Part 1/7: Every Story…


It started like any other day. Wake up, tell the alarm I’m not ready yet, reset alarm, wake up again, brush teeth, do hair, go to work. A typical work day consists of very little actual work, I mean its not fair to say I don’t do any actual work but the work I do feels so benign and uninspiring that it passes over me and I can do my job while browsing my ipad out of sight of customers. Mornings consist of eating breakfast and catching up on the internet from the previous day, Tuesday’s are special though. Tuesday is Timeout day. Timeout has been one of my main resources in London for finding some of the interesting yet odd things that I came here to do. A typical glance through can usually highlight anything of any interest to me and the rest is normally words of little use to myself. Recent weeks have been fairly quiet on the events front so this normally doesn’t take up much of my day. This week is much the same. Music! Theatre! Galleries! Some dude eating large quantities of food! Some month long water pistol assassination tournament!

“Wait, wut!”

“Thats balls out awesome!” I think to myself. But I have customers arriving, I can’t read up on it properly so I take a screenshot and plan to come back to it. Only I forget. I forget all week until Saturday, I have company and I’m looking through the ipad at various things and stumble on the screenshot. The entry date is the following day, “its fine!” I tell her, “I’ll sort this out tomorrow when I send you home”. Only she doesn’t go home on Sunday and my mind isn’t focused on the idea of shooting people with water pistols. Monday rolls along and we decide to go get breakfast and I’m casually catching up on my internet once again and the date hits me in the face like a bad fart. “FUCK, its monday! I’ve missed it!”. I’m kinda gutted but there isn’t much I can do. I figure, what the fuck I’ll check the website just in case they’ve forgot to close entries. Only its better than that and entries have been extended till later in the week! “Holy shit breakfast is going to have to wait, I NEED to do this now!” I tell her as shes glazed over checking her own phone. I sign up in fairly undramatic fashion, only stumbling at what my assassin name would be. I go through all the water based ones I can think of and they’re all shit, I need to think of something that has presence yet meaning. Something I can imagine other people saying when they talk about my exploits. I glance at my t-shirt and its my favourite one today, it features Icarus falling from the sky. The man who thought he could fly but flew too close to the sun. It was perfect. Icarus, I would be known as Icarus

I order breakfast with an extra black pudding to celebrate. She doesn’t eat her black pudding, I eat it as well, it feels like fucking christmas


Let me take a bit of a moment here to tell you about Street Wars. Its a month-long game that involves assassinating someone in London with a water pistol while you are being hunted by someone else with the same intent. You are given photos, home address, work address, phone number and email address of your quarry and likewise have forfeited these details yourself. Nearly everything is fair game from there on out. There are different designated safe zones like government buildings and public transport, as well as various other rules that basically revolve around a “don’t be fucking stupid” rule. But essentially you are consenting to being stalked, which was a big thing for some of my friends and family to get their heads around

“Dude I live in a fucking police station, its a fortress!”, I brazenly tell them. “Plus I walk past the American embassy on my commute and have 2 armed police beside of work, no one would be stupid enough to pull a weapon on me there surely”

Collecting my Dossier

The day comes to collect my target, I know I am to meet an unknown contact in a shady pub. I assume it’ll be a sit down and introduce yourself, show your ID and then be passed an envelope under the table affair before making my leave. I have no idea how serious people are going to take this or how the night will unfold. I also hate role play, I cannot act for shit but I also don’t want to show up in my normal clothes and expect a good evening. So I begin to concoct my even… no hang on, lets be accurate here… So I begin to overthink my evening…

I turn up wearing normal clothes, in my backpack will be a suit and my weapons (I went for dual wielding battery operated pistols. Pistols that it turned out were too big to conceal even as solo guns). We were to let our contact know we were there 10 minutes before our allotted time. Mentions were made of bringing gifts and Hawaiian shirts, so I figured the contact would be easy enough to spot. He was. He wore a Hawaiian shirt and sat alone, unfortunately I failed to bring a gift. I plain forgot, I figured it wouldn’t be the end of the world and didn’t think twice about it as I was already playing out what I wanted to do over and over in my head… no wait… Overthinking and overthinking in my head

I find a paper and decide to leave a note on the paper and hand it over and thank them for lending it to me. “Your 850 is here, Icarus” I scrawl. I’ve been here an hour and already had a couple of drinks and beginning to go south, teach me for not eating. I hand over the paper and make my leave having set my plan in motion. I head to the gents and prepare to get changed, the toilets have no locks on which is not a good indicator of the pub’s clientele so I fumble around getting changed while propping the door shut as people come in and out. I choose to keep the guns stowed for now, I figure this isn’t likely to require weapons and I had no way of holstering them. I leave the toilets a new man and wait until its my time, hiding the bag in the meantime. I sit, drinking yet more whiskey and coke watching a football game in a language I can’t identify. There are foots and balls everywhere. My time comes, I make my way through and see nobody is sat across from my contact who now has Moustache Commander, or at least a pale imitation of him sat beside him (“America is a long way to come, though its a shit stand in” I think to myself). I sit down and start talking to the Hawaiian who promptly cuts me off asking if I normally just sit down uninvited, my plans immediately dissolve as my planned spiel does not materialise. “I saw an empty seat and decided I would sit here” I retorted, hoping that I used the appropriate amount of bite that if this was role play it would be in character for a hardened assassin but also testing the waters. “Is now a bad time?” I add, noticing that Moustache is looking at me weird. I’m told it is, and that I should bring back something to toast to. I am flustered, I am sweating profusely, I shuffle off with my tail between my legs and sit down on the sofas with another drink (Appropriately Desperado) and decide to wait until the fake moustache guy who by now is clearly another assassin has left before heading through

He doesn’t leave, and other (really obvious) players go into the room where hes at and I decide to keep waiting. I can’t handle making a tit of myself again. I message the few people I’ve told about this night telling them I don’t think I can do this, what a mistake and thinking I’ll fuck it off and go home. Over an hour passes and eventually the Hawaiian guy comes through and talks to a girl who has recently entered the place and I hadn’t identified as a player. I snap a picture on my phone and eavesdrop as they talk about the people that had been coming in. He turns and walks over, “I thought you were bringing me something to toast?”. “I take it your free now then” to which he replies he is, and we walk back through and the night is back on just as I was about to go. It becomes apparent my recon of the place didn’t identify a second door nearby where everyone else had left and I shake my head at myself. Amateur

We sit, we talk, I get hit around the head with my paper questioning what kind of gift that is. The girl walks through and hits me on the head with the paper as well and I know I’ve dropped the ball on the gift thing. I’m given a present to give to Supreme Commander when I meet him, its a warm Smirnoff bottle with an unidentified red fluid in it. Odd but whatever. His location is given to me and I’m off on my way to meet the big guy. The trip there would take over an hour to walk there according to Citymapper as the route by the canal is blocked off. I’m contemplating getting a taxi and cursing these guys for giving us such an ill-conceived location to meet when I look across the road and spot another way to the canal. Amateur

Its dark outside and the canal is barely lit at all, I have no idea what to expect from everything and draw my weapon and hold it under my armpit. This place looks dodgy and if this is a set piece to test me then I want to be ready to react. On the way I pass a random biker and another player returning the way I’d came from. Those were tense moments but the weapon stayed hidden and I eventually found the location. 3 people stood at the bottom of the stairs, a dude in a head wrap I’d seen earlier and 2 other guys (one of whom I didn’t realise at the time but was the dude in Timeout who did the articles about eating large quantities of food). We talked and divulged more information than we maybe should have done to each other and I eventually discovered that nobody else had been given a gift to give to Supreme. I had wondered whether everyone was given gifts and how they were being cycled backward and forward between pub and location or what the logistics were, but it became apparent I was an idiot and this was for the gift I hadn’t brought in the first place. The queue dies down and eventually its my turn to go up

I walk up the stairs, prepared for whatever machismo I have left in me and walk through the door and prepare to meet the commanders. Theres a boxing ring and 4 people sat around on sofas, how odd. “Wrong door mate” I’m told, and not for the first time that evening I apologise and walk back with my tail between my legs. I knock and through the other door I go, into a dark room with a red light silhouetting Supreme and Moustache. They tell me to sit and I give them my gift, withdrawing the bottle from my bag and handing it over Supreme looks as equally puzzled as I am. “Is it warm urine?” he asks, “I’ve no idea, one of your contacts gave me it, it could well be” I reply. Thus begins a 10 minute conversation between the 3 of us on the urine content of the alcohol in front of us, with special mention going to a large bottle of Jim Bean. Moustache tells me this is a personal blend that they produced by completely changing their diets to get only the purest urine to blend in. They tell me to pour myself a drink and I choose the special blend Jim Urine and pour myself a big glass, thinking it can’t possibly be actual drink given the bottle of Smirnoff. I raise the glass to smell it, hoping to continue on the urine conversation and admire their dedication to their drink. Its actual whiskey, I can’t not drink this without looking like an idiot, the drink gets downed in one. Amateur

We get down to business as I regret my decisions this evening, the dossier is produced and I get them to pass judgement on my weapons before I wish them well and begin my wobble down the canal back home. I don’t look at my dossier until I get on the train back home, I open it up and read the rules and check my targets. My first quarry is a team, Masters of Electronic Death. Team M.E.D.: Eru, Dogan the Barbarian and team leader Merve the Turk

The game begins in 24 hours

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