Armed and Dangerous: Harvard's Deadliest Assassins

Long ago, down south in Atlanta, Kimble Poon `99 learned how to shoot a gun. But little did he know that it would come in handy in the mass slaughter of his fellow Mather House residents. As a member of the Mather HoCo, Poon felt that he should join the game last year. And after attacking his assassin matches with gusto, he will graduate with two team wins under his belt.

One of his strongest motivations for playing was his desire to perform a drive-by shooting. Always riding his bike anyway, Poon says adding a shooting component was not difficult. "You just have to hope you don't collide with them," Poon says. "I almost ran one over." Showing off with fancy techniques can be just as deadly for Poon as for his victims. Once, when he was on the track of a female athlete, he had stationed himself between some buildings to wait for her and he saw her pass by. He started biking really slowly and just as she had her hand on the doorknob to a building--a safe zone--he got her in the leg. "I almost crashed into the door," he brags of his daring kill.

Poon has no qualms about being underhanded if it means he'll hit his target. An unsuspecting mark once helped him collect some darts in the Mather basement and then Poon shot him at point blank. "He said, 'But I trusted you.' I said, 'Sorry babe.'" Poon attributes his skill at the game to two things: "I have an escort. And I'm always strapped. Always."

Stabs at a career in assassination will probably fail for Poon because of his one fatal flaw. He feels remorse. "I'm too nice. I can definitely shoot a gun, but I couldn't shoot anyone. There's guilt," he admits.

Stalking other players via e-mail, staking out rooms, lurking behind shrubbery and decked out in ingenious disguises, Tammy A. Hepps `00 doesn't just play assassin. She is a cold-blooded killer. And although she had never played the murder game until Harvard, after three years of intense Hillel training, she has become one of the most deadly women on campus.

Don't think you can out outsmart her, because, as Hepps proclaims, "Every kill is different." Hepps boasts of her favorite job of all time. A group of people invited her to dinner in Brookline, but she declined, knowing her target would be there. Instead, she put on a flannel nightgown, a red cape shawl, hiking boots, a black wig and a headband to make people believe she was a homeless woman. With an old shopping bag in tow, Hepps stationed herself among the bushes by the #66 bus stop. When the sitting duck turned to get on the bus, Hepps shot her in the back. One thing about Hepps, her kills never see her coming.

Unfortunately for governments and organized crime outlets everywhere, her future as a murderer appears bleak. "I thought about [becoming an assassin professionally]. But I just switched concentrations, so I don't have the time," she complains. So next year will be Hepps' final chance to prove her knack for going in for the kill. Pity the soul that gets in her way. "Anybody who plays Hillel next year better watch out," she says. "I don't get killed."

The new assassin star on the scene, Tse Wei Lim `02, killed nearly all his opponents in the Harvard Computer Society/Harvard-Radcliffe Science Fiction Association game this year. Although he held no grudge against the members of the vicious HCS, the sci-fi fan jumped at the chance to play because it offered the opportunity to be "predatory."

Lim distinguishes himself from other assassins because of his dedication to teamwork and winning. The lesson: Don't mess with Lim's friends. After one of his teammates had been killed, he handed the victim a "poisoned" sandwich and she gave it to her killer. Bye- bye.

His hints for newcomers to the game are simple: "Patience, luck, good legs and paranoia. Lots and lots of paranoia," Lim advises. But even an assassin master cannot hold off death all the time. About two hours before the game ended, two sneaky killers managed to gun him down in cold blood. "It was rather embarrassing," Lim says.

In his future assassin campaigns at Harvard, though, Lim's skill promises only to improve. Whenever he suspects he is being followed, he calls for backup or, alternatively, just runs away. His own natural anxious tendencies prove essential. "Look over one shoulder every four steps. Look over the other shoulder after another four steps," he warns. Everyone had better watch out at least this much for this deadly rookie.