Welcome to another exciting 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 the Mirrored Temple to help Alex search for her missing father. There they found the Mirror, an ancient artifact that showed them dark and disturbing visions. They were also able to discover that it was linked to another temple deep within the galactic core. Unfortunately, two of their Pokemon were killed by wild Sigilyphs within. After escaping the temple, the crew was attacked by a group of people from a crashed ship that had been drained and driven mad by the Mirror. They were able to stave off their attackers and bring some of them back to the ship in an attempt to help them.
All is quiet aboard the UAS Helix, but it is not peaceful. Drained by their interactions with the Mirror, the exhausted crew members each go to their respective territories to recuperate. Morgan and H attempt to get some work done, while the rest drift off to sleep.
While no one manages a truly pleasant rest, Dmitri in particular is tormented by strange dreams as he tosses and turns in bed.
Shane awakens in the warp lab in a state of confusion. Normally having little need for sleep, he is unsure what to make of this, but reasons that his encounter with the Mirror may have something to do with it. He exits the lab and makes his way to the bridge, hoping to talk to Minerva to clear his head. He arrives just in time to see an incoming call from Arlon Jett. He plops himself down in the co-pilot seat and answers the call.
“Hey Arlon,” says Shane as the Red Suns leader’s face appears on the screen.
“Hello there, mate,” Arlon replies, a serious but friendly expression on his face.
“What’s up?” Shane asks.
“I need your help again,” Arlon tells him.
“What is it this time?”
“I’ve got a major lead on Mr. Silver. I have come across reports of a powerful cyber-weapon developed by a group of Genevan scientists. According to my intel, this weapon will be aboard the GCS Halcyon during the Galactic Governance Conference, and that someone is planning to activate it. We don’t know who they are or who the target is, only that the weapon will definitely be present.”
“And what does this have to do with Mr. Silver?” Shane asks. “What kind of weapon is it?”
“I don’t know for sure,” Arlon explains. “All I know is that if we can get our hands on it, we can hack Mr. Silver’s entire network. We can find out who he is and what he’s trying to accomplish. This is a vital operation and the Red Suns can’t do it alone.”
“Count us in,” Shane tells him.
“Great. I knew I could count on you. The conference doesn’t begin until a month from now, but we need to begin preparations right away. The first order of business is finding a way onto the ship. Once the ship leaves port, its route will be classified for the duration of the conference, so we need to act fast. I’ve got an in for my team and I already, but you lot will need to find a way to acquire invitations to the conference for yourselves or some other means of getting aboard.”
“Alright,” Shane replies. “We’ll figure something out. I’m gonna go talk to the rest of the crew about this. If you don’t hear from us, assume that we’ll be there to help you out.”
“Cheers mate,” Arlon tells him. “We’ll be in touch.”
“Indeed we will.”
After hanging up with Arlon, Shane calls the crew to the bridge to explain the situation, but only Morgan and Dmitri show up. When it becomes apparent that no one else is coming, Shane informs them of Arlon’s call.
“It’s great that we got a call from Arlon,” Morgan says after hearing what Shane has to say. “But we have a lot of things to take care of before we can consider helping him out with this. The people we found on that planet… they need help. We need to get them some kind of medical attention.”
“The conference isn’t for another month, so we should have plenty of time to take care of that,” Shane tells her. “If you want to get those people medical help, and off this ship as soon as possible, then we’re in agreement.”
“Okay,” says Morgan. “We should head to the nearest civilized system and get them to a hospital. Minerva, plot a course.”
“Alright,” Minerva says as she quickly sets a course and takes the ship into warp space. “It’ll take a while to get there so, if you don’t mind, I’m gonna see if there’s anything good on.” She leans back and brings the television up on the viewscreen and nods toward the door, indicating to the rest of the crew to get off the bridge.
“Where’s Alex?” Morgan asks Shane as they depart from the bridge. It had been several hours since she had seen the girl around the ship, which was quite unusual and a bit worrying to Morgan. H, on the other hand, had evidently locked himself in his lab yet again, and they did not particularly care enough to investigate.
“You know, I’m not really sure,” Shane tells her.
“I think we should go check on her,” Morgan replies.
“That’s probably a good idea,” Shane agrees. The two make their way to the ship’s living quarters and Morgan knocks on Alex’s door.
There is no response. She knocks on the door again and calls out, “Alex?” Still nothing. The door doesn’t appear to be locked so she opens it and walks into the room. She sees Alex curled up on her bed, her hands up by her face, blocking it from view.
“Alex, are you okay?” Shane asks, walking into the room behind Morgan. Morgan shoots him a glare, silently warning him to tread lightly.
“It’s all my fault…” Alex says after a long pause. Her voice cracks and it sounds as if she had been crying.
Morgan walks up to the bed and places a hand on Alex’s shoulder in an attempt to comfort her. “What’s all your fault?” she asks.
“It’s my fault your Pokemon died.”
“No, it’s not,” Shane tells her.
“We were only there because of me… I was the reason we were there, I was the reason they died. I put everyone in danger chasing my stupid dream.”
“We wanted to be there too,” Morgan tells her. “Otherwise we wouldn’t have gone.”
“But if I hadn’t snuck onto your ship, they would still be alive…”
“Even before you boarded our ship, we had dangerous experiences and some of our Pokemon have died,” Shane tells her. “It’s a horrible thing, but it happens sometimes. You being on the ship didn’t change that.”
“You mean my Pokemon might die too?” Alex asks frantically.
“Well, they’re just Pokemon,” Morgan tells her.
“No! They’re not just Pokemon!” Alex cries out. “They’re my friends! They’re my family! They’re all I have left…”
“But you’re traveling with us now,” Shane says. “That means we’re kind of like your family. And we have to stick together.”
“But you’re just gonna leave me like everybody else.”
“No, we wouldn’t do that,” Morgan tells her. “Why would you think that?”
“You tried to do it before… Everyone always does…”
“Well, to be fair, you weren’t a part of the crew yet,” Morgan tells her.
“And now you are,” Shane chimes in. “And we’re not gonna give up on you.”
Alex throws her arms around Morgan and pulls her into a hug as mixed tears of joy and sadness fall from her eyes. Morgan awkwardly returns the hug and pats her on the back. “Okay, so things are good now?” she asks.
“I don’t know…” Alex responds.
“Alright, well we’ll probably be on our way soon, so just come out when you’re ready.”
“Okay…” Alex says, loosening her grip and allowing Morgan to go.
Morgan and Shane leave the room, allowing Alex to compose herself.
Back on the bridge, Dmitri sits in the co-pilot seat, watching Minerva flip through channel after channel. She passes by several news broadcasts, cooking shows, and cheesy soap operas until finally settling on a station.
“We now return to Jonny Bohn’s Catch of the Day!” A spirited explorer is climbing up a tall forest tree. “Now, Skiploom drifts in the air to get closer to the sun, so we’ll need a nice vantage point if we want to reach it!” he says to the camera.
Once he spots a Skiploom, he sends out a Scyther and has it use False Swipe. He then tosses a Pokeball, which hits the Pokemon and falls into his open hand. It shakes… again… and… it’s caught!
“And there you have it! Join me again for tomorrow’s Catch of the Day as I brave the jungles of Nivitu!”
The program ends, and a new show comes on the air.
“Welcome to Siogern VI, where the roughest, toughest trainers in the Outer Rim come to RUMBLE!” A lineup of teams enters an arena before a cheering crowd. “These competitive combatants are here today to test their mettle and pit themselves against the Fearsome Fighting Gym Leader himself, Jerome MacJabber! But will they take home the prize?”
As he watches the Pokemon battle showdown, Dmitri considers the possibility of challenging this gym to earn some much needed credits.
Before they arrive in a civilized system, Morgan wants to see if there’s anything else she can do for the people they rescued. On her way to the Medbay, she passes Dmitri on the bridge, who agrees to accompany her as she attempts to wake one of the men up. Despite her reassurances to the rest of the crew, she still doesn’t feel safe to be alone with them.
The men are lying on beds in the Medbay, fastened with five-point restraints, although they still twitch fitfully in anesthesia-induced sleep. MARIA’s initial assessment had revealed nothing out of the ordinary aside from severe dehydration and malnutrition; further scans showed some sort of neurological abnormality, though neither MARIA nor Morgan knew what to make of that.
As Morgan oversees MARIA administering drugs to one of the men to counteract the anesthesia, Dmitri focuses on reading the man’s mind. His own thoughts are immediately overwhelmed with the sensation of nightmares, awful dreams that seem somehow both incoherent and familiar. Morgan calls to him, wanting to make sure he is ready for whatever happens when the man wakes up.
“Dmitri?” she asks.
He does not respond.
She turns around, surprised. “Dmitri?”
Again, Dmitri seems not to register her words.
Worry begins to snake its way around Morgan’s heart. She approaches Dmitri and taps him gently on the shoulder. He seems to respond, and her fear falls away, quickly replaced by annoyance.
“Are you going to back me up, or not?”
“Huh? Back you up with what?” Dmitri still seems a bit disoriented.
“He’s about to wake up!” Morgan huffs. “And I don’t know what’s going to happen, so I need you to be ready in case something happens!” With a sigh, she returns to MARIA at the man’s bedside.
The man is awake now, and he struggles more actively against the restraints. His frail body is no match for the cuffs, however. He grunts with each tug and doesn’t appear to notice Morgan standing above him. Gently, she touches his shoulder. He looks at her intently, pupils dilating. He continues moaning and struggling.
“It’s alright,” she says. “What’s your name? Do you remember?”
“M… Make it stop! Make it stop!” he cries. At least, that’s all Morgan manages to make out. Everything else sounds like gibberish. The man begins to thrash his head around, apparently trying to bite her. She quickly pulls back.
“Make what stop? You have to concentrate and tell us; otherwise we can’t help you,” she says.
Suddenly, he freezes. His pupils rapidly constrict as he stares at a point far beyond her head. Morgan glances worriedly at MARIA. The robot hasn’t yet made a move to interfere, so she turns her attention back to the man.
Just as abruptly as he had stopped, he is moving once again, pulling ever more frantically at the restraints. “I’m trying!” he screams. “Please, I’m trying! I’ll do it! I’ll do anything! Just please, make it stop!” They get the sense that he isn’t speaking to them.
Realizing that this is going nowhere, Morgan motions to MARIA, who approaches the man and sedates him again. He falls back into a restless sleep. Morgan steps away, shaking her head; she is disappointed, but not surprised. She leaves the Medbay with a heavy heart, and Dmitri soon follows. He can’t shake the feeling that the thoughts he gleaned from that man’s mind seem very familiar.
The Helix drops out of warp space and approaches the planet Harali, one of the more developed planets in this corner of Sinai space. It is a forest world with many lush and diverse woodlands spanning the lands between the large cities. Minerva docks in the ship in a spaceport in one of these cities and Morgan, Shane, and Dmitri travel to the nearest hospital.
At the hospital, Morgan arranges for an ambulance to pick up the people they rescued outside the Mirrored Temple and bring them back for treatment. Soon after they return to the ship, the paramedics retrieve the Helix’s extra passengers and quickly whisk them off to the hospital. While she is unsure if the treatment will be successful, she tells herself there was nothing more she could have done.
The crew then assembles on the bridge to plan out their next move. Having pulled herself back together, Alex joins them as Dmitri proposes going to Siogern VI to challenge the gym there.
As he mentions this, Minerva looks at him with a grin and says, “You missed the championship match.”
“How did it go?” Dmitri asks her.
“The house won,” she tells him, still grinning. “I look forward to see you try to beat him.”
“You sure we can do this?” Shane asks Dmitri.
“We really need the money, so it can’t hurt to try. Even if we don’t win, we can make some money by betting on the matches.”
“I think we can do it!’ Alex says enthusiastically.
“Alright,” says Shane. “Minerva, set a course.”
“Your funeral, kid.”
The Helix arrives back in the Outer Rim and approaches the sixth moon of Siogern, home to the Fighting Gym. The massive red gas giant looms in the distance, its beautiful crimson gases swirling in a mesmerizing pattern.
“Is the gym on that space station there?” Shane asks, seeing Siogern VI approaching.
“That’s no space station,” Minerva tells him. “It’s a small moon.” The moon has so many installations and structures built into it that, from a distance, it appears to be a space station of some sort.
Minerva docks the ship with the moon and the crew sets out to challenge the gym. As they approach the registration table, they see many tough looking Outer Rim scoundrels and roughnecks lining up to challenge the gym themselves. When they get to the table, the man in charge of signing up challengers sizes them up. His left eyebrow raises as his eyes fall on the short and scrawny teenage girl that is Alex. “You sure about this?” he asks.
“Yes,” says Dmitri, flashing his four gym badges. The man’s other eyebrow raises upon seeing the badges. “Okay then. Good luck. You’re gonna need it. I’ll sign you up as Team Five, unless you want to pick a different name.”
“We’ll be team Helix!” Alex shouts out.
“Alright, Team Helix it is. You’re scheduled for the third fight; be on the stage in twenty minutes. Go in mean, but keep it clean.”
As they step out into the stands, the crew sees a rowdy crowd cheering as trainers walk into the arena and release their Pokemon, preparing to duke it out. Taunts and angry shouts can be heard amongst the homogeneous sounds of the fans.
“Bets! Bets! Place your bets!” a man shouts from the betting table as people walk by. “Two teams enter the arena, one team leaves! Who’s it gonna be!? Place your bets!”
The crew looks up at the stage and Dmitri and Morgan recognize one of the trainers. He had fought against them with his powerful Nidoking in a friendly battle several months ago on the Federation world of Otho. The Nidoking stands in the arena, teamed up with a Hitmonlee and a Medicham against a Graveler, a Hitmontop, and a Pidgeotto. Remembering the tough fight on Otho, Dmitri places a one-hundred credit bet on the Nidoking’s team to win.
The fight lasts all of five minutes as the Nidoking team sweeps the floor with their opponents. “It’s a knockout!” the announcer shouts as the bell rings. “Next up, it’s Team Helix vs. Team Dome!” The crew heads over to the betting table so that they can place bets on themselves for their upcoming match and so Dmitri can collect his winnings. They then work out which Pokemon to use in the battle since they can only enter three at a time, and one per person. They decide to go with Clefable, Pikachu, and Scyther for this round while Alex sits out.
DING! DING! DING!
The bell rings and the crowd starts cheering for the upcoming match. “And it begins!” the announcer shouts.
“Pikachu is off to a lightning start as it sprints into Riolu with a shocking Electro Ball! Rushing to the aid of its partner, Tyrogue tackles the electric mouse!”
Gigan swoops in for a kill, as the announcer continues. “Scyther flies up to its target and—Ooooh!—sweeps Tyrogue right off the field! This is gonna be a bloody battle, folks!”
R.A.G.E., meanwhile, moves up a little and minimizes his presence.
“Riolu responds to Pikachu with a Force Palm to the face, followed quickly by a sneak attack from Gligar, ending the reign of the yellow menace!”
Gigan continues to use her Wing Attack. “Scyther is on a roll as it takes down Tyrogue! Takes down Riolu! And now it’s gunning for Gligar!”
R.A.G.E. softens the Gligar up with a Dazzling Gleam before Gigan prepares a finishing blow.
“Gligar sees the mean green machine flying towards it and tries to take it out! Will it stop it!?... No! It does not! Scyther goes in for the kill! And! And! And!... Aaand it nails it, folks! This triple takedown terror takes the match!”
Alex cheers along with the crowd as she watches her teammates battle it out in the arena. As Dmitri’s Scyther delivers the final blow, she leaps to her feet in joy and runs over to congratulate them. Once the excitement dies down, the team splits up the prize money for the fight and then heads over to collect their winnings from the betting table.
They don’t pay much attention to the next fight and plan out which Pokemon to use in their upcoming fight with the Nidoking team. Since they know the Pokemon they will be up against, they decide that Alex will tag in for Dmitri and they will use her Espurr, Morgan’s Espeon, and Shane’s newly caught Cofagrigus. By the time they figure this out, the fight is over and they’re on again. Feeling more brazen after their victory, the crew quickly places bets on themselves for larger sums of money and then take to the stage once again.
DING! DING! DING!
“And we’re off!”
“Espurr startles Nidoking with Fake Out, and it looks like Espeon is preparing something in the back! I wonder what’s in store!”
“Medicham and Hitmonlee both jump… and it’s a double high jump kick, right into Espurr and Cofagrigus!... And they take it! Both Pokemon are still up, folks!”
“Medicham’s in trouble now, as Cofagrigus lets loose a deadly Shadow Ball! Meanwhile, Espeon unleashes its Future Sight on Hitmonlee, dealing a double-down knockout!”
“It’s all down to Nidoking, and it shows no sign of slowing down now! It lands a hit on Espurr with an Earth Power, bringing the tally to two-to-one! But will it be enough?”
The Nidoking exchanges a few attacks at range with its opponents, demonstrating both power and evasion. “Nidoking is on a roll, weaving and bobbing, closing the distance… and Espeon blinds it with a Sand Attack!” The blinded monster just runs forward, thrashing wildly. “It looks like sand won’t do Espeon any good now, as Nidoking rampages straight through it! Espeon is down for the count!”
“Cofagrigus lets out another Shadow ball at Nidoking… it’s a direct hit, but it manages to stay up and keep fighting! Nidoking charges straight at Cofagrigus in a fiery rage and lets out a breath of flame, but Cofagrigus endures! It unleashes another Shadow Ball and... Nidoking is down! The winner is... Team Helix!”
Team Helix have a brief moment to collect themselves before the final fight with the gym leader. They discuss who they want to enter in the battle as they make their way to the betting table to collect their prize money and betting winnings. They see the money stacking up against them as they draw near. Feeling quite confident Shane slams his hands down on the table and utters three words.
“I’m all in.”
The others a bit more cautious. Alex only throws in half of her money while the others place more conservative bets. Those gathered around the table to place bets look at Team Helix like they’re crazy.
With only a few moments to go, the team returns to the ring and selects who will enter the fight. Morgan tags out so Dmitri’s Haunter can enter alongside Alex’s Lampent and Shane’s newly caught Sigilyph.
“Ladies and gentlemen! The fight you’ve all been waiting for!” The announcer shouts as the gym leader takes the stage. “The Spooky Sky Squad of Team Helix, the challengers!
The Fantastic Fighting Fuh-reak, Jerome MacJabber, in the battle for the belt!”
MacJabber unhooks his Pokeballs from his belt and throws them up in the air. One by one he punches them out onto the field with his gloved fist as they fall. The Pokemon emerge with flashy moves! A Scrafty, a Blaziken, and the star of the show, a shiny Hitmonchan!
DING! DING! DING!
“And we’re off to the start of the match as Lampent goes after Scrafty with a nasty burst of flame! Sigilyph follows up with a Miracle Eye Zen Headbutt combo, but the crafty fighter spitefully disables the move! Haunter flies in with a finishing Night Shade, but Scrafty manages to take the punishment folks!”
“Hitmonchan steps up to the plate, gets that look in its eye and… POW! POW! POW! POW! It’s a one Pokemon punching platoon! Haunter tries to stall it with a Sucker Punch of its own, but it’s simply too fast! Hitmonchan takes down Haunter with a flurry of fists!”
“Blaziken prepares an electrifying punch, leaps at Sigilyph and... Sigilyph dodges at the last second! Scrafty falls in for a Head Smash and—what a doozy folks, this bird is avoiding every attack thrown at it!”
“Lampent charges up another fiery burst of power, launches it at Scrafty and it goes down! Ladies and gentlemen, the count is now one down on each side! Who will win in this spectacular smackdown!?”
With Scrafty down, the challengers’ team now shifts its focus to Hitmonchan and its deadly comet punches. “Sigilyph flies up to Hitmonchan and slices it with a wave of air, but Hitmonchan keeps on punching through!”
“Not one to be denied a hit, Blaziken sprints up to Sigilyph and delivers a Blaze Kick right to the face, and Hitmonchan runs in to deliver the finishing blow with a bone chilling Ice Punch!”
Lumiera is now the only remaining challenger Pokemon still up. “Not wanting to be on the receiving end of Hitmonchan’s frightening fists, Lampent floats back and delivers a death dealing Shadow Ball! Hitmonchan is down for the count!”
“Blaziken charges forward with a Brave Bird... and misses Lampent! This little lantern is on a roll as it keeps sending Shadow Ball after Shadow Ball at a frantic frequency!” The fiery fighter gets knocked down, but soon springs back up. “But Blaziken defies death!”
Blaziken uses Brave Bird one last time. “Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t believe it! Blaziken knees Lampent right in the face! They both get sent flying into the stands!” Apprehensive silence fills the stadium as everyone waits for the dust to settle. “AND THEY’RE BOTH DOWN! IT’S A DRAW! Ladies and gentlemen, in all my years I have never seen a fight like this one!”
“HELIX! HELIX! HELIX! HELIX!” the crowd cheers wildly as Team Helix stands upon the stage awaiting the refs’ decision. Alex stares in awe at the crowd cheering for Team Helix, cheering for her.
The refs take to the stage and talk with MacJabber; it seems they’ve come to a decision. The gym leader walks over to Team Helix and hands the belt to Alex. “Congratulations,” he says to her. “You earned it, kid. You earned it.”
Alex hoists the belt high above her head as the crowd continues to cheer. “HELIX! HELIX! HELIX! HELIX!”
“And these are for you,” MacJabber continues, presenting each member of Team Helix with a Belt Badge and their choice of a selection of fighting type TMs. The team then heads over to the betting table to collect their prize money, and massive betting returns.
The crew makes a brief stop at a Wonder Trade center on the moon to trade out the stolen Sharpedo and a couple other Pokemon before heading back to the Helix.
Session Notes: H’s player wasn’t able to make it this week and we had to end early to go to our school’s TRPG club meeting so we didn’t really pursue any major plot leads this session. Instead we decided to challenge another gym. This is the first time we’ve had a one chapter session in a long time.
The gym had fantastic flavor as an Outer Rim Pokemon fighting arena, complete with betting and an awesome announcer! It was a fun tournament style gym with a fantastic ending in the final round! I rolled not one, not two, not three, but four crits in a row! And then the enemy Pokemon missed quite a lot. It was such a tense battle with thousands of credits on the line which ended in a draw thanks to recoil! But thanks to some solid charm rolls we won the crowd over and earned the belt and the badge. Shane’s player went all in and the rest of us all put a lot of money down so it made that last match so tense. In the end we made so much money! We’re gonna need it!
In terms of RP this session, I think this was a major character point for Alex. Having constantly been used, mistreated, and abandoned throughout her life, she has finally realized that she has found a group of people who will be there for her. She has finally found a family.
We also saw some lingering effects of the Mirror on Dmitri. Who knows what might happen to him? Only time will tell.
And of course, we’ve got our next major lead to follow courtesy of everyone’s favorite British badass! I am very much looking forward to a joint mission with the Red Suns, and the challenge of actually having to RP two characters at the same time in the same place!
At the end of the session we did some wonder trading. Morgan got an Oshawott to replace her Croconaw and Shane got an Inkay to replace his Inkay! What are the odds!? Dmitri also traded out his Clefairy that he never uses and got a Pachirisu.
Also, thanks to DragonStorm (the GM) and ClarissaGavin (Morgan’s player) for assisting with the writing this week! You can also check out a little supplemental piece ClarissaGavin wrote up over on TAYClassic.
Post-Chapter Challenge: Gyms! They’re fun! Space settings provide opportunities for a lot more interesting locations and setups. So far we’ve seen gyms in an asteroid mining station, a volcanic desert world, inside a giant space wailord, following a roaming space nomad, and in a fighting pit on a small moon.
So here’s my challenge for you guys: you live in the galaxy of Spacemon. But you aren’t just anybody; you are a Gym Leader! What’s your type and what Pokemon do you use? What’s the name of your badge? How do you make your challengers fight; do you have everything come out at once, or do you prefer to duel with one or two Pokemon at a time? And of course, where is your gym located? How does location influence your battle style?
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!