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A Gift For Santa

Help On The Way

At Pippi's, things were going well, Indy had gone to work, Ariel was starting on the Christmas baking, and Ameh had picked up NT to take her shopping. Pippi was at work stringing up the Christmas lights on the outside of the house.


Capri, who had a late night and stressful mission the evening before, was still asleep. But eventually the wonderful smells of Christmas cookies and the sound of the stereo eased her into a semi-conscious state.


What really jolted her awake was the voice message from the unicom on the dresser right beside her bed.


She startled and sat up straight, trying to catch what was being said.


When it finished, she shook her head, trying to clear it, and rubbed her eyes. "Could I have that again?"


The message repeated, and this time she got it. She picked up the com and responded. "Holy crap! Is no one off limits to these cannibalistic monsters?" She shuddered inwardly. "We've got to do what we can to stop that from happening."


By this time, Pippi was through putting up the lights and was chatting with Ariel in the kitchen. Sampling the baking, she said,"These are just delicious."


"Thank you!" Ariel responded, smiling back, "I'll bet Indy will be sorry she missed trying them fresh from the oven because she had to go to work."


Pippi grinned. "Yes, I'll be sure to rub it in when I pick her up this evening."


Ariel chuckled.


Capri came down, but she didn't seem to notice the wonderful Christmas cookie smell, and she wasn't even smiling.


"Morning," Ariel said, looking at her questioningly. "What's wrong.


Capri's expression was boardering on alarm now.


"What?" Ariel repeated.


"Vampires - at the North Pole, threatening Santa and his community. I just got the message from Bez on the com."


Pippi and Ariel mirrored each other's expressions of disbelief and dismay.


"How can that be?" Pippi asked, at a loss.


"I don't know the specifics," said Capri grimly, "but we'll have to find out ASAP and then plan out what can be done."


"I better call Ameh and let her know what's going on." said Pippi.


Would you like a cookie, Capri?" Ariel offered, hoping to ease the stress if even a little.


Capri only shook her head. "Thanks anyway.. I better get going." and with that, she hurried back upstairs.


Ameh and NT had been partially successful with their shopping, but they hadn't found everything they wanted to get for everyone. Now, they took a break at a food court. Ameh bought something for herself from a Mexican place and NT opted for Chinese. Then they got their coffee and hot chocolate.


They were nearly finished their meals when Ameh's cell rang.


"Heya Pippi!"


"Oh no, what's up?"


"What - seriously!?"


"Oh, crap, this is just messed up!"


"Yeah, we'll come home right away."


"What's going on?" NT asked as Ameh hung up. She'd seen the wide-eyed horrified look on Ameh's face and knew that meant something must've gone wrong at home. "What's the matter!?"


"Well - "


"Did something happen to Mom or Pippi or - "


"No, no, NT, nothing like that." Ameh reassured her. "But Santa Claus is in danger and so is his town at the North Pole."


""Is it a witch?"


"No, vampires."


NT's reaction was as horrified as the others had been, and she and Ameh wasted no time exiting the mall, though Ameh in her flustered state, couldn't see or remember where her car was parked. It took some frantic looking around before NT finally spotted it.


It was just good luck for a change they didn't hit too many lights on red during the drive home.


Then Ameh went back to her own apartment to pack for the journey.


Capri got in touch with Heidi and Misery to let them know what was up, and they said they'd keep a look out for anything suspicious here in town while the others were away.


Ariel would stay at home as well, unless she might be needed for something elsewhere later. For now, someone had to stay behind and pick up Indy from work.


It was agreed that Pippi should join the mission because of her physical strength. She may not have been magical, but she would be able to physically stop a vampire attack or attempted attack.


Capri agreed to have NT join the mission because the more help the better, and NT tended to be a bit of a nightowl. That could come in especially handy in this case. Ameh would remain behind for now, but on call.


So, once everyone was all set, Capri let Bez know via the com they were on it.


"Cool." Bez said, grimacing as she realized that "cool" was a bit of a pun considering where they were headed. She turned off the Unicom and turned to face Matrix. "Well, they're in." She smiled. "And we're going to the North Pole!"


"What about the North Pole?" Sigma asked as she and Criter entered the Control Room.


"Santa is in danger of being vamped, on top of several casualties already!"


Sigma stared at Bez for a moment before grinning. "We get to see Santa!" She exclaimed jubilantly. "And the elves, and the reindeer...!"


Bez chuckled. "You were the kind of kid who faithfully waited for Santa to show up, only to fall asleep, weren't you?"


"What, and you didn't?"


Bez shook her head, her grin broadening. "Au contraire, mon frÈre. I tried every stinkin' year till I was fifteen! Then I just gave up, figured if I was meant to see 'im, I would've by now!" She laughed. "And now, years and years later, I'm actually going to do it!"


"I know! Isn't it awesome?" Sigma looked like she wanted to hug someone she was so excited, and Bez was in a good enough mood to actually accept the hug, should she be the lucky victim. 

"Y'know, I think this is the first time in months I've seen you two talking to each other without arguing about something?" Matrix interjected. Bez and Sigma looked at each other then at Matrix.


"It's called Christmas spirit!" Bez declared.


"And I think it's contagious." Sigma warned, deciding that Matrix would be the one to receive her hug of excitement. Matrix stood to better adjust a monitor. Sigma took the opportunity.


"Ooouurf!" Matrix exclaimed, taken by surprise by Sigma's sneak-attack hug. "Help! I've been glomped!"


Bez burst out laughing. "Oh, lighten up, better you than me!"


It was now that Criter took the chance to ask a pressing question. "Excuse me if this is a silly question," He began. "But who is Santa Claus? And-Christmas?"


Bez smacked her forehead. "Oh, burn it. How did we forget to explain that to you? Poor guy...you must've been so confused."


"Well...I was hoping I would figure it out on my own. But...I couldn't really."


"Well," Bez began. "allow me to explain..." about ten minutes of explanation followed, ending with Bez detailing the gift-giving process. "And that's that."


Criter nodded. "I see." He smiled slightly. "I think I like this holiday."


Sigma laughed. "Well, that's good, seeing as I got you a present."


At this, Criter frowned suddenly. "Oh, no...! I-I..." He shook his head. "I didn't get you anything."


Bez waved it off casually. "Hey, there's still time! Don't worry 'bout it." She smiled mischievously. "Besides, we're going to the North Pole. Santa can probably help you find some good presents."


Criter nodded, a relieved smile on his face.


"Anyway, we better get the ship headed for Earth. We have Christmas to save!" 


At this point, Thande entered the room.


Bez laughed at the sight of him. He was holding a cup of eggnog and sipping tentatively at it. "Thande!" She teased playfully. The cup looked like a toy in his hands, and the sight of him using it so delicately was laughable.


Sigma giggled and relinquished her hug-hold on Matrix. "How'd you like the party?" She asked Thande.


He cocked his head slightly. "It was interesting.  Your pet enjoyed it." He added.


Sigma laughed. "Where is the little guy anyway?"


"He is with the droid."


Bez laughed. "Well, that's great! Specter is probably driving Roy crazy, and Roy's probably doing it right back!"


Matrix chuckled as he plotted a course to Earth. "Well, well, this is already turning out to be quite the Christmas!"


Sigma smiled. "Yep."


"And who knows," Bez interjected. "if we do a good enough job, Santa might let us come back next year, or somethin'."


Sigma giggled. "Oooh, that'd be so cool!" She squirmed eagerly, smiling ear to ear.


Bez laughed. "Don't blow a gasket, Sigma."


"I'm trying!" Sigma replied. "But it's just so great!"


Bez nodded. "Yeah...well, let's go save Christmas!"



Trip To The North Pole

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