Operation: Pot of Gold (L8 dHCF)
Hide it and work hard
Building the field didn’t mean our job was over, though. We needed to archive the logs for later analysis and we intentionally broke and destroyed the field so that nobody could tell what we had been doing there by glancing at the map. We left the place looking like all the devils czecked in and had a field day! The agents got home safe and happy as can be and their work was all but done. There was one more task for them however, for everyone involved in fact.
What came next was maybe the hardest part of the whole bi-operation for some of us. Can you imagine the situation? You’ve got it. You’ve done it. You know you’re the first in the world. You’re the best… and you mustn’t tell anyone!! This doesn’t happen with other operations, an agent is not ready for this. But this time we were convinced that it was necessary. We were worried that someone could report the double portal and we would lose the chance to follow through with our endeavor to the end.
The first couple of days were really tough. We battled the urge to tell someone by working hard on a project many times more amazing, our grand finale.
I had contacted the German agent @GLH510 before this test already. At first regarding a different matter, but then he let it slip that they were planning an L7 xHCF in Dresden for January 2020. This was the second time when luck was on our side. I let him in on what we were planning to test in a few days and offered that should the test go well, Dresden could participate on the colossal finale. One thing led to another and Dresden gave up the date of their L7 xHCF for our L8 dHCF. And so @GLH510 became a member of our organization team for the German side.
Now the date was set and we launched recruitment. Invitations (česky | English) flew out into the neighboring countries and spread via trustworthy and safe channels through our countries as well. Agents began to register… And then came the, for me tremendous, surprise. In my wildest dreams I was hoping for 6 cars for the whole operation, but reality surpassed that in a fantastic way. These 6 cars were for the Czech Republic alone! There were 6 more from Dresden and another 3 from Berlin! Yes, the recruitment sparked interest in Germany’s capital! And our ORGA team was joined by agent @genmaicha for the Berlin expedition.
Soon it was clear I had to start planning the operation almost back from the start and on a significantly bigger scale for way more teams. Yes, it was a lot of extra work, but… WOOAW! Forty agents for one homogeneous field? This is amazing!
There was much left to sort out. This field was way bigger than the L7 dHCF test and with that came bigger problems as well:
A great portion of the area is inaccessible by cars, only on foot or on bikes -> move and replace portals in the field portal network.
There is an area in Lausa where the portals are hidden behind locked gates -> find someone with the key or move/replace portals.
Parts of the area are strongly ENL-active -> avoid couch portals, those that cannot be bypassed have to be left for the end, i.e. adjust the linkplan again.
Some portals are still not accessible or not accessible by car at least -> modify the portal network or find a way and plan an away team…
Some things could be solved by moving portals, some could not. Mostly there weren’t many portals to choose from and there was a real danger that we would have to for example move a vertex anchor, which would almost shatter all work done up to that point. Especially the area behind locked gates was a big complication. @57Cell and I had even started to look for alternative portal networks as a backup plan, but then we got word from Germany that they had an agent who could get us through the gates – he had a key.
Then we had to deal with the language barrier. I don’t speak German and my English is poor even in written form, let alone spoken word. Therefore I couldn’t personally direct the German teams in the field. I needed help! I reached out to several authors of German L6 HCFs and got a recommendation for @MissLegat. I’m very glad she accepted the invitation to join our ranks. All 9 German cars found themselves under her leadership and their task was to build the “basefield”. As the German operator had already helmed two L6 HCFs before, I had absolute faith in her abilities from the start. The remaining 6 Czech cars under my leadership would take care of the wings and the field finalization.
Easily said, but to plan a coordinated cooperation of 21 functional teams that would be sending dozens of links from many portals in a short time window and a small area, that was an immense challenge for me personally. I had never before done anything like it. It’s so much different from building a HCF with three teams, and it is completely different from building a BAF, even with 100 agents in the field. Moreover, this work also meant preparing linkplans for every single functional team separately including their route visualization.
Another big step was farming the keys in advance. For this once we couldn’t rely on any experimental approach, there was too much at stake. The role of POC on key duty naturally fell on the shoulders of agent @GLH510, the member of our ORGA team in whose home area the portals were. He organized farming and capsuling the keys and handled his role excellently for which he deserves great appreciation!
On to the finale, then!
And then came the moment when everything was ready. Agents started to gather at the meeting point near the center portal of the basefield slightly in advance. The distribution of linkplans and key capsules and group photos took place. Then the agents, in high spirits and full of energy, departed for their starting portals and waited for the launch of this bold operation. Midnight drew near and with it the first heart attack of this operation.
- 10 minutes before midnight the first German teams began their work
- 9 minutes before midnight one of the German teams reports:
“Ehm, is someone still at the meeting point? I think we left a key capsule there…” After the initial shock the team that’s still there reports: “We see something, we’ll go investigate…” It was the capsule. The handover to the forgetful team went fine after that.
In this pre-midnight moment I was absolutely certain that my German colleague was completely awake even had she been happily snoozing over intel a little while ago! Time for heart attack number two.
- 5 minutes before midnight: “FROG in the area!” Luckily a local one and unmoving… we’re stopping the left wing of the field, the others are proceeding.
- 8 minutes after midnight everybody is carrying on already… until the third heart attack.
- 0:28 the Czech team reports:
“Operator? There are supposed to be SBULs on our portal? We’ve put in two AXAs and now we’re not sure…” “No, that one wasn’t supposed to be shielded, it’s supposed to have 3x SBUL…” The team offers to go get a new key before immunity runs out, which I approve and I stop the whole right wing until the base link is rebuilt.
It was rather fortunate that the right wing team was still just formatting the terrain and still hadn’t begun linking. That would have been a much bigger damage to the plan. The wing team finished cleaning the area and was awaiting the base link renewal at the starting portal.
- 0:43 one of the teams calls:
“Uh, operator? The portal I’m supposed to be linking out of is covered by a field…” Indeed, a check shows that another team had missed the breakpoint.
And the operator knows that the portal is, of course, immune. Nevertheless, before the fix was prepared, the immunity had almost run out. The fix was successful, we’re back in the game!
- 1:23 the core is finished and the teams are at the vertices, ready to finish the basefield.
- 1:30 an unknown RES agent on the position where the frog had been spotted at the operation launch. A backup German team was dispatched and the Czech team that had but a moment before finally started to build their wing was paused. In the meanwhile the blue account started putting the brakes on our operation, two of his links were messing up our work. A fix was arranged. The Czech team departs for the next village over to be handed more keys by their German colleagues and to prepare to make a fix.
- 1:42 the basefield is almost up, a minute later one missing key necessary for its completion is detected. Luckily that is easily fixed, the team is on its way for this key…
- 1:58 the left wing cleans up the mess and continues their work.
- 2:01 the base L6 HCF is completely finished, the wings are still hard at work.
- 2:26 left wing wraps up
- 2:42 right wing wraps up
- 2:50 HELLO WORLD! WE MADE IT!
RES GER and CZRES intel operators and WARES cheerleader
It’s become something of a tradition for me to reminisce about a topic. This time the topic is: Elite team. In our operation this theme was interwoven into its course several times.
As we all surely know from our own experience, even in a relative simple link scheme of a BAF there can be mistakes. All the more here, with an L6+ HCF, that’s a different thing altogether. In an operation so complex as this one there is simply no single operator who can see everything, that would mean there would have to be at least as many of us as there are teams! HCF is not an anomaly, it doesn’t necessarily need 10 or more operators, though it certainly could be done that way. We, the HCF operators, count on that the teams will check their own work and report anything suspicious. And then we deal with it operatively. Of course we also actively search and we watch over the progress and handle what we find… but it is a mutual, double-sided cooperation.
It’s not just the operator who has to be a professional (I’m bowing deep in appreciation, lady @MissLegat ). The team has to be as well. In such a situation it’s very valuable if the team doesn’t hesitate to report a mistake, not just someone else’s one that they notice, but even their own in the first place! And ASAP! Nothing gets shushed up and nobody pretends not to see it! Doesn’t hope that it somehow sorts itself out.
Is that enough to make an ordinary team into a good one? Yes. And an elite one? No. There’s a bit more needed for that still. I am always happy when a team finds their own mistake. But there is one more necessary step: it has to be fixed. Proactively, if possible! While I’m reporting a mistake, I’m already thinking of how to fix it. Do I have the keys? Can I swing by the necessary portals? I approach the remedy in a proactive way. And not just my own mistakes! If I see that I’m close by and can act in the interest of fixing someone else’s mistake, I suggest it to the operator. And that is exactly what the teams in this operation did!
So they’ve made a mistake? That’s not the point! Managing, even quite often, to handle tasks in several operations in a row without making a mistake doesn’t make you elite. You’re good, but not elite. We all make mistakes in the end, sooner or later, more or less often. It’s the approach to crisis that makes an elite team out of an ordinary or good one. The elite team doesn’t whine, doesn’t grumble and complain, and never tries to pin their mistake on somebody else! Elite team works as a well-oiled machine and fixes the mistake without fussing, no matter who made it!
I am honored to have been able to lead elite teams through this amazing operation!
This is the RESISTANCE way !
That’s how we work !
Go back to the first part right here !
SUMMARY: During the operation there were (including the errors and fixes) almost 500 fields built for a total of 232K MUs. These fields helped to erect a 6-layers homogeneous basefield using the “through core” method and to place two wings above this basefield using the “from baseline” method, resulting in the creation of the first in the world 8-layer homogeneous field (L8 dHCF) by finalisation on the double portal. Over an area of 62,78km2 the field itself consisted of a total of 162 portals and 486 links. It was erected over the northeast area near the city of Dresden on January 19, 2020 at 2:50am. The first small damage suffered the field at 9:12am in the village of Schönborn by @gewitterdd, which destroyed one portal in the middle of the left wing. Later the northern anchor was destroyed at 10: 21h by @brausepaul1. Building the whole field took 3:01 hours and under the leadership of 2 operators it was carried out by 38 agents from two countries.