The inside scoop on Jelly W-argh! *choke* Circulation: 121,679,817 Issue: 245 | 23rd day of Relaxing, Y8
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Victory: An Interview with an Altador Cup Champion

by el_phantasma_norak53


ALTADOR CUP - You are inside the Altadorian Arena. A strawberry Zafara is in front of you. A pad of paper and a pencil are clutched in her paws. She grins and waves.

DAWNIRA: Well, hello, I'm Dawnira, your interviewer. Right now I've scheduled an interview with one of the legendary Cup Champs, Jared Slightfoot! Oh, there he is!

Dawnira runs toward a Halloween Meerca playing, evidently, for the Haunted Woods team, the Haunted Harbingers. He's readying his equipment when Dawnira accidentally runs into him!

JARED: Ahhg! Why, you feisty li'l no-good-- *notices it's Dawnira* Oh, ahem... sorry! Are ya the person I was s'posed ta be interviewed by?

DAWNIRA: Ehm, yes. *grins apologetically*

JARED: *smiles, showing two small fangs* Aww, s'alright ya ran inta me. People do tha' all th' time. Like Bruno, for example. *gestures toward a huge Halloween Kyrii* Yer lucky you didn't run inta him. He woulda raked ya ta pieces.

DAWNIRA: *sweatdrop* Uhh... let's start the interview, mmkay?

Jared and Dawnira sit down on a bench, and Dawnira starts as Jared polishes his equipment.

DAWNIRA: So, Jared, when did you exactly get into this sport and, erm... what's it called?

JARED: *looks at his reflection* I don't really know wha' th' sport's called, but it's sorta like Human World lacrosse... ya know, some of the equipment looks like lacrosse stuff! Anyhow, I got into this when I was real young, jes’ five o' six years old. *rubs equipment while continuing* I turned out ta be really good at this newfangled thing! I went ta the Haunted Woods Championships at eight years old. I got third place overall in that. Now I'm about twen'y-one, so I got a lot o' victories under me belt. *Pauses while Dawnira scribbles furiously on her notepad*

DAWNIRA: *whistles* Wow-wee! You know, I'm quite a fan of this sport myself! I'm thinking of trying out for the Neopia Central team this year. They're called the Boomerangs.

JARED: Interestin' name. Now, what's th' next question?

DAWNIRA: Okay... *ahem* what equipment do you use for this game?

JARED: *hefts arm piece and grunts* This 'ere thing's called a 'mitt' or ‘cup’, though we usually call it a scoop. We use it to catch and throw th' li'l Petpet-thing. *shrugs* Sometimes players use wha' looks sorta like a boxin' glove, like what th' Blumaroo in th' advertisement was usin'. Also, on the other hand, ya wear a glove. Ya can use yer gloved hand durin' play. Then ya have shin an' foot guards, sometimes wing guards, fer those Faerie competitors. But only a sissy wears wing guards! *smirks* I usually wear gloves made o' Mithineus hide. Nothin' stronger'n that, I say.

DAWNIRA: Very cool. What was your reaction to when the teams were informed of the event, Jared? …Wow, I just used a lot of big words.

JARED: I was excited and surprised! I thought, ‘Finally, I can show how I am ta th’ world!’ I started trainin’ harder’n ever before with me team… Many back-hurtin’ things went into all those hours. But our efforts are worth all th’ practicin’. Look where we are now! *grins*

DAWNIRA: Did you know any of the pets in the sneak-peek ad?

JARED: Yeh, I did. That Scorchio who scored with th’ Petpet, her name’s Valarinyss. I call ‘er Val or Valerie. She’s a mighty fine player, might I add! I also knew that Lenny from Roo Island’s team, the Jester Jumpers. She was called Emmie. Best player on th’ team, she is. Th’ Halloween Techo from me team is called Bonerunner. Barely eats anything; I’ve started thinkin’ he’s undead. *shudder* Also I know th’ yellow Draik from Brightvale. His name’s Gavarin. He’s an awful cute kid, jes’ about eighteen or so. Th’ Kau he tried to score against was named Botruse. Real strong, tha’ one is; flung Bruno to th’ half-mark on th’ arena once. He got disqualified, o’ course.

DAWNIRA: Anyone else?

JARED: Yep, Sabrina Karren from Terror Mountain. Beauty, she is; smart, too. I couldn’t plan better strategies if I tried. She’s th’ leader of th’ Snowbeasts, th’ Terror Mountain team.

DAWNIRA: Okay, next question… do you know what species the Petpet you use is?

JARED: Ta tell ya th’ truth, not a clue. I think it’s a new species; then again, I could be wrong. It’s awfully cute, though… I’ve gotten attached ta tha’ fire one. I call him the Scorch Kid.

DAWNIRA: How neat! I was that way with my petpet, a Kimbi named Zeepin. Really adorable, but he has razor-sharp teeth. He likes biting my tail. -______-;;

JARED: Well, we didn’t come here ta discuss petpets. On to the next question!

DAWNIRA: Okay! What would you say as encouragement to your fans? I bet you’ll have a lot with this coming season.

JARED: Well, if ya aspire ta become sports stars like me, I’d suggest never givin’ up, fight ‘till ya can’t go any longer, try yer hardest, feel good ‘bout yerself, work together, an’ most importantly, be a good sport. Winnin’ ain’t about braggin’ and hurtin’ people’s feelin’s; it’s about valuin’ the friendships that got ya through and the li’l things that kept ya goin’. That’s what made me a star, and I bet it could make you one too, and one th’ public likes.

DAWNIRA: *wipes away tear* That was so touching… aw, fiddlesticks! I’m crying again. I always do that when something’s really beautiful… *uber blush*

JARED: S’alright. I do that too sometimes… Bruno calls me a wimp when I do it. But then I usually haul off and punch ‘im. It’s th’ simple things in life ya should enjoy! *winks and smiles*

DAWNIRA: Okay, another question… what can get you disqualified?

JARED: Well, if you attack any other player purposefully, yer discharged from th’ championship… that’s what happened to Botruse when he tossed Bruno to th’ half-court mark. Also, you cannot tamper with any other player’s equipment… that leads to disqualification from that round. An’ if ya pamper the ball, like givin’ it treats or making it aggressive to other teams, your entire team gets kicked out. Assaulting the referee also brings disqualification for one round. And if ya… *rambles on for several minutes*

DAWNIRA: Phew, that’s a lot of things to get you out. Now, last question: what do you think the odds are that you’ll win?

JARED: Well, I dunno, maybe 1/16 or somethin’… but I jes’ hope we win.

Suddenly a horn blows. The Haunted Harbingers start heading for the practice room.

JARED: HOLY MACKEREL! It’s our practice session! Nice talkin’ with ya, Dawnira. *runs toward practice room with equipment* Thanks fer interviewin’ me!

DAWNIRA: No prob, Jared! I hope we see each other soon! Bye!!

JARED: G’bye, Dawnira!

DAWNIRA: Well, that wraps up this champion legend’s interview. Starting at age eight, he’s worked his way up to many victories! With wonderful advice for all you fans, he’s an awesome person to hang with! Now, I’ve gotta sign up for the team!

Dawnira runs off toward the Neopia Central Team Sign-ups, mitt, gloves and leg guards in hand. She grins happily; then walks out the door of the Arena. She looks back, waves, and then runs over to the portal, slipping through with a crackle of magic. And we know she will be back again.

Author's Note: Questions and comments are welcome!

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