There. That's it. I have nothing left to rewrite, replot, or anything else. I'll get to work on that final chapter now. This was written to RENT: The Original Broadway Recording, Disc 2. Yeah, that's all I've to say.

Disclaimer: What gives you the idea I owned NMBC anyway? In this chapter, I own Ele, and that's pretty much it.

Christmas eve.

The world, snuggled in its own versions of holiday cheer, was quiet. For the most part, they were all asleep. However, a select few were awake. Some of them read. Some of them stared forlornly into the white outdoors, while memories of Christmases and Lovers Past danced in the darkness. Most of them were watching TV.

Amidst the assorted Christmas specials, infomercials and glaring straight lines, those who were awake were beginning to nod off. Then, suddenly-

"Around the world there have been reports of an imposter shamelessly impersonating Santa Clause, mocking and mangling this joyous holiday."

The female voice of a reporter cut into the thick Noël silence. Men and women were jolted from their half-sleep and whole dreams to stare blankly at the silver screen. The unbelievable story, in the light of confusion, seemed completely true. Stumbling to their feet, those awake grasped at phones and thumbed in the numbers of friends and family, to warn them, convince them, protect them the only way they could.

The news spread. No sooner had one family been alerted then they themselves began to warn others. Households began to bar their windows and alight carnivorous flames in their fireplaces. No evil Saint Nick would enter their home to terrorize their families, no siree.

Of course, not everyone was in their home this eve. Some wandered the streets alone, or in pairs, unable, or simply unwilling to return home just yet. None of them knew about the skinny man wreaking havoc around the world.

One of the people on the street was known as Eleanor Sprague, known less formally as Ele. Her reasons for being on the road were her own, and she was not known for sharing. She walked in silence down the sidewalk, thinking muddled thoughts and aimlessly counting the flickers of the streetlamps.

An explosion ripped the Christmas quiet.

Ele jumped. Her head snapped upwards, scanning the dark sky above. Her brown hair whipped behind her in the brief and soft wind. Another shot fired, lighting the sky. Ele could now see the target. A tiny little thing in the sky was now rocking back and forth, desperately out of control. Another shot fired, and the craft began to plummet. Ele wasn't sure, but she could have sworn that she heard a small voice cry out "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night…"

And then…