By: KSI Mizz Airy
When you spend so much time with people online, talking to them, teaching them, learning from them, it's amazing how easily those bonds can translate over to real life as well! A week ago, I returned from an awesome trip where I had the absolute pleasure of meeting some members of LE and seeing a couple of former SO members again. The six people I was able to see not only reminded me of how KSI can do more than just teach lifelong skills, but it can build lifelong friendships.
I started by going to Houston, TX, and meeting Shayzerbeam, a Private in Avalon LE, while I killed some time before my flight to Pennsylvania. She was incredible to get to know! Having only ever talked to her on the Discord server before, it was really cool how easy she was to get along with. Within a very short time, she showed me just how much she cared about her friends and fellow members. I enjoyed my short time with her so much, that I saw her again on the way back, and by that point, it felt like I'd known her for much much longer.
Upon arriving in Pittsburgh, PA, I drove up to stay with KSI MercysAngel, the squad leader of Avalon LE. She and I have been friends for a few months online. We have worked out together and talked about things ranging from her native Texan life to kids and, of course, Destiny. Her family welcomed me very warmly, and they were a blast to hang out with. Cards Against Humanity will never be the same!
Mercy then accompanied me for the four hour drive to where KSI Mr Miagi and KSI BlazeDaily7, Co-Founder and Co-Division Leader of LE, respectively, live. Prior to this trip, Mercy had hardly ever talked to them. My history with them goes back a lot farther, though. They were recruited into Empire RD when KSI DoubleOh and I were getting ready to split into Cerberus RD back in 2015. All three of them were new to Destiny, and it was a lot of fun getting to play with the "KinderGuardians". To fast-forward about 18 months, Blaze and Miagi were two of the very first members of Darkness TR, the squad that would eventually execute the first successful Destiny split in KSI.
That kind of bond (building something and seeing the continued results of those efforts much further down the line) is something special in and of itself. And from the moment we met at the bar, you'd have never guessed it was our first time meeting. (By the way, Blaze is the master of darts, but sprinklers are not his friends. And Miagi is the master of bouncing darts.) What's more, though, I got to see the body language for the first time of how these three reacted when speaking about KSI matters. I was really moved by how evident it is that they really care for the efforts they and the other LE members put into making the division function day-to-day.
The next day, following an adventurous lunch with Mercy (duck was involved), Miagi joined us in doing an escape room challenge with a former member of the Special Ops Division (2007), KSI Moos3, as well as a couple of his friends. Teamwork won out in the end, and we escaped the serial killer with barely a couple of minutes to spare! After lunch with Moos3 and another former member and very dear friend, KSI Templar EK, Mercy and I started the journey back.
For the past week, I've been holding onto that amazing, light feeling from my long weekend away. These men and women who I have known ranging from 10 years to just a few weeks reminded me what incredible bonds can be built, in game and out. Pennsylvania was beautiful, but it was this group that made the trip one of the best weekends of my adult life. Thank you, all, for your kind hospitality and even more so for your great friendship.