Welcome to another exciting installment of Spacemon, the tale of a Pokemon TRPG campaign! This is the second installment of a mini-series that was written concurrently with the final volume, but it has been inserted at the appropriate point in the story. You can get caught up on our previous adventures here!
Arlon calmly walked across the Erebus spaceport, looking at the various buildings that had sprung up since his last visit. This settlement had been just a small outlaw’s den when Arlon had come to this planet aboard the Dunsparce many months ago, but, since then, it had become a thriving spaceport for mercenaries, smugglers, bounty hunters, and all sorts of rogues and scum. My kind of place, the Genevan mercenary thought as he arrived at his destination: Aarn Hondo’s scrap shop.
Arlon stepped inside and took a look around, before proceeding to the back, where he spotted the smuggler speaking with his men. “Well, if it isn’t Arlon Jett,” Hondo spoke up upon seeing the man. The smuggler dismissed his men and walked up to Arlon. “Word is that you’re running the Red Suns now.”
“News travels fast, I see,” Arlon observed.
“Indeed,” Hondo replied. “Now, what can I do for you, my friend?”
“Well, mate, I need some information,” Arlon told him.
“What sort of information?”
“Do you remember the last time we met?”
“Yes, yes,” the smuggler answered. “Of course. I provided you with a warp drive for your ship, and in exchange you delivered a package for me.”
“Yes, and I wish we hadn’t,” Arlon muttered. “Look, mate, I need to know where that package came from.”
“And what’s in it for me if I tell you?” Hondo asked, a hint of greed in his voice.
“I’m not in the mood to play these games, mate,” Arlon said dryly. “I’ll pay you a thousand credits.”
“Make it fifteen-hundred.”
“Done,” Arlon responded quickly. He pulled out his Pokedex and forwarded the funds to the smuggler.
“Thank you, my friend,” Hondo told him. “Now, I’m afraid I don’t know where that package came from specifically. I was contacted by a middle-man.”
“I need anything you’ve got. Did this middle-man give you any information?”
“Not really,” Hondo explained. “All he said was that his employer needed the package delivered to the Alexi System, and not to open it under any circumstances.”
“Damn, that’s what I was afraid of,” Arlon responded. “That sounds like Mr. Silver alright.”
“Mr. Silver?” Hondo asked. “I’ve heard that name before.”
“I’m sure, mate,” Arlon told him. “The man’s got his hand in everything, it seems. But if you know anything else about him, I would be grateful.”
“Not much, I’m afraid,” Hondo explained. “It’s a name that came up during another job I’m working on.”
“Really?” Arlon asked. “What is this job?”
“I really shouldn’t…”
“I’ll pay you another fifteen-hundred,” Arlon told him.
“You’ve got yourself a deal.” Hondo responded, rubbing his hands together.
“Alright then, mate, give me the details.”
“I met a Sinai monk out in the Outer Rim,” Hondo started to explain. “He enlisted my aid in tracking down some sort of mystical artifact. It’s supposedly very valuable. The name Mr. Silver came up during the job, and the old man went off to investigate. The job’s on hold until he returns.”
“I see,” Arlon responded. “This monk, I don’t suppose he goes by the name Gilgamesh?”
“He does, in fact,” Hondo told the mercenary. “Why do you ask?”
“Some friends of mine are looking for him,” Arlon explained. “The crew I was running with the last time I was here. They want his guidance or something like that.”
“I see,” Hondo replied. “I’m afraid I don’t know exactly where he is at the moment. The last he checked in, he was heading to the planet Vandia in Sinai space.”
“Thanks, mate,” Arlon told him. “I’ll pass that information along. But, in case you hear from him again, I’ll leave their contact information with you.” The Genevan mercenary pulled out his Pokedex and transmitted the Helix’s contact information to Hondo. “They’re on a new ship now: the UAS Helix.”
“Yes, yes,” the smuggler replied. “I’ll be sure to do that.”
“Alright, thanks again for your help, mate.”
“A pleasure, as always, my friend.”
“Federation Marine Corps,” Luke said, pointing to a tattoo on his left bicep depicting the Salamence skull imagery often associated with Federation soldiers. “Twelfth Division.”
“Hah,” Petra responded with a laugh. “You don’t strike me as the type.”
The pair were leaning against a few stacks of crates near the Corsair in the Erebus spaceport, talking while the men loaded supplies into the cargo hold. While Arlon was out seeing to his business in town, he had left his lieutenants in charge of restocking.
“I thought it would be more interesting,” Luke explained. The Alliance merc crossed his arms again. “I signed on when I was young, and looking for excitement. I was stationed on the FNS Katana, and most of the time the job was just stand around all day, conduct searches of ships coming through warp gates, and maybe, just maybe, we got to skirmish with some pirates.”
“Sounds about right.”
“Yeah.” Luke laughed. “Soon as my tour was done, I got out of there. After that I joined one of those Alliance paramilitary groups.”
“Ah, only in the Alliance does a corporation need a private army.”
“Yeah… that shit can be pretty shady sometimes. At least I was in a good company.” The merc pointed to a stylized Drapion logo tattooed on his other bicep. “OmniGuard Industries’ 23rd ‘Drapion’ Company. The commander, Rodriguez, was a pretty chill guy. Everyone liked him.”
“Why’d you leave?” Petra asked.
“The money was good, but I was sick of being loaned out to shady organizations and that kind of shit.” Luke sighed. “At least as a merc I can choose who to work for. And of course that brings us here,” he continued. This time he pointed to the Red Suns’ logo tattooed just below the Drapion. “So, what’s your story?” he asked, eyeing the spiraling Gyarados and Milotic tattoos inked on the Romanov woman’s right and left forearms, respectively.
“What, these?” Petra asked, looking down at her arms. “I’ve always thought they were majestic creatures. These tats don’t really symbolize anything like yours.”
“I see,” Luke responded.
“Time to get moving!” Arlon’s voice suddenly interrupted. The pair turned to see their boss approaching. “Hurry it up! We’ve got places to be!”
“Guess we’d best stop standing around,” Petra said with a laugh, before following Arlon onto the ship.
“You heard the man, get a move on!” Luke shouted to the men, then followed suit.
“Get what you needed?” Petra asked the Red Suns’ leader as the trio walked through the corridors of the Corsair toward the bridge.
“I suppose,” Arlon told her. “It wasn’t much, but I think we can safely say the Genesect came from Mr. Silver.”
“We already knew that though,” Luke chimed in.
“Yeah, but at least we’re certain now. The good news is that I got a lead on Gilgamesh.”
“That’s unexpected,” Petra comments. “How’d that work out?”
“Turns out Hondo’s working some kind of job with him,” Arlon explained. “Apparently the monk’s looking for some kind of artifact. It might be worth looking into. But, for now, at least I can let the Helix know where he’s headed.”
“Arlon, Mr. Silver contacted us for another job,” Rena announced as they arrived on the bridge.
“Really now?” Arlon asked. “What’s that bastard want us to do this time?”
“Why don’t you ‘ave a look?” Rena asked him as she brought the details up on the viewscreen.
The image of a blond-haired Alliance scientist caught Arlon’s eye right away. Something about him seemed… familiar, but he couldn’t quite place it. “Dr. Louis Armstrong, huh?” Arlon asked no one in particular. “I wonder what Mr. Silver wants with this bloke.”
“All it says is ‘e wants us to capture ‘im, or kill ‘im if we can’t,” Rena replied.
“Well, I can bloody see that. We need to find out why. Rena, tell Matthias to find out everything there is to know about this Armstrong guy,” Arlon instructed his lieutenant.
“Got it,” Rena responded. She walked off the bridge and set out to look for the Red Suns’ ace hacker.
“As for the rest of you,” Arlon said, eyeing the rest of the Red Suns on the bridge. “See if you can’t find where this guy is.” The Genevan mercenary settled into the pilot’s seat and fired up the engines. “Right then, let’s get out of here.”
Arlon sighed as he looked over the data his men had been gathering the past few days. This Armstrong fellow was proving very hard to track down. So far all they had been able to find out was that the man had been a leader in the field of theoretical biology, and that Mr. Silver had put the word out to all his agents to find him.
“What’s so bloody important about this guy?” Arlon grumbled to himself. “And more importantly, where the hell is he? He’s completely off the grid.” This fact was the most unsettling to the Red Suns’ leader. He knew that he had to get to him first. Armstrong had to have tons of information Mr. Silver wanted to keep locked away, and if any of his other agents got there first, that information would be lost to Arlon forever.
“I’m gonna need help on this one,” Arlon determined as he looked over the data again. He resolved to ask the Helix for help once the Corsair dropped out of warp space. It was way past time he talked with them anyway; the Genevan merc had been so engrossed in finding Armstrong that he still had yet to contact his old crew about Gilgamesh.
As if on cue, the Corsair dropped out of warp space near the Sector 27 warp gate. Before making the jump back to the Red Suns’ base on Banton, Arlon sent the call out. He only had to wait a few moments before Morgan’s face appeared on the viewscreen.
“Hello, luv,” Arlon greeted her cheerfully.
“Oh, hello, Arlon,” the young woman replied. “What do you need?”
“I have the information you requested,” Arlon informed her.
“So you found Gilgamesh, then?” Morgan asked.
“Well, not exactly,” Arlon told her. “But I have it on good authority that Gilgamesh was last headed for the planet Vandia in Sector 13. Sinai Space.”
“I see,” Morgan responded. She glanced over her shoulder, briefly before turning back to Arlon. “Well, uh, thank you. Was there anything else you needed?”
“You alright?” Arlon asked her. “You seem a bit… agitated.”
“I’m not agitated,” Morgan quickly replied. “Why would I be agitated?’
Arlon sighed. He decided it was better not to press the issue. “There was one other thing,” Arlon said after a few moments of silence. “There’s this Alliance scientist, Dr. Louis Armstrong. Mr. Silver is looking for him, and I need to find him first. I’ll send you the details, but I’m afraid he’s proving hard to track down.” He took a moment to transfer the data before continuing. “If you hear anything, please let me know, and be sure to let the rest of the crew know.”
“Alright, I’ll let them know,” Morgan agreed.
“Thanks, luv,” Arlon told her. “I’ll be in touch.”
“As of right now, this is everything we know,” Arlon announced to his lieutenants. Once again, he had called the four of them to the war room to go over their latest intel. The Red Suns’ leader threw up all their information on Mr. Silver on the holotable display for them to view. “Thanks to Hondo’s information, we have confirmed that Mr. Silver was the one who sent the Genesect samples to the rogue Romanov faction who used them to attack Solace Prime. And, we can safely say that this faction is the very same that is currently in open rebellion against the Romanov Union and the Federation. As you know, for the past few weeks, Petra has been gathering intel on them.” Arlon looked over to his Romanov lieutenant and nodded.
“They call themselves the Romanov Supremacy,” Petra said as she stepped up to the table. “As the name implies, their whole philosophy is centered around restoring Romanov glory. Basically, these guys want to build the biggest, baddest superpower the Galaxy has ever seen, and they don’t care who they have to trample to achieve that goal.”
“Well, they seem like friendly bunch,” Kiril grumbled.
“Yeah, not so much,” Petra agreed. “From what I’ve seen so far, if the Supremacists win, they’re going to be a big thorn in the side of people like us. Running jobs in Romanov space and the surrounding Outer Rim sectors is going to be really dicey as long as they’re around.”
“As much as I hate dealing with the Romanov government, they’re a hell of a lot better than the alternative, it seems,” Arlon concluded.
“Exactly. What’s even better is that their technology is more advanced than anything the Union has,” Petra continued. “More advanced that what anyone has.”
“So, you think Mr. Silver is supplying them?” Arlon asked.
“Given the previous connection, I think we can assume that, yes.”
“Now, the question is why?” Arlon asked, more rhetorically than anything. “That’s what we always come back to. Everything we find brings up more questions but never any answers. That’s why we need to find Armstrong. He has to know something.”
“But that trail’s gone cold, boss,” Luke cut in. “I’ve been running down every lead on him, but they never lead anywhere. It’s like he’s dropped off the face of the entire fucking galaxy.”
“The good news is, no one else has found him either,” Arlon added. “Mr. Silver’s contract on him is still unclaimed. So, keep looking. I’m sure he’ll turn up eventually. And, finally, there are the artifacts.” He paused for a moment to contemplate. “The artifacts from Earth that the Helix crew and I turned over to him seemed to be very important to him, judging from how much he was willing to pay us, especially that skull… And then there’s this artifact Hondo mentioned Gilgamesh was after… Hondo did say Mr. Silver’s name came up. He must be after it as well, so it has to be important. Unfortunately, we don’t know anything about it.”
“So, what is our next move then?” Rena asked.
“All we can do is wait, and watch,” Arlon responded. “Sooner or later, one of these leads will turn something up. In the meantime, we’re not going to sit around and do nothing. It is highly likely that Mr. Silver will discover our deception eventually and, when he does, we’ll be cut off from our primary source of funding and he may even come after us. Until we get more intel, we need to focus on finding… alternative… sources of revenue. That way, we won’t be at as much of a disadvantage.”
“What makes you so sure that he’ll find out?” Luke asked.
“He always finds out,” Arlon answered cryptically, but then a grin broke out on his face. “Either that, or we win, in which case we’ll need the money anyway. You’re all dismissed.”
Author’s Notes: I did say I was going to tie the narrative together, didn’t I? This is another part that takes place between Volume 1 and Volume 2, as Arlon tries to piece together Mr. Silver’s plans. Specifically, this part falls between the second part of Tempore Ex Machina and the first chapter of Volume 2. So, to start off, Arlon goes to see Aarn Hondo about the Genesect package he gave us back in Volume 1, Chapter 2 and, since Hondo has been working with Gilgamesh as seen in Tempore Ex Machina, Arlon finds out where Gilgamesh is headed. If you’ll recall, Arlon was the one who told the Helix crew that Gilgamesh was on Vandia. He also passed the first details on Armstrong along during this time, so I rolled that all in here. And then Morgan got to make a cameo! I based that interaction off of Arlon and Morgan’s stories in Volume 2, Chapter 0. I tied off this part with some planning stuff just to set up for the next few parts and to put the situation into perspective. Arlon is basically grasping at straws at this point; the leads are running cold and he’s only finding more questions instead of answers. Be sure to check out Seeing Red, Part 1 if you missed it!
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 Spacemon Appendix which is a repository of information on all the lore and characters of Spacemon, or like our Facebook page to stay updated on all things Spacemon! Click here for the next exciting installment of Spacemon!