Being a videogame henchman used to mean a guaranteed early trip to the morgue. But recent reports suggest an increase in non-lethal techniques among vigilantes, with life insurance premiums falling as much as 30% in some areas. We interviewed one city guardsman who had experienced mercy at the hands of a masked criminal.

“Because of my ethnicity, I used to only ever get job offers as a middle-eastern terrorist,” the guard told us. “In retrospect, I’m glad I stuck it out and waited for something in dystopian law enforcement.”

“You’d think it’d be a more dangerous place to work, given the gothic architecture and omnipresent sense of doom, but at least the vigilantes here tend to show some mercy. All I got was a sore neck and a fine for replacing a lost keycard.”

“I was taking the usual, predictable route through the chapel – mumbling out loud about my wife and kids – when I found a colleague collapsed, full of darts. I bent over to check his pulse, and all of a sudden this silhouetted figure swept down from the cloisters, like the leather-clad shadow of a cat from a nightmare.”

But despite leaving work unscathed, the unnamed guardsman doubts his assailant’s altruism: “Although his weapons were non-lethal, there was a real sense he was only sparing me as part of some greater achievement.”

“You hear stories about others who aren’t so lucky; ripped to pieces by dark magic or cyborg gubbins. It’s one extreme or the other with these trench-coat types.”

Similar accounts came from a recent attack in Detroit, where an entire squadron of police officers were tasered unconscious and left in the building’s interconnecting ventilation shafts.