Challenge #02269-F079: Not Really That DeadlysteemCreated with Sketch.

in fiction •  6 months ago 


Australia is a deathcountry. No talking back on that.

  • Giant Toads
  • poisonus Everything
  • f*ckt up climate everywhere
  • Birds, who defeated the Government (not even smart ones at that)
  • their Naming (Fairybread, Maccas,...)
    Aliens learn of that from a human and an Aussie. (Will Australia receive an honorable Title of Deathcountry stage 5 or 5.5? You decide!) -- Anon Guest

Deathworld classifications work on how many factors can be seen as "being out to get" cogniscents who live there. These factors being one or more of: Flora, fauna, mycota(fungus), environment, weather, and the local solar system's quirks or foibles. For example, the Deathworld Majangahi is class three because of a hostile meteor swarm that regularly peppers the surface of the world with small craters, as well as a hostile weather system and a large population of venomous creatures.

Few have ever been able to classify a Death continent. At least, not before they met Australians.

"Nah, seriously. It gets deadly hot the further north you get. Queensland's not only used to temperatures of forty see[1], but also humidity so thick we swore they'd grow gills." Human Davo flapped their hands on either side of their neck in an imitation of a fish. "You've heard the catchy song we have about the wildlife," they sang a snippet, "Redback, funnelweb, blue-ringed octopus/ Taipan, tiger snake, adder, box jellyfish..."

Gorx nodded. "Yes. This is why I am asking about the deadliness of this example continent."

"Island-continent. It's right on the cusp. Big enough to be a continent, but also small enough to be an island. We brag both ways in Aus. Yeah. We have a lot of dangerous wildlife. Even the herbivores'll go ya. Then there's the bush. Backpackers go out to see the real Australia or whatever and end up lost and lucky to be alive. Shit. The leading cause of tourist death is bushwalking. Some are just... never found."

Gorx winced in spite of hirself. "And there are still many who aspire to undergo this passtime?"

"Yeah? The Aussie wilderness is amazing, mate. We've got flowers and plants that grow nowhere else in the world--"

"Some of which are poisonous," added Gorx.

"We've got the biggest variety of marsupials. Yes, a lot of 'em will go you. I know. The ones in the zoos are habituated, so they won't, but the wild ones? Caution is the word."

By this time, Gorx would much prefer the words, run away.

"There's also all the reptiles out our way. And yes - venomous. But the landscapes. The rugged beauty of it all. The rock formations--" that eat tourists, "--the mountain ranges, the wide open plains... It's beautiful."

"Beautiful, and deadly," Gorx noted.

"Well. Yeah. Once you know how to stay alive out there, it's no problem. People just die because they didn't think ahead or take precautions."

"So this one island-continent contains hostile flora, hostile fauna, hostile landscape, and you mentioned... cyclone season?"

"Oh yeah. Cyclone season. Summer and Autumn, for the most part. Wicked rains, a few floods here and there, some houses get ripped to shit, but most people are fine. Batton down the hatches, here comes another one," Human Davo laughed at this. "We're used to it."

"Your entire land is a class four. Perhaps even a class five depending on the death rates."

"That's what the other lot said. If it wasn't for Australia, Earth would be a Class Three Deathworld." Human Davo grinned. "We bumped it up to four."

"And the toads? The giant toads? And the enormous felids?"

"Oh, those were imports," Davo dismissed. "Nothing like the stuff that evolved there."

We're used to it, had to be the reason Humans went up into space and stayed there. Compared to hellscapes like Australia, the hazards of space were predictable and easily prepared for. They didn't need to creatively solve their problems with two bits of tin and some bailing twine. Certainly, the problems inherent in space travel were a lot more urgent and impactful, but... they could be planned for.

Nobody, in the history of history, has ever planned for anything like the Gympie Gympie tree.

[1] Celcius. For those still using Fahrenheit, that's above one hundred. Old School Aussies used to call this "going the ton" in Summers.

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / ssstocker]

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