Iconic Encounter: The Night Shift

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Of course it happened while Kyyduh was alone and on their security shift. Of course.

While others were likely to gripe and moan, Kyyduh truly enjoyed their security shifts during cryosleep. Long trip through the Drift? Perfect time to read up on all sorts of interesting stuff around the galaxy. They were usually bored and twitchy for about two days of their shift, but after that they’d fall into an information hole on their datapad and bury themself into some new subject. Security shifts were dull and slow, so everyone found their own methods of entertainment, and Kyyduh’s was falling into research on a new, random topic each time. They were supposed to be more vigilant, given the Drift Crash and everything. Supposed to be keeping a close eye on the Drift monitors and the cameras that showed the engine rooms and storage. Supposed to.

Instead, Kyyduh had fallen into an information hole about the history of Eoxian bone lace. They’d found a whole article and several online video examinations theorizing on the history and origin of the craft and examining different techniques, and by the time they realized an alarm was blaring, they couldn’t have told anyone what day it was or what ship they were on. They swatted the button to reset the alarm, eyes flicking between the various monitors as they absentmindedly tucked their current weaving project (a tapestry of Meyel mid-battle dance) to the side of the console. Engines, fine. Storage, a little messy. Looks like some boxes were knocked over. Cryosleep—

Someone was in the cryosleep chamber. Kyyduh stood immediately, temper flaring at the thought of someone, something, some creature, interrupting their travels and preying on their buddies. And while they were sleeping no less!

As the doors slid open, a wave of nausea hit Kyyduh and they stumbled, grabbing onto a nearby container for support. They shook their head, feeling the plants that made up part of their body start to shift within their lungs and throat, allowing them to breathe more easily and fight off this sickness. They glanced up and spotted the intruder who, strangely surrounded by floating lights, was moving toward the life support systems.

“Hey! Not quite!” Kyyduh’s temper returned tenfold, and they jerked their arm, reforming it into a threatening cannon. “Turn around and hold still!” Their body vibrated softly as it readied an explosive shot, taking aim to hit the intruder and not any of the delicate support systems.

The intruder whipped around and Kyyduh caught a surprise burst of energy in the chest, knocking the air from their lungs, though the vines around their torso whipped together to form a bond that shielded them from most of the damage. With a roar they fired off a wild shot, missing the intruder but illuminating them enough to provide some more information. Strange hair, strange symbols— Oh by Meyel’s whiskers, a hesper? Here?


The iconic evolutionist shoots a blast of energy from its arm cannon, aiming at a radiation-infused hesper

Illustration by Mirco Paganessi from Starfinder Interstellar Species.


They grit their teeth as the fey snarled at them, gathering energy around his body. Kyyduh took a few breaths, unable to fully calm down before another energy shot hit them in the chest, knocking them back against Raia’s chamber. The safety glass cracked beneath them, and Kyyduh saw red. They lunged for the hesper, shifting their arm into a claw just before they body-slammed into him, kicking him out of his float and onto the ground. The hesper struggled against Kyyduh’s weight, the denseness of his body working against him to keep him down. Kyyduh moved to hit him with their claw, but stopped when the reflection of their symbol of Meyel in the metal of a nearby chamber drew their eye to the expression on the hesper’s face. He wore a look of struggle and desperation, his cheeks thinner than they should be. Kyyduh forced themself to breathe, then gave the hesper a good shake.

“Calm down and tell me what you’re doing!” they demanded, dodging the hesper’s weak attempt to strike them once more. “Alright, enough with the hitting, come on!” They gave him another shake, slightly swatting at his face with their free hand. The swat seemed to startle the fey, at least enough that their radiation field dropped, letting Kyyduh breathe comfortably and sit up, dragging him with them. “Let’s start with the basics. What’s your name, bud?”

“Thakvine.” The hesper finally got out, calming down despite his repeated glances back at the life support systems. “Please, the Drift guided me here and I’m so hungry... Just a little bit of the power. Please. I need some. It’s been so long...”

Kyyduh gave him an inquisitive look, then a nod. “Don’t drain it dry. And you owe me.” They eased off, letting Thakvine stand and following him to the systems. Thakvine nodded in eager agreement, taking a moment as he pressed close to the machinery, absorbing the excess energy. After a moment, he looked back at Kyyduh, reaching out his hand and shifting it, making an exact copy of Kyyduh’s claw.

“You also change?” The fey asked, watching them.

“Yeah. Couple of years now. Not mutations, but plants and stuff. Doctors say I’m a natural at adaptation.” Kyyduh puffed their chest out, looking proud.

“Can you show me more? Like the gun, the cannon?” Thakvine, no longer gaunt looking, now wore a fascinated expression, moving closer to examine the moving plant life on Kyyduh’s body and armor.

The chitin on Kyyduh’s chest shifted, retracting, and they gave their claw a shake, reforming into its usual conical shape. “Sure.” They shrugged, giving Thakvine a smile. “But you’re a crew member now. Welcome to Sunrise Maiden. Your job is to help keep us focused during security shifts. Deal?” They held out their hand for a shake, laughing as Thakvine shook a single finger.

“Deal.” He agreed, before mimicking Kyyduh’s claw again.

Kyyduh laughed, wrapping an arm around Thakvine’s shoulders and glancing back as Raia’s chamber hissed open. “Hey! New crewmate!”

About the Author

Shay Snow is an agender Native American (Caddo and Swampy Cree) tabletop author and developer. They’ve contributed to Pathfinder, Starfinder, Backwater Southern Gothic, and Coyote & Crow. When they’re not playing or writing tabletop games, they can be found playing video games or talking about Indigenous issues on social media. They currently live on unceded Duwamish land with their Lakota spouse and two spoiled cats. You can find them on Twitter @spellsinsugar and keep up with their upcoming projects through their website, https://shayjay.carrd.co/.

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 Iconics Starfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Web Fiction

2 people marked this as a favorite.

So I take it Kyyudah was originally a cybernetics path evolutionist but when she was changed to plant based biotech it was too late to change some of the art orders?

Nice portrayal of hyperfixation by the way.

Second Seekers (Jadnura)

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

I like Kyyduh the more we get to see of them! Seems like the kind of easy-going, oblivious, Chaotic Good that's easy for folks to emulate at the game table :) Kyyduh is moisturized, unbothered, and in their lane.

Kyyduh seems to have both a melee and ranged adaptive strike; did I miss a way to do that, in the rules? (Or, it's just artistic license, and I'm here for it.)

Spamotron wrote:
she

Kyyduh's pronouns - they, them, their - appear in this short story (written by an agender author, who, it looks like, is also using they/them pronouns, incidentally) seventy times. Seventy.


Kishmo wrote:

I like Kyyduh the more we get to see of them! Seems like the kind of easy-going, oblivious, Chaotic Good that's easy for folks to emulate at the game table :) Kyyduh is moisturized, unbothered, and in their lane.

Kyyduh seems to have both a melee and ranged adaptive strike; did I miss a way to do that, in the rules? (Or, it's just artistic license, and I'm here for it.)

Spamotron wrote:
she
Kyyduh's pronouns - they, them, their - appear in this short story (written by an agender author, who, it looks like, is also using they/them pronouns, incidentally) seventy times. Seventy.

This appears to have been taken down and reposted. When made my post "She," appeared for Kyyduh at least a few times in it.


You going to just accept some random creature out of the Drift into your crew?


so what book is kyyduh races in

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsebo)

3 people marked this as a favorite.
UnArcaneElection wrote:

You going to just accept some random creature out of the Drift into your crew?

"I accept completely random starfinders onto my crew and guess whos gone evil, tried to take over the pact worlds, or tried to eat me more often?"


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Arcton wrote:

so what book is kyyduh races in

Alien Archive 2, Pahtra

Scarab Sages

Dig it!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Spamotron wrote:

So I take it Kyyudah was originally a cybernetics path evolutionist but when she was changed to plant based biotech it was too late to change some of the art orders?

Nice portrayal of hyperfixation by the way.

Hilariously my wife said to me upon seeing the Evolutionist iconic "...just what path ARE they supposed to be?!"

Community / Forums / Starfinder / Starfinder General Discussion / Paizo Blog: Iconic Encounter: The Night Shift All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.