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 icy world Morgan saw when she looked into the Eye of Aether, known as Jötunheimr. Speaking with the scientists on the planet’s moon, they learned of the second moon inside the body of the gas giant. In some sort of temple on that moon’s harsh and snowy surface, the crew found the man frozen in stasis that Morgan saw in her vision. After fighting the two icy automatons guarding the temple, the crew awakened the man, known as Adám, and his ancient Pokemon companion.
“Who are you?”
Shane steps forward and begins to speak. “Well, I’m-”
“Ah ah ah ah ah,” H interrupts. “I go first.”
Shane let’s out a long sigh.
“I am Ara Haoshyangha,” H continues. “Savior of the Universe and future to all of the benefit of mankind, bringer of enlightenment and chaser of perfection.”
Shane buries his face in his palm.
“These…” H trails off as he looks back at his crewmates. “Are my humble and incredibly valuable tools.”
“You’re a tool,” Alex snaps back.
“Exactly,” H agrees, completely missing the meaning of the girl’s words.
“Anyway,” Shane says, turning his attention back to Adám. “I’m Shane, and this is Morgan, Alex and Dmitri.”
“So, what were you in that cryotube for?” H asks, looking directly at Adám.
“This is where I rest through the ages,” the man answers.
“So, you’ve slept through the apocalypse?” H asks. “Multiple times? And you weren’t murdered because…?”
“I do not presume to know the will of the Gods,” Adám answers.
“And how do you know it’s been multiple cycles?”
“As I said, you are not the first to have awakened me.”
“And? What did you tell them?”
“What I told you.” Adám pauses for a brief moment to look up at the sky. “You cannot be helped.”
“Well, I’m not sure if this means anything to you, but I’m the Gardener for this cycle,” Shane tells him.
Adám looks Shane up and down, then reaches out and places his hand on his head. Shane feels a spiritual connection, and, to him, it feels as if Adám is analyzing his mind. “You are quite different from the previous ones,” the man tells him, noting his human form.
“Just as we are quite different from those who woke you before,” H butts in. “You should come with us.”
“I remain unconvinced,” Adám tells him.
“Well, then you could go back into your cryotube, and then you’ll just wake up to other idiots asking you about why you’re in a cryotube, and that is going to be your life forever.”
“Such is the way of the Universe.”
“Well, that’s a stupid existence,” Alex comments.
“It is the way it must be.”
“Look, look,” H continues. “Your magical powers super whatever, I don’t care. You can come back to your cryotube if you want. I know you could probably do that through something I don’t care about. But you can also come with us, see something that you haven’t seen before, possibly, and then you can go back to your cryotube. Break up the monotony.”
“And, can I ask,” Shane chimes in. “Across all of the times you’ve been awakened, have you found anyone who you’ve actually deemed worthy?”
“If I had, we would not be having this conversation.”
“So, you’re completely indifferent to the death of everyone in this Universe?” Morgan asks.
“When you have experienced as much death as I have, you become numb to it.”
“And that’s any excuse to just… give up? You don’t even feel bad about the fact that you’re numb?”
“It is possible to feel emotions without them weighing you down,”Adám replies calmly. “There is a difference between controlling your inner turmoil and letting it control you.”
Before she can respond, Morgan suddenly gasps as she has yet another vision of a Mewtwo touching the Eye Aether. This time it’s much more vivid; she sees the monster casually snap the necks of the guards on the station, then approach the artifact. Morgan quickly walks up to Shane and pokes him in the back. “We have to get back to the Eye,” she tells him.
“Let’s deal with this guy first,” he responds, then turns to face Adám. “We really need to get going, Can we continue this conversation back on our ship?”
Adám looks up at the stars. “How far into this ascension are you?” he asks.
“I’d say we’re nearing the apocalyptic phase,” Shane tells him.
“The Mewtwos have already been created,” Morgan elaborates. “And they’re waking up now.”
“Then, I believe we still have some time,” Adám replies. “Very well.”
Back aboard the Helix, Morgan summons the crew to the situation room to introduce their new passenger. “This is Adám,” she explains once everyone gathers. “He’s seen other cycles and he might be able to help us.”
“Wait, Adám?” Meta asks. “Like Sinai bible Adám? Seriously? Welp, there goes those Spacenet arguments...”
“So, uh, who is this guy?” H asks.
“I would tell you the story,” Shane tells him. “But I need to go warp the ship.”
“Summarize it,” H responds, but Shane ignores him and walks out of the room. H then turns to Meta and asks her the same question.
Meta lets out a long, resigned sigh. “Are you at all familiar with old Earth religion?” she asks the cyborg.
“Good,” Meta tells him. “It’s a whole load of Tauros anyway.”
“Hey,” Alex protests. “Clearly it’s not all bullshit. I mean, I don’t believe in a lot of the stuff the monks told me, but obviously some things are true.” The girl glances over at Adám.
“Well, even if they got a few things right, most of it is probably bullshit,” Meta retorts. She then turns back to H. “Basically, all you really need to know is that, supposedly, long ago God, or, in this case, the Mewtwos it would seem, created two beings: a Human and a Pokemon.”
“In the bible, the first human is called Adám, and his Pokemon companion is Eve,” Alex butts in. “They are the ancestors of all Humans and Pokemon who came after them.”
“Well, we don’t really know if that’s true,” Meta tells her. “But, given that the Mewtwos required a Human and a sample of this first Pokemon to make more, I suppose it is more statistically likely than I thought. If all of this is true, then we have the originals standing here among us.” The hacker glances over at Adám and his Pokemon.
“Alright, wonderful,” H responds, having been eagerly absorbing the girls’ words. “Wait, so that means those two… and them… and that means that they are Mewtwo, which means that… Wonderful!” The cyborg enthusiastically runs up to Adám. “Would you mind if I stab you with a bunch of sharp needles?” he asks. “It won’t hurt. It probably will, but it won’t.”
“H, stabbing people with needles isn’t the best way to start out asking for help,” Morgan warns the cyborg.
“I fail to see what possible need there could be for this,” Adám speaks up, eyeing H suspiciously. “I will not allow it.”
“It’s just for some simple tests,” H explains. “It won’t hurt for that long, then you’ll go back into your cryotube and the Universe will end again. What does it matter?”
“H, I’d rather the Universe not end,” Morgan responds.
“Look,” H says to Adám, ignoring Morgan completely. “It’s just going to be a pinch. I’m going to pinch you now, you’re going to let me do it, it’s going to be for the greater good of everybody, and you’ll be perfectly fine. If you don’t, you will pay for it.”
Unlike H, Morgan gets the sense that Adám does not have a fear of needles so much as a worry about invasive science. “H, stop it,” Morgan tells the cyborg coldly.
“Fine then,” H says. He steps forward and grabs Adám’s arms firmly. He extends his robotic third arm toward the man.
Adám gives H a stern and serious look. “You walk down a dangerous path,” he warns as his Pokemon companion floats up behind the cyborg, eyes glowing fiercely.
“H, stop!” Morgan demands as she points her flamethrower at him.
“How many times do we have to tell you? That’s not how you make friends!” Shane shouts as he steps back into the situation room.
“No,” H replies. “But it is how you stop the Universe from exploding. I put the potential solution to stopping all of Humanity from being wiped out over the needs of a random man we met in the middle of nowhere, frozen in a glacier!”
“H, look out!” Shane shouts, seeing Adám’s Pokemon preparing to attack. He quickly swaps his position with the cyborg just in time to be blasted with psychic energy and knocked to the floor.
“Shane!” H shouts, annoyed. He pulls out a pester ball and prepares to throw it.
“H, stop!” Shane screams angrily back at the cyborg.
Suddenly, Morgan unleashes a torrent of flames all over the room. Seizing the moment, Shane uses his command of Space to move himself, Adám, and his Pokemon out of the room.
Angry, H throws the pester ball in his hand at Morgan. Thinking quickly, Alex pulls out one of her custom Pokeballs modified to hold non-living matter. With her enhanced spatial awareness, Alex easily calculates the correct angle and throws the ball as hard as she can. While her thought had been to capture H’s pester ball, Alex only manages to hit it with her Pokeball, causing it to explode before it reaches Morgan.
Morgan aims her flamethrower at H again and prepares to fire. Before she gets the chance, Dmitri steps between them. “Enough!” he shouts. He releases a burst of energy outwards, putting his three crewmates to sleep.
“That’s one way to end an argument,” Meta comments, having made the decision to stay out of her crewmates’ bickering.
With a concerned look on his face, Adám runs over to Shane, then kneels down beside him and places his hand on his chest. As Adám makes contact, Shane can feel himself begin to heal. “Are you alright?” the ancient man asks.
“I’ll be okay,” Shane manages to grunt. “Sorry you had to see that… This crew… We are dysfunctional, yes, but we are all working toward the same thing. We’re all trying to save the Galaxy; the only problem is, we’re going about it in completely different ways. Sometimes I even think the Galaxy shouldn’t be saved… not by us at least.”
“You are very wise.”
Through the wall, they can hear the fighting stop. The roar of the flamethrower ceases, followed by three thuds.
“That said, we are very effective at what we do,” Shane says, a slight smile appearing on his face.
“And what do you do, exactly?” Adám asks.
Shane just sighs. “Good question.”
A short while later, Alex wakes up and finds herself lying on her bed. It takes her a moment to figure out what happened, but, once she reorients herself, she heads down to the lower deck to heal her Pokemon.
Alex enters the med bay and places her Pokeballs in healing machine. While she waits for it to do its job, the girl looks around the room and spots Shane sitting on the far side of the room. He nods at her, then turns his attention back to treating his own injuries.
Once the machine beeps, Alex places her Pokeballs back on her belt, except for the one containing Lumiera. She releases the Chandelure from her container, revealing that the Pokemon is okay. But something is off.
“Lumiera, what happened to your flames?” Alex asks, even if her Pokemon can’t really answer. The Chandelure’s five pale blue flames remain extinguished. A tear rolls down Alex’s cheek as she realizes the extreme blast of cold her ghostly friend was exposed to must be the cause.
“There must be a way to fix this,” Alex says desperately. “C’mon, Lumiera, try making a fire.” The Chandelure’s eyes scrunch up as she focuses, and she manages to spray out a jet of flame from the top of her head, but it doesn’t stay. “No!” Alex cries out in dismay. “That should have worked. Why didn’t it work?”
Lumiera lets out a long, sad-sounding cry and floats closer to her trainer. “No, it’s not your fault Lumiera,” Alex tells her Pokemon as she wraps her arms around her. “It’s mine. I’m so sorry this happened to you. I’ll find a way to fix you. I promise.”
“Try giving it this,” Shane tells the girl. Alex looks up to see him standing next to her, holding out a fire stone.
“What am I supposed to do with this?” Alex asks. She grabs the stone out of Shane’s hand and examines it.
“I don’t know,” Shane tells her. “But your Chandelure seems to have lost its spark. Maybe this can give it back.
“I hope so,” Alex replies. She drops the stone into the hole on the top of Lumiera’s head, and it dissolves, leaving behind a tiny wisp of flame.
“Well, that was marginally disappointing,” Shane reacts.
Alex, however, seems much more hopeful. “Please, do you have any more?” She asks, grabbing onto Shane’s arms. “If we give her enough I think it can fix her.”
“I’m sorry, that’s the only one I had,” Shane informs her.
“Damn,” Alex grumbles. She releases Shane and turns back to her Pokemon. “Well, I’ll just have to buy a ton more. However many it takes.”
Shane places a reassuring hand on the girl’s shoulder. “We can stop somewhere the sells them soon, but right now it sounds like we need to go back for the Eye.”
“Thank you,” Alex replies. “I understand.”
The Helix drops out of warp space in Sector 9 once more, just next to I’s station, which is now surrounded by several destroyed ships. “Looks like something’s been here since we left,” Minerva observes as she flies the ship in to dock.
“I guess so,” Shane responds. “Well Morgan, we’re back. What was the problem?”
“A Mewtwo came to see the Eye,” Morgan tells him. “I saw it when I looked into it, and again on Jötunheimr. I feel like we shouldn’t leave it here.”
“Do you really think the Helix can carry something that big?”
“We have to try.”
Once the ship docks with the station, Shane, Morgan, Dmitri, and Alex disembark and head back to the Time wing. As they enter the chamber containing the Eye, Shane looks up at the massive spherical mass of rock, metal, and crystal and sighs. “This thing is massive,” he says. “We’re going to need a bigger ship… Unless...” He looks back up at the Eye.
“Unless what?” Alex asks.
“Unless we move the whole station somewhere else,” Shane tells her, lifting up his marked hand.
“You can do that?” Alex asks incredulously. “It’s freaking huge.”
“You saw all the warp drives I has installed,” Shane reminds her. “They’ll be more than enough for me to do this.”
Lieutenant Evan Matthews sits back in his seat on the bridge of the FNS Scimitar, monitoring the readings from the Sector 25 warp gate, as well as keeping an eye out for any unusual warp signatures in the area.
“Sit up straight, Lieutenant,” Matthews hears the ship’s commander behind him. He immediately bolts up in his seat. “Remember, we need to be on double alert. With the Romanovs and those creatures on the loose, we can’t afford a repeat of the incident.”
“Yes, sir,” Matthews replies. “There won’t be any unusual warp phenomena on my watch.”
“Very good, Lieutenant,” the commander tells him. “Carry on.”
As he speaks the words, there’s a brilliant flash of light as a massive space station appears out of nowhere. “Uh, sir,” Matthews says to the commander. “I don’t know what to do...”
Before the commander can say anything, the station hails the Scimitar. “Don’t just sit there,” the commander tells Matthews. “Answer it.”
“Oh, um, yes, sir,” the lieutenant responds. He accepts the call, then moves his finger over the alarm button.
What appears to be a teenaged boy with bright blue hair appears on the viewscreen. “Hey, guys, it’s fine,” he announces. “I know it may seem weird but we’re on your side.”
“Oh, uh, okay,” Matthews replies nervously as his finger creeps closer to the alarm.
“Please don’t,” the boy warns him. Matthews quickly moves his hand back.
“Who exactly are you?” the commander asks.
“Do you know of the abominations attacking the Galaxy?” the boy asks in return.
“We are aware of them, yes,” the commander answers.
Shit, is one coming here? Matthews thinks. Am I gonna die?
“Look,” the boy says. “I’m on one of the teams working to try to stop those… things.”
“How do we know for sure?” the commander asks.
“You can contact Admiral Graves,” the boy tells him. “We’re working with her.”
“...Oh. Very well.”
“Well, that went well,” Shane says to his crewmates. “I think... Well, we should head back to the ship now and actually contact the Admiral.”
“You guys go,” Morgan replies. “I’ll stay here with the Eye.”
“Alright,” Shane tells her. “We’ll let you know what she says.”
Shane, Dmitri, and Alex head back to the Helix and head for the situation room. On the way, the run into H and drag him along with them. Once they arrive, Shane accesses the holotable and sends a call through to Graves. Surprisingly, the admiral picks up rather quickly. “Hello,” she greets them. “I was wondering when I’d be hearing from you.”
“I’m not sure how much of this is going to surprise you, given recent events,” Shane tells her. “But we’re going to have a base in Sector 25.”
“Well, that explains that report,” Graves responds. “I guess I’ll just file this away,” she says as she swipes her hand across a datapad.
“So, how goes the war?” Shane asks.
“It goes,” Graves replies as sirens wail in the background.
“One has been taken down already, but there are many more.”
“Wait, you took one down?” Shane asks, shocked.
“Technically, it was your friend Arlon,” the admiral explains.
“How did he accomplish that?” Dmitri asks.
“Is here there?” Shane asks. “Can we talk to him?”
“I’ve only just received the report myself from the Red Suns.”
“Prepare to jump!” a voice sounds in the background.
“I’m afraid I must cut this conversation short,” Graves tells the crew. “I must meet with the war council.”
“Alright, well, I’ll let you get to that,” Shane tells the admiral. “It’s been nice talking to you.” As he moves to hang up, Shane managed to catch the coordinates the Halberd is jumping to.
Almost immediately after the call ends, a light on the table begins to flash, indicating an incoming call. Seeing it’s from the Red Suns, Shane quickly presses the button. “Hey Arlon,” Shane says instinctively as the table projects out the holoscreen once more, but he is surprised to see the Red Suns’ leader’s four lieutenants instead. They all look pretty shaken up. “Oh… Where’s Arlon? Is he there or...” Seeing the looks on their faces, Rena’s tearstained cheeks in particular, he trails off, realizing he knows the answer to the question already.
“I am afraid he did not make it, comrade,” Kiril confirms.
“He sacrificed himself to kill one of the Mewtwos,” Luke elaborates. “He died to save all of us.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” Shane replies, a sorrowful look appearing on his face.
Dmitri is also saddened, but Alex didn’t know Arlon well enough to experience much of an emotional reaction. However, the girl does bow her head in respect. H, on the other hand, stands still with a blank look on his face. Slowly, a smile appears on his face which quickly forms into a frown. He begins screaming incoherently as he casts off lightning bolts in all directions. Once the sparks stop flying, he rips the door off and throws it against the wall.
“H, what the hell are you doing?!” Shane shouts. The cyborg says nothing and storms out of the room.
“Well, he is taking news well I see,” Kiril observes.
“Please tell me you guys have a plan,” Luke says, getting the discussion back on track.
“We don’t,” Shane tells him. “Not yet.”
“At least tell me you got the Eye.”
“Yeah, we have that at least,” Shane informs him. “And we captured I’s station and relocated it, whatever good that’ll do.”
“Well, that’s something,” Petra comments. “Send us your location. We’ll be there as soon as possible, then we’ll come up with a plan.”
After hanging up with the Red Suns, the Helix crew members still in the room decide to head back to the station to attend to the people and Pokemon I imprisoned in the Entropy wing. Shane gazes down the corridor between the cells as they enter the room. “We should probably ask the Federation for help with this,” he says to his crewmates.
“That’s probably a good idea,” Dmitri agrees. “I can’t really do much for so many people. My powers can only do so much.”
“How could he do such horrible things to them?” Alex asks as she crouches down in front of one of the cells. The rabid-looking Glaceon on the other side bats at the glass aggressively at her. “You poor thing,” she says, pressing her hand against the glass. “We have to help them all.”
Shane hails one of the nearby Federation ships and calls for assistance. The officer who answers tells him that they will call for a medical transport to evacuate the people and Pokemon on the station.
In the meantime, the crew works to help those they can, those least affected by Darkrai. Most of the people are too far gone for them to do much, but they do find a few Pokemon that, aside from being a bit malnourished, seem to be in a pretty healthy state. Alex finds a Magmar which she decides to take care of, Dmitri finds a Cranidos he thinks he might want to train, and Shane finds a Sandshrew, a Buizel, and a Lucario. While he feels he has enough Pokemon, Shane decides to take them, wondering if anyone back on the Helix might want to care for them.
Suddenly, a loud explosion echoes through station’s corridors. “What the hell was that?!” Alex shouts in surprise.
“I don’t know, but I think it came from this station’s cargo hold,” Shane tells her, checking a map on his Pokedex.
“It was probably H,” Dmitri offers. “We should probably check on him.”
“Good idea,” Shane agrees. “I’ll handle it. I think I’m the best equipped to deal with him.”
As Shane steps into the cargo hold, a giant piece of scrap metal flies past the door and clanks loudly off the wall, leaving a huge dent. “H, what the hell are you doing to our new station?!” he shouts, seeing the cyborg rampaging through the room. H ignores him and shouts angrily as he shoots a nearby fuel canister with lightning, causing it to explode.
“H, please stop,” Shane tells his crewmate. H continues to throw chunks of scrap.
“Look, I’m sorry he’s gone too,” Shane says, raising his voice. “Okay? But right now we have much more pressing matters to deal with.”
H stops screaming for a moment, stands still, then picks up one last piece of scrap. He yells at the top of his lungs as he runs at the wall and jabs the scrap into the cold, gray metal as hard as he can, leaving it embedded there. The cyborg then collapses into a sitting position, slumped against the wall.
Shane walks over and places a hand on his crewmate’s shoulder. “It’ll be okay,” he says.
“Why did he have to be such an idiot?” H asks. “That stupid fool… I knew I shouldn’t have let him go. I knew he should have stayed. I knew I should have done something. But I didn’t! I didn’t do anything!”
“H, it’s not not your fault,” Shane tells him, trying to calm him down.
“What do you mean it’s not my fault?” H asks. “I have been given tools by fate itself. You are one of them. If I don’t take good care of those tools, if I don’t stand by their side, they die!”
“Goddamn it, H!” Shane shouts. “So, you may have lost one of your tools… It doesn’t matter. We’re still faced with a supposedly insurmountable problem, which we now know is surmountable. One of the Mewtwos was killed. We have to kill the rest.”
“You’re right,” H agrees. He stands up, smiles, and places a hand on Shane’s shoulder. “Your sacrifices won’t be in vain.” He turns and walks out of the room with a spring in his step.
This is such a stupid plan, Meta thinks as she walks through the halls of the Helix searching for Adám. She looks down at the gift-wrapped package H had given her and shakes her head. She agrees with H’s reasoning, but she knows there are better way to go about this. Unfortunately, the cyborg is not particularly easy to reason with.
Eventually she comes across the ancient man and walks up to him. “Here you go,” she says, holding the pack out to Adám.
“What is this?” he asks her, confused.
“It’s an apology present from H,” Meta explains. “For attacking you earlier.”
“Very well,” Adám tells her. He reaches for the package but it explodes in Meta’s hands, putting her to sleep.
Just then, Alex happens to walk past, having just returned from the station. “What the hell happened here?” the girl asks, looking at the hacker now lying on the floor.
“I am not sure,” Adám tells her. “I do not understand the people of this cycle.”
The ancient man turns and begins to walk away, off to meditate with his Pokemon. The small pink creature lingers, looking at Alex with its adorable blue eyes. For a brief moment, Alex allows herself to smile, but then the Pokemon is gone, floating along after Adám, and the girl’s smile fades.
Morgan stands before the Eye of Aether and reaches out to it. She feels bonded with the Eye and is fascinated by its power. She likes the way it feels when she connects with it, the knowledge it provides her. She watches the history of the fight against Mewtwos across the cycles play out before her.
Despite the mayhem and destruction unfolding before her eyes, Morgan revels in the wealth of knowledge now flowing through her and she gets sucked into the depths of Time. As if browsing Bulbapedia, she latches onto particular details and the Eye shows her more information.
Seeing the various ships battling the Mewtwos through the ages, Morgan wonders what the best ships from each cycle were, the ones that were most effective against the Mewtwos. She sees hundreds of ships and is surprised that a lot of them are remarkably similar; the shapes, sizes, energy sources, and materials vary, but a lot of the technologies seem constant.
Out of all the ships Morgan sees, one in particular stands out to her: a massive dreadnought, bigger than anything she’s ever seen. The vessel must be at least three times larger than the largest dreadnought in the Federation fleet. This gargantuan ship is surrounded by a swarm of countless drones as if it is some sort of hive directing them. Emblazoned on the side of the vessel is the title FNS Arceus.
Curious, Morgan focuses on the drones to learn more about them. The swarm seems to be made up of numerous models of automated drones that fulfil a number of functions from combat to repair, all produced and directed from the dreadnought. Morgan notes that the drones seem to function as some sort of networked intelligence; the more units in one location, the more processing power there is, the more intelligent they behave.
The way these drones operate reminds Morgan of a brain, a single intelligence made up of a network of neurons. Curious, she wonders about what advancements were made in neurological research in other cycles. She sees so much information that the scientists of this cycle barely delved into and it fascinates her. Diving deeper in, Morgan sees that psionic abilities like her own began to emerge around the sixtieth cycle as warp technology became a staple of human technology, each cycle building upon what remnants they found of the previous one.
As she goes further and further down the Bunnelby hole, Morgan can feel a faint outside presence tugging at her, but she ignores it and keeps going. Slowly, she sees events from earlier and earlier cycles. Morgan sees that, long before the development of psionic abilities, the Humans of the early cycles had other abilities, those of a much more spiritual nature. To her, these abilities seem exactly like those that Adám demonstrated, which allowed him to connect with and understand Pokemon.
Eventually, Morgan finds herself at the beginning, at what she can only assume is the time before the very first cycle. She can see the Mewtwos come to be out of the chaos and bring order to the Universe, then the creation of Humanity. Morgan watches the Humans and the Mewtwos coexisting for many years, but then a new Mewtwo appears. The next thing she sees is total destruction as the Mewtwos wipe out Humanity and begin the first cycle.
Desperate to see more of this time, Morgan tries to go further in, but she can feel that outside presence tugging at her again, pulling her out. She tries to fight. She wants to know more. She needs to. But it’s too late; Morgan once more finds herself aware of her physical body, standing in the chamber with the Eye.
Shane looks into her eyes, a concerned look on his face. “Morgan, are you okay?” he asks.
“Wait!” Morgan shouts. “Wha- I was about to find something out!”
“Morgan, you’ve been here for hours,” Shane tells her.
“What do you mean it’s been hours?” Morgan asks. “I can stay in here as long as I want.” She knows she can control it.
“Well, we need to come up with a plan for the Mewtwos right now. The Red Suns are here.”
“I see,” Morgan tells him. “Well, I’m sure Arlon’s figured something out. He probably has some good news.”
“Uh… About that…”
Morgan sees a somber look appear on Shane’s face. “What?” she asks. “Did something happen?”
“So, what do we do now?” Luke asks. “Arlon was always the man with the plan…”
The Red Suns and the Helix crew stand gathered around the holotable in the situation room trying to work out their next course of action. Adám stands a bit further back, leaning against the wall and observing.
“Well, as of right now, the only way we know how to defeat them is through a war of attrition,” Shane says.
“Well, zey ‘ave us beat zere,” Rena responds. She brings up footage of the Mewtwos destroying everything in their path. “Look ‘ow much we ‘ad to sacrifice just to kill one.”
“There must be a peaceful solution,” Morgan says. She turns her attention to Adám. “Why did you all start fighting with the Mewtwos in the first place?”
“I told you before,” Adám replies. “We did not fight them.”
“Then what happened?” Morgan asks him. “I saw it: you were living together, and then, all of a sudden, you weren’t. Everyone was gone. What happened?”
Adám takes a deep breath, and it looks to Morgan as if he is recalling unpleasant memories. “How much do you know?” he finally asks.
“I know the purpose of the cycle is to make more Mewtwos,” Morgan tells him. “But in the Eye I saw more Mewtwos being created while the Humans were still alive. They were coexisting. Why can’t it be like that?”
“You know that they use us to reproduce, to grow their numbers,” Adám tells her. “This was always the way of things.”
“So, when did they decide to exterminate every Human? What changed?”
“In the beginning, they created us with the intent that we would grow alongside our Pokemon partners and, when we were ready, they would ascend us.” Adám’s Pokemon floats around him as he speaks and Morgan can see the strong bond between them. “And so we lived in peace,” the ancient man continues. “And that was the way until, one day, that growth, that bond was disrupted.”
“What do you mean ‘disrupted?’” Alex asks.
“We were meant to grow and evolve alongside our Pokemon,” Adám tells the girl. “And only when we were ready would we join the Gods in the harmony of the Universe. Then, my son, Cain, overstepped his bounds. He was jealous of his partner’s power and, despite their bond, he killed his Pokemon and consumed its power for his own.”
Alex gasps in shock at this. To her, such an action is unthinkable.
“Cain ascended before it was his time,” Adám continues. “Through his transgression, the rest of Humanity was doomed. He proved that Humanity could not be trusted. The Gods decreed that Humanity posed too great a threat to the stability of the Universe, and so the harvest and the cycles began.”
“That’s not fair,” Alex responds. “Just because of one asshole, why do we all have to die?”
“Well, unfortunately, I can believe the whole ‘Humanity can’t be trusted’ thing,” Shane chimes in.
“What are you talking about?” H asks. “Of course Humanity can be trusted, for it has created me.”
“That’s exactly what he’s talking about,” Morgan tells him. “So, what if we could find a way to work with them instead? What if we could let them choose a few Humans to live and start anew? If it means ending the cycles, I’m for it.”
“So, you’d just be saving a small amount of Humans while committing genocide against the rest of the species and that’s a good thing?” H asks.
“It’s happened one-hundred-and-forty-nine times already,” Morgan tells him.
“But we have the tools to potentially stop it and you’re saying ‘no, let’s just do it.’”
“We don’t have the tools.”
“You don’t know until you try.”
“As crazy as this guy is, I agree with him,” Luke says, looking over at H. “We have to try to find a way to stop them.”
“What if we find a way to kill them all at once?” Alex asks.
“Da!” Kiril exclaims. “I like the way this girl thinks.”
“We might have something here,” Petra speaks up. She brings up a map of the Galaxy on the holotable. Several sets of coordinates like up. “These are the locations of all the Mewtwo labs we know about. We must be able to find a weakness or something we can use against them at one of these sites.”
“The labs must have genetic information on these things,” Luke says. “What if we could use that to engineer some kind of virus or nanobots that specifically target them?”
“Zat is very dangerous territory,” Rena warns him. “Zose kinds of weapons are banned by ze Federation for good reason.”
“I’d gladly face being tried for war crimes if it meant saving the Galaxy,” Luke tells her.
“It would be for nothing anyway,” H chimes in. “I already thought of that, but fate, it seems, does not wish for us to take that path.”
“What the hell are you talking about?” Luke asks him. “The way I see it, this is the best path we can take.”
“But what if it goes wrong?” Alex asks. “What if we end up killing all the Pokemon in the Galaxy? I don’t want to live in a future like that. I’d rather die.”
“She does raise a good point, Luke,” Rena tells her fellow lieutenant. “Zis plan is too risky. It could kill all Pokemon, or even all Humans. We could be destroying everything we are fighting to save.”
“Alright, I get it. It’s a bad plan,” Luke concedes. “Anyone got a better idea?”
“You guys were able to kill one of these things,” Shane points out.
“By throwing like fifty ships at it, and then blowing up a warp drive and a reactor at the same time in its face,” Petra tells him. “We just don’t have the resources to do that for every Mewtwo in the Galaxy. It’s not possible.”
“Maybe we can even the odds,” Shane tells her. “If we can develop some kind of warp bomb, like the one on the Halcyon... Arlon proved that an explosion like that can kill one of them.”
“I can agree with zat,” Rena responds. “Arlon would be proud knowing zat he died showing us a way to save the Galaxy.”
“Alright, we’ll get to work on it,” Shane announces. “But, that being said, I think we should at least try to find a peaceful solution. Adám, is there any more insight you can give us? A way to show the Mewtwos that they don’t have to kill us?”
“In the eyes of the Gods, the problem with Humans is their insatiable lust for power,” Adám replies.
“Then why did they create Humans with such a lust for power?” Morgan asks him.
“It is simply the way Humans are,” Adám tells her. He seems resigned to this belief.
“I don’t see it as a lust for power,” Shane chimes in. “I see it more as a will to survive.”
Adám looks Shane in the eye, then casts his gaze over his marked hand. “Do you really need all of that to survive?” the ancient man asks.
Shane lifts his hand and the mark begins to glow. “If I didn’t have this, we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now,” he tells Adám.
Adám’s face remains stoic as he reflects silently upon Shane’s words. “I see,” he finally speaks. “But do you still need to command such power?”
“It’s saved our skin on a number of occasions, and it just might save our skin against the Mewtwos.”
“But I think that’s his point,” Alex speaks up. “It might help us, but we can’t know for sure.”
“All the more reason to keep it,” H chimes in.
“I think Adám wants us to show that we don’t need it,” Alex continues. The young girl looks around the room at her branded crewmates. “He’s suggesting that you give up your superpowers, to show that our will to survive doesn’t cause us to lust after power. For me, it would be like releasing Leviathan.” She pauses and looks over at Adám and his Pokemon companion. “I look at them and I see a true bond of friendship. That’s the way I want to be with my Pokemon and, if that’s the case, I don’t need these things,” she continues, holding up some of her Pokeballs. “If my Pokemon truly are my friends, then they will stay with me even if I give up that control. The true power is being able to let go of the power we have.”
“The child shows wisdom,” Adám says of Alex’s words. “Letting go of your power may change the way the Gods view you.”
“But we don’t even know how to get rid of these powers,” Dmitri points out.
“The first step is to be willing.”
“Even if we are willing, what about everyone else?” Alex asks. “We’re just a bunch of random assholes.”
“The path of righteousness must begin with the first step,” Adám tells her. “If Humanity is truly worth saving, then others will follow.”
“Well, it’s worth a shot,” Shane says. “Maybe we can find a way to end this peacefully after all.” With that, he vanishes into warp space.
Session Notes: I’m not gonna lie, this session was extremely disappointing to me, and I think a lot of the other players felt the same. That being said, this chapter turned out amazingly. Like, this is one of the best chapters of Volume 3 in my opinion. But I would like to discuss why I didn’t like the session, since I think it’s kind of important to where the campaign went from this point. I mentioned it in the previous session’s chapters that there was some not so great stuff happening behind the scenes that I didn’t want to get into, but after writing this I feel like it’s worth talking about.
I think the moment we acquired the Eye was the moment the volume started to go downhill. We were all really expecting it to be this super powerful Deus Ex Machina like DragonStorm played it up too be, but… it wasn’t. It felt like it really wasn’t that useful at all and did little more than just point us to Adám, which, in all honestly, I felt was really shoehorned in there. I think scrapping Adám and focusing on the Eye would have been a better way to go as a GM. And I wasn’t really feeling the religious stuff here. Like, it’s a cool idea, but I don’t know if it really makes sense in this campaign, especially so far into it. I enjoyed the subtle references earlier in this campaign, but this just felt like super overtly ripped right out of real-world religious texts to the point where it just wasn’t particularly clever and really changed my view on the Mewtwos in a way I’m not really sure I like. I found them far more interesting when they were this vast, unknowable thing like the Reapers in Mass Effect instead of this like sort of predictable thing with Human morality and whatnot.
On top of that, we, as a party, came up with this great plan we thought would work based on precedents that had been set up throughout the campaign and when we started sharing it with DragonStorm as we were gearing up to put it into action as characters he was basically like “that’s obvious and predictable and it will almost certainly fail, or at the very least have very harsh negative consequences that far outweigh the benefits” and made none of us even want to consider going through with it at that point. DragonStorm said he wanted to encourage creative solutions that he might not think of, but all that really amounted to were a bunch of H-caliber plans that we’ve seen backfire time and time again in this campaign.
DragonStorm even said in the GM challenge at the end of Volume 2 that he had no idea how we would be able to stop the Mewtwos, and then later said that he felt bad and decided to give us the Eye of Aether as a means to give us an advantage, and then added another supposed Deus Ex Machina in the form of Adám. Yet, despite all that, it felt like we were backed into a corner and had no options left to us. You know there’s a problem when the majority of players literally say they have no hope of winning, which actually happened. So that’s where this whole alternative solution emerged. This idea of giving up our power. DragonStorm came up with it on the spot as a reaction to our loss of hope saying he wanted to give us other options, but really it felt to us like we were forced to take this path.
Well, now that that’s out of the way, looking back at this chapter now that I’ve written it, I’m very happy with how it turned out and it really shows the story we ended up telling in a much better way than how it felt at the time in-game. So now that I’ve aired my grievances, I’ll do what I normally do in this section and note some cool moments from the session and break down certain scenes.
As touched upon at the end of the last chapter, Alex’s Chandelure had consequences for failing that check so spectacularly in the form of losing her fire-type. While I admit I’m still slightly salty about that, I think it was a cool narrative thing for Alex where she’s trying to help, but in the process causes harm to her own Pokemon. If we had had the time, I would have seriously derailed the campaign to fix the Chandelure because that’s just what Alex would do.
And then we have that fun little scene with the Federation. I actually reused the same characters from the last time the party went and did crazy stuff in Sector 25 because it just fit so perfectly with how DragonStorm described the moment. It was actually really fun to write.
But the real amazing scene to write was the big planning scene. This is where the chapter truly shines I feel. I took like an hour to an hour-and-a-half of us planning and discussing as players, and grumbling about our original plan falling through, and getting into disagreements with the GM interspersed with little bursts of RP into this fantastic piece of storytelling. It was actually very hard to write as I had to juggle so many different bits around to make it all fit perfectly, but I love the way it turned out. It shows the crew working as this cohesive unit to come up with a plan, it gives the Red Suns some interesting lines, it shows some characters changing their perspectives and being willing to change, and it really demonstrates Alex’s character shift. That little monologue thing she had at the end of the chapter is one of the most profound things she’s ever said in her life. And then it all wraps up with the crew making a decision on the path they want to take going into endgame.
Also, a big thanks to The Other Guy for helping with the writing for this chapter! Couldn’t have done it without him!
Post-Chapter Challenge: Enough about our plans, we want to hear yours! For this challenge, tell us how you would go about stopping the Mewtwos from destroying the Galaxy if you were in our position! This could be anything from a Machiavellian master plan to a series of convoluted gimmicks as H tends to do. If, supposedly there is more than one option, how would you go about choosing the right path?
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!