I got out of work unexpectedly early on Thursday, and with July 3rd off for the Fourth of July holiday.    So I spent an hour and a half with an Ingress field-busting plan.

The mechanics of the game include capturing portals and making fields.    But the higher game is the global score, along with the “cell” score.     This is a local, and a global, game.    Fields that survive to a checkpoint contribute to the score(s) at that time.   So, one of the things you can do as an agent is not to worry about capturing and linking, but instead just wreck the enemies fields.   Both count the same, scoring wise.    Make your own points, or deny the enemy his.    This was my goal for this time.

Busted up several fields in Burbank, and then I put the call out on the comms, and found myself involved in a spontaneous “op” in the SCV.    I had an agent working Intel.    Several people on recharge duty monitoring the hangout.    An unintentional guardian to protect, and a lot of big green fields to worry about.

Having someone do your intel for you is very useful.  You don’t have to scour maps and verify (or pick) targets as you play.    Just listen to what they’re saying and hit portals as they call them out.    Speeds you up in the field, and every minute counts running around town in your car.    I was directed to a rural portal, instead of simply heading up Sierra Highway.

After killing it, I traveled to a second important anchor.     Then, it happened.    Guardian under attack.    Defense continues to be nearly impossible in this game, and it was no exception this time – guardian lost.    I was able to feel good anyway –  The portal I was standing on was a campfire, with huge fields built right off of it.    A few lower-level bursters and it fell.    Now, it’s time to try a third portal.

There’s a local agent, and I assume his wife, on the Enlightened team.    I’ve not met this guy, despite actively trying to a few times.   Way on the other end of the SCV, they’re active, hitting portals, and I hear my intel guy firing it all off in comms to keep me informed.    They’re heading in my direction.

Now, I’ve reached the third portal.    BOOM !   I blow it down and kill all the links.    As I walk off to find a good spot to lay down a resonator, I get frantic info on the comms – he’s right there !    With me !

Now, picture the scene.   This portal is sitting in a large parking lot, with room for probably 125 cars.    It’s a madhouse – full of everyday muggles on their way to one errand or another, and the scene of a growing otherworldy confrontation.     Me, I have a habit of determining that so-and-so is an agent, when they aren’t, so I don’t trust my instincts very much.    And right now, I know that I DO NOT want to meet this guy, I’m trying to stay out of sight and keep on with defense.

Time to play.... Cloak.   And.   Dagger.

Time to play…. Cloak. And. Dagger.

If I let this agent throw his fields and recapture the portal I just claimed, with a single resonator, I can wreck his fields and keep everything from counting towards the score.   Plus, he’ll have wasted his keys.     So this is the plan that forms in my mind.

But I’m getting hollered at that….. he’s THERE !   And I can’t see him.    Constantly looking around with a phone in my hand, I’m going to be easily spotted, so I decide to Tebow.    Standing in the middle of the parking lot, I simply get onto one knee and squat, letting all the muggles parked cars hide me from view of the portal, and the range around it.

Squat on one knee.   One hand up, to stick the phone in my face.   This is "Ingress Tebowing".

Squat on one knee. One hand up, to stick the phone in my face. This is “Ingress Tebowing”.

I get some useful intel from other agents about his car – he’s obviously not on foot – but not being much of a car guy, I can’t spot it.    Minutes pass.    Links are thrown.   And another friendly agent is on his way to our spot.

I sneak over to my car, in view of the portal and the range of action around it.   Is that….. his car ?      A car is half in my view which matches the description.   I sit and wait for it to move, while noting the movement of other cars from the portal area.    I call out to my friendly agent who is just about to the scene, so he can spot me.

The friendly now – this guy is a good agent.   But he didn’t give me enough information to spot HIM.    No “I’m here” upon reaching the parking lot.    I just see a guy in a blue shirt.   He’s acting like an Ingress operative, and he’s not pulled up in a car.    Turns out he parked out of sight, but that’s not what I thought at the time.

Meanwhile, my Intel guy is done and has real life to attend to.   No more help from him.   The friendly has parked out of sight for whatever reason.    He’s totally figured out who I am – I was deadly clear.    He thinks I know who he is.

I’m pounding away on the comms saying “who is blue shirt guy”, and bless her, his wife does not understand me or isn’t aware of what shirt her husband is wearing that day.   Hangouts gives no confirmation.    So I’m wondering if this is THE BAD GUY.    He gives me a friendly nod.   I don’t react – because that’s THE BAD GUY.    Maybe.

I watch blue shirt walk across the parking lot in a smart intel sweep.     No doubt, he’s an agent – but for which side ?

And I watch the time and finally decide, the BAD GUY must have left.   I’ve been diddling around in a parking lot for ten full minutes.    I’m still not spotting him.   He must have been one of the cars I saw pulling out and in, and left the area.    Was I spotted ?   It’s only a big deal in terms of this portal, right now, but I don’t think so.   He’d probably have reacted, somehow, to my presence.   So it’s still a question of Codename Versus Doc.

I decide it’s time to hit up the portal.    But, who is blue shirt ?

And blue shirt is standing right at the portal with his phone out.    100% confirmation this is an agent.   And it dawns on me, this guy is the friendly.     After capturing the portal, it’s confirmed – it’s him.

And so I walk over to introduce myself, not having met this guy before.   It was awkward – he’s still looking for THE BAD GUY, and trying not to give me away.    He was good – all my yabbering on the comms didn’t reach him, because he’s being stealthy and not walking with his phone glued to his eyes.    And it finally dawns on him, I have no idea who he is.

I headed home, hitting nothing on the way – that will keep BAD GUY guessing, for what little that’s worth – and turn the game off for the night.    In case you’re wondering – Oh My God.   That was fun.   What a crazy and enjoyable geeky way to spend a few hours.

The fields were down, and stayed down.   But BAD GUY has a lot of time on his hands – after several more hours, the same two people put them back up around 11:00 pm.   Rats.

Canyon Country is looking pretty green.   July 3rd, 7 am.

Canyon Country is looking pretty green. July 3rd, 7 am.

Doc Burbank – Farmer ?   Check.    Fielder ?   Check.    Portal killer ?   Check.    Intel officer ?   Check.

Spotter ?   Fail.