One of the mechanics was standing in front of the bus, wiping his hands on an oily rag. He came round to the door and Arwin opened it. “She is all fuelled up, checked over and ready to go.”, he said, “The supervisor said you should take her out for a test and check your route. The pick-ups are all on Route 15 via Wellington, just not all the stops. Last pick-up is 20071 just across the way. Then you have to follow directions built into the GPS, as nobody else knows just where the final destination is. Give the supervisor a call on the radio when you have been round the route and he will give you the password for the GPS.”
Arwin put the 'Flight Manual' in the pocket by her chair and did her visual checks round the inside and outside of the bus. Even if the mechanic said everything was OK there was no way she was going to get in trouble if there was anything wrong with the bus when she got back to the depot. Everything looked fine, time to fire her up and get going. Pulling out of the depot she waved at several other drivers. who smiled at seeing Arwin driving the Santa Special and waved back.
Running along a route without having to stop for passengers took Arwin back to the days of her training, but this time she was going solo, no instructors and no snide remarks from other trainees. Well she had showed them. Who was it that was chosen to drive the Santa Special? Not them. As she went round the route Arwin made sure she spotted where the pick-up points were, it would not do to miss one when she started for real tomorrow. The bus hummed along nicely, and even the Christmas music on the speakers was good, some jazzy numbers mixed in there here and there. Arwin even hummed along with some numbers, she was getting into the Christmas spirit.
It did not seem long until she was heading back towards the the depot and the final pick-up point outside the airport building. She wondered if perhaps she would just be taking the passengers into the airport to board a plane. That might be it.
Pulling up at the last pick-up she took the the radio mike off its holder and called into the depot and asked to speak to the supervisor. She was told he would be right there. Within a few minutes she saw the supervisor crossing the road to her and she opened up the door. In his hand he was carrying an envelope, so perhaps even he did not know the password or the destination, intriguing. “Had a good run so far?”, the supervisor asked, “The password for the GPS is in this sealed envelope, please memorise it and then destroy the slip inside.” He handed her the decorated envelope, it had her name on it in very neat italic writing and a border of reindeer pulling a sleigh, cute!
Arwin opened the envelope and pinned to a note inside was a small slip of paper. Better read the note first. In the same neat italic writing it said ' Dear Arwin, Please follow the instructions the GPS gives you exactly, even if they seem rather strange. Your call sign for this mission is Rudolph One, please keep your radio open on frequency 121.800 to start with, you will be told when you need to change frequency. Now please open up the password slip and get started. Hugs Santa!'.
Arwin unfolded the password slip and her jaw dropped. This was getting creepy. It used to be a joke among IT professionals that a user's most likely passwords were the name of a pet or significant other. How on earth had someone chosen corwyniliana as a password for her? She was going to have to check her computer at home for keyloggers when she got back...............