Wonder in Beyond Earth
|Requires|| 5 Xenomass|
|Effect|| +5 Diplomatic Capital|
|Notes||Provides a small positive influence to Alien opinion each turn, and negative Alien opinion recovers twice as quickly.|
The Xenodrome will permanently tie up 5 Xenomass resources.
"We learned too late the importance of safeguarding the precious gifts of nature. The parting gift of the elephant was the wisdom to be good stewards of the next planet."
- Samatar Jama Barre, This is Not Exile
It is axiomatic that participating within a complex system irrevocably alters the trajectory it would take on its own. The plants and animals of Old Earth bore much of the pain of the Great Mistake, and by the time of the Seeding, the richest part of the charismatic megafauna and ethrastoic flora were extinct. The environmental damage was incalculable, as were the cultural effects. What weight does "my kingdom for a horse!" carry when no one has seen a horse for centuries?
With this in mind, the colonists' desire to preserve a record of the biodiversity of the planet burned within them. It was not enough to catalog genetics and preserve samples. Far better, far more meaningful would be to allow these native species to come forward in time and bear witness to the merging of alien colonist and native planet. The Xenodrome created environments which could be populated densely without harm to the animals therein, and so created one of the most elaborate and engaging systems by which colonists could interact with the native life of their world. Geography was made irrelevant (although strongly implied) and the biome was presented in its full splendor.
There was a great joy in striding through the habizones, coming eye to eye with the huge grazers and herds, seeing the whorl of swarms overhead, and even spying a distant predator in semiconcealment. They could swim with the Sea Dragon, or walk through the den of the Raptor Bug without fear of harm (a far cry from what their ancestors experienced!). The Xenodrome accounts for a disproportionately large number of video and still images taken and preserved by amateurs, for it allowed visitors to feel something akin to the pulse of the planet's life.
But the greatest, longest-lasting impact of the Xenodrome may be that it implanted in people the idea of the planet as a living collective whole, and in time that awareness would take on a new and deeper understanding of the world the colonists had settled.