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Captain Clark Dill, Seeker
New tricks
Wed Nov 16, 2016 21:03

Clark had been plagued with dreams the night before what may be his very last Quidditch match should Jamie repeat his victory form last year's final. Over the seven hours he had laid in his bed, he had alternately won, lost, been too sick to play, been abducted by his birth father in the middle of the game, turned the the dark side and and made a Faustian deal to win, refused to compromise his morals and declined an offer to guarantee a win at the expense of failing a single Transfiguration exam, and, perhaps most strangely, playing a version of the game where the participants rode flamingos instead of brooms and his flamingo had been actively trying to sabotage his game.

It was an exhausting night and he felt decidedly unrefreshed when he got up and headed down to breakfast in the morning. Knowing Jake Manger was taking divination, he'd found a seat near the Teppenpaw Seeker to ask for insight into the dreams (obviously not mentioning the personal aspect to his alien abduction) and pretty much concluded that he was just nervous about potentially ending his previously impressive Seeking career on a double loss and he was somewhat blaming his older model broom for his loss last year. While he was glad there were no greater Signs and Portents behind them, he was still a bit irritable that he'd lost a night's worth of much-needed sleep over something so obvious.

On the plus side, Jake had offered him a nicer broom.

He'd never had a problem with the old one before that game and it hadn't made financial sense to buy a new one with at most two games left in his Quidditch career, but if Jake had one just lying around, Clark wasn't going to spurn it. He spent the rest of the morning before the game testing it out and getting used to its differences in maneuverability and speed. Jake was shorter than him, so it wasn't perfectly optimized, but it was a seeker's broom, so it had that going for it. Now he had a much better chance of keeping up with Jamie if they had to race for the snitch again this time, but, on the other hand, it was always a risk going into a game with an unfamiliar broom.

Well, if they lost today, at least he wouldn't need to worry about splitting his time between Quidditch and RATS study this year.

Wait, no, he wasn't going to consider losing yet. It was far too early in the day and year to get defeatist already. He had won every one of his games except that last one, he could come back from this. He was actually a very good Seeker and now he knew Jamie had vastly improved from a showboating slacker and Clark had been working on new tricks that would hopefully be more effective against Jamie's Stuck-On-You strategy than his previous methods which had basically depended on spotting the snitch first and having a head start.

Clark was a quick study, and learning from one's mistakes was a mark of a brilliant mind. He could do this and the Aladren team would take back the Cup that had been theirs for so long. He'd fallen into a false sense of security and the belief that he couldn't lose had been shattered. Today he would show that one loss was not the end of him.

Having pepped himself up on his walk to the Pitch, and feeling more alert between the brisk autumn air and the sugar and caffeine from breakfast, he gathered his team around him for their pregame pep talk. "Hey guys and gals," he greeted them cheerfully, glad that he could use the plural in the latter address, "Here's our rematch. We can do this. John, take out Jamie if you can, and don't worry about it if I'm close by. He won last time because he never left my side. I want a little more breathing room this time around, and we've been working on my abilities to run." He grinned a bit even though this was truth and not really a joke at all. He had discussed this strategy with John before, but he wanted the rest of the team to know he had a plan to come back from his previous defeat against this same Seeker. Morale and all that.

"Jack, you're lead Chaser. You, Arianna, and Kit, work together with the plays you've been practicing and keep mostly to short passes when possible. Pecari's fielding some really good interceptors, so watch out for them. They've got a first year in their goals, so try to take advantage of him not having very long arms. Lena, watch out for combos and be ready to change directions fast. You do have reach, so use it. Louis, keep our Chasers safe, and take out or disable Joella if you can; she's their best player." He had thought about instructing the French Chaser-turned-Beater to target Ingrid as well, but then remembered he'd seen them together at the last ball, and decided that was a conflict of interest he might lose. "As always, keep alert and play smart. That how we win. Let's do this." He put his hand into the middle of the huddle and waited for the rest of the team to join him for the rally cry, "Aladren!"

He shook Joella's hand when instructed to do so and returned her platitude with one of his own, "Good luck," despite a momentary inclination to quip back that 'we will' because, besides being rude, that was the sort of thing Snitches and Karma liked to prove wrong. Overall, he thought his Karma balance was probably better than Jamie's and there was no sense in blowing an advantage like that on a stupid remark.

He returned to the rest of his team and kicked off with the whistle blow. He never for a moment thought Aladren might have an advantage with their Head of House being the referee today - that insulted both Pye's integrity and his own team. They would win by their own significant merits or not at all.

And to start off with, Clark's merits included a whole new Seeking pattern that he had meticulously calculated out over the summer as possibly being even more efficient than his previous one. It was also much more complex and he didn't think Jamie had the mathematical background to predict it today on its first use in a game. He also planned to mix up his flight speeds periodically in order to keep things difficult for Jamie. He'd also worked with John over the past few weeks, teaching him the new pattern, including speed variations, so the Aladren Beater would know when a sudden speed up might put a little extra space between the two Seekers. At first, though, he kept to the steady pace that had been his trademark in most of his previous games, hoping to convince his opponent that it was business as usual, just with an altered flight pattern. The first speed up, at the point marked G on his pitch map, would probably be John's best chance of catching a clean shot. But first, Clark had six other letters to get through before he got there. Plenty of time to lull Jamie into the same old same old.

OOC: Mentions of past actions with Jake and John okayed by their authors.

  • Quidditch Match 1: Aladren v. Pecari"Coach" Pye, Sat Nov 12 21:50
    The conditions for the first match of the year were just satisfactory. When Alfie got out off bed that morning and looked out to the sun shining, he had thought it would be a lovely day. However the... more
    • Watch and wait no longerClark Dill, Seeker , Thu Dec 22 06:03
      Clark saw it. The glitter of gold that could only be the telltale flash of an alien creature known here by wizarding folk as a snitch. He dared not hesitate in case Jamie had seen it, too, so he just ... more
    • Watching and waiting.Amelia Layne, Reserve , Sat Nov 26 18:39
      Amelia did not actually bounce around on the morning of the first Quidditch match jabbering at her teammates and spontaneously hugging the ones she felt most comfortable with, but it was a very close ... more
    • Watching and WaitingLena Westley, Keeper, Wed Nov 23 14:54
      Lena was looking forward to playing Keeper for the Aladren team, remembering how she had considered joining at one point and ultimately had banished the thought for fear of displeasing Olivier.... more
      • Doing the same, but doing it better.Luke Powell, Keeper, Fri Nov 25 14:45
        Luke knew that the outcome of the game was very important to Joella, and he didnít doubt that the rest of the team had a lot riding on it too. If they won this match, they got through to the finals... more
    • Ain't no rest for the wicked.AC Sammy Meeks, Beater, Thu Nov 17 01:54
      For perhaps the first time in her short but sport(y) life, Sammy did not wake up very keen on playing a sportball game. Though she couldnít see it, her heart was on the mend, but being around Captain ... more
      • Are you calling me wicked? Wicked cool, I hope?Captain Clark Dill, Seeker, Thu Nov 17 08:39
        Well, they said a battle plan never lasted past first contact with the enemy. He probably wouldn't go so far as to call Pecari 'the enemy' but the axiom worked well enough for rivals, too. He had... more
        • Wicked cool, my friend.John Umland, Beater, Thu Nov 17 12:17
          John had also not slept well the night before the match, though not because of Pecari. He had had a packet of letters from home, and one of them had included a word search puzzle. This was not, in... more
          • Nah, fam, just the normal kind of wickedAC Sammy Meeks, Beater, Mon Nov 21 00:14
            Welp, she didnít hit Clark. Sammy hadnít really expected to--the Aladren was too good, and he had the good fortune of an Assistant Captain Beater, just like another fabulous team--but it did feel... more
            • No rest for me thenJamie Park, Seeker, Thu Nov 24 08:28
              Jamie would never admit it to anyone but he was actually feeling kind of nervous. They had a title to defend. That was a very different feeling than being the plucky have-a-go heroes looking to end... more
              • No worries, I'm happy to keep you busy.John Umland, Beater, Thu Nov 24 13:05
                The deflection of his Bludger was unwelcome, but not altogether unexpected. What was unexpected was the glimpse of Meeksí expression John caught as he flew after it again. He had only seen it for a... more
                • You guys have fun.Captain Clark Dill, Seeker, Fri Nov 25 09:52
                  Clark returned to the starting point of his pattern and began it again for the second time just as Sammy cracked her bat on the bludger and shot it back his way again. John was there this time,... more
                  • Winners usually do. AC Sammy Meeks, Beater, Fri Nov 25 15:57
                    Bad news: she was gonna have to back down first from the little game of pseudo-catch she played with John. Jamie needed to mark Clark, which meant sending Bludgers at the Aladren Seekerís face was no ... more
                    • Pecaris know how to partyJamie Park, Seeker, Sat Nov 26 03:27
                      Jamie was expecting the bludger to be sent hurtling down into the Chaser game (though, as they were dominating with the Quaffle right now, perhaps it was better that it didnít - this fact, however,... more
                      • After the game you can write an instruction manual for usClark Dill, Seeker, Sat Nov 26 12:36
                        Clark looked back at the sound of the bat meeting bludger, but it was just Sammy again, and John would take care of that one. Clark kept going. After another few seconds, he glanced back again to see ... more
                        • I prefer to do it my way.John Umland, Beater, Sat Nov 26 16:35
                          For a moment, John thought Sammy was, indeed, going to send the Bludger back to him, something he found a little disappointing. The one thing he respected about her House was, after all, that they... more
    • New tricks — Captain Clark Dill, Seeker, Wed Nov 16 21:03
    • Start as you mean to go on.Captain J Curtis, Chaser, Sun Nov 13 12:13
      This was it. Her chance to prove herself. Joella had waited so long for her time and now it was here. Sheíd worked her team as hard as they would let her in the run up to their first match of the... more
      • The Hippo attacks!Ben The Hippo, Beater, Fri Nov 18 08:36
        Ben was ready for this. So ready. Sammy was an awesome person and beating partner and he felt he had learned a lot under her leadership over the last couple of months. Sure his dad and uncle had both ... more
        • Hippos don't fly.Kit Reid, Chaser, Fri Nov 18 23:35
          Excitement was not a strong enough word for this day. Today was the first day that Kit would be playing her first real competitive Quidditch game. She had worked hard to learn all of the plays and... more
          • But hawks definitely do!Louis Valois, Beater, Mon Nov 21 14:13
            Waking up and glaring disbelievingly at his alarm clock, Louis was just about to roll over and make proper use of his Saturday by going straight back to sleep when he realised that it wasnít just a... more
            • Better late than neverIngrid W, Chaser, Sat Nov 26 03:06
              Match day was always exciting. Ingrid had always been driven to do her best for Liliana because she admired the older girl, and things hadnít changed with the passing of the torch. But as well as... more
              • Glad you think soBen Pierce, Beater, Sat Nov 26 13:17
                Ben watched as his bludger successfully scare the smallest of the Aladren chasers off course, opening up a passing opportunity. He didn't watch to see if it was taken, but instead followed the... more
                • If a Pecari, better neverLouis Valois, Beater, Sat Nov 26 16:01
                  Ingrid managed to neatly avoid Louisís bludger and, whilst he was glad not to cause any injuries, this was Quidditch and Louis could be a rather competitive player. Ingridís barrel-roll meant his... more
                  • Never underestimate a Pecari.Cpt Joella Curtis, Chaser, Sat Nov 26 18:29
                    Joella could breathe again once Ingrid was safely on her way with the Quaffle. The younger girl did a good job of making the catch and dodging a bludger pretty much simultaneously. The captain sped... more
                    • Yeah, what she said.Luke Powell, Keeper, Sat Nov 26 18:43
                      Luke weaved through his hoops with ease, handling his broom so casually and confidently. He was a natural sportsman and he liked training hard so Quidditch worked out nicely for him. The first year... more
                      • I beg to differLouis Valois, Beater, Sat Nov 26 19:09
                        Annoyingly, Joella had manoeuvred her way out of a nasty bludger accident (well, not that he was actually wishing bodily harm upon the older chaser), but at least Louisís actions had made sure she... more
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