The Fat Cook

4.88/5 (2)

Cook’s journal, day 1:

I am proud to have been chosen by Lead Explorer J. Y. Causton to serve as cook for the 60-day exploration of the old submerged mine works on Bauxus XI – but by the Emperor, this is an awful place. Noxious swamps as far as you can see, and everything that grows here is sharp and twisted, and smells as bad as the swamp! I am glad to be in the base all day and not out exploring the submerged mineworks with the crew. 

Diners served: 43

Cook’s journal, day 12:

Another accident today. Labourer Gigas had his leg crushed by a falling extractor pipe. The chirurgeon has had to remove the leg and poor Gigas will have to wait until the shuttle comes and take us back to Bauxus V for a mechanical replacement. Morale is bad but at least the crew get a hot meal every day, and that brings me joy – to know my work here is in such direct service to the work of Lead Explorer Causton and the glory of the Emperor.

Some local creatures have somehow got into the stockroom. I have only caught glimpses of them in the shadows – tiny, slimy things, perhaps green but that is difficult to say. I replaced the nibbled boxes. None of the food has been touched, thank the Emperor. 

Diners served: 41

Cook’s journal, day 18:

Disaster! Those creatures have spoiled several days’ supplies, and we have had to cut rations.

The excavation is not going well. No traces of ore have been found, so Lead Explorer Causton thinks the site may have been a store of some sort. A symbol has been found in a couple of places – three circles clustered together with three arrows pointing out in between the circles. He postulates that these are some sort of map indicator for those who worked there, long ago.

Above my pay grade. I just need to keep the stores clear. 

Diners served: 41

Cook’s journal, day 22:

Causton was killed today. Another accident. I blame myself. Everyone is distracted with hunger. I haven’t eaten anything for days to save food for the crew. I need to do something to save them.

I have been sleeping in the store room. I hear the creatures scrabbling in the dark. More supplies ruined. I can’t sleep. Instead, I pace, looking for them. I cannot bring myself to tell the others of my failure. The crew are looking weaker. They work all day and don’t get enough to eat, and it’s my fault. I prayed to the Emperor for guidance as I fell asleep.

Diners served: 41

Cook’s journal, day 26:

When I woke, I had the idea to look for something edible in this awful wasteland. Causton said not to touch the local plants, but he’s dead now, and I need to do something. I ate them myself to see if they are poisonous. 

The lurid-green grass is foul-smelling and sharp, but in my mouth it dissolved into a tasty, silky paste. I cooked up a big pot of it but nothing seemed to break down the spiky grass – not heat or vinegar or oil. In desperation, I am ashamed to say I spat in the pot, again and again, until the grass dissolved – but it worked! 

The crew complained about the smell and many wouldn’t touch it, but those who ate it loved it! 

Diners served: 40

Cooks journal, day 32:

The crew are visibly fatter, which is wonderful to see! The stew even heals their cuts and bruises! Two of the labourers stick to the old rations, former missionaries who are stuck in their ways and say the smell of the stew makes them feel sick – it is a shame, they are truly missing out. And so thin.

I worry that the stew is samey, I need to think of new ingredients.

Diners served: 40

Cook’s journal, day 36: 

I heard of two deaths on the site today. The old missionaries, likely weak with hunger, were assumed drowned when a partition collapsed unexpectedly. I had a thought – if the stew can heal wounds, can it help these men? I snuck into the mortuary and ladled it into their mouths. 

That night, revitalised by my stew, the two old men walked in as my plate bearers. The crew were ecstatic and the stew was extra tasty tonight thanks to my new ingredients.

Diners served: 40

Cook’s journal, day 41:

I opened Causton’s body bag. The putrid smell made me laugh. I simply emptied a pot of stew into it and zipped it back up. Later that day he was struggling to get out, and after I set him free he embraced me with a smile.

Some of the crew saw me cutting off lumps of my own fat and dropping them into the pot – they chuckled at my dedication. More good news – Gigas’ leg grew back, so he can return to excavating the temple.

Diners served: 41

Cook’s journal, day 60: 

The expedition was a total success. The temple is fully excavated and the shuttle returns for us today. We will invite the pilot to enter the base and insist he dines with us. 

I am swollen to gigantic size and lumpen with rich seams of silken, delicious fat. The crew call me the Fat Cook, but they are fat too, and green, like the grass. We laugh at how fat we all are.

I made a speech. I pointed up to the sky and told them, ‘There are so many hungry people out there, amongst the stars. Together, we can feed them.’

Diners served: 44

Diners served tomorrow: ?

About the Author

Christopher is a video producer and writer from Edinburgh. He has enjoyed exploring the worlds of Warhammer 40,000 since he was 10.