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Authors: Chris Walley

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The Shadow and Night

BOOK: The Shadow and Night
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The Shadow and Night

Copyright © 2002, 2004 by Chris Walley. All rights reserved.

Cover illustration copyright © 2004 by Mel Grant. All rights reserved.

Designed by Dean H. Renninger

Edited by James Cain and Linda Washington

Previously published in 2002 as
The Shadow at Evening
by Authentic Publishing, Milton Keynes, England, and in 2004 by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. under ISBN 1-4143-0067-0.

Previously published in 2002 as
The Power of the Night
by Authentic Publishing, Milton Keynes, England, and in 2004 by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. under ISBN 1-4143-0068-9.

The Shadow and Night
first published in 2006.

Scripture quotations are taken from the
Holy Bible,
New International Version®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons living or dead is entirely coincidental and beyond the intent of either the author or publisher.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Walley, Chris.

[Shadow at evening]

The shadow and night / Chris Walley.

v. cm. — (The lamb among the stars ; bk. 1)

Contents: Shadow at evening — Power of the night.

ISBN-13: 978-1-4143-1327-6 (hardcover : alk. paper)

ISBN-10: 1-4143-1327-6 (hardcover : alk. paper)

1. Christian fiction, American. 2. Science fiction, American. [1. Christian life—Fiction.

2. Science fiction.] I. Walley, Chris. Power of the night. II. Title.

PZ7.W159315Sf 2006

[Fic]—dc22 2006016655

For my parents

For my parents-in-law, with gratitude

On the basis of ecological or theological ideas that are

not to be lightly dismissed, many people believe that

this present world will end shortly.

But supposing, in this or some other universe, it doesn't?

And I will show you something different from either

Your shadow at morning striding behind you

Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;

I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

T. S. Eliot

The Waste Land

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Prologue

Maps and Timeline

Part One: The Shadow at Evening

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Part Two: The Power of the Night

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

Acknowledgments

The idea for the
Lamb and Stars
Sequence originated in Beirut in the early 1980s as I read Iain Murray's fascinating
The Puritan Hope
(Banner of Truth, 1971) during a rather noisy part of the Lebanese Civil War. The encouragement to persist with this project during its inordinately long gestation period came from many sources, most notably my wife, Alison, and in later years, my sons, John and Mark. I would also like to thank my U.S. editors, Linda Washington and James Cain, and all the staff at Tyndale.

Prologue

L
isten!

This is the tale of how, at last, evil returned to the Assembly of Worlds, and how one man, Merral Stefan D'Avanos, became caught up in the fight against it.

But to tell Merral's tale we must begin with the Seeding of the planet of Farholme in the year of our Lord 3140. Eleven hundred years have passed since the long-prophesied incoming of all the children of Abraham and the spiritual renewals of the Great Intervention ended the shadowed ages of the human race. A thousand years have slipped by since the victory at Centauri ended the Rebellion and brought a final peace to the Assembly. Nearly nine hundred years have elapsed since the first of the interstellar seeding expeditions.

The location of the Seeding is approximately three hundred and fifty light-years from humanity's home planet, the blue world that is already becoming known as “Ancient Earth.” Here, the long, gray, glinting needle of the Remote Seeder Ship
Leviathan-D
comes to rest around the dazzling whiteness of the cloud-wrapped second world out from the star so far known only as Stellar Object NWQ-15AZ.

Here the vast ship hangs for months, its pitted hull bearing the faded and scarred portrayal of the Lamb Triumphant on the Field of Stars, the emblem of the Assembly of Worlds. The ship spins leisurely on its axis as it watches, analyzes, and calculates every aspect of the sterile and still-nameless world beneath it.

Three times a plate slides open on one of the needle's six sides and ejects a probe. The first swings around the planet in a spiral orbit, mapping every boulder on its surface through the billows of gas and dust. The next two plunge down into the savage clouds and return days later, battered, charred, and corroded, but bearing samples of rock and atmosphere.

There is no haste. After all, on the timescale its makers work on, weeks are nothing. Patiently, the
Leviathan-D
continues to watch, listen, and gather ever more data. It measures the orbital variation of the planet to centimeters. It looks at the local sun in all the ways known to humanity and scrutinizes its output on every wavelength. It stretches out thin, sail-like extrusions to sift the dust in the space around the planet. It maps and forecasts for twenty thousand years ahead the trajectories of the largest million rock fragments within the system's debris belts. And as they hang above the endlessly simmering cloudscape, the ship's computers whisper and sing to each other as they process the data, predicting, discussing, and debating in learned imitation of the flesh and blood that made them.

The results are marginal. Positively, the spectrum, intensity, and variation of the radiation from NWQ-15AZ; the planet's orbital eccentricity; and the value of its gravitational field are within acceptable limits. As these are unalterable, this is good news. Negatively, the meteorite flux is too high, the axis of rotation too tilted, and the speed of rotation too fast. Adaptable as humans are, no civilization has ever thrived on days shorter than twenty hours and here they are only sixteen. However these things, and the sterile nitrogen and carbon dioxide atmosphere, can be altered. After further debate, the circuits reach agreement. If the Everlasting wills it, another home will be made here for humanity.

Now on
Leviathan-D
the quiet hum of long-inactive machinery starts up again. Smoothly, the vast needle breaks into two unequal parts. From the larger segment, a hexagonal disk detaches itself from the end and slides away to one side. The two halves of the needle rejoin to form a ship now a tenth shorter. The segment formed from their splitting begins to expand outward evenly, creating a six-sided aperture at its heart. As an unshielded Below-Space Gate, this hole will be the key to the future of this new world. With it, no subsequent ship will have to make the six-hundred-year-long sublight-speed journey of the
Leviathan-D.
If the Seeding goes as predicted, and this savage world is tempered enough for humanity, then long millennia hence, machinery and mechanisms to build a greater Gate with a shielded opening will come through it. Through that, in turn, will come men and women.

BOOK: The Shadow and Night
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