In this story, the Eighth Power is sent on a rather unusual mission, involving the escort of a V.I.S.: Very Important Santa.
In the story, Cindy Kyte offers the following explanation:
"‘Santa Claus’ is the [informal] designation for Spatial Anomaly M1872: an anomaly which happens to pass near every inhabited planet in the Alliance and Foundation, on the Day of Dawn’s Reflection each year. Correlative data assembled from several observation satellites have confirmed that the same anomaly can and has existed at the same time in multiple locations, which means it is not a normal object. It’s traveling faster than the speed of light, which makes it both a physical impossibility and supposedly not made of matter";
To which, Hunter Jusenkyou adds:
"Anomaly M1872 was first confirmed by GS observational satellites in A.Y. 1714. Fly-by maneuvers and FOG samplings later confirmed, it is in fact comprised of solid materials, multi-spatial in origin. The best evidence to indicate intelligence is the behavior of the anomaly: predictable enough to observe, too random to interactively study. His route is different each year, so he doesn’t pass by every planet, but most of them. When you place an obstruction in his path—or rather try to—he is on a different path. All function data says we should be able to predict his movements, but we can’t.
Scientists working on the G.S.S. Geomancer have modeled four-dimensional matter on the computer, and based on their research, M1872 is an intelligent life form, comprised of exotic, four-dimensional particles. In theory, such a being should be able to exist at every point in the time-space continuum simultaneously, throughout its lifespan. Which means his existence at any one point should be unimportant. However, experiments with multi-spatial technologies indicate that his existence may be much more fragile, and that damage at any one point in the time-space continuum could be damaging on a level we can’t comprehend. That is why defending him is very important".