Jump to content
  • Members Can Sign Up For Content Notifications

    Do you want to be automatically notified of updates to your favorite content?  Join now for free and follow your favorite stuff!

    Stellar
  • Author
  • 1,140 Words
  • 6,538 Views
  • 43 Comments

Hidden Sunlight - 21. Epilogue

In the year 2104 A.D., on Thursday February 14, a hitherto unknown disease appeared in a quiet suburban neighbourhood of the provincial city of Palatus, a western hub in the Capital Arm region of the continent Aurum, on the planet Lucere. This disease was an extremely transmissible mutation, known initially as the Valentine's Sickness and then forever after as the Sharpe virus, named for the doctor that described the first cases. Humanity was unprepared to deal with a thing of such uncompromising strength and horror.

After six days, the planet's military was forced to destroy the city of Palatus to contain the situation.

Within two weeks, it had escaped the provincial boundary of Palatus.

After a month, the virus had seeded itself in Argentum and Pyropus, the other inhabited continents of Lucere.

At six weeks, the planetary capital of Lucere fell.

Within two months, outbreaks were occurring on new worlds.

Within four months, all thirteen human colonies were infected.

On Obsidia, the mining cartels and corporate sponsors deployed their best security to aid the civilian defence. The fighting was confined, protracted and bloody; as many deaths were caused by industrial sabotage and human crossfire as by the mutant creatures themselves.

On Silenus II, the sprawling idyllic agrarian utopia and open landscape was ill-suited to respond to any true large-scale emergency. The populace was crushed rapidly, and the government fell after two weeks of hopeless struggle.

On Alemas Alesmaweyh, the federally mandated rule of secular law collapsed into abeyance. Society returned to the still-dominant culturally-prevalent roots of Islam, and in a zealous fervour, the Sunni and Shia united in a jihadi crusade against the demonic ill which was threatening their home. The fight was spirited and brave, but quickly came to nothing, the conflict raging intensely but fruitlessly, at last devolving into a nuclear cauterisation. Large sections of the planet's surface were laid to waste by mankind's fire, as the ultimate solution was committed.

On Uncama's Garden, the disease provoked a resurgence of African tribalism. The population spread far in superstitious fear, breaking into ever smaller groups that sought refuge in the exotic jungle wilds. Unwittingly, they prolonged their end by doing so, this colony lasting longer than any of the others barring one, before the survivors became too few and far between, succumbing to the predators that hunted their world.

The Sanqing Three performed an organised and brutal defence, supposing that their forethought would give them the means to endure. Taiqing fell first, and Shangqing next, though the extensive coastal cities and winding complex streetways were heavily fortified and littered with millions of dead before the end. The mountainous planet of Yuqing lasted another three months, bastions of humanity hidden in the peaks before starvation and the inescapable nature of the virus caught up.

On Hawking III and Annuit Coeptis, the infection came later than other colonies, and preparation had been made. Yet, the refugee trains and safe zones established in geographic isolation nearer to the polar regions were the first places to be infected. With horror the planetary administration could only watch as the virus emerged from the supposed havens and accelerated towards the exposed populace, now left with no place to run or hide.

On Amateru, communication was rapidly cut with every world barring Earth, fearing the smallest ounce of contact would be enough to spark unrest and misfortune. The first cases began in a remote marine weather station on Shibiki Island. The director of operations recognised it immediately and requested the station be destroyed. Amateru's airforce bombed the facility with thermobaric charges and the crisis was halted. However, it made little difference, as the decoy had been sufficient. The virus began anew in the southwestern cities a week later, seeming to magically teleport itself across the landscape, unhindered by the act of self-sacrifice.

On Tierra de Esperanza, the roots of the virus went unnoticed as it coincided with a particularly unpleasant local malaria-imitation. It had consumed several remote rural stations in the western continent's backwater before emergency services could properly respond. It was identified for what it was, but by then the contagion was already uncontrollable.

On Prasada, the bustling commerce and palatial constructions were defended for as long as possible, but the civic fortitude and practiced resilience of social industry was too little against an invisible menace.

By New Year's Day of 2105, twelve of the thirteen colonies had no humans left to speak of. It was only the origin world of Lucere where resistance persisted. This world was unique and the artifact of a lost alien race proved to be an unexpected boon. The virus found itself slowed, crippled, and forced to sleep within the human hosts as the hidden technology fought against it on all corners of the globe. Yet, it was only slowed, and the advance continued. From more than a billion people on the first day of the virus' appearance, within two years, the population had reached one percent of the former total.

So it was that the fight continued on, until in 2318, more than two centuries later, the final organised resistance to the Sharpe virus was broken. Miles Hartley, the self-styled dictator of Lucere and lynchpin to the shards of Lucere's military, was killed. With his death and the elimination of his officers, what little structure remained for the remnants of humanity upon that planet was gone. The martial rule had been tyrannical and barbaric but it was the only thing standing between the dregs of humanity and complete chaos.

However, hope remained.

In Aspira, at the spaceport, a sea of sharpelings parted. The arbiters approached, and they conversed as they did so, in their own way. Nimble perceptions scanned the charred human remains thrown from the spaceport's traffic control tower. Two humans had died here, burned and fragmented from the blast. Inspection revealed that neither of the dead were the betrayer or the corruptor, and the arbiters knew then, as they looked to the sky and the shrinking outline of the military shuttle climbing ever higher, that their pursuit was in vain. The prey had left, fleeing to a new world. The arbiters also knew that a time would come when there would be no more places to run. Today was not that day. There was work to be done here, to conquer the blight and subsume what was left.

Lucere was not yet ready.

Elsewhere, kilometres away from the capital in a hidden place, hours after the supernova in Aspira's sky, something was happening. The invisible wash of energy had shaken free the shackles of the Sharpe virus, and in the dark of where they lay, the two sat up. They were awakened, alive and clean; human and reborn. Restored and remade on a dead world. Given life, once more, by the miracle of hidden sunlight.

Now, here you are -- you have finished Hidden Sunlight. Relax though, as this is only the end for now. There will be more to come, I promise.

In the mean while, I would encourage you to visit the forum thread and check out my post here.

Copyright © 2013 Stellar; All Rights Reserved.

Story Discussion Topic

Open Club · 24 members · Last active

A fan club for Stellar to chat about his stories

Recommended Comments

Chapter Comments



This was a Awesome story. Really like it and hope to read more. And remember...publish, publish, publish! This would make a great book. :2thumbs:

  • Like 3
Link to comment

This was a fantastic story and i am so happy to see that you plan on revisiting it again. I want to see what happens to Shay, Mira and Konstantin. I also want to see what happens to Lucerne and how it will recover. This is an amazing story and I'm sorry to see it finished, but hopefully we will be able to come back and read obout upcoming adventures of this trio.. Shay is coming home and Konstantin finally gets to see earth. The perfect ending.

  • Like 1
Link to comment

I am so glad I took the time to read this. It was undoubtedly one of the greatest things I have read on this site. I really encourage you to look at publication. It wasn't just a love story and it wasn't just a sci-fi novel. It was the wondrous marriage between the two and your attention to detail and mapping out just how everything worked was amazing. And you didn't bog down the reader with all the detail either. It was truly fabulous and I can't wait for whatever your next project might be. I have a feeling that even the sequel will be something not quite the same as what Hidden Sunlight was. There's a lot of promise and I will wait - mostly patiently - for you to come around and write more. Thank you for this! You should definitely be recommended for a feature I think! Hidden Sunlight is one of those things that just needs to be read.

 

Great job and all the best!

MYIEGE

Link to comment
On 07/18/2013 06:57 AM, Llina said:
This was a Awesome story. Really like it and hope to read more. And remember...publish, publish, publish! This would make a great book. :2thumbs:
Thank you! I'm very glad you enjoyed it. :) Publishing is the goal, at some point. I would certainly love to see it as a book.
Link to comment
On 07/18/2013 07:26 AM, Daithi said:
This was a fantastic story and i am so happy to see that you plan on revisiting it again. I want to see what happens to Shay, Mira and Konstantin. I also want to see what happens to Lucerne and how it will recover. This is an amazing story and I'm sorry to see it finished, but hopefully we will be able to come back and read obout upcoming adventures of this trio.. Shay is coming home and Konstantin finally gets to see earth. The perfect ending.
Oh, there is more to come, as I have said. The tale cannot end there, for this is no true ending, only a temporary one.

 

I am glad you enjoyed it. I trust you will enjoy the sequel when it comes.

Link to comment
On 07/18/2013 11:33 AM, said:
I am so glad I took the time to read this. It was undoubtedly one of the greatest things I have read on this site. I really encourage you to look at publication. It wasn't just a love story and it wasn't just a sci-fi novel. It was the wondrous marriage between the two and your attention to detail and mapping out just how everything worked was amazing. And you didn't bog down the reader with all the detail either. It was truly fabulous and I can't wait for whatever your next project might be. I have a feeling that even the sequel will be something not quite the same as what Hidden Sunlight was. There's a lot of promise and I will wait - mostly patiently - for you to come around and write more. Thank you for this! You should definitely be recommended for a feature I think! Hidden Sunlight is one of those things that just needs to be read.

 

Great job and all the best!

MYIEGE

Thank you! I will CC a more detailed response in your forum thread reply.
Link to comment
On 07/19/2013 09:08 AM, Stephen said:
What a long, strange trip it's been. - I loved every moment of it.

 

Thanks so much!

Long, definitely. Strange, you bet.

 

I am glad you enjoyed it and certainly hope you will be around for whatever comes in the future!

Link to comment

This story is so incredible! It's more than worthy of publication and I urge you as others have to give it a shot. You truly have an amazing talent for capturing the heart of your characters and so fluidly letting the story tell itself. I can't wait to see what future projects you have in store for us, whatever they may be.

Link to comment

Everything every one has said times ( X ) ten. The beginning pulled me in. The chapters lead me ever on. The end was satisfying to the extreme. With a little taste what might come. I will wait as long as it takes for more of your artistry. Best wishes and many thanks.

Link to comment
On 07/20/2013 01:53 PM, nfinitesky said:
This story is so incredible! It's more than worthy of publication and I urge you as others have to give it a shot. You truly have an amazing talent for capturing the heart of your characters and so fluidly letting the story tell itself. I can't wait to see what future projects you have in store for us, whatever they may be.
Publication has been on my mind, though first I would need to wrap my head around the ways and means and so forth, for what purposes I'd find most suitable.

 

I thank you for your high consideration of my work :) I take a lot of satisfaction from knowing readers such as yourself have enjoyed Hidden Sunlight. I trust you will enjoy what I next produce - at this stage it is looking most likely to be a Book Two.

Link to comment

This was an awesome story. Hope you publish this, and hope there is a book 2 to this. Really amazing story. :2thumbs:

Link to comment

Stellar, thank you so much for this fantastic story. I enjoyed every aspect of it, from the plot and characters, to the morals and the writing. Definitely the best-written story I have read on here for a couple of years.

Please please please, let there be more!

Link to comment
On 07/23/2013 06:02 AM, xncrzy said:
This was an awesome story. Hope you publish this, and hope there is a book 2 to this. Really amazing story. :2thumbs:
Thank you so much :) Yes to there being a Book Two. Publication is just a possibility I'll have to look into, nothing more at this stage.
Link to comment
On 07/21/2013 03:10 PM, sandrewn said:
Everything every one has said times ( X ) ten. The beginning pulled me in. The chapters lead me ever on. The end was satisfying to the extreme. With a little taste what might come. I will wait as long as it takes for more of your artistry. Best wishes and many thanks.
There was some concern that a few might think the ending was not what it should be, but there is always that desire to be all things to all people, and that sentiment must never bow to the artist's integrity.

 

Nonetheless, I am glad that it resonated with you! As I have stated in several places, yes there will be more. The tale certainly is not done here, not by half.

 

Thank you for reading.

Link to comment
On 07/23/2013 11:29 PM, Bleu said:
Stellar, thank you so much for this fantastic story. I enjoyed every aspect of it, from the plot and characters, to the morals and the writing. Definitely the best-written story I have read on here for a couple of years.

Please please please, let there be more!

Thank you, my friend. I am glad to have you as a reader and do appreciate your kind words and support. :) Rest assured, there will be more! It *is* planned.
Link to comment

It has been a while since I browsed the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section of Gay Authers. A review over at Jay Gordon's site lead me to another story here. After reading that story, I came upon Hidden Sunlight.

 

I was captured with the first chapter.

 

You could have stopped at the end of Chapter 20. But NOoooo! You had to include an epilogue. That alone left so many questions unanswered, that I just knew there would have to be a Book II. It practically shouted it out!

 

At the least, I should mention the treatment of the relationship between Shay and Mira... It was exquisitely done. Titillating, provocative, yet still and all, private. As such intimate aspects of our lives are.

 

Rob, your treatment of the characters, the style, the measured pace, the use of the English language, have captivated me. In all, it reminds me of a combination of several of the best Sci-Fi authors. Would it be presumptuous of me to place you among such great story tellers as Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey, Larry Niven and David Weber?

 

You have a fan.

Link to comment
On 08/02/2013 01:00 AM, Ordu378 said:
It has been a while since I browsed the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section of Gay Authers. A review over at Jay Gordon's site lead me to another story here. After reading that story, I came upon Hidden Sunlight.

 

I was captured with the first chapter.

 

You could have stopped at the end of Chapter 20. But NOoooo! You had to include an epilogue. That alone left so many questions unanswered, that I just knew there would have to be a Book II. It practically shouted it out!

 

At the least, I should mention the treatment of the relationship between Shay and Mira... It was exquisitely done. Titillating, provocative, yet still and all, private. As such intimate aspects of our lives are.

 

Rob, your treatment of the characters, the style, the measured pace, the use of the English language, have captivated me. In all, it reminds me of a combination of several of the best Sci-Fi authors. Would it be presumptuous of me to place you among such great story tellers as Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey, Larry Niven and David Weber?

 

You have a fan.

Thank you so much for your comments :) I am truly honoured (and flattered) to be considered worthy of the company in which you place me.

 

I always knew, even as I began writing it, that this was going to take more than a single book to tell. The epilogue was intended to serve as a summary of what had gone and also as a hint to the future.

 

The core relationship of Hidden Sunlight has been immensely satisfying to write. Particularly Mira, whom I have fallen a bit in love with myself during the course of things. All my characters are quite real to me, but those from this particular prose seem to be more so than most.

 

It has been a fantastic experience for me, and my first real opportunity to put my skills forth for public examination and consumption, as it were. So again, I thank you for taking the time to let me know what you think, it is very much appreciated.

Link to comment

This has to be the most enthralling and entertaining story I have had to pleasure to read in some time. (To put that statement in context, I am 70 years old and have been reading science fiction since in my very early teens.) The development of the characters and the plot are wonderful. Your writing abilities are such a pleasure to read and the story line is so fascinating that your assurance that there will be additional stories is heart warming indeed.

Please heed those that urge you to publish as this story deserves to reach as wide an audience as possible and you deserve the recognition of the caliber of writer that you are.

Thanks so very much for the story and truly, I am awaiting the next addition with great anticipation.

Do take care,

Jimmy

Link to comment
On 08/04/2013 09:20 AM, KansasJimmy said:
This has to be the most enthralling and entertaining story I have had to pleasure to read in some time. (To put that statement in context, I am 70 years old and have been reading science fiction since in my very early teens.) The development of the characters and the plot are wonderful. Your writing abilities are such a pleasure to read and the story line is so fascinating that your assurance that there will be additional stories is heart warming indeed.

Please heed those that urge you to publish as this story deserves to reach as wide an audience as possible and you deserve the recognition of the caliber of writer that you are.

Thanks so very much for the story and truly, I am awaiting the next addition with great anticipation.

Do take care,

Jimmy

Hey Jimmy, I'm so glad I was able to give you a tale worthy of remembering. Everyone seems to be suggesting publication so I am going to give some serious thought to that (in between prep for Book 2, which is progressing slowly!)

 

Anyhow, I am thrilled to hear your response and equally happy to have been regarded so well. Thank you for reading and I do hope you stick around for the future. :)

Link to comment

Once again you turned the story and the reader on its and their respective heads with your Epilogue. It was not what I was expecting even though I had no precise image about what it would be. With this orthogonal perspective, however, you both summarized what had happened without just repeating the facts and you hinted at things to come -- and like others I say, "Thank goodness there is more to come: bring it on!"

 

Thank you for a truly compelling and engaging glimpse into your universe! :great:

 

John

Link to comment
On 09/09/2013 01:20 AM, hillj69 said:
Once again you turned the story and the reader on its and their respective heads with your Epilogue. It was not what I was expecting even though I had no precise image about what it would be. With this orthogonal perspective, however, you both summarized what had happened without just repeating the facts and you hinted at things to come -- and like others I say, "Thank goodness there is more to come: bring it on!"

 

Thank you for a truly compelling and engaging glimpse into your universe! :great:

 

John

Thank you once more! The epilogue was more or less a bit of a summary but yes, more a signpost pointing to the road ahead. Oh, but there is SO much more to come! It excites me - and intimidates me - knowing what I will have to produce to tell that story.

 

Here's to the future, indeed.

Link to comment

Wow, another two. :)

That was an unforeseen development. haha.

Superb story Stellar. You've pulled off a really awesome work of fiction and I think won a lot of fans along the way. This is the kind of story that people would pay to read. :) I'm glad that the spin offs are happening, there is so much more to this story, and you've bated the hook, we're all waiting for the next instalment.

I know this was a labour of love for you and you worked so hard to gain perfection. You should be proud, you excelled yourself and brought us all a read that gave each of us a real sensation of adventure. That is the mark of a great writer and someone that lived their work as much as wrote it. I salute you sir, this was awesome.

Link to comment
On 08/25/2014 08:24 AM, Yettie One said:
Wow, another two. :)

That was an unforeseen development. haha.

Superb story Stellar. You've pulled off a really awesome work of fiction and I think won a lot of fans along the way. This is the kind of story that people would pay to read. :) I'm glad that the spin offs are happening, there is so much more to this story, and you've bated the hook, we're all waiting for the next instalment.

I know this was a labour of love for you and you worked so hard to gain perfection. You should be proud, you excelled yourself and brought us all a read that gave each of us a real sensation of adventure. That is the mark of a great writer and someone that lived their work as much as wrote it. I salute you sir, this was awesome.

Thank you.
Link to comment

View Guidelines

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Our Privacy Policy can be found here. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..