Traveler's Notes: Freesphere
Image from Steve Bowers

Today I spread my wings and flew around the world!!

Well, not really. But using a wingpack to fly across an arc of the Cair'Keel Freesphere while orbiting Tyrtanen at a thousand klicks up it certainly felt like it.

I started my flight while the freesphere was just coming out of the night side, A'trenin's Symphony for the Dawn playing in my ears. Holding firmly to the wingpack grips, sweeping my arms down and back in the motion implanted in the mem-training from the night before, I swept out from the launch station into the hundred kilometer expanse of the freesphere, sunlit dustmotes and water vapor painting me with rainbows.

Of all the free-fall class habitats, freespheres are my favorite

As I flew, I took in the sights of the habitat around me, and the world below me. Twist-trees and cluster-bushes as far as the eye could see; a bubble-sea just at the limit of vision. I think I might have even seen a pod of whales playing inside.

At one point a flock of parrots started flying formation with me. Well, flying with me anyway. They laughed and chattered, making fun of my flying technique and offering pointers, wondering what I was doing here, and telling jokes, most of them dirty. I took it all in good humor and even fired a few one-liners back, earning appreciative squawks.

Eventually, they tired of the game and took off in the direction of a driftreef, singing something incredibly raunchy in at least three keys.

Below me Tyrtanen was a slowly blooming bulk just on the other side of the clear outer wall. It looked like you could reach out and touch it. The terraforming looks like it's going well. Plant green and water blue spreading everywhere, atmosphere probably getting thicker every day.

I finished my flight at another launch station, Two Spins in Harmony's Night Sounds escorting me in.

Time to wrap this up. A bunch of us are going out to check out the nightlife. Rumor has it that the locals ferment an ice-wine on the outer hull that will make you see the gods. We'll see.

Tomorrow we're taking one of the beanstalks down to the surface. A quick flier ride and then a 10-klick hike up to the Esada Plateau for a midday meal. If everything is going on schedule, a couple of cometary fragments are supposed to be directed into the atmosphere just about the time we should be eating. Explosives will break up the fragments into pieces too small to do any damage, but the view should be spectacular.

I look forward to eating lunch under a rain of shooting stars.

By Todd Drashner (2008)

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