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In the great commons at Gaia's Landing we have a tall and particularly beautiful stand of white pine, planted at the time of the first colonies. It represents our promise to the people, and to Planet itself, never to repeat the tragedy of Earth.

~ Lady Deirdre Skye,

"Planet Dreams"

Gaia's Stepdaughters is a Alpha Centauri faction.

Description[ | ]

The Gaians are determined not to repeat the environmental mistakes of old Earth. They seek to live at peace with Planet. They start out with the Centauri Ecology technology and advanced abilities to interact with the native life, including the ability to move freely through xenofungus squares and gather extra nutrients from fungus. Their empathy with Planet gives them the ability to place ravaging wild mind worms directly under their control. Their experience with recycling systems makes their bases more efficient, but their pacifist leanings undermine the abilities of their military units, and they resent police control in times of crisis. Because of negative environmental consequences, the Gaians can not make the “Free Market Economics” social choice.

History[ | ]

Among the Unity colonists there were many who had suffered in (and fought against) the ecological catastrophes of Earth, and who were determined not to see the same happen on Planet. These "greens" found a natural leader in Deirdre Skye, the mission's Chief Botanist/Xenobiologist.

Skye was a formidable scientist and engineer, having designed not only the starship's greenhouses, but also many of the genetically altered plants that lived in them. Skye managed to save many of the hybrid strains she had developed, and gave them a new home on Planet. With her went many colonists who had worked with her in the past, or who simply agreed with her ethical position. After landing, Skye and her followers were among the first to build a strongly unified faction based on ideology. Before long, the other factions were calling them "Gaia's Stepdaughters," a label intended in scorn, but which the Gaians accepted with pride.

Beliefs[ | ]

The Gaians are committed environmentalists. They believe that in order to survive and prosper, human beings must find ways to work within Planet's natural ecosystems. They constantly seek ways to pursue agricultural and industrial development without harming native life.

Many faction members are accomplished scientists and engineers, committed to a life of rational inquiry. Even so, the Gaians have developed a richly spiritual culture. Reverence for Planet does not (quite) rise to the level of a formal religion, but many Gaians do engage in meditation and spiritual exercises designed to bolster their devotion. Lady Deirdre tries to avoid any appearance of acting as a "high priestess," but even she has written a number of pseudo-religious works that are used by her people.

Relations With Other Factions[ | ]

The Gaians are a pacifistic faction, willing to deal with most others so long as they are left alone to pursue their own ideals. Their democratic leanings make them likely partners for the Peacekeepers and (sometimes) the Data Angels.

The Gaians oppose any faction which moves to "exploit" Planet. They are bitter foes of the Morganites, and also disapprove of the Free Drones' aggressive industrial development.

Relations between the Gaians and the Planet Cult are surprisingly ambivalent. The two factions share a devotion to Planet's natural ecology, but the Planet Cult is far too aggressive and dogmatic for Skye and her followers to be comfortable with. Skye is usually willing to deal with the Cultists, but she is always careful to keep them at arm's length.

Strengths[ | ]

The Gaians have exceptional skill in the biological sciences. This allows them to run their bases with superb efficiency. It also gives them an advantage when dealing with Planet's native ecology. Gaians quickly learn how to survive in Planet's wilderness, including the vast fields of xenofungus. They also find that their activities are less likely to trigger a violent response from Planet. They are among the first to discover the potential of psionics, discovering early on how to "capture" mind worms and similar native life forms.

Weaknesses[ | ]

The Gaians are pacifists. They make poor soldiers, lacking a strong sense of military discipline and neglecting weapons technologies. Their mistrust of coercion extends to their own society as well. The Gaians have a strong preference for open democracy, and so are unable to use harsh methods to deal with social unrest.

As a result of their ideology, the Gaians are often slow to pursue industrial development. Gaians must often make do with less, especially in battle.

Lifestyle[ | ]

The Gaians might not pursue opulent luxuries, but they do have a strong sense of aesthetics. Gaian bases are among the most beautiful on Planet, full of sunlight, lush gardens, and tasteful works of art.

Personal quarters tend to be small but comfortable, while public spaces are large and designed for constant use. Most Gaian art is public in nature: murals, carefully designed gardens, or performances of music and drama. Gaian communities are arranged along democratic lines, with most decisions in the hands of an elected Council. Although Lady Deirdre holds an unelected position of supreme leadership, she is more a constitutional monarch than a dictator. Her own instincts prompt her to provide moral leadership while listening to the faction Council and leaving most day-to-day administration in its hands.

The lower levels of Gaian society are informal, with each work team electing its own leader as needed. The military alone has a strict hierarchy of command, but then the Gaian military is a relatively small institution. Gaian society is unique among Planet's factions in its near-matriarchal structure. In theory, the Gaians practice complete gender equality, with men and women sharing all aspects of community life. In practice, a noticeable majority of Gaian leaders are women, from Lady Deirdre all the way down to first level work-team leaders. The Gaians themselves aren't certain why this is, since few of them consciously engage in gender discrimination.

In public, Gaian citizens normally wear simple and functional clothing, often with the faction's "thorned rose" insignia displayed in the form of a pin or a brooch. In private, they are more relaxed, wearing whatever seems most comfortable or attractive. Gaian equipment is relatively scarce, but it is usually designed for high reliability and it is always well maintained.

Strategies[ | ]

Colony names[ | ]

Land[ | ]

  • Gaia's Landing
  • Gaia's High Garden
  • Forest Primeval
  • Children of Earth
  • Vale of Winds
  • Mindworm Pass
  • Blackroot Palace
  • Greenhouse Gate
  • Razorbeak Wood
  • Last Rose of Summer
  • Lucky Autumn
  • Dreams of Green
  • The Pines
  • Velvetgrass Point
  • Song of Planet
  • Nessus Shining
  • Silverbird Park
  • Fallow Time
  • Autumn Grove
  • The Flowers Preach
  • Resplendent Oak
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Virgin Soil
  • Garden of Paradise
  • Thorny Vineyard
  • Chiron Preserve
  • Memory of Earth

Sea[ | ]

  • Garden of the Deep
  • Deirdre's Fishery
  • Water Garden
  • Ocean Flower
  • Falling Water
  • Great Lagoon
  • Sea Cradle