Welcome to another exciting installment of Spacemon, the tale of a Pokemon TRPG campaign! This is the first installment of a three part mini-series following some behind-the-scenes events that has been inserted at the appropriate point in the story. You can get caught up on our previous adventures here!
At least a dozen vessels waited ahead of the UAS Amber in shiplock; this was taking far too long, especially for an Outer Rim Gate. Of course, this did not come as a surprise to Aarn Hondo, who simply leaned back, petting his anxious Skarmory.
A smuggler by trade, Hondo knew the extra security brought in as a response to the unprecedented hacking of the Sector 25 Warp Gate a few weeks ago would be trouble. But to a veteran smuggler, trouble meant opportunity. And so Hondo had come with his colorful cargo.
But this was taking too long. The Skarmory cawed in agitation as Hondo grumbled to himself. He didn’t anticipate the Romanovs breaking off and declaring war on the rest of the Galactic Federation. It was obvious, of course; ever since the Federation voted to send additional peacekeeping forces to suppress rioting in Union space, conflict was inevitable... but the Romanov Supremacy had clearly acquired an advantage that allowed them to strike so soon. And so nearly every sector worth jumping to had been blockaded. Hondo wasn’t particularly concerned, however: war also meant opportunity.
But he was increasingly coming to believe that this particular job wasn’t worth it. The added delays had already cost him two days, and the client was known to be a rude and impatient man. The boys down below deck were of a similar mind.
“Hey, Boss! Whaddaya say we tell ‘im to sod off, and open these spice crates up for ourselves?” asked the voice through the ship’s internal comms. Normally Hondo would have tried to run his ship a little tighter, but today he was just tired. “Sure... a round of spice for everyone, if we can find a new client that’s actually worth all this waiting around... send out a comm ping, usual channels,” came his reply.
The second ship to respond to the hail was a small ship of Sinai make; unusual in these parts, but not unheard of. Hondo granted them docking clearance, then walked down to the loading bay to greet the potential client. He frowned as the blast doors opened; the first ship had been an exquisite luxury cruiser belonging to a Genevan official. That man smelled like money, and his accent suggested he was from one of the moons of Gaia, likely München, but he had left without striking a bargain.
This new vessel’s interior, in contrast, was incredibly small, perhaps a single room if that were even possible. Inside stood a single man, aged and garbed in very simple robes. Hondo saw very few possessions of note or value. “Greetings,” said the man. “My name is Gilgamesh.”
“So let me get this straight...”
Gilgamesh had explained the details to this man three times, but some souls were naturally skeptical and inquisitive. He leaned back in his seat, declining the generous offers of refreshment from the crew.
“You are looking for a legendary artifact of ancient power,” continued the smuggler captain curiously. “And you can confirm that it exists?”
“Yes,” answered the monk. “I was the one to originally find its location, and I shared it with another. A decision I am coming to regret.”
“And you say this location is deep within Romanov space. Who has just declared war! This ‘expedition’ of yours is going to be very expensive... “ Hondo trailed off, eyeing the austere man before him. “I sincerely hope you have some way of paying for all this.”
“Ah, looks can be deceiving, I’m afraid,” repled Gilgamesh, “For you see, I am a Gym Leader of the Outer Rim. The Federation distributes credits to me annually. And as you have seen, I myself have little use for personal belongings. In the past I’ve donated the majority of my funding to the Congregate, but as of late...”
“You find yourself with far too many credits on your hands. Perhaps we could help you out with them? Haha!” The smuggler captain seemed much more jovial now. “Very well! Tell me more about this... treasure hunt! What can we expect?”
“This...” Gilgamesh pondered for a moment on Hondo’s phrasing. “...treasure appears in many legends and textual accounts. The man with whom I shared it referred to it as a ‘resurrector,’ but in truth it is attributed with many other properties as well. Beyond that, I know not as much as I would like.”
“Fascinating. You really must sit down later and tell me more about thi-”
“Boss! We ‘ave another hail. Feds this time,” interrupted the intercomm. “Damn!” cried Hondo. “Well I suppose it can’t be helped. Let them board.”
The Federation heavy cruiser lumbered into place to align its docking tube with the Amber’s remaining open airlock, on the other side of the ship. As Hondo rose to go meet the officers, he heard a round of cheers echo from below deck. It took about six steps to sink in: “Idiots!” he growled to himself. They had opened the spice crates in the middle of a Federation inspection! Hondo’s pace broke into a run. Spice had a very strong odor: once unsealed there was no point trying to hide it. The veteran smuggler knew his best chance was to catch the officers by surprise and ambush them now. Simply waiting for them to discover the illicit goods was an amateur mistake, one Hondo wasn’t particularly keen on making today now that he had a real job to get to.
It had been a long day, and so Hondo knew the Federation officers would be tired, having searched maybe a dozen ships prior to this one. All of this had been just routine for them. So in the time it took for them to snap to alertness, Hondo was able to leap out of the hallway, fire two full volleys out of his blaster, and order his Skarmory to fly in. “Use Steel Wing!” he commanded his Pokemon. The armored bird rushed forward with its wings spread, taking half of the men down as it passed them. The remaining guards sent out their Pokemon: a Lunatone and a Mightyena.
“Lunatone, use Psywave!” one of the men commanded. The meteorite Pokemon unleashed a wave of psychic energy which pulsed into the Skarmory, bypassing the Pokemon’s armor and delivering a pretty strong blow.
“Mightyena, use Crunch!” the other Federation soldier commanded his Pokemon. The Mightyena ran up the steel bird, in an attempt to bite it. However the Skarmory managed to fly out of range.
“Now, use Slash!” Hondo commanded his Skarmory. The Pokemon flew back toward the Mightyena and returned with a critical blow, taking the wolf Pokemon down. Hondo then followed up with another shot from his pistol, knocking the Pokemon’s trainer to the ground.
“Use Cosmic Power!” the remaining Federation soldier commanded his Lunatone. The Pokemon began to store its energies up, building up a its psychic wards.
“Use Steel Wing!” Hondo commanded his Skarmory. The steel bird rushed in with its razor-sharp wings and delivered a powerful blow against the Lunatone.
All of a sudden, as Hondo raised his laser pistol to fire again, a Malamar floated into the room radiating a strange, hypnotic light. Within 15 seconds, the Federation combatants had all fallen asleep. Hondo turned to face this mysterious new Pokemon, and saw Gilgamesh step out from behind it. “There will be no further need for violence,” he calmly stated.
Hondo felt a note of worry at the prospect of his new client witnessing such unpleasantries with the authorities, but figured upon second thought that if this Gilgamesh was in fact uncomfortable with this sort of business, then he probably wouldn’t have come to him in the first place.
Either way, Gilgamesh showed no sign of emotion. He simply nodded to the floating squid Pokemon, and it moved above the lying officers and emitted another glow. “They will remember none of this,” his spoke with a completely even tone.
“Aha! You, my friend, are very helpful!” Hondo exclaimed. “Certainly more helpful than half this lot…” He pointed back towards the corridor, towards the clamoring footsteps of the crew.
“Boss! We heard a fight! You want us to finish ‘em off, then?” asked one of them, his fingertips still deep red from the spice.
Aboard the GCS Drifzepeli, Councilor Robert Heinkel leaned back in his luxurious office chair and opened his terminal. Boarding ahead of that Sinai sphere had been simple enough; his evident wealth had seen to that. And Heinkel had been able to successfully plant the listening device without detection. And now he had what he needed. The terminal screen flashed briefly, as he received confirmation from Mr. Silver.
“>Data received. Funds have been transferred to the usual account.”
Heinkel smiled, then paused for a moment. “You should be aware, the monk knew about the location of our... facility.” Almost immediately the screen flashed again.
“>That is not surprising. I will be deployed onsite.”
Author’s Notes: This chapter takes place after the events of Volume 1, shortly after Chapter 16, and is the first of this mini-series that serves to fill in some of the gaps in the main story, and set up for the final volume.
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!