EXTREME CONTENT AHEAD, DEALING WITH ABORTION. SKIP IF NEED BE!
Not furry related, but inspired by Bête by Adam Roberts, presently nominated for a Cóyotl award.
I didn’t care very much for the prose in Bête, but I thought the concept of a PETA-esque group AI-chipping animals into intelligence was pleasantly plausible-sounding, doubly so when the animals often served as mouthpieces for the animal rights agenda.
But it occured to me that I think Adam Roberts actually saw another story in the idea, and chickened right the fuck out of it. I think this because it happened to me, and so I’m going to file this one in The Recycling Bin and leave it to braver writers than I:
PETA AI-chipping animals to grant them intelligence and advocacy isn’t the big story in the idea.
Pro-life groups is.
The day the foetus hung itself, Doctor Sangford washed like he’d been raped.
The endoscopy video had been seen by two technicians. Lucy, Andrew. Administration had clamped down hard at the first whiff of the news. They’d be politely invited to a board room off-site where a very polite man in a lawyer’s suit would sit down and explain, in calm, measured tones, that for something this size he was authorized to wield both a very big carrot and a very big stick. And politely, he would explain to Lucy and Andrew the precise size, colour, and aromatic deliciousness of the carrot. Doing so would impress upon them both the unspoken size, heft, and career-shattering hardness of the stick.
Doctor Sangford had already met the man in the lawyer’s suit. Neither of them let the pretense fall. Doctor Sangford solemnly pretended the man in the suit was a lawyer, and the man in the suit solemnly pretended that Doctor Sangford was still a doctor. The cheque had been in a pristine, law-firm stationary envelope. The legal document detailing the stick had been in pristine, law-firm language. He signed without reading much of it. Took the cheque. Shook hands. The man in the suit pretended not to notice the rest of Doctor Sangford shaking.
It was just prudence, he knew. Nothing personal. But it was still unnecessary. Talk about what he’d seen through the endoscope? With the press? With anyone?
A foetus with its cord deliberately wrapped around its neck. Infant fingernails, fine and sharp as scalpels, had cut the message into its own chest: