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IC STARFINDER: HFH - EPISODE 03- DIAMONDS AND RUST

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The elven apparition narrows its eyes at echo and the steady thrum of the engine dies abruptly. "Your's? You are here on my sufferance which is at an end. Farewell 'mechanical'.  Solanya placed great emphasis and a goodly amount of derision on her last word. Then faded from existence.

The ship drifted

Spoiler

all engines have ceased operation and main power production is off line. computer queries are met with error messages. the ship is adrift and at the mercy of space. get with me if questions

 

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Clevus was intimidated no doubt about that, but he had no real answer for the hulking Vesk.

"It's an alien ship... your android pissed her off. What do you want me to say? I told I know where you can find answers that implies that I don't know those answers." Says the cat man throwing up his hand in consternation.

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Sunshine, to her credit, processed all of this - magic ship with magic elf AI - relatively quickly, though this might have been motivated by the fact that they were dead in the suck and getting the ship moving was a priority.

So she tried a different tack - she tried speaking to it herself. "Hey there, Solyana. Sorry about my co-worker. It's me. You remember me, don't you? The little mouse who's been flying you for a while? You have sleek moves. You're one hell of a ship. Thanks for all the times you came through for us, and sorry I didn't know that I could speak to you before." She thought, and amended. "And that you'd speak back."

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Sunshine jumped when the voice spoke again this time beside her

"Of course I know you Sunshine, after all we have been companions for sometime and I am quite fond of you." The tall translucent elf was standing beside her. Sunshine looked around and could not see where the hologram was originating from.

"I'm fond of you too, the ship i mean uh..."

 

 

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Sunshine looks a little startled, but quickly composes herself. "It's a relief to find out I wasn't just talking to myself. Ah, sorry about that time I cussed when the stick slipped out of my hands. Heat of the moment."

Sunshine continued to be friendly and conversational with the Solyana, thinking less and less about the need to get the ship going, and more and more about how fascinated she was by the living ship, and how much she wanted to get to know them.

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Jexa sat back, calmly listening to the back and forth. Almost right away a single word stood out to her. Her curiosity peaked, she made a small gesture and a translucent blue ribber of energy extended in front of her eyes. She casually looked around the room, letting the HUD of the visor highlight objects before slipping from her seat and out of the room. She began to walk the halls of the ship, passing through common areas, hallways and maintenance corridors alike, always looking around as she listened in to the conversation through her comms, finally returning to mess and taking her seat again..

"Joy." she muttered and reached into her pocket, pulling out a small stone which she held at about head level and let go, allowing it to float and slowly circle her head, just in case the ship decided to open the airlocks. It was bad enough that they knew so little about the ship, but now to discover it was sentient and apparently a bit sensitive? There were enough egos to deal with on the ship already, without the ship having its own.

Jexa sighed and shook her head.

"So how did you come to know so much about the ship?" she finally asked the felinoid as she rocked back in her chair.

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Solanya seemed to enjoy chatting with sunshine and continued to do so even reactivating the ships drives so Sunshine could get them back on course.

Back in the lounge Clevus shrugged,  "You pick things up. After i got away from the puppy parade I ended up on small trade moon and came across funny little fellow of a species I didn't know. Called itself Notonot, he was telling stories for clips. He was pretty good at it.

One of his stories described a ship that was a pretty close description of yours, but the context was all wrong. from what he was saying the tale he was relating happened  thousands of years ago and way back then there weren't a lot of starfaring races and none of them still exist much less there ships. But the way he described it was spot on so after he was done telling his stories i cornered him took  him to  good eatery bought him a meal and plied him with drink. I got a few more tales out of him and led him back to that ship he had talked about.

He told me about the builders of that ship, a race of high elves or high elf like very powerful wizards all of them, could command space and time itself. when the elder races went to war they removed themselves from he conflict and took their whole homeworld with them to another part of the galaxy into orbit around a  star that was never born, was the way he said it. He had several tales of that ship it was celebrated among those elves. I coaxed the name out of him eventually but for some reason he was reluctant to tell me but in the end after enough wine he did.

That ships name was Solanya."

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"Aw baby, don't be like that," Echo said to the inert instrument panel. "I just got used to thinking of all this as mine, you know? Then it's...hey no, there's company in here. Bit of a shock."

"Lets start over. I'll get you a nice new set of plasma filters."

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Satisfied with being back on course, Sunshine continued to converse with the AI as she piloted the ship through the Drift. Satisfied with being back on course, Sunshine continued to converse with the AI as she piloted the ship through the Drift.

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On 3/9/2019 at 2:11 PM, Echo said:

"Aw baby, don't be like that," Echo said to the inert instrument panel. "I just got used to thinking of all this as mine, you know? Then it's...hey no, there's company in here. Bit of a shock."

"Lets start over. I'll get you a nice new set of plasma filters."

The Ship's avatar re-materialized in the engineering compartment next to Echo, or rather another avatar as the other was still in the control center conversing with Sunshine. Solanya pursed her lips and fixed the artificial life form with a glare. "I will forgive your disrespect of earlier and allow you to make amends. Are you the one responsible for the unauthorized modifications done to my  space frame?"

***

A soft ping alerted Sunshine to their imminant arrival atthe Drift beacon where they would emerge at their destination system. "Guys, we are there. Emergence from drift in six minutes."

***

The rest of the crew, still in the lounge listening to Clevus all looked up at the holoform of the mouse-pilot.

"Nice we're there," said Clevus leveraging himself out of his chair. "We should probably get to the bridge"

Everyone glared at him. "You stay here," Eva said pointing back at the chair he had just vacated. With a sigh he plopped back down into it as the rest of the crew shuffled out and up to the bridge.

***

Sunshine paid little attention to her crew mates crowding into the small control center as she went about her task of navigating the ship back into real space. As the found places to stand out of the way of her constantly moving pilots chair as she zipped from one console to the next the ship gave and un-felt shudder and the grey nothing of drift space gave way to stars and a distant burning sun. And there before them was a green jewel of a planet hanging beautiful and inviting in the star strewn sky.

However what lay between the Solanya and the emerald sphere was decidedly un-inviting.

Resting in orbit and spread beyond were some twenty capital ships of the Vesk, Flitting between the great warships and the planet as well as buzzing around the rest of the system were many many more smaller ships, shuttles and fighters. Sunshine flipped switches and took reading, There are over a hundred ships in this system guys, and they are all Vesk."

"Well Shamit and Farcart! That's about ninety six more than were here when I left."

Everyone turned to the door to glare at Clevus who was in the hall poking his head in the door. "What?"

"Attention tiny spacecraft!" A hologram fizzled into being hovering in front of the main view port of a uniformed Vesk with an eye-thingy attached to it's scaly head. "You have entered a restricted system without authorization. Heave to and prepare to be boarded."

On one of the view screens one of their small ships (not tiny which means bigger than Solanya) blasted away from the fleet on an intercept course.

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Sunshine's instincts kicked in, and she immediately flipped on the red alert, priming the ship for evasive maneuvers. "Clevus, what the hell -  never mind, preparing for evasive maneuvers. Can someone good at speaking get on the horn with them and talk them out of blowing us into dust?"

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"If you start making evasive maneuvers, they will try to blast you." Gorunta pointed out, knowing the vesk mindset. "Better off complying, and coming up with a good cover story."

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"No, the Abadarians planned to have as a cover story because they're racist idiots." Gorunta retorted. "We could say Sunshine wanted to visit the new ysoki homeworld and bring friends along. Maybe we can leverage a warning about the Church of Abadar too."

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Clevus stares at the huge Vesk, tilts his head realizing that the lizard wasn't as dumb as he looks. "You know that just might work. Good thinking." he gives Gorunta a nod of respect and reminds himself to keep an eye on him in the future. "Think you can sell that Evana?"

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Upon being reminded of the grift, Sunshine fought the urge to take evasive maneuvers, and began practicing. "'Hi, my name's Sunshine, I just wanted to swing on by what's supposed to be the new homeworld. You all wouldn't be worried about little ol' me, now would you...'"

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The Ship's avatar re-materialized in the engineering compartment next to Echo, or rather another avatar as the other was still in the control center conversing with Sunshine. Solanya pursed her lips and fixed the artificial life form with a glare. "I will forgive your disrespect of earlier and allow you to make amends. Are you the one responsible for the unauthorized modifications done to my  space frame?"

Echo grinned. "Some of them, yeah. They're pretty nice, right? Still got a lot of work to do though."

She tapped her cheek with her fingers as she rested her chin in her hand, gazing at the hologram meditatively for a moment. "What kind of changes do you want made? Don't get me wrong, this is a great ship...maybe even better than I figured at first...but there's always room for more and better."

With a glance at the display monitoring the bridge and communications, Echo shrugged. That gambit would work or it wouldn't. If it did, she wouldn't have to worry about it. If it didn't...there'd be panicked calls down to engineering for shield and engine power any second now. She'd jump into that ravine when she came to it.

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Sunshine completed the prep to allow the vesk to pull up portside, then hopped out of her chair. "Okay, time for the not-so-fun part..."

She crumbled up a yipi stik and sprinkled it on her holdout pistol, then stuck it in her mouth, hiding it in one of her cheek pockets. Upon everyone's askance look, she shrugged. "It tastes less gun-oily this way."

Then she looked upwards, in the general direction of what she thought of as the ship. "Solyana, we're gonna have some new guests, and we're going to try playing nice with them as a first resort. Hope you don't freak out too much, okay?"

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On 3/26/2019 at 5:46 PM, STARFINDER GM said:

Clevus stares at the huge Vesk, tilts his head realizing that the lizard wasn't as dumb as he looks. "You know that just might work. Good thinking." he gives Gorunta a nod of respect and reminds himself to keep an eye on him in the future. "Think you can sell that Evana?"

"Are you kidding?"  Evana's accent was like tender back rub for the ears.  "Vesk are militant and about as dumb as snake mittens," as she passed by Gorunta she smacked him gently on the ass and offered him a coy smile.  "But we still love you big guy."

She addressed Clevus.  "They're singular in their focus, which makes it difficult to skirt them around their own beliefs, but their perceived superiority can be used against them."

"So, is that a yes?"  Clevus asked with a single arched brow.

"It is a 'yes', darling."  With a wink to him she turned to address the crew.  "Just play everything cool, guys.  We'll try it the simple way fist, but as always be prepared for the worst.  Sunny, love, please be ready to get us out of here if things go 'tiefling bride at an aasimar wedding', if you could.  Gorunta, sweetie, you have less than a minute to fill me in on properly addressing your culture without insulting them."

Gorunta snorted.  "Don't speak at all and do whatever they say.  Submit.  Utterly and completely."

"Bugger.  Yeah," Evana winced and looked about with sarcastic contemplation.  "Look about, honey, we're really not that demographic."  She clasped her hands together and her smile widened into jovial mischief.  "Improv!  My specialty.  Alright people, let's try and look like we're not a gaggle of deviants."

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"Right...we can't out run those guns from a dead stop and if I spool the drift engines up they'll detect it before they are charged." said Sunshine as she flipped more switches and  grasped the steering yokes. The holographic image of the ships avatar, which had miniaturized itself to a six inch figure when others had entered the room smiled up at Sunshine. "There my friends I have unlocked the emergency capacitors it will allow you to bypass the normal spooling charge and initiate a drift jump."

"You can do that?"

"My dear friend there are many things we can do if we are in Unity..."

"Hey I don't thing they are going to dock" said the halfelven priest with a grimace as he pointed at the view screen.

On the screen the shuttle had closed within a few kilometers and moved along side the Solanya keeping it's nose and guns pointed at her. as the slowed to a halt the hero's for hire could see a good half dozen armored vesk troops ont he shuttles hull and as the watched the space-armored troops jumped from their ride towards the Solanya.

Gorunta smiled and chuckled, "Smart," he said with admiration. He put his hand on Evies shoulder "If your gonna talk you better get to it, otherwise, your al probably gonna die."

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"Well, I very much would like to not do that." Sunshine hopped back in the hot seat and put both hands on the yoke, while her tail snuck around and rested on the Drift engine control panel... just in case.

"But maybe we shouldn't give away what this ship can do; if word gets out everyone'll be on our tails. So: talking sounds good."

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