Superfreaks: Extreme #3
martinphipps2 at yahoo.com
Mon Jun 30 08:03:16 PDT 2008
Extreme: A Superfreaks Series
Sean Cole took the stairs to the top of the building
where he lived. He walked out onto the roof. He
stood on the edge and looked down onto the street
Then he jumped.
Detectives John Phelps and Michael King arrived at
the scene. Frank Lopez was already there taking
"The position of the body is consistent with him
having jumped," Michael said, "but we would have to go
to the roof to make sure."
"What are we looking for?" John asked.
"Signs of a struggle. Anything that would suggest
he wasn't alone up there."
Just then a reporter approached them an stuck a
microphone in Michael's face.
"Janie Leland," she said. "WXPT News. Any
"Excuse me but you aren't supposed to be here," he
said. "This is a crime scene."
"Are you saying Sean Cole was murdered?"
"No, I'm not. Suicide is also a crime."
"So in your opinion is that this was a suicide?"
"I didn't say that either."
"So what is your theory at this point?"
"I don't have a theory."
"Look," Michael said, interrupting her, "this
investigation is on going and any comment I make at
this point will cloud people's opinion of whatever
results we come up. If I make a guess now and I'm
right then people will say it was a rush to judgement.
If I guess wrong then people will say we're
incompetant. Can you understand that?"
"No. No but. In fact, butt out!"
"I'm serious!" Michael said. "You people are just
vultures swarming around waiting for something to
happen so you can feed on it and boast your ratings.
We, on the other hand, are here to do a job. Now, if
you don't mind, we need to get back to it."
Just then, Officers Mark Johnston and Tom Jackson
appeared behind her.
"You're not supposed to be here," Mark told her.
"And she knows it!" John said. "Get her out of
here!" He turned to Michael. "Let's get up to the
If Janie was the least bit upset by how the police
escorted her away from the scene, she didn't show it:
she completed her report from the other side of the
yellow tape and then proceeded back to the WXPT News
studio to edit it for the noon report.
While she was doing this, the mail boy came in.
"Package for you, Miss Leland."
"Just put it on my desk," she said.
After a few minutes, curiosity overcame her and she
went over to see what was in the package. There was
no return address and all she found inside was a video
tape. She shrugged her shoulders and decided to put
it in her VCR.
What she saw wuld have shocked a lesser mortal: it
was Sean Cole making his final testament.
"You thought of me as just a pathetic boy," he said,
"but now I die flying like Extreme to inspire
generations to come."
Janie did one other thing that a regular mortal
would have done in this situation: she smiled.
"Guys, you need to look at this. It's about the
Sean Cole case."
Everyone in the precinct gathered around the
television as Naomi Chen turned up the sound.
>>You thought of me as just a pathetic boy, but now
I die flying like Extreme to inspire generations to
>>That was Sean Cole's last testament before he
jumped off of his building early this morning. This
has been Janie Leland reporting for WXPT News."
Detective Mary Bailey covered her mouth as if to
stop herself from screaming. Her eyes welled up with
tears. "Oh my God," she said.
"Did you see the news?" Water Lord asked.
"I did," Extreme answered.
"What have you got to say?"
Extreme shrugged his shoulders. "What do you mean?"
"I mean that it was only a year ago that Diane
"That was an accident."
"And now Sean Cole is dead."
Extreme's mouth dropped. "I had nothing to do with
"That's not what the public is going to think, is
it?" Water Lord asked him. "You need to learn how to
get the public on your side before this boils over."
"I've saved the entire planet many times over."
Water Lord stood up and leaned over his desk to get
a closer look at Extreme's face. "Remind them," he
said, "or else they could turn against all of us and
have this whole project shut down."
"Hello, I'm Beau Weinstein and this is 'Beau on the
Go'. With me today are my guests Alfred Wright of the
Extreme is God Society and Justin Lean of the Normal
People for a Normal America Society. They are here
with me today to talk about the apparent suicide of
Sean Cole this morning in Pepperton. Alfred, would
you like to begin?"
Alfred nodded. "Beau, let me just start by saying
that in no way could Extreme be held responsible for
"Oh for crying out loud!" Justin interrupted.
"Sean's manifesto clearly stated..."
"Can I finish?" Alfred asked. "Sean Cole was
clearly deranged and Extreme is just an easy target.
He could just as easily have gotten inspiration from a
"But he didn't, did he?" Justin asked. "He wanted
to fly like Extreme. That's what inspired him to jump
off that roof."
"He knew he was going to die," Alfred insisted.
"He was deranged," Justin insisted, "and he wanted
to emulate Extreme. That meant trying to fly."
"If he had been able to fly then he wouldn't have
"So that's his fault?" Justin scoffed. "If only he
had been able to fly then he wouldn't have died?"
"I didn't say that!"
"These supers in capes represent impossible ideals,"
Justin insisted, "ideals we couldn't possibly expect
to live up to!"
"What's wrong with inspiring to be better than what
you are?" Alfred asked. "If you reach for the ceiling
you can touch the ceiling but if you reach for the
stars then you might reach touch the clouds."
"And what if somebody feels inadequate because they
can't reach the stars and jumps off of a building in
frustration. What then?"
"We'll have to continue this fascinating discussion
after the break," Beau Weinstein said with a smile,
"because we now have to hear from our sponsors!"
"Just a minute! I'm a bit busy!"
Extreme stood there in Janie Leland's office feeling
a bit stupid. "Too busy to talk to me?"
Janie turned to see who it was. "Oh my God!"
Extreme nodded. "It's me."
"What do you want?"
"I would like a chance comment about what happened
"Okay," Janie said. "Go ahead."
"Live," Extreme said, "on the six o'clock news."
Janie nodded. "Alright. I'll speak to the news
"So, Extreme, what did you come here to say?"
Extreme nodded sadly. "I just want to say to any of
Sean Cole's loved ones out there that I feel sorry for
"Does that mean you accept responsibility for what
"Not at all!" Extreme insisted. "I just... I just
don't want people to see me as some kind of god."
"That is how some people see you," Janie pointed
"Yes, I know," Extreme said, "but it's wrong."
"I'm just a man with powers. That's all."
Janie nodded. "You can fly. You're invulnerable.
You even came back from the dead one time."
"I wasn't really dead," Extreme pointed out. "Zon
had sent me to another dimension."
"Are you denying that you've encouraged people to
see you as a saviour?"
Extreme shook his head. "I'm no saviour. "I save
people, yes, but I'm only doing what anybody else
would do if you had my powers."
"But ordinary people don't have your powers."
"No," Extreme admitted, "and that makes me special.
But it doesn't make me a god. A god would be able to
bring Sean Cole back. But I can't. Sometimes I feel
just as helpless as anybody else."
Edward looked at his wife sympathetically: he could
see she'd been crying.
"Mary, what's wrong?"
"It's this Cole case," she told him. "It's getting
"But you deal with death every day. You don't get
used to it?"
Edward shrugged his shoulders. "It's different for
me: I extract DNA; I run computer simulations. It's
real for you: you're around dead bodies; you're
talking to victim's families, to suspects. You don't
ever het used to it?"
"It's different," Mary said. "Sean was just a kid.
And he took his own life. How could anyone feel so
helpless as to take their own life?"
Edward nodded. "Our late teens and early twenties
are a tough time for all of us."
"Most of us don't kill ourselves," Mary pointed out.
"No," Edward said, "the vast majority of us make it
through. And that's something to be thankful for."
A demonstration had begun early that morning outside
of Extreme Force Headquarters, staged by the NPNAS
(Normal People for a Normal America Society). The EGS
(Extreme is God Society) staged a counter
demonstration within an hour of when the first
demonstration had gotten underway, so the police were
called in to keep the two groups separate.
The police weren't ready for what happened, however.
"I strike in the name of Extreme!" a man screamed
out and opened fire at the NPNAS demonstrators with an
automatic weapon that he had hidden under his jacket.
NPNAS demonstrators started dropping to the ground:
it wasn't clear who had been shot and who was simply
ducking for cover. Those who could ran away. EGS
demonstrators likewise backed off, not wanting to face
a madman with a gun.
Finally, one of the officers who had been sent for
crowd control managed to get a clear shot and took him
out. The officer approached the man as he lied on the
ground: blood was exsanguinating from an open wound in
"Somebody call an ambulance!" he said and then
wondered how his targets had fared. "Somebody call a
whole bunch of them!"
Officer Jeff Monroe had waited for Detective John
Phelps to arrive at the scene.
"What happened here?" John asked.
"I had to take a shot," Jeff told him, "and I
couldn't afford to miss because I could have hit
somebody in the crowd behind him."
"So you shot him in the chest?"
Jeff nodded. "Is he going to make it?"
"Probably not," John told him.
"I'm sorry," Jeff as he hung his head in shame.
"Don't be," John said. "You did what you had to
"This is the scene outside of Extreme Force
Headquarters this afternoon," Janie Leland reported,
"after twenty people, all members of the Normal
People for a Normal America Society were shot by
Charles Mason, a member of the Extreme is God Society.
Two people died and three are in critical condition
this afternoon at Pepperton General Hospital. Two
other people suffered minor injuries as the crowd
pushed against them in an effort to escape the
"Hello, I'm Beau Weinstein and this is 'Beau on the
Go'. Today we welcome back Alfred Wright of the
Extreme is God Society and Justin Lean of the Normal
People for a Normal America Society as this afternoon
we had a confrontation between their two respective
groups in front of Extreme Force Headquarters.
"Thank you, Beau. First of all, let me say that the
Extreme is God Society as a whole is in no way
responsible for the actions of Charles Mason, who just
happens to be one of our members."
"Nonsense!" Justin complained. "You're group is a
religion! You've diefied Extreme! And whenever you
have a religion you get extremists, fanatics and
fundamentalists who will inforce their point of view
with a gun!"
"None of us in the Extreme is God Society supported
"But you did support Charles Mason himself! You did
accept him as one of your members! That makes you
"Nonsense!" Alfred insisted on saying and then
reconsidered. "Look, we in the Extreme is God Society
apologize to the families of the victims for what
happened, but I remind everyone that what Charles
Mason stood for is not what we stand for!"
Just then somebody barged on to the set. "I want to
have the chance to speak," he said.
"Extreme!" Alfred said. "Let the man speak!"
"You're not going to like what I have to say,"
"Here, Extreme," Beau Weinstein said as he stood up,
"take my chair."
"Thanks." Extreme sat down. "I'm here to tell you
I'm not a god."
Alfred smiled. "You're just being modest."
"I'm not!" Extreme insisted. He then sighed. "I'm
"An alien?" Justin asked.
"I'm from a world known as Neon. The same world Zon
"But... but Zon is evil," Alfred said.
Extreme shook his head. "This isn't some fairy tale
where you have good people and bad people or, in our
case, good aliens and bad aliens. Zon was a madman
from my world and Charles Mason was a madman from your
world but they do not do what they do because they are
evil but rather they do what they do because they lack
the conscience that tells us that killing others is
wrong. They are mentally ill."
"No, no," Alfred insisted. "Zon represents all that
is evil and you represent all that is good."
"No," Extreme said, "I am a man, just like you."
"You're a man who can fly."
Extreme sighed. "Does your group worship me because
I can fly? That would be so shallow of you. Or does
your group worship me because you think of me as a
hero?" He looked at Justin. "Because I am a hero."
Justin scoffed. "If not for you, Diane Brenton and
Sean Cole would still be alive. And now you have as
many as five more deaths on your conscience!"
Extreme shook his head. "Neither of you understand:
I'm not all powerful! You can't expect me to save you
all the time! And I can't be blamed if I can't save
"Then what good are you?" Justin asked.
"What good are you? What good is anybody? We can't
measure our worth based on our failures: we have to
get by... we can only get by... by doing our best."
He paused. "I've saved this world time and time
again. But I don't ask to be worshipped. I'm only
doing what I would hope any of you would do in my
There was silence for a moment and then Alfred
"Why did you come here?" he asked. "To Earth I
Extreme nodded. "My world was destroyed by Zon when
I was still a boy. So, you see, I'm not your saviour.
I'm just an immigrant. A refugee. Just think about
that for a moment."
Cliff Murdock stuck his head into his boss's
office. "Hey, Alan, did you hear about what Extreme
said this afternoon on 'Beau on the Go'?"
District Attorney Alan Russell nodded. "Yes, I
"What did you think?"
"I admire the man for finally coming forward and
telling his story. Perhaps if he had done so to begin
with then we wouldn't have had so many people die
"Oh come on!"
"I'm serious! These supers have a responsibility
not to let themselves get worshipped that way!
Otherwise there could come a day when we willingly
allow them to lord over us... if that day hasn't
already come. And that wouldn't be right."
"Extreme doesn't want to lord over us. He just
wants to help."
Alan nodded. "Right. And when we need his help
then he should help us. Otherwise he should leave us
alone to make our own mistakes."
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