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!"

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

18. The Wabbit and the Planet Exile

"Are you sure," asked the Wabbit, "that this is you?"  The Space Traveller looked very sorry for himself. "Not really," he replied. "I shifted so many times." The Wabbit frowned. "Perhaps some time on your own would help you remember." The Traveller looked around. "Is there no-one here but me?" "Well," said the Wabbit, "there are some tiny voles who emerge from caverns and dance in the light of the moons." "I'll look out for them," sighed the Traveller. "When do they come?" "Thursdays," nodded the Wabbit. He glanced up. "I have to be off. My team is waiting." Now the Traveller looked anxious. "How long must I remain here?" "Until I remember to come back," said the Wabbit. "Then I pray earnestly for your safety and well being," said the Traveller. The Wabbit smiled to himself, since he had no intention of leaving the Traveller for any length of time. He made a mental note to pick him up after two weeks, but chose to say nothing. "You could try mindfulness," suggested the Wabbit, "that may help you find yourself." "How does it work?" asked the Traveller. "Be aware of the present," said the Wabbit, "and without judgement, accept your feelings, thoughts and sensations. The Traveller thought for a second. "I think I'll wait for the voles."

Monday, August 22, 2016

17. The Wabbit fights for Control

The Wabbit dived onto Quantum's footplate and grabbed at the Space Traveller. But he only had a hold of a feline tail. Skratch the Cat let out a piercing yowl and the phantom materialised at the controls. The Wabbit rolled and kicked a lever. Quantum lurched out of lattice drive and Skratch and the Wabbit dropped to the floor with a crash. "Grab him!" yelled the Wabbit. A swipe of Skratch's paw brought a yell of pain but the Traveller eluded every attempt at capture. The Wabbit's ears twitched at the sound of an engine and he staggered to the windscreen. Susan the Biplane screamed beside the cab. Her single air screw looked like jelly and with every turn it got bigger. Suddenly a stream of molten alloy span towards Quantum's windscreen. Quantum kicked into lattice drive. The jerk shook the Traveller from the controls and he sprawled headlong onto the footplate. The Wabbit jumped on him several times and once again for luck. The Traveller tried to change shape but the Wabbit's hind legs were too strong. Skratch pummelled the Traveller with both paws and he hissed. "You're under arrest." The Traveller had a voice like a dental drill. "Whaaat foooor?" "Anything we care to make up," snapped the Wabbit. Then he grinned with all of his 28 teeth. "Because in space, no-one can hear you complain."

Friday, August 19, 2016

16. The Wabbit and the Surprise Case

Quantum headed for the nearest wormhole with the big case on board. "Shall we open it?" asked Lapinette. "It's what it's for," murmured the Wabbit. "That case is extremely noisy," complained Wabsworth, gripping his automatic fiercely. The Wabbit agreed. "But there's something familiar about it."  He unzipped the case and quickly hopped back. Everything went white as Ghost Bunny flew shrieking from the case. "Wabbit, what is the meaning of this tomfoolery?" Her harsh tone came as no surprise because they all knew Ghost Bunny had a crush on the Wabbit. The Wabbit waved a paw for calm and his voice was soothing. "Report?" Ghost Bunny spiralled up and down. "I was invaded by a Space Traveller, a hateful beast." Lapinette wrinkled her nose. "How long?" Ghost Bunny settled. "I am uncertain." "Where is he now?" growled Wabsworth. Ghost Bunny howled with anger. "He was in the suitcase with me." Wabsworth swivelled round. "Then he's here!" Ghost Bunny sniffed. "I can smell his boogly breath." "Conduct a ghostly sweep of the train," ordered the Wabbit. Ghost Bunny swept off to haunt the creature down. The Wabbit glanced at Lapinette. "How are things on the footplate?" The speakers were curiously silent. "Quantum? Skratch?" asked the Wabbit. There was no reply. Then they heard the sound of a struggle ...

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

15. The Wabbit and the Exit Strategy

Quantum was a time travelling train and easily overtook the Sombrero Shuttle by Spica 3. There they lay in wait for the Space Traveller. "We don't know what form he'll take," whispered Lapinette. The Wabbit grimaced. "I'm relying on Wabsworth. He has the glasses." Wabsworth stiffened and focused. "I can feel him, he's on the concourse." Then he shook his head. "He is here, but that's not him." The Wabbit turned. His eyes settled on the passenger with the big bag and he made a squinty face. He nudged Lapinette. "That's a big bag to be travelling with."  Lapinette scanned it up and down. "It's made of aggregated diamond nano rods." "Not cheap," said the Wabbit. "If you're paying," smiled Lapinette. "Is it big enough to take care of a floozy?" asked the Wabbit. "It's big enough to take care of itself," replied Lapinette. The Wabbit lifted his radio. "Wabbit's the name. Gumshoe's the Game." The radio whined. "Commander?" "Quantum, can you get a transport fix on the man with the suitcase?" There was a long pause. Wabsworth kept his binoculars trained on the bag. Suddenly the bag pitched to one side and fell off its wheels. "It's him!" cried Wabsworth, "The phantom is in the bag." The Wabbit growled into his radio. "Now Quantum! Bag, Tag and Drop!" The suitcase shimmered and vanished. "He exceeded his weight allowance," hissed the Wabbit.

Monday, August 15, 2016

14. The Wabbit in the Alien's Bar

Planet OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb was cold as ice but inside it was warm and fuggy. The Alien Pilot was fishing behind the bar for his emergency Winchester, when he heard a soft Scottish voice. "Two pints of lager and a packet of pistachios." He tried to suppress a grin and stood up. "Commander!" With a nod of his head, the Wabbit gestured to Wabsworth who continued to torture an automatic. The Alien Pilot swung round and spoke sternly. "Check weapons at the bar!" Wabsworth dropped his automatic on the counter top with a clatter. Glasses rattled. "Commander," said the Alien Pilot, "I don't know who you're looking for. Anyway I never saw a thing, I was asleep." The Wabbit smiled. "Maybe you saw something in your dreams?" The Alien Pilot considered long and hard. "Maybe I dreamed of a phantom who hooked up with a floozy and boarded the Sombrero shuttle." Wabsworth growled. "Maybe that's our man." "The next shuttle is a one month wait," frowned the Alien Pilot but the Wabbit winked. "We got our own shuttle, we don't need a timetable." The Alien Pilot proffered a hand and grasped the Wabbit's paw. "Best of luck. Finding that phantom is a one in a million chance." "A million's a lot of odds," said the Wabbit.  The Alien Pilot pumped his paw. "You're one in a million. I'm betting on you."

Saturday, August 13, 2016

13. The Wabbit and the Nuts Question

Lapinette felt sorry for Wabsworth because he was always so strong. But now he looked washed out. His paws trembled and his nose twitched. Hosting an alien traveller had proved wearing. Quantum rushed through space to co-ordinates specified by the Wabbit. "Head for Planet OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb," he'd snapped. Lapinette shook her head. "I don't think the traveller is the Alien Pilot." No," replied the Wabbit, "but he drinks in every hostelry in the quadrant. He'll know where to find our fellow." Lapinette sighed. "Then what?" "I require a quiet word with him," said Wabsworth. Lapinette fumbled in her fur and tossed him an automatic. "Take Mr Makarov with you. He's most diplomatic." Quantum flashed through a region they'd never seen before where stars were blossom and planets, gravel. "Fasten your seat belts, ladies and gentlemen," said Skratch over the speakers as Quantum shuddered violently. "We don't have any." smiled the Wabbit. Skratch laughed. "Then would anyone like a drink from the bar?" Lapinette's paw shot in the air. "A triple distilled carrot aperitivo" The speakers crackled. "Coming right up," said Skratch. "with pistachio nut sprinkles," added Lapinette. "We're right out of pistachios," yelled Skratch. "Nuts, nuts, nuts," mused the Wabbit. "Now I did hear of a bar called 'Insanire Furiosi'." Wabsworth played with the slide on his automatic. "Lunatic Madmen," he muttered.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

12. The Wabbit & an Android in Space

Quantum the Train received an emergency transmission that sent them scurrying to a damp, misty planet no-one had ever heard of. The signal came from an agent's location beacon and soon the Wabbit and Lapinette were looking at a lifeless Wabsworth on a featureless beach. "Wabsworth!" yelled Lapinette, "He can't hear you," said the Wabbit, "I think he's switched off." He groped under Wabsworth's fur. Lapinette groped too. "What are we looking for?" "A reboot button," said the Wabbit. Lapinette was amazed. "I didn't know he had one." The Wabbit's smile was grim. "He doesn't advertise it.  Ah, here we are."  Wabsworth suddenly lurched and gasped, "Where am I?" Lapinette wanted to get to the point. "Where were you, Wabsworth?" Wabsworth's innards grumbled long and loud and he shed some of his coat. "My circuits were in the grip of a daemon, a trickster, a space traveller." The Wabbit looked down and punched buttons on his walkie talkie. "Transport for three please." Then he turned to Wabsworth. "Was this traveller a pain in the backside?" "He was a pain in every side," replied Wabsworth, "I was forced to be Emperor Cuniculus and act imperious." "How did that feel?" asked Lapinette. "Powerful yet impotent," growled Wabsworth. "Events took place and I could do nothing to alter them." "Sounds like life," murmured the Wabbit. He picked up the remains of the travellers cloak and sniffed them. "Something familiar," he murmured.  Quantum locked onto their coordinates and they shimmered and vanished.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

11. The Wabbit and the Lattice Drive

They crowded into Quantum's cab and gazed into the distance. The something started as an orange dot but it grew rapidly like an ant on steroids. Lapinette hunched over the controls. "It's Nine the Tram and he's motoring!" Skratch shielded his eyes. "He's catching up. He's on collision course and he'll be here soon." "Got a time?" asked the Wabbit. "Now," answered Lapinette. Nine the Tram loomed impossibly large. He was so close the Wabbit could spot worn upholstery on the seats. Skratch vaguely read a window advert for computer training and he braced for impact. Everyone did. The Wabbit screwed up his eyes and mumbled a prayer. But there was no collision - nothing but a brief moment of being part of a tram. For Skratch it felt orange and tasted of metal. Lapinette could smell rubber and oil and vegetables from the market. The Wabbit rubbed sand from his eyes and let out a belch of compressed air. Then Nine was gone. All that remained was a faint clang of a bell and the grinding of metal on metal. The Wabbit sat down. "My insides feel funny." "Mine too," purred Skratch. Lapinette looked at the Wabbit. "Have you been modifying things again?" The Wabbit shuffled his paws and shrugged. "It's early days for the Lattice Drive." Lapinette stamped heavily on Quantum's footplate. "Did you try it out anywhere first?" "I tried it on Nine the Tram," sighed the Wabbit.