Chapter 1 | Trendy bearded man | The Press

“Please remain still during facial recognition. Identity confirmed. Welcome home, Santa Claus. »

As soon as the synthetic voice is turned off, the heavy doors of the bunker slide on their magnetic rails, opening the way to the old man covered in snow. “Okay, let’s not waste time, get to work, commies. Alexa, please play some background music, but don’t Long live the wind. More capable. » Then resonates Little Saint Nick in the industrial hideout, while holograms of fir trees and red and green lasers cover the place. “Ha, the Beach Boys, excellent choice, it will warm us up! », approves the bearded man.

On his connected watch, he activates a few commands to confuse networks and location. “Hey, hey,” he chuckles, “now my IP address says I’m in the Bahamas.” These bells of journalists will search everywhere to find me. Although they would be able to suspect me of tax evasion… Too bad. It’s not like I’m making a profit! » Santa then takes out his iThose to evaluate the billions of destinations that await him this year. Sparkling with a thousand lights, the world map makes the man’s pupils shine.

“Okay, first of all, let’s go recharge the equipment, so as not to break down like in 2022. Name of a Star Fairy, what a hassle it was! » Taking the escalators, there he is in the basement of his lair. Approaching the reindeer, he places his index finger on their muzzles: 22% batteries remaining for one, 14% for the other. “Talk to me about planned obsolescence, you…” he laments, plugging large cables into the sides of the animals. “Charging in progress. Will be complete on December 23,” say the reindeer.

“It was minus one. Let’s go prepare the game plan, now,” Santa Claus resolves, returning upstairs. Pushing his latest tablet where he consults The Plush Press every morning, he sits in a soft armchair and puts on a virtual reality headset. “Simulation begins,” Alexa announces. And here is Saint Nicholas projected into his future journey, observing the openings of the cottages and the annual updates. Tears stream down his cheeks as he flies over certain areas of the world. “Terrible, terrible… Every year, it’s the same,” he quavers.

Suddenly, the virtualized man feels his sleeve being pulled energetically. After a start, he takes off his helmet and discovers 6G, one of his faithful elves. Funny name, isn’t it? He inherited it because he is always one step ahead technologically, which makes him one of Santa’s favorite companions.

“Hey, 6G, hello, old branch!”
– Hello Sir ! Welcome back ! I have a great idea.
— Speak, my good 6G, my hairy ear is reserved for you… »

The leprechaun leans in to whisper his secret plan to his patron saint.
“What do you mean, I farted?!”, the latter is indignant.
– No no no. ChatGPT. It’s software that answers lots of questions using artificial intelligence. We could use it to decide on gift choices this year. »

At first pensive, Santa Claus becomes enthusiastic. “Of course, you have to keep up with the times! Let’s have your program pull out the entire list of Earthlings and designate a gift for each. Usually we do this by hand, so this should save us this tedious task. »

6G brings him the slimline laptop from the bunker and they tap a few settings together. After much thought, the software begins to transmit a series of names and corresponding presents. But by quickly consulting it, something bothers our Santa…

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