I know it'd seem strange but is there anything specifically stating we can't write a "campaign journal" style thread for SFS here on the forums? Provided each entry is spoiler'd and preceded by the mission number and name?
I have a character who flavourwise does write mission reports and I think that at this point in his arc those reports would have logically been released. This would hopefully be entertaining for those who have finished the missions and informative to DM/GM's about to run the mission, but I understand if Paizo themselves would disapprove because of the nature of spoilers and organized play.
|⦵⦵⦵ Hilary Moon Murphy Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm|
|⦵⦵⦵⦵ Glen Parnell Venture-Agent, Georgia—Atlanta aka The Masked Ferret|
Right, so apparently it's okay :)
So, one last opinion request; where should I put it? Here in "Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild" or over in "Starfinder General Discussion"?
I will probably convert this thread to be it if it should go here, that way the two of you at least will already have it in your post history, to find it easier.
|⦵⦵⦵⦵ Glen Parnell Venture-Agent, Georgia—Atlanta aka The Masked Ferret|
Right, so apparently it's okay :)
So, one last opinion request; where should I put it? Here in "Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild" or over in "Starfinder General Discussion"?
I will probably convert this thread to be it if it should go here, that way the two of you at least will already have it in your post history, to find it easier.
Here is great!
This thread is intended to play the role of a 'Campaign Journal' for my main society character Atlas-1's career. Due to the nature of society play, most of each post will be contained in spoilers. If you are a player, please do not read a "Report" unless you have completed the associated adventure. I assume no responsibility for adventures spoiled by reading these posts.
It is possible there will be some purely fluff IC posts as an update on what Atlas-1 was doing between certain adventures.
This idea was sparked when Atlas gained a boon, from an adventure I won't mention, that gave him access to the 6th level Icon ability "Celebrity". An in world effect of this could reasonably be that someone leaked his private mission reports in response to his increased public presence.
Each report will be broken into four sections:
1) The name and code for the adventure being reported/recapped. This will not be in a spoiler, and is presented so players know not to read further if they have not completed the adventure in question.
2) The mission report(Spoiler-ed). This will be written in character. As a Dataphile, Atlas-1 tends to be somewhat detail oriented, and so these sections may be particularly verbose and include dialogue recaps.
3) The 'chronicle'(Spoiler-ed). This will mention all changes included on the chronicle for this mission, as well as Atlas-1's opinion on such things. Such as his opinion on some of the items, boons, credits, and reputation gained. As well as any items or boons he purchased and why.
4) Personal notes(Spoiler-ed). An in character review about the mission, the characters, and the locations. Designed to be in character musings while at the same time being a review.
Feel free to offer your comments on the writing style, Atlas-1 as a character, the missions and anything else.
Before I forget: Atlas-1 is an Ace Pilot Android Operative(who later takes a single level in Technomancer)
Mission #1. Codename: "The Commencement"
This hologram only appeared once three more new recruits had entered the room; A Damaya lashunta with a device embedded into the side of his head, who introduced himself as "Nolus". Following was a Ysoki covered in dirt, grease, and gunpowder who introduced himself as Quig. And finally, much to my later annoyance, a human who was quite eager and talkative, by the name of "Captain Lance Quasar".
After allowing us cursory introductions, the hologram gave us instructions to register genetic material for the society archives. Once complete, we were each offered subdermal grafts for further identification, which I have accepted. I assume this may be of use in future missions, but for now, it is interesting to see how I can connect it's functionality to other systems. After recieving our grafts, the computer detailed the traditional first mission. I was aware of this proceedure before arriving, so instead busied myself with locating each of the Faction leaders in order to expedite the mission.
Radaszam, leader of the Acquisitives, has an office a floor away from the Guidance chamber. Naturally this made him our first port of call. His office, crisp and clean, black walls and furniture. I suspect this is either a case of cleanliness, or perhaps is meant to symbolise something such as the void of the unexplored. However, Radaszam himself was quite personable to the group upon our entry. Though offered a seat same as the others, I chose to stand. One expects this was noted in whatever final mission statement he included, so I feel I should explain I meant this more as a show of respect and eagerness to begin the mission; as I could leave at a moments notice.
Our task was located in the spike, to assist a more senior starfinder in winning a junkcycle race against a Ysoki racer by the monikor of "Ratrod". The journey down to the spike was quick and uneventful. The din of the spectators made it easy to locate the area once on the correct floor. A robot confirmed our presence in the correct area by distributing to each of our party the rules of the event;
vehicles are to be built from the scrap in the ‘Botscrap’ scrapyard
**previous race vehicles may return
**combative fire is permitted
**spectator fire is not permitted
**weapons must only be nonlethal and may only target vehicles.
The starfinder ‘Laboni’ simply reiterated the information given by Radaszam. However her information included more colourful and personal language. It was left to Quig and Myself to search the scrap to locate pieces of technology suitable to improve her frankly terrible quality racer. I will admit, though shamefully, that I am unaware as to what Nolus and Quasar were doing at that point in time. Quig focused on improving the speed, while I focused on increasing the weaponry. I equipped a device intended to scoop up junk from the track and fire it at another racer. I did at one point take a moment to speak with this ‘Ratrod’ and investigate his vehicle. I personally do not care for his attitude and am of the firm belief that absalom station would feel more impact from the flushing of the sewage system than his removal.
For the race we were given remote access to Laboni’s vehicle, for the purpose of racing for her while she simply sat on the device. I do not condone this cheating, and so only used the access to fire the weaponry. My main, and earnestly only, target was Ratrod. We did not win the race due to a poor effort by Captain Quasar, but I believe it sufficient that we forced Ratrod to finish last, thereby fulfilling the requirement of beating him. It was brought to our attention afterward however, that Laboni and Radaszam had both expected us to win the race, not simply beat the target we were sent to.
After reporting back to Radaszam, we checked the office of “Zigvigix”, leader of the Exoguardians, to be informed he was not in. This meant the next stop was Historia-7, Leader of the Dataphiles, whom was to be found at the Archives’ Cortex. As that location is not her official office, I shall refrain from comment upon it. She informed us that an unknown persons had managed to hack into one of the most secure computer systems held by the corporations and stole a large amount of information. Her orders were to go to the location of this unknown hacker, identify them and retrieve the data. The recruitment of the hacker to the society was a notion she mentioned in passing, though I do agree this hacker’s skills would be a significant asset to the society.
Quig and Quasar arrived at the apartment building before Nolus and myself. We were busy searching for information on the inhabitants. We found that the two known occupants were a human man by the name of Jubair and his grandmother Ceren. When we arrived, Quasar was outside the apartment building being yelled at who I later determined to be Jubair. After the youth returned up the stairs to the apartment, Nolus and I approached. Nolus introduced us as troubleshooters, here to repair a detected error with the computer on the premises. He had requested I not speak, for fear of revealing our true motives. This, it soon unfolded, would not have been a bad thing. Ceren was the one who permitted us entry, an elderly woman who did not seem entirely ‘with it’, though her several augmentations showed she had considerable intellect at least in her youth.
I followed the plan that Nolus and I had devised, though I was already keenly aware that the data we sought was not present on the computer Jubair showed me to. Jubair was at one point distracted by Quig’s drone rooting around in the tomato bushes, though I do not understand why it was there. Nolus on the otherhand had managed to, over a cup of tea I assume, convince Ceren to reveal her hand. The woman’s augmentations did indeed contain the data we sought. She had occassional lapses to a previous mental state that was currently half stored in her datajack implant, and in one of these lapses had hacked through the most secure firewalls money can buy, and downloaded crucial information just for the fun of it. It is my opinion that if that is what this woman can perform with limited faculties, the society would likely be quite willing to assist her in regaining full capacity.
Ceren herself actually agreed to this notion when I expressed it, though requested we assist her in faking her death and offer her grandson the societies protection in exchange. After contacting Historia-7 and being informed that these were acceptable terms, we agreed. It was requested that I take the lead in faking Ceren’s death, though I was later informed by Historia-7 that what I had managed in creating a death certificate and false identity were insufficient due to lack of corpse to claim was Ceren’s, though this was handled for me.
Once I had finished the false identity, we were to meet Ceren at a bench in Jatembe Park. When we arrived, and before we handed over the information, we were jumped by a group of clearly hired thugs. They came from the bushes on either side of the path across the short river. The fight was chaotic and too sporadic to remember properly, though I do know for certain that I had managed to take one down from in a bush myself with the use of my knife before hacking Quig’s drone after he fled. The drone will need considerable repairs since I used it mainly as a self sustained projectile weapon. After they were dealt with, Ceren accepted the false identity information and wandered off to find Jubair.
Task’s 3 and 4 were at the behest of Exo-Guardians leader “Zigvigix”, who upon introducing himself offered the nickname ‘Ziggy’ should we find his true name too difficult. Despite the offer I feel it would be too disrespectful to use such a nickname. Zigvigix was to be found in a parkland, eating lunch when we arrived. He was pleasant and talkative though Nolus later informed me that he seemed to be shy about several topics. Zigvigix was the only faction leader to assign us two tasks; Task 3 was to kill a predatory alien creature in a warehouse nearby so that the warehouse could be converted into a headquarters for his faction. Task 4 was to purchase a physical copy of the newest Strawberry machine cake album for Historia-7 on his behalf. The group took the credstik he presented and went to queue for the album. Over time, as the crowd grew longer and the line moved forward, my fellow party members broke away from the line to go prepare for the attack on the creature; research it, purchase weaponry, discuss tactics. All the while I was left standing amongst screaming creatures of all species and ages, Only the vesks and dragonkin stood taller than me. Though none stood more rigidly. When I reached the counter only 3 copies remained, of which I purchased the one required for my task. I then departed immediately to deliver it to Historia-7, whom simply raised an eyebrow when I informed her it was one of my tasks.
Task 3, when compared to standing in line for 6 hours waiting to purchase an album of a band I do not like while surrounded by its screaming fans, was fun. The warehouse was fairly short for it’s purpose. Filled with large crates and barrels as well as a charging shuttle and a forklift resting near a hole in the ground, all surrounded by a catwalk situated 4.5m off the floor. Following the group’s plan, Quig and I ascended the stairs to follow the catwalk around the left of the building, while Nolus and Quasar mirrored on the right. When the creature attacked, leaping from a hole it had made in a crate, at Nolus, the battle begun. Quig and I began firing, though were not particularly effective against the creature at the distance we were, while Nolus shouted encouragements at Quasar after backing away. Eventually, to save ammunition, I had to close with the creature and engage in melee. This prooved nearly fatal, though had I not stabbed it through the throat when it downed me, it likely would have killed everyone.
Once my wounds were treated and we took a few minutes to catch our breath, we reported back to Zigvigix. He seemed excessively pleased and showered us with gifts. Though this excitement dulled down once I informed him I had delivered the album as requested. I am unsure as to why this was. I was then informed that while I had been waiting in line, a drone had delivered a reward from Historia-7 to Quasar as payment for the tasks completion.
The final task required taking an automated shuttle to the ‘Master of Stars’, a starship currently undergoing repairs. As we approached, the shuttle was contacted by Fitch, who was already well informed as to who we were and why we were coming. We were informed that something was causing malfuctions in a sealed section of the ship and it was our job to locate and deal with this problem. We were provided with a schematic and relevant passwords to the sealed section of the ship.
This was my first time on a ship of this size since my awakening, though it felt familiar to walk its halls. Once inside the section in question, the darkness caused issues for two of the party and we needed to find a terminal through which power could be rerouted to the area. With Quig’s assistance, power was restored and the lights reinitiated. At the terminal I immediately saught to bring online all cameras I could, to attempt to locate the problem before facing it, as I was still quite injured. On one display I located two human children, and by remaining at the terminal was able to direct my colleagues to their location. While they moved down the halls I locked and unlocked doors surrounding them as necessary to protect them, as well as to protect myself where I stood in the hall.
The children informed the others once found and calmed, that their “pet” was causing the problems and that it was in the adjacent room. Nolus directed the children to follow the series of open doors back out of the area, and left it to me to guide the children through the same procedure used to escort the starfinders to them. Before unsealing the door to the room indicated, I found a crude subrouting installed in the door, which was quickly removed before allowing access. Quig was first inside before doubling back explaining that he had felt a strange nausea when in the area. Scanning the room from my terminal it was easy to determine that some radiation shielding had lowered in the area, and it was a simple matter to re-raise the shielding before they entered once again.
Once in the room, Nolus described the state to me, wherin the room had been thoroughly ransacked, with several large holes chewed into the walls. Nolus collected a container he reported was the same size as a smashed one, believing it suitable to contain the creature once they located it. Once informed they had ascertained the creature’s location, I requested that Nolus and Quasar(who had also entered the room at this point) close their eyes in a sign on trust. Once they had, I had the lighting system in the room strobe in semi-random intervals for 12 seconds. Once the lights were restored, Quasar siezed the dazed creature and with Nolus’ assistance inserted it in the container.
Fitch accepted the container when offered, and along with whom I assume was the children’s father rewarded the group before we reboarded the shuttle to return to the station.
Faction’s Friend. This seems useful, should events beyond my control cause me to fail a mission, all will not be lost.
Marked Field Agent. I look forward to seeing how this will be useful in further missions. The ability to shed light likely won’t have much use unless my equipment is taken and my allies are unable to see.
standard datajack. Of the things available from this mission, the Datajack would be the first on my wishlist. The strange thing is, these are common enough that I would not need special access to purchase it. Since you can buy an item of your level +1 from the core book and your level+2 from chronicles, why include core book items who’s price is within the tier of the mission being played? Why include objects of lower than tier 3 at all? Unless it’s simply to show people that those items exist.
The curious case of mission #2
While I know it doesn't invalidate the character, particularly at this point(21 chronicles in). I did make a mistake when applying what is now chronicle 2.
"Claim to Salvation" is an adventure where we used level 4 pregens. I, upon receiving this chronicle, immediately applied it, instead of waiting until Atlas-1 was the correct level. I mention this because it is his second chronicle, but I won't write the mission report as it wasn't Atlas-1 being RP'd during that session.
Mission Report #3 will be coming in the next few days however.
1) Thanks, I didn't know that about Infamy, now I do.
2) Who hid this thread? I was very confused for a couple hours until I figured it out and am just curious who hid it and why.
|⦵⦵⦵ Charli Poshkettle|
|1 person marked this as a favorite.|
Mission #3: Codename "Into the Unknown"
The summons requested my presence at the office of Venture-Captain Arvin with haste, so I immediately broke off my perusal of enercycles at ‘Dentroy’s Enercetics’ to attend, passing ‘The Greaseburger’, ‘Julzakama’s Loans’ and a Kuthite sensation house as I did. I arrived at the same time as a Ysoki, though not the same one as my prior mission report. It took a minute for Nolus to arrive, and another for Quasar. Upon the arrival of the fourth, we were permitted entry into the venture-captains office. When he gestured for us to sit, three sat and I remained. The venture captain explained that several months prior to our recruitment, a crew of starfinders aboard the “Unbounded Wayfarer” went missing whilst exploring planets in the vast. It was brought to his attention earlier the day of the briefing that a Vesk pawnbroker, Julzakama, in the downlow had contacted the society regarding an offer to sell back several Starfinder insignias. Upon their inspection it was found these insignias belonged to the crew of the ‘Unbounded Wayfarer’, and as a result negotiations were arranged for the purchasing of the items.
The venture captain seemed quite relieved that the pawnbroker was unaware as to the nature of the insignias, else the price may have been considerably elevated. The negotiations included payment for information regarding the individual who pawned the insignias at the store. Our task was to collect the insignias as purchased, as well as gather the agreed information and locate the source in hopes that the source may be able to reveal the location of the Unbounded Wayfarer. When Quasar enquired as to the location of the store, I answered for the venture captain, and suggested we leave immediately, in case the seller becomes untraceable.
While we made our way to the pawnbroker, the Ysoki ‘Dink’ asked the venture captain on a private communication channel why the insignia’s were so special beyond identifying the missing Starfinders. The venture captain revealed that the insignias were not only signs of station, but also encryption protected high capacity data storage devices, so any information recovered from them may be of use in determining the fate of the missing crew on an individual level. Upon reaching the store, again, Quasar took the moment to inform the group that he had had prior dealings with the Vesk in question and not to let him bully us. We would not be bullied, we have a job to do, a single person will not prevent us completing this mission.
The store was cluttered and difficult for the group to move through easily, though it was managed. The strange assortment of basically worthless items swarming over the shelves gave me the immediate impression this man purchased things not for their value to other customers, but to hold their perceived value over the heads of the sellers. The counter at the back of the store was secured by both a rigging of metal bars, warding the proprietor behind it, and what I immediately noted as energy shield generators meant to offer even greater security. Only a small window above a concave pit in the counter was not blocked by the bars. The vesk behind the counter had grinned at our approach, tossing the half ripped apart personal computer to a pile behind him, with the rest of possibly the only things of real value in the store.
Quasar had begun prattling on about something, clearly attempting to make the Vesk more personable toward him, though the large lizard simply insulted the ‘manling’ and was clearly not interested in being woo’d. Nolus cut immediately to the chase, informing the Julzakama that we had come for the insignia’s. With a toothy grin, the man retrieved a metal box from under the counter, and slid it through the hole in the bars. As its edges scraped the energy shield, the slight shimmer of red energy was seen rippling from the box through the air, showing the approximate bounds of the field. “Seems I’m now fully paid for those trinkets there. I remember Arvin said something about wanting information, too, and I can do that. But information costs extra.” I still am not aware as to why I did it, but as I grabbed the box, I also grabbed the vesks wrist and pulled his hand through the field. Twisting his arm and holding his palm near the bounds of the field I informed Julzakama in a matter of fact tone that the payment included the price of information, but I would be willing to pay extra with a light show should he require. “All right, All right; the seller was named Exegara. Never seen her before though. Wore a flight suit, like yours. Once she had her money she asked about where to purchase clean skeletons.” I released his hand and he retracted it safely into the back section. “I don’t carry goods like that, so I sent her to the Vat Garden. Reckon she was an Eoxian. Looked like a man-ling, didn’t breathe or blink though. Like you, ‘droid.”
I was informed by Quasar that the Ysoki’s that run the Vat Garden accept dead bodies for use as fertiliser. As a means for the dead of the poor to be disposed of for free. Additionally, this practise is not illegal and the Ysoki keep in good stead with law enforcement in regards to it. I personally believe this is a good use of corpses, more so than cremation, disintegration or jettisoning.
The Vat Garden was easy to identify. A slimy, dirty pit surrounded by a catwalk and overgrown with flora from a variety of planets across the pact worlds. Many winding their way up higher than, or even through the catwalk itself, creating the appearance of a jungle. Chaos of green, brown, and black made it impossible to see anyone within. But with the exception of myself and the other Starfinders, no-one was within sight of the catwalk either. Only a twisted spire of metal at the centre could be seen amongst the wilderness. A staircase led from the catwalk down into the plantlife, and Nolus and Quasar descended whilst Dink and Myself circled around the catwalk to attempt to see anyone from above.
“Hello.” I heard him though I could not see him. “I’m Captain Lance Quasar. We’re looking for Exegara. Would you happen to know who she is?” The moment he finished talking, Dink and I looked at each other as the sound of weapons fire rang out. I told him he was an idiot, and that we needed her alive for any information. My talking attracted weapon fire at my position, which I returned; unable to properly see my targets, thankful that they could not clearly target me either. In a little over a minute, all fire ceased. A ladder nearby allowed me to descend and assess which of us won the battle. The three bodies were a strange woman, and two human men. While Dink and I explained not so politely to Quasar that we needed to get the information from her, Nolus searched her body; locating a datapad, on which he found a datapad. With a quick search I found the information about Exegara’s ship’s location, which should have the location of the crashed vessel.
Upon calling Venture Captain Arvin to report the outcome, we were informed that he was not angered at our inability to capture the woman. In fact he was more concerned with the gathered intelligence. He asked us to meet him at a spacedock, where he can check for information in the insignia’s, and present us a ship with which to go to the coordinates presented in the datapad. We met the Venture Captain outside the dock, where he scanned the insignias before allowing us to keep them, suggesting that they may be of use to us in future as there is currently nothing stored on them.
We were then bade enter the dock. The Venture Captain stode several steps in, gesturing to a sleek and elegant red starshi. “This is the Loreseeker, a Pegasus-class ship that’s one of the fastest and lightest in the Society’s fleet.” I will admit that I did not hear most of what he said to follow, as I was inspecting the ship. I do recall that he mentioned that the ship that found the Unbounded Wayfarer was an eoxian vessel by the sign “Endless Threnody”. We were to take the Loreseeker to Endless Threnody’s location, cripple the ship and extract the information. Submitters note: While I admire the documenters level of detail in some situations, others show an amusing disregard for accuracy. Being witness to this briefing myself I feel compelled to mention that the android in question, during the briefing was walking around the ship with his hand on the hull. The only thing I distinctly heard him say was “Who painted you red, you’re a purple ship.”
Once aboard the Loreseeker, each of us chose our roles. My duty is as a pilot. Dink took to the engineering bay, and Nolus to the Science station. Quasar sat in a seat and ordered me to take off, which led to a conversation I will not transcribe. Once our new gunner was in position, I set a course for the Endless Threnody, a journey through the drift that took close to 20 days. Until this point I had only flown around absalom station. This was my first time in the drift, and if someone is reading this who understands the theory of the drift but has never experienced it; I suggest you attempt drift travel immediately. The majesty of the drift is indescribable, and becomes only more so the more you understand how it works.
We arrived at the coordinates, though no other ship was present. Reasoning that even in that time it could not have travelled far, Nolus scanned the area to locate it. This scanned proved pointless however, as a large bone and steel vessel moved within visual range to engage us. Once his scan locked onto them, Nolus noted they were powering weapons and we immediately began combat. With Nolus’ information that they did not possess rear weapons, I spun the Loreseeker around and narrowly avoided ramming the Threnody to allow our Gunner the best opportunity to fire before settling us behind. After Quasar missed the easy shot, Nolus joined him in gunnery to increase our effective combat strength to one.
It was easy to slide into control of the Loreseeker. Keeping her happily sat far enough behind the Threnody that she could never close with us, but we would find it easy to fly past them and then reposition to have one of our non-turret guns able to strike in addition to the turret. As such, despite how easy and delightful it was to manoeuvre the Loreseeker in combat, the fight was over exceptionally quickly. I found myself wanting more. A greater challenge or just more. It looked as if the Endless Threnody had suffered serious damage, large arcs of dark energy lept through space from one bone spur to another. It was at this point that we received a communication from Venture-Captain Arvin, who appeared as a hologram on the deck, a strange and useless form of display for such communication. He reinforced our assumptions of the next tasks; we were to carefully board through the cargo hold at the aft of the ship, make our way to the bridge and extract the information necessary.
It was my task to angle the Loreseeker such that the airlock pointed almost directly at an architectural gap in the hull leading into the cargo bay. I chose a gap least likely to be in the path of one of the energy discharges. Once in position, the four of us took up position in the airlock. Three turned on their armour’s environmental seals to maintain a breathable atmosphere. Once the airlock was cycled, we lept from the Loreseeker to the Threnody.
The cargo bay was empty aside from a single computer terminal sitting near one of the passageways leading deeper into the ship. Unable to access the ships main data storage from the terminal, I examined its capabilities. With difficulty I was able to access the ships necromantic power cores, and shut them down to prevent any further leaks or discharges. This had the obvious effect of disengaging the ships minimal lighting, meaning my colleagues had to rely on the light emitted by their personal comms units in order to see as we negotiated further into the vessel.
We chose to split into two groups of two; one pair taking the center passage, the other the right. I found myself teamed with Quasar as we went right. We were the first to encounter the remnants of the ships crew. We had no chance to speak to them, as the skeletons lurched forward to claw at us the moment they perceived us. The ship was silent but I could hear Dink asking over the comms channel if we’d found anything, before exclaiming his surprise at the appearance of two skeletons for them as well. Quickly, I hacked into Quasar’s Comm unit and armour’s computer. Setting them to a strobe effect, I took advantage of the skeleton’s distractions to take them down more efficiently than if they had have attacked me. Quasar seemed quite offput by this development but had to admit it was an effective use of what was available. It was a simple matter to do the same with Nolus’ armour, allowing me to cripple the remaining crewmember when Quasar and I arrived to assist Nolus and Dink. It was Dink that finished it off however.
The main deck of the Threnody was easy to gain access to, and I set about locating the information we came for in the computer system. I suspect the others were securing the area or checking for further crew members while I worked. I admit I did not pay attention to them. In addition to gathering the location of the Wayfarer, I managed to extract extra information about a pirate ship in the area as well as some astronomical data I was sure would be useful to the society if we didn’t already possess it. This data was downloaded onto the insignia I carried before we returned to the Loreseeker.
Aboard the Loreseeker, Quasar contacted the Venture Captain to report our success. We were ordered to return to Absalom station while he researches the planet ‘Ulmarid’ which the Threnody’s computer reveals as the location of the Wayfarer. While the rest of the crew agreed, I inquired as to why we could not simply chart a course for Ulmarid immediately. I was rebuffed however as the venture captain would prefer to determine the best course of action for arrival before departure, and the ships food reserves were designed for the journey to the Threnody and back, not for a more extended journey. My informing him that I did not require sustenance due to my Aeon stone did not alter the orders and I set a course back to the station.
We finally arrived at Ulmarid several weeks later, aboard a different ship. The Odyssey is a Drake class starship, apparently its shields would be more capable of withstanding accidental collisions with asteroids upon descent to the planet’s surface as Ulmarid is surrounded by an asteroid field. I should not take offence to this likely unintended dismissal of my skills as a pilot, as 1) I am only a new recruit, and 2) it is unclear how dangerous passing through such a field would be anyway.
As we began to pass through the gently drifting asteroid field, Quasar and Nolus both offered to assist me in the task, though I made it quite clear I would never require such assistance, no matter how dangerous such a task would seem to be. We passed through the field with no difficulty, and landed on a rocky outcropping within walking distance of the distress beacon that was detectable for several days prior to our arrival. One of our crew noted the strange taste of the air upon arrival, though as I do not breathe, I didn’t detect anything of interest. Halfway to the crash site, a strange storm descended upon us without warning. As if a sandstorm made of sharp crystals, though thankfully these crystals seemed incapable of harming any of us, and we simply waited for it to pass. I collected several samples of the gemstones, one of which I keep with me, another is included with the submission of this report.
When we finally reached the wreckage, we were set upon by some strange native predator. While the others engaged it in combat, I darted within the exposed compartment and began looking for any survivors, or indeed anything of interest to the society. Confident in my allies ability to deal with the situation outside, I was able to extract the ships scanner logs onto my insignia as well as locate an Aeon stone in a sealed compartment. When I finally exited the vehicle, I noticed Dink had secured manual control of one of the ships weapons and was using that to excellent effect to kill the creature.
Quasar and Nolus occupied themselves with gathering the few remaining bodies of the deceased crewmembers aboard the wreckage, while Dink made certain to note to the group the damage patterns on the side of the hull. I meanwhile was disconnecting the mounted weapon to carry back to the Odyssey, as it was a still working component of the ship beyond the computer which I had already harvested.
As we approached the asteroid field after takeoff, the ships computer alerted us quite loudly that the field had begun to move more rapidly while we were gone. Quasar offered again, despite my telling him not to, to assist me through what was clearly a more challenging predicament. However, his assistance was not necessary and the Odyssey passed harmlessly through the field as easily as it had entered.
As we exited the riptide of asteroids, another ship emerged from behind an asteroid and fired at us immediately. Recognising the ship as the pirates from the Threnody’s log, I was able to list everything the Threnody crew had managed to ascertain about it to the rest of the crew, giving us a significant headstart in the conflict as it began.
I chose to remain in the field, utilising the asteroids to cover us from the pirates attacks. The Odyssey is, sadly, much slower and less manoeuvrable than the Loreseeker. Much of my effort was directed toward making her turn beyond her capabilities or evade the shots fired directly at our path. The pirateship possessed two coilguns, exceptionally powerful compared to our shields and hull. But our consistently favourable positioning made it very rare that a hit was scored against the Odyssey, while the pirates took an unprotected barrage.
At one point, it had managed to back me into a corner, where any form of forward movement would result in the Odyssey colliding with at least one asteroid no matter how nimble I was able to make her. Instead I slammed the engines in a direction they were, truthfully, not designed for, and slid the ship sideways away from the asteroids. Given the pirates were as deft as the Odyssey, perhaps less so, we were able to secure victory by firing upon it as it collided with an asteroid.
Mission #4: Codename "Fugitive on the Red Planet"
As standard, I arrived to the briefing first, followed by Quasar, Dink, and then Nolus. Information on these three is further detailed in previous reports. We were permitted entry into the well-lit carpeted room only once the four of us had arrived. Venture-Captain Arvin was once again the one to brief us, informing his assistant to hold any calls and provide a secure briefing space for the duration of our visit. He informed the group that an ex-starfinder stole something from the society as they left the ranks. It was our job to track him down and retrieve the item, to make a public point that the society will not abide such a thing.
The venture captain informed us that the thief; ‘Talbot’ stole something called the Charlatan’s stone, which creates illusions of transmutation, and has hidden himself somewhere on the desert planet of Akiton. Our transportation was to be via commercial transportation to orbit, and a shuttle to the planets surface. I lamented privately the lack of starship beneath my own hands, but I understand the ruling. The red planet appeared from descent to be the epitome of lower class; small rural villages dotted randomly across the surface in the full view of the sun. The one location in any form of shadow was the city of Maro.
Maro is a scrapyard of structures hobbled together inside a canyon. Neon lights and large sharp buildings trying to fake the feeling of a more civilized location, while the city itself is nothing more than the cleanest dregs on a nothing planet. The highest quality structures sat nearest the spaceport and filled the industrial areas, revealing the cities true purpose. Glowing Neon-green graffiti near the spaceport that more succinctly encapsulates the planet than anything I am willing to put in this report; “Git Out! Planet’s Broke!”
The four of us decided once again to split our attentions; Quasar and Nolus asked the locals for any information on Talbot, based on when he arrived and what he was most likely to have done. Meanwhile, Dink and I were surprised to find that this planet does actually possess an Infosphere, from which we were able to locate information on a large amount of Drift Engine fuel purchased by Abadarcorp from the town of ‘Tasche’. This shipment was apparently several days overdue and seemed to line up both with the capacities of the device as described to us, and the timeframe for Talbots arrival.
Upon our informing the others, Quasar was able to hire us an exploration buggy on society funds, such that we could reach Tasche in a reasonable period of time. With the vehicle and coordinates gathered, it did not take long to arrive at the small, one street mining town. The sand and dust of the planet had taken its toll on the powered vehicles and mining devices chained to the houses. Only two buildings appeared to be stores; a general store lit by flickering white lights, and a squatter structure bearing the sign “Digger’s Dive”. The Digger’s Dive, as one would expect, was the local drinks establishment. A small structure with a bar and private drinking area. The main establishment was seperated from the private drinking area by a holographic security wall.
The vast majority of the population current drinking festively in the establishment were Ysoki and Human. A few Shobhad were present, and two Vesk and a Shirren sat quietly at a table in the corner wearing black and silver formal armor. The citizenry were in good spirits, eagerly informing Quasar of the great profit that was brought to their town by the arrival of Talbot. However their expressions turned sour whenever I attempted to explain that Talbot was a criminal and that the process being used was likely to bankrupt their town and families far more than the current wave of good fortune.
We were able to ascertain from the locals that Talbot could easily be located in a nearby mine, where he was apparently transmuting a worthless mineral into drift fuel. During this time, Quasar and Dink had been conversing with the Shirren and two Vesk. This conversation was only brought to my attention by the two vesk standing in unison. One drawing a longsword as the other flipped the table onto its side, forming a wall between Quasar and the Shirren.
The building was pure chaos for 11.5 seconds as the populace streamed out the front door to escape the potential firefight. Dink retreated to behind the bar, from where he fired his rifle or threw grenades. Quasar attempted to engage a Vesk in melee and Nolus took cover behind another table as he exchanged fire with the Shirren. With a fast remote access, I adjusted the holographic wall to show the illusion of reinforcements in the adjoining room, who fired at someone seconds before I did, to distract them. It was at this point I decided to try out a spell I had learnt recently; my pistol drew in a considerable amount of air, heating up rapidly until fired. Unfortunately, despite his being distracted, the Vesk was positioned such that I missed him, but did do considerable damage to his cover.
36 seconds and several missed shots on my part later, the building was quiet as the three assailants had fallen. I was informed by Quasar that they were members of Abadarcorp, who demanded that we apprehend and then hand over both Talbot and the stone. At his refusal, the Shirren initiated the combat. After Nolus, Quasar and I had searched the bodies for anything of use to our mission, Dink called us to a back room behind the bar. He presented me with a safe and asked me to open it. It was not a part of our mission, so I denied him and left.
The mines were a considerable walk away, set into a large red rock. A pair of metal tracks lead down into the mines, while several lockers stood against the wall near the entrance. Nolus opened the lockers, revealing a tool kit, medkit and an old, ruined mining suit. With a quick casting of Mending, the suit was repaired enough for Quasar to wear, in his hopes of convincing Talbot that he was a miner come to assist.
As we passed a pillar near the bottom of the mineshafts, a rifle swung out on a mount and fired at Nolus. While hurt badly, he was quick to recover and we resumed our march. In a room ahead we found Talbot and two miners. Talbot sat in a minecart, which set off toward the surface the moment combat initiated. The miners kept Nolus, Dink, and Quasar busy. I, standing further back along the tunnel, prepared to shut the minecart down as it passed, the button was easy to see, and a single press as he passed was enough to halt the cart a few meters away from me.
However, Talbot immediately lept from the minecart and raced off of his own accord toward the surface. Dink and I persued, but when we reached the surface were only able to fire Dink’s rifle a few times before he’s escaped range. Had I not charged the rifle, or stopped the minecart, things may have resulted differently. As it was, when we arrived back in Tasche, Talbot was gone. And we have no clues as to his current whereabouts.
Mission #5: Codename "Yesteryear's Truth"
While not strictly pertinent to this mission report, it should be noted here that before this mission I purchased an Azimuth Laser Pistol and Datajack. In case these are required in later reports and the question arises as to when they were acquired.
Upon being permitted to enter the venture-captain’s office, we found him with his back to us, examining a holographic projection of an orbital scan of a planet. He introduced this planet as Elytrio. The hologram was of low quality, a result of an exceptionally small scanning time as the scanning vessel was attacked shortly after arrival. The mission was simple; travel to Elytrio, Decommission whatever attacks arriving ships, investigate the planet.
Only after we left for the docking bay were we contacted by “Fitch”, the Ysoki leader of the Wayfinders. She impressed on our group the importance of a first contact mission and granted us a device to use as a translator. I did not expect to be sent on a first contact mission after my recent failure. In fact, I informed my allies that I was likely not to be of great assistance in a diplomatic mission. I intended to remain on the ship at all times.
The group agreed to permit me to choose the vessel, allowing me to pilot a Pegasus class starship once again. I mean no disrespect to Drake pilots, but the Pegasus simply moves better and is easier to position for combat advantage. The travel to Elytrio took several weeks, which greatly drained food reserves for the crew, though my lack of need to eat did alleviate some of the burden.
Upon arrival, the pegasus’ communications array received a message in an unknown alien language. The message, while clearly a warning, was indecipherable at the time. Though I did record it, errors and glitches included, for later translation and submission to the archives.
The ship was then set upon by drones released from a domed orbital platform. Regardless my manoeuvrability however, the drones continued to barrage the ship. It took a stern commanding tone to have our gunner fire on the platform rather than the drones despite the drones attacking. My assumption; that the drones were remote controlled by the platform, proved to be correct. Once the dome had suffered sufficient damage, the drones simply shut down.
We gathered all drones that were left adrift into the cargo bay, for later study and potential use by the society. I then docked with the orbital platform, whereby we gathered some slightly outdated technical schematics and alien algorithms. This data was transferred while our group were separate from the ship, as later detailed.
In orbit, Quasar ordered Nolus to scan the planet for anything of interest. After a stern look from myself, he amended his statement to a request. The scans showed sparce flora, negligible fauna, and high but harmless radiation, in addition to a large power source in a city located on a section of the planets surface not originally viewable upon our arrival. More intensive scans showed the power source was likely a force field generator.
Our landing place was a considerable distance outside the forcefield, to prevent potential interference during the data transmission regarding the orbital platform. Quasar attempted to encourage me to attend, stating that I would not need to perform any diplomatic negotiations, simply stand as a guard. Nolus then followed this with the fact that he would prefer I attend, in case Quasar is too much of himself and causes diplomatic tensions. Knowing how the human tends to act, I agreed with the Lashunta and disembarked.
48.72% of the way to the forcefield, we detected an entity in the ground beneath us, readying an ambush. It attacked Obozaya, bursting from the ground near her feet and striking at her with large mandibles. I regret that the specimen will not be returning with us.
During the battle, Nolus drew our attention to a collection of beetle-like people standing on a ridge holding slightly outdated energy weapons. As they did not engage in the battle, I saw no need to fire upon them. Though I suspect the loud noises I was transmitting to each of my allies comms units to distract the creature is likely what attracted them to our location.
Obozaya is a fierce warrior, not permitting the creature to back down, and taking full advantage of positioning to allow Nolus and I to deal more telling blows to the creature. It is my opinion that Quasar not be required to engage in combat in future however, as he did little of use, and his one attack bounced off the creatures hide and would have struck on of the beetle-creatures had Obozaya not been in the way.
Nolus delivered the final blow, after which we turned our attention to the spectators. I looked at the others, and with the assistance of our Vesk companion, dragged the creatures corpse several feet closer to the beetle-men before backing up to a position whereby they were closer to it than we were. The creatures approached slowly, clearly chittering amongst themselves in what sounded somewhat like the language from the orbital platform.
Quasar then opened his mouth. Opening his arms wide and smiling as he approached the creature, he began his not entirely undocumented prattling and attempting to appear suave and personable. This clearly confused the creatures, who back off slightly before turning and heading off into the desert, away from the forcefield.
Suspecting that the creatures were leading us, our group followed. Obozaya and Nolus dragging the creatures corpse, myself walking at the front, and Quasar acting as if he assumed we’d taken a stance for his protection.
The walk took several hours, though with no complaints about the weather. The creatures did not look behind them as they led us to what we then observed to be a village. Cut into stone, with homes like tunnels burrowing their way into the rock at angles that would be quite difficult for a non-native to climb. The only flora in the area was a small garden. I am unsure as to the quality of plant sustenance but I presume those particular plants are not in good condition. It is my recommendation that if the society wishes to establish relations with these people, offerings of food would work best.
Two of the beetle-people in the village, decorated in garb that would indicate leadership, ushered the children into buildings before approaching our group. I placed my survival knife on the ground at my feet. I recognise that these people would know that my pistols are weapons as well, but a knife is a more personal weapon. It was my hope that setting the blade down showed I meant no immediate or personal harm to them, and the weapons I wore were simply for my protection. I then, with Obozaya’s assistance, dragged the predatory creature’s corpse forward and left it beside my knife before backing away. After later examining the corpse more thoroughly, I suspect my initial assumption that the hunting party was going to kill the creature for food, was very much incorrect. The beast in question would not provide much meat, if any at all.
To my surprise, the two elders seemed welcoming to our group, though confused when my hand immediately clapped over Quasar’s mouth when he opened it. We were led to a cave that was at least accessible to us without having to fly. It was large, and was beginning to fit a sizeable number of these people. They began to play a steady rhythmic song while the group danced en masse. Quasar informed Obozaya, while I explained to Nolus that this was likely a cultural greeting dance. It would likely be in our best interests to simply attempt to join the dance, as that is what is expected in other such dances.
I took to join the dance first, if our mission is to make first contact, a good first impression is likely vital. The others joined in, some more eagerly than others. Nolus almost tripped over himself, while Quasar in fact did. Obozaya was not necessarily very good, but was able to not make too horrendous a fool of herself. Thankfully, my cultural download packets included information on an assortment of dances, which played out perfectly as this appeared to be a near exact hybrid of two files I did in fact gather.
After the dance concluded, another person entered the area. While my immediate assumption was to assume this one to be some form of ruling caste due to their appearance, she corrected me after casting “Share Language” to allow Quasar, Nolus, and myself to understand her. Obozaya did not seem particularly bothered to be left out, apparently self-assured we would convey any pertinent information. This new entity introduced herself as Klarima of the species “Ghibrani”. We were in the caves of a subspecies of Ghibrani called ‘Husks’, while she was a ‘Membrane’, a native of the city we landed near.
Klarima introduced us to the husk elders, whom thanked us for joining their dance. She then explained a variety of useful information about the Ghibrani societies, which I have included in a packet intended for Fitch or any wayfinder she delegates to. After interacting with Klarima for a short duration in our visit, it is my personal opinion that if she was inducted into the society, she would fit best with the wayfinders.
Klarima was willing to take us into her city in exchange for our escorting her through the desert to the location to prevent her being injured by any wayward predators. Before setting off, I gathered my knife from where I left it, and was met by one of the Husk elders. He presented me with a primitive projectile rifle and several vials of black liquid for the journey. He referred to me as the leader of the group, though did not seem to accept when I corrected him that we had no leader among us.
We arrived at the forcefield around the city, Arkeost, nearing sunset. Klarima had some issue opening a gateway through the forcefield, which Nolus noticed first, commenting to the rest of us that he found quite strange. I am happy to say though, that while about as well kept as the city in my prior mission, and much more difficult to navigate; I enjoyed Arkeost far more. Some buildings do require repair, and it is quite likely that the membrane ghibrani simply do not know how to maintain their own technology or devices.
Our escort to the high council of the membranes (called “Most Elevated) held their weapons strangely and are likely not educated in their use. On our ascension to the meeting chambers, Quasar demonstrated his desire to take the lead in these diplomatic discussions. I did not understand why he asked this and simply shrugged.
The meeting was to occur during a dinner ceremony. The “Most Elevated” seemed quite interested in the Pact worlds, and everything Quasar could tell them. They seemed to believe the four of us; A human, android, lashunta, and vesk, were of the same species. Given the subspecies nature of their world, I do not see any issue in this misconception.
The meal presented was some strange puslike gruel, which Nolus, Quasar and Obozaya seemed distinctly uninterested in attempting to eat, despite how excitedly the ghibrani responded to it. The texture is reminiscent of grease, and the flavour best described as liquified charcoaled feline. That said, I did quite enjoy it, and Obozaya’s stomach was strong enough to at least keep it down for the sake of being good guests.
During the course of dinner, several very obvious power issues and computer malfunctions changed the topic to one of the automation and powering of the city. It became a suspicion of the group that the mainframe was failing, with which we offered to help. I will directly quote Nolus as I feel this is a line the society does need a record of; “Consider it the Starfinder Society’s first offer to help.”
It took some private deliberation, but the council agreed to permit us to investigate. We were set to rest the night in private quarters, though I attempted to politely request I be able to return to the ship to do so. Klarima’s reaction implied however that this was not necessarily a good request to make. The next morning we were escorted to the mainframe and power core, which we were permitted to enter unguarded(A religious or legal tradition prevents Ghibrani entry to the building, so we were the only engineers able to enter at all).
The main corridor lead to a power room containing a terminal and four conduits. In attempting to examine the terminal to determine the issues, we were set upon by automated defence robots styled to look like a hybrid of Husk and Membrane Ghibrani.
While the others fought the creatures, I attempted to take cover and locate a shutdown command on the computer to end the fight quickly. No such command was available however without repairing the system, leaving me to use my pistol and knife to assist in combat.
Once the robots were shut down, and Obozaya reawoken from her unconcious state, I had time to examine the console more thoroughly. With Nolus’ assistance, the system was successfully patched and rebooted. Upon reboot, another door opened, presenting access to yet another terminal.
The terminal contained video logs(enclosed) which I downloaded into my insignia before we departed. With the video logs in our possession, we requested to meet one of the “Most elevated” and Klarima(along with any guards they required) at our ship. While waiting for their arrival, Nolus and Obozaya raced to the Husks to enlist attention of one of their leaders and a couple of their hunters(as security).
With both parties at the starship, we played the recorded logs, allowing them to garner all information in a neutral location(our ship), and go back to their homes assured we have not provided the other side with more information than we provided them.
At the time of writing this, we are currently in the drift on return to absalom station. Venture-Captain Arvin, please consider this my debrief package. Any further questions are welcome.
Mission #6: Codename "Cries from the Drift"
It was the off period for my employment, so I had been spending my time assisting with the conversion of the old warehouse into the new base of operations for the Exo-guardians. It is my thanks that Zigvigix, leader of the Exo-guardians, has not attempted to broadcast a Strawberry machine cake song telepathically to the working crew. Instead he had settled for playing it from various speakers, which I could turn off my ability to hear.
While welding a panel into position on the day of the briefing for this mission, I was contacted telepathically by Zigvigix, he requested my attendance with the group of other Starfinders he was preparing to brief. I recognised the group containing Dink, Nolus, and Quasar, and reported for the briefing once the panel was secure.
According to Zigvigix, a salvage barge had informed the society of the location of a distress-beacon tied to a starship called “Struggle’s Scholar”. The Struggle’s Scholar was a kasathan crew ship that had escaped from Sangoro’s Bulwark. In working with the Exo-guardians in converting the warehouse, I had become aware of Sangoro’s Bulwark, the previous base of operations of the Exo-guardians. It was a forward staging post discovered by the first leader of the Exo-Guardians. First Seeker Luwazi Elsebo has since denied Zigvigix any permission to send search parties to locate the site, and Guidance has not revealed it’s location either.
Our task was to locate the Struggle’s Scholar, Recover anything of the crew that can be used to console the families of those lost, and retrieve potential information on the location of Sangoro’s Bulwark. We were permitted to select a ship for our travel, which the others left to my discretion as I would be the pilot. I of course selected the Pegasus-class vessel on offer. As I have documented 15 times prior in the archives, The Pegasus-class is an objectively better starship design than the Drake. That said, it is not immediately of importance to this mission report.
For the first two days of our drift travel, it was possible for our crew to contact the crew of a fellow starfinder ship by the classification “Promise of the future”. While we did not capitalise much on this opportunity, I will note that I am impressed at the speed that the Society has been growing of late.
It was during the rest of this 22 day voyage that I began examining drift engine designs and calculating my own design, as well as designs for starships intended to contain these drift engines. Upon arriving in the vicinity of the coordinates, I disengaged the drift engine so that we might locate the Struggle’s Scholar using the Pegasus-class’ superior sensors array.
During our scans, our ship was hailed by Captain Yuluzak, Captain of the Honorbound, a vesk ship located across an asteroid field from us. Yuluzak presented a typical Damoritosh greeting in the vesk language. While not a worshipper, I understand the customs enough to give the correct response. Captain Yuluzak appears familiar with the Society, and I affirmed his inquiry as to whether we were a part of it or not.
The Honorbound is a salvage vessel, who’s mission it is to locate anything of use to the veskarium in any future confrontations against the swarm. A worthy, but dull enterprise. Yuluzak, being sharper than I was lead to believe one should expect of Vesk, informed us that the Struggle’s Scholar was to be a point of contention between us. He presented the offer of an honourable challenge to determine the rights of salvage. I inquired as to the terms of this engagement, and subsequently agreed. The terms were as follows:
Do not fire at the rear arc of the opposing vessel
Combat ends when the ship is crippled
Life support will not be intentionally targetted
Either captain may surrender at any point.
I informed him before we began however, that our ship did not possess a captain, to which he responded that he assumed I was the captain. It was at this point that I relayed the contents of the discussion to the remainder of the crew.
Several seconds into the battle, our gunner fired upon the Honorbound while it was behind one of the asteroids, accidentally inflicting considerable damage on the vesk vessel as the molten core of the asteroid was blasted open. I immediately contacted Yuluzak, informing him this was not something we were aware of, and that we would refrain from further targeting of asteroids if he promised to do so as well. Captain Yuluzak agreed.
I took great pains to ensure that at all times, the aft of our vessel was the only target available to the Honorbound. At one point, Captain Yuluzak messaged to call me a coward, and demand that I turn and face him properly. His grin showed that while he mocked, Yuluzak enjoyed the battle as much as Myself. My response, that he should instruct his pilot to take further basic lessons, elicited a laugh before the communication ended and the combat continued.
Nearing the end of the battle, our gunner scored a solid blow against the vessel. Yuluzak hailed in response to this attack, reminding us that the conditions of the engagement was not to fire on the life support system. My response was that the condition was not to “intentionally target” life support, It was the fault of his pilot and engineer that the life support was exposed to a wayward attack. The captain accepted this and continued the duel.
Shortly thereafter, the Honorbound contacted us to concede the battle and congratulate us on a well fought duel. Before they left, I secured contact information for Captain Yuluzak for myself, citing that I would enjoy another duel should the opportunity present itself.
After the Honorbound departed, we were free to locate and properly analyse the distress beacon left in the area. Once the code was deciphered, we jumped quickly to the coordinates of the Struggle’s Scholar. With an Etheric Storm approaching, we were short on time and immediately boarded the Scholar in order to effect the mission as quickly as possible before retreating to a safe distance.
The airlock cycled silently, and we quickly moved into the main hall of the vessel. A blood trail crossed the hall, from one room on the left to another on the right. The group agreed that the first point was to investigate the destination of the blood. The door to the room was sealed, and no matter what I tried both digitally and manually, I was unable to breach it. In hindsight, high security should have been expected from an Exo-guardian vessel.
We quickly located a pair of mounted turrets in the ceiling of the main chamber and made quick work disabling the sensors such that they could not inadvertently fire on anyone. The room opposite the locked door appeared to be the crews quarters. Upon each bed rested a single item. Quasar and I both recognised this as a kasathan tradition for exploration of the vast. We agreed to bring these back for the families of the lost, and promptly relocated them to our own vessel before continuing our search.
At the beginning of the trail of blood we located a combat training room. Nolus retrieved a baton, while Dink was startled by one of the training robots speaking to him in kasathan. None of us spoke the language in question, and simply watched as it talked itself out of power. Dink was able to salvage a power cell with some charge from it however.
Across the hall from the sparring room was half of a cargo-hold. The rest was destroyed and exposed to space but for the forcefield and pile of objects securing it. A cursory examination of the wreckage found nothing of interest, and we moved on to searching further.
The Engine room was easy to locate. However upon seeing it, I remain convinced that the engineer of the Struggle’s Scholar had died to an overdosage of Diasporan crystals. The wires were arranged haphazardly and were exceptionally dangerous to touch. It took Dink a few minutes but he was able to properly connect the salvaged battery to a terminal labelled “Mess Hall”, providing us access to the forward chamber we had not yet searched.
The mess hall contained two corpses, lent against each other, with squirming masses beneath their skin. As I examined the bodies, the skin burst, launching small larvae across me. I will state that no-one else was caught in the eruption, and I was able to quickly shake off many of the larvae, crushing them underfoot or thumb. Though they did still cause some temporary aesthetic damage.
On the desk was a small key card, which we used to finally gain access to the locked door near the crew quarters. The room in question was the captains quarters. On its floor lay a body in armour, with a forcefield protecting it. The forcefield was connected to a battery. Dink noted that we could clearly use the battery to open the door to the bridge, and Quasar immediately disconnected the battery from the armour.
This proved to be another mistake. Once the forcefield shut down, the lights flickered, and an incorporeal creature rose from the corpse of the captain to attack us. Nolus quickly identified it as a Driftdead, which we were not prepared for. It became almost instantly apparent that only one persons weapon could actually damage the creature as it attacked us. Nolus’ baton from the training room proved effective in actually colliding with the creature. This meant that, while I was unaware of what Quasar and Dink were doing, I was left to cast ‘Supercharge Weapon’ on Nolus’ baton every chance I had.
I feel the need to clarify; these batons are designed to produce a force effect when swung with sufficient force. However, only Nolus possessed sufficient force in order to activate this effect. It was our inability to properly harm the creature, that made the battle so difficult.
We had no time to rest after the battle, and immediately hurried to open the bridge and locate and retrieve the files. Such data manipulation was taking too long, and instead I elected to retrieve the harddrive the data would be on. As I approached the location, a Xill lept from the corpse of the pilot at the controls. The creature, if you are unaware, is an extraplanar creature with red skin and four arms. It was a far easier fight than the driftdead, even with our wounds, and once it was slain we returned to the ship. We are currently en route back to Absalom Station as I write this. I hope that the itching in my nerve endings is a glitch based on the stress environment, and not a consequence of the larvae or driftdead encounters.
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Mission #7: Codename "The First Mandate"
To say I was surprised to receive a mission invitation from First Seeker Luwazi Elsebo would be an understatement. However, I deigned to consider it as any other mission, and thusly did not dress ‘up’ for the occasion. When I arrived, I recognised Quasar immediately, and the two of us were joined by a pair of vesk. Obozaya, whom I had already interacted with on missions, and one “Navrok” who I had spoken to in regards to the society in a prior social encounter.
The doors opened to the office and we entered. The First Seeker’s meeting room is heavily decorated, with a large but low sitting conference table amidst a spattering of couches and armchairs designed primarily for comfort. The first seeker sat at one end of the table, clearly dressed for public relations. Behind her stood Acquisitives Faction Leader Radaszam, as if standing over the back of her chair and guarding her. We were invited to seat ourselves. I stood on the first seekers right, leaving one space between myself and her end of the table. The Faction Leader and myself are surprisingly of similar height, a fact I became acutely aware of as I stood and awaited the briefing.
The First Seeker explained that she was inviting the group to attend a gala that night. We were to entertain and impress representatives of various groups who had assisted the Society since the Scoured Stars incident. I was already well aware of the incident, being under the observation of the society at the time. During the briefing, the First seeker asked us explicitly to speak of our experiences with the society to improve the guests opinions of the society in general, even giving permission for us to brag. Quasar followed this with a quip that this is something I would be quite capable of.
The Faction Leader then took control of the briefing, informing us that his private mercenary group “the obsidian spiders” were intending to also provide security for the gala, and that if anything occurs that would require security measures we were to report to him before taking action. This was to ensure there was no crossfire and no miscommunication between any parties involved.
I have said before, and I will repeat. I am unsure why I have been selected for public relations or diplomatic missions. When the situation calls for me to relate to people in an attempt to convert them to my opinion, I fail. To this day, no download packs exist for this form of interaction that work with my neurological systems. But, I will not turn down a mission.
The first seeker supplied our group with a list of names of people she wanted us to ensure we impressed. The five names were: Iteration-177, Naiaj, Royo, Ykris, and Zo. I have been informed that his name is officially spelt “Zo!” but I refuse to use punctuation to end a name.
Once we were excused from the briefing, our group immediately explained to each other what we knew of the ‘targets’. Very little was known about Iteration-177 except that it was an android which preferred no gender.
Venture-Captain Naiaj I already had dealings with before joining the society. I knew her to be very driven and focused gnome. I was uncertain why we were to impress her, unless she had begun to express interest in leaving the society.
Ykris I was also aware of. It was a parasite which was most often seen with a half-elf host. Ykris, to my knowledge, worked at Cericore Labs on cybernetics and Biotech. It had personally requested that the corporation where it worked invest in the Society following the scoured stars incident. For this reason I understood the first seekers interest in it.
The others informed the group that “Zo!” Submitters note: He had no punctuational excuse here or on further use. It has been corrected hereafter but no further notes will be made to identify this. is an eoxian media mogul.
Royo, the last to be mentioned in our discussion, was a Ysoki member of the Starfinder forum. Not much was mentioned about him either.
Quasar excused himself to prepare for the gala while the Vesks and myself travelled together to the location to take the spare time to examine the surrounding area. Shortly before the gala was to begin, Quasar finally returned. He was dressed in formal attire he had acquired specifically for the occasion. With the four of us prepared, the guards permitted us entry into the small formal room where a large number of people mingled.
As had become a standard operating procedure for my missions, we split into two teams. Navrok went with Quasar, while Obozaya joined me. Our reasoning was that we were uncertain of how long we had, and we didn’t want to front-load the conversation with two people who had the same knowledge bases whilst ensuring no-one was separate should combat break out for any reason.
The group had decided, against my recommendation, that I should speak to Iteration-177 first. I am uncertain why this was expected to work. Neither Obozaya nor myself could figure out Iteration-177’s interest in the society or how to entertain them in the manner the First Seeker desired. However, several minutes into the conversation, I noticed Quasar at another location in the hall, attempting to catch my attention and call me over.
We excused ourselves from our discussion with Iteration-177, who simply smiled at us as we left. When I arrived at where Quasar had waved us to, I found myself standing beside Venture-Captain Naiaj. Quasar and Navrok then excused themselves and left to vanish into the crowd.
While I am not experienced with starting conversations, it appears Quasar had already set this conversation up for me to join. Apparently he had spoken highly of my flight skills, creating a curiosity in the venture-captain. Without looking away from her datapad, she began to quiz me on various flight techniques and the rules of drift navigation. I will quote directly however her final question, the one for who’s answer she actually looked at me. “You have three Goblin junkers bearing on your position on a vector (15, 27, 35). How do you respond?”
I looked at Obozaya before turning back and responding “What ship am I in?”
She mumbled something about dealing with eoxians before answering “One of the Drake class”
This is not something I had had to do, but I was familiar enough with the design specifications of the Drake class of starships to answer effectively enough. “Transpose myself to science station, or ask the science officer to do it for me; transfer as much of the shields power to the area of approach. Then simply launch a vector(-15, -27, -35) direct interception. Goblin Junkers have unstable engines prone to seal rupture when brought in contact or near contact with a range of field frequencies. The Drake-Class starship shields operate on a frequency near the high energy end of this range. The ships would most likely explode upon impact with the shield, including destroying all cobbled together ordinance remaining on board.” This apparently caught her attention. Her eyebrows furrowed before I noticed her opening the specifications for Drake-Class starships. Her response was that she had not considered the use of shields themselves as a weapon, and that she was surprised I was not a lecturer at the flight academy. I did not feel it necessary to inform her otherwise.
Obozaya and I excused ourselves to find someone else to speak to. The first we found was Ykris and the half-elf host “Jhireu”. Ykris was quite personable and eager to discuss its work at CeriCore labs. Much to her discomfort, Ykris and I engaged in a conversation as to what Cybernetics and Biotech augmentations would best suit Obozaya. I presented several suggestions as to custom biotech that would improve her combat effectiveness, while offering my opinion on issues Ykris claimed to be facing. A communications burst in our comms units informed us that the First Seeker wished to speak to our group, and we politely excused ourselves from the conversation.
The First seeker enquired as to the state of our efforts. Quasar and Navrok mentioned they had spoken at length to Iteration-177 and a little to Ykris, while Obozaya and I had spoken mostly to Venture-Captain Naiaj and had begun a conversation with Ykris. We were informed that Iteration-177 had left the gala without saying anything, thought the Venture-Captain seemed to be enjoying herself. We were warned that with little time left before the announcement, the First Seeker would prefer if we picked up our pace.
When released back to the crowd, Obozaya and I returned to Ykris, as I had a question. I apologised for if I seemed rude, but enquired as to the nature of the connection between Ykris and the host Jhireu. Ykris made two offers; firstly, it would permit Jhireu to speak, to explain his perspective. This offer I declined, I informed the pair that if the nature of their connection was in any way negative, the Society likely would not wish to maintain any form of relations, and I trusted the judgement of my superiors, and so I trusted them. The second offer was for Ykris to interface with me to allow me to experience the same form of connection.
I accepted, but regret that no mental connection seemed to be made. I suspect my android nature made it difficult for it to interface properly with me. I apologised for my potential rudeness once more before exiting our conversation.
It took a minute for Obozaya and I to locate someone matching the description of “Royo”. He was standing amongst a somewhat large group, the groups central discussion appeared to be the usefulness of Drift travel for Anthropomorphic analysis of alien cultures.
When I attempted to join the conversation at a rational point, considering myself well educated on drift dynamics, Royo engaged me directly in conversation. However the topic was not one I had been expecting. Royo knew of me. He quickly identified me as a Dataphile, and was perturbed about the fact that I had a datajack installed. Obozaya seemed ready to intercept should a fight break out. I attempted to diffuse the situation by simply asking her to go find Navrok and Quasar and assist them with whomever they were talking to.
For two minutes I let Royo berate me. Occasionally I proded his anger to keep him going. He was the first person I met who expressly preferred the old form of pen and paper over the use of technology to store data. He was a historian and librarian, fascinated with the accumulation of old knowledge. Once he stopped to take a breath, I sided with him. I informed him that I had found texts from during the gap, talking about two disparate histories of Drift travel and basics of drift dynamics. It was from these that I learnt many of the techniques I utilise as a pilot in the service of the Starfinder Society.
He seemed quite pleased by this news, boldly proclaiming to the others in his prior conversation that he had found someone who had learnt a marketable real-world skill from the use of books. He did not seem to have much care for knowing about Drift travel itself, so I changed the topic to something I had recently downloaded an information set on that I expected he had an extensive knowledge about; Flora and Fauna. I attempted to steer the conversation to the topic of old golarion texts discussing plants and animals not seen since the gap. The concept of Crypto-zoology and Crypto-botany of ancient Golarion kept him entertained for quite some time.
Eventually his associates called him back to their conversation, and I left to locate my allies. I quickly found a pair of familiar Vesk performing short action sequences in a clearing of the crowd, with a skeletal man grinning on from the edge of the crowd.
From the side of the room all four of us noticed Faction Leader Radaszam gesturing for us to follow him. Once properly excused and in the service corridor, the Faction Leader informed us of a development. Rumours had arisen recently that a fairly well known assassin was somewhere on Absalom Station. It was almost to be expected that the First seeker was to be the target, and the gala we were at was likely to be the perfect opportunity. Our new task was to go to the rumoured location of the Assassin, search for clues to who it is and how they plan to attack the First Seeker, and then report back to the Faction Leader.
We were given the coordinates, and though Quasar wanted to stay and ask the Faction Leader further questions, Navrok and I simply dragged him with us. We maintained a comm channel with the Faction Leader while taking the elevators down from the Lorespire Complex to “The Sparks”, the location where the assassin “Triloteya” was believed to be hiding. While the others were trying to gather any information the Faction Leader was able to convey, I accessed the Infosphere and scoured it for information on Triloteya. Triloteya herself is known for a large number of crimes over the course of several years all across the Pact Worlds. No records of Triloteya, in any of my searches, contained a visual account.
Once in the pitifully poorly cared for “Sparks”, it was a simple matter to locate the room we were directed to by the Faction Leader. It had two entrances, so we once again split up to attempt to enter the room from two angles at once in case Triloteya was still present, as unlikely as that was.
I was joined at the door furthest from the main hallways, by Navrok. As I examined the locking mechanism on the door, an electrical discharge blasted forth and shocked both Navrok and myself. But afterwards, the lock lacked enough power to prevent entry from either door. So our party pressed inward. The room contained creatures I knew to be “Electrovores”, I will note my disappointment that they had not consumed the power on the door, but they were defeated swiftly, allowing us to examine the room.
After the battle, Navrok located four wrappers of explosives, while Quasar had begun searching a backpack. I had found a datapad and was examining its contents as Quasar and Navrok discussed the implications of the items contained in the backpack. The datapad contained video footage of a human woman with curled hair, as well as instructions on curling hair. Deeper data showed information about Triloteya’s previous targets, and that they had died in either accidents or at the hands of an assortment of murderers.
We immediately set to return to the Gala, contacting the Faction Leader on our way. After being informed that Triloteya is a shapeshifter, and that she was intending on using explosives to kill the First Seeker, he asked how we intended to proceed and if we desired the assistance of the Obsidian Spiders. The group almost unanimously decided that we would do this ourselves, and the Faction Leader accepted.
As we reached the Gala, Royo contacted us on the frequency we had been using to speak to the Faction Leader. He informed us that the Faction Leader had contacted him regarding the explosives packaging, and he wanted to inform us that the explosives would be very stable against kinetic damage. Simply hitting them may be sufficient to render them inoperable.
We split once again once inside. Quasar and I had discussed the most likely location for the explosives, and immediately went to locate and disarm them. Obozaya and Navrok however were in charge of locating and defeating Triloteya. Navrok took to the hologram control room to use its large viewscreen to see the entire crowd at once, while Obozaya remained in the crowd, searching.
As I found the first explosive, logically located on one of the legs of the announcement podium, Navrok started an open channel to us. He did not speak in a manner I expected. Instead it sounded as if he was having distracted but polite small-talk with a human woman. I elected to not speak but simply listen to the conversation as I disabled the explosive.
Quasar, noticing where I had found a bomb, located another opposite it and easily defused it. As I began heading for a third, I noticed Ykris as it’s purely bug state, skittering across the floor to the explosive and disarming it before I could arrive.
Quasar was lingering near the fourth, which I took to mean he intended to remove it, so I grabbed Obozaya’s attention and the two of us moved through opposite service doors to head to the same maintenance room to assist Navrok. As I reached the door however, I heard Navrok attack the woman. I was forced to absolutely trust Quasar as I rushed to the maintenance room.
Navrok was standing, weapon drawn, facing a reptilian woman. This woman was distinctly not a vesk. She noticed me, called me Attara and asked for my assistance. It was difficult to pin her down to properly stab or shoot her. As she darted past me however, Navrok attacked her on the run and, to be fair to his attack, turned half of her head into paste against the wall.
The First Seeker’s announcement was unimpeded, and is currently a matter of public record.
Two things about mission #7;
1) I did not realise until writing it, just how much our group split the party in those early days.
2) I came upon a lot of character insight about Atlas-1 while writing it.
About "The First Mandate":
I really enjoyed it. I love the design of the social encounter. But I've noticed since that writers are trying skill challenges vs rp/diplomacy events more to try and make it more dynamic. While my high int operative is a big fan of being able to skill braciate, the diplomacy skill does need more love.
Atlas has, and will always have 0 ranks in diplomacy. He's supposed to be bad at this.
Obozaya: our DM pregen. We have 3 consistent players, so our DM runs obozaya to reach 4p adjust. I've talked about this before but here's a great example of how he uses her. He turns her into an NPC who sits in the background and basically only does stuff in combat.
It's up to us to be good enough for 3 to match the 4p adjustment for noncombatants.
Anyway. What do you guys think? Thoughts on Atlas-1? Am I doing okay or should I just drop this because noone cares XD
|⦵⦵⦵⦵ Glen Parnell Venture-Agent, Georgia—Atlanta aka The Masked Ferret|
Mission #8, Codename: "A night in Nightarch"
I was contacted by Venture-Captain Naiaj shortly after the end of the Gala of the prior mission report. I was invited to a mission briefing the following day at the Starscape Chamber. I have not yet turned down a mission. I had also already heard of the Starscape Chamber, and it’s common use for important mission briefings.
I was, for once, not the first to arrive for the briefing. I had been delayed whilst purchasing slightly more advanced armour for myself. In fact, I was among the last to arrive, with only Quasar following me. The venture captain did not turn to speak to the group, instead staring at the stellar map decorating the walls. She reiterated for our group the importance of the inventory loss in addition to the personnel loss that followed the Scoured Stars Incident.
Over the past several months, it had been the venture captain’s responsibility rebuild the society’s supplies. The mission had been, until earlier that day, that we would escort a supply of weapons to the society from Nightarch on Apostae. This shipment however has been stolen, and so the new mission parameters were to locate and retrieve the weapons. To this end, the venture captain was able to secure us a meeting with a representative of the Drow house “Zeizerer”.
After the others busied themselves seemingly drilling the venture captain for information she did not possess, we left for the shuttle.
The venture captain had arranged our passage exceptionally well. At no point on our travel to Apostae or around Nightarch to the meeting location with House Zeizerer was there any question of the next phase. Once we arrived in the city we were attended to by a collection of Drow who escorted us to the office of one “Ceobarn Zeizerer”. The office, located on the top floor, was larger than any of the offices I had seen in the Lorespire Complex. Almost a grand hall, the room was sparcely decorated though every item within appeared to be meticulously and painstakingly placed in exactly the correct location. Above the large green windows stood a statue of the Demon lord Abraxas.
Five minutes and twelve seconds after our entering the office, an elderly drow man entered. The man introduced himself as Ceobarn Zeizerer. He informed our group that he was aware of what the thief, one ‘Villyth Zeizerer’ had done, but that she had been offically disowned by the family months prior to this issue. He was thereby unclear on why it should fall to House Zeizerer to assist in the recovery of the materials but was willing to hear the society’s reasoning.
What followed was, as expected, a butchering of diplomatic negotiations. We attempted to bring to his attention several facts of the matter that reflected poorly on House Zeizerer in the eyes of certain groups. But proved pathetically under equipped for such a discussion. Despite our floundering, or perhaps to make us cease it, Zeizerer agreed to give us 24 hours of diplomatic immunity with which to locate Villyth and the stolen weapons, and do as we saw fit. After leaving the meeting, Quig noted that had we enough credits to spare, we may have been able to bribe him for more assistance. Quasar however, correctly, pointed out that no amount of credits any of us had would be a suitable bribe for a man of his station.
In order to save time, Quasar suggested we follow standard procedure and split the group in order to gather information on the location of Villyth, and therefore the weapons. Altronus and Quig assisted my search of the infosphere, as I was the only person on the mission who spoke Drow. The assistance wasn’t necessary as, despite the minutia of details available, I was able to locate the location of Villyth’s base of operations in only 3 and a half hours. In the following nine hours I was also able to locate a floorplan of the structure, as well as information on the location of the control room and how many people were typically employed on site.
Quasar rented two land cruisers as transport for the five of us, and we discussed our plan of action en route. The intention was to breach the facility at the back fence, enter through the back windows, sneak into the control room and seal all doors in the facility so we could engage those within on our own terms.
After parking behind the building, our group of five approached the chain-link fence from behind the building. Altronus, Quig, and I cleared the fence easily. Quasar and Keskodai however, struggled so much that Quig cut a hole in the fence to allow them to pass through. It was a struggle to do quietly, but we were able to wrench one of the windows open and assist everyone on climbing into the building.
The small room we entered was a small office. On the desk sat a heavily beaten computer with a small plush spider toy sitting next to it. Upon my picking the toy up, it began to play an agrosynth track from the band ‘Abysshead’ quite loudly. Being a follower of agrosynth music in general, I did not pass up the opportunity presented to download the album from the toy, despite my knowing it included adware. In fact, as we expected to fight and kill Villyth during the course of the mission, I also pocketed the plush and our group advanced. My slight error had broken our attempt at a stealth infiltration, and we quickly found ourselves engaged in combat with four Drow.
Fighting half in the offices, half in the large meeting room, we dispatched the Drow with relative ease before Quig and I moved to investigate the control systems. I struggled to bypass a false shell, and once I managed it, found the available options for the system to be considerably lacking. The main warehouse was 100ft below the building we currently occupied, and yet I was unable to pump the air back our using the air filtration system that would be clearly necessary. Such is to be expected of low funding operations I would assume. I was however able to activate the lights in the warehouse before we descended.
We then moved cautiously but quickly through the rest of the complex to reach the freight elevator. Each door along the way was opened, and the rooms checked quickly for occupants before we continued. With the use of a keycard gathered from the body of one of the Drow, the elevator was called up and then ferried us down to the floor below.
When the obnoxiously loud elevator reached the bottom, but before the doors opened, a quasit appeared in the room. It appeared more curious about our presence than anything else, and Keskodai was able to quickly explain the truth to it. Once informed, the Quasit ‘Ipqik’ seemed quite willing to help. It explained the location of several traps in the warehouse, and informed us that Villyth was absent currently. For a brief moment I almost suspected we could complete the mission with relative ease.
We allowed the elevator doors to open and moved out into the warehouse. Four Half-orcs had set up small barricades to protect themselves as they fired on us when the elevator doors opened. Clearly, turning on the lights, while necessary for many of our group to see, warned the guards left to patrol the area of our approach.
It was difficult to move but eventually everyone was out of the elevator and woven between the aisles of the warehouse. Altronus approached one group of Half-orcs head on, attacking with pure energy and blasts of fire. Quig and Keskodai focused instead on moving through the warehouse to locate the crate of weapons we had come for. I did my best to cover them until such a time as they finally found the crate already in the arms of a loading robot.
When we had located the weapons, one of the half-orcs were dead; leaving two normal ones and one with a strange tentacle in place of its head. A small display indicated that the robot, once activated, would carry the load to the elevator, and once on the surface out to the loading dock. So, wanting to leave as quickly as possible, Quig activated the Robot.
A woman’s voice then began to berate us over the warehouse’s intercom. She ordered more Half-orcs down to kill us, and stop but not destroy the robot. The elevator doors then closed and began upward some point during her talking, as they opened once she finished and two drow and four half-orcs poured into the warehouse where we had only just managed to kill the second half-orc.
It was now an escort mission. Quasar and I focused on moving with the robot, to protect it, while Altronus and Quig focused on bringing the fight to our opponents. Keskodai, at this point, did manage to kill the tentacle-headed half-orc, and quickly checked if he possessed anything of use to our ongoing fight.
Altronus and I took most of the fire, despite our steadily keeping to cover. At one point, I had to leave Altronus behind, as the robot continued and he stopped to engage a drow and half-orc in melee combat. Gunfire from atop some of the shelving indicated that either Quasar or Quig had managed to climb atop them. Looking back, I watched as a Half-orc swung the killing blow on Keskodai, who collapsed half on a crate, slowly sliding off.
After a quick scan of the warehouse, I located Quig and Quasar on the racking at the far end, where the robot had begun. Altronus was still engaged in battle with one of the drow, having killed two half-orcs in a flash of fire. It was at this point, that the elevator doors reopened and four more Half-orcs, and a drow with a purple mohawk stepped into the fray. The battle was now Villyth and two additional drow, and eight half-orcs, against Altronus, Quig, Quasar, and I.
As the robot turned to begin its final march toward the elevator, I moved under the walkway it marched beside and began a shoot out with Villyth herself. I collapsed quickly, hitting my head on the post and dropping to a small pile on the ground. When I awoke enough to listen to the carnage, I could hear someone standing beside me, firing in the direction of Altronus, before they started to walk away. I opened my eyes a crack to assess the situation, and found that the robot was standing still loaded in the elevator, while the drow and half-orcs were advancing through the warehouse.
As quietly as I could, I opened a comms channel and asked who was still alive. Quig and Quasar responded, and Quig indicated that he was watching Altronus continue to fight. I asked if they could reach the elevator, even if they had to break off combat and run through their opponents. While they discussed and fought, I stood, and slinked into the elevator. I took cover behind the robot, now no longer requiring it in one piece to transport the goods, and began firing at the Drow I could see.
Deciding that the drow firing back at me was too accurate, I activated a holographic projector I had built into my datajack. The holograms made me slightly more difficult to hit, especially behind the robot. I waited as long as I could, but once I downed the Drow and Villyth herself began bearing down on my position again, I activated the elevator and ascended to the surface.
On the travel up, I heared as Altronus died. Quig and Quasar were apparently atop the shelvings still, taking as much cover as they could and firing down when possible. I promised Quig I would unload the robot, and rig it to explode before sending it back down in the elevator. The Ysoki agreed to the plan as Quasar was then killed in an exchange of gunfire. Apparently the human had managed to take another Drow with him however.
When at the surface, I allowed the robot to carry the weapons to the loading bay as I rushed to the laboratory. I could hear the gunfire through the open comms, and continued to reassure Quig as I searched the lab. Unable to find anything of use, I returned to the robot to examine if its power source was sufficient to weaponise. It was not.
The last words Quig ever heard was my saying “I’m sorry” before racing out of the building to retrieve the vehicles. Four people had died, and I was not going to let the mission fail as a result. I am aboard the shuttle back to Absalom station as I write this. A proper eulogy will have to be prepared for the four fallen Starfinders, and I am well aware I am not the right person to do so.
Altronus; Nolus & Navrok
Keskodai; New player
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Mission #9: Codename, “The Solar Sortie”
Historia-7 contacted me privately, requesting I locate a set of Starfinders she had chosen, to be briefed at the Archive’s Cortex. I suspect she wanted to keep as few records of the meeting as possible in case of datasniffers. Other than Obozaya, whom I had worked with before, the Starfinders were; Mr Yargul Nash, An old human man who I will admit I do not remember very much of despite currently being in a starship with him as I type this, and a Damaya Lashunta man who introduced himself as “Ayeoriun, Host of the talk show ‘Aye Aye captain’”. I immediately thought less of the man for that.
At the briefing, Historia-7 informed me that she considered it my task to ensure the mission goes smoothly. I suspect this was a reference to the event in Nightarch, and if so I accept that I deserved such a comment. But I feel this mission was slightly too much punishment. The mission was simple; enter Arch Energy Consortium, ingratiate ourselves to the CEO’s son ‘Envar Tamm’. The use Envar Tamm to gain access to the CEO’s private computer and download all information on the corporation’s board of directors.
It was my expectation that “Ayeoriun” was selected to handle all talking with Envar Tamm. He seemed to do little else, though most of his talking until we left was restricted to his comms unit connection to his Agent. I have recorded these exchanges and intend to use them if even I have need to. He was well informed about Envar Tamm however, informing the rest of us that he was a known user of transdimensional pesh, despite his mother’s attempts to obfuscate this fact.
As much as I enjoyed having the option to choose which class starship to take to the mission site, I did not receive much chance to actually pilot her. I spent most of the 4 days travel working on false identities for each of us, dedicating a whole day to each person’s cover identity and creating a full digital life, custom digital footprint and full criminal and educational record. The communications records aboard this ship should show an anonymous data transfer. The data contained allowed me to more fully create all the identities.
Once aboard the space station “Brilliance”, a security officer scrutinised our details. Once finished, she ushered the four of us into a large combat arena, complete with dirt floor. Say what I will about this mission, that is likely the strangest thing I’ve seen so far.
While the others discussed their plan of attack, I scanned the crowd for someone matching the records of “Envar Tamm” and found him quite quickly. While the task of my allies was to defeat our opponent, mine was to impress Tamm.
A large creature I had never seen or read about before, was lead into the arena and left at the center as its handlers retreated. The moment the announcer declared the fight had begun, I performed a standing backflip onto the walkway path separating the arena from the stands. Upon Ayeoriun’s request, I hacked the large projection screens to display only the camera currently pointed at him. He did well playing the crowd, as they became so loud I could barely hear the creature break free and charge at Nash.
The large pillars / spikes scattered around the arena made for excellent cover, allowing us to flank and retreat from the creature several times. The sound of the crowd had begun to dim as we approached the slaying of the creature, so I decided to make the finale as anti-climatic as possible. Standing in the open, I allowed the creature to open its mouth around my arm, before firing into the roof of its mouth and slaying it.
Obozaya and I had taken considerable damage in the fight, which prompted Nash to send a wave of energy through each of us to close our wounds. While he was doing so, Tamm approached from the far gate, stepping over the creature easily before failing to step over nothing and hitting his head on one of the pillars as a result. I knew immediately from his commentary and the way he behaved that he was already under the influence of transdimensional pesh.
Tamm offered his group of new “best friends” a tour of the station. Looking back, I can’t quite tell at what point he stopped giving us a tour and simply returned to wandering around, quite likely the moment we were no longer in his sight.
Ayeoriun attempted to make small chat as we ‘toured’, an act that resulted in him being offered some pesh. I will likely listen to the recording of his reaction several times over when the mood strikes me. With some pressing, I was able to convince Ayeoriun to attempt to talk Tamm into allowing us to see the CEO’s office. This attempt was shot down by an excuse regarding the sleeping patterns of Tamm’s mother.
The first stop on our ‘tour’ was a local bar. Upon entering, Tamm immediately sat down on a stool at the bar, ordering a drink. The clear timing and obvious concept of the argument mean that I remember little of it. A Ysoki woman and two vesk entered the bar and the Ysoki began demanding payment from Tamm. Very quickly, a fight broke out and once again, Obozaya and I took the brunt of it while allowing Nash and Ayeoriun to fight from safety.
The drug addled idiot then decided he’d had enough of the bar and wanted to go somewhere else. We had to follow him, again suggesting the idea of visiting the CEO’s office. Again being shot down. He seemed only ever lucid enough to deny our every request, before returning to being too high to properly perceive the world around him.
Our next port of call was a solar observation lounge. The charge then lapsed into either another pesh fuelled hallucination, or is just a colossal idiot. He lowered the solar shielding, allowing solar elementals to manifest in the room. While Obozaya, Nash, and Ayeoriun attempted to battle the creatures, I pushed Tamm out of the way and reactivated the shielding, preventing any further from manifesting.
In the time it took me, Ayeoriun was knocked unconscious, Obozaya was still fighting strong, and Nash was retreating as best he could. With Obozaya and I fighting together, the elementals didn’t last much longer. When Ayeoriun was awake again, Tamm took a selfie with the group. This prompted the talk show host to immediately contact his agent in a desperate attempt to get the photo removed from whatever platform it had been loaded onto.
Tamm then offered for us to raid a storage closet nearby, which again, is really stupid. Nervous first time fliers aren’t this bad during lessons, how was this man so disconnected from reality.
Finally we were able to request directions from the charge whilst he was lost from reality, resulting in him happily leading our group to the CEO’s office and letting us in with use of his keycard. I wasted no time, raced over to the terminal in the room and downloaded as much information about the company hierarchy and the private dossier’s on the top echelon to my insignia before we left.
We are now aboard the pegasus, finally free of that piece of lazy, disconnected filth. The recovered data will be delivered in person, as will this mission report.
Addendum: Halfway through the previous sentence, the Pegasus was attacked. Upon taking my seat, Ayeoriun asked what I felt would be the best course of action as 2 security vessels bore down on us. We had what we came for, I saw no reason to stay and fight, so we fled.
Mission #10: Codename, “Sanctuary of Drowned delight”
I had arrived early as always, and was invited to wait in the meeting room for the others. I chose a seat to stand behind as normal. The first to arrive after myself was Obozaya, she sat across the table from me and showed no sign of recognition of myself, though I did not care as the mission was more important. Altronus followed, at first I simply assumed him to be another Kasatha, but he introduced himself as “Altronus” and displayed similar capabilities to the one on the mission to Nightarch. Shortly after a fellow Android, “Raia” joined us, the briefing began.
Wayfinders Faction Leader Fitch transmitted the briefing to a holoscreen in the meeting room. We were informed that for the purposes of repairing the “Master of Stars”, further supplies of clophirium is required. The planet “Arniselle” in the vast is noted to have large quantities of the material. A prior society team was sent to the planet as the location of survey data was underwater and the team sent specialised in aquatic missions. Our mission was ancillary, locate the prior team and if necessary complete their mission.
The Faction Leader noted that as the planet had not been thoroughly explored previously, it is possible intelligent life is native but not known. As such, the mission was to be considered secondarily a first contact mission. Clophirium is a rare metal common in very early Drift engine designs. Modern designs do not use the metal but to refit a vessel as large as the Master of Stars to use one of these other designs would be more effort than constructing a completely new model flagship vessel. Given the symbolic importance of the Master of Stars, it’s clear why this is not a preferred option.
Our transportation to Arniselle was a personnel freighter ‘Peregrination into Night’. The Shirren in charge, “Zhast”, was kind enough to permit me to use the ships scanners, which were otherwise unattended. My intent was to study the planar echo’s on the surfaces of the drift, to locate any irregularities or patterns that can be utilised in further research. The ship received some form of broadcast during my scans, but I was too busy to make significant note of it.
The shuttle we were supplied with bore submarine capabilities, to allow us transport directly from orbit to the submerged lodge. The Peregrination into Night was scheduled to leave in three days, permitting us only two days to locate the Kalos Society team and complete their mission. Strangely, upon arriving at the sunken lodge, we found its exterior door to be a standard airlock. This was strange given the lodge was apparently placed on land initially, and there were no signs the surface air was dangerous to Pact Worlds lifeforms.
Inside the lodge we were immediately greeted by two creatures that introduced themselves as “Morlamaws” by the names of Hinevera and Teltham. A separate document sent with this one includes all anatomical, social, and psychological information I was able to gather on this species that is not pertinent to this report.
Hinevera introduced our group to Oshessa, leader of the group of Morlamaw that had moved into the sunken lodge. Oshessa informed us they had learnt Common, and Pact Worlds history from the data left behind when the lodge was initially built. As a result, they used slightly outdated language and were ill informed of the racial politics of the current Pact Worlds. Oshessa left to prepare for a religious sermon, leaving Hinevera in charge of catering to us in the meantime. We were also permitted to explore the lodge and collect anything that the society wished to recover.
As our group made several statements to the Morlamaw’s, I feel the need to reiterate them here for the societies records in further diplomatic negotiations with this species:
- I assured the Morlamaw’s that the society did not wish to reclaim the lodge or the society possessions forcefully. The lodge was now their home, all things within the premises belonged to the Morlamaw, we would only take that which we were allowed to.
- When asked if we wished to search the sleeping quarters, as the Kalos apparently had, we declined. We stated that the sleeping area, regardless of the Morlamaw tendencies regarding it, were the Morlamaw’s private location. But we assured them that if anything was located in the sleeping area that they felt belonged to the society, we would take them with us.
We were first shown to a library to the side of the main chamber, which contained several shelves of religious relics to “The Weeping Knight”, a local splinter worship of Zon-Kuthon. As well as a portrait of late First Seeker Lezosk and a crate of Society datapads and religious texts. With permission of the Morlamaw, we collected one of the datapads, the portrait of the First Seeker, and the religious books, and placed them by the exterior airlock. The Library also contained another airlock into a section we were informed was flooded. Strange that the only areas flooded inside the lodge happened to be behind airlocks that had no discernible reason to be there.
We chose to take one datapad incase information collected by the original lodge founders was located on it. I however downloaded the missing Pact Worlds history from my own computer onto a collection of other datapads and began the data spreading proceedure in order to update all the datapads in question.
Hinevera requested our assistance in a matter related to the society. A set of Society security robots continued to function and prevented access to the armory. As the lodge was the home of the Morlamaws, we saw no reason they should not have access to all rooms. It was also possible we could locate clophirium survey data in the area. When the door was opened, the exceptionally old robots lurched forward and attacked.
Obozaya and Altronus immediately stepped up to engage them in combat. I however simply raised my arms so my palm was pointing toward the robots, activated my holographic society ID chip and commanded the robots to shut down. Once they had, I removed their power core’s and situated them and the power cells over by the exterior airlock while the others searched the armory.
I intend to suggest to Exo-guardians Faction Leader Zigvigix that all recruits be informed of the existence of Society security robots and that they will shut down if commanded to by a Starfinder bearing the identification chip.
Our group then sat through a religious sermon lead by Oshessa. Raia informed us privately that the sermon had much in common with those typical of Zon-Kuthon worship, but as the worship of the Midnight Lord is not illegal in the Pact worlds, I suggested we say nothing negative.
Following the sermon, we were invited to dine with the Morlamaw’s. Oshessa did not attend, but we were able to speak with the rest of the locals. Many were curious about various pact worlds, and pact races, as well as extensive cultural queries. We answered as much as we could in the time we had, asking our own questions as well. Teltham attempted to block any questions we attempted to raise about the Weeping Knight.
Dinner was interrupted by a Morlamaw by the name of “Irtrine” who requested our assistance in the reliquary, defending the relics from dangerous invaders. After the airlock in the library cycled us into the room, we found it mostly flooded, save for a containment unit against one wall. The containment unit included a data device that displayed information on surveys conducted before the lodge was abandoned.
The chamber also included a small sea snake and a large one stuck in a hole in the wall. Both snakes were easily dispatched by Altronus and Obozaya. However, Obozaya was very physically stiff following the altercation. After the snakes were killed, Oshessa entered the room from her own private room, which was located adjoining. She expelled us from the reliquary that she might tend to the ‘relics’.
We rested in the exterior airlock, though it was cycled to air for those of us who needed to breathe. During our rest, Irtrine confided in us privately that she was well aware that Oshessa had killed the Kalo Agents. Apparently she had assisted in moving their bodies to the reliquary for disposal. We assured her we had already realised much of the information she had given us, and that we did not blame her for any part she played.
When Oshessa invited us to her private quarters to thank us for our assistance, our group was well aware she intended to kill us. After we cycled the airlock into her quarters however, Oshessa offered to recruit us into the worship of Zon-Kuthon. Immediately thereafter, the rock wall at the opposite side of the room opened and Teltham entered the chamber declaring that “The starfinder is almost dead!”
With both sides well aware of the situation, combat broke out. Oshessa was a tough opponent, dealing heavy blows to Obozaya and Altronus while Teltham backed Raia and I into a corner. When we killed Teltham, Raia continued to assist Obozaya and Altronus whilst I ran down the passage Teltham had come from in order to find the remaining Kalo.
By the time I had swum back to the bedroom, acquired a medkit, and returned, the Kalo was dead. With my attention no longer split, I was able to assist in fighting Oshessa, and we finally killed her.
In order to explain the situation to the Morlamaw, rather than simply appear as murderers of their leader, I recovered the body of the Kalo, as well as the torture impliments and we cycled the airlock into the main hall.
I admit surprise at how calmly they took the news, particularly when presented with evidence and a witness. I did much of the talking, with my particularly forceful and direct nature, which they responded well too. Several of them even expressed interest in joining the Society. I have their applications attached to this file for processing(This is also how I procured much of the anatomical and sociological information on the Morlamaw species).
Oshessa’s torture chamber was located down a passage in the rock that the lodge had fallen onto. This rock covers that entire side of the lodge. Where did the hole lead that the serpents were coming in? Very mysterious indeed.
That said, I am unsure how we were expected to know that the Kalo was still alive. All signs pointed to the murder of all of them, and attempting to break into the bedchamber was both apparently unnecessary to us, and rude. Being observed doing so could have jeopardised diplomatic relations with this new species.
Mission #11: Codename, "Live Exploration Extreme!"
Despite my last minute purchases before departing for the shuttle to the meeting, I was still the first to arrive. My recommendation going forth is that should anyone be interested in purchasing a low tier personal upgrade; they should be guided to do so after a mission, not before. It is possible to “Not know ones own flexibility” in the midst of combat.
The Exemplarion was a luxury cruise-ship lingering near salvation’s end. The shuttle contained the new recruits and myself, so no introductions were necessary. I have never enjoyed automated shuttle transportation. A curious form of irony that I prefer the ‘living’ touch, given my nature.
Upon docking, we were met by a high class sentient skeleton. It indicated that we arrived at the correct time, and that we were to follow it to the mission briefing. Given the length of the ship, it was strange that we were docked so far from the briefing, but I did not question it. Our shortest path lead the group through a large shopping district. I suspect the intention was to lure us to make any purchases we desired before reaching the briefing.
We arrived to see a talk show style stage, with two seats. First Seeker Luwazi Elsebo sat on one seat, the elebrian mogul [Zo!] in the other. Several camera crews had set up around the stage, though none were active. I suspect this is simply how [Zo!] prefers to talk business. We were ushered onto the stage, where seats were arranged for us to complete an arc facing the cameras, despite none being active. I stood behind the chair to the First Seekers right.
Following a small banter between [Zo!] and one of undead production assistants, the First Seeker explained the situation. In order to finance several society missions, the First Seeker requested assistance from [Zo!]. One of the conditions of the financing of the initial exploration of Salvation’s End was that any sign of potentially newsworthy discoveries be followed by the documentation thereof by a camera crew hired by [Zo!].
I will not lie, I became reticent of the mission when the financier promised a full broadcast. He intended to include the best production value he could provide, including an expansive camera crew and live coverage. It is not my place to say, but the First Seeker also seemed ill at ease at this point. However, the mission was as defined. I had no say in the specifics, only whether or not I would take it.
The aforementioned undead production assist was introduced to us as Wazasha Kevir, the associate producer of what was to be dubbed ‘Live Exploration Extreme!’. When the First Seeker asked if we would take the mission; my response was, and I quote, “If you’d have me take place in public relations of this magnitude.” She agreed, and the other three accepted the mission as well.
Before being escorted to Salvation’s End, [Zo!] pulled me aside to offer sponsorship attire or weaponry for the proceedings. I was unsure why the others had not been given the same offer, though [Zo!] did refer to me as a ‘close friend’. I elected to ignore the strange descriptor and elected to make use of the Nova Solutions static arc pistol.
When I was allowed to escape the company of [Zo!], our group was loaded into a shuttle alongside the associate producer. The shuttle journey took 15 minutes and 37 seconds, during this time, the associate producer interviewed our group intensely. She assigned to each of us a character trope we were to use as a ‘theme’.
- Ayeoriun was ‘some guy trying to get famous’.
- Obozaya was ‘the brute’
- Nash was ‘the tree hugging hippy’
- I was ‘the grizzled veteran’
I am unsure if anyone was particularly pleased with our assigned designations. Once on Salvation’s End, each of the other three were assigned to a make-up crew in order to better align their appearance to their theme for the cameras. I was seated in a similar looking booth, though anyone who began to approach turned and withdrew with a ‘nonchalant’ demeanour when I looked at them.
We were shown to our starting location, and the cameras were turned on. While I personally believe that much of what follows in this report is unnecessary due to the live broadcast now being a public domain recording, I continue out of habit.
After the cameras were activated, a member of the repair crew approached us. As he offered to escort us to the unexplored tunnels, Ayeoriun stepped forward. The lashunta placed his hand on the repairman’s shoulder and turned him to face another direction. He turned him away from the cameras, visibly relaxing the man.
The ‘Unexplored tunnels’ appeared to be service hallways with dying lighting. The associate producer requested we voice our thoughts on the area, which prompted Nash and Obozaya to get into a lengthy and dull discussion about whether or not the moon was a combination of nature and manufacture, or wholly created.
At one point we passed a pit full of Goblin refuse. Nash could tell the pit had been used within the last hour, and was able to point the group down the tunnel most likely the destination of the previous visitors.
Seconds before Obozaya set foot in the room at the end of the tunnel, a loud explosion blasted us from ahead. The camera crew spread out in an annoying formation just outside the doorway, camera’s pointed obnoxiously at us. Unable to get past the crew, I simply stared ahead until the voice of the associate producer sounded in my ear. She asked if this was something that typically made starfinders curious. It took a large amount of self control not to simply inform the woman that security takes precedence over curiosity.
When we were finally able to get past the crew, we noticed a large hole in the ceiling with a collapsed section that functioned perfectly well as a staircase. We ascended the ramp, with the loud shuffling of the camera crew behind us.
Atop the ramp we found ourselves in a small maze like area, brightly lit by the lighting provided by the camera crew. No sooner had Ayeoriun stepped forward than a group a goblins leaped from the darkness to attack us. With the exception of having to navigate around the camera crew, and avoid using the energy weapons on the strange reflective creature, the combat was simple. I will not reiterate it here.
However, when only one goblin remained, it dropped its weapon and begged for mercy. The associate producer stopped us while she held a vote from the live audience. When the audience had finished voting, I had my gun at the temple of the creature. The decision was made to spare it, and I lifted my pistol. That said however, if the crowd had voted the other way, declaring to kill it, I would have done the same thing. I intended to look to a camera and call the crowd sick had that been the outcome.
At this point the associate producer called for a break, turning most of the cameras off and permitting us to eat from pre-packaged rations. While many of the group ‘Mingled’, Nash was taken into a private booth for an on-air interview with the associate producer. While I could easily have listened in, I did not care to.
When the break was concluded, we were directed to a pile of wreckage to climb for advancement. Knowing that people filmed in such manners often showed off for the crowd, I performed the Ghibrani welcoming dance whilst ascending the wreckage. Nash, Ayeoriun and Obozaya did not have nearly as easy a time, but were able to eventually ascend.
The chamber above was a large cavern, filled with phosphorescent fungi. The fungus appeared to be of a species native to golarion before it vanished. The floor had been cracked in several concentric circles from the massive explosion below it.
As soon as the camera crew had fully set themselves up again after transporting their equipment up to this floor, two dwarves approached from the darkness. Nash was the only person who seemed able to communicate with them, though apparently the discussion did not go well as they quickly attacked us. The fight would have been over far quicker had Nash not activated some form of smoke effect, preventing me from seeing my targets easily enough to fire on them.
When the smoke cleared and the dwarves lay dead, Obozaya and I elected to bury them. We were travelling with flesh eating undead after all. No offence meant to them but not burying the corpses may have caused later diplomatic issues with these particular dwarves. During this time, the rest of the troupe(Nash, Ayeoriun and the camera crew) took a break. The associate producer took Ayeoriun into the booth, though I was too busy to listen in even if I had any inclination to.
Nash was quickly able to ascertain the path the dwarves had taken and was able to lead us onward. The associate producer complained in our earpieces that the ratings were beginning to dip. I suggested they play solitaire in the bottom of the screen if need be, though I am unsure if the volume was detectable in the broadcast.
When we finally arrived at the dwarven city, it was clear there was some issue involving a large building at the back of the settlement. After some quick non verbal analysis from Ayeoriun, we determined that someone was trapped and the dwarves wanted our assistance. At this point I was most glad we had buried the corpses. Had we not, I am certain one of the crew would have been carrying a large chunk of dwarven flesh that could have been recognisable.
The dwarves presented two options; Attempt to displace the rubble, or navigate a narrow fissure that likely lead inside though was flooded. The associate producer once again called for an audience vote. Though Ayeoriun and myself were down the fissure before the results were in asking us to do so. While this was the fastest course of action, I had to almost crawl much of the distance as the passage was only 5 foot tall and I stand near to 7 foot.
Once in the structure properly, we quickly located the only survivor; a dwarven priest trapped underneath a large pile of rubble. Before we were able to extract him, our group was set upon by several oozes at once. We were able to make short work of them however, even with the ten members of the camera crew massing in awkward locations around the chamber.
Once the oozes were destroyed, the four of us easily removed the rubble pinning the dwarf and he scurried off to a nearby room to cast a spell on himself before returning. The dwarf ‘Chief priest Holsin Nolskrit’ explained that his people were on a quest to reach the surface and had to contend with ‘short orcs’, their ancient enemy. Regardless how we tried to explain to him, The chief priest seemed unwilling to understand that those creatures were goblins, and that they were in a simulated environment.
Amidst the chief priest’s ramblings, he informed us that the ‘orcs’ had unleashed some form of toxic gas into a nearby tunnel system. If they were to continue their quest, someone(namely us) would have to clear out the ‘orcs’ in the toxic gas.
After we finally cleared the rubble blocking the entrance and left the structure, the chief priest offered to show us the location of the ‘orcs’ should we wish to help. We agreed but the associate producer then called for a break. It was my turn to be interviewed.
I recognise that what I said could be easily misunderstood but I stand by it. When I am on a mission for the society, the mission is all that matters. I would die if it meant completing a mission, however often my survival is necessary to a mission. All people undertaking deadly missions must feel the same way. This is what I meant by ‘crew expendable’, but [Zo!] and the associate producer did not seem to grasp this.
After the break, the chief priest lead us deep into the gas filled tunnel. When we finally reached a crevice with large stone bridge, we were greeted by a collection of goblins. We engaged in a battle with several goblins, one of which seemed to make use of a handmade powered armor. I will applaud his ingenuity in creating such a device. Had we not killed him, I would have happily discussed the topic with him.
We chose not to bury the goblins, they had not attempted to speak with us before attacking. After harvesting their explosives, we used them to successfully open the large adamantine door at the end of the tunnel. The result from within the adjoining space as well as the announcement by the First Seeker and [Zo!] are public record and of no consequence to this report.
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Mission #12: Codename, "The half alive streets"
I was in the process of finalizing my purchase of an enercycle and exploration buggy from Dentroy’s Enercetics when I received the message from Venture-Captain Arvin. Due to the repeated mentions of the meeting being urgent, I was unable to wait as the proprietor patterned the buggy. He did promise to complete the patterning of the enercycle for me to pick up at my next opportunity. With that organised, I immediately made use of my new vehicle to race to the Lorespire Complex to assist the Venture-Captain.
When I arrived, the venture captain was standing at a table. Seated at the table was the vesk Julzakama. As the venture captain turned to greet me, the elevator opened, allowing my three fellow starfinders for the mission into the reception area. One introduced himself as Shivaali, but I did not care to memorize any particulars about him. If it was necessary, I would take note on future missions. For the moment, the urgent summons distracted me.
The urgency of the meeting appeared to be more an emotional reaction of the venture captain to the vesk than any urgency to the mission. Julzakama had recently come into possession of a high quality biotech augmentation, wrent from combat. He waved the biotech arm almost playfully, an attitude I did not care for. I am aware that this would likely have caused a response from Attara, but I digress. The society had interest in locating and negotiating trade deals with the developer of the advanced biotech augmentations. However the only lead was underhanded dealings within the freemarket, which was to be our first point of call. I agreed to escort Julzakama from the complex as we left, citing the workload the venture-captain had to parse.
We were not permitted to take the buggy into the freemarkets, but it did transport us to the section gate. Upon entering, Ayeoriun immediately enquired at the information kiosk about biotech clinics, to which we were pointed five. Our group split, Obozaya and the recruit were to investigate “The Cytech Clinic” and “Bioboost” while Ayeoriun and myself looked into “Metagenesis” and “Renew-You” before we met up at “Synthathesia”. My personal upgrade, purchased before the previous mission, was purchased and installed at Metagenesis so I was aware of their practices.
Ayeoriun did the talking, though the proprietor did not seem able to help us locate the developer of the prosthetic in question. We next moved to “Renew-You”, arriving moments before Obozaya and the recruit. I almost berated them for changing the plan, but their explanation that local rumors seemed to imply that Renew-You deserved more immediate investigation spared them.
“Renew-You” was closed indefinitely. Several windows were boarded. The group spent an annoying length of time discussing if it was worth our time to break into the building to investigate if it was where the augmentation was installed, and subsequently if it contained any information on the supplier. So long was our discussion, that we were eventually approached by what I first assumed as a Quarterling(though quickly I was informed he was in fact a halfling child).
The child was curious if we were searching for the owners of the closed establishment. After some slight verbal prodding by Ayeoriun, he elaborated that his mother had received an augmentation from the clinic but was at that point extremely ill. Ayeoriun confirmed the child’s suspicions, We were indeed searching for the owners, and we were willing to see if we could help.
The Halfling apartment was in squalid condition. While it could healthily support up to ten halflings, I counted at least twice that number. Many of which were children. One of the adult Halfling’s attempted to stop us, scolding the child for bringing ‘unnecessary help’. Ayeoriun was able to calm the man and convince him to allow me to examine his wife. I was lead to the woman in the back room while Ayeoriun continued his conversation with the husband.
The halfling woman ‘Maija’ tried to explain the situation to me, but I quietened her so I could properly examine her and whatever the augmentation had done to her. I could hear the husband’s explanation in the other room as I worked. The woman had damaged her lungs while working, and against their cultural norms, purchased a respirator compounder to enable her to continue working. They had chosen “Renew-You” after the recommendation of a family friend.
As Ayeoriun continued to interview and comfort the husband, I completed my analysis. The ‘respirator compounder’ was actually a pair of adaptive biochains that were over-expanding in the woman’s lungs. The biochains had been poorly programmed and were growing over healthy tissue and creating large masses of unnecessary cells. I had seen the like before in short examinations of the remains of cybernetic zombies. I was able to stop and even slightly reverse the damage. It was at this point that Ayeoriun entered the room and requested information.
I explained the situation as pointedly as possible, before informing the family of the proper procedure to keep her healthy until a functional replacement could be acquired. I suggested visiting Metagenesis, being confident in their procedures as they had already installed two augmentations in myself. Though I recall noting that I would likely be able to procure the devices myself if they wished to remain discrete, but I could make no promises to that effect. Ayeoriun then volunteered to pay for their replacement, and the family rewarded us by forcing us to take odds and ends that seem far more valuable than one would expect for the living conditions.
Before leaving, Ayeoriun acquired the address of this ‘family friend’ who had recommended Renew-You. I am still unsure if this was as he felt it was our only valid lead, or if he wished for me to assist what was likely to be another injured patient.
I parked the buggy outside the apartment complex. It’s not the most stylish means of travel, but it gives me free arm range to threaten other vehicles with a weapon. We approached the room Ayeoriun had been informed was the residence of the ‘family friend’. It was at this point the recruit asked if we should check the door for any traps, as we were not expected by the occupant. My response was simple; “Yes, Stand back, I’ll do it.” At which point I simply opened the unlocked door. As a bolt of electricity was emitted from the apparently extant trap on the other side, I grabbed the metal door frame in order to direct the energy back out of me. No lasting damage was inflicted on anyone.
The small 10ft square room contained a bed, a computer, and masses of mess. A large pile of sheets sat on the bed, mounded such that it likely hid the unawakened halfling cybernetic zombie. I intentionally ignored the pile; booting the computer in order to search for any further leads as to the source of these augmentations. According to the computer system; the head of Renew-You was a Shirren by the name of “Vrisken”.
After I shut down the computer and began to leave, the sheets moved as the fresh cybernetic zombie arose to attack us. I looked from the halfling to my colleagues and simply stepped out of the room. I leant against the wall opposite with a gun out in case the other three actually needed my assistance. For a moment it was possible they did, but in the end they performed well.
We then rested for a moment before setting off to the last known address of “Vrisken”. Pulling into the street, I noticed that the building in question had two people outside with easily visible augmentations bashing on the door. Rather than slowing to a stop, I simply accelerated and smashed hard into one of the zombies. Running over the creature did not kill it, but did severely weaken it as the others attacked from the buggy’s side.
We were able to quickly dispatch the cybernetic zombies in this manner. I then pulled up a short walk from the building and we proceeded. Not hearing anyone interested in talking, the recruit kicked at the front door. This resulted in gunfire from out of the boarded windows. Another fight. This one took considerably longer as we had to make a serious effort to fire between the slats in order to hit our targets, one of which seemed intent on targeting me with magic missiles.
After a while, of my returning fire with the spellcaster, both our opponents surrendered. They even opened the doors to allow us access to explore the residential warehouse. The male shirren showed us to a box containing a large mount of gel. As he started to explain the situation, I inadvertently deactivated the security measures, and the gel began to attack us.
It was simply a poorly programmed assembly ooze. Of no real danger to our group, it was deactivated quickly. The Shirrens explained that the biotech were created by the ooze from the corpse of one of their friends. The ooze has been submitted along with this report, as it is the creator we were requested to find. I should declare that I have taken a sample of the ooze for my own purposes, and consider this to be my declaration.
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Mission #13: Codename, "In pursuit of the scoured past"
I was hopeful upon arriving at the mission briefing that it was not for another Public Relations or First Contact mission. I was however surprised to note the presence of the Ysoki ‘Royo’ in the meeting room, pacing behind the First Seekers desk. I was joined at the briefing by Ayeoriun, Obozaya, and Quig (who seemed to recognise me from a previous mission). The First Seeker began the briefing by reiterating her announcement made at the end of my seventh mission.
In pursuit of this announcement, we were to gather as much information as possible, which required our transportation to a vault planet; “Athaeum”. Royo interjected at this point to explain that Athaeum was a transitive planet that disappeared and reappeared at a chaos level pattern informed by the magitech hyperengine that is of no importance to this mission. The ‘Curators’ of this planet work tirelessly to ensure that all information stored at its locale was unique in its existance in the universe. I understand that Royo and the First Seeker had to inform the others of this information. However, due to my history with the society, I was well aware of this planet and its purpose.
The android ‘Iteration-177’ had offered to secure the society a brief allowance to the planet in order to locate the information required for the ongoing mission. We were to accompany Royo to the planet, locate the information required, extract it, and leave without aggravating the ‘Curators.’
We met with Iteration-177 at its vessel ‘The Diligent Forerunner’ several hours later. The ship was designed for passenger luxury more than anything else. Including being of a golden hue with vast dark black edging. Once aboard, we were invited to share a dinner with Iteration-177 and his other guests who were also en route to Athaeum. As much as I would have rather sit at the helm, I joined.
The dining room was large with a single long and low dining table surrounded by pillows. Our host directed us to be seated on the pillows alongside the two hellknights that were present upon our arrival. They were introduced to us as ‘Kelria’ and ‘Loomarch’. Shortly after seating themself, Iteration-177 offered each of the group a small device to place on our forehead. These devices were extensions of a device called a ‘pencibiter’, which created psychically generated nutritional supplements from the memories of wearers.
Everyone accepted the offered devices, though the host did not themself use it. Iteration-177 sampled each person’s “Memory wafer”, and we were each offered the chance to try those of the other people at the table. In order to preserve the privacy of my colleagues, I sampled only those ‘wafers’ offered by Royo and the Hellknights. Everyone at the table sampled my wafer however, a fact I found quite strange. Anyone curious of the memory contained should see the end of the report of my eighth mission.
We arrived shortly thereafter at an empty section of space, wherein the planet of Athaeum materialised. A shuttle transported the eight of us to the planet’s surface, I am uncertain if the design and aesthetics of Atheaeum is considered protected information, and so I will not note it here for the safety of the society. Instead I will detail only events and not locations.
Our shuttle was welcomed by three Axiomites, one for each subparty(The Starfinders, The Hellknights, and Iteration-177). Our group’s escort introduced himself as he lead us to a form of planetbound transportation. On the way he explained the simple rules of our visit to the planet.
1) No copying, recording, or stealing the information on the planet.
2) Reproducing any information from the planet thereafter is done at the authors own risk.
3) Do not harm the ‘Curators’.
The exact wording of the second rule was slightly vague and could have implied that descriptions of visuals of the planet or the technology there. It is why I refrain from presenting specific information, and why I will not disclose the name of the Curator who delivered us to a transport.
We were also informed of two side missions, requests of the Curators. If we completed these tasks, the curators agreed to decrease the cost of our visit. Given the societies crippled state, such an offer was not to be refused. The two missions were to 1) return an escaped creature to its pen, and 2) isolate a virus that had corrupted several robotic librarians.
The travel took 10 minutes for us to arrive at the location of the knowledge we sought, as well as the two secondary objectives provided by our guide(who had not accompanied us as the transport was automated). A plethora of plants in the area garnered Royo’s attention, and while I assured him I would enjoy examining them as much as he would, the cost was time based.
Obozaya located a blood trail, which lead up a flight of stairs. Presuming this was the escaped creature, we followed the trail. On the path were several situations that required me to keep Royo beside me in the staircase, so at all times I was between him and the doors to prevent him from moving to investigate something his curiosity had roped him into.
At one floor however, we noticed several of the robotic librarians exhibiting the signs we were told would be indicative of the virus. We had also been informed that the virus was more valuable than the robots themselves, and set upon them.
I kept a considerable distance, but the fight was ended quickly with Obozaya and Quig providing most of the destructive power. When the machines were inoperative, a short discussion arose as to who would attempt to secure the virus from them. It was declared unusual that I was not taking the lead in this case, instead allowing Quig to do the work. Quig noted that he believed I was ‘scared’ the virus would infect me. However this was simply not the case.
Once the virus was secured, we pulled Obozaya from staring stupidly at an exhibit to continue following the trail of blood for several more floors. Once the blood lead us into a small room, we found the creature quite standoffish. As much as the context of the interaction requires details of the creature’s species and reason for its presence on the planet, I must refrain from including these details. That said, Royo provided me with a sampling of a foodstuff he believed the creature would enjoy, which I immediately handed to Ayeoriun.
The lashunta then began to attempt to calm and befriend the creature, I assisted as best I could but I am unsure if I made much of a difference. To the credit of the Starfinder, this was not a pleasing creature to look at, though he made no sign of discomfort as he tended to it. The creature took quickly to Ayeoriun, even licking his cheek to his obvious discomfort. So with the creature in tow, we returned it to its cage before setting off to locate the information we had been sent to find.
We did eventually find the location of the information in question; a Mindmaze situated on a dedicated pedastal. Not trusting Obozaya with the complexities of a mindmaze, Quig and I entered the device in order to locate the information stored within. Until this point, I had been of the impression that Quig was intelligent. However, as we traversed the device, the Ysoki’s advice burnt at our brains and seemed to make the maze far more complicated. It may have been easier and faster for me to enter alone.
At the centre of the maze, the information we sought was presented to us as a holographic display. This information was described to the First Seeker at the debriefing moments before the writing of this document, and Royo was also apparently witness to the scene. As such, it will not be recounted here.
After bearing witness to the information in question, Quig and I were removed from the mind maze. We had begun to listen to Royo’s musings on the ramifications of the information, when a drone arrived and presented a holographic image of the curator who had explained the rules to us. He informed us that the Hellknights had begun attacking books stored at a separate location. If we stopped the Hellknights before the curators arrived, our visitation fee would be waved.
Due to the amount of credits in question, we elected not to ask why our prospective 10 minute travel would be faster than a set of interdimensional creatures that could turn themselves into pure data in order to travel.
With a means to render our previous efforts charity, our group travelled the 10 minutes by foot to the location of the Hellknights. Before entering the room containing the burning books, we instead entered the control room situated above it. In this control room was a single Hellknight who appeared to be waiting for us. Despite the floor beneath him appearing quite fragile, he began throwing grenades out of the room at our group.
I rushed past the Hellknight to get in a position that would be most advantageous when Obozaya closed with our opponent. However that is not what happened. Instead, Quig, either not understanding the risks, or wanting to punish me for a prior transgression, threw a grenade into the room. I had time to quickly inform him of the magnitude of his stupidity before the grenade exploded. The explosion destroyed the floor around the Hellknight and myself, as well as destroying the control console and rendering the fire suppression system inoperable in preventing the fires in the adjoining room.
As a result, the whole room collapsed down into the library below. I was able to quickly kick myself off the floor and landed atop the falling rubble rather than beneath it. I quickly delivered a bullet to the head of the half dead hellknight before threatening to do the same to Quig for his stupidity.
The volume of the situation did not escape the attention of Loomarch and his accompanying hellknight in the room I found myself in. The battle was long and drawn out as we fought among strange cover and fought to prevent more books from being destroyed by a creature literally made of fire. However, the battle was inevitably won moments before the Curators arrived. They tended to our wounds and thanked us for our assistance before we closed the mission and left to be debriefed.
Also, It feels semi cheap that after completing two tasks for the curators with which to decrease the cost of the trip, we’re just told we have to do this other thing that will remove the cost entirely. I feel like it probably would have been better to have someone(Royo or a PC) negotiate this when informed of the situation. But that’s just me.
Mission #14: Codename, “On the Trail of History”
The briefing room used was not one I was familiar with, being a dark room with a Mk7 Holodesk at its centre. Upon my entering, the First Seeker was standing at the head of the table, arms crossed as she appraised a holographic starfield. I stood behind the chair to her right and awaited the arrival of the others. Shivaali returned for this mission, and we were joined by the android “Raia” with whom I had little contact prior.
Our mission was regarding the frozen planet designated “Icefront” in the vast. A lone planet, records showed it to be unclaimed and uninhabited. The mission was to search the planet for any information regarding the scoured stars incident, as the First Seeker was of the impression that the planet contained some form of information due to the information garnered from my prior mission.
Upon the completion of the briefing, as our group was heading to the docks, I downloaded the known specifications on the planet. As I did so, Ykris of CeriCore Labs transmitted an additional file. I suspect CeriCore Labs were tracking access of the planetary files. The additional file included a large amount of information on Frozen Trove Labs. Once aboard the Pegasus, I informed the rest of the group of this detail, which lead to a rather lengthy discussion on the matter. Shivaali began to obsess on the concept of Frozen Trove Labs, and whatever they may be doing on the planet. I meanwhile did not much care, though I did appreciate that corporate espionage was on our side once again.
On the thirteenth day of our journey; Raia, at the science station, reported signs that another vessel was following us. Before she could properly scan the ship, its sensor signature disappeared. This of course prompted Shivaali to move immediately to the guns, certain that we were going to be attacked by a ship crewed by dragons. Eventually we arrived at the destination without any further complications. Upon arriving, Raia immediately scanned the planet for any information missing from the data acquired from Absalom station.
She informed us of a set of strange weather patterns, as well as displaying information on general local flora and fauna and brief civilization details on the dominant humanoid species on the planet; a creature with two sets of arms, capable of using the lower set as additional legs.
During Raia’s scan report, we received a communications request, which I held off until all the information was discussed. Shivaali believed we should answer immediately, stating something about Star Knights not keeping people waiting. When we finally opened communications, we were greeted by a Verthani woman. The woman introduced herself as Doctor Monsylkis, leader of a research laboratory on the southern hemisphere. She informed us that the laboratory was sponsored by the non profit organisation “Winterharvest”. While discussing the flora and fauna shown by our planetary scans with the Doctor, Raia noted another starship exiting the drift in our vicinity.
Obozaya and Shivaali took combat positions, while Raia scanned the approaching vessel. All obtained details are attached in the blueprint document. I find the lack of familiarity of this vessel’s design, and its extremely aggressive nature cause for concern. The society should calibrate long range sensors for further vessels of similar make. Immediately upon leaving the drift, the vessel opened fire. However, I was fast enough to prevent us being in position to suffer a more extreme hit.
Their pilot was not pathetic, and the ships gunners seemed to have full intent to absolutely destroy our vessel. At one point we were struck by their missile, which ejected drones beneath our shielding. After the first couple volleys, Raia moved from Science to Engineering, in order to keep the ship in as good repair as possible while the gunners worked. In order to keep Raia’s focus on the shields, I performed a quick flicking manoeuvre to shake the drones off as the fight continued.
Despite the credit I give the pilot of the opposing vessel, it was defeated. Our curiosity prompted the group to attempt to board the enemy starship. As we decided to approach, the vessel self destructed. Debris was captured and loaded into the Pegasus cargo hold for later analysis.
After the battle, the Doctor resumed contact. She congratulated us on our victory and offered to repair our ship, giving us time to ‘chat’ with her. Considering the damage dealt to the Pegasus, we accepted the offer, though after the communication channel was closed, Shivaali and Raia voiced their concerns that it may be a trap.
Upon landing, our ship was first greeted by a set of Winterborn Ryphorians who eagerly began repairs without speaking to us first. A short distance away stood the doctor, flanked by two other personnel whom she introduced as “Spinjack” a ryphorian who was the lead technician, and “Farvenzi” the dragonkin head of security. The Head of Security appeared to size each of us up, scrutinising us without officially checking. As as result I made sure to several times show the presence of my various smallarms, so she was aware of their presence and that I felt no need to hide them. My associates did seem concerned with concealing their weaponry however.
The doctor began with a tour, showing us each of the main research sectors of the facility. Raia drew my attention at the greenhouses to the fact that the plants were being bioengineered for the production of illegal materials and research. When I brought this to the doctors attention, she appeared surprised by our ‘mistake’, clarifying that no such experimentation was being performed. Shortly thereafter the lead technician suggested to the doctor that we be allowed to examine the planet and the flora ourselves.
I felt it strange that she was so seriously considering his thinly veiled demand, and inquired as to why she was taking the orders of a subordinate. The doctor seemed confused by this remark and continued the tour. In the animal testing laboratory, Raia slunk away to attempt to secretly access the filesystem to check for any sign of Frozen Trove interference(I was later informed that the Lashunta, Shivaali, had requested this telepathically). I did my best to assist her whilst appearing nonchalant. Shivaali and Obozaya distracted the doctor and the associates who had been accompanying us.
After locating and downloading a large number of explicitly illegal files, we returned to the group. Once again the Ryphorian suggest we leave and examine the planet ourselves to prove there is nothing of interest to the society. This time, I agreed. After thanking the doctor for her hospitality, we set out of the facility to examine the local flora and fauna. The Doctor had also provided us with directions to the nearest encampment of the local humanoid creature the researchers called ‘Izalguun’s.
While en route to the encampment, our group discussed our observations of the facility. Shivaali remained convinced that it was run by Frozen Trove, though admitted it unlikely the doctor was actually aware of this.
After a significant distance from the facility, our group heard the sounds of battle ahead, and rushed to assist. We found three of the Izalguuns, facing three megafauna. Our group split immediately; Obozaya, Raia, and Shivaali began attacking the megafauna closest to us, whilst I moved away to engage with the two furthest from where our group arrived. The Izalguun wore simple leather armours and fought with spears. When one of the Izalguun fell to its knees due to a large swipe, I moved between it and the megafauna.
My logic was simple, regardless of the technological advancement of this civilisation, this was the societies first contact with them. The Pact Worlds had already had a negative first introduction with the existence of the Frozen Trove facility and its research, so a sign of differentiation from the other group, and a good first impression was necessary.
After the megafauna were slain, and the wounded Izalguun stabilised, more Izalguun arrived. Thinking quickly, Raia cast Comprehend Languages in order to facilitate communication with the new arrivals. In thanks for our assistance, the hunting party escorted us to their encampment.
The Izalguun civilisation is little above the start of agricultural science, with crude spears and simple leatherworking. The creatures make use of healing shamans and in general are a simple and by no means starfaring society. They were however aware that the ‘foreign village’ was poisoning the local flora, creating a dependency in all creatures that ate the plants in question. We did our best to explain our mission while Raia was able to understand them(but not the other way around).
Eventually an agreement was made, if we could force the researchers to leave, the Izalguuns would endeavour to assist us in whatever way was possible given their level of advancement. We were encouraged to rest at the camp before returning. I took this moment to analyse their level of technology and social structure. Shivaali approached me several minutes into the ‘break’, explaining between heavy breaths that the Izalguun had a sport he felt I would excel at. I would have considered participating, however upon glancing over, the group in question appeared to be packing up their supplies.
As we approached the facility on our return, a ryphorian technician waved to us from the nearby weather spire. He informed us that the doctor was located on site and wished to speak to us immediately. Our group exchanged glances, all well aware I expect that it was a trap set by Frozen Trove to end our interference and blame it on the Izalguun. With this expectation, we walked knowingly into said trap.
When we entered the walled section, I immediately drew both pistols and began firing on the hidden security personnel. It took several seconds for the others to react, drawing their weapons and engaging in the ambush. A large amount of scaffolding covered much of the central tower, which Raia used for cover. Shivaali and Obozaya took cover behind several generators. I however climbed the ladders in order to flush the enemy from their cover, while forcing them to engage me. I was able to avoid much of the fire, while pinning and severely hurting the ryphorians.
And then the Lead Technician and Head of Security arrived. The Dragonkin landed near me, seeking to engage me directly, while the ryphorian hovered using a jetpack to fight the others. Thankfully Obozaya attempted to assist me, the others were far too busy. The fight very quickly turned against us. I was forced to engage my holographic clones when Obozaya was felled, and Raia was knocked unconscious by a shot close to her head.
At this point, I moved out of the walled section and toward the forest. Shivaali seemed to believe I was abandoning him to his death, calling me a coward as I moved away. The Ryphorian seemed to decide that the Lashunta was of little consequence and joined the Dragonkin in following me. I was able to continue to move to positions that granted me significant cover from my flying opponent, while creating technological distractions as I fired at the Head of Security. I had to keep moving or they would be able to unload a full barrage on me, a situation I would not survive.
After almost a minute of kiting the Head of Security around the edge of the forest, I eventually killed her and turned my full attention on the Ryphorian.
When I reached the tower, and pulled my injured allies to safety, the doctor arrived with a contingent of engineers. As my allies began to rouse, I explained the situation to the doctor. She was stubborn and refused to believe me. However, with the assistance of; 1) The CeriCore Labs intel on Frozen Trove’s activity on the planet, 2) The records of illegal experimentation in her facility, and 3) The illegality of performing any form of such experimentation on a planet with a native civilisation, I was able to eventually bully her into agreeing to leave. Though a small fee was required in order to compensate her the cost of packing her supplies.
We took a moment to return to the Izalguun encampment, where we explained that the researchers were leaving. We then gifted them a means by which to contact us should they find what we came looking for, and left.
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Mission #15: Codename “Star Sugar Heartlove”
Submitted codename “Personal Hell”
I found myself strapped in unusually tight to the seat aboard the shuttlecraft headed for Songbird Station. None of the other five occupants suffered the same level of restriction, likely due to my stating to Obozaya at the start of the journey that given the destination I would be likely to jettison myself into space halfway. We were accompanied by Exoguardians Faction Leader Zigvigix(who continues to insist I call him “Ziggy” or “Zigvigix” rather than “Faction Leader”) and Dataphiles Faction Leader Historia-7.
Our group of five had been invited by the Exoguardians Faction Leader, who did not wish a set of tickets he possessed to go to waste. Apparently his logic for including myself in the group was that I stood in line for six hours in order to purchase an album. It appears to have escaped his recollection that this was at his request. The Dataphiles Faction Leader remained quiet and reserved on the journey, only speaking when her associate left the seating cabin to pilot the shuttle into docking.
The Faction leader took the moment without her associate to explain a mission to us. A human man ‘Hira Lanzio’ was to be located on Songbird station during the period of the Strawberry Machine Cake concert. She believed him to be connected to a corporate conspiracy regarding the Scoured Stars and requested we take a moment from ‘enjoying’ the concert to retrieve him for her interrogation.
Upon arriving at the station and disembarking the shuttle, our group of four noticed a ‘security’ officer ‘checking weapons’ though he did not seem much impressed by the attitudes being directed at him. We stopped to speak to this man first. The officer’s uniform showed his name to be ‘Wilson’. I explained to the officer that my attendance at the event was as additional security, though I would be willing to hand over my weapons if necessary. I was subsequently embraced by this strange, crying human man. When he eventually pulled himself away, he chose not to take our weapons, instead providing each of us a fusion seal for use with one weapon. As I possessed several weapons, I did not bring attention to this, so I could choose whether to make use of the fusion or not without stress.
When the officer directed us to move on, we enquired if he was aware of the location of ‘Hira Lanzio’. Officer Wilson then informed us of the targets address in the housing section of the station, as well as provided us with instructions on how to reach the area in question.
En route to the housing district, our group interacted with large segments of the crowd. This included carrying children around and being forced to dance in order to slip past a section of the crowd that refused to let anyone pass without dancing. My dancing was insulted after passing through the space when I and Keskodai were provided a piece of the bands merchandise. I am unsure of Keskodai’s plans for it, but I intended to gift it to the Exoguardians Faction Leader to save him paying for one of his own.
According to the station plans for the resort room the Officer informed us was the location of Hira Lanzio, the building had two doors. In order to prevent him escaping, our group split into two pairs; Myself and Raia went to one door, Obozaya and Keskodai took the other. After unlocking the doors, Obozaya and I co-ordinated our entrances, opening and immediately moving in toward Lanzio.
Upon our entry, the human began rapidly typing at his computer while directing his security robot to attack us. While my companions dealt with the robot, I placed the fusion gun to the human’s head, directing him away from the terminal. While I disabled the self-destruct protocol of the terminal, I informed the human that I was unsure if the fusion seal recently applied to the weapon would work so quickly when most did not. After suggesting he not risk finding out, the rest of the group subdued the robot and were able to properly restrain him.
I was unable to extract any information from the computer, as most was reformatted. As such, our group delivered it along with Lanzio to the faction leader waiting aboard the shuttle. Once off the shuttle, we were contacted by the Exoguardians faction leader. He claimed to have somehow wandered into a hallway, which the other faction leader subsequently locked him in. He had been intending to investigate the source of several power concerns on the station. As a result, he requested we look into the matter for him.
Very little distracted me on the way to the Reactor section, security in this regard appeared to be entirely absent until we arrived at the reactor room. Several Fey creatures known as ‘Hespers’ were guarding the main control room. A short altercation ensued whilst we attempted to ascertain the problem. A foreign magical code had been introduced to the reactor. While unable to decrypt the intention of the code, I was able to extract a sample. With the code on my society insignia, we left the room having ignored the Hespers attacks long enough.
While the Dataphiles Faction Leader set about decrypting the data we’d retrieved, I took over the interrogation and our allies ‘enjoyed’ the concert. I was eventually informed that the code was a magical virus, which threatened to destroy the station unless stopped. Due to its magical nature, and the nature of the holoprojectors used in the concert, the virus could be represented as a holographic entity. If this holographic entity was slain, it would destroy the virus.
For this to work, the band would have to cooperate. As such, our group located the band’s manager. The manager was willing to allow this, though he demanded we turn it into a stage performance. After agreeing, we were forced to choose from a number of humiliating holoskins. Subsequently I have been attempting to locate and scrub all imagery of my attendance in one of these holoskins. The task still proves fruitless.
We were led on stage before the holographic virus creature was created. The virus manifested very similarly to a T5 Lgk Mk11 Mecha, with red decal. While the somewhat long and exceptionally colourful combat is very much a matter of public record, I would like to note I found it strange that one of the band members (I have since been informed their monikor is ‘Bone’) had a 24 second long musical solo, which persisted for most of the combat and reinforced our holoskin’s energy resistances.
In the aftermath, Faction Leader Zigvigix’s holographic representations of several missing starfinders were displayed for the crowd alongside the living starfinders on stage. I do not much appreciate being treated as promotional material. However I have since gathered public records of this moment in order to properly research the holographically represented starfinders.
Mission #16: Codename, "Save the Renkrodas"
We were invited by Acquisitives Faction Leader Radaszam to a gala on Ukulam, I am uncertain why he waited until more than halfway through a boat ride to the continent to explain the situation to us. Anyone who had come this far certainly already knew of the gala, the danger to Renkrodas, the Esowath Conservancy, and that this was yet another PR mission that involved me for some unknown reason.
The Faction Leader and myself were joined by a crew that showed both better and worse judgement in choosing my attendance: Ayeoriun would be a perfect fit for a PR mission. Meanwhile, the drug addled whining, self-sorry janitor was furthest from what I would expect. And after enduring a mission with his dull self-coddling, I very much do not wish to be associated with this ‘agent’ again.
The gala in question was a small affair, fewer participants than many other gala’s, but enough to qualify. A small kiosk awaited if any of us wished to submit our particularly large equipment, to my knowledge no-one did so.
No sooner were we given free run to mingle, did the addict hurry over to the bar to indulge himself. I am unaware of Ayeoriun or Obozaya’s activities, as I crossed the galaspace entirely to investigate a caged feathered Renkroda on the other side.
The cage was high security, with holographic ivy covering it to create a more natural appearance while maintaining structural integrity and concealing weaknesses. After reaching my hand into the cage, I was approached by a Kasatha woman by the name of “Muldoi” who claimed to be head of security. Our brief discussion was interrupted when she received a phone call and stepped aside.
Just prior to the Head of Security’s return, the Faction Leader called our group to order us to meet him at the Renkroda cage. When he arrived he appeared slightly exasperated at my habit of arriving at meetings well before the agreed time.
When the four of us had assembled, the Faction Leader and Head of Security explained that a member of the security force had gone radio silent and a section of the security field was malfunctioning. The Faction Leader had volunteered us to resolve the issue(despite assuring us that our presence as security would not be needed due to the amount of security present).
It did not take long to reach the malfunctioning perimeter generator. The device was heavily damaged, likely as a result of the firefight that killed the two corpses nearby. One of the corpses was at that moment being devoured by a collection of small native wildlife. When the creatures leapt upon us instead, a short battle ensued. I took the opportunity to make the best use of my new Dragon Gland personal upgrade to harm as many at once as possible.
In this fight was the first and potentially only useful moment the addict participated in. Like Altronus, this shaking pile of self pity could utilise cosmic energies, and appeared to prefer the shadow to the light.
After a cursory examination of the perimeter generator, I determined it would be too difficult to field repair. Our attempts to contact the Faction Leader to report the situation resulted in no response. Our group agreed to return and report only after examining the bodies to more thoroughly complete the ‘mission’. On the half devoured body we found a small device which I took a moment to examine(At Ayeoriun’s behest). The device was a low grade, custom built transducer, likely intended for mental control.
With our findings, we headed back toward the gala. We were intercepted however, by the Faction Leader and the Head of Security. They explained that a group of terrorists had attacked and taken control of the gala. The Faction Leader specifically used the term “Eco-Terrorists”, however I feel that to be unnecessary. Terrorists are terrorists.
A plan was explained to us that our group should commandeer some vehicles in order to race to a control post in order to call for reinforcements. The addict spent much of the conversation being infuriatingly insubordinate, almost interrogating the faction leader as to how many terrorists there was, where they were, how heavily armed. He could not see the purpose in such a large detour when time is of the essence in any hostage situation. I, annoyingly, found myself agreeing with him. However the choice was not ours to make.
Refusing to go along with the orders, the addict stormed off toward the gala. Due to the occurrences later, I have no option but to suspect he spent most of the time sitting under a tree in a pesh haze.
With the vehicles acquired, it did not take overly long to reach the outpost. Inside, the monitors displayed a broadcast by the terrorists, calling for the eradication of technology from the continent of Ukulam. Each hour that technology remained, the terrorists threatened to execute a hostage. Either the terrorist leader was an absolute idiot, or he did not intend to let any of the hostages go; as his own technology would count, and without it he could not speak down to the rest of the continent on live broadcasts.
It was at this moment that the Faction Leader had the brilliant idea to side with what the drug addled fortune-teller was saying earlier. Our remaining group was to locate and free the Feathered Renkroda, before storming the gala and executing the terrorists.
With Obozaya and I in one vehicle, and Ayeoriun in the other, we took to the forest to locate the renkroda “Vossi”. It took a few seconds for us to catch up to it as it was being ridden by two of the terrorists. Ayeoriun moved in behind the creature, as I moved around in front, pinning it and forcing the creature to slow to a walk.
Once the creature was stopped, we circled in the vehicles. I continued to fire at the riders, as Obozaya fired the merciful weapon on the Renkroda. The terrorists were not a very difficult fight, falling easily. Once the Renkroda was unconcious, I examined why they were able to control it so easily. Implanted in the base of the creatures neck was another of the strange transducer’s from the terrorist that was being eaten earlier. I simply cut the small leg devices helping pin it to the creature’s skin, grabbed the device and pulled it out whilst twisting to avoid damage.
We were still within range to contact the faction leader at this point. We explained our success and that I intended to simply drive the vehicle in and utilise it as a weapon as long as possible. When the faction leader suggested I might harm a hostage doing so, I was offended but explained that I would be more cautious than that. When informed that the terrorists may simply open fire on the hostages; my response was that the vehicle would be the fastest way to stop that.
However, I was overruled and our group was forced to approach the gala on foot.
While the others attempted to sneak in in various ways, I simply walked in. Drew two pistols on approach and simply open fire the moment any of the terrorists were in range. They seemed to be more preoccupied with my audacity than my appearance. Not a single shot was fired at the hostages, and the terrorists were felled quickly.
Mission #17: codename "reclaiming the time-lost tear"
Upon entering the meeting hall, I noticed the Izalguun seated beside the first seeker. While I did not recognize the individual, she seemed to know me. The first seeker introduced myself and "Ulyapses" and we awaited the arrival of the other starfinders to begin the briefing.
After the others finally arrived and took their places around the room, Ulyapses explained the mission at hand. After landing on the planet we first encountered them on, the Izalguun designated a moon in the local star system as a vault to secure unwanted technologies they couldn’t risk leaving on the planet but that they did not wish to examine nor destroy. This Izalguun contact had been given permission to present the Starfinder society with this information.
On this moon was located a device believed to be similar to what is generating the Godshield around the scoured stars. As such, our group was to travel to the moon and retrieve this item. We were given the co-ordinates, a description of what the object looked like, and the permission of the Izalguun people to take the item once it is located.
The travel to the Izalguun star system, and the moon in question, was fast and uneventful. Keskodai attempted to engage myself in conversation several times. Ignoring him appears to be the most reliable way to have him back away.
Several bunker entrances pockmarked the surface of the moon. After landing beside the entrance designated as the one housing the artifact, our group set off. It was close to an hours walk down a winding staircase to the first problem we encountered. The door into the storage area proper, was across a fairly wide pit. The depth of the pit and the pile of objects(and debris from a bridge below) made the prospect of falling in highly uninviting.
After an extended discussion of our capabilities, we were able to eventually get one of our number across the pit to the door. I am uncertain who it was, but they had to return quickly as upon attempting to open the door, turrets in the sides of the chamber extended and opened fire. We spent considerable time simply waiting as the turrets exhausted their ammunition while we stood further along the staircase, outside of range.
Once the turrets had clearly expended their reserves, we resumed our entrance attempt. When the door was finally opened, my radiation badge sounded an alarm and I called for the door to be closed once again. However, even with the door closed, the radiation persisted. As such our only option was to press on regardless of the radiation. Keskodai suggested retreat, but that would involve failing the mission.
It was difficult for all four of our group to achieve, but we were able to climb around the wall to the door. The doorway opened onto a small hallway with a door leading to the left and one to the right. A storage locker of some form stood at the far end. Ayeoriun quickly searched the locker, though he did not find the artifact in question. He did however present several plastic toys typically given to expectant mothers for their infant children. We agreed to bring the objects with us to return to the Izalguun, as they did not appear to fit the criteria of what was to be stored at this location.
With the door on the right being partially destroyed, we surmised that it was the best location to investigate first. The staircase it opened onto was partially flooded. The room thereafter included its own river, leading from under another nearby. In the center of the room was a large animal nest, that upon investigation contained several feathers and shedded amphibian skin. It was at this point that Keskodai and Ayeoriun both reported a strange ill sensation they blamed on the unknown radiation form. Obozaya and I remained unaffected.
We studied the biomatter in the nest, my own scans detailing that both shedded items; the feathers and the skin, contained large portions of Izalguun DNA sequences. We at this point decided to leave the items there, in case they were artifacts we did not have permission to take. The next course of action was to open the door from which the water flowed. The space beyond was a small bathroom with a bath continuing to run. Examining the water revealed an Izalguun corpse. It was clear to all present that the Izalguun had been murdered and left in the water, particularly due to the signs of blunt force trauma to the back of the skull.
Deciding that this was a dead end, our group moved back to the entry hallway and through the unexplored door. The large room beyond was, like the pit, carpeted with technological scrap. The room included two further doors, one was obscured by a mound of the scrap, while the other had clearly experienced a structural collapse. The room also contained a large mainframe, though it was in disrepair.
Obozaya and Keskodai set about moving the rubbish from in front of the door. Meanwhile, Ayeoriun and myself took to using the available scrap to repair the mainframe. After a considerable amount of time, Ayeoriun and Keskodai appeared to have trouble remembering instructions and seemed distracted while they continued to complain about the radiation. Obozaya at this point added her own ill sensations. For my part I remained unaffected.
After returning power to the mainframe, I was able to identify the names of the two custodians; ‘Ralveen’ and ‘Prima’. I explained to the others that I was going to examine any uncorrupted data for the potential location of the artifact.
After watching several of Ralveen’s personal logs, a secret door elsewhere in the room opened, and several Izalguun style security sentries entered the room to kill us. The fight would have passed considerably faster, had Keskodai not dropped a large smoke field. At this point I had already discerned that the radiation was affecting their brains. Ralveen’s logs however mentioned a cure to the effects. Were we to leave now for their health, it would prove worse for them.
At this point I made a judgement some will consider ill advised; I pressed on to review Prima’s logs, rather than search for Ralveen’s cure immediately. My reasoning was simple; Ralveen claimed the cure would cleanse all symptoms from any stage of the poisoning. If Prima knew the location, it would allow us a higher chance of finding any still existing copies. Otherwise we may not find the cure at all and my allies would progress to the furthest part of the sickness.
Prima’s logs held considerable personal information I will not reproduce here. However she did note that she planned to destroy the cure in the trash compactor. There was the chance some may have survived. For the sake of the memories of the fallen, I downloaded Ralveen and Prima’s logs to my insignia, to present to the Izalguun representative if they showed interest.
At the behest of my allies, we moved to rest in the room exposed by the secret door. Here we charged our powered devices while they recuperated. At some point following, Keskodai began to develop slight downing, I distinctly remember Ayeoriun presenting some form of symptoms as well but as it was in passing I do not recall too clearly what the symptom was. Obozaya at this point also began showing signs of mental degradation, though I still had no symptoms at all. I had begun to believe that I was in fact immune due to my nature.
After finally getting through the door that had originally been concealed by a pile of scrap, we could easily hear a conveyor belt in a second adjoining room. Upon reaching the room with the conveyor belt, we easily spotted a crate sitting between two tracks of the moving belt. Given my physical speed, and the impeded nature of my allies, I volunteered to venture out to gather the crate in case it contained the cures.
The belt moved at half my normal walking pace and so posed no issue. A hatch at one point opened, though I was able to easily sidestep it and reach the crate. After picking up the crate, the belt moved me so close to the edge that had I misjudged my placement, I would have easily been thrown into the trash compactor. Thankfully I was able to simply walk back to the beginning and distribute the cure to my allies.
With the cures distributed, we descended to the lower level of the complex to continue our search. Prima’s final log implied through a roundabout fashion, that the artifact would be on the lower level. On the lower level, we easily disabled a pair of potentially dangerous industrial robotic arms, before passing through he room to the location that proved to contain the artifact in question.
In this room, which had become quite swamp-like from the overflow of water leaking from a crack that likely traced its way back to the nest room on the upper level, we were set upon by several frog-like izalguun creatures. I use the term creatures here as they presented no sign of sapience. We also possessed enough doses of the cure to potentially cure these creatures but did not capitalize on the option. I feel the need to defend our decision in this matter; In my opinion at least, the logs showed that Prima had been quite willing to proceed with the transformation, as such curing her may be considered a violation of her personal rights. Additionally, the children were likely born in their current form. There was no guarantee the cure would work on them, nor what their quality of life or cognizance would be if it did work.
To Prima’s credit, the battle was quite difficult, but we did eventually win. About halfway through this battle, I began to feel slightly dizzy. My additional sensory symptoms matched those described by the others at the start of infection. With time limited, I took the initiative to cross the swamp-like chamber to collect the artifact that we could leave.
Mission #18, Codename: “To conquer the dragon”
The meeting room was to be expected given who had sent the mission call. The few times I had worked with Venture-Captain Naiaj she had used the holographic logistics meeting room. I simply stood at my seat while the Venture-Captain continued her work. We waited silently for the others, a group of starfinders with more missions under their belts than I, to arrive.
The mission was, yet again, public relations on behalf of the society. This time was to take place at the new society lodge on Triaxus; we were to put the society’s best foot forward. While I had begun my normal internal dialogue about not understanding being sent on a Public Relations mission, the Venture-Captain noted the societies track record with gala missions and that it was her intention to send combat capable starfinders specifically in case of unforeseen complications.
It was at this point that the venture-captain asked which starship class we’d prefer to take, and why. She specifically requested a rationale, which I believe I gave adequately; “The Pegasus class. In all ways the superior starship, with the specific exception of a case where a large number of ships are required to bombard a known stationary vessel with low to moderate armaments. It also carries the public perception of being a more exploration and diplomatically oriented vessel, thus presenting less of an antagonistic front.”
I am aware that my bias is known amongst the society, but do not care. The venture-captain herself also bares a fairly well known tendency, in that she will often spend her own funds to purchase healing or security items for use by the teams she sends on missions. It is for this, quite logical I believe, reason that I have tendered a suggestion that all mission funds include a designated allotment for the expenditure of defences or healing. This should hypothetically mean less effort and personal expense on the behalf of several venture-captains.
The journey aboard the pegasus took only a day, with little of interest. At Keskodai’s insistence we did stop partway to enquire of a vessel that appeared to be adrift and powerless. This vessel, the “Void Scholar” was simply running analysis on data they had recently gathered. The person in charge noted their intention to share the information gathered with the society upon the completion of the analysis. It is likely this has already occurred by the time of the submission of this report.
We landed in bay 38C of the Cumo spaceport, which had been prebooked and prepaid for our arrival. Three of our company disembarked as normal, while I unloaded my enercycle from the starship and rounded the ship to meet with them. At this point, Navasi informed me they had discovered the location of the new lodge from the people in the surrounding area. I was handed a small brass cylinder with a collection of shards of metal and asked to stow it in case it was required later. Unsure what the object was for, I agreed and we set off to the lodge.
The starfinder lodge in Cumo, Triaxus, is in my opinion, perhaps slightly ostentatious for being the first such lodge on that planet. Heavily stylised, and sporting local biome-containment and weather manipulation. For reasons explained later, I would suggest a decent portion of this self-contained environment be built underground in future, if possible. Something akin to a geode-like terrarium for example.
Upon our arrival at the lodge we were approached by the Lodge Director; Zafeldrin, a friend of the venture-captain who had sent us. The Lodge Director was personable and highly intelligent, though seemed disappointed that we had not properly analysed the cylinder we were given. The cylinder apparently included the coordinates of the lodge, something I would have been able to discern had I not been under the false assumption that the item belonged to one of my associates.
The Lodge Director promised to present us with all information we would require on the expected guests of the gala, as well as time to scout the area for potential risk factors before the event started. We were directed to a collection of datapads which apparently held the information, though he did not inform us the data was encrypted. I suspect this was some form of test.
Upon my noting to my companions that the data was encrypted, they spread out to attempt to locate any clues to assist me in decrypting the information. While they left me alone, I accessed the datapad’s basic factory analysis mode, scanned the system for all cryptographic cypher markers. Linked the files and performed a simple recursive trigger examination of the hash’s of each file. I had decrypted the files long before any of them returned to offer some advice.
I admit that the Lodge Director seemed strangely disheartened that I was able to decrypt the files. He explained that he may have “overemphasised” the society’s recent exploits. As such, it was our task to verify his lies, while at the same time keeping an eye out for security risks such as uninvited guests or foreign technology being left behind.
Given that Obozaya and Navasi didn’t much care to entertain the gala guests, leaving Keskodai and myself to shoulder the responsibility. I much would have preferred working security, but had to appease myself with simply memorising the faces on the guest-list before the gala was to begin.
The Lodge Director had requested we wear our combat gear to the gala, to show us as “rugged and adventurous”. With that in mind, ten minutes before the guests began to arrive, I mounted my enercycle and left the lodge. I returned, intentionally fast and slightly showy, halfway through the guests arrival. After driving directly into the lodge, I parked the enercycle by the entrance and joined security in screening the guests as they entered before the gala began properly.
Once the gala had begun, I regretfully joined with the guests to ‘mingle’. The first guest of importance I was asked to converse with, was a male gnome by the name of “Jaxter”. The gnome seemed quite interested in the society’s explorations of the vast and the materials discovered in such travels. I showed him the poisonous crystal I gathered from a previous mission. I gave the small man a means to contact me, such that we could discuss the selling of certain things I may find on trips into the vast. I have been spending a large amount of time out of the system recently.
My next mark was a Cumo city councilman by the name of “Tefarian Mel” whom the Lodge Director suspected of being a spy or having some overtly negative agenda regarding the society’s presence on Triaxus. After speaking to him for a while I found him to be obtuse, annoying, and far too eager to find faults. I decided he was not worth my effort and simply located Navasi, at which point she and I traded tasks.
Once aside, Obozaya showed me a device she had found, and another that Navasi had found. These items appeared to be signal transponders, a fact Obozaya informed me an engineer had already told her. Together we scoured the lodge to locate more and destroy them before any transmissions could be made.
The Lodge Director contacted each of our group via an open comms channel, in which he informed us that hackers had recently gained access to the computer system and were transmitting copies of data contained therein. If the data was sold to an unscrupulous company, it may cause serious issues for the society. It was at this point we heard the Lodge Director receive a transmission seconds before the lodge was attacked by a heavy orbital bombardment. Thankfully the bombardment was not very accurate. I sustained some slight shrapnel cuts but nothing extreme.
Unwilling to wait for orders, I grabbed Obozaya and pulled her aboard my enercycle before speeding out of the gala. By the time we arrived at the spaceport, several mechanics had begun to move to our ship from others in order to do a fast inspection. Obozaya and I loaded the enercycle and immediately started the ships engine. The Vesk sat in the gunnery seat while I took helm. I had to make a quick detour, performing a sidestair swallow to collect our two compatriots while Obozaya fired into space at the general source of the bombardment.
As I was closing the boarding stairs after everyone was aboard, the ship received a communication from the attacking vessel. A white dragon woman seemed enraged and horrified that we were alive. She provided an ultimatum, either we fight her and give her the satisfaction of killing me specifically, or we remain on the planet and she would begin bombardments at other society lodges.
I was unclear why she wanted to fight me specifically, but told her that if that’s how she chose to die, I was willing to oblige. Keskodai suggested she was part of the Frozen Trove, the dragoncorp in charge of the research station in my 14th mission. I didn’t feel it mattered while she was attacking the lodge.
About 30 seconds into the engagement with the hostile starship, I shouted at the others why no-one was fixing the engine, only to be informed that despite their having been on more missions than myself, none had thought to ever learn how to fix a damn starship engine or the associated shields. As such, I was forced to yield the helm to Keskodai in order to restore the shields in order for us to more than tie the opposing vessel.
About a minute later, with the dragon’s ship nearly destroyed, we watched as she redirected her orbit and intentionally crashed the ship into a mountain range on the planet. With the shields properly restored, I relieved Keskodai of duty in order to safely land the ship as close to the crash as possible.
The closest safe landing position was an hours walk from the crash, in what appeared to be a low tier blizzard. In order to expedite our mission, we unloaded my Exploration buggy and used it to close the distance far faster. The trail or wreckage and debris was easy to follow, and lead our group to a large portion of the starship. The “chunk” obviously was the section that held both the bridge, and the power core. However, given it’s position and damage, there was a good chance the power core was in the process of an overload.
However, I estimated roughly three hours until any form of detonation, which left us plenty of time in order to sweep the ship and remove any hostiles along the way. Lights, Surveillance, and Environmental protection still functioned within the small section of the starship. A corpse just inside the entry attracted our attention. I was forced to be the one to investigate the corpse and the storeroom it was attempting to enter.
Several diamonds, which lay upon the floor near a crate, began to vibrate at my approach. After a few seconds, they detonated. The explosion ignited the oil on the floor around the entry. However, I was able to quickly use part of the corpse as a shield from the explosion while also twisting it beneath me to prevent the fire harming me. The rest of the group infused some healing serums before we continued.
The Power Core chamber was easy to locate after that and upon opening the doors, I was quickly proven correct as large plasma arcs discharged from the power core. Two crewmembers were in this room, likely attempting to repair the core. Upon seeing us they opened fire. It appeared that each time the plasma arced during the battle, it struck near those two. As a result, our group did not take much damage as we fought from seperate areas of the room. Once they were dead, the rest of the team filed out of the room all nice and respectfully, and promptly sealed me in to fix the core.
It would be impossible to fix the powercore. However I was able to disarm the overload and cool the device down so it could continue to function, albeit with difficulty. I said nothing to the rest of the crew after releasing myself from the chamber. We decided to examine the remaining rooms before attempting to descend into the storm toward the hanging bridge. One door, I opened as the crew were examining another room nearby. A rush of air shot past me into the room as a wave of heat built up in a roll toward me. The moment the backblast began to build, I resealed the door so as to avoid being roasted alive.
With the main section of the ship cleared, the group began to discuss how to descend to the bridge. I was able to hack a hovercraft in a nearby storeroom and manoeuvre it around the ship outside, over a cliff, in a storm, to an area where the others could climb aboard easily. Due to my scraping the side of the craft against the cliff because of the rough weather, Navasi saw fit to tease me. I shrugged and offered to let her drive, since I was quite capable of simply climbing down the side of the cliff.
With everyone aboard, I directed the vessel back out into the storm and down to a large hole blown in the side of the bridge.
We disembarked into the bridge, walking on control panels and chairs given the unorthodox angle. A large, quite obvious hologram of a white dragon lay atop some of the consoles, while a strange pulsing of snow in a nearby pile was too small to be a dragon the size of the hologram. We set about attempting to locate a harddrive that contained the information in question when the back door to the bridge opened and the dragon descended on us.
I will admit to being rather underwhelmed. This dragon, despite being eager to kill me, could not strike me. Though that may be because I climbed up the floor into the room it itself had descended from. She was not intimidating in the slightest. Perhaps if she had been more calm and reserved, but she simply struck me as a screaming toddler who had not gotten her way. Several times she because invisible(or near to) and fled from the bridge before returning to attack us again.
In all, I found her actions to be cowardly, childish, and pathetic. However, if Lodge Director Zafeldrin asks how it was to fight another dragon, I will likely lie in order to spare him believing that I believe his species to be less than they are.
Also, it appears we have lost the location of the wreckage. There is a very low chance it’ll be found again given the locational transmitter was destroyed in our battle. I congratulate whatever pirate finds the vessel and strips it for potentially usable parts.
For example; Atlas-1 and Obozaya were logically able to reach the starship and fire back at the bombarding vessel faster than a group without any vehicles would have. It would have been nice to get up into starship combat and be told that the enemy ships shields look slightly damaged.
Or when travelling to the wreckage, officially it takes an hour and you have 4 hours after it crashes before it explodes. It might be cool if it actually takes two and a half hours to explode, but a vehicle gets you there much faster, removing the potentially terrifying time limit sequence(and potential explosion mission-fail)
But I logically only suggest these because Atlas-1 has two vehicles and I feel like it would be fun if more scenarios recognised that as a possibility.
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Mission #19 problem: When it comes to writing these, I've been reading the associated PDFs, as well as talking to the players who were there, to get as much right as I can. The problem is, Mission #19 is "1-99; The Scoured Stars Invasion" Which I played a Paizocon Asia-Pacific with a group that is distinctly not my group.
I have been unable to find any of the people who were in that with me, and obviously I can't get a pdf of 1-99. As such, it might just work out for me to say that the report has been misfiled or lost, until such time as I can get into a situation where I can write it.
Mission #20: And this one is "1-23; Return to Sender" which the scenario specifically calls "Off-the books". As such, given his personality as shown so far, I don't feel it would fit Atlas-1 to write and submit a "mission report" on this.
As such, I'll pick up with #21 in several weeks. #19 and #20 will both be "Scoured Stars Invasion", one for the first half, the other for the second I think.
#21 "1-27 King Xeros of Star Azlant" coming later this week.
#22 "1-29 Honorbound Emissaries" coming some time next week.
Just want to make a note regarding 1-28("It rests beneath"), which I ran. I know this is more a place for my recaps of sessions, but I just wanted to note that I found it quite amusing(and sad) that the first scenario I've seen in a while that has a allowance for PC vehicles is one that Atlas-1 was too high level for.
I did quite enjoy the way vehicles were allowed to be used, but not required, in 1-28("It rests beneath"), it made for a nice bit of player freedom that I'd love to see more of.
|⦵ Sean Castor Venture-Agent, Virginia—Portsmouth aka Pogiforce|
Ooc: just a note, even though I'm responding to something from December, but I didn't see if you had gotten a correct answer as dracomicron muscharacterized chronicle sheet items. Items on the chronicle sheet are not "always available", rather their availability is more relaxed compared to other items.
Items from Core Rulebook:
Availability up to Character Level +1
Items from other source books;
Availability up to Character Level
Items on an earned Chronicle Sheet:
Availability up to Character Level +2
So if for example you have an item on a chronicle sheet that is level 5, but you are level 2, you cannot buy that item yet even if you have the credits. You will have to wait until 3rd level.
I like this idea, and honestly would like to do a journal of my own, though I'm not sure which character I would do, as all my current characters have been adventuring for some time now, and I would not be able to retroactively recall their party composition or thought processes.
Mission #21. Codename: "King Xeroes of Star Azlant"
The mission briefing in question was in Hanger 18 of the Lorespire complex’s hanger bay. Venture-Captain Naiaj had spoken to myself privately on my arrival beforehand to ask if I was willing to accept the role as lead of the strike team. Recently, an ancient Azlanti vessel from old golarian had resurfaced in the vast. The Azlanti star empire had already acquired the vessel but it was uncertain what they were able to glean from it, as the reports regarding the ship( The “King Xeros” ) ascribed it considerable abilities that would be useful for any modern interstellar craft.
Once all the other agents were gathered, the twelve of us were grouped into three teams; Shield, Scout, and Strike. Scout team was lead by a human, while Shield team was lead by the late ‘Voorkis’ of the Veskarium. This was the first time Venture-Captain Naiaj had accompanied myself on a mission in any way and I felt slight apprehension at the crew I had been assigned.
I suspect I was selected not simply for my mission history but also regarding my extensive commentary about the Pact worlds relationship with the Azlanti Star Empire( I refer any readers to my military forecast paper ‘Intergalatic pinser; the three great threats to the pact worlds’). As such I took the opportunity en route to inform the crew I had been assigned of the information known about the Azlanti.
We arrived at the mission site, ‘Peak of Evening’, where Scout team immediately investigated the area and reported little information not receivable by a more distant scanning. However, we were attacked shortly thereafter as the automated batteries in the area began firing on all ships in orbit.
With shield team’s assistance, we were able to make a single pass over a large construction bay on the surface. Regretfully, I was in the gunnery seat as I believed the ability to soften the targets before arrival was more important than avoiding damage. On the second pass, we landed as close to the structure as possible, and exited the starship in a tight knit formation in order to enter the building and locate any information useful in the capture of the King Xeros.
Our group was attacked by a group of at least seven Aeon Guards who attempted to encircle us. While they shuffled through cover to reach my allies, I moved through use of my Force Soles to atop small worksheds in order to bypass or circumvent their cover. The Azlanti soldiers tended to prefer the use of their grenades, particularly as my allies had begun grouping together, over exposing themselves to gunfire. Raia made use of a powerful fire spell several times but pulled back after deciding she may need the spell slots later.
After I personally had eliminated two of the three prongs of opponents, I circled around to behind the remaining three guards to prevent them benefiting from cover at at least one front.
A group of long armed humanoids clamboured out of their hiding holes to speak to Ayeoriun after the battle. I paid little attention to the conversation while examining the equipment the Azlanti wore. It has been my experience to trust Ayeoriun in matters of negotiation or interrogation, so I did not bother intervening. I quickly determined the composition of the Aeon armor and weaponry, and could at any future point replicate the technology should I desire. However it proved too inflexible for me to take advantage of and I accidentally ripped the corpses’ arm in half attempting to examine its range of movement. A pity, I had been looking forward to a chance to use Azlanti armor.
When I neared the end of my examinations of the armor, Ayeoriun called me over to speak to one of the brackim; a weapons specialist named “Walford”. After a short string of insults at my skill in piloting, Walford claimed; “You probably don’t even know the purpose of a Flip n’ Burn, or what a Flyby is.” The look on Ayeoriun’s face before he left Walford and myself seemed almost like he was giving me permission. My reply was a simple one I would have given any of my students;
“A flip n’ burn is an overly dramatic and complicated manoeuvre used mostly by inexperienced pilots when a simpler and more defensible action is possible. While a flyby simply involves travel as close to the hull of an opposing ship, in order to allow the gunners to fire directly into, against, or through the shields while orienting the vessel to position under the firing arcs of the target.” Walford seemed surprised but impressed, and was suddenly willing to upgrade our weaponry to assist in a battle against the King Xeros.
With Walford at work, Ayeoriun once again requested my assistance. He informed me that while most of the brackim were happy to assist in our battle against the King Xeros, the one named “Minez” was proving slow and difficult. It was likely the woman was loyal to the Azlanti and was attempting to slow our progress. Only at this point was I informed that the rest of our group already knew that the King Xeros had taken off, and we needed to pursue immediately. I had considered placing my gun to her head and ordering her to do it, but I decided it was not in the best interest of the society’s public image, though I will not hesitate if the situation arises again.
Upon exiting orbit, our vessel was informed by Naiaj that she and the other two teams would be focusing on the Vanguard and that it was our responsibility to prevent the escape of the King Xeros. We were to fight only one opposing vessel, but the problem I had forseen had arrived; My crew consisted of Myself, Raia, Ayeoriun, and Keskodai. Keskodai was of no use in a starship combat, Ayeoriun had little skills beyond talking to people(which while often useful, was not of help in the coming fight) and Raia was inferior to myself in every starship role. I had to move between piloting with a side of gunfire, and gunnery with a side of piloting, while Raia handled the engines.
The King Xeros wasted no time in revealing its ability to phase through our attacks, preventing most of my shots from connecting. Meanwhile the vessel seemed too inept to do any considerable damage to the Pegasus class while I was in control. As such, the battle could have lasted upward of five hours without a clear advantage either side. If it was not for the heroic actions of Shield team, and their regrettable loss, the battle may have gone far differently.
While the Azlanti modifications to the King Xeros fell away for the most part, it was obvious that the ship’s drift engine was experiencing problems. Content that the Azlanti could no longer escape with the ship, we set to board in the hopes we could repair the drift engine and capture the ship for the society’s study. We boarded an atmospheric top deck to be faced by a line of six combat robots. With no cover where we landed, I decided to attract the most attention as to avoid my crewmates coming under fire. As I moved around one side of the ship using my force soles, passing one of the robots and landing on the ground behind the formation, one of the other robots travelled along the other side of the ship to approach my allies. I was forced to engage in combat against five Azlanti Combat robots while my allies fought one. The destroying blow on the lone robot was Ayeoriun’s, and permitted my allies to assist me in dealing the final damage to the two robots remaining at that time.
At the aft of the ship, behind where I had engaged with the robots, was the drift engine. I was taking my time to analyse it to determine how long until it exploded and if it was at all repairable when Raia came up behind me and cast Invisibility on me. To the best of my understanding, the ship would be vaporised in under 10 minutes. I may have been able to do some level of repairs from that position, but I was now assigned a time limit in which to explore the lower decks and remove any further threats; a situation I almost lost my temper at Raia regarding.
The first room on the lower deck was the armory, I permitted the others to examine it as I continued. After the armory was a cargo hold, then crew quarters which contained a strange triangular room. Not permitting myself any time to look around, I entered the triangular chamber, which folded open before me like a long corridor. However taking a single step transported me to the end of the passage, where I was detected by an electrical discharge trap.
Noticing the trap activate, I was able to step out of the transporter and into the main control room beneath the drift engine before I was hit. The room also contained a single human in Aeon armor, though he didn’t wear a helmet. I sent two bursts of static through the comms unit, to signal the existance of the trap before leaving the receiver running to transmit all audio from the room to my allies. As I was invisible, I did not want to speak and inform the man that I was actually present and it wasn’t simply a malfunction.
The human did not believe as I hoped, beginning some string of insults regarding my competence if I required invisibility in which to fight him. When Raia stepped through the transporter a few seconds later, I was already behind the Azlanti Captain and was ready to engage in combat. Raia, wisely, did not break her invisibility for the duration of the fight, instead she followed me, constantly transferring charges from my spare batteries into my gun so as to prevent me needing to reload. I was almost the sole combatant, Keskodai hid while Ayeoriun withdrew constantly to avoid being the engaged target. At one point, the Azlanti deigned to tell me to stop moving and let him hit me(with a likely enchanted spear). So I simply circled him before walking away and shooting him with my back to him. At another point he seemed to think he had me cornered; so I moved left and right, taunting his inability to strike me, before walking off once again.
When he finally went to attack Keskodai, (“If you won’t stand still and fight me, I’ll kill your allies first”) at which point he was knocked unconscious. Ayeoriun attempted to tie him up with titanium cable, and was stabbed at for his trouble. Short banter ensued between the two. Ayeoriun dealt the final blow to render him again unconscious before I fired my sonic weapon at his head to keep him down temporarily. Once Keskodai had stabilized him, Ayeoriun succeeded in tying him up. We did not forget to escort his ‘sleeping’ form back to the ship when we left. Hopefully he will provide the society valuable intelligence.
With the captain no longer a threat, I was able to easily examine the ships computer and make the necessary modifications to slow the fragmentation of the drift engine. We had 30 minutes to search the ship for anything else of value.
Our initial arrangement who searched where resulted in no success other than Keskodai’s search of the captains cabin. With slight personelle rearrangements we were able to gather valuable salvage and intelligence before leaving the ship. The Drift engine exploded during a moment that the other engine on the ship shifted the ship out a phase, preventing damage to the vessel. Unfortunately the vessel then shifted to the ethereal plane and was lost. However, this was to my knowledge the first successful encounter between the pact worlds and the Azlanti Empire, and we gathered a hostage. Hopefully he proves worth the lives of shield team.
Technically we lost the starship combat, but only because we as a group decided to not continue plugging away at it. The fight had been going for almost two hours and we had taken about 5 hull damage and the Xeros had taken about 15. So neither of us was in the lead, we decided not to waste six more hours watching as we slowly plinked away at each other.
This is the first situation where I really got to show off Atlas-1 being built with the "commando" mentality. It worked out really well, as Atlas-1 did in fact engage the five robots on his own while the other PC's fought the sixth. It also showed up well in the fight against the Azlanti Captain, who could not attack Atlas-1 as I moved away(or danced around him) due to Uncanny Mobility(Note to operatives; this is a great ability! Do not pass it up lightly)
"I don't know if they went over this in the debriefing but... everyone wants to be the pilot. I know they look really cool in the videos and they get all the hot mates, But Once you're flying the Pegasus Six or the Drake Six all that fancy maneuvering getting to shoot the same shield sector kind of stops mattering. What matters is who can land a good solid hit consistently. Yeah, a drake 1 against another drake 1 can regen the shields almost as fast as you can put a hole in it unless your pilot can keep threading the same needle. Those big boys though? They'll put a hole the size of a vesk in your ship no matter HOW good your engineering crew is. If your other pilot is good enough to jerk the steering wheel around and be hard to hit, Get on over to the gunners seat. Take the captain with you. "
|⦵ Sean Castor Venture-Agent, Virginia—Portsmouth aka Pogiforce|
Mission #22: Codename: "Honorbound Emissaries"
I arrived alongside Ayeoriun to the meeting room, though we had to wait a moment for the others to catch up. Inside we were greeted by First Seeker Luwazi Elsebo, alongside Iteration-177 and Captain Yuluzak of the Honorbound. No time was wasted with pleasantries of introductions as we all knew of each other at the very least.
The missions background was a simple case of progressive attention being drawn to an item that was not to be of importance to us directly. The captain retrieved the item in salvage, was directed through a contact to Iteration-177, who contacted the Society. Our mission was to examine the wreckage the salvage was taken from, use it to track down a group known as “the Kreiholm Freehold”, who Iteration-177 knew had information we desired about the Scoured Stars, and enact a first contact with this group to introduce the pact worlds. It was only after this briefing that I revealed to Ayeoriun my concerns about Iteration-177. For the record(as public as it has become), it is my suspicion that Iteration-177 was present in the scoured stars system before the initial incident, whether they originated there, or were sent as a spy on behalf of the aspis consortium(or the Jinsul empire), is not my business.
I accompanied the captain to his ship while my comrades armed themselves for trouble in the coming mission. I was greeted warmly by the waiting crew, and the captain presented me with a gift as payment for our previous encounter. When the remaining agents arrived, we set off immediately.
It took several days to reach the wreckage. During this time, my allies attempted to ingratiate themselves with the crew, while I spent the first few days examining what few pieces of salvage the captain had kept on board. The damage was clearly dealt by Jinsul weaponry, the attached report lists the specifications of interplay between jinsul weaponry and the material used as plating in the destroyed vessel.
Once I finished my examinations, the ship’s engineer “Shaakar” challenged me to a game of Farley’s Crossing. Having already beaten my comrades on previous days, the engineer seemed to believe I would not play at my usual calibre outside of my custom gaming platform. He was sorely mistaken, as even with the sluggish controls I was able to easily win the bout.
Under the request of my allies, on a subsequent day I joined the ship’s gunner’s exercise routine. While able to physically keep up, my system was not built for the level of endurance required. The engineer was kind enough to assist my system’s recovery with a meal.
Once we arrived at the location of the wreckage, it took the crew six hours to comb the wreckage and decrypt the computer system. According to the remaining files of the ship’s main computer, the vessel had been entitled the “Ardent Seeker” and was a military vessel returning home to a star system entitled “Saruuq-Ruaan.” The information on file regarding “Saruuq-Ruaan” matched the information known to the society of a binary star system who’s composition was only studied via general vast space analysis.
With the relevant information, the Honorbound jumped through the drift to the planet that was the return address of the Ardent Seeker. We arrived into the heart of a large space battle. The pilot was under immediate pressure to avoid being targetted. I chose not to press myself into the position as the ship was not under society command.
Instead, I busied myself programming the Honorbound’s computers to scan all ship models and save all scan data to a location I could easily download upon mission completion. These files are also attached. The 5th type of ship to be scanned, I was already familiar with; A jinsul attack fighter. Shortly after my scans began, there was an influx of far more Jinsul ships.
I had not been aware the ship was receiving a message until the captain looped it through the intercom system. The message was in apparently perfect vesk and claimed that a native hospital had been attacked and invaded, and assistance was being requested. I took the Captain’s word on this however, as I do not speak Vesk.
By vesk honor we were bound to assist any potential allies. The Honorbound was not fired at as we descended to the surface, landing as close as possible to the transmission source. Ayeoriun asked me, in jest, why this was the one mission I did not bring one of my personal vehicles. My riposte was to ask if he believed they received his Holovids at that location.
Our group of four moved quickly to a ruined section of the target building, avoiding jinsul patrols in the area. We suffered superficial abrasions and electrical burns entering the hospital from this entrance, however we suspected it would be the area least likely to be attended by any Jinsul within the facility.
From the ruined rooms we gained access to the main facility via an office. Obozaya entered first, then myself. I was alerted to the opening of combat however when Obozaya simply began unloading her weapon through a window at a Jinsul troupe in the main reception hall. This was possibly the longest engagement I had had with any Jinsul to that point. I distracted and engaged two of the opponents while my three allies engaged the larger one. Due to my having learned the Jinsul language, I was privvy to Ayeoriun’s attempt to gain the opponents attention through the statement “Looks like the whole building has crabs.”
It appeared the two I was engaged with had grown tired of attempting to shoot me when they began throwing grenades. Due to the expert placement of display flora in the room however, I was able to avoid the effects of these grenades while I continued to bother them. Once we had successfully slayed our opponents, a cursory examination of their bodies found nothing of particular use to me. Ayeoriun however took a liking to the leaders D-suit armor and requested we wait while he swapped it for his own and moved his armor upgrades into the new armor.
While two of my allies relaxed, and Ayeoriun adjusted his armor, I moved to examine an adjacent room. The large domed chamber was some combination of operating theatre and lecture hall. The technology and medical proceedures of use in this operating theatre are significantly more developed than those used in the pact worlds. As such, when I located a datapad that contained full schematics on all such proceedures, I downloaded its contents to my insignia and pocketed the device.
While my comrades continued to relax, I moved to another room where I located a native with advanced camouflage abilities. I was required to wait for Ayeoriun to be ready before gaining any intelligence from the woman as she spoke Vesk but no languages I shared. The woman was one “Doctor Yuuqa”, the originator of the distress call. After we confirmed for her the death of the jinsuls in the building and provided her with the datapad I had retrieved, she helped us convince a group of survivors who had sealed themselves away to open up and allow us to assist.
Keskodai, under Obozaya’s suggestion, cast a spell on me to allow me to speak and understand Vesk for the remaining duration of the mission. This allowed me to assist Ayeoriun in convincing the natives that we had come to assist, and to follow us to a ship for evacuation. We only contacted the Honorbound after making this agreement, as when I did; Captain Yuluzak began ordering me to escort them to the ship for evacuation before I told him we had already made the offer.
During the evacuation to and of the Honorbound, Ayeoriun and I conversed at length with the survivors, who have proven very curious of and amiable to the Pact Worlds. Once out of the atmosphere, the ship received a message that one of the refugee’s translated as stating that a council member of the Kreiholm Freehold was on a ship being boarded by Jinsuls. There was no orders necessary, as the pilot had already turned the Honorbound to assist, and my colleagues and I were immediately in the process of preparing to board the vessel in question( the “Kreiholm’s Hope” ).
Aboard the ship, we were immediately assaulted by four Jinsul boarders. I was once again caught off guard by the training some Jinsul combatants have undergone and was below maximum effectiveness for the first few seconds of combat. At one point, I was able to cast a spell to enhance the potency of my weapon, which on a followup attack succeeded in not simply killing its target outright, but vaporising it.
The battle was not difficult once Obozaya stepped up to block the hallway, and my attacks assisted in bringing the invaders down. Fight completed; we once again knocked on a door, this time to the command deck. No explainations were necessary once the door was open; the councilmember and all non-combatants aboard the ship followed us onto the hull of the ship through some hull damage.
With swarms of Jinsul approaching our group, I was able to locate the most likely position for the arrival of the Honorbound to assist us. As such, I ordered the Kreiholm’s Hope’s crew and council member to begin moving to that location while our team focused on protecting them from the incoming Jinsuls. My allies had considerably more difficulty with the gravitational situation than I did, at some points they even used me(at my request) as an anchor or buffer from which to push themselves in the desired direction. As the number of opponents rose, I suggested my allies make their way toward the Honorbound(which arrived exactly where I expected, sooner than I expected) while I draw the remaining fire. My holographic imagery was able to prevent several dangerous blows, and the forcefield gift from Captain Yuluzak absorbed much of the damage intended for me.
Once Ayeoriun, the last to reach the Honorbound, was almost on board, he signalled me and I was able to race inside such that we both arrived inside at the same time. With everyone aboard, the Honorbound assisted in the battle. Once the battle was concluded, a short length of diplomatic interactions followed. I write this en route to Absalom Station to hand in following the debriefing.
I did really like the touch with the meal though, it gave him extra stamina and was just a good addition flavour-wise.
We were unsure how Force Soles(mk1) interacted with 0-g as they were the ability to create ground under your footsteps for a movement, so we just handled it as Atlas-1 had full control over his mobility in space as if it was normal gravity. Unsure if that's how it's suppose to work though.