Monday, July 16, 2018

10. The Wabbit and the Scunner Bait

The arrival of Susan the Biplane and Wabsworth offered a different possibility. Susan would tow a baited anchor to lure and hook the Scunner Fish. "What will we use for bait?" asked Lapinette. Wabsworth  disappeared briefly and returned bearing an enormous shrimp. Lapinette wrinkled her nose. "Where?" Wabsworth shrugged and commenced a lengthy explanation. "Out at the old abandoned munitions factory there's a strange lake." Lapinette shook her head, loaded the shrimp on the anchor, and clambered aboard. Susan's engine was a deafening roar as she took off and whisked the anchor along the river. "That's dangerous!" shouted Nessie - but they were up and running. "Extreme fishing," murmured the Wabbit. He held on with one paw and flicked imaginary lint with the other. "There he is!" yelled Wabsworth. With a fountain of spray, the Scunner Akwat soared from the river towards his prey. Susan hung back then flicked the anchor forward. Akwat dived. He missed. "Stupid Scunner!"groaned Susan. She flicked the anchor in the manner of a cat toy. This time Akwat fastened his teeth round the shrimp and swallowed it along with the anchor. He threshed angrily, but he was hooked. "What do we do now?" said the Wabbit.

Friday, July 13, 2018

9. The Wabbit and the Lucky Anchor

Captain Jenny went in search of a suitable vessel. The Wabbit and Lapinette scavenged for useful items that might help them in pursuit of Akwat, the giant fish. Nessie was content to remain in the river and advise. "Whit's that?" said Nessie. "Some kind of algae," muttered Lapinette. "Never heard of him," said Nessie from a cloud of mist. Lapinette smiled and poked the green substance with a stick. An acrid, rotting smell reached her nose. "Poo bum smell." she spluttered. "Ripe," commented the Wabbit. He put his paws around a giant anchor and tugged. It didn't budge. He placed a foot underneath and levered it. The anchor uttered a rusty groan as it lurched on the Wabbit's other foot. The Wabbit stifled several expletives. "This is a lucky anchor," he announced. Nessie roared with laughter. "Because it landed on a rabbit foot?" The Wabbit merely grinned. "It's lucky because it met me." This met with silence. "It's a big hook, isn't it?" Everyone nodded. "Well, a big hook can snare a big fish." The Wabbit was ebullient and he rocked the anchor dangerously back and forth. Lapinette rose to her feet. "Wabbit, it weighs a ton." The Wabbit looked at Nessie and back to the anchor. His 28 teeth glinted in the sun. Nessie frowned. "Laddie, I'm a plesiosaur, not a traction engine." "Pretend you're in the Highland Games," smiled the Wabbit.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

8. The Wabbit and the Scunner Akwat

The team followed the fish until they would go no further. Leaving them behind, they waded until the water grew shallow. Nessie crouched flat along the bottom, semi-shrouded in imported mist. Lapinette punted along quietly. The Wabbit complained silently about his fur and the damp. Jenny brought up the rear, pirate boots glooping from the mud. "This be a creepy place, Commander." The Wabbit nodded and checked his fur. Water lapped at the shore and the reeds bent lazily back and forward. Lapinette shivered. They were armed and ready but it took them by surprise. The water spat a giant fish in the air and it was all teeth. It lunged forward with enormous speed and its teeth made a tattoo rattle. It looked back and forth, then it fixed the Wabbit with a steady stare. It dropped its lower jaw and made a clangy rattling like a teaspoon in a tin. There was a pause and the rattling stopped as it turned its gaze to Lapinette. Its lower jaw dropped and it made the same soft sound again. Again there was a silent pause but it broke as Jenny's boots made a loud plop in the mud. The fish swung round but Jenny dunked under the surface - and all it could see was Nessie. It gazed for a while, then its jaw dropped and it made the same rattling sound. Nessie dropped his jaw too - and rattled his teeth. The fish let out an incredible roar. Then it swung and aquaplaned along the water, far into the distance.

Monday, July 09, 2018

7. Wabsworth and the Hungry Salmon

Wabsworth was in receipt of an urgent radio message. It was transmitted only once and was heavily mangled but Wabsworth made the best of it and scrambled Susan the Biplane. The message said feed the fish, at least that's what he thought. It hadn't been hard to spot the fish. There were many, circling round a giant salmon. Wabsworth heard the salmon shouting. "Go round, Susan," he yelled. The salmon reared from the water. "Did you bring the food?" Wabsworth had only found Tropical Pellets, but he stuck a paw up anyway and Susan circled round again. On the second pass Wabsworth poured out food. Water foamed as the fish threshed with delight. "Excellent, yum yum," called the giant salmon. Susan flew back and forward along the surface of the river. Each time she passed, Wabsworth threw more food and the salmon gulped another message. "They've gone to shallower waters! You'll find the culprit there." Wabsworth had no clue about any of this. So they went round again and Wabsworth poured more. "Will you lead us?" he yelled. "We can't go there," yelled the salmon. Susan passed again and Wabsworth shouted an inspired question. "Who are we chasing?" The giant salmon bared his twelve sharp teeth. "We call him the Scunner Akwat." His fins made the river foam around him. Wabsworth threw down the last of the food and held up a paw in salute. Susan dipped her wings, then wheeled and roared south to the shallows.

Friday, July 06, 2018

6. The Wabbit and the Salmon Gang

They hunted high and low for the culprits but when they came to Sassi there was another commotion. Nessie exploded from the water with a great wail. "Help me Wabbit," shouted Nessie, "ah canny get rid of thae salmon." The Wabbit mulled over the salmon as the guilty parties, but the idea was too fishy. He could see Nessie was in distress so he pulled a can of Irn Bru from his fur and climbed Nessie's neck. The drink was so shaken that it hissed and fizzed then exploded into Nessie's mouth. "Och," gulped Nessie, "You're a wee brammer. Anything to eat?" Lapinette dug in her frock and produced a couple of shortbread biscuits she'd kept from a party. Nessie head swooped down. The Wabbit clung on as Nessie swept the biscuits into his cavernous mouth. "What's with the fish?" asked Jenny. She batted a leaping salmon back over the bridge. "They followed me here from Loch Ness," complained Nessie. The salmon continued to spiral around them. Lapinette narrowly avoided a head on collision with a salmon, but it slapped her on the face as it passed. "Aaagh, big wet fish," spluttered Lapinette. Suddenly they were gone. "They had their fun," said Nessie, "they'll be away." "Other fish to fry?" grinned the Wabbit. Jenny sniffed the cuff of her uniform and wrinkled her nose. She paused for a second then sniffed again. "It might be worth following them."

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

5.The Wabbit - "Return of the Monstroids"

It was Captain Jenny's suggestion to look out from the bridge. It was the Marathon Bridge and its boards creaked with the ghosts of a thousand runners. They set out for the middle but from under the bridge came a monster roar. The Wabbit saw the creature first. "Monstroid!" It towered above them, dribbling blood from its jaws. More Monstroids thumped along the groaning bridge towards them.  Lapinette clutched her edged weapon and shouted. "I'll split you stem to stern!" Jenny yelled at them too." "Get back to Hades!" The Monstroids chortled and nudged each other. The Wabbit had an intimate acquaintance with their kind. One had grown inside him, and when it burst free it spawned an army that terrorised the city. The Monstroid was talking. Only the Wabbit could understand. Lapinette heard him speak a strange language. "Why did you hang the Agent of Rabit?" The Monstroid frowned a grim frown. "Not me." "Who roughed up our captain?" The Monstroid looked back at his cohorts. They shook their heads. The Monstroid shrugged. "You shot at Jenny." yelled the Wabbit. "Not guilty," said the Monstroid. "Then why are you here?" said the Wabbit. "We miss you!" said the Monstroids. The Wabbit made a rude sign with his paw. The Monstroid smiled a hideous smile - then dropped silently into the river. The others seemed to evaporate. Lapinette tugged questioningly at the Wabbit's fur. "They're family," sighed the Wabbit, "I'm obliged to speak to them."

Monday, July 02, 2018

4. The Wabbit and Jenny in Trouble

The Wabbit and Lapinette searched the River Po from the Dora to Ponte Isabella and beyond. Upstream, the trail became lush with vegetation. The sun appeared and made it sparkle. The Wabbit sniffed, then stopped because he'd lost the scent. They peered around but there was nothing to see. Crickets chirped. Humming birds hovered. Leaves lay flat and breathless. Suddenly Jenny came crashing from a tree with a thud loud enough to startle the squirrels. The Wabbit and Lapinette stood stock still and watched. Jenny looked the worse for wear. Her hat was improvised and her uniform unkempt. The weapons looked functional, but they didn't belong to Jenny. Something was far amiss. The Wabbit heard a scurrying in the undergrowth and looked round, but Lapinette heard it first. She raised her automatic and pointed. The Wabbit saw the sun glint from a gun barrel aimed directly at Jenny, and the only thing he could do was yell, "Hit the Deck, Jenny!" Jenny dropped quickly from sight just as two shots rang out. A blast from the woods tore a fragment from her hat and made a groove in her fur. A second from Lapinette sent the assailant's gun spinning. There was a groan. Something crashed off through the undergrowth - followed by a hail of bullets as Jenny and Lapinette fired round after round. "I hate the countryside," sighed the Wabbit, "it's far too noisy."

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

3. The Wabbit and the Angry River

It  didn't take long for the Wabbit and Lapinette to reach the troublespot. The river had gathered momentum since the last bridge. It snarled and thrashed at the banks in some kind of private fury. The noise was so deafening they had to shout. "Over there!" yelled Lapinette. The Wabbit saw a body hanging, suspended over the river. It swayed and turned lifelessly. But its arms were tense and its paws were bunched in fists of rage. Lapinette scaled the tree and tried to cut the body down. "Is he definitely dead?" called the Wabbit. "Looks likes rigor mortis," shouted Lapinette, "but he only just left us." "You gonna cut him down?" yelled the Wabbit. "Can't leave him here!" shouted Lapinette. The rope was easy meat for Lapinette's edged weapon and the body dropped. But it tumbled into the torrent. They were helpless to stop the river grab the body and they watched it float out of sight. The Wabbit ground all of his 28 teeth. "I was hoping to learn something." Lapinette shrugged and clambered down. Twigs broke. Leaves dropped. A bird startled suddenly and the Wabbit looked up. "There's Jenny's hook!" A bright red hook nestled, trapped between branches. The Wabbit shook the tree and caught it as it dropped. "There's blood on it." Lapinette grimaced, but she was thinking. "Where would Jenny make for?" "Downstream," pointed the Wabbit ...

Monday, June 25, 2018

2. The Wabbit and the Bridge to Cross

The Wabbit's hop down the river was a formal affair that involved crossing a suitable bridge, then continuing on the other side to the next bridge, then crossing again. They hopped some distance, crossing many bridges until they reached the big University. There, the river became wild and inhospitable and it coursed down to the Po like it was late. The Wabbit studied the graffiti. "Who are the Sons of Anarchy?" Lapinette knew all about it. "It's a crime soaper on cable TV about a motorbike gang." "Now I remember," said the Wabbit; "Hamlet and Harleys." Lapinette glanced down. A rose lay on the parapet and she picked it up. "This is the rose Jenny wears on her pirate hat." "Are you certain it's hers?" said the Wabbit; "They all look alike." Lapinette peered into the swirl of water. "Well, there's her hat!" The Wabbit's fur stood on end and he jumped to dive into the river. "There's no-one, Wabbit. I can't see her," yelled Lapinette. They both raced to the other side of the bridge but they could see only river and woods. The water roared by with a deafening growl but there was no mistaking the bark of an automatic. "Jenny," breathed Lapinette. The Wabbit indicated a point farther down the river. A muzzle flash lit the water and a bullet hit a tree. Branches cracked and birds lifted. "Let's join the party," said the Wabbit.

Friday, June 22, 2018

1. The Wabbit and the Iron Bridge

Lapinette caught up with the Wabbit on the Iron Bridge at Via Borgo Dora. "Wabbit! Are you hanging about?" "Yes," said the Wabbit. "Just in case a certain rabbit comes by!" He touched Lapinette's shoulder and smiled. Between adventures was dull, but the day was balmy and together, they listened to the river gurgling pleasantly under the bridge. It was one of the Wabbit's places, because he liked to see all the different kinds of characters there. Later he'd trawl the vast market in search of something unobtainable. "Any news?" he asked. "Adventure news?" replied Lapinette. The Wabbit brightened. Lapinette shook her head. The Wabbit frowned. "Adventures are like buses," shrugged Lapinette. The Wabbit smiled. "Another one will come along in a minute?" Lapinette scoffed at this. "Well, eventually the bus arrives and you get a bone-rattling ride home." The Wabbit sighed. "I would be more than happy to have my bones rattled." Lapinette couldn't take that seriously. "We could be bone deep in a boneyard." The Wabbit chortled. "Shall we walk the river?" Lapinette was horrified. "What? To the source?" The Wabbit laughed. He's been thinking of the spot where the River Dora empties into the Po. It wasn't so far. "We'll have lunch at Sassi," suggested Lapinette. "What could possibly go wrong?" laughed the Wabbit. So paw in paw they hopped their way along the Dora ...

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Wabbit and his Adventure Caffè

It was blisteringly hot and the team met inside the Adventure Caffè. Skratch the Cat was on duty behind the bar and he welcomed everyone with a mighty meaow. "Ask the question Skratch!" cheered the Wabbit. "I will!" smiled Skratch; "What was that for a sort of freaky adventure?" Wabsworth gently pulled Tipsy into the bar, but she didn't need much pulling. "It belongs to the rather old genre of the road movie," said Wabsworth. "A special representational anchoring, necessarily rooted in recognition," nodded Skratch. "Speaking of anchors, the sun is well past the yardarm," said Tipsy. "I'll get the drinks," laughed Skratch. "The shark was this big!" yelled Lapinette suddenly. She threw her paws wide. So did everyone else. "It looked bigger," suggested the Wabbit. "What happened to the shark?" asked Wabsworth. "I hit it on the nose so hard its teeth rattled," grinned the Wabbit. Lapinette snorted. "It still has a chunk of his fur." Skratch scratched the corner of the bar. "The episodic nature of the adventure provided a staggered lurching, rather like an army truck." Wabsworth chuckled. "It was thematic foregrounding. The protagonists had no control of mysterious happenings." The Wabbit chortled. "The sequence was the adventure." Tipsy lurched forward and spoke directly to Skratch. "Any danger of you bringing me a little dwink?" "Tipsy! That's a trope," meaowed Skratch. "I can take a twope," shrugged Tipsy.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

6. The Wabbit and Tipsy's Findings

The Wabbit had tasked Tipsy to go over the truck with the finest tooth comb she could muster. Mist shrouded the building and the Wabbit's fur felt damp. "Find anything?" Tipsy laughed and took the miniature whisky that the Wabbit quietly proffered. She tucked it into the top of her frock.  "I found two things." She pushed a CD ROM into his paw. The Wabbit winced because he recognised it. It contained a series of modifications for Quantum the Train's lattice drive. "Don't worry Commander," said Tipsy, "it wasn't anything to do with your CD." She held out a shim. "This naughty washer is a weensy teensy bit out of phase." She spun the shim in the air and it hung for a while. Then it dropped into Tipsy's paw. "But not all the time," she added. "What's it out of phase with?" asked the Wabbit. He shoved the CD ROM deep into his fur with an exaggerated air of innocence. "Us," said Tipsy. The Wabbit looked at the building and then at Tipsy. "Did you try putting it back?" "I made copies," smiled Tipsy, "and refitted every washer in the truck."  Together they watched the truck moving up and down the building. "It's controllable," sighed the Wabbit with some relief. Tipsy raised her whisky miniature in the direction of the truck, then drained it in a single gulp. "For the most part..."

Friday, June 15, 2018

5. Lapinette and the Way to Drive

Lapinette drove through the dark and the dark seemed endless. But she saw a chink of light and she drove straight at it. There was crash and a lot of splintering as she hurtled through three corridors, down a flight of stairs and into a luxurious office. A panoramic window loomed. She pumped the throttle, shot through it and braked. The lorry stopped, half in, half out of a tall office block. The Wabbit looked down. "How many floors in this tower?" Lapinette grinned. "Thirty five counting the roof restaurant." "I know this building," said the Wabbit; "It's new. It's bioclimatic." "Not any more." giggled Lapinette. The Wabbit counted the floors. "How do we get down?" Lapinette made a calculation, then winked. She inched the truck forward until it pivoted on the rear axle. Then she gritted her teeth. "We drive down." The Wabbit braced. The truck lurched over until its front wheels touched the side of the building. Lapinette jabbed the throttle. The rear tyres bumped over the edge. She crashed the truck into reverse and stood on the brakes. The truck began to slide down. The Wabbit jerked the handbrake on. Lapinette gunned the throttle. Tyres groaned. Burning rubber fumes made them cough. Suddenly gravity grabbed the truck and it dropped with a slam. "Aaaagh!" yelled the Wabbit. But knobby tyres grabbed at the tower. The truck clung. Then with a squeal like a thousand bats - and a lot of smoke - it slid quietly to the bottom. "This wheel's on fire!" yelled Lapinette.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

4. The Wabbit and the Road to Hell

The Wabbit wished he hadn't said it, but he was getting annoyed. "This truck can go to hell." Suddenly they were surrounded by flames that licked at their fur. Lapinette dived into the driver's seat and tried to steer through the flames. "Some like it hot," she murmured. She gritted her teeth against the searing heat and pumped the throttle - to no avail. The Wabbit stared into the blaze. "I see a strange fire bird." His ears began to singe and when the acrid smell reached Lapinette, she wrinkled her nose. "That's purely mythological. Is it like a Phoenix?" "It looks more like a fire chicken," replied the Wabbit. Lapinette thought the Wabbit was suffering from smoke inhalation. "Do you still have these Wabtex weather packs?" The Wabbit searched his fur. He pulled out several Wabtex packs and frowned. "They're well past their freeze-by date." "Throw them anyway," said Lapinette. The Wabbit's teeth flashed as he jettisoned all the packs. They looked quite ordinary but they began to sparkle in the heat and exploded in a vast shower of ice shards. The flames died and things grew dim. Lapinette peered through the windscreen at a sea of black. She shrugged and tried the throttle again. With a roar of the engine, the truck shot into the darkness ...

Monday, June 11, 2018

3. The Wabbit and the Deep Blue Sea

The truck's descent took them over the sea. It was blue. Very blue indeed. And that was all there was. The truck settled on the surface. The engine died and everything became quiet, save for the sound of the waves and something they couldn't identify. "I'll look around," said the Wabbit. Lapinette didn't like the sea. It moved too much. But the Wabbit dived in with a merry shout. "Come on in, the water's fine!" It didn't look fine to Lapinette. The truck rose with the sea's swell and she felt like washing in a laundromat. The Wabbit swam around the truck and back. He shook his head. "Nothing. No explanation." Lapinette smiled. "Maybe it's a magic truck." The Wabbit bobbed up and down. "It didn't used to be." "Did you check the tyres?" asked Lapinette. The Wabbit took in a mouthful of water and spluttered. "I hardly think pressure matters at the moment." Lapinette shook her head. "Maybe there's something inside the tyres." "I hadn't thought of that," said the Wabbit; "I'll dive down and have a look." But Lapinette saw something. "Not just yet. Come back." "I'll do it in a jiffy, won't be long," said the Wabbit. At that moment he turned to see a mouthful of serrated teeth headed straight at him. "Yikes!" he yelled. He swam fast for the truck and grabbed Lapinette's paw. "Are there killer sharks in the Med?" "Seven," said Lapinette. "Phew, not so many," said the Wabbit. "Seven species," sighed Lapinette.
[Background photograph: Camilla Galli da Bino]

Friday, June 08, 2018

2. The Wabbit at the Top of the World

The truck would not behave. Even Lapinette was unable to prevent it shooting upwards until it was some height above the city. It was cold and the air was thin, but the truck's engine throbbed on with a consistent clatter. The Wabbit checked everything inside but there was no sign of modification. He hopped outside and Lapinette followed him. Together they clambered over and under the truck but nothing appeared out of the ordinary. The Wabbit peered down. He made a wry smile then shut his eyes. "What are you doing?" asked Lapinette. "Praying," replied the Wabbit. "Who to?" asked Lapinette. "Any gods I can think of," smiled the Wabbit. Lapinette was quiet for a moment but then she said, "Any reply?" "Nothing whatsoever," sighed the Wabbit. Lapinette shivered. "You'd think up here they'd be able to get through." The truck engine hesitated and wheezed so they clambered back in the cab. With a cough and a splutter the engine stopped. The truck began to fall, slowly at first but quickly picking up speed. City streets rushed towards them. The Wabbit turned away from the window and shrugged. "Maybe a god did answer." The truck's descent slowed and the engine sprang to life. Lapinette laughed. "Deus ex machina?"

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

1. The Wabbit and the Panoramic View

"This truck is still on loan to my unit," murmured Lapinette. She'd reluctantly agreed to the Wabbit's plan to jump it from the top of the hill at Superga. Every jump raised funds for his favourite charity and he was heavily sponsored. He'd done it before, so all being well, things would go to plan. The truck left the ground at the predetermined point and fell gracefully towards a ramp down by the river. She took in the view. "Bella panorama!" yelled the Wabbit. The horizon suddenly tilted as something lifted the truck and propelled them into the air. Lapinette watched the city swirl under the truck. "What the Binky!" groaned the Wabbit. "Turbulence?" suggested Lapinette. She held on tight as the truck wafted sideways over Lingotto. The Wabbit sank back and folded his paws. "No control." He reached for his walkie talkie but it fell and lodged under his seat. "You didn't retro-fit the truck?" asked Lapinette hopefully. The Wabbit grimaced. "On loan." He tried a few switches then pulled the handbrake just for fun. The truck stopped and hung in the air. He touched the throttle. The truck slewed forward. He tried reverse. The truck edged back. Lapinette frowned. "What will make it go down?" Her stomach lurched as the truck dropped. The ground came up fast. "Go up," shouted the Wabbit. Nothing happened. "Go up!" shouted Lapinette. The truck climbed skywards. "Tell your truck to behave!" yelled the Wabbit ...

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

11. The Wabbit and the Leaseback

Hardhack Rat and Lovely Lapinette met the Wabbit for a briefing in the secret DWA viewing theatre in Via Nizza. There, they looked at graphs and charts and analysed figures. "The market hardly recovered," said Lapinette. "Collateral damage," smiled the Wabbit. Hardhack was anxious to squeeze more life out the system and the Wabbit looked at him shrewdly. "Would you like to be in charge of my Dinosaur Fund?" Hardhack was delighted. "When do I start?" "Right now," yelled Lapinette. She waved at the chart. "We punished our enemies but innocent investors were caught in the operation." The Wabbit agreed that restitution should be made. Hardhack thought for a second. "I can hack back to the brokers." "That's a start," said Lapinette. "Afterwards, how much do we have left?" The Wabbit flicked imaginary lint from his fur. "€57 million - give or take fees or charges." "Which I am duty bound to minimise," said Hardback. "It's in our Articles of Association," explained the Wabbit. Lapinette raised both eyes. Her ears quivered. Suddenly she waved at the piles of notes. "Where's the rest of the money?" "At the Bank of Despond," said Hardhack. Lapinette gasped. "Our personal guards seized the building," shrugged the Wabbit. "Ours now," laughed Hardhack. Lapinette sighed. "The Department wants that building." "Sold to the Department!" shouted the Wabbit. Hardback's eyes gleamed as he made a note.  " ... and leased back."

Friday, June 01, 2018

10. The Wabbit and the Big Spike

"Nearly there!" said Hardhack. His ratty claws flew across the keyboard as he whistled 'Carolina Moon' This was getting on the Wabbit's nerves. "Is it working?" sighed the Wabbit. "Oh yes," said Hardhack; "This optimistic news will hike the price." He continued to type and whistle. Tipsy flourished a wad of crypto keys and giggled. "We're gonna pump and dump." The Wabbit hopped patiently, clutching a shovel with he'd thought might be useful. He tried to keep up with the bitcoin market jargon, and waited. Hardhack entered all the key numbers. Tipsy opened a briefcase console and interfaced with the servers.  Hardhack nodded to the Wabbit. "OK, Commander. Tipsy just sold you the keyholders' bitcoins. Then you sold them to me. Tipsy bought them back and now I have them." Tipsy checked her console monitor. "We have a spike." She bought the coins back. The spike climbed and went on climbing. "She's mooning!" yelled Tipsy. It peaked, dropped like a stone, then climbed rapidly again. "Now Hardhack! Fly me to the moon," shouted Tipsy. "Selling, selling, selling - all sold." said Hardhack. The spike peaked again, then fell rapidly. "The Market has been suspended," smiled Tipsy. "So who's left with the bag?" chuckled Hardhack. "I think I know," grinned the Wabbit.
[Tipsy is carrying a specially adopted Fang Battlebox, a powerful gamer's computer.  Bag refers to a bagholder, a trader left with low value coins who hopes they will improve in value. Mooning refers to the unwanted spikes in value, Pump and Dump relies on inflating bitcoin value then offloading onto gullible victims. Bitcoin slang can be found here. The background picture is the Chinese Sunway TaihuLight computer. It appears to be a publicity shot, no credit is available.]

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

9. The Three Muses and BitBubbles

The Three Muses swept onto a trading floor and swayed like the Ronettes. "Where are the coins we cannot see?" Tipsy held out three coins and they made a clinking klanking sound as she chanted. Fitzy swayed gracefully. "Someone has them under lock and key!" "Who?" stated Mitzy. They all shouted at the same time. "The Wabbit!" Tipsy threw the three coins in the air. "The Wabbit chases triple trouble." "The Wabbit meets triple trouble halfway," sang Mitzy. She and Fitzy changed places while Tipsy stepped forward and juggled the coins. Suddenly, she snatched one. The rest hung in the air and became bubbles. "Who will vouch for this coin?" asked Tipsy. "Me," shouted Mitzy. "Me," shouted Fitzy. "We three agree," said Tipsy. She threw the remaining coin in the air. It evaporated. The droplets hung like a blanket in the stale air of the exchange. "The coin has gone, I don't know where," shouted Fitzy. "It's in that cloud, I do declare," answered Mitzy. The three turned, faced outwards and chanted. "Bankers cry in lamentation. Their money's gone from circulation." "No fees!" shouted Fitzy. "No charges!" yelled Mitzy. "And no interest!" screamed Tipsy. She raised both paws and smiled. "They're not going to be happy!" "This is a Greek Chorus," grinned Mitzy. "We don't do happy."
[Stock exchange graphic courtesy of Katrina.Tuliao at Trading Group. The Bitcoin graphic is the prevailing publicity logo of Bitcoin]

Monday, May 28, 2018

The Wabbit at the Adventure Caffè

"Our table is reserved," frowned Wabsworth. It was their favourite table at the Adventure Caffè and was usually left alone. "I booked it in your name," said the stranger. "Thank you!" said Wabsworth. He bowed to the stranger. Skratch the Cat leaned across and hissed. "What kind of adventure is this for goodness sake?" The stranger smiled. "It's an iconographic deconstruction of ideology." Skratch didn't buy it. "Who are you exactly?" The stranger squinted his eyes. "I am the Outside Auditor." Lapinette waved politely. "You know all about this affair?" The Auditor nodded. "It's part of a plan to manipulate currencies and economies." The Wabbit grew impatient and butted in. "How do we go forward with all this?" The Auditor grinned. "Let's give the Gangbankers what they want." The Wabbit's eyes lit up. "Destabilisation!" Wabsworth was the Wabbit's android double and Lapinette knew he could think fast. "What's the most destabilizing thing we could do?" "Spend their money," said Wabsworth."Ostentatiously," said the Wabbit. "Hardhack will hit the bitcoin stock markets in two precise strikes," said Wabsworth." "The market will spike," agreed the Auditor. "Panic ensues," meaowed Skratch. "... and the Gangbankers will be caught in the crossfire," shrugged the Wabbit. "Bang bang"" yelled Lapinette.

Friday, May 25, 2018

8. The Wabbit and the Bitcoin Mine

Hardhack Rat saw the Wabbit arrive but he was much too busy to stop. "I found everything!" he yelled. Tipsy paused and drank her coffee. "We found it." She put a paw to her lips for silence. The Wabbit waited to find out what had been found. The supercomputer was rather noisy and its hum hung in the air like a cloud. The Wabbit angled his ears and listened carefully. "Cut them blades loose, Tipsy." murmured Hardhack. "Many blades cut quickly," chuckled Tipsy. Hardhack began to dictate a steady flow of code. Tipsy's paws flew. The computer hummed dangerously. It seemed to take forever but the code kept coming. "More drink," said Tipsy. She drained the cup, made a few adjustments and glanced behind at a monitor. "We're so rich," she gurgled. "What gives?" snapped the Wabbit. Hardhack ignored him and spoke to Tipsy. "They're all forked?" Tipsy slapped the Bitcoin miner with glee. "Double forked and packing our wallets." Hardhack finally turned to the Wabbit and waved a 50 euro note. "They liquidised some of your Dinosaur Fund." "Then they reverse-laundered Bitcoin access keys into the notes, like tabs of acid." said Tipsy. "Bitcoin Bonanza," grinned Hardhack. The Wabbit shrugged. "Can we cash 'em in?" "Not without my help," said a voice ...

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

7. Tipsy and the Hardhack Solution

Hardhack Rat had never met Tipsy but he knew all about her. "What are you doing here Tipsy?" Tipsy's laugh was like water trickling over smooth rocks. "I have an ickle job for you," she said; "It's from the Wabbit." Tipsy pulled wads of low denomination bank notes for her frock and threw them in Hardhack's direction. She dusted her paws. "Maybe you could tell me if you have a 3D printer?" Hardhack was delighted. "Of course I have." Tipsy smiled sweetly. "Then perhaps you could print me a little dwink?" "No problem," nodded Hardhack. He pressed a button and turned to sort through the banknotes. He studied them for a while, then studied them some more. Only then did he look up. "What is the nature of the financial inquiry?" he asked. Tipsy pouted. "The Wabbit wants to know where the notes have been." "They look as if they've been washed," sighed Hardhack. Tipsy giggled. "The Wabbit says dirty money has its very own indelible trace." Hardhack thought the Wabbit said a lot of things, but he took the notes nonetheless. "I'll have to scan them and subject them to rigorous probing." "Probe on," suggested Tipsy.  Hardhack smiled and lifted a coffee pot. "Your drink is ready." Tipsy looked at the coffee with horror. "It's spiked with amaro," grinned Hardhack.
[Background photo credit:Argonne National Laboratory under the specified license]

Monday, May 21, 2018

6. Wabsworth & the Outside Auditor

Wabsworth was an android copy of the Wabbit and knew all the tricks of the spook trade. The stranger looked like a banker, so he trailed him along the porticos, keeping a suitable distance. But in the quiet of the early hours, he had no option but to make himself visible. The stranger was well aware he had company but paid no particular attention. He was interested solely in empty properties and closed down shops. Wabsworth watched as he peered through shutters and rattled letterboxes. Occasionally he heard him dictate notes into a recorder in a strange language. "He's talking shorthand," thought Wabsworth. He grinned to himself. "Maybe he's an endangered species." His circuits whined as he ran images through a finance database. There were bankers, accountants, stockbrokers, insurers, even arbitrageurs. But no match emerged for the man in the suit. The stranger made a sudden stop and looked back. Wabsworth dodged behind a pillar out of professional courtesy. The stranger slipped a hand in his jacket and took out a crumpled note, which he dropped indifferently on the sidewalk. Then he walked briskly on. Wabsworth let him go. He bent down, scooped up the scrap of paper and tucked it in his fur. "A pizzino," murmured Wabsworth. He knew a pizzino wasn't a small pizza, it was a coded message. "Now I know who you are," murmured Wabsworth.
[Used by the Sicilian mafia, a pizzino is a small slip of paper carrying high level communications. First mentioned in the Adventures here in our early days.]

Friday, May 18, 2018

5. The Wabbit and the Horse's Mouth

For the Wabbit and Lapinette, it was child's play to break in. "This it is," said the Wabbit. He pointed to the bottom of a flight of steps, where two statues stood guard. "Dark horses," murmured the Wabbit. "Better keep an eye on them," whispered Lapinette. The Wabbit heard a horse whinny and noticed the shake of a head. He glanced in the indicated direction. A washing machine in the corner revolved and splashed gently. The Wabbit ears twitched. He held up a paw and listened. It was playing looped sound composed of metallic chinks. Then the machine span rapidly and stopped with a shudder. Lapinette heard tinkly piano jazz. The Wabbit crept round the back, reached across and pressed a button. With a bang, the door shot open and money sprayed out. Lapinette lifted a sodden note. "These are so, so low denomination." The Wabbit shrugged. "Things went sour for the Bank of Despond?" Lapinette pondered for a second. "Maybe the money you moved broke the bank." The Wabbit frowned. ".. and they want revenge." The washing machine door crashed shut and the drum clattered. "I hear ominous ticking," said Lapinette. They backed abruptly away but bounced from a dark horse, who squealed long and hard, then snickered. Lapinette looked it straight in the flank. "Should we stay? See what comes out in the wash?" The dark horse shook his head vigorously.  "Nay," translated the Wabbit.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

4. The Wabbit at the Bank of Despond

"I don't recall ever seeing this building before." The Wabbit dismounted and kicked the door soundly. "It's real enough." He clutched his foot and grimaced. "I've been down this street a hundred times," said Lapinette, "and this building isn't here." Mo and To sniggered in a punk fashion. "Where is this Bank of Despond anyway?" said To. "The address said Edinburgh," said the Wabbit, "so I did a quick satellite search." "I'm betting there was zilch," said Lapinette. "A shut down newspaper building." shrugged the Wabbit. Mo laughed and laughed. "Ha ha, this is it; it's a pop up bank." The Punk Snails sneered in unison. The Wabbit squinted up. "I can climb up there." He placed a foot on a window ledge and gradually scaled the building. "Ah," he exclaimed. He grabbed a piece of broken masonry and hurled it at a window. Tiny fragments of glass showered Mo and To. They wiggled their antennae. "Cool!" said To. "Amazing," said Mo. The Wabbit opened the window and glanced inside. Then he sighed and shook his head. "No Gangbankers?" shouted Lapinette. "No Gangbankers here. But plenty of money." "Toss it down," shouted To. "I can't," said the Wabbit, "it's wet." Lapinette's ears swayed. "What's that sound?" "Sounds like a washing machine," replied the Wabbit. Mo and To slithered in a sideways shuffle. "The Money Laundromat." yelled To. "It stinks" shouted Mo.

Monday, May 14, 2018

3. The Wabbit and the Flying Bankers

The Wabbit and Lapinette prowled the city in search of the Gangbankers but found no leads. "Can you hear howling?" asked the Wabbit. Lapinette caught a glimpse of shadow, then the sky filled with a single engine plane. The Punk Snails looked up. Their antennae wiggled. "It's them!" shouted Mo. "Take cover," yelled To," but it was too late. Lapinette's automatic spat bullets. They tore through a wing and the plane banked suddenly. "She's gonna stall!" shouted Mo. The Wabbit saw a stick of explosive heading straight for him, so he grabbed it and hurled it back. It caught the undercarriage and detonated. Fragments fell on the Snails. "Cool," said Mo. The plane spiralled and sank out sight. An explosion followed. "Super cool," said To. "They landed," laughed Mo. To nudged Mo. "A-may-zing," he drawled. The Wabbit and Lapinette held tight as the Snails slid to and fro in a slithery dance. "Gangbankers," growled the Wabbit. "Where do they get their money?" said Lapinette. "They're bankers," shrugged To. "They rob their own banks," explained Mo. Lapinette frowned. "Wabbit, is this anything to do with your Dinosaur Fund?" The Wabbit thought hard. Having observed strange activity, he'd wrenched significant monies away from a small merchant bank. The bank duly collapsed. His face was grim. "The Bank of Despond."

Friday, May 11, 2018

2. The Wabbit and the Gangbankers

Morning was on its way and shops were flickering into half life. Mo and To, the Punk Snails, were hanging on the corner and the Wabbit was pleased to see them. "See anything unusual?" Mo and To sneered in synchrony. "Nothing surprises us." Lapinette jumped onto To's shell and pulled out an edged weapon. "Oooooh" said Mo. "We just got shot up by some hoods," explained the Wabbit. To waved an antenna. "You mean the gangbanking gang?" "To, that's rude" yelled Lapinette. "Not any more," sneered Mo. "Bankers ain't shit on their own," sneered To. "They 'ave to be in a gang." said Mo. "We 'ate them," drawled Mo. "They're 'orrible," agreed To. The Punk Snails waggled their antennae in a circle. The Wabbit pulled out his automatic and waved it. "I don't like the sound of these gangbankers." He hopped onto Mo. "Are we going somewhere?" giggled To. "These bankers dissed us in our own city," hissed Lapinette. "Criminals!" yelled Mo and To. The Wabbit smiled and politely asked, "Where does that gang hang?" "Corners, shadows, penumbra," sneered Mo. "They lurk," said To. The Wabbit raised an eye. "They are without purpose," sneered Mo. "No moral centre," sniffed To. The Wabbit shrugged. "Then they might be hard to find." He gently nudged Mo with a foot. Mo slid forward followed by To. "These gangbankers sure made us mad," murmured Lapinette.

Friday, May 04, 2018

1. The Wabbit and the Rogue Bullet

It was late. People were going home. The sound of traffic died away. All that could be heard was the creaky, squeaky sound of one ramshackle bicycle. The Wabbit let his grin go lopsided and drawled. "The city was asleep. The rats and the cats and the bats were all in their holes." From some late night club, some late night musician guy played jazz. The Wabbit strained to hear the notes, but they flew by without lingering. "There are a million stories in the naked city," he drawled. "We'll never read them all," smiled Lapinette. Her giggle was clear and airy and it swayed off down the street. The Wabbit watched it go. He stuck a paw in his fur and whistled softly. "What about a bite to eat?" "Everything's closed," said Lapinette. "I know a place that's still open," said the Wabbit. Lapinette raised a quizzical eye. "My place," said the Wabbit. "That doesn't count," laughed Lapinette. A loud bang bounced along the walls and rattled shop windows. "Just a car backfire," said the Wabbit. They looked at each other and shrugged. There were five more. Lapinette frowned. "Backfires don't come in batches of six." "They weren't meant for us," offered the Wabbit. A bullet zapped between his ears. "These cats is making a big mistake," snorted the Wabbit. "They zigged before they zagged," scowled Lapinette. "You go that way, I'll go this way," said the Wabbit. "Cut 'em off at the pass," nodded Lapinette. "Dead end street," hissed the Wabbit ...

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

The Wabbit at the Adventure Caffè

Skratch descended on the Adventure Caffè with some vigour. He was about to deliver a lecture on what he called 'kiddie movies' - but he could see the Wabbit had upstaged him. "If that's a blade server," he said, "I could have got you one at half the price." The Wabbit looked at the empty table and chortled. "It's the only server here." "And they don't take bitcoins," grumbled Lapinette. "That's a shame, now we're in the money," said Wabsworth. He rapped the table for attention. "So. What was that for a sort of adventure we just had?" Skratch waved a paw. "It was a kiddie techno-thriller." There was a long pause. Skratch continued. "We distinguish it from standard thrillers, through quantity of specific technical detail." "Do we indeed?" smiled Lapinette. "Genres are fluid," shrugged the Wabbit, as that put paid to the matter. "But this one had a kiddie movie feel," meaowed Skratch. "What exactly do you understand by a kiddie movie?" asked Lapinette. Skratch purred. "A kiddie adventure is serious business. Protagonists must be extra brave and bold, and also staggeringly intelligent." Lapinette grinned and bowed. Wabsworth chuckled. The Wabbit nodded gravely. He quietly winked at Wabsworth, adopted a puzzled frown and poked the blade server. "How the devil does this thing work?"
[Blade server: A series of linked blades in a chassis.]

Monday, April 30, 2018

8. The Wabbit and the Bit Coin Miner

Wabsworth led the way and he was grinning, because the Wabbit had devised a way of salvaging Hardhack Rat. "Where are you taking me?" asked Hardhack. "To your new workshop," replied the Wabbit. "I thought I was going to jail," smiled Hardhack. The Wabbit chortled. "Who do you think we are - the FBI?" Lapinette called from the door. She waved a box. "I found one. I got it, it wasn't easy." Wabsworth forged ahead. "Hardhack, you're going to be a Bitcoin miner." Hardhack smiled. "There's hardly any left to mine." He extracted his USB drive and gave it to the Wabbit. There was a lightning flash. "That's what they said about oil," shrugged the Wabbit. Lapinette knew the Wabbit was concocting something for his Dinosaur Fund. The Fund underwrote unorthodox missions, but no amount of massaging could prevent falling returns. "Economies are struggling," mused the Wabbit. This fell on deaf ears. The Wabbit grew impatient. "Eh, Wabsworth?" he prompted. Wabsworth nodded. "Currencies are failing, they will adopt Bitcoin, there's nothing else." Lapinette wasn't so happy. "It sounds like a Ponzi scheme to me." Hardhack nodded too, clasped his claws and looked at the box. "Early in, early out. Is that an ASIC miner? I'll need blades." Wabsworth mused like the Wabbit. "We'll have cryptographic, frictionless, programmable money." "Half of it maybe," grinned the Wabbit.

Friday, April 27, 2018

7. The Wabbit and the Block Train

Hardhack Rat wasn't hard to follow. The Wabbit watched him look left to right before opening a concealed corridor door. He gasped. It led to a bunker containing the biggest computer the Wabbit had ever seen. Something glinted in the light and the Wabbit picked it up. Lapinette took it and scurried around the stacks. "Professor Rat, Professor Rat sir, you dropped this." She threw it. The USB fell short and slid along the floor to Hardhack's feet. "I told you, my lady, that students may not enter the facility," snapped Hardhack, seizing the USB. Lapinette put her paws to her face. "Oh, tell me Professor, where does it go?" Hardhack snorted. "It goes here of course." Wabsworth perched on the stacks and waited. There was a snick as Hardhack plugged the USB in a slot on his side. Wabsworth heard it and dialed. The USB flickered. Hardhack froze. Lapinette poked him and yelled, "What is your intent?" Hardhack's eyes glazed. "I forgot." Lapinette looked up. "Wabsworth. Hack off." Wabsworth dialed a series of digits. The USB flashed. "Now start remembering, Hardhack!" shouted Lapinette. Hardhack started to sing. "Oh, the block chain train is a mighty good chain. The block train chain is the train to hack." He just wouldn't stop. "Wabsworth!" yelled Lapinette. Wabsworth chortled, swiped keypads, then frowned. Now Hardhack's singing was frantic. "He's rocking round the block," said the Wabbit.
[Background photo credit: ESO (under the license specified)]

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

6. The Wabbit and the Lair of the Rat

Hardhack became increasingly desperate as his bus pirate was nowhere to be found. Lapinette loped after him. "Professor Rat, Sir. You dropped your bus." She caught up with him and panted. Then she thrust something into his claw. "You dropped your bus, Professor Rat." Hardhack took the red case without looking. His teeth chattered nervously. "Students are no longer permitted in the building." He clutched the bus to his chest. The Wabbit groped in his fur for something he'd bought in a market because it looked technical. "You might be interested in this, Professor." He produced a shiny USB drive and offered it to Hardhack, who snatched it away. "I'll be going now," he snapped. Without a backward glance, he bolted to a stairway and disappeared. "He took the bait," chuckled Wabsworth. "And now the switch," grinned the Wabbit. "Clickedy click," murmured Wabsworth. He pushed two walkie talkies together and made a series of keypad entries. "Streaming," said Wabsworth. From the corridor came sounds of glee. Wabsworth typed on. Now Hardhack's cries were pure joy. "Now I have everything, everything and more!" Lapinette nudged the Wabbit sharply in the ribs. "Everything tastes of porridge""

Monday, April 23, 2018

5. The Wabbit and Hardhack Rat

They tracked down Hardhack Rat in an old abandoned technical college, long forgotten on the edge of town. Wabsworth said he might be there, and he was right. There, Hardhack paced dusty corridors in search of something he appeared to have mislaid. "The bus, the bus," he chittered, "where's my bus?" The Wabbit nudged Wabsworth. "If he wants to catch a bus round here, he's won't get a sniff of one." Wabsworth gasped and whispered a stream of technical jargon. "A bus pirate! He's sniffing traffic." The Wabbit scowled. "Our traffic." Suddenly Hardhack's ears twitched. "What was that?" He glanced from side to side. The Wabbit threw his voice and it bounced a whispering bounce from a far wall. "Mice, ice, ice ..." "I hate mice," squealed Hardhack, "but not as much as I hate rabbits." He turned without warning and glared, but the team nestled neatly in the shadows. Hardhack turned back and chittered to himself. "Years at Hacking College and they ask me to fix phones. Now it's payback time." He scuttled down the corridor like Nosferatu. Lapinette drew close to the Wabbit. "Does he sound disgruntled to you?" The Wabbit's laugh was wry and dry. "He was the last winner in the rat race." Lapinette waited until the scuttling died away. She wrinkled her nose and twitched her ears. "Let's find him his bus and give him traffic." "Heavy traffic," hissed the Wabbit.

Friday, April 20, 2018

4. The Wabbit and the Rathole Update

The big balloon made an unexpected take-off and confused everything. Susan the Biplane crash landed, narrowing missing it. The Wabbit pulled out his special screwdriver. "Is everything connected to the Internet now?" he asked. "Not me," said Lapinette. She vaulted down from Susan's wing. "I don't suppose you got an update?" said Wabsworth. "I give updates, not get them," answered Lapinette. The Wabbit prodded Susan with his screwdriver. "Looks like Susan got an update." He prodded again. Nothing. "There was a virus attack," he explained. "Name?" asked Lapinette. "I'm still Wabbit," said the Wabbit. Lapinette sighed. Wabsworth smiled. "Hardhack Rat. That's what we're calling it for now." The Wabbit tapped his screwdriver on the fuselage. "Hardhack sends Logic Bombs via the Internet, timed to initiate at vulnerable points." Wabsworth nodded. His circuits whined while he considered. "And he breaches our protocol parameters without difficulty." "But what's the motive?" asked Lapinette. "These sort of types don't need a motive," replied the Wabbit. Lapinette shook her head. "What types?" "Evil Computers," replied the Wabbit. "They're all evil," said Wabsworth.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

3. The Wabbit and the Alphanumerics

The Wabbit hauled Wabsworth to a discreet location and removed his maintenance panel. A green glow pulsed. The Wabbit tutted, clenched his teeth and produced his favourite screwdriver. He jabbed swiftly at a point just under Wabsworth's shoulder. Wabsworth jerked and his head slumped. Now the Wabbit worked frantically on a concealed keypad hidden in Wabsworth's fur. He turned the screwdriver handle three quarters and murmured, "Sniff 'em out!" It whined like an old fashioned modem. The Wabbit's ears quivered and his eyes narrowed. "Aha!" he yelled. He placed a paw on Wabsworth's head, just under his glasses. He spoke into his radio. "Transmit logic bomb cleaner." He nudged the radio into contact with the screwdriver and waited. Wabsworth suddenly shook his head, sneezing phantom alphanumerics that glistened and died. "Where in the binky was I?" He gasped, convulsed and expelled a series of equations. The Wabbit tried to catch them but to no avail. He scowled. "We were compromised." Wabsworth's circuits whirred. "Did you get an update?" The Wabbit laughed. "I don't get updates. I'm kept completely in the dark." "There was a DWA update," insisted Wabsworth, "it took all binking night." "What did you do?" asked the Wabbit. A silence fell as Wabsworth thought. "There was a movie with it..." The Wabbit's stare was a question. "It was 'Hackers'," groaned Wabsworth.
[A Logic bomb is a piece of malicious software often delivered via the internet, timed to initiate at specific intervals.]

Monday, April 16, 2018

2. Lapinette and the Byzantine Failure

Susan the Biplane had reported bugsy software. The Wabbit wasn't around - so Lapinette took her for a test flight. They soared over the mountains, buzzed down the river and for a while things seemed normal. But suddenly Susan looped, spun and dropped. "Sorry ma'am," said Susan. Lapinette's tummy went walkabout but she pretended she was fine. "Hold attitude, Susan." Susan wobbled and shook like a jelly. "I'm having an attitude problem," she said. "Not for the first time," thought Lapinette. "It's my instruments, Ma'am," said Susan, "they're beeping and bopping, bipping and burping, blabbing and .." Lapinette threw several switches, one of which was the radio. She ran a silent diagnostic, ran it again and switched the radio back on. "I need oil," said Susan, "poodles of oil." She lurched dramatically and stood on a wingtip. Lapinette spoke into her radio. "Come in, Control." The radio crackled. "I haven't been out, have you? Would you like to go out?" Lapinette sighed and looked at the instrument panel. "Can you switch to analog," Susan?" "I love Kylie Minog," replied Susan. She began to sing I should be so lucky and dropped so dangerously low that Lapinette spotted people she knew. Lapinette flipped the switch and grabbed the joystick with one paw. With another she grabbed her radio and selected shortwave. The Wabbit's voice cut through the whine. "Having fun?"

Friday, April 13, 2018

1. The Wabbit and the Sudden Seizure

The Wabbit paused on the cinema stairs and looked down on the foyer. This he did for amusement when he was bored between missions. He was there only a moment when he heard a vaguely familiar voice. This was followed by a thud, then a crash as Wabsworth pitched down a flight of stairs and lay prone at the Wabbit's feet. Wabsworth was the Wabbit's android double and although he was somewhat similar to the Wabbit, much had changed since he was made. The Wabbit frowned and stooped close. "Wabsworth?" Wabsworth stirred and spoke in a slurred voice. "Wabbit, rabbit, grabbit, nabbit." Usually the Wabbit could hear Wabsworth's circuits quietly whirring but there was only sporadic grinding. He lifted Wabsworth's radio and flicked to his personal channel. It hissed violently. "This is Department Compartment." The message repeated several times and then cut off. The Wabbit slammed the radio against the balustrade. Several bits flew off and the radio sprang into life. "Unauthorised user detected. Access denied." The Wabbit scowled. He lifted Wabsworth to his feet and threw a paw over his shoulder. Wabsworth stiffened then swayed and spoke in Tipsy's voice. "Buy me a dwink. Take me to the flick-flicks." His circuits whirred at an alarming rate. The Wabbit shouted in Wabsworth's ear. "Can you walk?" "Walk walk walk the Wabbit walk," mumbled Wabsworth. "Just do it!" yelled the Wabbit. He grabbed Wabsworth by the ears and hauled him from the cinema ...

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Wabbit at the Adventure Caffè

It was a pleasant afternoon at the Adventure Caffè and, as usual, Skratch made a sudden entrance. "Sorry I'm late," he meaowed; "I was detained by the movies." The Wabbit grinned. "You're nearly too late for the big question." Skratch made for a spare seat. "Cats are never late," he purred. He looked down at Spring Rabbit, who had mysteriously appeared next to Wabsworth. "What is your critical view of your adventure, Spring Rabbit?" Spring Rabbit sprung into Wabsworth's lap and spoke in a soft voice. "It falls into the category I recognise as trickamagical. A silence fell. "Please elaborate," smiled Wabsworth with interest. Spring Rabbit settled. "The discourse was mobilised by magic, executed by tricksters. We all transgressed the boundaries of empirical fact." "Skratch nodded gravely and was about to hold forth. But Wabsworth was anxious to give his opinion. "Real sorcerers resort to tricks when magic doesn't work. The line between the two is fuzzy." Lapinette was impatient. "It doesn't matter, because the exclusive aim of magic is to produce results." Spring Rabbit laughed, then vanished briefly and reappeared. Everyone gasped. "You'll always work," laughed the Wabbit.

Monday, April 09, 2018

8. The Wabbit and the Money Form

The Wabbit lifted the remaining coin and looked at Spring Rabbit. "What's it to be?" he asked. Behind him, tourists scattered into the city taking their free coins with them. The shapes separated from the coins and became listless untethered shadows. Spring Rabbit briefly touched the coin that was left, then sprang back. He looked into the distance. "There go the shapes. How did you know?" The Wabbit shrugged. "We gave the coins away free, gratis and for nothing. It was more than the shapes could bear." "Poetic justice," observed Spring Rabbit. The Wabbit turned to watch. The shapes looked without hope. They could no longer live profitably in the coins, so penniless and homeless, they shuffled into the night. The Wabbit tapped the coin. "What do you want to do?" "The coin is a prison house," said Spring Rabbit; "I will not return. How much is it worth in your money?" "It might fetch a million euro at auction," said the Wabbit. "Keep it, it's yours," said Spring Rabbit. The Wabbit mentally consigned it to the Museum. "Now I need work," said Spring Rabbit. "Can you remember any magic tricks?" asked the Wabbit. Spring Rabbit vanished momentarily then returned. "That's all very well," smiled the Wabbit, "but can you saw a scantily clad lady in half?" "I can pull one out of a hat," said Spring Rabbit.

Friday, April 06, 2018

7. The Wabbit and the Sudden Census

The Wabbit and Spring Rabbit couldn't haul the ghostly coins all over town, so the Wabbit came up with a plan. Together they stacked the coins and piled them neatly on the tramway. Then they waited. "Some days you get lucky," muttered the Wabbit. The historic tram clanked into sight, full of tourists. The Wabbit plucked a police stop sign from his fur and signalled the driver to stop. There was a hiss and a spray of sand as the driver braked the tram. "This is a census," yelled the Wabbit.  The driver leaned out and spoke grouchily. "What kind of census?" "Spending census," shouted the Wabbit. "Obligatory!" He waved the sign. Had it not been for the sign the driver would have proceeded, but he was cautious. Only the police could use that sign and he worried for his pension. The Wabbit continued in an official manner. "Everyone on the tram is obliged to say how much money they spent today." Spring Rabbit looked through the door and saw tourists hastily making notes. "Each participating tourist will receive one of these coins entirely gratis," shouted the Wabbit. He tapped the piles of coins with the sign. Tourists stepped from the tram until it was empty. The Wabbit waved the sign at the driver. "Proceed!" he yelled. The tram rattled into the distance. Spring distributed the coins - and one by one the tourists drifted away. But there was one coin left ...

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

6. The Wabbit and the Shape of Money

The Wabbit and Spring Rabbit made their way down the gloomy porticos in search of a hiding place for the coins. But the further they went, the heavier and the hotter became the coins. They had no option but to put them down. "Not a great place," murmured the Wabbit. Suddenly the coins moved and clunked in a dull way that froze the Wabbit's bones. It was a slurping slapping noise like chains dragging through oil. The Wabbit drew back behind a pillar and watched as shadows emerged. At first they looked like floating wisps of oily smoke, - but as they grew, they changed into shapes that stepped from between the coins and walked and talked. The shapes spoke of exchange, of buying and selling, of old deals and new deals. Their conversations turned to speculation and profits and accumulation. They argued about power and how to get it. They looked in the shops and laughed and wished them closed so they could make fast cash from the empty site. Spring Rabbit motioned for stillness and that was hard for the Wabbit to do. So he shrank back against the pillar and gritted his teeth. With lightning speed, the shapes wheeled and returned to the heap of coins. An eerie devilish chant echoed along the arches. "Pecuniate obediunt omnia!" They vanished into the coins. Spring Rabbit breathed a long sigh and translated. "All things obey money." The Wabbit snarled. "Obedience is over-rated."

Monday, April 02, 2018

5. Mitzy, Tipsy, Fitzy and the Money

Lapinette's Guard swept into the deserted space, turned to face out and bowed. "Anyone here?" asked Tipsy. "Not a soul." said Fitzy. "Where is the Wabbit now the dust has settled?" said Tipsy. "Gone looking for trouble?" said Fitzy. "Gone with the money," said Mitzy. "Gone with the golden rabbit," said Tipsy. She pirouetted and yelled. "The Wabbit prefers trouble to money." Using a mosaic as a skateboard Mitzy coasted around and back, then she shrugged and sang. "Money won't buy him trouble." Fitzy swayed elegantly. "Money's short, always tight, can't buy you love, it's never right." "Money!" yelled Tipsy. Now Mitzy sang. "But if you happen to be rich, turn a switch, it's no hitch." The three stepped forward and shouted simultaneously. "The Wabbit is not rich and he's looking for trouble." Mitzy spread her paws. "He will find it." Fitzy swayed. "He already did." Tipsy plunged a paw into her frock and pulled out a coin. "Could you change a rouble?" Fitzy stuck out a paw. "I'll give you double." Mitzy grabbed it away. "Even though it might be trouble, I'll double that again." Tipsy took the coin back. Her paws blurred. "Abracadabra!"  She held up four coins and smiled. "Look how much money we made." "Hubble bubble ..." murmured Fitzy.

Friday, March 30, 2018

4. The Wabbit and the Second Unit

Footsteps announced the arrival of the Agents. They were sooner than expected. Spring gestured for the Wabbit to snuggle close and then they rubbed ears. The Wabbit felt his fur tingle as they almost vanished - but not quite. They shimmered in the light, neither here nor there - all the Agents saw were confused shadows and ghostly images. "I don't like it here." The first Agent's name was Squatpump and he had a voice like a factory siren. Thrasher, the second Agent watched him. "Lift the slab, Squatpump." There were several grunts. As the Wabbit watched the Agent lift the slab, he slid his paw into his fur and drew out the coin fragment from the museum in Siracusa. Spring summoned a rabbit coin that gave off a ghostly glow as it began to spin. Then he rolled it across the floor. "What's that clinking clanking sound?" asked Squatpump. The Wabbit pitched his coin fragment and it skipped noisily to Squatpump's feet. The Agent dropped the slab on his toes. "You idiot!" yelled Thrasher, "Look there's a note, get it!" Squatpump picked up the note with difficulty and tried to read it. "I can't read joined up writing," he moaned. Thrasher grabbed the note and turned it the right way up. "So was it does say?" whined Squatpump. Thrasher grimaced. "It says abandon hope."

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

3. The Wabbit and the Stash of Coins

Spring led the Wabbit into the basement and there he gestured to a slab of mosaic. "Under there!"  The Wabbit pulled a metal detector from his fur and pointed. It crackled enthusiastically. The slab was heavy, but the Wabbit tilted it round and hefted it up. A pile of gold coins sparkled in the light. The Wabbit gasped. "Perhaps this is what the Agents were looking for." Spring nodded. "It's the sorcerer's stash. Each contains an epoch of illicit wealth and this is where the bodies are buried." The Wabbit looked puzzled. Spring explained. "All relationships involved remain within the coins. They are the sum of all unfair exchanges. All lives that used the coins are represented there." The Wabbit expelled a single exasperated breath and carefully lowered the mosaic slab to hide the stash. Spring flapped his golden ears. "There are despots, oligarchs, cruel merchants, temporary tyrants, blackmailers, thieves and swindlers." "Charming," said the Wabbit. He stood very still and thought hard. "Why do the Agents of Rabit want this?" "They want to unleash the power in the coins," said Spring. "The power of unfair exchange?" frowned the Wabbit. Spring nodded vigorously. "What shall we do?" The Wabbit grinned. "We could wait for them and hit them on the head." "More will follow," sighed Spring. The Wabbit groaned as he lifted the slab again. "Then the stash has to go..."

Monday, March 26, 2018

2. The Wabbit and the Sorcerer's Coin

The Wabbit took Spring the Rabbit to the Palazzo caffè for a coffee. While they were waiting, Spring watched figures crossing the piazza. He watched for such a long time, the Wabbit had to intervene. "Here comes coffee," he chuckled. Spring chuckled, but ruefully. "I am the rabbit from the coin you sought - but I can't pay, having no coins myself." The Wabbit grinned ear to ear. "They know me here. Would you care for a salad sandwich?" Spring rapidly agreed and he jumped against the Wabbit's fur. "You are my liberator. How can I repay you?" The Wabbit considered. "Maybe you could tell me something about that coin?" Spring sighed deeply and turned to gaze from the window. "These people out there, they buy and sell?" The Wabbit nodded. "And they are themselves bought and sold?" continued Spring. The Wabbit gritted his 28 teeth, but agreed nonetheless. Spring began to tell his story. "An ancient sorcerer did me a great favour but I had no way to repay. He was furious beyond belief and trapped me in a gold coin. I was condemned to imprisonment there forever." "That's a long time," sighed the Wabbit. "I have seen many exchanges," said Spring. He sank against the Wabbit's chest. "I've witnessed bribery, corruption, double-dealing, graft and chicanery." The Wabbit thrust a paw in his fur and he scowled. "You're in danger. You know too much."

Friday, March 23, 2018

1. The Wabbit - Spring not Far Behind

The Wabbit was bored as he usually was between missions. Desperate for something to do, he paid a call to Palazzo Madama to find the real rabbit coin. There was nothing doing. He poked at every brick and paving stone he could see - until he was moved on by a surly attendant. He scowled. "Maybe there is no coin," he murmured: "Maybe it's just a myth." The Wabbit decided to take the stairs to the tower. It was quite a climb but although felt a little puffed after his last adventure, he made headway. The Wabbit decided that he would reach the top, then on the way down he would pick at every brick there was. The coin had to be somewhere. He slogged on, but his ears pricked up when he heard a faint scampering. He turned. There was nothing. He couldn't see anyone or anything. The Wabbit knew that generally in the morning, there weren't many people around. "Mice," shrugged the Wabbit and he resumed his climb. "Spring!" said a voice. "Who said Spring?" said the Wabbit without turning. "Spring isn't far behind," said the voice. The Wabbit turned to look. Nothing. He tapped his paw on the railings and turned back. "I'm Spring!" shouted the voice. With a sigh the Wabbit turned again to see a rabbit scampering up the stairs. It was the colour of shimmering gold and it moved with the grace of an angel. The Wabbit's frown turned into a smile. "What was your name again?"

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

The Adventure Caffè was most pleasant. A gentle breeze blew through the doors and they all relaxed to discuss their most recent adventure. Skratch appeared in in his usual fashion and waited for someone to ask the question. This time it was Tipsy. She was pleased to be at the Adventure Caffè and she wanted to make an impression. "Skratch," she murmured. "What was that for a type of Adventure?" "Well now Tipsy," said Skratch. "That's a whole different question. And a good one." Wabsworth lifted a paw. "A type suggests form and as such, begs the question of content." Tipsy smiled with delight and the Wabbit nudged her. "Museums primarily deal with content," said Tipsy, "... so maybe we could think of it as contentious typology." Lapinette was next. "Yes, but it's not museum locations which constitute a typology but their assembly of contents. That demands specific interrogation as a cultural form." "Mmm. Formal architectural typology," nodded the Wabbit. He tapped a formal paw on a table. "The museum is the architecture of the past. An assembly of artifacts which are to all intents and purposes, dead." Tipsy butted in. "Aren't they then, by definition, the precursor of the new?" Skratch looked at Tipsy with admiration. "What about the visitors? As moving exhibits, do they comprise transvisional content?" "The Wabbit laughed. ""Good name for a band."

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

9. The Wabbit and the Unsteady Exit

Leaving the Agents prone in the corridor, Tipsy and Lapinette helped the Wabbit from the museum. He was a little wobbly but he grinned broadly and complimented Tipsy and Lapinette on their double act. As they reached the door, the Wabbit looked back. "What about the Coin?" "It's a replica," said Tipsy, "it's all made of ticky tacky." The Wabbit pondered for a moment. "So where's the real coin and what does it do?" "It doesn't do anything you can see," smiled Tipsy," "it just sits around being immensely valuable." "How much is it worth?" asked Lapinette. Tipsy swirled her eyes. "It has no price. It's scarce, rare, unlisted and unpublished." The Wabbit waited for Tipsy tell him where the authentic coin was, but Tipsy was coy. "On the other paw, it is said to have magical powers." "Where - is - it?" growled the Wabbit. Now Tipsy really grinned. "Under a stone in the floor of the Palazzo Madama in Turin." Lapinette was uncertain she's heard the whole truth. "Let's leave the matter there, along with the coin." The Wabbit nodded so hard it hurt his head. He winced. Lapinette tugged his fur. "So. What would you call that for a sort of honeymoon?" The Wabbit giggled. "I'd call it the best one I'd ever had." They all burst into laughter and they were still laughing when they found their way out.

Friday, March 16, 2018

8. The Wabbit and the Coveted Coin

The Agents grinned. The rabbit had come back and she'd brought what they wanted. Tipsy sat down and polished the coin with the hem of her frock. She hummed gently in a beguiling tone that the two Agents found mesmerizing. She rocked the coin in her arms and swayed from side to side until the lead Agent lost his temper. "You've had too much to drink," he sneered. "Oh, I'd love a little dwink," said Tipsy, "Do you have one?" She held the coin aloft. "Look I can pay - with this money." "Give us the coin," yelled the Agent angrily. Tipsy swayed. "Where's my dwink?" The Agent sighed and turned to look at the Wabbit. The Wabbit seemed to be unconscious so he turned back. But the Wabbit had raised himself to a crouch. "The coin," said the Agent. He gestured at Tipsy. "All right," smiled Tipsy. With a sudden twist, she propelled the coin into the air. The Agents grabbed at it in a flurry of paws, but it escaped their grasp. The Wabbit watched it hover. He lurched to his feet and pulled Lapinette's automatic from his fur. In a second that felt like an age, he tilted the gun to the side and fired. The coin sheared and a fragment flew off. The lead Agent howled. "Kill them. Kill them both." The other Agent shouted, "You do it."  He turned and ran from the room. The Wabbit heard gunfire from the corridor, followed by a heavy thud. He rubbed his head and grinned. "I think I'm in charge now."