Hospital Ship (The Rim Confederacy #5)

BOOK: Hospital Ship (The Rim Confederacy #5)
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Title Page

Copyright Page


The RIM Confederacy

A Message to you from the Author












Desert Planet Prologue






Hospital Ship


by Jim Rudnick




This is purely a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.


Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.


This book may not be re-sold or given away without permission in writing from the author.


No part of this book may be reproduced, copied, or distributed in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means past, present or future.



ISBN-13: 978-1-988144-03-0

Copyright © 2015

Jim Rudnick

All rights reserved.





For my Susan…

The RIM Confederacy: Hospital Ship


"After exploding with rage and injuring some Caliphate marines, Tanner is sent to the Barony Hospital ship on a ninety day observation to see if he's really sane. At the same time, he is challenged by his doctors and psychiatrist to see if he can defeat his alcohol addiction and to combat his PTSD too.


Also on the ship is the Barony Secure labs where the research teams are trying to find the Ikarian virus vaccine to give longevity to the RIM—and the Baroness is interested in their success.


While the Caliphate continues to try to find a way to steal the vaccine, they end up using a vacjumper—someone who can go right out into outer space with no suit and attempt to break into the lab that way.


Called on to forget about his illness, Tanner must rise to heed the call to defeat the vacjumper and to do that he must jump out into space on his own. Death, virus vaccines and love all play a part for him and his quest…"

A Message to you from the Author…




I just wanted to say thanks so so much for reading Book Five of the RIM Confederacy!


As my Amazon bio says, being a youngster in the 1950's meant that I was a voracious reader in what has been called the Golden Age of Science Fiction. That meant that for me, my heroes were not on the hockey rink or gridiron - but instead in my local Library where at 12 I had a full Adult card (thanks Dad!) and took out more than 5 books a week.


Everyone from Heinlein, Norton, Leiber, Pohl, Anderson, Simak, Asimov, Brackett, Gunn, Van Vogt and more....I fell in love with and eventually owned Ace Doubles of my own. And while I never knew who wrote the Tom Corbett - Space Cadet series, I fell in love with them and they had a place of honor on my own bookcase too!


With that kind of an introduction to Science Fiction, it's no wonder that when I got my writing work done, I turned my own fictional side of my brain to writing same. It's one thing I know how to write - and a totally different matter to release same to the world - something that I've just started to work on....


Suffice it to say my own works are rooted in that Golden Age and it's that era that I'd like to one day be known as a teensy contributor to in some small way...


So once again, thanks for beginning my RIM Confederacy series and wait'll you learn about the alcoholic spaceship captain that is my hero, who fights and beats aliens but not the bottle!


Enjoy and remember, in a series, characters develop and mature not the way we sometimes want…instead, it's like they have a life of their own!


And while you can read the series in any order, I'd highly recommend to start with Pirates, then Sleeper Ship, Prison Planet, Ancient Relics and then Hospital Ship!

Prologue ~


The chief of police for Neres City got out of the robo-cab and walked directly over to the closest corporal.

"Son—can you tell me who's on this case?" he said quietly as he looked around.

The ambulance attendants over to his right were working on somebody on the street near the curb, and from here, he could see the victim's face was a real mess. No nose. It looked like the man's nose was gone ...

"Sir, yes—Lieutenant Carlisle is the man, Sir," the corporal said, as he pointed over to a man who was not in uniform either.

The chief said his thanks and stooped under the yellow tape that stretched around a whole bunch of cars and robo-cabs parked in front of the OneTon bar. He picked his way through the broken glass—no windows on the OneTon he noted—and made his way around some Barony marines who were milling about answering questions from some of the provost officers.

"Dunno ..." one said and shook his head.

"Didn't see shit," another said and tried to walk away but was yanked back by a city cop.

"Just got here," said one man, and from what little the colonel heard, he knew something was up.

He reached the front door of the bar and entered slowly as the provost corporal at the door checked his ID before admitting him.

Guess when you wear your pajamas under a trench coat, you're gonna get asked, but at four a.m., what else would you be wearing?

"Lieutenant ..." he called out. The area close to the door of the bar was empty, so he moved deeper toward the big room at the back.

Glass under his feet crunched, and he kicked a couple of pool table balls as he tried to pick his way through the crime scene.

Entering the back room where the pool tables and more than a dozen people were, he again called, "Lieutenant" and received a nod from a Provost officer at the far end, who saw who was calling him, left the group, and came right over.

"Sir, Chief—I am sorry, but I had no other choice but to call you," the young lieutenant said and referred to his tablet.

"Wait, before you give me an update—what's the toll on injuries, Lieutenant?" the chief asked first.

"We've got seven at Neres General with various injuries, Sir. Broken bones, cuts from flying glass, a couple with bad lacerations too, it appears. No deaths but there are two more getting shuttled up to the Hospital Ship, as they have some serious skull fractures. All in all, eleven very seriously injured men—only two of which are our own Barony marines," he said as he looked down at his tablet.

The chief nodded to him.

"It appears that one of our own—Navy Captain Tanner Scott is to blame—well, allegedly only, yes, with the eleven injured. Seems something set him off and he went crazy. He literally beat the hell out of four Caliphate Navy sailors, mounted a couple of the pool tables, and began to whip pool balls all over and that took out a couple more patrons. He used a pool cue to try to shoot more ... guess the fact that the cue doesn't actually shoot bullets was a bit of a surprise, but that allowed him to be grabbed and held for the city cops and us to arrive to take him into custody. Sir, I wasn't here for that—but everyone who was says the same thing—the captain is crazy, Sir. Went off the deep end, babbling about 'violet eyes,' and we've got him inbound to city lockup. Sir," he said and looked up from his tablet report.

The chief nodded.

"Crazy, eh?" he said and looked around. Known for being a navy and marine bar, it was turf for the forces of the Barony and others too. It looked like the Caliphate Navy had paid a price this time around. He shrugged and nodded once more to the lieutenant.

"He'd be indicted tomorrow in the a.m., right?" he asked and received a nod back from the lieutenant.

"Then I better—yes, I'll do this—notify the Captains Council on this as he's one of their own. And yes, this is going to be messy too, I'd imagine," he said and wondered exactly how this was going to play out.

"Sir, there may be charges too, from the bar owners—damages and loss of business come to mind immediately, Sir," the lieutenant said.

"And wait'll the lawyers get involved," the chief said, and taking the lieutenant's hand and giving it a great shake, he left to go home and make the call to the Baroness.









Knowing you're hurting, hungover, and feeling like hell was one thing.

Having an arm that you can't even move on top of that meant more serious injuries.

But having no memory at all of the previous evening's event is the worst,
Tanner thought, especially as he knew he was lying on a steel bunk in what could only be a brig.

No idea whose brig, but a jail cell for sure.

Arm. His arm was slightly bent, and he knew it felt funny—not that he could move it.

He fought with his other hand, his left, to get it to work, and slowly he was able to drag it up to his face to rub his eyes, which were caked with something. As his fingers rubbed into a massive bandage that circled his brow, he got more depressed. But his eyes opened, watery and bleary yet open.

Lying on his side, he was able to look down just a bit to see his right arm was in what looked like some kind of a cast—heavy white plaster was on his arm from above his elbow down to his wrist. It was so heavy he couldn't lift it.

BOOK: Hospital Ship (The Rim Confederacy #5)
4.86Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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