Made it in about an hour. I really didn't have a set plan so I improvised as I went. I think it turned out pretty good, nevertheless. It was long ago that the Apex has perfected cloning, but it had never been used on such an ambitious scale, or for such ambitious purposes. The vats were lined up, there must have been millions of them. An army was growing. An army... of Santas. "Taskmaster Guer?" His eyes opened at the call of his name, but closed half a second afterwards as he shifted his position in the hammock. "Yes...?" He was not typically awakened so early. There should have been at least 2 hours of sleep left before the status report. Every day it was the same thing... one or two Santa deformations, one day closer to... "Wait." He got up and looked at his clock. Day 358... Christmas eve! He jumped out of bed, got dressed, and raced down to the control room, not even stopping to respond to the telescreen that had called him. There he met with the head engineer, Maqa. It was finally time. "It's about time, Guer. I was about to let 'em loose without you." Guer was still panting from his race down the steps. "I got the teleporters up and running, the, err... space-sleighs are ready. All we need to do now is upload the Santa archetype to the chambers, and awaken them." Guer was already at the computer, doing just that. "What did we call it? The archetype, I mean?" he asked, fingers flashing across the keyboard. "Erm..." Maqa always thought this pursuit was childish and silly. The codenames only added to his embarrassment. "The Santa Clause" Guer chuckled. "I knew that, I just wanted to hear you say it." The screen confirmed the successful upload, and he pressed a red button to the far right of the keyboard. The stasis chambers began to drain. Almost in unison, the Santas opened their eyes as their chambers opened. It was 4 hours until sunrise, and Nick was still crying. His parents had lied to him. He saw that now. The other children couldn't all be wrong, could they? Santa Claus really didn't exist. He rolled from one side of the bed to the other. And then he saw it. A dark figure, fat, around 5 feet tall. He tried to scream, but he was too scared. Could this be a floran? His head darted under the covers as it reached out a limb, and then... a poke? He slowly uncovered his head to see a present laying next to him. "Just wishing you a merry Christmas, Nick." And then he was gone, just like that. Nick's heart was still beating fast as he opened the present. Inside, he found what felt like an action figure along with a remote control. He set them aside and laid in bed for a moment. "Santa..." he whispered to himself. And he drifted calmly off to sleep. His parents walked in that morning to see an open gift that they had never seen before. Upon reading the tag, they got even more confused. "Merry Christmas, from the Apex!"