Superfreaks/ACRA: Silver Age Super Freaks Trade Etherback
martinphipps2 at yahoo.com
Wed May 16 06:12:19 PDT 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 #1
Bruce Blake awoke in his bed. he had been dreaming
of a woman. No, it wasn't that kind of dream. This
dream involved blood, a lot of blood, an amount of
blood that could only have resulted in death.
The dream seemed so real that Bruce thought it might
have been a forgotten memory. Had he killed somebody?
It was possible. He had been having blackouts for
years. He never knew what he had been doing during
the periods he couldn't remember. Could he have been
out there killing people?
If only he could have known for certain one way or
Officer Craig Franklin had managed to infiltrate The
Kidder's organisation and had risen to the rank of
thug. This required him to have a codename. His
codename was "Shorty". He wasn't really short, mind
you: that was just how The Kidder operated; his other
thugs, you see, were a bald man named "Curly", a
midget named "Big Al" and a sumo wrestler named
"Slim". To make sure that the names stuck, The Kidder
had them all wear black T-shirts with their code names
printed on them in yellow.
The Kidder, himself, dressed like a clown with a
purple suit and a white face, although Craig had been
around long enough to suspect that he wasn't actually
wearing makeup. Perhaps the lack of colour in The
Kidder's face was due to exposure to his own drugs:
the suspicion was that The Kidder was running drugs
for Eaglone but even after months on the case, Craig
hadn't heard anything from The Kidder that confirmed
this; the problem was that very little of what The
Kidder said made any sense at all.
"Pepperton is ripe for the taking!" he would say.
"All the pawns are in place! Soon the king will be
taken and then it will be checkmate! Game over,
Pepperton! You lose! Haha haha hahaha!"
See? What was Criag supposed to do with that?
The Kidder was in the middle of one of his
nonsensical tirades when the Titanic Twosome - Night
Man and Moon Boy - showed up.
"Your diabolical plans will do you no good, Kidder!
You've had your time but now your time is up! Today
is the day when you face you comeupance!"
Wow. Night Man's banter was almost as nonsensical
as The Kidder's tirades.
"Get them!" The Kidder ordered. For once he wasn't
kidding. Great, just great, Craig thought.
Hand-to-hand combat with Night Man wasn't high on his
list of things to do that day.
Craig, Curly and Slim rushed to take on Night Man,
apparently feeling there was safety in numbers.
Somehow, Night Man managed to hit all three of them,
which was surprising because he only had two arms and,
hence, only two fists.
Big Al was left to deal with Moon Boy. Moon Boy
wasn't exactly the greatest of fighter. How could he
be? It looked like he was barely twelve years old!
What the Hell was Night Man thinking? After years of
interfering in police business, he was now adding
child endangerment to his repertoire!
Curly and Slim were unconscious already... or
perhaps they were faking it, leaving Craig to face
Night Man. Fuck that, Criag thought. He decided that
he, too, would take a fall: he was getting tired of
working for The Kidder anyway; he was getting nowhere
working undercover as one of The Kidder's thugs so why
not let Night Man take care of him? Craig fell to the
ground with the next punch that Night Man managed to
land. He didn't get back up.
"It's over, Kidder!" Night Man said.
The Kidder just laughed and cryptically said, "Maybe
for you it is!" He then slipped through a hidden
door. Night Man tried to go after him but it was too
late: The Kidder had appareant locked the door behind
Night Man was left there banging on the door in
frustration for a moment before he turned and saw that
Moon Boy was getting beaten by Big Al. Night Man
closed the distance between himself and the combatants
with a single bound and then picked up Big Al with a
single arm and threw him callously against the wall.
That had to have hurt.
"Thanks, Night Man," Moon Boy said.
"You're not ready," Night Man said.
"I'll be ready," Moon Boy told him. "I promise."
"You'd better be."
Just then there were police sirens. Curly and Slim
still weren't getting up. Perhaps they decided going
to jail was preferable to facing Night Man again.
"We'd better get going," Night Man said.
Moon Boy struggled to get up. He was obviously
"Hurry up!" Night Man told him.
They left. Moments later, Jim Morgan arrived with
some uniformed cops. He was careful not to blow
Craig's cover: all four of The Kidder's thugs were led
out in handcuffs and taken downtown.
"How are you feeling?"
"Fine. I guess. Considering."
Officer John Phelps was Craig Franklin's partner
before Craig went undercover. "Did Night Man hit you
Craig laughed. "A bit."
"Ouch. So what now? Do you have anything for the
D.A. on Eaglone?"
Craig shook his head. "Ziltch." He tought for a
moment. "There's one way I could turn this to our
"If The Kidder was working for Eaglone then maybe
Eaglone would be willing to give me a job based on the
time I've worked for The Kidder."
John shrugged his shoulders. "Even if The Kidder
was working for Eaglone that doesn't mean Eaglone was
doing anything illegal. He'll just say that The
Kidder was involved in some legitamate business and
that anything else The Kidder did was his entirely
"You don't believe that."
John sighed. "I'm just saying what Eaglone would
say. And what a jury would believe. And what a judge
would expect the jury to believe. And what the D.A.
would expect the judge to expect a jury to believe."
"Okay, okay, I get the picture!" Craig said. He
grimaced. "Damn. We know Eaglone's dirty! I wish I
could just walk up to him and blow him away and get it
John gave him a blank stare. "That's not how it
works, Craig. We need to collect evidence that we can
bring to trial. That's how we stop guys like
Just then, the precinct's receptionist, Brandy Brat,
knocked on the door to the interogation room. She
cauticiously opened the door a bit. "John, your wife
called," she said.
"Is it important?" John asked.
"You tell me. She says she's going into labour."
9:58 am (same day)
Bruce Blake opened the front door and found a short
man with graying brown hair, wearing a light brown
ragged trenchcoat standing there. "I'm sorry to
disturb you, Mr. ..."
"Blake. I'm Bruce Blake."
"I'm sorry to disturb you, Mr. Blake but there's
been a murder in this neighbourhood and I was
wondering if you saw anything or heard anything last
"I'm sorry... um..."
"Detective McKenzie. Detective Colin McKenzie."
"I'm sorry, Detective McKenzie, but I didn't hear
anything. Or rather I don't remember hearing
"You don't remember?"
"Where exactly did the murder take place?"
"Just a few blocks away." Detective McKenzie pulled
out a photograph. "Perhaps you knew the victim." He
showed it to Bruce.
The picture was that of the woman in Bruce's dream.
"No, I'm sorry, Detective McKenzie, I don't know who
Detective McKenzie eyed him suspiciously for a
moment. Bruce didn't notice this because he was
looking away at the time. "That's quite alright,"
Detective McKenzie said dismissively. He took out a
business card. "If you think of anything else, please
give me a call."
Bruce took the card. "I'm not a suspect, am I?" he
"Oh no, not at all," Colin said. "This is just
routine. You know: we'll talk to everybody in the
neighbourhood. Thank you for your time." He turned
to leave. Bruce was about to close the door when he
stopped and turned around. "Just one more question!"
McKenize tapped his lips with his index finger.
"You said you didn't know who the woman was."
"But have you ever seen her around?"
Bruce hesitated. "I don't remember."
"You don't remember?"
"She was a very pretty young lady. You don't
remember seeing her before?"
"Detective McKenzie, the picture you showed me was
of a dead woman. I would have thought that if I had
seen her before then she would have been alive and she
would have looked a lot different."
"Of course. How silly of me! Again, I'm sorry for
"Not at all," Bruce said with a weak smile. He
quickly closed the door as Detective McKenzie turned
around to leave.
John looked up. "Yes, doctor? Is everything
The doctor smiled. "Yes, Mr. Phelps. Your wife and
the baby are fine."
"Yes, Mr. Phelps, you have a new baby girl.
"Can I see them?"
"Of course! That's what I came out to tell you.
She's waiting for inside that room over there."
"Thank you, doctor!" John immediately went over to
where his wife was. "Susan?"
"John!" Susan Phelps held their daughter in her
"What are we going to call her?" he asked.
"I want to call her Katherine. Is that alright for
"That's fine," John said. "My God... I'm a father."
"You will have to take more time off work to be with
us though. You have responsibilities now."
John nodded. "I'm hoping to be promoted to
detective this year. I wouldn't have to walk a beat."
Susan frowned. "Detective? Wouldn't that mean more
work for you?"
John shook his head. "No. It'd be mainly a desk
job. I wouldn't even be leaving the precinct unless
it's to go to a crime scene."
"That doesn't sound so bad."
"And it would mean more money."
Susan sighed. "It's not the money. I just want you
to be there for us."
John laughed. "Susan, I promise! I will be there
_and_ provide for you and Katherine!"
"Or what?" Johns said with a laugh.
"So am I. Don't worry, Susan: we'll make this work.
Susan smiled. "Alright. Do you want to hold her?"
"Well, of course, you can. You're her father."
"It's just... I've never held a baby before." He
took little Katherine in his arms.
"Well, get used to it! I'm going to expect you to
help me feed her, change her diapers..."
"You promised! You just said you'd be there for
He smiled. "Yeah, I guess I did." He looked down
at his baby girl. "Hey, Kitty, I'm your daddy!"
"John, please! Don't call her Kitty! She's not a
"I'm here to see Eaglone."
"Who are you?"
"I'm Greg Richards," Craig said, using his
"Never heard of you. What's your business with
"Tell him The Kidder sent me."
"Just do it."
Craig managed to get in Eaglone's office. Eaglone
did not look happy.
"Why would The Kidder send you to see me?"
"He didn't. Not exactly anyway."
"But you told one of my boys he did."
"I used to work for The Kidder. Now The Kidder's
"So he mentioned that he was working for you."
Craig shrugged his shoulders. "It was an offhand
remark. The guy never shuts up."
"So I've heard."
"Anyway, with The Kidder not having left any
forwarding address, I thought maybe you could give me
"Do you think I'm running an unemployment service
"And what makes you think I want to hire criminals?"
"Who said I did anything criminal?"
"What were you doing for The Kidder? His laundry?"
"And what was he doing for you?"
There was a pause. Craig wondered if he was going
to get a bullet in his head. Finally, Eaglone laughed
and nodded his head.
"Alright. Fine." He pointed to two of his men.
"Joe, Mac, take Greg to meet the Porcupine."
Colin McKenzie looked up to see a man in red spandex
with a yellow cape and a yellow lightning symbol
across his chest. "Who are you?"
"I'm Colonel Wonder."
Colonel Wonder nodded. "I've come here to tell you
that Bruce Blake didn't kill that girl."
"No. Bruce Blake was at home when the girl was
"And how do you know that?"
"I have a sixth sense."
"Really? I've got a sixth sense too. And it's
Colonel Wonder considered his options. He didn't
want Bruce Blake being investigated, let alone
standing trial. He took a quick look around to see if
anybody on the street was standing close enough to
hear him talking. "Alright. I _am_ Bruce Blake."
Colin looked Colonel Wonder up and down. "You're
not. Bruce Blake is skinny. You're bulked up like
Colonel Wonder nodded. "Okay. It's like this:
Bruce Blake just happens to be my counterpart here on
"Here on Earth?"
"When I am not here I am in the Twilight Dimension
but when Bruce Blake is in the presense of evil - and
remember I've got a sixth sense about such things -
then we switch places, except that the transference
leaves Bruce in stasis until I switch us back."
Colin smirked. "So how does that work? Bruce is in
danger and you and he switch places? What does that
have to do with the girl?"
"I sensed the girl's murder. I wasn't able to
determine who was responsible, however. The killer
was long gone by the time I got to the scene. So I
went back to Bruce's house and put Bruce to bed."
Colin eyed Colonel Wonder suspiciously. "Wait.
Does Bruce even know that you are taking his place?"
"No," Wonder admitted.
"You haven't told him?"
"We cannot occupy the same dimension at the same
time. How can I tell him?"
"You could write him a note."
"You mean like 'Thanks for the use of your body.'
Signed Colonel Wonder?"
"Something like that."
Colonel Wonder sighed. "Maybe you can tell him."
"I've been keeping our dual identity secret: you are
the first person I've told about this. So now you can
Colin thought for a moment. "I've got a better
"Greg Richards, meet the Porcupine."
The Porcupine was like a living animal: he was
covered from head to (presumably) toe with quills.
Yet he still managed to look good in a tuxedo.
"Porcupine. I used to work for The Kidder."
"So I was wondering if there was any chance I could
join your organisation."
The Porcupine looked Craig over. He then turned to
look at one of his men. Then back at Greg. Then back
at his man. Finally, he pulled out one of his quills
and threw it at the man he had looked at: the quill
hit the man in the neck. The man fell to the ground.
Nobody rushed to help him.
"So happens," the Porcupine said, "you're in luck.
We've just had a position open up."
Jesus, Craig thought.
Silver Age Superfreaks #2
"What do we have here?" Pepperton Chief Medical
Examiner Quinton Macy asked.
"Body was found earlier this morning," his
assistant, Jack Greenspan, informed him. "Looks like
the body was dumped last night. I estimate time of
death to be about twenty four hours ago."
"What's this sticking out of his throat?" Quinton
"It looks like a porcupine quill."
Quinton looked at him quizically. "Have you ever
seen a porcupine quill that big?" he asked.
"Not before today, no" was Jack's reply.
"I think it would have been better if you just told
Bruce rather than having me replace him before you
arrived," Colonel Wonder said.
Colin McKenzie smiled and waved a finger at Colonel
Wonder as if he were chastising a five year old. "I
disagree. You need to tell him yourself," he said as
he set up the tripod. "Besides, the last time I was
here I was asking him about a murder case. He'd
hardly let me into his house without a warrant -
especially when I'm bringing this." Colin placed the
video camera on top of the tripod.
"I'm not sure what I'm supposed to say," Wonder
"Tell him what you should have told him in the first
place rather than just taking over his body."
Colonel Wonder grimaced. "I explained..."
Colin raised his hand to silence Colonel Wonder,
just like the way a traffic cop would gesture to an
oncoming truck. "Now explain it to him."
"I hit play already."
"Alright." Colonel Wonder looked into the camera.
"Bruce... I'm Colonel Wonder. I'm your counterpart
from another dimension. In order for me to exist in
your dimension, you need to replace me in the Twilight
Dimension. While you are there, you have no memories.
You might have noticed your memory lapses over the
years. I'm sorry about that but it's really for the
best: the Twilight Dimension is not a very pleasant
place and, believe me, you don't want to remember
having been there. The fact is that, over the years,
I've only ever taken your place here on Earth when
lives were at risk. I'm a hero, Bruce... which means
you're a hero too because you make my stays on Earth
possible. Of course, when the danger has passed, I
always return you back to where you were when I took
you so that you're never too disoriented, waking up in
some strange place I mean."
Colonel Wonder looked away from the camera to think
for a moment and then continued. "You didn't kill
that girl, Bruce. You must have retained some of my
memories when we switched back. No, I didn't kill her
either. I don't know who did, but don't worry:
Detective McKenzie is on the case and he'll find out
who the killer is. He always does. I had to tell him
about you and me so that he'd eliminate you as a
suspect. That's how he found out. And he's the one
who made this videotape..."
"Okay," Colin said. "That's enough. You'd better
change back now so he can see the video."
"Did you stop the video already?"
"No. I want him to see the transformation.
Otherwise he's going to think this is all some kind of
"Oh. I see." Colonel Wonder concentrated and -
following a bright flash of light - he disappeared,
replaced by Bruce Blake.
"What?" Bruce asked. "How...? Detective McKenzie?!
What are you doing here? Why do you have a video
"It's alright! It's alright!" Colin assured him.
You blacked out again."
"You know about my blackouts?" Bruce asked.
Colin nodded. "And what's on this tape will explain
them. Do you want me to set it so you can watch it on
"Alright," Bruce said and then added, "Does this
have anything to do with what happened to that girl?"
"Yes and no," Colin said. "Don't worry. You didn't
kill her. I know that. And if you watch this tape
then you'll know it too."
"Let's see it then."
"Yes?" Kenneth asked. He was sitting at his desk
where he worked as a reporter for the Daily World
"I'm Johnathon Jenner. Of the Jenner toy company.
You might not recognize me."
"I'm sorry. I don't. Have we met?"
Johnathon smiled. "We met as our alter egos."
Kenneth's eyes widenned.
"Perhaps we can discuss this later at my mansion.
Say around seven o'clock?"
"See you then."
"This is insane."
"I thought that would be your reaction," Colin said.
"That's why I had it videotaped."
Bruce buried his face in his hands. "What does he
Colin nodded. "I you don't want you to take him
again then you should say so."
"Why in God's name...?"
"Because he's a hero and by willingly letting him
take your place then you'd be a hero too. You could
"What do you suggest?"
"I was thinking maybe a code word."
"A code word?"
"Yes. Some way to let him know that it was okay for
him to do his thing. Something like 'Abracadabre'."
"I'm not going to say that," Bruce said
"Not even if you're in danger yourself?"
Bruce rolled his eyes. "How about 'Presto chango'?"
"Whatever. Why don't you say it like you mean it
and see if he agrees?"
"Fine." Bruce stood up and stretched his arms out
wide. "Presto chango!" he said and then was
immediately replaced in a flash of light by Colonel
"I take it 'Presto chango' is okay with you?" Colin
"It'll do," Colonel Wonder said. "Thanks. For
"No problem," Colin said as he gathered up the video
camera and tripod. "Oh! You should change back now.
That was just a test."
"Right." Another flash of light sent Colonel Wonder
back to the Twilight Dimension and returned Bruce
"So it's all true," Bruce said.
"'Fraid so," Colin said. He had gathered up all his
equipment and was getting ready to go.
"Well, thank you then."
"Like I said to Colonel Wonder just a moment ago, no
problem! Now if you'll escuse me, I have to get
going! I have to get back to that murder case I was
"Oh yes. Of course. Goodbye, Detective McKenzie."
Colin McKenzie waved at him as he left.
"Good," Johnathon Jenner said. "You're on time."
"I'm never late," Kenneth Clark told him.
"I rather thought you might have shown up as
"Right," Kenneth said. "About that...?"
"How do I know?" Johnathon Jenner smiled. "I'm not
just a millionaire playboy, Mr. Clark. I'm also the
world's greatest detective."
"You're secretly Jim Morgan?"
Johnathon rolled his eyes. "I'm Night Man."
"Oh. I see." Kenneth sighed. "So what do you
"I have a proposal for you."
"I suggest we team up."
Kenneth smiled. "No offense, Night Man, but as
Extreme I am much more powerful than you. I don't
need a partner."
"I'm not so much interested in your power as in your
legitimacy. Imagine a team bearing your name."
"You can't be everywhere at once, my friend. A team
composed of a handful of people like you and me would
be able to handle menaces that none of us could handle
on our own."
Kenneth sighed. "Again, no offense, but I've delt
with people like Mr. Uoykcuf and Insomniac. You deal
with villains like The Kidder and The Porcupine..."
"I don't see why we shouldn't plan ahead. Suppose
our villains were to team up against us. We need to
Kenneth laughed. "Mr. Uoykcuf has god like powers.
He wouldn't need to team up with anybody!"
Johnathon nodded. "Right. And how do you defeat
him every time? You pester him, needle him, piss him
off until finally you force him to say his name
backwards. Anybody can do that."
"I'm feeling tempted to say Uoykcuf backwards myself
"Just think about it. Okay?"
Kenneth nodded. "Okay."
"Feel free to come back anytime and let me know what
Craig Franklin had been working for the Porcupine
just over a day when he noticed an unlocked desk
drawer full of documents. He decided to come back
when the Porcupine wasn't around and see what he could
find. The door to the office wasn't locked. Nor was
there anybody inside. He went in to see what he could
It didn't take him long to find what incriminating
documents providing details of drug shipments
specifying things like the kinds of drugs being
shipped, the quantities of drugs being shipped, the
names of the dealers being delivered to, the ammounts
paid and the estimated street values of the drugs...
and Eaglone's name was all over the documents.
"What are you doing here?" Craig had been so busy
reading the documents that he had forgotten that he
needed to be in and out quickly before the Porcupine
came back. "I'm waiting for your answer!"
That was his mistake. Craig didn't know what to say
so he responded by putting a bullet in the Porcupine's
Craig had never killed anyone before. He was
momentarily stunned. When it had sunk in just what he
had done, he actually felt good about it: he had taken
out the Porcupine. Alright!
It was a righteous shooting. He remembered what the
Porcupine had done just two days ago, killing one of
his own men. It was a question of either killing or
He heard others coming. They must have heard the
gunshot. He wasn't out of this yet. He stuffed the
incriminating documents down his shirt. The Porcupine
had about two dozen armed men working for him and he'd
probably have to kill every one of them just to make
it out alive.
Craig smiled in anticipation.
"Good morning, Arthur."
"Good morning, Mr. Clark. Mr. Jenner is expecting
Kenneth Clark was led to Johnathon Jenner's living
room and found Johnathon with two other guests.
"Oh, I'm sorry," he said. "I've come at a bad
"Not at all," Johnathon said. "We're all friends
here. Kenneth Clark, I'd like you to meet Priscilla
Diamond and Gary Alda."
"Well," Kenneth said, "it's nice to meet you both.
I just wanted to say, Mr. Jenner, that I have to turn
down your proposal."
"I knew you'd say that."
"That's why I asked my friends here: to help me
Johnathon smiled. "Kenneth, are you telling me that
you don't recognize Amazing Woman and Mr. Quick?
Granted, Gary Alda wears a mask when he's in costume
as Mr. Quick but all Priscilla here does to change
into Amazing Woman is take off her glasses."
"Yes, well," Kenneth said nervously, "glasses can be
a very effective disguise."
"As you know very well."
Kenneth addressed Johnathon's guests. "So do you
two think this is a good idea?"
"I think it would be a good idea to pool our
resources," Amazing Woman told him, "and we are
stronger with you than without you."
Gary Alda shrugged his shoulders. "Look, all I can
do is run fast. If the three of you want to get
together and form a team then I would be proud to be a
part of it."
Johnathon nodded. "Gary can run fast. Priscilla
has super strength. I have my fighting skills.
You're the only one here who is the complete package.
Granted we need you more than you need us... but we
_do_ need you."
Kenneth sighed. "Okay. What do you want me to do."
Johnathon smiled. "There are two others that I want
you to recruit personally."
"What the hell happened here?" Jim Morgan asked when
he arrived at the scene.
"My cover was blown," Craig said, matter of factly.
"I had to shoot my way out."
"Couldn't you have left one of them alive?"
Criag shrugged his shoulders. "I made a decision in
the field not to take any chances."
"Fair enough. But where does that leave us?"
Criag pulled out the documents that he had retrieved
from the Porcupine's office. "Here. This is all the
evidence we need."
Jim Morgan looked over the documents. "This is all
very well and good," he said, "but it would be good if
we had a witness."
"I can be the witness," Craig said. "Eaglone hired
me based on my work with The Kidder. He then sent me
to work with the Porcupine. That proves he's dirty."
Jim nodded. "We'll see what the D.A. says
No member of the human race had set foot in Atlantis
for over ten thousand years. Actually, since Extreme
technically wasn't a human being, there still hadn't
been a human being having set foot there.
>>Who goes there?<<
Extreme found telepathy a bit jarring. For
starters, it was hard to tell who was sending to him
and from where. The fact that they were in the dark
depths of the Atlantic ocean didn't help. Extreme
scanned the area with his x-ray vision. Ah. There
they were. Now... how to respond? Extreme didn't
need to breathe but it would be difficult, even for
him, to talk under water. He hoped that, given that
they could send thoughts to him, that they could also
detect what he was thinking.
.o(I'm a friend. I'm here to see Water Lord.)
District Attorney Darren Kent considered the
evidence against Eaglone. "It's a lot of heresay,
"How so?" Officer Craig Franklin asked.
"Eaglone never admitted that The Kidder worked for
him, did he? And just because he led you to the
Porcupine didn't mean that the Porcupine worked for
him either. It just means he knew how to contact him:
he could have just assumed that you wanted to work for
another criminal after working for The Kidder."
"But the documents..."
Darren nodded. "The documents are good... if they
"What makes you think they aren't?"
"I'm not saying they are fake. I think we will need
a warrant though to prove that this is stationary that
Eaglone actually uses. It's too bad that there are no
documents with his signature."
"Look," Craig said, "I'm ready to testify. I don't
think I'd be able to go back to Eaglone after this
anyway. I'm no good to you anymore as an undercover
agent. I think this is our one and only chance to
Darren nodded. "Perhaps a search warrant of
Eaglone's office will turn up more evidence. Although
they might see that coming."
"All the more reason not to wait."
"Sure. I'll give Jim more time to collect evidence
and then we'll take this to trial."
Christopher Prince shot an arrow at a target five
hundred feet away but it didn't hit the target:
somebody caught it. Then that somebody flew over to
him and handed the arrow back to him.
"What did you do that for?" he asked as he took the
arrow and put it back in his quiver.
"I have a proposition for you."
"What is it?"
"Night Man and I are putting a team together. We
are thinking of calling it the Extreme Force Six but
we need a sixth member."
"Extreme Force Six?" Christopher smirked. "A bit
egotistical of you to name the team after yourself."
"That was Night Man's idea."
"Okay. But why me?"
"Why not you?"
Christopher laughed. "You fly. You break through
walls. I shoot arrows. Why do you need me? Why do
you need anybody?"
"I was thinking the same thing," Extreme admitted,
"but suppose one of these days Mr. Uoykcuf or the
Insomniac were to finally find a way to kill me? Then
who would protect humanity?"
"What if that's not enough?"
Christopher nodded. "Okay. But then who do we
answer to? Who decides who the bad guys are? Hmm?
It sounds a bit fascist to me."
"So you're saying no?"
Christopher smirked again. "I didn't say that."
"If you need time...?"
"Who are the other members of your group so far?"
"Me, Night Man, Amazing Woman, Mr. Quick and Water
Christopher nodded. "Impressive."
"So you'll join us?"
"Tell you what: I'll show up to the first meeting
and give you my answer then."
There was a knock at the door. District Attorney
Darren Kent got up from watching the latest episode of
Family Ties to go see who it was.
When Darren opened the door, he saw The Kidder
standing there. He knew The Kidder was a homocidal
maniac so he quickly went to close the door.
He was too late. The Kidder sprayed him with a fast
acting poison: Darren Kent was dead before he even hit
The Kidder's laughter could be heard all the way
down the street.
Silver Age Superfreaks #3
"What do you have?" Detective Jim Morgan asked.
Jack Greenspan shrugged his shoulders. "The poison
used was a kind that The Kidder is known to have used
in the past."
"So it _was_ The Kidder who did this."
"Not necessarily. It's not like a fingerprint.
Anybody could have used this poison. Although it does
suggest that The Kidder may have been involved if only
as a supplier."
Jim nodded. "I want you and Quinton to do whatever
you can to figure out who did this."
"I call to order the first meeting of the Extreme
Force Six," Night Man said.
"Hold on," The Archer said, "I haven't decided if I
want to join this group yet."
"Why the cold feet?" Mr. Quick asked.
"I just don't know what it is we're supposed to
"In a perfect world, we wouldn't be needed," Amazing
Woman said, "but this is not a perfect world."
"In a perfect world you would have leaders who would
tell everybody what they are supposed to do," Water
"Now hold on," Extreme said, "let's not go there:
we're here to decide how to best protect the world,
not take it over."
"Hi. I'm Amazing Girl. Amazing Woman's sidekick."
"I'm Moon Boy. Night Man's sidekick."
"Yeah. I know."
"Yeah. You guys are famous."
Moon Boy shrugged his shoulders. "But I've only
been his sidekick for a few months."
"I've been thinking that maybe the five of us could
form a group of our own. I mean, if there are menaces
so great that all six of them would join forces to
face them then surely there would be menaces that we
could face on our own."
"Yeah," Arrow Boy said. "It would be great. We
could call ourselves, I don't know, Electric Youth, or
something like that."
"I don't know," Moon Boy said.
"Why not?" Amazing Girl asked. "What are we
supposed to be doing while they join forces to save
Moon Boy smiled nervously. "I'm not Night Man. I
don't fight anywhere near as well as he does."
"None of us are our mentors," Water Boy pointed out,
"for if we were then we would be them and not their
"Yeah, um, what he said," Quick Boy said quickly.
"I need you to take over this case."
This was the first time Alan Russell had been in
Mayor Alfred East's office. He wished it had been
under better circumstances. "I'll do my best."
"You'll do your best. And you will win. The city
is counting on you. We can't be held hostage by
Eaglone any more."
"I appreciate your confidence."
The mayor smiled. "Let me put it this way: you will
win this case and I will appoint you as the next
"And if I lose."
The mayor shook his head. "I said nothing about
'if'. You _will_ win this case and you _will_ become
the next district attorney. You understand?"
"That's what I want to hear!"
8:45 am (three weeks later)
Alan Russell was approaching the courthouse on the
day of the Eaglone trial when he spotted an old
friend. "Leroy Laurel! So _you_ are representing
"Why are you so surprised?"
"I would have thought that Eaglone would have paid
for a lawyer with more experience."
Leroy nodded. "I wasn't his first choice. He did
approach Maury Pearson."
"And what did he say?"
"Apparently Maury told him that he only defends the
"I see. And you?"
Leroy nodded. "I'll defend anybody. It's my job.
I'm not here to make moral judgements but to do my
duty as a lawyer for a client."
"Mr. Russell, you may call your first witness."
"I call to the stand Officer Craig Franklin."
Craig got up and approached the bench and was sworn
in by the bailiff.
"Officer Franklin, can you tell us in your own words
how you came to uncover evidence against Eaglone?"
"I had been working undercover as part of The
Kidder's gang when a raid by Night Man and Moon Boy
got me arrested. After I was released, I went to
Eaglone and told him that I had been working for The
Kidder. He introduced me to The Porcupine." The jury
gasped. "It was while I was working for The Porcupine
that I found all those incriminating documents."
Alan addressed the jury. "Ladies and gentlemen,
photocopies of those documents have been provided for
each of you to examine at your leisure. Note that
these documents provide details of drug shipments
specifying things like the kinds of drugs being
shipped, the quantities of drugs being shipped, the
names of the dealers being delivered to, the ammounts
paid and the estimated street values of the drugs...
and that Eaglone's name is all over these documents.
"No further questions, your honour." He sat down.
"Mr. Laurel, do you wish to cross examine?"
Leroy Laurel stood up and said "I do, your honour."
He approached the bench. "Officer Franklin, did
Eaglone actually say that The Kidder was working for
"Did he say that The Porcupine was working for him?"
"Just answer yes or no. Thank you. Did either The
Kidder or The Porcupine say they were working for
"I see. So the entire case is based on those
documents that you claim are genuine."
"Really? What else do you have?"
"I know that The Porcupine is a murderer. I saw him
kill a man with one of his quills."
"That may be but The Porcupine isn't on trial today,
Eaglone is. And Eaglone is not The Porcupine, is he?"
"What happened to The Porcupine, Officer Franklin?"
"Please answer the question."
"He's dead. I shot him in self defense."
"Of course. He wouldn't have hesitated to kill me
if he knew I was an undercover cop. And he became
suspicious when he saw me going through his desk."
"Do you have any witnesses to back up your story?"
"Why not? What happened to all the men working for
"They're all dead."
"Really? How did that happen?"
"They were going to kill me. I had to fight my way
out of the building."
"Couldn't you have called for backup?"
"There was no time. They were on me as soon as they
heard me shoot The Porcupine."
"So you killed all the witnesses that could have
confirmed that The Porcupine was working for Eaglone?"
Craig didn't answer.
"No further questions, your honour."
The judge addressed Officer Franklin. "You may step
down." Franklin returned to where he had been
sitting. His wife gave him a hug. "Mr. Russell, you
may call your next witness."
"I call to the stand Pepperton Chief Medical
Examiner Quinton Macy."
Quinton got up and approached the bench and was
sworn in by the bailiff.
"Mr. Macy, Officer Franklin claims that The
Porcupine killed one of his own men. Can you confirm
that part of the story?"
Quinton nodded. "Yes. The body that Officer
Franklin later identified to be the man he saw killed
by the Porcupine had a quill in his neck that was
identical to the quills growing from the Porcupine.
We concluded that blood loss as a result of being
stabbed in the neck by the quill was the cause of
death and that this man was, indeed, murdered by the
Porcupine as Officer Franklin described."
"I see. No further questions, your honour." Alan
went to sit down.
"Mr. Laurel, your witness."
Leroy Laurel approached the bench. "Mr. Macy, do
you have any reason to believe that the quill wasn't
taken from the Porcupine and used by somebody else as
a murder weapon?"
"Yes, Officer Franklin's testimony. He described
the Porcupine taking out one of his own quills and
throwing it at the victim."
"Any chance it could have been an accident?"
"Even if it were an accident, you would think he
would have called an ambulance. Instead, the body was
dumped on the street. We found blood matching the
victim in one of the Porcupine's cars and on the floor
of the Porcupine's office."
"I see. No further questions." Leroy went back to
The judge addressed Quniton Macy. "You may sit
9:15 am (the next day)
"Has the jury come to a verdict?" the judge asked.
"We have, your honour?" the jury foreman answered.
"Would you please read the verdict?"
"We find the defendent guilty on all counts for
which he is accused."
Alan Russell breathed a sigh of relief. He actually
thought his opponent had made a better case but
apparently the jury believed Officer Franklin was
telling the truth.
7:01 pm (later that evening)
"I'm so proud of you!" Craig's wife, Adrienne, told
him. They were standing in their living room in front
of the window. "Johnny, tell your dad how proud you
are of him!"
"I'm proud of you, Dad!"
Craig smiled. "You know, I've always wondered if
all those years of working undercover were worth the
sacrafice of not getting to spend time with my family.
Now I know."
Suddenly, a hail of bullets smashed through the
window. Before anybody could run for cover, Craig was
hit in the stomach, Johnny was hit in the head and
Adrienne was hit twice in the chest.
"Ahhh!" Craig screamed. Even with a bullet in his
stomach, Craig managed to dive for a gun. He shot
back outside the window but soon realised that the
pattern of bullets spread around the room suggested a
drive by shooting: the shooters were long gone.
He looked around the room and saw his son with a
hole in his yet. "Johnny... no. No no no." He then
saw his wife lying on the floor bleeding from her
chest. "Adrienne! ADRIENNE!" She didn't answer.
Criag rushed to the phone to call 911.
"Hello. This is Officer Craig Thompson. I'm at
home and I've been shot. My wife has been shot. My
son's been shot. Send an ambulance. Please hurry!"
Curly was moving up in the organisation. Now he
reported directly to the boss, the _real_ boss.
"Mr. Goodman, Sir?"
Edward Alexander Goodman looked up from his desk at
Curly. Goodman's bald head reflected the light from
the flourescent bulb above him. "Yes?"
"The package has been delivered as you ordered,
"Are the recipients fully satisfied?" he asked.
"I promise you we will do our upmost to see that
Goodman smiled. "Excellent. Keep me informed."
Jim Morgan arrived at Craig Franklin's house.
"Craig, are you alright?" he asked.
Craig cringed. "My son's dead. My wife is dying.
I've been shot myself. What kind of question, is
"We'll get you and your wife to the hospital as soon
as we can."
"It was Eaglone's men. Had... to... be..." Craig
Jim caught him before he hit the ground. "Oh God!
Hurry! We need to get this man to the hospital right
Silver Age Superfreaks #4
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."
"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."
"Look who finally arrived home," John's wife, Susan
"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
"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,
"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."
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."
"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 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.
"Pleased to meet you all."
"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 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?"
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
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!"
Silver Age Superfreaks #5
Pepperton City Police Commishioner Jim Morgan
examined the crime scene with disgust: five victims,
all apparently having been poisoned. It didn't take a
genius to figure out who was behind it.
"Hey, Jim, you should see this!" Pepperton City
Chief Medical Examiner Quintin Macy said.
"What is it?"
"It's another body. See?"
Jim moved in for a closer look. "Is that who I
think it is?"
Quinton nodded. "It's the Kidder."
"He's dead, Jim."
"That's for you guys to figure out," Quinton said.
"I'm a doctor, not a detective."
The Extreme Force Six, consisting of Extreme, Night
Man, Amazing Woman, Mr. Quick, The Archer and Water
Lord, broke into the Insomniac's secret headquarters.
"It's over!" Extreme said.
"Hardly," the Insomniac said. "You see, I knew you
would find me sooner or later." He picked up a lead
case. "Do you know what's in here?"
Extreme laughed. "Let me guess: neonite! But you
forget: I'm not alone, so even if you use that stuff
to weaken me I still have my friends here to arrest
The Insomniac laughed. "Weaken you? Why would I
want to weaken you?" He opened the case and held it
towards Extreme. "This isn't green neonite: it's
_red_ neonite! It doesn't weaken you! Rather it
suppresses your morality! It makes you evil! Now,
join me, Extreme! And as my partner I order you to
kill your friends!"
Extreme just laughed. "Why should I take orders
from you?" His head started to spin. "Why should I
take orders from anyone?" He looked at his teammates.
"You want the Insomniac? You take him out yourself!"
He flew off.
The Insomniac stood there looking perplexed. "That
didn't go exactly as I had hoped."
Night Man turned to Mr. Quick. "There's something
wrong with Extreme," he said. "Go after him."
"Right," said Mr. Quick and ran off.
The Insomniac laughed. "Well, things are turning
out alright after all," he said. "Now there are only
four of you. Now how will you defeat my killer
A panel opened up in the wall, revealing the
Insomniac's killer robot.
Night Man nodded. "Amazing Woman, Water Lord, you
know what to do."
They both nodded in affirmation and then casually
appraoched the robot and waited for it to attack them.
They then ripped off the robot's arms. The robot
turned to get away so they then ripped off the robot's
legs and left it spinning on the floor.
"Oh dear," the Insomniac said, backing away into a
secret escape hatch he had in the wall behind him.
"Not so fast!" the Archer said, pointing an arrow at
his head. "I hereby arrest you under the authority of
the city of Pepperton!"
Mr. Quick had followed Extreme as far as the Western
Coast of Africa, having used his super speed power to
glide over the surface of the water, when he suddenly
was overcome by a pain in his chest.
"Damn," he said, "I think I overdid it."
He collapsed to the ground and fell unconscious.
At the Daily World, young Timmy Conners rushed into
Peter Whitman's office.
"Boss, have you seen the latest news? Extreme is in
Egypt destroying the pyramids." He looked like he was
going to cry. "Boss, say it isn't so."
Peter Whitman just shook his head sadly. "Glorious
Cleopatra's Spirit! I hope you're right, Timmy!"
But it was true. Extreme was in Egypt taking the
pyramids apart piece by piece.
Just then, Colonel Wonder flew down to speak to him.
"Extreme, what are you doing?" Colonel Wonder asked.
"I'm destroying the pyramids" was Extreme's answer.
"Because it's fun."
"They are part of this planet's heritage."
Extreme shrugged his shoulders. "Why should I care
about this planet's heritage?"
"I have to stop you!"
"Do you think you can?"
And so Colonel Wonder and Extreme engaged in battle.
The battle went on for several minutes before Colonel
Wonder realized that he could not defeat Extreme
through shear force. So he landed and did the only
thing left to him: he changed back into Bruce Blake.
"Where's Colonel Wonder?" Extreme demanded. "Where
did he go?"
"I'm Colonel Wonder," Bruce Blake told him. "If you
want to defeat me then go ahead, strike me down and
kill me where I stand."
"What are you waiting for?"
Extreme's head started to spin. "Where am I?" he
With a flash of light, Bruce Blake changed back into
Colonel Wonder. "You're in Egypt," he said.
Extreme looked confused. "Egypt? How?"
"It's okay," Colonel Wonder said. "Just help me fix
5:00 pm (the same day)
"I'm really sorry about all of this," Extreme told
"That's alright," Water Lord said. "There was no
Night Man went to shake hands with Colonel Wonder.
"We all very much appreciate what you've done.
Perhaps it is time for the Extreme Force Six to become
the Extreme Force Seven."
Colonel Wonder smiled and shook his head. "Thank
you for the offer... but I can't accept membership in
"Because I am only here on Earth with the grace of
somebody who has his own life to live. I shouldn't
exploit his generosity. I'm afraid I have to turn you
Night Man nodded. "That's too bad."
Just then, Pepperton City Police Detective John
Phelps stormed into Extreme Force Headquarters with a
SWAT team behind him.
"What is the meaning of this?" Night Man asked.
"You have no right to come in here like that!"
"We do!" John told him. "I've got a warrant right
"What kind of warrant?" Night Man asked.
"An arrest warrant!" John replied. "Night Man,
you're under arrest for the murder of Nick Jupiter AKA
Night Man was taken to Precinct One for questioning.
"The Kidder was found dead this afternoon," John
told him. "We have a witness who says you were there
at the scene attacking him. What do you have to say
Night Man laughed. "This is ridiculous! Yes, I was
there! I stopped the Kidder from killing more
"By killing him?"
"I never kill."
"So what DID you do?"
"I rendered him unconscious so the police could find
"And how did you 'render him unconscious'?"
"I used special non-lethal fighting techiniques that
I picked up when I was studying in Asia."
"I see. What you mean to tell me is that you beat
him into submission. And how do you know he didn't
die as a result of injuries sustained?"
"How do you know he did?"
"What other theory is there?"
Night Man laughed. "You're supposed to be a
detective. You tell me."
John sighed. "You didn't answer my question. How
can you tell the person between somebody who is
unconscious as a result of you beating him and someone
who is slowly dying as a result of you beating him?"
"I happen to be an expert."
"At what? Beating people up?"
"At non-lethal combat. When I left the scene, he
was still alive."
John smiled. "That's just it. You're not supposed
to leave the scene. You're supposed to stay at the
scene and file a report with authorities as to what
Night Man scoffed. "I am officially sanctioned by
this city's mayor!"
"And it's beginning to look as though that was a
Night Man crossed his arms across his chest.
"Nevertheless, you can't prove that I killed the
Kidder. Until you can I am free to go."
Mr. Quick slowly walked back into Extreme Force
"Did I miss anything?" he asked.
Water Lord frowned. "What happened to you?"
Mr. Quick smiled. "I couldn't keep up with Extreme.
I sort of ran out of breath over Africa."
"By the Goddess Ishtar!" Amazing Woman said. "Are
"I'm fine," he said.
"You don't look fine," the Archer observed.
"I just haven't ever exerted myself quite so hard
before. It took all of my effort just to get back.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go upstairs and
"Oh, Detective Phelps!"
"Yes, Brandy, what is it?" Detective John Phelps
asked Pepperton City Precinct One receptionist Brandy
"I just wanted to remind you that you have somebody
coming for an interview this morning at eleven."
John smiled. "I didn't forget. But thanks for
reminding me anyway."
"I wanted to wait until you were all here to tell
you this," Mr. Quick said in front of his assembled
Extreme Force Six teammates. "I'm retiring."
"What?!" Night Man asked.
"I have to!" he told them. "I'm afraid that if I
keep this up then I will die. The human body just
isn't meant to move as fast as I've been going
"You're serious?" the Archer asked.
The Archer shrugged his shoulders. "Then I quit
"Wait!" Extreme said. "It can't end like this."
"It doesn't have to end," Night Man said. "If they
want to leave then we can start thinking about
"No hold on!" Water Lord said. "Maybe I don't want
to work with a replacement team."
"Then perhaps we will have to look for someone to
replace you too!" Night Man said defiantly.
"Please," Amazing Woman said. "Everybody calm
Extreme sighed. "This is my fault, isn't it?
Because of what I did yesterday."
Mr. Quick shook his head. "It's nobody's fault.
It's good that I make this decision now rather than in
battle where a mistake on my part could be costly. It
wouldn't just be my life at stake then."
"Yeah," the Archer said, "and I've always been wary
about joining this group anyway. I mean, what do I
do? I shoot arrows!"
"That is a very useful skill," Amazing Woman told
"What? Compared to flying? Or super strength?"
"Look," Mr. Quick said. "I didn't mean to cause any
Extreme sighed. "Night Man, perhaps you can tell us
about those replacements you had in mind."
"Jack, you said you had something you wanted me to
take a look at?" John asked.
Pepperton City Assistant Medical Examiner Jack
Greenspan nodded. "Yes, detective. It's about Nick
"Exactly. I've determined cause of death: blunt
"Consistant with a beating at the hands of Night
Jack shook his head. "No, consistant with the
murder weapon being a gun."
John looked confused. "But the Kidder wasn't shot."
Jack nodded. "I know. But take a look at this."
Jack showed John a plastic cast he had made. "I made
a plaster cast of Mr. Jupiter's skull. Notice the
indentations in his skull. They are not consistent
with fists. I considered various possibilities before
realizing that only a gun barrel could have made those
"But why hit somebody with a gun to kill him? If
you have a gun then you're hoing to just shoot him."
"Perhaps because the perpetrator had seen Night Man
attack the Kidder and leave him unconscious and he
wanted to make it look as though Night Man had killed
him. Night Man doesn't carry a gun, does he?"
"No, he doesn't." John cringed. "How could I have
been so stupid! The witness who said he saw Night Man
attacking the Kidder would have been the last one to
see the Kidder alive. He should have been my first
"Not necessarily," Jack said. "Not if he came
forward on his own accord."
"Well, he's a suspect now."
"So are you going to bring him in?"
"I'll send people to bring him in. I've got to be
here at eleven to meet with a Mr. Michael King."
"Nice to meet you. Sit down."
Michael sat down.
"Your resume says that you worked as a forensic
expert in the marines after graduating with degrees in
chemistry and criminology."
Michael nodded. "That's right."
"So why did you quit the military?"
"It was a question of integrity," Michael said
"How so?" John asked.
"If an investigation led to one of the officers
being a suspect then we had to either exclude them
from consideration or break off the investigation. I
couldn't operate under those restrictions."
"Does that mean you have problems with authority?"
"No, it means that I believe everybody should be
John nodded. "Well then I would say that their loss
is our gain."
"Yes," John said with a smile. "You're hired. You
start work this afternoon. Is that alright with you?"
"Abslutely. Fine. Then you'll join me for an early
lunch. Because I have to get back early and interview
"What am I here for?" the suspect asked.
"You're being charged with the murder of Nick
Jupiter, the Kidder," John told him.
"But I came to you," he said. "I told you Night Man
"That's what you told us, yes," John said. He
showed the suspect a plastic bag with a gun in it.
"Is this your gun?"
"Yeah. I keep it for protection."
"Do you know it's got the Kidder's blood on it?"
"You can't prove that it's the Kidder's blood."
"Oh yes we can!" John told him. "Have you heard of
DNA? We can match the Kidder's DNA with the DNA from
the blood on te gun and then we'll know that you
The suspect grimaced. "Okay."
"Okay I did it."
"Why not? The Kidder was a psycho! Why shouldn't I
have killed him?"
"Then why tell me Night Man did it?"
The suspect laughed. "Night Man's a psycho too!
They're all psychos! All these freaks belong in
John sighed. "But Night Man isn't going to jail.
You are." John gestured to the two police officers
who were in the room with them. "Take him away."
The fish are biting.
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