They're Random, Baby!

The Night Before Christmas

Reworked by Red Loser

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all o'er the front
Not a creature was stirring, not even a Grunt;
The ammo was laid by the shotguns with care,
In hopes that the Master Chief soon would be there;
The soldiers were huddled all cold in their nests,
Protected by nothing but bulletproof vests;
And Sarge with his rifle and oddly-marked cap,
Had just settled down for a quick power nap,
When out on the field there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my post to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash
Saw fires and explosions and heard a great crash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my eyes should appear on the scene,
But a Scorpion tank, and four well-armed Marines,
With a powerful driver, so lively, you see;
I knew in a moment it must be MC.
More rapid than eagles his soldiers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

Now, Jenkins! Bisenti! Mendoza and Dubbo!
Let's show these Marines how to give Covies trouble!
To the top of the ramp! to the top of the wall!
Now fire away! fire away! fire away all!

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the soldiers they flew,
With the Scorpion tank, and the Master Chief too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The panicked retreating of Covenant hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
from a hole in the roof MC came with a bound.

He was dressed all in green, from his head to his foot,
And his armor was tarnished with ashes and soot;
A shotgun and ammo he flung on his back,
And he looked like a wrestler just layin' da smack.
The Grunts--how they cowered! The Jackals did tremble!
Elites were mowed over, but Hunters assembled!
The Chief aimed his pistol like Willy Tell's bow,
And the blood of the Hunters stained new-fallen snow;

A frag grenade thrown hit a Grunt in the teeth,
And the smoke it encircled the Chief like a wreath;
Though struck in the face and three times in the belly,
He shook, laughed it off, then turned Covies to jelly.
The Chief beat the Elites, he made Covenant yield,
But I yelled when I saw more charge in from the field;
A click of his gun and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And riddled the Covies; then turned with a jerk,
And having defeated his alien foes,
And leaping up high, to the rooftop he rose;
He sprang to his tank, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

First seen on the HBO Forum, 22 December 2002.
Artwork originally by Shikai Wang, torqued beyond hope by HBO gnomes.