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Reindeer Games

The work order didn't even make any sense to Yul.  He was familiar enough with Earth and their more popular holidays that he was wary of orders that took place near their winter solstice.  He'd done extensive research after dealing with that green fellow, where he'd stood in for the pet dog.  Yet here he was, broke and looking for work, and this was the only order to come across his desk.


"Mr. Ever?"


Yul's boss looked up briefly from his paperwork, the only acknowledgment he made to not being alone.


"Sir, are you sure this work order is right?"  Yul held up the slip of paper and pointed to the point of origin.  Toy workshop, North Pole, Earth.  "I thought this Santa person was supposed to be a good guy."


"Santa Claus didn't put in the order," Mr. Ever said as he grabbed his pen and signed the bottom of a page.  "One of his employees did."


"Employees?"  That didn't sound right.  "Since when does Evil Minions accept jobs from employees instead of the big bad evil guy?"


"If you must know, it's a favor for an old friend."  Mr. Ever put down the pen and almost smiled.  Almost.  "It's a long story.  There's a long history of bullying and terrorizing, mental trauma, and some neglect.  I'd be surprised if the client didn't put those events to good use as an origin story of the ages.  Trust me, if we do this guy a favor, he'll be a client for life."


Yul frowned at the order slip again.  "It's a bit sparse on the details.  It just says to report to the stable.  Why the stable?  How will I know who I'm meeting there?  What if I'm chased off for looking out of place?  It doesn't even suggest a form to take."


"Give me that."  Mr. Ever snatched the slip from Yul's hand.  "It's supposed to be a straightforward sabotage.  The client will take the place of—"


Mr. Ever's phone interrupted with a sharp yet sinister ring.


"Just show up.  You'll—hang on.  Ever's office, don't you know it's Christmas Eve?  We're busy around he—Oh, yes.  Yes.  Of course.  Are you sure that's—?  Yes, I see.  No, no, it can't be helped.  Well, good luck."  Mr. Ever hung up, a thoughtful frown tugging at the corners of his lips.  "Yul, I'm afraid the order's been canceled due to fog."


"Fog?"  That made less sense than the original work order.


"My old friend found himself being useful after all, and has a chance to rub it in their noses that they need him, and he's better than them, or something.  I've never understood the motives of reindeer, I suppose.  Ah well, perhaps some other year."

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