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.]

Monday, January 15, 2018

3. The Wabbit and the Hanging Agent

Lapinette called urgently from the Department of Wabbit Affairs to summon the Wabbit to an incident. There, an Agent swung gently from a rope tied high on the roof, and he looked dead or close to it. "Better get him down," grimaced the Wabbit. He pulled mountaineering equipment from his fur and scaled the wall. Wabsworth took the service stairs and appeared from a skylight. "Easy now," shouted Lapinette, "All in one piece, please."  The Wabbit took a good look. "He has a note." Wabsworth swung across and grabbed it. The body swayed once more and suddenly crashed to the ground. Lapinette hopped out of the way with an angry cry. "Is he dead?" called the Wabbit. "Well he is now," scowled Lapinette. "It was the note that did it!" yelled the Wabbit. Lapinette glared. "What does the note say?" Her nose wrinkled as she gazed at the crumpled corpse. Wabsworth squinted at the scrawled message. "It says you're next." "Who's next?" asked the Wabbit. "The note writer failed to elucidate," replied Wabsworth. "Look there's a question mark, painted in blood," pointed Lapinette, "It's on a picture." Wabsworth conducted a speedy analysis. "It's not blood, it's colouring," "That's a priceless work of art," yelled Lapinette. Wabsworth moistened a paw, dabbed the question mark, and tasted it. "Food dye," he murmured.  "Too much dyeing round here," hissed the Wabbit.

Friday, January 12, 2018

2. The Wabbit and the Scene of Crime

The scene of crime was deserted except from some flimsy yellow tape, the shape of a body and dried blood. The Wabbit hopped under the tape. Wabsworth sliced it neatly and carefully initialled the cut edge. "They usually miss something," shrugged the Wabbit. He looked at the shape and whistled "I ain't got nobody," through his 28 teeth. Then he crouched to examine an ornate floor tile. "This is loose," he murmured. He levered it up. It groaned as he slid it to the side. "Oh, what is that? What is the question, Wabsworth?" "Who's been and gone and dunnit to who?" replied Wabsworth. "The perpetrator dunnit," said the Wabbit. "That's a tautology," answered Wabsworth. The Wabbit nodded his head twice -  up and down and side to side. Then he spoke: "Someone drew a question mark with the blood of the victim." "A signature?" suggested Wabsworth. The Wabbit shrugged again. "We don't know if the perp drew it." Wabsworth smiled. "OK Sherlock, who then?" "The evidence currently points to me." smiled the Wabbit. "Well it doesn't look like your signature," scowled Wabsworth. The Wabbit grinned. "Then I'm off the hook." He slid the tile back in place. "I don't think it happened here," he said. "This is just the disposal site." Wabsworth's circuits whirred, then he said: "To both implicate you and leave an indelible stain on the Carrot Club's reputation." "What reputation?" asked the Wabbit.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

1.The Wabbit: The Carrot Club Murder

The Wabbit met Wabsworth outside a budget hotel in downtown Turin on a matter of urgency. "It's about the Carrot Club," said Wabsworth. The Wabbit was puzzled because Carrot Club matters were seldom urgent. "There's been a murder," said Wabsworth. "Who's the victim?" asked the Wabbit. Wabsworth sighed. "It seems to be me." "But you're here," said the Wabbit. He poked him sharply in the ribs to make sure. "It looks like me," said Wabsworth, "but it's not me." The Wabbit shook his head from side to side. "We'd better get down there, pronto." Now Wabsworth shook his head. "It's crawling with forensic rabbits from the Bureau of Internal Mysteries." He fished in his fur and extracted a fearsome sharpened carrot. The Wabbit touched the end. "Yow," he shouted. He sucked his paw and gasped. "You took a murder weapon from a crime scene?" Wabsworth pointed. "It has your gnaw marks on it, Commander. Look just here. And here." The Wabbit grimaced. His gnaw marks were unmistakable. "I have to ask you, Wabbit. Where were you between the hours of dusk and dawn?" The Wabbit laughed. "I was with you of course." Wabsworth frowned and the Wabbit smiled. "OK, I owe you lunch. Tell me, is it messy?" Wabsworth tucked the weapon in his fur. "Who would have thought an android had so much blood..."

Monday, January 08, 2018

The Wabbit at the Adventure Caffè

They'd arranged to meet at the cinema caffè and then watch a movie. But the Wabbit and Lapinette wanted to surprise Wabsworth, so they lay in wait. "I think that must be him now," said Lapinette. "I can just see him crossing the road." "Leave it until he's right at the door," said the Wabbit. The cinema had many volunteers and it was Skratch's night to staff the ticket office. He was checking the till when he heard Wabsworth's voice. "What kind of Adventure did you have, while I was here holding the fort?" Skratch looked up in surprise. "How on earth did you get in?" he asked sharply "The cleaners let me in the back," said Wabsworth. He proffered a large note. "May I have four tickets please? I get the android's discount." Skratch agreed and turned to watch the Wabbit. Both Lapinette and the Wabbit were clearly oblivious to Wabsworth's arrival. He shrugged and uttered: "The adventure was as sprawling and chaotic as an adventure can be." Wabsworth took the tickets and pushed them into his coat. "Anti-narrativity is but an illusion," he said. "Textuality sutures the rift between anti-narrativity and reality." Skratch pondered this for while. "Where did you read that?" he purred. Wabsworth smiled. "I didn't read it. The cleaners told me."
[Wabsworth is possibly referring to a famous documentary, Night Cleaners made in 1975 (UK)]

Thursday, January 04, 2018

14. The Wabbit and the Wolf Storm

Terni the Dragon arrived just before the storm hit the city of Incontinentia. He flew from the corner of a blood red moon to see the team scrambling to the top of a tall block, He was just in time. Wind buffeted the building and it lurched alarmingly. Fitzy Mitzy and Tipsy clung to a street light. Puma shinned up the post behind them but he could barely get a hold. Skratch pulled Lapinette to the roof. The building swayed. The street light shook. Guttering and pipes fell to the street below. The wolf was only paint on mortar but it started to howl. Long mournful shrieks split the air. The moon dropped lower and lower until it seemed to touch the ground. "I'm coming!" roared Terni. He circled then hovered on a cloud of dragon breath. Skratch pulled everyone up and they huddled on the roof as debris whirled around them. "We could use a lift," shouted the Wabbit. Terni dropped lower and lower but the hurricane force swept him back and forth. The wolf howled louder and louder as the building started to crumble. "Better make it now!" shouted the Wabbit. Terni spat fire into the wind and, for an instant, carved a quiet space. One by one they jumped on his back and held onto his scales like grim death. "Where to?" breathed Terni. "High as you can go," yelled the Wabbit. Terni's wings tried to grip the turbulent air and he stuttered like a helicopter. It was touch and go. But the wind lost its grip for a moment and he shot skywards. The wolf's howls gradually became quieter. Far below them, the building and the city collapsed into a pile of dust. "Tidy that," muttered Lapinette.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

13. Terni the Dragon and the Big Wind

Terni tore through the night with a message. He'd been sent to scout around but was interrupted by the weather. It was no ordinary weather and he was no ordinary dragon. With some justification, Terni considered himself a cut above most of his cohorts. The Wabbit had helped him relocate and recruited him to his team. Now he was officially a superdragon and took his responsibilities seriously. The following wind tore at his cabbage wings and pushed him forward at an incredible speed. "I have to get ahead of this wind," thought Terni. "I have to warn the Wabbit." Terni thought of food and his tummy rumbled. The resulting flatulent blast gave him an advantage and he gained ground. He kept low and skimmed across asphalt that had the colour of camels. Terni knew better than to look back because the wind was more than a wind. it was a swirling, jagged typhoon with teeth like a dinosaur. It seemed to be looking for something and for now it couldn't be bothered to destroy much. But it shrieked like a thousand banshees and swept cars into neat piles of junk. Terni saw Incontinentia looming, He wondered if maybe he should do something less dangerous - like taking Tipsy for a spin. He chortled quietly to himself. Peppery fire erupted into the bleak night air and lit the road ahead. "Hit it!" breathed Terni.