Christmas Day

A Star Blazers short by “Yuki”

With much appreciation to Fred Kopetz , he encouraged me to go for it. His vision with detailing and added script has made this so much more fun than expected.  You and Gail ROCK! Thanks for everything and I am so blessed to have a partner in writing.


I. Christmas…

December 25, 2211

The Wildstar Residence…

“Daddy, Daddy, Santa came, he really came!” Little Alex Wildstar jumped on top of his father as he shook his mother awake. “Mom, mom get up Santa was here, I saw him he was here!” he screamed at the top of his lungs. “Mom, wake up!”

“Alex, leave your mother alone” Derek said while grabbing his son and starting to tickle him.

“But Santa was here and brought me my toys,” Alex said, grinning from ear to ear.

“Okay, go brush your teeth and mommy and I will meet you in the living room,” Derek told him

“Okay Dad,” he said as he jumped off the bed and ran to the bathroom to brush his teeth.

Derek watched him leave and then turned to his wife. He began to kiss the back of her neck and then held her stomach that grew bigger each day, clad in the pink pajamas she had worn to bed. He felt her stir as he continued to kiss her neck. She turned slowly to her husband and smiled, “Derek, I swear he gets up earlier and earlier every Christmas.”

“I know, but can you blame him?” Derek smiled at her.

“I suppose not,” Nova said as she tried to sit up. “I feel like a whale with this stomach!”

“Need some help?” Derek laughed at her

“Please…” Nova smiled as she put out her hands for him to help her.

“Come on, Prego” He helped her up out of bed then wrapped her in his arms. “Good morning Mrs. Wildstar. I hope Santa was good to you last night…”

“Hmm, as a matter of fact he was great,” Nova replied, giving him a peck on the cheek.

“Oh really, Santa better watch out next year, I don’t like the fact of him taking advantage of my pregnant wife.”

“I love you Derek, very much,” she said looking deep into his eyes. “We’d better get ready…Alex will be back in a minute”

“I tell you, for a four year old he is a handful,” Derek said laughing as he heard his son singing ‘Santa came down the chimney’.

“I’m gonna hit the shower, I need to wake up,” Nova said as she took off her PJ’s. “I think Yvey and Denise are coming early to help with dinner.”

“And your mother?” Derek looked at her with concern. After their last run in he didn’t want her near the house or his son.

“Not to worry, my father is taking her to the islands for Christmas,” she smiled over her shoulder “I don’t think he wants a repeat of the last time.”

“Him and me both,” Derek said under his breath

“Derek she is my mother, I’m sorry I couldn’t pick who I was born to,” Nova said giggling as she stepped into the shower.

Derek walked in behind her and began to take off his nightclothes.

“What are you doing?” Nova said.

“Well I kinda feel dirty after taking advantage of a pregnant woman under the tree last night,” Derek put his arm around her growing waist and waltz her into the shower.

“Derek you are just too much,” she said wrapping her arms around his neck and pulling him closer to her.

“Mmm, you’re so beautiful” he said as he looked at her now-bare stomach and ran his hands over it.

“DADDY, what are you doing to mommy?” Alex yelled out.

“Damnit!” Derek jumped not realizing that he was there. “Alex, how many times have mommy and daddy told you…never to come in their bathroom?”

“I’m sorry but I want to open my presents,” Alex pouted.

“Oh alright, give mom a minute to wake up, and then we can go open your presents,” Derek said.

“Well if she wasn’t wrestling with Santa last night she would be up,” He said as he crossed his arms.

“What did you say young man?” Derek looked at him stunned while Nova covered herself and blushed from head to toe.

“Oh nothing,” he said looking down. “Mom, can you just hurry?”

“I’ll be right out, I promise,” Nova said trying not to laugh.

Alex stomped his foot and walk out of their bathroom with a huff.

“Did you hear what your son said?” Derek looked at his wife while she started to shower. “He…uh…he’s…”

“Derek, he is very observant, we just have to be more careful,” Nova said as she showered. “After all, he is your son and very curious about things.”

“Yeah I know, let’s hurry up before he comes back in here and asks us still more questions!”

Derek jumped in with her and they both washed quickly. Derek help Nova dress in a pink maternity dress with matching strappy sandals and matching purse for the party later on, and they both made their way to the living room after Derek put on his white Star Force uniform and blue peacoat. Alex sat on the couch in his play clothes staring at his presents with a pout on his face until he saw his mother. Then, he jumped up and down until his father picked him up and put him up on his shoulders.

Yeahhh! Can I open them now, please?” he pleaded.

“Yes, baby go ahead,” Nova said as Derek helped her sit down.

“Mommy, when is Mark coming?” Alex said as he opened a small present that sat on top of all the others.

“In about two more months, sweetheart; he has to grow a little bigger inside Mommy’s tummy before he can come out,” Nova said. “So what did Santa bring you?”

“This looks funny? Why would Santa give me this ugly thing?” Alex held a ring up.

“Uh, Alex I think that’s for your mother…” Derek grabbed the ring from him and tried to crack a smile.

“Oh, but mommy wanted toys like me!” Alex said.

“Yeah, this is a toy for mommy,” Derek said looking into his wife’s eyes.

“Oh Derek, it’s beautiful!” Nova looked at him and then down as he placed the ring on her finger. “But how did you know that’s the one I wanted?”

“I have a friend at the jewelers, do you like it?”

She looked at the ring on her finger, a complete four-carat diamond with Alex’s and Mark’s purple Amytheyst birthstones (since they were expecting he would come In February 2212, which would turn out to be right) on each side. “Oh Derek I just love it,” Nova cried as she threw her arms around him and gave him a big kiss.

“Nova, will you be so kind and marry me again?” Derek sat on one leg and look up at her.

“Are you serious?” Nova looked at him confused. “We are married, right? Unless you did something at the lawyer’s office you didn’t tell me about?”

“Yeah I am, marry me again! But this time, I’d like something small just you and me, Alex here and a couple of friends. Nothing like before.”

“Yes Derek I’d be more than happy to marry you again, oh Derek I love you so much!” She threw her arms around him.

“Now, that you two are done being mushy, can we open my presents?” Alex stood in front of them and stomped his foot at them as he crossed his arms.

“Alright guy, let’s see here I do think this one here is for you” Derek handed him a present as big as he was. Alex’s eyes widened at the size of the box and he began to tear through the paper.  His eyes widened more at what was in the box, he began to jump up and down squealing with delight.

“It Daddy’s Super Star, it’s daddy’s Super Star, Mommy, Santa brought me Daddy’s Super Star!” he screamed as he tried to open the box.

Derek and Nova laughed at their son’s excitement, it was a small riding replica of Derek’s Super Star plane so he could ride around outside of the house. They watched as Alex opened his gifts, again like the Christmas past, he got another little Star Force uniform with coat and cover. He grabbed the last box and shook it ready to open it, when Nova saw it. “Alex that’s not yours, that one there is for your father!”

“Oh,” he handed it over to his father “Here, daddy, Santa left this one for you…

Derek looked at the box and then at his wife, slowly he unwrapped it and opened the box. Derek stared at it and then looked up at his wife “how did you get this?”

“It wasn’t easy, but I thought you’d like it,” Nova smiled at him.

He pulled out the portrait and held it up “Who is that, daddy?” Alex said.

“That is your late Uncle Alexander” Derek stared at it with a tear in his eye.

“He has my name and that looks like you,” Alex pointed at Derek’s face that was next to him. “And who are these two people in the corner?”

“That is your grandfather, my father, Michael and this lovely lady here is your grandmother, my mother, Mia.” Derek explained to his son. “They are gone, too. They died during the first war with Desslok.”

“She’s pretty,” said Alex as he looked at Derek’s mother. “She looks sort of like Mommy, but with dark hair.”

“Yes she was; she was as beautiful as your mother,” Derek said trying to hold back his tears. He put the portrait down and pulled Nova up. “I don’t how you did it but thank you,” he said while giving her a long hard kiss.

“I found that picture in a drawer and made a copy. Then, I took it to an artist who made it for me,” Nova said, telling of the day she was going thru one of her cleaning phases and stumbled on the picture that Derek had hidden deep in his drawer. “I’m glad that you like it”

“Thank you, Nova I don’t know what more to say” He stared at it longer.

“I thought we can hang it here over the mantel, we can move our picture in the den,” she said happy that he like it.

“No baby, we can put it in the den, I spend more time in there anyway.”

“I don’t mind Derek, I think he did an excellent job and it will look great there”

“Thank you babe, you’re the best,” Derek said as he kissed his dear wife again.

“Well, I think we need to pick up this mess and get ready for everyone.”

“Yeah! Is Uncle Stephen and Titi Yvey coming with little Derek?”

“Yes they are,” Nova smiled at her son. “Also Uncle Tony and Aunt Denise”

“Yeah!, Is Derek coming with Titi Yvey, too?”

“Of course honey, he is their son,” Nova said.

“Okay Alex… let’s help mommy pick up this mess; then you can play with your toys.”


Later That Day…….


Derek opened the door to see Sandor and Yvey standing there with their son, Derek. Sandor had on a dark grey pair of pants and a black blazer with a red tie and white shirt, while Yvey wore a green dress with the gladiator sandals she seemed to favor. Little Derek wore a suit with short pants and knee socks over his shoes; he sort of matched little Alex, who wore a striped shirt, shorts, and little boy’s dress shoes.

“Hey guys, come on. Derek …..” Derek was ready to say, but his namesake ran into the house to find his friend Alex.

“Sorry about that Derek, he’s been aching to see Alex all day” Sandor laughed.

“Fast little thing isn’t he?” Derek smiled “Hello Yvey, Nova is in the kitchen. Do you need help with anything?”

“Hi Papi, thanks. Stephen has the arroz con pollo and if you want the pasteles are in the car and the penill.” Yvey said as she walked into the house with some more food in her hand.

She made her way into the kitchen where she saw Nova sitting on a chair taking a breather.

“Nova, que tu hace? Yvey snapped at her.

“Just sitting here, I needed to rest. Alex can be such a handful at times”

“Tell me about it when he and Derek are together it’s like a hurricane hit the area. I just don’t know where they get their energy, I wish I can just bottle it up!”

“I know, and being pregnant doesn’t help,” Nova laughed at the thought.

“How do you feel Nova? It  looks like you’ve got bigger.”

“I feel bigger,” she began to say when Derek and Sandor walked in with Denise holding more food. Denise wore a brown suede skirt, black boots, and a white sweater; she looked very cute beside Pesci, who wore dark blue pants, boots, and a sweater vest with a white turtleneck under it.

“Where do you want all this?” Denise asked

Nova and Yvey began to make room for the food while Sandor and Derek put down everything. Once they put the food down Derek and Sandor walked back into the living room where Pesci sat with Delvechio.

“Nova, my mother sends her apologies for not being able to help, they all had their plans to go back to New York. She wasn’t even sure if I was going to be here for Christmas and was ready to take Derek with them”

“Oh that’s alright, to tell you the truth I was hoping that I’d be about to go with them to New York I would have love to hit the shops there. But Derek came home and Doctor Sane didn’t think it was a good idea.”

“Me too,” Denise said. “Is your mother going to come, Nova?”

“No thank God!” Nova rolled her eyes. “I don’t know, but it seems like she is losing her grip on reality. When she snapped at Alex the way she did I thought Derek was going to kill her. So my father thought it best to just avoid the holidays altogether.”

“I’m sure that Derek is relieved about that,” Yvey said

“Yeah, I’m not sure that she is welcome here for a while, it’s going to take time for Derek to calm down about that behavior of hers.”

“Anyway,” Denise interrupted. “Everything smells so good, what do we need to get started on?”

“Let’s get started with the Penill that has to get in the oven to be ready for dinner.”

“Yvey how did you get all this done?” Nova asked.

“Oh, you see, Stephen helped me with most of it.”

Nova and Denise looked at each other and both said “REALLY?”

“Yup my man has to learn how to cook Puerto Rican food. A lot of men want their women to cook like their mothers, so why not they cook the food we like?”

“Yvey, but he hasn’t burned the house down, right?” Nova said.


“Wow you’re good! I can’t leave Derek in the kitchen with boiling water let alone a full course dinner,” Nova laughed “Do you know how many times the fire department has come here? It’s been so many times that we know their wives and kids names and we go to all their family functions when we are in town.”

Denise and Yvey laughed so loud that the men heard them in the other room.

“What do you think they’re laughing at?” Pesci asked.

“Us,” Derek said.

“Do you think that we’re in trouble?” Sandor asked.

“No, but our beautiful women in there are making fun of us at our expense.”

“Do you think we should look in on them?” Sandor asked.

“No, but if you want to go ahead and see what happens, if they go silent when you walk in there, it is certain that they are making fun of us,” Derek told him.

Sandor got up and headed into the kitchen, he walked in and smiled at them. “Hi ladies; is everything all right in here? do you need anything?”

They all stood there silent, Yvey smiled at her husband and said, “No papi, we’re all good in here.”

Sandor looked at each of their faces and realized that Wildstar was right and grinned, “Well, while I’m here I might as well get some beer for us,” He went over to the fridge and got four beers and then left the kitchen. As soon as he left the room he heard a roar of laughter coming from behind him.

Derek, Pesci and Delvechio started to laugh too even harder than the women, “I told you,” Derek said between laughs. “They were talking about us, and laughing at us. I heard Nova mention ‘fire department’…and she was probably going into all of the stories of what happened when I tried to cook dinner for her. The last time, I started a fire in the broiler that we had to use kitty litter to put out!”

“I should have put money on this one,” Pesci said laughing

Sandor turned around and walked back into the kitchen, as soon as he walked in the room again went silent. “Mmm…ladies?” he walked over to the cabinet and pretended to look for something. “Ah, Nova, where’s the bottle opener?”

Nova got up trying to hold a straight face and open a drawer, pulling out the bottle opener and handing it to Sandor. He took it and left the room again, once in the other room he could hear them laughing harder than before, “Yup, You’re right, they’re laughing at us,” he said. “Theory proved.”

This made Derek and the others laugh even harder than the women.

Sandor sat down and composed himself when he looked up at the mantel, “Wildstar, Is that new?”

Derek looked up with a heavy heart at the new present that Nova had given, knowing he would always treasure it. “Nova had it done for me,” he said. “My parents and my brother…”

Pesci looked at it and asked “I can see you, but who are the others, Derek?”

“That’s Alex in the middle,” Sandor pointed to him.

“And that’s my mother and father,” Derek said with glazed eyes. “My mother was the dark-haired woman who sort of looks like Nova; my father is the fellow with the heavy moustache.”

“That’s pretty cool, it’s a really nice present,” Delvechio said.

“Yeah it is, Nova’s the best with presents,” Derek said as he looked away and composed himself.

“I heard a lot of good things about your brother Alex, Derek,” said Delvechio. “He was a great leader.”

“Yeah he was; he was the best of all officers,” Derek said proudly. “He was a leader up until his last breath, when he died to save Commanding Admiral Singleton when the Black Nebulans invaded Earth almost ten years ago, now. It’s hard to believe it was that long since I last saw Alex alive,” said Derek in a low, sad voice as he thought of Alex, Sasha, and the sad day when he had tried to save Nova but she had fallen from his hand at the terminal. He had never thought he would see her alive again, but now, they were married, with one beautiful child and another on the way. 

“What time are the others coming?” Sandor asked changing the subject knowing that it was a sore spot for Derek.

“Well, Homer and Wendy are going to be having dinner with Admiral Singleton, and Eager went to Russia with Roxanna to see her family. Dash is coming later with some new girl he met at some social function that he went to back in his home,” Wildstar said.

“I wonder if he is ever gonna settle down?” Pesci said.

Dash? Ha! I don’t think so…after his last marriage, he told me he is never getting married again,” Derek said.

“What happened with him?” Pesci asked.

“It’s best not to bring it up around him,” Derek said. “He can get really nasty about it and start to drink again. Let’s just say that finding four in a room and he wasn’t one of them is something you don’t want to come home to at the end of a 6 month tour.”

“Ohhh, yeah…that would be something that would keep me away from ever getting married again,” Pesci said.

Yvey walked in with some chips and snacks a moment later. “So, what where you four laughing at?” Delvechio asked.

“Laughing at, what do you mean?” she asked smiling.

Derek looked at him and shook his head, “Uh, never mind.”

Yvey smiled at her husband and walked back into the kitchen where the others continued to cook and talk about their kids and their lives.

Nova laughed at the two women as they talked about little Derek and the way he could get himself into trouble. “Oh, stop it! He is not a bad kid!” Yvey said

“No? What about the time he had my dog Egon running for the hills when he came over. Egon is a German Shepherd, trained to kill,” Denise said as Nova laughed at the day he and Alex tied the dog to the tree standing up as they played Cowboys and Indians.  They pretended to burn the dog for being the bad man. “And who knows how far they would have taken it if we didn’t walk in on them when we found Egon whimpering?

“Well at least they’re not as bad as Devina’s and Desslok’s kids when they were younger,” Yvey said remembering the two Gamilon Princes and the little Princess.

“True, they were little devils when they got together. But look at them now, Damir is such a gentleman and Dillon is a charmer like his father.” Denise said.

“And Aurora is as beautiful as her mother. She looks like Starsha… so much like her that it’s uncanny,” Nova said.

“So Denise, when are you and Pesci gonna start a family? I mean, you both made Captain, and you are some of the top pilots in all of the EDF. Don’t you think it’s time to start one?” Yvey pressured her.

Denise stood there with a slight grin and then said “Well, I wasn’t going to say anything until we were all sitting down for dinner, but I’m pregnant now!”

Nova and Yvey screamed and jumped up to give her a hug. Derek and the others came running in when they heard the scream.

“Is everything all right?” Sandor asked.

Pesci saw the three women hugging and knew then what was going on “Uh guys, it’s nothing. Just that we found out yesterday that we are having a baby.”

Derek and Sandor looked at him and then began to pat him on the back “Congratulations, it’s about time!”

“I didn’t even know you two were trying. I was getting the sense that you didn’t like kids,” Nova told Denise.

“I like kids, I just don’t like rotten kids; I like good kids,” She laughed at them. “We’ve been trying for awhile. We just didn’t want to say anything until it happened”

“We are so happy for you two,” Nova said.

“Thanks,” Denise said as Pesci walked over and gave her a hug.

“Looks like Mark is going to have a friend about his age,” Derek said.

“How far along are you, Denise?” Nova asked.

“Three months along, as of now,” said Denise.

“That’s great you don’t even look it,” Yvey said.

“So I guess I won’t be up there with you for a while, Yvey, huh?”

“I guess, I’ll miss you by my wing chica, but this is just great for you two. If there anything you need, just let me know,” Yvey said.

“That goes for me too,” Nova told her.

The day continued with laughter and stories, when little Derek and Alex came running into the kitchen and, they hid behind Denise.

“Okay you two, what did you do?” Denise looked at them with suspicion.

“Nothing, Auntie Denise,” Alex said in his best voice, not quite able to hold back a devilish little grin.

“Hmm, I don’t know…” Denise started to say when they heard big Derek yelling out their names…and cursing a little!


Nova looked in Alex’s direction, “Alexander, what did you do now?”

“Nothing, Mother,” Alex began to say with an innocent grin on his face.

“Uh oh, Alexander Wildstar, you had better fess up now before your father gets in here!” Nova snapped. “I know you did something when you call me mother like that,” Nova said with a stern voice as she waved her finger at him.

“Mom…It wasn’t my idea!” Alex said. “I was only an…accomplishment! Or is that…accomplice!”

Yvey turned to her son and said, “Derek Stephen Sandor, que usted hizo and  how did you get him involved and you better start talking right now, do you hear me?”

Just then Derek walked in drenched with water; water dripping off his uniform, and water dripping off his longish hair, “Come here you two, I’m gonna …..”

“Derek what happened, why are you wet?” Nova looked at him trying not to laugh.

“They rigged a bucket of water over the bathroom door and well , I…I got drenched, damnit! Come here, Alex, you little …..” At that, Derek started to chase his son around his mother, waving a wooden spoon that he had picked up.

“Derek stop it, they are only kids!” Nova tried to get between the two of them; namely, her son and her husband.

“I’m gonna kill him, and the little monster put ice in it. Come here, why you little sh…….

“DEREK!” Nova yelled. “Enough! You’re acting as bad as he is! Do I have to spank both of you? Now go change…I’ll deal with him.”

Derek took a deep breath and mumbled something under his breath as he walked out of the kitchen. Nova, Denise and Yvey could hear the others laughing in the other room.

Nova turned to Alex and folded her arms, “Alexander start talking, or else I’m gonna feed you to your father.”

“Don’t I get a lawyer?” he said.

“No,” Nova snapped.

“I’m sorry, Derek thought it would be a great idea to put it there. He said it will take off all of the space dust that Dad comes home with.”

Yvey then turned to her son “Derek, start talking or you don’t have to worry about me feeding you to your father! I’ll eat you myself!”

“Well, um, Alex was saying that when Uncle Derek comes home Auntie Nova says he is always glowing when he see him, so I figured that we’d try to wash it off so no one would get any space sicknesses!”

Nova and Yvey looked at each other and started to laugh. “Okay you two, we’ll deal with your fathers. Stay out of trouble, do you hear me?” Nova said trying not to laugh

“Yes, Ma’am,” they both said, now totally obedient.

“Very well, both of you go to Alex’s room and stay there,” Nova said. “Play quietly until we call you for supper, UNDERSTOOD?”

“Yes, ma’am,” they both replied, bowing together in unison. Denise thought they looked so cute at that moment.

“March, gentlemen!” Nova pointed out the door.

They watched as Derek and Alex walked out the door and then let out a loud laugh. They all made their way to the living room to find that Sandor, Pesci and Delvechio were laughing harder than they were.

“You should have seen his face; Wildstar was fit to be tied!” Pesci said to them as they enter the living room.

Nova tried to stop laughing and said “Uhh…I’d better go check on him, make sure that he doesn’t try to kill them, please excuse me,” she told them as she made her way into their room where she saw Derek changing into dry clothes.

“Are you calm, Derek?” She said still smiling.

“Nova, I swear when those two little creeps get together, they’re nothing but trouble. Do you know I almost peed on myself? It was freezing cold water, damn kids!”

Nova walked over to him and put her arms around him “Babe, you have to admit it was kind of ingenious for them to do that. Two 4-year olds rigging a bucket to the door you have to laugh at it. If it were me, like that one time when I was pregnant early on with Alex,  you’d be on the floor rolling with laughter; remember?” she said as she kissed him

“I guess you’re right, but why is it that when they do something I’m the one at the short end of their little stunts? It is not fair! Remember last time they climbed the tree and decided to play Spider Man and they set up the whole yard to be a spider web and I’m the one that got caught in that? It took us twenty minutes to get me out of it, I spilled my hot coffee all over me. I didn’t know what the hell to do, do you remember?” Derek said as he pulled on a fresh sweater.

“Yes, dear I remember, but they’re kids and they’re going to get into things, and remember we are going to have another one soon,” Nova said.

“Nova, can’t we just trade them in for good kids, or get a refund on the one we got already?” Derek tried to laugh as he began to calm down while pulling on fresh jeans.

“Oh, I don’t think that will happen. There’s no way Alex can go back now,” Nova smiled at her husband. “I love you, Derek,” she said. And then she kissed him

“I love you too babe, give me a few more minutes and I can love the little monster too,” he said thinking at what happened and realized it was funny after all.

“Good, now get your fresh shoes and socks on…we have company, and then finish getting dressed! Everyone is waiting to eat, dinner is almost ready,” Nova started to walk away and he grabbed her arm.

“Why don’t we let them wait a little longer?” Derek said giving her a mischievous grin. “And…why don’t I get you out of that dress for a bit?”

“Are you serious?” Nova laughed as he nodded his head yes. “Derek, we have guests! They might hear us!”

“And they will understand,” he held her arm a little tighter

“I don’t think so, now get dressed, Derek!” Nova took his hand off of her. “And maybe later on, Mrs. Claus will be nice to you all alone after Alex is in bed. Okay?”

Derek smiled at what she said “Nova, you promise?”

“I promise” she said as her finger ran down his nose. She left him getting dressed and walked back out to their guests.


Dash was the last to come, he was just in time for dinner with his date Karen. With his arrival, they all took their seats. Derek and Nova sat next to each other, Derek at the head of the table, Yvey and Sandor sat on the other end, with Sandor on the other end. Dash and Karen sat on the left and Denise and Pesci with Delvechio sat on the right. The kids sat at a little table that Nova sat up for them next to the big table.

Derek stood up and looked at his new family and said, “Thank you everyone, for making this another great memory. Although not everyone from the Star Force is here they are in our thoughts. Those that are still with us but now with their own families visiting elsewhere, and those that are no longer with us, we will all miss them all. Also, Captain Avatar who guided us in our first mission, to those that now are our friends. To our growing families there were times, when I thought I’d never see the day. And to my beautiful wife that I love so much, and has given me a great kid that I am very proud of, even though there are times I just want to kill him. To Yvey and Denise for marrying two good friends of ours and next year we will be graced with two more future Star Force recruits. Thank you all for being here with us.”

“Hear, hear,” was said all around the table and, at that,  they all began to eat.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!