Dr. Coyle is close to finding the secret behind ARMS as lab rats begin to successfully produce ARMS-like tails and is wondering what to do with Helix given he is a unsuccessful experiment. Min Min brings Mechanica to her family's noodle shop, where Mechanica meets her abrasive sister, Ram Ram.
Dr. Coyle glanced down the halls, hearing the scurrying of something in the distant. Likely a rat. It had better be a rat- she was in sore need of one. She shook her head and went back to her work.
She crouched down to the cage holding a bunch of white lab rats and poked at the iron cage. The rats scurried, Dr. Coyle's face contorting into a grin as she saw that their tails were beginning to form helix coils. Her research was beginning to pay off- although she had her own ARMS at this point, it was slowly becoming apparent to her that they were closing in on the mystery of unlocking ARMS in any individual.
"Dr. Lambda, have you been looking at the lab rats recently?" asked Dr. Coyle, looking to a woman with black hair from across the room. Dr. Lamba, who had previously been sitting on a office chair, asleep on the backrest of the chair. Dr. Lambda woke up with a startle, trying to pass off as always being awake.
"W-wh- oh, lab rats! Yeah, they've been coming in pretty well. Uh, not exactly where we want the ARMS to be, but you know, progress never the less, right?" Dr. Lambda responded, shakily gripping a clipboard off her desk. She hopped off the office chair, which rolled away to the opposite end of the hallway.
"Right, progress. How are their vitals doing?" asked Dr. Coyle. Dr. Lambda took one of them out of their cages and pet it on the head.
"That I do not know, but uh, I'll take a look and give you the results in a couple hours." Dr. Lambda replied. She grabbed a clean syringe off the desk and drew blood from the rat. Dr. Coyle turned over to the work desk in the center that had a semi-disassembled Hedlock unit strewn across it. She picked up some papers and thumbed through them as Dr. Lambda worked in the background.
Min Min pulled out a red bowl with golden dragon patterns across it as Mechanica sat down one the other side of the bar. Mechanica looked much different out of the bulky yellow suit- it was more of an althetic suit you'd see someone in running wear. Her goggles sat at the top of her head as her face beamed with a smile.
Min Min grabbed from the hot bowl of noodles and poured them in, stirring it a bit to make it look nice and mix in the ingredients well. She then stretched her arm over to place it near Mechanica. "Wow, so this is your noodle shop huh?" asked Mechanica, looking around with wonder.
"Our noodle shop." groaned a voice, revealed to be a woman in a green jacket with yellow, noodle like hair similar to Min Min's yet in a black cone hat.
"Hi, Mechanica, that's Ram Ram, my sister." Min Min explained. Min Min hopped over the bar, the noodles jostling lightly in the bowl as she sat next to Mechanica. Ram Ram closed the lid over the noodle pot, shooting a glance to her sister.
"You need to close this next time, you do realize that..." Ram Ram scolded her sister. Min Min rolled her eyes. "So who's this?"
"A friend I've been training with in preparation for the big tournament this week." Min Min replied.
"Right, right. The ARMS tournament." Ram Ram coldly responded back.
"Mmm! These are good!" Mechanica yelped as she sipped down some hot noodles from the bowl. Min Min glanced over to Mechanica. "Definitely better than the hits to the face I've been getting from your noodle arms, haha."
"Heh. Well, cold metal doesn't taste great either, you know..." Min Min replied.
Dr. Coyle made her way down to the lower basement of her laboratory where Helix stood in a tube. She coldly looked at him. He was a failure in her arms. In spite of his stretchy arms- stretchy body, really- she didn't learn anything about unlocking the secret to ARMS. In fact, she seemed to know less from his creation. It was misplaced confidence.
She thought about pushing him to be incinerated or otherwise destroyed, but she couldn't actually see herself doing that. For as little as her creation gave her in terms of good data or knowledge, there was something about him that she was proud of to some extent- he was smarter than the numerous Cell before him and he had more to offer with his abilities and powerset.
She wasn't sure if Helix should be released or not. Part of her wanted to put him into stasis until more could be done with him, but she honestly didn't think a project like Helix was necessarily unfinished. While lost in her own thought, Dr. Lambda came down the stairs.
"Dr. Coyle-" Dr. Lambda started before Dr. Coyle diappeared and then reappeared, turned to pay attention to her.
"Lambda, you startled me!" Dr. Coyle responded, putting a hand over her own chest. "Give me a warning next time, will you?"
"Uh- okay, sure..." Dr. Lamba replied, thrown terribly off-track. She took a second to regather her own statement. "It's gonna be a couple hours before I have conclusive results on the rats. I've taken their blood samples and some cursory scans. Nothing really conclusive yet." Dr. Lambda reported.
"Hm, okay," Dr. Coyle replied casually. She looked to Helix. "What should we do with him?" she stuck her thumb out as she asked about him.
Dr. Lamba's eyes shot open behind her lime green glasses. "Uh... hm, it's not like we're really using him in our research efforts, huh? And... well, we didn't get any good data from his creation either..."
"Yeah... I dunno. I've been thinking about it. Not necessarily something I want to keep around... I dunno!" Dr. Coyle shrugged her tesla coil ARMS. "Maybe I need some fresh air."
"I would... certainly recommend it, doctor." replied Dr. Lambda. "You haven't been out of the lab in months."
"Mm... yeah, alright." replied Dr. Coyle. She made her way up the stairs as Dr. Lambda looked at Helix in the test tube.
"...Min Min's been giving me great training. Really excited to show everyone what I got, especially Ribbon Girl!" Mechanica said between bites of her third bowl of noodles.
"Uh huh. Must be great with your ARMS suit, huh?" asked Ram Ram.
"It's a bit clunky, I admit..." Mechanica replied. She scratched the back of her head. "I still gotta work the kinks out, make it a bit sleeker- maybe something closer to Samus Aran in final design, you know..."
"Mhm." Ram Ram replied coldly. Min Min got up from the table
"Hey, Mechanica, we should probably get going again..." replied Min Min.
"Aw... I'm still hungry, I don't wanna keep going on a empty stomach..." Mechanica replied.
"Fine, I'll take a shower in the mean time," Min Min replied. She got up from the table. "See you in a bit, I guess? Supposing Ram Ram doesn't bite your head off..."
"Where are all those noodles going?" asked Ram Ram. "You're on your third bowl!"
"I dunno!" replied Mechanica, slurping more on her noodles. Mechanica looked to Ram Ram. "So, you and your sister own the noodle shop then?" asked Mechania.
"It's our family's. It used to be a lot more popular back in the day when grand-dad was running it, but times are changing and what used to work doesn't anymore. Min Min and I are supposed to inherit the shop soon and she thinks I can handle the store stuff while she works on 'promotion' with those ARMS..." Ram Ram replied.
"Oh, I see. So are you jealous of the fact she has ARMS then?" Mechanica asked.
"Not necessarily... I dunno. I don't mind working with noodles, but... I dunno. I have a really talent for being ignored anyway, so maybe it's better that she got the ARMS than me." replied Ram Ram.
"Awww... don't put yourself down like that..." Mechanica replied. "I live at a junkyard more or less- nobody cared until I wanted to join the tournament too."
"Your suit is functional, yes?" asked Ram Ram, eyeing it.
"Yeah, more or less. Min Min definitely knocked it around a bit but... it's still working, so that's a good sign. I dunno, is it too trashy? I made it look as nice as I could but I dunno..." Mechanica replied. "...maybe I should have gone with pink... although I guess that's more Ribbon Girl's color."
"Yellow's a nice color," Ram Ram replied. "Do you suppose I could pilot it maybe?"
"I dunno. We got limited time before the tournament, I don't really want anyone else operating it..." Mechanica replied.
"I see, I see..." Ram Ram replied. She suddenly swerved a little. "Are you going soft on Min Min?"
"What?" asked Mechanica, nearly dropping her chopsticks.
"I dunno, crushes make people weak, I wouldn't want to think my sister has been spending time with a greasemonkey that isn't even challenging her..." Ram Ram replied.
"Huh?" asked Mechanica. She looked to Ram Ram. "I don't have a crush on Min Min. I mean, she's good looking but-... not really the person I have my eyes on... even then, I would want to fight them to the best of my ability..."
"Wait, who do you have your eyes on?" asked Ram Ram.
"I don't have to devulge that information if I don't want to, right?" asked Mechanica.
"You do if you want a fourth bowl of noodles..." Ram Ram shot back.
"Ugh, fine... it's Ribbon Girl..." Mechanica sheepishly admitted. Ram Ram raised the pot of noodles as she grabbed Mechanica's bowl.
"Well, that seems like a honest answer..." Ram Ram replied. "Say, do you think you could teach me how to make one of those suits or something?"
"Maybe one day... we should start small if we're gonna do something like that. Maybe an variant on a ARMS add-on? Min Min only has two so far..." Mechanica replied.
"Hmm... maybe." Ram Ram replied. She set the bowl down by Mechanica.
Dr. Lambda sat leaned against Helix's test tube.
"Well, I dunno what Dr. Coyle's gonna do to you..." Dr. Lambda said as she looked to Helix. "Maybe I can convince her to use you as a training dummy or something."
Helix shook his head in the tube as Dr. Lambda sighed. "Noo..." gurgled out Helix.
"Well, I dunno what else to do..." Dr. Lambda said, holding up her clipboard. "I mean... unless... I break you out of here..." Helix was receptive to this, but Dr. Lambda shook her head. "I dunno if I'm gonna see you again if I do that, though.
"P'oh!" Helix replied. Dr. Lambda strangled her hair a little.
"This is so stupid of me. I can't believe the kind of emotions you stir inside me. I feel stupid for feeling them, and I don't even know if you understand them at face value. I know you're not just a blob of goo, even if Dr. Coyle sees you as that." Dr. Lambda grunted out as she looked to Helix.
Helix looked at her as she wrangled with her emotions. Dr. Lambda couldn't tell what he was thinking- he was kind of hard to read despite his simple appearance. She wasn't sure if she was projecting desires on him or not. She wrestled with her own conflicting feelings on him. She wanted him to be free because they didn't have any good ideas of what to do with him. But if she did that, she wasn't sure if she'd ever see him again.
"Helix," Dr. Lambda spoke in almost a questioning tone. "Do you want to leave the lab?"
Helix nodded his head. Dr. Lambda sighed out in a really long breath and then faced the test tube. She kissed against the glass.
"Break free then." she commanded as she looked away. Helix slammed his face into the glass and the test tube began to shatter. She didn't watch as he moved away from her and out from the lab. She wouldn't have much control over him, but she could influence the response. Keep him safe.
She had actually gotten the results for the lab rat hours ago. She was going to tell Dr. Coyle that the rats were gonna die by tomorrow because their bodies couldn't function with the coiled out tails. But when she realized what was at stake, she needed to buy time.
She sank to the floor and sighed, trying not to be too sad about it. Dr. Coyle was gonna come back and when she got the news, she wouldn't be happy about it. But it was better to be out of the maze than stuck in it without a purpose, and she hoped Helix would find a new goal instead.
She didn't feel strong enough to imagine what would happen if Helix was captured again and punished for breaking free. She glanced at the clipboard. Oh, she had been crying. That was embarrassing. She picked herself up from the floor and braced herself for Dr. Coyle's return.
- This story covers unseen but mentioned events prior to ARMS, specifically Helix's breakout and the creation of the Ramram ARM type which is alluded to in Mechanica and Ram Ram's conversation.