Superfreaks/ACRA: Superfreaks #15
martinphipps2 at yahoo.com
Tue Nov 7 02:25:55 PST 2006
Michael King, Mary Jones and Frank Lopez: crime scene
investigators. John Phelps, Mark Johnston and Tom
Jackson: police officers. Jack Greenspan, Edward
Bailey and Samuel Leonard: medical examiners. Alan
Russell and Leroy Laurel: 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
"What the hell happened?"
Detective Michael King didn't appreciate The Super
Soldier's tone: he didn't have to answer to him. That
being said, he had good reason to be upset. "This
creature from planet Neon showed up at what turned out
to be the crash site of his space ship. He just
looked at Extreme and he was gone."
"Gone?" The Super Soldier asked.
"I don't believe it," Amazing Woman said. "I can't
belive anybody could kill Extreme just by looking at
"I was there," Michael said. "I saw the whole
"Take me to where it happened."
"This is it," Michael said. "This is where Extreme
"We shall see," Amazing Woman said.
"What are you going to do?"
"I am going to call upon the Gods of Olympus for
"Yeah. Right," Michael said. "You do that."
Amazing Woman concentrated. After a few seconds,
Michael noticed the sky getting darker as clouds
started to move in from nowhere in particular. Soon
it was so dark that they were only illuminated by the
occasional lightning strike. Then, just as suddenly,
the weather started to clear until, finally, there
wasn't a cloud in the sky.
"Okay," Michael said, still skeptical.
"Extreme is alive," she said.
"Are you sure?" Michael asked.
"So where is he?"
"He's in the Twilight Dimension."
"Twilight Dimension?" Michael asked. "Isn't that an
old TV show hosted by Rod Sterling?"
"That's the Twilight _Zone_."
"So what's the Twilight Dimension?"
"It's the dimension where the criminals of Neon were
sent back when Extreme's father ruled that planet."
"So Zon and Extreme are both aliens from the same
"Yes," Amazing Woman said, "but you already
suspected that, didn't you?"
Michael nodded. "The fact that Zon recognized
Extreme and Extreme recognized Zon. That plus the
fact that they have the same powers."
"Yes," Amazing Woman said, "owing to their exposure
to this planet's sun."
Michael frowned. "You were going to marry him even
though you knew he was an alien?"
Amazing Woman nodded. "It doesn't matter where he
came from. All that matters is te kind of man he is."
Michael sighed. "So is there any way to get him out
of the Twilight Dimension?"
"I don't think so." Amazing Woman sighed sadly.
"He really is gone."
"I'm sorry," Michael said.
"But as long as he lives there is hope!" she said
Michael nodded. "We'd better be getting back."
"The Twilight Dimension, eh?" The Super Soldier
"That's what Amazing Woman said."
"Then there might be a chance of getting him back."
Michael shrugged his shoulders. "Amazing Woman
didn't seem to think so."
"First, though, we need to defeat Zon."
Michael nodded. "Do you mind me asking how? I
mean, Zon has all of Extreme's powers. It seems to me
that you might want to focus on finding some way to
get Extreme back."
The Super Soldier pursed his lips. "Actually, that
we can do. In fact, we've already done it."
"What do you mean?"
The Super Soldier nodded. "Okay. You've wanted to
be in on what we do here, hmm?"
"To the extent that your lack of disclosure might
endanger the public, yes."
"Alright then. What I am about to show you is top
The Super Soldier took Michael deep within Extreme
Force HQ to a top secret cloning laboratory.
"I take it you are familiar with this process."
Michael nodded. "I've seen people getting cloned
before, yes. Who are you cloning here?"
"It hasn't been easy. Extreme's alien DNA is
difficult to clone. It would have been easier if we
could have just simply bred him with a female from his
"I'm sure he would have also prefered that
approach," Michael said with a sly smile.
"Most of the clones were not viable. We had three
near successes before we got an acceptable duplicate."
"Three near successes?"
The Super Soldier nodded. "I'll show you."
The Super Soldier led Michael to a room that looked
partly like a common room in an insane assylum with
it's bare white walls and partly like a kindergarten
with educational toys having been left strewn about.
In the room were four clones of Extreme.
"Our first viable Extreme clone -code named Reject-
looked like it was going to be okay but then, for some
reason, the advanced aging process resulted in his
grotesque appearance. Obviously, we couldn't use this
clone as a replacement for Extreme for any mission in
which he could appear in the public eye."
"Obviously not," Michael said, having to admit to
himself that the way Reject's skin was hanging off his
face was extremely offputting.
"Our second viable Extreme clone -code named
Bizarre- looked fine but when we tried to program him
to do anything we found that he just wasn't able to
accept any of the programming. It was as if his brain
refused to accept any programming."
"As if he had a learning disability?" Michael asked.
"Exactly," The Super Soldier said. "Our third
viable Extreme clone -code named Junior- similarly
stopped developing but in his case the problem was
physical: our experts say that he will never age any
further and that he will forever have the appearance
of a teenager."
"We should be so lucky," Michael quipped.
"Finally, our last viable Extreme clone -code named
Eliminator because that's what he's programmed to do,
elimate any threat capable of taking down the original
Extreme -is an almost perfect copy of the original and
programmed to obey our instructions -subject to a
strict moral code which automatically overrides his
doing any harm to civilians." The Super Soldier
grimaced. "He's our best chance at defeating Zon."
Michael nodded. "Tell me, Super Soldier, have you
ever read Mary Shelly's Frankenstein?"
"Why?" The Super Soldier asked. "Is that
Zon stood in the White House press conference room.
"Am I to understand that if I speak into that camera
over there that I will be seen and heard by the entire
"That is correct," he was told.
"Excellent," he said. "You may begin."
"Alright. You're on the air."
"People of Earth, follow the example of your
President Luthor and kneel before Zon!"
"Never!" Eliminator said, arriving just on cue.
"Extreme!" Zon said. "But I had banished you to the
Eliminator nodded. "Yeah. But I'm back."
"No matter," Zon said. "I will send you right
back." Zon focused his eyes in Eliminator's
Eliminator was ready for him though: he quickly
placed a mirror between himself and Zon and Zon's
eyebeams were reflected back at him.
"No!" Zon said just before he disappeared.
Eliminator stood in front of the camera. "Don't
worry, everybody. You're safe now. Zon..."
>>... won't threaten you anymore!<<
Reject pointed at the TV that had been set up in the
common room for the Extreme clones in Extreme Force
HQ. "Brother Eliminator is on TV."
"That's right," one of his handlers said. "He went
to Washington to stop Zon."
"I could do that."
"You need to stay here."
"I want to leave."
Reject's eyes narrowed. "Try to stop me."
"We have the place surrounded," Detective John
Phelps said as he stood outside the downtown branch of
the National Bank of Pepperton. All available
officers had been told to get to the bank because
there had been a robbery in progress, a robbery that
had since become a hostage situation.
Just then, the bank robber came out with one of the
hostages. She had a gun to her head. "Don't try to
stop me!" he said.
"We're not letting you go!" Officer Tom Jackson
"Put your guns down or I'll shoot her!"
"I don't think so!" Tom said.
"I'll do it! I swear I'll do it!"
"Alright," Officer Mark Johnston said. "Alright.
Tom, put your gun down."
Tom followed Mark's example and put his gun down.
"Now I'm getting out of here!" the robber said.
"Not yet," Mark said. "There's a sniper on the roof
"What? Tell him to back off!"
"We can't. You see, he's just waiting for a clean
shot. Now, if you put down your gun then he'll have
no reason to shoot. What do you say?"
The bank robber lowered his gun and let go of the
girl. She ran off.
Just then, somebody flew down from the sky and
picked up the bank robber.
"Extreme!" Mark said. "It's alright. We've got
this all under control. We don't need any help."
The would be hero ignored Mark. "I exist to deal
with scum like you!" he said to the robber.
"No!" the robber screamed. "Get him off me!"
Tom raised his gun and aimed at him. "Extreme! Put
the man down."
Mark sighed. "Tom, that's enough. Extreme, please,
you're not needed here."
"Yeah," Tom said. "Go after Don Navarro. Or Zon."
"Zon." The name got his attention. "Yes. I must
find Zon. I must show them that I can handle Zon
myself." And having said that, he put the robber back
down and flew off.
Tom watched him fly away. "What was that all
about?" he asked.
"I don't know," Mark said.
"And what the hell happened to Extreme's face!"
Reject flew away from the bank in search of Zon.
But where to find him? Reject didn't know.
Instead, Eliminator found Reject.
"You need to go back to the lab," Eliminator told
"I don't think so!" Reject said. "I'm every bit as
powerful as you! Why do you get to be the hero?"
"Because you were never trained to replace Extreme.
Just look at what just happened at the bank. They
were all afraid of you!"
"I could do your job!" he insisted. "They only
rejected me because I was ugly."
Eliminator nodded. "It may seem wrong to you
"It _IS_ wrong!" Reject screamed. The power of
Reject's voice sent Eliminator flying backwards.
"Try to calm down," Eliminator said.
"_YOU_ calm down!"
"See, now, that doesn't even make sense. You're the
one who is upset."
"Stop trying to confuse me!" Reject flew over and
grabbed Eliminator and started to shake him.
"Let go of me!" Eliminator said as he broke free.
In the process, he hit Reject in the face.
Reject grabbed his face where Eliminator had hit
him. His eyes narrowed. It wasn't so much that
Elimator had hurt him but rather that Eliminator had
hit him at all.
"I'm sorry," Eliminator said quickly.
Reject wasn't listening. "Arrrggghhh!!!" he
screamed as he pummeled into Eliminator.
"This isn't going to solve anything!" Eliminator
said but he fought back anyway, just as his hanlder's
had programmed him to do in the event he was attacked.
All of Elimator's moves were essentially instinctual,
having been programmed directly into his brain.
Reject, meanwhile, relied on the blind fury of a caged
animal that had just broken free. And he was winning.
"ENOUGH!" said a third party who just arrived on the
scene. Neither Elimator nor Reject expected anybody
else to fly up to them just then. They were even more
surprised to see who it was.
"Extreme?" Eliminator asked.
"Yes, it is me," Extreme said.
"But you were sent by Zon to the Twilight
"I got out," Extreme said matter of factly.
"It's a trick!" Reject insisted. "They just made
Extreme shook his head. "Use your x-ray vision.
Both of you. What do you see? I am a true son of
Neon whereas you two are merely copies produced by
"It's true," Eliminator said. "His body is denser
than ours. He must be at least twice as strong."
"I could take you both on if I wanted," Extreme
insisted. "Is that what you want?"
They didn't answer.
"Right then, as your father -which I am- I insist
that you both go back to HQ. I'm sorry, Eliminator,
but you won't be needed for a while. At least not
until the next time I'm declared dead. Now, come on,
come with me. We don't want anybody to see the three
of us together."
Meanwhile, on a nearby roof top, Timmy Conners was
"Oh boy!" he said. "Peter Whitman is going to love
"Did you see this morning's Daily World?"
Detective Michael King looked up and saw District
Attorney Alan Russell standing in front of his desk.
Alan Russell put the newspaper on his desk and
pointed to the picture next to the headline "Three
Extremes!". "What are they doing, Mike? Are they
cloning Extreme now?"
"You knew about this?"
"The one who defeated Zon wasn't Extreme. That was
a clone. As far as I know, the real Extreme is still
in the Twilight Dimension."
"The What Dimension?"
"The Twilight Dimension. Zon sent him there."
"Okay. So with Extreme gone they replaced him with
"Yeah. But one was just a runt. Just a boy I
"Yeah." Michael sighed. "Anyway, think of it this
way, if one Extreme is good, four is better."
"Right. As long as they don't all go screwing
around." Alan grimaced. "You know the Tammy case is
coming up for appeal and now I find out that the
government is in the cloning business..."
"Actually, the Extreme clones are not for sale."
"I should hope not!" Alan sighed. "You know, some
people are buying clones and having them be the maid."
"Where does it end? We're going to end up a country
that emplloys a race of slaves. We did that before
and look how it turned out."
Michael nodded. "With all due respect, it's still a
lot cheaper to hire an illegal immigrant. Clones are
still a luxury item: a sweat shop full of clones is
never going to produce enough T-shirts to justify the
cost of making the clones in the first place."
Alan wasn't amused. "I want you to go to Extreme
Force HQ with this picture and ask them why they've
got _three_ Extreme clones flying around," he said, in
a manner that made it clear he wasn't just making a
"Can you tell me why you had three Extreme clones
flying around yesterday?" Michael asked The Super
"There's only two clones in that picture. One of
them is the real Extreme."
"So he's back?"
"I don't know."
"You don't know?"
"That's what I said."
"Isn't that something you should know."
"If I need to know, I'll find out, but I don't need
"Well, I do. Need to know that is. I want to talk
The Super Soldier sighed.
"Look, you didn't say anything about having all the
clones out in public together."
The Super Soldier grimaced. "One of them got out.
Another one followed him. Then the real Extreme got
"Fine," Michael said, "but I still have some
questions to ask Extreme."
The Super Soldier nodded. "Alright. I expect him
to be here around 12:30. Why don't you go get lunch
"I'm surprised to see you."
"Yeah. I know."
"I saw you disappear after getting hit by Zon's eye
beams. Then Amazing Woman said you'd been sent to the
Twilight Dimension and that you wouldn't be able to
"That right. Or so it seemed."
"So how did you get back?"
"Ah," he said. "Well, as you know, I was sent to
the Twilight Dimension. There I pretty much kept to
myself. I didn't have much to do with the other
inmates. I don't think any of them recognized me
"Then Zon arrived. Later I found out that it was
because Eliminator had sent him there. Anyway, I was
all st to have a fight with him when he told me that
he knew a way I could get out.
"You see, it turns out that my father didn't want
anyone in his family to be sent to the Twilight
Dimension and not be able to escape so he had it so
that the gates to the Twilight Dimension could
recognize someone from the House of Mik El. All I had
to do was stand at the gate and tell them who I was
and the gate would open.
"But don't worry! I closed the gate behind me!"
Michael smirked. "But not before Zon escaped."
"Well, no. He's pretty quick. But don't worry! He
won't be back! He knows that people here on Earth can
produce clones of me! For all he knows there's an
army of Extreme clones protecting Earth."
Michael sighed. "Are you absolutely sure that
nobody else got out?"
"Absolutely. I didn't see anybody else get out
"Right. And do you know for a fact that you and Zon
are the only survivors from Planet Neon."
"Well, of that, I can't be completely sure, no."
Michael closed his eyes and shook his head. "Zon
won't be back. Not for a while anyway. Because he's
a military man and he knows the value of a strategic
retreat. But if he believes that there could be an
army of Extreme clones here on Earth then the most
logical plan of attack would be for him to come back
with an army of his own."
"Yes. Can I help you?"
Mary Jones nodded. "I'm here to see a patient."
"Colin McKenzie. He was admitted a few days ago."
The receptionist at the Pepperton General Hospital
nodded. "Yes. Room 1201."
"Thank you." Mary walked down to the elevator and
took the elevator to the twelfth floor.
"Detective McKenzie?" she asked, standing over his
Colin McKenzie opened his eyes. "Are you an angel?"
Mary shook her head. "No," she said with a smile.
"You look like an angel."
"Do I know you?"
"No. But I've followed your career. You could say
I was a fan of yours."
Colin tried to sit up but found he was too weak.
"Good. Because I thought I would have remembered
"I'm sure you would have," Mary said. "I'm sure
your mind is as sharp as ever."
"Don't patronize me," Colin said.
"I didn't mean to be patronizing. I'm sorry. I
just meant that you were always the one to figure out
who commited the crime with the least amount of
"Who did you say you were?"
"I didn't. Again, I'm sorry. I'm Detective Mary
Jones from the Pepperton Police."
Colin's eyes widenned. "Am I being charged with
something?" he asked.
"Not at all!" she said with a laugh. "You've always
been a role model for me. You see, I specialize in
"Do you?" he said and then thought back
nostalgically about his own career. "You know, back
then we didn't have all the fancy equipment we did
"No. Not at all." He smiled. "Do you want to know
how I did it? How I got all those people to confess?"
"By asking questions."
He laughed. "I'd always tell them that I wanted
them to help me find the killer. I never told them
they were a suspect. The guilty ones were always so
eager to help me because they just wanted me to get on
my way. But then, just before I left, I would turn to
ask them one more question and I'd notice a worried
look in their eyes. They were worried I suspected
something. That's how I knew who did it."
"But how did you get them to confess?"
"Because they'd always say something. Absolutely
anything. Just to get me off their backs. And
eventually they'd slip up and say something that
couldn't possibly be true. That's when I knew they
were lying. And when they knew that I knew that they
were lying, that was when they'd confess, because they
knew at that point that I'd never stop asking them
"Don't forget this one thing, Mary."
"Never give up!" Just then he started coughing.
"You lay down again, Detective," she said, with
genuine concern. "You need your rest. It was nice to
"Nice meeting you too," he said as he went back to
Just then Mary noticed his doctor standing in the
hallway and she went to speak with him.
"Doctor... is there any hope?"
The doctor shook his head. "I'm afraid not.
There's cancer throughout his lungs. There's no way
he'd survive surgury." He grimaced. "If only he
hadn't smoked cigars all the time."
Mary nodded. "But that was his trademark. That and
the brown trenchcoat. And the small car." She closed
her eyes. "And that's how we'll always remember him."
I added the epilogue here because last issue was a bit
short, so I wanted to make this one a bit longer.
Thematically, the epilogue goes with last issue but it
works better here I think. I also wanted to give Mary
something to do as she wasn't in last issue at all.
Oh and I apologize for all the typos in last issue. I
was really tired when I wrote it. I was a bit more
careful this time. :)
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