Monday, July 31, 2017

13. The Wabbit and the Space Kaboom

Quantum the Time Travelling Train was technically a merchant craft, unequipped for dogfights in space - but he was fast. "Lattice Drive, Commander?" "No," said the Wabbit. He connected his radio to Device A119 and hummed a simple tune. "Locked and Loaded," said the device. "Wait," said the Wabbit. Device A119 waited, and while he waited he played an electronic tune. "So tired," he warbled; "Tired of waiting for you oo ooh." "Now!" yelled the Wabbit. It was only an instant but it seemed like an hour. Suddenly the lunar surface glowed with a strange yellow light. There was no sound, just heat and light. A fiery blast seared past Quantum. "No-one look back," yelled the Wabbit. New fire added to old. Space was as floodlit as a stadium. Shards of saucers flew past Quantum's hull. A random blast from an Ice Mice craft shaved paint from one of Quantum's plates. "Dead Stop! Engage Lattice Drive!" snapped the Wabbit. Quantum groaned, shuddered and vanished, leaving behind only a light-drenched scrapyard. From a safe distance, Marshall Duetta and her legions of red spiders watched. Something odd was happening. Explosions on the lunar source sprayed water bombs into space. There, they froze into Arctic ice floes and drifted towards earth. Duetta spoke telepathically to her spider army. "Take your positions ..."

Friday, July 28, 2017

12. The Wabbit and the Broken Saucer

Under the pressure of the red spiders, the saucer plunged and crashed. Spiders swarmed over the surface, but nothing emerged. The Wabbit and Lapinette stared across a river of the deepest blue. "Is it water?" asked the Wabbit. "Not as we know it," said Duetta. Her legs rattled. "I wouldn't drink it." Marshall Duetta stuck a tip of a leg in the water and withdrew quickly. "The molecules aren't quite right." The Wabbit had a thought. "It looks like a reservoir." Lapinette charged her snazer gun. The whine was audible even in the wafer thin atmosphere. "But who's reservoir is it?" Duetta received a signal from the red spiders. "Marshall, there's movement inside the craft." Duetta ordered her troops to smash against the side of the vessel. The Wabbit and Lapinette gripped their snazers. They were expecting a sudden onslaught of Ice Mice, but all was still. "It's too quiet," said the Wabbit. Duetta nodded upwards. "How quiet do you like it?" Saucers emerged from behind Earth and they were fast and furious. "I estimate they'll be here in two hours," said Lapinette. "Call off the spiders," said the Wabbit; "Let them think we cut and ran." "We'll head for the dark side of the moon," said Lapinette. "It's going to be cold," sighed the Wabbit. "We'll heat things up," said Duetta; "Got any CL-20?" "I always do," replied the Wabbit, flicking imaginary lint from his fur. "Lay it under the water," suggested Duetta. "Blasting harms the environment," said Lapinette. Duetta rattled her legs. "If the Ice Mice get here, we won't have any."

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

11. The Wabbit and the Liquid Moon

Marshall Duetta Spyder hung just off Earth and watched the moon turn liquid. Then the remnants of a distant shock wave rattled her legs. Quantum the Time Travelling Train burst through the lunar surface, spraying icy droplets into space. Duetta spoke telepathically to her cohorts. "Stand by." "There's another craft, Marshall," came a silent response. "Ice Mice," growled Duetta. She transmitted another message. "Battalion Two. Give that craft trouble." A thousand red spiders broke orbit and headed for the saucer. Marshall Duetta turned her gaze to the moon. She knew the value of water and the sinister role of the Ice Mice in diverting natural resources. Climatic catastrophe was the certain result. She sent another message, this time to the Wabbit. "All possible information. Copy." The Wabbit's radio voice vibrated through every hair she had. "The moon is full of water. The discovery droid told no-one." Marshall Duetta rattled her legs. "Someone else knew. We have company." The Wabbit's voice was harsh. "Can you divert them?" "Not indefinitely," said Duetta. The saucer was at a standstill, but suddenly powered up and made for the moon's surface. Quantum moved to intercept. For a moment a collision looked unavoidable, but Quantum vanished and reappeared from the far side of the moon. Trapped between Quantum and the spiders, the saucer shuddered to a halt. Red spiders covered the craft. Duetta hissed and bared her fangs. "Smother it."

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

10. The Wabbit and the Place of Water

In the dining car of Quantum the Train, the Wabbit fiddled with Device A119. It was rather old fashioned and had seen better days. But it worked. Space Traveller looked out into deep space and worried. "Does he know what he's doing?" Lapinette shrugged. "Maybe." The Wabbit ignored all this. He continued to poke inside the device and hummed gently. "Is that you or the device?" asked Lapinette. The Wabbit hummed a different note, then another. Suddenly Device A119 spoke. "Up a bit and to the left." "Your left or my left?" sighed the Wabbit. "Right paw up a bit until you find the red capacitor." There was a flash. "Ouch," said the Wabbit. "Spot on," said the device; "You have control." The Wabbit sighed again. "Control of what?" "Me," said the device. "Can I have a salad sandwich?" said the Wabbit. "I can promise a panino in due course," replied the device; "but I have to find it first." Lapinette laughed and signalled the kitchens. "What was your function?" continued the Wabbit. "To find water in the moon," said the device. The Wabbit probed with his screwdriver and murmured, "What was the outcome of your search?" The device played a soothing snatch of Cool Water. "I'll take that as a yes," said the Wabbit; "so who did you inform?" "No-one," responded the device; "I have no instructions to tell anyone." An audible gasp shook the dining car. "It was forgotten," said the Device. "That doesn't hold water," grinned the Wabbit.

Friday, July 21, 2017

9. The Wabbit and the Lost Performers

Torrential rain lashed at the Wabbit's fur. The Agents were looking at something and the Wabbit knew what it was. It whistled and sang, it chirped and warbled. Then under the light of a mystifying moon, the Agents began to dance. Space Traveller pitched his green ears. "What is that?" The Wabbit plucked his walkie talkie from his fur. "I forgot about Device A119. It's a droid." He changed frequency and whispered urgently. "Command Line 76. Execute Bootstrap. Information Protocol 119." His radio crackled and whined. "Hello, hello, hello hello." "The Wabbit had an idea. He whispered again. "Device A119, please accept my requests." The Wabbit listed a series of obscure novelty chart-toppers. The Agents danced in circles and made jazz paws in the rain, oblivious to anything but the heterodyne whine of Device A119. "That's ghastly," said Space Traveller, making a futile attempt to cover his ears. The Wabbit spat out a list of performers known for execrable one-hit wonders. Device A119 played them all. "I can take no more," sighed Space Traveller. "Wait," smiled the Wabbit. The Agents whirled to left and right, then sank exhausted to the ground. The rain stopped. Silence fell. The Wabbit hopped forward and retrieved the device. Then he grabbed onto Space Traveller and grinned, "Let's fade away." And they did.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

8. The Wabbit and the Cynical Switch

The Wabbit felt strange to be an Agent of Rabit, but Space Traveller seemed to be enjoying himself. They wiggled their pointy ears and practiced snickering just like Agents. "Get these gophers," sneered the Wabbit. "Scrag their scroggles!" said Space Traveller, a bit too loud. Suddenly there were three agents throwing out their chests and snivelling. "Who are you?" they shouted. The Wabbit looked over the wall. "We're new." "We just got here," added Space Traveller. "No-one said you were coming," said an Agent. "Last minute thing," smiled the Wabbit; "In consequence, we are hopelessly raw and don't know our asses from our elbows." Another Agent shook with annoyance. "It's always the same when we need help." "But we're so cute," simpered the Wabbit. The three Agents huddled, then emerged to address the pair. "There was one interloper. Now there are two." "I can see them," said the Wabbit.  "Where?" sneered the Agents. "Over there," said Space Traveller; "You can make out their ears." The Agents became agitated. "We can't see them." The Wabbit pointed to his glasses. "Special spectacles." Space Traveller tapped his. "Wearable specnology." "Yes, I see ears on the horizon," exclaimed an Agent. "Best follow them," suggested the Wabbit. "Keep your own ears to the ground," advised Space Traveller." The Agents made off at speed and disappeared. "We'll look after your stuff," shouted the Wabbit.

Monday, July 17, 2017

7. The Wabbit & the Planet of the Voles

Quantum dropped them off. The planet looked pretty much as the Wabbit had left it, but something wasn't right. The sky darkened and rain fell. Drops prickled the Wabbit's fur. "Acid rain," murmured the Wabbit. "Usually this is when the voles come, remember?" said Space Traveller. The Wabbit recalled his story of the voles with a chuckle. "I made all that up." Lightning flashed. The Wabbit plucked his walkie talkie from his fur, but it crackled aimlessly. A long way above, Quantum the Time Travelling Train wheeled and departed. "I do think we have trouble," sighed the Wabbit. "There they are, the voles," shrugged the Time Traveller; "They're most unpleasant." The Wabbit stared straight ahead. "They're not normal voles." The Space Traveller shuddered. "Voles should stay in their holes." The Wabbit fished around in his fur for ideas. "I'm truly sorry I left you with the voles." Damp droplets turned to lashing rain. The Wabbit tucked his radio away. "It's an off-planet platoon of the Agents of Rabit. Our sworn enemy." The Wabbit hissed harshly but Space Traveller brightened up. "Let's give them a thrashing." Agents charged over the brow of the hill, snickering as they closed on their prey. "Grab onto me," said the Traveller; "We'll give them the round run." The Wabbit did as he was told. With a grimace and a shudder the Traveller began to change. And so did the Wabbit ..

Friday, July 14, 2017

6. The Wabbit and the Forgotten Web

The sun's glare barely penetrated the abandoned mall. Marshall Duetta Spyder stared through a web at the Wabbit and Lapinette. "This is an old web of mine. I can tell by the excellent weave." Silkie's voice boomed out from the graffitied wall. "Listen to the words of the Royal Seal." The Wabbit's paws were stuck fast, but he managed a shrug. "I'm not going anywhere. Spit it out." "This is the dream of unfinished business," shouted Silkie. "In this unfortunate space are things you forgot about." A green figure gazed from a shuttered shop and cried mournfully, "You said you'd come back for me." The Wabbit looked round, then cringed. "Oh no! It's Space Traveller!" Duetta rattled her legs. "It's true Commander. You leave a lot of matters unresolved." Tock, the Blue Ball spoke up from the farthest point in the passageway. "I'm left over from an old adventure, you forgot me too." Lapinette was suspicious and wrinkled her nose. "What's this really about Silkie?" Silkie tiled his crown at angle. "I discovered some old adventure reports. They were behind the Wabbit's filing cabinet stuck to a half-eaten salad sandwich." "The Wabbit pulled a paw from the web and crashed it on his brow. "Then I didn't forget!" Silkie barked loudly. "The reports remain unprocessed. I need to sign and seal certain adventures." The Wabbit sighed with relief.  "That's easy," he murmured. "Exactly where they took place," said Silkie ...

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

5. The Wabbit and the Dreams of Seals

Tock the Ball took off in pursuit. The Wabbit wasn't entirely sure that he would detonate. But they all ran rapidly through the market anyway. The whoomph was unexpected. It was far from an explosion but their paws left the ground as it propelled them past market stalls. That was the moment when Silkie the Royal Seal did something surprising. He became enormous, then twitched his nose. A swarm of red spiders erupted from his face. "Silkies can change into anything," muttered the Wabbit. "You can change, Seal," shouted Tock; "but you'll never escape." There was another whoomph like a burst tyre and they scooted faster. The red spiders made their own noise. These were shrill calls designed to attract others. And others were coming - of that the Wabbit could be sure. He could almost hear them scuttling. "Who are you, Silkie?" shouted the Wabbit. "I am change," said Silkie. The Wabbit's radio startled into life. "This is Marshall Duetta Spyder. Copy?" "Duetta! What the binky is going on?" asked the Wabbit. "I had a strange dream about a seal barking," said Duetta. "Get over here!" yelled the Wabbit; "Bring every spider you can muster." Another whoomph shifted them further. "Hand over the Royal Seal," shouted Tock. Spiders spilled from Silkie's mouth - and he too looked more and more like a spider. "Onwards to the web of dreams," smiled Silkie ...

Monday, July 10, 2017

4. The Wabbit and the Market Face-off

The Wabbit and Lapinette hopped with speed. The Market was closing and they had no difficulty in spotting what looked like a royal seal. The Wabbit put aside niceties. "Are you our seal?" The seal barked twice. "I am at the present time, your seal." "You're in danger," shouted Lapinette; "please come with us." "I was enjoying my break," sulked the seal. The Wabbit launched a fast explanation. "A dangerous ball is looking for you." Tock's voice shrilled from behind the rolled up awnings. "Deliver the Royal Seal to me. You have two minutes left." The Wabbit wheeled round. "Stand down, Tock. Your ticking days are numbered." It was hot and muggy under the glaring sky and they were all flustered. The Wabbit blinked rapidly. The seal tilted his crown over his eyes. Lapinette's ears swayed like fans. Tock's eyes misted over. "One minute," he said sleepily. The Wabbit signalled for the others to wait. Forty seconds, passed - then fifty. Tock deflated a bit and he wheezed. Then he snored deeply. The seal barked and the Wabbit snarled, "Tock hasn't a minute to call his own." The seal barked again. "I'm Silkie the Royal Seal, I've been your seal for years." A sudden hiss of air made them turn. "One minute to detonation," said Tock. The Wabbit grabbed Silkie's whiskers and tugged. "Run for it!"

Friday, July 07, 2017

3. The Wabbit and the Seal Search

The market was almost closed and people were making tracks. It was the biggest market in Europe and home to many different sorts. No-one took any notice of Tock as he bounced in a determined manner towards the Clock Market - except for the Wabbit and Lapinette. The din of the traffic drowned the crackle of their radios. Lapinette's ears swivelled. Tock muttered as he bounced and she crept closer to hear him. "Copy?" said the Wabbit. "Copy," said Lapinette. "Got anything?" asked the Wabbit. "Stand by," responded Lapinette. She crept a little closer and hid behind a fence. Then she pointed her radio at Tock and made a few adjustments. "Got him." "Patch him through," said the Wabbit. Tock was chanting. "Find the silkie, find the silkie." Lapinette switched back. "That's all he says. What's a silkie?" The Wabbit chuckled. "A mythological Scottish beast." "What kind of beast?" asked Lapinette, although she knew the answer. "A seal," said the Wabbit. Lapinette crept closer. "Is it royal?" The Wabbit scooted round the tram but he kept out of sight. His mouth was close to the radio. "Sometimes," he whispered. Lapinette watched Tock carefully. "Maybe it's not our seal," said Lapinette. "Too many seals, so little time," said the Wabbit. Tock suddenly turned. "I can see you both. You cannot stop me." The Wabbit hopped into the open. "Stop what?" Tock began to tick loudly. "I have only ten minutes to find the silkie." "And then?" asked the Wabbit. Tock whirled like a top and vanished...

Thursday, July 06, 2017

2. The Wabbit and the Suspect Ball

With every intention of taking a tram to the market to look for the royal seal, the Wabbit and Lapinette hopped along Corso Svizzera. It was a dull day with nothing to recommend it. Then they saw it in the distance - a blue ball with many eyes. "I know that ball from somewhere," yelled the Wabbit. "Let's follow it!" shouted Lapinette. She vaulted a fence like an athlete and scampered onto the rails. A tram braked with an unnecessary squeal and the driver shook a fist. They took no notice and used the tram as cover. There they waited to see which way the ball would bounce. The ball stopped and turned. The Wabbit and Lapinette disappeared behind the tram. But the ball was curious and bounced to the platform. The Wabbit and Lapinette knew the tram gave them temporary cover - but soon it would move off and they would be revealed. So the Wabbit clung onto a step and hauled Lapinette behind him. The doors hissed and opened. The ball boarded the tram and squeezed its way to the front. The Wabbit and Lapinette crept inside and hid at the rear. "That ball is familiar and I can't think where it's from." Lapinette thought and thought. "I know - it's Tock, the talking bomb." They watched the ball assail the driver. "You are now under my control," said Tock; "Take this tram to Porta Palazzo market." "I'm going there anyway," sighed the driver. "Then be quick about it," said Tock and he put a ticket in the machine ...

Monday, July 03, 2017

1. The Wabbit and the Royal Seal

The Wabbit and Lapinette wandered through the Department of Wabbit Affairs - and thought about lunch. "The Department Bar does good salad sandwiches," said the Wabbit. "Oh, I feel like something more substantial," replied Lapinette. The Wabbit shrugged and smiled. "In the bar, I can sign for sandwiches and I don't have to pay until next month." Lapinette shook her head vigorously. "Didn't you hear? There's a moratorium on expenses. The Royal Seal has disappeared." The Wabbit knew the Department was far from royal - and certainly didn't need a seal. But it was the way things had always been done. He flapped his paws together and made a honking noise. Lapinette groaned at such an old joke. "The Department is worried that the seal may have fallen into the wrong paws. Until it's found or replaced, only essential claims can be made." The Wabbit slapped a paw to his head. "Sandwiches are essential." Lapinette was sympathetic. "It would be much easier to find the seal, than change the Department's procedures." "Any clues?" The Wabbit cast his eyes up and down the hall, just in case a clue might suddenly appear. "We could try the market," said Lapinette; "Most things gravitate there." The Wabbit leaped with joy. "And we can get food and an unobtainable jazz album." "I know just the place," smiled Lapinette; "It's called Pasta on a Platter."