Happy Third Birthday, Signal Cartel!

Signal Cartel turns three years old in a few days. To my delight and amazement, we are not just surviving but thriving despite playing EVE in a very different way from most everyone else.

A Brief History. Johnny Splunk and G8keeper, who co-founded the EvE-Scout corp when Thera was introduced to the game, approached me about serving as CEO for an exploration corp based on the principles of peaceful exploration and what is now our Credo. Looking for something different to do in New Eden and knowing them from having worked as a Thera scout for a short time, I said yes. After a lot of intense preliminary work to get our ducks in a row, Signal Cartel was founded on 2015.01.20 and officially open for business on 2015.01.31. Our alliance, EvE-Scout Enclave, was formed on 2015.01.23 to house the two corps and our logistics corp, EvE-Scout Logistics. In the interest of administrative simplicity, we are a closed alliance which does not accept other corps.

This past weekend, we enjoyed our Third Birthday Fleet, planned and FC’d by the remarkable Johnny Splunk (watch his Twitch channel for exploration adventures, quirky humor, and a great community) on his well known alt Carrie Frog. About 50 of us formed up in Thera, then departed in our signature swarm of Griffins, fitted with hugs (festival launchers and fireworks/snowballs) and ECM (for self defense). Destination: Lanngisi, with the FC expertly guiding our new players about fleet protocols and mechanics along the way.

Photo by Lucas Ballard

Of course, we announced ourselves and our birthday messages in Local at every jump, and when we could, “hugged” folks on the gate with our fireworks and snowballs. I was kept busy during the entire fleet doing random draws of fleet member names to give away many excellent items donated by our members. Among the items were Asteros, implants, Geckos, ISK, Stratioses, Spectral Shift and other SKINs, exploration modules, a fitted Tengu, and even a fully fitted Chimera!!!

Once in Lanngisi, we were instructed to entosis the new Project Discovery monument there. This yielded various items and our FC assisted folks as they puzzled out what the information we gleaned from these items could mean. (Some of us already knew what this was about, but no spoilers ruined it for those who didn’t.)

Photo by Lucas Ballard

Eventually the puzzle revealed our next destination. Being in low sec and requiring a route of several low sec systems, scouts were deployed and travel was much more tightly managed by our FC to ensure that everyone arrived safely. As  often happens to our fleets, it appeared we were being tailed by someone, presumably to inform a gate camp further along our route. We did encounter a few gate camps, but our FC provided calm guidance to our nervous newer players. We arrived at our destination relatively intact (I think we lost one or two people to campers but those folks soon reshipped and caught back up with us).

Upon our arrival, the FC warped us to a landmark and directed us to entosis the structure there. As we landed on grid, we were delighted to see an Astrahus bearing our alliance logo, which factored into a strategy for entosising relatively safely in this low sec system. Those who could not entosis spent the time regaling us with fireworks and snowballs,  checking out our Astrahus, and taking pictures.

Photo by Razorien

But our FC had something even more exciting planned. When our entosising tasks were done, he hinted at next steps in solving the puzzle we were working on. Then everyone’s attention was directed to our freeported Astrahus, where Johnny Splunk himself undocked in an Erebus, a Titan class ship. There was shock and awe on comms, especially among our many new players who’d never seen such a thing in game before. The Erebus had been donated by our long-time member Dinic, who amazingly revealed later that he had earned the entire cost of the ship from exploration activities! Such beautiful synergy!

Photo by Aamish MacTavish

Our FC informed us we would be bridged to another system, then explained how bridging works and instructed everyone in what to do when the bridge went up. The bridging went fairly smoothly, with most of the fleet getting through on the first go. One or two people had glitches but finally made it through subsequent bridges. Once we were all in the destination system — at yet another EvE-Scout Enclave Astrahus! — our FC provided more hints and guidance for solving the next step in the puzzle. At that point the fleet had been going for about three hours so it was decided to call it and leave everyone to finish up the rest of the puzzle on their own. If they manage to do so, they will be have everything they need to build their own Neural Lace ‘Blackglass’ Net Intrusion 920-40 implant (spoiler alert; don’t click the link if you want to solve the puzzle for yourself!), which offers substantial buffs when used in conjunction with a ‘Zeugma’ Integrated Analyzer.

We celebrated with a mass display of hugs on the Astrahus, while several of us shared on comms their feelings about the day’s fleet experience and their experience in Signal Cartel. For myself and Johnny as leaders of Signal Cartel, these comments were so heart-warming. It is extremely fulfilling to make an idea real in EVE and to grow a community of like-minded pilots who have both a sustaining mission and a cultural focus. As I tell my members, though: we are all torchbearers for the Signal Cartel way of life. Our light is burning brighter than ever and I am humbled and honored every day by the good work and solidarity of our dedicated pilots. So, to them I say thank you and here’s to another three years!

Enjoy more fabulous fleet pictures captured by Aamish MacTavish,  Lucas Ballard, Razorien, and Tamayo.

 

 

The Short Life and Triumphant Death of Rescue Cache J154733

Author: Lucas Ballard

YC109-Dec-15 was a remarkable day for one Small Secure Container floating in Anoikis, illustrating in just a few short hours the full lifespan of a Eve Scout Rescue Cache that was very well used.

Rescue Cache J154733 started its life being anchored by Signal Cartel pilot Rover Dog.  Just a box floating out in the black of Anoikis, waiting to be opened.

A few hours later a call came into the EvE-Scout Public channel from a pilot named <redacted> who had apparently become stranded within the system.  Signaleer and regular corporate fixture pris Naari played the role of Agent and assisted <redacted> in finding the Rescue Cache and availing himself of the equipment stored within.  <redacted> soon found his way out of Anoikis and out of danger, having used 5 Core Scanner Probes out of the 8 that had been placed there by Rover Dog.

Lucas Ballard came online from the captain’s lounge aboard Rescue Five, his brand new Enforcer Force Recon Cruiser, having received word of <redacted> predicament a short time earlier.  However he soon learned of pris Naari’s handling of the situation moments before.  So he made preparations for a long roam through the ever-changing paths through Anoikis, to begin searching for other pilots who were waiting for their chance to escape their own J-Space prisons.

Not 10 minutes later, a pilot by the name of <redacted2> reached out on the Public channel, looking for assistance.  He had become stranded in Anoikis while piloting his brand new (and freakishly expensive) Caiman, a Guristas Dreadnought.  Lucas stepped in to help, and learned that the pilot was stranded in J154733, the very system that <redacted> had just escaped from less than one hour before.  Lucas directed him to the Rescue Cache, and 15 minutes later, <redacted2> sent a terse message simply stating that he had gotten out of Anoikis.

Less than 15 minutes after that, <redacted> reached out again in the EvE-Scout Public Channel.  Grateful for the assistance he had received an hour earlier, he had decided to fly back into J154733 to return the Core Scanner Probes he had borrowed.  But upon arriving at the location of the Cache, he discovered that it was no longer there.  Someone had destroyed the container!  So Lucas sent a secure message to <redacted2>, to get more information about just what had happened, and 2 hours later, <redacted2> responded.  Shortly after getting the probes from the Rescue Cache, it turned out that he had been jumped by a Sabre pilot who tried to keep him from getting away.  However quick reflexes and some savvy flying kept <redacted2> from being pinned down by the Interdictor, and he managed to escape.  In their frustration over missing such a valuable target, the Sabre pilot and/or his friends apparently destroyed the Rescue Cache.

Thus ended the short life of Rescue Cache J154733.  But what a life it had!  The little box was a light in the darkness for not one but TWO pilots, before being destroyed less than 12 hours after having been anchored.  A short but triumphant existence to be sure.

That Small Secure Container manifested the Eve Scout Rescue motto perfectly:  Hope Comes In A Box.

Community Favorite Vote: In-Character Stories 2017

We seek the New Eden community’s help to choose a community favorite from among the 10 prize-eligible stories submitted to our recent Signal Cartel in-character writing contest.

The stories are:

 Here is the survey, which will run for a week. The story with the most votes when the poll closes will be declared the winner. In case of a tie, the judging team of Cassandra Habalu, Mynxee, and Quinn Valerii will cast votes to break ties. I will update this post after the poll concludes to announce the winner.
Enjoy the stories, and thanks for voting!

Signal Cartel 2017 In-Character Writing Contest

Editor’s Note: The list of stories and links to them are at the bottom of this post.


Signaleer Quinn Valerii organized a writing contest for Signal Cartel members recently, and finally the judging has concluded and winners have been selected. The contest was judged by Quinn, myself, and Cassandra Habalu. We were all pleased and surprised at the quality of writing and storytelling; it was very difficult to choose winners. But each judge independently assigned points on accuracy, flow, and engagement and thus arrived at the results.

Winners and prizes(copied from Quinn Valerii’s results post on our forums because I’m lazy!) are shown below. Prizes were funded by the corp and with generous donations from our members.

The results of the Freeform / Ingame Based Category are:

1st place: Lucas Ballard – “When the Sisters Call” – 1 full set of Mid-Grade Virtue scanning implants
2nd place: Tom Servonaut – “Reliquary In Three Parts” – 500 Plex
3rd place: A Dead Parrot – “Almost Lost” -Pacifier Special Edition Covert Ops frigate + 250 million ISK
4th place: Thrice Hapus – “Mobira” – 300 million ISK
5th place: Saladiin – “CONCORD SCC v. EvE-Scout Enclave” – 250 million ISK

Honorable mention – System_Baud – “Something Was Wrong” – Leopard


The results of the Lore based / Roleplaying Category are:

1st place: Tom Servonaut – “Reliquary In Three Parts” – 1 full set of Mid-Grade Virtue scanning implants
2nd place: Lucas Ballard – “When the Sisters Call” – 500 Plex
3rd place: Thrice Hapus – “Mobira” – Pacifier Special Edition Covert Ops frigate + 250 million ISK
4th place: A Dead Parrot – “Almost Lost” – 300 million ISK
Joint 5th place: Bako Cherry – “The Scholar” – 250 million ISK
System_Baud – “Something Was Wrong” – 250 million ISK

Honorable mention – Tephra Solette – “Research Developments” – Leopard


The Anokis Division prize winners:

  • Tom Servonaut – “Reliquary In Three Parts”
  • Saladiin – “CONCORD SCC v. EvE-Scout Enclave”
  • Tephra Solette – “Research Developments”

Finally the Grand prize winner who wins:

  • An Enforcer – Special Edition Recon Ship
  • A Pacifier – Special Edition Covert Ops frigate
  • 1 Large skill injector
  • 1 Pilot’s Body Resculpt Certificate

is… Lucas Ballard – “When the Sisters Call”


In addition to the prizes stated above, the authors of the 10 entries eligible for category prizes will be awarded a medal to recognize their contribution. Plus, everyone who submitted an entry will also receive a grab bag containing an assortment of items which can include: lore related items, faction modules, skins, apparel and exploration related goodies worth in excess of 150 million ISK.


Now that all entries have been posted to the Signal Cartel blog, Quinn or I will put up a poll within the next day or two for the #Tweetfleet community to vote on a community favorite. The winner of that vote will earn a further prize of 1 Billion ISK.


Each of the stories has been published as a separate blog post here and are linked below for easy exploration.

The Prize-Eligible Entries

The “Honors” Entries

We hope that you will read and enjoy these stories…we all had a lot of fun writing them! We would love to have your comments on each of the story posts or on Twitter to @Mynxee or @QuinnValerii.