Sunday, 12 July 2009

ISRC Season 7 - Race 8 - Lonetrek

--Excerpt from personal logs: 5th of July--

But what a frustrating race. There were so many long dashes between waypoints! It was clearly a track made to Takashi's dreams. It would have to happen sooner or later, of course. Nothing we have been able to do so far even comes close to his gating times, although I shall have a staff meeting with my team of mechanics and engineers once more and I'll be damned if they won't find a place to shave off a few more seconds.

Maybe my mistake all along has been having a Minmatar leading the entire team which deals with my very Gallentean interceptors. I need to find a good Gallentean mechanical genius. Or maybe I need someone insane after all.

Speaking of which... I have yet to decide whether Quintrala is genius or insane. Out in Lonetrek she finally had a chance to use a trick for which she's been planning and preparing for on every single race for months. A mid-race clone-jump.

I positively hate clone-jumps. I do them out of necessity if and when I must. I'm always afraid I might be someone different when I wake up. I mean, imagine if the transfer is flawed and you forget something as essential as who your loved ones are, or how to undock in Dodixie traffic? Obviously Quintrala also doesn't go through the nauseating half-hour or so of disorientation after a clone-jump.

"I'm going to do it!" was what she said over team comms. We were facing a very long dash of about 12 jumps to one of the waypoints and her clone was really close to the destination. I said it to her face: "You're insane!" but I think the fact I couldn't stop giggling only made her want to do it even more.

Some reporter later asked me why I let her do it, why we risked a gamble which could have earned her a disqualification. There was absolutely nothing in the rules against such a tactic, that's the first reason. Secondly, what Caille brought to Dragonstar when we merged was precisely that: out-of-the-box thinking. I'm not going to stifle Quin's creativity. I'm going to laugh right along with her as we find new things to try.

And it would have worked in any other circuit in the season. After her clone-jump, Quintrala had a 2-minute advantage over Takashi at the next waypoint. But Takashi is a robot who gains 5 seconds on us at each stargate, and the track had many, many jumps. He gobbled up all that gap, overtook Quin, and got enough distance to not have to constantly look over his shoulder before he docked at the finish line.

As for me, I am so set in my ways of racing that I raced stupidly from then on. I mean, we had Quin feeding us the several waypoints over comms, so why didn't I think quick and do them out of the regular order as I came into the appropriate systems? I could have shaved quite a few seconds off my final time. Stupid.

Ayre and Demon flew more intelligently, at least - I was glad to see that. I will also cherish the holo of them docking exactly at the same time, side by side, two beautiful Firetails. I should display that somewhere...

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