Tales From the Nordic Troll - #2: Legacy (Part 4)
Saturday, March 16, 2013

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?”


“What do you think it means?” Loomie asked.

“Maybe our friends from Verbena still have some issues.”Gerrin mused.

Loomie looked at him. “What do you want me to do?”

Gerrin thought for a second. “Sit tight for now. Don’t run unless they see us or shoot at us. If you have to run, tell us all to grab on and just take off.”

“Aye, cap’n.”

“I’ll be in the engine room.” Gerrin was about to leave when he noticed that his pilot looked scared. He turned back, placed a hand on her shoulder and said “By the way, you’re doing a great job. You’re a hell of an outstanding pilot.”

Loomie smiled as Gerrin left the cockpit.

On the other ship Maddox said “Well?”

Pearsoll was getting irritated. “They’ll move when they move. Now sit down and wait for it.”

Maddox leaned close to the pilot. “I paid you very well to track Turgenyev for me, and the only stipulation I made is that I get to fire the shot that kills him. I want that kill. Now if you can’t give it to me, we can go back and I can cancel the payment. What’s your choice?”

Pearsoll let out an exasperated hiss. “You really live in a FANG-tsang FONG-kwong duh jie (knot of self-indulgent lunacy), don’t you?” He left his seat. “I’ll modify some of the countermeasures and use ‘em as mines. But I don’t promise nothing.”

In the Troll’s med bay Doc and Lewis continued their vigil over Anna. Lewis was worried. “How much longer ‘till she wakes up?”

“It could take awhile, but that doesn’t mean anything.” Doc reassured him. “We just have to wait for it.”

“But you’re a doctor, right? You can fix her?”-- Doc hesitated: she knew he’d find out eventually. “Yes and no, Lewis. I’m actually a medic. I never got licensed as a doctor.”

“But if you’re just a medic, why do they call you ‘Doc’?”

“I got the name ‘Doc’ because I spent so much time working on wounded soldiers that I got as much experience as a regular doctor. The only thing missing is the license.”

“But you’re good, right?”

Doc smiled “A lot of people think so.”

“Then you can fix her.” Lewis was making a statement.

Doc decided to bend the truth slightly. “I’ve seen injuries like this before, and as long as there’re no internal injuries, yes, I can fix her.”

Lewis nodded. “Okay.”

In the engine room Aldous and Gerrin finished transferring the coolant from one engine to the other. The ship’s batteries kept the life support on until they were finished, but at a reduced capacity. The interior of the ship had grown noticeably colder and less bright during the operation. The reduced power to the grav plating also made everyone feel a bit lighter. As they left the engineroom Aldous commented “Good thing we got it fixed when we did. It’s cold in here.”

Gerrin nodded. “Right. Now, let’s go check on Reilly. Good job, by the way”

“Thanks.” They both moved up the passageway to the mess area where Reilly was patching the leak. As they entered the mess area they noticed a rubber patch on the wall with large amounts of black goo oozing out around the sides. Aldous gaped. “Ni shenme ne! (What the hell!) What the hell did you do in here?!?”

Reilly heard the outburst and came back in the room, cleaning the same black goo off his hands. Stains from the goo decorated his dark gray coveralls and reddish hair. “I patched the leak. What's your problem?”

Aldous was angry. “You put all that on a patch? You never put that much on a patch! You’re wasting gasket dressing!”

“And I told you I’m not an engineer.” Reilly became testy. “I did what I thought was best. You don’t like it, you can take over any time.”

“All right, that’s enough.” Gerrin started, but Aldous and Reilly weren’t through. “Maybe I should do it myself!” Aldous snapped. “I could be drunk and do a better job than what you did here!”

“Well, why don’t you go get drunk and do it yourself, then?” Reilly snapped back. “From the looks of some things around here-“

Vass oboikh, zamolCHEEtye! (Both of you, shut up!)” Gerrin roared. “It’s done! Move on! Start working on how to stay alive. Jaime, go make sure the hazmat locker’s secured. Aldous, go get ready to start the engines.”

Reilly and Aldous glared at each other for a moment. “Say-CHASS! (NOW!)” Gerrin commanded.

The two separated and went about their duties. On his way out Reilly grumbled “I wish he’d make up his mind what language to use.”, while Aldous growled "Liou coe shway duh biao-tze huh hoe-tze duh ur-tze (Stupid son of a drooling whore and a monkey)."

On the other ship Pearsoll returned to his cockpit. “The mines are ready. I’ll make a pass over the nearest asteroids, drop ‘em, and we’ll see what happens.”

“As long as I get what I came for”, Maddox acknowledged.

Pearsoll added “But if I start running out of fuel or ammo, that’s it, I’m heading back.”

Maddox turned toward him. “You’ll do what you’re told when you’re told.”

“That’s only gonna work for so long” Pearsoll replied icily as he edged his ship forward.

Gerrin managed to calm down a little as he made his way to the med bay. He poked his head in the door and asked “How’s your patient, Doc?”

“Stable” Doc replied. “So no news is good news.”

“Doc can bring her around” Lewis concluded.

“No doubt in my mind.” Gerrin confirmed. Turning to Doc, he said “Okay. Keep looking after her. I’ll be in the cockpit or the engineroom.” Gerrin departed the med bay. “Just keep it as smooth as you can.” Doc called after him.

“That’s the plan.” Gerrin’s voice echoed in the passageway.

Lewis chased after him. “Captain!”

Gerrin turned. “What is it, Lewis?”

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?”

Gerrin hesitated, surprised by the question, but answered “That’s always a possibility. All we know for sure is someone’s after us. By the way, how did you know about Lotus Ridge in the first place?”

Lewis shrugged. “Mom had me look you up on the cortex back at home. Wasn’t easy.”

“Never is.” Gerrin agreed.

“But you’re no butcher, you just had bad information.” Lewis reminded him.

Gerrin sighed “The Alliance says I am, and a lot of people still believe them.”

“So tell them the truth.”

“It’s not that easy. I have to prove they’re lying.”

“Someone’s got proof. There were orders, right?”

“Those records are locked up tight somewhere, if they haven’t been destroyed.”

“They’re out there.” Lewis insisted. “Everything goes somewhere, and some people can go everywhere.”

Gerrin chuckled. “Sounds like you’re a fan of ‘Mr. Universe’.”

“Well, he was the master at using the cortex.”

Their conversation was interrupted by an explosion, faint but obvious, coming from outside the hull. Another explosion, slightly louder, followed. The third explosion shook the Troll. Loomie’s voice came over the intercom: “Everybody, hold on! Here they come again!”

Gerrin’s and Lewis’s legs buckled as the ship jumped from the asteroid they were parked on. “Get back to med bay and hold on.” Gerrin ordered before turning for the cockpit.

On the other ship Pearsoll said “She’s loose. We’re on her.”

Two spaceships soared soundlessly among a field of asteroids, one chasing the other, both careening between the rocks.

To Be Continued.



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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?”