RSC Indiana to Astraeus Sphere, inter-system ETA four minutes, requesting clearance to dock.
-- Roger Indiana, this is Tower 93. Limit velocity to 200,000 kps and await docking confirmation.
Cal Morgan shuddered as the Indiana's huge FS Drive spun up, causing gravitational variations throughout the ship.
Indiana to Tower, course holding at 047:273:200.
-- RSC Indiana, you are cleared for docking at port 63a, docking ring 1. Proceed at bearing 63:270:1200.
Micheal Greenburg looked back over his shoulder. Cal Morgan was standing at the entrance of the short passageway that connected the cramped, old-fashioned cockpit to the main lift. "We dock in six minutes Morgan, what do you want me to do with your shuttle?"
"Oh, just park it in the system, I'll pick it up later." Morgan replied. "I'm going down to the airlock, I want to get there before the rest of your passengers do."
C.J. looked up from the helm and turned to address Morgan, "Hey Cal, you can use the crew airlock. I'll make sure you're registered as a maid or something."
"That's alright, I don't want to draw any extra attention to myself if I can help it," Morgan said, turning towards the lift. If he picked up on the sarcasm, he didn't show it. "Thanks for the ride Mike, C.J., I owe you one."
Please stay clear of the airlock until the red light changes to green
The Indiana's hull shuddered as the mechanical docking clamps locked down. A loud whooshing noise came from beyond the airlock, and then the light was green and the and the doors were open. Morgan entered the reception area of port 63, pushed forwards by 460 of Astraeus Sphere's new inhabitants.
Comprehending the size of Astraeus Sphere is no easy task. After the success of the Daedalus OArco, the Coalition thought they could handle any architectural challenge available. More stars were set aside for immense artificial worlds. The Icarus Array and the Prometheus Ring both failed miserably, and the Coalition needed to regain the trust of its citizens. A decision was made to attempt the construction a full Dyson Sphere. Astraeus Sphere was the result of this endeavor. It was a structure of ridiculous immensity. An entire sphere surrounding a star, every point separated from the corona by the same distance as Earth to Sol.
An internal axle supported an enormous ribbed structure that both provided night and day, and most of the power needed for the entire sphere through solar plates lining the interior faces. Gravity was provided by two polar FS Drives, four smaller equatorial FSDs, and mild rotation. Engineers declared the structure so massively redundant that any attempt to cause it damage would be entirely futile. The total inhabitable area was over 8.9*10^17 square kilometers.
The sphere's curvature was nigh imperceptible as Morgan stepped out of the lift from the reception area. The only clue offered that he was not on a planet was the lack of a horizon. Over the tops of the smooth matte black structures rose an endless misty gray wall. Swarms of public and personal transportation vehicles flew among the thin, wispy clouds in the steel-blue sky, filling the air with the near inaudible whine of a thousand FSGI propulsion systems.
"They say the sky glows silver at night," A raspy voice from the left. Morgan's gaze snapped down to the aging laborer standing beside him. He too was gazing into the sphere's vast center. Morgan said nothing, the other man looked down to meet his gaze. "Brighter than a hundred moons, they say."
Morgan's blank stare faded and he smiled. "I can't wait to see that," he said.