Leave Your Fears Behind

The sleepy-eyed candidates had no sooner shuffled into the semblance of a semi-circle around the clutch when the humming began to settle down. All were eager to see which egg would be the first to hatch.

None had expected such an entrance as the As Yet Clueless egg dared to make. The shell burst apart with such force that pieces of it scattered wide across the sands, leaving in its wake one bulky, bright neon green hatchling. Immediately her wedge-shaped head turned from side to side, drinking in the new sights and sounds around her, particularly the soft murmurs of excitement from the crowd. But there was something else to be done.

((Whoa.)) She hauled herself up to all fours and stretched both wings out, egg goo still drying on her wingsails. Her large forepaws stomped against the sand. ((Alright, are we ready to do this? Everyone in position?)) But quickly, she noticed that she was the only one about. ((Annnnd nobody's ready. Of course.))

Across the sands she lumbered, feet stomping heavily, her tail kicking up sand as it swished aggressively behind her. ((Helloooo? Am I alone here?))

There was silence for a long moment and then.

((Oh! You mean me!)) A deep voice rumbled from somewhere, ((Yes, yes I’m here. Here is where I am. Don’t know where you are but you don’t seem to be here. Kind of dark though. Can’t tell.)) Nearby the Life of the Party egg wobbled wonkily.

The green turned toward the voice — at least, in its general direction. ((Well, you — wherever you are — it’s time to come out.)) She turned at once and started plodding her way toward the rest of the eggs, kicking up sand as she went. Her tail continued its heavy thrashing, smacking into one egg and then another, cracking and knocking shells. ((Oh — jeez — pardon me… )) Her enormous hatchling body whipped around with a speed she didn’t rightly have, whomping her tail into another egg. Horrified, she let out a squawk.

((Hurk!)) A gluggy yelp came from the voice from before and then the Life of the Party Egg, smashed by the green’s hulking tail, fell from its mound and smashed, leaving a huge, HUGE, blue in its remains, looking dazed, ((Ow.)) he groaned, laying there all sprawled out, ((That was not a good touch. I vote…never again.))

((Oh, oh! I’m sorry!)) The green hatchling shuffled closer to her newfound companion, neck stretching out to its longest as she crept ever closer. ((Are you alright?))

((Sure!)) The blue opened his eyes and then lifted a foreclaw, giving her a dorky little wave, ((Hey. I’m good. Nice to meet you. I’m Ormondiath and I’m just going to keep laying here for a bit if you don’t mind. I feel like my stomach’s in my head right now. Not pleasant. Don’t wanna throw up on you. I’m sure you don’t want that either. So…win win.))

((No. No, please don’t. Do anything but that.)) Immediately, she shied away from Ormondiath. ((You can call me Rekkith. Rest up for a bit, but uh…don’t stay long, okay? We’ve got stuff to do.)) She looked about the hatching sands again. Whatever there was to do, she couldn’t say, but she felt a tugging in her heart that told her something was waiting. ((I’ll try and ready everyone else while you get settled.))

Off she went, carefully as she could — though it wasn’t very careful at all, sand kicked across egg after egg, some of them dislodged from the nestled spots in which Varaswith had placed them.

((Hey! Yo! Rekkith!)) The blue head had lifted, watching her destructive progress across the sands, the big blue wincing every time an egg was dislodged, ((Oh this is not good.)) he scrambled to his feet and hurtled after her, kind of like a great big round blue boulder, ((You’re breaking the nice things!))

The Sapphire Eye egg, dislodged from its mound, went rolling wildly down the sand, deflecting off another egg and then spinning a bit as the dragonet inside squirmed with the motion of his egg. ((Whee!)) it called gleefully, as the egg’s momentum began to slow. It tried to rock and get it going again, to no avail. ((Hey, do you think you can give me another push?)) the dragonet called.

She was breaking the nice things? Rekkith immediately stopped in her tracks, sliding in the sand as she did, hunching down into her makeshift trench to avoid causing any more trouble. ((I only wanted to get everyone ready, I — we have things to do! I have things to do!))

((No! I can’t — wait, what?)) She turned toward the Sapphire Eye egg just as it slowed to a halt. ((You want me to push you?))

((That’s what it said.)) Ormondiath skidded to a halt beside them, almost knocking into the Sapphire Eye Egg, ((Whoops! Whew! Yeah It said to push it. Is that right blue egg? Cause…that doesn’t seem very safe to me…Fun though.))

((Aw, don’t worry about me,)) insisted the blue egg. ((It’s tons of fun, and I’ll be fine!)) It rolled back and forth a little as the dragonet rocked some more. ((Send me towards something fun, would you? I don’t think this thing’s going to hold much longer, so I think it should go out with a bang!))

Rekkith looked between Ormondiath and the Sapphire Eye egg quizzically, feeling like she was caught in some kind of dream. One was telling her to be careful, and the other was telling her to do more damage. But now that Ormondiath was on board —

((Well, if you insist.)) Toward the egg she went stomping, wings flaring out, looking every bit like a charging herdbeast, turning at the last minute so she could slap the perfect blue shell with her thick tail.

As expected the blue egg went flying, rolling up one of the mounds and going airborne, before smashing into the sands. Ormondiath had barrelled after it, and after the epic impact he couldn’t help but laughing, ((That was AWESOME!)) he boomed to the green, ((The way he flew it was like he was meant to. Who ever heard of a flying egg.)) he laughed some more as he bumbled over to the egg, ((Hey, you alright there? That was wicked my man.))

The Sapphire Eye egg, half-shattered against the ground, rolled over, revealing a small blue dragon that had spilled out the shattered bottom side. He lay on his back, dazed, but after a moment he shook his head. ((Wow, that was great! I’m okay… it’ll take way more than that to hurt me!))

He rolled over onto his belly, tried to stand, stumbled, then finally managed to wobble to his feet. ((Hi, I’m Teparith! Thanks for the launch!))

Rekkith beamed. With Ormondiath’s praise and Teparith’s positive attitude, she felt completely validated in her destructive behavior — mostly relieved, though, that she hadn’t hurt anyone in the process. ((That’s what I do. Or at least, that’s what I think I do. I’m not too sure what I’m supposed to be doing.)) Finally she felt comfortable enough to own up to it, casting a cursory glance toward the waiting circle of candidates. ((Do you think they have something to do with it? I feel like I need to go there…)) But she trailed off, uncertainty clear in her voice.

((Uh…)) Ormondiath also looked stumped, a intense look of concentration on his broad face, ((You know…I don’t think I’m the best person to ask.)) He admitted, ((I’m sure there are things we can do though.)) He offered his best grin to Teparith, ((But hey, nice to meet you Teparith, I’m Ormondiath. Yeah….))

Teparith followed Rekkith’s gaze, looking over the candidates briefly, before shaking his head and laughing merrily. Nah, they look boring! I just got here, I don’t want to go over there yet. Let’s play, instead!

He dug his nose into the sand, flinging some of it up playfully at his companions.

((Yeah!)) Rekkith began to pounce around in the sand, eager to play with Teparith. She not only began to kick up sand with him but paid no mind to where her bulky body was headed, jerking herself around the sands like a skittish colt without any of the grace. Limbs went one way, her tail another; it was only a matter of time before someone got hurt. ((I can play! I’m good at playing!))

((We should play pounce!)) Ormondiath proclaimed eagerly, bouncing heavily. Somehow his mind equating the idea of jumping on one another as being safer than bouncing around haphazardly/ Naturally he didn’t think of size discrepancy. Or Rekkith’s seeming endless ability to break things.

Neither did Teparith — or evidently the thought that he was just a small blue didn’t really go through his head at all. ((Catch me if you can!)) he declared, crouching, tail wiggling in the air for a second before he turned around and skittered off, kicking sand up in his wake. ((I bet no one can pounce me!))

((Get him!)) Rekkith yelped, tearing off after Teparith with all the speed she muster. Sand went flying as her large paws shuffled along, continuing to disrupt the otherwise pristine way that the eggs had been arranged. One went rolling toward the edge of the sands and found a new place to nestle in, as though it were trying to get away from all of the nonsense. ((Ormondiath, come on!))

((Coming!)) The huge blue boomed cheerfully, bouncing along after the pair with a lumbering, loping gait. But as soon as he saw an egg roll away he gasped and skidded to a halt, running after it, ((Ahhh! Be careful egg!)) He stopped it from rolling and gave it a gentle pat, before seeing another one on the move, ((eek! Egg!)) and tore off to save that one as well, ((You really shouldn’t be doing this!)) he called to it, ((You can’t even see where you’re going!))

Teparith skittered between eggs without a care, changing direction almost instantly if he thought he was in danger of being caught. He was quick, and slippery, but couldn’t resist throwing taunts back over his shoulder. ((Come on, you guys can do better than that! Hey Ormondiath, don’t worry about those guys — they’re boring!))

And he turned suddenly, slipping between two eggs and coming up behind the larger blue, bopping him on the rear before skittering off again.

((I can see! I can see what I’m doing! I’m playing!)) Rekkith insisted loudly, letting out a playful hatchling sized squawk. It didn’t occur to her that she’d budged anything — Ormondiath was just being a worrywort. Teparith, with his incredible quickness, was impossible for her to catch, though she didn’t let it deter her from romping around the sands trying to nab his tail.

But try as she might, she couldn’t possess the same dexterity as the nimble blue and ended up tripping over her own enormous feet, tumbling onto the sands before rolling in the direction of the candidates. A few of them were quick enough on their feet to avoid being bowled over by the would-be hatchling ball, spreading out in a smaller circle around Rekkith. Only one was unfortunate enough to not see her coming, falling to the sands in a heap with the green on top of them.

((Whoa…)) Once she had her bearings, she looked at the poor candidate, immediately forgetting all about Teparith’s little game. ((Hey! I know you!))

It was a very odd start to the Hatching, the crowd giving bemused murmurs as the two blues ran around, one obviously playing, and the other, racing after one of the other eggs.

What would happen next?!

Leave Your Fears Behind | You're Working Too Hard | I Want It More Than I Can Say |

Our Future As It Fast Unfurls | The Strangest Thing We've Ever Done | Heedless Of The Gift It Is To Be You |

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