I knew about this story, but I had never heard the reasoning behind having the 'roos in the simulation to begin with. Makes a lot more sense, now. -- RecklessPrudence
[AN: The real funny part was that this story was used as an example of checking your GD code before release. I heard it in one of my BInfTech lectures. Australia just seems to be a nexus of firkin weird stories. See: The Emu War (spoilers, the Emus won)]
"...and then the Kangaroos reappeared over the ridge, but this time, they were armed with Bazookas."
The audience laughed on cue.
Dusty had had enough, she raised her hand. "Yeah, that's a thing now," she said, in full Bullshit Mode. "We never have enough recruits for the army, but we do have some bloody clever animal trainers? And Kangaroos have opposable thumbs, so it's no big deal to teach 'em how to pull a trigger."
"You're serious?" said her neighbour at the lecture hall.
"Yeah, there's a secret base up at Coonabarbiebong. Don't bother googling it. You won't find anything. Australia's been using its wildlife to repel invaders for thousands of years. We've just stepped it up a notch. That little programming error of yours? It was written off as an error because we were already doin' the top secret research."
"You know an awful lot about it if it's top secret."
"Well, yeah," lied Dusty. "Me cousin works at the cafeteria, up there. She's also a foster mum t' the joeys before they're ready for the first stage of training." She leaned forward in her seat, "I shouldn't really be tellin' ya this, but the tricky part is rewarding the 'roos in time for a hit. See, we've been usin' the kind of artillery that doesn't need much in the way o' maintenance, y'know. Manpower. But the 'roos won't shoot again if they don't get their Weet Bix, so--"
"Wait. Weet Bix? Really?"
"Yeah, yer average 'roo'll do just about anythin' for a bit o' Weet Bix. 'Specially the ones with the fruit in 'em? But working out a hit in the wild's been a bit of a problem. Y' need computers? And those are the first things to go down. And then y' got the problem of them firin' at passenger planes. That's why they picked Coonabarbiebong, it's right in the red centre, and buggerall goes there. Right now, they're busy breedin' 'em fer pattern recognition." Dusty paused, looking at all of the gawping yanks under her spell. "At least, that was the last I heard of it."
"...holy shit," someone whispered. A hundred hands reached for their phones, discreetly tapping out messages to people they knew.
Dusty allowed herself a moment of pride. That was the best bullshit she had ever woven.
Months after that particular lecture, she read a headline about Americans sinking millions of dollars into training bears and eagles to attack invaders with specially made artillery.
...okay. Just maybe, she might have overdone it a touch.
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