Superfreaks/ACRA: Superfreaks #3
martinphipps2 at yahoo.com
Fri Sep 15 05:59:43 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?
Circumstances lately have forced members of the
Pepperton police department to investigate the members
of Extreme Force Six, a government run team operating
in Pepperton, both as a result of the mysterious
deaths of a couple of their former members and the
suspicious deaths of people they appeared to have come
in contact with. Now, they have a new problem: a
vigilantee known as the Exterminator is waging a one
man war against crime in Pepperton and the police have
to stop him before any innocent people get hurt.
THREE DAYS TWO KNIGHTS
"What do we have here?"
Detective John Phelps made a sweeping gesture at the
carnage in front of him. "This was apparently a drug
lab until somebofy showed up and killed everybody
"We'll have to get more people down here. There are
a lot of bodies to process. We'll need to collect all
the bullets and shell casings and try to reconstruct
what happened here."
"I thought you said the Exterminator was
manufacturing his own weapons. Weapons that couldn't
"This is the fourth Exterminator hit in as many
weeks. Who knows? He might be getting sloppy."
"I wouldn't count on it."
"I'm Detective Mary Jones and this is Officer Mark
Johnston. We're with the Pepperton Police
"I'm sorry, Mr. Kendall, but I regret to inform you
that your wife, Mary Beth Wilson-Kendall, was found
dead this morning. She had been killed."
"Oh God no. How?"
"She appears to have been strangled although we
won't know for sure until we do an autopsy."
"Oh God no."
"Do you know of anybody who could have wanted to
harm your wife?"
"Do I know anybody who would have wanted to harm my
"Yes. That was my question."
"I know a lot of people who might want to harm my
"Really? Who? Why?"
Kenneth didn't answer.
"Mr. Kendall, if you want us to find out who did
this then you're going to have to tell us what you
"There are a lot of people who might want to hurt my
wife, if any of them were to find out who I really
"I'm the Human Spider."
"You're the Human Spider?"
"I think somebody found out that I'm the Human
Spider and now my wife is dead. Oh my God. No."
"Here are all the bullets and shell casings
recovered from the massacre at the drug lab."
"I'll get right on them."
"I also want you to find out all you can about who
might want to kill the Human Spider or members of his
"The Human Spider?"
"It's important, Edward."
"Okay. Say, Mike?"
"Did you hear the latest concerning the Extreme
"No. What's up?"
"The Brenton family and Extreme Force Six settled
out of court for an undisclosed amount."
"Good. Good for them. What happened was nobody's
fault but they needed closure after what happened.
You can't just lose a child and not have anybody do
something about it."
"And you know what else? Rumour has it that Extreme
and Amazing Woman are an item now."
Michael King closed his eyes and shook his head.
"Hey... boss... what's wrong?"
"These capes... they're like celebrities now."
"I don't know, boss. It seems to me they've been
like celebrities for a long time now."
"Exterminator War Journal Volume 316.
"I can sense the police closing in on me. Don't
they understand that we're on the same side? They'd
better stay out of my way. I don't want to have to
kill any cops."
"Mark, I'd like you to meet your new partner, Tom
Jackson. Tom, this is Mark Johnston."
"It's good to meet you, Sir!"
Mark Johnston smiled. "You don't have to call me
'Sir'. I'm your partner."
John Phelps laughed. "But me, you have to call
'Sir'. Don't forget that. Anyway, go. Mark, you
take Tom in your car. Dispatch says that the
Exterminator was spotted on Main street. You can grab
the details at the main desk on your way out."
"So just who is the Exterminator?"
"The Exterminator is a vigilantee with a gun. He's
been going around killing drug traffickers and drug
manufacturers here in Pepperton. My guess is that
informants are more willing to talk to him because
what they say doesn't go on record and they aren't
going to be asked to testify: the Exterminator kills
all the bad guys so nobody is going to come back after
the informants. It's quick and easy."
"So why are we trying to stop this guy then? It
sounds as though he's doing our work."
"Because that's not the way things are supposed to
get done. We have a system of due process under the
law and the Exterminator is setting himself up as
judge, jury and executioner without any regard for
people who might simply be in the wrong place at the
"So the people who were working in a drug den at
four o'clock in the morning were simply in the wrong
place at the wrong time?"
"We're working under the rule of law and even
criminals have rights. You don't want anybody busting
into your home and shooting everything, do you? The
law applies to criminals but it also applies to the
people who enforce it. We're simply not allowed to do
things like that."
"I'm just saying that because we aren't allowed to
do things like that, it's nice to have somebody doing
things like that for us."
Mark sighed. "He's breaking the law, Tom, and we
have to bring him in."
"This is the place. Neighbours said that a man
fitting the description of the Exterminator was
operating out of the third floor apartment. Let's
"Is it normal for a rookie cop to be sent out on an
assignment like this?"
Mark Johnston smiled. "Don't worry. He's not going
to shoot a cop. We're just going to go up there and
ask him to come with us. There's nothing to worry
about." He hated having to lie to his partner.
"This is the police! We know you're in there!"
"I can hear him."
"Stand back. I'm going to kick in the door." Mark
Johnston kicked in the door. There was nobody in the
"Where'd he go?"
"I told you to stay back."
"You told me he wouldn't shoot a cop."
"You lied to me?"
"Can we talk about this later?" He looked around
the room. "The window's open. He took the fire
"We're going to follow him, right?"
"I'm going to follow him. You're going to go back
"Because while I'm looking for him out back, he can
slip back into the building and escape through the
Mark Johnston headed down the fire escape. He
didn't really believe that Tom was going to find the
Exterminator in front of the building: he was just
worried about a rookie cop getting killed. It was
much better if he faced the Exterminator alone.
Sure enough, there he was.
"Freeze! Drop your weapon."
The Exterminator raised his gun. Officer Johnston
had no choice. He fired two shots into the
Extermintor's chest. The Exterminator fell backwards.
Officer Johnston found it odd that there was no
blood. He just stood there and waited.
"Nice try," the Exterminator said as he started to
"I'm asking you again to drop the weapon." Before
the Exterminator could fire back, Officer Johnston
fired two more shots. One of the shots hit the
Exterminator in the head.
This time there was blood. This time it didn't look
as though the Exterminator was going to get back up.
Officer Johnston cautiously stepped forward. It was
just as he thought: under the spandex costume, the
Exterminator was wearing kevlar. The skull on his
chest was an obvious target but that was not the way
to take him out.
Officer Johnston just stood there for a moment not
knowing what to do. He had never killed anyone
"Mark! Mark! I heard shots!" Tom Jackson saw the
body. "Oh shit."
"So we got him?"
"Yeah. We got him."
"So who was he?"
Doctor Jack Greenspan did his best to clean up the
Exterminator's face. "My God."
"You know him?" Michael King asked.
"It's Craig Franklin. He's an ex-cop."
"A few years ago, he was doing under cover work for
the narcotics squad. His work led to an arrest and a
shoot out. Some gang members got killed.
"He got the Mayor's citation and his picture in the
paper. But there were people who weren't happy about
"His whole family, his wife, his son and his
daughter, they were all killed in a drive by shooting
at his house."
"Craig was also hit. He took a leave of absence and
eventually quit the force. They assumed he didn't
want to be a cop anymore. Turns out, apparently, he
just wanted to do things his own way. As the
Michael King wondered for a moment how Jack knew all
this and then he remembered that Jack had been working
here a lot longer than he had and that he knew
everybody. He shook his head. "These freaks."
"These capes. It seems most of them get their start
when a member of their family dies."
"I imagine that would be a prerequisite."
"People who have stable family lives do not normally
put on tights and go out and fight crime."
Mark Johnston sat in Detective John Phelps' office.
He noticed District Attorney Alan Russell standing
"What's the DA doing here?" Mark asked. "Am I in
"No. Actually he's here to congratulate us for
solving the case."
"You did nothing wrong, Mark. It was a righteous
"I've never killed anyone before."
"I know. That's why we're recommending you take the
rest of the week off. I'm reassigning Tom to work
with Mary on the Wilson-Kendall case."
"What have you got for me?"
It seemed to Edward Bailey that his boss asked him
the same question every day. "Most of the Human
Spider's enemies are in prison. Most of them can be
ruled out because the way Mary Beth Wilson-Kendall
died suggested that she was killed by an ordinary
human." He sighed. "I think this is a dead end. I
think we need to look for other suspects."
Michael King nodded. "I agree. I sent Mary out to
question people she knew."
"Ah! The Human Spider!"
"I know it was you!"
"You know what was me?"
"You killed my wife!"
"Don't try to deny it!"
"The Human Spider had a wife? Really? And now
she's dead? I can't say I'm sad to hear that."
"You son of a bitch!"
"My my... where's your snappy banter?"
"I'm going to kill you, you son of a bitch! You're
not just going to go to prison and then get out and
kill again! This time you're going to die!"
"Dr. Platypus is in critical condition."
Kenneth Kendall aka The Human Spider nodded. "I
couldn't do it. I couldn't kill him."
Detective Michael King grit his teeth. "You almost
"What the hell did you think you were doing?"
"He killed my wife!"
"You don't know that!"
"Who else could it have been?"
"It's my job to find that out precisely so that
madmen like you don't go after the wrong guy!"
"So I'm a madman now?"
"Look," Michael King said, calming down.
"Yesterday, we... apprehended a man who was going
around shooting criminals in cold blood. He had also
lost his wife and was going out for revenge. So how
are you any different from him?"
"I didn't kill Dr. Platypus."
"You almost did."
"I know! I'm sorry!"
Michael King nodded. "Alright. I'm going to have
my people draw up a report and we'll send a copy over
to The Super Soldier. I'll leave it up to your people
to decide if you're going to face any disciplinary
"Fair enough. Are we done?"
"Yeah. You can go."
"I'm Detective Mary Jones and this is Officer Thomas
Jackson. We're from..."
Stephanie Savoie bolted. She was going to try to
"Freeze!" Tom shooted.
"Put the gun down, Tom. We just want to talk to
her." Mary walked over to talk to Stephanie. "As I
was saying, we're from the Pepperton police department
and we're here to question you about..."
"I didn't mean to do it."
"I didn't mean to kill her."
"Stop right there."
"It was an accident."
"Enough!" Mary let out a deep sigh. "Okay.
Stephanie Savoie, you're under arrest for the murder
of Mary Beth Wilson-Kendall. You have the right to
remain silent. Should you give up the right to remain
silent, anything you say can be used against you in a
court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If
you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed
for you by the courts to act in your defense. Do you
understand these rights?"
"Alright. Come with us."
"Why have you called me back here?"
"We've got the person who killed your wife."
"It was Stephanie Savoie."
"She was your girlfriend before you met Mary Beth,
right? In fact, you broke it off with her just before
you started dating Mary Beth."
"Stephanie seems to think that you broke it off with
her so you could start seeing Mary Beth."
"So she blames Mary Beth for the fact that you broke
it off with her."
"So... she killed her?"
"She's confessed to killing her. She says it was an
accident though. We have only the evidence to tell us
whether she's telling the truth. Frankly, it's hard
to imagine how you 'accidentally' strangle someone."
"So Dr. Platypus did not kill your wife."
"My God. I've made a horrible mistake."
Michael sighed and went to comfort Kenneth Kendall.
"Look, son, it's okay. It was an honest mistake. You
naturally assumed that your wife's death was a result
of your double life as The Human Spider."
"No, I mean, I made a mistake when I told you people
about my secret identity. Now my identity has been
compromised. The Super Soldier is not going to be
happy about that."
"Actually, you didn't really have a choice. We did
need to know if there was even a chance of a your wife
being killed as a result of your work."
"But we need to keep our identities secret. It's
the only way we can remain safe while we're not on
"I know. I understand that now."
Michael nodded. "Yes, I do. I understand that you
need to keep your identities secret so you can
continue to have a private life. So don't worry about
your secret identity: it's not going to leave this
"That's a relief."
"But you tell The Super Soldier that I want to be in
the loop from now on. I can't do my job if I don't
have all the information I need to solve a case. He
can trust me not to go to the press with anything that
involves national security."
Kenneth Kendall agreed. "Okay. I'll tell him."
"Good. Then we're done here."
THE END (of issue 3)
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