Thursday, January 30, 2020

6. Tipsy and the End of the Tremors

The Wabbit and Lapinette scampered back down the Metro to clean up any remaining worms. But before they got even halfway they met a worm slithering up an escalator. On its back was Tipsy. She yelled in triumph. "I found a control box!"  She waved a unit with a mess of conduit spilling from its guts. Lapinette danced with delight. The Wabbit shook his head although he could barely contain his mirth. But the worm's tail threshed in a sudden movement and both Lapinette and the Wabbit jumped back. "I can make it move," shouted Tipsy. The creature's eye bulged. Its jaws thrashed and its teeth gnashed. Tipsy bent to make an adjustment and the snake set her down. "Can I keep it?" The Wabbit grinned. "We have to investigate it first" Lapinette frowned at Tipsy. "I don't know where you're going to put it." Tipsy pouted in disappointment. The Wabbit took pity. "Oh, I have some space at the back of my hanger." He turned to Lapinette. "The snakes are mechanical - but who made them and where did they come from?" Lapinette pondered. "System SDSS J1228+1040 is rumoured to be surrounded by an ancient scrapyard belt, run by ghastly ghost robots. They collect junk spaceships." The Wabbit looked sceptical. "What would they want with us?" "Satellites, space debris, old washing machines?" suggested Lapinette. "Well," shrugged the Wabbit, "they've only got to ask. We'd clean up." Lapinette's smiled a wry smile. "I don't think they like to pay."

Monday, January 27, 2020

5. The Wabbit and a Taste of Dynamite

Skratch took service stairs up to the station but the worms were fast and they came crashing through the floor in front of him. He looked around but there was no way to escape. He stood his ground though - and he hissed as he had never hissed before. He spat for good measure. But they kept coming. From under the hellish animal trap teeth came rough red tongues. "Worms don't have tongues," thought Skratch but he clawed one anyway and the worm moved back. "Take cover Skratch," yelled a voice. He looked up to see the Wabbit and Lapinette spiralling through the air in a shower of explosives. "Lunch time for worms!" shouted Lapinette. She scored a direct hit. Skratch dived into a doorway and scrunched into a corner. It was a reflex action on the part of the worm. Its tongue curled in and it swallowed. Then it stopped in its tracks. An enormous belch burped from its mouth and a stream of flame issued from its tail. It writhed in pain. The Wabbit took aim and launched his explosives. The other worm tried to be clever and dodge out the way but the dynamite bounced from the wall and disappeared straight down its throat. For a moment nothing happened. The worm panted, then broke a nearby water pipe and drank heavily. "Run, Skratch! Now!" shouted the Wabbit. Skratch launched himself through a shop window and disappeared. But he felt the scalding heat of water under pressure a second before he heard the blast ...
[Worms have something they poke from their mouths, called stylets. But they're not really tongues.]

Friday, January 24, 2020

4. The Wabbit and the Wormy Writhing

Skratch rounded the corner but there were more worms in pursuit of unidentified quarry. He doubled his pace. Before long he could see a whole wiggle of worms menacing the Wabbit and Lapinette. They were just ahead and he hoped they had a plan. With a howl, the lead worm gnashed its teeth. Secondary teeth flew from its head. The others followed suit. The air filled with glaring eyes and sharp serrated jaws - and that was when the cursing started. The jaws hurled taunting invective at the Wabbit and Lapinette but the rabbits ran faster and shouted. "Sucks to you, you motley crew." The worms were enraged and they gnashed and crashed around the tunnel. Skratch flattened against a wall. He could only watch as they grew frantic. The Wabbit and Lapinette dashed round a corner and vanished. The worms stopped. One of them peered round the corner, then turned back and shook his ghastly head. Skratch squeezed into a service hatch as the lead worm spoke. "We are the Clew. And this just won't do." The moved together into a ball and had a conference. Skratch picked up a few words, but there was so much hissing he couldn't make head nor tail of anything. The ball flew apart and the worms began to hiss together. They hissed so hard that mortar fell from the roof. "Tremor strategy," shouted the lead worm. As the worms writhed and wriggled against the tunnel walls, Skratch crept past and round the corner ...

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

3. Skratch and the Metro Worm Incursion

Not far away, Skratch was going to the movies for a Tremors retrospective. He'd taken the Metro to Porta Nuova aiming to pad to a nearby cinema and had settled back. He loved to ride at the front, which strictly speaking was reserved for children - but since they all knew him they shouted, "Let Skratch the Cat look out!" He was about to rise when the train started to shake and brake. The train was automatic and driverless and it juddered to a stop. Skratch peered down the line. At first he saw nothing, but when the rails began to flex he dived for a door and forced it open. He leaped down the service platform but a terrible bellowing brought him to a halt. That was when the worm dropped from the roof. It stretched and coiled and stretched back, displacing rails and strewing them across the track with an ear splitting din of metal on metal. Skratch waved passengers back and ran after the worm as it slithered round the bend towards Porta Nuova. It was moving fast and he lost sight of it. But he could hear it. He slithered to a halt and pulled an emergency handle. But the worm was systematically damaging everything metal as it passed. The handle came off in his paw. Now he heard a train coming the other way. With an extra burst of speed he caught up with the worm just as it brought the train to a halt. Passengers tumbled from the coaches and fled. The worm snapped at them with jagged teeth as they ran back to Porta Nuova. Skratch leaped straight past the worm and followed them. But he turned for a last look and yelled. "Don't think you can worm your way onto my patch!"

Monday, January 20, 2020

2. The Wabbit and the Wriggling Worms

Parakalo the Dove said if there were worms, he could roust them out. So the Wabbit called Lapinette and together they went to where the vibrations were strongest. Parakalo circled as they looked up and down Via San Massimo. At first they saw nothing. But when Parakalo landed on a rooftop and scattered some debris, they felt the tremors start. Windows shook and roof tiles rattled until Parakalo let out a screech and flew faster than time straight down the street. In pursuit came worms of glistening serrated metal with heads shaped in hexagonal flanges. Inside the heads lay animal-trap teeth, but behind the teeth lay single glaring eyes that focused on whatever victim came their way. "Good grief!" said the Wabbit. Parakalo shot into the air and wheeled back. "I never saw any worm that big," he cooed. Lapinette shuddered as a worm turned its horrid head and stared at her. The worms slithered across the street and climbed towards them, wriggling from window to window. "Do you have a back way out?" she yelled. "I do," said the Wabbit. He grabbed her by the fur and headed for an open skylight. By that time the worms were on the roof and Lapinette could hear them. They made gasping sounds like a hydraulic pump, while scales of serrated metal squealed over the tiles. The Wabbit pushed Lapinette through the skylight, and turned to face the worms. He made a rude sign, then dropped down and slammed the skylight shut. Lapinette caught him as he tumbled down the stairs. He made a wry grin. "I think we've got a case of global worming."

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

1. The Wabbit and Parakalo's Report

The Wabbit was searching for something to do, so he took himself up a Tower at Palazzo Madama for a good look around. He observed the Alps for a while and grinned, then he examined all the buildings, casting a critical eye over the brickwork. Nothing ever seemed particularly solid to the Wabbit and he was always a little surprised when he found everything in the same place as before. A few shards of tile fell off the roof so he mentally noted it for the attention of the caretaker. Then he spotted something white flying towards him. It got bigger and bigger and bigger until he could see nothing else. The white thing squawked in his ear, wheeled upwards, circled the tower and returned to settle on his arm. "Hello Parakalo!" said the Wabbit. The dove gripped the Wabbit's arm with strong talons and cooed, "I'm an excellent bird." The Wabbit was delighted. "How are things from your point of view, my Parakalo?" Parakalo's wings made a staccato beat that moved the heavy summer air. "I bring news of strange vibrations, which only we birds can detect." The building shook under the Wabbit's feet and a piece of masonry fell from the tower. It narrowly missed the Wabbit and he murmured, "Shake, rattle and roll? Got any ideas?" A piercing whistle from Parakalo's wings echoed all round the walls. "We think it's caused by worms." The Wabbit's look indicated sheer disbelief. "Well," cooed Parakalo, "I'm a bird. I should know."

Monday, January 13, 2020

The Wabbit's Adventure Caffè

Hidden away in a warm and bright caffè in Verona, The team gathered to discuss what sort of adventure they'd just had. "You start, Skratch," said the Wabbit, "We want your point of view. What did you make of all that." Skratch drew his chair in and leaned forward. "Surely you mean my focalisation?" The Wabbit nodded. "Well," purred Skratch," Given the presence of flying pizzas and an extraordinary tiger, it was definitely a fantasy adventure." Wabsworth raised a paw. "These are merely attributes of demarcations. The talking tiger with laser eyes constitutes fantasy - but the flying pizzas belong to science fiction." The Wabbit grinned because he's been reading. "The matter does not depend on that kind of architextuality. We have to talk about the context of the narrative moment and how it's enunciated." Lapinette shook her head. "No, no, no. Skratch was talking about textual transcendence and that is transtextuality."  Skratch meaowed loudly. "Perhaps that's why it resembled a video game with overlaid enunciations employing a complexity of multi facteted heterogeneous structures" Lapinette laughed. "We went round in a circle. We're back to architexts!" They all laughed until the Wabbit rapped on the table. "Can we agree it was a story?" Lapinette frowned. "What's the story about our drinks?" The Wabbit looked in several different directions and yelled. "Multi proseccos please, as many as you can see!"
[The characters are relying on Garard Genette's theories regarding narrative.]

Friday, January 10, 2020

11. The Wabbit and the Annoying Prisoner

The Wabbit and Lapinette escorted the prisoner to the harbour, but with a surge of energy he wrenched free. His eyes flashed, his snout flared and his ribs gleamed through his skin. With a yell, he plunged into the sea. He was a floating body of menace. The water surged and threshed around him. "This time you were lucky, Wabbit," he shouted. Lapinette plucked her edged weapon from her frock and brandished it. But the Wabbit merely frowned. He dug out his radio from his fur and pressed a button. A roar shook the rocks and all the buildings along the bay. Terni the Dragon swooped down from the sky and grasped the Agent of Rabit by the ears. He shook him up and he shook him down. He shook him until his bones rattled. The Wabbit grinned. "Agent, you may now swim to a destination of your choosing. Tell all your kind what happened." Terni rose and hovered, still holding the Agent by the ears. He puffed a tiny ball of flame. The Agent became rather warm. Then Terni dropped him. A cloud of steam rose from the Agent's fur. "Laundry is extra," grinned the Wabbit. The Agent scowled and shook a fist. He ducked until he was hardly visible below the waves and they all watched his wake as he sped towards the horizon. Lapinette's ears quivered. "Wabbit, sometimes you go too far." The Wabbit giggled. "And with any luck, so will he."

Sunday, January 05, 2020

10. The Wabbit and the Hidden Foe

It all happened fast. Tipsy rode Baekho into the fray. Susan the Biplane swooped along the beach like a bat out of Hell. Lasers beamed from Baekho's eyes smashing some pizzas into pieces and carbonising others. Wabsworth mopped up the remainder. The acrid smell of burning pizzas floated along the beach and out to sea. Wabsworth scanned the beach, then spotted a familiar figure hiding behind a roughly constructed shed. It was one of the hated Agents of Rabit. "Go around Susan" he muttered. The Agent wasn't alone. Creeping up behind was the Wabbit. Clutching Lapinette's edged weapon close he tapped the agent on the shoulder then prodded him in the stomach. "Talk!" he whispered. "Nothing to do with me," shrieked the Agent. The Wabbit poked him harder. "Who ordered the pizzas?" He whistled a little tune and waited. The Agent sank onto the sand. "We were hungry!" The Wabbit shouted for Tipsy and she rode back. "Teach this fellow a thing or two." "Nooo!" yelled the Agent, "It was an amicable deal. They were only supposed to forage strategic garbage." The Wabbit laughed. "You can't trust any being from the Coma Cluster." The Agent was on his knees, rubbing his stomach. The Wabbit dragged him to his feet. Baekho gave him a gentle head butt. "Never take an alien delivery," he growled. The Agents now looked rather sick and he turned green. "Did you use expired coupons?" laughed Tipsy.

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

9. Lapinette and the Lonely Beach

The Wabbit dropped Lapinette onto the beach. Sending her in alone was at least equivalent to a battalion. She let her parachute drop and padded along the beach. Drawing an edged weapon from under her frock, she looked all around. An alien pizza lay just where the waves broke. It looked dead but it was hard to tell since the water swirled it round and round. She poked it. It gasped and lay still.  Lapinette knew there might be more. The Lepus lay on the horizon and it let out a foghorn blast. Lapinette waved her weapon in response and started to run. All around was destruction. Beach huts lay in ruins. Restaurants without roofs and upturned small crafts suggested an attack. She came across a few more dead pizzas. She looked up. The Wabbit circled in the helichopper, ruffling the sea into small seahorse waves. The Wabbit's munitions dump was no longer there, but at the end of the beach lay a sandbank, spiky with splintered wood. She signalled to the Wabbit. His helichopper wheeled and coasted along the seafront. She watched it drop and land. But something made her fur creep and she ran backwards watching the shore. The Lepus fired a warning cannon and it was then that she saw them. Hundreds of them, dripping mozzarella and boiling tomato. They swarmed along the beach like sea turtles. Lapinette started to sprint ...