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Thread: The Void Beyond

  1. #136
    Well, that was even more intense than expected.

    Right now just here to say thanks to everyone who helped make this rescue possible, especially CMDRs theUnkn0wn1, Highwaywarrior and ABish and the rest of the Mischief.

    And everyone thanks to everyone here and in the Elite community for your support.

    The last few hours have been a little crazy due to some technical difficulties. Still don’t have all systems fully back online. Once that’s sorted, hopefully will be able to provide more details.

    But for now I’m back from the black and ship is fully fueled.

  2. #137
    Welcome back from the void Commander.

  3. #138
    Welcome back, Cmdr - gripping viewing indeed! o7

  4. #139

    Fuel Rats are awesome, hats off to you all and safe home CMDR Persera

  5. #140
    I was watching the twitch stream from inside my cockpit (VR, using the new Oculus Dash to pin the window in the cockpit). It was very cool to watch it unfold. Congrats, and well done everyone!

  6. #141
    Alright, go FUEL RATS!

    Now that's dedication to the job!

  7. #142
    A few more screen caps from the stream Beyond! #ForTheMug!

  8. #143
    The Fuel Rats would fly to Andromeda and back to give a Cmdr a chance at returning home. You guys are truly dedicated, my hat's off to you!

  9. #144

    I’ll warn you now, this is update is a bit on the long side, but for those of you who’d like all the gory details, here goes:

    As those of you who were watching the stream may have noticed, my ship was tumbling erratically during much of the rescue.

    There’s a reason for that. When we plotted this course out into the black, my pilot Sabrina and I systematically disabled any system not necessary for flight in Supercruise. Any component that could be powered down, was powered down, to maximize the amount of time in supercruise.

    Then, when the main fuel tank drained sooner than expected, even though the systems panel registered enough fuel, we found ourselves unable to jump.

    After dropping out of super cruise, and repeatedly trying to engage the FSD, it became clear that we were suddenly stranded. At that point I triggered the emergency cutoff. There was no way to know it at the time, but it turns out this was a mistake.

    Under normal circumstances this wouldn’t have been a problem. But due to the strain on the system from the prolonged supercruise journey, or from some fault left over from the repairs in Colonia, when the shutdown was triggered it failed to disengage the cockpit control systems correctly. Normally these are powered from a tap off of the power distributor - but of course I had the distributor off, so they were using a secondary tap allowing them to draw directly to the main power plant.

    So when rest of the system powered down, a surge went through the cockpit controls. I didn’t notice at the time because they went dark just as you’d expect during an emergency cutoff, and also because I had more pressing matters occupying my attention.

    It wasn’t till the beacon check yesterday at 21:00 UTC on the 22nd of December, that we noticed something was wrong.

    The beacon check itself went smoothly. I was able to acquire wing signal from the members of my rescue team and enable my wing beacon. They were able to get a good lock so that they could verify that they were on course and determine the distance and thus ETA.

    With the rescue team on course, I disabled the beacon and dropped back to low power mode.

    But unlike the previous few beacon checks, I didn’t head back to the stasis pod right away.

    Ever since I’d “sent out the rat-signal”, I’ve had amazing support from the team who took on my case. The Fuel Rats who fly out to clients with fuel and repair limits are only half the story. Behind the scenes there’s a huge amount of work to ensure that rescues run as smoothly as possible. These dedicated commanders usually also fly refueling runs, but spend part of their time in other roles such as dispatch.

    So during all of the time that Sabrina and I were tucked away in our pods, and while CMDRs theUnkn0wn1, Highwaywarrior and ABish were traveling out to me by hyperspace and then supercruise, this support team was coordinating everything and drawing up procedures for the actual rescue.

    Apart from the extreme distance, my case wasn’t particularly unusual, so we had been following the standard procedures, although we were following something closer to the protocol used for clients who are already on O2 instead of main life support, to maximise power levels in case problems arose.

    After powering down the beacon, my support team had me run through a series of system checks to make sure everything would work when the time came.

    When it came time to power on the cockpit control systems it was clear that something was amiss. The displays themselves came up just fine. The thrusters were still offline, so obviously the controls were unresponsive - but the maneuvering system wasn’t registering inputs. Normally trying to maneuver with the drives off would result in the audio prompt “Thrusters Offline” and the status message “Drives Offline: Zero Thrust Capability”. But in this case, nothing.

    This was a problem. You can’t complete a jump if you can’t maneuver, since your ship has to be pointed towards the target star before the FSD will fully engage.

    We continued on to the rest of the system checks and thankfully that was the only issue. I sent off the full diagnostic report to my support team and hoped they’d be able to not just figure out the nature of the problem, but a way to solve it.

    At that point we had to coordinate when to next perform a beacon check. These had all gone perfectly modulo a few minor issue with procedure: before you can get a lock on a wing beacon you need to be a) in supercruise and b) have sensors enabled. Since everyone was conserving as much power as possible, they were all running with sensors powered down most of the time. Despite everything, we still got a good chuckle whenever we realized we couldn’t get a lock because someone had forgot to turn them back on.

    So as mentioned in a previous post we decided to forgo any further beacon checks until closer to rendezvous.

    Meanwhile, the control system issue was being troubleshooted, first by the support team, and then gradually drawing in others until it also included a representative from Faulcon deLacy as well as the repair team at Colonia Dream who’d done the major refit after the pirate attack. I found out later that the Faulcon deLacy representative was already trying to contact me with regards to the instrumentation issue that stranded me in the first place.They tell me there’s probably too many variables to tell though - that long in supercruise is “outside normal operating parameters”, especially when you couple that with the FSD injection. But they assure me they’ll keep investigating.

    At the next scheduled check in with my support team, first they told me the bad news: The power runs to the cockpit control systems were completely fried. They were repairable, but not quickly and not easily.

    In my career with the pilot’s federation I’ve donned many hats. Bounty hunter, trader, explorer, miner. Even spent some time in the Arena. But I’ve never been a mechanic, so I didn’t feel confident that I’d be able to correctly repair the power runs under the circumstances.

    Luckily next came the good news: they’d worked out a plan B. I won’t claim to understand all the details, but long story short, they were able rig up a way of controlling the ship via a fighter while it was still docked in the hangar. I remember one of the Fuel Rats finding it strange that I’d outfitted a fighter hangar for a trip like this, but boy was I glad that I did.

    It was a close thing, but they got the software patch done in time, as well as the procedures to go along with it. At 20:00 UTC Sabrina and I cycled out of stasis to find a complex set of instructions and not much time to finish - the rescue team had already made it to within a fraction of a lightyear of our position.

    It was touch and go for a while - there was more to it then just loading up the patch and hitting run - the system wasn’t designed to interface the ship and fighter this way. So at first we didn’t think we’d have it ready in time for the planned 21:00 UTC ‘go time’.

    And we didn’t. But there was no reason not to bring up the beacon and begin final triangulation.

    Pretty much on schedule we powered on the main systems as well as the beacon and joined the wing. Check was solid and they were only 0.17Ly away from me. Pretty good considering they’d been traveling for 24 hours since the last check. That done we powered down for what would hopefully be the last time.

    Which gave Sabrina, myself and the support team only 34 minutes to finish jury rigging the flight controls.

    That entire period is now a blur. Sabrina was position on the flight deck, still controlling all the systems we couldn’t tie into the fighter, like the wing beacon, main navigation and FSD, while I was down in the fighter. I think that’s the first time I’ve ever been in one physically, instead of via telepresence. The software patch had cannibalized the telepresence connection free up bandwidth for the control systems. And anway, the guess where the inputs for the telepresence systems usually come from...

    15 minutes later, we were still working all the kinks out of the jury rigged control system when the support team let us know we should re-establish beacon and wing. I was frantically trying to do three things at once - deal with the technical issues, coordinate with the rescue wing, and follow the procedures from support. Unfortunately that meant that I couldn’t do much more than fire off a few quick messages to the wider community. I barely even remembered to engage the video recording systems and I’m not even sure yet if it worked.

    I can hardly describe the sound of a ship dropping out nearby, despite having probably heard it a thousand times by now. Sometimes it’s just background, sometimes it’s the sound of imminent danger, but this time it was the most glorious sound I’d ever heard - and I got to hear it three times in rapid succession.

    CMDRs Abish, Highwaywarrior and theUnkn0wn1 had arrived! Within seconds I was hearing the sounds of limpets contacting the ship off and the ship’s computer reporting that fuel transfer was underway. Sabrina were immediately starting bringing all the essential systems up to full power. But the control system was still out of whack. So there I am, tumbling wildly with apparently thousands watching.

    When I’d pictured sending off the mugs on their eternal journey I’d imagined something a little more grand than what actually happened: After I finally got the tumble under control, and Sabrina had established a proper nav lock I was able to fly just a few hundred meters further out and jettison the canister of personalised Hutton Mugs that had started this whole journey. The plan had been to push it gently into the void using the fighter, but since that was now tied directly into the flight control systems for the Rough Landing, that was no longer possible. Not trusting my jury rigged controls, I couldn’t even safely give it a gentle nudge with the ship itself.

    And uttering grand words at that moment was just about the last thing on my mind - my apologies to the The Hutton Orbital Tourism Bureau and their customers.

    The arrangement was not quite what had been planned by my rescue team. They’d hoped that I’d be able to fly out a little way in supercruise to clearly establish the record that I’d come out here to set, showing once again that Fuel Rats are just about the most honorable, dedicated and selfless souls I hope you never have the need to meet.

    So instead of a few dozen megameters or more, I technically hold the record by less than five hundred meters. I think. As I said, it’s all a bit of a blur. As far as I’m concerned they deserve that record more than I do.

    It was now time to pay attention to what really mattered - jumping back to Oevasy RG-Y d0. It had been plotted as my destination for much of the last week, but with the state of our systems currently, Sabrina actually had a little difficulty re-establishing a proper lock.

    So with almost no ceremony, Sabrina finally engaged the FSD.

    Nothing happened.

    It actually took a moment to realise why not: we’d deployed the cargo hatch to jettison the mugs!

    Once the hatch was closed, Sabrina was able finally able to initiate the jump to hyperspace, and back to Oevasy RG-Y d0, which I left just over a week ago. In fact as I write this it’s almost exactly a week since I powered down my fuel scoop at Semotus Beacon / Ishum's Reach B and headed out into the black. It feels like both one of the shortest and longest weeks of my life.

    Back in supercruise, with the control system still a bit shaky, I managed to enter fuel scooping range of the only body in Oevasy RG-Y d0 - an unremarkable G class star, not entirely unlike Sol itself. My 7A scoops made quick work of refilling the tank. All I could think to say was “Sweet, sweet fuel”.

    After moving far enough away from the star so that heat wouldn’t be a problem, and then thanking my rescuers for their efforts, we were forced to power down the ship again. The jury rigged control system got us here, but it definitely isn’t going to get us back to civilization.

    So as we work to undo all the modifications and fully power up all systems, I’m getting the chance to don the mechanic hat for the first time. Now that the situation has almost normalized, we should be able to take the time to do it right. I expect it’ll be a while before the we get the Rough Landing ship shape again, so until then We’ll be out here, one jump from the edge.

    It’s been a crazy adventure. I am humbled before all the dedicated individuals who helped bring me back and the outpouring of support from the galactic community as a whole.

    In a happy coincidence, I got this in the last batch of messages:

    Seems like a fitting place to end for now, but my journey is far from over.

    Happy Holidays Everyone!
    -CMDR Persera

  10. #145
    One day they'll write a book about you Cmdr Persera. Either that or you could write it for them. It was a privilege to be a part of the Fuel Rats team and to witness first hand your dispatching of the Hutton Mug into the void and beyond.

    I for one will remember this day for the rest of my life and may the Universe keep you safe until we meet again.

    Happy Christmas, Cmdr. It is an honour to salute you. o7

    Cmdr Highwaywarrior

  11. #146
    This is, just amazing and touching ! I am speechless

    Happy Christmas to you all involved, savers, saved and supporting community !!

  12. #147
    Only in Elite Dangerous - I tip my hat to all of you for your courage and determination.

    There needs to be a beacon, Frontier.

    Happy Holidays, everyone.


  13. #148
    It doesn't get any more epic thtan this:
    - Farthest possible system? check.
    - 50ly+ minimum jump range? check. Fuel reserves for 48 hours in SC, plus 16 to get out? err.. let me run to Colonia real quick. *one day later* check.
    - 2000+ watching the livestream? check. -- i am still amazed.

    Commander Theunkn0wn1 was first to respond to the Distress call, being awoken from stasis in orbit around Sag A*, and was informed of the minimum requirements. He imediately shook off the ice and jumped away to Colonia to fetch auxilerary fuel tanks, having to abandon unnecessary gear at Colonia Hub for safe keeping. Around this time Commander HighwayWarrior completed a rescue south of Colonia and reported his willingness to jump on this rescue. It is to my (theunkn0wn1) recollection he also stopped at Colonia to pick up Auxiliary tanks and other equipment necessary to make the trip.

    At some point Abish, freshly restored from Stasis himself, noted the existence of the rescue, and happened to already be heading up to Beagle Point on an entirely unreleated trip. During the course of Theunkn0wn1's travels His control hardware (and those of all the neighboring Commanders, suffered a power failure which resulted in irreversable damage to his hardware. After multiple attempts to restore controls it was proclaimed the hardware was unrecoverable, and theunkn0wn1 transferred necessary Navigational data and keys to his secondary control centre( dubbed "plan B" ). At this point Theunkn0wn1 had fallen at least 1 day behind the others and started the Supercruse journey aobut 5 hours late nonetheless carried on, knowing the fuel in his hold could been the difference between sucess and failure. It was quite possible both of the other rats could make it to the client and back out in one piece, but an extra 40 or 50 tonnes of fuel was too big a gamble.

    Upon ariving in system Theunkn0wn1 received a wing invite via the local Galnet stream from the other rats and used their beacons to set course. Topping off his tanks for the journey ahead unnecessary modules were locked into OFFLINE|PACKED status to eliminate unnecessary fuel consumption, as every Tonne mattered. Once things were set and Theunkn0wn1 was underway he established contact with the Beagle Point Galnet relay and established a Quantum-linked Galnet channel, using a previously obtained Auth code granted by the Pilots Federation, allowing him to cast everything he saw back to the bubble via relays. Unfortunately the relay was not in the best state of repair, and after a few huckups the connection was deemed stable enough to relay to SOL. Then came the long SC trip, acompanied with strange reports of Rubber ducks in the cockpit. During this time the Sol and Colonia based news feeds caught wind of the stream and, understanding the signifigance of what was unfolding on the other side of the galaxy, moved to ensure their readers gained access to the stream. At 15:00z, 17:00z, and 20:00z 12/22/3303 HighwayWarrior, abish, and Theunkn0wn1 had their MECO1 events. (Main Engine Cut Off to those outside the Federation)
    Engines shutdown and throttles zeroed they awaited for the rescue window to open at around 21:00z.

    The difference between MECO1 and the rescue window was to allow the rats to be in place, in case of any additional set backs while also allowing the client time to get herself ready for the big show. Beacon check Occured at 21:30z (aproximate) where it was discovered the client was still about 0.17LY ahead - thats .05 Light Years less than the average distance to Hutton Orbital if my mental math is correct. Rescue itself occured at 21:43:40(+-00:00:02), Commander theunkn0wn1 was attributed with the first limpet. fuel limpets were exchanged, all involved rats + client had sufficient fuel for the jump out. Commander Persera made a final 20 kilometers burn in normal space, before jettisoning her Mug. Reaffirming her record while the rats bore witness She then made the frameshift jump to the only nearby accessible star and scooped fuel like a pro. The rats followed suit.

    Commander Abish and Commander Highway warrior deserve medals for this.

    ~ report by Commander Theunkn0wn1, Fuel Rat.

  14. #149
    Happy Holidays CMDR Persera o7

    Happy Holidays CMDRs Abish, HighwayWarrior and TheUnkn0wn1 o7

    Happy Holidays Everyone o7

  15. #150
    That was just ridiculous.

    I heard about this via twitter and a mainstream gaming news feed.

    I took a special walk in the afternoon sun just to catch up on this tale and to find out how things turned out for Perspera and the Furl Rats.

    Just an extraordinary tale.

    And so hard to explain outside the circle of Elite Dangerous CMDRs.

    Well played all.