Wednesday, February 27, 2013

15. The Wabbit and Unut's Offer

The Wabbit and Lapinette emerged from the pyramid in the Egyptian Museum, to be greeted by Unut, Rabbit Goddess. "Welcome home, my brave rabbits!" she cried, "your trip went without incident?" "Except for the talking bomb," said the Wabbit. "A mere frippery for the likes of you, Commander," said Unut. "Now please introduce me to your beautiful consort." "Marchesa Lapinette," said Lapinette, proffering a paw. The Wabbit cringed because it was far from protocol to shake the paw of a Goddess. But Unut bent down and clasped Lapinette's paw with such warmth that the Wabbit glasses misted. Not to be outdone, he proffered his own and after an initial mix up, the three shook paws vigorously. Unut turned directly to the Wabbit. "Commander, I am again indebted." The Wabbit was cautious, because he thought he knew what was coming. "The pyramid craft is yours if you wish," said Unut. The Wabbit looked stunned and spoke softly. "I rather prefer my jeep." "Whatever you require in your fight for emancipation of the rabbits is yours." Unut smiled. "Well, Commander, what do you need - land, gold, weapons?" "Not necessary in that order," quipped the Wabbit, although it was clear to Lapinette that he hadn’t actually refused. "You only have to ask," said Unut. "The planet will be a safer place in the paws of the rabbits." "I’ll settle for a coffee," said the Wabbit. And the Dark Basement of the Goddesses echoed loudly as they laughed and laughed.

Monday, February 25, 2013

14. The Wabbits seize the Pyramid

The Wabbit kicked the control room door, but it slid open. Music started and they heard Tock the Talking Bomb singing, "Sex bomb, Sex bomb." "We need to be quick," shouted Lapinette. The Wabbit jumped into the pilot’s seat but he and Lapinette looked out on a completely different location from before. Susan the Biplane seemed to have followed them and she buzzed up and down, to attract their attention. A radio on the console crackled.  "I thought you’d never get there. Commander," said Susan. "Good to see you, Susan," said the Wabbit. "Have you seen any escape pods?" "No Sir, but can you do something about the music?" "Please repeat," said the Wabbit, "I can’t hear you for the music." "A song has taken over every station in the city," said Susan. "Sex bomb, Susan," said the Wabbit. "Thank you, Sir," said Susan. "This bomb’s made for lovin’," sang Tock and the music became shrill. "I can take no more," said Lapinette and she hit the lower button. The song faded and there was a deflating sound. Lapinette and the Wabbit grinned. "What about the other button?" asked the Wabbit. "You’re the button expert," said Lapinette. The Wabbit struck the top button a mighty blow. The sound started with a squeal, then a grinding that became a groaning. Gradually, inexorably, the pyramid lifted from the ground and swivelled round. "I can see the Egyptian museum," said the Wabbit. "She’s going home," said Lapinette.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

13.The Wabbit and the Search for Control

The Wabbit and Lapinette searched for the control room so that they could move the Pyramid. But the more they searched, the more elusive the control room seemed to be. As they negotiated the complex interior of the structure, the Wabbit speculated. "I don’t know how long Tock will sleep, but I imagine he might decide to detonate soon." "How can we stop him?" said Lapinette. "The way to stop him," stated the Wabbit, "is likely in the control room too." "You’ve been here before," said Lapinette. "Just the once," replied the Wabbit. "I recollect it’s towards the base of the Pyramid." As they reached the bottom of the stairway a metallic voice boomed. "That’s the Alien," said the Wabbit. "It’s just a recording," said Lapinette. "Please go to the control room. All personnel to the control room," said the voice. "I don’t see any personnel," said Lapinette. "Maybe it means us?" said the Wabbit. "We don’t say personnel any more," frowned Lapinette. "We say rabbit resources." The Wabbit smiled. "I think the door is over there to our right." They both hopped forward. "All personnel to control room," called the voice. "All others to escape pods." Lapinette looked at the Wabbit and the Wabbit looked back. "That’s the door!" yelled the Wabbit, "and it's sealed." "So how's your kicking foot?" said Lapinette.

Friday, February 22, 2013

12.The Wabbit and the Five Minutes

Suddenly the floor fell away. The Wabbit and Lapinette found themselves looking down on Tock, the Blue Guardian of the Pyramid, who had promised to delay his detonation for five minutes. The Wabbit spoke first. "Tock, what is your purpose?" "To defend the Pyramid," said Tock. "On what basis do you perceive a threat to the pyramid?" "The basis of my sensor inputs," said Tock. "Did you ever consider you're making decisions based on false data?" said the Wabbit. "Proceed," said Tock. Lapinette was suddenly inspired. "What kind of bomb are you?" she asked. Tock thought for a while and then sang. "Sex bomb, sex bomb. Baby you can turn me on!" His eyes rolled round and round and his feet scrabbled. Lapinette shook her head. "Your data is badly corrupted." Tock did a little dance and sang again. "I can give it to you any time because you're mine. Ouch, sex bomb, baby!" The Wabbit sighed. "You can only detonate once," he said firmly. "That’s true," said Tock. "It will be the end of you," said the Wabbit. "I will cease to exist," said Tock. "You will cease to exist on the basis of false data," said Lapinette. Tock’s eyes sharpened. "I have no proof that I’m a sex bomb,"  he said solemnly. Lapinette and the Wabbit shook their heads. "But I have no proof that I’m not," said Tock, "so I must consider this further." Silence fell and the Wabbit and Lapinette realised Tock was asleep. The Wabbit’s five minutes had passed with no explosion. "Phew!" said the Wabbit.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

11. The Wabbit and the Blue Guardian

Inside the pyramid, the Wabbit and Lapinette found themselves in a very strange room indeed. Stranger still, it had a clearly labelled exit. The Wabbit screwed up his eyes. "What do all these equations mean, Lapinette?" "Gibberish I thought," said Lapinette, "but they seem to be about light." "Let there be light!" said a voice. Lapinette pointed her automatic at a creature emerging from the doorway. "We come in peace." said the Wabbit, pointing his own automatic. "I don’t," said the Blue Creature. "OK, neither do we," said Lapinette. "Now who are you and why do you keep moving our pyramid?" "My name is Tock. Ownership of the pyramid is a matter of debate and not for the likes of me." "What is for you?" asked the Wabbit. "I have my prescribed function," said Tock. "Elaborate!" shouted Lapinette. The creature bounced up and down, then scrabbled its feet on the floor. "Detonation," said Tock. "Why would you detonate?" asked the Wabbit. "Perceived threat to the pyramid," said Tock. The Wabbit looked confused and Tock scrabbled again. "I am the guardian of the pyramid, appointed by my creators on Exogal 3." "That’s silly," said Lapinette. "We’re not a threat to the pyramid." "Do persuade me," said Tock. Instantly a ticking sound filled the room and Tock’s feet scrabbled. "Oh, I’d love to chat," smiled the Wabbit. "Detonation in 5 minutes," said Tock.

Monday, February 18, 2013

10. The Wabbit & Lapinette on the Ledge

Susan the Biplane caught up with the pyramid and dropped the Wabbit and Lapinette onto a ledge half way up. As they landed, the pyramid shimmered and emitted small bursts of light. The Wabbit struggled to get a paw hold on the smooth surface. "I can’t quite see how to get in," he groaned. "You managed before," said Lapinette, tartly. "That access point is no longer visible," said the Wabbit and he clicked his teeth. "How do you normally get into a pyramid?" queried Lapinette. The Wabbit leant back and began, "Well ... " he commenced. Lapinette thought better of continuing and avoided one of the Wabbit’s lectures. "All right, it’s meant to be difficult," she acknowledged. "Can you fold a napkin into a pyramid?" asked the Wabbit. "Of course I can," said Lapinette. "Would it have a door?" asked the Wabbit. Lapinette shook her head. "Maybe that’s the answer," said the Wabbit and he glanced at Lapinette’s automatic. "Are you expecting trouble?" "Expect trouble and expect it early," said Lapinette. "Maybe you could fire a bullet at the door," said the Wabbit. "Just show me the door!" said Lapinette. "Maybe you could fold us one," sighed the Wabbit. But just at that very moment he heard an ominous creaking and felt the ledge widen. He looked down to see a gap appear. Slowly but steadily the Wabbit and Lovely Lapinette slid down and into the structure.

Friday, February 15, 2013

9. The Wabbit and the Elusive Pyramid

Day turned to dusk and the Wabbit and Lovely Lapinette were still looking for the pyramid. Susan the Biplane flew across the city, then swooped along the railway line to Lingotto.  The Wabbit leaned across and nudged Lapinette. "Do you know? I think I saw it for a second." Lapinette strained to hear him above the wind. "So did I!" she yelled, "but it seems to have moved." "Where? " asked the Wabbit. "Well, it was in front of us," shouted Lapinette, "but now it seems to be behind us." "As if it had a mind of its own," said the Wabbit for the second time that month. "Some say the pyramid has great healing power," he murmured. "That's tosh, Sir" said Susan the Biplane, "unless pyramids hand out medicine at the pharmacy." She banked and started to turn. "Look! It’s over there!" said Lapinette. But the Wabbit knew the city well. "It can’t be," he said, "because that spot is occupied by another structure." The Wabbit thought long and hard. "A water tower for the railway," he said, "but can two buildings be in the same place at once?" "It’s mathematically possible," said Lapinette. "But unlikely Marchesa, Ma’am," said Susan. "Oh let’s drop  the formality," said Lapinette, "you can call me ..." "Sir!"  interrupted the Wabbit.  "Head for the Pyramid, Susan and we’ll teach it sums."

Thursday, February 14, 2013

8. The Wabbit and the Big Pointy Thing

"This isn’t the pyramid," said the Wabbit. "It’s the only big pointy thing I know round here," said Lapinette. "Worth a look," replied the Wabbit shaking his head. "Lapinette, that pyramid could be anywhere." "Perhaps it’s still in space," suggested Lapinette. The Wabbit nodded. "We could take Quantum and sweep the Quadrant." "Why don’t we?" said Lapinette, "it could be fun." "It’s just that I think it’s near here," said the Wabbit. Lapinette waited for an explanation. "The Alien and the asteroid were here," stated the Wabbit. "Check," said Lapinette. "And the pyramid was on the asteroid." "Check," said Lapinette. "But when the Alien left, I didn’t see the pyramid." Lapinette thought back. "You’re right. It looks like he left the pyramid here." "Where would you put a pyramid?" mused the Wabbit. "Anywhere," said Lapinette. "People don’t see things that are right in front of them." "But why would he leave it here?" Lapinette thought for a moment. "Because he’s coming back for it?" she breathed. "Or his employers." The Wabbit's face wrinkled. "We have to find it before them," said Lapinette. "And get it to Unut the Rabbit Goddess, she knows all about pyramids," said the Wabbit. "So do I," said Lapinette. The Wabbit turned. "There are quantum theories about pyramids," said Lapinette brightly. The Wabbit looked sceptical but Lapinette grinned. "We just have to find it, then turn it on." "With a switch?" asked the Wabbit.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

7. The Wabbit & Unut's Instruction

The Wabbit drove straight to Pluto Park to think. "What did I forget?" he thought. He slouched with his paws in his fur, considering the matter, when something made him jump. "Nice suit, Commander. Very racy." The Wabbit looked up to see the imposing figure of Unut, Rabbit Goddess - and knew to cancel everything in his diary. "You’re out and about, Your Goddessship," said the Wabbit tentatively. "Please try to call me Unut." said Unut and paused. "We ancients were watching your last adventure." "Oh yes?" said the Wabbit. "And it appears that you came across something we want." "Oh yes?" said the Wabbit. "And it also appears that you left it behind," "Ah yes!" said the Wabbit positively. The Wabbit knew he should know, and he racked his brains and fought for time. "It's big and pointy," he said. "Yes," said Unut, "unlike your egg timer over there." Unut gestured to the cooling tower and the Wabbit shook his head sadly. "The Alien’s structure is a pyramid ship and we would like it," said Unut. "You’d like it back?" said the Wabbit. "Did I say that?" snorted Unut. "It’s not ours, we’d just like it. It’s a portable place of power." "Of course, Unut," said the Wabbit, brightening. "Consider it done!" "There’s one more thing" said Unut. The Wabbit tried to look chirpy. "Tell your young consort she can come out now." Lapinette quickly ducked behind the jeep. "Too late!" sighed the Wabbit. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

6. The Wabbits and the Forgotten Thing

The friends assembled in the Film Museum at the invitation of Skratch the Cat. "How did you get these drinks?" asked Skratch. "This is a film set, not a caffè." "Oh is it not?" smiled the Wabbit, "because we just sat down and someone served us." "I’ll  join you then," purred Skratch. He ordered a Moo Joose and posed. "I can’t wait to ask you all what sort of adventure you thought that was!" "One of those adventures that never quite finishes," murmured Wabsworth from another table, where he was examining film programmes. "Why are you wearing your Rocket Suit, Wabbit?" asked Skratch. "I always wear it here," said the Wabbit. "Visitors think I’m part of an installation and I overhear lots of things." Wabsworth pricked up his ears. "Like what?" queried Skratch. "I overheard that there’s going to be a remake of the Land that Time Forgot." "I’d forgotten that one," said Skratch. "That’s it!" yelled Wabsworth. "What’s it?" asked Lapinette. "The last adventure," mused Wabsworth. "I’ve had this feeling we forgot something." "Why didn’t you say?" asked the Wabbit. "I quite forgot," said Wabsworth. "Start remembering," advised the Wabbit. Wabsworth stared steadily at a film programme. "It's something big," said Wabsworth. The Wabbit sighed. "... and pointy," added Wabsworth. "That narrows it down," said the Wabbit. 

Friday, February 08, 2013

5. The Wabbit and the Alien's Journey

In the viewing theatre, the friends watched the progress of the Alien Pilot by remote. "There he goes," said Lapinette. "How did you manage to track him?" "I left a drone in space," said the Wabbit. "I suppose you kept it in your fur," smiled Lapinette. "Of course not," said the Wabbit, "it would be too prickly." They could just make out the Alien Pilot in his pod and Skratch thrashed his tail. "I got to quite like him," he said. "I hope he doesn’t crash." "I’m sure the Pilot will find his way to the Planet OGLE," said the Wabbit. "But what about the space currency?" asked Lapinette. "Will he be able to use it?" Pio Pulcinella the Puppet shook his head. "I’m uncertain. It was a prototype space currency. No-one really knows." They all looked at each other. "He might be really rich then," purred Skratch. "It’s all about confidence," said Pio. "So we’ll let the intergalactic banks worry." "Wabbit, what did you do with the 79 trillion euro you borrowed from the Department?" asked Lapinette. "I put it on overnight deposit," said the Wabbit. "Wabbit!" yelled Lapinette. "Oh, it’s back in the vaults," said the Wabbit, "Exactly as it was?" "More or less," said the Wabbit. "Own up!" shouted Lapinette. "I slipped some monopoly money in with it." Lapinette was too far away to kick the Wabbit’s shins. "Why would you do that?" she sighed. "To see what happens!" grinned the Wabbit.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

4. The Wabbit's Currency Deal

The Alien Pilot made his way to Pluto Park where Pio Pulcinella waited to convert the Wabbit’s 79 trillion euro, quietly borrowed from the treasury vaults at the Department. As usual, Pluto Park was deserted. No-one there ever looked up, so the asteroid went unnoticed. "You look strange," said the Pilot to the waiting figure. "Which planet are you from?" "Napoli," said Pio. "Is it distant?" asked the Pilot. "Light years," said Pio. "Let’s see the colour of your currency," said the Pilot. Pio flipped the units and they span into the Pilot's waiting hand. "These are Squids," said Pio. "The Semi-Quasi Universal Intergalactic Denomination is fully transferable in participating planets from Andromeda to the Sombrero Galaxy." "Not here?" said the Pilot. "No," said Pio, "This is an unbearably provincial planet, not for the likes of us." "Then I must be off," said the Pilot. Pio waved farewell then paused. "Please drop off the asteroid at Planet OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb." Pio smiled. "Here’s another 50 Squid for your trouble." The Pilot stuffed his pockets with Squids and turned to go – but he suddenly turned back. "Perhaps I’ll visit your planet some day." He proffered a hand and Pio clasped it firmly. "The Planet Napoli will welcome you with a warm embrace," said Pio. "Does your planet have  a motto? asked the Pilot. "See Napoli and Die," said Pio, "so I wouldn't delay." "I hate delay," said the Pilot hurrying off. 

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

3. The Wabbit and the Video Link

Skratch the Cat showed the Alien Pilot into a rather sordid-looking viewing theatre in the Via Nizza, locking the door behind him. "Take a seat, the Wabbit will be with you soon." The screen lit up and loudspeakers hissed. "This is a two-way link, Mr Pilot," said the Wabbit in an echoing voice. "You may speak now." The Pilot stared at the screen. "Where’s my money?" he shouted. For a moment the screen flickered. "You made a deal," yelled the Pilot. "I did point you in my direction," lied the Wabbit, "but where is the valuable asteroid real estate?" "Hidden," said the Pilot. "That won't do," said the Wabbit, "because location is everything." "I want cash," said the Pilot. "Life is short and so is money," laughed Skratch. The Pilot looked at him threateningly. "My asteroid is composed of valuable material and I want compensation." "It must be mined," said the Wabbit. "You need a licence," said Skratch" "I want 79 trillion," said the Pilot. "Did I say net or gross?" asked the Wabbit. "You always say gross, Wabbit," advised Skratch helpfully. "Then take it or leave it!" shouted the Wabbit. "Aaaaagh!" scowled the Pilot and he struck a fist on his seat. The Wabbit smiled sickeningly from the screen. "Listen carefully, Pilot. I will pay, but you have to take it to a designated place for conversion - unless you want euro." "I’d rather die," said the Pilot. "I have a licence for that," said the Wabbit.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

2. Skratch and the Alien Outfitter

Skratch found the Alien Pilot in a remote spot, because that was the sort of thing he did well – no one knew exactly how. "Do you like your new suit?" asked Skratch, "it’s the best I could find and worth a king’s ransom!" "I hate kings," said the Pilot. "Well, a president then," said Skratch, "it’s all the same in business." "Now look, cat!" said the Pilot, "I want my money and I want it soon." "Well the Wabbit has it for you, safe and sound," said Skratch, "he knew you’d arrive here." "Then where is he?" groaned the Pilot." "Oh, that’s for me to know and you to consider," purred Skratch, "but he’s quite the wheeler-dealer. He knows a good wheel and the right person to appreciate just how round the wheel is." "What do you get out of this?" asked the Pilot suspiciously. "A small fee, nothing much," purred Skratch. "I do it for love really, a kind of hobby." The Pilot snorted. "I hate hobbies!" "Everyone should have a hobby," said Skratch, "you need to get outside yourself, let out your corsets." The Pilot snarled. "I hate ...”  he shouted. " ... corsets!" finished Skratch. "Let’s be on our way. The Wabbit is waiting." "I wouldn’t like to keep that Wabbit waiting," sneered the Pilot. "He can be tetchy," said Skratch, "so we won’t be late." "We don’t have an actual appointment," sighed the Pilot. "Yes, I’m afraid we do," said Skratch. "I hate appointments," said the Pilot.

Monday, February 04, 2013

1. The Wabbit and the Alien News

The Wabbit gazed enthralled at a map he'd borrowed from Susan the Biplane’s cockpit, but not for long. "Commander, you need a different map," said Wabsworth in excitement. "I already know Turin, Wabsworth," murmured the Wabbit. "I need no map." "You don’t know what’s happening!" said Wabsworth, raising his voice. "There’s an alien!" "Any particular alien?" enquired the Wabbit. Wabsworth was aghast. "Four eyes, eight ears, space suit, scowly look!" Lapinette turned to the Wabbit. "You did say the Alien Pilot might pop up anywhere," she said and kicked him under the table. "Here isn’t anywhere!" yelled Skratch. "Here’s here!" The Wabbit thought very long and very hard. And then he spoke. "Good grief," said the Wabbit. "Of all the towns in all the universe, he had to appear in mine!" "We have to find him and quickly," said Lapinette. "Well, he’s looking for us," said the Wabbit, "or more precisely, his money." Lapinette shook a paw. "How much did you tell him the asteroid was worth?" "79 trillion euro," said the Wabbit. "And the rest!" groaned Skratch. "The Wabbit suddenly grinned. "We could pay him the 79 trillion." Lapinette stared. "Kind of," smirked the Wabbit. Lapinette’s eyes shot in the air. "Then we could send him to our special contact who will convert the currency." The Wabbit shook with mirth. "He already fell for that one," said Skratch. "I’m getting to that," laughed the Wabbit. "You’re sinister," said Lapinette. 

Friday, February 01, 2013

10. Wabsworth and Something Curious

Wabsworth, the Wabbit’s android double, was merely hopping through the porticos to pass the time of day when he heard two things. One was the drone of Susan the Biplane bringing the Wabbit home from space. The other was a strange conversation in which the Wabbit was mentioned. Wabsworth shuffled behind a pillar and listened carefully. "I seek a John Kepler," said the Alien Pliot. "Commander Wabbit says he is interested in buying my asteroid." "You’re not a local," said Copernicus, "so just how did you get here?" "One second I was in slipstream drive," said the Pilot, "and the next I was sitting here with you." There was an awkward silence. "I want my money," said the Pilot. "Well you won't get it from Kepler," said Copernicus, "he’s always completely broke." "That Wabbit!" shouted the Pilot. "I never trust them myself," said Copernicus. "Can I interest you in a drink?" "My only interest is is financial," said the Pilot. "I can’t help you there," said Copernicus, "but might I enquire exactly what is an asteroid?" "Usually, it’s a body that orbits elliptically around a planet." "Heavens," said Copernicus and lifted his drink. "I know all about that, so here’s to revolutions!" He drained his drink and called for another. "That Wabbit is here," muttered the Pilot, "I can feel it in my conduits." Copernicus shook his head, then pointed. "I’m unfamiliar with Turin, but look! Isn’t that a wabbit over there?" But Wabsworth had gone.