Two guards dragged Roya to the witness stage. Their metal hands were cold and unforgiving against her human skin. The young judge sat behind a simple desk. Media bots hovered in a circle around both of them, projecting dimensional images of them to who knew how many homes.
This was the case of the decade.
Roya grinned mysteriously for effect. With any luck it put off her would-be sentencer. Enhanced memory and cognition systems or not, he was still vulnerable to uncertainty and fear.
“Roya Mender, you stand accused of psychic abuse in the murder of the revered Nathan Van. Do you call for any defense, robot, congitive, or otherwise?” the judge intoned with apparent disgust.
“No.” But she didn’t stop smiling.
“Do you have anything to say in your defense?”
The judge blinked. “Given the substantial evidence against you, and in light of your lack of testimony, I’m obligated to decide your guilt in this case.”
“Oh, I’m guilty. Van deserved to die. All of you do, for the sins you’ve committed against us.”
“I take it by ‘us’ you mean those with psychic powers.” It wasn’t a question. The judge merely went on to give a good show at this point.
“How are we freaks when you genetically deform yourselves to become perfect?” She said this directly to a media bot, glaring into its lens.
“This is irrelevant. You committed murder.”
“Did you ever stop to ask how?”
“You disappeared in front of the policebot only to reappear two blocks down. Teleportation was the automatic verdict.”
“And yet here I am.” She held up her shackled hands. “The shield around this place wouldn’t keep a teleport in or out even on a good day. I’m only here because I wanted the world to know that we aren’t the freaks. We’re the ones that let nature take its course while you altered it to suit you best. I didn’t want powers. They happened.”
“Are you done?” The judge crossed his arms and leaned back in his chair.
A female guard walked in, hat obscuring her face. She walked up to the judge with a piece of paper. Instead of handing it to him, she stabbed him in the neck. The media bots swirled around her. Roya’s two guards blasted at her with their railguns. They hit. There wasn’t a way to avoid botfire. Too accurate.
The body was Roya’s. The deadly silence of the room was accented by the photo bots’ shutters clicking constantly. The guard didn’t bleed. The body disappeared into nothingness.
Roya laughed. “You want freak? You got it. But you’re too dumb even with your cognitives to realize that this is a distraction.”
By now a force of psychics with greater powers than Roya’s would’ve taken over their compound of a city. This moon belonged to the psychics, and no one could say otherwise.
She waved to the bots and disappeared from the room, only to reappear where her copy stood inside her home. A man stood in her doorway. He was a precog, one of the most accurate Roya had ever seen. He told her exactly what to do and what to say at that hearing. It worked. She lived. No one would look for her now, with the psychics storming the capital building. The imager on her table showed men and women burning, freezing, and throwing around city defenders — human and bot alike — as if they were nothing but dolls.
“How long will we be in power?” She asked without looking at him.
“Two thousand years and thirteen days.” He walked up to her and handed her a disc. “We gave you a little extra for the dramatic flair.”
“I do what I can. Will there be any bad riots or wars?”
“Not under our regime, no. But they’re inevitable.”
“True.” She didn’t want to know any details, and decided to keep it brief. “I guess that’s it, then. Been a pleasure doing business with my own for once.” As the man turned to walk away, Roya asked, “Why me? Out of all the resources and powers available to you, why me?”
“You’re the only one with bilocation.”
She contemplated that with a small smile as her door shut behind him.