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 UAS Maverick dropped out of warp space in the Argus system in Sector 5, on approach to Cacia. Having successfully delivered Darlene’s Tauros to Attica, the ship was stopping on the Alliance metropolis world to refuel and resupply. Captain Cyrus Drake had been to the planet before, but it was the first time most of his crew had visited it.
Ace in particular was sounding quite impressed as the ship broke through the atmosphere. He had never seen a planet completely covered in cities before. “Amazing,” the android said as he watched the towering skyscrapers pass by through the front viewport.
“Impressed?” Cyrus asked, glancing over at Ace.
The android nodded. “I’ve never seen anything like it before. So many buildings! And so tall!”
Cyrus chuckled. “I guess you get used to it after a while,” he said. “It’s always mind blowing the first time you see a planet like this in person.”
“Eh, it’s not that impressive,” Axel butted in, shrugging off the captain’s comment.
The Maverick’s captain shook his head. “Whatever you say.”
Not too much later, the ship touched down in one of Cacia’s many spaceports, and the crew disembarked.
“Wow,” Ace gasped as they stepped out onto a raised walkway looking out over the sea of towering structures.
The android started to run ahead, but Cyrus grabbed him by the shoulder before he got too far away. “Don’t get into trouble, now,” the captain warned him. “This would be a bad place to get exposed.”
Ace immediately slowed up. “You’re right,” he said. “I didn’t think of that.”
“It might be a good idea to pick up some more clothes to improve your disguise with,” Cyrus suggested. “Make it look more like you’re just wearing armor.”
Ace nodded. “Good idea.”
“Right,” Cyrus said. “Let’s get moving.”
And so, the Maverick crew split up to make their trip to Cacia more efficient, planning to meet up back at the ship later. Cyrus and Erik went off to pick up some supplies and rations, while Ace, Taraka, and Axel planned to do some shopping.
“Well, that was productive,” Axel said as he and his two crewmates exited one of the many weapons and armor vendors on Cacia. Being an Alliance world, they were all over the place.
It had been a few hours since the Maverick had landed and, in that time, the trio had been to several stores and put their recently earned money to good use. Axel hadn’t bought anything at this one, but both Ace and Taraka seemed satisfied with their purchases. Ace had got himself a ballistic pistol to use as a sidearm when his sword and shield combo wouldn’t be the right tools and Taraka had some custom light armor made to wear under his robes. The monk had expressed a desire to be more protected when they were in dangerous situations. Earlier, they had also picked up some items for their Pokemon, and Ace had picked himself up some new clothes and gear to better disguise himself with.
“Indeed,” Taraka agreed with the Alliance mercenary. “Should we head back to the ship now? We have purchased everything we desired.”
“No sense walking all the way back if the captain’s not ready for us yet,” Axel said. “I’ll give him a call first.” The mercenary then pulled out his Pokedex and called up Cyrus.
“Axel,” the Maverick’s captain greeted him upon picking up. “What do you need?”
“Just checking in to see if we’re ready to leave yet,” Axel replied.
“We’re still picking up supplies,” Cyrus said. “If you three are done with your shopping, why don’t you make yourselves useful and see if you can get us some help with our Rooker problem? Planets like this are a good place to find mercs after all.”
“Got it, boss,” Axel said. “I think we can handle that.”
“Good. See you back at the ship later.”
Cacia’s sun was starting to hang a bit low in the sky as Axel, Taraka, and Ace walked down a walkway on the lower levels of the city. As with a lot of Alliance metropolis worlds, the lower levels were filled with seedy establishments and unsavoury individuals. While he hadn’t been on Cacia before, Axel had been to many similar planets and knew how to find his way around places like this.
“This looks like a good place to look,” the Alliance mercenary said to his companions, stopping in front of a club that looked like it was frequented by the sorts of people he was looking for: mercs, smugglers, and gangsters.
“Are you sure we should go in there?” Ace asked, sounding quite skeptical.
“Of course,” Axel said, patting his robotic crewmate on the back. “These are my kind of people.”
“The two of us will certainly stick out, however,” Taraka said, motioning at Ace and himself.
“Don’t worry about it,” Axel assured the monk. “Just stick with me and everything will be fine.”
“If you say so,” Taraka said, following Axel as he entered the club.
Upon entering, Axel got a familiar vibe from the establishment. Between the throngs of unscrupulous-looking patrons and the aggressive hardcore jazz-punk playing in the background, he felt right at home.
“So now what?” Ace asked, taking a look around.
“Just leave this to me,” Axel said before walking up to the bar.
“What can I getcha?” the bartender asked.
“What do you know about Anton Rooker?” Axel asked the man, ignoring the question.
“Anton Rooker,” Axell repeated. “The smuggler. He’s kind of a big deal.”
“Never heard of him.”
“Bartenders in places like this are supposed to know these things,” Axel grumbled, annoyed.
“What the hell are you talkin’ about, pal?”
“Never mind,” Axel said, stepping back. He turned away from the bar and looked out across the club. “Hey!” he shouted, getting the attention of everyone nearby. “Hey! Who here knows about Anton Rooker?!”
Suddenly, the place got a lot quieter. There was a long moment of uncomfortable silence during which Taraka and Ace shuffled uncomfortably behind Axel.
“What’s it to you?” a gruff man sitting at one of the tables asked. Sizing him up, Axel could tell he knew how to handle himself.
“He’s giving us some trouble and we’re looking for some people to help us take him down,” Axel told the man.
“You want to take down Anton Rooker?”
Sensing some hostility, Axel began readying his flamethrower, just in case. “That’s what I said.”
“You here that boys?” the man asked, looking around at the guys sitting around him. “These three want to take down Anton Rooker,” he continued, laughing.
“Is that a problem?” Axel asked.
“Well, you see, the thing is, we also want to take down Anton Rooker.”
“Well, that’s a good thing, isn’t it? Why don’t we work together?”
The man let out a laugh. “I was thinkin’ the same thing. We’re putting together a raid on one of Rooker’s shipments. Talk to my associate in the back if you wanna sign on.” The man nodded towards the back of the club.
“Sounds good,” Axel said before turning away. The Alliance mercenary began walking toward the back of the club, Taraka and Ace close behind.
“Don’t you think that was a bit reckless?” Ace asked.
Axel let out a loud laugh. “I knew what I was doing!”
At the back of the club, the trio located a merc with a short but scraggly beard and an eyepatch seated behind a table that was obviously set up for people to sign up for a mission. “You the guy we need to talk to to sign up for the Rooker mission?” Axel asked.
“Yup,” the man replied in a deep, gravely voice. “You look like you can handle yourselves. Is it just the three of you?”
“Nah,” Axel replied. “One more, plus a ship.”
“You’ve got a ship? Good.” The merc made a few quick swiping motions on his datapad. “Be at these coordinates in Sector 32 in nine days. You’ll get paid after the mission … if you survive.”
“That won’t be a problem for us,” Axel said with a chuckle.
The mercenary behind the table smirked. “Good. Welcome aboard.”
It was early evening by the time Ace, Axel, and Taraka stepped off the mag-train back to the spaceport. The stop was a good ways out from the port itself, so the trio still had a bit of a walk ahead of them.
As Ace walked away from the shuttle with his crewmates, a dark-haired man with a neatly trimmed beard wearing a lab coat who was too focused on his Pokedex to watch where he was going walked into him. “Watch where you’re walking,” the man chastised Ace even though their collision was clearly his fault. He spoke with an accent Ace was not familiar with. He definitely wasn’t a native of the planet.
“Sorry,” Ace apologized.
“Hmm,” the man said as he looked up from his Pokedex. His eyes then narrowed as he looked Ace over. “There is something odd about you.”
Ace began panicking internally. Does he see through my disguise? the android thought. “Nope. Nothing odd about me,” he said.
“I’m not so sure …” The man began reaching out. “Let me get a—”
The man’s words were cut off as Ace reflexively took a swing at his face with a closed fist. He was knocked right off his feet from the hit. Ace wasted no time in bolting away from the scene. “Run!” he shouted to his two crewmates, who began to follow him.
“What the hell happened back there?” Axel asked as he and his two crewmates neared the spaceport.
“I don’t know,” Ace answered. “I thought he saw through my disguise, so I panicked.”
“He did look like some kind of scientist,” Taraka said. “The kind of person we don’t want to get their hands on him.”
“In that case, I think we should get off this planet as soon as possible,” Axel said. “And let’s definitely not mention this to the captain.”
Ace nodded. “Agreed,” the android said.
A few moments later, the trio arrived back at the Maverick and boarded the ship. Making their way to the living quarters, they located Cyrus and Erik sitting at the table, chatting.
“Hey, Captain, we picked up a mission that’ll help us take down Rooker,” Axel informed his employer.
“Excellent,” Cyrus replied. “What are the details?
“Well, we have to be at these coordinates on the twenty-sixth,” Axel informed the captain, showing him the coordinates on his Pokedex. “We’re gonna raid a couple of his ships to hurt his business.”
Cyrus smirked. “Sounds like fun.”
“Yeah, it should be,” Axel said with a nod. “We only get paid as long as we survive, though. I figured that wouldn’t be a problem.”
“Well, I don’t think any of us plan on dying, now do we?”
“Exactly,” Taraka agreed. “So it’s not a problem.”
“Now we just need to figure out how to best prepare for this mission,” Cyrus said.
“Captain, we should leave this planet just in case Rooker finds out there’s something brewing here,” Axel said. He knew that was a rather unlikely thing to happen, but he thought it was a good idea to get off Cacia right away. “We should probably head out, just to be safe, you know?”
Cyrus nodded. “Good thinking,” the Maverick’s captain said. “It’ll take a few days to get back to Sector 32 anyway, so we ought to get back there with enough time to spare. Once we make the jump, we’ll figure it out from there.”
“Sounds like a plan.”
Notes: I practically wrote this chapter from scratch. There was a tiny bit of session 6 to wrap up at the start of this chapter, but the majority of it is from session 7. Unfortunately, I forgot to start the recording at the beginning of the session again. The worst part was that there was some great RP from all the PCs at the beginning of the session. At the time of writing it had been many months since the session, so I forgot a lot of the details of the events that took place, the scene in the bar and the one with the scientist in particular. I basically rewrote an entirely new version of the bar scene, even if the end outcome was the same. It all worked out in the end, though. Just for pacing reasons, only the last scene is pulled from that recording (the first scene is from the end of session 6’s recording), and most of the session is left for the next chapter. The scene with the scientist was funny because I wasn’t expecting IR to just punch the character I was trying to introduce and then run! Oh, and I reused a planet that made a brief appearance in Arlon’s origin story for the original Spacemon series.
Post-Chapter Challenge: We haven’t had one of these in a while, so I thought now was a good time for one. The scientist Ace punched was a character I was trying to introduce as a possible antagonist/rival for Ace, but obviously things didn’t go as intended. Maybe he will turn up again, maybe he won’t. Who can say? This chapter’s challenge is to come up with your own antagonist for the Maverick crew! It can be a rival character for a specific member, or a powerful villain they face together! The campaign is still ongoing, so perhaps I will use your idea if it’s good enough!
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!