Tales from the Nordic Troll - #2: Legacy (Part 1)
Sunday, March 3, 2013

Had they been in the cockpit, they would have seen the radar blip indicating a ship behind them...


The darkness of space was broken only by the stars and the running lights of the Nordic Troll. The ship sailed soundlessly through the darkness, bound for a point somewhere among the stars.

In the glow of the ship’s large cockpit, pilot Loomie Gavigan finished setting the course in the ships navigational computer, pushed the control stick back and stood up from the pilot’s chair. “Well, we’re set”, she said. “We’ll be at the asteroid belt in twelve hours.”

Nick Gerrin, the ship’s captain, rose from the co-pilot’s seat and said “Good work. Now let’s go eat.”

“What’s the hurry?” Loomie sighed. “It’s just protein packs.”

“Now, now, be grateful for what you’ve got. We’d all like some real food” Gerrin consoled her. “But first we have to get this job done, then we can re-stock the supplies.”

“Anna’s kind of hoping for some kind of table in those supplies.”

Gerrin looked at his pilot. “What’s wrong with the tables we’ve got?”

Loomie shrugged “She just thinks we’d all be more comfortable eating at a real table.”

“Well, I make no promises, but we’ll see what we can do.”

They both climbed down the ladder that led from the cockpit and walked back toward the mess area. Loomie asked “Why are we taking a bunch of bodies back to their home world anyway?”

Gerrin answered “These guys fought in the war. They died in battle and got lost for years. Now someone’s found what’s left of them and their families want to put them to rest. I’m fine with that. Anyone who steps up for their home deserves a decent funeral”.

“Even guys from the other side?” she asked him pointedly.

Gerrin nodded “Even guys from the other side”.

“I guess I get that” Loomie concluded.

Gerrin added “And it doesn’t hurt that their next-of-kin are paying our expenses, either”.

“Not by much” She reminded him.

“It’s enough to get us something more than protein packs.”

“Okay, if you say so.”

“You know”, Gerrin remarked, “my mother used to give me a sad tale every time I complained, something about being my age and having to walk to and from school, five miles in three feet of snow, every day of the year, and having nothing to eat but that same snow, and how she was grateful to have that…”

“I said okay” Loomie laughed.

“…and how my ancestors on Earth-That-Was once went through an entire war on nothing but flour and sawdust…”

Gerrin lurched forward as Loomie shoved him from behind. “Ewwww, stop!” They both laughed as they entered Troll’s mess area. Had they been in the cockpit, they would have heard the beeping alarm and noticed a proximity alert warning on the radar screen indicating an object behind them on the same course and speed. The blip was a second ship, smaller and engineered for a different purpose. This ship bristled with weapons mountings. It was a predator, designed for hunting other ships. Inside the ship, two men sat behind the pilot’s console, one pilot and one passenger. The only lights were the lights from the consoles.

The pilot, a man named Pearsoll, commented “We’re locked in behind them. They won’t see us.”

The passenger, Maddox, gave a satisfied smirk. “Stay behind him until we get to the asteroid belt. We’ll take him there”.

Pearsoll looked at Maddox. “We have a clear shot now.”

“I want it to last and I want him to know why” Maddox observed. Gazing at the screen, he added "Judgment is upon you, major.”

To Be Continued


Wednesday, July 23, 2014 8:22 PM


Short but sweet! I like the banter between the crew, and the cliffhanger is very effective.


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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”.