A response to Nathaniel Lee's "Their Stock Is down, but They Simply Refuse to Lay down and Die" in Mirror Shards.
Meifeng walked down the street and avoided looking at the zombies that stuck out their hands for money. It had been a long time since she had gone out and she remembered why she didn't like walking the city streets. She could get everything she needed from her apartment or online and didn't need to deal with this detritus. A tall zombie towered over Meifeng and from his build she guessed that he might've been a failed basketball star. The zombie curled his hands into a fist, but Meifeng just walked around him before he finished closing the middle finger. She'd traveled another block before she heard a crash behind her and looked back to see the zombie with cracks emanating from the cement where his fist had hit. He must've been a new zombie to not yet realize how slow the limits on his processing power made his motor skills.
A young girl stood at the corner and unlike the zombies that stood around her with windblown ratty hair, hers was long and silky and recently combed. As Meifeng neared, the girl ran to stand in front of Meifeng who had to stop to avoid hitting her.
"Lady Meifeng," said the girl. Just what Meifeng needed, the girl had net access and probably already knew her net worth. "Can't you spare some pity for these less fortunate souls?"
Meifeng stepped to the side to go around the girl, but she shifted so that she still stood in front of Meifeng. "No."
"But, you have so many branches I get lost trying to count them. All I'm asking for is less processing than one of your smaller branches. Your charity would be appreciated."
Meifeng spewed her hot breath over the girl, but she still stood there with her hands on her hips. "You're wasting my time and if you're not careful you'll become one of them. Take some advice, do something with your life before it's too late."
The girl spat on the sidewalk but she slipped back to stand against the wall. Meifeng walked and swore silently at the government's subpoena that required her to show up at the courthouse in person.
She entered the courtroom as ordered and was surprised to find the room empty except for one man. He wore a black gown and walked forward when she entered to shake her hand.
"I'm sorry, Miss Lui. The court has ruled to strip your processing power from you."
"This body you inhabit here will be the only body you can continue to maintain and we are dropping your processing power to the bare minimum necessary to survive."
"Why?" Meifeng's thoughts raced. Who'd doublecrossed her?