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MIKEBROOME

Tales From the Nordic Troll #10: Rule 303 (Part 1)
Tuesday, April 9, 2024

At the ladder from the cockpit she turned back. “But you know that what you plan and what happens don’t always match up”. “We’re still flying”, Gerrin answered, then added “That’s what counts”.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 631    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

The stars in outer space pay no attention to the meteors, comets and spacecraft that pass silently through the vast gaps between them, and as with any other time they were oblivious and completely indifferent to a small ship named Nordic Troll sailing silently though the darkness.

Sitting in this ship’s cockpit, her captain, one Nick Gerrin, stared out at the permanent night sky, shifting his eyes occasionally back to the instrument panel providing the only light in the small space.

For the time being he preferred it that way, as it allowed him to consider the current job, if it could be called that. Take a gangster named McMillan from an outer world planet and drop him off as far from that planet as possible. In the process he also had to find a referred contact who might be able to help him with a small package that had been dumped in his lap a few months ago. This particular package had been burning a hole in his hull for too long, as it contained some sensitive material that the Alliance might want back.

He had told his crew earlier about the plan for this particular job: get in, dump McMillan someplace remote, find the contact, get the information, and get back to the planet where half of his crew were sitting this job out. “Shouldn’t take but a day or two”, he had told them. Somehow, they hadn’t looked all that convinced.

A knock from the back of the cockpit shook Gerrin out of his ponderance. He looked back to see his regular pilot, Wayloo Marie “Loomie” Gavigan, stepping carefully into the cockpit. “How’s it going?” she asked tenuously.

“Shiny”, Gerrin replied without sounding too standoffish.

“Good”, she replied awkwardly. Hesitantly she continued “Can we talk?”

“’Bout what?”

“Well, y’know”, Loomie stumbled over the words, “Back there”. She gestured behind her.

Gerrin stared for a second, not knowing what to say. He was very protective of his crew, including his pilot, whom he had not intended to bed three nights ago. “Yeah”, he blurted, “I’m - still working on that one, too”.

“Okay”.

“I’m not saying it was just the drink or anything”, he added hastily, “but – shipboard – things – can get - kind of tricky - so…”

A shadow of apprehension crossed Loomie’s face. “So?”

“So – we got to figure out what this is, first”. Anxious to change the subject, he added “Besides, we got this patchwork job we got to get through first. Dump McMillan, get help with that package, then get back to where we came from and take a few days’ rest while I look for more jobs”.

Loomie looked at Gerrin thoughtfully, then conceded “Okay. Later” and turned to go. At the ladder from the cockpit she turned back. “But you know that what you plan and what happens don’t always match up”.

“We’re still flying”, Gerrin answered, then added “That’s what counts”.

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. . . . . . . . . .To Be Continued . . . . . . . .

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“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.


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“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”.

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