Okay, I'm going to go ahead and move the party's tokens up into the room to the children as there is nothing of note between where you currently stand and the children.
As you enter, you see scattered barrels and boxes line the lowered floor of this storage chamber. A thick bulkhead to the port side leads farther onto the deck, while the aft bulkhead you just walked through connects to an arterial hallway that runs the length of the deck.
Walking towards where the two kids are hiding, you can plainly see the girl peeking up over the top of the barrel and upon spotting you, duck back down. You take a few steps closer and the boy does the same - peeking up over the barrel, makes eye contact with you, then ducks back down. They keep doing this over and over and over as you walk closer and closer and closer. Finally, you stop right in front of the barrel they're hiding behind. At this point, you and the kids have seen each other at least a dozen times.
You hear one of them say, "Shhhhh!! Be quiet! Maybe they won't see us!" The other responds, "YOU be quiet!! YOU keep talking and they won't go away!!" The original one retorts, "Well it's YOUR fault we're going to get in trouble! YOU be quiet!"
You know they're there. They know you're there. You know that they know that you're there. They know that you know that they know that you're there. What are you going to do, intrepid Starfinders?
"WHELPS move from behind the barrels and COME HERE NOW!"
intimidate: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10
are the words he expected to come out but the sound is more like
"Hsss hss ssszz ssez..." in his anger he spits out the words in Veskarium.
Telwyn pauses when she senses something through the door. She warns the party telepathically that something seems weird. Careful, there is someone else in the next room, it seems confused and afraid. I'll try and make contact.
Suspicious and uneasy she quietly draws her weapon to be ready, but not holding it threateningly and careful to conceal from the kids.
Sleight of Hand: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (15) + 10 = 25
She continues focusing beyond the door to see if any surface thoughts change while she attempts to talk to it telepathically, asking it questions if it is responsive including:
Who are you? Are you in trouble and do you need assistance? If you are lost, were is the last place you remember being?
"Hey, kids," Aazanar calls out. "Come on, nobody's in trouble. So come on out. We're just here to fix the lights and stuff. Come and tell us what happened and we can get everything fixed faster. It would be nice if you helped us."
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (18) + 7 = 25
|Brezaki "Bonesaw" Mihkinz|
"What do you mean get in trouble? We're just here to fix things and make sure its safe down here. If there is anything we should know it would be better if you just told us. "
Diplomacy: 1d20 ⇒ 20
I feel like something is going on. I wonder if they are going to tell us the truth.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (9) + 7 = 16
Sorry on my delay all, forgot my son's preschool had field trip today so I was not able to get on sooner!
Myr'iad waits patiently to see how the younglings will respond to Aazanar's sweet talking. Myr'iad was not very good at such things; they were much better at sneaking.
Responding to Telwyn's warning, Hirix sends "What kind of someone are we talking about here? Another kid?"
Hirix avoids making any comments to the kids. Not only do her allies seem to have things under control, but the little wrigglers probably wouldn't respond well to her approaching anyway.
I'm happy to keep my distance from 'em too. Easy to read, but you usually can't get one lick of sense out of them. And then some hysterical dame or fella will come along and yell at you for scaring their grubs. Pah.
In response to Sovokolok-Asnari's threat, the kids frantically run out from behind the barrels to hide behind other barrels further away, screaming "Ugly, smelly monster with bad breath and crooked teeth and a bent tail and boogers in its snout!! Aaaaahhhhhh! Run! Run! It's gonna EAT us!!!"
But once Aaz and Brez provide more conciliatory, comforting words, the little girl (about 7 years old by the looks of it) runs to Aaz and clings to his legs. "You're much nicer and funny looking but not scary. You also smell nice. PLEASE DON'T LET THE UGLY MONSTER EAT ME!!"
The little boy (who's about 6 years old) runs to Brez and clings to her leg. "You're an ugly monster too! But you're a nice ugly monster... And your teeth are straight. And no boogers. I like you. PLEASE PROTECT ME FROM THE BAD TEETH MONSTER WHO IS SO POOR HE CAN'T BUY A KLEENEX!!"
You two calm them down and the girl explains, "My name is Kieu Lan and that is my baby brother Kieu Si. We were just playing when the lights went out! It was dark and the doors were too heavy for us to open when they stopped opening automatically. That's all. Nothing else happened. We're sorry we left the children's area! We just got bored. We promise to stay there from now on, I swear! Can we go now?"
As the girl is saying this, both of them repeatedly glance towards the port doorway.
Sense Motive: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (2) - 1 = 1
"Okay... don't worry about the space monster. He's just here in case there are pirates. You think he's scary now, wait till you see him be scary when there are pirates around! They all run screaming! Hah!"
Sense Motive: 1d20 ⇒ 15
Never one to trust whelps he eyes them confident they are hiding something. "Speak WHELPS. Your tongue may be frozen but your eyes tell all that is needed to know. You hide something. If you would rather we can leave you here to face whatever causes you hide in the shadows. Maybe its teeth are scarier than mine.
intimidate: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18
Whatever's in the next room won't respond, but I think it is sentient, even pretty intelligent.
Telwyn turns her attention on the kids. "It's ok kids, we're just here for the one in the next room. I already know what happened so you won't get in trouble if you tell me the truth now.
Bluff: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (12) + 11 = 23
|Brezaki "Bonesaw" Mihkinz|
"You don't need to worry about ol' Sovokolok. Sure, he sounds scary but deep down he's probably just a big softee. So, we know that there's somebody else in the other room."
Brezaki gestures to Telwyn, Listen to this lady, she has magic powers of perception. We just want to talk with whoever is back there and see if we can help them."
Diplomacy: 1d20 ⇒ 2
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The boy screams in response to Sovokolok-Asnari's threat and he babbles, "I was just trying to protect it! I'm sorry, I'm sorry! I set it up at the door" He points towards the port doorway then buries his head into Brez's leg and cries bawling loud... REAL loud.
The girl, also with tears streaming down her face, "We were just bringing it some food! We found Butters on this deck and just wanted to keep it as a pet because daddy won't let us have pets ever since mommy disappeared... So we hid it in that room... We were just bringing it food just now when the lights turned off... I swear!! The trap Kieu Si set at the door is only meant to protect Butters from monsters like him!" Now also bawling with a river of tears, head buried into Aaz's leg, she lifts her arm and points at Sovokolok-Asnari. "Now that bad teeth monster will want to eat me, my brother AND Butters!!! After it eats us, please tell our daddy that we're sorry and that we really do love him and we didn't mean it when we said it was his fault mommy disappeared!!"
At this point the kids are crying uncontrollably and not hearing anything else you say - convinced that they've met their end and that their end is named 'Sovokolok-Asnari.'
Sovokolok-Asnari is unfazed at the wailing of the children more interested in what this Butters is. "Myriad see what rudimentary trap these whelps have set upon the door. I trust your eyes better than any here. Why are these whelps still here? We should send them back to the ysoki. She will have a fitting punishment waiting for them."
Hirix sends a laugh to all but the children, continuing with "Cute little snots, aren't they?" She heads over to the doorway the two children indicated to see what the 'trap' they mentioned might be. She looks up above the door frame, half expecting a bucket of water to be balanced precariously to catch the first person who goes through.
Perception vs. traps: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8
Telwyn does indeed find a little trap set up by the kids where they modified the temperature sensitivity of some automated fire suppression systems. Anything that passes through the doorway area with the warmth of normal body heat will trigger the system, drop gallons and gallons and gallons of fire retardant foam on anyone within that area. The foam is not lethal in anyway, definitely an annoying irritant, and quite possibly a bit comedic - for the observers, not the victims. Disabling the trap is a trivial task for the party.
Having cleared the trap, I've unmasked the rest of the map in the slides.
Peering through the doorway, you see that this area consists of two adjoining chambers. Four large containment capsules fill the fore room, three of which hold stasis-locked objects, including a tablet, a strange curved sword, and an odd spiral of bioluminescent coral. A crack leaks fluid from the fourth capsule, which displays a foot-wide breach near the bottom. The aft room contains several desks, each hosting a deactivated computer terminal.
Sovokolok-Asnari points at the broken containment capsule. "Butters seems to have a home? How it was released we will need to ask the ysoki."
Sovokolok-Asnari strides hopeful that he is able to get the jump on 'Butters' before it gets the jump on them.
|Brezaki "Bonesaw" Mihkinz|
"No, no. Sovokolok here only eats pirates. Butters isn't a pirate, is he? Or is Butters a she?"
Hirix surveys the room with a trained eye, looking for signs of the escaped (?) creature. She inspects the leaking fluid, looking for traces of the same fluid elsewhere. She pulls a magnifier out of her kit and looks for traces of fingerprints or scrabbling against the floor. She keeps her antennae probing the air for any fluctuations that would indicate something invisible.
Her investigation has the aura of a professional at work.
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26
Survival: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (13) + 3 = 16
Profession (private eye): 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (9) + 12 = 21
As Brez moves to the other room the child that was clinging to her leg releases his death grip and runs over to Aaz and re-engages his death grip to Aaz's free leg. Aaz now has two frightened children clinging to his legs, making it pretty near impossible for Aaz to walk. At this point they're too hysterical to respond to the questions directed towards them, although they seem a tad less frightened when Sovokolok-Asnari moves away into the adjacent room to port.
As you two have moved, I'm going to move Sovokolok-Asnari's and Brez's tokens into the other room on the map.
Brez Fortitude: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 1 = 15
Sovokolok-Asnari Fortitude: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (13) + 3 = 16
Hirix Fortitude: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9
As Sovokolok-Asnari, Brez and Hirix move into the port chambers, Hirix feels a wave of fatigue washing over him.
Hirix now has the fatigued condition
Brez Life Science: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10
Hirix Life Science: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16
Hirix is familiar with the symptoms and has determined that a couple pieces of shielding has been knocked out of place, resulting in very low levels of radiation leaking into the area. Between Hirix, Brez and Sovokolok-Asnari, you're able to replace the shielding panels, eliminating the hazard.
Pushing past her fatigue like the professional that she is, Hirix gets to work examining the room. Using her finely honed investigative skills, she locates tracks all over the walls and half open vent covers. She deduces that Butters is centipede-like and has climbed in and out of the vents - probably hiding in a vent this very moment. Hirix figures a couple athletic individuals can climb in to flush it out or perhaps the computer controls can be used to close some vents, forcing it out... Or a combination of the two.
Aazanar looks down at the two children clinging to his legs.
"No, no. It's all right, really. Everything's going to be okay. Can you tell me anything more about Butters? What does he look like? What does he eat? What kinds of things does he like?"
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26
Aazanar doesn't know about the radiation yet, but he certainly wouldn't want to bring the kids in there once he knows.
Aaz reaches deep down into his heart and taps an angelic reservoir of patience as he tries to sooth the two kids with vice-like, blood circulation-blocking grips on his legs. Amazingly, Aaz succeeds in stopping their hysterics.
Kieu Lan, the girl responds to the questions, "I don't know if she can see in the dark but I wouldn't be surprised if she can. Butters is the most awesome-est pet! And of course she is a girl. Because girls rule!" She performs a little triumphant fist pump to which the little boy responds with "Whatever! Girls are yucky!" They then describe it as something that looks like this: CLICK
Kieu Si responds to the food question, saying, "We're bringing HIM (not her) some nachos! But we dropped it on the floor when the lights went out." With a frown, he points to a congealed mass of orange-y yellow artificially processed semi-hard substance on the floor with a scattering of tortilla chips sticking out of it.
Telwyn is still in the room with Aaz and the kids and listens to their story.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6
But she can only tell that they are both still upset and scared.
Telwyn walks into the other room and when the others talk about the vents she says she can give a shot at the controls. She walks over (I think) to where the conmputer control is and will try and close off the ventilation to leave it only one way out.
Computer Machines: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 20
Hirix fills everyone in on her findings, concluding with "Our frightened alien perp is up in the vents. Telwyn can't get it to listen to her, so we're going to have to flush it out. Grab it, march it to Fitch. Easy enough, yeah?"
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (1) + 9 = 10
She follows her own instructions by clambering up into a vent before Telwyn closes it. Once inside she navigates towards the remaining open vent, hoping to push the alien out ahead of her.
Athletics: 1d20 + 5 - 1 ⇒ (9) + 5 - 1 = 13
Telwyn manages to close off many but not all the vents - greatly limiting Butters' mobility. Hirix climbs in and sees the dark outline of Butters but it scurries away, managing to avoid Hirix's attempt at flushing it out. However, Hirix is able to confirm that the dark outline is indeed caterpillar-shaped.
Any one may go ahead with additional computer or athletics skill attempts.
|Brezaki "Bonesaw" Mihkinz|
Sovokolok-Asnari dives into the vents trying to direct it out into the room. His hulking visage prompts it to scurry out of its hiding place and into the room!
Just as Brez is about to squeeze into a vent, a caterpillar-shaped alien that must be 'Butters' shoots out, followed by Sovokolok-Asnari and Hirix. It is now in the middle of the room, surrounded by Telwyn, Hirix, Sovokolok-Asnari, and Brez. It is small sized and looks like this: CLICK
It's making sounds that you believe to be a language but not any language you recognize. It's moving back and forth, very jumpy. Its head is looking around as though trying to find an opening to escape.
The two kids, hearing the commotion, let go of Aaz's legs and runs into this room where Butters is now out in the open. When they see the alien, they yell in joy, "Butters!!! We got nachos for you in the other room!! Turning to you guys, the kids say, "It looks so happy to see us!!"
When the alien catches sight of the kids, you adults can read its reaction with one hundred percent accuracy - it is thinking, 'Oh no, not those kids again!!!' It then re-doubles its efforts to find an escape from all of you.
In order to restrain and/or calm it down, please give me either an acrobatics, athletics, or diplomacy roll and describe to me how you're using that skill to restrain/calm it. If you can think of a creative way to use a skill aside from those three, give it a go! I'm going to assume Aaz and Myr'iad also move into the room now so anyone can give these skill checks a try!
Hirix steps towards the exit of the room, hoping to cut it off before it goes to investigate the 'nachos'. She sends a wave of calming thoughts towards the caterpillar, but knowing that the creature can't understand her, the actual verbal content is far from calming "You move anywhere buster, and I'll shoot. This peashooter isn't just for show, got it?"
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
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Careful, this guy isn't a wild animal and certainly doesn't seem hostile, be gentle with him.... or her? Telwyn sends to the party.
Realizing the kids are a major source of stress, she tries to remove them. "Kids, run! I just detected FOUR more loud angry slobbering bad toothed lizard monsters coming this way from the far door! Go back to your excellent hiding places!"
She feigns fright staring at the far door as she gives the kids a little nudge back the way they came.
Bluff: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (13) + 11 = 24
Acrobatics: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (20) + 12 = 32
Myr'iad stands stock-still waiting to see what 'Butters' will do... and the moment he/she/it attempts to wriggle away, Myr'iad will immediately twirl around in front to cut off the escape. "We will attempt not to harm it."
Bluff: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (13) + 11 = 24
sense motive: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (14) - 1 = 13
Aazanar, in the other room with the kids, looks up in shock. "What... here?" With a flick of his wrist the little orange mote floating near his head shoots down to his wrist where it forms a miniature blazing sun. The burning globe drops from a cord that ends in Aazanar's hand.
Move action to activate Solar Weapon.
"Get back kids! Don't worry! I'll protect you!"
Sovokolok-Asnari emerges from the vent and heeds Telwyn's message. Heads towards the children hoping to 'encourage' the children from the room. "The whelps are mine. Hssss!"
intimidate: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21
While most of the group is busy scaring the children into lifelong trauma, Hirix joins Myriad in cornering the caterpillar creature, rolling into position to block its path.
Acrobatics: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (9) + 8 = 17
To the alien she sends another wave of 'calming' feeling and also "Where are you going mugg? I know a ysoki who'll want to have a few words with you."
"Sovokolok, no!" Aazanar shouts. "Stay back! I'm warning you!" Aazanar brandishes his solar weapon.
Intimidate: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (17) + 9 = 26
"Hey... where are the other Vesks? What's going on in there, anyway?"
Butters doesn't seem to react to Hirix's calming thoughts but it does give Myr'iad an opening to perform a spinning triple flip through the air, landing her directly behind Butters, allowing her to grab it and put it in a secure but harmless hold. As it struggles in Myr'iad's arms, Hirix decides to help restrain it and does so by sauntering over to Butters (no flips, no spins) then holds it down, ensuring it won't get away.
Then Butters sees Telwyn say something to the kids and act frightened. Confused, Butters stares at what she's doing, entranced. Suddenly, Sovokolok-Asnari bursts into the room pretending to go after the kids, at which point the kids scream! Aaz then activates a weapon, pretending to get ready to defend the kids. The kids, once again fearful for their lives, run off back into the other room screaming "AAAAHHHHHH!!!! They're coming! They're coming!!! Ugly lizard monsters!!!"
Butters, still being held by Myr'iad and Hirix, sees all this ridiculousness and seems to appreciate that the party drove those kids away out of the room. Myr'iad and Hirix feels the tension in Butters' body melt away as it begins to slightly convulse and make a sharp, repetitive noises. Yep, it's laughing at your off-the-wall antics! And from that point on, it doesn't resist as the party brings it to Fitch.
Fitch turns the alien over to an assembled team of experts in hopes of learning more of the alien's language and culture. One thing they do manage to learn fairly quickly is that it does NOT like two things: 1) human children, and 2) the name 'Butters.'
The two kids are returned to their father, Kieu Kein. He thanks your party profusely for taking care of the two kids. Their mother, his wife, disappeared in the Scoured Stars incident, so it's been tough for them. But once the two kids learn that you're all Starfinders, they no longer find any of you frightening and, in fact, keep asking their father if they can go on more adventures with your party. The answer is most definitely not, but as a thank you to the party, Kieu Kein gives you a mk 1 ring of resistance and Fitch awards you with 400 credits as well.
With all four missions now complete, you return to the Lorespire Complex and meet with Guidance. Guidance once again presents itself in holographic form - this time taking on the appearance of a wizened male korasha lashunta. It says, "Congratulations on sucessfully completing all four of your missions. In the unfortunate aftermath of the Scoured Stars incident, the Society needs skilled agents now more than ever. Considering how well you have all handled yourselves during your Commencement, I see great potential in each and every one of you as you start your new careers as Starfinder field agents. Please take a few days off - you've earned it. It won't be long before more venture captains contact you for your next mission." And with that, the holographic image blinks out.
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Back at the Lorespire Complex, Hirix taps some ash off her cigarette and broadcasts "Anytime mister. It was my pleasure to get involved." She turns to her remaining party members and continues "As for you all... I took you for cream puffs, Sovokolok excepted, but you surprised me. You kids have got a lot of grit and a stern backbone. I'd take a job with you again."
She pats Sovokolok on the shoulder "Keep at it big boy. I'm sure there are plenty more 'whelps' on this station you haven't yet scared s$!!less." Her mental voice quivers with suppressed amusement. With a lazy wave to the assembled group, Hirix departs back to her office in the Downlow, mementos in tow.
Maybe being a Starfinder was going to work out after all.
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Myr'iad offers their hand in a shake, the human gesture of respect, or so they have observed. "We agree that you all are very efficient specimens of your species." They glance at Sovo and Aaz. "If a little cumbersome." The corners of their lips turn upward slightly, perhaps an attempt at a smile?
"We look forward to going on future missions with each of you." They nod and the strange, androgynous android slips away with the strange silence they seem to prefer.
"You have all shown yourselves to be of greater skill and use than otherwise thought. IF we are to see one another again than you will hear no objection from me. May the stars show us the truth. For Veskarium! And the Society." The last words seem to come out more as a formality. He salutes you all and heads for his room