Nyizin snarls in anger as the energy blast causes her controls to momentarily freeze, then attempts to regain control.
Piloting: 1d20 + 4 + 2 - 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 + 2 - 4 = 6 (including -4 from Laboni's energy weapon)
It's no use, though, and her vehicle slams uselessly into the guard rails. Deciding to answer in kind, Nyizin fires her weapon at Laboni:
Kinetic Weapon: 1d20 + 8 - 3 ⇒ (3) + 8 - 3 = 8
But her targeting controls seem to be malfunctioning as well.
"It's now or never," she mutters, before slamming her fist down on the red button set into her control panel. Activating her special ability that boosts speed in exchange for reduced AC
Asier takes back the controls of the kinetic weapon and takes aim at Orisis, having decided the ysoki is too far behind to be a threat to anyone.
He also pulls out a headset and flicks it on. "Laboni! I know we've been doing most of the racing here but there's one thing you can do to finish this in one fell swoop. Just press that red button in the middle of the controls that we told you not to touch."
Kinetic weapon: 1d20 + 4 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 4 + 2 = 20
Telling Laboni to activate the boon from Nyizin. If I'm not mistaken, it should end the race this turn and make the drawback moot.
Eli considers the option, then turns to Asier - "Fast and steady wins the race, Twenty-Three. Laboni, if you're not planning on using this vehicle in the future, go for it."
Ratrod piloting, taunted: 1d20 + 10 - 2 ⇒ (4) + 10 - 2 = 12
Ratrod energy weapon vs Velocity, taunted: 1d20 + 5 - 2 ⇒ (14) + 5 - 2 = 17
"Oh, Ratrod is fighting to his vehicle back under control. Ah he gets it moving again, but he is still crashing against the sides of the arena. He's is firing again, but oh, not at Laboni but at Velocity. It's a hit! He seems resigned that he can't catch up to her, and instead vying for second place. But not with the way he's flying."
"Velocity is firing again, but oh, her aim is off this time, missing both shots at Orsis. Ah, a solid hit on Nyizin though! Oh, that is sending the Ryphorian's craft careening wildly... She gets it under control, but has certainly lost some ground. She fires at the Laboni the leader, but the wildly flying racer has thrown off her aim. Oh, she's engaging her afterburner but it's going to take a while to kick in. Does she have the time?"
"Laboni's attacks are top form, though. That is two solid hits on Orsis, who was flying straight and true but these two shots have sent unbalanced his craft as well. Laboni is unmolested and continues plowing ahead. And oh, seems she has an afterburner installed as well. Laboni blasts off ahead... Laboni crosses the finishing line! Laboni is the winner!!!"
Round 5: Piloting Rolls Outcome
Laboni: 21 -> full speed x 2
Ratrod: 12 -> half speed
Velocity: 16-4=12 -> half speed
Orsis: 17-4-4=9 -> half speed
Nyizin: 10-4=6 -> half speed
See race map for final positions. You guys are way ahead. Good job!
As soon as Laboni pilots the racer back to the pit, she hops of excitedly, wrenches of her helmet and runs to give each of you a hug. "Oh thank you, thank you! I know it was not really me racing, or firing those guns. Or even in modifying the craft. I would never have been able to do this without you! This is your victory, not mine. Thank you!" Tears of joy flow down her face.
Ratrod at the adjoining pit slumps over in his craft, defeated. He glances over at your celebrations and lifelessly stumbles off, still unbelieving at how far he has fallen.
With a gentle nudge from you, Laboni sees and while still ecstatic over her victory, is humbled by her near-crush-by-trash-compactor experience. She carefully makes her way over to Ratrod. The ysoki grunts when she approaches. "Yeah, go on. Rub it in, will ya! Hmmph!"
Laboni turns red briefly, but takes a deep breath and instead holds out her hand. "Ratrod, I came over not to gloat, but to apologise. My big mouth and idle boasting was uncalled for. The win today proves nothing, for it is through my crew from the Starfinder Society that we won, not me." She gestures over to you and continues. "I believe you are still the better racer and I know that, even when I was shooting off my mouth. But if you and the Salvage Union would allow it though, I would like the chance to keep competing in your race. And one day, win on my own merit!" She turns and gives you a wink.
Ratrod snorts, still trying to act tough, but clearly Laboni's words of reconciliation has caught him by surprise. He struggles for a moment, debating whether to seize this chance to put her down. But recognising the olive branch when it is offered, Ratrod mutters back, "Hmmmph, I'll look forward to that." He attempts to stomp away, but the sting from the loss and indignation from Laboni's bad mouthing earlier has largely been soothed away.
The prize-giving ceremony was a long drawn out affair, filled by cheering fans both in the audience and in the aether-space channels. Laboni races back over again as soon as it is offer and presses the rewards to you. "Please, the award really goes to you."
You have received a graphite carbon skin armor and 400 credits.
As you are leaving the arena, a short message arrives from Radazam.
Saw the race. Most impressive win. That the Starfinder team won with such a large margin would go far in lifting the image of the Society. And earn the respect of the Salvage Union. You have my support for your Commencement.
Congrats! On to the last faction!
The Exo-Guardians do not currently have a headquarters on Absalom Station, but their leader, Zigvigix the shirren, resides in the poor but trendy neighborhood of Downlow. A long-standing member of the Exo-Guardians, Zigvigix suffered severe injuries prior to the Society’s expedition to the Scoured Stars, which prevented them from taking part. Eventually, they took up leadership of the remaining Exo-Guardians on the advice of First Seeker Luwazi Elsebo.
Garbage litters the ground around the district’s largest art park—a cement lot filled with undulating metal sculptures and covered in graffiti of grotesquely adorable creatures. The sounds of music and chatter drift over from the nearby clubs, chronically interrupted by the roar of the local gangsters’ engines. A heavily augmented host shirren is sitting on one of the park benches, eating a simple meal of cold grub-noodles and rice candy. Their antennae perk up at the tremor of approaching footsteps. “Welcome, new Starfinders! And congratulations!” the shirren’s voice telepathically projects. “My speech-name is Zigvigix, but feel free to call me Ziggy, if that would be easier for you. Have some rice candy to celebrate your graduation! Today is your big day!"
“When you are ready, I have two assignments I could use assistance with. The first is to help me secure a new headquarters on Absalom Station. I’ve been in talks with our station’s protectors, the Stewards, and they were kind enough to give us ownership of a warehouse here in Downlow for that purpose! The current owners no longer want it because a vicious alien took it over and kills anyone who goes inside. Once the alien is gone and the warehouse cargo has been returned to its owners, we can start installing desks and computers, so please go in and incinerate the creature!"
“My second assignment...” Zigvigix twitches their tooth barbs for a moment and then holds out a credstick. “Please buy the brand-new Strawberry Machine Cake album, Star Sugar Heartlove!!!, which is out today, and give it to Historia-7 when you see her. She is the head of the Dataphiles, so you should meet her today! I wish to do it myself, but I... I have trouble standing for long periods of time. Thank you very much! Do you have any questions?”
Eli distributes high-fives all around. "Nice work on the racer and nice shooting, folks! Well done!"
She waits for Ratrod to cross the finish line (assuming he manages to do so) and comes up to the Ysoki with a grin on her face. "Why were you boasting, exactly? You're a rubish pilot, even when cheating." She lets that sink in and hopefully see steam rushing out of the weasel's ears, and decides to add some salt to the wound.
"Next time when you brag, be sure to brag about skills you -actually- possess."
Hah! And all of that after Laboni's apology. #notevensorry
At Zigvigix's place:
Eli raises an eyebrow after the standing comment. "Nice to meet you. Questions, yes. Erm - How is standing for prolonged periods connected to the purchase?"
"A warehouse? Why not something a bit, well, more? And, along those lines, what type of alien are we talking about here? Finally, and I am super curious about this, an Album????? You want us to buy an album?"
Culture: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (7) + 8 = 15
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 1d6 + 8 ⇒ (2) + (4) + 8 = 14
Antares wonders why all these people seem to hold the race in such high esteem. The android shakes her head at all the pomp and circumstance shown to the winner - though she is satisfied that the Starfinders have gained some amount of reputation.
As they depart, Antares speaks with Eli. "I noted that Laboni spoke words of apology to Ratrod, while you did the very opposite. Is this a custom among humans? Is it... randomly determined somehow whether you taunt or make peace with your adversaries? It seems very strange to me."
When the speak with Zigvigix, the technomancer speaks up in response to Madrigal's query. "I heard talk earlier about something like this. A dangerous alien predator was loose somewhere in the Downlow district, I believe. The creature had been cornered in a warehouse, and had killed a security officer with a harpoon-like natural projectile. If this is the same creature, we had best exercise extreme caution."
Antares then turns back to Zigvigix. "An... album? I had though we were to purchase a pastry with a red berry filling?"
GM Kuey, just a quick reminder that Antares is still 'fatigued' from the radiation exposure, in case I forget! I don't think it had any effect in the race, since I think all of my checks were INT-based (except as Velocity), but it will probably be relevant very soon!
Eli responds to Antares while they walk. "Eeeh - it's an individual thing. It's how our males bond. Sort of. It's complicated."
She thinks briefly, then carries on. "Look. I hate cheaters, okay? Blame it on personal bias. And EVEN IF he wasn't cheating, he was pretty slow, so I had to put him in his place after that challenge to our fellow Starfinder."
"I know it wasn't the polite thing to do, and maybe not even a really mature one. But I don't beat around the bush. At least not too often."
Antares thinks on what Eli said and nods after a moment. "I believe I understand. I too felt a surge of emotion when he dissipated that energy blast that should have slowed him down, as he was doing to us. It seemed... wrong, somehow. He is a cheater, then. That is an apt description, I think."
During the ceremony, Hakrinag carries himself as though he were being celebrated as a war hero. He cheers vigorously as the results are announced. He also accepts the awards from Laboni with bravado and excessive posturing. VICTORY IS OURS! I'd shoot that rat into the damn ground if I had to!
"RAAAAHHHHH!" he roars at the order to hunt down a creature. "THIS is why I joined the Starfinders. Let us hunt first, I will not waste any time on this album until the creature is laid low before me!" he declares, hefting his cannon over his shoulder. "TO THE WAREHOUSE!"
Daramak, not to be a party pooper, but I was reviewing my abilities and only I can use the grenades I make :(
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Daramak breathes out a sigh of relief as Laboni crosses the finish line. He stands up and tries to stretch some of the tension in his shoulders away; having no control over the outcome of the situation has been stressful for him. He joins the others in celebrating and says to Laboni, "No need for thanks, us Starfinders watch after our own. Just try to stay out of trouble going forward."
As the group wanders through the park, Daramak wonders what purpose the art could possibly serve. He shudders as Zigvigix's thoughts intrude in his mind and memories of the thought-screams of Swarm warriors boarding his ship flood to the surface of his consciousness. He manages to shake it off in time to hear most of the briefing, though. "Secure the warehouse, atomize the monster. Yes sir." As Zigvigix mentions their second request, Daramak gets a concerned look on his face. "Sir, are you alright? Sir? Your telepathy seems to be breaking up..."
Medicine: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (9) + 8 = 17 Is Zigvigix having some kind of fit?
Medicine: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22 Am I having some kind of fit?
Daramak looks warily at the other members of his team, wondering if they are hearing what he is hearing.
Daramak, not to be a party pooper, but I was reviewing my abilities and only I can use the grenades I make :(
Oh, right! Sorry about that. Daramak will have not taken the grenade, then. And I agree, let's go hunt us a monster first!