Monday, December 10, 2018

The Three Muses at the Superga Array

The Three Muses materialised on the hillside and began to sing. "We are the three!" shouted Tipsy. Fitzy and Mitzy swayed together and their arms chugged like steam driven pistons. "How may they tell us apart?" sang Tipsy. "They may not," yelled Tipsy. "Because we dress the same," said Fitzy. "Because we talk the same," said Mitzy. "Because we are the same," said Tipsy. "Always," shouted Fitzy. "Usually," shouted Mitzy. "Invariably," drawled Tipsy. They stopped and changed positions. "Whither goes the story?" asked Tipsy. "Whether goes the plot?" yelled Fitzy. "The Wabbit chases phantoms," grinned Mitzy. "The Wabbit's in a knot," sang Tipsy. The entity whistled in the wind and the Three Muses swayed to the tune. "The Wabbit's pursuit is hard to bear," said Mitzy, "but he likes to cling to the edge of air." "He cannot hop aside," nodded Fitzy gravely. "And neither can we." answered Tipsy. Fitzy gazed up. The shimmering sky was a blue silk purse and it looked about to speak. "So let's not annoy the deities," she warned." We might disrupt their gaiety." They hopped in synchrony to the right then the left - and then to the right again. Trapped stars shimmered on the masts. Trees moved uneasily. Branches crackled. Twigs snapped. "If we won't tell them," breathed Tipsy, "they won't know." Tipsy smiled, lifted a paw and snapped. A breeze sprang up that tore at their dresses and their ears. Then all at once they disappeared.

Friday, December 07, 2018

12. Wabsworth, Terni and The Flickering

Wabsworth scouted the city with Susan the Biplane. The strange luminescence was quite horrid and even though he was an android, it hurt his eyes. They searched the city in parallel sweeps. "What exactly are we looking for," asked Susan. "Anything odd," responded Wabsworth. His ears picked up the flapping of cabbage wings. "Does Terni the Dragon count as odd?" asked Susan. "Not on this occasion," smiled Wabsworth. He watched Terni threshing and swooping. Circuits whirred as he registered suspicious flickers of light. "Susan, Terni has company. Identify them." Susan shielded Terni. "My instruments read a single entity." Lights whirled around Terni's head, then Susan's propeller - flashing like pinball bumpers. "I can't shake it off," shouted Terni. Wabsworth jolted as a light touched his paw. Susan juddered as another stuck to her fuselage. "Yow. Get off!" Terni and Susan clung close and picked up speed. The lights followed. Susan spun and dipped. Terni matched her movements. They looped the loop and plunged and soared - but the lights were still there. Wabsworth grabbed the joystick. "Drunken Rabbit Manoeuvre, Susan." Susan's engine moaned as she dropped like a stone. Then she lurched across the rooftops and blitzed straight at the TV transmitter array at Superga Hill. "Close as you can go, Susan." With angled wings, Susan and Terni tore along the hillside. One by one the lights peeled away and stuck like flies to pylons and satellite dishes. "That'll teach it!" roared Terni.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

11. Jenny and the Moonlit Landing

The landing was sudden, had anyone been looking. The Lepus plunged down onto a moonlit coast with hardly a ripple and she shimmered brightly like a flag in the wind. She was en route from the Sombrero Galaxy with a cargo of confiscated contraband of huge strategic value - to be delivered to the Wabbit. "Personally in person," the Wabbit had instructed. Jenny strode the bridge. "Steady as she goes," she  murmured. Her binoculars swept the horizon. "OK. Now test the Stealthicator." The Lepus vanished momentarily, reappeared and vanished again. Jenny swayed on her pirate boots and laughed. "Aha. We be here and not here." Jenny spun the wheel and the Lepus hugged the coast. The ship was invisible due to a chameleon technology that painted an object's background onto its front. So no-one on the coast ever saw the Lepus. They could only hear the ghostly thrum of diesel engines and the phantom threshing of water. Occasionally a pirate order would ring out and float across the calm sea. Now and then a bell chimed. Jenny sounded the foghorn from time to time - long menacing moans that curled round and round. On the beach, a pack of wild dogs howled and barked out to sea. Jenny smiled, consulted her chronometer and spoke into the telegraph. "Half ahead, Chief." The Lepus leaped forward but a wind sprang up and battered the coast. Vessels broke their moorings. The Lepus rolled, pitched and yawed. ""Full ahead," shrugged Jenny. "She'll no take it, Captain," groaned Chief. "Full," said Jenny, "I'll be late for the Wabbit."

Monday, December 03, 2018

10. The Wabbit and the Doomsday News

The Wabbit and Lapinette tore across the city with Doctor StrangeGlove enjoying the ride. "Shall I take a salute?" he asked. His fingers twitched and he tried to stand up, but Lapinette pulled him back. "Looks like it's Christmas," said the Wabbit. He crashed through several gears at once and narrowly avoided a tram. "Something always comes up at Christmas," said Lapinette. She held on tight as the Wabbit mounted the sidewalk, then careered down the wrong side of the road. "It's a short cut," murmured the Wabbit. Then he braked. "Right on time." Lapinette pointed. It's Parakalo!" The Wabbit pulled to a halt as a white dove swooped down and settled on the hood of the jeep. "I bring news," cooed Parakalo, "A strange being is roving across the land." "Where does it do its roving, Parakalo?" asked Lapinette. Parakalo cooed long and loud. "It travels by night and it's hard to spot - but wherever it goes, there's cosmic turbulence." The Wabbit was well aware of Terni the Dragon's fondness for surfing space - and he sighed, "We must have picked up a visitor." StrangeGlove's fingers snapped into the air. "It comes from the outer eddies, ja?" The Wabbit nodded. "It has potential," said StrangeGlove, "so we will harness its precious capacity." Lapinette knew what was coming but asked anyway. "What potential?" "Doomsday potential!" shouted StrangeGlove.

Saturday, December 01, 2018

9. Tipsy and the Art of the Header

The Wabbit prised Doctor StrangeGlove from his bunker and, in empty facility near Lingotto, he set Tipsy to work. Tipsy dribbled the football the length of the building and back. She passed it to StrangeGlove but he still had no idea of what to do. Tipsy's only option was attack, so she fired the ball straight at him. StrangeGlove fell over but somehow the ball hit his head and stuck there for a while. He balanced it on the tip of his nose, then headed it back to Tipsy. "Attaboy Glovesy!" yelled Tipsy. She wheeled around and shouted to the Wabbit. "That counts as points for the Glove." The Wabbit held up a paw from the sidelines and shouted, "Play on! It's a game of two halves!" Tipsy juggled the ball on a foot, flipped it up and headed it to StrangeGlove - who copied her. Tipsy stole the ball and ran off with it. StrangeGlove followed her and stole it back, laughing until all his fingers stood in the air. They battled all day until the Wabbit held up a red card. "What did we do wrong?" asked Tipsy. "Nothing," answered the Wabbit, "I'm tired. We need refreshments." "What about an ickle alcohol rub?" laughed Tipsy. "What about a large one?" said the Wabbit.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

8. The Wabbit and the Soccer Software

"I brought something for you," said the Wabbit. "I have everything I need," said StrangeGlove. "You haven't got one of these," said the Wabbit. He grinned with all of his 28 teeth. "What is it?" said StrangeGlove. The Wabbit shook with mirth. "You need to get out more. Have a bit of fun." He thrust the football at StrangeGlove. "If you're good with one of these, you get to command an enormous stadium full of obedient fans." StrangeGlove seized the ball. "What do I do with it?" "Kick it around," smiled the Wabbit. StrangeGlove tried to drop the ball. It  flew back. Then he threw it down - but it bounced and returned. No matter what he did with the ball, it wound up stuck to his finger. "You're a natural goalkeeper," grinned the Wabbit. The ball emitted a faint hum. "I feel a little strange," groaned StrangeGlove. "Football does that to you," murmured the Wabbit. StrangeGlove swayed. The control bunker seemed to rock and spin. "Relax," suggested the Wabbit. StrangeGlove steadied, then nodded. "Now I know all about soccer. When do I get my first game?" "Saturday," said the Wabbit, "I'll get you a trial." StrangeGlove bounced the ball and laughed. "What about world domination?" "That comes later," shrugged the Wabbit.

Monday, November 26, 2018

7. The Wabbit and the Doomsday Snack

StrangeGlove turned towards the console to forwardise Doomsday but he felt someone staring at him. "Doomsday deserves a snack," said the Wabbit. He waved a large sandwich. Doctor StrangeGlove stiffened."Who are you? Who sent you? The subversives?" The Wabbit merely giggled. "The kitchen staff thought you might feel peckish. They sent a sandwich."  StrangeGlove felt suddenly hungry. "What kind of sandwich?" "An eating one of course," shrugged the Wabbit. StrangeGlove was furious and all his fingers waved. "This bunker room is sealed tight!" "Nothing's completely tight," said the Wabbit. "It's tight if I say it's tight," screamed StrangeGlove. The Wabbit took a bite from the sandwich and chewed for a while. His eyes lit up and he winked. "So tight it squeaks." He waved the sandwich. "Go on, go on!" "My enemies are smart," said StrangeGlove, "It might be a bomb." The Wabbit broke the sandwich in two, ate half of it and laughed. "Well the bomb must be in your bit." StrangeGlove grabbed the remains of the sandwich and guzzled it down. The Wabbit grinned and waited. "Got another one?" asked StrangeGlove. The Wabbit sighed. "Yes, but I'm not sure I can get it to you by Doomsday." StrangeGlove smacked his lips. "I'm putting Doomsday on ice."

Thursday, November 22, 2018

6. The Problem of Doctor StrangeGlove

Doctor StrangeGlove prowled his control bunker like Hamlet in Elsinore's corridors, alternately laughing and growling. "Everything was in place. What meddling fools assault me so?" Computers whirred. Monitors flickered. He scanned them all and chortled. "Villains! Deviated preverts!" He paced some more and shook his head and brayed: "I stand for leadership and tradition and who does not stand with me .. will be made to lie down." A phone rang insistently. StrangeGlove ignored it. "Wrong number," he muttered. He knew his system had detected software intruders, but all the attacks bore his own signature. His minions had tried to trace them, but every attempt looped back his to own office with a read me attachment that said "Is the Doctor in?" His gloved fingers flapped in a cocked hat curve. He stooped to examine a monitor bearing a strange message. Bold red capitals glared from the screen. "The end is nigh." Doctor StrangeGlove started back and yelled. "I know that already, you fools. Nigh is my stock and trade." StrangeGlove contemplated the likely shape of the intruders. "Thuggish creatures no doubt. Large of body and small of mind." He sat at a terminal and keyed in lengthy instructions. "Doomsday cannot wait." breathed StrangeGlove. "I'm forced to forwardise it."

Monday, November 19, 2018

5. The Wabbit and the Soccer Scenario

The Wabbit and the Alien Pilot idly chatted as they waited for delivery. The roar of the Dora and the steady flow of traffic made the big iron bridge vibrate - then above the noise came singing. The bridge thudded as Tipsy dribbled a ball along the footpath. She flicked it in the air, headed it down and trapped it with her feet. She grinned. "The enemy software is installed in here." She stood on the ball hard with her instep. It shot to the side and landed spinning on the parapet. The Wabbit flinched. The ball lurched, wobbled then dropped from the rail and ran to Tipsy's feet. Tipsy kicked an enormous volley straight at the Wabbit. The Wabbit stunned the ball and handed it to the Alien Pilot. "I'm afraid she's football crazy." Tipsy winked at the Pilot. "It's half time, where's my dwink?" Alien Pilot pulled out a hip flask and winked back with some of his eyes. Tipsy drained the flask in an instant. "So what about our Doctor Strangeglove?" asked the Wabbit. The Alien pilot bounced the ball, caught it and span it on a finger. "The fake incidents are his trademark across at least three galaxies." Where is he?" asked the Wabbit. The Alien Pilot snorted. "No-one knows where his bunker is." Tipsy grunted. "We'll find him. And when we do, he'll have more holes than a goal net." "Sounds like a plan," shrugged the Wabbit. "The software will contain a clue," said Alien Pilot. He dropped the ball and dribbled it in the direction of the market ...
[Tipsy is singing Football Crazy  a much adapted Scottish song written by James Curran in the 19th Century. The many later versions show the folk song in process. Tipsy's tartan hip flask is by Proudly Scottish]

Thursday, November 15, 2018

4. The Wabbit and the Alien Reset

Quantum nudged the space beacon onto the church tower. The Wabbit and Lapinette clambered up and attached a diagnostic cable. Terni the Dragon hovered nearby for possible evacuation. At first there was nothing, but the beacon suddenly flashed into life. The Wabbit trained his special ears on the beacon. "I can't decode the signal." "Let me try," said Lapinette. Her ears swayed. "It's issuing fake commands to all our portals." The Wabbit scowled. He plucked from his fur a control box - and growling softy he attached wires to the tower's lightening conductor. "Time for tough measures." He fiddled with switches and knobs then threw a lever. The beacon flashed three times. "It's reset," said the Wabbit. "What about the alien signal?" asked Lapinette. "I cloned it," said the Wabbit. He grinned and gestured to his fur. "I'm sending the beacon back to its original coordinates," shrugged Lapinette. She made a signal to Terni, who lost no time in nudging the beacon into Quantum's cargo coach.  A brief flash left the Wabbit and Lapinette alone on the tower. "How do we get down?" frowned Lapinette. "The way we came of course," scoffed the Wabbit. Lapinette smothered a smile. Then she looked down and pointed. "Oh do look! Someone closed the window we used to climb out." The Wabbit groaned so long and so hard, that everything shook. "So it's good thing I broke the lock," laughed Lapinette.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

3. Quantum, Terni and the Beacon Alert

Quantum the Time Travelling Train and Terni the Food Dragon responded to the space beacon. Quantum was returning from the Sombrero Galaxy - and Terni shouldn't have been in space at all. But Terni liked to dance on the ripples of a space eddy not far from earth. In fact, he was just heading home when Quantum snaked through a singularity. They both heard the beacon pulse a warning message. "Ave, Quantum," murmured Terni in Latin. "Ave, Terni," said Quantum. Strictly speaking, they had no way of communicating - but Latin seemed to work. The beacon's signal was priority encoded and they heard the voice of the Wabbit repeating a message. "Threat Level 3. Please respond. Threat Level 3. Please respond." "Responding," said Quantum. "Responding," roared Terni. But the beacon failed to answer. The message kept repeating. Quantum circled and nosed round beside the beacon. Engines shuddered as he stopped. "Habemus tribulationis." "Trouble is our business," drawled Terni. Quantum circled again and he seemed to be thinking. He butted the beacon gently. Its signals stuttered and stopped. "Terni," said Quantum, "can you nudge this into my cargo coach?" With a fluttering of cabbage wings and a puff of dragon breath, Terni obliged. "Now hang on," said Quantum. There was a whine, then the briefest flash of light - and train, dragon and beacon were gone ...

Friday, November 09, 2018

2. The Wabbit and the Fiery Bus

The Wabbit and Lapinette decided the bus home was the best option and they saw one coming. So they hopped quickly as it rounded the corner into the plaza. "We might just make it!" shouted the Wabbit. He waved to the driver. "Wait!" yelled Lapinette. The Wabbit stopped in his tracks. The bus burst into flames that engulfed the whole vehicle and licked at nearby buildings. "How did you know?" yelled the Wabbit. "I know everything," shrugged Lapinette. They ran to the bus to help but couldn't get close. The heat was intense and the noise deafening. Black carbon showered from the bus and coated the road in a slick, tarry substance. The Wabbit held up a paw. "It's not finished." The bus shimmered and warped. Then it made the groaning noise of tortured metal, disappeared and reappeared in an instant. The flames vanished. The bus bent back into shape. The heat dissipated and the bus engine burst into life. Passengers sat as if nothing had happened. The bus drew away to turn the corner and they watched it go. "You don't see that every day," murmured the Wabbit. "What's going on?" said Lapinette. "Public service cuts?" suggested the Wabbit. Lapinette nudged his leg. "Something's happening in this city." "And you don't know what it is?" grinned the Wabbit. Lapinette's smile was confident. "I will do..."

Thursday, November 08, 2018

1. The Wabbit and the Imitation of Art

The Wabbit and Lapinette hopped a leisurely pace along the big bridge across the railway. The bridge usually displayed posters of the latest animation movies and they stopped and had a laugh. "Are we incredible?" asked Lapinette. The Wabbit shook his head. "I think we're marvellous." Lapinette giggled. "Not awesome?" They stared at the poster for Incredibles 2 for some time. "I'm told we rock," said the Wabbit suddenly. Lapinette's ears swayed. "Well, that we do." "Is that a raccoon?" asked the Wabbit. "Its name is Rocket, I think," murmured Lapinette. "We should have one," said the Wabbit. "It's not a dog," laughed Lapinette. The Wabbit's ears swivelled at a sudden drone but on the bridge there was always heavy traffic. It could come in fits and starts, fading to nothing then surging into frantic life - so the Wabbit folded his ears back into place and re-examined the poster. "Maybe we should reassess out superhero status." Lapinette wrinkled her nose. "Everyone's a hero these days." "OK, " said the Wabbit, "so what's one level up from hero?" "Idol," said Lapinette. "I prefer star," shrugged the Wabbit. A searing bolt of light flashed between the Wabbit's ears and slit the sidewalk in a shower of sparks. Lapinette hopped into the air. and yelled, "What does an idol do at this juncture?" "This doesn't happen to idols!" groaned the Wabbit. They tried to blend into the poster, as a green space ship passed overhead and disappeared. "Unbelievable," hissed the Wabbit ...

Monday, November 05, 2018

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

Wabsworth and Major Spitlove the double agent were last to arrive at the Adventure Caffè. "The staff is on vacation," said the Wabbit. "We have to serve ourselves," added Lapinette. Skratch rubbed his paws in glee and made for the kitchen - but the Wabbit called him back. "Not so fast, Skratch!" Lapinette shouted. "What was that for a sort of adventure we just had" Skratch purred politely. "Prolonged instantiation." He vanished into the kitchen and returned smiling. "There's enough food in the kitchen to serve an army." "What about our adventure," sighed Lapinette. Skratch nodded. "Instances of general concepts which we exemplified." Wabsworth chipped in. "Meaning can only be derived through continual instantiation." "Aha!" chortled Lapinette, "therein lies the experience of the constitution of identity." Major Spitlove laughed. "Which in my case is difficult." The Wabbit rapped on the table. "Our Hallowe'en adventure foregrounded psychological projections. It was the shadow of the shadow - forever dancing to and fro." "But what about the Bunnyman? said Wabsworth suddenly. "There was no Bunnyman," shrugged Lapinette. "I saw him, he was watching us," said Wabsworth. "Looking for ideas, I guess," smiled the Wabbit. From under the table a sudden crash rattled the crockery. A louder crash made the Wabbit's teeth chatter. A third detached a piece of fruit from the bowl. It rolled and dropped into the Wabbit's lap and he leaped in the air. He looked around. Everyone shook their head. The Wabbit's eyes were everywhere but saw nothing. He shrugged. "See you next year, Bunnyman."

["Instantiation of meaning is always in the experience through which individuals constitute their identity."  Mihai Nadin]

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

6. Skratch and the Hallowe'en Turnaround

The Bunnyman got up, dusted himself off and hopped up to Skratch. It was Major Spitlove the double agent. He looked nervous but Skratch chortled. "Do you think they bought it?" Spitlove shrugged and looked up at their gang on the bridge. "Looks like it." He lifted the pumpkin head. "My robotic friend Jack sent me a live video feed for the whole affair." "Can I have a copy?" snickered Skratch. Some way off on the bridge - and out of earshot  - the Wabbit smiled and nudged Wabsworth. "Do you think they fell for it?" "Looks like it," giggled Wabsworth. He nodded vigorously. "That radio axe was a great idea." The Wabbit relaxed. "We can have our party now." They made their way down the clangy iron stairs. Skratch was still smiling. He gave Spitlove a hug. "Now our trick is over it's time for our party." Lapinette called down from the bridge and her voice was frantic. "Look out! Look out for the Hand!" The Wabbit merely grinned. "What trickery is this?! An axe struck the pumpkin squarely above the eyes. It squeaked and bled viciously. "Aaaagh!" shouted Spitlove. He dropped the pumpkin and kicked it. It flew in the air. The Wabbit dived forward to catch it, but squashed it flat. "Yuk, it's all over my fur," groaned the Wabbit. "The Wabbit fell for it!" laughed Lapinette. Jenny rocked back on her boots and tilted her pirate hat. "That be a hat trick."