Tales from the Nordic Troll - #1: Fight Night (part 5)
Sunday, February 24, 2013

Things never quite go ccording to plan...


The makeshift gymnasium was filled with people and the noise level was rising. At tables along one side of the caged ring, bankers took bets on the fighters entering the ring. On the opposite side, local medics briefly examined prospective candidates for the ring.

Gerrin and Doc stood in the middle of a short line, waiting for Gerrin to weigh in. “This is your last chance to back out”, Doc said.

“It’s a little late for that”, Gerrin replied uneasily. “I’m just hoping Reilly and Aldous work fast.”

Across town in the control tower, Aldous cracked the lock to the room containing the landlock controls. As he entered the room he started scanning every control console for the controls he needed. After a few consoles, he found what he was looking for. “Yes!” he cheered quietly as he went to work on the controls.

Behind the bank Reilly triggered the lock on the back door and his crew slipped inside. As they approached the vault, Reilly reminded the crew “Remember, once we’re in, only the box numbers on the list.” Reilly began working on the lock on the vault.

In the Troll’s mess area Anna and Loomie were still talking. Anna continued with “and you really believe he’s not the monster the Alliance made him out to be?”

Loomie replied “He’s risked his life for us more times than I can count. Monsters don’t stick their necks out for others. I know”.

Anna was curious. “You really have a thing for him, don’t you?”

Loomie smiled “He’s different from most. Most guys just care about themselves. He looks after others, and he cares about what’s right, too.”

“But how do you know he’s written off the Alliance for good?”

Loomie’s smile faded. “You remember that broadwave a couple months ago about Miranda and the Reavers?”

Anna nodded.

Loomie became solemn. “His sister settled on Miranda.”

In the gym, Gerrin was weighed and examined, the matched against an opponent of roughly equal size. Gerrin stepped in the ring as the ringmaster announced “Okay, ladies and gentlemen! We have a new contender tonight! From a visiting ship, the Nordic Troll, Nick Gerrin!”. This met with limited applause. “And from our own utilities management bureau, a crowd favorite, Todd Everett!” The crowd grew considerably louder. Gerrin sized up his opponent and said to himself “Well, this was a prekrassnaya (outstanding) idea”. The opponents stood in their corners and waited for the bell. When the *clang* came, both men started toward the middle, Gerrin cautiously, Everett aggressively. Everett swung first toward Gerrin’s head. Gerrin blocked and countered with a round kick to the ribs. Everett responded with a jab to Gerrin’s stomach. The blow landed below the solar plexus, causing Gerrin pain but not taking him down.

At the bank, Reilly and his crew continued to extract the Alliance funds from the vault. Within fifteen minutes they were done. Reilly mounted the loader and said “Simmons, if you’re coming with me, get on now”.

Simmons raised a gun and said “Actually, there’s been a change in plans.”

Reilly glared at him stonily. “Somehow, that doesn’t surprise me.”

In the control tower Aldous worked furiously at the control panel. So far, no combination of switches and buttons had produced the desired effect. Finally, he found the proper order of controls that lifted the landlock. As he pushed the last button, the control screen went from red to green. “Yes!” he exclaimed as the screen changed. Suddenly, and alarm sounded in the room. “Ta ma de! (Dammit!)” he snapped as the alarm sounded. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out and keyed the transmitter that would tell Loomie the lock was lifted as he ran from the room.

On board the Troll, Loomie and Anna’s heads whipped around to look at the receiver Loomie had laid on the fold-down table as it suddenly beeped and flashed. Loomie said “This is where it gets crazy. You should go now”.

“Okay”. Anna started for the hatch. She stopped and called back “Anything I can – “, but Loomie was gone. Anna headed for the cargo bay.

Loomie scrambled to the large cockpit, taking the pilot’s seat in time to see Anna retreating across the field and Aldous running toward the Troll. Loomie flipped several switches and took the controls as the ship’s engines came to life. Aldous continued across the field as the ship's engines revved up. He bolted up the ramp to the cargo bay and hit the button that closed the hatch. As the hatch closed he hit the button on the intercom box by the door. “I’m on!” he yelled to his sister. “Let’s Go!”

Loomie pointed the ship’s thrusters toward the ground and the Troll lifted off and turned toward the center of town.

At the bank, Simmons motioned Reilly away from the loader with the gun. As Reilly backed away, he said to Simmons “I think you’re forgetting something” and triggered the pocket transmitter he had pulled from his pocket. “What’s that thing?” Simmons demanded. Reilly answered him by kicking the pistol, which went off. Reilly ducked for cover behind the loader and pulled his own pistol, firing at Simmons and his crew as they fired on him.

In the gymnasium, Gerrin was breathing heavily, despite holding his own. He had fresh bruises on the side of his face and ribs, but still fought on. Everett, his opponent, threw a punch as Gerrin spun and side-kicked. Everett fell back, his punch never reaching its mark. Gerrin stepped toward Everett, who had recovered and started circling him. Everett faked an attack, and Gerrin moved in to punch, but Everett locked the arm and hooked Gerrin’s leg out from under him. Gerrin dropped on his back, with Everett coming down on top of him, his hand on Gerrin’s throat. By luck, that was the moment a man came running into the gym, yelling “Everyone! Stop! Someone’s robbing the bank!”

As realization struck, people started yelling and running toward the door, including Everett. When enough of the crowd was out of the door, Doc ran into the ring, dragged Gerrin from the floor and said “Something’s gone wrong. I think it’s time to get out of here. Can you walk?”

Tah mah duh hwoon dahn (Mother humping son of a bitch)!" a sweating Gerrin gasped.

“Can you walk?” Doc demanded.

Gerrin nodded and they both headed toward what looked like the back door.

At the bank, Reilly and his former crew were still exchanging bullets. Reilly was pinned down behind the loader, Simmons and his crew across the street. Simmons motioned for one of his men to move on Reilly. As the man started across the street, shots started whizzing by him from another direction as a new shooter started firing on Simmons’ crew: Anna. The man ran back to cover as the crew started firing at both Reilly, thirty feet across the street, and Anna, one hundred feet away at its end. All parties involved continued shooting, oblivious to the growing roar of a spaceship’s engines until the engine blast kicked up dust from the street. Shielding his eyes, Reilly looked up to see the delta-wing shape of the Troll passing overhead. He returned to firing on Simmons and his crew as Anna continued firing and the Troll drifted slowly toward the square at the end of the street. As the blast from the ship’s engines intensified, the renegade crew retreated further down the street, as Reilly mounted the loader and started the engine. Once the engine started, Reilly turned the wheel, gunned the engine and drove the loader up the lowered ramped hatch into the Troll as the ship touched down. Anna started to withdraw, still firing on the turncoats, as the ship lifted and floated closer to her position. As the hatch drew closer, Anna heard Loomie’s voice booming over an external speaker. “Get on!”

Anna broke cover and dashed inside the cargo bay. Once Anna was aboard, Aldous hit the button raising the hatch and yelled into the intercom “They’re on! Let’s Go!” Loomie hit the throttle and the Troll rose over the buildings, turning toward the location of the makeshift gymnasium as a larger crowd advanced from across the square, some of them firing on the ship.

Gerrin and Doc exited the building, blocking the door as they went. Doc glanced at the wincing Gerrin’s injuries and said “I need to look at those when we’re done”.

“I’m a little busy right now” Gerrin huffed.

“I want you in med bay as soon as this is over” she commanded.

“It’s a date. Maybe.”

The ship appeared over the buildings across the street, hovering lower as it cleared the buildings. Once it was squeezed into the street, the hatch dropped. Gerrin and Doc fought their way through the engine blast to climb aboard the ship. Seeing Anna on board, Gerrin shouted “What the hell are you doing here?”

“Helping you stay alive!” Anna shouted back.

As Aldous closed the hatch, Gerrin turned to the intercom and yelled “Loomie, get us out of here!” Turning back to Anna, he said “We’ll take you home once things settle down.”

Anna protested “What? We can’t stay here now! Some of those men we were shooting at know us!”

“Anna, once we’re out of here, we’re not coming back!”

“I don’t care! If we stay now, we’re good as dead!”

After a second Gerrin burst out “GOS se! (shit!)”. Then, to Anna, “You and I are gonna have a talk when this is over”. Turning back to the intercom, he said “Loomie, let’s go to the store and pick up Lewis”.

Within a minute the Troll floated over the street by the store. As the ship hovered low over the street, Gerrin and Anna jumped out and ran in, both shouting “LEWIS!

Lewis appeared from the back room. “What’s going on?” he yelled over the din of the engines.

Anna reached him first. “We have to go! Right now! Get in the back, grab all the clothes you can and get on the ship! Hurry!” They both ran for the back room.

Gerrin paced frantically back and forth. The two minutes that passed seemed like an hour. Finally, Anna and Lewis darted through the back door. “About time!” Gerrin yelled. “Let’s go!” he shepherded them toward the front door.

As they reached the door the first shot ricocheted off the ship’s hull, followed by another, then a bullet hit the door frame inches above Anna’s head. Gerrin ducked, pulling Anna and Lewis down as the advancing crowd continued to fire on the ship. The Troll suddenly lurched upward and forward toward the crowd, who scattered toward the buildings on either side of the street. As they dove for cover, the ship quickly settled toward its original position in front of the store. Gerrin, Anna and Lewis wasted no time: they leapt up and sprinted toward the hatch. As the three of them bounded into the cargo bay, Reilly and Doc caught them as Aldous hammered the button that closed the hatch. Bullets continued to ricochet off the outer hull as the hatch swung shut. Once the hatch clanged shut, Aldous pushed the button on the intercom. “We got ‘em! Let’s get outta here!”

The Troll lurched toward the sky as bullets bounced off the hull. Once she was clear of the buildings, Loomie pointed the ship away from the town and flew off into the night. Several of the townspeople continued firing until the ship was just a small speck in the sky.

In the cargo bay Gerrin sank to his knees and panted “Well, that went really well”.

..........To Be Concluded.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014 1:18 PM


LOL! Gerrin's closing statement made me snort my coffee all over my keyboard. Score two points for you!

Now -- what is the name of this crappy world, so I know to avoid it? ::wink::


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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”.