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In which suborbital icebergs mess up global geopolitics once again

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In 1974, NZ was in crisis. Not a single drop of rain had fallen over the entire country for the last five years. Most farmland had crumbled into desert, and native bush was emigrating to much more lush and fertile areas of the world, like the Atacama Desert.

Drinking water ran out three years earlier; this wasn’t a problem for the populace, as they’d switched to absinthe for bathing purposes, and for thirst-quenching, tomato sauce. It became a common sight in the late 70s for marathon runners to stagger gasping to the end of a particularly gruelling stage in sweltering mid-afternoon sun, then thankfully glug down several bottles of Extra-Spicy Fire-Brew sauce.

The country, nevertheless, was in crisis. The NZ government knocked together a task force, who held a series of emergency overnight meetings to sort this shit out. We need water! Shitloads of water! Why hasn’t there been any rain? Find that out too, that’s our long-term goal, but until then, get water!

And until we get water, use tomato sauce. Seriously, have you tried this latest batch? It makes sparkling mineral water taste like a puff of dust! It’s a magical journey into the very heart of effervescent translucent delight. Tasty as hell, and crops love it.

The government task force thusly formed, quickly called up the services of the mostly now defunct New Zealand Navy and its millions of dishwasher-smeltered Weetbix-hulled battleships, now tragically lessened in number after a rather embarrassing war with Australia some years prior. Nevertheless, as the task force decided, the many thousands left were quite sufficient to carry millions of jet engines and thousands of cubic kilometres of fuel to Antarctica. They loaded up, and toddled off.

Why, you may ask? Why jet engines? Simple. Antarctica hold the greatest reserves of fresh water on the planet. 98%, to be exact. Why have it locked up uselessly in a great big ice cap? Chip bits off and bring ‘em back to where they’re useful! Ambitious and headstrong sea captains started ramming their ships into fragile-looking bits of Antarctica, and started whacking off huge, kilometre-long icebergs. Once free-floating, sailors swarmed aboard and attached the jet engines.

The jets roared into life and sent mountains of searing flame roaring behind them. The iceberg, slowly at first, began making its journey northward to New Zealand.

The plan was to ram the most drought-stricken coastline with the iceberg, make it mount the beach, and get it clear out of the ocean, completely on land. After the billion-ton iceberg whacked into the beach at not far below the speed of sound, it leaped into the air, completely cleared the rest of the country, jumped through a sub-orbital arc over the Tasman Sea, and collided with Australia. The sailors responsible for all this thought they’d have another go and try again, this time without attaching ten million jet engines to a single iceberg. Their second attempt worked as planned, and this time they managed to get a kilometre-thick slab of ice parked handily on top of Hawke’s Bay coast.

Unfortunately, the former farmland there had been without water for so long that an entirely anhydrous desert ecosystem had evolved, with rather nasty perchlorates, sulfides, and other chemicals that you get in extreme desert environments but nevertheless explode violently in the presence of water. The second the iceberg came to rest, it disappeared in a vast explosion, redistributing the entire iceberg and much of the North Island in an evenly spaced thin layer around the entire planet’s upper atmosphere.

Shit, the task force said. That’s a bummer. Right, try again! There can’t be that many perchlorates left, let’s bury ‘em in water until they’re all reacted and neutralised. By the cunning use of their millions of jet engines, a neatly choreographed maritime charge by all ten thousand navy battleships at the Antarctic ice cap managed to crowbar the entire ice cap off its bedrock base, and make it stand up, edge-on. a three-thousand kilometre disc of ice sticking up into space.

Further battleship nudges got it rolling in the direction of New Zealand, where it very handily fell, rolled around a bit like a coin, and splintered over the entire country. No more drought! At that moment, the grand-daddy of all storm fronts hit the entire country, dropping the same amount of rain all over again.

New Zealand now had a damp problem not unlike a shack made of sponges sitting at the bottom of Mariana Trench, and for much the same reason. The task force responsible for kicking the drought habit soon discovered that the first iceberg they’d parked here, had whooshed over the country, hit Australia, and knocked over, like dominoes, the ten-kilometre-high wall stretching across the country that Australians had originally built as the first ever truly rabbit-proof fence, but to their glee then found out that the gigantic rain shadow the fence cast turned nearby New Zealand into a desert. The iceberg impact knocked it down and unleashed the gigantic storm system pent up behind it.

Spitting furious tacks, the NZ government declared war.

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One response »

  1. Found your site on yahoo today and really liked it.. I bookmarked it and will be back to check it out some more later.

    Reply

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