Expect the Unexpected (Egg Touching!)

Monaco Bay Weyr - Hatching Sands
The sand of the cavern stretches out to all sides, searing hot at all times of the day from the geothermal heat that this extinct volcano provides. With only the very top of the cavern open to the elements, allowing vision of the sky and the occasional shower through, but little more. Thick with dark sand, imported and sifted for its extreme fineness and silken feel, this cavern is home to the Queens during their brooding and their multitude of eggs. Off to one side is a risen platform for the Queen's rider and her mate's rider, allowing them a rest from the heat their dragons endure.

Jazhira is perched lightly on Szetamirath's arm as the queen sprawls in all of her majestic splendour. The chubby junior is just a bit rounder than usual, her pregnancy finally showing. As the Candidates are led in by one of the assistant weyrlingmasters, she beams brightly at them, waving her hands to usher them onto the Sands. "Hello! Come! Touch the eggs! They won't break, as long as you're gentle. Try not to shout too loud, and if you must get sick, try to get off the Sands first, okay?" And she says it so chipperly.

Ityrziel is present and accounted for — and, perhaps, more nervous than he really has any reason to be. The young man shifts as he eyes Jazhira, then the eggs, then his peers. Back and forth, back and forth go his eyes, never settling long; much like his feet, doing the age-old sands wiggle. "Oh, dear. Oh." He seems to be stuck on a bit of a feedback loop, hands clasping and un-clasping behind his back as he finally girds up and steps out. "Are you…do you think that's a possibility?" The candidate ventures, hesitant, as he approaches the A War Amongst the Stars Egg; he's oh so careful, just in case, barely brushing a finger over the shell.

Neither the first nor the last, Wendyn is amongst the group that is lead out onto the sands, chewing absently on her lip as she stares at Szetamarith across the distance. Unlike many who have taken to egg watching, this candidate has been noticeably avoiding the Hatching Caverns - and the gold. However, today there was no escape it seems, and after another long look at Szeta, the miner-candidate is taking a deep breath and steps towards the large, Ominous Shade of Blue Egg.

Is Barnaby nervous? Possibly not. It's hard to tell, actually. He has the same simple smile that he always wears as he follows the assistant weyrlingmaster and other candidates onto the sands. He glances down at his feet after a few seconds, and comments, "That /is/ hot, isn't it? I figured they were exaggerating…" His eyes wander toward the empty stands and generally around the area, making it hard to tell if he heeded the warning. But too late to do anything about it, because there he goes, following the others' example by touching the nearest egg that presents itself to his line of vision.

A yelp - what certainly had the potential be a loud yelp at that - is abruptly cut off, even as Wendyn is only just beginning to give it air - leaving it as little more than a loud gasp instead. Hand snaps quickly upwards, away from that blue shell even as she looks accusingly at the egg, mouth opening and closing, before she turns to a passing candidate with a blink. "Is it.. supposed to do that?" She asks, receiving no answer in return, before peering back at the shell again. Brow furrows, and she glances at Jazhira, Szetamarith, and then with a resigned sigh, she is hesitantly reaching fingers back to the curve of the shell, tension evident in her stance.

Szetamirath looks very amused at Wendyn's reaction, rumbling softly to her rider. For once, she's leaving her thoughts to herself and her lifemate alone - for now, anyway. Jazhira's silvery laugh rings out, and she kicks her foot slightly, sending the bells around her ankle tinkling in tune. "I don't know what you mean," she calls mischeviously to Wendyn. "Are you sure you're not just hearing things?"

Ohp! There go Ityrziels knees; only by sheer instinct does he not buckle, end up on his tuckus in the sands the moment the din starts up. "Faranth!" The harper doesn't shout, thank you, he uh. Exclaims. Calmly. He exclaims calmly, but doesn't jerk his hand away, quite, seems too frozen to do that. Stock still, actually, eyes wide as he stares blankly into space. It only lasts a moment, though — eventually his shoulders slump a little, and he sways on his feet, eyes flicking down to the shell. "What was that." He tries to catch Wendyn's gaze, then Jazhira's eyes maybe just a little bit dinnerplate still. Does he move his hand? Naw, where's the fun in that. He definitely braces himself, this time, though.

Slowly, the tension begins to melt away from Wendyn's stance, the young woman biting her lip as her hand slowly flattens out onto the shell, curving around the blue. "Maybe it won't.." She murmurs, even as she is suddenly staring at the blue shell and not a blue mind, lifting her gaze to meet Tyr's briefly, even and her fingers give the shell one gently swirling pat in return, as she lingers at its side.

Barnaby's face melts from slightly-puzzled curiosity to absolute serenity. His eyes glaze first, then close as he remains motionless, fingertips resting lightly on the eggshell. When his eyes blink open again, it's with a decidedly less negative reaction. He actually laughs quietly, looking at the egg in clear delight. "So soon?" he jokes, tracing a random pattern on the shell of the egg. "It's rather lovely in there, isn't it?"

If anything, Ityrziel crouches slightly, some instinct or other prompting lowering his center of gravity — which, if there were any actual threat, might be helpful. It just makes him look ridiculous, though, frankly, knees bending and eyes sweeping around wildly. "I didn't believe her. I really should have believed her." The harper mutters, probably to himself, eyes catching on things that are absolutely not there. Definitely. Right? "I don't understand." He tells the shell, after a beat, head shaking back and forth slowly. "I don't."

And there, Wendyn stands for a moment, even as her hand drops from the shell and to her side, rocking as she takes half a step back, blinking a few times. Gathering her thoughts, a hand lifts to run through her hair, before she shakes her head. "Right. I suppose that could have gone worse.." She murmurs mostly to herself, before a few deep breaths and it seems she has picked her next target - the smaller, compact shape of Self-Proclaimed Perfection.

Barnaby should have left it at one. The goopy smile remains pasted in place as he stares into space for long moments… Only to suddenly give jerk, eyes going wide and mouth dropping into a round 'o'. He squeaks… Yes, /squeaks/, and then in his haste to jerk back, stumbles and lands in an undignified sprawl, clutching at his chest. He stares in shock for a moment. "Wha…" Then he seems to remember the first rule of hatching sands: They are hot. With another distressed noise, he scrambles up to his feet, blinking owlishly. "All right. All right…" He mumbles a little to himself as he brushes away the sand and wobbles to the side a few steps in search of a likelier egg for touching.

Is Tyr gagging? Yes, absolutely and ominously, perhaps, he makes a vague choking noise, free hand coming up to shield his face. Whatever he's seeing, it seems to scare the pants off of the harper, as he's frozen again, jaw slack, eyes bugging out unattractively. It takes a long beat for him to find the ability to move away: but move away he does, lurching, blinking dazedly. He's muttering something, probably too quiet to hear, when his hand brushes another egg — by accident, perhaps? It looks like it, since he's still busy blinking like he's been hit, hard, over the head.

Any hesitance that Wendyn may have been harboring - probably valid given the greeting she received from that blue egg - seems to evaporate quickly - replaced instead by utter confusion. "Uhm, hello?" She offering, lifting her hand and setting it back down on the shell - this time a little more firmly. "You home?" She adds, hand lifting and falling again, even as her eyes lift to check and see if anyone else is having similar issues - only to spot Barnaby's dignified retreat from one egg to another.

Ysabella had been told the Sands were hot, but she surely had not expected them to be this hot. Though dressed plainly in a brown skirt, hair done up, she seems to be feeling the heat and may be wondering how dragons put up with it. They even enjoy it! Ysabella chases those thoughts from her head, taking a place amongst the clutch with her fellow candidates. Before going any further though, she curtsy's to the Weyrleaders and the clutchmother, dipping her head respectfully. Once that's done she's moving among the eggs.

Barnaby is back to smiling that vacuous smile of his. When the glaze lifts from his eyes, he takes his hand away, but only long enough to make a faux-stern face at the egg. "Now. You aren't going to do a bait and switch like your sibling now, are you? I will have you know, that is not a very nice trick." And yet, in spite of all that, he tempts fate by resting his fingers against it once more.

Ityrziel doesn't seem to notice, at first, the contact — he's holding himself carefully, not flailing or otherwise being rowdy, but he is a little out of it. This, though? This is different, this imagery seems to relax the young man a little, at least. He stops shaking anyways, presses the knuckles he'd brushed the shell with a little closer and turns to face the shell, at least. "Ah. Hello. My apologies, I didn't, well. I didn't see you there." The candidate mutters, looking mildly abashed, and thoughtful, too, eyes half-closed. "You're a runner of a different color, aren't you."

Ysabella froze. The unexpected response from the egg surprising her greatly, she'd never been to a Touching at all before, so she hadn't known what to expect. But the moment of surprise passed, and her hands were jerking up and away from the shell. There was a twitch to her now, as if she was driven to do something but either wasn't quite sure what the was or couldn't go and do it. Ysabella is a Healer first and foremost, so the egg brought out a need to take action, but not necessarily to fight. And now she had no where to put that energy. She folds her hands together, biting her lip before looking around. Perhaps a more calming egg, yes?

Eyes are drawn hurriedly back to the egg before her as the mental glow seems to intensify, and Wendyn tilts her head, peering at the shell. "But.. I am happy.." She counters, forehead wrinkling, confusion multiplying as she lingers. Slowly she begins to raise her hand from the shell, before at the last moment she carefully flattens it back out, curiosity winning out over confusion, even as she leans in slightly over her hand.

Jazhira is lightly tapping her foot against Szetamirath's leg as she remains perched atop it, keeping just shy of the sands. The bells tinkle merrily as her amber gaze dances from Candidate to Candidate to Candidate, clearly enjoying the varied reactions to the eggs. "I have a feeling you and Aeldhiyth have made some very interesting babies," she murmurs to her lifemate.

"What." Oh, good. Not again. Ityrziel makes a vaguely stressed kind of noise, eyes flicking around to take in the new scenery. He has the presence of mind to give Ysabella a vaguely understanding look, but — then his gaze flicks to his side. Eyebrows crease, his free hand flaps out to try and find something not actually there. In the next instant, they shoot back up, and Tyr jolts a little, breath whooshing out in a rush. A ragged kind of breath finds its way in, and the harper grasps at his chest, blinkind dazedly; he doesn't have the presence of mind to move the other hand, bless him. Interesting, indeed.

Wendyn lingers for another moment, drawn out of her thoughts by Ysabella's movement out of the corner of her eye, tilting her head and watching for a moment, eyes darting to the egg that has earned such reactions from both the Healer and Tyr. "Right, not that one.." She mutters to herself, even as she turns.. moving from the smallest egg to the largest, steeling herself. "Which type are you.." She asks, before slowly laying a hand against the Promises of Gold and Treasure Egg.

Barnaby burbles another laugh, still very clearly enjoying the… sights? Visions? Hallucinations? Whatever he's experiencing, it must be a good trip. "Welllll," he drawls, drawing another of those random patterns on the shell of the egg. "Regular people are more interesting. Can I be one of them?" He lingers as though the egg might actually answer. Silly boy.

With a brief touch as she was about to move on, Ysabella is drawn back to the egg. Her shoulders seem stiffen, while one hand curls into her skirt the other is back laying lightly on the egg. Ysabella's gaze is far off, as if looking at something in the distance and there's still that nervous energy to her. The need to act, the need to do something to prevent whatever it is that she's seeing. But unable to. She's caught in the egg's imagery, and her breath is caught as if waiting for the end.

Wendyn didn't yelp or fall over, so that must be a good sign, right? Or at least, a slightly positive trending one, which continues to trend upwards as she stays at the golden shell. Yet, while at each other egg she has stood still, here she finds herself unconsciously shifting from foot to foot, slowly at first, before her sands dance begins to quicken just a bit, and her head tilts from side to side. "Shards, its gonna make me sick.." She murmurs, blinking as she glances down at her feet, taking a deep breath as she returns to stillness.

If Tyr's expecting to be yote back into whatever that was, he's — not disappointed, actually, by the outcome. Or so the slight dispersal of tension in his figure might suggest. It's replaced by a different kind of reaction, one wide-eyed and dumbstruck, the harper's head whipping back and forth. This, at least, doesn't prompt any sort of reaction beyond that, beyond the curious kind of noise he makes after a beat, expression clearing. "Well." Tyr murmurs, mostly to himself, on a quick step backwards. "An enigma, I'll give yo that." He tells it, stepping away with slow movements and pausing next to another. If he's getting hot, he doesn't show it, expression gone wary — but he doesn't hesitate, at least, to reach out and trace the curve of one of the smaller eggs.

Slowly she takes her hand away from the shell, that frown still on her face and that far away look in her eyes. But slowly there is a steely determination taking root in her eyes and again she folds her hands back together before nodding slightly to herself. The imagery she was shown only makes her more certain of the job she's chosen for herself, of her joys through healing knowing that so much can be done through it. No one can take that from her, and no one can stop her from trying. Heart still pounding in her ears, Ysabella takes a moment to take a breath before she's moving on to the next egg.

"I'm -me-." Wendyn seems to counter the mental question of the egg with that simple statement, shaking her head, and slowly shifting from foot to foot again. "You have to earn it, you don't know, you'll see.." Why yes, the miner has turned to arguing with the mind within this particular egg, words a low mutter. But yet, something seems appealing, for she isn't retreating, not just yet.

"Ah!" Ityrziel…doesn't squeak, quite. It's more of a gasp, really, surprised by whatever he finds. Brows sweep down low, and the candidate's head tilts, regarding the lovely shell closely. "How are you doing that." He wants to know; the sudden temperature shock sends a shiver down him, but he's not moving, is he? No, no, this is fine. It takes a long beat for the journeyman to interrupt whatever is happening, but he does, voice a quiet thing over the sounds of other candidates: "What's got an egg so busy, hm?"

Barnaby smiles brilliantly. "That looks perfect. For a little while at least…" he sighs, pleasantly, and gives the egg a gentle parting pat. Then he's wandering off on unsteady legs, a bit more bold to touch the next, after such an apparently delightful experience.

Wait, what. Ysabella blinks as if coming out of haze. She glances around the Sands to confirm that yes, she's still there and not somewhere like the resort. Was that what it was? The imagery was so opposing to what she had witnessed a little earlier that she felt a little whiplashed. And then just pushed off. Um. Alright. Except Ysabella seemed to be craving a little more of what the egg she touched offered.

It seems that something with that egg has tipped Wendyn to the point of *enough* - perhaps seeing oneself is too weird for her - for the candidate is suddenly still, looking slightly green as she steps away. Moving as quickly as she dares, she makes it past the clutch, managing to swivel for a sketchy little bow to Szetamarith and Jazhira, before hurrying away - walk turning to run as soon as she thinks she can get away with it, fleeing the sands for a place to be sick, if the look on her face is any indication.

Jazhira watches Wendyn leave with a thoughtful expression on her plump face, amber eyes narrowed slightly. Then, shrugging, she turns back to watch the others.

This, it seems, Ityrziel can take. The candidate takes several deep breaths, expression smoothing out quite a lot from the parade of previous weird faces. Stillness seems to suit the harper, a slight smile and tilt of his head the only indication that he notices anything for a long beat. Then: on cue, Tyr hunches closer, shoulders rounding forward, expression going a little more rapt. "Hey, hey — no, I." Beat. Seeming to remember himself, the candidate glances around, tracking the other candidates and frowning. Wait.

There goes that dumbstruck look again. Barnaby is caught staring into space with something like horror. When it finally ends, he jerks his hand back and gives a long, irritated look at the egg. The only sign that he's about to do something unadviseable is a brief glance toward Mommy-gold before he starts stalking in that direction. "Yes, hello. Ex/cuse/ me!" he calls, flapping one hand in what is probably meant to be a wave to get her attention. "Are you aware that your children are being /terribly/ rude?"

"Wendyn?" Ityrziel frowns, a little; but apparentlt decides that wherever the other candidate is, she's probably fine, since he doesn't go stumbling after. Instead, he regards the rosy shell for another long beat, turned back to stare at it one last time. There's something there, something he can't quite place, but he gives the egg the space it needs, stepping sideways slowly. "Huh." For a beat, it looks a lot like Tyr might like to join Barnaby in his quest — but he doesn't, okay, he can be polite. Possibly. As he approaches another egg, hesitant, it seems like he wants to make nice, for now, at least.

« Then they seem a good fit for you. » Szetamirath replies, her voice echoing sternly across the Candidates' minds. « Think on that, as you walk off my Sands. When you return later, I expect an apology. » Jazhira grimmaces at Barnaby and shakes her head, signaling to a weyrlingmaster to help the young man from the eggs.

What. Well now Ysabella is just.. a tad confused. Is this egg just going to show her something different, something new every time? Like? small glimpses of stories. Ysabella can appreciate those when she has a moment to spare but being thrust into different ones so quickly well that's not much her speed. So, she takes her hand off the shell looking up just in time to see Wendyn run off. A troubled look crosses her face and she looks as if she might go after her for a moment before pausing. Indeed she even took a few steps in that direction, perhaps that nervous energy from earlier still all boiled up? But she stops herself. They don't know each other /that/ well and the Miner might want to be alone judging from that exit? Ysabella glances at Ityrziel as he touches the egg Wendyn just vacated. Will he have the same reaction? She'll just have to wait and see, but in the mean time?

Barnaby looks back at the gold with a slightly tilted head. It's the same head that some golden retrievers get when being scolding. The one that says, 'I hear what you're saying, and I /think/ you're saying treats?' "Good. Good. Well. I'm sure you'll get exactly what you expect." There's no need to escort him off. He turns on his heel and wanders off the sands of his own accord.

What will she choose? Well how can she choose with a choice like that? Ysabella has frozen in indecision, eyes widened as she's give such a conundrum. The adrenaline causes her fingers to tap very lightly against the shell. She doesn't seem to know what to do with herself honestly, not certain how to react to the egg at all.

Jazhira eyes Barnaby as though he's a particularly tasty treat, then dips her head and noses Jazhira. The weyrwoman's laughter rings out, bright and cheerful. "Ah well, he'll learn or he'll go home," she replies, loudly enough to chase the young man off the Sands, before sliding off of her dragon's leg with a grimmace. Clapping her hands, she calls out, "Candidates, I think that's enough entertainment for one night. Finish your communion with your current friends and head out. Save some for later!"

You know what. You know what? "I — think I need to. I need." To run away like a big baby? Yeah, that. "Please, excuse me." Ityrziel bobs what might be considered in the vicinity of a bow, already eyeing Jazhira when she speaks — "Oh, I think I've, I've perhaps, I need to go. My, ah, my best to you, now, egg, you're. You're fine. Look at you go, you're stunning, yes. Stunning." Can he actually form complete sentences? Yeah, apparently not so much. Tyr draws his hand away and shakes it a little, and he's trembling all over by the time he beats a not-quite-hasty retreat from the sands. Run away!

Ysabella seems a bit relieved if she's being honest, this egg was looking far too closely. More than she really cared for even if it was going a bit.. off base sometimes. So with Jazhira's pronouncement she took her hand off the shell, eyes still a little wide, still a little caught in a trap type look. She's going to pass on this opportunity, sorry!! As she steps away from the eggs she gives Jazhira and Szetamirath a curtsy. Before she's startled with Ityrziel running off as well, what! On! Pern! She gives the golden egg a quizzical look, but puts it in the back of her mind. "Thank you for having us here today." And with that she'll leave the Sands.

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