Superfreaks/ACRA: Superfreaks #2

Martin Phipps martinphipps2 at
Thu Sep 14 07:48:01 PDT 2006

Michael King and Mary Jones: crime scene
investigators.  John Phelps and Mark Johnston: police
officers.  Jack Greenspan and Edward Bailey: 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 hindrance?

Two weeks ago, Michael King had to investigate three
cases: the accidental death of Diane Brenton aka Paula
Pound, the murder of Johnathon Jenner aka Night Man
and the death of Sarah Crosby.  Each of these cases
were interrelated in the sense that they all involved
members, past and present, of Extreme Force Six, a
government sponsored team operating out of Pepperton.

It is now two weeks later.

                        PART 1

9:15 am

  "Detective King?  We meet again."
  "So we do."  Michael King had met The Super Soldier
two weeks ago.  It wasn't the friendliest of meetings.
"You said you had found a body?"
  "Mr. G is the one who found the body."
  "You say this is an old hideout for the Brotherhood
of Masters?"
  "Not quite so old.  They appear to have recently
abandoned it.  You see, they've never won a fight
against us so, nowadays, when we're closing in on them
they prefer to just cut and run."
  "I see."
  "The body is over here.  They appear to have had put
it here on display."
  "This is not a fresh corpse."
  "No.  We noticed that ourselves."
  "It might be hard to identify who he was."
  "Not necessarily.  The costume is familiar."
  "So you think you know who this is?"
  "I'm afraid so."  The Super Soldier sighed.  "It
appears to be the Archer, one of the members of the
original Extreme Force Six."
  "But, as you say, it is hard to tell.  I was hoping
your people could positively identify him."

12:05 pm

  "Good to see you all here," John Phelps said.  "It
isn't often that we're all in the same place at the
same time."
  "Yeah, well, you said you were going to buy pizza,"
Mary Jones said.
  "Don't worry.  It's coming."
  "It had better get here soon," Michael said.  "I'm
due in court this afternoon."
  "I thought you weren't going to testify until
  "I feel an invested interest in this case," Michael
explained.  "I strongly believe that Extreme is
innocent and I want to see him get a fair trial."
  "Fair enough.  I just wanted to congratulate you for
all the hard work you've done, starting with the
Dragneto case you all worked on a month ago: the jury
came back with a decision yesterday and he's guilty on
all counts."
  Michael smiled.  "I knew his 'mind control' defense
wouldn't stand up in court."
  "Meanwhile, Penny Kay has officially pled no contest
to the murder of her father, Johnathon Jenner aka
Night Man."
  "With her daughter going to jail, is there any
chance of Plant Woman being released?" Mary Jones
  John Phelps shook his head.  "The DA isn't going to
want a convicted killer to go free."
  "But she helped in the investigation.  Now they're
both in prison."
  "Yeah, well, they both killed people."
  "I promised I'd do what I could to get her
  "I know.  And that's the sort of thing we say when
we have to get the information we need."
  Just then, the pizza delivery guy arrived.
  "Alright!" Edward Bailey said.  "The pizzas are

1:05 pm

  "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, my client,
Extreme," Leroy Laurel said, pointing to the man in
question, "is a hero.  He has saved hundreds, if not
thousands, of lives in this city alone.  Every moment
that he spends here in court is time that he could be
spending out there saving lives.
  "It's true: Diane Brenton died as a direct result of
his actions on that fateful night.  And it is true
that, as a metahuman, Extreme needs to be extra
careful when relating to ordinary people.  But Diane
Brenton was no ordinary person: she was Paula Pound, a
metahuman like himself.  And what happened to her was
an accident.
  "Ask yourself, what would you have had Extreme do? 
Would it have helped if he had worn a condom?"
  "Objection!" District Attorney Alan Russell said,
standing up.  "The council for the defense is not
treating the deceased with the proper respect!"
  "Overruled!" Judge Kevin Matthews said.  "Please do
not interrupt the defense council's opening
  "Thank you your honour."  Leroy Laurel continued. 
"I respect Diane Brenton.  I also respect Extreme.  He
is more than human, yes, but in some ways he is just
like the rest of us.  He has the same urges.  The same
needs.  Extreme thought he had found somebody with
whom he could satisfy those needs.  He was wrong.
  "And that, ladies and gentlemen, is something else
that makes us human: the ability to make mistakes. 
Extreme made a mistake, yes, but it was an honest
mistake.  He is not guilty of criminal negligence. 
Thank you."


  Alan Russell had just called to the stand Doctor
Jack Greenspan as a witness for the prosecution.
  "Dr. Greenspan, could you please describe for us the
work you do for the Pepperton police?"
  "I'm a medical examiner.  My duties include
determining both the time and cause of death of bodies
brought to the morgue.  My work leads to determining
how and under what circumstances a person died."
  "And what can you tell us about the death of Diane
  "Diane Brenton died as a result of internal
  "And what was the cause of this internal bleeding?"
  "It appears as though when Extreme ejaculated inside
of her that the force was too strong for her internal
organs to take."
  "And how long would it have taken her to die?"
  "At least fifteen minutes."
  "Thank you.  No further questions, your honour." 
Alan Russell went to sit down.
  "Do you wish to cross examine?" Judge Matthews asked
Leroy Laurel.
  "I do."  He stood up and walked over to where the
witness was seated.  "In your opinion, Dr. Greenspan,
was Diane Brenton in a lot of pain as a result of her
internal bleeding?"
  "I don't think so.  The hemoraging would have made
it difficult for her to breathe and she would have
passed out before she died."
  "Would it have been possible for someone who had no
medical training to know that she was dying?"
  "Not necessarily."
  "Thank you," Leroy Laurel said.  "No further

  "Has the prosecution called all its witnesses?"
Judge Kevin Matthews asked.
  "We have your honour," Alan Russell replied.
  "Very well then.  We will adjurn until tomorrow
morning when the defense will have an opportunity to
present its case."
  "Your honour," Leroy Laurel said, standing up, "if
it would please the court, I would kindly ask that we
postpone continuing this trial until the day after
  "Why is that?" Judge Matthews asked.
  "The Night Man funeral is scheduled for tomorrow.  I
rather thought that it would be humanitarian of the
court to allow Extreme to mourn the loss of his former
  "Of course.  Does the prosecution have any
  "No, your honour," Alan Matthews said.
  "Very well then," the Judge said.  "We will continue
these proceedings after one day's rest."  He slammed
his gavel down on his desk to officially end day one
of the Extreme trial.

                       PART 2


  "Bonnie!  It's been years!"
  "Greggory, why did you do it?"
  "Excuse me?"
  "Why did you betray Night Man like that?"
  "Why did you ruin his reputation with your stupid
court case?"
  "Now... hold on..."
  "He raised you, Greggory.  He raised you from a
small child.  When nobody else would."
  "Yes, he did.  He took me in.  And then he
immediately started training me for his war on crime."
  "I thought you wanted to be Moon Boy."
  "We didn't form Electric Youth until after we'd all
been active as sidekicks for a few years.  I'd gotten
used to being Moon Boy.  To be honest, I was proud to
be Moon Boy.  But I never had any powers.  If I got
shot, the bullets didn't bounce off."
  "I didn't know you felt this way.  You should have
said something."
  "I didn't want you to think of me as a coward."
  "Really?  So now it's my fault you were Moon Boy?"
  "I didn't mean it like that."
  "Are you really going to go around suing people for
making you do something we all thought you enjoyed?"
  "Look, I was a kid.  We were all kids.  It was
different for you because you actually had powers." 
Greggory bit his lip.  "Are you still Amazing Girl?"
  "I might take over from Amazing Woman if she were to
quit but otherwise, no, I have a family now."
  "Good for you.  So... I take it you're here for
Night Man's funeral."
  Amazing Girl rolled her eyes.  "No, really, I like
hanging out at funeral homes."
  Greggory smirked.  "Actually, I miss him.  He's the
only father I knew."
  Tears welled up in Amazing Girl's eyes.  "I know."
  "It's okay for you to cry."
  "No it's not," Greggory said sadly.  "I'm not
supposed to cry.  I'm Moon Boy, remember?"


  "What have you got for me?"
  Edward Bailey turned to look at his boss, Michael
King.  "I've been able to reconstruct what he must
have looked like based on his bone structure."
  "Is that it?  What about DNA?"
  "The Archer never revealed his identity so nobody
knows who he really was.  So we don't have any DNA to
use as a comparison."
  "Right.  Alright then.  Show me what you've got."
  "Okay.  I ran this facial reconstruction program
based on scans of his skull and then added facial
features based on his race and gender.  This is what I
got.  I then added the Archer mask.  Now, compare the
resultant face with this old picture of the Archer."
  "It looks like the same guy."
  "If he were standing right here in front of us then
I'd swear he was The Archer."
  Michael nodded.  "Looks as though The Super Soldier
and his buddies are going to have to arrange another


  "Johnathon Jenner was a hero, whether as the owner
of the Jenner Toy company, as a billionaire
philanthropist or as the hero known as Night Man.  It
was, in fact, only a year ago that we learned that
Johnathon Jenner and Night Man were one in the same."
  Father O'Brien looked down at the open casket. 
"Johnathon, you will be missed both as the man and as
the hero.  Because the world still needs heroes like


  "You're Wendy Wang, reporter for the Daily World,
  "That's right."
  "I'm Mary Jones, a crime scene investigator for the
Pepperton police department.  I saw you at the Extreme
trial yesterday."
  "I've always had... an interest... in Extreme."
  "But you never...?"
  "Never...?  Oh no no no no.  Good thing I suppose."
  "Yeah.  It's too bad he couldn't just turn off his
  "That would have been nice."
  Mary looked around.  "It seems as though every cape
in Pepperton showed up today."
  "Yeah.  Night Man was one of them.  They're like a
  "I never thought about it that way."
  "It's hard for them to develop relationships because
most of them have secret identities.  That's why so
many of them reveal their identities later in life:
don't want to grow old alone without anyone knowing
who they were."


  "Wendy, I want to thank you for supporting me
yesterday at my trial."
  Wendy Wang looked straight into the face of Kenneth
Clark.  "Ken, are you sure you want to talk about this
  "I mean, it's bad enough that you leave as Extreme
and then immediately come back as Kenneth Clark.  You
don't want people overhearing this conversation and
figuring out who you are."
  "I wouldn't worry about that.  They're not going to
think that mild-mannered Kenneth Clark is Extreme."
  "I figured it out."
  "Yeah but you were ace reporter Wendy Wang.  And it
was years before you caught on."
  "Yeah, well, like you said, it's not what anybody
would have thought."
  Kenneth bit his lip.  "I'm sorry things didn't work
out for us."
  Wendy nodded.  "Yeah, well, turns out you were right
about us not being able to be intimate."  She thought
for a moment.  "You know, I could testify on your
behalf tomorrow.  Tell everybody you didn't mean to
kill that woman."
  "No," Kenneth said.  "Thank you, but no.  The
prosecution would only use your testimony against me:
they would use it to say that I knew that I could kill
a woman this way."
  "I suppose so.  I just... I just want to help."
  "You are helping me, Wendy.  Just by being there."

                        PART 3

10:01 am

  "I call to the stand Detective Michael King."
  Michael King got up and proceeded to the witness
stand.  "Raise your right hand.  Do you promise to
tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the
truth?" he was asked by the bailiff
  "I do," he said, putting his hand on the bible and
raising his right hand.
  "Sit down."  He sat down.
  Leroy Laurel looked at his witness.  "Detective
King, at approximately what time did Diane Brenton
  "Around one o'clock in the morning.  That was when
the people in the room next door called the police."
  "And what time did you arrive on the scene?"
  "Around two thirty."
  "And what did Extreme say to you when you got
  "That he was sorry.  That he didn't mean to kill
her.  That it was an accident."
  "Did he seem sincere?"
  "And, in your opinion, was the sex consentual?"
  "That seemed to be the reason they went to the
hotel, yes."
  "And once the sex was over, was there anything that
Extreme could have done to have prevented her death?"
  "No, I don't think so.  With the kind of internal
injuries she had withstood, it may have been dangerous
to move her.  That's assuming that Extreme would even
have been capable of flying her to a hospital in time,
what with him having just experienced a powerful
  "Objection!" District Attorney Alan Russell said,
standing up.  "Speculation!"
  "Your honour, Detective King is here as an expert
  "I'll allow it," Judge Matthews said, "but in the
future please instruct your witnesses to stick to the
known facts."
  "Thank you.  I will.  No further questions, your
  "Do you wish to cross examine?" the judge asked the
  "I most certainly do!" he said, getting up and
walking over to where Michael was sitting.  "Detective
King, how strong do you suppose Extreme is?"
  "I thought you didn't want me to speculate?"
  "In your expert opinion?"
  "Very strong."
  "Strong enough to crush a woman with his bare
  "I would imagine so, yes."
  "So would you say that, this being the case, that
Extreme needs to be careful when experiencing
relations with women."
  "No further questions your honour!" the DA said.
  "You may step down," the judge said.  He did.

11:55 am

  "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you've heard the
testimony given today.  It is your duty to decide
whether or not Extreme was criminally negligent in the
death of Diane Brenton.  It is my duty to instruct
you, when making your decision, not to consider the
years of public service that Extreme has done for us
as the most powerful hero in Pepperton."
  Alan Russell sighed.  When judges specifically asked
juries to forget something immediately before they
went into deliberation, it usually had the opposite
  "Your decision today should be based only on the
facts of the case presented to you in this court.  We
appreciate the service you are doing for us and hope
that you will be able to come to a decision you can
all agree on.  Good luck."
  The judge slammed down his gavel and the trial broke
for lunch.


  "Wendy?  What do you think?"
  "I think the judge is on your side.  I mean, even if
the jury were to forget that you are the city's
protector, it doesn't mean he will.  Even if you're
found guilty by the jury, I doubt if the judge will
sentence you with anything besides community service,
which technically is what you do anyway."
  "I hope you're right.  I just don't want the public
to think of me as a killer."
  "I know."


  "Has the jury reached its verdict?"
  "We have, your honour."
  "Could you please hand it to be bailiff?"  The jury
foreman handed the verdict to the foreman who then
passed it on to the judge.  "I see.  Could you please
read the verdict for the court?"
  "We find the defendent... Extreme... not guilty."
  People around the courtroom breathed a sigh of
  But not everybody was happy.
  "Martha, please, sit down!"
  "Bastard, you killed my daughter!"
  "Order!  Order!  Bailiff, please escort this lady
  Extreme turned to his lawyer.  "Thank you.  I'd
shake your hands but..."
  "That's fine.  Just wait until you get my bill.  You
can thank me then."


  "I'd like to speak to one of the crime scene
investigators here."
  "I'm sorry but they are all out on duty.  May I ask
who you are and what it is you want to talk about?"
  "My name is Gary Alda but it might be better if you
told them that Mr. Quick wanted to speak to them. 
It's about the Archer case."

                        PART 4

9:35 am

  "We appreciate you coming down to speak with us."
  "I feel so bad about what happened to Christopher."
  "Christopher Prince.  That was The Archer's real
name.  I assume he wouldn't mind people knowing now
that he's dead."
  Michael King turned to look at Edward Bailey. 
"Edward, go on line and google the name Christopher
Prince for me and then give me whatever you find."
  "Got it."  He got up and headed to his workstation.
  "Could you possibly tell us everything you know
about Extreme Force Six?" Mary Jones asked.
  "I really don't know anything about the current
  "Just tell us anything you do know about the group
when you were with them," Detective John Phelps said. 
"Anything that might help us with our investigation."
  "Alright."  Gary Alda let out a big sigh.  "We
banded together twenty years ago, me, Extreme, Amazing
Woman, Night Man, Waterlord and The Archer.  We wanted
to face the enemies that none of us could face alone. 
We took the name Extreme Force Six in honour of
Extreme because he was the most powerful one amomgst
us.  We didn't work for the government back then. 
That didn't happen until after the original group
  "I guess it was my fault the group disbanded.  You
see, my powers developed because I was testing a new
nerve stimulation drug on myself.  I never went public
with my discovery because the drug caused the heart
rate to increase tenfold and, frankly, that's not
healthy.  For years I had the ability to run at super
human speed.  But eventually my powers started to fade
as the effects of the drug wore off.  I wasn't going
to take another dose for fear of what it would do to
my health.  So I had to quit being Mr. Quick.
  "They tried to talk me out of it, telling me that my
experience made me a valuable asset to the team.  But
I was used to being able to run around fast and stop
the bad guys before they even knew I was there.  If I
were to just be standing around while my teammates
fought the villains then I would have been a liability
to the team.
  "I suggested they start calling themselves Extreme
Force Five.  Or that they could just recruit a new
member.  But Chris wanted no part in the group if I
was going to bow out.  He said he always prefered to
work alone anyway.  So the group simply disbanded:
Waterlord went back to living in the ocean and I
assumed, since we didn't hear from him anymore, that
Chris had gone back to his private life.
  "I guess I was wrong."
  "I'm sorry."
  "It's alright.  I wondered why he never got in touch
with me.  Now I know."
  Officer Mark Johnston got up and went over to shake
Gary Alda's hand.  "I just want to shake your hand,"
he said.  "You people were my heroes when I was
growing.  You were all our heroes.  I'm so sorry, what
with Night Man and now The Archer."
  "I know.  And I'm sorry I can't help you with
regards to the new Extreme Force Six.  I have nothing
to do with that group."
  "That's okay," Michael King said.  "You've been a
lot of help.  We appreciate you coming down to talk to

2:01 pm

  "So.  How was it?"
  "It was great.  Fantastic in fact."
  "I don't think I've ever seen you so weak."
  "Yeah, well, it really takes it out of me."
  "So, it's true then.  You really wouldn't have been
able to save her."
  Extreme sat up in bed at looked at Amazing Woman. 
"No.  I guess not."
  "I'm sorry."
  "I never realized that I was the only woman who
could possibly satisfy you."
  "If I had been there for you when you needed me then
Paula Pound would still be alive."
  "Don't be ridiculous!"
  "It's true."
  "Doesn't make it your fault.  It wasn't anybody's
fault.  It just happened."
  "So... what now?"
  "You mean... with us?"
  "This is a difficult time."
  "I know."
  "I don't want you involved in this controversy. 
Maybe when this all blows over we can come out as a
  "And in the meantime?"
  "In the meantime, we can be discreet."
  Amazing Woman pursed her lips.  "Fuck buddies?"
  Extreme nodded.  "Fuck buddies."
  Amazing Woman smiled.  "Okay.  So... are you back to
full strength yet?"
2:59 pm

  "Mr. Cliff Murdock?"
  "Yes.  Mr. and Mrs. Brenton.  Is that right?"
  "What can I do for you?"
  "We want you to help us bring Extreme to justice."
  "I'm sorry but I don't understand.  Wasn't Extreme
already acquited for the charge of criminal negligence
with regards to your daughter's death?"
  "Yes, but..."
  "What my wife is trying to say is that we want to
pursue a civil case."
  "You mean sue him?"
  "For wrongful death, yes."
  "But I'm a prosecuter."
  "But you helped Moon Boy in his suit against Night
Man," Martha Brenton pointed out.
  "That was a favour to an old friend."
  "But you won that case," George Brenton reminded
him.  "Which means you have experience with this sort
of case."
  Cliff Murdock thought for a moment.  "It would be
difficult to bring down a civil case against him
because we don't know his civilian identity, assuming
he even has one."
  "They all do!" George Brenton insisted.
  "It's also hard to get a substantial settlement out
of an individual, not unless that person is fabulously
wealthy, and we can't say for sure that Extreme is
that wealthy."
  "What do you suggest then?" Martha Brenton asked.
  "Your best bet would be to sue Extreme Force Six. 
It's a government organisation.  You could argue that
they should have reigned him in for the sake of public
  "But that's the government!" George Brenton scoffed.
"They're going to have the most expensive lawyers to
argue their case!"
  "You have to be prepared for the possibility that
the government would provide Extreme with the best
lawyers possible anyway in order to try to pressure
you to drop the case.  Do you still want to go ahead
with the lawsuit?"
  Martha Brenton nodded.  "Absolutely."
  "It's what my daughter would have wanted," George
Brenton insisted.
  "Alright then.  I'll speak to the judge and see when
this can be brought to trial."

3:34 pm

  >>Detective Phelps?<<
  >>You need to get down to the abandoned warehouse
district right away.<<
  "What happened?"
  >>A shipment of drugs arrived from Columbia this
morning.  We were responding to a tip but when we got
there, everybody was dead.<<
  "Oh God.  Not again."
  >>That's right, Sir.  We believe the Exterminator
was responsible.<<

                THE END (of issue 2)

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