This Christmas (for Mall Rat Matt)

Ram smiled to himself as he watched the screens in The Techno HQ, everything had been going swimmingly, the power had been returned, water systems, The City was eating out of the palm of his hand. They deserved a treat, Ram wheeled himself over to a computer terminal and clacked away at the keys. Smiling to himself as he puts his plan in motion.

The black van was sent out into the city slowly creeping down every street a message playing over the loud speaker. “Special announcement from Ram tonight at the hotel…” the message repeated and echoed bouncing off the buildings everyone would hear it and everyone would be there.

As night fell Ram could hear the crowd outside as he waited to make his grand entrance. Most of The Technos had been sent out for crowd control, “Santa’s little helpers.” He had joked, but not even Siva or Java knew what he meant by that.

The crowd was getting antsy no one seemed to know what was going on and Amber thought the whole city was lead into a giant trap. Nearly all the Technos were standing by the only one missing was Ram. She didn’t like this, but she kept a brave face.

Finally the moment of truth, he couldn’t believe he had rigged his chair on such quick notice. He adjusted the hat and picked up the reins, steering himself out to the crowd. “Ho Ho Ho!” Ram exclaims joyfully as he is pulled along by 8 animatronic reindeer not able to contain himself also letting out a laugh.

“Is he dressed up as Santa Clause?” One of the kids in the crowd whispers, sure enough Ram traded in his black Techno suit of a red Santa one. There was just a slight crack in Amber’s brave face. Was this a sick joke.

“Santa Ram has a present for all The Tribes, some have been naughty and some have been nice.” He pulls out a large sack from the sleigh. “Come leaders see what Santa has in store.”

One by one each leader goes up to Ram and receives a expertly wrapped gift. Amber shivers, it could be anything food, toys, or even a bomb. “Don’t open it until you are back to your sectors.” Ram was smart he knew the chances of every member of every tribe coming was slim. Sure enough Amber had left Lex in charge while she went with Salene and Pride. “One present left for The Mall Rats.” Ram calls out. There was no escaping now. Amber slowly makes her way through the crowd. “Let bygones be bygones?” He asks with a smile. Amber has nothing to say to him, taking the box he has held out for her.

Walking back to the mall the box is heavy in her hands, no idea what it contains. Salene and Pride in front of her taking guesses. All she had to do was leave it somewhere. But what if it was food or something not sinister. What if it lead her back to Bray?

The Grille goes up and the mall rats who were left behind swarm in wondering what could be in the box. Lex without wasting any time grabs the box. “If we’re all gonna die why wait?” He does have a point as he pulls the golden bow and the box falls open.

Lex looks to Amber there’s a note which he passes to Amber, seeing the lump of black coal resting under it. “What’s it say?” He asks picking up the coal.

Amber grabs the note, “The city is mine.”