Marvel SHOCK has grown out of my ashes of the Marvel Mayhem Universe (which was a very fine place to write) and become an inspiration for my own personal pocket of Marvel, mainly dealing with the human element often missing in superhero stories. Blue Barrier is about the men and women of law enforcement in a Marvel Universe.
All characters and places are owned by Marvel though the story & direction are mine.
“Can you state your full name and rank for me.”
The large African-American man with the moustache and the receding hairline huffed and leant forward to the recorder “My name, as you well know, is Howard John Snipes. I am a detective-second grade with the NYPD primarily with homicide, currently on leave.”
“Why is that?”
Snipes rolled his eyes as he snorted “I thought it was in my file? I am on mandatory leave due to a firearm discharge.”
The woman across the table looked up from her laptop, eyebrows raised as she looked over her glasses at him “You shot a man in the back.”
Snipes paused, reached for a glass of water and mumbled into it “No comment.”
“I’m sorry Detective could you speak clearly for the recording.”
“I said ‘no comment!’ as it is an ongoing investigation which is why I’m on leave.” Snipes banged the glass on the table.
“Well that is what we’re here to discuss detective,” She pushed up her glasses and taped on her keyboard.
“We prefer Internal Affairs Detective Snipes,” the woman smiled weakly.
“Whatever you want Lieutenant Manning.”
Manning smiled “Please Howard, call me Nancy. So in your own words please tell me about the incident at the Symkarian Building Society.”
Symkarian Building Society, eight weeks earlier
“God I feel good!” yelled Supercharger at the top of his lungs as electricity flew from his fingers into the roof exploding the fluorescent tubes. “Now hurry up with the money!”
The frightened teller stuffed wads into a bag as the villain in grey, brown and blue blasted a hole in a sofa “COME ON!”
She shakily held the bag out. Supercharger made a bolt of electricity dance across his fingers as he leered at the middle aged woman. “I could zap you into unconsciousness.”
Barely looking Supercharger flung a blast of electricity to the voice behind him. “Idiots, don’t they know who I am?”
Blam! Blam! Blam!
Supercharger screamed as the bullets ripped into his back and shoulders. An electrical field surged around him like a shield and bursts of lightning shot off in random directions. He slumped on the desk and looked over his shoulder to see a police officer pointing a smoking gun at him, blood splattered across the marble desktop.
“Stay down!” yelled the cop.
“%$#! &%U!” snarled Supercharger fumbling to support himself before collapsing at the base of the teller desk.
“You identified yourself as a police officer?” asked Lieutenant Manning.
“First thing I did. Electro then…”
“Supercharger. His name is Supercharger.” Manning corrected him.
Snipes shrugged and took a sip of his water “Whatever.”
“If it was Electro, you’d probably be dead. Please, continue.”
“He then attacked me with his…powers. Sparks and lightning stuff.”
“Were you hurt?”
“He wasn’t even looking. He missed, I didn’t. I responded with three shots.”
“Two people died Detective.”
“I nearly died Lieutenant.” Snipes reminded her deliberately using her rank instead of her name as he stared her down. “But yes two people died when he fritzed after I shot him. Which is why I’m on leave.”
Manning nodded and went back to typing “Why were you in the bank that day?”
“I was a block away Lieutenant, following a lead on a case when the all units call came through,” Snipes replied.
“What does that mean?”
Manning looked at him “Nothing.”
Snipes tapped the table in frustration “Anything else?”
Manning shut her computer “Not for the moment Howard.” Their eyes met again as she played his game back on him. “But don’t plan any overseas trips.”
Snipes stood up, his chair scraping across the floor. “I did my job. I did it properly.”
“And two people are dead.” Manning replied coldly “Doesn’t seem proper to me. We’ll be in touch.”
The Internal Affairs officer stood and left the interrogation room leaving Snipes alone.
Lowtown Bar And Grill
Detective Snipes took a seat in a booth at the Madripoorean steak house. It was quiet mainly as it was ten o’clock in the morning. A cute Eurasian girl looking like someone threw a hand grenade into an anime shop and knitted the remains together scooted over way too bubbly for ten o’clock.
“Hi hi!” she chirped as she flipped open her order device “Today’s specials are…”
“I’ll have the beef noodles and a Norbecker please.” Snipes handed the menu to her.
“Okay. Yeah. Sure.” She tapped in the order “Would you like…”
“Noodles and beer.”
“Uh-huh. Okay. Yeah. If there is anythi…”
“Okay. Uh-huh. Sure. I’ll be right back with your beer.” She smiled as only those in hospitality can when dealing with no nonsense customers and skipped off towards the kitchen. Snipes flipped open the Daily Bugle with Spider-Man and Green Goblin punching each other. “Times Scare…” Snipes scoffed as he flicked through it “You’d think Spider-Man was Jameson’s son the way he carries on about him.”
There was no mention of him, well it was eight weeks ago and in a city where mutants, gods, robots, aliens, mobsters and natural disasters occur on a daily sometimes hourly basis it was no wonder. Add that to a twenty-four hour news cycle, Twitter and other things, seems a cop shooting a costumed bank robber resulting in two dead is small fry. If he was Frank Castle though…
“Here’s your beer,” she almost sang as she put in down “Would you like a glass?”
“Bottle is fine.” Snipes grunted trying not to be swept up in her youthful exuberance.
“Okey-dokey! Anything else you just let me know.” And she skipped away.
The Punisher. Snipes shook his head as he sipped the beer. Frank Castle killed on an almost daily basis. Because it was “bad guys” the cops and the press took a shining to him. Snipes never understood that there was an acceptable level of killing due to the targets chosen. He turned the page to see a full page ad for S.H.I.E.L.D doing a recruitment drive.
Snipes sighed putting his beer on a coaster before looking up at the voice. Standing there was a young man with a blue tinge to his skin, wearing stylised motorcycle leathers and three small horns protruding from his forehead.
“It’s D-Boy!” He threw up some hand gestures like an epileptic rapper. Snipes rolled his eyes and looked over at the three men nearby holding cameras and a boom mike.
“Turn it off.”
“No can do pops,” smiled D-boy as he took a seat “Don’t hate a playa.”
“I don’t hate you An…”
“ANDREW!” Snipes shot up and glared at his son over the table “Turn off the cameras or I will turn them off!”
“Iz you trazy old man?” D-boy turned to the crew “Chillax fools.”
“All that money on your education and you speak like…” Snipes shrugged and sat down “I don’t actually know.”
“You hollered, what choo want?”
“Asides from you speaking like a human bei…”
“That’s racist! I am a mutant!” D-boy banged his chest like an ape “I represent!”
Snipes lashed out grabbed his son by the collar and dragged him across the table so they were nose to nose, “Andrew, mutants are still human! As soon as you and all your little powered friends realise that the sooner the world will be a better place. I also don’t care that you’re gay. What I do care about is you acting like a damn fool on television in this reality show!” Snipes threw his son back into his chair “Understand me?”
The father and son glared at each, the tension only broken when a plate of noodles landed in the middle of the table courtesy of the chirpy waitress. “Oh my god you’re D-boy from the Mutie World!”
Andrew cracked a smile yet still kept staring at his father “S’right gurl!”
“Can I get your autograph?”
Andrew broke the stare and looked at her “Lemme do this and then I got yur back.”
The waitress jumped on the spot clapping her hands before squealing and running back to the kitchen.
“So kill anyone lately?” D-boy jammed his hands into the noodles like a caveman.
“I knew this was a mistake,” Snipes sculled his beer and got up.
“Wastin’ my time,” D-boy flicked the noodles onto the floor “It’s been real pops but I gots a show to do.”
“Well see if you could swing by Mercy General if it fits in with your busy schedule.”
“You be trippin’ fool. I send peeps to tha hospital, I don’t go visitin’!”
Snipes looked at his son and sighed “Your mother’s cancer is back.”D-boy stood there mouth agape as Snipes walked off, “Thanks for lunch Andrew.”
Snipes sat besides his wife as she lay in the bed sleeping. She was pale, slightly emaciated from the cancer that was literally eating her from the inside. It was a blessing and curse that he was on leave. He got some time to see her, but mainly to watch her die as the cancer had returned the day he was suspended. It had metastasised meaning she essentially had ovarian cancer in her liver.
“Howie?” She tapped her husband’s hand gently.
“Hey.” Snipes smiled as he looked up from his own quiet nap. “How you feeling?”
“Amazing.” She wheezed and ran her fingers through his hair “Did you see Andrew?”
“Did you two fight?”
“I tried Ellie! That boy…”
“Is just like his father.” Ellie smiled “How is work?”
“Don’t care.” He gently kissed her on the head “Work is the last thing I want to talk about.”
Ellie held Snipes hands tightly as tears ran down her face, “I’m really scared Howie.”
Snipes’ eyes welled with tears “Me too. I don’t know what I’m going to do without you.”
1 Police Plaza, Office of Commissioner Jeffrey Piper
Commissioner Piper looked at the report and then up at Lieutenant Manning “Honestly, I don’t have time to read this. Are we keeping or dumping Snipes?”
Manning was taken aback for a second before regaining her composure “Snipes stays. There’s some recommendations abou…”
“Nancy, may I call you Nancy?” Manning nodded “Nancy, if you say he stays, he stays. I’ll sign off on it. Anything else?”
Manning wanted to slap him across the head. It was these kinds of “I’m too busy for this” people in the department that led to corners being cut. Corners cut lead to liberties taken, which lead to corruption. Corruption starts small and grows from there like cancer. But he was the Commissioner appointed by the Mayor. Nancy would just wait and watch and if it all went sour like it so often does; she’d be waiting to slap the cuffs on him. Mentally she made a note.
“That will be all.” Piper went back to the piles of paper on his desk.
To be continued…
* Detective Snipes never had a first name until now, named after his creators from his first appearance in Spider-Man #88 http://marvel.wikia.com/Snipes_%28Earth-616%29
* Detective Snipes wife & son are my creations (though Andrew/D-boy's appearance is based on Jazz) as is Lieutenant Nancy Manning, Symkarian Building Society and the LowTown Bar And Grill
* Jeffrey Piper http://marvel.wikia.com/Jeffrey_Piper
* Norbecker is a fictional beer from the movie Beer http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088781/