"Darn it Camill what is your problem today!" Lieutenant Colonel Ilexa Thorn said coming around the counter to observe the mess Camill made with the chemicals. "Look at this now I will have to stay up all night and redo the experiment!"
"I am sorry ma'am it was an accident." Camill said looking down
"Right! Get me the that droid of yours."
"But you said I could go home at 1500 is it after all Christmas Eve."
"Did I? I don't think I did. Well it does not matter you will have to stay and clean this up and help me with the project. No better yet be here at 0600 tomorrow that way we have the whole day to finish."
"But it is Christmas and I promised Phil I would be home from Christmas." Camill said a small tear running down her check.
"Well sometimes we all have to make sacrifices for our career. So plan on..."
The door to the lab opened. Red Shurtz and Corry Vrecken came through the door smiling. "Hello Thorn, Camill Merry Christmas!"
"Hello Corry, Red it is wonderful to see you." Camill smiled and hugged both of them.
Thorn rolled her eyes, and when Corry and Red came over to hug Thorn she pushed them aside. "Thanks anyway but I don't do hugs!" She walked back over to her microscope.
"I see, well what we came for is to invite you to a Christmas Party tomorrow. What do you say?" Red asked her checks rosy from the cold.
"Yes it should be fun. We have a ton of friends from around the base coming to enjoy each other's company and then maybe even carol some."
"Ha! I am way to busy. This experiment is very important. To important to bother with wasting the time eating and sings songs." Thorn waved her hand,"Please if that is all you two needed I am very busy."
Corry and Red glanced at each other than said their goodbyes.
Outside the Lab
Red put on her heavy over coat. "Sheesh I never get enough of the warmth from Thorn's heart during the Christmas.
"Yes well she is not always the jolliest person. But we tried." Corry and Red walked out the side door out into the snow.
Inside the Lab
"May I please leave?" Camill asked her hands clasped together
"Yeah get on out. But make sure you're here in the morning and I don't want to hear a word about it!"
"Yes ma'am!" Camill wrapped up in her coat and gloves walked to the door. "Merry Christmas Thorn!"
Thorn stood alone next to her microscope looking down into the narrow scope. She viewed the chemical reaction. Ah cripes it will take at least a couple of hours to redo the who experiment I really need to fire that Kenob,i her accidents are becoming very annoying and disrupting my work! She slammed her hand on the counter got up and put on her coat and gloves. Locking the lab door behind her she stepped out into the hallway and noticed the lights that were hung. What a waste of work time. She walked out of the side door, the cold hit her making her shiver.
Thorn got to her compartments and went inside, she got out of her work clothes and into her bedclothes. She dimmed the light and jumped into her soft cushiony bed. She closed her eyes willing the comfort of her bed to lull her to sleep.
Thorn opened her eyes and looked from side to side.
Clank, Creek, Clank, Creek!
Thorn sat up straight and pulled her blanket up to her chin. "Who's there? However you are you better get out I know many types of martial arts. I am deadly!" Thorn called out into the dark room.
Creek, Clank, Creek, Clank, Creek, Clank! "Thorn!" A voice out of the darkness howled.
"Ah! Who is there?" Thorn cried shaking.
The voice got louder and louder until it came into view. "Don't you recognize your old friend Thorn?"
The unknown voice turned out to be a ghostly form of Viper. Thorn shook her head to make sure she was not dreaming. "Viper is that you?"
"Yes it is me, Thorn you are in terrible danger."
"Viper what are you doing wearing chains and looking so bloody white?"
"I am dead Thorn! I died and that is why I am here to see you. To warn you of what can happen to you if you do not change your ways."
Thorn laughed, "Viper you are not dead what kind of joke is this? I just talked to you this afternoon about my latest experiment with various acids. I bet Red or Corry put you up to this. They are mad because I won't come and celebrate a silly holiday with them. Instead I do the sensible thing and work."
Viper cocked his eyebrow, "I am not the Viper you know I am a spirit that took his form so that his may be easier for you."
"What easier for me. Viper you look great. I wonder what kind of makeup you have on it looks to be some kind of form shaping film." Thorn got up and stood in front of Viper and admired his chains and his haunted look. "I think you have got the holidays messed up. It is Christmas not Halloween."
"Ok! Ok I will deliver my message then get out since you're a critic. Three ghosts will visit you, the ghost of Christmas past, present, and future. These ghosts will help you to realize your ways. I must go know but please don't make the same mistake I made."
"Wait, tonight? I can't do it I have a early morning. Lots of work to do!" Thorn said smiling
"Too bad they will be here anyway." The Viper ghost turned and began to stumble away.
"Wait you never told me how you got in my room!"
"I will tell you this Ilexa Thorn. I to was a work alcoholic as you are. I was mean and cruel and hated anyone who did not work as I did and look at me now. I wear these chains to teach me humility and to show me the error of my ways." Thorn looked around amused. "If you do not mend your ways you to will look as I do. Beware and look for the ghosts at 2400, 0100, 0300." The ghost backed up slowly and disappeared.
Thorn blinked and shook her head. "What a bad dream." Thorn climbed back into bed.
Dong, Dong, Dong!
Thorn woke up at the sound of a bell. "What the frell I don't even have a clock!"
Thorn sat up and looked around the room then down at her watch. "2400 hundred, well what a funny thing. That dream said something about 2400 hundred. Oh well."
A swirl of wind swept up the blanket covering Thorn. "What the!" She sat up and looked around.
A white swirl of snowflakes turned into a couple. "Well dear we are here!" Ben said wiping off the snowflakes
"Yes I see that and oh look she sees up how marvelous. I am so excited about this whole adventure." Juno said smiling brightly
"Excuse me. What do you think you two are doing in my room?" Thorn jumped out of the bed and walked across the room to face the couple. "Juno, Ben I am really tired of all this!"
"Juno! Oh she must mean the form I took to allow her to cope with the trip." Ben said holding Juno.
"Ah dear I think she meant me. I happen to be the female!" Juno said smiling. "Well anyways Thorn just call us the couple of Christmas past. We are here to show you past Christmases"
"The couple of Christmas past. I thought it was the ghost. This is absurd." Thorn crossed the room to her refresher.
"They never learn." Ben said and with a wave of his hand. Thorn was swept of her feet and in a swirl of snowflakes landed on the floor.
She opened her eyes and looked up into the sky. She got up and looked around, "Where am I?"
"You are at your first job, a research facility in the Great Basin region of the western United States." Juno replied pulling her wool coat closer to her.
"I am where? This cant be, she looked up to the building next to her and peered in through the window. "But somehow it is, this is were I used to work as an early researcher to a famous scientist, Donald Sakaguchi. He was one of the scientists that were working on stem cells. He was such a great employer he allowed me the room to break out and do my own research."
"So he treated you well!" Ben asked
"Yes he was wonderful." Thorn said as she watched the window. Dr. Sakaguchi came out to Thorn where she was working.
"Thorn my dear why are you still working there is a party in the main room and I request that you be there."
"But Doctor, my research-"
"Can wait until the morning. There are many people out there enjoying themselves, you could to you know."
"Yes your right." The younger Thorn stood arm in arm with the Doctor and they walked into the other room.
Thorn, Ben, and Juno walked to the other window. "They look to be having so much fun. And lookie there who is that man near you."
"Oh that was a fellow that had a huge crush on me. He was always trying to distract me from my work." Thorn watched as her younger self and the man danced. She sighed and smiled.
"It looks like he did!" Juno said smiling
"Come on Ilexa why don't you run away with me just for a week. We could go skiing in the alps." A man with sandy hair said.
"Oh I cant I am way to busy with my studies and my work." The younger Thorn said avoiding his gaze.
"Ah come on Thorn you know how I feel about you. Please say that you feel something of the same for me!" He said pulling the young Thorn into a hug.
"Oh I do have some feelings for you, but as I said I am not interested in anything but work right now. Thanks anyway."
Thorn looked at her younger self; avoiding the attentions of the tall man. "He was so bothersome."
"Oh really? You did not like that young handsome man at all?" Juno said gazing into the window.
"Handsome? What do you mean handsome?" Ben asked pulling Juno away from the window.
"Well he was handsome… I just needed to work. Look he did not wait long anyway. There he is talking to that other girl."
Juno and Ben looked in the window to find the man speaking to another girl but kept glancing at Thorn. "Yes I see that, but he always loved you."
"How can you say that, look at him." Thorn complained
"Well let us see another Christmas." Ben waved his hands and a swirl of snowflakes plopped them down into another street.
Thorn looked around, "This is were I did my training for the Air Force. Here is my room!" She opened the door to the dorm room and stepped inside along with Juno and Ben. "I spent many a hard night studying for tests."
Thorn turned as a knock on the door was heard. She turned and watched the young Thorn get up and go to the door and open it. "Oh it is you." The young
Thorn said backing up from the door to let the same sandy-haired man enter.
"Yes it is me Thorn. I know that I have tried for years to get you to marry me but I will ask you one more time before I leave for good. Will you marry me?"
"You know I cant I am to busy with my studies." The young Thorn said sitting back at her desk.
"Well Thorn I am sorry but I am tired of waiting. So I am marrying Sandra."
"Sandra! You will never be happy with her. She does not come close to having an intelligent thought let alone an entire idea. You will be bored within the week."
"Your right Thorn she is not you. She does not have your intelligence or your beauty but she does have one thing she has her love for me. She has been the glue that has held me together while I waited for you to wake up and smell the coffee. And in that time she has come to care for me and me for her. Yes I will never love her the way I love you but maybe that kind of love is not meant to come true. Well anyways I am leaving and will never see you again. I hope your happy Thorn and may your studies haunt you for the rest of your life." The man left the room closing the door loudly behind him.
Thorn watched herself as she sat back at her desk and continued to study. "Well it did not matter to me much I was not that interested in the guy."
Juno and Ben looked at each other, "Well if that is the case then why are you crying?"
"Well I... I always regretted losing his friendship. He was such a good friend." Thorn said wiping away her tears.
"Yes well it is time to go. Come on dear." Juno said to Ben.
"Yes your right. Come Thorn it is time to go." Ben said as he waved his hand
Thorn opened her eyes and looked around her room. She sat up and pinched herself. I must have been dreaming. She looked at her watch and the time read 0045 hours. She shrugged and lay back down against her mattress.
Dong, Dong, Dong!!!
Thorn opened her eyes and pulled her arm from under the covers and looked at the time. Her watch read the time 0100. Rubbing her eyes she looked up at the ceiling noting the cracking in the paint. A faint glow appeared across the room. Thorn sat up on her elbows and looked towards the glow.
Across the room two people stood dusting off the gold dust that cluttered their clothing. One of them looked up, "Oh honey look she is awake!" Nick said pointing to the staring Thorn.
Cat looked up and smiled, "Well hello let me introduce us. We are the ghosts of Christmas Present."
Thorn cocked an eyebrow, "Well you must be my second visitors. Nice to meet you as well, shall we get on with this already. I do have many things to take care of in the morning."
"Well if you insist! Ready dear?" Cat smiled at her husband
"Yes dear I am!" Nick smiled and waved his arm. Thorn was covered by a gold glow that seemed to transport her.
"Well here we are. Really we must find some other way of traveling I really can take no more of this gold dust on my clothes. It does not match my red trim." Cat said as she wiped off her shoulders.
Thorn rolled her eyes, "Ok so where am I?"
"Don't you recognize the place?" Nick asked, but when Thorn shook her head, "Well this happens to be the compartment of Red Shurtz your friend.
"Why are we here?" Thorn asked as Nick opened the door and let Thorn through."
"Well we are watching how others spend their Christmas Eve." Cat said holding Nick's arm. Thorn turned and watched her two friends.
"Can you believe Thorn today!" Red said taking a sip of her tea
"Well yes I can Thorn always seems to be working, especially during Christmas. She is a Scrooge if I ever saw one." Corry said putting the popcorn on the thread.
"Well she has a lot going on her mind. She can't be happy all the time."
"Your right but this is Christmas, as long as I have known her she has never ever been nice around the holidays." Corry said smiling
"Well of all the inconsiderate little twits!" Thorn complained as she went right up to Corry and starred at her face.
"They can not hear you Thorn." Nick said smiling.
"Anyway the party should be good tomorrow. I hope that Thorn will attend." Red said as she put the stockings up.
"You have got to be joking? Thorn come to our party? Did you spike the eggnog, you're acting a little tipsy." Corry laughed
"Oh hush as long as she is here and I am here I will ask her to join our Christmas. In fact I would like to toast to Thorn."
"Oh please I got to hear this!" Corry moaned
"Hush!" Red raised her glass with Corry, "To Thorn may your heart be bright and your Christmas be Merry." The glasses clanked and the two drank.
"Alright I want to go home!" Thorn said walking out of the compartment.
"One more stop." Nick said, "Then we will take you home." Nick waved his hand then the three appeared in a different place.
Phil Fett's Compartment
"Ok where are we now?" Thorn asked
"Go inside and find out." Cat said pointing to the door.
Thorn nodded her head and went inside the door she saw Camill Fett setting the table for dinner. "Why are we here?"
"It is time you see how others spend there Christmas Eve. This female works for you does she not?" Nick asked.
"Yes she does she is one of my assistants. Ah look they are being to have dinner should we not leave them in peace?" Thorn suggested
"Not yet watch!" Cat said pushing Thorn towards the couple.
"Camill honey is it done yet? I am starving." Phil said coming from the bedroom his hair wet.
"Oh I am so sorry Phil but I did not get home until late so dinner will be done in a few minutes." Camill said placing the last plate on the table.
"You mean that mean boss of yours made you stay late. I swear Camill I hardly see you as it is. You promised we would spend Christmas Eve together." Phil sat down on the table an angry look across his face.
"Yes I know but she is a very busy women and needs all the help she can get. It was my fault about the experiment if I had not let my mind wander then I would not be working tomorrow." Camill said stirring the potatoes
"What? What did you say? Did I hear you right you have to work on Christmas day." Phil stood up and crossed the room to stand in front of Camill. He turned her to face him, "Well answer me are you working tomorrow?"
Camill wept and nodded her head, "But not because I want to. Thorn needs the experiment complete, it is important to our research."
Phil shook his head and walked away. He leaned over the table. "Camill don't you see there is always going to be some experiment some research that she needs done. She is a greedy woman she cares not about others but only of herself. If she had one once of a heart she would not even suggest you spend your day in a lab with her." Phil turned and walked over to Camill and grabbed her in his arms, "My sweet you must put your foot down and show her that you can not always be there to fulfill her every whim."
"Phil you do not understand that is my job. If I don't do it someone else will then were will I be back on the streets struggling for food like I was on Andora. Each day a new struggle, at least with my work I can ensure that I... that we have a place to live." Camill cried pulling her apron up to her face to whip the tears.
"Yes well it seems that she has more of your heart than I do. I will ask you one last time Camill to stand up to her. To make her she reason, I will no longer have the heart to see you trampled by that beast."
"Phil, please do not do this. I have to work. I have to survive, you work and you do not see me complaining about how you go away for long periods of time on missions."
"There is a difference Camill I have always been here when you needed me. How many times can you say that? Not to darn many and you are always making excuses for Thorn. She knows you have a life she wants to take it from you." Phil walked to the door, "Camill I love you always will but I can not watch you lose what spirit you have in you. I will not sit another night waiting for your boss to let you come home. Goodbye!" Phil slammed the door behind him. Camill shrieked and fell to her knees, the tears cascading down her cheeks wetting her blouse.
Cat whipped a tear of her soft cheek, "So you see what your constant working has caused others. Your own assistant is losing the man she loves. Because she does not want to lose her job."
"Oh fiddle sticks she can always get another job if she does not like the hours." Thorn complained
"Oh yes another job let me see maybe as a street woman. You know of which I speak!" Nick asked his sneer spreading across his face.
"No not that, but something!" Thorn griped
"Dear I think it is our time to go." Cat waved her hand
Thorn opened her eyes and again she lay in her bed. "I am really getting sick of this." She looked at her clock and the time read 0300. She looked all around her. "No ghost here. Well maybe I can finally get some sleep." Thorn lay back down and slowly closed her eyes.
"Hey who is going to wake her up?" Mike asked scratching his head. As he scratched patches of hair came out.
"Not me I am peeling and I have to get my limb reattached." David whined.
"Alright I will do it. For pet's sake you to are so, so well just dead!" Lestat walked over to where Thorn laid and got right in her face. "BOO!"
Thorn sat up screaming. "What the! What the?" Thorn looked at the three hooded people in front of her. "Get out or I will scream!"
"Go right ahead cutie pie. I love to hear the screams of a lovely lady." Lestat said winking
"Oh stop you, you're not no Romeo. You will just make her sick and that can not be right!" David said polishing his skull
"Yes please lets get on with it I have an appointment with my reconstruction agent, and the dead don't wait long." Mike said pulling his skin together. "Now where were we? Ah yes! Thorn we are the dead of Christmas to come."
"Oh blooming butter cakes why cant we just say future. It sounds so much better!" David urged
"Fine whatever, Christmas future! We will show you what is to come." Mike waved his arm but it fell off on the floor. "Oh my fault let me get that."
"Oh I can help!" David said reaching for the arm at the same time as Mike. They bumped skulls, which made them fall off.
Lestat stood aside shaking his head. "And could you believe that I actually work with these two."
Thorn was scared into quietness while all this was going on. She crept from the bed and tried to make it to the door.
"Wait just a minute pretty lady. We are not yet through with you!" Lestat flew across the room and picked her up. "You two get your bones together we have work to be done this night!"
"Yes we are ready here!" David said attaching Mike's arm.
"Dead ready!" Mike laughed, "Oh I love that joke!"
Lestat rolled his eyes and waved his arm. A black cloud of smoke in gulfed the four.
10 years in the Future, Thorns Lab
Thorn landed with a thump on her behind, "Ouch you could of caught me!"
David and Mike laughed. Lestat shrugged his bony shoulders, "Hey those are the breaks!"
"Oh I will show you break!" Thorn got up and looked around. "Hey this is my lab. But it is so disgusting what is wrong with it?"
"Well you see you don't work here anymore and now the whole lab was burned down." David said pointing to all the ash.
"Yes I see that but why would I let this happen? I mean this is like my second home!" Thorn said going through the ash that once was her counter
"We have another stop!" Mike waved his hand.
Rogue Squadron Grave Yard
Thorn looked around, "Ok I know this place as well this is the graveyard for our fallen soldiers. But why are we here? Did someone die?"
"You could say that look up on that hill." David pointed up on the hill to where a person knelt in front of a head stone. Thorn nodded and walked the path up to the person. She gasped as she saw Phil kneeling flowers in his hand and tears on his cheek.
"Camill I am so sorry. I know I should not have left you but I could not stay and watch your spirit and your time being controlled by that witch." He bowed his head and wept. "I should have convinced you to come with me. We could have lived a life filled with love. Instead you lie dead in the ground. Why Camill, why!?" He laid the flowers down and stood and walked away.
Thorn got closer to the grave. She got close enough to read the inscription. It read, Camill Fett died, beloved wife of Phil Fett, died while trying to save Ilexa Thorn from a fire in Research Lab. Thorn covered her mouth, "She tried to save me. Oh no!" Thorn stood and looked at the three rotting ghosts, "Are you showing me things that will happen or that might happen?"
The three shrugged their shoulders and pointed to another grave. Thorn walked over to the grave and read the inscription. Here lays Ilexa Thorn, her work, her life, now there is no difference. "What are you saying that I died along with Camill? That is impossible!" She turned as she heard voices.
"Well lookie what I got! It is some of the old equipment from the research lab would you like to make a bid for it?" A man looking similar to Gw2 said to a lady looking similar to Bella Blue.
"Well I don't know dearie you see I really don't want anything to do with that crazy woman she even got herself killed because of he work maybe the equipment is cursed!" Bella said turning away
"No ma'am I guarantee the equipment is not. Thorn was a crazy lady that loved her work so much that when an experiment went wrong she tried to stay to save her research. Along with her assistant who struggled with the work mongrel. The story goes that the assistant pulled Thorn away from her work to get out of the fire but Thorn pushed her down. The women hit her head and laid unconscious while the flames engulfed them both." Gw2 laughed with Bella.
Thorn shook her head, "No, no this can't be." She turned to the ghosts who no longer were there. "Please, please let me have my life back I will change I will be less of a work-alcoholic and spend more time with my friends. I will not care so much if something goes wrong. Please I swear, let me have another chance." Thorn was on her knees crying when a wind swept her off her feet.
Thorn opened her eyes and she lay in her bed the sun was shining through the window shade. "Oh my! What day is it?" Thorn jumped from the bed and ran to the door flung it open and popped outside. Jenna Fett was passing with a load full of presents in her arms. Thorn called out to her, "Hey Jenna what day is it?"
Jenna looked over, "What day do you think. It is Christmas silly, and you have obviously been having too many eggnogs." Jenna walked away.
Thorn smiled and jumped in the air, "They gave me another chance I cam make this right!" Thorn changed out of her bedclothes and rushed to her Lab.
She opened the door and saw Camill standing beside the counter. "Camill!"
Camill jumped and turned around, "Oh Thorn you scared me. I am here as you requested and I have already laid out the materials for the -"
"Hush Camill! I want you to go home and spend Christmas with your husband. Have a merry Christmas!" Thorn grabbed Camill and hugged her tight. Camill smiled back
"Thank you Thorn but there is no need now. Phil left me so I can devote myself to your work."
"You go home trust me. He will be there!" Thorn said pushing Camill out the door.
Thorn then rushed over to Red's and knocked on the door. Red opened the door and stood open mouthed. "Hello Red, the invitation still open?"
"Why yes, of course!" Red ushered Thorn into the crowed room where everyone stood enjoying the holiday. Thorn spotted Phil sitting with a glass of whiskey in his hand. Thorn went over and sat across from him.
Phil looked up, "What are you doing here? I thought you were working."
"Let me just say that I had a change of heart. Now there is a beautiful young women waiting for you, who loves you very much. And if you want some advice you will always stand by her and never leave her. You may come to regret it one day as I did." Thorn patted Phil's shoulder and watched him run out of the place.
Thorn and the others gathered round the fire and played a game of charades.