Editor’s Note: There are as many measures of success as there are corporations in New Eden. Some measure in profits, some measure in kills, but for me there is no greater measure than service to the community. I’m honored to fly with a corporation that measures success in Capsuleers rescued. – Katia Sae
The following is an AAR (After Action Report) submitted by Signaleer Sydney Selket.
Today I got to unwittingly participate in an historic event in the Eve-Scout Rescue program. Long-time Rescue Coordinators Xalyar and Captain Crinkle have been racing each other to 100 rescues for a while now, and when they recently both landed at 99, we started to think, “Wouldn’t it be cool if they happened to do their next rescue together so they both won the race?”
I had forgotten all about this, and maybe they had too, when we received a ping that a Search and Rescue system (J103924) had been located by Renek Dallocort. Xalyar was first to answer the call. I was trying to step away for a shower, but mentioned that I was available if needed. The chain provided to us by ALLISON was what we would call “ugly”: many jumps through a web of C4s and C5s before any high-sec or low-sec exit. The system itself, that Renek was just beginning to scan, had only a null static. With this challenge in mind, Xalyar asked for backup and I began logging in, with Captain Crinkle also chiming in that he was coming.
Xalyar had actually been the 911 dispatcher on this rescue when the call came in 3 days earlier, so he was the obvious person to reach out to the pilot. Normally we won’t contact the pilot until the system is secured by rescue personnel and we have a way out, because we don’t want an over-anxious pilot to log in before the system is safe and ready for quick rescue. However in this case Xalyar’s notes from the dispatch indicated that the pilot was wavering on whether it was worth waiting for rescue, so we made an exception just to make sure they didn’t choose the next half hour or so to give up. Xaylar was able to reach the pilot on Discord before we even made it to the system, and we knew the pilot would be available for immediate rescue when we were ready.
We entered the chain from different directions and eventually met up in the middle where the chains converged, providing bookmarks for each other to follow, while Renek fed us the next sig in the chain to speed our scanning. Once I got into the SAR system, Renek was able to take off to continue exploring, and I held the system while Xalyar and Crinkle split off scanning more promising routes out, as the way we came in was very long and unstable.
Now that enough time has passed for this not to be active intel, here’s a pic of the chain as it looked as we were arriving (the SAR system is in green). I came from Pelkia, Xalyar came from New Caldari, and after checking out some options from Thera, Crinkle also came from New Caldari.
Xalyar and Crinkle ended up finding a C1 and a C3 which each had a low-sec static and either would make a better exit than the way we came in. Crinkle, with his 99 rescues of wisdom, was the first to point out that depending on what kind of ship the pilot had, a C1 could only take up to medium ships, and might be too small (we knew based on the fact that the pilot was lost in a C2, they couldn’t have a capital, but it could be a battleship). Xalyar reached out to the pilot to confirm, and found out it was a Drake. A C1 is indeed one of the places you can bring your Drake, so we decided on that as the first option for exit, with the C3 as a backup in case the end-of-life hole to the C1 collapsed.
We organized ourselves for a 4-jump exit to low sec. I would be the warp-in point for the pilot to the wormhole out of the SAR system, as I was already there, and then I would sprint ahead to get what I thought was the final exit to low sec, but we ended up improvising on the way and I held up to take the 3rd jump instead, as Crinkle took the 2nd jump and Xalyar followed with the pilot. After the pilot made the jump past me into the C1 I ran ahead again into low sec to see what things looked like in local. Crinkle had found 2 in local a few minutes earlier, but when I splashed in it was deserted. Xalyar, with his 99 rescues of wisdom, immediately asked if there was a station there for the pilot to dock in, which there was not. I quickly checked that the next system in the direction of high sec had a station, and that’s the direction we pointed our pilot in when he reached the safety of K-space.
It was at this point after we waved o7 to the pilot, and were commenting on how smoothly that extraction had gone, when we realized Xalyar and Crinkle had done their 100th rescue together. And I was overcome with honor to have accompanied them, especially on a rescue that had benefited so much from teamwork and experience. Surely this deserved some more acknowledgement beyond the glittering Beacon of Anoikis Medal they will be receiving for their incredible achievement, so here I am to tell you more about them.
From the time I joined Signal Cartel it was my dream to be a rescuer, and Xalyar and Crinkle took me under their respective wings and answered my questions and included me when my explorations crossed paths with rescues. Crinkle taught the class I took on rescue cache placement shortly after I joined the corp, and while he didn’t teach my class, I have had the privilege to sit in on Xalyar’s 911 operator training course to see the guidance he gives our new trainees. During my time as a 911 operator Crinkle and Xalyar were always around to provide guidance on those trickier calls, and to make sure rescues were running smoothly. Even when I became a rescue coordinator with them, I’ve always looked to them to have the definitive answer to the even trickier questions. They’ve just recently been promoted to the title of ESR Manager, to reflect their seniority among the coordinators and the special role they’ve taken over time to help ESR Director Igaze handle the increasing workload as our rescue program grows.
How fitting that despite their constant friendly competitiveness to one-up each other, they arrive at the most prestigious of rescue milestones at exactly the same time. Congratulations to two amazing mentors! I’m sure the race to 200 has already begun!
Editor’s Note: Click on the images to see full screen (in most cases 😉 )
Has this ever happened to you?
“I had recently discovered gas mining and was making good ISK at it. Normally, I was careful to mark my entrance into a wormhole, but this day I [was] super excited to get mining. I warped away from the wormhole entrance to make my first safe spot and was about to start scanning for gas sites, when I realized I did not save the entrance location. I freaked out a little at first, but then I got on Google to see what I could do. There it was! A link to evescoutrescue.com. Who knew! Anyway, I joined the EvE-Scout channel and typed HELP! Within a minute someone was responding and organizing a rescue. I was safely out of the wormhole in about 20 minutes.” – Sue T’Que
Or maybe one of these other testimonials is similar to your circumstance?
For this blog post let’s go over the steps you should take when you’re stranded and along the way I’ll share some behind the scenes magic of our EvE-Scout Rescue service.
The first thing a stranded pilot should do is ensure they are in a safe location in the system, then request immediate in-game assistance by going here and logging in with their EvE Single Sign On. The only information that we need authorized is the capsuleers current location.
Providing the location does two important things for us. First, it confirms that you are indeed in wormhole space as our service is only provided for that mysterious realm of New Eden. Second, the location is needed for our 911 Operators to determine if there is an EvE-Scout Rescue cache in the system and/or if ALLISON is aware of any wormhole chains to get there. ALLISON, or Allison as we like to call her, is our AI (artificial intelligence) onboard navigational assistant that many of our Signaleers fly with. Her name is an acronym meaning Artificial Life Limited In Scope to Onboard Navigation.
The importance of our rescue team knowing the location can’t be stressed enough and yes, you’re going to have to trust us. It has taken years for our reputation to get where it is today and it’s all because we have proven ourselves to be fair, neutral, and trustworthy in our interactions with our fellow capsuleers of New Eden. The EvE Single Sign On is safe and secure to use and our rescue team are the only ones who will know.
Along with the request, additional details can be provided in the “Message” box which is optional and not required, but can be helpful and useful to us (such as an ALT that could be contacted or your Discord handle if you have one). Once you submit the request, you’ll be taken to a confirmation screen, then once you confirm you’ll be instructed to join our “EvE-Scout” in-game chat channel as well as our Discord server channel #stranded-pilots-lounge. In both cases, those chat channels are PUBLIC, so DO NOT SHARE your location, we already know. 😉
Behind the scenes, the request pings our 911 Operators and Rescue Coordinators on our Discord server. We have pretty good worldwide coverage these days and I’m not kidding when I say if you’re in prime time US or EU time zones, one of our Operators will likely reach out to you in under a minute. In other time zones there may be some lag, but even then I’d say you’re likely to hear back in just a few minutes or at the most in under an hour.
This is where the magic truly begins and there’s usually simultaneous things going on about now. As you’re talking to one of our Operators who’s been through a training class and follows a Rescue Flowchart to help determine the best course of action, a Coordinator is already working with Allison to see if there are any known routes, or “active chains”, to your system. If there are any chains and even before an Operator has determined the best course of action for your case, a team is likely already on standby to head towards your system. If there are no active chains, part of our Operators process is working with you to see if you have the chain, but I’m getting a little ahead of myself.
Generally our Operator will determine one of three scenarios your rescue falls into: 1) That you are in need of supplies, such as probes, and there’s an EvE-Scout Rescue Cache in your system, 2) Allison has located a chain to your system or you’re able to provide one, or 3) Giving you a series of options including to wait until we find your system which could be up to a week, possibly longer.
Option 1: EvE-Scout Rescue Cache
One of Allison’s main functions is to maintain a database of active rescue caches that have been deployed by our Signaleers. What is an EvE-Scout Rescue Cache (ESRC)? It is a secured, anchored container located somewhere in the system. It contains (1) Core Probe Launcher, (8) Core Scanner Probes, and often a few “hugs” or other trinkets for fun. These containers once anchored can last up to 30 days before exploding unless they are “maintained”. Not only do our Signaleers deploy these in systems that need one, they also open them when passing through to extend their life expectancy and reset the 30 day countdown to explode as well as restock items as needed.
We currently have an active ESRC in 97.5% of all wormholes! That’s 2,539 systems out of 2,603 (not counting Thera) and simply amazing! So, it’s almost assured there’s one in the system for you. We have a lot of Signaleers that participate in this amazing service which you can see some of our Heroes here.
If our Operator has determined there should be an ESRC in the system with you, which you may want to confirm via D-Scan if you’re within range, then you’ll be provided some information on where it is, the password to open it, and how to get to it. With the fairly recent expansion of capabilities of shared Bookmarks, our Operator may be able to give you one to go directly to the cache. If not, we have a “Bounce” method and instructions to get you there. Once found, open it with the password, take out what you need, and you’ll be equipped to scan your own way out.
Hot off the presses and starting today, we’ll be adding a Noise-5 ‘Needlejack’ Filament to the ESRC container. This is an optional item that our Signaleers can include in the rescue cache and since we’re just now starting to roll out this option, it will take some time before we see any substantial coverage of wormholes that have it. These, once activated, will teleport you anywhere in space to a random Nullsec system. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK! But, it at least provides you with another option to get out if you need to in a hurry and the probes or launcher are of no use to you. Keep in mind, we will not come rescue you from Nullsec…
Option 2: Active wormhole chain
In some cases, the stranded capsuleer knows a chain that leads back to known space, but they’re unable to scan it back down due to forgetting to bookmark, lost probes, etc, or Allison was able to find one in her database. How does Allison know? Well, she’s a fairly advanced AI, don’t tell her I said fairly, and she can track our Signaleers that utilize her while piloting day to day for ESRC operations or other activities, if our pilots allow. By doing so, she builds chains of her own and our Coordinators are able to access that information and see if they can be used to get to our stranded pilot. If so and our Operator determines this is the best option, then the green light for a live rescue is given. Behind the scenes it becomes a fun race, with several Signaleer Rescue Team members trying to be the first to get there. For EvE-Scout Rescue, this is our content, this is our fun. With the immediate response of our Rescue team and perhaps some luck, the determined chain is still active and you’ll be guided out.
Option 3: Patience, all is not lost yet
Unfortunately, there are times when an ESRC is not in the system, the chain has collapsed, or our Rescue team is unable to get to you. If that’s the case, all is not lost yet. If you’re not in a rush and can be patient, then your case will be marked as waiting for rescue. Here again is when Allison comes into play. As mentioned before, she keeps track of our Signaleers that fly with her and should they enter the system you are stranded in, our Discord channel is automatically alerted, our rescue team will immediately get in touch with our corp mate, and the race is on to get to the rescue system! (Fun Fact: This is the technology that was tweaked and utilized to help me locate the last 600 wormhole systems I needed to complete my journey – Katia Sae.)
We’ll ask our corp mate to stay in the system until someone from the rescue team can join them. Most of us have Alts to hold systems for these occasions and we’ll try to get several in there to hold until we’re able to get back in touch with the stranded pilot. The rescue team will keep the system connections scanned down and chains determined back to known space and once contact has been reestablished with the stranded pilot, the rescue team will coordinate a time and guide them out. The average wait time is around 5 days with 45% of all rescues occurring within 24 hours.
Option 4: All is still not lost
Did I mention there are more options? 😉 If the stranded pilot is unwilling or unable to wait, believe it or not, all may not be lost yet. In some cases our stranded pilots have reached out to the “locals” or someone passing through the system and have found them to be friendly. Yes, it happens, they are helped out and safely returned to known space. At this point, if the only option left to you is self-destruct, then you might as well give it a chance. If they destroy you instead, you’re still taking the express return to known space, so what is there left to lose?
Option Boom: Okay, all is lost
Well, if none of those play out, then I’m truly sorry to say we have reached the worst case scenario and your option is to self-destruct. ☹ We hope it doesn’t come to this, honestly, as rescuing stranded pilots is our game play. As I said before, this is our content and what we find fun. Hopefully, it means you flew by EvE’s golden rule, don’t fly what you can’t afford to lose. If that’s the case, then this option may not be so bad after all.
Fun Facts and Stats on our ESR Program
In closing I wanted to share some fun facts and statistics about our Rescue Program provided by Allison’s creator, A Dead Parrot, and the manager of our Rescue Division, Igaze.
Oldest ESRC container in space was sown on November 3, YC120 (2018). It has been tended 54 times to extend its life and resupplied if needed. Signaleer Ace Rimmer Midumulf used it to save a pilot in November of YC121 (2019) and it’s still active today.
Our second-oldest cache was sown on Christmas Eve YC120 (2018), and it was last tended just 3 days ago, by bouzinsky Ozran so it should be around for a little while longer.
Since the spring of YC119 (2017), Signaleers have collectively sown over 34,000 rescue caches and performed over 132,000 maintenance visits (tending the cache).
On April 3, YC122 (2020) Signaleer Renek Dallocort jumped through a wormhole with Allison marking her 500,000th logged jump through a wormhole by one of our corp members.
Allison speaks to our pilots approximately 1.1 million times each year, and with that information in hand, Signal Cartel, as a corporation, typically visits about 1,300 unique wormholes each week, with our pilots covering almost every system in Anoikis (wormhole space) every 30 days or so.
The wormhole with the highest number of 911 calls is J110145, the Drifter hole named Barbican.
Our operators have fielded 779 calls to our 911 service so far this calendar year (as of May 9, 2020)
Our top ten client corporations
49 The Scope
43 Center for Advanced Studies
36 Strategic Exploration and Development Corp
31 State War Academy
29 School of Applied Knowledge
28 Federal Navy Academy
23 Pator Tech School
22 Deep Core Mining Inc.
21 Science and Trade Institute
19 Pandemic Horde Inc.
18 Caldari Provisions
Signal Cartel Rescue Report for May 3, 2020 to May 9, 2020
Total rescues for this period:
SAR: 6 Capsuleers saved from certain loss, thanks to your efforts!
EvE-Scout Rescue Cache (ESRC)
Highest active (non-expired) cache total this week: 2251 of 2603 eligible wormhole systems (98% of W-Space) set just after downtime on May 5th. Record levels are being maintaining with the 98% level holding all week!
SuperCacher (100 sows/tends)
SAR/ESRC Dispatch Whether someone is rescued or not there are many dedicated Signaleers responding rescue requests, either through our 911 page or in the EvE-Scout channel. These are our dispatchers. This week our dispatchers were: Ace Rimmer Midumulf, Bang N’ Donk, Captain Crinkle, Catbriar Chelien, Dagmar Maulerant, Jehan Dante, Maxwell Kurvora, Maya Laya, pris Naari, Salmon Putter, Woldrof Baloc Thingold, Xalyar, and Xavec.
Weekly Ship Giveaway Each week (while supplies last), a fitted T1 explo ship will be awarded at random to one of our ESRC pilots. This generous giveaway is being sponsored by Xalyar. This weeks winner is Zinov. Be sure to check your contracts to see if you are the next lucky winner!
Search and Rescue (SAR) The following Signaleers helped complete successful rescues of pilots stranded in J-space during the snapshot period. True heroes of Anoikis! (Note: ESR Coordinators are generally excluded from this listing)
Bang N’ Donk
Sir William Hillary (SAR Bronze for first successful rescue!)
New? If you are new to EvE-Scout Rescue (ESR) (took part in any Rescue or sowed/tended rescue caches) in past week and have not received a new member welcome gift, please leave a comment on the Signal Cartel Services Welcome thread in the forums, and we’ll make sure a welcome gift is sent your way.
Thanks again to all our participants. I trust the week ahead will be a great one for you!
Editor’s Note: This week we’re featuring Signaleer Xavec who wanted to share another aspect of our Rescue Service.
Earlier this year, Signal Cartel and our Eve Scout Rescue program logged its 1000th successful rescue within just a few days of the 5th anniversary of the founding of Signal Cartel.
Whilst we’re on milestones: last month also marked the 11th anniversary of the Apocrypha expansion, giving us access to a vast, ever switching network of wormholes filled with content of varying levels. Most pilots will work on the reasonable assumption that anyone else in a J-space system is there to turn them into metal scraps and a frozen corpse. A mistake can render you trapped, which might mean you are dead, whether courtesy of some scourge light missiles or the big red self-destruct button. Eve-Scout Rescue exists to help these people escape and save their ship and pod, either through the Eve-Scout Rescue Cache system or the Eve-Scout Rescue Search and Rescue programme.
Sometimes of course, pilots that are lost don’t want to wait to be rescued – understandably they want to play – rescue can take days. Around a fifth of pilots who contact us choose not to wait and take the explosive way back home. Of course some pilots waiting to be rescued aren’t given a choice, being generously sent to their medical clone bay by a passing battleship.
Our systems for rescuing pilots over the years have enabled us to gather some unique data sets which offer a unique insight into the behaviours of pilots in New Eden and Anoikis.
When we close a search and rescue record we also note the reason: hopefully “rescued”, sometimes “destroyed” or “self-destructed”. There is another group though – those who were “helped out by locals”. This group is, perhaps surprisingly, 50% larger than the group who were destroyed by locals. Since Signal Cartel began keeping records, roughly 300 pilots have escaped this way, generously given equipment, or docking & fitting rights, or a bookmark to the nearest wormhole to K-space, courtesy of helpful Eve Online players.
This seems at odds with the reputation of J-space: hostile, unforgiving and deadly. These small acts of kindness and selflessness may embody the values of Eve-Scout and Signal Cartel, but they clearly also embody the values of many of your fellow Eve-Online wormhole residents. They take place with reassuring frequency. For all of the hostility and aggression that Eve is famous for, acts of kindness, generosity and fraternity are all around us. Long may they continue.
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.
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)
Editor’s Note:Posted on Reddit as “When a 5 day old newbro makes a name for herself things are going as intended” by BraveLittleSignaleer, I just had to share it here as well. This story truly encapsulates the spirit of Signal Cartel and what we do. It’s an amazing and wonderful thing to see a five day old character who is a new Signaleer embracing our Credo, dropping what they’re doing and helping another capsuleer in need. I honestly don’t know who they are, as they wish to remain anonymous, but I’m a fan and they have my respect. Job well done!
A real life friend joined Eve Online on my recommendation. As soon as she could land she applied to Signal Cartel and was admitted within 24 hours. We started flying together and by day four she was a decently competent explorer. She decided she really wanted to go into wormholes and explore there. This is where she became friends with Allison.
Allison is pretty cool. She helps keep our explorers safe by reminding us to bookmark exits and giving us intel. Allison also happens to be able to tell us if the wormhole we’re in has any Search & Rescue requests pending or if an EVE-Scout Rescue Cache (ESRC) needs to be tended or deployed – “Hope that comes in a box”™.
Our rescuer did what no one her age had ever done in Signal Cartel (she’s fourteen in real life and at that time only five days into the game), which was to perform a successful NPNL rescue (the stranded pilot had No Probes and No Launcher).
Our Signaleer was exploring a C3, looking for Intact Armor Plates, when in local she sees there’s a capsuleer stranded in the hole. The pilot had been rolled in by a collapsed wormhole. She immediately replied with what surely will become an in game legend, “Initiating Operation Hugeroo. Standby.” She immediately fleeted up with the stranded capsuleer and warped him to the exit. Our stranded pilot was very thankful and straight from our Credo our rescuer replied, “Signal Cartel is a service corporation to all of New Eden. In this role, members are encouraged to treat all players with respect regardless of affiliation. In challenging situations, our goal is to look for a graceful resolution and set an example of dignity and friendship through our actions.”
Our rescuer is probably Eve’s youngest billionaire, all funded without losing a single ship, and all done in a free ship that Signal Cartel makes available to its newest and inexperienced Signaleers.
At 20:06 EVE time we received a 911 call from a pilot (we’ll call him Daniel) trapped in a C5. Right off the bat this call was unusual. The first thing I always do when a call comes in is to check our mapping for the wormhole in question to see if we have anything in Tripwire, or recorded by our co-pilot ALLISON. Normally we’re faced with the disappointment of no potential chains at all, in this case we have a HUGE web with a lot of fairly recent connections. Unfortunately all of them were like, C6 > C5 > Null, C4 > Null, C6 > Null, and a lot of those were critical either in mass or time remaining to collapse. This chain was mapped meticulously by Catbriar Chelien earlier in the day, so we had a lot of good intel to help us get there quickly.
I immediately pointed out that we had a chain to the 911 operators channel, and asked if anyone had a way to get to those Null Sec systems (I was deep in my own chain, and not in a particularly null-friendly ship or pod). 911 operator miruxa put out a call in alliance chat in-game for anyone who might be near the Null Sec systems, and Auds Lennelluc and Bang N’ Donk answered the call and raced there while I made contact with the pilot, Daniel.
At this point I learned his ship had been destroyed and he was in a pod with expensive implants, so I told him help was coming but it would take time to scan him out a useful exit, and he should bounce around and make some safes. Thankfully the hole quieted down. Auds and Bang were surprisingly close by and arrived at more or less the same time, one a jump ahead of the other, and started scanning (Bang holding the system the pilot was in, Auds moving out to check the adjacent holes). They soon confirmed that there were no exits to Known space except the three Null systems we knew about. There were so many critical holes, it was too risky to roam too much further looking for more.
My attempts to find an easy-ish, safe-ish route there having failed, I now realized I had to try to get there somehow anyway, as this would take extensive scanning and the chance of some rescuers getting cut off by collapsing holes. Thankfully one of the Null systems in the chain was “only” nine jumps from Thera. I eventually remembered that I kept a jump clone and rescue Astero in Thera, which allowed me to skip the step of having to find Thera from wherever I came out of my chain, and also put me in an empty clone for my mad dash through Null. To my great relief, many of the systems were empty. One was held by Goons, but they gave me no trouble. Another had a 2-person gate camp which was no match for my Astero’s sub-2-second align time, and the next had some bubbles which I was able to cloak and fly out of. Auds had come in from one of the other Null systems and been chased by a Sabre, so I considered my path relatively lucky.
When I got to the pilot’s system we continued scanning, but still found nothing anywhere close by. At this point we decided we’d have to call off the search until new connections formed, and we would ping the pilot in our Stranded Pilot’s Lounge on Discord once we had an exit.
….5 hours later….
Igaze, by this point, had wisely decided we needed more backup and snuck in through Null and installed an alt in the hole, and updated Tripwire with what little had changed. Still nothing useful in the hole itself. Now with 3 rescue pilots logged off in the hole, I felt comfortable going on a longer adventure past the critical holes. I ventured out of the C5 to one of the two neighboring C6’s… through a critical mass hole to another C5 which we had already scanned… in which I found a newly spawned sig — a wormhole! — a C4… which had a C3 and C5 static. At this point I’m confident that the C3 will eventually lead somewhere useful, so I began scanning for it, while alerting Igaze that we might have an usable chain soon. Before I found the C3 I found an unexpected C4, and for some reason go in it. Wouldn’t you know, it’s a shattered system and has a high sec static! After scanning waaaaay too many sigs, I finally found the High Sec static, and double back to make sure I’ve left corp bookmarks all the way down the chain in both directions, so all the rescue pilots can follow the path without needing to scan.
Igaze is already in game, so once I have the chain ready to go he switches to his alt in the system. I ping Bang and Auds, and Bang is available and also logs in (Auds is asleep, which is also why it’s useful to get extra pilots in the system: you never know in what time zone you might need to conduct the rescue). We get in place in the first two systems in the chain, and then ping the pilot. About a half hour later he responds, and logs in and joins our fleet.
At this point we begin the process of leapfrog that it takes to get a stranded pilot down a long chain. Bang will be the target for the pilot to warp to get out of the initial system and from that point will hang back and stay with the pilot as closely as possible, dropping ping bookmarks on each hole (using a technique shared by Igaze at Eve North). Igaze and I will move ahead and provide immediate warp-to points at each wormhole along the way so the pilot can go straight from hole to hole all the way out. We also serve as scouts to make sure the path remains clear ahead.
Daniel warps to Bang and exits the first system, then I’m up next at the far end of the C6. I encounter an unknown battleship when I land on that hole, who accidentally uncloaks me before disappearing, leading to Bang and Daniel having to bounce around a bit while I get back in position, and Igaze jumps into the hole to make sure the other side is clear. Igaze sees the battleship and a Tengu and suspects they’re about to roll the hole, and we all quickly agree to keep going and try to push through. Daniel warps to me and jumps, as Igaze moves on to the following exit. While Daniel is warping to Igaze I’m going two jumps ahead to be ready on the High Sec exit. As I leave the hole where Igaze is waiting and activates my warp to the High Sec one, our fleet chat blows up first with a concern that the pod landed 20km off the hole, then cries of “TENGU!” “BAIL!” It’s too late to stop my warp. Had I not been mid-warp I’d have gone back in and tried to create a distraction. But I’m helpless until I can arrive at my destination on the other side of the system and turn around and come back. By then I figure it’s too late — they’ve either escaped or not, and all I’m going to accomplish by jumping in is get myself polarized and unable to get back to the High Sec hole to complete the rescue should the pod make it through. So I perch on the other side of where they are and ask in chat if they’re OK. It sounds like the Tengu went off momentarily, so they make a run for it.
Unknown to me, Igaze had also jumped just as the Tengu was arriving, so it was up to Bang to distract the Tengu while the pod made a run for it. It’s best experienced in Bang’s own words:
During the event with the Tengu, I happened to have landed a few moments before the pod landed. The second I landed I would have usually burned a bit off the hole so I could cloak just as a general precaution. This time however I didn’t feel I needed to. The immediate threat of the Tengu was in the back of my mind at the time as I thought that since our guy was in a pod he would be more than capable of making it past no problem before the cruiser had any chance of locking him. It was no big deal, there weren’t any bubbles or instant locking ships on scan which would be the most probable threat to him. Besides we had more pressing issues such as the limited time we had to navigate out of the chain. So I thought, what could possibly go wrong if we just ignored the Tengu and continued on? And that’s when our pod landed 20km off the hole…
Panic immediately sets in as the pilot tries to slow boat the 20km to the hole in his pod. Before I could even get the slightest hint of any direction to him to warp off and warp back to me, our Tengu ‘buddy’ decides to plop down right next to our rescuee… The only word I was able to frankly type in the chat was “bail” before the Tengu began to lock and burn towards me. I have no idea how I was able to warp off before he was able to scram me as my reaction time was dulled due to an initial stage of shock whilst trying to communicate to our friend, but somehow either thanks to latency or my 1.5 second align time I was able pull out just as he got a yellow box.
I was hoping the pod would follow suit but for whatever reason, he didn’t warp. So I unintentionally leave him on grid with the Tengu while I bounced to a random planet. Adrenaline finally kicks in as I cloak up during warp, and quickly make a safe. I bounced back to one of the pings I made above the hole, to check and see if he’s still on grid. Much to my dismay he is still on grid and still very much making a run for splash range on the hole.
I began to weigh my options and seriously contemplated for the first time in my career how I would take on a T3 cruiser in my nano fit Astero. Which if you’ve already guessed, the options are essentially zero. My plan was however, to launch ECM drones at the Tengu and pray to Bob that one of them lands a jam while I attempted to bump him away. Fortunately for me though I didn’t have to execute this suicidal plan, as I noticed that the Tengu began to slowly creep towards me. That’s when I realized somewhere along the line I had decloaked. I am assuming it was the customs office but I am honestly unsure as I wasn’t paying very close attention, I obviously had a lot of other things on my mind at the time. So I was essentially sitting up at this ping completely decloaked 160km away, just sitting there doing nothing. The Tengu continued to slow boat towards me for a bit before turning around and firing its prop mod towards the capsule, scramming and webbing it in the process. He didn’t shoot the pod, he only held in place as if to taunt me directly.
The gauntlet was thrown and the stage was set, I mentally prepared myself momentarily before I heard the sound effect of the pod splashing into the wormhole. All of that build up to our seemingly inevitable climax suddenly disappeared in an instant, filling the void with the space equivalent of an awkward silence. The Tengu and I just kind of sat there, before he decided to shamefully warp off. I decided at that point it was best to just scoot on through the hole and into high sec and the rest is history.
Back on the other side of the hole, I (and Igaze, who I don’t know is there) wait for word on the outcome of the confrontation. Finally Daniel says “I made it!”, so I warp to the High Sec exit at zero. I no longer care about getting decloaked, I just need to provide him a perfect warp-in point as soon as I land. The pod arrives, and splashes into High Sec, followed closely by me and Igaze, and we begin our post-rescue celebration (unfortunately without fireworks – CCP Please add a high slot to the Astero just for festival launchers!). Bang thankfully arrives in one piece a little bit later. Our pilot thanks us for the rescue and we chat for a few minutes about wormhole life before going our separate ways, praising Bob that we all miraculously made it both into the system and out of it!
It had been a busy day and Bob provided me with the just the right distraction to take my mind off it. I was relaxing and reading a few things when at 0024:
Chaim Achasse and I were both available although I was conveniently placed in Zoohen, two jumps from Heorah, the beginning of the chain in. I headed out and seven minutes after Aldar Roanaok located the system I was there with Chaim hot on my heels. With three of us in we started checking routes. Chaim and Aldar both had some things to look after so I contacted the pilot and started scanning.
I opened a channel to the pilot and I confirmed they were in a dreadnought so we needed Very Large holes all the way out. C5 rescues rarely give a known space exit without having to work for it and that doubles when it’s a capital ship. While I scanned I chatted with the pilot and he asked if we could bring some supplies in since he had a mobile depot. I contacted Angel Lafisques and they went to work figuring out how to get 1000m3+ of gear through a frigate hole as we needed a capital sized MicroWarpdrive. That would give us the option to roll holes if we couldn’t find a reasonable route easily.
While Angel worked his way out of the wormhole he was in and headed for Jita I continued to scan. By 0249 I decided Bob was messing with us. I had scanned down a large tree of connections and the only exits we had for a capital were five jumps out, eol, AND mass critical. On top of that they both apparently had Goons on the other side. They likely had moved a fleet through or were moving supplies for their war.
In the meantime Angel had bought the supplies in a Sunesis that she fitted for cargo. While she was on the way to our high sec entrance it collapsed so I had to find another entrance for her. Fortunately got another high sec and by 0342 or so Angel was transferring an MWD, cloak, probes, probe launcher, and fireworks to our pilot. She then headed out again to swap the Sunesis for a Pacifier. It as getting late at this point and we had no routes so decided to call it until the next day.
The next day our pilot wasn’t available however we kept scanning and maintaining known space routes for our pilots. Aldar had been rolled out the night before so I went about finding a route for him. Diving down a long chain I reached known space, and headed back. I immediately noted the route had been destabilized and started moving fast. One system away I miss-clicked and ended up going back one system. Waiting for the polarization timer to expire I watched two luxury yachts collapse the hole. Now I was rolled out.
That night Angel got to work and found us another route in. I brought both my main and my friend, Thera Gaze, back just to be sure. It’s very nerve wracking on a big SAR to be down to two pilots in system. As Angel also brought a friend we were up to five, plus we left a note for Aldar about the current route. Our pilot was not available so we called it a night.
Friday dawned and Chaim had time to dive into scanning and at 1639 EVE he found a VL route of three jumps and out to null sec. Our pilot wanted to bring a cyno friend to the target system so we provided the info and waited for the friend to make it over. That worked out well as it meant everything came together right when I had time.
We formed a fleet and Chaim headed for the first system in the route to make sure it was clear. Things were clear in the start system so our pilot logged in and warped to me. A few minutes later he was on the hole, Naglfar’s are sloooooow. We splashed through and I warped on to the next wormhole while Chaim checked the next system.
Some long warps and we had him into null sec. As he had found he didn’t have any fuel to jump I quickly made an unaligned safe for him and he warped to me and parked. I wished him well and headed back for the safety of Anoikis.
The rescue from J1REDACTED was anything but routine. The call came in on 26 November, and was picked up by 911 Operator Shaya Cholmondeley. A Naglfar was adrift in an active C6, and hostiles had already killed his scanning frigate. Shaya tried to guide the Nag pilot to the rescue cache in the system, but the hapless pilot was forced to log out before he was able to locate the cache. Shaya opened a SAR request, kicking it to the Search and Rescue Coordinator Team.
A day later, a different system with a lost capital (J2REDACTED) was located. Emre D Lafisques (no relation to yours truly) and Igaze were scanning the surrounding systems when Emre found himself in J1REDACTED – our Naglfar was located! As an aside, when we thought we located his system, our excited Nag pilot logged in, and was rapidly scanned down. He cloaked up, but came within 2.4 km of a Tungu that was hunting him, but was eventually able to log out safely.
So, with two capital rescues in action, Captain Crinkle and I jumped online to race to the newly located system. By the time we got to the connecting system, the original connection was rolled, and when Emre went to scout the new connection he was rolled out. We reopened the request, and stood down, adrenaline still racing.
A few days later on 2 December, Pod Person entered J1REDACTED and our lost Nag was found again! We asked him to hold tight while we got backup to the system. In real life, I was finishing up orchestra practice for an upcoming Christmas program, and sped home when it was over. Chaim Achasse and Captain Crinkle were already in the chain, and I got online about 45 minutes after the call came in. We all made it there to find a mass-critical, bubbled hole, but we slipped through, hopefully unnoticed by the locals. Captain Crinkle roused DaydreamBeliever from a relaxing evening, and she slipped in as well.
Then, the waiting game began. The locals exhibited excellent hole control, and as soon as wormholes popped, they pushed new ones to mass critical with a rolling Phoenix, then frequently bubbled the hole and their structures.
We caught a good break when a roaming frigate-sized hole to a C2 opened up, and Chaim and I brought in alts. By this time, we had decided that we were just going to have to deal with a mass-critical hole, so our plan was to send scouts through, then send the capital through the hole, which would collapse it behind us. We needed enough pilots in the system that we could send a good-sized scouting party through without worrying about leaving our Nag behind with no scout if something went wrong.
The locals seemed to be from a German corp, but still seemed to have players online most hours of the day. We saw them spool up fleets of 10+ Nestors with Damnation support one day, and their Phoenix was always out rolling holes. A roaming connection to a C2 opened up which looked promising, but it was rolled shut before we were able to use it.
Finally, I logged in on 5 December at about 0400 Eve to an empty system. The new C5 static had just spawned, and Chaim was already online, scouting the C5. It seemed like a good option: it had a very large static connection to nullsec, which happened to be to a quiet system that day. I checked and rechecked the numerous Astrahuses and the Fortizer, and they remained empty. We made the call – it was time to move. We had a list of about 6 alts, so I started opening up private convos, and found one of our client’s alts online. We explained the situation, rechecked the structures and dscanned the entire system, and the Nag pilot logged in. After that it was a breeze. We rechecked each wormhole and warped through, and slipped out without incident. When we hit kspace I locked him up quickly for a firework, but he was anxious to move so we didn’t stick around.
The story didn’t quite end there. I logged into my second pilot back in J1REDACTED, and headed out of the system. Right as I entered the C5, the rolling Phoenix followed me, and I watched him roll the hole from dscan distance. Finally, the wormhole blinked out, and the Phoenix was stuck in the C5 with me. I think moving our capital through the wormhole must have messed up the math for his rolling calculations, and the Phoenix rolled himself out. Oops.
I didn’t stick around – I wanted our other pilots still in J1REDACTED to be able to find a safe exit, so I stayed quiet and headed to Thera.
Check one more and then to bed! I was in J113950 and was doing a last quick check for SAR systems in the wormholes I had scanned down. There was one left, a C5, and the moment I went through I saw the mark in my display saying I’d landed in a SAR system, J153449 to be exact, and the pilot reported it was a capital ship. The hour was late and if I’d had any easy routes to k-space I might have emailed the pilot saying we’d found their system and I’d be back in the morning but I had no routes to k-space other than some unexplored null holes a few jumps away. I put the word out and started scanning to see what I could find to bring in backup.
I found a route through to a C2 and figured that was a good bet as all my other paths went through c4-6’s and had few k-space possibilities and then mostly null sec. A C2 had a much better bet of a high or low sec connection. However J122638, while a c2, had only a NS static and C5 static (and I had come through that). I had seen a couple Astero’s headed through the way I came but they were no particular threat so I scanned on. I found my way to J131852 which had a nice HS static to Bawilan. Score!
The word went out and Chaim Achasse was 12 jumps out and burned hard to get there while I retraced my path back to the SAR. Much to my surprise when I arrived at the hole in J122638 I found Devoter sitting on top of it. I quickly checked the info and sure enough it was mass critical. Still cloaked I warped to the hole and pounded the jump button, slipping past the roller and back. I warped to a safe then back to the hole to check on it and it was gone. I was alone in the system again with no routes for backup. I was also exhausted so I decided to call it a night. I had been in convo with the pilot so they knew I was there and we were working a route but that it might be a day or two so I headed for bed. He also added he had not one, but two capitals to extract.
Six hour of restless sleep dreaming of wormholes and scanning and I was back up hunting a route. My entrance was still stable so I backtracked through there and started scanning, ultimately finding a route through Etherium Reach. I headed back as I need to log off and get to work but while I was off Captain Crinkle made it in followed by Chaim and Scarsan Stripes. Backup was here and I could relax a bit.
Throughout the next day we scanned down routes to take. With two capitals this could be interesting. We found some routes but our pilot wasn’t available and some of the systems were pretty active. Plus all the routes were at least two to three jumps to get to k-space. On the upside our locals appeared to be quiet.
Our likely exit was the system’s only static, a C6. That night it got rolled and opened up into a Hard Knocks farm system. More fun! I managed to get in touch with our pilot and determined the times he could be available. It was either going to be very late or very early for most of our crew although Captain Crinkle was well positioned time zone wise.
The next night Chaim, Scars, and I sat outside the static C6 waiting for it to collapse… which it decided to do over an hour late, so while we waited we watched @Johnny-Splunk ‘s stream as he bid farewell to the Raptor. Once it went it down we quickly scanned routes and found a few exits only a couple jumps out. Things were looking good. No response from our guy and I was running out of steam. Two long nights and some illness had taken their toll. I crashed and left things to the rest of the crew.
The rest of the rescue I got from Chaim afterwords, who apparently couldn’t sleep so was up:
The lost pilot made contact with the rescue team slightly before downtime. Chaim messaged to advise that he and Captain Crinkle be in contact after down time to effect the rescue. Once the server came back up, Chaim logged in, followed shortly after by Captain Crinkle and formed a fleet. After scanning the route, the lost pilot was contacted, and told that we were ready.
Once the pilot logged in, Chaim invited both of his pilots to the fleet and warped to them to drop off the exit route bookmarks incase of any issues with hole stability. With two capitals (a Naglfar and an Apostle) we were crossing our fingers we wouldn’t collapse any holes on the way. Captain Crinkle proceeded to scout the next system, and on the “all clear” Chaim fleet-warped himself and the lost pilots to the system exit.
Chaim held position while the pilot jumped through to ensure hole stability for the two capital ships. Once the pilots were through Chaim followed after and Captain Crinkle moved to scout the next system. Again on Captain Crinkle’s “all clear” Chaim fleet-warped the pilots to the next exit and held position while the capital ships went through, following after. This process was followed for one more system, where the pilot was told to warp to Captain Crinkle upon splashing through as he was sitting on the Low Sec exit hole.
Captain Crinkle scouted the Low Sec system and it was anything but quiet! A titan had been lost there just a week before, which was making Crinkle very nervous about the whole endeavour. But we told our pilot this beforehand, and they agreed to take the risk. As Chaim described, the route until lowsec was as quiet as could be hoped. That all changed when we warped in, with 15 in Local and a dreadnought on dscan. Luckily Crinkle was able to pinpoint it’s position using narrow cone scanning before the rescuee ships arrived, and found a potential NPC station with a clear undock.
Well done to all involved! Captain Crinkle , Scarsan Stripes , Chaim Achasse , and, while he didn’t see any action, Angel Lafisques was there as further backup. We have rescued a few capitals over the last year and half but I believe the is the first double cap!