Once the truck was loaded up, they all set off for the spot where Dredd had materialised, Gold and Mills in the truck, following Dobie, Boyle and Dredd on their bikes. When they found the place, Gold looked on, still sat in the truck, as the other four positioned the equipment into place and then Dobie and Boyle rode down about 100 yards either side of the arch to hold up any traffic in both directions. Then Dredd slowly rode his bike in between the two electromagnets and underneath the arch, switched off, dismounted and waited. Finally, Mills signalled to Gold and he got out, walked over to one of the electromagnets and he and Mills hit the big red buttons in unison. What followed was a very loud humming, intense vibrations shaking through Dredd’s body, the arch was glowing with what looked like Northern Lights and visibility of everything inside the arch became difficult and too blurry for those outside to focus on. Dredd felt exactly the same as he did before and again passed out.
But no blue/white flash.
When it became evident to Mills that he had been in there too long and that no portal was going to open and Dredd
wasn’t going to dematerialise, he yelled over to Gold, “Hit the black button!”, and he did likewise.
It had failed.
Dredd was not happy when he came round, but he was far too groggy for anyone to notice.
“Why didn’t it work?”, he asked Mills.
“I’m not sure”, he replied, “I suspect that there is something missing from the equation. Some vital ingredient that would act as a conduit. We need to figure it out. Try and remember everything you can about the time you came through. If we work out what we need, we can try again tomorrow. Your body wouldn’t be able to stand up to another attempt, until you are rested. We will return to Sector House 39 now. Get some rest when we get there!”
So the equipment was loaded back into the truck again and they made their way back again.
“Just leave it here on the cargo bay”, Gold ordered when they got back, “ready for easy loading next time it is needed!”
For the remainder of the afternoon, Dredd was going through it all in his head in the sector house rest room. “One thing I just don”t get”, he thought, “is why didn’t Robot Archie come through with me, when my Lawmaster and Lawgiver did? ….Perhaps it was something it was made of, but it’s just the usual metals, titanium, steel, cobalt. The only unusual metal is the zontonium nuts and bolts….”
“Wait a minute!”, he suddenly stopped and concentrated. “I bet THAT’S it! I was going to dismantle Rusty with a zontonium wrench, but THAT didn’t come through either! – Put some zontonium into the electromagnetic field and it opens a rift and pushes everything else through!”
“I’ve gotta tell Mills”, he said out loud and rushed out of the rest room. As he was nearing Mills’ laboratory, the door was slightly ajar and he overheard Mills and Gold talking together.
“Have you figured out what that missing catalyst is yet?”, Gold asked of Mills.
“It’s not that easy, it could be almost anything!”, replied Mills, “If Dredd can”t remember himself, have Henderson poke around in his brain to see exactly what happened that day”, suggested Mills.
“Do you realise that once we give Beanie Dredd’s city on a plate, it’ll mean BIG promotions for us two?”, Gold said, “….I’m talking about dining at Bean’s table!”
Dredd stopped dead.
“So that’s what they’re up to! I knew they were up to something!”, he thought to himself. “Can’t let them know about the zontonium now, no matter what, we can’t have them sick creeps crawling over Mega City One! I’ve got to try and figure out some way of getting back by myself now!”
He turned around and headed for the doors. “Gotta take a walk to think what to do!”, he thought, “….And must steer clear of Morticea!”