Moley Koopa : Thanks for the review ! I don't know if Kooper will appear all the time, but he's sure to come back at one point of the story, since I sometimes need two hosts for the players are divided in groups. We'll see if your previsions are correct. :p

Spike Brigadier : Thanks for the support and I'm glad you enjoyed the first story as well ! ^^ So Boo is your favorite, huh ? Hopefully he will go far. ^^

Kaiimi : Hey Kai, I didn't think I would start it this soon either, but I had been planning for a sequel before the end of the previous season, which explains why it was rather quick. ^^ I'm glad that you liked it better than the first story's beginning. I can understand why, since the beginning was just...dramatic ! XD Thanks for your review and I hope this chapter doesn't disappoint !

FFWS : Well, sorry, I didn't really feel like using Peach, Daisy, Harmonie, Luigi, Wario, Waluigi and all the popular characters. ^^' I'm the kind of person who likes to use underappreciated characters, or forgotten ones. Not to say that Dixie, Boo, and Bullet Bill are characters that no one knows, but Melody Pianissima (Luigi's Mansion), White Mage (Mario Superstar Basketball and Mario Sports Mix), Waitress (Paper Mario : The Thousand-Year Door), Kolorado and Goombario (Paper Mario), Princess Shokora (Wario Land 4) and Enguarde (Various Donkey Kong Games) aren't really characters that people use. I did the same thing last story with the inclusion of Pauline, Flurrie, Bootler, Jojora and Noki.

BoomShroom : Thank you for your review, and I also wanted to thank you for the one you left on the previous story. I realized I never thanked you properly. ^^ Would you want me to tell you how the people you don't know look like ? I completely forgot about descriptions since it's obvious to me who they are, lol. I will take good note of your advice, as it is also something that I do in French a lot. The meaning is here, everyone understands, but it's not technically the best way to say it, so I'll try to remember it in the future. Eh, you're not whiney at all. XD

Champ : Sorry I didn't warn you ! XD Yeah, I wanted to do something different for this story and I'm glad you enjoyed it so far. I have to say that your analysis of potential Mole candidates is really good. I actually considered everu character of this story as a possible Mole at one point or another of the planning stage and we kind of have the same vision for some characters. ^^ I'm glad you like the cast. :p I never knew you didn't like Kolorado, though. XD Thanks for your review !

PSULucky : I'm really happy to know that you like how this second story is starting and that you already have some favorites. It's sometimes hard to give an idea of what the characters are like in only one single chapter, especially when they are all introduced at the same time, but reading your message I'm actually satisfied to see that I managed to do it for most of them. About Shokora, I think you will have a better understanding of her character in this chapter, as she's a little more developped than in the previous one. Bullet Bill is also a 'question mark' for me, because I know that, generally, if we were to give him a personality, he wouldn't be this friendly. But I didn't want to have another 'Jojora', and I didn't want to have conflict in the first chapter (it was the case for all three prequels). I have yet to determine how he's going to be (I have a general idea). I'm glad your vision of Boo is exactly like mine. Same for Waitress. Kolorado is a pretty interesting character and it's funny to see that he's the opposite of Bootler. I'm really glad that you have this vision of White Mage, because that's exactly what I was going for. Truthfully, it's hard to write for her because she's supposed to be mysterious. Dixie is also how I see her. I don't really know if Goombario is the youngest because if he is, it's only be a few years, which is why I didn't really make a point of it. Melody is also how I see her, and Enguarde is not how I intended him to be. I guess I'll have to pay extra attention to him. Thanks for this long review, it was a good read !

Satellizer el Bridget : You're welcome ! And I should actually be thanking you for your review. :p I actually don't really understand what you're talking about, but I don't want to confirm or deny because maybe you did catch a clue. Sorry, I just suck at riddles and since English isn't my first language, the only word that comes to my mind is 'note' and I don't know what to infer from that. *shot* XD I'm glad you liked this first chapter though ! And it's cool to see that you're on the lookout for any clue. :p

Previously on The Mole, ten brand new contestants emerged from The Mole bus, all hoping to have the adventure of a lifetime!

"No way! That's gonna be awesoooome!" Waitress cheered in a sing song voice.

"Alright! Let's do this, team!" Dixie yelled enthusiastically.

"Yeah, I'm gonna try my best as well!" Bullet Bill pumped his fist in the air.

However, no sooner were they arrived that they had to answer a dreaded question...

"I reformulate : for this first assignment, I want you to tell me who you think is the Mole. Put the name of one male and one female, if you please," the literal mole demanded as he took out several pens from his fur as well as slips of paper he had hidden behind his back all this time.

Two particular names emerged from their choices...

"I've finished tallying the results, so I see no point in waiting any longer. Would Waitress and Boo please step forward?"

...and while everyone feared the results of this vote, the two chosen ones were relieved when they learned what they could earn.

"Funny that you would ask that, because one of you will win something in the future!" Monty Mole laughed as he took a green card from his pocket.

"That's an exemption! Is it for us? Oh, please say that it's for us!" Boo half-pleaded and half-demanded.

But the exemption had a price.

"If the boys win, Boo will earn the exemption. If the girls win, Waitress will win it instead," Monty carried on. "But be careful, because here comes the tricky part. The next challenge is also worth twenty thousand coins, and while an exemption will be awarded no matter what to the leader of the winning team, the money may or may not be awarded depending on your decision. You have to bet on the team you believe will win."

"I hardly see the difficulty in this task, I mean, we could just-" Boo stopped in mid-sentence, realizing that he was mistaken. "So... Unless one of us literally passes on the exemption, we can't be one hundred percent sure that the money will be won..." The ghost turned to the Toadette, hesitating. "I don't suppose you would give up an exemption?"

"Not a chance in hell," replied his opponent, still beaming. "It's the first episode and nobody knows who the Mole is, right? So everyone can be eliminated first, and I don't really wanna be this person."

And while a winner was determined by a coin toss, it looked like another issue had arisen...

"So?" Goombario immediately asked Boo. "Are we playing for the money?"

Boo simply nodded. "Yeah, I called heads and was correct, so our team is playing for the money."

"So, you're sure that you really won the money...?" Dixie insisted, twirling one of her hair strands with her finger. "I want us to have a good start."

Waitress giggled. "I sure am! Plus, are you gonna trust cute lil' me or that guy over there?" questioned the Toadette, jerking a thumb in Boo's direction.

Unbeknownst to them, this lie would be the first of many...

First name : Bullet

Surname : Bill

Birthday : February 25

Job : Demolition Specialist

First name : Enguarde

Surname : Espadon

Birthday : December 8

Job : Oceanographer

First name : Melody

Surname : Pianissimo

Birthday : March 13

Job : Musician

First name : Dixie

Surname : Kong

Birthday : June 7

Job : Circus Performer

First name : Goombario

Surname : Goomarroon

Birthday : September 16

Job : Dojo Owner/Master

First name : Blanche

Surname : Magus

Birthday : April 22

Job : White Mage

First name : Shokora

Surname : Enekora

Birthday : May 19

Job : Politician

First name : Waitress

Surname : Serva

Birthday : July 4

Job : Waitress

First name : Kolorado

Surname : Raiver

Birthday : January 19

Job : Archaeologist/Explorer

First name : Boo

Surname : Fanto

Birthday : October 31

Job : Spy

2 : Dodging Bullets




"Go!" Kooper shouted as he threw the ball in the air. Both leaders soon followed suit and leaped as high as they could to catch it.

"Yay, I've got it!" Waitress cheered as she surprisingly snatched the ball in the air, putting Boo to shame. She immediately followed with a weak throw in Boo's direction, and though it was rather slow it did connect with his face as he was close to her.

Waitress : It felt so good to beat him and catch the ball in the air. It made me feel like I wasn't the weakest one of the bunch, and that's kinda cool if you ask me.

"Ah-ha, I got ya!" Waitress taunted before yelping in pain. Boo had retaliated and thrown the ball back at her with much more strength. "Ouch! What was that for?" she asked angrily.

"Oops, sorry," Boo tried to hide his mischievous smirk but failed. Waitress narrowed her eyes.

Boo : I know it wasn't cool of me to do that, but come on, she had it coming! Plus it was fun to see her fuming after she was hit.

"It's so on, now. You're gonna regret this, ghost boy!"

Besides her, Melody was shaking her head in aggravation. "Do you think you could, perhaps, I don't know, FOCUS on the game?" yelled the blonde competitive woman. "And give me that ball, you don't even know how to play this game correctly!" continued the piano virtuoso.

Shokora immediately stepped between the two before an argument could break loose. "Ladies, please calm down for a second. Need I remind you that we are playing for twenty thousand coins? Keep the petty fights for later."

"Yeah, we don't need this kind of drama this soon into the game," Dixie agreed cheerfully. "The ball is in our camp, so I say we fire away at them and worry afterward!"

"Sure!" Waitress exclaimed, returning to her bubbly self. "Who wanna throw the ball? I admit I'm not really good at it." Dixie raised her hand.

"Give it to me!" grinned the blonde monkey. "I'll show you how it's done!" Waitress gave her the ball and Dixie ran toward the line separating the two sides. Once she was a few feet away from the other camp, she twirled her body and threw the ball toward one of the male. It was hard for them to determine who she was gunning for because the ball's trajectory was curved.

Enguarde's eyes grew wide as the ball made contact with his fin. "What the- How did you do that?"

Enguarde : Dixie's throw was powerful and extremely curved, I doubt an occasional dodge ball player would be able to do that, which makes me think that she might have some experience. Maybe some Mole experience?

Enguarde grunted lightly and picked up the ball. he was going to send it back to the other side when he floated above a small yellow panel which had a white interrogation mark on it and heard a small jingle. Soon afterward, a green shell fell right next to him. "What's this?" he asked to no one in particular.

"An item!" Kooper called out from the bleachers.

"Mmmh... What I am supposed to do with it?" the blue swordfish questioned his teammates, rubbing the back of his head in the process.

"I dunno," muttered Bullet Bill as he made his way to the shell. "Think we can use it against the girls?" Without waiting for an answer, Bullet Bill kicked the shell and sent it flying toward the girls. Dixie was fast enough to dodge it but Melody, situated right behind the monkey, took the full impact.

Seeing an opening, Enguarde wasted no time and threw the ball toward the fallen ghost who had no time to dive to the side.

"You're such a coward!" shouted Melody, furious. "Shooting a woman when she's down, have you no moral?"

"It's a game, and I'm doing what I can to win it," grinned the swordfish.

"I don't think she wanted to hear this response, my boy," Kolorado pointed out as the musician stood back up and glared threateningly at her attacker. "She seems quite mad."

"Let her be, this isn't like she'll be able to touch me," Enguarde replied cockily. Goombario rolled his eyes but made no comment.

Fueled by her anger, Melody sent the ball flying toward Enguarde, but the swordfish was ready for it and caught it between his two fins. "Who wants to throw it?"

Bullet Bill grinned and walked up to him. "Leave it to me!" The black missile floated at a fast speed toward the girl and threw the ball with great strength in a straight line. Melody, Dixie, Waitress and Shokora were all hit and fell to the floor as Bullet Bill high-fived Enguarde.

Melody : You have no idea how angry I was at that moment. I was the first one out of our team. I was out before Waitress, of all people! But then I realized that it wasn't over yet, even if we were to lose the first game, it was a best of three. And Enguarde's a braggart.

"Dude, you totally showed them!" Enguarde congratulated him, impressed. Kolorado and Boo were also surprised to see that Bullet Bill was so strong.

"Yes, we're unstoppable now!" Boo smirked in relief, noticing that both Waitress and Melody were out of the game on the other side. "I'd be surprised if we didn't win this game."

"If you didn't win this game," Goombario corrected, still distrusting the spy. Boo raised an eyebrow.

"You're shooting yourself in the foot Goombario. Once you'll realize that I've been saying the truth all this time, you-" Boo never finished his sentence because Shokora had taken advantage of the fact that he was distracted to take him out of the game.

"It's three against four, now, we can do it!" Shokora motivated her troops. Dixie gave her a thumbs-up and prepared herself to catch the ball.

"Tally-ho! Here I go!" Kolorado yelled as he ran at an incredible speed in spite of his age, and threw the ball toward Dixie. The agile monkey struggled a little against his throw but was able to recover and passed the ball to Shokora.

The cat-loving politician proceeded to throw the ball in Goombario's direction, and the Goomba simply stood still, waiting for the impact. Once the ball connected, he stood his ground, not bothering to pick it up.

"C'mon Goombario, show us what you got!" Bullet Bill encouraged. "Think about the coins!" Goombario shook his head.

"This is what I'm doing."

Bullet Bill : The idea of Goombario refusing to help doesn't sit well with me, he keeps on saying that Boo's lying. Oh yeah? Show me the proof then, 'cause I'm not believing you otherwise.

"Bullet, I sincerely doubt he's gonna listen to us," Enguarde told him as he ran toward the ball. "He made his choice and decided not to help us, there's not much we can do at this point." Enguarde paused, glancing at Boo. "Even I'm skeptical about Boo's claims, and the fact that the girls aren't giving up makes me think that they possibly have proof that Waitress won the coin toss."

Bullet Bill crossed his arms. "So why aren't you giving up?" Enguarde shrugged and ignored his question.

"Wanna show us how strong you are?" asked oceanographer. Bullet Bill nodded slowly, catching the ball that was sent to him. Immediately, he saw the three remaining females breaking up their formation and standing at opposite sides of the stadium. He chuckled to himself and chucked the ball high above the females' heads. The projectile landed right into Boo's arms and the ghost was quick to fire at Dixie who fell to the ground.

"Only Shokora and Blanche remain for the girls! The males are still four strong!" announced Monty, calculating the numbers in his head.

Blanche had the ball, she ran to the middle line and started putting her arm back to gain more strength in her throw when she suddenly slipped on a banana peel and let go of the ball. Bullet Bill took it and proceeded to hit both females in one fell swoop.

"Do we even need to continue this charade?" Blanche crossed her arms in annoyance as Shokora made her way to the jail part of the field. Receiving no particular answer, the white mage simply gave the ball to Kolorado. "Whatever, get me out now. There's no chance I'm going to win alone."

"Whatever floats your boat, missy!" replied the explorer, dropping the ball on her arm.

Dixie : It was a little suspicious how Blanche just gave up like that, I know I would've tried to get a few more males out. But at the same time, she was seriously outnumbered and I don't think she would have lasted much longer. But of course, in this game you're always asking yourself : 'what if?'

"The males win game one!" announced Monty with his powerful voice.

After a short pause of five minutes, the two teams changed sides on the dodge ball field and looked ready to play another match, although many of them were starting to have doubts about what their course of action should be.

Blanche : Since we weren't here when Boo and Waitress decided on the winners, we can't be sure that what we're doing is right. Right now, the two teams are trying to beat the other, but we all know that one of them is mistaken. I suppose that Boo must have said that he won the coins too but us girls know better than to believe him. Especially since Waitress told us how Boo practically begged for the exemption.

Enguarde : Boo claims he won the coins. Waitress claims the same thing. One of them is lying, but since they decided on a coin toss, we have no way to determine who said the truth. I mean, if they had thought about it rationally, we might have been able to take a guess, but they didn't. So we're all confused.

Melody : We won't be defeated by the other team. I'll try my hardest to win the upcoming round. I'm just doing what I think is in my best interest.

Kolorado : I say, this game's quite tricky if you want my opinion. I still think it's a little unfair how we weren't allowed to mingle before playing this first mission, because the simple fact that we don't know each other is preventing us from coming with sound conclusions.

Once again, Kooper gave the green light to the players when he threw the ball in the air. That time, however, Boo timed his jump and was able to reach the ball that he quickly gave to Bullet Bill.

"Show us your magic," Boo demanded with a slight smirk.

"Okay!" Bullet Bill yelled. "I think we should target the weaker players first, 'cause if we manage to take out a threat, they can still pass them the ball and hit us from behind. What do you think?"

"This sounds dandy!" Kolorado acquiesced with a nod of the head. "But who's the weakest in their team?"

"It's obviously Waitress," Enguarde chuckled. "I mean, it's a wonder Boo got hit by her first throw, there's no way she's going to be of any use in this mission. It's way too physically demanding for her," pointed out the blue oceanographer.

"Not like mental challenges will be any different," added the Boo, snickering a little. "But you're right. To me the weakest link is Waitress, then I would say Blanche, she's wearing high-heels after all."

"They're not really high, though," Bullet Bill was quick to notice.

"True, but they must hinder her movement," replied the spy. "Shokora doesn't seem athletic at all, so we should try to get her out next. Then Melody, and finally Dixie."

"Sounds like a good plan," nodded Kolorado. "Shall we get to work, then?"

The famous archaeologist did not need to say it twice. The black missile floated as fast as he could toward the line separating the two camps and fired away at Waitress. Waitress was not even paying attention to her surroundings and tumbled down to the floor.

"That hurt!" she sniffled a little. Melody smacked her forehead in frustration.

"Waitress! You should just tell us if you're not going to help!" shouted the blue ectoplasm.

Shokora : Waitress didn't help at all during the challenge. Most of the time, she was targeted first by the males, and for a good reason. Not only is she the weakest player physically speaking, but she's also the most absentminded person I have ever come across. I like her, but honestly, she was not as useful as I would have wanted her to be.

"Well, it doesn't matter," sighed Blanche. "What's done is done." The pink-haired woman picked up the ball from the floor and gave it to Dixie. "Dixie, your throws are remarkable. They are also very unpredictable, so use this at your advantage and get Bullet out as soon as possible."

Dixie : It was awesome to know that my team depended on me! I mean, everyone wants to look like a hero once in a while, and I'm also part of everyone.

"You got it!" Dixie flashed her a grin. She dashed straight for the other camp and began to twist her body to throw another curved ball, so the males braced themselves and all looked to their right, thinking that the monkey was going to repeat her previous action.

However, that was not the case, for Dixie feigned throwing the ball. She only flung it when the others had turned their attention away from her, and it pushed Bullet to the floor. The demolition specialist was quick to retaliate with another quick throw which was enough to take Waitress out of the game. Begrudgingly, the purple-haired Toadette made her way to her team's jail.

"Dang, we're already one down!" said Melody in exasperation. "Let's just focus on Bullet and win this match," she stated, more to herself than anyone else. She gave the ball to Dixie and the monkey cast it with all her might toward Bullet Bill.

"Psh, you call that a throw? Weak!" taunted the black missile. He caught it with his bare hands and was going to fling it back to the other side when Boo stopped him.

"Look, Dixie managed to get the ball last time we sent it toward her, so give it to me, I have a plan."

"What kind of plan are we talking about here?" questioned Kolorado, interested. Enguarde decided it would be smart to pay attention to Boo.

"Well, I've noticed that the girls ignore the items," whispered the ghost so that Waitress would not be able to overhear his stratagem. "While you guys were busy throwing the ball back and forth, I thought it would be smart to gather items. Just leave it to me, you'll love it."

Bullet Bill : Boo's smart, I'll give him that. He definitely knows what he's doing so I think he's gonna be a tough opponent to beat in this game in general. But at the same time, he seems a little too intelligent if you wanna know what I think. Yeah, he's a potential Mole candidate to me.

Boo floated toward the girls, ball in hand. Behind his back was the bob-omb he was going to use in his master plan. Much like Dixie had done previously, Boo drew his arm back, pretending to throw the ball. The girls all looked ready to catch his throw but none of them realized their were being tricked. Boo simply sent them the bob-omb and the girls all flew several feet back, only to land on their behind. Right after that, Kolorado sent Boo a red shell, Boo tucked the ball inside the item and threw it with all his might. The effects were better than he had anticipated for all the females save Melody were hit by his throw.

"Dude, that was wicked!" Bullet Bill clapped Boo on his back.

"I smell a victory for us!" Enguarde joked.

"Oh yeah? Well, not if I have something to say about it!" shouted Melody from the other side of the field. Enguarde did not react in time and the ball touched him before slamming to the ground. The blue swordfish narrowed his eyes and picked up the ball without a word.

"We still hold the advantage here," teased the oceanographer. "And we intend to keep it!" Enguarde flung the ball toward one of the girl. Everyone thought it would be Melody, but Dixie was actually his intended target. The blonde monkey almost caught it, however it dropped to the floor and she had to join Waitress in jail.

Before going, she still muttered a word of advice to her peers. "Use the items!"

Melody : It seriously sucked. Once again, we were outnumbered and our best player had been eliminated from the match. We didn't really expect anything from the first challenge anymore.

Shokora : All my hopes faded away once Dixie was sent to jail. Yes, she could still help us from there, but technically she was not a player anymore, as Monty Mole had stated in the rules.

"Well, let's respect Dixie's wish, shall we?" White Mage suggested, picking up a turtle shell. "Such a shame, it would make a nice shield." She winked at Bullet Bill and threw the ball inside the item. Bullet Bill thought he could easily stop it, but the shell made him fall down and he was out of the game.

Blanche : I was glad to take out Bullet because he was a huge threat to our victory. I knew it was the smartest choice, because with him out of the way, it made me think that the others would try to pass him the ball. And if we could intercept the ball before it reached him, we would be golden.

"Good work, Blanche!" Shokora congratulated, clapping her hands together. Focusing her attention back to the game, she narrowly evaded a projectile. She turned in fear, hoping that it had not reached Bullet Bill and let out a sigh of relief once the image of Melody holding the projectile caught her eyes.

"Focus, will you?" groaned the blonde. Melody floated toward the other camp and hurled the ball with all her might, targeting Enguarde yet another time.

Enguarde smirked, ready to block. "Tough luck!" he taunted her.

Enguarde : Melody has a temper, and it's extremely easy to set it off. I knew I would take advantage of it whenever I could.

"Say, old bean, would you mind if I took a shot at this game?" Kolorado winked, extending his arms toward the blue swordfish.

"Sure!" exclaimed Enguarde happily.

A banana peel in hand and a ball in the other, Kolorado ran forward and chucked the item on Shokora's face. Her vision obstructed, the politician stopped dead in her tracks and struggled to remove the filthy thing from her hair. Once she did, she could only gasp as the ball hit her leg. "Oh well, I guess I'm down..."

Kolorado : I still have fire inside of me! Those youngsters better watch out for the explorer extraordinaire! Also, I must admit that there's a good synergy between the players of our group, I hope to go far in the competition!

"The girls are down to Melody and Blanche, whereas the boys still have Goombario, Boo, Enguarde and Kolorado! Remember that if the males win this round, it's game over!" Monty called out to the players.

"C'mon girls! We can't lose!" Waitress yelled from the jail. "This doesn't bode well..."

"Easy for you to say!" shouted Melody, rolling her eyes in the process. Floating over an item panel, she was surprised to see a blue mushroom appearing next to her. She picked it up and threw it on Boo who shrunk in size.

"Hey! What's happening to me?" an extremely high-pitched voice came out of Boo's throat. "What the heck?"

"Oooh! It's so cute!" Waitress giggled from behind him. Boo frowned as he turned to face her.

"Now!" growled Melody, flinging the ball forward. Boo was so small he could not catch the ball and so he lost one life. Upon regaining his normal appearance, Boo smirked and took Melody out with a powerful throw, leaving White Mage against four opponents. "Yes! I can taste the money!" Boo chuckled with glee.

"Splendid," White Mage uttered with disdain. "One poor girl against four testosterone-filled males, I wonder how it'll turn out?" she asked sarcastically. She walked over a yellow panel and took the star that appeared from it. A sudden surge of energy rejuvenated the pink-haired woman as she glowed a myriad of colors. "What is this...?" Taking a few seconds to get over the flashy effects, White Mage threw the ball toward Enguarde, unconvinced.

Everyone was surprised when they saw it connect with his face, taking him out of the game.

But they were even more surprised when the ball suddenly changed direction and hit Boo and Kolorado as well. Goombario had jumped over it in time and avoided the hit altogether. The effects of the star wore off and the ball touched the ground.


Waitress : That was so awesome and pretty! I'd love to be so colorful! Plus it was great because Boo and Enguarde were taken out of the game, so it evened the odds. Mmmh... Well, not really since it was still two against one, I guess. But who cares?

"Hey Goombario!" White Mage spoke up. "Mind giving me the ball, sweetheart?"

Goombario : I was pretty passive during the match, I didn't want to get hit, but I didn't want to hit anybody on the opposite side. My main goal was to ensure that Boo did not win the exemption, but at the same time I couldn't help thinking that maybe it would be for the best... Boo struck me as Mole-ish, though, which is why I was doubtful.

"Hey there, good old chap, you wouldn't do that to your pal, now, would you?" Kolorado smiled uneasily. "Be reasonable and hand the ball over, will you?"

"Don't you dare betray us, Goombario!" Boo yelled. "I was fine with you not doing anything but don't go helping the other team!"

"Sorry Boo!" Goombario ignored him and shot the ball toward White Mage who nodded in appreciation.

"What a gentleman!" she smiled. She ran to the other camp and jumped into the air, surprisingly high for someone who was wearing high-heels, and as she began her descend she hit Kolorado above the head with the ball. Afterward, she quickly hightailed out of his camp and stood back, prepared in case Goombario would suddenly play the hero.

But that did not occur as Goombario ended the match abruptly.

"I give up!" Goombario shouted.

"The females win game two!" Monty announced, blowing in a whistle.

Boo : What. An. Idiot! I could understand why he wouldn't trust me. I could understand his refusal to help me. But this? We were seconds away from winning the challenge and he threw it, giving victory to the girls. Now we have to play yet another game and there's still the chance that they might win it. Truthfully, I'd be devastated if that were the case.

Goombario : So what if Boo's angry at me? I know in my heart that I made the correct choice. Boo's mad because I prevented him from earning an exemption, that's all. The way I see it, Waitress won the coin toss. Why? Let's just say that Boo really didn't try to convince me that he told the truth.

Dixie : To know that we have a chance to win this challenge is pretty good if you want my opinion. I thought we would lose when it was four against two, but Blanche managed to survive and give us the win! I was just happy to know that we had a second chance.

Bullet Bill : I think that Goombario could be the Mole. It looks like he's putting on a show and acting dramatic just 'cause he suspects that Boo's lying, but he has not proof. Nobody would ever act like him in this situation, unless they knew for sure that Boo lost the coins to Waitress. And just how would he know that, unless he was the Mole?

Kooper had the ball under his arm as he made his way toward the players. "Well guys, this is your last match. Whichever team wins it wins the whole game! So do your best, players!" Kooper smiled warmly as the others nodded. The blue-shelled Koopa threw the ball into the air, starting the last match of the small competition. Immediately, Waitress and Boo jumped after it, attempting to get the edge for their team. Waitress was quicker and threw the ball to her teammates who caught it.

"Okay, time!" Shokora stopped Dixie from doing anything with her powerful voice. The graceful former ruler motioned for them to join her and they huddled around her. "Girls, we need to strategize. This is the last match, we cannot afford to lose it."

"But this is sooooo boring!" Waitress said in a huff. "Can't we just, like, go and try to win this thing already?"

"Need I remind you that we are playing so that you will obtain an exemption?" the purple-clad politician raised an inquisitive eyebrow. Waitress crossed her arms and pouted immaturely. "Anyway, would anyone care for my proposal and suggest an adequate strategy?"

"Oh, me, me!" Dixie raised her hand excitedly. "We'll take out Bullet and Enguarde first. They are the strongest in their team, so not only does it make sense to want them out, but you also have to realize that if we go for Kolorado, Boo and Goombario first, it'll give them much more room to evade our throws." Blanche's eyes widened while Melody and Shokora nodded, interested.

Blanche : Who would have known that under her happy-go-lucky behavior hid a really smart girl? She actually surprised me. No, I didn't think she was dumb, but I never knew she was level-headed enough to think ahead like that.

"Yeah, it could work," Melody cocked her head pensively. "Mmmh, I never realized it became harder to eliminate the players as their numbers dwindled."

"Well, when you think about it, it's a little like our game," Shokora pointed out smartly. "At first, the Mole can hide behind our mistakes, but as the game progresses their scapegoats also depart and the Mole is easier to identify."

"So, can we just go back to the game? Like, now?" Waitress asked, putting her hands on her hips.

What the females did not know was that the males also took this as an opportunity to hatch a plan.

"So what's your idea, Boo?" Enguarde questioned, his face unreadable.

"Why me?" Boo inquired, surprised.

"Well, I don't know. Because you're the smartest here, I suppose?" Enguarde answered, rubbing the back of his head, embarrassed. "Besides, you had pretty good ideas during our previous match, so I thought I'd ask you."

"Thank you," Boo blushed, his shy nature resurfacing. "But... I'm sorry I don't have any idea right now."

"I wanna contribute to the team's victory!" Bullet Bill grinned as he floated toward the others. "Let's take the weakest out first. If we eliminate the strongest, they might get smart and pass the ball to them and we'll be sitting ducks," suggested the black missile. "What do ya say?"

"I think it's a pretty interesting strategy, my friend!" Kolorado piped up, smiling from ear to ear. "Oh and sorry I wasn't able to win last round by the way."

"Wasn't your fault," Enguarde smiled to him. "It was Goombario's."

"Oh shut up, I can do whatever I want!" groaned the Goomba, glaring at him from a distance. "Plus, what did I do? I just threw a game, big deal! You're not going to be reminding me of that for the next few weeks we'll be playing the game, are you?"

Goombario : Enguarde can be pretty annoying when he wants to, I don't even know what he hopes to accomplish with the way he's acting. I've heard from a friend that a player from last season had been acting as a drama queen to get further into the game, is he seriously trying to pull the same stunt?

"Come on!" moaned Boo. "Guys, this is immature, can we just stop it at once?"

"Let's put our differences aside, boys, and work together! Like a team!" cheered the explorer, as always full of life but totally oblivious to the situation.

"I don't think you-" Bullet Bill was cut when the ball slammed into his temple.

"You're such girls," Melody taunted, waving from the other side. "Always talking."

Boo : Considering that I knew my team was playing for the money, I definitely found it odd how Goombario kept on distracting us. He single-handedly threw one match, did nothing in another and did his best to make us lose the last one. If someone confronts him at the end of the mission, I'm pretty sure he's going to claim that he had no way to know I was telling the truth. As if that were true.

"Go get them, Bullet!" Kolorado gave him a thumbs-up as he stepped back. The black missile replied with a wink and flung the projectile he was holding toward Waitress with all his might. Gasping in fright, the Toadette ran in the opposite direction but was still hit as the projectile was going in a straight line. Shokora dove and tried to save the ball but it bounced back on her arm and fell onto the floor, meaning that she was also down to one life.

Melody walked over a yellow panel which had a white interrogation mark on it and received a banana peel. She narrowed her eyes at the item. "Why do we get crappy items like this?"

Shokora sighed. "Melody... Except for the star, all of these items are simple. They only reveal their true potential when you use your head and devise a plan."

Melody : If I didn't know any better I'd think she was a thief and not a politician. Are politicians all scheming people like her?

The ghostly woman gave her item to Shokora. "Then I assume you'll make good use of this?"

Shokora took the banana peel delicately and put it on the middle of the boys' side. After that, she gave the ball to Dixie.

Dixie nodded, understanding what Shokora expected her to do. She threw another curved ball in Bullet's direction and the poor Bullet Bill tried to evade it by rushing to his right, only to plummet to the ground because of a banana peel, leaving him vulnerable to Dixie's throw.

Goombario : You know, for one strong player, Bullet was often one of the first ones out... It left me thinking... Had he truly tried his best?

Bullet Bill gritted his teeth as he went to the jail. "This sucks."

"I guess I'm next then," Enguarde muttered, closing his eyes in frustration. "Well whatever, I'm pretty sure I can last longer than them." Enguarde picked up the ball and hurled it toward the women's camp. Except that he did not intend on shooting one of them down, he left the task to Bullet Bill. "Blast them, Bullet!"

"Err... We're not at war, Enguarde," replied Bullet as he targeted the women's weakest link.

Waitress hit the ground with a loud thud after the ball touched her. "Ooooh... Why did I sign up for this?" whispered the waitress of the Excess Express to herself. She quickly went to the jail to avoid getting hit again.

"Crap!" cursed Melody, pointing to Enguarde. "The ball still reached their side! Careful everyone!"

The oceanographer hurled the ball toward Shokora who had no time to prepare herself. However, just as the projectile was going to touch the floor, White Mage dove and saved it.

"Nice save!" Dixie cheered with mirth, clapping. White Mage acknowledged her cheers with a smile and proceeded to fling the ball in Enguarde's direction. The swordfish growled as it connected with his nose and immediately retaliated by taking out Shokora.

"Oh well, win this for me," Shokora sighed, joining Waitress in jail.

"They always have an edge over us!" Melody realized, watching Shokora leave the field.

"Perhaps, but we still have our strongest players," noted White Mage. Melody stared at her flatly.

"Your point is? Bullet can easily help them while Waitress and Shokora are kinda useless in this situation." White Mage shook her head and responded nothing, as she knew she was fighting a losing battle.

Meanwhile, Dixie had used a red shell to knock Enguarde to the floor and had just thrown her ball toward him when Boo appeared from nowhere and caught the ball... Except it actually slipped from his fingers.

"Come on!" Boo complained in indignation. "Now I just lost one life!" Kolorado picked up the ball and put it in a green shell that he hurled toward Melody. She was ready to catch it but Blanche made her lose her focus.

"You can't catch the ball when it's inside an item!" Blanche called as she stepped aside.

Melody looked at her in shock and forgot to avoid the ball. She grabbed it once she regained her composure and floated at a fast pace toward the line which separated the two sides, looking at Enguarde. At the last moment, the pale blue ghost aimed at Boo and took him out of the game. She started celebrating but Kolorado reacted quickly and hit her another time.

"Boo and Melody are both out of the game! It's two against three, advantage for the males!" Monty Mole told the players from the bleachers.

Dixie took the ball in her hands and ran to where Blanche was located. "So who do we target?"

"I'd say Enguarde. He's definitely the strongest player... What's more, Goombario seems like he wants to help us, so I don't think it would be cool to decline his help."

The blonde monkey did a flip and hurled the ball toward Enguarde, but the swordfish was prepared and caught it with ease. Dixie was taken aback and could not dodge Enguarde's throw.

"Well, you're not the only one who can take people by surprise!" Dixie yelled, taking Enguarde out of the game.

"Good luck Kolorado!" Enguarde spoke up to him.

"Don't worry, old bean! I'll make sure to win this for our team!" Kolorado replied, showing pride. The middle-aged man withdrew in his shell and whirled on himself, accumulating strength. When he was done, he flung the ball at tremendous speeds toward White Mage who had no time to brace herself. "Tally-ho, here I go!" Kolorado smiled to himself, stroking his mustache.

Kolorado : I thought the teams were quite even and the match was very intense, but the further we were advancing in the matches, the more I wanted to know who had won what. Because in this case, winning wasn't everything.

"I really didn't expect this!" White Mage admitted, dusting her dress. "Well, one more time and I'm out... Dixie, could you please throw it? I don't want to disappoint the team."

"As you wish!" shrugged the enthusiastic circus performer. Dixie aimed at Kolorado and fired, efficiently hitting him. "Yes!"

But the rejoicing was short-lived for Kolorado took advantage of her distraction to throw a ball inside a red shell at her.

"Hoho!" laughed the explorer. "I smell a victory for us!" Dixie dropped her head and walked toward the other three females.

"Not if I do this!"

White Mage had finally found what she was looking for : a bob-omb. She put the ball inside and flung it toward the other camp, taking Kolorado out of the match and hitting Goombario as well. The teams were now even and the next throw would be decisive.

"Noooo!" screamed Boo once he realized Kolorado had to leave the game. "Goombario, do something! We're gonna lose the coins!" Boo realized, a look of horror on his face. Goombario glanced at him, bewildered.

Goombario : All of a sudden, it dawned on me, my decision would affect the first game. It was definitely a question of trust, Boo appeared sincere for the first time today and I was tempted to win the game, but I wasn't sure...

Quickly, Goombario sprang on his foot and ran toward the ball. Though White Mage was taken aback by his sudden interest for the game, she also rushed to get the projectile before Goombario. One of them touched the ball first and had little trouble getting the other out of the game, but the smoke left by the use of the last bob-omb was preventing anyone from discerning anything.

Who had won the dodge ball match?

Hey everyone ! First things first, I wanted to wish you all a Happy New Year and I hope you all had a Merry Christmas as well !

Sorry to leave you on another cliffhanger, you only see this kind of things in a Mole game, lol.

I changed the recap's format, do you like it better this way or do you want me to go back to my old ways ? I'm open to any suggestion. ^^

Well, I hope you will enjoy this chapter ! Your support is always appreciated !

Until next time.