Tales from the Nordic Troll - #1: Fight Night (part 6)
Sunday, February 24, 2013

...but in the end it all works out.


The morning sun peaked over the horizon as the Nordic Troll settled to the ground twenty miles outside town. Once the engines had shut down, the cargo bay hatch opened and the “borrowed” loader pulled out of the bay, with Gerrin driving and Reilly riding behind him.

Two hours later, the loader returned, followed by a second loader. The second loader was driven by the dockmaster, Rodriguez, whom Anna had vouched for as being trustworthy. Rodriguez had a man with him. The two loaders pulled up to the opening cargo bay door.

All four men climbed off their loaders and Gerrin and Reilly faced the other two men. “This is yours”, Gerrin gestured as the rest of his crew came down the ramp with a single large crate. “Most of it’s Alliance money so most likely the local barons won’t report it stolen. They’ll probably cover it with their own money to avoid losing any government ‘funding’ they’re getting.”

Rodriguez nodded. “I just hope that’s enough to keep them from coming back on us.”

“Don’t worry, I threw in a little insurance”, Reilly responded.

They all looked at him. “An anonymous call went out to the nearest Alliance outpost in the area informing them of a possible robbery at the bank, so obviously your administrators are going to want to keep things quiet for now.”

“Oh. Good idea.” Gerrin remarked. Turning back to Rodriguez, Gerrin continued “Take both loaders back. Once the one we took shows up again, it’ll look more like an inside job.”

“Got it.” Rodriguez looked at him. “But you still haven’t told me why you’re doing this.”

Gerrin considered this for a moment and replied “I don’t like bullies.” Returning to the original subject, he continued “Just be careful how much you all spend at once and where you spend it. Do that and you should be all right”. Gerrin stuck out his hand. Rodriguez and Gerrin shook hands.

As Rodriguez and his companion drove off on the two loaders the Nordic Troll’s engines fired up and the ship lifted off, heading for the sky. An hour later the ship and crew had left Verbena behind and were back in space. Gerrin sat on the bed in med bay as Doc finished bandaging his ribs. “You were very lucky.” she admonished him. “That guy could’ve killed you.”

Gerrin shrugged. “Everything went according to plan, more or less, so I call it a win.”

Doc returned the unused bandages to the drawer they came from and closed it. “One of these days you’re not going to be this lucky”, she reminded him. “You might want to think about slowing down or maybe finding a new line of work.”

Gerrin turned his head and examined himself in the mirror over the sink: slight sign of crows feet by the eyes, a tiny sprinkling of grey in the short hair, but still mostly brown. “What’re you talking about?” he scoffed. “I’m still in my prime”. After a second, he said in a more serious tone “When the right time comes, I’ll go off and try farming. But for now, we’ll just keep flying.”

“Hmmm.” Doc finished her work. “Well, you’re all set. Just take it easy for a few days, no heavy lifting. If you want, I’ll buy you a drink later.”

“Thanks.” Gerrin rose from the bench and pulled his shirt on. “Now, I’m going to see about finding us another job. I’ll join you for that drink later.” He started out of the med bay as Doc asked “By the way: what about our new passengers?”

“You mean are they staying?”

Doc nodded.

Gerrin shrugged “We’ll give ‘em a chance and see what they can do.” and started for the cockpit. Halfway there he ran into Anna. “So, are you all settled in?” he asked.

“Pretty much”, she answered. “We thought as long as we’re here, we could work for our passage. I noticed there’s some housekeeping we could look after on this ship.”

Gerrin considered this for a second. “Shiny” he finally answered and continued “But I’ll only ask you to look after the kitchen and supplies.”

“Fair enough. We’ll take care of the kitchen and supplies until we find something better elsewhere.”

“That part might take awhile”, Gerrin mused. “You’re welcome to stay as long as you need to”.

“You sure?”

Gerrin nodded. “Just from now on keep me in the loop when you start any plans”.

“Okay. If that’s the end of our little talk, I guess I’ll see you in the morning, then. Goodnight.” She started toward her new quarters as Gerrin started toward the cockpit. Suddenly, he stopped. “Oh, one more thing.”

Anna turned.

“Doc and Aldous keep a still in the engine room, so it might be a good idea to keep Lewis out of there unless someone else is in there with him.”

Anna looked at him. “You all wouldn’t stoop to letting a minor get drunk, would you?”

Gerrin considered the question and answered “Not me. And not the rest of them if you remind them how good you are with a gun.”

The End (for now).


Wednesday, July 23, 2014 1:23 PM


Nice conclusion! You sustained my notoriously fickle interest the whole way through, and kept me interested in your characters as well! I'd love to know the captain's inspiration for the ship's name -- and likewise, I'd love to know your inspiration for these series of stories! Was this all based on a beloved RP campaign?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 6:29 PM


The ideas for the stories came from bits and pieces of other stories I'd written over the year, just nipped and tucked for the Firefly 'Verse. As for the origin of the name "Nordic Troll", it gets revealed in part 4 of "Baggage", and it's a hoot.


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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”.