Prog #47: Last One There’s a Buck-Toothed Alien! (The Land Race)

Case File

A new area of Luna-1 has been opened up for land claims, which brings with it all sorts of criminal activity. One company is going to mind-altering methods to rob people of their claims, until Dredd changes their minds by force.

Ol’ Stoney Face

Dredd decides to use some underhanded tactics here to get the drop on those threatening Widow Spock. He considers the idea of robots in love to be ridiculous, but ponders that it might distract Walter from annoying him.

Dredd can apparently tell whether a cookie was made by a robot or human by a quick taste. A vital skill.

Friends of Dredd

Walter’s got a new friend, Rowena the Robot. She is a waitress robot for Widow Spock, who claimed a prime spot for a flapjack eatery in the Land Race. Walter is in on Dredd’s plan and has to convince Rowena that his master won’t help – once it’s all over though he’s quick to put the metal moves on his robot companion.

The Big Meg (and Beyond)

A new area of Luna-1 has been opened up for settlement, Von Braun Territory. For some reason in 2100 land claims on new areas of the colony are awarded on a “finders keepers” basis with the first person to get to a plot legally claiming it. This is referred to as a “Land Race”, with cars and other transport literally racing to get there first. When they touch a special pole, they win the claim.

The Law

Luna-1 law enforcement monitors the Land Race to ensure that the agreed rules are followed, which include not using flying transport. The Judges also arbitrate disputes over plots, and get rid of claim touts.

Dredd’s deputies here all appear to hail from Mexico. Their speech and mannerisms are approached with the usual level of cultural sensitivity and respect.

Assuming it’s not part of the charade, Dredd says that the Law can’t act on crimes reported by robots.

Creeps

Widow Spock is being threatened by representatives of the Interstellar Psionics Corporation. IPC are determined to get Spock’s claim off her, and use a fearsome contraption called a “Psi-Chair” to literally change her mind. Strapped into the chair, electrodes are sent into the brain to force it to do what IPC want.

Widow Spock is strong-willed enough to resist, and Dredd arrives in time to take out the IPC gang before her brain snaps.

Rap Sheet

The Land Race appears to net a few lawbreakers. The IPC goons are arrested by Dredd and his deputies, and orders are given to arrest their bosses as well.

Resyk

The Land Race is pretty deadly – 1 contestent definitely dies and many other possibly do as well.

Verdict

This one is a bit all over the place. The Land Race claiming system seems… problematic, to say the least. We then get a fairly straightforward case for Dredd to solve with a bit of subterfuge, and then some romantic robots. The depiction of the Mexican Judges is, of course, appalling.

Overall, it’s not terrible but tries to cram a bit too much into 6 pages.

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