Operation: Teddy Bears’ Picnic
(All puns painfully intended. Bear with me…)
Because, actually, today was the day. A bunch of tough-as-hell agents with a substantial crazy streak decided to throw caution to the wind, and have a picnic.
Wait, no, I mean fielded over Manchester! Although it must be said that various agents did indeed go down to the woods (well, Delamere Forest) and some of us couldn’t believe our eyes as we scaled Kinder Scout to remove a tricky blocker. For every agent that ever there was in Manchester, we made today the day that our city woke up to a lovely 6-layer blanket, and we were indeed all home for 6am.
The op was not without its grizzly side though for certain, because although various teams made a valiant and thorough job of link clearance, our first attempt the previous night was thwarted by a nasty bugbear. The complete lack of signal at Snake Pass was more than a cross to bear and although our team did everything they could while enduring the unbearable wait, there was simply no pawsibility of taking the blocker down, even with our ex-panda-ble wifi antenna. We were stumped. The only other option was to bear the elements and climb Jacob’s Ladder in polar conditions, and though we were all considerably furryious with the situation, it sounded sadly like a step too fur.
As our various teams returned to our various sized beds, dejected and more than a little embearrassed, we presumed that failure was upon us. Nevertheless, upon waking up the following day (and possibly after a bowl of porridge or two), optimism sprung anew, and our various ground teams limbeared up for a fresh attempt. Our forbears had clambeared over these same obstacles in the past, why should we not become the new bearers of the Manchester fielding torch? (Frankly it was either that or field over Bearmingham, and as stated in the original tale, we had to be home by 6am.)
So we collectively regained our bearings, and set off to finish the link clearances. As luck would have it, an intrepid Glossop agent of proud bearing and with experience of the unbearable signal problems on the Pennines offered very kindly to take us up Jacob’s Ladder to remove the other side of the troublesome Snake Pass blocker IN THE DARK! With no choice but to grin and bear it, we tentatively followed his s-teddy path up the side of Kinder, and acting as our bear in sheep’s clothing, our adventurous agent quietly took down the block. The west link path was clear! As our trusty lone agent up in the North (who may not have left any droppings in the woods, but may have filled an empty bottle in the car…!) cleared the way for the east link path, our Delamere Forest team was busy creating panda-monium in Macclesfield to disguise their clearance of the south link path. Potentially dangerous Macclesfield portals subtly sandwiched between blocking links, the Delamere boys could finally go down to the woods.
At this point, we could all smell the honey pot, and we pawsed to do a final check of keys and link orders, just to be furry sure all agents on the ground would get their share of the prize. Team Delamere raced over to the forest to prepare the great surprise, and thus we were all at our final bearings, ready to throw. Fielding time for agents was upon us, and all involved coordinated themselves perfectly as we covered our city six times (or three sandwiches’ worth) in our team’s koala (colour, sorry). Tired agents happily made their separate ways home and slept contentedly under a blanket, that in our opinion, was just right.
Final field counts:
Layer 1: 870,020 MU
Layer 2: 875,856 MU
Layer 3: 876,174 MU
Layer 4: 876,356 MU
Layer 5: 888,834 MU
Layer 6: 889,272 MU
Total: 5,276,512 MU
The success of this op was the outcome of some awesome team work by a very hard-working bunch of agents both on the ground and in the sky. A large number of these agents were new to bigger fielding ops, a trend which we would be very happy to see continue! It’s not easy to field over Manchester by any means, particularly as the Resistance, due to the blue-dominated areas entirely covering potential link paths, but they managed it nonetheless and we’re very grateful for all those who gave their time and gear to this op. Many thanks also to those who held back on linking and fielding to let this op go ahead, and let us drop their portals. Apologies and gratitude should also be extended to @DazTheDJ, who was at the Delamere anchors at 5am to field at the first attempt, but could not make the second successful attempt.
Special thanks to @Kev792 and @virtek who let 146 day and 122 day guardians drop for this op.
Paws on the ground:
Taking @virtek and @pecorino up Kinder Scout in the pitch black:
Peak District Hiking Team:
Planning and dispatch:
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