Editor’s Note: This week, I thought I’d share, with permission, a story from our EvE-Scout Forums posted by Samuel Triptee. In it, he describes his experience of watching a Search and Rescue effort unfold after jumping into a system that contained a stranded capsuleer.
I very recently stumbled into a system that was on the “rescue list”. What happened within the next few minutes and over a period of about an hour inspired this post.
I’ve had varied experiences in this game, but watching the rescue squad at work was one of the coolest things I’ve seen in New Eden.
When I jumped into the WH (wormhole) system Allison did her normal checklist but added a message concerning a rescue needed for a stranded capsuleer. I started to type a message into alliance chat to ask what to do next and while I was typing a member of the SAR (Search & Rescue) squad PM’d (private message) me. It had to have been less than 2 minutes since I had entered the system. Getting a PM in a WH system seemed a bit suspicious and until I checked the pilot I didn’t answer.
From there the private chat turned into a group chat that was used to communicate between other SAR pilots and myself. I did nothing except sit safe and use my eyes looking for activity. SAR pilots were contacted and immediately started moving toward the rescue system. One of the pilots went at least 30 jumps through some “violent territory” simply to get to the WH entrance. It was cool to see.
I am not going to divulge the number of pilots, or what they actually did. However, I will say that once in the system with the lost capsuleer’s ship the coordination between the SAR pilots was impressive. There was a lead decision maker, but he didn’t need to give directions as everyone knew what to do and did it quickly.
After the current status of the system was determined and preparations were made the lost pilot was contacted and given a couple of options for leaving, or even the option of not leaving at the moment. The decision was totally up to the pilot. I especially applaud the SAR responders at this point because their prep and effort to get to the system could have been all for nothing if the lost pilot had chosen to not take a route out. Kudos!
So… the pilot was contacted and made a choice for exiting the system. The ship left the system under the watchful eyes of SAR pilots…
However, a sad note to all of this is that there had been an “enemy” scout cloaked in the system (probably before I even entered) and when they saw the lost pilot leave system they jumped right after and tackled the ship. I sat off the WH and watched ship after ship jump through and apply tackle, dps, and eventually the kill mail wanabes also jumped to get on the KM (kill mail). It was a sad ending to a great effort.
For those of you yet to see what happens while a rescue is in progress I envy you your first time observations. I do look forward to being a part of another rescue even in a small way and maybe someday I will be able to commit to being a part of the team.
“Well, that was uneventful,” I say, relieved. “My kind of trip. We got your new Guardian safely back to Zoo, T’ali.”
T’ali and I have returned from Dodixie where she had bought a Guardian for her Signal Cartel fleet activities. She had initially planned to get an Augoror, but, as so often happens, she had upgraded her ride to something sweeter.
“That we did. Thanks for scouting ahead. You did well. Although, to be honest, that’s what I would have expected from someone focused on explo in Signal Cartel.” T’ali smiles and thumps me on the back as we walk out of the ship hanger. Caught off-guard by both her exuberant display of camaraderie and the vigor by which she delivers it, I stumble, and she grabs my arm to keep me from falling.
“Woah…careful there. Seems you are as fragile as a bird, Void Raven,” she says, emphasizing my last name and flapping her arms for added effect.
I glare at her. “What the…? Not funny T’ali, okay? And I’m not the one who needs to be careful.”
“Oh, have we become grumpy? Lighten up, will you? It’s all in good nature. Hey, want to go back to the bar for another drink before we call it a night?”
“I’ll skip. I think I’ll just go back to my apartment and get an early night.”
“So… sulking now, too? Well, if you change your mind, you know where to find me for the next hour or so.” We only met a few hours ago, but already I’ve come to realize that she can be so damn annoying. We walk a little further together, before I turn to go my separate way. As I walk away from her, T’ali says, “You still got that angst about the future after our discussion at the bar earlier tonight, Void Raven?”
I look back at her, “Yes. Of course I do. Deep-seated concerns that have built up within one over a period of several months don’t simply evaporate after only a few minutes of conversation with a stranger.” T’ali motions towards a bench nearby, sits down and with a tilt of her head invites me to join her. “For the record, T’ali, I think you are underestimating the threat posed by the Triglavians and are overconfident in your – in our – capabilities. We downplay their arrival to our peril. Have you watched that message from the Triglavian Collective? It’s downright ominous. I have recurring nightmares in which they are speaking directly to me in that haunting asynchronous voicing of theirs and they brand me as a ‘Narodnya lacking in fitness’ and expel me from the Flow of Vyraj.” I look down at the ground and continue, “The red darkness is coming, and I fear it won’t be stopped.”
“Yes, I have listened to it. So what? Some ancient fools trying to sound spooky to frighten us? Sure, there’s lightning in the distance and thunder rumbling on the horizon and the winds have picked up. But I say, ‘Bring it on.’”
I shake my head, astonished by her unflappable manner. While I’m glad to have finally found someone in T’ali to talk to about my concerns, in truth, I’m not receiving much in the way of understanding or empathy from her. She is outwardly so carefree and projects confidence at a level that I can only dream about.
I lock the fingers of my hands together. “There’s also something else, but I hesitate to bring it up. You’ll laugh at me.”
She looks taken aback. “Hey, that’s not fair, Void Raven. I’m the first to admit that I joke around and make light of life. But I have never laughed at you for any of the concerns you shared with me.”
I nod my head. “Sorry,” I mumble.
“So…?” she presses.
“Never mind. It’s stupid.” I stand up from the bench.
“Hold on. You’re not getting out of this so easily,” she says, firmly pulling me back down. “Tell me what it is.”
Now she’s like a slaver hound with a bone. “The Society of Conscious Thought,” I reply.
“What of them?”
“There have been rumors in the past; allegations that they provided the Jove technology used in the development of the slave implants that enabled Sansha Kuvakei to establish his Sansha’s Nation. And over the past few years the SoCT has handed out Jove ships in large numbers for free. Why? From nowhere, a crazy thought comes to me. What if similar tech has been surreptitiously embedded in those ships that are now spread all over New Eden? And then one day, a switch is flipped somewhere by someone, and these ships suddenly take over mind control of the Capsuleers piloting them, and they become like rogue drones in service to a hidden agenda that SoCT have been patiently planning for years?” Taking a deep breath, I study T’ali, trying to gauge her reaction to my, admittedly, wild conjecture. But all I see and hear are her inscrutable face and a stunned silence. Now, though, it is my chance to press her. “Well…? Fedo got your tongue?”
“Umm…I think you’re stuck so deep in a conspiracy theory, that we’d need a Titan to pull you out.”
“See? You’re laughing on the inside. I knew I shouldn’t have mentioned this.”
“Oh, I’m not laughing. I’m not entirely sure what the correct response is to what you said. But I will give you credit for originality of thought.”
“And now you’re mocking me.”
“Okay, listen to me, Void Raven. You’re all doom and gloom. You’re filled with inner stress and turmoil and you see monsters lurking wherever you look. And I can see that my lighthearted attitude is adding frustration into the mix. Look, you need a distraction; something to take your mind off things. Now, there’s one thing that works like a charm to reduce pent up frustration and stress. One thing. Works every time. For everybody. What you need is a good f….”
“T’ali!” I exclaim, suddenly wrenched into a completely different frame of mind. “Language! By the Sisters, watch your tongue. Credo, remember?”
“fleet outing.” She creases her forehead. “What… what did you think I was going to say?” She holds out her cupped hands to me as if they are holding something valuable, a mischievous mien upon her face. “Here, I think this is your mind. I found it languishing in the gutter.” She pauses briefly, before continuing with that disarming smile of hers, “Although that would work too. And with fewer people and less travel involved, there’s not as much planning required. But seriously, a fleet outing would show you just how capable we are and would boost your confidence.”
Even though I’m chuckling inside, on the outside I’m squirming uncomfortably in the intensity of her gaze upon me.
“You definitely do blush in Triglavian Red, Void Raven. Quite the shrinking violet, aren’t you?”
“Can we just change the subject? Haven’t you embarrassed me enough yet? Well, anyway, now I won’t be able to go to sleep, so how about that drink you mentioned earlier?”
T’ali smiles and nods her head approvingly.
“You’re a real Pollyanna, you know,” I say.
She shrugs. “Well, I’ll be the Pollyanna to your Cassandra. Sound about right to you? Does to me,” she says with a wink.
That brings a spontaneous smile to my face. T’ali can be so direct and exasperating, but there’s also something about her that suggests friendship between us is not out of the question.
A little over a year ago Thrice Hapus (now Signal Cartel’s CEO) handed the keys to the EvE-Scout Rescue Director’s office to me. Much has happened since then but I have to say the passion and work the members of the ESR team never ceases to amaze me. Many outside of Signal Cartel may not realize how many players and how much effort has gone into our rescue program.
This year was our biggest year yet as we grew our cache numbers to a peak of 2412 systems, 92.7% of Anoikis back in October. The new sharable bookmarks appear to be increasing tending and we’re climbing again, with 86% current coverage.
Arturon Megumi took the time to create a great visualization for us:
Over the course of the year we conducted 415 rescues (202 from rescue caches, 213 Search and Rescue) up from 351 (194 ESRC and 157 SAR) the year previous. Just before I became director we crossed the 500 rescue mark and are now closing in on 1000. Everything comes down to these, Rescues are what the EvE-Scout Rescue Division is all about!
The ESR team consists of two main groups of pilots, our ESR Coordinators and our 911 Operators. When you make a rescue request through our site the call goes out to team of 911 Operators who work to find the best solution for your situation. We currently have over 30 operators active.
The ESR Coordinators are an experienced group of rescue pilots who aid the operators and respond directly when we locate search and rescue systems. Over the course of the year the coordinator team has grown to eight pilots. I believe strongly that while my name is on the door the coordinator team exemplifies the aphorism: “Build a team so strong no one knows who the leader is.” They are all exceptional and most of my job is just keeping the paperwork in order and handing out medals.
Also exceptional is our co-pilot Allison and her creator A Dead Parrot. The rescue program would not have the success it has had without his amazing work. Allison lets our pilots know where rescue caches are, when they need to be tended, when they locate a rescue system, and much, much more. She even has a radio built in!
I’d also like to thank all our devs this year working on the tools that make this program possible: In particular A Dead Parrot, Thrice Hapus, Klensor, Orsel Solette, and Sky Diamond who have put up with our many requests for changes and fixes. Thanks for all your great work!
A big change for our rescue operations was the introduction of sharable bookmarks. In the past there have been a number of attempts to share rescue cache bookmarks but the old voucher system was too limiting for it ever to be practical. When I first saw the proposed new bookmark system I knew it would mean big changes for our operations. In mid November, when the changes became available for testing, myself and some coordinators started testing the system and figuring out how it worked. In late November, before the changes rolled out, I posted a proposal for discussion in our forums based on what we had discovered. There was a lot of discussion following and working from that discussion we rolled out a formal system for sharing our cache bookmarks amongst our cache tenders and to stranded pilots. Since then we’ve continued to refine and improve the system. Tending and rescuing are now faster and easier than ever.
Actions this period: 49672
Pilots Rescued: 415
Accessed cache: 202
Found by Search and Rescue pilots: 213
Signal Cartel Pilots
Maintaining Caches: 418
Participated in rescues: 164
Oldest Rescue Cache
Sown on April 19th, 2018
Tended 56 times by 39 pilots.
Highest Cache Count
2412 (92.7%) on October 28th, 2019
Most Active Day
– October 6th, 2019 (251 tends and 45 sown by 37 pilots, five 911 calls and one rescue)