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[s long 1/?] Fame

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Scott Robert Dawson

Dec 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/2/98
Part One: The Buck Stops Here

Algonquin Main warren was not a small place. It had grown over
decades, as the devilbunnies and their servants slowly excavated its
tunnels, dens, and burrows from the resistant granite rock of
Algonquin Park. Many of its tunnels were decades, possibly centuries,

When Algonquin Main met the technological revolutions of
twentieth-century Bunny life, it began to grow enormously. The swift
and quiet digging techniques brought by the BunnyMover crews enabled
an explosion of tunneling: space underground was no longer an
expensive item. The warren sprouted countless new dens, burrows and
meeting places as its population expanded into the limitless volume of
granite under the Park.

The strength that had made the rock such an obstacle, when combined
with the new tunnelling techniques, now allowed the rabbits far
greater creativity with their tunnels. Experimental constructions
appeared, and rabbits began to speak of architecture and the design of
space. They built public spaces, laboratories, storerooms, recital
halls, meeting rooms, kitchens, armories, training halls,
waste-treatment areas--even a place that could only be described as a

The first simple BunnyMover station was expanded, then replaced, then
replaced again. A second station was added, then a third. An internal
BunnyMover system developed, which grew with the warren.

The Sympathizers and the bunnies' Allied Species were not forgotten.
The rabbits built spacious new quarters for their Sympathizers, and
many tunnels and facilities were built to Human size. A section of the
warren was built to Squirrel proportions. There was even an
underground river, built for an experiment involving otters that did
not work out.

Near the surface, there were loading bays, a vehicle-repair area,
inconspicuous rabbit-sized entrances, and one carefully-concealed and
monitored garage door (accessible to Sympathizers' off-road vehicles).

In recent years, an experimental greenhouse just under the surface had
proven successful; the rabbits began to expand it to provide green
food in the winter. Exposure to sunlight in the greenhouse turned out
to be so beneficial for the warren's population of Sympathizers that
the rabbits found that they could let them outside the warren less and
less often. Soon an internal population of Sympathizers developed who
never saw the world outside the warren at all.

By the end of the twentieth century in the Human calendar, Algonquin
Main had become a thriving lapine city. It grew much of its own food.
It had a vibrant cultural life. It was a centre for Bunny media and
entertainment in the North. It stretched for kilometres through the
bedrock, and it needed a complex network of BunnyMover tubes to bind
itself together.

It was also one heck of a place to navigate. Except for the tubes of
the high-speed inter-warren BunnyMovers, there was nothing even
remotely resembling a straight line between any two points in it.
Which explained why one particular rabbit, who was in a hurry to get
somewhare, was getting later and later...

Sidney was on a mission to get spare parts. In his off-time between
devilbunny-militia assignments, he served as road crew for his
friends' band, ToeJam; he was responsible for keeping the band's
motley collection of second- and third-hand gear in working order.

Larry, the bass guitarist, had managed to blow the fuses in his
amplifier. Unfortunately, he'd already used up all the spares
previously in the day, and there was only one place to get new fuses,
clear on the other side of the warren from the community hall where
the band had set up. The band had been practicing all fall, and was
due to perform its first semi-public concert in less than three hours
for a very special audience: doefriends, buckfriends, family,
friends... and, rumour had it, talent scouts from the Cute TV variety
show "Algonquin Live!".

Sid did not want to let them down. He hurried through the crowded
tunnels towards the A-Ko Park mover station. The station was on the
Mauve Line: not the most direct route, but the fastest to the north
side of the warren.

Sid was in luck. A mover car came to a halt just as he entered the
station. Its doors opened and two rabbits exited. Sid dove in, landing
in a heap on the far side of the car. The doors closed, and the car
accelerated into the tunnel.

Several stops later, Sid got off the mover. He was in a large crowded
plaza overlooking Otter Creek. The stream ran through a large cavern,
with levels of plush residential burrows all around. High above, a
window admitted sunlight. It was a posh district. Rabbits relaxed on
the grass by the stream, nibbling at clover and imported cowslip.

Under other circumstances, Sid would have paused to admire the shapely
Alpha does in their shining pastel earbows, but today there was no
time. He had to run. He hustled out of the plaza, through the large
tunnel that served the ritzy Otter Creek Shops, and onwards into
smaller and less fancy tunnels.

Eventually Sid arrived at PuffTail's Electronics Boutique. He opened
the door and went in, to stand panting in front of the counter.

There was a pause.

"The AMF-27 acting up again?" said the clerkbun behind the counter,
with a twinkle in his eye.

"How'd you know, PuffTail?" said Sid, panting.

"You're the only one who comes in for those 0.738-amp fuses anymore,"
said PuffTail. "If we didn't have so many in stock, you'd be out of
luck... I'm having difficulty getting more."

Sid stopped panting. "Could I get ten more? Larry blew the amp twice
today, and we've got final sound check in..." he looked at a clock on
the wall, "Inlé! less than forty minutes!" He <panicfluff>ed and
fumbled for his belt.

"Sure. Coming right up."

Sid stopped and thought a moment. Suddenly he said, "And I'd like two
of those Lumina minidiscs as well. We're recording this concert

"No problem..."

In a few minutes, Sid had paid for the fuses and discs. He stuffed the
fuses in his pouch, tucked the discs under an arm, and hurtled out of
the shop towards the Otter Creek mover station, barely missing a doe
with kits.

Carrying the discs, which were quite large relative to his size, Sid
was slowed in getting back to the mover station. The crowds didn't
help. He barely missed a departing mover car, and had to wait for the
next one.

As a result, the band had begun final sound check when he arrived...
minus a bass guitarist.

The band had begun their latest song, "Life in Algonquin." As Sid
moved over to the ailing amplifier, Ellen, the lead singer, began to

"Dreams of Disney, frozen stiff,
Lost in the Algonquin hills,
Where rabbits real as Fudd nightmares
Are sustained on Spam and thrills...
Where all the research in the world
Helps make the Symps so true,
Where Mentats leave their footprints,
And regbuns join the queue."

At this point, Larry would have laid in the bass line, but he was

"Everywhere's a playpen,
For the rabbit race;
A <stomp> of doom for monkeys
In that Algonquin place.

Life in Algonquin
Life in Algonquin
Life in Algonquin

In Algonquin the custom is
For buns to call the tune.
Usually a Symp will run
With orders fraught with doom...

Down below the glaring lights
Wink on in training pens,
Where all the apes run frightened
And Mentats look for spam.

Ahhh ah ahhhhhhhhhh........

The granite-piercing burrows
Advertise the style.
They make this fair place what it is.
The fangy-grin and smile,
They dazzle as they nibble
the fresh meat from the toes,
Leaving Fudds with nothing!"

Silence for two critical beats.

"Life in Algonquin
Life in Algonquin
Life in Algonquin

Life in Algonquin...."

The song ended. As she sang, Ellen had noticed Sid arrive. She called,
"Sid! Did you get the fuses?"

A muffled voice behind the stage replied, "Yes. I've changed them and
almost got the cover back on. Why does this thing have to be so
Frithing uncute? We're lucky we can still get parts for it..." Sid
appeared and hopped up on the stage, addressing the band's other
crewbun. "LongEar! How are the levels?"

"Not bad, but with the bass guitar silent we'll have to check it all
over again..."

"Frith..." Sid muttered. "Let's have a look at the board..." He turned
to the musicians, who were speaking amongst themselves. "How are your
monitor levels?"

"Mine's too soft. I can't distinguish it very well..." said Barry, the

TealThumper, the drummer, muttered, "All he needs to to is take my
beat, for Frith's sake..."

"Okay, everyone, set your output level to nominal. Each of you, give
me a middle-C when I give you the signal. I'll check it at the board.
Larry, can you plug in? I'll check you first..."

Sid shook his head and muttered to himself, "Why do these things
always seem to dump on me?" He moved over to the sound board...


Note: the song "Life in Algonquin" is written to the tune of "Life in
Laralay" by Love and Rockets.

Scott Robert DAWSON | - -
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