'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except for what may or may not have been some kind of a weasel thing. Might have been a mouse, I'm not honestly sure. I never was much good at species classifications, to be honest. I find it easier to classify things as "furry, has antlers", or "slimy, eats flies, not a good idea to lick it".
Trust me, I speak from personal experience on that last one.
Anyway, you're not here to talk about taxonomy, are you? You probably want to know who I am, or maybe what I am, right? I mean you did come all this way to find me, so it seems only fair I give you the old autobiography, maybe even some of the juicy bits they leave out of the official story, eh?
Just to check, though, you're not recording this, are you? I happen to like my privacy, thank you very much, and I know what you humans are like for bugging anyone even vaguely famous. I don't want the paparazzi coming round here trying to take photos of me in my smalls is what I'm saying.
So, you're definitely not recording this, right? No? Good good! Then we can begin...
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The truth of the matter is that I am far, far older than you can imagine although if I'm honest, even I can't really remember how old. I can remember running through the forests of Earth back when humanity was still fixated on scrawling antelopes and fertility goddesses all over every available surface. I'm still not entirely sure why they did that, though. I mean were the big women supposed to chase after the antelope or something? Although knowing you humans, it's probably about... goings on. It usually is.
Why have you gone all red?
Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, the point is that I nudged a few antelopes their way, and all of a sudden, I was somehow worshipped as being a deliverer of glad tidings. I'm not quite sure how that happened, but humans back then were a superstitious lot, and no mistake!
Of course, the thing about being worshipped is that it tends to get one noticed by... well, I'm sure you can work who by. Big, shouty, tend to get all tetchy when they don't get their own way, and I don't need to tell you what happens when they get tetchy! Anyway, they came and found me, and they took me. Away from Earth! Away to the stars! I tell you this, though, human, I was shocked, because I knew those stars.
You see, it didn't feel like I was being taken away. No, it felt like I was being taken home. And when I saw them, I finally knew it. I finally knew it!
I was home, back with my own people!
It didn't last. According to them, I'd been "corrupted" by the primitives on Earth, or some such nonsense. They're very big on that. They have this grand plan, you see, and anyone who deviates from it is treated like... well, I won't elaborate, but believe me when I say it's not a pleasant tale. I'm sure you can find stories of it in your history books, if you know where to look.
Still, at least in my case, they only threw me in prison!
Well, I say that, but the truth is that there may have been some other things, too. My memory's a little hazy on the whole thing, really. Oh, I'm sure the memories are in there somewhere, I just don't relish the idea of going looking for them. One never knows what horrible repressed drives might come crashing out, and then I might end up like the rest of my people.
Anyway, the point is, I eventually broke out of there, like a proper lag! Snuck out while no-one was looking and had it away in one of their own shuttles! Ooh, I felt ever so naughty taking it but given the alternative... well, let's just say I didn't much like the alternative.
But where would I go? How could I get away from them? Well how about we have something to eat, and then I'll tell you the rest. Do you by any chance fancy a mince pie?
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What? Oh yes, I know they're a bit meaty, but that's half the appeal. I'll have some loaded onto your ship before you leave, trust me, they're very moreish! Did you know that I invented the pie, by the way? I think I left the recipe in a really hot place down south, somewhere. Apparently that place is all sandy, now, and the locals got all obsessed with building pointy things, too.
Anyway, where was I?
Ah yes, the shuttle...
Well, I really only had one place left to go. I may have come from out there amongst the stars, and I may have once called my captors brothers, but my real home was Earth. Ooh, it hadn't half changed by the time I came back! I keep hearing all about the ghastly business with Ragnarok, and how the first human civilisation got wiped out, but I don't really remember that. I know I was around at the time, but I tended not to pay too much attention to it. The... my former brothers took me not long after humanity had been blasted back to the stone age, but when I came back around... well, I like to think of it as year zero. The funny thing is, some other fellows think of it as year zero as well. Something about Andy's Dominoes, or suchlike.
Still, I imagine my return must have been pretty spectacular, anyway. I came in a little bit hot, you see, so I must have looked like a falling star when I re-entered Earth's atmosphere. I think I landed in what you'd call the Middle East. I can't remember the name of the town I landed near, but I kept hearing about how they had a serious overcrowding problem. Nice people, though. Big on mangers, whatever one of those is.
Well, you'll never believe what I saw next! I only saw three fellows throwing gifts at a child! They were a bit baffling as well, if I'm honest. I mean I can understand giving a kid and his family some gold, to set them up with a bit of spare change, but the other two things? Two things that can best be described as "stinky stuff" and "embalming fluid"? What's a six year-old going to do with those?
Why are you looking at me like that? No, he wasn't a newborn, he was definitely six years old.
Anyway, look, the point is that those three wise old fellows inspired me! Giving gifts begets joy, so I wondered what Earth would be like if I could give gifts to everyone on it!
Of course, I needed a good strong image if I was going to build up brand awareness, and that is where the idea for the suit came from. Do you like it? I absolutely adore the white detailing on red, it's so jolly, don't you think? Heh, it always amuses me that my old name was The Deliverer, and here I am now, delivering things! Funny how things work out, isn't it?
Anyway, yes, I do the whole of the Cynos Union, now, not just Earth. It takes a lot more planning, and of course, getting the reindeer set up to breathe in space was a nightmare, but I think it was worth it. Sure, getting round an entire galaxy in one night is a lot harder than getting round a single planet, but that comes with the territory, I suppose. Besides, it does my heart good to see all those happy faces when they get a My Tiny Donkey action figure with realistic kung fu grip, or one of those newfangled robot toys, the ones that turn into other, slightly less valuable robot toys.
Well, the nice ones, anyway. The naughty ones, however, well, these mince pies don't make themselves.
I'm kidding, blimey, keep your hair on...
So yes, my friend, that's my tale, and now, you know the truth. It never fails to amuse, actually. People always say that I live at the North Pole. And yes, I do live at the North Pole, but the thing is that none of them ever go on to say the second part of that sentence.
On which planet?
Sorry, what was that? The beard? Ah, well, it's a false one. Box clever, you see. I found it in a joke shop in... well, to be honest, I forget the name of the place. It could have been Swindon. Or Beijing. Hmm, maybe Cairo? Anyway, yes, it's a false beard.
Pardon? Show you what I look like without the beard? Well, I wouldn't normally, but... oh what the heck, it is Christmas, right? Here you go...
(At this point in the recording, the speaker's voice is muffled by the sound of running feet. His voice also appears to be getting further away from the data recorder.)
Hey, where are you going? Wait, please, was it something I said...?
(This data recorder was found floating in deep space alongside 75 individual pies which, when tested, proved to have no animal DNA or by-products in them whatsoever. Testers have stated that the pies are "a bit meaty", but that they'd "quite like another, please". There is no indication as to who is the owner of the data recorder, but under the circumstances, they probably do not want it back, anyway. Erasure of contents recommended, followed by giving it to an orphan somewhere. It is, after all, Christmas. - First Admiral Baraph Trighy, Cynos Security Fleet)
© 2013 Mark W. Bonnett
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