Tales From the Nordic Troll - #2: Legacy (Part 2)
Thursday, March 7, 2013

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.”


The crew finished dinner, such that it was, and cleaned up the mess area. Anna and Lewis Howard wiped off the fold-up tables as Anna commented to Gerrin “You know, we’d all probably be a lot more comfortable eating at a regular table.”

Gerrin nodded “So I hear. I’ll see what I can do as soon as we get paid.”

Aldous Gavigan interrupted “Well, as long as you’re in a generous mood, I could use a new…er flow regulator for the port engine.”

“You just got that induction coil you’ve been begging for. Don’t you think that’s enough?”

“And I thank you for it” Aldous continued, “but parts get old and wear out, and I’d kind of like to get this one fixed or replaced before it dies altogether.”

Gerrin studied Aldous’s face. “We can’t fly without it?”

Aldous shook his head “We can’t fly without it.”

Gerrin sighed “We’ll work on it after the job’s done.”

“Good enough.” Satisfied, Aldous departed for the engine room. “Come on, Lewis, let’s go do some mechanic stuff.”

"Okay". Lewis trotted off after him.

With nothing else to do for twelve hours, Doc, Jaime Reilly, Loomie and Anna retired to their bunks for some sleep while Gerrin took the helm and Aldous and Lewis watched over the engine room. After six hours, the four that slept took over for the others. None of them was ever aware that another ship followed not far behind.

Twelve hours later, as the ship approached the asteroid belt, everyone was up. Loomie was behind the controls in the cockpit. A proximity indicator started beeping once again. Gerrin had watched it earlier and dismissed it as a glitch in the system, since the blip neither retreated nor grew closer. Now Loomie looked at the screen and saw the blip moving slowly closer. She called Gerrin over the intercom. “Captain, something’s coming up on us.”

“What kind of something?” Gerrin’s voice came back.

“Can’t tell, but it’s getting closer.”

“On my way.”

In the other ship Pearsoll informed his passenger “Almost there, and they still don’t know we’re following them”

“Get ready to enlighten him” Maddox said coldly.

On the Troll, Gerrin arrived in the cockpit as the object on the screen started growing closer. “Any change?”

Loomie gestured to the screen. “Whatever it is, it’s after us now.”

Gerrin considered this carefully. “Hold course and speed. If it’s Reavers, they’ll attack if we run.”

“They just did!” Loomie exclaimed as a smaller blip on the screen left the trailing ship and headed for the Troll. “Incoming!”

“Alright, Loomie, run!”

Loomie accelerated toward the asteroid field as the incoming object closed on the Troll. Most of the crew, caught off guard throughout the ship, fell backwards as the ship jumped forward.

“Any thoughts on who they are or why they’re so mad?” Loomie inquired.

“Whoever they are, they seem to have an issue”. Gerrin grabbed the handset for the intercom. “Everyone strap yourselves in. We have hostiles.”

In the med bay, Doc picked herself off the deck and grabbed onto a cabinet attached to the wall. “A little late, don’t you think?” she groused to herself.

Loomie aimed the ship toward one asteroid as the incoming missile continued to close. “Captain, I’m going to try a Ramius.”

“A what?” Gerrin asked.

“A Ramius: I fly straight at one of the larger rocks while the missile closes and when I get right on top of it I veer off hard while the missile hits the rock.”

“You ever do this before?”

“Not with a real missile.”

Gerrin shrugged nervously. “Gos se (shit). Well, either way we’re just as dead. Go for it!”

Loomie sped the Troll directly toward the large asteroid. The seconds seemed like hours as the rock and the missile grew closer. Finally Loomie banked the ship hard to the right of the rock as the missile continued into it, exploding as the Troll moved away. On the other ship, Maddox ordered “Stay with them. I want Turgenyev.”

“What about the others?” Pearsoll asked.

“Collateral damage.” Maddox replied.

The two ships continued to duck and weave among the asteroids, the smaller ship firing missiles and standard guns repeatedly on the Troll as a nervous Loomie continued her slalom among the asteroids, veering left behind one, right behind another. The crew held on to the nearest solid object as the Troll maneuvered and their attackers continued to fire. After five minutes of running, the two ships reached a place where the asteroids thinned out. The attacking ship fired another missile. With nothing to duck behind, Loomie waited until the incoming missile was nearly upon the ship, then rolled hard to the right. The missile glanced off the Troll’s hull, exploding away from the ship’s hull. The explosion shook the ship but did not penetrate the hull.

“I’ve had about enough of this!” Gerrin barked. “Loomie, get us outta here!”

“How? They’re right behind us and we still gotta dodge rocks!”

“You think you can crash them on these rocks?”

“I’m trying hard to keep US off those rocks! Some of these things are putting out interference that’s messing with our navs!”

Gerrin’s eyes widened. “Would it mess up their navs as well?”

“Yes.” Loomie realized what he was saying “Shi! (Yes!) I’m going line-of-sight!”

Loomie turned straight toward one large asteroid that was putting out interference. As she closed on it, she grabbed the intercom handset and yelled “Da jee-ah tzwo sha! (Everybody, hold on!)”

The Troll swung closely around the asteroid as the pursuing ship fired another missile. Loomie circled the asteroid and aimed the ship toward their attackers. The missile struck the asteroid as the Troll emerged from behind it. The explosion sent shards of rock into the ship above the left wing, but she continued to fly. The pursuing ship veered off as the Troll approached, passing over them, continuing in the opposite direction. Loomie and Gerrin slumped against their seats. 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.”

To Be Continued.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014 8:26 PM


This is very evocative of the Millennium Falcon's iconic asteroid flight. FUN! While I'd love a little bit more in the descriptions-department (because I'm very much of details-wank),your spare style gets the job done very efficiently, and your pacing is consistently crisp. I'm looking forward to the next episode!


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Tales From the Nordic Troll #9: WIld Cards (part 6)
“Gentlemen, or – whatever”, Nick Gerrin announced, “Game’s over. Your boss split. Took all his money and vamoosed outta here. Some kind of Alliance trouble, I heard”. He paused before continuing, “Stand down. You ain’t gettin’ paid today. My friends and I got the high ground and you’ve been left high and dry”.

Tales From the Nordic Troll - #9: Wild Cards (part 5)
“We ain’t gonna hold ‘em back, there’s too many”, Roy cried. - - - “Then it should be harder for you to miss!” Aldous shot back. - - - “I think we might need to get outta here”, Roy protested. - - - “Gorram it”, Aldous snapped, “just keep shooting!” As he finished loading and turned to fire he muttered to himself “Gos-se! This must be what it feels like to be Nick”.

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?”