Tales From the Nordic Troll - #3: Shanghai'd (part 1)
Saturday, May 4, 2013

“Are you sure you want to do this?” Lewis asked. - Anna looked at him. “It’s too dangerous here. It’s time to go home.” - With that, they went to their quarters, picked up their jackets and left the ship, with no idea that the next time they set foot on the Nordic Troll, they would have no desire to leave again soon.


Higgins’ Moon was known for two things: the Canton Mud Factory and a salvage yard for old spaceships. The transport Nordic Troll and her crew had come to make use of the latter to scavenge for parts to repair the ship.

The crew had returned from their morning parts search, deposited their take in the cargo bay, and regrouped in the mess compartment for a meal and a brake. Having finished their meal, they were listening and laughing as the ship’s captain, Nick Gerrin, recounted a war story.

“So,” he continued, “this junior lieutenant, obviously from a sheltered childhood, was still complaining about having to carry that rifle: ‘Why should officers have to carry a weapon, that’s an enlisted’s job.’ So, when she got tasked to move a roller out of the yard, she leaned the rifle on the roller track and forgot about it. We didn’t find out about it until after the fact. Anyway, she came back in the dispatch tent a few minutes later with this bent piece of metal we couldn’t recognize at first. Then-“ Gerrin chuckled at this point. “- she holds it up and says ‘I had an accident with it. Do you think the mechanics can straighten it out?’” Gerrin broke down in laughter.

Even Heather “Doc” Marshall, who had fought for the other side, was laughing. “But what happened to the rest of the rifle? Or wasn’t there anything left?”

“Well,” Gerrin lifted his face from his hand, laughing. “When we asked her where the rest of it was, she said ‘Um, I’m gonna need a trash bag, too.’” The rest of the crew laughed with Gerrin.

Anna Howard broke it up. “Okay, you guys have to get back to work, and I have a mess deck to clean up. Go on, I’ll see you all later.” The rest of the crew stood up and returned to work. Anna began wiping down the fold-up tables. Before leaving, Doc turned back and asked Anna “So, did you tell him yet?”

Anna nodded “Just after we touched down. He always knew this was temporary, so he understood.”

Doc nodded. “He couldn’t blame you, not after what happened out there. You’re not leaving soon, are you?”

Anna folded the table she had just finished wiping back into the wall. “After I’m done here, I’m going to check with the ships in the area and see if Lewis and I can catch a ride. If we find something we’ll come back, pack our bags and say our goodbyes.”

“Well, don’t take off before tomorrow, if you can avoid it. Loomie wants to throw you a going-away party.”

“If there’s time” Anna conceded.

“So, where do you think you’ll go? Back to Verbena?”

“No, I think it’s time to go home-home. Persephone’s not that far off, so it shouldn’t be hard to find something heading that way”.

“Okay, well, good luck.” Doc turned toward the door. “I have to get back to work. Just don’t take off without saying goodbye.”

“I’ll be back. See you soon.” Doc departed as Anna turned back to her work.

Anna and Lewis finished cleaning and storing the tables and stools. Anna said “Okay, let’s go see if we can find a ride home.”

“Are you sure you want to do this?” Lewis asked.

Anna looked at him. “It’s too dangerous here. It’s time to go home.”

With that, they went to their quarters, picked up their jackets and left the ship, with no idea that the next time they set foot on the Nordic Troll, they would have no desire to leave again soon.

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


Saturday, May 4, 2013 8:26 PM


You need to break it up into paragraphs. As it is right now it is too hard to read as a well of text.


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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”.