Experiencing Eggs

Day 0 of Month 5 of Turn 2720
Half Moon Bay Weyr - Hatching Sands
A wide, spacious cavern with a high, vaulted ceiling and ledges high above for dragons to perch upon. The iridescent sands shimmer in the heat, a myriad of pearlescent colors which change and shift in the light. The sands themselves are uncomfortably warm although they seem most welcoming to dragonkind. Scattered shards remain from past clutches although the current brooding queen usually has a cleared spot for her own clutch. Just up from the sands are the ledges where dragons can land to watch, while along the eastern wall are the galleries for humans to watch.

Chauth is settled off to one side of the caverns - thankfully asleep for the sake of everyone involved, though a pair of eggs are carefully settled within the gold's reach - a dark amethyst egg between her forelimbs, and a gilded gold and black egg sides in the curve of her tail. Ysgieuth, meanwhile, it seems has come to assume his duties as clutch father, for the bronze is looming off to the other side, carefully watching the candidates and weyrlingstaff that begin to appear on the edge of the sands, rumbling gently before sitting up straight, keeping an eye on them. Z'tan, for his part, is pacing, pausing to watch the candidates with a crooked grin.

It's Etinei's first time setting foot on the sands, though fortunately it's not because the clutch is breaking shell. She'd be way more nervous if that was the case. No, this is only to touch the still-hardening eggs. Still, the teenager is more pale than usual as she heads over with the little group of candidates towards their goal. There's a glance at each of the mother and father of the clutch, and it feels like an eternity to her before the weyrlingstaff have walked them to the clutch. Or, eight of the eggs, anyway. That's still plenty. Swallowing, with a glance at the man pacing, Etinei takes a single step towards the closest egg and, tentatively, puts a hand on the Everything Lime is Evil egg.

There is not a subtle thing about this egg - not its elongated narrow shape, nor its above average size. Most certainly not the color. It all but glows under the lights on the hatching grounds, like a froggy ferny cabbage this egg is unnaturally green. Lime green to be precise. The colors seem to shift and swirl like smoke, creating whirls and eddies that start to resemble distorted faces or shadowy masks if you look too closely or too long.

"Her pain in the rear Chauth is asleep, so hopefully you can all get some time in with the eggs. Don't mind Ysgie, he is just… yeah." The Weyrleader waves a hand almost dismissively at the bronze, his commentary seemingly just for the sake of everyone. As the candidates begin to disperse, he moves to one side, resting a hand on Ysgie's leg to keep him company.

< Etinei touches egg 7 - Everything Lime is Evil Egg >
« The Shadowman strikes without warning, and suddenly it is as if your hand is sinking through the shell of the egg, as if it was merely comprised of opaque, glowing smoke. Swirling outwards, the vapors of the dissolving egg engulf you, turning your mental world first green, than violet as the smoke fades from view. You find yourself surrounded by walls of silk, subtle stripes stretching upwards to infinity, while they are interrupted by wooden masks of every shape and style. Echoing, indistinct whispers dance around the space like mayflies, impossible to trace, but drawing you towards those masks… drawing you in, before suddenly a swirl of green smoke and you find yourself back on the sands beside the egg - most decidedly not touching it even a little. Wasn't that fun? »

Etinei isn't sure what she was expecting, but it wasn't that. With a gasp, she's back in the present, her hand no longer on the egg. Looking down at her hand, and then the egg, she wipes suddenly sweaty palms as covertly as she can manage on her shorts. Taking a steadying breath, she steps away from that bright, almost glowing green egg. Eyes still flashing with alarm at that experience, she heads towards an egg that she deems to look safer, laying her hand on its iridescent shell with even more hesitation than before.

In shades of the purest white, pristine and gleaming, this egg rests mostly buried in the sands. Its size seems impossible to determine from the small portion that rests above ground. Yet, if one dares tread just a little bit closer, the subtle washes of the palest and purest colors become apparent. They shift and swirl, dancing across the glassy smooth surface of the egg in a phantom aurora of color. The reflective sparks thrown by the shimmering sands enhance this effect. In any other weyr it might stand out as an oddity, but the iridescence blends almost too well with the colorful sands of the hatching grounds.

< Etinei touches egg 6 - Far Beyond the Tip of the Aurora Egg >
« Promises of Silence and Starlight wonder, were you holding your breath? It is difficult to remember enveloped in the sudden and perfect silence. Here there is only all-encompassing darkness, a perfect void that seems to be waiting… The slow-growing ache in your lungs reminds you of the need for air, a hazy question forming wordless and near shapeless in your thoughts. Why are you here? That familiar ache becomes a deep burn as you are thrust back into the world you came from with dizzying force. The sounds and sensations seeming all the more intense for their earlier absence, almost overwhelming in their sudden strength. »

This is…safe, indeed. Etinei's eyes slowly close as she maintains the contact with this egg, leaning in ever so slightly. There's another gasp as she comes back to herself, but this time it's gentler; an intake of breath to fill lungs that were beginning to burn. Her eyes blink open, but she isn't stepping away this time, keeping her small hand on the shell, fingers splayed and pushing a little harder.

« Promises of Silence and Starlight bid you to catch a breath as you plunge once more into the breach between worlds. Diving deep into that airless dark that is the complete absence of all sensation. Even prepared for it this time, do you find it frightening? Exhilarating? Alien? In the distance tiny pinpricks of color begin to flicker into existence, so slowly at first that you almost believe you imagined them. One after another that velvet black is seeded with the delicate shine of starlight. Each speck a universe of possibilities. Can you catch them? A stray thought wanders as you feel that familiar ache for air once more. Do you even dare try? No sooner do your fingers splay outward, then you find yourself once more in the suffocating heat and painful brightness of the hatching sands. »

There are more answers this time, and as Etinei comes back to herself and the brilliant brightness of the hatching sands, she finds her breathing has become shallow. She's entirely focused on this egg and its mysteries, determined to push further and find more So it is that she brings her other hand to join its sister, both palms taking in the warmth of the hardening egg.

« Promises of Silence and Starlight draws you in once more. Is it even possible that this is the same world you knew before? The sense of weightlessness feels the same, but thousands upon thousands of stars break up that velvet black into a glittering endless expanse. Instinctively you reach, snaring one of the lights in your fingers to rest warm and pulsing against your skin. A flicker of memory, joyful and fleeting, flutters as you reach for the next and the next. Each star snared pulling another piece of you out into the light. Some are painful memories, some are long forgotten dreams, others are hopes you still have for your future. The growing collection of stars in your palms grows warmer and brighter with every pulse until absolutely blinding in their glow. A final thought remaining with you as the brilliance fades, and you find yourself once more standing in the sands. Was it enough - and could it ever be? »

Etinei blinks and blinks, still feeling half-blinded from the experience she's just had. As she regains her vision, she pulls her hands back. No sweating this time; no nervousness. All that's left is a desire to see more - though she cant help but feel the egg's blinding display had an air of finality. Determining that her legs are steady, she paces to the next egg that catches her attention: tiny (she can sympathise!), but flashy. This time her hand slowly makes contact, fingers first and then the palm.

While diminutive in size, this egg sure makes up for what it lacks in stature with pure pizzazz. A blossom of burnished gold comprises the base, subtle shading giving the false impression of dings and dents in the pristine surface. Over the broad belly, fanciful whorls of smokey silver embrace the shell, and within those swirling clouds, flecks of sandy gold glitter like small jewels - winking in and out of existence - as one tries to focus on them. And yet, amongst the metallic hues there is a splash of bright, as erupting out of the smoke, shades of azure and turquoise cling to the apex of the egg, drawing the eye up, up, up into a world of brilliant possibility.

< Etinei touches egg 3 - Illuminated Dreams Egg >
« Seeking Endless Wonder draws you away and as it does so you feel the heat intensify around you. The world is illuminated by an unrelenting sun that beats down upon, but despite the harsh conditions you look around to find yourself in a small oasis. Plants flourish in this walled garden, filling the air with hints of jasmine. A large fountain stands in the middle of the grounds, and you find yourself drawn by the sweet promise of chilled water. It's only after you begin moving towards it, that you realize you aren't quite alone. Seeking Endless Wonder is there and immediately looks up in surprise. //You came from outside? Excitement fills the air as it grabs your hands, and the moment it does so your memories begin to spill forth. Behind these walls it has never known a normal life, the small mundane things you do on a daily basis are /incredible/ by its standards. Laughter fills the air, amusement at something you deigned to buy, but then abruptly stops. There it is, a single moment of injustice that seems almost entirely insignificant to you…but to Seeking Endless Wonder it's quite a shock. Immediately it begins to draw back, and within moments you are returned to the sands. »//

As she comes back to the present, Etinei finds that she has a quizzical expression on her face. The experience she's just had felt so vivid, so real. And the presence that she encountered…she can't go without meeting it one more time - or, at least, trying to. She places her other hand on the bejewelled shell, closing her eyes as if that's going to help her concentrate.

« Seeking Endless Wonder welcomes you back to its paradise in the desert, apparently recovered from earlier. Still, it desires to see the world but there's caution now. Rather than rifling through your memories it waits, waits for /you/ to take its hand should you choose to, waits for /you/ to choose what you will share. But there's literal mystery about what Seeking Endless Wonder would /like/ for you to show it. It wants your most beautiful memories, the sights that left you in absolute awe, each and every moment that you wished could last forever. With each image you feed it, you find the scenery around you changing. The walls of the garden begin to crumble and the suffocating heat eases as the sun disappears behind the horizon. Large sand dunes stretch as far as the eye can see, each one constantly shifting as warm currents of air skim against their surfaces. You can feel it, the draw to /explore/ that unending landscape because there /is/ something else out there- something incredible. Before you get the chance however, you're whisked back to the hatching grounds. »

Etinei willingly shares here, so keen to get something back from the presence that she's willing to give what she has. Returning to reality, she feels overwhelmed by the expansiveness of the sand dunes, and the need to explore that was shared with her. Bringing her hands to her sides, she takes a moment to breathe. There's also a glance towards each of the clutch parents in turn, just to make sure nobody's upset or about to eat her or anything like that. Seems safe! This time she takes a moment to consider the next egg she's going to visit. Opting for the total opposite, she heads towards the tall and narrow egg that seems ominously dark. Eyes darting over the details one can see closer up, Etinei touches both palms to its shell.

Standing out from its peers, Smoke and Ashes Egg has the singular distinction of being surprisingly tall and narrow despite being obviously ovoid. At first glimpse, one might consider it awfully dark and gloomy, but when looked at closely, a doorway to a place of phantasmal enchantment can be found. One where there is hardly no day, nor hardly no night, where there's things half in shadow, and halfway in light. At the base, hues of the deepest black stretch into lissome tendrils reaching into the star-flecked blues of its midnight center. Upon those towering peaks of darkness, shadows cavort, leaping from darkness to light quicker then the eye can follow. Crowning the egg's starry expanse, wisps of pearl and smoke twist and curl as they billow outward to catch the light.

< Etinei touches egg 4 - Mists and Ashes Egg >
« Winds of Change swirl in, gradually turning the world around you into one of shadow and light. Darkness roils at the edges of your vision, thick tendrils creeping towards you, dark as coal as they blot out the already fading light. Soon, there is only darkness and gloom, all hope of relief disappearing as from within the shadows, a whisper - fleeting and insubstantial. Something, something is brewing. The gentle breeze stirs, then, pushing curls of silver mist against the gloom, brightening the darkness only briefly. And then, an icy gust across your mind leaves you alone on the hot sands. »

Teinon meanders into the hatching sands, from the hatching grounds.

Chauth is asleep, curled protectively around a pair of eggs, leaving Ysgieuth to play the role of watchful eye - a role his fulfilling as he lurks off to one side, Z'tan at his side, as the candidates move amongst the eggs.

This one is scary, but not in the same way as that first egg. Etinei's face is curious as she returns to the sands, mind alone again. She needs to know what's there; what's just beyond her reach. Her touch on the egg's shell is firmer as she keeps that contact with the dark, interesting shell.

« Winds of Change slips around your mind, and suddenly you are once more amongst the hollow landscape of shadows, the wind howling as it twists and shapes the silver mists. Anticipation builds around you, energy gathering, the weight of a great storm looming. And then, amongst the heavy darkness, there is a soft sound - faint musical notes barely noticeable - delicate music that dances along, seeming to draw the wisps of light and mist along with it, as they swirl into dancing forms. As it swirls around you, pushing back the darkness, pushing you, until you are back on the sands. »

Teinon wanders among the eggs with the other candidates, trailed by his translator. The poor man looks… Well, bored would be an insult to the eggs, wouldn't it? But he's not exactly having the time of his life, either. Teinon, meanwhile, is oblivious to all of that. He's been hesitating, refraining from touching any of the eggs even as other candidates dive right in. But he can't delay forever. He takes a deep breath, reaches out and lands a hand on the Hatred for the Harper egg. Did he wince a bit just before his skin contacted the shell? Maybe. Shut up.

That…wasn't what Etinei expected. Blinking her big blue eyes in confusion, she's more intrigued than ever to press harder, and try to see what this egg holds. Is it hiding something? Is that why it pushed her away? Teeth snagging on her lower lip, she determinedly keeps her hands in place, brow creasing as she tries to see.

« Winds of Change draw you into the ghostly dance - whirling, twirling, you are almost immediately breathless, as the soft music has gained strength, becoming a lilting melody - one surrounded by harmonies of laughter. Despite the surrounding darkness, you are swept along by the light - as you are surrounded both by hope and fear, anxiety and bravery, success and disappointment - each opposing pair balancing itself just as the light and darkness around you do. And then, it is all retreating, leaving you with only the sense of Potential. »

Teinon blinks rapidly and finds himself standing there on the sands, head tilted quizzically as he just /looks/ at the egg. He shifts a glance to the interpreter, and gives a few signs. The man gives a kind of condescending smile and a nod of acknowledgement. The lack of enthusiasm at least sends Teinon's attention back to the egg. Very lightly… /so/ gently, he taps the pad of his pointer finger against the shell in a short, rhythmic beat, and then he just waits.

Etinei pulls away with the memory of those feelings and the laughter still in her head. Again, she has to pause to collect herself, as if cleansing the mental palate before she moves on to the next course. That would be in the shape of lumpy, jagged-looking egg. Teinon gets a quick smile as she spots him, before the girl is distracted by the task of finding a place on the egg without any of that blood red where she can put her hand.

Is that truly an egg on the sands? It seems quite questionable to be honest. There's nothing round about this object. In fact, it looks more like a jumble of furniture than anything. Various shades of brown wrap around jagged ends and lumpy sides, as if pieces of furniture had been broken apart and thrown into a large heap. There's a bit that looks like the leg of a chair and then something square-ish like a table. Perhaps even a cabinet? Strewn amongst the wooden appearance are several rectangles of color, as if hung like banners, on this large ovoid. Each of the rectangles is divided into three separate colors: red, followed by white, followed by blue. Some of these vibrant pennants look as if they're mounted on poles. Ripples course through some, providing the illusion of movement that does not actually seem to exist. Upon closer inspection what looked merely like shades of brown from afar seem somewhat different up front. Interspersed between the neutrality are deep rivulets of red. It floods down some pieces of the egg, pooling in areas like a sanguine ichor. Did a candidate cut themselves on the egg somehow? No…but it truly gives off that appearance.

< Etinei touches egg 8 - Embers of Revolution Egg >
« Mending Broken Dreams is suddenly by your side, exuding a warmth and familiarity that only your closest friends usually possess. In that moment you find that you are no longer on the sands. The heat that once assaulted your feet is instead replaced by the cool touch of wet cobblestones. A light drizzle falls around you, seeping into your clothes as mists begin to obscure your view of the street. This bleak and dreary scene isn't from your mind however, no…this is the reality of Mending Broken Dreams, but this lasts only a moment longer because now /YOU/ are here, and that changes everything. You feel a light brush against your shoulder, like a comforting hand, and that very second everything morphs from gloom to splendor. It's no longer rain but rivulets of pure silver that flow between each rock beneath you. The utter brilliance of this is equally mirrored as you glance upwards. What was once just a thick fog now shimmers with hundreds of pinpoints, like a river of stars leading your way home. Something prompts you to follow that river and as you do, you notice that Mending Broken Dreams is no longer with you. Do you look back? Keep going? Looking back you'll see that with your departure the magic in the scenery has faded away. All that remains is Mending Broken Dreams standing alone in the frigid darkness yearning for someone…for /you/ perhaps, to bring back a world of happiness it had never known. »

This one…this one is certainly something. Etinei breaks the contact very slowly, looking down at the jumble of colours on the shell before her ponderously. She seems undecided, wavering between moving on or probing further. The latter wins out, and her small, pale hand returns to the egg's surface, eager for a further taste of the companionship on offer.

« Mending Broken Dreams steals you away from the sands once again, but you find yourself in a much different scenario than before. Wooden walls rise around you, the medium sized space illuminated by old gas lamps. Given the tables and chairs strewn about as well as the wall of alcohol set behind a bar, there are only a few things that this place could be. And yet, something is different. Rather than the smell of drunkards and food it's the scent of gunpowder that assaults your senses. Again you find Mending Broken Dreams beside you, but there's something different about it. No longer is it weak and forlorn, instead there's passion and fervor emanating from it. Unbidden, memories spring forth from you…the moments you witnessed injustice, the moments you and others were treated unfairly, the moments that have scarred you for life…each and every one of these plays over and over again. /These/ are what changed Mending Broken Dreams, and as a result, the being within this egg is faced with choices that will change its life forever. Suddenly everything in the room is bathed in red light and ardor wells up within you, willing you to set right all the world's wrongs. Within seconds everything is plunged into darkness, and you're forcibly reminded of all your past mistakes. Red again - the potential resting within you, within /it/. Pitch black - the future of your world /without/ change. You ride along on the wave of emotions that Mending Broken Dreams calls forth, but the journey is not yet over. Red - the desire to be together. Black - it's life without you there. Red - sparks of pure passion. Black - the fear of losing you. Torn between love and action, between two paths that will define its very existence, /that/ is where you leave Mending Broken Dreams. Will you be the one to guide it? Help it choose? Or are you the balance, the one that allows it to walk both paths? These are the questions that remain as you find yourself on the sands once again. »

A slow, brilliant smile blossoms across Teinon's face. The expression is pure delight, reveling in light-hearted silliness. As it so happens, he just opens his eyes as Etinei is looking his way, and he returns her quick smile for a broad, slightly silly one of his own. Then his attention returns fully to the egg, eyes brighter than ever with curiosity.

Etinei draws back, glad to have seen more but…appearing unconvinced that her lifemate - if they're even in this clutch - rests in this egg. She leaves without malice though, to find a new egg to investigate. An unspectacular egg that one could easily miss amongst its more showier siblings. Feeling a pang of empathy, the teenager lays a gentle hand on the blue-striped shell.

This egg is pretty unspectacular. It's oval, wider than the bottom than at the top, and its pattern isn't anything outside of ordinary. Cream-white is struck through in bands of light blue, some stripes thicker than others, with every other one marked by four thin strikes around it. It's innocuous and unremarkable, and rather plain — like a striped polo, except this, my friends, is an egg.

< Etinei touches egg 5 - Forgotten in Nowhere Egg >
« Waiting For You is a gentle touch against your mind, more a stirring of thought than actual presence as it settles, with weight, in the darkest recesses of your mind. There's a hesitation in the joining of spirits, a momentary pause of this entity that doesn't so much //invade as… complement, complete. You're still together in that moment, a moment where, perhaps, there are no expectations from either of you beyond learning to feel each other, nothing beyond the pressing reassurance of you, and it, and this; that you are okay, and it… it is safe. You are safe. But the quiet doesn't remain. That presence moves, filters; it searches, and seeks, and finds and — there. This moment. It's that moment when you felt like you were a nobody; that you were somebody invisibile, somebody unworthy, somebody unwanted. It's that moment when you felt abandoned, and lost, and forgotten; when love forsook you and hope seemed a distant memory that belonged to a different you. Maybe you're still that person, lost amongst the stars. But it keeps going. It's that time when you thought that nobody would miss you if you were gone, that fraction of a second of a minute of an hour that you thought you could scream, and cry, and yell at the top of your lungs and nobody would hear you. It's that torment of loneliness, the despair of being alone, the vague ambiguity of self-worth that was trampled, or demolished, or simply never existed to begin with as it crumbles or glares its indifference. Emotions shift and coil, binding together to make a ball of hurt and pain and longing in your chest until you can't breathe, until the noise of too many angry words coupled with the deafening ring of silence swells, and grows, and threatens to tear you in half and — nothing. Suddenly the pressure is gone, and you find yourself back on the heat of the sands. »//

Etinei jerks back, breathing hard and holding back a cry of alarm. Looking up, at Z'tan and at the other candidates, Teinon included in that glance, she steps back away from the egg on legs that tremble. No. Not this one. Not this one at all. Turning pointedly away from it, she heads to the egg that's clothed in clashing colours, blood-red eerily apparent as she gets closer and puts a tentative hand on the shell.

This ovid is a clash of vibrant reds and golds against black, a reflective shimmer that curls, and arcs, and reaches like licks of flame against an endless backdrop of ebony. White breaks the pattern of this shell, a creamy hue that leaves even more patterns against its shell: one that appears to be a rose in so much blood-red… and a mask.

< Etinei touches egg 10 - What Lies Beneath Egg >

« Unspoken Secrets push in against the back of your mind, a slow, hot, consuming burn that flutters in tandem with the frantic beat of your heart. Phantom fingers trace along the curves of your body, delineate your collarbone, drag blunted nails up your neck where they wrap one by one in slow, deliberate //claim. You are mine, it whispers against skin, a breath that precedes the weight of a body pressed up against you, behind you. I am yours. More fingers, this time at your hips, catching at hipbone and dragging slowly across your stomach to the other side, catching in fabric and brushing feather-light against exposed flesh. You wanted this. Lips find your shoulder-blades as that hand on your hip jerks you back, seals the gaps between your bodies, bodies that begin a slow sway back and forth — as if you are dancing, losing yourselves to something slow, something intimate, something that needs not the accompaniment of music. You wanted me. A shuddered exhale as nose, lips, the barest hint of teeth press against your jaw, your cheek, and drag up, up, up to your cheekbone, back against your ear in slow, agonizing movement. And I wanted you. The hand at your hip rises up along your side, curls fingers over each bump of your ribcage, traces up along the curve of shoulder to grab your upper arm, and it pushes you forward, using your unsteady footing to twist you back around, to drag you in right against it, chest to chest, hip to hip, the hand at your neck curving back along your jaw to cup your head at the base of your skull as it leans over you, as it bends you back to meet its persistent dominance. But it is our secret. When you open your eyes, the figure you think you see seems to disintegrate into sand, blown away by the breeze — a breeze that isn't there. Surely not. Not here. Not against the sweltering heat of sands, framed beneath the dome of the arena. »//

A shudder runs, involuntarily, through Etinei's body as she pulls back from this egg. She looks uncomfortable, face still pale, but not just from the anxiety of stepping onto the sands with big protective dragons so close. Swallowing, forcing her breathing to return to normal, she offers a bow in Z'tan's direction - and then she's departing, footsteps at that pace that's quick-but-trying-not-to-look-hurried.

Teinon comes away from the Hatred for the Harper egg with that silly smile still firmly in place. He gives the egg a last little brush, before pulling away. The answer was there all along, apparently. He's still kind of lost in that glow when Etinei pulls away from her egg. He looks over, smile fading, but a look of intense sympathy. Ah, yes… /That/ one… He soon follows in her footsteps, but not without a lingering, thoughtful look toward the other eggs.

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