As our story begins, our heroes arrive at Absalom Station, all bound to join The Starfinder Society from this cultural and financial hub. The party has arranged to meet a dwarven Starfinder named Duravor Kreel in docking bay 94, which is where they conveniently arrive.
Upon disembarking, they find a cheerful, friendly, just too-good-for-this-world dwarf -Duravor - awaiting them. As they approach, however, they can't help but notice armed individuals in rival gang colours taking up defensive positions around the bay. Before anyone can react, the gangs open fire on one another. Duravor is instantly hit and goes down. People scream and scatter, and one of the gang members targets Iolana. This does not go over well with the party, who instantly open fire, eliminating the gang members with ruthless efficiency.
Almost immediately after they defeat the gangs, the somewhat slow moving security team enters and demands the party surrender. Their leader investigates the party's story, finds it believable, and welcomes them to Absalom. In response to Zeta's inquiries, he adds that the gang war occurred between the Downside Kings and Level 21 Crew, but is unsure as to why they would carry their battle into a docking bay, of all places.
Apparently disinterested in Duravor's fate, Meika approaches the information centre and finds a map to lead them to Starfinder's spire. The rest of the party joins her and finds a human receptionist, to whom they explain the situation. After a while they are taken to meet a Shirren named Chiskisk, nervously flexing their antennae. Chiskisk comments that Duravor was a good friend, and that the incident report is suspicious – Duravor is indeed dead, and it's rare for gangs to battle in public areas. Perhaps, Chiskisk suggests, either Duravor or the party was directly targeted – a suggestion that sets Meika to shifting nervously.
Chiskisk asks the party to investigate on the Society's behalf, and offers them a signing bonus of 200 credits each. Meika, Zeta, and Truth all acquire station maps and set off for The Moons of Sleep, where they book efficiency rooms. Iolana, a station native, returns to her own quarters.
Shortly the party meets in part of the station's gritty underworld. Lower down are ghost levels, where monsters and unknown creatures roam and potential treasures await those brave enough to seek them out. Our party stops at the 21st level, however, where they meet an extremely talkative drug addict who gives them a wealth of information.
The addict extols the 21 Crew as heroes defending the downtrodden and marginalized. Their leader, Jabaxa, is "great." The crew is also "great." In fact, even the Hard Scrabble Collective, a tough group who runs the fleet or armada surrounding Absalom, have recently hired them for protection. It seems that the HSC ship Acreon came in a few days ago with something truly amazing, possibly even from Golarion. Unfortunately, the crew was all murdered – or, rumors whisper, walked out of airlocks. Regardless, The HSC and Astral Extractions are locked in a dispute over custody of this amazing find. Concerned over possible shady tactics from Astral Extractions, the HSC had asked the 21 Crew to give them a hand with protection.
The addict suggests they may find Jabaxa at a place called Mama Fats', and Meika pays him off to get rid of him. The party turns their faces towards whatever a bodega turns out to be.