Jeska was the one that got away.
Or, to use a more fitting metaphor, Jeska was the one who had shredded Daniel’s fishing boat and left him stranded in shark-infested waters without hope of surviving in a cold, dark ocean.
Now, from what Daniel could tell, Jeska herself was caught in a strange, dangerous sea … filled with spaceships … surrounded by a fog of debris … located a six-weeks-voyage away from Daniel’s home galaxy?
Well, the metaphor doesn’t hold up, but suffice to say: Jeska broke Daniel’s heart, he still loved her, and now her life was in danger somewhere inside the Garage.
Instead of panicking, Daniel used his vague apprehension about the Garage to distract himself from the not-vague-at-all terror he felt about Jeska's fate.
Good gods, what is it? Daniel thought again, marveling at the Garage’s size.
As a duster, Daniel had seen big construction projects before: orbital cities, continent-sized artificial minds, artificial asteroids. Before the Garage, the largest manufactured object he’d ever seen had been a moon with engines built around its equator.
Compared to the Garage, it was all nothing.
Earlier on their voyage, Daniel had asked Trak to give him the Garage’s size in understandable terms.
Trak had tried to explain his calculations, which bored Daniel and Rachel-7, so Trak just told them the answer.
According to Trak, Fragged, Daniel’s birth planet, could fit inside the Garage 100 million times with plenty of space left over.
Fragged has a diameter of 8,100 miles—about the size of 21st century Earth before the disastrous invention of Termites 2.0.
Stuck On: Artificial Suns
When considering the largest manufactured objects he had encountered, Daniel didn't include artificial suns in his estimation for a very important reason.
He was prejudiced.
In Daniel's opinion, members of humanity's Star Engineering Guild "thought they were better" than duster because guild members could build "big, glowing blobs of gas."
"Making a star is so much easier than making a starship," Daniel would often say, after his customary too many beers. "Just get enough matter together and you got it."
On Fragged, these statements had landed Daniel in a number of fights, mostly with Star Engineering Guild members who didn't agree with Daniel's gross oversimplification of their complicated livelihoods.
A few serious injuries couldn't change Daniel's belief: he knew that making suns was "the pastime of the lazy."