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!
“How’d your little expedition go?”
Gaster frowned at Sikari as he and the others boarded the Maverick. He wasn’t in the mood for the former assassin’s typical sass. “Well we don’t have Markovic with us, so what do you think?” he asked dryly.
“So not good then.”
“It seems that someone rescued Markovic already,” Cyrus said.
“That’s too bad,” Sikari replied.
“If that’s how you feel, then how about you help us find him?” Gaster asked her. “You used to hunt people down for a living, didn’t you? What would your next step be in a situation like this?”
“Hmm, now let’s see. What would I do?” Her face formed a pensive expression as she pondered the question. “Well … he must know by now that the Yongs are after him, so he’s probably trying to lay low. With that in mind, I would start by determining who his contacts are and who amongst them he thinks he can trust.”
“That makes sense,” Gaster said. “I only worked for him for a short time, but I do know that his sons are the people he trusts the most. Tracking them down might be a good idea.”
“Unfortunately, it was a lot easier to do this sort of thing when I had access to Mr. Silver’s resources,” Sikari said. “We’ll have to do things the hard way.”
Gaster nodded. “That’s fair.”
“If only you hadn’t messed up on that job,” Taraka teased the former assassin. “I can’t believe you messed up on that job.”
“If I had succeeded, you wouldn’t be here right now to ask for my help,” Sikari retorted.
“Yeah, I know,” Taraka said.
“If you really want me to kill you that much, that can still be arranged. All you need to do is ask.”
Taraka shook his head. “I’m good, but thanks for the offer.”
“Let’s focus here, people,” Cyrus said. “Markovic’s not gonna find himself.”
“Right,” Gaster said. “I think we should see what our own contacts know.”
“That’s a good idea,” Ace said. “I bet Simon knows something. Let’s give him a call.”
“Hello again, my friends,” Simon Dolohov said as his face appeared on the comms screen. “How have you been?”
“Well we had another run-in with the psychic assassin lady,” Ace informed the Paladin. “She tried to kill Boris Yong when we went to see him.”
“You may have heard about it,” Gaster said. “It was kind of a big deal.”
“Indeed I did,” Simon replied. “It seems safe to say that Boris Yong is not behind the assassinations after all. The Yong Family appears to be blaming Nikola Markovic’s criminal organization. I just got word that they’ve put quite the bounty on his head, dead or alive.”
“It sounds like this is quickly becoming a ‘not our problem’ problem,” Taraka said.
“That bounty’s all the more reason to go after Markovic,” Cyrus told the monk. “We were already going after him, so we might as well get paid to do it.”
“At the very least we need to find out who he was actually working for so we can make sure they’re not after me,” Gaster said. “You wouldn’t happen to have any leads on Markovic, would you?” he then asked, turning back to Simon.
“I can’t say that I do at present,” the Paladin answered. “What I can tell you is that the Paladins have sanctioned me to conduct an investigation of this situation. It’s not clear to me why the Yongs are blaming Markovic, so finding him is my top priority right now. I’d like to find out what he knows before the Yongs get to him.”
“We, uh, might have had something to do with that,” Gaster informed Simon. “Markovic was the gangster I mentioned the last time we spoke. The one who told us Boris Yong hired him. When we went to see Boris, after the assassin attacked him, we shared that information with him.”
“I see,” Simon said. His expression suggested that he was deep in thought.
“Boris said that if Markovic was trying to go after the Yong family, he must have been trying to blame him in order to turn members of the Family against each other,” Ace chimed in.
Simon nodded. “That makes sense,” he said. “That’s certainly more likely than a Yong targeting the Family.”
“It’s just too bad that we didn’t know that when we were holding Markovic prisoner,” Gaster said. “We dumped him on an uninhabited planet as revenge for him stranding me on one and then placing a bounty on my head once he found out I was still alive. Unfortunately, when we went back to find him after speaking with Boris, we found out that someone rescued him already.”
“That’s … unfortunate,” Simon said.
“Tell me about it,” Gaster said.
“Well, if you’re still planning to go after him, I have a proposition for you,” the Paladin said.
“We’re listening,” Cyrus replied.
“If you do end up capturing him again, I would like the opportunity to interrogate him before you kill him or turn him over to the Yongs. The Paladins don’t really care about the money in this case, so the bounty will still be yours to claim afterwards. Likewise, if we find him first, the bounty’s all yours when we’re done with him.”
“I don’t have a problem with that,” Gaster said. “What do you think, Captain?”
“It’s fine with me,” Cyrus said. “You’ve got yourself a deal, Simon. Now we just need to find him.”
“Thank you kindly, friends,” Simon replied. “Let me know if you find him. I’ll be in touch.”
“Will do,” Gaster said. “Talk to you soon, hopefully.”
Once the screen went dark, the members of the Maverick’s crew turned to look at each other. “That didn’t really get us anywhere,” Gaster said. “It’s nice to have the Paladins on our side, but we’re still not really any closer to finding Markovic.”
“Don’t worry,” Cyrus told the former smuggler. “Like you said, we have contacts we can reach out to. I know just the man to help us find him.”
“Cyrus Drake! It’s been too long!”
“How are ya, pal?” Cyrus asked his old friend Gordon Garth, whose face was displayed on the comms screen. “You remember Gaster and Taraka, and this here is Ace.”
“Howdy,” Gordon said, nodding at the members of the captain’s crew. “What can I do fer ya?”
“Have you seen any Markovics lately?” Taraka asked.
“Ha ha,” Gordon laughed. “No, I can’t say I have, but I hear the Yongs put a big ol’ bounty on that bastard’s head. Why, you lookin’ to collect it?”
“We might be,” Cyrus said. “And we were wondering if you might be interested in working together.”
“Well I wasn’t plannin’ on chasin’ that bounty, but I don’t mind lendin’ a hand … that is if you folks don’t mind sharin’ a cut of the bounty.”
“That would be highly appreciated,” Taraka said.
“Of course you’ll get a cut,” Cyrus added. “The Yongs are offering a hefty sum of credits so there’ll be enough to go around.”
“Alright, you’ve got yerselves a deal,” Gordon said. “It’s gonna take me a few days to get to ya, though.”
“That’s not a problem,” Ace said. “Do you have any suggestions about where we should start in the meantime?”
“I might,” the bounty hunter said. “Whatcha got so far?”
“Well we know he got picked up from the planet Orvoth no more than a few days ago,” Gaster informed him. “And that he’s probably trying to lay low.”
“Hmm. Given the short time frame, he probably hasn’t even left the sector yet,” Gordon said.
“So we need to go to the closest livable place since he immediately got out of this unlivable place,” Taraka said.
“Then we’ll just have an entire planet to scour,” Gaster said.
“Any noted crime dens in the area?” Taraka asked. “We could check those out first.”
“He’d probably try to avoid those,” Gordon replied. “I know I would if I was trying to avoid bounty hunters and Yong agents.”
“Fair,” Taraka said.
“Let’s just try the nearest inhabited planet,” Ace said.
“That would be Tanov,” Cyrus said, pulling up the navchart. “It’s a marshy planet mostly used as a refueling stop by the looks of it, but I’m sure there are some great places to hide out.”
“That settles it then,” Gordon said. “I’ll see ya’ll on Tanov in a few days.”
Cyrus nodded. “See ya then, Gordon.”
Gaster scanned the room as he entered the bar just outside Tanov’s sole spaceport with Ace, Cyrus, and Taraka. He didn’t expect to see Markovic or any of his men, but the former smuggler always felt it was good practice to get the lay of the land. The bar was full of the typical crowd of space travelers found on the Rim.
“Do we just look for anyone that looks suspicious?” Taraka asked.
“This is the Outer Rim, Taraka,” Cyrus replied. “Everyone looks suspicious.”
“He’s not wrong,” Gaster said. “Let’s just see what we can find out at the bar.”
Gaster began walking toward the bar and flagged the bartender as he approached. “Some drinks for my friends and I, please.”
“What can I get ya?” the man behind the bar asked.
“Whatever you’ve got is fine,” Gaster answered.
“Comin’ right up.”
“So have you heard about the bounty on Markovic?” Gaster asked as the bartender began pouring their drinks.
“Course I have,” the man replied. “It’s all the people comin’ through here are talkin’ about.”
“Yeah, I got the flyer, but it wasn’t so clear,” Gaster said, hoping to pry for more information. “Which Markovic was it? Was it the big one? I thought he disappeared a little while back.”
“Wouldn’t you want to disappear if there was a giant bounty on your head?” the bartender asked.
“No, he disappeared before the bounty,” Gaster said. “At least that’s what I heard.”
The bartender shrugged, then slid the drinks over. “Well maybe he knew there was a bounty comin’. He obviously had to have done somethin’ to piss the Yongs off.”
“Fair enough. In any case, any idea where his sons have gone? Did they disappear too?”
“Listen, bud, I’m not really the one you should be askin’ this stuff. All I heard is that once word of Markovic’s disappearance started goin’ around, some of his rivals got brave and decided to start a turf war. His sons and lieutenants are dealing with that problem right now. That’s all I know.”
“Well that’s better than nothing,” Gaster said. “So thanks for the info.”
“Sure,” the bartender said. “Good luck if you’re goin’ after that bounty. You’re gonna have a lot of competition from what I’ve heard.”
“What’s our plan now?” Taraka asked as he and his crewmates exited the bar. They hadn’t learned much from talking to the people in the establishment and Taraka was unsure of what their next move should be.
“That’s not really much else we can do for now,” Cyrus answered the monk’s question. “We can coordinate a strategy with Gordon once he gets here, but for the time being, all we can really do is wait. He should be here within a day or two.”
“In that case, anyone up for going out into the marsh to look for Pokemon?” Taraka asked.
“Sure,” Ace said.
“I wouldn’t be opposed to that,” Gaster said.
“You three can if you like,” Cyrus said. “I’ve got some things to take care of back on the Maverick.”
“We’ll see you later then, Captain,” Taraka said.
Cyrus nodded back at the group, then headed on his way, leaving the three members of his crew to their exploration. Once he was gone, the trio went on their way as well, making for the edge of town.
After a short walk, the three of them arrived at the outskirts of the settlement. As they started to head off into the marshlands, they passed by another trio of space travelers headed into town.
“You three headed into the marsh?” one of the group asked the members of Maverick’s crew as they approached.
“Yup,” Taraka answered. “We’re going to look for some Pokemon to catch.”
“So you’re trainers then?” the man asked.
“You could say that,” Gaster replied.
“Well, in that case, do you wanna have a battle? We’re pretty good trainers ourselves.”
“Sounds like fun,” Ace said.
Taraka nodded. “Indeed. Let us battle then.”
“Great,” the stranger said. “How does three-on-three sound? And whaddya say we make this interesting? Winner gets … let’s say fifteen-hundred credits each?”
“That works for us,” Gaster said.
“Let’s do this then.”
With that, the two groups moved several paces apart to make room for a fight, then released their Pokemon. Taraka sent out his Togekiss, while Ace and Gaster went with Graveler and Milotic, respectively. Their opponents, meanwhile, sent out a Chandelure, a Cloyster, and a Heliolisk.
“Voltmander, whip up a Razor Wind!” the Heliolisk’s trainer ordered his Pokemon to start things off.
“Sirius, hit that Heliolisk with Swift!” Taraka then commanded his own Pokemon as the Generator Pokemon began stirring up a whirlwind around itself. The monk’s Togekiss flew in a bit closer, then unleashed a barrage of energy stars upon the Heliolisk, landing a few good hits.
“Bivalve, deal with that Togekiss!” the Cloyster’s trainer responded. “Use Icicle Spear!” The Cloyster fired off a series of icicles at Sirius, but fortunately, she was able to avoid most of them, only taking two hits from the icy projectiles.
Meanwhile, the apparent leader of the group commanded his Chandelure to turn the weather to his team’s advantage, “Girandole, use Sunny Day!”
As the sunlight began to intensify, Ace ordered his Graveler to attack, “Crag, hit that Chandelure with Smack Down!” The android’s Graveler picked up a nearby rock, then threw it up into the air for it to fall on the Chandelure, but the ghostly chandelier floated gracefully out of harm’s way. However, it wasn’t fast enough to avoid the follow-up Water Pulse from Gaster’s Milotic, which struck directly and left the Luring Pokemon in a confused daze.
It was at this moment that the Heliolisk unleashed its Razor Wind attack. The energy of the Generator Pokemon’s whirlwind shot out in three bursts, striking each of the Maverick crew’s Pokemon. Crag resisted the attack, but it landed powerful hits against Francisca and Sirius.
“Sirius, use Dazzling Gleam on that Heliolisk!” Taraka commanded in response. The monk’s Togekiss flew in close and blasted the Heliolisk with blinding light as her trainer issued a second command. “Now, strike again with Fairy Wind!”
In response to this barrage of attacks, the other two trainers ordered their Pokemon to focus on Sirius. Unfortunately for them, the Togekiss managed to dodge all of the Cloyster’s Spike Cannon shots, and the Chandelure was too dazed to attack at all.
Taking advantage of the situation, Ace ordered his Graveler to move in and attack the two Pokemon, “Crag, Magnitude!” Jumping forward, the Rock Pokemon slammed down between the Cloyster and the Heliolisk, sending out a shockwave along the ground at the two Pokemon. The powerful attack took the Heliolisk down, but the Cloyster seemed almost unharmed thanks to its armored shell.
“Francisca, use Hydro Pump on that Chandelure!” Gaster then commanded his Milotic. With a powerful jet of water, the Tender Pokemon brought the Chandelure down, bringing the score to two-to-zero.
Now it was all eyes on the Cloyster. Taraka commanded his Togekiss to strike the Bivalve Pokemon with another Swift attack, and its trainer responded in kind with an order to fire back with Icicle Spear. Acting quickly, Gaster ordered his Milotic to intercept. Four icy projectiles struck Francisca’s scales, but they didn’t do much to her, which would not have been the case for Sirius.
“Alright, Crag, finish this!” Ace shouted. “Use Self-Destruct!” The android’s Graveler moved into position, far enough from the two allied Pokemon on the field, but still in range of the Cloyster, then he began priming to explode!
“Bivalve, Withdraw into your shell!” the Cloyster’s trainer instructed his Pokemon as Crag detonated. The Bivalve Pokemon clamped its shell shut to protect itself, but even its armor couldn’t withstand the blast and it was left unconscious.
And with that, the battle was won.
“You’re pretty strong,” the leader of the group said as he walked over to the three members of the Maverick’s crew.
“We’ve had a lot of practice,” Gaster told the man.
“Well it shows,” he replied. “I guess we owe you guys some credits.”
It was quiet aboard the UAS Maverick as Captain Cyrus Drake made his way down the ship’s main corridor from the cargo hold. When half of the crew wasn’t aboard, things tended to be much more peaceful. Cyrus liked his crew, but these calmer moments were nice to have sometimes, especially with all the trouble they seemed to get themselves into.
As he reached the end of the corridor, approaching the Maverick’s living quarters, Cyrus peered into the open door to Gaster’s quarters. Gavril Yong, who had been using Gaster’s extra bunk during his stay on the ship, was in the room and appeared to be packing up what little he had brought with him.
“Leaving so soon?” the captain asked, stopping in the doorway. “We haven’t found Markovic yet.”
“Da,” Gavril replied, turning to face him. “The Family has put bounty on Markovic. I can go home now.”
“I see,” Cyrus said, stroking his facial scruff. “Well, sorry you had to come all the way out here to the Rim for nothing.”
“I go where the Family asks,” Gavril told the captain. “It is no problem for me. I have transport back to Troyva already.”
“Well, safe travels then,” Cyrus said, offering a handshake, which the young Romanov man accepted. “Take care of yourself, Gavril.”
“Da. Thank you captain.”
The midday sun shone brightly as Gaster and his two Maverick crewmates made their way out of the spaceport settlement built on the edge of the Tanov’s vast marshlands. Looking into the distance, Gaster could see the light shimmering across the water. There was no sign of any wild Pokemon yet, however. The former smuggler figured they would need to venture a bit further into the marsh to find any.
As they moved deeper into the wetlands, sloshing through mud and puddles, they didn’t come across any Pokemon until the spaceport was almost entirely out of sight. Eventually, however, they came across a small pool of deeper water in which a lone Poliwag was swimming around. Gaster also took notice of a group of three Yanmas flying about overhead and pointed them out to his companions.
“Looks like we’ve got a couple options,” the former smuggler said.
“Indeed,” Taraka agreed. “I would like to capture that Poliwag,” the monk continued, looking at the Tadpole Pokemon swimming in the pool.
“Alright,” Gaster replied. “Any interest in those Yanmas?”
“Perhaps,” Taraka said.
“I’ll catch one if the opportunity presents itself,” Ace said. “But I’d be okay if I didn’t catch one.”
“Let’s do this then,” Gaster said, sending out his recently acquired Larvesta. His two crewmates followed suit, sending out Delphox and Togekiss.
“Alright, Blaze, hit one of those Yanmas with Flamethrower!” Ace commanded his Delphox to start things off. The Fox Pokemon fired off a jet of flame at one of the Yanmas, almost taking it down instantly.
In response, the three Yanmas swarmed around Blaze and blasted him with a barrage of Sonic Boom attacks. Alone, each attack did little to harm the Delphox, but the sheer number of them was enough cause for concern.
“Alciel, get in there and lend a hand!” Gaster commanded his Larvesta before turning to help Taraka with the Poliwag. The former smuggler lined up a shot on the Tadpole Pokemon with his tesla coil rifle, then fired, doing a real number on it.
Gaster then turned to Taraka and gave him a thumbs up. “It should be easy to catch now.”
“Thank you,” Taraka replied.
As Gaster shifted his focus back to the Yanmas, he was just in time to witness Ace capture the one that his Delphox had weakened. Meanwhile, the android’s Pokemon did a real number on a second Yanma. Seeing an opportunity, Gaster ran over and chucked a Pokeball at it, capturing it with ease. Now there was only one to worry about.
“Alciel, hit it with Flame Wheel!” Gaster commanded his Larvesta to attack. The Torch Pokemon surrounded himself in flames, then launched himself at the final Yanma, taking it down.
With that taken care of, Gaster looked back over to Taraka to see how he was doing. The monk stood at the edge of the water right next to the Poliwag, a Pokeball in hand.
“Friendship!” he yelled as he pressed the ball against the Poliwag. The Pokemon was pulled inside and it was captured instantly.
“Well that was easy,” Gaster said.
“Indeed,” Taraka agreed as he rejoined the group. “Hey, look.”
The monk pointed to Gaster’s Larvesta, drawing the former smuggler’s attention back to the Pokemon. He could see that Alciel’s normal glow was intensifying as he began the process of evolution.
“Wow, I guess you were pretty strong already,” Gaster said to his Pokemon as he grew into a Volcarona.
“And he’s even stronger now,” Taraka said. “That will come in handy when we find Markovic.”
“Right,” Gaster said. “Anyway, let’s get back to the ship. I think I’ve had enough of this marsh.”
Gaster let out a relaxed sigh as he leaned back in his bunk. A nice shower after wading through the marshes of Tanov was just what he needed. And now that his temporary roommate had departed, he had the room all to himself to enjoy some peace and quiet.
However, as the former smuggler closed his eyes for a quick nap, he was suddenly disturbed by a cracking sound from the other side of the room. Glancing in the direction of the sound, Gaster noticed that the egg he had recovered from the Noivern’s nest on Sadore, which was sat upon the table, was moving ever so slightly. The sound of the breaking shell intensified as a large crack formed along the egg’s surface.
Gaster sat upright as the egg continued to break. By the time he reached the table, the egg had split wide open, revealing a cute little baby Noibat with a bright yellow and blue coloration. A slight smile formed on Gaster’s face as the newborn Pokemon looked up at him.
“Hey there, little guy.”
Notes: For whatever reason, I found this to be a difficult chapter to write. I got the first few scenes done pretty fast after the previous chapter was completed, but progress just stalled for a while for the rest of it. I’m glad to finally have it down.
This chapter covers the events of session 57 aside from the first few moments of the session, which were included at the end of the previous chapter. This was another shorter session with not a whole lot of deep plot stuff happening as I needed a bit more time to prepare for upcoming stuff. It was mostly just some RP and some random battles.
The opening scene was a fun one, which I put together from a mix of some fun in-character party banter and some out-of-character conversations. After finding out Markovic had been rescued, unknown had the idea to get some advice from Sikari on possible next steps, and that led to some fun banter between her, Gaster, and Taraka.
After that, they decided to contact some of their allies after I mentioned to them via the captain that that was an option. Clarissa immediately wanted to contact Simon, and the party agreed on bringing Gordon in on the hunt after I reminded them of all the potential people that could assist them. That led to those two conversations, which were some quality RP moments. Aside from some touch ups on the details and some extra polish, there wasn’t much I had to do.
With their plans in motion, it was on to the nearest (randomly generated) planet to look for potential leads and to wait for Gordon’s arrival. They checked out the bar, but only managed to get a little bit of information. Again, there was some great RP happening and I didn’t need to change much to make it all work for the writing.
To wrap things up, the party did a random trainer battle, then went looking for Pokemon. Mostly it was to get some training done in order to evolve some Pokemon and make progress toward the next trainer level. Catching some new Pokemon helped in that regard two. I did insert a short scene with Cyrus and Gavril between those battles to break things up a bit. At the end of the session I mentioned that he left once they got to the planet, but I wanted to expand on it a little for the chapter itself. At the end, I also mentioned that Gaster’s Noibat egg finally hatched, so I gave that a little scene too to conclude the chapter.
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!