A droplet of water dangled from the ceiling. It clung on as dearly as it could, but being unable to talk, it couldnt call for help and, in such a large metropolis, no-one would notice it to save it from losing its grip. Swiftly, it slipped from the tattered roof and fell into the shallow pool forming underneath. Another droplet was already beginning to form on the ceiling, reflections of the surrounding metal walls being twisted through it as it swelled and, eventually, suffered the same fate as the many droplets before it.
The walls were thin and corrugated, and had devolved over the years from a swish silver to the current muddy brown. Just like the floor, they were moist hence the rust peppered across them as casually as seasoning across untested food. In one corner of the room, a metallic puppet shook violently as water dripped into its unsealed circuits. Its mouth shuttered open and closed as it squealed violently, its eyes conveying an inexplicably human level of emotion despite being purely automated. Its fake black hair shook upwards and downwards in a frenzied tap-dance. The letters AMP were sprayed across its heaving chest, meaning Automated Metallic Puppet - The electric slaves of a generation.
Suddenly, a piercing flurry of noise shot through the walls of the room and erupted through the AMPs chest, making it palpitate, its mouth juddering in a blur until bursting cleanly off the furrowed face and flying across the room, landing at the feet of a pair of large boots that had just kicked their way through the door.
The boots were, until the moment they entered the room, entirely dry and clean. They were a deep black and obviously well polished proud of their appearance, and always determined to shine. Their owner, however, was most definitely the opposite. His scraggly white beard extended to his shoulders and could be easily compared to a birds nest; a wild, stinking mess of sharp hairs and age-old food remnants. He had eyes of such a piercing blue they could burn through leaves if a magnifying glass was placed in front of them, and a chin so obviously non-existent that a blind person would struggle to cope with the oddity in appearance caused by this lack of a chin. As he walked further into the room, he dropped the pocket-gun he had been holding and chuckled happily to himself with a deep, timbre ho, ho, ho.
The jingle jangle of keys in his pocket was a long time in the past mistaken for the arrival of reindeers. This arrival used to bring happiness and peace but not any more. This man was a monster; a timeless, wicked person who was scarier than the minotaur stronger than an elephant and brainier than the recently constructed IVA supercomputer. He wore a bright red suit a suit which was at one point believed to be white but, after massacring an entire village, had been permanently stained with blood.
This man was virtual reality at its worst. This man was Christmas.
Ho ho ho.
I am Jinkah Hantah. This is all that I know of why I am alone in the world with just one other man. Please, if anybody reads this
be aware of the evil that has existed in the past - my present. This is my story.
Children use to celebrate and cheer when Christmas came around.
Three hundred years ago, in the beginnings of the technology we have come to know and love, they gathered around their fires with gifts, remembering Christ the Lord, and celebrating the arrival of Santa Claus the previous night. They were happy. Opening their presents, they compared them with friends secretly wanting the better presents, but always feigning jealousy at what others had received (slyly smiling to themselves upon realising that they had got the best of anyone they knew). They spent all of their money buying others gifts that half of them would sell, give away, or forget about within a month. But none of them cared. What mattered - what really, really mattered was the spirit of Christmas. And that spirit was alive in even the deadest of hearts.
Two hundred years ago, a brilliant new technology was brought to life. A technology that would change the world, and its inhabitants, forever. The technology was known as Fantasy Vision (FV for short). FV allowed anyone who wore specially designed goggles to channel their imagination into the world around them. Someone wearing the goggles could make larger-than-life people not so large any more, make someone with grey hair appear to have yellow hair instead. They could create rainbows at nighttime and set on fire the houses of people they didnt like. All of this was possible with the ground-breaking technology within FV. Most significantly, however, people could erase or create entire areas of their direct vision. They could imagine people dancing and would see the direct image of this printed in front of their very eyes. They could create fictional characters or recreate memorable nights and have them played back to them in perfect one-to-one translations. People started making movies with their very minds, playing them back through the goggles and watching them, amazed at what they were seeing, how realistic everything looked if they wanted it to.The spirit of Christmas was fuelled by FV, people seeing Christmas in whole new ways.
The technology advanced and evolved. Over the course of fifty years, these visions were recordable, within seconds people could store what they had imagined and play it back. Movies and television, books and drawings became obselete. Anyone could paint their own pictures. The entertainment industry went bust as more and more people stopped purchasing their wares and instead creating their own. The price in FV came down and more people invested in it these magic goggles enabling anything to happen. The loss of the entertainment industry left a huge dent in the worldwide economy. Businesses started to fail as they were no longer needed. But the spirit of Christmas lived on.
Then, one hundred years ago, the world really started to fail. FV was developed too far. It was too realistic. People put on the goggles and imagined they had the luxuries they needed and to them, it became true. They stopped buying anything at all. Some died, others were persuaded to continue eating. FV development continued. Those making it had become money hungry, always wanting more profits and for that, the technology always had to evolve, become newer, fresher, more attractive. People stopped working and saved up any money they had to make sure they always had the newest goggles they needed. The spirit of Christmas lived on.
Then, fifty years ago, FV became R Reality itself. It could create. No-one knows how, but it was developed so far that anyone could imagine anything
and it became true, real. Nothing more was needed in the world. No-one worked any more. The slowly rising buildings soon towered above the heavens themselves, as people imagined them to. Food was available. But so was death imagine someone dead, and they would be. The power put into the hands of the people was too much. Soon, three quarters of the world was dead. However, people also became alive fictional characters and long lost relatives simply appearing out of thin air
as people wished.
Then, ten years ago, disaster struck. Reality Goggles started dying, their batteries fading. Manufacturing of them stopped within a year after they were released people could just imagine new ones. But when their batteries started fading, so did their abilities to create. No-one could imagine new ones. No-one knew what was happening. Nothing could be done. People were left helpless, so used to life being easy for them that when it stopped being so easy, they didnt know what to do. The spirit of Christmas, the one time of the year for celebration, still, however, lived on. They still smiled, though no gifts were obtainable for them to give and Jesus Christ had long since faded from their memory. Santa Claus, however, still existed only now, in reality. He didnt need food as he had been imagined as indestructible. He was, at first, kind to everyone. He allowed people to survive by simply making food for them, what with him being the only person alive with the ability to generate thousands of gifts a year those including anything he wished to make.
But he got fed up. Approximately ten years ago, he stopped giving as many gifts. It was too tiring for him to do alone, feed millions of people. Why should he have to do it?
He soon stopped providing altogether. Some people rationed what they had, but soon it ran out. They got desperate, resorting to insulting Santa to try to get what they wanted from him. He wouldnt have it. Five years ago, he gunned down a village of five hundred survivors. Three years ago, he killed several thousand more. Today, I am the only survivor. I have been in hiding for years now, and have just one weeks worth of food left. The city I live in is ruined. The human world is dead, as far as I know. But for all that has happened, for every tear I have shed and every ordeal I have suffered, I am happy. I cannot cry any more. Because I can see that, through the years, people have been killed off one by one, pieces of the cake slowly nibbled away at - But the candles on the cake are still alight, no matter how small the cake has gotten.
Every year, I still celebrate Christmas. The Christmas spirit will always stay alive. And this spirit is the truth, the divine truth, that human nature has left for other species to look back upon and see: We might have been greedy, might have been jealous and all of those other feelings of hate. We might never have balanced evil with good. But we tried. We struggled through as long as we could, and every year, we celebrated, forgetting the struggle. We celebrated our ideas those of hope and happiness. But they were just that, and we were foolish in making more of them. An idea should never become a reality, because in the end, the Reality is far more deadly than the vision. Imagination, is the strongest, greatest gift of all, and shouldnt ever be abused.
The Christmas Spirit will always live on.