Back in April I wrote a double drabble called Xander of the River. It was intended as a one-off but before long I followed it with Again Xander. Somehow it became a ‘Futurama’ crossover with If A Picture Paints A Thousand Herds and two further ficlets, Kinda Like Buck Rogers and Oddly Familiar Somehow, followed. Now here is the Xmas Special in the series. 500 words, PG.
Santa Claus Is Gunning You Down
“We’d better hurry,” Fry said. “If we’re not home before dark Robot Santa will get us.”
“I still think you’re pulling my leg,” Xander said.
“Nope. Robot Santa is real and very dangerous,” Fry assured him. “We’ve fought him twice, and beaten him each time, but he’s gotta think ‘third time lucky’. Watch the skies for his attack sleigh.”
“Anya did tell me that Santa Claus disembowels children,” Xander said. He sighed. “I guess she was ahead of her time.”
“Maybe,” said Fry. “Why did they have to pick Xmas Eve to make you collect this wildebeest? This sucks.”
“Yeah, I don’t get why it’s my responsibility at all,” Xander complained. “It was the Professor who re-animated them.” He patted the muzzle of the wildebeest that was following at his heels. “Still, at least this one seems to like me.”
“I hope it’s a fast walker,” Fry said. “The sun’s going down.”
“Is everything dangerous about the Holiday season?” Xander asked.
“No, Kwanzaabot’s a nice guy,” Fry told him, “apart from being pretty frustrated at nobody knowing what Kwanzaa is even after all these centuries. I don’t know a lot about the Chanukah zombie. It’s pretty much just Robot Santa we have to watch out for. Speaking of which,” Fry gulped, “I see something up there heading this way.”
Xander peered into the dusk sky. “It looks like... crap, it’s a flying sleigh with two robot reindeer!”
“That’s not fair!” Fry grimaced. “It’s not even sunset yet! Robot Santa’s cheating. He must be out for revenge.”
“He’s closing fast,” said Xander. “I don’t think we’re going to make it home. Hey, there’s an inn. We could dive in there.”
Hardly had the words left his lips when the doors of the establishment slammed shut and steel shutters came down. An illuminated sign lit up. ‘No room in the inn. No stable.’
“I think we’re screwed,” said Fry, as the attack sleigh zoomed closer.
“Ho, ho, ho,” boomed Robot Santa. “What have we here? Philip J Fry. Guilty of multiple crimes including blowing me up and leaving me entombed in the frozen seas of Neptune. Definitely naughty. Sentenced to death.”
“You won’t get away with this, Santa,” Fry blustered.
Robot Santa ignored him. “Alexander Lavelle Harris. Guilty of multiple crimes including leaving his bride at the altar. Very naughty. The sentence is death.”
“Death? Sure, that was a bad thing I did, but isn’t the punishment a little excessive?” asked Xander.
“It’s a waste of time arguing,” Fry told him. “Robot Santa kills people for not eating their greens. We’re going to have to fight. Or, better idea, you hold him off while I run. Uh, run for help, that is.”
“Hang on, I’m going to try something,” Xander told him. He stepped aside and urged the wildebeest forward. It stared at Robot Santa, grunted, and tossed its head. “Back off if you want to live, Robot Santa,” Xander warned. “This is Wildebeest Bill Hickok. The fastest gnu in the West.”
Next in series: Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose