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."

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

11. Lapinette and the Five Kabooms

The Lapinettes and Puma took off when they heard the explosion. Puma was first as the blast took the bar door from its hinges. The sound died away. Then there was a pause. Debris settled on the paving. "That's not the Wabbit's usual," muttered Lapinette. She grabbed her opposite by the shoulder and hauled her from the dock. But there was more than one explosion. A series of detonations made their way along the quays and painted the waterfront red. As if delayed, the Fives came swiftly hurtling from the crimson glow. They crumpled as they landed and lay inert. Lapinette stepped over the blue one and prodded it roughly with her snazer. "We know you're hired the Agents of Rabit," she hissed. She prodded it again but there was no response. The other Lapinette prodded him too. "Talk!" There wasn't even a groan. Lapinette shrugged. "His number's up." "Well, I don't trust them," said the other Lapinette, "they could be doing a number on us." Their ears quivered as five more explosions rent the night air. "Fireworks?" speculated Lapinette's opposite. Lapinette shook her head. "The Wabbits are cleaning up." "How tidy of them," said her opposite. Puma appeared to sniff round the debris. "Let's get out of here before the Mayor arrives." "Puma, what's the Mayor going to do?" laughed  Lapinette, "marry us?"

Monday, January 16, 2017

10. The Wabbit and the Red Button

Inside the bar, the Wabbit and Wabsy his opposite carefully prepared for the coup de grâce, "We have to stay on the retro side of things," said the Wabbit. His helping hand snicked forward as he licked cable ends and made connections. "Things don't change much," smiled Wabsy. They heard a snickering from the roof. Wabsy gestured. "Our friends are here." The Wabbit gave a wry smile. "The Fifth Force takes many forms." He snapped his fingers and the metallic hand made short work of the cable connections. "Ooh," he said, "I'm getting attached to this." "Let me get this straight," said Wabsy suddenly. "The Agents of Rabit are the Fifth Force." The Wabbit shook his head. "The Fifth Force is using the Agents and paying highly for the privilege." Wabsy looked nonplussed. The Wabbit continued. "As numbers, the Fifth Force would rule the universe. We would all have to be fives." Wabsy frowned. "I'm not having that. I'm one and I'm proud." The Wabbit made a last adjustment to the detonator and murmured. "Nothing would be valid unless it was five."  "Even time?" asked Wabsy. "Especially time," answered the Wabbit, "It will be 5 o'clock for ever." Ten feet beat a tattoo on the bar roof. Wabsy shuddered. "Do we have enough explosive?" The Wabbit connected the final cable with a metallic snickety click. "You can never really have enough ..."

Friday, January 13, 2017

9. Lapinette and the Hot Tin Roof

As night fell, a warm breeze shifted uneasily through cold air. The Lapinettes' eyes shifted with it and they murmured together. "Something shifty this way comes." Their pursuit of the Fives had proved unsuccessful but Puma advised waiting. He growled softly. "I always wait. I give things space to come to me." Lapinette's opposite glanced in her make up mirror, "Agents of Rabit," she whispered. "Five of them," added Puma. His purr was barely audible but it hung like the sound of a distant motorboat. Lapinette slowly tilted her snazer gun up and down. From behind the bar came a rhythmic snickering like a school class chanting multiplication. "Five time one is five. Five times five is five." Pointed ears swayed in unison above the bar but they couldn't hear what Lapinette could hear. It was Morse code tapped out on a hot tin roof. Lapinette whisper was urgent. "Wabsworth says, keep 'em busy." Puma wheeled like lighting and sprang forward, snarling a question. "What's five to the power of zero?" The Agents flinched. "Answer!" snarled Puma. Red beams shone from his eyes and they played across the Agents like laser dots. An Agent blinked. "Nothing," he shrugged. Puma screeched. "That's what you are - nothing!" The Lapinettes laughed and jeered. "Nothing between the ears!" They merrily thumped their legs and the racket covered another sound. A sound from inside the bar ....
[Puma is a trickster. As he well knows, anything to the power of zero is in fact, one.]

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

8. The Wabbit and the Second Unit

The Wabbit's second unit didn't hesitate and the Six never saw it coming until it was too late. Tipsy vaulted the fence and kicked a series of explosives into the air. "Go Panico!" she yelled. Panico trembled in his boots but he was much more scared of Tipsy than any number. He fisted the projectiles and one by one they arced across the beach huts. A series of detonations shook the ground. The Six began to topple. "Take that for your trouble," shouted Panico. For a moment the Six hauled himself up. "I'll get you for this!" he screamed, "You can't do without Six." Wabsworth and Wabsword touched paws in a high five. The flash could be seen for kilometres. Sheltering behind the huts, the two Wabbits heard the beat of dragon's wings and they looked up as Terni swooped along the beach. An explosive dropped like a depth charge. Another flash lit the beach. The Six keeled over and his moans floated across the sand. "Is this the end of Six?" Wabsworth shook his head just like the Wabbit and then he smiled. "You could have been a contender, Sixter." Wabsword grinned and called out to Tipsy. "Take him in, book him and lock him up." "On what charge?" whimpered the Six. "Unnatural acts," shouted Tipsy.

Monday, January 09, 2017

7. The Wabbit and the Higher Force

The Wabbit called his opposite Wabsy on the radio; he had a funny feeling things weren't right. "Wabsy, have you got a Six?" Radio feedback moaned and whined. "Check your six," agreed Wabsy. The Wabbits grimaced and did what rabbits did best. They froze. They did not look round. They said not a word. The Six towered over them as the Wabbit tapped an emergency Morse message for Wabsworth's team further down the beach. .-- .  .... .- ...- .  .-  --. .. .- -. -  ... .. -..- Dots and dashes confirmed they were on their way. The Six spoke suddenly with a haunting tone. "I am the next number and I have come. I am the Sixth Force." Without turning, the Wabbit snapped. "What about the Fives?" The Six's ghastly laugh curled like smoke around the beach huts. "The Fives are as fake as talk show hosts." "No fives?" said Wabsy. "Just one two three four six," moaned the Six. "Then what about seven?" demanded the Wabbit. "Never heard of it," said Six. "And if there was a seven it would be deficient. I'm six. I'm perfect. I'm a cosmological constant." The Wabbit scowled and snarled. "You're past your prime." "How dare you!" said the Six. The Wabbit's super hearing indicated that Wabsworth's team was close - so he decided to annoy the Six some more. "You're just six of one and half a dozen of the other." The Six reared in fury and shouted. "Your days are numbered!"
[.-- .  .... .- ...- .  .-  --. .. .- -. -  ... .. -..- : Morse.  "We have a giant Six"]

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

6. The Wabbits and the Fifth Force

The Wabbit and his opposite watched the sea because Wabsworth advised the Fifth Force would arrive that way. Waves crashed relentlessly as the tide washed the beach. "The Mediterranean doesn't have tides," said the Wabbit. "The tides are too small to mention," said the other. "Just a few feet," complained the Wabbit as water soaked his fur. "Maybe there's a wind," said the other. But there wasn't a breath of wind. Suddenly a breaker rose in the air and hung for a moment. "It's a clean up set," grinned the Wabbit but his humour didn't last long. A massive Five reared from the breaker. Then another. Then another until there were five Fives. The Wabbit's radio crackled and he looked up. The chattering of a helichopper joined the crashing of the breakers. Water and sand lashed across the Fives and made a curious rasping sound as one by one they vanished and reappeared like flashing Christmas lights. The radio crackled with the voices of two Lapinettes. Together were crystal. "We have visual, stand by." Water rose around the Wabbits' feet. The Wabbit spoke urgently into the radio. "We'll be floating by if we stand here much longer." "Copy that." said the Lapinettes. "But maintain your positions. The Fives have no interest in you." The Fives rose and dropped as the tide became stronger. Sea washed around the Wabbits' waists as they held on - until in an instant, the Fives became dark and merged with the waves. The helichopper drew closer and the noise was deafening. Four eyes stared down from the cabin. "Helichoppers," murmured the Wabbit. "They make so much din, the earth pushes them away." "That's how they stay up," said the other.
[Clean up set: Surfer slang. Larger than average waves break the surfer line up
Background photograph credit: Camilla Galli da Bino.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

5. Skratch, Puma and the Cats' Dinner

Puma growled when he heard the story. "I don't like the sound of this time duplication business, er ... Skratch." He looked from side to side. "Which one of you is which?" I'm Skratch," said Skratch." "We both are," said the other Skratch. Puma scowled. "I've read about this in books." "What kind of books?" asked the Skratches, both at the same time. "Hard back theoretical books with equations," replied Puma. His growl was suspicious and he continued at length. "I am a materialist Puma. Strictly speaking, you are both theoretical and don't exist." Skratch purred long and loud. "My theoretical stomach is quite hungry." "So is mine," said the other Skratch. Puma frowned. The Commander Wabsworths say there's plenty of fish at our destination." "Fried?" asked Skratch. "Grilled?" asked the other Skratch. Puma was getting the hang of things. "Look here, fellow felines. Terni the Dragon is on his way to pick us all up. He won't be long." The stomachs of both Skratches groaned in unison. "In the interim," said Puma, "there's a trattoria round the corner, famous for seafood risotto." "Who's paying?" asked both Skratches anxiously. Puma roared so loudly that windows rattled. "No need for cash, you're with me. You can have what you like." "Are you going to frighten the waiters?" asked the Skratches, "Certainly not," said Puma, "I have meal vouchers."

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

4. Wabsworth gathers the Forces

The Wabbit's android doubles seem to be having fun in their own company. Despite the data transfer, Wabsword hadn't quite caught up. Wabsworth said it was only a matter of time. Wabsword nodded and chortled. "No time like the present." He looked along the coastline and Wabsworth followed his gaze. "I think the Fifth Force will come from the sea." They considered the matter with much muttering but Tipsy suddenly leaped in the air. "Panico! Terni!" Panico hurtled along the beach with a clenched a fist over his mouth. "We're all going to die!" "Not before our date," yelled Tipsy. Panico dropped his fist and smiled. "Are we going to the movies? They won't let us in."  Wabsword was confused. "Who's Panico? And what's that dragon? He looks like a cabbage." Terni batted his cabbage wings and the resulting wind swept sand along the beach. "I didn't fall off a truck, you know." Wabsworth spoke into his radio. "Wabsworth. Read?" The radio crackled viciously and the Wabbit spoke. "Roger that. What's your 20?" "On the waterfront," responded Wabsworth. "Everyone there?" asked the Wabbit. "Negative," answered Wabsworth. "Waiting for the two Skratches and Puma." The radio burped and whistled. "Stand by," Panico struck the sand-filled sugar bags and yelled anxiously. "They won't be on time." Terni wheeled in the sky. "I'll pick them up." The radio crackled. "Obtain," said the Wabbit, "but not by the fur."

Saturday, December 24, 2016

3. The Wabbit and the Christmas Five

Confident that the Wabsworths had set preparations in full vigour, the Wabbit and Lapinette hopped through the Christmas market. To ensure no suspicions were aroused, their opposites followed at a discreet distance. "No word of the Fifth Force?" asked Lapinette. The Wabbit smiled. "A bunch of Fives were spotted near Piazza Navona, but they were only drunken soccer hooligans." "What about the Agents of Rabit?" said Lapinette. The Wabbit vaguely shook his head. "Not a dicky bird."  Lapinette grinned. "Who's Dicky Bird?" It was the Wabbit's turn to laugh. "That's my nickname for our agent, Major Spitlove." They strolled rather than hopped and lingered at the market stalls, looking at trinkets and trying on hats. "I've seen better stuff," said the Wabbit, "Same every year," said Lapinette. "You say that every year," smiled the Wabbit. Lapinette's ears suddenly twitched and swivelled. "Did you hear a five?" The Wabbit was about to say that was synesthesia, but thought better of it when he felt a five staring at his back. He turned but saw nothing. "I really don't know what I'm looking for. What does the Fifth Force look like?" Lapinette had attended a weekend school on categorical quantum mechanics in Trieste. "If we could see it, it might look like a bunch of dark photons," she nodded. "Well I think it should lighten up," said the Wabbit.
[Bunch of fives: A fist used in a fight.    Not a dicky bird (Cockney rhyming slang.):  Not a word] 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

2. Wabsworth and the Secret Bunker

Despite his android status, Wabsword had a thing about Tipsy - and the more she appeared to misbehave the more he liked it. On the other paw, Wabsworth knew exactly what Tipsy was doing. So he watched as Tipsy presented a snazer gun to Wabsword. "Shtate of the art fully automatic shlime firing weapon. Guaranteed to shtop an enemy in itsh track and keep 'em there." "How long for?" enquired Wabsword. "Long enough to shtomp on 'em." slurred Tipsy. "I don't know this place," said Wabsword, looking around. "It's after your time," smiled Wabsworth. Wabsword gazed at the sign on the door. "It doesn't look very secret." "No-one dares enter," shrugged Wabsworth. "No-one?" asked Wabsword. Wabsworth grimaced. "Only one. Now he's inhospitably housed in the Sombrero Galaxy." Wabsword gulped and looked at Tipsy. "Reassure me these snazers are completely analogue." "Completely," smiled Tipsy, "nothing digital whatshoever." She flicked a switch and the weapon whined into life. "Apart from the metal casing itsh completely organic. Wanna try?" She stroked the trigger with affection. "I'll take your word for it," grinned Wabsword. Wabsworth drew closer. "No digital communications, everything must be old technology." "What about the radio?" asked Tipsy. "Two tin cans and a bit of string?" suggested Wabsword. They all laughed for a while. "But what about us?" asked Wabsword suddenly. Wabsworth clicked and spoke robotically. "Activating cloaking concealment." 

Friday, December 16, 2016

1. The Wabbit and Command Structure

Wabsworth decided that the two androids must have different names and his opposite agreed. Then Wabsworth sank a paw deep in his fur and shrugged. "How's the new data, Wabsword?"  His opposite shrugged too. "I'm assimilating it." Wabsword started to laugh and found it hard to stop. Wabsworth smiled. "I fear you have a hysterical response to new data." "All these old adventures of yours are most amusing," giggled Wabsworth. In the background, Lapinette's personal guard made preparations. Mitzy pirouetted, swung an automatic round her paw, and then slid it swiftly beneath her frock. Fitzy stamped and shouted "Sheep's Shiblets!" Tipsy suddenly fired her automatic and a tracer bullet ricocheted around the depot. The bullet took a curious trajectory around the Wabbit, between the Wabsworths and finally smashed an old and valuable window. Wabsword looked with mock horror. "Are they always like this?" "They're rather quiet for now," chuckled Wabsworth. Fitzy gestured from the truck. "Where shall we put the C-4 explosives Commander?" The Wabbit indicated she should respect the new command structure and waved a paw towards the Wabsworths. Fitzy wheeled to face them. "Where shall we store the C-4, Commanders?" "Under your seats," commanded Wabsword. Fitzy's eyes sparkled. "Right away sir!" Wabsworth concealed his astonishment. "You sound a bit like the Wabbit." Wabsword looked doubtful. "Oh no," he said. "Can anything be done?" "We'll work on it," grinned Wabsworth.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Wabbits at the Adventure Caffè

The Adventure Caffè was more crowded than usual but Lapinette had a plan. "We have two Commanders and that's one too many." The Wabbit grinned. "What's your recommendation?" Lapinette pointed at the Wabsworths. "Command should temporarily rest with our androids." Wabsworth and his opposite knew this was coming. Their paws touched. Electricity flashed as data exchanged. They both smiled at the same time. "We agree," said the Wabsworths. "Oh I'm so glad that's settled," said the Wabbit. "So now we can ask the question," said the Wabsworths together. The atmosphere relaxed. "Skratch," asked Lapinette, "what was that for a sort of adventure?" "It's not finished yet," said Skratch. He glared at his opposite. "You must surely know that it was a sequential nested narrative." "Certainly not," replied his opposite. "That's narratological flim flam." Lapinette leaned forward. "Our representation of time and space is an enunciation that mediates between codec textuality and visual concretions." Both Skratches fell silent. The Wabbit winked at his opposite and his opposite winked back. Then they all laughed. "Listen up," said the Wabsworths. "We have reports of a manifestation of the Fifth Force in Rome." "I'll round up my personal guard," said Lapinette. The other Lapinette rolled her eyes. "My personal guard, you mean."

Friday, December 09, 2016

9. The Wabbit's brush with the Past

Quantum's clock announced the time and they disembarked. But they had company. Their other selves hopped from Motor Unit One and no-one looked pleased. Except for the other Skratch, who purred and waved and made a general fuss. Skratch thought it unwise to wave back. His claws extended, his fur bristled. From deep in his throat a growl emerged. Mist swirled around Motor Unit One. "State your business, imposters." "You're delayed," said the Wabbit. He activated his mechanical hand and gave a carefree wave. "Crew of Motor Unit One. This is the day before yesterday, so please try to catch up." Lapinette's voice was an urgent whisper. "Don't touch them." "That's an awful frock," said the other Lapinette suddenly. The Wabbit flinched. Wabsworth stepped back. Lapinette stroked her edged weapon - enough to draw blood - and then she hissed. "Your frock has seen better days." "Mine's original," snapped the other Lapinette. A stare off lasted some time. "Motor Unit One, you have to go back," announced Wabsworth suddenly. His opposite number nodded. "He's right. We're entangled, Commander." "So why don't they go back?" came their Commander's reply. Motor Unit One's klaxon blasted. Mist rose from his wheels. "This is the work of the Fifth Force." "We'll join forces and work together," suggested the Wabbit. "Then who's in charge?" asked Skratch. "Me," said both Wabbits ...

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

8. The Wabbit and Schrödinger's Cat

Leaving only a toasty glow and a shower of second hand heating elements, Quantum the Train shook free of the bubble, The Wabbit stared into space. Lapinette looked the other way. "There's Motor Unit One!" Everyone swivelled. "Come in Motor Unit One." signalled Quantum. "Do not enter the bubble." He tried again. "This is an all galaxy health and safety emergency. Stay away from the bubble." No communication reached him. He blew his klaxon as a last resort and saw the other Wabbit briefly glance up - but Motor Unit One continued until it disappeared deep in the folds of the spin foam oasis. "He's well delayed now," said the Wabbit through his teeth. Quantum spat out an emergency beacon. They watched it whirl and flash five times before it exploded. "The Fifth Force," growled Wabsworth. "We can't abandon Motor Unit One," said Lapinette. "Nor our other selves," purred Skratch. Wabsworth shrugged. "Don't worry. Motor Unit One will do exactly the same as we did." "In theory, we'll all be along very shortly," smiled the Wabbit. "We'll be beside ourselves," meaowed Skratch frantically. "We'll occupy the same place at the same time or my name's not Schrödinger." "Skratch, your name isn't Schrödinger," said Lapinette. Skratch hissed and shook his head. "I was thinking of changing it ..."