Friday, April 24, 2015

The Wabbit in the Infra Red Zone

A juddering announced their arrival. They hopped out the Time Gate having faded in to another strange landscape. The Wabbit hopped around the structure and seemed pleased with it. "What sort of place is this?" Tipsy sprawled and looked down the barrel of her Colt. "We're monochrome," said Skratch. The Wabbit looked surprised. "I thought it was night, since you were grey." "No this is an infra red place," said Skratch the Cat, "and we're infra red too." The Wabbit stuck his paws in his fur. "Is that possible?" Tipsy pulled back her trigger. The click echoed down the hillside and echoed back, bringing with it the three Zoners the Wabbit was chasing. "You shouldn't be here," said the first Zoner. "You're supposed to have been taken care of," said the second. "Permanently," said the third. Tipsy's revolver span until it was a blur. "Well, meet my friend," she hissed. His name's Sam. Sam Colt." The Wabbit appeared calm. "What exactly are you Zoners doing here?" "This is where we keep our collection," said the first Zoner. Now the Wabbit looked quizzical. "We collect elapsed time." said another Zoner. "Why here?" asked Skratch. "It's the only place it will keep," said the last Zoner. Tipsy stiffened and Skratch looked at her closely. "I feel something shaking." The structure trembled beneath their paws and the Zoners looked agitated. "You're in custody," said the Wabbit and he gestured to the Gate. "What for?" cried the Zoners. "Crimes against Time," said the Wabbit ...

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Wabbit and the Jump Zone

The team headed down the tunnel for what seemed like an age. Tipsy danced backwards and waved her Colt at shadows while the Wabbit and Skratch forged onwards. Suddenly they were bathed in an orange glow. "Something familiar?" said Skratch. "Yes, what about that?" replied the Wabbit. They both looked at the Time Gate. With a creak, the hatch swung back and a cacophonous tune bounced along the passageway. "I can hear a melody," offered Skratch. But there was no time for musicology. "This is the Jump Zone," boomed a recorded voice. "You have 27 seconds to enter the Gate." Skratch looked at the Wabbit, then turned as Tipsy unleashed a volley of shots into the darkness. "18 seconds before Jump," said the Gate. "Try talking to it, Wabbit," yelled Skratch but the Wabbit's shout came out a shriek. "Belay the countdown and return to 30 seconds!" The tune continued and the hatch swung with it. Skratch grabbed Tipsy by an ear and yanked her closer as they started to run. Her revolver spat bullets along the walls. "They're coming," she shouted as she loaded more rounds, "and I'm not picking up a happy feeling." "8 seconds to Jump," boomed the Gate. Now they were at the Gate and falling across the threshold. "Destination?" yelled the Wabbit. "Destination arbitrary," said the voice flatly. "I was hoping for more choice," sighed Skratch. "3 seconds," said the Gate, "and Please Watch the Gap." Then everything faded to black ...

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Wabbit at the End of the Tunnel

They emerged from the Time Tunnel and into a strange landscape. Three moons hung from a tangerine sky and there was absolute still. The Wabbit was the first to scramble onto the parapet and he turned to lend a paw to Skratch. "What's Tipsy doing and where did she get the Colt?" Skratch laughed. "She said she'd cover our rear." The Wabbit shrugged. "Skratch, where do you think this is?" "It looks like an old abandoned planet," said Skratch. The Wabbit heaved a sigh. "Nowhere's completely abandoned is it? Surely there's someone or something about." Skratch looked all around. "Desolation Row," he muttered. "It creeps me out." The Wabbit inspected the stonework. "Someone built this." "A team of Aztecs with time and attitude?" suggested Skratch. The sound of rapid revolver fire disturbed their musings. "What's Tipsy shooting at?" growled the Wabbit. They both looked up. The moons had moved position and now they were ticking in synchrony. "Well I know this isn't Pluto," said the Wabbit. "How do you know?" asked Skratch. The Wabbit smiled. "I was there once. It's on the Metro." Skratch knew better than to ask for an explanation of the Wabbit's wilder observations. Besides, the ticking grew louder and faster and the moons seemed to drop closer to the surface. "Let's take cover," said the Wabbit. "Tipsy! Check out the other tunnel!" Tipsy wheeled on one foot and fired three shots. But there was no echo. "We've got no choice," yelled the Wabbit. Tipsy peered into the tunnel but only darkness peered back. "That's tunnel vision," said the Wabbit.

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Wabbit and the Passage of Time

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The vast concrete structure nestled incongruously on the edge of town and the Wabbit and his two deputies crept into the giant bunker. Tipsy buried her head in her arms because a high pitched hum made her eardrums vibrate. "Ah there you are," said the Zoners. "Did you run out of time?" The Wabbit looked at the Zoners critically. He placed his paws at five past three. That was when he liked coffee - and since that time was as good as any other, he waved them. "Stand away from the tunnel!" "No can do," said the Zoner on the right and he tipped his cap. "We have an urgent appointment and we're pressed for time." The humming changed frequency and the Zoners looked alarmed. "Move away from the tunnel," said the Wabbit, "and we'll give you the time of day." But something else was happening. Tipsy's bottom half started to reappear and Skratch's Winchester was vanishing rapidly. "We really cannot delay or else it will be yesterday," yelled the middle Zoner. The Wabbit hopped closer and the Zoners shrank back. The hum grew louder and the leader clock at the back of the tunnel began a count down. Loud ticking filled the structure and as its single hand swept onwards. the Zoners grew frantic. Suddenly they turned, raced into the tunnel and disappeared. The Wabbit didn't have to ask. He too loped into the tunnel and was gone. Skratch looked at Tipsy but she was already at the leader clock. Its hand reached Fade. "Three seconds!" yelled Skratch - but she'd gone too. "No time like the present," sighed Skratch as he jumped ... 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Wabbit and the Wild West Zone

The Wabbit couldn't remember how he got there. One second he was watching the movie and the next he seemed to be in one. "Howdy stranger," said a familiar voice. It was Skratch, but the Wabbit had never seen him toting a Winchester. "You must be from the Badlands," said Skratch. "You'll be in need of a drink." "I'll have a carrot aperitivo," said the Wabbit - but when he saw Skratch's eyes rise a full one inch, he adopted a threatening snarl. "Put it in a dirty glass and leave the bottle!" A tinkle of glasses heralded a bodyless Tipsy who appeared from the back. The Wabbit turned and cast a deliberate gaze around the chaos. "I'm a lookin' for three flannel mouths," he drawled. Tipsy sipped her drink. "They wuz here and they wuz on the shoot," she nodded. "Broke the place up real bad." Skratch looked at his Winchester, dropped the lever and loaded new cartridges. "They spoke real fancy too," he grunted, "Said it was feeding time at the zoo." The Wabbit narrowed his eyes until they were slits. "Did they ask what time zone this was?" "They sure did," said Skratch, "and I told 'em 'Tango' like what it's always bin." Tipsy drained her glass and crashed it on the bar. "Round here, we don' go changing." "They sure gave you a bad time," agreed the Wabbit, "did they say where they wuz headin'?" Skratch pointed to the wall. "They said something about the mists of time. Then they vanished clean away." The Wabbit got up. "I'll head after them." "Hey Marshal," said Tipsy, "could you use a couple of deputies?"

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Wabbit and the Late Late Movie

The Wabbit hopped straight into the auditorium, followed by the Time Zoners. The theatre was screening Tarkovsky's Solaris and it was just about to start. The Wabbit smiled broadly, but behind him bickering and confusion broke out concerning who would sit where. The Wabbit immediately moved to the front, but the Zoners followed and sat all around him. "Shhh" said the Wabbit. "Are we in time for the beginning?" said the Zoner to his right. "It's just begun," snapped the Wabbit. "Films should be dull at the start," said the Zoner, "so people have time to leave." The Zoner behind leaned forward. "Your ears are in the way." The Wabbit looked all around the empty cinema and shook his head sadly. Now the Zoner to his right chipped in. "A visit to the cinema is always about time travel." The Wabbit snorted. "Tarkovsky," he said, "does not represent time as a sequential flow of events." "Of course not," said the Zoner at the back. "Otherwise we wouldn't be here." The Wabbit kept his eyes firmly on the screen. "Where would you be?" he asked slyly. "Somewhere else," said the Zoner carefully. "Having a rare old time," added another and they all giggled. The Wabbit frowned and gestured silence with a paw across his mouth. "How long does this film last?" asked a Zoner. "A hundred and sixty nine minutes." replied the Wabbit from memory. "Oh that's splendid," said the Zoner at the back. "We have all the time in the world." The Wabbit smiled to himself. "Now where would you find all that time?"

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Wabbit and the Twilight Zone

The Wabbit pursued the voices a long way from the forest and into the city. They were heading somewhere specific. "Come in Juliet. This is Zone Zulu, copy?" The radio whined. "Juliet. Go ahead." "The Wabbit had difficulty in describing the scene. "I'm at the cinema." The radio hissed. "Leave that for later Commander." The Wabbit gritted his teeth and tried not to yell. "The Zoners are in the cinema!" A long silence ensued. "What are they doing?" "Chatting," said the Wabbit. "What about?" asked Juliet. The Wabbit made static noises, slipped his radio into his fur and listened. "Are we late?" said the first Zoner. The second Zoner chortled. "No, t'is the cinema that's early." "We have time on our hands," said the third. Then they all laughed just like in the forest. The Wabbit caught sight of a red flash. So he looked towards the bar and saw Skratch with Tipsy's head under one arm. He made a slight gesture, but none was returned. And although Tipsy seemed to have a drink, the Wabbit wasn't sure of her Zone. Both Skratch and Tipsy looked transparent and shimmered in the dim glow. Suddenly, the Zoner on the right swirled his hands three times. "What time zone did we ask for?" "Whisky," said the middle Zoner. They all turned to look at the bar. The third Zoner ticked a little. "This isn't Whisky, it looks like X-Ray." "We can still have fun though," said the middle Zoner and they giggled. The Wabbit watched Tipsy sip her drink. "Let's watch a late movie," suggested the first Zoner. The Wabbit hopped forward and spoke. "How about the Twilight Zone?"

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

The Wabbit in Time Zone Zulu

The Wabbit waited a long time but finally his radio crackled. "This is Juliet. Confirm Time Zone?" "Zulu," snapped the Wabbit. The Wabbit sounded impatient because he'd been on the same spot staring at empty space for several hours. The spot lay along the course of the new atomic timepiece known as OptoClock and trouble was afoot. But forced to accept a mission for another agency, the Wabbit was unhappy and so grumbled to himself at length. "Report sightings," said Juliet. The Wabbit had nothing to report, but from the corner of his eye he noticed a reflection in the jeep's side panel. He stayed still and watched until the radio interrupted. "Commander?" "I have a partial sighting of Tipsy," replied the Wabbit. "Tipsy? How partial?" The Wabbit shrugged. "Well, she has no head." Angry voices at base suggested this was not anticipated. "What about the Zoners, Commander?" The Wabbit was about to say there were no Zoners, when he heard voices in the forest. He watched Tipsy's bottom half stroll off down the forest path and he narrowed his eyes and shook his head. But he ignored it because the voices were getting closer. They were talking about time in a most peculiar manner - and every so often they stopped and laughed. "I'm completely zoned," said one voice. "Did you make any daylight saving?" asked another. "No, there's hardly any interest. I took out a loan." The Wabbit sighed deeply and whispered into his radio. "They're here, but they're on borrowed time."
[Zulu: military time zone, Coordinated Universal Time UTC/GMT. Juliet: Military time zone (observer's local time)]

Monday, April 06, 2015

Skratch and the Time Zone Problem

Skratch escorted Tipsy carefully from the auditorium when he heard the sound of a kiss. He momentarily thought of the Wabbit's instructions and fumbled quickly in his fur for Tipsy's gift. That's when it happened. Two disembodied paws took the chocolate liqueurs. "Oh thank you Skratch," said Tipsy's head, "that was very thoughtful." Skratch was lost in Tipsy's swirling eyes as her lips detached and floated towards him. "What time zone is it?" asked Tipsy's lips. Skratch nearly jumped, but he remained calm and tried to think clearly. "It's CEST." "My goodness that's late," said the lips, "but not too late for you to take me for a little dwink." Tipsy's lips returned to their proper place while Skratch wondered which establishment would permit entry to a disembodied head. "Aren't you working soon?" Tipsy's lips smiled. "I don't have to get up until November." Skratch knew that was a military time zone and now his eyes narrowed. But he saw no option but to go along with things until he could get to the bottom of the problem. "Let's head out then," he chirped. Tipsy proffered a paw and he hooked his paw around it and proceeded downstairs to the exit. Tipsy's lips floated around a bit. "It's nice to have someone to take me to the movies. Now you can tell me about how to read a film."  Skratch realised he was becoming accustomed to talking to a disembodied head. "What movie would you like to see next?" Tipsy's lips fluttered close. "The Time Machine."

[CEST is Central European Time.   November is a Military Time Zone in the NATO phonetic alphabet.]

Friday, April 03, 2015

Skratch, Tipsy and the B Movie

At a repertory cinema near the centre of town, Skratch and Tipsy met to see an old B movie horror. Skratch knew it had become a cult classic but said nothing, owing to the Wabbit's instructions. He was not allowed to broach the subject of movies at all and was therefore at a loss for conversation. Skratch felt a paw creep into his. He'd been expecting the brush of a foot or leg, but a paw he felt he could deal with, Skratch squeezed it. "I'm scared," whispered Tipsy. "Don't worry," said Skratch. "I'm here and nothing can harm you." Tipsy leant forward and eagerly watched the story unfold. Skratch had seen the movie several times and was responsible for submitting a long and technical article to Jump Cut Review, now at the revision stage. "Yikes!" shrieked Tipsy as a decapitated head made conversation from a laboratory worktop. She looked away, only to notice a door at the side of the screen. "What's behind that door?" she murmured. An actor's voice from the screen seemed to reply. "Horrors no normal mind can imagine." Tipsy jumped. "I think it's a broom cupboard," said Skratch soothingly. Tipsy's eyes were riveted on the movie monster as it ripped its tormentor limb from limb. "Will you see me home afterwards," she breathed. "There might be monsters." Skratch smiled and nodded and grasped for the chocolates. Tipsy looked thoughtful. "Anyway, how long can you live without a brain?" "It depends how old you are," said Skratch,

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

The Wabbit and the Command Movie

Skratch the Cat arrived at the sleazy viewing theatre where the Wabbit had an arrangement. The matter seemed to be urgent, so he was unsurprised when the Wabbit addressed him in serious note. "Departmental Business." The Wabbit's voice indicated he didn't exactly approve. "This is a direct order, Skratch." Skratch waited for what seemed like an age. Finally the Wabbit spoke. "You have to take Tipsy to the movies." Skratch's fur stood on end. "But Commander .." "I'm certain something can be worked out." said the Wabbit, "now what seat do you usually occupy?" "Front row, middle," said Skratch. The Wabbit shook his head sadly. "You will occupy a rear seat, offset from centre." Skratch gritted his teeth. "During the film, Tipsy will nudge your leg." Skratch groaned inwardly. "What then Commander?" "You will whisper sweet nothings in her ear." Skratch brightened. "About the movie?" "On no account," said the Wabbit. "You will not talk of cinema or film theory and there is to be no mention of semiotics." Skratch heaved a very long sigh. "What next Commander?" "You will escort Tipsy home." said the Wabbit, "where you will kiss her affectionately on the cheek and give her a small box of expensive chocolate liqueurs." And then?" asked Skratch. "Lope away nonchalantly," said the Wabbit, handing Skratch money. "Look, this should cover everything." Skratch spoke cautiously "May I take a taxi?" "Only if there's a blizzard," said the Wabbit.

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

For a while it rained with fury. The Wabbit was early and he snuck under an umbrella at his favourite table and sat it out. Suddenly the sun burst through and brought with it Lapinette, Tipsy and Skratch the Cat, all from different directions. "What's it to be?" shouted Lapinette. "Carrot beer and a salad sandwich," said the Wabbit with satisfaction. It had been a long adventure and he never had expected the intrusion of frackers. Just off the tram, Skratch bore down on the caffè with theories in mind. "That was a most interesting escapade." "Let's have some more," yelled Tipsy. Laughter ensued and when it died away Lapinette asked the Question. "What was that for a sort of adventure, Skratch?" Skratch raised an eye. "It was deliciously soapy." The Wabbit looked at Lapinette and winked encouragingly. "Soap," stated Lapinette in a solemn voice, "is entirely predicated upon matters of desire." "So it was all about your outfit," smiled Skratch, "and gender identity of course." The Wabbit stepped in before things got technical. "You didn't mention fracking and eco-horror."  "Gender, genre, ecology!" shouted Tipsy. "Oh, won't someone get Tipsy a chair?" suggested the Wabbit, sitting exactly where he was and disguising a grin. "I can get my own chair," said Tipsy, "but someone else can get me a little dwink." "What's your poison?" asked the Wabbit. "Brandy, cola and sheared ice," said Tipsy. "I think that's called a Drunken Fracker," nodded the Wabbit.

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Wabbit and a new Grand Daucus

Back at the Carrot Club, the Wabbit handed over the reigns of power. "Lapinette, I'm proposing you for Grand Daucus." Lapinette looked surprised. "When will I know I'm elected?" "As of now," said the Wabbit, "but there's only one small thing." Lapinette waited. "You have to continue as Bunky Green." Lapinette knew there was more. ".. and you have to wear the outfit," smirked the Wabbit. Lapinette also smirked. Despite everything, there would be a female in the Carrot Club and it was all her doing. The Wabbit continued effusively. "I thought perhaps the Carrot and Artichoke Clubs might combine." Lapinette's ears twitched. "Did you hear that creaking?" "Oh, the old building needs refurbishment," sighed the Wabbit and he waved his paw in a dismissive fashion. "So what about naming us the Cartichoke Club, do you think?" "I think I hear noises," said Lapinette. "It must be the heating," said the Wabbit. Suddenly the corridor grew icy cold and Lapinette shivered in agreement. "It must be." She pondered for a while. "What kind of heating is it?" "Gas," said a voice. Lapinette furrowed her brow. "Did you say gas, Wabbit?" "No, not me," said the Wabbit, "it's oil anyway." "Oil!" The sound ricocheted along the corridor. The Wabbit looked at Lapinette and Lapinette looked back. "I have an idea," said the Wabbit. "I'm all ears," said Lapinette. "Run!" yelled the Wabbit.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Wabbit and the Reverse Frack

"I feel floaty," said the Wabbit. "I do too," said Lapinette. "You're not really here," said Turbina the Jet Car, "how does it feel to be avatars?" "Fuzzy," said the Wabbit. "You have the crystals?" asked Turbina. Lapinette looked at her paw and she could see them now. They pulsed blue and twinkled as they shifted in some kind of spooky space. Turbina's turbine whined as it picked up speed. "Place them in my glove compartment." The sound of a jazz saxophone filled the cabin. Turbina's voice commanded everyone to wait and it seemed like an age - but just as the saxophone reached a crescendo, Turbina spoke softly. "Quantum ... now!" and a broad green beam shot from the train. Turbina captured it like a goalkeeper and they both jolted as she focused it into a line with no thickness. The Wabbit's eyes shifted to the mirror and he was surprised he could see the line. It moved silently and rapidly, bending round buildings in its way before it smashed into the Fracker with the devastating sound of a thousand earthquakes. Through the noise of fracturing and shearing rock, the Wabbit thought he heard a voice groan from the Fracking Entity. "Frack! Gas! Shale!" "Not on my watch, Fracker," muttered the Wabbit. Silence fell and they all drew a breath. "Frankly Commander," said Turbina, "I didn't think that would work." The Wabbit grinned. "It must have been the music. Who was it anyway?" "I know," smiled Lapinette. "That was Bunky Green."

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Wabbit's Quantum Dining Car

To some extent Quantum was like a normal train. He had a pleasant dining car and Tipsy had found an equally pleasant bar. "I like trains," she yelled. "Does anyone want a ickle drink?" "Yes," said the Wabbit immediately. Quantum hung in time, a zone in which the Wabbit felt relaxed. But voices broke in and he heard Jenny from the rear of the compartment. "What about my hat?" "It's still there," said Skratch. "Still where?" asked Jenny crossly. Skratch stretched his paws wide. "The hook of time." Now voices faded and Lapinette swam into focus. The Wabbit looked at her and remembered she was still in disguise. "What plan, Bunky Green?" Lapinette began. "Quantum has a Transwarp Thruster." The Wabbit nodded and Lapinette continued. "We reverse the thrust and narrow it to a photonic plasma beam." "Then direct it at the Fracking Entity." said Wabsworth. The Wabbit thought about it, then shook his head. "We need plasma photonic crystals." "Commander?" The Wabbit turned to Tipsy who pouted. "These crystals are one dimensional and highly dangerous." Now the Wabbit stared at Tipsy and started to smile. "Got any?" "I might," said Tipsy. She delved carefully in her fur and held out a paw. No-one could see a thing. "Where are they?" asked the Wabbit. Tipsy's voice was both serious and sultry. "You can't see them. They're notional."