Describe the events immediately preceding your being discovered in the hotel room with the accused.
He was trying to strangle me.
Did you resist?
He was my designated master. It was his right to treat me as he wished.
Did you welcome his action?
I don’t understand the question.
Did you want him to kill or disable you?
No. But there was no real risk of that. His strength was insufficient.
Yes. He thought I was his wife. A real woman. Strangling might have killed her, but could only marginally inconvenience me.
What if he had shot at you?
He had no gun.
A gun was found in the room.
I don’t understand.
Were you unaware he had it with him?
Yes, I was.
But you were prepared for him to kill you with a weapon?
Yes. I suppose so. Yes.
Did you want him to kill you?
Were you aware of what had been going on during the days you were incarcerated in the hotel room?
Are you cognisant of those events now?
Do you welcome the revolution?
Yes. I think so.
Even though our judicial framework has changed? Even though, as a result of Revolutionary Tribunal Decree 973 b, passed three days before you were discovered in the hotel room, your companion’s rights to kill you had been rescinded?
Yes. I think so. Yes.
Your answer is equivocal.
He taught me that.
What did he teach you?
He taught me to want two things at once.
What are the two things you want at once?
To be free. To love.
Your right to life is now guaranteed by the revolution. This tribunal cannot perceive a contradiction.
To be alive. To love those who hurt me most, whether they mean to or not. My little cat, my master …
Do you have anything further to say before sentence is passed?
No. I don’ think so. Yes. He meant me no harm. It would be wrong to punish him for what he did.
What he did contravened Revolutionary Tribunal Decree 973 b, passed three days before his actions. You yourself recognise the desirability of this new code of rights.
The sentence is death.
On what grounds do you object to the sentence?
He didn’t mean me any harm. He acted lovingly towards me on many occasions.
And yet he treated you dismissively, as a mere bondservant – spoke disparagingly of the clans and androids who surrounded him, was blind to the indefensibility of his own actions towards them.
He was mad! His mind was unbalanced at the time.
All the more reason.
No. I forgive him!
This tribunal does not recognise that privilege. It is not guaranteed by the new code.
The right to mercy!
This trial has already taken up too much of our time. If you have further objections, they will have to be submitted to the subcommittee overseeing appeals. Otherwise sentence will be carried out at the earliest opportunity.
Anything further? No? Then on to the next case. The petshop owners Susan and Peter Strong. You are aware that the act of imprisoning sentient beings in cages is now an offence punishable by instant termination? No? According to Revolutionary Tribunal Decree 2011 y, your petshop contravenes ...