Talen rubbed weary eyes, wishing he’d gone to bed with the others hours ago. He simply couldn’t rest when the solution was so close at hand, and finished entering the latest set of parameters. The Jolly Roger wasn’t the only science vessel in this region of space looking for the elusive opening in space-time that every dimensional theorist claimed was here. If it were to do them any good, it had to be located precisely, studied, and mapped before any attempt was made to use it.
An insistent chime interrupted his weary thoughts, pulling his attention back to the workstation terminal. It took a moment for his sleep-deprived brain to understand the message.
Iteration 2257 successful. Anomaly located. Display visual?
Talen’s hand shook as he activated the main viewscreen. None of the scientific models matched what he was seeing; a beautiful, fixed, star-shaped structure. Awestruck and jittery with excitement, he instructed the computers to verify and record, even as he hit the comlink. They wouldn’t mind being awakened for this!
The celebration didn’t last very long. Jurri was the first to point out what everyone else should have realized immediately.
“This thing is not a natural formation. Every single theory postulates a dimensional gateway as a rip, tear, or hole in space-time. What we’re seeing is symmetrical, precise, constructed. We don’t have the ability to build something like this, but someone does – and did.”
The ramifications were staggering. How many of these gates existed? What was their purpose? Who might be waiting on the other side? Unless this was a forgotten relic of a long-dead alien civilization, they’d just stumbled on the greatest threat mankind could ever imagine. Talen acknowledged the frightening reality of their situation and punched the comlink.
“Captain, we’ve found something…”
Interesting note – this image is based on a photograph of pond scum – really! At the time, I was playing around with various digital enhancement software, and this one turned out so well I decided to keep it. Cool!