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!
“This news is most saddening. A monk’s life cut short before he could complete the most important journey of his life.”
“Indeed,” Taraka said, nodding his head in agreement at the elderly monk displayed on the holoscreen of the Maverick’s comms terminal.
“And what of Brother Shareef’s Pokemon?” the older monk asked.
“They are unharmed,” Taraka answered. “I intend to release them back into the wild. I know a planet that is well suited to fighting types.”
“I am am sure he would approve.”
The old monk then fell silent, as if in deep thought. “Tell me, Brother Taraka,” he eventually said. “Were you able to recover Brother Shareef’s scroll?”
Taraka bowed his head. “I am afraid not,” he answered. “It was not on his person, nor amongst his possessions aboard his meditation sphere.”
“I see,” the older monk on the other end of the call said.
“I believe that it was taken by the killer,” Taraka continued.
The old monk stroked his long white beard. “Hmm. Most disturbing. Let us hope the Federation authorities apprehend this killer swiftly.”
“If it is alright, I would like to continue looking into this as well,” Taraka said.
“Your business while on your pilgrimage is your own, Brother Taraka. You are free to follow the path you choose, but be careful.”
“I intend to.”
“Good. Good. I wish you well, Brother Taraka.”
Taraka bowed in respect. “Thank you.” The screen then went black as the call ended. Taraka took in a deep breath, then turned away from the comms terminal.
Once the Federation investigators had arrived on the scene and begun their investigation, Taraka had contacted the Congregate to inform them of Shareef Patil’s death, as well as his own plan to investigate the mysterious shadowy figure. The Congregate seemed content to wait for the Federation authorities to carry out their investigation, but something about that figure deeply bothered Taraka. He knew he wouldn’t feel right if he didn’t look into this matter for himself.
As soon as possible, Taraka wished to begin searching for clues as to the identity of the mysterious figure, but first there was business to attend to. The monk looked down at the Pokeballs in his hands; they contained Shareef Patil’s Pokemon, a Lucario and a Medicham. He wanted to take them to Meridian, a planet he knew was home to many fighting type Pokemon, so that he could release them into the wild. Taraka knew they would be happy there.
Taraka placed the Pokeballs into his pocket, then departed from the room. He needed to find the captain and inform him of his plan.
“Go and be free,” Taraka said as he looked into the eyes of the two Pokemon that formerly belonged to Shareef Patil. Through his own psionic abilities, as well as the unique capabilities of Lucario and Medicham, the monk could sense the two Pokemon could understand his desire for them to go free and find peace on this world.
After this brief shared moment, the Pokemon turned away from the lake shore and headed for the treeline of the jungle. A somber smile appeared on Taraka’s face as he watched the Lucario and Medicham disappear into the foliage. Even though their trainer had passed on, the monk knew they would be able to thrive on this world amongst the Machamps, Pangoros, and other fighting type Pokemon he knew to dwell in the jungles of Meridian.
Once they had gone, Taraka began the trek back to the Fortuna spaceport. The jungle lake where the monk had released the Pokemon back into the wild was a ways away from the settlement, at the end of a winding path leading down the cliffs into the dense jungle and along the banks of the river. It had seemed a good place to release them, and Taraka certainly didn’t mind the peaceful walk through nature.
A good hour or so later, Taraka walked into the spaceport. After the long hike down to the lake and back, he was eager to return to the Maverick and rest. As he crossed the spaceport’s atrium, headed in the direction of the landing platforms, Taraka’s attention was captured by a well-dressed man manning a curio table nearby other merchants selling their wares. This tall, bearded, dark-haired man seemed particularly out of place amongst the usual Outer Rim merchants and traders one expected to find in a colony spaceport.
As Taraka passed, the man seemed to catch his gaze. “Right this way, good sir!” he exclaimed, a posh Genevan accent quite apparent. “See for yourself what I have to offer!” he continued, waving the monk over.
More curious than anything, Taraka approached the man and his curio table. The man, who did not appear to be that much older than Taraka himself, looked expectantly at him as the monk stepped up to the table. Examining the goods on display, Taraka noted what seemed to be brightly colored gemstones and what he could only assume were Pokemon accessories. Again, Taraka noted how out of place this man and his wares seemed to be in this spaceport. Intrigued, Taraka looked up from the table. “Is there any reason someone such as yourself is out here selling his wares all by himself?” he asked.
“Well, that is an interesting story,” the man replied, chuckling slightly. “You see, the ship I originally purchased passage on left before I was done selling my wares on this world, and I have been trying to scrounge up money to continue my peddler’s journey. I’ve been here for about a week and no ships have been able to take me anywhere.”
Having been in similar situations himself before he found his way onto the Maverick, Taraka felt for this man. He knew he had to do what he could to help him. “I don’t have a ship, but I am part of a crew,” the monk explained. “We might have room for another passenger, but I am not sure; I will need to check with my captain and see if he is open to taking you to where you need to go.”
The man’s eyes lit up at Taraka’s words. “That would be splendid, sir! Absolutely splendid! Thank you!”
Taraka smiled. “I am happy to assist,” he said. “Our ship is docked just over there,” the monk continued, motioning towards the landing platforms.
“Wonderful,” the man said cheerfully. “Allow me a moment to gather my things.”
“Of course,” Taraka said, nodding.
A few short minutes later, the man had his curio table and wares packed away. “That should do it,” he said. “Lead the way my new friend!”
“Tell me, stranger,” Taraka said as they began making their way toward the ship. “What is your name?”
The man smiled and extended his hand. “Roland Mercette, at your service.”
Captain Cyrus Drake lay on his bed in his quarters aboard the UAS Maverick as he awaited Taraka’s return. He was eager to depart for Khalimuck to unload the salvage his crew had gathered on their last stop and get paid, but he was making use of the downtime on Meridian to get in some relaxation. As much as he was used to squeezing his rest in where he could between jobs, the Maverick’s captain appreciated the peace and quiet of a ship docked at port, its normally droning engines silent. This was a rare occurrence aboard his ship, so he was certainly going to make the most of it.
“Captain!” Cyrus suddenly heard Taraka call out. “Are you here?”
Cyrus sat up and got to his feet, then exited the room. “Right here,” he said as he stepped out into the ship’s main corridor. The monk was standing near the airlock, accompanied by a tall man with a neatly trimmed and combed beard. “Who’s your friend here?”
“This is Roland,” Taraka introduced the man to Cyrus. “He’s looking for passage off this planet. Roland, this is Cyrus Drake, the captain of this ship.”
“A pleasure to meet you, sir,” Roland said, offering his hand.
Cyrus nodded and shook the man’s hand. He seemed to be quite friendly. “Where ya headed?” Cyrus asked.
“Nowhere in particular,” Roland said. “I have been traveling from world to world, selling my wares.”
“Oh, so you’re a merchant?”
“Among other things, yes. I am also an archaeologist and a craftsman. I collect artifacts and such and craft my own goods to sell and pay my way across the stars. Unfortunately, the last ship I booked passage on left without me and I do not have the funds to afford another.” Roland then turned to Taraka. “Your friend here tells me that you offered him passage in exchange for his services.”
Cyrus nodded. “That I did. Let me guess, you were hoping for a similar arrangement?”
“If it is not too much trouble,” Roland said.
“Let’s say I’m interested,” Cyrus said. “What services would I be getting in return?”
“I can offer my skills as a craftsman free of charge,” Roland replied. “I can make items to aid your Pokemon in combat, or simply make them look stylish. Or perhaps, if I can find customers on the planets we visit, I can split my profits with you.”
Cyrus smiled and offered his hand. “Alright, Roland, you’ve got yourself a deal.”
Roland gladly accepted and gave the captain’s hand a firm shake. “Thank you kindly, sir!”
“Don’t mention it,” Cyrus said. “We’ve got an extra room, anyway,” he added, motioning to the empty room between Taraka’s and the med bay. He walked over and tapped the console, then waved Roland inside as the door slid open. “It’s all yours.”
“Splendid!” Roland exclaimed, stepping into the room. He set his bags down, then took a seat on the bed. “At last, a bed of my own again. It will be good to no longer be sleeping on the streets, under my curio table.”
“I would imagine so,” Cyrus said, letting out a chuckle. “Go ahead and get yourself settled in. I’ll give you a tour later and introduce you to the rest of the crew if you like.”
“That would be most enjoyable!”
As the UAS Maverick flew through warp space en route to its next destination, Roland walked through the corridors of his new means of transport accompanied by the ship’s captain. Cyrus led the way as they stepped out of the cargo bay, which had been the first stop on the tour pointing out the rooms as they passed them by.
“Med bay’s here next to your room,” the captain said. “And Taraka’s room on the other side of yours.” He then approached the room directly across the corridor from Taraka’s. “And this is Axel’s room,” he said before knocking on the door. “Hmm, guess he’s still asleep,” the captain said after a few moments. “The guy sleeps like a log, so no point trying to wake him. You’ll meet him later.”
“I’m sure I will,” Roland commented.
“Watch out for him, though,” Cyrus added with a laugh. “He’s got a short fuse and likes to burn things.”
“Noted,” Roland replied with a chuckle of his own. “I’ll be sure to keep that in mind.”
“This room belongs to Erik, our engineer,” Cyrus continued, pointing out the next one over. “He’s usually in his workshop,” he said, leading Roland into the room across from the med bay.
Entering the room, Roland saw a man with a thick mustache, who he could only assume was Erik, giving a humanoid-looking robot a tune-up. Both the man and the robot looked up at him and the captain as they entered.
“Who’s this guy?” the robot asked. Its voice was surprisingly realistic, which caught Roland by surprise.
“Oh shit,” Cyrus cursed. “Guess the cat’s out of the bag here. This is Roland; he’s going to be traveling with us for a while. Roland, meet Erik Virtanen, the Maverick’s engineer.”
“How do you do, sir?” Roland asked, nodding at Erik.
“And this is Ace,” the captain continued, nodding over at the robot. “An android we discovered in some ancient ruins.” His tone then became quite serious. “This is a secret that is not to leave this ship. He’s a sentient being and our friend, and we don’t want him to become the subject of unethical experiments.”
“Of course. Of course!” Roland replied in his typical jolly tone. “It is a pleasure to meet you both and you have my word that my lips are sealed on this matter.”
“Then I think we’re going to get along just fine, Roland,” Erik said, offering his hand.
“I’m sure we are, sir,” Roland agreed, giving the engineer’s hand a firm shake.
“I’m glad that all worked out,” Cyrus said. “Now, come on, I’ll show you the rest of the ship.”
“Lead on, sir!”
Over the next few minutes, the Maverick’s captain led Roland through the rest of the ship, pointing out his own quarters and those of the ship’s pilot, showing him around the living quarters, and finally bringing him to the front of the ship to meet the pilot herself.
“This is our pilot, Anya,” Cyrus said, introducing Roland to the young Romanov woman who was responsible for flying the Maverick.
“Roland Mercette, at your service.”
“Hello,” Anya replied.
“I must say, I did not expect to find someone so young piloting a ship such as this,” Roland commented.
A slight smirk appeared on the pilot’s face. “I get that a lot,” she said. “But don’t you worry. I’ve been piloting since I was a teenager; I know what I’m doing.”
Roland let out a jolly laugh. “Most excellent.”
“Definitely,” Cyrus said. “I couldn’t ask for a better pilot.”
“So, if I may ask, where are we headed to next?” Roland asked after a few moments.
“Khalimuck,” Cyrus answered.
“Fantastic!” Roland exclaimed. “I am sure I will have more success selling my wares there than Meridian.”
“Oh, I have no doubt,” Cyrus said. “We already have a buyer there lined up for the salvage we pulled out of the ruins we visited a few days back.”
“Salvage, you say?” Roland said. “What kind of salvage?”
“Oh, you know, ancient tech and that sort of this,” Cyrus explained. “We even found a piece that still seems functional, not that we know what it does,” he added, letting out a laugh.
“I see,” Roland said. “As an archaeologist, I might be able to tell you more about it if I could get a look at it.”
“Sure,” the Maverick’s captain replied. “You can take a look if you want. Follow me.”
“Here it is,” Cyrus Drake said as he pulled a rectangular object out of a crate full of salvage in the Maverick’s cargo hold. The captain handed it to Roland, who began to examine it. “The boys here can probably tell you more about it,” he continued, looking over at Ace and Taraka, who had accompanied them. “I wasn’t there when they found it.”
“Hmm,” Roland said as he looked the object in his hands over. There was not much of note about the thing except for some kind of panel with what looked like four buttons arranged in a grid pattern. “Well, it’s certainly technological in nature,” he observed. “But I’m afraid I cannot say more. What else can you tell me about this item?”
“We found it in some ruins that appear to be related to some sites we have visited in the past,” Taraka said. “Including the location where we found Ace.”
“So then you might know more about this?” Roland asked, looking over at Ace.
“I don’t remember anything from before these guys reactivated me,” the android explained.
“Most unfortunate,” Roland said. “Most unfortunate. Well, my intriguing new friend, perhaps this artifact might trigger a memory or something.”
Roland handed the object to Ace, who looked at it for a few moments before shaking his head. “I don’t think that’s how it works,” the android said, passing the object back to Roland.
“Hmm,” Roland said, looking Ace over. “Perhaps you have a port or something to insert it into?”
“Watch where you go inserting things,” Ace warned, eyeing Roland cautiously.
Roland let out a laugh. “Oh, believe me, my friend, I wouldn’t insert anything into a sentient being without consent. This does seem to be a bust, however. Perhaps the merchant you are selling it to knows what it is.”
“I believe that to be unlikely,” Taraka said. “We should just sell it and be done with it.”
“Isn’t that a dangerous idea?” Roland asked the monk. “We should test this thing first. We should try pressing these buttons and see what they do.”
“We might want to get off the ship before we try that,” Taraka pointed out.
Roland laughed again. “Right you are my friend. That’s probably a good idea. We wouldn’t want to release a plague or something of that sort on a contained spaceship.”
“Definitely not,” Cyrus chimed in. “No destroying my ship.”
“I wouldn’t dream of it, sir,” Roland said. “We should find a barren world to test this object on.”
“Good idea,” the captain said. “There’s an uninhabited planet in the same system as Khalimuck. I’ll tell Anya to divert us there before we make our delivery.”
“Most excellent!” Roland exclaimed. “A fine plan indeed.”
Notes: And so the revolving door of players has begun. This session was the first after IR dropped out of the campaign and the first to feature our new player in the role of Roland. I was glad to have a relatively seamless transition. Axel was unable to make it to this session so it was just Novi and the new guy. I quickly wrapped things up on the planet from the previous session and got the ship back to a civilized planet to bring in the new player so he wasn’t sitting around for too long. Unfortunately, I forgot to start recording again, so everything that happened before Taraka and Roland met was lost. Over a year later when I sat down to write this, I had completely forgotten what had happened, so I had to make it up. I’m happy with how it turned out. There is still more to the session, but it made sense to break the chapters up here, leaving this one to focus on Roland’s introduction to the Maverick crew.
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!