Christmas Spirit was the seventh story in the Bernice Summerfield anthology The Dead Men Diaries. It was written by Cavan Scott and Mark Wright.

Summary Edit

Bernice leaves the Mansionhouse to find the Collection decorated for Christmas, to her dismay. She chats with Mister Crofton, who reminds her of the memorial service for Steven Mead. She runs off to attend.

At the service, Steven's friend Tony Deek listens to Irving Braxiatel speak about Steven. He notices that Steven's fiancée, Vivian, is smiling slightly. It seems to Tony that the holographic image of Steven is looking at him. Suddenly, blood appears on the image's face and the head explodes. Tony screams.

Two days later, Benny talks to Tony, at Braxiatel's insistence. She asks him about their recent trip to the dig on Anibus, wondering if Tony picked up anything there that could explain what he saw. When he replies in the negative, she asks about his Psi-Test and learns he is a natural empath. Before she can get to the bottom of whatever's bothering Tony, he looks in the mirror behind her and runs away screaming.

Tony goes to the Mansionhouse, looking for Vivien. He finds her seated, fingering the necklace that Steven gave her. He then sees Steven's "ghost" again, which tries to block him from leaving.

Benny has finished going through the catalogue of artefacts from the Anibus dig. Coming outside, she (literally) runs into Adrian, who tells her one of the students is up on the clock tower. When Benny gets there, she sees that it is Tony.

Benny climbs to the top of the tower, expecting to find Tony ready to jump. Instead, he is curled up in a ball, repeating, "He's everywhere". Tony tells Benny what he sees, and admits that he accidentally caused Steven's death by messing with his equipment.

Now Benny can see Steven, too, up on the ledge. She notices he is wearing a pendant, and suddenly she remembers — it's an Anibusian Memory Stone. She tells Tony the ancient Anibusians used the stones to help grieve for a loved one. One stone stayed with the corpse, and one with the loved one. The stones would help gradually lessen the grief, letting the loved one let go. However, the stones don't work the same way on humans, and Tony's guilt and his telepathic abilities are causing him to see Steven.

Vivian appears on the ledge, also wearing a Memory Stone. She is accompanied by a healthy, naked version of Steven. She seems dazed, and it tries to convince her to jump off the ledge. Benny rips the necklace from Vivian's neck, and Tony, Vivian, and both Stevens are gone, but Benny is still on the ledge.

Steven appears, and taunts Benny with the fact that she didn't care about the students until they needed to be saved. It says she wants to save others but she can't save herself. Suddenly Steven disappears and an image of Jason appears, but when he tries to appeal to her, she becomes angry and throws the Memory Stone at the image. The stone hits the frozen lake and explodes.

Benny enjoys a glass of bourbon with Braxiatel, and wishes him a Merry Christmas.

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Continuity Edit

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