Thread: [Pokémon] Convergent Paths
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Old March 4th, 2010 (08:36 AM).
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nokyo-chan
Oatmeal? Are you CRAZY?!
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: In the middle of nowhere.
Age: 23
Gender: Female
Nature: Quirky
Chapter Twenty-Two
Cassandra was quite sure she was going to rip her hair out by the time she and Karen wandered out of Meteor Falls.

“That place is so stupid! Why is there a log bridge randomly between two cliffs?”

“Well, we did have to cross it in order to get out,” Karen told her. “Cheer up, Cassandra. We’re almost to Fallarbor Town.”

“Yeah, I guess so.” She tugged unhappily on the strap of her backpack and pushed her hair out of her face. She had long since twisted it into a bun, but her bangs insisted on falling into her eyes.

A short trek later, Cassandra and Karen ended up in Fallarbor Town. It wasn’t much to speak of; it was small, and ash seemed to be falling from the sky. Its only redeeming quality was the special, Coordinator-only hot spring situated inside the Contest Hall, which Cassandra was already planning to get into.

“Ooh, a hot spring!” Karen said as Cassandra told her about it and they went into the Center. “That’ll be fun, won’t it, Tuffly?”

“Wiggly!” the Pokémon agreed. Karen didn’t seem to have a Poké Ball and if she did, she wasn’t using it. Tuffly walked with them the whole way.

Cassandra went straight to the counter to talk to Nurse Joy. The woman clapped happily when she saw her. “Oh, hello! You’re Cassandra Étoile, right?”

“Y-yeah…how did you know?”

“My sister in Verdanturf told me,” Nurse Joy replied. “She sent me a video from the DVD she gets complimentary from judging the contest. You were magnificent! And my sister in Rustboro said you got a traveling companion? Where’s Karen?”

Cassandra looked over her shoulder and blinked. Karen was nowhere to be found; she had disappeared. “Um…I don’t actually know,” she replied. “She was right behind me when I walked in. Do you…know…Karen?”

“No. But my sister in Rustboro tells me all about her. She loves Pokémon, and she comes into the Pokémon Center every day to help out.”

“So…” Cassandra leaned in. “What’s up with her parents? Why are they willing to let her run off to Fallarbor Town with a stranger?”

“Well, apparently they’re hippies.”

“…hippies.”

“Yes. They are very free-spirited. Both her mother and her father have hair down to their waists, and they believe very much in the unity between Pokémon and humans.”

“Great. So do they smoke a lot of dope?”

Nurse Joy laughed appreciatively. “I don’t know, Miss Étoile.”

“Please, just call me Cassandra.”

“I’m ready for the hot spring!”

Cassandra turned and Nurse Joy looked up; Karen stood behind them, looking absolutely adorable in her bright blue one-piece bathing suit. She reminded Cassandra of very brightly-colored cotton candy. The girl did a little twirl; Tuffly turned with her. It was quite a well-choreographed move. Perhaps Karen did have a bit of potential as a Coordinator.

“Great,” Cassandra said again. “Is it okay if I drop my Pokémon off here, Nurse Joy? They need a bit of rest. We just came through Meteor Falls.”

“No problem,” Nurse Joy replied as Cassandra handed over her three Poké Balls.
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“Why, if it isn’t Cassandra Étoile.”

Cassandra blinked. Sakura Konohana smiled demurely up at her from her place in the hot spring. Her wet red hair tumbled down around her, sprawling out once it got to her shoulders; it wasn’t quite as long as Cassandra’s. About Alyssa’s length, Cassandra thought to herself. She could make out an orange-and-white tail bobbing next to Sakura in the water.

“Let’s go, Tuffly!” Karen said, pushing past Cassandra to clamber down into the hot spring.

“Wiggly!” Tuffly followed as best it could; with its giant bulk and tiny arms, it couldn’t quite grip the ladder, so it slipped and fell into the hot spring with a splash. Karen laughed happily and wiped the water from her face; Sakura chuckled appreciatively.

Cassandra lowered herself into the water carefully and picked out a place to sit. She sighed happily, relaxing for a moment, before turning to Sakura. “So, what are you doing here? Did you come to watch the contest?”

“Oh, no,” Sakura told her. “I’m here to compete.”

“But…you lost at Verdanturf,” Cassandra said hesitantly. “You have to beat the Normal Rank in order to move on to the Super Rank here in Fallarbor.”

Sakura tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. “Yes, but I competed in the contest directly before the one in which I battled you, and I won. The Normal Rank has theirs more often, so I wanted to move through it as many times as possible before I moved on to the Super Rank. I now believe I have enough experience to win here.”

“Goldeen goldeen,” the Pokémon toned from underwater.

Cassandra nodded. “That’s cool. Verdanturf Contest Hall has theirs once every few weeks, right? How far apart is Fallarbor’s?”

“Theirs is a monthly contest.”

“And it’s broadcasted on some of the less-watched cable stations,” Karen piped up. “Hyper Rank in Slateport City is totally different, though. They have their contests once every two months, and it’s widely televised.” For a moment, she seemed fixated on the water running through her palms as she scooped it up in her hands. “But the Master Rank in Lilycove City…” The water slid off her fingers again. “They hold their contests…”

“Four times a year,” Sakura finished. “So if you don’t win the first time, you have to wait a very long time for another contest date.”

The water slipped easily from Karen’s hands, splashing delicately into the spring.


To:
[email protected]
From: dancing_through_life@pokénet.com
Subject: Televised contests!!
_____________________________________________________________
Hey Alyssa!!
They actually start televising contests at the Super Rank, but only on lesser-watched channels…so you may not be able to see my Fallarbor performance unless I send you something.
Sorry your first day sucked. Things will get better!! At least you have a hot guy to flirt with while you work…contests are total taco-fests.
Did I actually just put that?
Anyway, I’ll email you later!
Love you lots,
Cassandra
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