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For Aged 'Magic: The Gathering' Players

     Nicol Bolas walks into a game store.

 

     He goes up to the counter where Sam, the new guy, is serving.

 

     "I've come for my VIP pre-release package of Innistrad Crimson Vow," rumbles Bolas, menacingly.

 

     Sam's not taking any of it. "The VIP pre-release is for - y'know - VIPs. You don't exacty look like a VIP. You look like some old dragon."

 

     Bolas isn't quite expecting this - mostly, whenever he asks for something, people - and the occasional Planeswalker - cower in terror and accede to his every whim.

 

     He digs deep down into his memory for a word he's long forgotten.

 

     "Sorry?" he snarls.

 

     Sam looks at Bolas as if to say, "C'mon, fella."

 

     "Let me just repeat that. VIP pre-release - for VIPs. Anyone who isn't a VIP gets the ordinary package. And that'll be 25 [local currency units] please."

 

     Bolas can't believe his ears. This puny morsel - sorry, mortal - is standing in the way of the Dragon God's wish.

 

     Drawing himself up to his full height (which is hard because the game store's ceiling is about high enough for Torbran and the Seven Dwarves to get in comfortably), Bolas puts every ounce of bile and threat into his next question.

 

     "Do you know who you're talking to?"

 

     Sam peers up at him, squinting slightly, the light glinting off the frame of his glasses.

 

     "Smaug?" he hazards a guess.

 

     By this point Bolas's normally extremely limited patience is stretched beyond its absolute limit.

 

     "What kind of game store assistant ARE you?" he roars. "You really don't recognise me?"

 

     "Should I? Are you in Warhammer? If so I missed you," replies Sam without missing a beat, making sure that he wiggles his Warhammer 40k tournament wristband in Bolas's line of sight. "If not - pre-release, 25 [local currency units]."

 

     Bolas curves his long neck to bring his eyes close to, and in line with, Sam's.

 

     "Let me give you a clue..." he seethes in a "If-I-have-to-ask-you-again-I-won't-be-asking-you-because-you'll-be-a-pile-of-ash-on-the-carpet" tone.

 

     "They named a whole Magic: The Gathering format after me. Elder... Dragon... Highlander."

 

     Sam's face turns from one of scepticism to one of incredulity. "Really? REALLY? Omigod, omigod..."

 

     Bolas draws his head away with a glower of satisfaction. "Finally..." he hisses.

 

     Sam's dashing around behind the counter in absolute ecstasy.

 

     "Guys, guys... You'll never guess. Sean Connery's in the store today!!!"

   

THE END

A dragon facing right.
A dragon facing left.
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