Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Tran Gang Case

Do you like the above image? It's taken from the set of the new Dredd film. Our first taster! Give it a click for a bigger version.

In the meantime, here is a new story by me. I wrote this for the latest 2000 AD short story competition, details here.

The story is supposed to be 500 words at most, so I'm going to have to edit it down drastically considering this is well over 800! I think editing down will lose something though, so I've pasted the full version here. It's an old gag, but I think it's still amusing.

Dredd was on his way back to base when he got the call. Justice Department had allowed a few hours worth of snow fall 'in the spirit of the season'. Justice Department didn't usually concern themselves with such things but considering the mayor's post was yet to be filled, and the fact there was a wave of bad feeling engendered by the recent crackdowns, the Department thought it would soothe matters to offer a munce pie to counterbalance the day-stick.

Frankly Dredd found it a nuisance. His lawmaster had already skidded twice during crucial moments almost losing him an arrest and an execution. On the other hand, if a bit of atmospheric sentimental nonsense kept the citizens happy and less likely to commit crimes, who was he to judge?

“Dredd, this is PSU. We've got a trace on that transvestite Gang.”

Dredd suppressed a sigh. He'd been on the streets for hours, and frankly he was exhausted. For once he was looking forward to the regulation monthly eight hours scheduled tonight, but duty called. The so called 'Tran Gang' had left a trail of murder and mayhem over the last month. The judges had executed two members (They always resisted arrest and were judged accordingly.) leaving six still at large. Besides, maybe cracking a few heads would cheer him up. Not that his happiness was relevant. Whatever the season.

“Shoot,” he replied.

“An informer called it in. Apparently they just entered 1999 Dudley Clarke Block.”

“On my way,” said Dredd.

“Be careful Dredd. Don't let their attire fool you. These are real scum, and you'll be on your own. The weather had caused some riots, so back up won't be available for a good while.”

“I'll make do.”

“According to our contact they've wired into their Block surveillance system so they'll see you coming,” continued PSU. “We've spoken to Frank. You know, the guy who used to work for Wally Squad who disguises himself as a dirty Santa Claus all year round? He has a rather unorthodox plan which might just work. I don't think you'll like it though, Dredd.”

An hour later the hulking figure in a gingham dress punched '1999' in the intercom of Dudley Clarke Block and peered surreptitiously from under a large bonnet at the wall-cam.

“Yes?” said the voice from the intercom.

“It's Miriam. Let me in,” said the figure in a cracked high pitched voice.

“Miriam? Really? Thought the Judges punched your ticket, girl!”

“Nah, they just winged me,” replied Miriam. “Been lying low.”

“What's wrong with your voice?”

Miriam clutched his throat. “Um, judges winged me in the throat.” Dredd winced. This kind of improvisation wasn't really his forte. “Had to get a bionic larynx implant in a back street clinic. That's why I was lying low.”

There was silence for a few seconds. Then the click of the door unlocking. “Good to see ya' girl. Come on up.”

Dredd entered the building. So far so good. Course, he'd never past scrutiny up close but by then his mug (or at least the lower half of it. He was still wearing his helmet under the bonnet,) would be the last thing they'd see. Assuming they played to form and resisted arrest of course. He made his way to apartment 1999, drew his lawgiver and kicked in the door.

The six female forms sat in a circle, knitting. They glanced up at him in mild surprise.


“Can we help you young man? I do hope you'll pay for that door frame. That's very rude you know, interrupting our knitting circle without even ringing the bell like a civilised person,” replied one individual.

Dredd had a moment of doubt. That voice was very feminine. No, what was he thinking? That one over there hadn't even shaved off his moustache.

“I won't tell you again, creeps! Any more lip and I'll add resisting arrest to your sentence.” Not that that would make much difference. They'd never leave the blocks with their current sentence anyway. For several lifetimes.

One particularly plump 'lady' stood up and confronted him. “And what exactly are we supposed to have done, young man? And may I say that's a very pretty bonnet.”

Dredd pulled off the bonnet. “Quit wasting my time creep. You can't fool me. You don't even make authentic looking women. Look at you!”

He ripped open her blouse. Three feet of pink lady cushion popped out hitting him in the face.

A few minutes later, Dredd hastily left the apartment followed by several raised, very female voices. He should really arrest them for such unladylike language, but considering the circumstances he would let it pass. As the door slammed, he saw the last digit, '9', on the door wobble. Strange. Now he actually looked, he noticed that digit was slightly lower than the others. He pushed it round with his finger to show a '6' perfectly in line. Drokk.

Dredd strolled over to apartment 1999 three doors down and kicked the door in.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Back again! Getting Creative.

Dear me. I really didn't keep to my resolution to post blogs more frequently did I? I never did write that review of Red Dwarf: Back to Earth.

Never mind. I'm back out of storage now. I actually hope to put more creative stuff on this blog, but I will probably do the odd review as well. I'll re-watch BtE soon and post up a review. It's late now, I know, but never mind.

As far as Red Dwarf news is concerned, there was a post on twitter a couple of weeks back by Doug Naylor (co-creator of Red Dwarf, and the main writer now) and it looks like there might be delays in the production. However he had a meeting and it looks like their at least putting the wheels in motion with hiring, etc.

I think there's a good chance there will be some more Red Dwarf coming within the next year or so but there's nothing definite. Still, it looked like there would be no more Red Dwarf at all and we got three new episodes in Back To Earth, so I'm hopeful.

As far as creative stuff is concerned, I fancy myself as a bit of a writer-droid, but I've done the odd bit of artwork too, although I've got quite a way to go with that.

Here's an example of a piece of writing to start with. This was my entry in a writing competition on the 2000 AD forum. The competition was called Tharg's School of Failure. The brief was as follows:
You can’t be the best all the time. Sometime, somewhere, even the greatest screw up. Tell us all about it!

The story had to be about a 2000 AD character having a bad day basically, and we had to keep to a maximum 500 word limit. I didn't even come close to winning, (I think I got about two votes!) but I was quite happy with it. Just don't look at it as typical work! I'd usually prefer to be more descriptive, but I had to keep it to the bare bones to keep it within the limit. I also prefer to write my own creations rather than what is essentially fan-fic, but it's all good practice.

Anyhow, it's a tale set in Judge Dredd's childhood before the atomic war.

The Cadet

The Warehouse- The Testing Ground

The front door of the warehouse was unlocked. He swept in, low. There were several dust covered crates that formed aisles throughout the facility. Facing him was a small robot. In it's claws it clutched a formidable looking weapon.

The Cadet leapt aside as several paint pellets flew past. A pellet splattered on the door frame, the splash-back causing a fine spray over his helmet visor.

The Cadet returned fire. Four rounds bounced off the droid's chest leaving dents. It gave out an electronic squawk and fled down a side aisle. He discarded his helmet and followed. He decided head protection would be of little use if he could not see properly.

Near the end of the aisle, he paused. He couldn't hear the droid's tracks. One of the shadows of the crates at the end of the aisle seemed out of place. Was the creep waiting to ambush him?

He set his weapon to 'ricochet', and aimed carefully at the wall, estimating the angle by the shadow and fired. There was a metallic pinging sound and the whirring of treads. As he rounded the corner he saw the door to the gents' toilet close.

Entering the toilet he suddenly noticed the figure aiming the gun his way. He fired, and the bullet cracked the mirror and ricocheted back at him clipping him above his right eye as he leapt aside. As the darkness took him he thought,“Drokk. Forgot to change the round setting.”

He awoke. His head throbbed. The little robot was standing over him, a comical look of surprise on it's metal face. “Did you just shoot yourself kid?” it asked.

“Seems so,” muttered The Cadet. Despite his embarrassment he felt vaguely proud that he was still holding his gun.

The little robot laughed. “I've had many crappy jobs in my time, bub,” it said. “But this makes it all worth while. Say, ain't you one of them new clones? They engineer you with stoopid genes, boy?”

The Cadet raised his gun. “Nobody likes a smart-ass robot,” he growled. “Armour piercing.”

The Hospital

The Cadet awoke. He was lying in a bed. His head still throbbed. His brother was sitting nearby.

“Seems that creep got you good, Joe,” said his brother. “But they passed you.”

The Cadet said nothing.

Rico continued. “Still, you offed it pretty good. Be a while before tech put it back together.”

Joe pointed at his head. “How bad is it?”

“It's just a graze. Docs said the eye-brow probably won't grow back though, but they ain't gonna waste cosmetic surgery on you. Said it would teach you a lesson.”

Joe grunted. “It will that.”

Rico's mouth twitched. He rarely smiled, but this was close.

“You could shave off the other one to even things up.”

Dredd shook his head. “No. Think I'll just keep the helmet on from now on.”

Heh. You'll need to be acquainted with Dredd to get the last gag. I've written some other longer stuff too and hope to get something published soon. I actually plan to submit a Future Shock to 2000 AD very soon. The script still needs a bit more work but I see it as being near the final draft.

I have a few other scripts in early draft stage. A couple are fairly good and I'd like them published in somewhere. Others are not so good, but it's all practice. I have a couple of ideas for longer strips too, one creator owned and one I hope to submit to another publication. (Possibly CLiNT but we'll see.)

Anyway, I hope to be back soon. Not so long next time.