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The Rise of Team Neos: Chapter 16: That Clichéd Little Village

by Psycho Monkey

Psycho Monkey Brian and Axel return home to Pallet Town for some much needed R&R. All the while, Brian reminisces about the events that lead to him meeting his Infernape.
Chapter 16: That Clichéd Little Village

As soon as everything was packed, Axel and I took the first ship to Kanto we could. Fortunately, said ship was bound for the Pallet Town Wharf which is exactly where we wanted to be. The moment I stepped off the boat back home I caught the scent of nostalgia mixed in with the salty air.

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August 11, 2999
“Why couldn’t we have stayed in Sinnoh a little longer Mom? I wanted a Chimchar and my 10th birthday is only six months away!” I had complained ten years ago when my family and I first moved to Pallet Town from Sandgem Town.

“Because I needed to take this job transfer and you’re still too young to be off on your own, especially with your impulsive behavior that always gets you into fights.” my mom had countered leaving a dejected nine-year-old in her wake.

“Don’t worry Brian, you could always get a Charmander from Prof. Oak if you want a Fire-type so badly. Or there are always Bulbasaur or Squirtle to choose from.” my dad had attempted to console with no luck.
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Hey are you awake in there?” asked Axel shaking me. I blinked a few times to bring myself back to present day.

“Yeah I’m conscious. Just remembering when I first came to Kanto.” I reminisced. I had to know the truth; was I related to Mom and Dad on the genetic level and if not, I had to find out why they never told me.

Pallet Town was mostly rural farmland covered in lush green fields and dirt roads. A ridiculously boring place if you ask me. I couldn’t wait to leave when the time finally came. Life is way too short to be able to predict everything that will happen the next day and be completely right every time.

It took roughly an hour to walk from the wharf to my house, or rather my parent’s house, which was a simple brick structure with a triangular shaped roof that flattened out on the top. Needless to say, I took advantage of the flat roof by sitting on it whenever I needed to think or just sleep out in the sun on a nice summer afternoon or evening.

“Knock knock!” I called knocking on the door. No response. So says my watch it was 1:58p meaning they were both at work and I, of course, didn’t have a key. “To the roof!” I shouted without a second thought. I have nothing better to do than wait for one of them to get home other than take a nap anyway. Axel and I scaled some moss on the wall left of the door like the monkeys we are until we were on the roof.

Nap time!” Axel cheered as we both picked our spot to sleep.

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July 7, 3003
“Prof. Rowan is inviting me to Sinnoh to catch a Chimchar!” cheered my fourteen-year-old self after receiving a response letter after four and a half long years of sending him letters asking for one.

“So what made him finally call for you after all these years?” my mom asked sounding excited for me.

“He said that there is a population spike in the Coronet Mountain range. After how persistent I’ve been about getting a Chimchar, Rowan believes I should be allowed to pick my own.” I responded.
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I sprung awake when I heard the sound of jingling keys and the front door opening. I kicked Axel to wake him up as I walked over to the edge and looked down. A short brown haired woman was crouched picking up the groceries she had obviously put down to open the door.

“Yo!” I called down to her waving like a nutcase. She looked to the roof with a startled expression.

Hi Mommy!” Axel called joining me in a frantic wave.

“Brian and Axel!” she greeted in surprise to see us. “I didn’t expect to see you two. What are you guys doing here?”

“What? Can’t we just…” I cut off there as I jumped off the roof, crouching as I landed to absorb the impact, “… drop in whenever we feel like it?” I asked as I rose. Axel soon landed by my side.

“Not when you do dangerous stunts that could give your mother a heart attack!” she scolded.

“Dangerous? That’s what, a twenty-foot drop? Axel and I have been through worse.” I bragged looking at my partner. We both began chuckling sneakily.

“No don’t tell me that! I worry enough about you without trying to think of the trouble you two are getting in.” Mom cried. “Now you boys behave yourselves and carry in those groceries, I want to hear all about your adventure in Sinnoh.” she invited walking in ahead of us. We did as told and followed Mom to the kitchen.

“So what time is Dad getting home tonight?” I asked putting the grocery bags on the table. “I kinda have something I want to ask you two and I’d rather both of you be around when I do so I only have to say it once.” I said gathering the courage I would need for this situation. Mom got a grave look on her face. Oh no. Not more bad news.

“He got arrested for assault.” she said disappointedly rolling her eyes. I almost started laughing in relief but was able to contain myself. What I could not hide was the smile I had. I could hardly believe that such a relaxed man who wouldn’t even raise his voice to anyone actually got in a fight. It was stupendous! And completely out of character. I had to know all the details.

“So what happened? Did Dad win? Did the other guy deserve it? And how long is he in for?” I asked proudly running off every possible question I could think of in my excitement.

“You wouldn’t be so thrilled to know that there was a break-in.” my mom started with a serious tone. My grin quickly faded.

“Here!?” I asked in disbelief pointing to the table the three of us were sitting at which referred to the entire house. I couldn’t believe it. Pallet Town had a 0.01% crime rate a year and the one that occurs once a decade just happened to be on my doorstep. Oh how fucking fantastic! (sarcasm)

“Mm hmm.” she nodded. “Last month someone tried robbing us and your father went and broke the guy’s arm trying to fend him off. Well the burglar then decided to exploit the legal system and sue us for a hundred grand. At first we thought it was a joke until we were called into court, but even then we didn’t think anything would happen. However, it soon became obvious that despite the fact that this guy broke into our house and tried to rob us, he was going to win because you father “caused him excessive trauma and he couldn’t pay his medical bills or go back to work”. That’s when your dad volunteered to do one month of jail time on assault charges rather than pay the guy, which the judge agreed to so the criminal wouldn’t win.” Mom explained. “He’ll be out next week.”

“WHAT THE HELL IS THE MATTER WITH THIS!!” I roared in outrage. “Shouldn’t the burglar have been the one arrested? Shouldn’t Dad have gotten off because it was self-defense? That case shouldn’t have even gone to court!” I protested angrily.

“I completely agree. Unfortunately, that is the way the legal system goes.” Mom said sharing my disapproval.

“Well the system’s flawed!” I spat. “It should either be fixed or eliminated entirely!”

Just like a body’s systems. If the heart doesn’t function properly, the creature dies.” Axel put in completely understanding what I was getting at.

“Well don’t do anything you’d be ashamed to tell me about.” Mom warned worrying about me as usual. I guess she figured I was talking about tearing down the establishments.

“By the way,” I said calming down now, “is there anything you’re ashamed to tell me about?” I asked. It would be now or never.

“Wh-what do you mean?” she questioned completely clueless.

“I wanted to wait for Dad, but since he isn’t coming and I really need to know, was I adopted?” Mentally I was both relieved to get that out there, but still a bit worried about what I would find out.

“When did you find out?” Mom asked dejectedly looking to the floor. So it is true.

“Four days ago. I was participating in a tournament in White City where I met a man who instantly recognized me because I am the spitting image of my biological father.” I said. “So why didn’t you tell me?”

“Would that have made a difference in our relationship?” inquired my mom.

“At least I would have heard it from someone I trust and not some stranger who I hold nothing but hatred for.” I admit. In such few words I understood that I was still her son and she my mother and nothing would ever change that. “Now stop brooding and tell me what’s for dinner. I’m hungry!” I said with disregard for our previous conversation. Mom sensed that the uncomfortable talk was over and smiled at me.

“Well I was just going to make egg salad, but with you home I think I’ll let you decide.” said Mom just to humor me.

“Well, I did win 1,000,000 credits for coming in second in the Sinnoh League, so why don’t I treat you to that sea food restaurant down by the wharf that I like so much?” I asked without giving her much of a choice. “Then I’ll tell you what we monkeys have been up to for the past year.”

“Well let me change then.” Mom said happily.
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Between bites of an all-you-can-eat shrimp platter, I discussed everything Axel and I have been up to lately with the exception of the moments that would only make her worry about us, namely our encounters with Team Neos, Axel nearly getting killed by Diva, and our epic battle just the other day. I also inquired if I had a little sister that no one told me about given that Madison insisted I was her Onii-chan and persistently followed me for six months until I finally escaped to White City. Mom denied, but said how cute it was that I had taken Madison under my wing like that.

“Not cute. I took that weeaboo with me out of pity for how pathetic she was.” I responded. I reached down to pick up more grilled shrimp, but my plate was missing. I looked over to Axel already expecting to see his mouth full of my shrimp.

It’s all you can eat! You can get more.” he defended after swallowing. “And get more Cajon shrimp while you’re at it.” I lifted my hand which to Axel meant I was going to slap him for stealing my food as I’ve been doing ever since he was a conniving little Chimchar. He looked at me in surprise when all I did was tap his shoulder.

“Axel, you know the only reason you’re getting away with this right now is because today is July 8th, better known as our anniversary.” I reminded.

I’m glad you remembered because I don’t know the human calendar. I only know that the night before you caught me it was a New Moon.” Axel stated.

“Is that why you wanted to go out to dinner?” Mom asked suspiciously.

“Maybe.” I said mischievously as I turned my head to the side scratching a nonexistent itch behind my ear. “Actually I just wanted an excuse to get some shrimp. More shrimp alfredo pasta please!” I called politely as the waiter past our table. My mom just shook her head in delight and went back to her Remoraid filet as Axel yelled at me for not getting the Cajon shrimp.

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July 8, 3003
“And where is this Chimchar population again?” I asked impatiently. I had been following Prof. Rowan in a forest at the base of the Coronet Mountains for the past hour and still had yet to see any signs of the Chimp Pokémon.

“Be patient Brian. I found them right up this ridge, so we should be arriving very soon.” the old man reassured. I’d believe that when I had a Chimchar. Suddenly something hard hit my head.

“Ow! Dammit that hurt!” I yelled putting my hands on the top of my head.

“Are you alright?” asked Rowan with concern.

“What was that?” I questioned as I looked up. There was a tree branch sticking out of the side of the mountain and hanging on it was a small gold colored Pokémon hanging on for dear life as the cliff around the tree began crumbling sending rocks and pebbles to the ground. Then without warning, the gold creature lost its grip and came plummeting to its death. At least it would have if I hadn’t instinctively thrown out my arms to catch it.

“Ow!” I cried recoiling my arms dropping the small Pokémon harmlessly to the ground. I tightly gripped my left arm which felt like it had just been burned. I looked down at the Pokémon I dropped and, to my surprise, I saw that it was in fact a Chimchar who was rubbing his butt which was probably sore from getting dropped. “But Chimchar have brown fur. Is that a shiny?” I asked in confusion.

“No. Shiny Chimchar have maroon fur.” Prof. Rowan confirmed.

“Then it’s a freak of nature just like me! Get a Pokéball out Rowan, this one’s mine!” I said in excitement. The Chimchar growled at me as it reached under its fiery tail. It then tossed a fire ball at me which I narrowly dodged causing it to splatter on the cliff wall behind me. Wait, a splatter? An unpleasant odor filled the air.

“Oh poo! That’s flaming poo!” I realized in shock. I better be careful, that stuff will mess me up. “So it’s a fight you want, eh?” I challenged. Chimchar launched another flaming poo which I ducked to avoid. “Stop that!” I yelled kicking it. It actually went pretty far considering I’m nearly three times Chimchar’s size.

“Now Brian! That was uncalled for!” reprimanded Rowan.

“Chimchar started-- Ahhh!” I screamed as the little monkey came back and bit my arm. I lifted my arm up and bit the small primate’s head causing it to let go of my arm as it screamed. I released Chimchar’s head and spat out a few gold hairs. Chimchar retaliated by scratching my other arm. Before the young monkey could pull its hand away, I grabbed it by the arm and threw it into Prof. Rowan.

“My word!” Rowan cried out as he fell to the ground with Chimchar. I walked over, pulled an empty Pokéball from the Professor’s bag, and dropped it on the dazed Chimchar. The Pokéball shook violently as the Chimp Pokémon struggled to get free, but it ultimately locked. A smirk of satisfaction went across my face as I crouched over to pick up my first Pokémon. “An unorthodox way of catching Pokémon, but it seemed to work this time. Next time use him.” Rowan commanded pointing to the Pokéball.

“A boy huh?” I mused sending out the young monkey. Once released from the ball Chimchar stared at me in defiance as he reached under his tail but quickly thought better of it and instead crossed his arms in front of himself.

“Would you like to give him a nickname?” asked Prof. Rowan. A nickname? Hmmm… I’m not very good at coming up with names, but this golden Chimchar definitely needs one being as special as he is. Let’s see…

“I can’t name you Sun Wukong after the Monkey King because you already seem like the proud type and that name would just go straight to your head. I know! I used to know a pyromaniac named Axel, so that’s what I think I’ll call you. Do you like it?” Chimchar looked like he was thinking about it before smiling with a satisfied cheer.

“Alright, Axel it is. I’m Brian.” I said extending my hand. Axel sniffed my palm but quickly caught on and gave me his hand too. As we shook, I got an unsettling feeling. “That’s the hand you threw the poo with isn’t it?” Axel laughed in embarrassment that I called him out on it. I slowly pulled my hand away and held it to the side in disgust. “Make sure you wash your hands before eating anything. As for me, I think I’ll start wearing gloves. Fingerless of course because those are more badass.”

After that, I had Prof. Rowan take me back to Kanto so my parents could meet Axel and give me a proper farewell.
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What’s on your mind Monkey?” inquired Axel. When we got home from dinner Axel and I had gone back to the roof to watch the sunset and stars come out.

“Just reminiscing about when our two paths crossed and merged into one.” I said. “The Road of Life is a strange one. Twists and turns exist at every point and you can never turn around to see what could have been. You can’t stay in one place either because the road is long and unpredictable, otherwise you’ll never get anywhere. You’re only hope is to follow the road to the end and hope you had fun doing it.”

Since when did you become a philosopher?” Axel asked jokingly.

“Since I thought about how your road could have ended when you fell and how mine could have ended when I met Strife Maxwell, but because a chance encounter occurred five years ago today, we were both able to be led down a path we didn’t know existed.” I went on.

You have a point there Brian. In order to survive we need each other.” acknowledged Axel understandingly.

“That’s right, so let’s promise that we see the Road of Life to the end.” I said extending my hand.

And we continue getting stronger so that we can survive any bumps in the road.” Axel added taking my hand. “By the way, this is the hand I throw poo with.

“You stopped throwing poo when you evolved into Monferno because it didn’t catch on fire anymore. Besides, I’m wearing gloves, even if the right one has holes in it now from when you bit me.” I responded. After a good laugh, we laid back and watched the summer night sky until falling asleep.
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