The two newly promoted trouble-shooters, Geoff R and Newt R who reside in a six person barracks, have just received an alarm message come up on their PDC (communication device) early during the morning circle, to report to briefing room 439. Both Geoff and Newt finish dressing in haste and rush down their breakfast tablet before heading off to the briefing room.
At the briefing room the two trouble-shooters meet a man in orange overalls. Both Geoff and Newt are dressed in red. The name on his orange name tag reads James O. He is an over weight man who is in charge of a group of trouble-shooters, who usually manages to somehow get all the easier jobs that involve a lot of communists that can be shot and blamed. He has a high success rate on his missions as well as a high fatality rate. James O praises the two trouble-shooters for their quick response and asks them to take a seat. There are two plastic formed chairs on separate simple metal frames, positioned in front of James’ desk.
James tells the two trouble-shooters of what is needed of them. He tells them that a high clearance citizen has requested a ‘Turkey?’ He then asks them if they know what a ‘Turkey’ is.
“I don’t know, the word sounds foreign to me.” Geoff pauses before adding, “It sounds a bit communist if you ask me.” James murmurs something and takes a note on his notepad. He then instructs them that Turkeys are available at the PLC Farms, he confesses that he is not aware of what a farm is. He then gives them the destination of where the farm is located, in sector SNO. James then instructs them that he needs them to both head over and pick up a Turkey for the high clearance citizen. Before dismissing them James asks if they would need anything else. Geoff asks if they have clearance to know more of what this ‘Turkey’ is, the size and shape, or how to get a hold of it. James agrees that they have clearance to know some of the details. He makes a note on his notepad again, and then tells them about the object stands about a foot tall with odd bristly protrusions coming from it. Then James produces a picture of what the foot print looks like. Newt asks him if it is required to obtain the object dead or alive if there is a choice. Again James makes notes on his notepad, but this time a lot of scribbles. Finally James informs him that it would be preferable to have the thing alive. Upon request James also tells them that they should not need anything special to capture it, as they are well trained trouble-shooter. “But since you asked I could send you over to R & D to see if there is anything that may be of assistance.”
As James finishes the discussion with his two trouble-shooters he emphasises that they should have no problem with the mission, everything should so smoothly and with no sign of treachery. Geoff quickly replies a formative finishing with, “In the name of the Computer.”
“Hmmm ‘In the name of the Computer’, I like that.” James mutters to himself. “In that case the R & D department is just down the corridor, fourth on the left, then third on the right, second on the left and up two stories. Geoff and Newt thank James then turn and head out, James rushing them out behind them.
They manage to follow the directions reasonable easy but arrive at a dead end in the corridor. All they can see here is a round hole in the ceiling, with a metal pole descending down through to the floor. There is no other sign of a way up. The metal pole is just a plain metallic colour. However Newt believes that he should be able to ascend the pole up the two stories with no problem. Geoff on the other hand spots some flacks of chipped and warn green paint on the bottom of the pole, and also notices a scattering of security cameras pointed directly at the pole.
As Newt busies himself shimmying up the pole, Geoff back steps to look and see if they missed a turn or any stairs up. However the only thing nearby that Geoff finds is a washroom. Newt on the other hand zips up the pole like a fish to water. In front of Newt he sees a big double door with R & D stamped across them. He goes over and pushes the doors open and strides in.
Mean while back in the washroom Geoff discovers an air vent in the ceiling above one of the toilet cubicles, and decides that this should be a good way to traverse up the levels he needs to get to R & D. Being as this would be a normal activity for a trouble-shooter, Geoff gets out his tools and starts to un-bolt the grill over the vent, as he stands carefully on the toilet.
Newt finds a large metal desk before him in the R & D room, behind a lot of Perspex cutting off the room. Within the cornered off area Newt can see a small nervous woman in heavy protective yellow overalls. She is handling everything as if it could explode at any minute, running around checking labels and writing things down. And by the looks of things moving dials and twiddling with knobs as if at random. Newt walks up to her and informs her that he has been sent by James O. She thinks on the name for a while being remembering who James O is. “Oh yes he said you would be coming up. “There should be two of you, where is the other one.” But Newt turns to look behind him and then back to her, telling her that he isn’t sure but, “The last time I looked he was right behind me.”
“He’s not due another clone is he? That could cause some problems if he is.” Newt assures her that to his knowledge he is not, but is sure that he will be along momentarily. She then asks for the requisition slip. Newt looks confused at her with this and informs her that James O hadn’t given them one. The woman looks puzzled and tells Newt that James O always gives requisition slips. Newt stands there in silence not sure what to do next. “You can’t expect me to just hand out random pieces of high technology to just anyone.” Again Newt stands there in silence thinking.
As Geoff is busy working on the grill over the vent, he can hear coming down the vent two voices, one is that of a woman, and the other is that of his colleague. She then asks Newt if he would like to have a requisition slip requisition form, “To requisition a requisition slip.”
Back up in the R & D room Newt nods in agreement and only says ‘yes’. She hands him a piece of paper, yellow in colour. And then she hands him another piece of paper that is pink, then another that is blue, and finally another that is red. Newt looks that these sheets of paper in his hand, they are all identical. “These need to be filled in.” Turning around Newt looks to see if there is a table to sit and fill the form out, unfortunately he finds none. Newt walks over to a corner of his side of the room and sits himself down on the only chair and looks over the forms. He then realises that he doesn’t have a pen on him so stands back up and goes back over to the woman, and asks if she has one that he could use. With obvious irritation the woman slams back a window in the Perspex exclaiming the word pen over and over. “You need a pen. HERE. And bring it back.” With pen in hand Newt walks back over to his corner, a long thin chain is attached to the pen and unfortunately it doesn’t quite reach the chair. And of course the chair is bolted down and can not be moved.
Geoff has by now made his way in and through the vent, and finds himself now looking through another grill in to the R & D room but on the other side of the Perspex. He keeps himself in the vent and watches the situation before him. He can see Newt struggling with a pen and chair, while the woman is busying herself. Geoff takes a careful looking in to the room and doesn’t notice and security cameras, he feels that he has not been noticed. He looks down on all the strange items that are lying about on the various benches and tables. Items as various as boots and a bow tie, a jet pack and different sized cardboard boxes. Geoff loosens the grill on the vent he is in and then carefully stretches his arm out. Keeping himself hidden within the vent, Geoff’s arm strangely stretches out of the vent and slowly down to a bench. His arm continuing to stretch and stretch far beyond what would be normal. His arm manages to find a box and brings it back to himself, finding 24 cardboard cylinders within. The tubes are brightly coloured with small star designs, and either ends at about a fifth of the way in the tubes are pinched in and bloomed out again. The tubes are about thirty centimetres long with a strange logo design in the centre. The logo looks like three pyramids with one point from each meeting in the circle in the middle, the sides are slightly curved and all this within a larger pyramid. The colour of the logo is of yellow and black.
Geoff quickly makes his way back to the toilets, putting his tools and new cardboard box of tubes back in his work bag. Next he pulls his PDC and contacts his team mate Newt, asking him if there are any other ways to the R & D department apart from the pole. After sometime of it ringing Newt stops what he is doing and answers the phone, he informs Geoff that the only way and the way he went was to go up the pole. Upon hearing this Geoff quickly stops the call. With this problem now obvious and the situation Newt finds himself in Geoff decides to go back to see James O.
Geoff explains to James O about the problem with the requisition form, to which James O thinks for a second before pressing a button on his desk and a form is printed out from the wall. The form is in quadruplicate. Next he explains the problem with the directions and checks to see if he got the details correct. James O confirms that the direction he has are correct, and Geoff enters them into his PDC as a precaution. He also tells him about the pole at the end of the corridor and the clearance problem, asking for clearance to use it. Upon finding out that it is of green colour James O explains that he will have problems with this as it is above him, but he will make some calls and suggests that Geoff make his way back to the pole.
After a few minutes of waiting by the pole, a metal spherical robot with rotary blades coming from its top descends from the hole in the ceiling with the pole. As it hovers near Geoff a camera lens protrudes from the spherical robot, “Citizen. Geoff R.” Geoff greets it back welcoming it as friend computer. The robot corrects him that he is not as stated but only a lowly bot. It then asks what the problem is. Geoff explains to it that he needs to go to the R & D department to requisition some equipment for his mission. However he hit a snag with this green clearance pole. The bot checks that Geoff did mean the R & D department, the place that ‘never’ experiments on bots. It then grants Geoff clearance to climb the pole. Soon Geoff finds that he is unable to traverse the pole up through the hole. He manages to shimmy a few feet before sliding back down hard on his rear.
Newt after some time manages to make his way through the form, filling out many questions about the computer and any treachery. He hands the filled out form eventually to the woman in R & D. The woman takes this form from him and without looking at it places it in a machine that has two large coloured lights on top, one green and one red. Soon the red light starts to flash and an alarm sound rings out. The woman looks at Newt and then back at the machine and takes some notes. She then takes the form from the machine and scribbles something in the box at the bottom of the form, labelled for office use only. Again looking back over at Newt, looking him up and down.
Back at the pole at the end of the corridor, Geoff is struggling to climb the pole, especially with his sore ass. However with the task taking so long the bot seems to take pity of him and floats back down from the hole, and a handle bar piece of metal extends from its underneath. “Would you like a hand friend citizen? To get to the good loyal, nutty, nice, brutal R & D labs.” It carries on over Geoff’s thanks. After the bot has finished Geoff informs it that it will pass on good praise to the computer of its help and assistance. “And you won’t mention it at R & D.” Geoff agrees with its request. “That’s good. If you can not mention it to R & D, about me then that’s good. I wasn’t here, okay.” Eventually it begins to raise Geoff up the two floors to the level R & D is situated on.
Newt hears the double doors swing open and looks up to see Geoff finally walk in. Geoff walks straight over to him and pulls his gun, and in a split second of thought the trigger is pulled. Newt barely has time to react as he stands and pulls his gun. Unfortunately for Newt the last thing he sees is a bright flash before things go black. The blast from Geoff’s gun takes Newt down and out stunning him, but as a side effect Newt’s body spasms pulling the trigger to his gun and melts a small part of the Perspex. Geoff walks over to Newt’s prone body and holds his gun over him, “Remember your place. Let’s hope your next clone remembers!” BLAM!
Geoff strolls over to the woman at the Perspex, tapping at the window section. The smell of singed flesh permeating the room. “YES! Who are you and why did you shoot that man?” Geoff quickly apologises for the shooting, explaining that he had to shoot the traitor. He then hands her the requisition slip. “Ah yes, that is great. However do you have the pen?” Geoff looks a little puzzled and turns to look at where Newt was sat, “Pen?”
“Yes the pen your team mate had used.” Geoff walks over and finds the pen still in Newt’s other hand, luckily not too badly damaged only the chain has been severed. She quickly takes the pen back stating that it will do.
The woman takes the pen and form over to a bench near to a vent, placing the pen down, grunts something to herself as she looks at the bench then looks over the form. She then looks back at the bench, then back at the form again. Oh she exclaims to herself and begins to frantically look about as if something is missing, or miss filed. “One moment citizen.” She tells Geoff as she goes from table to bench and back again looking about. “I don’t….where is it?” she mutters to herself. She then stops and turns to Geoff, “You don’t have clearance to know this. That this is happening. Go away citizen.” Geoff quickly walks out of the room and waits patiently.
Newt finds himself collapsing and coughing as he spews pink gunk from his lungs. A steaming freshly opened cloning vat open behind him. After his lungs calm down and stop burning he picks himself up and staggers over to a near by Geoff, who is standing outside a pair of large double doors. “What the hell was that all about?”
“Hello, everything alright. How are you feeling?”
“Like shiiiii….What was that all about?”
“What was what all about?”
“You shot me!”
“I didn’t shoot you. I shot your previous clone. It was disloyal.” Newt looks confused and asks in what way he had been disloyal. Geoff explains about the pole. Newt confesses that he had not saw any colour, but then drops the subject and asks what is happening now. So Geoff explains that something is happening in the R & D and they do not have clearance to be in there.
After a patient wait the inventive R & D woman comes out and hands over to Geoff a large brown paper bag. “This is top secret for field testing.” Geoff checks that they have clearance for this and then happily takes the bag from her. She then informs them that it is a truth checking cup of coffee, and anyone drinking from it will find it very difficult to lie. She then asks them to come back and fill out a complete new form of how well the item worked in the field.
Next, before heading out on their mission, Geoff suggests that they go and top up on their laser barrels. They find a large vacuum tube for transportation and Geoff steps in first. Geoff walks up to the tube like it is nothing new to him and steps in. The tube is large enough for one person at a time. And he is sucked up. Unfortunately he was too confident and messed up his destination. As Newt was about to step in next, Geoff gets shot back out of the tube knocking Newt head first in to the tube. Next thing Newt finds himself flying through the air after being shot out of a tube somewhere he doesn’t recognise, landing head first in to a large vat of processed food.
Geoff tries again but this time with more care. He arrives at his destination where there are many markets stalls. Geoff goes straight to the official licensed fender and acquires more barrels for his gun. Each barrel comes with a proper certificate of authenticity. Geoff places the spare barrels in his bag along with his box of tubes and heads off back to the vacuum tube. There still appears to be no sign of his colleague Newt anywhere, so he assumes he has gone on to SNO sector.
Floating in the middle of this large food bowl, Newt looks up to see an infra-red person busy keeping an overhead walkway clean. Newt swims his way to the edge of the vat and finds himself a long way up from the ground. He looks around furtively checking to see if there are any persons about that may view him. Seeing the coast is clear he levitates himself up and out of the food vat, and gracefully lands delicately on the floor below. He then sets off at a run leaving food foot prints leading away from the vat. Eventually keeping his eye out for exits he finds one stating ‘SNO sector this way’. And off he goes glad to find a sign that will lead him to his destination.
Geoff arrives just after Newt steps in to the SNO sector, covered still in what appears to be some sort of bland looking algae. Geoff walks over to him looking him up and down and asks what had happened to him. Newt gives him a dirty look and states that Geoff had pushed him and he ended up in the ass end of nowhere. Geoff looks shocked at this accusation apologising that he had not done anything of the kind, “I just had a little problem with the transport tube that is all.” Newt mutters something about having it in for him and grunts to himself. Geoff’s bag looks a lot fully than it did before.
The two trouble-shooters walk down a red corridor and come across a map showing the area. It shows that the corridor leads around an area of higher clearance (orange), and there is a PLC office nearby. Geoff marches directly to the PLC office, knowing that they will be able to help him. Newt on the other hand is just following and busy looking around. Newt then notices a large fat man with a white beard, dressed all in red with a white frill on the trim and black shiny boots. On top of the man’s head sits an odd pointed red hat with the same white trim. The fat man seems to be laughing to himself muttering ‘ho ho ho’, and as he does so his belly juggles up and down. Newt has spotted him through a large window in the higher clearance area. The high clearance area is a large area with a lot of strange foot high creatures in, with odd black bristly ‘hair’ and a funny red thing on their heads. The fat man is busy going around the area picking up these things and placing them in his large brown sack.
The laser beam from Newt’s gun goes smoothly through the glass window, and hits the fat man directly in the shoulder. The upper arm dissolves, sending the forearm and hand flying off with the creature still held in the hand. Newt runs up to the window while Geoff with his hand on the handle of the PLC door stops and turns to look at Newt. Quickly he rushes over to him to find what has happened. Newt informs him that the fat guy in red was putting the strange things in to a sack, “Stealing them.” Geoff praises him for taking the initiative and pats him on the back. Mean while the fat man in red hurries over to a large open chariot transport. “He is still moving. Quick!” Geoff points out to Newt drawing his own weapon. Newt fires on him once more, as does Geoff however he misses. Newt on the other hand manages to hit him once more. The fat man is badly wounded but still moving, and climbs onboard his transport. Geoff digs into his bag and pulls out one of the bright coloured tubes, and throws it at the fat man in red climbing in to the chariot. The bright tubes catches on the glass of the window which makes it land short. Then a large explosion resonates from the tube, throwing both Geoff and Newt off their feet. Glass flies everywhere showering down on the foot tall creatures within and slashing in to the fat man in red. With the force the fat man in red is thrown from his chariot.
Newt runs and leaps through the window. Geoff stops by the window and coughs loudly at him as he races towards the downed fat man. And with that Geoff walks off and goes to the PLC office to report what has happened.
The large fat man dressed in red with white trim lies prone on the ground, he is missing one arm and pieces of glass are imbedded here and there over his body. Newt stands over him looking down at his rosy face. He can see very small red glints in the pupils of the eyes, and a large grin crosses his face, “You have been a BAD BOY!” Newt looks puzzled at this and then pulls his trigger in to the face of the fat man. Burnt flesh can be smelled as the flesh is sheared away. Then there is a glittery swirl around the man, almost looking a lot like shaved ice, and then the fat man in red dissolves and fades from being. Accompanying this strangeness is an odd tinkling whooshing noise.
Newt walks over to investigate the chariot sleigh. Many of the creatures in this area are injured, but some still walk about okay, while a couple of others are laying down all burnt and roasted. There is a very healthy one still in the grasp of the severed hand of the fat man. Newt finds communist and treacherous literature in the sleigh, something about given things away to citizens who are good. He also finds many weird and wonderful items, some expensive and there are even a few deactivated bots. Newt slips one of the bots in a box in to his bag, and he also takes a few of the leaflets and stuffs them in to his pockets.
In the Office Geoff explains to the woman behind the desk that he has come to acquisition a ‘turkey’, and he also reports about a crime that has happened outside. The woman ignores the crime and asks him what a ‘turkey’ is. Geoff apologises as to not knowing himself and shares what he knows and shows her the picture he has. After this she then asks about the crime, and after Geoff tells her about the incident she then asks him if he wants the ‘turkey’ wrapped. Geoff tells her that he know that it must be alive. The woman tells him that she will sort it out and asks him to follow her.
The woman leads Geoff out from the office and in to the orange clearance area that is situated behind the glass. She assures him that he will be fine to go in the area, allowing him to enter herself dressed in a red overall. The woman studies the picture of the foot print and then looks around on the ground for the same type of print. Soon they both come to find one that is of those strange creatures that stand a foot tall. The things also make an odd sound, similar to ‘gobble gobble gobble’. She then picks it up and hands it over to Geoff. The woman asks if there is anything else that she could help him with, and Geoff tells her that this is everything. She assures him that they will check the security camera regarding the crime. Newt joins Geoff and stands quietly behind him.
Geoff and Newt decide to go back to briefing room 439 and give James O the ‘turkey’ by rail bots instead of vacuum tubes. While they are waiting on the platform Geoff asks about what had happened with the fat man. Newt explains that he believes he killed him but after that he had disappeared. Soon a long large rail bot pulls up to the platform from out of one of the tunnels to either side. The bot is rather strange with lots of bells and trimming strung all up the sides. It also seems to be rather musical and cheerful for a bot. The doors open once it stops and the bots voice announces, “Please mind the gap.” The carriages are very packed with a lot of infra-red citizens, however both Geoff and Newt realise that the citizens all appear to be a lot shorter than usual, and on some there can be made out pointy ears. They both find themselves surrounded by all these citizens.
As the doors are about to close, signalled by an alarm sound. Geoff pushes Newt back out through the door, pulls a bright tube from his bag and dives out backwards himself, throwing the tube back in to the carriage. It is almost as if everything goes in slow motion, Geoff looks as if he is riding Newt out through the doors like a surf board, chucking the bright tube over his shoulder. All the while Newt squealing and protesting.
Suddenly a large bang echoes through the platform, and small little mushroom clouds erupt from each of the windows. Glass showers everywhere along with flying bodies and body pieces. Remnants of the small citizen’s clothes flutter down from above, or drape from the windows all a mix of green, red and gold colours with small little bells. That is one of the several carriages taken out of action. However the stunned smaller citizens begin to file out from the other carriages and turn to Geoff and Newt. “YOU KILLED SANTA CLAUS! You killed our master!” And they begin to rush them in mass.
Making a fighting retreat, both Geoff and Newt fire back at the mass, Geoff throwing more bright tubes in to large groups of citizens. This giving them some breathing space to get a lead on the angry mob. As he is running Geoff stuffs the ‘turkey’ in to his bag. Looking back they can see swarms of these smaller citizens pouring out from the station.
As they make their way with speed through the SNO sector, Geoff and Newt pass through a large group of normal infra-red citizens, going about their daily routines in the residential area of the sector. There are bots flying about or going about their cleaning duty etc. There is another bot they pass that is a ‘bot’ bot, a bot that is for providing the concept of the existence of bots. Geoff stops by it and instructs it to go tell the pursuing citizens, Geoff points them out, to go and inform them that bots exist. The bot rushes off addressing the pursuing smaller citizens as traitor citizens, imploring to their senses that bots do exists. “Bots do exist. I am a bot, I am a bot bot. A bot bot..bot bot, bot, bot, bot…….” It confuses itself, but it does manage to distract some of the angry mob. But soon the mob overwhelms it and is buried beneath the swarming mass. Shouts of ‘You killed Santa’ and ‘You killed Santa Claus’ can still be heard coming from the mob.
Next Geoff uses the distraction to have him and Newt get lost in the mix of other citizens. However soon the mob arrives and begins mobbing anyone or anything in their way. A mass panic breaks out amongst the citizens, people hitting other people whether from the angry mob or just a fellow citizen.
Geoff unfortunately trips on his escape and one of the small pointy eared mutant citizens pulls a gauss gun on him, firing and hitting Geoff straight between the eyes. Soon after the whole angry mob catch up and overwhelm poor Geoff as he is buried beneath. Newt on the other hand manages to get away and comes across one of the vacuum tubes. Suddenly a confused and pained Geoff (2), covered in pink gunk, is deposited next to Newt. Geoff has the unusual sensation of being punched and kicked constantly, and this shows on his whole body as he tries to stand there next to Newt. “I don’t feel right.” Geoff mutters in a meek voice, added by the occasional “Ouch”.
Newt is aware of a difficult situation. His newly cloned colleague is in pain and says ouch a lot, while his previous clone is buried beneath an angry mob of small citizens, along with the bag with the ‘turkey’ within. As he looks around he can see many citizens busy damaging or destroying computer equipment. “Take cover” Newt tells Geoff as he runs off towards the angry mob.
“Come and get me you pointy eared freaks!” Newt shouts at the angry mob. As they all look at him he launches himself in to the air. He then hovers over them luring them away from the body of Geoff (1) and the bag. However it is not only the mutant pointy eared citizens that stop and look at him, but everyone looks and stare at him. The angry mob cries out once more and begins to give chase.
Geoff can now make out his previous body laying battered on the ground with the bag lying next to it. The pain has died down enough for Geoff to think but he is still in pain. He walks over to his previous clone and picks up the bag. The ‘turkey’ is still inside and alive if some what petrified. Geoff looks down at his previous clone’s body, it still twitching on the ground not quiet dead. He can still feel everything it is going through. Geoff pulls his gun and shoots his self at point blank ending the pain and suffering he is going through. He drops to his knees in severe pain unable to stand until it slowly subsides. Finally he feels the life leave the previous clone and his mind clears at last. Now he heads back over to the vacuum tube and turns to look for Newt.
Newt is still busy keeping everyone distracted, and citizens are even throwing whatever they can find at him, this strange mutant levitating man. Luckily most of the stuff being thrown is small and light and easy for him to avoid. Suddenly he feels a laser blast hit him square in the stomach, stunning him momentarily. He then takes the initiative to move out of line of sight from the direction of the laser blast.
Quickly putting his gun away once more, Geoff carefully steps in to the vacuum tube next to him and it sucked off. Thankfully he has no hiccup this time and arrives back in the sector close to the briefing room 439.
Newt finds an air vent in the ceiling and tries to use that as a means of escape. However he discovers to late that in fact it is electrified. He looses altitude but nothing drastic happens to him, just a numb and slightly charred flesh on his exposed areas. Soon he smells the familiar scent of the food department that he found himself in before.
As Newt safely gets back to his home sector he walks towards the briefing room 439, and spots Geoff about to step in through the door. Geoff turns and sees Newt approaching then carries on in to the room. Newt quickens his pace.
Geoff greets James O as he steps in to his office. James quickly puts down the magazine he is reading. Geoff pulls the ‘turkey’ from his bag, placing the bag down on the floor and handing over the ‘turkey’. “Here is your ‘turkey’.” He then turns and points his gun at the door.
Newt walks through the door finding a laser blast hitting him and taking him down, hearing the words “You treacherous mutant.” Geoff walks over to him and fires another blast and point blank. Newt is now dead once more. James O stands next to Geoff and looks down at the mess of Newt, he then writes something down in his notepad. “I think that mission is closed then.” James then turns to face Geoff, “My citizen friend will be happy with this ‘turkey’.”
Geoff heads off back to his barracks. Once there he finds his colleague Newt (3) sat on the bunk waiting for him. Soon a flying bot comes by and hands out a bag of algae chips as a reward for a complete mission and killing the traitors.
“Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas.” James O then burries his head back in his magazine with a smile on his face.