This is a CoreNet series on people and cultures.
Delaroche's The Childhood of Pico della Mirandola (1842)

The Mirandolans (homo sapiens commutabilis) are a group of posthumans that have developed themselves to thrive on the inhospitable worlds of Thunderbird Sector. They control five systems there: Furieux, Gale, Habb, Nevera, and Vijavica. They also lay claim to K2 System in Phoenix Sector, an assertion that is disputed by the CSFR. Mirandolans group themselves into colonies - their preferred term for a group of people that are linked by a process called pooling (see Political Structure, below).



The Mirandolans are almost as old as the EJDE. The sentiments that would eventually form their culture had existed within humanity for centuries, but the idea caught on in earnest with the colonization of Luna. In the minds of a few forward thinkers, problems like low gravity and high radiation necessitated the development of a new breed of human.

League Era

The philosophy waxed and waned in popularity throughout the 2200s, with little shift in public policy towards encouraging branching off of baseline humanity. Aside from the practices of a few ultrarich families and their geneticists, no significant section of humanity considered the idea of mass engineering worth pursuing.

That came to an end in 2308 with the completion of Thunderbird Sector's exploration and the realization that most of the worlds there would take centuries to suitably modify. The few planetside colonies there were logistical nightmares of corroding infrastructure, supply shortages, and plummeting populations. Caught between public pressure to end the fiscal drain and abandon the sector, and the League's obstinacy at the prospect of admitting an eighty trillion credit mistake, officials scurried to allocate funds to a variety of think tanks and extrapolatory groups. While most of these organizations were eventually revealed as frauds, two groups of genuinely concerned scientists merged their budgets to form the Human Environmental Adaptation Project. Rather than changing planets to suit humans, the project leaders stated, humans could more easily be changed to suit new planets.

The nature of the project necessitated a long-term view. Much of the experiment's planning involved increasing adaptations over generations, as new factors to consider would emerge. Suitable locations for test colonies were scouted - far enough into Thunderbird Sector to be exposed to the full brunt of the region's hostility, yet close enough to populated space that supply lines would not be unfeasible. The first Project colony was Location Condorcet in Furieux System.

Within the first two generations, several factors emerged that had been more or less predicted by the project's psychological extrapolators. Among these were an increased sense of self-vs-universe (scaling up from the immediate self of an individual to that of the larger group) and a view among the HEAP volunteers that they were no longer bound by the moral codes of their forebears.

As the Project colonies expanded into other systems, the physical structures of future generations became more and more refined to deal with the rigors of Thunderbird's hostility. At the same time, the individual colonies began to experiment with modifications of their own. The Project's devisers had anticipated some of these, and withheld their predictions from the colonists (and the public at large) to avoid contaminating the experiment. It was only after reports began to circulate of colonists' research into mental augmentation that League authorities began to pry into Project colonies' affairs. At first, the inquiries were only concerned with maintaining order among a widespread population, but after the More Incident, the League voted to withdraw all funding from what Rep. Awotwi Kabba infamously referred to as "a monstrous cancer that has been allowed to ferment unchecked in the deepest pit of Hell". His reaction, while more poetic than that of his peers, showed the Project colonies that they had passed beyond the point where their view of the universe was reconcilable with that of their now-distant kin.

In 2366, riding a wave of xenophobia and animosity, the Presidium voted to sever all ties with the Project colonies.


The Mirandolan people socialize in an odd and poorly understood manner they call 'pooling'. Rumors about this process span the gamut between huge and raucous forums to psychic communing - and to splash cold water in the face of science, for a change it's the supernatural explanation that has the greatest support. It appears that whatever other changes the Human Environmental Adaptation Project wrought, they somehow enabled their transhuman progeny to tap psionic potential.

Whatever the reason, Mira are able to share their thoughts with other Mira - which makes duplicity difficult with one person, and next to impossible in large groups. It also makes individual Mirandolans blunt, rude, sharply critical and contemptuous of any double-dealing when interacting with unmodified humans. This necessitates the use of joies-de-vivre - more powerful Mira telepaths capable of empathizing with mundane humans and allowing them to interface with their own people.

People from other cultures wishing to interact with Mirandolans should be aware that several slang terms for their people - including splicer, gene-tweaker, and hodge - are considered ignorant, rude or outright hostile.

Political Structure

The people referred to as "Mirandolans" are not as unified as Republic media commonly portray them. Each planet - and to some extent each colony planetside - is responsible for its own well-being. At the same time, they recognize the value of cooperation in the face of competing groups of beings. Group decisions are carried out by a little-understood process called pooling that allows colonies to make decisions without dissent. The veracity of this is unknown, but whatever the specifics of their governance are, the method seems to have a very high efficacy rate.

Most official interactions with outsiders are carried out by joies-de-vivre - people designed for their empathic and communicative abilities who serve as mediators within Mirandolan society. Within spaceborne vessels, the crew's joie-de-vivre acts as a ship-to-ship negotiator in addition to keeping harmony among the crew.

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