Welcome to another exciting installment of Spacemon, the tale of a Pokemon TRPG campaign! This is one of several loosely related one-off stories set between the events of the various Spacemon campaigns. You can get caught up on the entire adventure here!
“Sir? There’s something I’ve been wondering about.”
Dmitri looked up from his terminal. He had been focused on planning his upcoming vacation when Dr. Lambert, his assistant at the Entropy Branch of the Primary Research Institute, walked over to his desk with a file in his hands.
“Well, it’s about your research on the psychological effects of Darkrai’s aura on the Mirror Temple victims. There’s something in your reports that I don’t quite understand.”
“Well, seeing as you’ll be taking over my position as Department Head next week, it’s probably important that you quickly get up to speed on everything,” Dmitri replied, the past ten years he’d spent living in the Federation having eroded his native Romanov accent until it was all but unnoticeable. “What’s bothering you?”
“Your accounts mentioned that the victims all suffered from intense fear, paranoia, and psychosis. That Darkrai essentially afflicted them with waking nightmares,” the man started as he opened the folder on the desk to a highlighted page. “But Darkrai as we understand it is the embodiment of Entropy. I’m afraid, if you’ll pardon the pun, that I don’t understand the connection. What does one have to do with the other?”
Dmitri briefly glanced over the page, absorbing the specific lines of the report his assistant had highlighted. This section detailed the long-term effects suffered by the victims of Darkrai exposure, all of whom were now marked as deceased by a red stamp. After reading it over, he looked back up at Dr. Lambert, recognizing the man’s surface level confusion and anxiety with his telepathic senses.
Dmitri pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose. “Fear is the most basic, primal part of the Human psyche,” he explained. “The oldest part of the brain. We know that the Mirror worked by channeling Darkrai’s Entropy aura to psionically assault its victims, although we still don’t quite understand the mechanism of how exactly this worked. It’s effect, however, is that the victim’s mind gradually decays under this psychic entropy. First, the victim’s high-level reasoning and logical decision making becomes compromised, followed by moodiness and emotional instability. Then, they start experiencing hallucinations as their perception of reality begins to break down. Finally, the victim is left only with terror, that basic, primal fear. By the time they realize what’s happening, it may already be too late.”
“I see,” Dr. Lambert said, still sounding somewhat uncertain. Dmitri continued to sense a slight, lingering confusion in him.
“Don’t worry. It’s not particularly obvious,” Dmitri assured his assistant, placing a comforting hand on the man’s shoulder. “Having telepathic abilities helps make the connection more apparent,” he added, motioning to his head with his other hand. “You’re going to do fine. You don’t need psychic powers to be a good scientist.”
“What’s it like? Being a telepath?”
“It’s difficult to describe,” Dmitri thought for a moment. “I remember back when my abilities first manifested. It was like suddenly seeing and hearing things that weren’t there before. I didn’t really know what was happening; at first I thought it was just some kind of Ghost Pokemon activity. There weren’t a lot of psychics to share my experience with in the Romanov Union.”
“I wonder if that’s still the case in the Supremacy,” Dr. Lambert mused.
“Well there’s a hereditary component to it, so I don’t really see that changing,” Dmitri replied. “But I imagine the scientists they recently elected into power will be prioritizing psionic research given the Mewtwo advent.”
“I still can’t believe you’re leaving to become an ambassador to the Romanovs.”
“Well apparently, now that Cenov is stepping down, the new administration is more open to the idea of establishing diplomatic channels with us, and the Federation asked me to be a part of that process. It would seem that the Helix crew saving the Galaxy generated quite a bit of goodwill.”
“Makes sense, seeing as you’re Romanov, yourself,” Dr. Lambert observed, nodding his head. “So what’s the time table look like for starting your new job?” the scientist then inquired.
“Well, after I leave here I’ve got a family vacation to pack for,” Dmitri informed his soon-to-be replacement. “My wife and I decided to take a trip out to some uncharted worlds in one of the new Genevan sectors. We thought Jaina would enjoy catching her first Pokemon on a safari adventure.”
“You spoil your daughter too much, you know that?” Dr. Lambert laughed. “We’re gonna miss you around here,” he added, patting Dmitri on the shoulder. “Good luck with your future job.”
“I certainly hope it goes well,” Dmitri said. “Wouldn’t want another war to break out!”
“No, we would not,” Dr. Lambert agreed. “So do you know what your first order of ambassador business will be?”
“They’ve proposed a Galactic Championship event for Pokemon battling to commemorate the opening of this new relationship between nations. From what I hear, the former Electric Gym Leader has been heavily involving herself in trying to organize everything; hopefully I don’t even need to do anything!”
Dr. Lambert laughed. “Hopefully we win!”
“Here’s hoping,” Dmitri nodded. “Anyway, I’d better get out of here.”
“Right,” Dr. Lambert said. “I’ll get out of your hair now. It’s been a pleasure working with you these past few years, sir.”
“Likewise,” Dmitri replied, giving his assistant’s hand a firm shake. “I leave the department in your very capable hands.”
Author’s Notes: This was a fun little thing to write. I needed something short and sweet I could put out to buy myself some time while I work on finishing up some longer chapters, so DragonStorm and I brainstormed some ideas and we came up with this. We co-wrote this over a few hours and it was a nice change of pace. It’s a fun little piece exploring a little bit of what Dmitri got up to after the events of the original campaign and it also provides some hints on what is to come.
That does it for this story. 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 piece! 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!