Paul and I put the hurt on Mike and Dan today in the first rubber with some very unusual hands, including one that I made by misdirection. You'll like this: I was holding S A-10 H A-x-x D A-K-x-x C Q-x-x-x. Paul opened 2S, and I had 17 points, and we'd already made 5 on his weak 2D bid in the previous hand. This time, though, I was strong enough to respond, so I bid 3C. He probably interpreted it as Stayman, judging by our conversation afterward, but it was really just a forcing bid, as I explained later. I wanted to know anything about his hand. He responded correctly in any case, 3H, and I bid 3NT. Mike led a low diamond, and Paul's hand came down: S K-J-9-x-x-x H K-Q-10-x D 10-x C x. Yes, we were in a 3NT contract with what essentially amounted to no club stoppers. (It turns out that Mike had the A-K of clubs, so he could have taken those right off, but I still play the contract the same way.) It's pretty obvious that I can't afford to give up the lead, so I played the ten of diamonds (why not?) to draw Dan's jack and took with the king. Then I played for the heart split by leading to the king, back to the ace, and up again. Mike showed out, so I had to take the queen, and Dan's jack sat atop the ten. So no joy there. But if Dan had four hearts, chances were good that Mike had the queen of spades, so I led a low one to my ace, and Mike dropped the queen. Well, that was easy! I took the ace of diamonds, then led back to the king of spades and ran the spades to take all but the last two tricks. With a proper finesse against Dan's jack of hearts, I can make the slam. But of course, I can't bid a slam because Mike has the two high clubs to set me right from the start. No sense taking a risk I don't need to. We won that rubber on a 5S doubled contract that they could have set... Paul opened 2C, Dan overcalled 2H, and I held S 8 H K-x-x-x D K-Q-J-x-x-x C Q-x or so. 11 points and a good diamond suit facing a 2C opener, so I didn't feel too bad bidding 3D. Mike bid 3H, and I figured Paul had to be void, but that didn't matter. He bid 4S. Now, I should have shut up there, but instead, I felt compelled to bid 5D. (With 33 points or more between us, and that good a spade suit, we should have no trouble making 5.) Mike doubled. Paul asked Mike for advice, and Mike told him to pass, but Paul bid 5S anyway, and Dan doubled that. Dan led the ace of diamonds, then switched to clubs, leading to Mike's ace. Then Mike had to lead a heart, Paul took it, and we went on to score the rest of the tricks. I remember Paul's spade suit being A-K-Q-x-x-x-x, and he had the ace of hearts and plenty of side suit strength, plus the short hearts. However, had Dan led a second diamond, it was Mike who was short enough to ruff, and we'd have been set. It happens. Then we had a second rubber and lost as usual. They made a 3NT with a couple of overtricks at the end. Dan's certainly improving, and I mean that in a good way. I think, even if he doesn't realize it or want to admit it, he's picking up some good habits. We all are. There's still reluctance in some situations to draw trump, but I'm working on that.
I got Bleach episode 2 today, and may watch it after my shower, but QEFEFZ episode 4 is going well for once, and I'm writing one of the scenes that was originally just a bit gag, but will end up introducing a new main character. I think only elisteran has any idea why that happened. And even he may not have any idea why that happened. I really want to post an excerpt, but even seeing the names of the characters can be a spoiler.
For those who don't mind the semi-spoilers:
"I always wanted to be a maid," Taeko continued regretfully, "but nobody would ever hire me. Do you mind if I try out your mop?" Without waiting for a response, Taeko grabbed the mop from Konoe's hand, dunked the business end in the bucket, and scrubbed at a particularly dirty part of the floor.
Raindevila cleared her throat. "Do return that mop to Konoe, Taeko. As I said earlier, it is the peak of our covert weapons technology. The handle itself -"
"Oh, here you go," said Taeko, thrusting the handle at Konoe. The tip brushed Konoe's apron, which instantly burst into flame.
"- is a powerful taser," Raindevila continued belatedly.
"Oh no!" shouted Taeko, grabbing the bucket. She quickly splashed the water on Konoe's front, dousing the flames. Konoe was already glaring at Taeko as first her apron, then the rest of the uniform developed holes that grew until they had dissolved every stitch of her outer clothing.
"The water in the bucket, when splashed, becomes a concentrated acid," said Raindevila. "We elected to reduce its potency so that it only dissolves clothing, as it is difficult to subjugate citizens who are no more than melted puddles of flesh."
"Ah'd love ta subjugate me summa THAT flesh," said Sasshi, trying to conceal his nosebleed with his hands.
And I haven't played any Skies yet tonight... but considering that my next mission is to return to base and get one of my favorite powerups, I think I probably will right after my shower. Also need to eat more cherry pie, because I don't know how long it will keep, even in the fridge. It's good, though. Almost makes me wish I had some ice cream.
Oh, yeah... read my earlier entry for today if you haven't already. I'm going to wait until I get some official word before actually contacting Geneon, but even if the story changes again before then, Geneon still sucks because of how long it took them to do whatever they end up doing. I'll let you know if they start sucking less at any point in the future. Don't expect any glowing reviews anytime soon, though.