The brackets for the second round are as follows (being updated as and when fights get played out):
General Ization (1-0) [Rifter] vs. Jadark (1-0) [speed/missile Condor] (Fight was tied when Jadark couldn't break GI's tank; later Jadark withdrew from the tournament after a disagreement about the rules.)
RedKiwi (2-0) vs Timsinsal (1-1)
Breddy vs. Gareth (Match forfeit as Breddy was a no-show.)
Kayleigh (1-1) [speedy Rifter] vs. Werewolf (0-2) [missile Inquisitor]
Round two of the Nox Draconum tournament. I figure if the unexpected didn't work in round one, I have nothing to lose in my elimination match in trying my strongest point: speed.
I knew which ship I wanted all along. I'd raced in the T1 days often enough with the Rifter - a ship which I always thought was a good balance between speed and sturdiness. And of course I've heard many wonderful things about how the Rifter performs in combat. I called up some friends, looked up several fittings and picked one which came highly recommended.
I won't deny I got really nervous before the fight. I'd spent all day trying to visualise how the fight might go, what I'd need to do. I practiced in my head, but that's always such a fickle simulator, isn't it? Nothing to do but to go out there and do it for real. So that's how it was when I warped to the designated spot in Leremblompes to fight Werewolf.
I found he'd brought an Inquisitor to the fight. I didn't like that. Don't those have a lot of missile hardpoints? My Amarr frigate expertise is rather lacking. I do know I absolutely hate missiles and rockets with a passion. Damned things always seem to make the most damage on me, and I was in such a little frigate.
Butterflies in my tummy, Gareth gives the sign and off I go, screaming at the top of my MicroWarp Drive engine toward Werewolf. I want to hug his hull, not let him get away from me, suck his energy for my repairer because I'll need it.
But his missiles hit hard, making me cringe, my heart dropping all the way to my feet as I see I'm not doing as much damage. But I'm maybe doing mine more often. And he's not going anywhere, he's not denying my speed.
Out of shields -- almost time to turn on repairer -- distance is good -- his shields still about one quarter? Not good -- shoot, little Rifter, orbit fast! -- half armour? kick in repper -- goodness me, that sucks cap -- pulse it, just like the MWD...
And then the fight turned. My armour held, his started melting. Could it be..?
Yes it could. My Rifter performed beautifully. His Inquisitor is no more. I think I owe a certain friend some exotic spiced wine.
I'm still in the tournament, and I have no idea what to fly next.
I finally found my way out of EndLand today - a civilised way out, that is - and managed to get in contact with RedKiwi so we could have our match in the Nox Tournament.
I hadn't expected to find myself in a capsuleer tournament, but once in there, I felt compelled to give it my best. And in this case it involved trying not to be too predictable. Everyone in Nox Draconum knows I'm fast; everyone knows my strong point is in drones, when it comes to damage. They'd be expecting it. So what could I do to catch them off-guard?
I'd never done it. So much so, that I had to forego any normal pilot activities and just sit down the whole day trying to learn how to use it. I put orders out for fitting a Maulus, possibly the one Gallentean frigate I'd never flown.
And when the time arrived, there I was with butterflies in my stomach and a shiny new ship wearing modules I'd never before used or tested. Nobody expects the E-war Kayleigh.
However, I ended up having to face a rocket-Kestrel. I'm told that's pretty much the worst case scenario for me. I wouldn't have known, initiated as I am into such arts. I still gave it a go, with all I had, of course.
My two drones did bite Red hard, but I couldn't break his lock on me and it went downhill from there. I didn't have the speed to catch up to him to suck much-needed cap or even to manage to hit him with my blasters. I had to micro-manage drones while also trying to manage unfamiliar e-war equipment... I lost.
When the ship disintegrated around me I believe he was down to 25% shields, give or take a bit. Small consolation that my alliance mates tell me this was probably one of the longest matches - I still lost and don't even feel it was very close a match. I'll file it away as a learning experience.
Next round I face elimination if I lose to Werewolf. We shall see...
I'd very much like to know who was the smart ass who signed me up for the little tournament we're having within the alliance. Maybe someone thought I needed to let some steam off in a shooting match? I don't know.
What I do know is that when I turned on Alliance comms today I was greeted with news that I was supposed to be setting up a sparring match with RedKiwi no later than tonight. I checked and there was my name in the brackets, along with seven other pilots. And I'm the only one who's still in Dragonstar, too. I suppose I can't bail out; the brackets would go all wonky and there would be no one defending Dragonstar colours.
Ha. Me, of all people, holding up the DS colours. Right...
So... I need to set up a tech one frigate on tech one specs and fight RedKiwi. Goodness, that's going to make for a very short and very painful match, I'm sure.
I think I'm slowly losing it. Lately I've had so much paperwork to do, so many people to talk to, so many things to take care of that I found I actually almost missed a real season race.
I checked the calendar on Friday night to make sure and I misread it. I thought Sunday, May 10th was to be the Cruiser Exhibition. So imagine my surprise when comms managed to filter through to Endland and I realised I was going to miss a race.
Except I didn't, because it ended up canceled. And somehow, even though that saves me the embarrassment of losing 25 points in a single race to Takashi, somehow that didn't make me glad at all. This season is limping, I believe. We have to stop canceling and postponing races. The viewership is going down, racers are showing less and less at the start line... *sigh* For crying out loud, even I got the calendar wrong, what with all the changes.
3 years, 1 month, 13 days. That's how long her records indicated she'd been a Dragonstar employee.
Three years since she'd graduated (seemed like a lifetime ago.) Three years since she'd joined a private corporation (seemed only yesterday.) Three years of racing under Dragonstar banner. Three years of camaraderie, joy, hardships endured together with amazing people she'd come to love and cherish. In one single night it was all now falling apart.
She'd come back from a stint in uncharted space to find that Kiarra, Dragonstar's founder and original CEO from those same three years back, had seized the leadership of the corporation. Now, Kayleigh was under no illusion that she was a good CEO; she'd only taken the job in a desperate attempt to keep the corporation from dying just the past winter.
And actually she'd have been more than glad to hand over the reins, especially now that so many questions had risen among the corp which she was struggling to keep up with and answer to everyone's satisfaction. She would have loved to hand it over to someone more experienced.
But to come home and find it done in her absence, after three years of unwavering loyalty and hard work? That hurt. Deeply. And it had also outraged not only the majority of Dragonstar pilots, but also their sister-corp, Endless Night.
Her director, Kanunu, had panicked and raged, she'd been told. He'd locked down everything and secured every cent and every asset somewhere. She was going to have to go over everything with him, give back what belonged to Dragonstar, split EndLand proceedings among people who worked there, return donations to rightful angry owners. It was a dirty and painstaking job. She was going to be at it for days.
Then of course she'd have to go around talking personally to all the active pilots. She already knew it was not going to be easy. There were many hurt feelings beside her own, and much outrage at what had been done. She could tell Dragonstar was fragmenting. Some people were even already gone.
The outspoken Jikomanzoku, who lately had been demanding so many answers, had been the first to go. Which was ironic because from what she could gather of the whole incident, Kiarra's sudden move might have been done in such a hurry precisely in an attempt to keep him on board. Sadly, if such was the reason, it hadn't just not worked: it had backfired spectacularly. The personnel records Kayleigh was poring through right now showed Jiko had already registered his own corporation. She sighed.
Evaya Starflight had been the second to bolt. It wasn't really surprising. She'd had her share of minor clashes with Kiarra in the past. The records showed she was already with Endless Night.
Kanunu, Feu, Maeliki... they would be gone as well, she just knew it even before talking to them. The same with Taco and Kakko; those two would undoubtedly join Jiko sooner or later. She wondered what Batuka, Tim, Gerrard, Qua would do.
And then there were the newer people. Nosfer and Faith, who must be so confused about all which was going on around them. And Quintrala. Her good friend Quin, who had been accepted into the corp just before taking a celebratory vacation for graduating from Uni Caille.. she'd come back to a crumbling Dragonstar. Kayleigh couldn't help but feel horribly guilty about that.
And yet how could she have guessed?
She sighed, checked to see if Kiarra was reachable yet for a private conversation, and saw that she was not. She rubbed her tired eyes, sighed again and went back to poring over records.
Dinner had come and gone. Ayane had left rather early, so Kayleigh and Nakatre had settled on the sofa watching the holo. The jin-mei wasn't listening anymore, however, her fingers idly caressing silvery hair at her lap.
What a strange family she'd landed in.
The meal itself had gone well.. or as well as could be expected. The shocking revelation that Nakatre actually had a restraining order on Ayane was.. well, disturbing, to say the least, considering the reasons.
She'd tried so very hard to be the charming guest, to forgive her sister-in-law for the whole incident with the gun at her head, to make her welcome in this little capsuleer family. Yet now that they had settled down and she could mull over the entire evening, she found herself feeling angry that Ayane would have assaulted her sister in such fashion.
Apparently she was seeking treatment, which was a good sign. But still Kayleigh wondered if she really could deal with all this with a welcoming smile on her lips. She hoped so, for Nakatre's sake.
Blog posts are labelled according to a certain logic, most of it self-explanatory. Note, however:
In-Character: events that would one way or another become common knowledge out there. Fiction: most likely events that are not common knowledge. Do not assume you know this about my character unless you have good reason to. Out-of-Character: mostly ramblings from the player, not to be associated with the character herself.