Monday, 24 January 2011


The day had come. Intel from just about all over New Eden seemed to agree that Kuvakei was going to make a move on Yulai. Electus Matari had readied response fleets.

After agonising a few moments on what to wear - or what to fly, rather - the jin-mei had picked the longest-range ship she had, in accordance to what Jude was requesting. She had boarded a Nemesis hull, the Requiem. She wasn't quite sure who the requiem would be playing for once the dust would settle, but stealthbombers were ships she felt comfortable in, despite their notorious paper-thin hull, so she undocked with head held high and the will to inflict damage on the Sansha.

Still, she couldn't help feel tiny and vulnerable alongside the other ships in the fleet, composed for the most part by battleship hulls. While the fleet gathered at the rally point Kayleigh took the time to trim down all she could on her interface filters, focusing on the task in an attempt to still her heart beating so fast.

It was silly, really. It was not like she had never been in a fleet before or shot anything before. Yet apparently that flutter in her stomach would still be there each time she prepared to take off with a fleet, no matter if it was her team undocking to race through low-sec or her alliance undocking to kick some proverbial ass.

And of course it didn't help that intel was reporting sightings of war targets already at Yulai. Kayleigh was psyched, determined to prove her worth in this fleet. And then Yulai happened.

Everything had gone well until the moment the fleet had been ordered to jump to the sun in Yulai, following a confirmed sighting of Sansha wormholes. But once the Requiem landed there, everything stopped. Kayleigh couldn't quite figure out if the little stealthbomber had overloaded, if spatial phenomena were interfering with all her sensors or if it was her own brain which was unable to process all that information. The end result, however, was that the Requiem simply sat there.

It sat. Helpless. Instruments seemed to indicate its cloak hadn't even been broken, but neither could the Nemesis move or fire or indeed warp away. Kayleigh had no choice but to watch the battle around her coming in through occasional stills from her camera drones, listening to her fleet mates engaging Sansha, then PIE, then Sansha again... and all the while she just sat there.

After what felt like many agonising hours, the fight was finally over and still her ship was overloaded trying to process information. Kayleigh had to attempt full systems restart twice, before the little frigate finally gave signs of life. By that point the fleet was already getting evac orders. The sun, they said, might go supernova. The CONCORD station, they said, was no more.

Shocked, feeling helpless and useless, Kayleigh rejoined her fleet once traffic control let her through to Ourapheh - she had become rather the expert at harassing gate operators into letting her through, considering all the racing she'd done in her life, and it was coming in handy right then.

She could have slipped off to Alenia, only two jumps off of Yulai, where she might have curled up in her old apartment and try to comfort herself out of the overwhelming wave of uselessness she was feeling right now, but in the end, she had come here with the fleet and she was going to leave with the fleet. Shame or no shame, one didn't leave one's friends to fend for themselves even if the way back home would likely be clear.

She sighed miserably. She could just feel a huge headache coming on.

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