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 Wabsword. 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!"