11 PM on a Friday night in November in Boston was typically cold. Today, however, was unusually warm for the time of year, and The Night found herself glad she no longer sported a full-head hood. Good for secrecy; not so good for the heat.
She was patrolling the area near Fenway, a place she liked – the streets weren’t that wide, the people were fairly friendly, and then two nights ago she’d perched on the Park itself to watch a concert, and was surprised when the lead singer spotted her waaaay up there, pointed, got a cheer, and dedicated a song to her. Sure, it broke the mystique of the Dark Vigilante to be seen holding up a flashlight (instead of a lighter) at a concert, but maybe the mystique didn’t need to be quite so strong.
“There goes my hero, watch her as she goes,” she sang softly to herself, remembering the song and the stadium singing, and smiling.
It was at this moment she noticed a trio down below, and landed on top of the roof. The directional mikes in her new goggles kicked in, and she was able to hear much better as the man facing two college students spoke in an almost-bored tone:
“This is a mugging.” She noticed the knife he had, the hand he had out, and the ….complete lack of worry in the faces of the young man and woman facing him.
“I’ve got no cash, sorry, man.” replied the man.
“Do you have a credit card?”
The hand not holding the knife dug into the jacket, and pulled out a mobile phone. “Square? How much would you carry?” he asked in that same almost bored tone.
“Maybe thirty bucks?” The mugger tapped on the phone for a moment, then held out the phone. The guy shrugged, pulled out his card, swiped it in the card reader attached to it, and then tapped on the screen.
“Thank you,” said the mugger, putting his knife away, and continued down the street. The couple looked at each other, shrugged, and walked the other way, with a weird story to tell later.
The Night dropped down to ground level and followed the mugger. He wasn’t clean, that was for sure – she could smell him from ten feet away, and the clothes were tattered and wrinkled. He turned into an alley and she followed, seeing him walking towards a box reinforced with some plastic tarps and plywood. She cleared her throat before he went in, and he turned.
“Oh. Vigilante. I surrender,” he said, pulling the knife out of a pocket by the blade and dropping it on the ground. It made a distinctly non-metallic clunk as it hit the ground. Something didn’t add up to mugger here. It added up to a sad, broken man.
“What’s your name?” she said, gently.
His face shifted. “Um. I don’t know.” He blinked. “Can I get my card?” She nodded, and he pulled out a card, and showed it to her.
“It …sounds right? I guess.” His voice still had that tone – not bored, but just unemotional. His mind had somehow been broken. She nodded again.
“I’m going to make a phone call, and have some friends come. They can help you.”
She pulled out The Night’s phone, and then paused. “Where did you get the phone?”
“A man gave it to me. And the knife. He said that I could get some money.”
She nodded, then kneeled down to touch the knife. It was painted wood, and the blade was spring-loaded – a stage knife. It wouldn’t hurt anyone. The Night shrugged, and made the call.
“Yes. Monsignor des Champes, please. I’ll hold.” What was the point of having the phone number of arguably the most influential member of the Roman Catholic Church in the USA, one assigned here to clean things up, if you couldn’t use it from time to time?
“Monsignor? The Night. I need some assistance for a person in dire need…”
Half an hour later and a few blocks away, on a screen in a van, a man watched as another van pulled up to the alley, taking Edward in. A man in a cassock could be seen stepping out and talking briefly to The Night, and then climbing back in and departing.
He picked up his mask, pulled it on, then put the beret on top.
“Such compassion. If only more felt it. Ah well, that’s why I’m here.”
Mister Blasphemy opened the side door of the van and stepped out in into the parking garage. St. Cecelia’s was right there and it needed a touch of …redecorating, he thought.