Rating:

Distant Horizon

Peacemaker Van Tudor is still busy doing his best to maintain law and order in the greater galaxy, but it seems to be wearing on him. While he has a tendency to do what is necessary in stopping these bad guys, he’s known to skirt the law something terrible. There’s nothing actually illegal about what he does, but some of it come pretty close. Still, he has Perry with him, who is his legal council as much as Van will listen to him. Van has been made aware of some pretty terrible things the criminals he’s now after have done that he doesn’t really know if he’ll stop when confronted with a legal issue as spouted by Perry. And that could get him in some serious trouble.

They have found some creditable leads that point to a mega corporation, the Traversia Corps., as being the backers and part of the gang that are kidnapping people and dumping them into computer chips. This makes them subject to the programming of the chip and they are therefor compelled to do what they are programmed to do whether they like it or not. Their original bodies are disposed and for all practical purposes, these people have been murdered. One such victim of this scheme is Rolis, a former starship engineer that found himself mindlessly driving a scrap retrieval tug in a remote space junkyard. Rolis was rescued by Van Tudor and temporarily placed in a Waldo unit until a new organic body could be made by the Guild. Yet, Rolis found himself liking the idea of being in this mechanical body. So, with Van Tudor’s permission and the acceptance by the rest of the crew, Rolis found himself a part of Peacemaker Van Tudors crew aboard the Fafnir. What happened to Rolis is exactly the thing Van Tudor has set out to stop. Most of these unfortunate kidnapped victims are living in something far worse than hell.

So, it’s not easy to take it easy on anyone or thing associated with those involved in the kidnappings. Right now, he’s targeting an organization called the Fade who he believes is funded by the Traversia Corps. He’s also become the target of all kinds of assassination attempts. He and his crew have to be alert for anything and everything out of the ordinary and there doesn’t appear to be many safe places for them to rest and recuperate.

Then he gets a call to report back to Anvil Dark and specifically to a Master Gerhardt. Master Gerhardt has been closely monitoring Van Tudors exploits, reading every single one of his mission reports and is highly pissed off at the conduct of those missions. It turns out that Master Gerhardt is a stickler for the absolute letter of the law. He things Van Tudor is taking too many liberties with his interpretation of legal situations and has now got the attention of a powerful mega corporation which fights its battles with lawyers.

Master Gerhardt tells Van that he will no long tolerate any quasi-breech of the law by anyone. He wants detailed reports on each mission with specific legal references to the actions Van Tudor and his group undertake. This is obviously going to cause Van some great difficulties. He thought that by getting rid of Master Yotov, he might find some reasonable Masters letting him do what he feels is right even if some of it is border-line. All he’s doing is tracking down and eliminating criminals. He’s not doing it for profit or for the glory, he’s doing it because it’s his job and it’s the right thing to do. Master Gerhardt becomes an even greater problem later on, but then he’s not!

It seems like Van Tudor and his crew seem to have a lot of downtime in this book. They are either going back to the farm in Iowa or to Tornia’s home on Helso, to Schegith’s planet Null World or maybe to Starsmith. All of these places are comforting, even though the farm in Iowa recently had way too much excitement. They spend a few days at these places thinking about what they are doing and you get to know more about each crew member and how much they compliment each other in their activities. It also gives Van some time to think about what he wants to do for the rest of his life. Can he even think about going back to Earth and staying permanently.

But, they do proceed on, unfortunately, with disastrous consequences. One of Van Tudor’s crew will not make it back with them. And this incident isn’t one they actually had to undertake and even then, Van was warned that this excursion might be costly. He didn’t listen to the warnings. Still, not everything get resolved in this book. Book 7, “Kingdom Come”, is available on Amazon and it’s already on my reading list.



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