The friends clambered to the top of the amphitheatre and peered over. Agents of Rabit clustered in great number and the structure rang to their capering. A Chief Agent towered above the rest, casting a giant shadow across the terracing. "Agents!" he called. "We have the Philosopher’s Ball!" Cheers rocked the amphitheatre and air hissed as Agents punched fists high. The Chief calmly bounced the ball and caught it. "Within this magi ball is the Philosopher’s Stone, and with the Stone, we shall bestride the world." "The whole wide world!" chanted the Agents. The Wabbit clung onto the parapet and growled softly. "Shush," whispered Lapinette, "they’ll hear us." The Chief Agent kicked a leg. "What’s the first thing on our evil agenda?" he demanded. "The Wabbit!" they shouted. "The Wabbit and his ghastly do-gooding friends!" shouted the Chief. "Kill the Wabbit!" they cried. Lapinette snickered. "Shhh," said the Wabbit. "With the Wabbit eliminated we can spread hatred," roared the Chief. "Hatred!" howled the Agents. "Tomorrow is New Year," yelled the Chief, "and we who have the Stone, own the future!" "A future with no Wabbit," cheered the Agents. "There's no future without the Wabbit," muttered the Wabbit, "but we need to retreat and make a plan." "I know an old Roman taberna round the corner," said Cicero. Lapinette wrinkled her nose. "Is it OK?" she asked. "It certainly used to be," said Cicero. "Then back to the future," smiled the Wabbit.
Saturday, December 29, 2012
As Terni flew off, the Wabbit saluted Cicero and lost no time. "Let’s get that stone!" he smiled. Lapinette stepped in front of the Wabbit and proffered a paw. "Pleased to meet you, Sir. We are honoured by you visit." "May I tell you of the stone?" said Cicero. "Sinister Agents of Rabit are everywhere good Sir," said the Wabbit, " so we have no time to lose." "Pin back your ears," said Cicero. "The stone was given to me by the magician Acetabularus, disguised as one of his balls." The Wabbit looked puzzled. "Part of a magician’s cup and ball for playing tricks." "Like a three card trick?" asked the Wabbit. "It’s a deft display of sleight of hand and special effects - and it does look like magic," said Cicero, "but my boring colleagues decided to kick all the magicians out the city." "Go on," said the Wabbit, enthralled. Cicero swept his arm in the air. "Acetabularus barely escaped with his life, but left the philosopher's stone in my safekeeping." "How did the Agents of Rabit get hold of it?" Cicero almost smiled. "They appeared to come through a hole in the fabric of time." "Of course!" said the Wabbit, as if it was an everyday occurrence. "So how will we get it back?" asked Cicero. "We usually trick them and when they arrive we blow them up," said the Wabbit, "but this operation demands subtlety." Cicero inclined his head. "We’ll attract their attention and trick them into giving us the stone," smiled the Wabbit. "What then?" asked Cicero. "Kaboom!" said Lapinette.
Thursday, December 27, 2012
Dawn broke but there was no sign of the Wabbit. Terni the Dragon was tired of waiting, so he hoisted Cicero on board. "Can’t stay here twiddling our scales" he roared and he took off down the via del teatro di Marcello at high speed. "I say, said Cicero, "what’s afoot?" "We have to find Commander Wabbit. Something may have happened," roared Terni. "Perhaps he’s been set upon by those foul fiends," said Cicero, gasping as the wind tore at his toga. "The Commander would shoot them on sight," said Terni. "If there’s anyone he hates, it’s the Agents of Rabit." Cicero nodded gravely. "Good view from up here," he observed. "I can see what’s left of the Senate." "How did you get here anyway?" asked Terni. "One moment I was speaking at the Forum with that dreadful bore, Clodius and the next I was sitting in a fearful dive opposite the Theatre of Marcellus." "Must be a hole in the fabric of time," said Terni, "but you’ll need to ask the Wabbit." "A scientist too?" asked Cicero, "is he melancholic?" Terni laughed so much he nearly dropped his precious cargo. "He can be bad tempered," he said, "and he’s going to be livid if we don’t find him." "Look!" said Cicero. "Is that him, going the other way?" Terni glanced down. "Grrr!" he roared and his wings beat furiously as he dived to the ground towards the Wabbit.
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
It would be true to say that Cicero, philosopher and lawyer, didn’t know what hit him. He tried to throw a couple of rocks but he flailed as Terni the Dragon came hurtling from the sky. "Dragon One to Wabbit. I have Cicero on visual. Over." Terni dived straight at Cicero and feinted right, spiralled up, then made another pass. "He’s out of rocks, shall I apprehend him?" Terni’s radio crackled and the Wabbit spoke. "What do you mean he’s out of socks?" "Your radio need new batteries, Commander," said Terni. "Detain him until our arrival," said the Wabbit. "How long will you be?" said Dragon. The radio coughed and spluttered but Terni couldn’t hear a word. "I’ll have to keep Cicero talking," thought Terni and he swooped down. Cicero trembled. "Are you going to eat me?" Terni fluttered his cabbage wings. "I’m vegetarian," he said. "Are you then in league with the rabbits?" "What league are we talking about?" said Terni. "They took my stone," said Cicero and they will use it for evil beyond belief." "I don’t like the sound of that one bit," said Terni, "but since we’re here and we have to wait, fill me in." "I am not ashamed to confess I am ignorant of what I do not know," said Cicero. "Yet I do know this. They are large and strong and chatter with terrible teeth." I’ve heard the Commander speak of them," said Terni. "The Commander?" asked Cicero. "The Commander will help you get your stone," said Terni. "Why?" said Cicero. "He gets bored," smiled Terni.
Monday, December 24, 2012
The Wabbit and Lovely Lapinette arrived in Rome well ahead of the rest and immediately found themselves in the thick of the action. "There he is!" yelled Lapinette. "Look out!" shouted the Wabbit as a missile whistled past their heads. "Hey you!" called the Wabbit as another rock came crashing his way. "Do knock it off!" "I know that guy," said Lapinette. "Personally?" asked the Wabbit, dodging again. "I know of him, he’s a philosopher." "Philosophers don’t throw rocks," shouted the Wabbit, "they sit and think." "His name's Cicero!" shouted Lapinette. "Kicker-oh is right!" raged the Wabbit looking round for a loose cobble. "He’s a menace." "Where’s my stone?" shouted Cicero. "Give me back my stone!" The Wabbit threw a small cobble and the man disappeared round a corner. Lapinette scowled and kicked the Wabbit in the shins. "Now we have to chase him." "He won’t get far," said the Wabbit, reaching in his fur for his walkie talkie. "All personnel, man in white possibly Cicero, heading your way." The radio crackled. "Watch out for big rocks," shouted the Wabbit, The radio crackled again. "No not socks!" he yelled, thumping the radio with his paw. Lapinette nudged the Wabbit. "Cicero says it’s better to receive than inflict an injury." The Wabbit’ eyes went wide then met in the middle. "And the philosopher's stone turns lead into gold," she added. "That’ll come in handy," said the Wabbit.
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Skratch observed the whole thing from a suitable vantage point and for once, felt like a feline cat. His ears pricked and swivelled from the Wabbit to Duetta and the spiders. "Oh here’s his Wabbitness," whispered a spider. "Salute your superior officer, or I’ll dismember your limbs," snapped Duetta. The spiders cringed back and made wavy signs at the Wabbit. Skratch gazed as the Wabbit returned the salutes. Then Duetta bowed to the Wabbit. "You first," she said, nodding towards the unfortunate spam. The Wabbit's voice boomed, "Spam, give us the names and addresses of all your sources!" "You so need a bigger pen," said a pointy spam. The Wabbit sighed and nodded to Duetta. "From whence did you come?" she snarled. "24 hour online pharmacy," said the spam. There was a strained silence and Skratch watched in awe as Duetta shrugged. Her head turned to the Wabbit and for just an instant their eyes met equally, then blinked. "You may as well eat them," said the Wabbit. Duetta shuddered. "I hate the taste of spam," she said. "Oh, go on, go on," smiled the Wabbit, rummaging in his fur for a jar of brown sauce. "Not even with peanut butter," scowled Duetta, "perhaps may I call you Wabbit?" "OK, Marshall Duetta Spyder," grinned the Wabbit. "My brigade is at your command, Commander," said Duetta silkily. Only Skratch noticed the Wabbit’s look of surprise. But the Wabbit's voice was calm. "And from me in return?" "Leadership," replied Duetta.
Friday, December 14, 2012
Connected to Turbina the Jet Car’s on-board computer, Duetta created a digital filter across the roof of the Great Spiral Ramp - and they all watched as the pointy spam drew close. Some of the spam was huge, but the filter held and one by one they stuck fast. All except for a single spam. "A blighter got through," shouted the Wabbit. Duetta snarled a command to a confederate. "Round it up and hold it for questioning!" Up on the ramp, Lapinette and Wabsworth watched a Red Spider clinically capture the spam and inject it with venom. "I said hold it for questioning, not eat it," shouted Duetta. Skratch looked at the Wabbit and the Wabbit raised his eyes skywards as the Red Spiders detained any spam that somehow made it through. "I wouldn’t like to be spam today," said Skratch. "No, there’s a nip in the air," said the Wabbit looking across to Turbina. "My computer is at the limit of its capacity," she said, "and I’m trying to keep Duetta out of my database." "Cut her off," said the Wabbit, "her job is done." The filter froze in place with its cargo of trapped spam and the Red Spiders clicked and hissed in satisfaction. Then there was silence. Lapinette was speaking in Wabsworth’s ear but in the still her whisper was a shout. "Is the spam dead, Wabsworth?" "I’m not sure how sentient they were," replied Wabsworth. "They’re dead but not as we know it." "Hey Wabbit!" said Skratch. The Wabbit turned and Skratch mimed a camera. "If I saw this in the movies, I wouldn’t believe it!"
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
digital filter with a cascaded series of second-order biquad sections?" The Wabbit didn’t turn a hair. "Make it so," he barked. Lapinette nudged Wabsworth. "He’s very strict with Duetta." Turbina laughed. "He’d better be in charge of her, or she’ll be the boss of him." Lapinette looked at Turbina's dashboard curiously. "File number X3705 offers a complete dossier on the activities of the Red Spiders," she said, "but it’s restricted." "To who?" asked Wabsworth, making the sound of an owl. "Me!" snapped Turbina. "Turbina!" called the Wabbit. "Duetta needs to access your on-board computer." "Over my dead battery," said Turbina. "Then we’re all doomed," said the Wabbit. "It'll cost you new tyres," said Turbina. "OK," growled the Wabbit. "And a salad sandwich," said Turbina.
Monday, December 10, 2012
Suddenly a vast swarm of spam wheeled towards Skratch and the Wabbit. "Pointy spam!" shouted Skratch. "Run!" shouted the Wabbit and they fled into the building and down a staircase. But the staircase began to warp as the spam swarmed down. A menacing sound split the air and Skratch bellowed above it. "Do you have any favours to call in?" "I don’t want to call one in!" yelled the Wabbit. "Aaagh. Why not?" screeched Skratch. "Then I'd be even," gasped the Wabbit. "Even is good," shouted Skratch as a pointy spam grazed his ear. "I like to be uphill of even," rasped the Wabbit, hopping rapidly down the bending stairs. "We don’t have a choice," screamed Skratch. "Choice" echoed and echoed above the wail of the spiky spam. The Wabbit pulled his walkie talkie from his fur and yelled, "Wabsworth, Patch her through!" "Are you certain commander?" "Patch! Her! Through!" growled the Wabbit as a spiky spam hurtled between his legs. The radio whined. "Commander, I told you so," said the silky voice of Duetta, the Red Spider. The Wabbit didn’t have a clue what she meant. "We need your help," muttered the Wabbit. "I can't hear you," sang Duetta. "We need your help," screamed the Wabbit. "I’ll be right over," said Duetta. The radio went dead and Skratch glanced at the Wabbit. "Whats up, Doc?" he shouted. "We’re going to get techie," said the Wabbit.
Friday, December 07, 2012
The Wabbit’s android double, Wabsworth, was working undercover selling ice cream when Lapinette came hopping through the porticos. "Hello Wabsworth," she smiled, "any news from the front?" "Nothing but spam on the wire," said Wabsworth. "But I’m sure the Commander is on the tippety-top of things." Lapinette raised both eyebrows. "He’ll track the spammers down, Spaminette," said Wabsworth in a soothing tone, "so don’t you worry." "Well, I’ll just have an ice cream while I’m waiting," said Lapinette. "I’ll have artichoke flavour please." Wabsworth frowned. "I’m sorry, I’ve only got ..." " Spam," groaned Lapinette. "It’s not just spam," said Wabsworth, "It's succulent, dried spam, sweated in the heat of the midday sun." "What about the flies?" said Lapinette. "They’re extra," said Wabsworth, Lapinette hopped from one foot to another. "What else?" she snapped. "OK, I have sweet chili spam," said Wabsworth. "Grrr," said Lapinette. "Or there’s goatball spam, or pongy onion and garlic spam." "I have a meeting to go to," yelled Lapinette and she stamped her foot crossly and sighed. "I’m fed up with spam, Spamsworth. "I could sprinkle spamsamic vinegar on the top," said Wabsworth. "I don’t like spam, I don’t want spam," yelled Lapinette, "and the sooner Skratch and the Wabbit get to the bottom of the spam, the better I will like it." Suddenly there was a hissing sound. Wabsworth’s ears pricked up and he glanced sideways at his walkie talkie. "Now that sounds like news on the shortwave band," he grinned.
Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Tracking the shortwave spam signal, Skratch and the Wabbit drove stealthily up to a strange building. "There's been a sudden demand for maps?" commented Skratch. "What on earth is that?" muttered the Wabbit, pointing to the objects sailing through the air. "It’s combination spam, Commander," said Turbina the Jet Car. "It’s particularly dangerous, so don’t get too close. And whatever you do, don’t eat any." The Wabbit screwed up his eyes and tried to read the messages, but he was too far away. "Use your special glasses, Wabbit," said Turbina. They all waited for an age while the Wabbit’s head movements suggested he was reading. "Hmm, yes I see," said the Wabbit. "I can help a widow in the third world and I will receive 3 billion euro," "Ha ha ha," laughed Skratch. "No, no," said the Wabbit. "All I have to do is send my bank details." "Anything else?" sighed Turbina. "Yes," said the Wabbit. "I may avail of a Rolex Submariner watch for a miserly sum." "They’re cheesy imitations," said Skratch, who had a real one. "Well what about this?" asked the Wabbit. "That mail there says that my pen is too small and that I can easily make my existing pen bigger." Turbina groaned but Skratch chuckled. "I have a perfectly good pen in my fur," continued the Wabbit, rummaging a bit. "In fact, I have three in case the other two don’t work." "Look Wabbit, they want you to buy pills," said Skratch. "Pills won’t make my pen any bigger," said the Wabbit. "I think it works with fountain pens," said Turbina.
Monday, December 03, 2012
Turbina the Jet Car turned onto Corso Svizzera. The Wabbit felt that was a good place to look for the source of the spam invasion - and both he and Skratch glanced to right and left in search of a clue, without success. "Where would it all start?" murmured the Wabbit, "it has to come from somewhere" "It doesn’t sound like any of our enemies," purred Skratch. "No, it’s not their meat and two veg," said the Wabbit, "this is highly invidious." "And insidious," added Skratch. "Enough of the big words and more action, boys," said Turbina. "What about some sounds, Turbina?" asked Skratch. "I would oblige," said Turbina, "but I’m swamped with static. There’s nothing on the air." The radio crackled and whined and whistled. "Try Short Wave," suggested the Wabbit. "But there was only a quiet hissing sound. "Try 19000 kiloHertz," said the Wabbit. Suddenly Lapinette’s voice broke through. "This is the Voice of the Department of Wabbit Affairs," she said solemnly. There was a pinging sound and after a very a long pause, Lapinette’s voice spoke again. "This is the Voice of the Department of Wabbit Affairs." Then the ping pinged again. "I’m not sure how long I can take this," said Turbina. Skratch shook his head. "Well, it’s not spam," chortled the Wabbit. "Just run through the dial, Turbina." There were a few squeaks and squawks and then they all froze. "Spam spam spam. Poing! Spam spam spam. Poing! Spam spam spam. Poing!" Can you get a fix on that, Turbina? said Skratch. "I can," said Turbina. "Silent approach," said the Wabbit.