Monday, August 21, 2017

21. The Wabbit and the Quark Stack

"Where are we?" asked Lapinette. "In the quark stack," said the Royal Seal.  "I don't like it here," said an Ice Mouse. "It's all your own fault," said Silkie the Royal Seal. The Wabbit shrugged. He fished in his fur and pulled out an ancient CD player. Then he flicked a quark plasma disk into the player. It began to play an orchestral movement that Lapinette recognised. "Water Music." The atmosphere became damp and a bit sticky. Moisture seeped from the player. Droplets flew up then fell like rain. But it wasn't rain. "That's ours," croaked the Ice Mouse. Silkie laughed. "Take it if you can." The Ice Mouse tried to jump but slipped on a fine plasma film and fell over. "It's anti-rain, said Silkie. The Wabbit grimaced. "That's what the Ice Mice wanted." The Wabbit took the disk from the player and the plasma rain ceased. He put in a different disk. It played "Riders on the Storm" and rained in a tropical manner. Silkie's voice was stern. "Commander, this is what happens when you fail to submit timely mission reports." "It rains?" asked the Wabbit. Lapinette giggled, but Silkie barked, "All this could have been sealed and delivered six years ago." "Water under the bridge," smiled the Wabbit. "Don't let it happen again," said Silkie. The Wabbit plucked the disk from the player then flipped another one in. "I get to keep these, don't I?" "For a rainy day!" shouted Lapinette. And even the Ice Mouse laughed.

Friday, August 18, 2017

20. The Wabbit and Quark Plasma

The Wabbit dived for the ledge as an oncoming portal sped towards the team. There was an apologetic bang, but no doubt of the result. Quark plasma disks emerged in number and when they hit the tunnel, they began to spin fast. The Wabbit brought his stick down hard and yelled, "Drop the web." But the web didn't hold. Disks sliced through the tough weave and continued along the path of the decelerator. Lapinette dived for cover behind the ice floe. But the ice floe turned blue and began to melt - so she rolled across the track and quickly joined the Wabbit. "What's that? Do you know?" "That is the opposite of our ice floe," said the Wabbit; "It's a quark plasma stack." Waves of heat assaulted Lapinette's ears. The disks were sharp and silent. When they hit the side of tunnel, they lodged there, still spinning. Walls became soft, but held their form. Neither solid nor gas nor liquid, they hung in a plasma curtain. The ground vibrated. The Wabbit and Lapinette felt the tracks undulating beneath their feet. They were plasma too. Cautiously the Wabbit poked the plasma with his stick. Everything stopped. Disks dropped from walls. The ice floe reverted to arctic white. The tunnel restabilised. "Looks like that's all we get," murmured the Wabbit. He picked up a disk and polished it with his fur. "Think there's a tune on it?"

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

19. The Wabbit and the State of Matter

Deep in the mountains lay an important and very secret installation. At the Wabbit's behest, the Department of Wabbit Affairs built a particle decelerator - and allowed the Wabbit to modify it. "It needs to be straight on the rails," yelled the Wabbit, waving his stick. The red spiders patiently adjusted the ice floe. Measurements indicated it wasn't really cold, but it felt as if it was. Lapinette adjusted the timer carefully and said - as she always did at this juncture - "Do you think this will work?" "I tried it using a vase," said the Wabbit. Lapinette's face was a question. The Wabbit looked up in triumph. "All the bits came back!" "Bits?" He hesitated. "Powdery bits." "Ready when you are," called Marshall Duetta. The Wabbit stepped away from the track and lifted his stick. "On my mark." Lapinette activated the decelerator. Nothing appeared to happen. But the Wabbit knew the ice floe had been and gone and come back. An ozone smell wafted through air and sounds of sizzling like frying sausages. "It's different," said Duetta. She tapped the floe lightly with a leg. A hollow sound echoed through the tunnel. "Stand back," said the Wabbit. He raised his stick. Lapinette re-activated the device. Again, nothing seemed to change. But Duetta rattled her legs. "It's come back exactly the way it was." "The Wabbit pointed his stick down the tunnel. "Then what's that over there ..?"

Monday, August 14, 2017

18. The Wabbit and the Aftermath

When they flew across the city they knew something had happened. Burning craft lay in several places. In the distance, Duetta's red spiders ferried the ice floe along the mountains. Lapinette couldn't talk to the spiders directly, only through Duetta. So she put in a call. "Marsha Duetta Spider, come in," For a while there was nothing. Then there was a voice, but it wasn't Duetta. "Copy you," Lapinette," said Wabsworth. "I need actual Duetta," responded Lapinette. "Lapinette, standby," said Wabsworth abruptly. The Wabbit heard muffled explosions in the transmission and a lot of shouting. He took the walkie talkie. "Everything under control?" "Yes, Commander," said Wabsworth, "Never a bother." The Wabbit listened to an impossible number of ammunition rounds exploding. Then all went quiet. The radio crackled. "Commander, we had a small contretemps." Wabsworth was the Wabbit's android double and just like him in many ways. But Wabsworth had a penchant for understatement. "A situation has been contained. Advising rendezvous change to Point Delta." "Copy that Wabsworth," said Lapinette, "What situation?" "Ice Mice tried to kidnap the Royal Seal," replied Wabsworth. The Wabbit waited for more information and Wabsworth somehow smiled down the radio. "They tried to seal his fate." "And...?" asked Lapinette. "Our seal is armed to the teeth." said Wabsworth.

Friday, August 11, 2017

17. The Wabbit and the Night Tripper

Susan the Biplane lifted them from the bridge with the ease of a cargo hoist. It was a timely intervention. Saucers came from all directions firing green lightning that singed their ears. “They’re everywhere, Commander,” said Susan, “All over the city.” Lapinette clung onto a strut to lean out and back as Susan swooped from left to right. “Good thing you did that sidecar racing course,” muttered the Wabbit. Lapinette’s lean was quite impossible. She treated gravity like a toy and her merry dance on the wing was a tour de force. “Hold tight," said Susan. She stood on a wingtip, hung for an instant, then dived abruptly to the ground. Lightning blasts glanced past as she looped the loop and circled back. A following saucer didn’t quite make it and buried itself in a railway siding. Another that was right behind suffered the same fate. But there were more and more saucers. Susan buzzed two craft who’s crew became so disorientated they crashed their vessels into each other. Shards of fuselage littered the railway. Three craft hit power pylons and exploded. One dropped from the sky without warning and as it landed, its lights flickered and died. Lapinette heard singing above the roar of the engine. It was the Wabbit singing into his walkie talkie. “We are the champions, we are the champions!”

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

16. The Wabbit and the Big Drop

It happened in an instant. Without warning, saucers filled the air and they came thick and fast. The Wabbit and Lapinette were thrown from the bridge. Snow pelted their paws as they clung to the slippery surface. The Ice Mice turned and walked away without a word or a backward glance. "How did that happen?" muttered the Wabbit. His fur stuck fast as frost froze them both in a welcome embrace. The Wabbit watched saucers whizz past and he heard them make a fast-freeze cackle as they span. He slowly hauled himself over the parapet, then turned to lean out. He pulled Lapinette onto the bridge, set her down and murmured, "We need a better plan." Lapinette's frock was a frozen board. "Did we have a plan?" The Wabbit shrugged. "No plan is also a plan." He rummaged in his fur for his emergency fur drier and blasted it around. Lapinette was unimpressed and yelled, "Ears please." The Wabbit blasted Lapinette's ears until they were toasty. "We're making heavy weather of this," he sighed. The snow thickened but somehow it didn't settle. It turned into ice pellets the size of golf balls and clung to every surface of the bridge. The Wabbit activated his fur drier in a ferocious attack using unauthorised settings. It failed to melt a single one, but the snow stopped and the temperature rose. Lapinette was awe struck. "Where did you find that?" The Wabbit grinned ear to ear. "It found me."

Monday, August 07, 2017

15. The Wabbit and the Mice's Ice

The Wabbit hastened across the city to the rendezvous. It was becoming extremely cold and lazy snowflakes clung to his fur. Lapinette had lagged behind to explain something to Skratch the Cat. But now she hurried to catch up - and there they were, just behind the Wabbit. The Ice Mice were impervious to snow or any other weather and they hopped in his steps as the downfall grew fiercer. "Wabbit" shouted Lapinette. The Wabbit wiped snow from his fur and turned. Then he smirked at the three Ice Mice. "Hiding behind a rabbit's back is extremely poor form." He pulled an automatic from his fur. "This is my friend Mr Makarov." An Ice Mouse made a bee line for the Wabbit, but cold steel against his throat changed his mind. "Going somewhere?" growled Lapinette. The Ice Mice lolled around casually, like a bunch of gangbangers in a grotty ghetto. "Message for the Wabbit," said one. "Phone my secretary," snorted the Wabbit. "Call off your eight legged freaks," said an Ice Mouse who was struggling in Lapinette's grip. "Give us our ice and we'll be on our way." Lapinette held an ear and traced patterns with her blade in the creature's fur. "Why do you want the ice?" No-one spoke, so she poked the blade around. "Aaaagh!" yelled the Mouse; "It's spin ice." The Wabbit signalled to Lapinette. "Spin ice?" Lapinette ran a paw along the edge of her weapon. "Spin ice is quantum disordered ice." "The worst kind," sighed the Wabbit.

Friday, August 04, 2017

The Wabbit and his Adventure Caffè

The Wabbit threw a book on the table. "I found it." Lapinette was agog. "It's practically unobtainable." Skratch the Cat bore down on the group flaunting his new t-shirt, but he spotted the book and let out a long haunting meaow. "Where? How?" The Wabbit grinned and shook his head. "That, I may not reveal.  But it's yours now." "A Theory of Musical Semiotics," he chortled; "I'll quote that for years." A fresh breeze ruffled the pages. A faint tune rose and died away. Lapinette took the opportunity to ask the question. "What kind of adventure are we having?" Skratch blinked in a way that only a cat could achieve. "I wouldn't dare criticise a project in progress." "That's Sartre," said Lapinette. The Wabbit tapped the table with a firm paw. "Less methodology, more entertainment." Skratch tapped his chest. "I suggest water is invariably the site of conflict. In cinema, it mobilises a dramatic and conflicted discourse as fluid and changing as water itself." It was Wabsworth's turn to contribute." "This is about the content of water, not its shape. It's somethingness is the issue." The arcade was hot. A welcome breeze brought a change in temperature, prompting Skratch to sweep his paws across his ears. "Something in the air. Something strange." The Wabbit rose. "Time to rock n'roll..."

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

14. The Wabbit and the Ice that Wasn't

Back on earth, things were cool. But not that cool. Marshall Duetta's spiders brought as many as the ice floes they could capture and the Wabbit felt he should supervise. "Front legs down a bit, back legs up a bit." Marshall Duetta rattled all her legs. "Leave the capturing to us." The Wabbit shrugged. "What do you think, Wabsworth? Should we break the ice?" Wabsworth was the Wabbit's android double but was his own android nonetheless. "It won't break. It's not our kind of ice." The day blistered in the sun and the Wabbit felt hot and bothered. The floes promised refreshing coolness but steadfastly refused to melt. "Take them to the North Pole," suggested Wabsworth; "It could use some more." Lapinette thought that was a good idea. She leaned from a metal tower. "Global warming won't melt these in a million years." Wabsworth smiled and activated his sensors to make a brief analysis. "High pressure. Variable density. The molecular structure is a cube lattice weave. And there's something else I can't determine." A floe crashed to the ground but hardly made a sound. Then another. A wall of unyielding ice grew long and high. The Wabbit hissed. "The Ice Mice know about the something else. They usually do." "Then they'll be here soon," said Duetta. The Wabbit flashed all of his 28 teeth. "Post sentries," he muttered; "Everyone else take five for cold drinks."

Monday, July 31, 2017

13. The Wabbit and the Space Kaboom

Quantum the Time Travelling Train was technically a merchant craft, unequipped for dogfights in space - but he was fast. "Lattice Drive, Commander?" "No," said the Wabbit. He connected his radio to Device A119 and hummed a simple tune. "Locked and Loaded," said the device. "Wait," said the Wabbit. Device A119 waited, and while he waited he played an electronic tune. "So tired," he warbled; "Tired of waiting for you oo ooh." "Now!" yelled the Wabbit. It was only an instant but it seemed like an hour. Suddenly the lunar surface glowed with a strange yellow light. There was no sound, just heat and light. A fiery blast seared past Quantum. "No-one look back," yelled the Wabbit. New fire added to old. Space was as floodlit as a stadium. Shards of saucers flew past Quantum's hull. A random blast from an Ice Mice craft shaved paint from one of Quantum's plates. "Dead Stop! Engage Lattice Drive!" snapped the Wabbit. Quantum groaned, shuddered and vanished, leaving behind only a light-drenched scrapyard. From a safe distance, Marshall Duetta and her legions of red spiders watched. Something odd was happening. Explosions on the lunar source sprayed water bombs into space. There, they froze into Arctic ice floes and drifted towards earth. Duetta spoke telepathically to her spider army. "Take your positions ..."

Friday, July 28, 2017

12. The Wabbit and the Broken Saucer

Under the pressure of the red spiders, the saucer plunged and crashed. Spiders swarmed over the surface, but nothing emerged. The Wabbit and Lapinette stared across a river of the deepest blue. "Is it water?" asked the Wabbit. "Not as we know it," said Duetta. Her legs rattled. "I wouldn't drink it." Marshall Duetta stuck a tip of a leg in the water and withdrew quickly. "The molecules aren't quite right." The Wabbit had a thought. "It looks like a reservoir." Lapinette charged her snazer gun. The whine was audible even in the wafer thin atmosphere. "But who's reservoir is it?" Duetta received a signal from the red spiders. "Marshall, there's movement inside the craft." Duetta ordered her troops to smash against the side of the vessel. The Wabbit and Lapinette gripped their snazers. They were expecting a sudden onslaught of Ice Mice, but all was still. "It's too quiet," said the Wabbit. Duetta nodded upwards. "How quiet do you like it?" Saucers emerged from behind Earth and they were fast and furious. "I estimate they'll be here in two hours," said Lapinette. "Call off the spiders," said the Wabbit; "Let them think we cut and ran." "We'll head for the dark side of the moon," said Lapinette. "It's going to be cold," sighed the Wabbit. "We'll heat things up," said Duetta; "Got any CL-20?" "I always do," replied the Wabbit, flicking imaginary lint from his fur. "Lay it under the water," suggested Duetta. "Blasting harms the environment," said Lapinette. Duetta rattled her legs. "If the Ice Mice get here, we won't have any."

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

11. The Wabbit and the Liquid Moon

Marshall Duetta Spyder hung just off Earth and watched the moon turn liquid. Then the remnants of a distant shock wave rattled her legs. Quantum the Time Travelling Train burst through the lunar surface, spraying icy droplets into space. Duetta spoke telepathically to her cohorts. "Stand by." "There's another craft, Marshall," came a silent response. "Ice Mice," growled Duetta. She transmitted another message. "Battalion Two. Give that craft trouble." A thousand red spiders broke orbit and headed for the saucer. Marshall Duetta turned her gaze to the moon. She knew the value of water and the sinister role of the Ice Mice in diverting natural resources. Climatic catastrophe was the certain result. She sent another message, this time to the Wabbit. "All possible information. Copy." The Wabbit's radio voice vibrated through every hair she had. "The moon is full of water. The discovery droid told no-one." Marshall Duetta rattled her legs. "Someone else knew. We have company." The Wabbit's voice was harsh. "Can you divert them?" "Not indefinitely," said Duetta. The saucer was at a standstill, but suddenly powered up and made for the moon's surface. Quantum moved to intercept. For a moment a collision looked unavoidable, but Quantum vanished and reappeared from the far side of the moon. Trapped between Quantum and the spiders, the saucer shuddered to a halt. Red spiders covered the craft. Duetta hissed and bared her fangs. "Smother it."

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

10. The Wabbit and the Place of Water

In the dining car of Quantum the Train, the Wabbit fiddled with Device A119. It was rather old fashioned and had seen better days. But it worked. Space Traveller looked out into deep space and worried. "Does he know what he's doing?" Lapinette shrugged. "Maybe." The Wabbit ignored all this. He continued to poke inside the device and hummed gently. "Is that you or the device?" asked Lapinette. The Wabbit hummed a different note, then another. Suddenly Device A119 spoke. "Up a bit and to the left." "Your left or my left?" sighed the Wabbit. "Right paw up a bit until you find the red capacitor." There was a flash. "Ouch," said the Wabbit. "Spot on," said the device; "You have control." The Wabbit sighed again. "Control of what?" "Me," said the device. "Can I have a salad sandwich?" said the Wabbit. "I can promise a panino in due course," replied the device; "but I have to find it first." Lapinette laughed and signalled the kitchens. "What was your function?" continued the Wabbit. "To find water in the moon," said the device. The Wabbit probed with his screwdriver and murmured, "What was the outcome of your search?" The device played a soothing snatch of Cool Water. "I'll take that as a yes," said the Wabbit; "so who did you inform?" "No-one," responded the device; "I have no instructions to tell anyone." An audible gasp shook the dining car. "It was forgotten," said the Device. "That doesn't hold water," grinned the Wabbit.

Friday, July 21, 2017

9. The Wabbit and the Lost Performers

Torrential rain lashed at the Wabbit's fur. The Agents were looking at something and the Wabbit knew what it was. It whistled and sang, it chirped and warbled. Then under the light of a mystifying moon, the Agents began to dance. Space Traveller pitched his green ears. "What is that?" The Wabbit plucked his walkie talkie from his fur. "I forgot about Device A119. It's a droid." He changed frequency and whispered urgently. "Command Line 76. Execute Bootstrap. Information Protocol 119." His radio crackled and whined. "Hello, hello, hello hello." "The Wabbit had an idea. He whispered again. "Device A119, please accept my requests." The Wabbit listed a series of obscure novelty chart-toppers. The Agents danced in circles and made jazz paws in the rain, oblivious to anything but the heterodyne whine of Device A119. "That's ghastly," said Space Traveller, making a futile attempt to cover his ears. The Wabbit spat out a list of performers known for execrable one-hit wonders. Device A119 played them all. "I can take no more," sighed Space Traveller. "Wait," smiled the Wabbit. The Agents whirled to left and right, then sank exhausted to the ground. The rain stopped. Silence fell. The Wabbit hopped forward and retrieved the device. Then he grabbed onto Space Traveller and grinned, "Let's fade away." And they did.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

8. The Wabbit and the Cynical Switch

The Wabbit felt strange to be an Agent of Rabit, but Space Traveller seemed to be enjoying himself. They wiggled their pointy ears and practiced snickering just like Agents. "Get these gophers," sneered the Wabbit. "Scrag their scroggles!" said Space Traveller, a bit too loud. Suddenly there were three agents throwing out their chests and snivelling. "Who are you?" they shouted. The Wabbit looked over the wall. "We're new." "We just got here," added Space Traveller. "No-one said you were coming," said an Agent. "Last minute thing," smiled the Wabbit; "In consequence, we are hopelessly raw and don't know our asses from our elbows." Another Agent shook with annoyance. "It's always the same when we need help." "But we're so cute," simpered the Wabbit. The three Agents huddled, then emerged to address the pair. "There was one interloper. Now there are two." "I can see them," said the Wabbit.  "Where?" sneered the Agents. "Over there," said Space Traveller; "You can make out their ears." The Agents became agitated. "We can't see them." The Wabbit pointed to his glasses. "Special spectacles." Space Traveller tapped his. "Wearable specnology." "Yes, I see ears on the horizon," exclaimed an Agent. "Best follow them," suggested the Wabbit. "Keep your own ears to the ground," advised Space Traveller." The Agents made off at speed and disappeared. "We'll look after your stuff," shouted the Wabbit.