Fort Weyr - Hatching Cavern

The hatching cavern at Fort Weyr is a sight to behold, carved into the highest part of the mountain. The main entrance way is large enough to allow dragons to fly in and deposit passengers, without causing much of a stir to the folks walking around on the ground. To the right as people enter is a grand design describing the rotation of the Red Star, etched on the wall. The entrance to the sands themselves lies slightly off to the northeast, while directly east is the entrance to the galleries.

Neyuni looks around as word spreads and a group of eager candidates begins to assemble. "Alright, a few quick things before we go onto the sands. First off, be polite and respectful. No playing, running, skipping, yelling. Zuhth is a very broody queen and while you don't have to bow and grovel at her talons, she'll snap and throw everyone out (possibly literally for those with active imaginations) if she feels there is any threat physical or otherwise to her eggs. So please don't trip and fall even accidentally on one of the eggs."

Deitra is among the candidates that are gathered, not without her excitement but certainly quite muted in comparison to some of the others. Her hands are held at her sides, fingers latched onto the hem of her shirt and twisting just a bit so to remain from bouncing about as some seem to be doing. When the rules are given, grey eyes shift towards Neyuni and nods quietly for each thing they are not supposed to be doing, and another few nods for good measure.

Kairhys isn't hanging towards the front or chilling out towards the back of the group of candidates, instead he's nestled himself somewhere towards the middle and appears to be quite comfortable being there. Not that he wasn't towering over the majority of his fellows there, being at a very neat six feet and one inch of height even given that he was just sixteen turns old. He keeps his attention focused on Neyuni as she speaks, keeping all wise cracks and lopsided smiles to himself for the most part, nodding a few times as the weyrwoman speaks along with the group. Herd mentality perhaps.

Miki strolls into the hatching caverns, leading a group of candidates that had been on nanny duty. But whatever baby fluids might have been on them earlier are no more, each one freshly showered thanks to the greenrider's insistence (not that it took much convincing). Once they're lined up, the AWLM falls into line next to Neyuni, shooting her a quick smile before blue eyes gaze out over the candidates and nodding at a few of the more familiar ones.

Neyuni continues "While do be respectful, don't be shy about touching the eggs. The shells are hard now, and they'll be getting even harder as the hatching draws closer. You may feel a reaction from the hatchling inside, try to keep an open mind, and try to circulate so you get a chance with each egg. There will be more touchings as Zuhth allows." she pauses to look out onto the golden grained sands. There's a low rumble, grumpy and not all that distant, broody indeed! "If you have questions, just ask as things come to mind. You don't need to shout as you'll find that sound carries very well on the sands for some reason." she looks around as most seem assembled now, pausing as if to see if there might be any questions or hesitation.

Deitra's gaze briefly drifts over towards Kairhys, a wide grin is quickly given in his direction before drifting off towards Miki as she arrives with more candidates. A nod is given, though attention quickly returns forward as Neyuni continues speaking. There's a nod from the explanation, nose wrinkling just a bit for the mention of the hatchling responding to them touching the eggs. Her expression shifts a few times, unable to determine what exactly she's feeling before relaxing and peeking at the others to see if they have any questions.

Brown eyes dart the way of Miki as she arrives, also cuing the arrival of that lopsided grin. He doesn't go out of his way to get the greenrider's attention, after all he was hard to miss being sometimes two or three heads taller than the others, and so he merely looks back to Neyuni as she continues to speak. That rumble from the hatching cavern behind the goldrider gets a flickering of his gaze that direction but it's back to the woman herself quickly enough. He too looks around at his fellows, not speaking up himself as it was apparent he had no questions at this time, though there was a sort of nervous energy building around them now, causing more than a few of them to shift their weight from one foot to the other or murmur among themselves. For Kai it was no different, he might be all roguish charm and confidence most of the time, but right now there was a noticeable measure of apprehension.

Fort Weyr - Hatching Sands

The sands. The most prominent 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.

Miki giggles as she watches a few of the candidates shuffle around. "Aww, they're cute." Bright blue eyes land first on Deitra, grinning widely before eyes continue their scan of the crowd. Once Kairhys is found, the weaver turned candidate earns a wink. When no questions seem to pop out from the gathered crowd, Miki turns to the Weyrwoman, waiting until she moves onto the Sands and following along after her.

Neyuni leads, primarily because she needs to intercept Zuhth who doesn't look all that pleased to see the gaggle of younger-folk on *her* sands. Tail lashes and talons knead the golden grains as her body language speaks loudly enough…. she's got her eyes on you all! Neyuni reaches, doing her best to calm the queen who grudgingly settles only after the last of the candidates steps onto the heated grounds. "Alright, so please take a closer look." and she'll just stay right here, a physical and mental barrier to the broody gold who openly stares at the candidates as if she might somehow scare them away somehow.

Deitra tenses a bit at the sight of Zuhth, who is none too pleased to see them. She freezes, unmoving until Neyuni tells them to go ahead, one last look is given to the brooding gold before finally she shuffles out towards the eggs, mindful of her step and where she's walking so not to cause accident. Towards the Soul in Bloom Egg she goes, curiously reaching out to place her hand down upon the shell.

The grin from Deitra is caught, and almost skipped over in Kairhys' muddled down brain, but returned in his usual lopsided manner. Even if it's not as broad or toothy as it usually was. The weaver was doing his best not to look terribly tense, and this was sort of working for him, even if the wink from Miki has the poor lad flushing horribly. It might even of been a rather cute look on him, if he wasn't just a touch green around the edges. He does trudge along after the others as they make their way onto the sands, and instantly his eyes are drawn not to the eggs but at the displeased mother dragon sitting off there at the side. Even a small queen was large compared to the other colors and the boy finds himself edging ever closer to Deitra, catching himself doing this as the huntress walks away to find one egg among the clutch. Even though Neyuni is telling them to go have a look, more than a few (Kai among them) are reluctant to do so and he is one of the last to move off in that direction. He's keeping one eye on Zuhth even as he holds a hand out timidly and just brushes the surface of Hidden Within the Aurora Egg.

Deitra is forgetting about everything else on the sands, mother dragon looking all angry and the fact that there are other people there with her among the eggs. And even the shell under her hand is forgotten as grey eyes slowly close as she becomes suddenly lost in what the other mind has to offer. "It ain't /easy/." Comes a sudden outburst, which surprises even the woman giving it and her hand draws away quickly, eyes opening to look around her. When it seems as if attention isn't on her, she relaxes and slowly leans forward to place her hand gingerly upon the shell once more.

And finger do, touch the firm warm shell of the encased infant, even as Kairhys' eyes widen. The holder's entire frame stiffens up, giving the impression that he just might be considering standing on his toes rather than distributing his weight along the entirety of his foot. It only lasts a few seconds before he yanks his hand away and is staring at the unassuming egg. His mouth opens and closes several times during this process, giving him a particular fish out of water look, which might very well be more true than he'll ever admit. He self consciously glances the way of Neyuni, Miki and finally Deitra before he very cautiously chances a second encounter by lowering his hand to just barely graze the surface of that beautifully painted ovoid.

Deitra's expression slightly crinkles up in discomfort, bordering on a touch of disgust and confusion before again relaxing into something more relaxed. A slight smile twitched upon her lips before her expression again shifts. This time, it reaches to a bit of anger and annoyance for what is offered from the other mind reaching out to hers. "Yer annoyin'." Another outburst, though this one does not shock her as much as expressions begin to shift all over again towards different mixtures of emotions and unable to settle upon just one.

Zuhth keeps her head up, all the better perspective from which to watch the candidates move around her eggs. In time she lets out a nice, long yawn. Hardly bored, it shows off her nice sharp white teeth, but all the candidates do seem to be behaving themselves for the moment and so after a hard nudge from her rider leaning against her chest the gold looks a little pouty, a soft rumble escaping as she goes back to watching sharply.

Some of the tension that had grown, seems to ease at this second attempt at contact, the weaver however teetering still on that edge of the unknown but starting to lean towards wonder. There was an almost childlike quality to the sparkle that begins to dance in the young man's eyes, but not so profound just yet or perhaps entirely comfortable with the unfamiliar invasion that he's completely giving in. Kairhys' head ever so slowly cants off to one side and then he leans back, keeping the hand lightly resting at the peak of the egg, but his other arm still hanging at his side with no sign it had any intention to join the first. If anything, he's distracted by some of the comments being made to one-sided conversations or interactions, but most of all with growly queens with sharp looks for curious candidates. This zaps some of the easing, and brings back a considerable amount of tensing. His gaze drops back to his hand placed so lightly on the egg before him, shoulders hunching some.

Deitra remains lingering at the egg, though a wince of pain briefly settles upon her features. A soft gasp, but nothing is enough to draw her hand away from the egg even if her frame seems to jump at a sudden surprise. Her expression sobers, quickly touching on sorrow before tears begin. Silent ones that she is completely unaware of until she finally draws away from the egg. The dampness upon her cheeks are noted, her hands lifting quickly to brush it it all away and to blink it back, hiding the evidence and quickly straightening. A breath is drawn and slowly, she makes her way over towards the On the Wings of Dreams Egg.

"Yup, okay." Kairhys says quickly in a hiss as if he had just been stung or zapped by something, that hand comes right off Hidden Within the Aurora Egg and he takes a step back, or rather half a step because he comes precariously close to bumping into another of the candidates. He softly apologizes to the tiny girl, even as he flushes darkly in his own embarrassment. Yeah, his bad. It's only then that he looks back to the egg he had just touched and there is the smallest waver in what might of been a smile at one point. That ship apparently had sailed. There is caution now in the way he moves around the eggs and his fellows, brows creasing some he he scans every single one before choosing another. There is a considerably greater amount of apprehension this time, to the point that he only dares a few finger tips to actually touch the apex and winces before anything has a chance to come.

Deitra's fingers gingerly stroke along the shell, certainly not being rough but the nature of each stroke is almost playful in return with her nose scrunching up in amusement. Silence, as if the candidate dares not to laugh, afraid of breaking the mood.

Immediately there is a shiver from Kairhys, and sure enough there he goes into the tips of his toes. Teeth are gritted and his expression contorts, showing he is likely not having the time of his life over there. The boy's lips actually form a rather rare frown as he stands there tense and unwilling or perhaps unable to move away. Jaw works, perhaps even grinding his teeth before he manages to seal rather muddy looking eyes behind bronzed lids. His dark lashes fan out against his cheeks as he attempts to remain and endure whatever it is he might be experiencing in silence of there.

Deitra's resolve is broken as laughter slowly bubbles forth. No restraint, amusement continues to bubble forth until finally she can reign it in. Her bottom lip is taken into her mouth and chewed on to keep the silence. Fingers continue to stroke and play along the shell to encourage more.

Finally, all that bunching around Kairhys' shoulders appears to be letting go as the boy lets out a shaking breath and slides the fingers of his other hand up against the first. Not quite ready it looks like to be resting them comfortably upon the peak there, but at least he didn't look as if he was getting a surprise visit by something unpleasant being shoved up his backside. He might of had the mind to have a somewhat sheepish expression on his face for his behavior thus far, but there is no apology for the holder's first few experiences with an egg touching. He remains where he is, funnily enough, not yet running screaming from the sands.

Deitra begins to pout suddenly but a smile slowly works back into place as she draws away from the egg, lingering there for a moment as the smile turns a touch fonder. Finally, she draws completely away and considers the next egg. When one is picked, she moves that way and finally coming to rest beside the Megalithic Longstone Egg. Without hesitation, her fingers reach out and gingerly settle upon the shell.

Velokraeth has been here the entire time, honest! The pale bronze lounges in his usual spot, a slight distance from Zuhth and well out of the way of any of the candidates or the eggs. He too is quietly observing, over-sized head held high while his stunted front legs are crossed over each other. He'd be the picture perfect of statue still, if it weren't for the swirling of his eyes and the occasional twitch of his forked tail. Th'ero however, is not with him and instead the Weyrleader comes striding onto the sands from the entrance quite late. He's carrying something with him, tucked under an arm, and his pace slows as he nears Neyuni and Zuhth. "Sorry, I'm late." he says in a low tone. "All is going well?"

Neyuni is leaning against the chest of her agitated dragon as talons slowly knead the sands on either side of her. Since the weyrleader is already partnered he gets but a passing glance from the gold who continues her sharp focus on the candidates, at times looking smug, and others more worried. Tail doesn't lash quiet so hard now, but seems in ever constant motion be it sliding snake-like along the sands surface or the tip twitching spasmodically. Yuni offers Th'ero a tight smile in return. "As well as can be expected…"

All that bracing for the worse apparently has worked itself out in the end and Kairhys is even smiling some when he finally retracts his hand from the surface of that egg. He lingers some, in fact, until another candidate is waiting patiently for his turn and the weaver has to move on. Something might of been born there between the two, or perhaps an understanding at the very least. He breathes out a quiet breath and turns, completely missing the arrival of the weyrleader among the riders standing off there on the side lines. He weaves some more through the clutch until he spots the egg that Deitra was first to give her attention to. It's there that he wanders, less hesitant now to reach out and brush fingers against that smooth surface.

Deitra twitches, a smile growing upon her lips, wider and wider as the moments pass and she simply just looks entirely full of herself. A soft cackle finally drifts forth though abruptly ending, fading into disappointment. A pout forms and a sigh is heaved. Woe is Deitra. "Come back…" Fingers twitch upon the shell of the egg in a silent urge.

Startled, Kairhys nearly retracts his hand completely from the egg, keeping only the length of one fingers resting against it before the hand does gingerly come to rest upon it once more. The muscles on his face twitch some, almost in a grimace before he's simply shaking his head and allowing his second hand to join the first. He grounds himself by placing his feet an even distance apart and maybe even lining them up with his hips as if he were expecting something like a brisk wind any second he would have to brace for. A dubious eye is cast down at the egg before him, brow quirking upwards even as his lopsided grin finally returns and steadily grows more confident.

Disappointment shows through on Deitra's expression first, though curiosity and intrigue are quick to follow with her head tilting just so. There's a shift, feet checking to be sure that the sand is still there and a breathless laugh follows once confirmation is made. Again, her expression begins to shift into something like sorrow and again with tears begin to flow. Unaware of this, however, she lingers at the egg.

Th'ero gives a cautious side glance to Zuhth as he edges a little closer to where Neyuni is resting, but the Weyrleader relaxes once he realizes he's more or less safe. Instead, he reaches for the object tucked under his arm and it's soon revealed to be nothing but a skin full of some form of refreshment. The cap is undone and Th'ero is then offering it to the Weyrwoman with a smile. "Care for a drink?" he asks, though is briefly distracted and glances away to watch the candidates among the eggs.

Neyuni ahs "A drink would be fabulous." she responds to Th'ero. Behind her Zuhth rumbles, tail taking up more movement. She looks to her more passive pale mate and then reaches some invisible limit. Was it that one candidates giggle, or another shuffling between the eggs? Who knows but there is a long hiss which escapes and wings rustle, unfurling. "Looks like I may have to take that to go…" she then addresses the candidates moving between the eggs. Please finish up where you are and head on out. Don't worry we'll have plenty more chances in the coming sevendays." A deeper hiss belies the queen's response to that… more?!? As if one wasn't enough and Neyuni grits her teeth, controlling her mate as the candidates finish and shuffle out.

Deitra is unable to stop the sound of surprise that finally slips out, a soft squeak-like sound that is barely restrained. With a cough, she's drawing her hand back and grinning widely at the egg before again noting the dampness upon her cheeks. Slowly, she lifts her hands to brush away the dampness. Neyuni's speaking to them, grey eyes blink and then she looks towards Zuhth before returning to Neyuni and nodding her thanks. There's no look towards any of the other candidates as she carefully — and as quickly as she can manage — shuffles out.

Kairhys blinks a few times and that dubious look only grows fractionally more obvious the longer he stands there, even if several shivers encompass him completely in the meantime. As if suspecting someone might be looking at him, brown eyes finally moving over Th'ero. A twist in his expression shows at first surprise, and then he's focusing quite intentionally on his hands. They are lovely hands you see, and requite his attention. The heat of the sands the culprit for the sweat beading at his forehead and back of his neck, might also be responsible for the flush darkening his cheeks even as he removes himself from any further contact with the occupant of this egg and distractedly focuses in on Miki. He gives her a long penetrating look before he turns briskly and heads out right after Deitra, "Hey, wait up." he calls after, making sure to his tone down to a dull roar.

Th'ero is just about to pass the skin over to Neyuni, but the hiss from Zuhth has him withdrawing with a bit of a crooked, faint smile. "I guess so, then." The Weyrleader doesn't argue as he replaces the cap and tucks it all back under his arm. Doesn't he just have excellent timing? Gaze moves out to the candidates, frowning a little as he watches them begin to shuffle out. Velokraeth croons sweetly towards Zuhth, no doubt sharing a few honeyed words with the gold to buy the poor candidates a few more brief seconds.

Miki raises an eyebrow at the sudden stare from Kairhys, mouth opening as if to question. Before she can get any words our however, the boy is disappearing and she can only shake her head in confusion. "What's gotten into him?" There is a tiny shrug before the AWLM raises a hand to wave at the Weyrleaders and then she is leaving, herding the last few stragglers out. Back to work it seems!

'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.