Touched By An Egg

Characters Alasse, Lunasidhe, Oddisa
Synopsis Candidates get their first glimpse of eggs on the sands!
Out-of-Character Date October 20, 2021

Igen Weyr - Hatching Sands
As if temperatures in the rest of the Weyr weren't uncomfortable enough, the sands are positively blistering. The air shimmers from the onslaught of heat, leaving the area with a hallucinatory feel. Black sands stand currently empty but for the occasional egg-shard or 'print not swept clear. A raised platform of smooth stone provides a lounging-spot for queens or their mates, or a retreat for the lifemates that accompany them from whence they can cool their feet somewhat.

The eggs have been hardening for a good 6 sevens, and the dragon healers have declared them safe to touch. It's late evening, and the lights are all on, reflecting off the black sand, which offers a reprieve from the chill wind that's overtaken the Weyr over the last few days. The number of layers found on residents would be comical anywhere else, but here a light breeze brings out the sweaters in full force. Assistant Weyrlingmaster Elna waits by the entrance, waving people forward and eyeing footwear with a tsk for the unprepared. Settled precariously on the rail is Oddisa, feet crossed and swinging as she watches the gaggle form with a bored disregard for the whole procession. As Elna struggles a bit with the speech, the quieter assistant having trouble raising her voice high enough there's a sharp, loud whistle that must have been prewarned by Oriapeth as the clutch parents do not bat an eyelid. "LISTEN UP~ You're not gonna run, you're gonna walk. You're not gonna scream or make a scene cuz I'll drag yu out myself an' save Elz the trouble. The blue egg tucked behind the clutch (Pure cerulean) is off-limits. Bow to both of um, be considerate etcetera." Waving them on, she watches from her angry canary perch, more vulture than a songbird.

Layers? Who said anything about layers — Alasse has been as tank-topped as ever, and if she's wearing capris instead of shorts, well. That's between her and her shorts. She's properly outfitted for a trip to the sands, though, taking in the cavern she helped clean up not so long ago in its entirely different light. The cavern — the dragons — make even the giant candidate look small, and she looks entirely out of her element in such a state. Shoulders hunch a little, eyes flick over to the Weyrlingmasters from trying to catch Odi's with a little wave of greeting. "Aye." The candidate agrees, shifting to hide behind another candidate against the glare of the 'masters. It. Doesn't work. She's almost twice his height. But she tries. Als has to duck away to bow, but bow she does, almost comically low; not taking any dang chances, is Alasse. The tips of her hair brush the black sands, and she winces sand out of her eyes on the up-swing, glancing nervously around. The others start to shuffle out towards eggs, but it takes this candidate a long moment to move any closer, inching towards the eggs with uncharacteristic trepidation. She'll get there, okay.

Lunasidhe's one of those who actually benefits from Oddisa's interruption, as brusque as it is - located in the back of the candidate pack, even a fair skill at lipreading was doing her little good with Elna's quiet struggles. Blue-green eyes swivel in the junior's direction, a slight up-twitch of lips her only other reaction to the firm delivery of rules. Her posture is otherwise one of lazy grace, arms folded over limited chest, hips canted contrapposto, sensible, sands-fitting footwear somewhat at odds with the neat black and white press of clothing against the majority of her skin. Rolled sleeves seem to be her only concession to the sands heat, hands and forearms liberally stained with the faded rust of redwort, its clinical stink clinging to her edges as they are dismissed amongst the eggs by Oddisa's handwave. "Charming little thing," she comments to Alasse as one slim arm hooks into the straggling candidate's arm as though they were the closest of confidants. "I can see why she normally comes out at night." It'd be tart speech if it weren't for the drollness of her tones, clearly meaning none of it as she cajoles the equally-tall Alasse along if she tries to dig heels. She sketches a much more shallow, but no less intentional bow to the clutchparents once they're near enough to the eggs that it's clear Als won't be beating a hasty escape today, a dimple quirking one cheek as the dragonhealer-candidate straightens. "Luna," is likely the offering of her name, considering it comes with a step back and a jut of one hand for shaking. "Don't worry, they don't bite. Yet." But for all her joking, it's with her own brand of nervousness that Lunasidhe turns to observe the eggs around them, blunt nails digging into palms, tongue flicking over lips before… that one. Bottom's up. What's the worst that little mountain egg could do to her?

Lunasidhe has handled dragons, firelizards, eggs of all sorts (albeit, heavily gloved), but whatever she expected from the experience of first laying bare hands on a real, live dragon egg, it's possible this wasn't it. Air is sucked into her lungs, hard, eyes going wide as they dart upwards towards something only she can see. The question the egg asks is - for the moment - forgone as blue-green eyes track shapes, some sharp, some curved, but all utterly entrancing. Then her lashes flutter, held breath expelled as she forces tension from her shoulders. "Depends on who you ask," is a more truthful answer than she's given to that question in a long time, fingers retreating to wring together, unnerved by her own veracity before she reaches out to press them against the egg's shell again. "But probably a bit of both."

"Aw, she's a doll." Alasse offers, stalwart, still shooting little glances at Odi like the 'rider might rescue her from her fears. She doesn't, but that doesn't mean Als doesn't love you, Oddissa! "Does she?" This is news to Alasse, who raises eyebrows incredulously, allowing herself to be led and patting Luna's arm companionably. Poor guileless Als takes that at face value, huffing under her breath and trying very hard not to make eye contact with any eggs. It's…not difficult, since they don't. Technically. Have eyes. Probably. Maybe technically…? Whatever. "Alasse. I wouldn't be so sure, I've heard…" Well, whatever she's heard is left to the void, because if her fellow candidate is brave enough to take the dive, well, you ain't catchin' Alasse being a chicken abut touching some eggs. Or one, specifically, approached with slow respect and wide eyes. "Hi." The young woman whispers, tracing black lines with curiosity and definitely not flinching preemptively. Look.

Lunasidhe's anxiety abates somewhat when it becomes clear the egg isn't about to dig further into her meaning. Laughter leaves her in swift nasal huffs, eyes tracking and roving in utterly nonsensical ways (to the casual observer, anyways - sup, Oddisa), hands occasionally shifting to gently tap the egg's shell, as though this were a strange game of whack-a-mole. "Alright then, you win," is a gamely concession to the egg's mental-gymnastics superiority, "though to be fair, it's my first time." Give her a seven and she'll be much better at this, you'll see! But that's time they don't have, at least not right now, not as scar-striated hands draw back from the egg, dangling between her knees as words Alasse has spoken finally sinks into her brainspace. "Of course not," is said of the junior weyrwoman's habits, nocturnal or otherwise. Her voice is bright but gentle, a teasing grin twisting cat-curled lips. "Or at least, I doubt it. That's just the last I happened to see her." Luna won't debate over whether Oddisa is a doll or not - she knows neither of them well enough to do any more but joke - but she does offer a, "Well met, Alasse. If you lose a finger, I'll stitch it back on myself, eh?" Comforting, especially as the young woman finally settles down with the chateau egg. Luna takes a leaf from her book, her own palms curving around snow-capped peaks, intent on bearing this hyperactivity out.

Well, if Alasse was expecting something, this isn't it. A gasp hisses between teeth, involuntary, eyes flashing this way and that as she listens — or, witnesses? Experiences. As she experiences the little mind within the delicately-designed shell. "Shells alive," Als swears, sounding delighted, voice rising and then falling back into a whisper by the time she answers Luna. "Oh. We met at dinner, there was a herdbeast," Like that explains anything, but in fairness the better part of the large woman's attention is focused on the intricate egg she's standing next to. Whatever it wants, it can have- Als is an open book, never mind protecting things better left unsaid. Good days? Oh, she's had plenty, and oh, love, too. "Oh," Alasse blinks, glancing sideways at Luna and grinning lopsidedly. "Good, I'll take you up on that." Look. You never know when you're gonna need somebody to stitch back on a part of your body.

Lunasidhe's tongue clicks in mild admonishment, so very much an imitation of lower caverns-dwelling aunties that she could only have learned it through ample experience on the receiving end of the sound. "Now now, you're making a mess," come words stolen from the same source, laughter threading through words meant for a woman twice her age. "You're gonna be the sort that swipes the infirm counters clean when the 'healers hit your ticklish spot, aren't you? I can just tell." And yet maybe, maybe, those are her favorite type of patients, given the lively twinkle in her eyes. It dims somewhat as her attention is pulled away from the egg's shell, grin dimming to a reserved quirk of lips as she says, "How… romantic." Teasing still? Definitely. Game for sewing body parts on, though? Just as down to clown. "Good. Granted my needles are…" She removes a hand to mime an alarmingly large amount of space between thumb and forefinger, "Yea big, but they do the job." This disturbing news is treated as an afterthought as her focus reins in on the leaps and bounds going on inside her head, a last little laugh plucked from her before she releases the egg from her touch, and vice versa. "Wish I'd brought a notebook," is loud enough to overhear but clearly not meant for anyone in particular as she moves to a new egg, eyes roving as though determining whether such a thing would be allowed as she settles her hands upon the Desert Grace egg.

The Weyrlingmasters and Odi probably get some sort of sense of why Alasse suddenly glances up, eyes wide, heavy jaw dropping as an incredulous noise bubbles up. "Hey! Wh-" The noise turns into a laugh, pure delight, eyes flicking back and forth between something imagined as it hovers higher and higher. Small again, and no, the feeling doesn't…seem to suit Alasse, who's large and if not in charge, at least in charge of her own feelings and those feelings are usually big. "Oh, faranth, don't let them tickle me." That's almost absentminded, a laugh just as big as her giant-ness suggests booming across the sands as she's gently settled down from whatever the egg had for her. It seems to keep her mind for a moment, lips still quirked, hand flattening fully across the curve of the shell in a fond kind of brushing motion before she leaves. That wasn't so bad. No, in fact- a wistful look back, but no, the little one inside that shell was tired. Can't exhaust the babies. "Oh, quite. Ended it out under the stars, just us and the bovine." Who was previously…not under the stars. "She didn't crap inside, at least." The bovine. "Needles aren't scary. S'the blood." Thus spaketh Alasse, who apparently knows a thing or two about injuries, given the wry little grin as she inches towards another egg. Hello, you. Tentative, but somewhat less halting this time, the candidate presses a hand against the smooth surface of a patchy brownish shell.

Lunasidhe squints and squints hard. "Shells," is brisk, brusque, as though it almost hurts to say anything more, palms bearing down hard as defiance wars with avoidance, as she almost gives up on whatever is whiting her knuckles and causing eyes to narrow tighter and tighter when— "Ah." It's a gasp of relief, short-lived but there nevertheless as near-pain becomes something else, something infinitely more tolerable. There's still caution in the dragonhealer-candidate's every line, hesitation in the way fingertips shift over the dunes-colored shell, but she isn't giving up or giving in to this illusion of companionship - not yet, not after that initial performance. Instead she tucks hands up against her ribs in twin fists, giving herself a moment as she lets her attention wander back to Alasse. "Oh, an alive bovine." A classic Luna assumption, that the bovine was in the form of a steak or something. "That does seem the best way to keep itself that way." ALIVE, she means, by means of not crapping all over somebody's special something. "That does sound awful nice though. I'm sure there were stars, the night we met, but I was rather otherwise occupied." Something in her tone or posture hints that is the nice way of putting it, but she doesn't expand on it, nose wrinkling hard. "Mmm. Fair point. I'm used to ichor, I dunno how I'll deal with blood leaking everywhere. Oh well. First time for everything, right?" Cheerful, that, the smile that goes with touched with teenage overconfidence, 'told you so' in her every inch as Alasse leaves her first egg unscathed. Would that she could say the same, but Luna's determined to give this desert-minded desert-dweller another chance by placing her hands back on it again.

Tiiiiilt. Alasse's hair flops as she tilts her head to the side, eyes narrowing as if trying to take in something indistinct. "I'd like a notebook too." She admits, after a few beats, because — really, how do you explain this sort of thing? How do you remember something that slips away so quickly, as amorphous and changing as the undeveloped mind of a little dragon, dreaming in colors and shapes and feelings neither of you really understand? Now, how do you do that without any sort of documentation? Maybe it's for the best. Alasse sighs, momentarily oblivious to her closest compatriot's tension as she takes in this new egg's front with wandering gaze- but the hard set to Lunasidhe's shoulders gets her attention, eyebrows raised as she focuses. "You good? Oh…" A snort of laughter, feet shuffling on the black sands. "Yes, she was alive. She just wanted some fruit, was all." Als' chin tips up, ready to defend poor Bessie to her last. That bovine belonged inside, okay. Eyebrows lift a little for that tone, but look, Als might be guileless but she can generally spot a sore spot. "I'm sure blood's similar to ichor. Just colors, right?" The handyman guesses, vaguely, frowning down at the warm-colored egg thoughtfully. Right? Who knows. Not Alasse. She could probably tell you the difference in a few kinds of joinery though.

Toruth stretches a wing, contentedly watching the cadidates browse amongst the eggs. The sands must be a little tickly even for dragons getting into… places! Ahem, as she sits up using a hindleg to scratch near the base of her neck before thumping back down and taking another count. One, two, ten… sixty. Yup all her eggs are here, which is of course merely nine but who wants to argue with a dragon?

For some, there might not be a choice; for some, the decision between running from something and facing it, with company or without, might be as simple as can be. "Oh…" But not for Lunasidhe. Something about this situation hits so very close to home, smacks of events too fresh, so recent that it leaves her panting for breath, sharp and uneven as she snatches her hands back against her chest. Eyes are dinnerplate-wide as they fix on Alasse, mouth working without answer before she exhales hard and looks away. Dragons, other candidates, even grains of sand are considered as nails dig into one another, the older candidate fighting for calm. "Yeah. 'M fine," would be more convincing if she weren't thrusting herself to her feet, backing away from that sun-striped egg with a heavy swallow. Alasse, the poor girl, is momentarily sought as a source of comfort despite being a total stranger to Luna, the lanky girl settling on her haunches with felinic grace next to the large woman to continue their talk without seeking another egg - not yet. "I didn't know they liked fruit. I thought they just liked hay and grasses and stuff." A distracted display of her own ignorance, for sure. "I have an extra redfruit from yesterday's breakfast. Would a bovine like that? Would you take me to give it to one, if they did?" Please give her something else to focus on other than her own spiralling thoughts. Perhaps blood is the ticket, another nosewrinkle coinciding with a loss of tension, considering the two before shaking her head. "Sure, but it feels different, somehow. No less important, but a lot less you, you know?" Guilt hits her features when Alasse looks back down towards the egg she's attending. Luna rises with a swiftness, apology emitted as she leaves the candidate to her devices, arms crossing over her chest as she does, indeed, run from the egg that gave her the out to do so. Maybe one of these others will do, though she doesn't make to touch them, just observes quietly before allowing Toruth's wing stretch and neck-scritching to distract her for a moment's time.

"Hey now," Alasse snorts, shaking her head at something only she can see: flap flap flap goes her head, but she's…well, almost laughing. "You're alright, lil fella." She hums, and- definitely doesn't dodge Toruth's wing with a full-body flinch. The shadow of Toruth's wing, she dodges, because Toruth's nowhere near her. Thankfully, she's at least partially possessing of some grace, and Alasse doesn't fall. She kind of cranes sideways instead, hips twisting, one knee going down as she steadies herself only moments before a fall, finally focusing on Lunasidhe. "Woah," The big woman hisses, standing again and shooting Oddisa an extremely apologetic look (she's sorry she's jumpy, honest!), all improper etiquette as she throws a gigantic arm around Luna's shoulders and draws her close, assuming she doesn't dodge away. Pat-pat-pat, she tries to be gentle but absolutely isn't good at it, probably distracting further with the strength of her uh. Gentle pats. "Sure she'd like a redfruit, wouldn't she, Odi? We can bring her some, bet she'd like that. Just soon's we're done here." The candidate beams goldrider-wards in a very obvious 'say YES' kind of way, tucking away from the eggs for a beat. They'll be there in a minute, alright. Clearly, something's going wrong, and Alasse fixes things, that's her whole deal. "No," The candidate admits after a beat, lips pulling sideways again, eyes soft. "I…wanted to try dragonhealin', when I was little. Never quite got there. How different is it? They seem so…" Human? Als frowns. "Not so differet from us." Als doesn't run. She's not so much built for it, especially not here, but she does wander after Luna absentmindedly, frowning. "Just. Wings. You know?" Riiiiiight.

"If she stitches yur finger on backward, you might be fun at parties." Oddisa perks up from high above, dropping down and dangling before flipping back up to land on the other side of the dividing gallery bar with a satisfying thump. Elna ushers a boy away from Sleepless Sentry, patting his back as he holds back sobs. Odi waves them boy up the steps, handing him a flask that HOPEFULLY is not liquor. "If yu wash out this round, I'm next up…" It's said with particular regard for Lunasidhe, eyebrows disappearing into messy locks that have escaped the braid. As Alasse mentions the herdbeast there's a bright smirking grin, "She's doin' well, got a better pen to hold her in. PERFECTLY alive, she was a present from E'stel." GLARE GLARE GLARE. Yes you Lunasidhe, be as snide as you want to about Oddisa but don't dare insult her pet. "Ichors specific gravity differs from blood's, and it's warmer…" The random knowledge is off-setting from what you'd know about the young weyrwoman, leaning down over them until the candidate that's her personal choice for victim skitters away, and she's taking stairs three at a time. "Yur welcome to feed ; she'se's not on any diet." Leaning against the galleries' bottom railing, both arms cross over chest, far to casual as the group is watched over again. "You sound like a dragonhealer." YEP captain obvious has arrived, the comment made as a bridge for the woman to burn down. "Been doin' it long?" Extending the only form of peace offering the rough-hewn shortie has.

There's a momentary amusement for Alasse's reaction to Toruth's movement, but it and everything else is quickly buried under surprise for the arm slung around her shoulder. Brief stiffness gives way to a fullbodied lean into the handywoman's person, allowing this comfort because she so very needs it in this moment. If those pat-pats are on the side of too-hard, Lunasidhe doesn't show it, cheeks thinning as they are clasped between teeth and bitten down on to keep from crying. She will. Not. Be. Like. That. Boy. "Really?" Right after this? It's something to look forwards to that isn't a reminder of previous loss and deception, and she latches onto it with eagerness dampened only by the glare of the tiny rider over yonder. Luna's brow notches gently, not sure what she said that was insult rather than simple lack of knowledge, but she's geared for flight not fight just now. Instead she nods for the woman's input on ichor, shoulders rolling noncommitally. "They are similar, right up until they aren't. They're different enough from humans and animals both that it's hard to really get into it without being a bore." Or so technical that it's exhausting, but, "Wings. Eyes. Hearts. Muscles. Hide." A nod, then, for Oddisa's observation, and, "A few turns. Long enough to know a thing or two, short enough for that knowledge to be dangerous, or so I'm continuously reminded." It's her own peace offering, self-effacement delivered when it looks like puking or perhaps running to the next weyr over is higher on her mind. "I might go now, actually. I don't feel so well. You can find me in the barracks, later, if you still want to…?" Because she's hardly assuming she's going to whisk Alasse (and maybe the weyrwoman) away from all this!

Maybe Luna doesn't assume that, but Alasse does. With all the panache of the priveleged-and-used-to-it, she lifts a chin and fixes Oddisa with a look that's half please and half this is the right thing to do, let's go. "You know, that'd be a blast." BLEEHHHHH, wiggling fingers, because if anything, Als doesn't have…a filter. Of any sort. "I bet I could get some wild angles with backwards fingers, workin'." Best not to imagine. MOVING ON. Shush-shush goes the handyman, tucking Luna against herself and patting just SLIGHTLY more gently. "Hey, you're alright. They said we could um," Squint. "Experience some. Emotional bleed?" Thaaaaat's totally what's happening, riiiight. It's clear that Alasse doesn't in the slightest know what she's talking about, but she tries, flashing a pleading look for Odi. HELP. "Aw, no need to confine her, she ain't gonna hurt nobody…just a sweet thing." Siiiiigh, but there are more important things to focus on, like whatever the shells specific gravity is, or plural hearts. "Wait, hearts? More than one?" That's enough to distract her from Lunasidhe pulling away just a little, but Als doesn't let go for long, half-tugging at whatever part of Odi she can reach, looking pleading. C'mon, they can totally do this, between the both of them? Right? "Hey now, we can go see ol' Bessie on the way back, she's a good listener, real soft…"

People slowly wander off the sands, the heat, the eggs, or simply chores beckoning them elsewhere, and Toruth is given a short quick bow by Oddisa as she walks in a semi-circle behind everyone and waves in short quick motions. The shooing along has some starting to run, getting a loud hiss from the junior, "IF yu die, it's paperwork." She would chew off her own hand before filling out an accident and injury report; it's not like charting phenotypic pedigrees. That's fascinating. "Bet you'd be real fun- " The inappropriate phrase about to come out of her mouth is swallowed with a look over at Toruth. Finally reaching the large form of Alasse candidate and the green-looking Lunasidhe, there's a casual command in her steps as she approaches, shoving both hands in small front pockets. "Yur welcome to go see 'er. I wish she could free roam, but Ori an' I can't be here all the time to prevent snackin'." Whatever it is about that phrase, Oddisa laughs at herself, snorting several times and turning to stare at the ceiling with eyes glazed over. Caught up in her own little thought, there's tugging, a twitch of surprise, and mild balking turns quickly into resignation as a damned candidate is leading her around like a runner. She did not sign up for this. "I gotta go there anyway if yu think that's wild herdbeasts have three stomachs." With a turn toward the sands to make sure everyone is clear, they're off to raise a bovine's blood sugar.

Toruth yawns letting the gleam of alabaster teeth reinforce Oddisa's shooing off the sands. A large hand reaches out to the nearest egg, talong clicking lightly ont eh sell before she starts the prodcess of shifting it ever so. Any unwise candidate smight stay to take their turn at being handled by the razorlike talons ad Toruth eyes Oddisa as she breaks off mid-sentance. Oh what was that? Some juicy tidbit she should pass along to her rider now. The queen snorts softly and licks her lips before becomgin fully engrossed at tending her eggs. Lucky break.

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