The Puppeteer homeworld, called "Hearth" by its inhabitants, no longer orbits a star. Accompanied by four companion worlds, it flies
through space at just under the speed of light. When the Puppeteer Migration began, rather than flee their home, they took it with them!
Hearth is densely covered with buildings of all sorts; a good portion are miles-high skyscrapers. To feed the one trillion Puppeteers
on the planet, four farming worlds are needed. The five worlds, all of similar size, are arranged in a
Klemperer Rosette, appearing from a distance to be a five-pointed star.
The farming worlds are circled by strings of small orbital artificial suns. The homeworld has no orbital lights. It glows by its own light,
in patches the shapes of continents and the colors of sunlight. This may seem incredible to the reader, but as Nessus said in Ringworld:
".....We have had much practice in the moving of worlds..."
"But how?" said Louis Wu.
"I had explained," said Nessus, "that our civilisation was dying in its own waste heat. Total conversion of energy had rid us of
all waste products of civilisation, save that one. We had no choice but to move our world outward from its primary."
"Was that not dangerous?""Very. There was much madness that year. For that reason it is famous in our history. But we had purchased a reactionless,
inertialess drive from the Outsiders. You may have guessed their price. We are still paying in installments. We had moved
two agricultural worlds; we had experimented with other, useless worlds of our system using the Outsider
"In any case, we did it. We moved our world.
"In later millennia, our numbers reached a full trillion. The dearth of natural sunlight had made it necessary to light our
streets during the day, producing more heat. Our sun was misbehaving.
"In short, we found that a sun was a liability rather than an asset. We moved our world to a tenth of a light year's distance,
keeping the primary only as an anchor. We needed the farming worlds and it would have been dangerous to let our world wander
randomly through space. Otherwise we would not have needed a sun at all."
"So," said Louis Wu. "That's why nobody ever found the puppeteer world."
"This was part of the reason".
"We searched every yellow dwarf sun in known space, and a number outside it. Wait a minute, Nessus. Somebody would have found
the farming planets. In a Kemplerer Rosette."
"Louis, they were searching the wrong suns".
"What? You're obviously from a yellow dwarf."
"We evolved under a yellow dwarf star somewhat like Procyon. You may know that in half a million years Procyon will expand
into a red giant stage."
"Finagle's heavy hand! Did your sun blow up into a red giant?"
"Yes. Shortly after we finished moving our world, our sun began the process of expansion. Your fathers were still using the
upper thigh of an antelope to crack skulls. When you began to wonder where our world was, you were searching the wrong orbits
about the wrong suns.
"We had brought suitable worlds from nearby systems, increasing our agricultural worlds to four, and setting them in a
Kemplerer Rosette. It was necessary to move them all simultaneously when the sun began to expand, and to supply them
with sources of ultraviolet to compensate for the reddened radiation. You will understand that when the time came to
abandon the galaxy, two hundred years ago, we were well prepared. We had had practice in moving worlds............"
The five worlds are heading towards the Lesser Magellanic Cloud some 200,000 light years away. A few humans have been
allowed to settle on one of the farming worlds. Conservatives use the humans to investigate dangerous regions in the path
of the migration.