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Anti Smoking Vigilantism

posted Jun 25, 2016, 7:50 AM by Viktor Zólyomi   [ updated Jun 25, 2016, 7:50 AM ]
The following article by Jonathan Parker was originally published in the Con City Times.

The trial of Trey Isaacs, better known as the Anti Smoking Vigilante, is nearing its final stage at the Brickton Courthouse. Mister Isaacs is on trial for a staggering seventy-nine counts of attempted first degree murder, all instances of which took place at the front entrance of Brickton General Hospital, where visitors and patients alike often smoke cigarettes in spite of the elaborate no smoking signs on the walls.

`The first time I saw him brandishing that sword, I thought he was some psychopath here to kill everybody,' said Grace Rock, a long time receptionist at Brickton General. `In the end, he attacked only the people that were smoking. I guess he wanted to teach those assholes a lesson.'

Miss Rock is just one of many hundreds of witnesses who watched in horror over the weeks as Mister Isaacs inflicted serious injuries upon anyone and everyone who had the audacity to light a cigarette in front of the hospital, after which he slipped away in the ensuing chaos. Security camera footage proves that he showed no mercy to anyone, be they visitors, hospital staff, or patients, including several teenage patients of Brickton General and an amputee patient who has since become a double amputee.

Trey Isaacs was arrested after he was identified thanks to the camera footage as one of the employees of the fast food restaurant across the street from the hospital. Since his arrest he has maintained his silence, as advised by his court appointed lawyer, Matthew Green.

`Smoking is bad for everyone, but especially for hospital patients,' the lawyer stated during the trial. `It is therefore no surprise that my client would wish to persuade people to abandon this horrible habit. The fact that his discouragement attempts led to a few minor accidental injuries is of course unfortunate, but given his goal to save vulnerable people's lives from cigarette smoke it is clear that my client had no intention to hurt anyone.'

The District Attorney argued against Mister Green's assessment of Trey Isaacs' intentions, pointing out the uncommonly large number of victims and the nature of the injuries. `All of the victims suffered multiple, deep, sword-inflicted wounds,' DA Frank Johnson stated. `Forty-six of the seventy-nine injured remain at Brickton General, fifteen of them still at Intensive Care. I believe it's safe to say that Mister Isaacs meant to do more than wave his katana around in the air.'

In true Brickton tradition, a group of protesters gathered in front of the courthouse as soon as the trial began, armed with transparencies prominently displaying the no smoking symbol, and demanding the release of Trey Isaacs. `The man is a hero,' one of the protesters said. `He's saving us from the evils of second hand smoking. He shouldn't be on trial, he should be getting a medal.'

Within hours a second crowd showed up to support the prosecution, consisting of friends and family members of the victims, as well as members of the Con County Chain Smokers' Association. `Lock that monster up and throw away the key,' one of them stated. Both crowds of protesters have remained in front of the Courthouse ever since. City officials fear that regardless of the outcome of the trial, one of those groups will attempt to storm the building as soon as the verdict is announced. As a precaution, ten police officers in full riot gear have been stationed at the gates of the Courthouse in order to defend the building from the hundreds of angry people.

Adding to the tensions that have been running high since the trial began is the letter which was delivered to the local news outlet just the day before. The envelope contained a message made up of words cut out from newspapers and glued on a sheet of paper. The message was in essence a letter of support from Brickton's most famous vigilante, the man the public has named the Train Guardian, who patrols the Brickton Central train station with a baseball bat and beats up anyone who attempts to board the trains without a ticket.

`Set him free or feel my wrath,' the letter stated. Authorities worry that the Train Guardian, who remains at large and whose identity is unknown, may attempt to free the Anti Smoking Vigilante by means of extreme violence. DA Johnson, who along with Matthew Green is expected to make his final case to the jury later this afternoon, is more worried that the jurors, all of whom regularly travel by train, have already made up their minds on the verdict upon reading the news report discussing the Train Guardian's letter in the Brickton Herald.

Officials at Brickton General Hospital expect Trey Isaacs to be acquitted and have already made plans to license the use of his likeness on posters at the front entrance of the hospital to bolster their anti smoking campaign. They have also told members of staff to anticipate a large number of admissions after the trial. The Chief of Police has also been made aware of the combustible situation expected to unravel at the Courthouse. He has demonstrated remarkable wisdom by taking the situation very seriously, and has increased the number of police officers stationed in front of the Courthouse from ten to a much more reasonable twelve.