Read Sweet Justice Online

Authors: Neil Gaiman

Tags: #Science Fiction

Sweet Justice

 

 

Sweet Justice

 

Selected Short Stories from the
2000 AD

and
Judge Dredd
Annuals

 

Stories by Neil Gaiman, Peter Milligan, Dan Abnett, Alan Grant, Mark Millar and others.

 

 

 

This electronic edition first published in 2011 by Rebellion Publishing Ltd, Riverside House, Osney Mead, Oxford, OX2 0ES, UK.

 

 

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publishers.

 

Copyright © 1983, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 2011 Rebellion A/S. All rights reserved.
Judge Dredd
,
Judge Anderson
,
Judge Hershey
and all related characters, their distinctive likenesses and related elements featured in this publication are trademarks of Rebellion A/S. No portion of this book may be reproduced without the express permission of the publisher. Names, characters, places and incidents featured in the publication are either the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead (except for satirical purposes) is entirely coincidental.

 

Cover art by Barry Kitson

 

ISBN (epub) 978-1-84997-321-2

ISBN (mobi) 978-1-84997-322-9

 

Judge Dredd created by John Wagner & Carlos Ezquerra

Judge Anderson & Judge Hershey created by John Wagner & Brian Bolland

 

CONTENTS

 

Judge Anderson: The Scream
by Peter Milligan

 

Diary of a Mad Citizen
by Alan Grant

 

Judge Anderson: Exorcise Duty
by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning

 

I Was a Teenage Perp!
by Alan Grant

 

Judge Hershey: Sweet Justice
by Neil Gaiman

 

Judge Anderson: Dear Diary
by Peter Milligan

 

Radical Cheek
by Peter Milligan

 

Judge Anderson: The Most Dangerous Game
by Mark Millar

 

Roll On Justice
by Ian Rimmer

 

JUDGE ANDERSON: THE SCREAM

 

By Peter Milligan,
Judge Dredd Annual 1987

 

 

Out of the darkness it came, like a living thing: a scream of wild terror.

And with the Scream came pictures and feelings that flickered like shadows, dissolving, gelling, screaming...

...There is a woman, holding three children. Their mouths are twisted, their eyes white discs of fear. They back away. The woman tries to gather the children into herself, as though she might envelop them completely. They back away until a wall stops their retreat...

They can scream but they cannot run. Closer. We move closer... We feel the blood, the pistons pumping hot blood inside our head... We must kill them... Kill them...

A scream of wild terror.

Judge Anderson opened her eyes and found a dark pillow pushing down onto her face. She had stopped breathing. The Scream echoed off unseen walls. She pushed herself up, panting now, gulping in air like a woman surfacing from water...

Sweat ran down her face as the overhead striplight automatically illuminated her sleeping quarters. Anderson was scared, shivering like a child plucked from a nightmare, but she didn’t want to lose it. She had to go back. She had to go back and face that scream again.

 

 

AN EMPTY ROOM

 

As a Judge in Psi Division, Anderson was on call 24 hours a day. Any time, day or night, she might get a ‘flash’, a psychic ‘message’ that might aid the Judges in their war against Mega-City crime.

Psis were especially receptive to these messages during sleeptime, that period when the barriers of the conscious mind are lowered and the dormant paranormal regions of the brain can reach out and speak to us.

Anderson travelled back, through her dreams. Normally it was routine to check out your dreams but now she was looking for something specific. She was looking for a woman and three children. She wanted to know what could have wrung from them a scream so terrible...

She walked through an empty room. Her mind was blank. The scream vision had gone, was hiding somewhere, but its psychic power had been so great it had scorched from Anderson’s mind the night’s other dream images.

The Scream was now just a memory. Yet still it made her shiver.

 

 

OMAR

 

The face of Omar, head of Psi Division, appeared on the vid-screen. ‘What is it, Anderson? You’re not on for another hour. Got something special?’

‘Think so, Omar. Haven’t been hit so hard since the Dark Judges were up to their tricks.’

Anderson paused, knowing that Omar would be holding his breath.

‘I think I’ve got a lead on the Alphabet Killer.’

 

 

REIGN OF TERROR

 

On her way to the Hall of Justice, Anderson listened to the early morning news broadcast. It was familiar stuff...

‘...This is Ned McTafferty standing outside the Hall of Justice, where an
angry crowd
has gathered to express its dissatisfaction with the city’s
so-called
finest.

‘On the 38
th
day of the Alphabet Killer’s reign of terror, the Judges are still no closer to making an arrest – and the
body count
grows. This morning, 26 new corpses were found. Eye witnesses claim that Judges on the scene appeared to be
visibly shaken
by their discoveries. Our lawforce, once thought to be
invincible
, has shown its
weak
and
yellow underbelly
. Justice Dept. has slapped a
ban
on any description of
method
of murder or of the condition in which the
victims
have been found, fearing that...’

Anderson blocked the rest from her mind. She knew it only too well. 26 bodies for the last 38 nights. Each murder spree starting with a victim whose Christian name began with A, working its way through the alphabet and finishing with Z.

Most of the city’s Zebedees, Zachariahs and Xaviers had fled. The Judges would get the creep eventually, but it was a big, teeming city. Anyone desperate, crazy, and resolute enough could, while his luck held, get away with murder.

And, as the man said, the body count continued to grow.

 

‘As far as our records show, the Alphabet Killer hasn’t killed a woman and three children as you describe. The killer seems to be strictly a one-hit-at-a-time operator,’ said the Chief Judge, in her office.

‘Maybe it’s a pre-cog flash,’ Anderson suggested. ‘It was so strong I thought it might already have happened... But maybe the killer’s
going
to get the woman and the three juves...’

‘Can you give us a locale? A time? A description of the killer?’

‘N-No... Not yet. But I was inside the killer’s head. I was thinking his thoughts, looking at his victims...’

‘Did this person actually say it was the Alphabet Killer?’

‘Not exactly,’ said Anderson, aware that she was making a mess of it. ‘But I knew. As soon as I heard the woman’s scream I
knew
it had something to do with the Alphabet Killer... And then I was inside his mind...’


His
mind? You can positively identify the killer as male?’

‘Yes. No. I mean, his, er,
its
thoughts
felt
male... But...’

‘But really,’ drawled the Chief Judge, ‘you should have a little more to go on before you come in here acting as though you’ve solved all our problems. Log your flash with the Alphabet Operations Squad and resume your normal duties.

Drokk! thought Anderson.

 

 

PANIC RULES

 

Anderson gave her flash to the Alphabet Ops. They looked all washed up. The killings were affecting everyone. On top of everything else, cases of assault on and gross disrespect for Judges had risen fifty-fold since the killings started. There were marches every day complaining about Justice Dept.’s handling of the case. And, to top it all, a bloody new block war had erupted between Grover Block and Mills Mansions, and the Muggers’ Rights League were holding their annual meeting in Ian Paisley Piazza...

Already, three Judges had thrown in their badges and gone into hiding. Five were in Psycho-Cubes following mental breakdowns. Sixteen were in sickbay following assaults, and three were in the mortuary following more serious attacks.

‘It’s funny,’ said Judge Monk.

‘What’s funny?’ asked Anderson. ‘Your face or your arrest record?’

‘Ha ha. What’s funny is how this city can take a block war that kills thousands and a daily homicide and mugging rate of drokk knows what without batting an eyelid. But you get someone who’s knocking them off one by one in a logical, cold-blooded pattern and bang! Panic rules.’

‘You seem full of sparkle. How long’ve you been on duty, Monk?’ Anderson asked.

Monk was a big man with thin lips. The lips curled into a little smile. ‘Oh, 30 hours, give or take a few. Who wants to sleep when there’s a riot going on? C’mon, Patel,’ he said to the Judge standing right beside him, ‘we’ve been seconded to Riot Squad. The Muggers’ Rights meeting is turning ugly.’

‘I’ve only been going three hours and I feel beat already,’ said Anderson as the two men stomped out of the room. ‘Some of these he-man Judges really get up my nose.’

‘Know what you mean,’ said Judge Carter, yawning. ‘Take Monk. Some of the boys have got a saying about Monk.’

‘What’s that?’

‘They say he’s as tough as Old Dredd.’

 

 

PSYCHIC TERROR

 

The Scream struck Anderson with monstrous mad fury as she was returning to Psi Division after a fruitless patrol of the city.

As her mind swooned she saw the woman, her face contorted, her arms cradling the children. Anderson understood now that the woman was the children’s mother. Most of her fear was for them.

Anderson was not yet totally inside the killer’s mind, although she was seeing the woman through the killer’s eyes. She had to concentrate, find a clue. Where was this happening? Who was the killer?

While all her senses begged her to pass out, Anderson summoned her last vestige of mental fortitude and cast her mind’s eye away from the woman. The Scream grew louder, more demented and, for an instant, Anderson saw a wall. A tower block. Some words, blurred. She strained at them and managed to decipher some of the middle letters: ---ESS, a gap, and then BL---.

And then the Scream, the awful, spiralling scream of psychic terror, dragged her back to the woman’s face, her mouth, twisted in the act of screaming...

Anderson tried to enter that face. She tried to become that face, to see through those eyes and know what those eyes were seeing.

Other books

Though None Go with Me by Jerry B. Jenkins
Matched by Ally Condie
Ready to Wed by Cindi Madsen
The Third Silence by Nancy Springer
Bend by Bailey Bradford
Cold by Bill Streever
The Neon Graveyard by Vicki Pettersson
Worth Waiting For by Jamieson, Kelly