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!
Taraka gazed out the front viewport of the Maverick as the ship descended into the atmosphere of Mechorah, the capital world of the Sinai Ascendancy. When the ship broke through the clouds, he gazed down upon the capital city of Galia. Even form up here, the monk was easily able to make out the city’s two largest monuments. On one end stood the Ancient Temple that had stood since long before the Sinai ark landed. Standing opposite the temple was the Grand Monastery, the heart of the Congregate and the place Taraka had been raised since he was a baby.
“Ah, Mechorah, how I have not missed you,” Taraka said as the ship flew over the city toward the spaceport.
“Not a fan of your homeworld, Taraka?” Cyrus asked, glancing over at the monk.
Taraka shrugged. “I wouldn’t say that. I have nothing against Mechorah, I simply do not miss it.”
“Fair enough,” the captain replied, chuckling. “I don’t really miss my homeworld either, though I imagine there’s far more to do here than Wharton.”
“I suppose,” Taraka said. “But I would much rather be out exploring the stars and experiencing the Galaxy.”
Cyrus nodded. “Wouldn’t we all?”
Taraka trailed a short distance behind Cyrus and Gaster as the three of them made their way down Enlightenment Road, the large avenue running down the center of Galia between the Grand Monastery and the Ancient Temple. The monk’s two crewmates were in the midst of a conversation, but he wasn’t really paying attention to what they were saying. As his pilgrimage was nearing its end, he was reflecting back on his journey and thinking ahead to where his future adventures might lead. He had committed to leaving the order once he turned his scroll over to the Archival Council, but he was not yet sure what lay ahead.
Upon reaching the end of the road, Taraka paused and looked up at the Grand Monastery towering over him. He had not been back since departing on his pilgrimage many months ago. When he left, he was but a brash young monk looking to carve out his place in history. Along the way, he had found his calling in life, and now he returned ready to begin his next chapter.
“You alright, Taraka?” Cyrus asked, looking back from where he stood, a few steps up the stairs leading to the Grand Monastery.
“I am fine,” Taraka told the captain. “Just lost in thought. Let us continue.”
Taraka strode forward and set foot on the bottom step, beginning his ascent. He passed his crewmates, leading the way to the monastery. The three members of the Maverick’s crew climbed up and up, passing the angel statues, trees, and floral arrangements flanking the stairs on either side.
At the top of the stairs, the trio stepped out into the open courtyard just outside the Grand Monastery’s entrance. Four larger angel statues stood equidistant from each other along the sides of the path between the stairs and the arched doorway.
Taraka only took a few steps forward before a familiar figure appeared before him. “Fancy meeting you here,” Sikari said as her cloaking device deactivated. “You weren’t supposed to leave that facility alive … and yet here you are.”
After her previous failed attempts to kill him, Taraka felt no fear of the assassin. “You’re bad at your job,” he taunted her.
“Also, you owe us some money,” Gaster added. “We helped you out.”
“We sure did,” Taraka said. “And you didn’t even help us fight the giant robot.”
“I had my orders,” Sikari replied. “And, as I said, you weren’t supposed to make it out alive.”
“Your orders are dumb like you,” Taraka snapped back at the assassin.
A wicked grin appeared on Sikari’s face. “We’ll see about that,” she said before tossing out two Pokeballs.
Taraka reacted quickly as the assassin’s two Pokemon, a Liepard and a Toxicroak, emerged from the Pokeballs, sending out his Sceptile. The monk’s crewmates soon followed; Cyrus sent out his Braviary and Gaster his Typhlosion.
“Tezeren, use X-Scissor!” Taraka commanded his Sceptile. The grassy reptile ran up to Sikari’s Liepard, blades ready to strike. However, the swift feline deftly maneuvered around the monk’s Pokemon.
Circling around Taraka’s Pokemon, the Liepard bared its claws menacingly, throwing the Sceptile off. Sikari’s Pokemon then lunged at Tezeren, but he managed to sidestep the attack at the last second.
“Rusty, drop a Smokescreen behind us, then get in striking distance!” Gaster then ordered his Typhlosion. The former smuggler’s fiery Pokemon sprayed out a smokescreen behind the three members of the Maverick’s crew, then advanced forward along the right side of the battlefield, getting in range of Sikari’s Pokemon.
As Gaster moved back into the smoke and took aim with his rifle, Sikari started advancing toward Taraka, activating her psionic blade as she did so. The assassin lunged at Taraka, stabbing him in the chest. Taraka fought through the pain as the blade pierced his skin, focusing his psionic energy. As Sikari withdrew the blade, it fizzled out due to the monk’s interference. Taraka then stepped back from the assassin and put up a protective psionic barrier.
Meanwhile, Sikari’s Toxicroak moved in on Tezeren. The poisonous frog Pokemon lunged at the Sceptile with a punch, but he once again dodged out of the way.
“Aguilo, use Slash!” Cyrus commanded his Braviary in response before opening fire on Sikari. The captain unloaded a full clip at the assassin, but she nimbly evaded every shot. As for his Braviary, the avian Pokemon dove down at Sikari’s Pokemon, talons aimed to strike. The Toxicroak quickly leapt away, but Aguilo landed a direct hit on the Liepard.
“Tezeren, us Hone Claws!” Taraka then ordered his Sceptile. The monk’s Pokemon rubbed its leafy blades together as it stared down Sikari’s two Pokemon, sharpening them to strike. “Now, use X-Scissor!” Moving with stunning speed, Tezeren rushed the Liepard and slashed at it in an X pattern, leaving two bloody gouges.
“Rusty, use Heat Wave!” Gaster followed up with a command of his own. Taraka’s Sceptile darted away as Gaster’s Typhlosion ran in and spat out a huge fireball that engulfed both of Sikari’s Pokemon.
When the flames cleared, Taraka was greeted with the sight of Sikari’s Liepard lying on the ground, unconscious, and her Zoroark standing where her Toxicroak had been. The assassin quickly switched out her fainted Pokemon for her actual Toxicroak. She then lunged at Taraka again, reactivating her psionic blade. She stabbed the monk once more with a quick jab, this time to the gut. Taraka gritted his teeth and grunted in pain, but he kept his composure and focused his power, disrupting the assassin’s blade again.
Sikari moved away from Taraka and activated her cloaking device when Cyrus began shooting at her again, allowing the monk the opportunity to move back and strengthen his psionic barrier. He wasn’t keen on getting stabbed again.
“That’s enough of that,” the assassin’s voice soon sounded from somewhere behind Taraka. He turned in that direction to see Sikari reappear beside the captain, then stab him with her reactivated psionic blade. Cyrus let out a pained grunt and stumbled backwards, but he stayed standing.
Just then, a series of laser shots flew out from the smoke. One hit Sikari’s Zoroark, taking it down, a second hit the assassin herself, and a third hit her Toxicroak, leaving both with nasty wounds.
As Sikari moved to put Cyrus and Taraka between Gaster and herself, her Toxicroak spat out a giant glob of poisonous gunk at Taraka’s Sceptile, doing a real number on it. Gaster was quick to exact reprisal on Taraka’s behalf, commanding his Pokemon to attack, “Rusty, use Flame Charge!”
Coated in flames, the former smuggler’s Typhlosion charged Sikari’s Toxicroak, knocking it out of the fight. Gaster then fired at the assassin again, landing another shot. Moving quickly, Sikari recalled her two fainted Pokemon, then sent out her Malamar and her Weavile before disappearing again.
Sikari’s two Pokemon closed in on Taraka’s Sceptile, but the reptilian Pokemon dodged out of the way as they made their joint attack and maneuvered around them. “Tezeren, use Night Slash!” Taraka then commanded. The Sceptile moved past the Malamar as the two enemy Pokemon turned to strike again, cutting the psychic squid with one of his leafy blades.
“Rusty, use Ember on that Weavile!” Gaster then commanded his Typhlosion. The fiery Pokemon moved to where Taraka’s Sceptile had been moments before, narrowly avoiding the Malamar’s tentacles as it swiped at him, then breathed out a jet of flame on the Weavile, burning it.
In response, the Weavile swiped at Rusty with its claws. The Malamar then struck from behind, piercing through the Typhlosion with the sharp end of one of its tentacles. It paid a price, however, as Rusty’s flames left it with a nasty burn. Cyrus then opened fire on the Malamar, allowing Rusty to slip away.
Suddenly, Taraka felt his senses tingle. He turned around just in time to see Sikari appear behind him, but not quick enough to avoid her blade as she thrust it at him. He grunted in pain as the blade pierced his body for a third time.
Gaster opened fire at the assassin through the smoke, landing a shot, but that didn’t stop her. Sikari drew her hand back and then plunged the blade in again. Taraka stumbled backwards, but he managed to maintain his footing. The monk’s Pokemon rushed to his trainer’s aid, swiping at Sikari with his blades, but she hopped back, avoiding the attack.
Despite his injuries, Taraka went up to his Sceptile and channeled what energy he had left into the Pokemon, healing him. He knew that Tezeren could protect him better than he could himself. “Go get her, Tezeren,” the monk told his Pokemon before backing away from the fight.
While Taraka’s Sceptile had the assassin occupied, Cyrus focused on her Pokemon. “Aguilo, Wing Attack!” the Maverick’s captain commanded his Braviary as he fired off a few shots at the Malamar. Aguilo dove down from the sky and struck the Weavile, but the smaller Pokemon managed to redirect his momentum, slamming him against the floor with a counterattack.
Ignoring Cyrus, the Malamar moved to Tezeren and swiped at him with its tentacles. The Sceptile avoided the attack, but in doing so, he allowed Sikari to slip away. She started running for Taraka, but Gaster dropped her with a well placed shot. “Rusty, use Flame Charge on that Weavile!” the former smuggler commanded his Typhlosion as he switched targets and opened fire on the Malamar. The two Pokemon dropped to the ground in unison and the battle was won.
Grunting in pain, Sikari got to her feet. “You’re tougher than I thought,” she said as she recalled her two fainted Pokemon. She then turned to flee, but Taraka swept her legs out from under her with his staff, sending her back down to the ground.
“Stop wasting my time,” Taraka said, striking the ground with the end of his staff. “I’ve got Pokemon to catch.”
Before Sikari could get up again, Gaster placed his foot down on her chest, pinning her to the ground. “You’ve got two options,” the former smuggler said as he aimed his rifle at the assassin. “You can pay us in credits or you can pay us in information.”
“Well, seeing as I don’t have any money on me …” The assassin spoke with a defeated tone, trailing off without finishing her sentence.
“Alright then,” Gaster said, keeping his rifle trained on her. “Who’s your employer?”
“Someone very powerful,” Sikari replied.
“I don’t think you understand who has the power in this relationship,” Gaster said. He pushed his foot down harder, eliciting a quiet grunt of pain from the assassin. “It would be a real shame if we had to bloody the monastery steps.”
“If you’re trying to intimidate me, you’re going to have to try a little harder,” Sikari said defiantly. “Whatever you do to me is nothing compared to what he will do to me for failing.”
“That won’t matter if you don’t make it back to him,” Taraka said.
“Oh, I don’t plan on going back,” Sikari told the monk. “Trust me.”
“Then what is your plan?” Gaster asked.
“Well if you wanna survive, you’d better give us a straight answer,” the former smuggler said, putting his gun to the assassin’s head. “Who’s your employer? Give us a name, a location, anything.”
“Alright,” Sikari said. “You want a name? I’ll give you a name: Mr. Silver.”
Taraka had not heard that name before and it soon became apparent that Gaster hadn’t either. “Who the fuck is Mr. Silver?” the former smuggler asked.
“Like I said, someone very powerful.”
“And why does this Mr. Silver want you to kill us?” Gaster asked the assassin.
“Because you know things,” Sikari answered.
“What does that matter?” Taraka asked. “A lot of people know things.”
“Ah, but you know things that Mr. Silver would prefer remain unknown.”
“Why’s that, exactly?” Cyrus asked.
“There are some things he doesn’t want the monks uncovering,” Sikari told the captain before turning to Taraka. “Let’s just say he doesn’t want that scroll of yours entered into the Archives.”
“Too late,” Taraka said. “We’re doing that now. You failed at your job, Mr. Silver is going to be mad, and you can’t go back to him now or he’ll kill you.”
“Exactly,” Sikari said. She then turned back to Gaster and looked him right in the eye. “So what are you planning on doing with me?”
“Your call, Boss,” Gaster said, looking to Cyrus.
“Hmm. I think I have a use for you,” the captain said to Sikari. “We have a bit of a problem and we could use someone with your particular skills to help us deal with it. If you help us, then maybe we can go our separate ways and forget this ever happened.”
“Alright,” the assassin replied. “You’ve got yourself a deal.”
Notes: This was a fun encounter, alright! This chapter starts out with the last 15 minutes of session 44. After the trainer battle and wild Pokemon search covered last chapter, I used the end of the session to tease the encounter in this chapter and end things on a cliffhanger. The session ended right as Sikari appeared to confront the party. In terms of writing, the opening scene had a bit of RP but I expanded it for the chapter to make it more interesting. In the beginning of the next scene I also added more details about Taraka’s thought process. Additionally, I worked in some descriptions of Mechorah that hadn’t been established at the time of the session.
The rest of the chapter covers the events of the first half of session 45. The session started out with jumping right into things. There was a little bit of RP then the fight began. This fight was supposed to be way harder, but the RNG decided otherwise. I missed a whole bunch of times with Sikari and her Pokemon that I barely got off any hits. I did almost take down Taraka, so there’s that. Meanwhile the players had a lot of luck. They both got several crits, especially unknown. He got crits on both instances of his three target move, one of which used a particular combo to get a 4x crit. As I’ve previously mentioned, I ran a character with the same combo in the Spacemon sequel campaign that ran concurrent to this one and I almost never got the 4x crit, let alone on the three target move, meanwhile unknown got a ton of them in this campaign. I was jealous.
Needless to say, the players had I much easier time than I was planning. Novi even got a crit with his opportunity attack when Sikari tried to flee at the end. And that brings us to the big reveal. It’s more a reveal for readers than the players. It was lost on Novi, since he hadn’t read the original series, but it had its impact on unknown, who had. If you’re a first time reader starting with Frontier before the original series, the name Mr. Silver won’t mean anything to you yet, but remember it when you get to the original series.
Post-Chapter Challenge: Speaking of Mr. Silver, why do you think he doesn’t want Taraka’s scroll entered into the Grand Archives? Be sure to provide spoiler warnings on your answers if you plan on referencing stuff from the original campaign.
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!