LOGAN: NO NEED TO SHOUT. I WAS JUST NEXT DOOR.
DREDD: HERE’S A LIST.
Annie: write names on list (ditto in next pic):
3. Logan reads the list.
DREDD: CHECK STATUS AND AVAILABILITY, ALL CURSED EARTH IMMUNISATIONS UP TO DATE, RATIONS FOR THIRTY DAYS. READY TO LEAVE AT 0600.
DREDD (O/P): I NEED EIGHT. COULD ONLY THINK OF SIX. BIT OUT OF TOUCH.
LOGAN: ENNERBY’S NO GO - CAUGHT A LOAD ON THAT SPEXER FIASCO.
LINK: OZMAN IS GOOD, HE’S AVAILABLE. YOU COULD TRY CURZON, JUST GRADUATED BUT HE’S SHARP. AND THERE’S ME.
5. The two of them. Dredd, loading his gun from bullet boxes on desk, looks up.
LOGAN: I KNOW THE HIP PLAYS ME UP, BUT IT’S JUST PAIN, THAT’S ALL. I ALWAYS GET OVERLOOKED FOR THE PLUMS.
LINK: ALL RIGHT, LOGAN, BUT YOU BREAK DOWN YOU GO HOME ON YOUR OWN. YOU MAY FIND THIS IS NO PLUM.
6. Logan returns to the list, then looks up.
LOGAN: COHN AND VENABLES ARE MED STAFF. YOU EXPECTING CASUALTIES THEN?
DREDD: ALWAYS EXPECT. THAT WAY YOU WON’T BE DISAPPPOINTED.
1. BIG. The team is assembled in front of their bikes in a big chamber within the wall: LOGAN – carrying clipboard and organising things – RENGA (we’ve used him before, on the Hunting Party and maybe later, refs required) – COHN (50ish, not robust, male, medic) – OZMAN (30, male, tough) – SANCHEZ (female, used in the Dredd/Alien story and later, refs reqd) – WATERS (female, 40ish, she’s seen it all) – CURZON (male, early 20s, keen) – VENABLES (30ish male medic). The all have helmets off and tucked under an arm, the better for recognition.
Dredd addresses them, standing by a small truck. It’s a camouflage-painted hover vehicle, big enough to carry a covered load but not imposing, with no armament.
CAPTION: 0530, WEST GATE NINE –
DREDD: WE HAVE
RECEIVED FROM PERSONS UNKNOWN A RANSOM DEMAND FOR THE RETURN
OF THE BODY OF JUDGE EUSTACE FARGO.
RENGA: IT’S MISSING?
SANCHEZ: HIS TOMB’S IN THE HALL OF JUSTICE. I PASSED IT ONLY YESTERDAY.
OZMAN: HOW COULD ANYONE GET TO IT THERE?
3. Dredd, headshot.
DREDD: THEY DIDN’T HAVE TO. I HAVE SOME INFORMATION FOR YOU, AND THIS GOES NO FURTHER THAN THIS ROOM --
LINK: JUDGE FARGO HAS NEVER BEEN IN THAT TOMB.
LOGAN: YOU’RE KIDDING. BUT WE WERE ALWAYS TOLD --
LINK: FARGO’S BODY WAS…SHALL WE SAY, MISAPPROPRIATED. UNTIL NOW WE HAD THOUGHT IT LOST FOREVER.
LINK: IT SEEMS NOT.
1. Dredd hauls open the side of the truck, to reveal the cargo – it’s crammed with stacked banknotes, an impossible fortune.
DREDD: ONE BILLION CREDITS.
VENABLES: THAT’S SERIOUS MONEY…
DREDD: THAT WAS THE DEMAND. ALL USED, ALL IMPOSSIBLE TO TRACE.
2. All stare, some eyes pop.
OZMAN: YOU DON’T THINK IT OUGHT TO BE IN SOMETHING MORE SECURE? A FEW HEAVY LASERS AT LEAST?
DREDD: THAT WAS ALSO PART OF THE TERMS – AND JUST ENOUGH OF US TO DEFEND IT FROM RANDOM ATTACK.
LINK: WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN A ROUTE. WE WILL RECEIVE FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS ALONG THE WAY. WHOEVER THEY ARE, THEY’RE TAKING NO CHANCES.
3. Focus on the team. Waters and Logan are addressing Dredd, but we don’t need to see Dredd.
WATERS: PARDON ME SAYING IT, BUT IT’S A LOT OF DANGER AND EXPENSE TO GO TO OVER A DEAD MAN.
CURZON: C’MON, WATERS, FARGO’S THE FATHER OF JUSTICE – YOU CAN’T LEAVE HIS BODY IN CRIMINAL HANDS.
LOGAN: HOW DO WE KNOW THEY’VE GOT THE BODY ANYWAY?
4. Close in on Dredd, headshot bleeding into a flashback.
DREDD: WE HAVE…A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF PHYSICAL EVIDENCE.5. FLASHBACK. The Hall of Justice, day. A rough juve of about 12 is walking up the steps, through judges coming and going, holding a small box in his hands about 6 inches by 4 inches.
6. The juve, close on him as an aisle opens between milling judges and ahead is the front desk.
1. He’s at the front desk, laying the box down on it. The desk judge looks at the box and gets alarmed.
JUVE: SOME ‘DULT GIMME FIFTY CREDS TO GIVE YA THIS.
DESK J: WHAT - ?
LINK: DOWN! EVERYBODY DOWN!
3. Judges start to recover, rise warily, all watching the box. One pulls the juve back away from it. The desk judge peers up over his desk, using his communicator.
JUDGE: HASN’T GONE OFF - !
LINK: GET BACK, KID!
DESK J: FRONT DESK! WE HAVE A SUSPECTED EXPLOSIVE DEVICE!
4. The CHIEF JUDGE’S office. She has given Dredd a note to read, fold lines on the note from being in the box.
CJ: THE INNER CONTAINER WAS REFRIGERATED. IT HELD A SECTION OF HUMAN TISSUE. ITS DNA WAS IDENTICAL TO YOURS.
LINK: THIS CAME WITH IT.
5. THE NOTE, in Dredd’s hand. Anything below the last words is obscured.
Annie, pleas add: FARGO.
PRICE FOR REMAINDER ONE BILLION CREDITS USED CURRENCY ONLY.
FUNDS LEAVE MEGA-CITY ONE TOMORROW A.M., ROUTE SPECIFIED BELOW. FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS WILL BE GIVEN EN ROUTE.
SMALL ESCORT ONLY, NO HEAVY ARMAMENT. NO TRICKS.
CJ(OFF): YOU DON’T SEEM SURPRISED.
DREDD(OFF): LET’S SAY I HAD A SUSPICION FARGO MIGHT BE INVOLVED.
6. Widen, the note is in Dredd’s hand. Chief Judge is holding the smaller box, not much bigger than a snuff box.
DREDD: SO GANT PASSED THE BOX TO THE JUVE FOR DELIVERY. * AND YOU THINK IT’S MY CLONE-FATHER?
CJ: IT’S HIGHLY PROBABLE.
CAP BELOW: *THARGNOTE: SEE PROG 1504.
1. She does.
CJ: THE AGE AND LEVELS OF ABSORBED CONTAMINANTS INDICATE A MAN WHO LIVED THROUGH MOST OF LAST CENTURY – AND THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO FAKE.
LINK: AND THERE’S ONE OTHER THING YOU SHOULD KNOW…
2. Headshot, CJ, bleeding into big end pic.
CJ: THE TISSUE WAS FRESH, DREDD, TAKEN FROM A LIVING ORGANISM.
3. The gates open, Dredd and his team ride out toward us into the misty morning, escorting the truck.
LINK FROM PREVIOUS PANEL: JUDGE FARGO – IF INDEED IT IS FARGO – MAY STILL BE ALIVE!
DTP: NEXT PROG: THE TORTURED LAND!
Thanks to John Wagner, Matt Smith and WR Logan giving us the the opportunity to publish this.