Iconic Encounter: Obozaya’s Mayhem Playlist

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Obozaya peeked over the rocky ridge. There was still just one of the creatures guarding the entrance, less than fifty feet away. The tunnel mouth behind it was nothing special—just a dark hole in the side of the hill. Yet this was where the footage had shown the creatures taking her crew.

Obo ducked back down and considered her rifle. With it, she could easily take the guard out right now, before it even knew she was here. That was assuredly what Navasi would advise.

But where was the fun in that?

Slinging the rifle over her shoulder, she drew her doshko and thumbed it on. Plasma spikes blazed to life with a soft hiss.

Yes—much better. Last, but most importantly, she pulled out her datapad, synched it to her personal coms channel, and cued up Obozaya’s Mayhem Playlist.

Immediately, Sylix the Siren’s “Moneythumper” began pounding through Obo’s custom sound system, bone conduction carrying it not just to her ears, but into her very skeleton.

Breaking hearts.
Breaking heads.
I always get my money down in advance...

Gods, what a perfect fight song. A former merc herself, Sylix knew just what Obo needed—her voice was a classic Veskarium egg-croon, floating over syrupy bass and a tuned kick that hit like an orbital bombardment. Obo’s pulse surged.

Navasi hated when she did this. And maybe blasting tunes on the battlefield wasn’t the best idea when you were trying to coordinate with half a dozen squadmates. But for the moment, Obo was on her own, which meant she could indulge in a few old habits. If the captain didn’t like it, tough scales—the thing about rescue missions was that the rescuer got to call the shots. And Obo was in the mood to enjoy this.

Win while you can,
Then we’ll dance till we’re dead.
You’re only living if you’re taking a chance...

You said it, Sylix, Obo thought, and charged up over the ridge.

The creature—Raia had called it a “mi-go”—was fast, but Obo was faster. Her boots churned the rocky soil in time with the pounding beat, her tail stretched out behind her for balance. By the time the mi-go noticed seven feet of armored lizard bearing down on it and brought its weird spiky gun to bear, Obo was already too close. She ducked sideways out of the line of fire and brought the doshko up in a sweeping diagonal slice.

Obozaya, the iconic vesk soldier, blasts an attacking mi-go at close range with a massive assault rifle.

Illustration by Alberto Dal Lago

The plasma spikes slid home with a sizzle, not stopping till the haft was flat against the creature’s side. Yet instead of dying, the mi-go just stood there, the doshko’s white-hot spikes sending up steam that smelled incongruously like roasted vegetable skewers. Whorls of color played across the mi-go’s face as it glanced down at the weapon, then back up at Obozaya.

“Um.” Obo said.

The creature fired, the bolt of cold slamming into Obo’s shoulder and sending crackling tendrils of frost across her pauldron. Her armor’s thermal regulators kicked in, ceramic superconductors safely dispersing the cold across her entire surface area before it could freeze the water in her cells. But it was still closer than it ought to be. Obo spun aside, lashing out with an ineffective tail sweep.

Obo’s doshko strike had been flawless—naturally—so it must be that the creature was immune to heat and electricity. So much for having some fun with things. Obo clicked the doshko off and dropped it, diving into a roll as the mi-go fired again. She came up holding her rifle.

She fired. Two quick shots, snare-crack counterpoints to the bass still pounding in her bones. No point wasting ammo if these failed as well.

The mi-go’s head snapped backward as magnetically accelerated tungsten lanced through armor plating. It screamed in a language that was at once totally alien and completely universal.

Obo smiled and switched to full auto.

It was over in less than two seconds. The gun hummed against her shoulder as she unloaded the magazine, stitching shots across the creature’s chest. A lifetime of training had her slamming home a fresh magazine before the spent one had hit the ground, yet even as she reloaded she could see that she wouldn’t need it.

The mi-go lay sprawled in the dust, practically sawn in half by the magnetar’s metal roar. Obo crouched over it, rifle leveled at the cave entrance, ready to do the same to any emerging monstrosities. When they didn’t immediately appear, she stood and recovered her doshko, never letting the magnetar’s barrel stray from its bead on the darkness.

With a last exhortation to get paid, “Moneythumper” drew to a close, replaced by the Aballonian skitterbeats of Godhead Collective’s “You Know Who We Are.”

“Right,” Obo said, and cued her holoprojector. The glowing banner coalesced above her head, rising up from her backpack and unfurling to reveal her personal war-glyph.

Navasi hated that, too. But what was the point of victory if you didn’t get to take credit for it? Anonymity was for cowards—better to let everyone know who you were, and if that meant more enemies came for you, all the better. Obo was always down to dance.

But of course, that wasn’t usually her call. Once upon a time, Obo would have laughed at the idea of taking orders from someone like Navasi. The captain had style, sure, and she could fight like a proper merc when she had to, but her answer to everything was talking. The whole team was like that. They didn’t understand the glory of single combat, of making a name for yourself by succeeding against impossible odds on the battlefield. Half the time they schemed to avoid bloodshed! They were everything Damoritosh had taught her to revile.

Obo desperately hoped they were still alive.

“Hang tight, little friends,” she whispered. “Obo’s coming for you.”

Rifle barrel leading the way, she stepped into the darkness.

About the Author

James L. Sutter is a former Starfinder Creative Director and Executive Editor of the Pathfinder Tales novels. In addition to foundational work on both Pathfinder and Starfinder, he’s also written award-winning novels, comics, video games, and short stories. You can find him at jameslsutter.com or on Twitter at @jameslsutter. His Pathfinder Tales novels, Death’s Heretic and The Redemption Engine, are available now.

About Iconic Encounters

Iconic Encounters is a series of web-based flash fiction set in the worlds of Pathfinder and Starfinder. Each short story provides a glimpse into the life and personality of one of the games’ iconic characters, showing the myriad stories of adventure and excitement players can tell with the Pathfinder and Starfinder roleplaying games.

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Iconic Encounters Obozaya Soldiers Web Fiction
Grand Lodge

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Obozzah!

Scarab Sages

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Now I really want the rest of the story...


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm eagarly waiting for one of you talented folks to make your take on "Moneythumper."


Starfinder Superscriber

The last few stories (Shirren shaving and taking off his helm and this) is like they are sitting in on my games.

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Obozaya!


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I love the attention to detail with the "roasted vegetable skewers" line -- despite mi-go having the 'plant' type, most people forget about that.

Also, whatever Aballonian music sounds like, I wanna hear it.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Momma Obo coming to save the day, yay!


Thanks Obozaya


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
MythicFox wrote:
Also, whatever Aballonian music sounds like, I wanna hear it.

Something like this? "Skitterbeats" seems appropriate, not to mention the theme.

<_< >_> ^v^

More seriously, for some reason I'm thinking something like fast-paced Gregorian chant over a driving techno rhythm and synthetic music track.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Incredible story and I suddenly have a playlist to make.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Oh yeah. As if there were any doubt before: Obozaya is my favorite iconic.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm going to need someone to make Moneythumper in to a real song please.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
MythicFox wrote:

I love the attention to detail with the "roasted vegetable skewers" line -- despite mi-go having the 'plant' type, most people forget about that.

Also, whatever Aballonian music sounds like, I wanna hear it.

She still gets it wrong though because mi-go are fungi :D

Then again fungus creature type is Pathfinder 2e thing :p

Scarab Sages

"Obo smiled and switched to full auto."

I can't love this line enough!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
CorvusMask wrote:
MythicFox wrote:

I love the attention to detail with the "roasted vegetable skewers" line -- despite mi-go having the 'plant' type, most people forget about that.

Also, whatever Aballonian music sounds like, I wanna hear it.

She still gets it wrong though because mi-go are fungi :D

You sound like a fun guy at parties.


Starfinder Superscriber

You had me at, "Anonymity was for cowards."

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Now that's my kind of sci-fi.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Right in the feels.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Dragonchess Player wrote:
MythicFox wrote:
Also, whatever Aballonian music sounds like, I wanna hear it.

Something like this? "Skitterbeats" seems appropriate, not to mention the theme.

<_< >_> ^v^

More seriously, for some reason I'm thinking something like fast-paced Gregorian chant over a driving techno rhythm and synthetic music track.

I was imagining something like this, particularly the harder bit starting at about 0:47.

Contributor

15 people marked this as a favorite.

Thanks, folks! I definitely refused to write this story until I knew exactly what "Moneythumper" sounded like. Maybe someday I'll record it. :)

In my mind, Sylix the Siren is what would happen if Donna Summer and MIA had a baby, and that baby joined the space marines...


You talk about her military training, so she should realize that automatic mode, in the Starfinder universe, does less damage on average versus a single target then just taking a single shot, lol.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

This is a story, not an encounter with dice.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Styrofoam wrote:
You talk about her military training, so she should realize that automatic mode, in the Starfinder universe, does less damage on average versus a single target then just taking a single shot, lol.

Would you have preferred the author writing 'Obo smiled and full attacked each round.'?

Mechanically, that's what she probably did, the author was just choosing to characterize it as automatic weapon fire.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
James Sutter wrote:
In my mind, Sylix the Siren is what would happen if Donna Summer and MIA had a baby, and that baby joined the space marines...

...

I HAVE A SUDDEN AND POWERFUL URGE TO FLEE IN TERROR!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

This is my favorite one so far.

Community / Forums / Starfinder / Starfinder General Discussion / Paizo Blog: Iconic Encounter: Obozaya’s Mayhem Playlist All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Starfinder General Discussion