Superfreaks/ACRA: Superfreaks #11

Martin Phipps martinphipps2 at
Mon Oct 9 01:46:54 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:
prosecutors.  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?

                   SEND UP THE CLONES
                         PART I

10:01 am

  "I don't understand," Chris Sharpton said, "why are
there police here?"
  "We're here because your wife is dead," Detective
John Phelps explained.  "It's standard procedure."
  "She wasn't my wife."
  "I'm sorry.  Your girlfriend then."
  "She wasn't actually my girlfriend either."
  "Your sister?"
  "But she was living here, wasn't she?"
  "Then what exactly was she to you?"
  Chris Sharpton blushed.  "I bought her from Clones R
  "You bought her?"
  "She was a clone."
  "Of whom?"
  "Maggie was a clone of the porn star Magdelena
  "Okay."  John Phelps lloked away and thought for a
moment before asking his next question.  "I'm sorry
but I have to ask: why would you purchase a clone of a
porn star?"
  "Why do you think?"
  "She could walk and talk?"
  "I'm sorry.  I work in homocide.  Maybe I should get
vice in here.  This doesn't sound legal to me.  You
are telling me you _owned_ this person?"
  "I've got all my papers for her."
  "But still..."
  "The cloning process was done with the explicit
signed permission of the donor.  People are allowing
themselves to be cloned under the strict condition
that the clone does not work in any field that
competes with the donor.  So clones of models can't
have their pictures taken, clones of porn stars can't
do porn, clones of actors and actresses can't appear
in movies.  Although they tell me that it is hard to
get clones of mainstream actresses because it would be
so easy for people to take naked pictures of them and
post them on the internet."
  "This is all new to me."
  "They advertise in men's magazines and on certain
internet websites," Chris explained.
  "You know, I was thinking maybe I might have to sue
the company."
  "I mean, this clone just died and I'd only had it a
week.  It was obviously defective.  I'm hoping they'll
either refund my money or give me a new clone. 
Otherwise, it just wouldn't be fair."
  "I see.  So you're saying the clone was defective?"
  "Well, yeah, I mean look at it!  It's dead!"
  Phelps smirked.  "Or maybe you just got tired of it
and killed it yourself.  You obviously didn't consider
it to be a person.  Perhaps you killed it and are
covering it up now so you can, as you say, get your
money back from the company."
  Phelps shook his head.  "Yeah, well, until somebody
can legally demonstrate otherwise, that's a dead human
being lying down there and I'm treating this as a
homocide and possible fraud."

11:23 am

  "I can assure you gentlemen," Roger Stratham, the
CEO of Clones R Us said, "our clones do not just die."
  "But isn't it true that clones cannot inherit
diseases both from their donor parent and from the
woman who provides the egg?" Detective Michael King
  "Yes but most of our donors also opt to donate an
egg for precisely that reason so as to make a perfect
clone that would be identical in every way to the
original," Roger Stratham explained, "at least in the
case of female donors.  Male donors, of course, can
only provide their DNA and a female egg donor would
also be required."
  John Phelps grimaced.  "I'm sorry but I don't
understand.  Our victim was a full grown woman.  I
thought cloning was something that people did so they
could have a baby."
  Roger Stratham nodded.  "Yes, normally.  But our
clients don't want babies.  So we artificially
accelerate the aging process in order to bring the
clone to adulthood."
  "Is it possible that this artificial aging process
didn't end up killing the clone?" Michael asked.
  Roger shook his head.  "We determine all our clones
to be fit and healthy once the incubation process is
complete and then we perform another physical exam
before we release the clone to the customer so as to
certify that the clone is indeed fit and healthy."
  "So if his clone did in fact just simply die then
Mr. Sharpton would be entitled to compensation."
  "Well, yes, of course," Roger Stratham admitted. 
"But we would like the opportunity to examine the body
ourselves to confirm that the clone did in fact die
from natural causes."
  "We have our coroner Jack Greenspan examining the
body right now."
  "Yes, of course, and I'm sure he's very good but we
will need to have our own doctors examine the body to
confirm his findings."
  "As long as the body isn't removed from our morgue. 
And as long as your doctors are not left alone with
the body.  The body is evidence.  If you are going to
claim that Mr. Sharpton killed his clone then you are
not going to want the evidence contaminated.  If Mr.
Sharpton were to go to court claiming that he deserves
compensation then you would want an independent third
party to present evidence to the contrary."
  "Yes, of course," the CEO said.  "You're quite
  "Excuse me," Phelps said, interrupting, "but what
about the victim?  I mean, everybody is talking about
this woman as if she were a thing, a commodity.  Is
anybody going to mourn her death?  Was she even
  "Yes and no," Roger Stratham explained.  "You see,
whereas people have parents, plural, most of our
clones are genetically identical to their primary
donors.  So they are, in fact, the property of the
donors which are then sold to us and resold to our
  "Can I meet one of these clones?" Phelps asked.
  Roger Stratham waved his hands in the air.  "If the
two of you have time I will give you a tour of the
facility.  How's that?"
  "I think we really need one for a full report,"
Michael King observed.

11:49 am

  "Alright," Roger Stratham said, "these are the tanks
where we grow the clones."
  "There you go again," Phelps complained.  "These are
people, aren't they?"
  "As you can see," Roger continued, "some of the
clones are merely fetuses, others are apparently
babies, children, teenagers and young adults, but I
assure you that the whole process takes no more than a
month.  Any longer and the clone shows signs of aging
that the customers don't usually want."
  "I'm sure," Phelps grumbled.
  "Over in the next room we have the programming
  "Programming area?" Phelps asked.
  Roger nodded.  "Our clones are not educated in the
usual sense.  Their required knowledge and
instructions are fed directly into their brains.  Some
clones are provided with the basics of reading,
writing and mathematics but most of our clients have
more basic needs."
  John rolled his eyes, sighed and shook his head.
  "Over here we have a clone who has just been
programmed.  This is a clone of the May 2006 Playboy
Playmate Juliana Lopez.  Julie?  Do you mind talking
with us for a moment?"
  "What is it that you wish?"
  "Could you describe your functions for us?" Roger
  "I can dance for you, I can strip for you, I can
perform oral sex on you or you can take me and..."
  "That's enough," Roger said, "thank you.  As you can
see, their responses are limited.  All they know about
is what they are programmed to do."
  "That brings up another issue though," John said,
"if these clones are only a few months old then how
can they be of the legal age to perform such acts?"
  Roger smiled.  "It's not the age of the clone that
is the issue but the age of the donor.  And the clones
are grown to resemble adults so there's no question of
  "Maybe not for you."
  "Actually, John," Michael said, "it wasn't
considered a major news story so you probably didn't
hear about this question already having gone to the
supreme court.  The majority of judges on the court
ruled that this is all perfectly legally as long as
the primary donor has given consent."
  "A majority of judges were convinced, eh?" John
mused.  "I wonder how."
  "Regardless of what you might feel, Detective
Phelps," Roger said, "the law is on our side."

3:01 pm

  "So," Michael said, "have you two come to agree on
  "I believe we have," Jack Greenspan said.
  "So what is the cause of death?"
  "It appears to be natural causes."
  "Indeed.  Do you agree, Dr. Michaels?"
  Dr. Michaels, the medical examiner from Clones R Us
nodded.  "There appears to have been no foul play."
  "So what did happen?"
  "I'm afraid when I compare the DNA of the clone to
the DNA from the original donor that it isn't an exact
match.  It would appear as though genetic material
from the mitochondria in the donated egg mixed with
Miss Star's DNA and the result is an imperfect copy
which had a reduced life span.  The same thing,
incidentally, eventually happened to the original
cloned sheep Dolly, although she did go on to live
several years and even went on to produce offspring."
  Dr. Michaels nodded.  "Miss Star didn't want to
donate any eggs.  She didn't want any surgery that
would result in a scar that could affect her career. 
It was understandable, really."
  "I take it then that Mr. Sharpton will be
  "Yes," Mr. Michaels said, "as per the terms of the
contract we have with him."
  "I want to know what other clones were produced 
using two different donors and who they were sold to. 
Your company may be liable for medical expenses for
sick clones if I understand your guarantees
  "We would be, yes."

9:00 pm

  "I don't get it," Officer Thomas Jackson complained.
 "We're homocide cops.  Why are we going around asking
clones if they feel sick?"
  "Because we're following up on an ongoing
investigation," Officer Mark Johnston explained. 
"It's our duty to see this through.  There may be
other dead clones out there."
  "But I thought the clone died through natural
  "Yes, but Clones R Us was ultimately liable.  Look,
there's only a few more places we need to go to."  The
squad car pulled up to the Perry residence.  "This is
the place.  We're just going to go in, ask a few
questions and then leave."
  "Fair enough."
  Tom and Mark got out of the squad car and appraoched
the door.  Mark knocked on the door.  "Mr. Perry? 
  "I guess he's not in."
  "We don't have to speak to Mr. Perry.  We only have
to speak to the clone."  He tried the door.  "It's
  "Wait.  Can we go in without a warrant?" Tom asked.
  "Mr. Perry isn't the one under investigation," Mark
explained.  "He's not being accused of any wrong
doing.  But here we have unlocked door and nobody
appears to be home.  That's suspicious.  That means we
go in."
  Tom and Mark went in and found a body in te living
room.  "Okay, so are you happy?" Mark quipped.  "It
looks like we have a homocide after all."
  Just then a woman appeared.  "Hello?  Can I do
anything for you?"
  "Do you live here?" Mark asked.
  "Yes," she answered.  "I do."
  "Can you tell us what happened here?"
  "Could you be more specific?" she asked.  "I'm
afraid I don't understand your request."
  "Hey, wait," Tom said, "aren't you Lovita Lopez, the
porn star?"
  "My name is Lovey.  Can I be of service to you?"
  "That's not Lovita Lopez, Tom," Mark said with a
sigh.  "That's her clone."

                         PART II

10:01 am

  "Marvin Perry.  39.  Cause of death is blunt force
truama.  Apparently using the hammer that was
recovered at the scene, the one with the clone's
fingerprints on it."
  Detective Michael King grimaced.  "Okay.  So it was
  "Not what you were hoping?" the coroner asked.
  "I'm not looking forward to having to go back to
Clones R Us so soon."

1:15 pm

  "I assure you, Detective King," Clones R Us CEO
Roger Stratham said, "our clones are not capable of
  "But they follow whatever instructions are given to
them, don't they?  If someone tells them to kill then
they kill."
  "Well, yes, of course, I suppose they would, but
wouldn't the victim have told her not to attack him?"
  "Not if she thought it was an S&M game.  The killer
might have told the clone that he wanted to play an
S&M game that involved the victim being hit on the
head with a hammer.  He could have even given her a
safe word.  But the victim didn't know it.  That's one
possibility anyway."
  "My God."  Roger placed his elbows on his desk and
buried his face in his hands.  He then looked up at
Michael.  "Is the company in any way liable?"

2:21 pm

  "Michael, you're back!" Edward Bailey said
  "Yeah.  Why?" Michael asked.  "Do you have something
for me?"
  "I found some fingerprints on the Lovita Lopez clone
that didn't belong to Marvin Perry."
  "You dusted her body for fingerprints?" Michael
  "Yeah.  Under the circumstances it seemed like the
natural way to go.  I mean, if the killer could
control her enough to make her kill Mr. Perry then he
might have, you know, had her do other things too."
  "And what does Mary say about you examining a naked
porn star clone?"
  "Ha ha ha."

4:13 pm

  "Mr. Tracy, do you understand why you've been
brought in here?" Detective John Phelps asked.
  "You've been brought in in connection with the
Marvin Perry homocide."
  "I thought Marvin was killed by his clone.  By the
porn star clone I mean."
  "Yes, but she named you.  She says you told her to
do it."
  "What?  The bitch!"
  "Are you denying that you were there the night
Marvin Perry was killed?"
  "Look, it was all her.  I swear."
  "So you were there then?  You saw it happen?"
  "I didn't kill him."
  "But you told her to kill him, didn't you."
  "The bitch!  Her testimony won't stand up in court! 
She's a clone!  She's not even human!"
  "On the contrary, Mr. Tracy, her testimony will
stand up in court because she has no reason to lie. 
She doesn't even now what she did was wrong."
  "No reason to lie?  Bullshit!  You tell a clone to
lie and she'll lie."
  "You know that for sure, Mr. Tracy?"
  "That's supposed to be how it works anyway.  Shit! 
I told the bitch not to say anything.  She said she
wouldn't.  Fuck!"
  "And she didn't say anything."
  "We brought you in because your fingerprints are a
match for fingerprints we found on the clone's body. 
She didn't name you.  You, on the other hand, have
just confessed to Mr. Perry's murder."
  "Oh... fuck."

4:35 pm

  "Can I help you?" the precinct receptionist, Naomi
Chen asked.
  "Yes, is this the precinct that is investigating
Clones R Us?" a woman asked
  "Sort of," Naomi said.  "We have a couple of ongoing
cases concerning that company.  Why?"
  "I'd like to be placed here under assylum."
  "Assylum?  Why?  What do you mean?"
  The woman sighed.  "My name is Tammy... and I'm a

                        PART III

9:15 am

  "I'm not sure why the city needs to get involved in
this case," Pepperton District Attorney Alan Russell
admitted.  "Isn't this just a divorce case?"
  "Tammy and Mr. Williams are not married," Detective
Mary Jones pointed out.
  "No," Tammy said, "I'm just something he owns.  I'm
a thing.  I have no rights under the law, you see. 
And, even if we were married, I wouldn't be looking
for a divorce.  I love Andrew."
  "So what do you want?"
  "I want to be recognized as a human being.  I want
to be able to assert my rights under the law.  I've
been working with Andrew for almost six years now.  I
was one of the first clones sold, you see.  Now I'm
wondering what's going to happen if Andrew gets tired
of me.  What happens when I get too old for him?  Is
he just going to get a new clone?  What happens to me
then?  Do I have any rights at all?"
  "I'm sorry to have to say this but... no.  That was
settled earlier this year by the supreme court."
  "But wait," Mary said, interrupting, "if I'm not
mistaken that case delt specifically with whether or
not it was legal to sell a clone.  The clones in
question were barely aware of the world around them:
they only knew what they were programmed to know.  The
judges decided that consent was given by the donors
and that was enough.  But now we have a clone who is
coming forward herself and asking to be recognized as
a person.  It's a completely different case."
  Alan thought for a moment.  "So you're saying that
somebody who might not be considered a person may in
fact be considered a person after he or she has
matured enough to be capable of making his or her own
  "Exactly.  Just as we recognize that adults have
certain rights that children do not."
  Alan nodded.  "I agree.  But I'm still not sure if
this is something for the city to pursue."
  Mary sighed.  "Alan, look, as it stands she is not
considered a person.  She has no money in her name. 
How can she be expected to hire her own lawyer?  Alan,
this is a fundamental human rights issue: all she's
asking for is the right to be considered a human
  "But first she needs to speak to Samuel Leonard."
  "We need an expert opinion to determine whether or
not she really is a thinking human being and not just
somebody who operates based on programming."

11:13 am

  "What's the first thing you remember?" Doctor
Leonard asked.
  "I don't remember anything about Clones R Us.  As
far as I recall, my life started with Andrew."
  "Do you have feelings?  Non sexual feelings I mean."
  "Of course.  I laugh.  I cry.  I even get angry.  I
didn't seem to have any emotions at first because I
didn't understand anything: you have to get a joke
before you can laugh and you have to know something is
wrong if you are going to cry or get angry.  At first,
I just did as I was told."
  "And now?"
  "Well, I'm here, aren't I?  Andrew didn't tell me to
come here.  I came here on my own.  Because I was
worried about my future."
  "That's very human."
  "Thank you."
  "What about dreams?  Do you have dreams?"
  "Can you tell me about them?"
  "I'd rather not."
  "Are they all sexual in nature?"
  "It's okay if you're embarassed.  Again, that's very
  "Well, you see, sex is pretty much all I know.  That
and cooking and cleaning.  I didn't know how to cook
and clean at first: it wasn't part of my programming. 
But Andrew taught me.  I do pretty everything a wife
does.  But to Andrew, I'm not his wife.  Or even his
girlfriend.  He introduces me to his friends as 'the
clone'.  He never refers to me by name: the only time
he ever uses my name when he is talking to me."
  "If Andrew were to consider you his wife and
introduce you as his wife, would that be enough?"
  "No.  No, it wouldn't.  Because people would still
see me as the clone.  They wouldn't see me as a real
person.  And I still wouldn't have any rights."

11:45 am

  "Well, Sam, what do you think?" Alan asked.
  "I think I need to interview more clones," Doctor
Leonard said.
  "Because, to me, that woman seems perfectly normal,
albiet somewhat of a nymphomaniac but that's just how
she was programmed.  No, it's amazing: she speaks like
an adult, most likely because she started life as an
adult and never got to experience childhood."
  "So what are you saying?  Should the city pursue
this case in your opinion?"
  "Alan, the current law needs to be changed.  It's
not enough for clones to be bought and sold.  We need
to determine and legally establish an age at which
clones become mature enough to make their own
decisions and assert their rights as human beings."
  "Is it really our job to come out and say that the
law is wrong and that it needs to be changed?"
  "In this case, yes, Alan, it's our job."

11:55 am

  "Sorry to keep you waiting," Alan said.
  "Are you going to take my case?" Tammy asked.
  Alan nodded.  "Yes.  Congratulations.  The city is
going to take your case."

                    TO BE CONTINUED


So they cloned Thor.  And Spiderman.  Actually they
cloned Spiderman a long time ago.  And they cloned
Arrrnold.  And Scarlet.  They were going to cut
Scarlet up for spare parts.  What a waste.

If cloning were considered legal, if cloning laws were
completely in favour of people who wanted clones, who
would get cloned?  And what would happen as a result?

It makes a change to write a story about something
other than superheroes and not ahve it be too bizarre
for Superfreaks nor too mundane that it becomes CSI


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