Thursday, November 30, 2023

8. The Wabbit and the Agents in Disguise

Wabsworth hopped out into the dimly lit cavern. He looked ill at ease - or that's the way it seemed to the Agents of Rabit, The Agents were dressed as the Wabbit's personal guard and they'd made a fist of it. But they couldn't replicate the drunken charm of the originals. Wabsworth stuck his paws in the air and made as if he was shivering wreck. "Please don't hurt me," he whimpered, "I'm only an android." That was the signal. While the lead Agent was distracted, the Wabbit fished out a cache of C4 he always carried in his fur and launched it over the heads of the Agents. The lead Agent dropped his pistol and tried to catch the explosive, but it landed behind them. It sent a shock wave designed to stun and the Agents fell senseless to the ground, all except for the chief. He hopped back a little, then a little more. The Wabbit stepped out. "Where are the rest?" The Agent froze. Wabsworth picked up his automatic and shoved it in his coat. "Tell us now or we'll squeeze it out of you." Lapinette emerged and played Ms Nice Wabbit. "Leave him alone, Wabsworth, I'm certain if we give him biscuits, he'll tell us all he knows." The Agents nearly smiled. "The rest are a level below. Can I have my biscuits now?" Lapinette grimaced. "I lied." But the Wabbit dug in his fur and produced a biscuit, which was rather the worse for wear. " How many?" The Agent munched the biscuit. Crumbs scattered on the floor. A door opened and several armed Agents stepped into the cavern. "Paws up!" They marched forward. "Quite a few," smiled the Agent.

Monday, November 27, 2023

7. The Wabbit and the Mouth of Darkness

The machine brought them to the mouth of Orca and its strange inscription. "Ogni Pensiero Vola." The Wabbit snorted. "All thoughts fly." He shook his head like a donkey. "All good thoughts are conceived when hopping. In you go, Wabsworth." Wabsworth half laughed. "It's always the android that gets these jobs." But he hopped in. He paused to look back and gave a thumbs up, then he was swallowed by darkness. The Wabbit shrugged. "I think I've seen this in the movies." They readied their weapons and listened. They heard twigs breaking, but they both knew they weren't twigs. They waited what seemed like an age until Wabsworth suddenly reappeared. He shrugged. "I was set upon by two thugs. I took care of them." Lapinette shuddered. "What's it like?" asked the Wabbit. "Dark," said Wabsworth, "but you get used to it." He gestured for them to enter and they made their way into the darkness. The walls were dark, damp and somewhat sticky. Matter trickled from the roof like molasses. There was a deep penetrating smell, like a fertiliser factory in a heatwave. They moved deeper into the mouth. Lapinette waved her gun at the darkness. She had the best sight and the most sensitive hearing. "Down these steps, and to the right. I can hear them snickering." She led the way down the stairs. They came upon a dank cavern. Their whispers echoed in the gloom. The Wabbit grinned. "Some idiot's repeating what we say ... "

Thursday, November 23, 2023

6. The Wabbit and Proteus of the Park

Still clutching his machine, the Wabbit reached Monster Park. He stood with Lapinette in a small dais, looking at a statue of Proteus. He was nonplussed. He thought he would arrive at Orco's mouth. Lapinette gazed at Proteus. "Haven't I seen you before?" said the Wabbit. "I doubt it," said Proteus. "I am becalmed here in this ghastly place." The Wabbit looked around. "It doesn't look so bad." Proteus looked pained. "All day, every day I suffer the gaping tourists." "I know what you mean!" responded the Wabbit. "Don't get him started," groaned Lapinette. She slapped her forehead with a paw. But Proteus couldn't be stopped. "I'm entrapped here in this ghastly statue. But I least I have my fish." The fish statue moved forward at speed, surprising Wabsworth who'd been gently stroking its head. "What say you, mechanical rabbit?" boomed Proteus. "I know all things, past present and future," said Wabsworth." "So do I," said Proteus, "we must chat." The Wabbit tilted his head. "Then have you seen any strange rabbits. Awkward of gait and of repellent aspect." Proteus laughed. "They make a snickering sound unpleasant to the ear?" The Wabbit nodded. "They passed this way only yesterday," said Proteus. "They were trying to change their form but all were as shallow as pans." The Wabbit and Lapinette exchanged glances. They waved, then the Wabbit pressed the red button ... 

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

5. The Wabbit and Spitlove's Surprise

It was a balmy day. The grass waved in a gentle breeze. The Wabbit sniffed the air. "Spring." They looked at the structure. "A place of power," murmured Lapinette. "It's been here rather a long time. Many springs have passed." Wabsworth nodded as if they should know. They looked into the distance and observed an Agent coming down the hill towards them. "He shouldn't be able to see us!" The Wabbit wasn't happy. The Agent kept coming and then when he was a few metres away, he stopped. "Hello Commander." The Wabbit finally got it. It was Major Spitlove, his double agent. "Spitlove, I was not informed of your location. What happened to your eyes." Spitlove blinked. "Contact lenses. Don't worry, my fellow agents can't see you. With these, I can though." Lapinette got annoyed. "What's going on, Spitlove?" Spitlove considered. He didn't like to give anything away. "You probably got a message about Monster Park." They all nodded in agreement. "The Agents are planning an incursion dressed as the 400 Rabbits." The 400 constituted the Wabbit's personal guard. "They're practicing now," said Spitlove, "They're not terribly good, but they could cause an incident." They heard shouting. "They're active," said Spitlove. "Better be on your way. See you in the summer." The Wabbit nodded and checked with Lapinette. "Still got the chestnuts?" She nodded. The Wabbit grinned and pressed the red button. 

Saturday, November 18, 2023

4. The Wabbit and the Winter Zone

The Wabbit grabbed the box from Wabsworth. Lapinette winced, because it had a red button, and she knew that Wabbit would press it. His paw hovered. Then he did exactly that. The scene changed. It was cold. Sunny, but icy cold. They shivered. All except for Wabsworth, but he shivered to keep them company. Winter light pierced every corner. Stones looked down with an indifferent gaze born of four thousand years of staring. Tramp tramp tramp. A marching sound caught their attention. Three Agents of Rabit advanced. A scout team. But they hopped right through them. Shivers turned to shudders. "Don't worry. They can't see you," said Wabsworth. "They know something is afoot but there's nothing visible." The Wabbit kicked a rock and it trickled along the path. The Agents looked round, but saw nothing. The Wabbit suppressed a  snigger. His twenty-eight teeth snickered. "Wabsworth, how long does this effect last?" asked Lapinette. Wabsworth shrugged. "I never had time to test it - but as long as we keep believing in it, it should hold for a few hours." Then Lapinette recalled the chestnuts. She didn't know why, but the Wabbit had suggested they pick them up and she knew she had one under her frock. She rummaged. But just as she found it the Wabbit decided to press the red button. "No!" she yelled. But the scene was already changing.  

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

3. The Wabbit in an Alternative Space

It wasn't quite a wrench. Neither was it a pull. But two paws moved both Lapinette and the Wabbit to a different space. They both blinked. There was a smiling Wabsworth holding a strange box. But the scene had changed. They were outside. Everything was brown like it was autumn. Icy fronds hung from trees. Boulders were covered in moss. "Like it?" queried Wabsworth. They looked around. "Where are we?" asked Lapinette. "What's that box?" asked the Wabbit. "This is the inside of the outside, or the outside of the inside. It makes no difference. It's a quantum thing," grinned Wabsworth. "I had to remove you from danger, everything is the same as it was. "Very pretty," scowled Lapinette, "But we were creeping up on the Agents of Rabit. "You were going round in circles," said Wabsworth, "These are an elite squad of Agents, well versed in time travel." Lapinette gasped. "They come from the future?" Wabsworth grinned. "Not exactly." Water dripped behind the Wabbit and joined a small stream which seemed to flow upwards. "This is an alternative space I created," said Wabsworth. "The other universe which you left is contained in this box." The Wabbit laughed. "Don't let it out, it was awful." "I can't keep it here for long," said Wabsworth, "It gives us a breathing space. I only have this, then winter, spring and summer. After that it expires." The Wabbit marched up and down, thinking. "It's autumn. Are there chestnut trees?" Wabsworth nodded and fiddled with his box. The Wabbit looked on the ground. With a lopsided grin, he said, "Divide and conker?"

Monday, November 13, 2023

2. The Wabbit and the Enchanted Caveway

Lapinette and the Wabbit travelled to Monster Park. They were there before anyone else but decided to start anyway. "I don't remember this passageway," groaned the Wabbit. "We're supposed to be sneaking up on them!" Lapinette was tetchy and so was the Wabbit. The cave was damp and cold, despite being pretty. Water dripped down the walls. Leaves lay on the ground. Colours were vaguely psychedelic. The Wabbit swept the area with his snazer. "Are you sure this is the right place?" Lapinette wrinkled her nose. "I can smell them." The acrid odour of the Agents of Rabbit assailed Lapinette's sensitive nostrils. The Wabbit could smell them too. His nose twitched in protest. "Quiet!" Lapinette heard something. They flattened against the wall but kept going. Lapinette was philosophical. "They could be anywhere in this maze. Smells travel this way and that." The Wabbit whispered. "I recall there were Agents here before. Not the best troops in the world but they were here." They travelled down the cavern. "Wabsworth should be here soon," said Lapinette. "He has our coordinates and a built-in automated direction finder." The Wabbit nodded, then shivered in the cool air. Something dropped in an adjacent cave. They froze. A shadow fell across the cave. A figure stepped in front of them ...

Wednesday, November 08, 2023

1. The Wabbit and the Historical Question

The Wabbit was perusing a painting in the Museo del Risorgimento. He laughed to himself. "Risorgimentos always involve people kicking seven bells out of each other!" All the same it was extremely exciting and he kept a straight face. But what the Wabbit liked about this room was the light. It struck the wall at a very particular angle and made all the paintings sit up. "Wabbit, Wabbit!" His reverie had been disturbed. Lapinette came piling into the room with sparkling eyes and a flushed face. "Phew I'm glad you're here, Wabbit. You're needed back at the Department." The Wabbit gaped. "Didn't I fill in my travel claim properly?" Lapinette pirouetted across the room. "Nothing like that. It's the Agents of Rabit. There's been an incursion just north of Rome." The Wabbit waited to hear more. "What kind of incursion?" Lapinette stamped her foot and then the other one. "An incursive incursion! They all came swarming out of that folly that you like." "The Mouth at Monster Park?" suggested the Wabbit. "That's the one," said Lapinette, "Agents pretended to be monsters and no one noticed for a while. Tourists thought it was a Monster Park experience. Until they got kidnapped." The Wabbit considered the matter carefully. "They toy with daemons." The Wabbit didn't like tourists and felt they got what they deserved. He heaved a sigh. "Better get down there. Assemble a team. Evacuate remaining tourists." Lapinette wheeled to go. "Where shall we send them?" The Wabbit shrugged. "Somewhere they understand. The Leaning Tower of Pizza."

Monday, November 06, 2023

The Wabbit's famous Adventure Caffè

The team made its way to a Caffè well known to the Wabbit. But to his horror, the place was surrounded by roadworks and hoardings indicating Torino was changing. The Wabbit snorted. "If a few trucks and a hole in the road represents change then I'm a Dutch Uncle." Lapinette laughed. "What is a Dutch Uncle?" The Wabbit thought for a minute. "Someone who sternly disapproves of everything." Wabsworth giggled. "That's you!" Wabsworth was an android copy of the Wabbit and as such had developed sub routines to avoid getting too much like him. Lapinette shook her head. "They're trying to get rid of the mould, Wabbit" The Wabbit sniggered. "Could have fooled me." Skratch arrived at the back, late as usual. "Aren't you going to ask the question?" "I'll ask it." said Lapinette. "What was that for a sort of adventure we just had?" Skratch meaowed long and hard. "It was riposte to global warming. Global warming debates are typified by folk devils and moral panics." Wabsworth butted in. "I thought that was about Mods and Rockers." Everyone was taken aback. How could Wabsworth know about Mods and Rockers? "The same rules apply," shrugged Skratch. "An over reaction to social problems which amplifies through continual reiteration." Lapinette pouted. "Succinct, but moral panic doesn't explain everything. Contextualization demands that we use figurational approaches. The Wabbit interrupted. "Wabsworth has identified a table and I'm having a moral panic about prosecco." Skratch chuckled. "Where's your folk devil?" The Wabbit paused. "In the detail."

Thursday, November 02, 2023

5. The Wabbit and the Problem Pumpkin

The Wabbit rummaged in his fur for quite a long time. Then he pulled out two fire extinguishers he'd found in a market. "Got any vinegar?" Lapinette put a hand down her frock and pulled out a family size bottle of acetic acid. It didn't take long to mix it thoroughly and charge up the extinguishers. The mould monster didn't know what to make of it. But when the Wabbit fired an extinguisher off the monster was aghast. Mould disappeared and so did the foul odours. Lapinette continued to clean up. When the mould had all gone, all that was left was a pumpkin. "You're just an ordinary pumpkin!" yelled the Wabbit. He threw down his extinguisher. It clanged on the rocks. Lapinette exclaimed, "Quite an ugly pumpkin." The pumpkin looked ashamed. "I'm nice inside." The Wabbit laughed. "Are you sure you're not mouldy." The pumpkin gave a little Hallowe'en dance. "Lovely are my seeds. They make a cracking Haitian joumou." The Wabbit picked up the extinguisher, stuck it in his fur and shrugged his shoulders. "Juju more like." Lapinette took pity on the poor pumpkin. "Let's all do a late wee Hallowe'en dance for the Day of the Dead." They joined paws and danced across the rocks. Lapinette hummed a Mexican tune. "What is that dance, Lapinette." The Wabbit grinned. "La Danza de los Diablos," sang Lapinette. The Wabbit and the pumpkin laughed. "God sends food," cried the Pumpkin. "And the devil sends cooks!" nodded the Wabbit.