Welcome to another ominous installment of Spacemon, the tale of a Pokemon TRPG campaign! It is a sci-fi space epic played using the Pokemon Tabletop United (PTU) system and GMed by fellow TAY author DragonStorm247. You can get caught up on our previous adventures here!
Previously on Spacemon…
The crew of the UAS Helix traveled to Genevan space to find Dr. Louis Armstrong on request of Arlon Jett. According to Arlon he was scheduled to talk at Belaviure University on Parisia and Mr. Silver’s men would most likely attempt to capture or kill him. The crew managed to rescue him just in time, although Dmitri’s Metang was killed in the resulting battle. In an act of revenge, Dmitri killed his Pokemon’s murderer and now struggles to come to terms with what he’s done. After escaping Parisia with Armstrong, the crew of the Helix discovered that the doctor was the man who created H. H was one of many subjects in a project seeking to engineer the next stage of human evolution, cybernetics on a cellular level. The project was funded by none other than Mr. Silver, but he pulled the funding several years ago. Reunited, Armstrong and H now seek to continue the project together.
“I can’t believe you’re going to keep the insane robot doctor who made Crazy McMurderface on the ship!” Alex shouts at Morgan and Shane. The three stand around the table in the mess area, H and Armstrong having left to begin preparations to continue their experiments.
“I actually trust him a lot more than I do H, so I think it’ll be okay,” Morgan tells her. “So please, try to calm down. Who knows, maybe he’ll even be able to keep H in line.”
“But they’re trying to make him more powerful!” Alex goes on, clear signs of distress on her face. “They’re gonna turn him into some kind of murder machine! And let’s not forget that he tried to kill me!”
“Well, as long he doesn’t try to hurt us then I think it’s fine,” says Morgan, still trying to get her to calm down.
“Please tell me how this is going to be fine! None of this makes any sense! We’re going all over the Galaxy doing all this crazy stuff, but no one even bothered to tell me why! I’m not a child, you can’t just keep this stuff from me! And you!” Alex continues, turning her attention to Shane. “What the hell are you!? You can teleport around and you have that weird glowing tattoo and-”
“Alex, calm down!” Morgan shouts, giving her a harsh look.
“But you need to start explaining this stuff to me!”
“Just stop yelling and let us,” Morgan tells her.
“It’s a really long story, “ Shane adds. “Are you sure you want to hear it?”
“Alright,” Shane tells her, taking a seat at the table once more. “Like I said, it’s a long story; you may want to sit back down.”
Alex sits herself down and looks expectantly at Shane, eager to hear what he had to say. Shane clears his throat, pausing a moment to think before beginning his tale.
“I joined up with this crew shortly before we met Mr. Silver for the first time,” Shane begins. “I suppose that’s when our story truly began.”
“We had been traveling together for a while before,” Morgan adds. “But we met Shane just after we discovered the Genesect. Mr. Silver contacted us shortly thereafter because… H had created...” She shudders for a moment, as if recalling something terrible. “H had created some kind of warp goo.”
“Mr. Silver offered us a lot of money for samples of this goo,” Shane continues. “And then offered us even more money to travel to a set of coordinates in uncharted space… in a sector without a warp gate. Using a virus we stole from the Red Suns we were able to hack into a gate and launch ourselves into deep warp space on a course for this sector.”
“What was there?” Alex asks, enthralled by the tale.
“Earth,” Morgan tells her.
“Wait… you mean you found Earth?” Alex asks, surprised and amazed by this revelation. “You actually rediscovered Earth?”
“Yes,” Shane tells her. “But something tells me Mr. Silver already knew it was there. Anyway, we found a strange crystal-rock tree on the planet, among other things, but that’s not really that important. We were trapped in that sector; we aimlessly flew through warp space for a long time and we nearly went crazy… That’s when Giratina found us.”
“Giratina?” Alex asks. “Who’s that?”
“It’s a Pokemon that lives in the Warp. It’s how we got back… And it’s where I got this,” Shane explains, holding up his right arm, the mark faintly glowing.
“Wow…” Alex gasps, her eyes wide with wonder. “So you have, like, super powers or something?”
“Something like that…”
“That’s so cool! What happened next?”
“You know the rest,” Shane tells her. “We met with Mr. Silver again to show him our findings and then he told us of the coming Genesect attack which, as you know, we helped to fight off.”
“So, why are we flying all over the Galaxy now?” Alex asks.
“Do you remember the the story we told you about Arlon Jett?”
“Well… he seems to think that Mr. Silver is involved in some sort of galactic conspiracy… or something. I wouldn’t be surprised. Since becoming the leader of the Red Suns, Arlon has been trying to uncover Mr. Silver’s operations. He’s the one who asked us to find Armstrong. And Mr. Silver is the reason Armstrong needs to stay on the ship.”
“I think I understand now,” Alex tells Shane and Morgan.
“You’re a part of our story now too,” Shane says to Alex. “And from what I understand, you need us to help you find the Mirror.”
“You mean you’re actually going to help me?” Alex asks.
“Sure,” Shane tells her. “You’re part of our crew now. We can go after it whenever you like.”
“How about now?” Alex asks.
“If that’s what you want,” Morgan tells her. “Just let Minerva know where to go.”
“Okay!” Alex exclaims, jumping up from the table. She hurries off to the bridge with a spring in her step, excited to finally be able to continue her search for her father.
With the Helix now quiet, Morgan wanders around the ship for a bit, eventually ending up outside Shane’s workroom. Not wanting to be alone at the moment, she nervously knocks on the door, and Shane opens it.
“Hey Morgan. You need anything?”
Morgan is holding a small piece of electronic equipment, too small for Shane to immediately recognize, but it seems more as if she was fidgeting with it than actually working on it.
“What’s that?” Shane asks, pointing at the device in Morgan’s hand.
“This? I was, uh, working on the calibration for EHRB’s flame jet. The, um, the Pokeball cannon, you know, has a huge recoil, and…” She trails off. “I was wondering if I could, ah, sit in here.”
“No problem,” Shane tells her as he retreats back into the room. The room is quite barren—apart from the standard comm system there is nothing inside save for a few empty Pokeballs and the recently acquired warp drive, positioned at the center and in some state of disassembly. “As a matter of fact, I was just trying to figure out how to rig this thing to work when not attached to a ship. I could use someone to talk to.”
Morgan hesitantly enters. “I wouldn’t, um, really know anything about that…”
Morgan walks to the back of the room and sits against the far wall, where she has a full view of the room. She doesn’t seem too keen to approach a partially exposed warp drive.
As Shane continues to work, purple sparks of warp energy would occasionally float up from the drive, only to fizzle out after a few seconds. “There must be some sort of safety protocol that prevents it from staying active for extended periods of time when isolated.”
“That doesn’t... hurt?” Morgan gestures vaguely to Shane’s right side. The mark on his arm is glowing and pulsing slightly.
“It happens occasionally. I’ve more than gotten used to it by now.”
“That’s good.” She relaxes a bit, showing a hint of a smile. “I wanted to, um, thank you. For keeping our last conversation private.”
Shane looks up at Morgan and smiles a bit. “You’re welcome. You seemed like you needed someone to trust.”
Silence ensues, and Shane’s further attempts at fiddling with the warp drive yielded little more than sparks and smoke. “No, that doesn’t work either, apparently,” Shane mumbles to himself as he grows even more frustrated with the non-functioning machine.
“Do you even know how that thing works?” Morgan asks cautiously. “Maybe you should do some research first, come back to it later…”
“I’m fine,” Shane snaps back, noticeably tense. “I just wish this stupid thing would work for once.”
“Have you tried unplugging it and plugging it back in?” she jokes somewhat nervously. She hardly knows anything about warp drives, but Shane seems to take her advice rather seriously.
Shane quickly looks over the device and its components, only to realize that he had neglected to connect it to any form of power to begin with. “That would do it,” he says with a sigh as he plugs it into the ship’s power grid. The warp drive flares with power, creating a small ball of warp within that bathes the room in a deep purple glow. A searing pain runs up Shane’s arm as his mark begins to glow almost as brightly, as if reacting to the sphere’s energy.
Morgan fails to suppress a laugh; she hadn’t seriously considered the possibility that it might be something so simple. She sits back, relaxed and unprepared. As her gaze meets the Warp, it hits her; the impact of the vision overwhelms her senses, and events unfold before her very eyes.
The cycle of Day and Night plays out on a cosmic scale. As Dusk falls upon the Galaxy, a machine flies through space with what appears to be a habitable planet in the distance. The strange machine tows pods full of both Humans and Pokemon towards its destination.
A comet storm rains down, striking the machine and sending Morgan’s view spinning. She feels as if she’s being pulled away, the Galaxy spiraling out before her as the image fades away. An ominous sense of foreboding overcomes her.
Sparks begin to fly out of the Warp as it quickly grows unstable, likely due to the previous tampering done to the machine. Shane unplugs the warp drive and collapses, the mark slowly fading as the sphere of warp diminished and disappeared.
“I? What? Shane!” Morgan looks frantically back and forth, her senses snapping back to her. Still reeling from the shock, she sits upright. The room appears exactly as it was moments ago as if nothing had happened, yet mysterious images are now burned into her head.
“I’m fine, I think. I’ll put this thing back into a more stable setup later, but right now…” Shane trails off as he tries to get up, wincing at the pain still emanating from the mark. He slumps back down. “I’m just gonna rest here a bit.”
Morgan feels dimly as though she should do something. She stumbles over to the room’s intercom and, still too distraught to care who hears, calls, “MARIA? MARIA, report to the warp lab.”
The medical bot arrives shortly thereafter, with H in tow, having only been in the next room, working on one of his many projects. “What’s going on? Why has MARIA been called?” he asks.
“The warp drive…” Shane begins. “It… interacted with the mark and…” He lifts his right arm slightly, the mark still glowing faintly and sparking off warp energy.
“Well I suppose you have as much right to fiddle with it as anyone,” H replies. “Go ahead.”
“Hey, what’s going on in here?” Alex asks as she bursts into the room, attracted by the commotion.
“I was messing around with the Warp…” Shane says faintly, lifting his arm to show the mark still sparking off energy.
“Does it hurt?” Alex asks, getting up close, staring at the shades of blue and purple pulsating along Shane’s arm and resisting the urge to poke it.
“Yeah… yeah, it does… yeah…”
“You’ve got to get ahold of that thing already,” H tells him. “Learn to control it. I’m learning to control what I can do, you need to learn to control what you can do, otherwise you can’t be a fit rival for me. You need to keep improving otherwise I’ll leave you behind and you’ll be worthless.”
“H, at least your issues make scientific sense,” Morgan snaps at him.
“Ah, but the Warp does make scientific sense,” H declares.
“Oh, really?” Shane asks sarcastically.
“I’d like to see you try,” Morgan challenges H.
“I would if I didn’t have other things that are more important to discover. All I can do is wish you best of luck.”
“Honestly, if MARIA can’t find anything wrong I think the best thing would be for me to rest a bit,” says Shane, turning back to Morgan. “And hope that the pain goes away…”
“I never needed rest!” H interjects.
“Shut up H,” Shane tells him.
“Very well,” H replies before exiting the room, off to his lab once again.
MARIA begins administering pain medication and Shane feels the pain numb away. The sparks of energy still fly out from the mark, but he no longer feels the burning, freezing ache. He gets up and begins putting the warp drive back together.
Dmitri sits in his room, head in hands, contemplating his actions. With his consuming rage now subsided, he feels only somber remorse. He pulls out the Pokeball he took off the man he killed and stares at it, disgusted. He recalls this Sharpedo sinking its jaw full of serrated teeth into Maine, the image of the Metang’s flickering eyes still burning in his mind. He still hears the screams of the man, still sees the blood smear on the wall as the lifeless corpse slumps to the floor. While he has killed before in self-defense, this time it feels different. He could have let that man live, he could have walked away, but he didn’t. He chose to end this man’s life; he had acted with intention. Now, his acts burden him.
No longer able to bear the sight of this Pokeball, Dmitri gets up and exits the room. He wanders the ship, seeking out Morgan and Shane and eventually finding them in the warp lab. They look up as he enters, both giving him a cold glare.
Dmitri approaches, and lays the Pokeball and his energy sword on the floor. “I don’t want- I can’t look at them anymore,” he tells them. “Just… do with with them what you will.” He then turns and exits the room, leaving his crewmates to their business before they have a chance to say anything.
“Uh… what happened?” Alex asks Shane and Morgan, having seen the way they had looked at Dmitri, having seen the pained look on Dmitri’s face.
“That’s right… you were taking Armstrong to the ship…” says Shane, turning his gaze toward Alex. “One of the two trainers we were fighting killed one of Dmitri’s Pokemon… and Dmitri paid in kind.”
“You mean he killed a Pokemon?” Alex asks, her eyes wide with horror at the thought of such cruelty. One of the bad guys killing a Pokemon is bad enough to her, but one of her own traveling companions is even worse.
“Not exactly,” Morgan tells her. “It was… a little worse than that. He killed a man.”
“But it was the man who killed his Pokemon, right?” Alex asks.
“Yes,” Morgan replies. “But nobody deserves that…”
Alex says nothing, realizing that if she had lost one of her own Pokemon like that… she didn’t even want to think about what she might do… No. That isn’t going to happen, she tells herself. She had already made the decision to train with her Pokemon, she swears she will be prepared for whatever challenge awaits.
Alex exits the warp lab and returns to her room to pour over the holoscroll Gilgamesh had given her. Ever since, she had spent her free time staring at it, but it always showed the same thing, always the planet where her father disappeared. There was hardly any information other than a map of the area around the temple located on the planet.
“Gah! Stupid thing! Why won’t you show anything useful!?” Alex cries out in frustration, casting the holoscroll away from her.
It flickers for a moment, the display changing, showing locations of other temples on other worlds.
“What?” Confused by the sudden change, Alex picks the scroll up again and examines it. “Why did that happen?”
“We’ve arrived,” Minerva’s voice sounds over the comms.
There is no more time to stare at the holoscroll. Alex knows she won’t find anymore information there. Her answers lie on the planet below. She stuffs the unhelpful device into her bag and rushes to the bridge.
Alex arrives on the bridge to find Morgan, Shane, and Dmitri already there. Looking out through the viewport, she sees the planet looming in the distance. The light of the system’s star is eclipsed by the jungle world as the Helix draws near. The ship breaks through the atmosphere and soars above the faintly lit trees.
“I assume you want to land near the creepy pyramid?” Minerva asks.
“Yes,” Alex tells her. “That’s the Mirrored Temple.”
“Nearest clearing’s a few klicks out. Also seems to be a crashed ship further out,” Minerva says, nodding her head in the direction of a wrecked freighter lying amongst the trees. She flies the Helix to the clearing and sets the ship down.
Alex rushes to the airlock, prepared to set out immediately. She reaches to open the door but Morgan grabs her arm. “Alex, it will be dark soon, we can’t go out there.”
“At the very least, not yet,” Shane adds, waking up behind them.
“But we need to go now!” Alex shouts.
“Do you want to get mauled by a wild Pokemon?” Morgan asks her. “We don’t know what’s out there in that jungle. We should wait until the morning.”
“But I’ve never been this close before!”
“If you go out there now, this might be as close as you ever get. I understand that this means a lot to you, but it can wait until morning. Let’s all try to get some rest.”
Alex spends the next several hours eagerly awaiting the sunrise. She attempts to sleep but finds herself unable; she’s simply too wired up. She can’t believe she’s actually here, on the very planet where her father disappeared. There has to be something here, some clue or lead that will point her in the right direction. She’s so close now she can taste it.
“Stupid sun, just come up already,” Alex grumbles as she paces impatiently back and forth in her room. Despite the planet’s short rotational period, the minutes seem like hours, slowly crawling by. Suddenly a ray of light flits in through the viewport; a sliver of the rising sun.
She bolts out of the room, shouting as she runs down the hall. “The sun is up! Let’s go!” The others barely have a moment to rub the sleep from their eyes before Alex is off the ship, and headed into the jungle.
“Slow down!” Shane calls after her. “You’re gonna get yourself killed!” He teleports off the ship and runs after the girl. “Just stop for a minute.”
Alex slows down and waits for the others to catch up. Morgan and Dmitri eventually make their way into the jungle and meet up with Shane and Alex.
“Where’s H?” Shane asks as they begin to make their way deeper into the jungle.
“He’s discussing some things with Dr. Armstrong,” Morgan tells him. “He said to go check out the crashed ship while he finishes up. He’ll meet us at the temple.”
“Aww…” Alex moans. “I want to go there now.”
“It’s probably dangerous in the temple,” Morgan tells her. “It’s best to wait until we’re all together.”
The crew heads off in the direction of the crashed ship, pushing their way through the dense jungle. They eventually emerge in an area where the trees aren’t as thick and close together. They spot a Liepard circling a tree, eyeing a Natu perched on a branch several meters up. The Natu chirps angrily at the Liepard, clearly distressed by its presence.
“Oh no, it’s going to eat it!” Alex exclaims, reaching for a Pokeball and releasing her Houndoom. Morgan and Shane also release Pokemon of their own. The Liepard takes notice of them and growls angrily as they approach.
“Diablo, use Ember! Alex commands her Pokemon, pointing at the Liepard. The Houndoom runs forward and spits a lick of flames at the Liepard, drawing it away from the tree. The Natu, still perched in the tree, eyes the new Pokemon. It identifies Morgan’s Croconaw as a threat and shoots out a burst of energy toward it.
“R.A.G.E., use Dazzling Gleam,” Shane instructs his Clefable. The pink Pokemon shoots a bright blast of light towards the Liepard, but the nimble cat dodges out of the way. It eyes R.A.G.E. angrily as it lands on its feet.
“Hector, use Ice Fang!” Morgan commands her Pokemon. The Croconaw runs up to the Liepard, his fangs coated over in ice. Hector clamps his jaws down, delivering a nasty blow. The Liepard growls angrily in response.“Now to catch it,” Morgan says to herself. She pulls out a Great Ball and chucks it at the Liepard. It connects and pulls the Pokemon inside. It shakes three times before falling still.
“Your turn, D.I.S.C.O.,” Shane says, switching out to his newly acquired Amaura, thinking it to be better suited to fighting the Natu.
“Hey, come down here!” Alex shouts at the Natu. “We’re not gonna hurt you.” The bird just flaps its wings and chirps. “Damn it… Diablo jump up and shoot an Ember at it!” The Houndoom run up and jumps up at the branch and shoots another burst of fire, striking the Natu and leaving it burned.
“D.I.S.C.O., use Thunder Wave,” Shane instructs his Pokemon. The Amaura sends out a little burst of electricity at the Natu, causing it to momentarily seize up. It looks very bothered and starts glowing, then it suddenly vanishes.
“No, come back!” Alex shouts. “I wanted to catch you!”
“It’s not gone yet,” Shane tells her. He lifts his arm, his mark glowing for a moment and suddenly the Natu reappears on the branch. It looks around briefly with a very confused expression. It starts flapping its wings and chirping angrily, attempting to fly away.
“Not so fast!” Alex shouts after it as she lobs a Great Ball at it. The ball strikes it in the air, pulling the Natu inside. “Yes!” Alex cries out in victory as the ball lands on the ground.
The crew recalls their Pokemon and they continue on toward the crashed ship. Reaching the wreckage, it’s obvious that this ship has been here a while, but due to the damage and rust it’s hard to say how long for sure. It could be anywhere from a few months to a couple of years. The area is covered with bits of scrap from the ruined freighter, but, interestingly, no bodies.
“Looks like the bodies got dragged away,” Shane says, pointing at drag marks leading away from from the crash site in multiple directions. They move on through the wreckage, checking out the rooms that remain intact.
“There’s not much here,” says Dmitri as they move through the wreckage.
“This is just a stupid wreck,” Alex mumbles. “It’s not even the one he came here on.”
“Hey, I found something!” Dmitri shouts out. The others run over and help Dmitri uncover a broken safe. Inside they find some potions, Pokeballs, a datapad containing some credits, and a bottle of alcohol. After splitting up the spoils, the crew decides to head for the temple as there doesn’t seem to be much else of value in the area.
As they walk along, the Mirrored Temple looming in the distance, they hear a rustling in the bushes. They look around and see a Snivy poke its head out of the bushes.
“Hey there little guy,” Alex says as she approaches it. She kneels down in front of it and reaches out to pet it. It retreats back into the bush, eyeing her suspiciously.
“Here,” Dmitri says to Alex, holding out a cabbage. “Feed it this.”
“You kept a cabbage from Vandia?” Alex asks. “Why?”
“Why not?” Dmitri asks in return, a stupid smirk on his face.
Alex grabs the cabbage out of Dmitri’s hand and breaks off a leaf, offering it to the Snivy. The Pokemon gobbles the leaf up and looks up at Alex expectantly. She offers it another leaf and it emerges from the brush. Alex reaches out her hand again and pets the Pokemon.
“Aww. You’re so cute,” Alex says to the Snivy. “Wanna come with me?” she asks, holding out a Great Ball. The Pokemon sniffs the ball and then gives it a lick, making a disgusted face. “You don’t eat it, silly,” Alex tells it. She presses the ball up against the side of the Snivy’s head. The ball sucks it in and falls still almost instantly. “Okay let’s go!” Alex shouts out, jumping to her feet. She leads the crew as they continue on toward the temple.
The trees break as they approach the temple, leaving only the cracked walkway and the neatly arranged trees in between. It almost feels as if some mysterious force has been keeping the jungle growth at bay. The late-day sunlight reflects off the temple; it almost seems as if the whole structure is shimmering. They find H waiting for them in front of massive stone and glass doors as the draw near the base of the temple.
“Shall we?” he asks them.
Shane walks up to the door and cautiously pushes it open. The door slowly swings away, allowing the light of the sun to slowly creep inside, dispelling the darkness in the entryway. The crew enters the temple, slowly moving toward the darkness contained within.
Session Notes: This was a great start to the session. Alex has been fully accepted into the crew of the UAS Helix, and they have finally explained to her all the crazy stuff that they’ve been involved in! It’s been mildly annoying knowing all these things as a player but not actually knowing them as a character.
And then we had another Shmorgan scene! Thanks to Morgan and Shane’s players for pre-writing the scene to read to all of us, and for making my job easier. I copied and pasted it into the this chapter and then made some modifications to make it fit nicely into the narrative. And we got to see Morgan’s ominous vision! It’s all part of her developing clairvoyant abilities. What does it mean?
And we have made it to the Mirrored Temple! As a character, Alex is excited to finally find some answers, and as a player I am excited to move on from my character’s goals from the start of this volume to whatever happens next. I think you guys will find what awaits in the temple to be quite interesting.
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!