Voices of the Past @aglobuzzy
The Irrationality of Vigilantes

The first time Eraserhead met the Wind Pillar was three years ago. He had just started teaching at UA, and his patrols shifted to being fully nighttime. Good. Less media attention.

He was surveying the city from the rooftops, the Capture Scarf swaying in the wind. That is when he got a call in about a trio of robbers that stole a cash register from a nearby convenience store. He was the closest one to the scene of the crime, so he took it upon himself to take care of the incident. He slipped the goggles over his eyes and jumped off the roof, using his Capture Scarf to swing between telephone poles.

He found the criminals in two minutes. But someone else found them before him.

Eraserhead saw all three criminals as described by the call in lying on the ground, unconscious. A boy who looked to be in his late teens was the only still standing. He had starkly white hair, and the top button of his button up was undone. Blood stained his swollen lip.

Eraserhead was quick to activate his Quirk, nullifying whatever this boy could throw at him. By now, the boy noticed he was no longer alone and looked ready to bolt, but Eraserhead was quick to ensnare him in the Capture Scarf.

“They’re the thieves, not me,” the boy said, slightly tilting his head in direction of the criminals. His dialect sounded weird. It wasn’t one Eraserhead had ever heard before.

“I’m well aware,” Eraserhead responded. “Why you are here is another question.”

“They were stealing, and I stopped them,” the boy said nonchalantly. “Now can I ask you why you aren’t getting drunk?”

“So that’s what his Quirk does?”

“As I can see, you are nothing without your Quirk. Vigilantism is illegal, so you have no business being here.”

“So just stand by and do nothing?” The boy drawled out, a biting anger piercing through his voice. “Isn’t ‘Heroism’ all about intervening? Well, I’ve gotta run before the cops show up. We tend to not get along.”

With unexpected force, he spread his arms out, forcing the Capture Scarf open. He ducked out through the opening and slid out in between Eraserhead’s legs. He rolled to his feet and sprinted away before Eraserhead could catch him.

So, his assessment was wrong. This boy very much knew how to fight without his Quirk.

They met again a month later. This time, he beat Eraserhead to stopping a kidnapping.

“There, there,” Eraserhead heard the boy say as he handed the crying girl a tissue, ignoring his own blood covered chin. “Try not to breathe through your nose. My Quirk causes anyone who smells my blood to become drunk.”

Eraserhead activated his Quirk and said,” Don’t worry about that.”

“Oh, it’s you,” the boy scowled.

“The police will be here soon,” Eraserhead said, ignoring the boy in favor of tying up the knocked out kidnapper.

“In that case, I’m getting out of here,” the boy said, making a move to leave. However, he stopped when the girl sobbed and clung to his arm. He sighed. “Fine, fine, I’ll stay a little longer.”

He sat down on the curb and patted the girl on the head. Eraserhead finished securing the kidnapper and joined them, still nullifying the boy’s Quirk.

“You’ll need to get that injury checked out,” he told the boy.

“I’ll be fine,” the boy said, not interested.

“You don’t look old enough to be living by yourself. You got a name?”

“For your information, I’ve been by myself for over a year. Got a roommate recently, but I’ve been out of contact with my Newparents. As for my name… I guess people call me the Wind Pillar.”

A code name of sorts. But, wind? How did it connect to him? And what did he mean by “Newparents?”

“I’m still scramming before the police get here, just so you know,” the Wind Pillar said. “I have no interest in your Heroism vs vigilantes debacle.”

Eraserhead sighed. It was true that this kid broke the law by fighting crime and injuring someone without a proper license, but he did help, didn’t he? The girl seemed attached to him, so he must have been kind to her. His heart was in the right place, no doubt. However irrational it may be.

“Then go,” he said. The Wind Pillar looked at him in surprise. “The Pro Hero Eraserhead stopped the kidnapper. Don’t get caught.”

The Wind Pillar said nothing, simply getting to his feet and patting the girl’s head one more time before running off.

More accidental meetings were peppered in over the next three years. The Wind Pillar’s face, chest, and arms became littered in scars from his fights.

“Well, when your Quirk only activates when you get hurt, it’s bound to happen,” he would wave it off flippantly. “Naturally I learned how to fight so I wouldn’t have to resort to being beaten to a pulp.”

“It would be near impossible to make it as a Hero with a Quirk like that. Is that why you didn’t seek that job out?”

The Wind Pillar laughed. “No, there’s just too many hoops to jump through. This whole society puts too much emphasis on the flashiness if you ask me.”

“I suppose we could agree on that.”

The Wind Pillar seemed to have almost superhuman strength. He ran faster, punched harder, and took more blows than most people, even among the Pros. Though it couldn’t be compared to people with strength enhancing Quirks, it was still impressive. When questioned, he cryptically said it was all about the breathing.

At one point, Eraserhead gave him his work number. If the Wind Pillar got into an altercation, he would shoot Eraserhead a call and allow him to take credit.

He was a low level vigilante, but he was doing very little to try to keep off the radar. Eraserhead couldn’t be bothered to figure out his real name, but the Wind Pillar made no attempt to disguise his identity, instead relying on leaving the scene of the crime before the police arrived. Even the Crawler’s All Might hoodie served as a pseudo costume, but this guy only seemed to wear button up shirts, with the top button always undone.

That is, until after the USJ incident.

Eraserhead’s head injuries finished healing and he was back in the field. There was no point in wasting time sitting around.

“Hey, Eraserhead,” a voice called to him from the alleyway. It was the Wind Pillar, and he was dressed differently.

The usual button up was replaced by a gakuran, this time left entirely unbuttoned. He was also wearing hakama pants in the same green color as the gakuran. A short sleeve white haori covered his shoulders.

The most alarming addition was the katana tucked into his belt.

Eraserhead activated his Quirk as a precaution. The Wind Pillar looked unamused.

“I wanted to see how you were faring after that Nomu and this is how you greet me?”

“It’s a rational precaution,” Eraserhead said, walking over. That’s when he noticed another figure in the alley. He had short black hair and piercing blue eyes. He was wearing a similar uniform to the Wind Pillar, only his was a navy blue, and he was wearing a long sleeved haori in a green and yellow pattern.

“That’s my new associate,” the Wind Pillar said. “You can call him the Water Pillar.”

The Water Pillar gave a small nod of acknowledgement.

“What’s this about?”

“We were wondering if you’ve got any information on that Nomu from the USJ,” the Wind Pillar said.

“That’s classified information. I’m already giving you leniency by letting your vigilantism go unchecked. Why do you need to know?”

“Let’s just say we have a personal interest in this case,” the Water Pillar spoke up. “And, we have reason to believe that there is more than one Nomu.”

Eraserhead’s eyes widened in alarm. One was bad enough, but more…

“We’re looking into the League of Villains now,” the Wind Pillar said. “And, hey, if there’s something we can’t handle, we’ll let you know.”

Before Eraserhead could say anything else, they took off into the night.

They were definitely the weirdest and least rational vigilantes he had ever encountered. The outdated swords, the odd uniforms. Maybe Edgeshot or Yoroi Musha would understand the aesthetic better.

Contact became more sparse over the following months. But, one thing was clear. The Wind Pillar and the Water Pillar were a devastating combination. The Wind Pillar was like a hurricane with fast and fierce attacks. The Water Pillar covered for his partner’s offense with flowing river-like defense. The addition of katanas to their arsenal made them even more dangerous. None of the villains they fought ever ended up dead, but it was clear they had good knowledge of vital points and where to strike to avoid lethal cuts.

It was after the attack on the summer camp and Bakugo’s kidnapping that the Water Pillar made contact. Eraserhead and Vlad King were giving their statements on the villains’ descriptions to Detective Tsukauchi. A million thoughts were racing through Eraserhead’s mind. This was their biggest failure as teachers and Heroes, letting a student get kidnapped.

“With these descriptions, we should be able to track down the villains and rescue Bakugo soon,” Tsukauchi said. “We’ll keep you updated.”

Eraserhead got up, intent on leaving when he felt a buzzing in his pocket. His phone. He fished it out and saw the number was not displaying. Tsukauchi and Vlad King looked at him expectedly. Eraserhead put his phone on speaker mode and picked up the call.

“This Eraserhead?” He heard the Water Pillar’s voice.

“Yes,” Eraserhead said carefully.

“I’m assuming that you are working on the case of the kidnapped student- it’s all over the news,” the Water Pillar continued. “We are willing to provide our assistance.”

Tsukauchi motioned for Eraserhead to hand over the phone. “This is Detective Naomasa Tsukauchi of the police force. Who are you?”

“Oh, relax,” the Wind Pillar broke in. “Just a couple of vigilantes, who happen to have a good idea about where the League’s hideout is.”

This caused the three of them to freeze. Aizawa had worked with vigilantes before. Even Tsukauchi gave the Crawler leniency a few times. But that was in accidental meetings. Never had a vigilante contacted them directly.

“We believe that there’s a bar in Kamino Ward that they are connected to. The one in Yokohama,” the Water Pillar said. “However, we have investment in this case, and we have personal experience fighting Nomu. We’d like to be given the chance to take part in this operation with no legal repercussions. There is potentially the life of a child on the line, so you need all the help you can get.”

Eraserhead, Vlad King, and Tsukauchi exchanged glances. The dilemma was as clear as day. If they allowed these two to break the law, how much could others push the envelope? The Water Pillar was right, though. A student was in danger. And, even if permission was not granted, it was highly likely they would still make an appearance.

“We… we will appreciate the help,” Tsukauchi said after a moment of deliberation. “No legal repercussions. Just this once.”

~~~

“And who are these two?”

“I really have to work with this guy?” The Wind Pillar said, looking at Endeavor with disgust. “I hate types like him.” The Flame Hero’s eye twitched in anger.

“These two are the Wind and Water Pillars,” Tsukauchi introduced them to the crowd of Heroes before a fight could break out. “They’re vigilantes, but they’ve provided irreplaceable intel for this mission. As such, they are here to provide backup.”

“Vigilantes?!” Endeavor roared in anger. “That’s no different from a villain!”

“I’ll gladly take you in a fight,” the Wind Pillar taunted. “Is your precious ego really that important to you?”

“Please, calm down,” the Water Pillar stepped in. “We need to go over the mission debriefing and get this over with.”

“Indeed, pull yourself together, Endeavor,” Edgeshot said sharply. “There is no time for semantics.”

Endeavor scoffed and sharply turned away, muttering, “What kind of help could two people who still wear middle school uniforms even provide?”

“Now then,” Tsukauchi began. “Based on the information the Pillars provided and our own investigations, we have gathered that the League has two hideouts. We will attack and secure them both at once to seal off any possible escape routes, working in two teams. However, we have reason to believe that there is another man behind the scenes. He won’t come out unless he believes his safety is guaranteed. His strength is said to be comparable to All Might’s.”

The Wind and Water Pillars narrowed their eyes at this. As if they knew something.

“We have to be very careful about this. If we mess up, we can lose both Bakugo and the League. We cannot falter now! Heroes, go show the world what you’re made of!”

~~~

“Well, it’s over.”

Tsukauchi had the Wind and Water Pillars meet him in his office. Both of them were injured from the fight, but wasn’t anything they wouldn’t recover from.

“We appreciate your help with this case,” Tsukauchi continued. “We got Bakugo back safely and All for One is behind bars. There have been many unfortunate repercussions, but that is not what you’re here for.”

He leaned forward. “As promised, you will not be charged or arrested for your work on this case, or any previous acts of vigilantism. However, I cannot promise that this courtesy will extend to future cases. In my honest advice, stop and go back to being normal civilians. Your help was irreplaceable, but no longer needed.”

“Thank you, detective,” the Water Pillar said, preventing the Wind Pillar from speaking. “We will take your words to heart.”

“Whatever, can we leave?” The Wind Pillar scoffed.

Tsukauchi dismissed them, but he didn’t miss the silent look that passed between them. He got the feeling this wouldn’t be the last time he hears of the Pillars.

Me: Write the fight scene. Brain: No. Me: Okay, then if you're going to do a critique of Hero society, do it coherently. Brain: ... SANEMI HATES ENDEAVOR WITH THE PASSION OF A THOUSAND BURNING SUNS! Me: THAT'S NOT COHERENT!
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