Just for fun, here's week 3 of an unpublished Dredd story I wrote for the Daily Star newspaper strip. When each episode is only three panels long, there's a danger of writing endless on-the-nose dialogue and ramming exposition down the readers' throats. Prepare for ramming speed!
DAILY STAR DREDD: THE BLACKWOOD INCIDENT • Week Three
1. Dredd roars away from Coster, down the road lined by the burnt forest.
MEGA-CITY ONE, 2120 AD. AN UNSTABLE TELEPORTER HAS BEEN TAKEN 122 YEARS INTO THE PAST. IT WILL DESTROY THE FUTURE UNLESS DREDD INTERVENES...
DON'T FORGET, YOU CAN USE YOUR TELEPORTER TO TRACK THE STOLEN PROTOTYPE!
2. Sideview of Dredd as he accelerates into the light of the teleport effect.
ACTIVATING TELEPORTATION - NOW!
3. Just an outline of Dredd remains as he teleports away. NO DIALOGUE.
1. Just an outline of Dredd as he teleports into 1998.
IF THE PROFESSOR WAS RIGHT, I SHOULD NOW BE ARRIVING IN BLACKWOOD, NORTH AMERICA, IN 1998!
2. Sideview of Dredd stopping on the road, now lined by unburnt forest.
THE TREES - THEY'RE HEALTHY AGAIN, SO I'M BACK IN THE PAST. BUT IS IT THE RIGHT YEAR?
3. Dredd examines the teleporter's two clocks. The first shows the new date, 7:7:98. The second shows the time left for Dredd's quest: 00:35.
YES! BUT ONLY 35 MINUTES TO FIND THE STOLEN PROTOTYPE AND GET IT SAFELY BACK TO THE FUTURE!
1. Dredd attaches the teleporter to his bike computer, the display screen of which is where the speedo and other dials are on a normal motorcycle.
BY LINKING THE TELEPORTER TO MY LAWMASTER'S COMPUTER, I CAN TRACK THE STOLEN PROTOTYPE...
2. Close-up of the computer display screen. It shows Dredd's location on the road, various offroads and the stolen device's location nearby.
GOT IT! THE FUGITIVE IS ONLY MINUTES AWAY.
3. Dredd speeds away, intent of nailing his quarry.
JUST HOPE I CAN GET TO HIM IN TIME, BEFORE HE REACTIVATES THE UNSTABLE TELEPORTER.
IF HE DOES, THE RESULTS COULD BE CATASTROPHIC!
1. Coster has grabbed the shocked Mortimer by the arms.
FUTURE FUGITIVE TODD COSTER WANTS ANSWERS...
WHAT YEAR IS THIS? WHERE AM I? TELL ME!
2. Mortimer bemused as Todd gets all triumphant.
IT'S 1998, MISTER. YOU'RE IN BLACKWOOD, USA!
IT WORKED! SHE SAID THE TELEPORTER WAS TOO UNSTABLE TO USE - THAT MUST HAVE BEEN A BLUFF!
3. Coster holds up the prototype globe, tries to figure out what's happened.
YET I'VE TRAVELLED 122 YEARS BACK IN TIME, BUT I HAVEN'T MOVED IN SPACE. I'M STILL IN BLACKWOOD.
THIS PROTOTYPE WILL NEED ADJUSTING BEFORE I DARE USE IT AGAIN!
1. Cut back to the interview room. One of the unseen pair interviewing Mortimer hands him a lump of plastic, the remains of a mobile phone.
DO YOU RECOGNISE THIS OBJECT?
Y-YES. AT LEAST, I THINK I DO. IT'S MY MOBILE PHONE.
2. Back to the woods. Mortimer uses his mobile, but Coster sees this.
"I USED IT TO CALL FOR HELP..."
IS THAT THE BLACKWOOD POLICE? I NEED HELP, THIS IS AN EMERGENCY! I'M AT THE OLD DINER OUT ON--
3. Coster smashes the phone from Mortimer's hands while threatening him with a laser-blade, the glowing future equivalent of a dagger.
STOP! NOBODY CAN KNOW I'M HERE. DO THAT AGAIN AND I'LL KILL YOU WHERE YOU STAND!
1. Mortimer has walked back to his car outside the diner, followed by the laser-blade wielding Coster, who wears the prototype belt round his waist.
"THE FUTURE GUY HAD A WEAPON LIKE A LASER KNIFE. I HAD TO LEAD HIM TO MY CAR AT THE DINER."
I NEED TRANSPORTATION TO GET AWAY FROM HERE.
2. Coster and Mort are dazzled by twin headlight beams from Dredd's bike.
THE JUDGES WILL SEARCHING FOR ME BY NOW--
TOO LATE, CREEP! THE LAW IS ALREADY HERE...
3. Dredd on his Lawmaster, pointing his Lawgiver at the future fugitive.
DROP THE WEAPON OR DIE WHERE YOU STAND!