'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.

2691.1.21

Fort Weyr - Galleries
The galleries are carved right out of the rock face, the rows and rows of benches rising high up into the air on a slight slant. Stone and wood benches that used to be known for offering little in the way of comfort, are now padded with cushions in Fort Weyr's colors. Placed along the railing at regular intervals are antique looking baskets filled with cheery fabric flowers. The curving walls sport tapestries in warm vibrant colors that seem to add a dash of color to the otherwise dreary stone. Where the galleries curve slightly at the ends, affording those attending hatchings or clutchings a decent view of the sands, shaded laterns offer warm lighting along the rows of benches.

It's a quiet night at Fort, a little past dinnertime but not quite to curfew yet. The only free time for some candidates, like Ada, who always seems to want to do more than his assigned chores. He's got a jug of some sort of liquid with him as he relaxes and watches the eggs harden. There's also a towel draped around his neck, and his coat is laid on the seat next to him. A sure sign that he's up here 'cooling off' after a work out. It may be snowing a little outside, but inside the sands were still quite warm. He's high up in the stands. Lurking. In the darkness.

Deitra usually vanishes after her chores, doing something or another and rarely seen by any who she does not wish to be seen by. But, tonight, it is different for the huntress-turned-candidate as she's making her way up the gallery steps, a mug of klah held by both hands as she makes her way towards one of the seats closer to the ledge to peer more carefully at the eight eggs settled there. Grey eyes focus there, making the young woman completely unaware of her surroundings as she sips at her klah, lost in her own thoughts.

After being closeted inside for much of the day, Xanshalla was barely a presence during dinner, before she rushed off again with scarely a word to anyone. But whatever antics she's been up do, apparently she's worked off enough pent up energy to decide that some quiet time before curfew is just the ticket. And what better place to get warmed up than here? The snow dusting her jacket and rainbow hat begins to melt as soon as she enters the galleries, and she immediately starts peeling out of said layers before any of the melt can soak through to her skin. She misses Adalinus, lurking up there in the shadows, but Deitra is far more visible and obviously preoccupied or not, the perky trader-seamstress-candidate turns her steps promptly in her direction. "Hiya," she greets as she closes the distance, cheery but keeping her voice low.

Nayale is still in a bit of a daze from being pulled away from her home. Snow? What -is- that. Well whatever it is, Naya hadn't seen it since she was quite young, and the fluffy white stuff has the girl all atwitter. So when she marches into the galleries, she has the cold white stuff all over her, clinging to a sweater that is probably not nearly warm enough for these temperatures. A blue knit hat is fit snuggly upon her head, complete with little pile of powder upon the very top. It's only once she's gotten away from the entrance that she starts to shake off, and brush the accumulated piles. She makes an interesting sight, with her long flowing skirt and assorted winter wear. "Oh, it's a gathering!" She beams happily as she spies three other candidates, "What're we doing? Egg watching? Do they do any tricks? I've never seen a dragon egg before, they don't have clutches at Ierne."

"Hey," Adalinus says from up where he's lurking like a giant creeper. "Down in front!" He laughs quietly. He didn't want to invoke the wrath of momma-dragon. He's heard they can be quite grumpy on the sands. Instead he climbs down to where the ladies have gathered up. "Hello, fellow candidates!" So much for quiet! All chances of that are over. "How are we doing this evening? Shalla? Am I still your best friend today?" He chuckles and looks towards Nayale, extending to her a big mitt. "I'm Adalinus. It's good to meet you!" Dietra is… given a sort of look. But Ada is avoiding eye-contact with her right now it would seem.

Deitra is drawn from her thoughts by the arrival of Xanshalla, or, her greeting to be more exact. A smile forms and she directs it towards the other, "hey Shalla. Wanna sit?" A hand is freed and she gestures to the spot beside her before lifting her mug to her lips once more, taking another drink. Grey eyes flick over towards Nayale as she exclaims her arrival, chuckling softly and freeing her hand once more to wave at the other woman. "Nah, they're not doin' anythin', really. Eggs don't move. 'm just /starin'/ at 'em and thinkin'." She gestures for the other to join them, "we're goin' ta end up touchin' 'em at some point." Adalinus' voice has her turning to consider the man, brows lifting as he gives her a look and doesn't say anything to her. There's a soft snort, "what's crawled up yer pants and died, Ada? If you've got somethin' ta say, say it."

Xanshalla tilts her head at Nayale, lips twitching into a smile. "You look cold; don't you have a jacket?" she asks, concern colouring her voice. She chuckles softly for the other girl's questions, but since Deitra beats her to answering she doesn't say anything, just settles in next to the former hunter and pats the bench in silent invitation for Nayale to park herself if she so desires. At the sound of Ada's voice she twists around, her bright grin perhaps answering his question before she opens her mouth to provide verbal confirmation. "Of course! I wish you'd had lessons with me today, though. I could've hidden behind you and taken a nap. History is sooooo boring!" Blink blink. Eyes going a bit a wider as she looks between Ada and Dei, she echoes a rather more gentle, "What's wrong?"

Nayale instantly falls into a crouch at Adalinus' words, "Who, what, where?!" Her head turns from side to side, bouncing blonde curls around her head. It's only when she realizes there's no reason for her be nearly sitting with her butt on the ground, that she pushes to her feet, giggling softly. "Oh. Right." She brushes the wrinkles out of her clothes, "Nayale, but most people just call me Naya." Most people being her family. "Good to meet you too, Adalinus." Her gaze slips over to Deitra before she's glancing over her shoulders at the rather boring eggs. "Oh, well that doesn't seem nearly as fun. I was expecting them to bounce around, doing cartwheels or something, with the way people talk about them being so interesting and all." The touching them comment has her dark blue eyes lighting up, "But that sounds fun. Are they hard or soft?" It's very convenient then that she misses the exchange between Adalinus and Deitra to offer a sheepish smile at Xanshalla, "Well, I do. But I kind of like the cold. It's different. I have my riding jacket and stuff but, what fun is that?" And Naya will probably get sick later and be eating those words. That patted seat has her instantly hopping over to place herself down and rub slightly frozen, bright red hands together. It's only once Shalla is focused on the possible issue at hand that Naya blinks owlish eyes at the pair. Blink.

Adalinus looks down at the eggs. "They won't be too interesting until they start to hatch, I suppose. Though I've never touched one, either. I wonder what that'll be like." He rubs his chin a bit. There's a laugh for Shalla then. "Sorry. I was at the infirmary most of the day. Doing security detail and the like. Moving things about. History is important, though! I find it fascinating. To know where you came from, all about your bloodline! Or the bloodline of a dragon you will possibly impress. To hear all the stories about Thread and the dragonriding warriors!" Ada's eyes seem to sparkling with the possibility of becoming a dragonriding warrior. Even if there isn't Thread anymore. He heads up to get his coat, then offers it to Naya. "Good to meet you, Naya. You may use my coat if you'd like." It'll be a big big on her, but hey! It was new and exciting, right? Ada then looks to Deitra with a frown. "I don't have anything to say. I thought maybe you might have something to say to me."

Deitra peers over at Nayale as Shalla brings attention to the fact that the candidate originally from Ierne is missing her coat. Brows are drawn into a slight frown but any statements regarding it are kept to herself as she lifts her mug again to her lips and sips at it. Grey eyes shift between Shalla and Adalinus for the talk of lessons and there's a chuckle, "don't blame you for wantin' ta nap. Hatin' the lessons, too." When the talk falls back on the subject of eggs, the huntress peeks back at Nayale, laughing for her statements on the activity of the eggs. "Nah. They ain't interestin' unless yer thinkin' their colors are. Suppose people're placin' bets, too." A shrug and she finishes off the rest of her klah with a single drink, settling the mug down beside her feet. "You wantin' gloves, Naya?" She offers, despite the other woman's comments of how it isn't quite as fun to wear a jacket. Attention resettles on Adalinus and his frown earns another uplift of her brows. "Nah. I ain't got nothin' ta say, Ada. Yer not makin' any sense, if somethin' is buggin' you, you best say it. I ain't goin' ta somehow read yer mind and fix things."

Despite the hint of trouble between their compatriots, Xanshalla can't help but giggle for Nayale's observations. "I know, right? Eggs're eggs're eggs, you woulda thought. But maybe it's 'cause what's inside 'em is so interesting?" she hypothesizes. A bounce of her shoulders in a shrug follows. "I heard some people talk about them hardening. So maybe they start out soft, then get hard? I don't think they'd let us touch them if they weren't hard, though. What if we hurt them?" Pause. "What's the point of touching them, anyway?" Her focus on this conversation is perhaps just a little bit too keen, the girl scootching over a bit closer to Naya, as if to distance herself from the tension. "I'm Shalla, by the way," easier to just drop the Xan since hardly anyone ever uses it anyway. Except for when she's caught slacking on her chores. Ada's going on about history being exciting though has her staring up at him slack-jawed for several moments, before she groans theatrically. "He's crazy. Completely off his nut. Quick, call a mindhealer!" she teases in an obvious bid to keep things cheerful. "Bets on what?" is asked of Dei. If she really is that clueless, or just that desperate, is unclear.

"I'm good, I promise. I wore this on purpose." Nayale's cold rosied cheeks are slowly returning to their proper color as she waves the outnumbered boy candidate off. "I guess the colors are kind of nice." She mumbles, peering out onto the sand to really give them a good and proper stare. "And bets? -That- sounds fun." It's only once gloves are mentioned though that Naya jumps out of her seat and digs around in the pockets sewn into her skirt. A pair of the said objects, balled, are tossed at Deitra. "That reminds me, thanks for letting me use them." Once again attention flickers back to Xanashalla at just the right moment so she can try to avoid conflict. She pounces and latches onto the subject of eggs. "My dad said they're leathery, but when I think of eggs, I think harder. Leathery seems like a strange description for an egg." It's only when Xanshalla is scooting closer that Nayale flings a protective arm around her, tugging her closer. "Nice to meetcha, Shalla." And she gets a friendly hug from the overly eager Naya. She keeps whatever her thoughts on history are to herself however and goes back to -stare- at those eggs, as if her eyes could burn through the shells and see what exactly is so special.

Adalinus continues to frown at Deitra. Pouty big man! "It's nothing, nevermind." He mumbles out. Then goes back to avoiding eye contact with her while they chat with the other candidates. He looks between the women then. "I heard when you touch them… you can -feel- them. Like… inside your head! Sounds pretty strange to me. Guess it gives them sort of a preview of who will be out on the sands when they hatch. I'm not really sure what to think at an unborn dragon." He gasps at Shalla then. "I am not crazy! I know all about the Nerat line. I can name back generation after generation!" He thankfully doesn't start spouting them off. "It's important to know them. That's were all this muscle comes from! Good genes and turns and turns worth of workout techniques!" He flexes for them. His shirt stays on though, thankfully.

"'m not sure what happens when yer touchin' 'em. I ain't ever watched, ain't ever asked, either. Maybe there's a rider that'll explain what touchin' 'em is like." Deitra offers in response, shrugging after a moment. "They're supposed ta be hard. They ain't goin' ta let us hurt 'em, so, nothin' ta worry 'bout there." Or, so she assumes! Shoulders roll and the woman shifts positions, drawing a leg up and tucking her foot against the thigh of the opposite leg. "Ada's always been a bit crazy. 's'what makes him cute." Laughter slips from the huntress lips. "They're bettin' on what'll hatch what, and what candidates'll impress what color, things like that. 'm tempted." Naya jumping to her feet brings her attention that way quickly, which is probably for the best as the balled up object is coming her way. Her hands lift and catch the gloves, grinning widely. "Yer welcome. Didja get some of yer own?" They are tucked into her vest pocket without much fanfare as her attention is drawn back towards Adalinus. "If you say so."

"I kinda like that dun coloured one," Xanshalla volunteers, arm stretching as she tries to point it out. "It makes me think of Igen, where my sister lives." She is not at all about to object to a companionable cuddle, grinning brightly as she tucks up next to Nayale and swings her own arm around the other girl. "Leathery?" she repeats, forehead crinkling from how high she lifts her eyebrows. "I'm with you. That does seem like a very strange way to describe how an egg feels. How does your Da know? Did he stand when he was young? Is he a rider now?" Her head swivels for another gape at Adalinus, this one accompanied by a small shiver. "I'm not sure I like that…." she notes in a small voice, before glancing nervously back out over the sands. Second thoughts much? She chews fitfully on her lower lip, before his posturing lures out a shaky smile. "You are /so/ weird," is declared, though it lacks heart. Another pause as she looks sidelong over at Deitra, expression thoughtful. "So you've thought about it? I mean, not the betting, obviously, but—" She flails her free hand through the air, at a loss for just how to word it.

"That sounds kinda weird. Having a baby dragon in your head. I mean, if you didn't impress it and all." Nayale looks a little nervous at that idea and apparently shares the same brain wave as Shalla. She's never had anyone in her head and while a dragon you impress doesn't weird her out, random weird eggs totally does. "But as long as they're nice, I suppose it could be fun." She's then giggling as Shalla cuddles back, momentarily distracted so that it takes a bit on the long side to reply to Deitra. "Not yet. I'm going to drag Nyekal to the traders tomorrow I think. He's been giving me the stink eye about my lack of warm clothes. Which I don't really see the big deal, but brothers can be such a party kill some times." Or in Naya's case, all the time. "Oh, the leathery, right yeah, he rides a blue. My mom's just a woodcrafter journeyman though. She said she had no interest in being a rider anyway. But they're both pretty happy I got searched. Dad thinks I'll get a blue like him." She rambles a bit, bubbling over with cheer that just never seems to -end-.

Adalinus takes a seat and stretches out a bit. "I'm not crazy! Or weird! You ladies just don't know what you're missing. Or perhaps the harpers aren't very good here. You just need to think of it as a story! And get to know the characters!" Ada starts to give up, seeing as how his enthusiasm for history isn't shared by any of the ladies. He sighs a bit. "I think they let us touch them all. And we can't impress them all.. so we'll all he touching eggs we don't impress. We'll all get a preview of all the dragons. I wonder if it's possible to get attached to any of them…" Ada is worried now. What if his favorite dragon doesn't like him! He watches as Naya talks about her family, giving her a nod when it seems like she's done. Or at least is taking a breath.

Deitra peers at the egg that Shall points out, frowning a bit. "Igen's too hot." She mutters, so there's a nod of agreement for the dislike of said egg. There's not really much to add about the feel of the eggs, only thoughtful silence as she tilts her head while staring at them. Her head tilts the other way as if trying to solve some puzzle that just isn't fitting together before heaving a sigh and giving up entirely. "'m sure it ain't a /bad/ feelin', I mean, they wouldn't make us feel 'em if it was bad." Again with the assumptions and hopeful thoughts! A shrug and then she peers back at Shalla. "Thought 'bout what?" Unaware of the two other candidates cuddling, she peers back at the eggs, frowning even more before drawing back. "Well, hopefully you'll get somethin' soon. Cold ain't really a joke when yer sick." Adalinus avoidance of speaking to her only earns the former hunter a hard stare, grey eyes unwavering.

Xanshalla lets out a hearty sigh of empathy, chiming in toward Nayale with an emphatic, "Brothers are the /worst/. I have five. How many have you got?" Her attention swings back toward Adalinus, and she reaches out in an attempt to give his knee a consoling pat. "Aww, sorry big guy. Maybe you're right. Maybe it'd be interesting if the teacher enjoyed it as much as you do, instead of just droning on and on." She straightens up a little, tipping her head back so her nose goes up snootily, her voice turning nasal as she mocks, "And then in turn 14 of the 5th Pass, gold Whatevereth laid a ginormous clutch sired by Whocareseth, making somebody Weyrleader and politics blahblahblahzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz." Her head drops abruptly as she goes into the overly-dramatic snore, eyes rolling back in her head. A few moments stretch out before she cracks open one eye to peek around at her audience to see if they appreciated her performance. "'Bout who among us might Impress," she clarifies for Deitra. "I mean, there's only eight eggs, but a lot more of us so… we won't all be together anymore, after." A thought that makes her look kind of sad, but maybe a little hopeful too as she shoots another nervous look out at the clutch.

Nayale peeks over at Adalinus and his spiel about history. "Maybe if they were written better, you know, less boring, then maybe people would like to read them more. I never did much reading of the histories before now. It's, ah, um… interesting at times." A small smile is offered to him as she tries to make him feel better. "Soon, most definitely! I promise. I can only dodge him for so long before he'll skin my hide anyway." She's seemed to have lost interest in the eggs though, as she's busy just staring at Xanshalla, all smiles and beams, "Oh my gosh! Yes, they are the worst. Um well, I had two, kind of, but really just one. And a little sister, who is just the cutest thing in the world. I want to hug and squeeze her all day long. But she normally doesn't like sitting still for very long." The last of that is said with a pout. The reenactment has Naya giggling like a mad woman before tossing a quick hug around Shall's neck. "That was perfect!" It's then that a rather similar looking boy peeks his head in from the entrance, "Hey, Naya, come on, I'm not going to wait all day." As if the girl could get any brighter, she bounces away from the now forgotten Shalla to go meet her brother. "Bye guys! See you soooooon."

Adalinus hasn't really attached any personal feelings to any of the eggs. After all they were just… shells, really. He was more interested in the touchings and getting to know what was growing inside. "I hope it's not a bad feeling!" Ada blinks as Shalla gives a mock lesson. "Why would someone like that even teach history?!" He looks out and counts up the eggs. Yep, only eight. "Well, they need to have a good selection, I suppose. I don't expect to impress, though. I'm a bit old for that." There's a wave to Naya as she makes her exit with her brother. There's a blink when Ada finally accidentally makes eye contact with a staring Deitra. He stands up and stretches. "Well, I think it's about time for me to turn in! I have to… work out tomorrow. And chores! Lots and lots of chores!" Oh yes, he's running away.

"Oh!" Deitra then shakes her head, "ain't no way ta tell. Ain't somethin' 'm goin' ta really think on. If I bet 'bout who is Impressin', it's just goin' ta be 'bout fun. Wishin' we could all stay t'gether, though." She offers the other a smile for the sad look she gives. "'m mainly goin' ta try and vote 'bout the dragon colors from the eggs." She avoids adding in about the boring history lessons, more or less distracted by the eggs again, brows drawn into a slight from before Nayale draws her attention as she's called away. "Later Naya." A wave is given before grey eyes resettle upon Ada. Eye contact is made and brows lift as he stands up and flees. "Wimp."

Xanshalla's own giggles join Nayale's as she happily hugs the other girl back before her brother is summoning her away. "Bye!" she calls after her with a wave. A double-bounce of her shoulders serves as a shrug for Ada. "I have no idea. Maybe it's a requirement? Maybe the Weyrwoman wrote a letter. 'Dear Harper Hall, please send us the fustiest old stick in the mud you have to teach our children and candidates history. Thank you, love and kisses, Neyuni of Fort Weyr.'" She grins wide and toothily, her nerves apparently completely forgotten with all the play. Maybe it's the lone male's talk of turning in, or just her own energy suddenly sputtering out on her, but her wide grin turns abruptly into a wide yawn, hastily covered by a hand. "Oop! I should probably head back, too." Hopping to her feet, she reaches out to wrap Deitra in a quick hug, murmuring, "Don't stay in here too long, you might bake your brains." Then she's accosting Adalinus with arms wrapping around his waist. "We can walk back together."