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Busting the Drug Rings of Kether

Okay, let’s try that again.

Max Power, vice cop. I’m undercover on some backwater planet named Kether, looking for a drug manufacturing facility. Problem is, we have no leads at all so I’m going in blind and clueless. And that’s just how Max Power like to play it – blind and clueless.

I touched down at the spaceport, and decided to hit up the closest, seediest dive I could find. I walk past the Mos Eisley cantina. I scoff at that bar in From Dusk Until Dawn. The Blue Oyster looks like a really friendly place, but not quite what I’m looking for tonight. I walk past Rick’s Place, which I swear was back on old Earth, and a bar in a basement in Boston where the barkeep looks like Ted Danson? Damn, I wonder if I’m high already just from being here. Focus. Focus!

I find myself in a bar with no name and a lot of atmosphere, a wretched hive of scum and… well, you know the rest. Some weirdo walks up to me at the bar, grabs the scruff of my neck and says “Beware” so hey, why not buy the colorful bloke a drink? He’s drunk as a skunk, and he rambles like Zadok Allen about the moon, and finally when I sober up I decide to take off to the moon just to get away from him.

My visit is quite eventful: a pair of drones attack me in space, I find a death threat in my rental locker, and then someone actually tries to shoot me. I must be on to something! I kill the would-be assassin, and find a few clues indicating that the fella was maybe a librarian, or maybe a helijet mechanic, or maybe those are red herrings. Still, I head back to Kether and follow up at a helijet port, to see if any mechanics didn’t show up for work this morning.

I don’t find the missing man’s identity, but I find something better: a lead that a lot of air traffic is going unreported, bypassing customs and inspections. If the ATCs and/or Customs are on the take, this could make my job a lot harder. I decide to break into the Chief ATC’s office after hours, and find the jackpot – a written note and a check from the Head Customs Officer to the Chief ATC, clarifying that certain flights are to go unreported for some “expedited, special treatment” at Customs. Time to climb one more rung up this ladder.

I sneak into the Customs office after hours, and hide out in the cargo area. Fortunately, in these books I don’t need to use the bathroom and I have my phone turned off, because I hide in a locker for several hours before any happens. And it’s exactly what I was looking for: a freight of drugs, the folks who brought them in, and the Customs officers who rubber-stamped it. It’s a solid gold bust… and they spill the beans about a communications satellite and a penthouse office where the drugs are coming from. Solid. Gold. Bust.

So… who’s upstairs from here?


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First published September 8, 2019. Last updated December 15, 2020.