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Battle Ready

Chapter Text

Chloe sprinted through the halls to get to the arena in time.

They’re going to kill me.

She rounded the corner to see the disapproving B.E.L.L.A. crew and a worried Aubrey.

“You’re late,” Alice said, adjusting the bandana on Chloe’s neck. “I can’t believe B.E.L.L.A. is going to be run by you two losers next year.”

B.E.L.L.A., short for Blue ELite Launching Attacker, was the first bot run by an all-female team to make it to the Colligate Battle Bot championship. It was a blue bot with a hydraulic lever arm to launch and flip opponents. It also had a flamethrower weapon added by Aubrey for the championship battle that she was going to be able to control. She was expected to be the main bot driver after this season.

“I won’t let you down,” Aubrey promised. “Like my dad always says, if you can’t control the flames, leave it to the real firefighters.”

“Has your dad ever told you to shut up?”

Aubrey’s smile faded and she fell back into place next to Alice so they could make their entrance. Chloe could tell that Aubrey’s nerves were starting to get the best of her. Their opponents were Bumper Allen and the crew of Troublemaker. Troublemaker’s dual spinning disks and Bumper’s excellent driving skills were yet to be defeated.

Once the debris from the third-place fight was cleaned up, Alice led the team to the arena, B.E.L.L.A. being pushed on a cart in front of them. They posed for their championship finals picture and Alice started explaining the strategy to Aubrey.

“Remember, I’ll get our wedge underneath them, you blast them with the flames, then I launch them. Got it?”

“Got it.”

They headed for the blue side of the arena to set up their bot and check out the competition. Troublemaker was a compact bot that could easily be thrown with B.E.L.L.A.’s launcher. However, the compact design of Troublemaker made it much faster and easier to handle. It was going to be an interesting final.

“Blue team ready?” the referee asked.

“Ready,” Alice responded.

“Red team ready?”

“To win? Always,” Bumper said.

“Robots activate!”

Both teams began moving their bots to get a feel for their controls and make sure everything was working properly. Aubrey’s hands were shaking so much she wasn’t able to test the flamethrower before Alice moved B.E.L.L.A. back into its respective square.

“Get it together, Aubrey,” Alice said through gritted teeth. “I will not be losing to this bastard again.”

“Right, got it.”

Once both bots were back in their respective squares, the referee began his countdown.

“Three, two, one, fight!”

Troublemaker took off straight for B.E.L.L.A. to get some hits on it with the deadly disks. It was exactly what Alice had been hoping for. B.E.L.L.A.’s wedge slid right under with minimal damage from Troublemaker. Alice was able to lift the bot with the lever, and Aubrey turned up the flames.

“Aubrey, turn the flamethrower off,” Chloe urged. “You’re going to go past the time limit.”

“Yeah, right.”

Aubrey went to turn the flamethrower off but turned the flames up even higher instead. The flamethrower started to malfunction, causing B.E.L.L.A. to catch on fire. Troublemaker was able to move away from the bot and make one final blow before the referee started counting down for a knockout.

When it was announced that Troublemaker won Alice turned to Aubrey with a dangerously calm expression on her face. Aubrey was in so much shock over what happened to their bot that she didn’t even know what to say. She knew she’d fucked up, and she knew Alice was about to chew her out.

“B.E.L.L.A. will never make it to the finals again because of you.”