This post is part of a series of posts detailing non-player characters and specific locales on Absalom Station, the heart of the Starfinder RPG setting. Any resemblance to real life entities are purely coincidental. Please feel free to use this content in your own campaign or discuss or expand on these ideas in the comments.
Mrakshika, the data herder
This Shirren (she/her) runs, single-handedly, a small data broker store in the Arms section of Absalom Station. The store’s sign displays ‘Data Flock’ in several common languages. It’s strategically located near several larger docks that communication trader ships frequent, at a major junction with lots of footfall between the various nearby docks and transport into the stations domed core.
Her customerbase is wide and varied, and the store is busy throughout the day. Mrakshika (or ‘Shika to her better-known customers), handles all customers and transactions in strict order and with almost frenetic speed. She bosses visitors around if they ask too many questions or if they disturb her work. Attempting to butt in on the queue is strictly forbidden, as is drawing any weapon or threatening other patrons. The list of rules for customers is printed in several languages on a large poster on the wall behind her counter.
Data services at the Data Flock
The shop itself looks more like an Infosphere café. She sits on a stool behind the counter surrounded by multiple computer consoles. Around the left-hand and back walls are desks with more basic computer consoles, three to each wall. Customers are instructed to sit at one of these numbered stations to wait and she sees people in strict order of arrival. A large screen on the left-hand wall displays the order of those waiting and the expected waiting time. Patrons can use the consoles to access standard public-access Infosphere resources, as well as their own personal Infosphere services if they so wish. Customers can book an appointment time on the store’s Infosphere site, but as this page clearly states, queues are common and all customers must wait their turn.
The Data Flock has very strong network security programs, designed by the patron herself. Any attempt at hacking the network or consoles is strictly prohibited by the shop’s rules, and will likely trigger an alarm. If Mrakshika feels she is unable to handle any troublemakers, she can summon help from the nearby Vesk Quarter. If an appointment strikes her as bogus or a potential troublemaker she can arrange for a retained vesk bodyguard or two to ‘happen’ to be in the queue at the appointed time.
The shop sells common, uncommon and rare data of all kinds from the Pact Worlds, Near Space and even the Vast. A researcher looking to unearth clues to obscure information can pay to use Mrakshika’s custom database for a set number of queries / period of time at scaling rates per query: 50 UPB for Pact World info, 100 for Near Space and 200 for the Vast. Paying customers looking to research information on this private data-trove use one of the three more advanced consoles on the right hand wall of the store. These consoles have even tighter software and hardware security – no removable storage devices can be connected to them, and they have magical wards against Technomancer attempts at scanning their systems. The public consoles used by waiting customers do not have any connection with this database.
Private data searches
Mrakshika will help customers structure their queries and use the system for a flat fee of 75 UPB per session. In addition to the fees for queries, every 30 minutes beyond this initial time add the cost of an extra question to the final bill. Her business is small and busy, she doesn’t want loafers sat drinking overpriced coffee while browsing the Infosphere. Occasionally she will take on a search for wealthy customers herself though she charges a much higher bespoke fee for this and the data transfer security and anonymity that such clients usually demand.
This post is based on entries in the Starfinder Core and the Pact Worlds rulebooks, please see these source for more details on specific locations or aspects of the Starfinder setting.