Children of the Phoenix
Primes are a subset of Humans in the New Eden colony. They represent the ideal Terran Human. Primes are believed to be superior to non-primes, and distinctly superior to Devolutes. There are approximately 350 Primes in New Eden, derived from numerous ethnic and national backgrounds of Old Earth. There were originally 100 Prime Subjects of the Phoenix Project, pioneers chosen from among the very best the world had to offer. Athletes, test pilots, scientists, scholars, soldiers, and businessmen. Despite the political climate of the period, or perhaps because of it, Prime Subjects were chosen from every major race, creed, religion, and nationality, in an effort to preserve as broad a sampling of Humanity as possible. In the five years that the Phoenix Ark traveled to the Pleiades, the Prime Subjects became a functioning community, with traditions and customs forged by the hard time of the early exploration, and the need to set aside past, Terrestrial, differences.
In addition to the 100 Prime Subjects, there were 1000 additional settlers, chosen less for their superior characteristics than for their endurance and willingness to bear hardship. By means of a process developed by Dr Heinrich Emshweiller, the “Baseline Subjects” were placed in a state of suspended animation, not to be awoken again until ground had been broken on the new colony. As additional insurance, 10000 inseminated embryos were cryogenically frozen, to ensure the gene pool did not suffer from excessive inbreeding. However, many of the Prime and Baseline Subjects were affected by unknown influences, believed to be based around Cosmic Rays, causing them to either sicken and die, or else to change in dramatic ways, often activating some psionic ability which seems to defy the conventional laws of physics. Primes are therefore considered precious, for preserving the unchanged genetic stock of Old Earth humanity.