Monday, August 29, 2016

1. The Wabbit and the Watchtower

Lapinette watched the Wabbit for quite a while, but the Wabbit was contemplating the watchtower and didn't notice. He looked the tower up and down and, finding it lopsided, he wondered whether it was him that was askew. So for a moment he anchored his feet on the ground and imagined a slim thread connecting his ears to the heavens. The thread seemed to pull him directly upright until he felt as connected and centred as a Wabbit could be. "Aaaah," murmured the Wabbit. A sudden skyward tug thrilled the Wabbit. "Wow. I had a satori moment!" But his thought was short lived. "Hello Wabbit!" It was a haunting coo from Parakalo the Dove holding a thread that coiled around the watchtower and snaked down its elderly walls. "Shichiten hakki," smiled the Wabbit. "Bonbu mo satoréba hotoké nari," replied Parakalo. The Wabbit nodded. "Quite right," he muttered. "All things are merely dreams." "Wabbit!" yelled Lapinette. The Wabbit jumped in the air. He landed in an ungainly fashion and tried to cover it up. "Ah, here you are Lovely Lapinette, a dream on legs." "These legs were made for hopping," grinned Lapinette and she tap danced across the street to embrace the Wabbit. The Wabbit lurched forward and hugged Lapinette. "That tower leans to one side." Lapinette laughed. "No, it's you. You should come with a spirit level."
[Shichiten hakki. Shichi ten hakki: Japanese. Fall down seven times. Stand up eight.
Bonbu mo satoréba hotoké nari: Japanese. All things are merely dreams.]

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Wabbit at the Adventure Caffè

They thought that Skratch the Cat had missed the boat. But he surprised them all by bursting through the aft door. "Ask the question," he roared and he waved a paw. The Wabbit could see his reflection in the window and he laughed. "That's a self referential T-shirt!" "The T-shirt answers the adventure question for me," purred Skratch. "We were so trekking across the universe," said Wabsworth gravely. Lapinette nodded demurely. "A syntagmatic analysis would suggest a system of signs consistent with the Odyssey."  "Such is the surface structure," replied Skratch dryly. "We weren't much on the surface," said Wabsworth. "Then it was about Quantum, our container," said the Wabbit, "and our Space Traveller sought after new containers." Wabsworth sighed. "He sought after me and I didn't like being a container." Lapinette was in academic mode. "Is not the Odyssey a system of containers?" Skratch was delighted. He purred furiously. "It's a bounded subsystem within a system of time and space." "But where are our drinks in time and space?" asked the Wabbit. "Unfortunately," said Skratch, "the bar is closed." "When do we disembark?" groaned Lapinette. Wabsworth cheered wildly. "In two minutes." "Is there a caffè?" queried the Wabbit. "There are four." smiled Wabsworth. "Then we have to check them out," said Lapinette. The Wabbits teeth flashed. "We'll recce one each and communicate by radio." Lapinette suddenly pointed. "Klingons on the starboard bow!"

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

18. The Wabbit and the Planet Exile

"Are you sure," asked the Wabbit, "that this is you?"  The Space Traveller looked very sorry for himself. "Not really," he replied. "I shifted so many times." The Wabbit frowned. "Perhaps some time on your own would help you remember." The Traveller looked around. "Is there no-one here but me?" "Well," said the Wabbit, "there are some tiny voles who emerge from caverns and dance in the light of the moons." "I'll look out for them," sighed the Traveller. "When do they come?" "Thursdays," nodded the Wabbit. He glanced up. "I have to be off. My team is waiting." Now the Traveller looked anxious. "How long must I remain here?" "Until I remember to come back," said the Wabbit. "Then I pray earnestly for your safety and well being," said the Traveller. The Wabbit smiled to himself, since he had no intention of leaving the Traveller for any length of time. He made a mental note to pick him up after two weeks, but chose to say nothing. "You could try mindfulness," suggested the Wabbit, "that may help you find yourself." "How does it work?" asked the Traveller. "Be aware of the present," said the Wabbit, "and without judgement, accept your feelings, thoughts and sensations. The Traveller thought for a second. "I think I'll wait for the voles."

Monday, August 22, 2016

17. The Wabbit fights for Control

The Wabbit dived onto Quantum's footplate and grabbed at the Space Traveller. But he only had a hold of a feline tail. Skratch the Cat let out a piercing yowl and the phantom materialised at the controls. The Wabbit rolled and kicked a lever. Quantum lurched out of lattice drive and Skratch and the Wabbit dropped to the floor with a crash. "Grab him!" yelled the Wabbit. A swipe of Skratch's paw brought a yell of pain but the Traveller eluded every attempt at capture. The Wabbit's ears twitched at the sound of an engine and he staggered to the windscreen. Susan the Biplane screamed beside the cab. Her single air screw looked like jelly and with every turn it got bigger. Suddenly a stream of molten alloy span towards Quantum's windscreen. Quantum kicked into lattice drive. The jerk shook the Traveller from the controls and he sprawled headlong onto the footplate. The Wabbit jumped on him several times and once again for luck. The Traveller tried to change shape but the Wabbit's hind legs were too strong. Skratch pummelled the Traveller with both paws and he hissed. "You're under arrest." The Traveller had a voice like a dental drill. "Whaaat foooor?" "Anything we care to make up," snapped the Wabbit. Then he grinned with all of his 28 teeth. "Because in space, no-one can hear you complain."

Friday, August 19, 2016

16. The Wabbit and the Surprise Case

Quantum headed for the nearest wormhole with the big case on board. "Shall we open it?" asked Lapinette. "It's what it's for," murmured the Wabbit. "That case is extremely noisy," complained Wabsworth, gripping his automatic fiercely. The Wabbit agreed. "But there's something familiar about it."  He unzipped the case and quickly hopped back. Everything went white as Ghost Bunny flew shrieking from the case. "Wabbit, what is the meaning of this tomfoolery?" Her harsh tone came as no surprise because they all knew Ghost Bunny had a crush on the Wabbit. The Wabbit waved a paw for calm and his voice was soothing. "Report?" Ghost Bunny spiralled up and down. "I was invaded by a Space Traveller, a hateful beast." Lapinette wrinkled her nose. "How long?" Ghost Bunny settled. "I am uncertain." "Where is he now?" growled Wabsworth. Ghost Bunny howled with anger. "He was in the suitcase with me." Wabsworth swivelled round. "Then he's here!" Ghost Bunny sniffed. "I can smell his boogly breath." "Conduct a ghostly sweep of the train," ordered the Wabbit. Ghost Bunny swept off to haunt the creature down. The Wabbit glanced at Lapinette. "How are things on the footplate?" The speakers were curiously silent. "Quantum? Skratch?" asked the Wabbit. There was no reply. Then they heard the sound of a struggle ...

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

15. The Wabbit and the Exit Strategy

Quantum was a time travelling train and easily overtook the Sombrero Shuttle by Spica 3. There they lay in wait for the Space Traveller. "We don't know what form he'll take," whispered Lapinette. The Wabbit grimaced. "I'm relying on Wabsworth. He has the glasses." Wabsworth stiffened and focused. "I can feel him, he's on the concourse." Then he shook his head. "He is here, but that's not him." The Wabbit turned. His eyes settled on the passenger with the big bag and he made a squinty face. He nudged Lapinette. "That's a big bag to be travelling with."  Lapinette scanned it up and down. "It's made of aggregated diamond nano rods." "Not cheap," said the Wabbit. "If you're paying," smiled Lapinette. "Is it big enough to take care of a floozy?" asked the Wabbit. "It's big enough to take care of itself," replied Lapinette. The Wabbit lifted his radio. "Wabbit's the name. Gumshoe's the Game." The radio whined. "Commander?" "Quantum, can you get a transport fix on the man with the suitcase?" There was a long pause. Wabsworth kept his binoculars trained on the bag. Suddenly the bag pitched to one side and fell off its wheels. "It's him!" cried Wabsworth, "The phantom is in the bag." The Wabbit growled into his radio. "Now Quantum! Bag, Tag and Drop!" The suitcase shimmered and vanished. "He exceeded his weight allowance," hissed the Wabbit.

Monday, August 15, 2016

14. The Wabbit in the Alien's Bar

Planet OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb was cold as ice but inside it was warm and fuggy. The Alien Pilot was fishing behind the bar for his emergency Winchester, when he heard a soft Scottish voice. "Two pints of lager and a packet of pistachios." He tried to suppress a grin and stood up. "Commander!" With a nod of his head, the Wabbit gestured to Wabsworth who continued to torture an automatic. The Alien Pilot swung round and spoke sternly. "Check weapons at the bar!" Wabsworth dropped his automatic on the counter top with a clatter. Glasses rattled. "Commander," said the Alien Pilot, "I don't know who you're looking for. Anyway I never saw a thing, I was asleep." The Wabbit smiled. "Maybe you saw something in your dreams?" The Alien Pilot considered long and hard. "Maybe I dreamed of a phantom who hooked up with a floozy and boarded the Sombrero shuttle." Wabsworth growled. "Maybe that's our man." "The next shuttle is a one month wait," frowned the Alien Pilot but the Wabbit winked. "We got our own shuttle, we don't need a timetable." The Alien Pilot proffered a hand and grasped the Wabbit's paw. "Best of luck. Finding that phantom is a one in a million chance." "A million's a lot of odds," said the Wabbit.  The Alien Pilot pumped his paw. "You're one in a million. I'm betting on you."

Saturday, August 13, 2016

13. The Wabbit and the Nuts Question

Lapinette felt sorry for Wabsworth because he was always so strong. But now he looked washed out. His paws trembled and his nose twitched. Hosting an alien traveller had proved wearing. Quantum rushed through space to co-ordinates specified by the Wabbit. "Head for Planet OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb," he'd snapped. Lapinette shook her head. "I don't think the traveller is the Alien Pilot." No," replied the Wabbit, "but he drinks in every hostelry in the quadrant. He'll know where to find our fellow." Lapinette sighed. "Then what?" "I require a quiet word with him," said Wabsworth. Lapinette fumbled in her fur and tossed him an automatic. "Take Mr Makarov with you. He's most diplomatic." Quantum flashed through a region they'd never seen before where stars were blossom and planets, gravel. "Fasten your seat belts, ladies and gentlemen," said Skratch over the speakers as Quantum shuddered violently. "We don't have any." smiled the Wabbit. Skratch laughed. "Then would anyone like a drink from the bar?" Lapinette's paw shot in the air. "A triple distilled carrot aperitivo" The speakers crackled. "Coming right up," said Skratch. "with pistachio nut sprinkles," added Lapinette. "We're right out of pistachios," yelled Skratch. "Nuts, nuts, nuts," mused the Wabbit. "Now I did hear of a bar called 'Insanire Furiosi'." Wabsworth played with the slide on his automatic. "Lunatic Madmen," he muttered.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

12. The Wabbit & an Android in Space

Quantum the Train received an emergency transmission that sent them scurrying to a damp, misty planet no-one had ever heard of. The signal came from an agent's location beacon and soon the Wabbit and Lapinette were looking at a lifeless Wabsworth on a featureless beach. "Wabsworth!" yelled Lapinette, "He can't hear you," said the Wabbit, "I think he's switched off." He groped under Wabsworth's fur. Lapinette groped too. "What are we looking for?" "A reboot button," said the Wabbit. Lapinette was amazed. "I didn't know he had one." The Wabbit's smile was grim. "He doesn't advertise it.  Ah, here we are."  Wabsworth suddenly lurched and gasped, "Where am I?" Lapinette wanted to get to the point. "Where were you, Wabsworth?" Wabsworth's innards grumbled long and loud and he shed some of his coat. "My circuits were in the grip of a daemon, a trickster, a space traveller." The Wabbit looked down and punched buttons on his walkie talkie. "Transport for three please." Then he turned to Wabsworth. "Was this traveller a pain in the backside?" "He was a pain in every side," replied Wabsworth, "I was forced to be Emperor Cuniculus and act imperious." "How did that feel?" asked Lapinette. "Powerful yet impotent," growled Wabsworth. "Events took place and I could do nothing to alter them." "Sounds like life," murmured the Wabbit. He picked up the remains of the travellers cloak and sniffed them. "Something familiar," he murmured.  Quantum locked onto their coordinates and they shimmered and vanished.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

11. The Wabbit and the Lattice Drive

They crowded into Quantum's cab and gazed into the distance. The something started as an orange dot but it grew rapidly like an ant on steroids. Lapinette hunched over the controls. "It's Nine the Tram and he's motoring!" Skratch shielded his eyes. "He's catching up. He's on collision course and he'll be here soon." "Got a time?" asked the Wabbit. "Now," answered Lapinette. Nine the Tram loomed impossibly large. He was so close the Wabbit could spot worn upholstery on the seats. Skratch vaguely read a window advert for computer training and he braced for impact. Everyone did. The Wabbit screwed up his eyes and mumbled a prayer. But there was no collision - nothing but a brief moment of being part of a tram. For Skratch it felt orange and tasted of metal. Lapinette could smell rubber and oil and vegetables from the market. The Wabbit rubbed sand from his eyes and let out a belch of compressed air. Then Nine was gone. All that remained was a faint clang of a bell and the grinding of metal on metal. The Wabbit sat down. "My insides feel funny." "Mine too," purred Skratch. Lapinette looked at the Wabbit. "Have you been modifying things again?" The Wabbit shuffled his paws and shrugged. "It's early days for the Lattice Drive." Lapinette stamped heavily on Quantum's footplate. "Did you try it out anywhere first?" "I tried it on Nine the Tram," sighed the Wabbit.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

10. The Wabbit in the Quantum Caffè

Quantum the Train continued to vibrate as he whistled down the hole in the Void. The Wabbit put his paws to his head. "My head feels this big." "It is that big!" yelled Lapinette. Skratch the Cat looked at the Wabbit. "What in the name of feline felinity is going on?" Lapinette hopped up and down. "This is the silliest adventure you ever got me into!" The Wabbit sighed. "You can say that again!" "This is the silliest adventure you ever got me into," said Skratch. The Wabbit looked out of the window. "We're still in a hole?" Quantum always spoke over the loudspeakers for effect. "It's more of a tunnel, Wabbit." The Wabbit groaned. "How long, Quantum?" "It doesn't have length exactly," said Quantum and he sounded his horn, a single tone blast that fried the ears of anyone close. Although this was without substance in the Void, passengers flinched and reached for painkillers. "That Emperor is not who he says he is," said Skratch. "Enlighten me," sighed the Wabbit. Skratch pawed the air. "He's a meddler, a buttinsky, an intergalactic pain in the backside." "A quidnunc!" hissed Lapinette. "What's a quidnunc?" asked the Wabbit. "A busybody who went to college," purred Skratch. Quantum's horn blasted again and his voice growled though the speakers. "Something coming our way." Lapinette's paws prickled. "What kind of something?" A bang shook the dining car as Quantum reversed Lattice Drive and sped backwards. "Something differently different ..!"

Monday, July 25, 2016

9. The Wabbit and a Transfer of Space

Susan the Biplane flew straight though the wall and emerged in a very different space. "OK," said the Wabbit, taking the controls, "what next?" Lapinette balanced on a wing because that was the only room there was. "What sector is this?" Susan banked, although that was fairly relative. "We're still in the void Ma'am, but there's a hole." "We're always in holes," sighed Lapinette. "I can transfer you," said Susan, "just give me a nanosecond." Suddenly space was full. Quantum the Time Travelling Train appeared over the horizon - if indeed you could call it a horizon - and he shimmered in the light of a strange planet. The Wabbit looked at the planet and smiled as a dozen red spiders cut across a silver dust ring. "We haven't much time," said Susan. "We're all going in. Think cargo." Quantum the Time Travelling Train turned a full circle and opened his rear doors. Susan looped the loop and flew into the hold. Marshall Duetta and her squadron of red spiders took up the rear and the doors slammed shut. Quantum vibrated as he engaged Lattice Drive and dived at the hole. The shudder was violent. Everyone felt ill. Skratch coughed up three fur balls. Lapinette's ears tangled round her legs. The Wabbit's fur polarized and he stuck to the fuselage. Duetta's spiders ejected a mass of web that filled the carriage. It was only then that Quantum spoke. "I'm afraid you're obliged to clear all this up."

Friday, July 22, 2016

8. The Wabbit and a Plane too Far

The Wabbit and Lapinette reappeared. There was no mist. All was quiet. The Wabbit wore a puzzled face. "This is the Metro," he nodded. Lapinette could see it was the Metro but it didn't feel like it. "Sounds like a train's coming," said the Wabbit. "Sounds like a plane's coming!" yelled Lapinette and she held fast to her ears. The Wabbit's 28 teeth jiggled. "A biplane," he shouted. They both ducked. "Susan Stooooooop!" yelled a voice. Susan the Biplane crashed to a stop and hung over the tracks. Her airscrew span for a while then it stopped too. "Hello Wabbit," purred Skratch, "where are we?" Silence fell while the Wabbit considered - then he shrugged. "In The Void." Skratch hissed softly. "It has a lot of stuff in it for a Void." Lapinette folded back her ears and straightened her frock as best she could. "We seemed to have quite filled it." Susan's engine burst into life and her airscrew began to turn. "Jump in," she said urgently, "before we're null and void." "Susan, do you know the way out?" asked the Wabbit and he hopped up on the rails. "I can try," said Susan. Slowly the biplane turned 180 degrees. "That looks like a wall," said the Wabbit. Susan's airscrew whined. "It's the way we came in, Sir." Skratch nodded. Then he felt his paws to make sure they were still attached. The whine was deafening and Lapinette covered her ears as they rocketed towards the wall. "Wabbit, this isn't an official engine!" "Daimler Benz," said the Wabbit. "Found it in a dumpster," purred Skratch and he covered his eyes ...

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

7. The Wabbit and The Void Show

The mist cleared. The Wabbit and Lapinette were watching themselves on a game show where Emperor Cuniculus was the live host. "Welcome to The Void," said Cuniculus, "and this afternoon, the Wabbit and Lapinette will be answering questions on ,,," The Wabbit grasped his chair and Lapinette's paw. To his relief, he found them real enough. "... on the subject of their Adventures," continued Cuniculus. "Oh no!" whispered the Wabbit, "I can't remember a thing." Lapinette looked carefully at the big screen and decided she needed a new wardrobe. "Let them sort it out." she sighed, "Let who sort which what who?" asked the Wabbit. "Those two them," replied Lapinette. She pointed at the screen. "They're not really us." Cuniculus drew himself up and waved a ceremonial paw. "Wabbit! In your Adventures, what is the coach number of the Tram who goes into the Late Tunnel." "2824," said the Wabbit under his breath. "Nine," said the Wabbit on the screen. "That is the wrong answer," said Cuniculus. "It's 2824." "That Wabbit's worse than useless," groaned the Wabbit. "Listen!" hissed Lapinette. Cuniculus addressed the screen. "Lapinette!" he shouted, "what is five to the power of zero?" "One," muttered Lapinette from her chair. "Zero," said the screen Lapinette. Cuniculus laughed. "No - it's one. You both answered wrongly so you may not leave the Void." The mist rose and tickled the Wabbit's nose. Lapinette felt her chair dissolve. Suddenly the Wabbit sneezed. Stage, screen and host vanished into the mist ...

Monday, July 18, 2016

6. Skratch and the Lost Wabbit

The Wabbit and Lapinette had been missing some time. Not a single sighting had been reported for days and the Department was in a state of alarm. Skratch and Susan the Biplane buzzed a parallel sweep across the city but there was no sign of the pair of them. "Anything?" muttered Skratch, although he knew the answer. "No Sir," said Susan. She dropped altitude and started again. "I don't have a rank," said Skratch. "I'm a cat." "You sound like the Wabbit," said Susan. Her airscrew sliced the air with a monotonous whine. Skratch grinned then paused. "Hey, wait a minute, I saw something." Susan circled and held steady. Skratch hesitated. "What I really meant was, I didn't see something." "Explain," said Susan. "It's curious," meaowed Skratch. "I can't see the Roman Gates." Susan dropped further. They could make out streets and grass and trees - but of the old Roman Gates, there was no trace. "What about that mist?" asked Skratch. "No mist was forecast," said Susan sternly. Suddenly she shot upwards but the mist followed. Skratch stared at Susan's wings. They shimmered in a translucent haze. "Should I be able to see through your wings?" he asked. "I'm disappearing," said Susan, "and so are you." The mist enveloped Skratch's paw and his paw vanished. He could feel it, but no matter how much he shook it, it simply wasn't there. "We're getting lost in the mists of time," hissed Skratch.