Perhaps a bit too close to home this year, with the actual destruction of twenty-seven entire star systems to fill our heads with nightmares of, I still cling to the faith and cultural traditions that are important to me and my family.
*This evening, before undocking for fleet, I read once again - to Liam, Stellarisse (sadly the others have grown and are gone to adulthood) - ensconsced in their seperate sleeping bags with our dogs and foxcat in front of a crackling fire, the story:
“Saint Nicholas the Destroyer”
Twas the night before St Nicholas Eve
and all through the station
not a Minmatar was stirring, demanding emancipation
The stockings were hung by the pods with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The crews were nestled all snug in their vessels,
with visions of Ravens, Apocs and Kestrels
And pappa in his 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a New Eden’s nap,
When out on the hull there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my pod to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the hangar and threw up the latch.
The moon on the rise and the asteroids 'a glow,
Gave the lustre of mid-day to the objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature frigate, and eight tiny drone-deer,
With a menacing old driver, so violent and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than Dramiels his drones they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
"Now, luxuria! now, gula! now, avaritia!
On, ira! on invidia! on, superbia and acedia!
To the top of the drone bay! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the bridge-top the drones they flew,
With the frigate full of gifts, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the hull
The prancing and pawing of those drones so special.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the torpedo bay St. Nicholas came in with a bound.
He was dressed all in armor, his body full of flames,
And his weapons were all tarnished with blood and remains;
A bundle of gifts he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes – how they simmered! his dimples how scary!
His cheeks were like embers, how completely un-merry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a sneer
And the beard of his chin was as dark as my fear!
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He was terrifying and fearsome, a right vengeful old elf,
And I shook when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had everything to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the torpedo bay he rose;
He sprang to his frigate, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Merry St Nicholas Day to all, and to all a good-night.”
This year, Saint Nicholas will be “visiting” Tebu Ankhiman in Tanoo, Saturday, December 12, YC 122 to meet the children of the citadel. Those capsuleers with children who’d like to participate, just send me a private mail.