As winter creeps into Ink City
, the spike in the giant robot population
makes it easy for other
new arrivals to go somewhat overlooked. Among those is a lanky young fellow named Arthur
, who's extremely anxious. An understandable reaction, though in his case, it seems there's something very important
he needs to tend to back home... But like all residents, he learns there's no readily apparent way back.
Someone else who's quite disturbed by this is Doctor Norrington
. While initially confused as to the nature of his summoning, the elderly man quickly proves himself quite perceptive, immediately picking up on Belldandy's divine nature
. After learning that the city has a Mayor, he extends a personal invitation to him via holding a holiday celebration in the Museum. Naturally, all other residents are also
Meanwhile, an anonymous text goes out to everyone:
Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas, Ink City!
This mysterious secret Santa promises to bring everyone presents for Christmas. In lieu of sending letters, though, he wants them to reply to his message, letting him know what they want. While he can't send anyone home, he's determined to grant all the holiday wishes he can...
But Santa needs a helper, so he recruits one very excited Larry the Cucumber
, who's downright amazed
to learn who's running the operation. With his knowledge of the city and willingness to help however he can, Arthur has a much better chance of making sure everyone gets what they want.
On the day of Doctor Norrington's celebration, as everyone interested is making their way to the party, a mysterious masked figure emerges from the well. Though he attempts to move stealthily, several others immediately notice his presence: Trevor
, who passive-aggressively stalks and questions him, then attempts to knock him out despite being warned against it. Petitius
, who demands to know what he's
doing there. Parson
, Twilight Sparkle
... everyone who notices him seems to detect something special about him. But most questions are brushed off with a simple "Spoilers".
However, it's Pinkie Pie
who makes a dramatic entrance, still covered in ink as she bursts through the doors... only to shake it off and start celebrating, because yay, PARTY!
For Ponyville's resident party pony, the timing simply couldn't be better!
By contrast, Oscar Mayor enters quietly, a bit put off by the thought of actively trying
to be social. Still, it doesn't seem that
bad... Most of the people who approach him are actually quite friendly, and Crmsn has a proposal to make. He's more than a little concerned about the way Bass has been acting, and is willing to help the Mayor reclaim what he stole
... so long as that actually helps
Bass recover and become a little less Ax-Crazy
Doctor Norrington also
had reasons to request his presence. Ever the polite host, he invites him into his office so they may chat privately. There, he cuts straight to the chase: he already knows the Mayor isn't the real
power behind Ink City, and he wishes to learn more about the nature and reason of his summoning.
Able to sense just what the good doctor actually is
, Oscar immediately assumes he's just another would-be tyrant and stonewalls him. No, he insists, he can't
contact anyone back home, no matter HOW important he insists it is. Frustrated by his refusal to hear him out, Norrington whips out a tentacle
and start throttling him...
...At which point the masked man appears, placing himself between the pair.
The sudden intervention takes both off guard; however, as he realizes the cloaked figure is one of the Mayor's superiors, Norrington calms down considerably. The masked figure reassures him that Oscar had every reason to be cagey, and what little he had seen fit to share with the doctor was accurate: that knowledge of the secrets of the City threatened its very stability. Being familiar with such problems, Norrington agrees to let that lie... though he still has a request: could he have some way to at least monitor
Popping into the room, the Mayor's Consort surprisingly backs him up. In his case, a special exception might very well have to be made, for the sake of all
dimensions involved. So she offers a compromise: a device that will enable him to see back into his home worlds. While he won't be able to interact with them in any way, he'll be able to keep watch, and contact the Mayor if he sees anything amiss.
Though the Mayor's still uneasy, Kasu seems satisfied with the idea, as does the doctor. He also swears not to let anyone know about the device, being somewhat of an expert
at keeping potentially destructive secrets. Still, as extra insurance, Lolita specifically creates it so that only Norrington can utilize it... and disguises it as a regular ViewMaster toy. The form takes him off-guard, but he graciously accepts it.
On Christmas morning, all of Arthur and Larry's hard work pays off as everyone in Ink City wakes up to find some sort of gift. Those who didn't respond to his encrypted text mostly get clothes, while those who answered get more personalized presents... like a jet pack for Manny Rivera
After a certain amount of self-reflection, Cave Johnson
also decides to get in the holiday spirit by donning a santa hat and taking presents to some of the residents he'd managed to offend recently. Of course, Cave being Cave
, he keeps
offending everyone even while handing out gifts, mainly due to having no self-censor
And the Mayor has a gift of his own — two
, in fact. As an accidental audio broadcast reveals, he's finally making good on his recent promises of establishing a city guard, starting with a Gentle Giant
called 'the Guard'. (Or 'Gurad', as he awkwardly offers when she asks for a name, to a rather unenthusiastic reponse.) In addition, he's also bringing in an Artist to serve as the local doctor. The duo get a warm reception, and the Artist is almost immediately called upon to treat Crmsn's emphysema (without Crmsn's permission at first). Though he can't outright cure it, he suggests that it may
be possible, with some risk... a risk Crmsn is well willing to take.
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