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Chapter 5

About 7 generations ago, a long time before people entirely jetted off into space, inventors figured out a way that a few people could draw thousands to them.  By cutting a trench of space, about 10 feet wide and as long as possible, people all along the trench would be drawn like magnets to whoever could muster the most power along the trench.   If one was willing to give up his original location, he too could have a chance at drawing others to him along the trench.  Of course, existing governments and headmen already had the most power for miles around.  The sirens call of the powerful trench drew thousands into these places.  What was once simply one place among many became the powerful capital of a whole planet.  A small group of people that before only represented the tip of a pyramid of reciprocal relationships now actually came to wield direct control over vast populations.

Governments and powerful companies of people cut these trenches long and deep across whole planets.  Everything that stood in the way of such a trench- groves, houses, shrines, temples, even mountains, all - was eliminated, erased from existence.

Imagine jumping onto a train of cars floating in such a trench.  The moment the doors close behind you, you leave behind the tangled emotions of family, village, visitors, reciprocity.  Within minutes, you zip across cities, continents even, soon to arrive in a super-city!  Here nobody knows you.  You are what you can buy.  You are what you can sell.

About 7 generations ago, the central Imperial government of Nohin sought a way to unite the people of the Empire.  They sought a way to draw together the diverse peoples of the Empire into one functioning body, a machine of interplanetary proportions.  Using these trenches of space, a million villages, a hundred worlds- vast masses of people were attracted to a few super cities.  Here, people were fast at work building machines, fertilizer, bombs.  These super cities were flattened in the galactic war three generations ago.  Thus, the Imperial efforts ended in tragedy.

Yet, following the leadership of the new Galactic Empire, the space trenches were rebuilt with an even greater gusto, and accordingly, the super cities were rebuilt even larger than before. 

Today, a traveler, lucky enough to find himself on the surface of a planet, is rarely farther than a few minutes walk from one of these space trenches.  Their magnetic pull is always close by, keeping the machines of the Empire running smoothly.
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