Siberian sun

Seven axioms of Jarvis Shards coordinator
No battle plan survives contact with the enemy
There are no safe places
There are no safe hours
There is no such thing as unneeded contacts or keys
There are no country or state borders
There are no trusted agents
There are no 'sure thing' situations

Preface

Imagine vast country spreading for over 13000 kms from East to West. Moscow and St. Petersburg, millions population cities are sparkling with thousands of green portals and almost the same amount of blue. Salekhard, cold and rich city laying on Polar Circle, where some 3-4 agents clash with each other. Ural mountains and Ekaterinburg in the middle – this divides Europe and Asia, and one of the most furious Resistance teams leaded by world-famous agent @Toxyd is stationed here. Novosibirsk, the capital of Siberia, lying on the great river of Ob’, where Enlightened fighting hard with Resistance. Lake Baikal, world’s largest source of fresh water, unique natural wonder, and two cities in the North and in South: Severobaikalsk and Irkutsk – just 500 kms apart, but not connected with any kind of decent road. Olkhon, small island in Baikal lake. Yakutsk, residing on Lena river, diamond mines around, lowest annual temperature as low as minus 59 centigrade. And, finally, Magadan, built on permafrost, the gateway to the gold-mining region on Kolyma river.

Now imagine all those cities are 1200+ kms away from each other, different timezones, barely connected with irregularly working roads, even trains getting stuck in snow from time to time and hours of driving through blizzard and night. This is Transsiberian Shardway. This is where five Jarvis shards were quenched and hardened to survive the longest 6350 kms jump in the history of Ingress.

Aim for the stars

A day before shards appearance Enlightened Moscow HQ have had a meeting to discuss possible strategies for shard (only one at the time) delivery to San Francisco. Armed with powerful multi-core notebooks, thousands-dollars GIS software and digital Earth models we were estimating all the possible routes available. Not much, honestly.

One way was to throw the shard to Europe and forget about it – not our problem anymore. Not very enlightening, not very responsible, but absolutely possible. This was not even considered as a viable option.

Second way was to get in contact with Sweden and Norway to transport the shard to Iceland and then to the East Coast in USA. Where it should have carved through the country, results unpredictable. We wanted something more reliable.

Third way was to go transpolar. Get the shard to the northern city and then throw it high above North Pole towards Canada or Alaska. Daring and amazing, this plan could only rely on yet unknown availability of Very Rare Link Amps (VRLAs) and non-existent keys from Canada or Alaska with unknown time when (and if) can we get them.

And there was fourth way: all the way through Siberia. Vast space, cities hard to reach and West Coast in range for the final hop – most of the cities. And we have had keys! Santa Monica, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Pacific Coast Highway, Hollywood – whatever we choose. Yes, these keys required our American friends to clean the way, but they were readily available… in Moscow. We needed to transport them to Magadan or transport Magadan keys to San Francisco. And, yes, Magadan keys also were… in Moscow, stored in our centralized repository. We’ve chosen to use both chances – transporting both packages to have a backup.

For Magadan we recruited stewardess, telling her how cool Ingress is and she was eager to play and help. We’ve loaded her account with keys from Yakutsk and San Francisco, and Magadan confirmed arrival a day later.

San Francisco part was harder. Luckily,@Sn0wgirl, a sister of agent @FanCarver, our go to contact in Novosibirsk lives in San Francisco and she was going to visit her homeland for Thanksgiving day. We have only had to get the Magadan keys from Moscow to Novosibirsk. This was done by +Dmitriy T  agent @inye, renowned Enlightened field architect during his all-Russia journey which took place on the first days of the shards chase. We were not set yet, but we were sure we’ll get the keys in place when we need it.

The problem remained though, how to pass Ural Mountains. Basically, there were two ways: going towards polar circle to evade densely populated cities or going south facing possibly lengthy fights in almost every city in this industrial region. Our obvious choice was to go north.

As a result of operations “Escape from Moscow” and “Proton” we’ve managed to send shard #5 to Salekhard some 30 hours after it appeared in Moscow at Bolshoi Theatre. We thought it will be safe there for at least a day or two until Novosibirsk team will be ready to build L8 portal packed with Link Amps to pull it to Siberia. We were wrong – there are no safe places and no safe hours.

Ural theft

Next morning after shard arrival to Salekhard L4 Resistance agent surfaced there and easily destroyed unprotected storage portal then moving the shard to the airport. Our intelligence suggested some high profile resistance agents will be coming there shortly to steal the shard to the place where they could control it. We decided to counteract dispatching our agent from Moscow. They were flying the same plane unrecognized by each other.

On arrival to Salekhard Resistance agent @vizor101 acted decisively supported by local lower level agents. As spoofers from both sides were trying to steal the shard, he have just flipped it and waited for the next time window. Our agent @smilenka was directed not to show up until next time window opens, covertly monitoring the portal. And then she have just disappeared, not answering to our calls.

It was much later when she appeared again. Her SIM card ceased functioning this very hour, leaving her without any kind of communication and it took several hours to get new one. There are no sure situations – she could interfere, but unpredicted technical problems ruined our only plan to get control. Meanwhile Resistance agents waited for the next time window, flipped the portal again and sent the shard to south, distant city of Severouralsk. So they’ve got control, his mission in Salekhard was accomplished.

This evening was nervous for Moscow HQ. We were estimating different options, trying to rise our agents in Ekaterinburg, looking for reserves elsewhere. Of all cities in Russia only Moscow really tasted what shards race is. Most cities simply could not understand, why this can’t wait until the next weekend. Our mobilization went slowly, Siberian teams readied but have nothing to do – we could only wait.

But Resistance did not waited. Now, as they’ve got initiative, they gathered Ural agents coordinated and lead by @Toxyd and pushed the shard all the way south this night. Planning was changing every hour, we could not estimate where should we alert people yet, and it was late night. But finally we were lucky to intercept the shard at Tolyatti in the morning. After several hours of fights it was sent to Saratov. Volga battle was about to begin.

Battle at Volga

Volga is often called mother of all Russian rivers. More importantly, it often served as a place for most decisive fights and victories in Russian history. And the most intensive fight for the shard #5 was held there too.

We now knew the plans of the Resistance – they were pushing the shard south. We were trying to get it to the east, but this did not showed up yet. In Saratov we have had keys and agents – we thought this will be a sure thing.

The day went as planned. The shard was transferred and stored near the home of our agent. For the night it was blanketed with a green field, and we thought nothing can happen. Once again, we were wrong. While the portals holding this guarding field were as far as 180 kms away, one of them inaccessible in the night, Resistance was determined enough to travel these distances dropping the field by 0400 in the morning. Our agents were asleep, assuming the shard is safe – and Resistance were acting in the field. This morning we lost it again and it appeared in Volgograd, where we knew nobody.

Morning started with estimations, how long will it stay here. Volgograd (it was Stalingrad during WW2) is neither green nor blue, and there are not many agents for both sides. This was going to become a stalemate, so we needed to do something with it. Situation was still very fragile. We could send our paratroops but they might have come too late. We decided to take our chances.
This was a very strange call. I dialed @Slnet, one of our #team9   diehard agents in Moscow and asked him: “Hey, can you fly to Volgograd today?”
“When?” – he asked.
“We’re booking your tickets right now, your plane departs in 4 hours.”
“No problem, packing.”

Later I described situation to him: he could be late, he could be useless, he could face overwhelming opposition, no guarantees. “No problem”, he replied.

So our reinforcement was boarding the plane, and we were searching for the agents on the ground who could hold the shard. Suddenly a post appeared in one of the almost dead, definitely leaked community from the agent @Shi we never heard of before. He was asking, what to do with the shard in Volgograd. We were talking on Hangouts the next minute. “Can I trust you?” – I asked. “And why should I trust you?” – he asked. And we decided to trust each other.

While agent @Shi did not directly participated in the following fights, he helped tremendously coordinating local agents of all levels while high level reinforcements were on the way. This looked like ballet: one or two agents were lacing links around the blue portal with the shard while not trying to attack it directly. Every time window we were able to block the predicted link to the south. Then agent @Kidovsky arrived to the shard portal and hot phase began. We saw the link to Tuapse twice – he was destroying it. Third time it seemed Resistance succeeded – but no, the shard stayed. Green blockers started to appear in the southern part of the city, and @Slnet reported he has landed. We held this part of the fight. Now it was time to take initiative.

We advised @Slnet to stay covert near the portal. Meanwhile, lower level agents were cleaning the northern way trying not to attract too much attention. Saratov agents alerted – they’ve got keys from this portal. It was 2 vs 4 situation in attempt to link opposite direction in the same time window. Timing was our only chance – and nobody yet knew,@Kidovsky is not alone anymore. Linking was blue – green – no green – green again. Few seconds to hold it now. And… success – the shard is thrown back to Saratov. Later 1200 kms blockers spreaded from Volgograd to east and west. Southern way was closed for now.

Day of Defeat

I hate remembering the next day of shards race. It was the war of attrition. The war with spoofers. They appeared in the night near the shard sending it to inaccessible city pretending they are living there. They were passing shards to each other and our agents could do nothing. There was some kind of spoofers summit – I reported 6 of them this day – both green and blue. We contacted Resistance HQ trying to resolve this situation. By the end of the day people were exhausted. By the end of the day we decided to ignore spoofers altogether and to resume the fight.

Once again, it was not successful to us. I am completely sure, Resistance HQ was not coordinating these spoofers, but they seemed to have their own plan. And their plan played against us. Super-long blockers were removed this night and Resistance was able to get initiative again and transport it to Crimea by the next morning. Then it moved to Sochi – and we could only watch it moving in despair. No agents were deployed there – we could do nothing. We knew the next move will be to Turkey or Israel and we tried to alert Crimea and Turkey to establish blockers. But they were too late. Next night shard #5 was transported to Israel by Russian Resistance.

+Maria Ilyushina  agent @milyushina, who readied her Far East team in Irkutsk and stayed on alert all these days asked me next day: “Will we just give up?..”

Russians never give up. Siberian sun was yet to rise.

---
…to be continued…
(part 2 available here: http://goo.gl/c7Z7qH)
(part 3 available here: http://goo.gl/aD4Z9J)

some videos available here:

http://youtu.be/qxbOD5rVRl8
http://youtu.be/fsVjB40Zoq8
 
#ingress #ingressreport #ingressenlightenedmoscow #ingressenlightenedrussia #sitrepingress #sitrep

+Anne Beuttenmüller +Joe Philley +Brandon Badger +John Hanke 
PhotoPhotoPhotoPhotoPhoto
2013-12-17
5 Photos - View album
Shared publiclyView activity