By Barrington J. Bayley
From the Garlowe Clusters within the north to the Veils of Darkness within the south, the big name state sprawled over approximately a 5th of the galaxy. So large used to be this realm that those that tussled for strength over it appeared not able to understand that it confronted annihilation by way of the Patch, a roving zone of surprising pseudo-energy a light-year throughout which tired the life-force from any dwelling factor it encountered.
The Patch had moved into the dominion and used to be systematically feeding on procedure after procedure. Cynically unperturbed through the appalling demise, the royal homes in basic terms attempted to contain the Patch of their machinations, to the level that civil struggle broke out once more. yet within the occasion, the Patch used to be to supply the the most important think about the fight for absolute energy. The Annihilation Factor!
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He cited case after case of the arbitrary misuse of power, the helplessness of employees in the face of the law, the contemptuous overriding of individual values. All this was routine. He had a tiny but efficient bureau which spent its time doing nothing but collecting such examples. He contrasted the standard of life their earnings could buy with the rivers of wealth their productive labors turned out. “But we have no machinery, plant or processes,” a middle-aged man objected feebly. “Aren’t the owners of the machinery and so on entitled to that wealth?
Authority takes away your individuality. Authority prevents you from taking what nature offers. Authority forces you to work for a master, in filth, grime and depressing monotony. The state is the instrument of authority. The only path to freedom is to annihilate authority! ” He let that sink in. This lecture was only a preliminary to the full force of his anarchic, nihilistic philosophy. They could not be expected to take it all at once. But looking around him, he saw that his message had gone home with most of them.
He jetted down toward the opening, followed by the others. As he dropped through the gaping hole a neutron beam hummed past him, barely brushing his armor and making it glow cherry red. Somebody was using a depleted power pack, he told himself as his own weapon sent a much stronger beam in reply. There was a scuffling noise ahead as the reception party retreated. Jundrak found that beyond the bulkhead the tunnel split into four. All the new tunnels were in darkness. From their lay-out, however, and from the direction in which he had heard the scuffling, he guessed down which one the main quarters lay.