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Contraband by George Foy

The most dangerous commodity of all... Joe "Skid" Marak, aka the pilot, is a compulsive smuggler. For him, borders are an outrage to freedom. He lives with his pet rat in the abandoned spire of Manhattan's TransCom Building. His friends are outcasts in a world ripped by plague and repression. The pilot knows his days are numbered. On his ECM-pak, he watches helplessly as his freetrading comrades vanish from the screen: victims of a mysterious force known only as "Bokon Taylay." The brother of his Rollerblading, go-go-dancing girlfriend is Taylay's latest victim. All that is left behind is a smuggled message telling the pilot he must locate the one man who can break Taylay's code, the legendary author of the Smuggler's Bible - a man who may not even exist. It's a risk worth taking. Because to the pilot, there's only one contraband more valuable than life - freedom.