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The Man With No Name

By Sara Dickinson

Scifi / Adventure

The Oncoming Storm

Prologue: The Oncoming Storm

“This is me, for forever

One of the lost ones

The one without a name

Without an honest heart as compass”

–Nightwish, “Nemo”

The room isn’t quiet, not really. His ship is never silent, never still–and yet right now it feels silent. It isn’t the first time he’s felt this; he doubts very much it will be the last. Alone again, with only the repairs to his ship and his soul to command his attention. He feels as though half his self has been torn away.

All that knowledge and experience, and he still can’t keep the loneliness at bay. He can’t cheat death for them, or defy fate. He can’t keep the walls between the universes closing, no matter how much he wants to. He can’t stop them fearing him.

He sighs, leans his head back against the control panel base. Dear heaven, he’s getting maudlin in his old age. Much more of this, and he’ll find himself dumped on an ice planet or something, locked out of his own ship until he’s in a proper frame of mind. She’d do that to him; she’s done it before. He hurts, oh yes, and it is by far the worst bit in a very long time–but sitting about moaning isn’t going to save anyone. There’s a whole universe out there, and it wants helping.

And he’s used to being broken.

***

One of these days, he figured he’d not be surprised to see her sitting in Wash’s chair, though he didn’t anticipate it’d be anytime soon. He’d given up the pretense of official piloting almost immediately, and turned it over to her. The little albatross was bidding fair to be just as good a pilot as Wash was–and without all the fancy schooling. So he let her have the chair, and pretended not to notice that Zoe avoided the bridge. Not like she was getting along real well with any sort of stairs at the moment, anyway.

He edged through the gap between stair rail and console and settled in the co-pilot’s chair. “Everything clear?”

“Clear as crystal.” River’s long brown hair curtained her face as she leaned forward to adjust something on her own panel. “Clear as water, clear as–”

“All right, all right, I get it. No call to ramble on.” Mal propped a foot against the console and reached out to toy with one of the plastic dinosaurs perched on its rim. No one had the heart to pack them away. He doubted they ever would. “Three days to Persephone, then. And hopefully,” he muttered, “we ain’t gonna have any trouble.” It was almost a prayer, and the thought brought a wry twist to his mouth. Wouldn’t the Shepherd laugh.

It was a feeble prayer, and one he’d uttered an awful lot these past five months. He didn’t hold much hope of it being answered. “Things never go smooth” had long since become a personal motto.

A soft noise beside him drew him from his thoughts. River was sitting up straight in her chair, hands motionless on the console, eyes staring wide into the black. Mal frowned. Not the first time he’d seen that look. “What’s wrong, meimei?

“It’s coming.”

Oh, sweet hopping Buddhas. “What’s coming? River? Don’t leave me in the dark here, darlin’. Something’s comin’, you give me warning, right?”

She turned to look directly at him. Her eyes were black, the pupils were opened so wide. “The storm. It’s coming.”

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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 ...

Drew C. Elyon: I've only read one chapter so far, but from what I've seen, this is steampunk at its best. The narrative flows so beautifully I could envision every scene in an almost cinematic fashion. I believe in the complexity of simplicity, and this story has that in its descriptions.

Jasmine Chow: As I read this story, I was reminded some what of Terry Pratchett, especially some descriptions of politics and economics. The sci-fic setting is quite intriguing. Writing style is quite lovely and grew on me slowly. I was also slightly reminded of Mark Twain, especially his book A Connecticut Ya...

Sylvi: Being new to this app, I really just wanted to find a story that made me interested enough. Being most interested in mystery, I just typed “Detective” into the search. Things led to another and I found this book. Reading the title and teaser, I assumed, “Oh, it’s going to be another one of those ...

Ginger: I like the idea behind this; the idea and story itself are great, However, I'm finding typos periodically and some of the sentences could be worded a bit more clearly. You might want to 'show' a little more than you 'tell,'

Maja1111: I particularly loved the vivid dialogues. Also, the atmosphere throughout the story is so specific, with a touch of a mystery. Really enjoyed reading it.

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Kevin Brand: My overall rating: 4.8/5 starsLoved. Every. Second. Everytime I came back to continue reading I got this overwhelming feeling of getting hooked on the first sentence... Over and over and again!The only things that were missing for me include more descriptions on what happens when Reuben touches s...

aaron10905: This is undoubtedly one of the best books written on here. I actually unistalled this app until someone told me about this story. I came back not expecting much, just to be drawn into the story and the characters. I would buy this book in real life, as long as another was promised shortly after.

nehmeyasmin: It was the most heart warming but heart breaking story ever and I want the next part right away. It kept me hooked until the end even though there were a couple mistakes it was truly amazing. I think this book could go far if it wanted to

Erica: La trama es muy interesante y original y eso ya dice muchísimo cuando todos tratan de triunfar con ideas ya trilladas.No puedo opinar en detalle sobre la gramática, porque a pesar de entender el inglés a la perfección, la falta de uso en cuanto a lectura y diálogo hacen que me maneje bastante mal...

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...

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