Wednesday, October 20, 2021

7. The Wabbit, Lapinette & the Gooey Web

The Hacker did exactly as expected. But he wasn't expecting the Wabbit's Web. Stuck in the goo, he wriggled and writhed. But he couldn't extricate himself. The Wabbit and Lapinette lay at the ready to pump more of the web into the system - but what was there, was more than enough. "How do you like my Web, Mr Hacker?" The Wabbit was jubilant. The Hacker tore at the web but it was useless. Sticky strands held him fast. And he couldn't say a word - just gooey goo goo.  Lapinette was cautious. She expected trouble. It was a cold night in this part of the Cloud, and she thought the web might fracture. But it held fast. "What do we do now?" asked the Wabbit. Lapinette knew the Wabbit didn't think far ahead. Strictly speaking, that part of the operation fell to her. "Kin we move him?" The Wabbit grinned and pressed a button on his snazer. The web began to contract and soon the Hacker was quite a small ball. "Sombrero Galaxy?" asked Lapinette. The Wabbit agreed. "On his very own planet. He can hack to his heart's content." He rolled the ball of goo behind him and hopped along the bridge. "How do we get out of this cloud?" It was Lapinette's turn to grin. "I made notes. Take a right after the bridge." Clouds began to swirl around him and the Wabbit ploughed through them. "I suppose we just leave this entirety of the dark web behind." Lapinette sighed and shrugged. "There'll always be a dark Web." The Wabbit suggested blowing it up. "Wabbit. you can't blow up everything you don't like," she said. The Wabbit tried to dissipate the clouds by huffing on them. It didn't work. "Pity," said the Wabbit.

Monday, October 18, 2021

6. The Wabbit, Lapinette and the Highway

Lapinette and the Wabbit stood guard at the iron bridge. It was on the Dark Super Highway and the Wabbit had spotted it through the clouds. Lapinette was sceptical "How do you know he'll come this way?" The Wabbit shrugged. "They say you can set your clock by him." Lapinette gave a sardonic grin. "Who on earth does the think he is? Kant?" The Wabbit chortled, He'd recharged their snazers with special concoction devised by Big Blue Snail and Major Duetta Spyder in the Wabbit's shed at the back of the Department. It was lethal and would trap anything. Devised as a lure, the holes were an illusion and were filled with snail slime, spider goo and Evostick. Nothing got through. Nothing. Suspended from the iron girders of the bridge, they looked like a spider's web and glistened in the night. The Wabbit looked out. He and Lapinette had different ways of looking. He crouched over his rifle and stared at the middle distance. Lapinette bounced up and down on her rabbit legs. Birds fluttered across in great number. The Wabbit sniffed the air. "Birds?" he said. He made a wavy motion with his paws. Lapinette nodded. "The Dark Cloud certainly cuts it for authenticity." They stared out for a while. "What's that?" asked the Wabbit. Lapinette's ears swivelled and her nose twitched "It's him." The Wabbit wasn't sure. How can you tell?" "Garlic mouse droppings," she said. Now the Wabbit could smell him too. He lifted his snazer and glanced at Lapinette. "He's going to meet a sticky wicket."

[Background images. Open Clip Art, JW Wein, Hans-2 all at Pixabay.]

Saturday, October 16, 2021

5. The Wabbit, Lapinette and the Hacker

Lapinette swept back the curtain and there was the Hacker. She waved a pistol at him and while he was distracted, the Wabbit snuck in behind him. "You horrid Hacker!" yelled Lapinette. Lapinette was livid. The Hacker's penetrating stare held her in a vice like grip. The Wabbit had her edged weapon and grasped the Hacker from behind. But the knife slid off his neck like an evil dream. Lapinette's automatic bent sideways "I am the rambunctious Hacker," he cried, "No gun can fire me, no knife can throw me." Lapinette tried to bend the automatic back but it wouldn't comply. The Wabbit slipped the edged weapon back in his fur and stood back. "You have an interesting turn of phrase," he grunted. The Hacker scowled. "It's the phrase that turns - not me. I am Ice Mouse Hacker and I turn for no-one." The air grew cold and Lapinette suppressed a shiver, then shrugged. "As you wish," Mr Mouse." The Hacker's lips formed into a grin. "What is your wish, Mr and Mrs Bunny?" "Stop the outages," snapped the Wabbit. "Then where will I get my fun?" said the Hacker. He pulled the curtain back and swept the Wabbit out with a wave of his paw. "I am neither pixie nor pixel. I am Hacker." The curtain closed and dissolved. There was nothing behind. Only clouds. The Wabbit grimaced. "That went well." Lapinette inspected her automatic and racked the slide. Her mouth set in a line. "How do we get him?" The Wabbit considered. "Satanic Runes?" Lapinette's lip curled. "Glurpy Glue!"

[Background. Pixabay Peter Pieras]

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

4. The Wabbit and the Cascade of Rabbits

There was a cascade of toy rabbits. They were running - out of the cloud they came, one by one. They just kept pouring through. The first one bore a software piracy logo and a spectacular set of teeth. The rest looked as lethal as the first. The Wabbit lifted his snaser rifle but Lapinette shouted to him. "They're pixels Wabbit, you won't do anything with that." The Wabbit thought about it and he knew one thing. It took fire to fight fire. "That flash drive, Lapinette?" Lapinette was ahead of him. "My thoughts exactly. I think I have it somewhere in my frock." She fished around and found it. Then she threw it. With a single deft move, the Wabbit caught it and flipped it the other way round. "Take that for your trouble," he snarled. He flung it straight at the teeth of the leading toy rabbit. He had a bit of luck. The flash drive lodged between its teeth and connected. The Wabbit leaned back as the drive downloaded a powerful new virus into the toy. The toy stopped dead just like the rabbit in the souless battery advertising. So did the rest. The numbers danced but the toys lay on the ground, as lifeless as a string of dead fish. "What was on that drive, Wabbit?" Lapinette was relieved. The danger was over for now. The Wabbit grinned. "We call it digital myxoma." Lapinette grimaced. "Wabbit! You and Wabsworth have a terrible sense of humour." The Wabbit wrinkled his nose in agreement. "We're not finished. We have to get to the Hacker." The Wabbit turned to face the numbers. They were printed on a gauze curtain of poor quality. The Wabbit laughed. "Well I call that chintzy!"

[Toy rabbit by vinsky Background numbers by Jay Rue Software Piracy Badge by The Digital Artist. All at Pixabay]

Monday, October 11, 2021

3. The Wabbit and Lapinette in the Cloud

Courtesy of Hardhack Rat, the Wabbit and Lapinette hopped through the Dark Cloud. He'd got them in by some back door - no one knew of its existence. The Dark Cloud was the equivalent of the Dark Web and as such, highly dangerous. But the Wabbit wasn't taking it seriously enough for Lapinette. "Watch where you're sticking that gun," she shrieked. The Wabbit lowered his weapon, but not by much. "Sorry," he chirped. "Lower Wabbit," groaned Lapinette. "Sooahrry," said the Wabbit in a deep baritone. Lapinette ignored this and looked all around. "So this is the Dark Cloud." The Wabbit hitched the snazer higher up on his shoulder. "Looks like it." Lapinette glanced down. "What is this were standing on?" "Looks like a bridge of some kind, probably over troubled waters." Lapinette sighed. When the Wabbit was like this, nothing would change him. "Bridge to where?" "Probably a bridge too far." The Wabbit was being really annoying, and it usually meant he saw trouble ahead. Mist swirled around them and enveloped them in damp. "This plays havoc with my sinus," said the Wabbit. "Is that why you're getting up my nose?" Lapinette had had enough. Her ears twitched. Then they heard a noise, a bit like scraping. The Wabbit shrugged and they hopped on. The sound got louder. "It sounds like the hacker," said Lapinette. They stopped. She brought her snaser round and pointed it straight ahead. The clouds gave way to a screen with numbers. Toy rabbits hopped around on the screen. A blast from Lapinette's snazer saw the screen dissolve into melted plastic. "Melt down!" shouted the Wabbit. 

[Clouds: Engin Alyurt  Pixabay]

Friday, October 08, 2021

2. The Wabbit and the Dark Web

Hardhack insisted on demonstrating his theory, so they went to the viewing theatre that the Wabbit had lovingly recreated in the Department. They picked up Lapinette on the way because she knew a thing or two about the Dark Web or the Dark Wab as the Wabbit liked to call it. Hardhack booted up his computer and they were incognito as they come. Not a soul knew of their presence. A shrouded figure appeared on the screen. "Looks like our suspect," said Hardhack. The Wabbit gasped. "It's an Ice Mouse." His voice shook the theatre as he began to speak. "Look on my works ye mighty and Despair!" The Wabbit gripped the back of the seat. "All ye who cleave to the Dark Path! Ye are my followers." His voice was like scraping a mouse scratching a blackboard. "We shall lay them low; we shall scatter their pixels like lawn mower clippings." The Wabbit spoke in a low voice. "He can't hear us can he?" The voice spoke again. "I can see all who see me. I can see everything." The Wabbit made a rude sign. Lapinette admonished him. The Ice Mouse started again. "Our next task goes beyond Facefook. It extends to the heart of the Net. To SPECTRA and beyond." The Wabbit made a funny face. "I can see you Wabbit," said the voice, "Prepare to meet whatever doom you care to name." The Wabbit looked at Hardhack. "He's bluffing," said Hardhack. "Ending transmission," roared the voice. The screen went black except for an Ice Mouse logo, which promptly faded. "My gast is flabbered," shrugged the Wabbit.

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

1. The Wabbit and the Big Outage

The big outage went on and on and every computer in the land was affected. So the Wabbit decided to seek out advice. Who better than Hardhack Rat? Hardhack didn't take appointments but the Wabbit didn't have to make one. He crept into a new bay and watched Hardhack run up and down, looking for glitches. The new bay was very chic and even had a soft seat. The Wabbit was secretly impressed but he chose not to show it. "Psst Hardhack. How are things?" Hardhack turned. "Just fine Wabbit. How do like my new minimalist supercomputer?" The Wabbit smiled to himself. "It's rather cute, Hardhack." Hardhack was astonished. "Cute?" he said. "Cute?" He grimaced at the Wabbit. "This is a state-of-the-art beast rated at a zillion exaflops." "It has a nice little seat," said the Wabbit. "That is a powerful controller," shouted Hardhack. "It helps execute neural functions equivalent to my Brian." "You mean brain surely?" laughed the Wabbit. Hardhack stuck his nose in the air. "It's what I call my brain," he said. "Only teasing," snickered the Wabbit. Hardhack put his paws on his fur. "Oh you! You're incorrigible. What can I do for you anyway?" He smiled. The Wabbit strode around looking at things. "We've had a big outage. You don't seem affected." Hardhack guffawed loudly. "I wouldn't attach this to the net. Do you think I'm mad?" The Wabbit shrugged. "It's a problem for the Department. I'm supposed to fix it." Hardhack thought for a minute. "You've considered mice." It was the Wabbit's turn to think. "I have not." Hardhack was philosophical "Oh, they talk about faulty configuration changes and backbone routers, but 70% of problems are caused by mice." The Wabbit gave that some thought. "You could be spot-on..."
[Background image by Pixabay]

Monday, October 04, 2021

The Wabbit's Adventure Caffè

The team gathered in a Caffè near the station. There had been a big fire and they wanted to inspect the damage - but it was all internal and nothing much to see. "I'm glad this place is still functioning," said Lapinette. "Yes, touch and go," replied the Wabbit. The exterior scaffolding was still in place, and they glanced round at it. "I suppose they're still putting it out," said Wabsworth. They sniffed the air. An acrid smell remained. "Blowtorch and insulation?" asked Wabsworth. The Wabbit shook his head gravely. "Just a spark," commented Lapinette. They all nodded. "Oh look! Here's Skratch," said Wabsworth, "He'll tell us what kind of adventure you just had." Skratch's call was long, as he hove into sight. "That was a pleasant adventure," he meaowed. "Nothing more than that Skratch?" Wabsworth smiled and pointed at Lapinette. Then he put both paws to his eyes and then pointed at Skratch. "Hmmm. It was mythological and barely covered by signification," said Skratch. Lapinette smiled. "It was a zone beyond!" "Elusive and ineffable," commented the Wabbit. Lapinette laughed. "You were certainly elusive and ineffable inside that mausoleum." The Wabbit's ears twitched. "No real danger there." Lapinette nearly fell of her chair laughing. Wabsworth laughed too. "The ghost eagle as an autonomous entity is quite a semiotic threat." Skratch grinned. "Where's that eagle now? He seemed clued in on movie history." The Wabbit smirked. "Probably down by the cemetery gate hiring himself out." Lapinette was helpless with mirth. "Then he vanishes after taking the money." The Wabbit suddenly tapped the table. "Talking of vanishing, where's our drinks?" "They're mythological," giggled Lapinette.

Friday, October 01, 2021

6. Lapinette and the Spectre of the Eagle

Lapinette pulled the Wabbit out and dropped him over the edge. But just as she did, the eagle took off from his statue. Fully formed he took flight from Lapinette's bullets. The Wabbit struggled to find a grip on the mausoleum, and the eagle didn't make it any easier. A giant wing almost swept him down as he batted at it with an ineffectual paw. "You can't shoot me," cried the eagle. "I'm a ghost!" All the same, a bullet clipped a wing and feathers flew as feathers do. "Take that," shouted Lapinette. "Take that and bother us no more." The eagle swooped round. "I only wanted a friend to talk to." Lapinette stood her ground. "You better choose your friends carefully and not imprison them. Be a nice friendly eagle from now on." She waved her automatic. The eagle settled on the ground and the Wabbit dropped down and strode up to him. "You were a good tour guide; you could make a euro or two." The eagle brightened. "Maybe I could." But then his face fell. "What would I do that sets me apart." Lapinette jumped down from the mausoleum. "Eagle feathers are in big demand." The eagle looked mournful. "They're illegal to possess." The Wabbit had a think. "They're ghost eagle feathers; they wouldn't last long." The eagle soared into the sky. "I'm an official tour guide then. I'll hang out by the cemetery gates." The Wabbit looked at Lapinette. Lapinette looked back and shook her head. "We have to sort everything out. It's exhausting." The Wabbit dusted off his fur. "Rewarding though." "What's our reward?" replied Lapinette. "I could use a drink," said the Wabbit. "There's an Eagle Pub," said Lapinette. The Wabbit looked at her. "It's in Pozzo Strada," she said. The Wabbit laughed. "They have everything there."
[The Eagle House Irish Pub is in Via Riete 4 (Corso Franca, Torino)]

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

5. Lapinette and the Locked Mausoleum.

Lapinette wondered what had happened to the Wabbit. She knew his meanders could take a while. All the same, it was unusual. She meandered through the cemetery with a little more purpose. And that was when she saw it. A can of WD40 had rolled to the side of a mausoleum - and its distinctive red straw was pointing to it. She picked it up with one paw and plucked her automatic from her frock with the other. "It's a clue," she murmured. Could the Wabbit be trapped inside the mausoleum? With a great deal of care, she looked round the side and placed her ear against the wall. With that ear she could hear the dead speak. She heard the muffled sound of pacing and beating and hammering. "It sounds like the Wabbit all right." She listened a little more closely. There was a lot of swearing and the sound of things being thrown against the wall. She knocked forcefully. "Is that you Wabbit? You're always getting locked into places." There was a spluttering and she thought she heard him say "Watch out for the eagle." Lapinette thought that was odd. "Perhaps you found old coins. Is there a key?" The sweary reply indicated a key was not to be found. "Stand back then, I'm coming in," she said. She hitched up her frock and started to climb the brickwork. There were plenty of toe holds and she got to the top easily. In the roof was small skylight and she prised it back to find herself looking at the Wabbit. "What took you so long?" he said. Lapinette offered a paw. "I took the scenic route. Did you know Isa Bluette is here?" "How's she keeping?" asked the Wabbit.

[Isa Bluette was an Italian showgirl of the twenties and thirties.]

Monday, September 27, 2021

4. The Wabbit and the Unexpected Turn

The Wabbit had just finished a chat when the eagle picked him up. Before he knew what was happening, he was headed back to where he started. "I think you're an awfully good companion," said the eagle," I think I'll keep you." He landed by the mausoleum and dragged the Wabbit to the door. The Wabbit knew he couldn't overpower a giant eagle so he slipped his paw into his fur and threw the first thing he could locate onto the ground. It was a can of WD40. Anyone who knew the Wabbit, would know he'd been there. "We're going to have such good conversations," shouted the eagle, "you can bet we are." The Wabbit flailed but he couldn't escape the grip of the talons. "I'm really rather boring," he protested. The eagle swept him through the door. "Not at all, you're awfully good fun," he yelled. "You can accompany me on my mausoleum tour. You'll be a graveyard smash." He spread his wings and pushed the Wabbit inside. "The Wabbit continued to protest. "I'm such a terrible windbag. On and on I go. Better release me if you know what's good for you." The door clanged shut. "See you later for a nice chat," said the eagle. The Wabbit heard the fluttering of wings as the eagle resumed his perch. He shrugged and looked round. It was fairly dark, but he could make out some plaques, flowers and the odd photo. "There might be visitors," he thought, "It might even be today." He tried to look out the window, but it was frosted glass and not very big. So he couldn't see much. "I suppose I could smash my way out," he thought and then smiled. "Wah hoo. Graveyard smash!"

Friday, September 24, 2021

3. The Wabbit and the Old Engineer

The Wabbit found himself lifted and transported to another grave. He was deposited without ceremony beside a lifelike figure. "This looks like the person himself," said the Wabbit. The eagle spread his wings wide. "Now you can tell me what he did in life." The Wabbit screwed up his eyes. "A kind of scientist. An engineer probably." The eagle made high pitched whistling noises. "Very good Wabbit, I didn't know you were so knowledgeable." The Wabbit grinned. "I read the inscription. And he has intelligent eyes." The eagle laughed. "You make him sound like a dog." The Wabbit patted him on the shoulder. "I'm rather more than a dog, even though I'm dead," said the statue. "My name is Francesco Casabella. How are my bursaries doing?" The eagle intervened. "They go to students in reduced economic circumstances as was your wish." Francesco's statue nodded. "I never hear a thing; you know how it is." The Wabbit thought it best to change the subject. "This seems like a pleasant spot." Francesco spoke again. "Yes. My tomb was donated by the Society of Engineers. I was poor and gave night classes in Bra. Then I got my degree. I built many fine buildings and factories thereafter." The Wabbit gestured to the figures left on his tomb and gave his shoulder another pat. "You have some young admirers I see." The statue seemed to come alive. "I always liked the young people." The eagle made more whistling noises. "We'd best be going. He gets maudlin." The Wabbit smiled and backed away. Everything went back to normal. "This is quite a cemetery," said the Wabbit. "Tell me about it," said the eagle.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

2. The Wabbit hears of Stefano Pittaluga

The bird transformed into a magnificent eagle and transported the Wabbit around the cemetery. Then he swooped down and deposited the Wabbit by a graveside. The Wabbit looked at the recumbent statue on the plinth. "This is the grave of Stefano Pittaluga. A cinema impresario who acquired studios in Turin." The Wabbit walked around the plinth. The eagle swooped and dropped down to sit by the statue. "You probably won't know him. He was ahead of his time in introducing sound cinemas." The Wabbit agreed. "You're absolutely right, I never heard of him." The eagle lifted off and swooped around a bit. Then returned to sit by the statue. "He moved to Rome and released foreign films. People loved it." "What happened to him?" The eagle laughed. "He died in 1931, otherwise we wouldn't be here." The Wabbit pointed. "It says there 1932." "Don't believe everything you read," said the eagle. The Wabbit knelt by the plinth. "I can see someone has been here recently." The eagle liked a joke. "Flowers. He's very popular with the old age pensioners." The Wabbit smiled. But he wanted to know who the woman statue was. "I think she was a lady friend," said the eagle. "Oh really," said the Wabbit, "that's show business I guess." The eagle became serious. "Yes, on hearing of his death she came here and prostrated herself by the grave. She wouldn't go away and died of starvation." The Wabbit looked astonished and his eyes widened. The eagle winked. "Not at all. I made that up." The eagle tried for a grin, but only managed to look sinister. The Wabbit considered everything he's heard. "I know a cat who would like to hear of this." "Is his name Felix?" asked the eagle. "No. Skratch," replied the Wabbit. "Silly name," said the eagle.

Monday, September 20, 2021

1. The Wabbit gets the Bird

The Wabbit was at a loose end, so he strolled through the Monumental Cemetery in Torino. It was always a pleasure. He recalled his primary school teacher saying to him. "Why don't you have a walk through a cemetery, Wabbit. Cheer yourself up." So he always did. He couldn't remember her name, but he remembered the advice - and then a giant grin would appear on his face. The cemetery was like a city on its own. The graves were big enough to house whole families and he fancied he saw one with a TV satellite dish. He laughed, which was entirely inappropriate for a cemetery - and he looked around to see if he'd offended anyone. That was when the bird called to him. "Caw! Wabbit!" There was a big bird on top of a mausoleum. "Impossible," he thought. He proceeded on his way, but it called again. "Yes you, Wabbit!" The Wabbit didn't look back. He'd had quite enough with things calling to him because there always seemed to be trouble. "Wanna tour, Wabbit?" The bird was insistent. "The Wabbit shrugged. "How much?" There was a fluttering of wings. "City of Torino pays. It's covered by your Museum Card." The Wabbit gave up. "I suppose so. No funny business now." The bird tried to disengage from the top of the mausoleum. Bits of brickwork fell to the ground. Finally it dragged his claws from the top of the building and swooped down in an awkward fashion. It looked around to make sure no-one had seen. "OK, what do you wanna see?" The Wabbit stuck both paws in his fur. "You're the guide. Entertain me." The bird settled on the Wabbit's shoulders and, with a sudden movement, picked him up. "My treat," it chortled - and off they flew...

Saturday, September 18, 2021

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

They gathered as usual to discuss the Adventure, but Lapinette took the show by jumping on a pole. She twisted her legs around it and let out a cry. The Wabbit was nonplussed. This was unusual for Lapinette. "Did you start the drinks early?" he asked. "No," replied Lapinette, "I just felt exuberant." Skratch approached from the rear and lifted her higher up. "What was that for a sort of Adventure you just had?" he meaowed. The Wabbit decided to start. "The inanimate object drove the narrative. It was a constant moving element throughout." Skratch laughed. "That's a little tame for you, Wabbit," he purred. "I disagree," said Wabsworth. "I felt it was truly avant-garde. The lamp was tired of acting as a source of illumination for others." Lapinette chirruped from her pole. "It was a challenge to our fixed ways of looking, staring and objectification. A reverse scopophilia." She swung round and back again, narrowly avoiding the waiter. "I suppose you're right," said Skratch. Everyone looked at him. "Lights gesticulate in a shimmery sort of way. They sway and sparkle and we take little notice. Compared to many people I see, they are alive." Skratch gesticulated in a manner designed to imitate the lamp. "Dazzling," said Wabsworth. He was quite taken by this turn of conversation. "The lamp was one of your best inanimate characters, Wabbit." Lapinette went for a total swirl. "He was very sweet, and I hope to see him again." The table lit up with a single flash from the direction of the moon. "I think he just saw you," said the Wabbit.