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    Stellar
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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.

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Chapter Comments



When they state their relations to each other, Mira should be Shay's husband and not his brother. I mean, it would make sense that the age of consent would be lowered because the life expectancy would be a lot lower on lucure.

 

Would Konatan and Mira be considered immigrants? Would Shay? Because I don't think that they would believe Shay was born in America. Hehehe.

 

This was my second reading of Hidden Sunlight, and I enjoyed it so much.

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On 06/19/2015 03:12 AM, Hell_5pawn said:

When they state their relations to each other, Mira should be Shay's husband and not his brother. I mean, it would make sense that the age of consent would be lowered because the life expectancy would be a lot lower on lucure.

 

Would Konatan and Mira be considered immigrants? Would Shay? Because I don't think that they would believe Shay was born in America. Hehehe.

 

This was my second reading of Hidden Sunlight, and I enjoyed it so much.

I can only assume you refer to what must take place after the story is done. The answer is: no. Not only are they *not* married, but Shay would never claim they were because he's legally a minor on Earth, and all that matters is Earth's law at this point.

 

Early Veil of Shadow chapters establish that all three are considered refugees, as this more accurately describes their situation than 'immigrants'. Shay's real identity is (initially) kept hidden, because it is inexplicable to say he is from Earth without having to reveal the rest of his backstory.

 

Thank you! I'm glad you did.

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I just wanted to let you know that I adore this story. And the other day after I finished reading it a song came on the radio that was damn near perfect for Shay and Mira. My Demons by Starset. I heard it and immediately thought of this story.

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On 08/30/2015 10:42 AM, animegirl1387 said:

I just wanted to let you know that I adore this story. And the other day after I finished reading it a song came on the radio that was damn near perfect for Shay and Mira. My Demons by Starset. I heard it and immediately thought of this story.

Thank you so much for letting me know. I listened to it, and I like the song! The lyrics do fit.

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Congratulations on a splendid, exciting story. I very much admire your lively imagination. There are ideas here that I haven't come across before.

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On 09/19/2015 06:33 PM, ancientrichard said:

Congratulations on a splendid, exciting story. I very much admire your lively imagination. There are ideas here that I haven't come across before.

Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it; I strive for excellence and the broadening of minds.

 

The story is not complete though. The sequel is well underway, though I hesitate to direct anyone to read it while it is unfinished -- but it is there!

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Thank you so much fo rwriting this story. I have enjoyed reading it and the emotions it elicited were many.
I will look for the next installment, hopefully there is one? :)
Ashley D

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On 11/28/2015 11:56 PM, Ashdaw said:

Thank you so much fo rwriting this story. I have enjoyed reading it and the emotions it elicited were many.

I will look for the next installment, hopefully there is one? :)

Ashley D

Thank you for reading it.

 

The sequel is already more than half written. Hidden Sunlight is the first book of the currently unnamed series; the second is Veil of Shadow and it is slightly more than half written.

 

I would caution you here to say that although you will see more of the three surviving characters from the first book, the second is a *much* different beast, in terms of the perspectives used and what the plot encompasses.

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A couple of things:
Why did you kill Carlos?! I was starting to like him!!!
Have you published this yet? You need to. It's so good. It's like watching a movie. If you have, let me know where please.
Mira and Shay are very sweet together. I liked how they interacted with each other. However, a couple of chapters in, I found it tiring. It's like a very exclusive mutual admiration club. Yes. I know that they each feel like the other is the most wonderful and precious thing ever. I get it. Let's move on please.
I liked how each of your characters have very distinct "voices". They really came alive.
I didn't agree with how Carlos and Morgan change loyalties so fast. Though you did provide adequate explanation for it, I felt there should've been more angst and inner turmoil. Like with Morgan. Sure he didn't like his superiors and some of his companions. But bonds should've been formed anyway. He must've liked someone enough to show some hesitation on killing his former companions, even being a trained soldier. I understand it's not the point of the story. But I feel it was glossed over too much.
Overall though, I really enjoyed this. It's so well written. And I'm glad you shared this with us readers. Im just sad it took me this long to discover your work.

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On 07/06/2016 09:06 PM, Shaylan said:

A couple of things:

Why did you kill Carlos?! I was starting to like him!!!

Have you published this yet? You need to. It's so good. It's like watching a movie. If you have, let me know where please.

Mira and Shay are very sweet together. I liked how they interacted with each other. However, a couple of chapters in, I found it tiring. It's like a very exclusive mutual admiration club. Yes. I know that they each feel like the other is the most wonderful and precious thing ever. I get it. Let's move on please.

I liked how each of your characters have very distinct "voices". They really came alive.

I didn't agree with how Carlos and Morgan change loyalties so fast. Though you did provide adequate explanation for it, I felt there should've been more angst and inner turmoil. Like with Morgan. Sure he didn't like his superiors and some of his companions. But bonds should've been formed anyway. He must've liked someone enough to show some hesitation on killing his former companions, even being a trained soldier. I understand it's not the point of the story. But I feel it was glossed over too much.

Overall though, I really enjoyed this. It's so well written. And I'm glad you shared this with us readers. Im just sad it took me this long to discover your work.

Thanks for reviewing!

 

Shay and Mira's relationship is that way intentionally, and it's something I am unapologetic about. Theirs is the sort of love that very much is a mutual-appreciation society, and that sentiment will be present in some form whenever they are together. I'm sorry you didn't find that to taste.

 

As for switching loyalties: Carlos had no direct family left alive, and he hated his uncle and disliked Sofia, his cousin. It was either go along with them doing something horrendous and pile more sins onto his already guilty conscience when it came to the Shay-Esteban resemblance, or do the right thing, for once. Not a terribly difficult decision when push came to shove.

 

Morgan, on the other hand, was not quite as easy to rationalise. He knew the sort of men (and women) that he worked for were ruthless and amoral, but he also knew the consequences for deserting. There was also a good chance that double-crossing Shay, Konstantin et al, would have not helped him, as Hartley would likely see him as more of a liability and a failure at that stage. In a sense, Morgan was doomed one way or another the moment he was captured in chapter 14. I imagine some part of him knew this and embraced his future regardless -- what else could he do?

 

Nonetheless, it's hard to cover all this as thoroughly as everyone might want in the text. I'm sorry that I couldn't round it out more, but I didn't feel it would have added enough to be worthwhile.

 

I will have this published one day! Not yet, but one day. I'll let people know when I do! Thanks so much for reading, and I hope you'll check out the sequel.

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I absolutely loved this story! It has to be one of the best I have read. I also really hope to read more of Shays story. Thank you for sharing the brilliance of your imagination with all of us!

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Just finished this story a few days ago. I can only repeat all the other great things people have said about it. Enthralling, engaging, entertaining. great adventure and great science fiction. I'm on the second book now and enjoying that one too! You have some great stories to tell. These stoies are very well-written and deserve to be published (in whatever way you're comfortable with) for others to read. Thank you for the work you put in to this and for sharing it!! Best wishes and keep writing! 

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No words. I feel like Mira trying to express everything I've felt without having to write it. 

I've laughed, hated, gotten nervous, cried (oh my god, how I hated that chapter!!!!). Thank you very, very much for this rollercoaster of emotions, and please, please, please, consider publishing. This ought to be out to the wider public. There is romance, adventure, and feelings... I've devoured the book.

Now, on to the second installment!!

By the way, some of the links to the maps aren't working! :) 

Hugs from Barcelona! :joe:

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On 16/01/2018 at 10:06 AM, Dyaus said:

No words. I feel like Mira trying to express everything I've felt without having to write it. 

I've laughed, hated, gotten nervous, cried (oh my god, how I hated that chapter!!!!). Thank you very, very much for this rollercoaster of emotions, and please, please, please, consider publishing. This ought to be out to the wider public. There is romance, adventure, and feelings... I've devoured the book.

Now, on to the second installment!!

By the way, some of the links to the maps aren't working! :) 

Hugs from Barcelona! :joe:

 

Thank you so much! Nothing is more gratifying than a reader so invested in my creation. It is my intention to someday publish, though I do not know yet when and how that will come about.

 

Nonetheless I hope Veil of Shadow is equally well received.

 

(re: the maps of Aurum. I know one isn't working, there's just nothing I can do about that right now!)

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This is the first story I read wen I came on this site for the first and it made me stay loved it then still do this story will make a great blockbuster movie 🎥 if u can get a good producer and director there are no sex scenes so I don’t think 🤔 it really will be a problem because of the gay bit but den controversy makes good publicity I will definitely watch it loved it really 

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On 3/30/2017 at 3:11 PM, Lizzydolphin37 said:

I absolutely loved this story! It has to be one of the best I have read. I also really hope to read more of Shays story. Thank you for sharing the brilliance of your imagination with all of us!

 

I can't believe I never left a reply to your comment! Nonetheless, thank you for the responding. I'm thrilled you enjoyed Hidden Sunlight. There is a sequel available that continues Shay's story, if you want to find out what comes next :)

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11 hours ago, Sussins said:

This is the first story I read wen I came on this site for the first and it made me stay loved it then still do this story will make a great blockbuster movie 🎥 if u can get a good producer and director there are no sex scenes so I don’t think 🤔 it really will be a problem because of the gay bit but den controversy makes good publicity I will definitely watch it loved it really 

 

I'm so glad you stayed! Thanks for commenting. I've often thought that Hidden Sunlight would work well as a movie. Just have to find the perfect actors for my boys :)

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