Welcome to another exciting installment of Spacemon, the tale of a Pokemon TRPG campaign! This is an alternate universe story with one key difference that shifts the entire narrative in an interesting way. You should get caught up on our canonical adventures here first!
“I get how important this is to you,” Arlon said as he walked with Naomi through the main warehouse of his base. “Honestly, I respect how passionate you are about this, how dedicated you are to the cause. It’s a bloody worthy one for sure, but we’re preparing for something big. Bigger than you can bloody well imagine, luv.”
Naomi frowned. “But I’m so close now. With just a few more key pieces of evidence, I can bring the whole company down.” She hit her closed fist against the palm of her other hand for effect. “I’ve worked too hard to turn back now, but I can’t do this alone and I don’t know where else to turn.”
“I wish I could do more to help,” Arlon replied. “But I can’t spare any resources.”
“And why not, exactly?” Naomi pressed the mercenary leader.
“You probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you, luv.”
“It’s a long story, but trust me when I say the fate of the Galaxy hangs in the balance.”
“That’s a bit grandiose, don’t ya think?” Naomi asked, folding her arms.
“There are forces at work here that you could only bloody dream of, and we’re the only ones trying to keep them from putting an end to everything.”
Naomi was about to press the Red Suns’ leader further, but it quickly became the last thing on her mind. As they turned a corner around one of the large shipping containers in the warehouse, all Naomi’s thoughts were pushed aside at the sight of her.
Can it be? she thought.
After all this time, somehow here she was, right in front of Naomi. How? Why? Their eyes locked and Naomi felt overcome with emotions. She couldn’t believe her eyes.
“Alex, is that really you?”
The girl looked back at Naomi, seeming equally stunned to see her. They looked at each other in silence, and Naomi felt like her heart was going to burst from her chest.
“Naomi?” the girl finally said, tugging anxiously on her ponytail. Her voice was full of shock.
That all but confirmed it. “Oh my God, it’s really you!” Naomi cried out. She ran to Alex and pulled her into a tight hug. “I can’t believe it’s you,” she said, tears beginning to pour from her eyes.
“What are you doing here?” Alex asked. She pulled back from Naomi’s embrace, allowing her to get a good look at her face. The Sinai girl’s expression looked more confused than anything.
“I could ask you the same thing,” Naomi said, wiping a tear away. “But it doesn’t matter. What matters is that we’re both here.” She stepped forward and put her arms on Alex’s shoulders. “I’m so sorry,” she said, looking her right in the eye. “For everything.”
Alex smiled and placed a hand on Naomi’s arm, causing a tingle of excitement to rush through her. “You don’t need to apologize for anything,” she said. “I wasn’t being fair to you. I understand that now.”
“But I wasn’t fair to you either. I just left you there … and … I …” Naomi could feel the tears coming on again, but she held them back. “I’m so sorry, Alex. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about that night. You were the one real thing in my life, and I pushed you away … but now you’re here and … do you think we can start over?”
“I …” Alex’s anxious expression returned again and she backed away once more. She looked to her right, and that’s when Naomi finally noticed the girl standing next to her. She was tall, with an athletic build and her hair was bright electric blue. “I can’t,” Alex said, turning back to Naomi. “I’m with Shandra now.”
Naomi said nothing. She just looked down at her feet as the tears began to pour. She tried to fight them back, but there was no stopping them. Naomi was no stranger to emotional pain, but this was different. This felt like a cold hand wrapping its fingers around her heart, squeezing until it was crushed. All she could do was stand there and cry. She had dreamed of being reunited with Alex for so long, but deep down Naomi finally realized she had been kidding herself.
“I’m sorry, Naomi,” Alex said. “We can still be friends, though.”
This must’ve been how she felt that night, Naomi thought, realizing she had said the exact same thing to Alex the last time they saw each other on Vandia. Now the tables had turned. She couldn’t help but appreciate the irony.
“Naomi, I …”
C’mon, Naomi. Pull yourself together. She clenched her fists and looked up at Alex. “No, I understand,” she said, sniffling slightly. “It was stupid of me to think that you wouldn’t have moved on after the way I treated you. I made my choice and I have to live with that.” She wiped away the tears, then put on a smile. “I’m just glad I finally got to say I’m sorry.”
Alex smiled back. “I forgive you.”
The two girls fell silent, neither knowing what else to say. Even though things hadn’t played out the way she wanted, Naomi felt like everything was going to be alright. Even if she couldn’t be with Alex, she could still be there for her. She owed her that much for not being there when she had needed her most.
“Bloody small Galaxy, innit?”
Naomi looked over to see Arlon walking over.
“So, what are you doing here? Alex asked.
Naomi glanced at Alex, then back to Arlon. Seeing Alex again, she had completely forgotten that she had come here for a reason. She needed help to finish her mission, but the Red Suns, it seemed, would not be able to help her. However, perhaps fate had intervened and presented her with another way.
Naomi looked back at Alex. “I need your help.”
“So let me get this straight,” Meta said, looking at the floor plan that Naomi had provided, projected on the recently purchased holotable of the Helix’s new war room. “You want us to break into the super secure private residence of Harmonia’s slimeball senator and steal a bunch of secret files related to his under the table dealings with your asshole dad?”
“That’s … a bit blunt, but yes,” Naomi confirmed, gauging the Helix’s crew for reactions.
“Keep in mind that Arlon has his hands full organizing the Red Suns right now,” Shandra chimed in. “If we do this, it’s just gonna be us five.”
“There are only four of us at this table,” Alex said.
Dmitri sheepishly coughed from his position at the edge of the room.
“Okay, five of us,” Alex corrected herself.
“Remind me again why we have to even go inside?” Meta asked. “Roughly one and a half of us are extremely skilled hackers, and this seems well suited to that sort of approach. I bet we could get this done without setting foot in the building.”
“Not an option — the files we need aren’t on a network,” Naomi explained. “They’re kept on a secure drive stored in a safe in Senator Summers’ home office, which requires going through several security measures to even access.”
“Okay, in that case, I’m gonna stay back and coordinate with Blue here on keeping everyone informed and in touch. See what I can do to assist from within their system,” Meta said, with a mischievous grin.
“You don’t get to call me that,” Shandra quipped back.
“Yeah, yeah.” Meta turned back to the hologram, deep in thought, seemingly identifying and analyzing every possible option and complication to the plan. “So we get inside, we grab the drive, and then …”
“And then Shandra stabbed it right in the screen-face with the cyber weapon!” Alex bashed the modded Pokeball in her hand against the lab table for effect as she recounted her tale, causing Naomi to jump slightly in her seat. “That’s when Mr. Silver revealed what he really is …” She trailed off as she recalled that moment of revelation. “An ancient AI that’s part of a cycle of creation and destruction.”
Naomi let out an audible gasp. “That … that sounds crazy, but … I believe you.”
“That’s not even the half of it,” Meta’s voice said. Alex turned her head to see the hacker, who had seemingly just appeared out of nowhere, standing next to her. “Tell her about the part with the psychopath who implanted a bomb in my brain,” the hacker said.
“What?” Naomi asked, taken aback.
“Let’s just say people who work for Mr. Silver are bad news,” Alex explained. “Especially the scientists. Mr. Silver’s goal is to make more of the monsters that masterminded the cycle and his scientists did awful things to achieve it.” The Sinai girl could feel herself choking up at the thought of those horrific experiments.
“Alex, are you okay?” Naomi asked.
The Alliance girl placed a comforting hand on Alex’s arm, causing a shiver to run along it. Alex was reminded of the way she felt any time Naomi made physical contact with her back on Vandia and quickly shrank away. She couldn’t feel those things again. Not now.
“I’m fine,” Alex said. “It’s just … hard to talk about. You’d understand if you saw it too.” She pulled out her Pokedex and brought up the video footage of the encounter with the monster … the Mewtwo.
Alex could see the look of horror form on Naomi’s face as she watched the abomination pursue her and her friends through the station where it was created. When it was clear that she had got her point across — clear that Naomi had seen enough — Alex shut the video off. She couldn’t bear to watch it any longer than she needed too.
“That’s … terrifying,” Naomi said after several moments of silence.
Alex nodded. “Now you know what the Red Suns are gearing up for. We can’t let Mr. Silver make any more of these things.”
Naomi sighed. “My own problems seem so insignificant compared to this,” she said. “I shouldn’t be pulling you away from this.”
“No,” Alex said, subconsciously placing a hand on Naomi’s arm to reassure her. “What you’re doing is important too. It’s amazing how you’re standing up to your dad and fighting for what’s right.”
“I wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t for you, Alex,” Naomi said. “You completely changed my perspective on … well, everything.”
It was then that Alex noticed that they had been drifting closer together. Naomi’s face was practically touching hers. The Sinai girl felt her face flushing red as she pulled back and turned away. What am I doing? she asked herself.
“Ahem,” Meta grunted suddenly, reminding the girls she was still there. “Did you get that Pokeball done?”
“Oh, uh, right,” Alex said. She awkwardly held out her hand, which was still holding onto the Pokeball she had just finished modifying as per the hacker’s request.
“Excellent,” Meta said, grinning as she took the ball off Alex’s hands. “The plan’s coming along nicely.”
“How, exactly, is this Pokeball going to help us break in?” Naomi inquired.
“Oh, you’ll see,” the hacker replied.
“This is my mission,” Naomi said. “C’mon, Alex, tell her to answer the question.” She tapped the Sinai girl on the shoulder to get her attention.
Alex practically jumped; she hadn’t been paying attention. She was too wrapped up in the conflicting thoughts and emotions swirling around in her head. “Huh, what?” she asked, turning to Naomi. Looking into her eyes, feeling her touch, it was all too much for Alex to handle. “Sorry, I need to go take care of something,” she mumbled before darting out of the room.
Alex sat in the Helix’s Pokeball workshop, tinkering with the case of one of her Pokeballs. Since she and her crewmates were were plotting a somewhat risky heist and would soon be taking part in the Red Suns’ coordinated efforts against Mr. Silver’s various facilities, she felt there was no better time than now to upgrade her hardware. Now that H was gone, all the Pokeball parts he had been hoarding were now exclusively hers to use. With so many materials at her disposal, Alex knew she could take her designs to the next level. She certainly needed the distraction right about now.
While Alex liked the idea of having improved Pokeballs, the product of her tinkering was not the reason why she was working on them now. This was how she worked through her thoughts and feelings, how she relieved stress, how she escaped from the complications of life. Naomi coming back into her life definitely qualified as a complication.
Why now? Alex found herself thinking. She had finally fell for someone new, finally moved on … or so she had thought. Now, all of a sudden, Naomi was back in her life and she felt more confused than ever. Alex loved Shandra; that much she knew. Seeing Naomi again, however, learning that she regretted the way things ended … That had caused all sorts of feelings to resurface — feelings she had thought were buried and gone.
What am I supposed to do?
Alex shook the thoughts away and returned her focus to the Pokeball in her hand. At least Pokeballs made sense. She snapped the case into place, then chucked it at the wall. It deflected off, bounced to a second wall, then a third, spraying a blast of electricity out with each impact, before landing back into her outstretched hand.
“I swear, the things you can do with Pokeballs never cease to amaze me.” Alex turned to see Shandra standing in the doorway. “You make it look like magic.”
Alex smiled at the sight of her girlfriend. “Hey,” she said as Shandra walked into the room. “What’s up?”
“Just looking for you,” Shandra replied. “It’s almost time to head out. You ready?”
Alex nodded. “Mhm. I just finished upgrading the last of my Pokeball cases.”
“Alright,” Shandra said. “Arlon loaned us a skycar to use. Dmitri’s getting it loaded up right now.”
“Great,” Alex replied. “I’ll be right there … um, I just need to clean this mess up first.”
“You alright?” Shandra asked, placing a hand on Alex’s shoulder.
“Yeah,” Alex answered. It wasn’t true, but what was she supposed to say? How could she tell Shandra about the conflict she was feeling? “Just got a lot on my mind, y’know?”
Shandra smiled. “I get you,” she said. “Between Mr. Silver, I, and these Mewtwo things, it’s been pretty crazy around here, huh?”
“Yeah,” Alex agreed. “We haven’t been able to just relax in a long time.”
Shandra laughed. “Right? At least we have each other, though.” The blue-haired girl wrapped her arms around Alex and gave her a tight hug.
“Yeah,” Alex said quietly as she leaned her head against her girlfriend. “At least we have each other.”
They shared that lingering moment for a while before Shandra pulled away, placing her hands on Alex’s shoulders. “You ready?”
Alex smiled back, showing as much courage and determination as she could muster given the circumstances. “Let’s do this.”
Author’s Notes: It’s been a good while since we visited this alternate universe, so I figured it was about time we returned to it. That was one hell of a wait to resolve the cliffhanger, wasn’t it? Here we are, the first Blueshift chapter that is more or less entirely original content, with all the scenes being written from scratch instead of being adapted from canon equivalents. There was some inspiration in the reunion scene from the canon version, but it was still written from scratch.
So this chapter opens by rewinding a bit to show things from Naomi’s perspective and what she was talking to Arlon about before seeing Alex. I thought it made sense for better story flow and provide context for why she’s here. Then we come to the real meat of the scene. The reunion was something I’d been thinking about since almost the beginning of this series and I had a really developed idea for it at one point. Then I took a really long break from writing and forgot some details. As I was writing it, I began to remember things I had forgotten, but I did need to come up with some new ideas for it too. The narrative structure is the same as my original plan, though. It shows that Alex has had the same growth she had in canon, but also the new perspective she had from starting to move on and being in love with someone else. This is, of course, tough news for Naomi, but she’s a strong, mature individual and understands that her expectations were unrealistic.
Despite them not getting back together, they do end up resolving to repair their friendship because they’ve both had significant impact on each other’s lives. And Naomi knows she can rely on Alex. Which brings us to the next part of this chapter. Since we’re a bit further down the timeline than we were at the same point in canon, Naomi has had more time to work toward her goal of bringing down her father’s business, and there’s just one last thing to do to tie it all together. Enter the Helix crew helping to put together a plan to help her do that. The Other Guy wrote most of the second scene, while I just provided some details in regard to the people and information involved, and it shows Meta taking a more active role on the team, which is something we’ve been looking forward too.
And then we have some future conflicts getting set up. Naomi obviously still has feelings for Alex, and now Alex is learning that she really hasn’t gotten over Naomi. So now she has some conflicted feelings to deal with. We’ll see how that plays out in time. The main goal of the third scene was to start setting up that tension, but also to provide some recap. I figured that since it’s been a while since this series had a chapter it would be helpful to remind people what’s going on, and doing that by bringing Naomi up to speed worked perfectly.
The final scene was to show Alex starting to reflect on that conflict, but I also wanted to show off some of her Pokeball skills. Around this time in the campaign in canon, Alex got some new feats that I ended up not really get to try out that I think will be able to be shown in this universe. The missions that will be happening will just work better for them. I’m excited for where this series is heading next, and hopefully the next chapter won’t be too far off.
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 Spacemon Appendix which is a repository of information on all the lore and characters of Spacemon, or like our Facebook page to stay updated on all things Spacemon! Click here for the next exciting installment of Spacemon: Blueshift!