The year is 2554 and mankind has colonized the entirety of the solar system. However, pollution and overpopulation threaten humanity with extinction.
In order to solve this problem, super-AI IVY proposes the creation of a Dyson Sphere to serve as a man-made paradise for all of humanity. This artificial heaven was named “Sanctuary”.
Sanctuary is one AU in diameter and on average 200 meters thick. It contains many maintenance tunnels within the overall structure, while keeping the structural integrity well intact.
As Sanctuary grew in size, Ivy started to become overwhelmed by the complexity and number of tasks, which extended beyond Sanctuary. In order to manage the sphere’s many essential systems, Ivy created a second super-AI: CORE. CORE was put in charge of both the many systems of the sphere and the many worker bots responsible for keeping it running. Using Sanctuary itself both as hardware and as an energy source, CORE grew to become the most complex and expensive AI ever made.
The original idea for the sphere was proposed by Ivy as a solution for system wide pollution and overpopulation. The actual structure was built by autonomous worker bots, which later served as maintenance for Sanctuary.
Materials used are primarily from the stellar bodies of the solar system, but also some mass from the Sun itself. All stellar bodies in the solar system, including gas giants, dwarf planets and the Kuiper Belt were completely harvested in order to build the sphere, with exception of the Earth and its Moon.
The inside of the sphere is uninhabitable, used for maintenance tunnels and life support systems. Solar collection systems constantly harvest energy from the sun to power Sanctuary and a number of mass generation facilities. Solar panels and thermal transformers are affixed to the underside of Sanctuary in vast arrays to process the raw energy of the sun.
The outer side of Sanctuary was constructed to be as similar to native Earth as possible. The gravity and atmosphere are practically identical, and many biomes native to Earth have been replicated, although several new ones have been created as well. Lush forests, vast oceans and expansive savannas cover the sphere from end to end. more extreme biomes such as tundras and deserts do exist.
A number of portholes exist on Sanctuary's surface in order to let sunlight out. This sunlight is then reflected back down by a system of orbiting mirrors whose task it is to provide sunlight to the flora, fauna and people as well as a day/night cycle. A large unbuilt hole in Sanctuary called the Eclipse is responsible for providing sunlight to Earth was left in Sanctuary.
A ring all around Sanctuary's midriff rotates in this earth-geosynchronous manner while the rest of the Dyson sphere rotates at the normal speed for that orbit in order to both preserve sunlight to earth via the Eclipse and Sanctuary's structural integrity.
Atmosphere is constantly being produced and lost at the edges of the still incomplete Sanctuary at compensating rates, allowing for stable ecosystems. Areas directly on the edge are devoid of atmosphere, and those near it have thinner atmosphere when compared to other sections of the sphere (and also biomes have not been installed there, or are still in the process of being added).
In order to manage the sphere’s many essential systems, Ivy created a second super-AI: CORE. CORE was put in charge of both the many systems of the sphere and the many worker bots responsible for the ongoing construction as well as keeping it running. Using Sanctuary itself both as hardware and as an energy source, CORE grew to become the most powerful AI ever made.
Besides “natural” humans, digital beings known as The Chosen inhabit the sphere. The Chosen are post humans that have “Ascended” their minds to computer systems composed of light matrices. Highly intelligent, the Chosen have come to rule most of mankind. Although their rule brought many benefits, a schism between the newly born Chosen and the paramilitary group EDA (Earth Defense Alliance) threatens to tear humanity apart.
When Sanctuary was 83% complete, the Chosen government approved a controversial and radical plan to acquire more resources for Sanctuary. It was decided that, in order to finish the construction of the sphere the Earth and the Moon would be moved to and “docked” into Sanctuary, their mass slowly harvested as mankind moved into Sanctuary permanently.
This plan was met with outrage both by humans and a minority of Chosen, as it went against the original deal made between humanity and Ivy. The EDA claimed this was a political move by the Chosen to finally control humanity as a whole. Nevertheless, the plan proceeded, and the Moon was the first to go, transported by massive thrusters from its orbit around Earth to its new home in Sanctuary.
However, during the final approach of the incoming satellite, a disaster struck. A critical system failure disabled the secondary thrusters responsible for slowing down the Moon. With the thrusters damaged beyond repair, attempts were made to re-route or destroy the satellite, all in vain. In the end, the inhabitants of Sanctuary could do nothing but watch helplessly.
In 2723, the earth’s moon collided with Sanctuary at enormous speed. The damage was catastrophic. In an instant, billions of both humans and Chosen died as the satellite smashed through the artificial planet, all the way to the Sun. Tremors shook Sanctuary to its very core, causing sections all across the sphere to be destroyed, leaving massive holes in their place. The force of the impact was such that Sanctuary was thrown out of its alignment with Earth, causing the planet to be covered in darkness as the Eclipse fell out of place. The Mooncrash, as it was later called, destroyed 15% of the sphere, leaving a titanic hole in its fabric collectively known as The Breach.
Considering the crash to be a deliberate attack, both the EDA and the Chosen declared war on one another, sparking the greatest conflict in human history. After the Chosen refused to realign the Eclipse with Earth, the EDA invaded Sanctuary with a massive armada, triggering the Chosen to bring their own robotic army. The result was unlike any other, which brought untold destruction and devastation upon humanity’s paradise. With the conflict quickly escalating, the super AI CORE decided to repurpose the worker bots responsible for maintenance of the sphere into deadly war machines. Creating a new breed of independent AIs, CORE unleashed The Guard, a merciless robotic army determined to protect Sanctuary from further damage through pacification of the warring factions, by force.
Currently, Sanctuary is about 68% complete. It appears as a gargantuan, semicircular, glimmering multifaceted metal platform sporting various environmental biomes. These biomes range from glacial lakes and mountains, to vast expanses of lush swaying green forests, to scorching sand deserts. There are also sprawling metropolises sequestered wherever space provides to accommodate the 100+ billion lives living on Sanctuaries surface. Sanctuary however is far from being the xanadu paradise it was supposed to be. Great chasms of serrated metal teeth gnaw hungrily into the vast expanse of space, evidence of the moon-crash and countless battlefields still brewing abroad. War ravaged shells of cities, encased by the darkness of space, loom over scorched earth and barren wastelands, painful reminders of better days long past.
However despite the rampant destruction pervading Sanctuary not all is embroiled by warfare. The size and scope of Sanctuary has made a pseudo-barrier, protecting a scant few of its inhabitants from the tumultuous convulsions occurring elsewhere. Though not fully free from the impacts of the war, these areas serve as safe havens for refugees and civilians. Filled with technological marvels and surrounded by nature's bounty, such iridescent cities stand as painful testaments to humanity's better days. With the war getting worse however, it's only a matter of time before they too shall succumb to the tumultuous war surrounding them.