Entry Eleven: Eh? Ah, Don’t Worry

I don’t like concerning people about my own personal affairs. I guess I can consider this vigilante thing a personal affair. Thanks to that, I decided to not see Derek because I knew the stab wound would alarm him. It didn’t end well.

Josh didn’t respond well to me coming home the way I did. He immediately pestered me about calling 911 and stuff, but I talked him out of his panic. Even so, I could see the fearful look in his eyes as he saw his big sister in pain. I tried staying strong so that it wouldn’t bother him as much. It’s not like I nearly died or something.

It was fairly easy to get the stab wound treated and wrapped up at the local clinic. I had to go to the clinic; it was cheaper, and they wouldn’t question me about my wounds as much as the hospital or elsewhere would’ve. A lot of injured gangsters ended up there, so they probably figured I ran into some gang activity or something. Sometimes I wondered if they were, well, legal, but I didn’t care much. It wasn’t like I was getting drugs from them or something. Legality doesn’t concern me as much as righteousness. It’s better to do what’s right rather than what’s lawful. If it overlaps, great. If it doesn’t, oh well.

I decided to take a day to chillax at home. Derek called me, but I didn’t answer. I didn’t want to have to lie over the phone. My voice would crack right away, and he’d be banging down my door in a minute.

However, I forgot that he usually stopped by whenever I didn’t return his calls.

After a while, there was a knock on the door. Josh must’ve ran over and opened the door because when I emerged from my room Derek was standing in my living room with his arms folded. To make matters even worse, I was wearing a tank top and shorts. He could clearly see the bandages and bruises.

“Okay, you DEFINITELY have some explaining to do, Trix.”

Well fuck. I tried playing the injuries off.

“Eh, don’t worry about it, it’s just scratches y–“

“Scratches my ass! Your shoulder is covered with thick bandaging! Why?!”

He pointed at the injured shoulder. My hand rubbed the designated spot nervously.

“Errr…I fell?”

“Bullshit.”

He stepped closer to me.

“I’m sorry I didn’t show u–“

“Don’t change the subject. What. Happened.”

My eyes glanced over at Shortstop. He was sitting on the couch as he glanced back at me. I knew he wasn’t going to say anything about the heroic stuff, and I already told him what happened, but nonetheless I nodded my head towards his room. Munchkin ran off in response.

“Let’s sit down, Derek.”

His glare didn’t break for even a second as we both sat down on the couch. My best friend gazed into my eyes as he silently awaited his answer. I knew there was no way out of this. Sighing lightly, I gave him an explanation.

“These bandages are covering a stab wound.”

“Don’t tell me your parents found you.”

So that’s what he was worried about. I could at least ease his anxiety by truthfully denying that this had anything to do with my parents.

“No, nothing to do with them. If it was, either everything here would be packed in boxes, or Josh wouldn’t be here. It had to do with a gang.”

“Gang? Which fucking gang hurt my sis?”

“Blood Princes. I intruded on their turf and paid the price. A couple of the members beat the shit outta me, and one of them stabbed me with his knife.”

Technically what I was saying was true. I definitely was on their turf, and I did tick them off. The only thing I wasn’t revealing was the whole vigilante business. Derek of course didn’t need to know that. I could tell the guy was displeased. A perpetual frown remained on his face as he gently touched my shoulder.

“You need to be more careful where you parkour next time. I’m not letting this bullshit happen to you again though. Imma call up some of my connections and get you some protection.”

“I don’t need an escort.”

“But you do need people that’ll watch your back. I’ll see if I can do anything to keep those asshole Princes in check.”

He steadily stood up and pulled out his cell phone. Before he dialed, he gazed at me once more.

“I gotta admit though, I’m glad it was the Blood Princes and not the Inferno Dragons. I don’t know what the hell turf they have, but they’ve been burning up everything ya know. If you ran into them, I’m sure you would’ve been burned to a crisp.”

He rubbed his eyes in mild frustration.

“I’m heading out now, but YOU missy better relax and let those wounds heal.”

“Yeah yeah, I’ll take it easy.”

“You better. I’ll see if I can get any information on the Inferno Dragons. I always like having a map of Downtown Haven. I don’t like seeing ambiguity like this. That usually means war, and that’s painful for all of us Downtown folks.”

“Ya don’t need to tell me that. I know damn well the kinda shit that happens.”

“I’ll check in on ya later, Trix. And Sis?”

I tilted my head in confusion. “Yeah?”

“You really need to stop getting black eyes. They make you look like a panda.”

We both laughed as he left the apartment. If only he knew.

Entry Ten: For The Wrong Reasons

Like I said before, I needed some things before I could fight the Inferno Dragons. One of them was a disguise. I decided to start off with the hardest item first.

In order to get gang “uniforms”, you generally have to be within the gang. This means going through the rituals and possibly either humiliating yourself or putting yourself in harm’s way. It’s especially….challenging for females. For probably obvious reasons, I didn’t want to bother with any of that crap. However, this meant I needed to do a covert operation much like the one I did before. I didn’t have a new bat yet, but I had to wait until next paycheck in order to buy one. I figured that Parkour and Street Gymnastics would surely help me get the disguise.

Well, it was a lot more complicated than that. Blame the Blood Princes.

I was surveying the area via rooftops when I noticed that burning smell once more. Instinctively I followed the smell, hoping to save some unfortunate civilians caught in a fire. Another building fire blazed out of control, but this one felt different. A bad feeling washed over me as my eyes gazed into the flames. Something was not right about this place. However, I had to act right then and there if I wanted to help anyone. So I ignored the feeling and climbed into the building via a window. I burnt my hands in the process. I helped some little kids exit the building safely out to where the authorities and their parents were. When it appeared the building was vacated, I lightly smiled and turned towards the open window.

Suddenly something clubbed me upside the head. I blacked out.

When I woke up, I was surrounded by the Blood Princes. My hands were cuffed against a pole. I lightly struggled against my restraints to no avail. I had no weapon; even if I did bring a bat, it probably would’ve been confiscated.

I was in shit creek without a paddle.

The leader of the Blood Princes walked over with a sharp knife in his hand and a makeshift crown on his head. He had the hands of a fighter and the eyes of a scorned man. My breathing became erratic as I glared at him with my black eyes. He chuckled at me before he punched me across the face.

“So this is the Panda Bitch everyone’s been rambling about. Don’t look so tough without your bat, eh?”

The sleazeball coped a feel as he observed my physical build.

“Skinny….paler than a ghost….how the fuck did a runt like you beat my thugs?”

“This runt has a brain.”

“And a name.”

“A name I’m not gonna give ya.”

“Even when threatened with death?”

“You won’t gain shit by killing me.”

He growled under his breath. “Clever bitch.” The knife thrust into my shoulder. A sharp pain ran through my body as the blood leaked from it. I didn’t even flinch, and the boss didn’t like that very much. This was probably the kind of guy that liked to hear his victims scream. I wasn’t giving him the satisfaction of seeing me in visible pain. I noticed my body felt bruised and battered. They were probably beating on me while I was unconscious.

“So little lamb, are you gonna tell me what I wanna know?”

“Sorry, I don’t date gangsters.”

That earned me another punch across the face and a kick to the gut. Still I sat on the ground as I stared at my captor.

“You were hired by the Inferno Dragons. Why?”

Wait what? That part confused me. I raised an eyebrow at the leader. My confusion only infuriated him further.

“You know what I’m talkin’ ’bout bitch! What are you planning?!”

“I think you got the wrong information, because I ain’t planning shit. Well, that’s not quite accurate. It’s more like I’m not doing shit for those Infernal Dragons.”

“Don’t bullshit me!”

“I’m not. I don’t fight for gangs; I fight for the people.”

“‘The people’?”

“You know, the ones you terrorize with your crimes. Civilians.”

Mumbling occurred among the gangsters. The Blood Princes were discussing the authenticity of my statement. For some reason, they were convinced that I was working for the Inferno Dragons. I sighed impatiently as I spoke once more.

“Look, I’m a vigilante, not a mercenary. I myself am trying to take down the Inferno Dragons. Now I don’t know what the fuck they’ve done to you or what the fuck they’re planning, but they are destroying people’s homes and injuring dozens of civilians. If I don’t do something to stop this, then who the fuck will? You? You guys are more likely to cause more bullshit with an all-out war.”

It was true. Gang wars only escalated the problem; they didn’t stop it. All eyes were on the leader as he was forced to give a response. His response would determine my fate. If he thought I was lying, I would probably be subject to more torture or possibly death. If he thought I was telling the truth, there was a chance that I could make it out of this encounter alive. My heart pounded furiously as I awaited his verdict. His hazel eyes gazed intensely into mine. Neither of us broke eye contact; we didn’t even blink. After a long silence, he put the knife away and answered.

“A’ight, so you’re not bullshitting us. However, I don’t trust you either.”

“Good, ’cause it might be your head next if you decide to hurt innocent people just like what these pyromaniacs are doing.”

“Normally I wouldn’t give a fuck about what some other assholes are doing, but they’ve been in our turf. They’ve also been in other gangs’ turf. They’re burning everything to the ground.”

“So they’ve been targeting your turf?”

“Yeah. These fuckers destroyed our base, killed several of our members, and they burned down my apartment. We heard word that you were around for all of the fires, so we th–“

“So you came to the conclusion that I was some kind of mercenary for the Inferno Dragons that could be bought off or stopped. If any of you had actually been there, then you would’ve known that I was in those buildings saving people’s lives.”

Another moment of silence happened. This moment was then broken by the leader’s laughter.

“Let Wonder Woman here go. Let her keep thinking she can save the world with a pipe.”

“Baseball bat.”

“Oh my bad, a bat.” His words oozed with sarcasm as the cuffs were removed. “Mark my words though: if you cross paths with us again, you’re going to regret it.”

“If you grope my breasts again, you’re going to regret it.”

“You don’t even have a rack.”

“I do, and I don’t appreciate creeps like you touching it.”

I bolted away before he could open his mouth. I had a feeling if I heard the response, I would’ve probably pounced on him. The Blood Princes were not my concern, but it was interesting to know that the Inferno Dragons were making enemies out of everyone. Just what do they hope to accomplish?