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  #26    
Old November 12th, 2009, 02:15 PM
walasaka's Avatar
walasaka
Dark-type Trainer
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
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I'm really liking it so far, I like the approach you've taken. Can't wait for them all to meet up again - and for their respective journeys to properly begin!

Don't really have any criticism of note, so just take my reply as an encouragement to carry on!
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  #27    
Old November 14th, 2009, 12:13 AM
Elite Overlord LeSabre™'s Avatar
Elite Overlord LeSabre™
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Couple of things...
Quote:
Belle blinked and reached up to rub her eyes.
"Rub", not "rubbed."

Quote:
She found one almost immediately and sent Swifter out to take care of it.

It wasn’t long before Belle tossed a Poké Ball and caught the Mankey, much to its displeasure. She had to try three times before it finally succumbed
I would have liked to have seen that battle. Really, though, it feels like you're skipping the battle and leaving out details of the battle - which could have revealed how the Pokemon fight, their general attitude about it, and so on. Not to mention add some excitement.

Final issue: For being a temperamental Pokemon (by nature), Mankey warmed up to Belle pretty quickly.

With all that said, I still liked the chapter.
Quote:
“What’s going to happen to me? Is somebody gonna jump out of the bushes and scare me and make me trip and hit my head—oh, but wait! That’s already happened!”
I LOLed. I admit it, I did XD

Quote:
A few years after her father had started, a law had been passed increasing the age limit to sixteen— this was due to several ten-year-olds lying dead or severely battered by wild Pokémon.
Ah, so that's why everyone has to be 16 now. One mystery solved

Ah, the random meeting of the annoying character. I never get tired of it This Derrick fellow seems like an interesting character, even if his team leaves something to be desired (I'm notorious for my hatred of Pikachu on the forum). I'm not sure if I would want to see him joining Belle permanently, as that would kinda affect the three girls teaming up. But if he shows up (in comedic fashion) every now and then, I wouldn't mind that

So, Belle has her first Gym battle next time? I think it'll be interesting to see your style of writing battles, and I'll be looking forward to it. No pressure, though
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  #28    
Old November 18th, 2009, 09:33 AM
nokyo-chan's Avatar
nokyo-chan
Oatmeal? Are you CRAZY?!
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: In the middle of nowhere.
Age: 23
Gender: Female
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Thank you everyone for your kind praise!

Quote:
"Rub", not "rubbed."
THANK YOU SO MUCH. I am usually a huge grammar...perfectionist, to put it nicely. I don't know how that one slipped into the post.

Quote:
(I'm notorious for my hatred of Pikachu on the forum).
Ha, don't worry. I'm not going to make his team all about "PIKACHU IS SO CUTE OMGYAYPIKACHUYAY!!" (I assume you hate Pikachu because of how overrated it is?)

Quote:
I'm really liking it so far, I like the approach you've taken.
Thanks so much! XD

Quote:
I think Bug Buzz will be a better replacement for Leech Life in Chapter 7
Thank you for this advice! I'll be sure to edit Chapter 7 soon!!
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  #29    
Old November 23rd, 2009, 10:45 AM
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nokyo-chan
Oatmeal? Are you CRAZY?!
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: In the middle of nowhere.
Age: 23
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Chapter Nine
Alyssa rubbed her eyes. She was so sick of studying she didn’t know what to do. She kept reminding herself that there was only one test left, but for some reason that didn’t cheer her up.

The desk lamp cast a glow over her textbook, but the rest of the room was dark. The sounds of Casey’s deep breathing were issuing forth from under the covers, along with the gentle snores of Miranda, one of their other roommates. Casey and Alyssa had bunk beds on one side of the room, while Miranda and Windy had bunk beds on the other side. Alyssa had the top bunk because Casey was afraid of heights. Sure, she may have banged her head into the ceiling once or twice—or a million times—but Casey couldn’t help her phobia.

Alyssa pushed her chair back. She felt suddenly claustrophobic—she wanted to get outside. She grabbed her Styler and her room key before slipping quietly out the door in her nightgown.

The hallways were dark and silent. Her bare feet made no sound on the floor as she passed through the spacious lobby, heading toward the glass entrance doors. Once she had them open she breathed in deeply and happily, stepping out onto the entryway. The night air was chilly; she wrapped her arms around herself as she stepped off the entryway and onto the front path. She didn’t particularly feel like leaving the school grounds; instead, she pointed herself east and walked across the front yard of the school, heading toward a large flight of stairs built into a cliff. She descended it and walked over to where the water flowed gently alongside the cliff, passing by the statue onto which graduates etched their hopes and dreams. A cargo ship had once crashed here, and they had never gotten around to fixing the fence. She settled herself to sit on the edge, dangling her feet out over the water. A breeze played with the ends of her hair.

“What are you doing?”

She started and quickly scrambled to her feet, trying to ready an excuse. Instead of a teacher, however, she saw Ian, looking handsome as ever in his Ranger uniform, hands tucked into his pockets as the moonlight washed over him. A Prinplup stood behind him.

“Oh, Ian…it’s you.” She put a hand on her heart and smiled. “I was afraid it was a teacher or something.” She sat back down the way she had been. “How’d you get in here, anyway?”

Ian lowered himself carefully to sit beside her. He tucked his heels onto some rocks and leaned forward, placing his elbows on his legs and lacing his fingers together, watching his hands. Prinplup wandered around, checking out the nighttime Pokémon that played around the school grounds. “I scaled the wall.”

“Wasn’t that hard?”

He shrugged. He seemed subdued.

“Why did you come here?”

Ian looked up at the stars without moving the rest of his body. “I come here to think.” He dropped his head again. “Everything was so innocent here. I feel like my thoughts are clearer when I’m dealing with them here.”
Alyssa looked over at him. Something was troubling him, all right…but what was it? “What’s wrong?” she asked, concerned.

Silence stretched between them. “Nothing you need to worry about right now.” He bent lower and began removing his shoes. “Shouldn’t you be in bed?”

“Probably. I have my last exam tomorrow. But I just felt so…enclosed in that tiny space of a room. I needed to get out here, where it’s bigger.”

“I know what you mean. What was that?” he snapped, twisting around. Prinplup made a reassuring noise and gestured with its flipper toward a Zigzagoon. Alyssa blinked.

“Wait…Ziggy?” she said incredulously. The Pokémon made a noise of glee and rushed over to her, climbing into her lap and snuggling up. It was the same Zigzagoon she had met on the beach two days ago.

“It’s following you around,” Ian said. “That’s the second step.”

“I can’t make you my Partner Pokémon yet,” Alyssa told it. “You’ll have to wait until I become a full-blown Ranger.”

“It’s asleep.”

Alyssa sighed. Sure enough, the little thing was slumbering peacefully in her lap. She scratched between its ears.

The two sat there for a while longer, a Ranger and a Ranger Student, both looking up at the stars and contemplating their own thoughts. After a while, Alyssa sighed and stood up, scooping Zigzagoon up with her. “I’ve got to get to bed,” she told Ian. “Can you take care of Ziggy for me?” She bent and placed the Pokémon in his lap. Ian gently stroked its head and nodded before looking up at her.

Suddenly Alyssa was very aware that she hadn’t brushed her hair and that she was wearing a nightgown. She crossed her arms and hugged herself.

“Well, hope I’ll see you soon.”

“Are you cold?”

“What? Oh—a little, but it’s no big deal.”

Ian shifted Zigzagoon to the ground beside him and stood up, removing his long-sleeved Ranger jacket and wrapping it instead around her. Most Rangers had short-sleeved jackets. She wondered vaguely why his was different, but mostly she felt ecstatic that he was so close to her and touching her shoulders.

“Feel better?”

“So much,” Alyssa replied softly.

“Good. I wouldn’t want you to be cold.”

“Hm? Oh, right—cold. Yeah. I was cold.” She smiled. “Well, I guess I’ll see you later.”

He nodded. “Right.”

And Alyssa turned and walked off. When she got to her room, she fell asleep using Ian’s jacket as a blanket.


To:
dingdongbelle, dancing_through_life
From: thompson_alyssa
Subject: Place to stay!
Hey guys,
I called my parents and they said you can stay there for the week. It’s in two weeks, you guys. I’d better be seeing you! It’s in the morning, remember!
Sorry I can’t have a longer email, but I’ve GOT to study. ONE MORE TEST TO GO!!!
Love,
Alyssa
P.S. Hey Cassandra. I know about Belle’s Pokémon already. XP
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  #30    
Old November 24th, 2009, 05:02 PM
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Legendarian Mistress
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Hey nokyo-chan, this is Kyuu-chan. Since SS told me you’ve read my fic but have as yet been unable to review, I thought I’d return the favour. It’s a wonderful story so far. I feel sorry for Cassandra, having seen the Poochyena being attacked by Volbeat and Illumise. Will the wolf-like Dark type end up being one of her partners? If you have a PM List, please add me to it – otherwise, kindly send me either a VM or PM when Chapter 10 is posted. Thanks in advance, and keep up the excellent work.
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  #31    
Old November 30th, 2009, 09:30 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
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Chapter Ten
“I thought you were just going to the Pokémon Center with me.”

“Well, we’re both going to the gym, right? Why not go together?”

“You’re stalking me.”

“I’m not stalking you.”

“Waiting by my sleeping bag for me to wake up? Stalking!”

“You’re overreacting.”

“You’re stalking.”

Belle stomped her feet slightly as she made her way towards the Pewter City Gym, Derrick following close behind. She hadn’t been able to shake him off. He was like a lost little Poochyena or something.

“How are your stitches feeling?”

And it didn’t help that he kept asking her that. “Fine,” she replied. “Absolutely fine. And for the next time you ask? FINE!”

“You don’t have to yell.”

Belle turned off toward the PokéMart, making Derrick turn sharply. “Hey, hey, where are you going?”

“The PokéMart. You’re going to the gym, right? Just go on ahead!”

“Nope. I’m coming with you.”

Stalker!”

He sighed and refused to reply to anything else she said. He simply followed her around the PokéMart, ignoring her complaints even when she began ordering him to stop following her and go away. Finally they arrived at the Pewter City Gym together. Derrick opened the door for her and gestured for her to go in before he did.

The gym was dark. The only illumination was the small beam of sunlight slashing in through the open door, but this disappeared as Derrick stepped in and allowed the large door to shut behind him, throwing both of them into total darkness.

“Hello?” Belle called uncertainly, her voice more high-pitched than usual. It floated back to her on an echo, squeaky and hardly sounding as if it were hers. Hello? Hello? Hello?

“Who comes to challenge Flint, the Pewter City Gym Leader?”

Several stadium lights flashed on, momentarily dazzling Belle so that she had to lift up her hand to shade her eyes. The gym floor was the color of dirt, and rocks jutted up from it in random locations. Across the floor on a small platform stood Flint, his arms crossed as he glowered out at them both.

“My name is Belle,” Belle said, trying to sound braver than she felt. “I came to fight for my Boulder Badge.”

Flint gestured toward the platform on Belle’s side of the gym. “Step up.”

She did so, feeling incredibly nervous. Derrick went around the floor and sat himself on the bleachers to watch. “Good luck,” he whispered to her as he passed. Suddenly Belle was extremely grateful that he had insisted on following her.

A referee seemed to appear out of nowhere, holding a red flag in one hand and a green flag in the other. “This will be a two-Pokémon match,” he said, his voice booming. “Switching out is permitted between battles only. Gym Leader ready?”

“Yes,” Flint said confidently, pulling a Poké Ball out of his pocket.

“Challenger ready?”

“Yes,” Belle replied. She clutched Mankey’s Poké Ball in both hands.

“Begin!”

“Go, Geodude!” Flint cried, throwing his Ball. Geodude popped out of it, hands balled into tight fists.

“Let’s go, Mankey!” Belle threw the Ball. Mankey leapt out.

“Geodude versus Mankey! Let the battle begin!”

Using a few Fighting-type moves, Mankey defeated Geodude easily. Belle found herself wondering, however, how the Pokémon levitated above the ground. She also realized, as the referee proclaimed Geodude “unable to battle” and Flint withdrew it, that this was the first time she had been in an actual Trainer battle. The thought made her hands tremble.

“Onix!”

“Onix versus Mankey! Let the battle begin!”

“Onix, use Iron Tail!”

Belle came to her senses in enough time to yell, “Dodge it, Mankey! Use Karate Chop!” Mankey leapt onto a nearby rock as the giant rock-snake’s tail came crashing down on the spot in which he had been just moments before. The Pokémon powered itself from the rock and onto Onix’s head, chopping it right between the eyes. “Hang onto its…I dunno…head-spike thingy!” Belle cried. Mankey did as it was told, swinging itself up to stand on it.

“Shake it off, Onix!” Flint yelled.

“Hang on, Mankey! Karate Chop! Again!” Belle balled her hands into fists. She was feeling more confident, and she had worked out a strategy. That Onix was way too big for Mankey to handle on the ground, but if they just concentrated on Onix’s face and head…well, they just might win this. And anyway, Onix was making itself dizzy. This made it that much easier for Mankey to
win.

Onix shook its head as Mankey repeatedly Karate Chopped it, disorienting itself as Mankey rained blows down. Flint seemed to catch on to what was happening. “Onix, stop shaking!”

“Bend your knees and hold on, Mankey! Brace yourself on the spike!” Belle shouted out. “Don’t stop Chopping!” She smirked across at Flint, who looked furious. Mankey had kept is balance on Onix’s head; she knew that Flint had hoped that when the shaking stopped abruptly, Mankey would be dislodged.

Onix was drooping visibly. Belle rubbed her hands together. “Let’s finish it off, Mankey! Seismic Toss!”

“Onix—!” But before Flint could shout a command, Mankey had grabbed Onix’s aptly named “head-spike thingy” and leapt off its head, swinging Onix up above him and in a huge arc before letting go, sending the Pokémon to the ground. Its head crashed into one of the giant rocks jutting up from the craggy gym floor. The rock shattered magnificently and Onix’s body lay crumpled on the ground. Mankey landed heavily nearby, shrieking and waving its arms in the air victoriously.

“Onix is unable to battle!” the referee yelled. “Challenger wins!” He swung the hand holding the red flag up in the air.

Flint returned Onix to its Poké Ball. Belle held her arms out to Mankey, who jumped up onto her platform and allowed her to hug him. Flint walked the distance of the gym floor to Belle. She leapt off the platform and stood before him, holding Mankey still.

“Belle, is it?” he asked her.

“Yes, sir.”

“I’d like to present you with this Boulder Badge. You fought well. Is this your first gym challenge?”

“Actually, sir, it’s my first Trainer Battle.” Belle set Mankey down and took the badge from Flint, admiring it.

“Your first…wow. Belle, I think you really are cut out to be a Trainer.”

Belle looked up at him, eyes wide. “Really?”

“Yes. You fought magnificently, especially for your first Trainer Battle. Keep going with your instincts…they’ll serve you well.”

Belle floated back to the Pokémon Center on a cloud.
________________________________________________________________________

To: dancing_through_life@pokénet.com, [email protected]
From: dingdongbelle@pokénet.com
Subject: My Gym Battle…
____________________________________________________________________________________
Hey, you two.
Yeah, my Gym Battle didn’t go so great…





It went AWESOME!!! I totally got the Boulder Baaaaaadge!! w00t!! And, Flint, the Gym Leader, said that I fought magnificently and that I’m really cut out to be a Trainer. I am SO HAPPY!!
Oh, Cassandra. *ahem* My Pokémon: Charmander (Charmy), Pidgey (Swifter), and Mankey (…Mankey. 0.o). I’m not so great at nicknaming, but whatever!!
Woo, you guys! I cannot wait till I land my mother’s Skarmory in Chicole Village, Almia! THERE’S LESS THAN TWO WEEKS LEFT!!!
Your extremely excited Trainer friend,
Belle XD
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Last edited by nokyo-chan; December 3rd, 2009 at 07:09 AM.
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  #32    
Old December 4th, 2009, 03:13 PM
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Legendarian Mistress
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For the lack of a better apology, I am sorry. Three nights of not getting a good enough sleep have really exhausted me and when I finished “The Vampire’s Assistant” yesterday evening, I was struggling to keep my eyes open.

That aside, I promised you a review, so review I will. It was an extremely good chapter, but I do have one question. Why is Flint, Brock’s father, the Gym Leader? I was pretty sure that Brock passed on Gym Leader responsibilities to Jiro, his younger brother... Or am I missing something?

Anyway, I’m gonna finish this up, as it is nearly 9PM Friday night, and I’m extremely tired, having run on iron will alone all day. I am looking forward to Chapter 11.
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  #33    
Old December 5th, 2009, 06:08 AM
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walasaka
Dark-type Trainer
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyuu-chan View Post
Why is Flint, Brock’s father, the Gym Leader? I was pretty sure that Brock passed on Gym Leader responsibilities to Jiro, his younger brother... Or am I missing something?
I'm pretty sure I remember watching a Pokemon Chronicles episode where Flint is the gym leader and has to battle Brock's mum. I think she redecorates the gym to be a water one and Brock finds out, getting rather angry.

Also, I'm fairly sure his younger brother dreams of being the new gym leader, but has barely started being a trainer or something.

As far as the last chapter goes, I thought it was a little short, but otherwise I'm in enjoying this. Keep it up !
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  #34    
Old December 6th, 2009, 09:58 AM
nokyo-chan's Avatar
nokyo-chan
Oatmeal? Are you CRAZY?!
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: In the middle of nowhere.
Age: 23
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Quote:
Why is Flint, Brock’s father, the Gym Leader? I was pretty sure that Brock passed on Gym Leader responsibilities to Jiro, his younger brother... Or am I missing something?
Well, the last episode of Pokemon I saw dealing with Brock and his gym was in the first season---his father came back to take over the gym, allowing Brock to travel with Ash and Misty. I stopped watching Pokemon recently (I HATE Dawn), so maybe it was I who missed something?
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  #35    
Old December 7th, 2009, 05:29 PM
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Yeah, maybe. I remember seeing one episode before the Sinnoh series where Ash and Brock joined forces and fought Team Rocket, beat them (naturally) and then Brock handed the responsibility of Gym Leader to Jiro near the end.
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  #36    
Old December 10th, 2009, 10:51 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
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Chapter Eleven
Cassandra lifted her head and wiped a spot of drool from the corner of her mouth. Swablu sat perched on her hair like a giant fuzzy hat, and Finny snored slightly from his place in her lap. At Cassandra’s movement, Swablu sleepily fluttered from her perch and alighted on the arm of the plastic chair.

Cassandra straightened, feeling at least seven places in her back pop as she did so. She had been leaning over to rest her head on her arms on the table beside the chair. It was morning now; she had spent all yesterday in the Pokémon Center, waiting for Poochyena to be okay. Nurse Joy had come out to inform her that the Pokémon was stable, but she wanted to keep it overnight. She had suggested Cassandra go home, but she refused.

Now the sliding glass door of the Center opened and Joanna walked through, Cassandra’s father beside her. Gerald was extremely tall, with dark hair and a well-groomed goatee. Apart from being tall, he was large, sporting broad shoulders and chest. He was also very muscular, but you couldn’t see them beneath his smart-looking business suit. He smiled broadly as he made her way over to her, leaving Joanna standing on the welcome mat.

“Sandy-bear,” he said in his deep voice. He knelt by her chair. Even from this position, he was so tall he had to look down at her.

“Hi, Daddy.”

He looked over his shoulder at Joanna. “You can wait outside for me, dear, if you like.”

Joanna nodded curtly and then swished out of the door without so much as a backward glance, let alone a wave to her daughter. Cassandra threw her arms around her father’s neck and began sobbing immediately. He returned the hug and patted her back, trying to console her. “Sh, dear, sh,” he said once, but other than that he remained silent and let her cry out her worries. She spoke between sobs, telling her father the whole story, and how she felt it would be all her fault if the Poochyena died.

Gerald was quiet. He allowed her to cry and sob until she was finished with one final, shuddering breath and a huge gulp. She finally sat back, wiping her eyes. Finny nuzzled her affectionately, and Swablu chirped in a worried tone.

“Sandy-bear?”

“Hm?”

“I’m very proud of you,” he told her, patting her knee. It was strange, now that she thought about it, to see such a big, powerful-looking man kneeling and patting a girl’s knee with a hand that he could easily use to snap her leg in half. “You did the right thing, and you were very brave. I love you, Sandy-bear.”

Cassandra sniffed. “I love you too, Daddy.” She hugged him. “What’s Mother doing here?”

“Oh, she wanted me to take her to Rustboro…apparently she has some shopping to do.” Gerald’s face split into the large grin that he usually wore. “What does she even buy?”

Cassandra giggled a bit. “I don’t know…friends?”

Gerald laughed his big, booming laugh as he stood up. “She certainly has enough money to! Now, you stay right here. I’m going to go talk to Nurse Joy about your Poochyena.”

The large, almost-seven-foot man walked briskly toward the counter. Unlike most people, he had the privilege of going into the back whenever he wanted, and he did so now. Cassandra waited until he came out, smiling broadly and clapping his hands together. “Nurse Joy says Poochyena is well on his way to recovery!” he told her. “She also says that, if it weren’t for you, that poor Pokémon would be dead by now. You can go see him! Come on!” He beckoned her over.

Cassandra returned Swablu and Finny to their Poké Balls and walked over to her father, who placed a hand on her back and walked with her. Nurse Joy stood beside Poochyena’s bed. It had been moved from the special intensive care unit, and he now just appeared to be slumbering peacefully, except for a special tube attached to his stomach and the bandages here and there. Joy smiled and reached out to give Cassandra a huge hug, which was incredibly unexpected.

“You saved this Poochyena’s life!” Joy said happily. “I set the Volbeat and Illumise free this morning after I scolded them a bit. They looked sorry. But you! You saved this Pokémon’s life!” And then Joy hugged her again, this time so tight that Cassandra’s eyes bugged out slightly and she couldn’t breathe.

When Joy released her, Cassandra stepped up to Poochyena’s bed and gazed down at it. She reached out and stroked its soft fur. It shifted a bit in its sleep, and she turned and smiled, tears in her eyes. “Thank you, Nurse Joy.”

Gerald clapped Joy on the back, and the woman stumbled and had to clutch a nearby bed for balance. “Well, Cassandra, I need to get going. Your mother is no doubt getting impatient to get to the shops of Rustboro, and I need to get to work! Mr. Devon is expecting me.” He opened his arms. “How about a hug, Sandy-bear?”

Cassandra gave her father a hug and watched him leave. Suddenly, Nurse Joy gave a little gasp and clutched Cassandra’s shoulder. “Look! Poochyena’s waking up!” She shoved Cassandra toward the bed.

Indeed, Poochyena was waking up. His eyes were half-open, and he was just finishing up a yawn. Cassandra leaned over the bed. “Hello,” she said. “Um…I don’t know if you remember me, but…um…”

“She saved your life, Poochyena.” Nurse Joy stepped up beside her, grinning broadly.

“I caught you with a Poké Ball, but I’ll release you if you want to go back to the wild,” she told it.

Poochyena shoved its head forward, touching its nose to Cassandra’s hand, which she had placed on the edge of the bed. He licked her fingers.

“I think he’s saying he wants to stay with you,” Joy said breathlessly. Cassandra glanced at her. Was she always this excitable?

“Is that what you want, Poochyena?”

It wagged its tail and closed its eyes again.

“Well, it needs plenty of rest, but by lunchtime he should be all ready to go! You can take him home then. Chansey, can you mind the lobby? I need to go clean up the ICU!” And then Joy was gone.

Cassandra began stroking Poochyena’s fur again. “You reminded me of myself,” she told it. “You fought yourself to destruction. That’s pretty much what I do. Can I give you a nickname? I want to give you something that sounds incredibly cutesy, so people will be surprised when it’s you that comes out of the Ball.”

Poochyena wagged its tail again. Cassandra scratched it behind the ears. “Hmm…how about Fluffy?”


To:
dingdongbelle@pokénet.com
From: dancing_through_life@pokénet.com
Subject: Ride?
____________________________________________________________________________________
Hey!
My mom won’t let me use Staraptor. Is there enough room on Skarmory for both of us? If there is, could you pick me up? I’d really appreciate it! And then, you could drop me off and see my first Contest! =) That’d be fun!
And congrats on your Gym Battle!! I KNEW you’d do great. And it’s really cool that Flint thinks you’re cut out to be a Trainer!! Just be careful with your intensity, and make sure you’re not overreacting about everything. You know how you get. Oh, and don’t feel bad about the whole nickname thing…I just nicknamed a Poochyena FLUFFY. Ha!!
Well, g2g. Love ya lots!
Cassandra
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  #37    
Old December 13th, 2009, 04:59 PM
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Legendarian Mistress
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*snorts with laughter*

*roflmao*

Sorry, nokyo, but I found the nickname of Fluffy for the poor Poochyena just sooooooo funny. All in all, it was an excellent chapter. I’ll email you my fic again (it’s now updated to Chapter 7, with Chapter 8 yet to be started...).
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  #38    
Old December 17th, 2009, 10:07 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
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Haha, yeah, Fluffy is kinda unimaginitive...o.0

But thanks for the review!! XD
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  #39    
Old December 17th, 2009, 10:14 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 Twelve
It was finally over. All of it was over, done with, gone, left behind. All that was left to do now was to run through a few graduation practices and ready her speech.

Alyssa had completed the last exam.

She held her squeal of delight until she was upstairs in her dorm room out of courtesy, because it exploded from her throat at a frequency she was surprised human ears could hear. She leapt around as she did it. Finally, she collapsed on Casey’s bunk to recuperate, too tired to climb to her own. The air around her felt different now that she was, for all intensive purposes, done with Ranger School. After today, she would no longer be required to wear her uniform. She plucked absently at her jacket sleeve as she considered this. The world was full of possibilities. She couldn’t wait until she was a Ranger.

The door of the room opened and Alyssa turned her head to see who it was. Casey walked in, smiling slyly as she shut the door behind her. “So, you were the first to finish your test, as usual,” she said by way of greeting.

“Oh, yeah, whatever. Casey, that was our last exam!” Alyssa slid off her friend’s bunk and stood. “Can you believe it?”

“Yeah, we’ll talk about that later.” Casey waved this off as if it were trivial information. “Do you care to tell me whose jacket you have stashed underneath your blankets?”

Alyssa couldn’t help but blush. Her stomach felt cold for a moment.

“I saw you shoving it under there this morning. It was red. Could it have been…a Ranger jacket?” Casey went to grab at the ladder leading up to Alyssa’s bunk, but Alyssa jumped in front of her.

“Maybe. Just leave it alone!”

“Ooh, I knew it!” Casey squealed. “Where were you last night? Who did you meet up with? And why didn’t you tell me sooner?”

Alyssa sighed. “Casey,” she said. “Look, I’ll tell you the whole story later, okay? I have to return the jacket.”

“No, tell me now!” Casey blocked Alyssa’s ascent to her bunk. “Come on, tell me! At least his name!”

Trapped, Alyssa looked around. “Ian.”

Casey squealed loudly and clapped her hands. “Ian, Ian, Ian and Alyssa! Oh my God! Ian what? What’s his last name?”

“Walton. Ian Walton.”

Alyssa could practically see the gears turning in her friend’s head. “Walton…is he related to Greg?”

“He’s his older brother.”

“Oh. My. God. Does he look like Greg, all shrimpy and geeky and nerdy? Like, does he wear glasses and have big ears like Greg?”

“I’ve met him before,” Alyssa mumbled. “And he used to wear glasses and look shrimpy.” She looked away and blushed fiercely. “But…puberty’s been very kind to him.”

How many times was this girl going to squeal? Alyssa felt as though her eardrum might rupture. “So he’s a total hottie now?”

Yes.” Quickly, while Casey was preoccupied, Alyssa scaled the bed frame to get to her bunk. She peeled back the blankets and pulled out Ian’s jacket, which seemed to exude memories of last night. Casey fell silent as she looked up and saw it in all its glory.

“So are you going to take it back today?” she asked in a hushed voice.

“Yeah,” Alyssa replied, just as quietly. “I was gonna do it now.”

“Looking like that? Oh, no, girl. Come on…let’s start looking through your wardrobe.”


Dear Cassandra,
I know letters are slower than e-mails, but I like writing, okay? Today was a very interesting day. I returned Ian’s jacket to him (that’s a long story, I’ll explain later), but Casey, my friend, insisted that she give me a “makeover”. I ended up going to see him with my hair down around my shoulders and wearing a strapless dress that she made me borrow. She even put makeup on me! Ian was speechless, so it was worth it. We spent the day together. I think we’re really friends now! I just wish that I could be WITH HIM. He is so nice! He doesn’t even realize that I’m lovesick. How sweet.

Well, I need to get some rest…I have a long weekend of NOTHING ahead of me!! Yay!!

Love your free friend,
Alyssa

 
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  #40    
Old December 17th, 2009, 10:20 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 Thirteen
Belle angrily tugged on the strap of her bag. Charmy reached out and touched her leg with its little claw, and she gave him a reassuring smile. As she did so, however, she saw Derrick out of the corner of her eye and snapped her head back around.

“Oh, come on,” Derrick said, shifting in his seat. “You can’t just avoid me forever.”

He had insisted he go with her to Cerulean City, because he “didn’t want her to go through Mount Moon alone”. He had told her it was dangerous. All she had seen was some Clefairy and a few Zubat. There weren’t even any Team Rocket agents. As a result, they had bickered the whole way through. Now they sat in the Cerulean City Pokémon Center, resting before Derrick stalked Belle to Saffron City. She had won her Cascade Badge from Misty, the redheaded Gym Leader, and now it was about time she started on her journey to Almia.

“I’m not avoiding you,” Belle said. “I’m just trying to get you to stop following me around!” They fell silent for a while. Derrick shifted in his seat so that he was leaning forward, his elbows on his knees. He sighed heavily.

“Look. Can I tell you the reason I keep doing this?”

Belle grunted in reply. Derrick must have taken this as a yes, because he sighed again before he spoke. “I feel really, really bad that I made you fall outside Viridian Forest. You got a huge gash, and you got stitches, all because of how I got spooked in the forest and ran out. And one day, I want to find a way to make it up to you. And also…” He ran his fingers through his blonde hair, tousling it up unwittingly. Belle glanced sideways at him, finding this a bit cute. “I’m all alone, Belle. I…I’m scared. You know the reason I came jumping out of the bushes, right? A noise spooked me. I’m such a coward, and you’re so brave. You also seem like a really cool person, so I just thought that…I don’t know.”

Belle had shifted and was looking at him full-on now. “I’m sorry,” she told him. He looked up in surprise, one bit of hair sticking up in the back. “I didn’t realize. I’ll let you travel with me. You seem like a really good friend.” She held out her hand for him to shake. He took it, amazed. “But look…you can’t go with me to Almia.” She had already explained to him why she was going to Saffron instead of taking the underground tunnel to Vermilion.

Derrick nodded fervently. “I totally understand. That’s your thing, you haven’t seen your friends in forever, yeah. I get it. Just, um…I’m gonna stay around in Saffron ’til you get back.”

Belle smiled and nodded. “Yeah. Okay.”
____________________________________________________
The road to Saffron City barely took any time to traverse. Belle easily bought a Rail Pass and used the video phone to contact her mother. She helped Derrick get set up at the Pokémon Center. Since he was to be staying for an extended period of time, Nurse Joy set him up in a back room with a comfortable bed. Belle left him there to board the train, and she eventually fell asleep, Charmy curled up beside her peacefully.

When she awoke, dusk was gathering on the horizon and the landscape had shifted. She stroked Charmy’s head absently as she watched the land fly by. It was easy to see that they were in Johto now, her home region, and she felt a strange ache in her stomach for her old room in Cherrygrove. The ache grew larger when she realized that she wouldn’t be seeing it this time around.

Soon the train was flying past buildings, and finally it eased to a stop at the Goldenrod City Station. Belle tapped Charmy until he woke up; she scooped him into her arms and shouldered her way into the aisle, irritated at the jostling people around her. One rude person shoved her and she “accidentally” lit the shoulder of his coat on fire with Charmy’s tail, making the man squawk and bat at it with his briefcase. “I’m sorry!” she told him insincerely. “I’d help, but I don’t have any Water Pokémon. It happened because you shoved me!” she called over her shoulder as the crowd carried her away and off the train.

In the station, the people finally spread out and Belle had more room. She looked around, trying to spot her mother. Charmy shifted and Belle was forced to carry him like a baby, with his head over her shoulder. She patted his back absently as she wandered around the station, feeling lost as people purposefully strode past her.

“Belle!”

Belle’s heart filled with joy as she turned and saw her little brother, standing by her mother’s side and waving toward her. She rushed over to them.

Belle’s mother looked positively elated to see her. She was smiling so broadly Belle expected her face to split in half. “And who is this?” she asked, indicating Charmy.

“This is Charmy. He’s my Charmander.” Belle set Charmy on the ground near Derek.

“It’s so good to see you.” Belle’s mother threw her arms around her, pulling her close. “I missed you.”

“I missed you, too.” And she had. She hugged her mother tightly. When she let go, she turned to Derek. “I missed you, little guy!” She swooped down and picked him up, hugging him against her. Derek put his arms around her neck and nuzzled his face into her shoulder.

“I missed you, Belle.” His words were muffled. Belle shut her eyes so as not to let her tears out.

“Well, let’s head to the Pokémon Center,” Belle’s mother suggested. “In the morning, you’ll fly out with Skarmory. Tonight, we’ll all catch up.”

Belle carried Derek and held Charmy’s claw on the way to the Center, grinning broadly the whole way.


To:
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From: dingdongbelle@pokénet.com
Subject: w00t!
I’LL BE THERE TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XD
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  #41    
Old January 11th, 2010, 02:16 PM
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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
Sorry for the long wait, everybody!!

Chapter Fourteen
Cassandra adjusted the straps of her backpack so it fit more comfortably. Swablu perched delicately on her bedpost, gazing across at her. Finny sat on the floor, staring blankly. Fluffy wasn’t watching at all; he was scratching his ear and squinting up at the ceiling, fully focused on his itch.

“You three are going to have to be in your Poké Balls while we’re flying,” Cassandra told them. Fluffy’s ears perked up and he stopped scratching to listen. “I won’t chance losing any of you. Now, don’t think that we’re not training just because we’re going to Almia. The only day we’ll take a break is the day of Alyssa’s graduation.” She patted her backpack and sat down on her bed, opening her arms as if to encompass the whole room. Swablu fluttered over and perched on her head, while Fluffy nestled to her side and Finny jumped to the other. “You’ll like Alyssa and Belle,” she told them. “They’re not anything like me, though. We’re all very different, but we’re all very best friends.” She stroked Finny’s head and scratched behind one of Fluffy’s ears. “Well, it’s time to go down and say goodbye to my parents and Dorothia.”

Cassandra actually lived in a very grand house. Her bedroom was in the tower, making it circular. When she went downstairs, she descended a winding, spiral staircase before coming into a sitting room on the second, and also topmost, floor. They only used this sitting room for very special family occasions, like opening presents Christmas morning. As a result, the white leather couch looked amazingly new, as did the white leather recliner and oak coffee table. The fireplace was incredibly clean. When she exited this room, she entered a much larger room set up for entertaining. A grand piano stood against one wall, with a brown couch facing it. There was a large space for dancing, as well as a stereo and karaoke system set up in a corner. An archway led to the stairs. The door across from the stairs was almost always shut. Upon opening this door, one would find the guest bedroom, which was done up in several different shades of green. A small door in the corner of the large entertainment room led to her parents’ bedroom.

Going downstairs brought Cassandra into a small hallway, which turned off almost immediately into the parlor. This room had a flat-screen television in the wall and all the necessary furniture, such as a couch, recliner, loveseat, end tables, coffee table, and the like. Joanna most often used this room for her stupid “girl nights”, in which she gathered all her snotty friends and talked about snotty things while watching television and smoking cigarettes. The maids, however, did a very good cleaning job, so nothing in the house smelled even remotely of smoke. The parlor was in the center of the house; on the side of the parlor nearest the door was the entryway, a large hall decorated with fancy hardwood floors and sage green wallpaper with little white flowers. There were sculptures, plants, paintings, and such to decorate this room, so as to immediately impress whoever happened to stumble in. On the other side of the parlor was the dining room. It had a long, gleaming oak table with matching oak chairs all around, each with its own blue velvet cushion. The kitchen spanned the length of the house, but one could only get to it by way of the dining room. A small table was set up in there for when Cassandra and her family didn’t feel like utilizing the humongous dining hall. Mostly, this was where Cassandra and her father dined; Joanna almost always wanted to sit at the large, fancy dining room table, even if she was alone.

Cassandra made the trip to the parlor, where her parents sat talking and drinking coffee. Gerald was facing the stairs, and he looked up and grinned broadly as usual when she entered the room, setting down his coffee. “Sandy-bear!”

Joanna turned, mug still in hand, and took a sip. “Hello, Cassandra dear.” She eyed her daughter. “Can’t you teach that thing not to sit on your head like that? It’s repulsive.”

Cassandra felt Swablu tense atop her head.

“I think it’s adorable!” Gerald proclaimed. “Ah, is that little Fluffy? Glad to see he’s doing well!”

Fluffy wagged his tail from his place at Cassandra’s feet. “Yes, he’s doing very well,” she told her father, smiling. “I just came down to say goodbye. I’m not sure when I’m supposed to be leaving, but—”

“Leaving?” Joanna set down her mug. “I thought I told you that you were not allowed to take Staraptor.”

“You did, Mother. I am not taking Staraptor. You told me to find other transportation, and I did. Belle is picking me up on her mother’s Skarmory.”

Skarmory?” Joanna exclaimed, aghast.

“That’s a Steel and Flying Type, am I correct?” Gerald asked. “That Bird Pokémon that looks as though it has armor on it?”

“Yes,” Cassandra was about to answer, but Joanna cut across her in a disgusted tone. “Yes, it is, flying through the air with its great metal wings—”

“Fantastic! I’ve never seen one in person!” Gerald’s grin broadened. “Won’t this be exciting?”

Joanna clamped her mouth shut and picked up her coffee mug. Cassandra tried to keep her amused expression off her face. Her father was always painfully oblivious to Joanna’s attitude, and as a result, she couldn’t be quite as nasty around him.

There was a great cry followed by a thud from outside. Gerald leapt to his feet, suddenly throwing himself to his near-seven-foot height. “That must be her!”

Cassandra felt a thrill in the pit of her stomach as she ran to the doorway, Swablu chirruping indignantly as she was bounced about. Finny and Fluffy chased her excitedly.

Gerald beat her to the door; he threw it open to reveal Belle sliding surely off a Skarmory, which folded its wings back and preened itself. Cassandra frowned. How did a giant bird made of sheet metal preen itself? She stopped pondering this as her eyes fell on Belle, who looked as though she had grown since her last picture. She looked a lot more womanly. She even had breasts! Well, Cassandra herself had these, as did Alyssa, but on Belle it was strange to see them. She was so tomboyish.

“Belle!” Cassandra shrieked, dropping her backpack by her feet and throwing open her arms.

“Cassandra!” Belle ran toward her and nearly bowled her over with the force of her hug, squeezing the air out of her lungs. Cassandra squeezed right back, just as hard. They drew back panting and laughing. “It’s good to see you, too, Papa G,” Belle added, giving Gerald a much calmer hug. Gerald laughed as he returned the embrace—he loved the simple nickname Belle had created for him. Both she and Alyssa used it.

“So, this must be Swablu and Finny and Fluffy,” Belle said, looking over Cassandra’s Pokémon. Swablu had flown off Cassandra’s head when Belle had run at her and was now hovering gently in the air. “I’m Belle.”

“And where are Charmy and Swifter and Mankey?” Cassandra prompted.

“Oh—right here.” Belle pulled out three Poké Balls and tossed them, releasing her three Pokémon.

Joanna now stepped out onto the porch, curling her lip at the Skarmory preening itself in her yard. “Oh, hello, Miss Joanna.”

“Now, now,” Gerald said, climbing the steps to the porch. He threw an arm around his wife’s shoulders. “Miss Joanna doesn’t sound nearly as young as Mama J. Why don’t you call her that?”

“Now really, Gerald,” Joanna said, her face turning rapidly to a scowl, “there’s no need for that.”

Cassandra glanced over at Belle. Her eyes were sparkling dangerously. “Oh, it’s really no problem. I’d love to call you Mama J. Sorry I called you Miss Joanna at first—Papa G’s right, it sounds so much older than Mama J.”

Gerald laughed uproariously. “It’s settled then!”

Cassandra wanted to collapse into laughter. Her mother had crossed her arms and looked away, but now she was surveying Belle. She saw her mother’s eyes go over Belle’s blue baseball cap, her red T-shirt, her cutoff-jean shorts, her old and battered tennis shoes. “Wherever did you get those shorts, Belle?” And just like that, Cassandra’s mood snapped right into boiling anger.

“Oh, these? These were some jeans I had. I got a hole in the thigh from playing in the yard too much so I had to cut them. They make pretty nice shorts. Don’t you think, Mama J?” She lifted up the tail of her T-shirt a bit so as to show off her shorts. Cassandra bit down on her knuckle, amused and wishing she could take a picture of her mother’s face.

“Well, we’d better get going,” Cassandra piped up when she trusted herself to speak.
“Oh, surely Belle can stay the night. She must be tired from flying!” Gerald was strolling down the steps of the porch, toward the Skarmory.

“No, we really need to go, actually. Don’t worry, Papa G. I’m coming back to drop Cassandra off, so I’ll be in time to watch her first Contest. I’ll stay the night then.”

“Excellent!” Gerald clapped his hands eagerly. “And you’ll be riding Skarmory?”

“Of course,” Belle replied. “Well, bye, Papa G! Bye, Mama J!”

Cassandra gave her mother a stiff hug before giving her father a daughterly embrace. She returned her Pokémon and allowed Belle to help her onto the Skarmory. Gerald strode over to stand by them when they were mounted up.

“Have you got enough money?” he asked Cassandra.

“Yes, Daddy.”

“And you, Belle?”

“Oh—yeah, Papa G.”

Gerald lost his smile. “I’m very serious, Belle. Do you have enough money to get you through your adventure? We can help you. It’s no problem for us, really.”

Cassandra looked at Belle, who glanced over Gerald’s head (quite a feat) and at Joanna, still standing on the porch. Her gaze went back to Gerald. “Papa G, I think I’m okay. But if I need help, I know where to turn.”

Gerald’s face split into his wide grin again and he patted her knee. “There’s a good girl. Keep my Sandy-bear safe!” He patted Cassandra’s knee as well. “Love you!”

“Love you too, Daddy.”

“Please back away, Papa G. Skarmory has got quite a wingspan.”

Gerald jogged backward several steps as Belle shouted a command to Skarmory; the Pokémon spread its wings and gave a mighty flap. Cassandra reached out and wrapped her arms around Belle’s waist. Skarmory rose into the air and flew off, leaving Hoenn behind.


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WE’LL BE THERE TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  #42    
Old January 13th, 2010, 08:47 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
I'm thinking of starting a PM list for anyone who's interested...so, if you ARE interested, just drop me a PM or VM! I'll PM you when new chapters come up!
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  #43    
Old January 15th, 2010, 03:15 PM
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Legendarian Mistress
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Queensland
Gender: Female
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Review for Chapters 12-14...

I feel really bad for letting you down and not having a review up before now, nokyo. I know you said “don’t feel bad”, but it’s just me. Having gotten a bit of spare time up my sleeve, I can now give you an honest review of aforementioned chapters. They are very well written and I am looking forward to reading more of your work. The part where one of them complained about Skarmory was amusing. Admittedly, riding a Skarmory would be quite difficult.
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  #44    
Old January 19th, 2010, 07:18 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 Fifteen
For the last week of school, Alyssa was free. The very day after graduation, she would begin her training as a Ranger. She chose to spend her week at home.

It wasn’t a very long walk to Chicole Village. She passed through Vientown, glancing longingly at the Ranger Base. She had learned that she would be stationed there; oh, how excited she was to begin working. She passed by it and walked Chicole Path to her hometown.

The village was small, but she was so happy to say that she hailed from it. She patted her untidy ponytail as she made her way to her house, eyes locked on it. It was a big red farmhouse. Her room was on the second floor, and it was rather large—it had enough room for her, Belle, and Cassandra to sleep. The only other room up there belonged to her older brother, who had run away from home at the age of thirteen. They hadn’t heard from him since then.

As Alyssa rounded the corner of her farmhouse and saw the front, she grinned broadly. A large banner was stretched over the door bearing the words Welcome Home Alyssa! in several different colors. She laughed and picked up the pace, jogging instead of walking, excited to see her parents again.

The door opened to reveal her mother in all her motherly glory. She had the same color hair as Alyssa, a pretty blue-green, and wore a faded blue dress. Her smile was the most beautiful thing Alyssa had seen in a long time; she dropped her bag on the ground and charged toward her mother, throwing her arms around her. “I missed you, Mom!”

“I missed you, too.” Diana Thompson hugged her daughter fiercely. “It certainly has been a while since we’ve gotten to see each other.”

“Where’s Dad?”

“He and Machamp are out in the field.” They released each other. Diana smiled. “Ambipom is upstairs tidying your room.”

“I’d better go put my stuff up there,” Alyssa remarked. She grabbed her messenger bag from the yard and walked upstairs to her room.

Ambipom was in there just as her mother had said; the Pokémon had joined their family as an Aipom before Alyssa had been born, and had evolved when she was three. She reached out and hugged it, laughing as all of its hands pressed against her back. “It’s good to see you, Ambipom.”

“Am!”

Alyssa went to her bed and placed her things on it. “You’ve done a great job with my room.”

“Am, ambipom,” Ambipom replied in thanks. It picked up the cleaning supplies it had left on her dresser. With one of its extra hands, it patted her on the head. “Ambi!” Then it turned and left the room.

Alyssa surveyed her room. It had been quite a while since she had been in here, let alone slept in her bed. She had forgotten how large the mirror on top of her dresser was; if she stood on her bed, she could see her whole body. Her nightstand still had a framed picture of her family. It consisted of her and her parents, Ambipom, and Machoke before he evolved into a Machamp. The only person missing was her brother. He had left a few weeks before the picture was taken. As a result, everyone had slightly sad smiles.

“Alyssa! Your friends are here!”

Alyssa ran to her window and looked out. Sure enough, there was a Skarmory in her yard. She squealed and ran downstairs, stumbling the last few steps and almost crashing into the kitchen counter. Belle and Cassandra stood in her kitchen, smiling at her with their familiar yet unfamiliar smiles.

“You’re graduating!” Cassandra yelled before throwing herself onto Alyssa.

“Don’t hog the hugs!” Belle cried, leaping out to join her.

Alyssa laughed as they shared a group hug.


Hey you guys,
I figured I’d leave you this note. I’ve gone to the beach in Vientown. Mom will give you directions. I didn’t want to wake you guys up; you’ve traveled a really long way. If you didn’t bring your bathing suits, I have some that might fit you in the top left drawer of my dresser. I’ll be waiting for you guys!
Love ya lots,
Alyssa
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  #45    
Old January 19th, 2010, 07:27 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 Sixteen
Belle stretched luxuriously, feeling like a Persian as she rolled over on her belly and pushed her borrowed sunglasses up on her head. Tomorrow was Alyssa’s graduation. Her week in Almia had been very fun—they had spent almost every morning out on the beach, and Alyssa had taken them on tours. They had even been up to Pueltown, a large, historic city. They had met Ian, and Belle was convinced that he was smitten with Alyssa. He couldn’t take his eyes off her. Belle looked over at her green-haired friend, lying on her back next to her.

“What?” Alyssa turned her head and blinked at Belle.

“Nothing,” Belle replied. She propped herself up on her elbow. “Are you excited about tomorrow?”

Alyssa sighed happily. Cassandra sat up on her other side. “You have to be.”

“It’s bittersweet.” The graduating girl thrust her hands up to the air, examining her arms. “I mean, I’m so glad to be done with it all, but…there are so many memories in that school.”

“Where’s your uniform?” Cassandra asked, always concerned about clothes.

“It’s in my room. We have to wear them for the ceremony, and then, after that…no more.” Alyssa put her arms down and laid her hands on her stomach, pushing her fingernails into the fabric of her one-piece bathing suit.

Belle looked over at the beach. She and Cassandra had let their Pokemon out to play. Swifter and Swablu had taken to the skies; Swablu seemed to be teaching Swifter the graceful maneuvers she had learned from Cassandra. Finny swam around in a circle close to the shore. Poochyena sat with Charmy, who was too afraid to even go near the water, and Mankey sat by itself, focusing intensely on the sand castle it was making.

“Do you miss your family?” Alyssa asked suddenly. Belle and Cassandra both looked at her.

“Who?” Belle asked.

You! You’re the only one of us that has actually gone off. You’re in a whole different region.” Alyssa turned her head to look at her. “Do you miss your mom and Derek?”

“Of course. But…my journey is something I have to do, so…I live with it.”

“But doesn’t it hurt?” Cassandra inquired softly. She had never been away from her family before. Her eyes were wide and scared.

Belle nodded. “Yeah.”

“Don’t you cry?”

“Sometimes,” Belle admitted. “But it’s not like I can stay with Mom and Derek forever, y’know? And it helps that I have a friend that takes my mind off it.”

“That Derrick kid?” Alyssa asked, pushing her sunglasses up and glancing sideways.

“Yeah.”

“By the end of it, that guy’s gonna be head-over-heels in love with you.” Alyssa put her sunglassses back over her face.

“Wh-what¾ how¾ ?” Belle spluttered, flabbergasted. Cassandra burst out laughing.

“It’s true.”

“Nuh-uh!”

“No, I’m totally right,” Alyssa said. “Look at him¾ he’s already following you around like a lovesick Poochyena.”

Belle got to her feet. “He is not!” she yelled. “You’re wrong!”

“Why are you getting so defensive?” Cassandra pulled her legs up to sit cross-legged.

“Because that’s gross! Derrick’s just a friend. He’s got the same name as my brother.”

“That’d be awkward during sex,” Alyssa piped up.

Belle gasped. Cassandra burst out laughing and threw herself facedown on her towel.

“What?” Alyssa asked, removing her sunglasses and setting them beside her on the sand. “It would. Could you imagine? ‘Oh, Derek!’” she moaned, sitting up. “‘I-I mean, Derrick.’ You’d have to pronounce them different.”

“Mankey!” Belle called, and the Pokémon came shooting to her side. She pointed at Alyssa. “Seismic Toss, into the water!”

“What?” Alyssa yelled as Mankey grabbed her. “Hey, no!” But Alyssa went sailing into the ocean, landing with a large splash. She surfaced, spitting water and laughing.

“Finny, Water Gun!”

The jet of water completely doused Belle. She spluttered and headed toward Cassandra, grabbing her and pulling her to her feet. “No, no!” Cassandra laughed, but Belle wrestled her to the shallow part of the water, where she threw her down. Alyssa came up to join them, and soon they were all playing in the water, laughing and splashing.

When the sun began to set, the three girls reluctantly packed up their things and walked back to Alyssa’s house, all their Pokémon follwing behind in a tired group, and unwittingly being stalked by one Zigzagoon.

___________________________________________

Alyssa grinned out at everyone, clutching both sides of the podium for dear life and trying not to let them see how nervous she was. This whole giving-a-speech thing was a lot harder to do than it was to think about.

She had already addressed everyone¾family, friends, significant others, and fellow graduates¾and thanked all the staff. Now it was time for the most important part of her speech.

“In my years in the Ranger School, I learned many things. But perhaps the most important lesson is something that I didn’t learn from the teachers at all. This lesson is better explained through anecdotes.

“When I was very small, I heard that my brother had gotten an A on a test in the Ranger School. My parents were so happy and proud when they heard this. When I myself joined the Ranger School, I decided that I would get an A, so that my parents would be proud of me, too. They were ecstatic about my good grade, and I made it my mission to get as many good grades as I possibly could to make them happy. Now here I stand before you, valedictorian of my class.

“A very long time ago, my family took a cruise on the SS Anne. My mother told me to go play in the kiddie pool. That’s not a very exciting story, is it? Well, that was when I met my two best friends I’ve ever had. Ever since we met as three disgruntled nine-year-old girls forced to play in the kiddie pool, we’ve been as close as three people who live in different regions can be. They have been so important to me over the years.

“Once, last year, I saw a boy in the hallway drop his books and papers. I helped him pick them all up before I went on my way to class. Sound insignificant? Well, this boy turned out to be a year older than me and is currently a Ranger. He remembered my kindness, and now he will be an excellent mentor for me as I work hard at the Vientown Ranger Base.

“While on the beach not too long ago, I saw a Zigzagoon being chased by a Krabby. I helped a Ranger rescue the Zigzagoon. Surely, you say, that was just a random occurrence of no great importance. You would be wrong. That Zigzagoon now follows me everywhere. I have plans to make it my Partner Pokémon.

“So you see…the greatest lesson that I have learned comes not from the teachers here at the Ranger School, even though they are excellent educators. It comes instead from real-life experience. So remember this, fellow graduates, as you embark on your journeys; be careful with what you say, because the most seemingly random person can end up being instrumental in your future. Be careful about how you act, because the most seemingly insignificant situation can turn out to lead to something much greater.”

Alyssa wrapped it up with a generic “congratulations” speech and went back to her seat amid cheers and applause. Before she sat, she caught sight of Belle and Cassandra in the crowd, beaming as they clapped loudly.

_________________________________________________

Belle smiled down from her place astride Skarmory. “Sorry that we have to leave, but I have to get Cassandra back to Verdanturf.”

“I’m just sorry that I have to miss our little beauty’s first contest,” Alyssa replied.

Cassandra adjusted her legs more comfortably on Skarmory’s back. “I’m so excited,” she breathed. “I wish you could be there, too, Alyssa.”

Alyssa smiled. “Yeah, but I start my Ranger duties tomorrow. ”

“That uniform is adorable,” Cassandra remarked. Both she and Belle had oohed and aahed over the uniform as Alyssa had pulled it on, arranging the short jacket and pulling up the black thigh-highs. “That ponytail even looks good with it.”

Alyssa patted her sloppy ponytail with a frown. “What’s wrong with the ponytail?”

“Nothing,” Belle told her. “We can’t all spend tons of time on our hair, Cassandra.”

Cassandra smiled prettily. After a few more good-byes, Alyssa took several steps back and watched her friends’ ascent into the clouds. As they flew away, she wiped away a tear.


To:
dancing_through_life@pokénet.com, dingdongbelle@pokénet.com
From: [email protected]
Subject: sigh
_____________________________________________________________
Hey you guys,
You just left my yard, but I’m sending this because I want it to be in your inbox waiting for you when you check your email. I couldn’t say any of this without crying.

It really means a lot to me that you guys took all that trouble to come and see me graduate. You two are my best friends in the world, and I probably wouldn’t be where I am today if you guys hadn’t coaxed me to do my best. I’m so glad that I met you, and I’m so happy you could be a part of one of the biggest things that’s happened to me ever. I know that we’ll all be busy with our different things for a while, so we probably won’t get as much chance to talk. But I just want you both to know…even if we don’t get to contact each other very often, I love you guys. I love you guys so much, and I will always and forever think of you as my best friends.

Ah, if you could see me, you’d hug me…because I’m tearing up.

Love your mushy crybaby friend,
Alyssa

 
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  #46    
Old January 20th, 2010, 11:13 AM
Live Update King
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Thanks for the update though PM
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  #47    
Old January 20th, 2010, 03:55 PM
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Legendarian Mistress
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Review of Chapters 15 + 16...

Excellent chapterage there, nokyo. Keep up the good work. Not much I can really say except that you’re doing a wonderful job with your fic.
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  #48    
Old January 28th, 2010, 02:16 PM
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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 Seventeen
Cassandra squinted up at the huge board across the top of the contestants’ waiting room that displayed the tourney tree, looking for her number and picture. The row across the bottom was rapidly filling up with pictures, but the rows above were empty; the first contest battle hadn’t taken place yet. She leaned sideways.

“Stay still!” barked a disgruntled Belle near Cassandra’s stomach. She was trying to pin Cassandra’s number on her left hip. “If you keep moving, I’m gonna end up poking you.”

“But I haven’t found my picture yet.”

“I don’t give a damn. Find your picture when I’m done

“There I am!” Cassandra rushed off excitedly. Belle almost toppled over; she had been kneeling on a bench in front of her friend. Frustrated, she stood and dusted off the jade green skirt she had borrowed from Cassandra and walked after her. “Right there! Ooh, I’m close to the beginning!” She whirled happily, but her smile quickly faded as she saw the look on Belle’s face.

“That’s fantastic. Now can you stand still while I put this damn thing on you?”

Cassandra obliged and stood still, gazing up at the board as Belle knelt in front of her. Her picture was connected to a blank square by a little silvery line, and her eyes remained fixed on that blank square as Belle carefully pinned her number on her dress.

Finally, the blank square lit up and a picture of a girl with wildly pink hair appeared there. Cassandra quickly turned her head to look around for her.

“Done,” Belle said. She straightened and looked up at the board. “You’re up against some pink-headed girl.”

“I know. I’m looking for her to see which Pokémon she has.”

“Maybe she doesn’t have her Pokémon out. Like you. But I don’t see any sense in trying to make it a surprise which Pokémon you have when you’re dressed like her.”

Cassandra smiled as she looked over the crowd, searching for pink. She wore a long blue dress with a fitted bodice and a slightly flared skirt. It fastened in a halter. She had borrowedstolena pair of her mother’s elbow-length white evening gloves, and her honey-colored hair was pinned up in an elegant bun.

“I don’t see her,” Belle said. She sat down on the bench with a sigh. “You realize there’s only four rounds, right? So you only have to win three times before you’re in the final two.”

“I doubt I’ll do that in my first contest,” Cassandra said, still craning her neck and looking for any flash of pink she could find.

“You’re really good,” Belle said, just as an announcement came on over the PA.

“The first battle is about to begin. Pair one, you have ten minutes to get set up on stage. If you are not a contestant, please have a seat in the stadium. Thank you.”

“Well, I guess I have to go,” Belle said. She reached out and hugged Cassandra. “I’ll be rooting for you.”

“Thanks so much,” Cassandra replied, hugging her back. “I love you, Belle.”

“Love you too, Cassandra.” And she turned and hurried to the stadium, where Gerald and Joanna had saved her a seat.


Cassandra’s first battle was against a Wigglytuff. She won easily; while Wigglytuff was cute, it could only be graceful so much.

For her second battle, Swablu easily defeated a Chikorita, since she had a type advantage. The poor Chikorita didn’t even have time for its points to start building before Swablu hit it with a graceful Wing Attack and fainted it.

The third battle was against an Espeon. This was a bit tougher, but Cassandra and Swablu managed it.

When Cassandra wasn’t battling, Belle and Gerald left the stadium to join her in the waiting room. They found all the other battles unimportant.

“You’re in the finals!” Belle cried as she hugged her friend.

“I’m worried,” Cassandra choked out. “What will I do? The person I’m about to go up against defeated three other people to get here!”

“Hey, Sandy-bear,” Gerald said, patting her on the shoulder. “So did you.”

They soon had to make their way back to their seats with Joanna. Belle watched apprehensively as Cassandra and her opponent took their places. The girl on the other side of the stage had her orange hair fastened into two balls. She wore an elegant white kimono tied with a light orange obi.

“The moment you’ve all been waiting for!” the MC shouted into his mike. “The final battle of the day! This battle will determine the winner of the contest! Ladies and gentlemen, introducing Cassandra Étoile, from right here in Verdanturf Town!”

Gerald and Belle cheered loudly along with the crowd; Cassandra’s classic grace had won her many fans already. Cassandra turned and curtsied grandly.

“And also, introducing Sakura Konohana, from Lilycove City!”

The redheaded girl, apparently Sakura, lifted one hand and waved gracefully.

“Ready the stage!”

Belle frowned as the stage seemed to split down the middle; the two halves moved away from each other, revealing a small pool underneath. “What ?”

“If you had stayed here and watched the other battles, you would have already known about that,” Joanna sniffed. “That Sakura girl has a Goldeen, so they need to accommodate her.”

“Isn’t that a bit unfair?” Belle asked.

“Well, a Goldeen really couldn’t do much on land,” Gerald reasoned. “I guess they have to take that into account.”

Belle looked worriedly down at Cassandra, who didn’t appear to be freaking out at all.

But she was.

Cassandra was trying very hard not to move her facial muscles one bit as she stared down at the shifting water of the pool. What was this? What was going on? She raised her eyes to look at Sakura Konohana, who stood tall and erect in her kimono.

“Begin!” the MC said.

Sakura pulled a Poké Ball out of her sleeve and tossed it out towards the water. “Go, my Deena!”

A Goldeen burst from the Poké Ball and dived splendidly into the water, shaking out its tail.

“A magnificent entrance!” the MC announced. “The judges seem to have given Deena a respectable amount of points for it!”

Then we have to do better than that, Cassandra thought. She closed her eyes and breathed in deeply, searching her memory for one of the more beautiful Poké Ball throws she had come up with.

Belle leaned forward in her seat. Cassandra raised her Poké Ball into the air above her head before bringing her arm across her chest and spinning around in a complete three-sixty. As she did so, she released the Poké Ball straight up into the air. “Fly, Swablu!”

Swablu rocketed out of the Poké Ball, wings tucked in and spinning as it whirled up, up, up, before fanning out its wings abruptly and hovering over the stage. The crowd burst into applause and the little yellow bar beneath Cassandra’s picture on the scoreboard shot forward.

“And Swablu makes an incredible entrance, putting its score ahead of Deena’s already!” The MC’s voice shrilled a bit in his excitement.

“Deena, use Horn Attack!”

“Goldeen!” Deena leapt out of the water.

“Underneath!” Cassandra called. Swablu understood. She waited until Deena was almost upon her; then she dipped underneath the Goldeen and flew past. “Now use Wing Attack!”

Swablu wheeled and brought its wing down on Deena, who fell back into the water with a flop.

“Ooh, that’s going to take away a considerable amount of points from Deena,” the MC said. The yellow bar under Sakura’s picture retracted.

“Doing great, Swablu!”

“Hide,” Sakura said, so soft that Cassandra could barely hear her. Deena dived down under the water and disappeared. Swablu hovered uncertainly. Cassandra squinted into the water, unsure of what to command. “Now!” Sakura yelled suddenly.

The Goldeen burst from the water and buried its horn into Swablu’s stomach. Swablu cried out and did an awkward sort of barrel roll, leaving Deena to dive gracefully back into the water. Of course, points were taken away.

Belle winced as she watched Cassandra’s yellow bar contract. Gerald looked troubled as well; he had his elbows placed on his knees and was frowning as he watched his daughter’s battle. Joanna, however, wore a half-smile as she brought her drink to her lips.

“Nancy talks about that Konohana girl,” she said, noticing that Belle was watching her. “She says that she’s a Lilycove favorite. I see why now.”

“You do realize that you’re supposed to root for your daughter, right?” Belle asked her.

“I root for the winner.” Joanna took a sip of her water. Belle had the urge to reach over and smack it into her face.

The battle was an intense one; points were given and taken away on both sides. It was the longest battle yet. After a while, it didn’t look so good for Swablu; she seemed tired, and her points were pretty low. Cassandra looked calm, but she was panicking as she surveyed the battle.

Sakura smirked. As far as she was concerned, she had this battle in the bag. “Hide,” she said softly.

Big mistake. Cassandra was a swift learner. In her mind’s eye, she saw Swablu hovering uncertainly over the stage and falling victim to Deena’s Horn Attack from below. She knew how to avoid it this time.

“Swablu, circle the stage from above!”

“Swa!” the Pokémon cried in reply, beginning its circling. Sakura frowned. If Swablu didn’t stay in one place, Deena wouldn’t know when to attack; the Goldeen was probably swimming in circles to match Swablu’s right now, uncertain.

“Now!” Sakura cried, hoping for the best. Deena burst out of the water.

“Do a barrel roll!” Cassandra yelled. She could see a question in Swablu’s eyes: Why?, but she did one anyway. Deena sailed up and over her, splashing as she landed back in the water.

“That was a beautiful dodge, but was it enough to give her more points?” the MC said into his mike. Cassandra’s yellow bar pushed forward a bit, but not enough to put her past Sakura. She gritted her teeth.

“Hide!” Sakura said desperately, eyeing her own yellow bar as the judges took away points for Deena’s graceless landing. She was now only ahead of Cassandra by a very small margin; she needed to get more points. The clock was going to run out soon; it hadn’t for any of the other battles, which had all resulted in a definite win by a Pokémon fainting.

Cassandra was beginning to see that Sakura was a bit of a one-trick pony. “Get her!” she yelled to Swablu. “Go fishing!”

Swablu did one quick tight circle over the center of the pool before diving into it. The crowd gasped.

Swablu didn’t come up.

For several agonizing seconds, neither Pokémon was visible. Cassandra watched the water, every muscle of her body on high alert. She saw a slight shadow and moved her hand; the shadow turned in the direction she indicated. She reached one hand back toward her hair, and then several things happened at once.

Cassandra’s hair fell from its bun and fanned out, catching the light as it tumbled down around her shoulders; she flung her arm out at the same moment, and Swablu burst from the surface of the water, synchronized perfectly with Cassandra’s movements. Deena flopped helplessly in her beak. Water droplets shimmered as they fell from her body, making her seem to glow as she ascended to the ceiling.

“A beautiful coordination between Trainer and Pokémon!” the MC shouted excitedly. “And what fishing skill!”

“Drop!” Cassandra called. Swablu opened her beak; Deena fell, tumbling over herself. “Hit!”

Swablu chased Deena down and buffeted her with a wing; she zoomed to the other end of the stadium, wheeled expertly, and then came back to hit Deena again. She kept this up until Deena landed in the water with a flop, belly-up.

She had fainted.

And Sakura’s points were now down to zero. Swablu’s, however, were practically bursting from the bar; the MC was yelling excitedly. “What a victory! Our own local, long-haired Cassandra Étoile has annihilated Sakura Konohana!”

Swablu shook itself dry before coming down to land in Cassandra’s arms; Cassandra squeezed it. The crowd was on its feet, including Belle and Gerald. Joanna set down her water and stood, clapping with a surprised expression on her face.



To:
[email protected]
From: dacning_through_life@pokénet.com
Subject: I WOOOONNNN!!
_____________________________________________________________
Hey Alyssa,

I WON MY FIRST CONTEST!! I’m so happy! Mom even took me and Belle to Lilycove Department Store so I could pick out a ribbon case. She BOUGHT it for me. Isn’t that freakin’ AMAZING?? My mother did something nice for me!!

I don’t think I did all that well, but I won!! YAY!!

Well, tonight is Belle’s last night here (T_T), so I better get back to her. Oh, she wants to type something.


Hey, don’t let our modest Cassandra fool you. She did AWESOME!! You should have seen it! Actually, Papa G bought a DVD of the battle from the Contest Hall. We’re gonna put it on PokéTube!!! XD


Hey, Cassandra again. And NO SHE’S NOT.


Love your winning friend,
Cassandra


P.S. That email…we love you too, Alyssa. It really made us cry.
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  #49    
Old January 29th, 2010, 11:02 AM
Live Update King
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nokyo-chan View Post
Chapter Seventeen
Cassandra squinted up at the huge board across the top of the contestants’ waiting room that displayed the tourney tree, looking for her number and picture. The row across the bottom was rapidly filling up with pictures, but the rows above were empty; the first contest battle hadn’t taken place yet. She leaned sideways.

“Stay still!” barked a disgruntled Belle near Cassandra’s stomach. She was trying to pin Cassandra’s number on her left hip. “If you keep moving, I’m gonna end up poking you.”

“But I haven’t found my picture yet.”

“I don’t give a damn. Find your picture when I’m done

“There I am!” Cassandra rushed off excitedly. Belle almost toppled over; she had been kneeling on a bench in front of her friend. Frustrated, she stood and dusted off the jade green skirt she had borrowed from Cassandra and walked after her. “Right there! Ooh, I’m close to the beginning!” She whirled happily, but her smile quickly faded as she saw the look on Belle’s face.

“That’s fantastic. Now can you stand still while I put this damn thing on you?”

Cassandra obliged and stood still, gazing up at the board as Belle knelt in front of her. Her picture was connected to a blank square by a little silvery line, and her eyes remained fixed on that blank square as Belle carefully pinned her number on her dress.

Finally, the blank square lit up and a picture of a girl with wildly pink hair appeared there. Cassandra quickly turned her head to look around for her.

“Done,” Belle said. She straightened and looked up at the board. “You’re up against some pink-headed girl.”

“I know. I’m looking for her to see which Pokémon she has.”

“Maybe she doesn’t have her Pokémon out. Like you. But I don’t see any sense in trying to make it a surprise which Pokémon you have when you’re dressed like her.”

Cassandra smiled as she looked over the crowd, searching for pink. She wore a long blue dress with a fitted bodice and a slightly flared skirt. It fastened in a halter. She had borrowedstolena pair of her mother’s elbow-length white evening gloves, and her honey-colored hair was pinned up in an elegant bun.

“I don’t see her,” Belle said. She sat down on the bench with a sigh. “You realize there’s only four rounds, right? So you only have to win three times before you’re in the final two.”

“I doubt I’ll do that in my first contest,” Cassandra said, still craning her neck and looking for any flash of pink she could find.

“You’re really good,” Belle said, just as an announcement came on over the PA.

“The first battle is about to begin. Pair one, you have ten minutes to get set up on stage. If you are not a contestant, please have a seat in the stadium. Thank you.”

“Well, I guess I have to go,” Belle said. She reached out and hugged Cassandra. “I’ll be rooting for you.”

“Thanks so much,” Cassandra replied, hugging her back. “I love you, Belle.”

“Love you too, Cassandra.” And she turned and hurried to the stadium, where Gerald and Joanna had saved her a seat.


Cassandra’s first battle was against a Wigglytuff. She won easily; while Wigglytuff was cute, it could only be graceful so much.

For her second battle, Swablu easily defeated a Chikorita, since she had a type advantage. The poor Chikorita didn’t even have time for its points to start building before Swablu hit it with a graceful Wing Attack and fainted it.

The third battle was against an Espeon. This was a bit tougher, but Cassandra and Swablu managed it.

When Cassandra wasn’t battling, Belle and Gerald left the stadium to join her in the waiting room. They found all the other battles unimportant.

“You’re in the finals!” Belle cried as she hugged her friend.

“I’m worried,” Cassandra choked out. “What will I do? The person I’m about to go up against defeated three other people to get here!”

“Hey, Sandy-bear,” Gerald said, patting her on the shoulder. “So did you.”

They soon had to make their way back to their seats with Joanna. Belle watched apprehensively as Cassandra and her opponent took their places. The girl on the other side of the stage had her orange hair fastened into two balls. She wore an elegant white kimono tied with a light orange obi.

“The moment you’ve all been waiting for!” the MC shouted into his mike. “The final battle of the day! This battle will determine the winner of the contest! Ladies and gentlemen, introducing Cassandra Étoile, from right here in Verdanturf Town!”

Gerald and Belle cheered loudly along with the crowd; Cassandra’s classic grace had won her many fans already. Cassandra turned and curtsied grandly.

“And also, introducing Sakura Konohana, from Lilycove City!”

The redheaded girl, apparently Sakura, lifted one hand and waved gracefully.

“Ready the stage!”

Belle frowned as the stage seemed to split down the middle; the two halves moved away from each other, revealing a small pool underneath. “What ?”

“If you had stayed here and watched the other battles, you would have already known about that,” Joanna sniffed. “That Sakura girl has a Goldeen, so they need to accommodate her.”

“Isn’t that a bit unfair?” Belle asked.

“Well, a Goldeen really couldn’t do much on land,” Gerald reasoned. “I guess they have to take that into account.”

Belle looked worriedly down at Cassandra, who didn’t appear to be freaking out at all.

But she was.

Cassandra was trying very hard not to move her facial muscles one bit as she stared down at the shifting water of the pool. What was this? What was going on? She raised her eyes to look at Sakura Konohana, who stood tall and erect in her kimono.

“Begin!” the MC said.

Sakura pulled a Poké Ball out of her sleeve and tossed it out towards the water. “Go, my Deena!”

A Goldeen burst from the Poké Ball and dived splendidly into the water, shaking out its tail.

“A magnificent entrance!” the MC announced. “The judges seem to have given Deena a respectable amount of points for it!”

Then we have to do better than that, Cassandra thought. She closed her eyes and breathed in deeply, searching her memory for one of the more beautiful Poké Ball throws she had come up with.

Belle leaned forward in her seat. Cassandra raised her Poké Ball into the air above her head before bringing her arm across her chest and spinning around in a complete three-sixty. As she did so, she released the Poké Ball straight up into the air. “Fly, Swablu!”

Swablu rocketed out of the Poké Ball, wings tucked in and spinning as it whirled up, up, up, before fanning out its wings abruptly and hovering over the stage. The crowd burst into applause and the little yellow bar beneath Cassandra’s picture on the scoreboard shot forward.

“And Swablu makes an incredible entrance, putting its score ahead of Deena’s already!” The MC’s voice shrilled a bit in his excitement.

“Deena, use Horn Attack!”

“Goldeen!” Deena leapt out of the water.

“Underneath!” Cassandra called. Swablu understood. She waited until Deena was almost upon her; then she dipped underneath the Goldeen and flew past. “Now use Wing Attack!”

Swablu wheeled and brought its wing down on Deena, who fell back into the water with a flop.

“Ooh, that’s going to take away a considerable amount of points from Deena,” the MC said. The yellow bar under Sakura’s picture retracted.

“Doing great, Swablu!”

“Hide,” Sakura said, so soft that Cassandra could barely hear her. Deena dived down under the water and disappeared. Swablu hovered uncertainly. Cassandra squinted into the water, unsure of what to command. “Now!” Sakura yelled suddenly.

The Goldeen burst from the water and buried its horn into Swablu’s stomach. Swablu cried out and did an awkward sort of barrel roll, leaving Deena to dive gracefully back into the water. Of course, points were taken away.

Belle winced as she watched Cassandra’s yellow bar contract. Gerald looked troubled as well; he had his elbows placed on his knees and was frowning as he watched his daughter’s battle. Joanna, however, wore a half-smile as she brought her drink to her lips.

“Nancy talks about that Konohana girl,” she said, noticing that Belle was watching her. “She says that she’s a Lilycove favorite. I see why now.”

“You do realize that you’re supposed to root for your daughter, right?” Belle asked her.

“I root for the winner.” Joanna took a sip of her water. Belle had the urge to reach over and smack it into her face.

The battle was an intense one; points were given and taken away on both sides. It was the longest battle yet. After a while, it didn’t look so good for Swablu; she seemed tired, and her points were pretty low. Cassandra looked calm, but she was panicking as she surveyed the battle.

Sakura smirked. As far as she was concerned, she had this battle in the bag. “Hide,” she said softly.

Big mistake. Cassandra was a swift learner. In her mind’s eye, she saw Swablu hovering uncertainly over the stage and falling victim to Deena’s Horn Attack from below. She knew how to avoid it this time.

“Swablu, circle the stage from above!”

“Swa!” the Pokémon cried in reply, beginning its circling. Sakura frowned. If Swablu didn’t stay in one place, Deena wouldn’t know when to attack; the Goldeen was probably swimming in circles to match Swablu’s right now, uncertain.

“Now!” Sakura cried, hoping for the best. Deena burst out of the water.

“Do a barrel roll!” Cassandra yelled. She could see a question in Swablu’s eyes: Why?, but she did one anyway. Deena sailed up and over her, splashing as she landed back in the water.

“That was a beautiful dodge, but was it enough to give her more points?” the MC said into his mike. Cassandra’s yellow bar pushed forward a bit, but not enough to put her past Sakura. She gritted her teeth.

“Hide!” Sakura said desperately, eyeing her own yellow bar as the judges took away points for Deena’s graceless landing. She was now only ahead of Cassandra by a very small margin; she needed to get more points. The clock was going to run out soon; it hadn’t for any of the other battles, which had all resulted in a definite win by a Pokémon fainting.

Cassandra was beginning to see that Sakura was a bit of a one-trick pony. “Get her!” she yelled to Swablu. “Go fishing!”

Swablu did one quick tight circle over the center of the pool before diving into it. The crowd gasped.

Swablu didn’t come up.

For several agonizing seconds, neither Pokémon was visible. Cassandra watched the water, every muscle of her body on high alert. She saw a slight shadow and moved her hand; the shadow turned in the direction she indicated. She reached one hand back toward her hair, and then several things happened at once.

Cassandra’s hair fell from its bun and fanned out, catching the light as it tumbled down around her shoulders; she flung her arm out at the same moment, and Swablu burst from the surface of the water, synchronized perfectly with Cassandra’s movements. Deena flopped helplessly in her beak. Water droplets shimmered as they fell from her body, making her seem to glow as she ascended to the ceiling.

“A beautiful coordination between Trainer and Pokémon!” the MC shouted excitedly. “And what fishing skill!”

“Drop!” Cassandra called. Swablu opened her beak; Deena fell, tumbling over herself. “Hit!”

Swablu chased Deena down and buffeted her with a wing; she zoomed to the other end of the stadium, wheeled expertly, and then came back to hit Deena again. She kept this up until Deena landed in the water with a flop, belly-up.

She had fainted.

And Sakura’s points were now down to zero. Swablu’s, however, were practically bursting from the bar; the MC was yelling excitedly. “What a victory! Our own local, long-haired Cassandra Étoile has annihilated Sakura Konohana!”

Swablu shook itself dry before coming down to land in Cassandra’s arms; Cassandra squeezed it. The crowd was on its feet, including Belle and Gerald. Joanna set down her water and stood, clapping with a surprised expression on her face.



To:
[email protected]
From: dacning_through_life@pokénet.com
Subject: I WOOOONNNN!!
_____________________________________________________________
Hey Alyssa,

I WON MY FIRST CONTEST!! I’m so happy! Mom even took me and Belle to Lilycove Department Store so I could pick out a ribbon case. She BOUGHT it for me. Isn’t that freakin’ AMAZING?? My mother did something nice for me!!

I don’t think I did all that well, but I won!! YAY!!

Well, tonight is Belle’s last night here (T_T), so I better get back to her. Oh, she wants to type something.


Hey, don’t let our modest Cassandra fool you. She did AWESOME!! You should have seen it! Actually, Papa G bought a DVD of the battle from the Contest Hall. We’re gonna put it on PokéTube!!! XD


Hey, Cassandra again. And NO SHE’S NOT.


Love your winning friend,
Cassandra


P.S. That email…we love you too, Alyssa. It really made us cry.
Chapter Seventeen was good. Keep it up :D
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  #50    
Old January 31st, 2010, 04:12 PM
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Legendarian Mistress
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Queensland
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My review is as follows...

Overall, you did a fantastic job.

However, I didn’t like Sakura or her Goldeen.

Quote:
“Hide,” Sakura said, so soft that Cassandra could barely hear her. Deena dived down under the water and disappeared. Swablu hovered uncertainly. Cassandra squinted into the water, unsure of what to command. “Now!” Sakura yelled suddenly.
Quote:
“Hide!” Sakura said desperately, eyeing her own yellow bar as the judges took away points for Deena’s graceless landing. She was now only ahead of Cassandra by a very small margin; she needed to get more points. The clock was going to run out soon; it hadn’t for any of the other battles, which had all resulted in a definite win by a Pokémon fainting.
I disliked these two parts in particular, because hiding seems cowardly.

Quote:
the MC was yelling excitedly. “What a victory! Our own local, long-haired Cassandra Étoile has annihilated Sakura Konohana!”
IMO, this was the best part.

Keep up the excellent work.
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Credit goes to Sgt Shock for my signature and avatar
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