Sunday, October 31, 2021

2. The Wabbit's Hallowe'en Call

Nothing could interfere with the team's Hallowe'en Party and they found a particularly messy part of Pluto Park to host it. The Wabbit brought the red phone - since his new adventure was about irritating calls. He placed it with great care on a concrete block. Lapinette fluttered over the water like a dragonfly. No-one was quite sure how she did it. Wabsworth caused lightning flashes to erupt from his paws. Since he was an android it was nothing for him to organise. Skratch was late and he stood up to his knees in the murky water. "OK Wabbit. What's your Bunnyman trick this year?" The Wabbit smiled. "No trick. It's never a trick." Lapinette cackled heartily and floated back and forward. Wabsworth's lightning flashed. "Here comes the Bunnyman," he screeched. At that moment the telephone howled. The Wabbit scowled in response. "It only does that when it's important." Lapinette fluttered. "You'd better answer it then." The telephone vibrated until it was in danger of falling from the concrete block. The Wabbit lifted the receiver. They heard the sound of footsteps. "I'm coming!" said a deep voice. "Who's calling?" asked the Wabbit. "Who do you think?" shrieked the voice. "It's the Bunnyman," said the Wabbit. His voice shook. The phone spoke again. "I sent you my axe." They gaped in horror as an axe rose from behind the concrete block. Blood spattered right to left. Wabsworth lifted his paws towards the heavens. They sparked again.  The axe faded from sight and the blood disappeared. "Holography," he laughed. "But who was on the phone?" asked the Wabbit. "Not me," shrugged Wabsworth.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

1. The Wabbit and the Annoying Calls

The Wabbit was quietly minding his own business. He'd stopped at a restaurant where he liked to go for lunch - undiscovered. It was a cheap place with good food, populated with students and the odd rabbit like himself. He'd have one of the main courses - and always a glass of Prosecco. He was known as Mr Prosecco, not Commander Wabbit, and that was the way he wanted to stay. He was getting to the coffee stage when he felt a tap on his shoulder. "Hello Wabbit! So this is your secret lunchtime haunt?" The Wabbit grinned. "Not any more." He got up to find Lapinette a seat. "Have you eaten," he asked. "I have," she smiled. "Then perhaps I can offer you an amaro?" "Montenegro," said Lapinette. The Wabbit's wave to the waiter was cut short by the squeal of a telephone. "Aren't you going to answer that?" asked Lapinette. "They've been happening all day," said the Wabbit. "The phone rings and I answer and they hang up." The ringing stopped. Lapinette was highly amused. "And that is your next mission." The Wabbit pretended to misunderstand. "Making prank calls?" "Of course not," said Lapinette. "Locating the pranksters and eliminating them." The Wabbit giggled. "That seems harsh." Lapinette pirouetted in a manner that alarmed the waiters. "They're causing the Department a lot of wasted time." The Wabbit reached under his fur for his automatic. "I will find them. Then I will answer them." Lapinette nodded. "Gather all the resources you need. The Department is hopping mad." "How mad?" queried the Wabbit. "As mad as a bag of bees," grimaced Lapinette. 

Monday, October 25, 2021

The Wabbit and his Adventure Caffè

The Wabbit pointed to the table and Lapinette jumped in the air. "Are you sure about this Caffè, Wabbit? You said they gave you a Prosecco with ice in it." Wabsworth snorted in horror. The Wabbit laughed and rapped the table. "That was in the evening. This is kind of morning." Wabsworth guffawed. "The Wabbit has Prosecco on his cornflakes for breakfast, like it was milk." Lapinette raised her eyes in mirth. "That's where you've been sneaking off to, Wabbit. You said it was to collect La Stampa." The Wabbit looked a little embarrassed. "I did get La Stampa and a copy of La Settimana Enigmistica." Lapinette grinned. "Yes, I could smell it." Skratch was impatient. "That doesn't tell us what kind of Adventure you just had." Wabsworth echoed his sentiment. "So, what was that for a sort of Adventure?" Lapinette continued to bounce. "It's quite simple. Ideology, Representation and Reality." Wabsworth agreed but ventured that it wasn't enough. "The signs and codes were lacking. Usually there are conventions and you used none of them." The Wabbit intervened. "We used a simple first order symbolic substitution. That rendered our story comprehensible." Skratch laughed like crazy. "You can't get away with that, Wabbit. That's like saying it means anything I say it means." The Wabbit gritted his teeth. "Baudrillard would have it differently. All identities, social relations and social life itself are constructed through image appropriation - and that's what we did." Skratch bowed out at that point and smiled "That's all very well but where are our drinks?" Lapinette laughed. "There's a picture of them on the table."

Friday, October 22, 2021

8. The Wabbits and the Celestial Cloud

But the clouds did clear - and they became a heavenly golden colour with bursts of celestial light radiating through. Hardhack Rat was waiting for them, and he leaped forward with his paws outstretched. "This way," he shouted. He was very excited. "All our outages have stopped. Everything is back to normal." The Wabbit and Lapinette smiled and held their weapons aloft. "We saved the world then," said the Wabbit. Hardhack Rat giggled. "I wouldn't say that exactly, but it's a big improvement. Some persistent viruses disappeared too." Lapinette nodded sagely. "The cloud looks altogether better." They formed a circle and danced. The Wabbit's jig was a bit like the one he reserved for St Andrew's Night. Then he shook Hardhack by the paw. "Couldn't have done it without you." Hardhack paused for a second. "What's it like at the other end?" Lapinette was swift to answer. "It's grotty and smells of industrial garlic." Hardhack grimaced. He only liked cheese. The Wabbit put his weapon down. "It's got a lot of collapsible bridgework and a superhighway going nowhere." Hardhack chortled. "You've summed up the current situation pretty well." Lapinette dropped her weapon too. She shrugged her shoulders to ease her strained muscles. "It was all very dramatic. What do we do for an encore?" The Wabbit laughed. "This is the coda; we don't have to worry!" Hardhack Rat was ebullient. "Time for a drink and something to eat." "Let's go the Hungry Byte," said the Wabbit.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

7. The Wabbit, Lapinette & the Gooey Web

The Hacker did exactly as expected. But he wasn't expecting the Wabbit's Web. Stuck in the goo, he wriggled and writhed. But he couldn't extricate himself. The Wabbit and Lapinette lay at the ready to pump more of the web into the system - but what was there, was more than enough. "How do you like my Web, Mr Hacker?" The Wabbit was jubilant. The Hacker tore at the web but it was useless. Sticky strands held him fast. And he couldn't say a word - just gooey goo goo.  Lapinette was cautious. She expected trouble. It was a cold night in this part of the Cloud, and she thought the web might fracture. But it held fast. "What do we do now?" asked the Wabbit. Lapinette knew the Wabbit didn't think far ahead. Strictly speaking, that part of the operation fell to her. "Kin we move him?" The Wabbit grinned and pressed a button on his snazer. The web began to contract and soon the Hacker was quite a small ball. "Sombrero Galaxy?" asked Lapinette. The Wabbit agreed. "On his very own planet. He can hack to his heart's content." He rolled the ball of goo behind him and hopped along the bridge. "How do we get out of this cloud?" It was Lapinette's turn to grin. "I made notes. Take a right after the bridge." Clouds began to swirl around him and the Wabbit ploughed through them. "I suppose we just leave this entirety of the dark web behind." Lapinette sighed and shrugged. "There'll always be a dark Web." The Wabbit suggested blowing it up. "Wabbit. you can't blow up everything you don't like," she said. The Wabbit tried to dissipate the clouds by huffing on them. It didn't work. "Pity," said the Wabbit.

Monday, October 18, 2021

6. The Wabbit, Lapinette and the Highway

Lapinette and the Wabbit stood guard at the iron bridge. It was on the Dark Super Highway and the Wabbit had spotted it through the clouds. Lapinette was sceptical "How do you know he'll come this way?" The Wabbit shrugged. "They say you can set your clock by him." Lapinette gave a sardonic grin. "Who on earth does the think he is? Kant?" The Wabbit chortled, He'd recharged their snazers with special concoction devised by Big Blue Snail and Major Duetta Spyder in the Wabbit's shed at the back of the Department. It was lethal and would trap anything. Devised as a lure, the holes were an illusion and were filled with snail slime, spider goo and Evostick. Nothing got through. Nothing. Suspended from the iron girders of the bridge, they looked like a spider's web and glistened in the night. The Wabbit looked out. He and Lapinette had different ways of looking. He crouched over his rifle and stared at the middle distance. Lapinette bounced up and down on her rabbit legs. Birds fluttered across in great number. The Wabbit sniffed the air. "Birds?" he said. He made a wavy motion with his paws. Lapinette nodded. "The Dark Cloud certainly cuts it for authenticity." They stared out for a while. "What's that?" asked the Wabbit. Lapinette's ears swivelled and her nose twitched "It's him." The Wabbit wasn't sure. How can you tell?" "Garlic mouse droppings," she said. Now the Wabbit could smell him too. He lifted his snazer and glanced at Lapinette. "He's going to meet a sticky wicket."

[Background images. Open Clip Art, JW Wein, Hans-2 all at Pixabay.]

Saturday, October 16, 2021

5. The Wabbit, Lapinette and the Hacker

Lapinette swept back the curtain and there was the Hacker. She waved a pistol at him and while he was distracted, the Wabbit snuck in behind him. "You horrid Hacker!" yelled Lapinette. Lapinette was livid. The Hacker's penetrating stare held her in a vice like grip. The Wabbit had her edged weapon and grasped the Hacker from behind. But the knife slid off his neck like an evil dream. Lapinette's automatic bent sideways "I am the rambunctious Hacker," he cried, "No gun can fire me, no knife can throw me." Lapinette tried to bend the automatic back but it wouldn't comply. The Wabbit slipped the edged weapon back in his fur and stood back. "You have an interesting turn of phrase," he grunted. The Hacker scowled. "It's the phrase that turns - not me. I am Ice Mouse Hacker and I turn for no-one." The air grew cold and Lapinette suppressed a shiver, then shrugged. "As you wish," Mr Mouse." The Hacker's lips formed into a grin. "What is your wish, Mr and Mrs Bunny?" "Stop the outages," snapped the Wabbit. "Then where will I get my fun?" said the Hacker. He pulled the curtain back and swept the Wabbit out with a wave of his paw. "I am neither pixie nor pixel. I am Hacker." The curtain closed and dissolved. There was nothing behind. Only clouds. The Wabbit grimaced. "That went well." Lapinette inspected her automatic and racked the slide. Her mouth set in a line. "How do we get him?" The Wabbit considered. "Satanic Runes?" Lapinette's lip curled. "Glurpy Glue!"

[Background. Pixabay Peter Pieras]

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

4. The Wabbit and the Cascade of Rabbits

There was a cascade of toy rabbits. They were running - out of the cloud they came, one by one. They just kept pouring through. The first one bore a software piracy logo and a spectacular set of teeth. The rest looked as lethal as the first. The Wabbit lifted his snaser rifle but Lapinette shouted to him. "They're pixels Wabbit, you won't do anything with that." The Wabbit thought about it and he knew one thing. It took fire to fight fire. "That flash drive, Lapinette?" Lapinette was ahead of him. "My thoughts exactly. I think I have it somewhere in my frock." She fished around and found it. Then she threw it. With a single deft move, the Wabbit caught it and flipped it the other way round. "Take that for your trouble," he snarled. He flung it straight at the teeth of the leading toy rabbit. He had a bit of luck. The flash drive lodged between its teeth and connected. The Wabbit leaned back as the drive downloaded a powerful new virus into the toy. The toy stopped dead just like the rabbit in the souless battery advertising. So did the rest. The numbers danced but the toys lay on the ground, as lifeless as a string of dead fish. "What was on that drive, Wabbit?" Lapinette was relieved. The danger was over for now. The Wabbit grinned. "We call it digital myxoma." Lapinette grimaced. "Wabbit! You and Wabsworth have a terrible sense of humour." The Wabbit wrinkled his nose in agreement. "We're not finished. We have to get to the Hacker." The Wabbit turned to face the numbers. They were printed on a gauze curtain of poor quality. The Wabbit laughed. "Well I call that chintzy!"

[Toy rabbit by vinsky Background numbers by Jay Rue Software Piracy Badge by The Digital Artist. All at Pixabay]

Monday, October 11, 2021

3. The Wabbit and Lapinette in the Cloud

Courtesy of Hardhack Rat, the Wabbit and Lapinette hopped through the Dark Cloud. He'd got them in by some back door - no one knew of its existence. The Dark Cloud was the equivalent of the Dark Web and as such, highly dangerous. But the Wabbit wasn't taking it seriously enough for Lapinette. "Watch where you're sticking that gun," she shrieked. The Wabbit lowered his weapon, but not by much. "Sorry," he chirped. "Lower Wabbit," groaned Lapinette. "Sooahrry," said the Wabbit in a deep baritone. Lapinette ignored this and looked all around. "So this is the Dark Cloud." The Wabbit hitched the snazer higher up on his shoulder. "Looks like it." Lapinette glanced down. "What is this were standing on?" "Looks like a bridge of some kind, probably over troubled waters." Lapinette sighed. When the Wabbit was like this, nothing would change him. "Bridge to where?" "Probably a bridge too far." The Wabbit was being really annoying, and it usually meant he saw trouble ahead. Mist swirled around them and enveloped them in damp. "This plays havoc with my sinus," said the Wabbit. "Is that why you're getting up my nose?" Lapinette had had enough. Her ears twitched. Then they heard a noise, a bit like scraping. The Wabbit shrugged and they hopped on. The sound got louder. "It sounds like the hacker," said Lapinette. They stopped. She brought her snaser round and pointed it straight ahead. The clouds gave way to a screen with numbers. Toy rabbits hopped around on the screen. A blast from Lapinette's snazer saw the screen dissolve into melted plastic. "Melt down!" shouted the Wabbit. 

[Clouds: Engin Alyurt  Pixabay]

Friday, October 08, 2021

2. The Wabbit and the Dark Web

Hardhack insisted on demonstrating his theory, so they went to the viewing theatre that the Wabbit had lovingly recreated in the Department. They picked up Lapinette on the way because she knew a thing or two about the Dark Web or the Dark Wab as the Wabbit liked to call it. Hardhack booted up his computer and they were incognito as they come. Not a soul knew of their presence. A shrouded figure appeared on the screen. "Looks like our suspect," said Hardhack. The Wabbit gasped. "It's an Ice Mouse." His voice shook the theatre as he began to speak. "Look on my works ye mighty and Despair!" The Wabbit gripped the back of the seat. "All ye who cleave to the Dark Path! Ye are my followers." His voice was like scraping a mouse scratching a blackboard. "We shall lay them low; we shall scatter their pixels like lawn mower clippings." The Wabbit spoke in a low voice. "He can't hear us can he?" The voice spoke again. "I can see all who see me. I can see everything." The Wabbit made a rude sign. Lapinette admonished him. The Ice Mouse started again. "Our next task goes beyond Facefook. It extends to the heart of the Net. To SPECTRA and beyond." The Wabbit made a funny face. "I can see you Wabbit," said the voice, "Prepare to meet whatever doom you care to name." The Wabbit looked at Hardhack. "He's bluffing," said Hardhack. "Ending transmission," roared the voice. The screen went black except for an Ice Mouse logo, which promptly faded. "My gast is flabbered," shrugged the Wabbit.

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

1. The Wabbit and the Big Outage

The big outage went on and on and every computer in the land was affected. So the Wabbit decided to seek out advice. Who better than Hardhack Rat? Hardhack didn't take appointments but the Wabbit didn't have to make one. He crept into a new bay and watched Hardhack run up and down, looking for glitches. The new bay was very chic and even had a soft seat. The Wabbit was secretly impressed but he chose not to show it. "Psst Hardhack. How are things?" Hardhack turned. "Just fine Wabbit. How do like my new minimalist supercomputer?" The Wabbit smiled to himself. "It's rather cute, Hardhack." Hardhack was astonished. "Cute?" he said. "Cute?" He grimaced at the Wabbit. "This is a state-of-the-art beast rated at a zillion exaflops." "It has a nice little seat," said the Wabbit. "That is a powerful controller," shouted Hardhack. "It helps execute neural functions equivalent to my Brian." "You mean brain surely?" laughed the Wabbit. Hardhack stuck his nose in the air. "It's what I call my brain," he said. "Only teasing," snickered the Wabbit. Hardhack put his paws on his fur. "Oh you! You're incorrigible. What can I do for you anyway?" He smiled. The Wabbit strode around looking at things. "We've had a big outage. You don't seem affected." Hardhack guffawed loudly. "I wouldn't attach this to the net. Do you think I'm mad?" The Wabbit shrugged. "It's a problem for the Department. I'm supposed to fix it." Hardhack thought for a minute. "You've considered mice." It was the Wabbit's turn to think. "I have not." Hardhack was philosophical "Oh, they talk about faulty configuration changes and backbone routers, but 70% of problems are caused by mice." The Wabbit gave that some thought. "You could be spot-on..."
[Background image by Pixabay]

Monday, October 04, 2021

The Wabbit's Adventure Caffè

The team gathered in a Caffè near the station. There had been a big fire and they wanted to inspect the damage - but it was all internal and nothing much to see. "I'm glad this place is still functioning," said Lapinette. "Yes, touch and go," replied the Wabbit. The exterior scaffolding was still in place, and they glanced round at it. "I suppose they're still putting it out," said Wabsworth. They sniffed the air. An acrid smell remained. "Blowtorch and insulation?" asked Wabsworth. The Wabbit shook his head gravely. "Just a spark," commented Lapinette. They all nodded. "Oh look! Here's Skratch," said Wabsworth, "He'll tell us what kind of adventure you just had." Skratch's call was long, as he hove into sight. "That was a pleasant adventure," he meaowed. "Nothing more than that Skratch?" Wabsworth smiled and pointed at Lapinette. Then he put both paws to his eyes and then pointed at Skratch. "Hmmm. It was mythological and barely covered by signification," said Skratch. Lapinette smiled. "It was a zone beyond!" "Elusive and ineffable," commented the Wabbit. Lapinette laughed. "You were certainly elusive and ineffable inside that mausoleum." The Wabbit's ears twitched. "No real danger there." Lapinette nearly fell of her chair laughing. Wabsworth laughed too. "The ghost eagle as an autonomous entity is quite a semiotic threat." Skratch grinned. "Where's that eagle now? He seemed clued in on movie history." The Wabbit smirked. "Probably down by the cemetery gate hiring himself out." Lapinette was helpless with mirth. "Then he vanishes after taking the money." The Wabbit suddenly tapped the table. "Talking of vanishing, where's our drinks?" "They're mythological," giggled Lapinette.

Friday, October 01, 2021

6. Lapinette and the Spectre of the Eagle

Lapinette pulled the Wabbit out and dropped him over the edge. But just as she did, the eagle took off from his statue. Fully formed he took flight from Lapinette's bullets. The Wabbit struggled to find a grip on the mausoleum, and the eagle didn't make it any easier. A giant wing almost swept him down as he batted at it with an ineffectual paw. "You can't shoot me," cried the eagle. "I'm a ghost!" All the same, a bullet clipped a wing and feathers flew as feathers do. "Take that," shouted Lapinette. "Take that and bother us no more." The eagle swooped round. "I only wanted a friend to talk to." Lapinette stood her ground. "You better choose your friends carefully and not imprison them. Be a nice friendly eagle from now on." She waved her automatic. The eagle settled on the ground and the Wabbit dropped down and strode up to him. "You were a good tour guide; you could make a euro or two." The eagle brightened. "Maybe I could." But then his face fell. "What would I do that sets me apart." Lapinette jumped down from the mausoleum. "Eagle feathers are in big demand." The eagle looked mournful. "They're illegal to possess." The Wabbit had a think. "They're ghost eagle feathers; they wouldn't last long." The eagle soared into the sky. "I'm an official tour guide then. I'll hang out by the cemetery gates." The Wabbit looked at Lapinette. Lapinette looked back and shook her head. "We have to sort everything out. It's exhausting." The Wabbit dusted off his fur. "Rewarding though." "What's our reward?" replied Lapinette. "I could use a drink," said the Wabbit. "There's an Eagle Pub," said Lapinette. The Wabbit looked at her. "It's in Pozzo Strada," she said. The Wabbit laughed. "They have everything there."
[The Eagle House Irish Pub is in Via Riete 4 (Corso Franca, Torino)]