Oliver was hatched in Jubilife City in Sinnoh by two Infernapes: Smash being his father and Claire his mother. Smash and Claire's trainers were a pair of twins, called Phil and Lil. Together the two apes had produced five eggs not long after they became mates. With Phil and Lil’s younger brother Jonathon coming of age to start on his Pokémon journey, Smash and Tiana allowed the twins to give Jonathon one of their five young ones to be his starter Pokémon. Thus, Oliver became Jonathon’s first Pokémon, saving him from his parents and siblings, who were at best were disappointed in the runt of the litter's lack of strength and talent and at worst hated him for it. The human was thirteen whereas the chimp was roughly bordering the end of childhood and the beginning of his teenage years.
Unfortunately for him, Jon was a rather spoiled child. Treated by his parents as if he could do no wrong, Jon became quick tempered, arrogant, and selfish. Though possessing these traits, the boy was still likable until the point in time where he began to become friends with a small group of boys his age who lived nearby. These boys encouraged the worst in him, helping him cultivate his least likable traits until Jon was a holy terror and generally disliked by everyone who came into contact with him but his parents. Oliver’s nightmare began almost immediately upon being released from his Pokéball; the boy was angry at receiving a fire starter because he had wanted a water starter. He became even more furious when he learned that Oliver was the weakest and smallest of Smash and Tiana’s offspring, feeling that his family was trying to cheat him... and not with unfounded suspicious; the twins did not like their younger sibling and had indeed done that on purpose. Admitting it to him with all the smugness of an elder sibling who has gotten the last laugh, Phil and Jon wound up in a shouting match, and thus it was that Jon left home to begin his journey in a foul mood. It wasn't long before he caught a Shinx, who he traded for a Machop, dubbing the little humanoid Pokemon Tank. Jon, Tank, and the not-yet-named Oliver set out for Oreburgh City to reach Roark and obtain the first badge of Sinnoh. Oliver was sent out first because Jon wanted to test his strength and promptly failed, whereas Tank did exceptionally well and won the badge for Jon. Afterwards Jon caught a Murkrow he dubbed Sly, who got off to a poor start with Oliver due to Oliver eating some berries off a bush that Sly had claimed as his; the Chimchar had not known this but Sly was unforgiving of it. Jon began to make regular sport of insulting and degrading the fire-type and developed a habit of physically abusing him when angry. The other two Pokémon picked up on this and began to emulate the behavior as well, eventually using Oliver for target practice when there were no trainers around who wanted to battle. The abuse became steadily worse, and peaked when Jon, no matter how hard he tried, could not get past the Pastoria Gym. The boy gave up and he and his team returned to his home, where Jon and his team took their frustration out on Oliver. They made the Chimchar’s life a living hell in every way that they could, playing sick games with the Chimchar's mind and taking every opportunity to cause physical harm as well. Oliver had long since given up trying to resist the abuse and simply took the pain, emotional and physical, without a fight. He resigned himself to the fact that this would likely be the rest of his life.
Oliver would never forget the day everything turned around. It was early spring, and he, Jon, Sly and Tank--the latter two who were in their final and second evolutions respectively-- were in front of their house along with two of Jon’s friends. The humans were playing a trading card game while the Pokémon were playing a game of cat and mouse. Being as getting caught would result in a beatdown, Oliver was doing his best to evade his two pursuers, but being weakened from hunger, sickness, and wounds, he wasn’t going to last very long. He glanced over his shoulder to see how close Sly and Tank were, and accidently ran right into the legs of a girl. Both startled, they simply stared at one another for a moment before Sly’s cawing reminded Oliver of what was going on.
The girl, Anne, scooped the Chimchar up as soon as she regained herself. Sly and Tank, not expecting this, stopped and glanced at Jon, waiting for instructions. Jon had noticed the commotion and went to go speak with the girl, a shouting match ensuing. Exhausted and sore, his adrenaline rush gone, Oliver lay limply in Anne’s arms, too tired now to pay attention. Eventually, he lost consciousness, falling asleep in Anne’s arms. When he woke he was at the Pokécenter, and immediately panicked because Jon had rarely brought him to one. Since things that were out of place tended to mean that he would be harmed, he tried to leave, but was stopped by Anne and the nurses. The girl explained that she had threatened Jon with going to the police if he didn’t release the Chimchar and, since Jon didn’t want to have a run-in with the authorities, he reluctantly handed Oliver over. The special capsules in the front of the Pokécenter being reserved for travelling trainers and emergencies, Oliver was forced to stay at the center in the same way that a human would have to recover at a hospital. He was miserable throughout because he was often bored and left alone. The nurses had other patients to tend to and he was too afraid of the Chansies and Blissies to try to befriend them whenever they came to change his bandages or bring him his food. However, on the third day, Anne came to visit him, bringing with her some flowers to brighten the room and some berries for him to eat. He was wary of her but trusted her a bit more than most because she had been the one to rescue him. He would not get very close to her but accepted her gifts. She came every day and each day he found a little more of his fear dissolving, eventually playing with her in his room as he also grew stronger. After three weeks he was released and Anne gave him a choice; he could either be her very first Pokémon, or he could go off into the wild. He didn’t even have to think; he chose her, and she gave him the name Oliver.
Two months later, Anne and her father left for Johto, which they did every summer. They had a little cabin near Route 32. Anne regularly played in the forest and went fishing with her father during these summer trips; this year, the new family member participated in the activities and enjoyed himself immensely, but the period of fun and games wouldn’t last. Two weeks into their stay the girl and her father, Arnold, left for a hike in the woods with her father’s Lucario, Martin; Oliver was left behind because the Chimchar hadn’t felt up to a hike so early in the morning, and was so tired that he mistook his “conversation” with Anne (using that word loosely, as she can’t understand his Pokémon language) as a dream. When he woke it was late in the day and yet his new family was still missing. He remained in the house until dawn of the next day before working up the courage to go looking for them, eventually discovering an infected Umbreon feeding on the ripped up remains of Anne’s father. The Umbreon chased him until he was hopelessly lost and after shaking the vulpine off his trail, he vowed that he would not rest until he found Anne, no matter how long it might take.
- New Bark:
After who knows how many days of wandering, the little ape came across the tiny village of New Bark. There were some survivors here; in fact, there was a surprising amount. The first large group he'd come across since this entire nightmare began. His anxiety made deciding whether to approach or not a difficult one, but the undead made up his mind for him; darting into town at their scent, he landed himself in the middle of a battle. It was a short one, thankfully, but he did not escape uninjured and to his undying relief, the survivors were happy to allow him to be part of their group. They took him back to their shelter before leaving to search for the owner of someone crying out for help, and that was when the bug attacked. It murdered first one of the children by throwing him into the oncoming attack his mother shot at the demon, and then the mother herself. It melted the screaming Umbreon, slurping out her insides like a fruit smoothie. Traumatized from witnessing the horrific act of evil, Oliver curled into a ball and started to babble as his already frayed sanity started to fall apart.
That's when Sly, having happened upon the group, abducted him. The nightmare was just getting started.
Oliver would never know how long the honchkrow kept him captive, but the experience would leave him in an even worse state than he had started out in. Furious at having everything ripped away from him, at having lost control of everything due to no fault of his own, Sly took the opportunity to finally exercise a little certainty in his life to treat the chimp like dirt. It was a very long time before Oliver managed to escape the bird, able to do so only because what was supposed to be a nap turned into a very deep sleep for the other Pokemon. He ran for many hours, trying to put as much distance between himself and his tormentor as possible, halting only when he was too exhausted to go any further. His flight had carried him to Amity Park; with food, water, shelter, and apparent safety all in one place, it looked like a paradise. Oliver wasted no time eating a near bush full of berries, cleaning himself up a little, drinking his fill of water, and going to sleep.
When he woke it was in search of food again, the chimp determined to keep his strength up and recover from the lack of food and sleep the last few months had brought. What he found was more than he bargained for; survivors. Hesitant to approach them, reminded of the last attempt, he ultimately chose to anyway in the hopes he could gauge whether or not they would be a threat; if they were he should move to a different area of the park. Smelling undead attacking, he contemplated fleeing, but a groan of pain appealed to his conscious and he decided to see if he could be of any help. Using Dig to get there quickly in a way he hoped would keep him hidden, he instead came up right beneath the most sadistic member of the group, during a battle, with a fire raging in the background.
Truly, Arceus hated him.
The Manetric he'd pissed off paralyzed him in a sick display of psychological torture, to scare the monkey into believing he'd be left for dead. Thankfully, Nokes was the only douchebag of the entire group and Oliver's savior came in the form of a small but explosive Ninetails. To Oliver it was like Caine swooped in there like a superhero; he snatched up both the chimp and the other child of the group--an Azurill named Molly--and brought them to one of the nearby shelters to keep them safe while he, Nokes, and a girafrig attempted to dissipate the hoard. Their efforts were fruitless; there were too many birds and the fire was growing too quickly. Unable to admit defeat in any normal way, the Manetric decided instead to retreat by kidnapping Molly and forcing the others to give chase. This lasted several minutes, and by the time Oliver forced his newly working limbs to work well enough to catch up it was to find the group had been accosted by something even scarier than Nokes.
With a single move this creature snapped the necks of all the birds that had been trying to get at them. It stared them down, asking them why it should allow them to live. Oliver was so certain they would die.
But the Xatu had worse in mind than the death he'd given the birds.
One by one, the Xatu broke all within his sight. It started with Oliver himself, the chimp attempting to defend Molly, who the Harbinger had approached. It chucked the stone Oliver had thrown at him back at the little monkey, then used the very same stone to obliterate the eye of Nokes, who for some reason thought a direct attack was a good idea. It broke the giraffe's legs and tore off Caine's tails, forced horrible visions into Molly's mind; It extended those visions to a Ralts who had just arrived, using the visions and the despair and terror of the others to wilt the little fairy. In a final act of cruelty the Xatu tied Oliver to a tree with one of Caines's tails for daring to wonder (in the privacy of his own mind even!) why the universe was doing this to them.
And then, just like that, it was gone as quickly as it had arrived.
The entire ordeal was the longest ten minutes of Oliver's life. It shattered everyone in their own way; if not for the arrival of yet more people the group may have very well remained there in silence for a few hours, struggling to comprehend the horrors they'd just survived. As it was new people did come and with them, new problems. An bully of an unknown species who called himself Calvin tried to crush their spirit further with attempts at gaining their trust, making it no secret to a cynical mind that he was plotting their downfall the entire time. There was a new Ralts who had an air of authority but certainly not the looks to back that up; he attached himself to the Ralts already there, never leaving his side and helping the other fairy to heal the tattered group's wounds. There was a Pidgey who immediately took a shine to the entire group and repeatedly tried to cheer everyone up.
None of this really reached Oliver. He was too engrossed in Caine and Molly, because the Ninetails had taken it upon himself to comfort the two kids, wrapping himself around them in a display of affection and protection, torn up with guilt over their wounds. He nuzzled them and spoke kindly to them, even allowing Oliver to wrap his arms around the fox's neck and cling onto him. For several minutes the three spoke amongst themselves, Oliver torn between his despair and trauma from the lingering attack, and the desire to stay alive--not just for Anne, but to enjoy the first comforts someone had given him since the epidemic began.
As they spoke, ate, and dealt with their trauma by either deluding themselves or sinking deeper into a pit, Oliver could feel the beginnings of a bond with these two Pokemon starting to form. What they'd survived was very intimate and binding, and the care the older Pokemon was showing them in the aftermath made him never want to leave Caine's side. Indeed, he might not have moved for a long time, if not for cries for help being heard. Going to investigate, the group discovered a Vulpix girl, caught on some brambles by her necklace. She asked Oliver to help untangle her and he obliged, knowing how important the keepsake must be to her. Unfortunately her arrival snapped something inside the Ninetails and he went off by himself. Fearing for Caine's safety, Oliver followed, and what he found utterly destroyed any traces healing that might have started when tucked against Caine's fur earlier.
It was the body of a human child; though badly decomposed, he saw the pink bow near the skull, and smelt a familiar scent, and alarm bells screamed to life, neon signs flashing "ANNE" with all the subtlety of an explosion.
She was dead. His Anne was dead. He barely managed to process the information before the screams began, and it was a moment before he realized they were his own. His grief swept away all rational thought and for a few minutes there was nothing but tears. Then came the realization--he could not let Caine die too. Caine was off by himself and Anne was dead and her father was dead and if he didn't find Caine before an undead found him, he would meet the same fate.
He couldn't lose Caine too. He couldn't handle another death.
It took just minutes to locate the fox, in the midst of a frustration and despair induced fit. Oliver waited until he'd calmed enough to approach, then stood there as the fox cried at his feet. He began to pet the other Pokemon's head, hoping to give back a little of the kindness Caine had shown him earlier, feeling tired and empty. If not for the body earlier, Caine's plea to return to the others and the clear intention to commit suicide may have resulted in the fire starter saving Caine's life against the vulpine's will, but as it was, he'd seen too much.
There was nothing left anymore. Not in this world, with its death and decay and its cruelty. Caine was not going to be talked out of suicide and even though Oliver may have succeeded if he'd tried, he didn't think there was time to run and get help. He was too small to overpower Caine. Caine was going to die no matter what he did, and there was nothing else left in his own life anymore that was worth trying to drag himself through this torturous existence. There were many options but right now, just one that was almost painless. Oliver made the decision to die alongside Caine, unable to stand the state of the world any longer; perhaps, he reflected bitterly, he wasn't meant to survive it anyway. At least this way he didn't die alone.
Their trip to the pond was short but Oliver, nervousness catching up to him, began to chatter. He spilled his knowledge of his birth family's dislike of him, about his trainer's death and her father's death. He expressed his hope that he'd see them again after his own death, and that Caine would be there to meet them. Something about the Ninetails struck the chimp; they seemed quite alike in the pain they'd both lived, and he regretted he hadn't had more time with the fox.
The actual death itself was beyond anything Oliver thought he was prepared for. Drowning in that cold, dark, hole was nothing he'd ever forget, the horror of drowning unimaginable, and soon the lights went out and the watery grave claimed his soul.
But it wouldn't be keeping it.
There was light, and he was wet, and his heart pounded in his ears. The chimp retched violently, forcing up the water in his newly reformed stomach, incapable of comprehending anything for several minutes. When his senses returned to him he was greeted by two things; a gorgeous snowscape, and a god.
Xerneas, the god of life, towered over the Chimchar in all his glory, his bright horns dimming as he powered down from creating the spark that had revived the little monkey. Even though he was standing a few feet away and not directly in front of him, he seemed impossibly tall; everything about this god screamed regality and composure. They locked eyes, Oliver forgetting how to breathe as he stared. Xerneas broke the gaze, turning his head and picking his way through the snow capped bushes, Oliver watching until the deer was out of his sight.
Shaking hands searched his own body, finding a beating heart beneath wet fur and a wet scarf and hold on what was this? Tangled in his scarf was a funny necklace; a piece of twine with sharp objects threaded on. Staring at it for a moment, he remembered where he'd felt this before; buried beneath the thick fur of Caine's neck. His hand had not touched the razors, but it had felt the twine. So this was his, then?
Caine. He stood with such speed he almost fell over and whirled around to search behind him. Nothing but an iced over pond completely hidden by snow except for the small spot of broken ice where Xerneas must have retrieved him from. He stared at the spot and nearly threw up; he'd really been in there? How long had it even been?
He could not see the other boy, nor could he smell him. Caine was not here. A lead weight settled into his chest. Anne was still dead, her father was still dead, and Caine was not here. Even death was a peace he'd not been allowed to keep. Dropping the necklace, he began to walk; where he was going he didn't know, but he couldn't stand there any longer. He was too tempted to jump right back into that hole, the previous horror at realizing he'd been dead evaporating.
Now there was just a numbness. Why couldn't he have just that one thing? Why did the god bring him back to life? Why give that gift to him, someone who did not want it and could not use it? Surely there were more deserving candidates? Revival had not fixed his broken mind and the shell of a person wandered in circles around the silent park. It was hours before he came to an area he vaguely recognized, and after a bit of blank staring he realized why. This was the clearing. This tiny, snowy clearing hid Anne's body. Bile rose in his throat and he found himself unable to move as he stared at the spot he remembered the body laying.
She deserved a burial. He was not sure where the thought came from, but he paused as he realized it was true. She deserved a burial. And he knew Dig; burying her shouldn't be hard. He could find his way back to the pond, probably. Burying her would be torture, but if he could die right after he was done... yes, that should be something in his capability. But first he'd have to get the snow off her so he could figure out how he was going to move someone who had a few feet on him. Trying not to retch, he moved forward and breathed gentle flames, melting the snow off the skeleton and using his arms to brush the rest of it away. His hand bumped a plastic card lying by the ribcage, something he had not noticed before. Surprised, he picked it up and flipped it over.
A passport. He didn't recognize the card exactly for what it was, but he could tell it was some kind of identification. The face that smiled up from the battered photo at him was a very pale one, with large green eyes and blond hair, and her teeth were straight, with no defining characteristics.
His trainer was tan. She had dark eyes, almost black. With brown hair, and she had a gap between her teeth. Barely daring to breathe, Oliver glanced up at the skull's teeth. There were none missing. And also no gap.
He felt the world come to a halt.
That is not my Anne.
He was not sure when he became aware he was laughing like a madman, and he did not care when it occurred to him. He laughed until he cried, until his sides were sore and he had to sit down. He was so giddy he thought he could float away. It was just so unbearably funny.
This girl, she was not his trainer. Not his Annie. He had thrown away his life and his promise for a case of mistaken identity and rashness to the extreme.
The hysteria died down as he was forced to stop laughing to breathe, tears still streaming down his cheeks. Slowly, the true gravity of the situation began to set in.
There was a point to this after all.
Maybe Xerneas hadn't just chosen to revive a random person. Maybe the life god revived him because he had failed to fulfil his promise and Xerneas wanted him to have a second chance. Maybe he was meant to find Anne after all. Maybe there was a point to this.
If that was true, what right did he have to give up again? Anne could still be alive. He owed it to her to try looking. Owed it to the god who had given him this precious chance to try looking.
Owed it to Caine, for failing to try to stop him in the first place.
A sharp ache set in. Caine... he owed him another thing, too. Burying the bones of the dead girl that he could find and laying her passport atop her grave, he returned to the site of his resurrection. His eyes swept the tiny clearing with its snow capped bushes lining the fringes, the trees towering above, the gap in the ice he'd come from. They landed on the necklace, glittering in the sun, resting atop the ice that coated the snow and easily supported the light item's weight. Taking it in his hands, he undid the twine and let the razors all slide off before knotting it around the loop of his scarf.
You didn't get to really enjoy life. I'll live the best one I can, for both our sakes. I'll find Anne, and I'll make you proud, wherever you are.
Now if only he can survive the dangers of the world and his own mind.