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Christmas Newsletter 2069 - by Clya Brown

22nd December 2069


Dear friends,

Rhapsody here – it’s Christmas again, and time for our annual update!

The year began with Paul and Adam’s two-week work experience course at Base Concord, which they’d been looking forward to for absolutely ages.  The boys had thought they’d just be making the tea while they were working there, but the technicians at the base launched a real missile to make the work experience as realistic as possible, which was really nice of them.  They even gave the boys a little puzzle to solve, which was to find the right code word to blow it up before it came down on top of them.  Paul and Adam were a bit naughty really, typing in all the rude four-letter words they could think of before the rocket exploded, but they were told afterwards that it wasn’t any of them, and we think the base personnel blew up the rocket a few seconds before it struck just to teach them not to be childish.  The pair of them subsequently spent quite a bit of time in Cloudbase’s advanced education wing learning just how many four-letter words there are in the Oxford English Dictionary – which was rather more than they first thought!

Symphony has decided to take a course of advanced driving lessons after discovering that her moped licence doesn’t cover atomic-powered military pursuit vehicles equipped with reverse-monitor navigation technology and twelve-wheel traction drives (yet another of those little things they hide away in the small print).  She got a bit out of her depth earlier in the year when she tried one out for the first time and discovered a little bit late that the switch that controls the indicators was on the other side of the handlebars to the one on the 50cc Vespa that she’s used to.  The police were very understanding about it, but they did impress on her that it’s a big step moving up from two wheels to twelve, and that a three-day course at the local council’s road safety centre would boost her confidence no end.

We changed our minds about having Paul's allowance paid directly into his account at the Second National Bank in New York after we got a letter from them in August saying that they were going to start charging a 15 cent fee for all withdrawals under $10.  When we queried it at the counter the following Saturday we got some ridiculous sob-story about them having to generate another 80 million dollars to pay for a new strong room.  I ask you - is that really the best they can come up with?  It goes without saying that Paul closed the account down at once (they even charged him for doing that) and moved his savings across the street to the Prudential, where you get a free pen and notepad after six months if you manage to keep the account in the black.  Whether he’ll actually manage to do that we’re not too sure, as he’s spending quite a lot of time in the local casino at the moment.  He says he only goes there to play on the Space Invaders machines, but we’re still a little bit worried in case he gets bitten by the gambling bug, so Adam’s been told to go and keep an eye on him.

Destiny was invited by her pen-friends Helga and Gabrielle to spend a couple of weeks down at the home of their new boss, Monsieur Verdain, in Monte Carlo during the summer.  Monsieur Verdain is a fashion designer, and Symphony made such a fuss about being left out that Destiny agreed to take her along too, giving them both first-hand experience of the fashion industry – something that they would be well advised to learn something about, given the clothes they chose to wear on their outward trip!  Destiny says that Gabrielle was a bit of a so-and-so while they were out there, spilling petrol in the engine room of Monsieur Verdain’s yacht so it would blow up, which wasn’t a nice thing to do at all.  M. Verdain was very good about it though, and gave the girls a nice frock each when it was time to come home.

We had a bit of a disaster earlier this month with a rather expensive piece of luminous jewellery that Paul and Adam brought back from the Moon to brighten up Colonel White’s comms panel for Christmas.  Unfortunately it exploded soon after we plugged it in (the transformer was probably set to the wrong voltage – you know what these foreign imports are like), and the insurance company has just rejected our claim for its replacement on the grounds that the small print of their ‘new for old’ policy stipulates that all substitute merchandise has to be currently commercially available – and they claim they can’t find one anywhere!  This is of course ridiculous, as Paul saw another one just like it in a shack in Greenland just a couple of weeks ago, so obviously they just haven’t looked.  Colonel White has written them a stinking letter about it, and says he will cancel our policy if we don’t get a suitable replacement by the time the January sales end.  In the meantime we’ve put back the old lava lamp which actually looks almost as festive.

We hope this letter finds you well and we wish you a very Happy Christmas and successful 2070.


Beta-reading by Hazel Köhler.

Graphics provided by Chris Bishop.











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