I've been going about this all wrong. And it was right in front of my face. All along. The legend. The ancient history. The myth.
...there was a Free Planet.
In this ancient version of our world, all the animals and all the plants and all the insects and all the creatures of the sky and all the creatures of the seas and all the peoples and all the trees and fungus' and mosses and invertebrates had their rightful place in the equation. Until a normal-looking man with a decorated conical hat like a leering Pope came along with cancered eyes that saw but couldn't see. He had 'ugly vision' and categorised those things in 'his world' based on a crippled sense of beauty, versus a crippled sense of worthless, versus a crippled sense of duty.
Once upon a time, a nameless crippled man with a nameless crippled mind started assigning nameless crippled values to the things he saw all around him. At that point, his world changed around him, became a seething pit of lies. His free planet was lost forever.
Based on his lies, his values, his own sense of apportion, the place he once called home became as crippled as his crippled ledger, reflecting the crippled ripples of his mind and turning upon the crippled axis of his body of evidence. An arrhythmic wobble tilted the Earth from its natural alignment to its beaming mother, The Sun. Our nearest star. Friction grew in the air. Dragons were born and breathed flames upon Diversity. And slavering chimeras of the profit-making machine stole all our children's wanderlust, their joy, our dreams of the future.
The Earth became a barren rock stripped of all its natural assets, concreted over and burned to a crisp in the name of this Nameless Man's Values. And the nameless cripple-minded man sat alone on this golden throne and wondered why the Earth had betrayed him, why his children died in his arms, why the war raped and tortured and murdered his wife and family.
He sobbed and sobbed like a brat in his gilded cot, not understanding why the riches he'd gathered all around him didn't protect him from the cold any more, didn't excite him as they once had. His trinkets and his gadgets and his subscriptions to imagined icons all crumbled in front of his eyes, even though his very existence seemed to be based upon them. Even though he knew that he was nothing more than the sum total of these arbitrary values. Even though he 'believed'.
Once upon a time, this unnamed man had a real home among the stars.