{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.
Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copies left
You can choose from our best books below
Alana Dill would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Serenity After Miranda: Autumn Flower

By Alana Dill

Adventure / Scifi

Serenity After Miranda: Autumn Flower

As the battle ended, things seemed quieter even though, outside Mr. Universe's private fort, broken ships and bodies sometimes fell flaming from the sky.
Inside the building, the Operative had ordered a stand-down. The Reavers were nearly defeated. And a small Alliance transport hovered discreetly behind the Reaver ship, on a level with Serenity's prow. Inside Serenity's shadowy, broken bridge, four nondescript members of an Alliance Blue Team stood around the pilot's impaled body.

Blue4 said, “Think it's Reynolds?”

“Maybe,” said Blue3, a middle-aged woman with a pinched face. “We want the entire crew, dead or alive. Need to see the Tam girl's effect on them."

"Why?"

"She's not just a reader. She's a sender. So her abilities may have rubbed off a little.” She held out a pen-like silver wand, and the solid wooden harpoon through Wash's chest collapsed into carbon dust. “Get him into a stasis pod.”

Blue7 objected. “The body is beyond repair.”

“Hardly. It's still warm, just a matter of recirculating fluids and eventually replacing damaged organs. She quoted from the Rescuscitation Manual: 'Given the proper vacuum apparatus, a human body can be drained of blood in 8.4 seconds.'

And revived in three minutes,” added Blue4. They'd all had to memorize it. Part of the job.

They set to work on Wash's body, and his faintly glowing, pulsating, coffin-like stasis pod was on the Alliance's St. Swithens hospital ship within an hour.


Once the crew was released from the hospital, Zoë received a nice jar of ashes from the Alliance. After the battle, the Alliance had made no attempt to keep the bodies separate in the mass cremations necessary to manage the sheer volume of dead. The ashes of thousands were surreptitiously blended together and blessed by practitioners of the seven major faiths. Not a single speck of ash in that jar had come from Wash, that being on account that Zoë's man was more-or-less alive. But the Alliance felt his fate should be on a need-to-know basis.


"...Soar." What had he just been saying? Wash startled awake to the sound of blaring klaxons. He was in a wheelchair, being pushed at speed down an antiseptic white hallway. He felt a mild ache in his upper torso, and some disorientation, but otherwise, pleasantly drugged. Trying to focus, he mumbled, “What the... what?

An orderly in blue gloves, with all the warmth of a snake, was pushing his chair. “Be quiet. We're evacuating.”

“What is it we're evacuating from?”
Saint Swithens Hospital Ship. You've been in a crash.” They swept around a corner. People in uniform and hospital scrubs were running past them, and Wash heard screams.

Crash?" He struggled to remember, and his expression crumpled in anguish. “Oh, God! Zoë. Where – have you seen my wife?”

The orderly's face didn't change expression. “The Serenity's crew was killed by Reavers. You're the only one we were able to revive.”

Wash stared at him, dumbfounded. “Oh, no. Oh, God. Zoë.”

The orderly pushed the wheelchair down a hall whose lights were failing. They heard an explosion in the distance. At the end of the hall, the door crumpled. The orderly's life depended on getting his charge to safety. He cursed and did a U-turn, struggling with the chair.

Oblivious to their danger, Wash pressed hands over his face. “No, no, no, this–this is all wrong. Nothing–I mean nothing kills Mal. You could throw him into the heart of Blue Sun and he'd...” the tears came hard. "Kaylee?" he whimpered. "Ah, no." He cursed himself. He'd crashed his beautiful Serenity, leaving them all sitting ducks to be molested and slaughtered and turned into fashion statements, and he couldn't help but picture that happening to each and every one of the crew.

Worse: Perhaps some of them had been turned, like that poor kid who cut himself up and attacked Commander Harken. Jayne? Zoë? Mal? What horrors could they commit, given their skills and strength? God, if River... and then he chuckled miserably, cursing his gallows-humor brain that could make a gorram joke out of anything. “River? Reaver. Reaver? River! How do you do? Rahhhrgghh!

They turned a hard right. Thundering feet and snarls preceded the bang of a door flying open. Wash shrank back in his chair as a knot of Reavers spilled through the entry with a collective snarl, brandishing bloody weapons, preceded by their own appalling stench. The orderly stopped and pulled a little silver pen out of his pocket.

When he brandished it, the Reavers all came to an abrupt halt, dropped their weapons, howled in agony, and clutched ruined faces with obscenely filthy hands. First the blood came, then their bodies exploded into pulp and bone. But more entered, stumbling and sliding in the muck, and then more from behind.

"Too many!" Wash whispered. "Here I come, Zoë." He pictured her as he loved her best: in their bed, laughing, naked and loving. "My Autumn Flower," he murmured.

His orderly was taken down, screaming. One of the Reavers turned to Wash with a snarl. A couple of others knocked the wheelchair over. And then their fun really began.


Hours later – and whether it was three or a thousand, he didn't know or care – what was left of Hoban Washburne staggered into the Saint Swithens' bridge. He wore nothing but a sort of sarong he'd made out of a tropical-print hospital scrub, and carried a gun in each hand. There was a female Reaver pilot already at the hospital ship's helm, preparing to split off from the Reaver transport that had overtaken the St. Swithens.

It's hard to talk with a split tongue. Wash growled at her: “Get out of my chair.” But it sounded like, “Geth outh ob mai chaiw.”

She snarled at him, and he shot her dead.

He hauled her out of his way. Then he clambered into the pilot seat, flipped the Three Switches, and spoke into the comm: “Nes' stop Hopper Thation. Ethra. Fresh mea'.”

His com filled with the roars and screams of his Reaver compatriots. Nobody came to kill him, so he figured they were all right with that. After they left atmo, he sat back and looked at the still-itchy scar on his bare, blood-spattered chest. The scar was wide as his hand, and circular, radiating out from a central point, almost like petals.

"My autumn flower." He tried to say it, but his mouth wouldn't form the words.

Then he rummaged in a tool box for a metal file, and set to work, sharpening his teeth.


Six months later, River and Mal stood hidden in snowy pine woods. The Captain and his pilot/ninja ballerina were disguised as Reavers, wearing filthy rags, their faces smeared with dirt and fake blood, and Mal's normally impeccable hair was hidden under a makeshift wig made of yak dreadlocks. They looked up at the cloudy sky, watching a Firefly Class One hovering over a tiny landing field in a clearing. It was belching radioactive exhaust, had been fully and fearsomely Reaverified, and the name "Lily Belle" on its side had been nearly obscured with red paint. The ship hovered, then landed light-as-a-feather despite the Firefly One's standard rickety stabilizers and the the close-set trees. A moment later the cargo bay opened. From their hiding place, Mal and River watched the Reaver crew run out into the snow to the west, armed to the teeth, low to the ground, bent on ruin.

River said, "They wont see the trap until it's already killed them."

Mal gestured to the horrific hulk of a once-sweet cargo vessel. He said, "Now all that needs doing is..." He put the hull-piercing rocket launcher to his shoulder, but River stopped him.

"Can't. Not yet." There was an odd smile on her face. He could tell she was watching movies in her head again.

"Well, why-ever not, girl?"

"Pilot's still in there."

"Wouldn't it be simpler blowin' it all up in one fell swoop?"

"Pilot's still alive." Eyes bright, she fished a tranquilizer gun out of her big pocket and, staying low, slunk toward the open cargo bay. "But he won't be much trouble. Not too much."

"You sure you know what you're doin', little bird?" She always did. It drove him a bit crazy.

She didn't turn, so he didn't catch her murmured response. "We're looking for an autumn flower."




Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Alana Dill
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

re8622: The Last Exodus quickly grabbed my attention. Almost as soon as I started reading the story, I couldn't put it down. I found that the ideas the author put forth were very thought provoking given the turmoil we have seen gradually rise over the last several years. I felt that I could understand th...

Cassie Jacobson: So many twists and turns. Keeps you wanting to read to see what happens next. The main character is detailed well. The struggles and growth of Joby makes you admire her. It gives you a proud satisfied feeling while reading it. A refreshing difference then most books out there today, and in a w...

snowview03: This is the first book I have read on this app and I loved it! When I read the title I thought about the hunger games, but this novel is so much more. Some book have a comparison between other books that fallow like premises so i will do my own: Arena has the compellingly emotional stresses and t...

spooky jedi: Love your story!I really hope more people read this story!Its amazing!! The plot is very unique and different, which is very good to have in a world full of stories. You have very complex and intellectual plot line, with your many loveable character and that hint of 'will they, won't they' is ju...

CookieMonster911: The story overall was an adventure that is appealing to any age. The way the characters develop adds a more human characteristic to the novel. The writing style itself is amazing because you can learn every character's thoughts and emotions. The awkward love triangle and jerk moments adds to the ...

Meri Amber: The plot is creative, fun and addictive! The writing is superb and the characters are really well put together. Definitely highly recommeded!

Dina Husseini: It was a great hook. I do not like reading scifi because they end up being like all the rest but this one kept me wanting more.

Dru83: This is the second or third time I've read this one and I just love it. It has just about everything you could ever want packed into one scifi story. It still has some parts that are a little rough in terms of grammar, punctuation, and word usage, but it's still an awesome story. I love how detai...

dd1226: I love reading about other countries and I think this story about Cambodia after Polpot creates awareness of the tragedy that happened there and the actions of the U.N. to hold elections. The heroine of the story is easy to relate to, a modern, middleaged woman looking for an adventure, wanting t...

More Recommendations

ElusiveBadwolf: I loved this book so much! It's a shame that i already came to the end of this. I really enjoyed the story, and i liked it how everything became in the end. It was a great book and i can say that you are a great writer too. Keep it that way and i think you can make it in the writing business!

Ding Fernando: very nice read.so realistic you can hardly put it down,i really like the character so human despite posessing immortality and eternal youth.though i would prefer a better ending..i still love this novel and i am recommending it to all sci fi fans to give it a try .you will love it too!!

rudyoxborough46: An action-packed, mystical adventure awaits anyone wishing to read this novel. I’m amazed at how well you’ve managed to flesh out the characters in this book, and I hope to read more of your work.I’ve read books about goblins and elves and all that mumbo-jumbo before, and most accounts of these c...

JWalker: I loved this story from start to finish! It flows at a really nice pace and the story world feels so real. The fight sequences are a treat especially when Isanfyre is training to become a warrior. I found the names really cool and thankfully easy to pronounce. Personally I have always struggled w...

Giuliana Cassetta: My face is full of tears, I never cried like now with a book or even a movie. I loved every single chapter. I truly don't know what to say, I'm out of words and my eyes hurt from crying. Such an bittersweet story, it's so wonderful. One of my favorites for sure. Keep it up!

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.