Xenonautical Adventures – Part 28: All I Want For Christmas
20th of December, 1979, 21:53
I was on the spot when Charlie-1 landed. I will proudly admit I’ve yet to miss a single landing. I’d say the soldiers seemed a little shaken, and after seeing the Reapers’ handiwork, I suppose I can’t blame them. At least they all returned without any physical injuries.
After reviewing their report, it seems Cpts Beargal and Niña have both earned Orders of Merit. I also think it’s about time Lt Berwolf got promoted to Captain.
I will be going back to bed now. In the morning I’ll have to order some new shoelaces, as Major Merrywhiskers has ruined several on a binge of chewing off the tips. I hope she didn’t swallow all of them, or she’s going to have some difficult bowel movements coming up.
21st of December, 1979, 07:20
Shoelaces have been ordered, and reports have been reviewed.
We are so close to Christmas now that the various departments have started preparations. I have told the soldiers that if they want a tree, they will have to obtain one, water it, and clean up after it themselves. Which includes throwing it out after New Year’s.
Not that we really get any time off as such. So long as the aliens stay away, we are free to be a little festive. However, alcohol is still banned until after the alien menace is over.
21st of December, 1979, 16:11
They’ve put up a bit of decorations in the mess hall. Not much to get out here really, so it’s mostly self-made stuff, and things that have survived previous years.
The cooks want to talk about doing something special for the holiday meals, and I admit I have already been inquiring about what we can get our hands on up here. Turkey is out, but the quartermaster seemed optimistic about maybe some goats or sheep. I was sort of hoping for some game, but there isn’t much hunting here on the edge of the desert. We’d have to drive quite far, so trading with nomads or farms not too far away seems more viable.
22nd of December, 1979, 07:49
We are finally starting to get some surplus shipped to the Euro-African base. So they’ll be more prepared next time.
Christmas preparations appear to be proceeding more briskly than I expected. Maybe they need this to take their minds off of everything else. A tree of sorts has been procured, and the quartermaster showed up with six sheep, two goats and some cured fish. It’s not a lot for a whole base, but it should be enough that everyone gets a little, at least. Just for some variety to mark the occasion. Who knows, it might be our last Christmas ever if we don’t push them back.
22nd of December, 1979, 15:05
Someone, I suspect the XO, gave Major Merrywhiskers some tinsel. It’s practically impossible to get it away from her at the moment.
Ah well, she’ll probably be tired of it by tomorrow.
22nd of December, 1979, 21:27
The tinsel has been well and truly shredded. I put her in the bathroom while I got the broom to clean it up.
23rd of December, 1979, 07:29
It’s the day before the day before the day. Aside from progress on weapon production and shipping, and Christmas preparations, there’s really not much on my desk.
Of course, we have soldiers from all around the world, so not all of them celebrate Christmas ordinarily, but they don’t seem to mind joining in, if only to have something other than aliens to think about.
23rd of December, 1979, 16:43
They’ve tested the lights for the tree, and they all seem to be in working order now. Had to exchange two bulbs, I was told.
And all the animals are being prepared properly, so at least that’s a relief.
It’s about time for the aliens to show up again, if the schedule holds.
24th of December, 1979, 08:02
Regardless of whether or not the aliens show up today, we have plenty to do. There shouldn’t be any immediate paperwork crisis if I leave that alone for the next couple of days and only handle the most pressing stuff.
The real trick is whether or not I can get Major Merrywhiskers to wear this little hat we put together for her.
24th of December, 1979, 16:38
Interesting how everyone seemed in such high spirits at dinner today, even though the holiday food isn’t until tomorrow. I expect they’re all just too happy to let themselves be caught up in the spirit of things.
Personally I am feeling a little apprehensive. I expected the aliens to make another showing by now, and I feel that they’re going to drop in during the middle of our celebrations.
25th of December, 1979, 07:26
Christmas morning. No presents under the tree, because we don’t really have anywhere to go to shop, nor do we have much material to craft something out of, not to mention finding the time to do it. The present for everyone will be today’s dinner, basically.
We’ve made sure that there was something for everyone in there, so far as our supplies allowed. The quartermaster had also gotten us some extra root vegetables, which helps.
25th of December, 1979, 07:44
I was enjoying my morning coffee as the Chief came in with a report fresh from North America. They’ve completed the interrogation of the alien officer. He stays with me as I read it. I remain silent while I read, saving any questions for after. So they don’t aim to kill us off completely? Not even after they’re done with whatever they’re doing here?
“A controller? So without their officer, the others are little more than animals?”
“Not quite, Commander. They just become less tactically apt, I suppose. Able in combat, but without strategy.”
“Does this mean that there’s some creature we can kill to effectively shut down the rest of them?”
“That would still be mere speculation at this point, Commander.”
“Understood. Thank you. Send word to North America to have them resume researching the alien weapons we sent over.”
He looks as if he has better ideas, but he doesn’t voice them.
As he leaves, I ponder that I’ve seen more gadgets and strange-looking devices in place around the base in the past few days. They have to be getting close to completing their own project as well.
25th of December, 1979, 16:22
The Christmas dinner was a success. Spirits are quite lifted, it seems. Major Merrywhiskers lasted a whole 15 minutes before she pulled her hat off. There was even some singing around the tree.
Towards the end we had a sombre moment in memory of those we lost this year. Not just our friends and fellow soldiers, but everyone taken around the world. We can’t get them back, but we will see that justice is done.
Or die trying.
26th of December, 1979, 07:56
The laser weapons for the Euro-African base are done and being shipped. With our funds running low, I have just told the engineer crews at all three bases that they’ll have no more work orders for this year, and instead can help out our scientists with installing all the base upgrades if they’d like. Should be interesting to get those running before the year ends.
Otherwise… back to normal operations until 1980 comes around.
26th of December, 1979, 10:03
Clearly the Chief was much further along than I thought, because mere minutes ago he delivered his report on the base upgrade project and switched everything on.
He promised to give me a tour later, but not until he had inspected that everything was now in working order. I did hear something about some commotion in the showers yesterday, but it was kinda forgotten about in the festivities. I will talk to the soldiers later as well.
Before he left, he did confirm that it was an image of Major Merrywhiskers wrapped in tinsel they had sent to the North American base. So I guess it wasn’t the XO who had provided the tinsel after all. I tell him to get started on the new Interceptor project.
The “internetwork”, eh? It does have something catchy about it.
26th of December, 1979, 19:47
The laboratory and the workshop have definitely changed the most, but there are now signs of progress all over the base. I can barely remember what the base looked like six months ago.
And it was interesting to learn after the fact that our Christmas dinner was basically the test run of the laser-ovens.
Also, after seeing them for myself, I can fully understand why the gel sacs weren’t too popular.
I was even presented with a new cat toy. A pen-like thing that shines a little red dot light. Major Merrywhiskers seems like she never tires of chasing it.
Though a little delayed, I guess we all got presents anyway.