Undercover agent Adam Johnson and his team are ready to take a much-needed vacation after cracking a difficult case… But when the president himself requests them to take on another unsolved mystery, how can they say no?
A hefty, promised bonus is another incentive to postpone their holiday plans so they take on the case hoping they can crack it fast. Except…fast is not on the agenda for this one.
They are ready to give up when Adam has a lead. But never in their wildest imagination could they have dreamed up where that lead ends up taking them…
“Organ and body part trade has increased dramatically. So much that it has become a multi-billion-dollar market, driven by too many private individuals, private hospitals, and clinics obtaining their products illegally. Over the last twenty years, the availability of organs and other body parts has increased by seventy-five percent. We don’t know how the increase came about or where the body parts are coming from."
“Has there been a dramatic increase in missing people and children? Murders?” Adam asked.
“Less than usual, actually. That’s the odd part. The hypothesis is that people are possibly selling their organs and parts of their bodies. A person could sell a piece of their liver, one of their kidneys, or even a lung. After all, we can live with only one of those. But who in their right mind would sell their arms or hands? Their legs or feet? Eyes? Even if offered large compensation, would you give up any of those body parts?”
“Eh…no. But if people are desperate enough, they might. There’s a lot of poverty,” Adam suggested. “They could easily adjust to living with one arm, one leg, even one eye, if given plenty of incentive, like large dollar amounts.”
Brunaldi shook his head. “That’s been thoroughly investigated, but as far as we know, the recipients are not getting their organs and body parts from living donors. This is happening worldwide and on several of the colonies on Terracotia, Zanorko, and a few other planets we’ve colonized. It has become a universal problem. That’s why the UHO has asked us to get involved.”
Adam frowned. “And no one has any leads as to where the body parts are obtained? Who is selling them? Which red market organization?”
“That’s just it. The red market on Earth has dwindled. Whoever this supplier is, has almost put all the other illegal traders out of business. Which has also helped in reducing the number of abductions and murders. In a way, that’s good, of course. “On the plus side, this new organization is delivering healthy organs and body parts. Whereas previously, it was risky to buy them on the red market because they were often removed from victims under shady conditions. And transplant recipients were operated on in facilities that were not as sterile as they should be, often resulting in death or severe illness. The big question is, where are they getting their product?”
“And you want me and my team to try and figure it out.”