Judge Dredd - Skinny Muldoon
by Mike Donaldson (2001)
His eyes are too close together. His forehead is a little low.
His smile is on the insincere side of his face. Funnily enough
he'd been pulled by the judges five times in the last week and he
still stank of the lubrication they use to search your colon.
They hadn't found anything. Well, nothing unusual.
Skinny Muldoon leaves his apartment at around eight o' clock.
He kisses his mother goodbye and promises not to be out too long.
She's watching the 57 inch vid-screen he'd bought her out of his
earnings as a tweezer down at Resyk. He loves his dear old
At around this time April Tulumpa leaves her apartment across
the hall. She works as an aortic dancer down the Queen of Hearts.
Tonight, she's accompanied by Graham - a seven foot python
concealed under her rain coat. Graham is a clone grown by an
illegal gene-jock who lives in the ducting above April's
apartment. The judges may want to question him later.
Muldoon hails a robocab in the block plaza. The driver is a
large, over-familiar model with an odour of stale oil. As Muldoon
climbs into the vehicle he's accosted by April. April explains
that she's really late for her gig and would he like to get the
next cab and let her travel in this one. A careless flash of her
cleavage under an extravagant feather boa is all that is needed
to persuade Muldoon to relent. April has a python between her
Luckily for Muldoon another robocab arrives almost
immediately. The driver is an exact duplicate of the previous
model. It could almost be the same driver. The disturbing thought
that some factory churns out deliberately defective droids to
conform to some age old taxi driving stereotype briefly occupies
Muldoon's thoughts. But before he can step into the waiting cab
he is once again interrupted.
The couple behind him are in their late forties. They are
decked out in designer rubber-ware as befits a couple of ageing
swingers on the Mega-City S/M scene. Tony and his wife, Shirley,
are desperate to get to the Hellfire Club in Sector 17. They
explain that they don't want to wait around too long as they
often attract the attention of the local juves. Last week
Shirley's handbag was snatched and, given the contents, she
couldn't call the judges. Muldoon decides to let them have the
cab. It's a warm night.
Yet another robocab arrives hot on the heels of the last one.
The driver is identical to the previous two. Muldoon does not
have time to consider this as he scrambles into the back of the
cab before anyone else arrives. There is a brief exchange of
words. Muldoon tells the driver to head to Resyk. The driver
points out the public gallery will be closed by now and if his
passenger is seeking visceral thrills he should check out the
Merchant Power's retrospective down the multiplex. Muldoon points
out that he's a supervisor at Resyk and he's late for work.
At this point in our narrative we switch our attention to a
certain Judge Dredd. He's straddling his Lawmaster in an
observation bay not far away. He's watching a live feed direct
from a camera hidden in Muldoon's robocab. Judge Dredd is not a
happy man. A succession of idiots nearly ruined his carefully
staged surveillance operation. Chained to the holding post on the
East Plaza are two middle-aged perverts arrested on a public
lewdness charge, a dancer without an entertainment license and a
dead python called Graham.
In a more libertarian age civil liberties groups may have
questioned the senior Judge's right to place an innocent man
under intensive surveillance on the grounds that he has an
'insincere' smile. But not today. Not in Mega-City one and
definitely not on Dredd's patch.
Dredd's suspicions are about to be borne out. He's checked the
Resyk work logs and discovered that Skinny Muldoon's shift ended
seven hours ago. His next shift starts tomorrow morning. The real
clincher comes, however, when Muldoon asks the cab to wait for
him outside. Dredd powers up his bike.
Now, some people would say that if Muldoon were a smart man he
would have spotted the feathers from April's boa on the back seat
of the cab. At this point his best course of action would have
been to climb out and head home as fast as his legs could carry
him. This would, have course, meant pissing Dredd off still
further. Not wise.
As it happens the mean mutha that knocks Muldoon to the ground
as he exits Resyk in a hurry still has a modicum of good humour.
He searches the suspected creep's bag and finds a pair of fresh
kidneys wrapped in foil, stopping only to quip (and I can't do
'I assume they're not for breakfast, pal?'
Dredd dismisses the robocab and kindly offers to drive the
unfortunate kidney thief home. Back at Muldoon's apartment his
mother is still watching her favourite shows on cable. On closer
inspection 'mother' turns out to be a badly cobbled together
collection of stolen organs looking a little like a human mixed
grill. There's probably a really interesting back history to
extract from the unfortunate perp. A heart-rending story of
abuse, death and human tragedy. Dredd calls the psych-boys and
heads off for a burger.
Later that week some spy-in-the-sky footage is edited together
with the robocab material to make a thirty second item on
'Mega-City's Dumbest Perps'. Later still Muldoon, whilst still
cubed, stars in a Tri-V commercial for 'Mother's Own Mock-Pork
Meanwhile, Judge Dredd has just spotted a juve with an English
accent. He's got to be up to something...