Friday, April 28, 2017

6. The Wabbit and the Phantom Call

They searched the deserted city for supplies and found some curling sandwiches in the station bar. Fitzy located a jar of pesto. Lapinette spread it equally around with an edged weapon she pulled from her frock. "Maybe everyone in the city shot through," said the Wabbit. "Like Spartacus," said Lapinette. "Did Spartacus shoot through?" asked the Wabbit in astonishment. Lapinette smiled. "Apparently." She handed the Wabbit her knife. "What? He just upped and left," muttered the Wabbit. The telephone rang. "Maybe it's Spartacus!" said the Wabbit. The phone rang again wildly and jumped off the hook. The Wabbit caught it. "Is that Spartacus?" "No way," said a voice. The Wabbit thought for a second and played with the telephone cord. "Maybe you'd like to speak with Lapinette." Lapinette shook her head violently and took back her edged weapon. "No," said the phone. The Wabbit shrugged and offered the handset all around - without success. He placed his mouth close to the phone, covered it with a paw and whispered. "No-one wants to speak to you." "Good," said the phone. The line went dead and the Wabbit replaced the handset. "The telephones are working at least," sighed Lapinette. The Wabbit lifted the phone and listened. There was no line. It was completely dead. "Whoever that was, they shot through." The Wabbit took Lapinette's knife, grasped the phone cord and smiled. "Noooo!" shrieked the phone. "Just checking the line," said the Wabbit.
[term: "shoot through": An Australian expression for leave or get out, usually without warning.]

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

5. The Wabbit and a Backup Generator

The Wabbit's secret dump was locked and they had to force their way in. Downstairs a commotion raged. "There's definitely something in the store rooms," shouted Tipsy. "I heard a voice," yelled Fitzy. "Let's shoot the shibblet!" shouted Mitzy. The Wabbit listened carefully, then he started to laugh. "Did you disturb my box of old tape recorders? Unless Woody Guthrie came to call." Lapinette's personal guard had a reputation for ferocity and the three brandished their weapons. "He'll never get past us!" Lapinette made reassuring noises. The Wabbit shrugged. "I'd take you all to a caffè but they're closed." The lights flickered, dimmed, went out, then flickered dimly on again. The Wabbit scowled. "Tipsy, can you check the back up generator?" "Woody can check it for me," grinned Tipsy. She disappeared through a door. They heard three curses and a yell, then several bangs, followed by the chatter of a generator. "Let there be light!" shouted Tipsy. Everything brightened.The Wabbit sat on the munitions box. "What the binky is going on?" Fitzy shook her head. "The No people won the election." "I never heard of them," said Lapinette; "What do they advocate?" "Nothing, no thing, not anything" said Tipsy. "No way, no hay," said Fitzy. "Dirty rotten sons of saveloys!" cursed Mitzy. "How will we find them?" asked the Wabbit. "We stop at nothing," replied Lapinette.
[Saveloy: a seasoned sausage, often sold battered in fish and chip shops]

Monday, April 24, 2017

4. The Wabbit and the Rural Route

Lapinette sped through the night - taking a variety of routes suggested by the Wabbit.  The Wabbit's knowledge of parks in Rome was idiosyncratic and his routes inventive. His teeth chattered as Lapinette bounced along a rough footpath and climbed a steep hill. The jeep shot into the air as she crested it. "Yow!" gasped the Wabbit. "You said to go to Aurelia this way," shouted Lapinette. Gears crashed and wheels span. The jeep slammed on the lower slope and shot through the woods. The Wabbit remembered that Lapinette trained in the Panzer Division and knew how to treat a gearbox. So he held on tight and flicked a switch on his radio. It crackled aimlessly. "Nothing doing," scowled the Wabbit and he struck it with a paw. It whined and gurgled, then Tipsy spoke. She was barely audible but the Wabbit could decipher some of her more colourful expressions. He hit the radio again. It crackled optimistically. Then it died. "Batteries," cursed the Wabbit. "There's parks all the way?" enquired Lapinette. "For the most part," said the Wabbit. Lapinette gritted her teeth and stamped on the throttle. "We have a small diversion through a convent," said the Wabbit. "After that there's a market garden, a seminary, a playing field..." The Wabbit's eyes narrowed. "Plus a bit of rough ground, nobody knows what it's for." "Then?" asked Lapinette. The Wabbit shrugged. "Then we'll use the flower beds..."

Friday, April 21, 2017

3. The Wabbit in the Cancelled City

Every road in Rome was blocked by abandoned cars. The Wabbit and Lapinette drove the river bank until Ponte Garibaldi, where they ran out of gas. "Lucky we found that old NATO gas cannister," murmured the Wabbit. Lapinette grinned. "You mean took." The Wabbit's definition of "found" could be fairly flexible, but every pump in every filling station was chained up. Lapinette looked back at the bridge. "There's the No 8 tram." "I think tram lines have been cancelled," said the Wabbit. His radio crackled. "Commander, come in please." The Wabbit looked at Lapinette. "It's Tipsy." "What's my personal guard doing here?" asked Lapinette. The Wabbit lifted his radio. "Tipsy. What do you hear? What do you say?" He held the radio away from his ear. Lapinette could only make out expletives. "Where are you?" asked the Wabbit. "At the Aurelio dump, with Fitzy and Mitzy," crackled Tipsy; "Rome's a soup sandwich. Better get over here." "Wilco," said the Wabbit. He was about to shut off the radio when it crackled again. "One teensy weensy urgent thing," said Tipsy. "Where's the booze? All the bars have been cancelled." The Wabbit sighed. "Under the C4 in a box marked 'Open in case of emergency'." "Out," said Tipsy. Lapinette stood on the brakes. "Let's get going before that booze is cancelled." She gunned the throttle and the jeep slewed round in a perfect arc. "Across the park and down the hill?" suggested the Wabbit. "You navigate," said Lapinette...
[soup sandwich: (military slang) Anything that's gone stupendously wrong.]

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

2. The Wabbit and the Dragon's Tale

The sky changed quickly - as skies do on the coast. Terni the Food Dragon threw a mound of sand behind him. "This place is never the same." The air hung with a faint smell of cabbage and peppers and mashed potatoes. The Wabbit looked at Terni directly and grinned. "What drags a dragon away from his market?" Terni puffed a ball of smoke. "Trouble of course." The Wabbit breathed a sigh of relief. "Nothing trivial I hope?" Terni breathed fire. "Triple trouble." Wet sand dried in the heat. Paint peeled and fell from the beach hut wall. "It's the talk of the market and the market's cornered," roared Terni. Lapinette waited patiently for an explanation. "Tell us Terni," she breathed. Terni flapped his cabbage wings. "Markets have been cancelled." The Wabbit shoved his paws deep into his fur. Lapinette did the same. "No-one can get a license," roared Terni. Lapinette and the Wabbit looked blank. "Anyway," continued Terni; "The License Department has also been cancelled because no one is applying." "I suppose there are no licenses to issue," nodded the Wabbit. "I don't quite understand," sighed Lapinette; "Why don't they print more licenses? "Terni blasted flame into the air. "Because print contracts were cancelled due to irregularities." "What about the food?" asked the Wabbit. "Cancelled," said Terni. "And the money?" asked Lapinette. "Vanished," roared Terni.
 [The story of  Terni's first appearance - The Wabbit and Terni find a device in the market.] 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

1. The Wabbit and the Limits of Signs

It was a dull day and the beach was deserted. The Wabbit and Lapinette hopped along the sand until they came to a sign. Lapinette looked it up and down and read it twice. "It says we shouldn't do something." murmured the Wabbit. "Not exactly," replied Lapinette; "It says we can do something within limits." The Wabbit scuffled the sand. "In four languages." He shivered in the damp air and thrust a paw into his fur. "It says we can swim between the two red buoys," stated Lapinette. The Wabbit grinned. "Let the two boys swim, it's far too cold for me." Lapinette giggled. They drew patterns in the sand and listened to the waves. "Did you hear a noise?" asked Lapinette suddenly. "Nope," shrugged the Wabbit. Lapinette's ears swivelled. "I hear wings beating." The Wabbit smiled because he knew Terni the Food Dragon was winging his way along the coast. "I hear the sound of our next adventure," he murmured. "He has a tail wind," observed Lapinette; "He'll be here in a minute." The Wabbit squinted at the sign. "What does it say about dragons?" "It doesn't mention dragons," said Lapinette. "Then dragons can do what they like," said the Wabbit. Terni's roar blasted sand along the beach. "All OK?" The Wabbit looked up and yelled. "Within limits." Terni's monster feet hit the beach and he roared, "I go beyond them."

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Wabbit at the Adventure Caffè

Fregene was a long, long way from the seven planets, but somehow not so far. The Lepus berthed at Civitavecchia and they made their way along the coast. The Wabbit was in search of a particular caffè and he was relieved to find it. "Sometimes, it's not here." Lapinette took a seat. "Isn't this the place where Pasolini met his chums?" "No-one's really sure," purred a voice. Skratch the Cat always lagged behind to make a dramatic entrance and this was no exception. "So tell us, Skratch," said the Wabbit; "What was that for a sort of adventure?" "No-one's really sure," smiled Skratch. Captain Jenny chuckled. "You're implying uncertainty was the structurating principle." Skratch looked at Jenny with awestruck eyes. "Oh Jenny it was. It was a unifying uncertainty that rendered the text open." The Wabbit tapped lightly on the table. "Then we encouraged distantiation and specularity at the same time. Where's our drinks?" An almost imperceptible movement of Lapinette's ears brought immediate service. "How do you do that?" asked the Wabbit. He wiggled his ears, but they looked ridiculous to no effect. Skratch turned his ears back to front and made a face. A waiter arrived. Jenny crossed her ears at the back. The waiter left. The Wabbit's tummy rumbled for a very long time. A waiter arrived. "Got it!" cheered the Wabbit.

Monday, April 10, 2017

14. The Wabbit is Homeward Bound

The Lepus headed home and they all knew they'd be glad to get there. "At this point, shouldn't we sing a shanty?" ventured Captain Jenny. Skratch arrived from the engine room. "Aye!" he meowed. The Wabbit called out. "Lapinette! Give me a note." Lapinette's note cracked the glass in the ship's chronometer. "Lower," smiled the Wabbit. "Let me," said Jenny. She boomed out the first line of a sea shanty. "There was a rabbit came fae Scotland. Bonnie rabbit! Hieland rabbit!" "Way hay an away we go!" wailed Skratch. "Ma bonnie hieland rabbit O!" sang Lapinette. They laughed and laughed and pointed at the Wabbit. The Wabbit grinned and bowed. "I have another song," purred Skratch. The bridge seemed to swell with his beautiful meowing. "Step we gaily on we go, heel for heel an' toe for toe." The Wabbit's voice took over. "Fur in fur an' paw in paw, all for Jenny's wedding." They danced around the bridge and made up words as they went along. "Through the worm holes, up and down. Planets red and green and brown. Past the sun and round and round. All for sake of Jenny!" Jenny laughed heartily and swayed considerably. "Is there something I haven't been told?" Skratch looked at her adoringly and stretched out a paw. "The Captain could marry us!" Jenny grinned. "But I am the Captain." "That makes things so simple," meowed Skratch.

Friday, April 07, 2017

13. The Wabbit and Lapinette's Kiss

Behind a mottled sun, the black planet flared bright and died.  “Let’s get out of here.” sighed Lapinette. She suddenly hugged the Wabbit and gave him a kiss. The Wabbit grinned. “Our taxi’s here.” The Lepus loomed impossibly large on the horizon, red lightning crashing from the bow. “My Cailleach still works,” murmured the Wabbit. “I hope so,” smiled Lapinette.  A small shock wave made them tremble. “That was the black planet,” said the Wabbit. “Is that what it was?” said Lapinette. They watched far-off planets dance into new positions.  “How do we get on board the Lepus?” asked Lapinette. “Oh, let’s just stay here for a while,” said the Wabbit; “One of the bio pods does catering.” The Lepus dropped gently and settled on the planet surface. Lapinette and the Wabbit sat down. A bio pod handed out sandwiches.  “What about the dinosaurs?” asked Lapinette suddenly. “My goodness,” gasped the Wabbit;  “I quite forgot.” “You promised them a new planet with volcanoes.” said Lapinette. The Wabbit munched a sandwich. “And decent toilets,” added Lapinette. The Wabbit appeared nonplussed. “Any ideas?”  “Why not leave them here on the blue planet?” said Lapinette firmly. “What about the toilets?” asked the Wabbit. “Dinosaurs need to take an initiative,” said Lapinette. The Wabbit looked worried. “Then what about the volcanoes?” Lapinette shrugged. “There are volcanoes everywhere.”

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

12. The Wabbit and the Daemon Reset

The remainder of the bio pods lay at the foot of a rough obelisk. Decorated with unknown symbols, it featured an oversized red button that lay just out of reach. "Give us a punt up," said the Wabbit and he shimmied up the structure. His paws traced the letters. "What do these symbols mean?" Lapinette pushed with all her might and, at the same time, racked her brains. "They spell Daemon System Reset." The Wabbit scrabbled at any edges he could find. "Here be daemons," he grinned. Lapinette pushed harder. "Can you reach the button?" "Nearly," said the Wabbit. He glanced up. "I see the Lepus flag." Lapinette puffed and panted. "Jenny is getting the ship out the way." Lapinette gave the Wabbit a shove. His paw tapped the button, but nothing happened. "Just a tad higher," yelled the Wabbit and he lunged. His paw struck the button squarely. The obelisk shook and the Wabbit started to lose his grip. A series of vibrations followed. The Wabbit looked down. "Run!" He shouted as he dropped and kept shouting when he hit the ground. "Fire in the Hole! Clear the Area!" The Bio pods swept them to safety as the obelisk blew a crater in the ground before blasting into space. They watched it go and breathed deeply. "The map was right," breathed Lapinette. The Wabbit stared as the obelisk vanished behind the red planet. "Now we need to draw a new one."

Monday, April 03, 2017

11. The Wabbit and the Bio pod Touch

Everything glinted on the blue planet but it was safe enough for the Lepus to land. The Wabbit and Lapinette hopped quickly across the beach - and when they spotted two bio pods they climbed a small ridge to examine them. The Wabbit lifted a pod and shook it. Lapinette did the same. Then the Wabbit patted his with a paw and spoke. "Bio pod Three, report." The pod spun a little, whining like a humming top. "You don't say!" murmured the Wabbit; "Tell me more." The pod spun again, humming intermittently. The Wabbit lifted his radio. "Lepus, we have the coordinates. Please copy." The Wabbit listed a long and complicated series of numbers, followed by a similar series of letters in the Greek alphabet. The radio crackled. "Copy that. Out." Lapinette looked at her pod, shook it and tapped it. Then she lifted it to her ear and listened. There was nothing. "Bio pod! Report!" she yelled, shaking it hard and bouncing it from the ground. It remained silent. The Wabbit hopped across and kicked the pod viciously. It began to glow. "Aha," said the Wabbit," "That must be Bio pod Two. It doesn't say much." Lapinette hung on to the glowing pod as it started to tug her inland at a furious rate. The Wabbit grabbed her frock and lolloped behind her. "Where are we going?" yelled Lapinette. "Two places at once," shouted the Wabbit ...