Tales From the Nordic Troll - #2: Legacy (Part 6)
Friday, March 22, 2013

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."


The Nordic Troll sat in an open field refueling from a large wheeled tank drawn by six horses. The ship had landed safely and delivered the bodies of the Browncoat soldiers to the waiting relatives. Now the ship rested while the memorial service took place.

In the engineroom, Aldous and Lewis worked to restore the engines to an operational level. Lewis held up a dented coil and said “What about this one?”

Aldous peered over the engine housing and said “That one goes back. It’ll last a little longer.”

Lewis restored the coil to the manifold he’d removed it from.

In the ship’s med bay Anna had regained consciousness. Despite her evident recovery, Doc insisted that Anna stay there for another day. Since Doc and Loomie had nothing to do, they were keeping Anna company. Anna asked Loomie where she learned how to fly a ship. “I was on a freighter with Aldous and I hung out on the bridge a lot” Loomie explained. “The pilot on there taught me how to fly. He was a good teacher and it’s really not that hard.”

Doc was curious. “Sounds like you had a good deal there. How’d you wind up here?”

Loomie sighed “The same guy wanted some play for teaching me to fly. Aldous caught him trying something and beat the crap out of him and we got kicked off the ship.”

Anna winced. “Tough break.”

Doc responded “Well, rules are a lot more flexible out in the black. Sometimes you’re at the mercy of your captain, your crew and whoever else is out there.”

“I noticed that” Anna said thoughtfully. “That’s why I think Lewis and I need to get off the ship. It’s too dangerous for us out here.”

Loomie looked shocked. “But you just got here! It’s not always like this. We just had a bad day, that’s all.”

Anna looked at her “But that’s part of the point. How many more bad days are you gonna have? And what if next time it’s Lewis who gets hurt? I don’t think I could handle that.”

Doc looked at Anna. “What will you tell the captain?”

Anna thought for a second. “I’ll just tell him what I told you. We’ll have that talk when he comes back.”

Loomie looked sad. “You know we’re gonna miss you.”

Anna reached out and took her hand. “I know.”

Nick Gerrin stood outside of the group gathered for the memorial ceremony. The sun was out but the air was chilly, so Gerrin's worn gray coat remained buttoned. His attention was divided between the service and his own memories, so he barely noticed as Reilly came up beside him. “So, what’s our next move?”

Gerrin continued to watch the ceremony. “Higgins’ Moon is not far off. The folks here have given us enough fuel to make it there. We can refuel there and get some parts we need.”

“Higgins’ Moon is a mud factory” Reilly reminded him.

“Higgins’ Moon also has an old ship’s salvage yard.”

“Is that so?” Reilly mused. “And what about our other problem?”

Gerrin glanced at him. “What other problem?”

Reilly turned to face Gerrin. “You really don’t see it, do you?”

Gerrin was getting annoyed. “Perhaps you’d like to explain it to me?”

Reilly continued “Your history with Lotus Ridge has painted a target on all our backs. Until now it wasn’t that big an issue, but this little run-in proves that you have enemies out there that will stop at nothing to avenge loved ones you killed by mistake. You’ve had opportunities to tell your side of the story, yet you choose to hide in the shadows and run from the chance to clear your name. Why?”

Geerin stared stonily. “I stay under the radar because that’s what keeps us all alive. So far no one’s come looking for me, you or any of the rest of the crew. This is an isolated incident.”

“Isolated for now. But clearly someone had the means and the will to draw a line from Nikolai Turgenyev to Nick Gerrin. It’s only a matter of time before more like this one come looking for you.”

Gerrin dismissed Reilly’s comments with “Maybe, but most are happy to believe that Nikolai Turgenyev is dead. They won’t come looking ‘cause they’re happy in their ignorance.”

“Lewis Howard looked, and he was able to make the connection in a matter of hours. If a tech-savvy twelve-year-old can finger you, others can.” Reilly stated, adding “And will.”

Gerrin turned his attention back to the ceremony. “Then I’ll deal with that when the time comes.”

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. And if you don’t do something soon, you’re going to start to lose your crew.” He turned to leave, throwing “starting with me” over his shoulder.

Gerrin sighed, mostly to himself. “Well then, I guess we’re in for some interesting days.”

The End (for now…)



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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?”