COL_XMAS_TEXT_ADV_CHAPTER_1 = 1: HOLIDAYS PAST AND PRESENT
COL_TXT_ADV_11_SC_01 = When I was a child, Christmas was my favorite day of the year. My family was always crazy busy with work and school but, when December 25th rolled around, it was all about family. Just us, some music, snow on the ground, and a tree that reached the ceiling. It was magic.
COL_TXT_ADV_11_SC_02 = As I got older, the holiday became less and less special. My siblings went away, my parents broke up, but I always held Christmas in my heart. I believed in Santa. I needed Santa. Little did I know that Santa...
COL_TXT_ADV_11_SC_02_CH1 = WASN'T REAL
COL_TXT_ADV_11_SC_02_CH2 = HAD DIED
COL_TXT_ADV_11_SC_02_CH3 = HAD BEEN KIDNAPPED
COL_TXT_ADV_11_SC_03 = Are you crazy? Santa is too real.
COL_TXT_ADV_11_SC_04 = What? No way! Santa can't die. Duh, he's an *elf*.
COL_TXT_ADV_11_SC_05 = No one knew at first. The Christmas Spirit was so strong that everything at the North Pole just kept on going as if nothing happened. Of course, the elves and Mrs. Claus knew Santa was gone but they also knew that the world must never know.
COL_TXT_ADV_11_SC_06 = If the people of Earth learned Santa was in trouble - in true mortal peril, what would raise their spirits during dark times? What would Christmas mean anymore? And so it was that Santa's closest friend, an elf named Twinkle, took over Kringle's annual route and no one was the wiser. Until...
COL_TXT_ADV_11_SC_06_CH1 = TWINKLE LOST AN EYE
COL_TXT_ADV_11_SC_06_CH2 = A STRANGE VISITOR ARRIVED ONE DAY
COL_TXT_ADV_11_SC_06_CH3 = MRS. CLAUS TOOK OVER GIFT DELIVERY
COL_TXT_ADV_11_SC_07 = What's the deal with everyone's obsession over people losing eyes?
COL_TXT_ADV_11_SC_08 = The elves had toiled tirelessly without Santa for decades, constantly worrying about their beloved patriarch and eagerly awaiting some good news about the jolly old elf, so the arrival of a visitor piqued everyone's interest.
COL_TXT_ADV_11_SC_09 = This visitor, with his shimmering eyes and long white beard, would have been a dead ringer for St. Nick in his early years - before all those dinners of milk and cookies led to his considerable paunch - but this was no merry elf. No, this was...
COL_TXT_ADV_11_SC_09_CH1 = KRAMPUS!
COL_TXT_ADV_11_SC_09_CH2 = SANTA'S BROTHER, TERRY
COL_TXT_ADV_11_SC_09_CH3 = SOMETHING ELSE
COL_TXT_ADV_11_SC_10 = Mary had her hands full overseeing every other aspect of the operation. The last thing she wanted to do was deliver the presents too. Plus, she's allergic to reindeer dander.
COL_TXT_ADV_11_SC_11 = I'm afraid Krampus and Santa stopped speaking centuries ago. No one knows the specifics but Mrs. Claus bets it had to do with their semi-annual card game. Apparently, Nick is a bit of a sore loser when it comes to Texas Hold 'Em.
COL_TXT_ADV_11_SC_12 = Terry Claus? Is that supposed to be some kind of pun?
COL_TXT_ADV_11_SC_13 = Well, obviously. But, really, that's as good a description as any. The visitor who came was a mangled and angry spirit who hated everything about holidays and cheer and snow and elves and reindeer and stockings and core synergistic initiatives to streamline toy production without resulting in outsourcing domestic jobs to politically lopsided countries with lax labor laws.
COL_TXT_ADV_11_SC_14 = He called himself Clawz. We had no idea at the time that this dark monstrosity was ripped right from Santa's brain. That St. Nick's captor, an alien overlord named Zinyak, was breaking Santa's mind, piece by piece. Zinyak had taken everything good in Kringle, crumpled it up, spat on it, and dipped it in evil. The result was Clawz, Santa's dark shadow. Zinyak had sent Clawz to the North Pole:
COL_TXT_ADV_11_SC_14_CH1 = TO DESTROY THE HOLIDAYS!
COL_TXT_ADV_11_SC_14_CH2 = TO GET THE LEGIONS OF THE ZIN EMPIRE SOMETHING NICE FOR CHRISTMAS
COL_TXT_ADV_11_SC_14_CH3 = BY MISTAKE
COL_TXT_ADV_11_SC_15 = And he was successful. Christmas fell. The North Pole burned. And as the joy drained from the season, the spirit of the world turned as to sackcloth. But that is a different story.
COL_TXT_ADV_11_SC_16 = Hardly.
COL_TXT_ADV_11_SC_17 = *sigh* Can you at least try to be serious?
COL_XMAS_TEXT_ADV_CHAPTER_2 = 2: THE RISE OF CLAWZ
COL_TXT_ADV_12_SC_01 = The assault on the North Pole was swift and brutal. The elves mounted a valiant resistance but, with no Santa to give them the holiday boost they needed, even they knew they ultimately could not win. It didn't help matters any that Santa's most trusted elf, and the one who had taken over gift-giving duties in his absence, had been persuaded to Clawz's side. I am, of course, talking about?
COL_TXT_ADV_12_SC_01_CH1 = TWINKLE
COL_TXT_ADV_12_SC_01_CH2 = TURTLE
COL_TXT_ADV_12_SC_01_CH3 = TEACUP
COL_TXT_ADV_12_SC_02 = If there's one bright spot to Santa's incarceration by Zinyak, it's that the jolly old elf didn't have to see his best friend in the world turn against him in the holiday's darkest hour. Santa would have been shattered.
COL_TXT_ADV_12_SC_03 = I wish I could tell you that Clawz had coerced, threatened, or bullied Twinkle into allying with the foul creature's plan, but the truth was far pettier than that. Twinkle was simply tired of being the replacement Santa. The elf took to Clawz's cause with gusto. It was a dark time. Worst still, was that Twinkle knew Christmas's one true weakness. He knew the one thing that would irreparably turn the tide against Mrs. Claus and the elf resistance:
COL_TXT_ADV_12_SC_03_CH3 = THE COMBO TO SANTA'S SAFE
COL_TXT_ADV_12_SC_04 = Turtle? What kind of name is that for an elf? A pixie, maybe, but an elf?
COL_TXT_ADV_12_SC_05 = No, she was let go following a workplace??incident.?
COL_TXT_ADV_12_SC_06 = The secret ingredient is love. And bourbon.
COL_TXT_ADV_12_SC_07 = The source of Santa's power and the most potent weapon in the elven arsenal. Crafted by the shop's most-talented elves and blessed by Father Christmas himself, the North Pole is a weapon capable of channeling holiday cheer into a blast of such high intensity it can level a large city in a mushroom cloud of concentrated happiness. It also smells faintly like peppermint.
COL_TXT_ADV_12_SC_08 = But no one - not Mary, not Santa, not even Blitzen on one of his drinking binges - would dare unleash its power. If the North Pole fell into Twinkle's hands - into Clawz's hands - then all would be lost. Clawz unleashed a full-on assault. His army was unstoppable. The first to fall were:
COL_TXT_ADV_12_SC_08_CH1 = THE SNOWMEN GRENADIERS
COL_TXT_ADV_12_SC_08_CH2 = THE FLYING REINDEER
COL_TXT_ADV_12_SC_08_CH3 = THE CIDER BOYS ELVEN MILITIA
COL_TXT_ADV_12_SC_09 = It's 1-2-2-5. Nobody's surprised by that, right?
COL_TXT_ADV_12_SC_10 = The snowmen are not allowed to carry weapons. It only causes?problems.
COL_TXT_ADV_12_SC_11 = You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen? They were the first to die. Clawz and his evil army put their heads on pikes and paraded them around the workshop. It wasn't long after that, as I would later learn, that Clawz built his team of mechanical creatures: the RoboDeer.
COL_TXT_ADV_12_SC_12 = It wasn't long before the elf resistance - and all of Christmas - was in shambles. Clawz locked Mary away on a remote ice floe and claimed the North Pole for his own. But he was unable to wield it - because it relied on the power of giving, even if it was a WMD. But it didn't matter, for Clawz was in charge now. The sky over the workshop darkened and Twinkle, that traitor, became a slavedriver. The only hope the world had was:
COL_TXT_ADV_12_SC_12_CH1 = A RENEGADE ELF
COL_TXT_ADV_12_SC_12_CH2 = A GROUP OF WACKY TEENAGERS
COL_TXT_ADV_12_SC_12_CH3 = TO SING A SONG AROUND A CHRISTMAS TREE
COL_TXT_ADV_12_SC_13 = The subject of a short-lived reality show on WELF, the Cider Boys Elven Militia never could do much of anything right.
COL_TXT_ADV_12_SC_14 = Tinsel was his name. This lone elf managed to break off from the others and escape the ever-watching eye of Twinkle and Clawz. Tinsel went to find help, to turn back time if necessary, in order to save the holidays. And he would find it. But not before the entire world got put on the Naughty List.
COL_TXT_ADV_12_SC_15 = *sigh* No.
COL_TXT_ADV_12_SC_16 = I'm glad you're able to joke during a time like this.
COL_XMAS_TEXT_ADV_CHAPTER_3 = 3: A CHRISTMAS PERIL
COL_TXT_ADV_13_SC_01 = Clawz had taken over the workshop. He had the North Pole in his possession. Mrs. Claus was locked away. The reindeer were slain. Twinkle, the traitorous lout, was working the elves to the bone. It was the darkest time in Christmas history. And it was about to get darker. With only hours until Christmas, Clawz and his minions didn't have long to ruin the holidays - but they didn't need much time. Clawz's first stage in Operation: Black Christmas was:
COL_TXT_ADV_13_SC_01_CH1 = AN ANTI-CHRISTMAS AD CAMPAIGN
COL_TXT_ADV_13_SC_01_CH2 = A STRICT DRESS CODE FOR ALL WORKSHOP EMPLOYEES
COL_TXT_ADV_13_SC_01_CH3 = THE PRODUCTION OF DANGEROUS TOYS
COL_TXT_ADV_13_SC_02 = Clawz's twisted operation would only benefit from the months-long barrage of Christmas propaganda. An anti-Christmas ad campaign would be counterproductive.
COL_TXT_ADV_13_SC_03 = That was part of his plan, yes, but that's not what we're talking about here.
COL_TXT_ADV_13_SC_04 = Long gone were the days of dollies and trains. Clawz had his elves rebuild the machines used to create toys so they now produced only weapons of war. An army of elves wasn't enough for him; he wanted more, bigger, meaner soldiers. He wanted to turn the world's children to his side.
COL_TXT_ADV_13_SC_05 = After all, everybody still thought Santa was in charge. News of Nick's imprisonment hadn't spread beyond the workshop and that happened decades ago. The people of Earth were oblivious to Clawz's regime and his evil intent. Clawz was counting on them to do as 'santa' told them. If Santa gave them guns and knives and nuclear warheads to play with, who would turn it down?
COL_TXT_ADV_13_SC_05_CH1 = GOOD LITTLE BOYS AND GIRLS?
COL_TXT_ADV_13_SC_05_CH2 = PEOPLE WHO DON'T BELIEVE IN CHRISTMAS?
COL_TXT_ADV_13_SC_05_CH3 = ANYONE WHO WAS SANE?
COL_TXT_ADV_13_SC_06 = Exactly! No one!
COL_TXT_ADV_13_SC_07 = Christmas doesn't care if you believe in it. Christmas believes in you.
COL_TXT_ADV_13_SC_09 = And so the elves went about making their weapons and deadly toys. And into Clawz's sack they went. As the hour of judgment loomed, the spirit around the workshop was dire. No one dared speak up to oppose their taskmaster Twinkle or his boss, the vile Clawz.
COL_TXT_ADV_13_SC_10 = Come midnight, Clawz climbed into his sleigh and went about his annual route. His RoboDeer braying in the cold winter's night, Clawz set an arsenal into the stockings and under the decorated trees of every household. Not everyone got presents though. There were those Clawz had put on the naughty list. Those people got something much worse.
COL_TXT_ADV_13_SC_10_CH1 = FRUITCAKE
COL_TXT_ADV_13_SC_10_CH2 = ETERNAL TORMENT AND PAIN
COL_TXT_ADV_13_SC_10_CH3 = BUNNY PAJAMAS
COL_TXT_ADV_13_SC_11 = Hey. Some people like fruitcake.
COL_TXT_ADV_13_SC_12 = Even worse. Those poor souls unfortunate enough to be deemed 'naughty' by Clawz were not simply denied presents or subjected to lashings. No, Clawz had something much worse planned for them.
COL_TXT_ADV_13_SC_13 = On Christmas morning, those who had not made the nice list were seized by maniacal nutcrackers and whisked away to the workshop. They were to become the subject of Clawz's grand experiment. He needed those of a naughty disposition to:
COL_TXT_ADV_13_SC_13_CH1 = WATCH SOAP OPERAS WITH
COL_TXT_ADV_13_SC_13_CH2 = SCRUB THE ROBODEER STABLES
COL_TXT_ADV_13_SC_13_CH3 = TURN INTO HIS SPECIAL "SOLDIERS"
COL_TXT_ADV_13_SC_14 = They should be so lucky.
COL_TXT_ADV_13_SC_15 = No! Clawz prefers to watch those alone.
COL_TXT_ADV_13_SC_16 = Cleaning the RoboDeer stables is one of the few pleasant tasks at the workshop since the machines are engineered to turn their grain-like energy source into a custard that tastes vaguely like chocolate-chip cookies. Or so I've heard.
COL_TXT_ADV_13_SC_17 = As it turns out, Mrs. Claus wasn't simply locked in a prison on that ice floe. She was being forced by Clawz and his crew to create, well, the only word for them is 'abominations.'
COL_TXT_ADV_13_SC_18 = She was making Gingerbread Men. Not just ordinary Gingerbread Men made of sugar and flour. These were cookie soldiers bent on world domination, driven by an insatiable hunger for war. But the Gingerbread Men experiment was failing. They were lacking that special ingredient: Human Brains.
COL_XMAS_TEXT_ADV_CHAPTER_4 = 4: A FULL-FROSTED ASSAULT
COL_TXT_ADV_14_SC_01 = Christmas had come and, with it, the reckoning of Clawz. The good were given weapons. The not-so-good were kidnapped by sentient nutcrackers to be turned into malicious Gingerbread Men. Moms and dads around the globe attempted to take the guns and knives and grenade launchers from their children but were met by meltdowns, temper tantrums, and the occasional rude gesture.
COL_TXT_ADV_14_SC_02 = How could mommy and daddy hate Santa? Why would they take his gifts away from them? Without an answer, the parents had no choice but to relent. But this was only the first phase of Clawz's plan. The second was enacted on:
COL_TXT_ADV_14_SC_02_CH1 = NEW YEAR'S EVE
COL_TXT_ADV_14_SC_02_CH2 = VALENTINE'S DAY
COL_TXT_ADV_14_SC_02_CH3 = ST. PATRICK'S DAY
COL_TXT_ADV_14_SC_03 = New Year's Eve 2013. A day which will live in infamy. A fleet of sleighs, large enough to block out the sun, descended from the northern tip of the Earth like a black cloud. No one knew it was coming. No one was prepared.
COL_TXT_ADV_14_SC_04 = Gingerbread Men, crazed nutcrackers, elven turncoats - morphed into giants by Clawz's power - and a stampeding horde of RoboDeer stormed across the land. Scared, defenseless, and more than a little confused, the people of Earth holed up in their homes, unsure of what to do. Little were they prepared for what happened next. For Clawz's last punch in the sack was even more nefarious, more wicked. Clawz's master stroke was:
COL_TXT_ADV_14_SC_04_CH1 = AN ARMY OF CHILDREN!
COL_TXT_ADV_14_SC_04_CH2 = FRUITCAKE!
COL_TXT_ADV_14_SC_04_CH3 = KRAMPUS!
COL_TXT_ADV_14_SC_05 = No way could Clawz wait that long.
COL_TXT_ADV_14_SC_06 = As a long time fan of snakes, Clawz wanted nothing to do with that man.
COL_TXT_ADV_14_SC_07 = What no one knew was that those 'toys' that Clawz had given the young people of Earth on Christmas morning - the bayonets and flamethrowers and minelaunchers - emitted a high-pitched noise, only perceivable by children, that turned them into mindless zombies when triggered by Clawz. By pressing a button on the head sleigh, Clawz activated his army. The kids picked up their weapons and took their parents hostage.
COL_TXT_ADV_14_SC_08 = The grown-ups were forced into large, gaudily-wrapped packages, tossed into a large pack and hauled away to the workshop. The nutcrackers set about destroying all that was left behind, smashing cars and bikes, setting homes aflame. With the world burning and its citizens captured, Clawz set about on the next phase of his plan. But what Clawz didn't count on was:
COL_TXT_ADV_14_SC_08_CH1 = HIS HEART GROWING THREE SIZES THAT DAY
COL_TXT_ADV_14_SC_08_CH2 = AN ANGEL GETTING ITS WINGS
COL_TXT_ADV_14_SC_08_CH3 = A ROGUE ELF
COL_TXT_ADV_14_SC_09 = Seriously. Fruitcake isn't that bad.
COL_TXT_ADV_14_SC_10 = Krampus has nothing to do with this!
COL_TXT_ADV_14_SC_11 = Not unless Clawz had been eating a whole lot of bacon, no.
COL_TXT_ADV_14_SC_12 = Sorry, Clarence. Not this time.
COL_TXT_ADV_14_SC_13 = Tinsel, the elf who had thwarted Clawz's forces and escaped the workshop, had made it to civilization just in time to tell a small, ragtag group of regular people what Clawz, Twinkle, and the rest of their minions had been plotting. Trekking southward from the Pole was no mean feat but Tinsel knew he must get the message out. He had to let the people of Earth know what was coming. And he knew, more than anything, that the best people to tell were:
COL_TXT_ADV_14_SC_13_CH1 = THE UNITED NATIONS
COL_TXT_ADV_14_SC_13_CH2 = NASA
COL_TXT_ADV_14_SC_13_CH3 = THE SAINTS
COL_TXT_ADV_14_SC_14 = Following the Worst Christmas Ever, the United Nations had temporarily disbanded.
COL_TXT_ADV_14_SC_15 = Tinsel thought NASA was a brand of hot chocolate actually.
COL_TXT_ADV_14_SC_16 = that's right. The Saints. Well, actually, just one Saint. Me.
COL_TXT_ADV_15_SC_01 = A big fan of my reality dating show, I Wanna Sleep with Shaundi, Tinsel was fixated on finding me - both to get an autograph and to help save the world.
COL_TXT_ADV_15_SC_02 = Not only had Tinsel managed to get away, he brought something with him: a small pouch of Christmas magic. He didn't have enough to just wish Clawz away but he did have enough so that, if enough people believed really hard, the magic dust might be able to free the people Clawz had brainwashed. It was a long shot, but it was all we had. Of course, the first thing I did was:
COL_TXT_ADV_15_SC_02_CH1 = SLEEP WITH TINSEL
COL_TXT_ADV_15_SC_02_CH2 = SMOKE A BULB
COL_TXT_ADV_15_SC_02_CH3 = ASSEMBLE THE CREW
COL_TXT_ADV_15_SC_03 = NO I DID NOT SLEEP WITH TINSEL.
COL_TXT_ADV_15_SC_04 = NO I DIDn't SMOKE A BULB.
COL_TXT_ADV_15_SC_05 = Hey, I knew I could handle things on my own but it never helps to have back-up. The first one I called was Johnny. First things first, I wanted more than an elf watching my back. Kinzie was next. She then insisted on calling Keith David but he was last seen on location playing himself in his own life story and nobody had his number.
COL_TXT_ADV_15_SC_06 = Ben King had taken the money he'd made on that weirdo sci-fi book he wrote and was on some remote island somewhere. I suggested Matt Miller but Kinzie shut it down. Apparently, she'd had enough of sharing the spotlight with him. Every second we weren't taking action was another moment Clawz was ruining the planet. I made the call to only bring on one more person:
COL_TXT_ADV_15_SC_06_CH1 = ASHA
COL_TXT_ADV_15_SC_06_CH2 = PIERCE
COL_TXT_ADV_15_SC_06_CH3 = THE BOSS
COL_TXT_ADV_15_SC_07 = Asha's good people, especially after everything that went down, but I figured we weren't going to get her without Matt being on board.
COL_TXT_ADV_15_SC_08 = Yes, of course, the only person who could possibly round out humanity's last ditch effort is a clueless, fame-obsessed, off-key-singing celebrity of the moment with SERIOUS boundary issues.
COL_TXT_ADV_15_SC_09 = Of course, they spent the first twenty minutes laughing in my face. They didn't even believe in Santa. They figured Clawz was just some crazy alien who followed us home, gave kids a bunch of guns, and was now unleashing its armada at us. Which, oddly enough, is actually a more plausible explanation.
COL_TXT_ADV_15_SC_10 = They were down for helping - any time 'shooting bad guys' is part of the plan, the Boss wants involved - but no way were they buying into Christmas magic or elves or any of that. I like to think they changed their minds:
COL_TXT_ADV_15_SC_10_CH1 = ONCE THEY MET TINSEL
COL_TXT_ADV_15_SC_10_CH2 = WHEN THEY SAW THE CHRISTMAS DUST
COL_TXT_ADV_15_SC_10_CH3 = BUT THEY DIDN'T
COL_TXT_ADV_15_SC_11 = I believe the Boss's exact words were 'Hey, Shaundi, is that your little nephew?' So, No.
COL_TXT_ADV_15_SC_12 = They took a pinch, smeared it across their gums, and declared it 'Pretty alright shit.'
COL_TXT_ADV_15_SC_13 = Of course not. Have you MET the Boss? Look, I respect the hell out of them and I'm loyal as a dog to them but open-minded they are not. Once they get some idea in their head, they just...
COL_TXT_ADV_15_SC_14 = I'm going off point. Anyway, we had our crew and you know what? It felt good. Me, Kinzie, the Boss, Johnny. Lean and mean. Oh, and Tinsel. Lean and mean and really short. I mean, seriously short. He came up to my kneecap. I wasn't even going to THINK about wearing a skirt around this guy - Sorry, going off-track again. We had the crew. We had some magic dust. We had an objective: take out Clawz. How we were actually going to do that? Well?
COL_TXT_ADV_15_SC_14_CH1 = THAT WASN'T ENTIRELY CLEAR
COL_TXT_ADV_15_SC_14_CH2 = THAT WAS LAID OUT AND READY TO GO
COL_TXT_ADV_15_SC_14_CH3 = THAT WILL BE TOLD IN THE NEXT TEXT ADVENTURE SEGMENT
COL_TXT_ADV_15_SC_15 = True, but...
COL_TXT_ADV_15_SC_16 = Ha! Since when do we Saints ever 'lay out a plan?'
COL_TXT_ADV_16_SC_01 = Clawz was holding the world hostage. Tinsel had finally made his way to me with his sack of magic dust (which was only kind of disturbing). The crew (the important parts anyway) had been assembled. We knew we wanted to get all those people who had been brainwashed by Clawz's twisted presents on our side - and Tinsel assured us the magic dust could do it. But of course there was a problem. Which was:
COL_TXT_ADV_16_SC_01_CH1 = HITTING ENOUGH PEOPLE WITH IT
COL_TXT_ADV_16_SC_01_CH2 = THE ELF FORGOT AND SNORTED IT ALL
COL_TXT_ADV_16_SC_01_CH3 = CLAWZ FOUND US FIRST
COL_TXT_ADV_16_SC_02 = According to Tinsel, you had to come into contact with the dust to be affected by it. We only had a little bit - meaning we couldn't waste a speck - and no good way of distributing it to a wide audience. Kinzie said she could produce more if she had the components but Tinsel said that only Santa could bless the stuff. Without Santa, it was just dead skin cells and sawdust. Johnny suggested putting it into a sprayer and hosing people with it. Not a bad idea but it was the Boss who came up with the best plan:
COL_TXT_ADV_16_SC_02_CH1 = CROPDUSTING!
COL_TXT_ADV_16_SC_02_CH2 = GATHERING EVERYONE AT THE STEELPORT ARENA
COL_TXT_ADV_16_SC_02_CH3 = PUTTING IT IN THE WATER SUPPLY
COL_TXT_ADV_16_SC_03 = No! But I kinda think he wanted to.
COL_TXT_ADV_16_SC_04 = Nobody finds the Saints unless the Saints want to be found. Except those times people found us.
COL_TXT_ADV_16_SC_05 = *sigh* Yep. It appears sometime during the presidency, Pierce had the great idea of hooking up an 'aerial application apparatus' to Air Force One. From what the Boss said, it was to be part of Pierce's attempt to 'paint the whole world purple.' Our glorious Communications Director, ladies and gentlemen.
COL_TXT_ADV_16_SC_06 = Well, turns out this harebrained scheme of Pierce's was actually going to come in handy. Under the cover of darkness, we made our way to the hangar (we were quite surprised Clawz hadn't set up defenses around any command centers or anything; whether that was a product of his ego or just an oversight is hard to say), and prepared for our counterassault. We had just gotten everything in order when:
COL_TXT_ADV_16_SC_06_CH1 = WE REALIZED AIR FORCE ONE WAS OUT OF GAS
COL_TXT_ADV_16_SC_06_CH2 = CLAWZ'S FORCES ATTACKED US
COL_TXT_ADV_16_SC_06_CH3 = PIERCE APPEARED IN A FIT OF JEALOUS RAGE
COL_TXT_ADV_16_SC_07 = Um, how big do you think the Steelport Arena is?
COL_TXT_ADV_16_SC_08 = Yeah, we really didn't have that kinda time?
COL_TXT_ADV_16_SC_09 = Okay, true, it had been out of gas but we caught that early on. Thankfully.
COL_TXT_ADV_16_SC_10 = Tinsel, bless his little elven heart, wasn't the sneakiest elf in the world. He had been trailed the entire way from the workshop to Washington DC. A spy, following orders from that turncoat Twinkle, reported back to Clawz about our plan. As soon as the hangar doors opened, a fleet of sleighs - each one signaled by the screeching of its RoboDeer - descended from the sky.
COL_TXT_ADV_16_SC_11 = They came at us, guns blazing. We took cover in the hangar and unloaded what we had. I have no idea how long the battle took but it seemed to last for hours. Gingerbread men, nutcrackers, weirdly tall elves, and mechanized reindeer surrounded us. Our enemy was strong but we were determined. After the smoke cleared, it was obvious:
COL_TXT_ADV_16_SC_13 = We were outgunned, outmanned, and had nowhere to run. I grabbed a rocket launcher, climbed aboard Air Force One, and started firing missile after missile at them. Twinkle, in his RoboDeer-driven sleigh, swooped down and grabbed me. He dragged me up high, high into the sky. I remember the look he had. That twisted grin, that disgusting shimmer in his eye. 'Happy New Year, girl,' he said. Then he?he?
COL_TXT_ADV_16_SC_14 = Let's just say when I landed on the dirt, I was short one arm. That bastard. I was losing blood fast and fading. The last thing I saw was Johnny climbing onto Twinkle's sleigh - and the scream he let out when the elf leveled my arm - still grasping onto that rocket launcher - right at Gat's face.
COL_TXT_ADV_16_SC_15 = Soon after, it was over. Air Force One was grounded, we were all taken hostage, and Christmas was forever ruined. The planet had fallen to an evil version of Santa and his no-good army of twisted Christmas icons. All hope was lost. We had no choice but to surrender to Clawz's will. The world was his now. Or so he thought.
COL_TXT_ADV_16_SC_16 = *sigh*
COL_TXT_ADV_16_SC_17 = The Saints don't do 'draws.'
COL_XMAS_TEXT_ADV_CHAPTER_7 = 7: LAST DITCH EFFORT
COL_TXT_ADV_17_SC_01 = The Saints had lost. All hope was gone. The world had fallen under the rule of Clawz and not even us Saints could save the day. Johnny was gone for real now. I lost an arm (though Twinkle insisted on replacing it so that I 'was still useful.') Years went by. The Boss was locked away in Clawz's office while the rest of us (including the other Saints with whom we'd been reunited) were put to work in the mines.
COL_TXT_ADV_17_SC_02 = Our job, day in and day out, was to collect metals from the earth. All we had to work with were a set of tiny hammers and some thimble-sized buckets. Why Twinkle and his men didn't make human-sized tools for us, I have no idea. Just another sign of their maliciousness, I suppose. We had attempted many uprisings, of course, but they were always thwarted by:
COL_TXT_ADV_17_SC_02_CH1 = THE WATCHFUL EYE OF CLAWZ
COL_TXT_ADV_17_SC_02_CH2 = THAT TASKMASTER TWINKLE
COL_TXT_ADV_17_SC_02_CH3 = LACK OF MOTIVATION
COL_TXT_ADV_17_SC_03 = Surprisingly, we rarely saw Clawz. Rumors bounded that he was busy working on some grander plan, some ultimate 'Master Phase' but no one knew for certain what that was.
COL_TXT_ADV_17_SC_04 = While Clawz was rarely seen, Twinkle and his giant elves were omnipresent. Like starving hawks, they watched our every move. We couldn't wipe a bead of sweat from our brow without bringing down their wrath. That didn't stop us. We developed a code - subtle gestures, inflections on certain words - that helped us communicate with each other. With it, we were able to devise a plan right under their noses. The first phase of the operation was to:
COL_TXT_ADV_17_SC_05 = Overthrowing Clawz and reclaiming the Earth consumed our every waking moment. It filled our hearts with fire and our veins with acid. We ate, slept, and breathed defying that monster. No cause surpassed the death and destruction of Clawz, Twinkle, and everything they wrought. So, no, it wasn't "lack of motivation."
COL_TXT_ADV_17_SC_06 = The more, the merrier, right? In order to take out Clawz for good, we needed to make sure Twinkle and his crew were distracted. It was Pierce who came up with the plan. (I know, I was surprised too.) It was Asha and Ben who put it into action. Kinzie faked an injury to draw the guard's attention. Ben struck from behind while Asha grabbed the giant elf's weapon.
COL_TXT_ADV_17_SC_07 = When other guards came running, I rallied the workers. By the time Twinkle and his posse showed up, we had taken the mine. The giant elves lay at our feet - and the workers stood by our side. We were ready for phase two:
COL_TXT_ADV_17_SC_07_CH1 = SMOKING A BULB!
COL_TXT_ADV_17_SC_07_CH2 = TAKE OUT THE ROBODEER
COL_TXT_ADV_17_SC_07_CH3 = TAKING OUT TWINKLE
COL_TXT_ADV_17_SC_08 = That was a must but that couldn't be our first step. Taking out Twinkle would only bring Clawz down on our heads. We needed to do something else first.
COL_TXT_ADV_17_SC_09 = Not a bad way to start but no. We had to do something else first.
COL_TXT_ADV_17_SC_10 = I'm gonna smack you. I swear to God.
COL_TXT_ADV_17_SC_11 = As it turns out, the RoboDeer would be an integral part of our plan.
COL_TXT_ADV_17_SC_12 = Damn right. I was gonna get that son of a bitch for my arm, for Johnny, and for siding with Clawz and helping start this whole mess in the first place. The workers took their tiny tools and acquired guns from the giant elves. Asha and Ben cleared out the others while I leaped on that bastard Twinkle like a jungle cat. I wasted no time pummeling Twinkle to a pulp. With my last punch, I drove my first through his giant elf face and into the ground below.
COL_TXT_ADV_17_SC_13 = With Twinkle down, we stormed Clawz's compound. Seeing us energized the workers who had been on the assembly line. They took up arms alongside us. The Battle of Santa's Workshop was long and bloody. Sometime during the battle, I got my hands on a Crimson Cowboy - the best weapon in the elven arsenal. We were just outside Clawz's office when a RoboDeer with a glowing nose charged me.
COL_TXT_ADV_17_SC_14 = I leveled my gun and squeezed the trigger. The bullet bounced off the reindeer's metal hide and landed square in my eye. I went down but I wasn't out. I rose again and, together, we tore RoboRudolph apart. The path to Clawz's office now clear, we threw open the door, ready to take that monster down once and for all - but the monster's room was empty. Clawz was gone.
COL_TXT_ADV_17_SC_15 = All that was left was a note: "Nice try, Saints, you did real well. But I'm afraid you're stuck in this living hell. One planet couldn't beat me, don't you see? Now the universe will fall just as easily. By the way, I've got your Boss. I'd be lying to say I was sorry for your loss." Had all our fighting been for nothing? No. No way. We couldn't let Clawz win. We couldn't let the entire universe fall under his regime. We had to stop Clawz. But how?
COL_TXT_ADV_17_SC_15_CH1 = FIND A RESERVE OF CHRISTMAS MAGIC IN THE WORKSHOP
COL_TXT_ADV_17_SC_15_CH2 = WISH UPON A STAR
COL_TXT_ADV_17_SC_15_CH3 = ZINYAK'S TIME MACHINE
COL_TXT_ADV_17_SC_16 = We looked but there was nothing left.
COL_TXT_ADV_17_SC_17 = Uh, no.
COL_TXT_ADV_17_SC_18 = Clawz had found Zinyak's time machine and hidden it in the back of his office. I had never been so happy to see a machine in my life. (Kinzie would disagree.) The machine was mangled though. Half of it was missing. Using parts from the destroyed RoboRudolph (some of which were used to fix my eye) and a little elven ingenuity, Kinzie and Matt got the machine back in working order. But it only had enough juice to send one of us back.
COL_TXT_ADV_17_SC_19 = Matt thought it should be Asha. Ben suggested Kinzie. But it was Pierce who said it should be me. 'shaundi's lost the most of any of us,' he said. Huh. Maybe I'd been too hard on Pierce this whole time, I thought. 'Plus, if she doesn't come back, we still have everybody important.' Or maybe not.
COL_TXT_ADV_17_SC_20 = Still, I agreed. I would make the trip back to my own past. But when? How far back to go? I could have traveled back and warned everyone about the Zin invasion but I also knew I needed to be able to get back to my time. Also, if we had never been abducted, we wouldn't have gotten Johnny back. So I chose the day before Clawz came to power. We would have defeated Zinyak already and had his time machine - but it wouldn't be too late to save Christmas.
COL_TXT_ADV_17_SC_21 = I set the course, stepped into the machine, and hit the button. And, like that, I was gone.
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_01 = We had done it. Clawz had been defeated. Santa had been saved. The Boss even learned the true meaning of Christmas. But I couldn't stay. I had to get back to my own time. But not before taking part in the most glorious montage the world had ever seen. After that, I said my goodbyes to everyone and stepped into the Zin time machine. I set the machine for the only date I could and pressed the button. In a flash, I disappeared from the past and materialized back in the present.
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_02 = I stepped out of the time machine to find myself inside a museum. Sometime during the decades since we successfully saved Christmas, the Saints had apparently forgotten that I'd be coming through that damn thing and stashed it inside a history exhibit. Not that big of a deal except for the fact:
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_02_CH1 = DINOSAURS HAD TAKEN OVER THE PLANET!
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_02_CH2 = ZINYAK HAD COME BACK TO LIFE!
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_02_CH3 = THE MUSEUM WAS CLOSED FOR THE HOLIDAYS!
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_03 = No, that DLC isn't officially canon.
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_04 = No! Though I suppose there's always Saints Row V.
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_05 = Admittedly not the most epic of the options but, yes, the museum was closed for the holidays which meant I couldn't get out. Unless I broke the glass with my cyberarm. Which I did. The world outside was magnificent. Lights of every color sparkled on the fronts of every building. Children and grown-ups alike were making snowmen on street corners. From storefronts, I could hear carols and hymns lilting onto the street. Christmas - and those other holidays too - had survived.
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_06 = I asked an orphan boy what day it was and he told me it was Christmas Eve. There was still time! Still time! Okay, that last part didn't happen. But of course I had to come back to the day before Christmas. I had to see it. I had to know, really know, we had won. The first place I went was:
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_06_CH1 = THE BOSS'S PLACE
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_06_CH2 = LET'S PRETEND
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_06_CH3 = JOHNNY'S
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_07 = Ugh. Have you seen that place? Add a couple more decades of 'Boss' to that hole and NO THANK YOU.
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_08 = I'm going to *pretend* you didn't say that.
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_09 = Predictable, right? But, look, after everything we'd been through - and after losing him AGAIN thanks to Twinkle - it was the first place I thought of. That would have been proof beyond proof that we really had changed the future.
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_10 = But when I went to his door, he didn't answer. I knocked again. No answer. It wasn't until after I busted down his door (this cyberarm is pretty awesome), that I realized he wasn't there. No message. No nothing. Feeling saddened and a little bit lonely, I decided then to stop by:
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_10_CH1 = THE BOSS'S PLACE
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_10_CH2 = KINZIE'S
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_10_CH3 = PIERCE'S
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_11 = No, seriously, I'd follow them into hell but live with them? No. No way.
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_12 = We're like sisters, right? I figured if anyone would know where Johnny was - or where anybody was - it would be Kinzie. I took a cab to her 'inner sanctum' and knocked on that big ugly garage door. But, again, there was no answer.
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_13 = I thought about ripping it off its hinges (could my cyberarm even do that?) but, no. She was probably off being Kinzie somewhere, y'know, Kinzie-ish. Or maybe she had moved. I realized then that it had been a long time and people move and, hell, people die. Maybe there were no more Saints. A sobering thought. With nowhere else to go, I went to:
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_13_CH1 = THE BOSS'S PLACE
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_13_CH2 = BEN KING'S
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_13_CH3 = MY PLACE
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_14 = Look, I know I'm hard on Pierce and everything but, after Johnny, there's no one I'd rather see than - Sorry, I can't. No way I can get through that with a straight face.
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_15 = Not. Gonna. Happen.
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_16 = I actually don't know where Ben lives. he's never invited me over. Huh.
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_17 = I had bought the place outright with the cash I got from that game show so I figured, if any place had the best chance of still being around, it was my place. I grabbed a cab and headed home.
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_18 = I couldn't believe nobody was around. Or that nobody was there to greet me - I mean, I told them that I was going back to 'Christmas Eve 2035' so you think at least one of them could mark it on their calendar and maybe say 'Thanks, Shaundi, for warning us about Clawz and helping turn the tide of human history and also for saving Santa and Christmas and those other holidays too!' but NO. Nothing for old one-eyed, one-armed Shaundi.
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_19 = After the cab left, I stood for a moment in the cold December air. It was dark out, not a hint of snow. I knew I should be happy just to be home but I felt empty. Alone. Sad. I was heading towards the door when I realized I didn't have my keys. Was I going to have to bust down my own door? Well, it turns out I didn't need to because as soon as I got close:
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_19_CH1 = MY HOUSE BLEW UP!
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_19_CH2 = THE DOOR OPENED!
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_19_CH3 = MY CYBERARM TURNED INTO A LOCKPICK!
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_20 = You sure have a love of theatrics, don't you?
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_21 = And there he was: Johnny. That big goofy grin on his face. And it wasn't just him. It was Kinzie and Asha and Matt and Ben and Pierce and the Boss. They hadn't forgotten. In fact, they all knew the one place I would eventually have to come back to. They welcomed me home with hugs and high-fives and rounds of 'Merry Christmas.'
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_22 = Kinzie was just telling us about how Santa had given everyone a special present as a thank you when I heard a strange-yet-familiar voice from the kitchen yell, 'Is she here?' A strange vibe filled the room at that point. Everybody hushed except for Kinzie. 'Oh,' she said. 'I suppose I should have warned you-' 'It's alright, Kinzie,' the voice in the kitchen said. 'I'm sure she'll recognize me.'
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_23 = And into the room walked me. Other me. Another me. No cyberarm. No robot eye. Short haircut. I always wondered what I'd look like with short hair. Kinzie did her best to explain. 'When we saved Christmas, we started an alternate timeline. This is the you that exists without Clawz and Twinkle and all that happening.' I admit: it was weird. Like really weird. But okay. I mean, I was used to hanging out with other versions of me by that point.
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_24 = 'Hey, let's knock back some nog, what do you say?' Typical Pierce. 'Or at least some Egg Nog-flavored Saints Flow!' So we did. And we talked and laughed and shared stories while, outside, it started to snow. We gathered around the tree and sang carols until late. That night, after everyone had left, and I was snuggled in my bed, I heard footsteps on my roof.
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_25 = And I knew it wasn't the name brand-sneakers of gang thugs or the webbed-feet of some alien race or the tromping metal repulsers of RoboDeer but the pitter-patter of hooves and the shiny boots of St. Nick. Tomorrow morning, I'd wake up and see what present Santa had delivered me. Whatever it was, I already had the only present I could ever ask for: The best Christmas ever.
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_25_CH1 = THE END
COL_TXT_ADV_18_SC_26 = It's a mechanical limb not a Swiss army knife. But that would be cool, yes.