Image from Steve Bowers

Star: HD 7867
Type: F5V
Luminosity: 2.65 x Sol
Distance from Sol: 306 ly
Constellation: Sculptor
Colonised: 2509 AT

Vistaa is an important Communion of Worlds system, a cool Gaian coming out of an ice age, minimally terraformed to support Terragen lifeforms.

The society on this world has been deliberately engineered to optimise the effects of two contrasting forms of empathy; in-group identification, in which the empath forms close bonds with other members of their own social group; and out-group identification, where the empath attempts to understand and sympathise with members of other groups. Using empathic augmentation technology and extensive guidance from empais and other aivisers, the people of Vistaa have formed a uniquely diverse but closely-bound civilisation on this world.

However even this near-utopian society does not satisfy everyone. The continual process of sharing thoughts, opinions, feelings and beliefs which allows the people of this world to understand each other so deeply is seen by some as an invasion of privacy, and sometimes as an affront to personal integrity. In 7999 one dissident, Cindiy Pang, formed a new isolationist group which placed greater emphasis on the privacy and self-sufficiency of the individual. This group, the Egregs, became an influential force in the politics of this world, encouraging citizens to stand apart from the various cliques and clannish in-groups that had been prominent up to this time, avoiding group-think and cumulative cultural errors.

A number of Egregs, starting with Pang, have attained positions of power and influence on Vistaa, often due to dedicated attempts by conventional empaths to sympathise with these highly eccentric individuals. Due to their egregious nature this faction rarely works together as a group, but they often use neurotechnological augmentations that allow them to attain high superior status, becoming individually competent in several fields. Most Egregs live alone in wilderness areas, or on houseyachts in the numerous wide crater-lakes, rarely interacting with the empaths or each other.

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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Additional material by Steve Bowers
Initially published on 12 December 2001.