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!
“That oughta do it,” Erik said as he pushed the final component of the device into place. “Exactly to your specifications.”
“Thanks, Erik,” Kasey said, patting the Maverick’s engineer on the back.
“Sure thing. I’m happy to be of service and I must admit I’m quite eager to see this thing in action.” By the grin on Erik’s face, Kasey could tell he was quite excited. She certainly couldn’t blame him; she was feeling the same.
“Well, wait no longer.”
Kasey stepped up to the workbench and opened a compartment on the generator Erik had built for her. She then procured a chunk of yellow crystal, one of several shards currently in her possession, and placed it into the compartment. After snapping everything back into place, Kasey flipped the switch, then stepped back as the generator began to glow.
“Woah,” Erik gasped as the glow intensified, bathing the workshop in yellow light.
Kasey grinned. “Impressive, isn’t it?”
“So what am I looking at, exactly?” Cyrus asked, examining the glowing piece of technology sitting on the workbench.
“I call it a shard generator,” Kasey proudly stated. “It feeds off the elemental energies within a shard, producing incredible amounts of energy.”
“Wow,” Gaster said. “You could make a fortune with this kind of technology.”
“Well, yes,” Kasey agreed. “I could … assuming I can figure out a way to properly scale it up. This small thing here is good for show, but it’s not gonna power much more than a small drone for very long.” The scientist folded her arms. “And even if I did get past that hurdle, I’m out to make a difference, not a profit.”
“That is an admirable goal, Kasey,” Taraka said, nodding.
Kasey smiled. “Thanks, Taraka.”
“What do we need to do to scale it up?” Ace asked.
“Well, one major issue is the availability of shards,” Kasey explained to the android. “If I were to make it bigger, I would need to use larger shards … or use a ton of these smaller ones.” She motioned to a small pile of shards on the workbench. “And as you can see, I have neither of those things. If I did, I’d be able to run some tests and figure out how to harness the power of the shards on that scale. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get to that stage in my research before Helios took it away.”
“So we need to get you some more shards,” Taraka said. “Got it.”
“That would be greatly appreciated.”
“I bet Roland will have some insight on that,” Cyrus said.
“I hope so,” Kasey replied. “That’s part of why I wanted to meet with him. As an expert on shards he might know where to find a lot of shards.”
“Well, we will find out soon enough,” the captain said. “We’ll should arrive on Araimia in a couple of days and see what Roland knows. He’ll definitely want to get a look at your generator here.”
“Sounds good, Captain,” Kasey said. “I can’t wait.”
“After weeks of public scrutiny spurred on by the leak of damning documents, the Helios Corporation declared bankruptcy today. The drop in value of Helios stock as a result of the scandal combined with the total disarray in the wake of CEO Peter Baker’s death left the company with no other options.”
The news report played in the Maverick’s living quarters as the ship flew through warp space, en route to Araimia. Kasey sat on the couch, listening to the report as she read over the data on the research Helios had been doing on shards after seizing her research. She was quite happy to hear that her former employer had gone under.
“Looks like there’s some amount of justice in the Galaxy,” Gaster commented as he walked past, behind the couch.
“Yup,” Kasey agree, glancing up at her crewmate. “There’s still a bunch of H.A.L.O. mercs running around in the Outer Rim, but at least the Helios Corporation is no more.” She glanced back at the news program on the holoscreen, which had moved on to discuss how Helios’s main competitor in the private security sector, OmniGuard Industries, had already expressed interest in acquiring their security assets. The pundits were now theorizing on what other companies would buy up the rest of Helios’s assets. Soon, the corporation would be totally broken up and sold off piece by piece.
“How much do you wanna bet they’ll just pick up and continue the shady activities?” Gaster asked with a slight chuckle.
“That’s a bet I’m not gonna take,” Kasey laughed. “Because some of these companies definitely will. But at least the people in charge of Helios are getting what they deserve. I hear criminal charges are being considered for some of them. It would be nice if they’d just charge the whole company, but I’ll settle for some of the executives.”
Gaster nodded. “Agreed.”
“Here’s hoping they get put away.”
“Cheers to that.”
“Welcome back to Araimia, my friends!”
“Hello, Roland,” Cyrus said as he walked down the Maverick’s cargo ramp, approaching the man standing at the end of it. “It’s good to see you again.”
“And it is quite good to see you as well, sir,” the man replied before giving the captain a rather enthusiastic handshake. “Quite good indeed.”
Kasey, along with Ace, Gaster, and Taraka followed a short distance behind Cyrus, watching as the two men greeted each other. She wasn’t quite sure what she expected Roland to be like, but this tall, well-dressed man with a neatly trimmed and combed beard and jolly demeanour wasn’t it.
“Ah, Ace, Gaster, Taraka,” Roland said, turning to the others as they approached. “It is nice to see you as well.” He nodded at the pair before turning to Kasey. “And you must be the Kasey I’ve heard so much about from the captain.”
Kasey nodded. “Yup. That’s me.”
“It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. Roland Mercette, at your service. I must say, you are far younger than I was expecting an expert on shards to be.”
“Well you’re not quite what I was expecting in a shard expert either,” Kasey replied with a smirk.
Roland let out a jolly laugh. “Touché!” he exclaimed.
“Anyway, I’m very excited to learn everything you know about shards,” Kasey said.
“Ah, yes,” Roland said. “Indeed! And I am sure there is much I can learn from you as well.”
“Well, I’m sure you two geniuses will have a lot to talk about,” Cyrus said. “We can find you a nice quiet spot on the Maverick to discuss things.”
“Oh no, my friend,” Roland said, shaking his head. “I have something much better in mind! I believe you will all be quite interested to see what I have been working on here on Araimia.” He then turned and looked right at Kasey. “Especially you, Miss Kasey!”
“They found all this here?” Kasey asked as Roland led the Maverick crew through the archaeological dig site. She gazed around in awe at the numerous structures that had been excavated from Araimia’s surface.
“Indeed!” Rold said. “And to think all these buildings were hidden just beneath the ground. “It is truly amazing what treasures lay undiscovered, waiting for someone to stumble upon them.”
“Do you know what these buildings are, by any chance?” Taraka inquired.
“I’m afraid we have yet to determine their purpose,” Roland explained. “Though I suspect this complex is some sort of temple.”
“A temple, huh?” Gaster asked the archaeologist. “What makes you think that?”
“The artifacts we’ve uncovered seem to suggest it,” Roland replied. “But it’s hard to say for sure.”
“That’s all well and good, but what does any of this have to do with shards?” Kasey asked.
“Oh, I’m getting to that,” Roland said gleefully. “Come along now, let me show you.” Picking up his pace, the archaeologist beckoned them all to follow.
After a few minutes, they arrived at a large structure on the far side of the dig site. Kasey was no expert, but she agreed with Roland’s assessment. The ornate design of this building as well as its central placement certainly gave off a temple vibe. It was an impressive construction, but it was what was inside that took Kasey’s breath away.
“Oh my God,” she gasped as Roland led them through the doorway into a large, open chamber.
“It’s magnificent, isn’t it?” the archaeologist asked the group.
“Is … is that what I think it is?” Kasey asked.
At the center of the chamber stood a massive crystalline formation. Rising up at least three meters and nearly two wide, jagged yet organic, and shimmering yellow from the light diffusing through it, it was a thing of beauty.
“Indeed,” Roland said, a wide smile on his face.
Incredulous, Kasey approached the giant crystal and pulled out her scanner. She couldn’t believe what her eyes were seeing and needed to confirm the truth. The readout on scanner didn’t lie; it said that the entire crystal formation was a giant yellow shard.
“This is incredible,” Kasey said, still in a state of disbelief. “This could change everything.”
“Are you sure about this?”
After several days spent studying the giant shard with Roland, Kasey knew she had just barely scratched the surface of what could be learned from it. There was still so much to discover, and she just had to be a part of it. Of course, that meant making a tough decision. That’s what had led her to this moment, informing her crewmates that she intended to stay on Araimia and continue her research.
“I’ve thought a lot about it and I know this is what I want to do,” Kasey continued.
“I understand,” Cyrus said. “Opportunities like this don’t come along every day after all.”
“We’ll all miss you around here, though,” Erik spoke up.
“I’ll miss you guys too,” Kasey replied. “I’ll be sure to keep in touch.”
“Keep us updated on your progress too,” the engineer said. “I’d love to know what secrets you learn about shards.”
Kasey laughed. “Will do.”
“Take care of yourself, Kasey,” Gaster said, giving the scientist a firm handshake.
“You too, Gaster,” Kasey replied, nodding at the former smuggler. “And Ace, you be sure to stay out of trouble now,” the continued, smirking as she turned to her robotic crewmate.
“I’ll try,” the android said. “But no promises.”
“You guys are such a bad influence on him,” Kasey laughed.
“I do not deny this,” Taraka chuckled.
Kasey shook her head. “A monk should know better,” she teased.
Taraka grinned. “I left the order, remember? But anyways, I wish you well on your scientific endeavors.”
“See ya, Erik,” Kasey said, turning next to the Maverick’s engineer. “Thanks for sharing your workshop with me these past few months.”
“It was my pleasure,” he replied. “It was nice to have someone new to work on projects with.”
Moving down the row, Kasey approached Anya next. “See ya, roomie,” she said to the pilot, who had been her cabin mate since she had joined the Maverick’s crew.
“Good luck,” Anya said before going in for a hug. As only other woman on the ship, Kasey had become quite good friends with Anya over the past few months and she happily returned the hug.
Finally, Kasey turned her attention to Cyrus. “Thanks for all your hospitality, Captain,” she told him. “I can’t thank you and your crew enough for rescuing me.”
“No need to thank us,” the captain replied. “We’re always happy to help those in need.”
“You’re a good man, Cyrus,” Kasey said.
Cyrus nodded. “Well, I guess we’ll see you around,” the captain said. “Take care of yourself. Don’t let Roland bore you too much.”
“I take offense to that, sir!” Roland exclaimed as he approached.
“I’m just messing with you,” Cyrus said. “You take care of yourself too.”
“Of course! Of course!” the archaeologist replied. “I shall indeed! Farewell, my friends! Until next time!”
“Well then, Mr. Roland,” Kasey said, turning to the peculiar man. “Shall we?”
Notes: And so this little mini-arc comes to a close! As exciting as the action in part 2 was, I think this one was my favorite. I just loved the interactions I wrote between the characters. Bringing back Roland was fun too. He finally feels properly integrated into the story. After his player dropped out before he could do much with the character, I knew I wanted to tie him back in at some point. I never got the opportunity in the campaign itself, but I planned to do so in the writing. I didn’t actually determine how I would use him until I began working on this three-part arc and I didn’t even nail down the details until I started writing this chapter. I think this was a good way to tie off his story as well as Kasey’s. I’m very happy with how this arc turned out.
Post-Chapter Challenge: Well on one got the challenge in Chapter 28 right. In that chapter, which was where we saw Roland take his leave. In that challenge, I asked you to guess what you thought Roland was going to be researching on Araimia. None of you said giant shard. To be fair, at the time I didn’t even know the answer! Anyway, this time the question is what do you think shards are in this setting and how do you think the giant one in the temple fits into the picture? I look forward to your theories!
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!