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!
“Alright, that should do it,” Kasey said as she bashed the side of her fist against the access panel on the robot chassis to force it into place. “This bad boy will be the best combat support bot you’ve ever had,” she continued, looking over at Ace, who she had been working with on this project for the past several weeks.
“It’s the only combat support robot I’ve ever had,” the android replied.
Kasey grinned. “And you’ll never need another one.”
“I highly doubt that,” Ace said.
“What, you don’t trust my craftsmanship?” Kasey asked with a chuckle.
“It’s not that,” Ace responded. “I would just like to point out that we can iterate and improve upon this version in future designs.”
“Relax, bud,” Kasey said, playfully slapping her robotic crewmate on the back. “I’m only messing with you. Of course this little bot here isn’t going to be the best, but it is a start, and it is going to be useful out in the field.”
“Thank you, Kasey,” the android nodded back to her. “You’ve been a big help.”
“Any time, Ace,” Kasey smiled. “Any time.”
Cyrus could hear Kasey angrily muttering to herself as he passed by the Maverick’s workshop, which served as a shared work space for Erik, Ace, and Kasey. Peeking in through the open door, the ship’s captain saw the young scientist watching the news while occasionally glancing at her computer screen.
“You alright there?” Cyrus asked.
“I’m fine,” Kasey replied, looking up from her computer. “It’s just …” She trailed off, glancing over at the nearby holoscreen displaying a live news report about the Helios Corporation.
“Problems with your former employer?”
“Yeah, but not because of that.” Kasey nodded at the news program, which was reporting on the ‘disappearance’ of Peter Baker and how Helios seemed to be in chaos without its CEO.
Cyrus raised an eyebrow. “Oh?”
“I’ve been combing through all that data I pulled from the lab on Meridian,” Kasey explained, turning her computer screen so that the captain could see. “Turns out the bastards were using my research to make weapons.”
“I see. Understandable why you’d be angry.”
“Not just any weapons either,” Kasey continued. “They designed them specifically for the H.A.L.O. division’s secret project.”
“Oh, so we have you to thank for the death lasers that giant robot was shooting us with,” Cyrus chuckled.
Kasey did not seem amused. “It wasn’t supposed to be used to make weapons,” she huffed. “I wanted to harness the power of shards to find new ways of producing energy, to make lives better, not to take them.”
“Did you say shards?” Cyrus asked. “I know a guy who researches those.”
“Wait, really?” Kasey asked, her annoyance replaced by excitement. “I’ve never met anyone else that studies the potential of shards.”
“Yeah, he was a member of this crew for a while,” the captain informed her. “An archaeologist called Roland Mercette. Nice fellow, if a bit odd. He uses shards to make evolutionary stones and to power up Pokemon attacks.”
“Fascinating,” Kasey said. “And where is this Roland now?”
“We dropped him off on Araimia out in Sector 34,” Cyrus explained. “He’s still there researching artifacts at an archaeological dig site on the planet, as far as I know.”
“I see,” Kasey replied. “Well, I’d love to meet him sometime and compare notes. Once I finish dealing with all these Helios files, I plan to resume my research and I see a real opportunity here to jump start it.”
“I’ll reach out to him and see what I can do,” Cyrus said.
Cyrus nodded. “Don’t mention it.”
“They created artificial minds by copying those of Humans, preserving them in crystal ‘brains’ like the one we collected on Fraxion,” Taraka explained.
Ace was silent for a moment before finally speaking again. “And that’s what’s in here?” the android asked, tapping on the side of his head.
“So it would seem,” Taraka replied.
“Did they retain the memories of the original mind?” Ace asked.
“I am not sure,” the monk answered, shaking his head. “Even after meditating with the scroll and speaking with the Council, it is still not clear to me.”
“So those could be memories I’ve lost or ones I never had in the first place,” Ace said. “I have no way of knowing.”
This was not the news the android was hoping to hear. Even after Taraka had shared with him everything he had learned from his holoscroll, he still felt no closer to learning the full truth of his past.
“Cheer up, Ace,” Erik said, placing a comforting hand on the android’s shoulder. “At least we have more knowledge about your history than we did when we first found you.”
Ace nodded. “That is true. I cannot thank you all enough for helping me get this far. I am grateful to have friends like you.”
Tarka smiled. “Of course,” the monk said. “We are all happy to help out our fellow crew members. Speaking of which …” Taraka trailed off as he reached into the folds of his robes. His hands soon emerged clutching an old leather-bound book. “I believe this is the journal of the man who created you,” he explained. “The one whose mind yours is based on. I cannot read the language it’s written in and I have already received my visions from it, so I have no further use for it.” The monk held to book out to Ace, looking at him expectantly.
“Are you sure?” Ace asked.
Taraka nodded. “I want you to have it. Perhaps it can help you. Maybe you can find a way to decipher its meaning.”
Ace reached out and graciously accepted the monk’s gift. “Thank you, Taraka.”
“You are most welcome,” Taraka replied. “I am always happy to help.”
“The Helios Corporation is under fire today after leaked documents surfaced detailing the private military contractor’s involvement in dangerous and illegal experiments. It has also been confirmed that the company’s activities are tied to the disappearance of CEO Peter Baker, who is now believed to be dead.”
“Well that sure is something,” Gaster said as he watched the new report playing on the holoscreen in the Maverick’s living quarters. “I take it you had something to do with this?” the former smuggler asked, glancing over at Kasey.
“Whatever gave you that idea?” Kasey replied. The young scientist was sitting on the far side of the couch from Gaster and she wore a smug smirk on her face.
“Just a hunch.” Gaster let out a slight chuckle as he turned back to the screen.
“While the Helios spokesperson we spoke with declined to comment,” the report continued. “Our sources indicate that the company is now in total disarray.”
“That’s an understatement,” Kasey said. “The whole organization was already crumbling before I started leaking information from the files I downloaded. I mean, I did leave out the really dangerous stuff better left forgotten, but there was enough to do some serious damage. Not having Baker around to run damage control isn’t doing them any favors either.”
Gaster nodded. “I can imagine. I’m not shedding any tears, though. Shitty corporations like Helios deserve to fall apart.”
“Cheers to that,” Kasey agreed. “All signs seem to indicate that’s what’s happening here … at least for the most part. Some of my contacts tell me that the H.A.L.O. division is trying to salvage itself.”
“But isn’t that the part of the company under the most scrutiny?” Gaster asked, glancing back at the news report.
“Yeah, but that’s not stopping them,” Kasey told the former smuggler. “They were already up to shady shit, now they’re going full rogue.”
“That’s … worrisome,” Gaster said.
“Worried they might come after us?” Kasey asked. “We’ll just kick their asses again if they do. Maybe I’ll even get them to tell me where they’re holding my research materials.”
“They’ve still go that stuff?”
“According to the files I’m still going through, yes. When I find out where, I’m gonna storm in there and take it all back!”
“That’s a plan I can get behind,” Gaster said. “I’m all for taking the fight to them. Besides, maybe there will be a reward for taking them down.”
“And it all comes back to money,” Kasey said with a laugh. “Gonna need lots of that if I plan on resuming my research.”
“Not to mention if we want to continue to have food and supplies on this ship,” Gaster said.
Kasey let out a hearty laugh. “Ain’t that the truth.”
Notes: This was a fun little chapter to write, if a bit challenging. At this point in the campaign there was an in-universe time skip before the events of the next session. It was an indeterminate amount of time at this point during the game, but later on I determined that it was several months. With that in mind, I knew I wanted to write a chapter to cover some events during the time skip to tie up a few loose ends better than they were tied up in-game. After some thought, I decided to go with a three-part mini arc to accomplish that goal. For the most part, this one is starting to build toward tying off Kasey’s story since her player ended up dropping out of the campaign. I also wanted to give some attention to resolving some of Ace’s lingering loose ends, most importantly getting a proper scene of Taraka talking to him about what he was able to learn about his origins from the holoscroll. It was a bit of a different experience writing a Frontier chapter with all original material instead of adapting it from campaign sessions (or someone else’s writing in the case of Chapter 1), and it took a bit longer as a result, but overall I’m satisfied with the final product.
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!