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 stood at the window of the private room for the combatants in the Thunder Fest Pokemon Tournament, looking out into the packed arena known as the Electrodome. Owned by the Sector 24 Gym Leader Silas Stormshredder and his band, the Thunderbats, doubled as a concert venue for touring musicians from all across the Galaxy and the official Electric Gym. Today it was serving as both. Gaster was floored by just how full the stands of the orbital arena were. This Gym Leader certainly knew how to draw a crowd.
At the center of the arena was a stage the size of a League regulation Pokemon battling ring. It’s gray surface was painted with the standard ring boundaries and Pokeball design as well as several lightning bolt graphics. This stage was currently occupied by one of the many bands performing at Thunder Fest, the last to play their set before the final battles of the tournament began.
There were four teams left in the tournament at this point. Gaster and his two crewmates were one, and there was Bartrand, of course. There was also another solo combatant, a big, buff Romanov guy that had introduced himself as Kuzma Kuznitsa, and a duo composed of a brother and sister named Dylan and Dianne, respectively. According to the bracket, the three members of the Maverick’s crew would be matched up with Kuznitsa in their next battle.
“The time draws near,” Gaster heard the Romanov’s voice say somewhere behind him as the band finished their final song. “I will crush all and win whole tournament.”
Gaster turned from the window and looked Kuznitsa right in the eye. “You’ll have to go through us first,” the former smuggler told the man.
“I trained under Steel Gym Leader himself,” Kuznitsa bragged. “There is no way I can lose!”
“Oh, that’s cute,” Gaster taunted in response. “We fought a big guy with steel Pokemon last night and we kicked his ass. I don’t imagine you’ll be much different.”
“He was weak. I will show you true Romanov steel.”
“We’ll see about that.”
Before either of them could say anything further, the voice of the Thunder Fest announcer sounded over the venue’s PA system, “Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for the final rounds of the Thunder Fest Pokemon Tournament!” Even through the glass, Gaster could hear the roar of the crowd in response. “Get ready to welcome back our competitors as they go head to head for the chance to face off with the Thunderbats!” the announcer continued to hype up the crowd.
Meanwhile, a member of the Electrodome’s staff entered the room to fetch the teams that would be battling first. “Blackwing, Dynamic Duo,” the goateed man said. “You’re up. Follow me.”
“As always, these epic battles will be soundtracked by the amazing bands performing here tonight!” the announcer addressed the crowd as Bartrand, Dylan, and Dianne exited the room. “Please welcome back to the stage one of the heaviest bands from here on Scintillia, Eternal Toxicity!”
The crowd cheered as the spotlight shone down on the area of the stage sectioned off for the performers to play during each battle, revealing the band that would be playing. They were apparently a big deal in the local music scene, but Gaster had never heard of them. It wasn’t really his type of music.
“And now, let’s hear it for our competitors!” the announcer continued. “You’ve seen them dominating the competition for the past two days, now let’s see they fare against each other! On this side, the mighty bounty hunter Bartrand Blackwing! And on this side, the Dynamic Duo, Dylan and Dianne!”
As the battle got started, Gaster turned to his crewmates. “This should be interesting.”
The crowd roared with excitement as the battle raged. Soaring as high as the screaming guitar solo accompanying the fight, Bartrand’s Crobat prepared for a powerful attack. At the bounty hunter’s command, the Bat Pokemon dove down to strike. The opposing Gallade belonging to Dylan attempted to dodge, but it was no match for the Crobat’s incredible speed. With another takedown under his belt, Bartrand had all but won the battle.
Dianne’s Gardevoir fired back with a Psychic blast, but the Crobat was just too fast. It flew back up and out of reach as Bartrand commanded his other Pokemon to attack. With a swipe of its bladed tail, the bounty hunter’s Seviper finished the Gardevoir off. As the blow was struck, the stage erupted with a dazzling pyrotechnic display, signifying Bartrand’s victory.
“Damn, whoever’s running those pyrotechnics has a great sense of timing,” Gaster commented to his crewmates as they watched from the combatant’s private room.
“And there you have it!” the announcer’s voice sounded. “The Dynamic Duo have been eliminated! Bartrand Blackwing advances! Our next match-up will determine who he will face off with in the finals!”
“I guess that means it’s our turn now,” Ace said.
“Nervous?” Gaster asked.
“A little,” the android replied. “There’s a lot of people here. What if someone realizes I’m not Human?”
“I wouldn’t worry about that,” Taraka reassured him. “A lot of the competitors have had crazy costumes. You blend in just fine here.”
“That … is a very good point,” Ace said. “Thanks, Taraka.”
“Kuznitsa, Team Maverick, you’re on,” the goateed staff member announced as he entered the room, putting an end to the conversation.
Taraka grinned. “Alright, team. Let’s do this.”
“For our next semifinal, please give it up for the Tetrominoes, who will be performing for this epic battle!”
Ace could feel the anticipation building as the announcer introduced the band that would be playing along with the upcoming battle. He had watched the battles leading up to this moment and he knew this was going to be a tough one.
“Our next competitors have been tearing up the competition! On my left, the steel type expert Kuzma Kuznitsa!”
The crowd cheered as the spotlights focused on the opposite side of the stage.
“And on my right, the ragtag crew, Team Maverick!”
The crowd cheered again as the lights above Ace and his crewmates flashed on.
“Let the battle begin!”
With a flare of the pyrotechnics, the battle was on! The three members of Team Maverick— as they had come to be called by the fans of the course of the tournament— sent out their Pokemon, as did their opponent. For this battle, Ace, whose turn it was to use two Pokemon, had gone with his Delphox and his Duskull while Gaster and Taraka opted to use Spiritomb and Flygon, respectively. As for Kuznitsa, his four Pokemon were Klinklang, Escavalier, Excadrill, and the ice variant of Sandslash.
“Time to show your iron grit!” Kuznitsa barked at his Pokemon over the music as the battle commenced. He was heard by the entire arena as all competitors had been equipped with a microphone for just this purpose. “Just try to break through this defense!” the large Romanov man then taunted his opponents.
“You got it!” Ace shot back. “Blaze, hit that Sandslash with Mystical Fire!” With a wave of his wand, the android’s Delphox summoned forth a rush of flames which it unleashed upon Kuznitsa’s Sandslash.
“Nice try,” Kuznitsa responded. Despite the powerful hit it took, his Pokemon appeared relatively unscathed. “Kolyuchki, fall back! Iron Defense! Sverlo, Drill Run!”
Following their trainer’s commands, the Sandslash moved back from its attacker while the Excadrill charged forward. The Subterrene Pokemon plowed into Blaze with its powerful claws, delivering a decisive blow. The Delphox, however, still had plenty of fight left in him and Ace wasn’t about to let his Pokemon go without backup.
“Cyclops, lend a hand! Night Shade!”
Coming to Blaze’s aid, Ace’s Duskull blasted the Excadrill with ghostly energy, driving it back a bit.
As his Excadrill initiated a standoff with Ace’s Pokemon, Kuznitsa shifted his focus to the android’s teammates, “Shesterni, get in there! Magnet Burst!” The steel type trainer’s Klinklang floated across the stage, positioning itself between Gaster’s Spiritomb and Taraka’s Flygon. It then discharged electromagnetic energy in all directions by rapidly spinning its gears. The powerful attack left both Pokemon stunned.
Ignoring the Klinklang, Gaster instead directed his Spiritomb after the Excadrill, “Ereshkigal, use Hypnosis!” Fighting through the daze, the Forbidden Pokemon moved in range and zapped the opposing Pokemon with a hypnotic beam, putting it to sleep.
“Deal with that one, Ulan!” Kuznitsa reacted. “Twinlance!” The Romanov’s Escavalier charged Ereshkigal and lunged with both its lances in quick succession, but the Spiritomb managed to dodge both strikes.
With the Spiritomb keeping the Escavalier occupied and Taraka’s Flygon unfortunately left completely stunned, Ace knew it was up to him to take care of the Sandslash. Though it had seemed to have shrugged off the last hit, Ace had a feeling that one more good hit with a fire attack would take it out!
“Blaze, Fire Spin!”
Conjuring up a spinning vortex of flames, Ace’s Delphox entrapped the Sandslash in a tornado of hurt. There was no way the Pokemon could weather the storm and it went down. As one foe was removed from the fight, another rejoined the fray as the Excadrill awoke.
“Cyclops, Will-O-Wisp!” Ace responded to the Excadrill’s awakening. His Duskull sent a wisp of flame flying at the Subterrene Pokemon, leaving it with a nasty burn.
While Ace shifted his focus to the Excadrill, Kuznitsa shifted his onto the android’s Delphox. As a fire type, Blaze was an obvious threat, and he had just taken down one of the Romanov’s Pokemon. “Shesterni, Lock-On and Zap Cannon!” Kuznitsa commanded his Klinklang. The Gear Pokemon moved back from Taraka’s Flygon and shot off a ball of electricity at Blaze, leaving the Delphox hurt and stunned.
Meanwhile, Gaster had his Spiritomb go after the Escavalier. Unfortunately, the Forbidden Pokemon’s attack missed, succeeding only in drawing Kuznitsa’s attention.
“Ulan, X-Scissor!” the steel type trainer commanded in response. His Escavalier struck back with both lances, landing powerful hits on Gaster’s Pokemon.
“Flicky, use Rock Slide!” Taraka directed his Pokemon after the Escavalier, but the Flygon ended up missing with her attack as well.
“Our turn,” Ace said. “Blaze, Mystical Fire!”
Kuznita’s Escavalier couldn’t dodge forever, and Ace’s Delphox landed his attack where the other Pokemon had failed. The fiery attack was absolutely devastating to the armored bug Pokemon. However, despite the injuries it sustained, the Escavalier looked to have plenty of fight left in it.
“We don’t go down so easy,” Kuznitsa laughed. “Try harder.”
“Cyclops, Night Shade!” Ace responded to the taunt. His Duskull shot a blast of ghostly energy at the Escavalier, but the Calvary Pokemon dodged once again.
Kuznitsa laughed again before giving his next command, “Sverlo, Dig! Shesterni, Mirror Shot!” As the Romanov’s Excadrill began to burrow down into the stage, his Klinklang unleashed a blast of blinding light. The attack struck Taraka’s Flygon dead on, knocking her out and evening up the score.
This was proving to be a tougher fight than Ace had anticipated. As he thought out his next move, both Gaster and Kuznitsa ordered their Pokemon to attack. The Escavalier and the Spiritomb mutually dodged each other’s attacks, but the Escavalier was left wide open in the process and Ace was quick to seize the opportunity.
“Blaze, Fire Spin!”
Just like that, Team Maverick had the advantage once again. That just leaves the Klinklang, Ace thought as he analyzed the battlefield. And the ...
“Blaze, look out!” Ace called out to his Delphox, noticing a deforming of the ground beside the fiery Pokemon. With the advance warning, Blaze managed to dodge just in time as Kuznitsa’s Excadrill erupted out from beneath the ground, spewing earth out in all directions.
“Now, strike back with Mystical Fire!” Ace then commanded his Pokemon. “Take it down!”
“Not yet!” Kuznitsa barked as his Excadrill was buffeted by the Delphox’s powerful flames. “Fight through! Drill Run!” Charging through the fire, the Subterrene Pokemon plowed into Blaze, knocking him out. The Excadrill then collapsed upon the Delphox, the last of its strength expended.
With this knockout trade, Kuznitsa was down to his last Pokemon. Team Maverick held their slim advantage, but the battle still had the potential to go either way. Focusing on the final opponent, Ace commanded his Duskull to attack, “Cyclops, Astonish!”
Flying fast at the Klinklang, Cyclops caught it by surprise and gave Gaster an opening. “Ereshkigal, use Confuse Ray!” he commanded his Spiritomb. The Forbidden Pokemon sent the Klinklang into a daze, but it was short-lived.
“Shesterni, Charge Beam!” Kuznitsa commanded the Gear Pokemon as it snapped back to alertness. Spinning its gears rapidly, the Klinklang shot out a beam of electricity at Cyclops. It was a powerful hit, but it wasn’t enough to bring her down.
This battle is as good as ours, Ace thought.
As the battle reached its final stages, both Ace and Gaster ordered their Pokemon to attack. Kuznitsa’s Klinklang took a direct hit from Ereshkigal, but managed to dodge Cyclops’s attack. The steel type trainer commanded his Pokemon to counterattack, but it failed to hit either of its opponents.
“Ereshkigal, finish this!” Gaster shouted. “Use Dark Pulse!”
The pyrotechnics around the stage flared up and the crowd erupted with cheers as the final blow was struck. They had won.
The cheers grew even louder as Cyclops began to glow. The guitarist for the band that had been accompanying the battle began to noodle on his instrument, playing a triumphant tune to further hype up the audience during the Duskull’s evolution.
“Great job, Cyclops!” Ace cheered on his Pokemon as she emerged a Dusclops.
“What an amazing finish to an incredible battle!” the announcer exclaimed as he took to the stage. “Ladies and gentlemen, let’s hear it for Team Maverick, who will advance to face the mighty Bartrand Blackwing!”
“Ladies and gentlemen, this is it! Our final battle! Whoever wins this one wins the tournament and the opportunity to take on the Thunderbats in front of all you beautiful people!”
The cheers from the crowd grew louder and louder as the announcer continued to hype them up. Taraka tightened his grip around the two Pokeballs in his hands as the anticipation grew. As a monk, he certainly wasn’t used to such attention and he couldn’t help but get swept up in the excitement of it all. This was going to be an epic battle.
“Of course, before we bring out our finalists again, we need to introduce our musical accompaniment!” the announcer continued. “You’ve seen them rip up this stage already! Welcome back to the stage Before the Entombment!”
The chorus of cheers became a roar as the spotlights illuminated the band performing for the final round.
“And now, our competitors! You’ve seen them roll over the competition and now it’s time for them to go head to head! For this final match, it’s Bartrand Blackwing vs. Team Maverick!”
The roar became deafening as two more sets of spotlights flashed on.
“And. Here. We. Go!”
The explosion of pyrotechnics that followed signaled the band to start playing and the competitors to send out their Pokemon. To the tune of chugging guitar riffs, Taraka tossed out his two Pokeballs, releasing his Graveler and Haunter alongside Gaster’s Tyranitar and Ace’s Aegislash. On the other side of the stage, Bartrand sent out his own Pokemon: Arbok, Crobat, Honchkrow, and Seviper.
“Vlad, hit that Tyranitar with Poison Fang!” Bartrand led things off. With impressive speed, the bounty hunter’s Crobat flew at Gaster’s Pokemon. It struck with its dangerous fangs, landing a good hit, but not enough to put much of a dent in the Tyranitar.
“Now, Naga, hit that Graveler with Poison Jab!” Bartrand followed up with a second command.
“Hrodulf, intercept it!” Gaster responded as Bartrand’s Arbok slithered up to attack. Moving in front of Taraka’s Graveler, the former smuggler’s Tyranitar took the full force of the powerful poisonous attack. The Poison Jab left Hrodulf poisoned with the Arbok’s venom, but Taraka suspected that’s what his crewmate was trying to take advantage of; Tyranitars got even stronger when poisoned.
“Alright, Viper, hit that Aegislash with Night Slash!” Bartrand continued dishing out the orders.
“Sentinel, counterattack with Night Slash!” Ace reacted as the second snake Pokemon moved in.
In one smooth motion, the android’s Aegislash deflected the Seviper’s tail blade with her shield, then shifted to an offensive stance and slashed through the Fang Snake Pokemon with her blade. The Seviper let out a pained hiss as it recoiled back.
“You’re up next, Don!” Bartrand moved on commanding his final Pokemon. “Get in there and give everyone a Confidence boost!” Flying into the fray, the bounty hunter’s Honchkrow positioned itself between the rest of his Pokemon to power them up. Luckily for Team Maverick, the unnerving presence of Gaster’s giant Tyranitar counteracted whatever boost their confidence might have gained, except for the Seviper, which was far enough out of Hrodulf’s reach.
“Our turn now,” Taraka said to himself, spotting his opportunity. The monk quickly commanded both of his Pokemon to make their move, “Umber, use Confuse Ray on that Crobat! Ferberite, use Thunder Punch on that Honchkrow!”
As his Haunter dazed Bartrand’s Crobat with a disorientating ray of energy, Taraka’s Graveler moved up on Bartrand’s Honchkrow and struck with an electrified fist. Ferberite’s attack delivered a solid blow to the Honchkrow, but the Crobat was quick to snap back from its daze.
“Vlad, hit that Graveler with Cross Poison!” Bartrand commanded the Bad Pokemon before shifting focus to his other Pokemon. “Naga, use Fire Fang on the Tyranitar! Viper, try for another Night Slash on that Aegislash!”
The bounty hunter’s Pokemon rushed their opponents to mixed results. Ferberite and Sentinel took some hard hits, while Hrodulf shrugged off the hit. Even so, Gaster saw fit to apply a super potion to his Pokemon.
“Umber, keep Hrodulf covered!” Taraka instructed his Haunter. “Frighten that Crobat to slow it down, then put that Honchkrow to sleep with Hypnosis!” The monk’s ghost Pokemon shot Bartrand’s Crobat a frightening glance, driving it off as it circled around, then she shot a hypnotic beam from her eyes at the bounty hunter’s Honchkrow, putting it to sleep. Taraka hoped that would keep both Pokemon out of their hair for a while.
Meanwhile, Taraka’s crewmates made a push of their own. Ace’s Aegislash landed a decisive blow on the Seviper with Aerial Ace, then Gaster’s Tyranitar got back in the fight and got some Payback on the Arbok. The two snakes were rather beat up at this point, but both had fight left in them and Bartrand was showing no signs of relenting in his assault.
“Viper, Crunch that Aegislash! Naga, hit that Tyranitar again with Poison Jab!”
The next few moments seemed to go by in a flash. The two serpentine Pokemon made their attacks as Taraka had his Graveler strike the Crobat with a Thunder Punch. Bartrand ordered the Bat Pokemon to counterattack, but it failed to line up an attack because Gaster commanded his Tyranitar to charge right into the center of the action. With a powerful Thrash attack, Hrodulf laid out the Crobat as well as the sleeping Honchkrow. Even over the music, Taraka could hear the roaring cheers of the crowd as the tide of battle shifted fully in Team Maverick’s favor.
Now only Bartrand’s two snakes remained and Taraka was quick to send his Pokemon after them, “Umber, use Night Shade on that Arbok! Ferberite, use Thunder Punch on that Seviper!” Taraka’s Haunter flew in and blasted the Arbok with ghostly energy, but the Seviper managed to dodge as Taraka’s Graveler came at it with electric fists.
“Sentinel, Shadow Sneak!”
A follow-up attack from Ace’s Aegislash took the Fang Snake Pokemon down. Now it was four-on-one. Bartrand’s Arbok got one last Crunch attack off on Umber before it too went down.
“Hrodulf, use Chip Away!”
Another pyrotechnic explosion signified Team Maverick’s victory over the entire tournament. The crowd went absolutely nuts as the announcer declared them winners.
“Ladies and gentlemen, your Thunder Fest Pokemon Tournament champions, Team Maverick!”
“You guys are something else,” Bartrand said as he walked over to shake their hands.
“Something else, indeed,” the announcer agreed. “But can Team Maverick take on Silas Stormshredder and the Thunderbats?! We’ll find out in an hour when the true final battle begins!”
“Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome back to the stage your tournament champions, Team Maverick!”
Gaster felt the anticipation rising as the lights shone down on him and his two crewmates one last time. If the crowd reaction was anything to go by, they were in for one hell of a battle.
“And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for.”
Silence fell over the arena as the lights went dark. The quiet lasted only seconds before the crowd erupted into a thunderous cheer as the Gym Leader’s introduction music began to play. Slowly a platform began to rise up from the far side of the stage from where Team Maverick stood.
“Introducing the man who beats his drums with the force of Thunderbolt, Bjorn Boltstriker!”
A spotlight flashed on, illuminating the platform and revealing a man with long red hair seated behind an impressive drum kit with two bass drums emblazoned with a stylized yellow Noivern logo. He played a flashy drum beat before tossing a Pokeball into the air, releasing a magnetic Golem into the ring.
The announcer continued on as a second platform began to rise, “the woman whose bass slaps sound like rumbling Thunder, Thora Thunderslap!”
A second spotlight flashed on to illuminate the new platform, upon which stood a woman with long platinum blonde hair who was holding a bass guitar with a red and orange burst design. She slapped the low string with her thumb, sending a rumble down through the floor. She then tossed out her own Pokemon alongside the Golem— a Lanturn— as a third platform began its rise.
“The woman who riffs with the speed of an Electro Ball, Lorelei Lightningfrets!”
Another spotlight aimed at this third platform revealed the third member of the band. Her blonde hair was just shy of shoulder length and the guitar in her hands was bright red. She struck a powerful chord on her instrument before sending out a Magnezone between the other two Pokemon.
“And finally,” the announcer said as one last platform emerged from beneath the stage. “The man who shreds with the power of a Wild Charge, our Electric Gym Leader, Silas Stormshredder!”
The crowd went ballistic as the final spotlight activated, revealing the Gym Leader himself. He was a man dressed all in black, the outfit contrasting against his flowing blonde hair which was longer than that of any of his handmades. In his hands was a V shaped guitar with a yellow and blue lightning pattern. He strummed a note, bending the string to create a squealing sound that drew even more excited screams from the crowd. He then threw his Pokeball into the ring. Out from the red and white sphere emerged a brightly colored yellow and blue Noivern just like the one Gaster and his crewmates had encountered back on Sadore. It let out a fierce cry as it lifted off the ground.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the Thunderbats!”
The roar of cheers went on for several more minutes and only started to die down once Silas Stormshredder raised his right fist into the air and extended his index and pinky fingers to form the symbol of rock known all across the Galaxy. “Welcome, challengers,” the man spoke into the microphone set up in front of him, his British accent quite apparent. “You’ve done well to make it this far … and you’ve put on a bloody fantastic show, I’ll tell you that.”
“We try,” Gaster spoke into his own mic.
“Indeed,” the Gym Leader replied. “Now, let us see what you are truly made of. Show us your Pokemon!”
Chants of “Team Maverick” broke out amongst the crowd as Gaster and his crewmates sent out their chosen Pokemon for the battle. The former smuggler released his Krookodile front and center alongside Ace’s Cofagrigus, while Taraka sent out his Flygon and his Wailord on the outer flanks.
“Alright then,” Silas said as he seemed to evaluate their choices. “Let’s get this party started!” The Gym leader began to play a repeating melody on his guitar, starting anew the roar of cheers throughout the stands.
“Thora, you know what to do!” Silas shouted to his bass player as the battle commenced.
“Jester, use Rain Dance!” Thora Thunderslap commanded her Lanturn, to start things off. After the previous day’s confrontation with Freya Frost and Team Vogue, Gaster easily pegged her accent as Swedish.
As storm clouds began to form from the Lanturn and the rain began to pour, a slow, steady chant of “Thunder” began to build up amongst the crowd. They appeared to know exactly what was coming. Clearly not planning on just waiting around for the Thunderbats to make their next move, Taraka commanded his Pokemon to attack, “Flicky, use Dragon Breath on the big one!”
“Hellion, get ready for the opening salvo!” Silas called out to his Noivern as Taraka’s Flygon began flying at it. The electric dragon launched into the air and Flicky quickly changed her angle of attack before shooting her breath attack up at it.
“Time for a Thunderstrike!”
The Noivern began to spark with electricity, then it shot out a three-pronged lightning attack down at the challenger’s Pokemon on the ground. Jimothy was unscathed as one of the prongs struck him, but the other two did a real number on the Cofagrigus and the Wailord on either side of him. It was clear that this Noivern was just as dangerous as the one on Sadore.
As the chanting grew louder and louder, Silas wailed into his mic, “you’ve been … Thunderstruck!”
A fresh pyrotechnic display erupted all around the stage and the whole band jumped into the performance. To Gaster, this meant only one thing: this battle was on for real now.
“Jimothy, use Sand Tomb!” the former smuggler commanded his Krookodile, pointing out the Noivern as the target. Jimothy unleashed a spinning tornado of sand, shooting it up at the electric dragon, but the Noivern flew up even higher, avoiding the attack.
Shit, Gaster thought.
As the battle kicked into gear, the remaining two members of the Thunderbats ordered their Pokemon to attack. Bjorn Boltstriker, another Swede, sent his Golem after Jimothy, while the German Lorelei Lightningfrets sent her Magnezone after Taraka’s Flygon. Gaster’s Krookodile narrowly avoided the Golem as it charged in with an Iron Head attack, but Taraka’s Flygon wasn’t so lucky. Flicky took a direct Flash Cannon hit from Lorelie’s Magnezone.
“Flicky, Strike back with Earth Power!” Taraka responded. “Rocklord, use Rest and heal back up!”
“Tombstone, focus on the Noivern!” Ace joined in, commanding his Cofagrigus. “Night Shade!”
Together, Flicky and Tombstone made their attacks. The Cofagrigus landed a powerful hit on Silas’s Noivern, but Lorelei’s Magnezone managed to avoid what would have been a devastating attack. So far, things weren’t going that great, and they were about to get worse.
“Alright, Hellion, hit ‘em with all you’ve got!” Silas shouted at his Pokemon before breaking into a full on heavy metal scream. “Use Electric Eye!” With a piercing shriek, the Gym Leader’s Pokemon touched down at the center of the sage, right in the midst of Team Maverick’s Pokemon. Storm clouds began to swirl around the Noivern as it built up electrical energy. While their two ground type Pokemon were fine, the lightning storm of an attack ripped through Ace’s Cofagrigus and Taraka’s Wailord to devastating effect.
With his Wailord barely hanging on, Taraka instructed the rocky variant of the Float Whale Pokemon to use Rest to regain some stamina. Gaster, meanwhile, prepared to go on the offensive. The former smuggler knew that they were going to have to give it their all if they wanted to stand any chance of winning this battle.
“Jimothy, use Foul Play!”
“Rattlehead, use Iron Head!” Bjorn Boltstriker commanded his Golem, pointing out Taraka’s Flygon with one of his drumsticks while keeping up the rapid fire beat of the song with his dual kick drums. The Thunderbat drummer’s magnetic Megaton Pokemon launched itself into Flicky, knocking the Flygon to the ground, defeated.
Things were not looking good for Team Maverick. Until now, neither side had scored a knockout, but after taking two Dragon Pulse attacks from Silas’s Noivern, Taraka’s Pokemon had been softened up enough for the Golem to finish her off. The crowd sure was excited, but Gaster was beginning to worry he and his crewmates might not win this one.
“Come on, Tombstone, even things out!” Ace encouraged his Cofagrigus. “Hit that Noivern with Night Shade!” The android’s Pokemon unleashed a blast of ghostly energy, landing her second Night Shade on the Gym Leader’s signature Pokemon. The attack did a real number on the electric dragon, but it miraculously managed to stay standing.
“Hellion, use Dragon Pulse!” Silas Stormshredder commanded the Noivern. “Target that Wailord!” With Taraka’s first Pokemon down, his second was the next weakest at this point. It made sense that the Gym Leader would target Rocklord next.
It was at this moment, as the Noivern was making its attack, that Jimothy erupted forth from beneath the ground. Gaster has previously commanded his Krookodile to dig down beneath the surface and now he had emerged to strike. Spewing earth out in all directions as he shot up from below, Jimothy pelted the Noivern, knocking it out. Unfortunately, the electric dragon still managed to get its attack off.
“I must say, I’m impressed,” Silas said as he recalled his Pokemon. “But you still have to deal with the rest of my band!” With that, the Gym Leader broke into a shredding guitar solo that certainly lived up to his name.
“Oh, we will,” Taraka responded. “Rocklord, use Surf!” Sailing forward on a wave, the monk’s Wailord charged right for the Golem and the Magnezone. The latter Pokemon managed to float up and out of the way, but Rocklord plowed right into the former, delivering a solid blow.
“Counterattack with Thunder Punch!” Bjorn commanded his Pokemon in response. Hitting hard with its electrified fist, the drummer’s Golem hit back just as hard as it had just been hit.
Meanwhile, the remaining two members of the band, Thora Thunderslap and Lorelei Lightningfrets, focused their attention on the Pokemon that had taken down their bandleader’s Pokemon.
“Jester, use Signal Beam!”
“Knarren, use Flash Cannon!”
Jimothy managed to dodge the first attack from Thora’s Lanturn, but the second from Lorelei’s Magnezone hit its mark, landing a good hit on the Krookodile. Jimothy still had plenty of fight left in him, though.
As his crewmates continued to whittle down the Golem, Gaster’s Pokemon continued to hold the attention of their other opponents. Thora commanded her Lanturn to attack again, this time with Hydro Pump. Fortunately, Jimothy managed to dodge the Light Pokemon once again. Not wanting to take any chances, however, Gaster thought it best if his Krookodile moved to a safer position.
“Jimothy, time to Dig again!”
The former smuggler’s Krookodile burrowed down to safety beneath the stage, forcing Lorelei to switch up her strategy. The guitarist’s Magnezone had appeared to be moving in to attack, but she instead commanded it to electrify the arena.
“Knarren, use Electric Terrain!”
Feeding off the surge of electricity the Magnezone laid down across the entire stage, Bjorn’s Golem began sparking violently. “Yes, Rattlehead!” the drummer shouted. “Finish that Wailord with Double-Edge!”
Energized with volts and volts of electricity, the Golem slammed into Taraka’s Wailord with incredible force. With his rocky hide, Rocklord was normally resistant to such attacks, but the electric charge of the attack meant it was game over for him.
The odds of Team Maverick’s victory slipped even further when Bjorn followed up with a second command, this time sending his Pokemon after Ace’s Cofagrigus. With a powerful Stone Edge attack, Tombstone was knocked out of the fight, leaving Jimothy to stand alone against three opponents.
The Thunderbats’ Pokemon all converged on Gaster’s Krookodile as he reemerged to attack. Jimothy battered them all with earth from beneath the stage, but it wasn’t enough to take any of them down. It was soon over, with the Golem and the Magnezone finishing the Krookodile off with a brutal Focus Punch and Flash Cannon combo.
One last pyrotechnic explosion signaled the end of the battle and sent the crowd into a frenzy of cheers. But then something unexpected happened. The cheering coalesced into a distinct chant.
“Encore! Encore! Encore!”
“Looks like they wanna see more,” Gaster spoke into his microphone. The crowd reacted with an affirmative cheer.
“Of course they do,” Taraka said. “We’re Team Maverick!”
“Let’s go, Team Maverick!” the voice of one drunken fan sounded above the rest.
“The fans have spoken!” Silas announced to thunderous applause. “You’re the best team we’ve faced in a while, so let’s see what else you’ve got. You each get one more Pokemon. Let’s ride the lightning one last time!”
As the crowd erupted into cheers, Gaster turned to his two crewmates and they nodded back. The three of them then proceeded to send out their Pokemon for the continuation of the battle: Graveler, Hitmonlee, and Tangrowth.
“Here we go!” Silas screamed into the mic as he jumped into a new song. Team Maverick had one last shot to win the battle and earn their badge.
“Roma, use Mega Drain!”
Taraka’s Tangrowth extended her vine arms towards the Golem belonging to Bjorn Boltstriker in an attempt to drain away the last of its strength. The Megaton Pokemon had taken several hits since the encore had begun and Taraka knew it wouldn’t be up much longer. What the monk didn’t know was just how right he was.
Bjorn broke out a series of complex drum fills as his Pokemon dodged the attack, hyping up the crowd. “Rattlehead, time to Explode!” the drummer commanded the Golem.
Before anyone could react, the Golem detonated, shooting out three pulses of electrical energy as it discharged all the power inside its body. The pulses struck each of Team Maverick’s Pokemon, downing Gaster’s Hitmonlee instantly and doing a real number on Taraka’s Tangrowth. Ace’s Graveler was, of course, unharmed due to its ground typing.
Team Maverick’s other two opponents then followed up with commands of their own. It was down to a two-on-two battle now, and each of them went for a different target.
“Jester, use Signal Beam!” Thora Thunderslap ordered her Lanturn to attack Ace’s Graveler while Lorelei Lightningfrets focused on Taraka’s Tangrowth.
“Knarren, Lock-On and use Zap Cannon!”
“I’ve got you!” Gaster shouted as he recalled his fainted Pokemon. The former smuggler then applied a super potion to Roma, which would hopefully keep her in the fight a bit longer. Taraka nodded approvingly at Gaster while Ace commanded his Pokemon.
“Crag, use Magnitude!” the android ordered the Graveler. The Rock Pokemon moved to the center of the stage, then stomped down hard, sending a massive shockwave along the ground that hit both the Lanturn and the Magnezone. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to bring either one down. Magnezones were naturally sturdy Pokemon and the Lanturn had been healing from its Aqua Ring for the entire battle.
He knew Roma couldn’t do much against the Magnezone, so Taraka decided to focus on the Lanturn. “Roma, use Giga Drain!” the monk commanded his Tangrowth. He knew he just needed to overcome the Light Pokemon’s healing with brute force.
As Roma made her attack, Thora ordered a counterattack. While the Tangrowth drained away its energy through her vine arms, the Lanturn let loose with a Discharge attack, leaving her stunned. Meanwhile, Lorelei’s Magnezone blasted Crag with a Mirror Shot, leaving him badly damaged.
“We’ve got no choice,” Ace responded. “Crag, Self-Destruct!”
A second detonation rocked the stage, this one of the non-electrical variety. Roma was perfectly fine this time around, but the two opposing Pokemon were looking very beat up at this point. Taraka only hoped it would be enough because it was all up to him and his Tangrowth now.
“Roma, use Shadow Punch!” the monk commanded his Tangrowth. Roma extended a vine arm and struck Thora’s Lanturn, bringing it right to the edge. Without its healing veil, it surely would have gone down.
The two remaining Thunderbats ordered their Pokemon to attack in response. Taking both a Signal Beam and a Zap Cannon, Roma was left on the edge as well. Taraka knew it all hinged on his Pokemon’s next attack. If Roma could just heal a bit more and take out the Lanturn in the process, she might be able to pull off the win.
“Roma, use Giga Drain!”
Taraka’s Tangrowth reached out with her vine arms to grab the Lanturn, but the Light Pokemon managed to slip away by sliding along the ground. At that moment, Taraka knew it was all over.
“Jester, use Thunder!”
“Knarren, use Flash Cannon!”
With the final two blows, Roma went down. The Tangrowth had put up a good fight, but the odds had been stacked against her.
“You’re an impressive team of trainers,” Silas Stormshredder addressed Team Maverick over the roar of the crowd. “You may not have won the battle here today, but you won the hearts of the fans.”
Chants in support of Team Maverick broke out across the stands at the Gym Leader’s words.
“You are most welcome to return and challenge the gym in the future,” Silas continued. “Maybe next time you’ll win.”
“Yeah,” Ace replied. “Maybe next time.”
Notes: Writing this chapter was brutal. I don’t know why. Glad I got through it, though. This chapter covers the bulk of session 52, which was a gauntlet of battles. That’s probably a contributing factor to it being difficult to write. Battles can be hard to write, especially long ones.
The Electric Gym was actually something I’d had planned for a while. I had this idea for a band of trainers with a music venue arena and this whole heavy metal theme since before this campaign even began, but it was still quite a while into the campaign before I fully planned it out. Then there was a lot of waiting. As the only other metalhead in the campaign, I knew Alec would have appreciated it the most so I had been waiting for the next session he could attend, but then he had to drop out. At that point I just decided to do it at the next most convenient time. I did work out nicely as a mini arc with the bounty stuff and the tournament and the preview of the Noivern on the desert planet.
There was a lot of planning that went into this session, from making a cool map for the arena to song selection. I put so much planning into the music that I played during the battles. The gym fight itself had three different tracks, which were instrumentals of hard rock and heavy metal songs with appropriate names. First was Judas Priest’s “The Hellion / Electric Eye” that served as the intro song for the band and was the namesake for both Silas’s Noivern and its special electric shifted Hurricane. Then there was AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” which inspired the signature move on the Noivern, which was a modified Boomburst. I also really leaned into the song in the writing and love how that turned out. Finally, I used Metallica’s “Ride the Lightning.” I threw in a little reference to that in the writing too. The Kuznitsa fight used a metal rendition of the Tetris which was kind of lazy on my part, but I worked. For Blackwing, I used an instrumental version of After the Burial’s “A Wolf Amongst Ravens.” It seemed appropriate to me because in the game he was my character in the plot involved guilds, two of which were the Wolf Guild and the Raven Guild, the latter of which Blackwing was a member. I also used a metal version of the Pokemon title theme for the opening moments of this chapter.
For the writing, I added in a ton of new details. Blackwing’s first battle wasn’t in the session but It made sense for flow to include some parts of it. That involved figuring out some interesting opponents for him. I also implied that there were more rounds between the qualifiers and where we pick up here, but those didn’t happen in session. Kuznitsa didn’t even have a name, but I at least gave him some characterization. I did touch that up a bit for the writing, though. For the writing also came up with some names for the bands that played along to the battles. Eternal Toxicity just came to me while writing as I was listening to video game metal cover artist ToxicxEternity while writing that bit. The Tertominoes was a lazy Tetris reference. Before the Entombment was obviously referencing After the Burial. The Thunderbats I actually named for the session and, if I remember right, the name inspired me to make the electric Noivern in the first place. I also went back and added the nicknames where they were needed. For the Thunderbats’ Pokemon, I went with metal references. I named the Noivern Hellion after the Judas Priest song while the others are references to band mascots. Specifically, Megadeth’s Vic Rattlehead, In Flames’ Jesterhead, and Sodom’s Knarrenheinz. I tried to match bands to the nationality of the trainers where I could.
As for the battles themselves, the first was tough and they were worried about losing before pulling it out in the end. They followed that up by steamrolling Blackwing. The gym battle itself dragged on and on. It didn’t help that there was a ton of missing of both sides. I ended up cutting a lot of that out and I also broke the battle up into multiple scenes to further cut it down. It wouldn’t have been fun to read or write otherwise. Luck was not on their side in terms of rolls and they made some questionable Pokemon selections too. I ended up feeling bad and giving them a second chance with the encore, but they still lost. That’s where the session ended and I decided to end the chapter there too because it was so long already. Overall, I like the final result even though writing this was tough at times.
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!