No vampires yet. For that matter my parents and I haven't been able to solve the "Alphabet Murders" either. So much of our time (well really their time, I kind of just tag along when they let me) goes to stopping violent crimes as they happen. The city of St. Christopher just never gives them a chance to relax and solve complicated crimes.
Tonight for instance we weren't out on the street for more than fifteen minutes when we came across a large group of men fighting in a vacant lot. Of course they were a group of Sureno and Norteno gang members going at it in the park. I really don't think that I will ever completely understand what these two groups are fighting over. I don't even think they know anymore either. If you were to ask your average Sureno why they use the word "buster" as a derogatory term for Nortenos 9 out of 10 would have no idea that it comes from the word "sodbuster" and a time from when it was the Hispanics in northern California who were working the agricultural fields. The hate just continues with no end in sight. It may be different in the prison yards but at the street level these criminal gangs are really engaged in hate crimes that are treated by law enforcement as gang violence.
That's what we stumbled upon tonight. There are about fifteen guys in the yard. I see red and blue tangled together. There are bottles, knives, bats and rocks. From the car I hear the words "scrap" and "buster" and various other non-gang specific expletives. Deca-Man, my dad, brings the Maybach (I still can't come up with a cool super-hero name for the car) to a screeching halt. The gangsters take a break in fighting each other when they see the sleek black vehicle stop...the car really makes an impression. Their jaws drop when they see three super-heroes get out of the car. Fighting fellow gang members is one thing but fighting Guild of Heroes members like Deca-Man and Dart,my mom, as well as me, Actionlad "the lad of action", is something else all together.
The smart ones try to run. Mom and I however have super-speed. We circle around the fleeing gangsters before they can get halfway across the field. The stupid ones stay to fight. Part of me is pleased to see that the Nortenos and Surenos can put aside their petty differences long enough to fight a common foe. Unfortunately for them that foe is my dad. Dad, calls himself Deca-Man because he likes to say that he has the strength of ten men. He actually is much stronger than that. Both Dad and Mom are genetic mutants. Dad is first generation. From an early age he was stronger than everyone else and he seems to just keep getting stronger. Mom comes from a family of super-heroes her father was a hero too. Which makes me a third generation mutant and hero. The gangsters never really had a chance.
About seven of them; Nortenos and Surenos, together rushed towards my dad. In turn Deca-Man tears into them. Without hesitating my dad rushes towards the gangsters like a linebacker. As he waded through them he was tossing them to the side like rag dolls. Some got the message and tried to run. They were quickly stopped by me and my mom. Then there were the slower gangsters. Three of them decided to go after Dad again. As if they might have a better chance against his super-strength the second time around. Well they didn't and this time around dad threw some punches. Even though he pulled his punches all three of the guys were instantly knocked out.
Then there was the dumbest one of all. One of the gangsters brought a gun to what was supposed to be a knife party. He pulled out the gun and pointed it at my dad. For all of Deca-Man's strength he's not invulnerable but I am. When I saw the gun being pointed at my dad I took off as fast as I could towards the gun. Just as I reached the Sureno gangster he pulled the trigger. The bullet hit me in the shoulder.
"Actionlad!", I heard my parents scream.
Even though they both know that I'm nigh-invulnerable (a power that I inherited from Mom's dad, the Brick) they're my parents and they worry about me. Which I suppose is nice but it's kind of embarrassing when I'm fighting crime to constantly have my parents ask me if I'm OK. I'm not going to tell them but at this close range that bullet hurt a little. I'm only nigh-invulnerable. Dad grabs the gun from the gangsters and bends the barrel with his hands. The Sureno is amazingly still defiant. He spits on dads chest. I don't know if that's courageous or stupid but lucky for him at that point we heard the sound of police sirens. That guy was saved by the bell.