Assassins.

THE ROUND COMES TO A CLOSE AS A DEADLY FOE MEETS HER END AND THE MATCHSTICK KILLER EMERGES THE FUCKING VICTOR

This round of Assassins has ended. The victor, with 6 kills, is the formidable Alan Starzinski, who struck down Nivedita Kulkarni this very afternoon. Here is his kill report, in full:

I write this letter after tussling in on the sidewalk with my would-be assassin. I had just come back from dropping off my laundry and getting some pizza; I had been in the habit of carrying my guns with me everywhere, I even questioned whether to bring it with me today, but had decided for it. I was walking down the street when I saw I large yellow umbrella and an Indian-American girl in a blonde wig. Her aesthetic ruse was not enough to keep me at bay. My assassin noticed me at the very moment I had noticed her. She started to calmly cross the street, and I as we have previously reported am not the quiet type for my kills, brazenly and blaringly dashed across the street. Whilst I was making my way across my now target, holding her coffee and umbrella, was struggling to open her yellow shield. Her attempts to duplicate the “Starzinski Shield Technique” would be the very thing that prevented her from surviving, the irony was not looked past here. It takes years to master the “Starzinski Shield Technique” and even then should be left to only the true masters of it.

Upon me crossing the street I met with a still bumbling Neve. I shot my gun I am sure I hit her, but it was too unclear to be certain. So, I went for my side arm. I raised it to her and her coffee dropped; Then so did she and I. She pounced atop me, shouting, “No!” several times. The mad woman’s body had become overwhelmed with adrenalin and her strength increased. This was unfortunately not enough. Breaking her grip I turned my gun on to hoping it’s direction was true. I pushed the button and the tiny nerf dart sailed it’s way to strike The Woman of Disguise on the hand. “You’re dead, it hit your hand.” I said. She got up defeat and trudged away. I have few regrets in this meeting. One being that I will never get to utter my brilliant pun, as my matches were on my dresser. Another being that I did not get to topple the record set by last year’s champion and this year’s coward Benjamin Rameaka. 

P.S. This whole battle with a girl on top of me screaming, “No.” happened in front of a Police Station.

P.P.S. I will be sending out an email to let everyone know when the pizza party is. It will be for people in the game only, and Kirk D’Amato.

Congratulations, Mr. Starzinski, and to you as well, Ms. Kulkarni. You both fought bravely and well. The yin and yang of your styles of play were the poetic close to this epic round of death-dealing and deceit.

ALAN STARZINSKI HAS JUST WON $345 FOR SHOOTING COMEDIANS WITH FOAM DARTS. ANYONE WHO TASTES BILE IN THE BACK OF THEIR THROAT AFTER READING THAT IS ENCOURAGED TO JOIN US NEXT ROUND TO UNSEAT THE CHAMPION.

THE CITY RESTS EASY ONCE AGAIN. THE KILLING HAS STOPPED. BUT FOR HOW LONG? THE NEXT ROUND WILL BE UPON YOU SOON ENOUGH. UNTIL THEN, KEEP YOUR WITS SHARP.

AND THANK YOU FOR PLAYING. (IF I EXPRESS GRATITUDE IN ALL CAPS MAYBE IT WILL SEEM LESS LAME.)

ALDEN FORD FINALLY DEAD, OR: NO, HE DOESN’T GET A PUN

ALDEN FORD was brutally gunned down yesterday, as we all knew he would be, yet another in an unstoppable killing streak by the vicious Nivedita Kulkarni. As Alden left his neighborhood laundromat, he was wary and alert, but as he ventured home, his springtime allergies gave him a three-sneeze fit which allowed his assassin to cross the street unnnoticed and put Mr. Ford out of his misery. See, Terry Withers? I knew someone would die in a less dignified way than you did.

Normally this would be where I would talk about Mr. Ford’s better qualities, his two kills and his prowess in evasion and trickery, but what’s the point? We all knew he would be the next to die. In the face of a master of disguise and the Pun Killer, what chance did he ever really have?

Now we have ourselves a game. The swaggering bravado and copious shit-talking of the Matchstick Man, and the silent, deadly mystery that is the Costumed Killer. Both have five kills. Both are deadly beyond measure. Neither can be trusted. ONLY ONE WILL SURVIVE.

BECKY DIES-DALE, OR: ADD “-DALE” TO MY ERIK DIES WRITE-UP FOR MORE GREAT PUNS

Just when I thought the deadly Nivedita Kulkarni couldn’t get any more secretive, I receive the following email concerning her brutal assassination of BECKY DRYSDALE:

"Becky Drysdale dead - undisclosed time and location"

That is some chillingly non-informational shit. 

Rest in peace, Becky. I don’t know when or where you died, but I know how: at the deadly, unflinching hand of the silent killer who will destroy everything in her path. You fought nobly, and tasted another’s blood before spilling your own. You have earned your place in Nerfhalla. There you shall join the masses of those who have died in foam-dart-based combat — heroes like Helgi the Fire Escape Climber, Hunding the Disguised, Sinfjötli the Needlessly Elaborate.

Nivedita doesn’t need do disclose the time and location of her next two kills. We all know the answers. “SOON” AND “RIGHT FUCKING BEHIND YOU.”

FAREWELLENA CHMIE-PEW-PEW-PEW-SKI, OR: KULKARNI WILL SLEEP WHEN WE’RE DEAD

ELLENA CHMIELEWSKI, the most recent player to score a kill, was herself assassinated this morning at 9AM by the terrifying Nivedita Kulkarni, who again sent a no-nonsense email to report.

HOWEVER, a text message from beyond the grave revealed a fascinating detail which thickens the plot of the shrouded mystery that is Ms. Kulkarni like a handful of fresh-chopped okra in a deadly, deadly Nerf gumbo (boldface added for emphasis of awesomeness):

Neve got me on the way to the train. At 9AM - in a full disguise - where she had been waiting since 6AM.

How early did must this diabolical murderer have woken up to dress in an elaborate costume and arrive in Queens by 6AM to put this plot into motion?

I’m afraid I know the answer all too well.

She does not sleep.

You have to get up pretty early in the morning to fool Ellena Chmielewski. Ms. Kulkarni got up at 12AM on March 15 and has not rested since. THAT’S PRETTY FUCKING EARLY.

Goodnight, Ms. Chmielewski. Your first career kill was awesome, and you got it just in time.

ONLY FOUR PLAYERS REMAIN.

Bunker update: I’ve moved locations. The copy shop wasn’t secure enough. Jarrod blinks four or five times a minute, and I’ve determined that’s too much surveillance lost. I’m back in the city and on the hunt. In the city today shopping for a convincing Nivedita Kulkarni costume and an empty mirror frame. Fight fire with fire. It’s my only hope.

JASON CARDAVER, OR: YOU JASON, YOU LOSE SOME

JASON CARDEN was brutally gunned down last week by the wily Ellena Chmielewski. Here is her account of the event:

I got a tip from another assassin about where Jason buys snacks every week before his show.

So I went there and shot him. Then I bought myself some snacks, too.

Fascinating.

We may never know what manner of snacks these were — sweet or savory, chocolate-flavored or fruit-flavored, nutritious or a sometimes-food, frozen or regular. But we do know this: Mr. Carden’s love of snacks were his downfall, and the momentary comfort one receives from the indulgence of a delectable between-meals treat are no substitute for the true security you can only feel in a broom closet in Syosset, stealing Wi-Fi from the copy shop on the first floor to publish kill reports written with one hand while the other clutches a sweat-drenched, loaded and cocked Nerf revolver, peering through the slats of the air conditioning vent with sleepless, bloodshot eyes and waiting for the smell of unlit matches or elaborate costumes to come wafting through the duct. That’s real safety. I have everything I need here and it will be weeks until they find me. I’ve been subsisting on floor cleaner and paper towels since the flies in the light fixtures ran out.

So farewell, Mr. Carden. Your prowess laid dormant this round, sadly, and your stealth and brutality will have to lie in reserve until the next.

LIVING PLAYERS, DON’T READ THIS: If anyone has any intel on Becky, Alan or Nivedita, come to Parcel Plus in Syosset, NY. Jarrod will light a sea breeze candle and hold it up to the fan above the copier so I know it’s safe to put my syringe of Drano away.

ANOTHER KILL, ANOTHER DELICIOUSLY SPARSE REPORT, OR: LAST MEAL AT DENNIE’S

MATTHEW DENNIE is dead, a man who I have not seen nor heard from since the round began. I can only assume this was because he has been right behind me the whole time, and my constant, sleepless, adrenaline-soaked circumvention tactics have ultimately payed off.

The formidable dark horse Nivedita Kulkarni has reported her second kill, both of which were reported with almost no information whatsoever:

7:53 PM

Matt Dennie dead - Champions Studios

Like a fine, deadly wine, or a complex, murderous scotch, the game of assassins is about the variety of its ingredients, the subtlety of some notes in juxtaposition with the flamboyancy of others. This round of assassins has an impressively wide array of tactics and styles, from a dude who literally carries a box of matches around so he can search for a rough surface and make a match pun when he shoots you, to killers so silent and secretive that even punctuation reveals too many secrets.

If I find myself on the receiving end of Alan’s gun, the only variable will be whether the pun he chooses will be “Thought you could strike me down, did you?” or “Matchurally, I win.” If Nivedita gets to me first, for all I know it could be by wearing my roommate’s skin or by lacing my toothbrush with nerf-poison.

TOO BAD FOR BOTH OF THEM IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN.

THE WHEAT HAS BEEN SEPARATED FROM THE CHAFFE. ALL PLAYERS WITHOUT KILLS HAVE BEEN ELIMINATED. IT IS A VETERAN’S GAME.

KILLER STRIKES, MATCH WON’T, OR: BAER VS. PENGUIN

The matchstick killer has struck again, once more with a deadly dart but a defective match. PAT BAER exited the UCB theater last week and was shot by Mr. Alan Starzinski as he made his way to the subway station. Unfortunately, the kill was inside the radius of protection (!) and was rendered invalid. Mr. Starzinski made his way onto the train, and Mr. Baer was faced with a dilemma. From his email: 

A decision needed to be made. Would I get into a cab…. or duke it out with Alan? Alan ducked into a subway entrance… and I ended up going down another. I could have left, I should have left. I fought instead.

Alan made use of his umbrella as a shield, and my attempts to shoot above or below it failed. He waited for me to run out of ammo, and then took his shot. Alan and I needed to have this fight. It was a good way to die.

From beyond the grave, I must say this: Alan still doesn’t understand the 1 block radius rule.

Farewell, Mr. Baer. Until next time.

BEWARE, SURVIVING PLAYERS. THE MATCHSTICK KILLER FIGHTS WITH AN UMBRELLA SHIELD LIKE A COMIC BOOK VILLAIN. THE SUNNY SPRING WEATHER IS THE TIME TO STRIKE. HE MUST BE TAKEN DOWN. HE WILL DESTROY US ALL.

SCHWERER ALL THE UPDATES? HERE’S ONE.

JENNIFER LEIGH SCHWERER was brutally killed last week in a table-turning attempt on the life of one Becky Drysdale. Here is Ms. Schwerer’s account:

Over the last week, I stalked Becky’s apartment a number of times with no luck.  Today, I decided that I needed to get inside.  I planned to wait until her improv class ended and then buzz her apartment, pretending to be a student who had forgotten something.  I had a fake name picked out of a girl in the class and everything.  So, I waited outside for about an hour, until I saw all of her students leave, and then buzzed up.  After a pause, the doors unlocked.  I hadn’t been expecting that.  I figured I would have to talk my way in over the intercom.  Wasn’t she curious who it was?

I hesitantly made my way up the steps, trying to figure out how I could get Becky to come out of her apartment into the hallway.  Jesse was likely to be inside, so any kill that occurred there wouldn’t count.  When I arrived at her door, I saw it was ajar.  I pushed it open and was greeted by her dog.  I’d never been in Becky’s apartment before, so I was trying to orient myself in the dark hallway and around the dog, when I realized there was a head peeking out from behind the door at the end of the entryway.  ”Hey,” I said, trying to stall and come up with a story.  But as I shifted, my coat opened enough to reveal the yellow gun on my hip.  Immediately, darts began flying at me.  It way Becky.  She was tipped sideways behind the door, like a cartoon, so that all I could see was her head and her gun.  I did my best to twist and dodge her shots in the narrow hallway, while pulling my weapon and aiming at the only place I could, her face. We both got off a few shots when it was decided that I had been hit.  There were two witnesses behind Becky who confirmed it.

We chatted for a bit, had a laugh over what a fun shoot out it was, and I congratulated Becky on the kill.  Then suddenly I realized, it wasn’t a kill at all.  One of the witnesses behind Becky was Jesse and I couldn’t be killed in front of another assassin.  But Becky and Jesse seemed unaware of this rule.  After some debate, we agreed that it would be best if I emailed you a report of the kill, and you could determine the result.  Satisfied with this decision, we said our cheerful goodbyes.  I made my way down to the street and began walking toward UCB.  Suddenly, I heard “Jennifer,” from behind me.  I turned and got shot in the chest by a smiling Drysdale.  ”Now it’s fair,” she said.

"That’s sooo mean," I replied.

But what is an assassin if not mean?  Never drop your guard.

Ah, yes, the ol’ kill-followed-by-potential-kill-invalidation-discussion-followed-by-kill-verdict-followed-by-on-the-street-kill. Works every time.

Ms. Schwerer, you proved yourself to be a worthy opponent, in evasion if not predation. You survived longer than most, and your last attempted strike was cunning. But not cunning enough.

And to the railyard hobos who have stumbled across this blog in their meandering search for a tin of baked beans or new harmonica reeds: if you need a roof over your head tonight, just buzz Becky Drysdale’s apartment. She’ll buzz you in, no questions asked.

AN EASTER DISPATCH FROM AN UNDISCLOSED LOCATION

Several contenders have fallen. The game is very much active. There will be a victor soon. Updates coming ASAP.

Until then, check out this terrible Easter Bunny illustration.

THESE PLAYERS STILL REMAIN

List updated as the game progresses. 

NIVEDITA KULKARNI - 5 KILLS

ALAN STARZINSKI - 5 KILLS