Candidate Questions on the Sands

Characters Al'dru, Eresai, Kytaer, Sabrael, Vivka
Synopsis Al'dru escorts a group of of curious candidates onto the sands to touch the eggs and willingly endures their many questions.
Out-of-Character Date December 19, 2014

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.

Al'dru is making his respects to Neyuni and Zuhth, as he accompanies a bunch of candidates out on the sands, waving his hands to let them know to spread out and find which ever egg appeals to them for the moment. He pauses, glancing to a shyer boy. "No, the eggs don't bite. Although I'm none too sure of that Unlimited Egg based on reactions to it."

This is Kytaer's first time out on the sands, though others have gotten a chance before - and so he's heard some warnings, but he's always been too busy-busy with his crafting to get picked. There is, however, a first time for everything and this is his: after bowing to Zuhth and saluting the Weyrwoman, he spares a salute for Al'dru as well. Complete with a now totally healed hand, thank you Emelene. Once he's done saluting there are a couple of nervous nods to fellow candidates he actually knows well enough to nervous-nod at, before … silence. Contemplation.

Eresai has learned since his first time on the sands; this time the dam and her rider get a proper slight bow like only a good little holder boy knows how, but he's already distracted from his path toward the Through the Moonlight Egg by the bronzerider's words. He stops, ending up beside the No Shoes for You Egg, instead, and lifts his voice to conversational levels, to ask Al'dru, "What's.. what have people been.." Then a gesture to the egg in question as if perhaps that will explain for him that he wants to know how others have reacted, even as he steps to lay a hand casually and gently against the egg he's stopped beside.

Maybe they figure if shy Sabrael gets out onto the sands enough, she's less likely to hide behind some of the larger candidates on the day of the hatching. Whatever it is, it's working. Because this time, Sabrael is ready for this. Coming up next to Kytaer she shares a smile with the older and so much taller man. "Most of them don't bite hard."

Al'dru shakes his head slightly and frowns toward the egg. "I figure it's just a really confident dragonet. But folks have been looking like they're going to cry and then moving away from it each time I've been out here." He's a bit quieter then. "Can't really say, as I'm not going to touch it myself. But Zuhth isn't acting like there is anything wrong with it."

"Not hard, huh?" Kytaer isn't actually turning green, but his face is the sort of expression that indicates it might go well with green, even if Sabrael gets a quick, awkward smile in return for the consideration. He makes a good person to hide behind, too, if you're only looking for the upward direction and not trying to find someone wide. "Well. Here goes." That one that had reminded him of clockwork, that's what gets his first attentions - that being Rain of Sunshine.

Vivka is tentative about being on the sands. And since she's not really supposed to just follow someone else around, she pauses, hanging back slightly, to watch the other candidates who have done this before to get some indication of how to actually deal with the whole thing. Once she has an idea, there's a polite curtsy to the dam, an uncertain lingering of her gaze on Al'dru, then Vivka breaks off toward the Splatter of Blood egg. She seems hesitant to actually touch it once she's there, hand hovering uncertainly before just barely grazing the shell.

It's surprise that pulls the teen's hand away from the No Shoes for You Egg. It might be the mind within, or the words Al'dru offers in answer. Eresai's brow furrows, and he glances toward Kytaer, "Confident. Maybe you should try that one next, Tae," there's a slight amused pull of a smile for Sabrael as she's near his male-teen-crafter-candidate-compatriot. His hazel gaze slips further away from the pair of candidates to the blonde with her curtsy and hovering uncertainty, looking away, almost as if ashamed; at that point, reaching to touch the No Shoes for You Egg again is a convenient excuse to be focused elsewhere.

As the others step forward to claim the eggs, Sabrael lingers in the back. There is much to be learned about the others (and the eggs within) from watching. Her eyes are drawn to Eresai as he touches one that she has not, and she waits, hair falling over her face.

Al'dru merely shakes his head. "There's no problem in being confident. That's how you get what you want out of life, rather than being stuck into the shadows. Unless you're a mastermind like my friend Janja and you like having the gossip on everyone."

"Weyrwoman Janja's very confident," Kytaer notes carefully, forming his words in such a way that it belies absolutely no secondary meaning whatsoever. There is a total lack of implication there. It's an observation. It's - getting distracted from by Rain of Sunshine's love and affection, or … slow-building dizzying mayhem. It could be that. His face still isn't green, but he looks a bit queasy. Not enough to stop him from splaying his fingers and resettling his hand on the egg, though.

Vivka seems startled by the egg, drawing in an audible breath. She even jerks her hand away from it as though it actually might do something to her. Her big blue eyes flicker up and around. But since no one else seems worried about their eggs, and it is just an egg still, Vivka lets her hand settle on it again, this time closing her eyes as though to block out other distractions.

Eresai's face has a reaction with the second touch, an unpleasant pinching of the skin between his brows and a slight wrinkle of his nose. His feet wiggle on the sands as is suddenly uncomfortable and he lets his hand drop away. Evidently, Sabrael is welcome to take her turn if she likes as he obliviously moves over toward Al'dru rather than away, "Does she? She seems like she would. I mean," Eresai blushes because calling one of the weyrwoman a gossip might be seen as an insult by some. "I mean just that she seems well-informed." He's nodding along to Kytaer's words. That's better, he must hope, giving Al'dru a sheepish look before his hands go to the egg that is the topic of discussion, already bracing himself for what might come. That he slides a glance in Vivka's direction will totally help him not be distracted just as his fingertips touch…

Al'dru shakes his head. "Oh, I've known Janja for turns. She doesn't really talk out of turn. But if you ever need to know something. She might have your answer." A strange smirk. "Now, whether she'll give you the answer, that's something you'll have to figure out how to get out of her." He continues to lean on the gallery wall, pausing to wipe at his brow. "Why is it, that the sands are always some version of Keroon death heat?"

Is Tae … sniffing the air? That would be a yes. The technician is, indeed, sniffing the air as if there's something very there he's supposed to be smelling, and as a result has at first missed the fact that other people are speaking to him, or evens peaking around a topic that he was participating in. The sniffing is accompanied by a dumb smile, but both fade relatively quickly as the egg fades away, too. That's when he's glancing around to make sure no one saw that, clears his throat, and says, "She explained to me about craftriding, 's why I'm here," as if in defense of Janja or bolstering his previous statement. And winking at Eresai, before taking a long, deep breath and putting his hand back down on the egg.

"She's very curious." Sabrael whispers to herself, the only comment she has about the very outgoing goldrider. A slight tilt of her head has her evaluating that egg. The first touch seemed gentle enough, the second, a bite. But standing here is nonsense, so she steps forward with more confidence then she is sure of, and reaches for the No Shoes for You Egg.

"Keroon death heat?" Vivka squeaks uncertainly and with some bit of distraction, perhaps in part because of the egg. "I've never been to Keroon. Is it hot?" Well, one might imagine with that description, Vivka. Her gaze falls back down to the egg, though, and she seems oddly entranced by whatever's happening, enough to press her other hand to the shell. "Do they all do this all the time? Do they do it to you?" The last question is directly for Al'dru, since he has a dragon of his own, presumably.

"By the First Egg," Eresai swears as his hand lifts clear. "You weren't kidding," is given over to Al'dru of the Unlimited Egg, as if the bronzerider might have been? It's to Kytaer that the other teen's eyes turn, "Gears," he says meaningfully as if that should explain everything and then nods to the Unlimited Egg by way of suggestion. "There's nothing wrong with curiosity," he echoes Sabrael quite sincerely a she moves toward where Vivka stands, but doesn't look at her, instead, his hand is placed on the River in the Rain Egg.

Al'dru laughs. "No, no. The eggs don't communicate at all with me. I think you have to touch them for them to do so, and well. Eranzath would be most put out if I tried. Besides, I have my life partner, why would I want another. None could ever top him." He nods slightly on the craftriding. "Well, of course. Have to pay the debt to the weyr somehow. How else are you to make your way in the world? I mean, rescues are exciting, but unless the entire planet became moonbeam drudges, what would we do most of the time to feed ourselves and our dragons? It's not like we fight thread anymore."

Whoah. Kytaer's dizzy, now; he's actually flagging a little, lilting to one side for a minute. He looks like he's going to tip sideways, or fall over, or possibly lean into the egg and decide he was going to climb into its nice, fruit-filled and comfortable alternate universe. It fades abruptly, though, hand pulled away; he wrinkles his face around slightly to redirect and then tells Vivka, "Yes," followed by, "I'm from Keroon," he even has a little bit of an accent, and, "It's not the same kind of heat as Igen." Al'dru's statement, though, that's interesting, and so he's looking at the bronzerider with bright-eyed curious intent - "Would he mind? Does it matter if you touch another dragon's egg, is that like - bad etiquette or something? - before he moves on in his egg-befriending to reach out to the other one that'd most prominently caught his eye during that fateful clutching: As Old as Time Egg.

"No, there isn't." More agreement swirls around as Sabrael tilts her head at the egg, her word drifting off in the brush of bright color and action. She breathes deeply to try to capture more of that fragrance but it is already gone. Instead she pulls her hand away for a moment to pluck up her courage. Remembering the bronzerider's hearing, she speaks up. "Would it be… a little confusing? For them?" Without realizing her hand has moved, Sabrael touches the egg again.

Vivka blushes at Al'dru's answer. Or maybe it's the egg itself. "I didn't mean— never mind." She slips away from the egg to find another, glancing at Eresai for a moment as she moves past. She might even smile if she catches his attention, but that's probably just because that's what she does. Her hand settles a little more confidently on the Unlimited egg.

Al'dru shakes his head. "No, not confusing, although perhaps to the eggs. But I think mostly it's disrespectful. Both to Eranzath and to the dragons that these eggs are bound to be. I'm not available for them, so I shouldn't be making myself look so." He briefly goes quiet. "Eranzath merely answers that he doesn't understand why I would want to, when I have him, which is good enough for me."

Eresai's hand comes away again. Where last time he was on the sands, he had such good luck to find eggs he wished to linger with. This time, he can't seem to settle. Maybe it's Eresai's fault more than the eggs. He, at least, gives this egg a second's thoughtful consideration before he's moving to take Kytaer's vacated space at the Rain of Sunshine Egg. Perhaps the look, even with the queasiness, tells him it's a ride he wants to take. He pauses before actually settling his hand to listen to Al'dru's answer for Kytaer. "Huh." Then he has to blurt the question foremost on his mind, "Is it really all they say it is? I mean, do you.. I guess you wouldn't know for everyone.. but for you, was it better than true love and.. and whatever else the stories say?" His youthful face seems especially so, looking a touch vulnerable and nervous. He's still looking at the rider when his fingers brush the Rain of Sunshine Egg for the first time.

This egg makes Vivka gasp, too. There's a decent chance she'll do that for every single one of them. That's just the kind of person that she is. This one, though, makes her smile instead of look worried. And when she glances around this time, there's something a little excited in her expression. "Better than true love?" she repeats, cheerfully. "It seems like that would be hard to beat. Isn't that the best thing there is?" And she's obviously lived long enough to totally know what true love is.

Kytaer's fascination for Al'dru's explanation is only dulled by Kytaer's fascination with his new friend the egg. Because the ego and confidence sometimes dwelling inside him is making friends with the similar bravado found inside it, and … either As Old as Time or Kytaer has decided they must be friends, now. Even if as soon as he looks thrilled, he also looks - miffed. Irritable. Shot down. Maybe he's not cool enough for that friendship after all. Thankfully, that's right when Eresai asks his question … and it's also the question Tae wanted to ask. (They are good mutual conversation wingmen.) "Yeah, I - that," he says with a shrug, before giving a resolute look to the egg he's at and puts his hand firmly back down on it. Told you, egg, he is too good enough.

Al'dru has a quite goofy look on his face, incongruous with his age. "Well, I have to say I have never, ever regretted Eranzath finding me. But as for true love, can't say as I've ever found that. Beyond Erry. Perhaps he's my true love?" A quick glance to make sure Zuhth is still okay with everyone out here and he answers. "Honestly, I can't imagine my life with having Eranzath in it. He truly does feel like the other part of my soul, so no woman ever does really compare,"

Sabrael winces as the bite of the egg comes. She had meant to let it go. The conversation draws her gaze and she looks between the speakers, a smile spreading on her lips for Al'dru's obvious love for his dragon. "It must be like no other feeling." No other, and yet, she is turning away from the creature inside the egg simply because it was slightly uncomfortable. Shame breaks in and so Sabrael touches one last time.

This second time around is much better, and so Kytaer's grinning off into the distant space that his mind has associated with the egg. The questioning nature has his eyebrows raising; the brow-raise turns briefly to grinning, then back to calm and slightly sullen default (where another might say neutral, but Tae's default is far more toward negative than true neutral). "Girls aren't so great," he adds helpfully, as if that were the contribution everyone was waiting for, and then, "No offense," to Sabrael and Vivka. It's, you know, girls in general who aren't so great. His classmates can stay. He can stay at the egg, too, for just one more touch.

Vivka scrunches up her nose as she considers the dragonrider's comments, like she might disagree. Fortunately for everyone, though, the egg is distracting and she looks down at it with wide eyes. A smile flickers, fades, then comes back to settle on her lips before she draws her hand away from the egg and drifts off to find another that she hasn't yet met. If she happens to shoot Kytaer a look, not really dirty so much as sensitive, well, she can't help it. Being a girl and all.

Al'dru just smiles, shaking his head. "Oh, you may not think that now. But if you impress. Well, your dragon will mean everything to you, and I do mean everything. For example, I'm fond of Janja and Neyuni. Neyuni more so than Jan. But so much of my life is a part of Eranzath's and so much of their life if part of their dragons. "I have nothing but respect for Janja and C'vryn for trying to make a pairing work."

Sabrael's expression falters, falling as that sadness overhwhelms her. Long after the egg has backed away she continues to stand there before finally she pulls away. Her fingers twist behind her and rather than approach another egg, she backs away, making her way towards the bronzerider. Even Kytaer's comment about girls gets dismissed. "Sir… are the eggs ever sad?"

And if Vivka and Kytaer's eyes meet at any point, he will duck his head a little in more appropriate guilt - but it's transient, because like all the others, his focus is all wrapped up in the eggs. The fond smile that As Old as Time is now getting is just that: fond, gentle, thoughtful, before he retreats as it has and forces himself to redirect. As Sabrael asks yet another good question, he defaults to listening, walking amongst the shells before picking that curious oil-spill of Life's Colorful.

Vivka slides a hand over her next victim— er, chosen egg. She's a professional at this now, with none of the hesitation she first had when she came in. And it's a little exhilarating to feel these things that aren't from her. But whatever she's feeling from this egg, is makes her relax into a close-lipped, homesick sort of smile. Right up until she starts to look a little concerned and draws away from the egg with something very close to a frown. Not quite, but close. She lingers for a moment, then moves on to visit another.

Al'dru takes his cue. "Well, Eranzath's wasn't. And trying to remember more than 20 turns ago." He glances down at the eggs. "I imagine that they could be? Maybe they want to hatch and can't quite yet? I really am not quite sure." He smiles a bit more, gently now. "It's hard to say, but they'll be fully fledged dragons in just a few seven days, even if they will only be babies, so, I would guess so."

Eresai almost misses Al'dru's answer for him completely in the sudden rapt focus he gives the egg his hand lingers on. "Hello, home." He murmurs mostly under his breath, and the smile that spreads is excessively fond, like a long forgotten memory coming abruptly into focus. There's the briefest glance spared Vivka when he does register some parts of what the bronzerider is saying before he's placing a second hand on the Rain of Sunshine Egg and closing his eyes. "Sort of crazy," he offers to the lot of them, "To think it's all going to be over and done with so soon." He peeks an eye open to seek Tae, finding Sabrael briefly along its way and hurrying along. If he can catch his eye, the brow over the eye will rise and he'll get a mouthed, 'Girls aren't so great,'" with then a meaningful glance to Sabrael and Vivka like maybe he didn't notice there are girls here, dude.

Apparently, Kytaer is very bad at keeping his egg reactions subtle and totally self-oriented, because this time … this time he laughs. It's very brief and very fast, just a single bark of a laugh, but it's definitely there. "Guess they are a lot bigger," he says, of the eggs in general: hey, that conversation he had with Emelene and Quillan, turns out he was right, huh. "Just like my sister said they'd be." Accidentally, he's drumming his fingers on the poor egg. It's a bad habit.

"That soon?" comes Vivka's squeaky voice, a little anxious as though she hadn't realized it was only that far away. As her hand touches shell, the blonde falls silent and her eyes close for a handful of moments. She can be anxious about the impending hatching later. Right now is for knowing everything about this egg that it will share with her, and something about it, though it's not like this is hard to do, makes her smile to herself.

"It must be hard to be stuck in an egg. But some are happy. They… really are like individuals. Some so happy, others sad, and some… it's hard to describe others." Reaching upwards Sabrael begins to twine a piece of hair around one finger as her eyes slip from one egg to another, remembering each one she has come in contact with. "I didn't think they would be so different."

Al'dru reacts quietly to that statement. "Well, all the dragons are so different, you know? I mean, Feyruth, Jan's dragon. That is one dragon that. I know Jan's besotted with her but I'm glad she's not my life's partner." He falls silent, musing for a long moment. "But then, every rider that you ask, always seems to think that their dragon is perfect for them. So, perhaps they are? The personality that meshes with yours is the one that finds you? I certainly have no idea."

Feyruth is that dragon that Tae's scared of, which he'd say if things didn't move a little too quickly for him to stay on top of. The talking. The eggs. This egg, which is like being cracked in the head with excitement and getting bowled over, but he seems to like it as he rolls his shoulders and straightens his back up a little. Kytaer, now at full height. "They prob'ly want to be in the eggs, right now," he suggests belatedly, resettling his hand on the egg, "'cause they need to grow."

"They seem… at least a little… to know us when we touch them." There's a thoughtful expression on Sabrael's face as she talks slowly. Up onto her toes she lifts once to look towards the blood spattered egg, then down again. "Do… they ever talk about what it was like in the egg? Once they impress they only talk to their rider, right? But here… we all get to see a little."

"Do you think maybe they become what works with you? Or maybe it just doesn't matter what they're personalities are in the end if you already love them anyway." This makes perfect sense to Vivka so she'll just stick with that. "I like you," she tells the egg a little more quietly, more privately. "I know you'll find someone perfect." Just in case they need encouragement, too. But for now Vivka slips away from the egg to find another.

"Kind of boss-" Eresai starts but then thinks better of speaking of the gold. A self-conscious glance goes up to the ledges, just in case Feyruth happens to be lying in wait for them there. He whistles a little, probably not even realizing he's doing that. Between himself and Tae, they could start a two man band. His fingers trail down the shell of the Rain of Sunshine Egg, probably hoping for some more contact before he'll let it go entirely.

Al'dru nods slowly. "I think they remember you, somewhat, from when you touch the shells. I mean, since they are reacting to you, how could they not just a little?" He pauses and just is noncomittal about anything more. "Feyruth is a strong gold. That's really all I mean to say on the matter. She's probably how golds were meant to be, when there was thread."

Drumming and whistling, and now … foot-tapping, because there's something to the egg's last message that both makes Kytaer jump backward and makes him tap his foot just as idly against the sand. Not that tapping against sand makes much of any sound, but it carries a gentle beat. "I hear," he says, finally, "I mean, my sister said, that Seheriyath remembered her and found her on the sands, 'cause her mind'd been his favorite. Told her right out. So they're like. Picking us. This way." As he looks over the eggs again, thoughtful as ever if not slightly moreso, he can't resist but trying the one all the daredevils have tried: Unlimited Egg.

"Really?" Eresai directs to Al'dru, perking up, giving the Rain of Sunshine Egg a final smile as he steps away to give someone else a shot at seeing what's enthralled him so. "I thought dragons were supposed to have really bad memories, most of them? Is that not so of those in the eggs, do you think?" He comes up short after another couple steps and says to Sabrael because she happens to be closest to him at that point, "Is this.. I guess.. is this sort of like the equivalent of feeling a baby kick when your mom is pregnant? Or one's mom. Not yours.. specifically." Already his look to the younger girl is a little awkward.

"Oh," murmurs Vivka when her fingertips trace over the shell of the River in the Rain egg. Her eyes are wide again, but eager more than worried, like there's something about this egg that draws her in. Except whatever it was is gone again and she's left looking just a little disappointed as she slips away to meet another.

Al'dru shrugs slightly. "It's odd. They remember some things better than others, it seems." His face goes a bit slack again as he talks with Eranzath. "Erry tells me if they really want to remember, than can slightly better. But they have to really want to." He shakes his head as he comes back to the heat of the sands, glancing warily at Zuhth as she moves restlessly. "Uh oh folks, Looks like we might have tested Zuhth's patience to the limit."

Was it all the noise Kytaer was making? Thankfully, either way, that's stopped - that stopped because he was totally shellshocked by Unlimited Egg. No wonder no one else is entirely sure what to do with it. He withdraws his hand, though this time his expression isn't crystal clear as to what he's encountered … just a little unexpected. Or unexpecting. It's one of them. Al'dru's announcement that they should perhaps get going is not one that seems entirely unwelcome. "Yes, sir," he says softly - with a trace of that sullen's return.

"Oh, so… a little bit like… they learn about us." The blind leading the blind is the talk between the candidates. Her ear turns towards Al'dru, and her reaction to that comment. A bow towards the gold and she is edging away. "Good night sir." A smile is spared for the others before the strangely not-acting-shy Sabrael is off the sands.

Vivka steps in where Eresai leaves, paying the boy himself little mind in favor of pressing a hand to the shell of the egg. She crouches down near this one and goes so far as to press her cheek, or maybe just her ear, to the shell. Maybe one can hear something inside, too? It could just be that this one seems welcoming enough for that sort of thing. But when Al'dru announces the experience is over, Vivka shifts away with a smile for the egg that can't see her, rises to her feet. "Thank you for letting us meet your eggs, ma'am!" Hopefully ma'am is the correct way to address a dragon.

Given that the bulk of Eresai's experience is with Feyruth rather than Zuhth, he has no desire to tempt fate. As Al'dru gives the word, he's hurrying toward the exit, pausing, waiting, for Kytaer as it happens, or was it Vivka or Sabrael? Well, one of them, only he doesn't actually stay put long enough when his long legs took him there so much faster. Going, going, gone.

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