Superfreaks/ACRA: Superfreaks #8
martinphipps2 at yahoo.com
Wed Sep 27 03:40:42 PDT 2006
Michael King and Mary Jones: crime scene
investigators. Mark Johnston and Tom Jackson: police
officers. Jack Greenspan and Edward Bailey: medical
examiners. Alan Russell and 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?
"Do you mind stepping out of the way so I can take
Frank Lopez was hired by the Pepperton police as a
sketch artist. It was his job to draw pictures of
suspects based on what witnesses described to him.
This was not, however, a full time job and he had been
working in the meantime to get approval to work at
crime scenes gathering evidence. For now, he was just
taking pictures and observing his fellow CSIs at work.
"The victim appears to have been killed by gunshot
wounds: one to the chest and one to the upper torso."
Detective Mary Jones had only been working for the
Pepperton Police for only five years. She was good at
her job, both as an investigator of crime scenes and
as an expert in questioning witnesses. Recently she
began dating Edward Bailey, another member of the
Pepperton police force who worked full time in the
crime lab. With her being a detective, she was
effectively his immediate superior. She hoped that
their dating would not in any way interfere with their
"Can we recover any of the bullets?"
Detective Michael King had also been working for the
Pepperton police for only a few years, having served
previously as an investigator for the marines at the
base in Pepsicola, Florida. He always felt a deep
frustration when faced with bureaucracy and actually
prefered the way civilian police forces were able to
operate in the open without having to keep any secrets
from the general public. Recently, he's encountered
the same sort of bureaucracy when trying to deal with
members of the local government run superteam, the
Extreme Force Six. It took him a while to convince
himself that it was necessary for them to keep secrets
from the general public, such as their individual
identities. Convincing his fellow police officers
turned out to be more difficult.
"The shot to the upper torso was through and through
but the other bullet appears to be still in the
"Alright. Maybe Jack can extract that bullet and we
can use that as evidence. Frank?"
"Could you stop taking pictures and help us find the
"Where do you think it could be?"
Michael tried to reenact the shooting. "If the
victim was standing here -which he would have been to
have fallen back over there- then the bullet should be
stuck in this brick wall. Do you think you could find
the bullet for us?"
"I suppose so."
"Good. When you find it, you'll have to dig it out.
Be careful not to touch it because it could still
have the killer's fingerprints."
"Did anybody here see the man get shot?"
Detective John Phelps had been serving on the
Pepperton police force for fifteen years, having
worked up from the rank of beat cop to eventually be
the head of his local precinct.
"We didn't see anything," a young teenaged boy said.
"We showed up after we heard the gunshot."
"You ran towards the gunshot? Not away?"
Officer Mark Johnston had been working for the
Pepperton police force for only a few years but he was
starting to show that he had good instincts and knew
what questions to ask.
"We knew the guy had already left the scene," his
"And how do you know that?" Phelps asked.
"We saw the guy run away."
"Did he see you?"
"No. I don't think so."
"But did you get a good look at him?"
"It was dark. Not like it is now. It was earlier
in the morning."
"But could you at least describe the shooter?"
"Okay. Where's Frank? Frank!"
"He's over there."
Officer Thomas Jackson had been with the Pepperton
police force only a few months. His first impression
of police work had been that police were expected to
patrol the neighbourhood and stop the bad guys but
over the past few months he has come to understand the
need to look for evidence.
"Frank. Phelps wants you."
"King told me to look for a bullet in this wall."
"Any luck so far?"
"Then it could have just bounced off the wall. It
could be anywhere on the ground here. Look... I'll
look for the bullet, okay?"
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah, I'm sure. Phelps wants you right now."
"Okay. Here. Take some rubber gloves and an
evidence bag. You use the rubber gloves to pick up
the bullet so as not to contaminate the evidence.
Then you seal the bag."
"Sounds easy enough."
"You wanted to speak to me?"
"Yeah, Frank, I've got two witnesses here who say
they saw the shooter. I want you to get their
descriptions and draw a picture of the shooter."
"I didn't bring my sketchpad."
"So use a notebook and a pencil. Improvise."
Frank smiled. "Okay. Do you have a notebook?"
"Sure," Phelps said. He handed it to him.
"And I've got a pencil," Mark Johnston said.
"And here are the witnesses."
"Alright. What was the shooter wearing?"
"With a collar?"
"Yeah. And he had a hat! He was wearing a hat."
"What kind of hat?"
"A wool hat."
"He musta felt cold."
"I guess so. So what do you remember about his
"Just a moment. Tom? What is it?"
"This is a bullet, right?" Tom Jackson held up the
"Yeah. Was it on the ground?"
"How did you find it so fast?"
"Just lucky I guess."
"You didn't touch it with your bare hands, did you?
"I was wearing the gloves you gave me."
"Okay. Good. Give it to me. I'll give it to King
when I get back to the station."
"Fair enough." Tom handed the evidence bag to Frank
who put it in his pocket.
Frank turned back to the two teenaged boys he was
"So... we were talking about the man's face."
"Did you extract the bullet?"
"Yes, I did."
Jack Greenspan had worked in the coroner's office
for more than twenty-five years. He'd seen it all and
nothing fazed him anymore. To him, doing an autopsy
on a shooting victim was, sadly, routine.
"So where is it?"
"Over there on the table. I already placed it in an
"Great. That means we've recovered both bullets.
If we can find a gun then that should be enough
evidence for a conviction."
"So you found the shooter already?"
"No but we've got a description. It's only a matter
"So what have we got?"
"The two bullets were definitely fired from the same
Edward Bailey had been working in the Pepperton
crime lab for a few years doing just about everything:
examining hair and blood samples, extracting DNA,
running fingerprints through the national database,
sometimes even matching soil samples with the soil
found in different parks in the greater Pepperton
area. His collegues had literally come to expect him
to be able to take evidence and almost magically come
up with the name of a suspect.
"We know that. Anything that we can use to identify
"I did manage to find a partial print on one of the
"But when I ran it through the natiional database I
wasn't able to find a match."
"Whoever it was, he doesn't seem to have a criminal
"It's not your fault. It just seems as though
lately we've been able to come up with a prime suspect
by the end of the day. Now, today, we're at a dead
"Maybe we're just having a bad day."
Michael though for a moment. "We'll have to release
Frank's sketch to the media. Maybe ask a reward for
any information leading to an arrest."
"That sounds like a good idea."
"Is Peter Whitman here?"
"He's out. Can I help?"
"I'm from the Pepperton police."
"Ah, yes, you're Mary Jones."
Wendy Wang, reporter for the Daily World, had an
uncanny ability to always remember names and faces.
She was famous for being the reporter who first
interviewed the superhero Extreme more than twenty
"That's right. We'd like your paper to publish some
information regarding the shooting that took place
today downtown. We have a sketch of the subject based
on the description of some witnesses at the scene.
We're offering a five-hundred dollar reward for anyone
who can provide information leading to an arrest."
"I'll speak to Peter when he gets back."
"We need to talk."
Alan Russell had been Pepperton District Attorney
for more than ten years. He liked having things done
"About what?" Michael asked.
"About Harry Roy."
"What about him?"
"He escaped from Raftpork Assylum."
"Somebody showed up and presented phony release
"Apparently they were forged because Doctor Leonard
hadn't authorized his release. Anyway, now I find out
that Harry Roy is working with the Extreme Force Six
-now called the Extreme Force Seven- as the new
"I want you to go and ask them what's going on.
You've delt with these people before. You have a
history with them. Tell them that Harry Roy either
goes back to Raftpork or he stands trial for the
murder of Edward Goodhead."
"Alright. I'll go see them first thing tomorrow
Edward had been right. It hadn't been a good day.
The guard in front of Extreme Force Headquarters
saluted Detective Michael King when he arrived there.
Michael saluted him back. It was an old habit.
"As you were," he said.
"Detective King. Sit down."
"Do you have any idea why I am here?"
"I think so," the Super Soldier replied.
"It's about Harry Roy."
"So then what I've been told is true."
The Super Soldier nodded. "Harry Roy is under our
"I was told that he was working with you, that you
were now the Extreme Force Seven."
"Both statements are true."
"Detective, Harry Roy is a good man who made
aterrible mistake. We're trying to have him make up
for it by doing some good."
"But he thought he _was_ doing good when he killed
The Super Soldier nodded. "Good point," he
conceeded, "but Harry now knows that what he did was
wrong. He's not going to kill anybody else."
"Maybe. But the very fact that he knows what he did
was wrong means that it is time for him to face a
judge and a jury. In fact, the DA is insisting that
"Alright. Set a date for trial. We'll see that
he'll be there."
"Judge Matthews has already set the date for trial
to be one week from today."
"There's been enough delay. And one more thing..."
"What's he doing out of Raftpork Assylum in the
first place? Doctor Leonard hadn't authorized his
"It was the Brotherhood of Masters. Somehow they
managed to forge Doctor Leonard's signature on release
"Why would the Brotherhood of Masters release Harry
"When we caught up with them, they were going to
kill him. We rescued him and then he helped us
"You captured the Brotherhood of Masters?"
"Yes. We turned them over to federal authorities
because they're better suited to handling supers than
local authorities like yourselves."
"Are they going to face trial?"
"I imagine so. But in a federal court. Don't
forget that they'd commited crimes all over the
country and not just in your jurisdiction."
"Fair enough. But I'm disappointed that you saw fit
to not inform the local precinct that you were
harbouring Harry Roy, a futigive."
"He was under our custody."
"Then there would have no reason not to inform us."
"I'm sorry," the Super Soldier said, apparently
"Alright," Michael said with a sigh. "I'm going to
go out on a limb here and have Mr. Roy remain in your
custody. I do expect him to show up for his court
>>This is the Super Soldier.<<
"What? How do you have my cell phone number?"
>>You called us, remember? You didn't think a
government run organisation wouldn't have call display
on its phones?<<
"Um... okay... look... whatever you want... I'm
working right now. Can I call you back at 12:00."
"Can I speak to the Super Soldier?"
>>Who is calling?<<
"It's Greggory Dickenson. I'm actually returning
>>Alright. Just a moment.<<
"Yeah. What's this all about?"
>>It's about Harry. He has a trial date coming up
on the morning of October 3rd. We need you to testify
on his behalf.<<
"Me? But I'm working that day. The only reason why
I was there to help before is because I took a week
>>We need you to take off one more day.<<
"Why is my testimony so important?"
>>Because nobody else in the Extreme Force Seven
would be allowed to testify without revealing their
identity. Your identity is publicly known. Plus, you
can testify to the fact that Harry surrendered
willingly to the police. We need that testimony to
convince the jury that he can be trusted.<<
>>We need you to go see his lawyer, Leroy Laurel,
and talk strategy with him. His number is 555-2142.<<
"What's that number again?"
"Yes, is Leroy Laurel there?"
"It's Greggory Dickenson."
>>Ah yes, Mr. Dickenson. Do you have time to come
down to my office this afternoon?<<
"I'm afraid I don't. I'm working."
>>Perhaps when you're finished work.<<
"I don't finish until five o'clock."
>>Could you be down there by five thirty? My office
is at 1245 Lincohn Avenue. That's at the corner of
"That would be difficult. I don't have a car so I'd
have to take the subway."
>>Alright. Tell you what. We'll meet at six
o'clock and I'll take you to a restaurant and we can
talk strategy over dinner.<<
"That would be great. Now, if you don't mind, I
have to go eat lunch right now."
One week later.
"Today we consider the matter of the state versus
Harry Roy aka Arrow Boy aka The Archer with Judge
Harry Matthews presiding."
Everybody stood up as Judge Matthews entered the
court room and sat down. "You may sit down," he said.
"Court is now in session. Mr. Laurel?"
"Yes, your honour?"
"How does your client plead to the charge of first
degree murder in the case of the death of Edward
"Not guilty, your honour."
"It is our claim that Mr. Roy was temporarily insane
when he killed Mr. Goodhead with an arrow shot from
"I see. And I assume you have expert testimony to
back this up?"
"We do, your honour."
"State your name for the record."
"Doctor Samuel Leonard."
"And what is your job?"
"I work for the procecutor's office. I determine
whether or not people are fit to stand trial."
"And did you determine Harry Roy unfit to stand
"What was wrong with him?"
"He had a saviour complex. He thought he was doing
the world a favour by killing Edward Goodhead. Plus,
he had had a psychotic break as a result of learning
that the original Archer, his friend and mentor, had
died, presumably at the hands of the Brotherhood of
Masters of whom Edward Doodhead was their leader."
"So he was motivated by revenge?"
"To him it was more a matter of justice, of setting
things right. He honestly thought he was doing the
right thing and expected everyone to see things the
"I have reexamined Mr. Roy and I find him to be
genuinely sorry for what he did."
"I see. No further questions."
"Yes, your honour?"
"Do you wish to cross examine."
"I do, your honour." Alan Russell got up and
approached the witness. "Doctor Leonard, can you be
sure that Harry Roy will never do anything like that
"No. I can't."
"No further questions, your honour."
"Very well then, Doctor Leonard, you may step down.
Mr. Laurel, do you have any other witnesses?"
"Yes, I do. I call Greggory Dickenson to the
"Mr. Dickenson, how did you know that Harry Roy
killed Edward Goodhead?"
"I just guessed. Edward Goodhead was killed by an
arrow shortly after the funeral of the original
Archer. It wasn't that hard to figure out."
"And so you went to visit Harry Roy?"
"Yeah. I knew where he lived."
"And so you got him to surrender to the
"Sort of. He actually thought he was going to get a
"And when you went to see him at Raftpork Assylum,
how did he seem to you?"
"He was told that he was at a training facility and
that's what he believed."
"So why did he escape?"
"He didn't so much escape as he was told he was
being released. The man who let him out was Snake,
the new leader of the Brotherhood of Masters."
"Why would he go with this man?"
"He didn't know Snake was the leader of the
Brotherhood of Masters. When he found out who they
were and that they wanted him to kill Gary Rand, he
refused to help them and that's when the Extreme Force
Six showed up and captured the Brotherhood of
"Did Harry Roy assist in the capture of the
Brotherhood of Masters?"
"Yes, he did. That's why Extreme offered to accept
Harry into the Extreme Force Six."
"I see. No further questions, your honour."
"Mr. Russell, do you wish to cross examine?"
"I do, your honour." Alan Russell got up and
approached the witness. "Mr. Dickenson, why would the
Brotherhood of Masters have expected Harry to kill
"They claimed that they were now heroes called the
Lighteningbolts. They claimed that they were under
Edward Goodhead's mind control before."
"And Harry Roy believed them?"
"Yes," he said sadly. "Apparently."
"So Harry Roy was considering joining the
Brotherhood of Masters under this new name under the
belief that they were going to be heroes, whatever
"No further questions, your honour."
"You may step down, Mr. Dickenson. Mr. Laurel?"
"Yes, your honour?"
"Do you have any more witnesses?"
"No, your honour. The defense rests."
"Very well, Mr. Russell, do you wish to call any
"No, your honour. We also rest our case."
"Very well then. I now order the jury to deliberate
based on the evidence presented today. Court is
adjorned until you reach a verdict." He slammed down
Greggory walked past the defense area and whispered
to Harry. "I'm sorry," he said.
"Has the jury reached it's verdict?"
"We have, your honour."
"Will you please hand the verdict to the bailiff?"
The jury foreman handed the verdict to the bailiff and
the bailiff brought the verdict to the judge who then
read it. "I see. Will you now read the verdict?"
"We, the jury, find the defendent guilty of first
degree murder in the case of the death of Edward
Judge Matthews nodded sadly. "And that being the
case, I have no choice but to sentence Harry Roy to
five years in prison. He'll be eligible for parole in
no less than two years. It is actually a light
sentence for this sort of crime. Court is adjourned."
He slammed down his gavel.
"I heard that Harry Roy got five years."
Alan Russell nodded. "But he'll probably make
parole after two years. Unless he has another
psychotic break, of course."
"Are you sure we did the right thing?"
"Mike, he committed first degree murder."
Detective Michael King nodded. "You're right."
"Mike, be careful. You spend enough time with these
supers, you start to lose your objectivity. They are
not above the law."
"Above the law? They think they _are_ the law."
Alan Russell smiled and nodded. "Therein lies the
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