Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer
I’m wondering about that human. It seems to be contemplating something. Probably violence. It’s the only reason why we allowed them membership, after all. Come to think of it, what is it doing sat in a cafe on the Aslencade anyway? I though civil zones were off limits to combat aspected beings.
At least that’s easily remedied. I tap my callcuff, and indicate a suspected zone violation.
Moments later, a Constable descends to attend at my side. My response to its polite query is delayed by the human giving me a little grin. There’s no mistake. It knows why the constable is here! How? They’re not telepathic except by genetic happenstance, and none of those are let out of Earth Empire space.
“To repeat: please indicate the suspected offender, Exalted.”
I use the cuff to direct it. No need to make things obvious.
“Thank you for reporting your suspicion, but the indicated being is an enfleshed Constable.”
Before I can work out who to route a pointed query to, the human rises and crosses to attend me.
“To answer your inevitable question, we found on Earth that criminals and police often share identifiable traits. Being ignored out here – where we are always assumed to be inferior brutes on the verge of criminality – turns our key talent into an advantage: the ability to spot a crook by the way they behave is something you lost when you switched to automated enforcement. While it is remarkably effective at intervention, it is noted that prevention is greatly reduced. In practice, if criminality is covert, and beings do not become suspicious enough to report it, your Constables are ineffective.”
The hovering Constable flashes a trio of green confirmation panels in agreement.
“Are you intimating that you can spot potential criminals by the way they behave, Constable?”
“Nothing potential about it. I know a crook when I see one, and you have a lot of crooks about. The only problem is in determining which are guilty of crimes of relevance, to use your terminology. To do that, I have to watch the suspect while colleagues investigate their data. Today, you have witnessed me doing that.”
Just a minim.
“Do you suspect me of criminality, Constable?”
An upward curve of their mouthparts indicates amusement, I believe.
“That would be something I cannot divulge, and for you to know the truth of anyway, would it not?”
How very irritating. Now I’m contemplating violence.