The Vigilante
By Stephen Pirsch

Chapter 1
Samuel Johnson
Harris County Court House - Houston

"I can't believe he's gonna walk," James McCauley muttered to himself.  The Harris County Court House emptied and Samuel Johnson, the accused murderer, walked out into a sunny day in Houston.

A witness, William Gramercy, claimed Johnson drove up to where Inez Martinez and her eight year old grand daughter Consuela crossed the entrance to a Circle K store. 
Johnson yelled, "get the f*** out of the way" and pointed a pistol out of the window of a black Cadillac Escalade.  Gramercy said Inez and Consuela seemed frozen in fear.  Johnson then fired sixteen times into the couple.  Gramercy told Channel 11 news that the old lady and young girl had so many holes in them it was impossible to stop the bleeding.  The witness said the young girl, Consuela, coughed blood all over his face as he applied pressure to a chest wound.  The Channel 11 news showed two bodies draped with sheets;  the blood trail in the background.  There was so much blood, it ran ten feet down the store entrance to the street.  It was Mother's Day.

Chapter 2
The Police

The Houston Chronicle reported that the police arrested Johnson the next day at his apartment. The Houston Police Crime Lab was able to enhance video taken from a camera at the Circle K store, and identify the licence plate as Johnson's. Johnson was six foot one inches tall, and three hundred sixty pounds.  It took four officers to pin him to the floor and cuff him.  Johnson was so fat the police could not get a firm grip on him. 
"You pussy cops ain't worth s***!," yelled Johnson.  Four officers dragged him out of the apartment towards the stairs while another officer read him his rights.  Half way through the Miranda reading, Johnson broke free and stumbled down a flight of stairs, smashing into the officer reading him his rights.  The four cops were on him before he could clear the landing, but, in the confusion, the Miranda Rights were not completed.  Johnson's girlfriend, waddling and jiggling down the stairs, recorded everything on her cell phone.  She hoped his case would be dismissed due to an improper arrest.  This was one of the few things she was at least partially correct about concerning her boyfriend.

After two weeks in The Harris County Jail, Johnson was brought before a Judge.  He plead not guilty and was released on $100,000. bail.  While in jail he learned how to find the names and addresses of witnesses in court cases using a free website designed for process servers (bounty hunters).  The very first night out of jail, Johnson, using a sledge hammer, broke in the door of William Gramercy, at 14492 Memorial Drive.  With the alarm sounding Johnson quickly went upstairs meeting Mr. Gramercy as he was comming out of his bedroom door. Johnson, sledge hammer in hand, pinned Mr. Gramercy against the door and vertically drove the sledge hammer straight down - crushing the bones in his foot.  With Gramercy screaming on the floor, Johnson raised the sledge hammer over his head and brought it down on William Gramercy's right kneecap. 
Johnson went down the hall and found twelve year old blonde Lisa Gramercy backing towards the wall.  With Lisa screaming, "Dad! Dad!"  Johnson slammed her into the wall and injected a hypodermic needle filled with an overdose of heroin into her upper arm muscle. 
Johnson went back to Mr. Gramercy and said, "When da cops come, you don' know nothin'.  You didn' see nothin'.  Don' show up in court or I'll make damn sure somebody f***in' gets tah ya. Ya know what I'm trying ta say?  I'll pay a guy I knows wit AIDS ta butt f*** ya'lls lily white wife and screaming li'll f*** pit of a daughter.  Get dat screaming li'll bitch ta the hospital now fer some Nalcon or she is gunna O.D."

Chapter 3

James McCauley couldn't wait to get home to discuss the case with his girlfriend Liana.  "Can you believe it," said James. "Shot them sixteen times and walked out of court."
Liana said, "Why do you keep hanging around that courthouse everyday?  All it does is upset you.  You can't do anything about it.  Just let it go."
"Let it go?"  said James.  "This can't be right.  Somebody should do something - that old lady - her grand daughter - It's not right...somebody....".

James paced back and forth across the kitchen while Liana's perfectly symmetrical face wrinkled between the eyes.  God she hated this, she thought.  She hated him like this.  Liana felt it her mission to keep James' train from running off the track.  They had lived together for five years.  Every six weeks, almost to the day, Liana saw the tension build to where he nearly lost control.  Liana thought that neurotic energy built to the breaking point and seeked relief. Now, with no job to consume his energy, she feared this time would be the worst.   Six weeks ago they both decided to live a dream they shared - to quit their jobs and retire early.  James was fifty, Liana was forty-one. James was medium everything - pudgy with dark, thinning hair and brown eyes...forgettable, and he liked it that way. Liana was eye catching - curvaceous with light brown wavy hair and golden eyes...a head turner, and she took it for granted. They had both worked at Bank of America. Liana spent her six weeks relaxing at home reading and watching movies, while James went daily to the courtroom gallery. 

"Justice...what a joke," muttered James, still pacing.
"Come on over here and sit with me awhile," said Liana.  "I made a drink for you.  You can tell me more about it."  She was sure she could distract him eventually.  James came over and took the drink.  "God Liana, the pictures - so much blood - the family crying in court."  "The best anyone can guess is that Johnson stormed out of his mother's house after she accused him of stealing a diamond ring he gave her for Mother's Day.  It seems he was so mad, he drove two blocks and shot Inez and Consuela out of spite. They just happened to be in the way.  Can you believe it?"
"It sounds horrible," said Liana.
"That's just the start.  It looks like he did something to scare the witness. The subpenaed witness did not show up to testify, that's why the case is dismissed. "It's a travesty of justice," said James, now pacing again.  "I need to do something!"
"Just sit down with me...Please."
James dutifully sat and took a long drink.  Liana rested her head on his shoulder and rubbed his upper thigh.  "Damn it Liana," said James.  "This is serious!"
"I'm seriously going to make you feel good", cooed Liana, as she unzipped his pants.
"Oh f*** it," said James.
"Exactly," said Liana.
James leaned his head back and saw flickering images of holes blasting out of Inez' and Consuela's back...blasting...then he didn't think about anything except how Liana made him feel.

James woke up to the sound of Liana's singing.  "You were snoring", said Liana in sing song.
"Sorry", said James, noticing how Liana had covered him with a blanket and put a pillow under his head. "God", he mumbled, "what a rare jewel."
"What?" said Liana
"You are a rare jewel," said James. "I don't deserve you."
"You just figuring that out?" said Liana. "I thought maybe we could go to the Museum of Natural Science today.  Rome is featured."
James stalled, "Uh...damn... Uh...I'm sorry, I told Jimmy I would play golf with him today.  I'm late.  Sorry.  Maybe tomorrow."
"You know I go to my Mom's on Sunday.  We always spend Saturday together."
"Sorry," said James.  "We'll do whatever you want next time.  Jimmy begged me."  James quickly snuck out of the house and stuffed his golf bag into the Camry trunk.  Liana was just coming out the door as he cleared the drive.
"When..," yelled Liana.

Chapter 4

James speed dialed Jimmy's number.  "Hellllll - oh," answered Jimmy.
"I need you to cover for me if Liana asks you.  We are playing golf all day, ok?"
"Okey dokey dip s***," said Jimmy.  "Hell son, what kind of crap are you contemplating now?"
"I'll tell you later.  Gotta go."
"Keep your britches between the ditches," said Jimmy.

Even though James and Jimmy were as night and day, James felt more secure knowing Jimmy could be counted on if things got violent.  In fact, Jimmy missed violence;  he fantasised about it.  Jimmy, a Viet Nam Vet Marine with nine rifles, five pistols, three swords and seven hunting knives said to James, "I never leave a buddy behind." They knew each other since learning to walk.

Chapter 5

Who would ever believe an introverted computer nerd would be plotting violent retribution on Samuel Johnson?  James often heard the term computer genius, when co - workers described him.  The experts' expert, the hackers' hacker.  He programmed the computer security systems for Bank of America.  He designed encryption software.  He tracked down people defrauding the bank system and procured evidence for their prosecution.  He was still a consultant for Bank of America and he still had a key to the bank.

He also forgot to zip his fly.  Sometimes he put his shirt on inside out.  He sometimes forgot to eat all day.  He felt awkward around groups of people.   Most people thought he was "Kinda weird - just stays to himself - mumbles - doesn't want to talk unless it's about computers."  But mostly: people barely noticed him.  He looked unremarkable, and he did not like to draw attention to himself.  James often wondered how a beautiful, sexy, nurturing woman like Liana could stay with him. Once he asked her and she said, "I've had guys with movie star looks and excitement - the image is better than the reality. I choose you any day James; a plain looking guy that treats me nice."

James, after letting himself into the bank, started compiling information on Samuel Johnson.  First:  In order to cover his activity James linked a series of computer servers all over the world.  These servers were used as his slave servers.  Next, he started running encryption breaking programs on various web sites.  James let the programs run all night. 

When he got home Liana sullenly refused to even look up. She was watching a show about French cooking.
James said, "I'm sorry baby...really...I screwed up.  He scuttled off to the kitchen and came back in six minutes with a microwaved frozen dinner. "I'm really sorry," he said, as he reached out to run his fingers through Liana's hair.
"Look what you could have had," said Liana as she pulled away from his hand. "Chicken Cordon Bleu and this!" as she flashed open her robe. Liana watched closely as his pupils expanded to nearly black out his iris - then she snapped her robe shut and stared at the TV as if he was not there. "God!", she thought, "the poor bastard looked like he was going to drool!"

The next morning, Sunday, James waited until Liana left for her Mother's house and then returned to the bank.  Images of Liana's luscious curves flashed in and out of his focus, but he was on a mission. Payback for Johnson.  James chewed a NoDoz pill and pushed the crushed pill under his tongue.  He felt his pulse quicken and his focus narrow.   By late Sunday evening James possesed the following information of Samuel Johnson:  bank account number, bank routing number, bank log in name, bank password, bank computer server managers code numbers, social security number, drivers license number, license plate number, car VIN number, GMAC finance account number, GMAC finance computer server managers code numbers, cell phone number, cell phone transmission frequency, computer line number, computer log in name, computer password.  James left the bank and drove home without the slightest feeling of remorse for all the laws he broke.  He felt as if he had been reborn - that finally his skills found a worthy cause.

Samuel Johnson was going to wake up to a whole new world on Monday.

"The ruby neclace is beautiful.. I'm not mad at you anymore."  yelled Liana. "Are you going to barricade yourself in there forever?  Come out now please.  I have something softer and more responsive than a keyboard for you to play with - you should see how low the ruby hangs. I have a movie too. I'm pretty sure you will like it - Death Wish with Charles Bronson." 
"Coming," said James, "Thanks Liana... I'm sorry sweety... I'm so lucky to be with you. I love the way you look in that robe. You look really, really delicious."
Liana felt relieved and confident James had forgotten the court case.  She was sure she could relax for at least six more weeks. She loosened the cord to her robe exposing a thin line of creamy skin from top to bottom
"Can you see the ruby?"
"Whaa...oh, yeah, the ruby...the...soo beautiful"
"God!", she thought, "the poor, sweet nerd never had a chance."

Chapter 6
Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson woke up at four a.m. Monday morning to the sound of his Cadillac Escalade's alarm going off.  Jerking on a pair of waist size fifty eight jeans, he tripped, and on his knees, peering out the window, could see the Cadillac being towed out of the apartment parking lot.  Johnson ran for the lot, fat bouncing over the waist line of his jeans.  He was thinking about the sound system he had told his manatee of a girlfriend he could not live without (the system, not the girlfriend). - the 2500 watt sub-woofer was so loud it had vibrated all the chrome trim off the car. It set off car motion detector alarms when he went by.  It was one of the very few things Samuel Johnson loved.  Johnson watched the wrecker disappear.  He sat in a blubbery heap on the curb and put his face in his hands.

Johnson called the police department, and after many transfers and a long wait he was told the Escalade had been repossessed.  At 9:00 a.m. Johnson called GMAC finance and was told he was three months overdue on car payments.  "I payed it las Monday lak I aways do - on da computer", said Johnson.
Ricky Jiminez of GMAC said, "We have no record of it, Sir."
"Recheck it, now, damn it.  I payed it!"
"I'm sorry Mr. Johnson, but we have no record of you paying for three months.  You can have the car when we get the payments."
"Yah mother f****** f***** up!  Ya'll don' know who you're f***** wit!"
Mr. Jiminez hung up.

At 9:15 a.m. Samuel Johnson called First National Bank.  He was told they had no record of payment for three months to GMAC. 
"In fact", said Emily Witherly, "you closed your account last Saturday and transferred all the money to another bank.  Also, you owe us $78.33 for insufficient funds on two checks.  How would you like to pay for that?"  said Emily with her sweetest phone voice.
"Pay you!", screamed Johnson, "f*** you!"
Ms. Witherly hung up.

Chapter 7
Bye Bye

James McCauley left the cell phone frequency finder on, and continued to record Samuel Johnson's calls. 
"You can kiss that car and money bye bye," muttered James. James knew Johnson would need the money to fight the civil lawsuit the Martinez family would file (as in the O.J. Simpson murder trials).

Erasing the bank records and making the first bank transfer was easy for James.  Re-transferring the money numerous times to make it untraceable was the tricky part.  Finally, $95,962. was converted to one ounce gold coins.  At three a.m. James walked to the family back yard of the deceased Inez and Consuela Martinez. James threw a steak, which had been injected with Ambien, to the barking dog and left. He came back in an hour to a sleeping dog. James buried a cloth bag of one ounce gold coins along with a steak, level with the ground surface in the back yard. The happy dog later dug up the meat - tearing the bag to shreds and scattering the gold around the hole in the back yard. The Martinez family woke up to bright new day.
" Dios mio, es milagro!" (My God, it's a miracle!), said Mr. Martinez.