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    Stellar
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Hidden Sunlight - 12. Light Of Faith

The sharpeling hunched in the half-light of the interior. It was shivering, trembling as it sat, mired in a pool of illusions and uncertainty. An audience of peers had gathered, though the sharpeling neither knew nor had a preference, and they watched it curiously as the strange behaviour continued. Certainly, it was unusual to see another of the brood so afflicted, but more of the curiosity centred around the prize that their companion had delivered unto them. So they waited, dubious at the erratic behaviour and yet holding back, patient. An opening would come, but not yet was it safe to claim the prize.

On the floor it lay. A corpse -- a dead human. It was young, tender; a feast for the bellies and appetites, an easy meal that would save hunting. Their hunger was strong and their attention undivided.

Then, the corpse moved.

It sat up.

The first moments of conscious activity, basic physical movement and perception of the senses, were agonising. Fire was in his cells, and in every small fibre of his being, a screaming heat that brought him fully to focus. Pain was kicking the disbelieving limbs and muscles into action, and it forced him to draw near his vitality, to hold onto it and cradle it.

It was a thin line of feeling, a slender link of continuity and he grasped it, reinforced it, hugged for dear life. He was conscious again. He was alive. Stretched to the endmost limits, his physiology had contained the near irreparable damage within, repressed the bloody hateful conglomeration that the blade had pierced into him. By unconscious will alone, and now again through his conscious awakening, Mira's strength was an unbreaking armour of spirit, and that persistence overrode petty wounds of the flesh.

Yet, this wound was severe and every ounce of his capacity to endure was holding it back. Weak and without the greatest part of his strength, the majority of his effort was poured into maintaining the status quo. He sat immobilised, and as he did, he remembered what had transpired.

He remembered lying alive but still dying. The knife in the back had not been enough, but it was almost as murderous, nearly as fatal, as was intended. The damage had been catastrophic, so immense and severe to The Self, the housing of his soul. Yet he lay as if dead, knowing that the slightest sign of life would finish him utterly, that if they guessed for a moment that he was hanging on to that vestige, the job would be finished.

So he lay, that tiny slippery sensation of frantic blood pulsing through torn flesh, of thoughts firing through the cortex as the electric hum of his existence struggled not to drown in nothing. Smaller and more slippery, it seemed no more than a fog vanishing through his fingers into an endless black silence, from which there was no return, no escape. That sensation was so distant and it had become quieter, more remote, with each passing moment.

Alone, in the dark, he was a single spark retreating. He dragged it back, time after time, wrestled with it, clawed at it and sank everything into it. Still, it was slowly slipping away.

Then, there was an explosion of light.

It had washed over him, through him. Fortifying, sustaining, growing. The dying boy was dying no longer. He was alive, but barely. Holding onto the core of that hidden sunlight, the glorious warmth of Shay's spirit, it had bolstered his armour, renewed his structure. His body had switched off, cocooning itself, appearing properly dead for all intents and purposes, while in the very centre of himself, a healing had begun. He had been given a chance, a perfect beautiful chance, and that was all he needed.

That was all it took.

There had been no more memory after that. It was a dreamless internal hibernation, and now ... now he was here, and conscious, somewhere new. His visual and auditory senses aligned and adjusted, and though he was awake, the world seemed still to pulse and weave, as if it was on the most tenuous of links. Everything was far from safe, but functional was a starting point and there were now many possibilities.

The sharpeling near him was conflicted. He could see in it the natural desire for aggression and hunting, but at the same time there was a directive stamped into it by Shay's power. To Mira's surprise and awe, it was to save him. Burned into the creature's psyche was a command to keep him safe; to remove his broken body from danger and bring him to shelter. The sharpeling had done that, returning them to its den, and now it could not violate that by attacking him, so it was driven a little crazy by contradictory base desires.

Yet, he was the prize that the other sharpelings, just outside this one's territory, were eyeing. They dared not touch him while he was in the reach of the original claimant, but if he were to stray or the owner to become lax, then all bets were done. Mira knew he hadn't much time. He certainly couldn't stay, so precipitously balanced between safety and peril. Relaxing, calming his battered body, he gave a few good seconds of harmony and healing. It was a slight gap, a reprieve for a moment's respite. Then, he stood and walked away from the barrier of protection.

Sunlight was pouring through from above, around a central shaft. Squarish, it followed the vertical lines of the collapsed interior of a building, down to the basement levels. The floor was down a way, with only one more story beneath it before it bottomed out. There was no obvious way up; just a wall with possible handholds, curves and notches that defied human hands but served as egress for the ruin's other inhabitants.

From the scattered grouping in the dimly shadowed overhang in the nest, those numbers were at least a dozen. Pressed still for resources to operate near the efficiency this situation would demand, his mind evaluated it nonetheless. Three sharpelings came from the gathered and slunk forward; these would be the combatants. They took point. The tallest was an alpha and it carried with it all the behavioural signs of one. The two others were adults also, but rather skittish and youthful, more hit-and-run than the militaristic anger of the leader. The first and youngest scooted close, breaking proximity. The head jabbed in, but it was only a feint, a setup for the alpha; yet the cunning upon which the feint was built was predicated by Mira. The genesis of such combined tactics was born of his own imperatives, and he was ready.

Evasion of the alpha's veiled strike became counter-attack, and his elbow changed direction from a dodge to a parrying thrust; more sluggish than he would have liked, but he was so pressed for physical resources that he used it for all it was worth. It caught the alpha on its skull, and as it was off-balance momentarily, a second impelling push with the same left arm and there was momentum enough.

Unexpected, the alpha slid to the edge, scrambling to stop from falling to the ground floor, though too late to prevent it. The urgent messaging of pain was blooming in his right arm as fangs sank in; the other adult, the second, was making good on his precarious situation. Its mouth closed completely over the limb, but in a surgical placement of tension, Mira's left hand flicked across to grip the sharpeling's upper jaw. Fingertips dug into the muscle, triggering a pressure point to release. The top half easily retracted, the fangs withdrawing from his flesh, while the lower jaw was still firmly embedded on the underside of his arm. Mira ignored the white-hot stabbing pain of those impaled teeth as he pushed the bone of the upper jaw unnaturally higher.

Strangely buoyant from the hurt and adrenaline, the heightened signals were the chemical arbiters of his resilience; his strength forced the sharpeling's joints hard against the grain. Jamming the bone heavenward, he bent it too far in terminal excess of what was allowed, and with a brutal grisly crunch, pressure was released. Mira's arm lifted off the line of teeth, littered with punctures and fresh blood, but right at that brief moment of freedom, the first adult was in again, taking full advantage of the distraction. Before he could so much as judge the quantity and quality of pain reception, to weigh the burden of will it would increase upon him, the head was lunging, jaws ready. Lurching with an anemic grace, Mira's hard-pressed timing was still somehow enough to manage it, and he boosted forward into the creature's embrace. The stress of such acrobatics was immense, but his spirit thrived on the challenge; the more impossible and skewed the odds, the greater was his desire to overcome, to find reserves of ability that were beyond the norm.

Dodging low, he leveraged a switch of his weight, and pulled the creature into a throw over his shoulder. It was flipped onto its back, and thrashed for a second, confused and bewildered by the delaying motion. While it was still supine, he dragged the head backward a moment, the limbs slewing on the ground as it tried to right itself. There would be no chance for that. The boy's fingers jabbed expertly at another anatomically sensitive pressure point, low on the sharpeling's neck, near the top of the chest and shoulder plating. Reflexively distracted, the creature stretched out its neck and entire body in response, instinctively compelled to relax and lie flat. The automatic knee-jerk response was unwanted, and the jaws snapped as it struggled to resist the involuntary movement, to return itself to the attack.

Quick as a flash, Mira lifted the first adult's head up and shifted it a fraction, dropping it onto the yawning lifeless impotence of the second sharpeling's lower jaw, the mouth wide open and broken. The second was dead, but the teeth were weaponry as fierce in death as in life. They cut directly into the disabled creature's throat, and Mira closed the lax upper jaw of the dead sharpeling down to meet the bottom half, ending any chance to reverse the unintentional incestuous fratricide. He stood on top of the corpse's maw, the weight of his body grinding the teeth together, turning it into a serrated trap that was worn like an impaling choker to the bloody end.

Two were done with.

His situational analysis was working well enough that it caught the alpha scrambling back up the side beams a couple dozen seconds later, as he straightened again from the corpses, his preparation sufficient. It leaped nimbly back onto the flat and came forward, cautious but fixated. Mira crouched, weaving, reeling somewhat from the pain and the exertion. His vision and his balance swam and wavered as it tried to level and mask the sheer trauma of his circumstance, but he meted out the body's response to it meagerly. The clouding of complacent safety, of the repression of his situation and his wounds, would dull his desires, would slow him, and the hardship was his reminder and his motivation.

The alpha struck, the claws swiping, the jaws clashing, but he dodged. The bone and razor of his opponent were horrifically earnest and quick, and it was not without injury. A claw tip raked across his cheek, a talon tore through to his left leg, gouging. Yet each strike, while so fast and so cat-like and elegant, was still meant to best the human mind and human predication, not for the intellect, the instinct, that he bore. This was pure survival and pure determination and he was the drunken master, the zen of unpredictable. Each sign of movement was caught, interpreted, eluded, the surety becoming a clawful of nothing, a swinging roundhouse that knew only the laws of aerodynamics.

Finally, a chance came. It reared, angry and frustrated at his constant evasion. The moment was enough for the boy, as the sharpeling's head was motionless in this pose, the target as easy as it would ever be. Forward he drove, both hands coming round together. Held between the fingers, between the knuckles, were the severed foreclaws of the first adult sharpeling to die. His aim was unfailing, his timing impeccable. The dual punch was exactly where it was meant, the claws jabbing directly into the alpha's eyes, a final shove with the flat of the palms finishing the move.

The creature shrieked, falling backwards as it writhed. It lay on the floor, seized by paroxysms of hurt, flailing and then curling up, regressing into fetal protection. The other sharpelings posed no threat as his critical appraisal revealed them to be mere children, cowed now by his disposal of the adults among them, of the alpha broken and bested. Now, the imperative of survival was minimising the slowing wounds, and it directed him to climb, to pull himself from this pit and into the clear of the day.

So he did.

His hands found marks to cling, places to latch onto as he doggedly scaled the wall. His starting height was at least three stories deep; whatever had crushed this building had done so with a great deal of force. The floors below ground had dissolved, the basement floors compacting until this construct was a giant shaft, a literal pitfall for the inattentive and unwary. Hanging onto the small indents, the cracks and scoring on the uneven but unforgiving vertical expanse was no small task, and his limbs were shaking, his fingers screaming from the injustice of the endurance required as he pulled himself onto the ground level, at last.

Dragging himself, he shifted a couple metres to the broken corner-support of the building that had once existed, before it became a subterranean sharpeling den. Slumping against it, he gave himself a moment's peace. There were no further sharpelings in his immediate vicinity, and he was free from pursuit and death, for just a little while. The accumulated injuries were bearable, even if only just; the dozen cuts from the alpha sharpeling, the oozing jagged burn of where the teeth had found his arm, the weakening chill of the interior damage, from the stabbing that had caused all of this. His focus was upon them, and with the regenerative animation turned fully inwards, the exterior was given the chance to simply look.

Look was what he did.

A city street, but with no major marking of any kind left visible; no signs nor images nor anything to say where he was. More buildings, on both sides of this one, as skeletal and denuded of the trappings of civilisation as all the others were. This place was blasted clean long ago, and now it was a carcass, a home for the denizens of the Sharpe virus.

Mira recognised it. He remembered it for one reason. He had seen it before; it was both close to Volkov and resident in his mind, though only from a brief glimpse early in his knowledge of human endeavour. It was the town where Shay had sought to find his parents. Only now, he was at the centre of it, seeing it up close.

This was the ruins of Palatus.

-o-0-O-0-o-

For the first time since consciousness, he had some time to call his own. The immediate directives were laid aside, placed in a secondary buffer of casual attention. Here in front of him was summoned the principal objective, the primacy upon which his continuation was implied.

The Other.

Nothing was more compelling. Shay had saved him, had infused him with an angelic gift, a brilliant glowing redemption. He had done this even as he was steeped in the pain, the suffering agony, of seeing Le Renard end his beloved's life.

Yet that ending was not real.

What kind of monstrous thing was this?

It was not the evil treachery of that man who played across the vivid menagerie of Mira's recollection. It was the other, the one who was a step above; sharper, cooler, more objectively in command. He was more capable and more perilous, and he was the one that ordered it, that made it happen. Mira knew it. This man was the one that set out to hurt Shay, he was truly the one that held the knife, that stabbed it with all the ease of slaughter in cold-blood. It was utterly simple.

Hartley had to be found and killed

For such a person to live was an abomination that brooked no reason. No one could assent to this missive of war, to directly and carelessly seek destruction of the beauty of his love, the flower of his soul. Not without a full recanting of wanting to stay alive and healthy. This objective became entrenched, a sub-goal only a smidgen less important than the indilute message of his main focus, which was still unchanged and unforgettable.

Find Shay and make him whole.

This was paramount. Such importance was because he realised now the same kind of limitless hurt that he would know if Shay was to die, and to turn that around, to reverse the circumstance? He could not imagine it. He did not want to. It would be crippling, unbearable.

No, this was not acceptable.

The only way to address it was to find him, to stop it as quickly as he could. So, the other directives were retrieved and restored from their fastness. His body kicked into movement again and he stood. Weary, and with the unrelenting savagery of being so drained of health, he set out for his destination.

Yet, before he moved a half dozen steps, there was something. On the illegible scrawl of rubbish that was the graveside trash of this place, the glint of metal caught his eye. It was a weapon and as he picked it up, there was a recognition, a turbulent realisation. The pommel and handle were carved ivory, the knife itself slit down the centre, a gap less than a half centimetre between the two sides of it, each culminating in its own point. Despite the memory of a point of this blade protruding from his own chest, the weapon itself was clean from his blood, barring some staining near the hilt. The polished steel was in perfect condition, and Mira knew at once that the very presence of this thing here meant the man that stabbed him, the king's knight, was no more. Somehow his blade, his keepsake, had travelled along with his sharpeling killers into Palatus and made it this far.

Now, it would aid Mira as his own means.

This was a start.

Mira's grip tightened on the handle. He had not very often been afforded the chance to use weapons, to put the potential of his killer's finesse into a new setting. The tool of his enemy would become his own tool, a way to survive and maybe one day, of vengeance itself, upon the king.

A way to deliver justice on the man who had made this happen.

Hartley had to die, there was no other way about it.

Even so, there was much more to come first and it could not wait.

There was no time for rest.

-o-0-O-0-o-

Keeping stealth and navigating the destroyed downtown of a provincial capital was a major ask on its own. Doing it whilst half dead and pitifully drained of energy was quite another. He had gone several dozens blocks in anonymity, when he came to the first point where the need changed and the appraisal became more dire, the situation more problematic.

A major boulevard exited the city to the north, a wide straight road that extended from the wreck of the building he stood in, a T intersection from which the road began. The roadside buildings on that long straight had once been either tourist accommodation or commercial enterprise; services or trades related to sustaining the province's visitors. Now they were laid as bare as the road itself, the ravages of both time and violence having opened the street completely.

In the distance, the road began to rise up the hillside as it escaped the ruins. Next to that road were the bluffs, the rocky cliffs that Konstantin had showed them the devastation from. Kilometres away, but a symbol of possibility, of certainty. The largest problem was what lay directly in front of him.

Sharpelings.

They were everywhere along the boulevard. These ones were clearly city dwellers, the adherence to the ruins meaning their armouring, their colour, was very neutral and grey. A visual adaptation to the environment, but it did not matter. The camouflage was a small part of it; these things were made to hunt and kill regardless of the knowledge of their prey. From where he crouched, he could see at least two dozen of them and more were visible in the distance, on both sides of the strip.

There were a hundred, minimum, just in eyesight. This was only a precursor; there was no doubt that there would be more of them continuing to the city limits.

How could he get past this?

There was no way to fight it. There were too many and his under-strain physicality could not take so much punishment. Already was too much asked, and his fortitude had not let him down, it had risen to the task and had resisted the most persuasive lure; the siren call of oblivion.

But this?

His exhausted mind and body studied the creatures, searched for a critical weakness, a vulnerability that he could exploit.

There was nothing.

It was just himself, and all these creatures between him and the way out. The problem was the matter of enduring it, of surviving until the end, and he wasn't sure how to accomplish this -- until it occurred to him.

A marathon of survival, an endurance race to the end.

This was what he could make it.

His mind took action first. Everything non-essential was stripped away and the mode of flight, of survival, came into the fore. Wounds and languor were crushed, the physical engine was tuned by a subservience that overrode complaint and made weariness and pain into an illicit, inaccurate, portrayal of falsity. Everything near him was tagged and highlighted with the possible danger it posed, the relative speed and probability of harm assessed.

Then, his body followed through. First a jog, then when he was close enough for the nearest sharpeling to notice, a run. Together with the initial attention, the other sharpelings nearby saw and moved together.

It had begun.

Mira was fast. Very fast, even encumbered by the problems he had. The only sounds he registered were that of his own movement and of those that followed him close on his heels. The road ahead was no more than a minefield of the creatures as they awoke and moved to him as he ran, the weaving and evasion conducted at a sprint as he tore along the concrete. Jaws snapped and there was an endemic hissing of anger, a squalling of rapacious cries as the throng kept chase.

Two hundred metres became five hundred, which moved to a thousand. The boy's body was aching now but unspent, still pushing the limits, still hitting the same stride. Sharpelings were perseverance incarnate, and though Mira was not something they could attack at such speed, so quickly, neither could he shake them and they stayed trailing, an assembly of the murderous kind, as the boy ran for his escape.

Yet, the road seemed to still keep coming.

He ran and he ran, the symphony of pursuit an ever-present reminder of his situation. Finally, the ground had begun to slope, and so he increased his debt, forcing yet more non-existent energy into what he was doing and somehow, he sped up. Some of the sharpelings had foregone the chase, but regardless, he could not turn to see what pursued him, not to risk it for anything.

The road began to get steeper, the incline more taxing and finally the burning insufferable sickness of dehydration, heat and sheer depletion of muscular and respiratory power did the job. His train had shrunk after this distance, but still there were those that keenly sought him, that would not end it. Knowing there was no way out that did not involve stopping to fight, he turned. Without losing an ounce of momentum, he wheeled to face his pursuers.

Five sharpelings remained. The only ones that had not written off the absurdly fast and tenacious human as a meal not worth chasing. The five most eager to have him now, burned out from the run and ready to simply die, as their exultant desire demanded he must.

His fingers gripped the knife steadily, his conscious mind having quashed what caveats or protestations his beleaguered body gave. It would obey and he would finish them.

Nothing was going to stop him from reaching Shay.

-o-0-O-0-o-

He did not sit, because he could not yet bring himself to slow his body's metabolism, to release it entirely from the quickening hold, the intent to move and fight. His pause was not prolonged, but only as much as was necessary. Resting on one knee, he let several minutes pass. His memory was divested of information; every scrap that rebuilt the path the repulsor bike had taken from these bluffs to the Andropov estate was reconstructed in excruciating detail. It was kilometres away and it was road and trees and empty space, much less of a trial than the hotbed of mutation and fangs that Palatus was.

Only, something wasn't quite right.

Though his ability and his logical segmentation of focus and clarity turned him from a simple marauder into a polished executioner with the means to outsmart any situation, there was a calm here, a strangeness that did not belong. Like a splinter in the ethereal landscape, the invisible topography of feeling and truth, something was amiss. He could not quite tell what, but it was a sense that had been around in his head, lurking from the moment he had awakened. Now, it was becoming felt and it was growing, a dark seedling beyond his sight.

All he knew was that he had to get to Shay. Now, quicker and more pressing than before the need arose. He could not wait, nor could he rest for long, for even those moments perhaps were crucial. There was no hesitation, no pause for breath.

Standing, ignoring the pile of dead sharpelings, he eased himself into a jog. New wounds had been sustained killing the creatures, but the addition of the blade had made such combat child's play. From a jog, he came to a run, a speed he could maintain for a long distance, and that's the way he continued.

The hill levelled out once it crested the bluffs and the road became much more flat. He ran along the centre, knowing the likelihood of oncoming traffic was less worrisome than being ambushed from the sides. The trees were a mixed bag, a combination of the firs near to the estate, the ubiquitous Lucere oak and the smaller foliage it brought with it.

Sky darkened and cloud cover had rolled in. Early evening didn't allow a pause for contemplation and as Mira followed tirelessly along the countryside lane, a heavy misty fog began to spring up, welling and surrounding the boy as he moved. His path was a remote offshoot whose beginning was barely notable from the artery it diverged from, the main road.

Then, with no fanfare, the first pylon of the security fence. Not something that would be spotted by those that didn't know it was already there, the boy dipped around it and cut off the track, into the trees. Following the fenceline, he ran after the pylons, the mist trailing and swirling as he made passage. The house was cloaked off to his right but he was only paying attention to the heavy insolent demand; something on the property was most definitely wrong. The conservator urge was in apoplexy; he needed to find this thing and he had to find it now.

Then, right in front of him, three pylons forward through the mist, there it was.

A ghosting of movement and the man in full camouflage gear, a sniper rifle tucked under his side, stepped neatly by the security pylon as if it had never existed. He continued on, in another step vanishing into the mist as if he had never existed to begin with either.

That was the problem.

Mira was at the lower end of the garden. The man could be anywhere within dozens of metres. He was an assassin, sent here to kill. Dress like that was meant for infiltration, for termination. The computation in the boy's head was as fast as he could process it. A gun such as that would have scopes for heat vision, for night-time, for all manner of situations. He would be prepared for the conditions. The angle from here was good, the entire house was covered. The assassin would not need to approach any closer; a high-powered shot would probably go right through the walls of a normal house, once the target was sighted. The task would be no harder than aiming down the barrel and letting it happen.

So that left only one thing. Where then would he balance and aim the shot? Mira couldn't charge forward blindly, that would get him killed as surely as anything, anyone else.

Then, he had it.

-o-0-O-0-o-

The assassin checked the chamber a third time, confirming that he was fully loaded. Bringing the scope up to his eye, he scanned the front of the building with the heat-bloom activated, to cut through the visual interference that the darkness and weather created. There were traces of movement inside, but outside was easy; the main target was there: the boy, as Hartley had described. He was the primary and had to go first; the others were either collateral or targets of opportunity, as per the situation.

Well, at least achieving the first part would be simple. The kid was just standing there, not really doing anything much.

Perfect.

Crouching, he leaned on the rear corner of the coop steadying his aim. Bringing the crosshair back to the front of the building, he re-sighted the target and got comfortable in his position. Lining up the little plus over the whitened image of the boy's head, he took a breath.

The boss would be very happy with him after this. Shame a boy had to die, but he was a soldier, and this was still war. The commander had ordered it, he was making it happen.

"Sorry kid," he muttered to himself. "Say goodnight."

His finger squeezed the trigger and-

A hand was clapping over his mouth and suddenly a brutal pain, a thrusting through his chest as a double-pointed blade broke the skin. It slid directly back out and the assassin was beaten, already dead as Mira was wiping the blade upon the man's uniform. Standing, the boy dropped the weapon and wandered placidly around the lodgings of the farm animals, past the vegetables and tilling. There was only one thing left now and he could not wait any longer.

Slowly and feeling at last the desire for rest, for a period of liberation, he walked across that final stretch of grass. The shifting mists, the clinging damp of air and water that danced by, tendrils astray, abated. It drew apart and there, on the terrace, leaning on the balustrade, a sublime intimation of everything he could hope for. A glowing spirit of light; the perfect rock of his salvation.

He was home.

He had made it.

Did you *really* think that I'd kill him? Do you really think he's come this far for me to have him knifed through the back like an animal? Do you **really** think I'd do that to Shay?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you should be ashamed of yourself! I couldn't, I wouldn't and I didn't!
He is, by far, too awesome to die.
Comments, reviews and likes always appreciated :)
Story discussion can be found here.
Copyright © 2013 Stellar; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

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That was my favourite chapter so far. A deep look inside beautiful Mira (btw how is that pronounced? Meera or Mirra?) You are such a tease.

I'm enjoying this story so very much. I'm almost tempted to stop reading until it's finished but I can't help myself :)

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No, I didn't think you'd really kill Mira, and I'm glad you didn't.

He is Mira, after all! He and Shay are a unit, and one that will

prevail. This chapter is a remarkable capture of single-minded

perseverence. Bravo SuperMira!

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On 10/12/2012 03:40 AM, Nephylim said:
That was my favourite chapter so far. A deep look inside beautiful Mira (btw how is that pronounced? Meera or Mirra?) You are such a tease.

I'm enjoying this story so very much. I'm almost tempted to stop reading until it's finished but I can't help myself :)

Thank you! That's probably the most detailed single glance you'll get inside him, but it comes at a very pivotal time in the story and was 100% required.

 

I try not to be a tease! Did I say that with a straight face? Ah, who am I kidding .. I'm a complete tease! I'm glad you're enjoying it! I can't wait for 13 :)

 

(btw, your pronunciation is right on the former, not the latter)

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On 10/12/2012 04:08 AM, Stephen said:
No, I didn't think you'd really kill Mira, and I'm glad you didn't.

He is Mira, after all! He and Shay are a unit, and one that will

prevail. This chapter is a remarkable capture of single-minded

perseverence. Bravo SuperMira!

I love stories that are varied and unpredictable, willing to do very controversial and extreme things if it properly furthers the plot. However, Hidden Sunlight was never going to be one where I made a 14 year old boy heartbroken and lost because the love of his life was murdered.

 

It just isn't that story.

 

It's a romance! Not a tragedy. Nasty tragic stuff happens, but have limits on how far I will realistically take things.

 

However, one must not forget that my warning from chapter 11 still exists. Anyone can and potentially will die. I would just at this point exempt Mira from it also.

 

Because he's just that awesome.

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Shay's outburst when Mira was knifed provided the extra life force needed. And yes from my question in the last chapter, I was hoping for a miracle. Mira fought his way back home but I suspect his reserves are completely depleted and will take some time to rebuild before he and Shay set out to destroy Hartley. One can only hope they have some time before another attack arrives....

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On 10/12/2012 04:23 AM, Daddydavek said:
Shay's outburst when Mira was knifed provided the extra life force needed. And yes from my question in the last chapter, I was hoping for a miracle. Mira fought his way back home but I suspect his reserves are completely depleted and will take some time to rebuild before he and Shay set out to destroy Hartley. One can only hope they have some time before another attack arrives....
I didn't reply to your review of the last chapter! My apologies.

 

The miracle is provided! (should I capitalise that or just leave the pun as is?) Well, the miracle was actually Shay's work anyways ... oops, there I am making puns again! Seriously though, this episode sets the stage for the whole what-to-do-about-the-villain part of the plot, not to mention for moving on into a bit more explanation of What Everything Means.

 

We are getting there!

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My Gawd!!!!!!!!!!!! He's Alive.

**does mad jig around the room**

Wooot the beautiful Mira lives on. Oh where the hell is Shay? I could kiss him. Thank god his powers gave that little kick of life to keep him going long enough to pull through this. God, through all that, his steadfast loyalty to "The One" is completely unshaken and as strong as ever. How can you not fall in love with the loyalty of this creature, this perfect, quiet gem of a partner we all wish we had at our side. He is quite remarkable, and a joy to follow through this story.

Haha, me finks that Mira should open a self defence studio and teach humans how to twat sharplings once they have punished Harltey and his cronies. Heck the audacity of that man, sending a sniper to kill Shay. Oh now see, just another reason to Love Mira, he's saved Shay again. Argh heck I hope that Hartley has a long, slow, painful death. My blood is boiling coz of him. mad.gif

Superb chapter Stellar. I love the pace, frantic activity and sense of desperation you get reading through this part of the story. It is confusing and a whirlwind of escape in the midst of a calm and calculating mind. Totally get a sense of a boy that is driven to fulfil his destiny of protecting Shay till death does he part.

Oh hell, I can't wait to see what happens when Shay know's Mira is ALIVE! gikkle.gif

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I liked that chapter much better than the last one.

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I had my suspicions and I'm glad that he's still alive. Once again Mira's POV is my favorite and I really enjoyed the workaround of how he survived. I envision total complete control of the body's inner and outer workings and the ability to accelerate and focus healing throughout everything. Mira's like a young Wolverine!

 

Great chapter and I can't wait to read their reunion.

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On 10/12/2012 06:59 AM, Yettie One said:
My Gawd!!!!!!!!!!!! He's Alive.

**does mad jig around the room**

Wooot the beautiful Mira lives on. Oh where the hell is Shay? I could kiss him. Thank god his powers gave that little kick of life to keep him going long enough to pull through this. God, through all that, his steadfast loyalty to "The One" is completely unshaken and as strong as ever. How can you not fall in love with the loyalty of this creature, this perfect, quiet gem of a partner we all wish we had at our side. He is quite remarkable, and a joy to follow through this story.

Haha, me finks that Mira should open a self defence studio and teach humans how to twat sharplings once they have punished Harltey and his cronies. Heck the audacity of that man, sending a sniper to kill Shay. Oh now see, just another reason to Love Mira, he's saved Shay again. Argh heck I hope that Hartley has a long, slow, painful death. My blood is boiling coz of him. mad.gif

Superb chapter Stellar. I love the pace, frantic activity and sense of desperation you get reading through this part of the story. It is confusing and a whirlwind of escape in the midst of a calm and calculating mind. Totally get a sense of a boy that is driven to fulfil his destiny of protecting Shay till death does he part.

Oh hell, I can't wait to see what happens when Shay know's Mira is ALIVE! gikkle.gif

You always write far too much for me to answer .. lol!

 

Mira has his purpose in this world and everyone loves him for it. No half measures, no uncertainty .. just him and what he's made for. Boy, is he made for it or what?

 

You and both on the last count. I am very much looking forward to chapter 13.

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On 10/12/2012 08:32 AM, tiger721boi said:
YAY!!!!!! I am so glad you didn't kill him off :-)
Hahah! Thank you :) I'm glad too! I could never have gone through with it for real.
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On 10/12/2012 11:54 AM, Myr said:
I liked that chapter much better than the last one.
In an echo of my reply to your review of chapter 11: most people will like it more, I expect. You are a man of few words!
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On 10/12/2012 11:55 AM, Rebelghost85 said:
I had my suspicions and I'm glad that he's still alive. Once again Mira's POV is my favorite and I really enjoyed the workaround of how he survived. I envision total complete control of the body's inner and outer workings and the ability to accelerate and focus healing throughout everything. Mira's like a young Wolverine!

 

Great chapter and I can't wait to read their reunion.

His survival is due to a combination of factors. The most important is Shay's intervention, which was not intended, but still contributed. There's also the mental landscape that has carried over and developed since he became a human. Not least of all is his body itself, which is rather more resilient and very hardy.

 

A young Wolverine isn't an unfair comparison! Though he doesn't have an adamantium skeleton .. yet! Um, yeah .. just kidding. That'd be silly .......... but kinda cool at the same time.

 

Anyway! Chapter 13 will include that fun part of things: reunion. In fact, that's where it opens.

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On 10/12/2012 02:38 PM, murakisdoll said:
lol I totally had my suspicions man. Ah this chapter made my day pheww
Awww, I'm glad! Really, who truly believed I'd do that! :/
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Wow...

...Just wow.

This is the one of the most amazing stories that I have read on this website since I joined a while back! :) This is a wonderful piece of written art and your characters are so well-developed and the plot is just incredible! :D Thank you so much for writing this story for us readers!! hug.gif ...And I knew you wouldn't kill Mira off! He is just too good and cool for all of that! cool.png

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What does it mean when an entire chapter is in italics?

There are times in this story when the writing tends to overpower the story.

How did Mira end up in the town? Was he not "killed" at the treatment facility where Shay "woke up"?

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On 10/13/2012 06:05 AM, Conner said:
What does it mean when an entire chapter is in italics?

There are times in this story when the writing tends to overpower the story.

How did Mira end up in the town? Was he not "killed" at the treatment facility where Shay "woke up"?

As with previous chapters, italicisation has been used (when in an entire scene) to immediately distinguish between Mira's third person (not the normal perspective) and the regular first person perspective of Shay.

 

That also accounts for the difference in language and style used in those sections; third person is the 'eye of God' as such and is expressed differently because it is less impersonal. I can't say I really understand how the writing can overpower the story per se, since it *is* the story and language like this has been use before, just not for an entire chapter. It is Shay's story and the narrative does not normally follow Mira, but as noted elsewhere, this was necessary to explain how he survived.

 

He ended up in Palatus because one of the four imprisoned sharpelings from the previous chapter who went berserk when Shay witnessed Mira's 'death' was embedded with a desire, a command, to save him; so it had taken his 'body' with it when it fled back to the den it originated from, in the nearby ruined town -- Palatus. Mira wasn't dead (obviously) but had very tenuously survived due to his own body's enhanced hardiness and regeneration ability and the healing burst of 'power' Shay had given when he witnessed the stabbing.

 

Forgive me if this information was not clearly enough presented - I did think it was implied if not explicit in the text?

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On 10/13/2012 03:47 AM, MuddyRiverGirl said:
Wow...

...Just wow.

This is the one of the most amazing stories that I have read on this website since I joined a while back! :) This is a wonderful piece of written art and your characters are so well-developed and the plot is just incredible! :D Thank you so much for writing this story for us readers!! hug.gif ...And I knew you wouldn't kill Mira off! He is just too good and cool for all of that! cool.png

That is high praise indeed. Thank you very much for your comments, it's appreciated. :)
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I was firmly in your clutches back about chapter three. The first time I remember reacting this way to writing, i.e. nail-biting, edge of chair, palpitations, was The Day of the Jackal, probably before you were born. I literally couldn't put the book down and stayed up until dawn in order to finish it. There have been very few since then until tonight. I am still short of breath. The fight, the marathon escape and finally relief at making it to the estate. BUT you had to add a final zinger, the assassin. I don't think I could have survived a cliffhanger. You are a rarity, such writing, and such awesome respect for the language.

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On 10/25/2012 09:42 AM, stanollie said:
I was firmly in your clutches back about chapter three. The first time I remember reacting this way to writing, i.e. nail-biting, edge of chair, palpitations, was The Day of the Jackal, probably before you were born. I literally couldn't put the book down and stayed up until dawn in order to finish it. There have been very few since then until tonight. I am still short of breath. The fight, the marathon escape and finally relief at making it to the estate. BUT you had to add a final zinger, the assassin. I don't think I could have survived a cliffhanger. You are a rarity, such writing, and such awesome respect for the language.
Thank you very much for your comments. It is fantastic to find an appreciation in my readership; yours is the sort of reaction I hope for, that gives me such fulfillment from my endeavour.

 

If my memory serves, Day of the Jackal was published not long after De Gaulle's era, in the 1970s some time. I did read it when I was at high school, though at that age my understanding of the themes in it was much less advanced. It is a wonderful coincidence that you mention this, as the name and heritage of one of Hidden Sunlight's villains were chosen as a homage (and allusion) to this very book!

 

Nonetheless, to be placed on a scale with respect to works of that same calibre is very humbling. Once again, thank you.

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I'm just gonna say... YOU ARE A BITCH! don't you ever do that again to us! EVER... :P thanks for not killing Mira :')

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On 01/08/2013 10:39 PM, Manu said:
I'm just gonna say... YOU ARE A BITCH! don't you ever do that again to us! EVER... :P thanks for not killing Mira :')
Can't promise that I won't do *anything* like that again.

 

You are most welcome ^_^

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