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April 15, 2005

Internet vs. Robot Badger Attack

In the first instance, they probably escaped from an illicit research lab deep in the hinterlands of Worcestershire. Well, I say 'research lab', what I really mean is 'scabby collection of outbuildings that would fall down were it not for the piles of bizarre scrap lending them structure from the inside and the reinforcing properties of layered rusty corrugated on the outside'. It would have been fine if they'd just been equipped with some basic badger-like programming; dig big holes, guzzle rusty Whitworth nuts and bolts, sometimes emit a chuntering similar to a far-away Lister lighting plant when especially happy. However, the joker in charge of the 'lab' had managed to instill something akin to his own leanings toward the schools of 'that'll come in handy' and 'shame to throw away a perfectly good broken spring-tine' into their electro-mechanical minds, which turned them into tolerabably efficient Von Neumann replicators.

First it was burned out Astras and the hulks of abandoned caravans that vanished, leaving nothing but dents in the ground. Then they moved on to Japanese Faux-bys, Seventies BLMC cars and electric golf carts. At that point, something odd occurred. The best guess that an unfortunate mutation in the cognitive sprocketry of one badger or another caused it to gain some manner of machine enlightenment. Succeeding generations of robot badger quickly attained human-equivalent consciousness, which was about when the trouble really started.

In short order, all the vehicles belonging to TB-testing Min of Ag vets vanished. Another squad decided that they should bring their creator presents, and the 'lab' sprawled as half tractors, jet engines and bits of steam shovel began to appear in the dead of night. Finally, they decided that the Internet was probably hostile and that digging a hole underneath it would show it who was boss. Thus is was that several dozen data centres vanished into large holes in the ground while the diesel generators usually found round the back of such places vanished without a trace.

Posted by Hirez at April 15, 2005 11:00 PM

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