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."

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

7. Lapinette and the Quick Change

Lapinette took off and ran in search of a coin. She figured any coin would be enough to stall the Agents and she'd seen plenty of coins in museum displays. She flashed down a never ending series of corridors. Artifacts flew past on both sides - but where were the coins? She heard a voice. A figure was running towards her, carrying a large coin that bore a rabbit engraving. "Lapinette!" yelled Tipsy. They slid to a halt. "I'm taking your place." said Tipsy. She shrugged off her frock and threw it on the floor. Lapinette looked puzzled. "Orders," said Tipsy. With lightning speed they changed frocks. "But what about our ears?" sighed Lapinette. "Mine are cosmetic," grinned Tipsy. She unclasped her ear covers and gave them to Lapinette. Now Tipsy was Lapinette. She tucked the coin into her fur. "Where are they?" Lapinette thought for a moment. "Ten corridors down, two left, three right." Tipsy started to run, but Lapinette called her back. "What am I supposed to do now?" "Fitzy and Mitzy will find you." Tipsy sped on and Lapinette sped the other way. But only for a moment. When Tipsy was out of sight, she turned and followed her. She padded the many corridors at a stealthy pace but when she heard voices, she stopped. She checked Tipsy's frock. There was one automatic, an edged weapon and a hand held precision missile. She grinned a lopsided grin like the Wabbit, and breathed. "Everything a girl needs."

Monday, March 12, 2018

6. Lapinette and the Coin Gang

The Agent swung Lapinette into the room by an ear and her automatic flew out of her paw. She slithered across the floor. The Wabbit lay prone, moaning as if he'd been dragged out of bed early. The lead agent shook Lapinette. "Now go and get it!" he yelled. He shook her some more. "Get what?" asked Lapinette. Her head swam. "The coin. Get the coin," said the lead Agent. Lapinette shook her head and played for time. "I don't know anything about coins." The Agent laughed. "You're an expert in numismatics. We don't have all day, get the coin." Lapinette did know a great deal about coins and puzzled desperately. What coin were they so desperate to acquire? She had no clue. The other agent viciously kicked the Wabbit. "We're wasting time." "She knows where it is," said the lead Agent. He looked at Lapinette and snarled. "You have 5 minutes to get us the coin." He slapped the Wabbit's ear viciously back and forward, and yelled at Lapinette. "Five minutes. Start running or the Wabbit's toast." Lapinette spotted the Wabbit's ear fluttering a strange rhythm. "Morse Code!" thought Lapinette. She watched carefully as the ear twitched .-. ..- -. "Run," translated Lapinette. She staggered to her feet. "I'll get it," she nodded - and she ran. The Agents watched her go. But behind them, the Wabbit was reaching for the fallen automatic ...

Friday, March 09, 2018

5. Lapinette and the Deadly Pursuit

Lapinette flew through corridor after corridor. Each was lined with old coins and each looked exactly the same as the last. She could hear voices and her feet skimmed the museum floor as she followed the sounds. They didn't seem so far away, but the museum was a labyrinth and it was hard to tell where they came from. She heard a bang, then a shout - followed by a racket and a bit of a hubbub. It seemed like the Wabbit was giving as good as he got, but she couldn't be certain. The Agents of Rabit were tricky and their methods unsavoury, so she ran even faster. Suddenly she slithered to a halt and peered around a corner. She could see two Agents pulling the Wabbit into a room, laughing their derisive laugh as they went. "Not so smart now, Wabbit!" said one. She crouched low and waited. A chair slammed against a wall, then a sudden slap cracked like a whip. She heard the Wabbit say something and there were two more slaps. "Wabbit, this is not the time for jokes." It was only a murmur under Lapinette's breath but it was too loud. A door flew open and an Agent peered out. She rapidly aimed and fired. The Agent clutched his foot and screamed and swore like a trooper. Then he grabbed Lapinette by the ears and dragged her into the room ...

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

4. The Wabbit and the Sudden Assault

The Wabbit and Lapinette gave Rover the slip in the backstreets and took refuge. The museum was the perfect place and there wasn't a soul there - or so they thought. "We gave him the slip!" grinned the Wabbit. They happily prowled the antiquities. "Too darn quiet," murmured the Wabbit, pointing at this and that. "Did I hear footsteps?" asked Lapinette. "Mice" suggested the Wabbit. This time Lapinette wasn't happy. "Big sounding mice," she said. "With enormous ears?" laughed the Wabbit. They shrugged and prowled on. It happened with sudden speed. The Wabbit glimpsed shadow ears and turned, only to meet the fist of an Agent of Rabit. The Wabbit saw a flash and rather pretty stars. Then things went black and he toppled to the floor. Lapinette wheeled and pulled out an automatic. But the Agents were too fast and they raced along the corridors dragging a dazed Wabbit behind them. Lapinette chased them, firing as she went. But she was afraid to hit the Wabbit and her shots went wide, hitting only shadows. She jumped to avoid bullets as they ricocheted. With her ears against a wall, she paused to think. One thing was sure. Every time the Wabbit said it was quiet, something happened. She dropped another clip into her automatic. "Too loud around here for me." She moved so quickly, she seemed to vanish. Now the corridors echoed to only one sound. The silence of one rabbit running.

Monday, March 05, 2018

3. The Wabbit and the Scenic Spin

Lapinette and the Wabbit took the jeep for a spin along the coast. It was dusk and the street lights painted buildings a garish yellow. Shadows danced merrily as Lapinette sped along the coast. The Wabbit's teeth chattered a hectic tattoo and his bones shook, so he hung on tight and looked around. It was just too quiet. "It's too quiet," he shouted. "You're never happy," replied Lapinette. There was no one around and any amount of space, so Lapinette pulled sharply on the handbrake and span around in a circle. A cloud of grit flew in the air and stung the Wabbit's face. "Happy now?" grinned Lapinette. "Ecstatic," replied the Wabbit. "Shall we go to the museum then?" suggested Lapinette. She gunned the throttle and tore under the viaduct. "It's closed," said the Wabbit. "I have a key," said Lapinette. The Wabbit knew Lapinette had a key, but he also knew it was a skeleton key that fitted every lock in the known world. His eyes twinkled. "Yes, let's go." He grabbed hold as Lapinette suddenly pulled another handbrake turn and swerved back under the viaduct. "Wrong way?" mumbled the Wabbit. Lapinette gestured with her ears and the Wabbit turned. A giant white ball was hard on their heels - and as it rolled, it whined like a fairground siren. "It can't be Rover," gasped Lapinette. "Lose him!" yelled the Wabbit. Lapinette jumped hard on the throttle and they vanished in a cloud of fumes ..

Friday, March 02, 2018

2. The Wabbit at the Adventure Hotel

The Adventure Hotel had been difficult to find. But after a bone shaking drive along a narrow track behind the hippodrome, there it was. "Commander, welcome!" meaowed Skratch the Cat. "Your private quarters await," smiled Wabsworth. He waved to indicate the building.  Lapinette indicated her approval. The Wabbit's eyes sparkled. "Not too far from the bar, I hope?" "Aperitivi on the way," purred Skratch. "Drinks are free if it rains," said Wabsworth. The Wabbit looked up at an unyielding blue sky, looked down and spread his paws. "How is this Adventure progressing?" he asked. "This is not an adventure, you're on special vacation, Commander," said Wabsworth. "Rest and relaxation," meaowed Skratch. "Refreshment and recuperation," continued Wabsworth. "Not to mention Rock and Roll," winked Skratch. The Wabbit glanced at Lapinette. "I get the drift." "So we'll leave you alone now," said Wabsworth. "We're in the main building if you need us," added Skratch. The Wabbit frowned and so did Lapinette. "You're both staying?" "Protection," meaowed Skratch. He hissed and crouched, then waved his paws up and down. "Protection who from?" asked Lapinette. "Enemies," growled Wabsworth. "I'd be quite lost without them," sighed the Wabbit.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

1.The Wabbits on Wedding Vacation

The Wabbit and Lapinette wandered around their honeymoon destination with hardly a care in the world. There was no Department, or paperwork or enemies. It was sunny and quiet - almost idyllic - as Siracusa basked in a late Sicilian heat wave. The Wabbit swept Lapinette in the air and smiled. Lapinette's eyes fluttered. "What about the Adventure Caffè?" "Ah yes," replied the Wabbit; "How the binky are we going to find out what kind of adventure we had?" Lapinette threw up her arms and yelled. "We'll have to do it ourselves - without Skratch." The Wabbit smirked in delight. "Skratch directed it." "He'll certainly know then," said Lapinette. She looked straight at the Wabbit as he gave it deep thought. "I'm not sure," he said; "I'm certain he'd question any form of intentionality." Lapinette pirouetted. "Skratch is not given to auteurism." The Wabbit pirouetted too. "But he gave our adventure a style which played with dynamics of spectacle and emotion." Lapinette knew what she was talking about when it came to spectacle. "Skratch defied convention and placed the reception before the wedding." The Wabbit struck a pose. "That strategy was dark, dangerous and difficult - and involved falling from giant clocks." Lapinette nodded, but she'd noticed something from the corner of her eye. "Did you see an Agent of Rabit?" The Wabbit winked and shrugged and winked again. "Maybe he's on holiday?"
[auteurism : "auteurist criticism located the creative center of a film in the controlling perspective of the director."]

Monday, February 26, 2018

11.The Wabbit's Honeymoon Swoop

Susan the Biplane extracted the Wabbit and Lapinette from the gallery of the Film Museum and swooped along Via Garibaldi. The Wabbit grinned ear to ear. "Where are we going, Susan?" Susan waggled her wings and her voice crackled over the radio. "I'm transporting Mr and Mrs Wabbit to the Adventure Hotel of course." The Wabbit gulped. Lapinette laughed and gazed down. People looked tiny in the streets, but she waved to them anyway and threw down a flower. With a sudden roar of her engines, Susan tore wildly around the city. She flew like she'd never flown, in an acrobatic display that astonished the Wabbit. She whizzed down Corso Svizzera and across to Lingotto. She skimmed the River Po and buzzed the funicular railway all the way up to Superga. Then she plunged steeply to Piazza Vittorio Veneto. The Wabbit clung to the fuselage with one paw and gripped Lapinette's paw with the other.  "Are you looking for a promotion, Susan?" he gasped. Susan's radio crackled. "This tour is a wedding gift from the Department." The Wabbit shrugged suspiciously. "And ..?" Susan's engine changed note. "And you're wanted back on duty in 24 hours." The Wabbit's 28 teeth flashed momentarily. He smashed his radio on the fuselage and let it slip from his paws. "Take your time," grinned the Wabbit.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

10. Wabbit, Lapinette and a Wedding

The scene faded in and the crowd gaped. There was applause for the Wabbit and Lapinette but a thunderous roar for ex Cardinal Lapin, whose face now beamed down from every restaurant counter in Turin. Lapin's voice echoed through the vast hall of the Film Museum. "We are gathered together to unite these two rabbits in marriage." A hush fell. "Some say not before time," added Lapin. The glint in his eye lit up the whole space. Waves of polite laughter rippled through the audience but then a silence fell as Lapin whispered inaudibly, "Where's the ring, Wabbit!" This flashed on the screen as sub titles. The collective intake of breath prompted some to quietly shed a tear. "I have it in my fur," said the Wabbit. The audience cringed as he searched frantically, producing several items, none of them matching a ring. Lapinette smiled. "It's stuck to your paw, Wabbit." The audience cheered. "Throw me the ring," suggested Lapinette. Her head nodded and her ears trembled. The audience gulped as the Wabbit measured the distance and flicked the ring in the air. It sparkled and span and looped twice before it headed straight for Lapinette's left paw, where it stuck like glue. Lapin smiled blessings. "You may kiss the bride." But the Wabbit had already begun.

Monday, February 19, 2018

9. The Wabbit and the Subtitled Bed

Moloch removed his restraining hands and the Wabbit and Lapinette dropped onto a giant, heart-shaped bed. Lapinette bounced a few times. The Wabbit tucked in and gazed at Lapinette. But cheering ensued so they turned to stare out from a giant movie screen at an adoring audience. Lapinette giggled. "What about all these people?" "This bed feels much too comfy to bother about them," whispered the Wabbit. Applause broke out. "Can they hear us?" asked Lapinette. The audience laughed and whistled and cheered. "We seem to have sub titles," murmured the Wabbit. His words flashed up on the screen as sub titles. The audience repeated them loudly. Clapping spread around the venue. "Maybe they'll go away!" sighed Lapinette. This met with laughter - the Wabbit and Lapinette could do no wrong and their ecstatic audience repeated and cheered every word they uttered. "Wonderful," shouted a critic. "Groundbreaking!" yelled another. The Wabbit decided to go along with things and faced the audience directly. "Technically speaking, we're both supposed to keep one foot on the floor." The audience laughed for some time. Lapinette made a mock scowl. "Wabbit! That stopped in 1965." The crowd screeched and howled and stamped their feet as if they'd never heard a joke before. The Wabbit fumbled around at the back of the bed and found a switch. The screen suddenly grew dark. "Roll credits," murmured the Wabbit.

Friday, February 16, 2018

8. The Wabbit and the Photo House

The balcony tilted and the Wabbit and Lapinette slid downwards into a strange space, entirely composed of movie portraits. They thought they would crash to a floor that was indefinite and could hardly be seen. But Moloch was there to help and he spread his strong arms to prevent them plummeting down a wall of photos. "This is the Hall of Glamour," said Moloch. The Wabbit gazed along the portraits. "It's a bit steep," he observed. He clung onto Moloch's arm and gazed down. "What's at the bottom?" asked Lapinette. "The Well of Fame," replied Moloch; "but you really don't want to visit. It's a long way down - and shallower than you think." "I didn't take even one of these photos," said the Wabbit. Moloch cast large eyes up and along. He sighed. "I'm quite upset my own portrait's not here. You know, I used to be famous in the old silent movie days." "I think we'll all be here some day," said Lapinette. "But in the mean time," asked the Wabbit; "how do we get out?" Moloch's eyes twinkled. "We have to ask the stars." Lapinette thought she would try, so she addressed the portraits directly. "What's the way out?" A murmuring commenced and it sounded much like a conversation. Then a single voice spoke. "Just think yourselves out." Lapinette looked at all the pictures. "Who said that?" "Me" confessed the Wabbit.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

7. The Wabbit and a Plunge from Time

The Skuttle moved too close to the clock and nudged it. It creaked ominously. Lapinette looked at the Wabbit and the Wabbit looked back with gritted teeth. Something snapped and things started to fall apart. Clock hands fell like giant spears. The crowd looked up in horror as Lapinette tumbled from the clock face. With a crack like rotten wood, the Wabbit's second hand broke away. He twisted and grabbed it firmly. Then with a thrust he slowed Lapinette's wild descent, but together with the hand, they continued to fall. The crowd oohed and aahed. The Wabbit angled the clock hand near to vertical and when it hit the ground he twisted with all his might. They vaulted back up, to a massive cheer. Lapinette grabbed a balcony and scrambled on, but the Wabbit disappeared below her. Moments later he was back. Applause broke out. "I'm getting to like this," he grinned. He was on his way down again - but Lapinette grabbed him just before he plunged and swung him safely onto the balcony. A cheer from the crowd was quickly followed by a fearful gasp. Visitors scattered as the giant hand crashed down and stuck quivering in the ground. The crowd roared and roared for more. So the Wabbit waved limply and made an impromptu speech about the fragility of time. Lapinette waved too and turned to the Wabbit with a sigh of relief. "What shall we do for our next trick?" gasped the Wabbit.

Monday, February 12, 2018

6. The Wabbit and the 10 Hour Clock

The Wabbit's installation was his own idea. This was quite a surprise because he disapproved of such things. But it seemed like a good intervention to both liven up the photo exhibition and make a point. The Wabbit's plan had interested Lapinette. "It will send a message about power, time and the oppression of the working rabbit." She suggested they dive from the roof and hang on opposite clock hands. Both would appear to pull in opposite directions, representing the plight of the working collective and the ambiguous nature of time itself. The dive was relatively easy but the grab was difficult. Wabbit hung perilously from the minute hand. "So far so good," he gasped. Lapinette dangled from the hour hand and swung back and forth. But with a clang it suddenly lurched down by an hour. "It's fixed. It's not supposed to do that," snorted the Wabbit. There was a bang. Now the minute hand dropped by ten minutes, taking the Wabbit with it. He scrabbled and grunted and scowled - but he hung on. From below, the crowd cheered massively at what they thought was daring display. Another cheer from the ground alerted Lapinette. They both turned. It was a mammoth flying Skuttle, like none they'd ever seen. Blue spray shot from monster jaws. Jagged teeth gnashed. Fins thrashed. "I haven't got time for this," snapped the Wabbit.

Friday, February 09, 2018

5. The Wabbit and the Chance Guests

Lapinette was right. The public flocked to the exhibition in vast numbers. Many had their own photos and pinned them to a board. They milled around in an excited fashion, saying ooh and ah from time to time. The Wabbit introduced the show in a hushed tone he'd learned from mainstream television. Moloch loomed above everything, occasionally issuing safety instructions. The Wabbit covered the microphone and whispered to Lapinette. "How much have we taken at the box office?" "Enough to set your Dinosaur Fund to rights," laughed Lapinette. Unusually, the Wabbit's Dinosaur Fund had taken a downward turn - so the Wabbit smiled broadly and announced a raffle. Lapinette pointed to several creatures moving between rows of chairs. "Aren't these creatures Skuttles?" "Yes," agreed the Wabbit. "I''d say they're looking for the bar," murmured Lapinette. "And probably they'll find it," replied the Wabbit. He didn't appear at all phased, but Lapinette looked concerned. "Did you invite them?" "They must have heard about it somehow," shrugged the Wabbit. He moved to intercept the closest Skuttle. "May I see your ticket?" The Skuttle held up a valid ticket and the Wabbit examined it closely. "No problem," he announced. "You'll find complimentary drinks in the bar, downstairs on the right." The Skuttle scuttled off at speed. "At least we know where they are," grinned the Wabbit.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

4. Skratch and the Spare Tickets

Skratch the Cat flourished a banner and meaowed as loud as a cat might meaow. "Remaining tickets for the Wabbit and Lapinette Photo Expo!" But passersby were few and trade sporadic. He tried screeching. "Nearly sold out, last few here." Nothing. He considered changing his pitch. "Three for the price of two. Fun guaranteed." Jenny rolled into sight. "What's happening, Skratch?" Skratch grinned ear to ear. "I'm driving business along." Jenny viewed the empty street and shook her head. "Let me assist you." She leaned to kiss Skratch and while he was distracted, stole the tickets from his paw. She waved them around threateningly. "Get your tickets now or else!" Tickets sold well. Jenny grew persistent. "Bring your own photographs. Enter the Selfie Surprise!" Soon, all tickets had gone. "Tell me about this selfie thing," said Skratch. "It's Tipsy's idea," replied Jenny; "The public buy the tickets and provide exhibits." "I should have thought of that," moaned Skratch. "Losing your touch?" grinned Jenny. She swayed in a pirate fashion. Her lips pouted. "What's that behind your back?" purred Skratch. "A photograph of a gun," said Jenny in a sultry voice. Skratch gasped in admiration and moved dangerously close. "I have a real one in my jacket," warned Jenny.

Monday, February 05, 2018

3. Tipsy and the Genial Host

Wabsworth met Tipsy from the tram. "Is that for me?" smiled Tipsy. She leaped from the tram, neatly scooping the glass of wine into her paw and draining it in a single gulp. Wabsworth produced another. "You are invited to open the Wabbit's photo expo," he explained. Tipsy hopped up and down. "Then I must pwactise my speech." Wabsworth gently shook his head. "The Wabbit said no fuss, no frills." Tipsy took a radio from under her frock and started calling. "This is a general announcement. The Wabbit and Lapinette are having a photo expo." Several voices crackled. Tipsy held the radio close to her lips and whispered. "No fruss, no fills." A lengthy series of voices shouted. Tipsy listened to them all. "No, I don't know if you're in the photos. Bwing your own." The radio bleeped and screamed. "No, don't tell a single soul." whispered Tipsy. She faced away and issued a series of breathy inaudible commands. Wabsworth's radio crackled. He lifted it to his ear and spoke. "Everything proceeds according to plan, Commander." With his other paw he refilled Tipsy's glass. She took it without looking and vanished into the tram. The doors hissed and started to close. Wabsworth squeezed through at the very last moment and called to the driver. "Movie Museum!" "Subito," said the driver ...

Friday, February 02, 2018

2. The Wabbit and the Gratis Venue

The Wabbit and Lapinette assessed the movie museum as a likely venue for their photo exhibition. They were about to make a final decision, when Moloch peered over the balcony rail. "May I be of assistance?" "We need an exhibition space," smiled Lapinette. "Then look no further," boomed Moloch. "We have all you might require: walls, seats, rest rooms, stairs, lifts - all that sort of thing. And a bar and a restaurant." "What kind of a bar?" asked the Wabbit. "Wild West of course!" replied Moloch. The Wabbit was delighted but he wanted to know how much it would cost. Moloch tut tut tutted. "No cost. I'm on the Board as the ex officio advisor on Sacrifices." "We couldn't possibly impose on your generous nature," giggled Lapinette. Moloch drew himself to his full height (which was considerable) and spoke with authority. "A not-for-profit activity in pursuit of community cohesion, attracts no particular charge." Lapinette raised a paw. "May we sell copies of our original and exciting images?" "In the shop," laughed Moloch. The Wabbit clapped his paws. "Then it's a done deal." "Just one thing," added Moloch. Lapinette and the Wabbit glanced at each other. Moloch's wings rose menacingly. "I'll be signing copies of Cabiria: Moloch's Final Cut." "What could possible go wrong?" chirped the Wabbit.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

1 The Wabbit and the Photo Show

Lapinette caught up with the Wabbit near the film museum. He was critically eyeing the street and toying with camera settings. Lapinette tapped him on the shoulder. "Wabbit, the lens cap is on." The Wabbit took a photograph. "It's fake," he chortled; "The cap is a holographic projection and to all interests and purposes, transparent." He pointed it directly at a passerby. The shutter clicked. The passerby smiled. "You'll get nothing with that cap on, me old bunny." Lapinette watched him go and grinned. "Maybe we should mount a photo show." The Wabbit thought for a moment. "How much should we charge?" "An exorbitant amount," suggested Lapinette; "People will flock." She pointed at the billboard and sighed. "Look at that, I rest my case." "Animals in Films," shrugged the Wabbit; "Always with the good deeds." "Indomitable and courageous and usually dogs," added Lapinette. The Wabbit's camera clicked again. "Not like us," he smiled. "No-one is," nodded Lapinette. The shutter fired again. "We need a theme, a venue, and a time." said Lapinette. "And a bar," added the Wabbit. "Waiters will circulate with delicious tit bits," said Lapinette. "Luminaries will make speeches," murmured the Wabbit. He thought again, long and hard. "Couldn't we just exhibit in the streets?" "Right here in our own town!" laughed Lapinette.

Monday, January 29, 2018

The Wabbit at the Adventure Caffè

It was chilly, but they chose to sit outside anyway. Lapinette scanned the list. "What's it to be?" asked the Wabbit. Lapinette wrinkled her nose. "It's all newfangled stuff." "I'll have a Prosecco Pouncer," said the Wabbit. Jenny leaned across the table and scowled. "Make mine a Rum Rockeroony." Wabsworth ran his cocktail sub routine. "Beer Runner," he announced. As Lapinette called the waiter, Skratch the Cat ambled around the corner yelling the usual question. "What would you call that for a sort of adventure?" Wabsworth smiled. "It was a form of mythological gesturing where everything indicated everything else." Skratch whisked a spare chair into position. "Like the X Files?" Lapinette raised a paw. "The inexplicable is explained through further inexplicabilities." "Nothing is knowable," laughed Skratch. There was a pause. "So how would we know that?" laughed Wabsworth. "Touché," meowed Skratch. They chortled, but Lapinette was anxious to ask a question about the adventure. "Tibbar said he was neither alive nor dead." Wabsworth leaned gently forward. "That suggests that he has the capacity to be alive or dead." The Wabbit had an idea. "Then maybe Tibbar is in a third state, in a liminality of perpetual waiting." "Where's our drinks?" sighed Lapinette.
[Wabsworth may be referring to  Lucretius, Nothing Is Knowable, and More (De Rerum Natura, 4.469-477)]

Friday, January 26, 2018

8. The Wabbit and the Lucky Charm

The Wabbit knew he couldn't detain a shape shifter. Besides, he didn't feel like it. He led Tibbar through the city and stopped near Porta Nuova Station. "You want me to take a train out of town?" asked Tibbar. The Wabbit shook his head. "Whatever you like Tibbar. Here's a gift for your travels." He delved into his fur and pulled out a band of pure carrot. It pulsed translucent orange and every few seconds it hummed pleasantly. "A tracking device?" smiled Tibbar, "It won't work on me." "It's a good luck charm," flounced the Wabbit. He plucked another object from his fur. It was an amulet comprising three double carrots, which together made up an orange star. It glinted in the streetlights. The Wabbit gently fastened the amulet to the band. "It won't work unless it's a gift." "Why?" asked Tibbar. "Because luck only happens to other rabbits," shrugged the Wabbit. "Where do the trains go?" asked Tibbar, after some thought. "Places that aren't even dreamed about," said the Wabbit with a nod. Tibbar returned the nod and set off along towards the station at a leisurely lope. Wabsworth and Lapinette hopped to catch up with the Wabbit but suddenly stopped. Traffic was in tilt. Screeching brakes and loud angry shouts rent the air. "Just a lucky charm?" said Wabsworth. "Much more than that," smiled the Wabbit.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

7. Wabsworth and the Known Foe

Wabsworth picked up the creature and pushed it to the edge of the stairs. It teetered for a second and said one word. Wabsworth hit it with the carrot. It pitched down the steps and lay crumpled in the stairwell. It shimmered and became liquid but just as quickly became solid again. It tried again without success. With a gasp, it pushed its back to the wall. It coughed. Wabsworth raised his cudgel again. "Please, No more carrots," groaned the creature. The Wabbit hopped to the bottom of the stairs and prodded the creature with a foot. "Tibbar, I thought you were dead." Tibbar groaned. "I don't think of myself as dead or alive." The Wabbit laughed, "Then I won't put out a wanted poster for you." Tibbar hissed and his eye flashed. Wabsworth shouldered his carrot and hopped down to the join the Wabbit. "I don't know this Tibbar." The Wabbit kept a careful eye on Tibbar because he knew him to be both powerful and cunning. "He's a freelance pest." Tibbar tied to shift shape but he was too weak. The Wabbit pushed him against the wall. "The body in the Carrot Club?" "That was me," said Tibbar. "And the hanging agent at the Department?" asked Wabsworth. He raised his carrot and shook it. "Me," nodded Tibbar quickly. Lapinette called from upstairs. "What about my abduction?" "Sorry," moaned Tibbar. "You'll be so sorrier," yelled Lapinette.
[Tibbar's first appearance was in an adventure called Camera Converto.  Tibbar ("rabbit" backwards) is here.]

Monday, January 22, 2018

6. The Wabbit in the Safe House

The three retired to the Safe House to talk and get to the bottom of things. "I wish Skratch was here. He could really help with this mystery," said the Wabbit. At that very moment Skratch loped into the dining room. He waved to everyone to keep quiet and gestured. Lapinette pointed to a question mark hanging where the exit sign used to be. Wabsworth gazed at his drink and pretended not to notice. Skratch hissed and waved his paws. He meaowed rapidly about his last film class. He spoke of modernism and defying erotetic models then gave a lengthy discourse on narrative structure. It seemed like gibberish but the Wabbit knew it was code. He nudged Lapinette beneath the table and winked at Wabsworth. "Let's drop the case," he smiled. "We'll never find the answer." Lapinette sensed a movement from behind the door. She picked up her glass and proposed a toast to unsolved cases. Wabsworth quietly left the room via the kitchens. Skratch continued his discourse. Lapinette's ears swivelled. She hopped silently backwards and gripped the door handle. They heard scurrying on the stairs, then a shout and a yell. Blue blood seeped under the door. Lapinette tugged the handle and it flew open. Wabsworth stood on the threshold holding an enormous carrot and grinning at something prone on the ground. He leaned down and whispered. "Busted."

Friday, January 19, 2018

5. The Wabbit and the Fight Stuff

The Wabbit and Wabsworth located Lapinette. She was sitting, dazed and confused, at the side of the road in a pool of blue blood. She shook blood from her knife."Went that way," she said. She pointed vaguely. The Wabbit reached out to support her. Wabsworth did the same. She didn't appear to be injured, but something, somewhere, had been given a dusting. "She went shat sway over there," slurred Lapinette. She gestured and began to speak in an alien tongue. Wabsworth listened carefully then touched her, repeated the words and said, "Terminate." A bolt of electricity shot between his paw and Lapinette's shoulder. The Wabbit caught her as she slumped. "What did she say?" asked the Wabbit. Lapinette stirred into consciousness and spoke: "She tried to probe me. So I probed her first." "Who's she?" asked Wabsworth. "The creature, Lapinette," she answered. "You're Lapinette," said Wabsworth. Lapinette jolted. Another spark flashed, as something ethereal left her to coalesce with the pool of blue blood. The blood thinned and vanished, leaving only an oil stained sidewalk and a disappearing question mark. Lapinette blinked, grimaced and rubbed her forehead. "What happened?" The Wabbit grinned. "There was a fight." Lapinette groaned. "Who won?" "Looks like a draw," smiled the Wabbit.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

4. The Wabbit and the Sudden Snatch.

A series of abductions were reported just where the railway line disappeared under Corso Francia. They responded quickly and scouted all around. It was a lonely spot, frequented by riff-raff and ne'er do wells - so they were on their guard. "There's something on the rails," shouted Lapinette. She peered over the fence. "It looks like a question mark." "Let's go down and have a look," said the Wabbit, waving an automatic from left to right. His gun was far from new. The safety catch had broken off a long time since, and the trigger was shiny and worn. "Steady there, Commander, that gat needs a reset," said Wabsworth. Lapinette turned to shout. "Wabbit, I think it moved into the ..." Her voice cut off suddenly. The Wabbit's head swiveled to look, but no-one was there. Lapinette had gone. They rushed to the top of the steps - but of Lapinette, there was no trace whatsoever, except for her automatic. The Wabbit picked it up, wheeled and fired three times at the rail tracks. Wabsworth's ears swayed slightly. "Commander?" "She'll hear it," shrugged the Wabbit. He poked around and kicked grass-eaten asphalt. "I'm looking for her knife," he explained. They stiffened as a bloodcurdling cry echoed from the street, followed by three more. "She still has it," smiled the Wabbit.
[gat: slang for gun. Originally derived from Gatling Gun but eventually applied to hand guns.]