Welcome to another exciting installment of Spacemon, the tale of a Pokemon TRPG campaign! This is the fourth 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!
Heavy laser fire flashed past the Corsair on all sides as the Red Suns’ Frigate weaved through the battle. The technologically superior Supremacist ships were decimating the Romanov Union fleet despite their smaller numbers.
This is one hell of a first mission! Matt thought as he masterfully maneuvered the ship. The Corsair’s new pilot lived for the thrill of space combat. He felt the rush of adrenaline as he rolled the ship away from incoming fire and squeezed between the ships.
The Corsair rumbled as it took a few hits. Of course, even with his piloting skills, the amount of laser fire and missiles flying back and forth between the warring Romanov factions meant that they were bound to take a few hits. At least the shields absorbed most of the damage.
“Are you sure we can’t return fire?” Matt asked his new employer.
“Remember, we don’t want to attract any unnecessary attention,” Arlon responded. “Just break through and get us down to the planet.”
“Alright, but don’t blame me if we get blown to pieces.” Matt returned his attention to the battle. He dodged past another volley of fire, pushing further toward the planet below.
As the Corsair neared the far side of the battle, a Supremacy Broadsword class heavy cruiser charged across the frigate’s path as it moved to ram a Union destroyer. “Hang onto your asses!” Matt shouted as he quickly dove the ship down to avoid collision. “I need all weapons front now!” he added as he spotted the carcass of a Union ship obstructing his new path.
“Open fire!” Arlon commanded the gunners. The Corsair lit the destroyed ship up with its ion cannons and heavy plasma beam, tearing it to pieces. Matt flew straight through the explosion, threaded the needle between another Broadsword and its unfortunate victim, then leveled the ship out.
“And, we’re clear!” the pilot exclaimed as he fired the Corsair’s engines to maximum and put some distance between the Red Suns and the battle.
“Nice work, mate,” Arlon complimented him. “Take us in atmosphere and prepare for a hot drop!”
Kiril, Petra, and their two remaining men hurried down the long corridor of the Romanov military installation. The sound of their pursuers echoed behind them.
“So much for simple snatch and grab!” Kiril shouted as they ran.
“Well, we weren’t exactly expecting an entire Supremacist fleet to show up out of nowhere!” Petra yelled back to her fellow Romanov.
The mission had been simple enough: Infiltrate the Union base and download some intel that could potentially be leveraged against Mr. Silver. Unfortunately, this particular base was one of the Union’s key installations in its Outer Rim territories, making it a prime target for the Supremacy, who had begun systematically capturing Union territories over the past several weeks.
Getting in had been easy, but the Supremacists had since landed on the planet and stormed the facility. With the intel secured, the surviving members of the team rushed back to the installation’s landing platform. The two Romanov Red Suns lieutenants had already lost several men making their escape, and Kiril was determined not to lose any more.
Rounding the final corner before the landing platform, the Red Suns found their path blocked by a large set of blast doors. Kiril immediately reached for the explosives and tossed them to his men. “Ivanov, Han, place charges there, there, and there!” the large Romanov ordered the two subordinates, pointing at several weak points on the blast doors. “Petra, cover us.”
“You got it, big guy,” Petra replied as she drew her pistol, and turned to face the Supremacist troops closing in on them. The former bounty hunter fired off a few shots, downing one of the soldiers, then threw out a Pokeball. Her Seviper hissed as she uncoiled herself. “Gadjuka, use Poison Tail!” Petra commanded the lethal snake Pokemon. The Seviper slithered forward and swiped at another soldier with her razor-sharp tail blade, slicing right through the man’s throat and spraying blood across the wall.
The final Supremacist soldier froze in horror at the brutality, giving Petra the perfect kill shot. She pulled the trigger once and the body slumped to the floor. Of course, this only bought the Red Suns a bit of time, as Petra could spot another squad moving down the corridor toward them. She recalled her Pokemon and ducked back around the corner. “How’s that door going?!” she asked.
“Ready to blow!” Kiril responded gleefully. “Stand back!” The four Red Suns took several paces back, then the Romanov demolitions expert triggered the explosives. The loud crack of the explosion was followed by a loud clang as the massive steel doors fell to the floor. “Move! Move! Move!”
The Red Suns passed through the smoke cloud, right into the sights of ten laser rifles.
Petra and Kiril stood back-to-back, surrounded by Supremacist troopers and their Bisharps. Their weapons were out of charge and their last two men lay dead at their feet. The squad leader barked angrily in Romanov for them to surrender.
“You’re not ready to give up just yet, are ya, big guy?” Petra asked her comrade.
“No,” Kiril replied firmly. “Let’s show them how the Red Suns do things!”
Before the Supremacists had a chance to react, Kiril charged forward and tackled one to the ground and wrestled the rifle out of his hands. Petra used his distraction to pull out another Pokeball and release her Gyarados. With a few nimble steps, the Romanov woman quickly scaled the serpent’s back.
“Yulong, use Earthquake!” Petra commanded. The Gyarados began slamming the ground with his powerful tail, creating a massive tremor. The powerful attack knocked several of the Supremacist troops to the ground and knocked out a few Bisharps.
“Ha ha ha ha!” Kiril laughed like a madman as the ground shook beneath him. While he certainly took quite a beating from the hit, the large Romanov man could easily take the punishment. “Prizrak, Focus Blast!” Kiril’s Gengar floated up from under the ground and fired off a blast of powerful energy at one of the Bisharps and took it out. Kiril then fired off a burst of rounds from his newly obtained rifle, taking down another soldier.
The remaining Supremacists gathered themselves and began to return fire. Kiril quickly dove behind a crate while Petra nudged her Gyarados, allowing his strong scales to absorb the hits. The few remaining Bisharps then advanced forward and began wailing on the Pokemon, but miraculously he managed to stay up.
As if the two Red Suns didn’t have enough problems, another squad of Supremacists rushed onto the landing platform through the blast doors on the far side. You have got to be kidding me, Petra thought as she planned her next move. “Yulong, use Aqua Tail!” she commanded her Pokemon. The Gyarados reared up his thick tail and swept it across the enemies around him, knocking the Bisharps away from him. The former bounty hunter then pulled out her plasma knife and dove off Yulong’s back. She jabbed the blade into one of the Supremacists’ neck then slid behind a nearby crate.
“Nice moves!” Kiril complimented her.
“Thanks, but we’re not out of the fire yet!” Petra shouted back as she peeked out from behind her cover to recall her injured Gyarados. There seemed to be no end to the Supremacist forces, and there was a whole other squad between the Red Suns and Petra’s ship, the RUS Drakon. “We can’t keep this up much longer!”
“Should we just run for it?!” Kiril suggested.
“At this point, that’s probably our best-”
The loud roar of engines drowned out the rest of Petra’s words as the Corsair swept overhead. The Red Suns’ frigate lit up the ground with a volley from its ion cannons, sending the Supremacists running for cover.
“Ha ha! I will take that as ‘da!’” Kiril shouted in triumph. “Now is our chance!”
The two Romanov mercenaries ran for the Drakon and successfully boarded while the Corsair had their assailants pinned down. “Let’s get the hell out of here!” Petra shouted as she fired up the engines. She quickly aimed the small bucket skywards and rocketed into the atmosphere.
As the Drakon broke through the cloud cover, Kiril opened up a channel to the Corsair. “Glad to see you guys in one piece,” Arlon’s voice immediately sounded over the comms. “We came as soon as we heard the Supremacists were launching an attack.”
“Thanks for the assist,” Petra responded. “Too bad the rest of our men didn’t make it.”
“That’s a shame, but they knew what they signed on for. We’re not done yet though. The Supremacists have blockaded the planet.”
“Then we will just have to smash through!” Kiril exclaimed.
“Damn right, mate. Stay behind the Corsair and we’ll clear a path. We’ll see you on the other side. Matt, full speed ahead!”
Petra eased up on the throttle and brought the Drakon in line behind the Corsair as the larger ship shot past. The Supremacist ships opened fire upon the two ships, landing a few glancing blows on the Corsair. The unyielding vessels flew straight for a narrow opening between two cruisers and slipped through before they could close the gap.
“Damn, that kid’s good,” Petra commented on Matt’s flying as she watched the Corsair roll unharmed between another pair of Broadswords, through a space a ship of that size just shouldn’t fit through. For the Drakon, the maneuver was much more reasonable.
Dodging past more laser fire, the Corsair and the Drakon successfully broke through to the open space on the other side. Free of the blockade, the two ships slipped into the safety of warp space.
The Corsair dropped out of warp space near the Sector 19 warp gate to find it blocked off by a squadron of Supremacy heavy cruisers lead by a large destroyer. “Goddamn it!” Arlon cursed. “We should have seen this coming.”
“What do you wanna do, boss?” Matt asked. “The warp drive needs to cool before we can jump again.” As if to answer the pilot’s question, a light on the console lit up, indicating an incoming call from the Supremacists.
“Let’s see what the bastards want,” Arlon said. “But keep your distance. I hear they’re fond of tractor beams.” He pressed a button on the arm of the captain’s chair and the face of a Romanov officer appeared on the viewscreen.
“Hello. I am Captain Lee Heilovic of the Romanov Supremacy, Commander of the RSS Envy,” the officer introduced himself. “I believe that you have stolen something from the Supremacy. We would like it returned.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, mate,” Arlon lied. He hoped he could play it cool and get past these Romanovs without fighting.
“Who do you take me for?” the captain responded. “Your ship was flagged leaving Nosovo. I know you must have the data missing from our base.”
“Wasn’t your base when we got there, mate,” Arlon replied bluntly, no longer seeing the need for deception. “If you want it, you’ll have to take it.”
“Very well. Engage tractor beams.”
“Matt, get us out of here!” Arlon commanded his pilot. “Take us into that asteroid field.”
“You got it!” Matt replied. He pulled a hard turn, then fired the engines to maximum. The Corsair rocketed toward the asteroid field as the Supremacist vessels closed in.
Looking out the viewport, Arlon spotted the Drakon dropping out of warp space. The Red Suns leader could tell Petra quickly took in the situation, as the Romanov bucket veered hard as it appeared, moving in the opposite direction of the Supremacist ships. One of the cruisers broke off to pursue her, but the others, including Heilovic’s destroyer remained focused on the Corsair. Good, Arlon thought. The data the Supremacists were after was on the Drakon after all. Arlon knew that the small bucket had a very good chance of evading just one heavy cruiser.
Matt skillfully maneuvered the Corsair amongst the asteroids, taking as few hits as possible. This gave the Red Suns a huge advantage over the Supremacists, whose much larger ships had to take the time to fire at the asteroids to make any form of progress.
“Drive’s good in two minutes!” Matt informed the bridge crew.
“Excellent,” Arlon responded. “Hang in there a little longer.”
The Red Runs’ ace pilot dodged past several more asteroids, attempting to make it as hard as possible for the Supremacists to follow. It seemed to work, as Heilovic’s destroyer turned away and headed for the gate.
“He certainly gave up easy,” Matt commented.
“I wouldn’t be so sure,” Arlon replied. “That Heilovic seemed important. I’m willing to bet he’s got better things to do than chase us around.”
“What could possibly be better than chasing us around?” the pilot asked jokingly.
“It doesn’t matter,” Arlon told him. “As long as it makes our job easier.”
“Whatever. We can jump now, by the way.”
“Jump to a nearby system, hopefully this one’s all clear by the time we return.”
“You got it.”
“Yeah, he’s finally surfaced,” Luke’s voice sounded over the comms. “For a university talk of all things.”
Arlon watched the data appear on the viewscreen as his Lieutenant filled him in. “You have got to be kidding me,” the Red Suns’ leader responded.
“No joke,” Luke told him. “Trust me, I was just as surprised as you.”
The Corsair floated through the asteroid field near the Sector 19 gate. The Red Suns has spent the past few days jumping around the sector to avoid the Supremacist patrols, and now the mercenary organization’s ship was lying low before jumping while Arlon dealt with this situation. Finally, he had a concrete lead on Dr. Armstrong. There was just one problem.
“If it’s a university talk, grabbing him is going to be all but impossible,” Arlon realized.
“What do you mean?” Luke asked.
“If we grab him in such a public place, Mr. Silver is guaranteed to know we have him,” Arlon explained. “Remember, we can’t let this guy fall into his hands.”
“Not to mention zat ‘e probably ‘as other agents looking for ‘im,” Rena added.
“That is also a problem,” Arlon observed. “We have to do something, otherwise someone else will snatch him. Luke, why don’t you see if your old OmniGuard pals can lend us a hand?”
“I can try, but I doubt we’ll get anywhere from that angle,” the former Alliance paramilitary soldier replied.
“It’s worth a try anyway,” Arlon told him. “Good luck, mate.”
“You too boss.”
Arlon turned to Rena as the screen blipped out. “I don’t suppose you’ve got any ideas?” he asked her. “Because I’m at a loss.”
“What about ze ‘elix?” Rena suggested. “Maybe zey could ‘elp?”
“You know, that’s actually not a bad ide-”
“Heads up boss,” Matt spoke up. “A ship just dropped out of the gate.”
“Supremacist?” Arlon asked.
“Nah,” the pilot responded. “Alliance make. I’ll throw it up on the screen.”
“Speak of the bloody devil,” Arlon said, recognizing the familiar shape of the UAS Helix.
Author’s Notes: And, another one’s done! Much like Part 3, I had a bunch of other stuff I wanted to get to, but ideas kept happening and it got pushed to another part. Although, I was smart this time, and instead of trying to tack it onto the front of the next part I decided to push Seeing Red to a final total of seven parts. I think this will make each part a tighter, more contained narrative overall, so it’s a good thing.
This part concludes the setup from the end of last part, and gives us the first intense action since Part 1. What I wanted to do here was show off the “Romanov Crisis” a bit more, while putting the Red Suns in the action, but really it was secretly motivated by a need to explain why the Corsair just happened to be there when the Helix dropped out of warp space after escaping Heilovic. Giving Heilovic a cameo just made perfect sense to me! Arlon was right, he does have better things to do, namely investigating the Helix’s activities in the neighboring sector. So, if you want timeline placement, the majority of this part takes place concurrently with the events of Volume 2, Chapter 4, however, the scene with Heilovic takes place between that chapter and Volume 2, Chapter 5, and the final scene takes place concurrently with the beginning of Volume 2, Chapter 9.
I really took some liberties with combat on this one. I actively tried to make combat scenes quicker than what you would find in the usual transcriptions of the actual sessions of the game, plus you can get away with all kinds of cool stuff, like one-shot kills everywhere! It works with the Red Suns because, unlike the Helix crew, they aren’t opposed to killing. If having your Seviper slice a guy’s jugular saves time in a dire situation, you’d better do it. That’s all, but be sure to check out the previous part of Seeing Red if you haven’t!
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!