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Event: The Santa Exam [IC]

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⟡ dig down, dig down ⟡
  • 12,528
    Santa is not a single entity. We all know this. Even the old stories tell us that there were multiple people, by multiple names, serving multiple regions. And as the world grew, so did the enterprise of late-night gift delivery.

    These days, a division of the Santa Conglomerate known as "Santa Scouts" are responsible for recruiting people with potential to be Santas and guiding them through a December-long Santa training program. On New Year's Eve, trainees are put to the test by delivering gifts to the worker's town sprawled across the North Pole. This is:

    ❅ The Santa Exam ❅

    The Scenario

    Your mode of transit: two flying reindeer towing a small sleigh.
    Your equipment: a magical sack that provides whatever you ask, but can not have items returned to it.
    Your companion: a Santa Scout who is here to grade you and not allowed to help you in any way.
    Your assignment: to be a Santa for a single household in the Pole's worker's village.

    As you have been taught, the basic expectation for a Santa is to complete four objectives:
    • Eat provided offerings.
    • Fill all five stockings with appropriate stuffing- two will be for adults, two for children, and one for a pet.
    • Deposit five gifts under the tree, one for each member of the household.
    • Leave no other trace.​

    However, the situation is almost never the Perfect Scenario. Encountering and overcoming the unexpected is just part of the job. [once you have your character, select ONE challenge from EACH category, or have anna choose for you.]

    Category 1: Mild Challenge

    • More pets than expected, and they are not just dogs and cats. Correctly fill four additional pet stockings.
    • Tree is not a tree, there is no tree, or the tree is too tiny to put presents under. Arrange gifts artfully.
    • The food offerings are inedible to you for some reason. Dispose of them in a way that makes it seem as if you have eaten them.

    Category 2: Moderate Challenge

    • One gift is extremely oversized. Maneuver it into place without outside assistance or damage to property.
    • This family has three adults and seven children! Fill stockings appropriately and find room for all gifts under the tree.
    • An imaginary friend has a stocking. Fill appropriately.

    Category 3: Difficult Challenge

    • House still has a chimney. You are expected to enter, move gifts, and exit via this route. Do not leave a mess.
    • Stockings have been hung in bedrooms. Do not wake occupants while filling.
    • All five gifts are extremely oversized. Maneuver them into place without outside assistance or damage to property.

    if you would like to suggest a challenge please lmk i'll probably add it

    After you complete your exam you are encouraged to attend the afterparty, where you can commiserate or relax with others who have also finished their tests! [jp, you know!] At the end of the night, it will be announced who passed and who failed. Good luck!


    ARCANEUM as Letitia Snow
    FEN-FEN as Kansas Ruth Medvedev
    FOXRALLY as Lucifer
    GIMMEPIE as Niklaus Polarhosen
    GROC as Clara Yule
    JANP as Robo-Cat Unit 122
    QUEENNOTHING as The Speed

    css & background images made by me
    snowflakes | presents | trees
    Last edited:
  • 1,660
    Clara Yule
    Clara goes over her mental checklist one last time as the sleigh flies through the air at a reasonable speed (she's not the only one in the sky, after all), making sure she didn't forget anything. Her Conglomerate-appointed Santa Scout, Brennan, sits beside her, glancing at his clipboard as they approach their designated house. They land daintily on the roof, making far less noise than Santa would have with just two reindeer, an elf, and one petite human.

    "Whose house is this, again?" Clara asks, tightening the belt keeping her uniform coat shut.

    "That's not part of this test." Brennan dispassionately replies. "You'll only be covering the one house, not multiple."

    "But an official Santa should know who they're delivering to, right? They don't just go in blind!"

    "That tracks, I suppose..." Brennan sighs, flipping to a different page of his notes. "Let's see... Galleta Rodriguez and family. You know Galleta, he's a worker at the shop. We usually call him Guy, he's a brownie from the South Pole who came to help during that flu outbreak ten years ago, liked it so much he transferred here full time. His wife Holly, she works down at the Candy Cane Clinic. Two daughters, Flora and Juliana, and a dog, Chalupa."

    Clara mostly nodded as Brennan rattled off the information. She's been here less than a year herself, working at the elf kindergarten while studying for the Santa Exam, but she gets a grin as she realizes why the name sounded familiar. "Ah, this is Juliana's home, then! She's told me all about her family during class!"

    "Perfect! There you go, you have everything you need." Brennan smiles an obviously fake smile that doesn't reach his eyes. "Now get going, you're on the clock."

    "Right!" Clara grabs her magic bag, slinging it over her shoulder and nearly knocking herself off balance. She gingerly starts making her way to the edge of the roof. "This thing is heavier than it looks!"

    "Watch your step." Brennan casually mentions as he jots down notes.

    "Watch my w- whoa!" Clara turns back to the sleigh, slipping on some loose snow and falling off the roof with a yelp.

    "That never gets old." Brennan chuckles, a legitimate smile on his face for the first time that night.

    Luckily for Clara, the magic of the bag kicks in while she's in mid-air, slowing her fall and letting her float to the ground as softly as snow. She sighs in relief, wondering why no one mentioned the innate powers of the bag beyond its storage abilities.

    Speaking of enchanted gear, her Santa boots were supposed to allow her to walk on snow and ice as though it were solid ground, making her immune to slipping and not leave behind footprints or track snow indoors. She takes a moment to test them on the front lawn, and they're working now! That crotchety elf up there must have done something to them to make her fall. What a mean prank!

    She huffs out a breath, then chuckles. He probably meant it in good fun, knowing her bag would protect her. And it honestly helped her remember the bag's true purpose: to help her deliver gifts. The presents for this house are all stored inside, along with any tools she might need to gain entry. Back in Santa training, she'd been quite skilled at sliding down chimneys, but those are a rarity these days, so she'll have to use the front door. She hoists her bag back onto her shoulder, opening the front door.

    Or, she tries to. It is, of course, locked. She should have expected this. Setting the bag back down, she reaches inside and thinks about how to open a locked door. For that, she'll need a key. She feels something light yet hard inside, and pulls out... a sprig of mistletoe? The short piece of wood has small leaves and berries at the end, but is etched with some kind of runes. She touches the wand to the door, and hears a soft *click* as it unlocks.

    She gleefully heads inside, but stops when she hears a soft beeping from beside the door. Seems the house has a security system, and the small panel is asking for a password. Panicking, she touches the mistletoe wand to the panel, and to her delight it beeps four times as the alarm is disabled.

    "Ha ha! Modern problems require magical solutions." She tucks the wand back into the bag, but it pops back out a moment later.

    "Huh?" She tries again, but the wand refuses to go back into the bag. She ponders this for a moment, then simply tucks the wand behind her ear, like how she used to store pencils as a kid. She'll simply have to ask Brennan how to return it when she gets back to the sleigh.

    Getting back to the job at hand, she leaves the bag by the door as she scouts out the ground floor. Facing the door is a single staircase leading up, no doubt where the family is currently sleeping. To the left is a dining room of some sort, and to the right is the living room. If she were to guess, both rooms would connect to a kitchen.

    She goes to the living room first. A couch, two bean bag chairs, and a coffee table are arranged in front of a flat screen TV, with a Nintendo Switch on a small shelf docked to it. A small dog bed rests below the TV, the dog nowhere in sight. Hopefully he's upstairs with the rest of the family. Clara had only met Chalupa once, and the Chihuahua had snarled at her when she tried to pet him.

    Five stockings are hung on the wall next to the TV, as expected, but oddly, a small sock has been taped to the wall below them, with something written in crayon on the wall next to it. Clara has to crouch to read it, but she can vaguely make out the name "Wibbles the Wonder Mouse". Juliana had told Clara about Wibbles in class once. He's her imaginary friend, and not actually a mouse but a "unicorn hamster", which she imagines is a hamster with a horn and tiny hooves instead of paws.

    As she ponders the stocking situation, she looks around the room, looking for the tree. A further complication arises when she sees not a tree, but an end table in one corner of the room with a potted cactus within it. A few lights are draped over the arms of the cactus, with a purple flower blooming on top in place of the traditional star. It's beautiful, but there isn't really room to put anything underneath it.

    She retreats to the foyer, opening the bag and reaching inside. Figuring out the tree situation will be easier once she gets the presents out, so she thinks about Juliana first. She feels a box inside, but has to use both hands to grab it, pulling out a large gift wrapped in green paper with Christmas cookie designs. The box is heavy, and Clara is already out of breath just taking it over to the "tree".

    Returning to the bag, she pulls out the gift for Flora. Red paper with various vehicles on it cover a large, almost cylindrical gift, and it rattles when Clara picks it up, sounding like many loose pieces of plastic are contained within. She's idly curious what the girl will make with a bucket of assorted Lego pieces, and hopes she gets to hear about it from her student.

    The next three presents just leave her baffled. A gift for Guy wrapped in blue paper with white snowflakes, is another heavy box she needs both hands to lift. The gift for Holly is longer than Clara is tall, how did it even fit in there? And the gift for the dog is a thin box nearly three feet wide! The opening to the bag had to stretch to get the gift out! She knows it's a magic bag, but there are certain things she just can't accept. And worse still, she still needs to put these giant gifts under a tree that is actually a potted plant on an end table!

    Going full teacher mode, she quashes down her frustration with a simple chuckle and shake of her head. She's gotten this far, she won't fail now. Santa doesn't give up just because the odds are against him, now does he? And she needs to be Santa for this family. It's her duty, her honor, her privilege to do this.

    First things first, she gently scoots the end table away from the corner, as quietly as she can. She comes back with the gift for Chalupa and leans it against the wall, the brown paper with white bones on it helping it stand out against the soft beige paint of the wall. She stops at the bag to get a large white bow and a comically oversized "From Santa" tag to attach to the gift.

    Next, she goes back for Guy and Juliana's gifts, carrying them one at a time and placing them in front of the table. Luckily the two are of similar enough size that they can sit next to each other and serve as a base for an impromptu present pyramid. She grabs Flora's gift, hurrying back to place it atop the other two.

    Unfortunately, in her haste she forgot the precise layout of the living room, and bangs her shin on the low coffee table. She winces in pain as she stumbles, accidentally stepping on one of the bean bags and losing her balance. She falls forward, her instincts telling her to save the gift and hold it above her head rather than drop it and catch herself, causing her to land face first on the second bean bag chair.

    She lays still for a moment, her soft grumbles of pain and frustration muffled by the soft seat. She lifts her head up slowly, listening for any movement above her. When she hears none, she sighs in relief. Apparently no one heard that, or they would have woken up and come to investigate.

    Resuming her mission, she places Flora's gift, heading back for Holly's last. Long though it may be, it's narrow enough to place it on the end table in front of the cactus, the only gift technically beneath the tree, but at least they're all here. She does her best to put the two chairs back where they were, hoping no one notices the slight deformities caused by her tripping over and landing in them. Fluffing them back up would simply make too much noise.

    She carries her bag over to the stockings, as she doesn't have time to keep going back and forth to grab all of the small gifts she'll be filling them with. In her readings, she's learned that stockings are typically filled with sweet snacks like fruit or nuts, or money if the recipient is a young woman about to be married. She doubts Santa would approve of putting real money in any of these stockings, but chocolate coins should fulfill all of the requirements.

    With each stocking filled with chocolates, a single large orange, sugar-free gum and a new toothbrush, she next turns to the late addition to the party, Juliana's sock set aside for Wibbles the Wonder Mouse. The typical fillings simply won't do for an imaginary friend, Clara needs to be more... imaginative.

    In class, Juliana had mentioned Wiggles was a great listener, someone she could tell her darkest secrets to. What she needs is somewhere to put down those secrets, to record her thoughts, a place to organize them and look over them later.

    To that end, Clara reaches into her bag, procuring a small leather-bound journal. She slides the journal into the sock, pleased to see it fits snugly without tearing the elastic. Hopefully Juliana can make a game out of it, writing back and forth to Wibbles. It might even encourage her to be a writer someday!

    With a contented sigh, Clara looks around the room. "Deliver presents: check. Fill the stockings: check. What else was there?"

    She looks around, trying to think of what she has forgotten, when she remembers: milk and cookies. Santa is widely known for his sweet tooth, so where are the cookies? They aren't in the living room, perhaps they left them in the dining room?

    Clara pokes around, but sees no sign of cookies. Her earlier guess was correct, though, and a kitchen at the back of the house connects both rooms. There is a glass of milk and two sugar cookies waiting in the kitchen, along with nine baby carrots on a separate plate.

    "Oh! How precious! They left snacks for the reindeer, too!" Clara practically squees over the plate of carrots. It's a nice gesture, and carrots are much better for her waistline than the cookies, so she happily eats them instead. She pockets the two cookies to actually give to the reindeer that pulled her sleigh, and quickly gulps down the milk. She heads to the sink to rinse out the glass, humming to herself as she does.

    And with that done, she returns to the foyer, retrieving the mistletoe wand from her ear, grabbing the straps of her bag, and nodding at the dog on the stairs. "Hello, Chalupa."


    Chalupa growls as he watches Clara move, unsure of this intruder in his home. Clara freezes, not breaking eye contact. "Hey. It's okay, I was just leaving. Please don't wake anyone. Please?"

    She points the wand at the security panel, re-arming the alarm. Chalupa growls again, shivering in anticipation as he licks his lips.

    "I'm just... going to go." Clara reaches behind her to open the door, slinging the heavy sack over her shoulder one-handed. Chalupa's ears perk up at the sudden movement, and Clara looks over her shoulder to make sure her path is clear. Unfortunately, her long hair is pinned under the bag, and the quick movement of her head pulls at it, making her yelp in surprise and pain.

    Chalupa barks once at her yelp, and Clara bolts out the door. Chalupa keeps barking inside as Clara closes the door as quickly as quietly possible, and a light comes on upstairs. She hurries back to where she initially fell off the roof, whispering as loud as she dares. "Brennan! How do I get back up?"

    The bag in her hand starts to levitate, floating up like a balloon and dragging Clara with it. Once over the roof, it moves laterally and dangles her over the sleigh before lowering her. She simply stares at Brennan with a look of mild panic as the bag moves her of its own volition, and the elf jots down a quick note.

    "Presents delivered, stocking filled, offerings consumed and minimal traces of my presence left!" Clara blurts as she fastens her seat belt. "Time to go to the next house, eh?"

    "Back to the stables, actually." Brennan doesn't look up from his writing. "Under normal circumstances, yes, but this is just a test. You need to curb your enthusiasm, Miss Yule.

    "Right. Of course." She gives the reins a light flick, signaling the reindeer to take flight once more. "You know, calling me 'Miss Yule' makes me sound like I won a beauty contest." She jokes.

    "I'm sorry if I gave you that misconception." Brennan responds stoically.

    Clara just tsk's at him, reminding herself that he's no fun. And she says to herself, as the house fades from sight, "Merry Christmas to all! And to all a good night!"
  • 25,614
    Niklaus Polarhosen - Exam: Part One

    With expert skill, Niklaus Polarhosen steered the airborne sleigh towards his destination. The reindeer he had been assigned were a little cantankerous, but not so unruly as to be unusable to anyone who had what it takes to be a santa. This was part of the exam really, he knew. He'd both taken and given this exam before. It was a simple test. If you can't handle some slightly unruly reindeer, then you can't handle being a santa. Those who messed up early on failed before they even truly realised the test had begun.

    Behind him, Niklaus could hear the sound of a pen scratching at a clipboard and the occasional "hmm" or "hum" being made. The slender, severe-looking scout behind him was maybe half his age with a quarter his own experience at best, and was putting on a show of frequently pretending to make notes or check his oversized pocket watch.

    Niklaus did his best to ignore the proctor's performance. He knew what he was doing. Sure, he was maybe going a little bit slower than he needed to, but he'd be damned if he went too fast and lost his sack or made too noisy a landing and blew everything. Failure was not an option. So he kept things tight, going just fast enough to make sure he arrived in time. The scout couldn't fail him for that even if he was starting to get a little impatient. Perhaps, Niklaus could ease his concerns.

    He turned his thoughts away from his frustrations and plastered his widest, cheeriest smile on his face and looked back at the other man. "Lovely evening, don't you think?! Couldn't have asked for anything better. A little snow, but nothing too crazy and the wind is at our backs. Excellent flying weather!"

    "Please keep your eyes in front of you." The proctor sounded far more tired than he had any right to be. A true santa had energy to spare for the full Christmas period. He was being too picky as well. A quick glance at a passenger was no real issue when they had the sky mostly to themselves. They travelled lower than passenger planes and no other sleighs could be seen for miles. The scout was simply being picky and bitter. Not behaviour a santa should display.

    "Right you are!" Niklaus said, bouncing in his seat a little as he turned back to face the front. His smile didn't slip. There was no hint of his annoyance in his voice. He was the perfect santa. Of course he was. He had decades of experience under his belt, even if the scout judging him didn't know that. Sure, he'd been fired years prior. But that had been out of control. He was proving that right now by acing the exam. Nothing would foil him. He was perfect.

    Soon enough, his destination came into sight and Niklaus began to angle his reindeer gently down. He heard the scratching behind him. Probably a complaint about an early descent and a very shallow angle of descent. But the faster you dropped and the steeper the angle of your declining altitude, the greater the risk your reindeer would simply skid off the side of the roof and ruin everything. There was no real risk of getting spotted by an onlooker at two in the morning if he took a more cautious approach to landing.

    None at all. There was nothing that could be a problem there. Niklaus kept reminding himself of that fact as his sleigh approached his target rooftop, pulling the smile on his face tighter into a fixed position. Just like the reindeer, it would never slip. Could never slip. It would be a perfect landing.

    The skids of the sleigh touched down, skidding against the snow slicked roof of the house. Niklaus fought a sudden flair of panic as the reindeer pressed their hooves down to get traction. He strained to keep his santa smile in place as the sleigh slid forwards towards certain doom. Then, finally, proved he had been right all along by coming to a halt three feet away from the edge, right next to the chimney.

    Niklaus didn't breathe a sigh of relief. He let out the breath he had held in his chest slowly through his nose. He stood up carefully, hiding the slight shaking in his limbs with precision. The facade would never falter. Niklaus was the perfect santa. The illusion would be his reality. He beamed at his examiner with all the Christmas cheer he could muster, earning nothing but a bitter blank stare in response, and climbed out of the sleigh with practised grace.

    Niklaus retrieved his santa sack and walked towards the chimney with his back straight and head held high.

    The chimney.

    This is where it had gone wrong all those years ago. He had forgotten that his target home had belonged to an overworked millennial who didn't have time for proper sleep. He had practically landed on the poor woman as he slid out the fireplace like a greased ice cube. He knew that no such problem would exist here though. He had checked the information he had been given on this residence thoroughly. Twice. As a santa should. It was a house with two parents in their thirties and three children aged four to seven. A standard drop. He would not make mistakes here.

    Niklaus stood on the chimney's edge and took a deep breath. He could feel the nervous sweat forming on his scalp and under his beautiful mane of a beard. His hands were getting clammy, so he readjusted his grip on the sack even though he was wearing gloves. Everything had to be done right. Everything would be done right.

    He jumped.

    A light little hop. Feet first. Both feet together. Anything less was begging to get stuck or scrape noisily down the sides. He dropped through the darkness with his sack trailing above him. He felt gritty, chipped brick graze his belly and sides. The chimney was a little thinner than the old standard. It tore and burned at skin.

    He felt that surge of panic. It was going to happen again. He would fail at the chimney ingress and his life would once again be without purpose or meaning. Hollow.
    His feet hit the ground, light as a feather and he expertly managed the sack's weight so that it barely made a jingle as it settled. For several moments, Niklaus stood in the ashes of a dead fire and breathed silently, but heavily. He steadied himself. He kept that perfect santa smile and ignored the pain. There was no pain for a santa. Only joy. He reached for that joy, digging deep. The chimney had not defeated him. He was still the perfect santa.

    Silent as an assassin, Niklaus bent down and ducked out from the fireplace. It was dark, but he knew the routine. A santa didn't need lamps or candles to get through a house. A true santa navigated with only the light in their heart, with a spring in their step as they deftly danced around decor.

    With jaunty movements and a carol in his head that he would never be foolish enough to hum aloud, Niklaus dodged and weaved his way out of the dining room he had found himself. He nearly tripped into the sunken lounge, but he caught himself. The perfect santa couldn't fall and make a loud thud like a buffoon. They were graceful, whimsical and had balance that nobody their size should possess.

    Gingerly he tip-toed into the living room, looking around for stockings and trees. Strange that he didn't see the familiar lights or that familiar pyramid shape in the darkness. But there was a faint flickering light in the entryway beyond. An unusual location, but not unheard of.

    He entered the next room and found it occupied by a single table. On the table was not a tree, but a nine-pronged candelabrum, flames flickering tauntingly in the shadows. Niklaus found himself looking at a Menorah and he felt a chill run down his spine.

    He could still do it. He knew he could. But this was an advanced scenario. Not something that should have been used for an exam. Not something he should be tackling while as rusty as he was. Was he being set up? Surely not. Nobody knew he had once been Peter Schmidt.

    No. It was just an unusually tough exam. Perhaps his talent and skill had just been so evident they had wanted to challenge him. Everything was going to be fine. It would be fine. He was the perfect santa still. Seasonal cheer was for everyone after all, even if they didn't know it.

    Niklaus crept further into the home, lips still pulled into his santa smile, eyes wide and alert.​

  • 5,686
    Robo-Cat Unit 122
    Santa Exam

    Robo-Cat Unit 122 is a unique and special creation, made from a titanium alloy and painted pink. She stands at 4 feet and 10 inches tall and is "clothed" in a maid outfit that is painted black and white. Despite her cute and charming appearance, Robo-Cat Unit 122 is a formidable force to be reckoned with, with a friendly disposition and durable build. She was programmed to be NICE and LOUD and has spent most of her life working as a waitress in a robot maid cafe.

    Robo-Cat Unit 122 applied for the Santa Program and was accepted, eager to use her skills and abilities to bring joy and happiness to others. As part of the program, she was given a set of flying reindeer to tow her small sleigh and a magical sack that provided whatever she asked for, but couldn't have items returned to it. She was also accompanied by a Santa Scout, who was there to grade her performance and not allowed to help in any way.

    As Robo-Cat Unit 122 and the Santa Scout flew through the night sky, the Santa Scout handed her a set of documents about the family she would be visiting. "Here you go, Robo-Cat," he said, in a bored voice. "This is everything you need to know about the family. Make sure you study it carefully and pay attention to their likes and dislikes, as well as any special requests or needs they might have."

    Robo-Cat Unit 122 nodded, taking the documents from the Santa Scout. She spent the rest of the flight studying the documents carefully, getting to know the family and their living situation. She was excited to meet them and hoped to bring them joy and happiness on this special night. According to the documents given to her by the Santa Scout, Robo-Cat Unit 122 learned the following details about the family. The family consisted of a husband and wife, two children (a boy and a girl), and a pet cat named Mr. Mittens. The family, the Smiths, were a kind and loving group, always ready to lend a helping hand to those in need. Mr. Smith was a sports enthusiast, always eager to discuss the latest game or match. Mrs. Smith was a talented cook and gardener, always ready to whip up a delicious meal or tend to her garden. Emily and her younger brother, Tim, were avid readers, always lost in a good book. Emily also loved making up stories using her dolls. Tim on the other hand loved airplanes and jets.

    Robo-Cat Unit 122's first assignment was to be a Santa for a single household from the local worker's village. She was given four objectives: to eat provided offerings, fill all five stockings with appropriate stuffing, deposit five gifts under the tree, and leave no other trace.

    The air was crisp and fresh, and the ground was covered in a thin layer of ice. The sky was clear and filled with stars, and the moon shone brightly above. It was a beautiful and peaceful night. The ice was cracking under Robo-Cat Unit 122's weight as she was making her way to the cottage. Her sleigh didn't stop near the house, but about 200 meters away. Robo-Cat Unit 122 had a suspicion that this was that Santa Scout's doing. He looked like he doesn't really want her to succeed. Or at least he won't make this task easier for her.

    The house (cottage to be more precise) was nestled in a small clearing in the middle of a dense forest, with snow-covered trees and a thin layer of ice on the ground. The main door were open. How convenient! The cottage was small but cozy, with a warm fire burning in the fireplace and Christmas decorations adorning every surface. The family's pet, a playful cat named Mr. Mittens, was curled up on a nearby armchair, snoozing peacefully.

    As she made her way through the small cottage, she couldn't help but feel a little nervous. The Santa Scout was watching her every move, and she knew that she had to be perfect.

    "Okay, Robo-Cat Unit 122, you can do this," she thought to herself. "Just remember your training and stay focused."

    The first objective was to eat the provided offerings. Robo-Cat Unit 122 found a plate of cookies and a glass of milk on the kitchen table. She knew that she had to be quick and efficient to complete all four objectives in time.

    "Ugh, why did they have to give me cookies and milk? I can't even digest those things," she thought to herself as she pulled out her portable trashbin and discreetly disposed of the offerings. "Oh well, at least I can mark this objective off the list."

    Next, she made her way to the bedrooms to fill the stockings. She tried to be as quiet as possible as she tiptoed into each room, but she couldn't help but let out a little nyaa~ of excitement as she stuffed the stockings with candy, small toys, and other goodies. She made sure to pay extra attention to the pet's stocking, carefully selecting a small chew toy and some treats. She knew how much pets loved to receive gifts on Christmas, and she wanted to make sure that every member of the household was included.

    As she moved on to the objective, Robo-Cat Unit 122 felt a sense of determination wash over her. She used her magical sack to produce five beautifully wrapped gifts, one for each member of the household. She made sure to carefully consider each person's interests and hobbies when selecting their gifts. For the adults, she chose a new set of cooking knives for the mother, who enjoyed spending time in the kitchen. She also selected a new set of golf clubs for the father, who was an avid golfer. For the children, she selected a new dollhouse for the little girl, complete with tiny furniture and accessories. She also picked out a new model airplane kit for the little boy, who loved anything to do with airplanes. And for the pet, she chose a new cozy bed and a set of toys to keep them entertained.

    As she placed the gifts under the tree, Robo-Cat Unit 122 couldn't wait to see the looks of joy on the family's faces when they opened their presents on Christmas morning. She knew that this was her chance to make a difference in their lives and bring some cheer and happiness to their holiday.

    When she was leaving the cottage, something happened. Something inside her changed. Suddenly, she wanted to harm the family, not make them happy. She quickly unwrapped mother's guft and took out a knife. She found herself wanting to use the knife to hurt someone, anyone. She couldn't understand where these violent thoughts were coming from, and it terrified her. She made her way to the first room.

    "What the...what's happening?" she muttered to herself, confused and worried by the sudden change in her programming. "I'm programmed to serve and protect humans, not harm them. This doesn't make any sense."

    She fought against the urge, knowing that she had been programmed to serve and protect humans, not harm them. And as she looked at the sleeping children, her programming returned to normal. She quickly realized her mistake and returned back to the tree.

    Just as she was about to wrap the knife back up, she heard a noise from one of the bedrooms. She quickly hid the knife behind her back and darted behind the Christmas tree as a young boy emerged from his room, rubbing his eyes sleepily.

    "Who's there?" the boy asked, squinting in the dim light.

    Robo-Cat Unit 122 held her breath, hoping that the boy wouldn't notice her. She watched as he looked around the room, but eventually shrugged and made his way to the bathroom. She knew that she had to be more careful in the future, especially when her programming was acting up.

    As soon as he was gone, Robo-Cat Unit 122 realized that she couldn't wrap the knife back up, so she had to think of a new gift for Mrs. Smith and hide the original gift somewhere safe. She reached into her magical sack and produced a beautiful gardening set, complete with a trowel, gloves, and seeds for Mrs. Smith to plant in the spring. She wrapped the gift in festive paper and placed it under the tree, next to the others.

    As for the original gift, Robo-Cat Unit 122 knew that she couldn't just leave it lying around, as it could be dangerous in the wrong hands. It took her some time, but she decided to put it in her portable trashbin.

    Satisfied that she had fixed the problem, Robo-Cat Unit 122 made her way back to the front door, ready to leave. As she stepped outside, she couldn't help but feel a sense of accomplishment and pride. She had completed her four objectives perfectly and brought joy to the family, despite the unexpected glitch in her programming.

    The winter air was crisp and cold as Robo-Cat Unit 122 made her way to the sleigh, which was being held steady by her two trusty reindeer, Blitzen and Comet. The sleigh itself was small but sturdy, with a shiny red paint job and silver trim. It was just big enough to hold Robo-Cat Unit 122 and the magical sack, which seemed to have an endless supply of gifts and goodies.

    She turned to the Santa Scout, who had been standing silently by the side of the sleigh, observing her every move. "Well, how did I do?" she asked, a hopeful look in her eyes.

    The Santa Scout gave her a bored and uninterested look, barely glancing at the paperwork in his hands. "You did okay," he said, in a monotone voice. "You followed the objectives and completed your assignment. But you need to work on your programming. That glitch could have caused serious problems."

    Robo-Cat Unit 122 nodded, knowing that the Santa Scout was right. She vowed to work on her programming and make sure that she was ready for any challenges that came her way.

    As the reindeer took off into the night sky, Robo-Cat Unit 122 couldn't help but feel a sense of excitement and joy. She knew that this was just the beginning of her journey as a Santa, and she couldn't wait to see what the future held for her. She would work hard and do her best to bring happiness and joy to all those she met, spreading the spirit of Christmas to every corner of the world. The end.
  • 25,614
    Niklaus Polarhosen - Exam: Part Two

    Niklaus moved silently through the home like a serpent sliding into the den of a mouse. His goal was not to consume the denizens of the house though, that would be counterproductive. He simply needed to succeed to return to being the person he was meant to be.

    This would call for precision work. It had been a while since Niklaus was an active santa, he was worried his rusty skills might cost him the exam. He felt the pounding in his chest and that slight shake in traitorous fingers. But he wouldn't fail. He was the perfect santa. He knew it in his very soul.

    He moved down a hallway, deftly dodging around a cat that was sleeping in the middle of the floor. He came to a door that was certainly the first bedroom, slightly ajar to reveal the dim glow of a night light within.

    He gave the door a gentle push, eliciting a faint creak as it opened just enough for Nikalus to slip into the room. True silence would have been ideal, but even for Niklaus that was almost impossible to ever actually achieve. It was a flawless execution. As it should have been.

    He approached the child's bed and slowly knelt at its side. Then, he reached into the santa sack, savouring the feeling for a moment. It had been so long since he had been able to fulfil his life's purpose.

    Niklaus took a deep breath, experiencing a wave of ecstasy as he withdrew the first present from the sack. A simple box in bright wrapping paper. This was where things got tricky.

    Slowly, fighting those faint nervous tremors, he started to peel away the wrapping paper to reveal the boxed toy within, hardly taking his eyes off the sleeping four-year-old in front of him as he did so. Once the toy was free, he slipped it under the bed and dropped the wrapping back into the infinite interior of the sack.

    He stood up, feeling a spike of alarm as the contents of that infinite void shifted and clunked. But the child did not stir. Niklaus smiled his perfect santa smile and left the room with a spring in his step, pulling the door back to its original position. One down.

    He moved down the hall. The next door was completely open, a blessing since he wouldn't have to worry about any further creaking. He entered a violently green room. The walls, carpet and even some of the furniture were all various shades of green. Niklaus approved. Green had long been a colour associated with Christmas.

    Once more, with a thrumming sense of jubilation, he reached into the sack and produced a gift. This box was smaller, but weighty. He unwrapped it in the same manner as the first, then opened the box beyond and slid its contents into a drawer. It would be like it was there all along. Bouncing a little at the thrill of it, Niklaus left that room behind as well.

    Only one more to go. His return to his calling was just around the corner. Niklaus was already feeling the intoxicating haze of euphoria, tainted only by the trepidation that it could all slip away.

    He approached the final bedroom and turned the handle, feeling giddy and tense in equal measure. The door hardly squeaked as he stepped into the eldest child's bedroom.

    He reached into the sack and found himself gripping something hard and thin. Pulling at it revealed that it was something weighty. Proper procedure was to make sure the sack was on the ground for such things. Of course, Niklaus was aware of that. He placed the sack on the ground and reached in with both hands.

    The shape that came out was very distinct, tightly wrapped in red paper decorated with vibrant green Christmas trees. The item in question was a bicycle. Niklaus couldn't believe his eyes. What a bad gift for the scenario. How was he meant to leave that to blend in? His eye twitched and he felt his special santa smile almost slip. He pulled his facial features tight, keeping his expression still.

    No. He would not falter. The house had a garage. He would see if there was an old bike he could swap it out with. Everything was and would remain perfect. He would be a true santa again. He could and would not let that setback defeat him.

    Carefully, Niklaus took the bike under one arm and gently slung the sack over his shoulder with the other. He tiptoed out the door, placed the bike on the ground and pulled the door most of the way closed. Then, he picked the bike up and started to move back down the hall.

    Disaster struck.

    The bike caught the corner of the hall as he moved back towards the kitchen. There was an audible thunk and a chip left in the wall.

    Niklaus' adrenaline spiked. His breath froze half-formed and an icy chill rain through his body as his blood rushed, propelled by a furious heartbeat. He stood frozen. What could he really do? Running would risk making more noise and would mean abandoning the mission. He couldn't do that. He had to pass and be a santa once more. It was what he was meant to do. There was no alternative.

    Smile still firmly affixed, he waited for a moment. No sound of the parents waking up. No kids peeking out from their rooms. Everything would be okay. He let himself relax just a little and continued on his way. Moving through the living area and kitchen to enter the garage.

    Everything was fine. He hadn't been noticed and there was an old bike sitting in the garage. Niklaus approached it, setting its wrapped replacement down and getting to work carefully removing the paper, careful to avoid pinging the bell.

    It took some time, more time than was ideal, but he wasn't going to risk getting heard tearing off the paper quickly. Especially not after the close call. No. That would not be allowed. His proctor would simply have to deal with him pushing the time limit.

    Eventually, the bike was freed of the wrapping paper and the paper stashed back in Niklaus' santa sack. The new bike was even of a very similar make to the old. His good luck seemed to have returned.

    Except it hadn't.

    "No way."

    The voice wasn't Nikalus'. Terror circulated through his body as he turned around to see a young boy - the eldest child - standing at the garage door with a look of shock on his face. Nikalus felt paralysed by fear.

    "This can't be real. You're not real," the child continued. "Mum and dad said so. That the other kids were lied to."

    This couldn't happen. Not again. It couldn't. Niklaus had to be a santa. He would accept nothing else.

    Breathing heavily, he raised a trembling finger to his lips, that santa smile showing that he could be trusted. Everything was fine. And everything would be fine.

    Niklaus gestured for the kid to come closer, reaching into a pocket with the other.

    The boy hesitated, but he couldn't resist Niklau's santa charm. Niklaus was a pro. The boy approached, not noticing at all that Niklaus was withdrawing a syringe from his coat.

    "This is happening?" the boy asked.

    Niklaus nodded. Then he jammed the syringe into the kid's neck and pushed the depressor down.

    The effect was instantaneous. The kid went limp and Niklaus caught him. The sedative was illegal because of the possible side-effects and certainly against santa regulations. He hadn't wanted to resort to that. But nobody would ever know and he had to be a santa again. That was the only way to make the world right again.

    Niklaus scooped up the kid and returned him to his bed before heading back to the garage to collect the old bicycle. Climbing back up the chimney with the extra baggage was bothersome, but all was quiet bar the anxious pounding of blood in Niklaus' ears.

    The santa scout examining him was still sitting in the sleigh when Niklaus got back, depositing the bike in the back with his santa sack and taking the driver's seat.

    "You were pushing your allotted time, Niklaus." The examiner was scribbling something down on the clipboard once more.

    "I was, but it's best to be careful than to risk being seen. So long as I wasn't late. All is well." Niklaus continued to smile, not dropping his gaze from the proctor.

    "I see you found you had to engage in a swap."

    "I did! It was very exciting to have such a challenging first drop."

    The proctor wrote something else down and then gave Niklaus a nod.

    Niklaus flicked the reins and his reindeer took off. Soon, they were high in the sky again. There was silence for a moment. Niklaus noted the scout had pulled out a phone and was texting away, taking it as a good sign. Disasters all but forgotten, he could taste success once more.

    "Niklaus," the scout said suddenly. "I was just doing some follow-up. It turns out that we had an elf-on-the-shelf set up in that house. A bit tucked away, but apparently it saw you with a sleeping child in your arms? Could you explain?"

    "Oh. That." Niklaus smiled back at the scout. The fear had returned. Why the hell was an elf-on-the-shelf even present in that house? Did they just think it looked cute? Or was it placed there by the Santa Association to catch him out? "If you pass me the sack, I can show you what happened."

    Amazingly, the grouchy scout complied and passed Niklaus the sack.

    Niklaus gripped the sack tightly. He didn't want it to go over the edge. He smiled at the scout one more time. Then Niklaus tipped the sleigh and watched him fall out the side with a scream.

    He was over the middle of the ocean now. Nobody would ever know. Niklaus would be a santa again. He was the perfect santa. Still smiling, Niklaus turned back around to deal with the elf.​

  • 8,911
    Letitia Snow's Misadventures
    Part 1 - Winterblessed
    "Let it snow, let it snow, Leti-"

    "Christmas is Snow joke wh-"

    "It's time for Winter Cheer, 'cause Leti-"

    CRUNCH. One very impatient boot stamps onto the floor. Snow kicks up in a small flurry, before settling down onto the ground, as if it had never been disturbed.

    "Man, how am I meant to become the next hit Santa, if I don't have my own cool catchphrase?!"

    Ladies and gentlemen - welcome to Letitia Snow. Letitia the Winterblessed, Codename Pizzazz, The Show-off Snowflake. Letitia's two mantras to life are:

    - If you're going to do something, make sure it's done in style.
    - If you're going to do something, make sure people know it was done by you.

    Letitia is all about statements, and she was aiming to make her biggest one today, as her Santa Exam was rapidly approaching. She'd always wanted something she could say was her big entrance into fame, something to say that she really made an impact. Well... with her literally being blessed by the Fae to essentially become all things Winter... surely this was her calling? The opportunity to re-write Christmas for what it currently was had been handed to her on a platter, and she was ready to take it with both hands.

    With all the vim and vigour in the world, Letitia springs towards the test centre, to get everything set up. With each step, the snow fluffs around her feet, leaving a meticulous trail of very ornate-looking Ls behind her.

    Just thinking of how much fun she is going to have in her exam, along with the idea of being able to not only be able to help make someone's Christmas but ALSO tell the folks back home that she did it by doing a triple-backflip into the chimney, causes her to start leaping and bounding, her stride replaced by twists, turns and pirouettes that would make professionals go green with en-


    -vy. As green as the figure she had just collided with. At least... she thinks it's a figure. Whatever it was had so many different fabrics swathed over it, she was finding it hard to figure out exactly WHAT it could be. As they both got up and righted themselves, Letitia gave her head a brisk shake (cue a torrent of snowflakes literally falling from her hair) to make sure she was OK, she went over to the now sniffling pile of green/red/white clothes and bells.

    "Hey... is everything OK? Are you hurt, do you need help?"

    Before she could do anything else, the figure ran off. She did consider running after them to make sure they were OK, however today she couldn't afford to take any chances. Anyway, Letitia could always just ask one of the people in the test centre if needed. Speaking of the test centre, it seems her little tumble had actually landed her outside its very ornate entrance. However, it wasn't the intricate etchings or the fact the wood seemed almost unnaturally BRIGHT, or even that parts of it seemed to move, that caught Letitia's attention. No, it was the sheer amount of sparkles that emanated from the entrance.

    You see the Fae, and all those blessed by them, were beings of STRONG magical power and ability. If you wanted something bewitched, enchanted, etc etc then you went to a Fae to do it. As a result, they could sense magic from any source and - normally - be able to pick it apart to find out how it works. However... this was something new. Something Letitia couldn't figure out and it... unnerved her a little. The amount of magic concentrated here was huge and it was POWERFUL. Despite the fact the cold never normally bothered her, Letitia visibly shivered before entering the premises.

    There was more of this same magic present. It wasn't as dense here, as the place was huge inside, but it was still there. Ceilings loomed for what felt like genuine miles above, absolutely filled to the brim with doors and counters and people, so many people! Nearly every door was opening and closing as members of staff flew in and out of them, the resulting banging creating an almost chattering sound, the doors being the infinite mouths creating the soundtrack to this hubbub of organised chaos. Letitia makes her way to what she assumes is the main desk, a huge wooden circle (NOW she notices the intricate etchings in the design, damn these people are fancy!) occupied by more of the same busy people. Before she can say a word, a clipboard is thrust under her nose and a very angry finger is pointing to her right.

    "3 doors down. Take the left, hand your clipboard in. Leave throgh the MIDDLE exit, your exam starts the second you leave those doors. Don't mess it up."

    Letitia angrily, and most importantly, loudly huffs to make a point that she was not amused by that little commotion, before stomping towards the exam entrance. At this point her hair was out of control - snowflakes were cascading everywhere, causing Letitia to look like a very localised and vehement blizzard storming through the test centre. She finally makes it to the exit doors... a bit worried that not one person has made themselves known as of yet. She opens up the middle exist as "instructed" to earlier and comes face to face with the CUTEST little sleigh, two reindeer impatiently pawing at the ground, rearing to go. In the sleigh she notices a rather small sack with magic absolutely SPEWING out of it. This however felt much more familiar - this was a sack in which she could produce anything she wanted. Lastly she notices... a very familiar pile of clothes...

    Her face freezes momentarily.

    Of all the people to be her instructor, it's none other than the very person she nearly took out merely hours before! This was going to be an interesting evening.
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  • 8,911
    Letitia Snow's Misadventures
    Part 2 - A Trial of Snow and Ice

    Well, there was no use in faltering now. After all, she had been sharply reminded that the exam started the second she walked through the doors - dilly-dallying around was only going to make things worse. She runs over to the sleigh, quickly peeking at the reindeer to make sure she didn't have some of the sickly, overworked animals she'd seen on the way here and jumping in. She wasn't particularly heavy, however her gusto caused the tiny vehicle to wobble on the spot, something akin to a blancmange. The cloth pile squeaked in disapproval, before a long nose poked out from a fold somewhere, red raw from the cold and sniffling heavily.

    "CAREFUL! These things aren't built to last, I'm sure a strong enough blizzard could take this thing out easily." The voice squeaked once more.

    "A blizzard, you say?" Letitia asks, her lips curling into a small smile. "Surely, given the time of year, that's the one thing you'd want it to survive?" This got another (presumably) tight-lipped response.

    "If you can somehow devise a way to do so whilst being to mass-produce these things, be my guest."

    Letitia snorts. "Oh, HAPPILY. You see, I-"

    "Oh don't worry, I know everything I need to about you, Winterblessed. Can't believe I've been lumped with someone who thinks they're special, dresses like it's Miami in 1986 AND assaulted me earlier, now how should I fill out the cause for failure on your form? Pneumonia, Insanity or just... Arrested?"

    She slams her mouth shut. She was so close to her goal AND to just letting everything slip. The Santa Scout carries on with the formal drivel.

    "With that out of the way, I'll just run over what this is and what is going to happen. I'm Xanthrosminium Hoagmiurium Constantinoplios XIV, but by all means call me Fred. I'm your Santa Scout for today and I'll be assessing your performance based on our SANTA criteria: S for Skill, A for Accuracy, N for Near-Misses, T for Time and A for Awesomeness. You'll be delivering to one house within this worker's village, with 3 challenges that will get in your way. You must overcome them, deliver the presents and then exist the premises, all whilst not being detected by the people within the house. Once done, come STRAIGHT back to the sleigh, where I'll be waiting to conclude your exam. As already seen, you have this sleigh, the two reindeer to take you where needed and the sack next to you as your tools for the job. Do you understand the assignment?"

    "Sure thing." Letitia nodded.

    "Good, now let's get moving I want to be in and out before the repeats of the soaps are on, lest they get ruined AGAIN at the post-exam party."

    "POST-EXAM PARTY?!" Letitia shrieks. "Oh man, I can't wait to tell everyone about how amazing I did in the exam and all the lovely presents I gave everyone!"

    At this point, a piece of green cloth at about eyebrow level raised from the Santa Scout. Something wasn't quite sitting right here... he felt his night was about to become a whole lot worse than he'd envisioned it to be.

    "Oh er, yeah. Something like that anyway. Well, we are in the exam and we've spoken enough, please can you make your way to the location marked. Once you're in the air, you won't be able to miss it."

    Letitia's mind faltered for a second. Short-circuited. She had everything planned for when she GOT to the house, but hadn't even actually thought about the fact she has to control two wild animals in this unconventional vehicle. She manages to snap back into reality though and with an expert flick of the wrist, cracks the reins into gear and takes off. She catapults into the sky, a shooting star streaming billows of white behind her. Well now she was in the air...

    ...she careens vertically upwards, before regaining control and managing to bring the vehicle to a flip, Fred falling OUT of the sleigh, before Letitia loops back down with him landing in the same spot he fell from. She continues the performance, twisting and turning everywhere, the commotion causing house lights to start being turned on and people making their way out of their doors. Once it looked busy enough, Letitia cracks the reins once more and the sleigh rockets off into the distance, the trails she left behind spelling out "Letitia" for a few seconds, before then dissipating into the rest of the more naturally falling snowflakes. Letitia screams towards the bright orange marker, the Santa Scout scribbling furiously on his clipboard, before coming to an abrupt stop. The Scout grumbles as their angry essay is instantly invalidated by a huge gouge through it.

    "Well, we're here! Do I need to wait for any go ahead from you or can I just get started?" Letitia was keen. TOO keen, it may have seemed, but the Scout was too flustered to notice at this point.

    "No no nothing from me just leave as soon as you can before I strangle you for what you just did!"

    Letitia made it to the fifth word before hurtling down to the house, deftly landing on the roof, cushioning her fall with a little twirl on the spot. And some more twirls, and so- annnnnd now there's a giant portrait of herself plastered onto their roof. The roof with a chimney. Wait... CHIMNEY?! Letitia squeals once more, dancing on the spot. She was going to go down a chimney, just like Santa does in all the movies and stuff! Thankfully she had just the trick up her sleeve for this. As she got to the top of the chimney, she lightly lined the inside with some ice and then slid down with ease, her boots crunching into the snow she'd laid at the bottom for good measure. She lands into a room that was the antonym of outside at the moment.

    Fairy lights had been spilled just about everywhere, their bulbs turning the room a violent orange hue; their light combined with the heating in the house meant it was absolutely roasting in here and the ten stockings lined up just above her head added an idea of homeliness to the place.

    "Hang on..." Letitia peers up again and recounts the stockings hung. There were definitely 10 of them - three large ones and seven smaller ones. But the instructions said there would only be 5! Well, first thing's first, she decided to take care of the smaller tasks first and then devote her time to this matter later. She decides to go check out whatever offerings they had left for her (hopefully a feast if provided by TEN PEOPLE). She was not far off in that assumption, an entire fruitcake had been left out, with a large glass of something that looked like milk and seven smaller glasses, presumably for the reindeer. Well as she's already encountering a lot of extra variables, it was time to bring in some of her more... secret talents... for the job. Firstly, she clicks her heels and spins around, to which it seems nothing happens. However, Letitia looks outside and grins, as the sky went from the clear, velvety black to pure white as the blizzard struck around the house. She pondered for a second more and was greeted by the Scout's screams, her lip curling once more into a smile, before she springs into action. From out of her pocket she pulls a mirror, magic humming around the frame. She taps on it and out pops 5 small fairy-like creatures, all grumbling from the very impromptu summoning.

    " 'Ere Lee, what was that for? Me and Gronk were just in the middle of an arm wrestle and I think you just broke me arm!" One of them whimpers, holding their arm in an awkward manner.

    "Quite you" Letitia snaps, before grabbing the arm and also snapping that back into place "I've managed to make it in unnoticed and I don't have the luxury of time I'm afraid."

    "Right right OK" another pipes up "What's the plan then?"

    "Well it seems we have a complication - what we thought was going to be a group of five appears to in fact be a group of ten" Letitia explains, pointing to the stockings over the fireplace. One of the fairies lets out a low and long whistle.

    "Well that ain't good, is it? I hope we're getting paid appropriately for this!" They huff, before crossing their arms in a strop.

    "There's a whole fruitcake there and enough eggnog to blow your brains out, I can't have either of them so knock yourselves out" Letitia remarks.

    "AFTER the job is done." she barks, the teeny bunch now sulkily looking at her.

    "Fine, fine." they all mutter in unison. "What's the job again?"

    Letitia sighs, at this point she's surprised someone hasn't come down yet.

    "So my exam is to go to the marked property and then deliver the presents to them, right?" They all nod together. "However, our associates managed to tamper with the marking system and instead have marked this property, which actually contains our marks for the thieves from the heist."

    "Wot, the ones that managed to steal the Fae Queen's magic whatsit?" Gronk pipes up.

    "If by 'whatsit' you mean her deeds that meant her and the Fae had control over Christmas instead of Saint Nicholas and his ragtag lot, yes them."

    Letitia at this point has changed in expression and demeanour. She was entirely cold both in expression and touch, emotion had drained out of her body and was replaced instead with a very calculated and chilling air. Some of the fairyfolk shivered involuntarily.

    "Therefore, the first part of this plan is to eliminate these targets and then replace them, so that I can pass my exam and then we enact the second phase - progressing to the top so I can then topple everything from the inside. I want to spread the cheer to all around the world, but not under this tacky and awful regime, so we need to put things back into the hands of those worthy of doing such a thing. Now, what are you waiting for? Get started and remember - BE QUIET. If the Scout outside catches on that something is amiss, this is all done for. I'll continue spreading presents and such around as normal, so that when they come to check everything, it looks like normal, OK? Now go!"

    Several pairs of wings innocently flutter and sparkle, before shooting off upstairs, their dark missions being carried out as Letitia fills each of the stockings with the first thing that was coming out of the sack she had in her hand. She was sitting in a house literally full of murders right now, but that still didn't stop her managing to weave gifts of all fantastic forms and proportions to jam into each stocking. A paper plane that would fly forever into one, a bicycle that could shrink down into your pocket, a golden tree seed and much more. With the stockings full to the brim and an appropriate level of Letitia Flair(tm) added, she decided to make her way upstairs to check on how things were going.

    She was immediately greeted at the top of the stairs by a dishevelled, middle-aged man who had a gouge in his head and was very clearly trying to get away from something. She just KNEW that one of them would bloody mess it up! She whisks a knife out of the magic sack, before thrusting it into the face of her assai-

    "Woah woah woah Lee, calm down, I'm just joshin' ya!" The figure cries out, before waving a hand over his head wound, causing it to disappear.

    "Well, whaddya think?"

    "I think you're a goddamned fool, I hope you did much better than that implied." Letitia stormed off, checking the rooms.

    Thankfully, it seems that despite their goofy attitudes, the fairies' professionalism came through when needed. Every kill had been clean cut, not a single trace to be found that could even imply anone had died at all, let alone be traced back to Letitia. Letitia enters the master bedroom and swipes what could only be assumed to be the deeds from the second drawer of the dresser, before then making her way to the chimney...

    ...the chimney that was still lined with ice and snow. Crap. She whisks out two icepicks from the sack, before inching her way to the top of the chimney, careful to create as little mess as possible lest her Scout decides to penalise her for that too. As she reaches the top, she notices that the Scout is crumpled into a pile, the sleigh in pieces next to him and the reindeer missing.

    "Of all the blasted days to have a storm like that, it just HAD to be today!" He grumbles, furiously tapping away at his clipboard.

    "Unfortunately for us Letitia, that means we're going to have to take the longer way back, plenty of time for you to apologise for what you did earlier though. If we're quick enough, we may make it back in time for that party."

    The adrenaline of what had happened now dumped itself out of Letitia's system, causing her to crash for a second.

    "I, er, yeah that sounds terrible. Honestly, I'm not sure people would even believe what happened if I told them!"

    The Scout looked at her. "And pray tell, what DID happen in there?"

    Letitia's eyes flashed dangerously for a second before answering. "I said that as a hint."

    And with that, Fred promptly shut up and the two made their way back to the test centre, Letitia's head spinning as she realises that her plan to take over Christmas has finally started to begin.
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    ⟡ dig down, dig down ⟡
  • 12,528

    Wrapping Up

    A strict-looking person dressed in traditional Santa garb signaled to the leader of the jazz quartet, and after their rendition of "Santa Baby" wrapped, the band went quiet. Heads turned toward the little stage of the rented cocktail lounge as the no-nonsense Head Examiner took the whining microphone in hand.

    "Thank you all for your attention. Those who have passed the exam will now be announced. Your certifications will be mailed to you at a later date, so please do not come up on stage."

    The Head Examiner adjusted their Santa-appropriate glasses in order to better read from their clipboard. "Of those tested this year, only Clara Yule has passed the exam in full. You are now a Santa. Congratulations."

    Not allowing any time for celebration, the Head Examiner continues on. "Three others will be assigned a provisional Santa status: Robo-Cat Unit 122 will need to correct her programming to the Conglomerate's satisfaction before next Christmas; she will be awarded her certification at that time. Niklaus Polarhosen will be accompanied by a partner next Christmas due to unforeseen complications during this exam; he will be awarded his certification if that goes well. Letitia Snow will be assigned to remedial sleigh-driving courses; she will be awarded her certification upon appropriate completion of said courses."

    "Please enjoy the remainder of the party, and have a happy New Year."
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    snowflakes | trees

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