Prog #57: We’ve Got to Wake Them Up! (The Oxygen Board)

Case File

Raiders feed tranquillisers into Luna-1’s oxygen supply, and then rob some loot. They come unstuck over an unpaid oxygen bill.

Ol’ Stoney Face

Dredd’s legacy as Judge-Marshal can’t be too good after this debacle takes place under his watch.

The Big Meg (and Beyond)

Huge “astro-tankers” arrive every day carrying oxygen for the colony, presumably from Earth although this is not confirmed.

Interestingly, the oxygen is mixed with “other gases” before being sent to the general population. That seems… weird. What gases are they adding?

Luna-1 does not have a good time here. Everyone suddenly going to sleep has disastrous side-effects, including people being crushed in piles as the moving walkways keep going, car crash deaths and monorail derailments. Staggeringly, 53,000 people die and half a million are injured.

The Oxygen Board on Luna-1 takes a tough line on not paying your oxygen bill – immediately removing that service from your home.

The Law

The Judges’ built-in helmet respirators protect them from the tranq-gas.

Creeps

The raiders are a gang of 4 (led by a Mr Smith) that attack one of the terminals where oxygen is mixed and sent out. They pump in tranq-gas which puts the entire colony (except for the Judges) to sleep.

Their plan is very successful – they have a literal pile of money and appear utterly unfazed with the mass-murder they have committed. Unfortunately they fall foul of the Oxygen Board before they can spend it, and end up asphyxiated.

Holy Grud!

I was actually genuinely shocked by the death toll in this one. That escalated fast.

Resyk

53,000 Luna-1 citizens die in the chaos. The raider gang die hours later.

Verdict

This one got very dark, very fast! It’s almost over the top, but the death count works as a sharp kick in the teeth. I liked this one as it makes good use of the location – this plot could only really happen on Luna-1. The chaos of everyone falling asleep works well, and the final punchline has a dark and macabre humour.

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