This is Episode 4 of 5 in the Spirit of Christmas series

“That is not normal”, said Harley

“No, that is way past normal” replied Phineas

The cause of their concern was a 6 foot tall ELF. Presently he was brandishing what looked, for all the world, like a toy gun. Only a few minutes ago the ELF Commander Faulkner and Captain Remarkable had left on a mission to rescue the the CEO of the North Pole, one called Santa Prime. A being that wasn’t Santa, but apparently was one of many Santas. A concept that still swirled around in Harley’s head.

Mostly however, he was thinking how he could score presents from all the Santas.

“I really hope that thing just shoots foam darts or something.”, said Phineas interrupting Harley’s thoughts.

“Honestly, I’m just hoping it doesn’t turn us into cartoon characters.”

The ELF solider stood in front of Harley and grinned. Not at all a pleasant type of grin, but more like an I’m going to get you kind of grin. It wasn’t a grin Harley was particularly fond of and had every intention of staying very far away from.

Harley leaned toward Phineas and whispered,” That’s not normal is it?”

“No,” Phineas whispered back as he stared at the newcomer, ” That is way past normal.”

“Who are you?”

The ELF continued grinning.

“In case you didn’t hear me; I asked who are you?”, Harley repeated.

“Call me Mel if you must.”

“Mel?”, chimed in Phineas, “What kind of name is Mel for an evil Yule Night terrorist?”

The ELF effected a look of mock indignation. It was eerily similar to the _I’m gonna get you _ grin, only with less menace. There was still plenty of menace.

“You’ve been talking to Faulkner. I’m not a terrorist. Who am I terrorizing? “

“Um, ” said Harley, “It’s ‘whom’ and right now, me.”

The ELF grinned again. That was enough for Harley. He turned and dashed across the console heading for the other end of the room where he had stowed some of the gear Faulkner had left them before leaving with the captain to rescue the Santa Prime. He had no idea what any of the stuff did. He didn’t remember the instructions Faulkner had given him because he hadn’t paid attention, figuring there was no way anyone would find them out here in the Cloud.

He still wasn’t sure how Mel found them, much less how he got on board. Come to think of it, he never got a clear answer for how Faulkner had managed it either.

He was going to have to pursue that line of questioning further at a later time. Right now there was a matter of the Evil ELF Mel on board.

Phineas realized where Harley was heading and quickly joined him. They both grabbed the first thing the came to, Phineas getting a large white and red barrel shaped object with what looked like a scope and a trigger. He shrugged, hefted it up to his shoulder (not knowing where else to put it) aimed in the general direction of Mel and pulled the trigger.

Nothing happened. The look on his face would have been priceless, and something Harley would have teased him about for years, had he been paying attention. Instead he was focused on trying to figure out the item he had pulled from the stash.

It was flat, about the size of a decent sized book and slightly thicker. There was a single button on one side and what looked like a removable stick with a second button on the other side. Harley removed the stick and vaguely remember something about not wanting to be near when he pressed the buttons. He quickly pushed the button on the box thing and tossed it in the direction of the Evil ELF Mel.

Now it’s interesting to note that Mel hadn’t moved. Well, in fact he had moved but only to sit down and watch with merriment the activities of Phineas and Harley. He watched with glee when Phineas failed to correctly fire the CC Launcher. Not that being sprayed with hundreds of candy canes would have done much. True, it would leave a few welts but wouldn’t stop him from his goal.

His mood changed however when he realized what Harley had retrieved. A Garland Bomb. Something he most definitely hadn’t expected to see on this ship. Apparently Faulkner has been a little more prepared than he has expected.

His face fell as Harley tossed the bomb in his direction.

He turned and ran toward the door at the far end of the room in desperation. His only hope was to out distance the device. A hope that proved ultimately futile as Harley pressed the button on the remote while the bomb was still airborne. It detonated between Mel and the Santa Trap effectively securing him in place against the unit with fluffy, wispy, silver tendrils wrapped around the two. Not what he had planned and it put a serious cramp on his day.

The whooping from the other side of the room didn’t help either.

“Nice shot Harley!”, shouted Phineas

Harley danced in place.

Mel smiled to himself. He had forgotten he was carrying a . He flicked his right wrist and disappeared. The Garland trapping him falling to the metal floor silently.

Harley stopped dancing.

“No fair!” he shouted.

Mel suddenly appeared behind both Harley and Phineas with a soft popping sound. They both turned to see him pointing a small device at Harley. The device fired and green and red beams hit Harley, turning him ice.

Phineas shouted and threw the CC Launcher at the Evil ELF, “Harley!”

There was a soft popping sound behind Mel. He turned around to find a 6ft tall Dawgerian Shepard dressed in a red coat and pants trimmed in white fur smiling.

The Shepard reached out to the shocked Mel and placed a small snowflake pin on his chest. A soft silvery glow immediately enveloped the renegade ELF member, freezing him in place.

Phineas knelt beside the ice shaped little dawg, calling out the name of his friend.

He didn’t answer.

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This story is part of an ongoing series. To read from the beginning start here: Spirit of Christmas