Sitrep: Semicolon York: xFac Field Art-12 Sept 2015
Kajun (field design & Intel)
A bit of background:
We think York has one of the friendliest Ingress cross-faction communities around. The city area we were fielding contains about 400 portals. York is also a popular tourist destination and on any given day there are many active visitors also vying for these portals along with the resident agents. This density of portals, the number of links as well as the unknown number of visiting agents poses a challenge when it comes to fielding within the city centre.
When one of the York Resistance mentioned that it would be nice to do something for World Suicide Prevention Day (Thursday September 10th) we discovered Project Semicolon:
"A semicolon represents a sentence the author could have ended, but ...chose not to. The sentence is your life and the author is you."
A semi-colon themed field art op seemed apt, and designs were put together by Kajun and Flygirl1. Kajun’s design was chosen as we thought it was simpler to realise… only 70 odd links to clear, how hard could it be?!
With the design agreed VikingScout started work on link plans, key requirements, etc. Some sanity checking and adjusting later (it was late after all) and we had a plan! Target for completion was 10:00 on Saturday September 12th.
UncleMonkles piped up that we should probably look to raise some money for a charity on the front line of dealing with suicide prevention - the Samaritans seemed perfect, and this site was born: https://www.justgiving.com/YorkIngressSP
(still taking donations - please give generously!)
RES agents MiniSumo and VikingScout set out clearing the [Mostly ENL] blockers, aiming to use surgical strikes to take down only the portals needed to facilitate the art. At the same time ENL agent Splashmonkey was out farming keys, with a few portal smashes in for good measure too.
At the end of Friday the blocking links were down from ~70 to a more manageable 26. Despite pleas on COMM for both sides not to create links in the area; some new links had appeared as well. But, feelings were good - especially after agent Anansigirl took a late night wander to take down 2 RES portals which were still blocking. However, ENL were still missing an agent and the RES part of the team had completely overlooked the need to collect any keys for the blue fields as they had been so busy clearing, then we checked the weather forecast: not looking good!
The agents rose early, but the weather had taken a turn for the wet, very wet. 07:30 came and went - still no check-in from the missing ENL agent so we went to plan B. A couple of new ENL blockers had gone in overnight, but thankfully agent UncleMonkles attended to them with gratuitous use of ADA on her way to work. RES agents only had a handful of the keys needed, but all was still good…. Still raining!
Agents set-off and began clearing the final blockers and links started to be thrown when disaster struck - agent Sarunara's phone wouldn't power up, and the call for help went out in the Op hangout. A few suggestions were made, but unfortunately she had to bow out at this stage. Time to re-assess…. Splashmonkey (on bike) could cover most of town much quicker than anyone else to throw the remaining ENL links, so after more key calculations a new plan was organised. Still raining; quite heavily now. Some of the links were not sent according to plan, so more keys were needed - the target of 10:00 was under threat (at which time York gets busier and completing the field art was going to become much, much harder). Another shout out on the hangouts and UncleMonkles came to the rescue - she had keys to spare, and was in the city centre.
Keys grabbed, rain started coming down even heavier and comms were starting to get interesting (writing on a touchscreen device with rain falling onto it mixed with random autocorrect suggestions made for some “interesting” messages) But the intel team managed to decipher it all and keep everything on track. The time was now approximately 09:20 (link plan out of the window, working from memory). VikingScout had completed the comma, Willus had more or less completed the links for the southern corner of the frame, PCI had cleared almost all the remaining blocking links, but the rest was still missing. What’s that, the rain’s easing? Erm… no
Finally, the green framing fields are completed. The target time had come and gone (it’s about 10:30 by now) but we didn’t care. One last link and it’s all done… a blocking link appears… VikingScout is out of bursters! PCI to the rescue… blocking link despatched and final link thrown and the image was completed.
Soaked to the skin, we checked that someone had the screen grab and headed home to dry out and put our phones in boxes of rice. All in all a good morning's work, not the most elegantly executed plan, but a proud set of agents on both sides.
Thanks to all York based and visiting players for their patience during the op and for not contesting the take down of some pretty well modded and coveted portals.
Dedicated to the memory of a fellow agent.
If you would like to make a donation to Samaritans please feel free to head to the JustGiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/YorkIngressSP
- Samaritans are a non-religious organisation who are staffed by volunteers who provide a person to call and talk to about anything that might be getting to you. It doesn’t matter who you are, how you feel, or what has happened. If you feel that things are getting to you, get in touch.