A/N: It feels weird writing and finishing a story about something that hadn't come out by that time this was completed, but I can't help it. ARMS is looking great! I hope you enjoy this fanfic based on what I knew before, and updated upon release, plus my own ideas.
UPDATE 08-24-2017: I decided to expand or rework some parts based on the reviews I got, even ones not on this website. Thanks for your critique, and I hope you enjoy the changes.
She felt nervous. She wished she didn't have to be, but when you're about to do something you've dreamed of doing for a long time, there's little control over your nerves. That something is the sport known as ARMS, named after the stretchy spring-shaped arms certain people can attain for unknown reasons.
Mechanica, currently sitting on a bench in one of the locker rooms of Spring Stadium, is an early-teen engineer from her parents' scrapyard, with shoulder-length brown hair, pink eyes, a white skin tone and wearing a black and yellow outfit. She wanted to be an ARMS fighter like the ones she sees on TV, especially Ribbon Girl, but the only thing that held her back was the fact that she had no stretchy arms. Thankfully she had found a solution: a hand-made mech suit designed for fighting in the sport.
She glanced at the mech in question, a hint of a smile on the side of her face. The machine is yellow in colour, the body shaped like a pill capsule with legs and spring-shaped handless arms sticking out of it. The body is divided into three parts: the bottom, middle and top, each held together by a black flexible fabric to allow the torso to bend. There is an control chair inside the top part of the body—no hatch to cover it—complete with headlights and a door on the front of the metal exterior. Finally, on the back is a jetpack, mainly to help the heavy thing jump.
Temporarily putting her tension aside, she got up from the bench, and walked to the mech's position to make one last check for any problems before the upcoming battle. Opening a panel in between the legs, she is greeted with the sight of wires and circuit boards, arranged neatly from connection to connection; she felt glad it wasn't a mess like other machines she's seen. Making sure no wires were loose, even tightening a few screws with a wrench, she closed the panel and got to work checking the mech's legs.
Anyone watching could figure out that she's a genius, having spent a lot of time in the scrapyard since she was young; she can build things any other girl her age only dreamed of doing. Some people say she's a lucky girl for her talent, but to her it just felt natural; fixing up and designing various machines is what she does most of the time in her life, so she was bound to be pretty smart.
She stopped what she was doing when another thought hit her.
One thing she can say was lucky was getting into the ARMS league in the first place. Worries of being prohibited to play due to not having the required ARMS plagued her mind, and the feeling of relief when she was told the mech can be used was unforgettable. Still, she wondered how the audience and fighters will react. Will they like her? Will they think her suit shouldn't be allowed? Will they think she's too young for the sport?
"Hey, kid!" A male voice had gotten her out of her stupor. It was her coach and trainer. "Why aren't you getting ready? You're up in five minutes!"
Her eyes widened, irises shrinking. "W-WHAT!?" She quickly stood up, only to bump her head on the mech's bottom. Getting out from between the legs, she mumbled in her native language as she grabbed her headset and goggles before putting them on, and promptly began climbing into her mech.
"Sheesh. For a moment, I thought you were having second thoughts about this—after nearly twisting my ARMS out for you!"
Mechanica strapped herself in before starting up the mech. "I'm sorry, coach. I was just... feeling a little nervous, that's all."
He raised a brow. "About what?"
She hesitated to say, but did so anyway. "Well…everything." She turned away from her coach and tested her mech's abilities, the locker room thankfully being big enough for her and other fighters to do so. "I'm finally going to experience what I wanted to do for years, and yet…"
"Hey, don't go worrying yourself out, kid," the coach replied. He held up his ARMS, appearing as normal arms as he wasn't wearing his mask. "I felt nervous too when I was going to my first match as an ARMS fighter back in my day."
Mechanica had a quizzical look, and paused her practice, still turned away from the coach.
"You? You can't be serious."
The coach crossed his arms. "Actually, I am. Ever since then, I felt more comfortable battling other fighters, and more comfortable training younger fighters like you."
"Did you win, though?"
Mechanica sighed. "That was certainly uplifting..."
She resumed with the little practice she had left before the match: a punching bag in the corner. Every hit has the feeling of determination, a determination to prove herself to the many fans and fighters she comes across. However, that same determination is only making her worries grow stronger. If this kept up, who knows what it'll do to her? What if she couldn't handle all her emotions? It could tear her mind apart!
Her last punch tore a hole in the punching bag.
"Slow down," the coach ordered. "You'd be sued if that happened to your opponent!" It was a half-joke, but serious all the same. The coach got onto a stool so he could reach Mechanica's eye level while in the mech. "Anyway, your mech appears to work fine, especially with the arms." The coach scratched his chin. "Although...your technique was a little...off."
Mechanica quickly turned her head away at the word. "Oh, um...it's probably just me being nervous."
The coach wasn't amused. "Nervous? You were pounding that bag like you had a grudge on it! I don't think that qualifies as being nervous." The girl flinched, further raising the coach's suspicion. "Kid, look at me." It took a few seconds, but she reluctantly complied. "If there's something bothering you, just tell me. What's wrong?"
Mechanica sighed. "Coach, I can't thank you enough for training me, but look at me! I'm not your every day fighter! Usually a fighter is only allowed to participate if they have the ARMS ability; I don't! What'll the crowd think of someone like me? What if they hate me for 'cheating' my way into the league?"
"What about Twintelle? She uses her hair."
She paused, then looked down with a troubled expression. "...Doesn't count; she still has the ability."
She felt a hand on her shoulder—her real shoulder.
"I don't know how they will react, but your father is proud of you; I think that's a good start."
Mechanica sighed. "Sure, but he's my dad; of course he's proud of me. Them on the other hand..."
The coach opened his mouth to give some advice to the young girl, but that plan was ultimately cut short when his watch timer went off.
"Whoops, it looks like you're up. We'll talk more about this later." The coach patted the girl's head, making her shake said head afterwards. "Show 'em what you can do!"
Mechanica nodded, quickly leaving the locker room for the stadium doors, eager to begin her first battle.
Cheers of the crowd could be heard above her as she stood on the elevator pad shaped like a quarter circle. She had reached her corner just in time for the battle to begin. She heard the announcer's booming voice as he welcomed the audience to the match.
"In the first corner," the announcer bellowed, "she's a fighter as light as a feather! The Airres: Ribbon Girl!"
"Ribbon Girl?" She thought. "Here!?"
She knew that fighter well: she's a famous pop singer and dancer, and is known for her agility in battles. She also knows her because she's at the top of her favourites list. Mechanica's inner fangirl was screaming, and she swore her eyes just turned into stars like a cartoon character. She quickly shook her head in a self-scolding way; there was no time to lose her cool over meeting one of her favourite fighters. She didn't feel comfortable telling her she's a fan anyway; she might annoy her.
"And in the second corner," the announcer continued. Mechanica held her breath in anticipation. There was no going back now. "It's a brand-new fighter, ladies and gents! She may not have the ARMS like most fighters out there, but wait 'till you see what this girl can do! It's the Scrapyard Scrapper: Mechanica!"
The elevator quickly rose from the ground, up into the light of day. Once it reached the top, the girl felt herself hop from the sudden stop. After a couple blinks, she took in her surroundings; she was now in a corner of Spring Stadium, a square arena with rectangular trampolines along the perimeter. The lights and colours were vibrant, a striking red, orange and yellow on the floor of the arena. The seating area was big, with blue spring-decorated pillars in between the stands. Finally, there were TV screens on the corners and hanging over the centre of the stadium showcasing the match.
Ribbon Girl was in front of her, standing in the other corner. She had bright blonde hair—her ponytail resembling a ribbon tied in a pink bow, pink ribbon-like ARMS, wore a red mask over her green spiralled eyes and a cheerleader-style uniform matching in colour. Ribbon Girl seemed a little surprised, likely by her opponent's age and way of fighting. Mechanica couldn't help but smile giddily, deciding to boastingly spin her ARMS around in a circle as if it were a helicopter. The crowd was getting louder, and Ribbon Girl laughed off the surprise before doing her own bragging postures.
"First time?" she called, smiling. Mechanica nodded, trying to keep her composure. "Okay, then… it's show time~"
Getting their game faces on, the two fighters got into their fighting stances, waiting for the signal to start. In the meantime, they took their time to choose which ARMs to use.
A minute later, they heard the announcer's booming voice recite the phrase every fighter wants to hear.
"Ready . . . ARMS!"
The two combatants moved closer together in the arena. Ribbon Girl made the first move, shooting her right fist directly at her opponent. Mechanica dodged accordingly, noting the yellow colour of the glove as it retracted, before firing both her ARMS—or rather, projectiles on strings—back at the other.
Ribbon Girl saw three shots come from each hand of her opponent one after another in a straight line. Strafing to the left a little, she waited until all six of the projectiles were close enough before jumping over and in between the lines of fire, quickly landing an uppercut, knocking the suit over. While the suit took more of the impact, Mechanica could still feel a shocking sensation from the punch, literally.
Mechanica carefully got up. "Darn it, Sparky," she mentally cursed, referring to the other's gloves.
Regaining their stances, Mechanica activated her jetpack, using it to quickly hover across to arena to the left while still keeping her eyes on Ribbon Girl. The latter seemed intrigued. Coming in close, she fired her left hand of projectiles out from her Revolver, the suit's movement altering the width of the attack into a diagonal line, the closest projectile on the far right.
Ribbon Girl shoots her own fist, knocking two of the incoming down due to the heavier weight, barely avoiding the third. Her shot barely misses the mech, giving Mechanica the chance to shoot her other three shots toward the other. They almost got her, but Ribbon Girl crossed her ARMS in front of her, blocking all three shots.
Mechanica tries to grab her, but the dancer jumps over and under the oncoming ARMS, landing upright again to her right. Surprisingly, Ribbon Girl didn't fire back.
"What is she doing?" Mechanica asked herself. "Is she...testing me?" She hadn't realized that she too wasn't doing anything until Ribbon Girl called her.
"What," she asked, giggling. "Is my dancing that dazzling?"
Feeling taunted, she responded by letting one fist of shots fly, aiming it directly at her. Ribbon Girl jumped onto the trampoline, bouncing high above the ground, before launching her own attacks at her. Keeping her eyes on her idol, she dashed to the left before grabbing Ribbon Girl just as she landed on the ground. Mechanica pulled her close, before throwing her away head first. To her surprise, Ribbon Girl went into a flip and landed on her feet, roughly.
"Heh, I guess not. Good play," the dancer admitted, steadying herself. She slyly winked. "Although, you could've done better..."
Ribbon Girl resumed the fight with a ranged punch, and Mechanica responded by bouncing on her own trampoline, hovering in the air while sending her shots downward. Ribbon Girl copies the other's previous counter, using her gloves to grab her opponent as she landed. Ribbon Girl proceeded to spin her opponent around, hence launching her across the arena. Mechanica landed on her side.
"I think you get the idea~" Mechanica quickly got up. "Who gave that suit to you, by the way?"
Mechanica gave her a look. "I made it myself; nobody gave it to me."
"Really? That's amazing!"
Mechanica felt herself blush at the complement, only to realize she was losing focus. It was too late, however, and she is grabbed once again by Ribbon Girl's arms. She is sent spiralling onto her back, experiencing a whiplash from the sudden jolt of the impact. She found herself too shocked and dazed to get up, giving Ribbon Girl the first round.
The girl in question stood over her with a mischievous look. Without a word she turned away, and she hummed and skipped her way back to her corner.
Mechanica glared, anger evident in her eyes. "That trickster," she concluded, "she only said that so she could catch me off guard!"
She wasn't going to let her do it again. Now, it was time to be serious.
The second round was ready to go, and both fighters took their places in the corners.
Mechanica switched to a Whammer—a hammer-like ARM—and kept her Revolver on the other. In front of her, Ribbon Girl had chosen a Sparky and a Slapamander, a whip-like attack.
She recognized what she was planning: disable her arms from the front with a Sparky and follow with a fiery charge by a Slapamander. She could use that knowledge to her advantage.
"Ready . . . ARMS!"
The two fighters were at it again, trading punches with each other repeatedly.
Ribbon Girl shot a Sparky forward and a Slapamander afterwards, but Mechanica blocked the first and quickly dodged the the second, countering with her own attack. So far, she had been dodging Ribbon Girl's attacks a fair amount of times, leaving the other confused. Mechanica's strategy seemed to be working alright, though her slow Whammer could be a problem if she wasn't careful.
Agitated, Ribbon Girl drops her strategy and desperately attempts to grab the other fighter. Predicting this, Mechanica negated the move with her own grab attempt, dashed out of the way of another grab, before using her Whammer to knock Ribbon Girl down. Once she got back up, Mechanica had immediately gotten a grab on her, sending her flying by spinning her arms around her torso in a circle against her opponent with repeated hits.
"Whew," she said, slowly getting up. "Either I'm losing my footing, or you know more than I thought for a first timer!"
Mechanica glared. "Stop doing that!"
Mechanica became incredibly focused on taking Ribbon Girl down, so much so that she didn't notice her raise an eyebrow at her reply before getting punched.
Recovering, Ribbon Girl tries to hit her opponent again, but the one fist doesn't flinch the metal suit. Swinging her hammer sideways, Mechanica knocks Ribbon Girl down, and this time she couldn't stand up again; she lost the round.
Mechanica found herself grinning like a little kid, dancing and flying around in her mech. So far, she was doing well; the two fighters were now tied for the win.
Ribbon Girl looked up at the teen, taking slow breaths to recover. The two made eye contact, the younger fighter wearing a sardonic expression, while the other had resent yet a bit of uncertainty. Silently, they made their way back to their corners.
While waiting for the third round, Mechanica couldn't help but wonder what everybody thought of her. She could see suspicious glances from the crowd directed at her, and she had no idea what they could mean. Plus, the fact that Ribbon Girl used a complement to distract her made her feel unappreciated.
Questions flooded her mind: Do they think she's not a good player? Do they think she shouldn't be using a suit at all? Does anyone like her? What if she's not allowed to do this again if she lost? Her thoughts were interrupted when she heard the warning horn for the third and final round.
Standing up, she decided if anyone was going to like her, then she needs to win the match. If she didn't have something to prove before, she did now.
Having selected their new ARMs, the two were ready for the final round. The atmosphere was tense, suspenseful; the audience had the feeling that the two fighters were not fooling around anymore. At last, the announcer said the phrase one last time.
"Ready . . . ARMS!"
Ribbon Girl made the first move by launching both fists in different arcs towards Mechanica, who dodged one of them, but is whipped by the other. In response, the mechanic shoots her Whammer straight for her, and the singer jumps out of the way with ease and shoots back, only for a Homie following behind to track her, nullify her punch and blow up on contact, making her fall to the ground.
Throughout the round, neither fighter uttered a single word to each other, keeping their focus on punching, blocking and grabbing. All that could be heard was the cheering of the crowd in the bleachers around them, eager for the action and entertainment.
Soon, everyone became increasingly aware of the time on the clock—or lack thereof—and both fighters were getting exhausted. They both knew they had to end it right here, right now.
Ribbon Girl attempted to grab her opponent, but the girl in the mech had grown too clever; she timed her own ARMS to rise in between the opponent's and knocked them aside, followed by a hammer to the side of the pink fighter; she is knocked backwards, but still standing.
The airres maneuvered her way around the arena to buy herself some time; she determined she had more points than Mechanica, so she'd win if both were still standing. However, Mechanica figured out what she was doing, and went after her.
Cornered, Ribbon Girl jumped backwards onto the trampoline, trying to bounce over the mechanic, only to be hammered while in the air, causing her to plummet and land face first onto the ground.
Mechanica was beaming. "Seriously!? I'm actually going to win! I can't believe it!" Ribbon Girl suddenly jumped back up, anger evident on her face. "Uh oh..."
Ribbon Girl came running in hot, forcing Mechanica to block her continuous punches. The angry singer instantly switched to ensnaring her with her ARMS, before lifting her up and ramming her into the floor of the arena. Just as the mechanic gets back up, Ribbon Girl repeatedly lands a flurry of lightning fast punches on Mechanica's suit again and again, until finally it couldn't take any more. And then, Mechanica fell over.
Time seemed to stop and sound seemed to go silent for her as her mech landed on the ground. She is too tired to think, too tired to speak and too exhausted to get back up again. It's over for her, and she painfully knew it.
"And today's winner is…Ribbon Girl!"
"Whoo!" she cheered. "R-I-B-B-O-N!"
The crowd was cheering all around the stadium, some even chanting Ribbon Girl's name. Though she couldn't see it, Ribbon Girl was giving a victory spin to the audience. Mechanica sighed at the situation she's in. She blew it on her first match, and she was so sure before that she could give a good first impression. Now they probably think she's not fit to-
"Hey, you need help getting out of there?"
Mechanica glanced up from her cockpit, seeing Ribbon Girl crouching over her. Her ARMS were now retracted and shaped like normal arms, without the gloves.
She gave her a deadpan look. "What do you want…?"
Ribbon Girl glanced left and right a bit with her eyes. "Oh, well…I figured every new fighter deserves some love, especially if it's a fan!
Mechanica is stunned. "How did you...?"
Ribbon Girl winked. "I had a feeling. It couldn't be a coincidence that you knew my strategy from the start in that last round." She leaned her head closer to the other's. "Plus, your face when we first met was priceless~"
Mechanica blushed. "So much for composure..."
"So, do you wanna come out and say hi to everyone?" Mechanica didn't respond, only looking away from her with a sad expression. "Hey…is this about what happened earlier? I didn't mean to look like a jerk back there. The truth is, I really like your suit. Really, I do! It could only take a genius to think of something like that, and from a kid no less!"
"Teenager," the genius corrected.
"Close enough. The point is, I'm sorry we got off on the wrong foot. Truce?" She raised her open hand in front of her.
Mechanica looked back at her in surprise and thought. She really meant what she said earlier? She didn't think of her as a 'cheater'? She wondered why she didn't guess that before; Ribbon Girl's not only a great fighter, but she's also known to be a kind, cheery and fun person to be around. Ribbon Girl wasn't fully to blame for earlier anyway; she realized that she herself took her antics too personally.
After a bit of thinking, she raised her own hand and shook with the other fighter's.
She unstrapped herself from her mech, carefully getting out as Ribbon Girl helped her stand up—her height now reaching just above the other's shoulders. Once they were in the centre of the arena, Ribbon Girl made a gesture to the mechanic, and the crowd cheered in response. With a shy, sheepish smile, she waved at everyone, while rubbing the back of her neck.
"Ya know what, Mechanica," Ribbon Girl said, catching the other's attention, "I think you've got a good career ahead of you. You're fun to battle with, and I'm sure other newcomers can learn from you; I hear someone from Spring Gym is training for the league."
That left the girl beaming with joy—she even laughed, making the other laugh along with her. Even though she lost, it didn't bother her anymore; the crowd loved her either way, and she heard some shout her name a couple times. The worries in her mind were now fading away, being replaced with thoughts of what her future could have in store for her. Whatever happens next, she was ready for it.
"Oh," Ribbon Girl quipped. "Sorry to cut this short, but I better get going; I have a concert to prepare for tonight! Bye!" She quickly took off.
"Huh?" Mechanica's eyes widened, dropping her smile. She raised a hand, as if trying to bring her back. "W-Wait a minute...!"
She dropped her arm after few seconds. It was in all in vain. Ribbon Girl had already left the arena, leaving Mechanica to figure out how to get her busted mech back to the locker room.
She sighed. "I didn't even get her autograph..."
A/N: Well, that was interesting to write. I like Mechanica's way of battling, and it'd be really cool if we knew more about her and the other fighters in depth. Also, Spring Man was going to be her opponent originally, but I then learned that he's the "newest" fighter in the league. I hope you enjoyed the first ARMS fanfic ever, and leave a review (constructive if possible) if you wish. Have a good day!