Tuesday, December 31, 2013

10. The Wabbit buys Gold

The team moved quietly through Suburra, the ancient Roman slums. Lapinette led the search for the jewellery store, because she was an expert in goldology. The Wabbit bounced on his legs and pointed his pistol in all directions. "This isn't Starsky and Hutch, Wabbit," meaowed Skratch as he covered the rear with a steady paw. Out on the open street, Wabsworth strolled nonchalantly towards a brightly light shop. "Ah! Compro Oro, just what I've been looking for!" he said loudly and he fumbled conspicuously in his fur for a fake ring. "I hate these pawn shop places," whispered Lapinette. The Wabbit heard the snick of a safety catch and he grinned broadly. "They're full of dodgy things. What do you say Skratch?" "I never used them," said Skratch who had been a cat burglar. "I preferred professionals." Wabsworth hoped closer to the entrance and raised his voice. "A whole window of shiny shiny things, how lovely." Lapinette twitched her super ears at a faint snickering. "They're behind the paper-thin walls." "We nailed them," said the Wabbit. "They're just begging for it." "Begging for what?" asked Skratch. "The old switcheroo," replied the Wabbit. "Just the thing for the New Year," laughed Lapinette. "I'd quite forgotten what day it was," said the Wabbit, "what with all the excitement." There was clang from the shop shutters and the Wabbit bared his 28 teeth. "Let's roll 'em."

Monday, December 30, 2013

9. The Wabbit gets to Cinecittà.

"That's torn it!" Wabsworth and Skratch jumped because the Wabbit had crept up behind them. "Sorry folks," murmured the Wabbit. "He moves fast, that Moloch god." Wabsworth pointed. "Are these seven league boots?" "That's only in fairy tales," said Skratch. "It's a fictional enormity." They put their paws over their ears as Moloch crashed a foot and gave a mighty cry that echoed across the backlot. The thin walls of the film sets shook and rattled. "Where is the Ring of Fulvius?" he roared. "Give - me - back - my - Ring!" They could only watch as Moloch stamped up and down and howled. Wabsworth nudged Skratch. "Can you see the Agents of Rabit?" Skratch narrowed his eyes. "Up there on the archway?" "Arco di Traiano," said the Wabbit archly. "All is artifice, Wabbit" remarked Skratch, "did you bring the Snazer guns?" "They're in the jeep," said the Wabbit. "I parked it over on the streets of New York." "I hope its still there," smiled Wabsworth. "So many gangs." The Wabbit grinned and waved a paw. "Let Moloch distract the Agents and we'll sneak round the back." "I wonder what happened to his ring?" mused Skratch. The Wabbit thought. "Now where would Agents hide it?" "A finger?" said Wabsworth. "Maybe," said the Wabbit, looking at a paw. Skratch's eyes glinted and he purred softly. "A jewellry shop!"

Sunday, December 29, 2013

8. Wabsworth draws out the Agents

Skratch the Cat spoke into his walkie-talkie a hushed meaow. "The Agents are here Commander!" The radio crackled gently. "Yes, Wabsworth is just hopping discreetly, as you asked." The radio crackled again. "He has his paw in his fur, just as you said. Yes yes." Skratch waited then nodded frantically. "Of course they saw him, you can't miss him." There was a very long crackle from the radio. "OK we'll go in now." The radio whined slightly and Skratch tightened his paw grip on the rado and spoke tersely. "I know we don't need tickets, Wabbit. You have a prior arrangement. Out."  Skratched sighed a long sigh and whispered to Wabsworth. "Just wait nonchalently for a second and then turn back and join me. We're going in." "I'm looking for my pass," murmured Wabsworth. Skratch sighed. "There's a prior arrangement." "We're undercover, we need to look authentically authentic," sulked Wabsworth. "You're talking like the Wabbit," grunted Skratch. "I'm an android copy I can't help it," said Wabsworth simply and he turned and hopped into the entrance with Skratch. "Did you know what Marcello Mastroianni said?" purred Skratch in a voice that he reserved for cinema talk. "I expect you're going to tell me," said Wabsworth. "Cinecittà is a symbolic and beautiful fortress. Outside is Hell!" "Better hop in then," said Wabsworth.

Friday, December 27, 2013

7. Puma searches for Agents of Rabit

The Wabbit had given precise instructions. Now Puma and Terni searched the streets for the lair of the Agents of Rabit in a specific circular search pattern. Puma never had any trouble on the streets and usually they would empty in front of him. When anyone saw him, they assumed he had escaped from a collection of exotic creatures and if he encountered any difficulty he dispelled it with a mighty growl that shook windows. Terni the Food Dragon was regarded a little like the Loch Ness Monster and was good for tourism. People did not speak of sightings since they were disbelieved and indefinitely detained. "We're getting close, Terni," growled Puma, "can you see anything?" "I thought I spotted some waving ears," shouted Terni, "but they were dodgy Christmas decorations." "I can smell Agents," snarled Puma. "What do we do if we bump into them?" asked Terni. "Rend them limb from limb?" Puma snarled as he loped. "Leave that to the Wabbit, he has his own methods!" Terni snickered and swooped but Puma glanced to the left and spotted graffiti on the wall. He screeched to a halt. "They've been here Terni. Go and tell the Commander." "I'll be back in a trice," said Terni. "What is a trice?" asked Puma. "It's rather more than fast," replied Terni. He looped then flew vertically to the sky and vanished. "Very tricey," growled Puma.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

6. The Wabbit and the Moloch Briefing

The Wabbits were marginally faster than Moloch. With lightning speed. they dived inside the abandoned restaurant and Lapinette released Robot. Moloch stopped outside and howled loudly, then peered through the window. "Oh it's you, Wabbit." "Moloch we meet again," said the Wabbit. "And I can't recall who owes who." " Wabbit there's no need for weaponry," said Moloch. "Just tell me where they are and you can all go." "Who are they?" asked the Wabbit. "The army of the ears," said Moloch, "they swindled me." The Wabbit raised an eye, hunched and swung his snazer rifle." "They took a ring entrusted to me by Fulvius. It has magical powers," continued Moloch. The Wabbit glanced at Lapinette, who knew all about rings. Lapinette nodded and explained. "The ring was given to the spy Fulvius by Croessa, Cabiria's nurse." Moloch grunted. "With the ring they can rule the known world." "Why take Robot?" asked the Wabbit. "He knows little about rings." "He knows about the army of the ears," said Moloch. Robot's gears whined. "Is this about the Lupi?" "It's not about Roma Football Club," smiled Lapinette. The Wabbit scowled. "It's about the Agents of Rabit." "Do you have a plan?" asked Lapinette. "I do," said the Wabbit. Moloch sighed. "You know where they are?" The Wabbit bared all of his 28 teeth. "I know a lot of things."

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

5. The Wabbit & Moloch on the Beach

The Wabbit stood on the back of the the jeep and looked through his field binoculars. "There he is! There's Robot. " Lapinette squinted her eyes in the sun. "What does it say on his monitor?" "It says Help!" said the Wabbit with a wry grin. "Robot's always to the point," murmured Lapinette and she strained her super ears. "I can hear Moloch muttering." The Wabbit waited silently. He could hear something too but no words, so he kept quiet. "OK," said Lapinette finally. "He says he's the spectre of genius and he won't stand for interference." "Who by?" asked the Wabbit. Lapinette's eyes narrowed to a single point. "The ghastly agents who's ears are armies." The Wabbit lowered his binoculars. "The Agents of Rabit! They've been much too quiet." Lapinette's ears quivered. "What on earth did they do to annoy Moloch?" The Wabbit lifted his binoculars. "Now he's turning!" "And he's waving his arms," said Lapinette. "Now he's spotted us," said the Wabbit, "and he's coming over here." "Oh, what to do?" asked Lapinette casually. "Get in his way?" suggested the Wabbit and he shrugged. Lapinette's ears flapped in a sudden wind. "Waaaaaaaaaabits!" yelled Moloch.

Monday, December 23, 2013

4. The Wabbit gives Christmas Orders

"All right everyone, look alive!" shouted the Wabbit and he made a circular motion with his paw. Lapinette spoke fiercely into her walkie talkie to Terni the Dragon. "Do you have visual?" The radio crackled. "Moloch is heading down the coast." Lapinette’s voice was brisk. "Follow him and locate Robot. Advise but do not extract." The Wabbit issued orders. "Snail, block the road to the south at Fiumicino." He looked across at Turbina the Jet Car. "Wabsworth and Skratch. Stay in contact with Terni and rendezvous at Control Point Carrot." He looked all around with narrowed eyes. "Where’s Puma?" "Just arrived at Rome Termini." replied Lapinette. The Wabbit nodded. "Tell him to change to the train for Maccarese. We’ll pick him up." Wabsworth revved Turbina’s enigine and Snail wiggled his antennae. Lapinette nudged the Wabbit. "There’s more to this Moloch business than a kidnapping." "And the rest!" said the Wabbit, "so let’s proceed cautiously. We’ll isolate Moloch and interrogate him."  "Remember, he’s a bit of a vengeful God," said Lapinette. The Wabbit stiffened. "I eat vengeful Gods for breakfast." "That explains your indigestion," smiled Lapinette and she crashed her jeep into gear and shot off down Via di Porta Angelica. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

3.The Wabbit and the coming of Moloch

Before they saw anything, the team heard the crashing of boulders and a bellowing that made the rooftops shake. Then he came down the path, his mighty feet thumping the bare earth. "It’s Moloch!" said the Wabbit. "But he’s got new clothes." "I thought he gave up the sacrifice business," whispered Lapinette. "Maybe it was too much of a sacrifice," commented Wabsworth. The Wabbit groaned and Lapinette joined him while Moloch continued to stomp down the hill. But he was so busy kicking things that he didn’t spot anyone. The team strained their ears to make sense of the bellowing. "I’ll get them," said Moloch, "I’ll make them pay for meddling with Moloch the Great One." The Wabbit and Lapinette put their heads together. "Who’s them?" they whispered. "Quiet," said Wabsworth, "he’s talking again." "What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains?" howled Moloch. "Their skulls?” muttered the Wabbit, "he used to have a better line in jokes." "Another sacrifice?” suggested Wabsworth. "I just heard him say Robot!" murmured Lapinette, who had the best ears. The Wabbit recoiled suddenly and spoke too loudly. "Moloch must be holding Robot." Moloch screeched. "Even the rough streets speak!" and he stamped on. "We’d better follow him," said the Wabbit. "Well it shouldn’t be hard," said Wabsworth.
["What sphinx of cement ... ate up their brains?" from Howl by Allen Ginsberg]

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

2. The Wabbit and the Signals

Susan the Biplane flew to Rome at lightning speed and dropped sharply to Via Sannio Market. "Down there!" yelled Lapinette. "That's our signals marshall," said the Wabbit. Susan sniffed because she felt she didn't need one. "He's saying forward and right," explained the Wabbit. "I didn't know we had a signals marshall," said Lapinette. "Oh, you never know when you might need one," said the Wabbit. Susan dipped her wings, then Lapinette shook her ears and asked, "How did Wabsworth get here so quickly?" "Turbina the Jet Car," stated the Wabbit." Now Lapinette was completely astonished, because she knew that Turbina was very picky about her drivers. "We're rather close to that bus stop," said Lapinette. "No Ma'am," murmured Susan and she landed neatly, coasting past Wabsworth to the right as indicated. The propeller died and the Wabbit hopped down. "What's the word on Robot?" "Nothing," said Wabsworth, "but there are reports of a troublesome rampaging God." "The worst kind," moaned the Wabbit. "Description?" asked Lapinette. "Tall, enormous mouth, wings, a big "M" insignia." The Wabbit's eyes glinted dangerously. "I know him."

Monday, December 16, 2013

1.The Wabbit & the Christmas Mission

The team left the Adventure Caffè, but Lapinette heard a crackle on her radio and hung back. She placed a paw on the Wabbit's arm and spoke urgently. "Where?" The radio crackled again. "How?" The Wabbit cringed because he knew this was serious. His eyes drifted upwards and he spotted his friend, Tenri the Food Dragon, circling high above. Lapinette signed off and looked at the Wabbit and the Wabbit looked back with a wrinkly nose. "Rome for Christmas?" he said. Lapinette nodded. "Robot was in Rome for a football match, but he's gone missing." "That's not like him. He usually comes back waving a scarf and whirling a noisy thing." Lapinette frowned. "The word is he's been kidnapped along with some other luminaries." "Any sign of a ransom note?" asked the Wabbit. "Not so far," said Lapinette. The Wabbit made a funny sound with his teeth." "When do we leave?" "It'll take a day to get organised," said Lapinette. "I'll get my stuff," said the Wabbit. Lapinette looked surprised because she thought the Wabbit kept everything in his fur. "What kind of stuff?" "Kidnapping stuff," he hissed. Lapinette took a deep breath. "How shall we travel?" "Mob-handed*," said the Wabbit. 
[*Mob-handed: In considerable numbers, looking for trouble]

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Wabbit and a new Adventure Caffè

In a new caffè some way out of town, the team gathered to discuss the latest adventure. Skratch arrived late and paused at a wine barrel to beat a jolly tune with his paws. "Oh oh oh. What was that," he sang, "for a sort of adventure for a cat?" "I'll answer this time," said Wabsworth. "Do tell," smiled Lapinette. "It was modernist, yet anti realist," stated Wabsworth solemnly. Skratch had taken some time to warm to Wabsworth but he nodded his head approvingly. "Mmm, yes" said Skratch and then he grinned. "But I'm not anti realist as such," he said. "I just prefer a different realism." The Wabbit chipped in. "How many realisms are there anyway?" Lapinette pointed and counted round the group. "Four to start with!" "I fear we're falling into the pit of relativism," said the Wabbit and nudged Lapinette under the table. "How deep is that?" asked Wabsworth. "River deep, mountain high!" said Skratch. Everyone laughed and laughed, but the Wabbit decided that frivolity had gone too far. "The service here is a little slow," he commented and now I'm thirsty." "I'll have a Cabiria," said Wabsworth. "It might be a while. I think the waiters have been kidnapped," said the Wabbit.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

13. The Wabbit's Dimensional Regularisor

The Wabbit and Wabsworth assembled everything they could find and made a Dimensional Regularisor. The Wabbit had shrugged and said “How hard can it be?” and they made it in no time. Now, via a secret passage known only to the Wabbit, they located in a hidden corner of the Late Tunnel and pedalled up the eco-generator. Inside the tram, it looked as if nothing had happened, but the Wabbit could see Lapinette was suddenly aware and looking out the window. “Everyone keep calm,” muttered the Wabbit to no one in particular. He gave the generator another three turns for luck and shouted to Wabsworth. "Hit it!" Sparks shot from electrodes and two lightning bolts leapt across the void to hit the Regularisor they had fashioned from an old flight controller. The reggae creatures assembled into groups as the tram started to shimmer. "I think its working," said the Wabbit. "I had no doubt," said Wabsworth. "So what do we do for an encore?" mused the Wabbit. "Replace all the lost and found objects I suppose. That might be fun." Wabsworth smiled broadly. "What about the Number Nine Tram and passengers? I suppose we should bring them back to normal life." "What's that like?" asked the Wabbit.

Monday, December 09, 2013

12. The Wabbit and Wabworld W.

Wabsworth, the Wabbit’s android double, looked on as the Wabbit rummaged through his fur for a suitable tool to fix the affects of the Late Tunnel and the Reggae Creatures. Occasionally he caught tools and placed them on the ground, but some he kept and tucked into his own fur. The Wabbit clutched one of his favourite combination gadgets and stopped. "Are we there yet?" he asked. "I think so" said Wabsworth. "I think we can make a Dimensional Regularisor from these." "I have a few more things," said the Wabbit digging deeper. "What about a power supply?" asked Wabsworth. "I have a battery pack and a multi connector," said the Wabbit." "Or a wind-up eco special, made to help the Third World." Wabsworth shook his head. "How many worlds are there?" "I rather lost count," shrugged the Wabbit. "So what about our world?" asked Wabsworth. "We don’t have a number," said the Wabbit. "We exist in a different space." "Nevertheless," announced Wabsworth with passion, "it should have a designation." The Wabbit paused, then explained that three working parties and no less than seven task forces had failed to agree and were still arguing about it. "My suggestion is "Wabworld W," said the Wabbit. "I like that," said Wabsworth. The Wabbit grinned a very broad grin indeed.  "That now makes two of us."

Friday, December 06, 2013

11. The Wabbit and the Market Psyche

Just as Wabsworth replied "Yes and No", the scene changed. "Are we still in your wabitronic psyche?" asked the Wabbit. "Yes," said Wabsworth. "This is a part of your psyche I left unchanged." "Why?" asked the Wabbit. Wabsworth smiled, even though he was an android. "I suppose it's respect for your organisation of things." The Wabbit looked all around as they ambled through the market. "It's neater than I thought." Wabsworth nodded vigourously. "This is a psychic sub routine for finding things. Everything we need is - somewhere." The Wabbit shrugged. "Something for sorting out the effect of the Late Tunnel," he murmured. "And the reggae creatures," said Wabsworth. "One thing, Wabsworth," said the Wabbit, "are we here or not here?" Wabsworth turned and shrugged exactly like the Wabbit. "Everything is here and not here." "Are we still in the Late Tunnel then?" "More or less," said Wabsworth. "We're are also not there, but no-one there has a clue we're not there." "Or not here," commented the Wabbit. "You're getting the hang of this," chuckled Wabsworth. "So what do we need?" asked the Wabbit. Wabsworth smiled maliciously. "What have you got in your fur?" "A Hadron Collider," suggested the Wabbit. "That's a sledgehammer to crack a nut," said Wabsworth." "I've got a sledgehammer," said the Wabbit.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

10. The Wabbit in the Drawing Room

Now that he was inside Wabsworth's wabitronic psyche, the Wabbit looked all around. Then he looked at Wabsworth and thought. When the Wabbit's android double, Wabsworth came into being, he was a copy of the Wabbit. But time had passed and Wabsworth had laid down his own thoughts and ways of doing. The Wabbit knew this and he was used to it. "Nice drawing room," he said. "Most minimalist." "I've been working on your psyche," said Wabsworth, "and this is the result." The Wabbit briefly wondered where he would put his collection of scratchy old records, but he moved swiftly to the matter in paw. "What's going on?" Wabsworth stuck a paw in his fur and inclined his ears, just like the Wabbit. "Did you notice the shape of the reggae creatures from the Late Tunnel?" The Wabbit shook his head. "They're equations," said Wabsworth. The Wabbit shook his head again. "Schrödinger's equations," added Wabsworth. "You became entangled with objects important to you. But I'm afraid they're both here and not here at the same time." "We're here though, aren't we?" queried the Wabbit. "Yes and no," said Wabsworth.

Monday, December 02, 2013

9. The Wabbit in the Wabitronic Psyche

As his singing died away, the Wabbit found himself floating ethereally outside the Tram. Suddenly he caught sight of Wabsworth's disembodied head floating equally ethereally above him and he could hear his voice repeating something. "Concentrate on me, Wabbit. concentrate on me, Wabbit. Concentrate on me, Wabbit." So the Wabbit concentrated very hard indeed. "What's happening, Wabsworth?" he croaked. "You're so desperately entangled," said Wabsworth, "that I've been forced to image you inside my wabitronic psyche." The Wabbit's eyes glazed slightly but he could hear Wabsworth speaking softly. "In this space, we can begin to disentangle everything." "What about the tram?" asked the Wabbit. "I've suspended tram and passengers," said Wabsworth. The Wabbit looked at the tram and he could see everything was roughly the same. "What about the reggae creatures?" asked the Wabbit. "Especially them," said Wabsworth. "We need to embark on urgent discussions, so will you come to my wabitronic drawing room?" "I didn't know you had a drawing room," said the Wabbit in a surprised voice. "We all have a drawing room," laughed Wabsworth. "How else did we come into being?"

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Wabbit hops with Marco Mengoni

When the friends turned round, they were in for a shock. "Marco!" sighed Lapinette. "Signor Mengoni?" said the Wabbit. "I'm captivated by your singing meaow!" purred Skratch. "What are you doing here in the Late Tunnel?" asked Wabsworth from the back. "Perché tu sarai sempre il mio solo destino," said Marco, "voglio soltanto amarti senza mai nessun freno.*" "Nice of you to say so, Marco," said Nine the Tram. "Would you like some sand for your brakes?" Marco chuckled. "What am I doing here exactly?" "You've become entangled with us," said Lapinette. "It's a quantum thing." Marco wrinked his nose. "But I'm late for my concert." "Oh, don't worry," said the Wabbit, "you're in the Late Tunnel. You can just pop up later and no-one will ever know you were late." Wabsworth waved his paws urgently. "That's why we're entangled!" Marco looked round."Who are these creatures outside?" "These are the reggae creatures!" said the Wabbit. "Reggae creatures? There's your entanglement answer!" said Wabsworth. Marco nodded and hummed a tune. "We feel it in the one drop; we're lucky!" "For we still got time to rap," harmonised the Wabbit. "And we making the one stop," meaowed Skratch. "And we fillin' the gap," sang Lapinette. "Che pazienza!*" muttered Nine.

[* Because you'll always be my only destiny, I just want to love you without any brakes
* Give me patience!]

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

7. The Wabbit in the Flash Frame

"But how do we get to the Late Tunnel?" asked Lapinette. "This way!" said Nine, the Number Nine Tram and he jumped off the bridge. "Aaaaagh!" shouted Wabsworth as the sky turned black and buildings stood out like pop up pictures. The river churned as Nine plunged beneath the surface. "Don't people see that?" asked Skratch. "Vaguely" said Nine. "Oh, people can be quite unaware," smiled Lapinette. "I think they see it but they don't believe it," said the Wabbit, "then in a twenty-fifth of a second we've gone." "Like a flash frame!" said Skratch. "We'll be there in a flash!" said Nine, "so please relax and soon we'll be in the grey zone." "Let me get this exactly right," said Wabsworth. "If we're late, we can stay in the Late Tunnel?" "Then we materialise somewhere ahead, appearing to have maintained our schedule," said the Wabbit and he clapped his paws in delight. Wabsworth looked a little worried. "I don't know Wabbit, In physics you get nothing for nothing." "Sometimes you get less," laughed Lapinette. "What is nothing anyway?" asked Skratch. "There is no such thing as nothing," said Wabsworth. There was a sudden hiss of compressed air. "Except in the Grey Zone," said Nine.

Monday, November 25, 2013

6. The Wabbit arranges a Trip

The Wabbit made a call and within moments, Nine, the Number 9 Tram rumbled into sight. Skratch the Cat pointed to Nine's rear and the Wabbit was aghast. "My goodness Nine, where did you get the graffiti?" "The Saturday football run," said Nine. The Wabbit shook his head sadly but ushered everyone on board. "Where's Wabsworth? He's late." "Here he comes now," said Lapinette. "I went for tickets," said Wabsworth. The Wabbit shook his head again. "We're going to the Late Tunnel and tickets don't exist for this zone." "Well, you never know," said Wabsworth. Nine made a hiss of compressed air. "There are no inspectors in the Late Tunnel," he said. "Please take your seats." "Is there any food? asked Wabsworth. "I have some small Jamaican dumplings in plastic packs," said Nine. The Wabbit scowled because his aversion to dumplings was well known. "We can always use them as ammunition," he quipped and he firmly waved a paw towards Nine. Lapinette hesitated. "What's the Late Tunnel like?" "Relaxing," said the Wabbit. The friends took their seats as advised and reggae music filled the tram. "Who's singing?" asked Skratch. The Wabbit effected a knowledgeable stance. "Eek-A-Mouse!" he smiled. "Where?" yelled Skratch. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

5. The Wabbit sees Doubles

The friends waited until the hop-on hop-off bus reached Lingotto, then dived round the back of the shopping centre. The Wabbit nudged Skratch. "I told you so!" he murmured. "Told me what? replied Skratch. "There was more to come," said the Wabbit, pointing with a trembling paw. "Have you ever seen anything like it?" "In a nightmare," said Skratch, "I once dreamed we were all ghosts who haunted shopping centres until the end of time." The Wabbit shuddered. Wabsworth flicked his ears. "They're not ghosts exactly." Skratch looked at the Wabbit. The Wabbit looked back, then turned to Wabsworth. "What do you mean exactly?"  Wabsworth's ears flicked again. "I'm picking up a strange signal that suggests they're partially entangled." "Entangled with what?" asked the Wabbit. "Entangled with us," said Wabsworth. "Well I don't want to be entangled," said Skratch, "I'm against it. And that cat is all wrong." Wabsworth's ears quivered. "It's something to do with the Wabbit." The Wabbit flinched. "Wabbit, have you been anywhere strange lately?" Now the Wabbit shrugged defensively. "Only the Late Tunnel." Wabsworth's brain whirred. "Can you get us back there?" I suppose I can," said the Wabbit. "Do you have any spare lunch vouchers?"

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

4. The Wabbit & the Giant Drink

The Wabbit, Wabsworth and Skratch the cat hopped on the hop-on hop-off bus and acting on advice from a secret source, waited patiently for it to reach Palazzo Madama. Wabsworth insisted on paying for three tickets even though the Wabbit had a pefectly amicable arrangment with the driver. The Wabbit shook his head sadly. "That will do for 24 hours," explained Wabsworth. "We might need more time." "You might be right." Skratch pointed to the street. "Just look at that!" The Wabbit gazed in amazement as a giant can of his favourite drink materialised in the street. "It's crystallised," said Wabsworth. "Maybe someone left it too long in a freezer." The bus stopped for quite a while because traffic had come to a standstill. "Shall we get off?" asked Skratch. "No," said the Wabbit. "I think there's more to come." A whirring sound came from Wabsworth and the Wabbit looked round. "It's my positronic memory," said Wabsworth. "It's reminding me it's time for a snack." "But you're an android," puzzled Skratch. "That doesn't mean I don't get hungry," said Wabsworth, "so what shall we have to drink?" "Let's hop off and have an aperitivo," suggested the Wabbit. "Don't these buses have bars?" asked Skratch.

Monday, November 18, 2013

3. Skratch foregrounds the Signifier

Acting on information received, the Wabbit and his android double, Wabsworth, hurried to Via Pianezza to meet Skratch. "Skratch!" shouted the Wabbit. "What's with the sign?" Skratch looked very relieved, but smiled all the same. "Wabbit, you know perfectly well that a sign doesn't really exist. It is merely a concept." "It looks like quite a heavy concept," said Wabsworth. Skratch winked at Wabsworth. "It appeared from nowhere," he said. "It materialised?" suggested the Wabbit. "No," said Skratch, shaking his head. "It kind of swam into focus." The Wabbit and Wabsworth looked at each other, then Wabsworth turned to Skratch. "Things have been disappearing," he explained, "and they lose focus first." They thought in silence for a while, but the Wabbit was the first to speak. "Objects are disappearing," he said raising a paw.  Everyone nodded. "And objects are appearing," he added, raising another paw. Everyone nodded. The Wabbit spread his paws wide. "But they are not the same objects!" "That's obvious, Wabbit," purred Skratch. Now Wabsworth looked at Skratch. "What are you doing with the signifier?" "Taking it back to Cine Spezia in Via Nizza," said Skratch. "That's an adult cinema," exclaimed the Wabbit. "Is it?" said Skratch. "I thought it was experimental."

Friday, November 15, 2013

2. The Wabbit and the Vanishing Objects

The Wabbit met his android double, Wabsworth, at the Palace to discuss the question of the disappearing objects - but things were already out of control. "Thank goodness you're here Wabbit!" yelled Wabsworth. "I've been trying to keep things from vanishing by standing on them, but I just end up on the floor." The Wabbit watched a piece of mosaic go out of focus and tried to grab it, but it floated into the air, became transparent and disappeared. "We have to be more organised," said Wabsworth, "or the whole city will dispppear and us with it." "What!" shouted the Wabbit. "Have any of our friends vanished?" "Not yet," replied Wabsworth. "But Lapinette's lost her whole wardrobe." The Wabbit cringed. "I'll bet she's hopping mad, Anything else?" "Wabsworth lurched down from a rapidly fading artefact and stared at the Wabbit. "She said your secret stash of Irn Bru lemonade had gone." The Wabbit turned pale. "This means war!" he shouted. He shook a paw at the ceiling and paced the length of the room. "The laws of physics say these things will show up somewhere." he decided. "What kind of somewhere?" asked Wabsworth. "The middle of somewhere," said the Wabbit.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

1. The Wabbit visits his Desk

The Wabbit paid a visit to his desk, a fairly unusual occurrence because the Wabbit hated paperwork. It was littered with the remains of an old project and everything seemed to be as he left it. The Wabbit rummaged a bit. "It's not precisely as I left it," he murmured to himself. Now Lapinette had put assignment instructions somewhere, but she usually used email. So the Wabbit tipped and tapped and there it was - in his inbox, labelled "Alice, Bob and Eve" which was their secret code for secret messages. The Wabbit left it where it was for a moment and scanned the desk again. "I'm sure I left a something here and now it's gone." The Wabbit knew the removal of an object was unlikely since the facility was top secure and the cleaners never came near his desk, fearing booby traps. "Perhaps the something got inside something else," thought the Wabbit. He flicked through a few books, then pressed a series of keys for double layer decryption and opened his mail.
To: Commander Wabbit: From: Wabbit Command. Reference: Disappearing things. Message: Things have been going out of focus and disappearing. Please rectify. 
The Wabbit looked at the mail and as he thought about the problem, the message went out of focus, then disappeared ...

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Wabbit in the Adventure Caffè

The Wabbit found Lapinette and Skratch the Cat at the Fiat Caffè in Lingotto. He was right on time because the bread had arrived. So he slid into a seat and clutched his bread possessively. "Hello Wabbit!" Skratch had just had his fur trimmed and he studied himself in the mirror. "Do you like my new Runaway Train t-shirt? I couldn't find anything about a tram." "I do like that movie," said the Wabbit. "But life isn't like a film." "Good thing too," said Skratch, "it would be an incredibly long movie and no-one would watch." Now the Wabbit smiled. "Not even if Andy Warhol made it?" Skratch made a long snoring noise then flinched from the withering glance of Lapinette. Now the Wabbit leaned forward and spoke to Lapinette. "Anything on the wire?" he asked. "What wire?" asked Lapinette innocently. "You know," said the Wabbit, "anything in the offing? What transpires?" Lapinette pretended to look puzzled, so the Wabbit addressed Skratch. "What's going down?" he muttered. Skratch grinned at the mirror. "You gotta chill. So take it easy. Put up your paws." But the Wabbit's paws were itching for another adventure. "I need a new assignment," he shrugged. "Details are on your desk," smiled Lapinette.

Friday, November 08, 2013

8. The Wabbit and the End of the Line

The Wabbit dropped the Reggae creatures at the dance hall in Via Nizza and drove Nine, the Number Nine Tram into Porta Nuova station where it squeezed beside a Big Red Train. Now Nine looked massive and railway passengers looked confused. The Wabbit paid no attention and hopped off. "Goodbye Nine and thanks," he cried. "I learned a lot!" Now he hopped his way along the platform, wondering what to do next. The Wabbit was disappointed that his tram ride was over and he made a face. He was about to encounter what he most disliked - between adventures ennui. He hated the lull that came with any kind of interim. "You can't always be having exciting adventures," he told himself. Suddenly he heard the hissing of compressed air and the clang of a bell, so he turned. "Life is an adventure," Commander Wabbit," shouted Nine. "There's something new around every corner!" The Wabbit grinned and thought of his friends. "Probably they're waiting for me at the Adventure Caffè," he thought. "I've such a lot to tell them." "Commander!" shouted Nine. The Wabbit turned again and Nine let off a hiss of compressed air. "You need a ticket the next time!"

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

7. The Wabbit and the Big Splash

The Wabbit knew one thing - he had to be his normal self. So he hit the control handle a brutal swipe and Nine the Tram took off at speed. With a hissing of air and clanging of bells, the grey tunnel turned blue-green. Now the Wabbit gazed up through limpid water to an eerie light. "Secure ventilation!" shouted the Wabbit. "and shut the bulkhead flappers!" "I'm a tram, not a submarine," yelled Nine. There was an enormous splash as Nine broke through the surface and shot into the air. "I-ree!" cried the creatures in the back of the tram and one leaned forward and spoke to the Wabbit. "Fra wha pawt yuh deh? Me hear dem say yuh frah Africa?" The Wabbit groped in his fur for his universal translator. "Mi no dryland tourist," he said simply. "I fass and facety?" shrugged the creature. The Wabbit smiled and quivered his ears. "Just kidding," said the creature, taking a seat. There was a shudder and a whoosh as Nine shook off water like a big dog. "You know you're stuck with them now," he whispered. "Why is that?" asked the Wabbit. "They think you're Cunie, the African Rabbit God." "Cunie," mused the Wabbit. "I've been called worse."

Irie/I-ree A cry of delight.
Fra wha pawt yuh deh?: Where are you from? 
Mi no dryland tourist.: I've travelled beyond my home country. 
Fah and facety: Too inquisitive

Monday, November 04, 2013

6. The Wabbit welcomes them In

The Wabbit made a spur of the moment decision. "Zion tram is coming our way," he sang and he made a sign to Nine the Number Nine Tram. There was a hiss of compressed air and the tram doors folded closed. "The Zion Tram is coming your way, get on board," he shouted to the creatures. "Oh get on board! You better get on board!" One by one the creatures boarded the tram and took their seats and waited. "You got to catch a tram," sang the Wabbit, "because there is no other station." "Then we going in the same direction," sang the creatures. "Ooh ooh!" sang the Wabbit. Nine the Tram took that as his signal and folded his doors, then with an imperceptible shudder, he started to move. "A wa do dem? A wa do dem dem dem?" sang the Wabbit. "A we nuh know - a we nuh know," scatted the creatures. Nine the Tram began to glide through the Late Tunnel like a merchant ship leaving port - and as he gained momentum he gently intoned a Reggae dub. "This Tram," said one creature. "has come to take us home," said another.  "Don't worry about a thing, oh no!" said the Wabbit kindly and he made for the driver's cabin. "'cause every little thing gonna be all right."

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

5. The Wabbit Talks the Talk

The creatures wanted a confidential discussion so the Wabbit went to the rear of the Number Nine Tram. They spoke and the Wabbit listened attentively. "What are they saying Wabbit?" asked Nine impatiently. "Just a second," said the Wabbit. Then he held up a paw and nodded his head vigorously. "All right Nine, I have it."  Nine, the Tram waited patiently. "In order for them to continue offering the Late Tunnel service, they would like some quid pro quo." stated the Wabbit. "And what exactly is this quid that I should quo?" said Nine. "While you're down here," said the Wabbit, "the creatures would like entertainment." There was a long silence. "They feel it's only fair," added the Wabbit. "What kind of entertainment?" queried Nine. "They like music," said the Wabbit, "can you sing?" "The Number Nine Tram laughed and burst into a blues. "Hey Mr. Judge, your trams are coming down the line. The cargo ain't too much if you can chase the friends of mine." The Wabbit threw back his head. "I heard they smuggle in the goods, along the western union line." He bent down to the creatures and talked for a long time. "What did they say?" asked Nine. "They prefer Reggae," said the Wabbit. "Zion Tram!" said Nine.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

4. The Wabbit and the Tunnel Creatures

The Wabbit hopped down from the driver's seat. "Open the door, Nine," he said firmly. "We never open doors in the Late Tunnel," protested Nine. "There's a first time for everything," said the Wabbit in an irritating manner he had learned from his grandmother. "On your head be it!"" said Nine. "Don't come hopping to me when it all goes wrong." There was a hiss of compressed air and the doors folded open. The Wabbit slung a paw round a rail, leaned out and peered down. "Ah" he said screwing up his eyes. "Um," said the Wabbit peering further. "Ah," he said again. "Oh please Commander," sighed Nine. "May we dispense with the interjections. What can you see?" "I recognise your creatures," said the Wabbit, much as if he saw them every day at the supermarket. "Enlighten me," said Nine. "They're equations," said the Wabbit. "They make your neat little late system work." "Let's just leave them be," said Nine with a hiss of compressed air. "Let's close the doors and be on our way." Nine's motor started to whine. "Hang on Nine," said the Wabbit. "They seem to want something." He bent a little nearer and murmured something in algebra. There was sqeaking sound and a sharp click. "They'd like more in their wave packets," said the Wabbit.

Friday, October 25, 2013

3. The Wabbit and the Grey Zone

The Wabbit was fascinated with red buttons and never failed to press them, usually with unexpected and occasionally unfortunate results. Now he stared from the driver's cabin at a sea of grey and no matter what he did with the control handle, the tram floated gently through grey space. "What the Binky?" muttered the Wabbit. The voice of Nine, the Number Nine Tram sounded spooky in the void. "You pressed the red button and I'm afraid we're in the Late Tunnel." The Wabbit breathed in and out to become mindful of his breath. But he had never got the hang of it and was only mindful of grey. "What on earth is the Late Tunnel?" he sighed. "The Late Tunnel," said Nine, "is an emergency zone where we can go if we are irremediably late." "To hide from an inspector?" asked the Wabbit. "No, to make up time," said Nine. "We reappear at a distant fare stage as if we hadn't been late in the first place." The Wabbit thought of his city travels for a minute. "That explains quite a lot," he said. "How long will we be here?" "Oh, there's no time in here," said Nine. "Just relax." "I suppose it could be enjoyable," said the Wabbit, counting his breaths. "Oh it is," said Nine, "except for the Creatures."

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

2. The Wabbit takes Over

The Wabbit jumped into the tram driver's seat and slammed shut the cabin door. "OK Nine, I'm in charge so I'm going to check everything is in place." Compressed air hissed and the passenger doors closed. The Wabbit nodded approvingly. "Do you have a vigilance control system and logic speed control?" he asked. "Yes," said Nine. "Where?" said the Wabbit. "There," said Nine. The Wabbit noticed they were switched off, so he leaned forward and switched them on again. Then, after a brief thought, he stretched out a paw and flicked them back off. "Do you have plenty of braking sand in your reservoir?" he asked. "I do," said Nine. "Pantograph?" said the Wabbit. "Foot pedal," said Nine with a hiss of compressed air. "Dead Rabbits Handle? asked the Wabbit. "Not necessary," laughed Nine. "And remind me Nine," grinned the Wabbit, "of who exactly is in control of the Tram?" "My driver is Commander Wabbit of the Department of Wabbit Affairs," said Nine. "Tell me one more thing Nine," said the Wabbit. A silence fell, only to be broken by another hiss of compressed air. The Wabbit pointed at a cluster of instruments. "Precisely what," asked the Wabbit, "does that red button do?"

Monday, October 21, 2013

1. The Wabbit - the Reluctant Passenger

The Wabbit found himself back in the Number Nine Tram, which seemed to be heading along its normal route to Corso Massimo D'Azeglio. He was thinking things over and the rattle of rails and hum of nearby traffic became so hypnotic that he was all but lost in reverie. Suddenly the tram braked harshly and the Wabbit nearly fell off his seat. "That's enough thinking," shouted the Wabbit to empty air. His words bounced round metal and wood and returned to stare him in the face. "OK, that's it!" he said. "Passenger no more!" and he hopped up from his seat and made for the driver's cabin. Tram Number 9 increased speed and tore round the corner from Via Madama Cristina. The Wabbit grabbed a paw rail and screamed at the top of his voice. "I'm taking over, Nine." There was no reply. "This cost me all my lunch vouchers and I'm going to drive," yelled the Wabbit. Nine the Number Nine Tram switched points and coasted onto Corso Massimo. "I've lots more to show you," he said, with a hiss of compressed air. "Yes, but I'm in charge," said the Wabbit and he advanced menacingly on the cabin door. "Don't you like being a passenger?" asked Nine. "It never sat well with me," grimaced the Wabbit.

Friday, October 18, 2013

9. Wabbit & the Cat who knew about Time

The Wabbit looked in awe. "Maya!" he exclaimed. Attended by Unut, his old friend was changing rapidly. Maya was the Cat who knew about Time and over the years she had proved a source of great strength to the Wabbit. "What's happening Maya?" he asked.  "I ran out of Time, so I must transform," miaowed Maya. She reached out and touched the peak of the pyramid and Unut laid a paw on her leg. Maya's paw grew enormous and glowed in the darkness. Unut the Rabbit Goddess spoke. "Maya is to be a Goddess and she will join us here in the dark basement," she said softly. The Wabbit looked across at Lapinette and saw her eyes were moist. "How will we know about Time now?" he said. "Time is the father of truth - but its mother is our mind," said Maya. "You may visit me here with the other Goddesses - if you have the time."  The Wabbit trembled and didn't know what to say, so he thought hard. And as he thought he suddenly saw Maya as a Sphynx Goddess with colossal paws. "Anything you need for the afterlife, Goddess?" he asked. The Sphynx Goddess spoke. "Vanilla yoghurt," she said, "and Wudy's turkey sausages."

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

8. The Wabbit and the Emergency Stop

Nine the Number Nine Tram vanished back into the tunnel and emerged somewhere the Wabbit vaguely knew. And there was Skratch the Cat looking urgent and Unut the Rabbit Goddess too. The Wabbit squinted at Skratch. "Look Skratch I'm on a Tram journey," he said. "What's the deal?" "An emergency stop overrides the itinerary," interrupted Nine. "What kind of emergency?" asked the Wabbit. Skratch looked up at him. "This is the trade entrance of the Egyptian Museum," he explained. The Wabbit felt that Skratch was unusually flustered. "I'm aware of where we are, Skratch," he answered softly. "Well, Unut is waiting for you, and she can't keep the door open long." The Wabbit paused. "You have to go," urged Skratch. The Wabbit felt like shrugging but his shrug stayed in his shoulders and he slowly put a foot out of the tram. "Come on Commander!" shouted Unut. The Wabbit stopped. "When I visit, I usually go in the front entrance," he thought. "Will you please stop thinking and do as you're told?" yelled Unut. The Wabbit wasn't predisposed to doing what he was told, but Unut was a Goddess and he usually made an exception. "OK," he said and he jumped down. "Hop this way," said Unut. "Hop like an Egyptian," murmured the Wabbit.

Monday, October 14, 2013

7. The Wabbit and the Critical Reflection

"Trams should have toilets," murmured the Wabbit to himself as he went to wash his paws. "So they should," said his reflection. The Wabbit looked in the mirror and shook his head. "We have to stop meeting like this," he quipped, shrugging in a way that only the Wabbit could. "I wish you wouldn't shrug like that," said his reflection. "It looks like you don't care." The Wabbit was going to shrug again, but the reflection held up a paw. "There you are, you're doing it again." "I have a tram to catch," said the Wabbit and he dried his paws on his fur. "Not so fast," said his reflection. "I hope you're taking note of all the things the Tram is showing you." "Why?" asked the Wabbit. "Because you need to be more aware of your path." His reflection waved a paw back and forward indicating a long path. The Wabbit hissed softly. "What's my path got to do with the Number Nine Tram?" "Everything," said his reflection. "What you've been, what you are now, and what you will become." The Wabbit stared at his reflection and grinned. "Can you shrug?" His reflection shrugged just like the Wabbit. The Wabbit nodded approvingly and so did his reflection. "Now together!" yelled the Wabbit. They both shrugged at the same time. "You'll get the hang of it," said the Wabbit.

Friday, October 11, 2013

6. The Wabbit & the Contemplative Wall

The Number Nine Tram suddenly reversed, plunged back into the tunnel and burst through a wall. Then with a hiss of compressed air he shuddered to a halt. The Wabbit looked out. "This is my secret garden," he said. "I come here to contemplate." "And look! There you are over there," said Nine the Tram, "but why are you touching the wall?" The Wabbit watched himself for a while. "I touch the wall," he said, "because it's very old and emits some kind of vibration." Nine was silent and waited for the Wabbit to continue. "This is a defended space," said the Wabbit. "It's a quiet little world and the wall keeps things out." "And in," said Nine. The Wabbit thought for a moment. "Yes it does," he murmured. "Things I consider here, I keep very much to myself." "It's your sacred space," said Nine quietly. "When I'm here it belongs to me," said the Wabbit and he looked down the compartment with a question on his lips. "Are you a Hop-on Hop-off Tram?" he asked. "I'm a Hop-on Tram," said Nine. "Hopping off is a matter of negotiation." The Wabbit wriggled. "Could I hop off for a second?" "Why?" said Nine. "I need to go to the toilet," grinned the Wabbit.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

5. The Wabbit and the Tram with a View

The scene changed as abruptly as before and a hiss heralded a sharp chill as the front doors swung open. So the Wabbit hopped to the rear and looked out. "What do you see?" asked Nine, the Number 9 Tram. "Turin," said the Wabbit and then he thought for a bit. "But just the top." "What about the whole Turin?" asked Nine. The Wabbit gazed down. "The whole Turin is a complex network of culture and relationships." Compressed air hissed again. "You sound like a book," said Nine. The Wabbit fought for an example. "I can see the spire of the Mole Antonelliana but I can't see the film museum inside. I can't see people having fun." "You can see only the surface of things," said Nine. "Yes, it's like a map," said the Wabbit. "But down there my friends are working and playing." "Can you see the Old Abandoned Hospital?" asked Nine. "Yes," said the Wabbit. "It's over there." "And you can see the Big Ramp at Lingotto?" "Yes," said the Wabbit. "But can you see yourself?" said Nine. The Wabbit stared and stared and stared. Then suddenly he caught sight of the Tram reflected in the River and he saw his face at the window, peering out. The Wabbit winked. His reflection winked back. "My fur needs a trim," smiled the Wabbit.

Monday, October 07, 2013

4. The Wabbit in the Milky Way

Suddenly everything changed. Nine, the Number Nine Tram emerged from the tunnel to an extraordinary scene and the Wabbit looked out at billions of stars, trying to recognise where he was. "Mostly Red Dwarfs," muttered the Wabbit. "Well at least it's my own galaxy." He shrugged at his reflection in the glass and relaxed. Everything was so unbearably quiet, he could hear his heart beat. The Wabbit let go of the control handle and poked the window with his paw and thought long and hard. "I'm used to being in charge," he thought, "but maybe I can't be in charge of everything." He rummaged in his fur and extracted a list of "Things to be in Charge Of" and a stubby pencil. The Wabbit licked the end of the pencil, added "trams" to the list and stuffed it back in his fur. "You can't be in charge of trams," said Nine. The Wabbit stared at the console, then tapped it with his paw. "Now look Nine," he said. "Let's drop this poor tram nonsense. What's going on?" "Look at your reflection, Wabbit," said Nine. "and tell me what nine means to you." The Wabbit reflected. "Nine is where we return to the One," he said. "The Cosmos. The life and death cycle." There was a hiss of compressed air. "I have things to show you," said Nine. "I thought you'd say that," sighed the Wabbit.

Friday, October 04, 2013

3. The Wabbit and the Psyche Tunnel

Nine, the No. 9 Tram swerved across the junction on one set of wheels and turned across a bridge. Ringing his bell frantically, he switched points without mercy and dashed across busy junctions against the lights. The Wabbit hid his eyes as cars screeched to a halt and he grabbed a rail as Nine lurched down Corso Casale to Sassi and the funicular railway  "Where are you going Nine?" asked the Wabbit through clenched teeth. "The scenic route," said Nine. The Wabbit had to laugh. "We're in a tunnel," he said, "and we're not supposed to be here." "Pretty, isn't it?" said Nine. "I never get to go in tunnels." "Well you should have been a train," said the Wabbit. "It was my parents' fault," said Nine. "I wanted to be a train but they said a tram was a steady living and it was local." The Wabbit felt a throbbing in his foot, which meant he thought his leg was being pulled. "I rather like tunnels," he said chattily. "There's a nice sense of enclosure." "I used to take a psychiatrist to the hospital every day," said Nine, "and he was a mine of information about tunnels." "You know all about them, then," said the Wabbit. "Always assuming  I agree," said Nine, "I'm a follower of analyst Carl Jung myself." The Wabbit smiled. "So what did you learn, Nine?" "The light at the end of the tunnel," said Nine, "is a new life."

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

2. The Wabbit and the Runaway Tram

The Wabbit held on tight as the No. 9 Tram rocketed forward. There was a squeal as it rushed past a platform, so the Wabbit tried the brakes. Then he released some sand on the wheels but to no avail. The Tram got faster and faster. "Are you certain you're designed for this speed?" said the Wabbit irritably. "I don't really know," said Nine. "I'm bored with the same old route." The Wabbit looked quizzical. "Corso this and Via that," moaned the Tram. "It all looks the same." The noise was deafening and the Wabbit's ears twitched. "Ding ding, doors open, doors closed," continued the Tram. The Wabbit shook his head sadly. "Yes, how utterly dreary," he agreed in an attempt to forge a bond with the tram. But there was more. "People block the doors and won't let others off," said the Tram. "Oh really?" asked the Wabbit. "And some drape themselves round my ticket machine and jump off when they see an inspector." "Rascals!" shouted the Wabbit. "Am I not worthy of my hire?" asked the Tram, picking up more speed. "Oh yes, Nine," said the Wabbit firmly. "The tram is worthy of his reward, 1st Timothy 5:18." "Ah," sighed the Tram, "it's lovely to meet someone like you." "Watch out for that curve!" yelled the Wabbit.

Monday, September 30, 2013

1. The Wabbit and the No. 9 Tram

On the way from the Adventure Caffè, the Wabbit seized a chance to drive the No 9 Tram. This was something he had always wanted to do, but somehow the opportunity had eluded him. On this occasion he was successful, but it had cost the Wabbit a considerable amount - all the lunch vouchers he had in his fur and the promise of a gala dinner. Still, the Wabbit was satisfied and he switched on the power supply, released the brakes and pushed the control handle. The tram slid smoothly away from the stop and the Wabbit smiled as it glided at a leisurely pace. Occasionally the Wabbit would switch the points with a button on his console and listen to the snicking noise as the tram proceeded. "Oh I do like trams," murmured the Wabbit to himself. "Yes, so do I," said the Tram, "and do be careful wth my controls. I've just had a service." It had been some time since a vehicle had spoken to the Wabbit and he frowned. "What's your name?" he asked cautiously. "Nine," said the Tram. "OK Nine, nice and easy does it," said the Wabbit. A compressor hissed. "I feel like a jaunt," said Nine. The Wabbit saw the power notching up and he clenched his 28 teeth. "Here we go again," he muttered.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Wabbit in the Adventure Caffè

"Who's that?" asked the Wabbit. "Marco Mengoni of course." Lapinette, stabbed the magazine with her paw. The Wabbit looked quizzical. "He's a singer songwriter. He won the Italian X-factor," said Lapinette. "Oh really," said the Wabbit without enthusiasm. The Wabbit only liked old scratchy jazz records that he found in markets."Don't let Skratch see it," he said. "He'll give us a lecture on popular culture." "Too late!" said a familiar voice. "That Mengoni fellow has a sort of captivating meaow." "Oh hello Skratch," cooed Lapinette. "You tell us what kind of adventure we just had." "An interesting Brechtian escapade," said Skratch. "You certainly made your point." "Oh thanks," said the Wabbit smiling. "Well you made it rather a lot," purred Skratch. "But it was accessible enough." "Anything else? "asked the Wabbit with hesitation. "It looked good," said Skratch. The Wabbit's face fell. "But nothing, however good it looks," quoted Skratch, "should be termed good unless it is." Now the Wabbit really grinned. "Thank you Skratch, you're a most intelligent feline." "Any more good quotes, Skratch?" asked Lapinette. Skratch paused. "There are some with brains and some without," he said. "It makes for a better division of labour."

Sunday, September 22, 2013

9. The Wabbit suggests a Deal

The Wabbit hopped out into the sun to face the Slifts. "I hope you took that offer of the Fake Fur Futures," he called. "We didn’t," snorted the Slifts. "Then that was ill-advised," said the Wabbit and he snorted too. Looking down, he flicked imaginary lint from his own fur then looked up. "Futures are what the future’s all about, you know." "But we bought the fake furs," said the Slift leader.  The Wabbit stared in mock astonishment. "What on earth did you pay?" he chortled. "A Zillion Gazillion," said a Slift too quickly. The other glared at him menacingly. "For the consignment?" asked the Wabbit. "No, each," they said together. The Wabbit’s eyes went wide. "I have very bad news," he said. "There's been a double-dip recession. The bottom’s just fallen out of the fake fur market." "What about our money?" asked the Slifts. "Don’t tell me you actually spent it," asked the Wabbit and he spread his paws wide. "Please, please tell me you didn't hand over actual cash." The Slifts nodded. The Wabbit shook his head sadly. "I’ll take the fake fur off your hands - and I promise to pay you in the future," he said. "Call it a special investment. Think of it as money in the bank." "I'd really rather not," said the Slift Leader.

Friday, September 20, 2013

8. Lapinette and the Fake Fur Futures

In a slaughterhouse at the other end of the stockyards, the three commodity skinners hovered threateningly as Lapinette hopped up and down. She was holding a fake fur jacket and she gushed in an ecstatic manner. "Quite terrific, fantastic," she murmured. "Awfully, awfully good. Just the job." "They're completely fake," said the leader. Lapinette smiled sweetly. "Better than the real thing, much better. Everyone's wearing them, even Lady Gaga." "Who?" asked another skinner. Lapinette ignored him and carried on. "Tyra Banks?" she tried. "Never heard of her," said the skinner on the right. "Elle MacPherson!" gasped Lapinette, who was running out of steam. "Ah, now youre talking," said the leader and he fumbled in his fur coat. Lapinette gaped. "Are you Time Travellers?" she asked. "Because I have a nice line in Fake Fur Futures. Invest with me and I guarantee you'll triple your money in 900 years." The skinners shook their heads. "Well, the fact is there isn't any real fur available," snapped Lapinette. The skinners growled. "How much?" "A Zillion Gazillion," said Lapinette. "For the consignment?" asked the leader. Lapinette paused and thought of the Wabbit. "Each," she grinned.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

7. The Wabbit and the Confrontation

The Wabbit put his part of the plan into action. He asked for volunteers from his personal guard, the 400 Rabbits - but they all came, smelling of fresh paint and placards. The 400 Rabbits poured into Testaccio, formed a solid wall across the stockyard and waited. And when the stock arrived they started to shout at the hapless creatures. "No further!" they cried. "Stop there!" The stock halted. One of the Wabbit’s trusted cadres hopped forward in front of the Wabbit and addressed the stock directly. "Livestock!" he shouted. "Who will buy you now?" The stock agitated. "You are already bought - but not paid for," shouted the 400 Rabbits. A silence fell, except for a slithering of paws on cobbles. "Then who will feed us?" shrieked the stock. "We were given only the best of fodder and grew fat." This time the Wabbit hopped forward. "Your masters grew fat on your fur!" he yelled. "Join us and make certain that fur is in short supply." One of the stock, different from the rest, hopped forward. "That will not save our fur. Our fur will only get a higher price on the market." The Wabbit’s lip curled and only three of his 28 teeth glinted in the sun. "Today, my fellow rabbit," he grimaced, "we will render your fur unobtainable." He paused for effect. "And tomorrow it will be out of fashion."

Monday, September 16, 2013

6. The Wabbit and the Change of Plan

The Wabbit and Lapinette sat down at a beer crate to discuss a change of plan. The Wabbit said that Lapinette’s plan wouldn’t work because the creatures were too bright. Lapinette said that she could persuade them with feminine guile. The Wabbit responded by saying that usually worked, but in this case the Slifts were impervious. Lapinette asked why. The Wabbit argued that where matters of profit were concerned, only one thing worked. Lapinette rapped the crate with a paw and asked what that could possibly be. The Wabbit shrugged. "Force," he said emphatically and he hit the crate so hard that it shook and bits fell off. Lapinette sighed. "What do I have to do?" she asked. The Wabbit advised Lapinette that she should stick to the first part of her plan, but to raise the price of the fake fur to an unimaginable level. "What will you do?" she asked. The Wabbit shrugged again. "I will make any alternative impossible."  "The Slifts won’t like it," said Lapinette. The Wabbit drew back his lips and 28 teeth sparkled in a shaft of light that sliced through a hole in the roof. "Rock the Kasbah," said the Wabbit.

Friday, September 13, 2013

5. The Wabbit and Livestock Exchange

The Wabbit couldn't do a thing. Dragged into a stockyard shed, he found himself staring into the muzzle of Lapinette's automatic. He was seldom lost for words, but Lapinette made up for it. "What are you doing here?" Her voice was a whisper but it was really a yell. "You nearly blew my cover!" "Oh," said the Wabbit, weakly. "Your cover," he repeated inanely, nodding his head. He fumbled with his pistol and tucked it back into his fur. "I might need to change my plan!" hissed Lapinette. "Your plan," repeated the Wabbit. "Don't keep repeating me," yelled Lapinette. "Repeating?" The Wabbit's voice trailed off and he shrugged without enthusiasm. "Who are these creatures?" he asked in an attempt to be assertive. "And perhaps we should keep our voices down." "Slifts!" whispered Lapinette. "They're commodity skinners in the fur trade." The Wabbit flinched. "And where do you figure in all this?" "I'm posing as broker," said Lapinette, "and I persuaded them to buy a vast amount of dodgy faux stock that will glut the market." "Who'll buy livestock then?" said the Wabbit. "It'll cost the Slifts a fortune in fodder." "They'll bellow when they run out of Options," scowled Lapinette.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

4. The Wabbit of the Stockyards

This looked like a stockyard to the Wabbit and his fur crawled. Something deep in his species memory scraped him with sharp claws and he shrank into a corner and pulled out his automatic. "I don’t like the smell of this," muttered the Wabbit and his nose twitched. He could smell rust and brick and wood, but there was another thing - something from the past. The odour became palpable. The smell of rubber hoses and drains, a damp smell like old gaiters long abandoned in a dank cellar. It was only then that he heard them. There were three and they floated a half metre above the cobblestones. The Wabbit’s ears pricked up and he strained to understand the short series of moans and crackles that hung in the air like ghostly static. He picked up single words. Packers, breeders, consignment, merchandise, livestock. His paw gripped his gun tightly as the spectral voices became clearer. "Ghastly business we’re in," said one, "I can hear the creatures bellow." "We meet demand," said the other. "It's not as if it’s us who eat them," said the last. The Wabbit's ears grew hot and he gritted his teeth. A hard object poked him in the ribs. He knew for sure it was the barrel of an automatic and it certainly wasn't his own. Then a voice. "Stay completely still and don’t move a hair."

Monday, September 09, 2013

3. The Wabbit and the Watching Brief

The Wabbit followed Lapinette closely and remained completely unobserved. As a secret agent, that was his job. At the same time, it was Lapinette’s job as a secret agent to spot him. But she seemed so intent on her journey that she didn’t seem to notice the Wabbit on her tail. He followed her all the way from the seaside and into an old industrial neighbourhood in the city. All this time, the Wabbit stayed a discreet distance behind while theories raced though his head. What on earth was her destination? "It might be another fashion show," thought the Wabbit. Perhaps she was going to meet a different kind of agent altogether - a fashion industry agent who pocketed 30 per cent of her vast earnings. The Wabbit considered and glanced around the area. It had seen better days and although it was under development, it didn’t seem like a fashion industry sort of place. But he remained icy calm and hopped quietly along the sidewalk in pursuit as Lapinette crossed the road to an old building. It looked like an abandoned railway station, but on closer inspection he reckoned it was a factory or a warehouse. The Wabbit stopped, looked for another way in and changed direction. "Uptight, out of sight," he hummed.