Wednesday, February 22, 2017

14. Lapinette and the Red Rabbits

Red rabbits appeared everywhere - they all had walkie talkies and their chatter filled the airwaves. "Fracking station 5 clicks." "Land Unit Five, ready to hop." "Coast Unit Six, ready to hop." "This is Seven. I got six squirters with their hair on fire, running for the boats." Lapinette's voice cut across the chatter. "Break Break." Silence fell. "I have a message from the Wabbit," crackled Lapinette, "I say again. The Wabbit." The Wabbit spoke with a voice he used purely for radio communication. "Red Rabbits, this is dangerous mission. From now it is imperative that you talk only through the barnstormer. Out." Lapinette's radio crackled immediately until every channel was full. Lapinette muted the radio; she knew Susan the Biplane was peeved. "The barnstormer? Is that me?" Lapinette shook her head. "I'm afraid that's me. We're going to surprise them. Hammerhead." Susan's engine growled. "Right away Ma'am." She shot vertically up, then slowed. The engine seemed to die. Susan plunged nose first to the ground. Lapinette braced for impact but Susan spiralled left then cartwheeled across the island and back. Lapinette lifted her radio with an unsteady paw. "Red Rabbits. You are go. Hop, skip and jump."  She pointed to panicked frackers. "Scare them up, Susan." "With pleasure," said Susan, "Hesitation rolls?" Lapinette's stomach rolled like the sea. "I should have skipped breakfast."

Monday, February 20, 2017

13. Ghost Bunny and Extra Ordnance

Ghost Bunny was in a hurry. "One hundred boxes to be transported to the surface." "Be careful with them," said the Wabbit. "The ordnance can be unpredictable." Another crate sped up the hoist. "Who are you expecting?" asked Ghost Bunny, "Is it Genghis Khan?" "Oh, nothing so romantic," said the Wabbit. Ghost Bunny laughed. Her laughs were wails but then her voice dropped. "We spotted a fracking spy amongst the crates." "Did you label the crates like I said?" asked the Wabbit. "Yes, as magic tricks," replied Ghost Bunny. "Nearly capture the spy then let him escape," said the Wabbit. Lapinette chimed in. "The Frackers will think bunnies came out of a hat for Easter." Ghost Bunny wailed long and hard. "A hat trick!" She shot the Wabbit a withering look. "What's in the crates?" The Wabbit snickered. "Mechanical bunnies." "They're completely terrifying," said Lapinette. "Everyone runs away," said the Wabbit. "That's the theory anyway," said Lapinette. Ghost Bunny fluttered around. "Why don't you let me haunt the frackers and make them run away?" "They already haunt themselves," shrugged Lapinette. The Wabbit explained the plan. "On shore, our mechanical bunnies will chew their cables and bite their ankles," Lapinette continued. "On the coast, Jenny will storm the frackers with the Wabbit's Cailleach," Ghost Bunny was disappointed. "Then why do you need me?" "I have a special job for you," smiled the Wabbit. "I'm hoping they'll see right through you."

Friday, February 17, 2017

12. The Wabbit and the Aqua Route.

The Wabbit and Lapinette went ahead. "I don't think the dump is compromised." Lapinette's whisper sounded like thunder. "The Wabbit drew an automatic and waved it. "Take no chances." The world of Wablantis was well defended but far from impregnable. Outside, the ocean lapped against whatever it was that held things together. A daemon accompanied them through azure depths. It made a threshing noise like a paddle steamer and every so often it let out a plaintive cry that set the Wabbit's 28 teeth on edge. Lapinette's eyes were everywhere. "How do we get past the sentinel?" The Wabbit lifted his automatic and breathed down the barrel. The gun shrieked and pulsed. A voice answered from the end of the passage. "Who goes there?" The voice was a haunt and the haunt was a voice. The Wabbit nudged Lapinette and Lapinette smiled. "I'm Trixie Beaujolais." "There is yet another," wailed the voice. "Tell me what other goes there?" "It's the Wabbit, for goodness sake," sighed the Wabbit. The passageway groaned. "Your code name?" screeched the voice. The Wabbit groaned and muttered inaudibly. "Salad." "Speak up," wailed the voice. "Salad McSandwich!" shouted the Wabbit. Lapinette shook with laughter. "The sentinel is Ghost Bunny?" The Wabbit scowled. "She said she wanted work."

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

11. The Wabbit and the Hidden Cavern

"There's the cavern," said the Wabbit. "And there's the daemons," replied Captain Jenny. She span the wheel. Engines whined. The Lepus moved sideways. "I'm going in, signal or not." "Broadside manoeuvre," observed the Wabbit. "This is a ferry," said Jenny, "not an aircraft carrier." The two daemons advanced on the Lepus, jumping, submerging, then jumping again. Jenny turned to the Wabbit. "The signal?" The Wabbit tried desperately to remember. "It will come,"  "It better come soon," said Jenny. The water threshed as another monster surfaced from beneath the Lepus. "Nessie!" shouted the Wabbit. Nessie roared at the Wabbit. "The daemons have gone a bit deaf, whit wae a' that seismic blasting." Now the Wabbit's memory triggered. "Hoist the Jolly Roger." The flag went up the mast, but there was hardly a breath of wind and it hung as limp as a dish rag. Nessie roared again. The blast shook the pirate flag into life. It fluttered like a star and at once the two daemons dived, turned and surfaced. Spray turned to water sprites who danced around them. "Follow these daemons!" shouted the Wabbit - but he was wasting his breath. An undertow caught the Lepus in a grip of iron and steadily drew her and Nessie deep into the cavern ...  

Monday, February 13, 2017

10. The Wabbit and the Two Daemons

Wablantis was in sight. The Lepus held her position. Lapinette and Susan the Biplane buzzed from ship to shore. Lapinette's voice echoed round the bridge. "The sea frackers moved away as planned." Jenny swayed in her pirate fashion. "Commander, your Cailleach used a lot of power. Now we need supplies. Fuel bunkers are nearly empty." The Wabbit nodded. "Supplies are located in our cavern on the other side of the island."  "Ah," said Jenny, "My charts says there be daemons." The Wabbit shook his head. To convince unwelcome guests, holographic daemons of his invention stalked the coast, wailing intermittently like ships' foghorns. "The daemons are all mine." smiled the Wabbit. Jenny was sceptical. She strode past the Wabbit and took the wheel. "Emergency. Control to wheelhouse." The Lepus shimmied and moved forward like a ghost. Jenny spun the wheel, then spun it back. The Lepus heaved sharply, then slewed sideways to the coast. The Wabbit lurched to the controls. "Our cavern is guarded by two aquatic daemons who will move aside on our signal." "Holograms?" asked Jenny. "No, no," said the Wabbit, "They're quite real." "So what's the signal?" yelled Jenny. The Wabbit rummaged in his fur. "I knew I'd forgotten something ..."

Friday, February 10, 2017

9. Moloch and the Weird Explanation

Even with his seven league boots Moloch couldn't get to Wablantis in time. The ground rippled and erupted into a rash of mounds. Noxious fumes from the offshore fracker filled the air. There was no time to lose. Moloch stepped forward and shouted, 'Denizens!'" Small creatures gathered around him. "Have you brought sago?" they yelled. Moloch did his best to smile benevolently. "It's coming," he said quietly, "The Wabbit is bringing it," A cheer went up. "He will save us!" Moloch checked the time and looked out to sea. "It should be about now," he muttered. All was calm except for a small reddish cloud. Suddenly, lightning painted the horizon and a shape loomed. Electricity arced around the bows of a lowering Lepus and there, looking over the side, was the Wabbit. The Denizens cheered and cheered. The Wabbit waved once. The Denizens grew delirious and hoarse from cheering. Moloch called for calm and the Denizens turned courteously. But when they turned back, the Lepus and the lightning - and indeed, the Wabbit - had all disappeared. Moloch chose not to speak of anti-matter to the Denizens. Instead he became inventive. "That was the Wabbit's Cailleach." He thought fast. "A spirit which he sends in advance to cheer his allies." Moloch paused and shrugged. "Mainly, it's to scare the bejasus out of his enemies." From the corner of his eye, he saw the fracking vessel move away.  "It scares me too."
[Cailleach : Mythological Scottish hag spirit, malevolent or benevolent, a protector of animals.]

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

8. Wabsworth and the First Sighting

At one time, Wabsworth was an android copy of the Wabbit. Now he had his own stuff and his stuff counted. His calculations were second to none, and commissioning the Alien Pilot for this mission was a calculated risk. His radio crackled. "Thish is Alien Pilot," said a stern voice," "Are you resheiving?" "Clear as crystal," answered Wabsworth, "Can you see anything?" "I shee the fracker's ship," said the Pilot. Wabsworth ducked as the plane cut close across his head and he shouted in his radio. "What's the fracker fracking?" The Alien Pilot's hatred for frackers made him vexed and his voice was a snarl. "He's fracking the earth's crust. Do you want me to shend him a preshent?" The engine's roar drowned Wabsworth's voice. He signalled wildly. "Belay that, Pilot." His circuits whirred momentarily, "Just hail him." The plane circled. Wabsworth listened. "Come in, you fracker or you will be sho shorry." There was no response and Wabsworth could see little movement on the vessel. He lifted his radio and hissed. "Pilot, there's no one on the bridge." Aircraft machine gun fire embroidered the shape of a rabbit across the vessel's superstructure. The plane wheeled and stood on a wingtip. The Pilot looked down at the ship. Now its deck had more movements than a clock shop. Wabsworth signalled to the plane. His radio crackled. Alien Pilot's voice was smug. "Think they got the message?" "They're writing back now," snorted Wabsworth.

Monday, February 06, 2017

7. The Wabbit and the Big Ice Cubes

The Wabbit was stuck. Giant blocks of ice gripped the Lepus like a vice. "The weather forecast said not to worry," grumbled the Wabbit. Jenny's radio crackled. "Engines," said Skratch. "She'll no take much more, Skipper." "Copy that," muttered Jenny.  She watched the Wabbit as he rummaged in his fur. The ice groaned like a three day hangover but its grip increased. The Wabbit pulled something from his fur and then pulled again. "That looks like a stick," said Jenny. "It's more of a pole," muttered the Wabbit and he flicked it with the tip of his paw. The pole suddenly extended and jabbed and stuck in an ice floe. Jenny rocked back and forth. "You're going to push the ice away?" The Wabbit shook his head. "It's going to push us." The pole began to get hot and at the sharp end, an oxy acetylene flame cast an uneasy glow across the surface. Ice began to melt on the sides of the floes. They slipped and slithered like an ice cube in a glass of whisky. "Where did you get such a stick?" asked Jenny. "In a chandlers' market," said the Wabbit. The pole grew unbearably hot and the Wabbit moved it from paw to paw, occasionally emitting apologetic yelps. Shards of ice broke away from the floe and slushed against the hull. The floe slipped astern and the Wabbit nodded. "Full ahead," said Jenny into her radio. The Lepus burst forward. "Someone doesn't want us to get to Wablantis," smiled Jenny, "We just got the cold shoulder."

Friday, February 03, 2017

6. Lapinette in the Forgotten Zone

Leaving the Lepus far behind, Lapinette and Susan the Biplane scouted the Forgotten Zone. They flew low. The narrow channel was indeed lined with dinosaurs as anticipated, but it was the only way across the Zone and nothing could be done. From the ground, Lapinette heard a roaring chorus of disapproval. "What's all that noise?" "It's supposed to be quiet." "I seldom heard such a din." "I'm never coming here again." A dinosaur grabbed Susan's under carriage and tried to chew. Susan shook hard. "There's another one," said Lapinette. She hung out the cockpit and levelled her automatic. "Don't shoot," cried a creature. "I'm a vegetarian." Susan wrestled her undercarriage from the dinosaur's teeth and followed the channel as it wound through dense foliage. All that could be seen were cantankerous creatures, who complained bitterly about anything and everything. With a sudden rustling, the sharp toothed head of a plesiosaur emerged from the trees and snapped close to Lapinette's head. "You've no forgotten puir wee Nessie have ye?" Lapinette was taken aback and so was Susan. "Nessie, what are you doing here?" "I'm having a wee bit holiday," said Nessie, "but the weather's been as dull as a dishwasher." Lapinette had no time for corrections. "Nessie, the Wabbit needs to get the Lepus across the Zone." "What's keepin' him?" asked Nessie. "Heavy weather," shrugged Lapinette.
[One of Nessie's previous appearances.]

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

5. The Wabbit and the Gates of Sheila

The first obstacle appeared from the blue. One second they were ploughing a steady course, the next they faced a gateway of vast proportions. The gates had more angles than a geometry set, all of them razor sharp and moving like pincers. Jenny shouted for full astern but nothing happened. The Lepus tossed in the foam as the gates moved relentlessly inwards. "Wabbit?" said Captain Jenny. "The Gates of Sheila," breathed the Wabbit. "I only read about them in books." Jenny looked over the side. "How deep are they?" The Wabbit thought for a second. "Deep as the sea," he said nonchalantly. "We'll be crushed," said Jenny. The Wabbit shook his head and signalled the engine room. "Full ahead." The Lepus shot straight at the gates. Bow scraped metal with a jagged rasp. Just as the Lepus threatened to dash itself to bits, the Wabbit took a control module from his fur and moved a lever. The Lepus vanished. Jenny looked down. She seemed to be hovering over threshing water. "I thought you said that didn't change the Lepus." she yelled, "we're still here." The Wabbit moved the lever vertically. Now the gates vanished too. Jenny tasted bronzed metal as they floated on. The Wabbit moved the lever again. The Lepus reappeared. "Don't look back," said the Wabbit. Engines strained as serpent coils of seaweed pulled at the keel. Suddenly the gates crashed shut and the Lepus leapt forward. "We're gatecrashers!" smiled the Wabbit.

Monday, January 30, 2017

4. The Wabbit and the Forgotten Zone

Jenny's voice was soft. "Who are you saluting, Commander?" She could see the Wabbit's reflection and thought he looked a little troubled. "I'm saluting the sea," said the Wabbit. He was thinking of the difficulties of the voyage. He knew there was going to be trouble and had some sense he had forgotten something. But the more he racked his brain, the foggier things became. The Lepus ploughed a steady course north. Her engine throbbed steadily. "Is there any way round the Forgotten Zone?" said the Wabbit. "Not that I can remember," replied Jenny. The Wabbit searched in his fur for the set of lucky charms he'd picked up in a market. Captain Jenny waved her hook. "There's nothing in the Zone that we can't handle." In his mind's eye the Wabbit saw a narrow and unpleasant channel that twisted through a dense jungle of bad tempered dinosaurs. Somewhere between a river and a canal, its torpid water stank of millions of years of rotting vegetables. Slimy banks crawled with the deadly Pirahnaprawn, whose taste in prey was as bad as their breath. The Wabbit sniffed. Jenny thought she's better speak. "I don't like the three headed bats." The Wabbit shuddered. "I never heard of the three headed bats." "Sorry," said Jenny, "I meant to say three headed hats." The Wabbit laughed for quite a long time. "What kind of hats?" "Top hats," said Jenny.

Friday, January 27, 2017

3. The Wabbit and the Stealthicator

"Take your pick," said the Wabbit. "There's only one box," replied Captain Jenny. The Wabbit leaned out of the jeep. "Makes life easier," he chortled. He gunned the throttle and spun his wheels. The box quivered like jello and jumped up and down. Lapinette pointed at the box. "The Wabbit says it's completely safe." The box suddenly rattled like a crate of beer. The sentries stiffened. "Inside," said the Wabbit, are all the bits we need to build a Stealthicator." Lapinette interrupted cheerfully. "The Wabbit says he found all the components in a dumpster outside the Space Agency." Jenny eyed the box cautiously. "What exactly does the Stealthicator do?"  The Wabbit grinned ear to ear. "It paints the background of any object onto its front! Psst, the object vanishes." "The Wabbit says it's foolproof," said Lapinette. Jenny pursed her lips and swayed in a pirate fashion. "What if the onlooker runs round the object?" The background changes the sides to satisfy the viewer," laughed the Wabbit. Lapinette was delighted. "The Wabbit says the Stealthicator can also paint the under onto the top." Jenny nodded. "That's all very well," she said, "but what if the viewer bumps into the object?" "The object is still there, I can't do everything," said the Wabbit.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

2. The Wabbit and the Ghost Flag

Captain Jenny paused outside her quarters and took the Wabbit aside. "You got my message?" The Wabbit nodded. They stood silently for a long time. The Wabbit broke the silence. "How was the refit?" Jenny nodded too. "We have the extra space you asked for." The Wabbit took his paw out of his fur and pointed. "Have the cargo deck ready for the consignment arriving 0.00 Zulu Time." "I tripled the sentries." said Jenny. The Wabbit's feet thumped lightly. "I wasn't expecting to return to Wablantis. Things aren't readily ready." Jenny smiled grimly. "No-one readier than you." The Wabbit shook his head. "I'm reluctantly ready." Jenny touched the Wabbit's paw. "Wablantis needs help." The Wabbit's squinted smile was a question. "Sea Frackers?" Jenny sighed. "They landed using cloaking technology." "Tricky Frackers," groaned the Wabbit. "Then they started fracking around the coast," continued Jenny. The Wabbit's smile failed miserably. "Maybe there's a chance they'll frack themselves up." At that thought, the Wabbit suddenly brightened. "I developed my wearable technology. It will make the Lepus disappear." Jenny laughed a long pirate laugh. "Except for the Jolly Roger," continued the Wabbit. "I couldn't do the flag." "Ahaar, a ghost flag," drawled Jenny. "I like the way they flutters."

Monday, January 23, 2017

1. The Wabbit and Jenny's Return

"Here she comes now!" Lapinette sounded excited. The sun dropped fast below the horizon - but had time to give a lick of pink paint to the bridge of the Lepus. Jenny's nautical voice crackled over Lapinette's radio. "Yo MacHo, rabbits, this is the Lepus, copy?" From further down the seafront, the Wabbit heard a faint cheer and he chortled. "Jenny has her admirers." Lapinette's tone was crystal. "Copy m/v Lepus, permission to berth." The Lepus slowed engines and swung to starboard. Lapinette noticed the Wabbit's critical eye as he stared at the manoeuvre. "Jenny can park the Lepus in a fish tank," she murmured. "A ship does not park, it docks," scowled the Wabbit. Lapinette grinned and lifted her radio. "Commander Wabbit salutes the ensign. He says you can park over there." The radio hissed and popped with Jenny's pirate laughter. "We be internationally awash with parking tickets." A foghorn blast sent seagulls spiralling as the Lepus berthed with barely a splash. The Wabbit turned to Lapinette. "Have you any idea what all this is about?" Lapinette's ears swayed. "There's nothing hush hush." "How would you know?" asked the Wabbit "I have hush hush clearance," said Lapinette. The radio crackled. "Grog in my quarters in half an hour, copy?" The Wabbit took the radio. "Loud and clear! Out."

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Wabbit at the Adventure Caffè

The Wabbit and his team waited for service at the Fiat Caffè. But it was slow. "Where are our opposites?" asked Lapinette. "They'll be along in a minute," said the Wabbit. "What are they doing?" said Wabsworth. "Shopping at Lingotto," said Skratch. "Great," said Lapinette. "We can move to another caffè." Wabsworth wrinkled his nose. "Do we have time?" Lapinette laughed and got up. "Where aperitivi are concerned there's always time." Both the Wabbit and Wabsworth rose with her. "Is no-one going to ask the question?" pleaded Skratch in a disappointed tone. "I will," said the Wabbit. "What kind of adventure did we just have?" Skratch began to head in the direction of Eataly, his favourite place for lunch. "It was time travel. Reshuffled time provided new spatialities, achieved by moving the present." Lapinette nodded wisely. "It was Quantum's lattice drive that moved our present." The Wabbit sniffed. He could only think of a salad sandwich and in his mind he watched one making itself. His tummy rumbled. "Temporal relocation makes me hungry." "I think we were in hypertime," continued Lapinette. "We were a four dimensional hypersurface in five dimensional space." Now the Wabbit's rumbling was deafening. So when Wabsworth muttered about space-time, velocity and action, the Wabbit slapped him on the back. "I need an objective sandwich. This instant."