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Summer Re-Release Dyson Sphere
In search of intelligent life
Willa had always thought Dyson spheres to be nothing more than the product of human imagination. Or, at best, a theoretical construct. But what lay before her truly was the real thing—an artificial world of massive proportions build around a sun.
Willa’s crew had been sent on a mission—find other sapient life and make first contact. Earth’s governing council had been arrogant enough to believe that because no other civilization had found humans, the dominant species of Earth was the most advanced in the galaxy.
Looking at the sphere, Willa felt small—very small. The structure was larger than the entirety of Sol’s planetary system. It would have to be, she supposed, to successfully encompass a sun and use it as an energy source.
She closed her eyes and took a few calming breaths. She had a job to do. No matter what she found in there, she would do her best to make first contact—and to not make an ass of herself in the process.
She recorded a message to her superiors and flash-sent it to Earth. To be sure the message reached them, she sent a second copy via light-ball. It would take longer to arrive but was sure to get through eventually.
Once the precious data had been sent home, she settled in her seat, facing the image on the display screen. “Take us in,” she said.
Though her ship was far enough out that it would require days yet at sub-light speeds to arrive, she began to broadcast to the sphere in all known languages, as well as abstract and binary codes. What would happen if…
The comms officer had no sooner hit send, than a hologram of a bizarre-looking spherical being with at least a dozen appendages appeared in the middle of the ship’s bridge.
“Welcome, humans,” it said in perfect English.
Or at least Willa thought it had spoken English. Maybe it hadn’t spoken at all. An odd buzzing in the back of her brain suggested it had somehow implanted the impression of speech into her mind.
Gathering her wits, she answered, acutely aware that she was her people’s ambassador to this creature. “Thank you,” she said. “How should I address you?”
“You may call me Gella,” it answered. “I am pleased to make your acquaintance. We had wondered when you would find us. I had bet on, in your terms, six years ago.”
“You’re watching us?” Willa asked, both stunned and a little worried at this revelation.
“Why, yes,” Gella answered. “We watch all species that have the potential to join the consortium. This is our seat of government. Representatives from all worlds reside here, as well as many whose worlds no longer exist.”
Willa didn’t know what to make of this. Clearly humans, far from being the most advanced beings in the galaxy, were, quite possibly, near the bottom of the list of intelligent life. Treading carefully, she asked, “What should we do now? Should we send a delegation to the surface?”
Gella made a gurgling sound that Willa thought was its equivalent of a laugh. “Your ship will be docked for you.”
In response to a prompt to create spheres, I created some Dyson spheres. This one, I thought, turned out most like the theories suggest. I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of enclosing a sun as a power source for a huge constructed world.
While not sure that this is even realistically possible, I love the thought of living on such a world. I suppose, if one grew up there, it would seem mundane. So maybe it would be better to be introduced to it as an explorer, as Will is experiencing it.
And what better, than to meet a whole host of intelligent beings while you’re at it? I don’t think I’d ever want to leave.
What about you? Do you dream of adventures beyond our world? Or is it just the writer in me?
Oh, here are some of the other images I came up with.