Friday, 20 May 2016

S102: Fluff- Welcome to Titan, home of corrupt Judges!


Welcome Dredd heads today's article is all about Titan. The space colony jail for corrupt Judges, this is one location you don't want to visit. It must be noted that a lot of my fluff predates the Chaos Bug comic arc. So Titan still exists and hasn't had the massive prison break. So let us get into the fluff.

Titan

The moon of Titan is a location that all Judges pray they are never unlucky enough to visit. Titan is the location of the Justice Department's penal colony,where corrupt Judges are sentenced, and Judges that do not fit into Mega-City one life are transferred to serve as wardens, a punishment almost as grievous as the life of a prisoner. 
Titan is the largest moon of the gas giant Saturn, measuring 5150 kilometers in diameter, orbiting Saturn every sixteen days with a length of day of equal duration. Slightly larger than Mercury, Titan could be classed as a planet in its own right. From space, Titan is an orange orb, its atmosphere composed of thick clouds of nitrogen, ammonia and methane, making it impossible to view the planet's surface from space. Titan's atmospheric pressure is sixty per-cent greater than the pressure found at the bottom of Earth's oceans. Whilst the surface of Titan is covered by ice and rock, the temperature can reach lows of -180 degrees Celsius and Liquid methane rains down on rust coloured methane oceans. It's a depressing place, a place that can break the corrupt.

The Justice Department chose Titan as the site of its penal colony because of its abundant water and atmosphere. Before construction could begin on the facility, robot probes scoured the surface of Titan for a suitable location not too far from water reserves; soon the probes discovered a suitable continent about the size of Australia. With the location found, the Engineer Corps set up a series of force fields to generate an energy dome, to provide protection from the methane rains. With the dome in place, construction finally began on the prison, beginning in March 2062 and completed in January 2064, it was commemorated with a ceremony attended by the then Deputy Chief Judge Veitch. The first judges sent to Titan were personnel found guilty of violent offences against citizens and fellow judges. In 2071, in the wake of the Great Atomic War, Titan was flooded with judges charged with aiding and abetting the disgraced President of the USA, Robert L. Booth. No sooner had those judges been shipped off world when Chief Geneticist Morten Judd staged a murderous coup against Chief Judge Fargo. Judd was exiled, his followers sentenced to Titan for life.
In subsequent years, Titan became home to Rico Dredd - the corrupt clone brother of Judge Dredd - and a group of judges left by Judge Grice who violently opposed a city-wide referendum proposing a return to democracy for the people. In 2115, Grice led a mass escape from Titan, resulting in the near-total destruction of the prison complex and the brutal murders of the feared Governor Khurtz and all his subordinates. 

The rebuilding of Titan Penitentiary began in 2117 and was completed in 2118. The new prison is smaller and rises higher into the atmosphere to make future breakouts more difficult. The Justice Department also took this opportunity to improve security in the form of autolaser emplacements around the prison perimeter and explosive implants fitted to the chests of inmates, have made the possibility of further escapes all but impossible - but still the prisoners try...

Titan Government

The Mega-City 1 Justice Department, manages Titan in a similar manner to a sector house, with a solitary leader supported by various department heads and an army of combat-ready personnel. However, the distance between Earth and Titan (800 million miles) means that the Titan commanders are given the authority to wield the power of life and death over their prisoners. 

The head judge is called the governor, who has little contact with the prisoners and is only concerned with the general administration of the prison and to conduct a brief interview with new prisoners, basically to threaten them with punishments more terrible than the dire life they will lead over the next twenty years if they step out of line. The governor is assisted by the chief warden, head of the judges who keep the inmates in line,and the chief medical and technical officers who care for the inmates and maintain the prison's security. The governor is typically selected from former sector chiefs, or Space Corps commanders put out to pasture. Whilst the other members of his command can come from any age group or justice career. In 2125, the present governor of Titan is Bale, a former SJS officer. His command staff include Chief Medical Officer Korsen, Chief Technical Officer Bough and Chief Warden Slanner

Governor Bale-
Archilles Bale was a distinguished SJS operative who master minded city wide hunts for corrupt judges,known as 'Black Eye' by those who came to fear his arrival at their sector house. At 51 years of age, Bale was badly injured in an explosion caused by renegade Judge Currick, losing both his left arm and leg. Bale was fitted with prosthetic replacements in later years, but had already been seconded to Academy of Law tutoring duties, a post he secretly despised. When offered the role of
Titan governor in the wake of former governor Khurtz's murder, Bale had at last found a position where he could once again wield authority over corrupt judges
Bale has been Titan governor for seven years and is pleased with his posting, though he will from time to time have live entertainment shuttled over from Earth, his favourites ultra-violent Hondo City Tri-D movies set in the present, or historical depicting the Japan of the primitive twentieth century. Bale is focused, determined and merciless to those who oppose his will, whether they be prisoners or warders. Though Bale has not to date had a warder executed, it would not be beyond his will to do so if provoked

Other Staff of note:

Chief Medical Officer Korsen- Ex Space Corps officer who earned merit fighting the Kleggs, on board 'Fargo'. Now trying to make his way home, Korsen has become stuck as Titans Med Judge.
Chief Technical Officer Bough- Female, tech Judge. Not much info on her.
Chief Warden Slanner-Hard arsed, beats and abuses prisoners.
Titan Wardens- Recruited from ISO cube Judges, tho a few Judges even volunteer or are forced to served- It is a soul destroying isolated life and the guards are prone to violent behaviour and become nihilistic. A term of Titan service is 6 months, but most guard serve multiple terms as they become addicted to the power over Judges. Discipline within their ranks is lax, leading to guards decorating their uniforms with nicknames, symbols and spray paint.  


Arriving at Titan

For the entire, twelve hour duration of the flight, SJS judges watch the prisoner intently, to curtail any thoughts of escape, though they would first have to escape handcuffs and chains. Once the shuttle lands on Titan, the SJS turn the prisoner over to the Titan warders. Before they depart to return to Earth, the SJS speak with the governor, providing additional information concerning the prisoner. The new inmates are marched off to the med-bay; where their faces receive bionic modifications to enable the criminals to survive outdoors, beneath the energy dome protecting Titan from the outside elements. The conditions within the dome are extremely unfriendly to Earth life, but tolerable when filtered through breathing apparatus known as 'muzzles', welded and bolted onto the prisoner's face with the minimum of anaesthetic. The muzzle is permanent, worn by the former judge for the rest of their life, barring extensive and highly expensive reconstruction surgery back on Earth, priced well beyond the meager finances of Mega-City One judges The prisoner's two decades are intentionally monotonous, designed to break the convict's spirit and in time with counselling from the resident psycho Judge, hoped to rebuild the prisoners's respect for law and order, although when finally released,the former judge will never be allowed back into the Justice Department. The prisoner's day begins with a wake-up call blasted through the prison block's speakers from a single pacifier riot gunshot. In 2125, the prisoners each have a cell to themselves and are fed from a motorised vending unit delivering hi-nutrient cubes twice a day. Toiletary facilities are incorporated within the cell, next to the prisoner's bunk. Within quarter of an hour after wakeup, the prisoners are released from their cells and forced into a chain gang, handcuffed and bound, as they are marched single file by the Titan wardens to an open topped transport that carries them beyond the dome to outdoor mines two miles south of the mainbuilding. There, the prisoners are released from their restraints at gunpoint and given las-drills to spend the rest of their sixteen hour day mining the Titan rock for raw materials that will be shipped back to Mega-City One and to the Earth colonies to be used for construction. It is no easy matter to toil in the mines of Titan - the weather is hellishly cold, even within the energy dome, and to stop working for even a minute is enough to freeze the blood. The muzzles provide oxygen, coupled with filtered and recombined Titan gasses for breathing purposes, but not enough to stop panic attacks and the threat of suffocation if the prisoners do not learn quickly how to control their breathing. The energy dome allows gravity generators to lighten the local air pressure to make life slightly more comfortable for the prisoners. Later, the labourers are shuttled back to the main building where they are fed, watered and receive medical care if necessary before sleeping inpreparation for the next work shift.

Relations between prisoners ranges from friendly to violent depending on the former judges' natural disposition before they arrived on Titan and how well (or badly) they have adapted to life in the mines. The only time that prisoners are allowed to converse is during their hard labour, difficult at the best of times due to constant breathing difficulties. No matter how prisoners relate to one an-other, they generally regard the governor and Titan wardens with nothing less than outright hostility. It is the governor's mandate to see that his prisoners' wills are broken, and from their emotional wrecks new, obedient men and women emerge to cause the Justice Department no further difficulties. The governor rarely meets the inmates, normally only to declare temporary changes to their routine, or to punish all the prisoners for the indiscretions of one or a small number; on Titan, all men are equal and share the same fate (except for the command staff). The Titan wardens are brutal and sadistic by design, though some genuinely enjoy inflicting pain on their former comrades. If ever there is to be a break-out, the prisoners will first target these swine for the kickings and lashings they have suffered at their hands
  
Punishment

As if a sentence to twenty years on Titan was not enough, troublesome inmates can expect severe punishments at the whim of the governor. Minor indiscretions such as theft of penitentiary property or tussles with other prisoners such will result in the culprit deprived of food for a week whilst still being forced to work a normal shift. Prisoner violence directed against the warders is punishable by a severe beating in a private, sealed room at the other end of the prison complex known to the prisoners as the 'blood bank'. A more extreme punishment is to be sealed in the Coffin, a broken refrigeration unit welded to the outside wall of one of the storage bunkers, the prisoner is fed once a week through a slot and is deprived of any form of hygiene. Should a warder or command personnel be murdered by a prisoner, the sentence is death by hanging, out in the courtyard on a signal given by the governor, an event that all prisoners are ordered to attend if they do not want to donate to the blood bank. In the past, the infamous Governor Khurtz used prisoners as guinea pigs to test torture techniques upon for the eyes of paying representatives from other mega-city justice systems. Now that Khurtz is dead, killed by one of the prisoners he tortured, the Justice Department has assigned a monitor to ensure that the subsequent governors are not tempted to follow Khurtz's line of behaviour

Freedom

When a judge enters Titan, he is generally prepared to die in there, such is the sense of hopelessness instilled in him by the facial surgery, his living and working conditions and the unremitting brutality of the warders. But prisoners are allowed to keep track of the time they spend in incarceration, one of the few luxuries the warders afford them, though some regard it as pure psychological torture. Nevertheless, exactly twenty years to the day they arrived, the prisoner is summoned for an extensive medical by the CMO before being given fresh, nondescript clothing and marched to the governor's office for one final lecture on discipline and respect for the law. The governor does not shake hands with the prisoner - he was once a judge after all, and cannot be underestimated - but ends the meeting by conveying the Chief Judge's wish that the prisoner can now provide a useful contribution to Mega-City One. With five hundred credits and a paycard that will grant him two weeks stay in reasonable rented accommodation, the former prisoner boards the Titan shuttle - often passing new inmates - and returns to Earth

Most former prisoners choose to live in Mega-City One for the rest of their days. A majority manage to secure paid employment, a testament to the drive and motivation drilled into them all those decades ago in the Academy of Law. Those that do not successfully adapt to civilian life sometimes leave the city to search for some new meaning to their lives. Whilst others fall into old habits and join street gangs/thugs/criminal organisations and take over them using their superior skills. These ex-cons soon gain the attention of the Justice Department and are stamp out quickly before they can bring more shame on the Department. 

Famous Prisoners

Prisoner 17544 (Judge Diggle)- Abraham Diggle, saw action in 2nd Robot War. Diggle stole weapons discarded during the retreat of Nero Narco's Forces and planed on selling them on the black market. The weapons were later used in a murder and Wally Squad traced the weapons back to Diggle. Diggle is now in his 4th year and seeks a means to escape. Diggles cropped hair is now long, covering his neck tattoos and he has no teeth left due to Warden beatings.

Prisoner 17228 (Judge Barnes)- Noel 'Bastich' Barnes a block judge turned rogue. Used heavy handed tactics on criminals and was arrested for murder. Barnes suffered serve frostbite on Titan so now has a fake foot and arm.


That's it for now. I plan on adding to the criminal list as names pop up. Feel free to comment below and thanks for reading.

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