Fiction: Against the Caped Crusader

(A man and a woman are sitting in front of each other on a stage as the audience looks on and a couple of cameras pan across the stage. A massive sign behind the two people on stage says: 30Mins. The show goes on air and the audience starts applauding, the camera zooms in on the two people.)

Mayoral Candidate Williamson: (Putting down his glass of water, looking focussed) Hello Melissa. Thank you for having me.

Interviewer Melissa: (Seated opposite Williamson, holding a stack of cards) It is my pleasure to have you on this show. I am sure that I speak for myself, the people at home and the people joined us here live today in the studio that we have been looking forward to hearing from you.

W: (Smiles a bit nervously)That is nice. I would imagine that there will be a lot of tough questions waiting for me then.

M: (Chuckles)Yes. However, let’s get the formalities out of the way first then shall we? If you could speak to the camera and introduce yourself to the people who have never heard of you?

W: (Looks at the camera, clears his throat)My name is John Williamson, and I am currently running for the Mayor of this blessed city you all call home. I have been the district attorney of this city before, elected by all you diligent citizens, and I would like to be the mayor to deal with the problems that have been festering in this city for so long.

M: (Immediately pouncing) By problems, you mean the Caped Crusader right?

W: (Without missing a beat himself) Yes, one of the promised changes in my campaign is to finally apprehend the vigilante, the Caped Crusader.

M: Why do you think that he needs to be captured? I mean he has done a lot of good in the city.

W: (Nonplussed) Has he though? Think about in the last few years the amount of people put in jeopardy because some madman thinks it will be fun to toy with the Crusader. The property damage, the blatant disregard for the law, the numerous felonies committed all in the name of justice. I don’t believe anyone should be above the law, whether they think they are doing something good or not.

M: (Tilting her head to the left, the side where her earphone is sitting in) But he has helped put so many criminals behind bars. I, and a lot of citizens in this city, feel safer at night knowing that there is someone looking out for them.

W: How do we know if they are criminals? Are we supposed to believe a masked man’s judgement? If you or me beat a person to an inch of their life and tell them to confess to a crime so that the beating stops, will that person not confess? That is not justice, that is torture.

M: (Opens her mouth but stops as there is a collective gasp from the audience.) No one is denying that his methods are not unlawful….

W: (Cuts in this time) But you and everyone else is happy to feel safe if it means that someone else can be tortured in the streets?

M: (Struck speechless, the audience members start whispering amongst themselves. She turns to the camera) We will pick up this conversation right after the commercial break.

(The camera pans away from the stage as the show goes on commercial. W and M look at each other, W nods at M feeling awkward. The show comes back on air)

M: (Waiting for the audience to stop their applause) Hello everyone, I am your host Melissa Gordan and I am joined here by the controversial mayoral candidate John Williamson.

W: (Nods at the camera and the audience as the audience claps).

M: (Looking back at W) So, before the break we were discussing your perspective on the Caped Crusader. However, if you don’t mind, I would like to talk about your personal life.

W: (Slightly perplexed)Um, yes sure. What would you like to know?

M: (Smiling) You went to school in the city’s own St Mary’s School for Boys right?

W: (Nodding) Yes, I did. I still remember that school, the color of the walls. Sister McDonald teaching us Science before the break and after the break teaching us Bible Studies.

M: (Laughing now) That must have been very confusing time. Plus, Catholic schools are known for their discipline and we can see the result of that right here. (Laughs for the camera)

W: (Blushing now, looks at his feet) Ah you are too kind. I was a kid back then, I was not always so disciplined and focussed as I am now.

M: (Head tilts to left) Yes, was that around the time when you met Tony Kingsley?

W: (Head snaps up) Tony? Um what has that got to do with this?

M: Ah. So for the audience who are not aware, Tony along with the Kingsley family were recently arrested in a RICO case.

W: (Purses lips) I did not know that.

M: (Gives a sympathetic smile) Then you also must have not been aware that the Caped Crusader has been instrumental in their arrest.

W: (Leans back in his chair, frowning) I see.

M: The police has been trying to arrest the crime family for years now, and every time they get close, they lost their progress. It was due to the Caped Crusader that the police were able to uncover the evidence.

W: Tell me M, (looks at the earpiece), have they been proven guilty yet?

M: (Tilts her head even more) The trial is still ongoing.

W: (Expecting this answer) So they have not, despite some hard evidence that the family was involved in illegal activity.

M: (Shifts in the seat) I am not involved in covering that case for our network, but I am happy to get that information for you.

W: (Waves his hand) No need. Cause I will tell you what will happen: eventually the district attorney will have to present this crucial evidence to the court. And he will have to state how the police got that evidence.

M: (Impatiently) Yes that is how the court works.

W: (Leans forward) The judge throws that evidence out of the court as the Caped Crusader is not the hand of the law. He obtained that evidence, most likely through torture.

M: (Speechless)

W: So tell me Melissa, what is the point of having that evidence if it blows our case against supposed crime families?

M: (Tilts her head again) I would like to discuss your familiarity with Tony Kingsley Mr Williamson. How well did you know him?

W: (Shakes his head) The Caped Crusader has arranged himself such that no one can question what he does, we just have to put our faith that he is doing the right thing.

M: Is it true that you and he have met shortly before he was arrested?

W: The Caped Cru…? No I did not meet Tony, I mean Mr Kingsley. I have not seen him in a long time.

M: During your tenure as a District Attorney, did you not have any contact with Kingsley crime family?

W: I had hundreds of cases. The allegations against the Kingsley family have not been proven in court yet, so you can’t call them a crime family.

M: (Looking smug)

W: (Licks lips, goes to pick up his glass of water).

M: (Looking at the camera)I think this would be a great time for a commercial break. We will be back soon.

(The show cuts to a commercial break. W asks for another glass of water, M stands up and walks around, her hand pressed  against her left ear. W looks deep in thought. The camera announces show is back on in 10. M sits back and takes a sip of water herself, cameraman signs 3, 2, 1. Show is back on air. Audience members start clapping on queue).

M: (Looking at the camera and smiling) Hello everyone and welcome back to this exciting episode of 30Mins. My guest is Mayoral Candidate John Williamson.

W: (Smiles at M) Thank you.

M: (Looks at W) I would like to continue talking about you and Tony, and by extension the Kingsley family.

W: (Nodding) I would be happy to talk about that too, but I would also like to talk about your obsession with the Caped Crusader.

M: (Frowning) Obsession?(Tilts her head towards the left) Anyway, I would like to know when did you last meet Tony?

W: I don’t remember when I last met Tony. I could have met him in a courtroom long ago, but like I said, I had too many cases to remember anyone. If you would like to refresh my memory?

M: (Opens her mouth) Yes….

W: (Continues as if M hadn’t spoken at all) Anyway, the Caped Crusader. If you agree with his methods, his blatant disregard for our constitution, I would like to think it is not because you think his is doing something good. I believe that you support him because you can sit back and let him clean up the streets while you can interview people like me who are actually trying to bring about a change.

M: (Clearly uncomfortable with the attack) I don’t think you are making any sense. Back to Tony, according to our records you met him a couple weeks ago. It was an official meeting in your office, just a week prior to his and the Kingsley family’s arrest. (Tilts her head again) As a district attorney you would be aware of his impending arrest would you be not?

W: Your acceptance with what the Crusader does means that you don’t have to stand up to bring a change. Police can sit back and not do their jobs because a masked man will hunt down people committing crimes in the street.

M: It was not after Kingsley crime family’s arrest that you announced a run for the mayor.

W: Again, they are not a crime family. Back to the Crusader, I sometimes wonder how could one man afford his gadgets, his technology. Either, ironically, he has stolen all of it or he is someone who has access to a lot of money himself. I wonder how much good he could do if he donates that money instead of trying to take it on himself to (air-quotes)clean the streets….

The screen is turned off. In the monitors reflection, the Caped Crusader looks at his own stony face.