Fly me to the Moon.
The arrest of DeBotan goes as smoothly as it should. Five minutes after all the shooting, Tech division arrive with their staff and start processing the crime scene. DeBotan is taken into custody and a H-Wagon ships him off to a containment cell in Justice Central for further interrogation by Dredd himself.
The other tech judges have set up a temporary data centre and are stripping DeBotans computers, within minutes disabling the worms and viruses he had released and bring control back to Justice Central.
Having been patched up by the medics the senior Judges make their way back to the city. A couple of hours drive on their lawmasters gets them back within sight of the South Wall and gate 55.
The gates are wide open and streams of citizens and mutants seem to be climbing over each other to both get in and out of the city. In between them are the War Droids that were intercepted earlier, still attempting the fight the judges on the wall – the droids were slowly losing.
Judges Foe, Von Simian, Bliss and Bethesda, decided to throw their strength into controlling the flow of citizens and mutants, jumping off their bikes and applying the day stick to a number of skulls they brought order to the border crossing – in time for the customs judges to get back into place.
Even with computer control being returned to Weather Control, the ride back to Justice Central and a debriefing from Dredd was as grey and miserable as the cursed earth. It was only at the last minute that the clouds parted and a beam of sunlight lit The Grand Hall of Justice as the judges rode up the ramp to the hangar.
In the time it had taken then to drive back, Dredd had led the interrogation of DeBotan and had made enough progress to identify a link between him and his controllers – by following the money.
What was clear was that a law firm, Hertzog, Hertzog and Chaplin were indited as the go-between. Every shipment of droids and credits came through this Luna 1 law firm. Operating at the edge if Mega City jurisdiction, there were clear links between them and DeBotan.
What was not clear – who pulled their strings?
Dredd’s solution – send the squad to Luna 1 to investigate Elanor Chaplin – the junior partner whose signature appears all over DeBotans communications.
On the way to the spaceport to catch their shuttle, the judges swing by the Statue of Judgement to get updates on any surveillance and history on the Law firm, only to be turned away at the base as the Public Surveillance Unit still hadn’t recovered from being hit by one of the crashing spaceships. Making enquiries about the situation, something nagged at the back of Bethesda’s mind, and Foe asked for himself and Dredd to be advised when the bodies in the shuttle, and the owners of the shuttle are identified.
Carrying on to the spaceport the Judges make the four hour trip to the Luna 1 colony.
Luna 1 – a Mega City jointly controlled by Hondo/East Meg and Mega City 1.
It’s like Casablanca during WW2 – home to shady deals and dealers – many if the laws of MC1 can’t be upheld here, the basics of murder and violence are patrolled by the judges who often see a posting here as punishment.
Anything within the main set of domes is shared jurisdiction. There are however a large number if private habitats beyond the dome – but the only legal way on or off of the moon is controlled by Luna 1 – all orbital flights are controlled. However the private domes are just that, private – you will operate there only as guests of the private owners or corporations that control them.
Luna 1 also has a large number of lawyers who maintain a semblance of the law, using loop holes and playing one Mega City against the other.
If you wanted to hide money here, the banks operate like a fourth leg of the judiciary with their own ’Judges
Four of the Luna 1 lawmasters wait for the Judges outside the spaceport, and the Judges make their way past the warehouse to the Luna 1 Halls of Justice.
Chief Judge Vladimir Lennin meets the judges to confirm that they have the support of his judges – and to clarify that they are operating at Dredds request.
The three Mega Cities take it in turn to police this city, and normally change hands every four years. There is in place an understanding that each judicial force can carry out its legal duties during any reign of East Meg 2 or Hondo Cit, but needs to be careful not to step on the toes of whoever is currently in charge.
With this clear, copies of all intelligence held on Hertzog etc is provided.
This family firm has been based on the moon for one hundred years, with the brothers Hertzog having brought in Elanor Chaplin as a junior partner only three years ago.
Many of their clients are East Meg or Hondo citizens, with the most recent criminal case of the Hertzogs having represented a Hondo crime family accused of alien slavery and smuggling.
More often than not, if you needed protection from the law, Hertzog were the law firm to call on.
Chaplin has made a name for herself in challenging the Justice System here on Luna 1, having had nearly a dozen clients released from custody through her diligence in investigation corruption within the Justice Department – she hasn’t made friends with many of the Judges.
Hertzog also operate a system of bonded warehouses.
First thing was for the Judges to check out the Warehouse. The warehouse was the size of a small city block, and would take a team of Financial Judges to do a complete check on the stock, but a cursory check on goods signed for and released show a large gap in the records covering any transfers to MC1 in the last 48 hours.
Enough hackles on the back of your neck are raised to know that you want to come back.
Next was to visit Hertzog and see how they reacted to a visit from the Judges.
Announcing themselves to the receptionist raised the usual citizen reactions to seeing a judge – guilt, fear, an urge to run – but nothing out of the ordinary – none of the partners were available for comment as they were currently outside the dome and at their private residence some miles away on the northern plains.
A meeting was arranged for the following morning, which the Judges prepared for back at the hall of justice.
As soon as they walked back into the hall, they could tell something was wrong – and the receptionist indicated they should head to the control room immediately.
Mega City One was on the news. It was on all the news. Every channel.
Another terrorist attack, this time Germ Warfare.
MC1 had been closed down and out into quarantine. A virus was loose in the city and had already started to claim its first victims. Turning its victims crazy, the first blocks of the western sectors had been shut down tight, trying to restrict the spread.
The infected became violent, attacking and killing those around them. Already the news channels were comparing this to the Block War Infections thirty years ago – East Meg 1’s first strike if the Apocalypse War.
Thousands were already dead – and yet there would still be many more unless the Judges found a cure for … The Chaos Virus.
As the news began to sink in, our judges, isolated now on Luna 1, could feel The stares and the guilty thoughts of the Sov Judges around them. TV shows were already accusing East Meg 2 of supporting this terrorist attack on MC1, and the atmosphere in Justice Central became quite chilly.
Staying up all night to keep track of their home as its slowly destroyed by its own citizens was the only option, and as the time of their appointment with Hertzog came around, it became a necessary distraction.
The meeting at the lawyers offices proved to be frustrating – no sign of the Hertzog brothers and only Eleanor Chaplin turned up. Grilling her on the companies association with Soviet terrorists, and recent activity with DeBotan, Chaplin showed no awareness of any wrong doing, and the lie detectors held by the Judges backed up her claims.
Without playing all their cards and letting her know they had her signature on financial transfers between her company and Valentin Vaselov and from Vaselov to DeBotan – the Judges decided to bring the interview to an end, on the agreement that they would visit the Hertzog brothers at their private Dome on the following morning.
As the Judges left the building, a scream from around the side of the building pierced the thin Luna air. Rushing to the scene, the judges came across a young woman, on her knees pawing at a hole in a neighbouring building – a fresh bloody trail was enough to confirm that some young victim had been dragged to his death.
Calling in support, Judges Foe, Bliss and Bethesda gave chase, and found their way through a basement level, and into a series of natural caverns – the blood trail lit up under the low light visors of their helmets, and Bethesda carried out a Psi scan of whatever was making the horrible screeching sound always just ahead of them – whatever it was it’s mind was full of blood and animal lust.
Before long they found the body of the young victim – whatever beast had killed him had taken a large chunk of the boys torso – securing the crime scene the Sov judges were soon at hand, and allowed the Mega City Judges to head back to base.
Later that day – locked to the news feed from MC1 – as the Chaos Bug tore large holes in their home – only to be called away by the results of the young boys autopsy and confirmation that the beast that killed him was a Klegg.
Kleggs are a military army for hire that are paid in blood – usually the tool of any group trying to overthrow a regime.
Finding them in close proximity to Hertzog – and Hertzog suspected involvement in the current attack on Mega City 1, was enough to investigate this further.