Ace gripped her Splattershot as she waited outside the door of Smash Mansion. It was a massive ornate building and the land around it was no disappointment either. She could tell that the plants in the gardens had all been well attended to, just like the logo right above the door. Even the parking lot right behind her looked well maintained. The door to the mansion opened, on the other side was the one who had invited Ace. "Yo Master Hand you kept me waiting there," Ace said.
"Apologies," the hovering disembodied right hand said. Ace didn't bother questioning where his voice came from. She was too busy trying to hide the fact that Master Hand still weirded her out. "Come on in, the other Smashers are all gathered in the dining hall." Ace held her Splattershot at her side and grabbed the bag with her belongings (that was somehow vastly bigger on the inside than the outside) using her other hand as she followed Master Hand inside.
Everything in the mansion seemed too high class for Ace's taste. She prefered the kind of place where people didn't mind a little ink on the walls. In contrast Master Hand had made it so that any ink not being used for movement would be automatically cleaned up. The entry hall featured two large curving staircases that led up to the second floor and curved again in a spiral towards the third floor, between them was the door to the rest of the first floor. Paintings decorated the walls and there was even a chandelier. Master Hand gave an explanation of the mansion layout that Ace was only partially listening to as they walked to the dining hall.
Ace put on her game face when she walked into the dining hall. There were around five long tables that formed a loose pentagon shape, with all of the veteran Smashers sitting at them. Master Hand had told her to expect the strange but Ace hadn't expected to see humans in the mix of strange creatures. She was no history buff but even she knew about the ancient species that once ruled the Earth. "Everyone I'd like to introduce the first fighter of our fifth generation, Ace the Inkling," Master Hand said. "She's the first fighter to represent her world so expect to see some new decorations and the like in the mansion. At five there will be a concert with a popular singer duo from her world, the Squid Sisters. Now I have to get back to paperwork." Master Hand vanished in a puff of smoke, leaving Ace in entirely unknown turf.
Before Ace could size up the other Smashers a short man wearing blue overalls and a red hat approached. "Nice to meet you Ace. I'm Mario from the Mushroom Kingdom. Welcome to the Smashers," the man said. He extended a gloved hand to Ace, she accepted it. She could tell that he was a team player, the type to lead the charge into enemy turf but also the type to come to a teammate's rescue at a moment's notice. Years of competition had taught her how to size up teammates and rivals with a quick look.
"Thanks. I hope I get along with all of you guys," Ace said. Mario returned to his seat and the other Smashers at Mario's table moved to make room for her. Her spot was between Mario and a blonde haired human man wearing a blue shirt. Ace put her bag at her feet and carefully put the Splattershot into it. Directly across from Ace was an even shorter yet still adult looking human with brown hair and a red shirt that had the number one on it. The table was filled with a large variety of food, some of which Ace hadn't seen before. She started by grabbing a bowl of vegetable soup. "So what are you names?" Ace asked as she picked up her spoon.
"My name is Peach, I'm from the same world as Mario," a blonde haired woman in a pink dress said. She was sitting directly across from Mario. Peach was the supporting type without a doubt, her tone of voice said everything. "This is V," Peach gestured to the human sitting across from Ace, "and that's Link," Peach pointed to the blue shirted human. Ace noticed Link had pointed ears, maybe he wasn't human like she thought he was?
"Cool," Ace said. "Man this soup is fresh. You guys must have a great cook." Ace snatched some mushroom rice balls to put on her plate and looked for other food items to grab.
"I made it," Link said. He said it so quietly Ace wondered if he had wanted anyone to hear it. She could tell that Link wasn't a pushover but he didn't seem assertive either. A good follower but not much of a leader. Still he wasn't the kind of person she would complain about having on her team.
"Thanks for making it then," Ace said. Link gave a slight nod, one that would have been difficult for Ace to notice without the awareness beaten into her by countless hours of Turf War and other Inksports.
"He doesn't like to talk most of the time," Peach explained. "I also helped with some of the food. Do you like cooking too?"
"Nah most I can make for myself is instant noodles. Usually I just snag some food in Inkopolis Plaza before running to a match," Ace said.
"Sounds like you're used to competition. What do you compete in?" Peach asked.
"Oh you know, some Turf War and whatever ranked Inksport is open at the moment," Ace said. When she got blank looks in return she nearly pulled up her Splattershot. She had to stop herself and remember it wasn't that kind of screw up. Hoping nobody noticed she dropped the Splattershot back into the bag. "Right, Master Hand said I shouldn't assume you guys know anything. See Inksports are... " Ace stopped herself. She had dedicated years of her life to Inksports, why was she struggling to explain them? "They're…" Peach nudged the Smasher to her right while Ace kicked her legs together under the table.
"Inklings like her have the power to generate ink and use it as ammunition for weapons, Inksports are when they fight each other using ink powered weapons. Turf War is the simplest and most popular of the Inksports." Ace's savior was a strange white bipedal creature with a purple tail. Despite the gratitude Ace felt she didn't like the aura he gave off, it was intimidating. Peach reminded him that he hadn't introduced himself yet. "My name is Mewtwo. I used my psychic powers to get that information, normally I refrain from that tactic."
"Thanks and sorry about that, guess I've been competing in them for so long it's hard for me to explain Inksports," Ace said. She flicked one of the tentacles hanging off the side of her head and grabbed a Crusty Seanwich to eat. Seanwichs were her usual post-defeat food.
"Do you want to go into town once you get everything unpacked?" V offered. Ace had nearly forgotten he was there. Things were starting to fall apart.
"Sure, scoping out the place sounds fun. Maybe I'll grab some new gear too," Ace responded. She quickly devoured the Crusty Seanwich and picked up her bag from the floor. "So which way to my room? The hand only said that it was sorted by 'generation.'"
"It should be on the third floor, the stairs are on your right once you leave this room," Peach said. Ace thanked Peach and took off from the dining hall. She slowed down as she ascended the staircase. I can't let the fact that these guys are from other worlds throw me off guard ever again, even if a good number of them come from a species that's extinct in mine. Most of them still don't know me so my rep is still mostly intact, Ace thought to herself. Crap, what if that Mewtwo guy can hear this? No he said he doesn't do that kind of stuff normally. Enough with the paranoia.
Once Ace reached the third floor she saw that someone had helpfully and hastifully scribbled directions on the wall. It reminded her of the grafiti from Inkopolis Square. Her room was right next to a balcony that let her see the garden and large lake behind the mansion. She dropped her bag by the door and ran out to the balcony. It was large enough to have couches and a table with plenty of room to spare. Ace looked around and spotted a hangar on the left side of the mansion. More importantly there were three Inkrails that had one end on the balcony. One led to the lower floors, another to the hangar, and the third went towards the lake.
After snapping a picture of the view with her phone and heading back inside Ace pulled out the key to her room and opened the door. It had plenty of room for Ace to pace when she got restless. The walls were white like an empty canvas and the bed was in a corner. Another thing Ace liked about the bed's position was the window she could look out from even while lying down. On the bed was a note from Master Hand telling her she was free to customize the room in any non-deadly or otherwise harmful way she liked. She didn't want to know the story behind why the non-deadly part had to be specified.
Ace started by pulling out her Tri-Slosher from the bag. She used it to throw ink onto the wall, changing the colors between each splash. When she was done the walls were coated with a chaotic mix of differently colored ink. Ace went back to the doorway and looked around the room, her bed was in the back left corner so the weapons would go on the right wall. She pulled out all of the wall hooks and weaponry she brought with her and placed them all over the wall. Next on the unpacking list was her gear, which the closet gradually expanded on the inside to accommodate. Once again Ace decided the obvious question wasn't worth bothering with. Then she unpacked the basic necessities in her private bathroom while appreciating the fact that she had one. She decided to leave the rest of the unpacking for when she had some furniture.
N-Zap 89' in hand Ace ran out of her room. She quickly backtracked to lock the door. Ace fired at the Inkrail leading to the lower floors as she ran towards it. With a leap she changed into her squid form and rode it down to the patio. She dashed into and through the mansion, running past some Smashers who had just left lunch with a quick shout of 'hey.' That was the kind of stuff she wanted them to see. V was waiting for her at the entry hall.
"How do you like your room?" V asked.
"It's pretty good. Just need to get some furniture for it with that discount Master Hand mentioned before I can unpack everything, I'm so not putting my computer on the floor," Ace said. She opened the door and walked out of the mansion. "Which car are we taking? Actually just to make sure, you can drive right? I'm still too young to have a license," Ace said.
"I can drive," V said. They walked together to one of the cars. Ace pulled out her phone as V started up the car and got on the road. Just like Master Hand had promised Ace's phone had been updated to include information on Smash Mansion and the surrounding area. There was even a chatroom for the Smashers.
"What are some good stores in Smashville?" Ace asked as she scrolled through the list of stores on her phone.
"I get all of my furniture from T&T Emporium, we should go there first," V said. Ace looked out the window. She wasn't used to taking in such green and peaceful scenery. Usually if she was out of Inkopolis it was because she had either super jumped to a battlefield for some Inksports or was doing part time work for Grizzco. It wasn't like there was much land left to admire in her world anyway. Ace thought about all of the things she would have to explain to the Smashers. She tried coming up with different explanations of things like the Octarians and Splatfests in her head to avoid a repeat of that debacle at lunch.
V parked the car near T&T Emporium, he and Ace hopped out of the car. Ace was surprised by how few people there were. Towns were even smaller than she thought. V greeted a few villagers as they walked to the store. Ace noticed that everyone addressed him as mayor. "So why didn't you tell me that you were the mayor earlier?" Ace asked.
"I don't like bragging. While we're on the subject Peach didn't mention it but she's a princess," V said as they walked into the store.
"Really? I mean it's not bragging if you actually are the mayor or a princess," Ace responded. She looked around T&T Emporium in wonder as they walked up the stairs to the second floor. Ace liked large stores but most of the time she shopped at the Galleria because of the convenient location. After they got to the second floor she ran over to the first desk she saw and examined it before making the purchase. Before V could catch up to her she was already dashing to a lamp.
Timmy, the anthropomorphic raccoon clerk for the second floor, was able to slow down Ace with an introduction long enough for V to catch up. "Do you have any of those fresh spinny chairs Timmy?" Ace asked.
"Yes, yes, let me show you the way," Timmy said. Following the purchase of the spinning chair Ace bought two shelves and got talked into buying a rug. Timmy set up the furniture to be delivered to Ace's room and bid farewell to Ace and V.
"You know I was planning on getting some new clothes but I've bought enough stuff for today," Ace said as they descended back to the first floor. A tall man with dark, somewhat greenish skin that Ace recognized from the dining hall walked into the store right as Ace stepped off of the stairs. He seemed like the selfish type, the kind who cared more about splatting enemies than the actual objective.
"Hi Ganondorf," V said.
"Greetings. Escorting the newcomer around town?" Ganondorf's voice was deep and more composed than Ace expected. He was also giving Ace the same analytical look she had given to everyone.
"Yeah, he is," Ace said. "Nice to meet you Ganondorf." Ace shook his hand. Even if she was cautious of him being polite was generally the optimal strategy when meeting new people. The clerk for the first floor, who Ace assumed was the twin of the second floor's clerk due to their identical appearance, ran over to them.
"Mister Ganondorf good news, we should be able to hold a charity drive for the Gerudo in two weeks."
"Thank you Tommy. Do you have any boxing gloves? Little Mac somehow talked me into trying out boxing," Ganondorf said.
"Right this way," Timmy responded. Ganondorf followed Timmy to a different part of the store.
"See you later Ganondorf," V said. Ace wasn't the kind to delude herself, her initial assessment of Ganondorf was wrong. It was another screw up but at least she was the only one who knew about it. She would have to improve her ability to read people. "Want me to show you the rest of Smashville while we're here?"
"Sure," Ace said. V took her on a quick tour of the different stores. There was a clothing store run by a trio of hedgehogs, a weapon store that had just struck a deal with Ammo Knights to sell ink weapons, a supermarket run by a humanoid creature with a mushroom like head called a Toad, and various other shops. When they were finished looking around they walked back to the car and drove back to Smash Mansion.
Ace and V split up when they got back, V went for a walk in the gardens while Ace went back into the mansion. She ran up the stairs to the third floor and back to her room. Thanks to Master Hand's powers the furniture she bought had already been teleported there. It wasn't much longer until the Squid Sisters were set to perform so Ace aimed to unpack as quickly as possible. First was the green rug, which she put in the center of the room. The two shelves were put on the wall opposite to the weapon wall, the lamp was placed next to the head of the bed, and the desk was put in the corner opposite the door. Ace moved the chair in front of the desk before unpacking the rest of her items, like her computer and speaker set.
"Attention all Smashers, the performance from the Squid Sisters will be starting soon. Please gather in the performance room on the first floor," Master Hand announced through the intercom system. Ace pumped her fist, she had finished unpacking just in time. She ran out of her room and this time she remembered to lock her door as she closed it. The ink on the ground from before had been cleaned up but the Inkrail leading downstairs was still active. Peach was sitting on a couch at the patio with another woman when Ace jumped off of the rail and onto the ground.
"Ace I forgot to warn you, Master Hand gives his announcements a little too early. The trick is to leave ten minutes after the announcement." Peach said when she saw Ace run towards the door.
"Wait, really? Oh come on," Ace complained. She stopped right in front of the door and walked back to the patio.
"On the bright side there were some things I wanted to talk to you about. Back in my world we have regular racing tournaments and we're looking for some new racers. After some negotiating with Master Hand he agreed to let me invite some people from other worlds. Do you want to compete?" Peach offered.
"Sure, sounds like fun. But I'll need a chance to get some practice in before it starts," Ace said. "What were some of the other things you wanted to talk about?"
"I can answer that," the woman sitting next to Peach said. Ace didn't try to get a read on her, the only safe way to practice that skill was with people she wouldn't see again. "I should introduce myself properly first. My name is Zelda, princess of Hyrule. Every Saturday we like to gather up all of the female Smashers for a girl's only night. Would you like to take part in it?"
"I'm up for it," Ace said. She let herself fall into one of the chairs as Peach and Zelda resumed their earlier conversation. With invitations like that she clearly hadn't screwed up as badly as she thought she did. After a few minutes had passed Peach and Zelda got up from the couch to go to the concert. Ace jumped out of her chair and walked with them back into the mansion. When they reached the performance room the concert still hadn't started yet. There was a stage at the back of the room, tables for people to watch the performances, and a large snack bar next to the door.
Gradually the room began to fill up as the Smashers assembled. When everyone had arrived the Squid Sisters walked out onto the stage. Marie raised three fingers and Callie waved to Ace as they started the song, it was their classic hit 'City of Color.' Hearing it reminded Ace of when she first started competing in Inksports and had been recruited into the New Squidbeak Splatoon. She had put in a lot of effort to ascend to her current skill level after starting out as a newbie. So she could make the climb to the top again as a Smasher. Ace started dancing and some of the other Smashers joined in. She was going to enjoy her stay at Smash Mansion.