One of only half a dozen large asteroids (in known space) converted to starships, the Monteferre is operated by the Solvaag Corporation to establish or support new interstellar colonies. Usually, these colonial efforts launched centuries ago; the Corporation is engaged by colonial trust funds, insurance companies, planetary governments, etc. to arrive prior to the colony ships. The Monteferre was originally part of the Fomalhaut system's asteroid belt, and is now (after considerable re-shaping) a nickel-iron sphere 5 kilometers in diameter, weighing about 400 billion tons.
A typically stable Mars-like world, in the habitable zone of a yellow sun, can be adapted in a year or less to support a supportive ecosystem for several hundred thousand colonists. Force fields, solar lenses, nuclear detonations, asteroid diversions, core taps, atmosphere processors, conversion organisms, and other powerful technical methods are used to alter and improve each colony world.
Captain Myotuu Gorim, an experienced Spacer, has 500 ship crew for the Monteferre, her hundreds of shuttles and cutters, a kilometer-long triple-sail hyperspace freighter, a large hyperdrive scout ship, and 6 powerful gunships. Also present within the bulk of the worldship are huge cargo holds, extensive hibernation berths, and workshops; 2500 "worldbuilders" are employed on the ship.
The largest of the "worldbuilder" departments is Construction; Science and Medicine are smaller, while the Executive, Cultural Affairs, and Security departments are only a few dozen persons each. (The Spacer crew of the Monteferre are divided into Command, Engineering, Life Systems, and Auxiliary Craft departments.)
In mid-3518 AD, the Monteferre has finished a difficult job at Lee's Star, including an attack by Mechanoid marauders on the system. Upon her return to the Twist system another worldbuilding contract is to be negotiated ...