Wednesday, September 30, 2015

5. The Wabbit in the Lair of the Paws

"Whoah!" yelled the Wabbit as he grabbed what he could. "Yikes!" shouted Lapinette. Lapinette had trained at the Marinsky Ballet and had no trouble with a foothold. But she'd also seen the dank shape of evil paws and didn't like the cut of their jib one bit.  Magic Red Rabbit balanced precariously on a strut and peered down.  A row of eyes peered back. "There they are," he cried. "There are all the red rabbits." The hall of struts darkened and a voice boomed out. "Now you're trapped with the rest. You'll be here until the end of time." The Wabbit shook his head and looked up. "This isn't Amtrak! Get us off the rails and release our friends." Suddenly the framework sagged and the Wabbit looked down. A pit of spikes pointed back so he held on tight. Lapinette whispered. "Do you have a plan?" "I have a Plan B," said the Wabbit, "so what time is it?" The voice boomed from the heights of the framework. "It's later than you think, rancid rabbits."  "That's good," whispered the Wabbit to Lapinette, "help is already on its way." "What shall we do in the meantime?" asked Lapinette. "Insult them back," suggested the Wabbit. Lapinette thought for a moment then glanced up. "Your paws need pruning." Magic red rabbit joined in the fray. "Sore hocks, sore hocks!" "You've all got the monkey pox," yelled the Wabbit. It was as if an earthquake struck. The building shook and the framework with it. "We'll make you wish you'd never been born!" boomed the voice. "That's nothing new," yelled the Wabbit. And he checked the time ...
[sore hocks: ulcerative pododermatitis is a condition in rabbits usually affecting feet.]

Monday, September 28, 2015

4. The Wabbit in the Hall of Darkness

In the blast wave that came with the howl, the Wabbit did something special. He murmured something no-one could hear and his blue glasses lit with an incandescent glow. A scene emerged that was far different from the space they'd occupied. "The Hall of Darkness!" gasped the red rabbit. "I couldn't be bothered to knock," shrugged the Wabbit. The magic red rabbit stared at the door at the end of the Hall and gasped. "This is the stuff of fable." Lapinette smiled. "The Wabbit's fable manners are far from perfect." Together they hopped forward but the closer they got, the louder the howling became. It was a combination of malice and menace that chilled the air to ice. "Air conditioning?" quipped the Wabbit. A voice boomed through the pillars. "We can smell you, rabbits. Come no further." The Wabbit's glasses glowed intensely and warmed the chill. "Release the red rabbits and their songs," he yelled. Stone and plaster fell from the roof and crashed to the floor. "Puny creatures," boomed the voice. "Give us the red rabbit and we'll let you go." The Wabbit's 28 teeth gleamed like swords. "Open the door or we'll open it ourselves." "How will you do that?" sneered the voice. The Wabbit delved into his fur, grasped an object and shouted with all his might. "This will take the door from it's hinges and you with it." In the silence that followed, a series of clicks sounded like thunder. The door swung open. "Explosives?" asked Lapinette. "Swiss army knife," said the Wabbit.

Friday, September 25, 2015

3. The Wabbit in the Paws of Darkness.

With the Magic Red Rabbit in tow, they set out in pursuit of the Paws of Darkness. Shadows loomed from everywhere but the Wabbit stared remorselessly forward as they hopped. "They appear without warning like footpads in the night," said the red rabbit. "When they strike, there is no more light." "We'll see them first," growled the Wabbit. "No-one ever has," sighed the red rabbit. "I know how," said the Wabbit. The red rabbit glanced at Lapinette and she spoke in a reassuring voice. "You need to trust the Wabbit." The red rabbit glanced back to the Wabbit and the Wabbit spoke cheerfully. "We need to sing." Lapinette nodded. "Do you know any songs?" The red rabbit shook his head. "The Paws of Darkness took all our songs and hid them in a cave." "We'll make one up," said the Wabbit. "I'll start." The Wabbit began to sing in a sonorous tone that bounced from the alley walls. "Wha' saw the Paws of Darkness? Wha' saw them run away?"  Lapinette joined in. "Wha' saw the Paws of Darkness? Hunt them down and make 'em pay!" "I like that," said the Magic Red Rabbit. "Your turn," said the Wabbit. The red rabbit sang in a squeaky voice. "We'll pursue the Paws of Darkness, pursue them 'til their tired and grey. We will smite the Paws of Darkness. We'll defeat them come what may." "That's the spirit," said the Wabbit. But it was then that they heard it. A banshee howl that came from nowhere and split the night in two. "Good grief!" muttered the Wabbit.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

2. The Wabbit - Source of the Squeak

The squeak was hard to follow but gradually the darkness of the outskirts gave way to a plaza. Yet as light unfolded so did the deafening sound of splashing water. "It’s only a stone fish," said Lapinette. The fountain was extremely loud. “A bone dish,” muttered the Wabbit, “no problem then.” He hopped closer to the gaping mouth of the big fish and noticed the rider seemed to have a pistol. Then he hopped closer because he'd caught a flash of a fishy tongue. "A fish has no tongue," said Lapinette. "This one has," replied the Wabbit. Lapinette sighed. "Try talking to it." "OK," shrugged the Wabbit and he called into the fish mouth. "I'm just a tourist." He saw a flash of red so he added an explanation. "Just passing through your little town!" The Wabbit waited for a small red creature to emerge and after a while it spoke. "Show me your paws." The Wabbit held up both paws. "Brown paws are good," said the small red rabbit, "black paws are bad." The Wabbit thought if he waited, he might get an explanation. "The Paws of Darkness destroyed us all," said the rabbit. "I am the last of the Magic Red Rabbits - and forever doomed to be pursued." Lapinette turned. "Maybe you could you could use a helping paw?" The Magic Red Rabbit squeaked softly. "How can you possibly help me?" The Wabbit's ears quivered in such a manner that light gusts scattered water to and fro. Lapinette knew he was annoyed so she was unsurprised when the Wabbit's 28 teeth flashed like neon. "We will pursue your pursuer." The Magic Rabbit shivered and squeaked. "Abandon hope ..."

Monday, September 21, 2015

1.The Wabbit and the Moonlit Landing

With all the stealth that its diesel engine could muster, the Lepus crept in to a small bay near Marina di Modica and lay still. A casual moon beamed quietly on two figures as they waded ashore. The Wabbit cursed silently as a chunk of driftwood bit a paw and Lapinette cast an eye along the beach. "Not much here." The Wabbit widened his view but only saw provisional shapes. "They don't advertise." The thrum from the Lepus died. "Jenny's finished with engines," murmured Lapinette. "Eight bells and all's well," said the Wabbit. Lapinette's Snazer whined like a hundred mosquitoes. The Wabbit's Snazer had three main settings - confound, astonish and blow away - but Lapinette had developed another. He recognised the overwhelm setting and nodded. "I'm uncertain what the Paws of Darkness look like." "Gloomy?" suggested Lapinette. The Wabbit pricked up his ears and listened. "I can hear them." Lapinette knew better than to question the Wabbit's logic. She hopped out of the water and her ears swung right then left. "I can hear something else." The Wabbit waited while Lapinette made a judgement. "Something squeaky that way ran." "Did it have a colour? asked the Wabbit. "I couldn't hear its colour," answered Lapinette. High on the mast, the skull and crossbones snapped and crackled in the windless air. A hot chill rippled through the Wabbit's fur and he shouldered his Snazer. "Let's hop to the grid coordinates." Behind, the moon and the Lepus shimmered and disappeared as the night swallowed them both.

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Wabbit at the Adventure Caffè

They met at the Safe Adventure Caffè and despite the fuzzy warmth of the dining room, their mood was sombre. Skratch the Cat knew he was expected to ask the question so he did. "What was that for an epic adventure?" "Dangerous and uncertain," frowned Lapinette. "Like life," observed Wabsworth. The Wabbit had been waiting. "I simply cannot instruct you to be on this next mission. I need volunteers." "I think there's a queue," said Skratch. The Wabbit managed a half smile while Lapinette spoke softly. "Where love is concerned, it's not a matter of volunteering." They listened to plates and cutlery rattling in the kitchens and the Wabbit sniffed. But food aromas failed to mask the scent of menace. "So who's on board this mystery train?" Wabsworth took a list from his fur. "Everyone we have." "I told you so," said Skratch. The Wabbit nodded but it was a question. "Intel?" "Slight," said Wabsworth. "Cloaking technology?" asked the Wabbit. "Purely optical, but in place," replied Wabsworth. "Location?" asked the Wabbit. "Hypothetical," said Wabsworth. The Wabbit sighed. "It'll have to do."  Wabsworth grinned. "We have isotope signatures from the Murmurants." The Wabbit thought long and hard. "We will appear as tourists." Wabsworth searched for a camera. Skratch guffawed and looked aimlessly around. Lapinette fidgeted for a map and drawled, "Kin you point me to the centre of town?"

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

15. The Wabbit : Reflectance of Light

If the Wabbit knew one thing, he knew about light. And intelligence suggested the Murmurants were crazy about pyramid tea bags. So he glided into the interrogation corridor on invisible leaves. The Murmurants tried to take up his colour but the light was average and they felt extreme discomfort. The Wabbit's eyes flashed with sudden brightness. "I don't care about you. Tell me of your technology." Murmurants writhed in the average light. "We can't!" The Wabbit's eyes flashed again and his ears swayed. "Can't or won't?" Grey tone drained from a Murmurant. "It's called furtive fur." Light from the Wabbit fell with an average edge. "How?" he snapped.  A Murmurant sagged. "With a quantum honeycomb lattice." The Wabbit's eyes grew grey until they almost vanished. "Aaagh," cried a Murmurant. "His light has no direction. I can't get a fix." "Details now!" snapped the Wabbit. "The light bends towards us, then we reflect it back," gasped a Murmurant. "Our fur is made of quantum dots. Where the light goes, we go." The Wabbit smiled. "OK.  Now you're free to go." "Go where?" trembled a Murmurant. "The Canteen," shrugged the Wabbit, "for light refreshments." As they turned to go, the Wabbit yelled. "One more thing!" They shivered in the grip of the Wabbit's stare. "Who do you work for?" The Murmurants shuddered. "They call them The Paws of Darkness ..."

Monday, September 07, 2015

14. The Wabbit's Lucky Fireteam

"I need to capture some Murmurants," said the Wabbit. Wabsworth's eyes scoured the rooftops and he waited. "I need them in reasonably good shape," added the Wabbit. Wabsworth was the Wabbit's android double, but much had passed under the bridge since he was made. So his question was more of a statement. "You want their technology?" "Can you tweak it?" asked the Wabbit. Wabsworth pointed his snazer gun at a window. "I can. But I could use some time and luck." Khargoosh took in his half reflection in a the caffè glass. "You can't escape luck," he muttered in Arabic. The Wabbit laughed. "Then time is our only problem." Lapinette stared into the distance. The city was quietly waiting with not a soul around to keep it company. No trams, no buses, no smell of coffee. Lapinette's snazer suddenly whined as it charged. "I saw movement." Khargoosh screwed up his eyes and peered past Lapinette. "I can see shapes. They're moving like they're injured." The whine from Wabsworth's snazer pierced the summer air and he turned. "Perhaps someone gave them a kicking." The Wabbit kept his eyes forward and powered his snazer to maximum. "Then surely ... they require assistance." Lapinette slipped her edged weapon from a back pocket. "Let's take them to a place of safety and look after them." "Lucky rabbits," said Khargoosh.

Friday, September 04, 2015

13. The Wabbit marshals the Troops

The Wabbit knew that Wabbit Con was out of control. Certainly the team could hear sporadic small arms fire in the distance as rival factions warred. "It's time," said the Wabbit, "to put a stop to this." With breathtaking speed, four hundred rabbits loped through the streets. At 150 hops per minute, the sound of the Wabbit's elite guard was deafening. Specialist units broke away and fire teams poured through side streets in pursuit of trouble. "I need intel," said Lapinette. The Wabbit had to shout. "The Murmurants are sponsored by rabbit pure-breed supremacists called BLU." "Never heard of them," shouted Lapinette. The Wabbit shook his head. "Suddenly they had resources. They came looking for us." Wabsworth yelled across. "BLU is using the Murmurants to discredit us. It calls us the Jambalaya." The Wabbit scowled. He slid a magazine into his automatic and yelled. "We need to take them in." Lapinette placed a paw on her favourite edged weapon. "Any ideas?" "Our agent, Major Spitlove, found their weakness," said the Wabbit. "They'll do anything for teabags," "Pyramid teabags," shouted Wabsworth. "They say they're the purest." The Wabbit checked his bandolier. "That's how they set the Comic Con bomb. They used a vast array of LED tea lights." Being a rabbit, Lapinette was unable to spit. But she made a valiant attempt and grimaced. "Ruffians!"

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

12. Tipsy and the Zui Quan Approach

Round the corner, Tipsy was waiting. When her radio made the faintest crackle, she took a sip from her glass and lurched. "Hello boys." She staggered to the right, then the left, then stood where she'd been before. Her eyes swirled as she swayed and for a moment she seemed to trip and fall - but she was still on her feet. Her paw clutched her glass tightly and she held it up. "There's a lovely little caffè across the street," she murmured. "Won't someone buy me an ickle dwink?" The Murmurants shifted uneasily. "Go round her," said one. Another tried to move past but she staggered in his path. Every time they made a move, Tipsy was there. A chorus of annoyance echoed round the concourse as the Murmurants shared a secret signal and started to draw on the colours and shapes of the scene. Yet the more they tried to alter themselves, the more Tipsy staggered. No matter what they did, they just couldn't get a fix on the drunken rabbit and the strain was showing. So they gathered together for strength and tried harder. It all happened as they were mid way into a solid transition. Tipsy's jump was sudden. A giant foot slammed forward and a neck cracked like rotten wood. Her leg swept round in a ragged arc. Heads bounced along the concourse and rolled to a stop. It was over so quickly that Tipsy shrugged and hopped forward across the street. "I'll buy my own drink," she grunted.
[Zui quan (Chinese: 醉拳) is Drunken Kung Fu. It's the general name for all styles of Chinese martial arts that imitate a drunkard.]