The Haldols were a sentient species of life native to the planet dubbed "Reverence". They were generally skinny and salamanderlike in appearance, with smooth, hairless, and moist skin, and large black eyes. They wore no clothes and generally appeared to mate in a fashion similar to most Earth animals. Males had a large red patch on their necks that had the appearance of a open wound.

The Haldols were hunter/gatherers, living in relatively primitive villages. They were given to mating on a whim, without much regard for who might be watching, a trait that horrified the Holy Mission Church adherents who had colonized New Zion. However, the Haldols lack of advanced technology made them more attractive trading partners than the Church's fellow humans.

Like most living creatures on Reverence the Haldols were constantly set upon by the vermin native to the planet. Disease followed and the average lifespan of the Haldols was not particularly long. In an effort to remedy this problem Holy Mission Church member Victoria Griffin went to a science colony (in violation of Church rules) and suggested that perhaps there was a way to destroy the vermin. The scientist Victoria spoke to, a woman named Janice, agreed with the idea. Like most of the scientific community, Janice hated the "Churchies" and hoped that, without the vermin, the Haldols would thrive and drive the Holy Mission Church out of New Zion.

Instead, the plan doomed the Haldols. Both Victoria and Janice had assumed that because the Haldols had similar genitalia and mating practices as Earth animals that the overall reproductive process was the same. In truth, the male Haldol did not produce sperm in his genitals but in the patch in his neck. His penis merely primed the female's own sex organs. The vermin which infested the Haldols actually carried sperm from the male's neck into the female.

Once the vermin were exterminated the Haldols stopped reproducing. As they had no understanding of their own biology, the Haldols concluded that their gods had deserted them and seriously considered listening to the Holy Mission Church. However, Janice made a point of visiting New Zion and explaining the truth to Victoria Griffin. Each accused the other of causing the extinction of the Haldols.

The science colony was determined to find a new way for the Haldols to reproduce and save the species, although their budget was limited.

The Holy Mission Church, Victoria Griffin in particular, felt that the extinction of the Haldols was the Lord's will.

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