At a street corner in the south of Manhattan a yellow 1987 Chrysler sedan zips down the otherwise empty road. It throws a stream of water from the recent rain storm into the windows of a small convenience store, dampening a pair of recently pasted flyers advertising the latest dance sensation just down the street at the local club, a discounted price at the newly remodeled gym just across the street, and a poster of someone wanting information on the disappearance of a recent disappeared middle-school age girl. Her name is Victoria, she is blonde, 74 pounds, 11 years old, and has been missing for two weeks. The driver of the sedan does not see dilapidated state of these items, and in spite of his rush he still won’t make it to work on time, and unfortunately he does not factor much into the rest of tonight’s events, so we will leave him for the moment.
There was a cold rain storm earlier this evening so it is not unusual when a tall, lanky figure walks into the convenience store with a hood pulled up to cover the wearer’s face. He tries to pull the door to the shop open but it sticks for a moment, barring his otherwise graceful entrance. On a second attempt, after bracing and pulling with a little more of his weight, the tall figure is finally able to coerce the door into performing its designed purpose and enters the small store.
“Hi, how ya doing tonight?” The worker says. He is a short, red-headed man, just approaching his 40s and coming on an even 250 quite gracefully for his age. There is a small Gaelic knot tattooed just under his right temple and woven through the knot is a stylized number 7.
“Not so bad, this rain, man, I wish it would stop.”
“Is it raining out there? I don’t even notice these things anymore, know what I mean?”
The hooded figure nods in agreement. He walks to the liquor section, scanning the aisles as he passes. He slowly walks further and further from the clerk who is standing in front of the register near the entrance of the small store. He glances outside. The rain has started to come down harder again and there is a misty fog forming outside. After deliberating for a few minutes at the chip section the hooded man finally approaches the front of the store with a Vitamin Water in his hand and a small candy bar. When he is within 10 feet of the register, he pulls a small pistol from his waist, aims it up into the air and fires one.
“Show me the money!” he says. The redheaded clerk complies. This is the 4th time he has been robbed since he started working at this store 2 and a half years ago. He just smiles and hands over about $200. The owners’ insurance will cover it, and if it doesn’t, it still isn’t his problem. The hooded figure grabs the money and walks casually toward the exit.
“Have a nice day,” the redhead says.
The man in the grey hoodie walks through the rain for a block with his hands in his pockets. After about a block he unzips his hoodie and stands out in the rain. It is late enough in the morning that now there is starting to be a slight buzz of traffic. He hails the first taxi that comes down the road, pulls a twenty dollar bill out of the stack and hands it to the driver. His sits down and the taxi drives into the distance.
Two weeks ago a masked vigilante handed Emma Berzenfield back over to her parents after she had been missing for over a month. When asked why they waited until now to come forward and reveal the details of Emma’s mysterious return, Roger and Karen Berzenfield stated that this was at the request of the mysterious figure who returned their daughter. In order to remain anonymous he asked them to wait a reasonable amount of time before revealing that he was indeed the one who returned their daughter last month. When asked to describe the man they said it was very hard to tell, he was wearing a red mask with black circles over the eyes and a Captain America t-shirt. When we described this to some of our media experts they speculated that the mask was most likely the comic book character Deadpool, whether this has any particular significance is unknown. This is just the latest in a string of incidents that involve crimes being solved or prevented by a man in a mask. He has responded to emergency calls to help put out small fires, he has broken up fist fights without resorting to violence and apparently without any injuries to himself. Reports as far back as spring of last year show that while there is no known pattern to what mask he wears—they range from Spiderman and Captain America to a full mask of Albert Einstein—there is also no pattern of criminal activity related to this same masked man. To state it briefly, he appears to be only here to help. Several times people have offered him money for his services of bravery and assistance only to be turned down. One woman stated that when she insisted on giving him a twenty dollar bill for helping pick on her groceries when her shopping bags tore open and fell out in the street he took the money, but handed it right back to a homeless man who was sitting only a few feet away and witnessed the whole thing.
The question becomes who is this masked man and how do we thank him for his service. Is it really only one man trying to help people, or is there a gang of comic book style pacifist vigilantes? There is no record of more than one man in a mask being at any of these incidents so this along with eye witness assessments seen to suggest it is one man acting alone, with no known agenda other than a sincere desire to help make things better. I for one welcome this assistance.