Another piece of a WIP–likely to be included among other short pieces about a colony.
In the zone, they kept to themselves, unaware but safe from the turmoil elsewhere in the colony. They were the control group, maintaining the history and the culture of the settlers as of their arrival. The monitors remained in orbit, comparing the communities scattered among the five sites thought suitable for settlements. Those in orbit paid close attention to those communities developing their own response to the stresses of colonizing the primitive planet—the effects of dealing with the indigenous flora and fauna. Decisions had to be mad. Some would become leaders. Some would become followers. Some would conform while others would rebel.
The control group had several years of provisions to enable their isolation from both the planet and their fellow settlers. At the end of the trial period, the monitors were tasked with evaluating the success of the various communities and comparing them to the control group. The results would determine whether to relocate millions of people to the planet. So the orbiting observers focused their attention on the five communities. They ignored the control group for the most part, thinking them safe and secure in their seclusion. They were mistaken.