Disclaimer: Same as always.

Note: Some words of Fungiloid are in this chapter. No translations, though. Sorry. Alternatively, you can try translating the words from what I have said from Progeny of the Scientist.


Chapter 4

I did manage to get a seat near Mr. At (I remember him looking a lot like Blackup, at least according to my sisters' description), but I was nearly out of range. I ended up sitting next to some black version of Catch and a red Pukay. Blackup was also nearby, and he was tethered to the wall much like the other rocket-robot. Mr. At was busy talking, so I decided to introduce myself to the people next to me.

"Hi, I'm Mog," I greeted the black version of Catch. "What's yours?"

"Reichu," the black Fetch replied.

"Ah, and how was your time?" I asked further.

"Pretty good, actually," Reichu answered. "Won against some others, but I had the misfortune to come up against Bom and Sam. I lost that. At least that was my only loss."

"You must be pretty good," I replied.

"I mainly squared off against weak guys," Reichu responded.

Mr. At had stopped talking by then, so I took that opportunity and told Reichu, "I'll talk more later." I then switched my focus to the white rocket-robot.

"Hi, I'm Mogu," I introduced myself. "And you're…"

"Mr. At," the robot completed my sentence.

"How's your day?" I asked.

"Decent," Mr. At replied. "Had to play against Katze multiple times today, and I won about half of those."

"You're excellent!" I exclaimed.

"Er…thanks, but I'm behind a couple of others," Mr. At humbly responded.

"Any advice you could give me?" I asked. "I'm only a beginner."

"Who else have you asked?" Mr. At asked.

"I've asked Bom, Sam, and Bobblun," I answered. I skipped Pukadon, as I got nothing useful towards strategy out of him.

"Nnn, Sam always misses one strategy when he describes all the possible things everyone could do," Mr. At replied. "That's the Antimeleon one. With that strategy, that person will use the normal strategy (such as whittling, destroying, or tower-building) that works the best against the current enemy. Of course, they use more than one strategy."

"That might be good if I only knew what everyone else did," I responded.

"You'll learn eventually," Mr. At kindly replied. "It's a bit hard to explain about everyone. Also, whom have you played against before?"

"Wolo, Green Wolo, Pinky, Winky, and Yam," I quickly listed.

"Learned anything about their strategy from them?" the white robot asked again.

"Don't think so. They didn't seem to have a strategy," I answered.

"I know some of them haven't quite got a strategy yet," Mr. At replied, "but I know that those Wolo twins do some amount of destroying. And by that, I mean the strategy. Are you really doing exhibition matches? I heard that from Blackup, but I think I need confirmation…"

"Yes," I answered again.

"If that's so," Mr. At continued his advice, "then you're probably playing against Miss T next. Just be warned: she plays pretty well, and she might cream you in your match. I guess I better give you her strategy in advance. She does some destroying, fierce whittling, and tower-building, but in no particular order and timing and not like an Antimeleon. Watch out for the switch."

"Thanks so much for the advice!" I exuberantly showed my gratitude.

"It gets to be nothing when you get at high levels," Mr. At responded.

I continued on my dinner, which tasted pretty good, as always. The red Pukay next to me, however, was groaning and clutching his stomach.

"What's wrong?" I asked the Pukay.

"Aagh, my gut," he moaned in reply.

"Hmm, what's your name?" I asked him (I thought he was male) again.

"Kame," the red Pukay managed to respond.

"Did you eat something funny?" I asked yet again.

"Probably," Kame responded. "I think it's the beans. I have gas again…"

"Watch out for his flatulence," Reichu joined in. "It's pretty powerful—and stinky."

"Can I go to the bathroom?" Kame asked.

"Of course you can," Green Wolo, who was sitting next to the red Pukay, answered. "You'd better."

Kame got off his seat and ran to the bathroom. We heard a loud fart afterward.

"Thank goodness it doesn't smell," Reichu remarked.

I finished my dinner (by that time, just about everyone else had, too), got out of the room, and decided to watch the first game I saw while waiting to play against Miss T. That game turned out to be Fungilo versus some weird-looking guy. I asked another spectator about the other guy.

"Hey!" I called out to the spectator, who was of the same species as Fungilo. "What's your name?"

"Hroa?" the spectator replied.

"What's the other guy's name?" I asked further as I pointed to the strange guy.

"Hroa? Rara ru ayror," the spectator replied further.

"Forget it," I responded and directed my attention to another spectator. "Hello!" I shouted to the purple Bobblesaur. "What's your name?"

"Burble," he replied.

"Okay," I responded and then asked, "Who's that guy over there?"

"He's Katze the Experimenter," Burble answered. "We have to call him that because he's some sort of chemist and his name is Katze. Unfortunately, we also have a member whose name is Katze, so things get messy if we don't distinguish between the two."

"How even do you think the match is?" I asked again.

"Not too even," Burble responded. "The Experimenter's better than Fungilo by a couple of tiers, but at least it isn't as unbalanced as Katze versus Mog."

The placing of his mention of my sister's name astounded me. "Mog's that bad?" I asked.

"She's about as bad as Winky," Burble replied. "Truthfully, Winky plays even worse, but her attack pattern is better, so the two are about equal."

"Okay," I replied as I watched the game. True to Burble's word, the guy I found out to be Katze the Experimenter was beating Fungilo by a fair bit.

Just at that time, I got signalled by Bobblun.

"I'm coming!" I cried as I ran toward Bobblun.

I arrived at another Bust-a-Move machine with the Delfin I assumed to be Miss T and a bubble machine. That pink Delfin winked at me. I assumed she did that to everyone.

After Bobblun and the bubble machine spat out their bubbles, the blue Bobblesaur screamed, "Start!"

I responded to the signal and started chucking bubbles with my machine. The game wasn't going so good, though, as I saw bubbles pile up in my field.

"Oh, great," I moaned as the bubbles nearly reached the line.

I took a small break and looked at Miss T's side. The Delfin was currently dropping some small towers at my side. I looked back at my field, but it was too late. All the bubbles in my field had turned silver and dead. I had lost.

"Sorry you lost," Bobblun consoled. "But hey, congrats! You just did a technique!"

"What's a technique?" I asked the blue Bobblesaur.

"A technique's something only the more advanced members do," he answered. "You just did one of them called recon."

"What's recon?" I asked further.

"Recon's when you look at your opponent's side of the field and figure out what strategy they're doing," Bobblun responded. "It's pretty useful, as long as you don't get too distracted. Some of the guys at the top tiers can do that and play decently at the same time. I don't know how they do it."

"I'd like to be able to do that," I replied, and then walked over to the crowd.

In the crowd, I bumped into Green Wolo again.

"Didn't I see you at dinnertime today?" I asked.

The Wule chuckled and then responded, "Of course! And I saw you, too! We can't not see each other if we were sitting that close!"

"Okay," I replied, and then asked, "How was your day?"

Green Wolo chuckled again and then answered, "It would've been better if Pukadon didn't barf in my face. Then again, he barfs pretty often. He barfs and farts practically every day. I'd like to pull a prank on him for that."

I didn't know Pukays could be that rude with their bodily functions. Then again, I didn't know that either Wolo was that mischievous. I walked away and met a pair of Bobblesaurs.

"Hi, who are you?" I greeted.

"We're Roja and Rija!" the Bobblesaurs enthusiastically replied.

"Which one of you is Roja?" I asked.

"I'm Roja," the red Bobblesaur answered.

"Oh, okay," I responded, then asked, "Are you going to help out someone soon?"

"Actually, yes!" the yellow Bobblesaur, who I assumed to be Rija, answered. "I got called by Bubblun. He wants me to help Blackup as soon as Pink T's available."

"Don't I have to play Pink T soon?" I asked in surprise.

"You'll have to wait," Roja responded.

"Okay," I replied, then walked over and followed the Bobblesaurs. They followed a signal from a green Bobblesaur and ran towards that Bust-a-Move machine. I did, too.

At that machine, I met a blue Delfin, the black rocket-robot, and the three Bobblesaurs. I asked the green Bobblesaur, "What's your name?"

"I'm Bubblun," he replied.

"Hold on, why is she called Pink T?" I asked Bubblun. "She isn't pink at all…"

"I heard it's because of a naming mishap," Bubblun answered. "Apparently, her parents were to name her Pink T, no matter what colour she actually was, but she was born blue. She got stuck with the name."

"I think it would have been more appropriate if she and Miss T switched names," I responded.

"I sometimes think that, too," Bubblun replied.

I decided to watch the game. It actually got pretty interesting, as the two opponents were fairly evenly matched. I also saw that Blackup kept on changing strategies until he stuck to one that worked. I then noticed someone else who was watching.

"Hi, and you're Fungilo, right?" I greeted.

"Ho…" the alien replied.

"Do you understand what I'm saying?" I asked.

"Ho…ru…" the blue Fungiloid said again.

"I can't understand this guy, either," said another spectator. I wheeled around to see who owned that voice.

"Katze the Experimenter!" I gasped. "What are you doing here?"

"Just watching," he replied. "I've got a bit of a break. Do you?"

"Sort of," I answered.

"I guess we'd better watch," Katze the Experimenter responded as we looked back at the game. Blackup was in the lead, though Pink T was close.

After the game ended (and Blackup won by a hair), I saw Bobblun come up to me.

"I guess I'm going against Pink T now, right?" I remarked.

"Of course you are," Bobblun replied.

After Bubblun (who was with Pink T) and Bobblun unloaded their bubbles and commenced the game, I turned the winch to the right and released a red bubble. Pink T also did, and she blasted a small group of bubbles in the way.

After I played on (and mind you, I was losing), I let my eyes wander for a bit. My eyes caught a yellow bubble near Bobblun's mouth, so I looked at it for some time. I released my current bubble (which was blue), and then saw that the yellow bubble floated up to my trigger. I stopped looking that way and continued playing.

That distraction must have been a big one, because my field now had three more layers than it did before. Indeed, they were nearly extending beyond the line. I mustn't have noticed Pink T doing her accomplishment dance.

After shooting bubbles hopelessly (and knowing that I was doomed because I couldn't find any groups of two), I lost. I was about to express my disappointment when Bobblun said something.

"Sorry you lost," the Bobblesaur commented. "But, hey! You just did another technique!"

I wondered when I did that technique, but then I remembered that yellow bubble. "What's it called?" I asked.

"That particular one's called scrying," Bobblun answered. "That's when you actually bother to look at the bubble you are going to get next. It's mildly useful. Some of those top guys manage to keep one eye on that bubble at all times. I wonder how they can concentrate."

"I guess I'd better multitask to get to the top," I responded, and then ran off to the main crowd.