Working title: Assassin's Guild
Reading Philip K. Dick biographies (because I can't read the novels, all right? I just can't) put me in mind of the ultimate Reed College paranoia game that seemed to flourish during spring terms on campus. If you haven't been there, you just don't know. The Professor and I can still drive on, say, any east-west street in southeast Portland at a certain time of year, and during a lull in the conversation, I know we're both back at Reed. It's not the fall we remember with the pretty weather and the optimistic new classes, but spring when renewal and flowers and baby birds seem like a joke next to incompletes and finals and hangovers.
In the spring, it's not sunny but it's not cold, nobody is thrilled to see you anymore, the drug of choice is some anti-social speed derivative, half the people in your dorm never leave their rooms, at least one had an abortion (you hear her crying), another is taking LSD every day (you hear him crying), and the rest are playing D & D. All they serve is sheet cake in the Commons; you go and sit for hours in the infirmary because something hurts, you're just not sure what, and your boyfriend's thesis on Walter Pater (for which he will receive the coveted AA) is making the sophomore biology major down the hall look very, very, very delicious. And you haven't gone to French class in a month.
Okay, the story's not about that. It's about a paranoid game called Assassin. Who knew everyone in every college plays Assassin? Called Killer at Reed, all I ever knew about it was one skinny, terrified math major who found himself walking alone to the mail room. "Just walk with me, okay? If I'm not alone, they can't kill me." "Who's going to kill you?" "I don't know."
This article in Wikipedia will tell you everything you want to know about Killer, but make special note of where they talk about umps and cops.
So picture this, a dead body killed with Nerf darts. Our heroine, a detective on the case, has no clues except a phone number in the cell phone. It belongs to a man who has been a cop in Killer games for twenty years. Down on his luck, seen it all, probably has cats. He doesn't know who the killer is but he can guess. How do you catch a Killer killer gone rogue? With a clothes pin.