Out in the Permeable Lands, long decades of overuse have left the fabric of reality fragile and mutable. In most places, it takes a psychic of enormous power to alter their surroundings. Not so the Permeable Lands: humans of average ability can mold reality as well as a Class 10 out there.

Living out there, as many have chosen to do, presents enough benefits and challenges to come out a wash. There’s no need to worry about building materials or food; a little thinking is enough to spawn a farmhouse and acres of crops. It takes a little more training and practice to form complex machines or gourmet foods, which has led to a thriving industry of Permeable Landers providing those services for a fee or offering training. Animals and such are harder still, but well within the capabilities of someone who puts their mind to it. So one need not worry after food or shelter out there.

On the other hand, it takes a superbly organized mind to create only the things one wants to create. Many Permeable Landers are inundated with detritus–things they create unconsciously. It’s impossible to move anything they create into places where reality has remained strong; the vast Impermeable Lands mean certain fading destruction to anything wrought from permeability. Rumors abound of people created from permeability, generations ago, who would turn to ash if they left. And then there are the stories of people thinking others into oblivion, or powerful Class 8’s enslaving entire communities.

Yes, when one moved to the Permeable Lands it was as much a gamble as anything. And Petron was gambling it would be his salvation.