Peacemaker Van Tudor and his ship, the Fafnir are out rescuing people from various pirates that still infest the galaxy. Sometimes they are lucky to get to the victims before they meet their end and other times they manage to capture one of the criminals and put them away. It’s usually a matter of locking them up in the Fafnir’s brig until they can transfer them to whomever had jurisdiction. This particular run had them trying to save an unknown ship from said pirates and it wasn’t going well. In fact, they couldn’t get to the unknown ship before it came apart in the dense atmosphere of a super-giant gas planet it was trying to hide in. What they did manage to do was capture one of the attackers. Since Spind Drift was in the Eridani system they decided to head there and drop off their prisoner.
While at Spindrift and specifically at the watering hole called “The Blast Crater” Van noticed a news announcement with his mug clearing showing as the center of attention. When he stop drinking and started listening, he found out that the new Satrap (whatever the heck that is!) of the Seven Stars League had just placed a bounty on his head! This guy was asking for anyone’s assistance in bringing said criminal Peacemaker Tudor to justice. He was also going to address the Peacemaker Guild for their assistance in capturing one of their own. Since Peacemakers have been know to not always be the good guys, this wasn’t too shocking news, but it was to Van Tudor! They hurriedly left Spindrift to some place quiet and out of the way so Van could think about this new situation.
While thinking he got a surpassingly unexpected call from the Quiet Room. It wasn’t his usual contact, but another agent for the giant financial organization asking if Van could stop by the Planet Procyon to go over some “irregularities” in his account. To everyone on the Fafnir, this sounded like a trap. So, Van decided to go anyway since they also got a call from Lunzy telling him to stay away from Anvil Dark for now.
On their approach to Procyon they saw a Class 7 and Class 9 starships looking like they were not having a friendly discussion. The Calls 9 was pounding the Class 7 and pretty much taking it apart. By the time the Fafnir was able to physically intervene, the Class 9 vessel had hightailed it to the nearest twist point and was gone. All that was left of the Class 7 was some drifting junk, but there were two crewmen still aboard and still alive. There also wasn’t much to salvage. The Fafnir also didn’t have much in the way of medical care so they had to quickly go somewhere that such care could be provided. They found on sensors a not too distant scientific research station orbiting a planet undergoing terraforming. Upon docking at the space station they noticed a very heavily docked starship bristling with weapons. It was later found out to belong to Group 41, a notorious, but not currently wanted, hired mercenary outfit.
While at the orbiting research station, Van got another call from Netty’s clone? aboard the Iowa, their battleship starship orbiting above a dwarf planet called Orcus. Again, it seems that pirates were on the loose and had to be stopped. They were aboard Van Tudor’s property and they weren’t invited. So this story line gets going with the knowledge that these pirates were hired by none other than Yotov! Yes, the disgraced and supposedly imprisoned former Guild Master! It seems that the new Satrap of the Seven Stars League had commuted her sentence and now she was free to do what she pleased. Now she had hired these pirates to search the Iowa from some previously stolen money plates. Apparently, the Iowa had been used as a smuggler’s ship a long time ago and Yotov had been involved. The pirates didn’t find the plates, but the crew of the Fafnir ultimately did. They had to return them to the Quiet Room who had a substantial reward out for their return.
As you can read, the Fafnir is again going to be quite busy in this book. Not only are they chasing around pirates, but have now to contend with a former foe and probably new enemy, Yotov. We’ll also find out that some one aboard the Fafnir hasn’t been playing by the rules a little too much and almost gets the ship destroyed! Fortunately, this happened after Van Tudor finds himself promoted to Full Veteran Peacemaker status and engaged to Torina! Yes, if you didn’t know something was seriously going on between the two, you definitely should have. She makes the first move in a big way, but Van is perfectly alright with the situation and so is everyone else.
Then things get complicated. The Guild issues a Special Instrument signed off by the Masters. They want Van to be in on the execution of this instrument against the Trinduk and the Sorcerers and anyone else in league with them. Van soon learns that this Special Instrument basically sets him up as judge, jury and executioner. That’s troubling on so many levels for him and his crew. But, unknown to his crew, he’s also dealing with the Galactic Knights Uniformed. They are real and, once again, he’s involved. So, lots of new stuff happening in this book. Even though one of his crew members spends some time in jail at Anvil Dark, the crew at least all stay alive for now.
I don’t have a clue as to how the title of this book fits with the story. Maybe you can figure that out. I’d really like to see a picture of Torina and the rest of the crew since we’re getting to know them so well. But, that won’t happen in an ebook so we’ll just have to be happy reading the next book “Blackest Ocean”, book 8. It’s on my reading list now!