Gerry Anderson Universe Suitable for all readers


A Christmas Bedtime Story


A Christmas Fireball XL5 Story

by Larry Fugate


“Now, Jonathan, you must go to bed!” Venus said as sweetly as she could as her babysitting charge, Jonathan Zero, dashed about the bedroom in his pajamas holding a model Fireball spaceship above his head and making loud “whoosh”-ing noises. “But Doctor Venus, I’m not sleepy! Can’t I stay up for a while and watch TV or play with my spaceships?”


“I’m sorry,” Venus began, “but your parents wanted you to be asleep before they returned from that Christmas party, and you know that Santa Claus is watching!” Jonathan stopped whooshing and running around suddenly. “Santa’s watching? Oh, okay, Doctor Venus. I’ll go to bed. But would you tell me another story about Fireball XL5? Pleeese? One with Santa in it!!” “Oh, very well, Jonathan, but only if you get in bed right now!”. The boy ran and dived into the bed, pulled the covers up and eagerly awaited his story.


Settling into the chair beside the bed, Venus began. “A while back, while we were patrolling Sector 25 of the Space Sky, Professor Mattic spotted what he thought was a spaceship in trouble. It seemed dead in space, but as we got closer, we could see that it wasn’t a ship at all! Steve called us into Fireball Junior to see it.”


“What to our wondering eyes should appear, but a miniature sleigh-like spaceship, and eight tiny reindeer-shaped devices connected to the front of it! The pilot was sitting in an open cockpit. He noticed us and smiled and waved. Steve put Fireball into freefloat nearby and left Robert with instructions to maintain position. Then, he and I put on thruster packs and took our oxygen pills before ejecting into space. I brought my medical kit and extra oxygen pills, while Steve brought a rope in case we needed to bring the pilot back to Fireball with us. I nearly fainted when I noticed that the reindeer-like things were alive and watching us drift over to them! How could this happen?”


“We finally came close enough to speak with the pilot. As we came around the back of the craft, we could see that he was a small humanoid male, with white hair and beard. His uniform was red, and was trimmed in white fur! He must have been using oxygen pills, because he wore no helmet or other breathing apparatus. Upon seeing us, he gave us a wink, then a broad smile. He was a delightful man, so jolly and nice. He told us his name was Chris, and that he and his “team” (I guess he was referring to the reindeer-like beings tied to the front of his ship) had become marooned there in space when their power had given out. He asked if we could transport them to the nearest planet so that they could refuel.”


“Of course, Steve agreed to help him, and we tied the free end of the rope Steve had brought with him to the front of the strange spaceship. Steve and I then returned to Fireball where we anchored ourselves to the ship and pulled the little man’s ship over to Fireball Junior’s upper jetmobile hatch. Steve ordered Robert to open the hatch, and we helped Chris and his “team” into it, then entered ourselves. Steve closed the hatch and repressurised the bay.”


“Steve went forward and informed Matt and Space City that we had rescued Chris and were taking him to the nearest planet. While he did that, I took Chris to Fireball’s Sickbay and made sure he was all right. He was more concerned for his “team”, though. He even had names for them! Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen are what he called them. He asked if we could give them some water, so I took some buckets that the Space City engineers kept on board for cleaning the ship, washed them out, and filled each with water. Matt came by and after introductions, helped us carry the buckets back to the jetmobile bay. The reindeer-beings seemed delighted to see Chris again, and drank all of the water we offered them. By this time, we were nearing the planet and Steve called to us on the intercom to stand by for landing.”


Once we had landed on a large, grassy plain, Steve opened the jetmobile bay doors and then came back into the bay. “Hello, Chris,” he said, “This will be a fine place to let you out, just as you asked. Now how are we going to get your spacecraft out of Fireball?” Chris gave him a broad, beaming smile, one that made you feel warm and good all over. “No problem, Steve. My team and I can get out of here with no problem. They’ll be all fueled up and ready to continue our journey before you can say, “Merry Christmas”! Steve looked confused. “Christmas?” he said, “Christmas isn’t for a couple of months yet...say, now that you say that, you sure look awful familiar somehow...I can’t put my finger on it, but I know you...”. Chris smiled again, and said, “Of course you know ‘ve known me all your life. So have Venus and Matt. But I have to get going now. I’ve literally billions of places to go and very little time to get there!” With that, he turned and gave a whistle to his team. They lifted up into the air! He jumped into his spacecraft and waved as they literally galloped out of the bay and into the sky. Steve and I stood there, amazed. “Of course!” Steve suddenly said, “I should have known all along! I’m such a tootie!” “What? Who was he?” I asked. “Why, Venus, don’t you know Chris Kringle? AKA Santa Claus, Sinter Claus, Father Christmas, and other names?” I was suddenly embarrassed. Of course I knew him! Now I felt tootie!” We stood there for a few moments more, then Steve closed the bay doors and we prepared to lift off. We didn’t tell Commander Zero who it was we helped that day. We didn’t want him to think we had gone space crazy!”


“Months later, at the Space City Christmas party, Lt. Ninety was passing out gifts from under the tree that Commander Zero had shipped in from Canada. He handed Steve, Matt, and myself each a small, beautifully wrapped box, complete with ribbons and bows. Steve opened his and found a beautiful snow globe with a scene showing Fireball and Chris’ spacecraft in space. I opened mine and Matt opened his to find the same gift. I guess Chris had left them for us as thanks for helping him. So, Jonathan Zero, you can be certain that Santa Claus, or as we knew him, Chris Kringle, is real, and is watching all little boys and girls all over the universe to see if they have been bad or good. So now be good and go to sleep!” Wide-eyed, Jonathan quickly turned over, closed his eyes, and went to sleep. Venus smiled, rose, and switched off the light as she left the room. Just then, Commander Zero and wife returned from their party.


“Did Jonathan behave for you, Venus?” he asked. “Of course, Commander, he’s such a good boy. All I needed to do was tell him a bedtime story....”




This story previously appeared on the UNITY CITY website, hosted by Robin and Pauline Day, webmasters of the Space City website













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