touch and what it entails. Her fingers lightly tracing over the egg's surface. At the unspoken request she nods, letting her mind be led where the young shall take it.

Diz sighs, giving a last look at the curious little egg she's standing beside. It's a regretful look, accompanied with the severing of contact as she removes her hand and treks over towards the object dropped and forgotten by Phoebe. This perfect candidate and general good person gig wears on a girl at times… "You dropped this," she observes in tones of forced cheer, reaching for whatever it is.

Wisdom only creates confusion in one such as Phoebe, so she shies away from the egg almost as quickly as she touched it, moving toward Diz without fail. "Oh…" is all the girl says as she reaches out a hand for the object, just wanting to put it away again, to hide it from view. "I brought it for one of the eggs," she mumbles to Diz whislt looking left and right through her lashes in a surreptitious way. It's not that an excuse is required, Diz is certainly not demanding one, but she feels obliged to give it.

Were Diz the genuinely nice sort, she'd leave whatever it is to Phoebe as soon as the other girl's hand came into view. But… she's not. So she just grabs all the faster for that shiny fidget, remarking as she does, "I don't believe you're meant to bring anything out here onto the sands, Phoebe. Wiyaneth seems the forgiving sort but you can't risk anything breaking the eggs, or being left and having someone step on it. What -were- you thinking?"

Elara looks up and looks curiously at Diz and Phoebe. Wiyaneth also turns her head to regard the pair, and she rumbles softly. "What's this?" Elara asks, reluctant to leave her queen's side so she just leans forward curiously.

Keladry lets her mind follow the path laid by the creature within, her fingers resting lightly upon the surface. She looks rather relaxed at the journey offered her. Her head tilts as if looking around, yet her eyes remain closed. "It is beautiful.." she murmurs. Her head tilts back toward the egg, her fingers yet again moving over the egg, "What are they?"

Phoebe's face screws up oddly as she instantly pulls her hand back as if it had been slapped and drops her gaze to the ground in an unusually subdued manner —she's definitely been acting out of sorts of late. "I.. I'm sorry… I wouldn't ha…" she starts to say, but then Elara speaks so she clamps her mouth down tight until her lips are white lines in the tanned flesh of her face. She certain they 'know'…

Diz tips a look at the other candidate, lips pursed in disapproval that fades as soon as she takes in Phoebe's expression. "Oh shells," she swears, straightening up and turning narrowed, almost-angry eyes to Elara. "I dropped something, ma'am." Her voice has gone sharp, almost curt. Back to being rude ol' Diz. "I was in the nursery earlier and one of the brachildren put something in my pocket." She uncurls her fingers long enough to give a flash of a look a glass marble— and then tucks the little object into a pocket of her vest.

Elara nods at Diz, "Okay." Wiyaneth rumbles softly again. She knows what just happened, even if her rider doesn't, and she watches Diz and Phoebe closely.

Phoebe's nose twitches oddly as she gives Diz a sideways look, then turns away when she sees the marble tucked into the girl's pocket. Rather than create a commotion over it, she trudges off instead, though seeing that Diz now has the shiny and the egg she wants to visit is being monopolized, she actually heads toward the exit. A lame excuse is mumbled in her wake…

Phoebe leaves the hot sands for the tunnel.
Phoebe has left.

Diz schools her expression into something a little more bland— not always the easiest thing to do when fully aware that you've become the focus of a clutchmother's attention. Particularly when standing so near her eggs, and having just admitted to a breach of etiquette regarding them. Ever so casually she will incline her head to rider and dragon before sliding off to set her hand (gently!) against the nearest egg. By happy coincidence, it's the one she'd first been eyeing upon arriving on the sands.

Wiyaneth rests her head across her forelegs and croons softly to Elara. Everything is fine.

« Whispers of Wisdom bounds into your mind with play, bowling you over with a rowdy family welcoming. It comes at you from all sides, fuzzy wildness and warmth and love. Wildness Inside Her. Welcome back. Have you been thinking about the voyage through your dreams? »

Keladry lets her mind follow the egg, but as it reaches the high plateau she balks and backs up. She notices the dark shape then in the difference, curiosity overcoming her fear for just a moment before she looks down again. She quickly backs from the egg , her hands withdrawing and falling to her sides. She stands back from the egg, barely noting its own sadness for her own fear. "I am sorry.." she murmurs.

Diz's mood suffers an abrupt change once she's been reuinited with the snowy little sphere before she. That genuine smile, the one that darkens her eyes, returns as she gives a soft chuckle and rearranges herself beside the egg. She takes a knee, paying no attention whatsoever to the heat as she gives its shell a careful caress. "Hello again… I have, quite a bit. Difficult not to once you put the idea in mind."

« Whispers of Wisdom caresses your mind, the many presences shifting into one strong one. Tell me about them? What have you learned by looking at yourself with new eyes? Darkness shifts with silver shafts of moonlight, shining off the glittering snow beneath your feet, taking away the heat of the sands. »

"Mm… well. That in this setting, to act on instinct and emotion isn't always as appropriate as thinking, first. It served me well enough with the… ah… pack I ran with, before." Diz's smile goes several shades of lopsided as her fingers consider their idle inspection of the shell's warmth, learning its little details. "Here, not so much. I'm more aggressive than most are accustomed to. My dreams are still of the sea though. My ship. That wilderness… storms and depth. Not pines, or rock."

« Whispers of Wisdom consiters your words, listening with attentiveness not often seen in a young egg. Your pirate friends, yes…Well, agressiveness is sometimes needed, especially when you wish to protect your vulnerabilities. As for freedom…the presence shows you where it is most comfortable - in the darkness and privacy of the woods. Earthy roots and the spicy scent of wet ground and fresh leaves. Freedom is in your reaction to a place. Not in the place itself. It is a state of mind, not a destination. »

Diz chuckles again, fingers coming together to aware the egg with a little pat. "How did you get to be so wise? It must be all of the time you have here, sleeping and dreaming. You make a valid point, though. I suppose I haven't felt terribly free as of late and that's of my own doing. But once you and your siblings have decided it's time to break free, it will be different," she confides in those same quiet tones. "One way or another, it will be. For all of us, mm?"

« Whispers of Wisdom pushes gently against your mind. You have trapped yourself, and you build walls to keep yourself trapped and to keep others out. You need to be one with your pack if you wish to be free, to be at home. And no, nothing ever stays the same, and things will change. No promises made. »

Keladry finally gets herself together again to step toward another egg. Hesitant steps take her to the Tall Dark Conifer egg. She looks over the egg for a minute before she sets her hands upon it. "Here goes nothing." She murmurs and closes her eyes.

"At least you're not bogged down in sadness over it. Your neighbor there couldn't seem to shake that." Diz turns a brief look on the Prairie egg nearby, but her attention doesn't linger. She smiles again, faintly this time. "My pack isn't as comfortable with each other as yours does, that's part of the problem. We're a terribly prickly bunch. All of certain that we're each right, and the others are wrong. I don't suppose I could cart you around to lecture -them- as wisely as you are me."

« Whispers of Wisdom is amused. Order must be established. A snarl there, a snap here…but it supposes that wouldn't work with you and your pack. Might make your Alpha mad, actually. So that leaves kindness and gentleness, and being able to respect other's thoughts and not being so stubborn that you can't change. You must flow and bend, like the mighty pine. If it tried to resist the wind it would snap, so it bends with it. Flexes to the changes. »

Iniroc moves into the hatching sands, from the main entrance.
Iniroc has arrived.

Diz's free hand lifts to absently scratch a spot along the curve of her jaw, a gesture that has a thoughtful look about it. Her eyes remain fixed on the cool slope of the Silent Winter's Night egg, the hand pressed against its curve not lifting even the tiniest bit. "I suppose I could, were I not where I am now. Perhaps afterwards… I've been trying the other way, that way, and no one appears to have noticed. So what's the point, really?"

Keladry steps back quickly from the egg blinking with surprise. "Woah.." she rubs her hands together as if smoothing away an ache as she retreats further from the egg. "That was rather odd.." She shakes her head and steps a few steps back from the eggs. She takes a deep breath before looking over the other eggs then up to the queen, "You have some…interesting eggs..ma'am"

« Whispers of Wisdom has noticed. But you must be true to yourself first. That is the most important thing. Once you have found who you really are, and it means -really- are. Then things will work out for you. Trust it. Trust your peers. Trust is essential in a pack. »

Iniroc-come-lately, better late than never. In his rush to join the rest of the candidates he nearly skids across the entrance into the sands. Roc slows, mindful of the eggs and their mother—to whom he manages a bit more grace with a bow and nod. "Sorry, was in the latrine," he pants. Yeah, too much information.

"That would be a better idea if I had anything resembling—" Diz breaks off, gaze turning curiously towards the entrance only to swing immediately towards the ceiling upon recognizing the latest arrivel. "Ugh," she says succinctly. The look she gives the egg, as if it were girlfriend rather than semi-inanimate object, just screams 'See? See what I have to put up with?'. "You are admirably informed for someone so young, but really… just -wait- until you have to meet some of the people out here," she adds in very, very quiet tones.

« Whispers of Wisdom laughs, rippling from one presence to another as it fragments into many individuals again, surrounding you quietly. No one is perfect. And yes, sometimes people will drive you crazy. Sometimes you can drive yourself crazy. Give them a break, you're not a basket of dasies to deal with either, Wilderness Inside Her. »

Iniroc semi-circles the sands after the bowing and excusing is complete. He seems a little on edge as he surveys the current pairings, eyes the lone eggs left with trepidation. Rumor has it his first touching went a little awkwardly for him. Rubbing his hands together, Roc takes a deep breath and dares a two-palmed approach to the Murky Bayou Waters egg.

"No, I suppose I'm not." Diz is far too at ease to become riled by having her flaws pointed out to her, but her smile does still perform an odd twitch— perhaps it stings a little more to hear whatever she's hearing from an egg, of all things. "But," she continues on, gaze roving once more to skim over the nearby candidates— Iniroc's lack of composure drawing a quirked set of brows— "Well… nevermind. I should allow someone else some time with you, egg. It has been pleasant, and I imagine we'll have time again before you're ready to crack."

« Whispers of Wisdom caresses your mind gently, lovingly. We did not mean to hurt your feelings, but sometimes pain must be endured to reach the truth within yourself. You are a very strong person, Wilderness Inside Her. Use that to your advantage. Until we meet again. »

Elara raises a brow at Iniroc's entrance, and then she simply leans against Wiyaneth again. The gold croons soothingly to her rider, eyes spinning slowly.

Iniroc leans in on this one, the tension on his face softening—the ghost of a smile plays on his lips. "Now, that ain't a bad start, there, buddy," he murmurs to the egg. Roc's getting the hang of this, already talking back to the durn things. It's hard to reconcile that something which looks like an oversized wherry egg actually, you know, has thoughts and feelings. Or, well, the capability of /sharing/ them, at the least. "Don't mind being a little shy…"

Wiyaneth rumbles a little darkly at Iniroc. Whose clutch are you calling oversized wherry eggs? Elara giggles softly, stroking her queen's neck. "They do though, love," she whispers.

Diz's feet carry her on an oh so casual path nearer her fellow candidates. Yes, that side of the clutch where she's able to listen in. Still, morally questionable as her destination may be, that warm little smile continues to play about lips and she does have a legitimate purpose— another egg, of course, and one she's only touched the once as opposed to the others she's met multiple times. Sinking to a crouch beside the Desert Saguaro egg, she sets fingertips to its surface and appears to focus.

« Taunting Ultra-Violet Waves responds quickly to the touch. Oooo! Visitors! Bright light shines into the darkest reaches of your mind, yielding clarity and tranquility on some of your more troubled thoughts. Friendly tendrils gently poke and prod you, getting to know you better. »
Keladry finally shakes her head a bit and bows to the queen once more before rising and moving to the stands to look at the eggs from afar. "Maybe a bit later.." She murmurs in apology, seeming a bit unsettled by the last couple touches she received.

Diz's eyes narrow as something akin to a spotlight is turned on her. "Ahh, gentle please." Perhaps this wasn't the best of ideas, after all. She straightens up, removing her hand to break the contact and looks around. Unable to eavesdrop on anything, she's left with little choice— approach the weyrwoman. "I don't believe it's been said lately, ma'am, but thank you for allowing us so many opportunities to get to know these. I was wondering if we would be given instruction on what to expect when they actually hatch?"

Elara lifts her gaze to Diz and wipes a hand across her brow. "Well…when they start to rock the dragons will start humming and all of Fort will seem to shake with the vibrations of it. Then the candidates will get into their robes and sandals, and file out to the sands. You'll form a semi-circle around the eggs and then they'll hatch, and…well, just get out of the way if one runs at you. They hatch starving and confused and sometimes candidates can get hurt. Not often though, so don't worry. But still, get out of the way. And then, if you impress…well. You'll know.

"That's it?" Diz appears bemused that the matter is conducted in such a straightforward fashion. "I had asked X'an what it was like and he was no help at all; that's a much better answer. Thank you, ma'am." Her eyes flick from Elara's face to that hand and the sweaty brow beneath it. "Perhaps you could do with some water, ma'am. Or… perhaps some sweet tea? It's a cold drink, one I learned while in a southern port. You do enjoy tea?"

Elara's brows arch, "Tea?" she asks. Always something that perks her up. "Well I'm glad I could help. It is kind of scary, and it happens really fast so stay on your toes when the time comes."

"Yes ma'am. Tea, of a sort. Cold, sweet tea. Better suited to the heat you have to tolerate here. I'll inform the kitchen of how it's made and have some sent. It should be ready by the time you've finished here" Diz backs up a crisp three steps, performs her bow for the observing gold, and pivots to exit the sands. She leaves without glancing back though she does hesitate at the edge— as if she'd -like- to look back but won't allow herself to.

You leave the hot sands for the tunnel.