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 copy left
You can read our best books
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

Erin Crowley: The concept here is really strong, but the execution is definitely lacking. Tenses, grammar, etc are all off, with at least one or more errors per 'Page' on my phone. The writing style is almost broken- sentences move into each other awkwardly, and are filled with an excess of "filler words", lik...

themyronus: Vanessa has made 'amazing' the norme. I didn't want to read this as I am waiting for the finished and polished book to come out. But then I decided to read one chapter for kicks...well hours later I finished what was posted. Fortunately, my memory is not to good and I hope I will read the book wi...

Theresa Alley: right from the start it is of the genre I love!! And it doesn't slow down from there!! I love that it kept me reading til I had no more story left to read!! I finished it in one day!! love this book!! looking forward to more from this author, if not about ASTA, more of the same style!! PLEASE!!!???

Alisha Tabassum: The story was so beautiful and I absolutely loved it. The only problem is the grammar and spellings. Other than that, its perfect! I think it deserves a lot more views than it currently has. Honestly, I've never read anything like this before.

Mayank Nrr: well i have enjoyed the bookWhats good is the story its twists its characters and suspense its mix of thriller and horror hoping for a sequel Whats not Is the part where raven to protect cade started to avoid him this is normal in every story heroine trying to save the hero but the track ended so...

heavyreader: great scifi novels but needs a better spell checker (check auto-substitution level) and grammar checker!!! otherwise, ready for mass market publishing!!

TonyHeredia: I've been reading science fiction and fantasy for many years and I still don't think I've read a story like this before. It is realistic, lusty and techy all at the same time. It jumps back and forth in time giving the reader two different versions of the same man. I found myself reading for h...

Sarah Luongo: My friend recommended this to me and I was hooked immediately. The images and voices of these characters come so clearly in my head, which I love. I love seeing from all of these characters points of view, and still the book has a continuous flow. There are some punctuation and grammar mistakes, ...

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.

More Recommendations

Lydia Walters: I really enjoyed this novel. It gives us a view of what could be if we really tried.Also that there's nothing wrong with loving our LORD and our fellow humans. couldn't wait to get to each new chapter (mission). Thanks, Joe!

ArgyrisMetaxas: Thrilling story which builds layer ontop of layer. A few mis spellings every few chapters. What I found special was that it took a modern day problem and took it to its logical conclusion and plays this realism with gritting precision. I'm always on edge ready to shout from adrenaline. This is gr...

SandraHan1: This story is very descriptive, with vivid scenes from the very beginning, which made for a good scene setting. I love the symbolism in names, such as “Naysayers”, “Hadd”, etc . The story itself is revolutionary, intriguing, emotional and exciting. I was very pleased to see that there is a happy ...

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...

Karl12: This is a very unusual sci-fi mystery. I enjoyed the suspense which was present throughout the story. I loved how I never knew what to expect from the characters. This made the story thrilling and made me suspicious of everything and everyone. You have a great style of writing – one which captiva...

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...