Gerald Kenny, 47, is eternally irate. He plays landlord to three buildings: Building A, 6505 St. Hubert; a crumbling warehouse in St. Henri; and Building C, 6501 St. Hubert. Grinding his teeth, he arrives at his third investment, home to his favourite object. He wrenches open the front door to Building C, and pulls it closed tightly behind him. He fails to acknowledge Sophia Penisula of #3 and her baby in a stroller behind him, and leaves them to open the door for themselves. He does notice 3 bicycles in the hallway, and starts shouting. This is his routine check-in with his tenants. He yells about the bicycles, unconcerned about safety, threatens that he's going to sell the lot if it's not clear by tomorrow because they, his tenants, are renting apartments; he still owns the hallway, and anything in it he can do what he wants with. Also he'll be raising the rent. Gerald Kenny kicks a bicycle, and in the basement, the dryer vent dislodges. The dingy room, filled with his shit to the rafters, nestling the tiniest possible washer and dryer combo, plumes with laundry steam. He yanks open that door and stumbles through the steam directly into the path of a 573lb anvil (a gift Kenny claimed to be from Lincoln himself) sliding from the rotting rafters. He is squashed vertically, mostly from the ribcage down. Tracey Artois, #5, after hearing his screams and discerning that "they were actually for help and not petty sexist remarks or complaints," finds him dead. Four out of the five tenants are home at the time of the death, and two, including Artois and Penisula, are present during the investigation. The other claims to still be sleeping, considering the case not worthy of pursuit. The police mostly agree: it was obviously a freak accident; the guy wasn't the most cautious, really, having the anvil up there in the rafters. But Detective Ester Auerbach, through the grime and cobwebs in the hallway, spots a shiny new pulley strung with nylon rope, fastened to the peeling roof with shiny new screws. She boosts herself up on one of the bikes littering the hallway, balancing with her other foot on the facing wall. She takes a screwdriver from her pocket and unfastens the pulley, then hopping down, pulls at its trail. She hears something shift in the basement: the dryer vent. The dryer had shut off by the time she arrived but Artois had informed Auerbach about the vent coming loose. The Detective finds another pulley-system attached to the basement door. She follows the rope to another pulley, fastened in the roof at an acute angle, tied to the rotting rafter where the anvil was wedged. She sighs and motions to her coworkers. "This was not an accident. What we have is murder, or at least something sinister and pre-meditated. Talk to all the tenants again: try to snoop around a bit while you talk to them, looking for nylon rope, new screws, hardware store receipts. If you have to, ask them if they've bought any of these items recently, but try to do it before you mention it could be murder." They go off, and Auerbach works at unfastening the other pulley. This had to do with Kenny being a landlord: the pulley-system meant that someone had access to the building including the basement, at least long enough to put the system up, know about the anvil, and have it in for Kenny. So far, according to Artois and Penisula, Kenny was a slumlord: he charged incredible rent for what little he actually gave his tenants, was terrible at fixing things, ignored calls and 'left the country' regularly, and he claimed that Lincoln gave him not just anything, but an anvil? Her coworkers return, with reports that the tenants claimed no such purchases had been made, that they "didn't exactly like the guy, but they would never kill someone, or conspire to, and what did they have to do now that their landlord was dead? Was the apartment theirs now?" Artois, however, had noticed some recent purchases on her debit card that were not hers--she offers to forward Auerbach her records. After finishing up at the crime scene, Detective Auerbach sits with a coffee and checks her phone. Her feed reads babies, deaths, federal judge ruling the continuation of the Dakota Access Pipeline, nuclear reactor waste still leaking from 2011, may leak again, spam; and then secure work emails, confidential, re: case xyz, bank transactions from firstname.lastname@example.org. She opens the email; Artois lists two paypass transactions she didn't do, dated the previous week: 07/09/16, 2:19PM: $19.95 at Don's Hobby Hardware Shop Inc. 07/09/16, 4:21PM: $6.59 at Arby's Artois assures Auerbach in the email that she hasn't visited an Arby's in over ten years, and has never even heard of the hardware shop. She was at work during the transactions, and is worried someone stole her card temporarily, maybe even made a copy? Or could someone have bumped into her on the metro, and stolen her info that way? The next day Detective Auerbach visits Don's Hobby Hardware Shop Inc, and asks to see their security footage. They inform her that the footage is cleared every night and is more for show than reference. However, they do sell the same pulley at their shop, in a pack of 4 for $19.95 including tax. And the nylon rope, but it's pretty common among most hardware stores. Auerbach decides to consult the other tenants of Building C, and see if they also had suspicious activity on their cards. She starts with apartment #1: Tyronium Ingles doesn't have paypass, and hasn't noticed any suspicious activity, but takes Auerbach's number just in case. Murad Smith of #2 has paypass and did notice a strange transaction: $16.20 at Meg's Yarn Barn. He found it ironic as he is allergic to wool. Auerbach asks him to forward his records and thanks him for his cooperation. Sophia Penisula of #3 mostly deals with cash, and only uses her credit card for large purchases. She does not have paypass. She wonders why anyone would want to make it easier to be a consumer. Zoari Bensato of #4 has paypass, sees it as a natural step in the right direction ("it allows accessibility to the disabled and elderly"), uses it constantly, and forwards their records to Auerbach on the spot. Two transactions are suspicious: $10 at Don's Hardware Hobby Shop Inc., and $6.59 at Arby's. They note that this was during the two hours they lost their debit card. They also haven't visited an Arby's in years. Detective Auerbach is sure these transactions have to do with the murder: but are the tenants lying? Did Artois and Bensato actually plot to kill Kenny over a couple of beef n' cheddar s? Or are they being framed by another, others? Motive is obvious--Kenny wasn't widely liked, and had lots of enemies; his record is full of misdemeanours and filed complaints. He definitely won't be missed. But these are regular people, these tenants, have no previous records with the police; why would they jeopardize their freedom, and their homes? Auerbach is inclined by Kenny's other behaviour to guess that he probably does not own in full any of his buildings, which means they'll be re-possessed by the banks and made profitable somehow. The Detective stops at Arby's on her way back to the hardware store. She has a feeling that the make and size of Velcro she found stuck to the top edge of the front door will match one sold at Don's. Surprisingly, Arby's has amazing security footage. Two cameras with a time stamp are continually running, using facial recognition software to predict and pre-prepare the client's orders. The feed from 4:21Pm on 07/09/16 shows a 20-something blond male, around 5'8", wearing bright yellow boots, who will most likely get 3 orders of curly fries and 1 coke. Auerbach watches 15 minutes before and after to verify that Artois wasn't in or around Arby's at that time. The Detective then finds the feed for Bensato's transaction and sees a 30-something brunette female (2 beef n' cheddars, 1 crispy fish and 1 sprite) with knitting needles protruding from her bag. At Meg's Yarn Barn, Auerbach asks about the woman at Arby's, showing the employees a screenshot of the footage. They identify her as Caroline Rodriguez, a loyal long-time customer of the shop. She had been in that day, and insisted on paying with paypass. She purchased two spools of yarn: one of low quality, and one of high. Auerbach takes note of Rodriguez's address on file: 6505 St. Hubert: Building A, owned by Gerald Kenny. Staking out Building A, the Detective sees Caroline Rodriguez exit the building, and 17 minutes later, the man with bright yellow boots enters with a key. Auerbach calls her team, and tells them to start writing their case reports: she's about to solve it. The Detective, knocking on Caroline Rodriguez's door, feels a twinge of guilt: so many houses and jobs in this city are just facets of a bigger exploitation system; it's hard not to feel bitter, or lose respect for other people. Rodriguez answers with a smile, which fades as Auerbach introduces herself. The Detective hears scuffling, and sees a flash of yellow scurry by the door. "There's no point, I know you did it, just let me come in so you can explain why. This doesn't have to be difficult, I am unarmed: let's talk. He can stay too, he is involved." She points to the curtain: it is quivering and trying to stifle a cough. The curtain coughs and gives birth to a blond young man. "Hi...I'm Yahama Frantz. I live in #3, in this building. Don't just put this on Caroline, it was a group effort: and it wasn't so much supposed to kill him as really scare him into maybe giving a shit about our buildings, other people, maybe be a bit nicer, not kick everything..." Auerbach learns what she already knew, but is still surprised she's right. "So you, the tenants from Building A, decided to implicate the tenants in Building C, because they are regular people--" "And we, also regular people, don't give a rat's ass about them," continues Frantz, "because at this point it's a Hobbesian god eat god world and at this point everyone has a bad side or at least it's more obvious, the bad side; it bares its teeth more." So Rodriguez copied the master key from Gerald Kenny for Building C, and with the help of Frantz and Bella Tanziu, their neighbour upstairs, entered and borrowed bank cards with paypass from the tenants in Building A, either when the tenants were working, or sleeping: "4-5AM is the best time for infiltration," pipes in Frantz. "We thought we wouldn't be found out, and if it was, it'd be pinned on them, or dismissed in court due to lack of evidence 'cause we used paypass. It's like untraceable, and I heard it doesn't even show up on some records." "I don't think you know how paypass works." Auerbach shrugs. "To be completely untraceable, you should have used cash, and not stopped by the Arby's; their highly advanced security footage led me to you." "Are you fucking kidding me?" "What about the multiple pulley-systems? The dryer vent I get, but the front door and the basement door rigged to the same function? Why two?" "Well, the first was to see whether he would hold open the door for the lady and her stroller," Frantz explains. "The Velcro on the top would have caught the wool if he had held the door completely open, and stopped the reaction." "But why the reserve pulley-system in the basement?" Auerbach is genuinely curious. "Why give him a chance if it was just in vain?" "Because holding open a door lets you think you're a decent person; it doesn't make you one," says Rodriguez. As she arrests Tanziu, Frantz, and Rodriguez, they remind her that although he did die and that was bad and not what they intended, "you gotta admit, the world is a better place without the likes of him." Auerbach doesn't know whether she agrees, but murder is what she investigates for work, and if people stopped killing each other, she'd be out of a job.