Clouseau vs the Drug Kingpins of Kether, Part 2
In my last episode, I confronted an air traffic controller who spilled the beans about a crooked Customs agent letting drugs through, and an asteroid where something fishy is going on.
I went out to the asteroid post-haste, and found not a drug factory… but robed, chanting people and an ancient-style temple to a snake-woman-monster, complete with burning braziers, wooden doors, and so on. It’s like those classic Fighting Fantasy sort of trash that kids read back in the 20th century, right? I figure that I’m high on whatever drug it is that I’m hunting, so I put on some techno and chill out until I’m not seeing talking snakes anymore, then decide to hit up Customs like the ATC said. And totally not because a talking snake told me to while I was tripping.
I decide to use the direct route: I kick in the Head Customs Officer’s door and put my gun in his face, then rough him up a bit. In between tears and mouthfuls of blood, he tells me everything including an address: the penthouse office of the prestigious Isosceles Tower, home of an import/export company. Perfect.
I show up and the office has been ransacked and emptied. Desks are turned over. Trash cans full of paper are burning. Two thugs pull out their guns and… aw crud! I only have 7 Skill, and there are two of them, so it’s pretty rough on me. I pull through, though, and manage to beat some information out of the last person standing. The owner of the company, and her trusted junta, have gone to an island where they run the whole operation. I hop back into my rocketship.
On the way over, I pop 4 of my special stay-awake pills to get myself back up to full health. Remember, I’m a drug cop and drugs are bad. Unless they’re these special stay-awake pills. Such delicious pills. Such bitter pills, sweet with regrets and loss. Staying awake to feel alive. Staying numb to ease the pain pain… Huh? Oh damn, the island!
I decide that my best place to find more pills (and the criminals, too, if I have time) would be the freight bay. Bad move. There are 4 guards and in the ensuring firefight, I am badly outnumbered. They blast me down to 2 Stamina before I get them all. As I reach for a crate full of “my medication” I think up a corny one-liner to commemorate taking four lives: “Sorry to be such a pill.” And I scarf a fistful of stay-awake pills to get myself back in fighting form. Whoo! Ready! Yeah!
Down the hall I meet their security system: a robot that asks riddles. What the ever-loving fuck? Not an eight-digit passcode, no biometrics and a two-factor fob… just a riddle about a scorpion. I take a wild guess and I’m right! Their security system doesn’t even require knowing the password, only the first letter of the password! Good grief, even “password” requires that you type all eight letters!
Having survived this challenging ordeal… I find myself in Zera Gross’s office. She pulls a gun on me, but I shoot first. She gets me once, but I fry her. “Don’t be so hot-headed!” I quip, as I step over her body and enter the computer room. Statistics. Manifests. No factory… but a map to the factory, which is again out on some stinking asteroid. Please, not another monastery full of snake women! I’ve been high (I mean, awake and alert) on this totally not-at-all meth (I mean, tested and legal prescription medication) for three days, and I’m kind of cooked from blaster fire, so more hallucinations is more than I want to deal with right now.
First published September 13, 2019. Last updated December 15, 2020.
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