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GetMeOffTheMoonRockman PMTRRL
Fan Fiction by Dashe
Press Start to Continue - Chapter 25: Heroes Get Remembered

Chapter 25: Heroes Get Remembered. Chapter image depicts Teisel crouching by Tron's headstone, looking understandably morose.

"Hi Tron," Teisel mumbled the moment he was sure Roll was out of sight.

It had actually been Roll's suggestion to try and talk to his sister. She'd told him it helped her sometimes when she really missed Mega Man, but the idea seemed silly to Teisel even as he crouched under the tree in front of Tron's grave in an attempt to make sure nobody spotted him. Teisel didn't want Roll to see how desperate he'd become, despite everything she'd told him about how easy he was to read.

The monument itself looked like something Roll might have constructed out of leftover rocket parts. He knew that the original rocket couldn't have possibly been recycled. There weren't any scraps left after that explosion, but building a monument that looked like it had been made from them anyway was an admittedly appropriate touch.

"I'm doing...about as well as you'd expect." He continued as he fiddled with a blade of grass, keeping an eye peeled in case anyone got close enough to realize what he was doing. "Getting by doesn't feel so impossible anymore. I never thought I'd be able to honestly say that. I know the Bright Bats are there for me,'s still hard. Anyway, I, uh, hope wherever you are, everyone's together again...Mega Man, too."

He frowned and flicked the blade of grass into the air. "You know, you could have just told me about that crazy crush of yours and saved the three of us a lot of trouble, right? It isn't like you were particularly subtle about it or anything." Teisel shook his head in an oddly amused sort of frustration. "So I hope you're not mad at me, but I read that notebook you were always writing in. It was good. Better than I'd been expecting. I really thought it was just going to be some kind of mushy fantasy. Of course, every time I reach that part where you stopped writing, and I feel the weight of all those pages you never got to kills me inside knowing you never got to finish the story the way you wanted.

"I've been thinking about this for a long time now, Tron, and the more I think about it, the more I want to try and finish your story myself. It hurts knowing it never got the ending it deserved. I think we all deserved a better ending than this one, but we got what we got. That's life." He shrugged his shoulders and sighed. "I'm still trying to come to terms with that. I don't think I'd feel right just continuing your work without your consent like this, though. It was hard enough for me to bring myself to open that book up in the first place. If...if you could send me some kind of sign to help me out, stupid as it may sound, it would make this decision a whole lot easier."

He waited there for a long time and desperately tried to glean some kind of hint from his surroundings, but it only served to heighten his self-consciousness as time wore on with no indication of anything out of the ordinary.

"Well, uh...thanks anyway, I guess." He concluded, hoping that these things merely had a delayed effect. His knees cracked as he stood up and dusted himself off before turning to join the others again. "Tell Mom, Dad, and Bon I miss them."

As Teisel headed back to the lab to grab a drink, he noticed that a small, but undeniably expensive-looking airship had docked in the field next to the Flutter. With that sleek, top-of-the-line fuselage, this had to be Werner Von Bluecher's personal airship. As much as Teisel had tried to pull off the illusion of class and style throughout most of his life, it always felt like he was a few steps behind Von Bluecher. Nonetheless, the former digging legend was consistently willing to give Teisel advice on how to improve his financial savvy on the days when he decided to drop in to check up on the mechanics' progress. It wasn't until that moment that Teisel realized Von Bluecher might have been the closest thing to a friend, not counting anyone from his own family, that he'd had since he'd been forced to leave his home island.

Art spotted Teisel from across the field and waved him over. After verifying that there was nobody behind him that the researcher might have been referring to instead, the awkward Rebel Rider shrugged and ambled toward the ship.

Von Bluecher's hair had greyed considerably over the years, and he was wearing a rather distinguished pair of spectacles, but otherwise, it didn't look like very much had changed since the last time the two of them spoke. In fact, the older man barely seemed fazed by Teisel's presence at all. He merely smiled, shook the former pirate's hand and said, "It's a pleasure to have you back with us, Teisel."

There was absolutely no indication as to whether Roll had tipped him off about Teisel's sudden return or not. It was a refreshing contrast with everything else he'd experienced that day. Von Bluecher's subtly charming air of dignity and poise had never failed to impress Teisel. That man didn't even need to lose his temper to get audiences to hang onto his every word. The rookie Rebel Rider followed behind as Roll and Art led Von Bluecher back to the lab. He hoped to hear for himself what sort of business decisions the dapper gentleman had made in the last ten years.

Much to Teisel's disappointment, however, that reunion barely lasted even five minutes. Von Bluecher had to focus on preparations for the ceremony ahead, so Teisel decided to hang around outside and explore the grounds. He had to have wandered the premises for at least an hour, but it felt like the press's airships started coming in before he had so much as a chance to blink. Even though Roll had mentioned that there would be a media presence during the memorial ceremony, Teisel wasn't expecting it to be that big. Nor was he expecting the press to care about him as much as they did. However, the minute the first news zeppelin touched down, the anchor exclaimed, "The older brother is HERE?!" to her cameraman, with a giddy expression on her face. "We need to get the first interview! Our ratings are going to go through the roof!"

Teisel did his best to stay calm and try to wave her off when it became apparent that KCJN wouldn't take no for an answer, but then a second zeppelin pulled up, and a third, and before he realized it, there were a half a dozen microphones being shoved in his face, and so many strangers asking deeply personal questions that all he could do was flee the scene and wonder where the Bright Bats were when he needed them.

He sprinted into the lab, slammed the door behind him, and raced into the kitchen to hide out until it got a little less hectic out there. Von Bluecher, however, had chosen that area to prepare for the ceremony. He leaned against the kitchen counter and carefully read over his presentation notes. "I had no idea there were going to be this many reporters here," Teisel confessed as he yanked open the refrigerator to find that almost half of the hors d'oeuvres were already gone. He was willing to bet that most of the carnage had been Grill's doing. He shut the fridge and checked to see if Grill had left any coffee in the dispenser. "I wasn't even INVOLVED in building this rocket, and they still won't leave me alone! I don't know if I can do this, Werner!"

Von Bluecher slipped his notecards back into his pocket and frowned. "Come, now, Teisel. I'd have imagined you to be a little more interested in meeting with the press and making a profit off of all of this attention." He studied Teisel carefully, as if he were trying to figure out what was really going on. "You must have realized by now that since you and your brother have been living off the grid for so long, either one of you would make for a fascinating human interest piece."

Teisel's eyes bugged out so much that it looked as if they'd had the potential to spring right out of their sockets at any second. He knew that Von Bluecher was business-oriented, but he remembered him having a bit more tact than this. Then again, in retrospect, the man had also been all too willing to exploit Banner and Matilda Caskett's disappearance when he'd funded that third expedition to Forbidden Island. Professor Caskett didn't look all that comfortable up there in front of the reporters while his so-called friend did all the talking back then, either.

"I suppose you haven't given it much thought before now," Von Bluecher observed while Teisel tried to make sense of it all.

"Are you out of your mind?!" Teisel finally sputtered, all thoughts of grabbing a coffee completely forgotten. He felt that familiar burning sensation well up at the back of his throat and squeezed his eyes shut. He had to stay calm. Who knew if there were photographers peeping in through the windows? "Didn't Roll tell you Bon died, too? I've lost everything that was important to me. Do you really just expect me to want to try and make money from it right away?"

"You and I both know you'd have been frothing at the mouth for an opportunity like this the last time I saw you," Von Bluecher glibly responded. "Do you have any idea how little information on Tron Bonne there really is out there? Any one of those reporters would pay a small fortune to get your side of the story, especially if you're really the only member of the Bonne family left to tell'd finally be able to live the high life again, just like you'd talked about, and you wouldn't even need to rob a bank to do it!"

"Werner, I may have been a pirate back then, but I've always had standards!" Teisel somehow managed to retort. "Without Bon and Tron, living that life I'd wanted to get back is impossible. Whatever motivation to get rich quick I might've had back then died with them."

If Teisel's words affected Von Bluecher at all, he didn't show it. He walked up to the counter and prepared himself a cup of tea from the appropriate dispenser. "Well, I'm just putting it out there," he offered with a nonchalant shrug as he stirred a single sugar cube into his teacup. "It's your choice, really, but if you're genuinely uncomfortable with the attention, I feel as though I ought to warn you that Roll usually opens the lab up to the public after she and I address the crowd. You'll probably want to find a better hiding spot than the kitchen."

Teisel just muttered something under his breath and stormed upstairs, hoping he'd find one of his friends up there, and seriously questioning whatever it was that he'd seen in Von Bluecher all those years ago.

By the time he realized it might have been smarter to hide out and do his venting in the rental boat, there were already enough people wandering around Volnutt Island to make the move impossible. He'd been camped out at the observatory for a while, taking advantage of the blatant "STAFF ONLY" sign and making good use of Roll's industrial-grade telescope, now that she didn't have much of a reason to stare at the moon all through the night anymore.

He spotted Max and Pic arguing about something over by the launchpad and gesticulating over at where Roll was pinning Von Bluecher's microphone to his shirt. Those two probably wouldn't have been the best to talk to about the press and Von Bluecher, anyway. As great as Max had been through all of this, there was something about him that made Teisel feel like maybe he wouldn't think trying to make a quick buck off of his past was as morally questionable as it sounded.

In any case, if Teisel were to even consider the proposition, he'd definitely want to keep the publication rights to his own life firmly in his hands. But that in itself was a very big "if."

He imagined Grill was probably in the kitchen somewhere engorging himself. As he scanned the crowd for Aero and watched a number of guests take their seats on the launchpad in anticipation of Roll and Von Bluecher's ten-year addresses, he heard the door to the room click open behind him.

"That you, Aero?" He asked as he momentarily abandoned the telescope and turned around. He found himself face to face with a young boy he'd never seen before in his life. The kid had messy black hair and brown eyes, and he wore a blue hoodie and cargo pants. His parents clearly didn't seem to enforce any sort of dress code for the memorial.

The boy shook his head. "This is my secret base," he explained. "I've never seen you here before, but my parents drag me to this crummy island every year. Mega Man Volnutt saved my island from pirates on my birthday, but this day is always long and boring and there are too many grown-ups, so one year I went exploring and found this place. It's been my secret base ever since—and that means I have first dibs!"

Teisel didn't know how to respond to that.

"...I guess it sort of stinks playing up here by myself all the time," the kid admitted to himself when he realized the strange old man loitering in his secret base wasn't about to reply anytime soon. "Tell ya what. You look like a tough guy even though you're kind of dressed like a nerd, so I'll let you be in my gang!"

"I don't have to actually leave the observa...I mean, the base, do I?" Teisel asked. "I really don't want to go out there."

The boy rolled his eyes. "Figures you'd be a big sissy," he groaned. "You can stay only as long as you don't tell anyone I'm up here...especially not my mom and dad! What's your name, anyway?"

"T-Bonne," Teisel quickly replied. Even if this little guy didn't really grasp why his family kept coming back to this island year after year to watch Roll give speeches and stuff their faces with cheese cubes, Teisel's name was featured in enough places around the lab that there was a remote chance the kid might recognize it in full. He was surprised the boy didn't recognize him from any of the pictures hanging in the other rooms. Still, if this kid didn't know who he really was, then he didn't have to worry about accidentally making a big, emotional scene if he spent the whole day hiding out with him.

"T-Bonne? What a weird name for an old guy!" The kid exclaimed with a laugh. "My name's Mega Man Bronte, and I'm eleven and three quarters!"

"Psh, like Mega Man's any better," Teisel snickered. Someone out there had actually named their child after the blue boy. The thought that someone might've named their offspring after his sister, or perhaps even after himself considering the media reaction to his presence, momentarily crossed his mind, but he shoved it aside, as he'd done so many other times that day. This other Mega Man was turning out to be just the diversion he needed to help take his mind off of everything. "I'm thirty-nine. What do you usually do up here to pass the time?"

"Snipe down the enemy forces with the laser cannon!" He exclaimed with a grin, revealing a few missing teeth near the back of his mouth and gesturing toward the telescope. "I have a feeling I'm not going to need to spend much time teaching you how to use it. We're going to need all the help we can get if we're going to take out their spies before they steal our Grolonium supply."

Teisel nodded, motioning for Mega Man to follow him outside, onto the roof. They crouched down behind the parapet on the off-chance that anybody wandering around decided to look up, and Teisel peeked over the edge. "See those guys with the cameras down there?" He asked with a devious grin.

"Cameras?" Mega Man raised his eyebrows and deadpanned. "Those aren't cameras, you idiot! They're handheld rocket launchers! Just one blast is powerful enough to kill you sixty-eight times! How'd you even mistake those for cameras? Cameras are tiny!"

"I think we're going to need a bigger laser cannon." Teisel whispered after a remarkably tense moment of silence.

"We might need a giant robot for a job this big." Mega Man nervously added.

Teisel cracked a grin and replied, "You're in luck, then, because I happen to be an expert on giant robots! Run downstairs and get me a notepad, a pencil, and a cup of coffee with extra sugar so we can blast our assailants into next week and keep those Grolonium reserves fully stocked! Do you think you can gather that equipment without getting caught?"

"Piece of cake!" Mega Man boasted. "Hold down the fort, T-Bonne! I'm going in!"

Aero, meanwhile, scanned the crowd for the sixteenth time as Roll delivered a heartfelt, passionate speech that left a good portion of her audience reaching for the tissues. She couldn't find Teisel anywhere, and the rest of the gang seemed to be unfortunately preoccupied. What ever happened to coming along to make sure Teisel got through the day in one piece, anyway?

She shuffled over to where Grill was popping cheese into his mouth a few seats away, on the edge of the aisle next to an old woman who barely came up to his waist, and whispered, "Have you seen Teisel at all today? He ran off with Roll somewhere an hour ago and I haven't seen him since!"

Grill blinked behind his goggles and swallowed his cheese with a gulp that Aero could only hope wouldn't pick up on anyone's microphone. "I saw him about an hour ago, too. He was in the middle of a panic attack or something, but when I told him there wasn't a warehouse next to the lab anymore, he calmed down and decided he needed to get Roll. That must be where he ran into you. Roll's gotta be the one who knows where he went from there."

Aero glanced up at the podium. "Well, she looks a little busy now," she muttered. "I don't really want to run off in the middle of her speech to check the lab, either."

"We can check it out when the speeches are done," Grill agreed. "In the meantime, all we can do is hope he's somewhere safe."

"Those evildoers won't know what hit 'em!" Mega Man exclaimed as he put the finishing touches on their terrifying weapon of mass destruction in the research lab's living room. According to Teisel and Mega Man's blueprint, the Strudelmacher was a veritable threat to all who dared oppose it, capable of taking down the Colossus itself. The schematic depicted it as a stylized rhinoceros, and it came equipped with a laser gun, a rocket launcher, and a drill for a horn so it could ram and impale anything that stood in its path.

In reality, it looked like they'd duct taped a broom and a squeegee to the industrial vacuum cleaner from the supply closet and left it in the middle of the lab. Mega Man raised a fist in Teisel's direction. "Come on, T-Bonne," He exclaimed. "Don't leave me hanging!"

Teisel just stared at the boy's fist. "Am I supposed to do something with that?" He asked incredulously.

Mega Man snickered and said, "You've gotta be even dorkier than I thought if you've never bumped fists with anybody before."

"I think I might've seen Max, Grill, and Aero do that with each other a few times, but I guess I assumed that it was just something our gang made up," he admitted as he gave Mega Man an awkward fist bump and helped him up on top of the vacuum. He handed the child a laundry bag filled with toilet paper and sponges. Teisel grabbed the handles on the back of the vacuum and pushed their creation into the hall from behind. If the reporters were going to swarm the lab, the two of them weren't going to go down without a fight!

He pushed the Strudelmacher out the back door just as the crowd began to disperse. "Here they come, T-Bonne!" Mega Man giddily exclaimed in anticipation.

"Let's do it!" Teisel shouted as he let loose with a psychotic cackle. He charged straight for the crowd, ignoring the flashbulbs flickering in his face, while Mega Man lobbed toilet paper and cleaning supplies at everything that moved. Those rocket-toting reporters stood no chance against their unstoppable power!

Aero and Grill snapped to attention. There was no mistaking that laugh. "What does he think he's doing?" Aero rhetorically asked as Mega Man pegged a sponge at the QCTV anchor, who'd flown in all the way from the Quint Islands. "Is that...a vacuum cleaner?"

"...Yup." Grill assessed. "I'm just glad he's not curled up on the floor crying again. We should let him have his fun while it lasts."

It actually lasted a solid ten minutes before Mega Man's mom caught up to them and yanked her son off of the vacuum cleaner. They'd long since run out of ammunition and decided it'd be fun to just run their creation up and down the hills of Volnutt Island. "Mega Man Bronte! What did your father and I tell you about staying quiet, today of all days?!" She snapped. "Your little sister never gives us any trouble like this! I ought to take away your saxophone for disrespecting all of the people who lost their..."

"Mrs. Bronte, I can explain everything," Teisel cut in.

Mega Man's mother eyed the strange man standing in front of her. There was something a little off about the guy, not even considering the fact that he'd spent the last ten minutes trying to plow into reporters with a vacuum that her son had happened to be sitting on. Still, he had an oddly undeniable air of familiarity about him that kept Mrs. Bronte from just slugging him in the face on the spot. "Have we met?" She warily inquired.

Teisel shook his head. "I don't think so. My name's..."

He hesitated for a moment, weighing his options. Mega Man looked up at him with a puzzled expression. Teisel could tell he was wondering what was taking his new buddy so long to remember his own name.

"I'm Teisel." He admitted. "Teisel Bonne...I'm Tron's brother. You've probably seen some old pictures of me up in the lab."

It took a moment for the connection to register, but Teisel could tell right away when it sunk in for Mrs. Bronte. Her expression softened considerably, and she put her arm around her son's shoulder. The boy looked thoroughly baffled by this point. "I don't know if you heard, but Roll Caskett gave the most beautiful speech about your brother. I'm so sorry about everything."

"Thanks. I missed the actual ceremony. I don't think I was emotionally ready for it." Teisel admitted. "It was all...pretty recent."

"This is the first time you've been to one of these, isn't it?"

Teisel nodded and bit his lip. "If Mega Man hadn't run into me in that laboratory..." he trailed off. Teisel didn't want to think about what might have happened if he and Mega Man had never met. Instead, he genuinely smiled at the boy, who looked as if he were still trying to process all of this new information. "Thanks for making me laugh, Mega Man. I really needed that today."

Mega Man couldn't help but smile back as he raised his fist in the air for Teisel to bump. "Anytime, T-Bonne."

After spending the rest of the day avoiding the reporters with Mega Man and his family, the Brontes exchanged email addresses with Teisel and promised to stay in touch. "If you ever find yourself near Kattelox Island, be sure to stop by for a visit!" Mr. Bronte exclaimed, right before they headed for the public air shuttle. "We'll even throw in some free vegetables!"

"Kattelox, huh?" Teisel pondered the notion for a second. He wondered whether he'd even be allowed back there after what his family did to the place. "That might be a little far."

"That's too bad," Mrs. Bronte replied. "Guess we'll see you next year, then!"

Next year?

Teisel smiled and gave the family a wave as they boarded the shuttle. "I guess so," he said, more to himself than to his new friends. He figured that even though taking the trip out to Volnutt Island every year might remain tough for him no matter how many times he kept coming back, having friends like Mega Man Bronte there for him made it worth his while.

And who knows? He thought as he ambled back to the lab to see if there were any cheese squares left. Maybe someday I'll even be ready to give a speech, too!


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