Free Market Morality

Donald Dorrier checked his watch. It was 9:30.

This was to be his last job.

His assignment was likely standing on this train that was now screeching to a stop overhead.

He pulled his giraffe mask over his face, tightened his gloves, and gripped his brass & aluminum Mjölnir hammer. He hid underneath the stairs of the subway station. The 39th & Beebe station was the second stop in Queens when coming from Manhattan on the Q train, and it ran above ground after going through the Queensboro tunnel. People seldom got off at this stop, and the area around it was virtually deserted at this time of night.

Tired and heavy steps started coming down the stairway. Donald looked up through the openings between the stairs.

It was his assignment.

Donald looked at his Mjölnir hammer affectionately. He had just cleaned it an hour ago, and it was looking brand new. Twirling it around in his gloved hands, he admired the horns of Odin on one side of the metal, and the written message in runic-styled script on the other: “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.” He had purchased it from a year and a half ago for his business. A regular bat would have worked, but he had an unidentified image to uphold.

His assignment finished his trek down the stairs and turned the corner. He was walking down 39th Avenue towards 21st Street. He would turn left on 28th Street, where his studio apartment was, and there would be a few precious moments of relative quiet.

Donald waited. He knew exactly where his assignment was going, so there was no need to risk ruining the $5,000 job by following too closely.

Without fail, he had done three jobs per week for the past year and a half. He could squeeze in more jobs if he wanted to, but he preferred to keep his volume low so that he could concentrate on each assignment. It always took him at least two weeks to study the habits of his targets.

His business was simple: He beat the fuck out of employees that bosses didn’t like.

The boss would send an e-mail to an account, which forwarded that e-mail onto an unrelated account, which forwarded that e-mail onto an unrelated account, which would bounce the e-mail through random IP addresses, and then it would finally end up in his inbox. It would state the name of the person that he was to beat the fuck out of. Donald would in turn respond with a location at which the client was to drop off the $5,000 cash. He also gave a phone number to call once the client reached that destination. Donald would always give them the runaround once they arrived and called, making the person walk to a location down the street, call him when they got there, make them walk to a location down another street, call him when they got there, and so on. Donald would be watching them the whole time from a roof with his binoculars, making sure that there was no funny business going on. After the person was completely lost and he was sure that they weren’t being tailed, he would have them drop the money behind a trash can. He would watch the bundle for an hour before picking it up. And then the assignment would begin.

He would stalk the person for two-to-three weeks, and find the best time to get them. It always had to be in the streets, as Donald had morals: He didn’t believe in breaking into peoples’ residences.

His morals also kept him from beating the fuck out of people on weekends. People worked too hard, and they really needed to enjoy their two days off.

Donald cracked his neck and began his walk to 28th Street. A natural New Yorker, his steps were very fast-paced. He would catch up to his assignment in no time.

Sometimes his assignments were women. In fact, more than half of them were women.

Donald saw his target in seconds. He was walking very slowly on the sidewalk with his head down, oblivious to his surroundings.

When his assignments were women, Donald treated them no differently than men. His moral code held people of either gender to be equal.

Donald’s steps were still quiet as he crept up right behind his target. He would wait for the assignment to feel his presence, as it always added to the fear element.

His assignments were of all races: White, Brown, Yellow, Black.

His clients were always cowardly bosses without morals. The bosses usually wanted to fire the assignments, but were unable to for whatever reason. Often the employees were actually very good people, and it was the bosses who were assholes. Whatever the case, the boss figured that the best way to get rid of an employee while also making their life hell would be to give them an off-the-clock disabling. That was when they would e-mail Donald.

Donald’s assignment slowly turned his head and saw a giraffe-masked man standing directly behind him, brandishing an odd-looking hammer. Goosebumps seemed to rise from everywhere on the victim’s body. His underwear immediately became heavy and damp.

With a sideways heaving motion that was lightning-fast, Donald shattered the assignment’s left rib cage. The target crumbled to the ground, the only sound coming from his mouth being a sputtering set of gasps. Donald knew that the act of breathing for his assignment would probably be painful for quite a long time.

The victim groaned, rolling to his side without the broken ribs. Donald stepped on his right forearm, planting it on the ground. Then he raised his Mjölnir hammer high above his head and brought it crashing down on his assignment’s hand.

At that point, the assignment passed out.

His morals kept him from striking his assignments after they lost consciousness.

Donald quickly walked further down the sidewalk to where he’d hidden a camera behind a tree. His bookbag was also hidden there. He detached the camera from its tripod, took off his mask, and stuffed his bookbag with these items. He wrapped his Mjölnir hammer in bubble wrap and jammed it into a separate compartment of his bookbag.

Then he walked back to his target, who was still knocked out on the sidewalk. He wheezed through his open mouth with uneven breaths. Donald took the assignment’s cell phone from his pocket and dialed 911. When the operator picked up, Donald simply answered, “I’ve struck again.” And then he hung up.

His car was parked underneath the subway on 38th Street and 39th Ave. Steps away. He slipped into his car and sped away.

Without fail, he had done this same exact routine three times a week for a year and a half.

His house was in Canarsie, deep in Brooklyn. Once he got there, he ran down the stairs to his bottom floor apartment.

The whole one bedroom spot looked like an office. There was buzzing computer equipment, DVD players, and an old copier machine. There were ten thin packages in a stack on his desk, none of them sealed yet.

There was one more piece to be added to each of them.

Donald connected his camera to his computer. He then made ten DVD copies of the three-hour long video that the camera contained. Putting these copies into hard DVD covers, he placed each of them in the packages.

The contents of the package were print-outs of the original e-mails from his clients, with IP addresses written on each one of them. There was also a sheet that contained the username and password to his e-mail account.

The DVDs contained footage of his clients going through his obstacle courses to drop off their respective bundles money. The audio from the phone conversation served as a narrative to the darkly humorous scenes. Each of the scenes from these transactions was accompanied by the connected incident of him beating the fuck out of the victims. For comedy relief, Donald had also videotaped the bosses on the days after the beatings, usually out during lunch, with big victorious smiles on their faces.

Donald sealed the packages.

Each of them were addressed to different media outlets: CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, CNN, the Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The LA Times, and The National Enquirer. There was also a return address on each of them: The house that he was now in.

He placed them in the mailbox in front of his house. The news outlets would have them in a day or two.

And then Donald opened his freezer and took out a large duffel bag. In that bag was $1,170,000.

His morals kept him from depositing that money into the bank.

His morals also kept him from giving that money to charity, as it was money that had been earned in an uncharitable manner.

He walked the bag outside and threw it in the trunk of his car. There were already a few changes of clothes in there for him. And some hotdog sandwiches.

Leaving the Mjölnir hammer, the giraffe mask, and the fake identity of Donald Dorrier in the house for the police to soon discover, the vigilante started up his car and sped off. His work here was finished.

He looked one last time at his garage. He had spray-painted a special message for the people who would soon be crowding the apartment of the hammer-wielding giraffe man.