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Part of USS Osiris: To serve and protect and Bravo Fleet: Blood Dilithium

”Twas the night before

USS Osiris
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Chief Samples entered his room dropping his engineering tool belt and placing it in its customary place beside the door. He walked over to the room’s replicator, ordered a cup of hot apple cider, and placed it on the small side table next to a chair. “Computer, dim the lights by seventy percent and play Samples Christmas mix.” 

The lights dimmed as the soothing sounds of Bing Crosby’s “white Christmas” started to play throughout the room.

“Gotta set the mood a bit more.” As he walked over to a very small, about two feet tall, Christmas tree placed on top of a simple-looking handmade wood table. Tapping his hand on the base caused brightly colored lights to come on, some blinking some not. Looking around he nodded to himself.

 “Oh ya, can’t forget the hat.” looking next to the tree he picked up the knitted sleeping cat with its green tassel hanging down by his ear. “Ok, that should do it.” 

He then went and sat in the comfortable-looking overstuffed recliners that sat, at the moment, facing towards the lit Christmas tree. Just below the tree, he could see a slightly lower table with a moderately sized view screen sitting on it. Reaching over he tapped on the reading light, bathing the area by the chair in a yellowish light, and then he picked up the worn leather-bound book that was also on the table.

“Incoming message from Beth, Laura, and Peter Samples.” 

“Put them through”

The view screen showed two young girls and a young boy. “Hey Uncle Charles, merryChristmas.”

“Well hello you three, are you ready for the story?” all three nodded with smiles on their faces.

He smiled and opened the book on his lap, “ahhh, here we go.” he reached down for his cup of cider, took a sip, and started to read.

“Twas the night beforeChristmas, when all through the house. Or in my case the USS Osiris. Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.” As he said this line a little holographic mouse wearing a hat much like his, slowly walked over from the arm of the chair onto one of his legs and curled up going to sleep. 

The three children giggled as they watched the mouse. As he looked down with a knowing little smile and continued to read the story.

Several minutes later he finished the story, closing the book and placing it back on the table.

“Merry Christmas you three, you better get to bed so Santa will come.”

 “Yes, Uncle Charles. Do you have your tree on so Santa can find you?” one of the girls asked him.

“Of course I do, Laura. See.” as he leaned forward and spun the camera around and tilted it up so they could see the tree. “Right by the window, as always.” he then turned the camera back around.

“Night, Uncle Charles. Please let the rest of the crew on the Osiris know that we said merryChristmas.”

“I sure will.” as the connection went dark.

Chief Samples went and got another cup of hot cider, returned to his seat, and reread the story. Sometimes as he was rereading the story he dozed off in the chair, must have been a busy day in engineering.

:: Bump, thump, thump, thump::

Chief Samples awoke to the noise, rubbing his eyes he could not believe what he saw.

:: Thump, thump” “ geeetmeminouufavheare”

Before him where before was a wall, was now a fireplace with all of the holiday trimmings.”What the..?”

As he rubbed and cleared his eyes, he could see a pair of boots and legs dangling from inside. “Ummmm, hold on a sec. I’m coming.”

He first goes and grabs his tricorder from his belt and approaches the fireplace scanning as he approaches. “Hmmmm, this can’t be right. This dang burn thing is saying that yes, there is a fireplace where there wasn’t one when I sat down.”He put the tricorder on the table on top of the book he was reading just a few hours ago. “Hold on.” He picked up the cup and sniffed. “Nope, nothing but cider.” He got down on a knee grabbed the legs just above the top of the boot and gave them a good hard yank. Falling back against the chair with a plume of dark ash and suet, an older gentleman wearing a red suit with a white beard now sat in front of him.

Charles, chief Samples, fumbles grabbing for the tricorder. “Ummm, you’re human or at least this says you are.”

“Of course, I am, Charles.” The man stood and brushed off his coat, straightened his hat, and ran a hand through his beard. Looking around “So this is a starship? Huh, first one I’ve been on. Wasn’t sure if the boys would make it out this far.”

Charles shakes his head. “Hold on, your your your,”

“Say it, boy… everyone always acts like it’s a surprise that I’m still kicking.”

“Your Santa Clause? You can’t be, he’s a.”

“Ya I know, a myth, a legend, an old wives tale, a made-up story, etc, etc, etc… I’ve heard it all before.”

“But how? Why? I must be still asleep and dreaming, right.. Ya that’s it. I was reading that story and I’m still asleep and this is all a dream.”

“Hmmmm,” he poked the chief in the chest.

“Hey, what was that for?” as Charles rubbed his chest

“Nope, not sleeping.” he chuckled “As for the first question. You sent out the signal, did you not?”

“What signal?”

Santa pointed at the small tree by the window. “That one. As for why it is Christmas Eve. Is it not?”

Chief stood and looked around the room. “Well, ya it is.”

Santa went and looked at the fireplace then knelt and reached up into it. “Damn bag, always gets stuck.” He gave something a hard yank. “There we go.” As another smaller plume followed the bag. He turned back around to face the Chief. “What? No cookies and milk? No carrots for the boys? It was a long trip out here you know.”

Charles quickly walked over to the replicator. “Is that what you want? Or would you like something a bit more..substantial?”

“I wouldn’t say no to a nice Hamburger and fries or a good ol’ pot roast meal.”

Charles places the order with the replicator and brings a plate or pot roast with all the fix’ns. 

Santa looked at him then at the food then over at the replicator. ”I’ve heard of those, but have never seen one, interesting gadget.”

Charles looked over his shoulder. “I guess they are.”

“Sooo, Santa. What’s next? I’m sure you’re aware that this ship has many species and many do not know who you are, even many of the humans these days do not still believe in the old traditions.”

“I’m aware. But that doesn’t mean I don’t exist or that I just stopped being who I am. As you can see.” He took a sip from the cup in front of him and then placed everything on the plate.” Let me ask you a question, Charles. Do you still believe?”

Charles stood by the table, hand behind his back. “Believe?”

“Yes, it’s a rather easy question with a rather difficult answer for some. Do you still believe in me, in traditions, in stories, and in myths? Do you still believe in Christmas?” as he stood and picked up the sack by the tightly closed top.

Charles looked around the room taking in the tree, the book, and several other family heirlooms spread around his room. “Yes, yes I do. Hard to say that in these times as many don’t but yes I still believe.”

Santa looked at him, smiled at him, and put the bag over his shoulder. “Sometimes Charles, that’s all it takes in one. One person to believe, one person who deep down still believes in the magic ofChristmas. That belief is a very powerful thing, don’t forget that, don’t ever forget that.” He heads towards the door.

“Uh, sir, where are you going?” 

He looked over his shoulder and said. “Why, to do what I am here for. To spread the joy and magic of Christmas. So Charles, are you going to show me around this starship of yours or should I just find my way around?” 

Chief Samples quickly grabbed his tunic, put it on, and followed Santa out of the door. 

For the next couple of hours, they made their way stem to stern, port to aft. Each time they came to a door of someone’s quarters, Santa would look at the nameplate, reach in his bag, and pull out a couple of gifts. One is usually about the size of a shoe box and one about the size of an awards box. 

The first couple of times he looked at Charles, placed a finger on the side of his nose and reached his hand through the door, and placed the gift. If more than one person living in the room then he would do the same for each one. The Mess halls were decorated with traditional Christmas trimmings including a large Christmas tree, not sure where he got it from but one moment it was there the next it wasn’t. As they made their way deck to deck, room to room Santa would leave little touches here and there, reminders of traditions long forgotten and times long past.

Chief Samples bolted upright from his chair, shook his head, then sat back again. “Ok ok ok, No way that was real, was it?” as he looked around his room quarters. As his eyes slowly adjusted to the dim morning light. One of his preset items for his room was the lights were set to come on as if it was the first rays of morning sunshine coming through his bedroom window in his home in Alaska. He finally looked upon the Christmas tree in the corner noticing several things that he knew for a fact were not there last night when he went to bed, boxes wrapped in holiday paper, he shook his head once again and stood.

Looking around his room he noticed something odd, something that should not be here on a starship. Black footprints on the floor leading out the door of his quarters. Following these, he went to the hallway outside his room. 

Crewmates and friends started to come out of their rooms along the hallway, puzzled expressions on their faces as they looked at their neighbors, as many held wrapped boxes in their hands.

He backed into his room, the door closing behind him, as he noticed a card sitting on top of the book. He made his way back and picked up the card and made his way to the window and the little Christmas tree.


Remember my boy. Remember to believe as believing in something is what gives it life. All it takes is for one person to believe, that belief lives and grows in the heart and that is what gives it the power to become reality. That is the magic behind the stories and traditions, it’s the believing in them. See you next year. Santa Claus. PS. Before I left I programmed Mrs. Clauses’ recipe for Hot chocolate and Christmas cookies into your replicator, yours needed some work.”




  • I really enjoyed the way you portrayed Chief Samples' love of christmas. It came through clearly through the minutia of his perspective and traditions, like the christmas story over subspace. Reading through his entire reaction to Santa Claus was a delight. Scanning the fireplace with a tricorder was a classically Trek engineering move (as was sniffing the cup to check if he was inebriated, ha!) Santa made me laugh with "act like it's a surprise that I'm still kicking" and reprogramming the replicator. All in all, I appreciated the conversation about belief: it was both thought-provoking and heart-warming at the same time.

    December 27, 2022