With the Whites busy making the acquaintance of man, the Browns and the Greys continued to battle in their absence. The Greys would return to the science of rabbits, trying in vain to replace sugar and sadly failing. As they continued to experiment on crops, they had little to no success and it would come to be viewed as wasting valuable time. Unbeknownst to the Greys, they had created a new weapon. A protection of sorts, that was yet to be revealed. Though untouched by mankind this was hardly a peaceful time, with one less faction dividing attention, the full brunt of the Brown’s would befall them. The Brown’s in their infinite wisdom took to defending the old entrance to Rabbitopolous. The factions would battle to hold this hallowed hill, its guard in habitual change as the factions took turns asserting their dominance. Though no-one could enter safely amid traps set generations ago and attacks from the others, they would stand guard awaiting their eventual victory. Trying to disarm a myriad of deadly ‘ancient defences’ is hard enough and no-one would want to risk the destruction of the burrow they fought so hard for, by accidentally setting off a trap. Battles would therefore be waged away from the burrow, but close enough to appear like the faction in defence was winning and infuriating the others in the process. With one less foe to defend against the Browns would send out waves of explorers to find and face off with their wild Grey adversaries. The war appeared balanced with only two fronts, rabbits locked in combat pushing each other back. For now the Brown’s were making their way to the finish line, for the first time a faction had pulled ahead. Yet as is often true, over-confidence would result in mistakes. Taking their eyes off the full map of war, the Brown bunnies would have their own burdens to face. Not as relaxed as failed, or stolen crops, the Browns would now be tormented by humanity.
The birth of the pet industry caused great turmoil in the noble circles of the Browns. Though mostly unharmed by this, great numbers of brown rabbits were taken from the battlefields to serve as comfort and training aids to humanities young. Though it was never said out loud, these rabbits were prisoners. To live in lavish comfort, to have a longer life expectancy safe from the dangers of war, no need to forage for food and not to be experimented on. This certainly doesn’t sound like a bad life, but there’s no escaping the fact that a hutch is a cage. Escape was a dangerous pursuit, Mans carpentry skills were quite impressive considering the rabbit’s rather low opinions of them and made the quest for freedom slightly more challenging. Those who escaped could be quickly recaptured, or suffer a worse fate traversing the horrors of the pet store. Man’s poor ability to store their tools safely would see the rabbits face the perils of falling objects. If that wasn’t enough, rabbits weren’t the only guests as these stores would have various fully stocked containment chambers. As rabbits tried to escape so did the other inhabitants of the pet penitentiaries and despite rabbits being a highly clever and feared creature, there’s always bigger teeth and sharper claws. After time and with successful escapes few and far between, the rabbits grew complacent. Growing to like their new lives once re-homed as a pet, they soon forgot about the strife of war, preferring to live out their days in confined quiet. The only fear now would be perishing at the hands of the inexperience youth responsible for their care, but the food was good so the soon forgot…until it was too late of course. With more and more rabbits being plucked from their homes in the wild, the battles in their war became more and more infrequent. Though the battlefields grew quieter, the fighting wouldn’t fully stop. In this brief period of reduced conflict a war of the mind began. With rabbits in less physical combat, they soon gained a reputation of calm and peaceful to humanity. Not to mention the already established adorability, which was quite hard to ignore. As the Greys continued their quiet experimentations the Browns turned to manipulations over man and propaganda. For the first time in the long waged war violence was not the immediate answer and these two ‘active’ factions would bide their time before unleashing far greater weapons. All the while they forgot the dangers of the missing Whites, a mistake they’d both come to seriously regret.
For the Browns the plan was simple. Learning from the Whites failed attempts to utilise man, they would use their new position as pets to take advantage of humanity. Surreptitiously spreading rumour and gossip, the Browns sought to influence and guide Mans literal hunger and lust for ‘the hunt’. Turning Mans savage nature and need for meat against rabbits may seem foolish, but the Browns had a plan. Using their adorability and existence as loved pets, the Browns felt themselves safe, if you don’t count from Mans reckless children. The hunter’s attention therefore was aimed to the Greys of the wild. Panic spread like wildfire across the plains, rabbits were now targets for dinner and apparently quite a sought after one. This vicious and calculating strategy was to be expected from the devious band of brown bunnies and was the first recorded use of humanity as a weapon. At least the first successful one. Consumed with jealousy, the Whites would observe the Browns sensational strategy. Covered in cosmetics or hidden in hats, disappointed in their own failed attempts and seething over their failed attempts. The Whites could only take solace that finally they weren’t the only ones to suffer at the hands of man.
In an attempt to quell the ‘Fur-Lust’ of man, the Grey’s would find a use for that odd weapon they discovered in error. Through their continued experimentation on crops to replace the loss of sugar, the Grey’s stumbled across a peculiar biological trait from eating their modified crops. Its harmful effects to man would however come at great sacrifice. Considering the numbers already being savaged by Mans hunt, it seemed the logical way forward to survive today and fight another day. Convinced they would be victorious over Mans hunger fuelled ‘Rabbit-ocalypse’ and driven to win the war. Mans savagery and skill for the hunt meant rabbits were no match, not even their quick speed could save them from the dinner plate. If rabbits were to die, they would not die in vain. Due to their diet and a great deal of exercise, these rabbits would offer unbalance nutrition for the sensitive human stomachs. Though something to replace sugar was their true goal the Greys had created a new way to supplement their own diets that caused havoc if anyone were foolish enough to eat them. The plan worked, but it did come at the cost of a great many rabbits. Humanity would soon come to name this affliction ‘Rabbit Starvation’ and their interest in devouring them died off. Rabbits were fine in small doses but the desire to fill their larders with them was at an end. Who knew that too much of a good thing can be bad for you. The end of the hunt allowed the Greys to repopulate, at quite the staggering speed if the ‘legends’ of rabbits are true. Revenge was now the order of the day. The pets were about to suffer a cold calculated attack, well cold at the very least.