Wednesday, July 31, 2013

2. The Wabbit and the Quiet Highway

"Where did we have to turn?" said the Wabbit. "Left at Albuquerque," said Lapinette. "Ha ha," said the Wabbit, "you got the wrong rabbit." "If you weren’t haring along you wouldn’t miss turns," said Lapinette. "I’m used to better," said the Wabbit. Lapinette smiled. "You mean Turbina?" she said, "well you can’t always drive a jet car." "I prefer to," said the Wabbit. "You prefer a car to fly," said Lapinette, "and that's weird." "I like Turbina," said the Wabbit, changing gear. "She has an impossibly high rank," cautioned Lapinette. "Yes," said the Wabbit, "it’s so high that no one knows what it is." "There was silence and all they could hear was a faint hum and the murmuring of Capital Radio. "No-one much about," observed the Wabbit. Lapinette tossed her ears back. "I thought  you liked a quiet drive." "It's spooky," said the Wabbit. "And if it seems wrong, it probably is." "Do you think they were spirited away?" asked Lapinette. The Wabbit considered. "Now you’re talking," he answered. "It’s very spooky indeed." Lapinette dug the Wabbit in the ribs. "Do you have the toll money?" "It’s in my fur," said the Wabbit. "I’ll never find it in time," groaned Lapinette. "Maybe there won’t be anybody at the toll," said the Wabbit. And there wasn’t.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

1. The Wabbits Hop the Silent Sands

Far, far away from secret keys and flying saucers and interrogations, Lovely Lapinette and the Wabbit hopped along the empty sands. "Not many around," commented Lapinette. "Swept out to sea?" suggested the Wabbit. "Wabbit!" sighed Lapinette. "Must you always lark around and make bad jokes." "I never  lark" said the Wabbit, "and jokes belong to the beholder." "You can't behold a joke," giggled Lapinette. "I'm not so sure," said the Wabbit and he wriggled his ears in a manner only he could manage. They strolled for a bit and then Lapinette remembered something. "What did you do with the Ice Mice?" "Probation," said the Wabbit. "That's lenient," said Lapinette. "They're now training to be probation officers," said the Wabbit. "You're a very harsh rabbit," sighed Lapinette. "It's called poetic justice," said the Wabbit. They hopped a little further down the beach. "I did hear from the Department about a new mission," whispered Lapinette. The Wabbit's eyes brightened. "But it's very hush-hush," she added. "Better not tell me then," laughed the Wabbit.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Wabbit interrogates the Prisoners

The Wabbit didn't really enjoy interrogations, even when he was the one doing them. So he made an arrangement with Marshall Duetta Spyder, who knew the terrain. The Wabbit would be tough and Duetta the more reasonable. The Wabbit stared at the Ice Mice, curled his lip into a sneer. and made his big blue glasses pop forward. "I want names! I want places!" He paused for effect. "And I want other things I haven't even thought of!" "We are Ice Mice one, two and three," said the leader of the Ice Mice. "And we're not obliged to tell you anything." "I'll oblige you to speak when you're spoken to," yelled the Wabbit. "Ah, Commander. You did speak to them," said Duetta. "Did I ask them to answer?" said the Wabbit. "You implied they should answer," said Duetta. The Wabbit turned away then wheeled around. "You don't have to tell me anything. I know everything there is to know." "Then why are we here?" asked the leader. Duetta waved her front legs. "Why don't you tell him why you think you're here," she said silkily. "We only wanted the key," said an Ice Mouse. "To control the weather," said the Wabbit. "Is that a crime?" said an Ice Mouse. "Everyone else does it," said another. The Wabbit sighed a very long sigh. "Your mothers shouldn't have let you out!" he snapped.

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Wabbit at the Jump Cut Caffè

"Was that a Jump Cut I just felt?" asked Skratch the Cat. "You should know," said the Wabbit. "You're the Jump Cat." Skratch thought for a minute, but Lapinette broke the silence. "It certainly was. We all jumped." They nodded in agreement. "It wasn't a zoom or a cut-in," said the Wabbit. "It was from the same point of view, but we all changed round." "It was far from seamless," said Skratch. "Quite abrupt," said Lapinette. "A device to draw attention to the unreality of  life as we know it," commented the Wabbit. "By disrupting the narrative flow," said Skratch. They all took a very deep breath and now it was the Wabbit's turn to think. "I'm thirsty," said the Wabbit, "so where are our drinks?" "Service is a little slow," said Skratch. "And film criticism is so dehydrating," said Lapinette. The Wabbit leaned back and stretched. "While we're waiting we can think about our next adventure." "Anything on the wire?" asked Skratch. "It's the summer," shrugged Lapinette. "But we need an adventure," sighed the Wabbit. "No funds at the Department," said Lapinette, "it's the cuts." "The Wabbit's eyes flashed. "We'll cut them off at the pass!"

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Wabbit and that Adventure Caffè

The Wabbit heard their truck pull up and then the sound of pawsteps. He looked at Lapinette and winked and Lapinette winked too. Skratch the Cat saw Lapinette wink and thought the wink was for him - so he winked back. "What an adventure that was," he purred. "I'm thinking of writing an article about it myself." "Surely not for Jump Cut Review" said the Wabbit. "Oh," said Skratch, with a disappointed tone. "How did you know?" "I'm intuitive," said the Wabbit. "Also it's on your t-shirt." "In all the excitement I'd quite forgotten," sighed Skratch. Lapinette waved a paw for attention. "I thought that adventure would make a film series, with each film sharing a common diegetic world," she said. Lapinette had benefited from a classical education and had read up especially for such a conversation. "Diegetic - is that a stomach complaint?" said the Wabbit. "You know it's not!" said Skratch. "It refers to narrative devices that create a consistent emotional world for the characters in the story." "Like jump cuts?" asked the Wabbit slyly. Lapinette tapped the table once with her paw. "In that story, there was only one jump cut," she said. The Wabbit and Skratch looked horrified. "Where?" they yelled.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

28. The Wabbits pose for the Press

Safely home, the Wabbit and his team assembled to accommodate a photo-journalist from La Stampa newspaper. "Are you sure I'm in this shot?" said the Wabbit, "I'm rather on the edge." "That's a wide angle lens," said Skratch, "so be assured that everyone is in the shot." "Wide angle?" said Lapinette. "I hope that's OK for my face." "Am I cut out of this photo?" growled Puma, "I can pounce lower down if you like." "What about my ears?" said the Keeper of the Keys. "They fold you know." "We're all in the shot! You can take my word for it," said Skratch. "I just want to make sure that we'll be on the front page and not the Saturday supplement." "Shall I deal with that?" said Puma and he let out of his loudest and most terrifying screams. "Looks like we get the front page then," smiled the Wabbit, "and I want the top of the page." "Top centre" added Lapinette. "I favour headlines in Times New Roman," said Puma. "In bold," said Skratch, "and the text should be aligned flush left with a ragged right hand." "But what about the story?" asked the Wabbit, "will you get the facts right?" "This is Turin, Sir," said the journalist. "When the legend becomes fact, we print the legend."

Monday, July 22, 2013

27. The Wabbit and the Last Word

Safely in the Wabbit’s hot air balloon, the gang made their getaway with the giant key at their side. The Wabbit’s walkie talkie crackled. "Red Spiders, Commander," said Duetta’s silky voice. "We have the prisoners." "Take them to the interrogation ramp," said the Wabbit, "and don’t drop them." Even through the radio, the Wabbit could hear the rustling of spidery legs as Duetta and her cohorts flew quickly across the city. "What about the saucer, Commander?" asked Duetta. "Give it another 5 kilometres," said the Wabbit, "then there might be turbulence." The Wabbit pressed a yellow switch and gave the radio to Lapinette. "Do you want to say the word?" Lapinette looked questioningly. "It’s voice activated," said the Wabbit. "What should I say?" asked Lapinette. "What would I say?" smiled the Wabbit and he winked at Skratch. Lapinette shrugged somewhat like the Wabbit and spoke softly into the radio. "Kaboom?" For a second there was nothing. Then they heard a creak, followed by a small bang. "Is that it?" asked Skratch. The Wabbit held up a paw. A deafening explosion ripped the craft apart and hurled bits of spaceship as far as the Alps. "That's it," said the Wabbit.

Friday, July 19, 2013

26. The Wabbit & A Sudden Appearance

The Wabbit steadied Lapinette as she fired a stream of bullets at the keyhole. The inside of the lock disintegrated and for a second there was the daylight that the Wabbit had requested. Then something totally unexpected happened. Puma emerged through the keyhole, raised a paw and gave a roar that startled the Ice Mice and everyone else. The Ice Mice tumbled from the key and they squealed hideously as they fell. The Wabbit nudged Lapinette. "You don't see that often," he sad quietly. Skratch was ecstatic, because he and Puma had been friends for a long time. "How did you get so big, Puma?" he shouted. Puma let forth a sound between a growl and a scream - in a way that only mountain creatures could. "This is a hologram!" he roared. "I am inside our army truck in the Corso Svizzera." The Wabbit shook his head, but he knew that Puma must have got help and he mentally gave thanks. "Let's get that key in the air," he shouted. "And where is Marshall Duetta?" "I'm here, just outside," said a silky spider voice. "Let the key though the keyhole," commanded the Wabbit. "Then stay well clear of this superannuated saucer." Duetta's silence said everything. "It's due for retirement," explained the Wabbit.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

25. The Wabbit and the Right Keyhole

The Ice Mice didn't notice anyone or anything. They were much too intent on their task. And Lapinette had been right. The leader appeared to control the key through the other mice and gradually it made its way high into the roof of the Ice Mice craft. "I’ve seen something like this in Flash Gordon," said Skratch. The Wabbit kept his eye on the progress of the key. "What did he usually do?" he murmured. "On most occasions," said Skratch, "Flash Gordon’s accomplice Dr Zarkov would invent a new ray gun." The Wabbit paused to acknowledge a light flashing somewhere in the deeper recesses of his brain - and he looked across at Lapinette. "How are you for interesting ammunition?" he breathed. "I have some plastic-cased-telescoped bullets," said Lapinette, "they’re both undetectable and extremely light." The Wabbit smiled a sinister smile. "You’ve got lots then?" "Oodles," said Lapinette. She ruffled her dress and several rounds fell quietly to the floor. "OK. When I say fire," said the Wabbit, "give it everything you’ve got." "At the Ice Mice or the key?" said Lapinette. "The key hole," said the Wabbit. "I want to see daylight."

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

24. The Wabbit and the Ice Mice Heist

The gang made their way quietly to the loading bay by following sounds that were between a squeak and a crackle. Then together they peered from the doorway. Beside the Giant Key, an Ice Mice leader delivered instructions and the others prepared to guide it. The Wabbit drew close to Lovely Lapinette and whispered quietly. "When they touch the key they should fall under its control." "The leader isn't going to touch it," murmured Lapinette. "He's going to control the Ice Mice to control the key." "Oh, if only life was so complicated," smiled Skratch. Suddenly the Ice Mouse leader barked an instruction. "Put on the paw gloves," he shouted, "and move the key to the doorway." The Wabbit looked at Skratch and Skratch shrugged. "We're in the doorway," he said. "Then we should get out of the doorway," said the Wabbit. Lapinette indicated a small recess and one by one their heads disappeared. Now they were hunkered down in the darkness and all they could see was Skratch's eyes. "Can you stop your eyes glowing, Skratch?" asked Lapinette. "I'm afraid I have cat eyes," said Skratch. "They should come with a dimmer," quipped the Wabbit.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

23. The Wabbit and the Tell-Tale Screen

The team dashed through the craft at breakneck speed. "We have to find the key!" shouted Lapinette. "And the right keyhole," yelled the Wabbit. "There it is!" growled Skratch and he shook his fist at a giant screen. The Wabbit stopped abruptly. "Of course! This is the monitoring station." Lapinette dug into her fur and rummaged. Her paw emerged with a clip of bullets that looked like lipstick and she loaded her automatic and fired at the screen. A line of purple streaked between the Wabbit's ears and made a hole in an Ice Mouse on the screen. "Ouch! What was that for?" asked the Wabbit. "Fun," said Lapinette. "It nearly sullied my fur," said the Wabbit. "They're only tracers." laughed Lapinette. "But now the Ice Mice will know where we are," said the Wabbit. "Exactly," said Lapinette. "They'll feel secure and we'll let them lead us to the keyhole." "Then what happens?" asked Skratch. "To get the key in the keyhole, they'll have to touch the key won't they?" said Lapinette. "Ah yes," said the Wabbit. "That will be the moment." "The moment for what?" asked Skratch. "That's anybody's guess," smiled the Wabbit.

Monday, July 15, 2013

22. Lovely Lapinette turns the Tables

The Wabbit was about to make another smart remark when there was a sudden crack. Without warning, Lapinette had hopped to the side and fired an automatic at the weather cloud simulation. The Wabbit and Skratch the Cat lifted their paws to shield their eyes from the glare, as yellow bolts of lightning shot from the cloud and pierced the Ice Mice. They all heard cracks as the mice froze solid and stood stock-still like statues. "How on earth did you know?" asked Skratch. "Lucky guess," said Lapinette and she stuck the automatic back in her fur. Skratch turned to the Wabbit. "What about the plan?" "I never had an actual plan," said the Wabbit. "I was making it up as I went along." "Didn't you say that was a plan too," sighed Lapinette. "Yes indeed," said the Wabbit, "and now the plan has changed." His ears suddenly pricked up. "I thought I heard a crickle-crackle crickly-crackly sound." They all turned to look at the Ice Mice. "Lapinette," asked the Wabbit softly, "how long will they be like that?" Another crickle-crackle crickle crackled and six mice ears moved imperceptibly. "There's no manual for this," said Lapinette. "Run!" shouted the Wabbit.

Friday, July 12, 2013

21. No one expects the Wabbit

At the end of the long corridor the gang startled the Ice Mice. Bent over a chart that floated in the air without support, they appeared to be simulating a weather attack on the district of Lingotto. The Wabbit clapped his paws together three times and they looked up in absolute surprise. "No one expects the Wabbit," he chanted in an annoying sing-song voice. "You bring no weapons?" sneered the leader. The Wabbit grinned. "Our chief two weapons are surprise, surprise and surprise." "That’s three!" said the Ice Mice together. "Then you see what I mean!" chirped the Wabbit. Skratch purred in a most sinister manner and shook a paw at the Ice Mice. "Your ship is surrounded," he said. "Put away your map, you won’t need it." The Ice Mice laughed. "We don‘t care," said the leader. "Our weather needs the key - so now you can give it to us." The Wabbit turned to Skratch. "What's this about a key? Did you bring a key?" "I never carry a key, I can get in anywhere," growled Skratch and he nudged Lapinette in turn. "Do you have a key?" "I always have a spare key hidden away," said Lapinette and she felt behind her, "because preparation is the key to success."

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

20. The Wabbit plans the Way

The Wabbit led the way down the walkway in a resolute fashion. Through the portholes, he could see Marshall Duetta and the Red Spiders gather as instructed. More and more came until they covered the ship and the light was entirely blocked. "Anyone got a torch?" said the Wabbit. "You do!" said Skratch and Lapinette together. The Wabbit smiled and rummaged in his fur. He fished out a serviceable torch from an old adventure and switched it on. It lit the walkway but the walkway comprised a long corridor that seemed to stretch for ever. The Wabbit continued to insist it was the only way. "They won't be expecting us so we have the advantage of surprise," he said and he hopped quickly forward, whistling a tune. "What's the surprise plan?" asked Lapinette. "The surprise plan is that we have no plan." Skratch grunted but the Wabbit waved his torch around and made shadows. "Having no plan is, in itself, a surprise plan." "You mean there's always a plan, even if there's no plan," asked Lapinette. "That's the first rule of planning," said the Wabbit. "What's the second rule?" asked Skratch. "That the plan will change," grinned the Wabbit.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

19.The Wabbit & the Saucer Download

The key sailed through the bay doors of the flying saucer with Skratch and Lapinette attached. Then it gradually ceased vibrating. When their teeth stopped chattering, Lapinette and Skratch looked around. "Where's the Wabbit?" asked Skratch. There was a whoosh as a door slid open. "Behind you," said the Wabbit in a voice that startled Skratch and Lapinette.. "How did you get here first?" asked Skratch. "I've been here before," grinned the Wabbit. Skratch nodded and decided to leave the matter there, but the Wabbit noticed his puzzled expression. "I downloaded a plan of the craft in case it came in handy." "And you kept it in your fur?" guessed Skratch. "I keep my fur strictly analogue," chirped the Wabbit, "for security reasons." "Where are the Ice Mice?" asked Lapinette. "Shall we'll go down here and find out?" said the Wabbit, indicating the only route. Skratch held up a paw. "Just a moment," he said. "Remind me about what these Ice Mice do." "They menace around and change the weather," said the Wabbit. "But why would they do that?" asked Skratch. "Devilment?" suggested the Wabbit.

Monday, July 08, 2013

18. The Wabbit & Close Engagement.

As the Wabbit flew closer to the bay door of the flying saucer, he saw a giant key leave the ground and he smiled. Everything was going according to plan. He breathed into his walkie talkie. "Red Spiders, Red Spiders, do you copy?" "Ready when you are," said Marshall Duetta Spyder. The Spiders banked and wheeled around the port flank of the saucer, but the Ice Mice inside either didn't see or chose to disregard them. Skratch and Lapinette clung grimly to the flying key and the wind tore at their fur. Skratch waved and called a question across to the Wabbit, but his words were lost in the gale. The Wabbit saw the wave and watched Skratch's lips move - but he had no need to lip read. He knew exactly what Skratch was saying anyway. "I've no idea what we'll do, Skratch," he called back, "we have to think on our paws." The Wabbit waved a paw up and down to make his point and Skratch nudged Lapinette. "The Wabbit has no idea what we'll do." Lapinette shrugged. "He'll concentrate on getting through on time. Then he'll execute a plan that will astonish them." Skratch gripped the key tightly. "It usually astonishes me too."

Friday, July 05, 2013

17. Lapinette and Flying Preparations

In a secret warehouse, Lapinette and the gang unloaded the big key from the truck. The key hovered slightly - which made moving it somewhat problematic. "Left paw down a bit, right paw down a bit, a bit to the left - no to the right," said Lapinette. "I think I know how to unload a key from a truck," said Skratch. "The key is really quite robust," said the Keeper of the Keys. "The Wabbit was quite specific," retorted Lapinette. "When we get the key safely out, Skratch and l have to stand on either side and touch it at the same moment." Skratch thought for rather a long time. "Do you mean to tell me I have to fly with this key?" "That’s the general notion," said Lapinette. Skratch thought again. "Surely not fly to the flying saucer?" Lapinette nodded gravely. Skratch flicked lint off his coat, just like he’d seen the Wabbit do on many occasions. "Who flies these crates any more anyway?" he laughed. "The Wabbit, probably," said Puma. "Well, talking about the Wabbit," said Skratch, "where is he?" "He’s co-ordinating," said Lapinette, "so he’ll find his own way." "What’s his crate of choice?" asked Skratch. "A hot air balloon," replied Lapinette. "He's trying to get a rise out of me," said Skratch.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

16. The Wabbit and Coordinated Strategy

High above and far from Lapinette's truck, the Wabbit looked on as the Ice Mice used their beam to draw up every key in the city. He lifted his walkie talkie and spoke softly. "Come in Red Spiders." There was a pause and a crackle, then a voice spoke. "Do you wish us to move in?" said Marshall Duetta Spyder. It was quite the silkiest of voices and the Wabbit knew that Duetta was impatient. "Wait!" breathed the Wabbit. They waited and waited as more keys made their way to the saucer. The radio whined. "They'll take all the keys!" said Duetta. "But not our key," said the Wabbit and he kept on waiting. Suddenly a horn blasted with a Doppler shift that rustled all the hairs on all the legs of the Red Spider Battalion. Even though she was some distance away, Duetta caught a glint of light from the Wabbit's 28 teeth. "Now?" she asked. " No." answered the Wabbit. "When all the keys are inside, another key will appear." "Our key?" asked Duetta. The Wabbit grinned. "When the big key gets through the bay door, your battalion will cover the craft from stem to stern." "Nothing in or out!" said Duetta. "Seal it like cling film," said the Wabbit.
[cling film: plastic or food wrap (US)]

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

15. Lapinette and the Way to Drive

The gang raced across the city in an old army truck, with Lapinette at the wheel. Skratch was wondering where Lapinette had learned navigation and decided it was something to do with the Wabbit. In that he was quite mistaken, because Lapinette had trained with the Goito Mechanised Brigade and sported several badges of Merit. While Skratch looked around fruitlessly for a safety belt, Lapinette hummed a tune and crashed gears, wearing a set expression that Skratch found alarming. "What’s that tune?" said Skratch, cheerfully. "Red Barchetta*," growled Puma. Skratch made a vibrating sound reserved entirely for cats and quickly changed the subject. "What exactly are we doing?" Skratch braced himself between the floor and the roof. Lapinette gunned the throttle, gritted her teeth and swerved. "Taking the big key to a place of safety." "Where?" asked Puma. "Don’t know," said Lapinette and she span the streeing wheel. "What about the Wabbit?" asked Skratch. Lapinette suddenly struck her paw on the horn and kept it there. The blast shook the windows, then wailed across the rooftops. "What was that for?" asked Skratch." "Signal." said Lapinette.

[*Red Barchetta is a song by Rush, celebrating the two seater sports car, the Barchetta (Little boat)]

Monday, July 01, 2013

14. The Wabbit and the Budget Cuts

"Wabbit to Wabbit Command!" snapped the Wabbit, "and use the quantum key." "Reading you, Commander," said a weak voice. "Ledgerwood!" said the Wabbit. "What are you doing in Communications?" " Budget cuts, Sir," said Ledgerwood meekly. The radio hissed and whined and crackled. The Wabbit was furious and hissed like the radio. "Well I asked for back up, not a screw up." "Budget cuts, Sir," sighed Ledgerwood. "Please convey my astonishment from the field," shouted the Wabbit, "we’re not at a Gala Dinner!" The Wabbit smashed the radio with his paw and switched to another frequency. "Calling Marshall Duetta, Red Spider Battalion.This is a Code 3 alert." The Wabbit heard the silky voice of Duetta. "Commander, initiating Code 3 protocols. What‘s afoot?" "Are you ready to Rock 'n Roll?" said the Wabbit. "Always Commander," said Duetta, "how many of us would you like?" "All of you," said the Wabbit. "Prisoners?" asked Duetta. "Confine them to their vessel." "What vessel?" asked Duetta. The Wabbit grunted. "Look back, nearly on your six o’clock." "A lengthy pause ensued. Through the window the Wabbit could just make out the green craft of the Ice Mice hovering threateningly.  The radio burst into life. "It’s a rather fetching colour," said Duetta. "Paint it red!" yelled the Wabbit.