Superfreaks/ACRA: Superfreaks #6
martinphipps2 at yahoo.com
Sat Sep 16 01:42:54 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 Cliff Murdock:
prosecutors. These are the men and women who are
truly our last line of defense. But what about the
capes whose cases they have to investigate? Should
they be considered a help or a hindrance?
GAMES PEOPLE PLAY
"Come on. Take a shot."
Larry Thomas looked at the net. He then looked at
the ball again.
"What are you waiting for? Take a shot!"
Larry swung his stick like it was a golf club. He
hit the ball and it went wide of the net and ended up
going over the wall.
"Larry! What the fuck are you doing?"
"I took a shot."
"I'm not getting that. You go get it."
Larry climbed over the wall. "Um, Mike."
"There's a kid here."
"I think he's dead."
"It looks like the victim was killed on this side of
the wall and thrown over to the other side," Detective
Michael King said.
"How can you tell?" Detective John Phelps asked.
"I can't," Michael admitted, "but the victim appears
to be badly beaten up. I don't think this is the work
of one person. It may be gang related, in which case
the victim may have just been minding his own business
and have been randomly attacked by kids looking to
vent some steam."
"Kids? You think kids did this?"
"We'll see what Jack says after he's done a full
Jack Greenspan gestured at the body laid out on the
slab in front of him. "Andrew Stuetz. Male.
Caucasion. Seventeen. Cause of death is blunt force
trauma, specifically a blow to the head. It looks to
me like the boy was hit with iron bars."
"Consistent with more than one attacker?"
"Definitely. There's also evidence that he was
kicked after he was down."
"In your experience, do gang members carry iron bars
around with them?"
"Gangs prefer to use knives and guns. This seems to
be more the work of an angry mob."
Michael cringed. "What could a seventeen year old
boy do to get people so angry at him?"
"Mr. G? Is there something I can do for you?"
"I'm here on official business."
"I figured that," Michael quipped.
"A video CD was sent to Extreme Force Headquarters.
We made a copy and sent you the original. We thought
you could find some evidence on it. You know,
fingerprints and stuff."
"What's on the CD?"
Mr. G grimaced. "It's from the Brotherhood of
Masters. They're trying to taunt us. They made a
video of themselves in which they're part of this mock
reality show in which the object is to, as they put
it, 'find a new front man for their group'. You know,
because Edward Goodhead was killed a few weeks ago."
"On the tape, Madame Scarlet introduces the other
members of the Brotherhood of Masters, namely Don
Navarro, General Lee, Cockroach and the Crimson Cape.
She then introduces three other supers who we hadn't
heard of before, Mr. Evil, Ape Man and Snake, and she
refers to them as the final three, as if this were the
final episode in some reality series and everybody
else had been eliminated.
"Anyway, the Don Navarro then starts criticizing Mr.
Evil, saying that he's really lame, that he claims to
be evil and that he wants to lead the Brotherhood of
Masters whereas in reality he's just a nerd seeking
acceptance. He then tells him that he's out. Don
Navarro then uses his ability to produce and throw
fire balls and starts throwing them at Mr. Evil until
he's engulfed in flames and burning to death.
Everybody else was laughing."
"My God. And this was real?"
"It didn't look like special effects. Then Madame
Scarlet had Snake and Ape Man, the final two, stand
together. General Lee picked up his microphone and
started to say what a tough decision it was to choose
between them but then he told Ape Man that they
finally decided that they didn't want to be bossed
around by somebody who wasn't even human. Cockroach
then pulled out a gun and Ape Man was then riddled
with bullets. This lead to a standing ovation in
which Snake was declared the new leader of the
"That's just sick."
"We'll have to examine the footage thoroughly.
There might be some clues as to where this all took
place, some way to identify the two victims and...?"
Michael waved his hand as his voice trailed off.
Mr. G nodded. "Yeah. We figured you would want to
do that. Thanks."
Just then, Michael's cell phone rang. "Excuse me.
>>Michael? It's Jack.<<
"What is it, Jack?"
>>On a hunch, I've been examining Andrew Stuetz's
internal organs. You'd better take a look at this.<<
"I'll be right there." He spoke to Mr. G again.
"I'm sorry about this."
"Don't sweat it. We know you guys are busy. Just
get back to us when you've got something."
"Look at this."
"What am I looking at?"
"Well, for starters, his heart is unusually large.
As is his diaphram."
"So this boy would have been capable of remarkable
athleticism, with the right training."
"But he doesn't look like an athlete."
"No. I think these were natural gifts."
"In what sense?"
"Michael, I think this boy was some kind of mutant."
"A mutant?" Detective John Phelps asked
incredulously. "What could he do? Shoot beams from
"We don't know if he had any powers at all. Jack is
going by his examination of the victim's internal
"Then what does this have to do with the case? I
mean, if they couldn't tell he was a mutant...?
Surely if they beat him up because he was a mutant
then wouldn't they have had to have known he was, in
fact, a mutant?"
"Good point. I sent Mary don't to talk to people at
his school. It's the only lead we have."
John mused for a moment. "Maybe he wasn't a
"What do you mean?"
"Maybe his internal organs are different because
he's half alien."
"You know, maybe he's ET's love child or something."
"John, alien DNA would not be compatable with our
own. It wouldn't be possible for an alien to breed
with a human being."
"Not even through genetic engineering? I mean,
maybe he's a clone whose DNA was artificially
Michael shook his head. "John, you've been watching
way too much TV."
"Excuse me, Miss Jackson?"
"My name is Mary Jones. I'm from the Pepperton
"This is about Andrew?"
"How can I help?"
"Was there anything unusual about Andrew?"
"What do you mean?"
"Was there anything he could do that other the other
"Well, yes, of course. He was a very bright
"Is that all?"
"Yes." Miss Jackson frowned. "You don't think he
was killed because he was a good student, do you? I
mean, you always hope that you'll have good students
but some of the other students might have been a bit
"Could you give me the names of some of those
"I don't know. They couldn't have been
"Can you think of any other reason why anybody would
have wanted to kill Andrew?"
"Then this is the only lead we have. Please. This
isn't going to be a witchhunt. If you name students
and they turn out to be innocent then they'll be
eliminated as suspects."
>>I'm sorry, Ape Man, you're the next to go.<<
>>That means Snake is the new front man for the
Brotherhood of Masters!<<
>>Snake! You're our man!<<
Officer Thomas Jackson shook his head. "Why are we
watching this over and over again?"
"Because Phelps asked us to," Officer Mark Johnston
explained, "and he's our Captain so we do what he
"But what's the point?"
"We need to watch it over and over again in case we
see something we missed the first time."
"We don't know. That's why we have to look at
everything: we don't know what might be important."
"This is police work?"
"It's a very important part of police work, yes,"
Mark explained. "Police work isn't just about driving
around in a patrol car looking for trouble: it's about
examining evidence and looking for clues."
"If you say so."
>>And now, once again, the Brotherhood of Masters is
"What is it?"
Mark hit rewind and played the scene again.
>>And now, once again, the Brotherhood of Masters is
Mark hit pause. "There! See?"
"In the mirror! You can see the face of the camera
"Oh yeah! So what now?"
"So now we'll have to get this guy's picture printed
out and then maybe we can run a match with known
criminals, maybe people who have worked with the
Brotherhood in the past."
"What have you got for me?" Michael asked.
"Mark and Tom found an image of the cameraman who
shot the video reflected in a mirror," Edward Bailey
"Did they?" Michael said, sounding impressed. "Any
idea who the cameraman was?"
"Yeah. I ran a comparison of his picture with
pictures from our criminal database. His name is Gary
Rand. He's worked with the Brotherhood before. I
gave them his last known address."
"Excellent!" Michael said. "What about the Stuetz
case? Any luck?"
Edward shook his head. "To tell you the truth, I
don't know what I'm supposed to be looking for. I
mean, there's no such thing as a 'mutant gene'."
"You mean like in the movies?"
"Exactly. Mutations are random things and we're
talking tens of thousands of genes. It's like looking
for a needle in a haystack. If I only knew what it
was he was supposed to be able to do I might know what
I was looking for."
Michael nodded. "Yeah. Sorry about that. Mary is
still questioning people at his school. I'll let you
know what she turns up."
"I'm sorry, Mike."
"Don't worry about it."
"Are you Gary Rand?"
"I'm Officer Mark Johnston and this is Officer Tom
Jackson," Mark said, showing the man his badge.
"We're police officers."
"Yeah? So? I still don't know why you're here."
Tom showed him his picture. "We pulled this picture
of you off of the video you shot for the Brotherhood
of Masters. The video in which two people were
"Hey... look... um..."
Mark waved him off. "Look, we're not interested in
you. We're interested in the Brotherhood of Masters."
"If you get anywhere near them, they'll kill you."
"We know that. But that doesn't mean they won't
ever pay for their crimes."
Gary Rand shook his head. "If I talk to you and
they find out..."
Mark shrugged his shoulders. "We could bring you to
the station. Then they'd know you talked to us."
"Just tell us where you shot the video."
Detective John Phelps sighed deeply. "You boys and
four others are accused of being the ones who killed
Andrew Stuetz. Why don't you help us out and tell us
"I'm not saying anything without a lawyer," the
elder of the two boys said.
"Is that how you feel, Matt?"
"Andrew had it coming!"
"Matt... shut up!" the other boy said. John could
tell right there and then that this was a boy capable
"They need to know! He was a mutie!"
"A mutie?" John asked.
"Yeah. A mutant."
"He could move things with his mind."
"What sort of things?"
"I don't know. Things. All sorts of things. We
know because we saw him showing off to some of the
girls, showing them what he could do and trying to
make it look cool."
"And that's why you killed him?"
"Hey! Who says we killed anybody?" the other boy
John shook his head. "I thought you said you
weren't going to say anything?"
"So shut up already!" He faced Matt. "You were
"You know muties. They can read your minds."
"Sure. And that's how he got high grades. He must
have been reading the teacher's mind. Or maybe he was
taking answers from other students. You know, like
"You don't know that."
"Sure I do. That's what they do."
"Okay," John said. "That's enough. We'll wait for
your lawyers to get here."
"My lawyer is going to clear me," the elder boy
said. "You'll see!"
John laughed. "For somebody who's supposed to be
exercising his right to remain silent, you sure as
hell talk a lot!"
Detective Michael King shone an ultraviolet light
onto the floor of the abandoned warehouse where Gary
Rand ahd admitted to shooting the video one week ago.
He was wearing a visor to protect his eyes: the visor
absorbed ultraviolet light and re-emitted it as blue
so he could see if any of the ultraviolet light was
reflecting off the floor. This was how he was able to
detect trace amounts of blood, because this particular
frequency of ultraviolet light reflected off of
hemoglobin. He saw what appeared to be bright blue
patches all over the floor.
"This is the place he said. There was a lot of
blood here." He turned off the light and lifted the
visor. "You wouldn't know it. It's been cleaned up."
He looked around the room. "You wouldn't know this
was a crime scene."
"So what now?" Mary asked.
"Now we tell the Extreme Force Six what we've
"I'm afraid so. This isn't our job anymore. The
Brotherhood are a group of supers. It's up to the
Extreme Force Six to deal with them. Not us."
"You think so?"
"I know so. Did you see that CD?"
"Don Navarro burned a man to death with fire coming
out of his bare hands." He shook his head. "I don't
want anybody in the department going near that guy."
"So we're completely dependent upon the Extreme
Force Six in this case?"
"I'm afraid so."
"I spoke to all the suspects," John explained to
District Attorney Alan Russell. "All but one are
under eighteen. They'd have to be tried separately in
Alan shook his head. "We're not going to try the
"We're going to offer them immunity from prosecution
in exchange for testifying against Smith. He's the
oldest. The jury will believe us if we claim he was
the one who ordered the others around, even if we
can't prove that he was one of the one's who actually
John nodded. "Yeah. During questioning, he got
angry with one of the other accused and told him to
"Had you already told Smith he had the right to
Alan smiled. "Then we have evidence that he
considered himself to be the group leader. We'll
claim in court that he told the others that they
should kill Stuetz."
John nodded in approval. "That sounds like a good
idea. This Smith: he's cold. We need to out him away
for a long time."
"Cold like the Brotherhood?"
John cringed. "Did you see that video they sent the
Extreme Force Six?"
"They killed two people just to show off what they
could do." John shuddered. "That was _really_ cold."
"As a police officer, you don't get used to things
John shook his head. "No, you don't. You never do.
I guess that's what separates us from them."
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