{{ 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
PiratePanda would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Albatross

By PiratePanda

Fantasy / Action

Chapter 1

The first time he meets the boy, Mal figures the kid's insane. Best pilot in the 'verse folks were sayin', to be found on Persephone, if he's found at all. Runs odd jobs for Badger. When he feels like it. Known for the red coat and the sunglasses he rarely takes off. All that could fit on a business card.

What folks neglected to talk about were the hands that never still. The eyes, not quite hidden behind the lenses, that never look directly at you, that look at your gun, the door, the drink he's just gotten. Eyes that appear, in the brief flashes that Mal sees of them, glazed over and cold. Nor did they say quite how young the kid is. Mal would wager he's barely older than River, younger than Simon or Kaylee.

He doesn't smile when Mal sits down across from him. He inclines his head, a slow subtle move that any diplomat might envy, and raises his eyebrows.

"Captain Malcolm Reynolds, of the good ship Serenity. Did you want something?" His voice is soft, almost gentle, and he speaks politely,but it gives Mal chills all the same. He almost makes some excuse, walks away. River can fly Serenity. They don't need her on jobs that badly. He would make Simon happy if he did that, finally get the doc's angry, nervous glare off his back.

Except he can't.

"Word is you're looking for a job, get you off of this rock. Something semi-permanent," he forces out, and the kid's eyebrow climbs higher up his forehead. He picks at the sleeve of his ratty red coat, and then, suddenly, smiles.

"You mean to offer me a job? Flying your rustbucket of a ship and praying she doesn't fall apart ..." The smile widens but is gone as suddenly as it came. The boy shakes himself, and looks at Mal directly for the first time. The weight of his stare sets Mal's teeth on edge. "Conditions?" the boy asks.

Mal blinks, stares at the boy. "Conditions?" he repeats, feeling slow and nervous as the boy's ever-moving eyes search his face.

"Do I get paid? Do I share a bunk? What sort of service am I looking at, sir?" The 'sir' gets tacked on at the end, unintentionally if the boy's face is anything to go by. Now it's Mal's turn to smile, as the kids eyes finally leave his face.

"Five percent. Own bunk. And you have to tell me your name," he drawls, at ease now.

The boy nods, gives a shaky smirk, and doesn't look up from his drink. They sit there, long enough for Mal to almost give up and leave, and he almost does. Rising out of his chair and knocking back whatever had been in his glass when he first walked in.

"Athrun ..."

The voice catches him mid-swallow and he chokes for a minute before dropping his eyes to the top of the kid's head. The hair, which had previously looked black, strikes Mal as blue suddenly.

"I'm sorry?"

"My name. Athrun," the boy repeats. "I'll see you tomorrow morning. Don't leave without me,"

And they leave it at that. Mal walks away, steps into the bright sunlight and then stops, glancing back once. The kid, Athrun, hasn't moved. Mal shakes his head, looks away, and walks towards the docks.


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

Laraine Smith: Your story is both sweet and beautiful! You are a true artist! Keep up the great work! I also love the picture that you chose for your book! :)

Shweta Somwanshi: I just chose to read this out of nowhere and now I can't stop. Hats off to the author who made the reader swoon away with words so beautifully! I loved how I was able to imagine everything so explicitly because the writing was simple and easily comprehensive with a touch of complexity somewhere b...

Krupa Kataria: the detailing is really awesome ....the characters, ur plots jst too Awsm ,m waiting for the further chapters please do complete it ...like m really craving for those ones ...great job with words too ..please complete the further parts ...

Jason Phang: I'm pretty new to Inkitt (this is only my 4th book) and I must say I've been thoroughly impressed by the quality of the authors here. Remnants of Chaos is an excellently written book that hooks the reader, and doesn't let go. There are some grammatical and typographical errors, but nothing too se...

daneliacapote116: This was one of my favorites! When you start reading you want to continue I can't wait for the rest of the novel!! The characters where awesome! Everything was great. I encourage you to read this novel, your going to love it it and want to read it more and more !!

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...

Catherine Kopf: Wow! This was a really great story. I really enjoy reading fantasy, so it didn't take long for me to become invested in the book and its characters like Jacob. I really liked your writing style, and it seemed to flow very well. The descriptions that you used for your world were also created n...

SPepper: I had a hard time putting this book down even to go to sleep. The story is compelling and beautifully character driven. I hope author will make this a series.

makaylakay: I love love this story! It's written incredibly and well thought-out plot! I love how it's a different twist in fantasy fiction, other then the usual vampire or werewolves. Love the romantics and drawn to the two characters so much already! This book will draw you in within the first chapter and ...

More Recommendations

Mourn8220House: When first reading "Avarice," I thought it would be another fairytale but I was taken back the author's approach and choice of ending. There is little to be said for the story and overall plot besides the sudden twists and speculation, other than that I do not want to ruin a fantastic tale, you m...

263Adder: Okay so I adore this story. I only knocked one star off plot for historical inaccuracies because I'm a bit of a stickler for that. The ending broke my heart though, considering you already changed history couldn't you (SPOILER) change it a bit more and have them together!!!! I want an alternative...

Laraine Smith: This should be a movie! You are talented! It is that good! Keep it up! It is visual! It grabbed me! Don't give up!

Hudson: Your story was fantastic Erin! The Rising Sun was one of the first stories I read on Inkitt, and I have to say I don't regret the three to four days I spent pouring through the story.Probably the biggest strength I see in your writing is your characterisation of Eliana, Oriens, and the rest of th...

Bri Hoffer: I couldn't put it down!! The characters are all incredibly likable, and it's so descriptive you can see, smell, and feel thier surroundings. Great story, and very well written. I cannot wait for follow up stories. there were a few grammatical errors, but nothing that I could move right over.

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.