Authors Note: So quite a few months ago, as part of my Karl Urban binge I watched Dredd and loved it. I checked out the Dredd fics on here and on AO3 and was struck with a few things. The first is I was new to AO3 and there is a LOT of porn, the second is that a lot of stories I read, Dredd seemed to be a little out of character. As I was writing a lot of other fanfic at the time, I started this side project with the thought that I could perhaps write a little M rated story while keeping true to the essence of the movie. But it grew legs, formed a plot and became a full-fledged story in its own right.
I have to admit, I haven't read the comics, therefore this is firmly set in the movie-universe. If you're a comics fan and you think I haven't got something quite right and have a suggestion to improve it that won't derail my whole story, I'll hear ya. In an attempt to fit both universes, my characters swear in current vernacular but also with liberal use of the word 'drokk'. I figure while the future has new swear words, they've not forgotten our ones. Also, I apologise for taking the helmet off but I hope I've dealt with it in a suitable manner. Although Karl Urban has proven on twitter that he sits around his house drinking coffee with his Judge helmet on, I fail to believe Dredd does.
And if you were hoping for more Almost Human from me, don't worry, I'm multitasking. New fic coming soon.
Some Bonds Will Never Break
She hastily threw on a vest and shorts and went to answer the strong, persistent knock at the door, tousling her blonde hair dry as she crossed the small apartment bare footed. She sensed the urgency of the man behind it, and it made her tired fingers fumble as she unbolted the strong metal door.
He pushed it aside as she stepped back to allow him entry, half dressed, the way she'd left him, in a black tee shirt and uniform leather pants, his left arm encased in a plasti-cast up to the elbow, helmetless but with his face obscured by shadow.
He didn't say anything but grabbed her, his hands clasping her bare biceps as he drew her into him and kissed her roughly. She was stunned by the action, the feel of his soft lips and scratchy stubble against her skin, the way he sucked on her lower lip and pushed for entry to her mouth with his hot tongue. She staggered backward but he went with her until she had her back pressed up against the wall and he was pinning her there, his knee resting firmly between her thighs, the leather grinding against her bare skin.
She pulled out of the hungry kiss with a gasp, "What are you doing?" This was so unlike him she didn't know where to begin.
"I want you." He growled, grinding his leg into her groin, igniting a warmth there that she'd always tried hard to ignore.
"We can't. What about the code? This isn't like you?" The door had been left wide open, anyone walking down the corridor would be able to see them, she realised with embarrassment.
"Fuck the code. I almost died today, again. How long do I have to keep denying myself what I really want?" And as his lips fell upon her again his rough calloused hand slipped over her hip and beneath the waistband of her shorts.
Four Hours Earlier
Judge Cassandra Anderson had only one thing on her mind as she zipped through the late night traffic on her LawMaster; a shower, long enough to completely deplete her hot water allowance followed by her bed. She was hungry too, it had been about twenty hours since she'd last managed to scarf down a nutri-shake en route to the next call. She had nothing in her apartment, she could get something delivered, but she'd probably only fall asleep half way through eating it. She hated wasting food and hard earned credits, an early upbringing in the poverty-ridden mega-blocks had cured her of that. Besides, she could hardly afford to throw stuff away, not on a judges salary. They were supposed to be paid enough to prevent the temptation of corruption, but as the government struggled with their finances; streets falling into disrepair, hospitals failing, the welfare system collapsing, under the crush of population growth, then the fair payment of judges had fallen by the wayside. Instead they relied on the indoctrination that all judges went through in training and pushed and pushed to get the job done.
Anderson couldn't complain, not really, she'd known what she was getting in for, better than most, she'd been able to read it in almost every judge she'd met; hunger, pain, exhaustion, the over-riding phrase 'the jobs drokked'. It was different when they started, the older judges would insist, there were enough of them that still believed in what they were doing, the job had always been tough but they'd been looked after, respected for it. Now they'd staple up your wounds, throw you a tasteless nutrition bar and give you five minutes in a sleep pod before sending you back out to the streets again.
Her shift had officially finished three hours ago, but a simple domestic had turned into something more when her perp had unknowingly spilled the beans about his illegal gun business and had given her the names of his colleagues. Being psychic in this job helped immensely, except for when it came to clocking off on time. By the time the meat wagon arrived to collect her perp she actually had five of them, handcuffed and kneeling obediently as they awaited their trip to the isocubes. Done now though, and a whole day off tomorrow, her first in about two weeks.
She pulled her bike off the highway, heading out of Sector 13 and towards her apartment block, a run down little place but practically crime-free due to the number of judges that lived there, when her wrist comm beeped and vibrated. A message flashed up on her helmet screen, which she only ever wore when riding her bike, 'Urgent assist, Paris House, judges under fire'. "Drokk!" She cursed as she spun her bike back around. Hopefully by the time she got there it would all be under control but she couldn't leave a fellow judge in distress even if she was on the way home.
As she got nearer she was joined by other judges, riding LawMasters of their own. She knew they were nearing the right place when something sailed through the air and landed just beside her front wheel. It burst on the ground and showered orange flames across the tarmac, a Molotov cocktail. She felt the crowd, even before she got within sight of them, hundreds of angry minds, their thoughts hazy with their outrage. It was an odd thing, normally she could scan a crowd and pick up individuals thoughts, but in cases of mass hysteria it became difficult. In protests and riots, the group fed off each other's energy, amping up the general psychic feeling but making them undefinable. She might do better with her helmet off, but for once she thought it best to keep it firmly where it was. There was only one that stood out to her, larger than life, a familiar anger and control. There were shouts and jeers and the aggressive banging of makeshift weapons coming from the large crowd up ahead and a deep commanding voice being amplified over it all. "Citizens, desist now and return to your homes or you will be considered involved in a riot. The penalty is ten years in the isocubes." She'd know that voice anywhere and the thought made her smile.
Sure enough, she pulled up alongside another two judges, and then she saw the owner of the voice, and that anger and control, in the middle of the chaos, kicking a crazed rioter away as he strode backwards towards the row of bikes, dragging a pair of limp judges, with each hand fisted into their collars.
She could feel the reactions of her fellow judges too, a young rookie, barely out of the academy was almost giddy with hero worship, the older exuding a mix of respect and jealousy. Anderson leapt off her bike and drew her LawGiver stepping in to flank Dredd as he got their colleagues to safety. It was so typical of the man, to stride right into a riot without waiting for backup, thinking nothing of taking on a hundred angry people by himself. As a group, they fell into a seamless pattern, no need for words. Anderson took Dredd's right as the furthest judge from her took his left. The one between them raced forward and took one of the unconscious judges from him. With his load lightened considerably, Dredd was able to run and the group made a tactical retreat to behind a small wall. "Two judges down! Medics to my GPS." Dredd growled into his comm. "And get us a riot squad."
They got the two injured judges over the small wall and were then set upon by the baying crowd. Dredd dropped the man he was carrying, tucking his body into the wall to offer as much protection as possible, and then stood over him, fighting off the people around them with fists and elbows, his body becoming a solid immovable object battling away the hits with ease. Anderson and the younger of the other judges stood either side of him while the older judge, a gruff man she seemed to remember was called De Souza, crouched over the two unconscious judges administering crude first aid.
"Fancy seeing you here." Anderson said with a smile to her old mentor as they stood over the downed judges. It had been a while since she had seen him, although their contact since Peach Trees had always been sporadic at best. Last she'd heard he'd taken a solo mission in the Cursed Earth, she hadn't known he was back.
Dredd gave her a glance, the slight tilt of his head the only indication that he was acknowledging her at all, he didn't reply. Of course not, she rolled her eyes, the man didn't do small talk at the best of times. He put his arm up to shield his face just as a Molotov cocktail sailed through the air at him. He batted it away, causing it to shatter and spray flaming alcohol and hot glass shards everywhere. His arm was engulfed in flame for a second but it died out against the thick leather, causing no harm. He scanned the crowd to see who had thrown it, but it was someone far back in the crush of people. He'd be unable to get there without abandoning his current post. He grabbed a gas grenade from his belt, pulled the pin with his teeth and threw it into the mob. "Respirators." He growled to the others, and they all scrambled to get their gas masks fitted. As Dredd had his hands full momentarily as he fit the mask, someone came running out of the crowd wielding a nasty looking pool cue that had been filed to a point and tipped in metal. He was aiming it right for Dredd's torso, until Anderson fired her LawGiver, taking him down with a stun. Dredd didn't thank her, she knew better than to expect him to, but there was the barest nod of appreciation instead.
"We need to get out of here." De Souza yelled over the din. "If I can get them alert enough to hang on, we'll get them on the LawMasters and retreat. Let the riot squads handle it."
Dredd's usual frown deepened even further, Anderson could feel the waves of disappointment reel off him at the thought of a retreat, but she knew he hadn't survived as a judge this long by taking unnecessary risks. "I agree." He said curtly, firing stun shots into the crowd. She hated the idea of retreating too, but there were just too many of them and the gas grenade hadn't seemed to cause any of them to slow. They could only stun so many at a time, unless things changed in their favour, the time to use lethal force was fast approaching, but that was a tough call to make under the circumstances.
"What do you think Rookie?" Dredd asked as he shoved a group, causing them to fall backwards into the crowd. It did little to stop the surge of people as they trampled over their fellow rioters to get to the small group of judges. Anderson kicked out at one, and again, they spilled back into the group but it wasn't long before others took their place.
Anderson ignored being called a rookie. She'd actually been a judge for four years now, longer than the young starry eyed man on his left, and a lot longer than most judges managed to survive. The nickname had annoyed her at first, until she'd mentioned it to Judge Hershey in passing. The older woman had smiled at her and pointed out it was the closest thing Dredd would get to affection. There was a handful of judges he called 'rookie' and they were all the ones he'd trained, and if you'd been considered good enough for Judge Dredd to pass you, then you'd earned your place.
"It's hard to tell with my helmet on Sir, but I'd suggest that to use lethal force will only incite them to further violence. Our best tactic would be to get out and wait for the riot van."
Dredd grunted in agreement. But it appeared the young judge, Grazinski, on the other side of him either hear or didn't agree. A man reached for the young judge with both hands. Before Dredd and Anderson could help push the assailant back, the young judge drew his LawGiver and fired. Anderson had assumed he'd been set on stun, and maybe the young man did too because he looked surprised as a hot shot burst from the muzzle and hit the man almost point blank in the chest. The man screamed as he fell back into the crowd with a spray of blood. There was a beat as everyone saw what what happened, and then the crowd surged.
"Drokk!" Grazinski shouted as he was grabbed by a dozen hands trying to drag him down. His LawGiver was yanked from his hand with a force that had to have broken some fingers and then he was pulled over the small wall they'd been defending and disappeared into the crowd. With a growl, Dredd jumped into the fray with him, punching, kicking and shoving to get to the younger judge who was rapidly getting dragged away.
"Step away or I will use lethal force!" Dredd shouted his warning, loud enough that there could be no one who could say they hadn't heard him. But the crowd carried on. Then, Dredd too was dragged down into the mass of angry people.