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!
Footsteps echoed in the lobby of Troyva’s capital building as the Maverick crew and the Red Riders made their way from the entrance. There weren’t many people in the large, open room, but the few that there were gave the ragtag group strange looks. They weren’t the sort of people one normally saw in a place like this.
“I’ve got this,” Gaster said to the others as they approached the reception desk. “Just follow my lead and let me do the talking.”
Cyrus nodded in response. “You got it.”
“Uh, hello there,” Gaster said, walking up to the first available receptionist.
“How can I help you?” the woman behind the desk asked. Her Romanov accent was very apparent, but her English was quite good.
“We’re here to set up an appointment with Boris Yong,” Gaster informed the woman.
“To set up an appointment, you’ll need to speak with the Minister’s office,” the woman replied. “Typically, you must call and schedule an appointment in advance.”
“This is kind of urgent,” the former smuggler said.
The receptionist glanced up at Gaster and the rest of the group and gave them a good look over. “What, exactly, is your business with Minister Yong?” she asked suspiciously.
“We have important information for him regarding one of his former associates,” Gaster firmly stated, placing his hands on the desk. “He’s definitely going to want to hear what we have to say.”
The receptionist’s gaze lingered on the group for a few minutes before she reached for the intercom terminal next to her. She said something in Romanov into her headset, then fell silent to listen to what whoever was on the other end was saying. The conversation continued for a few moments before she turned her attention back to Gaster.
“The Minister will see you,” she said. “Please, head upstairs.”
The secretary sitting behind the desk looked up as the Maverick crew and the Red Riders entered the waiting area for Boris Yong’s office. She smiled as they approached and pleasantly greeted them, “Hello.”
“Uh, hi,” Gaster said.
Without saying anything further to the group, she activated the intercom into the office. “Your guests have arrived, Mr. Yong,” she said in English for their benefit. “Shall I send them in?”
“Da,” a calm yet commanding male voice responded. “Thank you, Natasha.”
“You may enter,” the secretary addressed the group standing in front of her desk.
Gaster nodded, then headed for the door, the others following not far behind. Inside the office, a dark-haired man wearing an expensive looking business suit, presumably Boris Yong, stood behind the desk, gazing out the massive window that served as the back wall. This far up, it afforded a great view of Zolotaya’s golden skyline glittering in the late afternoon sun.
“Hello,” the minister said, turning to face his guests. He looked to be in his early-to-mid thirties and he had a rather average build, but he held a commanding presence.
“Hi, uh … Minister Yong,” Gaster replied.
“I would offer you a seat, but it seems I do not have enough chairs,” Boris Yong said.
“That’s alright,” Cyrus said. “We can stand.”
“So you must be the ones looking into the death of my cousin,” the minister said, getting right to business.
What? Gaster thought, feeling caught off guard. It seemed that the minister was aware of their involvement, but to what degree the former smuggler was unsure. For the time being, he decided to play along and try to find out what Boris Yong knew.
“Indeed,” Gaster said. “We believe Mr. Markovic might be involved with this and we have his coordinates if you’re interested.”
“Markovic?” Boris Yong asked. “You mean that Outer Rim gangster?” Judging from his tone, he seemed genuinely surprised, but Gaster couldn’t tell if it was an act or not.
“Yes,” Gaster replied. “We believe he knew the person who killed the governor.”
“So you’re saying that gangster scum is responsible for the assassination of my dear cousin Mikhail?”
Gaster knew Markovic was involved somehow, but he couldn’t say for sure if he was the one who had orchestrated the assassination. The minister appeared to believe that was what he was suggesting, so Gaster decided to roll with that.
“He was either directly or indirectly involved,” Ace added. Gaster shot the android an annoyed look, but the minister didn’t seem to notice.
“I see,” Minister Yong said. He paused for a moment and turned to the window again. “My family is under attack,” he continued as he gazed out upon the city. “Someone has been targeting us, killing people that I care very deeply about with no remorse.”
“That’s unfortunate,” Ace said.
“It is,” the minister said, turning back to face everyone. “But it would seem the culprit has finally been revealed.” He paused again and rested his hands upon the back of his chair. “I have been looking into the circumstances surrounding the death of the Governor. I have seen security footage from the Old Harbour District from that day. I know that you were all there when he died.”
Gaster felt a chill run down his spine at the minister’s words. He cast a nervous glance at the others and they all appeared just as unnerved as he felt. This was not good.
“Do not worry,” Boris Yong said, noticing their discomfort. “I do not believe you are responsible for this heinous crime.”
Gaster breathed a heavy sigh of relief. The overwhelming feeling of dread he was experiencing began to subside.
“There are some in my family that believe the blame rests with you and the other mercenaries on the security footage, but I do not believe that to be the case.” The minister shook his head. “The footage clearly shows that you were also targeted by the assassin and my sources tell me that you have also been seeking this murderer.”
Gaster wasn’t sure how the minister knew that they’d been digging, but he did know the Yongs were quite powerful. Surely they had a strong information network. The best thing to do, the former smuggler felt, was to nod along. “That’s right,” he said.
“Perhaps it would be in all of our interest to work together to find this assassin,” Minister Yong said.
Gaster weighed the offer. The minister did not appear to be deceitful. He seemed to genuinely believe everything he was saying, however the former smuggler realized that if this man was working with Markovic then he already knew they weren’t responsible. It was impossible to tell at the moment, so the best course of action remained to continue playing along.
“You might be right,” the former smuggler told the minister.
Taraka nodded along. “I’m cool with that,” the monk said.
“Very well,” Minister Yong said. “Let us get to business then. I believe an exchange of information at this juncture will allow us to shed some light on the situation. Tell me, why do you think Markovic is involved? He’s a well known gangster, certainly, but this orchestrated targeting of my family seems far beyond his capabilities.”
“We had a run-in with him recently during our investigation, and, uh, it ended with him fleeing to another planet,” Gaster explained, intentionally keeping the details vague and altering them to fit the narrative that had been established.
“I see. And you said you have the coordinates of this planet?”
Gaster nodded and pulled out his Pokedex. “Indeed,” the former smuggler said, bringing the coordinates of the planet where they had dumped Markovic up on the screen to show the minister.
“We can’t say for sure if he’s still there, but we know that’s where he went,” Ace added.
“Well it sounds like we need to track him down and find out why he’s after my family,” Minister Yong said. “We also need to find out who he’s working with. As I said, I have been looking into the circumstances surrounding the assassination of the governor. Over the course of my investigation, I have linked the assassin to a string of murders of members of the Yong Family and our political allies. This clear systematic targeting of my family is far beyond just one gangster and a lone assassin. There must be someone far more powerful involved and we need to—”
“What is that?” Ace suddenly interrupted, pointing to the window behind the minister.
Looking past the minister, Gaster saw a figure silhouetted by the setting sun flying at the building. It was headed right for the window. Before the former smuggler could even process what he was seeing, all hell broke loose.
“Look out!” Ace shouted. The android dove at Boris Yong as the window shattered.
Through the spray of glass shards, a powerful blast of psychic energy meant for the minister struck Ace in the back as he tackled the man to the ground. At that moment, Gaster heard a familiar screech reverberating in his mind. It sounded terrifying and inhuman.
As the psychic-powered assassin came in for a landing where the window had once stood, Gaster released his Krookodile and then raised his tesla coil rifle. Without hesitation, the former smuggler lined up a shot and squeezed the trigger. An arc of electricity crackled across the room, but as it reached the assassin, she blinked out of existence. The bolt harmlessly shot out the broken window while the assassin reappeared on top of a small table in the back right corner of the room.
Suddenly, the air was full of gunfire as Cyrus, Floyd, and Lars joined Gaster in opening fire on the assassin. She didn’t seem particularly bothered by the ballistic projectiles flying at her, however. She simply deflected them away from her like they were nothing.
“Taraka, give us some protection!” Cyrus shouted as he continued to unload his pistol at the psychic-powered killer.
“You got it, Captain!” the monk responded. He moved to the back of the room and then threw up a psionic barrier to guard everyone against the assassin.
Meanwhile, Ace helped Minister Yong to his feet, making sure to keep himself between him and the assassin. “Stay behind me, Minister,” the android said as he released his Dusknoir. “We’ll keep you safe.”
“I will not just stand idly by,” the minister said, pulling out a Pokeball of his own. He pressed the button on the metal sphere, releasing a vibrant green and blue Serperior between the Dusknoir and the assassin. “Khitrosta, Leaf Storm,” he sternly commanded the Regal Pokemon. The serpent proceeded to whip up a swirling storm of sharp leaves around the assassin, but it didn’t appear to do much.
“Cyclops, Curse!” Ace followed up with a command to his own Pokemon. The android’s Dusknoir summoned forth ghostly energy at the assassin, but she simply lifted a hand and redirected the energy back at the Gripper Pokemon.
Though it was unfortunate that the Dusknoir had, in effect, inflicted a curse upon herself, Gaster saw an opportunity and took it. “Jimothy, use Sand Attack!” the former smuggler commanded his Krookodile. The Intimidation Pokemon swiftly moved up to the assassin while her attention was focused on Ace’s Pokemon, then blasted her in the face with sand. Through the cloud of sand, Gaster lined up a shot and fired, this time landing a hit.
The assassin let out another mind-piercing shriek and began firing off bursts of psionic energy in several directions. Jimothy narrowly managed to jump out of the way as the psychic-powered killer blasted the sand away from her.
As the Krookodile backed off, Taraka sent out his Togekiss next to him. “Sirius, use Dazzling Gleam!” the monk commanded the Jubilee Pokemon as she emerged.
A brilliant light erupted out from the Togekiss, but the assassin shielded herself from the attack like it was nothing. However, while she was in a defensive position, everyone else commanded their Pokemon to attack.
“Cyclops, Night Shade!”
“Khitrosta, Draco Meteor.”
“Jimothy, use Crunch!”
The assassin managed to deflect the Dusknoir’s attack, but the Serperior and the Krookodile managed to land theirs. This seemed to draw her wrath. She unleashed another blast of psychic energy, throwing Gaster’s Krookodile away from her. With the Intimidation Pokemon out of her way, she set her sights on the minister’s Serperior next. Before she could get her next attack off, though, Taraka’s Togekiss zapped her with Thunder Wave, temporarily stunning her.
With the electricity keeping the assassin immobilized, Ace took the time to release his Aegislash while the minister moved to the opposite wall from his would-be murderer. The two then commanded their Pokemon to attack.
The assassin was set aflame by the onslaught, but she managed to fight through the immobilizing electricity and quench the flames with her psychic power. She then materialized a psionic shield around her before her body spasmed again.
“Jimothy, use Sand Tomb!” Gaster then ordered his Krookodile. The Intimidation Pokemon conjured up a spinning vortex of sand around the assassin, but it was unable to pierce through the shield.
“We need to take that shield down fast!” the former smuggler shouted. He lined up a shot with his rifle and let loose an arc of electricity that began to disrupt the shield. Once Cyrus and the Red Riders joined in, the entire shield began to flicker. A final blast of psionic energy from Taraka destroyed it completely.
Once the shield dropped, Taraka commanded his Togekiss to attack, “Sirius, use Swift!”
As the monk’s Pokemon unleashed a storm of stars on the assassin, Ace charged forward with his Aegislash raised to strike. However, before the android could reach her, she let out another shriek and erupted in an explosion of psychic energy that sent shockwaves out in all directions. Sparks and items from the nearby shelves flew in all directions and Ace was thrown backwards across the room.
“Cyclops, Night Shade!” Ace commanded his Dusknoir as he got back to his feet.
The android’s ghostly Pokemon fired off a blast of spectral energy at the assassin, only for her to deflect it away. However, she wasn’t quick enough to avoid a follow-up Energy Ball attack from Minister Yong’s Serperior. Turning to face the Regal Pokemon, the assassin blasted it with her psychic power. As she did so, Ace rushed in to strike, but the armored psychic simply teleported in place, allowing the blade of the android’s Aegislash to harmlessly pass through the space she was occupying. Shifting her focus to Ace, she raised her hand and lifted him off the ground. Ace tried to swing his Aegislash at her again as he floated up into the air, but she teleported away, reappearing between the Serperior and the minister.
“Don’t let her get to the minister!” Gaster shouted. He, along with Cyrus and the Red Red Riders, opened fire on the assassin, but she managed to deflect most of the shots away.
Meanwhile, Ace continued to struggle against the psychic force holding him in the air. After a few moments he gave up and threw his Aegislash at the assassin. “Sentinel, stop her!” he commanded the Royal Sword Pokemon as she flew through the air. The Aegislash landed a direct hit with her attack, but the assassin didn’t seem to care.
Ignoring the gunfire and the Aegislash, the assassin slowly advanced toward Minister Yong. Staring his would-be assassin down, the minister commanded his Pokemon to attack her, “Khitrosta, Leech Seed.” Without even turning around, the assassin aimed one of her hands behind her and stopped the incoming seeds midair. As they dropped harmlessly to the ground, she fired off a blast of psychic energy at the Regal Pokemon.
Knowing he had to do something, Gaster moved as fast as he could to position himself between the minister and the advancing assassin. “Jimothy, use Crunch!” the former smuggler commanded his Krookodile as he stepped into the assassin’s path. While his Pokemon came up from behind, Gaster pointed his rifle at the assassin and fired.
Seeming to reevaluate her plan of attack, the assassin halted her advance and took evasive measures as the Maverick crew and the Red Riders kept up the pressure. Though she was shrugging off the relentless onslaught of Pokemon attacks and gunfire, she had at least been put on the defensive. After firing a blast of psychic energy at Jimothy, which the Krookodile narrowly managed to dodge, she jumped up onto Minister Yong’s desk.
“Sentinel, Swords Dance!” Ace commanded his Aegislash as he floated helplessly in the air away from the action. While the Royal Sword Pokemon began building up power, the android recalled his Dusknoir. The Curse that the assassin had reflected back upon the Gripper Pokemon had taken its toll and she was on her last legs.
This is bad, Gaster thought as he fired off another electrical arc at the psychic monstrosity. He knew that if things didn’t change soon, they would all be on their last legs too.
Suddenly, another animalistic shriek tore through the former smuggler’s mind as the Serperior landed a direct hit with an Energy Ball attack. Fighting through the pain, Gaster kept his focus on his enemy and watched as she brought the Regal Pokemon down with a powerful psychic blast. It writhed in pain on the floor until it finally fell into unconsciousness.
“Jimothy, use Sand Tomb!” Gaster managed to command his Krookodile as the pain began to subside.
The former smuggler’s Pokemon stirred up another sand vortex around the assassin, but she began to float up above it. Small objects in the room began to levitate as she surged with psychic energy. The assassin raised her hands into the air and, as she did so, the unconscious Serperior lifted off the floor. Then, with a pull of her hands, she launched the helpless Regal Pokemon at the shattered window.
Gaster instinctively hit the deck as the Serperior came soaring at him. As he turned to watch, he saw the large serpent slam into his Krookodile. “Jimothy!” the former smuggler shouted as he watched his Pokemon get knocked toward the edge. The Krookodile cut long gouges across the floor as he dug his claws in to catch himself. Gaster breathed a sigh of relief as his Pokemon ground to a halt. Jimothy was dangling over the ledge, but he had managed to stop himself.
The Serprior was not so lucky. “No!” Minister Yong cried out as his Pokemon plummeted to the street many stories below.
“Sirius, use Swift!” Taraka bellowed at his Togekiss in an uncharacteristically angry tone. It was clear that he was not happy with the senseless killing of a defeated Pokemon. Reflecting the anger in her trainer’s voice, Sirius unleashed a powerful barrage of energy stars upon the assassin. Combined with the sustained stream of gunfire from Cyrus, Floyd, and Lars, this assault finally seemed to be wearing the assassin down.
“Don’t let up!” Ace shouted from the other side of the room where he continued to float. “Sentinel, Iron Head!” The android’s Aegislash flew point-first at the psychic-powered murder machine and pierced through her armor to land a devastating blow.
As the assassin stumbled backwards from the hit, Gaster managed to scramble to his feet. After confirming that his Krookodile was safely climbing back inside the office, the former smuggler aimed his rifle at the assassin.
Before Gaster could get a shot off, the inhuman killing machine let out another telepathic wail as she ripped the Aegislash piercing her chest out of her with the sheer power of her mind. The Royal Sword Pokemon then flew at Cyrus and the Red Riders and began attacking them. After a moment of confusion, Gaster realized the assassin had telepathically taken control of Ace’s Pokemon just as she had done with Axel’s Vanillish the last time they fought her.
While the others were forced to deal with the mind-controlled Aegislash, Gaster kept his focus on the assassin. He fired off another arc of electricity at her and was repaid with a blast of psychic energy that sent him flying backwards into the wall next to where Minister Yong stood.
As he slumped down to the floor, Gaster saw Taraka step front of him, putting himself in the assassin’s path. The monk cut his palm as he did so, performing the ritual to place a curse upon her. He then focused his energy into his barrier in front of him, to shield himself and those behind him.
The assassin responded with a barrage of psychic blasts that bypassed the shield entirely. She flung Taraka backwards with the first, then hurled a second and third at Gaster’s Krookodile. Despite being a dark type Pokemon, even the Intimidation Pokemon was unable to withstand the assault. As Jimothy collapsed, the assassin fired off a fourth psychic blast at Taraka’s Togekiss, taking her down as well.
“Shit,” Gaster grunted as he picked himself back up. He then recalled his fainted Krookodile and sent out his Tyranitar. With a mighty roar, Hrodulf emerged from his ball, and landed on top of Boris Yong’s desk, crushing the wooden piece of furniture under his massive weight.
“Hrodulf, use Dark Pulse!” the former barked at the Armor Pokemon.
The assassin let out another piercing shriek as the Tyranitar blasted her with a beam of dark energy. Another psychic explosion came with it. Everyone and everything near her was thrown backwards as she unleashed her incredible psionic power. Then, she blinked away.
With a loud thud, Ace dropped from the air onto the small table he was floating over. The entire thing was smashed from the impact and android, table, and all collapsed to the floor.
“Is it over?” Cyrus asked as he helped Ace to his feet.
“So it seems,” the android replied, glancing over at his Aegislash, which appeared to be back to normal.
“Are you alright, Minister?” Gaster asked, glancing over at the assassin’s intended victim. The minister stood near the edge of the floor, looking down to the street with a mournful expression on his face.
“I am fine now, thanks to you,” the minister said, turning from the broken window. “If you all hadn’t been here, I surely would have been killed.
“Well, you know, all in a day’s work,” Ace said. “And what else were we gonna do? We don’t like her either. I am sorry we couldn’t save your Pokemon, though.”
“Indeed,” Taraka said, his tone sorrowful. “There was no need for such cruelty.”
“So now what?” Lars asked.
“Well, we can cross you off the list,” Gaster mumbled, glancing back to the minister again. “It looks like Markovic wasn’t being entirely truthful.”
“What do you mean he wasn’t truthful?” Minister Yong inquired.
Oops, Gaster thought, realizing his mistake. “Don’t worry about it,” the former smuggler told the minister, trying his best to sound intimidating.”It’s not important to you.”
“Oh really?” the minister sternly replied. He did not seem impressed. “Considering this assassin is after me and my family, if there’s something you’re not telling me, it would be in your best interest to reconsider.”
“I can tell you that Markovic may or may not have some answers for you,” Gaster said. “That’s no different from what we told you before.”
“At this point, we might as well tell him the whole truth,” Ace said.
Gaster let out a sigh as he thought it over. “I guess you’re right,” he told the android after a few moments had passed. “We weren’t sure we could trust you at first,” the former smuggler then said, turning back to the minister. “We had words with Markovic and he believed that you were behind the assassinations. At least that’s what he told us. Apparently he was misinformed.”
“Or he was lying,” Minister Yong suggested.
Gaster nodded. “Indeed. That is a possibility.”
“If his goal is to destroy my family, surely his intention was to deceive you into thinking I was behind these assassinations in order to smear my name and tear the Family apart.”
“That makes sense,” Ace agreed.
“But that was foolish of him,” the minister continued. “Family is the most important thing to a Romanov, and for a Yong there is no greater crime than betraying the Family. It is insulting to suggest that I would be behind attacks on my own flesh and blood.”
“Well, if you’re not behind all this, it seems that we need to go pay Markovic another visit,” Lars said.
“I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t kill him then,” Gaster said.
“Yeah,” Cyrus agreed. “He’s got a lot more to answer for now.”
“If you are going after Markovic, I would like to send a man with you on behalf of the Yong Family,” Minister Yong said. “If he is indeed behind these attacks on my family, we would very much like to know who he is working with.”
“That can be arranged,” Cyrus said. “Our ship is docked at the Zolotaya Spaceport, the UAS Maverick.”
“Very well,” the minister said. “I will pass that information along. In the meantime, allow me to give you my personal line so you can reach me directly if you need to.”
Gaster nodded. “Thank you, Minister Yong.”
The minister smiled. “There is no need to thank me,” he said. “I am the one who should be thanking you. And, please, call me Boris. The men who saved my life have certainly earned that privilege.”
Notes: Well that was exciting. This chapter covers the rest of session 55 not covered in the previous chapter, which is most of it. And so now Boris Yong has been introduced. The meeting getting interrupted was something I planned ahead of time and it made for such a great moment. Even though the expected the possibility of a rematch with a certain psychic assassin, the reaction I got from the players when she made her entrance was still great. It was a tough fight and this time they were in much tighter quarters and didn’t have as many extra combatants fighting her. Speaking of combatants, I forgot to give Cyrus and the Red Riders turns in the initiative order for a few rounds. On the trade-off, I also forgot about her ability to mind control Pokemon for most of the battle. Clarissa kept expecting me to use it on Boris’s powerful grass/dragon Serperior, but nope, I forgot. I ended up throwing that thing out the window instead! Good times. They made it through, though. Toward the end of the fight they were really putting the hurt on her. She was taking like 40% of her max hit points a round from status afflictions at the end. There was no choice but to run away. And now it seems Markovic has tricked the party. They were really hoping he was still where they left him, but this was a long session and it was late so this is where we ended for the evening. In terms of writing, I really didn’t have to change much. It was mostly just altering some combat details to make things flow better and make the fight more exciting. I did touch up some of the dialogue, but that was it really. This time the chapter mostly wrote itself.
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!