The ESCI Revelation's docking array is a multi-functional space, providing docking, embarkation, disembarkation, refit, refueling, resupply, and even ship construction services.
The docking array is joined with the sphere section to the aft end by large causeways and abutted to the rest of the forward ring section via double-layered bulkheads. These barriers are permeated with airlocks of both personnel- and cargo-passing sizes, allowing vehicles up to the size of logistics drone laden with general purpose modules to pass. Enclosed walkways connect the two spaces separated by the docking array, providing shirtsleeves access - not to mention stunning views of docked vessels and, when the large doors are open, the starry void whirling past. For spacefaring drones, docked vessels of up to cruiser size (such as the CKV Mercury Sable), and SSTO shuttles, the docking array may be entered through large doors at the 'ceiling' of the array. The deck 'above' the docking array constitutes a runway along the inner surface of the ring section, with the rotation of the Revelation pulling craft 'down' onto the deck and into drogue netting to arrest the relative motion of the docking vessel. Then, once positioned appropriately, the vessel is lowered into the array via an elevator platform and into position at one of several docking ports. Docking ports are arranged along pressurized corridors which run along the aft circumference of the docking array. Each spacecraft elevator platform features and inflatable pressure membrane sufficient in size to encapsulate an entire spacecraft and an access umbilical to allow crews to access the docked vessel. Later, when leaving the docking array, a vessel is 'dropped' through similar doors in the 'floor' of the array, using the Revelation's rotation to toss the craft clear of the larger vessel. A plumbing system integrated into the distal edges of the array allows the Revelation to pump fuel and water from the equatorial river to prevent wobbling induced by the sudden change in center of mass caused by a launches or landings.
The dock master, load master, and space traffic controllers oversee access to, and all working activities within, the docking array. These personnel are assisted by a number of professional dock workers and the large number of drones present within the array. During general quarters, Knight-Airmen and Knight-Espatiers are dispatched to the docking array as required to conduct missions. During peacetime, civilian pilots, scientists, and colonists waiting for transit may also be found there.
Contents & Furnishings
The roof and open wall sections of the docking array are festooned with cargo racks and support trusses, providing spaces for drones, GPMs (mostly cargo and auto-factory modules), and munitions. The modular weapons and drone support packages sometimes carried by the Revelation's cruiser complements are also kept here for later refits. Robotic cranes allow any of these items to be moved to and from the docking areas and airlocks leading to other parts of the vessel. Waldoes affixed to tracked ceiling mounts allow for more operations requiring more strength than an ambulatory drone can muster, such as the laying of new vessel frames, armor plates, and drive assemblies. These, when working in concert with auto-factories in the docking array and resources supplied by asteroid extraction missions, allow for the Revelation's docking array to serve as a shipyard. Of all the parts of the Revelation regularly visited by flesh-and-blood crew, the docking array is the most industrial-looking and least adorned. Evermornans born of the interterranean arcologies or in the asteroid colonies feel somewhat at home there, while Lepidosians often feel disquieted by the starkness of the place.
Outside of the walkways, umbilicals, and (sometimes) the docking elevator membranes, the docking array is always kept in vacuum. Some residual radiation from the engines of cruisers docked here, as well as solar radiation when the docking doors are opened, present additional hazards for the unwary.
Compartment of Vehicle