This Little Eggie Went... (Fourth Touching)

Day 1 of Month 0 of Turn 2717
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.

IT'S RAINING, SURPRISE!!! We know you're not surprised, because this is Half Moon Bay, where it's either miserably hot, or miserably wet — there is no in between. Miserable in both extremes is the tiny little slip of an Assistant Weyrlingmaster who is shepherding in candidates with the kind of redness about her nose and eyes that says she's probably got a cold or some other ailement, and if there was any doubt, it's removed the moment she speaks. "Please be-hafe. Bow when 'oo go in, 'n no li — ACHOO — cking each ofer or th'eggs. Leaf when I tell you please." There might be some giggles among the crowd, but at least those in attendance are listening, joining the young woman as she sinks into a demonstrative bow for both Xermiltoth and Ilyscaeth (who are being obnoxiously cute over there in the distance, fight me) then pushes a hanky against her nose to dam up the incoming snot disaster of 2717. Her free hand makes a sweet, a gesture for the candidates to move themselves forward and pick an egg (any egg).

Leeta is one of those rare candidates who can take care of herself, mostly, and thankfully behave *her* age, which — at 25 Turns — is 4 turns older than the next oldest candidate. She also tends to keep to herself most times, interacting when it's expected or needed…or can't be avoided. RIght now, the tall, green-eyed woman is avoiding the weyrlingmaster like the plague the other woman is carrying right now, her athletic form seperated from the small knot of other candidates by a few feet as they all listen closely to instructions…giving the clutchdam and sire their small bow of politeness when she moves closer to those eggs. A thoughtful expression adorns her features as she then looks about at the ovoids in depth, finally decides on the Storm to Sunshine egg with a smirk of irony. It's stormy outside, that's for damned sure. Another candidate of 20 Turns decides he wants to start off with the same egg, but the sudden look of chilly intent the ex-guard levels upon him makes him decide on another egg…though he mutters darkly under his breath. Give her a few moments, and Leeta is kneeling on one knee (ouch, hot!) beside her chosen one, and murmuring very quietly to it, "Hello, there," as she gently cups one palm against its surface, strokes it gently. Hmmm.

< Leeta touches egg 1 - Storm to Sunshine Egg >

Leeta's almost rocked in her boots by the postive enthusiasm and joy at discovering her that the Stormy egg gives off, the woman's eyes flashing wide for some moments, her hand jerking away for a few moments before she grins widely then re-applies both palms to the shell, carresses it a little greedily. Inside her mind, she's saying to the egg's occupant: 'You're a bright one!' Does she believe a yet-to-be-born dragonet can really 'see' all her thoughts? Not likely.

That moment of withdrawl was enough to make Leeta's mind pull back, too — her reaction one of self-protection — her expression moving from one of half-smile half-smirk to that of her usual neutrality. But then the presence is back in her mind, and the woman's slowly, carefully engaging it again. It's sheer enthusiasm and joy soon enough has her half-smiling once again, a press of forehead added to the shell as she sucks in all the proto-dragon has to offer like a parched sponge in the desert. It's been so *long*… Carefully, however, she shields her darkest of memories and experiences from the innocent mind. It shouldn't see terrible things like *this* right now.

Careful, careful; she's not letting it see the shadowy, murky places of darkness within her. The egg's babe doesn't deserve *that* horror. Leeta instead offers it the neutral and brighter things, her smile growing as she presses more of her face to the shell, murmurs perhaps nonsensical things to the presence within. Here's cold, and here's sunshine; the moons' light and the feeling of the sea and swimming. Trees? Yes, trees are wonderful, too! If she would allow herself, the former guard would give the egg a giant hug of her arms, but her inner swirl of mixed memories and feelings holds her back. Instead, she gives the presence a mental hug back, squeezing it as if never to let go, basking in the joy and warmth and wonder of this yet-to-be-born mind. Love you too, little one! Shhh. Amusement, too, is noted and reflected back with moments of her own humor. Ahh, but then its time to 'go,' and the human part of this interesting 'link' finds her mouth turning down some, her eyes misting for a moment before she blinks that trecherous moisture away. "Another time, darlin'…" is noted so very softly to the egg before she stands slowly, looks about, stretches a little while regaining full composure…then heads unerringly towards Hint of Glitter Egg. And if any of the other candidates have eyes for it? They seem to alter their paths to other eggs as they notice the palest-blonde making for it.

< Leeta leaves egg 1 - Storm to Sunshine Egg >
< Leeta touches egg 4 - Hint of Glitter Egg >

Hmm. Hesitance or just slowness? As Leeta touches the Glitter egg, she wonders at its reasons, motives…then finding herself ducking inwardly and outwardly as those ominous sounds impact her mind. Green eyes open, jerk upward and outward, all around as she quickly assesses the outside world. Okay, no danger, it seems, though the rain and storm continues unabated farther outside. Whew. Soon enough, green eyes close again, hands patting the shell reassuringly — a tiny chortle emerging from Leeta's throat — as she inwardly ducks again from that explosion, 'protects' the egg's resident from itself with a firm presence of the wall of her body. And then that exhilaration hits her, and her eyes fly open for some moments, mouth forming a little 'o' of surprise…the head of security-cum-candidate once more evening herself out inside, and pressing forehead to shell as she answers its questions with mind only. Hello, sugar!

"You're a bit uv' a nervous one…" Leeta notes aloud to the hamming, tentative, then worried presence within the egg, her reassurance of it firm and steady, the inner duck she gives to its rumblings snappings modified by her bolstering presence of the uncertain pre-dragon. Yes, mothers are *presences*, aren't they? A sudden rush of sadness, loss rush over Leeta at thought of her own mother, but she quickly covers that up, not wishing to taint the unborn within. 'Shhh… it's just fine.'

'Your're fine, sugar…" Leeta mentally reassures the nervous little presence, the woman riding its waves of confidence and nervousness as steadily as a giant ship would whitecaps. Again, she allows it to examine what's within her, but whenever it might reach for the deepest of her outrages or skeletons, the darkest of her deeds or thoughts, she automatically shunts the innocent one aside to things it (and she) is more able to deal with. "It's okay…" she reassures the unhatched one, again patting the shell reassuringly, even as it lapses back into quick somnolescence. A quirk of lips into a smirky half-smile and a dusting of knees and hands from sands soon see the woman rising, prowling out towards the unknown of the Destined for Darkness egg…and finally squatting before it to peer before she touches it with forced firmness.

< Leeta leaves egg 4 - Hint of Glitter Egg >
< Leeta touches egg 5 - Destined to Darkness Egg >

Nothing? Just darkness and void? Her hands pause on the shell of this midnight orb, and Leeta calls over her shoulder to the sneezing weyrlingmaster, "Is this one…viable?" It would be awful if it wasn't!

The assistant tilts her head, hanky still pressed to her nose as those watery eyes take in Leeta and then the egg. "S'work jus' fine f'uh everybody else," she manages, gesturing with her freehand. "Try 'gain."

Leeta's nothig if not alert, and when those hints of somethings touch the fringes of her mind, she's concentrating back on the nebulous, dark presence within the egg like a laser, focused to a pinpoint of intensity. Hey! A headbutt of night's winds trying to down her? *That* triggers the guard's alert from within her mind, Leeta then remembering Tanit's caution about assuming the worst with dolphins…the sea. She quickly changes her tack on how to react to this presence, from readiness to attack to a roll on her mental knees to her side, a roll that brings her up to her feet to face the mental entity within. In the real world, all one might see is the small furrow of the woman's brow, her slightly flex of crouched knees, a hint of tension to her body.

Don't over-react; don't over-react. This isn't life and death; this isn't someone looking to harm you, Leeta! The now-wound-up woman flinches on the outside, her hands almost leaving the shell of the egg she's crouched before, her eyes flying open, then slamming shut quickly as her 'shoulder' is taken. She's got at least part of the M.O. of *this* babe in shell, and so when that piercing intent comes, those claws begin to rend…she's got a shield up of metal and mortar, deflecting and parrying every attempt until it withdraws some. WHat it got from her were surface thoughts and memories, nothing deep. Quietly to the one within is whispered around a feral little smirk, "Hunting, little one?"

"Ha!" Leeta can't help but blurting out in triumph as the egg's contents withdraw, the woman opening her eyes, and slowly standing up…casting a knowing regard to the Darkness egg. "I *know* ones like you, little one." Smirk. Pivoting about — both relaxing and yet lightly vigilant — the holder shakes out her limbs a little, then sets off for the unlimited Potential egg, to finally crouch before it and stroke its surface.

< Leeta leaves egg 5 - Destined to Darkness Egg >
< Leeta touches egg 7 - Unlimited Potential Egg >

"Now types like *you* can be the most dangerous, ultimately…" Leeta notes wryly of the presence inside the Potential egg as it directs, seeks to redirect, channel her mind. She offers it more surface thought and easier memories, her own mind winding cautiously about this interesting young presence like a big cat might wind around someone's legs. Be alert!

Of course she's back! Leeta's as interested with this egg's babe as it is with her mind, the woman searching deftly, yet gently into it as it does her. Of course she won't find memories, but reactions and 'words' are another thing! 'Happy you're happy!' she notes mentally in return, those champagne bubbles playfully 'sipped' from as they pop around her. Mmm! "No-no…*youre* my life right now, toots…" is reassured, the green-eyed candidate's reaction to the babe's withdrawl a small surge of disappointment. C'mon back.

Sometimes just BEING is the most important thing, and Leeta bobs her pale head in agreement with the life within the egg. LIttle to lose… is subjective, but the candidate understands the meat of the babe's thought, its encouragements smirk-smiled at, but accepted, as it's guileless in its suggestions. "Yeah…" It and her…they remain. Oh? A little gift? "Thanks, sugar…" is murmured as her forehead is impulsively touched to shell's surface, a small smile touching unpainted lips for a moment as she bids the little one farewell, for now. Rest. And up the holder-candidate stands, looking both amused and thoughtful by turns as she considers what 'Charmed' had to say.

< Leeta leaves egg 7 - Unlimited Potential Egg >

But too late! Xermiltoth is on the move, a rustle of darkness and wings that still somehow manages to be CAPITALIZED even when his voice is not. So the Assistant moves, shooing candidates from eggs with one hand and a snotty rag. "'nuff! 'E's done! Go, go, go!" And she moves with them, smol, and full of germs that make those lagging behind hustle to avoid the ew.

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