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!
“We’ve arrived,” Cyrus’s voice sounded over the Maverick’s comms system.
Taraka calmly stood up from his bed and exited his room. It was time.
It had been about four days since Kasey had determined the location of the Helios facility that the artifacts from the lab on Meridian had been moved to and the Maverick had finally arrived at the location, an uninhabited world in the Etar system. This system was in the far corner of Sector 31, about as far from the warp gate as possible. In terms of security, this was a better location for a secret facility than Meridian on the virtue of being so out of the way alone.
“What are we looking at here, Captain?” Taraka heard Axel ask as he arrived at the front of the ship.
“A really wet planet,” Cyrus answered. “Scans say it’s almost entirely ocean. The only land that is above sea level is all rugged mountains.”
“Sounds like a great place for a hidden base,” Gaster commented.
“Sure does,” the captain agreed. “The good news is that the atmosphere is breathable.”
“That’s certainly a plus,” Kasey said.
“Now we just need to figure out where the base is,” Taraka said, making his presence known.
“Yeah …” Cyrus trailed off, seemingly deep in thought. “The scanners haven’t found anything so far.”
“Captain, incoming hail,” Anya announced over the comms.
“Let’s see who’s calling,” Cyrus said, reaching for the flashing button on the comms terminal.
A second later, the image of Sikari appeared on the screen, a devious smirk on her face. “What a surprise seeing you here,” she said playfully. “Let’s get to work, shall we?”
“The base is hidden in this group of mountains here.”
As Sikari spoke, Gaster looked at the coordinates on the planet that she had transmitted. Highlighted on the map was a section of an underwater mountain range with peaks that pierced the surface of the ocean.
“There’s a landing pad nestled in those mountains,” the assassin continued. “And there seems to be some sort of man-made cave carved into the side of one of them under the surface of the ocean. An underwater entrance perhaps.”
“It seems your scanners are a lot better than ours,” Cyrus said.
“They definitely are,” Gaster told the captain. “Trust me, I’ve seen the inside of her ship.”
“Anyway,” Sikari said, getting the conversation back on track. “If I may suggest a plan, I will sneak in from the landing pad while you all enter from below.”
“I assume your ship has advanced cloaking technology too,” Kasey said.
“Oh, of course it does,” the assassin replied. “The real question is whether or not you have the means of getting in through the underwater entrance.”
“We can handle it,” Cyrus said. “We’ve got water Pokemon.”
“Well that settles it,” Sikari said. “Time to get the ball rolling.”
Without waiting for a response, the assassin ended the call, leaving the members of the Maverick’s crew to figure out their plan.
“Taraka,” Cyrus said, turning to the monk. “I think you should bring your Wailord on this mission to get us inside.”
“I was already planning on it, Captain,” Taraka replied. “Rocklord will be quite helpful inside the base too. On the last mission he blocked up an entire hallway for us to stop the bad guys from shooting us.”
“Well I guess that’s another use for it too,” the captain said, chuckling.
“You could say that it’s a Wall-lord,” Gaster said, a smile forming on his face. He felt quite proud of that one.
“So you do have a sense of humor,” Cyrus said, looking over at the former smuggler. “I was beginning to wonder.”
“I have my moments,” Gaster said.
“Anyway, I think our best options is to drop into the water from a distance,” Cyrus said, continuing to explain his plan. “We don’t have any stealth systems, so we need to make sure we aren’t detected. It’ll take a little extra time, but riding Taraka’s Wailord to the base will give us a better shot at sneaking in.”
“Sounds good to me, boss,” Axel said.
“No complaints here either,” Gaster said. “I think I’ll ride on my Milotic though. We don’t know if we might need to split up.”
“That’s fine,” Cyrus said. “Alright, we have our plan so let’s get moving.
Waves crashed all around as Taraka’s Wailord plowed through the choppy seas, carrying the members of the Maverick’s crew on his back. The towering mountains loomed ahead like the jagged teeth of some massive sea beast rising up from the depths.
“Alright, we’re close enough!” Cyrus announced. “Time to dive!”
“Everybody grab onto something!” Taraka told his crewmates. “Close your eyes and hold your breath!” The monk then nudged his Wailord, directing him to descend. “Take us to the underwater tunnel, Rocklord!”
Taraka felt the cold ocean waters rise up around him as his Wailord dove beneath the surface. He clung tightly to one of the many rocky lumps on Rocklord’s back to avoid getting swept away. Down they descended, deeper and deeper and into the side of the mountain.
Just when Taraka felt he was about to run out of breath, Rocklord broke the surface of the water. The monk opened his eyes and looked around. His Wailord had surfaced in a moon pool beside a submarine. A cargo crane dangled above, ready to load or unload cargo on or off whatever vessels were docked in the pool. Some guards were patrolling around the dock, but they hadn’t yet noticed the intruders; the submarine and the crane’s base kept them obscured from view for now.
A moment later, Gaster’s Milotic appeared from the waters below, carrying the former smuggler on her back. Quietly, Gaster directed the water serpent to swim over to the Wailord so the crew could discuss their next move.
“What’s our play here?” Gaster asked. “Do we try to sneak by?”
“Stealth didn’t work so well for us last time” Taraka spoke up. “We should attack while we have the element of surprise.”
“That’s not a bad idea,” Cyrus agreed. “Our friend upstairs is the stealthy one, so we’ll all be the distraction this time. Let’s hit them hard and fast.”
“Okay,” Gaster said. “I’ll take Francisca here and go around the back of the submarine while you guys go around the front. We’ll come at them from two directions.”
“Alright, let’s go,” the captain said.
Taraka nodded. “I’ve got an idea. Everybody hold on.” The monk then nudged his Wailord forward. “Full speed ahead, Rocklord. Right onto the dock.”
With surprising speed, Rocklord propelled himself across the surface of the water, then launched himself up onto the dock, landing right between two guards. The unsuspecting men dove out of the way as the giant Pokemon came crashing down. Taraka threw up a protective barrier as his crewmates dismounted and opened fire on the guards as they scrambled for cover.
At the sound of the commotion the Maverick’s crew had caused, two more guards came running around the corner of the pool and sent out some Pokemon. The two Pokemon, an Ariados and a Hippowdon, moved in on Axel as he stepped forward to engage, but the mercenary was quick on his feet. Axel dodged past the Hippowdon, then swatted the Ariados away with an armored arm as it jumped at him.
As Taraka dismounted his Wailord, one of the other guards tossed out a Pokeball from behind cover. “Bumpkin, use Bite!” the man barked out as a Raticate emerged. The Raticate ran up to Taraka and tried to bite at his legs, but he slapped it away with his staff.
In response, Kasey tossed out a Pokeball of our own. She threw the ball over the merc’s head, releasing her Fraxure behind him. “Huntress, Dragon Claw!” she commanded her newly sent out Pokemon. The Fraxure swiped at the guard, ripping through his armor with her claws.
Just then a volley of laser fire came in from behind the submarine. The two guards that had come from that direction were caught completely off guard by Gaster’s flanking maneuver. Both of them took several hits before they were able to turn around and return fire.
“Francisca, use Frost Breath!” Gaster then commanded his Pokemon. The former smuggler’s Milotic, surrounded by a healing veil of water, slithered out of the water onto the dock, then breathed out a blast of frigid air at the guards. Both quickly dove into cover, avoiding the attack.
“Time to burn!” Axel shouted as he released his own Pokemon. “Ritsu, Flamethrower!” the mercenary ordered his Charizard as she emerged. Releasing a massive torrent of flames, Ritsu set the Ariados afire, taking it down instantly.
“Rocklord, use Water Pulse!” Taraka then commanded his Wailord. Rocklord blasted the Hippowdon with water as it charged at Axel once again, causing it to stumble.
Meanwhile, Cyrus and Kasey opened fire on the Raticate. While the two of them had the Pokemon pinned down, Ace moved up and sliced it with his sword, taking it out of the fight. The Raticate’s trainer then popped out from behind the crate he was hiding behind and fired on the android, but Kasey returned fire on him, forcing him back into cover.
While Gaster and his Milotic had the other two guards occupied, the fourth one fired his rifle at Axel while his back was to him. The mercenary’s Charizard quickly moved to intercept the gunfire, then spit a jet of fire at her trainer’s attacker. The guard ducked back into cover as the flames roared past, narrowly avoiding danger, if only momentarily. Axel moved to get a better angle, then followed up Ritsu’s attack with some fire of his own. The guard let out a scream of pain as the flames melted through his armor.
By now, the Hippowdon was back on its feet and it was charging at Rocklord! Ace took a swing at it as it ran past him, leaving a gouge along its side. Undeterred, the Hippowdon continued to charge forward and slammed into Taraka’s Wailord at full speed, but the rock solid Pokemon withstood the hit like it was nothing.
“Rocklord, use Water Pulse!” Taraka commanded his Wailord. Rocklord fired another blast of water at the Hippowdon, knocking it out.
“Huntress, Dragon Claw!” Kasey then commanded her Fraxure, directing it after the Raticate’s trainer now that the rodent Pokemon had been dealt with. Huntress ran at the guard and swiped at him with her claws as she passed him by. Kasey and the captain then opened fire on him while he was distracted. The guard tried to counter by bashing Cyrus with the butt of his rifle, but the Maverick’s captain swiftly jumped back, avoiding the hit.
“Dragon Claw again!” Kasey followed up with a second order. Her Fraxure turned around then made another pass at the guard, taking him down with a claw to the abdomen that tore right through his modest body armor.
Just then, one of the other guards went flying by, propelled across the room by a pressurized jet of water from Gaster’s Milotic. He landed unconscious next to the guard Axel had burned, a guard that the mercenary’s Charizard was now stomping toward. The man barely had time to send out his Houndoom before he was engulfed by Ritsu’s flames.
Witnessing its trainer being burned alive right as it emerged from its ball, the Houndoom wildly fired off a Dark Pulse attack in a wide arc. Ritsu lifted off with her wings, narrowly avoiding the attack. The beam of dark energy continued on, burning a line along the wall until it passed across Gaster’s Milotic, doing some nasty damage to her.
Ignoring the Houndoom for now, Ace moved up on the last guard standing. Taraka watched as the android struck him with his sword, leaving a gouge along his armor. The guard struck back with the butt of his rifle, but Ace deflected it with his shield, then stepped backwards.
“Francisca, use Frost Breath!” Gaster commanded as he stepped around the corner, rifle raised.
“Ritsu, Incinerate!” Axel gave a command of his own.
Gaster’s Milotic blasted the guard with frozen air, then Axel’s Charizard flew overhead, shooting flames downward to finish him off. The Houndoom fired another Dark Pulse at Ritsu as she passed, this time landing a direct hit and doing some real damage. The fiery canine was repaid with a devastating shot from Gaster’s laser rifle. It collapsed to the ground, unable to keep fighting.
“That was intense,” Taraka said as he recalled his Wailord. He then refreshed his psionic barrier, just to be safe. He wasn’t sure if more guards were going to show up.
“I’ll say,” Axel agreed as Ritsu touched down beside him. “Ritsu almost went down there.” The mercenary pulled out a potion and applied it to the Charizard before recalling her back into her Pokeball.
“At least the surprise attack worked,” Cyrus said. “We didn’t set any alarms off.”
“That we know of,” Gaster said.
“Well we can’t stop to think about that right now,” the captain replied. “Let’s get moving.”
“Where to?” Taraka asked, taking a look around the room.
There appeared to be a few doors leading out of the moon pool. There was one right by where they were standing, another further to the right down the wall, near where Gaster had launched his flanking attack, and a third along the opposite wall, behind the base of the crane.
“Let’s just try the doors until we find one that works,” Gaster said. The former smuggler walked over to the door on the far right and attempted to open it, but it remained closed. “Locked,” he informed the group.
“Alright, let’s try this one, then,” Cyrus said, moving to the door near where he and the rest of the crew were standing.
As the captain reached to open the door, the one by the crane slid open and Sikari stepped into the room. The assassin took a quick look around before her gaze fell upon the Maverick crew. A smirk appeared on her face and she said, “Well you’ve certainly made a mess of the place.”
“We weren’t hired to make it clean,” Gaster said.
“True enough,” Sikari replied. “You should see the mess I made upstairs.”
Taraka could only imagine the carnage. He had a feeling the assassin and her Pokemon had racked up quite the body count.
“I also disabled the security systems,” Sikari continued. “So you’re welcome.”
“So that’s why there we no alarms,” Kasey commented.
“Well, enough chit chat,” Cyrus said. “Let’s get moving.”
Taraka nodded, then hit the console on the door they were all standing around. The door slid open with issue. “This one was not locked, I see,” the monk said.
“Let’s let my Milotic go first,” Gaster said. “Just in case there’s more guards.”
“Can she even fit?” Ace asked.
“She’s flexible,” Gaster replied. “Francisca, lead the way!”
As it turned out, the door was just wide enough for the Milotic to slither through. Once she had moved through the members of the Maverick’s crew filed in after her.
“Have fun,” Sikari said to the group. “I’m going this way.” She nodded at the other door, then began walking in that direction.
“Divide and conquer works for me,” Cyrus said. “Alright people, let’s get moving.”
Gaster kept his rifle raised and ready to fire as he moved through the corridors of the Helios base with his crewmates, following behind his Milotic. He was prepared to shower the next H.A.L.O. mercenary he saw with laser fire. As it turned out, he didn’t have to wait to long for that moment.
“Oy! What the hell?!” a voice with a distinct British accent shouted as Gaster’s Milotic slithered around a corner. It was shortly followed by the sound of two Pokeballs releasing Pokemon.
“Bucktooth, use Bite!” the same voice then barked out an order.
Gaster moved around the corner to see another Raticate sinking its teeth into his Milotic. The former smuggler quickly lined up a shot on the Pokemon and squeezed the trigger. The Raticate was hit dead on with a laser bolt and knocked back towards the other combatants in the room, two guards and a Throh.
Moving up past Gaster and his Milotic, Cyrus and Taraka came at the Raticate from both sides. The captain landed a few shots with his pistol on the rodent, then the monk knocked it out with a bash of his staff.
“Judoka, use Body Slam!” the second guard commanded his Throh, pointing at Taraka.
The fighting Pokemon threw its weight at the monk, but he dodged past it. The two guards then opened fire, but Ace stepped out in front of Cyrus and Taraka, shield raised to deflect their gunfire.
“Francisca, use Frost Breath on that Throh!” Gaster commanded his Milotic. The serpentine Pokemon let loose a blast of her frosty breath on the Throh, then Gaster followed up with two well placed shots, taking the Pokemon down.
As the two guards continued to trade shots with Cyrus, Gaster, and Kasey, Axel released his Vanillish, tossing the Pokeball over Francisca. “Spice Cream, Heat Wave!” the mercenary commanded his Pokemon as she emerged. The fiery Vanillish let loose a massive blast of flames, throwing both guards back against the wall.
One guard slumped to the floor while the other managed to hold on; he regained his balance then fired a few shots at Spice Cream, chipping away some of her icy body. Before he could do any more harm, Ace walked up and bashed him with his shield, knocking him unconscious.
“Damn, you hit hard, Ace,” Axel commented.
“I am made of metal,” the android replied.
“Ha ha, very true,” Axel laughed.
Meanwhile, Taraka had walked up to the door the two guards had been protecting and was now attempting to open it. “This door is locked,” the monk said. “Kasey, can you get it open?”
“Wait a minute,” Gaster said. “These guys were guarding this door, so they must have key cards or access codes or something.”
Gaster walked up to the unconscious guards lying on the floor and knelt down. He searched their bodies, but didn’t find any key cards. What he did find was their Pokedexes. Pokedexes did serve as identification, so the former smuggler thought one of the devices might be able to get them through.
“Do you think they use Pokedexes as ID to get into restricted areas here?” Gaster asked his crewmates.
“Let’s give it a shot,” Taraka said.
Gaster got back on his feet then held the Pokedex of one of the guards up to the door console. Sure enough, the door slid open.
“Well whadya know,” Cyrus said. “Good call, Gaster. Now let’s move.”
Gaster nodded, then turned to his Milotic and said, “Francisca, you know what to do.”
As the Maverick crew made their way through the corridors of the secret Helios base, the hallway they were in suddenly ended at a staircase leading down. Gaster’s Milotic once again led the way in case more guards lay ahead, snaking her way down the stairs. Taraka descended the stairs with his crewmates, a good distance behind the Pokemon. If there were any mercs waiting at the bottom of the stairs, Francisca would be sure to draw their attention away from anyone who might be following her.
That was the plan, at least. Unfortunately, Taraka stepped on a puddle left behind by the watery veil still surrounding the Milotic and his foot slipped out from underneath him. The monk stumbled down the stairs, but Gaster’s Pokemon fortunately provided some cushioning on the way down, slowing his fall.
“Oof,” Taraka grunted as he landed on the floor at the bottom of the stairs. He was a bit bruised up, but he was fine otherwise.
From his position on the floor, Taraka saw two guards come running around the corner, drawn by the noise he had caused. “Hello,” the monk said as he reached for his staff, which had landed beside him.
Realizing they had intruders on their hands, the guards reached for their Pokeballs. They barely had time to send out their Pokemon, a Donphan and another Hippowdon, before a volley of gunfire rained down on them from the stairs. A shot from Gaster’s laser rifle hit one of the men right in the head, killing him instantly before he could pull his gun on Taraka.
Taraka scrambled to his feet as Cyrus reached the bottom of the stairs. As the monk moved back to a safe distance, the captain opened fire on the Donphan. The Pokemon reflexively rolled up, shielding itself with the thick, leathery hide on its back.
“Treads, use Knock Off!” the remaining guard barked at his Pokemon. The Donphan rolled forward like a wheel and slammed right into Cyrus, causing him to drop his pistol.
Kasey unloaded her pistol at the Donphan, driving it back as she descended the stairs. She pulled the captain to his feet right as the Hippowdon mindlessly charged at them, saving him from being trampled.
“Spice Cream, Icicle Spear!” Axel commanded his Vanillish from the stairs. A salvo of icicles came flying down from above, piercing the Hippowdon’s hide in several places.
“Francisca, use Blizzard!” Gaster then ordered his Milotic. The former smuggler’s icy water serpent unleashed a powerful blast of snow, ice, and freezing air at the two ground Pokemon, doing some serious damage to both. The Hippowdon was knocked out instantly, but the sturdy Donphan managed to stay standing.
“Huntress, finish it with Dragon Claw!” Kasey then commanded her own Pokemon. Her Fraxure came barrelling down the stairs, running right over the unconscious Hippowdon, then swiped at the Donphan with her razor-sharp claws, taking the Pokemon down.
The H.A.L.O, merc was quick to open fire on the Fraxure and he was also quick to dive into cover when Cyrus and Gaster started shooting at him. Gaster grazed him on the shoulder before he managed to slip around the corner. The guard soon poked his head out again to return fire, though. He couldn’t hit Gaster all the way back on the stairs with his pistol, so he went for the captain, that was until Ace started charging at him. The android blocked his gunfire with his shield, then ran him through with his sword, ending the fight.
“You alright, Taraka?” Cyrus asked once the fight was over.
“I’m alright, Captain,” Taraka said, nodding. “You look more hurt than I am.”
“I’ll survive,” Cyrus said with a shrug.
Taraka wasn’t so sure. The captain seemed to be bleeding pretty bad from where the Donphan had hit him. It looked like he’d been stabbed by one of its tusks.
“You’ll survive because I’m going to heal you,” Taraka said. He placed his hand on the bleeding wound on Cyrus’s abdomen, then channeled his healing energies into it, repairing the damage.
“Huh, guess I was more hurt than I thought,” Cyrus said. “Thanks, Taraka.”
Taraka nodded. “I am happy to be of assistance.”
“Right then,” the captain said. “Let’s get moving.”
The crew rounded the corner the guards had come from, then proceeded down the corridor to another door. This door was unlocked, so they moved right on through. The room the members of the Maverick’s crew now found themselves in seemed to be some kind of observation room. It was a long rectangular room with another door opposite from where they had entered and a window ran along the left wall, providing a view into what looked like a lab.
“Now, what’s going on in there, I wonder,” Cyrus said, peering through the window.
Taraka walked up next him and took a closer look for himself. The lab was full of modern computers and machinery as well as technological artifacts of the past. Taraka even recognized the artifact he and his crewmates had recovered from the swamp ruins on Salvix and delivered to Peter Baker’s compound on Meridian. Along the back wall of the room was a raised platform with more machinery on it, accessible by a set of stairs on either end.
Some sort of pod sat in the middle of the room, but from this angle Taraka was unable to see what was inside. Many cables ran along the floor from the pod to various pieces of equipment and ancient technology, most notably a computer console Dr. Meissner was using and a device that Peter Baker was strapped into with leads connected to his head. Two more scientists were in the lab, making adjustments to other pieces of equipment.
For some reason, Taraka felt an air of familiarity about the scene he was witnessing. This is it, he realized. He wasn’t quite sure what, exactly, he was looking at, but he knew this what what he was looking for. Somehow he knew this was the place he had seen in his vision.
“What am I looking at here, Kasey?” Cyrus asked.
“I’m not too sure,” the scientist replied. “This is definitely the process they were trying to recreate, though. I think, maybe, they’re trying to make something using Baker’s brain and it’s in that pod there. Whatever it is , we need to stop them.”
“I think we can break through this glass if we want to get down there fast,” Gaster said.
Kasey nodded. “I think that’s a—”
Before the crew could finish discussing a plan, Kasey was cut off mid-sentence when Meissner flipped a switch and electricity began running through the cables on the floor into the pod. Bright white light poured out from a glass window on one end of the pod, bathing the lab in a brilliant glow. It was a captivating sight to behold.
Taraka looked on as the pod slowly opened and a large robotic figure emerged. It looked like a combination of the robot parts they found in the ruins where they had discovered Ace and advanced modern Human robotics. This robot bore a striking resemblance to Ace except it was twice his size and the lights on its body glowed a bright shade of red instead of blue. It also had a large cannon mounted on its shoulder.
Standing up from the device he was strapped into, Baker slowly approached the robot. There was no audio playing in the observation room, so the members of the Maverick’s crew were unable to hear what the owner of the Helios Corporation was saying as he addressed the robot.
Several moments passed, then the robot aimed its cannon at Baker and fired at him. Baker was killed instantly as a laser beam pierced right through him. As Baker’s body dropped to the floor the robot turned and opened fire on the others in the room. Dr. Meissner ducked behind the computer console beside him, but the other two scientists weren’t so lucky.
Snapping back to his senses, Taraka reached for his Pokeballs. He knew he needed to do something. The monk sent out his Wailord and issued a command, “Rocklord, smash through this glass!”
Notes: This is a session I’ve been waiting a long time to translate into a chapter. Two chapters, actually, as this session was like twice the normal length. This chapter covers the events of the first chunk of session 43 and the beginning of the end of some major plot threads. It was still just Novi and unknown for players and, as I mentioned a few chapters ago, in retrospect I should have given each of them one of the two NPCs to control so they had more to do and I wasn’t left controlling a bunch of their allies as well as the enemies. Regardless, both players reported having a lot of fun so I can’t critique myself too hard here.
This was another session I had a fun time making a map for. It wasn’t as cool as the previous map for the Meridian base, but I was still proud of it. I was less proud of my rolls. In the first combat encounter, my first accuracy rolls were 2, 1, 1, 2, and 4, plus I continued to miss a ton of times throughout it. I ended up condensing it all down for the writing to make it all flow better. I ended up juggling a lot of what happened in that encounter around (as well as some things that happened in the other fights) and straight up changing some details and I think the chapter came out all the better for it.
It was really awesome having all the main fighters on the Maverick on a mission together all kicking ass. I tried something different in this session and generated a bunch of Pokemon for the grunts to use ahead of time and, although it did lead to some duplicates, it was a useful tool in speeding things up a bit. This chapter ends with an awesome reveal that I had been setting up for a while and led into an awesome fight that we’ll get to next chapter.
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!