|The following information has not been confirmed by Volition |
and is therefore not canon for the FreeSpace universe.
In the Blue Planet continuity, the Gaian Effort is a radical ecoterrorist group that serves as a secondary antagonist to the United Earth Federation in War in Heaven. Although obviously hostile to the UEF, whether or not the Gaian Effort is allied to the GTVA is not entirely clear.
Individual members of the Gaian Effort are commonly referred to as "Gefs".
The driving ideology of the Gaian Effort is a convergence of hardline environmentalist beliefs and transhumanist thought. The movement's rhetoric runs that because the amino acids which made the evolution of life on Earth possible were likely to have originated and come to Earth on comets, humans are destined to abandon the parasitic infestation of planets and ultimately return to their cometary homes. Some form of interstellar travel is also posited by the group, who believe that by becoming a liberated "Cometary Man", humans may be able to traverse interstellar distances on habitats carved from Kuiper Belt bodies. In-keeping with this ideology, Gefs condemn any habitation of planets as an unnecessary and destructive crime, and they have in the past shown themselves willing to enforce their beliefs through violence.
The hostilities between the Gaian Effort and the United Earth Federation (whom the Gefs refer to derogatorily as the "Buntu", referring to the Ubuntu Party) are believed to stem not only from this ideology, but also due to resentment fueled by the socioeconomic disparity between the Effort and Federation citizens. It is not believed that all elements of the Gaian Effort share these beliefs, and in fact, the Effort's various factions appear to have diverged wildly in terms of their political goals and relationship with both each other and the United Earth Federation.
Gaian Effort factions are known as cells. The Reverend Iain MacDuff's hardline conservative Kostadin Cell plays the largest role in the Blue Planet story.
Tactics and Equipment
Despite their remote location, the Gaian Effort maintains numerous industrial workshops where they were successful in reverse engineering Federation technology. Although their equipment is largely outdated in comparison to contemporary equivalents, resourceful modifications in conjunction with subterfuge allowed them to challenge the Federation. Their main workhorse fighter, the Scimitar, is highly customizable and can serve in numerous capacities, and is also compatible with many modern weapon systems.
However, their most common modus operandi is the use of explosives (sometimes up to and beyond nuclear yield) against lightly defended or civilian targets, often delivered by saboteurs or deception. Another of their preferred tactics is to cripple and disable vulnerable enemy ships, and then send a marine capture team aboard to subdue the crew. When forced into combat, the Gefs will often attempt to swarm the enemy and saturate the target with fire. Although they do not possess the hard military prowess of the UEF's other major enemy, the GTVA, they instead employ irregular tactics that make them arguably just as dangerous.
The widespread chaos resulting from the collapse of the Sol - Delta Serpentis jump node and the subsequent disintegration of the GTA's influence is described as being a key factor in the formation of the Gaian Effort. Although the governments of Earth, Mars and Jupiter managed to maintain a certain amount of order, the unsupported and largely detached fringe habitats quickly fell into disarray.
The power vacuum in the anarchic Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud settlements, and the increasing need for supplies, maintenance and protection was filled by the militaristic followers of the Reverend Iain McDuff, known as the Gaian Effort. The Gaian Effort subsequently constructed numerous deep-space habitats, utilizing hollowed-out cometary biospheres alongside standard space construction techniques. The Fringe Alliance soon splintered off into numerous individual tribal groups, but the Gaian Effort continued to maintain a military, industrial and political influence in the Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud.
The Gaian Effort's support of these fringe settlements earned them the loyalty and support of much of the local populace. Even after the Fringe Alliance's disintegration following the Ubuntu Party's rise to prominence in Sol, many people continued to support the Gaian Effort. Additionally, the movement's radical environmental ideology appealed to a segment of the population who had become disenfranchised with what was seen as widespread disregard for the natural environments of the planets in Sol. The failure of a desalinization plant on Europa, causing massive die-offs of the moon's native species, vindicated these beliefs.
Over the course of the next few years, the Gaian Effort began to oppose the United Earth Federation through asymmetrical warfare, utilizing an extensive terrorist network of sleeper agents, and drawing upon a deep-space industrial manufacturing base across the system. Gaian Effort groups were known to clash with the Jovian Rim Fleet with some regularity during this period. Despite their continued aggression, the Gaian Effort remained unable to oppose the Federation militarily on equal footing, often resorting to terrorist threats and piracy. Additionally, due to the fragmented and decentralized nature of Gef society, individual tribal groups, or cells, did not always cooperate.
After contact with the outer colonies was reestablished in 2385 and war erupted between the GTVA and the UEF, it is believed the Gefs were contacted by agents of Special Operations Command or the GTVA's intelligence-gathering arm, who subsequently employed them as pawns in numerous, carefully-planned clandestine operations. These activities intensified about a year into the war and reached a peak following Admiral Steele's assignment to lead the GTVA taskforce in Sol. However, due to irregularities in their command structure, to what extent the Gaian Effort collaborated with the GTVA is not known.
Named individuals of the Gaian Effort:
- Iain McDuff, Founder (deceased)
- Sergei Gwilym, Kostadin Cell
- Ghanna, Kostadin Cell (POW or KIA)
- Ellim, Kostadin Cell (KIA)