Superfreaks/ACRA: Superfreaks #21
martinphipps2 at yahoo.com
Thu Dec 28 17:25:03 PST 2006
Michael King, Mary Jones and Frank Lopez: crime scene
investigators. John Phelps, Mark Johnston and Tom
Jackson: police officers. Jack Greenspan and Edward
Bailey: medical examiners. Alan Russell and Cliff
Murdock: lawyers. These are the men and women who are
truly our last line of defense. But what about the
capes whose cases they have to investigate? Should
they be considered a help or a hindrance?
When John Marx got up on that sunny June morning, it
was just another day. And all indications were that
it was going to be a good day: for one thing, he
didn't feel the slightest bit hung over from the night
before, despite having spent a considerable amount of
time drinking alcohol. "Excellent!" he said as he
bounced out of bed and stepped on to the floor.
Unfortunately, he had stepped right onto a pair of
boxer shorts he had discarded on the floor when he had
gone to bed the night before. He slipped on those
boxer shorts and landed butt first onto the floor.
"Ow!" he said. "That hurt."
Undaunted, John proceeded to the bathroom where he
shaved and took a shower. He then came back out of
the bathroom and got dressed. Getting his pants on
was more difficult than usual for him because his butt
was still sore from having fallen on the floor
John checked the time. It was now seven twenty.
His class started at eight o'clock. He had to hurry
up or he was going to be late. John raced out of the
apartment and hurried down the stairs, all the while
trying not to let his sore butt bother him.
"Some kids called 911 around seven thirty," Officer
Mark Johnston said. "Paramedics declared him dead at
the scene at seven fifty. That's when they called
Detective Michael King nodded. "Any reason to
suspect foul play?"
Johnston shook his head. "It just looks as though
he slipped and fell down the stairs."
Just then Julia Perez appeared at the top of the
stairs. "Oh my!" she said. "Is that John?"
"You know the victim?" Michael asked her.
Julia nodded. "We go to the same school and we live
in the same building. Plus one time we got on a bus
together going to Florida for spring break."
Michael frowned. "So you went for spring break with
"I got this vision that the bus was going to
"I freaked out. So me, John and two of his friends
all got off the bus. We found out later that some
terrorist had planted a bomb on the bus. The bus
exploded when its speed dropped below fifty miles per
"Did they catch the guy who planted the bomb?"
Officer Tom Jackson asked.
"Oh yeah," Julia said. "I'm sure it's not
important. But that's how I know him. From spring
"Do you happen to know the names and addresses of
his friends?" Michael asked.
Julia nodded. "Max Grimes lives just off campus at
2133 University Avenue and Mitch Rogers lives nearby
at 83 Lincoln Road."
"Thanks," Michael said and then turned to speak to
Mark and Tom. "It's okay to move the body now," he
said. "I've seen enough. I'm going to go to 83
Lincoln Road to speak to Mitch Rogers."
"You think what happened had something to do with
what happened with the bus?" Mark asked.
"It's just a hunch," Michael said.
Michael arrived at 83 Lincoln Road only to find the
entire building burned down with no survivors.
"Is Mitch Rogers among the dead?" Michael asked the
"Maybe. We haven't identified the victims yet."
"Any reason to suspect foul play?" Michael asked.
The fire marshall shook his head. "So far it looks
like a freak electrical fire. Why? Do you know
something we don't?"
Michael pursed his lips and shook his head. "Not
really. I have to ask because I'm a homocide
detective. I'm Michael King." He handed the fire
marshall his business card.
The fire marshall nodded. "We'll do our own
investigation and let you know if we find anything
Michael nodded. "Fair enough."
Michael had gone to Max Grimes's apartment but
nobody had answered so he decided to go into campus
and look for him. Not knowing what classes Max took,
Michael first went to the registars office.
"I'm looking for Max Grimes," he said. "He's a
student here. I need to see his course schedule."
"I'm sorry," the desk clerk said, "but we don't give
out that information."
Michael showed her his badge. "It's important."
"Very well," she said. She searched for Max Grimes
on her computer and printed out the schedule. "He's
got a psychology class this afternoon but nothing this
morning," she said.
"Can I have that schedule please?" he asked and she
handed it to him. "Thanks."
10:35 am (the same day)
Pepperton University was unique in that it had a
Department of Paranormal Phenomena. Michael figured
that since he didn't know what Max looked like that he
should go speak to one of the professors there, a
Professor Stephen Stomper, and follow up his hunch.
Michael knocked on the door to Professor Stomper's
office and heard the man say "Come in".
"I'm from the Pepperton Police."
"How can I help you?"
Michael came in and sat down in front of Professor
Stomper's desk. Like all Professor's offices, this
one was a mess with paper everywhere, some of it put
aside for research purposes and some of it put aside
for the sake of classes he was either currently
teaching or had taught before and may yet teach again.
"Two of your students are dead, Professor."
"The university's students I mean," Michael said,
correcting himself. "I don't know if you've ever
taught them or not."
"I see. What are their names?"
"John Marx and Mitch Rogers."
Professor Stomper shook his head. "I'm sorry but
I'm not familiar with those students."
"That's okay," Michael said. "I rather thought
though you could help me anyway."
"I rather thought that their deaths could be
explained by something... paranormal."
"A few months ago, during spring break, Julia Perez
was getting on a bus when she got a vision that the
bus was going to explode. She panicked and ran off
the bus. Three other students, including John Marx
and Mitch Rogers, also got off the bus. The bus later
exploded, killing everybody on the bus. And now John
Marx and Max Grimes are both dead, John Marx having
fallen down the stairs and Mitch Rogers having died in
a fire. And it seems that Mitch Rogers's death
occured less than half an hour after John's."
Professor Stomper nodded. "I see."
"Do you have any theory as to what might be going
on?" Michael asked.
"One," Stomper said. "Some people say that you are
fated to die on a certain day at a certain time and
that nothing can prevent your death from happening.
But if this Julia Perez actually foresaw her own death
then it would appear as though death was cheated.
Perhaps the angel of death is now trying to balance
the scales and has chosen today as the day when these
students will die. If so, we had better find Julia
and the other survivor as soon as possible."
"Max Grimes. He has a psychology class this
afternoon in room 2216."
"Then we need to be there this afternoon," Professor
Stomper said. "In the meantime, why don't we go
partake of an early lunch? My treat."
"I'm Michael King from the Pepperton Police. I'm
here with Professor Stomper from the Department of
"Can I help you?"
"Do you teach this class?"
"Do you know Max Grimes?"
"Could you point him out to us when he arrives?"
"This is crazy!" Max Grimes complained.
"It is not I assure you!" Professor Stomper said.
"Look," Michael said. "Your friends John Marx and
Mitch Rogers are both dead."
"John Marx died this morning after falling down the
stairs in his apartment building while Mitch Rogers
died in a fire in his apartment."
"The two deaths happened pretty much one after the
other. So it seems as though you might be in danger."
"Also Julia Perez," Professor Stomper pointed out.
"She also would have died that day. We should find
her and warn her."
Michael nodded. "She lived in the same building as
John Marx. She could have gone back home by now.
"You should come with us. You'll be safer that
Julia was sitting in her apartment watching
television when the door bell rang. Julia got up to
answer the door. Just then, her television exploded.
Glass from the TV screen flew across the room and
ripped through the chair where she had been sitting.
Michael, who had been the one who rang the door and
had then started to wait outside for her to answer,
kicked the door in when he heard the explosion and
pulled out his gun.
"I think you'll find that your gun is of little use
against the angel of death," Professor Stomper said.
"Stand back please!" Michael, Julia and Max all stood
along the wall in Julia's apartment.
Professor Stomper closed his eyes and concentrated.
His ordinary clothing transformed into the red and
yellow robes of a master of the mystic arts!
"Now that I have revealed myself it is time for the
angel of death to reveal himself!"
What then appeared in the room looked like a pale
skinned ghost in white robes. It was surrounded by a
bright white aura. "I must take Julia Perez and Mitch
Rogers! Balance must be restored!"
"I say... NAY!" Professor Stomper said as he struck
the entity with a bolt of energy. The entity struck
back but Professor Stomper had put up shields to
deflect the creature's attack. Professor Stomper
similarly found it difficult to land a second strike
on the ghostly form he faced. But get through he did!
And every blow that struck the entity weakened it.
"Give up on these two or be destroyed!" Professor
"Curse you!" the creature swore. "If I can't have
them then I will have you and someone you hold dear!
And the attack will come when you least expect it!"
The entity disappeared.
"It's over!" Professor Stomper said.
"Are you sure?" Julia asked.
"Yes," Professor Stomper said. "I sense it was
telling the truth just now."
"But that means it will come after you next!"
Professor Stomper nodded. "Which is how it should
be for I am best able to deal with the angel of death.
Don't worry about me. It is my duty to protect
innocents like you."
Michael shook his hand. "I appreaciate all your
Mitch, meanwhile, was smiling at Julia. "Hi," he
said. "I'm Mitch."
"Sounds like it was really cool!" Edward Bailey
"Actually it was a bit scary," Detective Michael
Edward shrugged his shoulders. "If the angel of
death could have just vaporized people then why did he
go to the trouble of staging accidents?"
"I guess because he wanted us to think they _were_
"Fair enough." Edward Bailey adjusted the bow tie
on his tux. He looked down the aisle of the church.
All of his friends and family were there intermixed
with Mary's. Also there were all the cops from the
precinct as well as all the guys from the crime lab.
Even District Attorney Alan Russell was there sitting
in the front row. "What's taking her so long?"
Michael smiled. "Women always take a long time to
"Even on the day they are going to get married?"
"_Especially_ on the day they are going to get
"She just wants to look beautiful for you," Naomi
Chen said. Whereas Michael was the best man at the
wedding, Naomi was the maid of honour. As she was
also the receptionist at the precinct, all calls were
being diverted to other precincts.
"Wait," Michael said, "I think she's coming now."
Mary appeared at the top of the aisle hand in hand
with her father as the organist started to play "Here
Comes the Bride". She was dressed in a traditional
white bridal gown and was carrying a bouquet of white
"So what do you think?" Naomi asked.
"Pretty cool!" Edward said.
Mary took her place at Edward's side and her father
went to sit down next to her mother. The Priest by
saying, "We are gathered here today" and Edward waited
patiently for when it was his turn to be asked if he
would take Mary Elizabeth Jones to be his "lawfully
wedded wife for better or for worse, in sickness and
in health until death".
"I do," he said.
"And do you, Mary Elizabeth Jones, take Edward
Michael Bailey to be your lawfully wedded husband for
better or for worse, in sickness and in health and
until death do you part?" the Priest asked.
"I do," she said.
"If there be any among us who object to this union
may they speak now or forever hold their peace."
Nobody spoke up. "Then by the power invested in me by
both God and the state, I now pronounce you man and
wife. You may now kiss the bride!"
Mary and Edward kissed. Mary then turned and threw
her bouquet. Katherine Phelps, Detective John
Phelps's daughter, caught the bouquet, much to her
father's chagrin. He wanted to speak to Mary later:
she clearly had aimed the bouquet in her father's
Then it was time for group photos to be taken.
Frank Lopez was taking the pictures: it made a change
for him to take pictures of people while they were
"So where are you going now?" Frank asked Edward.
"I'm going to Disney World!" Edward said as he
raised his fist.
"No we're not!" Mary said as she hit her husband on
the shoulder. Edward hoped the friendly abuse wasn't
a sign of things to come. "We're going to spend a
week in a hotel in the US Virgin Islands."
"But I wanted to go on the rides," Edward said with
"You'll get plenty of rides," Mary said with a wink.
The wedding party had moved on to a local Italian
restaurant for the reception. The bride and the groom
were, of course, sitting at the head table with the
maid of honour and the best man sitting on either side
of them. Michael got up to make a speech.
"I've known Edward and Mary, each of them, for
years. They are both excellent investigators. More
importantly, they are good friends. I am so happy to
see that they've found happiness together," he said.
He raised his glass of wine and everybody at the
reception did likewise. "To Edward and Mary!" he said
and he took a sip. He went to sit back down.
Before Edward and Mary left for their honeymoon,
everybody got a chance to speak with them and wish
them good fortune.
"Congratulations," John told them. "I hope you'll
both be happy together." At the last moment, he
decided not to complain about the whole bouquet
"Thanks, boss!" Edward said.
"I expect you both to show up to work Monday morning
after you come back from your honeymoon!" he said with
"Yes, Sir!" Mary said as she jokingly saluted him.
Everyone gathered outside the restaurant to wave at
Edward and Mary as their car drove away and headed to
the airport. Their luggage had already been packed in
the trunk of the car. A "Just Married" sign had been
placed on the back of the car.
Naomi turned and spoke to Michael. "Almost makes
you wish you were getting married, huh?" she said with
Michael nodded. "That it does."
Naomi's smile broadened. "So how much does the head
NEXT: The "season" finale :)
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