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The Whole Family

Chapter 1

Winter has come to Paradigm City; snow has fallen to earth and is covering most of the roads, restricting a lot of work. Roger however, is enjoying the time the weather has given him, since little work means little cases for him. He lies on the couch in the lounge, the windows to the balcony closed and the curtains drawn as he begins to snooze. He has managed to slip into the habit of taking naps in the middle of the day since winter started, much to everyone else's chagrin. R. Dorothy and Norman find it bothersome because it disrupts their usual work, and prevents R. Dorothy from playing the piano during the afternoon, simply because it is rude to use such methods during the day (though strangely not the mornings, as so often demonstrated by her). Scott and Jack tend toward going out on long walks, one gathering information about City life, the other strategising ways to defeat the defences should the need arise.
Unfortunately for Roger though, Tim has no such misgivings about waking someone up this late in the day, and he is soon erupting with a variety of bodily noises, ranging from cracks, to blasts, to electrical discharges, all in an effort to wake him up.
"Tim, why can't you let a dying man rest in peace?" he asks sarcastically.
"Because you're not a dying man, but if you persist with this routine, I might just grant you your wish," Tim replies with a monotone, while organising his various Role Playing Game charts on the coffee table.
"You may be more of a god than a man, but either way it's still impolite."
"I'm not a god, for the fifteenth time, I'm an Overlord, and until you can conjure up a large number of lived years to add to your repertoire, which I myself have already, you will not critique my manners kiddo." Roger decides to quit while he's behind, and gets up off the sofa to build a few more of his hourglasses.

A few hours later, R. Dorothy returns from the grocery store with the usual load that would be much too heavy for any other girl her size and catches Tim reading one of his books, one entitled "Deities and Demigods." Ironically he is so immersed in his reading that he is startled when she asks him about it. "What does that book contain, Tim?"
"Not much, its just an RPG guide for gods and religions, y'know Hanukkah, Mass, Christmas, the usual stuff I guess." Intrigued, Dorothy presses further.
"What is Christmas? I've never heard of it before."
"You don't know what Christmas is? You've gotta be kidding me here!"
"I am not kidding Tim, I honestly have never heard of 'Christmas' before."
"Hmm, guess that was lost in The Event, among so many other things. Basically it was the single greatest annual event ever to trace its origins to a religious faith. It involved cutting down a certain deciduous tree, termed a Christmas tree, and bringing it back to your home where you decorate it with many different ornaments to make it look beautiful. It also involved giving your friends and family members gifts on the 25th of December, also known as 'Christmas Day.' There was also a legend about an old man named 'Santa Claus,' but that's another story."
"You seem to know a lot about it. I thought you hated religion because it directed humanity's attention from the true creators of the earth?"
"True, but when you spend over a hundred years on a religious planet doing recon, you tend to pick up more than your fair share of info."
"So, are you inviting your family to Christmas Day?" R. Dorothy is encroaching on a section of Tim's history he'd rather not delve into, but he answers none the less.
"I don't think so, I'd rather not see them on such an occasion."
'"Why not? They are your family, you already have two of them here at the mansion, and it seems only logical that you invite them."
"Believe me, you would not desire to know our families, besides the fact that mine are total wackos, Jack's have a private cult of oriental assassins, and Scott's are mostly devoted researchers that wouldn't leave their studies if you shoved a bazooka up their.. never mind, the point is I don't think you'll get any of them here in time for Christmas, not even you could do that Dorothy."
"Why not?" Tim has struck a nerve of his own, if only accidentally.
"Well, no offence, but the only way I could see you finding them all is if you yourself were somehow related to Santa Claus."
"I shall prove to you that I can get all of them in time for Christmas, by doing so in the next two weeks."
"Two weeks? I bet you a night on the town that you'll never do it."
"And if you win, I play your RPG campaigns for a month?"
"Sounds fine by me, you've got a deal!" The two colourful characters shake hands, despite Tim unconsciously rolling dice to determine the ability scores of R. Dorothy's RPG character...


Scott has returned from his walk into town, and is sitting on the balcony wall surveying the ant-like people continuing with their meagre lives. He mindlessly watches a young woman walking into an Oil Shop, and jots down his views in his notebook as usual. "How was your walk, Scott?"
"Fine, Dorothy, I made a couple of significant observations, a lot of them humorous."
"Scott, I was wondering, do you know..." She is cut short by Scott's unnerving ability to predict the near future, which can get rather annoying.
"...where our families reside and if it's nearby in the City?"
"Of course, Lady Tsunami lives..." The next few minutes see Scott rattling out a substantial list of names and addresses to Dorothy, who just stands on the balcony and records the information in her memory effortlessly.

NO SIDE - 07:00:00

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