TMII, Jakarta – Saturday, 20 June 2015
“DEPLOOOOOY!!!!” agent @Galesh shouted suddenly, breaking the relatively quiet afternoon. Dang! We were attacked, but I could not deploy any resonators, I was not getting any internet signal, and I just saw some opposing Resistance agents jumped over the fence to get to our portal!
It was the fourth and final Measurement Time in this XM Anomaly Persepolis Jakarta, and my Semarang Team was assigned to this volatile portal. Volatile portals worth six other portals in points, a juicy target for both Enlightened and Resistance factions. That meant our team must defend this one at all cost from overwhelming Resistance, and from what I heard, unlike previous Measurement Time where we had backup from Yogyakarta and Malaysian team, this time we had no backup! We’re on our own! This was a battle to the end.
For the uninitiated, I was playing Ingress, an augmented reality game from Niantic Labs, a subsidiary (CMIIW) from Google. Unlike any other game, this one will push you out of your comfortable couch and walk for miles. As a GPS-based game, Ingress inherently forced you to visit certain places in your city and cooperate with other players in your faction to achieve some goals.
The game background, where an unseen global struggle is happening right under our noses, made me curious, and I downloaded it. I went to the training and it told me to walk out
of my home. No other game ever told me that. After a few weeks, I was hooked. Before installing Ingress on my smartphone, I used to zip through the city on my bike, earphone on, oblivious to my surrounding except when traffic came to a crawl, upon which I started to curse everything in sight.
With Ingress in hand, I began visiting some interesting places, places that I passed almost every day but never noticed, some I did not even know existed, some other I had been too reluctant to enter. I also started walking for hours around my neighborhood again, something I always wanted but had been too lethargic to do. And I started meeting more people, not just other players, but also locals I otherwise would never encounter. Probably the security guards and parking attendants I’ve met and talked to had regarded me as “the strange but harmless guy in spectacles that loiters around at odd hours”.
On several occasions, while playing Ingress I had helped lost travelers with Google Map, even helped a stranded traveler that got his wallet pick-pocketed and lost all his money, on his way to another city, with a toddler in tow.
Back in Jakarta, strangely, it was only a handful of Resistance agents that came to our portal, probably because the chose to gather at a nearby Strategic portal, worth more linking than normal portals. But linking is hard when your portal is constantly bombarded with XMPs and Ultra Strikes. And those Blue Resistance that jumped over the fence to get to our portal couldn’t do much either, because the surrounding area was like an internet void. They apparently ran into the same problem as we were. Their strategic mistake had allowed us to hold the volatile portal until the end of Measurement Time with relative ease.
Flopped on the grass at back at the meeting point to relieve my sore feet, I started to hear rumours that we the Enlightened won this event. Quite a feat because we were outnumbered for maybe 2 against 3 (perhaps even more). At the first Measurement Time, my team of just 8 was crushed by about 20-25 Resistance, before Yogyakarta team came and helped us.
The rumour came out true. Jakarta Persepolis was owned by Enlightened 410-239 and it was green on all four Measurement Time. Other Anomaly sites all over the world that day also reported the same Enlightened victory.
However, total points from previous Persepolis events still had Resistance in the lead. Dang!
In a single day I had walked for 20+ km in blistering Jakarta sun (to which I must say I had it easy. It was the third day of holy Ramadhan month, where Moslems fast from sunrise to sundown. I had a bottle of water with me, they didn’t even drink a single drop), met fellow Ingress agents from all over the world, wore red shirt for the first time in at least 15 years, and had a lot of fun.
The world around you is not what it seems. Be Enlightened!www.ingress.com