2010-05-10: Billiards Lessons


Tara_icon.jpg Theo_icon.jpg Zack_icon.jpg

Summary: Tara practices her memorization skills and telekinesis, and then Theo teaches her and Zack to play Cuttthroat.

Date: May 10, 2010.

Log Title: Billiards Lessons

Rating: PG

Xavier's Mansion - Recreation Room

//What was once the Parlor has been turned into a Recreation Room for the students. A nice plush carpet meets the light blue walls giving it a homey feel. A pool table at one end, a foos ball table at the other, and entertainment center with video game systems, movies, and of course, cable TV. Big comfy chairs and couches surround a coffee table for comfortable loafing. Long glass windows with a pair of French doors line one side of the room bringing in plenty of light during the day. The main rule in here is to clean up after yourself. //

Tara has decided to come into an empty Rec Room and relax some. Or, at least Tara's version of relaxing by sitting on top of the Pool table and juggling all sixteen pool balls with her telekinetics. It may not be obvious, but she isn't actually controlling the flight of the balls themselves. Rather, she's simulating a juggler's performance by taking a ball that's falling and launching it up in the air in an arc, only touching the balls with her TK during the bottom dip and launch.

Zack wanders into the rec room, he was thinking of watching some TV or somthing, the big teen looks over at Tara sitting on the pool table and he lifts a hand, "yo, what's going on?" he asks and goes to settle onto a couch with a heavy thump.

Theo isn't relaxing. At least, not the way Tara is. He comes into the Rec Room, a video game in hand. Not something he's commonly found with. Infamous. He doesn't say anything to Zack or Tara, he just walks to the PS3 and puts in the disc. He turns on the TV, grabs the controller, and walks to the couch, flopping down without as much as a hello.

"Hey big guy," Tara says to Zack, friendly enough. "I'm just amusing myself with the pool balls." Whether or not she tracks that Theo comes in is hard to tell, since her head is unmoving and her blank stare behind her lavender sunglasses never waver.

Zack looks over at Theo, "hey" he says to him as he just sorta comes in and settles down, "Sup with you too?" he asks, sitting on the couch and stretching. Taking up most of the space on the couch as he looks back over to Tara. "Just amusing yourself…you know how to play pool?" he asks/.

Theo's eyes glance over at Zack briefly, upward toward the much taller teen. "Hi," he says with a flat expression. The game begins, and Theo doesn't waste any time. He seems to have already been playing previously. The character glows with a red electricity. He begins down the street, and immediately attacks the first person he comes across. Not a hostile in the game. And then the next, and the next. He seems rather aggressivly pursuing people who aren't the targets in the game. He of course destroys the enemies that come too. He is just plain killing everything that moves. The screams shout out, blood curdling screams, the whole nine yards.

The balls all freeze in midair as Tara hears nothing but the agonizing screams of dying digital innocents. "What the hell are you playing," she asks. "It sounds like Columbine: The Video Game."

Zack hmms a bit and he just goes quiet, putting his feet p since it doens't look like he's gonna play pool, or watch TV?

Theo answers, not slowing his assault. "Infamous. I just want to kill stuff, okay?" he says shortly. "It's a good way to release stress. Kinda like you and your pool balls there." He continues to slaughter the masses with a rather amazing degree of efficiency for someone who doesn't ever play video games.

"Ooookay," says Tara doubtfully, as she gets off the pool table, the balls floating down and settling themselves down, arranging themselves randomly in the rack with the cue ball left outside. "I've never played," she says in answer to Zack's earlier question. "Not being able to see what ball is which is kind of an unfair disadvantage."

Zack nods a bit, and he thinks about that, "I suppose hat's true, I know the cue ball has to be like…a different thing…but you're right how would you tell stripes or solids." he thinks to himself, "Unless your powers can like sense…density or somthing. But I wouldn't know about that…" he keeps sitting on the couch.

Theo doesn't engage the conversation as he plays, teeth clenched as he continues to dismantle the city before him. He comes across a large crowd. After hitting them with a tanker truck, he lets out a sigh, and drops the controller on the floor before him. "The cue ball is slightly heavier than the rest of the balls," he says. "You could just play a game where color and number don't matter. Or we could drill small holes in each ball to indicate the number. Could do that in the shop in about ten minutes." He doesn't turn around to face Tara, he just watches the idle screen as if it were some sort of snake.

If Tara were a cat, or a dog, or, really, any other animal that could cock an ear in in Theo's direction she would. As it is she just tilts her head slightly, as he speaks. "Well, if you set them up right in the rack, I could probably just memorize where they are on the table."

Zack shakes his head, "You know, never mind, sorry, I was just trying to do a normal friendly thing, and…ya guess I'm sorry I did that…so it's all right." he lets out a large breath and the teen rubs the back of his head.

Theo shrugs, and hops up from the game. Enemies close in on his character, but he doesn't seem bothered by it. He steps over the couch. "If you think you can really memorize all that and keep track of it during the break, and while thinking about your strategy," he says, trying to illustrate how much he's proposing that she just memorizes.

He walks up to the table, and rearranges the balls in proper order, flushes the rack back to it's starting position, and touches each ball. "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. There's three of us, we could play Cutthroat."

Tara nods at Theo. She doesn't seem to be all that concerned about memorizing and keeping track of the positions of the balls. After all, she put them all back in the same position she found them after juggling them. (It's not her fault they weren't put in the rack right the first time.) Only one thing. "Okay. How do you play?"

Zack gives a little shrug, "All right, if you wanna play pool I'm down with it. I havn't played since a couple years ago, mom didn't like me hanging around in the pool halls. Bad guys there, but it's a fun game"

"Okay," Theo explains. "Cutthroat works basically like this. Tara, you'll have the 1-5 balls. You don't want them to get sunk. Zack, you get the 6-10 balls, and I'll take the 11-15 balls. Turns rotate like normal, Tara, you first, then Zack, then me." He grabs a pool cue and begins chalking it. "You want to sink everyone elses balls, but not let them sink yours. You get one shot per turn, unless you sink a ball. If you sink the cue ball, that's called scratching. If you do that, then the other two people get one ball back that they have lost. If you run out of balls, then you're out. Last one standing wins."

Tara scowls in concentration as Theo explains the rules, and as she memorizes the position of the balls. The high air pressure that normally accompanies the girl gets noticeably denser as she pulls in the range which she usually senses things to focus that to the table and the immediate environs. A stick shoots out of the rack and into her hand, "So how do you hold this thing anyway?"

Zack hmms a bit, "All right…sure, why not…" he gets a cue, "it's been about two years since I played, but that's fine. how do we determin who shoots first?" he asks as he chalks up. He goes light chalk.

Theo indicates to Tara. "She gets to break, she has 1-5," he explains. "Ladies first." He leans his cue against the table, and walks over to Tara, taking her hand to guide it. "Put whichever hand that's not dominant on the table," he says, moving her hand to show her. He holds his hand in a ring shape. "This is the easiest way to guide the cue for beginners," he explains. "There's a few different ways though. "Then you put the cue through the hole, but don't hold tight, let it slip freely. Your forward hand works like a pivot point, you just keep it still and use your other hand to guide where the pool cue faces."

Zack thinks a little bit, "ya know what, I just realized I do have to head out. I gotta wite a paper.." e bows his head, "Now uh…hope you have fun…"

"Allrighty," says Tara, letting Theo put her hands where they should be. She leans forward a bit to get the right leverage, swivels the cue stick a bit to get it lined up juuuuust right and then …. stops as Zack announces suddenly that he has to leave. "Aww," she says, disappointed.

Theo pauses. "Oh, well, ok man," he says. His voice is even, but his face looks slightly annoyed. "Guess if you have to, you have to. Don't worry, Tara, we can still play, we'll just play stripes & solids instead. Little different, when you start, if you sink a solid, you sink only solids, if you sink a stripe, you only sink stripes, and whoever gets through with all their balls and then sinks the 8 ball, wins. If you sink the 8 ball before you're done, then you lose. It's pretty simple. Scratch, and you lose a ball."

"Okay," says Tara, nodding. "You're going to have to point out which are stripes and solids, though. Or just tell me which numbers are what. I can figure it out from there."

Theo lets go of Tara's hand, now that she seem to have it, and then walks back to the rack. "1-7 are solids, 9-15 are stripes," he explains. "8 ball doesn't count as either." He shakes the rack a little, and pulls the triangle off of the balls.

Tara bites her lower lip in concentration… winds up… and WHACK! Despite Tara's small frame, she really does pack quite a punch as evidenced by how loud the break is, and how much the balls bounce around before finally settling down. Sadly, she didn't sink anything on the break. "OKay. Your turn, I guess." She sounds a little disappointed.

"It's hard to do too much on the break," Theo says. "You sometimes sink one, but not usually." He goes to the cue ball, and judges his own shot. He doesn't hold the cue quite the way he taught her to, but the principle, of course, is the same. He judges carefully the distance to his target, and pulls back. With a crack, the cue ball flies forward, and strikes a cluster of balls. Two of them go in, one solid, one stripe. "Okay, so I'm solids, now," he says. "Normally, I'd get another turn because I sank a ball, but in this case, I also sank one of yours, so you get the point for that one, and it goes back to your turn." He steps back from the table. If Tara pays close attention, she might notice that the background of the TV sound suddenly stops, as the TV turns off. The PS3 winds down as well. But no one is holding the controller.

Tara scowls in concentration as Theo makes his shot, lips moving silently as she repeats numbers to herself. "Stripes," she says, acknowledging what balls she needs to sink. "Okay. You sank the five and the eleven," which is eerily accurate. Her lips move again, as she points her finger at each of her balls, muttering to herself all the time. She circles the table once, like a shark, until she gets herself into position, aims and shoots. She underestimates how much power she needs, though, which leaves one of her balls teetering on the edge of one of the side pockets, with the cue ball nearby.

Theo arches his brow. "I gotta say, that's not easy to keep track of when you're looking at it, let alone when you can't see it at all," he says. He lines up his next shot, and sinks the ball easily. The next shot isn't quite so direct. He carefully lines up his shot, then with his cue he draws a vector for his own reference to gauge how the ball should bounce. When he's satisfied, he takes the shot, sinking a second ball. Unfortunately, he doesn't have a lot to shoot for after that, so he lines up to knock Tara's ball away from the side pocket. This also is a bank shot, but he misses, and the ball glides between several balls as it bounces off of a few sides, and then comes back to rest with a perfect line up for Tara's shot.

"I only have to keep track of half of them," explains Tara, sounding a little bit distracted. "So it's not so bad. When you're blind you have to do a lot of memorizing where everything is or else you'll end up stumbling over furniture or mixing up what sodas are in the fridge and stuff." She circles the pool table once more, and then stops at a good point to make a shot. She doesn't have to use the stick to create invisible lines, since her tara-sense gives her a good overhead view in the first place. She lines up her shot, and sinks the easy ball, as well as nearly sinking the cue ball as well. She scowls as she tries to work out in her head what her next shot should be and lines up again and makes another shot, sinking another ball. However, this doesn't leave her in a good position to sink much of anything so she goes for a difficult bank shot, which she doesn't even come close to making. Thankfully she didn't sink any of the other balls, too.

Theo lines up, and tries to go for the closest shot he can manage. He misses, however, and sends a ball harmlessly flying about the table before coming to a rest. "I guess," he says. "I thought I was pretty good at memorizing. I mean, I manage to learn all the formulas in class and everything, but I never thought about trying to memorize where everything around me is."

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