Friday, December 20, 2013

A Very Matari Christmas

A 'Christmassy' Fiction Friday. Escape pod here.

Well its only a few days until Christmas. I'll be off with the wife for a to a nice hotel. Its too far to go back to the families in England, and which ones do you spend Christmas day with? Plus travelling at Christmas time? I hate air travel at the best of times. But packed flights, screaming kids and the weather cancelling flights so you are trapped in airport hell. Nope, I'll take a rooftop pool, on a sun-bed with a lovely ice cold vodka before heading down to the restaurant for Christmas dinner with all the trimmings.

Mmmmmmm. Do you think any elements of Christmas made it into New Eden? After twenty thousand years will it still be celebrated, and in what form?

I had intended this to be the only one, looking at a Matari 'Christmas'. But what about the other races? So this is the first in four pieces on the run up to Christmas. I'll get back to normal blog posts after the Christmas break, but given that the holidays are almost upon us, I thought a week of seasonal stories might be appropriate. Today is the Matari, Caldari will be on Sunday, the Gallente on Monday and finishing off, appropriately I think you'll agree, with the Amarr on Christmas Eve!

A Very Matari Christmas

There is no Christmas in New Eden, well, not that we humans of planet Earth circa. 2013 would recognise. Christmas itself was dying out well before the wormhole to the New Eden cluster was discovered. By the year 7989 AD when the first intrepid explorers left our region of the galaxy and entered the wormhole for the first time, Christmas was almost forgotten. Celebrated only by a few pockets of humanity which were scattered throughout the Milky Way.

Whilst some of those who kept the celebration going colonised New Eden, the collapse of the wormhole and the subsequent 'dark ages' meant Christmas as we know it was lost over time. However, humans, being what they are, did keep an aspect going.

And so dear readers, we journey to a small town called Reynir on the 4th planet of the Ebodold system. A temperate planet within low-security space of the Minmatar Republic. Here we find a small farming town where tradition is important and superstition is rife. Whilst hi-tech dropships take away the crops that have been collected by massive automated robotic harvesters, in some aspects of life, the old ways are still seen as the best. This includes getting your children to behave!

All the children of Reynir know of Zuhair. A mighty winged angel servant of the Amarrian god. It is said that one night every year Zuhair swoops down on Reynir to gather up any children he can find and spirit them away to the Amarrian homeworlds. To help hin this task, he carries in his right hand a huge golden cage which he fills up with Matari children. Once his cage is full he flies back to the Amarr Empire with his new slaves. He takes them far away from their families, to serve as slaves to the Amarrian Holders for ever and ever.

It is said that news of this agent of doom reached the ears of the famous Brutor hero, Kjarr, many hundreds of years ago. Upon hearing the towns plight he journeyed to Reynir with his legendary warhammer, with the aim of defeating Zuhair and saving the towns children.

On the eve of 'The Claiming' Zuhair appeared in the town square with his golden cage. He found Kjarr there waiting for him with his mighty rust-covered warhammer. Zuhair laughed at him, what was a puny human going to do against an archangel? Kjarr charged with a mighty roar and they fought. Oh, it was a mighty battle. Zuhair was astonished that a mere human could fight so hard and gain the upper hand against him. All through the night they fought and into the early dawn. As the sun began to rise, Zuhair knew his time on the planet was nearly at an end. He had not captured a single child. In his fury Zuhair unleashed a savage attack which Kjarr blocked and dealt a decisive blow against the Amarrian angel. As he servant of the Amarrian god lay there, wounded and slowly fading back into the other realm, he proposed a deal with Kjarr. The angel said he'd just keep coming back and Kjarr couldn't stay and fight forever. So what if Zuhair only took away the naughty children in the town. Those who had lied to their elders, those who had been stealing cookies, those who had been disrespectful to their parents, those who had bullied other children at school. Kjarr thought about this. The angel was right, Kjarr couldn't stay in this town forever, there were countless towns, cities and settlements across Matari space needed him. So with a heavy heart he agreed to the compromise, but with one extra condition.

So once every year Zuhair comes to Reynir with his big golden cage. He seeks out the boys and girls who have been naughty that year and scoops them up, condemning them to a life of slavery in the Amarrian Empire. But, if the child has been good all year, then he is bound by his word to leave them a gift as commanded by the famous Brutor hero, Kjarr. So now, in his left hand he carries a mighty sack filled with toys and treats. Inside is an all manner of dolls, candy canes, toy spaceships, puzzles and games to reward the children that had been good.

So little one, have you been good this year? Have you worked hard at school? Have you been respectful and obedient to your parents. Have you kept your hand out of the cookie jar? I hope so, because tonight, at midnight, Zuhair visits our town. Will you get a nice toy? Or is it the golden cage for you......?

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