In the 23rd century people have long since fled Earth for the controlled environments of space stations. Only a few miners and the poor remain on the home planet. Ironically, several generations of existence in a completely controlled environment has finally resulted in the birth of a number of children who suffer from "The Syndrome" -- a disability that so weakens them that they cannot even breathe without extensive technical support. Syndrome children spend their lives encased in cybersuits and do not live past the age of nine. Devon Adair, who comes from a family of technological mandarins and who has made her own fortune building space stations, has an eight-year-old Syndrome child, Ulysses. Convinced that it is the "absence of what nature can provide -- an absence of Earth"[1] that causes The Syndrome, Devon has organized The Eden Project to take 250 Syndrome families 22 light years away to colonize the planet G889.

The pilgrims expect to find an idyllic Eden they have named "New Pacifica" but due to an only vaguely explained sabotage of the advance ship, they land on the wrong side of the planet and much of their technological support turns up missing for various reasons. The crew members of the ship who did not intend to stay and the advance party of settlers are stranded together in a semi-arid desert. They believed the planet would be uninhabited by other sentient beings, but they will encounter three indigenous life forms and other human inhabitants who had been exiled there for various crimes.

The most advanced of the indigenous races are the Terrians who literally live in the earth.

closeup of terrianterrian pair
Terrians are tribal creatures who live underground and count among their powers the ability to travel through solid earth. They have two primary modes of communication: through a trilling, almost whale-like song, and through dreams. Unlike humans, they don't view themselves as individuals, but rather as extensions of the planet, whose molecular composition is virtually indistinguishable from their own. Thus they often think and move in unison, as if controlled by a single mind. They are peaceful beings, but will act ruthlessly to protect the planet, which they consider their "mother." Their weapon of choice is the lightning staff -- a wooden pole topped with a rare mineral that channels and directs electrical energy from the planet into bolts of lightning[2].
There is much in Earth2; that seems inspired by various indigenous tribes of the Pacific islands. The Terrians, seemingly caked with the earth, are perhaps purposefully reminiscent of New Guinea mud people. Their dream plane, in which they communicate with humans who cannot understand their trilling language, is somewhat like Australian Aborigine Dreamtime[3].

Terrian symbiosis with what may be a sentient land goes beyond identification and husbandry. In the eleventh program, "Better Living Through Morganite, Part I," Dr. Julia Heller does an analysis of some glowing rocks that we have seen the Terrians creating through a ritual involving their lightning staffs -- she discovers neural-like cells. She thinks that the Terrians and the planet may be one species and the veins of glowing rock may be neural cells.

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