By Jack L. Chalker
The final nice conflict of the Hellgates has been gained and Flux and Anchor are at peace—for now. yet a person has chanced on the main to the magic of Flux. in the event that they reach harnessing this fearsome energy, the fragile stability should be destroyed. Who will stand whilst the horror of Flux is unleashed?
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They seldom if ever cooperated or even met with each other unless to meet a common threat, and then only for the duration of the emergency. New Eden had shaken both Flux and Anchor to its core. Civil war within the Church for decades followed by its collapse in the face of the Invasion from the stars caused a total breakdown in the Anchors. The Church collapsed when met with incontrovertible evidence that it was false, leaving no social or cultural foundation. Everyone who ever had a grievance against the Church or the system and could find adherents tried to grab power; theory contested theory, and resulted in civil wars within the various Anchors themselves.
A few independent and small Fluxlands remained, of course, but there was none of the ancient sense of permanence about them. The most independent and flourishing ones were in the broad gaps between the northern clusters, although a few, like the Freehold, were in the midst of the expanding states and held because they were sparsely populated regions inhabited entirely by families of powerful wizards. Some of the new technology, however, was denied everyone. The big amps had been deactivated when the first settlements of the ancient ones collapsed; Coydt had discovered a way to tap the tremendous power differently and had used them again.
They can't own property or inherit, can't get the training and skills to hold down a professional job, can't hold office, be a church official, or even get a divorce. " "Yep, it's crazy, all right, but it's also a secure system. It may be a waste and it may be wrong, but it works, just like the old Church system worked and like many of the crazy Fluxlands work. And, you got to think of the pragmatic side. " "Huh? " "Well, think about it. Now, say you're a woman who feels this system's unfair, and there are probably lots of them.