UNDER CONSTRUCTION - WORK NOT FINAL
I will die in five days.
There’s been no sign of Curtis Blackburn. Maybe, just maybe, Dan already got rid of him. If that’s it, he should have been in contact … Now I have to just stay calm and wait. Nice and quiet. Holding my breath, I’ll brace myself for the worst, until I can feel Curtis Blackburn’s intent to kill through my entire body. I don’t need any damned pride. In the world of killing, the ability to not get killed is the bare minimum. There’s also something to be said for calling your losses. That’s right - I can’t kill Curtis Blackburn. I have no choice but to own up to the reality that’s in front of me.
Besides, it’s as if I’ve already been killed by that devil. The moment I saw him standing at the door of my room, I lost bladder control for the first time in my life. The home-run machine known as the Batman, reduced to a bastard pissing in his pants. What an all-time low. I could really just die … Might as well just hand myself over to Curtis Blackburn right now. Better to go see him now, without telling him I have five days left. Although, knowing him, surely he won’t hesitate to kill me, right? Not a bad idea, if I say so myself. I’ll prepare myself, and then go see him. I’ll be dressing for my own funeral - maybe my good suit, or a tuxedo, would be good to wear?
Mills: If you’re planning to die, I think your work clothes would be best. Wouldn’t it befit a killer to die while on the job?
Birkin: No thanks! I’ve got my heart set on going out all dressed to the nines.
Mills: Well then … you’d better hurry up and change your clothes.
Birkin: Huh? What do you mean by that?
Mills: Don’t worry about it. A smart man would listen to my advice. Best to get out of here already. You might get put down, even before you're killed by Curtis!
Birkin: The hell’s that supposed to mean? You’re not making any sense. An information broker who can’t communicate is as good as dead.
Mills: That’s my genuine advice. I’m asking you to listen to it, because it’s real bad news. Curtis isn’t the only one targeting you.
Birkin: So I’m a popular guy, huh.
Mils: Yeah. The guys from Antwerp got here on a boat yesterday.
Birkin: What happened to ‘next weekend’?
Mills: That’s what I’m telling you - it’s that dangerous.
Birkin: So what’s their play?
Mills: The sample I mentioned before. They’re disposing of the bodies used for testing it on. The only one left is you. Even here, it’s only a matter of time.
Birkin: Get on with it, then, idiot!
Mills: So that’s why I came to give you some advice.
Birkin: … Mills, what kind of car do you drive?
Mills: A Lincoln. I’d think that was obvious.
Birkin: So then, the black one that stopped just now. The truth is, it’s here to kill you? That ominous, harsh-looking car?
Mills: Bingo, maybe?
The gunshot had excellent timing.
July 3, 7:05 PM
Shigeki Birkin’s Apartment
At the discretion of Christopher Mills, I was guided to a luxury hotel.
He dropped me off in the hotel roundabout and got out of there real quick. Not even a goodbye. I’ve heard that normally, guys who survive the bloodshed we have together end up with even stronger bonds of camaraderie, but in this area, Mills lacks the basic requirements of a human being. There’s no cure for a bad upbringing. Straight out of the orphanage, full of tenacity and blind ambition, he wears excessive overconfidence like a badge of honor, and is unyieldingly selfish. There is always some doubt hiding in the depths of his eyes. Everyone with deeply-rooted fear has those eyes. Yeah, that’s it. Just like that guy. The postal worker had the same eyes. And from that nightmare, Samayoru. There’s something in common with all of these guys. I understand it subconsciously, but I don’t know what the ‘something’ is. What is ‘it’? Being caught up in those eyes … I know it’s meaningless, but it worries me.
Frontman: Mr. Birkin, correct? We’ve been expecting you.
Birkin: Sharp one, aren’t you?
Frontman: Of course. You’re an important client of Mr. Blackburn.
Birkin: … Who did you say arranged this?
Frontman: Curtis Blackburn is waiting for you on the top floor.
Birkin: Was it Mills? Damn, he set me up.
Frontman: Please, let me escort you.
Birkin: Sorry, but, I’ve got an emergency …
Frontman: Mr. Blackburn is a very impatient man. Please proceed.
I felt the prickling sensation of bloodlust on every inch of my skin. I’ve been honing this sense. Curtis Blackburn is definitely here. But here, I was in enemy territory. This hotel is under his management. That’s not quite it … it’s his possession, simply put. It’s the perfect away game. The Hotel Man (a good-looking guy) is facing me with a smile, but it’s clearly not meant for me. ** It’s the smile of someone who’s been constantly looked down on. Someday, I’ll give this guy a nice, angelic grin on his way to the Good Place - a real Heaven Smile.
After spitballing wasted ideas for a bit, I came to the decision just to accept my fate. It’d be a breeze to kill the good-looking Hotel Man here in the elevator, but, well, that’s a dead-end. I can already tell, without meeting Curtis Blackburn, the whole plan falls to pieces. It’s wouldn’t be a bad plan, but the phrase ‘a broken spirit’ comes nicely to mind. See, the enormity of Curtis and his murderous intent has completely deprived me of energy. It’s the birth of a new, lethargic human being! That’s where I’m at right now. I had no choice but play the goddamn idiot, the badman - it’s just easier.
Thinking about the ‘heroic story’ Mills mentioned earlier, I’d thought it was just a bit of camphor, but it’s not at all suited for doping. Between dealing with Rare yesterday and fending off the guys from Antwerp just now, the performance was spectacular - anyone could see that からさ … [PLEASE FIX THIS]
I arrive on the top floor.
Frontman: Mr. Blackburn awaits you inside.
Birkin: That’s a nice smile.
Frontman: I try to make it a habit.
Birkin: Stellar. (What a load of bull.)
Frontman: Mr. Blackburn, it is my pleasure to introduce to you Mr. Birkin.
The room was cleared out. Any sign of Curtis disappeared immediately. There’s no one in this room. I sensed this meant a new type of trouble was brewing. [FIX THIS TOO LMAO]
Frontman: If you’ll excuse me.
Birkin: Hold on, what the hell is this?
The good-looking hotelman leaves the room without a word. Good guy, my ass. Next time, I’ll definitely kill you. Definitely … Definitely …
Huh? Oh shit, literal shit. The breakfast cereal had gone bad. Definitely risky to let the expiration date exceed five months. I’m never gonna forget this. Three months is the longest it can go. Along with that resolution, which we’ll just splatter across the toilet bowl, it will make for quite the moving reunion if I open the door --
Samayoru: Yo, Mr. Birkin! What a coincidence.
Birkin: If it isn’t Samayoru! For real, huh.
What a coincidence. We must be bound by fate. Surely … that has to be it, right?
Samayoru: You look well. You are still alive and safe, I see.
Birkin: So what is it this time?
Samayoru: The basics have not changed. Please guide me to Paradise (Greenland). Even if I perish, my regret shall never die.
Birkin: You’re crazy …
Samayoru: I don’t want to hear that from ‘the Batman’. You were in top form last night, as well.
Birkin: In all seriousness, can I ask a question?
Samayoru: That’s still a breach of contract.
Birkin: My question is about that contract, too. Just how far are you letting me go in killing? It’s already my loss. Please just let me off the hook.
Samayoru: I don’t understand what you’re saying. I’m just asking you to strike me out.
Birkin: I’m asking because I can’t just ‘erase’ someone. Can’t I just kill you?
Samayoru: Doesn’t that mean you need more practice? You may be the home-run hitting machine, ‘the Batman’, but your daily practice swings are directly linked to your results. A true heavy-hitting slugger forges hidden discipline. Just how much of that have you been practicing, Mr. Birkin?
Birkin: It’s useless. There’s no point in talking. So, come back anytime. Until I’m killed, come see me every god damn day! I’ll send you flying every single time.
Samayoru: Well then, I will be waiting in Paradise (Greenland).
Birkin: See you around, Samayoru.
Samayoru: You have a lovely smile, Mr. Birkin.
July 3, 1:30 PM
Hotel Don’t Move
Today is July 3rd.
I have a lot of work to do in the four days ahead. Today is scouting day, but it seems kind of impossible to go out. I called Roswell and Phillip to give a detail explanation of the current situation I’m in, but they turned a deaf ear, which I think was just a cheap excuse for a last-minute cancellation. Of all the damn, lousy guys. Not only that, they (?) also asked if I’d be willing to take a cut in pay. Gave some delusional trip saying it was the power of Castiglione’s own reputation (??). Castiglione is a godfather who has been controlling the local area in Seattle for a long time. He’s a big shot who can mobilize thousands with just the blink of an eye. As for Curtis Blackburn and his gang of upstart young thugs [the Seattle Self-Defense Force?? lmao], on account of their seriously dicey relationship, he’s letting the punk run free for now. That said, I don’t think the Don will be silent forever, and Curtis is also ambitiously watching him like a hawk. Watching from the sidelines, I get the sense the Castiglione camp has been driven to the edge of the cliff. That pressure is what was putting those dung heaps, Roswell and Phillip, on edge. Those small fry are using me, a free agent, however they like, and forcing me to do random jobs here and there with the help of my trusty bat. Occasionally, they’ll just delay my payment by setting up a meeting time in the afternoon. I’ve never taken Phillip’s mistakes out of my paycheck. Well, I guess that’s also a matter of time. Fortunately, Curtis Blackburn will be along to pick everything up and handle it in four days’ time. For shits like Roswell and Phillip, I’m happy to send them to Paradise (Greenland) in advance. An oversized home run. I’ll send the bill to the Godfather. Fleece those guys with all I’ve got.
Frontman: Mr. Birkin, it would seem a guest has arrived. Shall we proceed to the room?
Birkin: Who is it?
Frontman: Of course, right away then. Please proceed after me.
Birkin: Hey, hold it! Don’t you ever listen to people?
The service at this hotel sure knows what it’s doing. If you don’t leave a nice tip, you get the boot. Or maybe I should say, you get the bat. A generous customer is truly a VIP.
: Are you the ‘Batman’ I’ve heard so much about in rumors?
Birkin: Who are you?!
: First, would you please enter the room? I want to take my time talking to you.
Birkin: Go home already!
: This is useless. This isn’t that kind of relationship. Don’t you get that this is a compulsory request?
Birkin: Is that a threat …
: Come on then, already.
A preferred customer has arrived. A man I suspect does not bring any good news. A double-breasted suit and striped necktie, hair neatly slicked back with pomade. That fiery gaze, seemingly staring into my soul, was like looking my inevitable death right in the eyes. It was a nasty look. He opened his briefcase and laid out the document file. By licking his fingers and getting the pages wet, his well-trained hands were able to flip, flip, flip, flip through the documents at lightning speed …
Birkin: So, who are you?
Pedro: What’s that? I suppose I haven’t introduced myself yet. I’m Pedro Montana. Pleased to make your acquaintance. I’m Curtis Blackburn’s full-time attorney. The reason I am here today was at his request.
Birkin: Is that right? Is he finally making a move? And what, you’re some corrupt lawyer?
Pedro: Corruption is completely inexcusable. Don’t you think so? An excellent lawyer makes a killing in offers from many important people.
Birkin: So then what are you up to?
Pedro: Easy, easy. It’ll be over in a jiffy. Today we’re verifying identity. All insurance-related, you know? Whether or not you’re the real Shigeki Birkin. How old are you? If you could just give me your signature. It’s fine, just relax for me.
Birkin: Oh? What kind of signature?
Pedro: Huh? Does it matter? You want to know? Even though you’re going to die?
Birkin: Yeah, I want to know.
Well, or maybe it’s fine if I don’t know. And if I kill you before I die, then I’ll never find out, either ...
Pedro: It’s useless, I assure you. Since I am not able to kill anyone, beyond that door there is one hell of a bodyguard keeping watch. At your skill level, it would not be worth it to try.
Birkin: Guess I should have known. You can never be too careful, huh? I’m overwhelmed. So, you’re really able to see through everything I say?
Pedro: Of course. It’s because I’m a competent lawyer.
Birkin: Then, how about this?
All in all, it took roughly 10 seconds. Nah, maybe I fudged the numbers a little? Alright, 18 seconds was more than enough take these guys on, then. Being a bouncer is a job that doesn’t put you on the brink of life or death, and your emotions read easy, right on your face. Three guys - three lowballs. I’m aiming for a foul. A huge, slow-moving tree has zero chance of being able to dodge. Then once they fall, a full swing on the head. This isn’t baseball, it’s golf. What a letdown. Golf is tacky and disgusting. Gives me a bad aftertaste.
Birkin: Well, then, what shall I do? A competent lawyer can never be too careful, isn’t that right? So, who’s up to bat next?
Birkin: How about you?
Pedro: Let’s negotiate. Just you and me. Private negotiations.
Birkin: Where would be good? Any parts you’re particularly attached to?
Pedro: HOLD IT hold it hold it hold it hold it hold it heeeelp me out here!!!
The winds of change are blowing. A good catch has fallen into my lap. Maybe, just maybe, I might still be allowed to live. By Curtis Blackburn … What should I do? What do I have to do to survive?
That’s right, that devil of a trump card is still left.
I have to find Dan Smith.
July 3, 6:12 PM
Hotel Don’t Move
( to be continued )
『killer7』is an action-adventure title, published by Goichi Suda in 2005. The protagonist is an elderly assassin in a wheelchair with seven personalities. Depending on the situation, each personality can be used for different purposes, and the story is advanced by hunting down and searching for various targets. Dan Smith, who first showed up in Chapter 1, is one of the most belligerent of these personalities, and also goes by the nicknames of ‘Tyrant’. This time, the main character Shigeki Birkin is the only one to make an appearance.
This “killer is dead” is unique from the game of the same name. It was published as a spin-off work of『killer7』 in six installations throughout Dengeki PS2 magazine, and remains unfinished.
Ten years have passed since the beginning of everything, and Goichi Suda returns to the Garden of Madness to finish his never-ending story.
■ Recent News from Mr. Suda
An original work from monthly Comic Beam, tag-teamed with Mr. Syuji Takeya illustrating for the popular comic serialization, Volume 1 of 『Kurayami Dance』 will be released soon on January 25, 2016. When Wataru, a man who went beyond 300 km/h on his motorcycle, awoke from a three-year coma, his hometown had completely changed into an empire of black gold. Wataru receives an invitation from the empire … you won’t be able to take your eyes off the story of this mysterious journey!
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