Author's Note: Okay, so I'm going to try to be as brief as possible here while giving you the story at the same time. This is, obviously, the first chapter of my new fic, this time for Tales of the Abyss, indeed an amazingly awesome game of awesome. This idea started way back last Christmas, when I decided that I really wanted to write a Christmas fic sometime (for the record, I'm the most Christmas-enthused Jew you're ever likely to meet… or even read the Christmas-themed writings of), but that I could probably never top Feonyx's "Coals" for a Fire Emblem RnK Christmas/Winter Solstice fic. At least, not without ripping it off (I mean, the guy already used bandits and ensuing chaos…). Not that that's a promise that I won't try, just that I thought it might not be a good place to start. So the vaguest of ideas for a Tales of the Abyss Christmas Party occurred to me, myself not having beaten the game yet (and let me tell you, when you're in a sort of depressed mood that game does not help brighten your spirits). But there were only a couple of ideas floating through my brain, so I didn't do anything with it, until I finally swapped my study hall for an open period, and ended up talking with a friend of mine, Julia. It was at this point that I really regretted not doing so earlier, what with her being a senior and going off to college next year, and the fact that we basically spent at least a solid 30 minutes out of each 2-hour block gasping for breath from laughter.
Anyway, I discovered that she was also a TotA fan (and she actually got me to finish the game), and we started talking about this crazy idea, and brainstormed and much crack was invented and, well… this is the result. She actually contributed a lot of this material (don't ask me how much, we lost track of who came up with what ideas some time ago, with the exception of a few… she may have actually suggested the name, for that matter), and I really couldn't have asked for someone better to brainstorm crack with, so a lot of thanks and credit are due there. It is my sincere hope that this fic become the quintessential cracktastic humorous Tales of the Abyss fic based around a Christian holiday that technically doesn't exist in Auldrant, in spite of it being Pseudo Europe, that was written by a Jew. That's right, I'm coming for you Jewish TotA Easter fics! The plan was to write this completely Epic Christmas fic as a one shot… but as of now that would mean an ENORMOUS piece of writing all as one chapter. Basically my epicness got too epic for how I envisioned it, so it's going up in chapters (though it's really just the first 20 pages copy-pasted with some stuff attached to the end). Only this time I've got enough done already that I seriously doubt it'll be much longer before I finish it, though so far the month of August hasn't seen me writing very much, I'm sad to say. I actually wanted to finish this thing in July so I could pretend it was for "Christmas in July" and not "I'm crazy and writing a Christmas fic in the middle of Summer" but… well, if you've been following my work, or even if you just start reading this now, I think you'll abandon any notion of my sanity rather fast. If nothing else, I do have more that I can upload without much delay so if I get really stuck I can probably stall for another 2 chapters.
And so, the obligatory bit, I don't own TotA, though really, how awesome would that be? All properties here belong to Namco and Tales Studios etc., and they won't sue me because they're awesome and this is just for fun… right? Being crack, persons looking for a plot in this narrative will be shot Mark Twain-style, but those looking for laughs at the expense of their favorite or least favorite or medium favorite characters are more than welcome. I'm going to be openly defying the canon in various ways (essentially I have the final scene of the game taking place, like, just after the prior scene, and Asch was there too), but all in the name of fun. Some sexual humor and potentially offensive language exist within, though the former tends to be implied rather than explicitly stated. As per usual, if you're easily offended, you seriously need to lighten up, but until then you may want to steer clear, as there's some religious-based humor here (really, does that surprise anyone). Though even a lot of the Christmas-based jokes tend to not necessarily mock Christmas so much… But anyway, without further ado (brief, huh? Oh well…), I give you "How the God Generals Replicated Christmas."
How the God Generals Replicated Christmas
A Tales of the Abyss Fic
By Duo Himura
Chapter(?) 1: In Which the Party Does Not Actually Begin
Twas the day of the night before Christmas and all through the land there was no one more busy than our favorite Auldrantinese band. In the city of Baticul preparations were made for a most special, private party, the likes of which could only be bought with at least 7000 grade. Luke and Asch and Natalia, Jade and Guy, Tear and Florian and Anise had all... okay, nothing rhymes with Anise. Screw it. The ballroom was set and the time was now near for the group to celebrate that most special day of the year (Which they had all known about and celebrated since they were kids. Shut up.).
And no one was in a more festive mood than Luke fon Fabre. Until he found a valid reason to be depressed. Again.
"What's the matter this time, Luke?" Guy had asked upon seeing him mope around. Having been designated official "carrier of heavy objects" by Jade who, through some cruel twist of fate, was in charge of decorations, the noble turned servant turned noble again had been in better moods. The group sans Jade was currently just hanging around the entrance to Fabre manor, Jade having assured them that he wanted the decorations to be a surprise, then barring the door with a fonic arte that none of them had been able to break. Feeling quite certain that they faced imminent doom at the hands of Jade's no-doubt diabolically malicious interior design, a silence had fallen over them, until that moment.
"Oh, I was just thinking about all the people who aren't here who should be except that they're dead. It seems like just about everyone has lost someone: Natalia's biological father, your sister, Tear's brother and my master/creator, Jade's crazy teacher-person. I mean, I know they've all pretty much tried to kill us, but it's still sad." He paused for a moment, then added, "And what about those however-many thousand replicas and the people from Akzeriuth that I killed? We can't forget about them!"
"You were going to invite the entire population of Akzeriuth?" Tear asked, joining the conversation.
"It's in their town charter," Luke explained, with Natalia nodding in confirmation. "But the worst of it all is that Ion, who Anise had a completely hopeless crush on, isn't here in this special time of the year when everyone else is going to be 'Ooh, we're a couple!' Can you imagine what that would do to her? Oh… um… sorry, Anise," Luke apologized to the thirteen-year-old girl, who was standing three feet away in plain view. "Didn't mean to bring that up… really…"
"Come to think of it, everyone is paired up except Anise, pretty much…" Guy mused. "I mean, you're with Tear, unofficial- oh who do we think we're kidding here? Asch and Natalia are blatantly obvious even if Asch hates everyone, that just leaves myself and—" Guy stopped suddenly, but the damage was done. "No… no…" he glanced around nervously.
"As long as you're the one wearing the dress, I've no objections," a cynical voice remarked from behind him. Guy winced upon hearing the words as if they had actually caused him pain: somewhere in his heart he had still been concealing a tiny gem of hope which had metaphorically just shattered into thousands of lethally sharp pieces, ripping through his appendix, liver, and spleen. The fact that Jade had medical training didn't comfort him in the slightest. Metaphorically speaking.
"Hi Jade," Guy muttered unenthusiastically.
"Shall we meet up at the party, then? I'll be the dashingly handsome gentleman wearing a tuxedo and no pants."
"Please… just… stop…" Guy winced again.
"You do have a point, though…" Natalia said thoughtfully. "I haven't even been thinking about how awful and lonely you must feel, Anise… I just can't imagine what I'd do if Asch died." Oddly enough, and for reasons entirely unbeknownst to anyone, this statement was followed by a bout of coughing from almost everyone present.
"It was really a terrible loss…" Tear said. "You and Ion were so cute together. Um… that's not why it's terrible or… anything… um…" she trailed off.
Jade cleared his throat to speak, but was instantly interrupted.
"Look, I'm just fine, okay!" Anise shouted. "Wait… was the colonel about to say something… comforting-ish…?" The group turned to stare at Jade for a moment. The brown haired man began to speak again, only to be once more cut off by a simultaneous group "Nah."
Seeing that the laws of reality remained safely intact, Anise continued, "Everyone can stop worrying about me, and most of all, everyone can stop rubbing my nose in the fact that Ion, my one true love, et cetera et cetera things that should not be said about the leader of a religious order, is dead! Nothing's going to bring him back, and it's really not helping that you all keep talking about—"
"Ion!" the group collectively gasped, except for Jade, who didn't so much gasp as laugh maniacally. As a general rule, I mean. Not in this particular instance. That would have been weird.
"Would you stop that?"
"No, look!" Luke said, pointing. There, standing behind her was Ion himself, looking as healthy as he ever had, which meant that the untrained observer would have recommended him to a hospital in a second. This had actually happened several times on the way to Baticul, which was, itself, the main reason for his late(ish) arrival, and also the main reason that he was supposed to be accompanied by a guard. Anyway, where was I? Oh, right. Ion was standing there, short, girly, and decidedly not dead.
Suffice it to say, Anise was pleased to see him. Also suffice it to say that she expressed said emotion in a way that would make Mieu extremely jealous once he (?) regained consciousness and full use of his ears. Having an voice that was so high-pitched and obnoxious that it could render people unconscious was supposed to be his shtick (Mieu Ear-Splittingly Annoying High-Pitched Shriek™. It's the power granted by the Sorcerer's Ring if it picks up a concentration of seventh fonons).
On the less aural side of things, the word TACKLEGLOMP in all capital letters like that there really does an admirable job of describing the main interspersing bit of action.
"Well isn't that sweet and mildly disturbing," Jade remarked casually as the two collapsed to the ground, Ion not having expected quite such a warm welcome. Assuming he wasn't some sort of devious mastermind who had planned the entire encounter to go exactly as it had, which, being that he could read the future, wasn't entirely impossible. Except that it might cause the universe to implode. Tear, meanwhile, was attempting to cover the fact that she was blushing with a feigned cough that didn't fool anyone for a second.
"As I was trying to tell you before," Jade carried on in his usual, mildly superior tone of voice, "Ion is actually rather less dead than you all assumed back when he disappeared while healing Tear."
"WHY DIDN'T YOU SAY ANYTHING!?" demanded Anise in capital letters. The sound got somewhat muffled against Ion's robe… dress… thing… reducing it to mere lower case letters and garbling it a bit.
"Why didunt roo say anyfing?" the rest of the group heard, but the message more or less got across, largely because the rest of the group had shouted the exact same thing.
"Dramatic effect. Theme. You didn't ask," Jade offered casually, shrugging. "But I believe these gentleman have an explanation." He gestured offhandedly to two Oracle Knights who had been trailing Ion and now stood some distance behind him, looking as decidedly beleaguered as two men in full suits of armor can, and trying to assess if "hugging someone to death" was actually possible and if it were, if they should be concerned for their charge. "So, Guy, you explain."
"I don't have a clue what's going on!" Guy protested.
"And this is Ion's fault? For shame, Guy," Jade admonished.
"Allow me," the first generic knight said in an equally generic voice. "See, Ion was dying and whatnot, so at the last minute we invoked the power of Pikachu and the Japanese and swapped him over and had 4Kids dub him, and bam, he just got sent off to the hospital instead. It was supposed to be for all eternity and you'd never see him again and whatnot, but we busted him out and even got his voice fixed, and now he's pretty much as good as new."
"What took you so long?" Anise yelled at Ion's chest, which may or may not have been the object/person she actually intended the question for.
"Have you ever been in a 4Kids dub job?" The guard questioned by way of reply. "He's lucky he got out of it with his sanity and without cracking terrible puns! Well, we think he's sane, anyway… I mean, granted, it's maybe not the best idea to just take someone's word for it that they're not crazy, but he is a religious leader, so he'd probably know."
Seeming to accept this, Anise buried her head in Ion's chest again, saying something to the effect of "Oh, Ion! I'm so happy that you're okay! I was worried that—" only to stop short as it became apparent that she was literally crushing the air out of the Fon Master's lungs. The end result of all this activity was that Ion's face had settled somewhere between blushing and turning blue, giving his cheeks a violet hue that would have been really quite lovely if it hadn't meant that he was half-suffocating.
Jumping up with a stuttered apology at her lips, Anise helped Ion back to his feet. From there, he gave her a smile and said "Thanks. I'm happy to see you again, too, Anise." Tear was, at this point, attempting to look away without actually taking her eyes off of the scene, and fervently wishing she was randomly carrying a Japanese folding fan. And that it wouldn't look entirely bizarre if she were holding a Japanese folding fan in the middle of a pseudo-European society.
Seeing the reunion well under way, Luke promptly resumed his aforementioned moping. Suffice it to say, Guy was left wondering why exactly he was still depressed, having just learned that Ion wasn't really dead after all.
"Why are you still depressed having just learned that Ion wasn't really dead after all?" Guy asked. "I mean, come on, you said it was the worst of the whole thing that Ion was gone, and now he's not. How could you possibly turn that into a reason to be depressed?"
"But why is Ion the only one who gets to come back from the dead? It's just not fair!" Luke shouted sadly. "It's not like anyone else who's dead is going to miraculously appear, and that's just not right."
"What are you whining about now, Replica?" An unmistakable, angry tone came from somewhere above the two. With a flourish, a man in the dark robes of the Order of Lorelei with a sword as his waist leapt down from the roof of Fabre manor. His dramatic entrance finished, he turned to glare at Luke with strikingly green eyes.
"Asch…" Luke acknowledged his original. "It's just… why is it only Ion gets to violate the laws of reality to come to the Christmas party… everyone should be here!" The fact that Luke himself was effectively cloned from the man standing before him, and had gone on to more or less steal his life now behind them, the two had learned to tolerate each other.
"Because they're dead, you idiotic dreck of a pathetic excuse for a replica who more or less stole my life from me." Okay, so "behind them" and "tolerate" may have been slightly strong words to use… "That's basically what being dead means. The dead don't come to Christmas parties except in really bad horror films."
"Well, you're the original, so I guess you'd know better than I would…" Luke said.
"Shut up, replica," Asch ordered.
Her "Asch senses" (i.e. ability to hear loud, angry shouting) tingling, Natalia spun around and exclaimed "Asch! You made it!" Asch grunted in a decidedly neutral manner by way of reply, which, based on his behavior patterns, the group had long since learned to interpret as a confession of his undying love for Natalia. Paraphrasing, of course.
"Well, seeing as everyone except for their various majesties is here, perhaps we should go finish all of our individual preparations?" Jade suggested.
"What difference does it make when all we are is dust in the wind?" Luke demanded, earning stares that ranged from "Shut the Hell up you idiot dreck!" to "Okay, that was kind of cute, but really weird…" (Three guesses whose those were. First two don't count). "The game of life is hard to play!" he went on, "And I'm gonna lose it anyway! The losing card I'll someday lay, so this is all I have to say: Someday I hope you get the chance to live like you were dying!" he shouted, his words ringing out over Fabre manor.
An awkward silence fell over the group as they all stared at Luke with now far more uniform expressions. A moment more passed in this manner before they turned and began to depart towards the various destinations where they were staying, without a word passing between them.
Luke, now rather more alone than he had been, sighed. "Well, I guess there's nothing to be gained by my moping around, so I may as well not… I mean, it'd be a first, but it's not like anyone else will actually come back to life. They're all gone, and there's nothing I can do about it… So I may as well enjoy myself. Right, Mieu?" Luke asked. "Wait…" Luke spun around several times, his eyes, darting this way and that, confirming his suspicions. "Oh come on!" he shouted at no one in particular. "Mieu too? It wasn't that bad!"
At that very moment, a lone man stood in the dark, seedy section of Baticul. Which totally exists. Only it really didn't look very dark or seedy in the middle of the day. As a matter of fact, it happened to just be a random alleyway in the normal section of Baticul that had been the closest he could come to finding a dark, seedy part of the city. It was close enough, by his judgment. The slight grin on his face was the only indicator of the nefarious plots that constantly ran through his mind (Likely the result of Megalodiaboliphrenia. Unfortunately, the disease would not be officially discovered for some 50 years, and medication would not be developed until years after that), one of which was already underway. As he stood, looking slightly silly grinning for no apparent reason, and, in doing so, frightening the passersby, several sets of footsteps approached from behind him. He didn't bother turning to face the newcomers; he knew them already. He was the one who had summoned them, after all.
"Everything is prepared. By which I mean… we're here, because you didn't ask us to prepare anything."
"Excellent." The man stroked his goatee as he turned to face the five warriors behind him.
"Commandant, what is this all about?" the question came from a young girl with pink hair, looking entirely out of her element, though the same could not be said for the giant ligers waiting by each of her shoulders. Except that they were in an alley in the middle of a city. …It was a pretty wide alley. More of a street, really.
"Yes, I must confess, I'm rather interested as well. You don't contact us for months, and now this all of a sudden, on Christmas Eve, no less," a decidedly girly man's voice came from the decidedly girly man who was practically lounging upon a floating chair that hovered a few inches off of the ground. The lack of masculinity was not helped in the slightest by the ridiculous collar of his shirt, which came up to form a sort of pink flower shape behind his head.
"I'm sure whatever it is, the Commandant has a very good reason for summoning us all here." The woman who spoke had blonde hair, which was done into one of the world's single craziest ponytails (only surpassed by the one belonging to the man of whom she was speaking), and was wearing a personal take on the Order of Lorelei's standard brownish robes.
"Who cares? We've already missed our shot at destroying the Score…" growled a gargantuan man with gray hair and a short beard. Long black robes with red accents covered his body, while a ring of enormous claws surrounded his neck, creating a mane-like appearance.
"I hope it involves destroying the world and everything in it," piped in a teenage boy with dark, greenish hair. His outfit was also a take on the Order of Lorelei's standard, with added bands of green.
"No. Our target this time is entirely different. Arietta, Dist, Legretta, Largo, Sync," he called each by name in the order that they had spoken. "I have called you, the Six God Generals Except for Asch, back together again for one purpose and one purpose only. We may have failed to save the world from the Score, but this time we shall be successful! Our mission is clear: we must put an end to the corporations' tyrannical control of Christmas!" This speech was Van Grants at his most eloquent, falling roughly halfway between his most condescending and preachy and his most "I'm going to kill you now, kthx."
"Every Christmas it's the same," he went on without pause. "The corporations decide what's 'in' and 'out,' shamelessly brainwashing the oblivious masses into buying their latest gizmos and gadgets. Right and wrong don't matter to them, their only concern is convincing people to buy their products through whatever means necessary. And I greatly admire that. But they have no respect for the true meaning of Christmas! They care not for who is naughty and who is nice and charge outrageous sums for their wares, forcing inferior 'made in Kimlasca' goods upon those who cannot afford their top-line outsourced products! Their absolute control of the toy market has rendered them all but invincible—they can do as they please with no one to stop them. They control the fate of Christmas, and they are sending it on a downward spiral that will eventually cause Christmas itself to be destroyed, rendering it nothing more than a mere celebration of capitalist ideals of mass consumption!"
"This is why they must be stopped! But to do this we must first attain greater power. To this end, we will have to seek out the place where Christmas Spirit gathers and, using it as a sort of fuel, we shall rise above the corporations as a sleigh may rise above porches and walls, respectively. Our plan culminates tonight, in this very city, at the annual Christmas party of the Fabre family, where Asch and Luke will both be present, along with the others who have defeated us. In once more confronting those who have bested us in the past, we shall prove that, this time, we are just, and we shall overcome, someday! God Generals Except for Asch, we're going to crash that party!" Van announced triumphantly.
"Brilliant!" applauded Legretta as Arietta's ligers roared in approval.
"Do we have to? Can't we destroy existence instead?" Sync whined.
"Jade will be there? Well, in that case we have to go!" Dist added.
"Alright then, hands in everybody!" Van shouted. "Even you, Sync and Largo. This has to be a team effort. We're going to show the world that they don't need to rely upon the Corporations to have Christmas, that people are capable of deciding their own Christmas-themed destiny! All together now!"
The six of them (plus Arietta's ligers) formed a ring in the middle of the street, hands laid atop one another. Then, all as one, the God-Generals shouted their motto to the heavens: "The God-Generals NEVER die!" They sealed their ritual, swearing to complete their mission or not-die trying, with a collaborative bout of maniacal laughter.
A little boy walking past pointed at the unique spectacle of six people of various sizes and physics-defying hairstyles laughing maniacally, shouting "Look, Mommy! What are those people doing?"
"They're crazy. Just keep walking," his mother muttered, a phrase which rapidly caught on like the latest anime-based trading card game, going on to become a mantra of those in the vicinity for about three or four minutes and then being completely forgotten. Okay, so… when I said "dark, seedy alley" I actually meant "Baticul's main square," which, incidentally, isn't square-shaped. Baticul's engineers, foreseeing an influx of villainous villains had, in fact, designed the entire city without so much as a single dark alley in which to conduct evil plotting. Go figure.
This state of affairs would come to make quite a lot of evil masterminds very upset, to the point where several refused to do business with Kimlasca at all, on the principle of the thing. These dissenters were eventually mollified, as the evildoer shortage became more severe, by the decision to carve a single alley into an existing generic building in Baticul, which henceforth became a major tourist attraction, where, for the right price, out-of-towners could watch Grisgar the Gallish plot the complete and utter downfall of modern society every Tuesday night. Refreshments were served and the alley was later turned into a dinner theater, entitled "The Dark Alley," by a building namer who would go on to be pushed out of "The Window That is Really Quite High Up, I Mean, Just Take a Look out There at All those Little People Waaaaay Down There… Boy, Would it Suck to Fall out of This Thing," shortly after the ribbon cutting ceremony. The world would come to deeply regret the loss of his unique artistic naming abilities for about 7 and a half seconds and then get on with the story. One. Two. Three. Oh, hell with it, this is boring.
"Um… Anise… There's something I've been meaning to ask you…" Ion said slowly, without quite looking his former guardian in the face. They were presently taking a stroll around Baticul before getting ready for the party, since it had been some time since their last visit, and since the last time they had seen each other, for that matter.
"What?" she asked. Admittedly she had numerous questions of her own for the Fon Master, at least several of which should probably never see the light of day, but she was sincerely happy to even be in a situation where he could ask her something. Thus she was too busy being on the lookout for what was inevitably going to go wrong and plunge everything back into chaos and despair (as tended to happen, in her experience) to ask her own questions.
"Well… um… there's no easy way to say this, Anise but… Who is this, and why does he look exactly like me? And why is he wearing my clothes?" Ion pointed to the third member of their group, who had been silently following Anise since long before this very moment. Really.
"Oh, um…" Anise faltered for a second, her gaze wavering back and forth between the two identical people at her sides, unable to stop herself from thinking 'I guess you could say he's really beside himself,' despite her best efforts. "This… this isn't what it looks like…" she started.
"Then what is it?" Ion barked uncharacteristically.
"Well… you remember how you were a replica of the original Ion who apparently hated kittens and ate babies, and there were actually seven of you but they decided to throw the others into a volcano?" she asked. "Only, I guess they missed when they were throwing in Sync. Well… turns out they were really, really bad at dropping people into volcanoes. This is Florian. He's… um… you, pretty much…"
"I… I can't believe this," Ion turned to face away from Anise, head bowed. "I'm in a 4Kids-induced coma for a few months and you just replace me?"
"No, really, it wasn't like that!" Anise flailed her arms wildly as she tried to explain.
"That's how it looks to me!"
"But—!" Anise protested
"That's right!" Florian chimed in angrily. "Anise is with me now, so back off!" he yelled at Ion. There was a sharp, cracking sound, audible throughout the world, that was roughly equivalent to the universe shattering, and then everything resumed as normal. Except bananas were suddenly relatively more orange.
"What? Florian, that's not—" Anise tired to argue with him, only to be interrupted by Ion.
"Anise, you have to decide! Which of us do you want to be with?" he demanded.
"But… but…" for a moment, the dark-haired girl paused. At last, she shook her head, muttering, "No, no, there's no such thing as a canonical threesome… Hm…" her thoughts were interrupted by two thuds, which she noticed, upon turning around, had come from both Ion and Florian fainting simultaneously, bleeding profusely through their respective noses. Though to be perfectly honest, it would have been difficult or impossible to tell if they were bleeding through each other's noses, it just seems highly unlikely, under the circumstances.
Well, so much for that, she thought with a shrug, staring at the unconscious Ion replicas. Tapping a finger to her chin, she called "Oh, Sync…" As she spoke, both Ion and Florian's unconscious bodies began twitching compulsively, as though through some innate rejection of her words. "Yeah, you guys are right," she decided. "He's too emo. Also too dead." And with that, she continued skipping on her way, humming a nostalgic tune and resisting the sudden, inexplicable urge to go look through a photo album.
Duke Fabre had had a busy day. First Osgar the Ostentatious had petitioned the king for more dark alleyways in which to properly conduct acts of villainy via his usual cannon bombardment with slips of paper tied to the projectiles, and then, after they had cleaned that up, there were protestors from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Anyone's Rights and against Discrimination who had threatened to blow up the nearest ghetto if the Kimlascan royal family, as the representatives of the people, didn't cease celebrating Christmas. After P.E.T.A.R.D.'s device for hoisting said explosives was rendered inoperable by the Kimlascan military they still managed to put up a fierce legal battle defending their actions, which was doubly impressive since there was no court system in the first place.
Of course, these were fairly run of the mill minor crises, which happened on a roughly weekly basis, and only partly contributed to the Duke's particularly nasty day. Enduring the attacks of Osgar and de-hoisting P.E.T.A.R.D. were more or less second nature by now, being among the official response to the actions of Baticul's Rogue's Gallery of assorted radicals, which included such notable figures as Sub-Marine Man, who every Wednesday demanded that the city be relocated underwater so he could make use of his ability to say things to fish and have them ignore him. No, the various Eco-Terrorists and Anti-Violence Death Squads didn't bother the Duke so much anymore. The economy, however, was another matter entirely.
Whether it was men who bore some resemblance to Ant-Lions smuggling goods into and out of the city illegally, or the terrible ravages of the fact that the city didn't produce anything at all, Baticul faced a constant stream of economic issues that seemingly could not be resolved. So when the Duke and the King were informed of the tinsel shortage, on Christmas Eve Day, no less, they knew right then that they were in for a long four or five hours of actually doing something.
As one might imagine, after five hours of signing new tinsel regulations into law the Duke's hand was extremely cramped, and then he had to redo half of them when the Advocates of Restoring Greenery and Herbs tossed a firebomb into his office. So it was with weary steps and a heavy hand that he trudged the 50 yards back to his house. He was just about to open the door, when suddenly he saw a blur of motion to his right.
"It's a trap!" a familiar voice shouted, and a figure clad in white tackled the middle-aged man out of the way.
"No, Luke, it's a door." For some reason he was reminded of when Luke had first suffered amnesia. It had really been a very, very good decision to keep him locked in the mansion for a few years following that… "Can you drop your paranoia at least long enough to let me get inside?"
"No, you don't understand!"
"Then can you let me get up?" Duke Fabre groaned inwardly. The fall had done little to improve his mood, or his trick knee, for that matter, a memento of a time when he had not been quite so used to being attacked by A.R.G.H.
"Oh, right. Sorry, father," the red-haired teenager picked himself up, offering the Duke a hand, which he accepted.
"Now what was so important that you had to tackle me to stop me from going inside our own house?" Duke Fabre demanded impatiently. It was really not his day.
"Well, it's all set up for the party a-,"
"The party? Oh, right! Well, that's good isn't it? Let me see-"
"No!" Luke shouted. "You don't understand, Jade was the one who did the decorations…"
"Jade?!" Duke Fabre exclaimed. He felt as though he had been smacked in the face with a damp Planetary Fonic Arte. Which was a very strange feeling. Also a very unpleasant one. "J-J-J-Jade Curtiss? You let JADE CURTIS decorate our house?!" he bellowed.
"I don't know how it happened!" Luke said helplessly. "It's not like we decided to put him in charge of it or anything! It's as if it were beyond my or anyone else's control…"
"Jade Curtiss…" the Duke groaned. He was beginning to feel faint. "I-I need to sit down at the head of an unnecessarily large table…" he murmured to himself.
"But, father, your unnecessarily large table is… inside…"
Duke Fabre merely blinked for a moment, then, his eyes strangely unfocused, he snapped his fingers, and an instant later a servant was at his side.
"Generic servant, I am about to faint. Catch me."
"Of course, sir." And with that, Duke Fabre passed out, leaving his son to face the unknown horrors of the Necromancer's taste in party decorations alone. Which tended to be his normal course of action in regards to unknown horrors, but this particular case was especially unknown and especially horrifying. Well, being that it was, in fact, especially unknown, it may or may not have actually been horrifying, but based on relatively well-founded conjecture it probably was. In that respect it actually was not any more unknown than any other unknown horror, it was just unknown. And probably horrifying.
Luke sighed. It wasn't like he expected anything different, his father did have a thing about abandoning him in the face of unknown horrors. And generally being kind of an ass, for that matter. Oh well. You can't choose your family… or the family of the person you're a clone of, for that matter, he thought.
"Master!" a nearby, high-pitched voice called, and Luke turned only to have a small blue and white creature slam into his face.
"Mieu. Get off of me."
"Mieuuuu…" The cheagle hopped back to the ground.
"Hey, Luke. Am I… early?" Tear asked, looking around to see that no one else had arrived.
"A little…" he answered, glancing up at her. She looked… looked… no different from usual. Not that that meant anything remotely negative.
"Oh. Well… I… got you something," she began fumbling around her nonexistent pockets.
"Ah!" Luke exclaimed. Like everything else, the gift he had gotten for Tear was inside, probably guarded by some sort of space hydra, if Jade's normal behavior was prevailing. Seeing her stare at him questioningly, he went on "I actually got you something, too, but it's…" he pointed towards the door. "So um… maybe we should wait…?"
"Sure…" she replied slowly.
"Awwwwww!" Mieu shouted. "But Master! Tear was just saying that she wanted to-,"
"That-that's enough, Mieu!" Tear interrupted, a red tinge starting to creep into her cheeks.
"But you were just saying you thought that Ma-," whatever he had been about to say was cut off as Tear, her face now a physics-defying shade of crimson, clamped her hand over his mouth. Luke looked back and forth between the two, unable to keep from wondering what exactly she had been saying to Mieu.
"On the count of three: One, two, three," a chorus of 'Awwwww's suddenly came from all directions. Luke and Tear simultaneously tensed, much in the way that a startled cat will. Luke's ponytail even arced a bit.
"Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week. Should you ever need to be embarrassed there will be absolutely no need to call me." Jade strolled casually out into the open, one arm held before him like a Shakespearian actor. "For wherever there is a young couple in an awkward situation, I will be there, and wherever there is a young couple not in an awkward situation, I will be there creating one, and wherever none of those things are present I will be there too, the cynical voice which haunts the corridors, seeking out hilarity and embarrassment wherever they may be found. For, who know what intense awkwardness lies within the hearts of men? The Necromancer knows, of course, and chases it down, thrusting it into the light for your amusement. My good people! Concern yourselves not for me, for my work, nay, my art is its own reward, and art for art's sake is the truest art there is," with an extravagant gesture he swept his hand towards the heavens. "Plus it's extremely entertaining," he added, letting the raised arm fall back to his side.
"Are you… finished?" Luke asked.
And with that, everyone else emerged as well, rather less dramatically. The six members of the main group and Asch were thus reunited, all looking remarkably unchanged for the wear.
"Wait a minute…" Luke said, "None of you changed for the party?"
"Hey! Tokunaga's wearing a bowtie, thank you very much!" Anise turned to show the doll strapped to her back to the others.
"Um… right… should we have?" Guy asked.
"Well, if no one was going to change, what did we spend the past three hours not doing anything for?!" Luke shouted.
"… Things," came the universal response.
"I… see…" Luke said.
"Speaking of which," Guy wondered aloud, "Tear, you're still in your Order of Lorelei robes even though you're about as off-duty as it is possible to be…"
"Yeah, why don't you ever wear anything else?" Luke asked.
"Well, I… um…" she stuttered. "Anise is wearing her Order outfit too!"
"Yeah, but hers is pink," Guy argued.
"What does that have to do with anything? Anise always wears pink!"
"Yours is brown."
"Even Anise shows more skin that you do!" Luke added, causing several of the bystanders to smack their foreheads.
"Hey! It's not my fault Japan's Lolita obsession only extends so far!" Anise pouted.
"It's the middle of winter!" Tear thrust one arm towards the Christmas decorations all around them.
"But it's not cold," Luke pointed out.
"Modest clothes suit me best…" she offered uncertainly.
"The fanart begs to differ."
"But I—! But that doesn't—!"
"Ding ding! We have a winner!" Jade interrupted cheerfully. "Congratulations, Luke, you've beaten Tear in an argument. What are you going to do now?"
"I'm going to… the party…" Luke said. "Where have you been?"
"Well, at least it's no longer a complete shutout…" Guy muttered.
"Psht. Yeah, that's not gonna help any. You totally owe me 200 Gald," Anise said. Turning around, she added, "Oh, hey, it's Ion! …s."
"Hi, Anise!" they called simultaneously, waving as they walked up to join the others.
"Awww," the group 'awww'ed at Jade's direction.
"Aww!" Anise repeated for emphasis. "That was great, can you do it again?"
"Do what aga—" Ion and Florian paused mid-sentence to glare at each other.
"Well, whatever. You guys are done fighting over me, right?"
"Yep!" they said happily.
"We talked about it, and decided it was obvious that you liked me the best," the right Ion said.
"What? We agreed that she liked me!" the one on the left shouted.
"We did no such thing!" the right Ion fired back.
"See? Your memory is faulty, clearly I'm the better choice!"
"No, you're just a liar! Hardly a desirable quality."
"Wait, wait, I'm confused…" Guy said, scratching his chin. "Which one of them is which?"
"What do you mean?" Anise turned her head away from the quarrelling replicas.
"What do I mean? Anise, they're identical! You mean you can tell them apart?" the Hodite exclaimed.
"Sure I can. See, this one's Ion," she pointed at one of the two robed figures, who were busy circling each other because this scene wouldn't have been quite confusing enough otherwise. "And this is Florian," she pointed at the other.
"How… how did you do that?" Luke asked in amazement.
"The heart can always tell the difference," she said, a dreamy look in her eyes. "Also Ion smells like licorice."
"He what?" the group collectively gasped. Except for Jade, who didn't so much gasp as give a thoughtful nod and then laugh maniacally.
"Oh, well, he kept getting lost places, so a while ago I bought this weird licorice perfume I found and sprayed him with it so I could find him, and the smell hasn't come out yet," Anise explained nonchalantly, leaving the group to blink in surprise.
"So… basically you're the only one who can tell them apart?" Guy asked.
"I guess so…"
"It gets worse!" Jade cried, voice full of despair. "How will we take bets on them now? I can't offer proper rates if we can't tell them apart!"
"And you're going to go around… sniffing them for this to work?" Guy went on, ignoring Jade completely.
"Hm… yeah…" she said with a sigh. "That is sort of a concept for a fic unto itself, isn't it? I know!" she snapped her fingers, and, running over to the two arguing boys, thrust them apart, rummaging around her nonexistent pockets for something. "Ahah!" she exclaimed, apparently finding whatever she was looking for, wherever she was looking for it. "There we go." With a flourish, she turned, revealing one of the Ions, who now had a pink ribbon tied into a bow atop his head. "Florian's the one with the ribbon."
The rest of the group maintained their stunned silence.
"You look… cute…" Tear finally said.
"Really?" Florian's eyes sparkled brightly with the aid of an effect known only to anime.
"Uh…huh…" She glanced around at everyone else, who had yet to speak, or move, even.
"See? I look cute!" Florian stuck his tongue out at his counterpart.
"Hey, guys, don't fight. This is a party!" Anise said before Ion could respond.
"Alright, if you don't want me to, I won't, Anise," Ion said with a smile.
"Hey! That's no fair! I want to not fight for Anise, too!" Florian complained.
"Well, maybe you shouldn't have tried to steal her from me with such underhanded tricks," Ion said.
"Steal her? Who said she was even yours in the first place?"
"Everyone!" Ion gestured at the others, then at the author, and then at the audience, for good measure. "Plus I was here first!"
"Well, clearly you didn't do a very good job of it, because she replaced you with me."
"I was dead. I heroically sacrificed myself!"
"You read some writing off of a bunch of rocks," Florian said dryly.
"I saved Tear's life!"
"Yeah, I'll bet that went over really well with Anise."
"Well, you were just a huge letdown to her anyway. You couldn't actually replace me, and everyone knew it from the beginning."
"Well, at least I didn't die on her, sending her into a spiraling depression!"
"Would you like to try?"
"Um… Anise…" Tear whispered. "Maybe you'd better pick one before they hurt each other. I mean, you actually love Ion, right?"
"Well, yeah, but I don't want to hurt Florian's feelings… Besides, do you have any idea what kind of market there is for things with twins? I mean just look at how they did that entrance!" she said, bursting with excitement. "I can see it now!" her hands framed some imaginary title box in the air above her head. ""The Adventures of Florian and Ion!" "Full Tiny Room at the Order of Lorelei Headquarters!" "Passport to Grand Chokmah!" Then they'll make a couple of bad series that only last one season, just to keep everyone guessing as to whether they're still any good, and then they'll explode back into the mainstream as 'The Wonder Replicas,' with their amazing abilities to read the Seventh Fonstone and… um… act in really bad children's plays! It's a flawless marketing strategy!"
"Of course," Guy groaned.
"I don't see what the big deal is," Asch and Luke muttered in perfect harmony, simultaneously folding their respective arms. Realizing what they had just done, they glanced at each other in horror, then at Anise, whose head had perked up at the sound of their voices. They began backing away as Anise steadily advanced, when suddenly a loud shout rang out across the courtyard.
"Everyone, stop!" They did, for reasons entirely likely to become clear in just a moment.
"Jade, give me a beat!" the voice commanded.
"What?" Jade asked in a rare moment of surprise.
"That's an order."
The Necromancer sighed, and, putting a nearly closed fist to his mouth and cupping it with his other hand, proceeded to "give the newcomer a beat."
At that moment, Emperor Peony of Malkuth came walking, or rather, strutting into view, arms spread far out to either side. A backwards baseball cap for the Malkuth Mandragoras adorned his head, and his entire outfit would have shone brightly with 'bling' were it not night.
"Emperor Peony in the hiiiz-ouse!!" one of the guards that followed the eccentric overlord shouted. The look on his face was the vacant, slightly twitchy stare of a man who desperately wanted to throttle himself but was all too aware that his hands would relax as soon as he lost consciousness.
The group settled upon their typical response of stunned silence, accompanied with lots of staring as their eyes dove from the supreme ruler of half the world's numerous gold medallions, to the 17 rings upon his fingers, to the sunglasses which stubbornly sat on his nose in spite of the fact that the sun was nowhere to be found.
"Now," Peony began, looking the gang up and down, "what's all this I hear about people not changing for a party and not showing enough skin?" Seeing that everyone was still too stunned to answer, he continued, "Well, fortunately, I foresaw this sequence of events, and took the liberty of personally designing and commissioning outfits for all of you to wear tonight." He snapped his fingers, and another guard approached, holding up a briefcase, which he allowed to fall open, revealing the aforementioned garments.
To describe the previously named aforementioned garments is, sadly, impossible. Any attempt to do so would instantly make it utterly impossible for anyone under 18 to read this fanfic, and would probably cause the author to pop out of existence, since he himself is under 18. Furthermore, a massive inquiry into the fic itself as well as the possibility of a person reproducing said garments would have to occur, and would likely stop this fic from ever appearing to the public.
So obscene and potentially offensive were the outfits that even an indirect attempt to describe them would run the risk of massive nasal hemorrhaging and could potential lead to explosion of the heart or other important organs, specifically the liver if you are of Roman ancestry. Second-hand, and even third-hand accounts were thus ruled out as potentially dangerous. Therefore, this author was left with no recourse but to not describe the outfits at all, save to offer an explanation as to why they could not be described. However, if he were to describe them, the former college roommate of a friend of the second cousin of the father of someone who saw these garments has been quoted as saying that there may have been black leather involved in some way, shape, or form. This is, of course, wholly unsubstantiated.
The group's reactions to the outfits were rather strikingly negative, with the sole exception of Anise, whose reaction was also considered too obscene for this fanfic. It shall, however, be noted that all Ion replicas present at the time collapsed and were rendered unconscious.
"Is this going to be a regular occurrence?" Anise wondered aloud, tapping a finger to her chin.
"Nah. The author only cops out on the reader once in a while," Luke answered.
"I just don't understand…" Peony muttered. "After all that hard work… for six lightning bolts to suddenly strike and destroy all of the clothes I made for you…"
Jade cleared his throat. "It's a mystery, Your Majesty. Perhaps a sign that you should give up on designing clothing…"
"Pah. If the universe wants me to stop designing outfits for you guys, it'll have to do a lot better than setting one of my minions on fire." Jade winced as Peony spoke, but the emperor seemed not to notice.
"That's not what I'm talking about!" Anise shouted in annoyance. "I mean this thing with Ion fainting! It makes things slightly complicated, you know."
"Uh… right…" Luke stammered. Behind him, a chorus of innocent whistles came together into a symphony of people trying to not get involved in the conversation.
"I mean, how am I supposed to—" she started
"Um… Anise, are you sure that you… really want to be…"
"Well, I guess I could always…"
"Anise—" Luke tried again, unsuccessfully.
"There is all that stuff on the internet, I suppose, but that just—"
"Anise! Jeez!" Luke finally shouted. "Where does this come from? God!"
"What part of 'I was raised in the main headquarters of a religious order' did you miss?" the pink clad girl demanded, hands on her hips.
"Um… Anise… you know… some people would find that statement incredibly offensive…" Luke said slowly.
"Hey, Asch," Guy whispered to the red-haired man, "do you ever feel as though you've been forgotten by the universe?" Asch just glared at him. "Oh… right… Sorry about that."
"Hey, Asch," Natalia called from behind the two, "do you ever feel as though—"
Meanwhile, the rest of the group was slowly making its way towards the door with the same reluctance and even fear often exhibited by congressmen forced to take the stand in a court of law.
"Well, throwing money at it didn't work…" Luke sighed, stepping over the gold coins which were now strewn about the entrance to his house. "I guess there's nothing for it but to actually go inside."
Swallowing nervously, Luke pressed one hand up against the door and gently pushed on it. The door swung open with an ancient creaking sound that it had definitely not made earlier that morning. Light from an unknown source instantly illuminating the entire room, pouring out through the open door and momentarily blinding the group. As their eyes slowly adjusted, the fearful party goers began to make out the fate which was in store for them.
What awaits our heroes within beyond the door to Luke's house? Action? Danger? The battered remains of the Fourth Wall? Horribly long and mostly irrelevant tangents? Gandalf the Grey and Gandalf the White and Monty Python and the Holy Grail's Black Knight? The suspense will FORCE you to read the next installment of "How the God Generals Replicated Christmas!" Please?
Luke: Hey, I'm everyone's favorite main character who the story centers on from Tales of the Abyss, Luke fon Fabre, here to explain why the ending is complete BS.
Anise: And I'm everyone's favorite borderline lolita girl from Tales of the Abyss, Anise Tatlin!
Luke: Wait, what about Arie—hang on, Anise, why are you even here? I'm supposed to be doing an episode preview-type thing!
Anise: Silly Luke, every episode preview-type thing needs a second character who interrupts the first! Disgaea did it, now we have to, too. Just pretend I'm not here.
Luke: Right… well, the author set out to write an Epic Christmas Epic of Epic Epicness.
Anise: Little did he know that his initial estimate of 60 pages total would be slightly off… as in he passed it a little while ago and still isn't that near to the end.
Luke: So under advisement from… everyone ever, he decided not to put it up as one monstrous chapter that would take hours just to read even though it's mostly dialogue. And that's—
Anise: That's why the ending just sort of trails off!
Luke: … You know, I really think I could do this by myself…
Anise: Luke! You're supposed to ignore me! That's it, I'm taking over.
Luke: Wait, you can't just decide to be the primary episode preview person like tha—
Anise: The party finally begins! But will anyone be left alive to enjoy it after Jade's decorations? Probably, since the author has revived every single dead character so far.
Luke: What is Van's—
Anise: master plan for the future of Christmas?
Luke: Anise! That was—
Anise: Next time, "How the God Generals Replicated Christmas," Episode 2: Its name is Gundam!
Luke: No, wait, that's not the right title, it's—
Anise: I mean, um… Beginning of the Party, End of Not Having Begun the Party Yet. Really.
Luke: What ki—
Anise: What kind of Christmas do you believe in?
Luke: Yeah, I can't work like this, I'm going back to my hou… God damn it.
Closing Note: Well, thanks for reading the first installment of How the God Generals Replicated Christmas. This one was good for random tangents and whatnot, but as for general craziness, this is just the tip of the iceberg, so I hope to see you (so to speak) in future installments. Hopefully they'll be relatively quick in coming, but I want to keep some sort of buffer between what I've posted and where I am in writing, so I may decide not to upload for a little while (like a week, I mean, not like months) if I'm still stuck not writing very fast. And with that, on to the various obscure references that appeared in this chapter. Sorry, but they're not completely in order, I assume the interested will be able to figure it out, though.
The Power of Pikachu and the Japanese: This one I actually had to look up, since I knew from the beginning that Ion was alive thanks to a timely 4Kids dub. As it happens, I couldn't find an English TotA voice actor who also worked with 4Kids, but Ion's Japanese seiyuu also plays Pikachu in the Pokemon anime, among other things, so there you go.
The dead don't come to Christmas parties except in really bad horror films: I couldn't resist a stab at Black Christmas. I mean, really, who wants to watch a Christmas-themed horror movie? I know the genre has exhausted a lot of its tricks by now, but as a Christmas-enthused Jew I can't help but feel that this slightly cheapens what's left of Christmas Spirit™.
Luke's weird quoting (Starting from "All we are is dust in the wind"): Yeah… so those were song quotes from "Dust in the Wind," the second verse of "Suicide is Painless," and "Live Like you were Dying," respectively, because I loved how they sort of meshed together in a nonsensical but amusing way. Also the fact that the first two are like… ANGST and the last one isn't. I also sort of have something against "Live Like you were Dying" because the radio station we always had on back in 8th grade when everyone took Art automatically played it like, every single day, it seemed. Though the constant playing of "We Didn't Start the Fire" so we could write new lyrics to it in 7th grade music was worse by far… Anyway…
Anise Humming and wanting to look through a photo album: This is a play off of the quintessential soap opera, "All my Children." Which I know nothing else about, just that the opening theme was always set to pictures from a photo album, which changed over the various seasons. Obviously this is a reference to the fact that the prior scene with the FlorianxAnisexIon love triangle was a soap opera parody, if you missed that somehow (the coma and evil twin thing should have tipped you off).
"It's a trap!": Yeah… this is from the crazy guy in Star Wars, and for some reason is like, a giant meme. If you didn't know this… I have no idea where you've been living for… like, years.
Jade being in charge of decorations and no one knowing why: Yeah, because I loved the skits you get if you have characters fight in their swimsuits (and a few other outfits) where they more or less break the fourth wall, what with you, the player, being able to dictate their outfits at any given point. So this is an homage to that, in case you also somehow missed that.
Duke Fabre's reaction to unknown horrors: Seriously. What. An. Ass. I know this was canonically explained by him not wanting to get attached to a son who was meant to die, but I really think he's just like that.
"I guess you could say he's really beside himself": This is an altered-person take on a line form Weird Al's "I think I'm a clone now." Puns for the win.
The Necromancer Knows: A reference to "The Shadow" something else I know nothing about except for the one bit I referenced. The (rather well-known) original line is: "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!"
Anise's Marketing Plan for the Ions: The fake show titles are references to various things done by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, specifically "The Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley," "Full House," "Passport to Paris," and then also the Wonder Twins, who I don't think ever had their own show, but whatever.
Ion smelling like Licorice: This is a joke off of the fact that Anise is the name of the plant which is used to make licorice. In case you're interested, imagine a slightly weak licorice taste and apply it to celery, and you've more or less got what the stalks taste like, didn't actually eat part of the bulb raw when we bought one (yes, I'm that much of a nerd that I bought a food product based on a game character. It was part of the gag graduation gift I gave to the friend who helped me brainstorm this fic, along with some mint and sage). So anyway… yeah, you can read into that what you will.
Explosion of the Liver if you are of Roman Ancestry: This is based on the idea that the Romans believed that the liver was the source of sexual desire, etc. as shown in the story of Tityus, who was punished for his attempt to rape Leto by having vultures devour his liver. Or at least, that's my present understanding of it, I could be mistaken.
Megalodiaboliphrenia: I know I joke about this, but it's really no laughing matter. Megalodiaboliphrenia affects over 500 video game villains each year, causing them to attempt to destroy and/or take over an assortment of worlds. Scientists as of yet are unsure if they are born with it or can contract it through some sort of traumatic experience that makes them decide that the world is better off under their rule or somesuch. If you know someone with Megalodiaboliphrenia, please call the official Megalodiaboliphrenia hotline at 1-800-OHMYGODHE'SGOTADOOMSDAYWEAPON. They'll send a team of ragtag heroes to kill the afflicted as well as all assorted henchmen, mini-bosses, and second, third, even fourth forms. Together, we can make a difference.
And, as a special bonus for anyone interested enough or bored enough to read all of that, we here at… me… are proud to present, the list of rejected titles for this fic! Yay!
Crack for Christmas: This one was the working title before we came up with one I really liked (that Julia didn't threaten to kill me if I used, see below), ie How the God Generals Replicated Christmas (the full file is still named this, actually). This was in addition to the words "This Space for Rent by a Real Title. Non-Puns need not apply."
Baby, It's Auldrant Outside: Technically it was Auldrant inside, too, so, you know.
I'll be Fon for the Holidays: This was the one Julia threatened to kill me over. I kind of liked it, but you know ((shrugs)).
The Twelve Days of Fonmas: Yeah… didn't really consider this one…
A Christmas Grand Fonic Hymn: Once again, thought about it, decided it was kind of… meh.
Others that I may or may not be coming up with on the spot to make this segment more entertaining include:
Eight Crazy Replicas
Christmas with the Replicas
I'm Dreaming of a Replicated Christmas (Alternatively "I'm Dreaming of an Auldrantinese Christmas")
Miracle in that place in the middle of Baticul where there's really nothing interesting
Deck the Halls With Deadly Traps
Replicas in Eldrantland
More to come later? I have absolutely no idea. Anyway, I plan on updating again before too long, what with actually having the ability to do so, so until then, Merry August to all, and to all a good "Oh crap I have to go back to school soon."