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The Train Guardian

posted Feb 7, 2018, 2:31 PM by Viktor Zólyomi   [ updated Feb 7, 2018, 2:31 PM ]
The following article by Jonathan Parker was originally published in the Con City Times

Chaos and anarchy have taken hold of the streets of Brickton in wake of the recent manhunt for the vigilante known as the Train Guardian. Last night, twenty police officers in pursuit of a suspect whom they believed to be the Train Guardian were attacked by a mob of one hundred and fifty-two civilians. The suspect evaded capture, while most of the police officers have been hospitalized with serious injuries. Their attackers remain at large, and Brickton Police are already considering calling off the manhunt for the Train Guardian.

`Honestly, this manhunt was doomed to turn into a catastrophe,' said Detective Robert Corino, the head of the Train Guardian Task Force at Brickton PD. `People love the Train Guardian. He keeps our trains safe in a time when Brickton city officials couldn't care less about the railway. As soon as the press got wind of the manhunt, it was simply a matter of time before the people would rise up to protect their hero.'

The Train Guardian is Brickton's most well known vigilante. At large for over five years, he patrols the grounds of Brickton Central armed with a baseball bat and beats up anyone who does not have a valid ticket. Despite his status as a local folk hero, a manhunt was called for his capture four days earlier after he assaulted the Chief of Police at Brickton Central station. While the Chief is being treated at Brickton General Hospital in a medically induced coma, Mayor Stanley Greekhorse himself called for the manhunt, stating that `figures of authority cannot be assaulted without consequences, especially the ones on my payroll.' Mayor Greekhorse insisted that the Train Guardian be captured and made an example of, which prompted the Train Guardian Task Force of Brikcton PD to lay a trap for the vigilante.

Last night the Task Force sent an undercover police officer to Brickton Central to attempt to board a train without a valid ticket. He was confronted by a figure in a trench coat, wearing a balaclava under a wide brim fedora, and carrying a baseball bat. The undercover officer made a run for it and led the suspect towards nineteen of his colleagues. When the Train Guardian spotted the ambush, he turned tail and ran into the train yard, where he succeeded to elude his pursuers but was spotted leaving the train yard and running towards the town center. The police officers chased him on foot until they were intercepted by a group of one hundred and fifty-two civilians, all of whom wore trench coats with hats and carried baseball bats. A brawl ensued which allowed the suspect to escape. Sixteen of the twenty police officers caught in the hands of the mob were hospitalized with broken bones, concussions, and shattered teeth; the remaining four officers suffered mild bruises, and two of them sprained their ankles. The assailants fled the scene and left their baseball bats behind, all of which had the words `We are all the Train Guardian' glued on them using words cut out of newspapers and magazines.

`This kind of public support is admirable,' said Detective Corino about the incident. `Of course we have to prosecute all of those people for assaulting members of Brickton PD, which we will as soon as we identify and apprehend them, but nevertheless the unity and fighting spirit of these people is truly inspiring. This is what the Train Guardian does. He protects our trains and brings people together. He creates community spirit. You ask me, we shouldn't be chasing the poor man at all. But the rules are the rules, and we can't have vigilantes assaulting police officers. Although, given the Train Guardian's M.O., he must have had good reason for beating up the Chief. Who knows, maybe the Chief actually tried to board a train without a ticket.'

The speculations of Detective Corino seem to be seconded by an article published in the Brickton Herald the day before the clash between Brickton Police and the Train Guardian's supporters. In the article, Brickton Central's Superintendant Marcia Knowles was interviewed about the attack on the Chief of Police. `We have no witnesses to what happened, since the Chief of Police was the only passenger on the train to Con City,' she said. `What we do know is that the ticket office has no records of anyone purchasing a ticket for that train. And that a member of the train crew on the service to Con City said that the Chief flashed his badge to her and stated that he was there on police business before taking a seat in first class.'

Whether the Chief of Police truly meant to get a free ride on the train remains unknown, and the Train Guardian remains at large. Mayor Greekhorse has urged Brickton Police to `either catch the bastard or cease the manhunt' the moment he saw the estimated medical bills of the injured police officers.