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 sound of Anya’s footsteps echoed in the empty corridor as she walked along. It was almost unsettlingly quiet, but it was better than staying cooped up in the small room she shared with her mother. The young Romanov girl knew Markovic’s men sometimes prowled the hallways in this part of the station, but it was a risk worth taking. As much as she hated living on this station, staying in only one small part of it was even worse.
As she continued on her way, Anya looked up at a flickering ceiling light. In the silence, she could hear clearly the faint buzzing sound it was producing. Once she had passed beneath, she looked back in front of her, only to see her path blocked. Standing in the middle of corridor, only a few feet in front of her, was Emil, the younger of Markovic’s two sons. He had seemingly appeared out of nowhere.
Anya felt a shiver of fear run down her spine as Emil took a step toward her. “What have we here?” he asked, breaking into that creepy smirk he always had on his face. Anya was now very much regretting sneaking out.
“What’s a pretty girl like you doing here all by herself?” Emil asked, moving ever closer.
Finally, Anya managed to will her feet to move. She turned to run, but she was too late. Emil grabbed her arm and pulled her back. “Where do you think you’re going?” he breathed in her ear. Anya could feel the tears beginning to stream down her cheeks. She didn’t know what to do.
“Let her go, Emil.”
Anya felt relief rush over her at the sound of Jun’s voice. She was saved.
“What do you want, Azarov?” Emil sneered, turning to face Jun.
“Your father’s looking for you,” Jun said dryly.
“Tell him I’ll be there shortly.”
“I’m not going anywhere until you let her go, creep” Jun said. “She’s still a damn kid.”
“Have it your way,” Emil said. He released his grip and Anya fell against the wall and slid to the floor. Emil then turned and grabbed Jun by the arm. “It’s fortunate for you that you are my father’s best smuggler,” he sneered. “Otherwise I would kill you where you stand.”
“And it’s fortunate for you that your father runs this place,” Jun replied calmly.
Emil grunted, and released Jun. He then slinked off to go see his father.
Jun immediately ran to Anya and pulled her to her feet. “Are you alright?” he asked her.
“Mhm,” Anya managed to say, nodding her head.
“He didn’t hurt you, did he?”
“What the hell were you thinking, wandering off alone? You know how dangerous it is here. Your mother would kill me if anything happened to you.”
“I’m sorry, okay,” Anya replied. “I wasn’t thinking.”
“It doesn’t matter now,” Jun said. “Let’s go. We’re moving our timetable up.”
“What do you mean?” Anya asked.
“I’m getting you and your mother out of here tonight,” Jun said. “Markovic just assigned me a big job and there won’t be another opportunity like this for a while and it’s only a matter of time before he figures out what we’re planning. It’s now or never.”
And so it was. Over the next hour, Anya and her mother rushed to pack up their things. It was finally time to escape from Markovic’s clutches. Unfortunately, they ended up not having as much time as they hoped.
It all happened so fast that Anya barely had time to process it. Markovic’s men were on them as they were sneaking away to Jun’s ship. One moment everything was going according to plan, and the next, all hell broke loose.
“Jun, take her and go!” Anya’s mom pleaded. “Please take care of her.” And with a push, she sent them on their way.
“Mom, no!” Anya cried out as Jun dragged her away. She could only look on as her mother sacrificed herself to allow them to escape.
“Mom!” Anya cried out as she bolted upright in bed.
It was a dream.
“Hey, are you alright?”
Anya looked over to see Kasey, her new cabin-mate, sitting up in her bunk. She had a look of concern on her face.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” Anya lied. She wasn’t one to open up, least of all to someone she had only just met.
“If you say so,” Kasey said before she laid back down. Moments later, she was asleep again.
Anya was not so lucky. She laid awake for hours before finally giving up on getting any more sleep before the Maverick dropped out of warp space. She let out a sigh and pulled out her datapad. It was going to be a long night.
“So what’s the big deal with this Markovic guy anyway?”
Gaster frowned at Axel from across the table. Having only awakened recently, the mercenary clearly had no idea what was going on at the moment. “He’s a big name Romanov gangster,” Gaster explained. “He’s got a lot of political power in the criminal underworld of the Romanov Union and the Outer Rim.”
“He’s got his hand in almost every shady market you can imagine,” Anya added. “Weapons, drugs, Human trafficking.” Those last two words left the pilot’s mouth with uncharacteristic bitterness.
“Yeah, he’s a pretty bad dude,” Gaster said.
“So what?” Axel asked. “He doesn’t sound so tough.”
“It’s not about how tough he is, it’s about the clout he has in the criminal world. This is not somebody you fuck with. And not somebody you trust either. I learned that the hard way. But he pays nicely if he doesn’t decide to shoot you afterwards.”
“That’s not getting paid nicely,” Taraka spoke up. “That’s not even getting paid.”
“Well he pays most people,” Gaster replied. “I just got unlucky.”
“What happened, exactly?” Cyrus inquired.
“He hired me to transport these secret goods,” Gaster explained. “Told me to absolutely never open the package. When I delivered it, everything seemed fine. They said they were going to send the credits to my account and I foolishly believed them. As I was just breaking the planet’s orbit, they started shooting at me and my ship crashed and I spent two months living in the desert. Who knows how long I’d have been stuck there if you guys hadn’t shown up.”
“So what kind of goods were you transporting?” Axel asked.
“I don’t know,” Gaster replied. “It was a secret. Unlike Markovic, I actually upheld my end of the bargain and didn’t open his cargo. Anyway, the point is, don’t trust the guy. He may try to sweet talk you, but he’s lying through his teeth, I guarantee it.”
“You seem to have some knowledge of his operation,” Cyrus said. “Anything you can tell us that might make this rescue a little easier?”
Gaster shrugged. “I don’t know much, I’m afraid. I was just a contractor. He hired me for the one job and that was it. That was the last time I saw him.”
“That’s a shame,” the captain said. “But we’ll manage. Now, all of you, get yourselves prepared. We’ll be dropping out of warp space in a couple hours.”
“Sounds like a plan,” Gaster said with a nod. Then a grin broke out on his face. “I can’t wait to see the look on Markovic’s face when he finds out I’m not dead.”
Axel whistled to himself as he walked down the ship’s main corridor. After a nice rest he was feeling good as new. He was a bit annoyed when he first woke up to learn that he wasn’t going to be able to deal with Dane Lory himself, but he had calmed down since. It also seemed that his crewmates has once again picked up a new passenger while he was unconscious, and the fact that she was supposedly a pretty girl had certainly improved his mood.
With a spring in his step, Axel entered Erik’s workshop, where the newest member of the crew was getting her scientific equipment set up. “Hey there,” Axel said as he stepped in said and saw a young blonde woman who was, in fact, quite attractive.
“Oh, hello,” she replied, turning to face him. “You must be Axel. The others told me about you.”
“Really now?” Axel asked. “And what do they say about me?”
“Apparently you really like burning stuff,” she replied. “Here, hold this,” she then said, shoving a piece of equipment into Axel’s hands.
“That’s not inaccurate,” Axel said with a laugh as the woman began hooking some wires up to the device in his hands.
“I see,” she said without looking up. “I’m Kasey, by the way. Dr. Kasey Coulson.”
“Doctor, huh?” Axel asked.
“Just Kasey is fine,” the doctor said, standing up. “Thanks,” she said as she took the device out of the mercenary’s hands and setting it down on the table.
“No problem,” Axel said, flashing a smile.
“I’m not interested, by the way,” Kasey said.
“What?” Axel asked.
“If I’m being blunt, your flirting attempts are rather obvious, and while you do seem like a nice guy, I’m not interested.”
“Am I really that obvious?” Axel asked.
“Oh yeah,” Kasey replied, letting out a laugh. “It was nice meeting you, though.”
Gaster joined the rest of the crew at the front of the ship as the Maverick dropped out of warp space in Outer Rim Sector 20, on the border of Sector 21 and Romanov Sector 14. Out the front viewport, the former smuggler could see the space station that Markovic operated out of looming in the distance.
“This is definitely the place,” Gaster said, turning to look at Cyrus in the co-pilot’s seat.
“Pretty nice setup he’s got here,” the captain said, continuing to gaze out at the station as they approached. It was a medium sized station in orbit around a gas giant with several ships both docked and holding position nearby. Most of the ships were smaller buckets, no bigger than the Maverick itself.
“Yeah, it’s nice as far as seedy Outer Rim establishments go,” Gaster replied. “All kinds of criminals like to operate out of here, and Markovic lets ‘em, as long as he gets a cut of their profits. Beyond that, you can find any kind of scum imaginable in the club.”
“Sounds like my kind of place,” Axel said as he walked up behind them.
“Well, unfortunately for you, you’re not coming,” Cyrus said, turning back to look at the mercenary.
“What?” Axel asked. “Why?”
“This is going to be a stealthy rescue operation,” the captain explained. “You’re not exactly a stealthy person.”
“Fair point,” Axel conceded, letting out a laugh.
“The plan is simple,” Cyrus continued. “Gaster, Kacey, Taraka, and I will attempt to sneak in and rescue Jun. Ace and Axel, you two will stay here on the ship, ready to go loud and cause some mayhem if we get into a bind.”
“Sounds like fun,” Axel said, a big grin on his face.
“If everything goes according to plan, there won’t be a need for it,” Cyrus said, looking the mercenary right in the eye to make sure he understood. “Just so we’re clear.”
“You got it, boss.”
“Good. Now let’s get moving,” the captain said, getting to his feet. “Anya, bring us in.”
“Never thought I’d be back here anytime soon,” Gaster said as he stepped off the Maverick.
Pausing just outside the docking tube to wait for the others, the former smuggler gazed around the room through his goggles. In this open docking hub area, Gaster saw many mercenaries, scoundrels, and other unsavory individuals milling about and loitering around the docking tubes. It looked to be pretty crowded on the station, but with his eyes covered and his face obscured by the tattered old scarf he had wrapped around his head, Gaster was confident he wouldn’t be recognized by anyone.
“Hopefully you won’t have to be here too long,” Cyrus said, stepping out behind the former smuggler. “Let’s hurry up and find Jun, then get out of here.”
“Any idea where we should start looking?” Kasey asked.
“Perhaps in a detention block or something of the sort,” Taraka suggested.
“A good place to start,” Cyrus agreed. “Does Markovic have a place like that here, Gaster?”
“Oh, most certainly,” Gaster replied. “If you cross Markovic, he likes to keep you around and make an example of you. I’m not sure exactly where he keeps his prisoners, but I know for a fact that it’s definitely not on this floor or in any of the other publicly accessible areas.” He paused to take a breath, then pointed to the far side of the room. “Elevator’s that way,” he told his crewmates. “We’ll be able to access the other floors from there.”
Cyrus nodded. “Lead the way.”
Pushing through the crowd, the group soon arrived at the elevator. Once inside, Gaster took a moment to figure out where they needed to go. “There we are, level 7,” the one time smuggler said. “That’s where we need to go.” He tapped the button and the elevator began to move.
“You’d think they’d have better security if this level isn’t supposed to be open to the public,” Cyrus mused as they descended.
“There will probably be some guards when we get down there,” Gaster replied.
“I guess we’ll find out,” the captain said. “We’ll have to cross that bridge when we come to it.”
A few moments later, the elevator came to a stop and the doors slid open. Peering out, Gaster saw a wide corridor leading from the elevator to a bulkhead on the far side that was guarded by three men. “Follow my lead,” he said to the others as he took a step off the elevator.
“Hey!” one of the guards shouted upon seeing the new arrivals. “You’re not supposed to be here!”
“How do you know that?” Gaster asked, hoping he could bluff his way through.
“Boss would have called down if you were,” another guard said, his Romanov accent much more apparent.
“Have you checked your technology lately?” Gaster asked. “Maybe the speaker’s not working. I swear we spoke to the right guys.”
“I’m going to have to call this in,” the first guard said.
“I don’t think you have to do that,” Gaster said.
The guard frowned and reached for his radio.
“Now why would you wanna bother the guys upstairs?” Kasey pitched in, putting on a sweet face. “We’re not sure we’re even in the right place. Could you just tell us where we are, please?”
The guard sighed and let go of his radio. “This is the detention block,” he said.
“Yup, definitely the wrong place,” Kasey said, letting out a laugh. “Could you tell us how to get to where we’re going?”
“Uh, sure,” the guard said, sounding a bit annoyed. It was clear he wanted them to go away.
While Kasey had the guards distracted, Gaster subtly reached for his Cinccino’s Pokeball. He then released her right in the middle of all three guards before any of them knew what was happening. “Lulabelle, use Sing!” he commanded his Pokemon. The Cinccino let out a loud wailing sound that left all three men doubling over in pain. Seconds later, they all lay unconscious on the floor.
“Well that was easy,” Cyrus said, stepping past the unconscious guards.
“That it was,” Gaster said, recalling Lulabelle to her Pokeball before following the captain into the next room.
Moving past the bulkhead doors, the crew entered into a cell block with four cells on each side. Gaster immediately spotted one more guard, who was patrolling, keeping an eye on the prisoners. Fortunately, his back was currently turned to them.
Gaster raised his rifle, but Taraka put his hand out and pushed it back down. “I’ll handle this one,” the monk said quietly. He then quietly crept up behind the guard. With a pulse of hypnotic psionic energy, Taraka put the guard to sleep. There was an audible thud as the guard fell flat on his face.
“That works,” Gaster said, a smirk forming on his face as he slung his rifle back over his shoulder.
“Alright, let’s not waste any time,” Cyrus said, stepping further into the room. “Let’s find our man and get out of here.”
“Right,” Gaster said, nodding. As he moved up to join Taraka and the captain, the former smuggler took in his surroundings. The narrow corridor of the cell block was lined with four cells on each side, but only half of them were occupied.
Gaster and his crewmates checked each of the cells, but none of them matched the description of Jun Azarov, the man they had come to rescue. One man was asleep, two more looked up at the newcomers with curiosity, and a third stood up and walked right up to the bars.
“I’ll pay you one-hundred credits if you let me out of here,” the brutish-looking man said. Looking him over, Gaster figured that he was just a low-level thug.
“I’m not sure that’s a good idea,” Taraka said, walking up beside Gaster.
“Ah, fuck you,” the thug spat back.
“Yeah, we’re definitely not letting you out,” the monk replied.
“Quit making friends over there,” Cyrus suddenly interrupted. “We need to hurry up before someone finds us here.”
“I don’t think he’s here,” Kasey chimed in. Gaster looked over to see the newest member of the crew crouched over the unconscious guard with a datapad in her hands. “This guy’s datapad says they brought a Jun Azarov up to see Markovic.”
“Looks like we’re gonna have to break into Markovic’s private lounge,” Cyrus says. “This might get a bit dangerous after all.”
“We’re going to anyway,” Taraka said, flashing a confident smile. “We can handle a little danger.”
Cyrus nodded. “That we can,” the captain said. “But first, let’s do something about these guards before they wake up.”
“We have four guards and four empty cells,” Kasey said. “Let’s take their radios and lock them up so they can’t call for help when they wake up.”
“I like the way you think,” Cyrus said in agreement. “Let’s round ‘em up.”
Gaster could feel the aggressive pulse of the music as he stepped into the club with his crewmates. The place looked exactly the same as the last time he had been here, complete with all the familiar trappings of a seedy Outer Rim club that he was all too familiar with. Everywhere he looked, the former smuggler could see thuggish men and other shady characters, scantily clad exotic dancers, and, of course, armed guards. Markovic was a big fan of those.
Looking up from the crowded dance floor and bar area, Gaster scanned the upper balcony level. “That’s where we need to go,” he told the others, pointing up to the balcony. “Markovic’s private lounge is up there. Unfortunately, you need a special pass to access it.”
“So what’s our play here?” Cyrus asked. “Without a pass the only option is fighting our way in, but I don’t like our odds with all these guards around.”
“Neither do I,” Gaster said, shaking his head and letting out a slight laugh. “I think I’ll hit the bar and get a lay of the land.”
“Good idea,” Cyrus said, nodding. “Kasey, go with him. Taraka, let’s you and I take a walk around and see if there’s a way we can sneak in.”
“You got it, Captain,” Taraka agreed.
“Watch your back, you two,” Gaster said as the two began to walk off.
“Likewise,” Cyrus replied before he and Taraka disappeared into the crowd.
Once they were out of sight, Gaster turned back to Kasey. “Let’s hit the bar, shall we?”
Kasey nodded, and the two made their way to the bar. “What drink you want?” the bartender asked as they approached, his thick Romanov accent quite apparent.
“Something strong,” Gaster said before turning to Kasey. “You want anything?” he asked her.
“I don’t have any credits left,” she replied.
“I got this, don’t worry about it,” Gaster told her.
“Well in that case, I think I could use a strong drink as well.”
“Alright then, two strong drinks coming up,” the bartender said. “Let’s see if you can handle true Romanov vodka.”
As they sipped their drinks, the two surveyed the room from the bar and started coming up with a plan. “We can get up to the lower balcony no problem,” Gaster explained, motioning toward the stairs. “It’s getting to the upper balcony that’s going to be difficult unless we can get our hands on a VIP pass.”
“Can’t we steal one?” Kasey asked. “I think I can nab one off someone without them noticing.”
“You sure you can do it without getting noticed?” Gaster asked.
“If not, I can just play it off like I bumped into them,” Kasey said with a shrug. “I don’t think any of the people here would mind, if I’m being honest. I’ve been getting looks ever since I stepped into this place.”
“True,” Gaster said, nodding in agreement. “Well if you think you can do it, then go for it. I’ll be here to watch your back if something goes down.”
“Alright, let’s go,” Kasey said. “There’s a guy leaving now.” She quickly downed the rest of her drink, then slipped into the crowd, laser-focused on the man who had just left the upper balcony.
Gaster followed a short ways behind his new crewmate, keeping an eye out for trouble. He stayed in the crowd and watched Kasey intercept the man at the stairs, then pretend to bump into him from behind. Kasey then braced herself against the man with one hand while she picked his pocket with the other, swiping his pass before he had a moment to react.
“Oy! Watch where you’re going!” the man shouted as he turned around.
“Oh gosh! I’m so sorry!” Kasey responded, putting on an innocent face and pretending to apologize profusely.
The gruff man’s expression of anger faded as soon as he realized who had bumped into him. “No problem, sweet thing,” he said. He clearly didn’t mind a pretty girl bumping into him. “Let me buy you a drink.”
“No thanks!” Kasey said before slipping back into the crowd before the man could respond.
Man, she’s good, Gaster thought. For a scientist, Kasey sure seemed to have a lot of unexpected skills. She definitely knew how to handle herself in a place like this. Gaster smirked as he gave the baffled man one last look before following after Kasey.
“Nice work back there,” Gaster said once he caught up with her. “I’m impressed.”
“Thanks,” Kasey said, flashing a smile. “I learned a few tricks in my time with Helios.”
“Helios?” Gaster asked. “That name sounds familiar.”
“I imagine it would,” Kasey replied. “The Helios Corporation is only one of the largest private military corporations and weapons manufacturers in the Alliance.”
“So that’s who you used to work for,” Gaster said.
“Yeah …” Kasey said, trailing off a bit. “I’m not about that life anymore, though. Let’s just say some of the crap they were doing was getting a bit too sketchy for my liking, so I got out. I do miss the funding though.”
“Ha,” Gaster laughed. “I can imagine.”
“You two have any luck?” Cyrus suddenly interrupted, appearing out of the crowd with Taraka. “This place is way more secure than I expected.”
“Oh, did we,” Kasey said, flashing the VIP pass she had stolen, a proud smirk on her face.
“Great,” the captain said. “Nice job. Now let’s just hope they let us in.”
“Only one way to find out,” Gaster said. “Let’s go.”
Gaster held his breath as he approached the guard blocking the stairs to the upper balcony with his crewmates. He had a good feeling about their chances of getting through, but he couldn’t help being a little tense. The former smuggler kept a hand close to his Pokeballs just in case things went south.
“You got passes?” the guard asked, stopping the crew at the landing.
“Right here,” Kasey said, handing the man the stolen pass.
He took a quick look and handed it back. “What about the rest of you?” he then asked, glancing at the others.
“They’re with me,” Kasey said, putting on that same smile from before.
The guard looked them over for a minute, then glanced back at Kasey. Gaster gripped his Quilava’s Pokeball tightly as he waited for the guard to react. Turning back to the rest of the crew once more, the guard gave them one last once over, then nodded and waved them in.
“That went well,” Cyrus said as they reached the top of the stairs. “Where to next?” he then asked, turning to Gaster.
“Now we find Markovic,” Gaster replied, scanning the room.
The private lounge was much less crowded than the lower levels, but there were still quite a few people up here as well. The private booths were occupied by shady men drinking and making deals, and many more unscrupulous-looking individuals crowded the stage, watching the dancers. To the left of the stairs, a large panoramic window provided a fantastic view of the gas giant the station orbited, and on the far side of the room was Markovic’s private glass-walled office.
“And there he is,” Gaster said, pointing out the Romanov gangster through the glass.
Markovic was standing over a man tied to a chair who had to be Jun Azarov. By the look on his face, Markovic seemed quite angry. Gaster didn’t know exactly what Anya’s friend had done to piss the gangster off to such a degree, but he knew that Markovic was dangerous when angry. They needed to act fast. Unfortunately, a guard armed with a rifle was blocking the entrance to Markovic’s office, and two more were stood behind the chair Azarov was tied to.
“I think we could use a good distraction right about now,” Cyrus commented.
“Don’t worry, I’ve got an idea,” Gaster said confidently. It was time to throw caution to the wind. Without waiting for the others to respond, Gaster walked right up to the glass wall and knocked on it.
This immediately drew Markovic’s attention, who looked up from his prisoner to see who was knocking on his wall. Gaster then removed the cloth covering his face, revealing his identity to his former employer. A look of recognition appeared on the Romanov Gangster’s face, but it soon turned to a look of confusion, and then anger.
“Jameson?!” Gaster heard Markovic shout through the glass. “How?!” The gangster then looked at his men and barked orders at them in Romanov.
The three guards began to move in on Gaster, weapons drawn, but a psionic barrier suddenly appeared between them and their target. Gaster looked over to see Taraka running in to assist, his Togekiss flying beside him. Taking advantage of the situation, Gaster moved back from the guards and sent out his Quilava.
“Rusty, use Smokescreen!” Gaster commanded his Pokemon as he emerged from his ball. The former smuggler was soon obscured from the guard’s sight by a thick black smoke, but thanks to his cybernetic eyes, he could see them just fine.
“Sirius, use Metronome!” Taraka ordered his Togekiss as Gaster reached for his rifle. The monk’s Pokemon then began to glow as she started storing up energy.
Meanwhile, gunfire began to fly across the room as Cyrus, Kacey, and Markovic’s men all opened fire. As they moved up to assist Gaster and Taraka, both Cyrus and Kasey released Pokemon of their own. As usual, the Maverick’s sent out his trusty Talonflame, while the newest member of the ship’s crew sent out a Tyrunt.
The two Pokemon unleashed their attacks, launching one of Markovic’s grunts backwards into the glass wall behind him, leaving behind a large spider web pattern of cracks. The unsuspecting mercenary let out a pained moan as he slid to the ground.
Taraka, meanwhile, threw up another psionic barrier, then ordered his Togekiss to attack. “Sirius, use Fairy Wind!” he commanded, directing his Pokemon after the pistol-wielding mercenary that was still standing. Thanks to the stored up energy Sirius had been building, her attack did a real number on the man.
As the grunt stumbled backwards, Gaster lined up a shot and finished him off with a well placed shot. He then quickly shifted his aim and fired off some shots at the sole remaining guard, landing a few grazing hits. “Now Rusty, Ember!” he shouted to his Quilava. Rusty began glowing white hot as he prepared to unleash his fire, and his form started changing and growing larger. Now a Typhlosion, Rusty let loose a surge of flames at the guard, burning through his armor.
“Dragon Claw!” Kasey then ordered her Tyrunt. The small but strong Pokemon lashed out with her sharp claws, sending the guard stumbling back. A direct shot to the head from the captain then sent him to the floor. The fact the man was wearing a helmet was the only reason he survived.
“Quick!” Cyrus then shouted. “Grab our guy so we can get out of here before more guards show up!”
“Right!” Gaster said before rushing into Markovic’s office.
Markovic stood waiting for his former employee, his pistol pointed right at him. “Not so fast,” the gangster said.
“Nice to see you again,” Gaster said bitterly as he aimed his rifle back at Markovic.
“You should be dead,” the Romanov said, narrowing his eyes.
“Looks like you screwed up there,” Gaster retorted. “Now, we’re just gonna take our little buddy here and go, if you don’t mind,” he continued as he reached out to grab Azarov. “We’ll be back for you later.”
“I don’t think so,” Markovic replied, taking a step forward.
“Oh? What are you gonna do?” Gasster taunted.
In response, Markovic pulled the trigger, and let loose a laser blast. The shot simply impacted the psionic barrier Taraka had created and dissipated into an explosion of purple sparks. “What?!” Markovic called out in surprise, a look of shock on his face.
Gaster stared back at the Romanov gangster and brushed his coat off, a cheeky grin on his face. “You wanna try that again?” he asked.
While Markovic was still making sense of what had just happened, Gaster cut Azarov free and pulled him to his feet. “Come on, let’s go.” While it was clear Azarov had no idea what was going on, he allowed Gaster to lead him to the door.
Markovic began firing shots off after them, but Cyrus and Kasey returned fire, driving the gangster back into cover. “Go!” the captain shouted. “We’ve got you covered!”
With their backs protected, Gaster and Taraka led Azarov to the stairs. As they began to descend, a few guards climbed the stairs to meet them. With a swing of his staff, Taraka drove the guards back, opening up a gap to slip through. As they moved down to the lower level, it became clear that the music was so loud that the firefight upstairs hadn’t been heard. Using that to their advantage, the trio managed to slip into the crowd and escape.
With Azarov in tow, Gaster and Taraka stepped out into the main docking hub. They were soon joined by Cyrus and Kasey, who hurried them along. “Go! Go! They’re right behind us!” the captain shouted. The crew then took off running as Markovic’s men emerged from the club. They opened fire, but Taraka’s barrier kept the crew safe.
“We’re coming in hot!” Cyrus radioed to the ship as they ran. “Get that docking tube covered and make sure the ship is ready to fly!” He then turned and fired a few shots at their pursuers.
As they ran into the docking tube, Kasey hacked into the controls, sealing it shut behind them. “That should hold them for a little while,” she said.
“Nice work, now let’s get moving,” Cyrus said. Without wasting a moment, they all ran aboard the Maverick. “Anya, get us out of here!” the captain yelled as they passed by Ace and Axel at the airlock.
The ship lurched as it disconnected from the docking tube at a higher-than-recommended speed. There was another rumble from the unmistakable impact of laser fire, then came the familiar jolt as the Maverick jumped to warp space.
Then all was still. They had made it.
“You idiots!” Markovic bellowed as he smashed his fist against his desk. The gangster’s men looked on in silence, none daring to say anything and further enrage their boss.
After several moments, one finally found the courage to speak. “Boss—”
“Shut up!” Markovic interrupted. “All of you get out!”
Markovic’s men didn’t need to be told twice, quickly filing out of the room, leaving their boss alone with his two sons.
“Emil, tell me about the ship that rescued Azarov,” Markovic said.
“It’s called the UAS Maverick,” Markovic’s younger son said. “That’s all we know.”
“Well, find out more,” Markovic said. “Find out what they want with Azarov and how Jameson is involved.”
“Yes, father,” Emil said before taking his leave.
“Luka,” Markovic then said, turning to his elder son.
“Put the word out that I’m placing a bounty on Gaster Jameson’s head. I want that bastard dead.”
“Right away,” Luka replied.
“Good. Tell them whoever brings me his head will get two-hundred-thousand credits.”
“Did I stutter?”
“Of course not, father. Two-hundred-thousand credits. And what of the others he’s traveling with?”
“Kill them, or don’t. It doesn’t matter as long as Jameson dies.”
As his son departed, Markovic gazed out at the stars. Gaster Jameson was supposed to be dead, and yet he had walked right up to his office and swept his prisoner away. He had made a mistake coming back, and now he would pay with his life.
Gaster Jameson was dead man.
Notes: Holy crap, this took me ages to write. I needed to take a whole two extra weeks to finish this one. A lot of this chapter was just really challenging to write, and I’m glad it’s finally done. So this chapter covers the rest of session 24 and was the real meat of the session. Combined with adding in several additional scenes, it made the chapter rather long, but it all needed to be there.
The opening scene is our first scene from Anya’s point of view and we finally get a look into her past. It’s something I didn’t go into too much detail with during the sessions because as a GM I wasn’t as confident in my storytelling at the time, but I really wanted to flesh it out for the write-ups. This flashback/dream scene really puts who Jun is and why they’re rescuing him in a better context for the reader than the brief explanation I gave as a GM to my players.
The next scene was synthesised from player discussion as unknown revealed a bit of the history his character had with Markovic that I had provided him to the others, and I thought it would be a good idea to insert Axel even though his player was absent just as a means of conveying some information about Markovic to the readers. Plus it’s weird having him unconscious for multiple days from an injury that’s not that bad. Then I added a interaction between Axel and Kasey because their first real interaction in the game was sessions from now as their players kept not being there at the same time. It made more sense to have their first interaction be shortly after Axel woke up. I did have to make it up from scratch as I lost the recording for the first session they were both in attendance for unfortunately. I think it turned out nicely. And then to explain why Axel didn’t go on the mission, I came up with a reason for him to stay on the ship.
And then it was on to the exciting part of the session. They did a good job of putting things to sleep and avoiding fights. And we get to see Kasey making good use of her charm and guile skills to get through some situations and get the party up to Markovic. The fight with Markovic’s men ended up being a bit easier than I had anticipated, but it ended up being a fun short combat encounter and the whole session still felt paced really well.
To wrap up, I added one more scene from the villain’s point of view, just to set the tone and add some suspense. So yeah, Gaster’s got a bounty on his head now! What will happen next?
Post-Chapter Challenge: So you’re a character in the Spacemon universe and you’ve got a bounty on your head! Who put a bounty on you? How much is it worth? What did you do to earn this honor? Did you break the law and anger the authorities, or did you piss off the wrong crime boss?
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!