Solitary Chess Can Lead To Friendships

Brief Title:

Finesse Mercury

Scene Runner/Watcher:

IC Date:
01/04/13 12:59

Xavier's Mansion - Girls Dorm - Rec Room

Mercury comes into the Rec Room to find Finesse playing chess against herself, this leads to a conversation and perhaps a budding friendship

Social or Plot:


Finesse is sitting next to a table with a chess board showing a game well underway, she is sitting facing the board sideways, and there are no people sitting at either player's position. A brief look, however, will reveal that it is actually Jeanne who is playing against herself, shifting pieces for both white and black after a brief moment giving to thought. Did anyone ever mention she wasn't your typical teenager?

Mercury steps into the gaming room and is met with that strange sight. "The players are on a break?" Mercury asks Finesse as the metallic girl approaches the game board. She takes a look at the pieces, but since she isn't a fan of chess her eyes don't linger there too long before they move toward the other occupant of the room.

"No," Jeanne answers short and to the point, spending a moment's thought before taking a black bishop and moving it along the board to it's new position. It likely won't tell Mercury much if she'd even bother to look that long. "I can reset the board if you wish to play, although somehow I doubt chess is your game," Jeanne murmurs in a tone devoid of emotion, so it's unclear if it's a taunt or not. Her visage remains every bit as deadpan.

Mercury blinks softly, at the very emotionless response she got, "Um..." she was about to ask 'who are playing?' when she sees Finesse move one of the pieces. "I see. Against who are you playing against? Shouldn't you wait until she returns to move a piece?" she asks. She assumes it's a 'she' since they're within the Girl's gaming room, where boys are not allowed in.

"No need, she is already present," Finesse answers Mercury's question, as she surveys the board, and shortly after moves a white knight to hold the black bishop at bay.

Mercury blink-blinks at the answer, and she leans back up to look around the room, then at the empty spot across from Finesse, reaching a hand and waving there, as if trying to find an invisible person, "Who...?" but her question trails off to nothing as she notices Finesse moving now a chess piece of the opposite color. "You're playing against yourself? Why?" she asks, rubbing the back of her head, confused.

"That I am," Finesse answers as she looks thoughtfully at the board, focusing for a moment, "it is an exercise." She explains, "can I surprise myself? Are there any breaches in my strategy that I don't normally consider. You can think of it as sort of a meditative reflection at oneself." She moves the white rook, and looks up at Mercury, "but as I said, I can reset the board and we can play each other, if you like."

Mercury looks at the board, and she blinks softly. "But... you need other people to give you any real feedback on your strategies." she says, rubbing the back of her head, "I mean, doing it yourself, you'll hardly find any flaws once you convince yourself your strategy is solid." she shrugs softly. "You need a 'fresh pair of eyes.'" she points out, but when she's invited to play, she chuckles and shakes her head, "But not mine. I'm pretty sure you'd beat me in less than five movements." she chuckles.

"Not necessarily," Finesse says in a non-argumentive tone, "so long as I play with sincere will to win, it doesn't matter. Should I ever face myself, I would still aim to best my foe." A curious musing for one to take, particularly a young person, but Finesse seems to take the possibility in all seriousness. "My strategy is solid, but not because I play myself." Finesse quips. Looking up at Mercury, Finesse doesn't seem to join in the joke, but states rather sincerely, "you are probably accurate, I'd give a range of three additional moves. Most teenagers are not fond of chess."

Mercury arches one eyebrow at that. Was that a veiled insult? "Will to win? Then that means you're also ready to admit defeat?" she asks, curious as she pulls one of the chairs to sit down, but to watch, not play. "I mean, you ARE playing against yourself. That means that, no matter the end result, you'll win... and you'll lose." she tilts her head softly at that. "At best... you're looking at a draw. "You want another reason why this doesn't work? You know exactly what the other side can and will do." she points out. "That means no matter how much you adapt your strategy with the white pieces, your strategy with the black pieces will immediately change to adapt to your new strategy with the white pieces. You cannot isolate one from the other."

If Finesse intended to insult Mercury, she doesn't seem to linger on the point nor draw any pleasure from her little quip. Rather her attention gets right back to the board, as she makes another move, sacrificing a pawn. "Denying one's defeat when it is imminent is foolish, of course I can admit defeat." At Mercury's assessment she nods, "you are correct, the best result I can aspire to in this match is a draw." Looking up at Mercury once again, Finesse smiles faintly, "you're more clever then most of the girls in this dorm, that is the dillema in holding such a game. But also the challenge...can I surprise myself?"

Mercury smiles, "Not in this situation, you cannot." she says softly, shaking her head slowly. "I mean, think about it. Try to answer that question right here, right now." she says, smiling softly as she waits a few moments. "If you can honestly say 'yes' or 'no' to that question, that means you cannot surprise yourself. Why? Because if you said 'yes', subconsciously, you'll know it as truth, so no matter how much you try consciously, you won't be able to surprise yourself, because, like I said, subconsciously you already know you can surprise yourself so you'll be prepared for anything. And if you answered 'no', subconsciously you'll have already given up trying to surprise yourself, even if you keep trying consciously." she says, smiling, "And if you answered 'maybe' or 'I don't know'... you'll still not be able to do that. Because you know already what you are capable of. You know your own strategies. The *only* moment where you can honestly surprise yourself, is when you're faced with an impossible situation, a life-and-death situation, or both together."

"How often have you tried this that you make this assertion?" Finesse asks Mercury, looking at her blankly as she anticipates her reply. "That is a rhetorical trick, it is not grounded in empirical evidence, science cannot respect such a view." Finesse seems sure enough about her own claim, though she does smile throughout Mercury's argument, before returning her attention to the board and making a couple of more moves, as she quips, "I know much more than just my own strategies, I would thoroughly relish a chance to play against Deep Blue."

Mercury is pretty sure that 'Deep Blue' would be just as equally delighted, and she can't help but chuckle inwardly at her unintentional joke. Outward, though, she just shrugs, "Have you ever beat yourself in a tic-tac-toe game?" she asks after a few moments. "The main reason, though, that I believe playing against yourself is not a good idea is because, in such a game, each 'player' would be ignoring the very same details the other 'player' is." She then leans back, "But I can see I won't convince you of that, so... carry on."

Jeanne is no mind reader, unlike some, and so utterly misses out on the joke. But not being included means she has more times to make a couple more moves, as the game slowly starts to shape towards what seems like a potential draw. "No," Finesse answers, "but that is because once mastered, tic-tac-toe is a game that is impossible to lose. It is of negligible complexity compared to chess, which has countless algorithms within." Pausing after her next move, Finesse turns to look quizzically at Mercury, "not based on rhetoric. Are you a member of the debate team? You're not bad." High praise coming from Finesse, but then Mercury wouldn't be likely to know that.

Mercury blinks, "Debate team? The hell is that?" she asks, blinking her head softly and tilting her head, unaware of the existence of such group in the school. "There is a club for *that*?" and she can't help but wonder if all members of said club just spend all day arguing with each other... "And... no, not part of any club." she replies, finally, blinking. "You?"

"Essentially, students interested in the rhetorical art of debates, which is what you're exemplifying just now," Finesse notes plainly, asked a similar question in turn, Finesse shakes her head, "that is my chief flaw, I don't do well with people."

Mercury tilts her head softly. "I can't fathom how a club like that could be fun to someone." she says, but then she shrugs softly and leans back on her seat, and then she hears Finesse's confession. 'No shit', goes in the metallic girl's mind. Outward, she nods, "Well, I guess we're excentric in our own ways." she chuckles softly, smiling, "Still, I don't think anyone that likes chess would refuse a game with you." she points out, "Say, I think Mr. McCoy would enjoy a game of chess. He seems the type that likes this kind of stuff."

"Some people derive great pleasure from proving others wrong, even when they debate a point they themselves do not believe in," Finesse gives her version of the reason. Looking a moment at Mercury's face, Jeanne soon shifts her focus back to the game, as the number of possible moves dwindles on both sides. "I guess some may hold that opinion," Jeanne concedes that much as she leans back in her seat, "I am only partaking in this game of chess because I am still grounded, there's much I need to do that I can't because of Ms. Grey. Dr. McCoy has much more important things to do, as do I, just not within the constraints of the school."

Mercury arches one eyebrow at the 'more important things to do' bit, and she can't help but be curious. What does a girl that young has todo that is so important? "Like what?" she asks softly, tilting her head softly. "And Mr McCoy may be a busy man, but, just like everyone else, he needs to take breaks every now and then." she points out. "And why are you grounded, if I can ask?"

"Oh, nothing too big. Remember when a Jack O'Lantern was left for me with a dagger and a note? Doesn't matter if you don't, but I've been tracking down that guy responsible. I asked Ruth for some advise, and then she told Ms. Grey how I've been breaking curfew, so I've been grounded. If I can trust Ms. Grey means her words, then it seems to be for the duration of forever." Finesse relates the story to Mercury, as she moves a few more pieces and eventually declares, "it's a draw."

Mercury rubs the back of her head softly, "Well, if you really openly intend to break curfew like that..." she shrugs, before speaking again, "Anways, I'm not sure why you're so adamant in finding this guy. Did he steal something from you, or threatened to harm someone of your family...?" she asks, tilting her head softly, just as Finesse reaches the inevitable conclusion of a draw. She ponders for a moment of letting out a 'told you so', but ultimately decides against it.

"I was very careful, nobody found out for a was only when Ruth narc'd on me that I was caught." Jeanne looks quite displeased talking about this, but at least she's showing some kind of emotion for a change. "That was not my fault, I thought I could trust Ruth." Putting the chess board and pieces back in place, Jeanne murmurs quietly, "he only wants to kill me and make a Jack O'Lantern out of my head, nothing special."

Mercury licks her lips slowly as she hears the last part, "I believe that is why Ruth 'narc'd on you, Jeanee." she says softly. "To protect you. By going yourself after this guy you are probably playing his game, going alone after him. And when you find him... so what? If the guy is confident enough to say he can kill you, why do you think he'd hesitate once he found you, all alone? You should have reported that to the headmasters, and let them handle it." she says softly.

"That so?" Jeanne turns to look at Mercury once she's done fixing the chess game back in place. "You assume, but then so do the instructors, which is why I injured Ms. Braddock when she was supposed to be educating me. They all underestimate me, just as this Jack O'Lantern does. If they weren't in the way, I would have taught him a lesson by now." Jeanne holds up a finger, "he didn't say he will kill me, I deduced that on my own from my research and the message he left for me at the Mansion." Crossing her arms, Jeanne snorts, "they knew I got the message, just like anybody else who cared to ask. I've been running this investigation for over a month, I was getting results. Now I'm just grounded and they're 'taking care of it'."

Mercury raises a finger, smiling, "So you claim everyone is underestimating you." she says, arching one eyebrow, but still smiling, "And that even this guy is underestimating you. However..." she says, pausing for a moment for dramatic effect! "Have you considered the possibility that he is NOT underestimating you? That he knows what you're capable of?" she asks, tilting her head softly. "You think it's not a possibility worth some consideration?"

Jeanne lowers her finger and nods at Mercury, "that is certainly a possibility. And if it happens to be the case, I would love to meet someone who actually appreciates me for a change. Nobody ever does."

Mercury tilts her head softly at that, "Why do you think people do not appreciate you?" she asks, her smile dwindling a bit as she gets a bit worried about Jeanne.

Jeanne seems to have had her fill of the conversation as she starts to edge towards the exit, answering once again in a voice devoid of emotion, "because that's what people do. They either use me for their own benefit, or try to decide my future for me."

Mercury blinks softly, and she stands up as well. "I'm not doing either." she says softly, confused. "I'm merely talking with you. I'm not using you, or deciding your future, just... trying to understand your reasoning, trying to be your friend. That's all."

"Friend...?" Jeanne looks oddly at Mercury, stopping short of the doorway as she turns to look at her quizzically, "why would you want to be my friend?" She seems willing to concede that as of this point, Mercury hasn't shown herself to have a specific agenda when it comes to Finesse, and that makes her a big more comfortable with lingering a bit longer.

Mercury smiles and approaches Finesse, smiling softly. "Why would I *not* want to be your friend? You're a student here, as I am, we share some common points, like both of us being mutants, both girls, both students here, and many others." she says, shrugging gently. "I don't see a reason to not try to be your friend. That is, unless you don't want me to. I don't want to keep bothering you if my presence is unwelcome." she says with a smile.

"People generally keep away from me, because I'm a freak, I'm odd, I don't know...they have reasons. I don't really get people, like I said," Finesse takes a deep breath, clearly not too comfortable with the situation. "I don't generally tell people where to put their presence, unless it's a lab and they clearly do not belong."

Mercury smiles, "I'm not sure you noticed, but I'm 'odd' and a 'freak' too." she says, and points at her face, "You can see yourself reflected in my face, for Pete's sake!" she giggles softly at that. "So we're all odd and freaky, all in our own way. That's not a reason not to be someone's friend." she says, shaking her head. "It's what makes us different that makes us interesting."

"I don't tend to view people as odd or as freaks, so I wouldn't know. I find it a silly and pointless label." Jeanne explains, "but if you've been called that, chance are you are a person I could get along with." Crossing her arms, Finesse studies Mercury's face and then asks out of the blue, "are you impervious to pointed weapons? You may withstand an attempt of beheading, correct?"

Mercury nods softly at the first part of the speech, but and was about to say 'yes' to the question about pointed weapons when the question about beheading takes her by surprise, and she unconsciously brings a hand to her neck, "Um..." she says, "I never *tried* beheading myself... but... I kinda don't feel pain when I get cut...?" she says, unsure on how to realy answer those questions.

Jeanne nods and then quips as she extends her hand towards Mercury, "you make a good friend, especially with the likes of Jack O'Lantern after my head, being impervious to pointed weapons should help. I theorize you should survive a beheading attempt, but I don't purpose to run such an experiement."

Mercury blinks, but she takes the hand, shaking it, "Thanks." she says, 'I guess.' she adds in her mind, "And thanks for the confidence in my powers, but I hope you understand that's a theory I'm not exactly eager to test..." she chuckles softyl, smiling a bit ruefully.

Finesse nods at Mercury, "I am not Dr. Nemesis, so lucky you, I'm not going to be conducting experiements when you least expect it, like he did on me. I'm nicer." Finesse delays a moment, as if arguing with herself whether to ask the next question or not, before she settles on it and asks, "can you show me what your power is?"

Mercury smiles a bit, "Thanks? I guess?" she chuckles softly. then she blinks at the next question, "My powers?" she asks, and looks at her hand for a moment before answering, "Well, in a nutshell, my whole body is now comprised of some kind of liquid metal." she points out.

"Liquid metal...? Do you have full kinetic control over each particular? That can have many useful applications," Jeanne notes to herself almost, "interesting ability. I don't think I've seen one like it before. Not with my own eyes."

Mercury blink softly, the girl confused, "I'm sorry, full control what?" she asks, blinking her eyes again, obviously not understanding the question the way it was worded. "Um.. thanks?" she offers, smiling a bit. "I'm sorry, I didn't get your first question."

When Mercury doesn't quite get her question, Finesse responds in what may be considered an unorthdox manner, as she simply reaches to throw a quick punch at Mercury. There's not nearly as much power as there is speed to that fast fist motion, but it's the fastest way for Finesse to explain. If Mercury will reflexively create a hole for the fist to go through, it means full control, if she'll hit, then not. Of course, it would have been nice if Finesse would have bothered to explain as much.

Mercury ack's as the punch is thrown, and, since she wasn't expecting it, she, by reflex, just throws her head back and leans back to avoid it, "Hey! Watch it? What's the big idea? I thought you said you wouldn't go 'Dr. Nemesis' on me!" she says as she takes one step back and straightens out her body. "What was with that punch? You almost hit me."

"But I didn't," Finesse states factually, before shrugging, "looks like it's not complete control, at least not at a subconcious level, or you would have reacted more efficently. You still evaded though, which shows your skill." That would be Finesse giving another compliment. "I'd love to be on a Danger Room session with you sometimes."

Mercury rolls her eyes, "Well, if you would just tell me what is it that you're looking for." she says, then she remembers your question. Your question she didn't understand back then... and still doesn't, now. "In layman's terms, too?"

It takes Finesse a moment, as if looking for the more obvious words, before she asks again, "can you move targetted sections of your body at will? Without affecting the whole?"

Mercury pauses for a moment, blinking, before she finally speaks again, "You're asking me if I can shape-shift?" she asks, tilting her head softly at that, wondering if she managed to understand the girl.

Cocking her head aside as if to consider, Finesse eventually nods, "you could make the claim, if by shape shifting you're refering to a malleable quality of your metallic structure which is given to your full manipulation."

Mercury chuckles, "I can move, which is testament enough, I think?" she says as she flexes her fingers gently, "But, yes, I can change my shape." she says as she closes her hand, and her fist becomes a metallic sphere with bumps. A mace. It lasts for just a few seconds before Mercury re-shapes her hand back to normal.

Finesse nods, "so you can work your body around strikes coming at you, right? Or at least you would be able to do it potentially...ever tried it?" Finesse asks with a level of interest, it seems despite her prior words, she wouldn't mind studying Mercury in lab conditions. Or at least that's the impression she gives.

Mercury nods softly, "Technically, yes, but I have a long way to go until that becomes second nature, you know?" she nods gently at that. I tried it, yes, but, like I said, requires focus." she says, smiling a bit.

"Well, that could be something worth while to focus on, I like your power," Jeanne says as if it matters one way or another, everyone has their own thing. Easing her lips into a bit of a teasing smile, Jeanne remarks, "I bet you trigger a lot of metal detectors, huh?"

Mercury blinks at the unexpected joke, since she didn't expect someone like Finesse to drop a joke like thta, but she smiles and chuckles softly, "Yeah... no more airplane flights for me, unfortunately." she giggles softly.

It is a rather rare occasion for Finesse to drop a joke like that out of the blue, but it seems she's getting a bit more comfortable with Mercury. "Thankfully there are plenty around here who can fly you anywhere, huh? Awesome for financial savings."

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