Friday, 21 August 2009

Beacon in Alenia

Alenia V - Moon 4 - Roden Shipyards Factory station

Dear Nakatre,

I hope everything is going well planetside for you. You missed our appointed time for a chat, so I thought I'd leave a message anyway. Maybe you're caught in traffic? Is it raining? Are you snowed in? Is there no coverage where you are? I remember how things seemed so less reliable when I was living in Lirsautton.

Anyway life has been going on as normal as can be. I've gone back to some exploration which felt, frankly, liberating after so long. And this week I've been busy alongside Quin, planning strategies for the Scuderia on the last race of Season VII which is coming up this Sunday.

One curious thing happened earlier when I undocked in Alenia: there was a new beacon in system. I'm sure news of the whole mess between Roden and the government reached you even down there. Well now there's a Roden Shipyards Logistic Center out here in Alenia. I've enclosed a picture I took when I flew by.

I wonder what Roden are up to. It can't be a coincidence that this has popped up so shortly after the troubles in the news. As if it weren't enough that Verge Vendor low-sec were under the watchful eye of the Caldari militia, now high-sec is seeing its share of tension too with all this mess. You know I worked a very long time with Roden. I'm still tied to them through R&D and racing sponsorships. I'd be hard pressed to know where my loyalties lay if something were to happen around here. For now I'm going to wait and see.

I hope to talk to you tomorrow, same time as usual. I miss you!

Your loving wife:
-- Kay.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009


It was Saturday night, a time when she would typically be busy with preparations for a race the next day, such as the horrible clone-jump she always had to make. But not this time. Tomorrow she would be missing the second race in a row on unavoidable planetside business. The fact had her edgy and restless.

Which was perhaps why when she was about to retire for the evening and her eyes fell on the Melted she hesitated and instead decided to go back out once more. It was about time she stopped moping around and went back to doing anything productive. Exploring was as good as anything else. This mindless sorting through assets she'd spent her day doing was what was driving her insane, surely.

An hour later, she felt much better. Alenia had held no results, but next-door Vaere had. So here she was now, on the Eternal Flame II which she hadn't flown since bringing it back from EndLand.

It was not like she herself was being vastly productive - sitting there watching as Laureline mined away at some arkonor in a system her instruments were calling J161138 - but she somehow felt better about herself. Never mind that the pesky Sleepers had decimated all but three of her drones nor that she was now basically just hanging still in space on a ship that maneuvered like a whale. And yet the thrill of discovery, of sitting guard in a dangerous place.. it was making her feel awake and alive once more.

Try as she might, she couldn't quite remember why she'd stopped going out there in her Helios to find hidden treasures.

She even smiled at the sight of that Nox Retriever gobbling up ore. It had been a while since she'd flown with anyone from her former alliance. She'd have to admit she missed many of them terribly, although Laureline herself was actually someone she barely knew. She'd arrived on the scene shortly before Kay's troubles with Dragonstar and had kept mostly to herself, perhaps because Dirtside figured on her employment history. The same Dirtside which had once fielded a racing team who'd shot down Kay in that fateful Race 10, Season 5. She wondered briefly if Laureline thought Kay would hold that against her, or if she thought Kay might try to do some espionage.

It didn't really matter to the jin-mei. She didn't mix racing with her regular job piloting in space if she could help it, and Dirtside didn't have a racing team anymore. As she helped the Nox pilot clean up and haul, she wondered if she would be up for a night cap before they went their separate ways again, maybe catch up on the latest in Nox Draconum.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

45 Seconds

Kayleigh's sense of pride and joy disappeared almost as quickly as it had burst to the fore while she was poring over the results for the latest race. The feeling which replaced it was apprehension, self-doubt.

45 seconds only had separated Takashi's arrival at the finish line from the first Scuderia Dragonstar pilot. It had been a long time since she'd seen such a small difference in times between her team and their biggest rivals on the track - Takashi Kurosawa and Venture Racing Team - and this incredible breakthrough had happened precisely on the one single official race she had failed to start in.

She pinched the bridge of her nose and released a tired sigh. Could it be that all this time she herself had somehow been dragging her team down? Was it possible that she was somehow distracting, interfering, getting in the way? Or maybe she'd simply lost the spark. She felt so tired all the time, these days. Nothing quite seemed to go right.

Verge Vendor, the region she'd called her home for so long, was overrun by Caldari militia. The Federation government seemed to be about to stumble and fall. Nakatre was off planetside conducting business and for the most part out of reach. SPHERE hadn't taken off for great flights yet, as she'd hoped after leaving Dragonstar. And now her own racing team seemed to do better than it had in the entire season when she wasn't around.

She sighed again.

As she stood, her doubts assailed her once more. Was she really becoming a has-been in the world of capsuleer racing? Should she quit while she still had some dignity? Should she go on but step back into less of a leading role and more of a support one?

She made her way toward the bedroom and let herself fall on the bed, curling up into a tight ball, eyes closed. She felt like crying but the tears wouldn't come. "I miss you Nakatre," she whispered tiredly into the velvety darkness.