Friday, 13 April 2018

Judge Dredd - Poison on Hell's Highway

Judge Deacon had been waiting patiently in the barren wasteland known as the Cursed Earth for his comrades to return. They had gone on a mission to recover or disarm some nuclear missiles, relics from before the apocalypse, held in a silo somewhere out in the wastes. He became somewhat concerned about the emergence of a mushroom cloud on the horizon, but it eventually dissipated. He decided to give his fellow judges three more days before returning to Mega City One.

However, less than 24 hours later the other judges arrived, with their Killdozer still intact although bearing the marks of bullet dents. Led by the Psi Judge, Judge Judy, they said they were intent on making it back overland to MC1 down Hell's Highway. It might have had another name once, before the war that almost destroyed mankind, but for their purposes it was the most direct route home.

The judges were accompanied by a two-headed mutant child, which they claimed had psi abilities. She in turn was keeping another judge, a rogue SJS judge, in some kind of coma. Deacon shrugged. This seemed par for the course with this mission.

A Judge Dredd GM's screen forms the back drop

The team headed east, hoping to make it back to MC1 as quickly as possible, but within a day they came across an obstacle, a road block on the highway manned by what looked like mutants. Their spokesman demanded a toll from the judges to let them past. The law officers threatened to arrest him for the obstruction of justice. In turn he remote activated a concealed hatch that lay beside the road.

Some form of electronic obelisk emerged from the ground, and immediately generated an electro magnetic pulse which crashed all the judges' electronics, including the targeting systems on the Killdozer's missile array. Deacon dismounted from his Lawmaster and sprinted over to the tank, where he worked to reconfigure the array to manual. This he was able to do and managed to fire one of the Killdozer's missiles at the mutant barricade. The explosion did not do an enormous amount of damage, to be sure, but it did cause the mutant leader to ask for a pow wow.

Judy and Mean meet with the mutant leader.

Judge Judy and Judge Mean met to talk with the mutant leader to try to negotiate safe passage. He was after medical supplies and rad cloaks in the main. Judge Judy used his psi power to cause the mutant to become enraptured by the judges and he eventually offered them supplies from his own stash and ordered his brigands to open the barricade.

So far, so good. The judges cautiously rode through the blockade. It was only as they were leaving it behind that some kind of emaciated fellow with a bowler hat and what looked like a pet rat on his shoulder popped up and shot Judge Mean with a poisoned dart from a blow pipe. Poor Mean succumbed almost immediately to a paralyzing poison. The mutant - Fink Angel - for it was he, offered the judges the antidote in exchange for a Lawmaster bike and one of the remaining missiles in the Killdozer.

Judge down: Fink Angel (far left) ambushes the convoy!

Judy tried to unleash his psi powers on Fink, but he proved resistant, instead shooting another dart at the psi judge, and just missing. It was a stand off. Mean was deteriorating quickly, so Judy decided to cut a deal. Deacon, inside the Killdozer, had been madly trying to sabotage one of the missiles before handing it over to the mutants, but was sadly unsuccessful.

The judges gave Fink and his men a missile (!) and a Lawmaster. Then they motored away until safely out of range, at which point they managed to remote activate the Lawmaster and bring it back to them, shooting its way through the barricade. Unfortunately one missile was left in the mutants' possession. That would not look good in the report.

The judges continued overnight, allowing Judy to restore his powers. The next day they ran into an Australian bloke in shorts, standing in the middle of the road, who was organising a supersurf tournament. As it turned out, the prize for this was a flight to MC1 on board a luxury 'strat bat' [?]. This could provide the judges with the opportunity to get back to MC1 quickly, and do it under the cover of the tournament, ideally without the rogue elements within the Justice Department becoming aware of them. The only problem was that the organisers wanted the judges to compete as a Justice Department team. That might get them unwanted attention...

This game was played using the d20 Judge Dredd RPG, originally published by Mongoose in 2002. It was held at the Dice Saloon in Brighton.

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