Friday, 27 July 2012

#FridayFlash - Tourists


He crouched low on the roof, fingers curled under the edge of the tiles. A city spread out in all directions, a maze of red roofs, haphazard towers and imposing churches.

A maze without street names.

He'd scaled the Campanile and skittered across these roofs so many times through the portal of his PS3. Enough times to feel he knew the city. But now he'd had the order, and he was here. Things were different. For one thing, there was no way he could navigate the city skyline without being seen from the street.

Ezio never had this problem.

He unlocked his phone and flicked to the photo of his target. Diplomat, having a quiet city break with his wife. More importantly - a diplomat incognito. A diplomat who wanted to blend in.

Hardly surprising, given the shenanigans he’s been up to.

The incessant chatter of tourists floated up from the narrow street below. He peered down, noting the oversized cameras, upside down maps and matching backpacks. His target was probably in a similar group, trekking through the Dorsoduro district in search of the quieter side of the city.

They all look the same.

A light bulb flicked on in his head. Why should he clamber around Venetian rooftops when he could stroll around the streets below?

I just have to make sure I don’t fall into a canal.

He slithered down the side of the building into a cramped court. An old woman washed the ground floor shutters of the building opposite. He ignored her quizzical look and set off in the direction of San Marco and its shops.

I’m sure I saw an H&M there yesterday.

He navigated the twisting labyrinth of alleyways and squares, pausing in a wide campo to buy a map and the novelty sunglasses favoured by tourists. The map was in the wrong language but that was fine. It would help him to build a character for himself. He folded it up and slid it into his back pocket. A new name popped into his head and he smiled.

I’ll be the Tourist Assassin.

19 comments:

Sulci Collective said...

wow, the hyper-reality of when virtual bleeds into the real so that the two can no longer be distinguished. Love it!

marc nash

Dijeratic said...

Love all the detail of this - and all the potential of this 'tourist assassin' - I want to follow him around and find out more about his target and how he'll manage it. Definitely need some sequels to this.

Peter Newman said...

So WoW is not your only gaming tipple. I want to see how they deal with the person that follows them around relentlessly getting in the way without resorting to violence.

Carrie Clevenger said...

LOL! Awesome! Assassins' Creed meets tourist extraordinaire!

Tony Noland said...

Forget blending in with the locals... blend in with those who don't blend in. Brilliant.

Helen said...

Very clever, who would take notice of just another tourist!

Icy Sedgwick said...

Marc - It's amazing how many of my gamer friends were fascinated by photos of Venice based on Assassin's Creed!

DJ - Maybe there will be some!

Peter - I've never actually played Assassin's Creed but after my weekend with my mate, I feel as if I have!

Carrie - Mash-ups are fun!

Tony & Helen - Exactly! You could get away with anything...

mazzz_in_Leeds said...

Heh, I see your recent trip to Venice was inspiring :-)
I like the mixing of the computer game with the real world (despite not being a gamer myself!)

By the way, if you're ever in a Venice mood and in search of a film that is so bad it's good, I heartily recommend Shark in Venice

Janet Lingel Aldrich said...

Well, that was a different use for Venice than most of the books set there that I've read recently. You must have enjoyed your stay. :)

I found this really intriguing, although I'm glad someone explained which game inspired this -- I'm not much of a gamer these days and would have been lost. Cool concept -- will you follow it further or just let us wonder... (?) :)

Larry Kollar said...

Ah, I was hoping to see a #FridayFlash from Venice. As always, you do not disappoint!

Interesting concept, using the game as training for the real thing. And I have to give the assassin a thumbs-up, adjusting quickly when reality throws a curve.

tokidokizenzen said...

I liked the visuals, I liked the pacing. Not being at all a gamer, I didn't quite get it until reading the comments, but now that I do, I find it an amusing mashup of the virtual and the real, the online world and the offline, and a commentary about how the boundaries between the two are blurred—but I'm not entirely sure that commentary was conscious, which means there might be a substrate of metacommentary in there. Commentary upon commentary, stacked up like world upon world, virtual upon real, tourist disguise upon assassin skin, rooftops upon buildings upon streets upon the sea...and when does Leo Dicaprio wake up from the dream?

Good job, Icy. There's a lot more intricacy to this story than I suspected with the first reading. I suspect I might be coming back to consider it some more.

Tim VanSant Writes said...

Cool mashup. I hope you continue the story.

Steve Green said...

I really like the association with RPGs, just the sort of thing to fire my imagination.

I've never played Assassin,s Creed either, but this did remind me of the endless hours I spent in Tombraider 2 many years ago.

Lately I've been slaughtering my way through Fallout 3, Again. :)

Cindy Vaskova said...

Awesome mashup Icy! Really liked this piece. Great visuals and well build pace. Can we have some more of the Tourist Assassin?

KjM said...

Hiding in plain sight - it always works. Tourists are invisible, simply because of their omnipresence.

Excellent solution.

I think you have a character here that has some tales to tell.

C.M.Brown said...

This was very intriguing and I hope that the story continues, I would love to know what eventuates!

Icy Sedgwick said...

I'm glad everyone's enjoyed it so far. I have no immediate plans for a sequel but you never know...

Katherine Hajer said...

I just hope he doesn't get too deep under cover and spend all his time trying to get a perfect shot of the gondolas at sunset...

Good twist.

ganymeder said...

I want more to this story! For one thing, are all the other tourists assassins as well, or is that just my warped mind?

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