Secret Project: The Planetary Transit System

“As distances vanish and the people can flow freely from place to place, society will cross a psychological specific heat boundary and enter a new state. No longer a solid or liquid, we have become as a vapor and will expand to fill all available space. And like a gas, we shall not be easily contained.”

— Sister Miriam Godwinson, “But for the Grace of God”

As the video makes clear, the Planetary Transit System is a massive infrastructure project that binds the populace of the bases of the faction together.  In the game, it can be built with Industrial Automation and has the effect of increasing the population of every base to at least three.  The base can only shrink below this if there are not enough nutrients to support three population in the base.

As long as the base is small, the Planetary Transit System also reduces the number of drones in the base.  This models the fact that being stationed out in the middle of nowhere isn’t nearly as bad if you can hop on the equivalent of the subway and get back to civilization cheaply and easily.

This really improves the growth rate of a faction that’s aggressively expanding wide (creating lots of small bases) as opposed to trying to build tall (building relatively fewer, larger bases).  Sister Miriam’s quote makes it clear that she understands this effect.  In canon, given that we can assume that she built this project, her Believers are almost assuredly executing a wide strategy.  This makes a lot of sense, as that makes the best use of her support bonus while minimizing industrial concentration that would trigger her Planet penalty.

It’s also interesting that we again see Sister Miriam thinking and speaking in scientific terms here.  The analogy to states of matter is interesting.  In some ways, it echoes Brother Lal’s previous musing at Doctrine: Mobility about the effect on society of the change in perspective inherent in rapid motion.  Here, Miriam is claiming that reducing the friction in movement between place to place will not only provide practical benefits, but will also change the mentality of the faction as a whole.

But I think that it is more interesting still how confident Sister Miriam is in the righteousness of human colonization of this new planet.  Her philosophy is much more human-centered than many of the others, which makes sense for a leader who finds inspiration in the past.  As such, she sees the purpose of colonization as in spreading the glory of this New Jerusalem her and her followers are building as far and as wide as possible.

This makes an especially stark contrast to the Gaians.  One can imagine Lady Deirdre ordering the construction of the infrastructure implied by this project, but only in an attempt to minimize the impact of the necessary travel on the ecology of Planet.  She would be horrified by the idea of her people somehow crossing a specific heat boundary and spilling out of their containment to loot and plunder the precious natural resources of this alien world.

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