These are the texts of story segments that are referenced by the story segment page but were never posted to Usenet.
- “Fame” Part Three: A Pleasant Diversion for the Musically Inclined
- “Fame” Part Four: Fluffy Rocker Confusion
- “Fame” Part Five: They Say Chaos Is Creative, But THIS…?
- “The Sound and the Furry” Part Three: Planning in Kingston
Part Three: A Pleasant Diversion for the Musically Inclined
Sid looked around the tiny borrowed burrow, and put his head in his paws. The day-long concert he was helping out with was degenerating into a disaster of embarassing proportions. This wasn’t at all how it was supposed to be.
A month ago the International Lapine Spirit Gathering had still seemed like a lark to Sid, something fun to do to help advertise ToeJam, the band he crewed for.
Sid and ToeJam had just come off a successful appearance on the ‘Algonquin Live!’ variety show, and rabbits all over Algonquin Main warren were talking about the band. Bookings increased in frequency, and the band actually has a little wealth in its bank account. An informal multi-band festival featuring a day’s worth of the local talent seemed the cute and logical thing to do.
He’d managed to convince the members of ToeJam to back him, both performers and crew. They began to line up bands, and found a community hall to perform in.
But the headaches piled up.
Bands that apparently had confirmed their place in the lineup suffered illness and had to withdraw. The lead singer for the warren’s most popular all-doe combo suddenly had to go to a distant warren for a ‘rest cure’. One group that had been hyped as ‘the next FluffyRocker’ turned out to be so bad that its own road crew walked out in mid-performance.
Equipment from various bands proved to be incompatible with the community hall’s public-address system. Sid found that he was shepherding an ever-increasing number of adaptors, connectors, plugs, sockets, cables, buffers, format-converters, power-supplies, and spare parts, all of which developed a tendency to hop out of the room when nobody was looking.
And to top it all off, there was a security alert. Fudd activity had allegedly been spotted in Algonquin Park itself, security around the warren was beefed up, and Sid found himself called away on patrol more and more often. He remembered the Human activity he had witnessed while spotting at Tea Lake, and he wondered what the brass weren’t telling him.
Sid looked up haggardly at the calendar. He had just come off a Wide Patrol, and hadn’t got much sleep. It was a week until the Gathering, and they still hadn’t found a headline act to finish off the day-long concert.
By necessity, they’d printed tickets and posters with blanks to be filled in later. Not surprisingly, a lot of rabbits were less than enthusiastic about buying tickets for an unknown headline act. Jokes were already starting to compare the ‘Mystery Band’ at the Gathering to the ‘mystery meat’ at the local cafeteria.
The terminal rang, and Sid answered it. It was Flopear, the other tech from ToeJam, who had been with Sid and the Gathering from the beginning.
“Sid! Bad news…”
Sid groaned. He could hear Flopears’ ears drooping even over the voice connection; there was no picture. “What is it?”
“We’ve lost the Community Hall. The Regular Army requisitioned it indefinitely, they said something about the Security Alert.”
“Hraka! It’s only a week to go! How the Elmer are we going to get another hall now? And what about the gear?”
“We’ve got three hours to get it out. Then the army moves in.”
“I don’t suppose they could give us any help to move it…?”
Sid heard Flopear sigh at the other end of the connection. “No. We’re lucky to have three hours’ warning at all. The commander wanted to heave everything out right then and there.”
“I’d be over to help, but someone has to answer the phone. What are we going to do with the gear?”
“Well, I was wondering whether anybun had room in their burrows…”
Sid sighed. “I’ll start calling around for moving equipment and places to put the gear. Might as well look for a new hall at the same time. See how many buns you can round up to clear the hall. I’ll grab the portable and be over to help in an hour.”
“Okay…” Flopear hung up.
Sid sighed, rubbed his eyes, and took a deep breath. “Frith, will this ever end,” he muttered, as he turned wearily back to the terminal.
Part Four: Fluffy Rocker Confusion
Sid was tired. He’d been on Wide Patrol again, and was glad to get back to his burrow and a warm fluffy nest. There was still a security alert, and the patrols around the Algonquin warrens had been intensified.
It was less than a day before the concert was due to start, and while Sid was on patrol, he’d had no contact with the warren. As far as he knew, the International Lapine Spirit Gathering was still without a venue or a headlining act. But he was too tired to care. He needed at least a couple of hours of sleep. “Flopear had to have taken care of things,” he thought, “and if the concert does go bust, we can always reschedule and blame it on the Fudds…”
He had hardly gotten back to his burrow when his bedside terminal beeped and flashed. “I knew I shoudn’t have gotten the one with the motion-detectors,” he thought. The terminal said in a quiet voice, “You have fifteen messages.”
Sid’s ears wilted. He pressed the ‘play’ button. The screen lit up with Flopear’s face. “Sid! Sid! We got Greebly Hall! We’re moving the gear over! Call me when you get in!”
Sid’s eyes widened. Greebly Hall was the premiere venue in Algonquin Main, a first-class hall with excellent audience facilities, a sound system second to none, and direct freight and passenger access to the Algonquin Main Central inter-warren mover station. It was always in demand. How…?
He had to call Flopear to find out what had happened, but he took time to play the rest of the messages. None were as important, except the last.
An unfamiliar and rather out-of-his-depth bun appeared on the screen and said, “Mr Sid, sir? Flopear asked me to tell you that we got a headlining act. I’m not sure who they are, but they call themselves Fl–” He was interrupted by a harsh announcement in the background as the message continued. “This is the Algonquin Main Emergency Alert System. There is a Fudd attack on the upper layers of the warren. Repeat, a Fudd attack…” The rabbit on the screen fled from the camera with a panicked expression, and there was a few more recorded seconds of the announcement. “…to your assigned safety zones immediately, avoiding all human-sized tunnels and areas…this is a drill, repeat, this IS a drill…” The message cut off.
Sid shook his head and began to wonder how much sleep he was going to get. He decided to call Flopear, anyway; he just had to find out who this mysterious act was.
Sid leaned over the terminal and pressed Flopear’s button. The screen lit up with an adorable little “Ringing” icon. Eventually a rather groggy Flopear answered. His face brightened as he recognized Sid. “Sid! When did you get back?”
“Just now. What’s this about Greebly Hall?”
“Well, you’re not going to believe this, but…” Flopear launched into a long and elaborate explanation.
“You’re right. I don’t believe it. Greebly Hall?”
“Yes! Our gear’s over there already, and we’ve got most of it hooked up. The first act, Small Obscure Band, is setting up. There’s security buns all over the place, both warren and tour…
“Tour security?” Sid tried to interrupt but Flopear was too worked up.
“…and you’ll need a pawpass to get in. Drop by my den and pick yours up.”
“Yeah. PunkBunny said we needed them. And I don’t blame her, the stories she told about getting here from DenverWarren…”
“PunkBunny? DenverWarren? Flopear, WHAT IN FRITH’S NAME IS GOING ON?”
“It’s our headline act, Sid. It’s FluffyRocker. We’re sold out.”
Part Five: They Say Chaos Is Creative, But THIS…?
Sid’s head spun. There was just too much news, too fast. The concert was in Greebly Hall. The concert was sold out. Buns were scalping tickets, demanding toes in payment, and getting them. Successive security alerts were interrupting all. A double cordon of security buns guarded the hall, and Sid had to carry a pawpass to get in.
And FluffyRocker was the headline act. The greatest and most popular lapine performer of the decade, the legend, the star, the god, was coming HERE, to Algonquin Main warren… to HIS concert.
Sid crouched on his bed and shivered. Tired as he was, though, he couldn’t sleep now. He looked at the image of Flopear in the terminal’s screen. Flopear looked back at Sid. Neither of them said anything for a long moment.
Eventually, Sid broke the silence. “Are they here yet?”
“No. PunkBunny, she runs security for the tour, called from the mover car. They’re still an hour or so away.”
“Good. We-” There was a thumping at the burrow door. “Just a minute, Flopear,” Sid said. He switched channels on the terminal to look through the door’s spyeye. “What the–?”
Outside were perhaps a dozen young female rabbits gathered around his door. As Sid watched, one of them put her face close to the camera, fluffed cutely yet somehow desperately, and said something. Sid cut in the sound. “-ee FluffyRocker? Can we? Pleeeease? He’s a such a fluffy god …” The face dropped out of view.
The others giggled and pressed towards the camera. In a panic Sid closed the connection and switched back to Flopear. “Flopear! There’s a pack of young does at my door, and they want to see FluffyRocker! What do I do?” Sid’s ears laid back and he huddled in a panic on the bed.
“Sid! Sid! I’ll get a couple of security buns over there right away! Come on! Don’t go tharn on me! I’m here!” Slowly Sid relaxed a little. He looked toward the terminal, and the screen, and the image of Flopear. His brain slowly came back into focus.
“The security buns should be there any moment,” said Flopear. “Have a nap, and I’ll call you in an hour or so, when the Rocker arrives.”
“Okay… Thanks, Flopear.”
“No problem. We need you… rested and sane.” Flopear grinned. “Sleep now.” He closed the connection.
There was a brisk knock at the door. Sid activated the camera again. This time, two formidable rabbits from Warren Security appeared. No-one else was in sight. “Sir? Warren Security. We’re here to make sure the corridor is clear. When you’re ready, we’ll take you to the hall.”
Sid managed to mumble a quick thank you before closing the connection and tumbling back onto his bed. He fell asleep immediately.
“The Sound and the Furry”
Part Three: Planning in Kingston
Karol put down the phone and bellowed in the general direction of the kitchen. “Willy!”
“Let’s call a meeting. I’ve just had a report of a ‘possible’ up north!”
“Okay… main meeting room in an hour.” Willy and Karol picked up their phones and called several of the other Fudds. The little meeting gathered in the kitchen.
Fifty minutes later, Willy pressed a button on his pocket phone. Lights lit and beepers beeped in various rooms around the motel and its compound.
Karol, Willy, and most of the other residents of the motel headed to the basement. Some members remained at aboveground duties, observing the surrounding landscape or monitoring radio and data traffic.
In the basement, everyone gathered in a room that had more in common with a garage than a meeting room: roughly-painted concrete walls and steel fittings showed that effort had been spent to make the room secure rather than pretty.
Willy Aduin was the nominal leader of the Kingston Fudds. The land and buildings belonged to him; several of his family, including his wife Marie, daughter Gretchen and son Vance, were involved with the Fudd resistance.
The Aduins were not the only Fudds in the Kingston area, though. For a time, Willy had rented motel rooms out to adventurous students from nearby Queen’s University and St Lawrence College. Several of their occupants had become active Fudds.
With an increasing Fudd population, Willy realized that his non-Fudd residents were becoming awkward to manoeuvre around, so as they left, he replaced them with people at least sympathetic to the Fudd cause.
In mid-1997, Karol Burnett and Steve Davidson had arrived on the Aduins’ doorstep from Toronto, fleeing Bunny persecution. They were welcomed, and after a period of adjustment, Steve Davidson settled down to become a dependable Fudd trooper.
Karol Burnett, however, found his feet in a larger sense, and was taking the initiative in quite a number of ways. In late fall of 1997, Karol and Steve travelled around Ontario to get a feel for potential Fudd activities around the province.
As 1998 passed, the Fudds of Kingston gradually became more active on the newsgroup, and Karol personally enjoyed pointing out anti-fluffer news articles. In addition, there was a greater effort to recruit agents and Fudd-Sympathizers in the Bunny-afflicted areas around Lake Ontario. Several in the Greater Toronto Area had signed up, and there was one in each of Hamilton and Niagara Falls.
With some of these external activities taken off his hands, Willy felt freer to pursue the technical activites which were his true calling. A number of technical initiatives were thus coming to fruition. There was the grizzly suit, for example; there were some interesting developments with Lego robotics, and there was the increasing availability of uncute drinks such as vanilla cola. All of these boded well for the future.
Things were looking up. The Fudds of Kingston were better connected and more confident than they’d been for a ling time. They just needed a target.
Karol closed the door behind the last arrival, and sat down. Willy called the meeting to order. After a few formalities, they began.
Willy made the announcement. “As most of you know, the Bunnies of Ontario claim to be ruled from a warren in the Algonquin Park area. We have known nothing of the warren’s location save that it is somewhere in the Algonquin area… and Algonquin Park is a very large place indeed.
“We have just received from a friendly source a report of possible fluffer activity just off Highway 62 in the southern part of the Park. A woman was apparently abducted, and the search party sent to find her followed human and rabbit footprints to a cliff above Tea Lake, where the tracks stopped. The exact wording was, ‘as if they’d vanished into the rock.’
A search of the lake below the cliff revealed no signs of a fall.” Willy paused. “But there were a number of small-animal-sized openings in the rock, and closer inspection by our informant revealed a seam that could surround a sizable door.
“I suspect that cliff may conceal a warren entrance.
“I recommend that we reconnoitre the place, and bring sufficient tools to defend ourselves and do some damage if we are attacked.”
Voices rose in the room, but were stilled as Willy carried on.
“We have rebuilt ourselves from the disasters of last winter and last spring. Our technical plans are going well, and we have some new weapons to use against the Bunnies. Maerian?”
Willy motioned to another Fudd, a slender woman wearing a dusty and stained jumpsuit, with goggles hanging around her neck. She moved to the front.
“Hi. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Maerian Jones. I’m in charge of explosives research here; most of those loud noises this month were my work.” She paused with a wry grin; there was some laughter.
“We’ve developed a fairly reliable wheeled vehicle that can carry a load of explosives through a tunnel, and be detonated at a distance by remote control.
“The Drinks Pathology people…” There were cheers in the back of the room. “…have come up with a mixture that, they say, should be very, um, disconcerting for the bunnies. I don’t know what’s in it, but I think it starts out as vanilla cola. It should give them at least a splitting headace for months.
“When liberated by a a small charge, I expect that it will be quite effective.”
As Maerian returned to her seat, Willy stood up.
“Thanks, Maerian. Now, Karol Burnett has been paying attention to the outside world, and he has a few things to say. Karol?”
Karol moved to the front of the room. “Hello.”
“As some of you may know, I am one of those who escaped from Toronto with the Bunnies at my heels. I thought then that the fluffers had pretty much won in the Toronto area. But watching the newsgroup and the banter, and watching, reading and listening to the regular news, has led me to the following conclusion:
“It’s getting less and less cute out there, and the fluffers just don’t seem to be controlling events anymore.
“The political protests may have died down, but there are other things just as uncute now appearing in Toronto and around the world. Reputations are crashing to the ground, embarassing revelations are appearing in the press, and celebrities are exposed and hanging their heads in shame.
“I won’t go into details–I want to keep this short–but it’s clear that the Bunnies are losing their touch. People are actually beginning to think for themselves again.
“I know–it seems improbable, doesn’t it? But it’s true. People are waking up. It’s a good time for the people to put forth their strength.”
“It’s a good time for US to put forth our strength.
“It’s a good time for us to put forth our strength, and give the fluffers what they deserve!”
The people in the room cheered, and Karol stood silently for a moment with head bowed. “Thank you,” he said, then returned to his seat.
Willy stood up. “Thank you, Karol.” He paused. “Now that we have a possible location, we’ve decided to send an expedition to Tea Lake to confirm the existence of this possible warren, and to inconvenience as many Bunnies as we can. Here are the details…”
Willy began to hand out assignents and make recommendations, discussion began, and soon the meeting broke up into busy groups of people.
In the following week, preparations were made, devices prepared, and vehicles checked. Fudds trained and practised with greater intensity; for many of them it would be their first encounter with the Fluffy Enemy.
All too soon, early on a Saturday morning, they were ready. In the pre-dawn darkness, they lined up their vehicles, and after one last inspection, prepared to leave the motel grounds. Willy gave the thumbs-up signal from the motel-office window, the order came over the radios, and they headed out.
The convoy split up as soon as it left the motel driveway: some cars headed west, and some headed east. They blended in with traffic, and took several alternate routes, and tried hard to make it look like they were heading to different destinations. Eventually, hours later, just as the dawn twilight turned to full light, they converged on Tea Lake.