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(« Aerospaceplane » by Unknown Artist)
The third chapter of the series is entitled « Lepufology 301 : Racing Spacecrafts. » This time, things get a little more complicated for Jack Babbitt as he gets abducted and taken into the alien headquarters in the Wiltshire, UK, where he discovers the purpose of the presence of intelligence from outer space on Earth.
Here's the storyline :
Jack is still driving, trying to escape from the rabbit farm in Flatbush. He looks in the rearview mirror and sees a small vehicle hovering in the distance behind him. Still terrified, he accelerates in the hopes of eluding it, but the spacecraft is gaining ground.
The airborne vehicle catches up with the car and manoeuvers so as to force Jack to leave the road and wreck his car in an empty field. He tries to get out of the car to run away, but two men get out of the spacecraft and grab him before he can get anywhere.
He is taken inside the spacecraft which quickly lifts up and starts to fly at great speed. The abductors remain silent to Jack's oppositions and questions, but he can see outside and reckon that they're heading east as the sun is setting behind them. He recognizes one of the men as one of the pair he bumped into earlier. As they fly over the Canadian territory, Jack begins to think that he's probably being taken to his kidnappers headquarters, and he gets his confirmation soon after as the vehicle first reaches the Atlantic ocean and then the coast of Ireland. A few minutes later, Jack recognizes the somewhat familiar landscape of England in the night-time.
Just as he had guessed, the spacecraft finally slows down as they approach the Wiltshire. It stops over Milk Hill, a place Jack knows particularly well for having investigated there a few years back. Much to his surprise, the vehicle lands at the exact location of one of the crop circles he had reported on.
He hears a deep rumbling sound and the spacecraft starts to go down. He imagines that they have landed on a platform of some sort that's being lowered into the ground. And indeed, a few seconds later they hit the bottom of a deep shaft and stop moving.
Jack is taken out of the vehicle and led to a meeting room where he is greeted by a woman who addresses him in English and introduces herself as an interpreter before presenting her colleagues.
One of them starts to speak, and Jack turns to the woman as she starts translating. She first tells him that they don't have much time on their hands so they will have to go straight to the point. Jack then learns that they are a team of beings of extra-terrestrial origin who have come to Earth to correct a situation threatening the equilibrium of the planet, and thus also endangering the balance of the solar system which in turn could have unfortunate consequences on their own planetary system. The woman explains that the exploitation of petroleum and the use of its by-products has proven consistently dangerous throughout the galaxy, and can have disastrous effects on a planet, as is now the case on Earth. She tells Jack of the harm it causes to the ecology, animals, birds, humans beings, the atmosphere, that the situation is critical and that something must be done soon or life on Earth as humans know it could disappear. The interpreter concludes by saying that their plan is to eliminate the major reserves of oil on the planet so as to slow down and eventually stop the damages, and oblige mankind to look for safer sources of energy.
Another woman speaks, and the outworlders start to leave the meeting room. The translator invites Jack to follow them. Just across the corridor, they enter a room which looks like a laboratory. Jack learns that the team has been sent here to bioengineer and breed vast quantities of super-rabbits with features that allow them to run extremely fast over many hundreds of kilometers, dig deep underground, see in the dark, devour hydrocarbons, digest them into unexploitable substances, and reproduce as needed until the reserves of petroleum on the planet are depleted. Once their task is completed, the underground rabbit colonies will disappear out of hunger. Jack is relieved by what he is being told and smiles as he makes sense of his recent findings.
A man turns toward Jack and addresses him. The interpreter asks Jack if the team can count on his collaboration, and he accepts wholeheartedly. He is then told that he badly injured one of the observers when he ran out of the rabbit farm in Alberta, and that he must take his place. The woman explains that the targets of the operation in Flatbush are the tar sands, and that his duty will be to see that the rabbits are released and led to the deposits of Athabasca.