By Stephanie Lang for the Mountain University Journal
Superheroes are a popular subject these days in Night Mountain, New Mexico; especially with the rising of a vigilante crime fighting group that call themselves The Thunderbirds. They plunged into the limelight when appearing on the scene of the University Riots a month ago, where they stopped looters and got many bystanders out of the area. This group of amateur vigilantes seem to have no affiliation with our neighboring city’s own crime fighter which they have dubbed the Silver City Sentinel. There are also reports of a vigilante in New York City who has been leaving criminals on the door steps of the NYPD.
Many in Night Mountain expressed annoyance at the appearance of the Thunderbirds at the University Riots. “They should just let the police handle it, thats why the taxpayers pay for!” said Councilmember Vontell Cox, “Majority of my constituents are upset and afraid. They don’t know what these vigilantes are going to do, who they might target, or better yet who might try and go after them. If this gang of lawbreakers continue to operate, will the streets be any better or worse? My constituents want safety, the want reliance. We can’t depend on these faux do-gooders!”
As the issue of vigilante crime fighting heats up, I wanted to sit down with one of these crime fighters and find out what they have to say for themselves and to the community. Through many backchannels and sheer luck I was able to meet with a member of The Thunderbirds calling himself Night Berserker. Below is the conversation that followed.
SL: Okay, the first question the people want to know is, what’s your true Identity?
NB: Night Berserker
SL: [Laughing] No, who are you during the day?
NB: A person
SL: [chuckle] Okay, fair enough; how did you get into crime fighting?
NB: I punched a criminal in the face and it started from there.
SL: Wow, that’s pretty blunt. Were you out looking for a fight that time or did it just come up? Gimme some details…
NB: It just happened.
SL: What do you mean it just happened?
NB: I just happened to see the crime going on and I wanted to stop it.
SL: What crime was it? What was going on?
NB: Don’t want to go into it the specifics of it. Don’t want to get caught because I decided to talk to you. I will just say that the crime wouldn’t have happened if we didn’t let other things go on.
SL: You said you don’t want to get caught, so why take the chance? What is in this for you?
NB: A chance to tell the public what is really going on. There is a war in Night Mountain but we are not the cause nor the villain, we are a third party to rally the oppressed. But currently, the city doesn’t see us as that. They see us as the bad guys, as the villains in their own stories. We want to change that, we want citizens to feel safe and secure. We want them to know that we are on their side.
SL: So you want to help Night Mountain, why? What motivates you to keep on stopping crime?.
NB: I’m not the crime fighting, superhero type; for one both of my parents are alive and well. The stereotypical superhero is an orphan; I’m so opposite of that. I didn’t have a troubled upbringing at all, my life was actually kinda normal and boring. I wouldn’t stand out in a crowd even if I wanted to, I like it that way though.
SL: So why become a crime fighter if you wanted a normal life?
NB: There has been a rise in the crime rate and it had been bothering me. So I took the first time as an opportunity to start the crusade against the principalities of this city. I want to be part of the solution not the problem.
SL: That’s inspiring.
NB: Good, I want to inspire others, not to be a vigilante but to be a good Samaritan. I want others to feel empowered to step out and stand against the grain of society. That is what’s at that heart of all this Stephanie; we saw a problem that society was letting go and we are standing against it.
SL: Earlier you said you “want to be part of the solution not the problem”; some people see you as part of the problem, what do you say about that?
NB: I understand people are afraid, that is a natural response to something new, to situations changing. What I don’t understand is why people are more afraid of us then they are of their neighborhood friendly gangbanger and cracker dealer. Why do the citizens loath us but except the weapons dealer and drug smuggler. We are tired of people accepting what is wrong with this town even if it doesn’t threaten their way of life directly. All this stuff is so under the covers, covered up that people have accepted that it just disappeared and it hasn’t. Does no one remember why the University Riots started?
SL: Didn’t you have part of the blame with that?
NB: No. It was the criminal activity and the inability of the University President, Allan Woods, to do anything that sparked the Riots. It started off peaceful but then something sent people off into mayhem. We had nothing to do with it. If anything we empowered the students of the University to stand up for themselves and not to put up with the criminal activity happening at the University.
SL: You make it sound like the University was unsafe, was it?
NB: It very much was! I saw reports about assaults or attempted rapes, robberies and vandalism. Now is a place going to be perfect, no; but if there is something happening everyday on campus something should be done. But for a month I saw no response by the University leaders, they stayed silent. No longer!
SL: So your mission is very much to help the city, not for kicks and giggles?
NB: Right, I wouldn’t do this to get famous; I would do a lot of other things besides this if that was my only reason. But I love this city, I like living here. I love the history, I love who we are as people of Night Mountain, and I want to protect that. I want to protect the citizens from the filth that is out there.
SL: You talk about the crime like it’s centered around something or someone. Do you have information about their being a gang in Night Mountain? Historically we have never had…
NB: Right we have never had gangs in Night Mountain, but that can change and that has changed. Someone has let these people in and we will find who that is.