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!
“What the hell was that thing?!”
Axel looked around at his crewmates. They looked like the mercenary felt, their faces all displaying expressions of shock and confusion. He had seen some weird things in his time as a mercenary, but he’d never seen anything quite like the assassin that had ripped through the Red Riders like they were made of paper and killed Governor Yong. Judging from the looks on his crewmates’ faces, neither had they.
“I don’t know,” Gaster said to Axel. “But what I do know is that we need to get out of here. If we stick around, we’re likely to be charged as accomplices to assassination.”
“Hold on a minute,” Cyrus said, glancing over at the remaining Red Riders lying on the ground. “We can’t leave them here, or they’ll be charged just the same or worse.”
“We don’t have time,” Gaster said. “The authorities are probably already on their way.”
“No, the captain’s right,” Axel said. “They may have been after the same prize, but they were nice to us, unlike the Purple Pricks. We need to help them.”
Gaster let out a heavy sigh. “I suppose you’re right, but let’s make this quick.”
Captain Cyrus Drake slowly made his way down the corridor of the Red Riders’ ship, supporting the weight of the bounty hunter team’s leader Lars Rickets on his shoulders. The young bounty hunter had only recently regained consciousness and was barely able to stand on his own.
“Woah now, take it easy,” Cyrus said as Lars stumbled. The captain stopped where he stood to keep him from falling over.
“Which way to your medbay?” Gaster asked as he and Taraka came up behind Cyrus and Lars, carrying the unconscious Bobbie Jo between them.
“There,” Lars said weakly, pointing to a doorway a short distance down the corridor.
Gaster nodded and then he and Taraka began carrying Bobbie Jo in that direction. Cyrus helped Lars step aside to allow them to pass. Axel followed close behind, carrying Floyd draped over his shoulders.
Once the others had passed by, Cyrus began walking Lars towards the medbay as well. The Maverick’s captain guided the Red Riders’ leader into the room and toward an empty chair. “Easy now,” Cyrus said as he helped Lars take a seat. “You alright?”
“I’ll live,” Lars said. “Please, take care of them first,” he continued, motioning toward Bobbie Jo and Floyd.
“We’ll do what we can if you show us where your medicine is,” Taraka said. “But there’s only so much I can do. You need to find a real doctor soon.”
Lars nodded. “I understand. It’s all in the cabinet there,” he said, pointing to the counter across the room. “Please, let me know what I can do to help.”
Axel stood leaned against the side of the Maverick, petting his Charizard as he looked at the Red Riders’ ship, which happened to be docked just next to theirs in the spaceport. The crew was waiting on Taraka to finish aiding the Red Riders so they could leave. With each passing moment, Axel was growing more anxious that Romanov authorities would show up, but as worried as he was, he also felt concern for the well-being of the Red Riders.
Finally, the mercenary saw Taraka emerge from the ship. “How are they?” Axel asked, jogging over to the monk.
“Stable, for now,” Taraka informed him. “They should make it if they get to a hospital in the next few days.”
“That’s good to know,” Axel said.
“I’m just glad we can get out of here now,” Gaster said, walking up to the pair. “We should have been gone by now.”
“You should not have come at all,” Axel heard the voice of Freya Frost say. He turned to see her and the rest of Team Vogue standing behind him. “None of this would have happened if you buffoons hadn’t shown up and gotten in our way, and we would have been well on our way to getting paid by now.”
“It wouldn’t have happened if you stupid Purple Pricks had just stayed out of it!” Axel snapped back angrily.
“I doubt that,” Team Vogue’s leader replied. “Such an unprofessional crew as yourselves would not have stood a chance on your own.”
“Yeah?!” Axel shouted back. “Well I took down your damn Steelix, ya jackasses! I’ll fight you right now!”
“Your ability to not recognize your own failure is astounding,” Freya Frost said.
“Don’t pin this on us!” Gaster snapped. “This wouldn’t have happened if our employer didn’t treat this like some stupid game!”
“Enough! All of you!” Axel heard Cyrus shout. He glanced in the direction of the captain’s voice to see him standing there with an uncharacteristically angry expression on his face.
Freya Frost scowled. “Very well, she said coldly. “I’m willing to forgive your blunder if you repay us.”
“Repay you for what?” Gaster spat.
“Repay you for your own incompetence?” Axel said.
“You are the ones who messed this job up, not us,” Team Vogue’s leader said.
“You messed this job up!” Axel snapped back at her “We were staking ‘em out and you just jumped in there for no reason and started fighting!”
“We had everything under control until you showed up.”
“Bullshit you had everything under control!”
Freya Frost ignored the mercenary’s retort and turned her gaze upon Gaster. “I will tell you what, she said. “You give me that Milotic of yours and I will consider you forgiven. Such a creature of beauty is wasted on a brutish man like you.”
“That’s not going to happen,” Gaster said, reaching for his rifle.
“We’re not giving you shit!” Axel shouted. Ritsu let out a snarl, stepping up behind her trainer.
Freya Frost responded by giving the mercenary the fiercest, coldest stare he had ever seen. Axel felt an actual shiver run down his spine. He’d never encountered such a frightening woman before.
Ritsu seemed to perceive this as a threat, as she let out an angry roar. The Charizard then reared her head back and spit out a torrent of flames at Team Vogue’s leader.
Freya Frost reacted quickly, diving out of the way as fire swallowed the space where she once stood. She rolled gracefully across the ground in a summersault, then hopped back to her feet. “Keep your beast under control,” she commanded.
“Don’t tell me what to do with my Pokemon, bitch!” Axel snapped.
“That’s enough!” Cyrus shouted. “Axel, cool off or take your ass back to the ship.”
“But Captain—” Axel started to protest before Cyrus raised a hand to silence him.
“And you,” the captain continued, turning to Freya Frost. “Stop antagonizing my crew. Your team is not without fault in this.”
“There’s clearly a bigger issue here than whose fault this is,” Lars said, emerging from the Red Riders’ ship. He still looked terrible, but he seemed to have collected himself somewhat. “This was obviously a setup. Can’t you see that? The fault lies at the feet of whatever that … that thing was. It was there to kill the governor no matter which one of us had things under control.”
The man’s words were spoken in a calm tone, but Axel could detect a seething anger behind them. Axel couldn’t blame him; if one of his friends was killed and two more were left badly wounded, he’d be angry too.
“Maybe you’re right,” Cyrus said. “But whatever the case may be, none of us will benefit from fighting each other right now. I think it’d be best if we all just walked away and went our separate ways.”
“Hmph,” Freya Frost responded. “As you wish.” She then turned and began walking away, her team following close behind. Team Vogue’s leader only took a few steps before looking back over her shoulder. “The next time we meet, you will not receive the same courtesy.”
Gaster was fuming as he entered the Maverick’s living quarters. With the ship now safely en route back to the Outer Rim, he’d had some time to think. There was only one clear course of action in his mind.
“Captain, we need to have a word with our employer,” the former smuggler addressed Cyrus, who was currently speaking with Axel and Taraka. “They should have known better than to make the job a competition. They should’ve known it would make it impossible to get the job done.”
“You’re right; This whole thing was stupid,” the Maverick’s captain agreed. “You’re right to be angry, but we should handle this with care.”
“Of course,” Gaster said, nodding.
“Alright then,” Cyrus said. “Let’s go have a little chat with Hat Guy.”
With that, the captain headed for the comms. Gaster followed and Axel and Taraka were not too far behind.
Cyrus punched in the contact info they had been provided back on Insipia, but the call didn’t connect. “Strange,” the captain said, stroking his facial scruff.
“No one home?” Axel asked.
“The call won’t even go through,” Cyrus explained. “I think Lars might have been right. Maybe this is a setup.”
Gaster didn’t like this news. It only served to anger him further. “What about the drop-off point we were given?” he asked. At this point he was hoping for any means of tracking Hat Guy down.
“It’s in the Outer Rim,” Cyrus said. “Sector 33. We can check it out if you want.”
“If this job was a setup, then that might also be a trap for anyone who did manage to succeed at taking the governor,” Taraka said.
“Hmm,” Gaster grunted. “That’s a fair point.”
“Yeah,” Axel agreed. “We might run into that assassin again.”
“That’s true,” Gaster said. “We’d be screwed if we did. I’ve never seen anyone that powerful before. I don’t suppose you have, Taraka?”
The monk shook his head. “I knew some powerful monks back at the monastery, but nothing like that. Those kinds of abilities are not normal.”
Gaster sighed. “Good to know. I guess we’re flying blind then.”
“Pretty much,” Taraka said.
“I think we should just completely abandon this and go find a new job,” Axel said. “We should just cut our losses while we still can.”
“The man has a point,” Cyrus said. “We should quit while we’re ahead. Let’s lay low for a bit, then find us a job that we know is legitimate. Now go and get yourselves some rest, boys. It’s been a long day.”
Notes: It was nice to get back to writing a shorter chapter for a change. This chapter covers the beginning of session 34, wrapping up all the stuff on Troyva. It made sense for story flow to make this its own chapter even though it was just the first 30 minutes or so of the session. Alec ran a bit late, which is why Kasey is not really present much here. I did give her a few lines in the beginning scene as I expanded the dialogue in that scene to make it flow better.
We took a week off between this session and the one before as multiple players couldn’t make it the week between, but it did give me more time to plan then usual. I took some time to plan out some events for the next few sessions. One of those events was a fun interaction between the party and Team Vogue. When we came up with Team Vogue, the goal was to make hateable rivals and I think we really succeeded at that. It was actually DragonStorm’s idea to make Freya ask for Gaster’s Milotic. As a special ice shifted variant of a Pokemon associated closely with the beauty contest stat, it made sense that someone with the Ice Ace and Beauty Expert classes would want it. It was a good way to make some more friction between Team Vogue and the party.
Other that, there’s not much else to say about this chapter. There was some good RP happening, which I actually awarded some EXP for since it was so rare to get out of this party. I was proud of them … even if they did choose to abandon pursuing the plot thread that I laid out for them. I had plenty of other fun stuff in store for them coming up anyway.
Post-Chapter Challenge: We’re keeping it simple this week. What do you think happened on this mission? I’m looking forward to your theories.
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!