I’ve never been able to enjoy Christmas, not since my eyes had been opened to the horror it ensues, the death and destruction wrought simply because of one day. Of course I’m in the minority; part of a dwindling band sworn to defend against the truth that is Christmas, defend the Earth against the savage incursions that happen every year.

It’s always the children that suffer, they’re the ones that believe in the myth that is Christmas, believe that for one day it’s perfectly acceptable to allow a stranger into your home. But it’s that stranger that is the problem, him and his armies, poised to strike should any opening be found.

We were winning the war, just, but it was a war of attrition that was wearing us down, dwindling our numbers year on year. Because of this mistakes were bound to happen, lapses in the command structure; but that’s all it takes, one slip up, and they’re in. Swarming across the Divide in their thousands, all we can do is stem the tide and plug the hole; after that it’s a simple cleanup operation.

But some mistakes are too big to clean up, the incursions on such a scale that the collateral damage brings the world’s attention frighteningly close to the truth. I’m glad to say when that last happened it wasn’t on my watch, south-east Asia isn’t my section, but I know a lot of the guys who worked in that area, who were on duty that night; guys that are still struggling to cope with what happened and what they had to do to stop a full scale invasion.

But stop it they did, but the result was over a quarter of a million dead and large swathes of the coastlines of countries surrounding the Indian Ocean devastated. Was it too big a price to pay? To save the Earth, save over six billion souls from being wiped from existence by Claus and his minions. No, no price is too big for that. In wartime decisions have to be made that go against all that is considered rational and normal. To save a thing you may have to sacrifice a thing. The guys in the Indonesian section knew that, that’s why they plugged the hole, sealed the Divide and stopped the invasion.

But still it has its affects, still has its own sort of collateral. Even now eight years later people who were there that night have counseling, the images of what happened after were beamed around the world for all to see, but to them it was evidence of the aftermath of their actions. Some couldn’t handle it and took the cowards way out, others just withdrew into themselves. Some, the hardy few, still man the trenches in and around the area battling hard each December 25th in case the Divide should be breeched again. It’s a sad fact that no matter what the sacrifice, whatever the collateral, once a breech has been made it is forever weakened and is a target for continuous assaults.

But we are vigilant, were stand between mankind and the abyss, ready and willing to lay down life in order to keep the enemy out. Christmas is Hell; don’t let anyone else tell you any different soldier.

Now buckle up and prepare to move out.