[Literature] Fate: Cookie - Chapter 6: Latent Destiny

Colonel Thunder

Renowned Blunderer
Chapter 6: Latent Destiny

Bob's skates slashed across the ice as he juked another opponent. No need to pass to a teammate. This goal, this victory, was his. A defender tried to check him. Too slow. Bob spun and slapped the puck across the field, making sure not to face the net in order to give the slow goalie a chance to block. He had no such luck.

Bob scored, but no audience cheered. Bob smiled and took deep breaths, then looked at his watch. Time to get back to work.

Bob skated around the field, picking up the cardboard defenders he had made as he went with practice-perfect decision. He took off his skates and stored the defenders in the storage room where the cleaning supplies were. He towed the cleaning cart out of the closet and began cleaning the stadium once more.

Being a graveyard custodian was a drag, but it was the only way he got to spend so much time at Maelstrom Stadium. He even knew some of the players pretty well, and played chess weekly with the Hounds' assistant coach. Bob swept discarded soft drinks and half-empty popcorn bags per routine. Hours passed, but hockey podcasts kept depressing thoughts at bay. Mid-shift, he polished the statue of Mael at the stadium entrance. It was his favorite part.

When the sun began to rise, Bob distributed mail. Loads of fan mail for the players, corporate gifts for the managers and executives. Occasionally, Bob pilfered a bottle of wine or box of chocolates if they were directed to one of the dickish managers. But not today. Today was the first day Bob received mail directly.

The label indicated Bob was the primary recipient, with Maelstrom himself as the secondary recipient. This was no relic from before Mael's disappearance though. It was dated today.

"What in hell," said Bob to the empty stadium. He thought about telling someone about it, but it would be a few days. And his curiosity only grew. Bob opened the package. Inside was an ancient-looking bottle.

"No way," gasped Bob, as he felt the surge of magical energy from the bottle. "This can't be a catalyst, can it?"

Bob thought back to his early school days, before dropping out. The Cookie Wars were one of the more interesting subjects those magic nerds taught about. It was about all he remembered.

Suddenly, everything made sense. Maelstrom's peerless hockey skills, his endless charm, his unmatched artistry, and his mysterious disappearance. Mael was a mage!

"He did disappear around the time of the last Cookie War," said Bob to himself. "I guess he didn't make it. But why put his name on the package? And mine!"

Bob considered returning the package. Or disposing it, since there was no return address. But something inside him drove him to complete the summoning ritual. It was as though a reassuring hand was placed on his shoulder.

"I am not a skilled mage," smiled Bob as he picked up the bottle. "But I am not unskilled. Look out, eggheads."
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