Tibbit Crow Girl in the Land of Hence a Christmas story – part 3

by dm gillis

read part 1 here, read part two here

In which NORAD dispatches F-22 jet fighters to shoot down Santa Claus’s sleigh in order to prevent the continuance of his pinko ploy and the socialist inspired redistribution of wealth through spontaneous gift giving. And in which the depths of one man’s tender erotic love of his killing machine are plumbed.

Elmendorf-Richardson military facility
US Air Force Captain Elvis Goldfinch walked round his F-22 Raptor jet fighter. He called it Oswald. It was a jet powered phallus. It was a long grey killing machine that had yet to kill. Captain Elvis Goldfinch could fly his Raptor at top speed down Broadway in New York City and parallel park it for a late showing of Les Miz without breaking a sweat, but he had never fired a missile or its cannon in anger. Now, though, the 3rd Wing at Elmendorf-Richardson military facility had been put on alert. Anything was possible. The Captain stroked the long hard fuselage, and felt the firm roughness of its cylindrical stealthy length. And as he did, he shuddered inside. There’d been times like this when he’d nearly swooned in the ecstasy of his intimate coupling with this machine, and he’d blushed at the blissful stirrings in his loins.

“It’s okay, Oswald,” Captain Elvis Goldfinch said. “Our day will come.”

land of hence
Sid, Nancy, Norman, Daryl, Gwendolyn, Vickie, Morrie and Jessica had decided to fly. Arlo had swayed Sid and Nancy and Nancy had convinced the rest. Not flying on Christmas Eve, after all, was contrary to a magical reindeer’s natural compulsions. Not doing so might lead to indigestion and an overall malaise throughout the year to come.

It was harder with the elves. But despite the centuries of perceived slights and unresolved arguments, most of the elves agreed to help load the sleigh and attach the reindeer to the sleigh. Che, on the other hand, refused to help in protest, and instead surfed the net, reading socialist manifestos and sweatily watching Céline Dion videos on YouTube.

Seeing the unexpected change in activity, Klaus commenced putting on his red suit. As he did, he noticed, looking out of his bedroom window, that it had begun to snow.

meanwhile back at NORAD
When Lieutenant-General Bucky Bungard walked out of his office and into the NORAD War Room, he was surrounded by walls of massive flat displays, each one monitoring its own section of western hemisphere air activity. There was a small army of technicians and analysts with their eyes fixed on the screens.

“Where’s that damn degenerate Santa Claus?” Bungard yelled. “We’re supposed to be tracking him for the little kiddies, aren’t we? I want that bastard in our sights. I want that commie pimp blown out of the sky!”

“He’s late this year, General,” one of the analysts said. “There may be some delay in his itinerary.”

“Well you’d better find him fast,” the General said, “or you’ll be working a radar shack in Arm Pit, Arizona for the rest of your deployment. You got that, Lieutenant?”

“Yes sir.”

“Please, sir,” said Canadian Air Force Major Wilfred Milk. “Perhaps we shouldn’t be talking about blowing Santa Claus out of the sky. It may be bad for morale.”

Bungard looked over his shoulder at Milk. The General had forgotten he was there.

“Godammit, Milk,” the General said. “This is my shift, and I’m putting an end to this Islamisist Pinko conspiracy once and for all.”

“Islamisist, sir?” Milk said.

“They’ve gotta be involved somehow, Major,” said the General. “In fact, let’s get this machine rollin’.”

The General picked up a phone and dialled. In a moment he spoke, “This is General Bucky Bungard. Who the hell is this? Okay, are you hotshots up there at Elmendorf-Richardson ready to fly on target? Have the pilots been briefed? Yeah? Well, that’s fine. Then scramble the bastards. I want them airborne when the target appears on radar.” The General hung up. “Wadda ya think the history books will say, Major?” The General relit his cigar.

“Please, sir,” Major Milk said. “You can’t smoke in here, it’s the War Room.”

Elmendorf-Richardson military facility
The bell rang at the military facility and the well rehearsed dash for the fighter jets commenced. There would be only three aircraft going aloft, and the reduced squadron would have the unique name Memphis. The mission name was a special request of Captain Elvis Goldfinch, who would be the squadron leader.

Members of his flight crew helped Goldfinch into Oswald, then strapped him in. Others removed conduits and blocks. The Raptor was now free to taxi. Goldfinch threw switches on the aircraft engine controls and the jets came to life. As he felt the low end rumble, his eyes rolled up into the back of his head and he trembled in a rapturous climax. Then he gasped and, for a brief moment, felt a bit ashamed.

“Elmendorf Control to Memphis Leader,” a voice said over his headset. “Proceed to strip one-niner.”

“Roger that, Elmendorf Control.”

As the three Raptors proceeded toward the runway, the cockpit domes came down. And as they did, Captain Elvis Goldfinch patted the console before him and whispered, “I love you, Oswald. More than anyone or anything in my life. Now let’s kill something.”

Soon they were airborne and heading toward coordinates consistent with past NORAD sightings of Klaus’s sleigh.

land of hence and NORAD all in one section
With the sleigh loaded and the reindeer securely hitched, the elves waited along side for Klaus to arrive. The snow was thickly falling, providing a marshmallow contrast to the millions of fairy lights round the compound. It was going to be a classic take off.

Lilibeth noticed him first, the not-quite fat, but certainly robust, white bearded man in red walking toward them, across the compound.

“Ha!” he laughed. “You’ve done a stellar job, people. If a cynical and unbelieving world makes this our last flight, then we’ll be going out with style.” He stepped into the sleigh and took the reins. Then he said, “Get up!”

“I hate it when he says that,” Sid said, and the sleigh took to the sky.

Tibbit’s flock followed as Klaus’s sleigh went skyward. It wasn’t flying weather and many of the crows cawed complaints. But the Crow King urged them on. “He’ll fly above the weather,” he said. “Let’s follow and see what swag we can pinch.”

And soon the stars and moon were visible. It was cold, but the flock followed the sleigh in hopes of riches.

Meanwhile in the NORAD War Room, a lieutenant yelped, “Look!” and pointed to a new dot on a radar screen displaying northern Canada. The text that accompanied the radar blip read Santa 2013 Claus.

“That’s him, dammit,” General Bucky Bungard said. He picked up a headset and plugged in. Then he ordered a technician to connect him to the Elmendorf-Richardson tower. “We’ve got him on radar,” he told the tower. “Sending coordinates now.”

“Roger that, NORAD Leader,” was the reply. “But please confirm target is Santa Claus. Have two daughters, 5 and 6, at home now waiting for his arrival.”

“Target confirmed, Elmendorf-Richardson tower,” the General said. “And don’t make me confirm it again. Stop by Walmart on your way home and buy your daughters a real American Christmas gift.”

“Roger that, NORAD Leader,” Elmendorf-Richardson tower replied. “Something plastic manufactured with child slave labour in China. God bless America, NORAD Leader.” There was a static pause. Then, “Memphis Leader, coordinates given. Proceed and engage.”

“Roger that, Elmendorf Control,” Goldfinch said. “With extreme prejudice.”

a side-note on pigeons and the arbitrariness of the multiverse
It is well known that pigeons do not fly south for the winter. And they certainly don’t fly north. They are housing birds and do very well wherever they are during the winter season. They’re also not very bright and, as a result of their gluttonous proclivities, are usually too obese to fly more than a mile or two at a time without suffering an avian form of congestive heart failure. That is why it was so odd that a massive flock of pigeons was present in the area where Klaus was to encounter the NORAD dispatched F-22 Raptors that Christmas Eve.

Experts would later agree that it must have been either a prolonged freak gust of wind that blew them north from Vancouver, or an alien abduction gone terribly wrong.

Whatever the case, it is also well known that crows do not like pigeons, except à la carte. It might even be said that crows hate pigeons, but this is a Christmas story, so we’ll keep hate out of it. But it is sufficed to say that the presence of a sizable flock of pigeons changed outcomes that Christmas Eve because it provided the crows with a practical and convenient tool for saving the day. It could easily have gone another way, goodness knows. The pigeons, for example, could have ended up crashing into the Amazon, which is a river in the South American Amazon Jungle as well as an American international electronic commerce company with headquarters in Seattle, Washington, and been eaten by piranhas. And this demonstrates the arbitrariness of the multiverse, get it? I’m just saying.

now back to Klaus,  the reindeer, the crows and maybe even the pigeons
There’s an unpopulated area on Ellesmere Island in Canada’s far north, between Eureka and Grise Fjord, where Klaus was able to accelerate to his top speed, and make time. The reindeer loved it and Klaus got to wear a stylish pair of racing goggles he’d purchased on vacation in Scotland in 1923. It had always been a favourite part of the Christmas Eve trip.

Unfortunately, this year’s trip would be different, for it was over the Agassiz Ice Cap that Klaus, the reindeer, the crows and definitely even the pigeons encountered the F-22s.

“Target in sight, Elmendorf Control,” Goldfinch said as he flew in close to the sleigh. The sleigh lurched and swerved in the jet engine blowback. Tibbit and her flock shucked and jived to avoid the jets.

“What the h-e-double hockey sticks is going on!?!” Klaus shouted as he shook his fist.

“See,” said Sid, lighting a joint. “This is what I’m talking ‘bout. This ain’t even American airspace.”

Goldfinch consulted his fire control computer and said, “Elmendorf Control, this is Memphis Leader. I have a fix on target.”

“SOP dictates that I tell you to fire when ready, Memphis Leader,” said Elmendorf Control. “However, I’m going home now to hug my daughters and build a gingerbread house. That’s where the DAF Police can find me, if they care to look. Merry Christmas and over and out.”

Goldfinch sneered and released an AIM-120C air-to-air missile straight at Klaus and his sleigh.

“Look out!” Nancy said, and Klaus put the sleigh into a subsonic crash dive. They rapidly dropped 400 feet and barely dodged the missile.

“Those be raptors of a different kind,” Tibbit’s mother cawed. “And that sleigh with all of our swag is about to be blasted.”

Normally, a flock of crows will attack predatory birds en masse. But these predatory birds were too big and flew too fast for a conventional attack.

Back at NORAD a new radar blip had appeared.

“What the hell is that?” General Bucky Bungard said.

“It looks like your standard massive flock of birds,” a technician replied. “But it’s unusual for this time of year.”

In fact, it was the lost flock of pigeons. Tibbit’s flock was too small to appear on radar.

Tibbit’s mother saw the pigeons and brightened. “I be thinking I have an idea,” she cawed. “Let’s round ‘em up.”

And in the way that tight knit groups sometimes do, the entirety of Tibbit’s flock had the same idea at the same moment, and began to corral the pigeons. They observed the flight behaviour of the raptors’ formation and moved the flock of pigeons into a dense mass at a key point in the sky – right into the jets’ flight path.

By the time Captain Elvis Goldfinch and his fellow pilots discovered the pigeons ahead of them, it was too late. It was like hitting a brick wall. The pigeons were sucked into the air intakes and clogged the engines.

The words mayday, mayday, mayday came through the radio receivers at Elmendorf-Richardson tower and in the NORAD War Room. Then came the words pigeons, pigeons, pigeons.

“Damn, I hate pigeons,” Captain Elvis Goldfinch said over his radio. Then, with his radio off, he said to Oswald, “Don’t worry, baby. I’m riding you all the way down.”

The other two pilots ejected, but Oswald took Elvis down to a fiery encounter with the Agassiz Ice Cap. The paradisiacal euphoria Goldfinch felt seconds before impact will forever be etched across the dark cosmic matter that is the glue that sometimes binds man and machine orgasmically together to their mutual doom.

Klaus, the reindeer, the crows and the surviving pigeons flew on. And Klaus visited every good child’s house worldwide that night. Well, okay, not every good child’s house. Inevitably, there are always some children who, in spite of their goodness, wake Christmas morning to nothing. But the children believe and hence the man exists, even if he’s flawed and too often forgetful.

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