Judges Stone and Parker confront the Badgers to find their lead, a guy named Worthless. Psi-Judge Asaji is on hand when the mystery woman from Room 150233 makes her move!
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The crowd of blue-collar workers at Fast Eddie’s Hall of Shuggy gave Judge Stone plenty of space as she marched to the back of the Hall.
Four Diamond Honey Badger juves played a game of shuggy. They were down to the last two of nine balls when Stone reached their table.
“You punks seen a guy named Worthless?” Stone asked.
“You just missed him,” the Badger about to take the next shot said without looking at Stone. He had long black hair with two streaks of white, the traditional cut for the badgers.
“He say where he was headed?” Stone asked.
The Badger took his shot. Stone slammed her hand down on the table, wobbling it just enough to make the ball swerve and bounce against the rail just next to the pocket. The Badger shooter threw his stick on the table.
“What the hell was that?” he asked.
Stone approached the shooter. “Maybe you didn’t hear me, punk,” Stone said. “I asked you where Worthless went.”
The once belligerent Badger swallowed hard. He pointed toward a back door.
“Smart move, punk,” Stone said. “Now, what’s he look like?”
Judge Parker had just attached the complainer from Fast Eddie’s to an iso-cube holding post when Judge Stone’s voice burst over his helmet comm.
“Worthless just left the hall,” Stone said. “He’s in orange factory worker overalls. Shouldn’t be hard to spot. Just went out the Hall’s back door.”
Parker acknowledged the information and moved through the crowd to find Worthless. He spotted the creep flagging down a hover taxi.
“Stone! Worthless is getting a cab, license three ‘S’ nine six! I’m pulling the Lawmasters around for pursuit!”
Parker pulled out his tablet and entered several commands, triggering the auto-drive functions for both his and Stone’s Lawmaster motorcycles.
As he waited for the cycles to arrive, he watched Worthless enter the cab. As the Lawmasters turned the corner toward Parker, the taxicab moved down the street toward the meg-way on-ramp.
Parker mounted his Lawmaster. Stone arrived and got on hers. Both Judges raced off after the taxicab.
The sound of the drugged man’s scream woke Psi-Judge Asaji from her meditation. She heard him yell several odd phrases about fascism and identity before suddenly falling silent.
Asaji peeked around the corner. The mystery woman from room one five zero two three three stood over the handcuffed man. He was now slack in the cuffs.
The woman wore a halter top and mini skirt, covered by a long white coat with a brown fur collar. She slid a hypospray into her coat pocket.
“Judge Asaji,” a man’s voice said over her helmet comm. He had a faint accent the Brit-Cit Psi-Judge recognized as French. “This is Judge Reno here with a cleanup squad for your juve perps.”
“Floor one five zero,” Asaji said. “You may see a little thing in a white coat on the way. Let her slide. I’ll be right behind her. But do me a solid and let me know which way she goes.”
“Affirmative,” Judge Reno said.
The woman in the coat checked behind her. Asaji ducked back around the corner. A few seconds later, Asaji looked again. The woman turned down the hall toward the elevators.
Asaji stopped at the handcuffed man. His eyes were bulging; mucus dripped from the corner of his mouth. The signs were obvious, but Asaji still checked for a pulse.
The man was dead, probably a victim of whatever was in the hypospray.
Stone would never let her hear the end of this one. It made finding out everything she could about Obsidian that much more dire.
Judges Stone and Parker drove a few vehicles behind Worthless’ taxicab. If he knew the Judges were behind him, he made no moves to elude them.
The two hovercars of Diamond Honey Badgers moving three cars behind the Judges weren’t trying to remain hidden.
“You think they’re that dumb?” Parker asked Stone over his comm.
“Stay on Worthless,” Stone said to Parker. “I’ll see what these creeps want.”
Parker continued forward, weaving through traffic in pursuit of the taxicab. Stone slowed her Lawmaster, letting one of the juve gang’s cars pull up close enough for her to shout at them.
“You creeps on a joyride?” Stone asked.
Looking into the four-doored hovercar, Stone spotted the Badger whose shot she had messed up sitting in the back seat. Two of his buddies sat in the front. She couldn’t see the hands of the one riding shotgun next to her.
The shooter Badger spoke. “We respect Fast Eddie’s space! But we ain’t in there now, bitch!”
“Pull something on a Judge you’re looking at life in the cubes,” Stone said. Her fingers slowly tightened on the brake on the Lawmaster’s handlebar.
The Badger riding shotgun raised his hands, revealing an old assault rifle. “Diamond Honey Badgers don’t give a shit! We do what we want!”
Stone slammed her Lawmaster’s brakes. The Badgers’ car kept moving. The punk with the assault rifle couldn’t turn fast enough to readjust his aim. Bullets cut into a vehicle in the lane next to them.
The bullet-riddled car’s driver lost control, slamming into the two-foot concrete that made up the meg-way’s guardrail.
Luckily its slower speed stopped it from going through the concrete and taking the thirty-meter plunge down to the next meg-way.
Stone didn’t bother tallying the years in the iso-cubes for these punks. As far as she was concerned, shooting at a Judge was an executable offense.
Get ready for a chase on the Meg-way as Stone and Parker deal with the Diamond Honey Badgers! Meanwhile, can Asaji make her case turn into something worth a man’s life? Find out next week Tuesday!
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!