In this latest Judge Dredd minus Dredd fanfiction, Judges Stone, Parker and Asaji enter Karl Urban Park to investigate a possible assault by juveniles, a.k.a. juves.
Want to read this from the beginning? CLICK HERE!
Judge Stone led point while Judges Parker and Asaji followed her, flanking either side. Parker carried his tablet, checking it for the location of the disturbance.
“Incident’s over by the playground,” Parker said in his growl of a voice. “What’s left of it, anyway.”
The Judges had emerged in an open area of the park. The once green AstroTurf was scorched from Molotov cocktails and stained with bullet marks and blood.
Service droids sprayed cleaner on the stains, took new AstroTurf out of crates and reset them on the concrete floor. Fire control droids sprayed internal suppression foam to control fires on the upper floors.
Some cits were moving through the park to get to other areas of the building.
Other cits scrounged in the wreckage of burnt sofas and other furniture that gang bangers had thrown out of windows and used as fortification during the war.
Stone caught Asaji glancing at her. The Psi-Judge was daring her to not arrest every single one of these cits. Stone ground her teeth and continued with the other Judges across the open field.
The playground was the size of a small carnival. It had sets of jungle gyms, some slides, and swings. Most of the items were battered, broken, or graffitied during the block war.
Service droids with sprayers of non-toxic cleaning spray worked the area. A few others worked at repairs, using torches and buzz saw hands to reshape warped metal.
Some cits sat on a set of functioning swings. They appeared despondent and way above the age to be playing on the swings.
A mother stood by as her young child climbed on a fallen piece of monkey bars the droids had yet to address.
As the judges approached, the mother asked, “Here to finish off those Supremacy bastards?”
She referred to the gang that believed Karl Urban’s best movie was The Bourne Supremacy. Asaji approached the mother.
“Are there any more of them around?” Judge Asaji asked.
Stone and Parker kept their eyes peeled for the Code Two that had brought them here.
“You know how they are,” the mother said, her sad eyes on her child. “Always hiding out somewhere, blasting their vids. Sometimes ya can’t tell the fake gunshots from the real ones.”
“We have to move, Asaji,” Stone said.
Asaji looked over her shoulder and nodded to Stone. The Psi-Judge turned back to the mother. “We’re trained to tell the difference.”
The mother looked at Asaji, a hint of hope in her eyes. Asaji gave the woman a nod and then joined Stone and Parker as they continued further into the park.
“What was that?” Stone asked Asaji.
“MAC and all its surveillance are good to catch crime after it’s happened,” Asaji said. “Human intel can help us prevent a crime.” Looking at Stone, Asaji added, “Intel not born of intimidation, anyway.”
Stone huffed. “Intimidation stops crimes too.”
“Doesn’t win allies though. Not ones you can trust.”
“If they betray me, they go to the cubes. Crime stopped.”
“Unfortunately, we didn’t stop this one,” Parker cut in.
He stood opposite the two female Judges next to an overturned, circular set of monkey bars. Either the juve tried to crawl under the bars or someone failed to shove him there.
Parker took a closer look at the blood near the dead juve. “Fresh,” he said. “This happened well after we squashed the block war.”
“Think the mother may have seen something?” Asaji asked.
Stone had only seen it because of what looked like scratches from a pipe hitting the bars. It was also an area the droids nor the cits occupied.
She assumed that’s what Parker figured too.
Stone looked back at the mother, child, and other cits by the swings. They were several meters away.
“Too far away and not looking for it,” Stone said. “And if she was here when it happened, she’d say something to a sympathetic judge.”
Asaji tilted her head, a sign of both agreement and acknowledgment of Stone’s subtle jab.
Continuing his look at the dead juve, Parker said, “Head bashed; ribs broken.” Pointing to the marks on the monkey bars, he said, “Not all the blows hit the target.”
“He used the bars for protection, but it didn’t work,” Stone said. “Perps stuffed him under once they were finished with him.”
Asaji studied the body. Pointing toward his neck, she asked, “What’s that?”
Parker searched the body and came up with a pair of what looked to be old-school swimmer’s goggles. He held them up for the other judges to see. “Mean anything to you?”
“Actually, yes,” Asaji said to Stone’s surprise. “The lead character in the Chronicles of Riddick movie wore a pair of goggles just like those.”
Stone scowled. “All those old movies you watch at the sector house paying off?”
Asaji took the goggles from Parker. “I’m a big Karl Urban fan myself. Don’t let the gangs know, but he was better in Supremacy. Now if you’ll excuse me a moment…”’
The Psi-Judge closed her eyes. Stone figured she was prepping to use her psi powers on the goggles.
Asaji could see a few hours into the past. Stone never asked how far back she could go, though they usually only needed a couple of hours.
The lines around Asaji’s eyes tightened as she reached out with her power. If Stone had any sense of vanity, she’d be jealous the girl was only two years younger than Stone’s thirty-three and yet could pass for a decade younger.
A few moments later, Asaji’s eyes opened. She swooned for a moment as if waking from a dream.
“Got something?” Parker asked.
Asaji returned the goggles to the body. “Three teens with Bourne Supremacy t-shirts chased the vic to this location, beat him. They were gonna leave him alive, but the vic surprised them with a gun, shot one of the boys.”
“He waited until he was nearly done to pull the gun?” Stone asked.
“Probably afraid of getting in trouble after the lockdown,” Parker said.
“The Chronicles gang broke into the Cit-Def armory, so they had the guns. This one probably slipped through the cracks. His attackers looked for some payback.”
“The two teens who weren’t shot finished off the vic,” Asaji said. “The teen who got shot wasn’t dead when his buddies dragged him away from the scene.”
Pointing at an elevator, she said, “They went that way.”
Both Parker and Stone looked in that direction. They saw a trail of blood headed that way.
“I’ll call for a meat wagon,” Stone said.
All three judges headed toward the elevator. Parker pulled out his tablet and logged back into MAC. “Pulling up surveillance, see if we can track them now that we know what to look for.”
“Or,” Asaji said, “we can listen for the sound of fake gunshots.”
The Judges are on the trail of three murdering teens who love a Matt Damon movie! Will the mother’s tip help catch the creeps? Find out Thursday!
With a little help from EN Publishing’s Judge Dredd RPG!
In addition to the Rebellion comic books “2000 AD” and “Judge Dredd Megazine,” I used EN Publishing’s “Judge Dredd and the Worlds of 2000 AD” role-playing game to help put this together. Check them out!