The man whose name is Death is working as a shipping clerk when they first approach him. It’s not an exciting job and he’s not very good at it, but it pays the bills and he’s good enough. He’s young – twenty, twenty-one – and he doesn’t know what he wants to do. So he’s a shipping clerk.

It’s a man and a woman who talk to him, a skinny little black guy with a huge head and a woman who looks just like his aunt. He sees them before they see him, sees them as soon as they walk onto the floor. He’s good about things like that, it’s how he’s kept his job, always knowing when someone’s looking for him. They talk to the floor boss, a bitch of a man named Ames who scowls and waves a fat arm in Death’s direction. “Mr. Minerich?” It’s the woman who look like his aunt who speaks first.

“Yeah,” says Death, not looking up from his boxes. “What d’you want? I’m working.”

“Not any more you aren’t,” says the black guy. “You’re fired.” Death glares at him. “Just now. Come on, we want to talk to you.” They flash him a couple of badges just long enough to show the DEA stamped at the top and hustle him out of the factory. There’s a black SUV waiting outside with mirrored windows and they get into it. Death keeps his mouth shut, waits to see what’s coming.