2nd Best Seat in the House

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.

Posted EvE-Scout Forums December 28, 2019

2nd Best Seat in the House by Samuel Triptee

Samuel Triptee

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.

Thanks for another amazing part of the game!

Pollyanna

Void Raven

“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.

EvE-Scout Rescue 2019: Year in Review

Overview

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!

Team

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!

You can see our entire rescue team on the EvE-Scout Rescue site.

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!

Shareable Bookmarks

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.

2019 STATS!

Rescue Caches

  • Actions this period: 49672
  • Sowed: 10865
  • Tended: 38541

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
  • 626 days
  • 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)

Total Caches in Anoikis Right Now (Jan 4th 2020)

  • 2298 of 2603 (88.3%)

Looking forward to another great year!

Signal Cartel Blog Annual Review 2019

Since introducing Signal Cartel’s Blog site on June 19, 2017 we’ve had a total of 68 post. For 2019, we saw a increase in post from 25 in 2017, and 6 in 2018, to 37 for this year! We introduced a new series called “Signaleers” which seems to have gone over well. I thought for this last post of the year, I would review and index our post by category and by authors.

It’s been a great year and I’m looking forward to seeing what content we can do in 2020. I would love to see us break 37 post in the new year. Thanks everyone for reading! Please take time and comment on those post you like and we’d welcome any suggestions for content you’d like to see. What was your favorite post from 2019?

Post by Category 2017 – 2019

Announcements

[1420.] Life

Art

EvE-Scout Rescue (ESR)

Guides

In Character – Roleplay

Poems

Signal Cartel Fiction Competition

Signaleers

State of the Signal

Post by Author 2017 – 2019

A Dead Parrot

Alan Mathison

Ancestral Respawn

Angel Lafisques

Auds Lennelluc

Bako Cherry

Bob N’Weave

Cassandra Habalu

Charles Aucie

Dagmar Maulerant

Dravik Zinmar

Este DeStirr

Felippe en Distel

Gaston Charante

Igaze

Joshua Ballard

Kamiti Arcamer

Katherine Skysong

Katia Sae

Lucas Ballard

Meroveus Deveran

Mynxee

Null Flare

Saladiin

Shiro Karagi

Sky Diamond

Sloopy Noopers

Soup Atross

Sydney Selket

System Baud

Tephra Solette

Thanaella

Theana Gaterau

Thrice Hapus

Tolgaard Asanari

Tom Servonaut

Void Raven

Signaleer Katherine Skysong

Editor’s Note: Continuing our Signaleer Series and this is another one done in character which as a roleplayer I really enjoy. Well, I enjoy all of them!

Katherine Skysong

Katherine Skysong

Orbiting above Zoohen III, I look out the view wall of one of the bars on Theology Counsel Tribunal station, wondering at the sight. It’s still all so very new. If someone were to look at me, I mean really look, they would see the boot just graduated from the Naval Academy and still not used to wearing a clone body. I self-consciously smooth out my jacket as I wait for Katia Sae. Why I volunteered for this interview I still don’t know. I guess it had more to do with meeting an explorer’s explorer than anything I might have to say about myself.

I see Katia enter from across the bar. At first I could hardly recognize her, dressed much more casual than she appears on the holovids and with her hair free from the ponytail she’s normally seen wearing. It wasn’t until she smiled and waved on seeing me that gave her away. After ordering some drinks and some polite conversation, Katia began the interview. “Why did you become a capsuleer?”

Why did I become a capsuleer? Simple answer: That was the only way to get into a position where I could explore. I don’t think I want to go too deep into all the reasons so let it suffice that I grew up in a family with two brothers and two sisters. Very early on the passions of my parents had been sown in my twin sisters and I. Oh, that’s right, you probably haven’t met my sisters. Autumn is my older sister by a few minutes and Kristine is my younger sister by a few minutes. All three of us became capsuleers about the same time. Fortunately for Signal Cartel, the corp only has to put up with me.

Katia smiled at my last remark then asked, “Tell me about your background as a pilot? Did you jump right into exploration?”

If you hand me a square of paper about two by two centimeters then I can give you my entire portfolio! Once I became a capsuleer and went through the intensive clone training, I went right into academy training and graduated. I worked with the Federal Naval Academy for seven days then found my first corporation. I lasted just four days with BSC before finding, and being accepted by, Signal Cartel. I’m proud to say that I’ve been with Signal Cartel for 181 days now and have no desire to go anywhere else. The opportunities here are boundless. The learning curve to survive deep space is immense and the crew here are ever helpful. I’ve been slowly making friends and gaining responsibilities beyond my wildest dreams.

“Do you have a goal, have you achieved it?”

Space has always been my goal. Having the freedom to explore space and its many wonders. My long term goal is to eventually find our birth place. It’s something my sisters and I share very deeply. I mean, who doesn’t want to know where they came from?! And no, we didn’t expect to find it in our first few months in space. We’re already of the mindset that this will be a lifelong endeavor.

As I’m forever reminded of by my sisters, I’m ankle deep, having dived in head first with Signal Cartel. I’m somewhat active with Search and Rescue as well as Rescue Cache Tending along with helping to get our internal Signal Cartel Academy up and running, and have joined the staff of our internal Fleet School. Some would accuse me of being spread too thin – I’m looking at you my older sis – but I say you rise up to the challenges set before you. But always first and foremost is my goal, our goal, of finally completing the family quest and that might be another story someday.

“I’ve got an older brother, I know just how you feel.” Katia chuckled. “You mentioned only being in your first corp for four days? That’s a little surprising, if I’m being honest. So tell me, what made you… jump ship, no pun intended, to Signal Cartel?”

Exploration and their Credo! Unequivocally. To quote from part of our Credo: “We embrace the attitude of a true explorer: we are friendly to others in our travels, neutral and never initiating aggression, and endeavoring at all times be perceived by the New Eden community as a non-threat. Although we never intentionally seek to harm, we may defend our friends and our ships. In suffering losses, we respond with good cheer and shed no tears. In this way, we aim to be recognized and respected by all across the cluster and left in peace to do our work.”

Having been on a few SARs to rescue lost pilots in J-Space I find the task supremely satisfying to the soul. Having stepped in to help mentor brand new capsuleers who join our ranks, I feel a sense of serving. Again, very satisfying. Stepping up to lead fleets leaves me feeling like I’m inspiring others to also step up. I have long embraced the philosophy of “All it takes for evil to conquer is enough good people to do nothing.”

“I couldn’t agree with you more, I immediately jumped ship when I read the Credo for the first time.” Katia winked at me then went on to explain her own experience, “It just resonated with my soul and it was how I always tried to fly throughout the cluster, but I had never put it into words. Seeing it in writing was liberating and I knew I had to join right away. So, speaking of flying and jumping ships, what ship do you enjoy flying the most while exploring?”

I love the Sisters of Eve ships! I can’t say that enough. I was flying a Stratios, ‘Sky Dreamer’, until it got shot out from under me. So, back to one of my Asteros, ‘Sky Seeker’, for more flying. I almost forgot how personal the Astero is, and how agile. Don’t get me wrong. I started in an Imicus and loved that little beauty. But nothing compares to the clean lines of a SoE ship.

I still fly several other ships. It takes quite a while to get to a point where you can sit in any particular ship larger than a Cruiser. In my collection I have a Badger, Omen, Harbinger, several Catalysts, a Heron, an Imicus, and a few others. I’m budgeting towards another Stratios and soon, a nice T3 Strategic Destroyer.

“Tengu best goo, I always say, but I do love my Astero. So, during your travels, what has been the most interesting fact, amazing sight, or other aspect of New Eden that has surprised you?”

Wormholes and J-Space. The corp I joined right out of the Academy cautioned strongly about going into wormholes. Until I joined Signal Cartel I had never been in one. In fact, I remember the first time I scanned down a wormhole. I warped to 100 kilometers to see it and stayed there hoping it would not suck me in. That’s when I found out from other corp members that they never go into them and they would not say anything further.

Now, I can’t wait to find a wormhole and dive into the splendor of J-Space. Yes, most of them have planetary systems. Some have nebula. Some are shattered by some long forgotten force. And all of them are worth parking for an hour or more, sitting back and just taking in the vistas.

“I love hearing that!”, Katia smiled. “I hope others find encouragement from your words. What other advice would you give to someone interested in exploring New Eden?”

It’s not about the ships. It’s not about the ISK. It certainly isn’t about the skills. It’s about the thirst to see what’s around the next bend. The drive to reset your budget with every setback. The will to keep going even when you don’t feel like you know what you’re doing. Enjoy the successes and learn from your mistakes.

“So true and thanks so much for doing this interview. One last thing, do you have a favorite image that you wouldn’t mind sharing?” Katia asked.

As far as a favorite picture? I guess I need to work on putting an album together. I did find this planet wonderful and mesmerizing, quite soothing actually to watch. Seeing storms like this from above just reminds me of the grandeur of some of the simpler things in life.

I also managed to snap this image in one of my last fleet actions in the DPS wing. We were on a mission to clean a J-Space system of those nasty Sleepers. How we ended up so close to a star was just one of the many serendipities I’ve experienced.