Are we going to fall for the it was all for love line? I say bring her in, but I'm fine with voting on it.
"My dad always used to say 'cheaters usually prosper so you don't have to help them,'" Chorizal says as they're debating who to side with.
He shrugs. "She was fun to chase. I say we let her go."
"I don't care what happens to them, personally, as long as they leave the X-64 peaceably and without disabling the ship. Hey, who knows, perhaps Redshift will put out a bounty on them and I can get paid twice for this job. Anyone want to help me hunt down a fugitive?"
"We came for the ship. Hand it over immediately and then be on your way."
The exchange goes smoothly - Elvina makes no attempt to pull any stunts, and Terminator have no interest in picking a fight with the Starfinder Society.
You return to Venture-Captain Naiaj in person at the Lorespire Complex where she meets you in a spacious meeting room.
"I'm very pleased that you retrieved the X-64, and I thank you deeply for your efforts. You've returned the X-64 to Redshift Revolution, I agree that sticking with the original offer is likely the more responsible thing to do, though I appreciate the Terminator offer may have appeared attractive. I approve of your decision, and what is important in the end is that the Starfinder Society secures a manufacturer for our new starship engines and you've progressed that. With the engine issue sorted, the Society should soon be ready to test the final variant of the new starship in a live mission"
"You'll have a new mission soon enough, but get some rest in the meantime..."
End of scenario!
You begin onboard the flagship of the Wayfinders faction, the Master of Stars, which is in orbit around Absalom Station. Wayfinders faction leader Fitch informs you that she and the leader of the Exo-Guardians faction, Zigvigix, want to discuss an important upcoming mission in the Vast.
In the briefing room, a shirren heavily augmented with cybernetics and a white-furred ysoki are engaged in a heated argument. With their antennae twitching angrily, Zigvigix says, “Fitch, you know that can’t be true!” Fitch, realizing that she and Zigvigix are no longer alone in the room, remarks, “Zig, let’s talk about that later. We have more urgent matters to discuss".
Zigvigix, now looking somewhat embarrassed, utters, “Ah, Starfinders! Thank you for joining us—there is an important mission I want to discuss with you. As you probably know, Drift beacons have been shutting down in a remote region of space within the Vast, and it is exceedingly important for the Society to find out why. To this end, we are sending a large expedition, comprising several dozen combat and exploration ships, into the Vast. The Master of Stars will remain behind. Instead, we have two command vessels; I’ll take the battleship Vigilant Calm for a spin and lead whatever battle efforts may prove necessary, while Fitch will captain the Swift Clarity to lead exploration of the area.”
Fitch nods in agreement and continues, “You’ll be joining the exploration wing under my command. Your mission is to explore Siygess-4, a planet known to have a Pact Worlds–sponsored settlement within the region of space affected by the Drift beacon deactivations. Once you’ve arrived in the system and ascertained there are no immediate threats, you should land in New Hope, the planet’s only major city. You should contact local authorities and find out if there have been any recent incidents that may be related to the deactivations. You should also keep an eye out for anything that seems out of place. Meanwhile, other teams will explore other locations on the planet, and Zigvigix’s forces will investigate the planet’s three moons.”
"You should choose which starship frame you want to take, likely the Drake or the Pegasus. The new generation models are still in production and aren’t yet available. Since your primary mission is exploration, I recommend the Pegasus, but Zigvigix is concerned about unknown potential dangers in the Vast and recommends the Drake" Fitch shrugs.
Any PC who rolls this result can reroll any one skill check during the course of this adventure and take the better result.
culture: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (13) + 13 = 26
Your newest teammate is another shirren, dressed in mottled browns and grays suitable for blending into the dark spaces of a ships engineering section or in the shadows on away missions. A lump of gray plastiderm sits at the base of his neck, with another on his left forearm. Strapped to his back is a standard pack with an aquarium-like bubble on top. Within the aquarium is an odd half-shark half-octopus creature, happily viewing the world.
"Chivix and Gravy are happy to assist a new team to look into this phenomena. Well, Benny is too. The loss of Drift travel would be terrible for the entire Pact Worlds. Chivix wonders how the Siygessians will feel about Starfinder interference, though. Did not the colony start as a way to get away from the Pact Worlds?"
"Are you guys arguing about which Strawberry Machine Cake album is the best again?" Chorizal asks as the team comes in during a heated discussion between the two Starfinder leaders.
"It's clearly 'Contemplations of Conflict.' Sure there are no hits but taken as a whole..."
He nods a greeting to the newcomer before listening to the briefing and, of course, adding his own commentary.
"Ugh...the exploration wing. More like the boring wing.
"Ha! 'Ascertained there are no immediate threats.' More like, blown up whatever is trying to murder and/or eat us.
"You know what I'm voting for," he says to the team when the question of ships comes up.
"Oh, are we going to have problems with the people we're supposed to be helping?" he asks when Chivix asks his question.
"And what is that? Is it your baby?" he asks Chivix as he looks into the aquarium. The way he raises his hand it's pretty clear he's contemplating tapping the glass.
"Strawberry Machine Cake? Chivix loves SMC! Chivix even has the limited edition holoskin. See?" The shirren fiddled with a control knob and suddenly his camo gear was replaced with Captain Carmine's bright red pirate coat over a red and black knee-length dress.
"See? Chivix got it and some other prime limited edition merch directly from Captain Carmine's agent's chief assistant!"
"And no, that is Benny. Chivix and Gravy rescued Benny from a jinsul research lab. Benny gets lonely when Chivix is away on missions, so Chivix rigged up this backpack aquarium. Benny doesn't need to be in water all the time, but Benny's skin dries and cracks if exposed to air for too long."
|Nadia Belluno XXXIV|
culture: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (18) + 17 = 35
"I've heard about this colony and loss of the drift beacon seems like it would make the already challenging work of living in such a distant settlement even more difficult. Hopefully we can set things right with a little tech support. "
Space Admiral J'Shun Kay, first son of Clan Summersword, House Davion, line of Atsu, born in fire! strides into the briefing room and salutes, Zigvigix. His Starfinder Space Navy uniform is perfectly pressed and fitted perfectly to his body.
In his hands is a personnel dossier. He takes his seat at the head of the conference table and turns to address Chivix.
"Master Chief Chivix, you come to us highly recommended. We've been in need of a specialist in your field for quite some time now and with, Private Rastar being reassigned as an officer candidate to the Starfinder Space Marine Advanced Infantry School your transfer to the Kommandos has been highly anticipated."
Zigvigix answers Chorizal, “Fitch, uh, recently discovered a bootleg recording, which allegedly features Strawberry Machine Cake’s CAPTAIN*CARMINE and Abysshead’s Drix singing a duet! A ballad of all things! Everyone knows it must be a fake.” Fitch merely shrugs.
"Trouble from the colony?" Fitch explains, “The residents are originally from the Pact Worlds. New Hope is a city of 50,000 people, and several thousand more live in smaller settlements. They are largely self-sufficient, and we don’t know much about their colony’s current state. The planet’s three moons are lifeless, and as far as we know, there are only small mining settlements there.”
“As to the rest of the system, it has been stable for a long time, so there are no known hostile groups in the region of space. But since we don’t know who or what is behind the Drift beacon deactivations, we need to be prepared for anything.”
|Nadia Belluno XXXIV|
"That could be sent after - neither the Pegasus or Drake has sufficient cargo or pax capability to offer any credible relief to such a large settlement. Though we are sending a few ships out there, if a humanitarian aid response was required it would have to come from a follow-on force"
"Master Chief? Chivix was not aware this was a military operation. Agent is good enough for Chivix."
"No, Gravy, the loud one said 'Master CHIEF', not 'Master Chef'. Yes, this shirren knows Gravy likes the food competition tri-vids, but this is not the time or place. Gravy is embarrassing this shirren."
Chivix looked around sheepishly. "Sometimes, this shirren's AI does not know when to be quiet and listen to a briefing. please, Zigzivix and Fitch, carry on."
"I wondered where Rastar was. Guess I'll be doing even MORE of the damage on this mission," Chorizal says with a grin.
He looks around more seriously as he realizes what he's said. "I mean, I'm sure that violence will be entirely unnecessary in this relief mission."
J'Shun, turns to address Ziggy.
"There is no doubt in my mind that this is the beginning of an invasion into the Pact Worlds by either an unknown species of aliens or perhaps one of our previous foes such as the jinsul, the Swarm, or the Azlanti Star Empire. We must deploy the entire fleet before our adversary is able to get a foothold. There is no need for any of our science vessels like the Pegasus. I have personally been supervising upgrades to the Indefatigable and she is ready to set sail at a moments notice."
“Let’s go!” Fitch announces on comms, and soon Zigvigix follows suit, exclaiming, “Everyone with me!” One by one, the ships of the Starfinder fleet disappear into the Drift. When the days-long journey is finally over, your ship emerges from the Drift first, ahead of the
fleet and in orbit of the planet.
A majestic view lies ahead: a green planet with vast forests, great mountains, and mighty rivers as big as oceans. Clouds floating far above the surface flash angrily with lightning, and a cluster of tiny dots of light cradled by mountains reveals the location of what looks like a city.
A blue-tinged sun glows radiant in the distance, bathing the planet and its three rocky moons with its light, and revealing another four planets in the system.
Your ship’s sensors automatically scan the ship’s surroundings but don’t detect any ships or other objects of note other than the planet and its moons.
The ship’s scanners also detect a city built into a mountain valley. While the mountainous landscape surrounding the city is ill-suited for landing, the city has a spaceport.
Nadia as the Science Officer has an easy job of scanning the planet, discovering the planet has a normal atmosphere and gravity and is rich in both minerals and biomass.
As you begin your approach to New Hope’s spaceport, the ship’s sensors detect a single ship whose energy signature indicates it has landed recently; it seems all other ships in the city have been inactive for at least several days.
"Captain Chorizal, secure a perimeter as soon as we disembark. We will not be taken by surprise on the landing platform."
J'Shun, touches a sigil of the sun on his armor and activates its environmental protections. He then dons his camouflage membrane and programs it for an urban environment.
"You got it," Chorizal says.
"I mean, 'aye, aye admiral."
Glad that, for once, there is no fancy flying involved in landing the ship, Chorizal fastens his dragonglaive and arc caster together into an unholy amalgam that he nonetheless wields easily.
He presses a similar sun sigil on his own armor, activation his seals before disembarking, starting a counterclockwise loop around the vessel in search of danger.
As Chorizal secures the perimeter J'Shun strides down the Indefatigable's boarding ramp with Tears of the Sun in two of his hands and his tactical shield and SMG in the other two.
"Lieutenant Isafira and Master Chief Chivix, secure that recently landed ship. Ensign Belluno, your with me, let's see if we can find a computer terminal to access."
New slide up!
Chivix...I assume you just take 10 on Engineering
Chivix examines the landed ship and notices its engines and other components correspond to those used in many Pact Worlds starships, and further deduces that it is an Aspis Consortium ship. Sensors detect no life forms within the Aspis ship; however, there are a number of life forms elsewhere in the city.
J'Shun and Nadia check the nearby facilities. The spaceport has two large landing zones with domed buildings for arrivals and departures next to them. Save for the rumble of distant thunder, it’s ominously quiet.
There are no living creatures—humanoid or otherwise—anywhere in sight. All signs are written in Pact Worlds languages.
Screens on the walls show all flights are canceled, and the dates of the last scheduled flights to the Pact Worlds and other destinations were three weeks ago.
A news headline scrolling horizontally at the bottom of the screen says: “All Drift traffic canceled. Please check your Spaceport account for details.” A large map on the wall shows the layout of New Hope. In slides
There are a number of other ships around in the hangars.
Engineering to know more
Nadia finds a terminal.
Computers check to know more
|Nadia Belluno XXXIV|
I sometimes forget that Taking 10 is a thing you can do in Starfinder. Been focused on PF2 for too long
"Chivix is certain that this is an Aspis Consortium ship. No life forms aboard, but many elsewhere in the city. Chivix thinks this is odd. Whoever heard of a spaceport without techies, maintenance workers, and strippers about?"
Engineering/Computers take 10 for 30
"Everything grounded? Chivix is definitely certain now that something odd is going on here."
Over the following hour you make a few discoveries.
Nadia finds that there are computer consoles at the terminal for passengers to use and easily finds out why flights were canceled: the nearest Drift beacons deactivated three weeks ago. With a bit of skullduggery and slick computer wrangling she manages to access the logs and cargo manifests, which reveal that there should be a few hundred starships in the Spaceport. Only a handful remain.
Chivix quickly realizes the ships that remain have been undergoing repairs or otherwise aren’t space-worthy. The shirren is right, this place should have some sort of sign of activity, but other than the Aspis ship it looks like nothing has moved for some time.
You can move between zones on the map, travel to an adjacent zone takes approx 10 mins on foot
"It's quiet...almost too quite," Chorizal comments. He noticeably does NOT put away his weapon as they explore.
"I guess there's not much reason to be around a spaceport if you can't go anywhere, though," he continues as more information is revealed.
"Seems most likely we'll find out what's going on in the residential area, unless you think the government's going to tell us the truth," he says, starting to head clockwise.
"Sweep and clear, 5 meter spread. Captain Chorizal, you're on point, Lieutenant Isafira and Master Chief Chivix have the flanks. Move out!
We'll search the miners' town first.
Sorry, I meant to say we want to go to the industrial zone.
[ooc[Anticlockwise it is![/ooc]
This area, conveniently close to both the Spaceport and Commercial District, houses facilities focused on refining raw materials, producing goods, handling waste, and generating power. Industrial odors, such as those of oil and chemicals, hang in the air.
As you make your way in through the outskirts you notice that the facilities have been abandoned but automated production and other operations are still running as normal.
One of the main landmarks in this area is a tall communications tower.
"Maintain formation Kommandos, we'll secure the communications tower first."
Chorizal goes to peek at one of those automated facilities, wondering where they're getting resources and where they're putting finished goods.
"Ever worry the machines are going to have all the jobs eventually?" he asks the team, then pauses and looks at them all again to make sure that there aren't any androids in the group.
"Right...communications tower. Maybe we can just call the people here and find out what happened."
He heads towards the tall building.
Landing on the planet, Vyviane settles on a proper frontier woman-esque look, settling on a hard set face, letting some of her true age show through as her hair gets grey streaks. She compliements the look with a hair pin and a few small braids. "Hrmm, this look trust-worthy enough? Aw, well only way to change now would be a disguise kit."
In the communications tower, Vyviane's eyes narrow, before she pulls out her broad spectrum scanning kit and uses it to search for signs of (hopefully living) people.
Perception (Search?): 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (10) + 16 = 26 (+4 if that's to search for something)
Chivix moved up to the banks of computers and stared hard at one of them. "Gravy, use the local network to try and gain access. No, Chivix does not want to know last week's menu. Last time that got this pair in trouble with the commander. How was Chivix to know Baskial was allergic to haspreys? Just focus on the computers, you glorified microwave AI!"
computers: 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (19) + 18 = 37
New slide up
Vyv finds a keycard that accesses the computers about the time Civ has already hacked them and you are able to access a few minutes of security footage from within the communications tower - it shows robots (pictured) performing optical and deep-dive digital scans on several locations within the city.
You complete the search of the area - it seems that anything interesting, just like the people, is plain missing
"These bots don't look friendly. Give me your threat assessment Captain Chorizal."
"There is a residential area in the sector next to this one. If we are going to find any signs of life it should be there. Prepare to move out."
"Chivix has traveled a lot of the Pact Worlds and has worked on many robots. Those were not designed for friendly interaction with any species Chivix is familiar with. This group should proceed with utmost caution."
Is there a time stamp on that video? How recent is it?"
Can Chivix ID the robot type? +13 Culture, +18 Engineering 1d20 ⇒ 17
Time stamp is two weeks old - around the same time everything went offline.
Robot is of a non-pact worlds design, clearly sporting blades and a variety of integrated weapons systems, clearly combat models with good armour. You also suspect some sort of magi-tech. Only so much to glean off a video of them looking at videos though.
|Nadia Belluno XXXIV|
"Shall we proceed to the government district? It may be more efficient to sweep the stadium and then check the park first. Survivors may have taken shelter there if there was trouble in the residential areas and it would help minimize back tracking."
"Definitely mean looking robots with lots of weapons, Sir. Nothing we can't handle, though," he says giving his combi-weapon an affectionate pat.
"From the way they behaved though, it looks like they were looking for people and that's no good. They either wanted to capture or kill them and with two weeks to do it, they've probably accomplished whichever goal they set out for."
"Understood Ensign Belluno, we'll proceed to the government district."
New Hope’s parliament, city guard headquarters, courthouses, tax office, and other colonial institutions are all located in the Government District. The architectural style is reminiscent of what historians know of pre-Gap cultures, blending styles of various Pact Worlds’ peoples.
You begin noticing signs of battle damage and quickly locate the source - the buildings and pavement in the area where a battle took place have many bullet holes, burn marks from laser and plasma weapons, and damage from explosions. The ground is still spattered with dried blood and littered with broken glass and other debris. It’s easy to follow the blood trails and you find the bodies of the city guard dumped in a nearby building.
Within the buildings, storage devices as well as the few physical official documents have been laid out.
|Nadia Belluno XXXIV|
"I love how government offices use old tech as a security feature. You'd need to computational anthropologist to understand how to access some of these legacy systems."
Take 10 for a 32 computers
"Fortunately Computational Anthropology is one of my many hobbies."
J'Shun, stands behind, Ensign Belluno, impatiently waiting for her report on what she has just found.
Nadia cracks the surprisingly challenging security system and finds video footage that depicts bipedal robots entering the office, downloading data, and optically scanning documents.
You sweep the rest of the area and find nothing further of note.
Up to 3hrs 20mins - just tracking time
I'm sure the time tracking is just for entertainment purposes and don't have any in game effects...
"Obviously, the robots are looking for something. I wonder what it is. Probably something we don't want them to find," Chorizal says.
He then takes point in moving clockwise to the Commercial District.
|Nadia Belluno XXXIV|
Also - mechanically - if people were using buffs or devices :). Largely to give people an understanding of time passing though, that this is all taking hours, not minutes :)
Colorful holographic signs indicate this area is full of shopping malls, restaurants, theaters, offices, banks, and other establishments where people spend, earn, or invest money. Here, too, the streets are empty. Items on the shelves of most shops have not been touched, with the notable exception of sensors, weapons, and other high-tech equipment.
Perception or Survival