By Leonard Pigg III
I must admit, I wasn’t in a very good mood. We were having “Atomic Tonics” at a small bar on the rings of Saturn. Koschei was playing music on the jukebox, while Calamity Jane was playing a game of Psychic Roulette and winning. I was sitting at the table alone, drinking and not feeling anything. I think the bartender must have watered the drinks down or my tolerance has reached an ungodly level after drinking Venusian Absinthe with Gilgamesh some time back. Regardless, my mind wandered to a simpler time and a tingle began to erupt in the back of my brain. It wasn’t a sense of danger, but a familiar tingle from old Kris Kringle. Whenever I get a psychic summons from Santa Claus, there is typically trouble. I wasn’t exactly keen on him using my ship to make deliveries again. “The Excelsior” reeked of peppermint for a month in the aftermath and he somehow rigged the controls to have the interior red and green. With Koschei and Calamity Jane along with me this time, I figured things would be interesting nevertheless. After the summons, I teleported to the North Pole to meet the old man to see what he wants this time. I was quite surprised to see St. Nick’s headquarters was surrounded by elves armed to the teeth surrounding the perimeter. When I teleported in, we were given an armed escort. The elves were civil, but on edge. The three of us were escorted to a banquet hall, with a massive buffet. Santa greet us with big hugs and insisted we eat first. After having a massive meal, we sat by a fireplace as he began to explain the summons.
“The Krampus has gone insane. That’s why I have the security detail. Christmas will still go off without a hitch, as I’ve got multiple contingency plans in place. However, he has gone rogue and must be stopped.” St. Nick said in a very serious tone. Koschei started laughing and said, “We’re not super-heroes, man. Why not have some of your elves sort him out?” Nick shaked his head and said, “I was hoping maybe this was a situation for a Doctor. Perhaps he can find a cure? I would think that killing would be a last resort.” Calamity Jane began checking the guns on her hips, making sure they were fully loaded. “Honey, we’ll do what we have to,” she said confidently. A moment later, an elf rushed in and turned on a flat screen monitor on the far wall. The video feed showed the Krampus in a hot-air balloon over the Bavarian Alps, giggling maniacally. He had a massive sack next to him, he reached in and pulls out a tiny kitten. He pets the kitten, talks to it and gives it a kiss. Suddenly, he tossed the kitten from the balloon and began laughing even harder. Koschei stifled a laugh and said, “Well, we must rescue the kittens of Bavaria at once! Tally ho!” I rolled my eyes, gave Santa a handshake and we went to stop the insanity.
Once we were loaded back into my ship, I decided to travel back in time far enough to prevent the Krampus from tossing the kittens. I’m actually more of a dog person, but I digress. Given his mental state, we equipped ourselves with non-lethal weapons to stop the Krampus. Koschei was reticent to use such tactics, but agreed he will have to be craftier than ever, in order to avoid killing. Jane employed rubber ammo and also wore a jet-pack. I was going to jump onto the balloon and try to reason with Krampus. If all else failed, I would sedate him. If this works out, the “Kitten Massacre of 1989” will have never taken place. From checking out the historical records, I found that was an actual event. There was no record of our interference, so that works in our favor. Koschei however, pointed out to me that the “Palmar Flexion Creases” on his palms have changed twice since we met with Santa Claus. If one time travels long enough, you start to notice that the lines will change along with historical events sometimes. It simply depends on how close you are tied to the event. With that observation, I deduced that Koschei should pilot the ship, as I fear his direct actions might have caused something drastic to potentially occur.
The trio fly the Excelsior (disguised as a large RV with a picture of David Hasslehoff emblazoned on the the side) to the area where the Krampus and his balloon begin to rise. Jane leaps out, holding the Doctor’s hand and activating the jet-pack. The two fly toward Krampus and the Doctor leaps into the basket with the maniacal beast. Jane swoops by and begins to circle back around, meanwhile Koschei goes into stealth-mode with the ship and follows.
The Krampus begins yelling at me in German. He foams at the mouth, as his yellow eyes bulge out. I use my telepathy to attempt to communicate with him, but his demented state causes some sort of psychic feedback. I am driven to my knees as he giggles and starts going through his satchel. He pulls a cleaver out, which I zap away with my wand. After adjusting my focus, I am able to communicate with him telepathically. His thoughts are erratic, corrupted. I probe deeper mentally, looking into his physiology. The Krampus has cancer, which has spread to his brain and has driven him insane. He’s not responsible for his actions, but he must be stopped. He grabs me, attempting to throw me from the balloon, but I resist. I use just enough strength to prevent him from tossing me aside. Although I look human, I am quite different biologically and fortunately, stronger. All three of my hearts begin to pound as he moves in, attempting to bite me with his fangs. Calamity Jane swoops by on the jet-pack, grabbing the bag of kittens and taking them to safety. The Krampus roars at her, clawing at the air. I used a nerve strike and struck him in the solar plexus, hoping to stun him. He growls, falling backwards. The basket begins to shake back and forth, my balance eludes me and I almost fall out. Clinging to the exterior of the balloon, I yell for Koschei to do something. Suddenly, I feel solid ground underneath my feet and realize he had been flying underneath the balloon with the ship in stealth mode. I duck down, just as the Krampus swings at me. He tears a gash into the side of the balloon’s basket and almost falls. I stun him with my wand, using a sonic frequency. He holds his ears and tumbles from the basket, crashing head first onto the invisible ship; He springs back up, enraged. Just in time, Calamity Jane swoops back around and empties her pistols into the beast. He slumps to the ground, a bruised heap. Fortunately for him, she was using rubber bullets or he would have been a goner.
We arrive back at Santa’s workshop, with the fallen Krampus in chains and sedated. Koschei and I carry him in, as Jane brings in the bag of kittens. She sits the bag at Santa’s feet and says, “I reckon there’s plenty of kids out there that might want themselves a little kitty!” Santa smiles and nods, gesturing for the elves to take the bag. He takes the Krampus, placing him onto a table and looks him over. “He’s got cancer in his brain,” I tell him. “That’s what drove him mad. I didn’t want to kill him, since we prevented him from doing some serious harm.” Santa snaps his fingers and says, “What about that magic wand of yours?” I laugh and say, “It’s not magic. Just future tech that modern man won’t be able to understand for years to come. However, I could use a Solfeggio frequency to disrupt the cancer cells in his head. I’ve not tried to cure anyone like this before, but if I fail he will die regardless.” The Doctor pulls up a chair and sits behind the Krampus. He uses the diagnostic setting, which beams information directly into his brain and gives him a layout of the cancer. Taking off his jacket and pulling up his sleeves, he waves the wand back and forth over the fallen creature. Waves of sonic energy pulse through his body, stimulating the immune system and vibrating the cancer cells apart. As he continues at it, he looks like a conductor directing a symphony. Beads of sweat form on his brow as he intensely monitors the vitals, while destroying the bad cells. After a couple of hours, Doctor Omega begins to waver and Koschei steps in. He takes the wand, waving it more aggressively and intensely, as Jane pulls the fatigued Doctor aside. Finally, a green vapor escapes from the mouth of the Krampus as he awakens and Koschei finishes the task. Koschei smiles and says to the Krampus, “Thank you for letting me play Doctor. I’m normally more of a destroyer than healer. From what the wand shows, you have a clean bill of health to terrorize children for at least another century.” The Krampus laughs, as Jane unchains him. He hugs Santa, then Doctor Omega and Koschei. He kisses Jane on the forehead and says, “It’s a good thing you’re not a child, I’d have to spank you.” Jane laughs and says, “Promises, promises. Enjoy your holiday, Mr. Krampus. We’ve got to get off-planet and check out Alpha Centauri. Doc said it’s nice this time of the year.” The trio say their goodbyes and return to the ship, seeking further adventures in the galaxy.