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!
“Ritsu, use Overheat!”
The sound of roaring flames filled the air as Axel’s Charizard breathed out an enormous stream of fire. The guards’ Pokemon were enveloped by flames and rendered unconscious. They were then swept aside as the mercenary’s Gyarados plowed forward.
“Saika, use Lava Plume!” Axel commanded the large fire serpent.
The guards dove for cover as flames exploded out from the Gyarados in all directions, but not all of them made it. Cyrus picked off those unlucky enough to be caught in the blast with his pistol.
“Mugi, use Fire Spin!” Axel barked out another command.
The flamethrower-wielding mercenary’s Ninetales let loose a spinning vortex of fire at one of the guards, while Axel himself doused another in flames. Neither could handle the heat.
“Peregrine, Acrobatics!” Cyrus issued an order of his own as the two guards dropped. The captain’s Talonflame dove down from the sky at the last guard standing and struck him at high speed, knocking him out.
“Who else wants some?!” Axel called out.
“I think that’s the last of them,” Cyrus said. “The landing pad is ours for now.”
“Alright, Captain,” Axel said, lowering his flamethrower for the time being. “What should we—?”
A sudden explosion interrupted the mercenary’s words. Axel instinctively raised his flamethrower again and looked in the direction the sound had come from. A pillar of smoke was now rising from the far side of the villa. Axel then glanced at the captain. The mercenary had all but forgotten what he had been going to ask his employer. Now only one question burned in his mind.
“What the hell was that?”
Gaster kept a firm grip on his rifle and a finger on the trigger as he kept watch while his crewmates patched themselves up and healed their Pokemon. All the guards in the area appeared to have been dealt with, but the former smuggler was expecting more to jump out at any minute. The confrontation in this hallway hadn’t exactly been quiet.
Suddenly, the floor shook as a loud explosion rang out. It sounded — and felt — like it was directly above.
“Was that you guys?” Cyrus’s voice sounded on the comms.
“I don’t ... think so?” Gaster tentatively replied. “We’re down in a basement facility. It sounded like it was above us.”
“Interesting,” the captain said. “I’ll keep you updated on the situation up here, then. How’re things going down there?”
“We seem to be on the right track,” Kasey jumped in.
“Good,” Cyrus said. “We got more guards incoming, so we’ve gotta make ourselves scarce. Cyrus out.”
“We should get moving now,” Kasey said.
Gaster nodded. “Good idea.”
“This seems like it,” Kasey said, examining the door she and her crewmates were standing in front of.
After checking the other doors in this corridor, including the ones back where they first came down the stairs from the landing pad, the infiltration team had worked out that this door, labeled Research Lab, was most likely what they were looking for. Other than another large freight elevator, there wasn’t much of note in the hallway.
“Let’s get going, then,” Taraka said.
“Right,” Kasey replied. “Ace, you take point.”
“Got it,” the android said.
Kasey opened the door for Ace and he stepped through, shield at the ready, just in case. Kasey followed him in, pistol aimed past his shoulder. Fortunately, the room was clear.
“Here we go,” Kasey said, spotting a computer terminal. She walked up to it and accessed it. Unlike the advanced door locks upstairs, this terminal was surprisingly unsecured.
“Let’s see what we’ve got here,” Kasey muttered to herself as she began browsing the files on the computer. Most of the files were heavily encrypted, but the few that weren’t began to paint a picture of what Helios was up to.
“Alright, it looks like they’re researching the artifacts they’ve been collecting to … recreate some sort of process,” Kasey informed her crewmates.
“A process to do what?” Taraka asked.
“I can’t break the encryption on most of these files right now so I don’t know,” Kasey said. “Whatever these machines were built for ... again, I’m not sure what that was, but they’re trying to replicate it.”
“What do you think they’re trying to do?” Ace asked.
“Nothing good,” Kasey replied. “But let’s move on. I’ll download everything so we can work on cracking it in a safer environment.” She pulled out a drive and connected it to the terminal, then started the download.
“Will this take long?” Gaster asked.
“Not too long,” Kasey said. “Once this is done, let’s head through that door.” The scientist nodded at a door on the opposite side of the room from where they had entered.
This room seemed like a monitoring room so she had a hunch that they were keeping the artifacts on the other side of that door. There was only one way to know for sure.
There were immediately two rifles trained on Ace the moment he stepped through the door. The guards wielding them moved to block the android and his Maverick crewmates behind him as they entered the lab. Behind the guards stood a man in a business suit with a prominent nose who was speaking with a man wearing a lab coat who was working on a computer, obviously a scientist.
“So you’ve made it this far,” the man in the suit said, turning to the newcomers. “But this is as far as you go.”
“I don’t think so,” Kasey said. “I don’t know what you’re up to, Baker, but we’re going to stop you.”
So this is Peter Baker, Ace thought. The android assumed someone in charge of an evil organization would look more fearsome. He still had a lot to learn about Human culture.
“I’m afraid you’re too late, Miss Coulson,” Peter Baker replied. “I never expected you to become such a liability, yet here you are. My men here will deal with you.” He then turned back to the scientist. “Dr. Meissner, finish the data wipe, then join me on the south landing pad,” he said.
“Yes sir,” the scientist replied. The man’s voice, spoken with a slight accent of one of the Genevan states, sounded familiar to Ace, but he couldn’t quite place it.
Baker then turned and exited the room through a door in the back right corner, leaving his men to deal with the members of the Maverick’s crew. Ace tightened his grip on his sword. He was expecting a tough fight.
“You heard the man,” the scientist said to the guards, turning to face the crew as he did so.
Now that he could see the face of the man Baker had called Meissner clearly, Ace realized why his voice had sounded familiar. The dark hair … the neatly trimmed beard … He’d seen this man before.
“It’s you,” Ace said, now recognizing this scientist as the man he’d encountered on the streets of Cacia three months prior. If this scientist was working with Baker to research artifacts made by the same people who had given him life, then it made perfect sense that he had seen through his disguise back then.
“Oh, I remember you,” Meissner said. He looked from Ace to Taraka, who had been present at their meeting on Cacia, then back to Ace. “It’s time I return the favor for this, my robotic friend,” the scientist continued, pointing to a scar on his face where Ace had punched him.
With that, Meissner tossed out a Pokeball, releasing a Porygon-Z. The two H.A.L.O. guards followed suit, releasing a Mightyena and a Weezing.
“Quadratwurzel, use Nasty Plot,” Meissner commanded his Pokemon before turning back to the computer. The two guards then took defensive positions to protect the scientist, then opened fire, forcing the members of the Maverick’s crew into cover.
Fortunately for Ace’s crewmates, their Pokemon were still out and combat ready. “Aday, use Fire Fang on that Porygon-Z!” Taraka commanded his Crobat.
“Jimothy, use Torment on it!” Gaster followed up with an order of his own.
The two Pokemon moved in to attack Meissner’s as it charged up energy, but it avoided both.
“Ranger, Take Down!” one of the guards then barked. The Mightyena leapt at Gaster’s Pokemon, but the Krookodile dodged out of the way and it went sailing past, slamming into the machine behind him.
Meanwhile, Taraka and Kasey focused on the Weezing. The monk burned it with a psionic flame, then Kasey laid into it with her pistol before commanding her Tyrunt to attack it, “Baroness, Dragon Tail!”
Pulling himself together after the surprise of encountering this scientist again, Ace reached down to his belt and grabbed Blade’s Pokeball. He released his trusty Gallade, then ordered him to attack, “Blade, hit that Weezing with Psycho Cut!”
“Dodge, then use Sludge Bomb!” the Weezing’s trainer responded. As Blade’s psychic attack came in, the Weezing flew up and over it, then barfed out a blob of toxic sludge onto Kasey’s Tyrunt.
“Quadratwurzel, Lock-On with your Targeting System and hit that Crobat with Zap Cannon!” Meissner then commanded his Porygon-Z. The virtual Pokemon made several beeping noises as it locked onto its target, then it fired off a giant ball of electricity, taking down Taraka’s Crobat in one hit.
“We need to take that thing out!” Gaster shouted. “Jimothy, Crunch it!” The former smuggler’s Krookodile jumped at the Porygon-Z, ignoring the Mightyena which had turned around and attempted to nip at him, then clamped his powerful jaws down around it. While Jimothy had it trapped, Gaster fired his rifle at the Porygon-Z, landing a direct hit.
Gaster seemed to have the Porygon-Z under control, so Ace kept his focus on the Weezing. “Blade, use Slash!” Ace commanded his Gallade as he charged at the poison gas Pokemon himself. The two slashed through the Weezing with their respective blades, then Kasey’s Tyrunt bit it, sinking her sharp teeth in.
“Arsine, use Explosion!” the guard who owned the Weezing responded to his Pokemon’s plight.
“Baroness, release it! Quick!” Kasey called out as the Weezing in her Tyrunt’s mouth began to glow.
“Blade, Wide Guard!” Ace commanded his Gallade, thinking quickly. As soon as Baroness let go of the Weezing, Blade put up a protective barrier to shield himself, his trainer, and the Tyrunt. It was not a moment too soon either. The Weezing detonated in a powerful explosion that destroyed the surrounding lab equipment, but no one was hurt.
“Good work, Ace,” Taraka said. The monk then tossed out a new Pokeball, releasing his Tangrowth right where the Weezing had been before its trainer recalled it.
“Ranger, Crunch!” the other guard commanded his Mightyena to attack the new combatant. The canine Pokemon jumped at the Tangrowth and sank its teeth in, tearing through some vines.
“Not so fast!” Taraka responded to the attack. “Roma, use Giga Drain!” The monk’s Tangrowth latched onto the Mightyena with her vines and drained its energy away, using it to heal herself.
The two guards then opened fire, sending a spray of projectiles flying at Roma, as well as Ace, Blade, and Baroness. Ace raised his shield up, guarding himself and his Pokemon. The two other Pokemon were pelted with the ballistic projectiles; the Tangrowth was fine, but the Tyrunt was looking to be in rough shape. She fought to hold on and began glowing with energy. Baroness grew in size as the glow intensified, and when it died down a Tyrantrum stood in her place. The newly evolved Pokemon let out a fierce roar, then snapped at the nearest guard, but he ducked down behind cover.
“Great job, Baroness!” Kasey called out to her Pokemon. “But come back now; you’re hurt.” She then recalled her new Tyrantrum and sent out her Feraligatr in her place.
“Quadratwurzel, fall back and use Recover,” Meissner then commanded his Porygon-Z.
“Not so fast!” Gaster reacted. “Jimothy, use Crunch!” he then commanded before opening fire on the scientist’s Pokemon. The former smuggler’s Pokemon failed to make contact, but it didn’t matter. A well placed shot from Gaster’s rifle was enough to take the Porygon-Z down.
“No matter,” Meissner said before ejecting a drive from the computer and pocketing it. “I did what I needed to.” The scientist recalled his fainted Pokemon, then left the room via the door through which Baker had exited.
“He’s going to get away!” Ace shouted.
“We can’t go after him until we deal with these guys,” Taraka said just before blasting the Mightyena with psionic energy.
“I don’t think so,” the nearest guard said, emerging from cover. He then bashed Taraka with the butt of his rifle, sending the monk stumbling backwards. “Ranger, use Assurance on that Tangrowth!” he then commanded his Mightyena. The guard’s Pokemon slammed into Roma with incredible force. The only reason she stayed standing was thanks to Taraka’s psionic barriers.
Meanwhile, the other guard leaned out of cover and fired off a series of controlled bursts of gunfire. Ace raised his shield to protect himself, deflecting the projectiles coming his way. Gaster’s Krookodile and Kasey’s Feraligatr didn’t have that luxury. The scaley hides of the two reptilian Pokemon were peppered with gunfire.
“Jimothy, Dig!” Gaster responded, and his Pokemon went underground, tearing through the floor tiles.
Ace then charged past the hole the Krookodile dug. He moved straight up to the man who shot at him and struck him with his sword, knocking him to the ground.
“Roma, Giga Drain him while he’s down!” Taraka commanded his Tangrowth, taking advantage of the opportunity that Ace had provided. Roma wrapped her vine arms around the man and drained some of his energy to revitalize herself once again.
With that guard out of the picture for the moment, Ace turned his attention elsewhere. “Blade, use Swords Dance!” the android commanded his Gallade as Gaster and Kasey opened fire on the other guard. The latter’s Feraligatr then swung his powerful tail at the man, completely destroying his cover. The guard attempted to hit the Pokemon back, but he dodged out of the way.
Just then, Gaster’s Krookodile reemerged, striking the guard’s Mightyena from below. “Blade, use Slash!” Ace followed up with a command. The android’s Gallade rushed the surprised Mightyena, gouging it with one of his blades.
Before the Mightyena could react, Gaster opened fire on it, landing two direct laser shots. The Mightyena was on its last legs now and it would soon have the last of its energy drained away.
“Roma, use Mega Drain!” Taraka ordered his Tangrowth. As Roma sapped away the Mightyena’s strength, Tarakaa provided healing of his own with a pulse of psionic energy.
Soon after the Mightyena went down, its trainer followed. Kasey landed several shots with her pistol then commanded her Pokemon to attack, “Nile, finish him off!” The scientist’s Feraligatr lunged at the guard and slammed him against a piece of machinery with incredible force. He wouldn’t be standing up from that blow any time soon.
Now only one guard remained. Ace turned around just in time to see the man charging him. The android quickly threw up his shield arm, blocking the butt of the guard’s rifle. He then swung his arm out, bashing the guard in the face with his shield.
“Nile, Ice Fang!”
“Jimothy, use Sand Tomb!”
Back to back attacks from Kasey’s Feraligatr and Gaster’s Krookodile soon ended the fight. The lab was theirs.
With the guards defeated, Kasey rushed to the computer Meissner had been using. “Shit,” she said after only a few moments. “It’s been wiped clean.”
“Looks like this lab has been too,” Taraka said.
Ace took a look around and, sure enough, it looked like it had been cleared out. There were a lot of blank areas along the wall where some lab equipment or, perhaps, artifacts had once been.
“What do we do now?” Ace asked his crewmates. “Do we go after them?”
“That’s all we can do,” Gaster said. He went to the door that Baker and Meissner had left through and poked his head through. “This looks like it loops back around to that second elevator we saw,” he informed the group.
“They must have gone up,” Ace said.
“No doubt,” Kasey agreed. “Baker said something about a south landing pad. There must be a second one. We need to move before they escape.”
“What’s the situation down there?” Cyrus’s voice suddenly sounded on the comms as the team moved through the door into a long, narrow corridor. “Did you guys find anything?”
“It looks like they moved everything somewhere else,” Ace replied.
“Baker escaped with some scientist he was working with,” Kasey added. “We’re going after them now.”
“I hate to break it to you, but I think they got away,” the captain said. “A ship just took off from another landing pad on the other side of the villa from us.”
“Damn it,” Gaster cursed.
“We won’t be leaving empty handed, at least,” Kasey said over comms. “I managed to download a bunch of data and, since Baker got away, we can take some time to snoop around a bit more and see what we can find.”
“Got it,” Cyrus said. “Just be on your guard. Another ship landed after the other took off. It was attacking the compound before that, so I have no idea who they are.”
“That must’ve been what caused that explosion,” Taraka said.
“I think that’s the case,” Cyrus replied. “Even so, be careful.”
“Don’t worry, Captain,” Taraka said. “We will.”
“Find anything?” Gaster asked as the rest of the infiltration team assembled in the main corridor.
Taraka shook his head. “Nothing,” the monk said. “It just looked like some other labs that were cleared out too. There was some kind of pod in one, but it was empty.”
“Damn,” Gaster said. “None of us found anything either.” The former smuggler motioned at himself, Ace, and Kasey as he spoke.
The infiltration team had just finished their sweep of the secret H.A.L.O. facility under Peter Baker’s villa, but their search had come up empty. Now it was time to get out.
“Heads up guys, you’ve got incoming,” Cyrus’s voice came in over the comms. “A dropship just landed up here with a bunch more mercs.”
“We should get out of here,” Taraka replied.
“I agree,” Gaster said.
“Axel and I are on our way out already,” the captain said. “Those mercs are between you and us, though. You’ll need to find another way out.”
“There’s another elevator here,” Kasey said over the comms. “I think it goes to the secondary landing pad. We’ll see if we can find a way out from there.”
“Sounds good,” Cyrus replied. “Stay safe. Cyrus out.”
With the conversation over, the infiltration team boarded the cargo elevator. Gaster hit the button and they began to ascend.
When the door opened back on the surface, Taraka was greeted by the sight of pure chaos. The bodies of H.A.L.O. mercenaries lay scattered across the floor between black marks of plasma scoring from ship cannons. The likely culprit of the damage was the small, advanced looking ship parked on the landing pad across from the elevator.
Off to the right, Taraka watched a familiar figure plunge her blade into the neck of a guard. There was an audible thud as the body fell on the metal floor grating beside two others at the feet of the assassin. Her Zoroark snarled at the members of the Maverick’s crew as they stepped out of the elevator, alerting her to their presence.
The assassin turned, blade at the ready, but she lowered her guard when she saw who it was coming up behind her. “Fancy meeting you here,” she said, a sly smirk appearing on her face, just visible under the shadow of her hood.
Just then, a group of four more guards rounded a corner in the other direction and began opening fire. “Pardon me,” the assassin said as she moved into cover beside Taraka and his crewmates.
“We already have everything relevant that was in there,” Gaster told the assassin, nodding at the elevator the infiltration team had just emerged from. “If you wanna get out alive, you’re gonna get us out too.”
“Oh, believe me, I don’t need your help getting out of here,” the assassin teased. “But I suppose you did save me a trip, so I guess I could give you a lift. My ship is right here, after all.”
“Well open the doors and let us in,” Gaster said bluntly.
The assassin hit a button on her wrist and the back of her ship opened up. “Well, don’t just stand there,” she said.
“You don’t have to tell me twice,” Taraka said, taking a step forward.
“I’ll cover you,” Ace said, stepping out into the line of fire. The android raised his shield, deflecting the incoming gunfire and allowing his crewmates to safely move past.
Taraka ran as fast as his feet could carry him, just managing to keep pace with his more athletic crewmates. Once safely aboard the assassin’s ship, he dared to look back. Ace was slowly moving up the ramp, keeping his shield up. At a certain point, the android turned and ran the rest of the distance, just as more guards arrived from another door.
“Time to leave,” the assassin said as she slid into the pilot’s seat. The doors slid shut and the ship lifted off the landing pad. The assassin pushed the throttle all the way forward and her vessel rocketed away.
Notes: Things really kicked off here! Unlike the last chapter, which covered the first half of session 42, this one is split into multiple scenes from different perspectives. It felt better to do it this way because there were certain moments I wanted to have from certain characters’ points of view.
The opening scene was one I added just for the writing to show a bit more of what Axel and the captain were doing and I wanted the explosion bit from multiple perspectives. I decided to write it from Axel’s perspective since we won’t get too many more opportunities for it before we hit the point Axel the player officially dropped out and the character leaves the crew.
After the opening, we’re back to stuff that happened in session. This scene picks up where the last chapter left off. The players took some time to do healing and such, so I incorporated that a bit. When they were ready to move on, I threw the explosion at them to tease upcoming events. There was some dialogue over the comms, but I expanded it somewhat for the writing to get the flow I was looking for. There was no real reason to write from Gaster’s perspective, but it just seemed to work so I went with it.
Next we have some snooping on the computer. I wrote it from Kasey’s perspective because she was the one doing the computer stuff. I wanted to be able to show what she was seeing on the computer and what she was thinking. The next scene could have been from her perspective too as an encounter with Baker from her point of view could have been interesting, but I decided it worked better from Ace’s.
The fight scene was one I was looking forward to working on for a while. I added some extra dialogue at the beginning to build some tension and capture some interaction between Kasey and her former boss. The reason I chose to write the scene from Ace’s perspective was for the payoff of setup all the way back in chapter 11. Dr. Robert Meissner was a character I initially introduced as a possible rival character for Ace. I came up with him at the same time I came up with Dane Lory and the monk hunting Assassin as rivals for Axel and Taraka, respectively, but that thread didn’t go anywhere because IR dropped out of the campaign. When it came time to work on the writing, which I had already done by this point in the campaign, I knew I needed to find a way to work Meissner back into the plot so his first interaction with Ace wasn’t some random moment. When I was coming up with the big Meridian mission I realized a moment to tie everything together and knew he had to be involved somehow.
The fight itself was quite fun. Gaster got several crits this session and it just made me jealous because the character I was running in the Spacemon sequel campaign was a marksman like Gaster designed to get huge crits and I never got to experience it to the degree unknown did throughout the Frontier campaign. Other than that, there were plenty of fun moments. Getting that Lock-On Zap Cannon one shot KO on Taraka’s Crobat was particularly satisfying.
For the last scene, I wrote it from Taraka’s point of view so that each scene could be from a different perspective. It could have worked from Gaster’s point of view too, but since I used that earlier in the chapter I went with Taraka. I had the assassin enter the fray here to give the party a way to escape since I was planning for them to not be able to go back the other way by this point in the session. The earlier explosion was, in fact, her doing.
There was a little bit more to the session, but it seemed better to end the chapter with their getaway. The last half hour or so of the campaign will be covered in its own chapter, so stay tuned 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!