The RIM Confederacy: Hospital Ship


The Provost Colonel got out of the robo-cab and walked directly over to the closest corporal.

“Son, Colonel Roscoe—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 just as the curb and he could see from here the victim’s face was a real mess. No nose. It looked like the man’s nose was gone . . .

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

The Colonel 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 navy marines who were milling about taking questions it appeared from some of the provost officers and not liking it much.

“Dunno . . .” said one 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 more and from what little the colonel heard, he knew that something was up by the marines refusal to say squat.

He got to 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 am what else would you be wearing he wanted to know.

“Lieutenant . . . ” he called out and the close to the door area of the bar was empty, so he moved deeper towards the big room at the back.

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

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

“Sir, 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 colonel 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 it appears. 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 colonel nodded to him.

“It appears that one of our own—a Captain Tanner Scott of the Atlas 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 and, babbling about ‘violet eyes’ and we’ve got him inbound to city lockup. Sir,” he said and looked up from his tablet report.

The colonel 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. Looks 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 am, right?” he asked and got 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 till the lawyers get involved” the colonel said and he took the proffered lieutenants hand and giving it a great shake, he left to go home and back to bed.

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