Elite pilot rescued after being stranded outside galaxy


An explorer in Elite Dangerous who was stranded outside our galaxy has been rescued thanks to a trio of pilots who flew out to refuel her. The rescue mission took days to plan and execute because of the long distances involved. But eventually the explorer, Commander Persera, was returned to the milky way after setting a new record for travelling further from Sol than any other player. Not to mention spending a full week in the void between galaxies.

“It feels like both one of the shortest and longest weeks of my life,” she said.

The explorer had ventured out into the black in the hopes of breaking a previous record but became stranded after a fuel miscalculation. Basically, she didn’t have enough space petrol to make the return journey.

But a group of Elite players known as the Fuel Rats – pilots who rescue other players by refilling their tanks with fuel limpet drones or fixing broken systems with repair drones – scrambled to rescue Persera. From the point of departure at a remote system called Semotus Beacon, it would take two full days of real time flying to reach her. But on December 23, they finally did.

“I can hardly describe the sound of a ship dropping out nearby,” she said in a forum post, “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!”

That post is a long and roleplaying-heavy account of the rescue. There’s colour in there that isn’t part of the game proper (mention of a Faulcon deLacy representative, for example) but it might be fun to read if you’re a Cobra head.

For those who want to see what the rescue looks like in reality, one of the Fuel Rats was taking a video of the mission. Here’s their final approach to Persera’s location, the moment she mentioned when the three kings arrived, like in some weird space nativity.

My favourite part is when one of the rescue team says: “Okay, time for a photoshoot”. For the explorer, however, her adventure was not over. You might remember that her reason for travelling so far out was to drop a cannister of mugs as far as possible from our own solar system – a jokey, in-character task she took from the “Hutton Orbital Tourism Bureau”. Well, she finished the job. Here’s the moment Commander Persera went a further 20km to drop the mugs in the darkest void.

And here’s the moment everyone jumped safely back to a scoopable star, putting all four pilots back in the smothering arms of our milky way.

Although Commander Persera technically still holds the record for furthest distance travelled from Sol by 20 kilometers, the fuel rats went more or less an equal distance to refuel her. It isn’t something she begrudges.

“As far as I’m concerned,” she said, “they deserve that record more than I do.”


  1. BobbyDylan says:

    Ah Elite. I’ve hundreds of hours played, but I’ve not booted it up for over a year now. And I doubt I will in 2018 either, given how little ambition FD seem to be showing towards the project.

    • Asurmen says:

      Touch wood the changes to exploration this year will inject some life. I want to be able to find things.

      • CidL says:

        Absolutely. Improvements to exploration – making it fun – would have more than a few players getting back into the game I think, me included.

        • Feriluce says:

          I’ve only ever been interested in Elite for the exploration. I have spent days doing literally nothing but jumping from system to system. If they improve that system in any way, I’d be back immediately.

  2. gpown says:

    that’s a lot of loading screens…

    • Det. Bullock says:

      Do you mean the hyperspace animation?

      • theremin says:

        Procgen and network instancing for the next system happen during the witchspace jump.

      • Det. Bullock says:

        I’m aware of that but it’s somewhat baffling people put always the accent on that, it’s not like other open world spacesims are different in that regard (at least the ones I played).

  3. guidom says:

    it was a sweet moment. put me in a right jolly mood for xmas.

  4. wombat191 says:

    From what I have read of EVE they probably would of killed her and kept her corpse to be auctioned to the highest builder that ended up resulting in a war that claimed tens of thousands

    • Ghostwise says:

      From what I remember from playing Spectrum Holobyte’s Gato, they probably would have use the periscope to check for Japanese destroyers before attacking the convoy.

    • Evan_ says:

      Well, there is no fuel in EvE. If you stray too far from civilization, you could always head back to where people will kill you.

    • metalangel says:

      EvE is home to the Signal Cartel’s Rescue Corps, who rescue people from the one place it’s possible to get stranded: wormholes.

      They do this by leaving caches of probe launchers and probes in each wormhole, and by seeking out people who specifically call for help to try and find the hole they’re in and lead them back out.

    • Sound says:

      You’re presenting that like it’s a bad, or unexpected thing. But PvP(in some form) is largely the point of Eve. So yeah, I’d shoot her, but it’s not a big deal in that game. It’s not the sort of thing a rational player who understands Eve would begrudge. And the risks involved with any given activity is part of the impetus for so much of what makes Eve such a compelling, social-heavy, player-driven beacon, part of the reason why it doesn’t rely on developers churning out content.

      I really should be over it at this point, but it does bother me that so many people present Eve & it’s playerbase like a griefer sociopath’s playground. That’s no more true than any given FPS or combat sim. The game has a popularly agreed upon rough purpose, and a structure of incentives, and engaging with it is fun.

      • JarinArenos says:

        It’s a sandbox game, but a lot of players want to treat it as a “catbox” type sandbox and crap all over everything. Then they will proceed to yell “That’s what sandboxes are for!” as they make sure the game is only fun for griefers.

        – yes, it’s a bit of an exaggeration. But you cannot even begin to deny that there’s a large portion of the userbase who make it their primary goal to stomp all over those pesky “carebears” in highsec.

        • goodpoints says:

          It’s a sandbox game, but a lot of players want to treat it as a “catbox” type sandbox and crap all over everything. Then they will proceed to yell “That’s what sandboxes are for!” as they make sure the game is only fun for griefers.

          I have no idea what the political situation has been like the past year, but going by past experience, I think what you say is confirmed by the juvenile channer names of whatever alliances are in power at any given moment.

    • cultiv8ed says:

      Yep if this was Eve she would’ve been forced to sing a variety of songs over comms and pay a ransom before being rescued :)

    • lordcooper says:

      Eh, it’s fairly common for some newbro or other to get stuck in a wormhole and receive help after posting on /r/eve.

      Things like this happen often enough in Eve to not really be worth mentioning, whereas it makes in the news in Elite because ‘OMG *something* happened’.

  5. Chiron says:

    [That Alan Partridge shrugging gif]

  6. fuggles says:

    Forgive me gang. How did the fuel rats have enough fuel and she didn’t? Bigger ships, fuller tanks? She miscalculated so is there some trade off to not taking fuel?

    • DrazharLn says:

      Miscalculation. Maybe also different ships, equipment.

    • JarinArenos says:

      And with the mention of logistics, possibly using other ships to refuel partway out.

      • AthanSpod says:

        Indeed, it’s an example of link to en.wikipedia.org – although in this case they couldn’t simply drop fuel for later pick-up, they had to have another ship refuel them before it headed back to pick up more. And to be clear, in this case “head back to pick up more” would be “jump to nearest star, jump back to this star, scoop more fuel, then go back out to the waiting ship” (modified if needs be if the local star isn’t actually scoopable).

  7. Blackcompany says:

    Now if only Frontier would add more tools for emergent game play, as opposed to trying to control everything like they are making some AAA story based, linear game…

    Some sandbox. Whole lot of Sand, and narry a shovel nor a bucket to be found…