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 on the entire Spacemon saga here!
Gaster Jameson was a stubborn man. His life may have been on the line, yes, but he wasn’t about to run and hide. There was a tournament to win, after all. He and his crewmates had fought off Team Vogue already. They would fight off Moric Gulyas too, and any other bounty hunter that came to collect the bounty on his head. Once the tournament was over, they would pay Nikola Markovic another visit and make the vile gangster remove the bounty once and for all. Gaster had made up his mind.
Stubborn as he was, however, Gaster was also cautious. Now that he knew that there was a hitman on his heels, he was going to take extra precautions. Steeling himself for the conversation that was to come, Gaster entered what had once been Axel’s room, which now belonged to the most recent addition to the Maverick’s crew.
“To what do I owe the pleasure?” Sikari, the former assassin, asked as Gaster stepped through the door to her quarters.
“Well I’m certainly not here to socialize,” Gaster told his 0ne-time enemy. “I need your help.”
“Oh, you need my help?” Sikari asked, using her typical teasing tone. “I was beginning to think you’d forgotten about me.”
“I’d like to,” Gaster said. “But if the captain’s gonna keep you around, you might as well make yourself useful. I’ve got a problem that’s suited to your particular … skills.”
“Alright, I’ll bite,” Sikari said. “What do you need me to do?”
Now was the time to strike.
Moric Gulyas had come too far to lose with his goal in his grasp. If it hadn’t been for his location getting out, Moric would have already killed Gaster Jameson and received his reward. The Romanov assassin wasn’t sure how it had happened, but he knew it had to be the work of the other bounty hunters chasing the bounty on Jameson’s head. Moric’s money was on Team Vogue. Of all the others that were taking part of the hunt, they were the only ones Moric viewed as actual competition. Even then, it seemed he had underestimated them.
That was beside the point now. Moric’s window was closing now that his target had entered a tournament and had his face broadcast on Scintillia’s planet wide network. The bastard truly had no idea he was being hunted, Moric decided. That was the one advantage the assassin had left. All he needed to do was get to Jameson first.
After reevaluating his strategy once his location had been made known, Moric had a new plan of action. At this point, the best time to strike was as Jameson made his way from the location the UAS Maverick was docked to the shuttle that would take him to the orbital arena where the rest of the Thunder Fest tournament was to take place. Taking advantage of the large crowds, Moric would be able to get in close, take his target out, and slip away before anyone knew what happened.
Moric Gulyas made sure his pistol was locked and loaded, then shoved it into its holster. With no time left to lose, he swiftly disembarked from his ship.
A bright glow filled the Maverick’s cargo hold as Ace held the dusk stone up to his Doublade. After a training session with Taraka before the next round of the tournament, the time had come for Ace to evolve Sentinel. As the glow intensified, one of the Doublade’s swords grew slightly larger and took on a more ornate form, while the second shortened and widened, eventually becoming fully circular as it took on the form of a shield.
When the light died down, the newly evolved Aegislash floated up to her trainer and allowed him to take the hilt of her sword and the handle of her shield into his hands. Getting a firm grip, Ace raised the gray and red blade of his Pokemon and extended it out in front of him to get a feel for the change in weight.
“Let’s win this tournament, Sentinel,” the android said to his Pokemon.
“I’m sure we will,” Taraka said, approaching the pair.
“Well then what are we waiting for?”
Ace looked over to the entrance to the cargo hold to see Gaster standing in the doorway. There was a slight smirk on the former smuggler’s face.
“You’re in a good mood,” Ace observed.
Gaster nodded. “We kicked Team Vogue’s ass last night, and we’ll kick Moric Gulyas’s ass if he shows up. So let’s kick this tournament’s ass so we can get out of here, go see Markovic, and kick his ass too.”
“That’s a plan I can get behind,” Taraka said with a laugh. “It would be nice to have one less threat to our lives to worry about.”
“The threat is only to my life,” Gaster told the monk.
“A threat to one of our lives is a threat to all our lives,” Ace said. “You’re our friend and we’ve got your back. We’re all in this together.”
“Well isn’t that sweet,” Sikari said dryly as she entered the room behind Gaster.
“What do you want?” Taraka asked her.
“Well, if you must know, I’m just here to be on the lookout for your new assassin friend in case he shows his face,” Sikari explained.
“I asked her to help,” Gaster informed Ace and Taraka. “We can probably handle Gulyas, but you can never be too careful.”
Taraka nodded. “Indeed.”
“Well we’d better get moving so we don’t miss the shuttle,” Gaster said.
“Have fun at your little tournament,” Sikari said before activating her cloaking system. “I’ll be right behind you.”
Bartrand Blackwing crouched on the edge of the rooftop, looking out over the crowded spaceport below. His eyes were peeled for any sign of Moric Gulyas. He knew that if the Romanov assassin was going to strike, it would be here and it would be now.
Bartrand knew he wasn’t the smartest bounty hunter in the business, but he could put two and two together. Upon reviewing his intel, he rather quickly determined that Ace and Taraka’s friend Gaster was, in fact, Moric Gulyas’s target, the man Nikola Markovic was shelling out a ridiculous amount of money to have killed. It certainly explained why he seemed so jumpy after learning about Gulyas and why he’d been jumped by Team Vogue.
Bartrand had to admit, the price was tempting. However, he didn’t become a bounty hunter to do the dirty work for scumbags like Markovic. He wasn’t about to stab his friends in the back either. No, the price on Gulyas’s head was prize enough for Bartrand and he knew that if he kept an eye on the assassin’s prey he would find the assassin himself. And so he waited.
It wouldn’t be long now; Bartrand was confident of that. There weren’t that many shuttles to the tournament venue left before the event started, so Gaster and the others would be along soon, providing Gulyas with his best window. Any sooner and Gulyas wouldn’t have the cover of the crowd. Any later and he would need to make his kill in a crowded orbital arena with no easy way in or out and the sector gym leader present. Of course, Gulyas could make his attempt after the tournament, but by then, more bounty hunters would surely have shown up, both those after Gaster and the ones that were after him.
Bartrand soon found himself proven right. From his vantage point, the Genevan bounty hunter easily spotted Ace, Gaster, and Taraka in the crowd. They were hard to miss, which meant it was likely Gulyas had seen them too. Moments later, Bartrand saw his target approaching. He leaned forward as he tracked Moric Gulyas through the sea of bodies with his eyes.
Showtime, Bartrand thought.
A single gunshot rang out as he leapt from the rooftop.
Gordon Garth had little time. With each passing moment, the danger to the lives of his friends on the UAS Maverick grew. As soon as he’d learned that Moric Gulyas was on Scintillia hunting Gaster Jameson, the Alliance bounty hunter had dropped everything and set course for the Sector 24 world despite being on the opposite end of the Galaxy at the time. The bounty on Gulyas was handsome, and he certainly deserved to be brought to justice for all the people he’d killed, but, more importantly, Gordon wanted to make sure his old friend Cyrus Drake and the members of his crew didn’t come to harm.
As he moved through the crowded spaceport to find where the Maverick was docked, Gordon kept on the lookout for trouble. Gulyas was the major threat, but he wasn’t the only one after Jameson … and Gordon wasn’t the only one after Gulyas. Things could get messy.
Luck appeared to be on Gordon’s side, though; he soon spotted Gaster Jameson and Taraka Bhaluka moving through the crowd along with a third person he assumed was a member of Cyrus’s current crew he hadn’t met yet.
That’s a relief, Gordon thought. If they were alive then he wasn’t too late.
Gordon’s relief was short-lived, however. An armored figure passed across his line of sight on the three members of the Maverick’s crew. Gulyas.
Gordon drew his pistol, then began to push his way through the crowd toward the Romanov hitman. When he was about ten feet behind Gulyas, the crowd parted a bit, giving Gordon a clear view of the situation. Gulyas had a gun in hand, pointed right at Jameson. Gordon knew he needed to act fast.
Time seemed to stand still as he raised his own weapon and pulled the trigger.
Everything happened so fast.
Gaster had been on his way to the shuttle stop with Ace and Taraka when he got the uncomfortable feeling that he was being watched. He knew that Sikari was cloaked and following behind them somewhere, but this was something different.
As his paranoia grew, the former smuggler glanced back over his shoulder. What Gaster saw made his blood run cold. A man wearing armor that matched the image Bartrand had shown him the night before was standing but a few feet away, pointing a pistol right at him. In that moment, as he waited for Moric Gulyas to pull the trigger, Gaster saw his life flash before his eyes.
This is the end, Gaster thought. He squeezed his eyes shut as a gunshot rang out.
The sound was followed by a shout of surprise, then by shocked screams from the crowd. Gaster opened his eyes to the sight of Moric Gulyas clutching his hand. A hand that was no longer holding a gun. Across the rapidly growing space between the crowd, Gaster saw a familiar face. Gordon Garth stood tall with his arm outstretched. A thin trail of smoke rose up from the barrel of the gun in his hand.
“Howdy,” the Alliance bounty hunter addressed Gulyas. “Don’t move or the next one goes through yer skull.”
Before Gulyas could react, a hooded figure dropped down behind him from the rooftops above. The figure drew twin knives, then lunged forward and grabbed the assassin from behind. “You’re a hard man to find, Moric Gulyas,” Bartrand Blackwing said as he pressed his blades to the Romanov’s throat.
“Just who the hell are you?” Gordon asked, shifting his aim from Gulyas to Bartrand.
“I’m the man who’s about to claim the bounty on Moric Gulyas,” Bartrand replied.
“Like hell you are,” Gordon shot back. “This one’s mine.”
“Fellas!” Gaster shouted, snapping back to his senses. “The last thing I need is you two killing each other and letting the bastard trying to kill me get away,” he continued as he approached the bounty hunters.
“Bartrand meet Gordon, Gordon meet Bartrand,” Taraka said, walking up behind the former smuggler.
“Friend of yers?” Gordon asked, glancing briefly at the members of the Maverick’s crew while keeping his pistol aimed at Bartrand.
“Something like that,” Gaster answered.
“Alright then.” Without further hesitation Gordon pointed his gun back at Gulyas. “Bartrand, was it? Seems we’ve got some mutual friends here, so how ‘bout you and me split this bounty?”
A grin formed on Bartrand’s face. “Works for me.”
Gaster breathed a sigh of relief as he watched the Scintillia police take Moric Gulyas away. The most dangerous person pursuing the bounty Markovic had placed on his head was no longer a threat. Gaster knew he wouldn’t truly be able to breathe easy until he got the bounty removed, but he certainly felt a lot safer now.
“I seriously can’t thank you two enough,” the former smuggler said, turning his gaze to Bartrand and Gordon. “If you hadn’t shown up, I’d have been toast for sure.”
“Consider it me returnin’ the favor fer your help in bringin’ in Jerrik Baize back on Agrosicco,” Gordon replied.
“Saving my life is worth a lot more than that,” Gaster said. “I’m in your debt now.”
“Nah, we’re good,” Gordon said. “I can’t take all the credit anyway,” he continued, nodding at Bartrand. “Besides, you’ve got Team Vogue to thank for either of us being here.”
“Come again?” Gaster asked. “Those Purple Pricks tried to kill me yesterday.”
Gordon laughed. “Sounds about right. My sources say they’re the ones who put the word out that Gulyas was here huntin’ you. I’m willin’ to bet they did it so they could claim the bounty fer themselves.”
“That makes sense,” Gaster said.
“Too bad for them we kicked their asses,” Bartrand said.
“Hey, didn’t you run from that fight?” Ace asked.
“I knew you guys had it under control at that point,” the bounty hunter replied.
“Right,” Taraka said.
“Well I appreciated the assist,” Gaster said.
Bartrand nodded. “Anytime. Anyway, I’ll see you guys at the tournament later.” He then motined over to Gordon. “The two of us need to go and get paid.”
“Right,” Gordon said. “See you around.”
As the two bounty hunters walked off, Gaster and his two crewmates began to make their way toward the shuttle stop.
A voice sounded over the PA system as they approached, “the next shuttle to the Electrodome departs in five minutes.”
“We’d better get moving then,” Taraka said.
“Yeah,” Gaster agreed. Now that the immediate threat to his life had been dealt with, it was time for him and his crewmates to win themselves a tournament.
Notes: This was a fun little chapter to write. I didn’t have much of a clear idea of what to do with it when I was first listening back to the sessions, but I knew this chunk didn’t make sense to be part of the previous chapter, nor the next one. When it finally came time to actually write the chapter, the idea came to me to jump around to different perspectives to make it a bit more interesting and suspenseful.
The first couple of scenes following the members of the crew were adapted from the last few moments of session 51 where the players did some housekeeping stuff like training and Ace evolving his Doublade before the tournament as well as Gaster recruiting Sikari to watch his back. I added an extra non-session scene from Gulyas’s perspective between them to build some anticipation and remind readers that he’s still a threat. Just that extra bit of tension that wasn’t present in the session.
Then it was onto session 52 events. I decided it would be fun to see the scene of Gulyas making his move from several different perspectives, and I love how it turned out. In planning for this session I knew I wanted to throw Gordon Garth back into the mix, but I didn’t set it up the way I had with Blackwing, so his appearance kinda came out of nowhere. Giving him a perspective scene helped alleviate that a little. I’m not gonna lie, I’d totally forgotten that unknown went and got Sikari to help Gaster out so I didn’t include her in the chaos. I couldn’t really find a way to work her into the chapter either. Another unfortunate thing that happened was that Novi got disconnected right when things kicked off and he missed it.
As usual, I added a bunch of extra interactions and details to make everything flow better. That plus the extra scenes I added made for a great chapter. I’m really happy with the results, especially given the fact that I didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted to do with this chapter when I started.
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!