Tales from the Nordic Troll - #1: Fight Night (part 1)
Saturday, February 23, 2013

Serenity wasn't the only ship in the 'verse to have troubles. Nick Gerrin and the crew of the Nordic Troll have their own share of problems, starting with how to rob a locally run fighting ring...


The port buzzed with activity. In the heat of the afternoon, wheeled cargo loaders and horse-drawn trailers moved cargo from the three space ships parked on the flat ground that served as a landing pad up the ramps of the loading docks and through the heavy wooden doors of the long sandstone warehouses.

Alongside one of the ships, a delta-winged converted troop carrier named the Nordic Troll, workers carried containers from the cargo bay doors to the loaders parked along the ship’s side.

Aldous Gavigan, the ship’s mechanic, worked to help two dock workers place a large crate in one of the loaders. During the transfer he had been conversing with the workers about the local eateries in town. Once the crate was loaded, Aldous stood up and brushed off his sleeveless coveralls. Producing a rag from his pocket he wiped the sweat from his forehead and yelled toward the dock “Hey, captain!”

The ship’s captain, a worn but rugged-looking man called Nick Gerrin, stood on the raised dock with the dock master reviewing the arrangements for the storage of the cargo. Gerrin looked up. “What?”

“How come Reilly’s not out here helping with the cargo?”

Gerrin replied “Reilly’s doing something in town. I’ve got it covered”.

“Hope it has something to do with getting paid. I still need that induction coil for the engine soon”.

“Don’t worry”, Gerrin replied, holding up one hand, “You’ll get your coil as soon as we get paid. Just take care of unloading that cargo for now. Shie shie (thank you)”.

“Will do, sir”, Aldous returned to his work, grumbling under his breath “That’s what you said after the last job”.

Several of the Troll's crew worked with the workers unloading the ship’s cargo, including the ship’s pilot, Aldous’s sister, who went by the name “Loomie”. Loomie was helping two workers ma-neuver a large crate into a loader. Loomie had been talking about the jobs the Troll’s crew took on, discreetly leaving out the part that most of the jobs involved smuggling. “We went to Boros a few weeks back, and a couple times we’ve even made it as far in as Perseph-one.”, she continued as the two dock workers listened with a polite pretense of interest. “That’s the best part of being on a ship: You get to see different places all the time”.

One of the men had been having trouble keeping up with the other two, so Loomie and the other man had slowed down a bit. As the three of them finished loading the crate, Loomie brushed the dirt from her olive cargo pants and said “Well, halfway there”. They started back to the cargo bay when the slower man stopped. Loomie and the other worker turned back toward the man after a few steps, asking “Hey, you OK?”

The man grabbed his head, staggered, and fell forward, grabbing Loomie as he fell. Loomie shrieked in surprise and jumped back as the man fell to the ground. Gerrin and the dock master heard the shriek and rushed toward the three, Gerrin toward his crewmember, the dock master toward his fallen man. As they reached the three, Gerrin asked “What happened?”

Loomie’s face was pale beneath her dark skin. “We were just working and he just fell over, like someone switched him off or something.”

The other dock worker said to Gerrin and the dockmaster “He’s been slow and out of it all day”.

Gerrin turned back toward his ship and barked “Get Doc out here, now!” As he, the dockmaster and the other worker rolled the man over on his back, the dockmaster felt the fallen man for a pulse. After a few seconds, he looked up and shook his head. It was only then that all four of them noticed the bruise on the side of the man’s head. Gerrin’s eyes hardened as he looked at the standing dock worker and asked “Just exactly what happened here?”

..........To Be Continued.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014 8:59 PM


Very interesting! I was thrilled to see your fic, since my friends and I are doing something similar with our stories about the crew of the Jin Dui. Figuring out a "start point" of how to introduce your cast, and doing so in an efficient but interesting manner, is hard! You keep your intro short but sweet, and you create tension with an effective cliffhanger. Nice work! You've left me wanting more!


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Tales From the Nordic Troll - #9: Wild Cards (part 4)
“People”, Gerrin continued, “we got things set in motion, we got a plan that’ll work, but we’re not going out there alone. Now, are you in or are you out?” - - - - The assembled farmers looked at each other. Five raised their hands. “I’m in”, they proclaimed one at a time. - - - - “What about the rest of you?” Gerrin demanded. - - - - The rest sat there, silent. - - - - Gerrin eyed them contemptuously. “Envy the country that has heroes, huh?” he growled. As he turned and stormed toward the door he added “Pity the land that needs ‘em”.

Tales From the Nordic Troll - #9: Wild Cards (part 3)
The leader whipped out his gun and aimed toward Reilly. “Where’s my men?” He snapped. - - - Reilly looked around him. “Swallowed by darkness?” he offered. - - - “Gettin’ smart, huh?” The leader cocked the hammer on his weapon. “Well, I still got you now, don’t I?” - - - “Only two problems”. Reilly raised his hands holding the rope he’d been bound with. “I’m untied”. - - - The leader stiffened and cocked his head. “What’s the other one?” - - - Reilly gestured. “They’re here”.

Tales From the Nordic Troll - #9: Wild Cards (part 2)
“Gentlemen“, Shepherd McGarrity started, “this won’t-“ . . . . “Shut it, preacher”, the leader snapped, turning his gun toward McGarrity. “Your services ain’t needed...” He raised his weapon. “…yet”. . . . . “Oh, that just won’t do”, Gerrin chided as he cocked his head. “I suggest you apologize to the Shepherd and take your leave before something bad happens to you”. . . . . “Take ‘em!” the leader roared as he whipped his pistol toward Gerrin and fired.

Tales From the Nordic Troll - #9: Wild Cards (part 1)
“Don’t worry, captain”, McGarrity called back, gesturing to the man beside him. “I think this gentleman might have something a little more in line with your crew’s particular set of skills”.

Tales From the Nordic Troll - #8: Business as Usual (part 6)
Both ships were close enough to be clearly seen in the pilot’s window. “Might be a good time to turn”, Reilly commented nervously.

Tales From the Nordic Troll - #8: Business as Usual (part 5)
Bullets bounced off the hood and sides of the truck as Gerrin sped toward the far end of the building. Wilkins, perched on her stomach in the bed, maneuvered a small 10-liter plastic barrel with a fuse in the end toward the lowered cargo gate in back of the bed. Pulling out a lighter, she lit the fuse as Gerrin, firing from the driver’s seat, suddenly swerved away from the building.

Tales From the Nordic Troll - # 8: Business as Usual (part 4)
Whump! - - -
Reilly fought to keep from uttering a sound as the fist of one of Reznor’s men struck him in the stomach again. Reilly raised his eyes toward his captor and sneered “Trying to torture me or tease me?”

Tales From the Nordic Troll - #8: Business as Usual (part 3)
Jacko slowly withdrew his hand from the box, producing a cigar, his eyes never leaving Gerrin’s. Placing the cigar in his mouth, he reached down and picked up a small, gaudy-looking lighter, which he also made a show of displaying for his unwelcome visitors. Producing a flame under the cigar, he puffed several times. Finally satisfied, Jacko leaned back in his chair and remarked to Gerrin “You don’t take instructions well, do you?”

Tales From the Nordic Troll - #8: Business as Usual (part 2)
He felt something that could have been an electro-mechanical door bolt just as he became aware of a growing hum beneath the deck plates: a ship’s engines starting up. Okay, Reilly thought, this could be a problem…

Tales From the Nordic Troll - #8: Business as Usual (part 1)
Reilly struggled ferociously to break free. As he jerked and pulled against his attackers, he felt the sharp prick of a needle entering his neck. Reilly’s muscles began to feel numb and heavy. The hallway started to spin. Through a growing fog he could hear the contact admonish him loudly “It’ll only be worse if you fight it”. . . . . .

Reilly’s arms grew heavier. His eyes started to cloud over. "Tah mah duh hwoon dahn (Mother humping son of a bitch)", he slurred angrily. "Huogai daomei (You deserve whatever’s coming to you)”. . . . . . .

“It ain’t me”, the contact apologized. “It’s just good business”.