"I'm going to attempt to rebalance whatever shields we have left." Replied the Elf-droid, fingers moving across the science console.
computer's check rebalance Shields/using computer bonus: 1d20 + 9 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 9 + 1 = 17
Both ships Fire!
Clara Front gun: 1d20 + 2 + 4 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 2 + 4 + 1 = 27
Damage: 1d8 ⇒ 1
Crit: 1d100 ⇒ 86
Clara's shot hits the power core of the enemy ship causing to to throw sparks into space.
Tylur spins the turrent around and fires Using particle Bean current while Clara used the front
The enemy ship lacks an aft gun.. and with that last blast from Tylur the ship. The power core goes critical and the ship blows, whiting out your view screen for a second.
Your ship drifts through space slowly through the explosion. Without your Android engineer holding the ship together you can't even control its movements. The hull is down to 3 points. It is going to take some serous repairs to get it back up to full. You can spend a bit of time to get your systems back online, but will need 520 UPBs to repair the hull yourself. Possibly less if your engineer does well. Or you can pay for it to get repaired back at the station.
What now? Where to?
THe crew gets to work, getting the ship back to functional shape. It takes a little while but nothing is catastrophicly damaged. Though some repaires are in order.
As the ship hums to life, there is a small dread of making it to the station, but at 1/4 speed you make it out of the no fly zone and back to the Armada. Clara speaks up "you can let me out here. I believe my ship is waiting for me. I hope to never meet you again"
As Clara goes to the airlock she turns around and plucks the small stone floating around her head and tosses it at whoever is closest "Here. Payment for my life". She shuts the airlock and jets out to space. Going nearly invisible against the dark sky. You are able to track her until she goes dark. It seems like a black ship, nearly invisible against the scanners of your ship has opened a port and let her in. It goes dark again. Soon you see the drive plumes as it zips back into the fray of the armada.
One of you has obtained a Clear Spindle Aeon Stone
As you continue toward the station you start to see giant advertisments projected onto sails out near the station. At first you don't think anything of them, you are used to ignoring the ads. But you soon realize they are showing footage of you! You can see yourself on the Acreon, then on the drift rock. You can see the final blow against the strange creature, it slumping half way through the stone.
While you are all watchin in shock there is a buzz, "Pinging the Sunrise Maiden. This is traffic control. We are pinging you to let you know that we have waved all docking fees for you and have opened up a docking port for you in section 1A." Those of you from the station quickly realize this is a very swanky docking area.
"You may now approach and dock. Thank you. Also it is an honor to talk to you"
You are now docking with the station. If there is any retcon RP you wish please feel free. We can flesh out stuff that happened a bit back. Welcome back to Absolom station
Before heading back to Absalom Station...
Tylur heaves himself out of the turret and drops back onto the main deckplates. "Whew!" he calls out loudly to the rest of the crew, "That was cutting it mighty close! Hell of a job, Sybil...Dee...Yon...and you too Clara! We needed every bit of firepower, piloting, and engineering to hold off those guys! It was an Eoxian cutter by the looks of it. Sheesh...have I mentioned how much I hate those undead bastards! I've got half a mind to just dump our special cargo, but I have a feeling that's what drew them to us. We might need a few words with our benefactor when we get back..."
Then, the big soldier takes in the sparking panels and lit up warning lights throughout the Sunrise Maiden. "Well...that's assuming we make it back..." He grabs a hydrospanner from the engineering bay. "Yon? You wanna give me a hand? Let's see if we can patch things up a bit. At a minimum, we need to get the engines back and make sure life support's intact..."
Engineering check: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21
It takes the better part of an hour before Tylur's satisfied the ship will hold together. It feels good to be working on the mechanical systems of a ship again. Even though it wasn't his primary calling, he'd seen enough time on maintenance duty among the belters in the Diaspora that he felt at ease with it. Of course, Yon and Dee were the experts. Still, he could lend a knowledgeable hand. And pretty soon, they were on their way.
By the time the team reaches the drop off point for Clara, he seeks out the android to see her off. "Hey, like I said, no hard feelings about what went down," he tells her. "You were paid to do a job, just like we were. And, we're all professional enough to know how that goes. In the end, we needed each other to get off that rock. You helped us and we helped you. I'd say that makes us even. And, if we cross paths again, I hope it's as friends rather than adversaries. Take care."
Upon seeing Absalom again...and the vids of their adventure...
"Well, I'll be a vesk's uncle..." Tylur wonders aloud, "I guess that little bot we had tagging along didn't miss a beat, did it? I never figured it'd have our mugs splashed across every vid-screen on the station, though." The soldier notes his rather haggard look in one of the close up shots playing across a passing ad-board. "Hmmm...maybe I'd better go clean up a bit before we dock..."
After the Fight
"Yes!" Zam agreees, giving everyone high-fives. Her immediate instinct is to agree with everything Tylur just said, but she takes a deep breath and forces herself to speak calmly. "They've definitely tested our patience, but we can't attribute this extremist behavior to the entire planet's population. Cold and calculating the Eoxians may be, but we don't yet understand what's behind that attack, much less our own cargo. Regardless, an unprovoked attack on Starfinder agents is almost certainly going to create some space-time ripples. We need answers, and we need them soon."
Zam regards Clara's departure impassively from the observation deck. This has certainly been an exercise in diplomacy. They'd met all sorts of personalities on this short little mission. Something tells her this won't be the last time they have to work with someone like the android. Heck, they might even encounter her again...
Returning to the Station
"What the..." Zam trails off, flabbergasted by the footage. "Apparently we're celebrities. This could play out great, or awful. I doubt the ambassador's happy to see these details, unless he's the very reason they've been leaked. On the other hand, transparency on this conflict could be a good thing. Also great is the fact that we survived! Great job, guys!" Zam ignores the tingling in her gut, the nervous anticipation of what fallout their choices are about to reap....
"I wouldn't worry about it, Tylur. Something tells me that 'fresh from adventure' look is exactly what our 'fans' will be looking for."
"After the ship is docked, we also need to figure out what to do with Hebiza. They demanded we take them immediately to the ambassador, but part of me thinks it would be better to report immediatey to Chiskisk. Starfinder HQ is where our jurisdiction originates, afterall."
Can we get a review of Clara's gear, as I think she kept everything except her aeon stone. Need to remove those items from the Loot doc. Also, now would be a good time to review the doc and claim anything we don't want sold (remember that with the low sale value, it's better to keep and use gear than to sell it).
Absolutely, Agent Tylur.
yon works with Tylur and spends most of.the flight back constabtly checking systems and making minor repairs where he can.
Engineering: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (8) + 11 = 19
Upon approaching Absolom Station
Yon inwardly sighs, and decided to outwardly as well, to express his relief for all.
Looking up at the monitors he studies the display, curious.
I do not understand this, what is the reason our journey is being displayed?
Yon begins smiling as Zam posits the their survival.
This is good news, I will be most pleased when we get our business resolved.
I am okay with Starfinder HQ as our first destination."
"After the ship is docked, we also need to figure out what to do with Hebiza. They demanded we take them immediately to the ambassador, but part of me thinks it would be better to report immediately to Chiskisk. Starfinder HQ is where our jurisdiction originates, afterall."
"If that's what you want to do, I'll back your play," Tylur nods, "But, keep in mind, the Ambassador's probably got a lot more pull on this station than Chiskisk. Not that I'm downplaying the resources of the Starfinder Society or anything. I joined up with them, of course, and I'm pleased with that decision. All I'm saying is if Nor takes an ill view of how we handle his 'cargo' and delay getting it to him, it could cause trouble for us, and possibly the Society, as well. I mean, we could be bringing a problem to Chiskisk's doorstep, and even the shirren might not appreciate it. Maybe it's better to just finish off this bit of business, collect our payment, and move on? That's what I was always taught as a mercenary..."
Sybil watches the station as the ship docks with an unamused look. She was pleased with the docking priority and location. Damn straight... leave us on stuck on that rock to whatever might eat us.'
The halfling had reservations of being plastered all over the view screens. She never sought the spotlight only to discover what was out in the dark.
"I would suggest we leave the Ambassador's package... we'll be kind of visible for the next bit, until something else comes along that is. It can always be fetched 'later'." Sybil suggests to the group.
She also adds "I would rather get our dealings with the Ambassador over with and be done with this business. I am sure that there are things we can... discover for the Starfinders afterward. I am sure a limited notoriety will open a few doors too."
Before heading back to Absalom Station...
“I believe we have all performed adequately well.” Replied the Elf-Droid looking over at the Captain. Fingertips dancing across her digital keyboard, Dee scanned the area to see if there were any other threats out there. “All clear Captain, I don’t see any other threats out there.” She replied as sans returned, showing nothing other than the debris from the ship of their previous opponent.
“Although I too would like to enact revenge on those undead bastards, I believe the Starfinder Society may have a problem with us visiting Diplomat Nor and causing a diplomatic incident.” Dee had found such a resource here with the new crew of the Sunrise Maiden. She hated to see it come to end, only hoped it wouldn’t but it was hard for me to convey those emotions in their current state of situation.
“I can assist too if you need me to...turn a wrench.” Dee replied, her engineering skills were adequate enough to provide assistance if needed. Before Tylur could respond, the Android was already on her way to him.
“Good luck Clara 247, may the digital streams guide your path to ascension.” Replied DeeV8, giving the proper farewell greeting to their Android passenger. She had no grudges against Clara, knowing all too well what it meant to do a job. The technomancer had done her fair share during her darker days of being part of the Nocturnum Corporation.
Upon seeing Absalom again...and the vids of their adventure...
“A Vesk’s uncle? Is that possible considering your biological genetic DNA?” She asked, pondering on what Tylur had just said. After a paused, she gave the soldier an even more confused look when he commented about cleaning up. “Considering we have been televised during our whole Drift Rock Incursion, perhaps we are well pass beyond any sort of appearances.” With their privacy compromised, making up for any sort of appearances really didn’t make any sort of logical sense.
Listening to everyone talk about their next plans, Dee had to agree with Sybil when it came to Nor’s cargo. “I have to agree with Sybil on Ambassador Nor’s Cargo. I believe that the Starfinder’s Society isn’t aware of our special cargo for the Eoxian benefactor, fulfilling his wish would benefit both us and the society in the end.” It was the logical path, considering there was probably a reason why Nor had hired them to smuggle the soldier into the station.
As you eventually bring the battered ship into dock. You slowly move into the very nice docking area 1A. Around you all of you see luxuery ships and yahts docked up with the station. As your burned out ship connects with the station's, the docking clamps have to be adjusted to connect to a non-burned out area. Your ship looks to be in a very different quality to the ones around you.
Your ship connects up and you are able to leave. As all your personal data units connect to the local mesh networks you all get several pings. Most seem to be fan emails of some sort, but after a second of filtering you find a few serious messages.
1. The Ambassador's staff have messaged you a short message of Now that you have arrived on station please report to Nor for debriefing. Also any cargo found can be picked up by contacting this number. What follows is a contact address. Looks like you can call and they will come and pick up "anything" from your ship if you wish.
2. A direct communication from Chiskisk "I have been told you are back on station. I would be very interested to hear what you found on the ship and Rock. When you have a chance I would love to check in. Hope everyone is safe
3. A offer from a local repair company, with a 77% positive feedback on the mesh, offering to repair your ship for 15% off the standard price.
4. An offer for an interview on a local Absalom network show. Any locals would recognize this as a "morning" show of sorts. They are not 100% serious, but love to bring on current happenings on the station for interviews.
5. Docking receipt with everything marked out for free. Free docking while your ship is here.
Outside the ship is a small crowd being controlled by local security behind a barrier. Looks like you might have fans.
“A Vesk’s uncle? Is that possible considering your biological genetic DNA?”
"It's a figurative statement, Dee...not literal," Tylur winks, "Just a turn of phrase for exaggeration..."
“Considering we have been televised during our whole Drift Rock Incursion, perhaps we are well pass beyond any sort of appearances.”
"My mom always used to say that 'manners maketh the man'..." Tylur shares, "And sometimes, manners can be extended to include one's outward appearance. Blasting aliens on a great big Drift Rock requires one kind of demeanor and outfit. But, interacting within the public eye is better done with a different one if you want to make a good impression and set yourself up for lasting success. Think of it as 'marketing'. Zam's probably got a good eye for it, as well."
"I would suggest we leave the Ambassador's package. We'll be kind of visible for the next bit, until something else comes along that is. It can always be fetched 'later'."
"Great idea," Tylur agrees. "We don't want to draw any attention to it. Best to leave it here until things cool off. Then, maybe we sneak it out during a sleep cycle or something..."
"I would rather get our dealings with the Ambassador over with and be done with this business. I am sure that there are things we can...discover for the Starfinders afterward. I am sure a limited notoriety will open a few doors too."
"Seems like that's always the case," Tylur responds, "I used to carry notoriety on my shoulder all the time as a merc. I kind of wanted to leave that behind after joining the Starfinders. But, I guess there's a fine line between making a name for yourself in a good way, and just gaining more notoriety with someone else. This business with the Hardscrabble Collective and Astral Extractions is a good example. You wind up favoring one over the other and you're hailed as a hero by one side, and a life-long enemy by the other. Fame and notoriety are just two sides of the same coin. And whatever we do, we'll be rolling in that kind of currency from now on..."
"Speaking of which," he adds, "I still want to follow-up with HC and deliver those bodybags of the crewmen from the Acreon. I think it's the least we can do, and I'll volunteer to transport them over to Captain Serissi, if you guys want. You're all welcome to come along, too. I suspect it'll be a pretty somber affair, but maybe we can do right by those families by leaving them with a bit of coin from the noqual we collected from those akata."
Tylur's datapad begins pinging as he connects to the station's networks, so he looks over it for a bit.
"Hmmm...looks like Nor might be willing to send some folks to collect his 'cargo' while we're off distracting everyone. Maybe we can position it for a quick pick up in the cargo bay with a warning not to touch anything else."
"Looks like Chiskisk is also ready to talk whenever we are. I'd like to wrap up the Ambassador's debrief first, if we can. That way, when we talk with the shirren we'll have more information about our benefactor's take on this whole Drift Rock, as well."
"Hey...take a look at this! There's a discount offer for repairing the ship! Dee? Yon? Sybil? Maybe you guys can look over the repair list and see if it's a good deal? We should get the Maiden back in fighting shape as soon as we can. There's no telling when we might need it again in service to the Society. Plus, she's looking pretty beat up in this hangar bay next to all the glitz and glam of the elites. It'd be nice to have her looking shiny and new again in honor of its former captain."
Sybil looks at her own messages and finds the one that Tylur has and shrugs, "We can keep this in mind, but lets us look around first... someone might be willing to help us out with repairs. use the fame while we got it, it will be over soon enough."
"As for Ambassador Nor, Lets get this business done." The halfling suggests. And whispers, "Let us get rid of the cargo too."
"And afterward we can Chiskisk" She says with a firm nod before looking to her companions for their reactions and consent to her suggestions.
"I'm good with that plan..." Tylur replies.
Before leaving the ship, he asks Yon to help him position Nor's 'cargo' container into an easily identifiable spot just inside one of the Sunrise Maiden's airlocks. Then, he creates a coded sequence for opening the door. "That ought to be as good a place to secure it, as anything else," he tells the android, "Now, all we gotta do is send the Ambassador's staff the key-code and they can come get it while we're away..."
Once they've arranged the pickup, Tylur grabs a quick shower, changes clothes, and swaps out all the heavy gear for his handguns, leaving the rest on the ship. Emerging in the galley, he announces to the rest of the team that he's ready to go. "Everyone ready for the close-ups?"
"Nope, but let's get this over with." Sybil says with a deep sigh. She was not going to like this... and like ripping the band aid off, was eager to get it over with.
You ready the cargo into the air lock and prep a one time key code to open just the external lock. Take a deep breath and open the air lock.
The first thing that hits you is the screaming. There are groups of people behind the caution tape screaming at the top of their lungs.
Cameras pointed your direction. The local port authority are keeping everyone at bay, but you can hear and see many media stations requesting interviews. It also seems like the station has provided an access to a shuttle to get anywhere without talking to anyone if you wish.
Standing tall, Tylur surveys the crowd amid all the noise. The military training in him assesses the situation for possible threats, but it's really just a coping mechanism to center himself and deal with all the sudden public scrutiny.
"Wow!" he speaks loudly so the others can hear him over all the clamor, "This is crazy!" He holds up a hand as a general acknowledgement to their 'fans'...not quite sure what else to do. "How're we gonna get out of here?" When someone points out the waiting shuttle, he nods. "That seems like as good an exit as any..."
Dee follow's Tylur's lead, looking about appearing a little uncomfortable with the gathering crowd. "I agree, it is certainly the best course of action."
"All for that!" The halfling lets out and makes for the shuttle ignoring the crowd.
Enter of course the halfing uses her keens senses to get a lay of the land, to see what the shuttle is all about and who it might be from.
Perception: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (20) + 12 = 32
Upon entering the shuttle, you can see it seems to be programmed to go to the Eoxian embassy. All you need to do is sit down and tell it you are ready and it will move through the station, avoiding all the onlookers, and make its way straight to the embassy, pasty any security.
As you eventually settle and get it going you seem a great view of the station for awhile. Amazing views of various parts of the different districts. It does enter a inner tunnel system for awhile, which just shows flashing lights as you zip past them. Eventually making its way to the park district in the center of the station.
The shuttle flies around the embassy, and lands expertly, on a landing pad in the center of the embassy. From above it looks like the rib cage of some massive creature with buildings filling it up like strange box shaped organs.
Upon landing the ship door opens and a finely dressed skeleton with glowing eyes is there waiting holding a data pad. A quick glance at you and the pad, "Greetings Sybil, DeeV8, Tylur, Zamasea, and P-1101. Or as you seem to be known as "The Drift Rock 5". Please follow me, Nor would like to speak with you immediately."
With a swift turn the creature takes a step back and waits to verify you are following before continuing into the building.
"Sure...lead the way!" Tylur waves, still uncomfortable around walking, talking skeletons.
You are brought into a similar office. Nor, eyes glowing red, head elongated, and floating a few inches above the ground looks to all of you. "Welcome back. Congratulations on a successful mission. I am curious to hear what you found out there. Both on the Acreon and the Rock itself. I did withness quite a bit, but I get the impression there where things found that where outside the scope of my lens. I also wish to know if you have obtained my cargo. I wish to secure that as soon as possible."
He waits, fingers steepled in in front of his hollow chest. Unnerving in his glare down at all of you.
Sybil greets the Ambassador as warmly as one can an undead being. The halfling considers his las comment a moment which seems odd, She asks, "Ahhh... Ambassador Nor... Were you not the one who sent the message that you were going to retrieve your cargo?" She quickly brings up the message and displays it for the "man" to see.
Well oops haha
Looking down at the halfling. "Yes, that was my office's message. I was aware of you getting some shards of valuables on the ship. It was a general offer to assist, but I was hoping to get confirmation that my special cargo was also in fact available for pick up. You had done quite well keeping my cameras out of the way, so I have come to assume my cargo is on the ship. By your words, it does sound like you do in fact have it. Out of curiosity, did you open it?"
That was my bad. I lost track. Good catch though Sybil. +1 browny points. Assume he did not know for sure, but was sending you a general message just in case you did. I don't think you actually sent the notice for pick up though, did you?
It seems silly to lie at this point. Their newfound celebrity status would make it to outright kill them. Wouldn't it?
"We did, in case the cargo unit contained additional survivors. And, it did." Zam briefly wonders if an Eoxian counts as a "survivor" since they're already dead. She waits for Nor's reaction.
"Yes, as Captain Zam stated. However, be aware that we did bring the cargo illegally back to Absalom Station." The Elf-droid had seen plenty of monstrosities during her enslavement in the Nocturnum Corporation. The Ambassador's undeath appearance did little to perturb her.
"So, we have accomplished our end of the bargain and wish to be compensated for the retrieval of your precious cargo." Dee crossed her arms, an air of newfound confidence emanating from their successful mission. "A win-win for all of us, isn't not?"