Monday, October 24, 2016

4. The Wabbit and the First Device

Susan pretended to crash land and they all made their way across the rocky surface.  "Wow, look at these boulders," said Lapinette. "Just like Stonehedge," winked the Wabbit. "Up ahead, Wabbit," called Skratch from a nearby rock. They rounded the remains of a large meteoroid and there it was - a basic looking device, with knobs and numbers. "It looks early, Commander," said Wabsworth. "I'm uncertain of its stability." The Wabbit stretched out a paw and probed a knurled knob. The device burst into song. "I'm being followed by you moon shadows," it warbled. The Wabbit nudged Wabsworth and grinned. "There's your date. It's 1971." "Moon shadows, moon shadows," trilled the device. "Can you please shut it off!" yelled Lapinette. But the device kept singing. "It's a droid," sighed Wabsworth. He bent close and whispered urgently. "Command Line 76. Execute Bootstrap. Information Protocol 119." "Hello," said the device. A light blinked. Then a series of lights. Then a buzzer. "Connected," said the device. The Wabbit speculated on the connections, but he knew the answer before the device spoke again. "This is Unit 1, Hello. Hello Unit 2, Hello. Hello Unit 3, Hello." Wabsworth suddenly grabbed the device and hoisted it onto his shoulder. "Cut the courtesy calls and take me to the others," he growled.

Friday, October 21, 2016

3. The Wabbit and an Overdue Mission

The Wabbit looked down. "Anyone knows what's going on?" "Only me, Commander." Susan the Biplane swooped from Quantum's hold and dived towards the moon's surface. "Susan! You're Hush-hush?" gasped Lapinette. "In person," said Susan. The Wabbit shrugged. It was all he had left to do. "Everything operational, Susan?" "Bio-atmosphere, gravity field, shield, stealth cloak," said Susan, "And that dive angle thing you bolted on." The Wabbit squinted down at the rocky surface. "Hit me!" Susan skimmed across several craters. "I have sealed orders from the Department of Danger." The Wabbit nodded to Lapinette. She rummaged in the cockpit and found an envelope behind the remains of a salad sandwich. She scanned the contents. "Something we forgot, Wabbit." The Wabbit's tummy rumbled. "Not the sandwich," hissed Lapinette, "unfinished business." The Wabbit slapped a paw to his forehead. "Project A119." "Where there is Project A119, there is the Nocturnal High Garrison of Tribulation," breathed Wabsworth. "NiGHT," meaowed Skratch. "As sure as the day is long," quipped the Wabbit. He continued to stare, as if by effort alone he could see the craters where the three warheads were hidden. "The warheads were detonated," he mused. "Officially," sighed Lapinette. "No record," commented Wabsworth, who had android access to most records. "Do your stuff, Susan," nodded the Wabbit. Susan dived vertically. "Stall stall stall ..!"

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

2. The Wabbit in Engine Room One

Quantum hung in space while the Wabbit shrugged his shoulders round and round. He regretted Engine Room One was less than comfortable and made a mental note to design in two armchairs, a couch and a colourful rug. He was responsible for developing Quantum's Lattice Drive, which technically speaking wasn't quite ready. He had got it thus far by raiding junk yards and the many dumpsters to the rear of the European Space Agency. Then, working alone at night in his shed, a Fibonacci super-lattice had followed, initially fashioned in curly carrots and celery, and later constructed from neutron star leftovers. The Wabbit heard metallic sounds and poked his head round a boiler. Skratch the Cat was measuring something and muttering about problems with Brown Boveri circuit breakers. "Skratch" yelled the Wabbit at the top of his voice. Skratch didn't as much as look up. Instead he inserted two small springs and checked tolerances. "This is a 1987 unit, Wabbit. They don't last forever." "What the binky are you doing here?" screamed the Wabbit. "It's hush hush," meaowed Skratch. The Wabbit sighed. "At least we have the same information source." Skratch continued measuring. "Skratch, you're a stowaway," said the Wabbit. "Nah," said Skratch. "I'm a supernumerary." The Wabbit hid a grin. "Union card check!"

Monday, October 17, 2016

1. The Wabbit and a Danger Directive

The order had come straight from the Department of Danger and couldn't be ignored - so on a night lit by a shadowy moon, the Wabbit crept stealthily towards Quantum the Time Travelling Train. The radio crackled. "Who goes there?" "Danger," replied the Wabbit. "What kind of Danger?" crackled the radio. "Danger of a buying me dinner," answered the Wabbit. "Welcome Commander," said Quantum. "I'm jumping to Lattice Drive in thirty seconds. Counting." Quantum began to throb. Trees shook. Grass quivered. The shadowy moon seemed to sink lower in the night sky. The Wabbit powered his hind legs and leaped for the door. Engine Room One was a series of blinking buttons and swinging dials. The Wabbit strapped himself in to the only seat available. "How far are we going?" he asked. "Not so very far," said Quantum. "Information?" asked the Wabbit. "Hush hush," said Quantum. Everything vibrated, including the Wabbit. The noise became unbearable. An onlooker would have seen Quantum compress to a tiny dot and vanish. But some 32 earths away in empty space, a high speed train appeared with the Wabbit on board. He released his straps and listened to the silence. But he could hear fractured sounds of hushed conversation. "Space debris?" queried the Wabbit. "Stowaways," said Quantum. "At least there's no mice," shrugged the Wabbit.

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Wabbit and his Adventure Caffè

Skratch the Cat arrived and the Wabbit watched him reflected in the corner of his glasses. He pretended not to notice. "Where's Skratch with his question?" he said impishly. Skratch knew the Wabbit could see him and he pretended not to notice too. So he let out a sudden meow. "I have the question!" The Wabbit bent forward and whispered. "It was all a question of reflexivity." Skratch had very good hearing, but he pretended not to hear. His purr was an agreeable one. "I expect you're all wondering what sort of adventure you were in." Lapinette jumped in. "It was all a question of reflexivity!" She glanced at Wabsworth - who posed oratorically. "The adventure acknowledges the adventure-making process," he proclaimed, "subtly imagined in its deliveration." Skratch was delighted. "Elegantly put, my good lagomorph." Lapinette giggled and her ears flounced from side to side. "There's no such word as deliveration." Skratch scratched the table lightly. "In film theory, there is!" he insisted. The Wabbit's tone was critical. "Is that the same as structuration?" Skratch nodded. "Not quite. Deliveration is the final endation of structuration." This kind of talk was making Lapinette thirsty. She raised a paw and a waiter appeared instantly. "Four aperitivi, please." "Immediate deliveration?" asked the waiter.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

8. The Wabbit in the Dream House

"You were sleeping," said Lapinette. There was no reply. The Wabbit shifted drowsily in his seat and mumbled. "They're coming." Film credits rolled on the screen. The lights came up. The cinema gradually emptied. "Who's coming?" asked Lapinette finally and she dug the Wabbit in the ribs. The Wabbit jumped straight in the air. "Aaaagh! Skeletons! Run!" Lapinette sighed. "We're at the cinema. It's Wednesday Westerns. The programme's just finished." Music filled the cinema as adverts started. "No skeletons?" queried the Wabbit and he shook his head. Lapinette shook her head too. "No skeletrons." The Wabbit thought for a second. "Then what about the stampeding steers?" Lapinette smiled, "Not here. They were on the screen, in the film." The Wabbit glanced around uneasily. "But I saw cattle, tearing up the cinema seats." Lapinette smiled again. "In the movie, cattle stampeded through a town. They trampled the sheriff, then destroyed several barns and a saloon." The Wabbit looked sceptical and gestured behind him. "Then can you tell me who they are." "They just came in," said Lapinette. "They're here for the Rocky Horrorthon." Now the Wabbit smiled and sang. "Let's do the Time Warp again!" "Later!" grinned Lapinette.

Monday, October 10, 2016

7. The Wabbit and the Screen Steers

The thunder from the stampede was worse than in Hell and the skeletons ran to hide in the cinema. But the steers caught up with them in Cinema 12. When Lapinette burst from the projection room, the screen lit up and music rolled. Steers galloped from the titles with crimson eyes and steaming nostrils and they all stared at the Devil Skeleton. The Skeleton felt for his hat but it was gone. He saw the Wabbit put it on his head and his bones rattled in anger. "That's a ten dollar hat on a five cent fake," he shouted. The Wabbit laughed with all of his 28 teeth. "Oh but look! I took a rabbit out of it." Prairie dust rose from the cinema floor. Steers pounded their hooves in a monotonous rumble. The Skeleton drew back. His minions were deserting and streamed through cinema corridors in bone rattling number. "Come-a-ti-yi-yippy-yi-yo-ki-ay" yelled Lapinette. Her legs grasped her steer's hide and she span an arm round her head. "It's my herd, rabbits." called the Skeleton. The Wabbit laughed as he sang. "Never roped a steer, cause I don't know how. Sure ain't a fixin' to start in now." The Skeleton's teeth widened in patronising sneer. "Ignorant cattle."  An ear blistering bellow rose from the steers. Some of them sharpened their horns on the cinema seats. Others took out edged weapons. The Wabbit raised a paw and shouted. "Chase the crazy baldhead out of town!" The Skeleton disappeared in a sea of hooves ...

Friday, October 07, 2016

6. The Wabbit and the Devil's Stand

It was the very devil of a skeleton and it towered above the Wabbit with one staring eye and a sardonic sneer. "Give me back my herd." The Wabbit looked up and matched the sneer. "You give me back my hat." The steers were agitated. "We won't let him take us," said one who was bolder than the rest - but the devil skeleton rattled his bones at the Wabbit. "We met before, didn't we?" The Wabbit's teeth flashed. "That's for you to know and me to ignore." The herd stomped noisily in the background and the Wabbit whispered to the bold steer. "On my mark, the herd turns." The devil skeleton peered down. "Always the trickster, Wabbit?" He laughed - but it was the uneasy laughter of fear. "What's your signal, Wabbit?" whispered the steer. "I'll make a joke," said the Wabbit. "Oh no," thought the steer but he mooed details to the herd. "Then?" asked the steer. "Then charge the skeletons in a mighty stampede," advised the Wabbit. The steer thought carefully. "What's our motivation?" "Freedom!" yelled the Wabbit, and he held up his paws in an X. With lightning speed, the herd turned to face the skeletons. Nostrils flared and hooves beat the ground. "Freedom!" they mooed. "Liberty!" shouted Lapinette. "Liberty!" repeated the herd and they lowered their heads. Horns clashed and haunches flexed. The smell of anger hung in the air. The Wabbit looked at the devil skeleton. "In your place, I'd get out the way ..."

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

5. The Wabbit and the Bone Stampede

They were running again, but choices were limited. The skeletons spooked the steers and the steers started to charge. They poured from the cinema with skeletons in close pursuit. The Wabbit and Lapinette dived for the main exit but found themselves in front. The Wabbit glanced back. "Double jeopardy!" he yelled and they both hurtled forward. They were deafened by the thunderous roar of cattle hooves. Skeletons wailed like the banshee in a bad mood and made the arcade shake. Glass rattled in every shop window. Hot breath steamed from the nostrils of the Devil's Herd. "The small rabbit will help us," mooed a steer. "He will," mooed another. "He knows what to do," mooed one more. The Wabbit heard them - but of what to do, he had not the slightest notion. He puffed and panted and glanced sideways at Lapinette. "Any ideas?" "Grind their bones," yelled Lapinette. "They don't compost well," frowned the Wabbit. "Hard to get rid of," shouted Lapinette. Suddenly the Wabbit turned. With a swirl of dust, the herd and skeletons slithered to a halt. "You skeletons are dangerous," shouted the Wabbit. "I'll make no bones about it." "Prepare to meet your doom," shouted the skeletons. The Wabbit shook his head and smiled with all of his 28 teeth. "I've been preparing to meet it for years. Now it's your turn ..."

Monday, October 03, 2016

4. The Wabbit and the Devil's Herd

The Wabbit fumbled with the skeleton key and a door creaked open to a blare of sound from giant loudspeakers. "Rollin' rollin' rollin', Rollin' rollin' rollin." But there was more. The panting smell of hot breath was as loud as the music. "The Devil's Herd," gasped Lapinette. Long horns clashed like swords. Hooves beat a chant on the cinema floor. A steer looked at the Wabbit square on and his nose pumped fiery breath across the seats. And then it spoke in a low moo. "Is this Cinema Twelve? We're booked for The Devil's Doorway." A frantic bellowing followed as cattle shuffled in anticipation. But the Wabbit had simply no idea what cinema they were in. "Perhaps it's a trailer or a short," he suggested. Then he had a thought. "Why don't you take your seats while I nip down to the foyer and get you tasty treats?" The Devil's herd swished their tails as they milled around. Not without some difficulty, they sat down and mooed to each other about movies. "I'd rather see Duel in the Sun," said a steer. "Oh I know," said another, "we always get stereotyped. We're constantly typed as stampeding." But another steer, more aware than the rest, noticed a skeleton lurking behind the screen. "These Bone Riders are a menace," he said to the Wabbit, "they're after our hides." The Wabbit laughed. "Well bless your beautiful hides," he said. Then he smiled and murmured, "These bags of bones are on a hiding to nothing." 

Friday, September 30, 2016

3. The Wabbit and the Bone Riders

The Wabbit suggested taking the cinema stairs but suddenly they were behind them. There were dozens of skeletons and they kept coming. They moaned, they groaned they rattled - and worse than that, they sang. "Skeletrons!" yelled Lapinette. The Wabbit knew Lapinette pronounced skeletons that way and never had the heart to tell her. A bullet from a Winchester span past the Wabbit's ears and ricocheted from the wall. "Hate" shouted one skeleton, "Murder," shouted another. But the last skeleton grasped at the Wabbit's paw and shouted "Revenge!" The Wabbit fur stood on end. He made for a corridor that led behind the screens and he pulled Lapinette along with him. Two skeletons put their skulls together and warbled. "Oh where's the devil's herd? Who took the devil's herd? We'll ride across the burning sky 'til we find the devil's herd." The sound of snorting steers issued from their ghastly mouths and their hot breath coursed down the stairway. Their bones rattled as all the while as they chased the Wabbit and Lapinette as they stampeded through turning after turning. "Get the rustlers!" shouted a skeleton. "We're gonna cook you over a campfire," shouted another. "With beans," shouted a third. "Skeletrons can't cook," yelled Lapinette over her shoulder. The Wabbit looked for a door and rummaged in his fur. "What are you looking for," yelled Lapinette. "Skeleton key," shouted the Wabbit.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

2. The Wabbit and the Ghost Script

The Wabbit and Lapinette emerged blinking from the cinema. The Wabbit had shown signs of enjoying himself and for that, Lapinette gave much thanks. "I do enjoy a good western," she chirruped. She quickly suggested an aperitivo at a caffè around the corner. There she could engage the Wabbit on an esoteric topic involving the iconography of cowboy hats. Lapinette admitted to herself that she had enjoyed Mann's Winchester '73. A rifle won in a contest had made a dark cinematic journey in which successive owners met a fate worse than the last. "Yes," said Lapinette, "it was bleak and moral and had an ironic circularity." The Wabbit half listened and agreed. But there was a reflection in his glasses that bore some familiarity and he kept an eye on it. "See anything unusual?" he murmured. Lapinette was amused. "These Hallowe'en promotions get earlier every year." The Wabbit relaxed. "I thought it was the Devil," he said.  Lapinette looked at him shrewdly. "It's a new release where cowboy skeletons battle for the ranges." "Yippy aye oh," laughed the Wabbit. At that very moment a surge of hot breath blasted up the escalator. From a loudspeaker came the sound of a thousand steers thundering across the prairie. Then they heard a mournful voice intone. "Yippy aye yay. Yippy aye yay." "Is this a promotion?" asked the Wabbit. "I really don't think so," sighed Lapinette ...

Monday, September 26, 2016

1. The Wabbit and the Noir Western

Lapinette caught up with the Wabbit out on Ponte Sassi. It was a sure bet he would be there because of two things. He was between missions and this was the anniversary of Anthony Mann, a well known director of westerns. Lapinette had to remember not to call them cowboy films or the Wabbit would make a face. "Howdy lonesome," she called. "Got time for a gal with time on her paws?" The Wabbit folded his book and laughed. "Ma'am?" Lapinette curtsied. The Wabbit watched her and laid aside his book. "Never in my born days did I see such a gracious lady." Lapinette smiled sweetly. "So our last mission went well?" "Mmm," said the Wabbit gravely. "We did the job and thank heavens it's done." Lapinette's ears pricked up. She sensed tiredness in the Wabbit's voice. "Maybe you should take a good long break between missions," she said. "Why don't you have some fun, see a show." "You're the only show I need," smiled the Wabbit. Lapinette's ears swayed gently and her voice was mellow. "I also do fun." "Oh," said the Wabbit, "so when does fun start?" "It already has," laughed Lapinette. She took the Wabbit's paw and with dancing footsteps, pulled him in the direction of town ...

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Wabbit at the Adventure Caffè

The Adventure Caffè was in the Safe House and it was the cosiest place to be. The medieval castle provided all that they needed, wine, ale and a slap up meal. "Where's Puma going?" asked Lapinette. "He made off with half the food," scowled Wabsworth. Skratch just laughed. "Don't worry I know where he hides it." Lapinette raised an inquiring ear. "In the kitchens under the vegetables," explained Skratch, "it's a cat thing." Lapinette tugged at the Wabbit's paw. "What about the question?" "OK," shrugged the Wabbit, "what was that for a kind of adventure?" Skratch raised his paw high. "It was a multilevel discourse." "Umberto Eco," said Lapinette. "Yes," nodded Skratch, "but your adventure had a specific modality, resting firmly on colour saturation." "Did it?" smiled the Wabbit, winking at Lapinette. "It did," said Skratch. "In turn, the colours connoted environmental concerns." "I need another drink," said Wabsworth. "What colour would you like it?" smiled the Wabbit. "I like my wine crystal clear," said Lapinette. "My ale should be deep straw gold," said Wabsworth. Skratch chuckled. "I like to drink a robust stout. Then I can pretend it's doing me good." There was a sudden shaking. Plates rattled. Golden nectar quivered in the Wabbit's tankard, The castle filled with medieval clanking. Lapinette frowned "What was that?" "Just a little tremor," said Wabsworth. The Wabbit looked at waves of beer lapping the inside of the tankard and murmured. "We were shaken but not stirred."

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

11. The Wabbit and the Home Tower

They rode back, looking forward to their home castle with its pleasant tower. Now the chemicals had been traced, the culprit located and the danger eliminated, they could relax. "Do you think the Fracker will be back?" asked Lapinette. The Wabbit grinned a lop sided grin. "These frackers don't give up easily. He'll be back in business in no time." "Somewhere else, no doubt," sighed Lapinette. Mo the Punk Snail snorted. "He's one dirty fracker." "He's a crazy, fracked up frackwit," commented To and they both laughed. "The Fracker is no laughing matter," growled Puma. "He is a land predator and only determined action will stop him." "We stopped 'im," yelled Mo. "We stopped 'im dead in his fracks." Puma scowled. "He's not the only fracker." "Oh frack 'em all!" drawled Mo. The Wabbit and Lapinette knew the conversation wasn't going anywhere, so they gently urged the MoTo snails forward. Puma led the way. He was hungry and knew there would be good food at the Adventure Caffè. The MoTo Snails looked forward to tasty cardboard and wiggled their antennae in anticipation. Lapinette visualised a salad sandwich - and felt a pang in her stomach. The Wabbit rummaged his fur, then handed Lapinette a sandwich with curly carrots and lettuce. "How long has that been there?" she asked. The Wabbit inspected the pack. "It says use before the end of your adventure." "Which is now," said Lapinette. She grabbed it and nibbled the edges. It tasted good. Very good indeed.