The roar which echoed across the hangar came from a vicious creature called a garaggakal. The creature is native to the Drift and had made its home on the Drift Rock. It did not take kindly to its lair being invaded by humanoids but it did appreciate the opportunity for a quick meal. The creature attacked and the PCs spread out to limit its reach against them. Switch charged the monster and slowly began to push it back when suddenly, they were attacked by a sniper from behind. Clara-247, the pilot of the ship which had attacked them, had survived the crash on the Drift Rock. She could not find a way onto the Acreon or the Hippocampus so she waited for the PCs to investigate the Drift Rock. When they attacked the fearsome garaggakal, she finally saw her chance to fulfil her bounty. Two of the PCs turned to face Clara-247 while the rest dispatched the beast. Then the group collapsed upon the sniper and disarmed her.
Under interrogation, she openly admitted she was a bounty hunter who had been hired to eliminate the PCs. The ship she had flown had been provided to her. However, she would not divulge the identity of the Mr. Johnson who had hired her or who she was ultimately working for. She considered herself a professional and vowed, even under the threat of death, she would not violate that trust.
The PCs investigated the Sunrise Maiden and found the starship was in excellent condition. While they cleaned it up, Wesley opted to investigate the device which was generating the illusion which hid the entrance to the hangar bay. He salvaged the device and loaded it onto the Sunrise Maiden for further study. Their mission complete, the PCs launched the Sunrise Maiden and set a heading to return to Absalom Station.
Once docked, they found more than they had bargained for. It seemed Gevalarsk Nor had decided to broadcast the vid feed from their mission to the entirety of Absalom Station. Their activities on the Acreon and the Drift Rock had been turned into a “reality show” (minus some edited footage of some cargo the PCs had retrieved for Nor) and they had become minor celebrities.
The PCs met with Gevalarsk Nor briefly and learned he had received his cargo without any issues. He rewarded the PCs and gave them the bonus he had promised for the extra work.
They then met with Chiskisk to discuss the events on the Acreon and Drift Rock. Chiskisk accessed the Starfinder database and found matches to the runes they had found on the Drift Rock but they were required to visit the central repository in person to retrieve the data (as it was hundreds of years old). There, they found the runes match some identified by an explorer named Halkueem Zan who claimed he had found them in a lost city on the continent of Ukulam on the planet Castrovel. The PCs decided that would be their next stop. Chiskick suggested they travel to Qabarat and meet with an old friend of his named Whaloss who might be able to help them.
While Chiskisk was not looking, Cypher accessed protected data about the infamous Scoured Suns Incident. He had long suspected that Wesley’s parents had disappeared as part of that expedition and he was able to confirm it with what he found in the central repository. He decided to keep the information to himself for the time being.
The group left for Castrovel on the Sunrise Maiden. They arrived in Qabarat with no difficulty, talked the dockmaster into charging them a smaller docking fee, and then conned Whaloss into paying them the difference when they found him. Whaloss took the PCs to the Qabarat University where he planned to introduce them a Professor Muhali, the head of the department of Xenoarchaeology and Xenoanthropology. Unfortunately, they found her busy dealing with a controversy created by one of her professors, Ailabiens 21:2. He had written a paper and given a lecture which indicated the millennium-long war on Castrovel between the lashunta and the formians would have ended much sooner if not for the genocidal tendencies of the lashunta. Needless to say, this did not sit well with the lashunta population.
Professor Muhali promised to help the PCs if they could convince Ailabiens 21:2 to issue an apology. The PCs met with Ailabiens 21:2 and immediately recognized his pride and arrogance to be his weakness. They appealed to his intellect and convinced him to give the apology if Professor Muhali agreed to a few of his terms as well (reinstating him, giving him tenure, access to university archives). Order restored, Ailabiens 21:2 began compiling the research data the group was seeking on Halkueem Zan’s expedition into Ukulam. While the professor worked, the group explored Qabarat (Cypher visited a holonet café, Nuil left the city to study the local flora, the rest cased the local scene at a popular bar). When they returned to the university, Ailabiens 21:2 provided them his findings but admitted his work was not complete because some of Zan’s original journals had been checked out of the archives by Professor Solstrani.
The PCs approached Professor Muhali and requested permission to meet with Professor Solstrani. Muhali agreed and took them to meet with her but they found her office in disarray. The PCs investigated the scene while Muhali went to call security. They found Solstrani had been communicating with someone named Eyrub Paqual who was also interested in Halkueem Zan. Paqual tried on numerous occasions to lure Solstrani away from the university but she grew suspicious and declined. That is when two goons showed up and kidnapped Solstrani. Muhali returned with Detective Nipci from the Qabarat Police Department and they helped continue the investigation. The group also found a map which Solstrani had hidden which revealed she believed Halkueem Zan’s lost city to have been real, a place called Loskialua. Combined with Ailabiens 21:2’s research, the group believed they could find the lost city and possibly rescue Solstrani in the process.
Cypher also hacked the emails sent to Solstrani which reveals Eyrub Paqual was not the true identity of the individual contacting her but he could not learn more. He did learn where the messages had been transmitted from, a bar in the Five Arches and the group went there. Looking for Eyrub they were directed to speak with a smuggler named Twonas En. After some roughing up Twonas admitted he had helped Eyrub and his minions secure documentation to allow them to go to Ukulam. The PCs immediately went to Professor Muhali and requested permission to do the same which she granted. She also provided them with funds to help with the expedition. Above all, she wanted them to rescue Professor Solstrani but anything else of archaeological interest was also important to her as well. She sent Whaloss to accompany them to represent the interests of the university.
End of session.