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Round them up

Siouxsie had been staying with Summerhawk’s extended family for just over two weeks when United Europa held its tri-annual elections. No one was surprised when the right wing Europa Repubblica party won, but their victory margin was much larger than anyone had predicted. It was a landslide. It had been obvious that United Europa as a whole was shifting to the right, but even the ER politicians themselves didn’t appear prepared to suddenly have control over the entire Senate.

For the neopig community in United Europa this was a disaster. Europa Repubblica made little secret of its ties with the semi-legal Human Defence League which had been terrorising the neopigs for the last several years.

The HDL was about as bad it as got: most of its members were extremists who wanted to wipe the neopigs out, reversing 200 years of genetic improvements and reverting them all back to baseline pigs. Five years ago HDL members were arrested and imprisoned; now some of the incoming high-ranking senators were HDL sympathisers.

At least Switzerland was still neutral. But the ramifications of this awful power-shift in the West were felt across the country, and nowhere more so than in Grottes.

The Neo-Mafia were particularly vocal, declaring the election of the ER tantamount to an “act of war”. Ten days after the election Summerhawk told Siouxsie that the plant where he worked was full of Neo-Mafia recruiters, and that more than once he’d been pressured into joining.

The sad fact, they both agreed, was that violent organisations like the Neo-Mafia were not the answer. Extremism should never be fought with extremism.

Seventeen days after the election everything changed.


Siouxsie listened to the h-audio with rising disbelief. She called down to Summerhawk. She could hear him in the kitchen below, singing to himself as he prepared breakfast.

“Summerhawk! Have you seen the news this morning?”

It was a national holiday in Switzerland. Most of Summerhawk’s extended family had gone to the lake; the weather was good and the younger shoats and piglets enjoyed spending time outside.

Siouxsie hadn’t gone though. She’d taken the holiday as an excuse to have a lie-in. Normally she gets up at dawn, but today she’d slept till much later. She’d intended to spend the day working on grammar exercises for Summerhawk’s cousins.

For a second she didn’t think he’d heard, but then the singing stopped and he called back up:

“No! What’s up? Has anything happened?”

Siouxsie hesitated for a second, unsure of what to say.

“It’s starting. The end of the world.”

Summerhawk ran upstairs. Siouxsie switched the h-audio over to full immersion mode, and the two of them sat down on the sofa, watching everything fall apart.

Today the new UE Senate has passed their first resolution, and it’s sure to be a controversial one. In each of the major UE cities, special “ghettos” are to be established. Throughout United Europa the neopig populace will be required to relocate to their nearest ghetto. “This segregation is necessary for their own safety”, the new Secretary General said earlier this morning…

Siouxsie put her hand to her snout. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing.

This aggressive move has already been strongly condemned by the Left Alliance, and religious leaders from across the globe have spoken out…

A tear welled up in her eye as the holoscreen showed riots across United Europa and brazen violence against their kind.

…apparently unaware he was still on camera, the Secretary General was filmed subvocalising with the ER congress via innerlink. “Round them up”, he said. “Every last one. Round them up.”

Snort. Tweet. Snort. Follow.


  1. Gripping tale with serious undertones.
    Genetically modified animals capable of human-type relationships is not such an unlikely concept. I think we are still a long way off from making animals capable of such relationships including love. However I think this is more likely to happen in the near future than us making machines capable of human love. Yet this week’s New Scientist includes a Leader comment (Roses are red, robots are…?) about the implications of human-robot relationships in the not-too-distant future.


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