Gaia, the sole planet of the Galilei system, is a small continental world that serves as the DMZ between the Sol Central Government and the Gilgamesh Colonial Confederation. It is primarily an agricultural world, however it supports a relatively small industrial sector in the north. Gaia was decimated by the Gaia Conflict, at the end of which it was split by the two superpowers into a southenr and a northern sphere of influence. The population of the planet is estimated to be 2.4 billion, with roughly two-thirds of it living in the north.
Gaia is about one tenth smaller than Earh, and its nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere is slightly thicker. This makes Gaia marginally warmer, and more favorable to farming during all seasons. Geographically, the planet comprises a single large and mostly flat super-continent. It is speculated that Gaia's tectonic activity is comparably less intense than on other worlds, and while this has resulted in easily cultivable land, the planet has less easily accessible mineral deposits.
The planet was colonized by the Galilei System Development Corporation. The GSDC was a quasi-private venture funded by various western mediterranean nations. While founded in 2121 following the UN's success at Mars, it is not until 2129 when the first sleeper ships are launched towards the Galillei System, just one year prior to the foundation of the Terran Commonwealth. Soon upon its formation, the TC took over the state shares of the GSDC, effectively nationalizing it.
Yet even though Gaia was officially territory of the Terran Commonwealth, the colony was fully self-governing, mainly as the consequence of a non-existant stable bluespace connection to earth.
A few decades after the establishment of the colony the People's Party was founded a big-tent inter-ethnic organization. Its most notable policy was the institution of so-called Gaianization. The goal was to eliminate cultural differences between the various groups that formed the Gaian society. This ranged from the patronage of original Gaian-made art to re-zoning cities in order to diversify their cultural make-up.
The People's Party, opposed just by a fractured group of ethnocentric parties, came to quickly dominate the political scene. It was under its guidance that Gaia developed the most.
In 2236 the Gaia Gateway was constructed and it completely changed the foundation of the gaian economy and society. Suddenly the rich green plains of Gaia weren't solely used to feed the small planet's population, but also for mass-export to less fortunate systems. The new bluespace route also lead to further immigration which only accelerated the downturn of the significance of the founding ethnicities.
In the late 2250s, as the planet further develops, two major splinter groups emerge from the People's Party. The Civic Party formed to represent the right-wing interests, while the Social Democratic Party came to represent the interests of those on the left. It is during this period when the issue of Sol membership fully arose.
The various pro-Sol movement soon organized themselves into the Alliance for the Union in 2264, with many AftU leaders being former Civic Party members. In the 2370s the planet enters an era of major political uncertainty, as neither the AftU, CP nor SDP is able to establish a government. This culminates in the 2291 referendum which began the Gaia War.
The civil government of Gaia completely collapsed following a succesful GCC landing. After years of fighting, the planet was completely ruined, with quality of life returning to pre-Gateway period standards in many places. The northern and southern hemispheres, each controlled by a different superpower, went their separate ways. While Gaians both northern and southern have made great strides since the end of the war, there are still wounds that have yet to heal.
Republic of Gaia
The Sol-alligned RoG in the south is generally seen as the more democratic and free of the two polities. To distinguish it from the regime that collapsed during the Gaia War, it is usually refered to as the 2nd Gaian Republic.
Its main governing body is the Planetary Congress. It follows a bicameral structure and is divided into the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. The Chamber of Deputies is the stronger of the two houses, consisting of five-hundred directly elected members and has a power to introduce and pass laws. The Senate is smaller and somewhat less important, as it consists of two-hundred senators indirectly elected by various municipalities. The support of the senate is required on all constitutional, diplomatic and military matters.
The de-jure head of the executive branch is the President of the Republic who is elected for a six-year term by a popular vote. President holds actually very little executive power and serves mostly a ceremonial function. The real chief executive is the Premier of the Council of Ministers and while he is officially appointed by the President, he is generally held accountable to the Chamber of Deputies.
The Republic has many regions, which are, depending on the population density, either organized as self-governing Provinces or centrally maintained Departments. Provinces are usually about the size of France or Germany, while some Departments are as large as the continental United States. The governments of the Provinces are basically copies of the 'planetary' government, unlike the Departmental administrations which are headed by Governers-General who are appointed by the Planetary Senate .
Gaian Defence Force
The Gaian Defence Force is the military force of the RoG, equipped mainly with vintage equipment supplied by the SCG. There is a compulsory military service and Gaian citizens are expected to serve two years in either one of the GDF branches, in the Sol Defence Forces or in the Expeditionary Corps. The GDF is further subdivided into following branches:
- Land Army
- Air Army
- Naval Fleet
As the peace treaty signed at the end of the war prevents both nations from maintaining any large military spacecrafts, there is no 'space branch' of the GDF.
The political situation itself is rather chaotic. As the coalition in the Planetary Congress tends to the change rather often, a vote of no confidence is passed almost every year. So far no Premier was able to stay in the power long enough to enact any major change. There are many factions within the congress, the most important are:
- New Alliance for the Union (NAftU): The main centre-right political party and a direct descendant of the original Alliance of the Union. It is mainly popular in the few urbanized areas of the RoG.
- Agrarian-Labour Union (ALU): The centre-left political faction of the RoG, its influence is greatly present in the vast rural areas of the Republic. Unlike the NAftU it is much more skeptical towards the SCG.
- Gaia arise! (GA): A fringe far-right party with fascist tendencies. It is not only xenophobic but also hostile to any human of non-Gaian origins. Some question its loyalty to the RoG and accuse it of collaboration with the northern government and the GCC. The GA strongly denies these claims.
- Radical Party (RP): The leading far-left faction of the RoG, argues for nationalization of industries and collectivization of the land. As it views both the SCG and GCC as imperialist forces, it strongly argues for isolationism and autarky.
Protectorate of Gaia
The Protectorate of Gaia is a puppet regime operating in the northern Gaian hemisphere. While the PoG does have an officially elected Planetary Congress which appoints the Executive Council of State, in reality all power is exercised by the Gaian People's Party. The GPP claims to be the direct descendant of the original People's Party which helped to formed human civilization on Gaia in its most early years. In reality the GPP is a GCC tool consisting of right-wing radicals that were receptive towards the GCC following the Gaia War. As such the GPP helps to maintain an illusion of some level of sovereignty.
The principal ideology of the GPP could be described as Gaia-centrism. The Party strictly promotes the idea of a single Gaian culture, which is mostly a mixture of western Mediterranean cultures brought to Gaia by the original settlers. The Gaianism is mainly promoted through the public-education and state-run media. Existence of non-Gaian cultures is considered dangerous and divisive, as such all immigrants are expected to assimilate.
The GCC is happy to aid the Gaian People's Party in its goals as long as it allows the Confederation to exploit the planetary resources.
The GA is the unified military force of the Protectorate of Gaia. Just like its rival to the south, it depends on conscription to maintain its numbers. The GA's equipment is provided mainly by the GCC.
Life on Gaia
In the South
As it was already said, the southern Gaia is much less urbanized, industrialized and also much less centralized. As a result of the paralisation of the central government, the residents are getting increasingly dependent on local authorities to provide basic utilities. Economically speaking, the RoG has bean enjoying steady but slow growth and yet has to reach the pre-war development levels. Despite all these negatives, the RoG citizens enjoy rather high level of civil liberties, especially when compared to their northern brethren.
In the North
Unlike the south, the north is much more urbanized, around half of the population live in cities. Many are employed in the manufacturing sectors, most of which is controlled directly by the GCC. Most northerners are ambivalent towards the People's Party governance. While most are definitely not happy about their hardcore pro-Gaian stance, they keep their head down. Those who have no problem complying with the party's wishes are usually given comfy civil service appointment, and are free to live relatively happy lives.
The People's Party tries to refrain from brutally putting down the unruly, partly not to evoke the terror of Sasha Alistratova. Instead, they use a soft-power approach. Those not abiding by the Party's will may get suddenly fired from their high-paying job, their children will not be allowed to college, they may be moved to a worse housing unit, their gas and electricity supply can get from time to time interrupted. Punished are not only open dissidents but also those who associate with them. Many wanna-be rebels will find out themselves to be alone, without friends while their own family denounces them. At that point, they will be mostly harmless.