Psi-Judge Asaji follows a murderous perp into an alley, hoping to learn the meaning of a single word spoken by a drugged man. The word? Obsidian. Judges Stone and Parker must catch a cab.
Want to read this from the beginning? CLICK HERE!
Asaji stood at the mouth of the alley and peered into the darkness. It was daytime, but the artificially crafted clouds that had brought the earlier rain via Weather Control cast long shadows over the narrow alley.
The block buildings were each over a hundred and fifty stories. Yet they were so close together one could, if one were a daredevil, leap from one building to the other.
This had become a problem in this area during block wars. People would lay siege with cable lines and rope bridges as if the blocks were pirate ships passing in the ocean.
The only problem was said ocean was a hundred-foot drop if your boarding party’s line missed.
The Psi-Judge tuned out the vehicles on the street, the cits going on about the latest splatterball game.
She heard footsteps from further in the alley but couldn’t tell exactly where they were. Asaji had to go in blind. Her Lawgiver low in front of her, she warily entered the alley.
Asaji was a quarter of the way in when she heard movement to her left. Swinging her Lawgiver around, she found the source — an eldster covered by a ragged blanket.
“Hey!” the eldster said, his voice rough from probably too many hours in a Smokatorium. “I don’t come walking into your living room!”
“How’d you like an iso-cube as a home?” Asaji asked.
The eldster looked around. Throwing up his hands, the eldster said, “Better than this shit pile!”
Asaji heard something crash to the ground a distance behind her. Looking in that direction, she initially didn’t see anything. Then she looked up.
There was a line dangling from further up the side of Errol Flynn block. It was probably an old siege line that hadn’t gotten removed.
The woman with the multi-colored hair was climbing up the rope.
Forgetting the eldster for the moment, Asaji aimed her Lawgiver at the woman. “Get your ass down here now or prepare to be judged!” she said.
The woman replied with a bullet to Asaji’s helmet.
Judges Parker and Stone parked in front of a broken-down church. This section of the Big Meg hadn’t been repaired since the Mega-City war fourteen years ago.
Now this area of burned-out buildings and broken roads housed the homeless who couldn’t afford an apartment in the high rise blocks — or the criminals hoping to stay off the Judges’ radar.
Control’s drone had watched Worthless enter the building. It had acquired no further information about what was in the building.
“Got those floorplans handy?” Stone asked Parker.
He checked his tablet link to MAC but then shook his head. “City planners didn’t bother to record the area.”
Stone frowned. “As many perps run through here, we outta find out who made that call and bust them on a Code Ten.”
Parker stifled a laugh. “I’ll be sure to pass that on to Chief Judge Goodman.”
Stone glared at Parker. She then unholstered her Lawgiver. “I’ll sweep the perimeter. Stand watch.”
Parker drew his Lawgiver. “If you see something, say something.”
Referring to her Lawgiver, Stone said, “If I see something, you’ll hear something.”
Asaji felt a hand on her shoulder. She realized it was the homeless eldster waking her up.
“How long have I been down?” Asaji snapped.
“Couple of seconds,” the eldster said. Asaji saw him look back at the woman climbing the siege cable. “She’s not very nice. Said some mean things to me when she ran past here.”
Asaji searched around her, found her Lawgiver. Her helmet took the bulk of the damage from the woman’s bullet. The kinetic force stunned Asaji enough to knock her down.
The Psi-Judge wasn’t out.
The woman neared an open window that would let her into the block. Asaji aimed her Lawgiver at the woman. “Stun charge!” she told the gun, and then fired.
Asaji’s shot was on target; the Lawgiver’s bullet hit the woman and then released an electric shock.
The woman lost her grip on the line. It’d be a hard twenty stories down. To the Psi-Judge’s surprise, the woman managed to grab the line further down and halted her decent.
Asaji had to admit she was a little impressed. Less impressive was the woman’s pistol falling to the ground, getting lost in the dark.
The woman slid down the remaining few floors. Once on the ground, she moved to a position in the center of the alley. The light from a room a few stories up illuminated her.
“I thought you were gonna give me a pass,” the woman said.
Asaji aimed her Lawgiver aimed at the woman and said, “That was until you murdered that man outside your apartment.”
The woman laughed. “Maybe he just OD-ed.”
“I saw the hypospray you put in your coat pocket.”
That took the smile off the woman’s face. She threw up her hands in a mockery of surrender. “I guess you better arrest me.”
“Or I could just execute you for attempting to murder a Judge.”
This statement drove away any snark the woman had maintained. Asaji approached her but stood three meters away from her. She also held her Lawgiver’s barrel level with the woman’s head.
“I’m willing to put you down as a lifer in the cube if you answer a question for me.” The woman looked at Asaji expectantly. “What is Obsidian?” the Psi-Judge asked.
The woman’s face went pale.
Suddenly, she released an angry shout and charged Asaji.
The Judge lowered her weapon, so her shot hit the woman in the chest. The electric shock from the stun bullet stopped her in her tracks.
Asaji moved to pistol whip the woman. The woman moved first, sliding a knife from her sleeve and stabbing at Asaji.
The Psi-Judge stepped aside, the blade glancing off the armored eagle on her shoulder. The woman had set herself up for a strike from Asaji.
Asaji’s Lawgiver smashed the woman’s face.
The woman spun away from Asaji but maintained her footing. She turned back, thrust again with the knife, this time at Asaji’s helmet.
Asaji dodged the knife and then locked her arms around the woman’s attacking arm. The Psi-Judge brought the woman down to her knees, twisting the arm. The knife fell away.
“What the hell is Obsidian that you’re willing to die to hide it?”
The woman gritted her teeth — and then a gunshot. The woman spat blood.
Asaji dropped the woman and waved her Lawgiver toward the sound of the gunshot.
The homeless eldster stood there, smoking gun in hand. Upon seeing the Lawgiver aimed at him, he dropped the woman’s pistol.
“She was a bitch!” the eldster said.
Asaji gritted her teeth.
Asaji didn’t have any luck with her lead. Will Stone and Parker have any better luck? I won’t make you wait long! Come back tomorrow for the conclusion of Dredd Patrol!
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!