Christmas 2012 Page 5

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/203 Posted Author
Zombie Hunting Gifts, Pt. 1 Tue Dec 25 Richard Stadler

The following gifts are from Rick or Rick's people:

Veiled Lily happens to get a single, non-descript Christmas card, with standard Christmas iconography, and a simple 'Merry Christmas' inside, with the words 'From: Richard Stadler. To: Lily.' The 'Lily' is circled, and underneath, it's written: 'Trust me, not many people get this. I do hope you enjoy it. Merry Christmas."

Katherine Quinn, through a half dozen intermediaries that probably took a more money than was nessecary, receives a small package. Inside is a single round of ammunition, in the same caliber as one of the sidearms intelligence has deduced she's used. Attached is a note: "In this line of work, people on your side of the equation one day have to make a choice. I hope you choose the one that's in the box, because the other will most likely mean your exit from the human race in a more violent fashion. Merry Christmas, and good luck.'

Yunomi get's the normal /large/ assortment of gifts, from the various amount of toys Stadler and his men could find that would suit her, to clothing that must have been picked out by Fleece, to a large slimline combat knife that /also/ must have been picked out by Fleece, a survival kit and an adjustable stab vest as Rick certainly still thinks this is a very dangerous Multiverse. Contained in the bundle of gifts, however, is a wrapped book. Underneath the wrapping paper is a very dusty, old tome that Yunomi would probably recognize as a spell grimore. With it is a note. "If there's one thing this year has taught me, is that you've grown up to be one of the smartest people I know when working with the metaphysical. I've read through this a long time ago after Ms. Wayas helped me find it, but my skill is still lacking. You can probably make much better use of it than I could, and, one day, I hope that the daughter I'm so proud of can teach me a thing or two. I love you, Yunomi, and Merry Christmas."

Brad Carbunkle gets a brand new Beretta M92FS, with a tactical mount on the underbarrel, threaded for a standard silencer, and several clips of ammunition. The note attached reads "Cadet, you've shown some promise this year. I know you're moving toward power armor, but never forget that it's always good to have something extra to protect yourself and those you care about. It is not a toy. Train with it, learn it's quirks, and stay safe."

Skidplate gets a give from Fleece; a complete set of the Battle Dress Uniform, Revised Standard (known by Rick's Army as 'BD2s). It's been specially tailored by the Staff Sergeant to account for Skid's height, canine physiology, and automail arm, with a namestrip over a pocket reading 'Splitter'. The patches where the Unit insignia would go, and the strip for the branch of service are both simple velcro, with a note in the left breast pocket. "Dear Miss Splitter, Boss said you deserved this after all you've gone through. It's warm! And helps you hide! And it'll look cute! <3 <3 Your pal, Kari Elmyra Fleece.

Isa Reichert's gift would come long after Christmas, just a few days after the truce ends. Somehow, when she's out on maneuvers in a contested zone, away from base for just a few moments, there would be a crack of a rifle and a near miss from afar. The bullet, when pried out, matches the standard 5.56 NATO FMJ rounds used by the United States, as does the single shell casing when the shot is traced to it's origin. Left is a note, on United States Army letterhead, hand written. "I am well versed in these sorts of economics, and you needn't worry. I'll make sure to balance the rate of exchange. Belatedly, Merry Christmas." There is no signature.

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/204 Posted Author
Zombie Hunting Gifts, Pt. 2 Tue Dec 25 Richard Stadler

Agrias Oaks receives a well-maintained M1860 light cavalry sabre. The sabre itself isn't an original; rather, it's a reproduction, not of the shining dress steel of those worn by ceremonial guards, but of matte-black carbon fiber, light and strong, easily handled. A note reads, "Long blades aren't my style, you should know. I'm more of a polearm sort of person. If you did want to spar, however, I've hard my quartermaster fabricate a matching blade for myself. I've used this a few times before, so I hope I won't disappoint."

Almera gets a set of documents, registration in her cover identity to a 2006 Honda Civic, an insurance document for the next year, and a record of sale from a local used car dealership indicating that it's been paid in full. There's a map indicating a garage space, and a note attached. "I know you wouldn't be able to drive in public just yet, and it certainly isn't a sports car. But I do hope that one of these days, one of these days soon, you'll be able to drive this around town without having people stare. Merry Christmas, and here's hope for the new year."

Tony Stark gets two gifts; one is a well-framed set of Union Lieutenant's insignia, polished oak, along with an ornate copy of Tony's Union commission next to it (a copy only; even Rick wouldn't be able to snag the original). The other is smaller frame, equally polished, of a single peacock feather. The note that comes with them reads, "You've been given a responsibility many people would envy, Mr. Stark. Just remember that in the end, you can only have one of these. Send me back the one you don't need."

Cecily gets a set of knives from Fleece. And by set of knives, she means a harness that holds, in a number of quick release sheaths, well balanced combat knives that can be used to either throw, slash, or stab into something that needed to die and die quickly. The attached and rathery glittery card reads. "Dear Miss Cecily: I know you have lots of neat firearms, but sometimes the best method is getting in close! MERRY CHRISTMAS! ^_^ Your friend, Kari Elmyra Fleece".

Jenny Wakeman gets a simple radio beacon, with an emergency activator that can be primed by slaming a protected button or by crunching it underneath a bootheel. An examination would reveal this is locked to a US Army frequency, monitored by USSTRATCOM in Rick's Nebraska. A note with it reads, "Your world may not trust you, Ms. Wakeman, but I do. My base is open if you ever need a place to stay, and if those Sky Patrol folks decide that they take offense to you being out of lockdown this Christmas, feel free to use that transmitter. I'll make sure they know that I take counteroffense. And that's every bit the operation it sounds. Merry Christmas."

(If you feel that Rick can give you a smashing Christmas Gift, or got one for Rick and would like to see him give you one back, but don't see your name here, please @mail or page! I always want to make sure I get people covered!)

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/205 Posted Author
Christmas Brambles Tue Dec 25 Bramble Patch

Jinx - When she comes home from her last night of suffering through being a mall elf Jinx would find several things. The first would be that while she was gone a connection was built between her house and Bramble's cabin so they don't have to go outside in the cold. The second being a big medical chest full of enchanted bandages, treatment salves, alchemical painkillers and other first aid supplies. Though the third and most important is that Bramble herself is waiting for her, with fresh hot cocoa (that's probably got something soothing added to it) and cookies (no she didn't make them herself) to cheer her up.

Nightmare Moon - The Mare of the Moon gets a pack of sleeping potions, alchemical knockout gas, and a book about how good and bad dreams can influence awake behavoir. Need to live up to the 'nightmare' part of your name more, boss.

Winter Frost - A potted wintergreen bush. Chewing the berries has the same freshening effect as a breat mint would. And if she really wanted to she could probably find someone that would make perfume out of the oils. It's the closest winter related plant pun I could come up with, lemme alone.

No. 9 - Bramble doesn't know the golem directly, but still sent him a gift basket of holiday treats as a thank you for being nice to Jinx.

Serori - A minature … banana tree? Bramble probably misunderstood the whole thing about sayians being monkeys because of the tail deal, but it's the thought that counts right.

The Mane 6 - As usual Bramble sends each of the girls a small fruitcake. That, despite first misgivings about fruitcake, actually tastes fairly decent. Probably because she was -trying- to make it bad and her cooking skills never come out as intended.

Mortimer - Also a fruitcake. This one has been positively DRENCHED in cider and rum though. So it's probably as flammable as it is edible.

Miaka - A basket of dried herbs and spices for use in medicinal concoctions. And making tea. Nothing like some hot tea that you can a slight buzz off of…

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/206 Posted Author
Himei's Gifts (Part 1) Tue Dec 25 Himei

Himei's gifts are mostly very simple. She pulls in a good salary these days and doesn't have many expenses, but she doesn't have ridiculous amounts of money either, and has a lot of gifts to give out.

For Confederates:

Mir: A copy of the Magical Princess Sailor Rose Wand movie.

Emerald Blade: The complete omnibus edition of the Books of Swords, by Frank Epeehagen.

Evelynn Cordelia: A copy of Pirates of the Caribbean. This is an alternate world one, however, where all the ships are airships.

GLaDOS: A DVD set of the TV series 'Life After Humans'

For Union:

Priscilla: A dvd of Pete's Dragon.

Hina Kagiyama: 'The History of Psychology,' a book on Ring. It's like a book on tape, but instead of a tape it stores the voice on a metallic ring, which is played back by finding a flat surface and spinning it.

Kiyoko Saito: A cape that fans out and stiffens to become a short-range glider.

Olive: A large hardback book of 'The History of Art' which includes painting reproductions from famous artists.

Rainbow Dash: The Fast and the Furious trilogy, along with an apologetic note that she isn't sure if a human movie would be enjoyable, but tried her best.

Sayaka Miki: A collection of CDs of various classical violin pieces.

Kimiko Shinobu: A hardbound book: 'Medieval Weaponry And Armor, 1000-1300 CE'

Sanya Litvyak: A collection of mellow folk songs from around the world.

Sayuri Yaguchi: 'The Action Pack,' a set of DVDs with the greatest action films up to the year 2000, focusing on well-choreographed gunfights.

Sakura Kinomoto: A stuffed Cerberus and a book of '101 Card Tricks You Can Learn At Home,' along with a note: 'Don't laugh, the book could turn out surprisingly useful.'

Kevin Graham: A modest set of clothes and jacket that looks more modern and suitable for the 'typical' modern world than his usual clothing. Jacket and clothes all have several hidden pockets.

Joseph O'Reilly: A large bag of stuffed animals, with a note saying 'for the kids'

Harry Dresden: A number of minor things: a set of cat toys for Mister, a job referral for a young lady in Himei's Tokyo with some odd heirloom problems, and a bottle of some unidentifiable transdimensional material(similar, but not identical to Dust from His Dark Materials) which may be useful in some potions.

Mami Tomoe: A new tea service.

Ariel: Two gifts, a practical and a fun one. The practical gift is a set of scrolls detailing nonlethal takedown techniques. The fun one is a radio-controlled helicopter.

Komachi Aki: A motorcycle helmet and jacket. 'These just felt right for the new you.'

Terra Branford: A large bag of stuffed animals, with a note saying 'for the kids'

Raditz: A selection of hair care products and cologne.

Ai Genki: Symbolic more than anything, consisting of a book of healthy recipes and a box of shotgun shells, with a note stating 'The demigod is all grown up. Congratulations and let me know if I can do anything.'

Staren: An old-looking book Himei picked up, titled: 'The Fallacy of Science.' It appears to be from a world where science and magic often clash, with magic being dominant at the time of writing. A small note with it: 'No hidden message in this. I just thought it would be an interesting read for you.' The book has several notes in the margins that appear to be correcting misunderstandings of science(though notably never clarifying that they're mostly talking of technology and physics, rather than scientific method), then providing counterarguments to those, as if it's passed through several hands each arguing different aspects. Many theories on both sides are out of date, however.

Maxine Sandberg: An entire series of books for a fictional setting about a secretive guild of mechanics. The plotline takes a number of odd turns through the series, notably including sapient AI rights at one point. It's titled 'The Toymaker Guild'

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/207 Posted Author
Grumpy Mage Christmas Tue Dec 25 Luc

TO SARAH: Luc gives a cane (pointedly, not a staff) of dark maple, with a knobbed silver handle and matching cap on the base. He also gives her a number of additional dresses in her usual favored colors.

TO UNION COMMAND: Luc gives a wheelbarrow full of fancy coffee and tea.

TO PSYBER: Luc gives a gallon of Harmonian Hangover Elixir. It is surprisingly functional when the source of the hangover is not supernatural.

TO LOROS: Luc gives a similar selection of tea offered to Union command.

TO EVERYONE ELSE SARAH SENT SOMETHING TO: A Crystal Valley postcard that makes it clear Luc isn't entirely certain who the recipients are going to be (and quite possibly doesn't care), signed by both Luc and Sarah.

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/208 Posted Author
Himei's Gifts (Part 2) Tue Dec 25 Himei

Revya: A few light novels, mostly romance and adventure, but the big gift is the address of a shrine where Revya can find someone who understands what it's like to have evil inside them…

Skidplate: Several classic movies. Black and white.

Saber: A four foot tall lion plush.

Misha: Two plush… funbuns? A note is with them: 'I don't really know you, but I know Mir a bit. We should talk.'

Laine: A large, poofy hat with a candle atop it that can be lit, and several disconnected lights upon it.

Madoka Kaname: A set of new hair ribbons, along with a plush… Homura. Also a book: 'Parenthood and the Teenage Years'

Unyielding Rampart: A surfboard. A really nice one.

Jack: A new pair of boots and a box of cake mix. A note(which Jack requires help reading) states that Himei will show her how to bake a cake together.

Katt: A large stuffed tiger. It also has a secret compartment inside it for storing contraband or an emergency weapon.

Lloyd Irving: Lloyd gets a snazzy new shirt and a pair of boots, plus a leatherbound copy of the Way of Five Rings by Musashi.

Atomic Robo: A stuffed bear with a baking soda and vinegar jetpack.

Ash: Pikachu gets a bottle of ketchup. Ash gets a pair of gloves for the serious gift, and a pair of shorts for the gag gift.

Psyber: A new toolset for working on all the cars he's getting, with a note of 'I know these things wear out, so I thought you might need some new ones soon.' Also a Sailor Nothing doll that ISN'T glitched.

Nathan Hall: Nathan gets a leatherbound edition of Campbell's 'Hero with a Thousand Faces' clearly meant for both display and utility. He also gets a very rough first draft of Himei's memoirs.

Amalthea: Three stuffed dolphins and two mugs. One mug says 'World's Best Mom' while the other says 'World's Best Dad.' A note accompanies explaining she wasn't sure which applied.

K4-800M: Kay's gift is probably surprising: A commissioned painting depicting Kay atop her airship. It is notably more heroic than queenly.

Fate T. Harlaown: A new scarf, plus some new knitting materials.

Nanoha(elder): A very rare item: an instant coffeemaker that makes decent coffee.

Kaminagi Setsuko: A very nicely-crafted backgammon set. 'I've been using this game, along with chess, to learn tactics. It's surprisingly useful and fun.'

Ellestaria: Two gifts. The serious gift is a set of proper casual wear for a teenager of the age Ellestaria appears. The comical gift is a sombrero.

Huang Dao: A note: 'I know you aren't big on material possessions, and I couldn't think of good advice, so I'm just sending this thanks for being a calming influence and so very patient.'

Sarah: Some toys for the Annu kids, including journals and diaries in the set. Also a note, 'Thanks, and pass along my thanks to Luc. I'm too scared to send it to him directly.'

Sakura Haruno: A copy of the Merck Manual from Himei's world, and a decorative kunai with the Konoha symbol engraved upon it. The note reads, 'I respect your ability to fight, but it is your ability to heal that gives you power.'

Fayt Ravus: An elaborate black dragon figurine suitable for a desk decoration or mounting on the wall as part of advertising.

Tony Stark: A sealed box with a note: 'You're a great engineer and tinkerer, but also have a character quirk that made this gift perfect.' Inside is the Lego Swimsuit Calendar for the next year of Stark's world.

Homura Akemi: A new bath set, plus a child-proof display case. The display case is empty. Also, and more importantly, the full collection of Sailor Rose Wand anime. 'I know the anime is a bit cheesy, but it's a bit of my history that I wanted you to have.'

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/209 Posted Author
Himei's Gifts (Part 3) Tue Dec 25 Himei

Eleanor Lamb: Stuffed animals for the girls, but very small ones. Also aprons for the girls, since they seem to like to cook, and one for Eleanor that says 'Mom' on it.

Caro Ru Lushe: An adorable new outfit, including a new beret.

Yuna Kagurazaka: Yuna gets a plushie. A plushie mecha. Don't ask.

Fate Testarossa: Himei has managed to lay hold of a photo of Fate talking to Precia, and framed it. 'Sometimes the impossible happens.'

Nanoha Takamachi: Recordings of Raising Heart and Bardiche from X-Union-Chatter which have been arranged and pitched up and down to sing a Christmas Carol.

Blossom Rose: A bright blue stuffed cat. No note attached.

Lilitu: A book on probability, which includes a set of dice.

For Unaffiliated:

Mortimer Balman: A small selection of some hard to find(but not exotic) liquor.

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/210 Posted Author
Puella Gifts Tue Dec 25 Homura Akemi

Mami: A recipe book, "Cakes of the Multiverse".

Sayaka: A subscription to "Swords of the Multiverse". Volume 1 comes with your very own Excalipoor replica.

Kyoko: A new iPhone, pre-installed with restaurant-location applications. Also a notice that Mami has received a cake cookbook.

Hitomi: A fancy necklace, and a note "I didn't know what to get you."

Kimiko: The same subscription as Sayaka.

Psyber: Kyubey, stuffed in a box, to do whatever he wants with for a day. "You've been frustrated since Annu, take it out on him."

Lloyd Irving: A broken Soul Gem, presumably from a past timeline. With the gem part completely gone, all that's really left is the golden support/cage. "I'm not very good with gifts, and I'm no craftsman. But I know you and your father have a thing for crafting. Maybe you can figure something out about Soul Gems like this, or craft something useful in our future hunts out of the metal."

Flowers: A faithful replica of a standard Puella Magi ring, with Sakura's name engraved inside, in runes.

Ellestaria: Much the same as Flowers, but with her name instead.

Laine: A tongue cleaner. A few different fur brushes. Dog treats. A military-grade taser pistol. Perfume. "I don't know what Garou like for Christmas. Hopefully one of those is fine and makes up for the others being terrible."

All Involved Witch Hunters: A thank you card, which entitles the owner to one (1) meal cooked by Homura.

Himei: A golf club? "I thought you should have a piece of my history too. Remember what this is? It was my first."

Madoka: And last but not least, Madoka receives… a perfect replica of Homura's Soul Gem. "I don't expect you to understand the deeper meaning, but this is all I could think of giving you that I haven't already."

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/211 Posted Author
Gifts from the Library (1) Tue Dec 25 Nathan Hall

A variety of gifts are finally arriving, coming by way of mundane postal service! Nathan Hall has sent things out to people, and just as you expect, almost all of the things are books. Most of them include a small note, constantly signed with a simple "-Hall".

There are a lot of books. In no particular order:

Katt - Several audiobooks concerning the struggle for proper labor rights. "What should have been. Thank you very much for the cookies and the book. -Hall"

Shir - A book of cute pictures of cats, cat-robots, cat-mutants, cat-golems, cat-people, and other cat-things. "I hope this sates your inexplicable urge, come April. -Hall"

Altair - Alamut by Vladimir Bartol. "The censored edition? Thank you for the techniques, in any case. Translation will be a much-appreciated thing to devote my attention to. -Hall"

Raven Devanos - Several cookbooks concerning cooking for large groups of children. These seem to be written such as to accommodate various superhuman metabolisms and such, common to multiversal adoption families. "Thank you for the meals. I hope this helps your further troubles. -Hall"

Jack - Teach Me to Spell Nothing. The rights to Himei's likeness have continued into ever-worsening markets. It is a resentful and tired plush educational toy, inaccurately voice-acted. No note included.

Na`Sabal-Une Fang - My First Discourse on the Theories and Application of Chaotic and Wild Magicks (For New Readers) by Ruyn, the Unmaker. "Please ignore appendix III through VI, chapters 1 through 4, and anything mentioning the futility of existance. Keep up the reading. -Hall"

Unyielding Rampart - A History of Capes, by famed superhero Dollar Bill. "It seems like something you would take interest in. -Hall"

Maya - Egalitarianism in God-Touched Worlds by an unknown (divine) author. "Thank you very much for the books, they are quite an interesting read. I still retain a great deal of interest in the magic of your world. Its history may be such that you could find these sociological ponderings relevant. -Hall"

Dovahkiin Elen - The Complete Sagas of Icelanders by Vidar Hreinsson. "A set of stories, albeit mundane ones, for which you may find some affinity. Many thanks for the amulet. -Hall"

Laine - The Camp of the Dog and Other Werewolf Stories, by Algernon Blackwood. "Thank you for the various gifts. I hope you may find these amusing, in a sense. -Hall"

Untamed Breeze - Sector 0 Atlas, by Gerardus Mercator. "I understand you are prone to a bit of wandering, recently. This should help navigation. Mercator has gotten substantially more accurate since becoming a cyborg. I eagerly await your re-settling, however long that wait may be. It has been some time since my last lessons from you, after all, and the others have saved my life so often. Thank you, Breeze. -Hall"

Staren - Oxford Handbook of Neuroethics by Judy Illes and Barbara J. Sahakian. "The views therein, opposing or otherwise, should provoke some frank thought. Consider these as you move forward, and best of luck with your efforts towards more direct self-improvement. I believe they are good. I hope that these will also be part of your belief of that. -Hall"

Rose Parker - Transuniversal Medicine by HippocratesBot-5. "Thank you for the book covers. Regardless of the size of my collection, I am sure they will be useful. -Hall"

Beli Yo'il - The Collected Mathematical Works of Blaise Pascal. "You might enjoy the probability portions of it. I would give it about a fifty-fifty chance. -Hall"

Ariel - Several fantasy-humor fiction books in a series. They concern a pegasus pretending to fit in at a unicorn summer camp where unicorns learn to fit in in pegasus society. This is relentlessly joked about with thorough sarcasm. "I do not know your literary tastes. Please excuse guesswork. -Hall"

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/212 Posted Author
Gifts from the Library (2) Tue Dec 25 Nathan Hall

Harry Dresden - The Wizardy Herbert series by Roxanne Lalonde. "I have never met a wizard as burdened by his job as you. Maybe you will find an affinity for similarly burdened and extremely grumpy sorts of wizards in the realms of fiction. -Hall"

Pepper Potts - A mirror of Tony's gift. One single-use certification that Tony Stark is a responsible, well-adjusted, mature adult as determined by Major Nathan Hall of the Union. "'Get out of jail free card' is the colloquial term for these, for use by you when your charge finds trouble. Thank you for the organization system. It will likely help a great deal. -Hall"

Kevin Graham - The Hitchhiker's Guide to Anywhere But Crossbell (my god why would you even go there edition) by an unknown author. "A hunch. -Hall"

Cecily - Knitting for Tail Cozies "You have either none of the need or twice what is normal. -Hall"

Sakura Kinomoto - 102 Card Tricks, by an irrelevant author. "Thank you for the bookmark. Somehow I doubt these will be more impressive than what you can do now. But it is always good to be comprehensive in your card-based education. For some reason I imagine them provoking some kind of strange effect. -Hall"

Olive - My First Considerations on the Nature of Moral Imperative. "Lesson one is not knowing how to act, or even when, but why it was ever needed. -Hall"

Kiyoko Saito - Lend Me Your Ears: Great Speeches in History by William Safire. "Oration remains crucial. -Hall"

Kirito - Gamer Theory by McKenzie Wark. "I much appreciate the informative neurology book. I thought you might like to ponder more sociological sides while I ponder the scientific. -Hall"

Hina Kagiyama - DSM (Artificial Life edition) by Dr. Susan Calvin. "As a mecha pilot and a counselor, psychology of the artificial may yet be relevant if I conjecture your trajectory correctly. Thank you for the assistance rendered during troubling times. -Hall"

Priscilla - Hydroxylapatite Rotational Strategies by General Skeleturbo III. "Your small miracles will be of great use for a long time. Thank you for setting aside such valuable artifacts for me. I hear your world has terrible denizens of a specific nature. I am told this helps in similar matters concerning rotating bone terrors. -Hall"

Lloyd Irving - The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli. "Many strategies I would not advise. But it is good to be aware of major political influences. You are in a key position of substantial power; none would defy your orders and yet you can act with protection from greater leaders. A good read, if you have a scrutinizing eye. Thank you for the literature; healing has thus far been beyond me, except for very limited alchemy. Hopefully that will cease soon. It is much appreciated. -Hall"

Amalthea - Go the F*ck to Sleep by Adam Mansbach. "Ariel is well-behaved, but somehow I foresee you perhaps having a certain appreciation for this book. -Hall"

K4-800M - Dreams by Tiny Carl Jung. "Dreams are a subject of particular interest for you, if I recall. -Hall"

Kaminagi Setsuko - The Collected Works of Sun Tzu Variants, by various iterations of Sun Tzu. "Little else that I could think of would be intrinsically interesting. -Hall."

Ellestaria - Talking to your Child about Bioethics, by Dr. Henry Jekyll. "As a bioengineer of a sort, perhaps useful in the future, with your new child. -Hall"

Sakura Haruno - A Christmassy card with a poorly-drawn tree from some kind of Hallmark bootleg. Inside, "I will try. But what is this 'either' business? As if I had done it this year. You died more this year than I did, statistically-speaking. -Hall"

Fayt Ravus - Transuniversal Chaos Theories for the Acclimating, by an unknown author. "Self-improvement is always admirable. You have made great strides in personal advancement this year. Best of luck in continuing down that path. -Hall"

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/213 Posted Author
Gifts from the Library (3) Tue Dec 25 Nathan Hall

Tony Stark - A mirror of Pepper's gift. One single-use certificate that will allow Tony Stark to get out of obligations by way of citing his own lack of sufficient adjustment and maturity required for performing the obligation, as endorsed and decided by Major Nathan Hall of the Union. "'Get out of jail free card' is the colloquial term for these, for use when you find yourself facing certain sorts of obligations. -Hall"

Eleanor Lamb - Jazz Hits for Child Musicians by assorted authors. "The winter-wear is much appreciated. I hope you and the sisters find good use of this. -Hall"

Yunomi - Monetize! Ten Crucial Paradigms for Expanding Your IP's Market Share, by Dane Vogel. "Your work in media has been enthusiastic. This author was rather immoral by some reports, but ideally the techniques may help you expand your creative efforts into something yet more well known. -Hall"

Pegasus - A lengthy scrapbook, full of pictures taken long, long after the fact; images of the seafood restaurant (now more than a bit battered) in the Cirrus Marine hub that they first met in person at, various pictures of that old creaky house Nathan and many others investigated when seeking information, that warehouse where the prototype AMALTHEA was recovered, and various improbable angles of photos of Gryphon's Crag, among many, many other things. A bit of a history set down long after the fact. It seems documented, not heavily, but comprehensively, never going into too much detail but never missing a step along the history. "It has been an adventure, and I very much expect it will continue to be one. I find myself not worried for the future of it at all. <3 -Hall"

But no, really, the "Tracer Bullet" series of noir crime novels, known for the scathing self-referential depreciative wit regarding overdramatic investigative processes. "It may be a bit more mundane than what you are used to, but I figured a bit of dry humor was more your interest. Thank you for the research journals, they are quite engaging. -Hall"

Himei - They Took My Face! Ten Steps to Recover Likeness Rights by an unknown author. "I am under the impression that you are tired of those Sailor Nothing dolls. Thank you for the two books; each are incredibly interesting. -Hall"

Jung - Great Travels and the Wonders of Other Worlds by Marco Polo-12, a travelogue of various multiversal settings by a variant of the famous traveler. "Thank you for your gift; I can tell much work went into it, and has given it substantial meaning. I can deliver little to you besides, perhaps, some portion of the world beyond your captivity. I hope it is worth some perusal. -Hall"

Lance Benson - The Best Science Fiction (2007 collection). "If it looks quaint to me, it must to you. Hopefully, at the very least, interesting, in a 'retro' way. Conflicts aside, the Confederacy needs more reasonable sorts of people like yourself. -Hall"

Lialyn Earthdance - Scrapbooking for Beginners, by an irrelevant author. Included materials to start one's own. "You seem eager to serve your mistress. I have a hunch that you may appreciate the documentation of your time and history with her. For some reason, you seem the sort who would not already, and yet at the same time the sort who would most benefit and enjoy. Apologies if I was off the mark. -Hall"

Rose Petal - A short collection of several alchemical mixtures designed for extremely simple utilities: Household cleaners, basic medicines, production of pleasant scents, oiling hinges, those sorts of things. "The things you do with alchemy are impressive. I have yet to hear anything about the simple sort of uses. -Hall"

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/214 Posted Author
Gifts from the Library (4) Tue Dec 25 Nathan Hall

Elliana Fairchild - Carl Jung's work on the subject of dreams and dream analysis. The note has extremely awkward handwriting, as if it would be said in an incredibly uneasy tone. "Thank you for the armor, however unlikely its use may be. Some indications have been such that you are not quite practiced in the theory of dreams, despite your domain. It is best to have a comprehensive knowledge. -Hall"

Tshallandria - A lengthy collection of several volumes of collected works by several philosophers on the subject of free will, and its position relative to determinism, sociology, and theology. All of them disagree rather thoroughly, and the whole collection seems to be organized as one long debate would. "I support none of these entirely. Rather, they provoke a great deal of frank thought on the matter. As someone who has, in the past, focused heavily on the ideas of free will, I thought you might appreciate yet more consideration towards that. It seems to be a subject you make something of a hobby out of. Certainly one with no shortage of discourse. You have my appreciation for the four gifts. They seem quite useful; I will make sure to make appropriately responsible use of them, as I have with the great number of gifts you have generously provided in the past. -Hall"

GLaDOS - The Onion Book of Known Knowledge. "I thought you might appreciate an equal exchange. -Hall"

No. 9 - A rather large collection of books. Grendel by John Gardner. The Dracula Tape by Fred Saberhagen. Paint Your Dragon by Tom Holt. Other literature of a similar nature. It's all in a theme: Books who have substantial portions of the protagonist roles taken up by the monsters of other stories. It's pretty much nothing but that perspective, ranging from humorous Pratchett-esque to serious explorations of moral relativism. "You have called yourself a monster long enough that I have grown to accede to that title for you; you are, after all, the expert on that matter. And with your violence, it is perhaps noted that strictly moral assessments are ill-advised, or at least not within my qualifications. Monster or not, good or bad, you are my very best and closest friend, a lifesaver on a regular basis, and despite neoteny and cyborgization, you are without a doubt the most human out of any person I have ever met. For a given definition of human, anyway. We should definitely hang out more. -Hall"

Laer - Sheet music of Christmas songs for people who hate Christmas. "I have no idea what your opinion on the holiday is. Vague guesswork. Please stop. -Hall" There is no elaboration on what Nathan wants Laer to stop.

Golbez - A guidebook on hail-forming meteorological conditions. "Better late than never. -Hall"

Adelyn Lysen - Summoned Stories, by assorted authors. A collection of essays and interviews from commonly summoned races and entities throughout various worlds. "I am sure you are well-versed with their opinions, but perhaps you might find this interesting regardless. Many thanks for the protective headgear. It will likely be quite useful. -Hall"

Mir - The same Wizardy Herbert series by Roxanne Lalonde as mentioned above. "Due to some experiences, I thought you might like a story that so heavily involves travel between other stories within it. Thank you for the books, they are quite interesting. -Hall"

Summer Powers - A History of Manga by an irrelevant author. "Re: Requests for additional manga in the HoH library. -Hall"

Ysintra - Favorite Meals of Commonly Encountered Cryptozoological, by an unknown author. A compendium of how to bribe friendship out of many monsters by way of food. "It has been my understanding that you have always been interested in the creatures of the occult. You have more information than I could ever find about how to defeat them; perhaps this may be useful. -Hall"

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/215 Posted Author
Gifts from the Library (5) Tue Dec 25 Nathan Hall

Aldebaran - Puzzles and Riddles from Beyond Time, by Dr. Chronys the Eternal. A collection of puzzles ranging from the incredibly simple to the impossibly difficult. Less focus on the verbal, and more on spatial thinking. All of them involve absolutely alien cause-and-effect progressions. No note included.

Hastur - A self-bound book of various poetry with no listed author. Haiku, sonnet, acrostic, it's a bit of a haphazard mix. It is incredibly cynical and dry, and intensely humorous and ironic, with such poems as the haiku Traffic Violation: The crossing guard died./Children send the weakest out/to ensure passage. "There was very little I could do to match the sheer volume of knowledge you have procured over time from others, and I lack access to any of the sorts of artifacts that I have heard you have received. The only thing I can hope to provide is a completely unique piece of art. Included is a series of poems I have transcribed from a patron of the library I used to work at. She would leave them in every book she checked out, and refused to explain why. They match no known published poems. Normally this alone would be inadequate, but the tone seems something you might find amusing. Hopefully an almost completely unique publication of the sort holds some minor value. Thank you for your own gift. It will be useful, and has been quite fascinating. -Hall"

Lute - A calendar that provides stern discouragement for every day. "No. Think about what you are doing." "Consider if this will drive people away from you." "You need to stop. No, just, stop." One piece of calm encouragement of second thinking for 365 days. No note is included because it is summarized by all the notes included with the calendar.

Loki - A calendar that provides stern discouragement for every day. "No. Think about what you are doing." "Consider if this will drive people away from you." "You need to stop. No, just, stop." One piece of calm encouragement of second thinking for 365 days. No note is included because it is summarized by all the notes included with the calendar.

Morg McGee - A calendar that provides stern discouragement for every day. "No. Think about what you are doing." "Consider if this will drive people away from you." "You need to stop. No, just, stop." One piece of calm encouragement of second thinking for 365 days. No note is included because it is summarized by all the notes included with the calendar.

Duncan Idaho - A calendar that provides stern discouragement for every day. "No. Think about what you are doing." "Consider if this will drive people away from you." "You need to stop. No, just, stop." One piece of calm encouragement of second thinking for 365 days. No note is included because it is summarized by all the notes included with the calendar.

Thank you notes are sent to Caro Ru Lushe, Auron, Mortimer Balman, Rainbow Dash, Shizune Nakamura, and Asuna for their gifts, but it seems likely that Nathan didn't have the time to properly get a gift for (which is to say, I couldn't OOCly think of one! Sorry!)

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/216 Posted Author
Psycho Gifts Tue Dec 25 Return X

Gifts are delivered via a non-intrusive method to all Union and Confederate Elites. All of the gifts from Return X come delivered prior to Christmas in a Metool (Hardhat enemy from Megaman X), that will not stand up, so all you see is a hardhat and little feets. Attached to them by a red ribbon is, in a slightly feminine script, "To: <Name>, will not open until Christmas!" On Christmas Day, the Metools will pop up, will sing 'We Wish You A Merry Christmas' in their hummy-nerp language, then the top of the hat will pop open where the gun emplacement usually is. But instead, there are objects inside!

Anyone not named below: a cute little cellophane bag, tied with a green ribbon the same colors as Return's armor, with some homemade peanut butter fudge. All checks would show that there's nothing weird in the fudge at all.
No. 9 - Nine receives a rather nice new combat knife, probably a bit bigger than normal, with a serrated blade and additional blades on the guard, with an additional 'heat' function to make it hot for combat.
Serori - The Metool uses a Trans connection to beam in a Saiyan-style armor, which would be revealed to be made of a sturdy material from his world.
Lotor - Lotor would receive some schematics for a larger classification of mechaniloid, like a Bee Blader, with some construction notation.
Rose Petal - A book of fairy tales and a porcelain doll.
Carnage - A book full of interviews, personality profiles, and quotes of famous murderers.
Raven DeVanos - A piece of Green Materia with a note 'I could never get this thing that Kadaj gave me to work, but I think you said you can.'
Metal Man - A book titled 'Discussions on the Robotic Life Form and Free Will by Dr. Alexander Cain'.
Alia - Mechanical schematics for repliroid chassis that have the capability of housing something large, about the size of a mini-basketball, as a core and some notes on biomechanical integration.
Alan Bodily - A remote control that is labelled 'Assistance: PRESS ME!' When pressed, a Knotberet-G and a Metool with manipulator arms will assist him with instructions that they are to assist him with tasks until the end of January.
Yulia - A very nice picture frame without a picture, with a note 'Combined wedding and Christmas Gift'.

And yes, when you scan the items, there's not a single trace of Virus.

(OOC: I couldn't think of what to get a lot of people, and I know I'm kinda lacking in activity as RX, so I tried to think of the people I regularly interact with on radio).

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/217 Posted Author
*PING!* Christmas Gift Notice Tue Dec 25 Klein

To all the Aincrad Elites, Psalm, Ash, Auron, Fayt: Your inventories get a Gift Crystal which, when activated, gives you a scarf — obviously hand-made (checking it with Skills would reveal a… moderate… Sewing skill went into it) — in a triad of colors that are associated with you (black/grey/white for Kirito; red/grey/white for Asuna; etc.) Asuna's gift would have one for Yui as well, in a trio of purples that compliment Yui's paler complexion.

For other gatecrashers: An 'inn gift notice' for one dinner at an inn on floors 50 or below.

All the named gifts have a note included with a 'For being important people and helping me keep going. Don't ever forget that.' The note is signed by 'Klein' and has the Fuurinkazan four-diamond logo on it.

Additional for Tomoe: A medium weight shield with the note 'For the woman who always keeps my back from getting split open' which has higher stats than her current one.
Additional for Asuna: an A-Class Herb Ingredient from Floor 70.
Additional for Auron: a nice sake jug with a nice, filigreed dragon that wraps around the jug.

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/218 Posted Author
Rider Christmas (Kabuto ver.) Tue Dec 25 Tendou Souji

All Union Elites receive a complimentary 10% off discount card, good at Himawari-ya through the coming year. Last Chancers, Mercenaries, and Cadets receive 5% discount cards.

Fayt Ravus also gets a fairly high-quality plush monkey.

He's a little more elaborate with his gifts for fellow Kamen Riders:

Gentaro Kisaragi and the other members of the Kamen Rider Club receive 25% off discount cards good at Himawari-ya through the coming year, along with prepaid Rider Tokyo mass-transit passes (to help get there) and a couple of copies of good city guidebooks, with restaurants highlighted which live up to Tendou's lofty standards (apart from Himawari-ya itself, but including Bistro La Salle among other places). The note attached to the package reads: "Good food tastes best in the company of good friends. (P.S. - Let me know when the Club gains new members.)"

Leo receives a beginner's cookbook for complete novices; the first chapters are on proper cleaning and maintenance of utensils and cookware, before it even gets into "how to boil water," and has lengthy sections on proper, sanitary preparation of ingredients before you even get to actual recipes. There's also a single steel-toed boot, in what Leo might recognize as Tendou's size, with the following note attached: "Mealtimes are sacred. To desecrate food in an attempt to hurt somebody is the most vile of sins."

Ryotaro Nogami and his sister Airi receive 25% off discount cards at Himawari-ya for the coming year, as well as an invitation to join Tendou's family at Himawari-ya for Christmas dinner. (Need not be redeemed *on* Christmas day, but between Dec. 25 and Jan. 5.)

There's one other additional present:
Solid Snake receives a deluxe adult-scale replica of Kamen Rider #1's henshin belt (which does not enable him to actually transform), and a pair of boots in Snake's size which are also duplicates of those worn by Kamen Rider #1. Note: "You may not have won the match this year, but I admired your technique when you did that kick on Santa."

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/219 Posted Author
Solar Pilot Christmas Tue Dec 25 Yuri Stinson

Yuri doesn't know that many people in the Multiverse, so his list of gifts is short. The notable ones are:

Vincent Hart - Vincent Hart receives the schematics, regulations, and proper measurements to create his very own battlebowl. Batteries (Charm) not included. He also gets a totally sweet Rush CD hand-mixed by the Solar labeled 'Ass-Whoopin Music :D'.

Madeline Vance - Madeline's Christmas Present is ALSO measurements for a Battle Bowl. Her CD is labeled 'Nemesis Mix :(' and features samplings from Korn, My Chemical Romance, and Linkin Park.

The Gofer Sisters - A large parrot drone, glowing gold, with gold feathers, and somehow bypassing all security measures of their compound follows them around. Every 1d6 Hours, it screams in a voice that can be heard for 60 yards: 'YOU SHOULD GO FIGHT YOUR BOYFRIEND!' In the inevitable event they destroy it or disable its audio, it also sends helpful text reminders in allcaps gold lettering. Yuri named it Polly, it does not want a cracker, but would greatly enjoy a computer chip.

Untamed Breeze - The Solar Mechanic receives an action figure. When you pull the string on the back it says one of five phrases.
1) ' I am here to kick ass and pilot mechs! And I'm already in the mech!'
2) 'The wandering warrior is undefeatable. Except for that one time he was defeated. Screw you, Steve.'
3) 'Okay, just let me think of a good phrase. Wait, what the fuck do you mean we're already recording? Oh sh-'
4) 'Okay, seriously, this time I'll think of a good on- OH CRAP THE LIGHT IS ON! Uh.. uh.. okay kids. Just remember, drugs are awesome. WAIT. FUCK. ERASE THAT.'
5) 'Unauthorized reproductions of this action figure leave you subject to litigation. I WILL SUE YOU BLIND.'

Those are pretty much all the gifts he gives out.

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/220 Posted Author
From a fiery-tempered Trainer … Tue Dec 25 Fiera Kitsun

Fellow Pokemon trainers (in the Union) get a book of coupons for Silph Co. stores, good for discounts off of a wide range of merchandise, including some non-Pokemon-related.

Lotor receives a package wrapped in silk which turns out to be the carefully-torn pieces of a harem outfit he'd previously sent to Fiera. Wrapped inside the silk is what appears to be a necklace of some kind … although closer inspection reveals that the "decorations" on the necklace are the shards of what used to be a Pokeball before its circuits were burnt out by electrical overload, followed by superheating, supercooling, and extreme blunt force to smash it. The necklace is *just* a little too snug for Lotor to wear comfortably. The attached note reads, "Try not to imagine my hands around your throat when you wear this."

Lute gets an IOU good for, verbatim, "One (1) punch in the face. With fire. Additional beatings are gratis at my discretion. May be redeemed any time after the holiday truce ends, up through the beginning of the next one."

Raven DeVanos gets a gift card for a small chain of weapon shops which Fiera's had occasion to learn about in her travels, plus a small book of Silph Co. coupons.

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/221 Posted Author
Gifts from a Mechanic Tue Dec 25 Winry Rockbell

All of Winry's friends (including those who get additional gifts listed below) receive, on Christmas evening, baskets of fresh-baked cookies, compatible with their respective physiologies.

Amuro Ray receives a new set of electronics tools, personally approved by Winry herself.

Autobots who are assocaited with the Union receive (instead of cookie baskets) gift certificates for one visit to any AutoSpa location - a business which may be mistaken for a glorified car wash, but is actually a full-service spa for mechanical life-forms.

Londo Bell members receive gift cards redeemable at any of the restaurants or other eateries in Njorun Station.

Optimus Prime gets the following: a gift certificate for an AutoSpa visit (for Optimus), an equivalent spa gift certificate for Alexis, a new set of fuzzy dice to hang in Optimus's cab, and a holographic target projector which can be programmed with images of up to ten targets from any Confederates in Union records.

Richard Stadler and his unit get new sets of gun-cleaning tools and supplies; Estano receives an additional gift of automail maintenance supplies.

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/222 Posted Author

Totally not belated at all, two more gifts that were supposed to have been mentioned outright in the first present post and might have actually been but in unclear wording!

To Korra: A necklace that looks like it came from one of the Water Tribes based on what's on the string, but with a tiny 'doll' of Korra made of bent metal and bits of other things cobbled together hooked onto it. A note says, "Merry Christmas! Sorry!" There is no explanation what she is apologizing for exactly.

To Loki: A doll of Loki made from Jung's bed frame (much like the ones given out to people in 42/58, and the one to Korra in this post). It comes with a "knife" accessory tied to one wrist that appears to be a sliver of wood. A note comes with, "I'm so sorry!" …Again, no explanation of what exactly she's apologizing for.

Though at least Korra might be given to wonder where exactly Jung got that necklace to begin with.

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/223 Posted Author
In addition Tue Dec 25 The Gofer Sisters

The Gofers forgot somebody.

Possibly on purpose.

To Yuri Stinson: The Sisters gift Yuri, via same-day mail, with a Golden Pengu. In place of its usual adorable supporting phrases of its cousins, the Motivational Pengu, it shouts hot blooded catch phrases from various Multiversal heroes new and old. It has no volume control and is shockingly durable compared to other Pengu.

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/224 Posted Author
Christmas of Light (pt 1) Tue Dec 25 Yuna Kagurazaka

All of Yuna's friends, across factions and including unaffiliated Elites, get Christmas cards with a picture of her in a Santa dress on the front, and appropriate greetings inside for what she knows of their beliefs and relevant holidays, with the wish that it be a blessed one; there are also vouchers with download codes for this year's holiday maxi single.

Everybody who was on the Annu mission (friend or not, whether she's talked to them about it yet or not) receives a different card, with the following message written inside: "Never forget that the sacrifice you were forced to make accomplished something the rest of us couldn't, saving countless worlds from the Emperor's tyranny. Nothing can make up for the lives that were lost, but the stars of the Multiverse still shine as they were meant to because of it. If I can ever do anything to help you, please let me know, and I'll do whatever I can."

And the following individuals and groups get presents in addition to the Christmas cards, as noted below and in the posts that follow.

Adalinda receives a Multiverse-compatible GPS device, with a locator beacon. The manual indicates that there are plug-ins available to customize its software further. Note: "Call whenever you need help, and I'll assist however I can."

Amalthea and Ellestaria get a matching pair of necklaces, with triangular prism pendants that have the kanji for "love," "hope," and "faith" inscribed on the three sides.

Mashiro gets a necklace with a built-in covert locator beacon for; Arika Yumemiya gets the tracking unit for it. Both of them also receive coupons good for a discount on custom-fitted body armor.

Avel and Yulia get a scale model of Sweetwater Colony, in kit form. Note: "If it's too painful for now, save it for when you've reclaimed your home. Either way, I haven't forgotten that I pledged my assistance."

Caro gets a gift card for Makoto Kino's bakery, redeemable at either of her stores (Pallet Town or Njorun Station). "Best munchies EVER! And you probably have enough dragon-related stuff …"

Cecily and Beli Yo'li receive gift cards to a jewelry store. Note: "Keep me posted!" with a winking smiley face next to Yuna's signature.

Yuna's Equestrian friends all get vouchers for VIP passes (backstage access included) to one of Yuna's upcoming concerts.

Fayt Ravus receives a new MP3 player, preloaded with some of Yuna's songs, and a set of noise-cancelling headphones to go with it.

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/225 Posted Author
Christmas of Light (pt 2) Tue Dec 25 Yuna Kagurazaka

All members of the Gatecrashers Union receive gift cards for Makoto Kino's bakery, redeemable at either of her stores. Note: "Let's keep it up, everybody!"

Gentaro Kisaragi gets a compact MP3 player, pre-loaded with some of Yuna's favorite songs. Note: "Try not to listen to it in class; other than that, enjoy! I'll make sure you (and the Club) get to one of my concerts soon."

The Gofer Sisters receive a photo of Yuna sitting on her bed (fully dressed) and hugging the Pengu they gave her. On the back of the photo: "It's adorable!! <3 Thank you!" Additionally, Neko Sencho and her crew get a box of two dozen catnip mice.

Himei receives a voucher to download digital copies of any of Yuna's songs to date for an MP3 player. Note: "If you don't have an MP3 player yet, or want suggestions to pick out a new model, let me know and we can go shopping for one. P.S. - I still owe you and everyone ice cream! Haven't forgotten, sorry it's taken so long."

Kirito gets a new smartphone (of a brand that Yuna is apparently a spokesperson for). Note: "You never need to be alone, and sometimes you need to not be alone even if you want to be." The phone's been pre-programmed with Yuna's contact information, and there are entries in its directory for the rest of the Gatecrashers Union that need numbers and such filled in.

Loki gets a model kit of El-Line, with electronics to light it up from the inside (particularly its eyes). Note: "El-Line is supposed to be on the side of good; I'm still sorry about scaring you that time."

Lotor is sent a photograph of a tree, somewhere in a natural, unspoiled setting, with a bunch of songbirds perched in a tree and Yuna (in human form, casual civilian clothes) and Fluttershy (her usual pony self) standing on opposite sides; the cage that Lotor gave Yuna (full of songbirds) sits open and empty on the ground under the tree. Note written on the back: "I can't take care of pets properly, so I asked for help. I appreciate the gesture, though. 'If you love something, set it free …'"

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/226 Posted Author
Christmas of Light (pt 3) Tue Dec 25 Yuna Kagurazaka

Makoto Kino receives coffee and hot chocolate sampler packs, which come with discount coupons to buy larger quantities of any variety she chooses from the samplers.

Milfeulle Sakuraba gets a copy of a gourmet cookbook that recently came out on Yuna's Earth.

Mir receives a photo of Yuna wearing her Magical Princess Starlight-Chan costume from Halloween. Written on the back: "That was one of the weirdest adventures I've been involved on, and I have a pretty high mark for 'weird adventures'. But it was also fun, and I was glad to help out - it's always good to know that we can cooperate despite factional lines. Let me know how else I can help, okay?"

Nathan Hall is given a palmtop computer from Yuna's world; it's not cutting-edge (by her Earth's standards, 2300 A.D.) but it comes pre-loaded with personal organizer software as well as an indexing program to help in his librarian duties.

Nine gets a compact MP3 player, preloaded with some of Yuna's songs that she's performed and recorded. Note: "There are some Confederates whom I can't forgive. You aren't one of them, and I hope you never will be - I'm happy to count you as a friend, even if the war pits us against each other from time to time."

Noh and Elio receive matching MP3 players, with text-message capability for communication between them.

Optimus Prime gets two separate "copies" of a 3D jigsaw puzzle of Neo Tokyo Tower, from Yuna's world; one is normal size (for Alexis), one is much bigger, apparently sized for Optimus to work on.

All Puella Magi whom Yuna knows personally get CD copies of Yuna's latest album, and vouchers to download MP3s of the songs on it.

Raven DeVanos gets vouchers for up to four VIP passes to one of Yuna's future concerts. Note: "If you need more, let me know and I'll see what I can pull together."

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/227 Posted Author
Christmas of Light (last part) Tue Dec 25 Yuna Kagurazaka

Skidplate receives a teddy bear dressed in a stereotypical ninja outfit (black bodysuit, mask, etc.) Note: "Let me know how I can help with liberating New York-666, okay? I'm grateful that you've been spearheading this and I owe you huge for it."

All members of Starlit Hearts get … party invitations! But the date and time and place still need to be pinned down. Note to each member: "When works for you? If we can't find a time that's good for everyone, then those who miss out can at least get some munchies and beverages when convenient."

And last but by no means least, Tyrael receives an LP album of A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College, Cambridge; the attached note reads, "They still do this on my Earth, three centuries later. I love listening to it every year that I can; I hope you enjoy it as well."

(OOC - Coming in under the wire here, but Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to EVERYONE!!! :)

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/228 Posted Author
Radical Hearth's warming (3) Tue Dec 25 Rainbow Dash

I didn't forget you guys, honest!

Yunomi - Yunomi gets a pair of sunglasses just like Rainbow's signature, black sunglasses, but in her size. They look ultra cool and when angled just right they reflect the sun just so to add extra radicalness. Plus they're pretty good at blocking out bright lights. 'You're pretty awesome for someone who's just about as random as Pinkie Pie! Now you can show it!'

Knight Pegasus - Somehow KP ended up on Dash's Hearth's Warming List. He ends up getting a small tub of premium armor polish. Literal armor polish that guard pony's probably use - But it should be pretty good for reploid armor anyway, right? 'Thanks for the help when I wasn't myself. Maybe this stuff will help keep you up to speed!'

Raven DeVanos - Knowing how Raven races chocobos, Rainbow has gotten Raven a pair of heavy duty racing goggles. The kids get a pack of assorted, small plastic Wonderbolts figures for them to fight over. 'You still owe me a race some day!'

Himei and Rose Parker - Both will receive a tin of a variety of some very good cookies from Sugar Cube Corner. 'Didn't know what to get you, so I hope you like cookies. They're pretty awesome!'

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/229 Posted Author
Some belated gifts Wed Dec 26 Alexis

To the Other Trainers: Each of them gets a rather thick book entitled 'The Multiversal Field Guide to Lethal Cuteness'. It's a guide book on various combat creature worls, and while the Pokemon section is likely old news to them all, it covers everything else from Digimon and Monster Rancher to card based ones like Yu-Gi-Oh and obscurities as Fighting Foodons. Inside each is a card that reads 'I know none of you extended your training like I did, but you never know when you'll have to fight against one of these — Alexis'. There's also a snack of favorite food for each of their primaries (ketchup for Pikachu, ect.)

Raven: A gift coupon booklet for a pet store in Urbanian that specializes in -any- kind of pet for food and treats. Yes, even dinosaurs. There's also a few certificates for that resturant outside of the Blood Dome, her older 'kids' would probably enjoy the excersized of the 'Fight Your Meal' option.

Makoto: A pair of woman's boots similar to the ones she wears normally when not transformed, with reinforced toes and heavy soles, perfect for when she needs to kick someone's ass without magical girl power. From one tomboy to another.

Nova - His usual refill of inks and pens for charm scribing… that are in a new antique writing desk in his study. You live with a kitsune long enough and you learn how to occasionally sneak things around them. -.n

Rainbow Dash: A T-shirt (modified with wing holes in the back). Down the front it reads 'My Job Skills - Karate Chop - Headbutt - Uppercut - Flying Kick - 'Problem Solver' '

Fluttershy: A likewise modified T-shirt, of a cartoony skunky looking away timidly, but it's tail held high and ominously, reading 'Beware The Shy Ones' on it.

Twilight Sparkle: Also a t-shirt, this one with a pop-up book open to a wide outdoors scenery on the front. The text says 'Reading Opens Your Horizons'

Applejack: An Western style vest, modified for pony fit. It's got a little fring on the decoration but nothing too tacky, it's mostly fancy stitchins. There's a belt that goes with it… but that might be more useful as a wall decoration to a Pony. >.>

Pinkie Pie: A T-shirt like the others, brightly colored in confetti and streamer deco that in big bold letters reads PARTY CENTRAL.

Lotor: Is the victim of the box-in-box-in-box 'wrapping' this year. In the smallest final box is a larger elfish action figure from some generic toyline, that's been painted blue. And played with very roughly to the point that it's already busted and missing bits of plastic. It's suppose to be a prank present, Lotor might reconize some of the gashes as Pawniard and Bisharp claws…

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/230 Posted Author
Pissed Off Unicorn Gifts (1) Wed Dec 26 Amalthea

Amalthea kind of has no real expenses to speak of, she lives in a mountain fortress and hits things with a sword for the Union, so it's not like she has to pay rent or anything, and that means she usually has spare cash to fling around come Christmas time to get some people Nice Things.

The whole Union - Every member of the union gets an E-card. It looks like this: (Note: Real Amaltheas may not be as festive or chibi as Amaltheas depicted on the card.) There is text: I don't know all of you as well as I would like and I like less than half of you something something something. Look just have a merry Christmas.

Ellestaria - To be given in private

Ariel - Ariel receives what appears to be something quite ancient. Three hundred years old, in fact. A set of hand fashioned ornaments meant to be hung from the ceiling, made from bits of colored broken glass and scrap. Though it might seem meager, when strung together, light shines through it in a scintillating but gentle rainbow spray of color. "To my beloved daughter on her first Christmas, your coming into the world heralded a new chapter in my life. One of happiness the likes of which I always thought I would never have, when I was younger. And though I regret almost leaving when you were only a week old, I want you to know I did it so that you and your mother could live freely. Whenever times are rough and I think I can't hold on, I always think of you and Lest, and that gives me the strength to keep going. This was mine when I was your age. I thought it could use someone else to love it, now."

Himei - Amalthea seems to have sent Himei another child leash, because the last one she sent probably did nothing to stop Kiyoko in any way shape or form. This one is made of corded steel. But there is also an actual gift. Kind of along the lines of the breastplate she sent last year. This year it's a simple metal bracer. Though it's enchanted to summon a small buckler shield, fueled by the magic of the wielder and colored to match said power source, to protect the wearer. "A guardian and defender of hope should always have a shield."

Kiyoko Saito - A large set of wire cutters able to snap corded steel. "A maniac like you will probably find use for this, kid." More seriously though, Kiyoko gets a huge hunk of a giant peppermint from the frosty realm of Kringle in Panaan. Also a Russian made RPG-7 missile launcher. You know, the ones anyone can get their hands on. This thingee: "Don't tell Himei I got you this one."

Nathan - Nathan gets a fine black suit. All librarians need suits right? The card that comes with it reads: "Nathan. You are one of the handful of people can can truly call a friend, and after all that you've done for me and my family. My offer for you and Pegasus still stands." The suit, when a button on the cuff is depressed, whispers several calming phrases, the most prominent of which being: 'Don't worry'. Behold. The Executive calm suit.

Pegasus - Pegasus gets a 'gift set' of various bottles of plating polish, and oils for her new plating. 'Looking good, sis. Also: ask Nathan about the offer I made him.'

Rampart - It's a cape. And it's not red. It's blue. "Try a different color sometimes. I hear blue is royal anyway. Thanks for hooking me and Lest up with the Fortress of No Fucks Given." The cloak however is no ordinary cloak. It repairs itself over the course of a few days and self-cleans if damaged or dirty.

Terra Branford - A brand new sash to wrap around her waist. This one seems to be able to hold stuff in the folds like some kind of trendy bag of holding. Except as a sash, not a bag.

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/231 Posted Author
Pissed Off Unicorn Gifts (2) Wed Dec 26 Amalthea

Psyber - Psyber gets a kickin' pair of suspenders. Cool guys wear suspenders. There's more though in the form of Doritos. Home made Doritos. Cool ranch flavor. "Something to munch on next time I'm over to kick your ass on the Yboxstation. The ingredients were a bitch to find, do you know how tough it is to get three ounces of powdered Charlie Sheen, Elven Joy, six drops of liquified sunlight, and a caramelized haiku? Keep safe, big lug."

Braddock - James gets a black metal shoulder plate, elbow pads, and kneepads that may have been made out of a drop pod. "A little extra protection when inside those coffins. Figured I'd give you 'moar coffin'."

Agrias Oaks - A note: "Be Ariel's Godmother?" Along with that, though is a brand new ribbon, deep blue in color, matching the one Agrias gave Amalthea.

Kaminagi Setsuko - A photo album with several shots of Amalthea and Setsuko fighting back to back in the snow in front of an old castle fortress. Along with this is a small sliver of metal. It doesn't seem like much but it is absolutely razor sharp to the touch. Further inspection will reveal it is not steel, but seems to have a natural blue-ish tint to it. Mizzium. Making this gift one of the last remaining shards of her blade: Faith. "You told me your purpose and I said when you had need of it I'd be at your side with my sword. There's not much left of my sword now, but just say the word."

Chrysanthemum - A card! It is a festive christmas card with the picture of a smiling snowman on the front. Opening it changes dramatically, as the picture on the inside is a murderous angrily scowling snowman, with fire blazing behind him. The reason becomes pretty obvious why, because it has every single swear Amalthea could not say when Chrys took her ability to cuss. There are a lot, but most prominent is… The Elder Swear. A full paragraph of one single profane curse so lewd and vicious that just reading it makes even the worst sailor fall to his knees and weep pitiably like a stricken child. The note is ended in a vindictive: "Never do that again, bitch."

Fate T. Harlaown - Fancy and nice teacups with dolphins and prancing unicorns dancing all over them. "Thanks for the visit."

Elliana Fairchild - A card - "Thanks for the flower fields. I'm still going to belt you across the face next time I see you, but it's just because it's part of the job now. Sorry about breaking little child-you's jaw, I sort of got carried away there in a fit of uncontrollable murder-rage, but the little snot had it coming. And I still think you're still a dick for what you pulled. But I'm not angry anymore, I guess. Merry Christmas, though." Amalthea being Not Angry at someone is like some kind of Christmas Miracle and gift in and of itself, but if that's not enough, there is more than the card. It's a picture of everyone together, Elliana, Psyber, Himei, Rampart, George, Nathan, Kevin, and Amalthea, chattering as friends while gearing up and making final preparations on the way to seal the Lord of Nightmares.

Priscilla - Priscilla gets a picture of Ariel chasing a butterfly. There are no words, but it is in a pretty frame decorated with little prancing unicorns. It also has a button, which plays a recorded sound of a very familiar and sweet chime. She should get the significance.

Sakura Haruno - Flowers gets that picture she asked for. And a red scarf that warms the wearer.

The Emperor - Amalthea lights a blue candle in memoriam of old Annu.

Everyone who went to Annu - A single unicorn's tear in a tiny but ornate glass vial on a chain. A corona of gentle rainbow light emanates from the crystal droplet. It may be worn around the neck and kept. Or it may be used to cure the most grievous of wounds and poisons just once.

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/232 Posted Author
Late Tank Chirstmas gifts Wed Dec 26 Tomoe

Asuna - high level AGI boots which may or may not be an upgrade, though it shows Tomoe pays attention to how her friend's built. Also Some A and B rank fish.

Kirito - A very good AGI ring that has decent bit of Strength on it.

Yui - A brown Teddy bear.

Agil - A note promising if she ever catches an S rank fish she'll split whatever is made with it with him and he'll also get a say in what's made from it.

Cat Weighted Training clothes in her size.

Anya - A mail delivery of a large number of the new herbs from the new floor someone's been grinding for quite a while on this.

Klien - A new epic headband also 100 bucks with Mach Pizza and a note. "These guys deliver /anywhere/ Figured you and your guild could have pizza at some point. Enjoy

Iianor - A digital journal logging some of the more breath taking areas of the floating castle Tomoe has found in her travels with a short note. - I don't think you will regret checking these places out.

Psalm - A collection of plays along with a note. These plays are all by who's been trapped in the death game his guild actually puts on plays a few times a month on floor one or the current content pushing floor. He's a little cheesy but it's been all the fresh entrainment we had for about two years. Thought you might like to see it. -Tomoe

Arthur - Collector's Edition of Ghost Busters III from her world. It's surprisingly faithful to the previous two movies and isn't to shabby.

Auron - A pair of designer shades of the sort last in style before Tomoe was trapped in SAO, they are thankfully in the dark sort of colour Auron seems to prefer.

All Members of the Gate Crashers Union get a Corridor Crystal and a rare quality winter event outfit that should roughly suit the their tastes. Also an E-card of Tomoe in a winter event outfit on the winter floor throwing a snowball and generally seeming to be in a good mood. There's a message in it aside from wishing the person a merry Christmas.

Additional Those who are actually from the death game get an additional gift. They get a delivery of food, it's western style fish and chips it's b class food but it's still pretty good and how the heck did she figure out how to make Tartar sauce and french fries?

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/233 Posted Author
SANTA KITAAAAAA Wed Dec 26 Gentaro Kisaragi

From the KRC to Yuna: A hand-knit Hayabusa-kun! It's got great big googly eyes and it looks like it can be worn as a hat.

From the KRC to Ryotaro and Tendou: Burgermeal Foodroids. The size and shape of standard fast-food burgers, these compact robots fold out into a wheeled form that can conduct surveillance, record information.. and also contact the Rabbit Hutch directly. Included note: "Keep an eye out for Zodiarts. If they start appearing away from the school, let us know immediately. - Kengo"

From the KRC to Leo: A.. Christmas cake. The labeling describes it as a "Super Galaxy Christmas Cake". There are things in it that one normally wouldn't consider baking into a fruitcake, like pretzels, and M&M's. Aparrently something was lost in translation.

From Miu to Yuna: A Miu poster from Queen's Fest. No, seriously. On the back is written, "I couldn't have done it without you."

The Gofers will stumble onto an online video of Yuna on-stage at Amanogowa High School, singing a song about the Japanese satellite Hayabusa ( while wearing a costume made to look like said satellite. She's not bad, but.. God, is this dorky.

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/234 Posted Author
Precia's Gifting Wed Dec 26 Precia Testarossa

Fate Testarossa: Fate gets a picnic basket and a stuffed animal that looks vaguely doglike. 'If you think back, this was Alicia's favorite, but a different color. I needed the color to be different, so that you know that I realize you aren't Alicia. But I hope that you share this much in common with her.' Arf gets a new collar and tag. 'Thank you for protecting her from me.'

Nanoha Takamachi: A formal dress tailored for her, and an invitation to dinner at a five star restaurant. 'Meeting my daughter's best friend did not go very well the first time. Can we have a retry?' Yuuno gets some of Precia's notes on studies of Lost Logia in their original form. Nothing classified, but they're written from a perspective the official files lack.

Fate T. Harlaown: A picture of Precia with Fate, in the same style as she took with Alicia years before, and a very warm pair of house slippers. 'You're old enough for practical motherhood gifts now. I am sure if my counterpart had come to her senses, she would be proud of you.'

Nanoha(older): Nanoha receives a new recipe book and a very nice dutch oven. 'Though we have our differences, I still hope to mend them someday.' Vivio also has a gift, a book on magical styles throughout the universe aside from Mid-Childan.

Caro Ru Lushe: A woolen cloak and mittens. 'I can see that Fate has already raised you better than I raised her.'

Tyrael: An old picture of a younger Precia, one with a smiling Alicia. 'In case I do not survive, I'd like you to remember me this way. And if I do survive, I am giving you the first opportunity to make a choice that I think needs made.'

Material-S: A proof cover and some sweet potato flour. 'I think fixing a recipe with this will be more to Levi's taste.'

Material-L: Levi gets a box of those '100 classic arcade games on a joystick' things. Spares for the inevitable breakage. 'You are not my daughter, but you seem to have some of her memories and some anger with me. I hope you find your own path, in a way that makes you happy.'

Alicia T. Harlaown: Audio recordings of 'Melodies of the Multiverse' and another that is a soft, sweet symphonic tune. 'You seem to have grown into liking music. The second is a piece that I particularly liked when I was your age.'

Eila Juutilainen and Sanya Litvyak: Both girls get enchanted snowglobes. 'A reminder of home, I hope.' The scenes are not christmasy in nature, meant to remind them of Orussia. They also have a minor enchantment that cools the immediate area by a few degrees.

Zelgius: A supply of gourmet dark chocolate. The expensive stuff. 'You have a difficult job, but a very worthwhile one, I think. Thank you.'

Kaminagi Setsuko: A small, decorative shield with the image of a blazing sword inlaid. 'You are a hard one to shop for, but eventually I settled on this. For yours is a blade that protects, above all, and that is what I will always remember you as.'

Dovahkiin Elen: An insulated flagon that looks normal for the land of Skyrim, but acts almost as good as a thermos. 'I'd like to say it's endless… but it isn't. To many more adventures, Elen.'

Harry Dresden: A book on magic of Mid-Childa, as well as a 15% bonus added to fees accrued thus far in helping Precia. 'The first is for study and understanding. The second is for going above and beyond the call of duty.'

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/235 Posted Author
Star Singing Gifts Wed Dec 26 Misha

Misha doesn't know very many people but it looks like she at least understands what Christmas is, and has endeavored to get the small handful of people she knows something nice.

Mir - A small music box. It plinks out a gently rendered tune of Harmonious. "I never had any hard feelings, if you didn't."

Ryotaro Nogami - A scarf with trains chugging over it. The Imagin get similar scarves but matched to their colors. "Thank you for caring."

Teresa - Polishing powder. AKA: THE SHINYROO. (Don't ask about the name.) "You can use this for your sword and armor. Thank you for your help."

Terra Creed - A pretty nice set of warm gloves for the winter season. "Thank you for guarding me."

Psyber - Oh hey Misha got a gift card to that coffee shop. "Split this with me?"

Himei - A friendly invitation over for a homecooked meal. "Whenever you want to talk. Thank you for the Funbuns."

Alicia T. Harlaown - A plushie of. … Goro? "Please try harder, next time."

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/236 Posted Author
A little late but… Thu Dec 27 Doyenne Misato

A large number of 'Christmas Cakes', essentially sponge cakes laden with whipped cream and fresh strawberries, have been set out in the Njorun Station's cafeteria. There are also plenty of snack plates, forks, and napkins. All courtesy of the two Misatos, according to the card.

Hidden behind the curtains are paper shopping bags emblazoned with the name of a well-known and really good bakery.

Anyone who had checked on the horrific, burnt-strawberry smelling smoke pouring out of one of the Elite mess halls on the 23rd would find that neither Misato claims any responsibility and says that it is pure coincidence. Pen-Pen, if present, will begin penguin-laughing.

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/237 Posted Author
Zombie Hunter Christmas Gift, Adde Fri Dec 28 Richard Stadler

Because I missed this one before:

Rebecca Chambers received a very large, matte black revolver, chambered in .44 Magnum caliber. The weapon itself has undergone some modification, including under and over-barrel mounts, as well as a grip customized to Rebecca's hand. A note, printed on a laser printer, reads, "Boss told me that you might need something a little larger to stop the more aggressive BOWs, and asked me to provide one for you as a Christmas gift. I understand you're a medic, and are bound under the Hippocratic oath, but we both know that the things we fight don't observe those rules. May it keep you safe." The signature line reads 'The Senior Chief'. The paper is otherwise unidentifiable.

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/238 Posted Author
Zemurian Gifts (1) Fri Dec 28 Kevin Graham

The active members of the Union all receive a particular gift- it's a small red envelope, wrapped with white string, decorated into an intricate knot. It can easily be opened, and small paper beads can be used to draw the string tight so that whatever contents are inserted are held firmly inside.. It isn't sealed, and a small sheet of parchment is slipped into it. Intricate patterns are inlaid along the trim and edging of the red paper of envelope. Along with this, a note has been included:

"The Septian Church does not celebrate Christmas. Instead, we celebrate the New Year. As Zemuria is a land of survivors, we welcome each new year as bringing at least a new day to us, while remembering the past and reflecting upon it. As such, one very popular tradition during the Alteria festivals encompasses this ideal. Within the envelope is a small strip of paper. After you remove it, you write a wish for the coming year on it - be it a goal, a resolution, or a desire.

On the first day of the new year, Alteria has the Festival of Lights. We have come from the darkness that was the Great Collapse with our lives and our home. The darkness reminds us of when we had nearly lost everything, and the light reminds us of who we are - survivors. We take our wishes and desires and offer them to the flames of the lights in the Holy Capital, so that they may be burned away and carried to Aidios. As She granted us our most desperate wish to survive, She will also grant you your happiness. If you want, I can carry them to Alteria with me when I go to work at the festival and I can act to allow your wishes to be sent to Aidios alongside those of the people of Zemuria.

May your next year be prosperous and blessed by the Heavenly Goddess Herself."

Those who were with Kevin during the Annu incident have received something else along with the envelope. A tiny gemstone, not much larger than the palm of ones hand. It has been polished and shaped, given the hardware to become a pendant. There is a brilliant, golden color to it - probably even brought out more by the polishing work made on it. It also has a note:

"This is a piece of Septium, one of Zemuria's most precious resources. This particular type of Septium is called Goldius; it is a stone that represents the power of Space, and Space is the element behind all energy and life in my world. Perhaps with concentration, you can even feel the small amount of warmth that the Goldius can provide. Though we fought hard, in our attempt to push back the emperor's forces, we- those of us who walked through his soul- have lost as much as we won. While we may carry the memories of those that lost their lives, we also carry their legacy.

This piece of Septium is to serve as a reminder - it is a tiny fragment of the sheer force of life that shines on in the bleak darkness of the awful decision we had to make that day. No matter the lives lost, we can, at least, remember that lives will also carry on because of our actions. I have many regrets from those days in Annu, but I do not regret standing alongside you. I pray that this coming year will bring you peace."

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/239 Posted Author
Zemurian Gifts (2) Fri Dec 28 Kevin Graham

There have been gifts made for particular individuals throughout the Union, as well. And a strange one that was not so much the Union:

Himei - Himei has received an envelope, and within it is a set of tickets. A pass for a room for two at the hotel at Michelam Island in Crossbell, as well as a pair of passes to the amusement park. "A popular place in Zemuria is this particular locale. Life has been difficult and has kept everyone busy, but everyone who have the chance need to take a day or two off at some point. Take someone with you, as well - relax, and have fun!"

Lloyd Irving - Lloyd a small box containing a silver ring inlaid with small lines of black stone. The note says, "Those life bottles are dangerous. This is an ancient ring that was meant to protect the soul of one who steps near death far too much. I apologize that I was unable to get to you as I promised before my duties recalled me back to the capital, and I pray that you were able to find the help you needed. May this ring keep that from happening once again."

Nathan Hall - Nathan's box is somewhat large, and relatively heavy, but there's a good reason. Inside are several hardback books. One is a promised copy of the Septian Church's scriptures, another contains historical information on Liberl, Erebonia, and the detailed account of their recent war. The final is a pair of books from the famous "Carnelia" fictional series. A note is tucked into one of the covers, "I know you wanted one of these, but you might have interest in the others for your own collection." The note isn't signed, but it should be obvious who the gift came from anyway.

Milfeulle - Milfe's gift is only in an envelope, marked with an ornate wax seal bearing the emblem of the Septian Church. Inside, is a formal invitation to be a guest of the Grand Cathedral in Alteria during the year end festivals. There is a card inside - "My work rarely allows me an opportunity to truly enjoy the festivals personally, but it would be my honor if you came to join me for the few times I do - and to be a guest to enjoy yourself with all the food and culture my home can provide."

Mortimer Balman - Charr will find himself with a bottle of liquor. It is in a decorative bottle which is enclosed in a fine box. "The Erebonian capital is well known for its indulgences. Sometimes, it's worth taking time out to indulge in something, even if it's in a small glass."

Nine - Nine receives a bottle of a wine from the Calvard Republic. It isn't too much unlike sake, but there's a slightly different flavor to it. The bottle itself is very nice, and sealed shut with a wax stopper. "Might as well return the favor. Feel free to save this for a certain special day that should be coming up for two friends of yours as well."

Sakura Haruno - Sakura finds herself with an envelope. Within, is a pass on a handwritten letter, and a pair of tickets. The tickets are airship tickets to fly to the Zeiss region of Liberl. There is also a voucher for two to stay at an inn and to partake in its hot springs and local foods. "Life in the medical wing is a very stressful one. Take time out for yourself- and take a friend, if you want!- to recharge and relax."

Sarah - Along with the Goldius pendant, Sarah will have a small box and inside it a silver bracelet, decorated with three, blue Septium gems. Like the pendant, the power of Water can be sensed with them. Nothing that would provide more power to compete with the Rune, but perhaps a comforting feeling. "Like Goldius is to Space, Sapphirl is the essence of Water. A small trinket for someone who bears the greatest understanding of this incredible element."

Tony Stark - An old orbment is closed in a small box, but further investigation finds a pair of first-class tickets for an Erebonian airship cruise and a note underneath it: "Try not to push the orbment too much - it's old. I'm sure it'll be an interesting enough of a toy' for you to tinker with, and see what our technology and the source of our electricity' is like. Also, try not to let Pepper think too much about the job when you take that trip. The vacation will do the both of you some good."

(OOC: I'll probably post again if I forgot anything on this. Merry (belated) Christmas, everyone!)

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/240 Posted Author
Gifts from the Firemind Mon Dec 31 Niv-Mizzet

Yunomi - For the brightest and newest member of the Izzet League, Niv-Mizzet has sent a new pair of goggles, though these ones are enchanted to have a number of different readouts to assist in her work. Additionally twenty new lab request forms have been filled out and only require the tanuki's signature and a few details about what the new lab would need. Work aside, Niv has also sent a set of five gems, each one a color on the mana wheel, "For mana and for Memories," While the gems can generate mana, Yunomi would be able to see any place she wants once the gems are attuned to a proper place.

Winry Rockbell - Several more Mizzium ingots for any automail machines she'd care to make with the material. Also included are instructions on how to form the metal, but it calls for dragonsfire. There would also be a brilliant red crystal with a note, "For when you need dragonsfire and no dragon is around." If the gem is placed into any fire source, it will enable the flame to burn as bright as a dragonsfire. Warning: Make sure you use this outside.

Amalthea, Ellestaria & Ariel - A fully paid one week vacation to -anywhere- in the Multiverse of the family's choosing. Also a set of small crystals that are attuned to each other. "Hold a crystal to the light and you'll always be able to find each other." The crystals, when the instructions are followed, would cast a shape made entirely of light which would point to each person. A different color for each individual.

Raven DeVanos - Five 1-day passes to let her entire ranch be taken care of by the Selesnyans. "Everyone needs a day off once in a while. But how about an entire vacation?" At least if the Selesnya take care of the ranch Raven won't come back to a ruin.

Yuna Kagurazaka - Yuna would receive a very interesting new microphone for her career by day. It doesn't require being plugged into any kind of speaker or sound system, but uses a blue crystal in the hilt to project the sound out to an audience. A small slider on the side allows for Yuna to adjust how she wants the acoustics to sound.

Talynn Black - A gift from Sidonia. Its a dark crystal with a simple note attached. "Tap once, wait five minutes, and you will have assistance no matter where you are." No explanation is given.

Richard Stadler - 20 clips of Mizzium bullets. Suggested use: Anti-vehicle weaponry. For Fleece she gets a set of five dragon scales, one from each of the Mizzet family, plus a metallic blue one from Thianel.

Tony Stark - A box with a single Mizzium ingot with NO instructions on how to forge the metal. "Good luck." is all that's given on the note.

Any other Union Member, past or present, would also receive a card from Niv-Mizzet, Thianel, and the kits, wishing them a wonderful holiday, new year, and a small red and blue sided coin. If flipped, if it lands on heads a small fire would alight where it lands. If blue, a bucket of water. If on its edge somehow, both. "Something handy for anyone that would get caught away from home."

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/241 Posted Author
Should Noh Aquaintend Be Forgot Tue Jan 01 Noh

Although Noh generally prefers personalized gifts to individuals made by hand, she also usually reserves the really big making of gifts for right around weird holidays like the Equinox, the Solstice, stuff like that. This year, however, is noted by presents coming a week late, possibly because she's been busy planning things with Elio.

Those who know Noh personally receive cards, hand made, in sets of about 15; all of them signed by a different child of the gypsies with whom Noh is now living, as well as Noh's shinx, Anza. As well, along with the cards come personal sketches of the recipiant made on a slab of birch bark, and drawn with charcoal pen.

Those Noh doesn't know well but does know, period, receive less personal cards made on paper; one card per person, signed bt Noh and Anza, and with a pressed flat and laminated (and cut out) forget-me-not flower tucked into each as a bookmark.

Lotor receives a dying capybara, it's throat chewed out, left to rot in his mailbox.

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/242 Posted Author
Gifts From the Voidy Void Tue Jan 01 Fiora O'Brien

Because Paradox Space is in the Void, contained in a Void, and… Anyway!

Vruasa Telash - Vruasa's gift is contained in a large, thin rectangular cardboard box with reinforced corners - And covered in bucket-print wrapping paper. Inside, when the gag wrapping paper is torn apart (and most likely, promptly burned), there is a large painting. It features Vruasa prominently in the foreground, standing over the bodies of various monsters wearing archaic armor - a greek-style golden breastplate, cape, and boots, though around his neck is his cerulean scarf, and his eyes remain shrouded by his sunglasses. Wearing a victorious grin, he holds up in his right hand a shattered black sceptre, and a crushed tiara. In the background are others, from the two sessions of Sburb and Sgrub. Arthur rides around on a broom trailing a cloud of stars, Prorth crosses his arms and turns up his nose, and Arerth is viciously beaten by Fiora in a small corner. Across the bottom is single word: "Victory." Attached is a small note. "The other gift will be even more late… And is a Secret."

Arthur Lowell - Portraits usually depict the person as they are… But not this large piece. The second largest of all those distributed, it is also surprisingly simple. On a starry background 'stands' an older-looking and much more beard-y Arthur. Wearing flowing dark grey robes, with a sagging-brimmed pointy wizard hat (think Gandalf) that frames his MAGNIFICENT manbeard, full and bushy. In his hand is a staff-broom, radiating magical power and awesomeness and distorts the stars around it. There is a knowing twinkle added to his eyes, and practically everything about this painting exudes manliness and awesomeness. There is an inscription at the bottom. '~Much of Fiction Portrays Wizards as Total Badasses~'

Summer Powers - First, a simple card: 'I hope you find a way around your curious secret situation. The only thing I can do is keep your secret and hope Christmas comes twice for you.' With this is a moderately large portrait of Summer, wearing the clothes she was when her and Fiora went out on their 'date', with a dark gothic background behind it - dark, gnarled furniture and tattered black window drapes. A small note rests in silver at the bottom right corner. 'All the best. PS: I'm still sorry about the aftermath of this. -Fiora'

Psyber - Psyber is depicted in large portrait in a regal pose, one hand crossed in front of his body resting on a gold capped black cane, and his other held to the side swirling a wineglass. Wearing a red suit complete with a frilly ascot, back pants, black dress shoes, and a totally serious expression on his face. It's the sort of thing extremely self-assured noblemen put up in their houses in huge frames so everyone can see how self-assured they are. It's also classy.

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/243 Posted Author
Gifts from the Voidy Void 2 Tue Jan 01 Fiora O'Brien

Loros - Loros recieves a rather interesting portrait. It is him, in all his Mafia Finery, smoking a cigarette next to a comfortable red plush chair and a well-stoked fireplace. Loros himself is drawn in a stately and regal posture, with sworling crystal ball glasses hiding the bottom half of his eyes as they rest low on his nose, and a knowing smirk on his face as he smokes. There are two other interesting parts to the painting - the armoire near him seems to be bursting with occult things (chains, blood, fire, pages with pentagrams on them), and across the floor the capital letters H, A, and R chase around their lower-case versions with sticks as N viciously beats n. The jumbo portrait also comes with a small package of black men's dress socks.

Everyone in Session 412 - A simple 8.5 by 11 sheet of printer paper, folded halfways with a penned-in drawing of Fiora and Keane on the 'front', each wearing christmas hats and holding bottles of champagne which are bubbling over, smiling out at the viewer. This is a drawing, and not a photo, because Fiora would not be caught dead taking a photo as cheesy as that. Inside is written 'Season's Greetings, from the O'Briens!', signed by both Fiora and Keane. Each is addressed to pesterchum handles, and not actual names. On the back are random doodles of Squiddles (plush toy squids) that vary from 'card' to 'card'.

More to come! Probably! Inspiration willing.

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/244 Posted Author
Pegagifts Wed Jan 02 Pegasus

Pegasus has been busy! But she's gotten gifts together for a few people.

Every Union Elite, and every Confederate Elite that Pegasus knew during her time there, gets a single cupcake and a card. What? She can't afford more than that for a mass gifting! The cupcake is, however, baked by Pegasus herself.

Ariel receives a very finely-made chess set, with crystal for white and obsidian for black. Also she receives a beginner's baking catalogue. 'I know you don't know what you want yet, but I also know you don't like violence, so I gave two things I like that aren't violent.'

Ellestaria gains a silken shawl in vivid purple, to match her colors, and a sculpted quartz dragon figurine, suitable as a desk or mantle piece.

Amalthea's gift is… a new chair! All new padding and springs and frame, and there is an option in there to pay for a reupholstery if she wants to keep the old upholstery. 'It doesn't feel right giving you weapons and armor, so I will just do what I can to give you comfort.'

Nine will find that he too gets a book on beginning baking, but also a very thick book, the binding and cover reinforced to handle rough hands. 'I thought you might like a durable enough photo album.'

Unyielding Rampart will find that Pegasus has scraped together some spare Moonsteel, a sizable enough amount for some experimentation. She usually keeps some on hand for repairs, but this is enough to make stuff with. 'A new material for the smith to play with! Thank you for all your help.'

Zelgius gets a gift in the form of a fine new blade, elaborately etched with intricate yet abstract designs. The hilt is some kind of rough skin, like sharkskin. 'The blade is decorative, if you want to display it somewhere, but it is also durable and has a fine edge, if you prefer a more practical use.'

Terra Branford's gift is far simpler: a good amount of table bread for her orphanage, and some promises of future pony rides. 'You don't seem to want for much for yourself, so I gave to the ones that you care about. I hope that's all right.'

Nathan Hall receives several things, naturally. The first being an old tome that Pegasus managed to find in Panaan, detailing many of the fae from that world. Some pages have even further notes hand-written into them, most often to note if a species is extinct. He'll also receive a new suit and tickets to a performance of Der Ring des Nibelungen. 'I'm not sure about the performance, but I'm willing to wear my new dress if you're willing to try it out with me.'

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/245 Posted Author
Mace's Presents Fri Jan 04 Leyanne Mace

The mouse's presents are all delivered fashionably late and wrapped annoyinly tightly, with the sound of a Harley Davidson audible just before their discovery.

Loki gets a holo-picture, framed. It's a CG render of himself, wearing a horned Viking-style open-face motorcycle helmet astride a snorting chopper befitting the Trickster King. When the panels across the bottom are touched, it highlights features - weapons, rotating license plate, and so forth. A sticker stuck to the painting says 'She's yours when I know you can handle her X'

Makoto gets a hand-welded twelve-inchstatue of herself, built out of shop offcuts and other parts from around Mace's Martian Customs. It's hand-sprayed, not that you can tell (Leyanne's left-handed) and a rather striking, and realistic, representation of herself. The plaque reads 'For being there'

Yunomi and Richard receive expensive cakes, probably ordered from Makoto. The notes read 'I'm sorry I suck at choosing gifts. Everyone likes cake, right?

Tyrael and other important Union personnel recieve hand-made bath products and cosmetics from Lush ( ).

There's probably a load more people I owe gifts to, or thanks and apologies to at least - you guys also get Lush stuff. If you feel you deserve a special prezzie from me, just let me know OOCly and we can talk about it =3

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/246 Posted Author
Another Belated Present Fri Jan 04 Leo

Leo also sent Leyanne Mace a present. It is a small box, and when opened, a rocket-powered boxing glove flies out at more than sufficient face-punching velocity. Inside is a note. "Repaying the favor. Merry Christmas."

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/247 Posted Author
For Atomic Robo Sat Jan 05 Tesseract

He gets a small box. The card says it contains "A crystal technology time machine"

It contains a cheap wristwatch, with quartz time keeping.

The source of the gift is unknown.

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/248 Posted Author
Belated Gristmas (1) Sun Jan 06 Arthur Lowell


ITEM COST: 800 RUST, 400 GLASS, 600 INK,
ITEM: A powerful staff-like object compatible with the average Handlekind specibus due to the inclusion of a holy broom. It responds to grimdark-inclined and more light-inclined actions especially, clearly and powerfully displaying the tendencies and very obviously exponentially multiplying its output when Summer is heavily leaning one way or the other.


ITEM: Ink made specifically for projectile-centric ink-based constructs! It's particularly suited for short-range buckshot-style projectiles and generally creates some powerful little ranged weapons that are vicious up close. As vicious as projectile ink can be, anyway. All the inkpots produced are in the shape of shotgun shells of a sort. It looks like they can be refilled easily, but they need to be properly loaded in a dramatic fashion.


ITEM: Bolts specifically designed to impart massive amounts of kinetic force rather than deal any real damage. Great for nonlethal takedowns, dramatic use of crossbow fire in solving puzzles or breaking targets, or similar uses that involve shoving something hard.


ITEM: Regal headwear doesn't even begin to describe this thing. If you could combine the words "ornate", "elaborate", and "leaderly" you might get somewhere close to describing this incredibly royal (and perhaps a little bit gaudy) head object. I won't even try to define it here. Long story short, this thing is queenly as hell.


ITEM: A helpful coat-mounted robotic arm that can be easily programmed for assisting in mechanical things! It needs to be programmed before being useful, though, and it's not really all that sturdy. It's an extra hand, though, essentially, and a convenient, albeit simple, toolbox.


ITEM: Exactly what you'd expect. Melons don't grow on trees, but that doesn't stop melon bombs from growing on trees. These are incredibly dangerous to eat, and their striped pattern looks like TNT.


ITEM: A long digital-energy-based scarf. It constantly flaps in unseen wind, never gets in the way, and generally has the various beneficial properties of being a digital construct and also a piece of mobile, flapping clothing on a character, such as clipping through stuff without too many problems or generally always staying out of the way.


ITEM: A crystal ball that provides visual representations of arrangements of tarot cards upon demand. These pretend-cards behave exactly as any tarot card would in Eila's hands, no more, no less. But they remove the need for a table or a deck.


ITEM: A massive set of Legos. They are modeled after the Nether, down to the texture of how the blocks feel.

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/249 Posted Author
Belated Gristmas (2) Sun Jan 06 Arthur Lowell


ITEM: A rocket-propelled potion delivery system. It's basically just a water balloon convenient for potions that can be launched great distances, with the hope that some will be applied to people.


ITEM: A set of crystal balls made specifically for some kind of supernatural forum for a cult. Yes, like an internet forum, except operated by way of mystical crystal spheres. It seems perfectly designed for Hastur's cult, especially given the fact that she has arbitrary admin access to it.


ITEM: Soundspheres are mildly expensive. While they have no sonic properties of their own, they can capture any unusual properties of music they record, and reproduce them once, assuming the properties didn't break their capacity. They've come pre-loaded with some experimentation Arthur's been doing on producing large quantities of smoke by way of that pipe organ.


ITEM: Money doesn't grow on trees. Boondollars do, though! Sorta. These trees are really, really hard to properly farm. In fact, uh, they might be more valuable for reselling to someone who doesn't know much about trees, like consorts.


ITEM: A lighter that creates very small flames that sustain themselves on viable mediums despite any extinguishing environmental effects. Come hell or high water, Loros won't have to relight a soggy pipe, at the very least.


ITEM: Yep, it's one of those! A small white cube that cooks things. Notably unlike its counterpart from another session, this isn't nuclear and, as such, cannot irradiate the food, and is thoroughly unable to create a massive life-searing explosion and subsequent thousand-year fallout. It just cooks things.


ITEM: A much more armored variant of that tux Prorth crafted before! It's a respectable start on the path to a more practical wardrobe. It's very much light armor. Slightly more encumbering than the normal cloth, but nothing near as encumbering as proper armor. It retains the same formal nature as its original ingredients. The small armored plates, where exposed, have a mild indigo tint to them.


ITEM: A set of speakers designed as anti-Underling weapons; these things target underlings specifically and cause them damage over time based on their proximity. Useful for establishing safe zones, in combat via music, or other similar purposes!


ITEM: Three hot-plates designed to help Psyber cook things on top of the rocket-booster of his giant rocket-hammer. Great little things for the traveling food enthusiast who has impossibly-constructed propulsed bludgeoning tools.

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/250 Posted Author
Belated Gristmas (3) Sun Jan 06 Arthur Lowell


ITEM: An enhanced version of that old sword-launching gun Raven alchemized before. This one fires diamond blades, much easier to recover from downed enemies, much more durable, and much more damaging, though much more expensive to alchemize. This one's built more like an assault rifle, but instead of a magazine or even a drum, this one splits down the middle, with a revolver-like cylinder-and-chamber setup bearing six chambers being exposed when folded as such. Much easier to load, and dramatic in doing so!


ITEM: A rather large crossbow, well-suited for firing the sorts of magic constructs used in many danmaku techniques. While hardly necessary for their use, it may help with accuracy, velocity, or simple dramatic effect, being an efficient mechanism for conducting the manifestation of bolt, lance, spear, or similarly-structured spells, and firing them as rapidly as the operator can summon them.


ITEM: A staff with an internal cylinder, akin to that of a revolver. In the chambers of this cylinder are six reusable crystal balls, capable of being charged with spells and then discharged at will as directed by the staff. It also is easily compacted, having a partially digital structure, allowing it to be reduced to the size of a small baton.


ITEM: A large balista-like weapon with an internal cylinder for loading six harpoons into its chambers and firing them without excessive loading times. This thing's a little bulky for casual use; it may need to be mounted on a vehicle, or braced against cover, though wielding it as a particularly large gun is also an option for someone of Thionette's strength.


ITEM: It's a nice glass orb containing one of Arthur's gates! It holds very little immediately apparent use, seeming more decorative.

A note's been attached! "You're REALLY HARD TO SHOP FOR since I don't know anything you don't ALREADY HAVE or can't GET EASILY. Anyway I made THIS because you have an INEXPLICABLE INTEREST in my development as this MAGE THING so I guess it's a MEMENTO? Wow this is kind of a TERRIBLE GIFT now that I think of it. PB"


ITEM: Speakers! They're also rockets! When appropriate music is played, they function as a propulsion mechanism, if properly arranged! They expand into a vague wing shape that grows progressively more elaborate depending on the intensity of the music. They might be good for flight, if Vinyl can manage to actually get some kind of frame the mount them properly and proper practice.


ITEM: This bulky thing definitely needs to be mounted. Perhaps on a vehicle of some kind? The massive crossbow-like setup is loaded like a revolver, with six chambers. The chambers are designed to accept rocket-spears of various kinds! It looks like a rather strong weapon against larger targets, but it'll need to be set up as an emplacement or otherwise set on something rather than carried.

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/251 Posted Author
Belated Gristmas (4) Sun Jan 06 Arthur Lowell

And also some of the people not involved in Arthur's session!


ITEM: Rather than a weapon itself, it's more like a weapon mod. This is a set of rocket parts that fit to large swords! Slow strikes aside, this gives a massive boost to strikes, turning a sword into something capable of taking down vehicles, though it's difficult to get on and off and probably has to be applied before getting into the battlefield.


ITEM: It's exactly what it sounds like! A hands-free computing solution integrated into a hat. It is almost completely impossible to do anything else while it's activated, but it does work off of the same abstract mechanisms as are present in the other Sburb players' gear that mean hands are, technically, free. Eyes aren't, though. This might need better alchemization. There are several spares for Kirito to distribute as he likes or replace broken ones since he doesn't visit Arthur's world.


ITEM: A sturdy, unremarkable shield that bears the only unusual properly of being surrounded by mechanical claws. Upon being struck, the user can elect to have the claws latch onto the object that struck the shield with a large set of somewhat harmful claws. Useful for keeping something occupied, as tanks often do, keeping hold of weapons employed against them.


ITEM: It's that drink Ysabel uses for fighting things in the cold! Except this is the hot chocolate mix for that. It's kind of delicious.

============================== Christmas - 2012 ==============================
Message: 42/252 Posted Author
Post-New Year Surprise Wed Jan 09 The Gofer Sisters

The Pengu given to K4-800M and Yuna Kagurazaka seemingly randomly self destruct. It's just enough of a blast to make a mess, though probably doesn't destroy anything valuable. Before they explode, the Pengu laugh in the voices of L.B. and R.B. Gofer.

The Motivational Pengu awarded to Union elites do not self destruct. However, their eyes have changed color and they have begun spouting Bacterian propaganda phrases rather than motivational pick-me-up phrases. They do not have off switches. The only way to shut them up is to destroy them.

C'mon, you didn't really think the Gofers would do something THAT nice, did you?

The Motivational Pengu given to Confederate elites remain unchanged.

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