The GPS repeated its message “Who is that fiddling with my buttons? Type in your name and get your password right first time or I'll put five thousand volts through the drivers seat.” Arwin typed very carefully. Knowing Pepper that might not be an idle threat. It was just the kind of thing Pepper would really do.
The GPS screen came on and an animation of an elf in green candy stripe overalls began to do the Chicken Dance. “Hi Arwin!”, the GPS squeaked, “Ready to have an adventure? Santa needs some help with a problem and thinks you are just the person to sort it out. First I need to take you somewhere you can take off in the bus and because this is sort of unofficial we can't use the main airport. Just follow the route on the GPS. Trust me, I'm an elf.”
Arwin checked the bus over inside and out. No way was she starting on a trip until she was satisfied that everything was in tip-top shape. Finally she was happy that the bus was fit to travel and started it up and drove out of the depot. The GPS guided her north away from the main airport and once out of the city she was headed up Route 59 towards Selkirk. There was an airport near there Arwin recalled and started looking out for the road signs. The GPS, however, had other ideas and ignored the turn off and said, “Oh, no not here Arwin, still too many people there for this mission.” It was un-nerving when a GPS read your thoughts. “I bet!” said the GPS.
Much further on the GPS chirped into life again and said, “In half a klick turn left onto Belair Road, then after 3 klicks turn right onto Lakeshore Road.”. Arwin was getting puzzled. There was no airfield this way. Only Lake Winnipeg and all the swanky lake side houses looking out over the frozen expanse. This time the GPS did not reply to her thoughts and they passed turning after turning towards the lake.
“Nearly there.” Pepper's voice piped up, “There is a sharp left turn in half a klick onto Ram Camp Road. It is a bit narrow down there and won't have been ploughed, so take it carefully.”. “Pfft,” thought Arwin, “I'm always careful.” There was a chuckle from the GPS, “Oh, yeah?”.
The GPS was right, as always. Arwin had to slow down a lot and despite it being a dead straight road it took all her driving skill to keep the bus on course. It looked as if there had not been a vehicle down here for weeks. “Last turn coming up. Take the left fork just ahead. It gets even narrower, so slow right down” twittered the GPS. Narrow was the word, the bushes and branches were almost touching both sides of the bus. It would not do to scratch the paintwork or vinyl decals that decorated the bus, The track widened out as Arwin passed the camp ground and one final bend took the bus right down to the shore of the frozen lake. Arwin stopped, applied the handbrake and took in the view. There was nothing but ice for as far as she could see..
“Hey!” came Pepper's voice, “Did I say stop?” Arwin was lost for words, for all of a second and then spluttered, “You have to be kidding. There is no way I'm driving a bus out onto that ice. It isn't thick enough to hold a bus.”. The GPS was also silent for a moment and then replied, “If this bus can fly, as you know it can; what makes you think it can't handle a little ice?” Arwin thought for a few moments and put the bus in gear and released the handbrake. “Here goes nothing!”