Another drone from the Santa Claus Army blasted the landing strip housing a fleet of Kris Kringle’s air force. Planes were decimated as flying shrapnel and seething balls of flame sent pilots scurrying for their lives.
“Braavooo. Woohoo,” cheered the children and parents who had placed their Christmas orders with Santa Claus this year.
Santa Claus v Kris Kringle entered its 14th hour – and Santa Claus was dominating this year’s 24-hour War.
Marlee was happy, and so was her child, who had gambled on Santa Claus to win this year. Marlee and Jay had conscientiously monitored the respective sales figures of Amazon and Taobao with painstaking devotion before deciding which online retailer could afford to hire superior mercenaries and would hence prevail in the annual Christmas Eve battle.
“Kill them,” yelled Jay, who had showed faith in Santa despite missing out on a gift last year after Amazon’s Santa Claus lost to the Taobao-backed Kris Kringle.
Jay remembered vividly waking up on Christmas Day, 2067 to no present – worse still was the mockery from friends and neighbours who had ordered through Taobao and who flaunted their gifts with vitriolic glee.
“Not this year,” declared Jay.
Boooom!!!!! Kris Kringle’s undersea defence system ripped apart an entire island nation which had acquiesced to the persuasive diplomacy of Amazon and ordered its entire population to support Santa Claus.
Kris Kringle’s sinister grin filled screens throughout the world, preceding the familiar image of Santa stained red with blood. Millions of nervous citizens glued their eyes to these screens and waited with bated breath for a message;
“Jesus is the reason for the season,” read the quaint, archaic phrase, but it was gone in a flash. Citizens dismissed it as an historical anachronism and readied themselves for an update on the progress of the 24-hour War.
Santa Claus boasted 78% of ‘sales’, or significant strikes on opposition targets. But wait, Kris Kringle claimed it had inflicted an equal amount of carnage. Angry, confused citizens stood aghast or hurled fury at the screens, until the Facebook Court of Moral Arbitration intervened to adjust the figures.
“58% Kris Kringle, 42% Santa Claus,” it reported.
Bombs and bullets and missiles rained down on targets all over the world for the next 10 hours. Citizens fled in horror before seeking out a screen to which they remained transfixed.
Who would win?
Amazon had narrowly defeated its only competitor in the international online market place during the last 12 months, but Taobao had still managed to supply Kris Kringle with a formidable army. The mercenary forces of these two financial foes continued to fight tooth and nail until the final hour, the final minute, the final second.
As GMT marked 12am, December 25, screens turned white, then…
“The right to deliver joy and peace to children throughout the world, for 2068, belongs to…”
…and the Santa Claus package was torn open to reveal a present that Jay didn’t even like.