Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Operation Neptune

After 98 days of planning and 40+ agents performing tightly coordinated actions over the course of 56 hours, the Operation Neptune field came to life.
Field Type: Enlightened
Field Life: 16.72 hours (4:09pm til 8:52am)
Square Miles / Kilometers: 54,513 / 141,189 (75.8% of maximal)
Longest Link: 596km (Coffin at Hearst Castle to the Cape Mendocino Lighthouse)
Mind Units: 7,834,618
Take Down Method: Suspected - Falsely representing or altering GPS Location (GPS spoofing)
Field Plan Start: February 6th, 2013
Field Day Begin: May 15th, 2013 7:01am
Operation Duration: 56 hours
After the success of Operation [Redacted], a massive Californian control field connecting the original site of the Cape Mendocino Lighthouse with the First State Park in Big Basin to a US Post Office in Groveland, the NorCal Enlightened set its sights on an even bigger project. During [Redacted] the team made hundreds of connections through a web of agents from many regions. These agents excitement, cunning, tenaciousness and spirit of fair play would be tapped to once again bathe Northern California in a long lived, glowing field of green.
Planning for the new operation began in the first week of February, 2013.
Cape Mendocino was an obvious anchor. Having been held by Moritz for nearly six months, it had been diligently recharged every day by Weasel, the keeper of its light. The Cape met the access requirements, and the team had keys. Since the end of the last operation Cape Mendocino had come under fire twice, and was twice destroyed. Once after secondary spoof destruction related to the original takedown, and then in a second event, removed from the map completely on complaints from Resistance agents that the actual lighthouse is not at Cape Mendocino but rather 2 hours south in Shelter Cove. While it is true that the lighthouse has moved, the NorCal team filed a request to have the portal restored because the original location of the lighthouse, the location of the portal, is listed in the Historical Marker Database. A plaque has been placed at the site to honor the hardy and long suffering Keepers of The Light. Photographic proof of the plaques existence was provided, and the portal was restored.
Using the Cape as the first anchor, we decided we would try to build a field that was as close as possible to the maximum field size supported in the game. This would mean lighting up an equilateral triangle with sides as close as possible to the maximum linking distance of an L8. Agent BJMartinJr proposed the first tentative field by laying out the lines, east and south, and then Thrakazog, Eidolon, and BJMartinJr crawled over the intel map, looking for portals that would meet our teams more exacting access requirements.
post office in Unionville Nevada was chosen as the second anchor, and a few fallback portals were selected.
Struggling, and failing to find a portal that would meet the teams requirement for permanence, Thrakazog proposed using something at Hearst Castle for our southern anchor. The Castle on the hill closes at 6:30pm, and opens again for tours at 9am.
The team was aware that Hearst Castle was a weak spot in the field. Other locations were discussed, but a consensus was reached.
Agents of both color were disappointed that the Big Basin anchor for Operation [Redacted] was knocked out by a cheat. The NorCal Enlightened know that in this game, nothing lasts forever. Portals flip all the time through fair play. There is a thrill and a joy in overwhelming your opponent and without the battle, you are just farming to an invo cap. In considering Hearst Castle we saw what we wanted, as always, a challenge for the Resistance to take down our field legitimately. Because Hearst Castle can be accessed by more conventional means, we hoped it would be the site of an epic battle where we held or lost our field. Where one Resistance team would claim the glory of having broken our defence, or would ride back down The Hill in defeat at 6:15 sharp.
Operationally we knew from slicing out from Big Basin through Campbell and San Jose that cutting through the Peninsula would be hard. Operation [Redacted]’s west link had cut a considerable distance further toward the coast. Operation Neptune’s link cut right down I-280. We did not expect any trouble on the northern link, and we knew that LacedUp and her crack team in the Central Valley would be able to handle holding the friendlies in check and taking the blue down hard.
The days around Google I/O were proposed as an execution date. Throwing a large field through San Francisco during the event would be the perfect way to bring the glory of Ingress Enlightenment to all.
The groundwork laid, the organization began.
The core team grew in membership as we contacted local agents in target areas. Trouble spots were identified and ground strategies discussed. Localized strike teams began to coalesce.  Thrakazog conducted reconnaissance at the castle on March 8th and when he burnt the Hearst’s portals, “Coffin” gave up two keys. With this bit of luck, the operation’s three anchors had been decided.
As the light up date approached, our execution plans were finalized. For both strategic convenience and dramatic effect, we decided we would try to “blink” the field, meaning we would light up all three connections at the exact same time. Strategically, playing with such long lines, anything slower than an instant linking of all three vertices gives every opponent along the ~600km runs the opportunity to put up blocks. We felt that if we could quietly cut ourselves a clear path in the weeks beforehand, two teams acting in concert could bring this enormous field up by surprise.
We started generating and updating maps with portals that had blocking links.  Google+ groups were notified of local problem areas and link restrictions. On May 8th Niantic’s Operation Bowstring anomaly was announced to also coincide with Google I/O and we wondered what effect a 141,189 km2 Enlightened field might have on the event.
Then the hard grind of blocker control began. This field’s links would cut through many communities, and all of the affected local agents had to be co-ordinated. Agent LacedUp took the role of spokesperson. She began contacting community leaders in the corridors, marshalling their support and cooperation. A delicate balance had to be struck, community cooperation was required, but the details of the plan had to remain confidential. Accidental leaks could undermine all the work, but the northern California Enlightened Community is like no other. All regions responded with support and love. Agents from everywhere networked with other agents. They called in favors and went out of their way to make friendly green portals attractive to the Resistance. Most importantly, lower level agents refrained from linking on the promise that they were helping to build “something awesome.” During this time, most people working on the project had no knowledge of its true scope.
Special credit is given here to the agents who led these efforts.
Agents Mold, Scarabeo, and Technophile headed blocker control for Santa Cruz / Monterey / Scott's Valley.
Agents SYBKing, BlastTyrant, Dextroyrawr, Mercurio, Dran, and Wuzzabear were instrumental in pre-op blocker control in the San Francisco Peninsula. They made target portals very tempting to Resistance agents and supported link restrictions.
Agents Tindron, Frogeegrl, Frizzy, Alm187, and Hades007 controlled pre-op blockers in the Central Valley. The Resistance just would not drop the one green blocker anchored at Woodward Park Regional Library. The portal was seeded with 8s and then linked. Then  knowledge of a potential  lvl 8 portal  was leaked to Resistance agent Jenos. He could not let an L8 happen. He made the trek out and captured the portal, thus clearing the stubborn blocker.
Agent Stolenveil headed blocker control for the San Jose / South Bay area, and also rounded up help in the Reno, Nevada area. Contacting the Reno folks proved to be a challenge, but once contacted agents  PurpleFly, SamuraiSquirrel and Stricnyne assisted gladly.
Agent Undef1ned headed blocker control in Redding. He left the known blue blockers in place for over a week, as he waited patiently for the appointed time. The team feared that known blockers would be replaced by ones that may have proved more difficult to take down.
The NorCal Enlightened also expresses their sincere thanks and recognition to the hundreds of unnamed agents who acted on trust that a big operation was in play. Without their cooperation, this field would have been impossible.
Execution Timeline:
On May 11, Xandorcode, LacedUp, Tindron, and Thrakazog conducted a recon trip to the Unionville PO.
The portal was well guarded, but he accepted HINT caps to let us through.

They met in Stockton, CA and then drove to Reno, NV where they holed up for the night. Burgers at Mel’s provided sustenance for the next leg and many cookies were consumed. In the morning, the final drive to Unionville was completed. The portal was brought on-line and burned. After a lunch in Reno, they returned to Stockton and parted ways.
In an operation like this friendly blockers are a team's biggest concern. Broadcasting link restrictions will certainly help stop links from coming up, but there will always be unexpected green you have to contend with. In the Monterey Bay area agents Mold and Scarabeo linked up a strategic honeypot to Battle of Natividad by creating a field covering the entire Salinas Valley. This field served as a blocker from the east and at the same time, attracted the Resistance into attacking the anchor out of convenience for AP gain. Beware Resistance foes. Whenever an anchor or field looks too good to be true, maybe, just maybe it is.
On May 14th at 11:34am agent Moritz reported to the team that he had asked a Redding agent to help clear some portals. It was quickly discovered that Moritz had mistakenly thought that the agent was Enlightened when in fact he was Resistance and had leaked the general direction of the north link and the light up deadline to a blue L8 agent. The team scrambled for most of the day to fashion a ruse Moritz could keep up. The agent was contacted again, and told that friendly links in Eureka had stymied our plan and that if at all possible, he should take out theWhiskeytown Lake portal which would allow the SOUTHERN link to pass. Within an hour the team watched Resistance links light up from Whiskeytown Lake up and to the left out to the coast. The Redding agent had fallen for the cover-up bluff but the word had obviously spread to the west because blue links were lighting up in a chain from Garberville north and from Ferndale south down to Scotia.
High level agents Euphoricwmsy and Lignarius from the Eureka team were contacted via faction COMM and Moritz put the word out in the Redwood Empire asking about agent availability to handle the blue blockers thrown in the response to the info leak. Agent ShibaTetsu said he could respond late that night, but then amended his timing to better coincide with the following afternoon’s deadline. He drove from Petaluma to Redway and at 2:42pm he destroyed the link from USPS 3400 Redwood Drive Redway, CA to USPS 536 Main Street Ferndale, CA.
On May 15th two teams were dispatched.  A pair of agents (Mercurio and Thrakazog) started another 7.5 hour trip to the the northeast point of Unionville, NV.

At 8am, Moritz picked up CGnex, then madpickles, then Weasel and headed down US 101 to Hearst Castle. Agents Stolenveil, Tindron, ZydrateVials, KillerBee93402, also made their way to Hearst. They arrived at the visitors center at 2:15pm, eight L8 agents in all.
The team boarded the bus and rode 15 minutes up The Hill. While there was a great desire to all break away and get ready to link, they walked slowly, listening to the guild talk about the three guest cottages and the kitchen. As anxious as everyone was, it was a beautiful, peaceful setting for this super-field attempt. When the tour was over the team was allowed to freely wander the grounds. All 8 L8 agents gathered at the Coffin portal and waited for the go-ahead.
Even with intensive pre-op blocker control, an operation of this size needs concurrent on-the-ground blocker management. The coordination of this effort was expertly lead by Agents Glacial, Brutus258, and Sacrabeo. Though some hard to reach portals made delays seem insurmountable, the team rose to the challenge. At one point in the operation there were teams ready to kill links simultaneously at 5 of the 6 portals that anchored the last blue blockers. These agents drove long distances and spent hours sitting at portals.
Agents PurpleFly, SamuraiSquirrel and Stricnyne  made the trek out of Reno and cleared out blocking links in Nevada for the team.
Agent BunnyJoe drove to one portal and hiked a mile in. He flipped the Helen Putnam Regional Park at 11:33am and then hiked a mile back out and headed back to work. About 30 minutes later, another blocker appeared, anchored on the Marin County Fire Department. The cellular coverage maps indicated that BunnyJoe would have service there, so around 4pm he drove 30 minutes to the portal. Unfortunately he found no service and a portal that was located up a dirt path to a shack marked as private property.
The team threw out suggestions for increasing connectivity but there was nothing, not even a wisp of wifi. The mission was stopped cold until agent Yellow7 said he could drop the link from the other end at Bodega Bay and Harbor portal. The time was 5:10pm. There was a little more than an hour for the blockers to clear and the field to go up before the security at Hearst would round everyone up, and escort them to the bus.
Agent Undef1ned rushed to be in position to drop blockers at William B. Ide Adobe and William B. Ide Adobe - 1 Mile in time after work. Timing here was critical because the Redding Resistance was on alert from the previous misstep. If those blockers came down too soon, it was feared that the Redding blue would throw up new blockers that would be functionally inaccessible
Agent Yellow7 dropped blockers in the North Bay.
Agents on the Hearst grounds waited. Excitement warred with nerves, but morale remained high. The projected hour for the field to go up had passed, but dozens of people were still working hard to clear out the blocks before the castle was closed for the night.  The portals were upgraded to level 8 and the team stood ready to blink the field as soon as the few remaining blocks were taken down.  It looked like success was on the horizon, until disaster struck -- long green blocking links came up from Los Banos to Visalia thrown by Enlightened agents crossing the state on their way to the Ingress Operation Bowstring. The Neptune agents created enticements to bait them into being brought back down.
Returning to Unionville on the following day was unlikely, so a call was made to bring up the top link and hope that it survived the night. Undef1ned took out the Red Bliss blockers at 5:55pm and 6:00pm while Mercurio and Thrakazog, after sitting and fretting for 2.5 hours, were finally given the go ahead to bring the Unionville Post Office up to the required level.
At 6:02pm the 530.9km link from Unionville Post Office to Cape Mendocino Lighthouse was thrown. A secondary link was thrown in frustration from Unionville PO to the Castle Air Museum in the Central Valley. This link served as an unintended distraction as to the true nature of the day's plan.
There was action all up and down the state.
The Hearst team stayed in position until security firmly informed the them that it was time to return to the bus.
They departed without throwing any links. Out in the parking lot, Moritz passed on the required keys so that agent KillerBee93402 could return for a second attempt the following day.
Blocker teams were provided latest target info and link restrictions were communicated again to local communities.
On the road back home that evening, we got the notification that the Cape Mendocino Lighthouse had been taken down by Resistance agent RodKickass at 8:05pm.
Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools that don't have brains enough to be honest.
-Benjamin Franklin
The following day as agents from both factions made their way to San Francisco for Operation Bowstring, we discovered that the lighthouse and the link were still green. Shaper influence is our only explanation.
We immediately alerted Enlightened agents statewide and the mission was once again a go. Link restrictions were frantically re-communicated across the entire peninsula, south into San Luis Obispo and for the whole eastern Central Valley.
As the rest of the team processed the intel maps, discussed blocking link strategies and kept up the control chatter, a number of core agents from the NorCal team battled with blue at Operation Bowstring.
While Resistance agents significantly outnumber Enlightened agents in the SF area, the Enlightenment delivered a full-body beatdown by their superior organization, more effective communication channels and plans. Scoring 78 to 9, the ground game that won the day was a brilliant fall back plan conceived by agent D0gboy in case the Neptune field was blocked. D0gboy and the SF locals worked hard beforehand to include both local and visiting players and they built in measures to ensure that each Enlightened agent who attended would be able to play a role and help win the day for the team. The resounding victory at the anomaly was achieved with equal parts hard work, team play, and tight communication with the larger Enlightened community.
The post-event party facilitated additional coordination efforts for the NorCal team and served to renew a lot of local community bonds. The field was set to be completed after the end of the first Hearst Castle tour, at 9:40am.
After the anomaly, the Neptune link lines showed a few blue blockers and 0 friendlies.  The plan was a go.
At 8:45am Friday morning, Agent KillerBee93402 waited in line for the bus that would take him up The Hill for the first castle tour at 9am.
Agent Batttie dropped blue blockers in Monterey.
Agents Scarabeo and Turgon handled blockers in the Santa Cruz area.
At 8:22am Agent Explorer7 in Merced took a out a set of blue blockers from the US Post Office Agent LacedUp was on-site to drop the remaining blues in the Central Valley while Agent GaiasWrath sat on the  Merced County Fire Department portal, patiently waiting to throw a protective green blocker.
Everything was in place to go when one green blocking link was thrown from Half Moon Bay to Los Altos at 9:20am. More enticement was collected to help take this down.
5 Resistance blocking links in the South San Francisco area also surfaced at Health Sciences LibraryWest Orange Library, South San Francisco Public Library, and South Francisco Sign Hill.These would be easily dealt with when the time arrived and so at 2:20pm, Agent CGnex drove to South San Francisco to wait on-site for the call to clear the block. .
Some of the blocker control agents who had been waiting all day needed to return to work and with the link from Unionville to Hearst clear of green blockers, Moritz made the call to throw the second leg of the field. Agent LacedUp fired up her scanner to start a take down of some Central Valley blue, but found that her inventory wouldn’t load. Frustrated at first, the team quickly realized that everyone’s scanner was broken. Shaper influence which interrupted the game, but this was an opportunity. It meant that more time would be available to arrange an enticement to bring down the long green blocker that stretched from Los Altos to Half Moon Bay. Doubly opportune, the global scanner load failure assured that while we moved agents into place, no additional blocks could be thrown. 
Shaper influence receded and the inventories began to load. Down at Hearst, Agent KillerBee93402’s status was upgraded to stand-by. Blue links in the Central Valley were destroyed, and the link from Hearst to Unionville was completed within the minute.
The team was energized but that one green blocker in Los Altos remained. Enlightened agents Stolenveil, Auryn and Kaylee arrived on site and joined agent lllllllll in creating 13 links and 8 fields, all connected to The Convolution of a Square. 
The bait was set, and everyone kept their fingers crossed, hoping for an unsuspecting Resistance player to come by, and collect all that delicious AP. The entire team held steady, and waited. There was great concern that the bait wouldn’t work. The team heard rumors that Resistance leadership was instructing its team to steer clear of Los Altos and that they should not, under any circumstances take down that portal.
Agent KillerBee93402 held tight at Hearst Castle, as did all the Enlightened agents from Petaluma to Monterey.
At 3:54 pm, nearly 3 hours after the bait was set, Resistance agent APheartbreaker it seems, could not resist the temptation to destroy so many links and fields and the chats came alive with a flurry of posts that the Los Altos portal was taking damage. A few minutes later, only two resonators remained on the portal. Agent CGnex was instructed to immediately take down the five remaining Resistance blockers that were linked to the Health Sciences LibraryWest Orange LibrarySouth San Francisco Public Library, and South San Francisco Sign Hill portals. For a short time, the intel map lagged behind reality, and it was unclear if the last blocking Los Altos green link had been destroyed. With adrenaline running at maximum and all eyes glued on respective screens, agents who saw no remaining blockers directed KillerBee93402 via Hangouts, Messenger, and SMS, to throw the last link from Hearst to the Cape.
Standing next to Coffin, KillerBee93402’s scanner reported that a 596-km line up the northern coast of California, threaded through the heavily congested SF Peninsula area, was clear to link. He pressed the button on his scanner, and everything went green.
The time was 4:09pm on Friday 5/17, and 7.8 million MU had been claimed for the Enlightened.
The team went wild.  Our goal had been achieved with an astounding effort of will and class.    
As multiple chat clients started to settle down, the flash of victory started to fade the team became nervous about the upcoming battle to protect the field. This had been an epic effort; this field had not only laid claim to nearly 8 million mind units, but also to the hearts and souls of 40+ agents directly involved in it’s planning and execution. The team knew the field would come down, as all fields do, but they hoped that a follow on battle at Hearst might be as epic as is was for the creation. The stage was set for a fair and honorable fight at the castle on the coast.
REMOTE RECHARGE: The Battle After Breakfast
Keys were distributed, power cubes were hoarded. Post-breakfast plans to hangout in XM heavy locations were made to protect the Hearst Castle portal by remote recharge as it represented the weakest anchor in the field. The team spent the night co-ordinating a battle plan. It was expected that the Resistance would seek to destroy this field as soon as it was possible, and the first tour busses depart at 9am with tourist drop off at the back steps starting at about 9:15am.
Moritz pulled into an XM-rich area at 8:54am, He looked at his scanner, and the field was gone
Cape Mendocino had been destroyed at 8:52am.
Pouring over the COMM logs it showed destrustion by Resistance agent SagaOfT.  Checking with the locals we learned that they were from the Bay Area, and that his account had been inactive for some time.
Perhaps his passion for the game was so reinvigorated by the beautiful field challenge that he resumed play, drove for 8 hours maybe up through Ferndale, or maybe through the incredible sight that is the Humboldt State Redwood forrest, out along the sea down Mattole road, miles away from a cellular carrier’s signal, and flipped it blue. Somehow he must have been so low on items to recycle that after running out of XM during takedown and deployment, he had no way to refill.  Perhaps his calendar was tight and he wouldn't be able drive 40 minutes into Ferndale to load up and return before he had to get back on the road and drive another 8 hours home. Perhaps he was so pressed for time that he could not even wait 20 minutes for the portal to respawn. He had no time to blow up any green in Ferndale, or Willits, or in any other town along the entire run of 101, from the top of the Redwood Empire, down to the fast streets of Fremont.
If this implausible scenario is revealed to be spoofing, we call on ALL Ingress agents to help us create a culture of integrity in the game. The game is what we make of it. The community becomes the standards we demand. The work undertaken to plan and and create this field forged deep bonds between many, many people. Agents hailed from all over the western United States, including Reno, NV,  Fallon, Redding, Eureka, Mendocino, the Bay Area, the Central Valley, and San Luis Obispo, The physical distance among this team remains great, but any emotional distance was destroyed in the crucible of this mission. The team has grown closer. A family has been created.  
The collective work on both Operation [Redacted] and Operation Neptune deserved a legitimate take-down. The battle for the castle would have been intense for both the Resistance and Enlightened teams. An epic battle to take an epic field would have been the proper coda to our efforts.
We know from conversations with friendly Central Valley rivals that two Resistance agents were on their way as well as Oakland Resistance agents whiz and pipistrelle. Some had taken the day off work and were on the road to Hearst when the field went down. The suspected spoofing at the Cape likely cheated those Resistance agents out of a fair and true moment of glory.
The NorCal team calls on ALL Ingress agents, Resistance and Enlightened to enforce the ethical standards of this community. The agents who worked with their heart and soul on this field wish to have their work destroyed with a similar passion. It was a beautifully-clean operation, and it deserved a matching effort from the opponents.
The Cape Mendocino Lighthouse is currently blue, but in the hearts of the NorCal team and Enlightened agents everywhere it’s light shines a brilliant green, guiding them into future operations and showing all that anything is possible with dedication and love.  
There is no doubt that the NorCal team will build another big field, and we will again hope that the Resistance reaction is fair. Until that next adventure begins we hopes that you carry the spirit of the Cape within you, to guide your way and light your dreams.
Edit: Second Cape takedown is a suspected spoof.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Operation [redacted]

Operation Summary

Field Type: Enlightened
Field Life: 9 hours
Field Size: 42,700 sq km / 16,500 sq mi
Mind Units: 28,144
Take Down Method: It is suspected that lone rogue Resistance agent osoblanco successfully bypassed Niantic security.

By Face2Face, Email2Email, G+2G+, gTalk2gTalk and COMM spam, Enlightened teams in 5 major northern California regions, working in concert overnight and over 15 hours, blasted links through 3 major metropolitan areas, cut through the ocean side cities and out across the water to the top of The Lost Coast. 1,041km of links lit up an Enlightened control field you could see from the intel world view.

The portals they captured, Cape Mendocino, the original site of the Cape Mendocino lighthouse, the First State Park, deep in the forest of Big Basin and a Post Office in Yosemite, half way to Half Dome, were chosen because they offered a certain kind of permanence, something exceedingly rare in Ingress. They were places the Resistance couldn't reach.

The acts of lighting up these special places however, was only 1% of the work performed on this mission. The other 99% was done by the planners, the map updaters, the scouters, the uninformed restrained who forged connections and opened lines of communication so that when the stars aligned, the ground teams struck under guidance from controllers and together cleared the corridors of Resistance.

By their own brand of expert organization, Blue had (and still has) a crushing dominance in all our regions, but on February 2nd we pinned them and watched them panic for 9 hours under a massive blanket of Enlightened Green.

By Ingress standards for such a high volume, high profile target, the field held for a long time, and because the portals were picked for their permanence, it was always assumed that a spoofer would take the field down first. Cheaters gonna cheat unfortunately, even when you hold out hope in human sportsmanship.

Neither team might ever know how long it would have taken to respond in a legitimate way, but for awhile at least, the Enlightened goal of a certain permanence was achieved.

All credit for Operation [redacted] goes to the agents listed below who showed remarkable patience and tenacity. Thank you all for your high spirit, your goodwill, your trust and your time.

In addition, this missions success can be credited to the many other agents of all levels, in all 5 major northern California regions who heeded the call for restraint. While your names may not appear in this roster, you are the reason the friendly lines were clear on strike night.

South Bay Area
sheepcow: Wrecked damage. Scouted portal locations. Always ready to jump in a car and drive silly distances to clear paths. Helped level junior agents.
Auryn: Spent weeks updating breaker maps for regional teams. Spent all night on strike night watching maps scanning for blockers. Sent out info and kept us all in the loop.
eidolon: Helped clear links.Woken at 4:30am by a tired pair of people and drove us in pitch dark deep into the woods safely and deployed his L8 and L7 resonators.
weasel: For continual reports and posts updating the team for links that need to be taken out, and regular portal recharge maintenance. The Keeper Of the Light.
Telos: For clearing links and being oncall for weeks leading up to strike night. Maintained the Friendly Acre Farm.

San Fransisco Area
Dextroyrawr: Who was on call for weeks for the aborted first attempt.
CGnex: Who ran out to kill a link that blocked us on the coast side.
gromit: For letting the fields in Pacifica decay and keeping it clear of blue.

San Joaquin Valley
LacedUp and Xandorcode: For driving out in the middle of the night to on portal recon missions. For working with their local players to keep the corridor clear and cleaning the last few blues on strike night.

Sacramento Valley
bemartinjr and boyuo: For clearing the corridor. For communicating with local agents and for driving 6 hours round trip to visit a Post Office at the edge of Yosemite in the dead of night to stand for an hour outside in the cold.
LAGATO and FOOD: Who spent the night running all around the greater Sacramento area keeping blue links down.
Brother: For working with the locals to keep the corridor clean and for restraint.

North Bay
BunnyJoe: Who worked to keep North Bay clear and made some valiant efforts to clear some last minute blue blockers.
DitzyHorse: Who worked to keep North Bay clear.
Yellow7: Who kept the path clean and killed that last blocking Resistance link fast.
lordofcheese / hubris415: Who both made double trips to the coast to clear the corridor during the first attempt.

madpickles: Who heeded an emergency call at 3am to drive and clear distant blockers.

Operation Timeline

Early December: A plan is hatched and a small number of high level agents start scouring the Califorian playfield for suitable portals.

Mid December: One portal is chosen and a handful of other portals are under consideration.Trip preparations start.

Late December: Portal bring-up begins. The Cape Mendocino Lighthouse, lit up on December 30th, is first.

Early January: Two Bay Area portals are inspected and rejected. A third portal, the First State Park in Big Basin is investigated and brought up on January 12th. Reaching out to local teams begins in earnest. Mission information begins to be disseminated.

Mid January: Mother Nature makes the [redacted] portal unreachable. Plans change. More and more agents are contacted. Listserv ranks grow. Mission information update frequency  ramps up, Agents in all regions respond to action requests. Sub-missions are run. The corridors are trending clear.

Mid January: A start is scuttled at the last minute by an new and unknown Enlightened agent linking across a corridor. The corridors are clear now most of the time.

Late January: San Joaquin agents visit the Yosemite Post Office portal to verify it meets the mission criteria. The corridors are holding.

Feb 1st 8pm: Go time. CGNex clears a lone blue blocker to the coast. Moritz and Thrakazog head toward Yosemite. bemartinjr and boyuo leave Sacramento for the same destination. The San Jose, Sacramento Valley and San Joaquin Valley strike teams start downing Resistance links.

Feb 1st 11:50 pm:  AliceInDlbrtlnd shows restraint. The corridors are still clear, The strikes continue.

Feb 2nd 12:30am: bemartinjr, boyuo, Moritz and Thrakazog capture the Yosemite Post Office at 12:13 am. They throw the first link to Cape Mendocino through the Sacramento Valley. They throw the second link to the First State Park in Big Basin through San Joaquin Valley and the heart of San Jose at 12:39 am. Moritz and Thrakazog head back towards Big Basin.

Feb 2nd 3:00am: What is believed to be the final blocking link in the NorthBay is identified, madpickles is recruited from COMM and drives out from Berkeley to take it down.

Feb 2nd 4:30am: Thrakazog and Moritz arrive back in the South Bay. They raise eidolon. With the blocking blue link in the North still up, eidolon drives them all carefully down 17 into the darkness,

Feb 2nd 6:30am: The First State Park is upgraded. Madpickles has taken out the last known blocker, but another unidentified blocker exists. Half a dozen agents load up intel maps, Google earth and other tools. The blocking link is identified a call goes out for agents.

Feb 2nd 8:45am: Yellow7 takes out the blocking link, Moritiz and Thrakazog head back to the First State Park.

Feb 2nd 10:50am: The final link is thrown and the control field comes up.

Thank you to everyone that played a role in making this field possible.
It was a thrilling experience and an incredible organizational triumph from beginning to end.
Keep reaching out. Keep leveling up. Stay enlightened, and stay tuned for more.

- NorCal Enlightened