The Journey of Joy: Global Shard #67 After-Action Report

PongolynPongolyn ✭✭✭

The Journey of Joy (original post: 14-APR-2017)

Freude heißt die starke Feder

In der ewigen Natur.

Freude, Freude treibt die Räder

In der Großen Weltenuhr.

Friedrich Schiller, “An de Freude” (“To Joy”)

Chapter 1: Flight From Hawaii

#67 spawned at 2 PM on 3/10 at Kahu O Ka Wai Ola O Hilo.

Joy -- Shard #67 -- was born in the parking lot of the Hilo Judiciary Complex on the Big Island of Hawaii. Kahu O Ka Wai Ola O Hilo is an abstract statue of two hands, facing east; it guards the waters of Wailoa River. It guarded Joy through the first checkpoint of her life before her first jump.

By the time Joy was born, we had already made plans for @ajmama, @lost1, @Noobischactz and @TheDarthOtter from Oahu to join the Big Island team of @Carnage808 (who came out of retirement for shards), @catdog215, @sobernesian and others. Serendipitously, they were also joined by a San Francisco agent who was on vacation. These extra agents from off island proved vital.

The Resistance on Big Island outnumbers the Enlightened. As the first jump window approached, they descended upon Joy, outnumbering us by a fair margin. Just before the jump window, they began linking portals in Hilo to Mauna Loa, indicating an intention to move her to the mountaintop telescope where we would have no chance of recovery. Luck intervened when the shard was linked not just to the telescope, but also to a nearby church. This link, probably accidental, proved to be a turning point.

#67 jumped 2.7 km at 10 PM on 3/10 to Kinoole Baptist Church.

You make one mistake in the shard game, and you’re likely to pay for it. The Resistance made that mistake when they failed to move Joy to their preferred destination the first time.

Joy remained at Kinoole Baptist Church for two checkpoints while every available agent was called up to block the shard from moving to Mauna Kea. We started by turning the entire neighborhood green. We followed up by driving across the island, throwing the hardest blockers we could, defending with links terminated by lava pools. We hoped the spirit of the island would be with us.

At the last minute, we considered the possibility that they might try to move Joy instead to a macadamia nut facility that was closed. Most of our Hawaii agents had gone to bed, but Carnage stayed up and threw a last minute blocker to prevent the move east. We did not anticipate a link to California. However, the church portal was loaded up with VRLA and SBUL and we believe that the mainland was their intended destination -- a move that was prevented by our last minute link.

By the morning of 3/11, we had a team assembled to move Joy under our control. A direct move to the mainland was blocked until later in the day, but our Big Island and Oahu agents teamed up to move the shard to Kea’au Beach.

This beach exists because the Shipman family is legally required to provide access to the shore; their estate is just to the west of the beach. It’s readily visible on satellite. They are not, however, required to provide convenient shore access. The beach is a short distance but a meaningful hike away.

Once the shard was on the beach, our plans to move it to the mainland would be clear. It needed to spend no more than five hours there.

#67 jumped 10.8 km at 1 PM on 3/11 to Kea'au Beach Ha'ena Beach Nene Preserve.

We explored a number of options on the West Coast during Joy’s brief beach sojourn. Our preference was a direct jump up to the Olympic Peninsula. Unfortunately, Resistance coastal defense had been dogged throughout the week and late blockers prevented the direct shot into scoring range. We went with our backup, Point Arena Lighthouse.

#67 jumped 3680.5 km at 6 PM on 3/11 to Original Lens For Point Arena Lighthouse.

Previous Magnus shards had visited several of the canonical West Coast portal types: a Little Free Library, a Post Office in a ghost town, and the obligatory military installation. None had visited a lighthouse. Point Arena Lighthouse is over a hundred years old and 115 feet tall. We had some degree of confidence that Joy would not get lost on her way there.

And of course lighthouses are important to us; moving Joy to Point Arena wasn’t a calamity by any means. The grounds of the lighthouse close at 4 PM, so Joy would be safe overnight, calmly hopping from portal to portal within the gatesl. It would have been nice to extract her from the lighthouse at the very next jump, but unfortunately, a 30 meter link with both ends inside locked gates was blocking the shard’s early extraction.

#67 jumped 0.1 km at 11 PM on 3/11 to Point Arena Lighthouse and Museum.

#67 jumped 0.0 km at 5 AM on 3/12 to James Bird Memorial.

The Northern California team was ecstatic to get a chance to interact with shards. Point Arena Lighthouse opens at 10 AM, exactly the time of the next jump. We couldn’t count on getting in on time, but agents made the winding, 4 hour drive from the Bay Area just in case the gates opened early. In another part of the state, for the second time in less than two weeks, we sent people to the small, Sierra Nevada town of Downieville, where bad cell signal and a long drive made for a good place to land a shard for a few hours.

Being prepared paid off. One of the Point Arena agents negotiated early entry into the facility, some fifteen minutes before jump time. There weren’t many blockers; we made the decision to gamble, and the word to clear went out across the wires. A few minutes later, a link went up and Joy jumped to Downieville, where she was welcomed by a relative army of agents.

#67 moved 254.3km at 10 AM on 3/12 to US Post Office.

Downieville is a Gold Rush town. People got rich there, once. In 1852, it lost the race to become the capitol of California by 10 votes. These days it’s home to perhaps 250 people: not quite a ghost town, but not really a going concern, either. We’d used Downieville before for both fields and shards, and our next step was obvious.

(next: Chapter 2: The Road to Mount Hood)

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