The Lepufology Project is the story of Jack Babbitt, regarded as one of the world’s most trustworthy investigators of the paranormal, whose unfaltering curiosity for the mysterious leads on an international chase seeking bizarre rabbits of extra-terrestrial origin that finds its resolution in the tar sands deposits of Alberta.
The fourth chapter of the series is entitled « Lepufology 401 : Responding To An Invasion. » Having accepted to collaborate with the outworlders, Jack flies back to Flatbush where he will have to guide a gigantic horde of alien rabbits to the tar sands fields of Athabasca.
Here's the storyline :
Jack is taken back to the shaft. He is surprised to see that the spacecraft is missing, and just as he turns to ask the interpreter she tells him that when he found the base in Flatbush, the team was almost ready to go ahead with the operation, and that the two outworlders who brought him over have returned to complete the preparations. While another spacecraft is conveyed onto the platform, she explains that they must act fast because they have enemies of their own who are trying to thwart their plans and who have recently tried to attack their farm in Flatbush with an airborne weapon which was countered at the last moment and redirected to crash near the border of the province. She gives him night-vision goggles, and a small communication device so that they can stay in contact should he have questions or run into unexpected situations.
Jack boards the vehicle and is told that its operation is mostly automated and that it will follow a preprogrammed route to Flatbush. He receives permission to lift off, pushes some controls, and the spacecraft slowly rises to the ground level and up over the field. As he flies away, he looks back and sees the platform closing the shaft and then taking the appearance of the surrounding land until it becomes undistinguishable. The vehicle picks up speed and Jack starts to reflect on the recent events as he gazes in awe at the sweeping landscape.
When he arrives in Flatbush, the spacecraft heads to the location of the remains of the crop circle, and hovers there. A few instants later, just as the interpreter had told him before leaving, Jack hears an alert-type sound and sees some lights flashing on his dashboard. Part of the ground lowers underneath him and a spiral-shaped ramp lifts up from the bottom of the shaft to the ground level. Moments later, rabbits start emerging from the ramp and advancing in the field.
Jack his astonished by the number of rabbits gathering below him. Yet the rabbits are just getting out of the shaft, and not moving out of the field. Jack doesn't quite know what to do and just as he grabs the communication device he hears the interpreter telling him that the rabbits are simply waiting for the vehicle to move, and that they will go wherever it goes. She adds that a route which the rabbits can follow has been preprogrammed, and that Jack is only there to make sure that everything works as planned.
At her instruction, Jack pushes some controls and the spacecraft rotates towards the nearest road. It starts flying at a slow speed and the rabbits begin to move in its direction. Once it arrives over the road, the speed increases, and the rabbits start to race behind it. Jack is amazed at the speed at which the animals can run. He smiles and sits back as the spacecraft leads the rabbits to the Athabasca tar sands.
As they move over the fields, the rabbits spread around and some of them start digging holes. Their number is astonishing and Jack has trouble believing what he sees. He his relieved as he witnesses the last rabbits arrive on location and disappear under the ground. He tells so to the interpreter who confirms that the Flatbush farm is now empty and that the two other hordes respectively targeting Peace River and Cold Lake have also reached their objective. She thanks him and concludes the communication by saying that he will be taken back to Flatbush where the spacecraft will land, and that his car has been fixed and is parked on the road next to the field.
A few weeks later, news bulletins start emerging from many of the largest oil plants on the planet which are reporting production problems and as unexpected as inexplicable decreasing yields from proved reserves. Jack tries to find some news about the production in Alberta and learns that there are indeed reports of lowering production and never before observed decreases in the quality of the oil sands.
Soon after, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries announces production shutdowns and shortages, and are quickly followed by most of the other oil-producing countries. The governments of many of the world high income economies openly admit that they don't quite know how to react as the oil prices skyrocket, business activities slow down, and industrial production plummets.