Taken from the official mission logs of Chief Maintenance Officer Shek Decker
508 CT – 06 – 02
Journey to the Sylvaar system went without issue. Border security in this system appears more lax than that of Nim. Protocol in this system requires docking at Nefarista Station, the visitor and immigration hub of this system. Nefarista Station orbits around Sylaar Prime, a world that Shara mentions is a ravaged world. Due to being ravaged by Demons, the mana field of the planet is highly corrupt and travel to the world is not allowed. However, our information from our contact on Nim spoke of a holy woman who traveled to Sylvaar Prime long ago who may have possessed the Spirit Feather. We must find it for the sake of this ship and crew. Noxis comments that the sensor array on Nefarista Station is quite impressive, capable of scanning the entire Sylvaar system. This would certainly make movement down to Sylvaar Prime difficult. He wonders if he could sneak into the sensor control room via the vents. I feared more easily said than done. The cleaning system would have eradicated any living being.
Docking / inspection went well. Noxis decided to take the form of a box although the inspector did not seem too interested in looking thoroughly around the ship.
Seeking some information, Shara remembered a place where people like us could get information without many questions. The bar was called Devil’s Punchbowl and it was located in the ghettos of the station. I suppose other cultures have places for their unwanted, just like the Consortium.
We arrived at Devil’s Punchbowl, a vagrant bar with a style I am beginning to get used to. There appeared to be only a few people in at this early time. One man stood out, he was sober. Callopie tapped Noxis and myself on the shoulder, her eyes telling us that this man was checking the two of us out and he would be the man to talk to.
We approached the man who quickly ordered beer for all our us. Tikal seemed to like this guy right away. The man, olive skinned and mundane, introduced himself as Iskander and information was his business. He mentioned the bounty on Noxis and my head has gotten quite high.
Excerpt from Personal Log
Have I been found out? Would he turn me in? Can I trust anyone? I had to be strong and stood my ground.
We noticed this bar was protected from prying eyes and ears via a nice jamming device. I wonder if we could get something similar for our ship to protect us in this system.
He asked us our business. We mentioned the need to get to Sylvaar Prime. I asked about his jamming device and if he knew a good way around the scanners. I was prepared for quite the technical discussion. Instead, Iskander laughed and told us he could help in a much more pragmatic way. He bribed the people who run the array sensors on the station. He liked to keep his business private.
Excerpt from Personal Log
Oh well, sometimes the best solution is not found via technology. Quite a hard pill to swallow.
He asked us why we wanted to go to such a terrible place. We told him the story of the Spirit Feather and that it might be down there. And that we needed it.
He told us it would take him twenty four hours to research a price for such a request. He asked about Callopie being mute. She told him she might explain if we survived. I thought that caught him off guard that she could speak at all. I hope she will one day be able to speak REDACTED again.
Day / Night
Since we had twenty hours for free time, we decided to split up and find activities on the station. Tikal spent most of his time in the bar. Noxis tried his luck at earning some credits via entertainment. Callopie had asked Iskander about his tailor and went on a clothing adventure. I really admire her tastes. Shara wandered the ghetto taking in all she could.
The crew stayed at an inn near Devil’s Punchbowl. I decided to sleep on the ship and do some general maintenance. Noxis decided to sleep on board as well.
Excerpt from Personal Log
I thought this would be a good time to put some finishing touches on the special cell I had constructed. I do not think Noxis noticed anything out of the ordinary though. I had to ensure the safety of the crew. At all costs, including REDACTED. We need to get this feather.
508 CT – 06 – 03
We assembled at Devil’s Punchbowl and met with Iskander. He gave us our price. Noxis and Tikal talked him down a hefty bit. It helps to have people who can talk and interact with other people.
He told us around 400 CT, a mysterious woman by the name of Ekundayo showed up in the Sylvaar system to heal Sylvaar Prime of its demonic corruption. She made numerous trips to a from the surface. No one was sure how she could do this with Nefarista Station preventing travel. One of her trips to heal the capital of Sylvaar Prime, she did not return. She clearly was a woman of great power and was said to have a number of powerful artifacts. He did not know for sure if the Spirit Feather was one of them, but it was our best shot.
As a bonus, Iskander said he would be willing to bribe contacts in the Protectorate who operate the sensors. He would get us codes that would make our ship look like a drone to the sensor array. Authorized drones had almost free roam of the Sylvaar system. This process would take him about three days to setup and complete.
Since we had three days, he offered us the communication ID of Yima, a fixer on the station who could float us some work. The Sylvaar system apparently operated a bit differently from other systems. Here, we would only deal with the fixer. Mr. Johnsons do not deal directly with vagrants to keep more anonymity, especially if Mr. Johnson was a member of the Consortium. I had no problem with that arrangement. The further away I was from members of the Consortium, the better.
Noxis reached out to Yima via comms. All he received back was a set of coordinates and a time of 12:15 PM.
The place was a Stuffer Shack, a fast food joint that was the oldest Corps still around. This Corp started back on ancient Earth in the mid 2000’s CE, a time long long ago.
We arrived early to Stuffer Shack. We decided to grab a meal before our meeting with Yima. Callopie only ordered something to drink. Shara only ate a salad.
Excerpt from Personal Log
The last time I had food from a Stuffer Shack was when I was living my old life. Eating here again gave me a sense of comfort, but still no desire to return to that life.
Like clockwork, a late middle aged man approached us. It was Yima. He greeted us in a language I did not recognize. I was told it was an old Earth language called Japanese. Others in the group seemed to know how to respond to the greeting. Yima seemed pleased.
Callopie mentioned to us later about a glyph tattoo on Yima’s neck. She did not say how, but she mentioned something about the Tower of Secrets, whatever that is.
Yima sat down with us and told us about the job he had for us. His client had issues with shipments being delivered to him onboard the station. The client kept getting robbed. Our job was to provide extra security as a show of force. If our efforts got on the news as a powerful message to those who would wrong this client, there would be a bonus in it for us.
The next shipment was scheduled for 2 AM.
Afternoon / Evening
We started our preparations for the job. I purchased two used C1 New Roaches. I thought they may be useful in surveillance and recording our actions for news broadcast. Tikal took an interest in one of my roaches and asked to borrow it. After I agreed, he summoned a fire spirit and bound it to the roach.
508 CT – 06 – 04
We arrived at meeting place, an airlock in the shipping section of the station. The door opened and we were greeted by a Heromi service droid behind a large hover dolley. A male voice announced from the droid and asked if we were the security detail. Upon confirming, the voice said to follow this service droid to its destination.
I sent my roach ahead to scout. Tikal commanded his roach to follow close to him. His roach seemed quite angry as it started to grow hot, and took on a slight red glow. I suppose working with spirits has many benefits along with some risks. Tikal said not to worry and that we would too go ahead and scout. As he slowly walked ahead, we all seemed to forget he was even with us. His power to relax is truly impressive.
Ahead of the main party near a three way junction, some crates seemed out of place. Deliberately out of place. My roach was able to see about five people hiding behind these crates, your run of the mill bandits. Unfortunately, refurbished models are not quite precise. An overhead sign got knocked over, and alerted the bandits to our coming. It however, remained in a prime location to record the events.
Our fight ensued. Noxis used his abilities to turn one of the bandits into a barrel of pitch. Which in turn, Tikal’s fire roach lighted on fire. Noxis then lifted the flaming pitch and dumped it on some of the bandits. Horrific was all I could think. Three of the bandits shot at Shara, wounding her left arm. This was no match for Callopie’s ability to heal wounds, Shara’s arm was back in no time. Without blinking an eye, Callopie went from defense to offense blasting an ice lance from her hands. All of a sudden, two of the bandits started grabbing at their faces and screaming. This must have been Noxis’ doing. One of the bandits seemed quited relaxed, thanks to Tikal. Two bandits rushed toward Shara and attacked. I heard a snap, it must have been her rib. Callopie froze those two bandits and Tikal ordered the fire roach to burn them. It complied, and burned Shara in the process. She held composure and only let out a whimper as the flames seared her body. A bandit turned into a balloon and Noxis poped it. I grazed a bandit across the head who took to running who Callopie froze. The battle was over.
Shara and Noxis were ready to kill the still breathing bandits. Tikal and Callopie thought the lesson was learned and the survivors would tell others not to mess with the transports anymore. I abstained, is it really my place to vote in such a situation? Tikal and Callopie won the argument. A few casualties, but some will live to tell the tale.
As we walked to complete our mission, I told the group when we return to the hotel that I would tweak the video from my roach and send to a news outlet. Then Callopie touched me on the shoulder. She motioned for me to be quiet. I was confused, I did not know why. Tikal said I slipped. Two against one, even if I was right, I hung my head in shame as we walked the rest of the way.
Excerpt from Personal Log I would remember if I slipped, right? Of course I would.
Back at the hotel, Tikal contacted Yima who sent him coordinates for a meeting at 5 AM.
I began preparing to submit video to the news. As I typed, Callopie looked over my shoulder. I never liked people reviewing my work. It made me anxious. She grabbed my shoulder. It is so rare to hear her speak any more. All she said was, “Stop typing. Delete it.” Why? Why did she prevent me from getting our bonus? I had to trust her. So I erased the written report for the news outlet. She then reached over and hit delete on my keyboard again.
Excerpt from Personal Log
Did she not see me do it? Is the infection taking over her mind? Or over mine? And why was I sweating when she told me to erase the data?
Tikal mentioned to the group that he looked at our auras. He could see the infection in Noxis, Shara, Callopie, and myself. He found it interesting though that Callopie’s soul seemed to be fighting back against this infection while the rest of us did not. She truly is a willful elf. Shara cannot believe that she is infected. She tells us repeatedly. Callopie with fire in her eyes just slapped her across the face, called her an arrogant child. Noxis with his control of illusions, helped Shara to see her own aural pattern to prove her infection was real. He told us he had trouble remembering details when we slip. He described it as a dream almost.
Tikal told the group he was going to meet Yima alone. He seemed to not want to be around REDACTED anymore.
The time passed quietly. I kept to my room. Things were happening too fast. All I could do was go inward to try and find possible solutions, or fail safes.
Tikal called the rest of the crew on comms. He asked, “Who is Naraya?”. I had no idea. Callopie though seemed relieved by that question.
Excerpt from Personal Log
What does this mean? How is Callopie related to Naraya?
Tikal returned to the hotel to tell us how the meeting went. He mentioned that Yima met him at an abandoned lot decorated very nicely. Tea was served, with only two place settings. Yima spoke of our infection and that he knew it well. The Spirit Feather was indeed on Sylvaar Prime. He said the journey would be terrible. If we happened to succeed, he told Tikal that we should travel to the Sol system to the moon of Io. And we should seek out his sister there. Tikal mentions that Yima asked him not to use his name on Io and attempted some sort of magic. Tikal said he would not speak his name.
After Tikal told his story, a plain young woman appeared behind him. She wore large metal armor that seemed beyond ancient. She placed her hand on Tikal’s shoulder and begged us not to go to Sylvaar Prime. She said she might not return. Tikal agreed that if anything were to happen to us, his last act would be to release her.