Lesson 1: Billiards
"Hey hey hey!" Fig broke out in his distinctively Latino accent, nearly stabbing Will in the eye with the end of his cue stick. "You gotta call it, man."
Lennox almost jumped up when the thing came at his face, but he rolled his eyes instead and sighed dramatically as he bent down again to take the shot. "Eight ball corner pocket," he stated flatly. After a moment of anxious silence, Will pulled back his arm, and with a sharp crack, hurled the cue ball into the eight, sinking it into the pocket he designated for it. He special ops captain, now in civilian dress, rose up to look at the pool table, empty except for a single ball. He grinned to himself.
Fig slammed his stick into the concrete floor of the Autobot's new (and rather messy) headquarters in a comical display of frustration. "A'ight, man. How 'bout best two out of three?"
"Nah," Will said, picking up a beer that was resting on a lawn chair some feet behind him and taking a swig. "Told the wife I'd be back for dinner."
Fig casually shot in his last ball, then stood up again. "Aw, c'mon captain. Just one more game." He already began picking the balls out of the pockets and rolling them onto the faded green of the billiard table.
"Yeah, yeah, alright. Just one more." He reached for the rack that had been set beside the beer, and flung it to his friend. Fig began to arrange the balls in the plastic triangle.
Just then, a car pulled into the driveway and slowly motored into the warehouse. It only took a single over-the-shoulder glance for Lennox to recognize the expensive yellow vehicle. "Hey Bumblebee," he said.
Fig was about to break, but the Autobot, now transformed in the privacy of the warehouse, walked over to the pool table. "What's this?" He knelt down in the slightly playful way of his and studied the arrangement.
"Oh, we moved the billiard table in here today. I've had it in storage for years, and Ratchet said we could put it in a corner of the building." Will raised his voice here so the medical officer on the far end of the compound could hear. "Isn't that right, Ratchet?" All they received in return was something akin to a grunt. It seemed that he was preoccupied by some mechanical gizmo and didn't even care to turn around. Will chuckled.
Bumblebee nodded. "Yeah, but what is it?"
"Well it's a game," Fig said with a shrug. "You gotta hit the balls in the pockets by hitting them with this white ball here."
"What are the sticks for?"
"You hit the cue ball with the stick."
"Here," Will said, holding out his cue stick to the robot. "Wanna break for us?"
"Hmm..." Bumblebee carefully took the thing from Lennox and studied it for a moment. "Sure!"
"You break 'em like this." Fig made the proper gesture on the table for example. "And you gotta hit 'em hard or else they stay clumped together."
The yellow Autobot nodded and squatted down at the far end of the table. He took careful aim, drew his arm back, and brought it forward.
Balls went flying everywhere.
They made a horribly loud clattering noise as they hit the concrete and bounced, scattering about the place.
Fig's mouth dropped open a little as he glanced about the area. "Híjole, cuate! When I say hard, I didn't mean that hard!"
The commotion attracted Ratchet's attention. "Bumblebee, you'd better not be making a mess of my warehouse."
The comment was ignored as the two humans began to search for the balls among the various piles of scrap metal and whatever else the heck Ratchet had acquired over the past few months. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" the young bot plead with the two soldiers as he got down on all fours to help look. Much to Lennox's relief, however, the balls were found and returned to the table. He huffed a bit as Fig set the rack.
"One of these says," the captain said, pointing at the yellow Autobot. "One of these days I'm going to teach you how to play this game."
"Who's breaking this time?" the Latino asked.
Will walked over to the end of the table and took aim. "I will." He moved the stick back and forth as it rested on his thumb a few times, making sure to land the shot smack dab in the middle of the ball, and with another crack, the cue jumped up before spinning off, barely grazing the back ball. "Dammit! How the hell did I scratch?"
"You forget to chalk?" Fig nudged the small blue square resting on the edge of the table.
Suddenly, the three turned around when they heard Ratchet walk over. "Give me that," he said, taking the cue stick from Will. Without so much as a single second of hesitation or any heed to his audience, he carefully plucked up the chalk, rubbed the end of the stick with it a few times, crouched down at the end of the table, and broke. Three striped balls were pocketed on the spot. Ratchet stood up and handed the stick back to Will, who stared at the table, mouth open.
"That's how you break."