Superfreaks/ACRA: Superfreaks #9
martinphipps2 at yahoo.com
Mon Oct 2 08:23:50 PDT 2006
Michael King and Mary Jones: crime scene
investigators. Mark Johnston and Tom Jackson: police
officers. Jack Greenspan and Edward Bailey: medical
examiners. Alan Russell and Cliff Murdock:
procecutors. 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?
"Okay, where's the body?" Detective Michael King
"There's no body," Officer Thomas Jackson told him.
"Then why am I here?"
"Because of this," Officer Mark Johnston said. He
held up a gun that was already sealed in a labeled
"Where'd you find that?"
"In that alley over there. Actually some kids found
out and they called the police."
"They didn't touch it?"
"No. They just ran to the nearest payphone and
"Thank goodness for that. For all we know it's
"We were actually thinking that it might have been
used in a crime and then abandoned by somebody who
didn't want to get caught with it," Tom said.
"Like that unsolved homocide from a couple of weeks
"Well, if the gun is registered then we'll have a
"The registration's been filed off," Edward Bailey
"But if I use acid to etch away the filings then I
might still be able to read it."
"Okay. It's almost time for lunch."
"It's okay. I'll have something for you by the time
you get back from lunch."
"You're not hungry."
"I'll just buy a snickers from the vending machine.
It's okay because I want to try the pizza at Guido's
"You're going to Guido's tonight?"
"Okay. I'll check back with you after lunch then."
"Hey, Mike. Did you have a good lunch."
"It was okay. Were you able to read the
"Well don't keep me in suspense. Who was the gun
"You're not going to believe this."
"Come on, Edward. Out with it."
"The gun is registered to the victim's wife."
Michael nodded. "Okay. She's going to have to
"Are you sure that the gun we recovered was the same
one that killed Kevin Plumber?" Mary asked in between
bites of pizza.
"Yeah," Edward said. "We test fired some bullets
from the gun and they matched the two bullets we
"So that's it then."
"Yeah. So Mike went to Judge Matthews and we were
able to get a warrant to search the plumber home."
"I should be there tomorrow to question Janice
Plumber," Mary said.
"I would like to hear what she has to say herself.
It certainly looks like she gave the gun to somebody
to kill her husband."
"We should supeona her bank records."
"Right. Mike got permission from Judge Matthews to
do that but the bank was already closed. He's going
to stop by the bank first thing tomorrow morning and
get the records."
"Sounds like we're finally getting close to solving
"Yeah. I don't want too many unsolved cases on our
record. Makes us look bad."
"Well I was thinking that I didn't want to see
anybody get away with murder."
Mary thought for a moment while she chewed her
"I don't think we should keep doing this."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, as a detective, I can give you orders. I
can evaluate your performance. That sort of makes me
"So isn't it inappropriate for the boss to be dating
one of the employees?"
"So, what, I'm just an employee?"
"Don't take it like that."
"I actually think of us as collegues. You're in the
field and I'm in the lab. If you make a mistake
gathering evidence, say if one of your evidence bags
isn't properly sealed, then I could report that too."
"Anyway, if you're worried about sexual harassment,
we haven't actually done anything."
"I've been to your apartment."
"To look at my security system. Nothing happened."
"Is that what you told Tom Jackson?"
"Okay. I said we went back to my place. I told him
nothing happened. I swear."
"Why were you even talking to the guys in the
precinct about what we do in our own time."
"Okay, I'm sorry. It's just, you know, I like you
and I don't mind telling people that. That's all."
"It could be considered inappropriate. There's no
rule against officers dating but if Mike or John ever
saw it as a problem..."
"Yeah, well, what about Mark and Tom?"
"What about them?"
"They're on patrol sometimes late at night. And I'm
sure it gets cold in the squad car. How do we know
they don't pull over sometimes and use each other's
bodies for warmth. And we know what that could lead
"Oh come on! I'm serious!" Mary said.
"So why are you laughing?"
"I'm not," she said, but she was.
"Okay. You're right. That was pretty funny. But
this is different. We're getting together when we're
off duty. You don't think people are going to talk
"We're not doing anything wrong. We should be out
in the open about this. Otherwise, people are going
to think we're up to no good."
"Up to no good?"
"Yeah. They might think we're attending an orgy
somewhere, you know, with whips and chains and
leather, the whole deal. With your choice of heroin,
crack cocaine or regular cocaine all available for
sale at the bar."
"Are you talking from experience."
"Heavens no. I'm just saying, look, tell them that
we're going out to eat at Guido's and that's it. Then
they won't get any fancy ideas about what we're up
Mary sighed. "Maybe."
"So how's the pizza?"
"It'd better be. It's a lot more expensive than
"I've never tried Pizza Hut. I usually get take out
"Really. Well then, next week we'll go to Pizza
Hut. Is it a date?"
"I'll have to think about it."
Detective John Phelps stood in front of all the
officers in the precinct. "We've just had a major
break in the Plumber homocide case. The gun used to
kill Kevin Plumber has been recovered and the
registration on the gun indicates that the wife,
Janice Plumber, may have known the killer and perhaps
even given him the gun with the intention of having
him kill her husband. Tom and Jack are going to
search the Plumber residence and Mary's going with
them to question Janice again based on the new
"We still haven't been able to identify the shooter,
however." He pointed to an enlarged copy of the
original sketch that Frank Lopez drew two weeks ago
based on the descriptions made by the witnesses at the
scene. "I want people to continue to be on the look
out for this man. There's no guarantee that Mrs.
Plumber will give up the killer's identity, assuming
of course she even knows who he is and he isn't just
somebody who stole her gun in an effort to frame her
for her husband's murder.
"Oh and one last thing. I shouldn't have to tell
people this but it's come to my attention that people
have been using the pricinct's computers to download
the alledged Extreme / Amazing Woman sex scandal
video. The precinct's computers are not to be used
for anything immoral or potentially illegal. Besides,
both Extreme and Amazing Woman have come out and said
that they aren't the two people in the video. For the
record, the video is a bit grainy and there's no way
to tell if it's really them and not a couple of
look-a-likes vying for attention. In fact, the video
is so unclear that you really can't make out much of
anything." There was a burst of laughter from the
back of the room. "Or so I've been told."
"These are officers Tom Jackson and Mark Johnston.
They're here to search the house. We have a warrant."
"Search the house? Why?"
Mary grimaced. "We found a gun. It was registered
in your name."
"I don't own a gun."
"Are you sure?"
"I mean I lost it a long time ago."
"And yet the same gun was used to kill your
"Maybe this is the time for you to get a lawyer,"
"I've got something for you," Mary said.
"What is it?" Edward asked.
"It's a file. Tom found it at the Plumber house.
You said the registration on the gun was filed off."
"So it was. You don't suppose that there might be
shavings from the gun still on the file?"
"Wouldn't that be great?"
"I see you found yourself a lawyer, Mrs. Plumber,"
"My client doesn't have to answer any of your
questions," the lawyer informed her.
"It would help us a lot if you could," Detective
Michael King said.
"I'm sure it would," the lawyer quipped.
"We discovered a file at your house. The file was
used to shave off the registration number on the gun.
We know this because we found shavings on the gun,
shavings which are chemically identical to the metal
in the gun."
"I asked you about the gun," Mary pointed out. "You
said you lost it a long time ago. So why are there
still shavings from the gun on a file in your house?"
"And why would you shave off the registration number
in the first place? You're only going to do that if
the gun is going to be used in a crime and you don't
want it traced back to you."
Mary showed Mrs. Plumber her bank records. "Mrs.
Plumber, a few weeks ago you drew out more than ten
thousand dollars from the bank. Can you tell us why?
That was just a few days before your husband's
"Did you hire somebody to kill your husband, Mrs
Plumber?" Michael asked point blank.
"No!" she insisted.
"Surely you weren't expecting to get a confession
out of her based on such flimsy evidence," the lawyer
scoffed. "There's nothing to link my client to her
"We also have your fingerprints on one of the
bullets fired from the gun that killed your husband.
The four bullets left in the gun, they all had your
fingerprints on them. You yourself loaded the gun
that killed your husband, Mrs. Plumber."
"We want to know who killed your husband," Michael
said. "And we believe you can help us."
Mrs. Plumber didn't answer.
"Because as it stands, we have enough evidence to
link you to the shooting. We're charging you with
conspiracy to murder your husband. It really would be
better if you agreed to co-operate with us. If you
really are innocent then you should say something in
your own defense, something that would clear you, so
we could go back to following other leads."
"Mrs. Plumber will speak in her own defense. In
court." He stood up. "Come on, Janice, let's go."
"This case is just getting more and more
frustrating," Michael said.
"Mike, think, Janice Plumber teaches part time at a
"So maybe she hired one of her students."
"No. A college student would be too young. We're
looking for somebody older."
"But the witnesses were in their early teens. To
them, a college student is an adult."
"Okay. This college where she works. Do the
student records include class photos, maybe even
"Of course. The school keeps a copy of the photo
that is used in their student IDs."
"Alright then. I'll speak to John and we'll get Tom
and Mark to bring the witnesses to the school to look
at the records."
"As long as we keep the witnesses away from any of
the students in her classes then it shouldn't be a
"I agree. I'm going to go speak to John right away.
Thanks for the idea."
"You're still here?" Mary asked.
"I'm just finishing up," Edward said.
Mary sighed. "Edward, look..."
"I can't go out with you next week."
Edward grimaced, sighed and shook his head.
"The cases we work on are too delicate. What if
people accuse us of covering for each other? Of
covering up mistakes? Or they might accuse us of
being distracted. Like the case we're working on
right now: we still haven't identified a shooter.
Who's to say we didn't overlook something?"
"Who's to say we did? We're both good at our jobs,
Mary. We wouldn't have these jobs if we weren't."
"I'm just saying that's what people could say. I
can't risk that. I'm sorry, Edward, but my career
comes first. You should also think about focusing on
your career, Edward. You spend all day handling
evidence. You just can't do anything that would cause
people to question your objectivity."
"Good," she said. She turned to walk away but then
changed her mind. "I am sorry, Edward."
"You're just being honest."
"See you tomorrow?"
"Alright. I'll see you tomorrow."
"Right. See you tomorrow."
"This guy," one of the teenaged witnesses said.
"Are you sure?" Officer Tom Jackson asked.
"It's him alright."
"Okay, Wil. Come over here. Is this the guy you
"Oh, yeah, definitely."
"We'll need to put the suspect in a line up in order
to make the arrest," Officer Mark Johnston pointed
out. "You take them back to the precinct in the car.
I'll contact campus security, tell them we've got our
man and ask them to help me drive them back to the
precinct where we can line them up with a few
"Campus security? Are you sure?"
"He's not going to be armed. The shooter threw the
weapon away, remember? And we shouldn't make an
arrest on campus without the support of campus
security anyway. This is private property."
Tom grimaced. "Right."
"Don't beat yourself up about it, Tom. We're all
supposed to upload the constitution of the United
States, you, me, President Bush."
Tom couldn't stop himself from laughing out loud
"Hey, I remember you too," Detective John Phelps
said. "Do you remember me?"
"Yeah," one of the teenagers said.
"Yeah, we have a good memory when it comes to
John laughed. "That's what we're counting on.
Anyway, you're going to go in this room and there'll
be a one way mirror: you'll be able to see them but
they won't be able to see you. Anyway, there'll be
six men in there and one of them is the suspect who
you said was the shooter. But we want you to identify
him in person and not from a picture. Okay?"
"Okay," they both said.
"Alright then. Let's go in." They went in.
"Now... take your time."
"That's the guy!" one of the teenagers said,
pointing at the man who they'd idebtified earlier.
"Are you sure?" John asked. The boy nodded. "Wil,
what about you?"
"It's him alright."
"Alright. Mark, I want you to drive these boys back
to their homes. The other 'suspects' can go too.
Tom, I want you to be in the room with me when I speak
to Mr. Enright."
"Mr. Enright," John began, "do you understand why
"It's like this. You're in Janice Plumber's French
"Well, Janice Plumber's husband Kevin was killed two
weeks ago. He was shot."
"Okay. What's that got to do with me?"
"We have witnesses who say you were the shooter."
"Why would I want to kill Mrs. Plumber's husband?"
"You tell me."
"No, you tell me. You're the cop. What's your
"Alright. We think that Janice Plumber wanted her
husband dead. She pulled you to one side, gave you
the gun, offered you some money. You took the money,
shot Mr. Plumber, wiped your prints off the gun and
threw it away. Or maybe you were wearing gloves. We
can't know for sure because you're bond to have washed
off any gunshot residue by now. But what we could do
is check your bank records and see if you made any
deposits lately. Of course, it could also be that you
and Mrs. Plumber were having an affair and that's
something we probably could prove: all we'd need is
for one witness to come forward and say they saw you
together outside of school. Tell me, Alex, did you
meet at her place, at your place or was it at a
"Look," he said, "Mrs. Plumber was a good teacher.
She met with students all the time."
"Fine. Just find some who will testify to that in
"I'm going to court?"
"That's right, Mr. Enright. We're formally charging
you with the murder of Kevin Plumber. Tom, take him
"My pleasure," Tom said.
"Edward? What's up?"
"Mary, I thought about what you said yesterday."
"I still say that we should just let people think
what they think."
"No wait. Here me out. We've been working together
a long time. We've gotten to know each other pretty
well. And you would never have agreed to go out with
me if you didn't think it was right."
"Maybe it was a mistake."
"What? Twice out for dinner was a mistake? Going
to see a movie was a mistake?"
"Okay, so it was a good movie."
"And dinner was good too. Both times."
"But the two of us..."
"Mary... I love you."
"Edward..." Mary became self conscious. There were
other people in the precinct.
"I really don't care what people think."
"Okay, that's not true. I care because you care.
But you shouldn't. And I'll tell you why."
"Because we weren't doing anything wrong."
"I know that. You know that. Others might
"What if... what if we were just completely open
"What do you mean?"
"We could get married."
"What? Are you serious? Is this your idea of a
Edward got down on one knee. "Is this better?"
"Don't you need a ring?"
Edward fished a small jewelry box out of his pocket
and opened it. "Like this?" he asked. It was a
diamond engagement ring.
"Yeah," Mary said, a bit stunned. "Like that."
"Okay, look," Edward said. "You don't have to feel
pressured because I bought the ring. I told the guy
at the jewelry store that it might be a longshot and
he told me I could trade it in for store credit. I
could always buy a watch instead. A really expensive
Mary laughed. "That's so romantic," she said with
"Hey, you were honest with me. I'm just being
honest with you. Come on. I make you laugh."
"Yeah, well, so does Jim Carrey. Doesn't mean I'll
"I'm not asking you to marry Jim Carrey. I'm asking
you to marry me. What do you say?"
TO BE CONTINUED!
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