Christmas Across the Galaxy
It’s that time of year again, and across the Space Empire and the known galaxy, millions of life-forms will be spending the festive season in the snow. Even Ghast Number One will be joining in, by sending thousands of his less-satisfactory minions to the action-packed winter wonderland that is the Morlock Front.
In the Space Empire
The British Space Empire is nothing if not keen to spread the festive spirit, and a number of planets have been lucky enough to get a visit from jolly chaps in red jackets to tell them what’s what. On a wide range of worlds, slightly bewildered aliens find themselves sacrificing parcels to the Earth-god known as The Infant Santadickens, trying to figure out why there are freakings in Bethlehem and, in the case of the flightless avians of Thanksgiving Prime, going onto full military alert and hiding all the onions.
Prior to the Galactic War, the M’Lak were a bunch of feckless idlers, like all aliens. Now that the Empire needs soldiers, they have become brave and noble comrades-in-arms very quickly. In fact, our Christmas traditions are very similar to theirs. Somewhere in Britain, probably in Cornwall or The Wash, men with beards will be drinking real ale and rolling cheeses down a hill. Similarly, on Sargok IV, the M’Lak tribes put aside their differences to hold the traditional Winter spawn-punting, where young M’Lak are given the chance to emulate Father Christmas as he flies through the sky by being drop-kicked by their betters. The record still stands at 278 yards, set by Moldar the Swift in 2476. Sadly, Moldar was forced to retire from the sport after he punted the wrong end of a spawn and it bit his foot off, and has subsequently taken the name of Moldar the Fairly Swift.
Christmas is a season for tolerance and forgiveness, and so even the wretched inhabitants of the Imperial Penal Colonies are allowed a bit of fun and a mince pie. This year, the mince pie goes to Ghast Drone 658330/F. Happy holidays, 658330/F! The bit of fun was won by Jedediah Bekezel of the Edenite Brotherhood, who declined to accept it on religious grounds.
Meanwhile, for the executives of Leighton-Wakazashi Incorporated, it’s important to remember what Christmas is really all about – selling vast amounts of tat. After all, what would Christmas be if it was just a quasi-religious festival, devoted to friendship and togetherness, that actually started in late December? Everyone in the Company knows that playing non-stop Slade from August onwards has never been medically proven to induce psychosis. To Leighton-Wakazashi Inc, even snow carries a significant dollar value, particularly if your fellow executives, confused by an excess of Blue Nun and Babysham, are trying to snort platefuls of the stuff.
Of course, our joyless foes continue to reject the spirit of tolerance, thus demonstrating why they must all be hunted down and killed. The Ghasts regards the non-giving of presents as a means for weeding out the weak, and the only thing the lemming men give one another for Christmas is a push off a cliff. Needless to say, the Democratic Republic of New Eden has called for Christmas to be celebrated as it was in the good old days – around about the time of Oliver Cromwell, to be precise. To combat this sort of cheerlessness, our boffins continue their work on the surface-to-air Christmas cracker.
The Noble Tradition of Stuffing One's Face
This year, millions will be travelling across the galaxy in a state of stasis, shortly after listening to the King’s Speech. Entertaining can be a trial at Christmastime, especially in a galaxy of hostile monsters. Everyone knows the story of the space explorer whose holiday ended in tragedy when he mistook the egg-pod of a dormant Procturan Ripper for a giant sprout, leading to an embarrassing incident at the dinner table. On the subject of festive dining, we remind alien readers that Good King Wenceslas did not look out to feast on Stephen.
The ritual of more, comb and wise
Christmas wouldn’t be the same without being able to watch people doing it much better than you on the television. Food critic and jumper enthusiast Herbert Frampton-Gusset will, as usual, be presenting his A Very Smug Yuletide show, where he will be dining with his inexplicably well-behaved family and showing you just what to put in the mince pies to make it all go smoothly. More adventurous chefs may wish to tune in after the watershed, when Trevorella Lawton will be squeezing out the gentleman’s relish in her Two Puddings Special.
But don’t be put off. Following the success of Murkey, the artificial substitute for turkey, the plucky genetic engineers of The Sham Corporation have released their latest creation: Furkey, a tasty synthesis of turkey and woolly mammoth, guaranteed to last the whole family until mid-January of the following decade. So far, an onion has yet to be found that can take the job on. At Christmas, it’s important to remember those less fortunate than ourselves, and then conquer their planets and force them to be more fortunate, by God. Take care of each other this Christmas, or by thunder the Space Empire will take care of you.*
- Please note that under the Preservation of Decency Act 2512 (amended), the use of the word “gift” as a verb now carries a fine of up to £ 8,000 and/or a six-month prison sentence.