FICTION - PAGE 1 of 2

Tales From the Nordic Troll - #9: Wild Cards (part 3) by MIKEBROOME
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: TUESDAY, JUNE 20, 2017
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) by MIKEBROOME
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: MONDAY, MARCH 27, 2017
“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) by MIKEBROOME
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2016
“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) by MIKEBROOME
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: TUESDAY, JULY 5, 2016
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) by MIKEBROOME
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 16, 2016
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 2) by MIKEBROOME
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: MONDAY, JANUARY 25, 2016
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 4) by MikeBroome
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: FRIDAY, JANUARY 8, 2016
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) by MikeBroome
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: TUESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2015
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 1) by MikeBroome
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2015
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”.
Tales From the Nordic Troll - #7: Strange Bedfellows (part 6) by MikeBroome
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2015
Staring out the open bay, Durant mused “It does make you wonder, though, why some people want to dominate or destroy everything they see”. . . . Gerrin’s answer was grim. “Some people just can’t feel good about themselves until they feel bad about someone else”
Tales From the Nordic Troll - #7: Strange Bedfellows (part 5). by MikeBroome
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: MONDAY, APRIL 13, 2015
The Alliance soldiers, hearing the roar of the engines, turned and watched in shock, spouting epithets in English and Chinese, as the Troll sprang from the pad. The two in the foxhole with Gerrin turned to him and demanded “Where the Hell they Going?!?”
Tales From the Nordic Troll - #7: Strange Bedfellows (part 4). by MikeBroome
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: MONDAY, APRIL 13, 2015
“I will rise soon”, the Purist continued. “My time here is done”. He paused before adding “I only regret that I won’t get to kill more of you myself”’. - - - “Why?” Hawkins demanded. “What did any of us do to you?” - - - The Purist smiled coldly at them. “God frowns on you”, he smirked hatefully. - - - “Wouldn’t be the first time”, Gerrin grunted.
Tales From the Nordic Troll - #7: Strange Bedfellows (part 3). by MikeBroome
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: MONDAY, APRIL 13, 2015
Gerrin stood there, weighing his options. He could take his ship and run, surely, as any sane captain probably would, except that he had never embraced the concept of turning tail and leaving another man to fend for himself while he, Gerrin, ran for safety. - Screw it -, he finally decided, - we’re already in it halfway up the leg -
Tales From the Nordic Troll - #7: Strange Bedfellows (part 2). by MIKEBROOME
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: MONDAY, APRIL 13, 2015
Gerrin jogged over to the Alliance skiff. “What’s the status?” he asked the sergeant. - - - - - “Three dead, five wounded”, the sergeant responded. After a pause he added “Including the captain”. - - - - - “Dead?” - - - - - The sergeant nodded. “Yeah”. - - - - - “Konyetchna (of course)”, Gerrin muttered, mostly to himself. “Nothing ever goes according to plan”.
Tales From the Nordic Troll - #7: Strange Bedfellows (part 1). by MikeBroome
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: MONDAY, APRIL 13, 2015
Loomie pointed out the window. Gerrin stiffened as his gaze followed her arm. The small town in the window in front of them was dotted with flaming buildings and plumes of rising smoke. Several buildings along the landing field stood half-charred, while some had already collapsed in on themselves. Several bodies were strewn across the ground on the landing field. “Ni gan shenme ne (What the hell?), Gerrin murmured. - - - - Loomie looked at him. “Turn back?” - - - - “Not an option”, Gerrin snorted. After a pause he mused “First the business with that packet, then St. Ekaterina, now this. Is it just me, or does the ‘Verse hate us lately?”
Tales From the Nordic Troll - #6: Baggage (part 6). by MikeBroome
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: MONDAY, APRIL 13, 2015
Turning to Gerrin Nadia announced gravely “I gotta get you out of here. Someone in the hospital tagged you”.
Tales From the Nordic Troll - #6: Baggage (part 5) by MikeBroome
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: MONDAY, APRIL 13, 2015
They continued to peer out the open door until suddenly hands grabbed both of them from behind and whirled them around. They faced two men, guns drawn, staring them down. “What the hell you doing on my ship?” the red-haired man on the left demanded.
Tales From the Nordic Troll - #6: Baggage (part 4) by MikeBroome
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2014
Aldous took her arm and turned toward the nearest buildings, pretending to point to one. As they turned and walked toward the building Aldous murmured under his breath “Look back the way we were heading. Don’t turn your head”. - - - - - Loomie looked out of the corner of her eye. One of the enforcers who took their old crew was making his way among the pedestrians, looking as if he was searching for something or someone. “What do we do?” she whispered.
Tales From the Nordic Troll - #6: Baggage (part 3) by MikeBroome
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2014
Aldous jerked his head toward the group of men marching in their direction. “Looks like they honked someone else off”, he muttered. - - - - Loomie turned and looked. Several men dressed in the fashion of the local enforcers marched down the street on either side of members of their former crew, each with his arms bound behind him.
Tales From the Nordic Troll - #6: Baggage (part 2) by MikeBroome
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2014
Her eyes growing cold, the doctor advanced slowly on Gerrin. As she reached him, she suddenly drew back her right arm and struck him across his face. Gerrin took the blow, regained his composure, and sighed “Yeah, I knew that was coming”.
Tales From the Nordic Troll - #6: Baggage (part 1) by MikeBroome
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2014
The guard looked at him for a second, then turned toward the truck, moving cautiously. As he came alongside the cargo bed he shined the light in the bed and looked. Straddling the bed was a makeshift stretcher, bearing a young dark-skinned woman wrapped in a blanket. As the guard watched suspiciously, the short-haired woman riding alongside the stretcher reached down and pulled back the blanket to reveal a blood-stained bandage taped roughly over the wounded woman’s abdomen.
Tales From the Nordic Troll - #5: Sidetracked (part 6) by MikeBroome
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2014
Gerrin turned to look out the door. “I’m not looking for salvation that never comes". After a short pause he continued "People just drop the name to get others to jump through hoops, then when they do something they don’t want to own up to, or that blows up in their faces, they play it off as ‘God’s will’ - or someone else’s fault. Sorry, I don’t feel like playing that game any more”. - - - - McGarrity moved beside him. “You’re denying God because of the actions of men, son”. After another pause, he added “Consider the possibility that maybe your problem is with the messengers, rather than the message”.
Tales From the Nordic Troll - #5: Sidetracked (part 5) by MikeBroome
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2014
Stopping thirty feet from the door, “Jeffe” bellowed “All right, amigo! I tried to do this easy, now we do it hard! You have ten seconds to come out and drop your weapons or I shoot the girl!” He leveled his weapon at Inabran’s head as she exclaimed “You’re as devolved as they are!” - - - - From his hiding place, Gerrin pondered “Think anybody’d miss her?” - - - - “Tough call” Wilkins opined from behind him.
Tales From the Nordic Troll - #5: Sidetracked (part 4) by MikeBroome
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2014
Peering carefully he recognized the Troll’s captain and engineer moving out from behind a large fern-like plant. Gerrin motioned to them to keep the guards’ attention toward them. McGarrity nodded slightly, indicating he understood, then pushed as if to move the tree. Bracing himself once more, he pushed with Park, grunting loudly so neither of their captors would hear Gerrin and Aldous creeping up behind them.
Tales From the Nordic Troll - #5: Sidetracked (part 3) by MikeBroome
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2014
The pirate turned and rammed the butt of his rifle into Aldous’s stomach. Aldous doubled over in pain. The rest of the crew tried to move toward him, but the guards blocked them. “What, you throwing words at me now, boy?” the attacker demanded. - - - Despite his pain, Aldous glared up at the man. “Why? You need help with the big ones?” - - - The guard turned his muzzle toward Aldous. “Cerrado (enough)!” his boss snapped. “We get the package first!” Turning back to Gerrin, the leader ordered “Now, give us the runner, or you get to watch us have some fun with your lady friends, here”. - - - Gerrin started to protest, but Inabran cut him off. “Why are you talking to HIM?” she demanded. Pointing at Ammon, she declared “HE’s the courier”.
Tales From the Nordic Troll - #5: Sidetracked (part 2) by MIKEBROOME
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2014
No one paid attention to a passenger kneeling away from the others rearranging his belongings. Reaching into one pack, he pulled forth a small sealed pouch emblazoned with the official emblem of the Alliance, marked EYES ONLY, NO COPIES, in English and Chinese. Looking around him, he tucked the pouch into a smaller bag.
Tales From the Nordic Troll - #5: Sidetracked (part 1) by MikeBroome
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2014
"So, what’s the job?” “Cargo run” Reilly answered. “He’s looking to transport something offworld, fast, no Alliance red tape”. Gerrin grew suspicious. “The ‘no red tape’ part makes me cautious”.
Tales From the Nordic Troll #4: Man-Made Monsters (part 6) by MikeBroome
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2014
As they turned to face each other, River suddenly looked old and tired, as if she had aged years within seconds. Her voice became pained. “I have memories that aren’t mine, and I don’t want them, but they’re there. They’ll always be there. I know things that scare me. I’ve done things that scare me, and I can’t change any of it…I can’t go back like I was”. Gerrin’s tone softened somewhat. “So what do you do?” River smiled wistfully. “My captain likes to say – ‘When you can’t run any more, you crawl. And when you can’t do that, you find someone to carry you’. Either way it’s the same – you just go on” she said.
Tales From the Nordic Troll #4: Man-Made Monsters (part 5) by MIKEBROOME
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2014
Suddenly the door burst open, slamming into the crates in front of it and slowly pushing them back. Several monstrous-looking forms poured into the opening roaring like animals and firing on the crew. The crew immediately returned fire on their attackers.
Tales From the Nordic Troll #4: Man-Made Monsters (part 4) by MIKEBROOME
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2014
Aldous began to look the vehicle over. Halfway through his inspection he looked at Reilly. “You think he’ll have to put her down?” - Reilly nodded gravely. “Most likely”. He paused before adding “And it’ll kill him”.
Tales From the Nordic Troll #4: Man-Made Monsters (part 3) by MIKEBROOME
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2014
“Are you insane?” Simon demanded from the med bay door, looking back at Doc and Gerrin. “Do you know what you have strapped to that table?”
Tales From the Nordic Troll #4: Man-Made Monsters (part 2) by MIKEBROOME
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2014
Gerrin stepped out to meet them. “Ah, good afternoon. Are you the ship that called for a doctor?” the man asked. Gerrin nodded. “Nick Gerrin, captain of the Nordic Troll”. The man introduced himself. “I’m doctor Tam – Simon”. Indicating the woman, he continued “This is my sister, River”.
Tales From the Nordic Troll #4: Man-Made Monsters (part 1) by MikeBroome
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2014
As he noticed the tattoo, Gerrin froze, the color draining from his face. “Uvazhyemye Gospoda, nyet (Dear God, no)” he whispered. The crew looked at him. “What’s wrong?” Gerrin looked up, his face ashen. “It’s Irina”. “Who’s Irina?” Aldous demanded. “My sister!”
Tales From the Nordic Troll - #3: Shanghai'd (Part 6) by MIKEBROOME
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2014
Anna examined Gerrin carefully for a few seconds. “I can’t figure you out” she said at last. “You don’t let anyone get too close, but you’d put your own life on the line to protect people you barely know.” She added “And sometimes in really crazy ways”.
Tales From the Nordic Troll - #3: Shanghai'd (part 5) by MIKEBROOME
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2014
Gerrin thought for The better part of a minute. Finally he turned toward Anna. “Okay, here’s the plan”. Anna listened as Gerrin explained his plan. When he finished, she simply said “You’ve got to be out of your mind.”
Tales From the Nordic Troll - #3: Shanghai'd (part 4) by MIKEBROOME
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2014
Halfway into the hills they came to a spot where the trees thinned out enough that they could be seen from further down the hills. Anna stopped. “Get down!” she ordered quietly but urgently.
Tales From the Nordic Troll - #3: Shanghai'd (part 3) by MikeBroome
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2014
“Forget about the plan, just run!” Still holding Lewis by the arm, Anna darted for the thick patch of bamboo reeds on the side of the road.
Tales From the Nordic Troll - #3: Shanghai'd (part 2) by MIKEBROOME
GENRE: ADVENTURE   RATING: 9   DATE: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2014
Lewis managed to break free for a moment and attacked the two men holding his mother. He managed to get in two good hits before the third man grabbed him and threw him roughly to the ground. He then picked Lewis up, hitting him across the back of the head, and dragging him, struggling, behind the two men dragging his mother toward a nearby doorway.
Tales From the Nordic Troll - #3: Shanghai'd (part 1) by MIKEBROOME
GENRE: GENERAL   RATING: 9   DATE: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2014
“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.
Tales From the Nordic Troll - #2: Legacy (Part 6) by MikeBroome
GENRE: ADVENTURE   RATING: 10   DATE: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2014
Reilly raised his hands in resignation. “Do what you will.” He started to leave, but turned back. “But Lotus Ridge will be your legacy until you do something about it."
Tales From the Nordic Troll - #2: Legacy (part 5) by MIKEBROOME
GENRE: ADVENTURE   RATING: 9   DATE: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2014
As the Troll began to trail fuel, Pearsoll commented. “Something’s up. They’re trailing fuel.” -- Maddox leapt to the console. “This is it!”
Tales From the Nordic Troll - #2: Legacy (Part 4) by MIKEBROOME
GENRE: ADVENTURE   RATING: 8   DATE: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2014
Lewis caught up with him. “Who’s after us?” “I don’t know.” Gerrin admitted. ”All we know is they’re mad about something.” “Is it something to do with Nikolai Turgenyev and Lotus Ridge?”
Tales From the Nordic Troll - #2: Legacy (Part 3) by MikeBroome
GENRE: ADVENTURE   RATING: 8   DATE: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2014
Loomie pointed to the comm screen “They sent a message.” -- “What kind of message?” Gerrin leaned over and looked at the screen. In plain text was the message: * * * The wheel never stops turning. * * *
Tales From the Nordic Troll - #2: Legacy (Part 2) by MikeBroome
GENRE: ADVENTURE   RATING: 8   DATE: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2014
The explosion sent shards of rock into the ship above the left wing, but she continued to fly. After a moment Gerrin reached for the handset. “Everyone okay?” - Doc’s voice came back “No. I’m in the Howards’ berthing. Anna’s down.”
Tales from the Nordic Troll - #2: Legacy (Part 1) by MIKEBROOME
GENRE: ADVENTURE   RATING: 8   DATE: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2014
Had they been in the cockpit, they would have seen the radar blip indicating a ship behind them...
Tales from the Nordic Troll - #1: Fight Night (part 6) by MIKEBROOME
GENRE: ADVENTURE   RATING: 8   DATE: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2014
...but in the end it all works out.
Tales from the Nordic Troll - #1: Fight Night (part 5) by MIKEBROOME
GENRE: ADVENTURE   RATING: 8   DATE: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2014
Things never quite go ccording to plan...
Tales From the Nordic Troll - #1: Fight Night (part 4) by MikeBroome
GENRE: ADVENTURE   RATING: 8   DATE: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2014
The board is set, the pieces are ready to move...
Tales from the Nordic Troll - #1: Fight Night (part 3) by MikeBroome
GENRE: ADVENTURE   RATING: 8   DATE: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2014
At the end of the day, it always come to this: If you can't do something smart, do something right.
Tales from the Nordic Troll - #1: Fight Night (part 2) by MikeBroome
GENRE: ADVENTURE   RATING: 9   DATE: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2014
Sometimes you don't know what you've stepped in until you're up to your belt in it...

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