All over a bit of Drift Rock

Game Master Azih

Current Track:

Xavra

Map:

Istamak Interior Maps.
Istmak

Picture:
Xavra
Tzayl


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N Android Mechanic 8 | HP:52/52 SP: 64/64 +tmp 10/10 | RP: 8/8 | EAC 21, KAC 23 EAC 21, KAC 24 | F: +8, R: +13, W: +6 (+2 vs disease, mind-affecting effects, poison, and sleep) | Init: +11 | Perc: +15, darkvision 12 mt. | Speed 30ft | Memory module: 1/1 | Current battery plasma: 28/40, street: 30/40 Active conditions:

Prospero-4 realizes they did not do a very thorough investigation of Sunrise Maiden themselves - the proof of this is currently sitting on the pilot seat. He just has to hope there are no more surprises once ASS boards.

But he stops worrying when Leila’s sensor sweep reveals the small ship breaking off from Hippocampus.
”Should we tell the ASSes they are missing something escaping the Hippocampus?“


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Due to the time delay of Inter-system drift communication there is only time for one message to come back from the Ambassador before the science vessel and fighter approach and carry out a complicated docking procedure with the Sunrise Maiden's auxiliary airlock That will allow the crew of the fighter and the scientists of the science vessel to board the vessel at the same time. Fantastic work Captain Astrianna, and your entire crew of course. In all respects. I thank you for carrying out your responsibilities with such admirable competency and efficiency in every way. I do look forward to hearing your reports in detail when you come back to Absalom Station.

As the message plays the airlock door chimes open. Three heavily armored Absalom Station Officers come in with weapons drawn along with a combat droid. Their faces are completely hidden behind not only faceplates but also a hazmat overlay. They carry out a commando team style reconnaissance of the vessel with the very large officer on point wielding a flame doshko while those following scope out the place behind their laser nets, and shotguns.

The soldiers and droid brush past you if you don't act hostile towards them though the one with two shotguns in their four arms does keep you covered at all times.

Behind them come the scientists, similarly faceless behind their environmentally sealed suits. They're armed too but they're working with their datapads, scopes, and instruments instead. Some are casting spells while others seem to be taking readings.

They don't speak to you at all, probably communicating with each other over a secure internal channel.

Ten tense minutes later they seem to relax and the lead doshko wielding lowers his doshko and slides back his helmet. It's a gray-green skinned Vesk with neck spikes snazzily dyed purple. He gives all of you a nod. Ship's clear. You guys did a great job out there. Put on a hell of a show. That bit with the ghost? Made me feel feelings I ain't felt for a long while I ain't ashamed to admit.

Behind him the security officers and the scientists are also taking off their helmets.

One of the mechanics, a ghoul, gets to the Observer bot. Oh come on guysss, you could of repaired the poor bot when you were out of danger. True death be damned there's just no respect for loaned equipment. She sighs and gets to work on the still sparking floating machine.


Status:
Monster ID Modifiers:
Culture +20, Engineering +21, Life Science +20, Mysticism +16, Physical Science +20. Include Alien Archive bonus! +2 vs Items
| Sp 28/56 Hp 44/44 | Rp 8/8 | EAC 22 KAC 22 | Fort +7; Ref +13; Will +8; +4 vs Fear, +2 vs Emotion | Evasion, Uncanny Agility | Init +7 | Per +14; Trap Spotter |

"That sounds cosy!" Leila beams and ponders the latest mysteries. Nash played music? Huh. "And yes - we named it Pumpkin. Well, technically, Astri did."

"Oh and we should most *definitely* poke the ASSes about that shuttle I think. We can even offer to feed them sensor data or illuminate it. I heard that mass spectrometry works better on aerosolized subject - that's something I'm totally up for! Bloody - uh - somethings tried to maroon us on that rock! Least we can do to pay it back ..." As a matter of fact she started with just that, pointing most of the ships sensors towards the slipping shuttle. Getting a lock wouldn't be too difficult she guessed - especially if the shuttle wanted to take things slow and quiet.

"In the meanwhile ... Pumpkin do we have anything onboard, on the ship manifest or off, that could *uh* be classified as *uh* of questionable legality? We might want to vaporize that too before they show up ... Oh! Gee I hope they don't ask for up-to-date ID..." The halfling trailed off and gave Cueta a long quizzical look.

Edit: Well ninjaed. I'll leave this up anyhow, but most of the points are probably moot : )


You guys had twenty or so minutes while the docking happened :)

***Before the docking***
None that I am aware of other than the hidden compartment with the cryo-unit Pumpkin responds to Leila while Astrianna's message wings its way towards the Eoxian Mission on the Station. Captain Nash liked to travel light.


CN Female Half-elf Iconic Envoy 8| Sp: 18/56 | Hp 48/48 | Rp: 7/9 | EAC: 20 , KAC: 20 | Fort +4, Ref +10, Will +7 (+9 vs enchantment) | Init: +3 | Percep: +13, 12 Metron darkvision | Condition:

Astrianna waves a hand dismissively about the whatever leaving the Hippocampus. "It's fine, either they'll pick it up later or it was some part of the Hippo flying off from battle damage." She doesn't really seem all that concerned, fidgeting in place in the captain's chair.

When the Ambasaador's message comes back she sits up, listening intently. Hmmm. I'm going to take a guess that everything is going as planned, or he would have slipped in some kind of hidden meaning. I want that payment for the package...

Getting up as the containment team enters, she sighs as the dual-shotgun wielding commando trains its guns on her. "Not going to turn into an Akata, I swear." She says, holding up her hands.

When the all-clear is given Astrianna relaxes, dropping her hands to her waist. "Grea- wait. You were watching the entire time? How?" She looks over at the observer bot. "It has THAT much signal power? Wow, I should get one of those...And we didn't fix it because it yelled at us if we so much as touched it! That explains how you knew we were coming, at least."

The half-elf looks back to the security crew as a sudden realization hits her, and Astrianna's face is covered in suspicion. "...how many people were able to see the broadcast?"


N Female Human Soldier 1 / Mystic 7 | HP: 47/53 | STAM: 60/60 | EAC: 23 KAC: 25 | F:+5, R:+5, W:+11 | Init: +7 | Perc: +17, SM: +15 | Speed 6 met | Spells: 1st: 0/5 2nd: 2/4 3rd: 3/3 Resolve: 1/8 Healing Touch: 1/2 Ammo: 20/20 | Active conditions:

Cueta, for her part, intends to be docile and agreeable as the security boards. There'd be no point in getting them riled up, and the pilot wasn't so sure she'd want to have to explain her situation anyways.

So, she does her thing to be amiable, nodding and smiling and trying to talk in proper Basic and all that music, chinney? Until the leader doffs its mask.

"VESK!" Cueta yells, bolting from the pilot's chair. "THERE'S A PUKKING VESK ON THE SHIP!"

OOC:
Haha, what a time to introduce Cueta's first Vesk, who she thinks the Pact Worlds are at war with...


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The response is immediate. The doshko snaps up towards Cueta as the other security forces raise their weapons too.

Stand down, human, before I give you something to Pukk.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Status:
Monster ID Modifiers:
Culture +20, Engineering +21, Life Science +20, Mysticism +16, Physical Science +20. Include Alien Archive bonus! +2 vs Items
| Sp 28/56 Hp 44/44 | Rp 8/8 | EAC 22 KAC 22 | Fort +7; Ref +13; Will +8; +4 vs Fear, +2 vs Emotion | Evasion, Uncanny Agility | Init +7 | Per +14; Trap Spotter |

"Yeah - we'd *never* go against the direct order not to touch the probe! Never!" Leila proclaimed loudly despite there probably being enough footage of her trying to sneak up on the damn thing for an half-hour highlight reel. Hopefully the incidents at the Rock had been more interesting to remember ... Luckily an distraction soon materialized.

"Gee I forgot how spiecist old people can be! I mean the war ended almost sev- wait oh. Oh! Yeah sorry! Our pilot has been out of the loop for a while!" the halfling sprouted appologethically and tried to think of what other obvious things that had changed this last century or so. Being put on ice for so long really does seem like more trouble then it's worth!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
CN Female Half-elf Iconic Envoy 8| Sp: 18/56 | Hp 48/48 | Rp: 7/9 | EAC: 20 , KAC: 20 | Fort +4, Ref +10, Will +7 (+9 vs enchantment) | Init: +3 | Percep: +13, 12 Metron darkvision | Condition:

Astrianna's question gets ejected faster than a goblin in an airlock, the scene suddenly bristling with violent energy.

She raises her hands and starts to make plaintive gestures towards both the security forces and Cueta. "Whoa whoa whoa everyone calm down. Shelyn's T#&&, Cueta, what-"

Culture: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14

"OH!" She exclaims as it all starts to make sense. "Cueta, the Pact Worlds and the Veskarium have been at peace for nearly 30 years now. When the Swarm started attacking, they formed a defensive alliance and... Well, look, I'm not a history teacher, you should look it up. The point is Vesk are our friends. Plus their food is delicious!"

Turning to the security forces, Astrianna sighs dramatically and shakes her head. "I'm so sorry, this has been just one misunderstanding after another. You see, Cueta popped out of a cryogenic unit about an hour ago after spending at least 70 years on ice. I'm sure you saw it on your security sweep. She doesn't know how she got in there and we don't either, but you can tell she's from... A different era. Sorry about the outburst."

diplomacy to smooth things over: 1d20 + 9 + 1d6 ⇒ (13) + 9 + (2) = 24

Thinking for a moment, Astrianna adds- " If one of you is a doctor, you might want to take a look at her. I don't know what the side effects of long-term cyro are, but she might have them. Our former pilot took a nasty shock too if you can look at her."


N Female Human Soldier 1 / Mystic 7 | HP: 47/53 | STAM: 60/60 | EAC: 23 KAC: 25 | F:+5, R:+5, W:+11 | Init: +7 | Perc: +17, SM: +15 | Speed 6 met | Spells: 1st: 0/5 2nd: 2/4 3rd: 3/3 Resolve: 1/8 Healing Touch: 1/2 Ammo: 20/20 | Active conditions:

"Mio ua, apologize mate."

Cueta raises her hands and backs against the wall. "Since we're music, no needs to fight then, chinney?"

Shutting her mouth, Cueta keeps her eyes on the Vesk the entire time he's on the ship.

Being iced eh more trouble than its worth!


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There's a further moment of tension and then the Vesk laughs, placing his doshko back in its scabbard. It's a big booming combination of a hiss and a growl that causes the rest of the security officers and specialists to relax.

If this were 70 years ago and it was my grandma boarding your ship then she'd have been insulted if that wasn't the reaction she got, Damoritosh honour the old hardtail! he chortles and nods at one of the specialists. Yeah we'll check you out and heal up any problems. We were going to give you a 'checkup' anyway. Can't be too careful. As for how many people have been following you lot... he grins

Every damn person on Absalom Station The ghoul breaks in, her slack jaw and lazy tongue causing everything to come out in a distinctively ghoulsih moan Right from the Eoxian Embassy to the Galaxy! You guys are faaamous. And the bot doesn't have that much broadcasting power. It was relaaying to the Hippocampus which forwarded it on.

The rest is just about two hours of procedural drudgery as The Sunrise Maiden is gone over to make sure there's no odd invasive magic or biology anywhere on the ship. The rest of you are escorted onto the medical bay of the Science Vessel for a pretty through checkup. Almost invasive really, it feels a bit like what happens to the victims of Grey aliens in the trivid flicks.

Fianh is carried out on a stretcher and the head doctor on the science vessel gives you the news that she should be fine, but she'll need to be examined by a neurological expert to see how best to wake her out of the coma she's in. Luckily the Starfinders have excellent medical benefits and she is, of course, a full member.

You're given the all-clear and allowed to proceed. The technomancers and mechanics of the science vessel seem a bit reluctant to leave The Sunrise Maiden. They seem to want to spend more time talking with Leila and Prospero-4 about the classic beauty and reliabile performance of the old ship. One of the technomancers points out some degraded wiring in the alarm subsystem that probably resulted in the electrical surge that knocked out Fianh and brought Cueta out of her sleep as something that should be looked at. Other than that the ship is given a full bill of health too.

The Sunrise Maiden swoops by the Hippocampus which is next up to be examined by the security forces and flies on to Abslaom Station, passing by the lights of the Armada with are either grimy or garish; frequently both.

You arrive at the Station to an enthusiastic welcome. The Sunrise Maiden is guided to one of the better docking bays in The Arms and the docking fee is waived. It seems like the Drift Rock show was quite popular.

As you get close two messages pop up. One from Chiskisk, congratulating you on your first successful expedition and hoping for a debrief to conclude your second successful mission. The other is from Galvaresk Nor, also offering his congratulations and requesting the pleasure of your company at your convenience at the Mission.


Status:
Monster ID Modifiers:
Culture +20, Engineering +21, Life Science +20, Mysticism +16, Physical Science +20. Include Alien Archive bonus! +2 vs Items
| Sp 28/56 Hp 44/44 | Rp 8/8 | EAC 22 KAC 22 | Fort +7; Ref +13; Will +8; +4 vs Fear, +2 vs Emotion | Evasion, Uncanny Agility | Init +7 | Per +14; Trap Spotter |

"We *what*?!" Leila stared in disbelief on the technician, for once at loss for words. She really wasnt sure how to process this. On one hand - they were now both adventurers AND trid-stars. (Well sorta at least!) On the other hand - how should she even begin to handle this? And would Astri eviscerate the ambassador since he bypassed her 'exclusives'. (Find out in the next exciting episode!)

At least the intensive health check-up effectively quelled any too uplifting moods. But it was nice chatting about (and with) the ship afterwards at least.

---

Still somewhat turned around by the events by the time they dock and disembark Leila has a very simple suggestion as to their next course of action. "I'm thinking of just heading back to the lodge, leave the ambassador for tomorrow. And then load up with some trid-classics and show you Cueta all the important stuff you missed. Like Space Battle VX; some people say it isn't all that but I think it's the best of the saga! Yeah that sounds nice doesn't it?"


CN Female Half-elf Iconic Envoy 8| Sp: 18/56 | Hp 48/48 | Rp: 7/9 | EAC: 20 , KAC: 20 | Fort +4, Ref +10, Will +7 (+9 vs enchantment) | Init: +3 | Percep: +13, 12 Metron darkvision | Condition:

Astrianna seems legitimately stunned when the ghoul spills it that the entire station had been watching them via live broadcast. A multitude of conflicting emotions well up inside of her. For one, she's incredibly upset she had no chance to edit the video footage. If she had known it was lie there are many things she'd have done differently. For two, she wracks her brain to make sure there wasn't anything she did that was super offensive. Three, they just said she was famous. Really, actually famous. Like really actually really famous. THIS WAS IT. Fourthly, WHY did the ambassador do that? It was definitely not what they agreed on, but there was no evidence or paperwork to show they actually HAD agreed on anything! Fifthly... the ad revenue. Who had been collecting the ad revenue?!?!?!

With so much to process it looks like Astrianna is star-struck, staring forward, her face contorting through a whirlwind of emotions that are all interfering with one another in horrific cross-talk.

After several seconds of acute shock, she finally places a hand on her forehead and looks at the floor. "Gods, the last thing I want is a medical exam right now, thre's... too much to think about. But whatever, let's get this over with. I got bit by an Akata at some point and I do NOT want any wigglies in my bloodstream."

---------------------

Astrianna walks down the off ramp of The Sunrise Maiden into The Arms, fully outfitted with her recently fluffed and fully cleaned hat. "Wow. This is actually a nice platform. Finally, people are treating us with the respect we deserve!" She basks in the glorious recognition, meeting with any fans that happen upon them and enthusiastically answering questions.

The half-elf mostly agrees with Leila's assessment. "Hmmmm yeah you're right, Chiskisk is going to want to know what we found, and we need to send out a team to actually bring the drift rock in for study. I have a lot of work to do tonight though, so I'll be passing on the trids."

She walks, talks, and taps at her wrist-mounted holocomm. "My social media accounts are BLOWING UP. You wouldn't believe the advertising deals we're getting offered. Some of these bastards wouldn't even talk to me before, but now they're licking the dust off my boots."

Her father tries to call her for what has to be the fifth time since they got within comm distance of the Station. With a frustrated grunt she sends it to voicemail again.


N Female Human Soldier 1 / Mystic 7 | HP: 47/53 | STAM: 60/60 | EAC: 23 KAC: 25 | F:+5, R:+5, W:+11 | Init: +7 | Perc: +17, SM: +15 | Speed 6 met | Spells: 1st: 0/5 2nd: 2/4 3rd: 3/3 Resolve: 1/8 Healing Touch: 1/2 Ammo: 20/20 | Active conditions:

Famous? Grrrrreeeeaaaaaaaaaatttttttt. Think I'll lay low a couple of days, then.

Cueta shrugs, her eyes still on the Vesk. "Yeah, sure mate, er Leila. Eh can watch some Trid Vids with'ya."

Although she preferred Space Battle VIII, Cueta agrees that VX was pretty alright as well.


Status:
Monster ID Modifiers:
Culture +20, Engineering +21, Life Science +20, Mysticism +16, Physical Science +20. Include Alien Archive bonus! +2 vs Items
| Sp 28/56 Hp 44/44 | Rp 8/8 | EAC 22 KAC 22 | Fort +7; Ref +13; Will +8; +4 vs Fear, +2 vs Emotion | Evasion, Uncanny Agility | Init +7 | Per +14; Trap Spotter |

"Don't worry Astri! I can narrate for you." Leila helpfully offers as the half-elf slips away from trid-night. Armed with a bowl of pop-soy she also tries to rope Prospero in. "Come on! The series are very progressive on android's rights you know! One of them is even the *most* recurring character - and that's a feat!"

---

Well what kind of friend would she be if she didn't respect her other friend's preferences? Not a good one! "Let's just go for a whole marathon!" Leila announces and decisively selects the very first Space Battle film (which of course is IV for some reason!). That way they could really *feel* time advancing as the cgi got better by the hour. "Gee I can really feel how some of these are over hundred years old! Right?!"

---

Though of course there's only so much space-opera a halfling can take. Somewhere between the showdown of Spacehoppers third cousin and Dork Hulu her spirited commentary morphs into soft snoozes. "ZzzZzz..."

---

"*Yawn* Welp maybe that wasn't the best of ideas ..." Leila muses as she wakes up far away from her bed the next morning. Eh. she quickly thinks to herself and rejects that hypothesis. Instead she focuses on getting herself and her things together and presentable, wandering around the apartment as she does. "So! Visit the *brr* ambassador before lunch? At least the park is nice. Hey Cueta - did they have plants where you come from? If not - you are in for a treat!"


N Female Human Soldier 1 / Mystic 7 | HP: 47/53 | STAM: 60/60 | EAC: 23 KAC: 25 | F:+5, R:+5, W:+11 | Init: +7 | Perc: +17, SM: +15 | Speed 6 met | Spells: 1st: 0/5 2nd: 2/4 3rd: 3/3 Resolve: 1/8 Healing Touch: 1/2 Ammo: 20/20 | Active conditions:

"I remember IV and V, and V especially was the best," Cueta agrees, nodding enthusiastically. "Sure, let's watch the who marathon."

Even a hundred years later, Cueta must admit they held up pretty well.

--------------

Reaching over, Cueta gently tugs the bag of pop-soy from Leila's snoring grasp. Frowning - Chamoy Razzle flavor? - Cueta pops some in her mouth and chews, knitting her brow. Curious.

----------------

Cueta rubs her eyes as the clock strikes 6 am. "Nah, it was great, chinney? I think I'm caught up on the most important things at least. So, Azlanti Star Empire is evil, Lashunta and Formians have reached peace - Eh've never seen a Formian, by the way - and Eh should'na murder the next Vesk I see on sight, yah?"

Taking a glass, Cueta runs it under the apartment sink and drinks. Weird. Not very minerally.

"Nostro got finny plants, yeah? Some cacti, stunted trees. But mostly, nostro got water mesh, sand, and rocks."[/b]


I'll leave it to Cueta how much greenery she's seen in her life.

The manager of The Moons of Sleep fawns over you as you set out the next day. Isn't it so terrible what happened to those poor miners? They were just doing their jobs and then to be killed by that Gara... gara... that gakal thing. Or were they killed by those Akata creatures? So hard to keep track. I'm happy to stay in this safe neighborhood let me tell you! I'll leave the adventuring to brave people like you!

It's a quick trip by mag(ic) train to the Parkside neighbourhood of the Eye where the Eoxian diplomatic mission is. The weather is, as always, engineered to be perfectly pleasant and as you walk you pass by a group of tourists feeding the park birds. Or attempting to at least, the squirrels are having a field day dashing in to grab most of the nuts and seeds that are meant for the sparrows and jays.

The impressively ornate gates of the Mission swing open as soon as the slate held by the guard skeletons identifies you by biometrics as well as divination magic and are ushered in to the same mausoleum like office you met the Ambassador in just a few days ago.

He is already waiting for you and he stands up to greet you.
Welcome, all of you. A pleasure to see you all again, and so lovely to be meeting you for the first time Cueta Guiding Star. Please accept my condolences on the health of your friend Fianh Jin. My wishes to her for a speedy recovery.

After the pleasantries he continues As far as I am concerned your expedition has been an astounding success. All that remains is to hear your recommendation on what should be done with the mysterious asteroid. Quite spectacular what lurked underneath such a seemingly ordinary asteroid!


CN Female Half-elf Iconic Envoy 8| Sp: 18/56 | Hp 48/48 | Rp: 7/9 | EAC: 20 , KAC: 20 | Fort +4, Ref +10, Will +7 (+9 vs enchantment) | Init: +3 | Percep: +13, 12 Metron darkvision | Condition:

Astrianna spent the entire night on her holocomm or the phone, directing her social media bot net or hashing out sponsorship deals with major brands and labels. This isn't how she expected to spend their time back. If the Ambassador hadn't live streamed the entire Drift Rock mission to the station she would be putting together an amazing three-part epic that would take the Adventurer section of iToob by storm.

Instead, she had already watched bits of the second-hand recorded footage all over the infosphere. Reaction videos and footage overlaid with music was everywhere, fired out by the lowest content producers or in many cases computers. More interesting was the ex-security or ex-mercenaries that comment and analyze combat footage, which was slowly circulating around some of the less savory places Astrianna had started to frequent. Then of course there was the fan art, the satire, dubs, and other higher quality content that popped up while she was multitasking on the phone.

She should be mad- this was supposed to be her big break, WAS her big break, and she wanted to take all the credit for their fame. But seeing everyone was talking about her and the group, making content based on their adventure, and speculating widely about what they would be up to next, she just couldn't summon the anger. It felt way too good to finally get her due.

-------------------

Astriannaa sighs wistfully at the dramatic manager of The Moons of Sleep. "They're called Garaggakal." The half-elf says as if she's the gods damned galactic expert on the creature that nearly killed them.

The moment of haughtiness passes in an instant though, and she flashes a brilliant white-toothed smile. " Don't worry, if anything happens... We'll be here to protect you!" It was a confident endorsement, though considering they were rarely home it may have been a hollow one.

------------------------

The walk through the Eye was as pleasant as ever, and Astrianna greets the multitude of door guards and others walking along the same path as they. She eyes the group of tourists and more importantly, the squirrels, with serious suspicion.

"OH gods. Cueta. Listen. If there is one thing I need to warn you about.. It's the squirrels. I'm serious, I swear they're Awakened. I grew up in this area and there was a mean old druid that used to take care of all the plants and animals around here, and by Calistra I swear he did something to the squirrels. Do. Not. Trust them. Do. Not. Show weakness. They'll mess you up for a dehydrated tuber fry from Cheezi Chuck's." Her tone of voice and expression was probably the most deadly serious Cueta had ever seen the mercurial half-elf. The squirrels were no laughing matter, and meant to be feared.

----------------

I thought we were meeting Chiskisk first? Blah, doesn't change anything really.

The mission, despite all its lovely architecture and expensive goodies, did not put Astrianna in anything resembling a good mood. She sits in front of the Ambassadors chair with a bit more force than was required, swinging one leg over another and placing her hands in her lap. The vlogger does not have any of her recording hardware visible.

"Thank you for the accolades, Ambassador. But I have some questions before we conclude our business." Astrianna's voice is chilly, hanging on the precipice of respect by a thread.

"Firstly, why did you live broadcast our expedition to the entire Station? I know we did not make a formal agreement on what would happen to the footage, but you said you would share it with the involved parties and mentioned no one else. I cannot argue with the results, as you managed to capture the attention of the entire Station and catapult us to fame, but I cannot help but feel this was in poor comradre given my profession, and on shaky legal ground considering at no point did we give consent to a live broadcast." It was clear she was more upset about him doing it with no warning than what had come of it.

"Secondly, on our way back to the station we were attacked by a Carincarver. It could merely be a coincidence given the repeated attempts on our life by corporate interests and the fact and that Eoxian ships are fine mercenary vessels, but you wouldn't happen to know anything about why a heavily armed Eoxian freighter intercepted us on the way back, which I might point out, knew our EXACT location because of your decision to broadcast live footage of us?" Her remarks are not exactly accusatory. More that the ambassador owes them something for the latest attempt on their life. There was no evidence they were involved, and she knew he would deny everything even if the Mission was responsible somehow.

"Lastly, did you receive your package? We did not realize it at the time, but I assume you were the one that recalled the Hippocampus and slipped its cargo past the ASSes." This is a topic she's more interested in, perfectly sculpted eyebrows raising slightly.


Status:
Monster ID Modifiers:
Culture +20, Engineering +21, Life Science +20, Mysticism +16, Physical Science +20. Include Alien Archive bonus! +2 vs Items
| Sp 28/56 Hp 44/44 | Rp 8/8 | EAC 22 KAC 22 | Fort +7; Ref +13; Will +8; +4 vs Fear, +2 vs Emotion | Evasion, Uncanny Agility | Init +7 | Per +14; Trap Spotter |

Mm. I thought Chiskisk -> sleep/trids -> Eox but we might as well bump Chi to the end of the queue.

"Yes! *Ah* I mean no! I mean - *ehm* Yes; no murdering Vesk. Unless they're trying to shoot us or something. Now that has happened - but not because of their Vesk-ness no - it was more of a occupational shooting. But then yes - do shoot back." Despite the early hour, the halfling is no less chatty.

"'Cacti'? Brr I think I'd rather have no plants instead of sharp plants. Oh but I've heard they are really pretty when they have flowers! Maybe they're okay in the distance? Yeah, that seems reasonable."

---

Leila spends most of the mag-train trip going over and evaluating the plot of the Space Battle series, trying to figure out exactly where she stopped paying attention.

During the walk trough the park she is actually quiet, merely admiring the 'nature' and 'wildlife'. This was a lot more realistic then any trid and she hadn't grown tired of seeing actual living things yet. Speaking of - brr - not really looking forward to meet Ambassador again. Once they got there she'd settle for looking interested and letting Astri talk (unless she went off on the squirrels again ...).


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Ambassador Nor, no stranger to barely civil discourse, nods back with a smile. Of course he's always smiling, what with being a skeletal lich from the undead planet of Eox and all.

To your first point; My efforts to broker some level of trust between the two parties engaged in the dispute over the mysterious asteroid sadly were not successful enough to convince representatives of both to join me in a private viewing of the audio-visual feed sent back by the Observer robot. And neither trusted that a separate feed to each would not be manipulated by either me or the other. I was force to resort to one feed broadcast to everyone simultaneously to satisfy all such objections. The ambassador says as he leans forward and steeples his fingers. It was not what anyone wanted, but in my judgment, was what everyone needed. Now of course you are... free.. to exercise your rights to legal redress but such bothersome hostilities take so long to resolve and I would wager that time is something that is more value to you and your friends than to me, seeing as I have so much more of it to spend.

The ambassador leans back and holds his bony hands out in a conciliatory manner. Of course I understand your wish to have had an exclusive reveal of your adventures Ms.Spacarello, and I do apologize for having, stolen your thunder, so to speak. But have you seen the quality of the observer bot recording that everyone has seen? It is poorly shot indeed and at some points the pixels were large enough to fly a starship through. Sometimes it was impossible to see whether you were fighting an akata or some sort of baby blue dragon. And so many unfortunately dropped frames as well. Especially in the final stages of your adventure after the bot was unfortunately hit by electricity. I am of course completely untutored in the ways of video editing and entertainment streaming but I would imagine that a professionally edited video from you showing the true events in high quality with your high production values and sensibilities might even be more popular after my actions.. primped the pump for you... I believe the term is. As a peace offering please allow me to transfer to you a high quality version of the recording that was live streamed to edit into your own entertainment as you see fit. The more cameras the better I am led to understand.

Having responded to Astrianna's almost explicit threats the Ambassador lays his hands onto the table. It pained me to see you attacked by, not only The CairnCarver but the Necroglider as well. We on Eox suffer from so much needless prejudice but to see the heroes of the Drift Rock forced to fight off miscreants misuing Eoxian technology... All I can say is that I have forwarded a strongly worded note to the millitary industrial concerns of my home to be far more careful with who they sell too. We have no desire to inconvenience our valued Pact World allies in any way.

And I have no desire to not recompense you entirely for such a wonderful job in acceding to my humble request as well. I did not recall The Hippocampus. Absalom Station Security did that as it is their vessel after all. I was able to retrieve my personal affects thank you for asking. All of you have earned your credits. I believe there was 300 outstanding for completing the mission as well as 500 extra for delivering to my the package. For such terrific work however I am prepared to round it up to an even thousand credits for all of you. Even Fianh and Cueta!

Cueta:
One thousand credits! Wow! Thats a LOT of money! You could buy a system wide comm unit for that kind of cash! Or not work for a year![/b]

[spoiler=Everyone else]One thousand is pretty sweet. You could blow it on a month long luxury cruise


N Female Human Soldier 1 / Mystic 7 | HP: 47/53 | STAM: 60/60 | EAC: 23 KAC: 25 | F:+5, R:+5, W:+11 | Init: +7 | Perc: +17, SM: +15 | Speed 6 met | Spells: 1st: 0/5 2nd: 2/4 3rd: 3/3 Resolve: 1/8 Healing Touch: 1/2 Ammo: 20/20 | Active conditions:

GM:
GM, you spoilered a spoiler inside Cueta's spoiler - others may not read it.

Having never seen a squirrel, or having much of an idea of what one is, Cueta stays close to Astrianna as they walk through the park, as the vlogger obviously knew a lot about these creatures. Not for the first time since she woke, Cueta really, really wished she had a gun.

-----------

As the Eoxian speaks, Cueta's brow furrows. Necroglider? Strongly worded missives? This crew really attracts trouble, like gnats to a waternet, yeah? Despite her concerns, Cueta keeps quiet - the daughter of waterfarmers was waaaaayyyyy out of her depth.

And then the payment comes. 1000 credits? Music! That's a lot of chit! Eh could buy a whole-verse comm unit for that kind'a cash. Or not work for a'ear.

Thinking of the squirrels, Cueta sighs. Probably should buy a gun though.


CN Female Half-elf Iconic Envoy 8| Sp: 18/56 | Hp 48/48 | Rp: 7/9 | EAC: 20 , KAC: 20 | Fort +4, Ref +10, Will +7 (+9 vs enchantment) | Init: +3 | Percep: +13, 12 Metron darkvision | Condition:

That's a 1000 per person, right?So 4000 total?

Astrianna takes the ambassadors answers in stride, passively leaning back in her chair. She knew deep down that she was outclassed, and they were only going to get what was offered, but she certainly wasn't going to admit it or go without expressing her displeasure.

Damn he's good. A hundred lifetimes of experience will do that I suppose. Strongly worded note my ass, everyone knows the Eoxian military is for sale... But he does make a good point, I have the only copy of 64k resolution recording.

Though she put up a strong front, the "rounding up" of their reward was more than enough to smooth over any remaining qualms Astrianna had. The half-elf appears to be thinking for a few moments, as if weighing her options, but she had already decided the moment he upped the cash.

Suddenly her cold demeanor drops completely, and a smile blooms on her face. "Very well. I accept your explanations and compensations in good faith. Let it be on the record between us that I have no further grievances to address. I will also happily accept your copy of the footage. I am sure Leila will be able to clean it up without a problem." Astrianna says happily, somehow roping Leila into her entertainment enterprise without her consent.

The half-elf's legs unfold and recross in the other direction as she changes the subject. "On to the topic of the Drift Rock itself. After touring the Aceron and the Drift Rock my companions and I have come to the following conclusions. The ship and the asteroid should first come under the guardianship of the Starfinders for decontamination and study. The alien technology embedded in the rock is a variety completely unknown to the galaxy and must be assessed before releasing it. Afterwards the ownership and mining rights of the rock should belong exclusively to the Hardscrabble Collective. There is no evidence Astral Extractions has any claim whatsoever considering it was found during travel in the drift and not during the operational time of the survey contract HSC undertook. In addition, I intend to personally deliver the noqual we collected on board the Aceron to HSC, considering their miners paid for it with their lives. I believe I expressed these views during the live stream as well, and I do not intend to disappoint the entire Station." She lays out their plans simply, clearly intending to completely screw over AE. It was the least she could do as revenge for Kreel, and the repeated attempts on their lives. I can only hope Calistria sees the disparity of this" J" and smiles.


Whoops!

Everyone else:
One thousand is pretty sweet. You could blow it on a month long luxury cruise

Cueta Last Night:
The place you seem to have ended up is way, way, nicer than any place you've ever been. This is no frontier world. This is a center of galactic civilization! And you're at one of the nicer places in it considering how comfortable that rich girl Astrianna seems to be here. It certainly feels incredibly luxurious. As you get ready for bed and take off your clothes for, what is apparently your first shower in three quarters of a century, you brush past a sensor that slides the glass chamber of the door shut behind you as a torrent of pleasantly warm water descends on you from above; absolutely drenching you and your clothes! It'd be like standing at the base of waterfall but there were no such things on your planet.

A bit of paper flutters like a butterfly outside the glass water fountain you've found yourself in. Just as you notice it it falls onto the dry ground outside.

It takes you a heck of a long time to figure out how to shut off the water, figure out where the soap comes out from, and then turn the water on again, once you figure it out though cleaning up is really fast.

Outside you pick up the note. It's addressed to you from Moriko Nash. That woman was always a bit weird about carrying around an archaic pen and a notebook. Can't hack paper she'd always said with a grin.

Hey. I'm writing you this and sticking this in your pocket. Just in case I'm not around when you woke up. Unlikely, but better safe than sorry eh?.

Anyway in case you're confused I found you floating in the wreckage of your ship. Seems your last job didn't go well. Sorry about that.

I retrieved everything of value I could before the vultures showed up. You must have been floating out in the black void for at least half an hour before I jumped in. You should be dead Cueta.

But you aren't.

So I stuck you in my cryo chamber and returned Llano and T-13 to Balthus. Don't worry that bastard you worked for thinks you're dead and your people took care of the rest of your crew. But I'll have to get you to a medstation I know off the regular starlanes and then you can lay low for a bit. Girl. Something out there likes you! - MN

If the note really had been in your pocket then it would have gotten drenched and ruined when the waterfall shower started up. It somehow fell out of your pocket and fluttered out just before that happened.

Add Trait Something out there likes you Everytime you roll a d20 (and you remember to do so) roll a d100 as well. If you roll between a 96 and 100 then add +4 to the results of the corresponding d20. As well on a roll between 96 and 100 a roll of 1 on the corresponding d20 will no longer result in an automatic failure.


Of course Nor responds smoothly. It is always a pleasure to work with sensible and competent sentients such as yourselves. I will make note of this and look forward to the official write up that I imagine will be coming my way from The Starfinders. I can imagine no better organization to give this alien wonder a through investigation and I will note that as well. Well done. Well done indeed.

As you all begin to leave he says

Oh and of course in your own entertainment if you could excise any footage of my personal affects that would be wise. I would imagine it to be too dull a matter for your audience and would detract from your otherwise astoundingly exciting endeavors.


Status:
Monster ID Modifiers:
Culture +20, Engineering +21, Life Science +20, Mysticism +16, Physical Science +20. Include Alien Archive bonus! +2 vs Items
| Sp 28/56 Hp 44/44 | Rp 8/8 | EAC 22 KAC 22 | Fort +7; Ref +13; Will +8; +4 vs Fear, +2 vs Emotion | Evasion, Uncanny Agility | Init +7 | Per +14; Trap Spotter |

"Brr!" was the first noise Leila emited as when they finally left the ambassador. And it wasn't just because the place were chilly! She was fairly sure failing to take his advice would detract from far more then 'exciting endeavors'. Like their bodily integrity or very souls! She swore to herself to unleash a whole bag-full of squirrels on Astri If she even suggested that! For emphasis exclaimed yet again: "Brr!!"

---

Eventually thought she couldn't dwell on those thoughts anymore. Not when there were so much more entertaining ones to be had! Payday! Shining up she prodded her allies. "So! What are you all thinking if? I mean we could probably watch all the tried goodies for like half a year or something! You'd be caught up on everything Cueta! Or or or! We could go for a really nice lesiure cruise! Ooh! I haven't really been properly off-world yet! That'd be nice. We could even try to find some squirrels that can stand you Astri! Heh. Oh oh oh! I know! We don't even have to buy tickets; we have a freaking ship! Space-roadtrip! Hmmhmm. Maybe buy something for Pumpkin? An small upgrade - maybe enough for *two* names. What-da-ya think Prospero?"


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Acutally Leila, when you docked and Pumpkin finally reconnected to an Infosphere it informed you that there are 75 years worth of updates that it needs to install. One of the features in the copious release notes was the ability to respond to different monikers. One per user in fact!


Status:
Monster ID Modifiers:
Culture +20, Engineering +21, Life Science +20, Mysticism +16, Physical Science +20. Include Alien Archive bonus! +2 vs Items
| Sp 28/56 Hp 44/44 | Rp 8/8 | EAC 22 KAC 22 | Fort +7; Ref +13; Will +8; +4 vs Fear, +2 vs Emotion | Evasion, Uncanny Agility | Init +7 | Per +14; Trap Spotter |

"Well hehe -" Leila started nervously. "I sure hope free wi-fi was included in the docking bay otherwise we now know where all our credits will go ..."


N Android Mechanic 8 | HP:52/52 SP: 64/64 +tmp 10/10 | RP: 8/8 | EAC 21, KAC 23 EAC 21, KAC 24 | F: +8, R: +13, W: +6 (+2 vs disease, mind-affecting effects, poison, and sleep) | Init: +11 | Perc: +15, darkvision 12 mt. | Speed 30ft | Memory module: 1/1 | Current battery plasma: 28/40, street: 30/40 Active conditions:

Prospero-4 stays silent for most of the trip to the embassy. It's best to let Astrianna to do the talking - it's a thing she loves doing in any case.

Money is all good, he has nothing against receiving the reward. But he has an itch for is starting to work on The Sunrise Maiden. So when Leila suggests upgrading Pumpkin, Prospero-4 is more than happy to agree.

"Very good. Let's bring the ship's systems into the fourth century."


CN Female Half-elf Iconic Envoy 8| Sp: 18/56 | Hp 48/48 | Rp: 7/9 | EAC: 20 , KAC: 20 | Fort +4, Ref +10, Will +7 (+9 vs enchantment) | Init: +3 | Percep: +13, 12 Metron darkvision | Condition:

Astrianna begins to rise from her seat. "It was a pleasure, Ambassador Nor. Thank you again for acting as a mediator in this dispute. The Starfinders especially appreciate all you've done to enable this exciting discovery."

She pauses briefly at the Ambassador's final request. "Of course. There's no reason to get your personal property involved after we went through such lengths to retrieve it. Have a pleasant day, Ambassador."

-----------------

As they leave the gates of the Mission Astrianna sighs and runs a hand over her forehead. "Something doesn't add up with the Ambassador. But he paid us for the job and to keep quiet about his delivery and that's what we're going to do. What do you think was in that box, anyway? It was enough motive to get involved into his whole dispute, so it must have been valuable."

The thoughts of what to do with their newfound credits is certainly an inciting one. "We should all go out to eat for lunch, somewhere in the Eye! Leila, I know of a halfling family-owned gastro pub that puts Mamma Fat's jerky to shame..."

Remembering the rest of their duties, she adds. "OH, then we should go visit Chiskisk for debreifing. I bet they will love how we're sticking it to AE. That's icing on top of this whole alien technology cake."
She turns to Cueta, walking backward. "By the way, if you're going to be our pilot, you should probably go ahead and join the Starfinders. I'll admit I thought it was going to be dumb, archeological dredgey but it's been quite the ride! Though if you wanted to take your money and run I wouldn't blame you. Pretty ice how you just popped out of the freezer and had a bunch of money land in your lap!"


N Female Human Soldier 1 / Mystic 7 | HP: 47/53 | STAM: 60/60 | EAC: 23 KAC: 25 | F:+5, R:+5, W:+11 | Init: +7 | Perc: +17, SM: +15 | Speed 6 met | Spells: 1st: 0/5 2nd: 2/4 3rd: 3/3 Resolve: 1/8 Healing Touch: 1/2 Ammo: 20/20 | Active conditions:

------------------
Last night
------------------

The world spins, Cueta suddenly dizzy. Vacantly, she eyes herself in the bathroom mirror, sliding down the wall, until Cueta sits with her back against the shower door, Nash's folded note still clutched in her hand.

A half hour in the silent?

Spinning, tilting, crazy world.

You should be dead, girl.

Should be dead.

Dead.

But, she wasn't.

Something out there likes you.

Slowly, Cueta realizes the canned air in this apartment is cold. Sandpimples cover the pilot's skin. Standing, Cueta wraps herself in a towel, and goes to look for the thermostat. No swamp coolers here, on Absalom Station. No thermostat, near as Cueta can tell.

Giving up, Cueta speaks to the room, feeling somewhat foolish. "Oi, hi? Turn the heat up, please, humidity down. Like a desert, chinney?"

Chinney, the apartment says, and Cueta smiles as she feels the warm air hit her skin.

Something out there likes you.

Music! What now though?

---------------
Today
---------------

"The ambassador's a snake, yeah?" Cueta says, surprised it isn't evident to the vlogger. "Powerful sentients, like tha'one, they didn'na get there from kindness."

Thinking back to Iago, the pilot visibly shudders. "Ken what's in the box, nostro have the power. Probably'na possible now though."

Anyways, Astri had a good idea about the Starfinders. "If'n they'll take mio," Cueta says, shrugging, "Eh've got literally no plans."


Status:
Monster ID Modifiers:
Culture +20, Engineering +21, Life Science +20, Mysticism +16, Physical Science +20. Include Alien Archive bonus! +2 vs Items
| Sp 28/56 Hp 44/44 | Rp 8/8 | EAC 22 KAC 22 | Fort +7; Ref +13; Will +8; +4 vs Fear, +2 vs Emotion | Evasion, Uncanny Agility | Init +7 | Per +14; Trap Spotter |

Leila jumps and skips ahead, both physically on the small road and figuratively. "What box? I don't recall any box! Nope not at all!" But still, started softly before rapidly stopping again and switching topics. "But admit it's sorta interesting ..."

"Yeah! The Starfinders can use skilled pilots! And you would get to hang around with us more! I think we still have a few days worth of Star Battle left ..."

"But for now! Lunch sounds nice!"


N Android Mechanic 8 | HP:52/52 SP: 64/64 +tmp 10/10 | RP: 8/8 | EAC 21, KAC 23 EAC 21, KAC 24 | F: +8, R: +13, W: +6 (+2 vs disease, mind-affecting effects, poison, and sleep) | Init: +11 | Perc: +15, darkvision 12 mt. | Speed 30ft | Memory module: 1/1 | Current battery plasma: 28/40, street: 30/40 Active conditions:

"I am willing to join you while you sit down for sustenance." Prospero-4 agrees. He doesn't sound exactly interested, but then again he never does.
"Fortunately, with the aeon stone you kindly gave to me, I know longer have to process organic compounds for nutrients."


After a stop for lunch, at Astrianna's choice of restaurant of course, it's a quick two stops to the Lorespire Complex. Before the Scoured Stars disaster the mag train line actually had a terminus at the Complex but now that stop has been discontinued. It's still a short tube ride from the shortened mag train line to the Complex.

The three of you walk right into the complex with your Starfinder credentials and on to Chiskisk's office, escorting Ceuta with you as a guest. While the complex is not very busy there are still quite a few people hurrying around on their business. Most of them do a double take as they pass you buy and, almost to a sentient, acknowledge you in some way, whether it's a smile, a nod, or even a smattering of applause or a request for a selfie or a handshake.

The common sentiment expressed is that your expedition on the Drift Rock exemplified the best of the and Starfinder spirit. Daring adventures that push back boundaries and bring back the gift of knowledge for the betterment of all! as one Kasatha put it.

Chiskisk is, as always, in his office. They greet you with a quiver of his antenna that you recognize as a wide smile.

Ah, Wonderful, The Heroes of the Hour, come come, sit and tell me everything. They invite you.


Status:
Monster ID Modifiers:
Culture +20, Engineering +21, Life Science +20, Mysticism +16, Physical Science +20. Include Alien Archive bonus! +2 vs Items
| Sp 28/56 Hp 44/44 | Rp 8/8 | EAC 22 KAC 22 | Fort +7; Ref +13; Will +8; +4 vs Fear, +2 vs Emotion | Evasion, Uncanny Agility | Init +7 | Per +14; Trap Spotter |

Leila squints at Prospero, then the Aeon Stone. Fortunately?

"You know they say taste is one of the most important senses! Totally right? Can't let it go completely untrained. What if there's a taste-related puzzle on the next rock we find?! Really likely thing to happen I heard! So don't let it go completely unused!" she starts and beams at the android. "Besides! We can totally afford a good leisure meal. Right!"

---

It was weird, but not unpleasant, to be so acknowledged. Actually it feels really nice! The halfling walked trought the halls of the Starfinders with an extra spring in her steps.

"Nice to see you too!" Leila grins at the insectoid and bounces up in a seat, if available. She pulls up her legs and wraps her arms around them, resting her chin on her knees. There were so much to say, so much to share, so this would probably take a long while! But first things first! "Did you see the feed? The Ambassador gracefully handed Astri a high-res version! Maybe that's something for the archives? Certain parts deeeeeeep down though ... Oh oh oh! And have you met Cueta? We found her in the ship - which we found in the Rock. Oh anyhow! Cueta - meet Chiskisk! Chiskisk - meet Cueta!"


CN Female Half-elf Iconic Envoy 8| Sp: 18/56 | Hp 48/48 | Rp: 7/9 | EAC: 20 , KAC: 20 | Fort +4, Ref +10, Will +7 (+9 vs enchantment) | Init: +3 | Percep: +13, 12 Metron darkvision | Condition:

Astrianna is certainly in agreement with Leila. "At least have a bag of chips now and then! What is life without a bit of indulgence? But really, you earned that aeon stone. I'm going to get some still shots of you shooting Akata on the cover of Badass Monthly if it kills me!"

------------------------

After Astrianna unsuccessfully hits on the receptionist for at least the seventh time, the group makes their way through the halls of the Lorespire Complex.

Every person that stops to talk with them is enthusiastically greeted by Astrianna. She's incredibly nice and friendly to every sentient they meet, almost bizzarely so. Selfies are liberally distributed at no cost, even!

All the positive attention has put the half-elf's in a chipper mood while simultaneously inflating her ego to Red Giant sized proportions.

Entering Chiskisk's office she drapes herself on the arm of the chair like a fine cloth. "Leila is right, there is a lot, but surely you watched the live feed? The most important items would be the discovery of the strange alien tech we found embedded in the rock itself. Leila managed to get a copy of whatever code was running on the lab console, but I'm assuming the technophiles would like to get their appendages on the hardware as well. That security robot was really weird."

The strange position she was occupying on the chair was actually starting to hurt her back for once, so she straightens up. " Which is why we decided the Drift Rock should be towed to the Station and throughly studied by the Starfinders! Once we've gotten all the information we can out of it,, the whole thing should belong to Hardscrabble Collective. Because not only does Astral Extractions have NO claim to the rock, but we're pretty sure they sent at least one assassin after us and I'm looking to stick it to them in any way possible."


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This is perfect Chiskisk responds their antenna quivering so fast that it's almost vibrating. I feel that Duravor's spirit will be satisfied with what you have achieved. And we will get a chance to comb over the mysterious technology of the asteroid to truly understand it. Successes like these are what will rebuild The Starfinders and the three of you are to thank for it.

Chiskisk's antennas droop for a moment Fianh is not out of her coma yet, I will keep you informed on how she is doing. Rest assured she is receiving the best of care.

The Shirren looks at Cueta with interest Given how comfortable Astrianna, Leila, and Prospero-4 are with bringing you here; I assume you have earned their confidence. I am given to understand that you have been... out of commission for seventy-five years? It seems you have performed quite admirably as a gunner when you were called upon to do so in the thick of battle. Would you be interested in joining our organization?

Moving back on topic the Starfinder officer brings up a datapad and taps on it You are right Astrianna. The live feed was quite helpful and many of us have been poring over every frame. Including some of our best linguists. Fascinating stuff though nothing compared to what we will be able to do when we get our appendages on it for a thorough study. We have good news, our knowledge databanks have records of symbols very much like the ones you found on the asteroid as this is not the first time texts with this symbology have appeared post-Gap. The problem...

Chiskisk's mandibles click with frustration. .. is the source is highly unreliable. The information comes from a writer named Halkueem Zan from nearly three centuries ago and no other record of such texts have been reported since. Zan's original findings were donated to the Qabarat University of XenoAnthropology on Castrovel shortly after his Chiskisk pauses disruptive expeditions to gain the texts in the first place

In any case the Society is fortunate enough to have many QUXAX alumni and I can readily secure you a contact there and forward my personal recommendation to a few faculty members. Perhaps they can show you Zan's notes and even take you to the original site so you can search for more clues about whatever this Drift Rock truly is. I can think of no one better for this mission than the four of you.

Finally Have you officially reported your recommendations to the Eoxian Ambassador yet? Do you wish for me to write up a document formalizing your findings to send to him? Or would you rather do that yourselves? I would appreciate seeing the report before he does in that case of course.


N Female Human Soldier 1 / Mystic 7 | HP: 47/53 | STAM: 60/60 | EAC: 23 KAC: 25 | F:+5, R:+5, W:+11 | Init: +7 | Perc: +17, SM: +15 | Speed 6 met | Spells: 1st: 0/5 2nd: 2/4 3rd: 3/3 Resolve: 1/8 Healing Touch: 1/2 Ammo: 20/20 | Active conditions:

Cueta nods, trying to keep her face inscrutable. Truthfully though, she was relieved, and thankful - not only to be alive - but to have for lack of a better word-

A job! Well, a job offer!

"Eh'm interested, Chiskisk, yeah? What'll you'll need'f mio?"

"So you need nostro to go to Castrovel, then? And research Zan's notes?

Someone older than mio, heh.


Status:
Monster ID Modifiers:
Culture +20, Engineering +21, Life Science +20, Mysticism +16, Physical Science +20. Include Alien Archive bonus! +2 vs Items
| Sp 28/56 Hp 44/44 | Rp 8/8 | EAC 22 KAC 22 | Fort +7; Ref +13; Will +8; +4 vs Fear, +2 vs Emotion | Evasion, Uncanny Agility | Init +7 | Per +14; Trap Spotter |

"Oh..." Leila looked a bit down when Fi was mentioned, a brief departure from her otherwise sunny mood. "We'll have to stop by and see her at least, just for well wishes, before we leave."

"So this Zan also found these weird aliens huh? Interesting. Of course we'll check it out!" Leila nodded vigorously. A mystery and a treasure hunt was exactly why she signed up for the Starfinders! "Oh, while we are at it, we should go over the Maidens logs more carefuly. Maybe it is only on the drift rock by chance - maybe not!"

"And welcome to the Starfinders Cueta!" Leila beams at their new pilot. Only one thing left ... She raised her small hand up towards the taller woman. Hopefully she was aware of the ancient rite. "Gimme five!"


CN Female Half-elf Iconic Envoy 8| Sp: 18/56 | Hp 48/48 | Rp: 7/9 | EAC: 20 , KAC: 20 | Fort +4, Ref +10, Will +7 (+9 vs enchantment) | Init: +3 | Percep: +13, 12 Metron darkvision | Condition:

Astrianna doesn't seem to be all that concerned about Fi's health. Probably not surprising, considering the two got along like oil and water. Still, she has platitudes to offer. "Fi was a good pilot and a tough woman. I'm sure she'll pull through this." Is all she really cares to say.

The half-elf is more interested in this Zan character. "Disruptive expeditions? What exactly did he do, and why?"

She sighs dramatically on the instructions to visit Castrovel. "I certainly had no intentions of going back to boring old Castrovel any time soon, but if this is the only lead we have then it's one worth following."

On the subject of sharing their findings with the Eoxian Ambassador, she is very casual and forthcoming. "Oh, we already spoke with the Ambassador and told him our decisions. Same thing we told you, the rock goes to the Society and then HSC. He didn't seem to care much beyond that, but a formal report wouldn't hurt if you want to send him one." It was clear Astrianna had zero interest in pushing pencils.


N Female Human Soldier 1 / Mystic 7 | HP: 47/53 | STAM: 60/60 | EAC: 23 KAC: 25 | F:+5, R:+5, W:+11 | Init: +7 | Perc: +17, SM: +15 | Speed 6 met | Spells: 1st: 0/5 2nd: 2/4 3rd: 3/3 Resolve: 1/8 Healing Touch: 1/2 Ammo: 20/20 | Active conditions:

Even being over one hundred years old and from a planet beyond the Pact Worlds, there were certain customs so universal, so saturated through the universe, via the infosphere and shared custom and the like, the most every sentient knew of them.

Raising her arm, Cueta twists her elbow out and taps Leila's hand, a kind of awkward pointy 'bump.'

Well, most every sentient knew of a variation of them, at least.


Chiskisk's tone of voice in your heads makes clear the Shirren is grimacing Zan was a buffoon. One who was good at grabbing attention through sensationalism. He traveled all over the Pact Worlds portraying himself as an academic, an explorer, and an archaelogist. In truth his techniques were utter rubbish. He was a looter with a good press agent. The Starfinders had to do much work to disassociate ourselves from his brand of exploration and, indeed, still do, as thanks to him many think delving into the unknown involves blowing things up, stealing artifacts without permission, and making up trash like 'Pyramid People of Ukulum' that sells well to the general public.

Culture DC 20:
Oh yeah, Halukeem Zan's travelogues are dated but still kinda popular as pop histories. Serious academics rail against him alll the time. Chiskisk is obviously one of those!

Separate Culture DC 10:
Pyramid People of Ukulum is one of those classic Stories that has inspired a lot of adventure vids featuring dashing adventurers and archaeologists (when those kinds of vids come back into fashion). It's always a good time with undead mummies lording over frightened natives until the dashing hero or heroine come in to save them with pluck, smarts, and derring-do.
Sometimes also a very very large body count.


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Status:
Monster ID Modifiers:
Culture +20, Engineering +21, Life Science +20, Mysticism +16, Physical Science +20. Include Alien Archive bonus! +2 vs Items
| Sp 28/56 Hp 44/44 | Rp 8/8 | EAC 22 KAC 22 | Fort +7; Ref +13; Will +8; +4 vs Fear, +2 vs Emotion | Evasion, Uncanny Agility | Init +7 | Per +14; Trap Spotter |

Ah well! Close enough! Leila quickly puts the failed high-five behind her. It really wasn't *that* important!

"How can Castrovel be boring? I heard it's filled to the brim with trees and elves and flowers and and and ..." Leila suddenly realized something. Something with grave implications. Now she knew why Astri wasn't keen to return - the place were probably swarming with her sworn enemies. "Oooooooh! And squirrels!"

Culture 1: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (8) + 11 = 19

Culture 2: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (15) + 11 = 26

"Oh right! He wrote the 'Pyramid People'! Damn, I love the trids they made. I mean! Who can't help but love 'Temple of Darkness' or 'Army of Doom'?" Leila bubbles cheerfully and then stands up on her chair, raising her arms above her head. She offers one of the more famous quotes and then giggles. "'This is my ZAP-stick. Twelve-amps double-focus Starblazer. Space-marts top of the line ...'"

"Ahem. When do we leave?" Leila wasn't overly keen on writing reports either, but she could probably use a few days to recover a bit.


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Sense Motive DC10:
While the Starfinder tries to hide out, it's plain to see that they are incredibly disappointed in what Leila just said.


Status:
Monster ID Modifiers:
Culture +20, Engineering +21, Life Science +20, Mysticism +16, Physical Science +20. Include Alien Archive bonus! +2 vs Items
| Sp 28/56 Hp 44/44 | Rp 8/8 | EAC 22 KAC 22 | Fort +7; Ref +13; Will +8; +4 vs Fear, +2 vs Emotion | Evasion, Uncanny Agility | Init +7 | Per +14; Trap Spotter |

Sense Motive!: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (4) + 8 = 12

"Oh?" Leila glanced at Chiskisk. The halfling was suddenly aware how silly her arms looked raised up in the sky. "...You don't like those trids Chiskisk?"

There went her planned trid-night. Oh well ... She sat down again. And lowered her arms.


Chiskisk clicks his mandibles together in a Shirren version of clearing their throat. In any case, as Starfinders we believe in bold and decisive actions. Your findings thus far have been published very widely thanks to the actions of our Eoxian patron and I am not arrogant enough to think that only the Starfinders would have realized what we have about the symbols in the asteroid. I think it would be wise to be fast in following up on our lead.


N Android Mechanic 8 | HP:52/52 SP: 64/64 +tmp 10/10 | RP: 8/8 | EAC 21, KAC 23 EAC 21, KAC 24 | F: +8, R: +13, W: +6 (+2 vs disease, mind-affecting effects, poison, and sleep) | Init: +11 | Perc: +15, darkvision 12 mt. | Speed 30ft | Memory module: 1/1 | Current battery plasma: 28/40, street: 30/40 Active conditions:

"I have... never visited a planet." Prospero-4 confesses, after Chiskisk has given his assignment. "So I am very interested in visiting Castrovel. Perhaps we can spend some time sightseeing?"

Although as much he is interested in seeing a non-artificial environment with his own eyes, even the idea of all that open space is truly terrifying. But if the android is scared, he isn't showing that.

"Would there be anything valuable to learn from these trids? I believe we would have time to see them all on-route to Castrovel, especially if we speed up the playback a bit. I think you should be able to follow the details when played with x1.75 speed just fine."


CN Female Half-elf Iconic Envoy 8| Sp: 18/56 | Hp 48/48 | Rp: 7/9 | EAC: 20 , KAC: 20 | Fort +4, Ref +10, Will +7 (+9 vs enchantment) | Init: +3 | Percep: +13, 12 Metron darkvision | Condition:

Lol you guys crack me up. Nice work.

Astrianna rolls her eyes at Leila's enthusiasm for Castrovel. "Look, I acknowledge the entire planet is beautiful, and the Lashunta city-states are mostly great, especially Qabarat, I love it there. The Formians mostly keep to themselves these days after the peace treaty. But the rest... The rest is just jungle filled with seemingly innocent plants that, the moment you turn around, will eat you if you're lucky, or inject their eggs into your rectum if you're not. AND Then there's the Elves. As a child, when I wasn't at our mission in the Eye I was on the Sparacello estate in the Sovyrian countryside. Not only is it boring, but I have never met a more racist, xenophobic bunch of sentients in my entire life. I would probably be fine, but the rest of you? They'd deport you in a hearbeat if you somehow even managed to get across the border. Show any sign of resistance and you'd be going home in a body bag. Did you know you have to have a DNA test and go through a Dispeller to enter El, the capital city? If you don't have elf genes they're not letting you in, and if you try to magically disguise yourself as one to get in and get caught... prepare to rot for the rest of your life in prison."

It was pretty clear this was a sore subject for Astrianna, her rant winding down as she crosses her arms over her chest. " Seriously though, don't joke about the Castrovel squirrels. Some of them on have developed telekinetic powers, I've seen it. They WILL steal your lunch."

Culture: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22

culture 2: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (2) + 8 = 10

sense motive: 1d20 + 6 + 1d6 ⇒ (16) + 6 + (4) = 26

It was pretty obvious that Chiskisk was the type of academic that enjoyed beating up on Zan, and for good reason. " Ohhh right it's coming back to me now. We studied his work in my History of Trids class. Great cinematography awful, awful science. Honestly it's a shame The Pyramid People of Ukulum isn't real, can you imagine if we could harness the power of galatic rotation like they did?"

The half-elf dramatically jumps from her seat when Chiskisk mentions they should be fast following up on the lead. "Well, then what are we waiting for! We have a beautiful ship and nothing but space dust between us and Castrovel! My fans and sponsors are clamoring to know what my next project is, and this is HUGE. Especially with the callback to Zan, wow, all the tried nerds are going to go nuts for this."


Status:
Monster ID Modifiers:
Culture +20, Engineering +21, Life Science +20, Mysticism +16, Physical Science +20. Include Alien Archive bonus! +2 vs Items
| Sp 28/56 Hp 44/44 | Rp 8/8 | EAC 22 KAC 22 | Fort +7; Ref +13; Will +8; +4 vs Fear, +2 vs Emotion | Evasion, Uncanny Agility | Init +7 | Per +14; Trap Spotter |

"Well I wouldn't watch something called 'Army of Doom' for the science ..." Leila mumbled defensively. But yes, it would be tempting if things worked like in the trids. But she didn't have to admit that out loud! Hah!

"I'd love to see some sights as well!" Leila hops over to the much more fun topic of their upcoming trip. With a grin at Prospero and Cueta she added. "Remember! We don't have to run faster then the squirrels - just faster then Astri." And with the drag from her hats that ought to be easy!


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N Female Human Soldier 1 / Mystic 7 | HP: 47/53 | STAM: 60/60 | EAC: 23 KAC: 25 | F:+5, R:+5, W:+11 | Init: +7 | Perc: +17, SM: +15 | Speed 6 met | Spells: 1st: 0/5 2nd: 2/4 3rd: 3/3 Resolve: 1/8 Healing Touch: 1/2 Ammo: 20/20 | Active conditions:

After the meeting with Chiskisk, Cueta finds herself wandering Absalom Station, aimlessly. Totally out of her element (trivid screens at every shopfront? crowded alleyways and tunnels? artificial light? water? on demand?), the former soldier peaks in store windows taking in the sights (and in the case of open shopfronts, the smells, like roasting Peaking Duck on spits).

Coming across an alleyway devoted almost exclusively to tailored clothing, Cueta lingers, staring at a black torsk-leather duster in a shoppe titled Galaxaian Gaucho Where?. The pilot finds her hand lingering over the credstick in her pocket, Cueta torn about buying such an expensive, if awesome, jacket.

Ahyeah, Eh got a hundred or so credits en mio bank account!

----------------------

Stepping into the bank, wearing her new duster, Cueta smiles uncomfortably as she approaches the teller.

"So, uh, Eh been under freeze, chinney? Should have some credits floatin' en an old account, yeah?"

The teller - a slight elf with very narrow eyes - narrows his eyes even more as he takes Cueta's biorhythms. "I didn't understand that, but you look awfully good for being a hundred this year, Ms. Guiding St--- oh! Under freeze! I see. Well, it seems you're boss - who marked you as dead by the way, and tried to reclaim your retirement plan - he couldn't without proof of death per our policies... Ah, I'm rambling. The upshot is, you're invested in a high-risk, high-growth plan, that has done quite well! Would you like to withdraw?"

Cueta checked and double-checked her balance. Then checked it again. With the 1000 credits she earned from shooting down that Cairncarver, minus the 100 for the duster, Cueta had a personal worth of... 3300 credits!

Music!

----------------

Giving the vesk weapons dealer some sideeye, Cueta picked up the swoop hammer. Swinging it in the practice space a couple of times, Cueta smiled. It was well-balanced, and the hammer would allow her to keep any enemies at bay. "How much?"

"For you?" the vesk said, "3360. Same as everybody else."

Puk! 60 credits short.

Cueta fingered the fringe on her newly bought black duster and frowned. Ah well, the duster is pretty music anyways.

"Eh'll take the doshko then, and one'f them artillery lasers, yeah?"

purchases:
One badass black leather duster (100c), one Azimuth artillery laser (425c) and one Tactical Doshko (240c), 2 extra batteries (120c).


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Before they take their leave of Chiskisk, the Shirren presents all four of the Starfinders with an Absalom Station transit pass. Being full members of the Starfinders has its perks!

However Astrianna decides to make their grand announcement of what to do with the noqual and what will happen to the Drift Rock the result is the same. The Hardscrabble Collective's lawyers immediately put out a press release stating they are overjoyed by the findings of the esteemed Starfinder Society and hope that the independent arbiter Ambassador Nor of the Eoxian Mission will accept all the recommendations forthwith. Astral Extractions on the hand states that they are incredibly disappointed by the findings of the obviously biased Starfinders and, while they will submit to the findings of the arbiter as agreed, urge him to send more qualified experts to investigate the Drift Rock, before making a final ruling.

Astrianna, being the defacto representative of the four, mainly because she really wants to be while none of the others do, gets flooeded with well wishes by members of the Hardscrabble Collective and also Duravor's friends on the Station. Most of the thrill seeking voeyeurs subscribing to Astrinna's vid feeds are also in approval, as are those who've been with Astrianna since her lifestyle phase, the merc wannabees and hard bitten cynics who are new on the other hand snort in disapproval. Noting that getting in bed with the corporations would have been much more lucrative than allying with some dirty rock bashers. Much less dangerous as well some of the commentators warn darkly.

Once the group is ready to set out and has made whatever purchases they wish they take a tube towards the dock in the Arms where the Sunrise Maiden awaits. While it is a premium Dock, close to the Rings... it's still a decently long ride.

About three quarters of the way through the ride as the train comes to a stop at yet another station...

GM Screen:

Init: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7
Init: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7
Init: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21
Init: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10

Init: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11

2d6 ⇒ (4, 1) = 5
1d4 ⇒ 3

4d20 ⇒ (19, 15, 12, 3) = 49

A maintenance hatch right above the group suddenly gets wrenched open and a grenade drips right in the middle of the four. The four of you look down right as it explodes in a burst of blinding white light that also causes you an intense concussive pain. Astrianna, Cueta, and Leila, are just able to look away before it affects their vision but Prospero finds that he is suddenly completely unable to see!

No Civ Fatalaties A crisp voice floats down to you from above.

Setup: You're in a pretty tight cluster. Above you is a open hatch that you can't see anyone through. Prospero can't see anything though as he's blinded. Party up!

Damage Tracker Top of Round One
Astrianna 5 damage
Cueta 5 damage
Leila 5 damage
Prospero-4 5 damage Blinded 3 rounds remaining

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