i'm only six minutes late in my time zone
A Very Gassy Christmas
“No!” cried Jim Raynor. “No, please! Don’t you die on me!”
“We’re losing it!” shouted Kari, the ghost with no evident last name.
“No, we’re so close!” yelled Jim. “We can’t lose this now! We can’t!”
A snap and a pop were heard, and Jim’s PlayStation 500 was broken.
Kari looked up solemnly. “It’s dead, Jim.”
Jim dropped the controller and put his face in his hands. How could it have come to this? He was so close to beating his game... and his PS 500 had to go and break. Jim sighed and pulled himself together. With a sniff and a forced smile he turned to Kari. “I guess I should have seen it coming. Those PS 500 systems aren’t really well designed; they should have spent more time in development.” He looked wistfully out the window of the large spaceship. “If only I had a PS 501....”
Kari looked out at the stars as well. “How many do you think are out there? Stars, I mean.”
Jim shrugged. “I dunno.” He squinted and started muttering numbers under his breath for a moment, and then said, “I think about seventeen or sixteen.” He stood up and walked to the door. “I’m going to get a ragnasaur steak and mashed potato sandwich. Want one?”
“No thanks,” said Kari. As soon as the door had closed behind Jim she jumped up and rushed over to her computer. She pressed a few buttons on a keypad and a microphone popped up, and the screen viewer changed to show another member of Raynor’s Raiders.
The marine saluted to Kari. “Ma’am, yes, ma’am, reporting for duty, ma’am. How can I help you, ma’am?”
“Stop calling me ma’am, Billy. You don’t need to be so formal.”
Kari glared at him. “Are you using stimpacks again? You know those are almost as bad as drugs.”
“No, ma’am, Kari, ma’am, I’m clean, ma’am. Clean as a whistle, Kari. Yes ma’am.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, ma’am, Kari, it’s Christmas, no stims at Christmas, no sirree. No ma’amee either.”
“What does that mean?”
“I don’t know, Kari.”
“Look, Billy,” she said, starting to get frustrated. “What’s the status on the parcel?”
“The which parcel?”
“It’s just ‘which parcel,’ Billy.”
“Yes, the which?”
“The... no, I mean, Jim’s parcel.”
“The Christmas Super Secret Jim’s Present Parcel?”
Billy looked to the left and hit some buttons. “Uhhhh, we’re passing by some planet right now.”
“The which – I mean, which planet?”
“It’s, uh, Korhal, ma’am.”
“Korhal? Billy, we’re light-years away from Korhal!”
“Uh, really?” Billy pressed some buttons. “I mean, uh, really, ma’am, I knew that! Yeah, for sure. We’re just, uh, we’re stoppin’ for gas.”
“You can’t get gas from Korhal. Korhal is the Dominion’s capital planet.”
“Oh, is it? I mean, it is. We were just leavin’.”
Kari sighed angrily. “Well, you’d better hurry up! Only two hours before present opening.” She closed the com-link.
Kari stood up, made her way over to the door, and left the room. Her footsteps brought her down the wall, where she entered the kitchen to find Jim still eating his sandwich. He noticed Kari come in and raised his glass. “Want some eggnog?”
Kari smiled despite her stress and sat down. “Excuse me for cracking a joke, but that sounds egg-squisite.”
Billy kicked the Dominion soldier out of the airlock and furrowed his eyebrows. “What an idiot. He thinks he can come on MY ship and steal MY Super Special Parcel. Well, he’s wrong.”
He closed the airlock and looked out the window and watched the soldier fall back down to the planet. If he had not been intoxicated by stimpacks at the time, he would have wondered why they only sent one man. He would not have been wondering long, however, as a fleet of fast wraiths flew toward him at top speed.
Billy blanched and ran to the cockpit, checking the fuel. There wasn’t enough for a hyperdrive boost, meaning he would have to stay and fight.
Billy banked the ship around and let loose a volley of Christmas rockets and a “yee-haw!” He watched as the rockets slammed into the Dominion ships and sent them flying with green and red explosions, but he stopped for a moment when a thought approached his mind.
Billy reached forward and tapped his microphone. “Hello? Can you pilots hear me? My name’s Billy, and uh, I was wonderin’, since it’s Christmas... maybe we could strike a deal?”
Kari leaned forward on the ladder and placed the paper star on the top of the Christmas tree. “Perfect!” she said, smiling down at Jim, who was holding the ladder.
Kari climbed down, glancing about the room at the decorations.
Jim grinned broadly and looked at the presents under the tree. “It looks like everything is ready for present opening!”
Suddenly there was a loud explosion. Jim turned to Kari. “That sounded like it was in the landing bay!”
The two of them rushed down the hall together and entered the landing bay. There was Billy’s ship, as well as several Dominion wraiths, crash landed right in the middle of the bay. The door of Billy’s ship opened, and he stumbled out, falling on his head. He jumped up when he saw Jim and Kari. “Ma’am, sir, I got the uh, parcel. All in one piece, ma’am.” He beamed, several holes in his mouth where teeth should have been.
Soon after under the Christmas tree, Billy opened his present from Kari. “Aw, man!” he said. “It’s just a brochure for stimpack rehab.” He sighed and threw the paper away. Some of the Dominion pilots nearby laughed at him together as they shared a drink.
It was Jim’s turn now, so he grabbed the Christmas Super Secret Jim’s Present Parcel and tore it open. “Oh, boy, oh, boy!” he said as he threw wrapping paper to the side. “I think I know what this is!”
He frowned. “This isn’t a PS 501,” he said.
“What?” asked Kari. “That’s not right...”
In the box was a shiny new Xbox 1080.
“But that doesn’t make sense! I ordered a PS 501! Unless...” Kari turned to Billy. “Billy!”
Jim threw the box across the room grumpily as Kari approached Billy. “Come on now,” she said, “where’s the PS 501?”
Billy smiled, taking the PlayStation 501 system from under a box and holding it under his arm as he ran from the room. “Merry Christmas!” he shouted back.