Welcome to another exciting installment of Spacemon, the tale of a Pokemon TRPG campaign! This is a spinoff of the sci-fi space epic played using the Pokemon Tabletop United (PTU) system, this time GMed by yours truly. You can get caught up the entire Spacemon saga here!
The sun was shining brightly as Taraka made his way across the plains of Malina. Having just picked up some Pokeballs at a shop in the planet’s spaceport, the Sinai monk was out searching for Pokemon on the unsettled part of the Outer Rim world. The captain was busy overseeing the delivery of Darlene’s Tauros to the Maverick and Taraka’s other crewmates hadn’t been particularly interested in searching for Pokemon on Malina, so on this fine day, the monk was traveling alone. As much as he enjoyed the company of his crewmates, the peace and quiet of enjoying nature on his own was a pleasant change of pace.
It had been a few hours since Taraka had departed and he hadn’t seen any other Pokemon around yet. He didn’t mind too much, as the walk across the plains was still enjoyable. As he continued on, Taraka crested a hill and got a view of a large herd of Bouffalant grazing. “Perhaps I will capture one of them,” the monk said to himself as he made his way down the slope toward the herd.
Spotting one of the Pokemon grazing a ways away from the others, Taraka released his Togetic and cautiously approached it. The Bouffalant didn’t appear to notice them coming, so Taraka inched his way forward so as not to alarm it. Finally catching sight of the monk and his Pokemon, the Bouffalant eyed the newcomers suspiciously as it continued to graze.
Once Taraka had moved close enough, the Bouffalant stopped eating and concentrated all its focus on him. Moving closer, Taraka decided to try speaking to it. “So, you seem to have broken off from the herd.,” the monk said. “I don’t know if you just don’t like them or they’re jerks, but there’s always room on this team.”
The Bouffalant, for its part, didn’t show any visible response. “Of course you can’t understand me,” Taraka mumbled. “Why did I think that would work?” Despite not being able to communicate with the Pokemon particularly well, the monk had a good feeling about it, and decided to reach out in attempt to pet it.
The Pokemon appeared to not see Taraka as much of a threat, because it cautiously allowed the monk to pet it. Taraka got a feeling that this Bouffalant had seen plenty of other Humans before, so he tried showing it a Pokeball. “Want to get in the ball?” he asked, knowing that the Pokemon probably had no idea what he was trying to convey.
Taraka attempted to motion the Pokemon to go with him, but all he managed to do was elicit a snort from it. The monk made the hand gestures again, and the Bouffalant turned away. “Hey, don’t you look away from me,” Taraka ordered the Pokemon, attempting to assert his dominance over it. Hefting his metal staff up, the monk bashed the Bouffalant over the head. Unsurprisingly, the staff simply bounced off of its large afro.
“Get in the ball,” Taraka said, reaching out to press the Pokeball in his hand against the Pokemon. The Bouffalant snorted angrily and reared its head at Taraka, bashing him with one of its large horns, knocking him back a ways.
“I guess we need to do this the old fashioned way,” Taraka decided. “Sirius, use Charm!” The monk’s Pokemon flew between her trainer and the Bouffalant and began flapping her wings to charm it. At the very least, she was able to distract the Bouffalant long enough for Taraka to throw up a psionic barrier. “Now, Sweet Kiss!”
The second attack seemed to distract the Bouffalant for another moment, but the Bash Buffalo Pokemon quickly snapped out of it, and thrashed its head at the Togetic, slightly grazing it with one of its horns.
“I’d prefer not to fight you,” Taraka told the Bouffalant, even though he knew it couldn’t understand him. “Sirus, use Yawn!” The monk’s Togetic yawned, and the Bouffalant appeared to be getting drowsy. The Pokemon started to charge at Taraka, but sleep overcame it and it veered off to the side and collapsed.
“And now for the capture.” Tarka pulled out a great ball and lobbed it at the Bouffalant. The Pokemon was immediately pulled inside, and the ball fell still. “That wasn’t so bad,” the monk said, letting out a sigh.
Taraka walked over and collected his prize, then turned back toward the direction from which he had come. He’d had enough adventuring for one day. Besides, the Tauros were probably loaded up on the Maverick by now.
“That’s the last of them,” Cyrus said as he hitched the final Tauros in the Maverick’s cargo hold. The captain breathed out a relieved sigh. Darlene’s cattle were well-behaved, but getting them all into the cargo hold had been a hassle. He had to carefully plan how to load them onto the ship in order to fit them all and be able to securely hitch them.
“Glad that’s over with,” Axel said, wiping some sweat from his brow. Cyrus wasn’t used to seeing the mercenary sweat, as he had observed that he liked the heat.
Just as the captain was about to close the cargo bay doors, he saw Taraka walking aboard. The Sinai monk looked a bit beat up, but he appeared to be in a good mood. “What happened to you?” Cyrus asked.
“I had a run in with a Bouffalant,” Taraka explained. “But I captured it, so it was a good venture.”
“Well that’s good,” Cyrus said, chuckling.
“Indeed,” the monk agreed. “Do you need anything at the moment, Captain?” he then asked. “Help with the Tauros?”
“No, we’re all set,” Cyrus said. “Go get yourself cleaned up, and get yourself some rest while you’re at it.”
Taraka nodded and took his leave, heading off to the med bay. Cyrus then reached for the comms. “Anya, prepare for takeoff,” he transmitted to the cockpit. “Set course for the Sector 32 warp gate.”
All was calm as the Maverick dropped out of warp space near the Sector 32 warp gate. Captain Cyrus Drake sat in the cockpit with his pilot, gazing out into space. There wasn’t much to see aside from the gate, but it was a convenient stretch of space to get to from most systems in the sector.
Suddenly, the whole ship rocked as something impacted against the shields. “Captain, incoming laser fire!” Anya shouted.
“Evasive action!” Cyrus ordered. He then leapt to his feet and moved to the weapon controls in the next room. He was soon joined by both Taraka and Ace, running in from the living quarters.
“What is happening?!” Ace asked.
“We’re under attack!” Cyrus explained. “Ace, man those guns! Taraka, get to the cargo hold and make sure the Tauros don’t start rampaging!” Taraka nodded and departed, while Ace took control of the ion cannons.
Cyrus, meanwhile, manned the controls for the photon cannons. “Looks like pirates!” the captain shouted as he took aim at the vessel that was firing on them. It was an Alliance-make frigate that had all the makings of a pirate vessel. “I bet they’re Rooker’s men!” He then fired off a volley of lasers, peppering the frigate’s shields. Ace unloaded with his guns as well, landing a few hits of his own.
As the attacking ship fired off another pair of shots at the Maverick, Anya rolled the ship, avoiding the first hit. The second one found its mark, causing the ship to shake again, but the shields held. The Maverick leveled out and Cyrus lined up a shot on the pursuing ship’s engines. He opened fire, landing a glancing blow on the shields. Ace followed up with a volley of his own, peppering the shields again.
“Focus fire on the engines!” Cyrus shouted to Ace. “If we can slow them down enough, we can slip away!”
“Got it!” the android acknowledged as another volley came at the Maverick. Once again, the ship rolled as Anya dodged the incoming fire. One more shot landed, though, and the shields ruptured. Fortunately, they were almost to the gate.
“Punch it, Anya!” Cyrus shouted.
“I’m going as fast as I can!” the pilot responded.
Ace opened fire on their pursuers, continuing to target the engines. The sustained ion cannon fire disrupted a large window in the shields, giving the captain the opening he needed. Firing as fast as the photon cannons would allow, Cyrus unleashed a stream of laser fire that bombarded the exposed engine. There was a large explosion as the engines detonated, leaving the ship crippled.
“Go! Go! Go!” Ace shouted as the Maverick broke away from the disabled frigate.
As the hostile ship fired after them, Anya rolled the ship again, evading the shots completely. A moment later, the Maverick reached the gate and jumped away. Cyrus breathed a sigh of relief as the ship escaped to the safety of warp space. It was a short-lived feeling of comfort however, as the captain remembered the Tauros.
“Oh, crap! The cattle!” Cyrus shouted before bolting for the cargo hold.
Taraka ran into the cargo hold to find the Tauros were quite agitated. “Please calm down,” the monk shouted,” approaching one of the Pokemon. He placed his hands upon it and gently stroked it. This seemed to calm it down a bit, but the ship rumbled again as it took another hit, and the Pokemon began acting up again.
“Maybe you can help,” Taraka said, releasing his recently captured Bouffalant. “Come on out, Bouffy. Help me calm these Tauros down.” He felt like his new Pokemon, being a similar herd species, might be able to calm the herd. Using Bouffy as an example, Taraka managed to calm the first Tauros again, as well as one other. This was only a temporary fix, however, as yet another shot agitated the Tauros even further.
“This is not working,” Taraka observed. Fearing for his safety, the monk recalled his Pokemon and retreated from the cargo hold.
A few moments later, the ship lurched forward. Taraka had been traveling on the Maverick long enough to know that the ship had managed to jump to warp space. Even though the Tauros were still on the brink of rampaging in the cargo hold, the monk was at least glad to have escaped their attackers.
Suddenly, Cyrus and Ace ran into the corridor from the living quarters. “How are you doing with the Tauros?” the captain asked.
“Not great,” Taraka answered. “Each hit we took riled them up again.”
“Well, maybe now that we’re out of harm’s way we can calm them down.” With that the three entered the cargo hold. Cyrus let out a fierce shout, and all the Tauros turned toward them. A skilled commander of Pokemon, the captain was soon able to get the Tauros to calm down. They were all a bit agitated still, so Taraka did his best to soothe them further.
“Well, that happened,” Cyrus said once they were sure the cattle were calmed down.
“What the hell did you do to piss them off so much?” Ace asked, looking over at Taraka.
“I’m pretty sure the ship getting shot didn’t help at all,” the monk pointed out. “And I’m not a cattle rancher of any sort, you know.”
“Well, I hope the rest of the trip is peaceful,” the android said.
The captain nodded. “And hopefully, now that we’re out of the system, we’ll have some more breathing room and won’t need to worry about Rooker’s men jumping us again.”
The Maverick’s crew gathered in the cargo hold as the ship dropped out of warp space in Artemis system in Alliance Sector 5. Eager to offload the Tauros and make some money, they waited for the ship to touch down on Attica. The Alliance farm world was covered in massive industrial-sized farms run by major agricultural corporations. Unlike a lot of the privately owned ranches out on the Outer Rim, the farms here were often overfilled and didn’t always have the best conditions for Pokemon.
Cyrus was a bit surprised that any corporations were buying cattle from Outer Rim ranchers, and that Darlene would even sell to them, but the Maverick’s captain supposed business was business. She had to keep her ranch running somehow.
While Axel, Ace, and Taraka got the Tauros unloaded from the cargo hold, Cyrus made contact with Darlene’s buyer and arranged from them to be picked up. Not too much time later, a few workers from the farm the Tauros were being sold to arrived at the spaceport to transport them away in skytrucks.
“That was an easy job,” Cyrus said as he watched the vehicles depart.
“Except for the part where we got shot at by smugglers,” Ace chimed in.
“Eh, that wasn’t so bad,” the captain said with a laugh. “Now, let’s go get paid.”
Cyrus made his way to the Maverick’s comms and called up Darlene to let her know the Tauros had been successfully delivered. “Thanks a bunch, hun,” his old friend thanked him. “Here’s the credits I owe you, as promised.”
“Much appreciated, Darlene,” Cyrus told her. “We’ll be sure to put this money to good use.”
“I hope so. An’ good luck with Rooker. I’m sure you’ll need it.”
“When did I ever need luck?” Cyrus said jokingly.
Darlene laughed. “Same ol’ Cyrus Drake. I’ll see you around, hun.”
Notes: Axel had to miss this session due to a hurricane, so it was just Novi and IR this time around, and for a brief bit it was just Novi. A little bit of this session made its way into the previous chapter, but the bulk of it is in this one. So, shortly after we started, IR had to leave for a bit, so Novi went searching for Pokemon on his own. He came across this Bouffalant, and tried to approach catching it with RP. It didn’t go so well, so he resorted to combat and made it mad. Fortunately, he was able to put it to sleep and then he critical captured it. It was kind of ridiculous.
IR got back right before that, so we jumped right into the Tauros delivery. That’s when I needed to eat myself. I ate at my computer, but due to desk space limitations, I had my plate on top of my keyboard and couldn’t make rolls and such. That’s why I threw some space combat at them. It was super rules light, just combat rolls for shooting and command rolls for piloting. And I outsourced it all to the players. In addition to rolling for their own characters, IR rolled for Anya’s piloting, and Novi rolled for Cyrus’s shooting. Funnily enough, the encounter lasted just about as long as I was eating. It all worked out perfectly.
Then all that was left was the delivery. Attica is a planet that made a brief appearance in the original Spacemon campaign, so I decided to reuse it as it perfectly fit the needs of what I needed. With payment taken care of, we wrapped up a little early since we only had two players. There was a little bit more to the session, but it made more sense to put it at the start of the next chapter, so stay tuned for that.
That does it for this chapter. As always the Spacemon gang and I will be monitoring the comments to foster discussion and answer any questions. Feel free to give feedback and critiques of the writing so I can improve it for the future, or just leave a comment with what you think about what went down in this chapter or what you think might happen next! You can also revisit past chapters, check out the rest of the Spacemon saga, join the Spacemon Discord server, or like our Facebook page to stay updated on all things Spacemon! Click here for the next exciting installment of Spacemon: Frontier!