With A Little Help From My Friends – The Beatles
Seeing where this was going, Mynxee got me in touch with Thrice Hapus, our COO, and he asked if I was interested in turning my event into a story/roleplay event. As someone who used to love to RP, I immediately said yes, Thrice reached out to our OPSEC division (Operation and Planning of Special Events for the Corporation), and they agreed to make that happen. Our OPSEC division is a group of Signaleers that only leadership knows who they are behind the scenes. They’re our story crafters, a group of talented writers and corp event coordinators, who were also the ones that worked with Sky Diamond on her event. Sky’s event became the kickoff of our in corp storyline that’s been running for over a year now titled “Vacant Spectrum”. Let me just say this now, I shot high, but was astounded when OPSEC lifted me up, and together we shot higher. OPSEC, you rock! Not only did they meet my original goals, they added a couple of more, and they were huge additions: Allison, storyline, and remaining anonymous.
“He takes his drinking very seriously. Not to worry; he’ll be his usual charming self by morning.” – Aramis, The Three Musketeers (1993)
Each addition in its own right was huge. AD Parrot, as Allison’s creator, was included in the event team as he incorporated some added functionality to help us track the Great Hunt. I can’t say enough about Parrot, he’s awesome and a pleasure to work with and what an amazing talent. Allison is amazing bit of code that really comes to life as a pilot assist AI. She has a lot of functionality to help our Signaleers as they travel around New Eden as well as providing guidance with our EvE Scout Rescue Cache program (ESRC), and our Search and Rescue operations (SAR) by alerting the SAR team when a system has been located. It was the SAR aspect of Allison that was tweaked for the Great Hunt by adding capabilities to alert my team (my mates and I which I’ll talk about soon) when systems I needed were found.
“Only the wrong words are a complete waste of time. The right words can leave a more lasting impression than a thousand of Porthos’ kisses.” – Aramis, The Three Musketeers (1993)
Next, the OPSEC team wrote the event as a chapter in the “Vacant Spectrum”, Chapter 5: The Great Hunt. The story provided the cover I needed for the last part which I didn’t think was possible, keeping me anonymous and behind the scenes during the event. Up to that point I had not suffered a ship loss and the OPSEC team wanted to keep it that way. Just as I had when I set out 9 years ago, I accepted the fact I would lose ships along the way, so I figured here at the end game, when everyone would know this event was to help me finish my journey, I would suffer my first loss for sure. We know there are corp spies, that as soon as someone figured out what was really going on, it would get out, an ambush would be setup, and I’d get popped. During the planning process, working with the OPSEC team, I was simply amazed at the talent at hand, as we figured out how to pull this off, keeping me in the shadows, writing the chapter that explained why, and fit perfectly in the overall story arch.
“A lively tune… I’m inspired to dance!” – Porthos, The Three Musketeers (1993)
There was one last piece that I needed to nail down and that was expanding the event team to include several Explorer Mates. I wanted three Signaleers to help me during the end game with locating and securing systems as our fellow scouts found them. My Mates would be the ones to take the risk for me, by scouting me into systems as needed, sitting in systems to hold them until I could get there, and help keep the corp motivated during the hunt as well. They would, of course, know the event was to help me complete my journey. Risky, I know, the team was already more than a few and it only increased the odds that word would get out as to what was really going on. Since OPSEC worked out keeping me in the shadows with the event storyline, I had to find these mates behind the scenes, so I went through a process of selecting them based on many factors including things like, tenure in corp, activity in corp, exemplified the credo, forum participation, etc. Starting with the entire corp roster, I cut the list down to my top ten and presented them to leadership and the OPSEC team. Based on their recommendations I choose, Captain Crinkle, Igaze, and Tamayo.
Let me tell you, my mates were my lifeblood. Some of my fears were, the real story of the event would get out, my mates would become bored, etc, but my fears were unfounded. We had a blast, they kept me motivated, and we made a great team. I couldn’t have asked for better mates, they often went above and beyond my expectations. We had a great time and it’s an experience that I’ll always remember. Can’t say enough about them. Each one brought their own unique approach to the end game. Igaze and I were joking around one day in our Discord channel, calling ourselves the Muskteteers. Igaze quickly pointed out he was Porthos, I gathered because he was most like that character, so I figured that made me Athos as the unofficial leader of the group. So, Crinkle and Tamayo, you’ll have to figure out who’s Aramis and D’Artagnan. 😉
The plans made, it was now – show time.
BONUS: If you’re still reading, here is an excerpt from document I sent to my Explorer Mates filling them in on their role.
5.10.yc120 Zoohen III – Theology Council Tribunal Station, Signal Cartel Executive Briefing Room
Running late, she entered the briefing room to find Igaze, Tamayo, and Crinkle seated around the small, but rather ornate conference room table. There was room to seat six with two on each side and one at each end. The ends were open, obviously for whomever was leading the meeting, so she took the only remaining side seat. She glanced around at her fellow scouts, her posture one of pride to be among them, her face revealed a hint of a smile, her eyes bright and warm, revealing her explorer’s heart.
It had been years since she had spent any amount of significant time in known space, let alone docked in a station. The air seemed fresher, which was silly, but having spent the majority of her time aboard ship, in a capsule, submersed in what was affectionately known as goo, the change was a welcomed one.
“Wonder what this is all about?” Katia finally said, breaking the silence, looking at each scout in turn, but she couldn’t hold her serious face on any longer and finally broke out in a huge smile. “I guess I should fill you all in.”
Welcome to the Great Hunt.