An Elite Dangerous pilot, Commander Deluvian Reyes Cruz, has been stranded in space for three months. Ambitiously hoping to set a record for the furthest distance travelled from Sol, he has instead found himself trapped in the lifeless abyss beyond the edge of the Milky Way, no doubt risking space madness. It took him over a month to reach that point, and he's been stuck there since November. This week, rescue is finally in sight.
It's being mounted by the Fuel Rats, which isn't too surprising. This player-created organisation has rescued countless players—including one attempt thwarted by a cat—supplying stranded pilots with life-saving fuel, and they're exactly the kind of thing you'd expect to exist out in space. When your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, you can get help, so why not out there, too?
The Fuel Rats must be a bit sick of daredevil explorers. Quite a few pilots have struck out into the unknowable reaches of space, setting records and getting stranded. Travelling beyond the galaxy seems like the easy bit; the hard part is getting back. And when players miscalculate their fuel consumption, it's the Fuel Rats that have to make journeys that take hundreds of hours—600 in this case—to save them.
Cruz had beaten some old records on previous attempts, and on his sixth, before disaster struck, he passed his personal best. Unfortunately, he got too eager, maybe a bit cocky, and found himself unable to frameshift after burning all his fuel.
The Fuel Rats rescue has been long and probably incredibly dull. Multiple commanders are involved to help refuel rescue ships, mine resources and then get Cruz's ship running again. It took three days just to create the plan and work out the logistics. With five commanders, 2576 tonnes of fuel and 632 limpet mines, they set off, though only two of them will reach Cruz.
You'll be able to see the actual rescue on Twitch, but right now the stream is just Commander HighwayWarrior hurtling through empty space. Beyond the galaxy, things get pretty boring. The rescue will take place on February 23 at 9pm UTC.
Stop flying off the edge of the galaxy, people!