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Spacemon: Frontier - Chapter 54: The Meridian Mission, Pt. 1

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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!

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“We’re in position,” Cyrus’s voice sounded over the comms as the infiltration team moved along the support platform underneath the walkway Gaster and Taraka had scoped out. “Let us know when you’re ready and we’ll kick off the distraction.”

“Got it,” Kasey replied. “We’re not quite there yet.”

Gaster kept his finger resting on the trigger of his tesla coil rifle and his eyes on alert as he brought up the rear of the group. There hadn’t been any guards down on this level when he and Taraka had run reconnaissance on the compound two days ago, but the former smuggler wasn’t taking any chances.

“Up here,” Taraka said, pointing to the ladder that led up to the walkway.

“Alright,” Kasey said. “Gaster, you go first and make sure the coast is clear.”

“You got it,” Gaster said. He grabbed onto the rungs of the ladder and began climbing.

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Upon reaching the top of the ladder, Gaster carefully stuck his head above the floor of the walkway and took a quick look around. Unlike last time, he saw a couple of guards patrolling the walkway. Glancing back down at his crewmates, Gaster held up two fingers to indicate the number of guards.

Kasey nodded in acknowledgement, then reached for her comms. “We’re ready to go,” her voice sounded on the comm channel. “We’ve got some guards here, so we could use that distraction right about now.”

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“Coming right up,” Cyrus responded. “Just hold tight and wait for the signal.”

“What’s the signal?” Kasey asked.

“You’ll know it when you hear it.”

Several moments passed, then an explosion rang out from the far side of the compound.

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“I guess that was the signal,” Ace said.

From his position on the ladder, Gaster could see the two guards run up to each other. “What the hell was that?” one asked the other.

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“I don’t know, Frank,” the other responded as two more guards approached. “I’m gonna go check it out. You two with me.” He and the two newcomers then hurried off in the direction of the landing pad.

“Alright, I’ll just stay here, I guess,” the guard the other guy had called Frank grumbled.

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The distraction had certainly worked. The explosion had drawn away one of the guards Gaster had spotted, plus two more that he hadn’t. Dealing with just one would be a whole lot easier. The former smuggler waved for his crewmates to follow him up, then sent out his Cinccino.

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“Lulabelle, use Sing on that guy,” Gaster quietly ordered the Pokemon as he began to climb fully up onto the walkway.

“What the fuck?!” the guard shouted as the Cinccino suddenly ran out at him.

Lulabelle let out a piercing cry to stun the guard, but he remained unfazed. The guard quickly moved back then aimed his rifle at the Pokemon. However, right as he was about to open fire, Gaster shot him with his tesla coil rifle.

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Before the guard could react, Taraka emerged from the maintenance hatch and sent out his Togekiss. “Sirius, use Fairy Wind!” the monk commanded the Pokemon as she emerged.

“Lulabelle, use Tail Slap!” Gaster issued an order of his own.

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The two Pokemon made their attacks, then Gaster followed up with another shot from his rifle. The guard dropped to the floor, unconscious, leaving the way clear for the infiltration team to advance.

“Nice work, you two,” Kasey said as she reached the top of the ladder. She climbed out of the hatch and Ace emerged behind her.

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Gaster nodded, then waved for his crewmates to follow him. “This way.”

The infiltration team soon arrived at the maintenance door Gaster and Taraka had identified as a good entry point, facing no further resistance along the way. Gaster kept lookout while Kasey got to work hacking the door console.

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“Shit,” Kasey cursed after a few moments of trying.

“Let me try,” Ace said.

“Go for it,” Kasey replied, stepping out of the android’s way.

Ace pried the door console off the wall, then began fiddling with the wires. With a few adjustments, he bypassed the locking mechanism and the door slid open.

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“Well that’s one way to do it,” Kasey said before stepping through the door.

Bringing up the rear, Gaster followed the rest of his crewmates through the door into a narrow hallway lined with pipes and electrical cables. The group advanced down the corridor to another door. Fortunately, this one was not locked so they could move on through without delay.

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The door led to a room with a metal staircase on the left leading up to another door. There was also a third door on the far side of the room, opposite from where the team had entered.

“Which way, you think?” Gaster asked his crewmates.

“The main residence is in that direction,” Taraka said, pointing to the door at the top of the stairs. “That door most likely leads there. If there is a secret lab in this compound, it is most likely underground. I believe the other door is more likely to lead us to stairs granting access to a lower level.”

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“Can’t argue with that logic,” Gaster said. “This door it is.” The former smuggler walked up to the door on the far side of the room and opened it, revealing a continuation of the narrow hallway.

As the team advanced, Taraka’s instincts proved right. The hallway brought them to a set of stairs leading down. From here, they continued on down a few more maintenance corridors, eventually arriving at the main landing pad.

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From the doorway Gaster now stood in, he looked out at the chaos unfolding on the far left side of the landing pad. A group of Axel’s fire types consisting of his Charizard, Gyarados, Feraligatr, and Ninetales were on a rampage, holding off any guards or Pokemon that dared venture too close with a wall of flames. Axel himself, along with the captain, was in cover behind a stack of shipping containers. The two were taking potshots where they could, keeping the guards busy.

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“That’s where we need to go,” Taraka said, pointing at a building straight ahead of them. With the guards drawn away, the building was unguarded, and the billowing plume of smoke from the fuel tanks Axel and Cyrus had detonated to kick off the distraction would allow the infiltration team to reach it undetected.

“How do you know?” Gaster asked, assessing the situation.

“Just a feeling,” the monk said. “Now that we’re back here, I remember seeing them take the package we delivered there. If there is a secret facility here, it must be there.”

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“Well I guess that’s the best lead we have,” Gaster said. “Let’s go.”

“Captain, we’re crossing the far side of the landing pad from you,” Kasey announced over the comms. “Keep those guards’ eyes on you if you can.”

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“Got it,” Cyrus replied.

“I’ve got just the thing,” Axel jumped in. Moments later, Gaster saw the unmistakable detonation of one of Axel’s solar grenades. “That oughta get their attention,” the mercenary’s voice sounded in Gaster’s ear.

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“Alright team, let’s move!” Kasey said.

Keeping to the cover of the smoke, the infiltration team moved as fast as they could to the building across from them. As soon as they reached it, Kasey attempted to access the door console.

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“What the hell? I’ve never seen a lock like this before,” the scientist said a few moments later. “This is really advanced stuff for Helios.”

“Can you get it open?” Gaster asked.

“Working on it,” Kasey replied. “What if I … Aha! There we go!”

The heavy-duty door slowly slid open, revealing a room full of crates. There was a freight elevator opposite the door and a staircase off to the right that led down.

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“Jackpot,” Kacey said.

“Good instincts, Taraka,” Gaster said as he stepped inside. “Now the question is do we take the elevator or the stairs?”

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“We’ll have less chance of walking into an ambush if we take the stairs,” Kasey said.

“Alright, stairs it is,” Gaster responded.

With that, the team gathered at the landing, then began their long descent down. Keeping an eye out for any guards who might be coming up, they slowly made their way. At the bottom of the stairs, they stepped out into a room much like the one upstairs. Another door opposite the cargo elevator presumably led to the rest of the floor.

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“I’ll see if it’s clear,” Taraka volunteered.

The monk approached the door, then opened it and poked his head through. A moment of silence passed, then a gruff voice shouted, “Wait, what the fuck are you doing here?!”

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Gaster then heard the unmistakable sound of Pokemon being released from their Pokeballs. “Beelzebark, Fire Fang!” a second voice commanded.

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Taraka stumbled back into the room as a Houndoom tackled him, then bit into him with flaming jaws. The monk blasted the Pokemon off of him with a burst of psionic energy, then hurriedly put up a barrier before getting to his feet.

Gaster moved into a position that allowed him to see into the hallway on the other side of the door. There were two guards, both of whom had sent out Pokemon. In addition to the Houndoom, the infiltration team had a Durant to deal with. Gaster grabbed Sakuya’s ball off his belt, then sent her out into the hallway through the door.

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“Sakuya, use Flame Burst on that Durant!” Gaster commanded his newly released Salandit. Sakuya spat a ball of flame at the Durant, which detonated in a fiery explosion that showered sparks onto the Pokemon’s trainer.

“Argent, Vice Grip!” the guard grunted out as he shielded his eyes. His Durant skittered forward through the fire and clamped Sakuya in its mandibles.

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By this point, the others had sent out Pokemon of their own to help. Taraka went with his Togekiss while Kasey sent out her Fraxure.

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“Sirius, use Dazzling Gleam!”

“Huntress, Dragon Claw!”

The two Pokemon made their attacks, one taking the right and the other the left. Taraka’s Togekiss shot a blinding cone of light at the Durant and its trainer, but both managed to dodge out of the way. Kasey’s Fraxure had more luck; the dragon Pokemon swiped at the Houndoom with her razor sharp claws, leaving a long, bloody gash along the canine’s side. With a howl of pain, the Houndoom lunged at Huntress and sunk its teeth in.

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In response to the attack, the two guards opened fire on the Maverick crew’s Pokemon. Energy shield raised, Ace charged in to protect them. Projectiles deflected into the walls as the guards switched to targeting the Android. Moving past the Houndoom, Ace swung his sword at the Pokemon’s trainer, cutting through his body armor.

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As the Houndoom continued to tussle with Kasey’s Fraxure, Gaster lined up a shot on it with his tesla coil rifle, finding just the right angle between the edges of the doorway and the combatants. Once he had his shot, the former smuggler squeezed the trigger, taking the fiery canine down with a bolt of electricity.

“Sakuya, use Flame Burst again!” Gaster then commanded his Salandit. With another ball of fire, the Durant was taken out of the fight.

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“Huntress, Dragon Claw!” Kasey issued a command of her own. Her Fraxure rushed the Durant’s trainer, then swiped at him, gouging his body armor with her claws. Kasey herself then moved into the room and opened fire on the guard with her pistol. The guard returned fire, then dove into cover.

Taraka, meanwhile, went after the other guard. “Sirius, use Thunder Wave!” the monk commanded his Togekiss. Once Sirius had immobilized the guard with electricity, Taraka blasted him with psionic energy, knocking him backwards. As the guard stumbled around in attempt to regain his balance, Ace struck him with his sword, bringing him down.

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Following his crewmates into the room, Gaster ordered his own Pokemon to attack. “Sakuya, use smog!” The former smuggler’s Salandit spewed out a cloud of toxic gas at the remaining guard, but he ducked back into cover.

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Kasey was having none of it. “Huntress, get him out of there! Dragon Claw!” she commanded her Fraxure. The dragon Pokemon obliged and charged the guard’s position. The man let out a grunt of pain as Kasey’s Pokemon finished him off.

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“That wasn’t so bad,” Gaster said. “Let’s not take any chances, though.” The former smuggler knelt down beside his Salandit and gave her a potion to keep her in fighting shape. With the rush of energy the potion provided, Sakuya began to glow and increase in size, evolving into a Salazzle.

“Nice,” Kasey said. “More firepower is always welcome.”

“Indeed,” Taraka agreed.

As Gaster stood back up, he heard a voice shout from down the hall, “I think it came from over there!”

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“You bet it did!” Gaster yelled back, readying his rifle.

As he looked down the hall through the sights of his rifle, Gaster watched two more guards emerge from around a corner, these ones wielding rifles. The pair of guards sent out Pokemon as they moved down the hall toward the members of the Maverick’s crew, specifically a Camerupt and a Sableye.

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Taraka moved to the front as the guards approached and put up a fresh barrier. “Sirius, use Fairy Wind on that Sableye!” the monk then commanded his Togekiss.

“Use Detect!” one of the guards responded as Sirius flew down the hall. Taraka’s Togekiss made her attack, but the Sableye protected itself from harm. The guard then opened fire on Sirius, driving her back.

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“Tharsis, use Magnitude!” the other guard barked out. Heeding the order, the Camerupt charged down the hallway, then reared up and slammed down on the floor, causing a quake.

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Thinking quickly as the shockwave ran down the corridor, Gaster dove in front of his Salazzle and shoved her out of harm’s way. He grunted in pain as the attack hit him, but he knew it would have far worse for Sakuya.

Kasey and Taraka were knocked to the ground as well, leaving Ace as the only member of the team standing. The android rushed forward to protect his crewmates; moving up to the Camerupt, he struck it with his sword. The guard opened fire on his Pokemon’s assailant, but Ace raised his shield, blocking the incoming projectiles.

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“Huntress, use Assurance on that Camerupt!” Kasey commanded her Fraxure once she was back on her feet. The dragon Pokemon charged into attack, striking the Camerupt with her claws. The fiery camel Pokemon was close to going down now, but it wasn’t out of the fight yet.

“Sakuya, use Toxic on it, then retreat!” Gaster ordered his Salazzle. Sakuya shot a poisonous glob of venom at the Camerupt, then skittered away down the hallway. Gaster didn’t want her anywhere near that thing until it went down.

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Meanwhile, Taraka switched out from his injured Togekiss to his Wailord. The giant stone-hided Pokemon blocked off the entire hallway, preventing the Sableye and the two guards from advancing any farther or being able to attack the Maverick crew and their Pokemon at all.

“Rocklord, use Surf!” Taraka commanded his Wailord. Gaster couldn’t see it, but he could hear the wave crashing down the hallway into the hostiles on the other side of the Wailord’s massive body.

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Separated from its trainer while Ace and Kasey’s Fraxure laid into it, the Camerupt acted on its own, exploding lava out of its humps in all directions. Ace quickly raised his shield to protect himself, but the attack hit the Fraxure full force, along with the Wailord. The Wailord, of course, was completely fine, but the Fraxure was knocked out as she was already pretty beat up.

By this point, the two guards were fully unloading their rifles at Taraka’s Wailord. The Camerupt wasn’t down yet, but Gaster decided the Wailord could use some assistance. The former smuggler recalled his Salazzle, then sent out his Krookodile instead.

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“Jimothy, Dig under Wailord and attack the guards on the other side,” Gaster instructed his newly sent out Pokemon. The Krookodile obliged and began tunneling down into the floor the Camerupt had destroyed.

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Meanwhile, Kasey had switched out her Pokemon as well. “Baroness, Bite!” she commanded her Tyrunt. Clamping her strong jaws around the Camerupt’s neck, the fierce rock dragon finished the fiery camel off.

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“Alright, Rocklord, you’ve done your job,” Taraka said. Now that the Camerupt had been brought down, the team needed to move past the Wailord that was blocking the hallway up. The monk recalled his Pokemon, revealing the fight going on behind him, then sent out his Crobat.

Now that he could see, Gaster quickly surveyed the situation. Jimothy was fighting the guards while the Sableye was much closer to the Maverick crewmembers. The ghost Pokemon had most likely been attacking the Wailord. Whatever the case, it was going down. Gaster took aim with his tesla coil rifle, then squeezed the trigger, zapping the Sableye with electricity.

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“Baroness, finish it with Dragon Tail!” Kasey then commanded her Tyrunt. Baroness ran up to the Sableye, then slammed it with her tail, sending the Pokemon flying backwards, over the heads of Jimothy and the guards, and into the wall at the end of the hallway. Now only the guards remained.

“Aday, use Swift!” Taraka ordered his Crobat as the team moved up. The fire bat flew over the guards and fired energy stars down at them, then Taraka gave him another command, “Now, Fire Fang!”

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As Aday dove down and bit one of the guards, Jimothy sank his teeth into the other one, drawing blood. While his Pokemon held the guard in place, Gaster shot the man with his rifle. Volts of electricity coursed through the guard’s body, rendering him unconscious. Jimothy, however, was unharmed due to his ground typing.

“Baroness, Bite!” Kasey commanded her own Pokemon. The Tyrunt ran at the sole remaining guard and took a bite out of his leg.

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Panicking at his surrounded state, the guard swang his rifle around wildly in an attempt to drive his attackers back. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t hit any of them. With one last shot, Gaster took the guard down.

“That was one hell of a fight,” Kasey commented as she looked around the hallway at the destruction. “Looks like we’re clear now, though.”

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“For now,” Ace said as he deactivated his shield.

“Ace is right,” Gaster said. “Let’s not let our guard down.”

“Of course,” Kasey agreed. “But let’s take a moment to collect ourselves before we press on.”

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Notes: Here we go. We’re in the plot now. At this point, I was done waiting on absentee players. I was going to start advancing the plot regardless of who showed up to the session. It was only Novi and unknown again, so it was just two players for the big mission. Looking back, I should have given each of them one of the NPCs to control and put the two PCs whose players weren’t there on the distraction team, but on the other hand this team breakdown made the most narrative sense.

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This chapter covers the first half of session 42, which was a bit of a longer session because this was a big mission. There was no way I could fit it into one chapter without it being way too long. I split it in a place I thought made the most sense. For pacing reasons, this chapter turned out to be one long scene from Gaster’s perspective. It just had a good flow to it. I didn’t need to change too much either other than adding in some extra dialogue to make everything flow much better.

My favorite thing about this session was the map I made for it. To this day it is my favorite map I’ve made for a Roll20 campaign. I started with the descriptions I came up with on the spot when Gaster and Taraka scouted the compound out, then added in the interior areas I thought I might need. There were actually a few different routes they could have taken and the possible results of the mission were quite open-ended. The plan was to subtly push the party in particular directions once they started making choices of where to go and what to do. That’s about all I can say for now, so look forward to the resolution of this mission next chapter.

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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!

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