"Steve walks warily down the street, with his brim pulled way down low..."
Pretty exciting day today. Here's a play by play for you. Note that it's very long, but there's a good kill story down there somewhere that is maybe a little more than mildly amusing, and might make the whole thing worth reading, if you're interested in following the Streetwars stories.
I got up a little early, excited for the first full day of Streetwars. I decided that I would concentrate on the easier of the two members of the team I was hunting. This guy was all over the internet. He's been in movies and he's prominently featured on a local website devoted to clog dancing. Yes. Clog dancing. I signed up for the San Francisco clogging Yahoo group ("Hi. I just moved from Seattle and my girlfriend is really interested in clogging!") last night. When he's not clogging, my victim works during the day at a high school that's about four blocks from my house. I headed over there before work today and questioned a couple of kids from the school about where the faculty parks (answer: on the street). Kids, don't give out information about your teachers! Damn!
After the school, I took a quick ride by the homes of both of my targets, since they were kind of on my way to work. They didn't really turn up anything, so I headed to the office.
Upon arrival and checking my mail, I discovered that I'd been accepted to the clogging Yahoo group, so I did some reading up. I'd found out last night that the dude's clogging group teaches classes on Monday nights. On the Yahoo group, I found that my target wasn't the teacher, but he does assist in most of the classes, so I decided that tonight I'd be going to clogging class.
In the meantime, I decided to do a little lunchtime recon at the other guy's work. A message showed up on the Streetwars site that stated that the non-clogging guy was the primary target for this team. The way it works if you're assigned a team is like this: If you take out the primary target, you get the whole team. If you get someone other than the primary target, he's dead, but you still have to work on the team. So, even though he wasn't as prominent on the internet, I figured I'd better start trying to find a way to get to him.
I got on my scooter and rode the 7 or 8 blocks to the neighborhood of his office. It's on 5th, near Townsend.. just up from the train station. I took Brannan over there and turned on to 5th, planning to just do a quick drive-by to get a feel for the situation. I rode by slowly (but not TOO slowly), checking the numbers on the buildings. When I noticed the correct one, I looked down and noticed that my victim was STANDING RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE OFFICE. It took a split second to recognize him from his picture and I immediately looked away, hoping there'd been no eye contact. From there, I rode around the corner and parked my scooter a few blocks away. I decided I'd walk by, and since it was lunchtime I'd check out a few local eateries. Perhaps I'd get lucky and catch him at lunch.
As I walked up 5th, approaching his building from about a block away, I figured I'd better cross the street, to avoid walking right in front of him. At that point, I noticed a girl walking towards her car, looking at me and sort of smiling. As soon as our eyes met, she made a little gun with her fingers and shot me twice as if to signal that she knew I was in the game! The poker player in me took over and I'd broken direct eye contact with her before she was even finished. I'm pretty sure I did a good job of acting like I either didn't notice her or didn't think her gesture was at me. I kept walking.
I checked out a couple of local places, but my man was nowhere to be found. I got back on my scoot and headed back towards work for an excruciating six more hours in the office, making zero progress.
Towards the end of the work day, I checked up on the clogging class. The schedule was such that beginner class would start at 7:30, intermediate at 8:15, and advanced at 9:15. I decided that it'd be too obvious to just wait and try to jack him as he went in and instead opted to go hang around and hope that he'd come out to smoke or talk to smokers in between classes. With a little while to kill, I headed over to the non-cloggers neighborhood, hoping to do a little more recon and maybe get lucky.
Non-clogger lives in the Mission near 20th and Valencia. I parked my bike about 5 blocks away and got all my weapons ready. Pretty much every time I am outside nowadays, I'm carring at least two small party favor style water pistols, as well as at least one large-ish Super Soaker. For this mission, I was carring one small pistol in each pocket, one in the front pocket of my messenger bag, one manual action Super Soaker with pretty good range, and one pump action back pressure fuck you up Super Soaker MaxD 2000. The D stands for Distance. I pumped the shit out of the MaxD and holstered it in my messenger bag. I found a nice dark spot near the corner of 20th and Valencia where I could see non-clogger's front door and the sidewalks on both side of the street clear over to Lexington.
The main problem I was facing was that everyone in non-clogger's neighborhood looks kind of like him. White, hipster-ey, crazy hair, facial hair of some sort. I picked up vibes from a few people, but didn't get any positive IDs. The spot where I was standing was a little sketch. I saw a small-time drug deal about five feet away. Such are the perils of the dark shadows of the sidewalk.
After about 15 to 20 minutes of watching non-clogger's house with no activity, I was getting close to giving up. That's when I spotted a guy I was pretty sure was him, just crossing Lexington on the other side of the street (the side where his house was) going towards the house. I began walking non-chalantly towards Lex, while trying to get a positive ID. I looked at him a little too long while he looked at me. He and his girl started walking much more quickly towards their house.
Non-clogger lives in an old Victorian that's been split in to three houses. There's a gated tunnel entrance that leads up some stairs to three front doors. One door leads to the house on that level, and the other two lead to the upper levels. Through some recon the night before, Casey had figured out that Non-clogger's house was the same level as the front doors.
As non-clogger and his girlfriend passed me on the opposite side of the street, I could tell they were definitely worried about me, and this equaled a positive ID. I continued walking at an only slightly more brisk pace than before. My instinct was to try to cross at the corner like everything was normal, and sneak up on them while they opened the gate. I quickly realized there wasn't time and as they reached their front gate, I bolted across the street and towards them.
They quickly unlocked the gate and slammed it shut, trapping themselves while they unlocked their front door. I was pumping adrenaline so fast that I don't remember actually pulling the gun from my bag. Luckily I grabbed the MaxD. With the pump-action, it shoots a nice fat continuous stream for about five seconds or so. I ran close to the building, so he wouldn't be able to nail me before he was in range. Overly excited, I yelled out, "OH YEAH, IT'S COMIN' NOW, BABY!" Apparently I was a porn star in a former life or something. Anyway, just as I got to the gate I pulled the trigger and hosed the shit out of non-clogger and his girl as they huddled against the door. Non-clogger tried to defend by shooting at me with a syringe, but it was too late. He was dripping. He briefly questioned if he maybe got me before I got him, but he had no case. I was dry. Even if he had gotten me, it pretty much would have been a tie, and a tie goes to the shooter.
Non-clogger handed me his Streetwars ID card (a requirement if you're killed, as a trophy for your killer) and we chatted for a few minutes at the gate. After a few minutes he invited me in for a drink, and we each enjoyed a glass of some pretty fine single malt whiskey while we chatted some more about our adventures in Streetwars.
I felt kind of bad, because his girl was making fun of him, and he was also stressing about how his partner was going to kill him for getting eliminated on the first day, but I didn't sweat it too much because I'm a cold-hearted fuck of a killer. Wu Tang.
I rolled home to the safety of my batcave, and I live to see another day. In fact, there's been little sign of my assassin. He or she has left a few minor clues, but there have been no attempts on my life or to follow me that I know of.
One thing that's a little troubling: I notified our receptionist today that I was in the game and asked that if anyone called looking for information about me or trying to see me to please shut them down, or give them misleading information. Since they have apparently no sense of humor or adventure, they were not at all amused. Later in the day I got an email from the main office manager, who basically said that we could not have people calling the front desk or coming in trying to get information and making the receptionist uncomfortable. This was no good. I'm very new at this job, and I really can't afford to be pissing anyone off. I send the commander of the game an email stating the situation and I basically told him that unless he could keep my killer from harassing me at work, then I'd have to drop out. I was bummed about this, and I almost didn't go on my awesome mission after work today. All is not lost though, as the commander emailed me saying that he'd tell my killer not to mess with my coworkers. In return, I had to promise to give any information that my killer might want about me that he or she could have gotten from work. Fair enough.
So, I got my first kill, I'm still in it, and I'm feeling like I can take it easy for a couple of days and get some rest, aside from having to watch my back.
See you on the streets!