The Briefing

The Briefing

Santa stares silently at the holographic recording of Slay Bells, slaughtering his way through Santa’s compound, heading towards the hanger housing the “Silent Night” project.

“This wasn’t just a robbery,” murmurs Santa, “this was a message.”

“What is that?” asks Snazzyflakes.

Santa sighs, “That… is Slay Bells, a former associate of mine.”

The rest of the elves sit back in shock.

“But… he’s double my height,” says Sugarfoot, “He doesn’t exactly have what you would call an elfish figure.”

“And his skin… it’s so pale. And green hair?” says Snazzyflakes.

“You remember, Candymittens,” says Santa.

“Aye sir, but he died years ago,” says Candymitten, his face taut with concern.

“So we thought,” says Santa thoughtfully, standing to shake off his stupor. “Slay Bells is a top tier assassin and merc. And he’s my former apprentice.”

Santa’s stare lingers off, “He was the result of a wild weekend one of my elves took. A human, elf hybrid. Being born here at the North Pole, I tried to keep an eye on him. He was gangly, awkward, and quiet. He showed no interest in toy-making, but I observed him playing in the city, running through the alleys, walking across the roofs of the candy cottages, climbing the battlements of the complex walls. I saw something in him. I had him join me on some of my excursions, teaching him the basics of being a gun for hire. I even sent him to the Emperor’s palace, to train with his ninjas and samurai. He became an expert at close quarters combat and psychological warfare, choosing for himself a scimitar and a pair of heavy handbells which he uses as warhammers. The jingling of his bells wrought fear in the hearts of those for whom they tolled. Outside of his jacket he wears armlets made of barbed wire, functioning as an intimidating accessory and also offensive and defensive implements. He became a true weapon.”

“But then?” asks Snazzyflakes, anticipating the inevitable transition.

“Well, he wanted to be ‘Santa Claus,’” said Santa, getting a far away look in his eyes. “We were on a mission, clearing out some insurgents in the hill country…”


The flashbang explodes, throwing shimmering glitter and emitting a bright shining light. Santa Claus enters the mouth of the cave, candy cane gun blazing. Slay Bells charges from behind him, closing the distance between him and the insurgents. Santa’s suppressing fire makes short work of the slower reacting enemies, while Slay closes in on the more dug-in fighters, tenderizing them with each strike.


In the twinkle of an eye the two Christmas mercs stood over the bodies of the fallen.

“Red-nose one, the presents have been opened, stand by for evac instructions,” says Santa, a jolly timber in his voice, “Good job, Slay. One cell down, a few dozen to go.”

Slay Bells is silent however, staring at Santa, measuring him in his mind. He pushes a button on his wrist watch and suddenly Santa hears nothing but static. Slay raises a hand to his ear, “Red-nose one, be advised, we’ve encountered more hostiles. We’ll need a MOAM strike at the cave mouth, T-30.”

“Understood, MOAM in bound,” replies Rudolph

“What are you doing, are you insane?” asks Santa and Slay Bells reaches for his bells.

“No,” says Santa, finally understanding what Slay has planned.

Santa draws his candy cane gun but Slay hits it with his bell, wrenching the gun from Santa’s grip. Santa evades an upward swing, reaching for his hard-candy revolver. He draws the gun and fires off a couple of shots making Slay roll out of the way to avoid being hit. The hard candies ricochet around the cavern walls, causing both Santa and Slay to take cover.

Santa realizes the MOAM must be inbound and the explosion will blast molten mallow back through the cave system.

Santa turns and runs towards the cave exit. He’s almost out the cave when he feels a bell hammer his back. 


Slay Bells stands over Santa Claus, “Sorry Santa, there’s not going to be a Christmas for you this year.”

“I don’t think so,” spits Santa. He throws a star-shaped Christmas cookie, baked many Christmas’ ago (and even then, the cookie was hard as a rock). The cookie sinks into Slay Bells leg, severing several tendons.

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