Prog #128: I’m Extending the City Limits! (Battle of the Black Atlantic, part 1)

Case File

A routine crime blitz leads to suspicions that someone is selling secrets to the Sovs. Dredd find himself heading out into the polluted Black Atlantic to take on East-Meg 1 spies.

492566-67249_20061020085301_largeOl’ Stoney Face

Dredd finds Mr Sweet suspicious simply because he’s apparently so clean. This fits in pretty well with Dredd’s previous statements regarding assuming everyone is guilty of something.

Dredd is not a fan of the Sovs, and ends this episode attempting to arrest and entire ship before his own boat is crashed into by the larger vessel.

The Big Meg (and Beyond)

The Black Atlantic is a polluted stretch of water outside of the Big Meg, shielded from the City by a “Plasti-Barrier”. It has an enormous crack in it, possibly from the recent attack by the Doomsday Dogs. A 40-mile limit extends into the Black Atlantic, after which Mega-City One jurisdiction ends.

We get a bit more information about the Sovs, who we’ve only previously met on the Moon. The spies here are from East-Meg One (meaning there’s at least one other Sov City), and Dredd refers to their own version of The Cursed Earth.

The Sovs have huge “Anti-Pollution” Ships that patrol the seas to, according to East-Meg, help humanity by cleaning the water. Dredd seriously doubts this.

The Law

“Mega-City One Criminal Code, Section 59(D): A Judge may enter a citizen’s home to carry out routine investigation. The citizen has no rights in this matter.”

We’ve seen the Judges demonstrate their complete power over citizens before, but there’s something about it just being spelled out that really hits home. Then we hear from Judge Waldo, who carries out a lot of “59Ds”, that the arrest rate for these home searches is 100%. 100%! I’m starting to work out how Cal wasn’t seen as too insane.

After 59Ds, citizens are entitled to compensation and a robot fixing any damage the Judges have caused. If there is found to be nothing illegal in your home, you also get a Certificate of Merit signed by the Chief Judge.

The Justice Department has hovering “Spy-in-the-Sky” cameras, which they use to track Mr Sweet. We also get the first mention of isolation cubes as punishment for criminals.

Creeps

Mr Sweet appears to be your average researcher at the Science Institute, with a spotless and empty criminal record. But he is in fact selling laser defence secrets to East-Meg One, on the promise that he will have a small house in the countryside.

Sweet meets his Sov contact Nikolai at The Smiling Burger, and we get a chase through the streets of MC-1 before he escapes to the waiting East-Meg Anti-Pollution Ship.

Holy Grud!

Dredd, alone on a customs boat, sailing up to an enormous vessel and arresting it is just amazing.

Rap Sheet

The gullible Mr Sweet is heading to prison. I have a feeling MC-1 doesn’t like traitors, and can presume that his sentence will be pretty harsh.

Verdict

An interesting and pretty action-packed quick hit. The further exploration of the totalitarian nature of the Judges is great, and the expansion of the world to include more about the Sovs is also welcome.

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