Thursday, December 29, 2016

5. Skratch, Puma and the Cats' Dinner

Puma growled when he heard the story. "I don't like the sound of this time duplication business, er ... Skratch." He looked from side to side. "Which one of you is which?" I'm Skratch," said Skratch." "We both are," said the other Skratch. Puma scowled. "I've read about this in books." "What kind of books?" asked the Skratches, both at the same time. "Hard back theoretical books with equations," replied Puma. His growl was suspicious and he continued at length. "I am a materialist Puma. Strictly speaking, you are both theoretical and don't exist." Skratch purred long and loud. "My theoretical stomach is quite hungry." "So is mine," said the other Skratch. Puma frowned. The Commander Wabsworths say there's plenty of fish at our destination." "Fried?" asked Skratch. "Grilled?" asked the other Skratch. Puma was getting the hang of things. "Look here, fellow felines. Terni the Dragon is on his way to pick us all up. He won't be long." The stomachs of both Skratches groaned in unison. "In the interim," said Puma, "there's a trattoria round the corner, famous for seafood risotto." "Who's paying?" asked both Skratches anxiously. Puma roared so loudly that windows rattled. "No need for cash, you're with me. You can have what you like." "Are you going to frighten the waiters?" asked the Skratches, "Certainly not," said Puma, "I have meal vouchers."

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

4. Wabsworth gathers the Forces

The Wabbit's android doubles seem to be having fun in their own company. Despite the data transfer, Wabsword hadn't quite caught up. Wabsworth said it was only a matter of time. Wabsword nodded and chortled. "No time like the present." He looked along the coastline and Wabsworth followed his gaze. "I think the Fifth Force will come from the sea." They considered the matter with much muttering but Tipsy suddenly leaped in the air. "Panico! Terni!" Panico hurtled along the beach with a clenched a fist over his mouth. "We're all going to die!" "Not before our date," yelled Tipsy. Panico dropped his fist and smiled. "Are we going to the movies? They won't let us in."  Wabsword was confused. "Who's Panico? And what's that dragon? He looks like a cabbage." Terni batted his cabbage wings and the resulting wind swept sand along the beach. "I didn't fall off a truck, you know." Wabsworth spoke into his radio. "Wabsworth. Read?" The radio crackled viciously and the Wabbit spoke. "Roger that. What's your 20?" "On the waterfront," responded Wabsworth. "Everyone there?" asked the Wabbit. "Negative," answered Wabsworth. "Waiting for the two Skratches and Puma." The radio burped and whistled. "Stand by," Panico struck the sand-filled sugar bags and yelled anxiously. "They won't be on time." Terni wheeled in the sky. "I'll pick them up." The radio crackled. "Obtain," said the Wabbit, "but not by the fur."

Saturday, December 24, 2016

3. The Wabbit and the Christmas Five

Confident that the Wabsworths had set preparations in full vigour, the Wabbit and Lapinette hopped through the Christmas market. To ensure no suspicions were aroused, their opposites followed at a discreet distance. "No word of the Fifth Force?" asked Lapinette. The Wabbit smiled. "A bunch of Fives were spotted near Piazza Navona, but they were only drunken soccer hooligans." "What about the Agents of Rabit?" said Lapinette. The Wabbit vaguely shook his head. "Not a dicky bird."  Lapinette grinned. "Who's Dicky Bird?" It was the Wabbit's turn to laugh. "That's my nickname for our agent, Major Spitlove." They strolled rather than hopped and lingered at the market stalls, looking at trinkets and trying on hats. "I've seen better stuff," said the Wabbit, "Same every year," said Lapinette. "You say that every year," smiled the Wabbit. Lapinette's ears suddenly twitched and swivelled. "Did you hear a five?" The Wabbit was about to say that was synesthesia, but thought better of it when he felt a five staring at his back. He turned but saw nothing. "I really don't know what I'm looking for. What does the Fifth Force look like?" Lapinette had attended a weekend school on categorical quantum mechanics in Trieste. "If we could see it, it might look like a bunch of dark photons," she nodded. "Well I think it should lighten up," said the Wabbit.
[Bunch of fives: A fist used in a fight.    Not a dicky bird (Cockney rhyming slang.):  Not a word] 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

2. Wabsworth and the Secret Bunker

Despite his android status, Wabsword had a thing about Tipsy - and the more she appeared to misbehave the more he liked it. On the other paw, Wabsworth knew exactly what Tipsy was doing. So he watched as Tipsy presented a snazer gun to Wabsword. "Shtate of the art fully automatic shlime firing weapon. Guaranteed to shtop an enemy in itsh track and keep 'em there." "How long for?" enquired Wabsword. "Long enough to shtomp on 'em." slurred Tipsy. "I don't know this place," said Wabsword, looking around. "It's after your time," smiled Wabsworth. Wabsword gazed at the sign on the door. "It doesn't look very secret." "No-one dares enter," shrugged Wabsworth. "No-one?" asked Wabsword. Wabsworth grimaced. "Only one. Now he's inhospitably housed in the Sombrero Galaxy." Wabsword gulped and looked at Tipsy. "Reassure me these snazers are completely analogue." "Completely," smiled Tipsy, "nothing digital whatshoever." She flicked a switch and the weapon whined into life. "Apart from the metal casing itsh completely organic. Wanna try?" She stroked the trigger with affection. "I'll take your word for it," grinned Wabsword. Wabsworth drew closer. "No digital communications, everything must be old technology." "What about the radio?" asked Tipsy. "Two tin cans and a bit of string?" suggested Wabsword. They all laughed for a while. "But what about us?" asked Wabsword suddenly. Wabsworth clicked and spoke robotically. "Activating cloaking concealment." 

Friday, December 16, 2016

1. The Wabbit and Command Structure

Wabsworth decided that the two androids must have different names and his opposite agreed. Then Wabsworth sank a paw deep in his fur and shrugged. "How's the new data, Wabsword?"  His opposite shrugged too. "I'm assimilating it." Wabsword started to laugh and found it hard to stop. Wabsworth smiled. "I fear you have a hysterical response to new data." "All these old adventures of yours are most amusing," giggled Wabsworth. In the background, Lapinette's personal guard made preparations. Mitzy pirouetted, swung an automatic round her paw, and then slid it swiftly beneath her frock. Fitzy stamped and shouted "Sheep's Shiblets!" Tipsy suddenly fired her automatic and a tracer bullet ricocheted around the depot. The bullet took a curious trajectory around the Wabbit, between the Wabsworths and finally smashed an old and valuable window. Wabsword looked with mock horror. "Are they always like this?" "They're rather quiet for now," chuckled Wabsworth. Fitzy gestured from the truck. "Where shall we put the C-4 explosives Commander?" The Wabbit indicated she should respect the new command structure and waved a paw towards the Wabsworths. Fitzy wheeled to face them. "Where shall we store the C-4, Commanders?" "Under your seats," commanded Wabsword. Fitzy's eyes sparkled. "Right away sir!" Wabsworth concealed his astonishment. "You sound a bit like the Wabbit." Wabsword looked doubtful. "Oh no," he said. "Can anything be done?" "We'll work on it," grinned Wabsworth.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Wabbits at the Adventure Caffè

The Adventure Caffè was more crowded than usual but Lapinette had a plan. "We have two Commanders and that's one too many." The Wabbit grinned. "What's your recommendation?" Lapinette pointed at the Wabsworths. "Command should temporarily rest with our androids." Wabsworth and his opposite knew this was coming. Their paws touched. Electricity flashed as data exchanged. They both smiled at the same time. "We agree," said the Wabsworths. "Oh I'm so glad that's settled," said the Wabbit. "So now we can ask the question," said the Wabsworths together. The atmosphere relaxed. "Skratch," asked Lapinette, "what was that for a sort of adventure?" "It's not finished yet," said Skratch. He glared at his opposite. "You must surely know that it was a sequential nested narrative." "Certainly not," replied his opposite. "That's narratological flim flam." Lapinette leaned forward. "Our representation of time and space is an enunciation that mediates between codec textuality and visual concretions." Both Skratches fell silent. The Wabbit winked at his opposite and his opposite winked back. Then they all laughed. "Listen up," said the Wabsworths. "We have reports of a manifestation of the Fifth Force in Rome." "I'll round up my personal guard," said Lapinette. The other Lapinette rolled her eyes. "My personal guard, you mean."

Friday, December 09, 2016

9. The Wabbit's brush with the Past

Quantum's clock announced the time and they disembarked. But they had company. Their other selves hopped from Motor Unit One and no-one looked pleased. Except for the other Skratch, who purred and waved and made a general fuss. Skratch thought it unwise to wave back. His claws extended, his fur bristled. From deep in his throat a growl emerged. Mist swirled around Motor Unit One. "State your business, imposters." "You're delayed," said the Wabbit. He activated his mechanical hand and gave a carefree wave. "Crew of Motor Unit One. This is the day before yesterday, so please try to catch up." Lapinette's voice was an urgent whisper. "Don't touch them." "That's an awful frock," said the other Lapinette suddenly. The Wabbit flinched. Wabsworth stepped back. Lapinette stroked her edged weapon - enough to draw blood - and then she hissed. "Your frock has seen better days." "Mine's original," snapped the other Lapinette. A stare off lasted some time. "Motor Unit One, you have to go back," announced Wabsworth suddenly. His opposite number nodded. "He's right. We're entangled, Commander." "So why don't they go back?" came their Commander's reply. Motor Unit One's klaxon blasted. Mist rose from his wheels. "This is the work of the Fifth Force." "We'll join forces and work together," suggested the Wabbit. "Then who's in charge?" asked Skratch. "Me," said both Wabbits ...

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

8. The Wabbit and Schrödinger's Cat

Leaving only a toasty glow and a shower of second hand heating elements, Quantum the Train shook free of the bubble, The Wabbit stared into space. Lapinette looked the other way. "There's Motor Unit One!" Everyone swivelled. "Come in Motor Unit One." signalled Quantum. "Do not enter the bubble." He tried again. "This is an all galaxy health and safety emergency. Stay away from the bubble." No communication reached him. He blew his klaxon as a last resort and saw the other Wabbit briefly glance up - but Motor Unit One continued until it disappeared deep in the folds of the spin foam oasis. "He's well delayed now," said the Wabbit through his teeth. Quantum spat out an emergency beacon. They watched it whirl and flash five times before it exploded. "The Fifth Force," growled Wabsworth. "We can't abandon Motor Unit One," said Lapinette. "Nor our other selves," purred Skratch. Wabsworth shrugged. "Don't worry. Motor Unit One will do exactly the same as we did." "In theory, we'll all be along very shortly," smiled the Wabbit. "We'll be beside ourselves," meaowed Skratch frantically. "We'll occupy the same place at the same time or my name's not Schrödinger." "Skratch, your name isn't Schrödinger," said Lapinette. Skratch hissed and shook his head. "I was thinking of changing it ..."

Monday, December 05, 2016

7. The Wabbit and the Quick Fix

The Wabbit slid his heater into place. Lapinette and Wabsworth did likewise with theirs and the ice began to melt - but it was slow. Quantum seemed to be in the grip of what Lapinette called a space bubble. She reckoned it was something to do with Wabbit's new lattice drive but thought better of mentioning it. "This appears to be a by product of my Lattice Drive," muttered the Wabbit. "Good thinking," smiled Lapinette. "We're in a lateral bubble," announced the Wabbit. "Good thing you went to that night class," said Lapinette. The Wabbit's night class had proved most instructive in tampering with the laws of physics. But although it had taken the Wabbit a long way on theory, it lagged considerably on practice. This he was forced to develop on his own. "One rabbit in a shed can only do so much," sighed the Wabbit.  He thought it over. "I think we're surrounded by an oasis in the space-time continuum. We're in a mirage." Lapinette's paw drew an icy diagram on the metalwork. "A spinfoam oasis? A little short of palm trees for my liking." They shook as Quantum's lattice drive juddered into life. A shard of ice fell across Quantum's nose and dribbled moisture along his paintwork. Wabsworth waved a soggy paw. "I'm convinced our predicament is caused by the Fifth Force, Commander." "At least the heaters are working," grinned the Wabbit.

Friday, December 02, 2016

The Wabbit's Mid-Adventure Caffè

In the dining car it was numbingly cold. The carriage groaned with the weight of ice and so did the Wabbit. "I'm supposed to save Earth and now I'm late." "Better than too late," snapped Lapinette. Skratch the Cat loped off to assess supplies. "How are things?" inquired the Wabbit. A long and mournful meaow travelled the length of the carriage and back. "There's plenty of Irn Bru. Also a half eaten salad sandwich." Lapinette shivered and made a face. "Is there anything stronger to drink?" Skratch grunted. "An old bottle of cream sherry punch that nobody ever opened." The Wabbit wondered what a mixture of sherry and Irn Bru might taste like. He shook his head. "Save it in case we have visitors." "Do we expect visitors?" frowned Lapinette. Quantum's PA system crackled. "I diverted lattice drive to power the heating, but we're running out of celery crystals." "Skratch!" called the Wabbit. "In Engine Room One there's an old wood stove I got in a market. See if you can get it going." "What do I use for fuel?" asked Skratch. "Anything you can find," shivered Lapinette. The dining car shuddered as ice tore at metal and glass. The Wabbit had an idea. "Quantum's old motor unit is still mothballed in Engine Room Two." "I'm on it Commander," said Quantum. This time, noise and vibration was welcome. Quantum's wheels started to turn. A welcome dusty heat issued from vents. Skratch made a sudden meaow and they all looked round. "I found a crate of prosecco!"

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

6. The Wabbit and the Home Landing

It was ice cold in Turin and things looked at a standstill. "Heating to manual," shivered Lapinette. Quantum laughed."This is not Flight QTT2 from Glasgow." He coasted over the empty tracks. "Looking for a landing place?" joked the Wabbit. "Just looking around," said Quantum. He hovered over Lingotto and everyone looked down. "It's a little too quiet for my liking," said Wabsworth. Skratch felt his fur prickle and he resisted the urge to scratch. "Something's not right." The Wabbit glanced up as Susan the Biplane criss-crossed the sky. "It's the wrong day," he sighed, "we're due the day before yesterday." Wabsworth checked Quantum's instrumentation. "No, we're right on time." Quantum's voice boomed over the speakers. "I'm always on time, I have no concept of late." Lapinette muttered about the space time continuum. "It's the city that's late." Skratch focused on the tracks and saw movement that was barely perceptible. "Things are moving but very slowly." The Wabbit drew a breath. Then he yelled. "Engage Lattice Drive. Let's go!" "Where, when?" asked Quantum. "Anywhere not here. Any time but this one," shouted the Wabbit. Quantum shuddered into Lattice Drive but nothing seemed to happen. "Quantum, we didn't move," shouted the Wabbit. "Yes we did move," said Lapinette. Wabsworth pointed outside. "The whole thing's fake. And it travelled with us."

Monday, November 28, 2016

5. The Wabbit hitch-hikes the Galaxy

The Wabbit felt in his fur for his walkie talkie - but in his frantic tumble down the slope it had gone. "Nothing else for it," he murmured as he energised his bionic hand. The thumb began to swell up and the Wabbit waved it in the general direction of the universe. With a sudden crack, a multi-coloured portal swirled into view and through it proceeded a caravan train composed entirely of vessels of unknown origin. Lapinette nudged the Wabbit. "I'm not certain I want a lift from one of those things." "Hang on," said the Wabbit. He fiddled with the thumb, stared into the portal and waved. "Here he comes now, right on time." Quantum the Train shot through the portal from the opposite direction, shuddered to a halt and hung in space. Lapinette waved both paws. "Beam us up, Quantum!"  The Wabbit knew what Quantum was saying and mimicked his communications system. "I'm a train, not a Federation Starship. We don't have teleporting technology." But the Wabbit was quite wrong because they both shimmered, vanished and reappeared in Engine Room One. For an instant, small particles of light danced in the space where they'd been. The Wabbit's fur stuck up in all directions. He stroked it back with his bionic hand and shook his head. "That's the way to travel." Lapinette looked around for a mirror. "Does Quantum have a fur drier?"
[The original black hole graphic is from the NASA archives under the licence described at https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/guidelines/index.html]

Friday, November 25, 2016

4. The Wabbit gets a Helping Hand

Wabakaguya grasped the Wabbit's paw. An electrical charge coursed through his body. "Good luck, Commander Wabbit," said Wabakaguya, "now everything depends on you." "Everything?" gasped the Wabbit, "That doesn't leave much to go round." His left paw felt strange. "Concentrate on the paw," said Wabakaguya. The Wabbit focused. Tendons tightened then relaxed. "You have a mechanical hand," observed Lapinette. The Wabbit tried to grip his other paw. "Ouch!" he yelled." Lapinette was practical. "What can it do?" "It's a helping hand," said Wabakaguya. The Wabbit moved all of the fingers. Then he waved the hand. A wind blasted round the hall. "Ooooh," said the Wabbit and he tried to take Lapinette's paw. Lapinette snatched her paw away. "Concentrate, Wabbit!" The Wabbit's eyes narrowed. The mechanical hand melded back into the Wabbit's fur and his paw appeared. Wabakaguya smiled. "The hand can engage with the Fifth Force and make adjustments." "Anything else?" asked the Wabbit. "The fingers can sense the properties of any object," replied Wabakaguya. "And the thumb?" asked Lapinette. The Wabbit concentrated and the hand materialised. He waved the thumb and grinned. "We can always hitch a ride." His teeth flashed as he cocked up the thumb and aimed along a pointed forefinger. "Don't you fire that thing in here," said Wabakaguya.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

3. The Wabbit and the Lost Message

It was a long way down. They bounced on every rock then slid into a cavern hall of polished ebony in front of Wabakaguya. "Greetings, Goddess," said the Wabbit, "pleased to meet you." He stuck out a paw. Lapinette went for a curtsy and slipped - but managed to bow her head. "Peace is in every hop." Wabakaguya ground her teeth softly. "Thank you small rabbits. You have a message for me." The Wabbit was as nonplussed as a rabbit could be. He could think of no message but rummaged in his fur just in case. Lapinette thought quickly. "The message is hidden." Wabakaguya growled. Her eyes flashed and became an impossible blue. "For security reasons," added Lapinette quickly. "Ah yes," nodded Wabakaguya, "My minion Hush Hush organised it." The Wabbit had a moment of clarity. "Then it's me," he shouted. "I must be the message." The ebony hall was silent for some time. Wabakaguya bent towards the Wabbit. "If you are the message, then it is you who must save Earth." "I didn't know it needed saving," said the Wabbit but with little certainty. "The Earth is in great danger," said Wabakaguya. "The Earth is always in danger," shrugged the Wabbit, "we get used to it." Wabakaguya growled long and deeply. "There is a quantum force which would destroy everything. It is called the Fifth Force." Lapinette knew of only four and said so with a sigh. "But the forces are all part of a single unified force." "Not anymore," said Wabakaguya ...

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

2. The Wabbit and the Fourth Kind

It had the outer appearance of Earth's moon, but that was the end of any resemblance. The planetoid was ruggedly shelved and it took a while to land. Terrain was difficult. Gravity was grim. Lapinette and the Wabbit scouted the territory but it needed agility and a lot of effort. "It's a good thing we can hop," said Lapinette. "We hop, therefore we are," panted the Wabbit. Lapinette's ears shook as the ground trembled. The radio crackled angrily and Wabsworth's tone was urgent. "Reading seismic activity." The Wabbit focused his special glasses. "I can see whiskers," he murmured, "giant whiskers." "And I heard scrabbling," said Lapinette. The Wabbit guessed things were serious. "What kind of scrabbling?" Lapinette hissed softly. "Scrabbling of the Fourth Kind." "Oooh, supernatural," breathed the Wabbit.  A chattering dislodged a few rocks. Wabsworth hopped away from the precipice. A series of scratching noises reverberated in the cavern - edgier than Morse Code. Wabsworth's radio burst into life. "I was expecting you," cooed a voice. In the distance, he saw the Wabbit's paw make a circular motion that suggested time wasting. "Caller, please identify yourself. State your name, business and favourite soccer team." More rocks tumbled. "I am Wabakaguya, Goddess." "And the team, if you please," said Wabsworth slowly. "Urawa Red Diamonds," yelled the voice. "Slogan?" continued Wabsworth. "No-one likes us we don't care," shouted the Goddess.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

1. The Wabbit & the Bad Acid Jerker

The Wabbit watched the craft leave. "Good riddance," shrugged Lapinette. But it didn't go quickly enough. "We haven't seen the last of them," said the Wabbit, "we may need our photon torpedoes." Quantum the Train gave a hollow laugh. "I'm a train. Trains don't come with artillery." Lapinette couldn't help laughing, but stopped immediately when Quantum said, "We only have that experimental weapon you were developing, Commander." Lapinette put her paws over her ears. "I don't want to hear it." The Wabbit smirked. "It's already proved rather effective." "What on?" sighed Lapinette. "Soft toys," said the Wabbit. Quantum's voice boomed. "I liked that name you gave it, Wabbit." "The Bad Acid Jerker?" laughed the Wabbit. "It's a working title." Lapinette was far from amused. So the Wabbit reached into his fur and pressed a hidden button. The other craft suddenly stopped, shuttled backwards, then forwards again. It had gained only one meter. "Oh let me try!" shouted Lapinette. She reached deep into the Wabbit's fur and pressed several times. The craft jerked like a crazy pin ball but made little distance. "That's hold 'em," said the Wabbit. "Until what?" asked Lapinette. "Until we get there," said the Wabbit, pointing. A moon identical to earth's glimmered dimly in the light of the Sombrero Galaxy. "Lattice drive, Quantum," said the Wabbit. "Reach for that moon."

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Wabbit's Adventure Dining Car

The Wabbit gritted his 28 teeth and called again. "Unidentified craft, respond." Lapinette knew he'd keep trying and gave her attention to the monitor. The craft looked just like them - but there was something not quite right. "Quantum, any ideas?" Quantum's voice boomed from the speakers. "It looks like Unit One." Everyone turned. "It's the motor unit from the other end of this train," said Quantum. Even Wabsworth was astonished. "I didn't think there was one." "Unit One was due for dismantling long ago," said Quantum. Now the Wabbit's voice was urgent. "Calling Unit One. Respond." The craft responded. "This is Commander Wabbit. Stand down immediately. Disengage your weapons." "But I am the Wabbit," said the Wabbit. The pause was interminable. "This is the Wabbit," said the radio. "Disengage or we will fire." Skratch crouched and signalled to the Wabbit. "We're caught in a sci-fi trope. The craft and personnel are our opposites." "An anti-Quantum?" suggested Lapinette. Now the Wabbit's voice lilted suggestively into his radio. "Unit One, you have an urgent appointment at the far side of the Universe." "Appointment?" said the craft. "An urgently urgent appointment," replied the Wabbit hypnotically. "They're waiting for you. You must go. Leave now and you'll just have time to be fashionably late." Unit One started to pull away and the radio crackled. "Stay where you are. We'll be back." "No rush," grinned the Wabbit, "we'll break open the liquor cabinets ..."

Friday, November 11, 2016

11. The Wabbit and the Train Home

There were several detonations. The polar caps heaved into a spiral and as the moon tilted back, so did Earth. Quantum shot into deep space like a cork from a bottle. "This is the DWA monitoring station," said a radio voice, "If you wish to leave a message, press 1." The Wabbit chortled and pressed all the buttons he could find. "I'm a time travelling train, not a secretary," boomed Quantum. They all shook as he disengaged lattice drive with a thump and, far from anywhere, they hung in space. "What time is it?" asked Lapinette. "The day before yesterday," said Quantum. The Wabbit gazed from the windscreen and murmured. "We have to get back at exactly the time we left." "Like we were never away," breathed Lapinette. Skratch's voice sounded over the speakers. "Do we have to hang around much longer?" "I'm afraid we're behind the times," said the Wabbit, "we have to catch up." Wabsworth chimed in. "This looks like the Sombrero Galaxy." "Oh," said Lapinette. "I do hope we don't meet anyone we know." The Wabbit nodded his head in considered agreement. "Let's move out of here, Quantum." "Look over there!" said Lapinette. "Steady as she goes," warned the Wabbit as Quantum swung round. Lapinette brought the object on screen and gasped. "It looks like another Quantum!" The Wabbit looked closely.  His fur prickled. "It's not another Quantum, it's us!"

Thursday, November 10, 2016

10. Wabsworth and Connectivity

Somewhere behind them a soundless battle raged. Skratch the Cat watched Wabsworth make connections, which he tested with a damp paw. "That goes there," purred Skratch. Wabsworth shook his head. "The Wabbit designed this. Nothing goes where you think." The phone rang and a flash seared a path across Skratch's nose. The phone coughed a message. "The Wabbit is enchanted you rang. Redirecting you now." Skratch felt a wind ruffle his fur and shivered. "We haven't much time, Wabsworth. Is that it?" Wabsworth pulled a set of components from his fur and made another connection. "Connect 'em wires, dem dry wires." he hummed. Device Two burst into life. "This is Radio Luxembourg presenting the Beaver Club with Uncle Eric." Wabsworth nodded approvingly. "Nearly there." Skratch grimaced as Wabsworth began to sing. "Dem wires, dem wires, gonna walk around." His paws blurred as connections snicked into place. A radio whine from Device One set Skratch's teeth on edge. A series of pops and crackles did the same to his fur. "Fifteen seconds to detonations," said Device One, "please clear the neighbourhood." Skratch glanced over his shoulder to glimpse Susan the Biplane diving from an impossible angle. "Get ready to jump," said Wabsworth. But Skratch was already on board, so with one enormous hop, Wabsworth joined him. "Hit it!" he yelled ...

Monday, November 07, 2016

9. The Wabbit and the Shape of Three

The Wabbit plucked a phone from his fur and attached it to his radio. "This is no time for a selfie," said Lapinette. "There's always time for a selfie," replied the Wabbit and he yelled at the radio until feedback simulated an echo. "Selfie, selfie, selfie," whined the phone. The Wabbit took a roll of duct tape and bound radio and phone together. "This," said the Wabbit, "is the Third device." "I don't understand," sighed Lapinette. The Wabbit wrinkled his nose. "We can't find the Third Device. In Department of Danger terms, that means I already have it." Lapinette suddenly smiled. "Now I get it." The Wabbit threw the makeshift device to Wabsworth. "You stand the most chance of success." Wabsworth also smiled. "Because I'm an android?" Skratch grunted with amusement. "Android must speak unto android?" The Wabbit's voice sharpened. "You're going too." Skratch's purr was low and menacing. "Because I'm a cat?" "Because you're the cat's whiskers," said the Wabbit. "You locate the other two devices. Wabsworth will attach all three together." "What happens next?" asked Wabsworth. "The radio will call the phone," said the Wabbit, "then the phone will answer and take a message. You'll have just enough time to rendezvous with us and Susan." "Just enough time?" echoed Lapinette. The Wabbit's 28 teeth flashed. "Enough time to get the hell out of the way ..."

Friday, November 04, 2016

8. The Wabbit and the Force of Venom

The NiGHT riders passed over them with devastating effect. Both moon and earth began to tilt and they all gripped one another because they were tilting too. "Orders?" asked Lapinette. "Watch," said the Wabbit. Several things happened at once. Quantum's quantum lattice beam sliced across the surface and picked out the team. Designed to be impenetrable, no-one had ever tried it before - so the Wabbit poked it with his knife and the beam formed a shield around the blade. "It works," murmured the Wabbit. "Now what should we do?" asked Skratch. "Nothing," said the Wabbit. Lapinette glanced over her shoulder. Hundreds, maybe thousands of red spiders made spiky silhouettes against the Earth's blue glow. The Wabbit's radio crackled with enigmatic space transmissions. "Device Three status activated." "Payloads primed." Lapinette's ears quivered. "Payloads?" "Arachnid venom," shrugged the Wabbit, "it's been trialled." Wabsworth shuddered and so did Skratch. "What's the delivery system?" asked Lapinette. "Bites on the front," explained the  Wabbit. "Then Duetta's spiders will also bite the sides." "But what does Device Three do?" asked Wabsworth. "It's hush hush," said the Wabbit. "What the binky does that mean, Wabbit?" groaned Skratch. The Wabbit grinned. "It means I have no clue ..."

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

7. The Wabbit and the NiGHT Riders

"Here they come," said the Wabbit. "I feel like we've done this before," said Skratch the Cat. Wabsworth waved a pocket knife. "What we did once, we can very well do again."  Lapinette paused. She took an edged weapon from her frock and ran a paw along the blade. "What did we do again?" she murmured. "Trick our enemies," said the Wabbit. "It would be silly not to," said Skratch. The Nocturnal High Garrison seemed to fly from behind the earth and trailed a swirling dark mist. "Tribulation coming," said Wabsworth. "Tribulation is worse at night," sighed the Wabbit. Lapinette nodded. "How long is night on the moon?" "Two weeks," answered Wabsworth. "Starting when?" said Skratch. "Starting now," said Wabsworth. The Garrison appeared closer. Scythes slashed through whatever atmosphere there was. Galloping clattered on the surface is if at a racetrack. Then the voices came. First they were whispers, then shouts, then finally laughter as they called to each other. "Conquest!" shouted the first. "Power," yelled the second. "Hunger," shouted the third. But the last hung back and raised a mighty sword. "Death to the Wabbit and his kind!" he moaned. The Wabbit's 28 teeth glinted earthlight across the craters. "That sounds like hard work to me," snarled the Wabbit ...

Monday, October 31, 2016

6. The Wabbit and the Hob Goblins

"Run!" shouted the Wabbit.  The Hob Goblins were huge and they bore down on the team with fiery fur-burning breath. "I'd forgotten what day it was!" yelled the Wabbit. "Hallowe'en!" shouted Lapinette. "Samhain!" added Wabsworth, who was rather out of breath for an android. Skratch the Cat said nothing and saved his energy for leaping and pouncing. "Is this the Nocturnal High Garrison of Tribulation?" asked Lapinette. "I don't think so," puffed the Wabbit. "they're just an added bonus." Wabsworth hopped to the side and glanced over his shoulder. "Hobgoblins are mischief makers, not serious contenders."  A bolt of searing heat touched his ears. "We're cooking tonight, earth rabbits." shouted the Goblins. The Wabbit was tired of running and suddenly wheeled around. "DWA!" he yelled. "Stop right there." The Hob Goblins came to a halt and heat fizzled out. Gradually, they faded until nothing remained but a faint smell of hot metal and singed fur. They all looked around. "What next?" asked Skratch, "A visit from the BunnyMan and his axe?" suggested the Wabbit. Lapinette sighed. "I'd rather meet the BunnyMan than the Nocturnal High Garrison of Tribulation." A sudden crash of an axe made them jump. "Now's your opportunity!" moaned a voice. The Wabbit looked at Wabsworth. He shook his head. "That wasn't me." Wabsworth looked at Lapinette. Lapinette shrugged and looked at Skratch. "He's real and he's here," meaowed Skratch.
[DWA: Dept of Wabbit Affairs.  The BunnyMan: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bunny_Man ]

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

5. The Wabbit and the Next Device

The first device sang merrily and Wabsworth clutched it close to his ear. "Don't go out tonight," it chirruped merrily, "there are mad moons on the rise." But despite the singing, it took the team to an installation distinguished by two curious tunnels. Lapinette scrutinised them. "Portals?" she suggested. Skratch prowled over to have a closer look - but Lapinette was cautious. "Don't go too far, Skratch." "What?" snorted Skratch. "And change the habits of a lifetime?" Lapinette scuffed rocks with her feet and bent down. "Aha!" she said, "this must be Unit 2." She pressed every switch there was, and pushed every button - but nothing happened. Suddenly Unit 2 slipped from her grasp, hit the ground with a crack and burst into life. "This is Unit 2 saying hello and good evening. Have we got some pop pleasers for you!" "Ha ha ha," laughed Unit 1, "it's the end of the world as we knew it." Skratch called from the tunnel. "Commander, there are ... others here." "More Units?" asked the Wabbit.  A lengthy pause ensued. "No. They're more like Goblins, Commander. Hob Goblins." "Back off, Skratch," said the Wabbit urgently. But it was too late. Voices boomed, almost in unison. "We can see you, earth rabbits." "We saw you first," said the Wabbit.

Monday, October 24, 2016

4. The Wabbit and the First Device

Susan pretended to crash land and they all made their way across the rocky surface.  "Wow, look at these boulders," said Lapinette. "Just like Stonehedge," winked the Wabbit. "Up ahead, Wabbit," called Skratch from a nearby rock. They rounded the remains of a large meteoroid and there it was - a basic looking device, with knobs and numbers. "It looks early, Commander," said Wabsworth. "I'm uncertain of its stability." The Wabbit stretched out a paw and probed a knurled knob. The device burst into song. "I'm being followed by you moon shadows," it warbled. The Wabbit nudged Wabsworth and grinned. "There's your date. It's 1971." "Moon shadows, moon shadows," trilled the device. "Can you please shut it off!" yelled Lapinette. But the device kept singing. "It's a droid," sighed Wabsworth. He bent close and whispered urgently. "Command Line 76. Execute Bootstrap. Information Protocol 119." "Hello," said the device. A light blinked. Then a series of lights. Then a buzzer. "Connected," said the device. The Wabbit speculated on the connections, but he knew the answer before the device spoke again. "This is Unit 1, Hello. Hello Unit 2, Hello. Hello Unit 3, Hello." Wabsworth suddenly grabbed the device and hoisted it onto his shoulder. "Cut the courtesy calls and take me to the others," he growled.

Friday, October 21, 2016

3. The Wabbit and an Overdue Mission

The Wabbit looked down. "Anyone knows what's going on?" "Only me, Commander." Susan the Biplane swooped from Quantum's hold and dived towards the moon's surface. "Susan! You're Hush-hush?" gasped Lapinette. "In person," said Susan. The Wabbit shrugged. It was all he had left to do. "Everything operational, Susan?" "Bio-atmosphere, gravity field, shield, stealth cloak," said Susan, "And that dive angle thing you bolted on." The Wabbit squinted down at the rocky surface. "Hit me!" Susan skimmed across several craters. "I have sealed orders from the Department of Danger." The Wabbit nodded to Lapinette. She rummaged in the cockpit and found an envelope behind the remains of a salad sandwich. She scanned the contents. "Something we forgot, Wabbit." The Wabbit's tummy rumbled. "Not the sandwich," hissed Lapinette, "unfinished business." The Wabbit slapped a paw to his forehead. "Project A119." "Where there is Project A119, there is the Nocturnal High Garrison of Tribulation," breathed Wabsworth. "NiGHT," meaowed Skratch. "As sure as the day is long," quipped the Wabbit. He continued to stare, as if by effort alone he could see the craters where the three warheads were hidden. "The warheads were detonated," he mused. "Officially," sighed Lapinette. "No record," commented Wabsworth, who had android access to most records. "Do your stuff, Susan," nodded the Wabbit. Susan dived vertically. "Stall stall stall ..!"

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

2. The Wabbit in Engine Room One

Quantum hung in space while the Wabbit shrugged his shoulders round and round. He regretted Engine Room One was less than comfortable and made a mental note to design in two armchairs, a couch and a colourful rug. He was responsible for developing Quantum's Lattice Drive, which technically speaking wasn't quite ready. He had got it thus far by raiding junk yards and the many dumpsters to the rear of the European Space Agency. Then, working alone at night in his shed, a Fibonacci super-lattice had followed, initially fashioned in curly carrots and celery, and later constructed from neutron star leftovers. The Wabbit heard metallic sounds and poked his head round a boiler. Skratch the Cat was measuring something and muttering about problems with Brown Boveri circuit breakers. "Skratch" yelled the Wabbit at the top of his voice. Skratch didn't as much as look up. Instead he inserted two small springs and checked tolerances. "This is a 1987 unit, Wabbit. They don't last forever." "What the binky are you doing here?" screamed the Wabbit. "It's hush hush," meaowed Skratch. The Wabbit sighed. "At least we have the same information source." Skratch continued measuring. "Skratch, you're a stowaway," said the Wabbit. "Nah," said Skratch. "I'm a supernumerary." The Wabbit hid a grin. "Union card check!"

Monday, October 17, 2016

1. The Wabbit and a Danger Directive

The order had come straight from the Department of Danger and couldn't be ignored - so on a night lit by a shadowy moon, the Wabbit crept stealthily towards Quantum the Time Travelling Train. The radio crackled. "Who goes there?" "Danger," replied the Wabbit. "What kind of Danger?" crackled the radio. "Danger of a buying me dinner," answered the Wabbit. "Welcome Commander," said Quantum. "I'm jumping to Lattice Drive in thirty seconds. Counting." Quantum began to throb. Trees shook. Grass quivered. The shadowy moon seemed to sink lower in the night sky. The Wabbit powered his hind legs and leaped for the door. Engine Room One was a series of blinking buttons and swinging dials. The Wabbit strapped himself in to the only seat available. "How far are we going?" he asked. "Not so very far," said Quantum. "Information?" asked the Wabbit. "Hush hush," said Quantum. Everything vibrated, including the Wabbit. The noise became unbearable. An onlooker would have seen Quantum compress to a tiny dot and vanish. But some 32 earths away in empty space, a high speed train appeared with the Wabbit on board. He released his straps and listened to the silence. But he could hear fractured sounds of hushed conversation. "Space debris?" queried the Wabbit. "Stowaways," said Quantum. "At least there's no mice," shrugged the Wabbit.

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Wabbit and his Adventure Caffè

Skratch the Cat arrived and the Wabbit watched him reflected in the corner of his glasses. He pretended not to notice. "Where's Skratch with his question?" he said impishly. Skratch knew the Wabbit could see him and he pretended not to notice too. So he let out a sudden meow. "I have the question!" The Wabbit bent forward and whispered. "It was all a question of reflexivity." Skratch had very good hearing, but he pretended not to hear. His purr was an agreeable one. "I expect you're all wondering what sort of adventure you were in." Lapinette jumped in. "It was all a question of reflexivity!" She glanced at Wabsworth - who posed oratorically. "The adventure acknowledges the adventure-making process," he proclaimed, "subtly imagined in its deliveration." Skratch was delighted. "Elegantly put, my good lagomorph." Lapinette giggled and her ears flounced from side to side. "There's no such word as deliveration." Skratch scratched the table lightly. "In film theory, there is!" he insisted. The Wabbit's tone was critical. "Is that the same as structuration?" Skratch nodded. "Not quite. Deliveration is the final endation of structuration." This kind of talk was making Lapinette thirsty. She raised a paw and a waiter appeared instantly. "Four aperitivi, please." "Immediate deliveration?" asked the waiter.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

8. The Wabbit in the Dream House

"You were sleeping," said Lapinette. There was no reply. The Wabbit shifted drowsily in his seat and mumbled. "They're coming." Film credits rolled on the screen. The lights came up. The cinema gradually emptied. "Who's coming?" asked Lapinette finally and she dug the Wabbit in the ribs. The Wabbit jumped straight in the air. "Aaaagh! Skeletons! Run!" Lapinette sighed. "We're at the cinema. It's Wednesday Westerns. The programme's just finished." Music filled the cinema as adverts started. "No skeletons?" queried the Wabbit and he shook his head. Lapinette shook her head too. "No skeletrons." The Wabbit thought for a second. "Then what about the stampeding steers?" Lapinette smiled, "Not here. They were on the screen, in the film." The Wabbit glanced around uneasily. "But I saw cattle, tearing up the cinema seats." Lapinette smiled again. "In the movie, cattle stampeded through a town. They trampled the sheriff, then destroyed several barns and a saloon." The Wabbit looked sceptical and gestured behind him. "Then can you tell me who they are." "They just came in," said Lapinette. "They're here for the Rocky Horrorthon." Now the Wabbit smiled and sang. "Let's do the Time Warp again!" "Later!" grinned Lapinette.

Monday, October 10, 2016

7. The Wabbit and the Screen Steers

The thunder from the stampede was worse than in Hell and the skeletons ran to hide in the cinema. But the steers caught up with them in Cinema 12. When Lapinette burst from the projection room, the screen lit up and music rolled. Steers galloped from the titles with crimson eyes and steaming nostrils and they all stared at the Devil Skeleton. The Skeleton felt for his hat but it was gone. He saw the Wabbit put it on his head and his bones rattled in anger. "That's a ten dollar hat on a five cent fake," he shouted. The Wabbit laughed with all of his 28 teeth. "Oh but look! I took a rabbit out of it." Prairie dust rose from the cinema floor. Steers pounded their hooves in a monotonous rumble. The Skeleton drew back. His minions were deserting and streamed through cinema corridors in bone rattling number. "Come-a-ti-yi-yippy-yi-yo-ki-ay" yelled Lapinette. Her legs grasped her steer's hide and she span an arm round her head. "It's my herd, rabbits." called the Skeleton. The Wabbit laughed as he sang. "Never roped a steer, cause I don't know how. Sure ain't a fixin' to start in now." The Skeleton's teeth widened in patronising sneer. "Ignorant cattle."  An ear blistering bellow rose from the steers. Some of them sharpened their horns on the cinema seats. Others took out edged weapons. The Wabbit raised a paw and shouted. "Chase the crazy baldhead out of town!" The Skeleton disappeared in a sea of hooves ...

Friday, October 07, 2016

6. The Wabbit and the Devil's Stand

It was the very devil of a skeleton and it towered above the Wabbit with one staring eye and a sardonic sneer. "Give me back my herd." The Wabbit looked up and matched the sneer. "You give me back my hat." The steers were agitated. "We won't let him take us," said one who was bolder than the rest - but the devil skeleton rattled his bones at the Wabbit. "We met before, didn't we?" The Wabbit's teeth flashed. "That's for you to know and me to ignore." The herd stomped noisily in the background and the Wabbit whispered to the bold steer. "On my mark, the herd turns." The devil skeleton peered down. "Always the trickster, Wabbit?" He laughed - but it was the uneasy laughter of fear. "What's your signal, Wabbit?" whispered the steer. "I'll make a joke," said the Wabbit. "Oh no," thought the steer but he mooed details to the herd. "Then?" asked the steer. "Then charge the skeletons in a mighty stampede," advised the Wabbit. The steer thought carefully. "What's our motivation?" "Freedom!" yelled the Wabbit, and he held up his paws in an X. With lightning speed, the herd turned to face the skeletons. Nostrils flared and hooves beat the ground. "Freedom!" they mooed. "Liberty!" shouted Lapinette. "Liberty!" repeated the herd and they lowered their heads. Horns clashed and haunches flexed. The smell of anger hung in the air. The Wabbit looked at the devil skeleton. "In your place, I'd get out the way ..."

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

5. The Wabbit and the Bone Stampede

They were running again, but choices were limited. The skeletons spooked the steers and the steers started to charge. They poured from the cinema with skeletons in close pursuit. The Wabbit and Lapinette dived for the main exit but found themselves in front. The Wabbit glanced back. "Double jeopardy!" he yelled and they both hurtled forward. They were deafened by the thunderous roar of cattle hooves. Skeletons wailed like the banshee in a bad mood and made the arcade shake. Glass rattled in every shop window. Hot breath steamed from the nostrils of the Devil's Herd. "The small rabbit will help us," mooed a steer. "He will," mooed another. "He knows what to do," mooed one more. The Wabbit heard them - but of what to do, he had not the slightest notion. He puffed and panted and glanced sideways at Lapinette. "Any ideas?" "Grind their bones," yelled Lapinette. "They don't compost well," frowned the Wabbit. "Hard to get rid of," shouted Lapinette. Suddenly the Wabbit turned. With a swirl of dust, the herd and skeletons slithered to a halt. "You skeletons are dangerous," shouted the Wabbit. "I'll make no bones about it." "Prepare to meet your doom," shouted the skeletons. The Wabbit shook his head and smiled with all of his 28 teeth. "I've been preparing to meet it for years. Now it's your turn ..."

Monday, October 03, 2016

4. The Wabbit and the Devil's Herd

The Wabbit fumbled with the skeleton key and a door creaked open to a blare of sound from giant loudspeakers. "Rollin' rollin' rollin', Rollin' rollin' rollin." But there was more. The panting smell of hot breath was as loud as the music. "The Devil's Herd," gasped Lapinette. Long horns clashed like swords. Hooves beat a chant on the cinema floor. A steer looked at the Wabbit square on and his nose pumped fiery breath across the seats. And then it spoke in a low moo. "Is this Cinema Twelve? We're booked for The Devil's Doorway." A frantic bellowing followed as cattle shuffled in anticipation. But the Wabbit had simply no idea what cinema they were in. "Perhaps it's a trailer or a short," he suggested. Then he had a thought. "Why don't you take your seats while I nip down to the foyer and get you tasty treats?" The Devil's herd swished their tails as they milled around. Not without some difficulty, they sat down and mooed to each other about movies. "I'd rather see Duel in the Sun," said a steer. "Oh I know," said another, "we always get stereotyped. We're constantly typed as stampeding." But another steer, more aware than the rest, noticed a skeleton lurking behind the screen. "These Bone Riders are a menace," he said to the Wabbit, "they're after our hides." The Wabbit laughed. "Well bless your beautiful hides," he said. Then he smiled and murmured, "These bags of bones are on a hiding to nothing." 

Friday, September 30, 2016

3. The Wabbit and the Bone Riders

The Wabbit suggested taking the cinema stairs but suddenly they were behind them. There were dozens of skeletons and they kept coming. They moaned, they groaned they rattled - and worse than that, they sang. "Skeletrons!" yelled Lapinette. The Wabbit knew Lapinette pronounced skeletons that way and never had the heart to tell her. A bullet from a Winchester span past the Wabbit's ears and ricocheted from the wall. "Hate" shouted one skeleton, "Murder," shouted another. But the last skeleton grasped at the Wabbit's paw and shouted "Revenge!" The Wabbit fur stood on end. He made for a corridor that led behind the screens and he pulled Lapinette along with him. Two skeletons put their skulls together and warbled. "Oh where's the devil's herd? Who took the devil's herd? We'll ride across the burning sky 'til we find the devil's herd." The sound of snorting steers issued from their ghastly mouths and their hot breath coursed down the stairway. Their bones rattled as all the while as they chased the Wabbit and Lapinette as they stampeded through turning after turning. "Get the rustlers!" shouted a skeleton. "We're gonna cook you over a campfire," shouted another. "With beans," shouted a third. "Skeletrons can't cook," yelled Lapinette over her shoulder. The Wabbit looked for a door and rummaged in his fur. "What are you looking for," yelled Lapinette. "Skeleton key," shouted the Wabbit.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

2. The Wabbit and the Ghost Script

The Wabbit and Lapinette emerged blinking from the cinema. The Wabbit had shown signs of enjoying himself and for that, Lapinette gave much thanks. "I do enjoy a good western," she chirruped. She quickly suggested an aperitivo at a caffè around the corner. There she could engage the Wabbit on an esoteric topic involving the iconography of cowboy hats. Lapinette admitted to herself that she had enjoyed Mann's Winchester '73. A rifle won in a contest had made a dark cinematic journey in which successive owners met a fate worse than the last. "Yes," said Lapinette, "it was bleak and moral and had an ironic circularity." The Wabbit half listened and agreed. But there was a reflection in his glasses that bore some familiarity and he kept an eye on it. "See anything unusual?" he murmured. Lapinette was amused. "These Hallowe'en promotions get earlier every year." The Wabbit relaxed. "I thought it was the Devil," he said.  Lapinette looked at him shrewdly. "It's a new release where cowboy skeletons battle for the ranges." "Yippy aye oh," laughed the Wabbit. At that very moment a surge of hot breath blasted up the escalator. From a loudspeaker came the sound of a thousand steers thundering across the prairie. Then they heard a mournful voice intone. "Yippy aye yay. Yippy aye yay." "Is this a promotion?" asked the Wabbit. "I really don't think so," sighed Lapinette ...

Monday, September 26, 2016

1. The Wabbit and the Noir Western

Lapinette caught up with the Wabbit out on Ponte Sassi. It was a sure bet he would be there because of two things. He was between missions and this was the anniversary of Anthony Mann, a well known director of westerns. Lapinette had to remember not to call them cowboy films or the Wabbit would make a face. "Howdy lonesome," she called. "Got time for a gal with time on her paws?" The Wabbit folded his book and laughed. "Ma'am?" Lapinette curtsied. The Wabbit watched her and laid aside his book. "Never in my born days did I see such a gracious lady." Lapinette smiled sweetly. "So our last mission went well?" "Mmm," said the Wabbit gravely. "We did the job and thank heavens it's done." Lapinette's ears pricked up. She sensed tiredness in the Wabbit's voice. "Maybe you should take a good long break between missions," she said. "Why don't you have some fun, see a show." "You're the only show I need," smiled the Wabbit. Lapinette's ears swayed gently and her voice was mellow. "I also do fun." "Oh," said the Wabbit, "so when does fun start?" "It already has," laughed Lapinette. She took the Wabbit's paw and with dancing footsteps, pulled him in the direction of town ...

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Wabbit at the Adventure Caffè

The Adventure Caffè was in the Safe House and it was the cosiest place to be. The medieval castle provided all that they needed, wine, ale and a slap up meal. "Where's Puma going?" asked Lapinette. "He made off with half the food," scowled Wabsworth. Skratch just laughed. "Don't worry I know where he hides it." Lapinette raised an inquiring ear. "In the kitchens under the vegetables," explained Skratch, "it's a cat thing." Lapinette tugged at the Wabbit's paw. "What about the question?" "OK," shrugged the Wabbit, "what was that for a kind of adventure?" Skratch raised his paw high. "It was a multilevel discourse." "Umberto Eco," said Lapinette. "Yes," nodded Skratch, "but your adventure had a specific modality, resting firmly on colour saturation." "Did it?" smiled the Wabbit, winking at Lapinette. "It did," said Skratch. "In turn, the colours connoted environmental concerns." "I need another drink," said Wabsworth. "What colour would you like it?" smiled the Wabbit. "I like my wine crystal clear," said Lapinette. "My ale should be deep straw gold," said Wabsworth. Skratch chuckled. "I like to drink a robust stout. Then I can pretend it's doing me good." There was a sudden shaking. Plates rattled. Golden nectar quivered in the Wabbit's tankard, The castle filled with medieval clanking. Lapinette frowned "What was that?" "Just a little tremor," said Wabsworth. The Wabbit looked at waves of beer lapping the inside of the tankard and murmured. "We were shaken but not stirred."

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

11. The Wabbit and the Home Tower

They rode back, looking forward to their home castle with its pleasant tower. Now the chemicals had been traced, the culprit located and the danger eliminated, they could relax. "Do you think the Fracker will be back?" asked Lapinette. The Wabbit grinned a lop sided grin. "These frackers don't give up easily. He'll be back in business in no time." "Somewhere else, no doubt," sighed Lapinette. Mo the Punk Snail snorted. "He's one dirty fracker." "He's a crazy, fracked up frackwit," commented To and they both laughed. "The Fracker is no laughing matter," growled Puma. "He is a land predator and only determined action will stop him." "We stopped 'im," yelled Mo. "We stopped 'im dead in his fracks." Puma scowled. "He's not the only fracker." "Oh frack 'em all!" drawled Mo. The Wabbit and Lapinette knew the conversation wasn't going anywhere, so they gently urged the MoTo snails forward. Puma led the way. He was hungry and knew there would be good food at the Adventure Caffè. The MoTo Snails looked forward to tasty cardboard and wiggled their antennae in anticipation. Lapinette visualised a salad sandwich - and felt a pang in her stomach. The Wabbit rummaged his fur, then handed Lapinette a sandwich with curly carrots and lettuce. "How long has that been there?" she asked. The Wabbit inspected the pack. "It says use before the end of your adventure." "Which is now," said Lapinette. She grabbed it and nibbled the edges. It tasted good. Very good indeed. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

10. The Wabbit at Point Frack

The Golem stuck his fracking tools in the lake. But the Wabbit and Lapinette were pretty quick, even by rabbit standards. The Wabbit swam to a small island and from somewhere, Lapinette acquired a police barge and chugged straight at the Golem. "You rabbits are nothing but trouble!" yelled the Golem. The water clouded with fracking fluid and the stench was considerable. Lapinette grimaced and shouted from the bow. "Where's your chicken licence?" The Golem was bamboozled. "What chickens?" The Wabbit threw his voice and the clucking of 100 chickens swirled from nearby trees. "The chickens said they would help me," groaned the Golem. "The employment of chickens is forbidden under City Ordnance," stated the Wabbit. "They're not my chickens," screamed the Golem. "Ah!" said Lapinette strictly. "Chicken theft is by massive fines punishable." Her barge grew closer. The Wabbit fished in his fur and dropped something in the water. A bolt of electricity surged towards the Golem. Water boiled for an instant. Tools burned red. The Golem yelled in pain, dropped his tools, clutched his sides and froze. The Wabbit smiled grimly because now the Golem was completely inert. But from the depth of the waters rumbled a voice - the voice of the Fracker. "I'll be back to frack!"

Friday, September 16, 2016

9. The Wabbit and the Golem's Folly

"There he goes!" Lapinette knew her statement was redundant but the Wabbit didn't turn a hair. "He has his fracking tools with him," said the Wabbit, "so he must be going to frack." The Golem rolled along, humming a merry tune - and his tools made a clickedy clackedy sound as he went. Then he sang in a clangy voice that echoed through the spooky tunnel. "I am a little fracker and a fracking I will go. I’ll frack the ground from dawn to dusk, until the land is just a husk. A fracking I will go." Lapinette snorted. "That seems clear enough." Suddenly the ground shook and a fissure opened in the brickwork. Lapinette grabbed onto the Wabbit's fur as tremors died away. "He seems to have started already," said the Wabbit. "What? He started without us?" grinned Lapinette, "that's poor." The Wabbit growled through his 28 teeth. "And we did have a fracking invitation, I recall." "We should accept it then," said Lapinette. "We'd be silly not to," grinned the Wabbit and he hopped forward in pursuit of the Golem. Whistling his tune, the Golem rolled round the corner. The Wabbit and Lapinette crept after him on silent paws. "Knick, knack, frack," sang the Golem. Then he stopped and turned. "I smell creatures." The Wabbit threw his voice and it bounced from the other side of the tunnel. "Only us chickens. Can we dig with you?" "Suits me down to the ground," laughed the Golem as he turned away. Now, all that could be heard in the tunnel was a faint clucking ...

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

8. The Wabbit and a Spin of the Wheel

Their leap was overstated and they overshot the Golem by a long way. But they were fortunate. A massive Ferris wheel lay directly in their path and it was spinning at speed. "Sling shot!" yelled the Wabbit. Lapinette reached the Ferris wheel first. She bounced on the top gondola and with a thrust of her feet, launched back to the Fracking site. Only now, she was going twice as fast as before. The wind tore at her fur and the ground loomed sharply ahead. The Wabbit landed awkwardly inside a gondola but it propelled him outwards leaving some of his fur on the metalwork. He looped up and then down at an alarming rate. Now he was directly behind Lapinette and he saw her legs move position - so he did exactly the same. "Ouch," he groaned. Lapinette yelled that he needed more exercise. The Wabbit could hardly hear what she said but he knew anyway. It occurred to him that he was getting quite enough exercise as it was. He watched Lapinette's legs draw into an arabesque position. As she landed, she executed a perfect chassé and stopped as elegantly as an airliner. The Wabbit made a fair attempt to copy her then gave up. He somersaulted along the bumpy road and came to an abrupt halt. Lapinette turned to look at him. "How was it?" she smiled. "Perfect," said the Wabbit.

Monday, September 12, 2016

7. The Wabbit on the Edge of Ballet

Daylight came on like a switch. The Wabbit and Lapinette balanced on a slim framework of doubtful purpose. Lapinette had trained at the Mariinsky Ballet and pirouetted gracefully. The Wabbit's feet curled about the metalwork, as he scowled around from right to far right. He growled through all of his 28 teeth. "The Golem is fracking the Nazi Rally Grounds." Lapinette executed a demi-détourné. "That's wrong at so many levels," she sighed. The voice of the Fracker's Golem echoed from the brickwork. "This can all be yours if you join us." The Wabbit shook his head like a donkey. The framework suddenly shook, but it couldn't shake the Wabbit and it certainly couldn't shake Lapinette. "You're a very bad Golem," she cried and sprung into the air in an entrechat quatre. "Get ready to binky," shouted the Wabbit. The framework gave a vicious creak as it began to detach from its moorings. "He doesn't know much about rabbits," smiled Lapinette. "Take the right decision," yelled the Golem. "Take it yourself," shouted the Wabbit. Lapinette's legs moved elegantly as she began a battement dégagé. The Wabbit grinned and swung a leg along the metal girder. "Grand jeté, now," murmured Lapinette. With an ear splitting yell, they jumped as the framework gave way ...

Friday, September 09, 2016

6. The Wabbit deals with the Dark

"Why is it always down?" yelled the Wabbit. The passageway was steeper than it looked and they both picked up speed. A prickly wind blew at their backs and ruffled their fur. Lapinette spotted another passageway and dived for it. The Wabbit shouted but his shout was muffled in the whirling fumes that issued from the Golem's nostrils. They made an acrid stench. The Wabbit sniffled and coughed and headed after Lapinette. He could hear Lapinette yelling, "We need our own ground." "This way!" shouted the Golem. "I have a surprise." The Wabbits paws slipped on the damp earthen floor. "I don't need any surprises." Lapinette scooted through a narrow opening where the air seemed clearer. But the Golem continued his path and his voice shrilled in the distance. "There is no escape from the Fracker's Golem." The Wabbit had every intention of escaping. He grabbed for Lapinette's paw and she pulled him through another crevice. Suddenly they were in the dark. They waited for their eyes to get used to the light, but there was no light to get used to. The Wabbit started to whistle. "What are you doing?" asked Lapinette. "Whistling in the dark," said the Wabbit. He put out a foot and scrabbled around. There was absolutely nothing but a wall and a ledge. "I think we're in the abyss," murmured Lapinette. "It needs better lighting," said the Wabbit.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

5. The Wabbit and the Smoking Pit

The walkway turned into a bridge and under the bridge there was nothing. Nothing except acrid fumes that swirled round their feet and stung like ant bites. The Wabbit squinted down. "See anything?" "It looks like an abyss," murmured Lapinette. "How deep?" grinned the Wabbit. "An abyss has no depth," replied Lapinette. "I knew you'd say that," said the Wabbit. A screech sounded from the chasm that set the Wabbit's teeth on edge. It was like a thousand fingernails scraping on a glass panel. Whatever made the sound seemed to be working hard. Lapinette's ears stretched. A compressor burst into life, then another. Soon the passage way was an echoing tunnel of sound. "Let's move on," said the Wabbit. It was only then that they noticed a presence. What had only been smoke transformed into a lurid face that they both recognised. "You're not the Golem!" shouted the Wabbit. "You are Frack." The head shook and made a jolly smile. "I am Frack's Golem, fashioned from clay and steel, case-hardened in the Jaws of Hell." Metal scratched on stone. Shrieks echoed from the walls. The Golem's eyes beckoned through the smoke. "Follow me." "No fracking way!" shouted Lapinette. But the bridge started to sway and the handrails plunged into the abyss. The Wabbit and Lapinette hopped quickly forward. "We do expect light refreshments," said the Wabbit.

Monday, September 05, 2016

4. The Wabbit and the Golem's Portal

Lapinette checked through a list. "Our Snails?" "Slithering the perimeter," said the Wabbit. Lapinette made a tick. "... and Puma?" "Terrifying the locality," grinned the Wabbit. Lapinette nodded. "C-20?" The Wabbit pulled a small vial and a detonator from his fur and waved them. Lapinette made two ticks. "Weather conditions?" "Set fair," said the Wabbit. Lapinette's sudden yell echoed from the ramparts. "Then hit the tit!" She dived out of the way as the Wabbit hurled the vial at the wall and pressed a red button. But there was neither sound nor blast. The Wabbit looked back cautiously. With a splat like a fish hitting a slab, the walls opened to reveal a bridge and a passageway. At the far end of the passage, a solitary figure stood bathed in a bright light. It slowly turned and glided away. "Is that Hamlet's Dad?" quipped the Wabbit. The figure turned back and uttered one word, "Golem," and vanished. The passageway shimmered and soaked up the snaking coils of mist that poured into the portal. "I'm going in," said the Wabbit and he hopped onto the bridge. Lapinette looked at her list and ticked, "Follow the Wabbit." Then, backing up, she too edged onto the bridge. For a moment she looked at where they had been - just before the bridge vanished and the walls closed around them ...

Friday, September 02, 2016

3. The Wabbit and the Doorless Castle

Puma walked for several days. They followed until he came to a clearing where a castle rose from the mist, lit by a bleached sun. "Chemicals," growled Puma. Lapinette wrinkled her nose. "It stinks like a soggy old mop in a corner." "Oh stinky stench," sneered Mo. "Poo bum smell,"  drawled To. The Wabbit waved up at the tower, but no-one responded. "How do we get in?" murmured Lapinette. "There is no door," said Puma. "Then how do people inside get out?" asked Lapinette.  Puma screeched softly. "No-one has ever seen anyone." The Wabbit ran his paw across To's antennae. "Well, I don't like the sound of them." The team rode around the castle but although they looked from every angle, the scene was exactly the same. "There's a sort of a village nearby," snorted Puma. "Who's there?" asked the Wabbit. "Vagabonds, jailbirds, swindlers, mountebanks, organ grinders and lazzaroni," said Puma. "Cool," breathed Mo and To. Lapinette thought for a while. "Does this unpleasant assembly know who's in the castle?" "No they don't," said Puma, "but they hold them in the highest regard." The Wabbit contemplated kicking the walls, then felt in his fur for his emergency supply of CL-20. Lapinette looked stern. "Wabbit, is that entirely wise?" The Wabbit shrugged. "Cut out the middle rabbit?"
[Lazzaroni: 18th Century homeless idlers of Naples who lived by chance work or begging.]

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

2. The Wabbit and a Surprise Mission

"How did we end up here?" asked Lapinette. Rain soaked into the Wabbit's fur.  "We got some way outa this?" scoffed Mo. Mo and To were punk snails and liked to sneer amusingly. Lapinette looked up to the dark tower. She could see vague figures moving in the giant windows and frowned. She heard To drawl. "Any need to be excited, Ma'am." Lapinette's ear fluttered. "Can you hear a growl?" Her voice nearly drowned in the weather. "That would be me," replied a voice. Puma leaped across the concourse in a graceful arc and landed without a sound. Then he shook off every drop of rain. The Wabbit wiped droplets from his glasses. "What's going on, Puma?" Puma snarled for quite a while. Rain lashed down. Mo and To shifted uneasily. Lapinette clung tight. Now Mo twitched his antennae. "If the rain don't stop, somethin's gonna give." The Wabbit nodded and felt unsuccessfully in his fur for a hot lozenge. "Is there something the matter with the rain?" Puma shook again. "Something is going on!" Something was always going on for the Wabbit, so he shrugged for more information. "Chemicals from above," said Puma. Mo and To shivered as a gale began to howl. The Wabbit gestured to Lapinette. Mo wheeled across to join To. Then they all turned simultaneously. "Lead on, Puma," said the Wabbit. Puma's feet splashed spray as he began to walk ...  

Monday, August 29, 2016

1. The Wabbit and the Watchtower

Lapinette watched the Wabbit for quite a while, but the Wabbit was contemplating the watchtower and didn't notice. He looked the tower up and down and, finding it lopsided, he wondered whether it was him that was askew. So for a moment he anchored his feet on the ground and imagined a slim thread connecting his ears to the heavens. The thread seemed to pull him directly upright until he felt as connected and centred as a Wabbit could be. "Aaaah," murmured the Wabbit. A sudden skyward tug thrilled the Wabbit. "Wow. I had a satori moment!" But his thought was short lived. "Hello Wabbit!" It was a haunting coo from Parakalo the Dove holding a thread that coiled around the watchtower and snaked down its elderly walls. "Shichiten hakki," smiled the Wabbit. "Bonbu mo satoréba hotoké nari," replied Parakalo. The Wabbit nodded. "Quite right," he muttered. "All things are merely dreams." "Wabbit!" yelled Lapinette. The Wabbit jumped in the air. He landed in an ungainly fashion and tried to cover it up. "Ah, here you are Lovely Lapinette, a dream on legs." "These legs were made for hopping," grinned Lapinette and she tap danced across the street to embrace the Wabbit. The Wabbit lurched forward and hugged Lapinette. "That tower leans to one side." Lapinette laughed. "No, it's you. You should come with a spirit level."
[Shichiten hakki. Shichi ten hakki: Japanese. Fall down seven times. Stand up eight.
Bonbu mo satoréba hotoké nari: Japanese. All things are merely dreams.]

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Wabbit at the Adventure Caffè

They thought that Skratch the Cat had missed the boat. But he surprised them all by bursting through the aft door. "Ask the question," he roared and he waved a paw. The Wabbit could see his reflection in the window and he laughed. "That's a self referential T-shirt!" "The T-shirt answers the adventure question for me," purred Skratch. "We were so trekking across the universe," said Wabsworth gravely. Lapinette nodded demurely. "A syntagmatic analysis would suggest a system of signs consistent with the Odyssey."  "Such is the surface structure," replied Skratch dryly. "We weren't much on the surface," said Wabsworth. "Then it was about Quantum, our container," said the Wabbit, "and our Space Traveller sought after new containers." Wabsworth sighed. "He sought after me and I didn't like being a container." Lapinette was in academic mode. "Is not the Odyssey a system of containers?" Skratch was delighted. He purred furiously. "It's a bounded subsystem within a system of time and space." "But where are our drinks in time and space?" asked the Wabbit. "Unfortunately," said Skratch, "the bar is closed." "When do we disembark?" groaned Lapinette. Wabsworth cheered wildly. "In two minutes." "Is there a caffè?" queried the Wabbit. "There are four." smiled Wabsworth. "Then we have to check them out," said Lapinette. The Wabbits teeth flashed. "We'll recce one each and communicate by radio." Lapinette suddenly pointed. "Klingons on the starboard bow!"