Part 4/7: Good Things Come…

Eru

Thursday rolls along and the rogues are re-assigned. I’m given Corday and I plan on hitting him up that evening. An email goes between all the rogues telling us the priority is on Corday and Team M.E.D., I shit my pants and tell them even if I can’t get the kill on Team M.E.D. that I would love to be involved in their undoing. Redemption, redemption is at hand! I can finish what I began. Eevil helps me out and gives me Eru as a target, the other 2 are out of town at the minute and won’t return until Sunday. Intel is also received that Corday wants out, hes had enough of the game and wants to be put out of his misery. I send texts to Corday offering him a gentleman’s exit and a story to tell of his demise and I plot in the meanwhile to being stalking Eru starting that evening

I finish work and meet up with Gambit. Eru’s front door is beside a diner and theres tables and chairs outside and right beside the door. Its perfect. Gambit sits facing her door with a drink in front of him. I join him and as I do a random gentleman enters the door we’re waiting beside. It takes him a bit to fumble with the lock and he makes sure the door is properly shut behind him. Gambit heads off to the bathroom and I go to read the paper he has in front of him and just as I’m about to unfold it I realise that it isn’t normally that thick. His pistol is concealed in the paper and although I thought it was a pretty lame concealment it fooled me until the last moment. He returns and we sit and drink and talk and wait. A couple of hours pass and this tall chap with what looks to be a racket bag suddenly strolls up to the door and stares at the doorbell before sitting at the table behind us. Me and Gambit stare at each and with all the professionalism of an actual assassin I whisper to him saying “Holy shit that was weird as fuck!”

Who is he! He has to be part of the game! Is he one of us? Is he a rogue? Gambit is sitting facing his way and telling me hes playing with his phone. “Tell me when hes finished and put his phone down and I’ll email the rogues and we’ll see if his phone goes off” I instruct him. What can only be a minute passes until he gives me the nod and the email is sent: “Anyone else on Eru? Odd guy turned up nearby. Are you one of us?”

His phone doesn’t go off, so the chances are that hes the actual assassin hunting Team M.E.D.. We take our chances, Gambit walks over and flashes his gun and I’m ready to pull my gun out the cardboard box I stole from down the street in case water began to be spilled. It didn’t though and eventually after asking some probing questions we discovered we had crossed paths with Napalm Stench and were after the same target. Now the rules don’t strictly forbid rogues and live assassins working in unison, but we applied the “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” logic to the situation and he came and joined us and we formed an impromptu alliance that was to last us longer than any of us imagined. We agreed that we wouldn’t share inside rogue knowledge unless it was relevant to our targets and that once the job was done that we would all part ways amicably. But first, we had to kill Eru

Its worth mentioning that during the time we sat down and waited I had a phonecall from a missed number which I didn’t take. I thought it could be Corday but my priority had been set and I didn’t want to risk it being him and me wasting an opportunity. I to this day do not know who rang me. It got to kicking out time at the diner and Gambit had to make his leave back to the real world, me and Stench took up residence in his car which was parked right beside the door and we sat there until 1am before calling it quits and returning home. For 3 hours we sat with our supersoakers in the footwells with itchy trigger fingers, spotting potential targets and getting ready to dive out the car at a moments notice. We agreed to meet the following day and resume our hunt. With one final ring of the doorbell, Stench standing by the door gun in hand and me lurking behind the car ready to open fire if need be. No answer, it was time to go home

Friday rolls along and we decide to have a bit of a later start due to her unlikely to have returned home during the morning and have still gone to work. I have errands to run and Stench and Gambit have work, but Stench manages a few hours surveillance just in case. It gets to about 3pm and I’m still dealing with my errand, mostly learning how to make origami birds and a butterfly. Which looks more like a moth but you get the idea. A rogue email comes in with insider intel on Eru. We have access to her work schedule and shes not taking any meetings after 5pm. Its likely she’ll be heading home about that time and we want eyes at Canary Wharf to confirm if shes left or not. Nobody can get there but me it seems, so I drop everything and dash on the tube, arriving at Canary Wharf some 30 minutes later. My heart is racing, the hunt is on and my target is close by. I find the exits directly into the underground station and assume Eru will take them, meanwhile I take a phonecall off Osho who is by now covering another exit above ground that would lead down into the station. She would give me a heads up if she sees her and I could get into position to tail her. I figure if I’m standing around in a bit of a weird position checking everyone out I need a reason to be there. A paper seems like a good idea except I can’t focus on both that and people around me, I need something better. As part of my recon of the area I found a nearby flower shop. Its perfect! I buy flowers and stand around waiting for my significant other to surprise her! Not before I’ve had a tense moment of building my gun in my backpack in full view of everyone without trying to look dodgy. Of all the things I’ve done to raise suspicion on this thing this ranked as one of my silliest. But I needed to be ready to shoot her at the other side, in my rush I hadn’t prepared properly and needed this gun ready

5pm rolls along and the stream of people begin to pick up, I wait near the doors for about 45 minutes before falling back to the main station. The stream turns into a torrent and I’m beginning to struggle to check everyone, I need a funnel to make this easier. Osho gets in touch to tell me she had to leave but wishes me luck, my funnel plan becomes a lot more necessary. The only places in a tube station that people slow down and bottleneck are at the escalators or at the barriers. There are multiple escalators to the platform but only one set of barriers so I need to be near the barriers and able to watch them all. My cover story extends to I’m waiting for my girlfriend to surprise her after work, but the reason I’m checking everyone at the barriers is because her phone is dead and I can’t stop her from heading home without me. It might be enough to buy me some time but I’m sure it wouldn’t stick if push came to shove and I was moved on. It is unneeded however as I’m standing around practically beside of the barriers checking everyone. And I mean everyone. There are thousands, this station is fucking busy and its rush hour on a Friday and these bankers want to go home for the weekend. I am grateful to every Oyster card without credit, every barrier that doesn’t recognise a card, every ticket that doesn’t work. Each of these takes a barrier out of action for a few seconds and my job becomes momentarily easier but by about 615pm I’ve had no positive id’s and my eyes are fatigued from all the scanning. During all this I informed Stench of our insider and he was waiting at Gloucester Road for Eru there incase she slipped our net at Canary Wharf, he had to leave and it meant I needed to fall back once again to the Diner. I called time on the barriers and made my way along the tube to take over his watch getting there by 645pm. He is nowhere to be found and has had to leave early, worse still our usual seats have been taken by a group of young girls. I’m forced to wait down the road outside of Pret, I can have eyes on the door and potential enough of the street to spot Eru before she gets there. I wait, and wait

The girls aren’t moving and my phone is beginning to run out of battery. Every time I check it there she is, Eru is the wallpaper on my phone to allow for a quick check if I’m not sure. This isn’t the photo she provided the Shadow Government though, this is a picture from her Facebook which was locked down and private enough that we couldn’t see anything on it. Except Gambit tried something. Gambit made a duplicate profile of one of her friends, he copied pictures and likes and hoped that when it popped up she wouldn’t put much thought to it and would just accept. Within less than an hour of sending the request, she had accepted and the gates of her profile blew open to us. We had pictures that would make identifying her much easier, we knew she’d been away recently and had pictures from that. We had references for height, for hair styles, everything. It turned out she was more of a Facebooker that other people tagged her into things and she didn’t post things herself. So there was little in the way of helpful statuses. He forwarded a selection of photos to me and Stench so we could use them and monitored the profile for changed while we were on our missions. Speaking of which, I’m still watching that door. The battery is getting dangerously low and I need the phone to operate properly. I’m trying to get another rogue to come and take over my watch but nobody is answering. Its 720pm. Between emailing, background checking and staring at the door I fail to keep an eye on the street leading up to the station. Its at this point I catch a glimpse of a girl out the corner of my eye, and my heart races. Oh shit. Is that her?

If I’d been looking up the street seconds earlier I would have known, but I wasn’t sure. I made my first mistake, I continued to sit. I had been looking at so many people and become so amped up on adrenaline I was wary of prematurely shooting my load. I sat and I stared at her back, the height was about what I’d guessed. Similar build, similar hair. She approached the table of girls and I started to reach into my bag for my gun, weighing up my options. She turns at the table and approached the door with a key held out. Adrenaline surges through my body like when I’m about to jump out of a plane. Holy shit. Is that her!?

If I’d have followed, I would have drawn my gun and shot her anyhow at this point just to make sure but I hadn’t. Then I arguably made my second mistake. I was a brief run away, almost 3 shops and between us was a table of girls who would have been unceremoniously gunned down while I would have had to shoot the potential Eru in the head given it was the only angle available to me. I grab my gun still in the bag and consider my options. This girl is looking around lots, and is taking ages to get into the door. I could run, I could pull out my gun and cause terror on the streets as I run screaming down the street and take out everyone outside the diner on an adrenaline fuelled rampage and potentially still not have the right person because I’ve become so transfixed. I question what I’m seeing so much, I let go of the gun and watch her go into the house. Having waited so long, I didn’t want to risk giving away who I was in case she got in safe and spotted me. I chose not to cause what would have been a pretty big scene and a lot of potentially pissed off and probably frightened people. I sat, and I was forced to let the likeliest person I’d seen so far on these stakeouts walk right into her home. I was mortified, I was tired, I was angry at myself and my battery was down to 3%, Eru looking back at me from the phone. It was her, it had to be her, it couldn’t have been her. So many emotions, so many chemicals flowing through my body making the situation worse. Finally, a rogue answers my call. Big Foot will come and take over my duties! But just as he emails to tell me his location, my phone dies. Its now 8pm, I wait a further 30 minutes trying to spot him to inform him of what I know. I can’t wait any longer, I need to pick up my errand from the shop before it closes. I had been sitting in work when I got the intel and left it there but I couldn’t leave it there all night. I got up, put my backpack on my back. And skulked off to the bus stop, defeated. Was that her?

Its Saturday. Day 3 of the hunt. It begins with Stench arriving at the property at 7am and me arriving sometime before 12 post-errand. We sit at the diner and more food and drink is consumed. Lunchtime comes and Stench had an engagement to make so has to leave but I promise to keep my eyes on the place. Thankfully the diner had changed its staff as they were beginning to get a bit wary of us, we knew we would only be after Eru for one more day before Merve and Dogan returned and the priority would switch to them. Its an incredibly beautiful day in London, the sun is beaming down on me and I’ve forgot assassin stakeout rule 101. Always wear sunscreen. I’m going to pay for this one tomorrow I think. I am at our usual table, the other table is busy and I’ve finished my breakfast and the table has been cleaned. A couple of Canadian gents, a father and his son, roll up and ask if I mind sharing the table with them and I let them take a seat. They’re a very talkative bunch and they introduce themselves and conversation flows between us. Father tells me he comes here often but its his son’s first time and hes trying to show him what London has to offer. I tell them my stories (You’re reading this and by this point, roughly 10,000 words in, you know I like my stories) and they tell me their experiences. Theres an awkward exchange between me and the father as to how his son should find a girl, and how he needs to go out and make an effort. I tell them I can’t really help there as my current experience involves using a dinghy and another story of my life ensues

After half an hour and these guys buying me a drink, I figure its time to be frank. “Look guys, I need to warn you about something”, I begin. “I’m currently playing a game, and in my bag is a giant water pistol. That door behind of you is where my target lives and if she appears I need to shoot her, I thought you should know so you don’t shit yourselves if I suddenly leap up and pull a rifle out of my bag and disappear”. They’re as curious as anyone else I’ve talked to about StreetWars. Lets be fair, there are only 2 reactions to this whole thing. The “wow thats cool” reaction or the “omg grow up” reaction. Any player can tell you that one. These guys want to know more and I regale them with how it all works, how I’ve spent the best part or 3 days sitting at this table with 2 other guys just waiting. I work out our total expense on these stakeouts to be roughly £200. We continue talking and eventually the come to leave. We shake hands, they wish me luck and they disappear down the street. I’m not prepared to continue sitting at the diner and make moved back to Pret as there is shade there now and I’m dying. I’m there for a couple of hours reliving my experience the day before when Stench tells me hes on his way, I plan to tell him of Team M.E.D.’s targets house to go and scope out there on the chance that Eru is hunting to keep her team in the game. He pulls up and I jump in and we’re on the move. I tell him the location and he knows where it is straight away, hes hunted here before. Team M.E.D. are hunting Candy Crotch Saga and Napalm Stench spent some long hours at this place with no joy. We head over there and have a quick scope out around the place, no Erizan. Stench tries to get in touch with Candy and wants to set the tone for a sting operation on Candy’s Facebook to try and work out if Eru is actually playing or not. Candy isn’t biting though and wants to wait until Sunday. This is less than ideal. We send her a message with a pub Candy has told us about anyhow, the Eagle. We pretend to be the Shadow Government and that we’re trying to give them an opportunity at Candy and we know he’ll be there between 5 and 6. Its a long shot but it gives us some options

Leaving the car parked at Candy’s we make a plan of attack. Its a fucking glorious day and its been pretty quiet from all the assassins. Could they have fucked the game off for some rest and relaxation after a few hectic weeks. Would Eru be in a park enjoying the weather? Could she have been staking out Candy before heading to a park after getting bored? We have to check it out, so we take a walk from Candy’s to Merve and Dogan’s via any parks and scenic places along the way. We’re doing laps of parks going alternate ways and finding nothing, across a canal and down the banks and we head to Merve and Dogan’s place, maybe shes stopping there? We go and theres no sign, we take notes for the following day and eye up the windows in case theres an easy way to spot her, we don’t stay long before figuring its time to move on. Our next stop was as stupid as standing around at Canary Wharf at rush hour. Hyde Park on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Theres no way we can fully cover the place, we have to hope we get lucky. Eru’s is on the opposite side of Hyde Park so we plan to cut across and hope our luck is in. Not long after we get in the park and we decide to show each other what our guns can do so we know performance wise when the time comes. We stroll to some long grass opposite a tree where a man is sitting, we reach into our bags and produce our guns before firing a few rounds into the grass and begin to compare. This dude is looking at us all confused and we just put the guns back and continue to stroll on as if nothing has happened chuckling to ourselves. We cross into another section of the park and walk past some trees and then it comes into view. Full scale Londoners enjoying the sun. Hyde Park is heaving

Fuck. This is ridiculous

We split up and go through 2 different swarms of people dotted around in their little groups of friends. I keep a visual on him in case something happens and hes stopped and staring at his phone for ages, I continue on and loop around eventually to wait for him. My phone goes off and its him. Its a possible visual, a strong possible. A sunbathing girl has caught his eye. I go off ahead of him and walk past to check her out myself and I’m not entirely convinced, we meet up again atop a little hill looking down on her. A phone and book to her left, a bag to her right. We decide to call her to see if she answers her phone. I press dial, I listen to the dial tone and the girl starts reaching into her bag. That adrenaline shoots through us and we’re reaching for our guns when she suddenly pulls a bottle of water out. Our itchy trigger fingers nearly got the better of us and we hang up and continue our tour of duty. Reaching the other side we have no more sightings and we fall back to the car and plan to meet Gambit for our final stakeout at the diner. We retrace our steps and head back to Merve and Dogans. Passing by a pub on the way we swing through it just in case, Stench takes the front and I take the back (and in the game). I interrupt a load of people watching the football by marching through and checking them all before coming out the other side. No sightings. Back to the car it is. We sit opposite Candy’s and wait for Gambit, some confusing phonecall exchanges between me and him and we’re not entirely sure where it is Gambit is at or heading to and begin to wonder if hes actually understood us properly and all of a sudden the car door opens and we fucking shit our pants. Its Gambit but we weren’t paying attention and he got the drop on us. My poor heart

Our usual table is free and we take up our positions. Laughing at how ridiculous it has gotten. I joke that when we get his kill we should meet up here every year to celebrate, Stench tells me he has no intention of ever looking at this door again and part of me can empathise. I soend far too long fumbling around getting my GoPro to sit nicely in his car hub cap and get some sweet angles for a kill video if we cam get lucky enough. We order far too much food and some amazing milkshakes. They do pistachio milkshake and I haven’t realised until day 3? Bollocks! Lots more waiting, lots more exchanging stories, lots more being thankful for the company on long stakeouts like this. We discuss plans for Sunday and more importantly how we all think we’ve missed opportunities to shoot Eru and we just haven’t realised. Exchanging our descriptions we think we’ve all fucked up at different points but we have to continue on

The time has come to check up on our sting operation and we all decide to head to the pub to break the day up. We park down the road and approach cautiously, Gambit and Stench enter through the frond and I’ll approach from the rear and scope out the back for exits and entrances. Theres a door that leads into the beer garden and nothing else, that leaves 2 points we need to cover in case she appears. We meet at a table near the door and exchange information before getting some drinks, noting that the bar is absolutely dead. Stench buys the round (Cheers Stench!) and I take the opportunity while the barmaid is preoccupied to peak behind the bar from the 2 different ways you can get to it. No CCTV monitors. When I came in the garden, I clocked a camera staring at the gate and wondered if anyone had eyes on it. With no monitor meant I was safe to make my next move. I returned to the back entrance and closed the gate, bolting it shut from the inside. One entrance, if she came in now we had her. Perfect. The beers got drank and the clock ticked by, nobody was coming in or out. This was a dud, she either wasn’t falling for a fairly poor sting attempt or just wasn’t playing the game. It was time to head back to hers. I exited vis the rear as they scoped out the front just in case there was anyone else there we didn’t want. I corrected my earlier back door shenanigans and rejoined them in the car

We give up on our diner friends and stick to the car for a change. Gambit peels away fairly late on and me and Stench take up our usual night watch. Lots more potentials but no positives when it comes to it and Stench begins to nod off beside of me. We fight our way through and it gets to 1am. We’ve done all we can, its time to go home and regroup ahead of the final day tomorrow. Sunday is the day Team M.E.D. are back from Turkey, they MUST come home at some point. They’ll have luggage. They’ll be sitting ducks. But it does mean one thing, it could be another long arse day ahead of us

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