Superfreaks/ACRA: Silver Age Superfreaks #4

Martin Phipps martinphipps2 at
Fri Feb 23 07:34:04 PST 2007

Jim Morgan and Colin McKenzie: detectives.  Craig
Franklin and John Phelps: police officers.  Quinton
Macy and Jack Greenspan: medical examiners.  Darren
Kent and Alan Russell: lawyers.  These are the men 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?

                Silver Age Superfreaks #4


                         PART I

9:34 am

  Detective John Phelps had been examining the crime
scene all night: he collected bullets from the walls,
samples of blood from the floor and shell casings from
the road, anything that would help him piece together
what happened so that he would know exactly what to
say if he ever had to testify in court.
  John had tried for years to pass his detective exam.
 When he finally got the promotion, his first case as
a detective was to investigate the murder of his
former partner's wife and son.
  Detective Jim Morgan arrived on the scene fresh
after getting a good night's sleep.
  "You'll have to wrap things up," he said.
  "We're almost done," John said.
  Jim nodded.  "Let your assistants finish up for you.
 The mayor wants to see us right away in the precinct.
 I'll drive you there."

9:51 am

  "Oh good, you're both here," Mayor East said.
   Jim shook the mayor's hand and John did likewise,
not wanting to make a bad impression.
  "I'm sorry to hear about what happened to Officer
  Jim and John nodded sadly.
  "I'm thinking of giving him a medal, what with him
being injured in the line of duty after all."
  Jim Morgan cringed.  "I don't think that's a good
  The mayor frowned.  "Why not?"
  "His wife and son died.  I don't think he'd want a
medal to remind him of this horrible tragedy."
  "Quite right," the mayor said.  "Well then, perhaps
some compensation then.  Not just for his injuries but
for his personal loss."
  Jim nodded.  "That would be more appropriate."
  The mayor sighed.  "That brings me to the next thing
I was going to say.  As you both know, Commisioner
Norris will be retiring this year.  I want you, Jim,
to become the new Police Commisioner for Pepperton."
  "What does that mean for the precinct?" John asked.
  The mayor smiled.  "It means that you will be the
ranking officer in the precinct now that you've become
a full detective."
  "You mean... I'll be running the precinct?" he asked
  "Not alone, of course."  The mayor's tone became
serious.  "Times have changed.  It used to be that
detectives were just ranking police officers but
nowadays we need people with a forensic background,
people who will go to crime scenes and know what they
are looking for.  No offense to either of you.  It's
just that it isn't enough to have cops who know about
forensics: we need forensic experts who are also cops
who will go out into the field and collect evidence
that they can examine themselves.  Because we can't
afford to have anybody go free because the evidence
wasn't collected properly."
  "I agree," Jim said.  "So where will we find these
  "Anywhere.  Fresh university graduates.  They'll
have to be trained as cops before they go into the
field of course.  And military forensic experts are
also soldiers: it would be great if we could steal one
of them and make him a civilian detective."
  "How soon do you want to start hiring?" John asked.
  "As soon as you can find the right people.  I can
have my people help you advertise for the job openings
and you can both look at resumes and conduct
interviews and hire the people you want.  Just make
sure they are qualified forensics."
  "That won't get shot in the field," John added.
  "That too," the mayor said.  "Anyway, I will make a
formal announcement of your promotions at the
policeman's ball tomorrow night, so you will both have
to be there."
  Jim nodded.  "John, you should go home and get some
sleep and get ready for tomorrow."

10:51 am

  "Look who finally arrived home," John's wife, Susan
  "Don't start."
  "Don't start?  You've been out all night!"
  "I was investigating a case.  Craig's wife and son
were killed.  I had to make sure all the evidence was
  Susan sighed.  "I thought you said things would get
easier when you became a detective?"
  John shrugged his shoulders.  "My becoming a
detective has nothing to do with Craig losing his
  "You know what I mean.  Why is everything your
  "Right," John said.  "About that.  I've been
promoted again."
  "I'll be ranking officer in the precinct.  This is
good news actually.  I'm sure I'll get paid more."
  "So when will we see you?"
  "It won't be like that.  We'll be hiring new people.
 I'll be like a supervisor."
  "In other words 'never'."
  John grimaced.  "Oh and the policeman's ball... I
can't get out of it.  I think you'll have to come with
  Susan rolled her eyes.
  "You can get your mother to look after Katherine."
  Susan laughed.  "My mother already sees more of
Katherine than you do."
  "Well then she'll be okay with your mother then,
won't she?"
  "I suppose so."
  "Fine.  I've got time right now.  If you need a new
  "No, no, that's fine.  I'll find something in my
closet that still fits."

                       PART II

8:01 pm (the next day)

  "Thank you for coming this evening everyone!" the
mayor said.  "Before we begin, I want to tell everyone
that I've just been on the phone with Officer Craig
Franklin's doctors and they say he'll make a full
recovery."  There was thunderous applause.  The moment
was so upbeat that the mayor decided to move it along
and not remind everyone about Craid losing his family.
  "Now, as you all know, Commissioner Christopher
Norris will be retiring this year.  Christopher?  Do
you want to come up and say a few words?"
  Commisioner Norris stood up from where he had been
sitting and approached the podium and took his place
next to Mayor East while photographers took pictures. 
He spoke into the microphone.  "I just want to thank
everyone here again for coming this evening.  You
know, I look around and I see so many people who I
recognize as having worked with over the years.  I
just want to say how grateful I am for being able to
work with such a fine group of people over all these
years.  Again, thank you."  He went back to where he
had been sitting.
  The mayor spoke again.  "Replacing Commissioner
Norris this year will be Detective Jim Morgan.  Jim? 
Do you want to come up here?"
  Jim came up and stood beside the mayor.  They shook
hands again, this time for the cameras.
  "And replacing Jim Morgan as the ranking officer at
Precinct One will be John Phelps.  John?"
  John also came up to the podium but with Jim still
there he had to go around the other said to shake
hands with the mayor.  The photographers continued to
take pictures and the mayor instructed them both to
look into the cameras with him and do their best to
put on a smile.  They then both returned to the
audience to stand next to their wives.
  "We're not done yet," the mayor said.  "As you may
recall, a few weeks ago our city lost its district
attorney, namely District Attorney Darren Kent.  I've
decided who his successor will be... and it shouldn't
be a surprise to anyone!  Alan Russell!  Alan, come
  Alan walked up to the podium and stood next to the
  "Alan, I want to congratulate you again for winning
the Eaglone case."
  "Thank you."
  "Is there anything you want to say?"
  "Sure."  Alan stood in front of the podium and spoke
into the microphone.  "The public is protected by two
distinct yet equally important groups: the police
officers who investigate crimes and the district
attorneys who prosecute them.  I am proud to represent
the latter group for Pepperton!"  Alan shook the
mayor's hand.  Cameras flashed.  He too returned to
the audience.
  The mayor sopke once more.  "Finally, I have one
more announcement to make.  I've been meeting recently
with Night Man and Extreme and we've agreed on a plan
that will help make Pepperton the safest city in the
country.  They and four more like them have formed the
Extreme Force Six.  Plans have been drawn up to build
a headquarters for them on Main Street and Fourth
Avenue, just a few blocks down from the mayor's office
in the heart of downtown, all paid for by a generous
grant from the Jenner Toy Company.  Today, I wish to
formally introduce the newly formed team to the
  The Extreme Force Six members waited until the mayor
called their names and then stepped forward.
  "Night Man!"
  "Amazing Woman!"
  "Pleased to meet you all."
  "Mr. Quick!"
  "The Archer."
  "And Water Lord."
  Water Lord said nothing.  He didn't even smile.
  "Right," the mayor said.  "So here they are!  The
Extreme Force Six."
  The announcement got a mixed reaction from the crowd
but all they could hear was clapping.
  John leaned over and whispered to Alan.  "This is a
good thing, right?"
  "Hardly," Alan said.  "It's the beginning of the
  "How so?"
  "How are you supposed to arrest anyone when these
heroes are going to be there first?  What will you
arrest the criminals for?  For allowing themselves to
be beaten up by Night Man.  I mean, Night Man beat
them up so they must be guilty, right?  Who's going to
testify in court to say what happened?  Basically what
I see is a system where neither of us matter because
they will hunt down the criminals for us and rather
than the criminals going to jail and getting a fair
trial and, if convicted, being punished by the system,
they are to be judged on the spot and punished on the
spot by people who's identities we don't even know. 
How is this progress?  How is this even democracy?"

                        PART III

7:51 pm (three days later)

  "You're late," Susan said.
  "Yeah.  We're swamped at the precinct, what with Jim
not being there and Craig in the hospital.  I have to
review all the cases myself.  Plus we're going over
resumes.  We'll be interviewing soon though.  And then
we'll have more people.  It'll get better.  I
  Susan sighed.  "I can't go on like this."
  "Honey... be patient."
  "I want a divorce."
  "John, you're hardly ever home.  All I do for you is
your laundry.  You don't even eat here anymore.  Why
don't you just find somewhere else to stay?"
  John nodded.  "Fine.  A trial separation.  Until
things settle down."
  "When will that be?"
  "I don't know.  I'll find an apartment near the
precinct.  I'll rent month to month."
  "So that's it then?" Susan asked.  "You don't want
to be with us anymore.  Is that right?"
  "Whoa!" John said.  "I thought this was what _you_
  "I want you to spend some time at home.  Apparently
that's not going to happen."

10:10 am (the next day)

  Edward Alexander Goodhead looked around the meeting
room and sized up each of his lieutenants.  There was
Don Navarro, General Lee, Cockroach, the Crimson Cape
and Madame Scarlet.  He began his speech.
  "As you all know by now, Extreme has formed a team
and called it the Extreme Force Six.  It is obviously
an attempt on his behalf to stake a claim to this
city.  _Our_ city.  They will try to take us out one
by one.  I say we should be ready for them.  I say we
should pool our resources more than ever before.  We
are the masters of all we survey and together..."  He
tightened his fist.  "Together we are the Brotherhood
of Masters!"

12:31 pm

  John went to see Craig in the hospital.
  "You're awake," he said.
  "Everytime I've been here before you've been
  "Really?  They told me you stayed away."
  "No.  No.  I've just been busy."
  "I'm just playing with you.  How's Susan and
  "They're fine."  John swallowed hard.  "Craig, I'm
sorry about what happened to Adrienne and Johnny."
  Craig's expression changed.  His eyes looked dead. 
"I'm going to get them.  The ones who murdered my
  "We all will," John assured him.  "Together."
  "They're like rodents.  Vermin!  And I'll be their
exterminator!  I'll exterminate them all!"

                     THE BEGINNING


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