This chapter is dedicated to the lovely IndianaBeachBum and Minamina9.

Here's a little hint for the next chapter. If you look up the song Lonely this Christmas by Mud and listen to it, let me know who it reminds you of, what character? LOL I want to see if anyone else is on the same wavelength as me.

(You know what the real advantage of this story is? I get to listen to Christmas music all year long LOL)

Whifflebat beatings hurt like no other.

For one thing, the pain filtered through your senses like a bad curry, burning you, searing your insides with humiliation. It was with this pain that Santa Claus finally opened his eyes and gazed around at his wrecked workshop, his new prison.

He was wondering what had disturbed him, what had brought him out of the whiffle coma when he heard a voice, faint and almost indistinct.

"Mr. Claus… this is the Coca Cola company… are you there? Can you respond? Over."

Santa blinked and raised a hand to his bruised head, wincing with pain as his fingers grazed the swollen fresh. He sniffed back the blood dripping from his nose and tried to shake away the grogginess.

"Mr. Claus… are you there? Please respond! Over."

Bruised and beaten, Santa crawled over to a small view screen on the far wall. The screen was partially cracked but it still seemed to be working. A young woman in dressed in red gazed anxiously out of the fractured glass.

"Mr. Claus… can you hear me? Over."

Santa pressed a few buttons on the side of the screen and his image was projected many miles away back to America, the young female assistant gasping in horror at his appearance.

"Yes…" he wheezed painfully and he wrapped an arm around his ribs, "Santa is still here."

"What on earth has happened?" she asked him fearfully, "are you alright? We've all been worried sick about you!"

"The gnomes…" Santa coughed hoarsely, "they were too strong for Santa."

Santa looked into the terrified eyes of the young woman and in a moment he saw all her good deeds and bad deeds. His mind was like a computer, and it ran so much data at once that it was actually painful, and deadly to any normal human being. He knew the woman's name and all her hopes and dreams without having to ask. Because Santa knew. Santa always knew.

It was the same every time he met someone new. Their lives would flash before his eyes and even before he realised it he had placed the individual into a naughty or nice category. Sometimes there were so many bad deeds that it made him cry with pain. Santa could barely remember meeting George Dubya Bush because of the information intensity and when he had met Adolf Hitler he actually fainted. But this woman seemed to be ok. He could function fine for the moment.

"Santa's fortress of solitude has been attacked," he explained, "terrorists from the outside infiltrated the gnomes. Santa has been locked in his workshop."

"Who are the terrorists?" she asked him urgently but at that moment the screen shattered into millions of pieces as a bullet grazed past Santa's head.

Santa whipped around and saw a little boy and once again the list of good and bad deeds soared through his memory, "Eric Cartman, nine years old, South Park, Colorado."

Eric Cartman's eyebrow twitched but he brought the gun back down again so Santa could get a better look, "Your gnomes made this. Do you like it?"

Anger flared in Santa's chest but he said nothing.

"Semi-automatic," Cartman slid one finger across the gun almost lovingly, "it'd take the top right off of your head if I felt like it."

"Little boy," Santa tried to reason with him, "why are you doing this? Why are you trying to hurt Santa?"

Young Eric narrowed his eyes, "you put me on the naughty list."

Santa blinked, looking at Eric, then the gun and then back to Eric to make a point.

"I was on the naughty list before!" Eric said, lowering the gun, a slight blush on his cheeks, "you had no right to do that."

"You have been a very naughty boy, Eric Cartman," Santa explained, "you're not the only one to be naughty but if your parents can't make you play nice then Santa has to teach you instead."

"I'm not as naughty as some children!" Eric raised his voice, a dangerous sign.

But Santa continued anyway, "You made it seem like your best friend had lice just so no one would suspect you. You jumped the homeless when all they wanted was help. You abused and humiliated young Leopold Stotch and you have no concept of patience."

"You don't understand!" Eric was shaking with anger, "you don't get it! How can I be the only one without presents? It's so fucking embarrassing! How dare you put me in that position? How dare you give the rest of the faggy bastards that make my life miserable all the presents they want and give nothing to me?!"

Santa looked sympathetically on the young boy. He did understand Eric situation, he had seen it all in his mind when Eric entered the room. He saw the loneliness, the taunts from his classmates. But he was expressing himself in entirely the wrong way.

"Unless you can get rid of that temper," Santa told him, "and unless you can learn to enjoy being nice to people, doing nice things for them, then I will always have to leave you off the nice list."

"I'm not the one that's naughty!"

Santa worried for just a moment that leaving Cartman off the nice list indefinitely may only make him worse, increase his bitterness, and magnify his cruelty. But he had to try and make the child see sense.

"You had my reindeers killed didn't you?" Santa sighed mournfully, staring at Eric's glowing brooch.

"I couldn't let you escape…"

"They know I've been attacked now," Santa said, "they know and they'll come. You could end it all now. Just leave. Then perhaps when the military attacks they won't kill you."

Eric laughed loudly, "Kill me? Kill me? I have a workshop capable of building weapons of mass destruction faster than the Middle East. I have your workforce loyal to me! I think we can handle whatever your little faggy friends will throw at us."

"Please see reason Eric. You have no idea how many friends Santa has. Despite what you think Santa does not want to see you hurt."

Eric smirked and run his finger over the gun again, "you might have the world as your friend, but I have Kyle Broflovski."

"Who?" Santa thought he recognised the name but no information came to his head.

"A very intelligent Jew. I think of the evil and he makes sure it works with that Jew reasoning of his. He's already found some nuclear material. You know that not far from your home there was a stockpile of the stuff? Yeah, it had written on the top, 'Saddam's stash: Don't steal please'."

A ripple of fear made its way down Santa's spine, "You won't… you're not going to bomb anyone are you?"

"It depends on how I feel," something cruel glinted in Eric's eye, "it all depends on you, and how you behave.

"But right now, I have to see a Jew about some warheads. You'll think the situation over, right? You won't make me do something that you'll regret?"

Eric laughed and left the room, switching off the lights as he went, leaving Santa to his thoughts in the cold darkness.

Through the wonder that is e-mail and phone lines, satellite communication and the internet, the entire American government had discovered that Santa Claus was incapacitated. Someone had declared Defcon 4 and many CIA agents as well as the FBI were waiting anxiously for news. No one had invited the ATF because no one liked them really.

"Yes the president is concerned," Special Agent Johnson spoke to one of his underlings impatiently over the phone, "but it's still mid-evening naptime and I'm not putting up with him when he's cranky. I don't care what time it is in London, get Gordon Brown out of bed right now! I want the British Secret Service on this too."

He hung up the phone unceremoniously.

"I think we can handle this without getting the Brits involved," a member of the CIA fumed.

Johnson glared at him, "Do you not understand how serious this situation is? We get everyone on this! I don't care who they are!"

"We can handle it by ourselves," CIA agent Rafferty glared back; "the Coca Cola company said it was just a kid in the video."

"Handle it by yourselves?" Special Agent Johnson asked it in disbelief, "I barely expect the FBI to be able to handle it by ourselves. Haven't you forgotten that the Brits caught all their terrorists while we're still chasing ours? If you don't want to work with the rest of us I'll be sure to let the President know. But you have to be the one to disturb nap-time."

Rafferty shut his mouth, glancing at his colleagues.

"Now we'll share what information we have on the kid if you guys can share what you know?" Johnson asked all the agents. They only nodded or blinked.

Johnson stood up and clicked on a projector, showing a blurred image of a fat child standing with a gun behind the injured Santa Claus, "the only thing we've been able to establish right now is the identity of the child. We don't know how he got to the North Pole, why he's there or even who he's working for."

"Terrorists?" someone asked.

"No, actually. The child shown in the video is one Eric Cartman of South Park, Colorado. Our agents there are already interrogating people in the town and we hope to have his mother in custody very soon.

"Some of you may have met Cartman before with the Snuke fear during Hilldog's campaign rally. So why he's suddenly fighting against everything we hold dear is one of the most urgent concerns. Make no mistake gentlemen, the loss of Mr. Claus is a tragedy on a global scale and all of you fail to realise how important Mr. Claus is to our country.

"If Mr. Claus dies, or is held for ransom very much longer, we are looking at the complete collapse of international capitalism."

Rafferty paled and many other agents looked visibly distressed.

"It's always the communists!" an elderly FBI agent fumed, "We gotta find out if this little bastard is working for the Russians or worse, the Chinese."

"How exactly will it lead to the fall of international capitalism?" a young agent asked.

Johnson explained, "it's been many decades now since Christmas was considered a religious holiday. Countries all over the world depend on the Christmas season as a way of building up their economies. The spending around those few months is on an astronomical scale. Billions if not trillions of dollars are spent by people all across the globe.

"Santa, rather than Jesus, has become the focal point of the holiday and without him there are no profits. There would be no reason to buy presents for children. Lovebirds won't buy each other exciting underwear; middle aged people might not get those socks that they've always wanted. Spending is how the world celebrates this holiday and now without Santa the public may actually begin to enjoy the season as a time of peace and love.

"And the consequences would cripple businesses and governments all over the world."

"Jesus Christ," Rafferty shook his head in horror.

"But back to the matter at hand," Johnson paced the room, all the eyes watching him, "our suspect Eric Cartman has reportedly been missing for several days now. But so has another young child named Kyle Broflovski."

FBI agent Taylor nodded, "We've had a preliminary statement from Cartman's teacher. Apparently Kyle Broflovski is Eric Cartman's enemy and just before they went missing they had a fight in the classroom. We could be looking at the possibility that Cartman killed Broflovski before he took over the North Pole."

"Possible," Johnson agreed, "they could have fought because Broflovski knew too much about Cartman's plans. So I'm going to want a search of all the rivers and woods around South Park."

"Perhaps Cartman could have taken Broflovski with him as another hostage," the elderly FBI agent pondered, "we should look more into Broflovski's background to learn about his relationship with Cartman."

"The CIA will have no trouble with that," Rafferty agreed, "and we should do a full character analysis of both children to try and see how they might behave."

"Good," Johnson nodded, "Good. I'll consult with the President to see how to act to this. He may want to drum up support for attacking the North Pole in the U.N. A situation like this could increase the support of the international community.

"Let's just hope we don't fuck this one up gentlemen. We don't need another Iraq."

"And let's just hope that Broflovski is alive," Rafferty said, "and kicking Cartman's ass so we don't have to."

Kyle was rubbing his nose with concern.

In the space of twenty solid minutes with only each other and a few gnomes for company, Cartman had already made 67 anti-Semitic jokes, referred to Hitler 39 times and sniggered about concentration camps 18 times.

And Kyle could feel his blood beginning to boil. He tried desperately to tune Cartman out as they ate lunch together, but the fat ass had started to talk about the stereotypical Jewish facial features, particularly in comparison to Kyle's own.

"That is a really big nose, seriouslah. With all the money we're going to make you could at least get some reconstructive surgery so it doesn't make me piss my pants every time I see it, Kahl."

"I don't have a big nose," Kyle inwardly fretted; he'd only ever worried about stereotypical characteristics before. It was almost too painful to worry about appearances as well.

"It's like a…" Cartman stared at Kyle's face from several different angles from his side of the table, "it's like a beak."

"I DON'T HAVE A BEAK!" Kyle's mouth dropped open.

"I could ski off that thing, Kahl."

"You wanted me to be your friend!" Kyle stood up, "but all you've done since we got here is make fun of me."

"I always made fun of Kenny too," Cartman shrugged, unable to understand the problem.

"I can't work with you! I can't stay here if every two seconds you have to criticise every little thing about me. Next you'll be saying my fingernails are stereotypically Jewish!"

"That's not exactly fair," Cartman frowned, "I haven't had a close enough look at them yet."

Kyle let out a small roar of frustration, "Why are you such a goddamn freak?"

"I'm not the one with the beak, beaky."

"I'll break your fucking nose!" Kyle balled his fists.

Cartman pulled his gun out from under the table and pointed it at Kyle, "Don't bother!"

Kyle stopped; his eyes focused on the gun, feeling a shiver of terror make its way up his spine.

"You won't… you won't shoot me."

"I can do whateva I want, Kahl," Cartman smirked cruelly, "I was hoping me and you could get along. But you're so… uptight."

"You keep making fun of me!" Kyle resisted the urge to stamp his feet and pull his hair in exasperation, "what the hell am I supposed to do? What do you fucking want from me?"

"A little song… a little dance. Santa's head on a lance," Cartman chuckled and motioned with the gun, "sit down Kahl."

Kyle did so, his stomach knotting with a mixture of fear and frustration. It made him feel ill. He picked up his chicken sandwich and attempted to eat while Cartman put the gun down on the table. But Kyle had completely lost his appetite.

Bob, Cartman's little gnome advisor, took that uncomfortable moment to put his own two cents in.

"You know," he piped up, "I heard that your nose keeps growing all through your life."

"Really?" Cartman raised a curious eyebrow.

"Yeah," Bob smirked, "I read it somewhere. It grows and grows and grows."

Cartman slapped a hand down on the table and laughed uncontrollably. He pointed at Kyle with his other hand and roared with laughter.

"Fucking hell, dude! Imagine your beak at 60! You won't be able to stand up!"

Kyle grabbed his nose in horror.

Cartman fell off his chair laughing. He lay on his back on the floor and seeing the terrified expression on Kyle's face only made him laugh harder.

"You'll… need… a wheelbarrow… wheel your shnozz about… everywhere!"

Kyle began shaking, unable to stand the sound of Cartman's laughter. Using only his temper, Kyle pushed the heavy lunch table aside, plates and glasses smashing all over the floor.


Kyle stormed from the room and Cartman's laughter subsided with surprise. He sat up and watched Kyle's retreating form. For a moment he wanted to call him back, even apologise. Despite everything, Cartman really did want Kyle as friend; he just wasn't very good at being one. He became aware of the gnomes curious stares and could only shrug again.

"Sand in the vagina," he offered as an explanation.

One of the gnomes, sweet faced and cruel eyed, appraised the nine year old, "What is with all the Jew jokes anyway?"

"It's… Kyle," Cartman said, "He's Jewish…"

"So?" another gnome asked.

"It's… just always been that way. He makes fun of me for being fat. I poke fun at his religion, and the stereotype, and concentration camps, and Woody Allen, and Hitler, and his mother, and his nose. Everything really."

"I don't quite get it myself," Bob scratched his beard in contemplation.

"Well," Cartman thought, "let me explain."

And he clapped his hands to dim the lights, only he was illuminated; only Cartman was under the spotlight.

"I know what you're thinking," he sang to the gnomes, "You wonder why I hate him. I could hurt anyone else in the world. That's just a first impression; you have not yet heard my confession."

He raised his chin and looked into the darkness that surrounded him; under the spotlight he could barely see the gnomes.

"If you knew him like I do, it would change your point of view…"

This time Cartman's song was a little more somber, a little more from his heart (wherever that was). So many other gnomes were intrigued and although he could not see them, they gathered together to listen.

"If you could see Kyle through my eyes," Cartman sang to his audience, "You wouldn't wonder at all. If you could see him through my eyes, I guarantee you would hate him (Like I do). When we are walking together, I can't stop myself causing him pain. And if you could see him through my eyes, maybe you would do the same…"

Cartman bobbed back and forth to his tune, momentarily admiring his musical talents. He took a few slides to the right and the spotlight moved with him (due to some wonderful gnome trickery).

"How could I speak of my issues?" Cartman puzzled in his own song, "I wouldn't know where to begin. He's clever, he's smart, but he's still a Jew, he doesn't eat bacon or eat ham (Like I do). Yet when we are fighting together, people sneer when I call him a Jew. But if they could see him through my eyes, maybe they would make fun of him too!"

As he was not the type of person to leave something half finished (unless it was homework and boring) Eric spun on the spot and made up a short dance, sliding from one side to the other, raising a foot and then the other. One of the gnomes whistled and a few others laughed. But it was not because they thought less of him. Far from it. Cartman's ability to make a fool of himself only made them respect him more.

Cartman whipped Kyle's green ushanka from out of the shadows and fell onto his knees dramatically, "why don't they leave us alone?"

"Ladies and Gnome-men," he implored them all, "I ask you, is it a crime to hate someone so entirely? Can one ever choose where our prejudices lead us?"

He raised the ushanka to his chest, "Why can't you understand that this is the way I am? A little understanding?" he begged for it.

"Why can't the world just leave us alone, live and let live?"

He stared at the hat in his hands and got back to his feet. A cruel, almost terrifying smirk appeared on his features as he stared into a world he could not see.

"Oh, I understand your objection," he chuckled a little and again clasped the ushanka to his chest, keeping it close to his heart, "But you cannot possibly see… that if you could see Kyle through my eyes…You'd know how much he means to me!"

And with that, he bowed low.

The gnomes burst into appreciative applause, delighting in the theatricality of the performance. But deep down they were still quite confused. It still wasn't clear why Cartman hated Kyle or even attempted to gain the Jewish boy as an ally.

However, the confusion only arose because deep, deep down Cartman was even more confused. On the one hand he wanted to jeer Kyle, pull him down a peg or two and banish everyone like him from the world. But for some reason he truly wanted the great struggle to end, he wanted peace between Kyle and himself. He wanted to be able to say that Kyle was his friend, and ask for his advice, and work together in harmony.

But if bad habits were easy to break then no one would smoke, no one would drink heavily. There'd be no drug addiction. And Cartman was addicted to pain, not his own, but savouring the pain of others. If he was not so young and immature he would have seen that the addiction only hurt him too.

For example, it caused his stomach to clench painfully when he saw Kyle stride past the door again, a rucksack flung over one shoulder.

"Kahl! Wait up!"

"Fuck off fat ass;" Kyle told him, "I've had enough."

"No, please, listen. I can change. I can. It's just when you get used to hating dirty Jews for so long it's sorta hard to break the habit, you know?"

Kyle made an indignant noise in the back of his throat.

"But I really do want to change my ways!" Cartman told him, "I promise you, no more Jew jokes."

Kyle frowned, "None at all?"


"Not even a comment about ham… or Hitler?"


"And… you're going to be ok with this?" Kyle looked rather puzzled.

"Your friendship means more to me," now that was a downright lie; Kyle's cooperation meant more to him.

"So even if I call you fat you won't go all Nazi on me and try to gas me?" Kyle really could not understand what Cartman was trying to say.

"I'll bite my tongue and smile sweetly," the thought of Cartman smiling sweetly would make most people shudder.

And Kyle did look a little weirded out. He gave Cartman a long hard stare and shook his head, "I don't believe you."

"Kahl Broflovski, I give you my word," Cartman nodded his head.

Kyle dropped his rucksack from his shoulder and scratched his head, trying to grasp the enormity of Cartman's gesture. It didn't feel right to him; Cartman's remarks pissed him off but it would be strange never hearing them.

"I guess you'll probably still make the occasional Jew joke," Kyle frowned, "but only because I called you fat or something."

"Well that's the challenge isn't it?" Cartman hooked an arm around Kyle's and smirked at him, "we'll go cold turkey. If you stop calling me fat, I'll stop picking on you."

"I don't know…"

"Can't handle the challenge?" Cartman asked, "Can't go the distance? It is a little too difficult for you."

"I can last longer than you, fat ass!" Kyle glared and then covered his mouth in horror.

Cartman smiled and looked at the ceiling, "I've gone deaf, did you say something Kahl?"

"No… nothing at all," Kyle relented.

Cartman gave Kyle a gentle push back down the corridor, "go unpack, and then we can figure out what we're going to do. At least one person already knows that Santa is missing. Won't be long til everyone finds out, although they probably have already."

Kyle nodded and went away to unpack, "we need to find out whether or not that stash actually works. It could have leaked out or something, made the ice melt."

"Don't worry about that now Kahl, I know of a few places we can test it. You just make sure it's attached to the missile and I'll do the rest."

Stan Marsh sighed with depression and placed his forehead on the cool, relaxing surface of his locker. He sighed again far more mournfully, feeling increasingly sad and increasingly sick.

The world rushed past him without caring and something he did not quite understand ached in his chest. The whole day he had been looking out for someone, listening for someone, waiting for someone. And Kyle had never shown up. Stan did not think it was possible to miss someone so much but he kept thinking of stuff that Kyle would find funny, he kept thinking of interesting things to say. He kept just wanting Kyle to be there, sitting beside him so they could smirk amused at each other any given moment.

But Kyle wasn't here. And whose fault was that, Stanley Randolph (1) Marsh?

Stan heard a muffled voice singing but he did not look up. He didn't need to. He just wished Kenny would not sing that particular song.

"Oh it's the most wonderful time of the year! With the kids jingle belling and everyone telling you 'be a good cheer! Oh it's the most wonderful time of the year!"

"Please don't sing that song Kenny," Stan whined plaintively.

"Why the fuck not?" Kenny asked and sang again, "It's the most wonderful time of the year. There'll be much mistletoeing and hearts will be glowing, when loved ones are near!"

Stan let out a small sob and his shoulders started to shake ever so slightly.

Kenny stopped singing and just watched in surprised as Stan tried to hold back whatever it was that was upsetting him.

"How long has it been?" Stan asked.

"Since what?"

"Just… since."

Kenny thought and looked at Stan's watch, "Five days, eleven hours and twenty five minutes since you had your lovers tiff with Kyle."

"Feels like an eternity," Stan turned around and slid down his locker onto the floor, bringing his knees up to his chest.

Kenny blinked, "Stan?" he asked, "I hope you don't mind, but are you… gay or something?"

"I'm nine," Stan glared up at him.

"You're acting like a pussy," Kenny shrugged and looked up and down the corridor for the chance of free holiday cookies.

"And you sound like Cartman."

"Maybe," Kenny said, "but Cartman seems to attract food to him in amazing quantities and maybe if I act like him I might be able to collect enough for Christmas dinner."

"I think it's the other way around," Stan pointed out but Kenny was sniffing the air, still trying to seek out that elusive Christmas cookie.

Kenny didn't have time to seek out any seasonal treats as the school tanoy whined into life.


"I didn't do it," Kenny looked uncomfortable, unsure what he was supposed to have done. Stan pulled himself to his feet and together they walked down to the office, thinking up a million excuses and alibis just in case.

And it seemed like they would need them because when they entered the room there were three men in suits crowded around the desk, seemingly scolding the headmistress.

"What's going on?" Stan asked warily and everyone turned to look at them.

"Stan. Kenny," Principal Victoria looked a little relieved to see them, "there's a few agents from the FBI here to ask you a few questions."

Kenny hung back, trying to think of what he may have done to bring the FBI in. Was it the porn he had swiped from his dad, was that why they were here?

"Shouldn't we have our parents here for this?" Stan took a seat, frowning at the agents.

"We've called them but we need to talk to you now," one of the agents sat on the principal's desk, trying to appear friendly and casual, "we need to ask you about two of your friends; Kyle Broflovski and Eric Cartman?"

Kenny sat down beside Stan, "what about them?"

"They're not in trouble are they?" Stan's anxiety bubbled in his stomach.

"Hopefully not but we need to know where they are."

Both boys shrugged, "they've been missing for a couple of days. People are worried about them."

"Do you know where they may have gone?" Agent Burns with very big sideburns asked.

"Dunno," Kenny said.

"Can you tell us about the last time you saw them?"

Kenny could not say anything. He was not the last one to see Cartman and Kyle. Stan on the other hand paled and looked at his shoes. The FBI noticed and all focused on the dark haired boy.

"It's ok kid," one of them encouraged, "you can tell us. If we find out what happened to them then they won't be in any trouble."

"They were walking home," Stan explained, "I was coming home from the mall with Wendy and Clyde. I was supposed to have met Kyle but I forgot. I… left him for three hours."

"Then what happened?"

"Me and Kyle had an argument. He said some horrible stuff about Christmas and I called him a Jew… and Cartman took Kyle away before me and Kyle could fight each other. I didn't want to fight him or anything. He's my best f-f-friend."

Burns looked horrified, "you called him a what?"

"A Jew… he's Jewish."

The agents tutted and shook their heads. Principal Victoria looked disappointed and all the adults gave each disapproving glances.

"Here I thought you seemed such a nice kid," one of the FBI said, "I never thought a kid like you could be a racist."

Stan's jaw dropped, "I'm not! I'm not racist."

"Imagine," Burns' expression was cold with disdain, "kids these days being so incredibly insensitive. I bet it's that MTV or something. Makes children into despicable little racist bastards."

"I'm not racist!" Stan protested.

"He's not racist," Kenny told them, but his voice was muffled by his parka.

"You proud of yourself kid?" one of the agents shook his finger in Stan's face, "How does it feel knowing that your best friend was targeted by your racism just hours before his possible death? People like you make me sick!"

"Kyle's dead?" Stan's eyes filled with tears and his shoulders shook with anguish.

"Well he was last seen with Eric Cartman, his enemy from what we've heard. And no one has seen him since!"

"Is it possible that Eric Cartman could have murdered Kyle Broflovski?" Burns asked.

"Cartman hates Kyle but he would never kill him," Kenny explained, "he likes seeing him miserable too much."

The FBI conferred, "so it is possible that the kid is being held hostage."

"Hostage?" Stan's voice squeaked as a few tears trickled down his face.

"Listen to this kid. After your little despicable racist slur Kyle Broflovski and Eric Cartman disappeared at around the same time. And Eric Cartman is currently at the North Pole holding Santa Claus hostage. No one has heard from the Fortress of Solitude since Coca Cola managed to get a message from Santa a few hours ago. We know for a fact that Cartman is there but we have no idea where Broflovski is… and if he's dead kid then that's one hell of a guilt trip for you, huh?"

Stan trembled with horror and was more than relieved when Randy and Sharon entered, along with Kenny's parents. He flew out of his chair and flung his arms around his mother's legs, feeling sick to his stomach at the idea of Kyle as a hostage and even worse at the idea of him being dead.

The FBI were not as sympathetic, "we're glad you are here, Mr. and Mrs. Marsh, Mr. and Mrs. McCormick."

"What's all this about?" Randy asked.

"Well you've probably heard already about the Cartman/Broflovski disappearance?" the parents nodded, "we think they could be connected."

Burns continued, "And it seems like your son may be the reason why Broflovski went off with Cartman. It's too early to tell."

Randy grabbed Stan's shoulder, not too roughly, "what did you do Stan?"

"He called him a Jew."

Sharon raised a hand to her mouth looking horrified, Randy looked disgusted and the McCormick's just blinked.

"I thought we'd taught you better than that," Randy let go of his son, looking ill with disappointment.

"I'm not racist!" Stan protested again, "it just came out! We were arguing!"

"So because you're angry that makes it ok?" Randy asked, about to lecture when Sharon touched his arm and shook her head in a no. Randy had no right to lecture anyone about cultural sensitivity.

But just at that moment the door burst open again and another agent dressed in black appeared, "we got her! We've found the mother."

Liane Cartman smiled sweetly at the FBI agents, sitting across from them at table in Officer Barbrady's Police Station. To get the old officer out of the way he had been sent out to buy some eggnog and vodka mix and would probably be a while.

"So how can I help you gentlemen?" her wide innocent eyes captivated both agents but they tried to remain focused.

"Ms. Cartman," Burns clenched his jaw, trying not to be drawn in by her beauty, "where is your son?"

"Oh he's around somewhere," Liane shrugged and smiled again, seemingly unconcerned, "but he won't be long. He told me not to worry."

"He told you that he was leaving?" Burns narrowed his eyes, "and you let him? But he's nine years old!"

"My little poopsiekins is very mature for his age. I know that he's in no danger."

"Your son," Agent Johnson (no relation to Special Agent Johnson), "is currently at the North Pole, apparently holding Santa Claus hostage."

"Oh don't be silly," Liane waved her hand and the idea that her son may have been embroiled in such a situation had no impact on her bubbly disposition.

"It's true Ms. Cartman," Burns frowned at her, "we have proof. We have a clip of your son, Eric, brandishing a gun and shooting a telephone visual screen seconds before a very urgent call to the North Pole was cut."

"My little Eric knows that guns are naughty," Liane put particular stress on that last word, fluttering her eyelashes at the visibly agitated Johnson.

Burns glared at his colleague to convince him to keep his composure.

"Ms. Cartman," Burns opened a folder in front of him, Eric Cartman's School Record, "we have plenty of evidence that proves your son doesn't know guns are naughty and has actually used them on a number of occasions."

"I'm sure if he used them it was only because things were hard," Liane leaned across the table, twirling a few strands of hair around her finger, "when times were difficult. My special little man wouldn't hurt a fly."

"Oh I'm sure he wouldn't," Johnson sighed, leaning across the table as well, looking earnestly into Liane Cartman's eyes.

Burns watched the pair of him and cleared his throat to try and get their attention, "Ms. Cartman, we have reason to believe that your son is holding Santa Claus hostage at the North Pole."

"Is Santa in handcuffs?" Liane asked, running her tongue over her bottom lip. Whether or not Santa was in handcuffs was completely irrelevant but Johnson seemed to shudder beside Burns.

"That doesn't matter," Burns pointed out to her," we need to know why he would do it; we need to understand his motives before we speak to him. Can your son be negotiated with?"

"Yes, of course," Liane looked Johnson up and down and got up from her seat.

"Please sit down, Ms. Cartman," Burns stiffened in his chair to stop her but his colleague appeared to be just as stiff.

Liane did sit down. On the table. She ran a finger along the collar of her shirt and popped open the top button, her cheeks flushing prettily, "it's so warm in here, gentlemen."

"Please sit down in your seat Ms. Cartman," Burns was ready to call off the interrogation there and then if it wasn't for the fact that she had kicked off both her shoes and placed them into Johnson's lap.

He stroked the soles of her feet, gazing up at her, "being interrogated for something you couldn't control must be so stressful."

"My poopsiekins has such a strong will of his own," Liane sighed happily as the FBI agent massaged her feet, "like his mother."

Johnson ran a hand up the back of her leg, apparently now in charge of the interrogation, "why would he take over the North Pole?"

Liane purred as he found the sensitive spot on the back of her knee, "my poor little Eric wasn't going to get any presents this year."

"Oh?" Burns tried to regain control, "we need to know why."

Cartman's mother leaned forward and grabbed Johnson's tie with one hand, smoothing the hair back from his face with the other, "because he has been so… so… so naughty."

"That's just terrible," Johnson shivered again, "that poor little fella!"

"Mmm," Liane nodded and inhaled deeply, her bosom heaving into Johnson's eye-line.

Burns slammed his hand on the table, "that's it then! The kid has been left off the present list and he's trying to get his revenge on Mr. Claus! It's nothing to do with communists at all!"

"I-I'd agree," Johnson whispered huskily.

"But he could still trigger the entire collapse of international capitalism with his childish mischief!"

"What about Broflovski?" Johnson tried to regain his focus even as Liane undid his top button and loosened off his tie.

"Oh he's safe," Liane leaned in and inhaled his scent deeply; running kisses from his jaw along his jaw to his earlobe, nibbling on the skin she found there.

"How do you know that for sure?" Burns asked her, his eyes wide at her complete disregard for their status as FBI agents.

"Because I gave him some sweaters and clothes to wear on the journey," she explained, her voice slightly muffled against Johnson's skinned, "I didn't want precious little Kyle getting cold."

"I think we got what we needed," Johnson closed his eyes and sighed pleasurably.

"I haven't," Liane muttered and pulled off his tie in reckless abandon. She then tore open Johnson's shirt without ripping off any of the buttons!

"Ms. Cartman," Burns was growing impatient, he wanted more information from her and she wasn't cooperating, "I could have you charged with negligence, allowing your child to go so far away from home without an adult, possibly armed. Even if we stop Eric before its too late you could be prevented from seeing him!"

"I don't think so," she peered at him from the crook of Johnson's neck.

"We are going to have to detain you for more questions. I can read you your rights… oh!"

Liane had reached over and was stroking Burn's nipples through his shirt, the fabric chafing pleasurably against the sensitive skin. He hadn't felt that good in ages, not since his wife had gone frigid.

The woman slipped completely off the table and onto Johnson's lap, her lips still busy on his neck and chest while her fingers slid under Burns's shirt, teasing his nerve endings.

"Ms. Cartman," Burns protested, "we can't work under these sorts of situations!"

"But I can," Liane was obviously trying for a ménage a trios.

"You could be arrested for this, baby," Johnson whispered in her ear. Baby? He'd never said baby in all his life, not even to his girlfriend!

"Oh am I naughty?" Liane looked positively delighted at the idea, leaping off Johnson's lap and leaning over the table, presenting her derriere to the agents, "Then you must spank me! Spank me! Oh yes! Please do! It's been so long since I had a good spanking!"

"Erm…" Johnson looked uncomfortable, "I don't hit women, not even like that."

"Oh please! I am so very, very naughty!"

"It's not right," he protested.

She wiggled her bum in his face, "you know you want to."

"No I don't."

"Spank me! I'm very bad and I need to be punished."

But it wasn't Johnson that finally lifted his hand. Burns brought his hand down sharply, her skin burning momentarily after the impact. But she gasped in delight. Burns caressed her peach of an arse with satisfaction and then brought his hand down again. She cooed in response.

He stood up and lifted up her skirt, Johnson's eyebrows rising sharply, disappearing under his hair.

"You won't answer our questions!" he barked at her, bringing his hand down to spank her, "you wouldn't do as you were told!"

"Oh yes! I'm bad! I'm so very, very bad!"


It was perhaps fortunate then for everyone concerned that Barbrady chose that moment to enter. He looked at Ms. Cartman bent over the table with her knickers showing, Burns's hand frozen in mid spank, Johnson sitting stiffly with his shirt torn open.

He stared puzzled and finally asked, "has this anything to do with the Japanese mafia?"

Meanwhile, in a completely different part of the country, the media had gotten wind of the story.

"Tonight on Smartline! The little miscreants that you call children have finally snapped in the weeks leading up to the holiday season! Reports leaked from the Pentagon suggest that jolly old Saint Nicholas won't be sneaking down your chimney, broad and black due to the machine gun that is being pointed at his back!"

The overweight newsreader leaned back in his chair and raised an eyebrow, "I'm Kent Brockman and tonight is going to be a little different folks. I have no guests, I have no snappy script. We have in fact thrown out the pile of garbage that was meant to be our show tonight – Keira Knightley's chin; the new evidence that proves she sunk the Titanic. And instead we're going to just fly by the seat of our pants, piss in the wind and hope for the best!

"Now… you know that I'm not your normal type of news reader, presenter, celebrity, whatever you might want to call me. I do not lecture my audience although they probably do deserve it. No, I prefer to tell it how it is and right now you parents are getting the wake up call of your life!

"I assume you were all expecting that Santa Claus was going to deliver your overweight, over valued, selfish, uneducated delinquents more presents than they actually deserve. However an official named Tara that works in the Pentagon (and who wished to keep her identity secret) revealed to us that two children have taken over the North Pole, killed the reindeer, slaughtered some elves, probably raped a couple of midgets and is threatening every Christian around the world with the true meaning of the holiday.

"Now I'm not suggesting that these two children are religious extremists but I think it's safe to say that they probably are. Christian groups all over America are pledging their support, hoping that we might all forget our greed for a day and remember that 2000 years ago a little baby was born, apparently the son of God. You may have noticed that the word apparently was added in there but come on, if a guy in sandals and toga came up to you and claimed to be the son of God would you actually believe him? This newsreader can safely say… no."

Kent stared deep into the camera lens, rousing up all the verbal diarrhea he could muster, "However with the American economy floundering like Mel Gibson in a Shakespeare movie, big businesses and corporations are panicking that peace and love could completely wipe out any profits they may have gained from your over indulgence.

"And if international capitalism farts itself to death what can we expect from the new world? Well for one thing if our gung ho military decides to withdraw from Iraq and attack this new kind of religious extremist, then scientists say most of you out there are going to be living under water. Missiles and melting ice caps are not a good combination Mr. President and you can call me a pussy for acting like a member of the liberal media. At least I won't drown.

"In wake of Armageddon, I'd like to take this opportunity right here to tell all of you that you only brought this situation upon yourselves. Keeping children restrained under the guise that they'll get lots of presents on Christmas Day? That's crap. And it's blackmail; there are no real nice children in the world, only selfish little bastards expecting a heavy payload for a year's worth of false manners and hidden intent. I've never agreed with this Santa Claus… thing and I'd like to give a small salute to the children that finally worked out that adults tell more lies than children. I question your methods but what the hell."

A voice hissed angrily in Kent's ear, his editor informing him that if he ranted anymore in this way then he would find his ass fired.

Fortunately for Kent, two moments later Kent Brockman's editor was vaporized as a missile containing contaminated nuclear material landed in 742 Evergreen Terrace. But unfortunately before Kent could whoop in triumph he was also vaporized.

Smartline was no more. Springfield was no more.

And in the end there was only silence.

(1) That is Trey Parker's real first name. He's actually Randolph Severn Parker the Third or something

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