Sunday, 20 March 2011


One of the ways in which she might stave off the nightmares, she realised, was to go back to frequenting the Daredevil's Lounge.

No, not to drink herself into oblivion and make a fool of herself. The jin-mei figured it might instead be a good idea to avoid being alone in her apartment for long periods of time at night, to keep busy, to see people and fill her mind with random sights and sounds and sensations. Flying in person to Crielere to be there in the flesh would be but a minor inconvenience.

Daredevil's was no longer the loud, boisterous meeting point for fast pilots with quick tempers - and sometimes itchy trigger reflexes - which Kayleigh remembered from the League days. The twins still worked there, and the multiple screens still showed fast action sports, but the general mood was quieter, calmer... slower.

It fitted Kayleigh's current mood. Someone within the corp had pinned the title of "Speedster" on her - she suspected Kalahari had had an influence on that - and Ms Kohiko Sun had taken to calling her Speedy, which she secretly loved. It never failed to bring a smile to the jin-mei's lips. Despite all that, Kayleigh didn't feel fast anymore. She felt rusty and slow. Perhaps even old. You've just turned twenty-five and you're feeling old. That's depressing, Kay.

So far, the plan wasn't turning out too badly. In the past few days Daredevil's had provided her with opportunities to meet some of her newer corp mates face to face. Namely Laria and Adeste.

She wasn't yet quite sure what to think of the younger pilot. For a Gallentean, Laria Raven had seemed too analytical, too stiff, perhaps. And then Kayleigh had bumped into her at the Lounge and her initial perception had gone straight out the hatch, so to speak. The poor girl had already been rather tipsy by the time Kayleigh had entered the scene, and all the racer had seen instead was a vulnerable young lady trying so hard to fit in with all these new people. It was actually rather endearing.

Adeste was a different case altogether. They had been team mates, of a sort, if only for a single race back in... Season three? Was it? Goodness, Kay, you really are getting old if you can't even remember this anymore. Anyway, it had all been part of the protection detail Duty had been hired to keep on the then-defending champion. It all had been a very hush-hush operation. That had been how Kayleigh had come to meet Jude. She only vaguely remembered Adeste from that night, but remember she did. Now, years after the fact, they were going to be corp mates.

Kayleigh would have been intimidated by the civire, had she not spoken to her first via corporate channels. Seeing her in the flesh.. the woman was tall! And yet she had this hilarious easy banter going on with Jude, which made Kayleigh want to burst into fits of giggles. Adeste seemed so expansive, so nice and warm that she had simply cut through any of the jin-mei's walls of shyness and propriety, and made her open up as if they had been friends for years. No mean feat, that.

The thought of Adeste, curled up sleeping on the couch back at Daredevil's made Kayleigh smile. Maybe tonight she'd sleep soundly like that. And perhaps the nightmares would stay away, if only just for one night.

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