Who the Hell's Gonna Mess With Them?!?
“Leering at a Judge in a lascivious manner!” Dredd snarls, in a voice that makes your blood run cold. “Coveting Justice Department property! Disrupting the peace and interrupting an approved Justice Department function! Sitting on a Gronk! You’re in a world of trouble, creep!” Realising you’ve dropped yourself up to your neck in it with the most harmless of actions you stutter a feeble apology and try to explain how you ended up here. You only get as far as the bit about finding the ticket and using it to access the Nerve Centre when Dredd explodes, jabbing you in the gut with his day-stick and causing you to double over in pain. "Party-crasher, huh?" the Judge snarls, putting down his tray and raising his stick. "I do a bit of crashing myself...skull crashing!" You don't need an announcement to know what's coming next, and as fight or flight instincts kick in, you forego trying to state your case and push yourself from the table, spinning to leg it for the door! Sadly, your valiant attempt at escape extends no further than a couple of steps, as you crash into the walking wall of Christmas presents behind you. Gift-wrapped parcels drop to the floor and skitter in all directions as you and a man in green go down in a heap. “What the hell-?” the newcomer says, pushing you away and sitting up to rub his head. “Where's the fire?”
“This creep is the fire,” says Dredd, clamping a hand to your shoulder and hauling you up. “And I’m gonna put him out. Nice save, Johnny, just caught yourself a party-crasher.” “Still dispensing justice, Joe, even at the Christmas party?” “It’s the gift that keeps on giving!” Dredd says, frog-marching you to the door. “Help yourself to a drink, I’ll be back as soon as I put out the trash." All the way to the elevator and from there all the way to the front door you protest your intentions in using the ticket were honourable, but your words are ignored. You tell Dredd about Toby stealing the ticket you wanted to return, and that he may have sinister intentions, but even this doesn't buy a reprieve. "I'll look into it," is all you get, as Dredd opens the door and kicks you out into the snow. "But if you're lying...I'll be after you!" With that, he slams the door behind him and stalks back to the elevator. Getting to your feet to rub your bruised behind, you wonder if you should hang around 'til Dredd is gone then try to contact Tharg. As you turn towards the door, however, a snowball comes out of nowhere to whack you in the face! "Hey!" you gasp, wiping snow from your eyes and scooping up more to retaliate. When you see where the snowball came from, and who threw it, you quickly change your mind, dropping your half-made projectile and turning to run.
"Sh-sh-sh-ka-ka-kara!!!!!" the alien robot thing standing nearby shouts, hurling another three snowballs at your back as you flee. Enough is enough, you think, knowing when you are out of your depth. 2000ad christmas party? Toby can wreak as much havoc as he wants, you decide, as you make your way across the street to the nearest bus stop, hop the first bus that comes along and set off on the long journey home.
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