An Offer He Can't Refuse

5 a.m. Lou was arriving at his job as a garbage collector. Well, not garbage collector, really. That at least would have been honest labor. Lou was a garbage collector operator, overseeing the refuse collection servomechanisms that picked up all the trash on the Lower East Side.

It was a far cry from his old job as a computer programmer. But then, the key word was “old.” He’d been on ice for twenty years and the state of the art had moved on. He was just lucky that the garbage company needed an expert in twenty-year-old automation.

Of course, computer programmer had just been his day job. By night, he and Debbie had been among the world’s best thieves.

But the state of the art in security systems had moved on, too.

Lou had just punched in when his phone implant buzzed. “Yeah?”

“Mr. Pole?” the deep baritone voice asked.

Lou felt a chill go down his spine at the use of his old moniker. “My name is McPherson.”

“Would you like to pay off your gambling debts, Mr. Pole?”

Lou frowned. “I’m listening.”

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