Mega City One, A Beginning
There is a comic book character that has lasted thirty years in an industry black spot. This character has faced the likes of Zombies, Aliens, Demonic powers, Mutant armies, terrorists, Immortal psychic world killers, Mafia gangs, Batman(!) and even the horrors of the Hollywood film industry (the only force that has made him falter, never defeated). Yet most people will never have heard of him. He appears every week in one form or another across two anthology magazines, one of which is named after him! He's been in computer games, there's been a film about him (several if you include those inspired by his actions). This anti-hero has never shown his face and he is the law.
It is, of course, Judge Dredd. Champion of Mega-City One and one of the two greatest icons of the British comic book industry. The other being Dan Dare, pilot of the future. These icons of Sci-fi should be on the same pedestal as Doctor Who, The Avengers and The Prisoner but because its comic book fantasy in the UK its hard to find any one who is "zarjaz" enough to understand what the heck I'm talking about. Even here, in the UK, you might know of it but finding it is another thing.
Same for fan fiction (at least on this site) 2000AD magazine has no category despite being the launching board for some of comics industries greatest names (look it up some time).
So what has this to do with T.V Crossovers and why the hell am I telling you this? Well that's a long story I think I should start it now, don't you?
Judge Dredd and all things here (this chapter) are copyright Rebellion A/S who own 200oAD these days. I'm just playing with the characters
Splundig Vur Thrigg fellow Earthlets.
Mega City One, A Beginning
Mega-City One. A vast sprawling city that sits on the east coast of America in the future. Wars have been fought for and in this city. To its east the Black Atlantic, filled with rad-mutated creatures and floating cities built out of wrecked sea ships, rusting in the corrosive waters. To the city's west is the Cursed Earth. A vast desert that was once the United States of America. Now its crawling with mutant bands, some gifted with miraculous powers but most only with hideous mutations.
The city itself, filled with almost 600 million people, is guarded and policed by the Street Judges. In the Mega-City they are the law and the government. After the last president of the Unites States unleashed the Third World War the Street Judges arrested the democratic government and took control.
Street Judges are not the judges of old. The old practice of courts and juries were easily corrupted and law enforcement had lost control of the newly formed Mega City something had to be done. The Street Judges were created, given the authority to judge crimes and pronounce sentence. The ideas of juries and lawyers were immediately disbanded in favour of incorruptible men doling out the law!
This system was not confined to the first Mega-City. Across the world vast cities grew and followed the example set by the the Street Judges. A parallel dimension also paralleled this development but took it one stage further.
By the 22nd Century the law had become emotionless and harsh. Alcohol, coffee, sugar even chocolate was declared illegal. In the parallel world their harsh laws discovered the perfect way to prevent crime. Something even the strictest Street Judge, Judge Joseph Dredd, saw as excessive if not down right criminal. As all crime was committed by the living, living was made a crime. The penalty was death.
Known now as Deadworld four Dark Judges judged their whole parallel Earth. Being creatures of the undead themselves, blessed with vast psychic and physical powers, they succeeded in sentencing all life. But that was not enough for them. Discovering Dimension Jump technology the Dark Judges jumped to Mega-City One and killed millions... Stopped, not once but a dozen times, all four were eventually imprisoned in Mega City One's vast Iso-cube facilities, This was thanks to the work of two of the best Judges. The Legend that was Judge Dredd and the Psychic Judge Cassandra Anderson.
But the leader of the Dark Judges, Judge Death, is not one to take defeat lightly and one of his back up plans has just reared its head...
In the Undercity, the wreckage of the great cities Mega-City One was built on top of, a hidden lab lit up. No one, not even the half human de-evolved creatures of the Undercity, would have dared set foot in there. The rats and bats fled from the sudden light. Inside a thin, emasculated hand dragged talon like fingernails across the one glass tombs. He had been the first to awaken, his Father's voice was not in his mind but there were instructions.
Awaken the others when they are ready. Use the device smuggled across dimensions. Unleash them all across time and space. Return with an army and free Father. Rotting fingers danced across the controls. 'Yessss.' it whispered to itself . 'Justice...'
Someone was here. Another mind! Hissing it's powers reached out and snared the intruding thought. 'Anderssssson!'
Sitting bolt up right Cassandra shook the cold sweat from her head. 'Why do I even bother sleeping? It's not like I ever get those fluffy bunny dreams.' Getting to her feet she spent almost a second determining if it was a nightmare or something more.
'Yo Dredd' she spoke into her comm panel. One of the advantages of being a Psi-Judge was she had her own room and computer access. This job needed some perks. Teasing "Old Stony" was just one of them.
The radio crackled to life, followed quickly with the sound of a gloved fist hitting a perp. 'What is it Anderson? I'm busy.' he growled. Another crash and it sounded like Dredd was playing "Beat the creep" at half three in the morning. Some things never changed, speaking of.
'Oh nothing important. Had a vision. Death's just got army of clones buried in the Undercity and they are waking up. Should have known El-Smily had more tricks up his sleeve than that Half Life virus.' She got into her uniform, lucky the body suit was designed to get into quickly and look great.
Dredd snarled. 'Four years creep.' before there was another thud. It sounded like 120 pounds of psychopath hitting the concrete. 'Well at least you caught it this time Anderson. How long?'
'Until they wake up and start whatever they are planning? About now-ish.'
It was about an hour later a dozen of the departments best Judges stormed the lab. It was Dredd's decision, a quick attack before too many clones got up with the back up. A couple Land-master rad-wagons with a pair of smart-boy nukes on board each. Enough to vape a couple of blocks but no more. Enough to do it four times over but hey this was Dredd. Why bother with a daystick when you can hit them with a truck was sort of his motto.
Inside someone had ripped half the cloning equipment out, probably trying to awaken as many Deaths as they could but there was only one left.
'Too late Dreddddd. I sensed Andersssson'ssss mind!' The clone hissed. It wasn't Death, more sort of a Dark Judge Cadet. His helmet was obviously stolen from a murdered Judge here, the visor smashed and breather mask ripped off. The badge had been broken and defaced...
'Oh no! the final piece fell into place, just where these guys had gotten their equipment from and just how Death had got these guys.
The monster cackled and in a smooth move drew his lawgiver. It spat a fireball at her but she had "seen" it coming. Ducking out of the way the bolt of flame took Judge Moore's head off.
'Incendiary rounds' She and Dredd shouted, Cassandra had thumbed her ammo select switch and guessed so had the other senior Judge. Firing at the same time they fought fire with fire.
As usual it took more than a few of the burning rounds to bring Death down but they couldn't risk High-Ex rounds. The flaming corpse laughed again and reached for a control.
'Standard Ish!' Cassandra shouted to her sidearm but she was too late and as the zombie-clone collapsed under its own weight the burning hand touched the detonator.
'Everyone out!' Dredd shouted and she got the hell out of dodge the instant before the whole damn building collapsed.
Dredd resisted the impulse to brush the dust off his shoulder eagle. Not out of any sense of cleanliness but he knew it would just give away how impatient he was. He and Anderson had just given the report, in person, to the Judge Council of Five. In theory they were the ruling council of Mega-City One, in fact it was more often than not the perp on the street that had mob rule. That was why he was out there and as a Street Judge he wouldn't have it any other way.
Hershey was one of the best once. These days she haunted this place, lost in the beast that was international paper pushing. Worse still, she was arranging black ops and assassinations behind his back. Dredd knew about it of course, he also knew that it was not the law. It was a grey area. The Law couldn't allow grey areas.
'Judge Dredd. You insist that these clone Deaths' are a threat...' the head of Tech-division lent forward
'Hey. I'm the one who told you that.' Anderson shouted up. 'And they're not clones, well not quite. They're our guys in there, Death's come up with a way to copy his sprit self and ram it down the necks of dead Judges. They're armed with some sort flame launching lawgivers and are out there building an army.'
'Yes Judge Anderson. You have explained that more than once.' Hershey finally said something. 'But by your and Dredd's own admission these copies are no match for the original. The two of you were able to easily dispatch the one you found. As you both know the Department is still stretched thinly across the refugee camps after the Total War bombings...' That was it, they were all still too busy licking wounds. Not for the first time they were too worried about the past to prepare for the future.
'We're out numbered today.' Dredd said, hoping some street sense was left in the Chief Judge. 'If these Deaths recruit a big enough army it won't matter how weak they are alone. If ten made it out and they make ten more, that's a hundred in a year. A thousand the next. Ten thousand again.' He had made his point but he continued. 'In three years we will be out numbered. Their first goal would be to release the other three Dark Judges and find their creator. After that we all know what happens next. Deadworld across all the dimensions."
'Wh... What do you suggest.'
'Stop them now. We might not have the equipment that was destroyed but we have our own Dimension Jump device. We can track them with it and stop them before the army of Death marches.'
The chief of Tech-Div played with his helmet mounted lens. 'It's feasible. Some of my Tech Judges tell me there was also a temporal component to the Dimension Jump. Death might have thought it would throw us off. The good news is we're better with time travel than D-Jumps. Alone we might not have been able to get far, together it's like sending up a flair.'
'How many judges do you think we can spare?' Hershey asked the head of street division. Another post Dredd had very little time to bother with.
'Two. Myself and Anderson.' he jumped in.
'I can't allow it, you're two of the most senior Judges. To lose one of you would be difficult. To lose both would be a disaster.'
'I won't let another Judge die in my place Hershey. We lost four good men today and like you said we're low on numbers.'
'He's got a point CJ.' Anderson smiled. 'I ain't going to let some cadet get splattered on the D-Jump highway in my place.'
'No I still disagree. We need you here Dredd. Anderson can go and try to save some of Psi-Div's reputation butt we'll need you here to defend the City.'
Suppressing a snarl Dredd knew exactly what she was getting at. The idea that Judge Dredd had died in another dimension would brake the will of half the Judges out there but he couldn't stand by. The Dark Judges were one of many stains on the law. He was going to clean it up if it was the last thing he did. 'Sorry to hear that Chief Judge. I guess I'm too old for the job. I need a holiday.' with that he spun on his heal and marched out of the meeting hall. ' I think an old man like me will need a nursemaid. Coming Anderson.' It wasn't a question.
The telepath snickered all the way to the armoury. Once there he caught her grinning. 'Nice trick!' Anderson half laughed.
Selecting one of the solid silver boot knifes Dredd growled 'What?'
'Oh you know' Anderson loaded up with a Lawrod shotgun and some spare rounds. 'Pretending you grew a sense of humour and leaving little miss Tight-Badge with her chains in a knot.' Loading up with spare Lawgiver clips Dredd decided not to respond. 'So when she lose your respect.'
'When her job became more important to her than the law.' Knowing that Anderson was probing his mind Dredd shot her the memory of one of the more contemptible assassinations.
'Wow. She has no idea you know about that.'
He closed down. Over the years Psi's had tried to get in his head, none could if he didn't want them to. 'The Law knows everything.' He admitted before they both left the room.
'How do we still underestimate you?' She asked honestly.
He didn't bother smiling.
Cassandra wasn't intimidated by him. She wasn't. Okay she was.
Very few Judges could say they were friends with Dredd, those that did understood him less than the perp on the street. Wait that wasn't true, those that knew him knew he had more sides than his whole "I am the Law" attitude. Figuring them out was one thing, learning which side was facing you at any one time? Impossible.
The pair of them made it down to the garage. Dredd's Lawmaster motorcycle was parked as usual. Lawrod ever present and more bullet damage than before. She could swear the holes were breeding more than the result of pot-shots taken.
Driving down to the sub-basement that housed the tech boys Dredd barked orders to the nerds down there to get everything hooked up. It turned out that their boss had already had the Deaths' tracked. 'Tech Division huh. Can't resist playing with their toys.'
'Same can be said about telepaths.' Why did he have to have a point all the time.
By the time they had gotten down there. Miss Tight-Badge was on the vid-link. 'Dredd. I'm giving you and Anderson permission to go. Get back here as soon as you've take one out. We'll give you the next on the list.' the Techies handed them a couple of lumpy boxes.
'Those devices will keep you linked to our Time/D-Jump engine.' the head nerd said. 'Attach them to your belts and activate them when you're ready to come home.'
'Why do I feel like I'm in a bad movie script?' Cassandra asked the box as she clipped it on.
'Because you waste your time watching them.'
'Wow, an actual zinger! Awe what's the matter? Some of my bad habits rubbing of on you Dreddy-kins?'
"Anderson!' The Chief Judge barked. 'If you are both so insistent on going I suggest you go now.'
'Call me that again and will regret it.' Dredd growled. Sure she had pushed it a little too far that time but that was good. She knew could have a good laugh about that later.
As the big old engine started up a thought came to her. 'Hey you know what would be good. Batman. We might run into him again, you got along so well last time.' Yep her sarcasm was going to kill her one day.
Dredd just growled.
End Mega-City One, A Beginning
Yes they will be meeting Batman again (oh YES!) but first I think Cassandra Anderson needs to meet someone even worse than herself.
And a certain Miss Buffy Summers needs to meet Judge Dredd.