Superfreaks/ACRA: Superfreaks Trade Etherback Volume 3 (collecting 9-13)

Martin Phipps martinphipps2 at
Sun Oct 15 04:09:37 PDT 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 #9


                       PART I 

10:42 am 

  "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
it and they called the police." 
  "They didn't touch it?" 
  "No.  They just ran to the nearest payphone and 
called 911." 
  "Thank goodness for that.  For all we know it's 
still loaded." 
  "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 
ago," Mark suggested. 
  "Well, if the gun is registered then we'll have a 

11:45 am 

  "The registration's been filed off," Edward Bailey 
told him. 
  "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." 

1:10 pm 

  "Hey, Edward." 
  "Hey, Mike.  Did you have a good lunch?" 
  "It was okay.  Were you able to read the 
registration number?" 
  "Well don't keep me in suspense.  Who was the gun 
registered to?" 
  "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 
explain that." 

7:25 pm 

  "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 
recovered earlier." 
  "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 
this one." 
  "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." 
  "That too." 
  Mary thought for a moment while she chewed her 
pizza.  "Edward." 
  "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 
your boss." 
  "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 
about that?" 
  "Let them." 
  "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's good." 
  "It'd better be.  It's a lot more expensive than 
Pizza Hut." 
  "I've never tried Pizza Hut.  I usually get take out
from Domino's" 
  "Really.  Well then, next week we'll go to Pizza 
Hut.  Is it a date?" 
  "I'll have to think about it." 
  "Fair enough." 

                        PART II 

9:25 am 

  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." 

11:03 am 

  "Mrs. Plumber?" 
  "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," 
Mary suggested. 

1:31 pm 

  "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?" 

4:35 pm 

  "I see you found yourself a lawyer, Mrs. Plumber," 
Mary observed. 
  "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?" Michael asked.  "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 
husband's death." 
  "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." 
They left. 
  "This case is just getting more and more 
frustrating," Michael said. 
  "Mike, think, Janice Plumber teaches part time at a 
local college." 
  "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 
individual pictures?" 
  "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." 
  "No problem." 

5:05 pm 

  "You're still here?" Mary asked. 
  "I'm just finishing up," Edward said. 
  "What's up?" 
  Mary sighed.  "Edward, look..." 
  "Uh oh." 
  "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." 
  "I understand." 
  "You do?" 
  "Good," she said.  She turned to walk away but then 
changed her mind.  "I am sorry, Edward." 
  "Don't be." 
  "You're just being honest." 
  "See you tomorrow?" 
  "Of course." 
  "Alright then." 
  "Alright.  I'll see you tomorrow." 
  "Right.  See you tomorrow." 

                        PART III 

10:01 am 

  "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 
saw?" Tom asked, showing him the picture that his 
friend Jimmy had just been looking at 
  "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 
just then. 

11:10 am 

  "Hey, I remember you two," 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." 

11:30 am 

  "Mr. Enright," John began, "do you understand why 
you're here?" 
  "Not really." 
  "It's like this.  You're in Janice Plumber's French 
class, right?" 
  "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 bound 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 hotel?" 
  "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. 

3:30 pm 

  "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." 
  "Edward... please." 
  "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." 
  "You should." 
  "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 
about it?" 
  "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 
obvious sarcasm. 
  "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 
marry him." 
  "I'm not asking you to marry Jim Carrey.  I'm asking

you to marry me.  What do you say?" 

                    SUPERFREAKS #10


                        PART I 

9:30 am 

  "Okay.  Explain this case to me." 
  Alan Russell had been the District Attorney in 
Pepperton for over ten years.  He counted on the 
police in his city to bring him all the evidence he 
needed to make a conviction.  Sometimes, however, he 
was presented with so much evidence that he didn't 
know where to begin. 
  Detective John Phelps was the first person to speak 
up.  "It all began three weeks ago.  Kevin Plumber was
found shot in an alley near where he lived.  He was on
his way to work.  The killer presumably pulled a gun
on him and ordered him into an alleyway where he was
shot.  Nobody witnessed the actual shooting but two
local kids, Wil Smits and Jimmy Smith, got a look at
the perpetrator as he fled the scene.  Frank here
spoke to the two kids and got a description that he
turned into a sketch, but the two kids guessed wrong
about the perpetrator's age so the guy who Frank drew
looks a bit older than our suspect." 
  Detective Mary Jones then spoke up.  "When I 
examined Kevin Plumber's body at the scene I noticed 
that he had been shot two times.  One bullet had 
passed straight through and was recovered at the scene
by Officer Tom Jackson.  The other bullet was 
recovered during Mr. Plumber's autopsy.  Incredibly, 
Edward was able to pull a partial print off of the 
through and through bullet but there was no match with
any of the fingerprints stored in the national 
database.  I did go speak to Mrs. Plumber and tell her
that her husband had been murdered and asked her if
she knew anything that could help us in our 
investigation but she wasn't considered a suspect at 
that point so I didn't bring her in for questioning, 
let alone take her fingerprints." 
  Officer Mark Johnston was next.  "Then a week ago we
recovered a gun in an alley.  Some kids had found it
and they called 911 rather than touch it, which was a
good thing because the gun still had bullets in it. 
The gun turned out to be the gun that was used to kill
Kevin Plumber.  Apparently the shooter had either been
wearing gloves or had wiped his fingerprints off the
gun so he assumed that there was no way the gun could
be traced back to him if he disposed of it." 
  Edward Bailey added his two cents.  "That belief was
based on the fact that the gun's registration number
had been filed off.  But I was able to etch off the
filings that had obscured the registration number and
was thus still able to find out who owned the gun.  It
was Janice Plumber, Mr. Plumber's wife." 
  Detective Michael King also had a few words to say. 
"That was when I went to Judge Matthews and got a 
warrant to search the Plumber house.  Tom then found a
file which Edward identified as the file that had been
used to scrape off the gun's registration number.  We
arrested Mrs. Plumber and took her fingerprints and
were then able to identify her as the person who not
only own the gun that had killed her husband but that
she had, in fact, loaded it herself.  We supeonaed her
bank records and found that she had taken out over ten
thousand dollars the week before her husband had been
killed.  We assumed that she must have paid someone to
kill her husband. 
  "Mary then suggested that we look for suspects 
amongst the students at the college where she worked 
part time teaching French.  Mark and Tom brought the 
two witnesses down to the college to look through the 
school records.  They identified Alex Enright.  We 
even had the witnesses pick out Alex Enright from a 
line up.  He's definitely the man they saw." 
  Thomas Jackson brought everybody up to date.  "We 
were able to get another warrant, this time to search 
Enright's apartment.  We were able to find hair 
belonging to Mrs. Plumber.  Both suspects insist that 
Mrs. Plumber was only there to provide French lessons,
however.  We did notice that the TV and stereo looked
new.  We were able to determine that they had, in
fact, been purchased only a few weeks ago, immediately
after Mr. Plumber was killed." 
  "My God," Alan Jackson said.  "Great work everybody.
 You will, of course, all be asked to testify when
this goes to trial."  He got up and shook everybody's
hands.  He paused when he shook Mary's hand.  "Could I
have a word with you in private, Mary?" 

9:56 am 

  "You wanted to speak to me?" 
  "Yes, Mary."  Alan chose his words very carefully. 
"I just want to let you know that no jury is going to 
care about your private life." 
  "No but.  If anything, juries appreciate real people
over automatons.  They expect real people to have
feelings.  They expect them to have relationships." 
  "With all due respect, Mr. Russell, I don't think my
personal life is any of your business." 
  Alan Russell smiled.  "I know it isn't.  It isn't 
anybody's business but your own.  That's what I'm 
trying to tell you." 

6:32 pm 

  "The pizza should be here soon," Edward said. 
  "I can wait," Mary said. 
  "It doesn't normally take this long." 
  Mary laughed.  "You had them put the ring in the 
pizza, didn't you?" 
  Edward didn't answer. 
  "I knew it!" 
  "Look, you said you'd think about it.  Then you 
agreed to come here with me.  I figured I'd propose to
you in arestaurant like a normal person." 
  "A normal person isn't going to serve an engagement 
ring as a pizza topping." 
  "Did it occur to you that this is exactly the sort 
of thing that the napkins are used for?" 
  Mary laughed. 
  "Seriously though, what if they delivered the pizza 
to the wrong table?  Somebody could have just 
swallowed your engagement ring." 
  "So how did you arrange to have them cook the ring 
into the pizza anyway?" 
  "Oh I come here a lot.  We only went to Guido's 
because Pizza Hut is like a fast food place and it 
isn't a place to bring a date.  But if you've never 
been here then, hey, maybe you wouldn't think that 
  Mary looked around.  "Well, I don't see any pictures
of Ronald McDonald or Colonel Sanders on the walls. 
Nor do I hear any kids crying.  So it is almost like a
real restaurant." 
  Edward laughed.  "Oh good, I think this is our 
  "Enjoy!" said the waiter. 
  "So where is it?" Mary asked. 
  "You know, this was supposed to be a surprise," 
Edward complained. 
  "Edward, I'm a detective.  You can't surprise me." 
  "Here it is."  He fished it out and wiped it with a 
napkin.  "Okay.  Mary.  I don't know if you want kids.
 But if you do, then you can tell them that I proposed
to you by pulling your ring out of a pizza in a Pizza
Hut.  That's much better than me asking you one
afternoon during work." 
  Mary laughed. 
  "Anyway, here goes.  Mary, you know I love you. 
What I want to know from you is whether or not you 
will marry me.  Will you?" 
  Mary sighed.  "Yes." 
  Edward looked relieved.  "Good." 
  "So how did you get them to cook the ring inside the
  "Oh it was no trouble.  I come here a lot.  They 
know me here." 
  "Really?  You should try eating something besides 
pizza and spaghetti." 
  "Such as?" 
  "Sometimes I go out for Chinese food.  Or Mexican." 
  "Ah.  So you like spicy food.  How about Indian?" 
  "Occasionally.  Anything but Japanese.  I can't 
stand raw fish." 
  "It's a wonder I've been able to keep my figure." 
  "I was going to say but I thought better of it." 

                         PART II 

9:20 am 

  "Let me see." 
  "Here it is." 
  Naomi Chen wrinkled her nose.  "It's kinda small." 
  "But it's a real diamond," Mary insisted.  "I 
checked: I used it to cut glass." 
  Naomi laughed.  "You would."  She sighed.  "Well, 
you know what they say about guys with small 
  "Actually, I thought it was the other way around: 
they give you big gifts to make up for other things." 
  "Well, sure, sometimes.  But if the guy's got a big 
enough diamond to give you then it can make up for a 
hell of a lot." 
  "Excuse me, you're Mary Jones, aren't you?" 
  Mary turned to see who it was.  "Oh.  Wendy Wang." 
  "That's right." 
  "What are you doing here?" 
  "I thought I'd come down to the precinct and ask you
some questions." 
  "About what?" 
  "About the Plumber case.  I'm afraid Peter Whitman, 
my editor at the Daily World, he wants more 
information about the case.  It's the kind of story 
that sells newspapers, you see: a French teacher gets 
one of her students to kill her husband.  Everybody 
wants to know if they were having an affair." 
  "I really don't think it would be appropriate to 
talk about an on going investigation." 
  "Alright.  Then tell me about yourself." 
  "An attractive young female detective is 
investigating the case.  You could be the angle that 
satisfies my editor." 
  "How so?" 
  "I could write a human interest piece about you.  At
least give me something so I don't go back to my 
editor empty handed." 
  "You're just trying to interview me so I'll leak 
something about the case." 
  Wendy sighed.  "Please.  Just a few minutes?" 
  Mary nodded.  "Alright.  Just let me get some coffee

9:35 am 

  "Alright.  What do you want to know?" 
  "Are you seeing anyone?" 
  "I don't know if I want to talk about that." 
  "So you are." 
  "Okay.  Yes, I am." 
  "Anyone in the department?" 
  Mary didn't answer. 
  "So that's another yes." 
  "Has someone been talking to you?" 
  "No, dear, I'm an investigative reporter.  I can 
spot things."  She pointed to Mary's ring.  "That's 
new, isn't it?  I saw you showing it to the 
receptionist when I walked in." 
  Mary smiled.  "Okay.  I'm engaged." 
  "To one of the cops?" 
  "Heavens no." 
  Wendy thought for a moment.  "Then it must be 
somebody in the crime lab." 
  Mary closed her eyes and smiled.  "You're good." 
  "So how did he propose?" 
  "Last night.  At the local Pizza Hut.  He had them 
cook the ring inside the pizza." 
  "No.  Really?" 
  "Yeah.  He was trying to be romantic." 
  "But you said yes." 
  "Obviously," she said as she showed her the ring. 
  "So have you set the date?" 
  "Actually, no.  I suppose we could wait until June."

  Wendy nodded.  "That's when Extreme and Amazing 
Woman are getting married." 
  "What?  Are you serious?" 
  Wendy smiled.  "I'm an investigative reporter.  I 
can find out these things." 
  "Still," Mary said, "it's amazing how you're always 
able to get these exclusive Extreme scoops.  You must 
be some kind of insider." 
  "Oh," Wendy said nervously, "I've just known the man
for sometime." 
  "I see.  And Amzing Woman doesn't get jealous." 
  Wendy laughed.  "If she got jealous then she could 
just roll me up in a ball and throw me out the window.
 I'm not going to try taking Extreme away from her." 
  "I see.  So is that it?" 
  "Just some more information.  Your age, your 
hometown, something about your family, how you got 
started as a CSI.  Stuff like that." 
  Mary sighed.  "Okay, but this can't take too long. 
I have to get back to work soon." 

11:03 am 

  "Hey, Edward." 
  "Do you want to go out for Chinese tonight?" 
  "What are you working on?" 
  "It's a new case.  A stabbing.  I'm trying to figure
out what kind of knife was used based on the crime
scene photographs." 
  "Something on your mind?" 
  "Did you know that Extreme and Amazing Woman were 
getting married?" 
  "No.  Where did you hear that?" 
  "From Wendy Wang." 
  "The reporter for the Daily World?" 
  "That's her." 
  "How does she know?" 
  "She didn't say." 
  "Well then Extreme must have told her." 
  "When?  Do you suppose they get together after 
  "Hell no.  Amazing Woman wouldn't put up with that."

  "So he must talk to her during work." 
  "You mean Extreme shows up at the Daily World and 
gives her an interview?" 
  "I'm thinking that maybe Extreme has a secret 
identity and he's working at the Daily World." 
  "That's crazy.  He's Extreme.  Why would he have a 
day job?" 
  "Okay.  But if he's so far above humanity then why 
was he always giving interviews to Wendy Wang?" 
  "Maybe he wanted to get in her pants," Edward 
  "Maybe.  But he obviously didn't.  Or else Wendy 
Wang would be as dead as Diane Brenton." 
  "So they must be friends.  Perhaps even collegues." 
  "Maybe you're on to something." 
  "I'm going to go to the Daily World first thing 
tomorrow morning." 
  "Hold on.  Is that a good idea?" 
  "Why not?  If Wendy Wang can come here to 
investigate me then I sure as hell can go there to 
investigate her!" 

                        PART III 

8:59 am 

  "Wendy Wang?" 
  Wendy turned around to see who had called her name. 
"Why, Mary Jones.  What are you doing here?" 
  "I thought I'd do some investigating of my own." 
  "Oh.  And what are you investigating?" 
  "Tit for tat.  You investigate me.  I invstigate 
  "Have I done something wrong?" 
  "Oh no no no.  It's just a hunch." 
  "A hunch?" 
  "I'm actually not investigating you so much as a 
friend of yours." 
  "Good morning, Wendy!" 
  Mary turned around and saw Kenneth Clark.  "There he
  Kenneth Clark was taken aback.  "There who is?" 
  "Have we met?" Kenneth asked, genuinely confused. 
  "Indeed we have," Mary said, "but you weren't 
wearing your glasses." 
  Kenneth looked at Wendy.  "What's going on?" 
  "I don't know," Wendy said. 
  "Oh I think you both know what's going on," Mary 
  Kenneth leaned forward and whispered to Mary using 
his Extreme voice.  "And who... are you?" 
  "I'm Mary Jones.  I work for the Pepperton Police." 
  "What do you want?" 
  It was a good question.  "I don't know.  Who says I 
want anything?" 
  "Then why are you here?" 
  "It was just a hunch.  Anyway, nice to see you both.

 Again.  I'll go now."  She left. 
  Extreme was not happy. 

2:00 pm 

  The entire precinct fell silent when he passed 
through reception save for a few whispers of "My God! 
It's the Super Soldier!"  Even amongst the police, he 
was accustomed to commanding respect.  "I want to 
speak to Detective Michael King," he said. 
  People just pointed.  They apparently didn't 
consider themselves worthy to speak to the Super 
Soldier.  And not having been spoken to, the Super 
Soldier did not bother to espress thanks either. 
Perhaps he too considered them unworthy. 
  "Detective King." 
  "I'm a bit busy." 
  "I always made time when you came to see me." 
  "So you did.  What's on your mind?" 
  "Mary Jones.  She works for you?" 
  "Yes.  What about her?" 
  "Mary Jones went to the Daily World yesterday and 
all but came out and said who Extreme really is." 
  "I don't follow." 
  "Extreme has a secret identity which she almost 
  "I see." 
  "This is the second time one of our identities has 
been discovered by people from your precinct.  The 
first was the Human Spider's." 
  "Ah yes but that was different: Kenneth Kendal's 
wife was killed by a former lover of his.  He had 
assumed that the killer was one of the Human Spider's 
enemies.  He voluntarally revealed his identity to our
officers.  To do otherwise would have been to obstruct
  The Super Soldier sighed.  "We need to keep our 
identities secret." 
  "I know that.  Really I do.  That's why those secret
identities won't leave this precinct." 
  "That just isn't good enough.  I want this Mary 
Jones to face disciplinary actions." 
  "Excuse me?" 
  "You heard me." 
  "I heard you," Michael said, getting visibly angry, 
"now you listen to me.  I used to be in the military. 
I used to take orders from people like you.  But now 
I'm a civilian.  And unless the government has 
declared martial law and nobody informed me, I don't 
take orders from you.  You and your people are 
operating out of Pepperton and that's OUR 
jurisdiction.  We don't do what you say: you're 
supposed to do what we say. 
  "Now take this incident with the Brotherhood of 
Masters a couple of months ago.  You didn't inform us,
the local authorities that you had captured the 
Brotherhood, a known threat to civilian lives.  You 
should have.  And then there's Harry Roy: he was a 
futigive awaiting trial for the murder of Edward 
Goodhead.  You didn't tell us you had him under your 
'custody'."  Michael made explicit quotation marks 
with his fingers.  "You should have.  I made the 
decision to allow you to keep him under your custody 
as long as you delivered him for trial.  We would have
both been in trouble if he didn't show up for his
trial.  I trusted you.  So now you trust me.  And, no,
you don't get to have him join your group.  He killed
a man." 
  The Super Soldier waited a moment.  "Are you 
  "For now." 
  "Nobody ever speaks to me like that.  Not even my 
  "Well then it's about time somebody did.  You need 
to understand who's in charge here.  It's not you." 
  The Super Soldier put up his hands in surrender. 
"Okay.  I'll let you deal with Detective Mary Jones 
your own way." 
  "You do that," Michael said and then added, "and 
don't worry.  The Human Spider, Extreme, they're 
secrets are safe with us." 
  "Alright.  Fine.  We appreciate that." 
  "You're welcome." 

2:35 pm 

  "I hear you found out Extreme's identity." 
  "Yeah," she said sheepishly. 
  "Good work," Michael said with a smile. 
  "Yes, really.  The Super Soldier was here to give me
a dressing down." 
  "I heard about that." 
  "But this isn't Extreme Force Headquarters.  And I 
don't take orders from him.  If he comes here then 
he's on our turf and he does what _we_ tell _him_." 
  "Sounds like you had a good time." 
  Michael smiled.  "Actually I did.  It felt good 
putting that tin plated bastard in his place." 
  "Michael!  I actually thought you and the Super 
Soldier got along well." 
  "Oh we do.  Now.  Now that he knows who's boss." 
Michael was grinning from ear to ear. 

                    SUPERFREAKS #11

                  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," John 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," John grumbled.
  "Are the clones ferile?" Michael asked.
  "No they aren't," Roger admitted.  "Most of our
customers don't want their clones to get pregnant so
we deliberately make them infertile.  We could make a
fertile clone but then there would be the moral
question of whether a clone would be a good mother."
  "God forbid you should do anything immoral," John
  "Over in the next room we have the programming 
  "Programming area?" John 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." 

                   SUPERFREAKS #12

                    THE SAD CLONE 

                        PART I 

9:15 am 

  "All rise.  The case of Andrew Williams and Clones R
Us vs. Tammy and the City of Pepperton," the Bailiff
announced.  "Judge Kevin Matthews presiding." 
  The judge entered and sat down.  He struck his gavel
on the bench.  "Court is now in session.  Mr. Russell?
 Do you wish to make any opening remarks?" 
  "I do, your honour."  Alan Russell, the Pepperton 
District Attorney, stood up.  "Ladies and gentlemen of
the jury, we are hear today because Tammy, the clone
of Teresa Rodrigues, aka the pornstar Tammy Cruz,
wishes to assert her individual identity as be 
recognized as a separate person from Teresa Rodrigues 
herself.  Andrew Williams and the people from Clones R
Us oppose this assertion for their own reasons. 
Nevertheless, Tammy is a person.  Granted, she's not a
person exactly like you and me: whereas she looks like
an adult, she is in fact only six years old.  But in
those six years she has been involved in a very adult
relationship.  And she has performed as an adult, not
only sexually but also as Mr. Williams' maid and cook.
 He even had her go out on her own and buy groceries. 
She is therefore now capable of performing
mathematical calculations and can read at the
elementary school level.  Who's to say where she will
be in six more years?  Shouldn't she have the right to
pursue an education?  Wouldn't she then be capable of
finding a job to support herself?  Why should she
spend the rest of her life completely dependent upon
another person?  If she indeed has the mental capacity
to make her own choices, as her coming here today
clearly shows, then shouldn't she also be afforded all
the rights we bestow on ordinary people?  Thank you." 
  Judge Kevin Matthews nodded, seemingly in approval. 
"Mr. Laurel?  Do you wish to make any opening 
  Leroy Laurel stood up.  "Yes, your honour.  Ladies 
and gentlemen of the jury, my clients have been 
accused of enslaving the clone of Teresa Rodrigues, 
aka Tammy Cruz.  The truth is, however, that the clone
of Teresa Rodrigues is not a separate person from
Teresa Rodrigues herself and Teresa Rodrigues has
explicitly granted permission for her clone to be used
as Andrew Williams' paramour in a legally binding
contract set up between her, Clones R Us and Mr.
Williams himself.  The legality of this contract is
not in question and was in fact resolved by the 
relevent Supreme Court case that took place back in 
May of this year.  This case is simply rehashing 
issues that have already been settled elsewhere and 
should just be dismissed.  Thank you."  He sat down. 
  "Mr. Russell, are you ready to call your first 
  "I am, your honour.  I call to the stand Doctor 
Samuel Leonard." 
  Samuel Leonard got up, went to the witness box and 
was sworn in. 
  "Mr. Leonard, in your opinion, is Tammy a person?" 
  "Absolutely.  Physically, she is no different than 
you or me.  Mentally, she has the intellectual 
capacity of a child.  But emotionally she has for six 
years lived as an adult and her behavior is definitely
that of an adult human being.  In fact, from the
moment she was sold to Mr. Williams she has been
expected to behave as an adult." 
  "Indeed.  Do you think she was like this when she 
was originally sold to Mr. Williams?" 
  "That would be a question for Mr. Williams.  But I 
have also interviewed Lovey, the clone of Maria 
Martinez aka Lovita Lopez.  It's quite clear that the 
clones start out with very little in the way of 
independent thought.  But even she showed aptitude for
independent thought: she understood the concepts of
past, present and future, for example, and could 
accept that certain behaviour is morally wrong.  It is
my opinion that even she -and by extention all clones-
would be able to one day function in society as well
as Tammy does now." 
  "And just how advanced is Tammy?" 
  "From my interview with her, I determined that she 
knows how to take the bus and buy groceries.  The 
latter requires basic ability in mathematics and 
elementary reading skills." 
  "Would she be fit to give testimony in a case like 
  "I see.  No further questions your honour."  Alan 
went to sit down. 
  "Mr. Laurel?  Do you wish to cross examine?" 
  "I do, your honour."  Leroy Laurel approached the 
witness.  "Doctor Leonard, what is your job?" 
  "I am the head psychiatrist at Raftpork Assylum.  I 
treat patients who are mentally unfit to function in 
society.  I am also paid by the city to determine 
whether or not witnesses are fit to stand trial." 
  "I see.  And do you have any previous experience 
with clones?" 
  "So after one week, you are an expert in clones?" 
  "I am an expert in people, Mr. Laurel.  That is what
they are in my opinion.  And in my opinion, whereas
Lovey would not be fit to function on her own in
society, Tammy definitely is.  All she would need is
an education and she'd be able to get her own job and
support herself." 
  "In your opinion." 
  "Yes, in my opinion." 
  "No further questions, your honour."  Leroy went to 
sit down. 
  "You may step down," the judge told Doctor Leonard. 
"Mr. Russell.  Who is your next witness?" 
  "I call to the stand Tammy aka the clone of Teresa 
  "Objection, your honour!" Leroy Laurel said, 
standing up.  "Are we going to let clones testify in 
  "Your honour, an expert witness has just declared 
her fit to give testimony." 
  "So he did.  Objection overruled!" 
  Tammy approached the bench and the bailiff swore her
  "Tammy, why are we all here today?" 
  "We are here today because I want to be recognized 
as a person.  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?" 
  "Do you have feelings just like a regular person?" 
  "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." 
  "What about your ability to learn new things?" 
  "I can cook, clean, use a computer.  I can even get 
on a bus and buy groceries, like you said.  None of 
that was part of my programming: that's what 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." 
  "I see.  No further questions, your honour." 
  "No, your honour," Leroy Laurel said with a wave of 
his hand.  He wanted to make it clear to the jury that
he didn't consider Tammy to be a real person. 
  "Do you have any other witnesses, Mr. Russell?" 
  "No, your honour.  I do not." 
  "Very well then.  We will take a short recess after 
which Mr. Laurel will present his case." 

                        PART  II 

10:01 am (the same day) 

  "Mr. Laurel, you may call your first witness." 
  "Very well, your honour, my first witness is Teresa 
Rodrigues aka Tammy Cruz.  The _real_ Tammy Cruz, your
  Teresa Rodrigues got up, approached the witness box 
and was sworn in. 
  "Miss Rodrigues, how do you feel about Tammy wanting
to be recognized as her own person?" 
  "How do I feel?  I think it's ridiculous!  I mean, 
look at it!  That's me!  That's not a different 
person!  That's all me!  It's not like she's my 
daughter or something.  The DNA all came from me, not 
from anybody else." 
  "Do you consider her wish to assert her rights as a 
threat to your own rights?" 
  "Absolutely!  What's to stop her from going out and 
doing porn herself and undercutting my salary?  The 
contract I had with Clones R Us guaranteed that she 
wouldn't compete with me that way but, next thing you 
know, she'll be demanding all the same rights that I 
have.  There goes my own identity as a unique 
  "Do you think Clones R Us would be able to stay in 
business under those circumstances?" 
  "Absolutely not!  Nobody would want to be cloned if 
the cone could one day replace them?  Who would want 
that?  We were cloned with the expressed understanding
that the clones would be strictly for private use. 
Now I find out that she's been getting on the bus by
herself and walking around buying groceries.  What's
with that?  To me, it seems as though my own rights
have already been violated and I want it to stop! 
Tammy needs to go home and be with Andrew and Andrew
needs to go out and get his own groceries so she
doesn't get any more ideas of being a person like you
or me." 
  "Thank you.  No further questions."  Leroy went to 
sit down. 
  "Mr. Russell, do you wish to cross examine?" 
  "I do, your honour."  He got up and approached the 
witness.  "Part of what you said wasn't true." 
  "Which part?" 
  "Tammy isn't an exact copy of you.  Your DNA was 
inserted into the egg of another woman.  As a result, 
the clone isn't an exact match." 
  "It doesn't matter.  The woman donated the egg 
anonymously.  In any case, I'm sure she signed a 
contract with Clones R Us to the effect that she 
doesn't consider herself to be the clone's mother. 
Wow.  I guess that would make me the father." 
  "You're just realizing that now?" 
  "Get to the point." 
  "What have you been doing for the past six years?" 
  "Working in porn.  I've mainly been working behind 
the camera lately.  I want to be able to stay in the 
business when I start to lose my looks." 
  "If you were to lose your looks, as you say, then 
you'd have no objection to a clone of yours taking 
  "Hmm.  Now there's an idea, I suppose.  I mean, 
eventually I could have them make another clone of me 
and have her take over for me.  But not Tammy.  When I
get too old to work in the business, she'll be too old
too.  She should just go back to living with Andrew. I
don't want to be replaced just yet." 
  "But still, you'd have no objection to a clone 
working in the business as long as it didn't affect 
  "No.  I wouldn't." 
  "So why shouldn't clones be able to be whatever they
want?  Why do they have to be just sex slaves or porn
  "Because, to be honest, it's not that hard.  It's 
not brain surgery.  It's not rocket science.  The 
clones can be programmed easily enough to do what I 
do.  So while I personally wouldn't mind them making a
clone of me one day and have her do porn, the newer 
girls would probably object to having to work with 
her, now that I think about it.  It would be a 
problem.  So maybe it's not such a great idea after 
  "You don't think clones can go beyond their 
programming and do whatever they want?" 
  "No, I don't.  Nor should they be allowed to." 
  "Because they aren't human, like you and me?" 
  "We'll see what the jury says about that.  No 
further questions, your honour." 
  "You may step down," the judge said to her.  "Mr. 
Laurel, you may call your next witness." 
  "Your honour, my next witness is Lovey, the clone of
Maria Martinez aka Lovita Lopez."  He turned and 
looked at Lovey who was sitting amongst the crowd in 
the court room.  "Lovey?  Please stand up, walk down 
the aisle and go sit in the chair next to the judge." 
  Lovey did as Leroy Laurel had asked and the bailiff 
approached her with a bible.  "Place your hand on the 
bible.  That's right.  Do you promise to tell the 
truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?" 
  "I'm sorry," she said, "but I don't understand your 
  "Um," he bailiff said, "do you promise not to lie?" 
  Lovey blinked.  "If you prefer that I stand up then 
I will stand up." 
  "No, I mean, we want to to answer the questions Mr. 
Laurel and Mr. Russell will ask you correctly." 
  "Oh," she said, "okay, I'll try my best." 
  "Alright then," the bailiff said. 
  Leroy Laurel had to regain his composure. He 
couldn't help but smirk during the exchange he had 
just witnessed.  "Lovey, you killed your owner, Mr. 
Marvin Perry, didn't you?" 
  "Yes," she said.  The jury gasped. 
  "Did you mean to?" 
  "No," she said. 
  "Could you tell us what happened?" 
  "We were playing an S&M game.  I was to hit him with
a hammer and he was to use the safe word 'bananas' to
tell me to stop." 
  "Did he say the safe word?" 
  "Did he even know the safe word?" 
  Lovey didn't answer. 
  "When did you stop hitting Marvin with the hammer?" 
  "When I heard the safe word." 
  "Who gave you the safe word?" 
  Lovey didn't answer. 
  "Did Richard Tracy say the safe word?" 
  "Was the S&M game, in fact, Richard Tracy's idea in 
the first place?" 
  "And so Richard Tracy was the one who gave you the 
safe word in the first place?" 
  Lovey didn't answer. 
  "I'm sorry.  Was Richard Tracy the one who gave you 
the safe word in the first place?" 
  "Alright then."  He turned to face the jury. 
"Ladies and gentlemen, this clone only does as she is 
told.  If you want to have sex with her, she will have
sex with you.  If you want her to kill somebody, she
will kill somebody.  There is no moral center to her. 
She is not responsible for her own actions.  She needs
someone to tell her what to do and what not to do: she
can't be trusted to make her own decisions."  He
turned to face the judge.  "No further questions, your
  "Mr. Russell.  Your witness." 
  Alan Russell stood up and faced the jury.  "I find 
it interesting that the defense chose to call Lovey to
the stand after objecting to my calling Tammy to the
stand earlier.  The very fact that she is testifying
in court implies that we regard her to be a human
being, despite what Mr. Laurel says to the contrary. 
I take it then that Lovey will also be allowed to
testify next week when the Tracy case goes to trial?" 
He directed that last comment to the judge. 
  "As long as she understands the questions she is 
asked and answers truthfully," the judge insisted. 
  "Of course," Alan said.  "Which is precisely what we
ask of anybody else."  He approached the witness. 
"Lovey, you killed Mr. Perry.  Do you understand that 
what you did was wrong?" 
  "Yes," she replied. 
  "How do you know it was wrong?" 
  "Because you and others have told me it was wrong." 
  "Do you know why it was wrong?" 
  "It is wrong to kill somebody." 
  "Exactly."  He addressed the jury once more.  "Lovey
may have a limited mentality right now, but she is
capable of understanding right and wrong.  It's true
that she doesn't yet have an independent sense of
right and wrong beyond what we tell her is right and
wrong, but I submit to you that this is no different
from the way we all learn right and wrong from our
parents.  And just as one day we are considered mature
enough to make our own decisions, Lovey should be
given the right to one day make decisions on her own. 
Thank you."   
  He turned back to face Lovey.  "Where will you be 
tonight?" he asked her. 
  "I'm being held under police custody in a jail cell 
at a local precinct." 
  "Yes.  Exactly.  You are not only aware of where you
are but also where you have been and where you are
going."  He turned to face the judge.  "No more 
questions, your honour."  He went to sit down. 
  The judge looked down onto the witness.  "You may 
step down." 
  "Excuse me?" she asked. 
  The judge sighed.  "Stand up and go back to your 
seat over there." 
  "Alright."  Once again she did as she was told. 
  "Mr. Laurel, your next witness." 
  Mr. Laurel stood up once more.  "I call to the stand
Mr. Andrew Williams." 
  Andrew Williams stood up and went to sit down in the
witness box.  "Do you promise to tell the truth the
whole truth and nothing but the truth?" the bailiff
asked him. 
  "Yeah, sure," he said. 
  Leroy Laurel approached the witness.  "Mr. Williams,
how do you feel about Tammy accusing you of keeping
her as a slave?" 
  "To be honest, I'm hurt.  I feel betrayed.  For six 
years, I've fed Tammy, I've clothed her, given her a 
home.  I've even let her watch TV or use my computer 
by herself.  She can leave the house when she likes 
and she comes back on her own accord.  Usually anyway.
 Does that sound like slavery?" 
  "Not to me, no.  You didn't ask her to pick cotton, 
did you?"  The jury laughed.  Of course, the joke 
wouldn't have gone down quite so well if Leroy had 
been white. 
  "No, I did not." 
  "When you first purchased Tammy, what was she like?"

  "She was just like the clone you were just speaking 
  "Yeah.  Her.  She always did as she was told." 
  "And do you think she should continue to do as you 
tell her?" 
  "Absolutely.  She can't be trusted to make her own 
decisions.  She just doesn't have sufficient 
intellectual capacity to do that." 
  Leroy nodded in approval.  The witness had answered 
the question just as they had practiced.  He turned to
face the jury.  "I think we can all agree that that is
true."  He then turned to face the judge.  "No more
questions, your honour."  He went to sit down. 
  "Mr. Russell.  Your witness." 
  Alan Russell approached the witness box.  "Mr. 
Russell, did you ask Tammy to go to the police and set
up this trial." 
  "So I take it then this was all her idea?" 
  "Maybe not.  Maybe you all turned her against me." 
  "But going to the police in the first place, that 
was her idea wasn't it?" 
  "I guess so." 
  "Why do you suppose she did that?" 
  "I don't know." 
  "Do you suppose she was unhappy?" 
  "Like I said, I don't know." 
  "Do you even care about her happiness?" 
  "Of course I do!" 
  "So you admit she has feelings?" 
  "Of course she does.  Like a dog or a cat have 
  "And nothing more?" 
  "Nothing more than that." 
  "Alright.  You said earlier that clones lack the 
intellectual capacity to make their own decisions." 
  "That's right." 
  "Do you realize that they said the same thing about 
black people a hundred years ago?" 
  "Some people say that sort of thing about black 
people to this day." 
  "And yet you have a black man as your defense 
attorney.  You don't see any irony in that?" 
  "No.  I don't." 
  "Two hundred years ago the slavary of black people 
was the law of the land.  Nowadays we know that was 
wrong.  And yet today the slavary of clones is the law
of the land.  Do you not see that that too is wrong?" 
  "No.  I do not." 
  "What's the difference?" 
  "Because two hundred years ago black people were 
being brought to America in chains whereas clones 
today are grown specifically for the purpose of being 
sold to customers.  And they only know what they need 
to know to... do what they do." 
  "I see.  And what about the children of slaves? 
Were they also not raised to be slaves as opposed to 
being brought to this country in chains?" 
  "Again.  That's different.  We can also adopt black 
children and they have to do what we say because we 
are their legal parents." 
  "But children grow up, don't they Mr. Williams?" 
  "You taught Tammy to cook and clean?" 
  "Sure.  I mean, I figured she'd be useful for other 
things.  And it kept her busy.  I mean, what's the 
point of having her sleep all day?  At the very least 
I needed to give her exercise." 
  "Right.  But cooking and cleaning was not part of 
her programming." 
  "And you say she watched TV and used the computer." 
  "I guess she would get bored if there was nothing 
else to do." 
  "Again, you're admitting that she had feelings." 
  "Sure.  Like a cat or a dog." 
  "But cats and dogs don't watch TV.  Cats and dogs 
don't use computers.  They don't testify in court. 
They can't even speak or even understand words when 
spoken to." 
  "No.  But she's not human either.  Not really." 
  "But if she were considered human then she would 
then after six years be considered your common law 
wife, wouldn't she Mr. Williams?  She would be legally
entitled to some sort of compensation if you got tired
of her and passed her on to somebody else.  Wouldn't
she?  Isn't this what this is all about?  You don't
want her to be considered a human being because then
she'd have rights that you would then have to take
into consideration.  Isn't that right?" 
  "Hold it right there!  If, as you say, all she's 
been to me all this time is some kind of sex toy then 
why should I have to treat her as a human being?" 
  "Because that's what she is, Mr. Williams.  That's 
what she is."  Alan Russell looked at the judge.  "No 
further questons, your honour." 
  "You may step down," the judge told the witness.  "I
hearby adjorn the case for lunch."  He struck his
gavel on the bench. 

                       PART III 

3:07 pm (the same day) 

  For two hours straight, Leroy Laurel brought forward
expert witnesses who claimed that clones were not real
people and that they couldn't think for themselves. 
Finally, Alan Russell decided to complain. 
  "Objection, your honour, the testimony we've heard 
from all these witnesses this afternoon has been 
redundant.  The city is willing to concede that all 
experts selected by Clones R Us are going to tell us 
that clones are not real people and that they can't 
think for themselves." 
  "Objection sustained.  Mr. Laurel, how many more 
witnesses are you planning to call?" 
  "Ten, your honour." 
  "And are any of these witnesses going to bring in 
any new evidence?" 
  "Your honour they are all experts in their field!" 
  "But the city is willing to concede that they are 
all going to say the same thing that we have heard. 
Are any of them going to say anything different from 
what your previous experts have already said?" 
  "No, your honour." 
  "Then I choose to cut this short.  After a brief 
break, we will allow Alan Russell the chance to make 
his closing remarks."  He struck his gavel on the 

3:31 pm 

  "Ladies and gentlemen, clones are people.  They have
rights.  To deny them rights would mean to condone a
form of modern day slavery the likes of which this
country hasn't seen since the end of the Civil War. 
  "You heard what Tammy herself had to say.  She wants
to be recognized as a human being.  She wants to be
able to assert her rights under the law.  She wants to
be able to determine her own future.  Is this so
  "The Andrew Williams and Clones R Us argue that this
issue was settled by the Supreme Court back in May. 
But that case back in May 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 
  "And she is a person.  She has the same thoughts, 
feelings and aspirations as anybody else.  That being 
the case, why should she be denied the right to assert
herself just like anybody else?  If you can't think of
a good reason to deny her such a right then you must
grant her such a right.  Thank you." 
  "Mr. Laurel?  Do you wish to make any closing 
  "I do your honour.  Ladies and gentlemen, you heard 
the testimony of six different experts in the cloning 
field.  They all say that these clones are not real 
people.  I had ten more experts who didn't get a 
chance to speak but, yes, they were going to say the 
exact same thing.  And why not?  It's the truth! 
  "Mr. Russell is trying to pretend that this is a 
human rights issue.  Put clones are not people.  If 
you elevate a clone to the level of an ordinary person
then you must also give the same rights to cats and
dogs.  Have you ever had a cat or a dog who had to be
'put down'?  Wouldn't that make you a murderer then
under the law?  The laws we have in place exist to
protect real people, not pets, not robots and not
clones.  Thank you." 
  The judge nodded.  "Alright then.  We'll give the 
jury time to deliberate and we will reconvene when the
jury has come to a decision."  He struck his gavel on
the bench. 

4:35 pm 

  "The jury is coming back already," Alan Russell 
  "Is that a good thing?" Tammy asked. 
  "It means the jury came to a decision very quickly. 
I hope that's a good thing." 
  "I would have thought at least one of them would 
  "Shh!" Alan said.  "The jury foreman is about to 
  "We find Andrew Williams guilty of intending to hold
Tammy against her will.  We make this decision based
on the belief that Tammy is a human being with the
same rights as any other human being her age.  Given
her chronological age, we reject the argument that she
should be allowed to live on her own without 
supervision.  She should, however, be allowed to 
decide for herself where she wants to live and with 
whom.  That being said, we are willing to accept that 
all sexual acts performed by the two of them were 
consentual as per the current law regarding the 
purchase of clones for such purposes." 
  The judge nodded.  "Tammy, will you stand up, 
  Tammy stood up. 
  "Tammy, do you want to stay with Mr. Andrew 
  "I do, your honour." 
  "Mr. Andrew Williams, do you want Tammy to stay with
  "That's all I wanted all along, Judge Matthews." 
  "Very well then.  I consider this case settled. 
Court is adjorned."  He struck his gavel on the bench 
one last time. 
  "What happens now?" Tammy asked Alan. 
  "As long as you and all other clones stay with their
owners, nothing I imagine.  But if a clone were to
take this decision and claim her right to live with
anybody she chose then the case could go as far as the
Supreme Court in which case the question of the rights
of clones would have to be delt with on the national
level.  For now, you are considered a person just like
me.  Congratulations." 
  "Thank you, Mr. Russell!" 
  "You're welcome!" 

                     SUPERFREAKS # 13


                         PART 1 
11:25 pm 

  "Hello and welcome back to Who Wants to Own a Clone?
 Melvin Peters, you won todays game that means that
you get to pick your clone.  Do you want... a Halle
Berry clone?  ... a Scarlet Johanssen clone?  an Eva
Mendes clone?  ... or a Lucy Liu clone?  Which one are
you playing for tonight?" 
  "Oh I don't know!  I don't know!"  He could barely 
contain his excitement.  "Could I have all four of 
  "If you win tomorrow's game and the next and the 
next then, yeah, sure, but only one at a time, 
  "It's so hard to decide!" 
  "Take your time..." 
  "Okay, Melvin, pick one." 
  "Halle Berry!" 
  "Alright!  And here is the question: in which movie 
did Halle Berry flash her breasts?  Was it number 1...
Die Another Day?  Number 2... Swordfish?  Number 3...
The Rich Man's Wife?  Or Number 4... Gothika?" 
  "Um... can I hear those choices again?" 
  "Alright.  Number 1... Die Another Day?  Number 2...
Swordfish?  Number 3... The Rich Man's Wife?  Or 
Number 4... Gothika?" 
  "I'll say... Swordfish." 
  "Is that your final answer?" 
  "Um... yeah... sure... Swordfish." 
  "You are... correct!" 
  "Oh my God!" 
  "You've won yourself a Halle Berry clone!" 

  Detective John Phelps used his remote control to 
turn off the television.  Normally he didn't stay up 
this late when he wasn't working but he didn't feel 
tired when he got home and what he originally thought 
was going to be a few minutes spent watching TV turned
out to be a few hours.  Now though he felt tired
enough that he needn't worry about having to lie there
without being able to get to sleep. 
  As he laid his head on his pillow, he thought about 
how this whole cloning situation had gotten out of 
hand.  A week ago, he'd never even heard of human 
clones but now he hears about them everywhere, on the 
news, on sit-coms, hell they're even giving away 
clones on game shows now for Christsakes.  His disgust
with the whole idea of cloning dominated his mind as
he drifted off to sleep. 
  "We have to do something about these clones," he 
heard a voice say.  It was Commissioner Jim Morgan. 
Except he'd retired years ago.  He looked he had 
looked years ago.  John realized that he too was 
younger.  So this was the past. 
  John looked around.  They were outside.  The city 
looked strange: the buildings were taller than he 
remembered.  It was night but with all the neon 
lights, brightly lit billboards and commercials 
playing on big screen televisions it might as well 
have been daytime.  So it was both the past and the 
future cat the same time.  Bizarre.  But of course his
unconscious mind just accepted this as normal. 
  There was apparently a bit of rain because there was
lightning (but no thunder) and both he and the 
commissioner were wearing trenchcoats.  "These clones 
have to be stopped," he said. 
  "How so?" John asked. 
  "They're not satisfied with being clones," Morgan 
said with a tone that implied that John should have 
already have known this.  "They're replacing the 
people they were designed to imitate." 
  "My God." 
  "There's only one way to distinguish a clone from 
the real thing." 
  "What's that?" John asked. 
  Morgan looked at John suspiciously.  Why was he 
telling him things that he should already know?  "They
have no feelings." 
  "They don't?" John asked. 
  "They only pretend to have feelings.  They only know
what they are programmed to do." 
  "So how does that help us?" 
  "We have to ask them questions." 
  "What kind of questions?" 
  Morgan sighed.  "Okay, John.  Suppose you're in your
squad car and you see a dog by the side of the road. 
What do you do?" 
  "What do you do, John.  There's a dog by the side of
the road.  What do you do?" 
  "What do you mean?  Am I a dog catcher now?" 
  "There's a sick, hurt dog on the side of the road. 
You don't stop to pick him up and take him to a vet?" 
  John's jaw dropped.  "You didn't say the dog was 
sick or hurt." 
  Morgan nodded.  "Fine.  Let's say your parents 
aren't your parents." 
  "Say your parents tell you you're adopted.  Do you 
go looking for your real parents?" 
  "But I'm not adopted." 
  "Say you were.  Say your parents said you were.  How
would you feel?" 
  John thought for a moment.  "Does it really matter? 
They're the only parents I've known." 
  "Okay.  Say I was your father." 
  "Say you found out that you were adopted and I was 
your real father.  How would you feel?" 
  "But you're not." 
  "How would you feel, John.  What would you want to 
  "For God's sake, Jim.  You're not my father.  How do
you expect me to feel?  Obviously I'd just laugh it
off because it's not true." 
  Jim Morgan pulled out a futuristic looking weapon. 
"Where is the real John Phelps?" 
  "What are you talking about?  I _am_ the real John 
  "Tell me where he is.  I'm not going to ask again." 
  "For God's sake, Jim.  Maybe you're the clone!  I 
mean, are you really going to kill your old partner?" 
  "You're not John Phelps." 
  "Maybe I am.  I mean, geez, if they were going to 
make a clone of me don't you think that they could 
make one that would be able to answer your questions 
the way you would expect them to be answered?  All 
they'd need to know is what questions you were going 
to ask." 
  "You're just trying to confuse me." 
  "Jim, you're not being reasonable!" 
  "This ends now!" 
  Jim Morgan fired the weapon.  John felt a burning 
sensation in his stomach.  "No!" he tried to scream. 

  "NO!" he said as he woke up.  John sat there for a 
while reflecting on his dream.  Clones were people, he
thought.  They had rights.  Yes, it was wrong for them
to be bought or sold or given away on game shows.  But
that didn't mean that they didn't deserve to exist or
that, by extention, people had no right to create

                          PART 2 

2:02 pm 

  "Look," Detective Michael King said, "we found a 
dead body and all the evidence points to you being at 
the scene." 
  Weapon Alpha nodded.  "Yeah.  I was there.  But I 
didn't kill that guy." 
  "Who did?" 
  "A band of ninjas." 
  "Ninjas?  That's your story?  Ninjas?" 
  "Yeah," Weapon Alpha said matter of factly. 
  "But this isn't the sixteenth century," Michael 
pointed out, "and this is not Japan." 
  "Nevertheless there is a band of ninjas operating in
Pepperton.  They call themselves the toe clan." 
  "None of here have seen any ninjas operating in 
  "Well of course not," Weapon Alpha said with a sigh,
"they're ninjas.  They are not supposed to be seen." 
  "But you've seen them?" 
  "I have enhanced senses." 
  "I see."  Michael sighed.  "You do realize that this
sounds crazy, don't you?" 
  "Did you find any discarded clothing at the crime 
  "Yes.  Black robes." 
  "Those were their uniforms.  Did you find any 
swords?  Any throwing stars?" 
  "As a matter of fact we did." 
  "Those were their weapons." 
  Michael's eyes squinted.  "So these ninjas left 
their clothes and weapons behind and are now running 
around naked?" he asked incredulously. 
  "Actually, no," Weapon Alpha admitted, "you see 
ninjas don't take very kindly to being spotted.  I had
to defend myself.  I killed them." 
  "You killed them?" 
  "Yes.  In self defense." 
  "Where are the bodies?" 
  "Their bodies dissolved." 
  "Their bodies... dissolved?" 
  "Yes.  If they die then their bodies dissolve.  In 
fact, any DNA left behind by a ninja, hair, blood, 
skin, it would dissolve so that nothing is left behind
to identify the ninja.  They inject themselves with
some sort of chemical.  A drug that, you know, does
that.  Causes them to dissolve I mean.  Secrecy is
paramount to the toe clan." 
  "But they only dissolve when they die." 
  "Actually, even if they are just seriously injured 
then they start to dissolve." 
  "And they do this willingly?  Take the drug I mean."

  "To be part of the clan, yes." 
  Michael closed his eyes.  "I'll have Edward run 
trace samples on the clothing and weapons.  Even if 
the bodies completely dissolved as you say then there 
will be some residue left behind." 
  "You do that." 

10:04 pm 

  Michael got home late.  He had been helping Edward 
in the lab for most of the afternoon and into the 
early evening.  Weapon Alpha's story checked out. 
Part of him wished it hadn't.  Ninjas.  Here in 
Pepperton.  And they dissolved when dead or injured. 
Isn't this something that The Super Soldier should 
have told him about. 
  But The Super Soldier never told him anything.  No 
matter how many times he stressed the need for the 
local police to be aware of what was going on in their
own city, still they kept secrets from them.  It was
as if they thought that the local police weren't
sophisticated enough to handle the reality of the kind
of menaces that the Extreme Force Six had to face.  It
was insulting. 
  Michael was tired, so tired that he didn't even 
bother to get fully undressed.  He simply removed his 
shoes and tie and then laid there in bed.  He quickly 
drifted off to sleep. 
  He found himself at a factory.  Mary, Frank, John, 
Mark, Tom, they were all there.  It all seemed so 
perfectly normal to him that his subconscious mind 
never noticed how odd it was for them to all be 
wearing spandex. 
  The Extreme Force Six were also there, including 
Extreme himself, his fiance Amazing Woman, the Human 
Spider, Weapon Alpha, Mr. G and their leader, The 
Super Soldier.  Michael grit his teeth. 
  "No more secrets!" Michael shouted as he waved his 
fist.  "I want full disclosure!" 
  "You would be taking away our ability to function," 
the Super Soldier insisted.  "The secrets we keep are 
for your protection as well as ours." 
  "That doesn't make sense!" Michael argued.  "We're 
not children!" 
  "You are to us!" the Super Soldier proclaimed. 
  "You son of a bitch!"  Michael had had enough.  He 
struck the Super Soldier as hard as he could with his 
  The Super Soldier's head flew off. 
  "Metal Man!  Are you insane?" Extreme asked.  "You 
killed your long time friend.  And for what?  Because 
he didn't register?" 
  Michael looked at his hands.  They were covered with
metal.  Was he a robot?  No, he reasoned.  It was some
kind of armour.  His body was completely covered with
state of the art electronics! 
  "The Super Soldier will be a martyr for our cause!" 
Amazing Woman proclaimed. 
  "You're going down, motherfucker!" Mr. G said but 
the Human Spider and Weapon Alpha held him back. 
  Michael looked down at the Super Soldier's lifeless,
headless body.  "I'm sorry," he said. 
  "Sorry isn't good enough," Extreme told him.  "You 
need to promise to leave us alone.  You need to allow 
us to operate freely." 
  "We need to keep secrets from you.  Our secrets 
allow us to be able to do our jobs.  And that's what 
keeps America safe." 
  Michael nodded. 
  Then he woke up.  After turning over a couple of
times, his dream had all but faded away.  All he could
remember were Extreme's last words. 
  "Bullshit," he thought. 

                         PART 3 

12:25 am 

  "How was that?" Officer Mark Johnston asked. 
  "Great," his wife purred.  "You've still got it." 
  Mark smirked.  "Well I should think so.  I'm not 
that old." 
  "Oh really?" she said, giving him a come hither 
look.  "Well then perhaps you're up for another round.
  Mark shook his head.  "I don't think so.  I'm on 
duty tomorrow." 
  She laughed.  "You're getting old!" 
  "Whatever," he said as he turned over and went to 
  Mark found himself driving around Pepperton with his
partner Tom Jackson.  But they weren't driving their
patrol car: it was a sports car.  And they weren't
wearing their uniforms: they were both wearing white
suits.  It was as if they were on their way to a
disco.  And his subconscious mind considered this all
normal: in a dream you don't have to worry about your
dry cleaning bill. 
  Mark drove the car into a particularly bad 
neighbourhood.  But they weren't scared.  They just 
put on their sunglasses, their "shades, and got out of
the car.  They casually walked up to the guy they had
just spotted, the guy they expected to give them the
information they needed. 
  "Yo... punk!" 
  "Why you dissing me, man?" the youth asked him. 
  "Stand up.  We want to talk to you." 
  The youth stood up.  "And what if I don't want to 
talk to you?" 
  Mark smiled and shook his head.  He looked over at 
Tom who did likewise.  He then pulled out a badge. 
"Do you know what this is?  It's my badge." 
  "Is that supposed to impress me?" the youth asked. 
  "It should.  We're cops." 
  The youth laughed.  "You're not cops.  And that's no
cop car," he said, pointing to their "ride". 
  "We are cops," Mark insisted, "and you're going to 
tell us what we want to know." 
  "Or else what?" the youth asked. 
  Mark smiled.  Briefly.  Then he hit the young man. 
Hard.  Then again.  "Does that answer your question, 
  "Mark," Tom said, "that's enough." 
  "This kid is disrespecting us," Mark said.  "What do
you want me to do?" 
  "To serve and protect, Mark," Tom said.  "To serve 
and protect." 
  Mark backed off.  "Alright, punk.  Fine.  Have it 
your way.  If you don't want to talk then it's up to 
  The youth spat out a tooth.  "I aint telling you 
nothin'!" he said. 
  Mark and Tom got back into their car.  That didn't 
go so well. 
  When Mark woke up, he realized what had gone wrong: 
people respect the uniforms.  Without the uniforms, 
cops are just punks like anybody else.  Worse, the 
matching white suits and sunglasses weren't 
appropriate for policework: indeed, if they actually 
were to walk around like that in broad daylight then 
they would probably end up the target of gay bashers. 

7:35 pm 

  "I didn't know you knew how to use chopsticks," Mary
  Edward nodded.  "It's a Chinese restaurant.  You've 
got to try using chopsticks." 
  "Are you going to use them to pick up every grain of
  "No," Edward said, "I'm going to use the spoon to do
  Mary laughed. 
  "So, Mary." 
  Edward used his chopsticks to point at his fiance. 
"Who would you be if you were a superpowered heroine?"

  "Excuse me?" 
  "If you had superpowers.  Who would you be?" 
  "I suppose I'd be Amazing Woman.  How many 
superpowered women are there?" 
  Edward shook his head.  "No, I mean who would _you_ 
be.  You don't have to be Amazing Woman.  You could be
anybody you wanted to be." 
  "I don't know," Mary admitted.  "What about you?" 
  "I'd be a speedster." 
  "Do you run?" 
  "Then how could you be a speedster?" 
  "I don't know.  I'd get powers somehow." 
  Edward mused for a moment.  "Maybe if I put the 
ethel alcohol, the benzene and the acetone all up on 
the top shelf and waited for an earthquake or 
something.  The electrical system would short out and 
I would get bathed with electricity at the exact same 
moment that the chemicals poured over me." 
  "You'd be killed." 
  "Maybe I'd get super powers!" 
  "That's just dumb." 
  "Come on!" 
  "I'm sorry but that's dumb." 

9:05 pm 

  Mary didn't mean to hurt Edward's feelings.  But 
really, he could be such a child sometimes.  She 
changed her clothes and went straight to bed. 
  Mary dreamt she was flying.  And she wasn't alone. 
  "Who are you?" Extreme asked her. 
  "I'm Power Woman," Mary told him. 
  "You're new," he said, staring at her bossom. 
  "I'm up here," she said. 
  "Excuse me?" 
  "Do you mind not looking at my breasts?" 
  "It's just that, well, they're so big." 
  "Not really.  Spandex is such a tight fabric.  It 
makes things like breasts look bigger than they really
  "Ah," Extreme said.  "I know exactly what you mean. 
I have the same problem with my penis." 
  Mary couldn't help herself. 
  "Made you look," Extreme said with a smile. 
  Suddenly they were elsewhere.  Mary couldn't tell 
where they were exactly.  It didn't matter. 
  She and Extreme were both naked.  And she was on top
of him.  She could feel his penis inside of her.  She
could feel it thrusting.  Her subconscious mind didn't
worry about how dangerous this was for her: after all,
she wasn't really superhuman so every single thrust
should have been ripping her apart.  Pr maybe it was
that very thought that made the sex so exciting. 
  When Mary woke up, she felt ashamed.  She felt like
such a whore!  How could she dream about Extreme like
that?  She was supposed to be marrying Edward in a few
  Mary and Edward had decided to get married because 
they had genuine feelings for each other: they had 
started out as friends and had gotten closer.  Not as 
close though as Edward would have liked.  Perhaps, 
though, the time had come for that to change. 

                         PART 4 

11:55 am 

  "Yes, Mary?" 
  "I'm sorry about last night." 
  "It's okay." 
  "How's about I cook spaghetti for you tonight?" 
  "You want to cook spaghetti?" 
  "Sure.  At my place.  Do you know how to get there?"

  "I think so." 
  Mary nodded.  "It's okay.  I'll draw you a map.  Is 
seven o'clock okay?" 
  "Seven o'clock would be great." 

7:59 pm 

  "How was the spaghetti?" Mary asked. 
  "Great," Edward told her.  "It was cooked to 
perfection.  I could have done with more sauce 
  "Okay," Mary said, "I'll have to remember that: 
Edward likes extra spaghetti sauce." 
  Edward laughed.  "It's no big deal." 
  "Care for dessert?" 
  "Dessert?  You fixed dessert?" 
  "Not exactly," she said with a smile.  "Follow me." 
She headed to the bedroom. 
  "What's going on?" Edward asked. 
  "What do you think is going on?" Mary asked as she 
removed her bra. 
  "I didn't bring protection," Edward admitted.  "If I
did it might have implied that I was expecting 
  "It's okay," she said as she removed her bra. 
  "Really?" he asked. 
  "Of course," she said.  "I mean, we are getting 
married, right?" 
  "Right," he said as he lunged forward and grabbed 
her ample breasts. 
  "Aren't you forgetting something?" 
  "Your shirt.  I'm half naked and you're fully 
  "Sorry," he said as he went to unbottom his shirt. 
  "Wait," she said.  "Allow me."  She unbottoned his 
shirt and slipped it off of him.  "Now your pants." 
  "Okay," he said, slipping his pants down to reveal 
his boxer shorts.  "What about your pants?" 
  "Do you want to take them off of me?" 
  "Oh yeah," he said.  He unbottoned them and pulled 
down the zipper.  He reflected for a moment about how 
the white panties matched her bra and decided that 
next time she should do a striptease for him.  He then
pulled down her pants. 
  "Now the panties." 
  This was it.  The holy grail.  "Oh my God," he said.
 "You shaved." 
  "Just for tonight," she said. 
  "As long as you are in that position, why don't you 
do something?" 
  "Alright," Edward said and he started licking her. 
Truth be told, he actually liked having her tell him 
what to do.  He did manage to suppress the urge to say
something stupid and awkward like "You're the boss." 
  Minutes later she was moaning and Edward got a 
bitter taste in his mouth.  "Take me," she said as she
lay back on the bed. 
  Edward removed his boxers.  He was ready. 

8:36 pm 

  "Oh... God," Edward said. 
  "You lasted a good long time." 
  "I didn't want to disappoint you." 
  "You didn't.  How was it for you." 
  "Great.  Just great.  In fact..." 
  "What?  Tell me!" 
  Edward smiled.  "I once had a dream just like this."


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