Merry Christmas! Please enjoy this jaded vision of the future inheritor of the Mantle of Santa Claus.
Joel St. Nick, Last Son of Santa Claus
A Forsaken Stars Tale/Character Concept
My father and I didn’t see eye to eye. He believed in the innate goodness of humankind. I, having spent most of my life on the streets, felt differently. Oh, there are kind-hearted souls out there, don’t get me wrong, and I’m not saying people are inherently evil, either. No, I believe that, by and large, we are all just trying to get by. And the less people we have to look out for, the easier it is to survive. Less attachments, less worry, you know?
Anyway, then everything changed when Christ actually returned. A select few of the billions were swept up to live on the Mount and everyone else was left to fend for ourselves. It was chaos, people were angry. Most wondered what they had or hadn’t done to not be worthy. Some tried to find the rhyme or reason for the forty-thousand or so Chosen. Some maintained that He hadn’t in fact returned, but that it was just another conspiracy and that the illuminati or Masons or Knights Templar or even the Vatican were behind the disappearances, the wars, famines, plagues and natural disasters. But how had they faked the Angels? The vampires, witches and demons that had come out of the woodwork seeking asylum or appearing on the nightly news or social media feeds being smited by said Angels before our eyes? Had they been genetically engineered? Was it all science and cinematic wizardry to instill fear upon the masses to sell government, guns and religion?
No. It was real. I know because my name is Joel St. Nick, and I am the Last Son of Santa Claus.
Okay, have you had a good belly laugh over that? Go ahead, get it out, because I am not shitting you. Yes, Virginia, there is–or at least, was a Santa Claus. Several, really, a corps of them, doing good around the world, not just at Christmastime. But I am descended from the original, the one that was Sainted, yeah. He may have been a Saint, but he wasn’t perfect. He had his indiscretions, and as much as I could confirm it, I am his seventh illegitimate son, half elf, half, well let’s just say American and leave it at that.
The Claus Corps was imbued with all sorts of powers–super strength, speed, endurance, near immortality, the ability to grow really sweet facial hair–and Nicholas himself was said to report directly to Saint Peter at the Gates of Heaven.
But at the time of the Return, Santa and Christ had a kind of falling out over the children. Santa advocated that most of the world’s children be Saved; he couldn’t understand how God’s plan didn’t include them, so he started an underground stellar railroad to try and get as many of the kids as he could off planet and to neighboring star systems.
When God found out, he wasn’t happy and removed the Corps’ powers and left them earthbound like the rest of us. Well sort of. You see, the sons and daughters of the members of the Corps, we still had our powers, I guess because they were genetically passed to us by our folks and not ‘magicked’ into us by our Creator. Though some believed in that “God works in mysterious ways” crap and suggested his plan includes ‘loopholes’ like these to keep life interesting.
So Old Saint Nick asked my brothers and sisters and I to take over, and run a whole mess of kids offworld in one last crazy Hail Mary play. Some of us chickened out before the run and got stuck behind the Godshield. Others dropped their cargo mid-hyperspace and went mad from the guilt. Me, I got my seventeen hundred little buggers to New North Station, made sure no Angels came after them, and after a few years, I got curious about the rest of the universe, said my good-byes and struck out on my own.
I promised them I would come back to check on them from time to time, but after tumbling through a few black wormholes and a dozen lifetimes worth of adventures later, well, let’s just say I am really bad at keeping my promises.
But they say the universe is collapsing in on itself, and something inside me is itching to honor my old man’s memory and try to find a way to make sure those kids, or at least their kids’ kids somehow survive the coming unipocalypse. [Yeah, I make up words sometimes.] And, I am saddened to report that it’s falling on my shoulders alone this time because I have sensed the passing of all my other siblings over the years, like fading stars in a cold night sky. Upon investigation I learned that at least three of them were in fact smited by the Lone Angel Fabius for crimes against God–which of course I say is bullshit. I don’t know if I can take Fabius in a fair fight, but I’ve been known to play dirty to come out ahead.
So I’m putting on my pop’s signature red cap, loading up the star sleigh with a few goodies I’ve picked up along my travels and I’m heading back to New North Station–almost a thousand years late, but hey, you wanna hear something really cool?
We Claus Corps kids, the more gifted among us anyway, have the ability to bend timespace to our will. That’s right–moving forwards or backwards and even stopping time cold in a limited area, usually enclosed, usually about the size of a house or barn. Everything stops, every creature, even the mice.
Okay, sorry, that was corny. But you get the idea.
Anyway, I’m coming, so you’d better watch out!
End AND Beginning!