The Night Before 986996.M41

It’s a Christmas tradition to go thumbing through poems and put a twist on them into various themes.  A man by the name of Pat Marstall was attributed to this 40k take on a Christmas classic.

Though you’ve likely already seen this many times on the net, it seems appropriate to repost in case anyone hasn’t seen it:

The Night Before 986996.M41
(by Pat Marstall)

‘Twas the night before 986996.M41, and all through the station
All there was clear, there was no abomination.

My helmet was set on the desk to my right,
On the chance that I was to need it that night.

The guardsmen were ensconced, asleep in their beds,
All the tanks too were safe, secure in the sheds.

Marines in the barracks, some manning the wall,
Assured me that the bastion never would fall.

When out in the yard there arose such discord
I grabbed up my bolter and unsheathed my sword.

Away to the window, I ran to take aim
As the marines around me all did the same.

My bionic eye turned the night into day
Allowed me to see, and to seek out my prey.

When what did my loyal ocular show,
But an ancient conveyance, knee-deep in the snow.

The vehicle was pulled by horned quadrupeds
And a fiery red nimbus glowed from the sled.

The driver was mighty, his eyes full of scorn,
Dressed all in crimson like a servant of Khorne.

I gestured for other to shoot without pause,
For I was now certain this was Santa Claus.

“Fire Marines! Fire Guardsmen! Fire Ogryn and Ratlings!
Fire bolters! Fire lasguns! Fire mortars and gatlings!”

“You in the courtyard and you men on the walls!
Now blast away! Blast away! Blast away all!”

But all through this maelstrom the evil one flew,
Past plasma and bolt shells and frag that we threw!

And then, to my horror, I heard on the roof
The vile cavorting of each decadent hoof.

Screaming my orders, I spun quickly around,
As down the chimney shaft it came with a bound.

I saw its eyes glow, its vast stomach gurgle,
Bloated and fat, like a deamon of Nurgle.

Blinded by anger, I attacked with a scream –
Charged into battle with my brave Space Marines.

As we thundered towards him, closing the rift,
He reached in his satchel and pulled out a gift.

Then it tossed the vile boxes – I fell in a stoop,
As they arced through the air at me and my troops.

The wrapped missiles fell short, and plopped at our feet,
Our morale was strong, we did not retreat.

But the marines paused – our charge was disrupted,
They picked up the gifts and were quickly corrupted.

For each box contained a chaotic present –
The marines (damn their souls), found them quite pleasant.

A bolter, a flamer, a new power fist,
The Claus gave to all, and he checked off a list.

It moved through the station and left in its wake,
The sound of bright laughter and the stench of fruit cake.

The others succumbed, but it failed in its goal,
For to me it gave only a small pile of coal.

The station was lost, I could only instruct
The bastion computer to set self-destruct.

I failed to kill him, for I saw as I fled,
The target escaping, quite safe in his sled.

I heard it cry out as the base burst into light,
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

I think the poem is a light-hearted mix of holiday cheer and 40k lore.  Although it’s cute, it is far from my favorite piece of Xmas fiction.  That I’ll reserve for a post next week.  Stay tuned!

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