Rough Reactions

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.

If Chauth is sleeping or she is sulking, it is anyone's guess - but either way she is off to one side of the sands, eyes closed and firmly ignoring Ysgieuth, the bronze settled near the entrance, head lowered to peer down the tunnel with a large eye. Z'tan? Z'tan has learned not to meddle in the affairs of dragons, and so he is perched along the low barrier between the galleries and the sands, a small notebook in his hands. Glancing up at the sound from the tunnel, there is an impatient motion for Ysgie to move his big stupid head so the candidates and the accompanying weyrlingmaster staff can make their way onto the sands unimpeded. Assuming the staff has reminded the candidates of all the rules - bows and no running and all that, Z'tan remains quiet, just.. watching.

Pulled away from her chores, Leeta finds enough time to swipe a wet rag over her sweaty flesh before running back out to join the other white knots in an upcoming touching. The woman in lightest cotton, armless top and breezy, lightweight pants (always those boots, though!) looks curious, intent…and cautious. After all, Cauth's out there. Once in awhile, her keen green eyes scan about for others who will brave both heat and dragon temper.

Weyrlingmaster staff are present and accounted for, albeit both are a bit odd. Suyi and Zychaelth are /definitely/ taking this job very seriously because the dark harper has this stoic look on her face and….the blue is waddling along while wearing what /looks/ like a giant pair of shaded glasses. Suyi is wearing a similar pair only…they fit her face. ALL BIZNESS they are, so explanations have been made! Z'tan and Ysgie probably know better.

It's old hat. Or so Aishen would have you believe, the way he saunters along the tunnel towards the Sands, hands shoved in his pockets and a deliberately bored expression on his beard-shrouded face. Azure eyes cut briefly towards the bronze lunk and his rider, head dipping slightly in acknowledgement of clutchsire, before he steps out onto the sands, seemingly undisturbed by the heat radiating off of them. His gaze cants left and right, studying his fellow Candidates to see what directions they scatter to before he chooses his own torture device. Egg. Same thing.

Teinon has missed a touching or two… Probably no one noticed, right? It wasn't exactly like he refused to show up. He was just mysteriously missing when the time came to round up candidates and shoo them to the sands. But today? He's here! Giving Suyi-and-dragon the occasional subtle glance over those glasses (?), but otherwise just following the lead of the other candidates.

Ysgie seems to eye the candidates with a look of suspicion, but then thankfully for all of them, his attention is dragged forcibly to Zychaelth, and the bronze is rumbling at his clutch sibling, huffing as he settles back on his haunches, resigned to the company. At least Chauth stays put, and it seems the candidates can have free reign.

Zychaelth greets Ysgieth with an abrupt smattering of colors all glaringly loud and neon in shade. These colors make up the coats of imagined bodyguards, each one guarding a huddle of literal white knows. A smattering of cackling laughter accompanies it but expression wise….both he and Suyi remain deadpan as they take up post on either side of the cavern entrance. All they lack is an adequate theme song. But behind those glasses, watchful eyes /are/ actually on the candidates as they move towards the eggs.

It's Leeta's first time out here for this clutch, and, as such, she's careful to give both sire and dam a deep, respectful bow before just staring at Suyi's AND Zychaelth's wearing of goggles. H'okaaaay. Finally, the pale-headed woman tears her eyes from them, looking over at Teinon, then Aishen before looking back to who's apparently in charge, here, for the moment: Suyi. She's awaiting the signal/starting gun. Z'tan remains unseen up in the stands. It's more important to pay attention down HERE. You know, where pissed off dragons that can bite yo in half or squish you dead reign. Wait; other white knots are moving? Well then, Leeta will do so, too. If they're wrong, the other will get rebuffed first. Given good luck, she'll move to the "Happens' egg, and dare to curve a hand gently against its shell.

As choices are made and Candidates peel off, Aishen gauges the direction of traffic, then trudges in the direction of the A Shiny New Era Egg, booted feet coming down steadily in the shifting sand, easy steps speaking of a long intimacy with unsteady terrain. Another sidelong glance towards the dragons - a double-take and dubious frown for Zychaelth - then he heaves a sigh and reaches out one large hand, spreading his fingers wide as he presses his rough palm against the smooth curve of the egg.

Teinon lets the other candidates make their choices first, lingering somewhere around the fringes before finally stepping toward the nearest egg. His hand remains outstretched for just a second, glancing over to Leeta, Aishen, other candidates… But it's do-or-don't time, so he takes a deep breath and settles his hand on the egg.

Oh, shit. SHe *would* have to pick a nosey egg. Leeta's face twists from cautious curiosity into a hard, flat lack of any expression as 'Happens' contents jerkily parades her past by her, the woman stiffening up, then withdrawing her hand. Still, she'll not be dissuaded so easily, and once more that hand touches the shell, though in a ghost touch. As to who and what she is…well, Leeta tries to keep most of the darker stuff walled off behind her rocky inner walls. Nope, kid. Way too young for *that*.

For a long moment, Aishen merely frowns at the rich-hued egg, his palm remaining along the curving shell as a line of sweat trickles along his temple, losing itself in the scruff of his beard. "Well," he mutters irritably, "wake u- ah." Eyes unfocus, and a satisfied smile flicks across his lips. "There you are."

A small, but delighted smile plays across Teinon's face as his eyes droop closed. It seems that this egg should be an easier one… but then he opens his eyes with alarm, and looks at the egg with some consternation. He actually takes a step or two back, glancing toward the exit of the sands. But Suyi and Zychaelth are standing guard there, and the difficulty of trying to get away without having to give an explanation eventually overcomes whatever momentary urge he had to flee. He looks back to the egg, instead, and his brow furrows into an expression of concentration. He focuses his mind on something small and pleasant, and once his mind is calm again, he presses his palm tentatively to the egg's shell.

Love(s)? Well, those are less gritty than hates and darknesses, but Leeta is still cautious about baring her heart to anyone she doesn't know very well. Little bits are allowed to flit into 'Happens' probing presence, but not deeply: that's too dangerous. But *yes*, love is there, carefully walled up and guarded, only the purposely allowed chinks between granite block opened for the unhatched dragonet to glimpse bits through. Green/protection/sadness, perfume/guitar/green eyes/warmth/love/safety/sadness…and so much more are barely allowed to be touched in her mind.

Suyi briefly reaches up to lower her shaded glasses juuuust the slightest, watchful gaze falling on Teinon and….then her eyes are hidden once again. He's fiiiiine…probably? Not a lot of alarm from her! Then her attention shifts to Let and Aishen in turn and both earn a tiny bit of a smile. She's /probably/ having some nostalgic conversations with Zych about their reactions!

Fear is as fear does - but never let it be said that Aishen doesn't possess more than his fair share of curiosity and foolhardy courage. Dark amusement crinkles the corners of his misted eyes, and he settles his feet more firmly in the sand, palm resting firmly against the egg as a physical anchor as he mentally plunges onwards, following the will-o-the-wisp towards the goal - or sudden doom. That's always a possibility, too. Fun!

Withdrawing, withdrawn, Aishen surfaces, coughing once in the dry air as he pulls his hand away, wiping it against the slight dampness of his forehead. "Huh." He gives the egg a long, speculative glance, the glitter in his eye speaking of a knowledge of things best left in the dark. "I'll remember you," he murmurs, tracing one finger along the shell before backing away, turning on heel to trudge away - far away - from this oddly fascinating egg. Now for something completely different.

A smattering hint of Half Moon territory, Blue Fire Hold, round coins, warmth and safety are allowed to winnow their way through to the presence inside 'Happens' egg, Leeta carefully guarding herself while seeking to give the dragonet within at least a little information. And when the babe in shell is done, well, the woman withdraws hand and her immediate presence from the egg, standing straight…that flat look still lingering upon her features. Only a little woodenly, she moves slowly towards 'Mists and Ashes' egg, settles down into a squat, and dares to cup a hand lightly to its surface… readied.

Teinon seems to be doing a lot better the second time around with the egg. At first, there was still a kind of vague anxiety shadowing his expression, but it soon melts away into a brighter smile. There are plenty of pleasant things to share. Bright moments in the sunshine. Cool salt water of the ocean on a hot summer day. Friendships and loves, and even the moment /after/ that one small moment that had so shocked the poor little egg. The moment when everything was all right again. He can at least make /that/ better, if nothing else.

Shifting, swarming, the Candidates move in an intricate pattern, Aishen pulled along in their wake to the next egg. Unremarkable, perhaps, with its stripes and paleness, but nevertheless, the vintner sizes it up with a curious expression. Then, with a shrug, he reaches out, brushing his fingers along the division between cream and blue on the Forgotten in Nowhere Egg.

She's apparently much more used to something like this — what 'Mists' egg offers — so Leeta allows her fingers to play lightly against the shell, tracing colors and patterns, feeling any potential surface characteristics. "Mmmm…" is thoughtfully murmured as her eyes lid heavily, the woman probing very gently back at the silver, darkness, gloom. What makes up *you*, little one?

There's a moment of exhilaration… Something that quickens Teinon's breath, and leaves him struggling not to clutch at the egg in a way that would be… not wise, with Momma Bear nearby. But in the end, that resolves into a broad smile that could almost be a laugh, if it weren't silent. It's almost reluctantly that he pulls his hand away. His final lingering thought for the egg is one of gratitude, and he has to take a moment to scrub at his face and regain his equilibrium before moving on to another egg.

"No." Aishen's soft growl is as good as a shout, for all it barely carries beyond the heat-soaked air around him. For a brief moment, he jerks his hand away from the egg, fingers splaying, spasming, as his other hand forms a fist to press against his gut. A sucker-punch, one that carries a pain so far removed from physical, but that tears at him never the less. "No," he snarls again - soft, so soft, unwilling even in his frustration - his anger - to risk drawing the attention of those around him. "Keep away from that." Almost - almost - he turns away… but blind stubbornness wins out, and he places his hand once more along the shell.

"Oh…" is the only thing that issues from Leeta's lungs — breathily — when 'Mists' denizen allows that faint, delicate music to waft into the looming storm of its presence. the woman's eyes close completely for a few moments as she 'plays' her inner guitar back to it in delicate pluckings, shimmers of quiet glissandos, ceasing when it does. Her face…is now thoughtful, not harsh…though she comes up for a moment in response to Aishen's 'No's, staring intently at her fellow white knot before resuming her communication with 'Mists.'

Frustration lingers in the set of bearded jaw, in the tight lines around azure eyes, but the tension slides from Aishen's large frame, muscles easing, shoulders rounding, bowing against the swamping sensations the egg throws at him. "You'll never understand, little one," he murmurs. "And be grateful for it." Almost, his hand pulls away, his head turning so he no longer gazes upon the shell his fingers still press firm against. Almost, but not quite.

Teinon glances toward Aishen, momentarily distracted by the quiet outburst. There's a flash of sympathy there… He remembers /that/ egg… But he has his own business to attend to, here, so he makes contact with the egg's shell. His lips tug down into a frown almost immediately. It's not the immediate aversive reaction that some of the eggs have inspired… More of a deep discomfort. He doesn't have the capacity to hide much from the egg, but he equally lacks the capacity to answer its questions. But he lingers, and he tries. Because somehow, leaving questions unanswered seems like it would be worse.

"I understand…" is all that Leeta murmurs very very quietly to 'Mists' unhatched babe, her lips almost tipping into a knowing, soft little smile. Is her body swaying just a hint? Unknown, as the holder woman slowly rises while softly patting the shell, finally stretching a little before she sets her sights on Aurora egg, moving over slowly so as to not upsets all the big dragons out here…and finally ghosting her palm over its surface.

There is no reluctance in Aishen as he pulls away from the egg, wiping his fingertips against his pants then pressing them to his hip, as though they pain him. "I'm sure you're a nice dragon and all," he mutters, a hint of dubiousness to his voice, then shudders. "I need a beer." Lacking a beer - or anything alcoholic, you spoilsports! - it seems the next best cure for saccharine overload is something a little more tangy. Like the Embers of Revolution Egg. Because, why not?

Teinon's squirmy discomfort gradually fades to be replaced with a self-conscious, crooked sort of smile. It's an expression that almost screams 'No shit, Sherlock' without quite such a harsh edge as one might imagine. And then, a blush starts to suffuse his cheeks, and the grin turns distinctly sappy.

"Another nosey…" Leeta mutters with dark humor to herself as she feels what 'Aurora' has to offer, the woman remaining standing, though her torso is inclined over the egg. She's here because she was Searched and introduced to the eggs. Other, deeper answers are private, and kept so. Her thrust back into the heat and reality of the Sands doesn't seem to miff the blonde, her features adopting a determined cast as she 'investigates' the egg even more with a lightly probing touch, this round.

"Faugh." Aishen looks more than a bit disgruntled at whatever contact this egg is making with him, and he stares at the shell where it curves beneath his rough hand. Whatever else he mutters under his breath is too low for even him to make out, but clearly he's too pleased with what he's experiencing. He's a stubborn bastard, though, so he'll tough it out.

That sense of airlessness is reason for Leeta to inhale deeply of the hot air on the Sands…and hold her breath at times. Oh yes indeed: a little frightening, like Between, but exhilirating, too. Much more so! Stars in the darkness… who'd want to catch them? They're much more lovely free and wild, as are the multitude of choices! She would dare, yes…but she doesn't *wnat* to. Freedom is paramount. And then it's back tot he reality of the Sands once again, the woman taking another series of deep breaths to provide her lungs with needed oxygen…since she's been holding her breath again. With a soft bit of a half-smile, she's up and away once more, heading for 'Beneath' egg, and daring to touch it a little more firmly.

Teinon's smile doesn't exactly /fade/. It dims a little, toward something less certain. Something more tentative. An answer he doesn't know how to give, or a vision that he can't quite live up to. But his attention drifts back to the sands more slowly, his brow furrowing thoughtfully as he just /looks/ at the egg. But he pulls his hand away, finally. He looks around the sands in a near-daze, his thoughts somewhere else entirely. Dare he try another? …It turns out he does. Dopey-faced and all, he moves to brush his fingers against another egg's shell.

There's a twist of lips and a scowl that bleeds across Leeta's features when she settles into the contact that 'Beneath' egg offers…will versus will, perhaps. And, nearly instantly, a sweat that has nothing to do with the Grounds heat breaks out over her face, a low growl emerging from lungs. Finally, much like Aishen once uttered: "No." Firm, unbending, maybe almost dangerous is that low alto of the woman's. And when the egg continues, Leeta shudders deeply, her face now a growing rictus of fierceness, horror, and a deadly promise. Louder, this time: "NO. NEVER." And with an effort, she shoves herself off and away from the egg, her butt firmly in the hot sand, and a look on her face that only her enemies have likely seen. In no way does she seek to retouch the egg, simply sitting there and staring murderous daggers at it before she remembers herself, and adopts a dead flat expression, lifting her form from the sands, and dusting herself off. No f*cking WAY is she going to touch that one again. EVER.

Suyi remains at her place by the wall but glasses are pulled down briefly so she can /eye/ Leeta. There's a twitch of her foot, on brief tap on her ground that is accompanied by Zych's wings flaring for a brief second….and then stillness once more.

The noise from Leeta has Z'tan actually paying attention, the Weyrleader shifting as if to slide off the wall. But, after watching her for a moment - the candidate going on her way as it were, he relaxes and settles back down on the wall - and his little notebook.

Teinon physically /flinches/ when he touches the lime green egg. Or maybe it's just Leeta's shouting that has him jumpy? Except… Nope. No, he's definitely started breathing harder, and when he finally snatches his hand away, as though yanking it from some sort of trap, he just looks a little glassy-eyed. He stares, stunned at the egg. Definitely trying to keep it together, but his hands are shaking almost imperceptibly. But then his gaze wanders to Z'tan up in the stands. He stretches his fingers, clenches them into fists, stretches them again… And with a little wince, he steels himself for the worst, screws up his courage and places both hands on the egg this time.

A little less frustrated, a little more thoughtful, Aishen is silent as he regards the egg before him, his fingers tap tap tapping lightly against its shell. Whatever he's feeling - seeing - thinking, he hides behind a hooded gaze, lips compressed into a line so tight they're invisible behind the bristle of his ruddy beard. And still he waits, patient, for the hammer to fall.

THAT egg… that's all Leeta can suddenly stand. She's got months of mindhealer help to assist her, but THAT…THING… With a slow turn about to present herself to the eggs' dam and sire, a deep, stiff bow is given, along with more to the Weyrlingmaster, then the finally noticed Z'tan in the stands. The holder woman is still as stiff as a board, as dead in expression as a plank. "May I be excused?" is then inquired quietly, flatly of Suyi.

Suyi raises her eyebrows at Leeta for a moment, finally pulling the glass completely off her face. There's a look of concern there followed by a quick nod, "Of course…if you need to go to the infirmary do that as well." Though she doesn't think the candidate looks physically sick, but of course looks can be deceiving!

Silent, Aishen pushes away from the egg at last, leaving that last, burning question unanswered - at least verbally. The look in his eyes - what little can be seen beneath lowered lids - seems by turns regretful and resentful. Finally - "Foolish." And he's done, it seems. Hands are shoved into the pockets of his pants and he turns away from the clutch, trudging across the burning sands in Leeta's wake. Unlike his fellow Candidate, he doesn't bother to ask permission. He's just done. For now.

Teinon gasps quietly as his fingers touch the egg's shell, then grits his teeth. He manages to hang in there a moment before he pulls his hands away, again with that sudden, sharp jerk. He's left staring at it, blinking hard, but he stumbles back a step or two. Like his fellow candidates, this one seems to break him of the egg-touching bug. He continues his backward trajectory until he feels comfortable turning his back on it. He starts to follow in Aishen and Leeta's steps, but before he can pass by Suyi, he stops and looks around for that interpreter Tanit had assigned to follow him around. The man is hanging around the edge of the sands, looking bored, but trails over when Tei gestures him over. After a few anxious-looking signs, the interpreter fellow rubs his nose and looks at Suyi. "He wants to talk to you." Tei pokes the fellow in the shoulder, which prods him to add, "In privacy. If that's okay."

"Thank you, ma'am…" Leeta notes crisply, politely to Suyi's answer, nodding at the bluerider before she looks all around her for a moment, then peels off to step woodenly from the Sands out into the relatively cooler atmosphere of the Bowl. Give her a minute, and her three firelizards are with her, nearly crawling all over their mistress — trilling and cooing their upset and love — to try and help assuage her bottled, negative emotions. As Leeta moves, they all make for the most unpopulated place in the Weyr they can find, right now. It'll be time to shed that horror and hatred there, in privacy and silence, and perhaps a brief spate of tears might follow. But when she re-appears within an hour, Leeta is all composed easement, looking as if nothing terribly disturbing had ever happened. It's just an egg…just an egg, damnit. Time for another, though unscheduled meeting with her mindhealer later in the day, who comes to her, as always, to help sort it all out.

The AWLM may have put her glasses back on to look all stoic and BODY-GUARDY for a second, but she pushes off the wall at Teinon and the interpreter's arrival. Before Suyi can reply though Zychaelth is pulling away to land his large head in the sand next to the candidate. As if the poor candidates haven't been assaulted enough already, there's suddenly the image of a very cozy campfire…only it's at the bottom of a lake and a pair of seahorses are drinking tea together. WHATEVER THAT MEANS. Thankfully, there is a human around and she decides to speak words, "That's fine, I've got time to talk." There's one more glance over towards Leeta though, juuuuust to make sure the woman's ok, but Suyi's satisfied at the moment.

Teinon just…stares at Zychaelth, round-eyed. /He/ definitely has no idea what that means. It throws him off enough that he jumps when Suyi speaks something that actually makes sense. He gives her the same sort of round-eyed look, before he blinks a few times and shakes himself out of it. Tei makes a gesture, which the interpreter translates: "That means 'thank you.'"

"You're welcome," is replied with a grin from the AWLM, though Zychaelth is apparently finding this hilarious because his scratchy laughter is /totally/ projected everywhere….if it wakes Chauth up, at least the candidates are gone? « HAHAHAHAHAH! » And then the two are off, leading to somewhere conversations can be had!

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