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!
“Before we do anything stupid, we need to come up with a plan,” Captain Cyrus Drake addressed his crew. “If we just bust in, we’re gonna get ourselves killed. We need to be smart about how we approach this.”
“Well you guys have been there before, right?” Gaster asked. “Do you remember anything about the compound? Something that might help us get in?”
“All we saw was the landing pad,” Taraka said. “We were never inside.”
“They came onto the ship to collect our delivery and then sent us on our way,” Cyrus added.
“Oh … Well did you see anything from where you were? Did you see how well guarded it was?”
“There were quite a few armed security guards on the landing pad alone, if I recall,” Cyrus told the former smuggler. “I can’t speak for the rest of the place, but I’m willing to bet we can find a better, less guarded entry point that won’t lead us near the landing pad.”
“What if we sneak in?” Axel suggested. “It won’t matter how many guards there are if we can slip past them.”
“How long have you been a part of this crew?” Cyrus asked the mercenary. “I think you know full well that you’re the least discrete group of people in the Rim.”
“Hey, I’ll have you know that I’m pretty good at the whole stealth thing,” Kasey spoke up. “It was part of the job.”
The captain stroked his facial scruff as he thought things over. “Hmm. Maybe we can split up into two teams. Some of us can cause a distraction to lure the guards away while the rest sneak in.
“That makes sense,” Gaster said. “But how do we get in? It’s not like we’re making a scheduled delivery like the last time you were there.”
“We’ll have to cut through the jungle,” Cyrus told the former smuggler. “We can scale the cliff and come up from below so they don’t see us coming.”
“I’m not ready for climbing,” Taraka said. “But if we’ve got to …”
“We can use flying Pokemon,” the captain said.
“That’s not very stealthy though,” the monk replied.
Cyrus let out a chuckle.“I doubt they’re expecting anyone to fly up the side of the cliff on a Pokemon.”
“Fair enough, Captain,” Taraka said.
“So who’s going to be on each team?” Gaster asked.
“I’ll lead the distraction team,” Cyrus said. “Axel, you’ll be with me.”
“You got it, boss,” Axel said, grinning. “If there’s anything I know how to do, it’s cause a distraction.”
“Kasey, you’re in charge of the infiltration team,” the Maverick’s captain continued. “As the only one here with any kind of tactical training, you’re the most qualified. Plus you know Helios protocols.”
Kasey nodded. “Makes sense.”
“Ace, Taraka, you two will go with her since you’ll have a better understanding of what we’re looking for.”
“What about me?” Gaster asked. “Need another gun on the distraction team?”
Cyrus shook his head. “No. I think we’ll be good. You’d probably be more useful on the infiltration team. It’ll be good to have some extra muscle in case things go south and you’re detected.”
“Alright,” Gaster said. “Now we just need to figure out where we’re gonna enter from.”
“Right,” Cyrus agreed. “We’d best do some recon. We’ll go and scope out the cliff and see where the best point of entry is. Ideally, it will be the one that provides the most cover.”
“Sounds like a plan,” Axel said, slamming his fist into his open palm.
A sly smirk crept onto Cyrus’s face. “Let’s get to it,” the captain said.
Gaster leaned against a tree as he stopped to have a drink of water from his canteen. He was beginning to rethink his opinion of Meridian. The weather had been fine back at the Fortuna colony, but down here in the jungle valley it was uncomfortably humid.
“Do you need a rest?” Taraka asked the former smuggler.
“No, I’m good,” Gaster replied. “I just need a second.”
The Maverick’s crew had split up into pairs to cover a wider area and Gaster and Taraka had decided to team up. The two were near the base of the cliffside Peter Baker’s villa was built on the edge of now, but Gaster needed a moment to catch his breath before they continued on.
A sudden rustling in the leaves above his head caused Gaster to look up. He briefly caught a glimpse of an Aipom in a branch before it was obscured by a clump of vines. Gaster also noticed a Swablu and a Venomoth flying around under the jungle canopy. Another rustling sound brought Gaster’s eyes back to the ground as an angry Primeape jumped out of the underbrush.
Thinking quickly, Gaster released his Salandit between himself and the Primeape as it began charging at him. Seeing a Pokemon appear before it out of nowhere, the Primeape lifted its arm and brought a Karate Chop attack down on her.
“Sakuya, use Flame Burst!” Gaster commanded his Pokemon. The former smuggler’s Salandit moved back from the attacking Primeape and spit out a burst of flames at it. Unfortunately, the enraged Pokemon jumped out of the way. Gaster then opened fire on the Primeape, landing a few laser bolts.
As the Primeape turned around to go after Gaster, Taraka threw out his Togekiss. “Sirius, use Fairy Wind!” the monk commanded his Pokemon before putting up a psionic barrier. Sirius began rapidly flapping her wings, stirring up a powerful wind that sent the Primeape flying backwards into tree trunk. The Pokemon let out a grunt as it impacted, then it slid to the ground, knocked out.
Gaster didn’t even have time to thank Taraka before the Venomoth flew overhead and released a cloud of powder that put Sakuya to sleep. “Damnit!” Gaster shouted, opening fire on the bug Pokemon. With a swift motion, the Venomoth evaded behind a tree, avoiding the incoming laser fire.
“These Pokemon are proving to be a nuisance,” Taraka said.
“You can say that again,” Gaster replied. “I want that Swablu, though.” The former smuggler pointed at the cloud-like Pokemon, which had settled down in a nearby tree and encircled itself with a protective shroud of mist.
Taraka nodded. “I shall help you capture it. Sirius, zap it with Thunder Wave!” The monk’s Togekiss flew in and shot an immobilizing jolt of electricity at the Swablu, stunning it. He then followed up his Pokemon’s attack with a blast of psionic energy, leaving the Swablu dazed.
With the Swablu dealt with, Gaster shifted his focus to the Venomoth, which was coming in for another attack. He was about to recall his Salandit to switch out to another Pokemon when the fire lizard regained consciousness. As Sakuya got her bearings, Gaster lined up a shot on the Venomoth and pulled the trigger. The Venomoth dodged as the laser shot flew at it, but Gaster tracked it and fired a second one, landing a direct hit.
“Now, Flame Burst!” Gaster commanded his Salandit. Sakuya spat out a jet of flame at the Venomoth, taking it down.
Just then, the Aipom from earlier dropped down on Taraka and started scratching him. The monk managed to throw the attacking Pokemon off, then bashed it with his staff.
“Sirius, use Fairy Wind!” Taraka ordered his Togekiss now that he had some breathing room. Sirius flew in to help her trainer, and it looked like everything was under control, so Gaster turned his attention back to the Swablu.
“Sakuya, use Smog!” the former smuggler commanded his Pokemon. The Salandit spewed out a cloud of smog up at the Swablu, causing the dazed Pokemon to fall out of the tree and land in a heap on the ground. Gaster pulled out a Pokeball, then threw it at the Swablu, catching it instantly.
“Use Fairy Wind again!”
Gaster turned around just in time to see Sirius knock the Aipom out. Taraka nodded at his crewmate and gave him a thumbs up.
“All good here,” the monk said.
“Then let’s get moving,” Gaaster said. He collected his new Swablu, then he and his crewmate went on their way.
“So how do you think we should go about getting up there?” Taraka asked as he gazed up at the cliff above. The monk could see the shadow of the villa in against the bright sunlight.
“Let’s see,” Gasster replied as he scanned the cliff face.
The pair stood on the shore of the lake that Baker’s villa overlooked, the cliffside it was built upon towering before them. Aside from the wild Pokemon attack, they hadn’t met any further resistance. There didn’t appear to be any security patrols down here. It seemed the H.A.L.O. security forces didn’t expect anyone to be crazy enough to cut through the jungle and come from below.
“How about there?” Taraka suggested, pointing out a spot.
Gaster shook his head. “Too exposed. That looks like a better way.” The former smuggler traced out a path with his finger that led underneath several overhangs on the way up to the villa. “What do you say we ride your Aerodactyl up and have a closer look?”
“That is a really dumb idea,” Taraka replied. “Let’s do it.”
The monk released his Aerodactyl and the pair mounted up. “Alright, Fels, give us a lift up. Keep close to the cliff and stay under those overhangs.”
With a powerful flap of his wings, Fels Vogel lifted off the ground and began his ascent. Taraka guided his Pokemon along the path Gaster had traced out and they soon arrived on a natural ledge directly underneath a man-made support platform for the villa overhanging the cliff below.
“This seems like a dangerous spot to build a building,” Gaster commented as Taraka recalled his Aerodactyl.
“What do you expect from an eccentric billionaire?” Taraka asked.
“Fair point,” Gaster said with a chuckle. “Now let’s find ourselves a way up.”
Taraka looked around and took in his surroundings. The platform above was rooted to the ground by several thick steel columns connected by steel beams. There were also several maintenance catwalks running between them. Following these catwalks with his eyes, Taraka was able to locate a ladder running up the side of one of the steel columns all the way up to the platform.
“There,” the monk said, pointing out the ladder to his crewmate.
“Looks promising,” Gaster replied.
The pair ascended the ladder up to the platform, which was devoid of any security presence. From there, they found another ladder, which led up to the villa itself. Taraka climbed this latter first, emerging on an outdoor walkway along the exterior of the villa. He looked around to make sure there were no guards, then signaled for Gaster to follow him.
Taraka climbed all the way up onto the walkway to make room for Gaster, then looked out over the guardrail. From here, the monk had a fantastic view of the lake below and the jungle valley beyond it.
“I gotta give this Baker guy credit,” Gaster said as he joined the monk. “This may be a dangerous spot to build a building, but this is one hell of a view.”
“Indeed,” Taraka agreed. “But let’s not linger. We found our way in, so we should probably report back now.”
“Hold on a minute,” Gaster said. “We haven’t encountered any guards yet. Let’s push our luck and look around a bit more.”
“Now if only there was a sign that said ‘secret lab this way,” Gaster said with a chuckle.
“We’ll just have to find our own way,” Taraka said. “Left or right?”
“Let’s try left,” Gaster said.
The pair walked along the walkway and soon came to a large glass door leading inside. Peering through the glass, Taraka saw what looked to be an entrance into the villa itself. His eyes were drawn immediately to a statue that appeared to have been recovered from some ruin. Beyond the statue was another glass door that led to an ornately decorated room with hardwood floors, and a expensive-looking chandelier hanging above.
“I doubt the lab is through there,” Gaster said.
“I agree,” Taraka said, nodding. “Let’s keep moving.”
Moving on, they came to another door. This one was a smaller metal door labeled Staff Quarters.
“This is probably not what we’re looking for either,” Gaster said. “Neither is that,” he continued, pointing out a sign that said To Landing Pad with an arrow pointing in the direction they had been going.
“Perhaps we should head back the other way,” Taraka suggested.
Walking back the way they had come, the pair passed the glass door and the hatch they had come up through. After walking a good distance, they came across a door labeled Maintenance.
“Here we go,” Gaster said. “This looks like it might be a good way in.” The former smuggler then tried the door, but it was locked.
“I’m sure Ace or Kasey can get this open without issue,” Taraka said.
“Yeah,” Gaster said. “It should be a breeze for them. Now let’s get out of here. We’ve got what we came for.”
Notes: There’s not a whole lot that happened in this chapter. This one covers the first half of session 41, which was the last one before I decided to just move on with the plot with or without the half of the party who hadn’t been able to attend sessions for quite some time. I slowly inched the plot along a bit though, having the party make their plan for the mission and do a bit of recon. For game reasons, I decided to have the crew be split into two teams with the idea being that the teams would be decided based on which players showed up for the following session. Since I only had Novi and unknown again for that session just like this one, the two of them were on the main team and I just put the others (both PCs and NPCs) on whatever team made the most sense narratively. On the narrative end, I think the whole two team plan and the actual planning scene turned out quite nicely.
After the planning portion of the session, Novi and unknown decided to do some recon on the villa and look for Pokemon on the way. For the writing, I flavored it that the whole team was doing recon and had split up into pairs. I think it just made more sense that way. The wild Pokemon encounter I flavored as them encountering some hostile Pokemon along the way instead of them going out of the way to look for them. I just wanted to mix things up a little bit. They did a bit more derping around on Meridian for the rest of the session, which will be covered in the next chapter. After that, you have some really fun plot-driven chapters coming up, so get hyped for that!
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!