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  • She has a name that would be perfect for a Finnish...boy.note  Her father wanted a son instead of a daughter and therefore named her that way. Being The Un Favourite resulted in her dismissing all emotions as fickle and unreasonable. The algorithm incident was a deliberate attempt to free herself from those flaws of humanity.
    • The GURPS sourcebook gives her full name as Annikki Luttinen, which is a perfectly normal Finnish female name.

If Morgan Industries is quickly defeated as an independent faction, they continue to exist as a normal corporation.
  • Morgan's a pacifist and has natural penalties to Police and Support, so he probably doesn't last long. Perhaps he's conquered but acquitted of any potential war crimes and allowed to lead his company. Alternatively he may voluntarily submit to Lal or Zakharov, becoming a quasi-client state.
    • Or the government and business are separate entities, so when he steps down as leader of the Morganites, he just runs his megacorp.
    • It'd be kind of hard to run a corporation from the inside of a punishment sphere. The board of directors could just appoint someone else as CEO, though.
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The UN is aware that Morgan is planning to sneak on board the Unity
  • Just like some of the characters pointed out in one of the prequel novels, sneaking on board the Unity is not an easy task. You will need to have your own pod for the 40 year cold sleeps as well as an individual power supply. Although Morgan's company was been contracted to build part of the ship, it is unlikely that not a single UN official noticed that he added in the extra parts for himself. The UN is likely to be either powerless to stop him due to how critical he was to the operation, or simply decided to not do anything about it.
    • Given who he was, he might have smeared hands of anyone from the Secretary General to the lowliest floor sweeper until he made it work.
    • Or, given Morgan's proven business ecumen, the UN may have considered letting him join the colonists anyway, and simply let him make the necessary accomodations for them.

The canonical storyline is: Deirdre is the protagonist and completes the Ascent to Transcendance
Outside-of-game media aside, the interludes are clearly conversations with planet. Much of the game makes no sense if, for example, you play Miriam and have your protege meld with a mindworm boil. In addition, Miriam dies going through a flawed psi gate; Zakharov clearly goes over-the-top bananas in the aftermath of the Lab Three incident; and Santiago is defeated by the Gaians' mindworms. Less ominously, Yang and Morgan stop contributing to quotes after tech level 10 or so, having little to nothing to say about some rather momentous events. Plus, if you look at them all, an environmentalist and humanitarian who occasionally crosses the line into ecoterrorism is at least a few steps ahead of a Mad Scientist, Corrupt Corporate Executive, Knight Templar, Evil Overlord, and Colonel Kilgore. There is, of course, Lal, but some of the technology that makes the Ascent possible clearly offends his sensibilities due to its potential for abuse.
  • Made even more obvious since Deidre provides the quotations for the Ascent to Transcendence and Transcendent Thought projects.
  • Morgan stops contributing to quotes after tech level 10, but Morgan Industries keeps being quoted, implying that Morgan either retreated from the public or was ousted by T.M. Morgan-Reilly.
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    • Morgan probably surrendered to Lal and Morganites reverted to being a big company in a democracy.
  • My guess: Dierdre and Lal are Pact Sister and Brother, with Lal distinctly the junior partner, maintaining an uneasy peace with the Morganites. Morgan himself is retired, giving the responsibilities of management to his son or nephew (T.M. Morgan-Reilly). The University probably still exists, but Zakharov's post-Lab Three campaign against the mindworms earned him a Gaian-Peacekeeping "police action," with one of his underlings (Petrov, perhaps) being installed as the new Provost. Yang and Miriam are probably seriously weakened, and it would be highly realistic for them to be hated enough by the Gaians, Peacekeepers, Morganites, and University for them to be the pariah states of this world—and come to think of it, let's just compare the Hive to North Korea and the Believers to Iran.note  In the end, Dierdre Ascends, with Lal joining in (per the Pact), and Morgan goes back to recolonize Earth.
    • Equally possible is that Zakharov's rant after the Lab Three incident was just a Heroic BSoD and he got better. As he's the one who describes the events leading up to the transcendence and is the best candidate to figure out how to break the ongoing cycle, he has to have been around and instrumental to the process up until at least that point. Perhaps a tri-lateral pact between Dierdre, who was the one in tune with Planet, Lal, who had the military firepower to support the alliance without Santiago's extremism, and Zakharov, who had the scientific knowledge and logical outlook to figure the whole transcendence thing out?
      • Considering that the game allows trilateral cooperative victory and survival of surrendered factions, it is safe to assume that Lady D, Zack and Lal are the three deities of Chiron, while the others are either destroyed Santiago and Myraim, in the above mentioned fall of Sparta and transporter incident respectively or have surrendered to the pact. Morgan and Yang, who faded away quietly
      • Concerning Zak, since he aims for research, he will usually pick Knowledge and Cybernetics as a Social Model. Guess what other benefits Cybernetics has. +2 Planet (which also allows you to catch the worms, he condemned so much after the Lab Three incident). Which probably enabled him also to speak with Planet. After constructing "Voice of Planet", he is quoted from his work, which is aptly named "Planet Speaks", which is also the only quote, this work provides. Given that Cybernetics is a late-game social model, it makes sence.
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To sum up the above discussion...
Acording to in-game materials, Deirdre is the protagonist and completes the Ascent to Transcendance in a trilateral cooperative victory, with Lal and Zackharov as pact brothers, Lal being distinctly the junior partner. Morganites have surrendered, probably to Lal, reverting to Morgan Industries, a company in a democracy; and Morgan has retired, replaced by T.M. Morgan-Reilly. The Hive is a pariah state, hated by everyone else for its social choices, and disconnected from the latest events. Believers and Spartans were defeated after their leaders died in a psi gate accident and Gaian mindworm attack respectively. Zakharov has a momentary BSOD following Lab Three incident but gets better when Cybernetic Society enables him to tame mindworms; and he is instrumental in making the Voice of Planet. Deidre, Zakharov and Lal are the three deities of Chiron.

The canon fates of the faction leaders and factions are slightly different than the above.
  • Deirdre and the Gaians were the primary winners of the game, completing the Ascent to Transcendence. Her Social Engineering choices are a bit difficult but were most likely Democratic/Green/Knowledge/Cybernetic (the last's justification being the Planet and Research bonuses).
    • Deirdre's focus is on Planet, so she will most definitely run Green and Cybernetics. Other than that she'd rather spend time in her gardens rather than discuss politics or on what values Gaian society should run.
  • Zakharov and the University engaged in a titanic late-game war against the Gaians post-Lab Three. Quotes from Zakharov tend to imply they had finished out the tech tree and their Singularity Reactor, Singularity Laser-armed, Stasis Generator-shielded hovertanks and gravships took on the Gaian's mindworm boils. Planet Busters may have been involved. Eventually Zak crunches the numbers and realizes that, with the nigh-apocalyptic state of Planet in the late game (unchecked fungal blooms, enormous wild Mind Worm boils, and flooding), he's not going to win this war in time for humanity to survive. So he builds the Voice of Planet and is there at the end. Zak's Social Engineering is hard to suss - Police State seems required for the late game war and to counteract his natural Drones problem. His economy might well have been Green, if only to avoid the crippling inefficiency of Police State/Planned and the problems Free Market creates for war. At least we know he was definitely running Knowledge and Cybernetic.
    • Zakharov is apolitical and he doesn't care about economic models as well as long as they provide him with grants for his Research. So Knowledge and Cybernetics is where it's at.
  • Lal and the Peacekeepers have faded by the end game, but he is still active into the late mid game as one of his quoted works is "Mind Worm, Mind Worm", implying he is around for the discovery of the true nature of the Mind Worms and the Planetmind. Given his animosity towards Yang, they probably engaged in a war that he required Deirdre's help to win, ending up in a Pact where he is distinctly the junior partner. His Social Engineer was Democratic/Green (I imagine his preferred would be Planned but Green was the price of Deirdre's help)/Eudaimonia, with Wealth and
Knowledge being equal possibilities.
  • Lal is dedicated to the original mission. So he sees to it that the Peacekeeper settlements Grow and prosper. For this he will take Democracy, Planned and Eudaimonia. He lets the Peacekeeping community decide on which motto they run their society, but he will stall implementing Green economics as long as possible.
  • Morgan and his Industries were an economic force to the end, judging by their presence in the late-game quotes, even if Morgan himself seems to have disappeared from the quotes by the end game. Morgan's secret projects likely included the Living Refinery and the Network Backbone, so his Social Engineering is easy: Democracy (with Living Refinery countering its downside)/Free Market/Wealth/Cybernetic (which is cancelled directly by Network Backbone). He's making money hand over first. It's entirely possible, even likely, that Morgan was closing in on cornering the energy market and winning an Economic victory. He jut had his clock ran out by Deirdre.
    • Morgan pretty much has a de facto unique victory condition which was tailored for him (de facto because technically everyone else can reach it as well, but none of them can hope to outMorgan THE Morgan in his own game). Either he corners the energy market, wins and has nothing else to add, because for him there is nothing else to add. Or he loses and it's game over for him. Whether he wins or loses, he is out of the story. He will run Free Market/Wealth/Eudaimonia and just like irl pure unadulterated capitalism runs with every government.
  • Santiago and the Spartans were probably still around, but it's clear based on "The Fall of Sparta" that they had ultimately lost their war with the Gaians and had ceased to be a Great Power in contention for a victory. Santiago and Spartan Kel have a presence in the quotes into the late game, so the actual fall of Sparta Command likely came then. Most likely the Spartans hung on as a rump state. Santiago built the Cloning Vats in canon, so her Social Engineering is easy - Police State/Green/Power/Thought Control. The Cloning Vats are incredibly powerful, directly cancelling the negatives of Power and Thought Control and making the Growth penalty of Green irrelevant.
    • Santiago wants a motivated military so she will pick up everything that will boost Morale, which means Theocracy/Power/Thought Control. She doesn't care about economy as long as the money flows into military and she will avoid Eudaimonia as much as she's avoiding wealth since it creates content citizens. Which simply won't do, because a Spartan citizen must always be vigilant and contentment creates complacency.
  • Miriam and the Believers were likely in a similar situation to the Spartans (especially going by how AI Miriam usually winds up), being marginalized and no longer in contention for a victory by the late game via being on the losing ends of a war. Miriam gets a bad rap from a lot of players, but arguably many of her problems with the far future society of Planet as laid out in "We Must Dissent" are justified - almost everybody agrees that The Self-Aware Colony video is creepy as hell, and Miriam's work is basically arguing for normal humans and tradition against the Nietzschean cyborg Homo Superior supermen of the late game. Of course, she still steals those techs anyway. In any event, she's also the only one whose fate we can be absolutely sure of - at the end of her Last Testament, Miriam intentionally steps into a Psi Gate that is not attenuated to any other gate. It's not an "accident", it's suicide. Her Social Engineering was Fundamentalist/Planned/Power, and perhaps Thought Control if they made it that far.
    • Miriam may reject technology, but she must also be pragmatic in this issue, since falling too far behind may spell doom to her faction early on, no matter how zealous and eager her armies are, so she must create a perfect environment for her Probe teams to thrive and conduct operations from. So she will roll a Fundamentalist society with Thought Control as it's endgame. There is no strict dogma on Economy and Values are also free to choose from as long as it is not Knowledge.
  • Yang and the Hive are the hardest to figure out. Yang disappears from the quotes earlier than anybody, and his society is likely to be hated by just about everybody except the Spartans. Going by what we've supposed happened with the Peacekeepers, I think it's likely Yang and the Hive didn't make it to the late game, canonically being the only faction that was truly eliminated. His Social Engineering was Police State/Planned/Power, with the Hive not making it into the Future Society phase. But frankly, I think he could just as easily have been Eudaimonia as Thought Control.
    • Yang wants to Police his population. He has something to teach to his peeps and like a strict teacher will look over everyone making sure they are doing their homework properly on an hourly base, separating mind from matter and so on. So the most obvious choices are Police State and Thought Control. He won't care about values, picking them up as he sees fit for the current situation the Hive is at right now, same as for economics. While Planned is the obvious choice, he may go over to Green sometimes, but he will most definitely avoid Free Market. Same for Cybernetics. The population must be kept busy. Under no circumstances shall they be exposed to unemployment.
  • Creating models for the Add-on factions is interesting, due to the fact that their agenda and emphasis clash sometimes. It's obvious that Social Engineering was not made with them in mind, but then again, the devs probably saw it as a challenge to put some twists here and there.
    • Aki Zeta-5 is interested in seeing the Consciousness Grow in numbers. Probably to counteract that awkward Growth penalty of theirs. So they will pick Democratic and Planned and avoid Green while being flexible on values. Now here is the thing. Usually a Growth focused society would go for Eudaimonia. But given that this is the Cybernetic Consciousness they are dead set for Cybernetics of course. And given that they won't get the usual penalties that comes along with it, why shouldn't they?
    • Svensgaard wants his fleet Supported and well taken cared off. So he will go for Police State and Power. It may sound strange at first, since his faction is described as anarchic and decentralised, but it gets often alluded to ingame, that he gets pretty defensive if someone challenges his authority. And while he is the only human leader who has no ideological aversions, he will shun Democracy. He has no economic preferences and is the only leader who has no preferences in where he sees his faction in the future. As long as it is not Thought Control, of course.
    • Domai is pretty straightforward. The Industrial juggernaut wants to expand his Industry, so he will pick Planned, Wealth and Eudaimonia. The Drones are politically flexible, whether it's Proletarian Democracy, Proletarian Autocracy or Proletarian Cult, as long as Communism reigns supreme, anything goes. They will avoid Power though. To prove they are not aggressors of course, even the Drone's MIC needs to share with the Commonwealth.
    • Roze on the other hand is a little harder to explain. Especially since Probing in this game was a Miriam thing until then. Her fixation on Democracy prevents her from running a Theocracy. So far so good. The Angels are economically flexible, but they will avoid Knowledge as a value. In no way will the Angels compromise the security of their servers. Since they already have an aversion towards Power, this will leave their value with Wealth as the last remaining option or (basic) Survival. As for their future, it's highly likely that they may pick Thought Control. Maybe with Democracy as a checks and balance, maybe as a big game to crack each other's brains out of fun and challenge, since in the future, mechanical and biological matter is intertwined, but yet it leaves the doors open for the most powerful hacker to do with her peers as she pleases.
    • Cha Dawn, thinking himself as the voice of Planet, will pick Green of course. And assuming they make it that far (since they are more of an early game rush kinda faction) Cybernetics. The Planet Cult will avoid Free Market and are (strangely) flexible when it comes to politics or values, as long as it is not Wealth.
    • H'minee and the Caretakers want what is best for Manifold, yet are dead set for Planned, strangely (probably to help with growing the population). They will avoid Free Market under any circumstances but will pick Cybernetics to go full harmony. H'minee has no aversions whatsoever, so the Caretakers are super flexible when it comes to Politics and Values.
    • Marr and the Usurpers also want what is best for Manifold, but Manifold even in it's dreamlike state isn't buying it. Not one bit. And them preferring Planned over Green kinda proves it. Marr will at least avoid damage by abstaining from Free Market (also to keep his people in check) and go Cybernetics for the harmony effect (but will only receive the Finger by Manifold). Marr doesn't care about values or politics as long as it isn't Democracy.

Similarly, Domai is the probable winner of the Alien Crossfire expansion
His quotes are pinned to all the most powerful Game-Breaker tech, and the all-powerful cosmic-string supergun at the end of the tech tree includes his comments.

How Alien Crossfire probably went down
  • Sadly unlike vanilla Alpha Centauri, there are too few quotes from the new guys to draw conclusions from how things went down. It is safe to assume that Alien Crossfire plays in a parallel timeline from the original Alpha Centauri game, where the Progenitors didn't made any landings. In that timeline the seven colony pods were stable and solid enough on their own to prevent offshots. In Alien Crossfire the arrival of the Progenitors 10 years after Planetfall changed the political landscape dramatically. It is safe to assume that Yang and Marr made a pact, probably due to their common anti-democratic tendencies, which caught the ire of the Caretakes as well as caused a chain reaction among human faction, where the ones opposing the Hive and fearing disadvantaged joined up with the Caretaker, which in turn drove other factions into the hands of the Usurpers and so on. War at this early stage spelled doom for the fledgling colonies and made space for the offshots to establish their own.
  • So who won the Alien Crossfire war? The humans did. Which one? All 5 of them. Because the only way for humans to have a chance at winning against the gameplay-wise purposely overpowered Progenitor factions is to blanda up. Hints to this exist within a Progenitor individual named Kri'lan, also known as The Betrayer, who defected to the Planet Cult, and other factions being somewhat aware of that implies that Cha Dawn was cooperating with them by passing Progenitor knowledge along with his allies. Also of note is that both alien factions are extremely aggressive as well and if you didn't pick a side as a human, chance are high that sooner or later they will both attack you. So their first task was to eliminate Marr, because being the more offensive of the two alien faction he was probably gnawing at their territory anyway. Also Marr's transcendence victory is explicitly described as being very inconvenient for the humans so he was the obvious first target. And they were quite successful with it, as Marr experienced an Oh Crap! moment when attacking Aki Zeta-5's base, realising that those shaved monkeys were capable of technology of their own, unknown to Progenitors. Once he was dealt with, they probably started to aim for a transcendence victory themselves, because fighting against the defensively built Caretakers was a war of never ending attrition (even more so than your average 4X game) which even took a toll on the diligent Drones. How this went down? Hard to say, since without the distraction caused by the Usurpers, it was hard for H'minee to tackle all five of them at once.

The expansion factions are offshoots of the original ones.
  • Cult is the extremist wing of the Gaians, probably based around the fungus infested ruins.
  • Hackers are Morgan's cyber-warfare division gone rouge.
    • Roze is stated to have been an employee of Morgan Industries during the construction of the Unity, so this is very likely to be true.
  • Cyborgs are what University becomes after achieving a cybernetic future society.
  • Free Drones are Hive post massive, successful riots, probably after someone else destroyed Yang's punishment spheres to weaken him in war.
    • This one is canon, but the riot was small-scale and more about escape than retaking the whole faction.
  • Pirates are the Spartan navy breaking off from the 'motherland'.
  • Believers and Peacekeepers are first victims of Progenitor newcomers.
    • This is implied or outright described in one of the stories associated with the game.

Most of the crew members on the Unity are either Templars or Assassin.
  • The decades of war and unrest during Earth's final days most likely resulted in all the Pieces of Eden being either destroyed or lost. Also, it became clear that civilization on Earth is come to an end. Thought the centuries, both groups have already infiltrated most of the world's influential organizations such as the UN. Therefore all they needed to do was to preserve the best and the brightest of their members so they can continue the fight somewhere else. This was the start of the Unity Project. Ones they get to Planet, the Templars discovered how the fungus network functions and the possibility of what they wanted all along by means of the Ascent to Transcendence. The Assassins, on the other hand, will do everything in their power to stop them.
    • This makes Deirdre, Yang, Zakharov, Aki Zeta-5, and (possibly) Cha Dawn Templars. And Morgan, Santiago, Miriam, and Domai to be Assassins. Everyone else are just normal people that got caught in between.
      • What about the Manifold Usurpers and the Manifold Caretakers? Or are they above the whole thing since they're aliens?
      • Either that, or they were The Ones Who Came Before who created the Pieces of Eden and created humanity in the first place.
    • Alternatively, everyone is a Templar that left after a Piece of Eden malfunctioned.
    • I disagree on who is a Templar and who is an Assassin. The Templars would be associated with Earth-based power structures, whereas Assassins would doubtless be opposed to those old power structures. Thus, the Templars are likely Yang, Morgan, Lal, and Miriam. Assassins would be Deidre, Santiago, Roze, and likely Svensgaard. Zakharov, Domai, and Aki Zeta-5 could be in either camp.
      • Zakharov will likely be siding with the Assassins the same reason that Piri Reis did, since they offer more academic and intellectual freedom to its members compared to the Templars.

The Unity project is part of the Vault Experiment.
  • The Unity project and the Vaults both have the same goal, to preserve humanity after the end of the world as we know it. However, the vaults are actually secret government social experiments to test and study how people react under different unexpected situations. In Fallout we learn that one of the vaults, Vault 15, was full of people that have radically diverse ideologies. Sounds familiar?
    • This could work if the Vaults weren't designed for the purpose of figuring out who would be the best for space travel. I propose that Vault-Tec and the Enclave were planning to replicate the United Nation's expedition to Alpha Centuari by way of vaults.
    • Actually, the Human Hive are a lot like this. Social experiments, underground communes; it all fits.
    • (The OP) Perhaps the Unity project was launched by the UN shortly before it was dissolved. The Enclave was inspired by the Unity project to launch their own space colony program. But seeing as how things went wrong with the Unity, they create the vault project.
      • Well, they wouldn't know that something went wrong with the Unity since the Unity cut off all contact with Earth.
      • The Enclave being who they are, can easily infiltrate the UN Alpha Centauri Mission Comity and sabotage the commutation between the Unity and the rest of Earth when keep monitoring the Unity.
    • This actually makes a shocking ammount of sense given evidence that none of the factions have that much American influence, and its implied when you build an information controlling secret project that the US descended into some kind of dictatorship which fell into anarchy (very similar to Fallout where the same thing happened) its possible that the US government (controlled by the government) abstained from taking part in the Unity project since they wouldnt be the ones to lead the project and also because of the massive chinese involvement in the project.

Whoever provides the quote for a technology/Secret Project/base was to first to build that.
  • Yes, this means Lal built the Mind-Machine Interface.
    • It doesn't make him a hypocrite. Just because the Peacekeepers developed it first doesn't mean they applied it in such a fashion. Hell, he himself had such an interface put in at one point if I remember the quotes.
    • That wouldn't make any sense, since he is quoted from his "Report of Human Rights", where he heavily critizise it.
      • What he criticizes is its misuse. He could easily have built it because he knew it would fall into the wrong hands otherwise, and better that someone humane be able to dictate the terms of its use than someone perfectly willing to bring about Unwilling Roboticization.
  • This makes no sense. It would mean that some factions created technology that they themselves consider to be evil. Especially in a society like Miriams who relies mostly on stealing technology from others.
    • It makes perfect sense. Just recall all the quotes from people working on Manhattan Project. And yet they still did it, being more than aware of all of it's consequences. And as the game lampshades few times, researching new technologies and implementing them or just finding new uses for existing knowledge (Applied Physics anyone?) are completely different things. Hence you can be a Peacekeeper researcher, find a way to build Mind-Machine Interface as some sort of "help humanity reach utopia" project and then become completely freaked out how it really works. Regarding Miriam - her quotes are about critique of all the stuff or it's impact on her vision of society (the one and true vision, that is), so she's condemning people who researched/build/implemented something into their society.

Miriam believes herself to be Christ reincarnated.
  • In every Believers quote, she only ever refers to the Lord or God, but never seems to mention Jesus Christ. That and her general behaivour seems to suggest that she believes she is the Messiah.
    • Alternatively she's just Jewish.
      • Unlikely, since her profile on the official website shows that she is an Evangelical Christian. A lot of her bases also have names that refer to stories in the New Testament such as He Walked on Water, Loaves and Fishes, Water to Wine, The Rapture, etc.
    • Partly confirmed! Not much as Christ himself, but some kind of prophet. PSI-Gate quotes her from her work "The Last Testament". Either a theological work or an addition to the bible.
      • The GURPS Supplement also confirmss that she's considered a prophet (at the very least) by her own followers.

Chiron/Planet doesn't actually exist, and the whole story is a collective Dying Dream of the Unity crew in deep freeze.
Captain Garland was awakened by the ship to discover that the Unity was running out of power and had no chance of reaching an habitable planet before the deaths of everyone on the ship. He decided to let the crew die with some sense of accomplishment, creating a simulated reality for everyone on the ship. He opts not to enter, instead choosing to "die" at the begining of the simulation to set off the crew's split. This ensures that everyone gets to join the faction they would most like to live within. The alien factions are just programs to make things more interesting. Garland commits suicide in reality, and 500 years of drifting through space later, the Unity's fusion drive finally gives out.

The Unity project is related to the Golgafrincham B ark
Each faction leader represents what was causing the disastrous events on Earth: multinationals only interested in the bottom line (Morgan), religious, environmental and scientific fanaticism (Miriam, Diedre, and Zakaharov, respectively), totalitarian regimes (Yang), well-meaning but ultimately ineffective bureaucracies like the U.N. (Lal), and the military-industrial complex (Santiago). They were placed on the Unity with deliberately faulty communications equipment, so it seems like there are no further transmissions from Earth.
  • Or like their Golgafrincham ancestors the people of earth discovered that the people they cast off as "useless" really were essential to civilization, and died off.

If Alpha Centauri and/or the Alpha Centauri novels are ever made into a movie, Colonel Santiago will be played by Michelle Rodriguez
  • And Miriam by Jane Curtin, and Morgan by Morgan Freeman.
    • How does Ben Kingsley for Lal, John Malkovich or Bill Nigh for Zakharov, and James Hong for Yang sound?

Zakharov is a reverse Mad Scientist
He is too Boring, but Practical what other mad scientists are to Awesome, but Impractical, all while retaining the same brilliance and the same sense of ethics.

The Blooming Cycle is broken by uploading TV Tropes into Planetmind.

The faction leaders are trying to become the embodiments of their colonies.
  • At some point before or during the Unity project most (if not all) of them learned of the existence of personified countries, and upon arriving on Chiron made their own individual attempts at replicating the long-dead Nations' abilities. These include longevity and nigh total control/nfluence/power/etc. over their respective peoples especially as time passes. Or alternately, they stumbled on them in a datalink file and made them Ascended Fanon. Of course they'd have different reasons and justifications for doing so, like Zakharov denying that the likes of Ivan/Russia could be explained by science or Yang secretly trying to make an empire that would make Yao/China proud. But it's no coincidence that the factions in-game are more often than not treated like their rulers. and that's not getting to what Planet turns out to be...
    • This could also underscore the Not So Different parallels to the world they've left behind: while ideology has replaced the old ethnicities and nationalities on Planet, the factions function and pretty much exist like the countries/nation-states they've abandoned.

Pandora is one of the other Manifolds.

Miriam's death in the flawed psi gate was intentional
She had the 'flaw' as part of the design, in order to use it to ascend to heaven as a prophet.

Miriam doesn't care about the deaths of any of their followers.
She's focused on maintaining the spiritual well-being of her followers but at the same time a common tactic used by A.I and the players controlling her is the Zerg Rush. Here's a good quote that could have been added to explain the mindset. "Me caring about their (her soldiers) deaths implies that I don't believe that they are bound for heaven."

Tau Ceti is Earth.
The "Tau Ceti Flowering" that the Manifold Caretakers refer to is the desolation of Earth by the humans, whose society forms Tau Ceti's Planetmind.
  • Unlikely. H'minee's quote says "horrors visited upon neighboring systems must never be repeated." Whatever happened to Tau Ceti, it wasn't limited to just one planet.

The Unity project was a token effort never expected to succeed.
  • The Unity was suppose to be a ship constructed under a United Nations mandate, funded by the world's leading countries as the last hope for humanity... However, in reality, the entire project was just a massive PR front, an attempt at calm down the population around the world as they watch society slowly collapsing around them by giving them a false sense of hope and unity between nations. With the sole exception of Morgan Industry, the world's powers that were involved in the project only invested the minimal amount of resources towards the project (explaining all the issues that the ship experienced during the journey). The fact that the Unity managed to even make it out of the Solar system in spite of the international community's lack of real support was in itself well above the expectations of the backers.
    • Furthermore, when looking at the various faction leaders' backstory, while they are all certainly more then qualified to lead humanity to start a new civilization on a hostile planet, they all either have very radical political views, a notorious criminal record, or otherwise a threat to the powers that be back on Earth. Having all these trouble makers reassigned to the Unity was a very convenient way of making sure that you will never have to deal with them ever again.

Miriam and Zakharov were lovers before Planetfall and had a really bad breakup over ideology. But they still love each other!
  • I find it interesting that these two factions are so directly opposed to one another, with the hatred and bitterness coming down straight from the top. And yet, some of the big scientific advances have Miriam as the speaker. Also, Zakharov's big dissertation/book is titled For I Have Tasted the Fruit. Why would someone who so outspokenly hates religion unironically use such clear religious imagery in his magnum opus?
    • Plus, this connects directly to the "official" plot above. Zak loses his cool after several horrible things happen, but it's capped off with Miriam's apparent death. He sets to working with Deirdre and Lal immediately after that point, because he realizes that he does love her, and the only possible hope to bring her back from whatever happened is Transcendence.
    • Alternately, Zak used a biblical phrase for his Magnum Opus specifically to Troll the religious groups who disapprove of his scientific efforts, by framing humanity's supposed fall from grace as a positive event. Much in the same way that some atheists study the Bible so that they can better point out its flaws to blind adherents.
  • A better "love story" is represented with Domai and Aki-Zeta 5. Usually they get along very well and compensate each other's weaknesses, that is until the future gives them a nasty divorce, since they can't agree on a Future Society together. It goes downhill from here fast.
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