Superfreaks: Extreme #2

Martin Phipps martinphipps2 at
Tue Jun 17 11:04:58 PDT 2008

                    Extreme: A Superfreaks Series



  "Hi.  I look familiar, don't I?  I look like somebody you saw in a movie?  Or on TV?  Well, I'm not her.  I'm her clone.
  "Surprised?  Most people are when they hear me talk.  They think clones are mindless objects.  Maybe you thought the same thing.
  "Ever since the creation of the first human clone, clones have been treated as a comodity.  Some people would have themselves cloned because they wanted the perfect baby.  Others opted for fully grown clones, produced by a process through which a premature baby is rapidly grown into a full adult in a matter of a few weeks.  These clones were considered the property of the person who donated the genetic material and they were sold like slaves to horny men who fantasized about doing it with a famous actress."

  We cut to a man sitting down on a chait with a light behind him.  His face is blurred and his voice is electronically altered.
  "I bought a clone and I treated her like my girlfriend.  Except she was better than any girlfriend I ever had.  Because she, you know, did everything I asked her to do.  It was great.  She never complained."

  "But some have complained."

  We cut to Pepperon District Attorney Alan Russell speaking in his office.
  "Two years I tried a case against the owner of a clone based on a complaint from the clone herself.  
  We see news footage covering the trial.  
  "My basic argument was that anything that looks like a person and walks like a person and talks like a person is a person.  I convinced the judge to allow the jury to decide if a clone is a person.  Since then other clones have asserted their rights and convinced their owners to treat them as actual people as opposed to playthings."

  "And yet, to this day, nobody can be accused of murdering a clone.  A clone is still considered to be just an extension of the person who donoted the DNA.  Teresa Rodrigues, known to the general public as the pornstar Tammy Cruz, donoted the DNA that was used to make the clone that later took her owner to court to assert her rights."

  "You have to understand, men buy my videos.  And know what men do when they watch my videos.  So why should I care what a man does to my clone?"
  "But it isn't exactly the same thing, is it?"
  "Well, no, not exactly.  It's a different experience for the man.  But it's all the same to me.  And just as I wouldn't want people making copies of my DVDs I'm not going to have anybody make copies of my clones without my permission.  Nor do I want to have a clone of myself do porn.  Who wants a younger version of yourself out there?"
  "Do you think there might still be interest in your clones when you're in your sixties and seventies?"
  "I doubt it.  It's a fantasy.  As soon as I'm out of the business for good people are going to stop wanting my clones."
  "What will happen to your clones then?"
  "I've thought about that.  If any of my clones wanted to steal my spotlight when I'm too old for the business then I might be willing to give permission for that.  We'll see."
  "If a clone of your ever went into the business then maybe people would want a clone of her."
  "But it's still my DNA.  They'd still need my permission to do that."
  "And what about when you're dead?"
  "Whoa.  Then we'll see.  I don't even know if they'd want to clone a clone.  Isn't that like a copy of a copy?"
  "If they could then there could be several generations of Tammy clones."
  "Whoa.  That's too much to deal with.  I'd have to think about whether I would want that."

  "Clearly cloning became a big business so quickly that people never stopped to consider the moral implications of cloning.
  "But progess is being made.  The Human Spider had himself cloned and now they're both members of the Extreme Force Six.  Extreme himself had four clones of himself made and those clones helped defend the Earth from four different alien invasions."

  We cut to Extreme at Extreme Force Headquarters.
  "My clones are like my sons to me.  That's no less true now that I've had a son with Amazing Woman.  I mourn the loss of Extreme Junior, the Exterminator and Reject and I was happy when I found out that Bizarre Extreme had survived."

  "Bizarre Extreme is now a celebrity of his own, havibg appeared in The Amazing Race: Mutant Edition."

  We cut to Phil Keoghan, the host of Amzing Race, who is sitting at an undisclosed location.
  "For The Amazing Race: Mutant Edition, we had to do things a bit differently.  For one thing, everybody competed individually.  This made sense because everybody wanted to know aho would be faster, Kid Quick or Bizarre Extreme."
  We see footage from the Amazing Race: Mutant Edition.
  "We actually wanted Extreme himself to run the race but he was too busy saving the world.  Anyway, it didn't matter because Bizarre Extreme was able to beat Kid Quick in the end.  It was probably better this way, in retrospect, because one imagines the original Extreme would have been faster than his clone and would have left Kid Quick in the dust."
  We cut to Kid Quick on the streets of Pepperton.
  "Really?  Phil said that?  I don't know.  The original Extreme is getting on now.  I say bring it on!"
  We cut back to Phil.
  "Another difference between this race and our usual races is that I obviously couldn't keep up with the racers so we had different hosts in every city the racers visited."
  We cut to a scene from the Amazing Race: Mutant Edition in which Bizarre Extreme was literally flying down onto the mat in Singapore where local host Alan Wu greeted him.
  "Bizarre Extreme..."
  "You are contestant number one!"
  We cut back to Phil.
  "All in all, I'd say it was a successful race.  Did it do anything to make people more aware of the rights of clones?  I don't know.  But I think it did help make people come to see this one clone, Bizarre Extreme, as a real person.  And I think that's a good thing."

  "Indeed.  And speaking as a clone myself, yes, we are real people.  We have our own brains and we have our own voices.  And we will be heard.  We're not trying to make trouble.  We just want to be recognized as actual people.  We look like people, we walk like people, we talk like people and, yes, we think like people.  Thanks for watching."

                        PART II: JAVIER'S ORPHANS

  Extreme used remote controls to turn off the TV and the DVD player.  He turned to his wife, Amazing Woman.
  "So what did you think?" he asked.
  "Interesting," she said.  "Why didn't they interview the Human Spiders?"
  Extreme smirked.  "It was awkward.  Everybody assumes that one of them is a clone.  They don't realise that both of them are clones."
  "Of course!" Amazing Woman said.  She then shook her head.  "What Goodhead Corporation did was diabolical!"
  "But ingenius!  We have to give them credit for their ingenius marketting!  Overnight they became the main competition for Clones-R-Us whereas before Clones-R-Us had a virtual monopoly."
  "True."  Amazing Woman decided to change the subject.  "Are you nervous about leaving Tyk-El at Javiers?"
  Extreme shrugged his shoulders.  "Tyk-El is becoming too much for ordinary humans to handle.  We should leave him in the care of somebody who has experience handling children with powers."
  "But Tyk-El is only a baby!"
  "True but we're both busy saving the world.  If Tyk-El grows up big and strong like us then maybe he'll be a hero too and he'll understand the sacrafices that heroes have to make."
  "Or maybe he'll become a villain in revenge for a neglected childhood."
  "He won't be neglected."
  "Children want their mothers.  Especially babies."
  "And the world needs Extreme and Amazing Woman.  That's just the way it is."
  "Is it?  You flew off to space and were gone for months and the Extreme Force Six was the Extreme Force Five while I had Tyk-El."
  "Most people are able to take time off and the world is still around when they get back.  We've been lucky to have experienced the same thing.  But we can't be sure that that will always be the case.  I admit it: I feel guilty for abandoning the world for so long.  I literally lost track of time!  I don't want to neglect my duties again."
  "Okay.  So are we always going to be doing this?"
  "Maybe not.  One day there will be a new generation of heroes.  They'll be younger than us, faster than us, stronger than us.  And they'll be the ones protecting the world.  That's when we'll be able to relax."
  "So is that why you want to send Tyk-El to Javiers?  To train him to be a hero?"
  "On no no no!  Not yet, anyway!  He's just a baby!"
  "I was going to say!"

  The next day, Extreme and Amazing Woman brought Tyk-El to Javier's Mansion.   
  "I'd like to introduce you to Javier's Orphans," Doctor Javier told them.
"First we have Mornstar: she has the power to project into your mind either your fondest desire or the grossest, sickest, most disgusting images imaginable.  Then there's Fate: she has the power to make you do
things you don't want to do and then forget about them later.  Tigress, meanwhile, has the power to transform into her cat form.  Mystic has the power to teleport herself and others to anyplace, anywhere or
anytime.  And Nathan is the son of Scott Grey and his wife Jean.  His powers include time travel, super stength, flight, telekinesis, low level telepathy and energy projection to name a few."
  "Wow," Extreme said.  "Didn't I tell you that they'd have experience with kids with powers?"
  "Wait," Amazing Woman said.  "How come Nathan is a young boy already?  Shouldn't he still be a baby?  Didn't Jean only have her baby a year or so ago?"
  "True," Javier said.  "But Nathan was sent into the future.  It's a long story.  When he came back he was a small child but no longer a baby."
  "Okay.  So why are they called Javier's orphans?"
  Javier sighed sadly.  "Mornstar, Fate, Tigress and Mystic, they all had their parents die from Rasputin's syndrome."
  "Oh," Amazing Woman said.  "I'm sorry.  But Scott and Jean..."
  Javier laughed.  "Yes, they're fine.  In fact, Nathan was instrumental in curing Rasputin's Syndrome."
  "How so?"
  "He was sent to the future when he was diagnosed with the disease.  He came back cured and from his blood we were able to synthesize he cure."
  "I see."  Amazing Woman sighed.  "So who do you have helping you."
  Javier pointed out his staff.  "Michelle here is actually from the future."
  "She brought Nathan to the future to cure him and she raised him herself.  So I asked her to come back and help look after Tyk-El."
  "How did you contact her if she was in the future?" Extreme asked.
  "Well, actually," Javier admitted, "I didn't have to.  You see, from her point of view everything she experiences is part of her recorded history."
  "Oookay," Extreme said, deciding not to think to hard about that.
  "And who's this?" Amazing Woman asked, refering to the balding man in his early forties who was standing next to Michelle.
  "That's Mading."
  "Mading?" Extreme asked.  "He doesn't look Chinese."
  "I'm not," Mading said, "keshi wo hui shuo Zhongwen."
  "Wo ye hui shuo Zhongwen," Extreme countered.
  "Would you too stop showing off!" Amazing Woman complained.
  "Sorry," they both mumbled.  "Anyway," Mading added, "you don't have to worry about me.  I just had a baby myself!"
  "Then why are you here and not looking after your baby?" Amazing Woman asked.
  "Because I live in Taiwan and that's half a world away in a completely different time zone.  It's night time overthere.  So my baby is sleeping.  As for me, I don't need sleep.  And I can transport myself in an instant from Taiwan to here.  So it all makes sense, really.  I suppose I could ahve competed in The Amazing Race: Mutant Edition but it just wouldn't have been fair on the other contestants."
  Extreme sighed deeply.  "So why aren't you a hero saving the world if you have powers?"
  "Oh I do!  I have a team in Japan called the Power Scouts.  I'm their mentor.  So, again, I have experience looking after young people with powers."
  Extreme nodded.  "Fair enough," he said.  He didn't much like Mading but he had to admit he was qualified for the job.
  Javier smiled.  "So that's settled then!  We're all gald to have Tyk-El stay with us."
  "And just in time, too," Extreme said, "because I have to get to work!"
  Javier nodded.  "You're off saving the world, are you?"
  "Not exactly," Extreme admitted.

                        PART III: THE DAILY WORLD

  Extreme flew back to Pepperton and changed into his secret identity, Kenneth Clark, mild mannered reporter for the Daily World.  He was walking to his desk when Wendy Wang spotted him.
  "Hey, Kenneth, long time no see!" she said.
  "Sorry, Wendy, I've been busy," Kenneth told her.
  "I can imagine."  She stood close enough to him to whisper.  "So how's the baby?"
  "Fine.  I just put him in school."
  Wendy sighed.  "You don't waste any time!"
  "Yeah, well, he's flying already."
  "Oh yeah!  I heard about that!  He flew all the way to Taiwan."
  Kenneth nodded.  "Yep.  He's a real handful."
  "I see what you mean.  And this school, they can handle him?"
  "Yep.  That's why we picked it."
  "Well that's good to know.  One less thing to worry about."  Wendy started speaking normally now that they weren't talking about anything sensitive.  "Anyway, we've got an assignment.  It's about that building that collapsed at the corner of third and second avenue."
  "The hotel?"
  "Yeah.  Local police are investigating.  They think there might be foul play."
  "Okay.  Let's go."

  When Kenneth and Wendy got to the scene, Detective John Phelps was being interviewed by Janie Leland of WXPT News.  She was speaking to John Phelps because he was the Captain of the local precinct and was, therefore, the one officially in charge of the case.
  "So what do you think happened here?" Janie asked him.
  "The investigation is ongoing.  We can't make conclusions at this point."
  "So what _can_ you tell us?"
  "I can tell you that the building collapsed killing a dozen people and injuring a couple of dozen more."
  "Anything new?"
  "Nothing definite, no, and I don't want to comment further about an ongoing investigation."
  "Fair enough."  Janie looked into her camera.  "This is Janie Leland for WXPT news.  Back to you, Jim!"

  "Looks like Janie scooped us," Kenneth said.
  "Well we can scoop her."
  "How?  They're not commenting."
  "You can use your superhearing and listen in to what they're saying," Wendy suggested.
  "Really?" Kenneth asked.
  "Why not?"
  "Because the police in this precinct know I'm Extreme.  They could get suspicious."
  "Not everybody knows that you have superhearing."
  "Oh I think people do.  That's why people shout 'Extreme!  Help me!'".
  "Exactly.  They shout.  They don't know how good your hearing is."
  "Okay.  You've made your point."  Extreme listened carefully to what the police were saying.

  >>So what do you make of all this?<< John asked.
  >>The owner took out an insurance policy a month before this happened,<< Detective Mary Bailey pointed out.
  >>He also spent a lot of money to refurbish the hotel,<< Detective Lana Lewis argued.  >>That money went to waste.<<
  >>Not if he gets it all back when the insurance money comes in,<< Mary counter argued.
  >>What about the beds?<< Detective Michael King asked.
  >>What about them?<< Lana asked.
  >>Did he buy all new beds?<<
  >>Were they all identical?<<
  >>I suppose.  They were all bought from the same manufacturer.<<
  Michael nodded.  >>I think this was an accident.<<
  >>I don't get it,<< Mary admitted.  >>What do the new beds have to do with anything?  Did they cause the building to collapse?<<
  >>I think they did.<<
  >>Okay.  You're going to have to explain that.<<
  >>In 1897, Nikola Tesla claimed that he could bring down a building if he created vibrations that were in the resonant frequency of the building and in 1940 the Tacoma Narrows Bridge actually did collapse because the wind around the bridge caused it to vibrate at the exact frequency that would bring it down.<<
  >>I think I saw that in a film strip when I was in high school,<< Lana recalled.
  >>You could probably see the footage on youtube today,<< Michael suggested.
  >>I could check when I get home,<< Mary said.  >>But what has this got to do with the beds?<<
  >>What do people do in hotels?<< Michael asked.
  Mary didn't answer.
  >>Now imagine a couple of dozen people doing it all at the same time on identical beds.<<  Michael smirked.  >>I think the vibrations from all that sex brought down the building!<<
  >>Incredible!<< John said.
  "So what did they say?" Wendy asked.
  "They say they think it was an accident."
  "Is that all?"
  Kenneth sighed.  "Aren't you worried that somebody might be listening in on _us_?"
  Wendy nodded.  "Okay.  Good point.  Let's go talk about this back in the newsroom."

  Kenneth and Wendy went back to the Daily World, wrote up the story and gave it to Peter Whitman, the editor, for consideration in tomorrow's paper.
  Kenneth sighed.  "I'm exhausted," he said.
  "Really?" Wendy asked.  "Seriously?  I mean, I thought you never got tired.  I mean, not unless you were fighting Zon with an army of his clones backing him up."
  "Well, maybe exhausted isn't the right word.  But I have been busy today and when I've had a busy day I want to go home and relax."
  Wendy nodded.  "I understand.  Go home then.  Say hi to your wife for me."
  "I will."
  "She doesn't get jealous.  I mean, I know your secret.  I'm like an old girlfriend."
  Kenneth smirked.  "She knows that sex with me would probably kill you."
  "True.  So I guess she doesn't get jealous then."
  "Not as long as you're still walking, no."
  Wendy thought for a moment.  "I appreciate the sentiment.  I think."
  Kenneth laughed.  "Anyway, see you tomorrow."
  "See you."
  "Well, assuming General Kaiko doesn't send his forces to attack Earth again."
  "Oh?  Have you heard he might?"
  "No.  I'm just saying that I wouldn't be coming to work here if he did."
  "Right.  You'd be busy saving the world again."
  "Well, either way I'll see you tomorrow."
  "And I hope to see you tomorrow too."

                                  THE END 


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