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Flying Flag[IC]

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"Hmmmm.... I honestly don't know... or rather..." Serge said, as he lined his cue with the green 14 ball. "... it's something I'd rather not force. Ya know? I feel that if the time comes for me to join a proper team, it will come, and forcing it won't really help either me or my teammates to be. I guess... it's hard to explain..." He struggled, trying to find the right words. It didn't help matters that he hadn't held the cue down properly, and as a result, he aimed a bit higher and to the right, causing a dull sound to signal that the shot misfired. It just barely avoided commiting a foul by touching another ball, orange 13, which proceeded to just touch the table bound. "... tch..." Giving an excasperated sigh, he continued. "... like, most teams that come to stay are a result of happenstance, the right people at the right time in the right place coming together towards a commong goal. When a proper team comes together it feels like... like... like fate, you know? Or it should feel like that, anyways... And that comes from someone who definitely doesn't believe in such anthropocentric interpretations of abstract concepts."

Edited by Vahnyu

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"Ouch, man" Subito winced at Serge's misfire, patting him on the shoulder as he took his place, lining up his own shot carefully. "I get what ya mean, it's not something to do just 'cause you feel like it or because everyone else is doin' it." the muscular boy bent lower and squinted down the pole, checking where exactly he was going to hit. Encouraged by what he saw, he went on as he drew back "But still, if we just wait for the right people to suddenly decide they wanna work together-" with a crack, the ball whizzed across the table, bouncing the yellow 1 clean into a corner packet with a satisfying *thunk!*, getting a baffled "Wait what?" as the stocky Puerto Rican stared at the green 6 ball right next to where the yellow ball had been, "Wow, we're off our game today bro!" he sighed, grinning sheepishly and shaking his head, turning back to Serge "Anyway, I think we should at least try to get together. Otherwise it'll be just like cliques at all the other schools, an' I'd hate seein' that happen." he added with a ferocious scowl. Frowning at the table he added "I dunno if fate's a real thing, at least" his voice sank just a little to make sure nobody in the busy game room overheard "at least the fact I've got a nation's spirit talking in my head doesn't totally convince me" 'Oh? A country's sovereign representative is not sufficient proof? Well, "fate" is waaaay more abstract than "Puerto Rico", you got to admit An interesting point. We must meet Wale's spirit sometime, or Young Britannia again. See what she knows of it. You really like Miss Stone, don't you? What are you implying, Herald? Huh? Nothing, I like her too. We should get together sometime, when we are not working In the meantime, you have a conversation to attend to Oh! Right, crap, sorry'

"Right!" Subito announced suddenly after a few seconds of silence following his mutter, clearing his throat he leaned on the table and went on in quiet earnestness "So, Surge, I don't know about fate either, but why wait for everything to fall into place? Besides it's not like we're all divine champions, we're just teenagers learnin' how to be superheroes, and sooner or later we're going to need to team up anyhow. Why not start with guys we know?"

Edited by Arichamus

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Serge checked the pocketed balls. Lining them up, he counted that he had 2 balls pocketed on his side, and 4 on Subito's. Well, nothing too worrying, and the fact that I have more balls on the table means I have more chances to pocket them and less chances to foul than Subito, but having said that, I REALLY have to step up my game a few notches. Inspecting the table, he carefully calculated some possible courses of action for the next three moves. "Well... Ptch... I can't say you're wrong either... I'll tell you what, let me think on it some more, ok? As for fate, well-..." The boy stopped, seeing Subito's focus wander off for a bit, while his mouth made the slightest movements, as if but not quite talking. When he returned, Serge let a light laugh out. "Hahaha... so, the Lady in Blue had something to say, huh? You know, I've noticed that you always look a bit distant when you two have a talk."

 

"Anyways... fate... I do believe in fate, but not in a humano-centric way, but, well... when I was younger, I saw a documentary on TV. In it, a professor was explaining physics concepts, and one thing in particular that stuck to me was that he drew parallels between calculating the trajectory of an object and predicting the future." He applied some chalk on his cue, and proceeded to carry out his plan, pocketing  green 14, orange13, and brown 15, all of whom were in favorable positions, in succession. One of Subito's balls was in his way to pocketing blue 10, but since that one was lodged at the edge of the corner pocket already, he decided that he should pursue the purple 12 ball, either way. That one was all the way on the other side of the table, however, and Serge put too much force on the white ball, which upon contact with the purple ball, forced it to move out of the way for the pocket and resulted in only the white ball entering the pocket. "...Aaand a foul. About time, really." He sighed, as he delived the white ball at Subito's hand. "Oh well, pocketing three balls in a row ain't half bad."

 

"...So, anyways, I found this one out quite a bit later. It's called the Laplace's Demon, a thought experiment that proposes that, upon learning the position and momentum of every atom in the universe in the present, it is possible to predict both past and future, by applying every physical law applicable. It... certainly has it's holes in logic, but I DO think there's some merit to be found in it, in regards to how the universe works."

Edited by Vahnyu

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"S'that obvious?" Subito asked absent-mindedly as he watched Serge make his shot, tensing as the ball shot forward and sent the other balls rocketing across the table. Giving a quiet whoop and clapping enthusiastically as the three targets were smashed unerringly into the pockets, he stopped abruptly and winced at the foul. "Ouch man. Good shot though! You're not usin' some manner of under-handed stratagems, are ya?" he asked with a sly grin.

 

Catching the white ball he smiled confidently "Three pockets? Ain't bad at all. Now to show you good. That sounds like a really neat idea Surge." he added, plopping the much-abused white sphere onto the green table and aiming with a care that looked hilariously delicate on his powerful frame, lining the cue up to pin the purple 12 "I can understand how you'd see that workin'. if you know how a rock's gonna fall in an avalanche for example, you can plan for that. But this is different...hAH!" he struck the cue ball with a smart crack, sending it whirling into the purple-striped ball, bouncing it into the pocket just inches away.

 

With great satisfaction Subito watched as the white ball, still spinning, went bouncing clean into the blue 10 and sent it straight for the pocket across the table for him...only for it to clip the black 8 a few inches from the drop and bounce off the side, rolling to a slow halt in the upper right corner of the table. He snapped his fingers and shrugged, stepping aside "That sucks. Anyway Surge," he went on, glancing up earnestly at his friend "I'm sayin' you should think about tryin' that kinda stuff out. I think waiting for the right people to fall in around ya isn't a good plan 'cause then you'll spend more time with people you're familiar with and already like. Workin' well with me is way different from making a good team-mate for somebody like, uh, Ronnie" he offered, referring to the otherworldly velociraptor girl.

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"Hah! No strategem is underhanded, unless it violates an explicit law or rule." Serge boasted. "And the only difference between the rock and this..." he said as he calculated the angle and the tranjectory to pocket the purple 12 ball. The shot struck true, and he started calculating his next move. "... is merely a matter of complexity." giving a slight cocky grin, he tried to pocket the dislodged blue 10 ball on the nearest pocket. The shot was slightly miscalculated, resulting in the ball bouncing around the table, until it hit Subito's yellow ball, causing the purple one to become pocketed in the middle left pocket. "... not exaclty what I had in mind, but I'll take a pocket where I can." he exclaimed, and proceeded to inspect the table.

 

Serge had now pocketed 7 of his balls, and only the black one remained for him. Pocketing the black one, however, was significantly more difficult, seing as you have to declare the shot's intended pocket before you make it, and if you pocket the 8-ball in the wrong pocket, it's considered a loss for you. "Hmmm... the upper right corner... I'm not sure I have that shot, to be frank, but It's the best shot I can see right now." After declaring the shot, and lining the cue, Serge took a big breath and attempted to pocket the black ball. However, the error window was very small; the black 8 aqcuired an angle and as a result, landed near the middle of the table. "Well, that could have gone worse. Better make the next ones count, Subito." Serge told his friend.

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"Sure bro. Sure."

 

Prowling around the table, Subito took up position, eyes narrowed in the glaring lamp hanging from the ceiling to fit the mood. Tapping his cue against the white ball he bent down, squinted, drew back and hesitated. Moving just a fraction of an inch to the left he bent down again, a confident grin on his face

 

"One for the money." *tap*' He crouched just an inch lower

 

"two for the show..." *tap* He drew back slowly.

 

"...three to figure out what I'm doing..." *tap* He angled the rod a bit to the right.

 

"And here I go!" *crack!*

 

The black 8 rocketed into the pocket, slamming against the plastic back...and bouncing clean off to roll back to the center of the table. Staring at the black and white ball for a moment he said "Well darn. Your move Surge!" nodding to Serge and stepping back once more to watch.

Edited by Arichamus

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Letting a deep sigh out, Serge breathed normally again. "Close one. Very close. For a moment there, I was certain the 8-black would be pocketed." He commented. This is my last chance, Serge thought. There was no more room for error. This was do or die, or rather, do or live the rest of your life under constant humiliation. he exaggeratedly pondered. Anxiety started setting in, and to battle it, Serge started cracking his knuckles and fingers, so that they don't feel stiff. The white ball was near the end of the table, while the black ball was close to the center. After thinking about it a bit, he gave up and instead threw a metaphorical coin, in order to choose which one of the two pockets on the other end of the table should he choose to call. After he did so, he lined up his cue with the white ball and took aim, having called the left pocket.

 

Serge did a few tests to see how the cue would hit the white ball. When satisfied, he inhaled and exhaled deeply, and was almost ready to hit the ball with strength, when something stopped him. No... I can't force this. What I need here is control, pure and simple. Taking one last breath, he lightly tapped the white ball with his cue, using only a quarter of the strenght he would have applied. The white ball traveled quickly, but upon impact with the black 8 ball, it completely lost momentum, and the black 8 traveled at only half speed. It was not long after that, that the black 8 arrived at it's destined pocket. As it did, it slowed down significantly, until it seemingly stopped just an inch away from falling in the hole, balancing at the edge. For the longest tenth of a second, that appeared to last an aeon, Serge's eyes popped out and his mouth dried up, before the black 8 was successfully pocketed under it's own weight, to the utter relief of Serge. "Oh, thank god! And thank gravity, too! For a moment there, it looked like I had all but given the game to you in a platter." He exclaimed with some surprise in his tone. "Well, best out of five, then?" He asked Subito.

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Subito watched hands clenched on the side of the table, eyes widening and face reddening as he held his breath and stared at that slowly trundling black and white sphereoid. As it reached the edge of the pocket the world seemed to grow stilll...and burst into motion as the ball toppled in.

Exhaling with a weak gasp the muscular teen burst into laughter and enthusiastic applause, pausing a second to slap Serge on the back as he leaned on his cue, struggling to recover himself.

At last his gasps became more coherent and shorter spaces got between them, and he managed a gleeful "You are on my friend. Best outta five it is! Just wait bro," he added confidently while paying the very calm looking man behind the counter "I won't make the next times as easy!" From the warm smile, he was obviously joking. And meant every word.

Neatly gathering up the balls into the pyramid he nodded to Serge "Winner goes first. Let's see what ya got..."

The day didn't look so bad after all. Maybe it was just a phase, maybe everything would be all right...

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