12:20... 6 hours and 40 minutes to go, and this arrives:

From: Fu Hsi's Ghost. Kill report, 12.20 pm, 13/10/01
Pi: Holding Together

HOLDING TOGETHER brings good fortune.
Inquire of the oracle once again
Whether you possess sublimity, constancy, and perseverance;
Then there is no blame.
Those who are uncertain gradually join.
Whoever comes too late
Meets with misfortune.

As the sun rose above the edifices of our far-reputed city, the illumin'd and feared sages of active disembodiment fared forth, seeking their hapless targets. I, on the other hand, snored softly in bed. At approximately 11am, however, this unworthy dolt arose, and swiftly checked his soft-wing'd carrier pigeons. My second target lived approximately one floor and four doors away from me, does the same subject, and was a potential member of the embryonic yet all-conquering King's Mafia. Ah! In this situation, what is the sage to do?

Pale mist floats through yarrow-grass;
The moth approaches the gingko-leaf.
Kill the son of a bitch.

I approached the wise sage and fellow Mafiaman Tyler, in hope of wise counsel. It appeared, however, that he had been entertaining his concubine and had not attained the elevated state of mental awareness commonly observed in King's students at the eleventh gong; he spoke, yet said nothing. Ah! Truly this is the way of the superior man!

Look, it cannot be seen- it is invisible.
Listen, it cannot be heard- it is beyond sound.
Grasp, it cannot be held- it is intangible.
These three are indefinable;
Therefore they are joined in one.

A pocket full of shotgun shells, a revolver in each pocket and a knife in my sock, I approached the hapless McDonald in the reput'd JCR of King's. His chin was sunk in his navel as he bewailed the ineffectiveness of powerful bean-powder stimulants upon his inferior mind. As a fellow walker of the Way, he greeted me, and spoke words of friendship.

After small and inconsequential niceties, I spoke thus:

Ghost: Uh, have you checked your contracts yet?
Iain: Oh, oh. Er, no, I haven't.
Ghost (reaching towards sock): I've got mine. We should, like, get 
      together and compare lists, and stuff.
Iain: Uh, yeah, haven't checked my email.
Ghost: Well, you do that, and... Ezra?
Iain: Yes?
Ghost: (drawing knife) You're on my target list.
Iain: Oh.
Ghost: (clambering over table to keep knife in proximity to Iain) Are we
       holding a Mafia truce, or do I just kill you?
Iain: (cowering in abject terror) Uh, I think that we hold a truce.
Ghost: (in moral quandry): But then you'll just kill me.
Iain: No, I, uh... we'll have a random...
Ghost: Sorry, but I need this kill. *splok*
Iain: Oh. That's the shortest game I've ever played.

It was truly hard to kill a member of the might Mafia. Yet to walk the Way, the sage must cast aside all he holds dear, renounce morals, and become without thought in every action.

Is there a difference between yes and no?
Is there a difference between good and evil?
Must I fear what others fear? What nonsense!

And a few moments later, it dawned on the wise but hasty spirit...

Oh shit.
I've just realised that the start time is 7PM, not 7AM.
Shit shit shit shit.
Now I presume that this either means that my target is dead, and I'm on the wanted list...
...or, more likely, that he's alive.
And he knows who I am.
Shit shit shit shit shit.

He was correct second time, both alive, no-one wanted. Soon, the style of the email settled down to his more collected thoughts.

Ah! Grave misfortune!

One can only hope that he is too mentally defective to realise this fact, so that I can kill him again.
Yours incompetently,
Fu Hsi's Ghost

Hmmmm, more haste less life expectancy, as a cardiac consultant might say. Indeed, take a look a bit further down...

19:00... As the clock struck 7, The Grim Reaper Jr. came for Mark Abthorpe.

The Grim Reaper Jr. speaks:
Walking to Trinity Hall (having scoped out my victim's room earlier the day), I knocked on the door querying as to the location of 'W' Staircase, knowing fine well where it was. Target retreated into his room to look at a map. Upon returning, the Target informed me to the wearabouts of said 'W' Staircase (which wasn't on the map), and I asked him the time. Hearing the reply "7" infused a bloodlust in me the likes of which I have never felt and I stabbed him with my trusty knife. Dying words of the target "I thought you might be..."

Mark Abthorpe reports:
I am writing to you from the grave. Tonight I was assassinated with surgical precision not once, but twice. Here are the details of my demise:
6:55pm : I emerged from the shower and returned to my room in my dressing gown to prepare for a night out in Cambridge.
7:00pm : I heard a knock at my door and, rather unsuspectingly, opened it straight away (still wearing my dressing gown) to be confronted by a lad who apologised profusely for disturbing me and asked me where W staircase was. I took pity on the poor chappie who'd obviously lost his way and due to my helpful (and fatally gullible) nature I proceeded to get my map of the college down off the wall and search for the fictional staircase. I returned to what I assumed was a tourist/student in need of direction and explained that I didn't think there was such a thing as W staircase in this college. He apologised again and said that he'd just received a strange note that mentioned W staircase which caused me to think about reaching for my trusty 2 foot cardboard cosh behind my door but at that point the villain drew a knife from his person and proceeded to stab me brutally to death. I congratulated him and he left.
10 minutes later I was leaving my room to finally go out and received about 10 shots in my chest from the gun of yet another person.

Beware all those who fear death, because The Grim Reaper Jr. is right around the corner.

As are other assassins, it would seem.

19:10... lamechild has killed Josh Lewison

Using the cunning ruse of luring Josh to my lair with the idea of making a reconnaissance of other colleges with my accomplice, he was blissfully unware of the cruel fate that awaited him. He immediately came running down the corridor aiming for my accomplice and I snuck up behind him with great dexterity and stabbed him repeatedly with my knife. On dying his final utteraces were 'bugger I didn't think that you got people from your own college'.

19:15... Sam "Fu Hsi's Ghost" Kabo Ashwell, Joel Janiurek and Iain McDonald are all dead.

Sam reports:
Ah! Remorse and blame. Nothing that serves to further.
After my appalling attempt on the life of Iain Macdonald, eight hours before the game started, I expected savage reprisals from the leviathan that is the King's Mafia. How many would appear on the dot of seven? I could only manage sixteen shots before having to reload: would it be sufficient?

3:30 pm: I espy the erroneously-slain Iain on the residence staircase. He pretends that he doesn't know he's not dead. I pretend that I don't know that he knows he's not dead. But can I be sure that I know that he knows that I know that he knows... whatever the result, this will be very good material for my essay on induction. Which he offers to lend me some books for, at 7.15.

6:30 pm: I lock the door and tool up. I consider wearing a gas mask and filling my own room with poison gas, just as an additional insurance, but check the rules and discover it to be outlawed. Pfah. Dimming all lights, I pump iron and pose with guns in the mirror in a psychotic fury.

7:00:00 pm: Someone comes knocking softly at my door. On applying an eye to the spyhole, nobody's there. Well, what a surprise... I unlock the door, and back away to grab my second gun. As I do, the knocking comes again. "Come in," I tremor, thereby assigning about as much intelligence to my attackers as to a lobotomised lab rat. By the time I'm back at the spyhole, they're gone.

A pause.
At the end of the corridor, I see something moving and hear door-opening noises. A flashing red light appears right at the limits of peripheral vision. I can't work out whether it's at the other end of the corridor or right next to my door. Surely such rank amateurs can't have constructed a bomb *and* a red flashy light this early on? Well, I'm not going to test that theory. More tense pauses. (Man, I should write this shit for a living). A long, spidery figure, terrible of aspect and with a skulking demeanour, appears at the corner of the corridor and removes the flashy thing. The sound of more than one person coming down the corridor. But I only see the first. Distorted horribly by the lens of the spyhole as well as genetic inheritance, he reaches out and knocks on the door. I haul it open. Unfortunately, this leaves only my left hand to shoot with. Two figures loom up in front of me, and I hear the rattle of submachine fire.

For years, I had prepared for this eventuality. Training in the arts of being armed without weapons from the age of four, I practised for over twelve hours every day under the supervision of the most feared trainers the world has to offer. Nothing could stand in the way of my dedication: friends, education, romance and snack foods were all cast aside in my quest to attain sublime perfection. As I approached the age of seventy-five, my final master, now on his deathbed from extreme old age, called me into his presence and gave me his final words of advice before passing away. "Fu Hsi", he said, "you are useless. Little girls could kick your ass. For god's sake, man, just shoot people."

In consequence, I was not daunted by these spidery thugs. Even as the bullets tore through my abdomen, pulping essential organs and embedding shards of my vertebrae in the wardrobe behind me, the curling smoke rising from my sidearm indicated that I had fired two shots, point-blank. Even though they recoiled from the door, it was too late. As I lay on the floor, my renal arteries convulsively bleeding into my small intestines, I uttered my last words: "Well, I think we're all dead."
From the rapidly reddening carpet of the corridor, Joel Janiurek (who had not, I believe, been armed) groaned out, "That was *so* f***ing inevitable." The last words of Iain Macdonald are unrecorded. In any case, he had to get to formal hall shortly after.

Time of death: about 7.15. Hey, two on one. It could have been worse. I'd like to sign with the police, preferably in the most high-risk branch there is, so I can elaborate on my suicidal tendencies. Sigh. Should really have listened to the I Ching.

Yes, the police force will welcome you.

19:15... Neo and Jack-the-Hand terminated Mike Bisgrove for over-enthusiasm

Neo has the following report:
During the afternoon, Mike asked me if I had any cap guns, as he had a target in another building he wanted to kill. I said yes and gave one to him. As i was reloading the other one he shot at me 4 times, then told me that I was in fact his target. I cringed and congratulated him on a cheeky kill. After he left, i planned my attack, which would commence after the game had begun.

A fellow assassin revealed to me that he had a target in my college also, and so I immediately became suspicious. But then I found out that it was in fact my assassin he was to kill. So we decided to team up and headed to his room at 7:15. His door was ajar and his light was off - did he know we were coming? Had he realised his mistake? Did he know I was still alive? Jack-the-Hand (my new partner in crime) and I asked a friend if she'd seen Mike, and she told us that he was in the room she was going to, eating chocolate fondue. Moments later, I stepped to the door, knocked twice and called for Chris (the occupant of the room in question). As I opened the door, I slid my gun down the outside of my right thigh and out of sight, whilst Jack hid his behind my back. I looked to my left, and saw him, lying on the floor on some pillows. We pointed our guns at his chest, and he brought his hands up in defence! I shot first and then Jack shot, in an attempt to share the kill, so that I got my revenge and Jack got his target. I then relayed the sad news to him that he had been too eager and so had lost this game. we left them in peace and Mike in tears and returned to my room for a celebratory bowl of spaghetti hoops and toast - a good start to the evening!

Spot any themes frequently seen in the reports so far?

Schatten killed (after some consideration) Melvin Leong.

Schatten the philosopher explains (wasn't that Schoppenheimer?):
It is unfortunate that while most questions can be settled by rational debate, matters of opinion and morals can never be. If two people's beliefs are directly contradictory, and cannot be reconciled they may have to resort to force, since if they refrain, their opponent, with the bets will in the world, will begin to infringe their rights.

To resolve such an issue Schatten was despatched to debate a target. Schatten waited until darkness enhanced his powers and translocated inside his target's room. He caused to appear a minature projectile weapon, as he drifted towards his opponent, and fired two good shots at seat of his targets soul. Unfortunately, the target had enough presence of mind to temporarily distort chance to the extent that both misfired.
The target conjured a club from certain materials lying around and rushed Schatten who, knowing his primary weapon was useless, fled. However, once outside, he felt some of his powers returned and turned to employ his backup. Unfortunately the jet of superheated plasma twice narrowly missed as the club deadened several of Schatten's arms.

A final shot, however, skilfully delivered by Schatten with his legs was enough to mortally wound Melvin, who concludes:
I must be dead now, I thought. I staggered calling for the medic who would never save me in time. Hang on, I AM the medic - studying medicine. The rules of nines, used to estimate the proportion of the body surface having been burnt and the probability that they are probably deep - third degree burns, I gave myself less than a few minutes. My staircase mates watch in mock horror (or rather amusement) as I fade away. Why, why, why - I wondered - didn't I close my door?

The last thoughts of many an assassin, I believe.

Schatten tried another target's room, but they were out.

James Chilcott (El Mariachi) finds the wrath of tingle all a bit too much

tingle reports:
I, tingle, declare that I have signed the death warrant on the ass of a James Chilcott of Trinity College. I entered his room under a false name and shot him personally with a silver gun. He attempted to knife me but was unable to complete his attempt. Three other assassins were in attendance.
Beware the wrath of tingle!!!!!!!

El Mariachi is feeling sporting:
I am happy to announce that this rather inauspicious start to our relationship has not been a problem, and I look forward to seeing one of my killers at a squash meeting tomorrow afternoon.

20.05... Vindicare strikes!

Having wandered around Cambridge trying to find Queens' College, I entered and made my way to Oliver Shipway's room. Upon opening the door, he was asked "Oliver Shipway?". Upon his answering in the affirmative my gun spoke death and he slumped to the floor with a single hole oozing blood in his chest. He claimed not even to have read the rules, but that's his lookout.


20:25... The Grim Reaper Jr. (David Roughley) has met his father.

Cue Star Wars-esque cut-scene, light-scythes blazing.

Grim reports:
This evening, just 85 minutes after getting his first kill, the Grim Reaper Jr. is dead at the hands of an assassin searching for his friend. Upon deciding to leave his room, Jr. and friend heard a knock at the door. While the friend swiftly entered the bathroom with his knife, Jr. set up his lightsaber and opened the door to a trio of toughs (ha!) from Trinity Hall College, claiming to be looking for Grim's friend. Wary though he was, the trio were more than a match for Jr. and he perished at the point of a smoking cap gun, whereupon he proceded to explain that he wasn't his friend to all three seperately (Trinity Hall has a lot to answer for).
The smoking corpse of Jr. has been stuffed and is available for all to see walking around Kings.

Aha! Hiding in the toilet. Nothing like it.

The assassin was once again Vindicare:
After successfully ridding Queens' of an Assassin, I headed off to King's to do the same. Upon entering, I made my way to my target's room. After knocking, the door was answered by someone brandishing a lightsaber. "David?" "Yes" "Bang!" went the rather short conversation. Sadly, as I later found out, this was not my target, but in fact David Roughley.

Also present was Felix Jaeger:
Having eventually found the correct room in Kings, we knocked on the door. Our cunning deception enticed someone out of the room, but they assured us that they weren't the target. This was attested to by several bystanders. Disconcertingly, they were all giggling. Well, we tried again. This time another person appeared at the door, wielding a light saber. Aha - more promising.
"David?" we asked. He replied in the affirmative. The first thing that happenned was a rather messy stain on the wall behind, when Vindicare shot him, from point blank range, through the head. Unfortunately, as it turns out this wasn't the correct target. Oh no. This was David Roughley. Fortunately for us, he was brandishing a light saber at us.

Indeed, another legal player kill for Vindicare, which earns him a new pseudonym, should he care for one.

Guiding Light blasted Tom Hopkinson

Right, here's the story, told by me, Guiding Light:
A bell tolled in the distance, marking out the seventh hour, and the imminent death of Tom Hopkinson. I strolled incognito along the corridor, flanked by Felix Jaeger and Vindicare, both, like myself, total novices.
Two gentlemen stood in the corridor ahead in front of two doors, 19 and 20. 20 was the number of death, but to which of the brethren did the number belong to?

-Are you assassins then? You aren't being very subtle are you, walking along with your hands in your pockets.

Felix continues:
Oh. Oops. Quick, pick a random name... "erm, is this [name deleted]'s room? we were told this room?" He professed not to know him. Meanwhile another person emerged from the target's abode. Hmm... which could it be?
We decided, talking to them, that probably not only had we got the wrong room, but also the wrong courtyard and, in fact, campus. Us knowing all the while that we didn't of course.

Another inhabitant of the court of the Blue Boar emerged to enquire as to whether her dress was black enough, also requesting that the assassination take place in her room so she could carry on getting ready to go out without missing anything. One offered us some fruit, claiming he was from a fruit farm. Seizing the opportunity I asked to be allowed entry to his abode that I may select the choicest (and preferably least poisoned) of nature's fair fruits. While in the room I noted that the gentleman possessed a letter marked Mr J D Something. My target was a Mr T. I drew my gun, turned around and fired, embedding half an inch of cold steel in his arm. The second shot took out his leg and, as tradition requires, the third made a mess on the wall as his skull leaked vital fluids.

We wished the remaining onlookers a good evening and the opportunity, should they find themselves at a loose end of an afternoon, to visit and have a more pleasant evening.

Raven survived some clowning about

Raven has to report a bungled attempt on his life at approximately 7.30pm on the 13th by two assailants. The clowns (they do not deserve the appelation "assassin") knocked at my door. I went to the door where they gave the most ill-thought garbage of an excuse for entering the room. Finding myself unarmed (I am down FULLY armed when opening the door, and have anti-bomb facilities) I elected that Jiu Jitsu offered the best response to the knife that they were blatantly holding, given that I was not in the mood for a siege. I opened the door fractionally whilst remaining in a corner. A hand flashed around the corner bearing said knife but was rudely interrupted in its flight towards my torso by my slamming the door on it. Unfortunately I failed to trap the arm or take the knife, although I did avoid the blade. I promptly fashioned a knife and entered the corridor only to find it clown free, a brief search of the building yielding similar results.

Hmmmmm, a report from Mindbender contests some of these claims:
I did NOT bear a knife or anything of the type, AND the FOUR of us who were there waited for 5-10mins to see if Raven would dare to come out his room to be killed. He didn't.

Raven found the previous incident a bit unsatisfactory...

Feeling pugnacious as a result of the incident I elected to strike at two of my targets. Failing to locate them in person (a stake out was eventually aborted on one), contact poisoned notes were left for both targets, and the door knob to one room was poisoned (N.B. as the door requires a key, it is unlikely that anyone other than my target would try the door, bedders not working on a Sunday).
The Raven will swoop again.

I would like to point out to absolutely everyone rule 9.1, specifically the parts that say "...poison on door handles will be considered to be an attempt on the life of ANYONE who may reasonably be expected to try to open the door. [] To discourage indiscriminate contact poisonings (which get tedious), it's now assumed that people other than a room's occupant could reasonably try to open its door."

Consequently, The Raven is wanted for misuse of contact poison. His accomplice escapes this ignominy. I would also point out that contact poison tends to stay in one place for a few days, so a bedder somwhere in Cambridge may have only a day to live.

NB. I will allow contact-poisoned notes attached to a target's door.

The Chevalier Mal Fet found one of the notes:

Right; someone tried to kill me last night and I'm not happy about it. Raven, I'm going to prove who did it and then I'm going to kill you. This incompetent bungler left a contact poison note on my door, having failed to deduce from my absence that I was somewhere else. Having returned from a night of merriment at 9:00 this morning, I removed the rather obvious note from my door by cunning use of my key. The note has now been destroyed and so others will not perish because of this man's evil and dishonourable nature. Right, that's got me in the mood, now I'm going to go on a kill fest.

Jugurtha found the other, and the contact poisoned door handle.

I woke up this morning with a mild hangover after celebrating a friend's birthday to find that someone had tried to kill me the night before. They had, in fact, pinned a piece of paper filled with contact poison outside my room with the rather lame legend "FAO (my name- spelt wrongly) Personal". I would love to say that it was by close textual analysis of the note that I became suspicious: it was, however, merely the fact that I could clearly see blue toothpaste around the edges that made me wary. Checking my door, I found that the underside of the handle had also been smeared: I'm rather glad I didn't use it to get in my room last night.
Anyway, I later discovered further details from the people around me. Firstly, the would-be assassin, loitering outside my room, shot my neighbour in the face with a water pistol, believing him to be me; secondly, a friend who came to try and wake me up banged and rattled the door handle, and was therefore poisoned. So, with two innocents dead but me still alive and kicking, was that the most inept assassination attempt of the first night or what?

The wanted criminal Raven has the following message:
Okay I am wanted but I am still gonna take a few of you down with me, I am feeling in something of a Rambo mood. This bird is still flying, so you better warn the boys in blue.

21:45... Big John put a thin stiletto hole in Alexandra Stevens' back.

At around 21.45 this evening, I was about to partake in a small drink at my local Tavern, 'The Pickerel Inn'. I had just made my way to the bar, when a familiar face drew up behind me. This was the face of 'Big John'. He proceeded to utter the word 'Sorry' to me and, in cold blood, with a glint in his mean little beady eye, before I could draw my weapon to defend myself in the manner of a true Assassin, he stabbed me in the lower region of the back!

I, of course, was mortally injured, and proceeded (in the dress I had worn to Formal Hall that evening) to drop to the floor, struck down by the knife of my adversary. This created a stir in the inn, and the Landlord did mutter that he was not in the habit of having stabbings in his establishment but, by that time, I had shuddered my last, and was lying motionless on the floor.

As the many clock towers of Cambridge's colleges struck 9pm, I walked into The Pickerel Inn with murder on my mind. I strolled up to the bar, and ordered a pint of John Smiths from the barman- little did he realise that blood would be spilt in his establishment that very night. I strolled upto a group of friends and started casually chatting to them. One of them, Alexandra, was somewhat peturbed- she had learnt that someone in her own college, Magdalene, was the assassin sent to kill her.
"That is terrible," said I.
"I know," said she.
"Do you know who it is?" she continued.
"No", I replied.

I could have got her there and then-but there would have been no drama. As a pupil and artist of the dark arts of assasination, I recognised the need for an audience.
Minutes passed, during which I had made my intentions known to those around that things were soon going to get interesting. I looked at my watch-9.45pm. The stage was set, the audience was waiting with baited breath- now all that remained was the action.
It was over in an instant. I walked up to Alexandra, and with great sincerity I uttered the word "Sorry".
"What for?" She asked, puzzled.
She didn't have to wait long for her answer. My knife was in her back as she spoke. She fell to the floor, and Buttercup was no more. I, Big John, melted into the crowd that had formed round the victim.

22:15... Brough strangled Hannah Fenton

Having spent a while in Jesus bar I decided it was time to make the kill. Taking the back route to North Court I approached the target from behind. Said person had just finished "twirling" luminous glow sticks, presumably to hypnotise the assassin or maybe just to make it much easier for me to find her. After reaching a proximity of 1 foot, I unravelled my tissue paper reinforced rope, casually tossed it over her delicate neck, and with one deft movement, strangled her to death.

How do you pronounce that, anyway? Brow? Bruff? Broff? Broug?

In no way trying to make excuses, but it's very difficult to kill people when you've got overnight guests. Therefore, entertaining friends in the middle of the Jesus grounds may well have been lots of fun, but left me open to attack from 4 sides.
I was attacked from two of them.

First, stalked and spectacularly garotted by Brough. Nice work.
My second adversary, not realising that I was indeed dead, introduced himself as a friend of a friend, shook my hand and then stabbed me in the stomach.

Indeed, another assassin was abroad that night in Jesus:

After dining on a frugal meal I set off for Jesus, looking for my first victim: a poor unfortunate who, as it turned out, was being targeted by not just myself. Lurking in the bushes outside North Court, my disbelieving eyes saw a strange, exotic and hypnotic sight. A strangely clad group were whirling glowing bars around their heads on strange chain-like ropes. Chanting filled the air. In the midst, caught up in a furore of feverish excitement, was my target. Distinctive, short, astonishing hair. You can imagine my surprise when, from the bushes on the other side of the Court, a dark and shadowy figure began stealing towards the wailing group in the middle of the Court. I watched, transfixed by the beauty of the whirling lights, and by the silent evil of the Assassin. He crept up to the target, and garotted her violently. None of the other light-druids seemed to notice. As the other Assassin crept away, obviously thinking she was dead, I shook off the hypnotical drug of the lights, and realized that she had not yet breathed her last. Seizing the day, I strode confidently up to her, ignoring the masses of lights around me. Asking "are you alright?" she groaned... "the watch... the Chinese watch..." I needed hear no more.
Plunging my knife into her chest, I strode away, full of the knowledge that what Brough had started, I had finished.

Indeed you had, but the kill is Brough's and will remain so... be quicker next time.

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