‹ Prequel: Chances Risked
Sequel: Life's Chances

The Three C's

Chapter Sixty

“Are you fuckin’ kidding me right now?” I muttered as I saw where the team bus was pulling into, “This is part of training and conditioning?”

“Yup,” Brent Seabrook said as we stood up from out seats and formed a line to exit the bus.

“Ya’ll are more brutal than the Penguins,” I giggled and heard some of the guys laugh. We excited the bus and stood in a group, looking at the big netted area in front of us, “What are we going to be doing exactly?”

“Shooting things,” Crawford said and I looked at him, “Helps with hand and eye coordination.”

“Lovely- What are we shooting?” I asked and Sharp smirked towards me.

“All right guys!” Coach Q came and stood in the front, “There will be four teams, Toews, Kane, Sharp and Keith will be Captains, choose your teammates!”

“What are we shooting?” I asked again.

“Each other,” Sharp said and I looked at him, “Welcome to the world of paintball, Mags!”

“I’m gunna die,” I said and the guys laughed.

It was the end of August and we were all back in Chicago for training and conditioning. Pat and I had just gotten back from Pittsburgh, visiting Nick and seeing a football game a few days earlier. Everyone was happy to see me in Chicago and I was excited to be given my Blackhawks jersey, Jon saying I looked better in black and red. I was so happy that the team was going to allow me to keep the number forty-six as my number, it meant a lot to me.

Once the four Captain’s lined up to choose their teams, Coach said that Jon was going to choose first and everyone was surprised when he chose me. Pat looked annoyed and some of the guys were teasing him for not having me on his team. I walked over towards Jon and high fived him and watched and waited as each teammate found themselves chosen on a team.

There were twenty four of us playing this, our one goalie, Khabibulin was still out on injury and our one defenseman, Brookbank was sick with food poison. Each team got six players, Team Kane had, Pat, Marian Hossa, Brandon Saad, Johnny Oduya, Nick Leddy and Niklas Hjalmarsson. Team Toews had; Jon, myself, Corey Crawford, Andrew Shaw, Peter Regin, and David Rundblad. Team Keith had; Duncan, Ben Smith, Antti Raanta, Marcus Kruger, Joakim Nordstrom and Kris Versteeg. And Team Sharp had; Patrick, Brent Seabrook, Bryan Bickell, Brandon Bollig, Michal Handzus, and Michal Rozsival.

We went into the building the owner set us all in a room where he was going to explain how this training was going to go, we were going to be assigned a color, Team Toews: Orange, Team Sharp: Green, Team Keith: Blue and Team Kane: Purple. The point of the game was that we could shoot anywhere on the body, except the head, but the person was considered out if they were hit in the chest area, on the NHL logo, this was where the coordination came into play.

Everyone was suited up; we were brought into a room where there were guns, given our paint and then brought outside. It looked like a mini forest inside this large netted dome. I looked towards everyone to see that they were really excited about this, we were all handed radios, ‘…They take this shit seriously…’ I thought as I stuck the ear piece in my ear and set my radio channel to the same as my teammates, we each were assigned a channel.

“Now, you have five minutes to go out there and find your spot, no one is to shoot until you hear the horn! The game is thirty minutes, whoever has the most teammates alive, wins,” the owner announced and we all nodded our heads.

“And to add to this,” Coach said as he walked forward, “The team that wins gets a ticket from me.”

“A ticket?” I asked, seeing some of the guys perk up, “What’s that?”

“A free pass on a mandatory practice,” Pat said and I smiled, liking that.

“All right, you’ve peeked my interest Coach!” I said and the guys laughed.

“Glad I could be of service, Marshall,” he said and I giggled.

“Now, everyone get together, you have a minute to form a plan and then when I say go you run into the woods. Listen for the horn and then let the battle begin!”

Jon, Corey, Andrew, Peter, David and I formed in a little circle and Jon came up with a plan that we should head North in the complex because he saw on the map that was on the wall in the dressing room that there was a shack in the center, we could use that as base.

“We’ll have to move quick,” I said and the guys looked at me, I was looking passed Jon, for a brief second, Pat and Saad had pointed in the direction that we were going to head in, “Looks like there will be a battle for the shack.”

“Run like hell,” Corey said and we all nodded our heads.

“And… GO!!!”

We all darted into the woods, I followed behind Jon and Peter, I could hear the others yelling out, but all I knew was that we needed to get to that shack before the others.

“Tazer!” I yelled out and he looked back at me, “You know, we’re gunna get trapped in that shack! The others will find out eventually where we’re hiding at!”

“What?” he yelled and we all stopped running and looked at me.

“The shack, I don’t think you’re the only one to find out that there was one, everyone’s going to head there- Or at least know that a teams there,” I said and the guys looked at me, “If we go there, we’re going to be trapped inside, what if someone sets off one of those color grenades that we were given?” the owner had even each team four grenades, Jon, Corey, Peter and I were carrying one of them.

“I didn’t think of that,” Corey said and I looked at the others, “What’s your idea?”

“We gotta come up with something,” Peter said and the others nodded their heads.

“Look, our main concern is Sharpie’s team, no doubt they’ve already come up with a plan, and with him being the prankster-“

“Yeah, I get it,” Jon said and I nodded my head, “What do you think?”

I looked at the guys, looked around and then looked up, I smirked and then looked at my team, “We get high,” I said and pointed towards the tree.

“Nice,” Andrew said and laughed a little.

“We have to hurry, only two minutes until the horn- Where do you want to climb up?” Jon asked.

“I have a map,” Peter said and we looked at him.

“Where the hell did you find that?” Corey asked.

“Brochure,” he said and I took the map and opened it up.

“We’re here,” Jon said and I nodded my head, “We have a half a mile until the shack-“

“Everyone’s going to be centered on the shack, our safe bet is to get in one of the trees around it,” I said and the guys nodded their heads.

The horn sounded and we cursed, we weren’t ready. The guys and I decided that we were going to head towards the outskirts and then make our way towards the shack. Everyone was alert and had their guns ready, Andrew kept on asking if this plan was going to work, I kept telling him that we would find out.

“So what happens when you come face to face with Kane?” he asked and I looked at him.

“What about him? I’ll shoot him-“

“You sure you can do it?”

“I’m pretty sure that if you don’t shut up, I’m gunna shoot you,” I said and the guys chuckled.

“Stop,” Jon hushed and we all crouched down.


“I heard something,” he whispered and we all got low, Jon crawled over towards the tree and stood up, hiding behind the tree and getting his gun ready, “Looks like Leddy.”

“Shoot ‘em,” Andrew whispered and Jon did.

“Move, move, move,” he whispered and we all moved quickly, “I missed the chest!”

“Split up! We’re on channel five!” I whispered loudly because at that moment, the war started and we were being fired on.

I ended up turning around and going back the way we came to try and go the other way. I felt a sting on my arm and saw that I had blue on my clothes, I had been shot, but not in the area where I’d be considered out. I heard running ahead of me and crouched down, sneaking my head up and seeing Brandon Saad, I smirked; he was on Pat’s team.

“Mags, Mags, can you hear me?” I could hear Jon in my ear piece.

I held in the button on the ear piece, “I hear ya, I’m all good, I have a sight on Saad, I’m following- Maybe he’s going towards the shack.”

“Ok, be careful, Shaw’s out, Sharpie got ‘em in the chest,” Corey said and I giggled a little.


“Shut up, Maggie!” Andrew yelled over the channel.

“Of course, you’d be the first to get shot in our team,” I teased and then stopped, hearing a twig snap behind me and turning around. I could hear my teammates bickering over the radio; I pulled my piece out of my ear and got down low and listened.

“You by yourself, Mags?”