The thud of each heavy boot step echoed down the hallway. There was no rush in the pace or sound, just a constant and inexorable thud....thud....thud, the heartbeat of a professional killer. He had been hired to do a job, take care of a few "problems" who had spurned their own employer. They never said how, but it was implied that it was up to him, how he completed the task.
His broad shoulders and height seemed to fill the hallway despite it being a good eight feet across and that same high. Something about his presence pulled the air out and made you feel small and claustrophobic. An older man walking the opposite direction pushed himself up agains the wall, shuffling past hurriedly without looking back. He had been alive too long to know trouble when he saw it coming.
Thanatos stopped in front of one of the many doors lining the hallway. The only difference this one had from the others was its address, the one he had been given. As he lifted his right arm, the leather of his heavy duster jacket creaked and groaned. His fist knocked on the solid wood door in the same manner his boots had on the floor, slow and steady, no real sense of urgency in the sound or action.
His knock was answered by a scuffling from the other side along with voices. He was able to hear them arguing about who it could be and if they should open the door. Not in any rush he let them finish before he knocked again. He didn't increase the tempo, but he did increase the force. The knock was followed by his voice, low and deep with a drawl to it that wasn't easy to pinpoint to any particular region.
"If you don't open the door, I will."
Footsteps from inside the apartment scurried towards the door after he spoke. Taking a step back his hand fell to the butt of his gun just in case.
Sounds of locks being turned could be heard and finally the door cracked open an inch, held there by a small metal chain. It was just enough so that he could see the face of a frightened young man. "W...who are you?" His eyes grew wide when he had to look up to find Thanatos face and only finding the two piercing yellow eyes set in the swirling black mass that was his face.
"Don't matter. Open up so I can have a word with you."
The man was either too scared or in shock, but the door didn't move a fraction.
"Now." Thanatos commanded.
His voice shook "yeah y...yeah man, no its cool...hang on." He was spluttering and fumbling with the chain but finally the door swung wide.
Inside, the apartment was nothing special, your basic furnishing and a few odds and ends scattered around to make the place seem lived in. Thanatos strode in, his hand still at the ready near his gun. He had no doubt that if someone tried something he could draw faster then they could blink, but he was cautious and patient.
"You know who sent me?"
"I think so...yeah...it was them wasn't it?" Thanatos nodded once, his hat brim dipping just low enough to hide his eyes for the flash of a second.
"Then you know why i'm here." Movement off to his side sent his eyes darting. "You move one more step and ill put one in yer belly." It was another young man, clutching a cloth satchel to his chest. Frozen in place the young man stood, shivering, but complying.
"You were told to pick something up. You were given a fine amount for picking up that something." He paused and pushed the door closed behind him with his demonic looking hand. "Word was that you did the job but stopped shy of delivery and thats why i'm here."
Man number two held out the satchel between shaking hands. "H...here then, take it!" Thanatos smiled as the young man stepped towards him. Before either of the two could react, Thanatos pulled the massive revolver from its holster. Arm outstretched, the gun firmly gripped, he pointed it at the mans forehead.
"You best take a step back now."
The area of his pants around his crotch began to darken and flow down his leg, the smell of hot urine filled Thanatos' nostrils. There were some downsides to having senses as good as his. No one could really see but he made a disgusting face, he hated cowards. Snapping the fingers on his free hand to get the first man's attention, he motioned for him to join his friend.
"Now yer gonna put that package down real slow and easy on that counter. Then you two pissants are gonna leave, and if I ever hear about you again Ill gut the both of ya."
As soon as the satchel touched the floor the two men bolted for the door past their unwanted guest.
A low chuckle issued out from the folded cloth covering his mouth and neck. Those two glorified delivery boys weren't worth shooting. Holstering his weapon he picked up the package and left the building.
It took him longer to get to his employer's office due to walking, but he liked to walk. rushing wasn't his style. Despite his odd appearance he was able to blend in while walking through the city. When he reached the office no one stopped him. He strode past the guards and pushed open the doors leading into dark office. The only light came off one of those fancy Magitech computers that everyone was using. It shone on the face of a plump, cherry faced man.
"Thanatos, good to see you back." The fat man's eyes darted down to the satchel that hung from Thanatos' hand. "Those punks give you much trouble?" he asked eagerly. "What did you do with the bodies?" His eyes shown with a wicked light. This was a man who killed because he thought it was fun. He didn't feel the weight of a life. To him people were numbers to be added, subtracted and moved around to get the outcome he wanted.
Thanatos shook his head, "No bodies this time, but they won't make trouble again." The smile melted off the plump man's face. He half stood up behind his desk and pointed a fat sausage finger at Thanatos. "Now look here, I paid you to do a job..." His voice trailed off as he saw a flash of the revolver on Thanatos' hip.
"You paid for a package." He set the satchel down on the desk. "Heres your package. Now I will be on my way unless you wish to take things further?" Plump man's eyes darted to the gun again. He had heard that this creature he had hired ate the souls of men and spit them back out of that gun. There was no wish from him to find out.
"Fine, but next time I expect bodies and examples!" He sat down in a huff and pulled the satchel to him. "Want to know what you got for me?" Thanatos was already heading for the door. "No I do not."
Walking out he paused upon seeing a man in a smart set of clothes, and stopped him with a gloved hand. "Money is owed to me." The man in the suit who was used to these kinds of thugs huffed and pulled out a small sack. The clink of coin could be heard. Taking it, Thanatos dropped it into a pocket inside his duster. He tipped his hat and left. As he walked out and looked up at the sky he saw the light fade and disappear. It was almost time for his meeting with a new player in town. He hadn't heard much from this new bunch, but what he had heard interested him.
Weaving his way through the newly spawned evening crowds he made his way to the designated meeting spot. On his way he picked up the hint of strawberries among the throng of other scents. It surprised him but faded as he moved onward.