I will die in six days.

The name’s Shigeki Birkin. There’s a saying where I’m from that's reserved for use only on lost causes … The saying goes, "Quit Birkin around.”

Despite all that, in the underworld, I’ve gained a reputation as a hitting machine, a one-hit wonder known as ‘the Batman’.

Don’t get it twisted, I’m not the dark hero Manbat Guy or whatever, from some kids’ TV show. It’s literally because I use a bat for my work. I take care to practice my hitting every day, to make sure I never lose my professional slugger’s edge. As a batter, my opponent was always the other team’s ace pitcher. But now, my opponents are just second-rate piles of crap. Back in the day, I could hit one out of the park with ease, like it was nothing more than a ping-pong ball, but this feels more like I’m smashing a pomegranate into little bits.

Last night’s pomegranate was a bit unsettling, though. I’ve got no desire to revisit that sight. The worst man to have run into on the worst night to have run into him.


July 2, 11:00AM
Shigeki Birkin’s Apartment

Samayoru: Please take aim carefully.

Otherwise, there’d be no point in me asking you, the Batman.

I found him at the construction site. He was a small man, sitting in a folding chair, wearing a ghastly expression on his frail, narrow face. He informed me his name was ‘Samayoru,’ but nothing else.

Samayoru: Please bash my face in, so they can’t even identify the remains. Give me your best shot, please.

Corpses littered the ground around him. All of them smiling, all of them dead. I can’t be sure, but they looked vaguely Asian. That kind of corpse. In a kind of way, the strange pile of bodies made up a mountain of authority, a testament to this guy’s gunslinging. There’s a sense of perfection to it. A shootout isn’t just about putting someone’s life in danger. It’s carefully burdening someone else with the weight of the heavy lead bullet, deeply and powerfully driven. A dangerous piece of lead that sometimes takes a very long time to bury itself into someone’s heart, slowly eating away at their soul and killing them.

I should run.

But I can’t, for some reason.

Birkin: You’re telling me it’s fine to just bash your head in, here and now?

Samayoru: Yes, that’s right.

Birkin: In that case, this should be easy. Close your eyes.

Samayoru: I understand. Please just get rid of them.

Birkin: Them? You mean these guys around you?

Samayoru: Yes.

Birkin: I’m not following your meaning. That’s not what I’m being paid for . I’m here to get rid of you, first.

Samayoru: I mean, if you’re willing to cook the books a little, Paradise (Greenland) could be just within reach. But only if you want it badly enough.

At that realization, I took them all out without a moment’s hesitation.

The corpses, which had to have numbered in the hundreds, brought back the memory of my first strength training camp. Unconsciously, my heart started beating faster and my body felt like it was burning up. It’s rare for me to come across such a fresh, heart-racing sensation. Fighting and loving share a lot of the same symptoms. No, I’m serious. It’s a world of red, and blood, like a wild dance or a bad trip where there’s no sense of age or of time because it’s already disappeared. Maybe it’s because the body and senses are so directly connected that the only color I could see was red, covering my whole vision. It’s a similar feeling to when getting poked in the eye or scratching your retina. Don’t you think color blindness has a certain honesty and fairness to it? For instance, if everyone is just ‘red’ in color, the differences between people would become indistinguishable, and any reason for them to be in conflict would disappear. Isn’t that a good idea? Let’s make the world red, then. In a world coloured in blood (or love), people can freely understand one another. If everyone does it, participation becomes power, and the movement will eventually become a revolution.

Break down the boundaries and shine the light on a world of red! Let’s all just kill each other, with no regard for ‘color’!

My catchphrase decided, I was able to find my groove and started swinging in furious tempo. When I came back to sanity, the knockout job was done.

Samayoru: Superbly done.

Birkin: It was a good match, wasn’t it?

Samayoru: And I was even able to watch from a special VIP seat in the front row.

Birkin: Back to the original job, then?

Samayoru: Yes, and please try to remember the good job you did just now - hit me with your best shot, right out of the park.

Birkin: Let me ask one thing.

Samayoru: That’s a breach of contract.

Birkin: I don’t care.

Samayoru: Fine, then.

Birkin: What's with all the stiffs?

Samayoru: That’s a question for which the answer is not yet known.

Birkin: Then let me change my question. Beating on a corpse makes it hard to ID the body. So what's the danger in these being recognized?

Samayoru: What do you think? Do you think there’s an answer?

Birkin: That’s why I’m asking you. Don’t turn this around and start asking me shit.

Samayoru: You know the answer, don’t you?

Birkin: I told you, don’t ask me!

Samayoru: What, don’t you have any self-confidence?

Birkin: I’m telling you to quit it with all the questions!

Samyoru: Why, are you getting scared at all of this?

Badman: Shut up.

Samayoru: Fine, I’ll tell you.

Birkin: Go on, then.

Samayoru: Your response was incorrect.

Birkin: Stop that.

Samayoru: Too bad then. I won’t tell you the answer.

Birkin: Who the fuck are you?

Samayoru: I’m Samayoru.

Birkin: Which means what, exactly?

Samayoru: No, this time it’s my turn to ask the questions.

Birkin: Answer me! Who the fuck are you?

Samayoru: Why did you want to become Batman?

Birkin: Huh?

Samayoru: Please explain to me why you don’t use a gun.

Birkin:A bat is easier to use.

Samayoru: But you could do your job more easily with a gun.

Birkin: To each their own.

Samayoru: No ... There’s a reason you became ‘Batman’.

Birkin: That’s because a bat works for me. You’ve always admired Batman. Really, you’ve wished you could become a hero too. But you understood the essence of who you really were. A know-it-all who who precociously surveys the world around him. You could only do that by becoming a new kind of ‘Batman’.

Birkin: Who the fuck do you think you are?

Samayoru: A kindred spirit.

Birkin: Are you making fun of me?

Samayoru: Please hurry up and take your shot.

Birkin: Alright, then.

Samayoru: I’ll be waiting for you in Paradise (Greenland).

It was a beautiful home run.


July 2, 2:30AM
Construction site of Horizon Tower.

I can't go to Greenland just yet.

That’s the divine punishment I get for contracting with Dan Smith. No matter how you spin it, that sneer of his, full of confidence that he can kill Curtis, is a dangerous thing. I know he’s no Boy Wonder to my Batman, but a part of me still kind of wishes that’s how we’d made our name. The power of that demon is enough to bring a man to his knees and start praying. That being said, even though my own death would be pretty much guaranteed, to be able to land a good swing on this guy! That would be the least of my pride. I’m amazed I even have any pride left.

In seven days, Dan will kill Curtis. And I will sell my soul to the Devil. After all, there’s no point in being attached to your life or soul when you’re only fated to be killed.

Dan howled with laughter at that.

Dan: Get a damn grip, Birkin. Killing is graded on different levels of competence. Just aimlessly spinning your bat is for amateurs. We’re aiming for the big leagues, here. Gain the competence to knock out even the screwballs [Samayoru].


That was the start of last night’s nightmare.

Dan had been pushing to get started with preparations for the knockout operation. I’m still not exactly sure what that means, but there’s can’t be just one right meaning. Dan be damned.

Still, I picked up on some new techniques. What matters most is the position of your wrist at moment of impact. Even if you get contact with the bat right, it’s not just about hitting the pomegranate. If you adjust the wrist even a little bit, you can control its path. Hit it to center field -death. Hit it into opposite field - death. Hit it right along a foul line - death. It’s possible with the right skills.

I’ve been reborn as the major league hitting machine, Batman. It’s a total changeup, an infield shift. When you lowball it, you get a safe hit.

Perfect timing, so that’s my job from now on. Nothing like a change of scenery every now and then.


July 2, 11:30 AM
Shigeki Birkin’s Apartment

So I got a small-timer job from ’Rare’ Ray Zack.

When you just need some chump change, Mills just won’t cut it. On principle, that guy doesn’t lift a finger unless he gets a lucrative cut. He wouldn’t care about anything this small anyway. He’s been cautious ever since he thought he might die during a job on the south side. With such high risk and high reward, he’s also the type to check and double-check everyone involved. It’s not a bad way of running things.

By comparison, Rare is the exact opposite type. His principles are not to have any. When he smells something good, he’ll run right up that hill. Don’t worry about risk or reward. A pig bastard who’s satisfied just to be in on the action. Or more like, if he doesn’t have a finger in all of the pies, he can’t help getting anxious, and turns into an unsuitable junkie who drugs up on huge hits of off-label supplements. He wants to be like some big-shot elite producer, who lives only by being trusted and admired. He makes the arrangements in any case, and then basks in everyone’s approval, bragging his ass off to all the ladies a the bar and being a general menace about it. Just making eye contact with this guy makes me want to throw up. At some point, I’m planning to take my bat to his skull. Cannot fucking wait.

Rare: Since I’ve made the necessary arrangements. this one’s on me. Always in your best interest to do business directly, huh, Mr. Birkin?

Birkin: Can it, loser. Give me the lowdown already.

Rare: It’s been a while since I’ve had the honor of working with the notorious Batman. You’ve been on my mind, you know? Wasted talent is the worst crime! Even worse than killing.

This guy’s speeches are both longwinded and worthless. I endured the drivel until he was satisfied, then headed out to the scene.

It was an easy enough job. Just kill one man at the new construction site. Places with a lot of blind spots and dead spaces are the best setups in this business. Also great for a scandalous rendezvous. The mark sits on a chair in a partially completed living room with no ceiling. What a well-behaved target.

Samayoru: Welcome to Paradise (Greenland).

Yesterday’s home run from behind must have been a no-contest, then.


July 2, 3:11pm
Construction site of a new building

(to be continued)

■ Commentary

『killer7』is an action-adventure title, announced 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 “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.