After the financial collapse of 2013, the Ancient Order of Merchant Bankers fell on hard times.
No longer could they turn a profit using the dark magic of derivative and credit-default swaps, plus many of the “financial instruments” they had devised in the Golden Years of Banking.
Many merchant bankers had been killed by the mobs who ruled the streets of the City; across the pond, their brother guild, the Elect of the Trade, had suffered a similar fate. (Right before Wall Street was incinerated by a pocket-nuke originally intended for use in far-flung, sandy lands, where the goat was still used as a fiduciary contract.)
And in the Golden Years, the bankers of the ancient order had lost touch with their old powers, the mental faculties they had used to gain control of the world in the first place.
But one banker had remembered the old rites at training grounds at the Essex seaside resort of Walton-on-the-Naze, held there mostly because of the heavy absurdium deposits in the region, but also because of the lovely beach and nice weather. Absurdium, as all psionic adepts once know, greatly enhances even the most latent mental powers.
He recalled that at his boyhood home, there had been a large chunk of rock in the paddock, which his grandfather had always referred to as “the banker’s absurd.” He’d always assumed his granddad was referring to the ruinous compound interest that had cost them the farm, but now, he hoped otherwise.
The farm was deserted, abandoned after the developer had under-capitalized and was unable to turn it into Tescos. The paddock remained, as did the large chunk of stone, gleaming blackly in the golden morning light.
The merchant banker concentrated, and lo, the paddock gate creaked open on its rusty gates, through the power of his mind alone.
And so The Recovery began.
More on the Ancient Order of Merchant Bankers here. Alltop keeps all its money in the mattress. after all these years, a photo by CowGummy on Flickr. Originally published, February 2012.