You Just Got A Sword For Your Birthday. Time To Go Fight Crime!

Today is a day. For most people, it is just a normal day, but not for you. Today is your birthday.

You might be pleased to learn that your birthday party just ended, and that it was a pretty good time. Several friends showed up, you got some nice presents, and your favorite cake variety was served. As birthdays go, this one was fine.

You give a thumbs-up to a pile of party garbage on the floor. Several minutes pass.

Well, that’s enough happiness for now. You should probably say goodbye to your last party guest. There’s always one friend who stays too long and makes things weird, and at this party, that person is Craig. Everyone else has already gone home, but Craig hasn’t taken the hint yet.

You stare at the party garbage strewn across the floor like so many wasted years. Birthdays are an unwelcome reminder that you do not fight crime and perhaps never will.

Well, that’s probably enough fretting for now. You should say goodbye to your last party guest. There’s always one friend who stays too long and makes things weird, and at this party, that person is Craig. Everyone else has already gone home, but Craig hasn’t taken the hint yet.

“Hey, I’m on your private personal computer,” says your friend Craig. “I want to make a party playlist. What are 10 songs you like?”

“Okay!” says Craig cheerfully. “I’ll leave. I’m just happy I got to celebrate your birthday with you. I really value our friendship.

“Before I go, I still have to give you my gift. Here, look. It’s pretty cool.”

Holy shit. It’s a sword.

“I got you a sword,” says Craig. “Do you like it? The sword?”

Without saying another word to Craig, you grab the sword and walk out your front door into the bustling streets of Vigilant City. This East Coast metropolis has long suffered from the scourge of crime, but that all changes today. You will be this city’s guardian angel, a watchful protector who safeguards the meek and swordless from all villains, crooks, and other crime-causers.

Your first step toward becoming a legendary vigilante is finding a crime to fight. You should probably start off by fighting something easy like a mugging, the normal crime.

Vigilant City yearns for a hero to save it from the pestilence of crime. You could be that dauntless defender, but first, you have to find a crime to stop.

A tourist family is busy admiring the city that is not where they live.

“Wow, Vigilant City! The Big Lemon!” shouts the tourist boy of the family.

“We don’t live here, and that makes it great to be here!” screams the tourist mom.

“No muggings are happening at us!” the tourist dad admits loudly. “I wish we were getting mugged! It’s the normal city crime. That would be quite the story for the folks back home in our bad town.”

“I want to get mugged,” bellows the tourist daughter. “This vacation sucks because we’re not getting mugged!” The family starts bickering about how terrible their vacation is now.

The tourist zones of Vigilant City are packed with fur beasts that silently lumber through the streets and alleys searching for sightseers to wave at. It’s usually against the fur beast code to speak, but maybe they’ll make an exception if someone is mugging them.

“GAZE. INTO. MAW,” says the fur beast. It points at the black shadows of its mouth.

The black void inside the fur beast is filled with glum prisoners.

“TRIED. MUG,” explains the fur beast. It looks like the fur beasts don’t need any help protecting themselves from crime.

“Please help me!” says the old woman. “There’s a mugger across the street casing my free weights. He’s getting ready for the normal crime of mugging. These dumbbells are all I have left! You have to stop him!”

You walk across the street to confront the mugger. He’s greedily staring at the old woman’s dumbbells.

“This is going to be a good mugging,” he tells you. “Can’t wait to get my hands on those free weights illegally.”

The mugger takes a moment to consider your request, then shakes his head. “Sorry, I want to mug her.”

“You can’t arrest me looking like that,” protests the mugger. “You’re not wearing a costume! Your face isn’t covered! Nothing prevents me from finding out your secret identity and striking back by hurting your loved ones.”

“Okay,” he says. “I’ll wait to mug until you get back.”

The mugger takes out his phone and patiently browses the internet.

You need a costume if you’re going to fight crime. How do you want to disguise yourself?

You bend over a deep puddle of wet filth and stick your head all the way in. The mud plasters your face, masking your identity and transforming you into a symbol of justice that criminals will cower before. A mere human can be killed, but the concept of mud is immortal.

This is Vigilant City, famous for its pizza and bagels, so there’s a pizza joint on practically every block. But if you want the best garlic knots in the city, you have to go to Steve “Thin Nervous” Pizzaoli’s restaurant back in your old neighborhood. It takes about an hour to get there on the subway, but it’s worth the trip if you want a true taste of Italy.

“Look at you! I remember when you only came up to here,” says Thin Nervous, holding a hand up to his waist. “Running around with your friends, pretending your breadstick was a sword and that you were fighting crime with said breadstick. Now you have a real sword, and you’re fighting real crimes! You’ve done well for yourself.”

“Somehow I always knew you’d come here someday for a garlic knot to conceal your identity,” says Thin Nervous. “I have a huge one that I’ve been saving just for you.”

The moment you grasp the garlic knot between your teeth, an armada of pigeons descends from the skies. They’ll flutter their gross wings around your face and keep your secret identity hidden.

The mugger congratulates you upon your return.

“Nice costume!” he says. “I didn’t even recognize you at first. You’re totally set to fight my crime now.”

“Nah, I think I’m going to resist arrest,” says the mugger.

“I’m really sorry, but I’d prefer not to be arrested,” says the mugger. “It’s nothing personal.”

“Hey, happy birthday!” The mugger puts a pair of handcuffs on his wrists. “Of course I’ll be arrested on your birthday! There, I’m arrested now. It’s jail for me.”

Congratulations, hero! You fought your first crime, and the crime has been defeated.

Using the sharp part of your sword, you poke into the mugger’s skin and give him one wound.

“All right, you convinced me to be arrested,” says the mugger as he snaps a pair of handcuffs on his own wrists. “I still don’t want to be arrested, but I’d rather be arrested than receive wounds. I dislike wounds.”

Congratulations, hero! You fought your first crime, and the crime has been defeated.

“It’s jail for that guy,” says the judge.

The mugger walks through a door labeled “JAIL,” never to be seen again.

“Thank you for fighting his crime,” the judge continues. “But you’ve only stopped one crime, not all crime. To stop all crime, you’ll have to stop three crimes. If you can stop three crimes, then crime will be gone forever, unless it starts again.”

“Three is just a nice number,” says the judge. “I think it’ll do the trick.”

“Please reconsider,” begs the judge. “Without you and your cool sharp sword we are helpless. You already stopped one crime, so you’d only have to stop two more. It won’t take long.”

You leave the courthouse and head over to a supermarket to buy some watermelons.

“Can I help you find anything today?” asks a store clerk.

“I’m very sorry, but all of our watermelons were stolen because of crime,” says the clerk. “It’s too bad nobody stopped crime forever when they had the chance.”

With your cool sword came a responsibility to fight crime, and by shirking your duty, you missed your chance to ever cut a watermelon in half. For the rest of your life, you keep checking stores for watermelons, but they’re always stolen. Eventually, you die of old age in bed, surrounded by your children and grandchildren, and your last words, full of regret, are “It would have been fun to chop a watermelon in half.”

“Great, I’m looking forward to crime being over,” says the judge. “Now go find more crimes to fight. Remember, you already fought one crime, so you only have to fight two more. Then you can go home. Good luck, sword hero.”

The judge shrugs. “You can if you want, but you don’t have to. Two is enough.”

You return to the streets of Vigilant City ready to fulfill your crime-fighting destiny of defeating at least two more crimes. After you defeat two more crimes, you can go home and relax.

You return to the old woman, who is busy lifting her weights and maintaining her bone density.

“Thanks for stopping that mugger from doing his normal crime on me,” says the old woman.

“No, I’m not being mugged anymore,” says the old woman. “You put the mugger in prison forever, so my free weights are safe now.”

You won’t be able to fight the mugging again because that crime is already defeated. Fortunately, there are plenty of other crimes out there to fight.

You head over to a museum, the building for fancy crime. Not a single day goes by without a burglar trying to burgle a painting or a jewel. The museum staff will probably welcome the assistance of someone with a sword.

The lobby of the museum is blocked by a security checkpoint. Everyone entering the building has to walk through a metal detector.

“Sorry about the wait,” says one of the museum guards. “Some people overseas misread the Quran, so now we’re checking for terrorism, the scary crime.”

“Those bastards read the book wrong, and now we have to test everybody for terrorism,” says another guard. “It’s a huge hassle.”

“Please put your keys, sword, and other metal items into the tray so that the machine doesn’t beep and announce that you read the Quran wrong like a goddamn idiot,” says the guard.

Parting with your sword feels wrong, even for a moment, but this seems to be the only way to get inside the museum where all the burglars are. You’re not sure what to do.

The second you hand over your sword, the guards remove their guard disguises. “We got the sword! Run for it!” screams one of the burglars.

The burglars run off with your sword. You just got that sword, and it’s already stolen. Your crime-fighting career is officially over. This is the worst birthday ever.

When you take the sword through the metal detector, alarm bells start blaring.

“Uh-oh, the machine says this person is lousy with terrorism!” says a guard. “They went topsy-turvy on Muhammad’s book!”

“Sorry, but if you botched reading the Quran, you can’t bring a sword into the museum. Please hand over your sword.”

You decide to ignore the guards and keep your sword.

A moment later, the museum’s curator storms up and begins shouting angrily. However, she’s not shouting at you, but at the guards.

“Get out of my museum,” she screams. “Everybody knows that this museum has no security guards! We don’t own metal detectors! You aren’t fooling anyone.”

“We’re burglars,” say the burglars as they remove their guard disguises. “We were so close to stealing your sword! But you fought our crime, and our crime lost.”

“Nah, we don’t want to be arrested,” say the burglars. “We’re resisting arrest.”

“Awesome, happy birthday,” say the burglars as they snap handcuffs on their wrists. “We’re happy to be arrested on your special day. It’s jail for us.”

They walk across the lobby of the museum and pass through a door marked “JAIL,” never to be seen again. Congratulations, you defeated a burglary!

You apply your sword’s sharp zone into the burglars and give each of them one wound.

“All right, we’ll be arrested,” say the burglars as they snap handcuffs onto their wrists. “The wound convinced us to live in a jail.”

They walk across the lobby of the museum and pass through a door marked “JAIL,” never to be seen again. Congratulations, you defeated a burglary!

You head over to Vigilant Park to find a murderer. Parks are murder magnets, and you’re guaranteed to find a killer committing their famous crimes in here.

“What a beautiful day to not be murdered,” says the male jogger. “It’s great to be a man who runs next to trees, because nothing can ever kill me. The park is my favorite place to not die.”

“I’m being murdered right now,” says the female jogger. “I’d prefer to be a woman who runs next to trees and lives, but a murderer insists on doing his famous crime to me.”

“Excuse me, but would you mind moving out of the way of that female jogger?” asks a murderer. “I’m doing the famous crime of murder that you’ve seen on TV and in movies.”

“Hmm, I really want a murder to happen, so I’m going to resist arrest,” says the murderer. “Tell you what, though: I don’t care who gets murdered, as long as a murder happens. Why don’t you murder me with your sword? That way we both win.”

“No, murder is totally legal to do on murderers like me,” says the murderer. “In fact, it’s strongly encouraged.”

“Great! Okay, so to murder me you’ll have to give me three wounds,” says the murderer. “Make sure not to do only two wounds, or I’ll just become helpless and arrestable instead of dead.”

“Thanks, I’m wounded. Now do it again.”

The murderer slumps to the ground, helpless due to his two wounds.

“Awesome, I’m almost dead,” he says. “Now, wound me one more time to make this an official murder.”

You give the murderer a third and final wound and turn him into a dead person. His last words are “Nice job,” and his dying thumb curls into a thumbs-up.

Although you successfully fought crime, you can’t help but feel a little shaken up by this whole experience. You killed a dude, and that’s not something you can just walk away from unchanged. Worst of all, you killed a dude on your birthday. Every time your birthday rolls around, you’re going to be reminded of the time you legally murdered someone in a park.

“Hey, you tricked me! This is a fraud, the sneaky crime,” complains the murderer as he reluctantly slips handcuffs on his wrists. “I was guaranteed a murder, but instead it’s jail for me.”

He weakly crawls across the grassy park field to a shed labeled “JAIL” and slithers inside, never to be seen again. Congratulations, you have defeated a murder!

If there’s one building in Vigilant City you don’t want arsonists to unleash their hot crime on, it’s Jenny the Giant. This beloved green warehouse is one of the most popular buildings in the world because it’s shaped like a woman and tells immigrants hello.

Hopefully you’ve arrived in time to save Jenny from any arsonists planning to hatch a fire.

Hello Immigrants

You weren’t born here, but you live here now;
Welcome to USA.
Please don’t commit crimes;
Please work hard;
Check out the Grand Canyon (if you get a chance).
Together, we are a country.

You follow the strong scent of smoke and discover an arsonist hatching a fire.

“It is I, your arch-nemesis,” says the arsonist. “I’m going to hatch a big fire and burn this green barn down to the ground.”

“Hahaha! You have fallen into my trap,” says the arsonist. “It is my birthday also, so I don’t have to do what you say. Our birthdays cancel each other out.”

Your sword bounces off the aronist’s sword-proof mask.

“Haha! I purchased an anti-sword mask before I came here because I’m your nemesis and I give you a hard time,” says the arsonist. “Your sword cannot wound me!”

This is a bad situation. The arsonist won’t be arrested and can’t be wounded, and if you don’t do something soon, Jenny the Giant will turn into an ash dump.

Your plan works! The arsonist stumbles into his flame and gets covered with a hot wound, the worst kind of wound.

“Yes,” agrees the arsonist as he slips handcuffs on his wrists. “It’s jail for me. There’s no way I can make arsons with this hot wound ruining my body.”

The arsonist walks over to a metal door labeled “JAIL” on Jenny’s giant green toe and goes inside, never to be seen again. Congratulations, you have defeated an arson!

You dial 911, and the cops show up to murder the arsonist.

“All right, let’s do our famous crime on him,” says the SWAT team leader. “Remember to use your guns!”

The arsonist gets filled with wounds and dies and then gets wounded some more. Congratulations, you have defeated an arson!

This will immediately end your crime-fighting. Are you sure you want to go home, or would you like to fight more crime first?

You return home and discover Craig still sitting at your computer.

“Hey, welcome back to your house!” says Craig. “Did you enjoy the sword?”

“I want to show you something in your living room,” says Craig. “It’s not another sword, but I think you’ll like it.”

“SURPRISE!” scream all your friends. “It is your happy birthday!”

“That was a fake birthday party to make you not expect your surprise birthday party,” says Craig. “I gave you a sword so you’d leave all day and fight crime, giving us enough time to set up.”

“Yes, this was all a fraud, the sneaky crime, to get you out of the house for a few hours,” says the judge. “I lied about three crimes ending all crime. That makes no sense. Crime is still going on, and it always will.”

You celebrate your birthday again, and it’s still fun. It’s even more fun now that you have a sword. All your friends take turns holding it, but they give it back when you ask.

The next day, and for most of the rest of your life, it isn’t your birthday. But you still have a sword and can fight crime whenever you feel like it. Congratulations!

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