Welcome to another exciting installment of Spacemon, the tale of a Pokemon TRPG campaign! This is the fifth 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!
Bastion Super-Maximum Security Penitentiary Station was known as the Federation’s most secure prison. All the biggest, baddest offenders of Federation law found themselves locked up here eventually. Once you were imprisoned in Bastion, there was no getting out. Although, Bastion was definitely not the worst place to wind up. The Federation’s prison standards were far higher than those of the privately owned Alliance prison worlds.
Arlon walked through long corridor, flanked on all sides by Bastion guards. It had taken a lot of work to get here. The Red Suns’ leader had to call in all his favors to even get close. He was glad that Admiral Graves still owed him one, otherwise he wouldn’t be here.
“In here,” one of the guards said, stopping in front of a doorway. “You’ve got ten minutes.”
“Thanks, mate,” Arlon replied as he stepped into the interrogation room.
The immaculate and brightly lit room was barren, save for a table in the center. A disheveled man in an inmate’s jumpsuit sat behind it. Despite the long, unkempt hair and the scraggly beard the face of Arlon’s one-time teammate was easily recognizable. Devlin Garth glared at the Red Suns’ leader as he took a seat.
“Long time, no see, mate,” Arlon greeted the former leader of the Red Suns.
“What do you want?” Garth asked. His voice lacked the same swagger as the last time they met.
“I told you everythin’ already.”
“If that were true, mate, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. You are the last person I’d ever want to speak to. Mr. Silver. Tell me everything you know about him.”
“Ain’t nobody that knows anythin’ ‘bout Mr. Silver,” Garth responded, a slight grin appearing on his ragged face.
“Don’t play games with me, mate,” Arlon replied coldly. “I don’t have time for your bullshit.”
Garth just laughed tauntingly. “I’ve got all the time in the world.”
“Goddamn it, just answer my questions,” Arlon responded angrily, slamming his fist on the table. “The Federation must have beat the truth out of you already.”
“Fine,” Garth agreed. “Whaddya wanna know?”
“Let’s start with something simple then, shall we?” Arlon asked. “That virus you used on the warp gate, did it come from Mr. Silver?”
“What do you think?” Garth asked dryly. “Course it did. Who else would a piece of tech like that come from?”
“And, he just gave it to you?”
“Yup. Somethin’ wrong with that?”
“That’s not how he operates,” Arlon informs Garth. “He had a reason to give you that bloody virus. You can count on that. The question is, what is that reason?”
“Whatcha askin’ me for?” Garth asks. “Obviously, I don’t know. He was probably gonna tell me in the meeting that you so… kindly interrupted.”
“So, he never told you what it was really for?”
“That’s what I said.” Garth leaned his arms on the table. “We done here?”
“Not yet,” Arlon told him. “You clearly don’t have any of the information I need, but I’m dying to know, how’d you do it? What you pulled on Parisia was way beyond what you should have been capable of.”
“Let’s just say Mr. Silver lent a hand,” Garth said with a slight chuckle. “He contacted Lars fer a job, but the old fool was too stubborn to take it. Next thing I know, I’m perfectly set up to take him out and take over. I would’ve been stupid not seize that opportunity.”
“It was that easy for you?” Arlon asked. He could feel the rage boiling inside. “You didn’t even hesitate for a bloody moment. You make me sick.”
“Heh. You always were just as much a fool as he was.”
“You might want to rethink that, mate,” Arlon retorted. “I’m not the one locked up in this bloody joint.” Garth remained silent.
“So, tell me, what was this job?” Arlon finally asked.
“What’s it to you?”
“Just answer the fucking question.”
“Some Outer Rim station. He wanted us to steal some data.”
“That was Gigan Station, I presume.”
“I believe that was the name.”
“So, what sort of data was it?”
“Somethin’ to do with warp gates and space exploration. I didn’t ask too many questions.”
“You never did,” Arlon told him. The Red Suns’ leader shook his head as he spoke. “Anything else you can tell me about Mr. Silver?”
“What do I look like, some kinda fuckin’ expert? Of course not.”
“Then we’re done here.” Arlon stood up and headed for the door. “Enjoy your time here.”
“Why don’tcha come back an’ visit sometime!?” Garth shouted tauntingly after him as the door shut behind him.
“This is all very disturbing,” Arlon said to himself as he looked over the data the Helix had sent him on Armstrong. His former crewmates had successfully obtained the Alliance scientist on Parisia, and learned a great deal. The former bounty hunter sighed and took a glance around the now-operational base on Harmonia.
“What’s the matter, boss?” the Red Suns’ leader heard Luke ask. He turned his head the other direction to see his lieutenant walking past with a large crate.
“I’m just looking over the info on Armstrong that the Helix sent us,” Arlon explained. “The man was a pretty substantial lead after all, but…”
“There’s still a lot of unanswered questions.”
“Such as ‘why the hell does Mr. Silver need an army of cybernetically enhanced clones?’”
“Mr. Silver funded Armstrong on this crazy project. The doctor was trying to create super advanced cybernetic augmentations. Grew a bunch of clones… One of them is a member of the Helix crew. Goes by the name H. He’s… a bit odd, to say the least.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Well, he has a messiah complex. Thinks he’s supposed to be the savior of mankind.”
“It’s true, mate. He’s fucking mental, but good in a fight. Anyway, he was the only one left when Mr. Silver shut Armstrong’s project down. All the other clones were given to Mr. Silver. Now, if only we could figure out what that elusive bastard wanted them for. I can guarantee that they’re part of his master plan.”
“Sounds like we’d better do some more digging.”
“Right, but enough about that. What’s in the box?”
“You’ll love this one,” Luke told his boss, cracking a huge grin. He opened the box and fished out a suit of combat armor. “I got these from an old black market dealer pal of mine,” the Alliance merc explained. “Five sets of EVA combat armor. I figured they might come in handy some day.”
“Good find, mate” Arlon told him. “Load ‘em up on the Corsair.”
“You got it, boss.”
Arlon turned back to the datapad in his hand, but before he had the chance to go over the info on Armstrong again, he was once again interrupted.
“Hey, boss, you have a minute?” Matthias asked as he approached.
“I suppose,” Arlon answered the hacker. “What is it?”
“I found something you’re gonna want to see.”
“This thing could solve all our problems,” Arlon said as he looked at the data on the holo-screen in Matthias’s lab. “How did you find out about this?”
“I have my ways,” Matthias explained. “When I caught wind of some rumors about a powerful cyber-weapon, I just had to keep digging. You won’t believe what I found.”
“Lay it on me.”
“As I said, this thing can supposedly can break into any computer system without fail. But the Genevans developing it, whoever they are, plan to use it at the Galactic Governance Conference next month.”
“Hmm… Guess we’re gonna have to attend that conference.”
“You must really want this weapon,” Matthias observed.
“This is the break we’ve been waiting for, mate,” Arlon explained.
“You want to use it against Mr. Silver, don’t you?” the hacker asked.
“How did you-?”
“Look who you’re talking to,” Matthias said with a laugh. “I know everything that happens in this organization. Don’t worry, my friend, the secret is safe with me,” he added, seeing the look on Arlon’s face.
“I don’t like my men snooping around.”
“I’m a hacker, it’s what I do.”
“Fair enough, but you should have said something sooner. I like to know who I can trust.”
“Well, I’m behind you all the way, boss.”
“Good to hear,” Arlon told him. “Now, since you’re in the loop, let’s get down to business. Find out anything you can: who’s developing this weapon, what they’re agenda is, any connections to Mr. Silver. I want to know everything there is to know.”
“You got it.”
“Excellent. I’ll take care of getting into the conference.”
“We’ve come a long way these past few months,” Arlon addressed the Red Suns gathered in the Corsair’s war room. “We’ve worked hard to get where we are, and now our goal is in sight.”
The mercenary organization’s leader had spent the past few days preparing for the Galactic Governance Conference, and for what came next. That meant bringing more people in the loop, more people that Arlon knew he could trust. He looked around the room at his lieutenants and the men and women under their command that had proven themselves.
Arlon pressed a button on the holotable, and all the data the Red Suns had collected on Mr. Silver sprang up. “As you all know by now, although some of you have only been informed recently, we’ve been working toward uncovering the plots of the man known as Mr. Silver. We can connect him to the attack on Solace Prime and the rise of the Romanov Supremacy, the death of our founder, Lars Ricketts, the virus Devlin Garth used to hack the warp gate in Sector 25, and so much more. We know that he’s collected a wide range of powerful weapons, artifacts, and technologies, including a number of powerful, cybernetically enhanced clones. Soon the time will come when we learn how it all fits together.” The Red Suns’ leader turned his gaze toward Matthias and nodded.
“I have discovered a means for us to break into Mr. Silver’s network,” the Athínian hacker declared as he stepped up to the holotable and threw up all the intel on the cyber-weapon. “A powerful device capable of breaking through any form of encryption. The whole thing is very hush hush, but, if this intel is to be believed, this device is a miracle of technology. If we can get our hands on it, all the data on Mr. Silver’s network is as good as ours.”
“So, where did this device come from?” Carmen asked. “Where is it now?”
“I cannot say,” Matthias responded. “All I know is that it is being developed by a team of Genevan scientists.”
“So, how are we supposed to use this thing against Mr. Silver if we don’t even know where it is?” Matt asked.
“The answer is quite simple, my friend,” Matthias explained. “While we do not know where this cyber-weapon is… we know where it will be.”
“Where might that be?” Carmen asked.
“The Galactic Governance Conference,” Arlon answered. “Our intel shows that one of the Genevan councilors plans to use the weapon at the conference. We don’t know who, or why. The plan is to attend the conference, and acquire the weapon before it’s used.”
“And how, exactly, do you plan on doing that?” Petra asked.
“I’ve already found us a way in,” Arlon explained. “Councilor Penwood of Albion owned me a favor, so I explained the situation and asked him to get some of us on board the Halcyon. We help him prevent the attack, and we get the weapon for ourselves. I’ve got three invitations. Rena, Kiril, you’ll be coming with me.”
“Just three of us?” Rena asked. “Don’t you think we should ‘ave a bit more backup for zis?”
“Unfortunately, Penwood could only get me three invitations, but we won’t be alone; I asked my old friends on the Helix to lend a hand and they assured me they would be in attendance. They’re a resourceful bunch, so I have no doubt they’ll be there.”
“As for the rest of you,” Arlon continued after a brief pause. “Petra and Luke, you’ll be in charge while we’re at the conference, and I’m counting on the rest of you to help keep things running smoothly.”
“You can count on us, boss,” Carmen assured him, speaking for her fellow Red Suns.
“I knew I could. Now, once we have the device, we’ll strike against Mr. Silver as soon as possible. But, we will need to be prepared for whatever that bastard has planned. Once we attack, it’s possible that he will leverage all the resources he has against us.”
“Whatcha thinkin’ boss?” Luke asked.
“We’re going to build a fleet. Over the next month, we’re going to expand the Red Suns and build the biggest bloody mercenary fleet in the Galaxy.”
“That is very ambitious plan,” Kiril responded.
“Indeed, mate.” Arlon crossed his arms resolutely. “But, we’ve got the right team to pull it off. I need all of you to reach out to all your contacts. We need men, ships, weapons, supplies, you name it. We’ll also need to run a recruitment campaign. I’m sending you lot all over the Galaxy to recruit anyone willing and capable. Pilots, soldiers, engineers, whoever. We’ll split up and cover as much ground as possible. I’ll send a list of key planets to each of your Pokedexes. You’re all dismissed.”
“I am Nikolai Alkaev.”
“And what, exactly, can you do?” Rena asked the large, bearded Romanov man. She had been sitting in this club on Banton for hours recruiting mercenaries and was well past trying to make small talk with the potential recruits.
“I am mercenary. I have seen much combat.”
“Do you ‘ave any kind of specialty?” the Red Suns’ lieutenant asked.
“I am pilot. I have flown many ships. Romanov, Alliance, Genevan.”
“Great. You’re ‘ired. Our base is located ‘ere.” She transmitted the location of the Red Suns’ warehouse on Banton to the mercenary’s Pokedex, then waved him to move on. “Next!”
After about another hour, Rena finally made it through to the end of the line of recruits. The Parisian sighed with relief, then finished her drink. The past few weeks had been hectic for the Red Suns, but extremely productive. In less than a month, the mercenary organization had nearly quadrupled the size of their ranks and tripled the size of their fleet. Rena was glad it was finally coming to an end, though; Banton had been the last stop for her.
Rena caught an air-taxi back to base and stepped inside. The warehouse was bustling with activity as the new recruits flowed in. Carmen waved her over as she walked past. The Alliance mercenary had recently returned to the base from her recruiting trip across the Outer Rim with a handful of ships, all fully crewed.
“The boss called while you were out,” Carmen informed Rena once she was within earshot.
“He wants you back on Harmonia for final preparations,” the Alliance mercenary filled her in. “I took the liberty of preparing the Fleur for you.”
“Thank you, Carmen. Take good care of ze base while I am gone.”
Rena stepped aboard the Fleur, set her Metagross up in the ship’s warp drive, then settled herself into the pilot’s seat. She fired up the engines and took the small Genevan bucket skywards.
The brilliant light of Europa reflected off the hulls of the various ships docked at the Albion spaceport as Arlon, Kiril, and Rena stepped off the Corsair. The area was bustling with diplomats and politicians lining up to board the shuttles to the GCS Halcyon.
“Hello, mate,” Arlon greeted Councilor Penwood, who was waiting for them at the end of the boarding ramp.
“I trust you had a pleasant trip?” the councilor asked.
“Indeed. Shall we?”
“Yes, of course. Come along.”
The Red Suns and the councilor made their way across the spaceport, and just managed to squeeze into the shuttle before it left. Arlon cracked his knuckles as he watched the luxury liner hosting the Galactic Governance Conference slowly draw nearer out the viewport. The time had finally come.
Author’s Notes: And here we have all the leftover stuff that was originally planned to be in Part 4. I think pushing it to a new part was a great idea, as it allowed me to better develop these scenes and produce a tighter narrative.
The scene with Arlon visiting Garth in prison was one I had wanted to do when I first starting thinking about writing this series and I just knew it was the perfect way to begin this part. The rest was all really just set up for the major plot point of Volume 2, the Galactic Governance Conference. Although there were a few other things in there. I knew I wanted to include Arlon going over the information on Armstrong that the Helix sent him since Armstrong has been an important plot point in this series. The other big thing was setting up Arlon’s plan of expanding the Red Suns even further. I haven’t really mentioned it, but where we are in Volume 3, I was thinking that Arlon would totally be trying to build a mercenary fleet! Of course, managing a fleet means bringing more people into the loop, so I decided to show all the characters I came up with other than Arlon and his Lieutenants sort of becoming higher ranking members of the organization. I also thought it would be fun to throw in a recruiting scene and give that one Romanov mercenary were interviewed just before hiring Minerva for the Helix.
Finally, let’s talk timeline placement. A lot happened in this part over a long range of time, so I’ll break it down for you. The prison scene takes place between Chapter 9 and Chapter 10 of Volume 2, the scenes where Arlon speaks with Luke and Matthias take place concurrently to Volume 2, Chapter 12, the meeting where Arlon lays out the plan takes place between Volume 2, Chapter 15 and the third part of Tempore Ex Machina (which is just before Volume 2, Chapter 16), the recruiting scene takes place sometime during Volume 2, Chapter 20, and, finally, the last scene takes place concurrently with the very start of Volume 2, Chapter 21. 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!