Saturday March 9, 2002
Regular readers no doubt know that "buuthandi" can be idiomatically tranlated to mean "Dyson sphere." Literally, it's the shortened form of the F'sherl-Ganni phrase "Buut go buut-buut nnaa-nnaa cho handi," or "this was expensive to build." (Transliterated, for the linguist: <Expensive and expensive-expensive [expletive] we built.>)

Regular readers may NOT know, however, that a buuthandi has more in common with a solar sail than with the conventional (and decidedly impractical) concept of a rigid Dyson sphere (Freeman Dyson's concept is not the conventionally impractical one, mind you. His idea will work). You see, the buuthandi does not support its own weight: it is essentially a balloon around a star, with power-collecting substations and giant habitats dangling from the inner surface. Control cables, millions of square kilometers of slack sail material, and some very clever engineering allow the 'balloon' to compensate for (and in some cases mitigate) the mood swings of the contained star.

This naturally begs the question: how do you blow one of these up? If it can stand up to a solar flare, it can certainly take a few planet-busting missiles.

There are a couple of ways to do this. The first involves convincing the contained star to go nova. The second involves using far, far more missiles than anyone thinks you can reasonably come up with. Either way, Admiral Breya has been busy.

Book 2: The Teraport Wars
Part III: Through the Roof

Transcript

Narrator:Some interesting explosions, mere seconds apart...The cho refinery blazes merrily.
Narrator:The chev dome splits behind hob's sacrificial pipe-bomb.
Narrator:The Gamm flagship bursts under direct terapedo hit.
Narrator:And the liberation fleet under admiral breya blows up its first buuthandi...Not part of the current story, but definitely interesting, yes?