It IS the Rabbit

‘I’ve got it right this time, I assure you.’ He tells me and drags me into the spectator seat with a wide smile.

‘You sure?’ I ask, ‘last time it did not even remove a hair.’

‘This time I’ve given it armour underneath the hair and its teeth are edged with diamond.’

‘You’ve wasted diamonds on this mad project?’ I raise one eyebrow.

‘Just look,’ he points. I look down through the bulletproof glass at the two small white rabbits in the arena. One munching lettuce, the other completely still.

‘You can’t even tell them apart,’ he says.

‘Except one of them isn’t breathing.’

‘I haven’t turned it on yet, I wanted you to see.’

‘Well hurry up then,’ I say, ‘I have other things to do than watch your failed experiments.’

His lip twitches as he picks up a remote control. He presses a button. I stare down at the arena as the still rabbit seems to come to life. Its sides moving gently up and down, it takes a small hop towards the other rabbit. And another. The real rabbit stops munching. The copy takes another hop.

The little rabbit launches forwards and severs the copy’s head from its shoulders laying bare all the wires in its neck. Then the rabbit goes back to munching lettuce.

‘No!’ he shouts, ‘it can’t do that.’

‘You saw it,’ I say, ‘we lost near fifty men taking it from the cave, remember?’

He whimpers pressing the remote control buttons in vain. I sigh.

‘Just make sure it doesn’t escape.’ And I leave him to his grief.

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