Starwalker usually accepted duels without really considering whether the pilot was looking for a genuine 1 v 1 or looking to gank another sucker. Similarly, he rarely ever checked whether they were a top ranked pilot or not - no point in having preconceptions about the pilot. However, Starwalker had found through experience that generally it was 1 v 1 and it was his ship that usually ended up being destroyed when a pilot requested a duel.
So when Rakkanar requested a fight he thought briefly about whether he wanted to lose another ship... and then went to the sun and waited. Rakkanar arrived in his Incursus and Starwalker burnt towards it in his Merlin, until a Bhaalgorn arrived - also a member of the Shadow Cartel and so he warped out. Rakkanar had a few choice words for the Bhaalgorn pilot who had apparently come to watch.
Starwalker came back after the Bhaalgorn disappeared and the dance of death was on. He engaged and moved into close combat with the neutron blasters overheated. The Incursus clearly wanted the same type of fight and the two sluggers slugged it out. There was not much finesse at this stage as the range was perfect. It was do or die and unfortunately for Starwalker his Merlin exploded first. The Incursus still had 20% of structure left. It was a good fight and the Merlin with its medium shield extenders and two magnetic field stabilisers had taken a top 50 Battleclinic ranked pilot to near destruction.
However, that was not the only fight at the sun as Starwalker joined a Rebel fleet that was already out on a roam. It had been quiet in the space lanes of Verge Vendor but in Loes a Tornado had been spotted and it was dancing around the system teasing the Rebels. Meanwhile a few Rebels decided to kill an Incursus at a novice complex, which took longer than expected and some suspected the use of links. Peri Simone decided that it was time to stop chasing the Tornado as he seemed to have friends and so he warped the fleet to the sun, inviting combat.
Eventually the Tornado, along with a couple of friends each in an Incursus arrived at the sun looking to fight. One of the pilots was the Incursus pilot killed in the complex and he soon lost another Incursus. The Tornado was pointed as well and it too was destroyed. The other Incursus knew what was next and added its wreckage to those of its comrades. Then drullir, who had already lost two Incursi, came back in a third and that was destroyed as well. The B O R G had tried to assimilate the Rebels and failed - resistance was not futile.
After the roam had finished Starwalker headed back to base in his Merlin. He spotted an Atron in a novice complex and warped in. The pilot was clearly waiting for a fight and engaged immediately. The range started at around 4km and rather than closing to 1km it increased to 6km, so Starwalker overheated his afterburner and closed in.
The Atron pilot, Zoe Fishpants, responded by increasing the range again and it became clear that he wanted to stay out at around 6km. For Starwalker the surprise was how well the Atron's active armour tank was keeping up with the damage when the Merlin was at 1km. Whenever Starwalker used an armour repairer it seemed to always be a losing battle but the Atron was repairing nearly all of the incoming damage. Later, that repair was helped by the range control established at 6km.
It was clear that Starwalker's Merlin was suffering and so he headed out in a straight-line with the intent of escaping. Briefly the point dropped but he was not spamming warp and before he could warp the point was re-established. From there the inevitable end came and the once proud Merlin was reduced to space wreckage.
Afterwards, Starwalker saw that Zoe Fishpants was a top ranked pilot and didn't feel quite so bad about losing his Merlin to an Atron. It was also clear that Zoe had established range control and despite Starwalker's web, overheating his afterburner and some speed implants he was not able to get in close. Whilst Starwalker had fit the Merlin for gank and it did over 200 DPS that was meaningless if it could not be applied. It was the Atron establishing range control that had won the fight.