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Two hundred years in the future, the Center for Humanistic Study publishes a history of the Eddan Collective, a group of anticapitalist artists and mystics who labored against what they perceived as the imminent collapse of society. The Eddans were headed by geologist Syd Niall and historian Annika Trent. Niall's research attempted to show that capitalism is a pernicious late stage in the evolution of life. Trent proclaimed herself a contemporary St. Augustine. And just as Augustine urged Romans to turn their hopes away from the empire and toward a "city of God," Trent exhorted the Eddans to model their post-apocalyptic world not on anything biological, but on the rhythms and cycles of Earth.