(The Devil's own Son by Anny)

That Christmas Thing

Disclaimer 1: This is fanfic. That means I do not own any of it. I just borrow it to play with for a little while and let people see the pathetic results if they really want to.

Disclaimer 2: I'm not making any money from it. It's just for fun.

Disclaimer 3: What isn't borrowed is all made up. None of this is real or most likely at all realistic. Please don't trust any of the information in here. Most likely you know more about whatever I'm writing about than I do.

Disclaimer 4: Attitudes, views and opinions expressed by the characters or in the story are not necessarily those of the author. Even when writing Science Fiction or Fantasy I do not tend to attempt to create perfect/better worlds in which everybody gets a happy end ... or whatever is best for them. Please accept that some characters will have a bad ending or be unhappy.

Disclaimer 5: I intend no insult to anyone. If I offend anyone I'm very sorry. Please understand that it was an accident as I tend to be very clumsy in these things.

Disclaimer 6: If my characters' conversations seem odd or they appear to be talking past each other the latter might occasionally be intentional, but most likely it is an accident and I'm not aware that they are. It's just my bad communication skills.


December 24th, 9:05 a.m., waiting room outside Nemesis' office

"So what is it with that Christmas thing?" Jean Claude asked slipping into the chair next to Jesse.

"Nothing." Jesse growled at him.

"Then what are you moping about?"

"I'm not moping."

"Yes, you are. You have been for three days."

"Have not. I'm just thinking." Jesse snapped. "And you're distracting me."

"Fine, have it your way." Jean Claude snapped and stalked off.

11:15 a.m., Jesse's office

"It's some religious ritual, isn't it?" Jean Claude sat down on Jesse's desk.

"What is?" Jesse growled and continued to stare into his teacup.

"That Christmas thing."

"Not really."

"Then what is it?"

"A Fleshling holiday. Nothing at all interesting to you." Jesse finally looked up. "And you're sitting on my work."

Jean Claude got up. "So what is it about?"

"Nothing. Get lost."

"Fine." Jean Claude slammed the door closed as he left.

1:36 p.m., lunch room

"But it must have a religious connection. I just know it." Jean Claude burst out in the middle of lunch.

Jesse stopped pushing his food around to glance over at him. "What?"

"That Christmas thing. I overheard Fleshlings talk about it on a mission once. They were talking about one of their gods."

"God." Jesse stated. "That religion has only one."

"Only one? Poor thing. He must be completely overworked."

"Christmas is originally supposed to be the birthday of his son."

"So there are more gods after all!"

"No, the son's ... a bit like a prophet, not a god."

"So what's so special about a prophet's birthday?"

"Nothing. Christmas was invented, because the pagans had a special celebration for midwinter and didn't want to give it up when they converted to Christianity."

"Then it's a celebration of midwinter? But that would be on a different day on each planet."

"It's not. It's a celebration for Christians."

"So, are you?"


"A Christian?"

"Of course not. Religion is for idiots. Hardly anybody really believes in God anymore anyway."

"Then what are you moping about?"

"Nothing." Jesse let his fork drop into his uneaten food and got up.

"Aren't you going to eat anything?"

"I'm not hungry."

3:00 p.m., hallway 13

Jean Claude fell into step beside Jesse on the way to the strategy meeting with Nemesis.

"If there are only a few Christians left, why do so many Fleshlings go crazy about that Christmas thing?"

"Oh, most of them celebrate Christmas. It's not really about religion anymore."

"Then what is it about?"

"Family. It's when Fleshlings spend time with their family, show them how much they appreciate them." Jesse said and walked into the meeting room.

"Oh, why didn't you say that right away!" Jean Claude beamed triumphantly. A celebration of family was something any Outrider could understand. Family was important, the most important thing in the world, in fact. Maybe Jesse wasn't all that alien after all.

December 25th, 5:55 p.m., Jesse's office

Jean Claude walked into Jesse's office just as he was turning off the computer for the day and leaned onto the desk. "Want to come down watch a holomovie? Razzle finally repaired our projector this morning and we thought we'd have a little get-together to celebrate the occasion."

"An Outrider movie, Jean Claude?" Jesse asked exasperated. "Whatever for? I wouldn't understand a word."

"We could translate it for you." Jean Claude suggested. "Or make up our own text. Anyway, it's going to be fun and there'll be food and drink. You can quarrel with Razzle, make fun of Mohawk, insult Gattler ... We could even plot a prank on Nemesis."

"All right, since I've got nothing better to do." Jesse decided while wondering whether it was really a good idea. Who knew what Outriders might get up to when having a party? And what was Jean Claude's motive in inviting him anyway?

Well, at least he wouldn't have time to think about the fact that he was all alone in the world.

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