Er1ka sits in her makeshift office sorting through client requests, She closes her eyes and takes in a deep breath...Realizing that the action is totally useless but she likes the fact that they are becoming instinctive rather than remembered.
A message crosses her data-pad it seems she is required again by the Starfinders. She heads off to the Lorespire taking an elevator to the first floor she follows the logical progression of the room numbers until she finds 132.
She again closes her eyes and takes a deep breath as she knocks on the door then pushes it open and goes inside.
A very small lashunta woman with a sickly visage arrives in the conference room. “Hi. I’m Staar” she introduces herself to the room, with a very faint voice, and sits down, seeming tired.
Following a few steps behind Staar a second lashunta enters the room. Of average height and build, his armor has the badges and trappings of the Stewards.
A takes a moment to look around the room before speaking, "Greetings, am I Baròleg Konstantu," he nods a polite greeting to each Starfinder in the room, "While we wait for our briefing, perhaps would could share a little about our selves? As the Starfinders replenish their ranks, the Stewards are providing an officer exchange program. Stewards gain enhanced training, Starfinders gain capable support. My specialties are negotiation and tactical support." He begins to make himself comfortable as he waits for the others.
|Archon - 3|
Archon - 3 finishes up his research in a corporate library he was temporarily granted access to as he receives his missive to attend a Starfinder meeting. He packs up his datafiles and portable computer and makes his way there.
Upon arriving, he enters the room to find others already having arrived and in the process of introductions.
"Greetings fellow Starfinders. I am Archon-3. I am on Absalon Station conducting research for my masters thesis on xenobiology. I also often sign up as added security on expeditions to unknown locales. It is good to make your acquaintance." offers the android.
He is dressed in a rugged second skin suit that is form fitting. His exterior is primarily bluish steel and his head is bald but sports intricate patterns that emit a light bluish glow.
Grathus walks into the conference room next. He seems to be trying to avoid the others' attention. It's probably a futile effort however since he's nine feet tall, weighs half a ton and is covered in bright silver scales. Grathus is wearing iridishell armor with a large piece of the chest plate missing. There's probably a force field or something to make up for the loss in metal and underneath his bare chest can be seen. On his chest is a brand in the shape of the Skyfire Legion's emblem.
Grathus walks over to a corner and leans his battle staff against the wall.
With the group assembling Er1Ka moves to the front.
"Hello fellow starfinders I am Er-1-Ka relatively new to the society, well relatively new to everything. I must admit my talents are still somewhat a mystery to myself. This will be my 2nd mission and I was a little disappointed with my performance in the 1st. Still I guess were all still learning and I'm sure we will all have a role to play and skills to contribute."
She goes and stands near the dragon looking him up and down.
"I hate talking not too good at it you know, socials not really in our nature."
She closes her eyes and attempts a smile :%
"Not very good at that either"
Star stands up and nods to her companions. “I just arrived from Eox and this is my first mission with the society. I hope we all get along”, she sits back down, working on a smile - she doesn’t seem to be used to it.
|Archon - 3|
Archon-3 moves over to Staar. He speaks Eoxian."Greetings. I see you are of Lashunta descent, but your complexion defies stereotypes. Having stated you are from Eox, I can't help from wonder if you share traits with the undead hosts native to that planet. Were you born there or converted at some point in your evolution? Would you care to share?" speaks Archon-3 inquisitively.
As he begins speaking he pulls out his datapad and begins to log notes about Staar, including taking pictures.
Grathus looks annoyed when Er1ka walks over and eyes him. After she speaks he smiles at her however.
The brand on Grathus' chest glows slightly for a second and the android receives a telepathic message, "Talk better than I can. I am Grathus."
Staar answers with a low and calm voice. “I don’t mind sharing, but it’s not a very interesting story: I moved to Eox when I was very young; I do intend to fully convert to undead in the near future, but right now I’m only using necrografts, to replace lost upper and lower limbs, and one to enhance my spine. My father, who is an undead, wanted me to travel to other worlds and garner experience before going through the change”. She is very emotionless, obviously trying to emulate an actual undead, or naturally doing so after living amongst them for so long.
The prosthetic limbs are not on my sheet, but I’ll retcon that as soon as I have the credits!
Entering the briefing room is a tall Bipedal Wolf Man standing a few inches over six feet. Their fur is dark blue with silver-white lunar crescent shaped markings across the left side of their face and neck. The Vlakan wears bulky armour and has two pistols strapped to their waist. Odd Shamanistic totems hand from the armour and weapons as well as plaited into a braid of ear falling by their right ear.
They pan their head from side to side as if taking in the room, however their red eyes are milky and clearly do not work. With a smile they give a deep bow.
"Greetings all, my name is complex in our tongue, but translates roughly into 'Requiem' in the Pact World common tongue, so that will suffice." they introduce themselves as they finish the bow. "I am a Prophet of the dream creatures of Liavara and diplomat to the Society, I have recently returned from the Scoured Stars where we were trapped there. I look forward to assisting in our appointed task."
With their short speech finished, Requiem walks to a seat, moving assuredly and confidently. They then sit down regally and sit with a straight back.
|Archon - 3|
Archon-3 acknowledges the incoming Vlakan with a nod of his head. He then goes back to examining Staar.
"Interesting. Very interesting. Early trauma, I suppose." he mutters as he continues making notes on his datapad to go with the scans and images he is acquiring. The last was more of a statement than a question he realizes. "That was my supposition. Early trauma, yes? Adolescent or pre-adolescent years based on the scarring and growth, yes? May I?" he asks, reaching for her necrografts.
As a xenobiologist working towards his doctoral degree, Archon-3 sees opportunity much higher than social graces.
Staar offers an arm, unfazed. “Pre-adolescent, yes, about 12 pact years ago. These are my latest models, and probably the last ones I will need, since I have finished growing”.
For her, this is making small talk with the living, a social skill she was superficially trained in, before departing home. She has no idea if this is normal or not.
"Nice to meet you Grathus, I apologise if I seem a little rude."
She pauses a moment looking down and holding a finger across her top lip.
"You see I'm aware you are related to some kind Draco genus but don't know which or even how to politely ask the question without causing offence, which I have probably already done?"
|Archon - 3|
"Excellent. Good information." mutters the android as he ticks away on his device. He nods approvingly. "Thank you for the information. It will prove invaluable in my research. May I call on you again if I have further questions? asks Archon-3, still not looking up.
As Eri1ka asks her question to Grathus, Archon-3's head whips around. He considers her question with a tilted head.
"Draco? Most dragons are considered in the Draco genus. Their characteristics are different than Grathus here. No flight-worthy wing structure, lack of size, bipedal. The list goes on. Perhaps Dracopterus, similar to ancient wyverns? No, wyverns had no opposable digits for arms, only wings. Or Drakus, as the Drake. They were flightless versions of the Draco genus. Hmmm. Draco will have to do until I investigate further or Grathus knows. Ferrodraco perhaps due to the skin conditioning." offers Archon-3, clearly becoming more and more interested.
He gets up from his seat near Staar and walks over to Grathus and Er1ka. He begins gathering information, capturing images and scanning the dragonkin, clearly invading personal space (whatever that is ;p ). The android projects holographic images to supplement his examples and conversation as well.
“Sure, I don’t mind”, says Staar, just as she was about to open up her Reinforced EVA suit I and expose her back for examination - she stops when Archon-3 moves away, and dons her armor back again. She resumes her smiling practice.
"No offense. I'm a dragonkin. From Triaxus."
When Archon-3 invades Grathus' personal space he seems to grudgingly accept it. Until he says something Grathus doesn't like. Then he starts swatting at the android to try to get Archon to back up.
Grathus recasts Telepathic Message, this time for Archon-3, "Dragonkin are just that, cousins to dragons. Flight comes soon." Grathus flares his wings while waiting for his magic to recharge so he can send another message. "Don't compare me to wyverns. I'll eat an arm."
Er1ka adresses Grathus..
"Again I apologise for my rudeness, I am new and still learning it seems my awkwardness is still a problem. I will attempt to address the problem!"
She looks at Archon-3 then back to Grathus as she does she closes her left eye so as Grathus can see it but Archon-3 can't. Then turning to Archon-3 she touches his arm.
"Come tell me more of your studies of the Drakes."
Your conversation is interrupted by the arrival of a shirren wearing understated business clothes and flexing its antennae rhythmically. From your induction training in the Starfinder Society, you realise this is Chiskisk, a member of the Society’s elected leadership council, the Forum. Chiskisk isn’t a mission-oriented venture-captain, so this briefing must be about something special!
The shirren takes a seat at the head of the table and you hear their telepathic voice in your head. ”Welcome, colleagues. As you know, the Starfinder Society has been quite efficacious of late. The acts of brave agents like yourselves has made the Society once again respected and known through Near Space and even in some areas of the Vast. We have been quick to capitalize on these new opportunities. Recently, the Society has reached out to nearly a dozen new civilizations with which we have mutual interests. At this moment, the Lorespire Complex is brimming with ambassadors, dignitaries, and probably also spies from many worlds.”
“I had the honor to conclude preliminary negotiations with one such ambassador, a robot named DV8. Intriguingly, DV8 arrived uninvited and unannounced from a previously-unknown colony world. They are about to sign an exclusive exploration and trade treaty with the Starfinder Society, largely based on our recent exploits. However, DV8 has requested a recess in negotiations to explore Absalom Station before signing the agreement. We’re not exactly sure why. But it’s a request we could not decline, of course. I granted them freedom of the station, as long as they accepted an escort of local Starfinder agents to ensure their safety and comfort. That ‘escort’, of course, would be you!”
Chiskisk pulls a datapad from their clothing, activates it, and slides it on the conference table so you can all see it.
Species: Robot of unknown design and origin.
Formal Title: DV8.
Pronouns: “Irrelevant.” It or they/them.
BackgroundDV8 arrived uninvited to negotiate an alliance with the Starfinder Society on behalf of an unknown colony world that apparently is rich in both material resources and pre-Gap ruins. DV8’s design bears some similarities to the anacites on the Pact World’s own Aballon, though the ambassador refutes any association. It is possible that DV8 originates from the same long-extinct masters who left the anacite on Aballon before disappearing eons ago, but they do not reply to inquiries of this nature.
Initial Evaluation:DV8 does not understand humor, sarcasm, or local idioms. It is not devoid of emotion, although it seems that frustration and anger are its most common forms of expression. Repeated inquiries into the nature of its home world are met with the termination of discussion. Internal information on DV8’s origins remain classified. A picture of DV8 is included on the datapad, and can be viewed on the “NPCs” slide on the Maps & Handouts link.
This is an unknown design of robot, but bears some similarities to the evolved anacites found on Aballon, the innermost planet of the Pact Worlds system.
The anacite were originally deposited on Aballon by an unknown race that left no trace. The anacites developed the ability to self-replicate and modify and have now evolved into a robotic species.
Chiskisk continues. “Here’s the dossier on DV8. Find out what they’re interested in seeing, and take them there. Be gracious hosts, entertaining tour guides, bodyguards, or social planners, as the dignitary requires. It should go without saying that this emissary’s safety and security are paramount, as is their continued goodwill toward the Society. If you do a good job, we might just secure the opportunity to explore a new world! Any questions?”
Er1ka engineering If take 10 is allowed engineering: 10 + 7 = 17
or engineering: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (18) + 7 = 25 if not
"Are there area's you would wish they did not see?"
Er1ka's mind flips back to the downlow district...
"Any suggestions of where we should take it, if it has no particular interest in going anywhere specific? Somewhere that might please such a machine". Staar reads up the dossie, puzzled by this mission.
I imagine robots are quite rare in Eox, with all the mindless undead workers, so Staar has no idea how to handle “Deviate”.
Chiskisk nods. "Those are good questions, Er1ka and Staar. I'm not putting any areas formally off limits, but we do want DV8 to be impressed by Absalom Station and the Pact Worlds in general. We certainly don't want them to be accosted by street gangs like the Level 21 Crew or the Uniters! So gently avoid Downlow if possible, but if DV8 insists . . . well, we also don't want them to think we're keeping secrets. As for the other question. My time with DV8 leads me to believe you won't have any difficulty finding places to take them. DV8 is rather . . . forthright . . . in their desires."
Er1ka, you can Take 10 on these checks (and generally, most other checks unless we're in combat or another stressful situation.
"We will show it the Absalom Station night life, if it desires then. It will be all just as new for me as it will be for it". Staar sits back, done. "I'll focus on trying to keep it safe".
Someone better pony up for this night out, because I'm broke
Baròleg watches the exchanges between his new teammates with interest, taking mental note of any stated or observed strengths and weakness.
He projects to Grathus, "IF you need help communicating, I'll stay connected to you mentally. It'll be fast than spells, and I can include the team or individuals as needed. You'll just need to stay relatively close to me."
As Chiskisk enters the room, he shifts his attention fully to the shirren. As he concludes answering Staar and Er1ka's questions, "Has there been a profile or assessment done for DV8? Anything that showing cultural norms or taboos?"
|Archon - 3|
”We would be honored to escort the ambassador. There are a great many places to show them. I will cross reference my databases and create an itinerary for our visitor. Should the schedule be by minute or should I be a little less exact and break it into fifteen minute increments?” asks the android as he is tapping away at his data pad.
”There is also the matter of expenses. Are we allotted a budget for this in case the dignitary has expensive tastes or unusual requests? We are but fledgling Starfinder with limited means.”
Er1ka will share the information from the above engineering checks for the party.
"Where can we find DV8? I assume we will need to discuss the requirements of the tour so we can plan an optimum route for them?"
As Chiskisk enters the room, Requiem stands and bows formally to the Venture Captain, recognising them by their unique scent of Suskillion Cologne and traditional calligraphy Ink. ”Greetings Captain, I enjoy seeing old hands rise to positions of power that suits them. Thankyou for this chance.”
After listening to the briefing information for the foreign ambassador provided the Vlakan nods. ”What is the nature of the deal with our Society? Is this something you wish us to avoid?” they ask.
"Thank you Baroleg. That works for me, Grathus says gratefully. He gives Baroleg the impression that he prefers dealing with one person.
Grathus then relays through Baroleg, "Bodyguard duty then. That should be easy enough. Especially if we can tactfully guide DV8 through the nicer areas."
Chiskisk’s antennae sway gently as they listen to Baròleg’s question”Unfortunately, our inter-cultural contact assessment team has their hands—and tentacles—full with all of the other dignitaries on the station, and hasn’t transmitted a preferences or taboos assessment as of yet. It would be a good idea for all of you to pay close attention during your first meeting with DV8 to see if there is anything you should be aware of. On a side note, Baròleg, I was an early supporter of the new Starfinder-Steward exchange program, and I’m glad to see it proceeding so well with your secondment here.”
The shirren turns towards Archon-3. ”When it comes to scheduling, I’m afraid DV8 seems to have a very different sense of time than most of us. When DV8 wants to do something, they want to do it immediately, and with no delays. You’ll understand once you meet them. We do hope, of course, that DV8 will be impressed to see that the Pact Worlds contain fellow technologically-originated lifeforms like yourself and Er1ka.”
”As for expenses,” the shirren continues, ” the Society intends to reimburse you for reasonable expenses for the dignitary and yourselves: meals, transportation, tickets to desired social events. Please, no gifts though, not for them and especially not for yourselves.” You can hear a wry sense of humor flow through the shirren’s telepathic communication.
Requiem’s kind words are well received, and pleasantries are returned before Chiskisk turns back to the matter at hand. ”Your question about the negotiations between DV8’s world and the Society is understandable. Unfortunately, that’s a matter that must be kept confidential until the outcome can be publicly announced. For now, please just focus on ensuring DV8 is impressed by Absalom Station and, by extension, the Pact Worlds and the Starfinder Society.”
In response to Er1ka’s question, Chiskisk says ”DV8 has been installed in guest quarters on level 7 of the Lorespire Complex, Room 242. They have been notified of your imminent arrival. Unless you have any further questions, I suggest you proceed there directly.”
Now is a good time to complete the Boons sheet in the Discussion thread.
Er1ka moves to the Vlakan.
"Master Requiem, do you require any aid to the elevator? It would be my pleasure to escort you to the 7th floor.
The hallaways of this area of the Lorespire Complex are abuzz with activity. You see several other teams of junior Starfinders like yourselves giving dignitaries from a myriad of planets in Near Space (and beyond) guided tours of the facility.
When you arrive at the guest quarters and buzz Room 242, the doors whoosh open to reveal the robot you saw on Chiskisk’s profile of DV8.
The robot’s voice comes out harsh and grating, but whether that’s an intentional way to convey tone or simply the way its voice synthesizer handles Common speech isn’t clear. ”IDENTIFY yourselves!” Some passers-by in the corridor turn to stare before moving on.
"Hello, ambassador. We are from the Starfinder Society, here to escort you in a tour through Absalom Station. I'm Staar".
Staar does a curtsy.
After listening to Chiskisk responses Baròleg makes a few notes, "Understood, we'll compile while can during the escort. And thank you, I've found the program to be highly enriching."
He projects to Grathus [i]"I'm glad to help. Agreed. Keeping the ambassador entertained should be easy enough."
"Thank you Chiskisk, we'll ensure the ambassador is well entertained."
As the team approaches DV8's quarter's, Baròleg steps up to the door making sure he's visible to any obvious security monitors.
Diplomacy/Make Impression: 1d20 + 10 + 1d6 ⇒ (20) + 10 + (4) = 34
"Greetings DV8, we are the Starfinders sent by Chiskisk. If you're ready we'd like to begin your tour of the station."
Grathus isn't great at first impressions so he stands aside and lets those who can talk do so.
I try to keep the mechanics of the scenario behind the scenes as much as possible, but sometimes the game runs a bit more smoothly if I'm a little explicit. One of the goals of this scene is to establish DV8's initial attitude towards each PC. Depending on your role-playing, you can try a Diplomacy, Bluff, or even Intimidate skill check. (Suffice it to say, Baròleg made quite a nice initial impression for himself!) If, like Grathus, you don't want to interact directly with DV8, its attitude towards you will be Indifferent. DV8's starting attitude towards the entire group is then based on a combination of its attitudes towards each of you individually.
:( quite a curved ball for the androids, Wish they don't always require a social skill test to make 1st impressions.
Er1ka steps forward.
"Hello, designation ER-1-Ka, Assignment Guide/Security, Pleased to make your acquaintance Ambassador."
diplomacy: 1d20 ⇒ 14
"I am Staar. I shall keep you safe during your visit, embassador". Points at herself, trying to project strength and hoping the robot will obey her orders if anything dangerous happens.
Intimidate: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (7) + 6 = 13
|Archon - 3|
Archon-3 makes his introductions after the others more gifted in diplomacy go first.
"Greetings DV8. I am pleased to meet you and I humbly offer my services to you as a guide through Absolom Station."
The android pulls up a holographic projection of a standard diplomatic protocol and begins to play it.
"...put your trays up and your seats in an upright position..."
"Oh, wait! Wrong one!" exlaims the operative as he pulls up the right one. Brief and to the point it is.
Diplomacy check: 1d20 + 1 - 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 - 1 = 17
If I can I'll use my 'Limited Telepathy to coach anyone on introductions, trying to get anyone who wants needs one an assist to Diplomacy without overtly letting DV8 know they need help. With my mods it's an auto +2.
Baròleg connects the team telepathically offer his helping in making introductions to the diplomat. "I'll do my best to assist if any would like or need..."
Well if courtesies must be observed...
Grathus steps forward and casts telepathic message once again. "My name is Grathus." Grathus tries to give a small bow but one of his wings gets stuck on something and throws him off balance.
Diplomacy: 1d20 ⇒ 2
"Baroleg, please explain to DV8 that my voice was damaged in battle and communication is difficult for me."
Taking Er1ka's kind offer of assistance, Requiem follows the inquisitive Android to the meeting of Dv8. Entering the room, they flinch at the loud demands made by the robot due to their highly sensitive hearing. Taking a moment to register the Robot-creature's rather unique bouquet of Oil and ALien technology the Vlakan bows deeply to them.
"Greetings Ambassador. My name is 'Requiem' and I am a Diplomat of the Starfinder Society. I am honoured to make your Acquaintance." They say with a warm smile as they rise from their bow. "If you have any desire or query we will do our utmost to assist you."
Profession Diplomat?: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (14) + 9 = 23 If I can't use profession then -2 for Diplomacy
I would also like to try and use my Class Ability:
Empathy [Full]: Attempt sense motive (DC20 or 10+Bluff Mod whichever is higher). Learn disposition and attitude towards creatures in 30' and +2 to Bluff, Diplomacy and Intimidate for 1 hour. You Take -2 to saving throws against mind-affecting for 1min.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (10) + 12 = 22
DV8 emits a beep of acknowledgement as the two androids, Er1ka and Archon-3, introduce themselves. However, the robot doesn’t seem impressed by Staar’s physical posturing. ”Weakness. INSUFFICIENT!” When Grathus introduces himself, a harsh, discordant tone like a faulty enercycle engine echoes through the corridor. ”Improper protocol! EXTREME DISPLEASURE!” Requiem’s approach seems well-received, as DV8 emits a smoothing tone through its voice synthesizer and an odd blend of cinnamon and lavender scent through microscopic pores in its armored shell.
DV8 rolls into the corridor, and the door to its chambers slide shut. ”Escort ACCEPTABLE. Security DEMANDS proximity. Destination: PERFEXION. Commence.”
You’ve all heard of Perfexion—an upscale eatery that’s one of the most expensive restaurants on Absalom Station! It’s famous for the lashunta chefs who prepare food at diners’ tables after psychically assessing their preferences. A quick look at the infosphere shows a meal at the restaurant has several courses, with dishes such as Castrovelian eel soup and roasted frujai frond steak, a bed of sautéed caypin rings (tentacles ambulatory!), and Akitonian cactus ice cream for dessert. The bad news, however, is that the waiting list for reservations is weeks long.
After interacting some with DV8, you’re starting to get a sense of what you’re in for on this escort mission.
Attitude Toward Group: Helpful
Take 10 Engineering: 10 + 7 = 17
Grathus nods to DV8 and motions to follow him. He communicates telepathically what he has picked up about DV8. Grathus leads the way, since folks tend to step aside for him due to his stature. Hopefully that will make the robot feel more secure.
I assume taking 10 is still fine here. Revealing the spoiler above.
Staar will walk next to the ambassador, keeping an eye on the crowd and maintaining a stiff smile. “Shouldn’t someone call the restaurant and arrange a table for the ambassador?” She mentions in a low voice, to her colleagues. She hardly ate outside of her house, but social events work pretty much the same way in either place.
Culture/DC 15: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (9) + 7 = 16
"A meal first then, excellent. If you'll allow us we'll contact transportation,[b]" Baròleg motions for DV8 to follow. [b]"Perhaps you could tells what other experiences you'd like to enjoy during your tour? This will allow us to make preparations as we travel..." Seeing the ambassador doesn't like to wait, Baròleg tries to use this to get more information from it.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 6 + 1d6 ⇒ (9) + 6 + (5) = 20 Anyting else I can learn from DV*?
Quickly linking the team he shares anything he's learned, "It seems DV8 lacks in patience and is anxious about being alone on the station..." Opening spoiler and sharing anything my roll gets.
Despite your best efforts to draw him out, DV8 doesn’t seem interested in anything besides Perfexion. Frankly, it seems rather odd, as the restaurant isn’t known to particularly cater to techno-existent beings, and DV8 has no obvious apertures for eating or drinking. Still, attempts to get them to discuss other places they’d like to visit are met with ”Irrelevant! PERFEXION is PERFECTION!” and similar lines.
The restaurant’s comm-unit just goes to an automated recording. However, through a combination of walking and public transit, you make good time. People instinctively move out of the way when they see a dragonkin like Grathus or a member of the Stewards like Baròleg approach. Soon, you’re in an upscale, swanky part of Absalom Station.
Reflective walls and an understated sign mark the location of Perfexion. A small crowd of well-dressed hopefuls lingers near the door, but a red-velvet cordon keeps them from passing into the establishment’s entryway. A pair of vesk bouncers, wearing ceremonial armor and brandishing doshkos, check reservations and impatiently wave away anyone without one.
Sorry Er1ka and Baròleg, your additional skill checks don’t glean anything useful at this time.