CONTEST: Superfreaks Season 3 #15: Kitbashing
martinphipps2 at yahoo.com
Thu Oct 29 22:42:41 PDT 2009
Michael King, Lana Lewis and Mary Bailey: crime scene
investigators. John Phelps, Mark Johnston and Tom
Jackson: police officers. Jack Greenspan and Edward
Bailey: medical examiners. Alan Russell and Roger
Roeper: lawyers. These men and women 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?
SUPERFREAKS SEASON 3 #15
9:45 PM: Guido's Italian restaurant
"Excuse me, I need to sit down here."
"Do you mind? We're having dinner!"
"I need to touch you."
"You're about to die. I need to touch you."
"Get away from me!"
The strange man reached out and touched the restaurant patron. He crumpled up and fell to the floor. His wife screamed.
"He killed my husband!"
"Calm down, please," Detective John Phelps told her. "Just describe what happened."
"We were having dinner and he sat down in the empty chair on my right. Then he told my husband he was about to die. Then he touched my husband and he fell to the floor. Now he's dead."
"Did his hand glow or anything?"
"Was there anything to suggest that he used any power on your husband?"
"He said 'I need to touch you'."
"Alright," Phelps said, "we'll be in touch." He then spoke to Detective King. "What do you think?"
"The evidence is more than just circumstancial," King said. "We have a witness that says he said he was going to die before he even touched him. If we don't arrest this guy right now then he could be a flight risk."
"I agree," Phelps said. He then went over to speak to the accused, a Mister Trevor Baldwin, who had been held at the scene all this time by angry restaurant patrons convinced that he was a murderer.
"Mister Baldwin," he said, "you're under arrest. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be held against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney then an attorney will be appointed to you by the court. Do you understand these rights?"
"Take him away." Officers Mark Johnston and Tom Jackson brought him to their squad car and drove him away.
10:01 AM: Precinct One (the next day).
"My client says he's innocent," public defender Roger Roeper told district attorney Alan Russell.
"Of course he does. How does he explain Mister Davison suddenly dropping dead from his touch."
"Your coroner said it was a heart attack."
"We also have witnesses that say that he reached out and touched Mister Davison before he died."
"My client was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time."
"Is that your defense?"
"Mister Davison was over fifty. People naturally die from heart attacks at that age all the time."
"We have a witness who says that he told him he was going to die."
"Are you claiming that was intended as a threat?"
"I'm claiming that your client was compelled to kill Mister Davison for reasons that we have yet to determine." Alan Russell took a quick look at the police report. "I see that your client is employeed as a male nurse at Pepperton General Hospital."
"So it seems that Mister Baldwin has chosen a profession that enables him to be around people when they die. I find that very interesting.
1:01 PM: Pepperton General Hospital
"I'm Detective Mary Bailey of the Pepperton Police."
"How can I help you?"
"Do you know a Mister Trevor Baldwin."
"Yes, he works here as a nurse. Why?"
"Well, Ma'am, Trevor Baldwin was arrested for murder last night."
"Murder? No, that can't be."
"Trevor Baldwin is a gentle soul. He cares about people."
"I see. Could you tell me exactly what he did here at the hospital?"
"He took care of terminally ill patients, staying with them day and night, comforting them right up until the moment they died. I never saw such dedication in a nurse."
"I see." Mary sighed. "I'm sorry, Ma'am, but I have to ask this. Is there any reason to suspect that Mister Baldwin was responsible for any of those deaths?"
"Absolutely not!" she insisted. "They all died of natural causes. Some of them were over a hundred years old."
Mary nodded. "Nevertheless, we will need a list of all the patients who died under his care along with a description of the official cause of death and autopsy reports, if available."
10:05 AM: Judge Kevin Matthews's chambers (the next day)
"Your honour," District Attorney Russell said, "I've been told that Mister Trevor Baldwin had over fifty patients die under his care during the five years he was working as a nurse at Pepperton General Hospital."
"I'm sorry, your honour," Public Defender Roeper argued, "but Mister Russell is wasting everybody's time with this indictment. My client is a male nurse who cares for the terminally ill. Of course his patients died!"
Judge Matthews nodded. "Are you seriously asking the court to indict him for over fifty murders, every single one of which have been deemed as due to natural causes?"
Alan Russell sighed. "I know, your honour, that it would be extremely presumptuous of us to claim that he was responsible for any one of the deaths at the hospital. But Frank Davison was a healthy fifty-one year old man out having dinner with his wife when Trevor Baldwin reached out and touched him on the chest. This is nothing circumstancial, your honour: we have witnesses that saw this happen and one witness, the victim's wife, who heard him say he was going to die before he even touched him."
"Mister Roeper? What do you say to this accusation?"
"My client continues to insist that he is innocent, your honour."
Judge Matthews nodded. "And yet the court needs to address the question of why he touched Mister Davison and why he said that Mister Davison was going to die."
Roger Roeper let out a deep sigh. "Well then, at least let us grant my client a bail hearing."
Judge Matthews shook his head. "Absolutely not. I'm going to deny Mister Baldwin bail here and now. If there's any change that Mister Baldwin is able to kill with a single touch then we can't let him walk free."
"But my client is to be considered innocent before proven guilty!"
"It's a matter of public safety," the judge told him. "In this case it isn't enough to show malice or forethought: if he can just touch a random person on the street and that person dies... then that's a risk I'm not willing to take."
"Can we set a date for the trial then?" Roeper asked.
"Would it be possible for each of you to have your witnesses ready by the beginning of next week?"
They both nodded and said "Yes, your honour."
"Then the trial will begin on Monday."
"Thank you, your honour," they both said.
"Mrs. Davison," District Attorney Alan Russell said, "could you describe what happened in Guido's restaurant a week ago Sunday night?"
Mrs. Davison nodded. "My husband and I were having dinner and he sat down in the empty chair on my right."
"Just to clarify, you are talking about the accused, Mister Trevor Baldwin."
"Well, yes, but I didn't know his name at the time. he was a complete stranger to me."
"Anyway, he then told my husband he was about to die. Then he touched my husband and he fell to the floor. The coroner said he died of a heart attack but my husband had never had heart problems."
"What exactly did he say to your husband?"
"He said 'I need to touch you. You're about to die. I need to touch you.' Then he touched my husband and he died. Then he looked at me and said 'I'm sorry'."
Everyone in the courtroom gasped.
"I see. Thank you. No more questions, your honour." Alan Russell went to sit down.
"Mister Roeper, do you wish to cross-examine?" Judge Matthews asked.
"Yes, I do."
Roger Roeper got up and approached the bench. "Mrs. Davison, how did your husband react when he was told he was going to die?"
"He was upset."
"He was just told he was going to die by a stranger who had just sat down next to us."
"I see. Did your husband often get upset?"
"What do you mean?"
"Mrs. Davison, hundreds of people die every day from heart attacks. They lead normal lives but then one day something happens that gets them excited and they die."
"That man killed my husband!" she said, pointing to Trevor Baldwin.
"Please, Mrs. Davison, calm down. Your heart..."
"Objection, your honour!" Alan Russell said, standing up.
"Sustained!" Judge Matthews said. "Mr. Roeper, please stick to asking questions."
"Of course, your honour." He continued. "Mrs. Davison, isn't it possible that what we have here is a self-fulfilling prophecy?"
"Allow me to explain: a self-fulfilling prophecy is a prophecy made by someone who claims to be able to tell the future but which then happens exactly as predicted simply because the prediction was made in the first place."
"I still don't understand what you are asking."
"I'm saying that your husband died simply because Mister Baldwin said he was going to die and the fear of death as Mister Baldwin approached him caused the heart attack."
Mrs. Davison hesitated. "But then he's still responsible for my husband's death."
"Arguably, perhaps, but in order for it to be murder Mister Baldwin has to have not only known after the fact that he was responsible for Mister Davison's death but also to have known prior to Mister Davison's death that he would be the cause. He saw that Mister Davison was going to die and perhaps your husband's fear of death is what caused the heart attack. But we cannot charge anyone with murder if all they did was scare someone."
"But he touched my husband. Surely, that's assault!"
"That's not what Mister Baldwin is accused of."
"Wait," the judge said. "Mister Russell, do you want to charge Mister Baldwin with one count of assault separate from the murder charge?"
"It seems to me that the accused has admitted to touching Mister Davison before he died. I am willing to let the jury decide if that alone constitutes assault."
"Very well." Judge Matthews addressed the jury. "The accused is hereby charged with one count of second degree murder and one separate count of assault. You may continue, Mister Roeper."
"Actually, your honour, I'm finished here."
Roger Roeper sat down next to his client.
"I want to take the stand," he told his lawyer.
"No! If you tell everyone the nonsense that you told me then you'll go to jail for certain!"
"I'm innocent! I didn't assault that man! I did a good thing!"
"By stealing his soul?"
"That's not what I did."
"That's what everybody is going to say."
"Look, because of me a little bit of Frank Davison lives on inside of me."
"Some people believe that that part of him was meant to go on to Heaven and not be stolen by you."
"I should get the chance to be heard."
"No! It's out of the question!"
"I can have you replaced! I can ask for another lawyer."
Roger Roeper nodded. "Alright. I'll call you to the stand this afternoon. But first we go over what you have to say. Alright?"
"Could you tell us your version of what happened?"
Trevor Baldwin nodded. "I was eating alone at Guido's restaurant when I noticed Mr. and Mrs. Davison. I can't explain it but I knew Mr. Davison was going to die right there and then. I've seen it so many times during my five years working as a nurse in terminal care at the Pepperton General Hospital."
"So what did you do?"
"I got up and told him he was going to die. Then I touched him."
"Because I knew at that very moment he was going to die. And I knew that when his life flashed before him that those images would get transfered to me if I touched him at that very moment."
"You are a telepath then?"
"Only at the moment of death. I absorb people's memories."
"It makes me a better person. The people who I cared for at the hospital: I knew they were all kind people who had done wonderful things during their lives. These things shouldn't be forgotten. I like to think that a part of each of them lives on inside of me. That's why I touched Mister Davison: so a part of his would continue on."
"I see. No more questions, your honour." Roger Roeper went to sit down. He had called Trevor Baldwin to the stand against his better judgment and hoped it wouldn't blow up in his face.
"Your witness, Mister Russell."
"Thank you, your honour." Alan Russell approached the bench. "Mr. Baldwin, what exactly are you taking from your vistims."
"They're not victims."
"Oh, sorry, but did they ask to have their memories taken by you?"
Baldwin hesitated. "Most people would want that."
"Oh really? Their private moments with their spouse? Their private moments alone? They want a stranger to collect those moments when they die?"
"I only take the good memories."
"I'm sure you do. I'm sure you get some perverse pleasure out of those good memories."
"That's not true!"
"You're telling us that you aren't somehow bringing these deaths about so you can steal their memories?"
"What is it that Mrs. Davison said you told your husband. 'I need to touch you'? Did you say that?"
"Why did you need to touch him. Why couldn't you just let him die. he wasn't your patient and he certainly hadn't given you any consent."
"I was doing a good thing."
"Oh really? Tell me, Mr. Baldwin, when you sensed Mr. Davison was going to die why didn't you call 911 and tell them that there was a man having a heart attack and that they needed to come as soon as possible? Maybe they could have saved his life!"
"I didn't know how he was going to die."
"Perhaps not but as a nurse didn't you have an obligation to try to save his life?"
"He wasn't my patient."
"Then don't get involved! Either let him die or try to save him but don't steal his memories without asking!"
"I'm sorry... but I don't think there would have been enough time."
"You don't know that. None of us know that." Russell moved closer. "But perhaps you didn't care. All you cared about what taking his memories! Stealing from him the one thing he had left!"
"No? What you've described, this lifting of memories from people at the point of death, it makes you a psychic vampire!"
"I quote: 'I need to touch you. You're going to die. I need to touch you.' Are you not feeding off of these people?"
"Then 'need' was an extremely poor choice of words, wsn't it?"
Trevor Baldwin hung his head in shame.
"No more questions, your honour."
"Does the defense wish to call any more witnesses?" Judge Matthews asked.
"No," Roger Roeper said, "the defense rests."
"Any closing remarks, Mister Russell?"
"No, your honour," Alan Russell said. "The prosecution also rests."
Judge Matthews nodded. "Very well, then." He addressed the jury. "You may deliberate as long as you deem necessary on the two counts, one of assault and one of second degree murder."
3:56 PM (the same day)
"Has the jury reached a verdict?"
"We have, your honour," the jury foreman said.
"What is the verdict?"
"On the count of second degree murder we find the defendent not guilty."
Trevor Baldwin breathed a sigh of relief.
"On the count of assaukt we find the defendent... guilty."
Trevor Baldwin nodded. "That's okay," he whispered to his lawyer. "Alan Russell was right. It was my duty to try to save his life and not take his memories against his will."
"Could you please approach the bench, Mr. Baldwin?"
Trevor Baldwin approached the bench.
"You've been found guilty of assault, Mr. baldwin. That is, however, a much lesser charge than murder. I am going to sentence you to time served."
"Thank you, your honour."
"However, based on what you've told us, with this stealing of memories, even if it is sometimes consentual, I don't recommend to Pepperton General Hospital that they hire you back on as a nurse."
"That's not a court order: I just can't imagine any of the patients relatives wanting you to take their loved one's memories."
"You're free to go."
As Trevor Baldwin turned around to leave the courtroom, Mrs. Naldwin screamed at him. "I know what you did! You killed him!"
Baldwin sighed. "He truly loved you, you know, so whatever you say to me, I won't get angry. I can't. Not with you."
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