Read Part One of Gerald Rennett’s new dystopia, ‘The New Euro Peon’ here: http://tinyurl.com/theneweuropeon
50% of all royalties from both ‘The New Euro Peon’ and ‘Hanging Day’ will be contributed to the OUT Campaign!
The hydrofoil wallowed gently in the low swell. Lying directly across it’s bow was the sleek grey shape of an EDF Coastguard cutter, but that wasn’t what transfixed Billy’s father and the other passengers. Caught in spotlights from the cutter and a Coastguard helicopter hovering overhead was a fishing vessel, flying a Norwegian flag. The letters depicting the vessel’s name however, weren’t Norwegian.
“Ysbryd Annibyniaeth,” Billy read out loud. “What language is that, Dad?”
Before his father could answer another passenger chipped in. “Welsh,” he said. “It means ‘Spirit of Freedom’. That’s a Welsh boat sailing under a Norwegian flag. This will be interesting.”
Billy noticed for the first time that the decks of the fishing vessel were thronged with people. He remembered the pictures from his history classes of when the boatloads of new European Citizens had started arriving from the war-torn Middle-East. This looked exactly the same.
“They’ll be citizens fleeing to Free Norway,” the passenger, a big man in a purple hoodie and beanie hat said. Billy noticed that his father flinched at that and the other passengers edged slightly away from him.
There was a sudden broiling of water at the stern of the fishing vessel and it heeled over and started to head towards the Norwegian coast. “They’re mad,” Billy’s father said. “They can’t outrun a Coastguard cutter!”
There was a loud whump as the auto-cannon on the fo’csle of the Cutter opened up, the warning shot falling harmlessly in front of the Welsh boat and sending a plume of water up into the sky. “That’s it then,” said Billy’s father. “They’ll have to heave-to now and surrender to the Coastguard. I’m glad I’m not in their shoes.”
“Maybe not,” said the other passenger. “Look!”
Billy gasped involuntarily as a massive black shape broke the waves between the cutter and the fishing boat. The conning tower of a huge submarine was thrusting its way through the water and even as he watched, the top of the hull broke the surface, men boiling out of hatches to man guns mounted both fore and aft the conning tower as well as on the top of it. All the guns were swung around to point directly at the Coastguard cutter whilst a bank of what could only be air-defence missiles swiveled around to sight on the still hovering helicopter. Emblazoned on the side of the tower itself were the dark blue, red and white colours of the Norwegian flag.
It’s 2032. Sixteen years have passed since the historical Remain Vote in the EU Referendum and Great Britain is now part of the European Union’s West Region.
With a population rapidly approaching a quarter of a billion, vast housing conurbations cover huge areas of what was once Britain’s ‘Green and Pleasant Land’. From the South East Conurbation covering what were once Kent, East & West Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and Greater London to the East Coast Corridor Conurbation stretching from Fraserburgh on the north-east coast of Scotland down to Aberdeen, millions of EU Citizens live in sprawling estates linked by a vast tram and train network.
The EU now stretches from the furthermost northern point of what was once Finland down to the southern coast of the country formerly known as Turkey and includes former eastern European countries such as Belarus and Ukraine. Only Free Norway, tiny Iceland, the rebellious Welsh in their ‘breakaway state’ behind New Offa’s Dyke and Switzerland remain outside of an empire which is chiefly concerned with its never-ending cold war with the Sino-Soviet Bloc and the American Hegemony.
When new Citizen, Billy Curry, travels with his father to the Re-education Centre on bleak Papa Stour to collect his uncle, one-time Brexit activist and political leader, who has just served a ten-year re-education term, the events that follow will change his life forever.