Superfreaks/ACRA: Superfreaks #17

Martin Phipps martinphipps2 at
Wed Nov 22 07:06:28 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

                      SUPERFREAKS #17


12:23 pm

  "Yo, bro, you in the wrong neighbourhood, man."
  "Is that so?"
  "Yeah.  This here neighbourhood is owned by the
Crips.  And we know you ain't a Crip 'cause you're not
wearing the right colours."  The man's posse all
laughed when he said that.
  The intended victim looked around.  "Funny.  I don't
see a sign that says this neighbourhood belongs to the
  "Ha ha ha.  Very funny.  We don't need no sign. 
Everybody here knows this is our neighbourhood.  Now
if you don't know then that's too bad.  This is one
time when ignorance is not bliss!"
  "Oh I see," their would be victim said with a smile.
 "So you just say the neighbourhood is yours and
people are supposed to go along with that."
  The man sneered.  "Are you some kind of retard?  We
set the rules around here."
  "So you say.  But I say I'm setting the rules, okay?
 I'm saying that this neighbourhood is mine and not
yours and that you need to get out of here now or face
the consequences."
  The man laughed out loud.  "Oh yeah?  What sort of
  Their would be victim took off his trenchcoat to
reveal a spandex costume underneath.
  "Hey, man, are you some kind of faggot disco dancer
or something?"
  The spandex clad stranger didn't answer.  Instead,
fire shot out from his fingers.  His would be attacker
was engulfed in flames.  His posse ran off, terrified.
  "Heed my words!" he called out to them.  "This
neighbourhood from now on is the territory of the
Pepperton Protector!  Let evil doers beware!"

1:15 pm

  "This was done by a guy in spandex?" Detective
Michael King asked.
  "That's what the witness said," Detective John
Phelps said.
  Michael grimaced.  "This body is burned beyond
  "The witness says it was Jake Lang, leader of the
  "The gang that's been causing trouble in this
  "The same."
  Michael grimaced.  "Maybe this guy did us a favour."
  "Hey!" their witness shouted.  "Jake was my friend
and this freak took him down in cold blood!"
  "I somehow doubt that," John quipped.
  "Are you going to do something about this or not?"

3:19 pm

  "Mike, could I have a word with you?"
  "Sure, Alan.  What's on your mind?"
  Pepperton District Attorney did not look happy. 
"Last week Martin Mylar got electrocuted to death and
this week Jake Lang gets burned to death."
  "What's your point?"
  "This has got to stop."
  "You're not suggesting the two cases are related,
are you?  Martin Mylar was going around killing
supers.  Whoever killed Martin Mylar was probably
acting in self defense."
  "Probably isn't good enough."
  "Jake Lang wasn't exactly a model citizen either."
  Alan Russell shook his head.  "Edward Goodhead. 
Martin Mylar.  Jake Lang.  They've all been killed in
vigilantee style homocides.  That disturbs me.  This
Pepperton Protector didn't wander into that
meighbourhood by accident.  He went there looking for
trouble.  And I'd be willing to bet that whoever
killed Martin Mylar had been actively hunting him down
out of revenge because he killed Ms. Betsy Monroe."
  "What do you want me to do?"
  Alan smiled.  "You know damn well what you have to
do.  The thing about when supers kill is that you can
identify the supers by the powers they use.  You know
just about everything about these supers here in
  "Not everything."
  "But I think you know who killed Martin Mylar.  You
just haven't gone after them because you've dismissed
the act as having been self defense."
  Michael didn't answer.
  "We can't think that way, Michael.  The lives of
Martin Mylar and Jake Lang have to be considered just
as important as the life of Betsy Monroe.  Maybe she
deserved to die too.  But did Martin Mylar have the
right to decide that?  And does the Pepperton
Protector have the right to decide if Jake Lang
deserves to die?"
  "Okay.  You've made your point."
  "Right then.  I want you to find those responsible
for Martin Mylar's death.  If it turns out to have
been self defense then fine.  But I don't want this
city condoning vigilantee style killings.  My God,
Mike, we've been here before with the Roy case."
  Michael nodded.  "I know.  I'll get right on it."
  "I hope so."

5:59 pm

  "Pepperton Protector!"
  "You're under arrest for the murder of Jake Lang!"
  The Pepperton Protector laughed.  "You must be
joking.  That was self defense."
  Extreme smirked.  "I doubt that.  I really don't
think he would have hurt you."
  "That's not the point!" the Pepperton Protector
scoffed.  "Men like that have to be stopped!  More
than that, I was teaching those other punks a lesson! 
This gang warfare has to stop here and now!"
  "You can't end violence by esculating it!" Extreme
  "But it will esculate!  It will esculate and get
worse and worse until the people of Pepperton -none of
them will feel safe!  Unless I stop it!"
  Extreme frowned.  "How can you be so sure?"
  The Pepperton Protector grimaced.  "Because I've
seen it!  I've seen the future already!"

                       PART II

9:01 am

  "He claims to be from the future," Extreme told
Detective Michael King at the Pepperton Police First
Precinct.  "He says he came back in time in order to
stop crime back when he could still have an influence,
back before crime exculated out of control."
  Michael smirked.  "Right.  Things are already out of
control when vigilantees kill in cold blood and
authorized law enforcement doesn't do anything about
  "So you just let him go?"
  Extreme shook his head.  "Not exactly.  We fought. 
We grappled.  But he's every bit as strong as me, if
not stronger.  And when he had me dazed for a moment,
he flew off and I didn't see where he went.  He'll be
much harder to find now because he knows I'm looking
for him."
  Michael thought for a moment.  "You say that the two
of you fought.  Did he bleed?"
  Michael grimaced.  "Still.  You might have scraped
off some of his skin.  Go to the lab and ask for
Edward.  He'll check to see if you have any of his DNA
on you."
  Extreme's eyes widenned.  "That reminds me!  He said
he was the son of Scott Grey and Jean Summers.  Do
those names mean anything to you."
  Michael nodded.  "As a matter of fact, they do."

10:15 am

  "Thank you for coming down to the station to answer
our questions," Detective Mary Jones told Scott and
  "Are we under arrest?" Scott asked.
  Mary grimaced.  "We want you to tell us what
happened.  We just want the truth.  It'll be up to the
DA to decide if we should press charges."
  "That sounds fair," Jean said.
  Scott nodded.  "Alright.  We tracked Martin Mylar
down.  It's true.  And we killed him: first I used my
powers over space and time to slow him down and then
Jean used her lightening bolts to kill him.  But he
was going to come after us next.  He was planning to
kill us all!  That's what Doctor Javier told us."
  "Doctor Javier called you all and warned you that
Mylar was coming after you?"
  "So you, Jean and your friend Kurt went out after
Mylar and you and Jean killed him."
  Jean nodded.  "That's right.  Kurt had nothing to do
with it, really.  Not with killing Mylar, I mean."
  "Not that we had a choice, really," Scott said. 
"The police didn't have a hope of stopping him.  They
had their chance."
  Mary nodded.  "I can sympathize with your point of
view.  Really, I can.  I mean, with the powers you
have, it's a bit silly for us to tell you to sit back
and wait for Mylar to come after you."
  "But I'm still going to have to write this out in
the form of a confession and have each of you sign
  "A confession?" Scott asked.
  "Scott, it's okay," Jean said.  "We did kill
somebody after all."
  "Alright.  But we didn't have a choice.  It was the
only way to stop him!"
  Mary nodded.  "I'll try to make that clear."  She
grimaced.  "There's one more thing."
  "What?" Scott and Jean both asked.
  "There's a man calling himself the Pepperton
Protector.  He claims to be from the future."
  "Okay," Scott said with a sceptical tone.
  "He claims that you are his parents."
  "What?" Jean asked.  "We don't have children.  We're
not even married."
  Mary smiled.  "I know.  Like I said, he claims to be
from the future."
  "That's insane!" Scott argued.  "He must be nuts!"
  Mary nodded.  "I know.  But there's a chance that we
might be able to recover his DNA.  Now, what we'd like
is for each of you to give us a DNA sample and then we
can determine if he really is your son from the

3:03 pm

  "The results are in!" Edward said as he marched into
Michael's office.  Mary was there with Scott and Jean.
  "Don't keep us in suspense!" Michael insisted.
  "Alright."  He turned to see Scott and Jean, whom
Mary had introduced to him earlier.  "I guess
congratulations are in order, because DNA confirms
that the Pepperton Protector is your adult son from
the future."
  "How is this possible?" Scott asked.
  "Presumably the ability to travel through time is
one of his powers," Michael speculated.  He sighed. 
"Of course, the ramifications of this are enormous! 
For starters, you now know that you will have a son. 
Not only that but you know that he will have powers. 
I guess free will goes out the window then."
  "What do you mean?" Jean asked.
  Michael sighed.  "The two of you will have a baby
and he will become the Pepperton Protector and nothing
you can do can prevent that.  Because he already
exists.  And the future he comes from presumably
already exists."
  Michael shook his head.  "The irony of course is
that his being here now means that whatever future is
coming is as much his fault as ours.  The future will
happen because it has already happened.  But who's to
say that it didn't happen in the first place because
of something he did."
  Scott closed his eyes and shook his head.  "This is
too deep for me."
  Jean seemed to understand a bit better than he did. 
"If the Pepperton Protector is our son then he's our
  Michael nodded.  "That's one way of looking at it,
  Jean sighed.  "Tell us what you want us to do."

                         PART III

11:56 am

  It had started as a typical would be traffic stop
turned car chase.  Then the passengers in the back of
the car opened fire with AK47 automatic weapons. 
Officers Mark Johnston and Tom Jackson were lucky they
weren't killed when the rain of bullets hit their car,
smashing their windshield and causing their car to
start smoking.
  "This is Officer Johnston requesting immediate
  Despite the obvious danger, they maintained pursuit
and forced them into a dead end.  With their automatic
rifles out of ammunition, the four suspects opened
fire with ordinary handguns.  Mark and Tom stayed in
their car awaiting back up.
  "We're pinned down!" Tom said as he started to
  Just then, the shooting stopped.  And the screaming
began.  Mark and Tom carefully looked through the
smashed windshield to see the four suspects burning in
flames with the Pepperton Protector flying around
above them.  Just as suddenly, a gust of cold wind
blew exhausted the flames that would surely have
killed all four suspects.
  Mark thought quickly.  "This is Officer Johnston
requesting paramedics.  Suspects are down.  Repeat,
suspects are down."
  The Pepperton Protector looked in the direction from
which the wind had come.  "Extreme!"
  "This stops," Extreme said.  "Now."
  "You can't stop me!" the Pepperton Protector said. 
"You tried once before."
  "He might not be able to stop you!"
  "But we can!"
  "You!" the Pepperton Protector said.  Then tears
started to form in his eyes.  "Mom.  Dad."
  "Extreme is right," Scott said.  "This has to stop."
  The Pepperton Protector assumed an accusatory tone. 
"What are you talking about?  You killed Martin Mylar?
 What's the difference?"
  "What we did was wrong," Jean told him.
  "Nonsense!  Martin Mylar had to be stopped!"
  "Stopping him was the right thing to do," Scott
said, "but killing him was the wrong way to do it."
  "If we somehow fail to get you to understand that in
the future... then I'm sorry," Jean said.
  Scott used his power over space and time to prevent
the Pepperton Protector from fighting Extreme.
  "You'd best go back to your own time," Extreme told
him.  "Each of us is responsible for the era in which
we live.  Nobody is responsible for the past.  You
can't take on that responsibility."
  "I can and I will!" the Pepperton Protector
  Extreme sighed.  "But if you're here now, if you
exist at all, then the future you remember has already
happened.  There's no point trying to go back and
change your past.  For heaven's sake, go back to your
time and try to fix your future!"
  "He's right, son," Scott said.
  "Please listen to him!" Jean pleaded.
  The Peppern Protector shook his head.  "You're just
trying to confuse me."
  "If you don't go back to your time, son," Scott
said, "then you will have to face justice here and
now.  Is that what you want?"
  He nodded.  "Go ahead!  Kill me then."
  "We're not going to do that," Scott said.  "It
wouldn't be right."
  "It's your call," Extreme said.  "Go back to your
time.  Don't come back.  Leave things to us.  If we
screw up, it's not your responsibility.  We were given
fair warning after all."
  "Please," Jean said, "end this."
  "Alright!" the Pepperton Protector said.  "Alright. 
I'm going."  He looked at Scott and Jean.  "Mom, Dad,
if I've somehow disappointed you then I'm sorry."  He
then closed his eyes, concentrated and disappeared,
presumably returning to his own time.

1:29 pm

  "And that's what happened," Extreme said back at the
station to Detective Michael King and District
Attorney Alan Russell.
  "My God," Alan said.
  "So," Michael said, "is there anything else you want
us to do?"
  "Hell no!" Alan firmly declared.  "There's no way
I'm going to stand in front of a jury and tell that
story!  I don't care what evidence you have!  Nobody's
going to believe this!"

4:01 pm

  After the battle with the Pepperton Protector, Scott
and Jean had gone to see their doctor, Doctor Carlos
Javier.  Scott wanted to make sure Jean was alright
what with all the excitement of the past two days.
  "So," Scott said, "is she alright?"
  "Quite alright," Doctor Javier told him.
  "But I've been feeling so tired lately," Jean said.
  "That is perfectly normal," Javier told her.
  "But I don't usually feel so tired."
  Javier smiled.  "No.  Of course not.  You feel tired
because of your condition."
  "Her condition?" Scott asked.  "What do you mean?"
  Javier's smile broadened.  "I believe
congratulations are in order for you two!"
  "You mean...?"
  "I'm happy to tell you, Miss Summers, that you are
one month pregnant!"

                        THE END


The Pepperton Protector is actually an amalgamation of
the Martian Manhunter (his name, appearance and
powers) and Cable (his origin and character).  I think
by amalgamating characters it's harder to tell what
the influences are and there's the possibility that he
might come across as original.  Of course, I suppose
he could also come across as a rip off of Marvel's
X-Man but I never read that series so I wouldn't know.


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