The Cover

Rabbit Chronicles Front CoverA story of friendship. Friends, warriors, locked in conflict with evil cosmic mastermind, The Rabbit..

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Set simultaneously here and now, and in future time and space, Luckspar creates a minimalist framework to fire your imagination.

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The Rabbit Chronicles is Jhedron Luckspar’s new novel following his debut collection of short stories, Equations Of Being.

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Illustration By Faramond Frie

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The Student

It was part of her therapy.
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Aiasdotter had suffered both psychological and physical torture at the hands of The Hrym and although she had been “healed” by Stiletto’s medical technicians there was still the “pain.”
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Aiasdotter had been given to ‘Schripp and his first act had been both training aid and bonding technique. He had taken away her vision.
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It was only temporary, a blockage of the functioning of the occipital cortex, and she knew that when she earned it, she would get her sight back.
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The crack of the shinai against the men grill of the Kendo armour made her head rattle, although in truth it was only a light tap.
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“Feel,” ‘Schripp encouraged for the hundredth time. Again, she waited. It wasn’t like being in the dark, there was no light, no vision. All her other senses had become incredibly acute. She could smell ‘Schripp’s sweat in the confines of the room and hear the slow beating of his heart, but the physical senses were not fast enough for what she was trying to do. She had to feel the attack.
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Time and again ‘Schripp had told her, “you must feel the intent. Do not think.”
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Months had been spent disciplining her mind, that she might learn to lose her thoughts.
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There was no noise, no movement, just her own action. The shinai in her hands moved with lightning speed, to be held vertical by her left ear and the crack of the bamboo was deafening.
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Her feeling of triumph was short lived as a fraction of a second later the right side of her men was lightly struck and that patient voice spoke right beside her.
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“And again.”
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The Assassination

Silent Tears

Lady Bane shed a silent tear as she threw the blue rose into Stiletto’s gaping grave.

The unseasonal mist sent cold fingers around the gravestones in the Oxford cemetery and glancing over at his companions ringing the graveside, Jhedron pulled his overcoat collar up against the drizzling rain and walked away to the waiting cars.

 

The Assassination

Henrik, a nice young man at heart, had been told to up the ante. The order to assassinate Lord Stiletto had come directly from The Rabbit and Henrik was under a great deal of stress and confusion.

He wasn’t a killer, he knew that in his heart, and basically he quite liked Jhedron and Stiletto when he had met them in the now destroyed Sweden and that vanished reality of his planet Earth. He realised that he now owed his life to The Rabbit, but deep inside he knew he wasn’t a murderer.

Lord Stiletto was out driving in the Oxfordshire countryside in his favourite Bugatti. It was an original car from 1939, one he had picked up from the Milan home of Ettore Bugatti himself, just as the second world war was kicking off. He had driven it down to Sicily where he had shipped it over to Malta using his contacts, and there stored it in a cave on the small adjacent island of Gozo.

Now he was racing along the road to Lechlade, wind buffeting his bowler, goggles firmly in place.

Henrik had gone for an indirect method of murder. His choice, spiked metal sheets, nailed into the tarmac surface of the Lechlade road. Almost immediately behind the caltrops he had parked a traction engine, recently stolen from the neighbouring village’s steam fair. He felt a nascent thrill knowing Stiletto’s love of the arcane and ancient.

Stiletto came around the corner in third at eighty five miles per hour and saw the traction engine stationary in his path. Slamming his right foot on the brakes and taking his foot off the gas, powering fuel in to the super turbo charged engine, he skidded sideways down the narrow Cotswold roadway. When he hit the caltrops the tyres exploded on the sharp metal spikes and the beautiful old car began to roll as it left the ground and accelerated towards the waiting engine.

Henrik had been having second thoughts about his murderous course several days before the date with Stiletto and had taken the opportunity to send a message to Jhedron. Stiletto took some persuading to sacrifice his beautiful sports car, but with Haydrift Eaglebeard as a passenger and some nifty hand jive, the two friends were travelling through an alternate dimension as the classic sports car, almost a national treasure, exploded in a ball of fire as it slammed into the huge steel roller that fronted the traction engine artfully placed in the Bugatti’s path.

 

Copyright Jhedron Luckspar © 2015

The Tram

Eight Earth weeks earlier….
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The image was burnt onto the surface of Jhedron’s retinas. The pink manic eyes of The Rabbit in the window of the Belgian tram.
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Stiletto had taken a wrong turn, in more than one sense of the word. Now his car was screaming in reverse between medieval buildings as the looming city tram gained on the startled friends.
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The day had begun much better. Here in Ghent, to attend the Science Fiction Convention, Jhedron, Stiletto and Lady Bane had arrived in good time and made their presence in the great hall. Comic artist legend, Ian Gibson, a well respected Master of the genre, and well represented in Lord Stiletto’s fabled library, was unexpectedly at the adjacent table. Stiletto was delighted to meet this unsuspecting mentor and was fortunate to spend quite a lot of time learning from the old Master. Was this why he miscalculated the shenanigans of The Rabbit? Like an avalanche that starts with a single pebble, the origin of Karma is often lost in the mists of events.
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Rubber tyres burnt and howled as Stiletto accelerated the reversing car, horn blaring to clear the Saturday evening crowds. Once over the small bridge he applied his handbrake as the car squealed in a tight arc almost about its front axis and shot backwards in a straight line down the narrow side street.
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The tram hammered past, stuck on its tracks. It was the Girl in the Red Dress, commented Lady Bane. A part of Jhedron’s mind had noticed her, driving the tram at the retreating car, but most of his horizon had been filled with the piercing pink eyes of The Rabbit.
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Jhedron was reasonably sure that Vampires didn’t exist, at least in the daytime, so he was quite surprised to meet a Steampunk one. He and Sarah were manning the table whilst Stiletto was off wandering the halls. It was the teeth that were so fascinating. Apparently she paid thousands for the dental work.
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Lady Bane had seen some sights in her life. Stiletto coming through the door in his shirt sleeves and waistcoat, but still wearing his bowler hat and goggles, threw the broken and bloody chair leg into the waste paper basket.
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“Goddamn Vampires,” he spoke calmly as he took his empty pipe from his pocket and nonchalantly put it between his teeth.
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“What, not the one talking to Jhedron,” she asked in amusement.
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“The very same,” he chuckled, taking the pipe out to speak, “quite besotted!”

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Copyright Jhedron Luckspar © 2015

The Pain

In the end it was all down to the slime. The slime extracted from the gall bladder of a very angry space cucumber. It was from this special ingredient that was made a neural pathway that allowed the user to explore the secrets of the universe.
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Jhedron had been metaphorically bashing his head against the walls of reason, trying to come up with a plan to rescue Aiasdotter when all along what was required was the ability to slip under the surface.
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Lady Sarah looked like she had gone several rounds with a Megafraken pit fighter, and that was before Stiletto’s technicians changed her face. It was she who had volunteered to use the slime to penetrate the dark planet of The Hrym.
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Like a corrupted Japanese Daimyo listening to the screams of a boiling Dutch cabin boy, The Hrym was carried away by the music coming from Aiasdotter’s cell. He didn’t have to actually be present, as he was aware of everything. He brought a whole new meaning to the oft’ misunderstood concept of multi-tasking.
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The Hrym was a connoisseur and just as the conductor of the Berlin Symphonia could hear the minutest change in the tone of his lead violinist’s E string, so too, The Hrym felt the minutest of fluctuations in the terror and pain experienced by his erstwhile brilliant and efficient private secretary.
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Connected to his neural network, The Hrym connected straight to the cell where Aiasdotter was being kept and tortured.
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In the Hrym’s future world the dimensional reality of neural communication and entertainment had come a long way from the 3D cinema and TV  back at the beginning of the 21st Century Earth. Now it was like he was in the cell and brought his presence with him.
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Sat there in the chair was Aiasdotter and yet The Hrym knew it was not her. His supermarket suit and shiny shoes changed to a red colour as the sensitivity of the neural net picked up the subtle shift that his physical presence would never reveal.
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The colour change was a step too far. Haydrift Eaglebeard who had been stood silently in the corner lost momentary control. Using an ancient Tibetan meditation technique, he had been holding himself in a stasis of No Thing whilst the switch between Aiasdotter and Lady Sarah had taken place.
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Seven and a half seconds was required and to Sarah strapped to the plastic chair, it seemed like an infinite moment of torment.
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Suddenly The Hrym was standing before her, face almost catatonic in it’s banality and yet his whole presence burning red like Lucifer on a bad day.
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And then, that kindly face stepped from the corner and with a few waves of his hand, the pain was gone.
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Copyright Jhedron Luckspar © 2015

The Spectacles

The friends had gathered for a dinner at Jhedron’s private dining room at the Savoy. Jhedron mused that they could be forgiven for being mistaken for a private dining club rather than a close knit band of cosmic adventurers.
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Lord Stiletto had particularly enjoyed the quail although he had some issues with eating them. But what was the difference between them and organic poultry or estate shot pheasant. Just because they are cute he supposed. Not a thought he would of been too happy sharing with the table. It was good that the seven were all together again. A magical number, although in truth and secret they were eight. He was just settling down to some goats cheese when they were disturbed by a knock on the door and the Maître d’, profusely apologising for the interruption, supervised the wheeling in of a large widescreen TV. He placed a remote control and an engraved wooden box in front of Jhedron, bowed and left the room, silently closing the large double doors behind him.
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“What the devil,” growled Eaglebeard.
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“I thought there were no interruptions,” commented Magnus.
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“Is it a surprise?” asked Lady Sarah.
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“Sorry,’’ replied a disturbed Jhedron, “I’m as much in the dark as you are.”
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“Then you had better press play,” said ‘Schripp, his empty sockets holding them all where his useless eyes had been removed, and skin transplanted from his buttocks had been grafted over to cover them.
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Jhedron picked up the remote control and meeting the eyes of his friends carefully pressed play.
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Sat in a simple plastic chair, terror etched into the lines around her eyes was the limp and haggard form of Aiasdotter.
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Held loosely in her bleeding and bruised hands was a small wax sealed package.
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“I think you had better open the box,” said Stiletto calmly.
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“It might be a trap,” purred the Lady Susanna.
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“I don’t think so,” replied Jhedron, and releasing the catch of the beautifully crafted box he took out a pair of ladies round golden spectacles.
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“What’s the engraving on the box,” asked Eaglebeard.
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“Oh, only a Rabbit.”

 

The Personal Assistant

The Rabbit wasn’t the only one who had been recruiting at the Steampunk Festival at Gavle, Sweden.
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Aiasdotter was the best PA The Hrym had ever had. Efficient, organised and brilliant, she kept his cosmic empire ticking like clockwork. Working for such a totally evil being had caused some psychological adjustments and some nights she woke up screaming from the vacant banality of it all, but Aiasdotter was a crucial element in the struggles of the friends in their campaign against The Rabbit.
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Today all hell had broken loose. The Hrym was not happy. It was impossible to tell from his face which showed no sign of personality or emotion, but the instant annihilation of all the barmaids in every part of the city, their friends and families was a sure indication that yesterday’s events had got under his skin.
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Confident from the moment of their landing outside the city he had played with the bastard retards like wasps in a jam jar and was incandescent when they escaped. Over and over, he replayed the vid of the tall one loosing his eyes but his satisfaction was taken away with the calm and determined way he carried on as if he had his face destroyed on a daily basis, and how was it possible for him to fight so well?
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Aiasdotter placed the cup of tepid water on The Hyrm’s desk and returned to her duties. It was hard for her to maintain her own sense of calm when she saw the events of the battle and escape over and over again.
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And then she saw it. Computers had long ago left the realm of hardware. The software was now tied into the neural processing power of the users brain, although in big business or in the employ of cosmic psychopaths, they were heavily encrypted. Still, being such a trusted part of The Hyrm’s network she had very high clearance access and she had just learnt the whereabouts of the Package. Hard to imagine it was still intact.
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She had no chance of getting a message to Jhedron, she would have to act. Leaving her desk she said something banal to The Hrym and headed down to the storage facility.
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The Hyrm was disappointed. Aiasdotter was a fantastic asset, even if she was leaking information to the Retards.
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Copyright Jhedron Luckspar © 2014