With apologies to Clement C. Moore
‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the boat
Not a person was stirring, not even a 'coat
The stockings were hung by the engine with care
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there
The Tams were tucked up asleep in their beds
While visions of hodgeberries danced in their heads
And Mal in his bonnet and Jayne in his hat
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap
When up on the bridge there arose such a clatter
That Wash lept from his bed to see what was the matter
He ran to his chair and flicked all three switches
Checked out the cortex and did up his britches.
The stars were obscured but the engine did glow
And lit up the scene both above and below
There, what to his wondering eyes should appear
But a fleet of guild shuttles, all drifting quite near.
With eyes wide in wonder and grabbing the stick,
Wash called up the cap’n and Zoe real quick,
Serenity slowed and crew to the bridge came,
Jayne whistled, Kaylee grinned, ‘Nara called them by name!
Ooo! Rachel, and Tina, and Cory and Stephen!
There’s Rowan and Tara, Joe, Amy and Karen!
To the airlocks! To the cargo bay! Open the door!
Now wake up the preacher! We need victuals and more!
With the grace of companions the shuttles drew nigh,
And the crew with great care brought the travellers inside,
So up to the dinning-room the revellers all went,
With strawberries and rosemary the guild-house had sent.
And then, in a twinkling, they heard down the hall,
A prancing and dancing of someone not tall,
As they came to the table and gathered around,
In danced River, hair flying, with a skip and a bound.
Simon came next, shirtless and barefoot,
And his hair was all tousled, though not bad as Book’s,
The preacher had whipped up a veritable feast,
Mystery soup, protein cake and something from yeast.
Their eyes – how they twinkled! Their tummies did rumble!
They fell to their feasting while Book prayed a mumble.
Jokes flew, stories shared, eyes beckoned, hands wandered,
Where would this all end, in whose bed!? Kaylee pondered.
Zoe reclined, wrapped in Wash’s strong arm,
The warrior woman in a place safe from harm.
Mal quizzed Tina on bibles and broke out the best booze,
He drank to his memories, then accidentally snoozed
Jayne poured out the Blue Sun and passed to the left,
Leaving Mal, on his right, feeling somewhat bereft,
Simon swigged from the bottle and fell to the ground,
River stood on the railing, while Kaylee spun round,
In a dress all of ruffles, she knelt by Simon’s side,
And whispered suggestions of where they could hide.
The guild members smiled secrets, and elegant pleasures,
The crew chose companions after taking their measure.
Inara stood up with a glass in her hand,
And called upon all of the company to stand.
“A toast!” She proclaimed, “To the Browncoat’s great might,
Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night!”
IC 4628: The Prawn Nebula
6 hours ago