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!
“Yeah, we made it out,” Gaster said into his commlink. “Turns out that ship that attacked the compound belongs to a certain friend of ours. We’re on our way back to Fortuna now.”
“Good to hear,” Cyrus’s voice responded. “We’ll see you back on the Maverick.”
“Alright, we’ll see you soon,” Gaster said before ending the call with the captain.
Turning back to his crewmates, the former smuggler noticed that they were checking out the rather advanced ship they now found themselves in. It was certainly unique, Gaster had to admit. He’d never seen a ship this small with the exception of a Sinai meditation sphere. Not much more than a cockpit with some standing room behind it, the assassin’s vessel was remarkably compact for a bucket class ship, if it even qualified as one.
“This tech is fascinating,” Kasey said as she examined a console. “It’s more advanced than anything I’ve seen before. In fact, this whole ship is incredible. It doesn’t match any design I know.”
“Uh uh, no touching,” the assassin said from the cockpit.
“Hmph,” Kasey responded, a scowl briefly crossing her face. “Where did you get this ship?” she then asked, turning to the assassin.
“And who is your employer, exactly? How did they get their hands on tech like this?”
“Wouldn’t you like to know?” the assassin teased.
Kasey frowned. “Yes, I would.”
The assassin didn’t respond, eliciting a sigh from Kasey.
“I wouldn’t feel too bad,” Gaster said, placing a comforting hand on his crewmate’s shoulder. “I couldn’t get anything out of her either the last time we met.”
“Then how do we know we can trust her?” Kasey asked in a hushed tone.
Gaster shrugged. “We don’t.”
“It seemed like they moved a bunch of machinery and whatever artifacts were there to another site,” Gaster explained as he bandaged himself up.
“I see,” Cyrus said as he applied a burn heal to a laser burn on his arm.
Taraka listened to the pair’s discussion from the other side of the med bay as he tended to his own wounds that he had sustained during the raid of the secret H.A.L.O. lab under Peter Baker’s villa compound. The members of the Maverick’s crew were all safely back aboard the ship and they were going over what they learned on the mission.
“I did manage to recover a lot of data,” Kasey pointed out. “If we can decrypt it, we might be able to use it to figure out where that site is.”
“I don’t suppose you know of any other sites that would be a likely place for them to have moved to?” Gaster asked, looking over at the assassin, who was leaning against the wall in the corner of the room.
“I encountered these Helios mercs in some ruins and tracked them here to Meridian, just like you did,” she explained. “I know as much as you do at this point. I have to say, though, I’m quite impressed that managed to break into that place all by yourselves.”
“We’re full of surprises,” Axel said, giving the assassin a stern look.
“So it would seem,” she replied. “You have proven yourselves more useful than I thought. I believe our continued ... cooperation would be beneficial.”
“Does that mean we get a cut of your employer’s payment?” Gaster asked.
A frown formed on Gaster’s face. “That was a yes or no question.”
“So it was,” the assassin said, a sly grin appearing on her face.
“This isn’t funny you know,” Gaster said. “Why should we trust you? You can’t even give us a straight answer on whether or not we’re going to get paid. Hell, we don’t even know what your name is.”
“Oh, I’m certainly not telling you my name,” the assassin said. “But you may call me Sikari. It’s what they all do.”
“Hunter,” Taraka said, recognizing the name as a word in the Sinai language, albeit a lesser-used one.
“Well aren’t you a clever one?” the assassin said, glancing at the monk.
“Yup. Clever. That’s me,” Taraka said.
“As for receiving payment from my employer,” Sikari, as she called herself, said, turning back to Gaster. “That’s not up to me, is it?”
“Deciding to give up a cut of your payment is, though,” Gaster pointed out.
“A fair point,” Sikari conceded. “How about this? If you help me out dealing with this Peter Baker fellow, we can talk about splitting the payment.”
“I suppose that’s as good as we’re going to get,” Gaster said.
“Oh, you’re learning. I’m so proud of you.”
“So we have a deal then?” Cyrus asked.
“I suppose we could call it that,” Sikari said. “Alright then, let me know if you find anything. I’ll be in touch.”
Kasey sat at the table in the mess area of the Maverick’s living quarters, scrolling through the files she had pulled from the computer in the H.A.L.O. lab on Meridian on her datapad with one hand and bringing a cup of coffee to her lips with the other. Most of the data was still encrypted, but she had been able to decipher a lot of it using her knowledge of Helios protocols. The company had never had the best cybersecurity, after all.
“Hmm, that’s interesting,” Kasey said to herself, a particular internal communication log catching her eye. She set down her coffee and grabbed her datapad with both hands to get a better look.
“What is it?” Gaster asked, walking up to the table.
“It seems that the H.A.L.O. division relocated their project from Meridian because ‘someone’s been sniffing around’ the ruins they’ve been taking artifacts from,” Kasey informed her crewmate, quoting the internal memo she was reading.
“That’s us, I assume,” Gaster said.
“Seems likely,” Kasey said. “Anyway, it says here they moved to a more secure facility. The response to us looking into their shady little operation was certainly hasty. They were still wiping data when we got there, and they missed scrubbing this memo here from the network.”
“You know where they relocated to, then?” Gaster asked.
“You bet,” Kasey replied. “I’ve got the coordinates right here. A planet way out in the corner of Sector 31, it looks like, right on the border of Sectors 5 and 32.”
“Guys, get over here!” Gaster called out to the others in the room. “We know where they moved to!”
“Already?” Cyrus asked, approaching the pair. “That was fast.”
“What can I say? I’m good at what I do,” Kasey responded.
“So, where are we going next?” Axel asked.
“The facility they moved to is in Sector 31 and ... oooooh— it seems like they were researching artificial intelligence for the project.” Kasey suddenly found herself quite excited after reading another memo she’d hacked.
“Artificial intelligence?” Gaster asked. “That could be relevant to Ace.”
“That seems likely since they’ve been taking stuff from ruins of the same civilization that made him for this project,” Kasey said.
“We should go to this facility as soon as possible, then,” Ace said. “It sounds like this is my best chance at finding answers.”
“Indeed,” Taraka agreed. “The facility on Meridian was much closer to what I saw in my vision. I believe I may find my answers at this one as well.”
“Alright, let’s get going,” Cyrus said. “Kasey, give these coordinates to Anya. I’ll go let our assassin friend what we’ve found.”
Notes: This was a fun little chapter to write. This was the last chunk of session 42 where there was just some RP and dialogue. I added a lot of expansion to it to make things more interesting. A lot of it was necessary, converting sections of paraphrasing into actual dialogue, but a lot of it is brand new material. Most of the new stuff is just some fun character interactions and extra details, but this chapter finally established the assassin’s name. We went through the entire campaign without giving her a name and, in fact, I never named her until shortly before this chapter was written. Other than that, there’s not much else to say about this chapter. It’s mostly just to set up the next one.
Post-Chapter Challenge: At this point in the story, I believe you have everything you need to revisit a challenge from the past. Let’s go back all the way to 2015 (holy crap I can’t believe how long we’ve been doing Spacemon), back to Volume 2 of the original Spacemon series, back to the very first one of these Post-Chapter Challenges. In Chapter 13 of Volume 2, DragonStorm challenged you to come up with a Gecko Ending for the original series.
For the uninitiated, a Gecko Ending is what usually happens when an adaptation, most frequently an anime, catches up with the source material and has to BS its own ending that ties up all the loose ends. I’ve always wanted to revisit this challenge for Frontier when the time was right, and with the disappointing Gecko Ending of Game of Thrones still in recent memory this one has been on my mind a lot. So, just like like last time, here’s the pitch for this challenge: you are a producer/writer of Spacemon: The Animated Series! The series’ adaptation of the Frontier storyline has caught up with the TRPG campaign and now you need to come up with your own ending.
By this point in the writing, most major plot threads are on the table, you just need to figure out how they all fit together. From the mission our heroes are about to embark on to the outstanding bounty on Gaster’s head placed by Markovic to Taraka’s unfinished pilgrimage, there are plenty of loose ends. Where did Ace come from? What is Peter Baker up to with his top secret H.A.L.O. division? What does the last piece of Taraka’s vision mean? Who is Sikari’s employer and what is their goal? What was the deal with that super powerful, cybernetically augmented assassin on Troyva? These are but a few of the questions you now have the chance to answer! I want to hear all your thoughts, from intricately thought out plans to downright goofy ideas. Let’s see what you’ve got!
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!