December 19th, 2009
Santa Claus returned to the bridge of the Snatterstar still clutching the impostor as it snapped and wriggled in his grip.
All heads turned as he marched with it towards the turbolift. “I need to talk to the Grand Father,” he barked, “Patch me in!”
Duddles appeared at once on the viewscreen, still labouring at the controls of Patch, the supercomputer that runs the Snatterstar Snattactica.
“Did you get him?” Duddles asked, unable to conceal the note of excitement in his weary voice.
“He’s here, Duddles, but I don’t know how long I can hold him. Can you Patch me through?”
“I think so – old Patch isn’t at his best, he’s kept me up all night with his bleeps and whistles, whistles and bleeps, and I’ve got more readouts and analysis sheets piling up than I know what to do with, it’s chockablock in here – but I think I’ve developed a Patch that’s going to keep him running. I think he’s up to the task of communicating through to the Grove. Putting you through now.”
And the relay was opened between us. It still feels like such a treat to speak with Santa Claus even after all these years, because of the excited little minds that so often join with mine. Without hesitation I invited him to join me.