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.