Tales From the Nordic Troll - #2: Legacy (Part 3)
Tuesday, March 12, 2013

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. * * *


A spaceship sailed soundlessly among a field of asteroids looking for another ship. At the moment the ship was heading away from an asteroid with an unusual shadow. The shadow resembled a large triangular shape with an elongated nose. The shadow belonged to the Nordic Troll.

The Troll’s med bay contained one bed, two rows of cabinets, and just enough space for four people to stand in. Anna Howard lay on the bed, unconscious, while Doc and Gerrin stood over her. “What happened and how bad?” Gerrin asked.

Doc was examining her patient. “Looks like a concussion, among other things.”

“How’d it happen?”

“The cabinet she holding on to wasn’t secured to the deck well enough, and when Loomie made that last turn, the cabinet fell on her.”

“Will she be alright?” Lewis Howard asked from the doorway.

Doc looked at Lewis, then at Gerrin. “It’s too early to tell” she said to Gerrin, her voice low.

Gerrin turned and stepped over to Lewis and knelt down. “Doc’s gonna take care of your mom, Lewis. She’ll be coming around at any time, now. So, why don’t you hang out here until she does?”

Lewis looked at him. “I was working in the engine room.”

“That’s alright, I think you’d do more good here. Jaime and I can cover for you for awhile.”

As if on cue, Aldous called over the intercom “Captain, we have a couple of problems.”

“Now what?” Gerrin grumbled under his breath. Standing and punching a button on the comm box, he answered “On my way.” Turning to Doc, he said “Let me know when she comes around.”

On the other ship Maddox was becoming impatient. “Where are they?”

Pearsoll stared at his own radar, answering “They pulled a Ramius and latched themselves onto an asteroid.”

“So find them.” Maddox insisted. “They’re still out there, shake them loose.”

Pearsoll turned toward him in his seat. “And how do you propose I do that? Whatever’s in these rocks, it’s playing merry hob with our instruments and theirs, too. We won’t find them until they move.”

Maddox leaned close to his pilot, his attention on the radar screen. “Then move them. Fire at some of the asteroids. Whatever it takes.”

“’Fire at some of the asteroids.'” Pearsoll grunted, turning back to his instruments. “Brilliant idea. Waste ammunition.”

On the Troll Gerrin arrived at the engine room door. Aldous and Jaime Reilly stood outside the closed door. Aldous was covered with sweat and breathing heavier than usual. “The coolant lines ruptured in the port engine casing and half the coolant boiled out” he explained. “I’ll have to vent to space to get the contamination out of the ship.”

“Okay, do it. Then what?” Gerrin asked.

Aldous thought for a second. “As soon as I re-pressurize the compartment, I can put a clamp patch on the ruptured lines. I’ll have to cannibalize the still for the patch, but that one will be strong enough to withstand the heat and pressure. Once that’s done, I’ll transfer half the coolant from the starboard engine to the port and we can run both. They’ll run hot, but they’ll run.”

“How hot?”

“Too hot for anyone to stay in the room for more than a few minutes at a time.”

Gerrin nodded. “Alright. Get it done. We’ll give you as much time as we can.”

“We’ll have to go to battery power for an hour or so while I do it.”

“That’s going to leave us with our asses hanging out and someone out there wanting our heads.” Reilly reminded them both.

“Are there any corners you can cut to speed it up?” Gerrin asked Aldous.

Aldous said resignedly “That is with the corners cut.”

Dahng ran (of course).” Gerrin sighed, reaching for the intercom. “Everyone, we’ll be going to backup batteries in five minutes. If you don’t need it, shut it down. External lights off, all quiet throughout the ship.” Gerrin punched the button which turned off the intercom. “You have one hour, Aldous.”

“And when that shenjingbing (psycho) out there comes back for us?” Reilly asked.

“Then we’ll run if we have to.” Gerrin replied.

Aldous nodded. “I’ll get on it, but one other thing.”

Gerrin waited for it.

“We have a puncture through to the inner hull” Aldous continued. “Not very big, but enough that we’ll lose half our air before we get to port if it’s not patched.”

“Can you patch it?” Reilly broke in.

“I’m still trying to figure that one out.”

Gerrin considered the problem. “What do you need?”

Aldous thought for a second. “Ideally, all I really need is a patch of flexible material and something to seal it with. Something airtight.”

Gerrin responded “How about the rubber padding in the hazmat locker?”

“That’ll do for the patch, but we still need a sealant.”

“What about gasket dressing, do we still have any of that?”

“Yeah…yeah! It’ll hold the rubber to the wall and make a seal around the hole. But we don’t have much, so we have to be careful.”

“Fine. Tell me what to do, then you and Reilly get to work on the engines.”

“Uh-uh” Reilly shook his head. “I’m not an engineer. I’ll take care of the patch, since that’s fairly easy. You help Aldous.”

Gerrin and Aldous looked at each other. “Fine, whatever.” Aldous said. “Come on and I’ll show you what to do.” Aldous and Reilly headed for the hazmat locker.

Gerrin reached for the intercom. “Loomie, any sign of our little friends yet?”

“Not yet.” she came back. “This interference is messing them up as much as us.”

“Good. Keep an eye on the sky and let me know if anything happens.”

“Will do, captain.”

While Gerrin and his crew were patching their ship, the other ship continued looking for them. Maddox demanded “Have you found them yet?”

Pearsoll turned toward him. “I told you this was gonna take some time. With all this interference it’s like trying to find a diamond in a swamp.”

“Then find a way to make them move!” Maddox snapped.

Pearsoll looked at his passenger. “'Find a way to make them move'? How? I’m open to suggestions. And why are you so hot on bagging this ship, anyway? What did they do to you?”

Maddox looked back to the screen, his eyes filled with hate. “Turgenyev killed my family at Lotus Ridge. Now it’s his turn.”

"How do you even know it's him?"

Maddox looked at him coldly. "I know". He leaned over the console and typed something on the keyboard. “Send them a message.”

Gerrin visited the med bay while Aldous and Reilly hunted for their repair supplies. “Anything?” he asked Doc.

Doc shook her head “No change. It’s still early.”

To Lewis, he said “How you holding up, Lewis?”

“I’m okay.”

“Okay, good. Let me know when she comes around.” Gerrin turned to leave.

As Gerrin headed aft toward the engineroom, Loomie’s voice came over the intercom “Captain, you should get up here.”

“On my way.” Gerrin turned around and headed to the cockpit.

The lights of the pilot’s consoles were the only source of light in the cockpit. “What’s happening?”

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. * * *


Wednesday, July 23, 2014 10:56 PM


'Captain, we have a couple of problems...' are never words a captain wants to hear! Enjoying the rollar-coaster ride here -- I do wish we had some better way to indicate scene breaks in this site's formatting options!


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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?”