A Touching Event (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.

It's afternoon and the weather's just perfect for an egg-touching! At least, that's what Elsvruth's telling I'aija and the bronzerider isn't in any capacity to try to convince the darkling dragon otherwise. Ask not about what Kiyaszaeth and Wendyn are up to; they're probably here in some capacity, but I'aija's taking point on this one so the pair can get some much-needed rest. While Elsvruth skulks about in the background, his rider is ushering in a small herd of candidates and explaining the rules for the umpteenth time - "No running, no shouting, uh- no rough-housing. If you do anything that catches Elsvruth's or Kiyaszaeth's attention, stop immediately. Otherwise, uh- have at it. Touch away." Beat. "Oh, and if you don't feel well, it's okay to step away and catch a breather and some water off to the side, too."

Pulled away from some crafting thing or another, Bellamy was admittedly excited at the chance— any chance— to get closer to the eggs; let alone actually touch them! Listening closely to what I'aija says to the gathered group of candidates, golden eyes sweep over the eight eggs, lingering a few seconds longer on some, as if he were weighing his thoughts based on shell coloration alone. At some point, the harper apprentice does step forward after permission is given to step onto the sands, giving a respectful bow to damn and sire as well as his thanks before meandering towards Daybreak's Bell egg first and foremost. He reaches out to slide his fingers over it's shell before settling in to place both palms flat against it's apex.

< Bellamy touches egg 1 - Daybreak's Bell Egg >

Egg touching! Sonya remembers to pull on a pair of sturdy boots before departing the barracks. She joins the small group into the Sands. Each set of instructions gets a nod from this candidate before a gaze sweeps the area to land first on the clutchfather before settling on the eggs. She pauses as she decides before she steps to one hestitantly. Been there done this before attitude she knows something will happen but….what?

< Sonya touches egg 7 - The Spark of Artificial Life Egg >

Sonya chooses, perhaps, one at seeming random. Having studied and even drawn the eggs from above she finds it's completely different, once again, down here on the sands. Drawing a deep, steading breath she lays a palm flat to the hardening egg. The breath escapes in a large exhale as she enters the world of the egg. Confusion colors her expression as she looks side to side of the egg to study it and the world it pulls her mind into. "Whoa…" she murmurs as she pulls her hand back briefly. Pausing before she changes tactics and runs a couple fingertips to trace the colors around the egg.

Almost instantly, Bellamy's brows launch upwards and a toothy smile is drawn wide across his lips. He murmurs something softly then that carries no further than where he stands, nodding his head a few times even as his hands move over the egg's shell in a very gentle and unhurried petting motion.

Lilyera has — not done this before, but she's heard so many horror stories about this too! Maybe, like the ones about the candidate barracks, they weren't as true as her terrible cousins would have her believe. Only one way to find out, though; she gives the clutchparents a respectful little bow as well as a wink for Elsvruth if she can catch the bronze's eye, then walks without hesitation to one of the eggs that looks like the night sky. How could she refuse Moonlight Legend? At first it's just one hand, fingertips only, no palm, just in case …

< Lilyera touches egg 5 - Moonlight Legend Egg >

I'aija's mostly just here to keep an eye on things and help out if there are any candidates that seem a little unsettled or unsure. Elsvruth is not helpful in this regard: the bronze looms in the background, all shadows and champagne, with a steady attention fixed on this egg or that. Pay them no mind!

Bellamy's shoulders bounce in a soft chuckle, lashes lowering where he continues to touch and view the egg he'd chosen to touch. However a few flicks of lamb's tail afterwards, those golden eyes close and the harper takes a slow and deep steadying breath. More soft words are muttered and for a fleeting moment Bellamy leans in just a bit as his legs shift his stands a little wider; a little more secure as if needing that extra support. Then, a gentle 'heh' emerges from the young man, smirking downwards as his eyes open once again.

Sonya doesn't lift her hand this time. Expecting the touch of the egg to her mind she simply continues to let her thoughts drift along where the growing inhabitant of the egg takes her. Her fingers drift aimlessly across the hardening egg shell.

For whatever reason, Bellamy winces ever so slightly, but it lasts no longer than it takes for one to blink. It's there and than it's gone. Letting out a breath that perhaps even he wasn't aware that he was holding, he just takes a drumbeat or three to gather his scattered thoughts as he nods thrice. Soft words shared with the ovid shape before him, Bellamy gives the shell another round of careful pats before he removes his hands and steps back, gaze lingering. Then, just like that, he tosses his attention back out at the remaining seven eggs and wanders the way of Cloaked by Magic egg. There is no hesitation, soon his hands lain upon its very warm surface.

< Bellamy touches egg 2 - Cloaked by Magic Egg >

It's not at all as awful as Lilyera was expecting; in fact, there's nothing awful at all about this experience so far. Weird? Certainly; everything about dragons is a little weird, isn't it? But definitely not awful — a smile blooms on her face as she presses her palm down against the egg, trying to offer an answer to the sensed but unspoken questions: here she is. She'l even add the gentle touch of her other hand, full flat.

Sonya shifts away slowly with one last look to the Spark of Artificial life egg. Thoughtful is her only expression as she moves towards another egg with her sights set on one egg that seems larger than the others.

< Sonya touches egg 3 - Truly Outrageous Egg >

Bellamy cocks his head to the side, adjusting his footing as well as the placement of his hands, allowing them to slip down the egg's sides but with still an appropriate distance between his frame and the main body. While a smile lingers on his face, soft and hung altogether straight, his eyes are unfocused and he seems miles away for a spell. At some point, the harper shakes his head in a manor that suggest he was clearing the cobwebs, just prior to standing somewhat taller.

Something about the egg certainly tugs at Lilyera's heartstrings. Is it this egg, or will all eggs do that? That curiosity is only fleeting — instead she's letting the smile stay, rather than trying to hide an outward expression like others of her acquaintance might. "I'm very excited to meet you, too," she offers quietly to the shell, crouching to whisper to it a little as if that isn't at all strange (not any stranger than anything else going on, surely?) while trying to extend her emotions outward through her fingertips. Excitement, safety, feeling welcome, being pleased.

Sonya considers this new egg a moment, running her palm along the shell perhaps to compare the feeling of this one to the first one touched. A low ooooh escapes from her but otherwise she's quietly communing with this truly outrageous egg.

"Oh," Lilyera observes, voice still at a whisper, expression softening: "you're tired." She is cautious, still, as always, but definitely more confident than afraid — with this one, at least, now. Was she afraid when this started? Er, yes, but don't think she is going to tell anyone that. With a gentle drum of a couple of fingers against the shell, she leaves this egg to find the other one she'd been admiring the most from the galleries: The Spark of Artificial Life, now unoccupied.

< Lilyera touches egg 7 - The Spark of Artificial Life Egg >

The expression that appears on the young harper apprentice's face is a mix of awe and excitement but without being particularly overdone. Instead, the look is muted and reserved, meant only for the mind of the shelled being being shared with him. Words spoken are barely a whisper, joined by the bobble of his head and the broadening delight that comes in the next moment. Bellamy seems to be breathing easier, not that he was showing any signs of being tense, but there is certainly an extra measure of relaxation now before a soft sigh emerges.

Sonya considers this egg a moment as she withdraws a hand. A moment is taken to peek about her surroundings with her gaze lingering thoughtfully on Bellamy a second. Then back to the egg she lays a palm across it once more.

Suddenly, Bellamy straightens as if at attention, everything that he is utterly focused without deviation from the egg his palms rest upon. His brows twitch, first downwards and then up before forming into the most delicate of knots. Lips part but no sound emerges, a breath catching on them in one moment and then released unevenly in the next. It's completely by coincidence that the harper happens to look up and step back just as Sonya's eyes fall on him. The weaver is offered a friendly smile and bob of his head in greeting— yes, hello there— before moving away from this egg and onwards to the next. L-egg-endary Defender egg quickly is revealed as his next target, brushing just the tips of long slender finger over it's peak.

< Bellamy touches egg 4 - L-egg-endary Defender Egg >

Lilyera holds still, both hands gentle on the shell of Spark of Artificial Life; she doesn't back away nor does she move closer, simply tries to mimic its hum low in her throat. (Thankfully it seems neither the clutchparents nor the eggs are particularly bothered by her sounds as of yet!) It's hope within her that she aims to share, sentiment bright, muted-eagerness, eyes wide at all the proto-dragon within has to share with her.

Sonya lingers for several minutes before stepping away from her second egg. "Hmmm.." again she casts her eyes upwards towards Bellamy. "I think you should investigate this egg." she'll call out softly. With that said she peeks about for a third egg to touch.

< Sonya touches egg 8 - Fifty Shades of Blue Egg >

Having only just arrived at his third egg in the series of eight, Bellamy blinks once and his silver rimmed golden eyes land squarely on Sonya, "Oh?" he says curiously and might for a second reconsider his choice, but his fingers slide over L-egg-endary Defender but a moment later. Just before he's lost to the images and sensations, he breaths out a thanks for the weaver's suggestion and may very well head that direction next. Although, for now, he sinks into the experience this third egg shares with him. Now tension seems to find the young man's shoulders and he consciously seen to hold his breath, nostrils flaring none too long after as he draws in the sharpness of breath. On the egg's shell, Bellamy's finger twitch and he loses just a hint of the color on his skin. He remains however, taking steadier and more even draws of the humid air to be found in such a place.

Sonya's expression completely changes as she trails fingertips along this egg wrapped in blue. "Awe…." she coos softly before her eyes unfocus completely. Clearly no long seeing the sands she escapes into the thoughts of the baby dragon within and she lets it take her away.

Bellamy appears tentative as the egg's internal captive lures him back into it's embryonic thoughts, his stillness interrupted by the way he appears to be abruptly startled and sucks in a quick breath and his entire frame seizes up. Mistakenly, the harper places his other hand on the egg— most likely to steady himself— and immediately seems to regret this decision. There is the remote impression that Bellamy wants nothing more than to yank his hands away, his teeth clenching behind his lips as shoulders stiffen. But then, just as suddenly as this begins, it's over and he's exhaling a shuddering breath.

Wincing and looking downright uncomfortable, Bellamy lingers only so long at this third egg as it takes to be returned to the sands for a final time. With that, he hastily removed his touch from the warmth of it's shell and shakes his head faintly as his eyes remain upon it. For a heartbeat, there is something accusatory in his usually friendly visage, then it is gone and he is off to head to the egg that Sonya recommended; Truly Outrageous Egg.

< Bellamy touches egg 3 - Truly Outrageous Egg >

Sonya takes slow, steadying breaths. With each egg touched she relaxes further and further as her comfort level rises. This isn't so bad! Just as she has that thought she winces at something internally. Tensing then relaxing after a couple minutes she murmurs one word. "Friend…" with that she lifts her hand to touch part lower to the sands. One last touch!

Does Lilyera look like she's getting a little bit dizzy? Is she perhaps a sight too empathic for her own good and getting really caught up in all of this mental landscape? … yes, but it isn't stopping her from enjoying herself, even if she's not grinning so much as wide-eyed enraptured. Is it what she wants? Is — yes. It might be. It could be. She isn't hesitant so much as genuinely unsure, wondering if the egg will have an answer to share with her about that, or simply more questions. Not something fair to pin on an unhatched dragon, no, but she can't entirely help it.

There is not so much a lack of enthusiasm as Bellamy places his hands upon Truly Outrageous Egg, but there is apprehension. Apprehension that disappears as easily as one snaps their fingers as the tension he'd found in the visions of the last egg is completely erased by the next. Breathing considerably easier now, Bellamy allows himself to reveal in what is revealed to him, a smile appearing in earnest once more upon his face.

Wider and wider Bellamy's smile spreads until it almost seems to threaten splitting his head in twain, his unnerving experience with the last egg all but forgotten. In fact, the harper looks downright recharged, fingers dancing over the shell of the egg before him. It doesn't go further than where he stands, but it looks as if he was humming along to some tune only he could hear, swaying to a silent melody just enough to be noticeable. Enraptured, a beaming grin is launched in the general direction of Sonya and there is gratitude there. She'd been right!

Sonya seems to enjoy the egg very much. Lingering a bit she finally feels the heat of the sands creeping in as she stays in one place too long. So eventually she draws away from it. "Hmm…one more maybe…" she's drawn to another egg that has already had a visitor or two.

< Sonya touches egg 5 - Moonlight Legend Egg >

Sonya takes a moment to admire the egg to take in details perhaps unseen from afar. "Oh hello…" she whispers as once more the heat and sounds of the sand around her are forgotten. "I'm Sonya…"

A brief frown interrupts Lilyera's generally-positive expression, one that appears more startled and perplexed than genuinely put out. It softens then, disappearing; a moment later, a visible shiver runs up her spine and she presses her lips shut. Determination, maybe. Even Lily isn't entirely sure what she's feeling, as she whispers a "Thank you," to the egg before stepping away and considering. Enough headache, for now, or try another? Another, at least once: onward to Mysterious Mutagen.

< Lilyera touches egg 6 - Mysterious Mutagen Egg >

"Mhmmm…" Bellamy thrums, perhaps louder than he had anticipated, but it's followed up quickly with a round of that melodic laughter of his. Thankfully, it's gentle on the ears even to those not overly fond of all things musical. Shoulders are lifted and dropped, soft words shared with this egg and this egg alone and for a second it almost seems as if Bellamy were bowing to the egg before he steps back and way from it. As much as his hands twitch at his sides, he does not applaud or attempt an encore. No, but he gazes longingly upon Truly Outrageous egg prior to leaving it behind. Wandering amongst the eggs then, his golden hued gaze sweeps over the eggs he'd touched and had yet to do so, and so picks The Spark of Artificial Life Egg to lay his hands upon next.

< Bellamy touches egg 7 - The Spark of Artificial Life Egg >

Huh. What. Well. This is very different from the last egg, Lilyera is finding, as she moves her hands slowly forward over the shell … very slowly. V e r y s l o w l y. Is it naptime, yet? Because this all feels very nice, but she suddenly feels tired and energized at the same time, and that is weird, and — oh, hello — and then it's gone again. Outwardly Lily does not appear to move, though her hands do shake a little. Still here, though! Still here.

As soon as Bellamy touches the shell of this fifth egg, he very nearly yanks his hand back, the fullness of rigidity grasping his frame. Sharply inhaling, this breath is held perhaps longer than it should be before it reemerges in a soft whoosh of air. The longer that the harper remains, the more he seems uncomfortable about this fact, one broadening shoulder rolled back as the opposing foot drags backwards through the sand he stands upon.

Sonya's head turns this way and that way to look at something unseen by others. Rocking slightly on her heels she continues to investigate this shadowy egg. "Not sad no..Oh your so full of energy! Like a young firelizard." or dragon.

Oh, now this is more like what Lilyera was expecting. From the awful cousins, that is. This twisted-up-inside invasiveness, this inquisition, and she's not finding it as unpleasant as she would have thought: maybe she would prefer to be in a shell, maybe it's awfully comfortable and cozy for her. It seems to be for the not-yet-a-dragon, and she can at least somewhat relate. Then again it may be a desire to be shielded from just what's going on in the interplay in her mind between dragonling and herself — but not enough of a desire to pull away.

Sonya starts to withdraw her hand but pauses in uncertainty. Is there more thoughts. "Still awake little one?" she asks in a quiet voice as if afraid to speak too loudly around the eggs. Deciding to linger with this one as well she lays her other palm across the shell. "Don't be afraid. I'm not…."

From the way that Bellamy shakes his head and his shoulders bunch, it's safe to say that he isn't going to remain much longer, teeth finding the flesh of his lower lip to bite into lightly. Even as muscles ease and he looks more human than cardboard cut out, his hands have started to slide back, but perhaps unfortunately for him, not fast enough to avoid being swept away in a final wave of sensation and imagery beforehand.

Sonya blinks several times before shaking her head as if to clear it. So much! Once more the heat and sounds of the sands penetrate her conscious thoughts as she becomes aware of her surroundings. "Oh, um..permission to depart the sands?" she'll direct towards the first rider she sees. A quick glance is also cast to the clutch daddy who is surely watching things going down.

The request for permission from Sonya draws a crooked grin from I'aija. He motions off to the side of the sands, where a few other candidates have congregated to discuss touches and techniques. "Sure, yeah. If you need to take a break," and he lifts his voice a bit more generally for the lot, "go ahead. Get some water, catch your breath. If you're done-done, it's okay to head back to whatever you were doing before, too."

Sonya goes to join the congregated others though only for a little bit. Her breath caught she determines she's done-done and eventually slips off the sands.

And candidates are dropping like … do vtols drop, ever? Perhaps like old Earth's flies. Either way, there's not only one making a departure; while Lilyera's reaction isn't as fast as Sonya's might be, she does withdraw slowly and seem a little shaky when she takes a step back. "You're an interesting one," she tells it, and then brushes her now sweat-laden hair back from her hairline. "I think," she then contributes to the I'aija-Sonya conversation, "That I need to go lie down." And if given permission, she will do exactly that.

Oddly, Bellamy squints, coughing softly to himself as he once more stiffens and finally manages to yank his hands free. Steps are taken, backwards, and with enough quickness that he risks stumbling. Ah, just when he thought the awkwardness of puberty was well behind him. Not that the harper is given much thought to those that may be looking, far busier with staring at the egg he'd just left and rubbing the palm of one hand with his thumb. Appearing somewhat disturbed, inadvertently, Bellamy almost backs up into Moonlight Legend Egg. Fortunately, he stops himself just before making contact, automatically laying a hand upon it without thinking. Oops.

< Bellamy touches egg 5 - Moonlight Legend Egg >

While I'aija busies himself with checking on a few other candidates - and ushering candidates off to get water or a nap or whatever they need - Elsvruth continues to lurk in the background, being, well himself. One of the younger candidates does get a good, long staring-at, but she's quick to scamper off to another egg and avoid his wrath.
There was a wince waiting in the wings, but as the immature mind of the shelled creature brushes against his own, Bellamy practically breathes a sigh of relief as previous tension bleeds out of him rapidly. The young harper mutters something to himself, just under his breath, letting the sands and its other occupants fade away in favor of what was to come. There are more hushed words, this time meant for the egg and as usual are too quiet to be overheard until standing right beside him.

Utter relaxation, thy name is Bellamy. What was it with this clutch? Seeming to know when to take the pressure off to keep at least this candidate from noping out and heading to the door like a few other of his compatriots. Oh, of course he isn't the only one here touching eggs, but the crowd had certainly thinned at this point. Bellamy, on the other hand, looks downright thrilled with his accidental contact, laughing merrily and beaming brightly. Reinvigorated, he smooths his hands over the egg, that long forelock of black hair falling into his face to obfuscate one silver rimmed golden eye, absolute joy radiating from him.

Breathing out a soft, "Aww…" in a sympathetic manner, Bellamy gives the egg a reassuring and most gentle pat. What he has to say is said in such a way that it won't disturb others and whatever they happen to be experiencing themselves. At one point, the harper apprentice shakes his head and smiles warmly at the egg, soft murmurs seeming reassuring and then an all but silent offering of some sort. Perhaps, anyway, given the way he mutters and his brows lift in question.

It's not much longer before Elsvruth finally makes his feelings known; the bronze is not noisy, but his presence abruptly looms large over the collection of candidates that haven't filtered away from the eggs. He lowers his head to properly stare at that younger girl from before, sending her squealing to the sidelines - while a few others quickly hasten after her, just in case. "Okay," I'aija finally clues in and, after shooting a sharp look to Elsvruth, continues, "looks like that's about all for today. Finish up with the egg you're with and then you're all free to go."

Bellamy exhales a breath and removes his hands from the egg, looking a touch on the drained side but at least he had a smile on his face. "I need a break, I think…" he tells I'aija as he makes his way to the side of the sands, giving his grateful and soft thanks to the clutch parents for this opportunity. Good timing? Yep, cause the announcement comes and the other candidates are being ushered from the sands. Thanking all the riders and their mounts again, before making his way out as well.

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