Around 20km away the Taranis started to orbit and started plinking away with its railguns and was maintaining a distance of around 18km. The problem was that Starwalker could not close to 12-13km for overheated web range and from there into scramble range. After trying a couple of times to get in close Starwalker decided it was time to leave and overheated his afterburner. The distance widened to 25km and Starwalker was away.
Whilst returning to Heild Starwalker noticed that Atlar was pretty busy - it had around ten pilots in local when every where else, apart from Gusandall, was either empty or had very few people in local. Starwalker went to the sun and started to scan, with nothing on scan he decided to warp to the out gate - just as another flashy Merlin arrived, piloted by Burntime.
It was clear very quickly that he was a top pilot but Starwalker returned to the sun immediately anyway, only to find that the Merlin was gone but he decided to wait as he felt sure Burntime would return. He did. Starwalker engaged immediately and closed in to point blank range. The two Merlins hacked at each other but Starwalker noticed that he seemed to be taking more damage and also that Burntime was moving out to around 5km.
Starwalker tried to close the distance again with keep at range but the damage had started to mount and he was now into low armour and as the Merlin's alarm bells started ringing - Burntime's Merlin was only down to the last sliver of shield. Starwalker was going to explode first and he aligned out to save the pod. His Merlin exploded and then his pod. Starwalker awoke in the Heild clone vat and upgraded his clone and plugged in another set of learning of implants.
In retrospect Starwalker thought that there were a few things he could have done better:
- Be aware at the time that the target was using railguns, he had only realised this fact afterwards when checking the log
- Overheat the afterburner to maintain the point blank range, with a web and polycarbon rigs he should have had range control. The difference must have been down to the use of heat
- Warp in the direction of alignment, Starwalker had changed the warp point to a new direction and that delay must have allowed Burntime to catch his pod