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!
“That should do it,” Taraka said as he set down the small watering can he used to water his fledgling apricorn garden. The monk then turned back to the small array of portable growers in which he had planted the handful of apricorns he had collected on the last few worlds the Maverick had visited. It had been a few days since they had been planted and they were close to blooming. At the moment, he only had apricorn plants of the green and pink variety, but he hoped to find many more.
“Now then,” he said to himself, turning toward his bed. With his plants seen to, it was time for his daily meditations.
After sitting down on his bed, Taraka brought his feet up into a cross-legged position, then took a deep breath before shutting his eyes. Focusing on his center, the monk attempted to block out his surroundings and clear his mind. However, he found himself unable to concentrate. His mind was wandering, reflecting back upon the events of the past several days.
Taraka couldn’t help but think about the assassin who was likely pursuing him now. He clearly wasn’t meant to recover the crystal from the ruins where he and his crewmates had battled her. Now that he had seen the vision it had triggered, Taraka feared that he would be her next victim.
If that wasn’t enough to worry about, there was also the matter of his new psionic abilities that had begun to manifest themselves. So far, the monk had been able to keep control of them as he figured out what he was capable of. The psionic flame he conjured while fighting off the assassin had been the only one that was accidental. Years of training in the monastery had allowed him to quickly figure out how to repeat what he had done, but he was still flying in the dark. He had never encountered such psionic abilities before, so he would just have to figure them out as he went along.
Taraka took in a deep breath and tried once more to clear his mind. Now was not the time to dwell on these things. He needed to focus on figuring out where he was meant to go next. As it was, his holoscroll was only half complete. Having found the ruins and the gem that he saw in his visions, Taraka had two remaining clues: the book and the figure. Unfortunately, the monk had no idea where to find them.
Taraka breathed out and opened his senses to his scroll. He had to remain hopeful. The answers would reveal themselves in time.
All was quiet aboard the UAS Maverick as the ship dropped out of warp space at the Sector 34 warp gate, having jumped from the neighboring Sector 33. Captain Cyrus Drake sat up in his seat and gazed out the cockpit’s front viewport at the vacuum of space. His ship was currently en route to the planet Araimia on the far side of the sector to make a delivery, but the warp drive needed some time to cool down before making the jump.
With that in mind, Cyrus decided he might as well give his crew some time to stretch their legs and maybe look for some Pokemon too. The Maverick’s captain knew there were a couple habitable planets in this system that they could land on while they waited to jump. Cyrus reached for the comms to notify his crew, opening the shipwide channel.
“Anyone who wants some fresh air meet me at the front of the ship,” he announced before getting to his feet. He then turned to look at Anya in the pilot’s seat. “Take us further into the system,” he told her. “I’m gonna give the boys some free time on one of these planets.”
“You got it,” Anya replied, reaching for the controls.
A few minutes later, Cyrus was joined by Ace, Axel, Gaster, and Taraka near the ship’s scanners, just behind the cockpit. “Alright, we’ve got a bit of time before we can jump,” the Maverick’s captain explained. “There’s some habitable planets in this system, so I’d figured I’d give you some time to go look for Pokemon.”
“You know us so well, boss,” Axel said, chuckling. “What kind of planets do we have here?”
“Well, you’ve got two options,” Cyrus explained, motioning at the navchart. “There’s a planet covered in marshlands, and a forest world with lots of volcanoes. Take your pick.”
“You know me, Captain,” Axel said. “I say we check out that volcanic planet. I bet there are some cool fire types there.”
“How did I know you were going to say that?” Cyrus said, letting out a laugh.
“Because he’s Axel,” Taraka said.
“This man gets it,” Axel laughed. “So what do you guys think? Wanna check this planet out?”
“Works for me,” Gaster said.
“I am fine with this as well,” Taraka agreed.
“What about you, Ace?” Axel asked, looking over at the android. “It’s been awhile since you joined us on a good Pokemon hunt.”
“I’m in,” Ace replied with a nod.
“That settles it then,” Axel said, grinning. “Let’s do this.”
A slight smile appeared on Taraka’s face as he took in a breath of the night time forest air. “What a lovely evening,” the monk said, looking over at Gaster, who was accompanying him through the woods. The two had paired up again to search for Pokemon amongst the trees while Axel had taken Ace with him to check out one of the volcanoes.
“Hopefully the Pokemon agree and decide to come out from hiding,” Gaster replied, scanning the bushes for any signs of life.
“I am certain we will find some,” Taraka said as they stepped out into an open clearing much like the one the Maverick had landed in. From here, the monk could see the two large volcanic mountains that formed the valley they were in rising above the treeline.
As he was admiring the view, Taraka suddenly heard the hoot of a Hoothoot. Turning to the source of the noise, the monk spotted the Pokemon sitting in the hollow of a large tree. “What did I tell you?” he said to his crewmate. “Want to catch it?”
“I’m more interested in that,” Gaster replied, pointing across the clearing.
Looking in the direction the former smuggler was pointing, Taraka saw an Oddish emerging from the trees. It seemed to be wandering aimlessly. As the two watched the Pokemon move about, Taraka heard a rustling in the bushes to their left. He turned to look just as a Flareon stepped out into the clearing, sniffing along the ground.
“And here comes something I would like to capture,” Taraka said.
“Good luck,” Gaster said before sending out his Shuppet and walking off toward the Oddish.
“To you as well,” the monk replied, nodding. “Now then,” he said, reaching for Sirius’s Pokeball. “Let’s see about catching you, my furry little friend.”
As the monk and his newly sent out Togekiss approached the Flareon, it tensed up and growled at them, warning them to back off. “So that’s how it’s going to be, huh?” Taraka said. As a precaution, he put up a psionic barrier before turning to his Pokemon. “Sirius, use Fairy Wind.”
The Togekiss landed her attack, prompting to the Flareon to spit flames in her direction. Luckily, Sirius managed to evade, dancing gracefully around the fiery attack. “Now, Fairy Wind again,” Taraka commanded his Pokemon. Sirius launched her attack again, but this time the Flareon was smart and spit flames at her backside as she flew past. Instinctively, Taraka stepped in front of the incoming attack to protect his Pokemon, using his barrier to shield himself. He then hit the Flareon with his staff, driving it back.
“Fairy Wind again!” Taraka then called out. He ducked down as Sirius flew overhead, shooting down another blast of air at the Flareon. As got to his feet, Taraka glanced over at Gaster just in time to witness his crewmate successfully capture the Oddish. Looks like he’s having more luck than I am, the monk thought to himself.
Turning back to his own prospective capture, Taraka saw it running right at him. Unable to react in time, the monk felt a sharp pain shoot through his leg as the Flareon sunk its sharp teeth into it. Grunting in pain, Taraka mashed a Pokeball he had made from an apricorn earlier against the Flareon. He instantly felt relief from the pain as the Pokemon was pulled inside. The ball shook a couple of times in his hand before falling still.
Taraka breathed a sigh of relief, then sat down in the grass to tend to his leg. After bandaging his leg up and applying some medicine, the monk looked over to see Gaster’s Shuppet trading blows with the Hoothoot from earlier. “Go help them out, Sirius,” Taraka told his Pokemon. “Use Sweet Kiss to daze it!”
Seizing upon the opportunity Sirius provided, Gaster took a shot at the Hoothoot with his rifle, landing a good hit. Unfortunately, that only made the Pokemon angry. With a hypnotic flash of its eyes, the Hoothoot put Gaster’s Shuppet to sleep, then flew right at the former smuggler.
Gaster reacted quickly, throwing a Pokeball right at the Hoothoot. The ball pulled the Pokemon inside, then fell to the ground. It shook only once before breaking open. Taraka watched as the Hoothoot flew right at his crewmate again. Gaster quickly dodged out of the way of the attack, however.
“Sirius, wake his Shuppet up with Gentle Vibe!” Taraka called out to his Pokemon. As Sirius flew over to Gaster’s Pokemon to do her thing, Taraka watched his crewmate attempt another capture.
“Screw this!” Gaster shouted as the Hoothoot broke out of yet another ball. “Clara finish it off!” he then called out to his newly awoken Shuppet. “Use Knock Off!” Floating over to the Hoothoot as fast as she could, Clara bashed into it, knocking it out.
“Damn thing was more trouble than it was worth,” Gaster grumbled as he walked over to Taraka. “At least I caught the Pokemon I actually wanted.”
“Likewise,” Taraka said, holding up the ball that now held his Flareon.
“You alright?” Gaster asked, glancing at the bandage on the monk’s leg as he pulled him to his feet. “Should we head back to the ship.”
“It is not that bad and I have already patched it up,” Taraka replied, smiling. “I would like to keep looking around.”
“Alright then,” Gaster said. “Works for me.”
“This looks pretty good,” Gaster said as he shined the light on his rifle down into the dark cave entrance he and Taraka had stumbled upon during their exploration. “Might be some different kinds of Pokemon down here,” the former smuggler continued. “Wanna check it out?”
“Indeed,” Taraka said, nodding.
And with that, the pair descended into the dark tunnel. However, it didn’t remain dark for long. As they went deeper, the whole place was lit up by the glow of lava flows. The two soon found themselves in a large open cavern with a large lava pool in it. Apart from the rocky ‘shore’ they stood upon, the only ground was a large flat rock in the center of the lava lake, upon which stood a Magmar.
As he scanned the cavern with his rifle, Gaster spotted three red-coloured Zubats flying around the stalactites above the pool of lava. He also saw a Quilava wandering along the edge of the pool a few meters away from where he and Taraka were standing, and a Torkoal a few meters past it.
“There a lots of Pokemon here,” Gaster said, looking over at Taraka.
“Axel would love this cave,” Taraka said, letting out a chuckle. “I wonder if he and Ace found anything like this.”
“Let’s just be glad he’s not here,” Gaster said, reaching for Jimothy’s Pokeball. “Otherwise he’d take all these fire types for himself.”
“Good point,” Taraka said, sending out his Aerodactyl.
As the two sent out their Pokemon, the three Zubats flew down at them, sensing a threat. “Quick, use Torment!” Gaster commanded his Krokorok. Jimothy made taunting growls at the Zubats as they closed in, throwing off their senses. Gaster seized the opportunity to fire off a few shots, landing a couple hits on one of them.
“Fels Vogel, use Ancient Power!” Taraka then commanded his own Pokemon before throwing up a psionic barrier. The Aerodactyl let loose a powerful attack that blasted one of the attacking Zubats several meters back, right into the lava pool. With a mighty roar, Fels then lifted off the ground, flying high above the lake of motel rock. This caught the attention of the Magmar, which began spitting flames out at the Aerodactyl. However, Fels’s rocky hide kept him safe from harm.
As the remaining Zubats flew at Taraka’s Aerodactyl, Gaster shifted his attention to the Quilava, which was watching the commotion from behind a rock. That was the Pokemon he was really after, and Taraka and his Pokemon seemed to have things under control with the Zubats.
“Jimothy, hit that Quilava with Sand Tomb!” Gaster ordered his Pokemon, pointing out the target. His Krokorok fired off a vortex of sand, but the Quilava took shelter behind the rock, avoiding the hit. When the dust settled, the Quilava launched out from behind the rock, curled up in a ball of flames. “Look out, Jimothy!” Gaster called out. Jimothy heeded the warning, diving out of the way just in time.
Just then, one of the Zubats shot past, knocked back by an attack from Taraka’s Aerodactyl. Taking advantage of the situation, Gaster chucked a Pokeball at the hurt Pokemon. The ball pulled the Zubat in, but it broke open before it even hit the ground and its damaged parts went flying into the lava pool.
“Damn,” Gaster said as the Zubat began flying at him. Before he could dodge out of the way, the Pokemon sank its fangs into his arm. Grunting in pain, Gaster hit the Zubat with his other hand, knocking it off and into a rock.
As he turned to throw another ball at the Zubat, Gaster saw Taraka successfully capture the other one, then begin walking over to help. While his Aerodactyl continued to fight it out with the Magmar, which had since moved to the ‘shore’ from the ‘island’ it had been resting on, the monk sent out his Togekiss. “Sirius, use Yawn!” Taraka ordered the Pokemon. “Put it to sleep!”
Once the Zubat had dozed off thanks to Sirius, Gaster pulled out another Pokeball and threw it. The ball pulled the Zubat inside, and this time it stayed inside. “Glad that’s out of the way,” Gaster said as he turned back to the Quilava, which Jimothy was continually dodging at it attacked.
“Use Sand Tomb!” Gaster called out to his Pokemon. Jimothy let loose his attack, but the Quilava dodged once more, then struck him dead on with another Flame Wheel attack.
“Allow me to assist,” Taraka said. The monk raised a hand and let loose a psionic burst that caused the Quilava to stumble over in a daze.
Before he could react, Gaster saw a vortex of flames engulf Jimothy. He looked at where it had come from to see the Torkoal plodding over. It seemed to have been drawn by all the comotion. “Damn,” Gaster grumbled.
“Leave that one to me,” Taraka said, firing off another burst of psionic energy, stunning the Torkoal much like he had the Quilava.
“Right,” Gaster said, nodding. He then turned back to the Quilava. “Jimothy, use Crunch!” Breaking free of the flames spinning around him, Gaster’s Krokorok ran at the Quilava and sank his fangs in, causing it to curl up in a defensive ball. The former smuggler then recalled his Pokemon, because he was starting to look worn out.
“You’re up, Lulabelle!” Gaster called out as he sent out his Cinccino. “Use Sing!” As she emerged from her ball, Lulabelle let out an ear-splitting cry that left the Quilava and Torkoal momentarily stunned, but it failed to have a lasting effect like Gaster had hoped. In fact, both Pokemon seemed to be more angered than anything. Still curled up in a ball, the Quilava rolled at Lulabell, igniting into flames. The Cinccino managed to dodge the attack, but that left her open to the Torkoal, which spit flames at her and landed a hit.
“Fels Vogel, Rock Slide that Torkoal! Sirius, Fairy Wind the Quilava!” Taraka commanded his Pokemon. There was a loud thud as the Aerodactyl touched down on the ground and attacked the Torkoal, and a rush of air as the Togekiss blasted the Quilava.
“Now for the capture,” Gaster said, pulling out another Pokeball. He threw it as hard as he could at the Quilava, and it was pulled inside. It shook once … then twice … three times … then fell still.
Turning back to the rest of the battle, Gaster saw Taraka recall his Aerodactyl after it took a spray of fire from the Magmar. “Sirius, use Fairy Wind!” the monk then commanded his Togekiss.
As Taraka seemed focused on the Magmar, Gaster decided to focus on the Torkoal. “Lulabelle, use Encore!” This attempt to get the Torkoal’s attention worked a little too well, and was answered with a swirling vortex of flames. Seeing this, Gaster quickly fired off several shots from his rifle, hitting both the Torkoal and the Magmar, leaving both looking rather worn down.
“Now’s the time to catch them!” Gaster shouted.
Two swift Pokeball tosses by Taraka later, the two fire Pokemon were captured. Gaster let out a sigh of relief, then collected his captures. “That got out of hand fast,” the former smuggler said, letting out a laugh.
“But we emerged victorious,” Taraka replied with a smile.
Gaster nodded. “That we need. Now, let’s get back to the ship. I’m worn out.”
Notes: Alternate Title: The Pokemon Hunting Adventures of Gaster and Taraka, Part 2. Axel was gone again, so it was just Novi and unknown again. They decided to look for Pokemon again too. I generated a couple of planets for them, and they chose a forest/mountain planet with fire types out of the two options. For this chapter, I wrote it that Axel went off to look on his own again, although he had Ace this time because why not. It just didn’t make sense to me that Axel would just stay on the ship on a planet with fire types. It was a fun little session though. They went looking in the woods first and caught some Pokemon, an Oddish which became one of Gaster’s mainstays, and a cute lil Flareon. Then it was into the volcanic caves. They rolled good so I threw a bunch of Pokemon at them, including some fire-shifted Zubats! They caught almost everything! On a side note, this is also the last session before Roland’s player dropped out.
Post-Chapter Challenge: Type shifting Pokemon can be fun, and I’d be lying if there weren’t more fun shifts I’ve thrown at the party in this campaign. We didn’t get to see much of the fire Zubats in action, but you will once Taraka and Gaster use their new captures. Anyway, today’s challenge is to come up with a type shift of your own. Pick a Pokemon and give it an additional type if it’s a mono-type and replace one of its types with another if it’s a dual-type. How is it different than the standard variant? What about its habitat makes it a different type? What different moves and abilities might it have? Go wild!
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!