Family Duty

So it has been a long time since I posted here and I wanted to kick it off with a short story, I am a huge DREDD fan and wanted to do a bit of fan fiction but not actually using DREDD so a couple of friends of mine who costume as Judge kindly gave me permission to use their name and this is what I did ….family-duty

Removing the black and red lid from the wire locker McGovern wiped off some of the grime from the street, placed the helmet on his head and secured his weapon into its holster. He felt fresh from his mandatory ten minutes in the machine. Reaching up to the door his gloved hand rested on the old printed image of pre-war New York City Cop. He allowed himself a slight upturn of the corner of his mouth as he thought about the man pictured.

His family had been officers of the law for many years; starting with his multiple times grandfather Iain McGovern, who worked out of the 30th precinct in old New York in the mid 1970’s. Today for some reason McGovern felt a need to tuck the picture between his leathers and vest as he closed the locker door.

Judge McGovern

Judge McGovern

The engine of the Lawmaster felt as he revved the bike waiting for the garage doors to open and let in the light of the early morning sun. The Weather Congress had set the stations to give the slight chill of a spring morning and he could see his fellow Judges warm breath rise into the air as they pulled away for another shift on the streets. Today he would ride with Ramsey, a bear of a man standing at over 198cm and carrying the muscle to match, Ramsey was a good officer to have at your side, his size often quelling trouble before it started.

Only moments out of the sector house garage the speaker in his helmet announced the multiple laws being broken in this small area of what was once the city of New York. As much as he would allow himself he took pride in the fact he had been assigned to sector house thirty. It was built over the ruins of the old four story brownstone building on Amsterdam Avenue; the location of the 30th Precinct Station House.

The speakers in his lid came to life with the voice of a stern woman from the sector house control room.

“Control to McGovern and Ramsey, we have reports of multiple shots fired in the main Mall of the Michael Carroll Block, please attend!”

Pulling back on the accelerator and giving a quick salute to Ramsey, McGovern replied to control,

“On our way control, do you have any additional information?”

“The eye in the sky shows two IC-1 and one IC-4 males, all three are registering heat signals that show they recently fired weapons, consider them armed and dangerous.”

Within minutes both of the Judges pulled off the Sked-way onto the Zipstrip and stopped outside the main doors of Michael Carroll Block. The weather worn material of their black leather suits creaked as they almost in unison swung their legs over the cooling body of the huge bikes. McGovern raised his arm and checked the readout on his gauntlet screen; control had managed to find records for the three perps that had been caught on the ‘eye in the sky’.

The read out listed three names: Delroy Naif, Charlie Payne, and Mic Corvis. Reading through the information, McGovern could see all three had multiple convictions for dunking, petty theft and ABH.

Delroy had opted to serve time in the Space Corps on a deep space mission instead of time in the cubes, so McGovern knew he would be the leader and the one to watch out for.

Turning his head and releasing a small amount of tension as it clicked, McGovern removed his Lawgiver from his holster and the readout went though its recognition sequence as it read his DNA. At the same time he heard Ramsey’s weapon finish

Judge Ramsey

Judge Ramsey

the same process. As he stepped forward, McGovern felt a strange chill move its way down his spine and his empty hand involuntarily went up to his badge pressed between the vest and his leathers. Under it was the old photo of the first McGovern to wear a uniform in this city.

With one more look at each other McGovern and Ramsey raised their weapons and approached the door-way. The only sound that broke the silence was their footfalls on the plas-crete as they passed from the ped-way through the opening into the cavernous Mall.

They assumed the often practiced positions, cleared the door way and entered the building. Cautiously they approached the prone figure of an older man that laid in a growing pool of blood about ten metres inside the building. From one of the hallways that lead out of this main square McGovern could hear the lone cry of a young child and the comforting shush of a mother trying to console it. He once more felt that unfamiliar chill as it travelled his spine. Something wasn’t right here. According to the readout on his gauntlet there was no connection between the three perps he and Ramsey were after, and the now dead man that lay in a pool of blood at his feet.

The man had been identified as David Vango, an O.A.C, grandfather of eight who had lived for fifty two of his seventy five years in the same hab in Michael Carroll Block working in the same job as librarian in the block library. With the exception of being part of the democracy demonstrations in 2113 there was absolutely nothing on record for him. Taking to one knee and removing his lid with a moment of quiet contemplation McGovern looked into the old man’s still open eyes and tried to imagine the joys the man had seen as first his children and them his grandchildren had grown.

McGovern was the last in his line, his father had been a doctor and his uncle a Judge, an only child he had no siblings or cousins to carry on the legacy of law that had started way back in the 1970’s.

Ramsey placed his shovel like hand on McGovern’s shoulder eagle and nodded in the direction of one of the hallways.

“Michael, I heard something down the hall, are you OK brother? You look …” the big man paused, “…. worried!”

Placing his lid back on feeling relieved that Ramsey could no longer see his face McGovern replied as he moved his gloved hands over the dead man’s face to close his eyes,

“I’m good, let’s get after the punks. This man deserved better.”

The old man had managed to live through some of this city’s worst disasters, to be gunned down by scum as he walked to work, and now he was just headed to Resyk.

The hallway was dark but the visor in his lid enabled McGovern to see on the infrared spectrum. Along one wall he could see the ghost of recent handprints where one of the perps must have edged their way along the darkened hall. With Ramsey bringing up the rear McGovern brought his lawgiver up to eye level whispered “Heat Seeker” and continued into the darkness.

The sound of footfalls ahead echoed down the hall, McGovern and Ramsey increased their speed to catch up with whoever was making the sound. The two lawmen travelled at a pace that you wouldn’t believe possible for men of their size dressed in leather and body armour, but their fifteen years each at the academy and the thirty five years between them on the streets made them as fit as a man can possibly be. A noise ahead slowed their pace as they approached a corner in the hall. Placing his back into a doorway, filling the whole space Ramsey signalled to McGovern that he had the corner covered and it was safe to continue.

Taking a low stance the Judge stepped forward and turned the corner. At the end of this shorter hallway he could see the figure of a short man dressed in urban camouflage pants and a dulled yellow and red hooded coat that had seen better years. He also held a large silver handgun with a double up-and-over barrel pointed directly down the hallway. A seasoned Judge McGovern kept his Lawgiver levelled and spoke to the perp,

“Citizen, I am in a good mood today so I want to give you the opportunity to lay down your weapon and come quietly; this is your only warning”,

The chill once more travelled down his spine as he heard the beginnings of the trigger moving and the perp tightened his grip and shouted,

“Slug off!! Jay-boy!”

In that split second McGovern’s years of training kick in. He recognised the face of Charlie Payne before his own round found its way between the punks’ eyes and out of the back of Chalie’s head, then wall behind. The yellow and red hooded coat he wore was now drenched in his blood and his body collapsed into a crumpled mass on the floor where he had previously stood. McGovern didn’t give a second thought as he signalled Ramsey and they both stepped over the cooling corpse.

“Control,” McGovern spoke into his lid mic, “Send a clean-up crew to Michel Carroll Block we have one Charlie Payne, judged and ready for Resyk, over.”

“Copy that Judge McGovern.”

At the end of the hallway McGovern and Ramsey saw the doors of the elevator closing. Both shouted ‘ricochet’ as they fired into the small gap between them, the sound of the rounds hitting first the metal of the elevator interior, then glass, and then the soft flesh of whoever was inside echoed down the hallway as they approached.

Once the two rounds had come to a standstill they pulled the doors open and looked inside. On the floor of the lift lay one body. The kneepads that had kept the perps knees from scraping as he ran were now the only part of his clothes that was in one piece. The rest was now torn and soaked red from the blood that seeped from what the med-team would later discover to be seventy two holes in the pulverized flesh of Mic Corvis.

The silence of the hallway was broken by the sudden sounds of ‘Simmons and the Deadites’ singing ‘I ain’t no Kook-cube Futsie’ being played over the block intercom. ‘Simmons and the Deadites’ were the newest top 100 band to perform on the radio waves and in the Skankeries in the style the most hated of genres in the big meg, Slug-Rock. McGovern and Ramsey knew right away where their final perp must be, in the block control room.

Stepping into the elevator McGovern checked the block schematics to see the control room was on the 42nd floor, Ramsey stepped in behind him and they directed the elevator to make it’s slow way up to the 41st. Standing in silence as they ascended the blood of Corvis pooled around the soles of their boots and its familiar metallic smell found its way into their noses. McGovern thought of all the times he had smelled that stink of death, a few times from his own body. Too many times!

The droning of ‘Simmons and the Deadites’ continued to blare out of the speakers set into the roof of the elevator as it creaked it’s way to the destination, as the digital read out ticked over from 37 to 38 both lawmen drew their lawgivers once more.

39 …

40 …

Ping!

The doors began to open and there was a sudden hum and a bright red light. Both McGovern and Ramsey jumped from the elevator into a roll each turning as they did; to end up on a single knee with their lawgivers pointed in the direction of the sound and light.

With the visor of his lid automatically darkening McGovern could now see the figure of a tall man standing there holding an industrial laser cutter. The red light that emanated from the blade glowed to show the strong bearded jaw of Delroy Naif, his long dark hair rested where his collar would be if he wore a shirt. Sweat shone on his chest as it rose and fell with each breath, but what concerned the two guardians of justice was the look in the man’s eyes. They were glazed as if he was on some sort of high, the right one twitching in time to the booming bass of the still playing slug-rock.

“I’ve been waiting for you jay-boys” Naif’s deep voice added to his already impressive presence.

McGovern thought how much his academy voice coach would have been delighted if half of the young cadets who passed through his class could demand such attention from their voice. In a different set of circumstances Naif may have made a perfect Judge.

From the corner of his eye McGovern saw Ramsey stand to his full height and in his own baritone voice he said,

“Citizen Naif drop the cutter, you are under arrest don’t make this any worse than it needs to be”

With a speed McGovern had only seen when Dredd has visited during his time at the academy, Naif threw a laz-knife that cut deep into Ramsey’s thigh and stayed there. With an uncontrolled spasm he fell to one knee the knife cutting as it worked its way downward through the muscle and leather towards his knee. With a swift movement he grabbed the hilt and pulled it free the aroma of burnt flesh filled the small reception area in front of the elevator.

Naif turned and ran down the corridor and through an open hab door. McGovern was just as fast to get to his feet and run after the giant of a man, pausing briefly outside the open door. From inside he could hear the sound of the vid screen, he never watched the vids himself but tutors at the academy had always recommended keeping up to date with what the citizens were watching. He recognised the voice of the ‘famous’ cursed earth survivalist Steve Grylls explaining how the taste of your own urine wasn’t too bad as long as you haven’t eaten ripperjacks in the previous thirty two hours.

McGovern flexed the fingers on his gun hand and placed his other hand on the door frame of the hab; cautiously he took one step over the threshold into the small and very clean room. Memories of his childhood before he entered the academy at the age of five flooded into his mind; his father being a doctor meant his home had been a little larger but in many ways it was just like this one. His mother had decorated with the retro colours found in pre-war 1970’s household, lots of bright colours and flower prints. She had always said it was to fight against the drudge and grunge found elsewhere in this huge metropolis.

A huge hand came down on the back of his neck, knocking his helmet off his head and causing it to hit the floor and roll under a chair a metre or so inside the room. McGovern turned expecting Naif to be standing beside him but the huge man had already moved, the space corps had obviously trained him well. The Judge looked back into the hab and saw him disappear into what he presumed was the kitchen, he heard what sounded like a child’s laugh come from the same room.

“Hey Jay-boy, you gonna follow me in? You best be careful I have a little friend in here!”

McGovern bent and retrieved his lid, placing it back on his head he checked in with Ramsey.

“How’s the leg big man?” he asked

“Good I am on my way, hold fast”

Moments later the light from the hab doorway dissipated as the frame was filled by the bigger frame of Ramsey, standing in the opening McGovern could see just how big the man was. The top of his helmet actually went out of view, and only became fully visible as he bent to enter the room. His thigh was bound with a fresh bandage that was already showing the blood that although he had used a coagulant was seeping through it, and he walked towards his fellow judge with a slight limp, lesser men would be bed bound with such a wound but both Ramsey and McGovern were academy trained so were far from lesser men.

Ramsey winced as he took a knee next to McGovern, with a few hand gestures and years of unspoken experience they formulated a plan, each would approach the door from a different angle; Ramsey would take out Naif with a hot shot and McGovern would grab the hostage and get them out of there. It was a plan that had been successful many times and each knew their role.

In a blur of movement both large men moved, Ramsey fired and hit Naif square in the chest. As Naif fell back McGovern grabbed the hostage and spun so his back was to the perp. McGovern felt a sharp pain and fell forward; the young boy who moments before was a hostage was now caught under his hefty frame pinned to the floor by the combined weight of the Judge’s body and street armour.

Checking the perps pulse Ramsey turned to the prone figure of McGovern to confirm Naif was dead, the only sound in the room was the sobs of the trapped boy. Ramsey now noticed a growing pool of blood that was growing from under McGovern and feared the child had been hit. Pulling McGovern by his vest he saw a small bloody hole in the second armour plate of the vest that covered his partner’s back. McGovern groaned as with Ramsey’s help he rolled off the boy. There was a second larger hole just to the right of the shield the lawman wore on his vest; Ramsey did his best to apply pressure to the wound but his gloves turn from a worn black to a vibrant red as blood pulsed out of the hole and formed a stream down the front of McGovern’s body and joined the pool on the floor of the hab.

With his remaining strength McGovern reached into the space between his leathers and his vest and retrieved the now blood stained picture of Iain McGovern. Pushing his lid from his head he took one last look at the photo and smiled. He had upheld the legacy and although he had left no heirs he left a history that was rich and long.

He had performed his family duty.

family-duty2

*With thanks to Michael McGovern, and Mick Ramsey for the use of their names, dedicated to Michael Carroll one of the best DREDD authors I know and my own MN.*

EDIT: A big thanks to Tonia Brown who took time to edit this for me and to make it better

All copyrights belong to 2000AD/Rebellion and DNA where appropriate. Any other copyrights as appropriate.

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