Friday, September 13, 2019

8. The Wabbit and the Disorderly Exit

The Wabbit and Lapinette emerged from the super computer. It was hardly an elegant exit but they were glad to get out. The two pink pigs emerged too and they snuffled the corridor with piggy grunts. "Where's Skratch?" asked the Wabbit, "I'm sure I was speaking with Skratch." He heard scratching from the floor and looked down. "I dreamed you out," purred Skratch. And there he was, coiled up on the floor. He was flat as a pancake and stretching. Gradually he fleshed out. First his head, then his tail, and then all his limbs. Finally there was a body. "I've got your notifications," said a voice. It was Flotsy, holding messages in his claws. Lapinette twitched her ears. "I didn't see you." Flotsy laughed. "No-one ever sees me, I'm the Fake Vote, remember?" A violent rapping at the door made them all turn. "I'm locked out!" It was Hardhack Rat. Now the Wabbit's frown turned to an enormous grin and he hopped down the corridor and unlocked the door. "Where's our money?" asked one of the pigs as he passed. "Yeah, where's the dosh?" grunted the other. Flotsy hovered above them. "I took it for services rendered." "Hand it over!" shouted the pigs. "Impounded," fluttered Flotsy, "But I'll write you a promissory note." His ball point pen fluttered back and a forth and a notification floated down. The pigs rolled along the corridor and then they rolled back. They honked, grunted, snorted and squealed. But Flotsy banked and turned. "I'll be back," he shouted. Then in a trice he was gone. "Is a promissory note enforceable?" asked the Wabbit. "It has tax advantages," shrugged Lapinette.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

7. The Wabbit and Skratch's Dream

Outside the computer, Skratch the Cat curled up and dreamed a strange dream. He was prowling along a tunnel. At first, everything in the tunnel was dim - as if he was in a mist. Then the mist cleared. He saw glimmers of light and colour. He heard voices and hissing of snakes. He saw the back of two pigs. "What the devil?" he thought. Presently, the Wabbit came into view with Lapinette beside him. They seemed to be obstructed by something like a wall, but Skratch could see no wall. He watched the Wabbit lift a paw and smash it in the air. Now he saw their reflections as if they were gazing in a frosty mirror. Their eyes grew bigger and bigger. Lapinette pointed. The two pigs nuzzled and grunted. The Wabbit's mouth moved but Skratch could hear nothing. "I'm over here!" yelled Skratch. He couldn't hear his own voice but he shouted anyway. "Watch out for the snakes!" he croaked. Two snakes flicked the Wabbit and Lapinette with venomous red tongues and Skratch got angry. He was close now and he tapped the Wabbit on the shoulder. The Wabbit brushed him away and and his touch felt like an electric shock. Skratch jumped and his fur stood on end. "Skratch?" said the Wabbit. He looked from right to left. "You can't see me," said Skratch. "No I can't," replied the Wabbit. "Who are you talking to?" asked Lapinette. The snakes hissed. Skratch hissed louder. The snakes recoiled and Skratch watched them slither down the tunnel with enormous speed. The mirror vanished. Everyone moved forward. Except for Skratch. He woke up outside, then stretched, yawned and looked up ...

Friday, September 06, 2019

6. The Wabbit and the Quantum Lubricant

The two pink pigs wanted to lead the way and the Wabbit let them. They grumbled in metallic voices that came straight from an electronics factory in Shanghai. Mostly they grumbled about whose idea it had been in the first place and when they got tired of that, they grumbled about the Wabbit and Lapinette. The tunnel that led from the door was longer than they anticipated and the Wabbit speculated it was some kind of quantum thing. Every time they saw the end of the tunnel it was the start of another tunnel. "It's like a pipeline," said Lapinette. The Wabbit froze and Lapinette noticed. "Another of your stolen script ideas?" "Yes," agreed the Wabbit. He wrinkled his nose. "So we'd better watch out for snakes." Lapinette thought she heard a hiss. "What kind of snakes?" "Fast moving, quantum tunnel snakes," said the Wabbit. "Multi-coloured?" asked Lapinette. "Yes," said the Wabbit. He thought it prudent to offer further explanation. "They snake along pipelines taking everything with them at high speed." The multi-coloured snake wound round and round, hissing. "Keeps still, everyone!" shouted Lapinette. The pigs froze. "I hate snakes," muttered one. "And keep quiet," yelled Lapinette. The snake dropped ahead of them and slithered up the tunnel. The Wabbit, Lapinette and the pigs all picked up speed. The tunnel walls seemed to flash by. "Where do they go?" sighed Lapinette. "They're like lubricant," said the Wabbit. "They'll go anywhere they want." The sides of the tunnel blurred. "Who's they?" asked Lapinette. "A powerful, evil corporation," shrugged the Wabbit.

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

5. The Wabbit inside the Duvet Computer

Inside the quantum duvet computer was more than cosy. The Wabbit prodded a duvet with both paws. "What's this supposed to be?" Lapinette poked one too and shrugged. "Software?" Lights flickered to the rear and that seemed normal to the Wabbit. Underneath didn't seem normal. He looked down and pointed. "The cloud," said Lapinette. Only at that point did she see two pink pigs tugging at the duvets. "Who are you?" The first pig made a face and snarled. "Paws up!"  "Stand and deliver," said the other. The Wabbit yelled. "You're another stolen idea!" Lapinette's eyes shot into the roof of her head. "Explain." The Wabbit was really annoyed. "It's one of my film script ideas. Two electronic toy pigs rob a bank!" He was shouting. Lapinette made a face. "How does it end?" "Badly," grimaced the Wabbit. The pigs didn't seem to care. "Answer!" they shouted. The Wabbit huffed and puffed. "I have nothing to deliver. Would a speech do?" "No," said the first pig. But the other pig considered the matter. "Would it be a revolutionary speech, full of fire and brimstone and threats and promises?" "If you want," said the Wabbit. So he began. He quoted Shelley. He quoted Thomas Jefferson. By the time he reached Che Guevara he was running out of steam. "That's enough," said the first pig, "We've already got the money anyway." "So now get us out of here!" said the other. Lapinette waved both paws. "I can see a door up ahead there." "Follow me," snapped the Wabbit as he hopped towards the door.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

4. Hardhack Rat's Super Solution

Flotsy had gone for help and returned with Hardhack Rat in tow. He pointed to the computer walls. "It's a quantum duvet computer. The Wabbit and Lapinette are trapped inside!" But the moment he shouted the walls changed. Alphanumerics swirled and warped in a confusing mass. Flotsy touched it. Now it was impenetrable. Hardhack looked at it for a while, then shook his head. "It's a swirlwall, very hard to get through." "Kin you do it?" asked Flotsy. "With a bit of patience and the right tools, I can do anything," said Hardhack. Flotsy poised with his ball point fuselage and prepared to write. "I need a washing machine and a vacuum cleaner," said Hardhack. "One washing machine, one vacuum," scribbled Flotsy. "Then I need a proper computer toolkit, such as the Wabbit has in his shed." Flotsy muttered the words as he wrote. "Wabbit's shed, toolkit." Hardhack prodded the wall, grimaced and shrugged. "And then I need a cat." "Someone said cat?" said a voice. Skratch appeared from the street and meaowed his way along the corridor. He scratched Hardhack's back. "A cat you need is a cat indeed." Flotsy made for the exit while he could still see it. Hardhack gazed at Skratch. "I've heard all about you." Skratch purred softly. "Likewise I'm sure." Hardhack scuttled up and down the walls, tapping here and there. "Mr Skratch. To get them out I will require you to sleep." Skratch purred mightily. "I sleep therefore I am."

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

3. The Wabbit and the Super Computer

Flotsy took them to a district on the edge of town, known appropriately as Fermi. There was no one around. "This place is dead and alive," murmured the Wabbit. "Are you sure we're here?" asked Lapinette. Flotsy flew through double doors into a corridor and announced, "All messages came in here. None came out." The corridor was hot. Walls whirred. Alphanumerics whizzed past in never ending succession. Lapinette wondered whether the wall was solid. She pushed a paw through. It shimmered and became semi-transparent. "How does it feel?" asked the Wabbit. "Like a duvet." Lapinette's voice was breathless. She tugged her paw away. It made a gloopy sound and came out. "Phew," said the Wabbit. He stuck his own paw in. "Warm and cosy," he chuckled. Lapinette wasted no more time. She stuck her head inside for a look. "There's a message here - stuck to a label." She tried to grab the message but at each attempt it moved round. She read the label. "It says wash carefully." The Wabbit had an idea. "Does it say anything at the bottom about togs?" Lapinette nodded and withdrew her head. "It says 800 Terratogs." The Wabbit began to laugh. "It's a quantum duvet computer." He tried to move his paw but it was too hot and he was stuck. Lapinette tried to help him - but slowly they were drawn into the walls. Lapinette gasped before she vanished entirely. "Get help!" Flotsy wheeled and streaked out the exit at astonishing speed ...
[Telegram notification symbol
I'm unable to find the attribution for the graphic for the EU Supercomputer, but used under fair use rules. ]

Friday, August 23, 2019

2. The Wabbit and Lapinette are Notified

The Wabbit and Lapinette adopted a suitable vantage point and looked at the city. They never expected to see anything, but that was what they did if they were stuck. They didn't wait long. Something swooped down and clung swaying on the rails. Then it chuckled. "I'm your notification." "About what?" asked Lapinette. "About the lack of notifications," chuckled the creature. It somewhat resembled a paper airplane with claws. For a fuselage and nose, it sported a glitzy ball point pen. "I know you," gasped the Wabbit, "You're Fake Vote." The creature shimmered its wings. "Call me Flotsy." The Wabbit shrugged a special kind of shrug. Lapinette knew the Wabbit hadn't the faintest clue about what was going on. "What's happening to the notifications?" asked Lapinette. "Pirates," said Flotsy. The Wabbit became impatient. "Why?" he snapped. Flotsy fluttered onto a lower rail and hissed confidentially. "For ransoms." The Wabbit stamped a foot and the whole tower shook. "I received no ransom request." Flotsy laughed. "That would count as a notification - and all notifications are being held hostage." The Wabbit struck a paw against the rails and Flotsy lifted off for an instant. "Now my brain hurts," sighed the Wabbit. Lapinette grinned. "Flotsy, where are the notifications being held?" Flotsy bobbed up and down. "In a superdupercomputer, somewhere on the edge of town." The Wabbit pointed at Flotsy. "You will find it. And you will download it." Lapinette leaped in the air. "Lead the way, Flotsy"

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

1. The Wabbit and Lost Communications

Lapinette caught up with the Wabbit at Sassi station. She knew it was the Wabbit long before she saw him, because he was making the sounds of a traction engine and hissing doors. "Hello Wabbit, where have you been?" The Wabbit turned and hung from the rail. "I haven't been anywhere!" Lapinette slid past the Wabbit and slipped on board. "I sent you many messages," she said in an annoyed voice. "I sent you messages also," said the Wabbit, "but reply came there none." He fiddled with the controls. The Sassi-Superga line was a rack railway - but technically this counted as tram line number 79, so the Wabbit thought he was in charge. "In fact," said the Wabbit, "I haven't had any notifications from anyone and it gave me lots of time to do other things." Lapinette laughed. "Like what?" The Wabbit grinned back. "Like develop screenplays." Lapinette stifled another laugh. "Tell me about them." The Wabbit swung back and forward on the rail. "I sketched out five different films and sent them to Hollywood." Lapinette waited patiently. "I was never notified," scowled the Wabbit. Lapinette had a thought. "Maybe our notifications are being stolen." The Wabbit jumped in the air. "That's it! I saw something on TV and it was just like one of my ideas." Lapinette waited once more. "It was the story of a ghostly duvet," explained the Wabbit, "It smothered and devoured anyone who slept under it." Lapinette grimaced. "So who stole your idea?" The Wabbit struck the rail with a paw. "The Dazed Duvet Syndicate used it as an advert ..."

Monday, August 19, 2019

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

Before going to the dining room at the Medieval Castle, the team met in the great chamber. Lapinette grabbed the Wabbit's paw and shook it - because she felt it had been a very interesting adventure. Wabsworth chortled and waved to signify his presence. Skratch arrived late after climbing through the window (as befitted his status as a cat). He held an excited paw aloft and meowed at the top of his voice. "Well, what was that for a sort of adventure you just had?" Wabsworth laughed. "It was a story of haunting spectrality and no mistake." The Wabbit grinned. "Visualizing ghosts is a difficult proposition." Lapinette shook her head vigorously. "Not at all," she said, "Ghosts are a special kind of projection." "Oooh," said Wabsworth. "Just like a film," added Skratch. The Wabbit made a face. "As far as that's concerned, ghosts are based on the continuing return of historical fragments." Skratch was delighted. "The semiotics of hauntology!" he exclaimed. Then he had an afterthought. "Signs and signifiers can never capture inter-dimensional temporality." "That's Derrida!" stated Lapinette. Skratch purred quietly. "Talking of deconstruction, who pushed the priest over the rails." The Wabbit chuckled. "We created the desire for a sequel." Skratch prowled around the room twice, then returned and meaowed, "Post modern adaptation. I'm quietly impressed." The Wabbit winked. "I need to adapt a drink." Then they laughed and laughed, all the way to the dining room ...

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

6. The Wabbit and the Soul of the Priest

The Wabbit leaned over the stricken priest. "Better call an ambulance," he muttered. Lapinette shook her head. The priest stirred briefly. In one paw he clutched his cross and with the other he passed his bible to the Wabbit. "Thank you for helping me." His voice was feeble and the Wabbit leaned closer. The rabbit priest whispered to the Wabbit and then to Lapinette. "Only the good and just can see me." Now the Wabbit shook his head. "I don't understand." The priest's head slumped but he continued to whisper. "Decades have passed since I was pushed over the rails. I was trapped in a loop and doomed to repeat my fall. But you have freed me." Lapinette grasped at his paw but there was nothing to grip. The priest's body started to fade. "Goodbye father," said the Wabbit. "Goodbye father," repeated Lapinette. The Wabbit tried to return the bible to the paws of the priest but they were insubstantial now. "You keep it," said the priest. They were his last words. His body floated upwards and into the dome of the basilica - then it vanished. Lapinette and the Wabbit watched until they could see no more. But they were startled by a clergyman's booming voice. "I'm sorry, the church is closing now." "We were talking to the priest," said Lapinette. "What priest?" said the clergyman. He turned on his heel and disappeared into the sacristy. The Wabbit and Lapinette continued to look up at the dome for a while. The Wabbit tucked the bible into his fur. Then together, they walked out the doors and into the evening light.

Monday, August 12, 2019

5. The Wabbit and the Tragic Incident

The Wabbit saw the rabbit priest scramble over the parapet rails and he dived to stop him. He was fast  - but it was all too late. Everything seemed to stand still. There was no traffic noise from the city, no birds singing, no mass from the church below. The usual breeze paused and the air became listless. The priest looked at the Wabbit through the rails with beady eyes and he said something that the Wabbit couldn't hear. He made a blessing and his bible flew from his paw. Then he dropped like a stone. Now the Wabbit could hear Lapinette calling from the churchyard below. "No," she yelled, "No don't!" The Wabbit's heart was heavy as he looked over the rail. Lapinette was standing over the crumpled body of the priest. The Wabbit grabbed the bible and flew down the spiral staircase as quickly as he could. But in his heart he knew that all the speed in the world was useless. He crashed through the big Basilica doors. "Quick, Wabbit! Help me." shouted Lapinette. She was dragging the body inside the church and the Wabbit heard her speaking the Latin verses of the Sancta Missa. He shook his head sadly and together they drew the priest into the awesome nave of the Superga Basilica. The Wabbit placed the bible back in the feeble paws of the priest and looked round - because although the church was completely deserted, he could hear music. "The Requiem," breathed Lapinette ...

Friday, August 09, 2019

4. The Wabbit and the Lonely Staircase

The Wabbit and Lapinette followed the rabbit priest as he made his way slowly up the spiral staircase. The Wabbit caught glimpses of his face as he rounded each corner. His eyes were glazed, his breathing was shallow and the sound of his feet grew fainter with each step. "I don't like the look of this," whispered the Wabbit. He moved swiftly behind the priest, but the priest took no notice. "Father," said the Wabbit gently. There was no reply. "Father!" shouted the Wabbit. His voice echoed around the stairway, but the priest paid no attention - he merely proceeded up the staircase towards an old wooden door. His paw reached out to open it. "Lapinette!" shouted the Wabbit. "Find someone to talk to the priest." He had an idea of what was going to happen and he aimed to prevent it. Lapinette scampered down the stairway at speed, yelling for someone, anyone from the clergy or congregation. The Wabbit tried to get between the priest and the door but some invisible force stopped him. The priest turned the door handle and pushed. The Wabbit heard the hinges creak with a wail and then a shriek. Suddenly the priest was a stark silhouette in the evening sun. He stepped onto the parapet. The Wabbit dashed after him and tried to grab his cassock but he was left with a piece of cloth in each paw. The priest stepped forward and up to the fence. Then he placed one leg up and threw the other over. "No!" yelled the Wabbit. He lunged for the priest and for a moment he thought he had him in his grasp ...

Thursday, August 08, 2019

3. The Wabbit and the Troubled Priest

The Wabbit and Lapinette decided to track down the strange priest and get the inside story. So they made for the Superga Basilica to hear him say mass. Inside the church, they waited and waited at the back. The mass went on for some time, but there was no sign of the priest. So they hopped outside for a look around. And there he was, looking into the distance. The Wabbit and Lapinette could hear the mass continue from inside, relayed on tinny speakers - and they crept closer. The priest clutched his bible tight and chanted in a ghostly Latin. They listened carefully. "It's the Tridentine mass," whispered Lapinette. The Wabbit raised an eye. "It's the old form," added Lapinette. The Wabbit nodded, because Lapinette seemed to know all about that sort of thing. The priest waved his paws in a blessing and suddenly turned. But he didn't seem to see the Wabbit and Lapinette. He walked right at them - and then through the Wabbit as if he he wasn't there. The Wabbit shivered and his fur tingled, but he beckoned to Lapinette and together they followed as the priest walked towards the church. They could hear him mumbling prayers as he moved straight through closed doors. "Deus, Deus meus: Quare tristes es, anima mea, et quare conturbas me." "He's going to climb the stairway to the tower," said the Wabbit. Lapinette frowned. "Better go after him." They watched the priest mount the narrow spiral stairs and climb half way up. Then they saw him pause and turn. His face was blank as he looked down ....
[O God my God. Why are you so sad my soul, and why do you disquiet me?]

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

2. Lapinette and the Rabbit of the Cloth

Lapinette was on a routine journey down from the Alpine Museum on Monte dei Cuppucinni when she spied a rabbit priest at the side of the road. He too was making his way down and appeared to be limping. Lapinette braked to a halt and rolled down her window. "May I give you a lift, father?" The priest looked up, nodded his head and climbed in. Then he placed his battered bible on the seat and settled back. Lapinette assumed he was coming from the Chiesa di Santa Maria and going to the centre. She crashed the truck into gear and made her way down the hill. "Where are you going, father?" she asked. "The Church, my Captain," said the priest. Lapinette wasn't in any way a captain - but she smiled and took a right fork towards Superga. Of all the churches she knew, Superga was the best and besides, she liked the view. "Are you going to say mass, father?" It was around that time, but the priest shook his head. Lapinette felt impelled to make conversation and remembered his limp. "Do you ever get tired of all the work, father?" Oh yes," exclaimed the priest. "Sometimes after a function I just collapse on a chair. I tear off my collar and throw it in a corner and go to sleep." Lapinette smiled. "I suppose you watch a bit of television?" "What is television?" said the priest. Lapinette thought for a second and shrugged. "Radio with pictures." The priest was silent. Then he held up his bible. "I'm nearly here." Lapinette saw the Basilica in the distance. She stopped, leaned across and opened the door. The rabbit priest hopped out and Lapinette watched him hop into the distance. She made a turn, then headed into town ...

Friday, August 02, 2019

1. The Wabbit and the Priestly Passenger

Turin was busy and the Wabbit made slow progress. Finally things came to a standstill. The Wabbit struck a paw on the steering wheel and tried to squeeze his jeep through the traffic. But a figure opened the door, got in and sat next to him. The Wabbit stared at what was clearly a rabbit priest. The priest uttered not a sound, but laid a bible on the seat beside him and settled back. The Wabbit shrugged. "Where are you going, father?" "Please drop me at the next church," said the priest. The Wabbit thought about it. There were churches everywhere in Turin and he was uncertain where the "next church" was. "Did you have any particular next church in mind?" asked the Wabbit. "No," said the priest. The Wabbit shrugged, engaged gear and moved off. The traffic thinned and he moved faster, scanning the road for likely churches. "What about that one?" The Wabbit pointed at a small baroque church on the left. The priest shook his head, so the Wabbit continued. A large basilica loomed into sight. The Wabbit raised an eyebrow. "No," said the priest. The Wabbit sped on. When the Wabbit reached the countryside, the priest gestured for him to stop. The Wabbit coasted to a halt and the priest picked up his bible and hopped out. There was hardly a building in sight, far less a church. The priest set off down the road and into the distance. "Where's your church, father?" shouted the Wabbit. Without looking back, the priest replied, "Everywhere." The Wabbit watched until the priest was out of sight. Then he turned his jeep and drove back to the city ...

Monday, July 29, 2019

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

The Wabbit leaned on a stacked chair and rapped on the table. "We're too early." Lapinette jumped in the air and flung her paws wide. "I think it's the caffè that's too late." Wabsworth arrived and gave them a friendly wave. "This place never opens on time. I usually go across the road." The Wabbit scowled. "But that's the place you can never get served."  Lapinette laughed and laughed and jumped on the table. Then she pirouetted around and tapped like Ginger Rogers. "Let's all go to the caffè at the corner where it's difficult to pay." The Wabbit turned round to watch Skratch the Cat arrive. Skratch purred loudly. "Interesting adventure you just had, Wabbit!" The Wabbit unstacked a chair and sat down to listen. "I think it was a space western," said Wabsworth. Skratch shook his head. "You can't depend on iconography alone. You may as well rattle some armour and call it Lancelot." Lapinette jumped from the table. "It was dark and glum with nothing to relieve the gloom." The Wabbit grinned widely. "We merely transposed the themes of the existential novel. We went aimlessly around without satisfaction." Lapinette looked around at the caffè. "Maybe this is an existential establishment." "What's an existential drink like?" asked Wabsworth. "Nothing much in it," answered Skratch.

Friday, July 26, 2019

10. The Wabbit and the Stowaway Vole

The Wabbit and Lapinette made a deal with the Vole and they departed with the Agents' craft in tow. But as they broke free from the planet's atmosphere they felt the towline tug sharply. Then it happened again until finally it snapped. "What gives?" said the Wabbit. Lapinette watched the towline dangling in space and she pointed. "It was perfectly secure," groaned the Wabbit. "The rope was. But look!" Lapinette pointed to the enemy craft's porthole. The vole stared out with a toothy grin and he waved. Gradually the craft picked up speed and disappeared behind a nearby planet. The Wabbit was furious. "What about the communications equipment?" Lapinette shrugged. "I disabled everything." The Wabbit struck a paw against the steering wheel. "Have a care, Commander," said Turbina, "That's new from the motor accessories shop in Via Garibaldi." The Wabbit's fur steamed and he stared at Lapinette. "How did you know?" Lapinette grinned a very wide grin indeed and kissed the air. "Never ever trust a vole. Especially one that vole-unteers." The Wabbit disregarded this and looked into space. "Where's he going?" "He's going nowhere," laughed Lapinette, "He'll run out of fuel soon." The Wabbit started to laugh. His shoulders heaved and his side split and he couldn't stop. "What's so funny?" said Lapinette. The Wabbit gave a last chuckle. "The Vole Patrol will pick him up."

Thursday, July 25, 2019

9. The Wabbit and the Alley Altercation

The Agents of Rabit were just too stupid or too careless. They cavorted into the alleyway laughing and joking - only to be met with a hail of bullets. "Just wing 'em Lapinette," said the Wabbit. "We want them to tell the tale." Lapinette picked off another Agent, then pushed an extra clip into her automatic. It was fast and furious. Inside Turbina, the vole relaxed and increased the volume on the radio. But then he thought of something and pushed his head out the window. "What about my cut?" But the Wabbit and Lapinette couldn't hear him. Agents bit the dust. "What about the communications equipment?" shouted Lapinette. "It must be in their craft. We'll take it!" yelled the Wabbit. "Can you fix it?" grimaced Lapinette. "I can fix anything," murmured the Wabbit, ".. given time." Lapinette laughed and fired. Another Agent toppled from the rooftop with a cry. It was the last. Turbina started her engine. Bricks toppled from rooftops. The vole shot in the air with surprise as the Wabbit and Lapinette jumped in. "Confiscation time," grinned the Wabbit. The vole snickered and settled between the two of them. "I'm sure that craft is full of succulent roots." If you say so," smiled Lapinette. The blast from Turbina's jet scorched the buildings as she stood on the gas.

Monday, July 22, 2019

8. The Wabbit and the Agent's Vessel

It wasn't hard to find the Agent's mother ship. The Wabbit and Lapinette followed their noses, mostly because the acrid fumes that belched from the craft were smelly indeed. The craft lurched from the ground. They pulled out their automatics. The spaceship coughed and wheezed and finally settled back down. They heard curses from inside. "I told you it needed a service!" yelled an Agent. "It was working this morning," came a reply. The Wabbit gestured to Lapinette. "I'm uncertain why we bothered. We could leave them to blow themselves up." Lapinette giggled and tucked her automatic back in her frock. "Cut out the middle rabbit?" Suddenly the vessel burst into life - and for a few seconds it flew in the air. But it just as quickly crashed down again. Smoke billowed from the hull. They heard shouting and a few curses. The Agents tried again. This time there was less smoke and the mother ship floated about two metres high. Lapinette's ears swivelled to hear any information. "OK," said an Agent, "fly it back to where the Wabbit and his gang hang out." But the vessel wouldn't go any higher. It lurched into the distance, circumnavigating rocks and trees and occasionally bumping on the ground. "I think we'll head them off at the pass," chortled the Wabbit.

Friday, July 19, 2019

7. The Wabbit and the Half Kaboom

There was more than enough explosive - and when it detonated the blast was significant. "Too significant," yelled the Wabbit as his paws left the ground. Lapinette scampered to the left and behind the stonework, but the Wabbit had no choice, He was thrown to the front and the vole quickly followed. Rocks fell all around him but he managed to glance back. The missiles weren't from the explosion. Three Agents of Rabit stood on the parapet, showering them with every stone they could find. It wasn't high tech ammunition but it was effective. "Regroup," yelled the Wabbit. He feinted to the left, rolled and found some cover. The vole rolled too and landed on top of him. "Where did they come from?" shouted the Wabbit. "Must be a second unit," snickered the Vole. Lapinette took a makeup case from her fur and carefully applied various cosmetics. "I hate this rain," she pouted. The rain got heavier and they sheltered as best they could. The Agents hated the rain too and it frustrated their efforts. A bit of moaning floated over the parapet. "Let's go back to the mother ship," said one. "Then we'll come back and mop up." "Achoo," sneezed another, "my paws are all sore from these rocks." "I need an aspirin," said another. The Wabbit grinned and then he grinned again. Turbina's hood appeared out of the rain. "I have hot chocolate," she breathed.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

6. The Wabbit and the Vole's Goal

It wasn't far to the Agents' lair. The vole gestured to the cave. "The awful creatures are in there, I can smell them." The Wabbit and Lapinette hung back. "Leave this to us, vole," said the Wabbit. He dug deep in his fur and fished out a largish quantity of explosive. Lapinette grabbed it and inserted a detonator. She was about to throw it down the cave but the vole snatched it. "I'll do it!" He was off before they could do a thing. He scampered up the stone steps and into the shadows. It was then they discerned sinister shapes that could only be Agents of Rabit - and they were much too close. Lapinette drew a breath. The Wabbit clenched his jaw. What happened next took place at lightning speed. With the package of C4 under its snout, the vole reached the top of the stairs. He scraped his claws along the top step. The sound set everyone's teeth on edge. "What's that?" yelled an Agent. "I'm only a vole," snickered the vole. "It's only a vole for goodness sake," said the leader. The vole scampered past and behind them. "Stupid problem pest," grimaced an Agent. The Vole dropped the explosive just behind him. "What the ..." shouted an Agent and he reached out - but it was too late. The vole was a blur as he scampered back. He shot past Lapinette, executed a speedway turn and let out a snicker that echoed down the cave. The Wabbit reached under his fur for the wireless detonation switch and yelled. "All clear! Fire from the vole."

Monday, July 15, 2019

5. The Wabbit and the Interrupted Circuit

The rain gave way to steamy night. Under heavy clouds, the vole led Turbina to what looked like a roughly wired street lamp. "This is what these rabbits erected," he said. The Wabbit climbed the pole and subjected the circuit to an interminable series of tests. "Well?" asked Lapinette. "It's not a lamp, it's a transmitter," said the Wabbit, "and it's a lot more powerful than it looks." Without warning, the array became hot and started to hum. "Yow!" said the Wabbit, "that made my fur tingle." "Mmmm. Let's see," said Lapinette. She fished under her frock and brought out an expandable pole. "Are you going to poke it?" asked the vole. "When in doubt, burn it out," said Lapinette. She poked the array with the pole. Nothing happened. She prodded all around with no results. "Poke it in the middle," said the Vole. Lapinette poked it viciously. There was a flash and a crackle and something arced. Sparks flew. The humming stopped. "That'll keep them busy for a while," laughed the Wabbit. Lapinette folded the pole and jumped to the ground, followed by the vole. Slivers of wood flew around as the Wabbit slid down. "Now I'll take you to their lair," said the vole. "They have a lair?" smiled the Wabbit. "Doesn't everyone?" grinned the vole.

Friday, July 12, 2019

4. The Wabbit, Lapinette and the Vole

Turbina landed on the Planet of the Voles and they clambered out. Rain lashed their fur. "You might have chosen a better landing spot," grumbled the Wabbit. "Security, no tracks," she chortled. She pivoted on the rock and tried to dislodge the Wabbit. The Wabbit clung onto her engine compartment and quietly swore. "Oh look," said Lapinette. "Here's a vole." "There aren't any voles," said the Wabbit, "I made that up." There was a scurrying from under a rock. "I am a vole," grunted a small vole, "did you bring any food?" The Wabbit ducked back into Turbina's cabin for a salad sandwich. Lapinette smiled. "Did you see any wicked looking creatures?" The vole scurried back and forth. "Food first, information later." Lapinette passed a sandwich which the vole devoured in a single gulp. "I saw some hideous rabbits," he spluttered. "And?" inquired Lapinette. "More food!" snapped the vole. The Wabbit's face fell as he passed the last of his sandwiches. The vole snapped them up. "They're a few kilometres south and they have equipment of some kind."  The Wabbit dropped from Turbina with a heavy thump. "Equipment?" The vole shrugged. "I'm just a vole, not an engineer. But it looked like transmission gear." Lapinette reached out and stroked the vole. "Can you take us to them?"  The vole's teeth chattered." "Half of whatever you take from them." "A quarter," offered Lapinette. "A third," said the vole. "Done," said the Wabbit. He pulled out his automatic and turned to go. "But it's only because I like you."
[Vole graphic: Courtesy of Mikhail Kolesnikov and Marina Korobchenko.]

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

3. The Wabbit and Lapinette Undercover

Planet OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb was always freezing but the bar was one of the warmest in the galaxy. Leaving Turbina in a rocky rocket park, they stole inside and waited. The Agent on the bar stool got steadily drunker  - and the drunker he became, the more he talked. "We got them this time and I'll get a hefty bonus when we do." The Agent's voice was thick and slurred. Lapinette lurched against the bar and pretended to down cocktails. The Wabbit staggered up and down, reciting poetry and asking for money. Occasionally he burped. The bar belonged to their friend, the Alien Pilot. Information-gathering was his sideline, so all they had to do was listen as he pumped the Agent dry. "What a brilliant plan. Just brilliant." He offered the Agent another drink. "On the house for you and all you Agents on ... ?" The Agent grinned as he slumped against the bar. ".. the Planet of the Voles." The Alien Pilot pushed another glass in the Agent's direction." "Sounds terrific." The Agent smirked. "We have cutting edge reconnaissance equipment." "Squipment is exshpenshive," slurred the Wabbit. "Get that fart smellow another dwink," said Lapinette. The Agent laughed and drank and told the whole bar where the funds came from. He rocked on his bar stool and while he rambled on, Lapinette and the Wabbit crept away. Turbina set course. And when she took off for the Planet of the Voles, the roar of her turbines rattled every glass in every bar on the planet.  The Agent suddenly stiffened. "What's that?" "Mice?" shrugged the Pilot.

Monday, July 08, 2019

2. The Wabbit and the Space to Talk

Turbina the Jet Car sailed up a ramp near Lingotto and just kept going. Lapinette twisted the steering wheel and made vrooming noises. "It's just for effect," she laughed. Turbina shot through a layer of clouds and soon the whole planet was behind them. The windows slid up and the instrument panel changed to something out of Star Trek. Someone in the Space Station looked out with astonished eyes and grabbed a camera, but it was too late. There was a flash and Turbina disappeared. "How fast was that?" asked the Wabbit. "Too fast for numbers," said Turbina. "Where are we going?" asked the Wabbit. "Someplace to talk," replied Turbina. "Super hush hush - ears only," said Lapinette. She tapped the steering wheel lightly. It folded back. Galaxies sped by like soup. "There it is," said Lapinette. "MACS0647-JD," murmured Turbina. "Snappy Scottish name," chuckled the Wabbit. Turbina slowed down.  The Wabbit laughed. "It looks like an electric bar heater from 1952." Turbina glowed red to match. "Perfect." she announced. "No passing trade," grinned Lapinette. "So what's it all about?" shrugged the Wabbit. "Agents of Rabit are planning an all out assault on our communications," said Turbina. She coasted to a stop, switched off the radio and turned off all her lights. The Wabbit's eyes glowed faintly in the dark, as did his 28 teeth. "So let's make a plan," said Turbina ...

Thursday, July 04, 2019

1. The Wabbit and the Swift Pick Up.

The Wabbit strolled down Via Nizza with hardly a care in the world, when a fast car mounted the sidewalk and a beautiful rabbit leaned across with a gun in her paw. He'd been wondering about his next mission, but not that hard. "Get in the car," snarled the rabbit. He raised a paw in the air and drawled, "Lapinette, that looks like my gun." Lapinette twirled it round several times and offered it butt-first. "I cleaned it up and replaced the safety catch." The Wabbit shrugged, took the gun and got in the vehicle. "Hello Commander," said the car. Turbina held an impossibly high rank at the Department of Wabbit Affairs. She could talk and fly. And she usually kept a salad sandwich in her glove compartment for the Wabbit, just for a culinary emergency. "I have your orders," said Turbina, "but let's take a little drive first." Lapinette put her foot on the gas, then gunned the throttle and hauled up the handbrake. Turbina swerved through 180 degrees and took off in the direction of the centre. The Wabbit clung on for dear life. Lapinette eyes gleamed and she span the steering wheel. Turbina took a left at Corso Germano Sommeiller on two wheels and briefly left the ground as she flew over the railway bridge. People jumped out the way. "Are we in a hurry?" asked the Wabbit. He tucked his automatic in his fur and peered in the glove compartment. Turbina and Lapinette laughed together. "Just practicing."

Monday, July 01, 2019

The Wabbit at the Adventure Caffè

The sun was so bright it bleached the street - so the team found a caffè in the shade and scrunched in. Skratch made a late and fashionable entrance as usual. "Well hello everyone. What sort of adventure did you just get yourselves into?" Wabsworth was the first to comment. He looked directly over the table at Skratch. "It was a no reason kind of adventure. Despite its folk pretensions, it defies categorization." Skratch grinned a mighty cat grin. "That's very critical, Wabsworth. You surely didn't think it was silly." The Wabbit chimed in. "Perhaps it was. But that's not entirely negative. The adventure critiques the story-telling process itself." Lapinette giggled and beat a rhythm on the table. "I think it was wonky intellectualism of the highest order - Arabian Nights for the very highest of high brows." Skratch meaowed. "It was the anti realist nature of the story that rendered it as magical realism. The Wabbit and Wabsworth were arrivistes as much as Aladdin and Sinbad. But this version is as authentic as any ancient Arabian tale." Wabsworth chuckled. "My point exactly. Instability. Entangling displacement. Repetitive motifs." Lapinette laughed. "The story is a folk tale. The tyre is a ring. A ring means a wedding." "With this ring I thee wed," said the Wabbit. He made a circular movement with a paw - and said gravely, "Hoc est corpus meum." "Hocus pocus!" yelled Skratch.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

6. The Wabbit and the Magic Landing

Prill the magic tyre sailed over the rooftop race track at Lingotto and made an elegant descent down through the big ramp. The Wabbit and Wabsworth scrunched down as best they could and looked over the tyre rim. "There are schoolchildren down there," smiled Wabsworth. The children looked up and made a figure of eight. Some waved, but one of them shrugged. "It's only the Wabbit on a Flying Tyre." Then they all went back to their tasks. "Look. There's someone else!" chuckled the Wabbit. Lovely Lapinette sat on a balustrade with a flag in her paw. She dangled her legs over the heights and waved the flag. "Welcome back, Wabbit and Wabsworth! Did you meet Aladdin?" Prill span round and they dropped until they were level with Lapinette. She giggled. "Here you are my master, this is my mistress." The Wabbit laughed. "What's going on, Lap?" Lapinette lurched dangerously forward. "It's a new project. We call it the Flubber Development." Wabsworth chimed in. "Well, we'd like to be Landflubbers now." Lapinette jumped aboard and signalled. "Going down," said Prill. The children cleared away as if they'd never been there. Prill bumped down on the concrete. The Wabbit sniffed the air. "Could be a new perfume," he grinned. "Mmmm," said Lapinette, "Soft overtones of rubber, coal and oil." The Wabbit's 28 teeth flashed and his eyes gleamed. "And combustion!"

Thursday, June 27, 2019

5. The Wabbit and the Flying Tyre

The Wabbit sprayed copious amounts of WD-40 on the rubber road, but it only half worked. The tyre parted company from the road but it flew high in the air, taking the Wabbit and Wabsworth with it. The Wabbit and Wabsworth clung on and grimaced. The Wabbit cursed as he lost a hold of his can of lubricant. It detached from his paw and made its way down to the city, but at that moment the tyre stopped spinning. It sailed lazily in circles, making whirring sounds. Wabsworth pointed and laughed as another sound caught his attention. A dove swooped around them making cawing noises and laughing. "Are you King Solomon today, Commander, or Prince Husain?" "It's Parakalo!" yelled the Wabbit. "Parakalo!" cooed the dove. "Give us a hand, Parakalo, we want to go down," shouted the Wabbit. Parakalo hovered near the tyre and cooed softly. The tyre made a whirring noise in reply. This went on for some time until the Wabbit interrupted with a wave of his paw. Parakalo wheeled straight up and then swooped down and hovered. "You can talk to him yourself, it's your tyre." The tyre wiggled, then spoke in a high pitched female voice. "My name is Prill. To where dost thou wish to travel, my master?" "Down would be nice," said the Wabbit. "Down where?" said Prill, "to the bazarre perhaps?" They were already skimming rooftops. "Just downtown," smiled Wabsworth.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

4. The Wabbit and the Tyre's Balance

The Wabbit and Wabbit pursued the tyre and jumped aboard as it passed under a bridge on the Po. Rabbits were known for their speed and their legs blurred as the tyre carried them down river. Just in front, the rubber road came with them. The tyre picked up speed. So did they. Wabsworth fished out a pole and used it to balance. "Where did you learn to do that?" yelled the Wabbit. "I'm an android. I have a circus acrobat algorithm," shouted Wabsworth. The Wabbit clenched all of his 28 teeth. "Everyone should have a hobby." The tyre rolled faster. "It's all a matter of torque," shouted Wabsworth. "Torque is cheap," quipped the Wabbit. He pulled out a multi tool with sharp bits and he span forward with the tyre. "Sidewall?" shouted Wabsworth. "Just waiting on the right moment," murmured the Wabbit. He rolled over at an impossible angle, then struck the tyre with the axe. But it bounced off. Wabsworth hauled him back. "We can't keep this up indefinitely," he screeched. The Wabbit stabbed the tyre a few times but to no effect. The tyre tore down the river, then veered off and rolled towards a built up area. "This tyre's gotta run out of road sometime," cried Wabsworth. "Aha, "said the Wabbit, "that's it!" He gritted his teeth, plunged a paw into his fur - and produced a can of WD40 ...

Friday, June 21, 2019

3. The Wabbit and the Rubber Road

Wabsworth arrived at speed brandishing a tyre iron - and his timing was impeccable. The giant tyre rolled backwards and started to spin. The noise was unbearable. The ground shook under their feet and they felt it move, then sway. They began to lose balance and they slithered around. "It's a rubber road," yelled the Wabbit, "Run!" But they couldn't run. The dimpled surface of the rubber road made movement difficult - and every time they got to their feet, they fell and bounced back. But the tyre clung to the rubber road like glue, moving forward with menace, picking up speed. The Wabbit fished in his fur and pulled out Lapinette's edged weapon. He waved it menacingly and yelled, "I'll cut you a new tread!" The tyre swerved to the left but Wabsworth was in its path. "You're worn out! You need changing," he yelled. He lifted the tyre iron and stroked it. The tyre hesitated, then veered away, cutting a slick path through a highway of rubber. Wabsworth watched the tyre race out of sight, taking the rubber road with it. He wrinkled his nose. "He's unbalanced as they come." The Wabbit glanced down. The street was stabilising. It hardened and turned into asphalt under his feet. "No chance of it getting a flat, I suppose?" chortled Wabsworth. The Wabbit thought for a second and grinned. He groped for his radio. "I suppose it could be arranged."

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

2. The Wabbit and the Surprise Attack

The Wabbit hadn't hopped far when things went belly up. He was happily hopping down to the river when he heard a whistling, which turned quickly to a rumble. He felt a wind, then a blow to the back. He rolled and cursed and got back up. The tyre was massive, as high as the tram wires - and it smelled of whatever tyres were made of these days. His nose twitched. Not rubber exactly. Rubber and something else. The Wabbit brushed soot from his fur and watched the tyre. It had rolled to a stop and it stood quivering in the road. It seemed to look at him. He picked up his radio from the asphalt and yelled. "Rogue tyre with attitude, Piazza Vittorio Veneto." The radio crackled. It was Wabsworth, his android double. "What kind of a tyre?" The Wabbit shook his head, but anyway, he looked the tyre up and down. "Pirelli P7, Corsa Classic. "Excellent tyre," murmured Wabsworth. The Wabbit said something rude under his breath, then, "Get down here, Wabsworth!" The radio whined. "Do we need any tools, Commander?" "This is not Formula One, Wabsworth. The tyre's alive!" screamed the Wabbit. Now the tyre was rolling towards him. The Wabbit edged back and under a portico. That was when it spoke. "I. Rubber!" The Wabbit nodded. He groped in his fur for his automatic and snarled out the corner of his mouth. "Don't you tyres get dizzy?"

Monday, June 17, 2019

1. The Wabbit and the Aimless Hop

The Wabbit hopped aimlessly through the city with hardly a care in the world. He tried very hard not to think, because the minute he realised he was enjoying himself, he would feel anxious. He preferred to be at one with the city; to merge into it, to become indistinguishable from it. "Ultimately I will vanish," he smiled. He looked down at his fur. He hadn't vanished. "OK," said the Wabbit, trying hard not to think. "I will merely taste the flavour of the day." He ambled on, sniffing the air. Memories popped into his head - times gone by, missions accomplished, enemies defeated. "All in the past, transient and fleeting," grinned the Wabbit. The Wabbit growled. He'd remembered he was between missions and that was a place he didn't like one bit. He fished in his fur for his radio, but then drew back, empty pawed. "Lapinette insisted I relax." He continued along the street but stopped dead when he was struck by a sudden insight. "Trying not to think is thinking too." The Wabbit gave up and headed along the porticos to the river to watch the water go by. But something made him turn. It was Lapinette. "Wabbit, Wabbit, your new mission papers arrived, they want you at the Department." The Wabbit hopped with glee. "Don't they know I'm taking a relaxing break," he yelled.

Friday, June 14, 2019

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

The team arrived at the Adventure Caffè. The afternoon was dull and heavy and hot, but there was no more swirling. They all said "Phew!" and relaxed. Lapinette hugged the Wabbit and the Wabbit hugged her back. "What was that for a kind of Adventure?" she asked. "Here comes Skratch to tell us," shrugged the Wabbit. The air got even hotter as Terni arrived. He blasted hot breath across the river and wiggled his wings. "That was a stellar adventure," he roared. "It certainly was," meaowed Skratch, "It was the ghostly epitome of post modernism." Lapinette grinned. "Skratch means that his analysis hasn't actually arrived." The Wabbit tutted and shook his head. "I think the whole question of troublesome alien invaders is a narrative paradigm consistent with paranoid delusion." Wabsworth chimed in. "Not if they are out to get us." Skratch meaowed for attention. "When I was on the saucer, the Ice Mice appeared incompetent. They indicated they didn't know what they were doing." Wabsworth nodded. "So the ripples we experienced were due to the ignorance of the Ice Mice."  Skratch wasn't happy. "It seems to me that their ignorance is a political act. It's a highly aggressive and deceitful manoeuvre, designed to trick opponents into compliance." The Wabbit laughed. "There's a lot of it about." Lapinette waved her paws. "Do you think we could trick anyone into bringing us drinks?"

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

7. The Wabbit & the Wormhole Modulator

"Will it work?" asked Terni the Dragon. "Of course it will work," said the Wabbit. Terni laughed a dragon laugh and despite the Wabbit's various warnings, he slipped from the cargo bay and into deep space. Lapinette nudged the Wabbit. "They're coming." The Ice Mice saucer flew hard on their heels. "And they're none too pleased," smirked the Wabbit. He flicked a switch and a worm hole opened. Terni breathed a cone of flame and launched through. Quantum streaked after him. Lapinette watched the saucer. "Now," she breathed. The Wabbit flicked the switch the other way. The worm hole closed behind them. It was the Wabbit's turn to laugh. "That'll delay them more than Heathrow in the fog." Terni circled and returned on a fiery plume. "Excellent" he roared, "Now shall we all sing?" The speakers crackled. "You start," said Skratch the Cat from the engine room. Terni's voice boomed out. "Terni the Magic Dragon!" "Flies through Outer Space," trilled Lapinette. "He frolics through the galaxy, he's our dragon interface," ad libbed Wabsworth. Everyone laughed so loud that the sound carried through space. On the other side of the wormhole, the Ice Mice scowled and barged and complained about cats. Back on Quantum, the Wabbit set a course for Earth and cracked mice jokes. "I hope they have a mice day."

Monday, June 10, 2019

6. The Wabbit and the Laser Device

The Wabbit was tinkering in the engine room. He was responsible for Lattice Drive and although it looked antediluvian it usually worked - up until now. Lapinette appeared waving a sonic screwdriver, but still, they had no luck. The Wabbit produced an ancient micrometer from his fur and measured everything in sight. "It makes me feel better," he murmured to Lapinette. His stomach rumbled. "Perhaps you're hungry, Wabbit," suggested Lapinette, "Would you like a salad sandwich?" She delved into her frock and plucked out a sandwich. The Wabbit was extremely hungry but he persisted in measuring things. A delicious aroma of salad reached his nostrils and he was so busy savouring it, he failed to notice Skratch returning from the Ice Mice vessel. "Need a helping paw, Wabbit?" The Wabbit looked up. Skratch waved a device. "What's that Skratch, a toy?" Skratch meowed. "This is no toy." The device fired a beam that narrowly missed the Wabbit's ears. They heard a rumble and then a whine. Everything shimmered as Quantum carved a path through the space-time continuum. "Lattice Drive," they yelled. "Where did you get that thing?" asked the Wabbit. "I acquired it," purred Skratch. He grinned. "They'll never miss it." The Wabbit gave it some thought. "Does it do anything else?" Skratch purred long and hard. "Would you like me to heat up that sandwich?"

Friday, June 07, 2019

5. Skratch and the Ailing Power Unit

Skratch the Cat boarded the Ice Mice vessel easily. The door slid back with a pssst sound and he stepped on board. He could see what might be a power unit, but one thing was for sure. It wasn't working. Occasionally it bleeped and flashed but the bleep was tired and the illumination faint. "What can I do for you in your time of need?" meaowed Skratch. "It doesn't work," moaned an ice mouse. "What's wrong with it?" asked Skratch. "We don't know. No-one knows how to repair it," said another ice mouse. "Where's your engineer?" said Skratch. The ice mice wailed together. "We don't have one." Skratch sighed and complained about modern times. "Can you fix it?" asked an ice mouse. Skratch strode forward and kicked it viciously. The unit croaked loudly and a red light came on. "All is not lost," murmured Skratch. He took a can of WD40 and sprayed it in every crevice he could find. Then he kicked the unit again. It started to hum and the light began to pulse. "Aha," said Skratch. He located what looked like a switch, switched it off, then back on. A cooling fan chattered. Lights flickered in an ordered sequence. A robotic voice spoke. "System restored. Please enter your password." Skratch looked at the ice mice and they both shrugged. Skratch screeched long and hard. But he found the keyboard and typed "p a s s w o r d". The unit spoke again. "Booting full power. Have a nice day." The ice mice were delighted and they ran to hug Skratch, but he brought them up short. "That will be 180 QUID," he meaowed.
[QUID is a proposed space currency. The QuasiUniversal Intergalactic Denomination.]

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

4. The Wabbit and the Strange Request

Quantum pulled away from the unknown forces and reached space - but only on push power. "Lattice Drive just won't engage," said Skratch the Cat from the engine room. They were stuck. Now Quantum's voice crackled across the speakers. "Behind you!" A green shadow fell across Quantum's bodywork. "It's the enemy. It's the Ice Mice!" yelled Lapinette. The Wabbit expected fire and he flinched. "Shields up!" he yelled. "I'm a train," said Quantum, "not a Klingon Bird of Prey." But it didn't matter, nothing happened. The ship just stayed there. "They're making me nervous," said the Wabbit. "OK, I'll open a channel," said Quantum. His voice boomed over the public address system. "Ridiculous green saucer, please identify yourself and state the nature of your business." Dead silence. "Try short wave," suggested Wabsworth. The Wabbit plunged a paw in his fur and pulled out a walkie talkie. He struck it three times for good luck and hissed, "We can see you, Saucer. Whadda ya hear, whadda ya say?" At first there was nothing except static. Then the radio whined. "This is the Ice Mice. We're stuck. Have you got a mechanic?" Lapinette burst out laughing. The radio whined again. "It's not funny." The Wabbit called the engine room. "Skratch, would you like a job?" They heard a long feline screech from Skratch. "I don't do rodent control."
[Short waves and other frequencies transmit through space. You can even talk to the space station.]

Monday, June 03, 2019

3. The Wabbit and the Dragon's Flames

The jump was shorter than expected and they all looked out to see the Alps swirling in a spiral. Terni the Food Dragon emerged from the south and flew directly in front. They could hear his cabbage wings flapping, even at this altitude. "What gives?" muttered the Wabbit. "What happened to Lattice Drive?" asked Lapinette. Skratch's voice crackled from the intercom. "Best we can do, Commander." Then Terni chimed in. "Everything is swirling," he roared, "I just got ahead of it." Quantum's engines shuddered, entangled in forces that no-one understood. "I'm going to the engine room," said the Wabbit. He vanished. Lapinette spoke to Terni. "Any ideas?" They were going round in circles and dropping in altitude. Terni flew under Quantum and spread his wings as far as they would go. It seemed to help. Quantum lifted and the grip of the swirling spiral loosened. Lapinette clapped her paws in glee. The Wabbit reappeared. "Something worked," he grimaced. Lapinette nodded at the window. The Wabbit watched in astonishment as Terni's wings drove them higher. "What is this? Game of Thrones?" "All we need are flames," said Lapinette. In an instant Terni created a sea of flame that pushed Quantum higher. "We have full power!" yelled Skratch. The Wabbit signalled to Terni. "Better come aboard. Things are a little too quiet around here."

Friday, May 31, 2019

2. The Wabbit and the Quantum Lift Off

The Wabbit and Lapinette raced across the city. They figured off-planet was a good place to be and they were relieved to find Quantum the Time Travelling Train ready and waiting. They scrambled aboard. Quantum seemed to have a clue about what was happening. "No sign of life, Commander."  "Nary a thing," said the Wabbit. "Nothing moves across the whole city," confirmed Lapinette. Quantum's engines came to life. The train vibrated. "What about the team?" asked Lapinette. "Skratch and Wabsworth are in the engine room," said Quantum, "and the rest are in the restaurant car." The train shuddered and lifted. The intercom crackled. "Engaging Lattice Drive," said Skratch. Nothing happened. The train hung a meter from the ground. The Wabbit and Lapinette looked out and down. The ground danced and swirled in circles. "I'll shoot it!" yelled the Wabbit. "That's your answer to everything," said Lapinette. Skratch's voice crackled. "Why don't you try, Commander?" The Wabbit fired a single shot at the ground. Quantum shook and pulled upwards. "Again," said Skratch. The Wabbit fired again. The swirls spread. The force weakened. "Get your heads back in the cab, you two," said Quantum, "or you'll be pulled into the space time continuum." "Does it have a bar?" asked the Wabbit. Engines throbbed. The train shook. There was a flash. If anyone could have watched they would have seen a big red train dissolve into pixels - and vanish.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

1. The Wabbit and the Way to Look

Lapinette caught up with the Wabbit in Via Montebello outside the Lounge Bar Gilda. He was staring intently at a sign on the wall. Then he would turn and look in the opposite direction. After a while he would look back. She tapped him lightly on the shoulder. "Between missions ennui?" she asked. "Hello Lapinette," replied the Wabbit but he kept staring. Lapinette giggled. "If you're wondering how to look in the right direction, then look at me." The Wabbit turned and embraced Lapinette. Lapinette looked over his shoulder at the sign. "Someone of a philosophical turn of mind?" The Wabbit shrugged. "I thought Wrong Direction might be a song." "Or a band," laughed Lapinette. The Wabbit laughed and laughed. "Lapinette, if I look away from the sign, I receive no further instruction. There are too many directions to choose from." Lapinette pirouetted. "What if we both look away from it at the same time?" "OK," said the Wabbit. They turned and together they looked up the street, then at the other side, then the other way. The ground suddenly shook and they clutched each other for support. The shaking stopped. Now everything was silent and still - no traffic noise, no conversations, nothing. "What happened?" asked Lapinette. "Felt like an earthquake," said the Wabbit. "But where is everyone?" said Lapinette. "Gone!" gasped the Wabbit.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

The team gathered at a caffè on Via Po. It was very quiet. Normally Via Po hustled and bustled - so they were pleased to find a space at a basic caffè, knowing that often they were the best. The Wabbit and Lapinette were first. Before long they heard frantic sounds. Skratch's meaows could be extremely loud and they bounced like bad cheques along the porticos. "What was that for a sort of adventure you just had?" Lapinette turned and meaowed back. "You tell us, Skratch. It's your job." Wabsworth jumped from a tram and stuck his head round a pillar. "I'll tell you if you like!"  The Wabbit waved for everyone to sit down and he called for drinks. Despite his android nature, Wabsworth was in a cheerful mood. "It was strictly comedy and driven by expectation." Skratch grinned an encouraging grin. "The audience feels superior because it knows the introduction of a banana to the plot is automatically funny." Lapinette raised a paw. "The audience recognises the incongruity of the banana as a sign. The banana stands for light hearted madness."  Skratch meaowed long and hard. "The banana is the essence of genial abnormality." The Wabbit gave him a meaningful look. "But what about the vague allusions to the Banana Boat Song?" Skratch laughed. "References to the idiocy of cultural appropriation." The Wabbit nodded gravely. "That's something that drives me bananas."
[Thanks to :  HumorMechanisms in Film Comedy: Incongruity and Superiority, Jeroen Vandaele, Poetics Today, 23:2, CETRA, Leuven]

Friday, May 24, 2019

6. The Wabbit and the Spider's Banana

The Wabbit and Lapinette chased across the city in pursuit of the banana and it brought them right back to Pluto Park. Just when they thought they'd cornered it, it kept slipping from their grasp. It ran them ragged across the whole place and when things finally looked like success, they were exhausted. The banana however remained unflustered. "Where's Duetta?" yelled Lapinette. "I'm here," said a voice. Marshall Duetta Spyder rounded a corner and watched with amusement. "That's my banana!" Duetta rattled her legs. The banana danced wildly in the air. Lapinette made one last attempt to grasp it, but there was no need because the banana settled on one of Duetta's legs. Then Duetta began to sing a song. "Well I'm loadin' de banana boat all night long." The banana sung too. "Dah dah light and me wan' go home." Duetta rattled and responded. "When I get some money, gonna quit so soon," he sang. The banana stretched, relaxed and went to sleep. Lapinette gazed at the sight. "Your banana?" Duetta hissed and cackled. "Every spider should have a banana." The Wabbit tried to sound stern. "That banana caused a lot of trouble." Duetta shuffled to the side and back again. "OK. I'll take responsibility for the fruit." "You better had," said Lapinette, "he's driven us bananas." The Wabbit grinned with all of his 28 teeth. "Now I feel like going on a bender. So let's split."

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

5. The Wabbit & the Flight of the Banana

The Wabbit and Lapinette were up at daybreak to continue the search for the disordered banana. They'd had a call about a sighting from Eataly, the food concern at Lingotto - and round the back they spotted it. It was squirming under a fence and into a building site. It was moving fast and seemed intent on something. The Wabbit scaled the fence and began to drop down the other side. Lapinette stayed where she was in case the banana decided to double back. The Wabbit muttered a curse as he snagged his fur on a spike. "You need your safety helmet!" joked Lapinette. "And boots and Day Glow fur," smirked the Wabbit. The banana scuttled along the fence, taking them both by surprise. "It's almost as if it wants us to follow it," observed the Wabbit. "What in the world for?" murmured Lapinette. "What do bananas really want?" laughed the Wabbit. "Their own Republic?" suggested Lapinette. The Wabbit dropped down the fence and dusted his fur. Then he watched the banana explore the building site. It poked in every corner and crevice. It slithered into heavy plant vehicles and out again. Finally it climbed a mound of rubble and sat at the top. The Wabbit shrugged. "No-one around to trip up?"  Lapinette nodded. "Look Wabbit, this shouldn't be difficult. It's only a one banana problem." The Wabbit thought for a moment. "Then let's call Duetta the Spider. Spiders know all about bananas."

Monday, May 20, 2019

4. The Wabbit and the Stealthy Banana

The Wabbit entered the church but of the banana there was no sign. He could see Lapinette - and although she appeared to be kneeling in reverence at the altar, she was looking all around. The Wabbit spoke in a hushed voice. "What's the deal with the yellow thing?" Lapinette was still, but ever watchful. She spoke in a low tone. "It's a banana and it's out of control." The Wabbit grinned. Lapinette frowned. "It's been tripping people all around the city." "Very annoying," whispered the Wabbit. Lapinette sighed. "It nearly caused a major accident at the Porta Susa Bridge Club." The Wabbit felt his insides shake with mirth but he held it in. Lapinette continued. "There was an incident at the Sardinian's Gramsci Club and several participants were disturbed at the Octogenarian Writing Centre." "That won't do," agreed the Wabbit. He cast around to locate the offending banana. Lapinette was staring at the face on the wall. "The face! I saw the eyes move." The Wabbit shrugged and drew a breath. "For goodness sake, don't tell anyone. The place will be completely mobbed." Lapinette kept staring at the eyes. They were definitely moving and she followed their direction. "There's the banana!" "Where?" asked the Wabbit. "On your fur," shouted Lapinette. "Aaaagh!" yelled the Wabbit. His paws flailed and the banana streaked out of the church.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

3. The Wabbit and the Yellow Menace

The scuttling creature doubled back and took the Wabbit by surprise. It got under his feet and he lost his balance and flew in the air. His automatic flew out of his paw. He bounced from the wall and then crashed on the ground.  But the creature hadn't finished. It got under his feet again. The Wabbit slipped, turned a cartwheel, then somehow got up straight. A bullet flew past and hit the wall behind him. He felt pieces of brickwork spatter his fur. The creature slid up his leg and got into his fur. Then it slithered up the wall and back. He could smell it and it smelled strange. "It smells like ... a banana," thought the Wabbit. But his foot went from under him and he bounced from the church stairway. Now he'd cut his leg and he was angry. There was another shot so he crouched on the paving.  But still the creature kept coming. A bullet grazed the yellow skin and the creature yelped. That was when it bit him. The Wabbit growled as he kicked the creature as hard as he could. It skidded along the paving and then disappeared round a doorway. He heard Lapinette calling. "I'll get him!" He heard more shots. Massaging a painful leg, he groped along the paving for his automatic. Then he tucked it in his fur and tumbled through the door, yelling, "Leave some of him for me!"

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

2. The Wabbit and the Upper Heights

The Wabbit saw no sign of Lapinette from the walkway, but he could hear sporadic gunfire. So he climbed to the roof of the Santo Volto Church. It was a cumbersome climb. Despite everything he accomplished it with speed - but just as his paw reached over the parapet, another shot rang out. His head swiveled. He caught sight of Lapinette firing at something or someone on the roof of an adjacent building. A bullet ricocheted from a chimney and then Lapinette vanished. The Wabbit hopped to the edge of the church building and judged the distance. He shook his head. Even if he made a super jump he knew he couldn't reach the opposite roof. There was no option but to drop to ground level and hare across Via Nole. He was just about to return the way he came when he heard a noise and another shot. The sounds were getting closer, so he decided to stay where he was and watch. Something scuttled across the church courtyard. It was fast and the Wabbit couldn't really see what it was - but whatever it was scuttled back. Now the Wabbit could make out Lapinette edging round the corner of the church. He saw her run in pursuit. The Wabbit shrugged and dropped over the edge to a window halfway down. Then he jumped the rest, shrunk into the brickwork and waited.

Monday, May 13, 2019

1. The Wabbit and Target Practice

The Wabbit was between missions and as usual he was bored - although he preferred to think of it as being ennuied. The term had more of an existential ring to it - and in consequence, he felt marginally better. Pluto Park and a bit of target practice would banish ennui and bring him to a state of existential dasein. He lifted his automatic and looked down the barrel. "I'll be in the world," he thought, "and experience the temporality of existence." Using a dead rabbit's paw shooting deck and a steel target for safety, he lined up carefully and fired several shots. All of them hit the designated targets and made a healthy ping. The Wabbit shrugged. Another wave of ennui swept over him. The Wabbit seldom resorted to weapons, but he did enjoy weaponry skills. He sighed, because on this occasion he needed more of a challenge. He lifted his automatic again, then just as he squinted at the target, a shot rang out from behind. He swung around to see Lapinette fire several rounds from her own gun. He couldn't make out a target. Whatever was there was well hidden. He heard her call out, "Get down Wabbit!" and he dropped as a bullet whistled between his ears. He sprawled on the concrete, but the park was open with little cover. The Wabbit scowled. "When I said target practice, I didn't mean me!" He saw Lapinette hopping up a flight of metal stairs onto a walkway and he heard more shots. So he hunched down and loped as fast as he could in pursuit ...

Sunday, May 12, 2019

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

The team met with the Wabbit at the Caffè he'd selected and then stood back in horror. "This place is closed," said Wabsworth. "I've never known it open," said Lapinette. The Wabbit grinned long and hard. "I was thinking of buying it." Everyone burst out laughing - including Skratch who was arriving late as usual. "It's awful," meowed Skratch. "Exactly," said the Wabbit, "And that's exactly how we'll market it." "Did he say 'we'?" asked Wabsworth. The Wabbit waved his paws in excitement. Lapinette sighed, but the Wabbit continued. "We'll open when no-one is really looking - and then when they do take a look it will be closing." Skratch hissed. "Ah. You mean to catch the in-crowd!" "Yes," shrugged the Wabbit, "but we won't let them in." Wabsworth let out an android guffaw. "People will flock, Wabbit. You missed your vocation." Skratch purred in agreement. "That's all very well. But maybe you'd like to know what kind of adventure you just had?" Lapinette cheered. The Wabbit joined in. "It was primarily a discourse of otherness," meowed Skratch. Lapinette wrinkled her nose. "Otherness is a problematic concept. Use of otherness is designed to threaten and frighten." Wabsworth chipped in. "That's alterity. It's a common phenomenon in all societies." The Wabbit nodded his head. "Every other is truly other. But no other is wholly other." "That's Derrida!" yelled Lapinette. "Derrida was other," laughed Skratch.
[The philosopher Derrida is considered the founder of deconstruction as a method of critiquing texts and institutions.]