Possessor: Catmas Cookies
Merry Little Christmas
1: 2086 – Christmess!
this?" Niko held up a silvery star with sharp points that
glinted in the soft honey-colored lights of their Christmas tree.
A tiny ribbon was knotted around it.
looked up from arranging cookies on plates. "Goose brought
them. For decoration."
what were they originally?"
put the last plate on the windowsill and took the star from her,
holding it with three fingers like a frisbee. It swirled across
the room, cut through two of the green-and-red paper chains,
snipped through the band with the socks, and ended up sticking
vibrating in the wall just above the dark green holly
Niko sighed. "Seems
Goose still doesn't quite understand Christmas." She quickly
counted the stars in the box, then looked across the room. Her
eyes rested finally on the Christmas tree. "Let's put them
on the highest twigs where the children can't reach
Doc showed a mocking
smile. "You insisted that everybody add something for the
"I don't deny
it!" She pulled the ladder closer to the tree, a broad pine
Walsh had given them for their office, and stretched, balancing
on the highest rung, to put the stars in place.
careful. You aren't Goose."
good," Doc grinned, looking up at her backside. At her dark
look, he hastily added, "If you don't know what they
"We simply won't
tell anybody." She opened a box of tinsel and began to
scatter it on the lower branches, while Doc started to collect
the colored paper and glitter foil that covered most of the
turned in alarm. "What's wrong?" Doc seemed totally
trouble," he murmured. "Really big trouble. We'll never
wriggle out of it before the others arrive."
calm, Doc. We'll finish it just in time. Look, the tree's almost
the problem." He unwrapped the formless parcel he'd found
under the heap of papers and foils. "Do you remember the
thing Jessie brought us? This supposed-to-be-a-star like those
you put on the tree top?"
it's horrible. But she's very proud of it. And..." She
turned abruptly to stare at the tree. "We forgot to put it
"She'll be very
have to get it up there before she arrives."
looked the tree up, down, and across. It was more than two and a
half meters high and at least as wide. In fact, it was nearly
round. A wonderful tree nevertheless. But how to get something
onto the top when it was already covered with decorations?
"I've got an idea!
Wait for me..." The hacker hurried out of the room.
was sitting on the table, her feet resting on one of the chairs,
turning Jessie's star in her hands, when Gooseman arrived. She
looked up. Her view whizzed back and forth between him and the
tree. "Goose, you can help me!" She jumped to her feet.
At his curious look: "I've got to get this onto the
He turned to look at
the broad pine. "Why didn't you put it up when the tree was
still on its side?"
slipped our minds," she sighed. "It's from Jessie. Can
you reach up high enough?"
me try." He climbed the ladder, stretched for the pine's
top. "Guess it's possible." He took the thing from her,
is the antigrav thingie QBall..." Doc rushed into the room
and stumbled over one foot of the ladder.
lost his balance and fell head over heels into the tree. In a
torrent of pine needles, glitter, popcorn chains, and garlands,
he crashed to the floor. "Ouch!" Silently, tinsel
rained down on him, on the tree above him, on Niko's and Doc's
hair, and on Jessie's creation lying on top.
us to test anyway." Doc finally finished his sentence. "Did
I do this?"
going on here?!" They both jumped to attention, trying to
hide the mess behind their backs from Zach and his family
the tree, Commander," Niko managed to explain
"We just had a
little..." Doc searched for the best description. "Accident,
"I see. But what
happened in detail, Rangers?"
grabbed the thing from the heap behind her. "We tried to put
this on the tree when the decorating was almost
Jessie squeezed past
her father, reaching for her creation. "On the tree?"
She looked, puzzled, at Doc and Niko. "But it's a lantern.
You put a light inside it and on the star points you see some
Christmas scenes, like Santa's arrival and the stable at
Bethlehem." She giggled. "It'd look awful on the
Niko and Doc stared
at each other, looked at the mess behind them, and began to
When the laughter
finally faded, they heard a faint tapping of fingernails on the
floor. Goose's growling voice demanded, "Can – dammit
– can someone help me out of here before I do actual damage
to this equipment?!"
2: 2087 – Possessor: Catmas Cookies
heard the rummaging behind her, paused in decorating the tree,
and turned in place on the ladder. "Shane, don't plow
through the cookies like that." She had brought a huge bowl,
almost a barrel, of handmade cookies: cinnamon stars, sweet
vanilla biscuits shaped like tiny boots, half moons covered with
sugar and candied orange pieces, or almonds, or chocolate... "Why
are you excavating the bowl like that?"
draped the silver foil garland she was carrying on the upper
branches of the pine and descended carefully so as not to step on
Possessor. The tiny cat sat at the foot of the ladder, staring at
the still swinging garland. His whiskers stood on end, and the
tip of his tail twitched. The cat put a daring paw on the first
step of the ladder. "Don't you dare!" she laughed, and
picked him up.
looking for another cinnamon star." Shane kept digging.
"Things taste great." He found one almost at the
bottom, sniffed at it, and–
put the cat down on a chair and slapped his fingers. The cookie
fell back into the bowl. "They're for decoration!" He
reached for the bowl again and she countered: "You don't
want our tree to look bad because you ate all the decorations
beforehand, do you?"
please. Do it for me."
He raised his hands, defeated.
tiny grey-and-white furry snout appeared at the rim and sniffed
at the bowl.
Niko snatched the cookie bowl away. "Your pet has exactly
the same manners as you!" She shook her head, looking from
the cat to Goose and back, and began to smile. "You and
Poss... you two really match each other."
ST narrowed his eyes. "You compare me with a cat?!"
He looked offended – and then, amazed, he saw Possessor
turn away with an equally offended expression and a
just-as-clearly audible sniff of disgust as he jumped down and
disappeared under the table.
Goose began to
grin. "Forget it. – May I have another cookie if I
find replacements for them as decoration?"
throwing stars this year!" she warned him.
can paint some hand grenades for you if you like," he teased
"I'm sure there are
enough cookies left if you and Poss stop eating now," Niko
assured him hastily, then looked around. "Where's Poss? –
Did you see where he went, Zach?"
captain was sitting at the main table, trying to wrap last-minute
presents for his children, who would join them later in the day.
Zach looked up and frowned. "No, I haven't seen him. But if
I know that cat, you'd better find him soon before he can cause
too much trouble." He returned to the brightly colored
parcels that he wanted to decorate with golden ribbons. Again,
the soft material slipped out of the knot he'd made. This is
more difficult every year... He had to start again. Someone
should invent 'instant ribbons' – put them on the boxes,
add liquid, and it's done. He smiled silently at the weird
idea and threw a glance over at his team. They're beginning to
lay on the old sofa at the back wall of their office, sound
asleep. None of them was angry about that, and none of them dared
to wake him, either: he had spent almost all night the night
before programming GV and ALMA to sing "Jingle Bells"
in canon, and all of them were afraid he might do the same to
"Silent Night," too. "Better not to risk it,"
was the unanimous opinion.
was already searching under the desks. "He's not here,
Niko came up just
in time to see the ST leaping to catch the toppling tree as
Possessor, wrapped in something silver, jumped, spitting, off the
tree, crossed the whole room, and bumped against the door, which
slid open immediately.
up?" Doc on the couch blinked sleepily.
cat was gone like a grey-and-silver streak of
Goose failed to
catch the tree and it fell across the sofa. "HEY!" Doc
yelled, fully awake now. "Doesn't someone have to shout
'timber' when a tree falls?" The hacker struggled to free
himself, but the large pine pinned him to the sofa.
Goose turned to follow his cat.
grabbed his arm. "First we have to free Doc," she said
The voice out of the fallen Christmas tree sounded indignant.
"You have to free Doc first. Since it was your cat
that buried me!"
worry about Poss," Niko assured Goose. "Everyone in the
mountain knows your cat. Nothing will happen to him."
cat has no problem, Goose," Doc specified. "I
have problems..." The tree on the sofa shivered but didn't
"Don't be so whiny,
Doc." Shane heaved the devastated Christmas tree off an
almost as devastated Doc Hartford. "The one that buried me
last year was much bigger." Goose looked around for a place
where he could lean the tree against the wall, found none, and
dropped it with a shrug onto the carpet.
you have to consider that I lack biodefenses to deal with it like
you, my Goose man." Doc gathered himself up from the
"Oh sure!" the
ST snorted. "And just because I don't spend three days in
MedoStat afterwards, I'm supposed to enjoy it, eh?"
course, my Goose–" Hartford began, grinning.
cleared his throat loudly to interrupt the dispute in the offing.
"At least this year nobody's here to witness this–"
The captain decided against choosing a description for the
The door behind him
slid aside and Cmdr. Walsh threw a curious look across the
"Welcome to our
Christmas Chaos," Niko said dryly and swept the room with a
"How did you
know that we were partying, sir?" Doc asked, scrambling out
of the remnants of the Christmas tree on the sofa. "We
didn't announce it this time." Hartford managed to look
almost innocent in spite of the dozens of pine needles and bits
of tinsel in his hair and on his uniform.
entered the room, pulling a long, silver foil garland after him.
Something seemed to pull furiously at the other end. "Well,"
the commander drawled as he pulled the garland close. "I had
a slight hint in that direction."
slid, hissing, through the door, his extended claws scraping
across the floor, his ears flattened, and his teeth sunk deeply
into the garland.
Niko stared at
the cat still pulling furiously at the garland, shrugged, and
offered the bowl to the commander. "Some cookies,
"Do you have
her hand to her temple and groaned. "Oh no, another
helplessly. More tinsel rained down from him onto the
"Goose ate them
all, sir," Zachary explained.
ST had successfully freed the garland from his cat and was now
stroking Possessor's throat. "There's at least one still
Walsh searched and
found it. "I really like your unit's Christmas parties, Fox.
Things are always happening here."
Such A Cute Kitty!
3: 2088 – Merry Little Christmas
you really believe it was a good idea to have Goose buy this
year's Christmas tree, Niko?" Doc asked doubtfully, leaning
back in his chair, his feet lying on top of his console. "Not
that he plans to create messes, but ..." Hartford stopped,
noticing his teammates' dark looks.
have my doubts, too," Zachary said after a while. "Even
if he didn't feel uneasy about holidays – especially
Christmas – in general, there's still the chance for one of
his weird solutions." He took another sip of his
coffee, sweet with just a hint of cinnamon in it. Pure luxury,
but it was Christmas, after all, and he had his own load of
stresses and worries these days.
people, give him some credit, okay?" Niko took another one
of her vanilla cookies. "It's his third Christmas party. And
I told him he should remember the trees we've had in the last two
years when he chooses one."
horribly curious about his choice." Doc grinned. "That's
the need to comment by taking another deep sip of coffee. At the
sound of the door sliding open, all of them turned in
Goose strolled in,
carrying a huge paper bag. A really huge paper bag. Niko frowned.
But Christmas trees aren't wrapped in paper bags, they are put
in a net to be carried easily. Nothing else. "Where's
the tree, Shane?" she asked.
wait." The ST put the bag down on the main table next to
some presents, plates of cookies, and boxes of Christmas
All of them got up
and gathered around him.
cut open the paper bag and rolled it down, then shoved the boxes
and presents aside so that the others could see the contents of
Niko froze. "Shane.
That's no Christmas tree. That's a pine bonsai!"
The ST flicked two fingers against the tiny dwarf tree and
toppled it over. "So no one will get hurt when it falls down
great!" Doc began to snicker. "No, wait, it's
Goose snorted. "You're the one who told me that size
thanks to Elizabeth 'fatima' Bales for her help with English.
know it is better p.c. to refer to all the rituals and
festivities of the various religions and cultures in one season.
Since I don't know all those traditions, I'd like to encourage
all those fanfic writers out there, to use their genius and
talent to write stories about the other events and festivities
possible in this season.
Greetings to everyone
<please choose the one that
applies to you.>