Someone Else’s Coat

To give him credit, Samar was reluctant to join them for a while. He had heard of them – vigilantes who had banded together in personal grief, and he knew they would come to him at some point. He even recognised some of them when they did.

Samar had heard of the phenomenon. He had come across a few vigilantes in his line of work, and he always felt a bit sad when he had to arrest them, although the names some of them called him worked against that sympathy.

He thought that vigilantism had a certain affinity to the ethics of hackers. This particular group’s manifesto was, in fact, rather borrowed from a bunch of hacker documents. He didn’t say this to them.

The initiation was simple – he had to kill his grief. They gave him the name and the address – both of which he already knew – and then they gave him a hammer. They weren’t going to make this easy.

It was ridiculously easy, as it turned out. The target had expected retaliation early on, but was now complacent. When Samar clamped his hand on the target’s mouth and pushed him into the room, the man shook his head, his eyes wide open – as if he was trying to deny this was happening.

Samar left the door open, and one by one, his future teammates entered. They began to clap, beginning slowly, and then going faster and faster. Samar wiped his brows and began. Samar’s hammer kept time with the clapping. Clang. Clang. Clang.

There. There. There. Samar thought. Freaks.