Santa Claus: An Unauthorized Biography
A Short Story by Andrea Houtsch
All rights reserved. Copyright 2014.
“Santa we have a problem,” Jory (that was his human name) tugged on the red furred robe sleeve. Santa (that was his human name) peered angrily down at him.
“What now? And don’t call me Santa, Zelan. I hate that name.” Santa blinked his bleary eyes and blew his bulbous nose into a red hanky. He dropped it with a gape tooth grin into Jory’s waiting hands. Jory said nothing but silently vowed that the day his indentured servitude ended Santa was going to get his due reward.
“Well sir the main warp conduit is down. We can’t get the portal open.”
Santa scowled and glared at him.
“Get Donner. He can fix it.”
Jory sighed trying not to squeeze the loaded hanky in his hands. He felt like taking a great big handful of Santa’s white beard (bleached to enhance the Earthen tale) and give it a good hard yank. Of course if he did that he’d be made to wear his manacles again and he wouldn’t go back to that for al the universe.
“Donner’s tried sir, and so have Comet, Vixen, Blitzen, and Dancer. Prancer, Cupid and Dasher have all also tried but no one seems to be able to figure it out. Nothing they’ve tried works,” Jory said cringing. Santa growled.
“Well what about Rudolph? If we don’t get those presents to Earth’s children we’ll have a full fledged war on our hands again. I’ve no army raised! I’ll lose again and they’ll demand even more!” Santa hissed. Jory nodded frowning. He hated to have to remind Santa that he’d given the overworked head engineer this year’s Christmas season off. Rudolph was currently vacationing in the Polaris system over a hundred light years away.
“Rudolph is on vacation sir. He’s off for the entire holiday season by your leave.” Jory cringed internally. As expected Santa roared something unintelligible in human language and socked the tiny elf right in the face. Jory whom had gone through two hundred years of such abuse thus far stood still with tears in his eyes and blood trickling down his lip from his nose.
“Great! The head vulking engineer is on vacation and I’ve a crisis on my vulking hands!” Santa roared slipping back into his native Malorian dialect. The big man lunged to his feet; his heavy rolls of fat bouncing as he strode to the door of his office and threw it open, pointing a pudgy digit ou at the workshop beyond. “You get out there and tell those Reindeer to that that conduit working or they’re outta here!”
Frightened Jory bobbed his tiny elf head, tucked his red and white elven hat down around his pointed elven ears, and scurried past the enraged human myth.
Santa (oh how he hated that name!) closed the door to his office. He smiled at the sound of little Zelan shouting orders to the Reindeer Warp Engineers. The elf was such a little imp always brown nosing and then muttering under his breath about how much he hated the Malorian warrior that the humans insisted on calling Santa Claus. It was true that Jaydal (that was his Malorian name) was a mean crotchety old man but only because he had lost an intergalactic war hundreds of years before and was now forced by the victors of said war to make and send cute little toys and treats to their children half a universe away.
He wished he could forget that war. It had been a battle forced upon him. He was a simple toymaker who donned the armor and raised the weapons of the Malorian warrior caste in his spare time. Earth had started it – no, not Earth but the race of creatures that originally colonized the little blue planet. Those pesky homo-sapiens had launched an attack on his workshop for no apparent reason. They’d forced him to gather his warrior friends and launch a counter attack, for no Malorian could rightly ignore such provocation without suffering some damage to his pride and honor
The battle lasted approximately seven hours with the cursed homo-sapiens prevailing despite his and his friends’ best efforts and advanced technology. Each of his sleighs had been shot down even as he issued the commands to attack and he’d watched his friends die one by one in the cold void of space. Eventually his own sleigh had been disabled and without further options Jaydal had been forced to surrender or see his own life wasted among the star speckled blackness. His surrender had disgusted and shamed him as a mighty Malorian warrior, and once upon the homo-sapiens’ lead ship his disgust and shame was heightened by the necessity of bowing low before a race he considered his inferior.
What demands they’d made of him! “Always wear red and white – the symbols of our war and your surrender,” they’d said with no little amount of smug victory. “You are a toymaker. We demand that you employ elves that will help you build toys for our colonists’ children. You will do this every year until the end of time and on the night of December twenty fourth each year you will deliver these toys to them.”
He’d wanted to grab those stick-like bodies and break them like the twigs they were but instead posed a question to them.
“But how will I get the toys to them? My home is here on Malory and you have destroyed my fleet of sleighs.”
Their leader had shrugged with indifference. “You still have your sleigh but this is not our problem. This you must figure out yourself and ensure the toys are delivered on time every time. If you miss even once we will return and destroy you and all you know.”
Oh the rage that had filled him! He’d been transported back to his workshop where he’d immediately set out complying with their demands. He’d tried to hire elves but the race of tiny creatures refused to give him any help. What friends of his that had not gone into battle with him had seen his need and taken pity on him, helping him capture and enslave several hundred elves in a short fought battle. Jaydal had quickly taught the impudent brats how to craft toys and promised them freedom after five hundred years of servitude.
Next he took into his service the smartest animals he could find – a group of nine Reindeers whom had all graduated Cum Laud from the top engineering institute in the universe: M.I.G. (Make It Go). Their names were Comet, Cupid, Dancer, Prancer, Donner, Blitzen, Dasher, Vixen, and last of all, Rudolph, the smartest and leader of them all, indicated by the strange red bulb of his nose that often glowed with its own inner light when the Reindeer was stressed or frightened. Jaydal had set these Reindeers to work immediately, tasking them with engineering a way to get at least one present to each child on the planet Earth in only twelve hours time.
In the beginning he had been compelled to use his sleigh but the dearth of children on Earth had called for outrageous upgrades to his sleigh’s speed and fuel storage. The humans began to notice his gifts and started calling him Santa Claus, a name he had yet to figure out and would forever loathe.
As time went on the Reindeers got into the more technological side of the engineering world. Slowly, over hundreds of years, they developed the plans for a warp conduit that would lead from his workshop to Earth via every Christmas tree in every house. Finally after four hundred years of planning they had it built and working to perfection. This was six years ago. Now he never had to leave his workshop because all the elves had to do was make the toys and open the portal door. The presents were automatically warped to their destinations over half a universe away.
But now the portal wouldn’t open and his head Warp Engineer was on vacation! Blast it all! What was he going to do? He couldn’t wait for Rudolph to get back. Christmas was less than three days away! He’d just have to call him back. Yes, that’s what he was going to do. Rudolph would be displeased and probably demand an increase in his wages for the following year but what other choice did Jaydal have? He couldn’t afford another war.
Jaydal grunted, reached for his communicator device and punched in the Polaris system’s coordinates.