[DEFEAT. is a coming-of-death novella. every week a new episode pops up, accompanied by an original Briano Galiano illustration. for fans of science fiction, fantasy, video games, comics, war epics, and feats of triumph]
The birds started chirping. The sun climbed with resolve, hurtling over the horizon with Olympian ease. The timer on the automatic coffee machine hit its limit and began brewing black inspiration. It was almost as though they had all taken part in a conspiracy, a plot to ensure a perfect beginning to an essential ending.
Did the birds, the sun, and the coffee machine actually know what a monumental day this was to be? No.
But Daryl Millar knew. He knew that this was the most important day of his life. He knew that on this day, he and his closest friends would celebrate together. He knew that they would revel in exultation only possible with immense sacrifice. He knew that this would be the last day of his life.
Daryl Millar woke up. He pulled open the shades and let himself be bathed in golden rays of wonder. He laughed to himself, thinking just how perfect this day would be. It all made so much sense, there was an undeniable purpose at hand.
Bending to one knee, the hero reached under his bed. With great respect, Daryl drew out a sacred tool. An instrument his grandfather had bequeathed unto him. The weapon that Clark Millar had pried from the dead hands of his last mortal enemy.
Daryl Millar held in his hands a goddamn samurai sword.
And in a few hours he was going to plunge it right into his own heart.