Lawcon - Deep Space Dredd! (Judge Dredd Megazines 3.76-79)
Dredd attends the first Galactic Law Enforcement Convention, with his hand-picked team of Judges. But when delegates start disappearing, it’s up to Mega-City's finest to get to the bottom of the mystery..
The heat gets turned up further when a despotic planet-conquering alien species, who refer to themselves as the Lawlords, arrive with their own brand of ‘justice' which equates to little more than thuggery and gangsterism.
As the huge, arrogant bullies, the Lawlords, start pushing everyone around at the convention, and advising the delegates to adopt their Law, before it is imposed on them, anyway, a much more sinister, uninvited guest is gradually imposing their own will on the unsuspecting visitors…
- The delegates arrive at the very first Galactic Law Enforcement Convention.
- Judge Dredd briefs his small, specialised squad of Judges: Senior Judge Castillo, Kuan, Heffer, Smith and Intelligence Officer PSU's Roffman, on their mission.
- After Dredd is attacked by Sov Judge Bukov, Roffman launches himself at the East Meg thug. Berated by Dredd for retaliating, the tricky Roffman informs his superior that he just needed to get close to Bukov so that he could plant a listening device. Dredd praises Roffman's actions and apologises!
- Meanwhile Judge Castillo is begged for aid to help a lowly delegate who claims someone is in trouble. But when Castillo gets there she realises she has been lured into a trap, and is swarmed by dozens of diminutive attackers!
- The Lawlords make their presence felt at the convention, by basically threatening anyone with overwhelming force and planetary conquest unless they agree to their brutal idea of justice. ‘Castillo' returns, acting a little strangely, persuading Kuan to leave his post, so she can “show him something.”. Reluctantly he agrees and follows her to a frozen airlock, where he sees bodies of many of the delegates hanging, and realises too late that he is no longer with the real Castillo..
- Elsewhere, the aliens that have taken over ‘Castillo”s body, have been detected by some sharp detective work by the Mega-City team. The species are known to be c-nidarius,not a single creature in fact, but a multitude: trillions of tiny polyps coalescing into a single entity capable of absorbing the intelligence of it’s host, even higher lifeforms, enabling it to mimic behaviour - to walk, to talk - like an exact copy of the original.
- Mega-Cities’ Mash-Up! MC-1 Judge Heffer & Brit-Cit's Judge Jericho stand back-to-back to fight off a legion of alien life-forms created by the group mind of c-nidarius .
- Thanks to Roffman's audio bug, Dredd and a consortium of world Judges discover a plot by the East-Meg party to join forces with the Lawlords allowing them a foothold on Earth, naively expecting them to play a mere ‘advisory’ role in the running of the planet. Dredd knows better, he recognises a bully when he sees one, and tells the Lawlords,in no uncertain terms, invitation from East-Meg 2 or not, if they set one foot on Earth he will cut it off, in fact were they to come within 10 light years of Earth - he’d stop them. Dead! The bristling Lawlord, initially outraged, sees the sincerity in Dredd's eyes, and the authority in his voice, wisely decides to back down: “You’re a very unpleasant little human!”. Dredd: “You don’t know the half of it, pal!”
- Having discovered that the c-nidarius lifeforce shows up on infra-red, the combined Judicial forces aboard the Galactiplex Corporation craft soon mop up any resistance from the aliens’ duplicates, the Mega-City One contingent being ruthlessly efficient.
- Before leaving, Dredd gives the Lawlords one final warning about coming anywhere near Earth, but having just witnessed the Mega-City Judges in action, they agree to recommend their Supreme Council that Earth be allowed to continue under it’s own governance, free of interference. “Good make sure they listen.”, retorts Dredd. As the various ships leave the huge spacecraft, aboard the earthbound vessel, Mega-City Judge Smith jokingly remarks; “What d’you think, be back for Lawcon 2?”. Dredd replies emphatically, “Believe me, Smith, there is not going to be a Lawcon 2.”