The First Version 1995 - Chapter 15
This is the very first typed version of Eric Olafson's Story (from 1995) . I put it here out of reguest of my oldest and first fan and reader, who wanted to re-read the first Version that made him start reading "Galactic Chronicles".
I think it is also shows the progress of the story and is a neat way for me to keep the old stuff as a searchable reference.
BACK ON NILFEHEIMEdit
Again I set foot on Nifleheim . I wasn’t afraid and I was wearing female clothing and the more I thought about it the more it felt right. I had said good bye to Brenda and took the next bus back. Instead of a Taxi I rented a skimmer and flew over the green ocean. Hefty waves crowned with white froth whipped by a strong northern wind pounded the greenish black stark rocks of Olafson Isle. Olafson isle was actually the peak of a huge underwater mountain. On top was Burg, the castle fortress of my family. Made of duro-crete and granite rocks. It looked forbidding and dark. The gloomy color of the stormy sky enhanced it even more. Waves pounded the harsh, rugged rocks and Duro-crete walls with elemental fury. The old access code still worked and the heavy roof panels of the hangar slowly moved aside. I landed the skimmer next to fathers old Volvo. I wasn’t even completely out of the skimmer when an old white haired man came up the stairs. He was old even when I was a kid. His gray clothing made him almost disappear into the background. The hair was white and the skin pale. His cheeks sunken in and deep shadows below his watery eyes, Harkun, my fathers man servant and major domus. He stopped in his tracks as he saw me. “ I was not informed we have women guests tonight. What manner of business brings you to this house?” “Aside Harkun! I have business with my father and I shall not be denied!” His eyes widened and his chin dropped to the chest as it dawned to him who I was! “Oh Master Eric ! Leave now! Flee! Do not besmirch this house with your presence. There will be murder and death if you remain!” He stepped into my way and blocked the way to the stairs leading down to the banquet hall. “No servant will deny me access to my home! It is not you who decides what is good for this house! Move or you shall be the first victim of death!” I was angry at the old fool but of course I was not about to kill him. But the old house did something to me, I spoke the way a Neo Viking was supposed to talk. Despite my female appearance I felt the strength and righteous anger in me to claim what was mine! I could leave this planet. I could talk like all the others out there, I could even be a woman, but I was a Neo Viking first and all that what made a Neo Viking a Viking was never to far from the surface. Something I realized about myself just now. He shivered but stood his ground.” Master Eric I must insist. This is Isegrim’s home and soon be Lothar' s you are not welcome here! They just returned from the hunt and will be in the hall at any moment.” I had enough and pushed him aside with more force than I intended and the old man stumbled and fell. I growled:” I am the first born and this is my home when Isegrim passes, and it will be my home tonight. You stand in my way again and I will use you for Tyranno bait!” Unhindered I went down the long flight of stairs from the landing hangar into the corridor that connected the stair house with the banquet hall. The house was big and had many rooms. But it was here in the banquet hall where everything happened, meals, entertainment, quarrels and fights! For a moment I stood looking around the place I grew up and hadn’t seen since that night Hogun rushed me to the clinic almost 4 years ago. The room was dominated by a large storm oak table polished to a shine with six high backed chairs on each of the long sides and one each end. The hard wood paneling covered walls where decorated with shields, axes, swords, harpoons and other anachronistic weapons all Vikings where so fond of and knew how to use. The family crest featuring the Wolfs Geri and Freki above the huge fire place flanked by a Tyranno Slayer to the left and a double bladed axe on the right. Several sponge stones soaked with Tyranno Oil where piled in the fire place and burned with the characteristic yellow flame. It also filled the house with a characteristic odor of burned oil. One door led to the kitchen, another to the rest of the house and the door next to the fire place on the other site of the hall opened to the stairs leading down to the Sub pen. I could hear my fathers thundering voice, his heavy boots pounding the granite steps worn out by the feet of generations of Olafsons. Sounds I dreaded as a child because all to often the sounds of my approaching father where the prelude to violence and pain. I was surprised at myself that this time I was not afraid! I fought screaming jungle beasts on Idyllic and heard my own heart beat in the silence of space. Then he appeared. He was as big as Uncle Hogun, wearing black Tyranno leather pants, heavy boots and his long woolen cape, shimmering damp, lined with Sea hound fur making him appear even more massive than he was. His long black beard now had traces of silver and so did his long hair topped by a Sea hound fur cap. From his right hand hung his trademark whip, he carried coiled up anywhere he went. The whip he had fashioned out of quarter inch steel cable about 7 foot long with leather straps wound tightly around one end as a handle. Father could uncoil it in a heart beat and swing it against anyone and anything and he did so quite often! Lothar and Tyr my younger brothers and two deck hands appeared right behind him. Father had stopped in his tracks and stared at me, unlike Harkun he recognized me immediately, but it took him a moment to believe his eyes to actually see me dressed in a black dress with long blonde hair and female forms underneath the dress. I also wore boots, gloves and a black fur coat , Brenda selected for me. The whip uncoiled and he stomped towards me.” Loki be cursed! You sick abomination dare to set foot into my home! I shall rectify my mistake I made years ago! This time I will kill you!” When father swung his whip everyone scrambled for cover, so it came as a surprise to him that I came towards him with steady steps.” I am thy first born and I am here to claim what is rightfully mine. What form of dress or appearance I choose is not of your concern!” “You are no longer of my blood and all that is rightfully yours is painful death!” His weathered face became red, a blood vessel appeared on his forehead as he lashed out with all his strength. At one time this would have taken my head clear off, but no longer. I had trained with Master Almea and other experts in unarmed hand to hand combat, compared to Almea, Father was as slow as a Suligeran slug. I easily side stepped the whip, grabbed the steel cable as it reached its full extension and was about to return and I pulled with force. No one had ever grabbed the whip, so my move came totally unexpected to him and he stumbled forward. I used his momentum and applied an Aikido technique ,sending him to crashing into the table and chairs, then I pressed a nerve cluster in his elbow making his arm go limb. Out of the corner of my eyes I saw Lothar taking a slayer harpoon from the wall. The gun fired a long barbed steel rod with an explosive attached to it, used to kill small Tyranno Fins. So I grabbed a chair and flung it at Lothar and immediately followed the chair closing the distance and hammered my foot against his temple in a fast spin kick. As I came around he stumbled back in a daze, I grabbed his wrist and twisted it until he let go of the trigger handle. His wrist snapped with an ugly crunching sound, he screamed in pain but I wasn’t done. All my anger and frustration came to the surface as I pounded his solar plexus with my elbow and he went down like a sack of wet fur and stopped moving. Meanwhile father had untangled himself from the chairs and came up. His right hand hanging limb from his side, but his left hand held a wicked skinner knife and he approached me with it. Gone was his confidence and arrogance. I saw confusion in his eyes. “Tyr, Linfas, Lohir don’t just stand there! Kill this bastard.“ I smiled at him.” Where is your warrior honor? Do you need the help of three men to defeat a sick abomination? Where is your fabled strength and braveness? I laugh and spit on you father. I defeat you all.” Linfas came from the right in a running tackle attack. Very effective in a drunken bar brawl. Utterly useless against a trained fighter, it took nothing to avoid him, add to his momentum and make him crash into the wall. Tyr was the youngest and still a boy. When I spun around to face him, tears welled up in his eyes. He was no threat. I took the slayer from the floor and pointed it at Lohir:” You are not Olafson. You are a hired hand. You have no rights in this house. Raise a hand against me and I will kill you!” Lohir said nothing but moved back. Father saw the slayer but attacked anyway. I turned the slayer around using it like a club and pounded it supported by a two handed swing against his knife hand. The knife and a spray of blood flew through the air. Father yelped in pain. I was not done and smashed the slayer against his head , toppling him like a tree. Then took his whip. “This is for killing mother!” I screamed as I lashed at him with white hot fury.” This is for you trying to kill me!” Out of the corner of my eye I saw Lohir moving, so I lashed at him, coiling the cable around his neck , tugging hard and sending him head forward into a wall. He collided with solid granite, gargled and fell on his side. I raised the cable to hit father a third time. His face was bloody and he held up his wounded hand. I saw fear in his eyes and when I saw the fear, all the terror he presented to me left in an instant. I spat at him.” Look at the great Isegrim, Son of Gerhard Olafson, and keeper of the wolf seal. Look at the tyrant father! The man who holds Viking traditions above all as long as it suits him. Tomorrow all of Nifleheim will know who defeated you, your shame will be greater than mine ever was. It is my house rightfully by our laws! I defeated you in combat and all is mine. You will have no home and no honor. The Valkyries will spit on you and not guide you to Valhalla! No Father, the deepest pits of Hel won’t be fit enough for you.” Each of my words wounded him deeper than the whip could have. Seeing him there sunken , beaten and bleeding I almost felt sorry for him. Lothar came to his feet still wobbly.” You can not do this he is your father!” “I despise you as much as him, brother! Every chance to hurt me you took , hiding behind him because you weren’t man enough to face me alone! You claimed what is rightfully mine, you are born second to a second wife. Now you shall be the one that begs for scraps of my table! If I let you life!” Father spat blood and wiped his mouth.” It is all yours you have won! The Gods have forsaken me. Kill me now!” “No I will not kill you. I want you to pay me my rightful share and I shall leave and not return to this house! You, Lothar and whoever you choose may have this house and what is left, I will go back into space. However if you decide not to give my share I will return and drag you through the streets of Freikstat and proclaim your dishonor to everyone!” Without further words I turned and left.
--“”-- I returned to Arsenal Gate, with still 4 weeks of leave. I once again wore my uniform and was all male. I decided not to make a chance until I completed the academy. My last visit to Nifleheim freed me of many demons and I felt more content. The space bus was filled to the last seat and most of the passengers came here for the first time. A human female with bright green eyes and flaming red hair sat on the seat next to me. She looked skeptical at the forward screen showing Arsenal gate getting bigger. “Can I ask you something, Sir?” It took me a second to realize she was addressing me.” Sure!” “I see you wear fleet uniform. Do you have any advice how to become a Midshipman?” “Swallow your pride for one thing. They going to test and probe every orifice mentally and physically. Most of what you experience is not done because they don’t care but because they test you and weed out those who aren’t meant for this.” She nodded.” I try to remember that, thanks!” After we docked they herded the New comers into a line. At first I thought I had to stand in line as well, but I saw three uniform wearing passengers leaving the space bus and they walked to another air lock. The Marine guarding it simply scanned my ID chip and said:” Access granted, Sir.” Behind the door I realized I had no idea how to get to Arsenal II. Behind the air lock I had just passed was a wide corridor and not far from it I saw a Project-A-Sign reading “ D-Dock Saloon”. I felt thirsty and was in no particular hurry, besides maybe one of the patrons could tell me how to get to Arsenal II, without making a fool of myself. The bar was dimly lit, the music that played in the background sounded like Ult harmonics, but could have been a popular song played by Ult instruments, it always sounded alike to me. There weren’t many patrons. Two humans wearing blue jumpsuits with the Engineering Bee patch on their arms sat at the bar and had a lively discussion. The bar keep was a SI-5 multi task robot this one featured a chrome polished body. The bow tie around the flex neck somehow looked out of place. Close to the door, next to a public GalNet terminal and a Virtu-Emerge game both was a table occupied by four cargo handlers. Two of them human and two of them insectoid Klack. One of the humans eyed me with an almost hostile expression on his face then he returned to his drink and to the conversation he had with his friends. On the opposite to the entrance was a row of floor to ceiling view ports. I went over to the windows and gasped. This was one of the big hangars of the base. It was hard to imagine that this cavernous space was made by man. A big ship was serviced at the moment and there was hectic activity of robots, vehicles and service personnel. It was a wedge shaped battle ship., but it was to close for me to see the registration name. A bulky looking man wearing a blue jump suit came over. His suit had only one sleeve his other arm was exposed all the way to the shoulder and it was clearly a cybernetic implant. His rank insignia identified him as an E-4 Petty Officer. And the stylized cargo hook above the rank informed me that he was a Cargo specialist. “Are you lost or something?” He asked with a disapproving tone in his voice. “No not exactly, Sir.” “What have I done to you to be insulted by you?” “Sir I fail to understand how I insulted you!” “You did it again! Do it one more time and you going to get to know me in a very unpleasant manner!” He seemed out for trouble and I had no intentions of fighting with an enlisted man. Technically I was a Midshipman and his superior but I was certain he was not impressed by that. I was sure whatever I said would escalate the situation, so I backed up , raised my hand and said.” I won’t continue this conversation, Sir. I am going to leave!” The man grunted and swung at me. I evaded and walked to the door. He said.” First you insult me three times and now you run like a coward and such jelly belly jerks think they are so high and mighty! You are nothing but a stinking coward!” He came after me and I knew I would not make it to door unless I ran and I would not run away and give him even more satisfaction. So I stopped turned and said.” I will ignore what you said so far, Petty Officer. I will forget that you tried to hit me. But take one more step towards me. Threaten me one more time and this will end you in the Brigg!” He did stop the four workers at the table now paid full attention to the situation. One of them said.” Curt you better stop or that Midshipman will have you scrub the deck plates from here to sector 12!” Cyberarm’s name was Curt and he didn’t like that comment one bit.” This is Loaders country. You have no business here! There are no Marines to come to your help. You are on your own and if I decide to rip your head of, then that is what I do!” “I warned you nicely. Lets see if we can’t find a supervisor of yours and see what he thinks of your conduct!” Curt launched himself forward. He was an experienced brawler I could tell at once and aagain Aikido helped me to add to his momentum and send him flying into tables and chairs. The robot bar tender extended a red light from his skull and announced: “ Cease hostilities Station security is alerted!” Curt came up and I saw fear in his eyes as he looed towards the door. The workers at the table did not look much happier and the same one said.” Your goose is cooked Curt. Attacking an officer, you going to get spaced if you’re lucky!” And just then the door opened and two Marines with shock batons arrived. By the looks of them It was clear that they could have cleared a room of fighting Petharians without breaking a sweat. One of them pointed at me.” What is the nature of the disturbance here?” He looked at Carl and then at me.” Oh I see, that green want to be excuse of an officer strolled in here and you picked a fight,eh Curt?” I straightened ignored the speaking marine and addressed the second:” Coroporal are you on official security detail?” He looked at me as if I asked him if space was black.” Yes I am!” “Then I assume you recording this for your watch log?” He nodded.” Yes I am.” I raised my voice just a notch.” This is Midshipman Olafson. Marnien Corporals of the watch have displayed extreme disrespect against an officer of the fleet. Responding Marines did not address me properly but used profane language and belittled my statue and position. I herby file and official complaint!” Both Marines seemed to shrink several inches and I went closer to the first one looked for his name tag and said.” Corporal Rengar how do you explain your observation calling me a want to be Officer? Did you check my ID. Did you obtain any data that I am not an officer?” “Sir, I apologize. I did not mean any disrespect Sir. This is not the first disturbance in this bar. Did this Petty Officer cause you any harm or trouble, Sir?” “None at all Corporal. This Petty Officer asked me to demonstrate an Aikido throw that was all. The robot misinterpreted the situation.” “If you say so Sir!” “Indeed. Now do I need to follow you to the guard center and file a complete report including the record of your conduct or can we file this situation under false alarm?” “It seems that would be an acceptable solution, Sir. We will report it as a false alarm. Have a good day, Sir!” The Marines apologized again and left. Neither Curt nor the workers on the table had said a word during until the Marines left. Curt stepped forward.” That was mighty noble of you, Sir!” “Well I don’t want to see anyone spaced, but it was a serious matter. But you are right about one thing. I don’t belong here. I better go now.” One of the Klacks got up.” Why don’t you join us for a drink , Sir. We owe you at least that much!” “Alright I guess I can use a drink.” I sat down with the four and Curt also found a chair and pulled it to the table. The human worker leanded forward.” One tip of advice, Sir. Don’t call enlisted personnel Sir. That Sir is reserved for officers!” “I am sorry. I didn’t know. I am fresh out first Year academy if in doubt I call a fence post sir.” That caused a laughter and even Curt smirked.” I am sorry I was a jerk!” I just waved and turned my attention to the serv-bot.” Got any Holstein Pilsner?” “No but I we have Heilbronner on Tab, that is also a Pilsner.” “Alright one of those!” The Klack ordered sugar water and asked:” What are you doing here if I may ask. This is a bar usually frequented by Cargo handlers and longshore men like us.” “I need to find a way to get to Arsenal II and I have no idea how to get there so I thought I find someone to ask and the bar was the first thing I saw after the airlock.” “there is hourly shuttle service of the Aequator Deck Section 9. Just take any IST and tell the System where you want to go.”