Thursday, January 31, 2013

9. The Wabbit & the Peaceful Blue Planet

Susan the Biplane dropped out of slipstream and the Wabbit looked down. "Africa!" said the Wabbit. "Soon be home, Sir," said Susan, "perhaps there’s a Welcoming Committee." "Carrot aperitivi all round," murmured the Wabbit. Susan banked suddenly but the Wabbit kept his eyes on the blue planet. "It looks so peaceful from up here," he said. The radio crackled noisily. "Commander Wabbit, this is Wabbit Control, over." "Commander Wabbit receiving you loud and clear. Pleased to be back, over." smiled the Wabbit. "Report for a debriefing," said Control, "and leave that meteorite with the Lab." The Wabbit scowled and he pretended to make static sounds. "Control, I didn’t quite ... crick, whoosh, crackle." The Wabbit switched the radio off.  "Atmospherics, what can you do?" "Did you want to keep the meteorite, Sir?" "Yes, it might come in handy," said the Wabbit. "What for, Sir?" said Susan. "I haven’t the faintest idea," said the Wabbit, yawning. "We’ll be a while, Sir," stated Susan, "would you like a nap?" "Yes I am feeling sleepy," said the Wabbit and he snuggled down in the cockpit. "Where would you like to wake up, Sir?" said Susan. The Wabbit’s voice was quiet. "On a beach," he murmured. “And who would you like beside you?" Susan could hardly hear his reply but she thought she heard him say, "Lovely Lapincroft." The Wabbit was fast asleep. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

8. The Wabbit and the Silence of Tractors

Back with Susan the Biplane, the Wabbit engaged the tractor beam and locked it to the Alien Pilot’s asteroid. "I wish I could hear the tractor beam," said the Wabbit. "There’s no sound in space, Sir," answered Susan. "Oh, I know - isn’t it a pest!" said the Wabbit. Silently, the tractor beam pulled the asteroid across space and then, when it reached the Wabbit’s coordinates, reversed thrust. Now powered by Susan’s quantum engines, the asteroid glowed blue in the slipstream tunnel  - and it shimmered as it headed for Andromeda and Planet OGLE TR 56B. The Wabbit watched for a while and then he murmured, "Cut the slipstream drive, Susan." "Sir?" queried Susan. "That’s an order Susan," snapped the Wabbit and he looked into deep space. He could just make out the smallest of blips on the event horizon as Susan terminated the drive. A silence fell as Susan programmed coordinates for home. "Sir?" she asked. "Yes," said the Wabbit. "There is no firm of Kepler, Copernicus and Brahe, Sir." The Wabbit grinned. "I made it up!" "That was fibbing sir," responded Susan. "It’s in my job description," said the Wabbit, shaking his head at the thought of his annual review. Susan persisted. "What will happen to the Pilot?" "He’ll pop up somewhere," shrugged the Wabbit. "Won’t his employers be looking for their property?" asked Susan. "I suppose they will," laughed the Wabbit. "Well now they’ll be looking for us," said Susan.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

7. The Wabbit & the Spiders from Mars

The Wabbit rose and hopped rapidly from the bridge. "I won’t mess with the red spiders from Mars," he said, shaking his head. Outside, Marshall Duetta Spyder and her cohorts began to weigh heavily on the structure and the Pilot’s craft shook violently. Interior lights dimmed as more and more spiders clung to the fuselage. The Wabbit looked back alarmed. "They’ll asset-strip your asteroid until there’s hardly a spare quark left," he hissed. "So I’m off while I still have fur. Stay if you like." "Stop!" shouted the Pilot. The Wabbit hesitated and stared steadily. "About that trade?" grimaced the Pilot. "We'll see, but it's difficult now," muttered the Wabbit. "You really shouldn’t have waited."  "Don’t leave me to these spiders," said the Pilot, "I hate spiders." The Wabbit considered, then appeared to come to a decision. "Just give me time to get back to my craft and we’ll fix you in our tractor beam." "Then?" asked the Pilot. "Slipstream drive to the Planet Ogle -you'll be there in a trice." "Where’s Ogle?" said the Pilot. "Ogle-TR-56b," said the Wabbit.  "John Kepler of Kepler, Copernicus and Brahe will meet you." The Pilot gazed at the spiders and shifted uncomfortably. "How will I know this Kepler?" "Have no fear," said the Wabbit, "he’ll keep an eye open for you." 

Monday, January 28, 2013

6. The Wabbit & the Value of Asteroids

The Wabbit took a seat. "You might know who I am, Pilot," he said, "but you don't know what you’ve got." The Pilot shook his head and the Wabbit winked. "How much are you paid?" he asked, baldly. "Not enough to deal with the likes of you," said the Pilot. The Wabbit laughed. "You’re sitting on a desirable piece of real estate." "It’s just an asteroid," sighed the Pilot. The Wabbit laughed again in a particularly irritating laugh that he kept for special occasions. "It’s worth 79 trillion of our euro coins." With a flick of his paw, the Wabbit produced a sparkling meteorite and thrust it under the nose of the Pilot. "This chunk flew off when we arrived," he smiled. "But since you don’t value it, I’ll just keep it in my fur." The Wabbit tucked it away. The Pilot was silent for some time and then he snarled. "And how would I realise my asset?" "I have contacts," said the Wabbit. The Pilot blinked with four eyes. "How do I find them?" "We’ll send you in our slipstream drive using a reverse tractor beam," said the Wabbit, "then my trader will pay you handsomely for your bijou M-class asteroid." The Pilot began to shake his head. "I don’t like the sound of it," he grunted. "Take it or leave it," drawled the Wabbit, "but you’ll be sorry." "Oh do me a favour," scoffed the Pilot. "I’ve heard of you and your rabbit tricks." The Wabbit fidgeted, then abruptly looked up with a look of horror. "No!" he exclaimed. "Look over there!" 

Friday, January 25, 2013

5. The Wabbit and the Alien Pilot

The Wabbit hopped to the structure and gazed inside. "Hullo!" he said in the worst Glasgow accent he could do. "Would yez spare a wee tate aviation fuel for a wee bit rabbit?" "I hate rabbits," said The Pilot. "Ach, ah know what ye mean," said the Wabbit and he waved a paw. "No animosity, by the way." "What do you really want?" said the Pilot. "Company," said the Wabbit thinking on his feet. "The time of day, a wee bit craic." "Go away," said the Pilot. A silence fell, only to be interrupted by the Wabbit. "Are ye up for a gala dinner?" "I hate gala dinners," said the Pilot, "so be off with you. I must coalesce with the Planet Earth shortly." "Planet Earth?" said the Wabbit. "Surely not?" "Why not?" asked the Pilot. "Awful place," said the Wabbit. "I wouldnae go there if it was the last place in the Universe." "Continue," said the Pilot. "The place is used up," said the Wabbit, "It’s a weed awa’. Nasty clarty planet!" The Pilot’s eyes flickered. "I will complete my task." "Think better of it," said the Wabbit. There was a pause while the Pilot made an adjustment to his intercom. The Wabbit was impatient and knocked loudly. "There’s a better place than Earth!" he shouted. "Where?" asked the Pilot. "Uranus," smiled the Wabbit. The Pilot suddenly turned. "I hate Uranus!" "Och!" said the Wabbit. The Pilot scowled. "And I know who you are, Commander Wabbit ..."

Thursday, January 24, 2013

4. The Drunken Rabbit Manoeuvre

Susan the Biplane closed on the asteroid and orbited for a closer look. "Whoa! That looks unusual," said the Wabbit. "What sort of creature lives in a house like that?" Susan continued her orbit." I think I can make out detail, Sir." The Wabbit stared at the structure. "We’d better investigate," he said finally. "Do you want me to land, Sir?" asked Susan. "Hang on Susan, Let’s give a false impression, just to be on the safe side." Susan orbited again. "You trained at Wabbit Air Arm?" asked the Wabbit." "I did, Sir." "Then you know the manoeuvre called the Drunken Rabbit?" "Yes Sir, but it’s reserved for senior officers and reckless students." "Drunken Rabbit, that’s an order!" hissed the Wabbit. Susan threw herself high and dived straight down. "Stall! stall! stall!" yelled the Wabbit with glee. "Bank angle! Bank angle!" yelled Susan and she calmly twisted sideways and spiralled towards the ground. "Perhaps you'd like the controls, Sir," gasped Susan. "I certainly would," said the Wabbit. Snow loomed white as the Wabbit headed for the largest drift he could see. Then he lifted Susan's nose, climbed, levelled and flew six metres from the surface, barely missing the strange structure. "Brr, it’s cold," said the Wabbit, propelling the plane upwards. "I saw a shape," said Susan. "Someone’s in," said the Wabbit. "Make 'em think we’re really stupid." The air screw whined and blasted snow to all sides as Susan hurtled straight into a snowdrift.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

3.The Wabbit and the Rogue Asteroid

"Where is it?" asked the Wabbit. "My coordinates say it should be here." "Behind you Sir," said Susan the Biplane. "Oh," said the Wabbit. "Creepy thing." The Wabbit had a think about what to do and he hung from the biplane and pondered. "What do asteroids usually do?" he thought. "Asteroids are minor planets orbiting around celestial bodies," said Susan. "Why does everyone know what I’m thinking!" snapped the Wabbit. "Independent thought, Commander," said Susan, diplomatically. "Well, this one isn’t orbiting. It has a definite trajectory. It's almost as if it has a mind of its own," growled the Wabbit. "Sometimes they seem to," said Susan, "but technically it’s just a lump of rock." "Maybe." The Wabbit hummed a tune. "You can knock be-bop and you can knock swing. Say what you want about any old thing." "Commander?" said Susan. "But don't knock the rock," said the Wabbit. Susan wheeled and now that he was the right way round, the Wabbit looked properly. The asteroid was big, rugged and mean. "It's getting bigger,  we’re in its way," suggested the Wabbit. "Do you have visiting cards?" asked Susan. The Wabbit laughed. "Yes, they say 'The Wabbit called but you were out. Please ensure you are in the next time.'" "Perfect" said Susan and she orbited around the asteroid. "There’s a landing place!" pointed the Wabbit.

Monday, January 21, 2013

2. When the Wabbit met Susan

"Here we go again," said the Wabbit. Then as an afterthought. "How are you feeling, Susan?" "Bristol fashion Sir!" said Susan the Biplane eagerly. The Wabbit let some time elapse. "Your first mission, Cadet?" he murmured. "Raring to go, Sir," said Susan. The Wabbit waited a long time and then barked suddenly "List specifications, Cadet!" "Bio-atmosphere, gravity field, shield and stealth cloak." "What about quantum slipstream drive?" asked the Wabbit. "Yes Sir, sorry Sir," said Susan. The Wabbit relaxed in his seat and dangled a paw out of the cockpit. "How fast is it?" "It's 9.999945, Sir." The Wabbit pretended to consider coordinates. Then he said in a low voice. "Any reprimands on your record, Cadet?" "One, Sir!" replied Susan. The Wabbit leaned back. "I landed on a motorbike race, Sir." The Wabbit hid a smile. "What happened Cadet?" "I won Sir," said Susan. There was a long pause. "I’ve considered the matter," said the Wabbit. "Yes Sir," said Susan mournfully. "You’re promoted to Captain. Now remind me, what will that slipstream drive do?  "It’s still 9.999945 Sir," "Then go for 10," said the Wabbit, “we're hunting asteroids!" "Knock knock," said Susan confidently. "Who’s there?" smiled the Wabbit. "Nasty," said Susan." "Nasty who?" sighed the Rabbit. "Nastyroid!"  yelled Susan. There was a lurch and the Wabbit’s ears flattened as the little biplane dived into a sub space tunnel.

Friday, January 18, 2013

1. The Wabbit & the Impossible Mission

The Wabbit responded to Lapinette's invitation to meet him in a secret location near the railway station. "We’ve had alarming news," said Lapinette. "Alarming," repeated the Wabbit, striking the fuselage of an old plane. "Yes it is!" sighed Lapinette." "I see," murmured the Wabbit, "so why did you invite me to this draughty hangar?" Lapinette hopped slightly. "An asteroid is on a collision course with earth and it's heading straight for Turin." "Turin," mused the Wabbit and he silently continued to investigate the plane. "You have to stop it," yelled Lapinette. The Wabbit fidgeted. "I don’t do asteroids," he said. "You do now," said Lapinette, "because no one else will." A silence fell. "This asteroid," said the Wabbit suddenly. "What’s its name?" "Fred!" snapped Lapinette. The Wabbit looked up. "That’s different, I changed my mind," he said. "How will I get to it?" Lapinette drew herself up to her full height. "This," she stated firmly, "is your plane." The Wabbit looked all round. He tapped the fuselage and it made a hollow, wooden sound. "I can’t go into space in this," he announced.  "It’s all we could find at short notice," said Lapinette. The Wabbit kicked a tyre and pointed at the plane. "I can’t remember its name," he said. "Susan!" yelled Lapinette. The Wabbit brightened. "Oh all right," he decided. "But is Susan pressurised?" "I don’t know anything about her feelings," growled Lapinette. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Wabbit in the Old Abandoned City

The Wabbit had no luck finding the hole in the fabric of time that brought Cicero and the Agents of Rabit from ancient Rome. So they retired to the Old Abandoned City for a chat. "You’ll have to stay with us," said the Wabbit. "Oh no, I must get back - there’s much to do," said Cicero."There’s much to do here," replied the Wabbit. "The Department could use a good lawyer and an orator to boot." "Do what sort of things?" asked Cicero. "The Rights of Rabbits for one," said the Wabbit. "Then there’s the matter of public relations." "There was a silence and Cicero looked thoughtful.  "I’m not sure I quite mastered that one." The Wabbit winced. "It’s better you don’t go back anyway." Cicero looked with enquiry. "It’s not hard to foretell the past," stated the Wabbit. "Maybe you’re right," said Cicero, "I made many enemies." The Wabbit smiled and shrugged. "They didn’t fare too well." "What of Mark Anthony?" queried Cicero. The Wabbit made a vicious movement across his neck. "By his own paw," he said gravely. "I think I'll stay," said Cicero, "what’s my first job?" "Write me a speech along the following lines," said the Wabbit pondering for a moment. "I shall not rest until all world rabbits are united and achieve full emancipation. We shall suffer rabbit exclusion no longer." Cicero sighed. "I’ll see what I can do."

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Wabbits sing with Acker Bilk

The Wabbit had been asked to contribute to an Acker Bilk concert and as he took the stage beside the great jazz legend, he was trying to hide his nerves. He searched desperately in his fur and finally found something suitable. "Haven’t played this in a while," he chortled and he whacked a harmonica against his fur. "A clarinet and harmonica together?" asked Lapinette. "Oh yes, it’s quite the thing," said the Wabbit and he turned to Acker Bilk. Acker nodded gravely, lifted his clarinet and played a few notes. The Wabbit’s harmonica wailed. Then they both smiled as Lapinette lifted a paw. "A one, and a two and a one, two, three," rapped Lapinette and they started to play. Acker’s mellow notes filled the auditorium and Lapinette began to sing. "Won't you come along with me, to the Mississippi." Lapinette’s voice was husky, "We'll take a boat to the land of dreams. Steam down the river, down to New Orleans." The Wabbit's harmonica called plaintively and then he sang. "Oh, she’s glad to be, oh yes-sirree" "Where welcome's free and dear to me," crooned Lapinette. "Where she can lose .." sang the Wabbit and paused. "Lose my Basin Street Blues," sang Lapinette. Acker’s clarinet sang hauntingly and the Wabbit’s voice harmonised in a compatible single chord, descending in half steps. "Is that a line cliché?" asked Lapinette. "Works every time," sang the Wabbit.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

12. The Wabbit hears the Philosopher's Stone

They all gazed in amazement as the ball fell into two halves, revealing a crystal of many sparkling colours. Then from the crystal emerged a shining rabbit, the like of which the Wabbit had never seen. Although the Wabbit was transfixed, he was aware of the reactions of his friends and could discern faint snatches of conversation. "It’s a rabbit. I can’t believe it," murmured Lapinette. "The Philosopher’s Stone is a rabbit," sighed Skratch. "How ineffable!" The Wabbit could hear Cicero making a speech. "The truth is eternally relevant and is presently true." Skratch seemed to call through layers of cotton wool. "The sign, the sign, the sign." The Wabbit gradually became aware of another voice. "Wabbit, you are the chosen one," said the shining rabbit. The Wabbit’s mind became clear as the crystal that emerged from the ball. "Chosen by whom?" he asked sharply. "By yourself," said the rabbit. "For what?" said the Wabbit. "For the great transformation that is yet to come." "I need to know more," said the Wabbit - but the shining rabbit was already disappearing into the crystal. "You already know," called a voice that the Wabbit recognised as his own. The Wabbit shook himself and suddenly he was back with his friends. "Did you hear what it said?" he asked. Everyone looked at the Wabbit, then looked at each other and shook their heads. "Hear what?" they asked. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

11. The Wabbit and Cicero's Lunch

Cicero was buying lunch and Snail had gone off with the order. "Cicero, how do they greet you in the Forum?" asked the Wabbit. "They hop on one foot and wink rapidly," said Cicero, and nearly smiled. "They call me Cicero usually, but behind my back they call me Big Kick Cicero." Lapinette stifled a giggle. "What kind of adventure was that anyway?" asked Skratch. "It’s not finished," said Lapinette, "because we haven’t seen the Philosopher’s Stone." "What’s it like?" said Skratch leaning on Cicero’s shoulder. "Not what you expect," said Cicero. "It’s ancient and powerful." "I heard it was a cornerstone that the builders of Solomon's Temple rejected," offered Skratch. He paused for attention, then continued. "It has symbolic value and, as such, it is ineffable." Cicero almost looked amused and glanced at the Wabbit. "Sorry, apologised the Wabbit, "he’s been going to evening classes." For a moment they all looked at the red ball and the Wabbit poked it three times. "How do you open it?" he said. "We must all stare at the ball and imagine what’s inside," said Cicero. The Wabbit stared intently until his eyes met in the middle. "What are you thinking about?" asked Lapinette. "A carrot aperitivo," said the Wabbit. Lapinette laughed. She was about to say, "It can’t look like a carrot aperitivo," when the ball began to revolve. It spun quicker and quicker and then without warning it broke clean through the middle ...

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

10. The Wabbit and the lingering Fuse

"What shall we have for dinner?" thought the Wabbit as he waited for the Agents of Rabit. "Jerusalem artichoke tubers, lightly braised perhaps." The Wabbit’s mouth began to water. "Curly carrot shavings as a side-dish and mixed salad," he added. In his mind, the Wabbit saw the waiter advance and he heard his voice. "To drink, Commander?"  Heavy paw steps nearly interrupted his imaginary dinner but not quite. "The usual," answered the Wabbit, lighting the explosive. For a while he watched the fuse fizz merrily. "Year in, in year out, the accursed Agents of Rabit," he moaned. "What a pest they are." He wondered for a moment if he would be happy without them. He decided not. "If they came this way," he mused, then Skratch and Lapinette have certainly captured the philosopher’s ball. I wonder what the stone looks like?" The fuse was half gone and it sputtered angrily. The Wabbit took aim then deliberately looked away. "I’m used to this," he thought. "What if I let them off? What if I got them to apologise? What if they could be reformed?" Then another voice broke in and this time it wasn’t in his head. "Hey stupid Wabbit," said the Chief Agent. "Your fur is last year’s colour." "Grrr, that’s it," thought the Wabbit. "They can insult me all they like but they won’t insult my fur." So he spoke calmly. "Come come," he said. "You know you go to pieces over me." "Huh?" said the Agent as he watched the explosive arc through the air and the flame reach the end of the fuse. "Oh, Kaboom," sighed the Agent of Rabit

Monday, January 07, 2013

9. Skratch takes the Wabbit's Route

Lapinette and Skratch barrelled down the road and Lapinette clutched the ball like grim death. "Which way did the Wabbit say?" shouted Skratch. "He said left right, left right, fly down the highway, creep down the alleyway," yelled Lapinette."He wasn't being chased by the hares of hell," grimaced Skratch. "He has a surprise waiting," gasped Lapinette. "It's always a surprise with the Wabbit," said Skratch. They puffed and panted. "The philosopher's stone inside the ball, what's it like?" he asked. "I haven't the foggiest  notion, does it matter?" breathed Lapinette. "It matters to them," said Skratch, looking over his shoulder. The Agents were gaining slightly and their shouts echoed in the ruins. "We'll roast you over hot coals" they shouted. "That's weak," yelled Lapinette. "We'll staple your ears to your paws," they cried. "That's better but still flabby," yelled Skratch. "Your bones will bleach in the sun," shouted the Agents. "At least we'll get good weather," said Skratch and he quickened his pace. "There's the alleyway now," yelled Lapinette, "and there's the Wabbit!" In the distance they saw the Wabbit gesture and duck down. "Did I see the Wabbit duck?" asked Skratch. "Well he's no chicken," laughed Lapinette and they dived out of sight.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

8. Skratch trims the Marks

Skratch told the Agents of Rabit that the authorities were coming and made them move everything round the corner. Puffing and panting they finally threw their ball to Skratch and he began to juggle. "Watch your ball, watch your ball. Faster than they eye can see," he laughed. "It’s easy to spot the ball as it moves." The balls flew around and the Agents danced up and down. "Triple power will soon be ours!" they yelled. "The old blind cat can’t fool us!" Deftly, Skratch batted their ball behind a pillar and Lapinette rose gracefully to catch it. "Must be going, urgent appointment, completely forgot," she murmured and she sloped off as Skratch continued to juggle. Suddenly, Skratch hid the balls under the cups and stopped dead. "Now," he murmured, "where is that ball of yours?" "There it is on the left," said an Agent. Skratch lifted the cup and the Agents sighed. "Oh deary deary me," said Skratch. "How unfortunate. That’s my ball and now all the balls belong to me." "Give us back our ball!" shouted the Agents. "I really can’t see it," said Skratch. "My eyes, you know. Are you quite certain you gave me a ball?" "Yes!" screeched," the Agents. "Are you really sure?" said Skratch, scratching his head. The Agents advanced on Skratch. "Oh look, here it is," said Skratch and he bent down, overturned the table on the Agents and fled after Lapinette. "I never give suckers an even break!" he called over his shoulder. 

Friday, January 04, 2013

7. Skratch and the Three Ball Trick

Skratch set up his stall and started to shout. "Play the ball game!" he cried. "Triple your balls! Triple your balls!" Lapinette hopped up the steps. "I’d like to try," she smiled. "How does it work?"  "All you have to do," said Skratch loudly, "is to give me your ball and keep your eye on it. If you can guess where your ball went, then you can keep all the balls." "And if I guess wrong?" said Lapinette. "Then I keep your ball, but that seldom happens," said Skratch. "OK," said Lapinette and she bounced her ball in the air and gazed as Skratch juggled. A few Agents of Rabit started arriving and they watched the balls spin round and around. Skratch’s paws blurred and suddenly the balls landed in the cups. The Agents goggled. "Where's your ball now?" asked Skratch. "It’s that one there," said Lapinette and she pointed to the middle cup. "Oh so it is," said Skratch sadly and he blinked rapidly. "I’m afraid my eyes aren’t as good as they used to be." Lapinette took all the balls and danced up and down with excitement. "It's so easy, can I do it again?" "You’ll ruin me," said Skratch sadly. "Would you take advantage of an old short-sighted cat?" The Agents of Rabit drew closer. "Perhaps we could try?" said the Chief Agent. "I don’t know," said Skratch. "I’ve lost too many of my balls today." "Just one more time!" they shouted with excitement. Skratch looked reluctant. "Oh all right," he sighed and he took the ball from the Chief Agent. "Equal Opportunities," he moaned. "After all, you might report me ..."

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

6. The Wabbit's Talk at the Taberna

Big Blue Snail was placed in charge of rustling up supplies for the planning meeting and he busied himself with gusto. "What’s on the menu?" asked the Wabbit. "I have mostly eggs and gloopy wine mixed with sea water," said Snail. "Fine," said the Wabbit with little enthusiasm. "What else?" said Skratch the Cat. "I found a large basin of garum," smiled Snail. "What’s garum?" asked the Wabbit. "It’s fermented fish sauce with salt. It’s very smelly and popular." "I’ll have some of that!" said Skratch. Lapinette twitched her nose. "Yuk," she said. "Surely there’s something else?" The greatest pleasures are only narrowly separated from disgust," said Cicero, "and we must sustain ourselves for the task ahead." "Bring it on Snail," said the Wabbit, "and I will tell you of my plan." Everyone went quiet. "They know they have the Stone and believe it‘s magic. So we must use magic against them." "There isn’t really magic as such" said Cicero. "They don’t know that," said the Wabbit. "Know any tricks?" "I know some tricks," said Skratch. "Then you’re in charge," said the Wabbit. "You are the magician and the Agents are your audience." "Do I get to wave my paws around?" asked Skratch. "Frantically. And promise to double what they’ve got," smiled the Wabbit. "Think they’ll fall for it?" asked Lapinette. The Wabbit shrugged. "They’re tough but not over-bright." Cicero nodded gravely. "Everyone likes something for nothing," said Snail.