Repaid with Interest

Michael Dodge stood on the roof of the First Bank of Gomorra, looking at the office next door. A small glyph was carved on the window sill. He jumped to that building’s roof. Quiet wasn’t one of his strengths, but it was dark and the area was pretty empty this time of night. He whispered Daomei’s instructions as he went about his business.

“Find the mark; open the window.”

Iron bars mounted to a frame protected the window. Michael smiled, gripping the central bar with his ghost rock powered, hydraulic arm. One quick yank ripped the frame free in a burst of splinters.

“Behind the desk.”

The office was dimly illuminated by the torches on the street. The safe was under the desk – strong to some, but weak to the Badger’s Claw.

“Strike in harmony with the fireworks. They’ll cover the sound.”

He heard a rampart in the distance, striking the safe with his arm, crushing the top.

Michael saw the glare of another firework through the window, punching again. The safe door weakly swung open. He fingered a bundle inside his coat.

“Take the money. Make the switch.”

He pulled a pile of banknotes from the safe and swapped it with his bundle.

“Leave by the third firework.”

The Badger slipped out, locking the door behind him.

* * *

Ms. Anne Berger screamed into the street from her small loan office. “Robbery! Somebody help!”

Deputy Mortimer Parsons jogged up. “Ma’am?”

“I’ve been robbed!” she snarled. “Do something!”

“I was actually just coming to see you, Ms. Berger. Turns out someone left your stolen property under a table at Charlie’s Place.” Parsons pulled a folio from inside his duster.

The doctor blanched and looked into her ruined safe. She picked up the folio that lay inside. “I don’t know what you have –”

Parsons chortled. “Just a few bank registers. It seems that they detail quite a bit of money disappearing from some of your clients’ loan payments. Judge Somerset will need to look over these, but I imagine, you’ll be hearing from us soon.” He departed, leaving Anne rocking on her feet.

Anne slouched in the midnight coach, what few belongings she could gather quickly in the suitcase next to her. As she stewed over the stolen money, she opened the folio that she pulled from her safe earlier. It held letters that she’d torn up, each an anguished plea for mercy under the weight of their loans, loans she’d arranged. Each one had been carefully sewn back together with a shiny green thread.

The final page was a handwritten note. “The misery you lent is repaid with interest.“

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